By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Other | Issue: April 2013
Michelle Brown and Mark Smith, owners of Assisted Transition.
When the time comes to transition an elderly loved one out of their home and into an assisted living facility, nursing home or similar type of community, numerous questions arise. What are the differences between the various facilities? What can we afford? Will my loved one be happy in their new home? Assisted Transition is available to answer these questions and more, offering free senior living placement and referral services for the greater Tulsa area.
The reasons for needing to transition an elder into a different living situation are vast and may include declining physical or mental health, lack of support system available in case of emergency, or inability to take care of home maintenance needs. “Many people realize, ‘This is what we need to do,’ but they’re unsure exactly how to go about it,” says Michelle Brown, co-owner of Assisted Transition with Mark Smith. “Our services are geared toward families that have planned ahead and are prepared for the change, but need help in finding the right home for their family member.”
Assisted Transition assists families in finding the right assisted living community, independent living community, residential care home, nursing home, home care provider, or memory support/Alzheimer’s community. They also help find respite short-term stay and hospice care. “We are here to help you understand all of your options,” explains Michelle, a registered nurse with a specialty in home health. “The terminology can be very confusing. We will explain the differences and help determine the right living situation for your loved one.”
Michelle and Mark say that many older people have negative associations with moving out of their home, as it can make them feel as if they’re no longer useful or worthwhile citizens. “However, most people find that giving up the obligations of home maintenance allows them to focus on other aspects of their lives,” says Mark. “Independent living, for example, offers tremendous benefits emotionally, physically and psychologically, providing seniors the luxury they deserve in this state of their life. These communities consist of individual apartments in a facility that provides meals, interaction with their peers and pleasurable activities. When an elderly person lives alone and does not experience this socialization, depression can seep in, which can cause them to mimic the signs of early dementia.”
Assisted living is another option that may be right for your situation. These facilities include help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing and medication management.
All services at Assisted Transition are provided at no cost. A meeting is scheduled between Michelle or Mark and the senior and their family, either at the Assisted Transition office or the person’s home. “We assess their situation and match their needs and wants with what is available in the community,” says Michelle. “Factors may include price, geographic location, services available, environment of the facility, and much more. As a registered nurse for 28 years, I am also able to read between the lines and provide insight into the senior’s needs that the family may not be aware of.”
After the initial meeting, Mark or Michelle will narrow down the choices available and tour and evaluate the facilities. Upon determining the best options, they will personally drive the senior and family to the best matched locations for a guided tour. Once a selection has been made and the person moved to the right facility, they follow up to ensure that all expectations have been met.
As a certified senior advisor, Mark is able to offer advice on the variety of financial, health and social issues seniors face. He also works with the VA to assist veterans in making sure they receive their full benefits. This service is especially close to Mark’s heart, as he is a veteran of the Aviation Branch of the United States Army.
Michelle and Mark truly care about seniors in our community and want to provide families the assistance they need to make the transition as comfortable as possible. “This is a difficult and confusing time, and our goal is to make this change easier and less stressful for everyone involved, with personalized, compassionate, selfless service,” says Michelle.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.