Timing a move into an assisted living community can be tricky, but there are definitive signs a move is warranted. 

Chris Lyboldt, eldercare consultant and owner of Senior Care Authority Atlanta, joins us for a preview into our webinar examining scenarios that indicate it's the right time for your loved one to make the move to senior living—some of which you may have not considered.

Watch the video above for a preview of Senior Living LIVE! When Is It Time for Senior Living, and then visit ArborCompany.com/Time to register!


Video Transcript

- Hello everyone. And welcome into Senior Living Live. My name is Melissa. Thanks as always for being with us here today. Well, if you have watched any of our videos or our webinars in the past, you've heard us say so many times, don't wait until there's an emergency before you begin discussing senior living options with an aging loved one. In our upcoming webinar, we will discuss some other scenarios that you might not have thought of or have considered when it comes to deciding when it's right to make that move to senior living. Chris Lyboldt will be our guest presenter for this upcoming webinar. He has helped so many families navigate senior care planning. Chris, how are you doing this morning?

- I'm doing great. Thank you.

- Fantastic. I'm really looking forward to this webinar. So many people have a lot of questions. When is it the right time? Should we do this now? Is it assisted living? Should it be independent living? Is it memory care? So many questions and we're gonna try to answer those in this upcoming webinar. We're doing this preview today to give people an idea of what the webinar is about. First and foremost, tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

- Sure. So as Melissa said, my name's Chris Lyboldt, and I'm an elder care consultant. And I own a company called Senior Care Authority. And start working at NYU. So I taught at New York University for about 10 years. And I was a specialist in facilitation and education. So I was a specialist in adult learning theory. And then after about 10 years, I got married and decided that it was time to make a move and I moved into the corporate world. And I was in the corporate world for 17 years and I was a director of sales and a director of marketing, and moved to Atlanta. And as so often happens, the big corporate entity no longer saw my division was a fit. So I found myself in transition. And everything just kept leading me to this vocation as an elder care consultant. My wife and I, we were caregivers for my father-in-law for six years. And we tried to navigate this journey on our own. And we ran into every possible obstacle that you could imagine. So when we had the opportunity to give back and to help other families navigate this journey, we jumped at the opportunity and I've been doing this now for two years. I started in March of 2020.

- Oh wow.

- We got a fun time to launch a business. And every morning I wake up, I don't care if it's a Friday or a Monday, I love what I do. And my wife and I have certainly found exactly what we love.

- Yeah, that's great. And I love it when we have professionals that we bring on to our webinars that have experience in senior living. So you've talked about your father-in-law and that is going to help so many people just that experience alone and what you've had to navigate to get through that to obviously make things the best you could for that individual. So when we talk about senior living, I know there's a lot of misconceptions that people have. What are some common misconceptions that you hear from people in regards to the process that it takes to make that move to senior living?

- I really think that the misconceptions are different according to what role you are playing in the transition. So if you are an older adult in your 80s or your 90s, then you absolutely have a different perception of what senior living is. Very often what I encounter is that older adults in their 80s and 90s, their perception of senior living is that it's a nursing home and that they're going to end up losing a lot of their independence by moving into one of these communities, when in fact, the way that senior living communities are designed today, the intent is the exact opposite of that. And I'll get more into that when I get into the webinar. If you're an adult child, you have a different priority. You want mom and dad to be safe. And as an adult child, very often when you walk into a senior living community, you may not be looking at what's most important for mom and dad depending upon what their needs are. And very often it's easy to get seduced by the beauty, and the swimming pools and the saunas. And sometimes that's great, especially if it's independent living, but if somebody has some cognitive needs or some physical impairments, then it's important to be coached in a different direction. And the adult child working with somebody like myself really can kind of hone in on what the priority is to make sure that the match is a perfect fit. Because what we want is we want the older adult to move into that community and we want them to stay there. The last thing in the world we want them to do is to bounce around, and that's what we try to avoid.

- Yeah, that's perfect. And it's good because I know the Arbor Company is the same way. Moves can be traumatic. That actually leads us to our next question about why is that move to senior living so daunting for so many people? Why is there so much, I wouldn't say fear, but certainly when people look at that option, a lot of people say, "You know what? "I'm better off being home." When they're definitely not.

- So the way I describe this to my clients, I do it on a continuum of wants and needs. And if you're the older adult, your want is that you want to maintain your independence. It doesn't matter if you're 90, you're 100, if you're 80, deep down in your heart, you still feel like you're 30, and you don't want anybody telling you what to do and you want your independence. You don't want that independence taken away. That's your want. The adult child on the other hand, their want is safety. They begin to recognize some things that are happening with mom and dad that they're not comfortable with. A hospitalization, a fall, an accident. They see things that are happening in the home that they're not comfortable with. And all they want is safety. So those are the two wants, but in reality, that older adult has a priority and they have one singular need, and that need is dignity. And very often what ends up happening is that there's a perception by the older adult that they're gonna move into a environment that's going to rob them of their dignity. And unfortunately, without the proper education, sometimes the adult child can also forget that. And in what we do from a coaching perspective, we work with those adult children on how to have those conversations in a dignified way so that the older adult's literally making the choice on their own, and it's something that they're comfortable with, and it's something that they know they're going to enjoy because they're gonna be moving into a dignified existence. Because the reality is this whole world of senior care, it can be a pretty undignified existence if you don't find the right place and you don't find the right kind of care.

- Yeah, especially when someone needs greater care. And we hear that so much, that dignity, especially when it comes to our memory care residents. So I'm so glad you mentioned that. Now, without taking too much away from your upcoming webinar, where we will have our viewers who will have an opportunity to ask you questions. What sort of things become necessary for that checklist or an assessment in deciding whether or not a move to senior living makes sense?

- So in the webinar, I'm gonna break it down into different categories because there's different considerations that need to be that need to be taken into account depending upon what your situation is. So let's start with, and there's also a different type of senior living community that's attached to each of those different categories. So the first category is just a lifestyle choice. Let's say, for instance, you're living in this great big house and you've got all these things that you got taken care of, and you just wanna move into a community where your social and recreational life is kind of set out on the table for you every single morning, you've got all of your meals prepared, three chef prepared meals per day, you've got all these wonderful activities that you can choose from, you've got the opportunities to meet all of these new friends, and you don't have everything else that goes on in your regular life. So sometimes, it's that. It's just, I want carefree living. That's what my choice is. The next category is more around cognition. Sometimes it's an individual's cognition that prevents them from being safe in home. And that could range from mild cognitive impairment to a diagnosis of dementia. And if that's the case, then certainly we need to work with the whole entire family to make sure that that individual's moving into a community that can meet their needs. There's a big difference between mild cognitive impairment, obviously, and a moderate dementia. We have many, many communities in Atlanta that can fulfill both. The third is physical impairment. And the real risk there is falls or anything that you have physically that's going on that's preventing you from being safe in your home. And we'll talk about assisted living, which is a way for you to move into an environment where you've got care built in to that environment so that we can reduce the risk for falls. We can take care of those things that you might be struggling with. We call them activities of daily living, ADLs. But that's really what that's all about. So three categories, lifestyle choice, social and recreational activity, cognitive or physical.

- Got you, perfect. That's a great breakdown. So if somebody is watching this video and they're like, "Well, is this for me? "Should I watch this webinar? "I have some questions, "but I'm not sure if I'm the right person, "if this is the right webinar for me." Who is gonna benefit the most from this webinar with you?

- You know that continuum that I talked about about wants and needs? If you find yourself on that continuum, either as the older adult, the adult child, or a stakeholder, somebody who's got a best friend that is spending more time taking care of mom and dad than focusing on their career, and their family, and their children and everything else, or if you're an older adult, maybe a spouse, and you're concerned about your spouse or you have a friend that's going through some trials at their home, then this is going to be a great webinar for you. And I encourage everybody that joins this webinar to stop me throughout and really dig into some questions that you may have maybe about a personal situation to kind of say, "Yeah, is this the time for me "to begin the planning process?" You remember, Melissa, when she first started speaking about this, she said how important it was to begin considering these things when you're in a planning stage, when you're in a planning process, because if you try to make these decisions when you're in the middle of a fire drill, very often the decisions are very hasty and the decisions are not quality decisions. So if you're in that planning process, this would be a great webinar for you.

- Yeah, and it goes right back to the word dignity. It's hard to do that when you're, as you said, in that fire drill process, dignity is the last thing you're thinking of then at that point. Now, you've mentioned Atlanta, that's where you're located, that's where your company is. But if somebody's watching this, we have people from all across the country who tune in, and they wanna get in contact with you, they have questions right now, and they want to know a little bit more about Senior Care Authority, what it is, what you can do to help, how can they get in touch with you?

- Well, Senior Care Authority has offices all across the country. So the first thing I want to make sure is let's say for instance, I'm gonna give you an example, let's say you live in Atlanta but mom is in California, Northern California, and you've met with me and we've chatted, but really the need is in Northern California, I have a whole network of elder care consultants across the country that we could put you in touch with that would do the exact same kind of work that I do here that we could do all across the country. But if you wanna get ahold of me directly, the best way to get ahold of me is to give me a call. Just pick up the phone and reach out to me. And the way that you can get my number is you can go into Google Maps and just type in "Senior Care Authority Atlanta" and you'll find my Google business page that has my website, my phone numbers, and Google reviews that really kind of outline what I do. You can also go to our website, seniorcareauthority.com. And then you go find a location, go to Atlanta, go to Northern California, go to Chicago, Florida, wherever you wanna go, do, and you'll be put in touch with an elder care consultant that can answer any question that you might have in this area.

- Perfect. I love it. Great preview. Chris, this is gonna be a great webinar. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today.

- You're very welcome. And I look forward to seeing everybody on the webinar.

- Yeah, absolutely. Now, all of you watching, if you wanna be a part of that webinar, all you have to do is head on over to www.seniorlivinglive.com to RSVP to join us Wednesday, March 9th at 11:00 AM Eastern Time. We will see you then.

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