“Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we go,” sings a traditional refrain. Yet, not every visit to see our loved ones goes as well as we hope. During the holidays, many people visit their loved ones in their senior housing home to spread good cheer, participate in seasonal activities, and celebrate the love of friends and family. Some of these holiday visitors include children who may be unprepared for the realities of a long-term care setting. Visiting a senior care environment can be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience for young and old alike. With a little forethought and planning, you can make your visit a successful one.
“Who are you?” is one of the most painful questions when it means that your loved one no longer recognizes you. Yet, it is a moment with which almost every family dealing with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease can identify. In the book, Keeping Love Alive as Memories Fade, co-author Ed Shaw, MD, poignantly describes the moment he experienced this with his wife:
Weatherly Inn remains family owned and operated. President & CEO, Alex Bunn, with his family. Photo courtesy: Weatherly Inn.
Weatherly Inn hopes to make these decisions easier to navigate and can help those looking into options for their loved ones.
Weatherly Inn is a senior living community located in North Tacoma that strives to stand out. In an industry filled with corporately owned communities, Weatherly Inn has been family owned for the past 27 years. While many other senior living communities are publicly traded and have to make money for stock holders, Weatherly Inn is not. They put the wellbeing of their residents first.
The Bunn family is not only invested in Weatherly Inn—they truly care about their residents and all those who come to them for help. Something many people may not know is that Weatherly Inn can serve as a resource during a time of life that can prove challenging, and can assist families looking for options.
“There are three major barriers to making the transition from independent living into some kind of retirement senior living,” says Brandon Beebe, Marketing Director at Weatherly Inn. “The first is having the conversation.” Helping a loved one make such a major life transition can often be a difficult step. It’s even harder if that loved one has to come to terms with the limitations that come with aging. “As you can imagine, there are helpful ways to go about that and there are unhelpful ways. Having someone who isn’t part of your family, and isn’t a part of your family dynamic, to help guide that conversation can be really helpful.”
Weatherly Inn has a caring staff who can do just that, including senior living advisors and a professional chaplain.
“Our chaplain is fantastic at helping families have difficult discussions,” adds Beebe. “That’s number one—getting people who are going to be moving in to accept that not only do they need it, but that it will be a good choice for them.”
When it comes to memory care or assisted living, the first step is that a family or a caretaker will approach Weatherly Inn to start the conversation. The potential resident does not necessarily need to be there for this first step. Weatherly Inn can talk with the family about what their loved one’s health and living needs are, as well as what their financial situation looks like.
However, many families and caretakers are most concerned about the second barrier—finances.
“A lot of people will look at how much it costs and think they can’t afford it,” explains Beebe. “But if you wrap in your food budget for the month, home maintenance, insurance, any of the associated costs of owning a home or even renting an apartment or condo, it’s not always as expensive as it looks. So much is included here, from activities and entertainment, to not needing a car since we have concierge service, to all meals and snacks. We try to help families go through and figure out what they’re currently paying and see if it will work.”
Weatherly Inn is an all-inclusive kind of place. There’s a dining room where meals are served three times each day,
and often even feature live music. There’s a café where residents can grab a sandwich or cup of coffee in between meals, if they’d like. The food is good, too! The concierge service is available throughout the day for residents to book a ride to get to the grocery store, go out with friends or go to a doctor appointment.
Weatherly Inn can also serve as a resource on financial options as the staff collaborates with a network of experts on reverse mortgages, how to make the most of VA benefits and other ways to rearrange finances as needed.
The third barrier is the health of the potential resident. When going into an assisted living facility and figuring out if the fit is right, health can be a major factor. It can sometimes be tricky to figure out what exactly is causing health issues. If Weatherly Inn seems like a good fit, they send a nurse out to the potential resident’s home, or even to a healthcare facility if needed, to do a full medical care assessment as well as a full functional living survey to get an idea of what that person may need help with. Weatherly Inn offers a range of care and services and has residents who live independently with very minimal or no assistance, to assisted living residents, to memory care residents. Knowing what’s going on with a resident’s health is vital to ensuring they get the care they need.
“We can help identify what’s going on and work closely with medical professionals to make sure all of their medical needs are taken care of,” says Beebe. “They will go the extra mile to make sure that a potential resident get the right care even if it is not at the Weatherly.”
Sometimes the fit is not the right one, though, but this is where Weatherly Inn’s work as a resource can shine.
“We partner with different places—financial planners, a national veterans association called Patriot Angels who advocate with lawyers to get vets benefits that they’re entitled to, and we also work with referral services that can help place people with other retirement homes. If someone isn’t going to be a good fit for us, we try to make sure they’re hooked up with a referral service or something,” says Beebe. A lot of times people view us as just kind of selling condos, but that’s not what we are. We’re more.”
Weatherly Inn is located at 6016 N Highlands Parkway, Tacoma, WA 98406. To learn more, visit the Weatherly Inn website or give them a call at 253-752-8550. Weatherly Inn has a second location in Kent, located at 15101 SE 272nd St?reet, Kent, WA 98042. Call 253-630-7496 to reach the Kent location.
By Kristin Kendle
What’s your favorite place? One of my new favorite places is the “Den” at Weatherly Inn in Tacoma. It feels so warm and inviting. I’m especially fond of the comfortably worn leather wingback chairs by the fireplace. It would be the perfect place to gather with your family on Christmas Day to open presents. One of our favorite people, Ralph Munro, is featured on a new television program on TVW called My Favorite Places. Ralph served as Washington's Secretary of State from 1980-2000, and these short, compelling videos highlight some of his favorite historic places in our beautiful state.
“Winning takes talent, to repeat it takes character.” -Coach John Wooden
It happened again! For the second year in a row, readers of Showcase Magazine published by Showcase Media’s Robyn Lucas, voted us the “Best of Retirement and Senior Living.” If Coach Wooden is to be believed, then Weatherly Inn must have some talent as well as some character. We certainly work at it, anyway.
Weatherly Inn Values Adding Life and Youthfulness to Daily Living for Residents!
Weatherly Inn is one of several assisted living facilities in the Tacoma area, but there are a few things that set this facility apart from others. Owned and operated by the Bunn family since 1989, Weatherly Inn puts a focus on stellar customer service, customization for their residents, and going above and beyond in all things, from staffing to décor to care. The result is a truly unique place — one that feels like a home, yet offers all the nursing care its residents need. It’s a place with aesthetic appeal around every corner and kindness at its very core.
Jim Rose’s dad worked as a coal miner so Jim grew up helping out on the family farm in rural Kentucky. It was hard work; they had no water or electricity.
Finding the right senior living for your loved ones to call home can feel overwhelming. We believe it's our job to make that task a little bit easier.
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Come tour one of our beautiful communities. We’d love to show you around.