Betty and Rhonda were twins, 88 years old. They had both been widowed years earlier, and had decided to share a two-bedroom apartment when keeping up their homes became too much for them. However, Betty’s son was concerned that Betty was becoming forgetful. She would leave the stove on and often repeat the same questions over and over. Matters came to a head when Rhonda discovered Betty wandering in the neighborhood, unable to remember where she lived when she had gone outside for a walk.

Betty’s son, Joe, contacted us at Growing Options and explained his dilemma. Rhonda had her own health problems and didn’t have the capacity to be Betty’s caregiver and ensure her safety. At the same time, the twin sisters had lived together for years, and Joe worried that Rhonda would be lonely and isolated if Betty moved to a facility. What could he do? What resources were available? Could both sisters still enjoy a high quality of life?

For many families, it’s challenging to navigate the health care system for an aging adult. Often there are important decisions that have to be made about finances, medical care, and housing. It’s even more stressful if the senior shows signs of dementia or has a health care crisis. In this case, our care managers started with a thorough assessment of both women’s mental and physical health along with lifestyle and preferences. Rhonda wanted to continue living in the apartment but understood that Betty would be safer in a facility. We developed plans for both women with recommendations for services to meet their needs.

The end result was that Betty was moved to a memory care unit, and she adjusted well to the new environment. We set up home care services for Rhonda, as it was getting more difficult for her to manage the activities of daily living. Her aide brought her to the memory care unit twice a week to visit her sister. As their care managers, we’re monitoring how things go and will adapt the care plans as needed. The facility where Betty lives also has living options for independent living, as well as assisted living, so Rhonda would be able to move into an apartment at the same location as her care needs increased.

Aging can be difficult when challenges arise, and options are unknown. A care manager can make the journey smoother by helping seniors and their families make the best possible choices and giving everyone greater peace of mind.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at (203) 258-2640 or email us at We’ll be happy to assist!