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Our Decision Guide is designed to help you make good decisions for your future or that of a loved one. There are many factors to consider — financial security, ongoing healthcare, and overall safety and well-being. Our guide offers many answers, however as you go through this process please feel free to contact us anytime should you require more information.

Assisted Living Concerns

Often adult children are suddenly required to make living arrangements for their parents that include moving to safer surroundings. Helping loved ones make good decisions about their future can often be stressful and at times even overwhelming. We understand and have gathered the following information to help you make the best decision and assist you through the process. We offer information and answer several key questions that are often asked, and hope this will help you create a plan that makes sense for you and your loved one.

What is Assisted Living?

Our assisted living apartments combine easy to maintain housing and personal care in a beautiful residential setting. Trained staff is available 24 hours a day to provide support for those who need assistance with daily activities such as bathing, dressing and medications, but do not yet require complex medical services. Residents enjoy delicious, freshly-prepared noon and evening meals each day and a variety of snacks. The private assisted living apartments feature a living room, bedroom, a private bathroom with walk-in shower, and a kitchenette with an apartment-size refrigerator and microwave for quick and easy preparation of meals and snacks. Assisted living apartments share spacious common areas that include a living room, dining room and activity spaces. Assisted Living residents also enjoy the many on-campus amenities that are available.

How do I know when it’s time for Assisted Living?

Safety first! If the home or current living situation is cause for concern, it’s time to consider a change and assisted living may be the answer. Signs you should watch for that indicate a change is needed are: personal hygiene changes, clothes worn repeatedly or not laundered, confusion with medications, poor nutrition, reoccurring falls, isolation and/or forgetfulness. If you have noticed any of these symptoms consider moving your loved one to a community where they can receive the services and benefits of specialized care and you have peace of mind. Before moving to assisted living, residents are given a full comprehensive nursing assessment to determine the level of care needed, this will also provide pertinent information to help guide needed decisions.

Continuing Care Retirement Community

As a CCRC, we feature several levels of care and living services.  Residents in our rehabilitation area have the convenience of moving from their rehab stay directly to our assisted living, should they require that level of care. The transition is quick, easy and relaxed because residents and family are in familiar surroundings and much of the paperwork is already in place.

What about Memory Care?

For seniors with memory concerns, we memory care. This area of the community serves those with Alzheimer’s or other cognitive impairments. They have private apartments with their own private bathroom.

How do I approach my loved one about moving to Assisted Living?

Often when adult children contact us, it’s after or during a healthcare crisis, hospital stay, during a rehab stay or a drastic health decline. In this situation you can rely on healthcare professionals to recommend the best setting for your family member. They have the ability to properly assess and help determine what the needs really are. The decision for the health and safety of your loved one should, of course, take precedence over the desire to return to the home of 50 years with all the memories and the multiple, unused, china sets. The recommendation and the expression of your own concern for their safety and well-being will set your family on the right course. After a decision is made family members find a sense of relief and can return to being the son or the daughter, rather than being the caretaker who is overwhelmed. Assisted Living offers residents opportunity to remain as independent as possible while enjoying the security of 24-hour assistance if needed.

Avoiding a Crisis – It’s important to know you don’t need to wait for a crisis or accident to consider a move to Assisted Living. Many residents and families tour our community and learn about the program and see apartments long before any kind of health issue arises. Once they see our assisted living wing and meet the happy residents their concerns are put aside and they welcome the change. Making the transition under these conditions is more desirable and less stressful than having to react to an emergency situation.

I want peace of mind knowing my loved one is safe and secure.

We provide around-the-clock services and observation. This means you can be assured our staff is there to support your loved one and keep you informed. For each new resident we create an individualized care plan that monitors their well-being, and if changes do occur we are able to adapt and make certain they are attended to immediately and appropriately.

Personal care in assisted living typically includes:
  • Staff available to respond to both scheduled and unscheduled needs
  • Assistance with eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, and walking
  • Access to health and medical services, such as physical therapy and hospice
  • Emergency call systems for each resident’s apartment plus a personal pendant
  • Medication management
  • Care for residents with cognitive impairment
  • Social services and Pastoral care

The majority of senior communities charge month-to-month rates.  Several of the primary factors that determine rates are apartment size and level of care or service needed by the resident. When looking at options it’s important to know what you are getting for your dollar.

Assisted living provides the opportunity for continued socialization and activities, balanced nutrition, and the peace of mind that assistance is always nearby. The basic monthly assisted living rate includes a majority of personal services and meals. Learn more about payment options by visiting our Financial Information page.

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For seniors still able to travel, the holidays may be the one time each year they get to see far-away family members in person. It’s a special opportunity—one that many seniors look forward to all year long. However, holiday travel can be stressful and exhausting even for those in the prime of their youth. If you’re planning a holiday airplane trip with an aging relative, making appropriate arrangements ahead of time will help the experience go more smoothly for everyone.

Before the Trip

  • Book nonstop flights – Changing planes adds complication, extends the overall travel time, and increases the risk of missed flights or delays.
  • Choose an appropriate departure time – Many seniors find it extra challenging to travel in the early morning or late evening. While these flights tend to be less expensive, a mid-day departure time is better for everyone’s energy levels.
  • Request accessibility options – All airlines offer accessibility services such as wheelchair service, assistance with boarding, and accessible seat assignments. Some allow you to request these services while booking, while others require you to contact the airline prior to departure. Research what’s available for the airline you’ll be flying on and make the necessary arrangements.
  • Pack insurance cards – Of course, you hope for everyone to be healthy over the holidays. But in case something happens and your loved one needs medical attention, you want to be prepared. Having insurance cards at the ready will be one less thing you potentially have to worry about.

On the Travel Day

  • Carry on medications – There’s always a chance that the airline might lose your bags, so never store important medications or medical appliances in checked luggage. Pack them in your carry-on bag instead. It’s also a smart idea to bring copies of prescriptions in case a refill or a doctor’s visit is needed during the trip.
  • Bring a neck pillow for comfort – Most people have a crick in their neck or back when they get off a plane. Pack a travel neck pillow to make sure your elderly travel companion is comfortable during the flight, especially if the flight time is longer than one hour.
  • Request a wheelchair – Even if they don’t normally use a wheelchair, it’s a good idea to request one from the airport for a loved one with mobility issues. Most airports will provide wheelchairs for older passengers to get to their gates. The wheelchair will make navigating the airport together much less stressful for both of you.
  • Gate or Escort Passes – If you are not traveling with anyone, you can request a Gate Pass from your airline’s ticket counter in your local airport. This way one or more (depending on the airline) of your family members can go with you through security to your departing gate until your plane departs. Be sure to check with your airline prior to arriving at the airport to ensure availability and allow extra time to obtain this pass before departure time.
  • Prepare for security – Before the flight, discuss any medical devices that may set off TSA alarms, such as knee or hip implants. Alert the agent before going through security. Oftentimes, TSA agents will perform a wand screening for seniors rather than going through the sensors. In many cases, travelers in a wheelchair will also receive priority service from the TSA, so your security experience may be easier than usual!

Travelling with seniors can present some challenges, but if you prepare accordingly, you should both have a safe, comfortable, and worry-free trip. Happy holidays!

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National Family Caregivers Month has been spearheaded by the Caregiver Action Network since 1994 and formally recognized since 1997, when President Clinton signed the first annual NFC Month Presidential Proclamation.

NFC Month recognizes the more than 40 million caregivers taking care of aging parents, sick spouses, or other loved ones with illness or disability. Caregivers spend an average of 13 days every month on caregiving activities, equivalent to an economic value of $500 billion in unpaid services—three times more than annual Medicaid spending on long-term care. However, because it’s a labor of love, this hard work goes largely unseen and unrecognized for most of the year.

“Family caregivers have an immeasurable impact on the lives of those they assist, but their hours are long and their work is hard. Many put their own lives on hold to lift up someone close to them,” President Barack Obama said in his National Family Caregiver Month Proclamation in 2012. “National Family Caregivers Month is a time to reflect on the compassion and dedication that family caregivers embody every day.”

According to the Caregiver Action Network, November is our opportunity to celebrate the efforts of family caregivers, increase our support, raise awareness for caregiver issues, and educate caregivers about self-identification. The 2019 theme for NFC Month is #BeCareCurious. This theme encourages caregivers to be proactive and engaged when it comes to their loved one’s care, whether that’s in the doctor’s office, in the hospital, or at home.

This month, make an extra effort to #BeCareCurious about:

  • Your Loved One’s Goals: Having hard conversations about treatment goals in the face of a serious disease is challenging for everyone involved, but these discussions are necessary to ensure your loved one is receiving the care they really want.
  • Treatment Options: If your loved one isn’t responding well to their current treatment, ask their doctor about other options. When you’re not feeling well, it can be hard to be your own advocate. That’s why they’re lucky to have you in the room with them.
  • Research: The internet is a great resource for understanding the basics of a loved one’s condition, but it can also be a mess of conflicting and inaccurate advice. Don’t stop at Google. Follow up with your loved one’s doctors to get the full picture.
  • The Care Plan: After a loved one is discharged from the hospital, most of the follow-up care will happen at home. Make sure you understand what they will need in the weeks to come. Ask questions about medications, care procedures, and future appointments.
  • Coverage: Be vocal when it comes to insurance coverage and do your research to fully understand the ins and outs of your loved one’s plan. This will make life easier for you and will help avoid any expensive surprises.

Acting as a family caregiver is not an easy job. It adds stress and complication to your life no matter how willingly and lovingly the care is given. But as they say, knowledge is power. The more you know about your loved one’s goals, needs, and situation, the more confident and capable you’ll feel as their caregiver.

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Technology use by seniors has been increasing by the year. Although mobile devices may not be as ubiquitous among older adults as they are among other demographics, the Pew Research Center found that more than 40% of seniors report owning a smartphone and 32% own tablets. Seniors were slower to adopt the internet, but now 67% of older adults go online every day.

Seniors are joining social media, too. Over 30% of older adults have profiles on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, and that number is only growing. According to some estimates, as many as 50 million seniors will adopt a social media platform by 2020.

It’s not hyperbolic to say that social media has rewired the way society functions and the way we connect with other people. It can be just as transformative for seniors. Considering that social isolation is linked to shorter lifespan and increased risk for chronic disease, social media use can be as beneficial for seniors’ physical health as it is for their emotional well-being.

The benefits of joining at least one social media platform include:

  • Increased connection with family and friends — It can be difficult to stay in touch with family members and close friends who live out of state, or even a few hours away. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram not only allow seniors to exchange messages with loved ones, but to stay in the loop with daily photos and status updates.
  • Reconnecting with old friends — It’s natural to fall out of touch with certain friends over the decades, as jobs, family, and life takes people in different directions. But there’s nothing like the joy of reconnecting with an old friend after years apart. Seniors can rediscover lost friends by searching for other people who graduated in their year, lived in their town, or worked at the same company.
  • Participating in community events — Many social and volunteer groups use platforms like Facebook to make announcements and organize events. Being active on these platforms can help seniors stay involved in community activities, like a book club, bible study, or volunteering opportunities. Discover other ways seniors can get involved in the community.
  • Staying informed about current events — People are increasingly relying on social media platforms to get their news. Scrolling through your newsfeed, you’ll encounter headlines for the major news events of the day, both in your local community and around the world. Using social media can help seniors stay informed about current events without reading the paper every morning.

Does the senior in your life have a social media account? If not, consider sitting down together to set one up. Help them upload a photo, fill out their profile, and get started by connecting with their closest friends and family members. Pretty soon they’ll be using the platform like a pro—and enjoying the many benefits that come with it.

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The later decades of your life can be among the most rewarding. You have more free time to devote to hobbies and people that make you happiest. You may be blessed with the joys of becoming a grandparent. You have more wisdom, patience, and confidence than you did when you were younger. And you have the perspective to know not to take any of it for granted.

It’s important to keep your body and mind healthy to enjoy these years to their fullest. The key to healthy aging is maintaining a healthy lifestyle. There are five essential science-backed elements to living a healthy lifestyle at any that any age, which continue to serve as a strong foundation for health and daily well-being as we age.

The 5 essential elements of healthy aging are:

  • Diet
    Many Americans consume far more sodium, sugar, and fat than they should, but following a healthy diet can become even more challenging as we age. Make sure your diet is largely composed of whole foods, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and good sources of protein. If cooking for yourself becomes an obstacle, take advantage of your senior living community’s dining room. The menus are created according to nutritional guidelines and will help you maintain a balanced diet.

 

  • Exercise
    Regular exercise is one of the most important elements of physical and mental well-being at any age. And contrary to popular assumption, it only becomes more important as we get older. Maintaining your physical fitness will help you retain independence, prevent injury, and can provide relief from chronic illnesses such as arthritis and diabetes.If you don’t already have a fitness regimen, read our tips for how to start an exercise routine after age 60.

 

  • Relationships
    Loneliness is among the biggest dangers to your health — especially later in life. Social isolation increases risk for depression, anxiety, dementia, and even early mortality. Maintaining an active social life can certainly become more challenging as we age, but that just means it’s even more important to make this area of your life a priority. Set up weekly calls or visits with family members, go on walks or get meals with friends, and find ways to get involved in your community.

 

  • Mental Stimulation
    Some people assume that cognitive decline is a natural byproduct of aging, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Practicing good habits for your cognitive health can prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia, improve memory, and minimize those pesky “senior moments.” The good news is that following the other four essential habits of healthy aging will naturally support brain health. In addition, find ways to keep your brain active every day. Try new things, learn a new skill, read books, play games, and engage in meaningful activities like volunteering.

 

  • Sleep
    Yes, sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle! Sleep is restorative; while you’re catching Z’s, your body repairs any cellular damage that occurred during the day and reboots your immune system. A good night’s sleep also supports memory, mood, and concentration. Older adults who don’t get enough sleep are more susceptible to depression, memory loss, nighttime falls, and infection.Insomnia becomes more common as we age. To make sure you’re getting good quality sleep, build a healthy sleep routine and stick to it. Go to bed at the same time every day, keep your bedroom as dark as possible, and avoid caffeine and alcohol in the evening.

 

If you’re struggling with any of these five elements of healthy aging, ask for help. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about your health, reach out to the staff in your community, or confide in a trusted friend or family member. The most important thing to remember about aging is that none of us should do it alone. Take advantage of the support systems around you and ask for help when you need it.

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Life changes associated with aging can lead seniors to experience social isolation and loss of purpose. The two are often closely connected. Retirement, losing a spouse, adult children moving away, and lack of independent transportation all contribute to a shrinking social sphere, making it more difficult to interact regularly with other people.

It’s not without consequences. Socially-isolated seniors tend to have higher healthcare expenses and a shorter lifespan compared to those who are more socially connected. They have an increased risk for chronic disease, including high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, cognitive decline, and Alzheimer’s. And they are more prone to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.

On the flipside, seniors who remain socially connected tend to live longer, report better mood, and have better health outcomes when they are admitted to the hospital. Having purpose likewise helps seniors maintain cognitive function and other markers of wellbeing, such as good sleep and lower risk of disease.

It’s clear: engaging in meaningful, productive activities with other people is beneficial for your physical and mental health. One way to maintain these connections in old age, especially if family lives out of state, is to get involved with your local community.

Here are five ways seniors can get involved in the community:

  1. Sign up for an exercise class — Fitness classes kill two birds with one stone. You get the physical benefits of exercise with the emotional benefits of social interaction. Choose a fitness class that suits your activity level. Talk to the wellness coordinator at your senior living community if you need help finding the right fit.
  2. Attend church services — Staying active in a religious community can be immensely beneficial for body, mind, and spirit. Not only that, but Sunday services ensure that you have at least one scheduled social outing every week. If you’re currently a member of a church, keep attending if possible. If transportation options or mobility challenges prevent you from keeping up with your usual congregation, attend services in your senior living community.
  3. Volunteer — There’s no better way to find purpose and feel useful than through volunteering. Volunteering allows you to be active, to interact with people of all ages, and to make positive contributions to your community. Consider volunteering at local schools, hospitals, or the library.
  4. Join a hobby group — Shared interests are a great way to bond at any age. Connect with the activity coordinator in your community to learn about groups that might align with your hobbies. Most senior living communities will have book clubs, bridge clubs, and bible studies where you’ll find like-minded residents to socialize with.
  5. Take a class — Many studies have shown that a commitment to lifelong learning supports cognitive wellness and may help ward off the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Keep in mind that learning doesn’t have to mean textbooks and classrooms. You could take a cooking class, learn to play a new musical instrument, or take a creative writing course—perhaps writing some personal non-fiction to pass your memories down to your children.

Aim to schedule at least two or three recurring weekly activities—like church on Sunday mornings and a book club that meets on Wednesday afternoons—so that you always have a social event to look forward to. Each week, fill in your calendar with more spontaneous outings, like coffees or lunches with friends. It doesn’t matter what activities you decide to get involved with. The important thing is making it a regular part of your life.

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