Aging Resources

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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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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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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We’ve braved months of cold winds, icy roads, and even a spring snowstorm or two, but summer is finally just around the corner. As you start trading your sweaters for short sleeves, take a few minutes to brush up on some of the risks that come with warmer weather—and how to stay safe and healthy this summer.

Heat-Related Summer Health Risks for Seniors

We sometimes get as hot in the summer as it gets cold in the winter, and that means heat-related health issues can be a real danger—especially for seniors. While extreme heat can be dangerous at any age, your risk for heat-related illness increases as you get older. Dehydration and hyperthermia are the top health risks seniors face in the summertime.

Dehydration – Feelings of thirst tend to decrease as we age, which means seniors are more likely to become dehydrated. Some medications may also make you more susceptible to dehydration by acting as a diuretic or making you sweat less. Talk with your doctor about side effects of your daily medications that may put you at risk.

Watch out for signs of dehydration:

  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Low blood pressure
  • Constipation
  • Low urine output
  • Confusion
  • Rapid heart rate

Hyperthermia – Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are both forms of hyperthermia, a condition in which the body’s internal temperature is dangerously elevated. Our body’s natural heat regulating mechanisms don’t work as well when we get older, which increases the risk for hyperthermia.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • Excessive sweating or lack of sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weakness
  • Rapid pulse
  • Headache
  • Rapid and shallow breathing

Heat exhaustion can develop quickly, and if not treated can turn into life-threatening heat stroke. If you or someone else is experiencing symptoms, get to a cool place, start hydrating, and contact your nursing staff immediately.

Tips for Staying Safe in the Sun

Just because sun exposure comes with some risks doesn’t mean you should spend your summer indoors. Exposure to sunlight is critical to mental and physical wellbeing. Follow these tips to get your daily dose of sunshine the safe way:

  • Stay Hydrated – Drink more water than you think you need. If you feel thirsty, that’s a sign you’re already becoming dehydrated.
  • Take a Siesta – The sun is at its peak during midday. Head inside for a rest during these hours to avoid the most intense rays.
  • Crank the A/C – Extreme heat can follow you indoors if you don’t set your air conditioner accordingly. Set your A/C at a comfortable 72-75 degrees F and use fans to distribute the cool air.
  • Dress Cool – Choose light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen to help regulate body temperature. Throw on a hat before you go outside.
  • Avoid Strenuous Activity – Your body has to work much harder to regulate its temperature when it’s hot outside, which means hyperthermia can come on quickly. Consider trying one of these low-impact summer activities.

Summer is a great opportunity to spend time outside with grandkids, replenish your vitamin D, and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature. We hope you keep these safety tips in mind while you get the most out of this sunny season.

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Did you know? April is Stress Awareness Month.

The feeling of stress can oftentimes derail our lives. If we get too stressed, we have a hard time concentrating on other things in life, many times the important parts of our lives like, overall happiness and joy.

Especially as a senior, life can seem stressful. Whether you may be stressed about an upcoming move to a senior living community or other factors that can cause stress, it’s important to take the time for yourself to rest and relax.

Here are five ways for seniors to de-stress:

1. Start a new hobby:

While this may seem a bit odd, activities that keep you busy but also encourage socialization can greatly reduce stress. Whether you want to start a book club in your community, pick up a new card game or grab a friend and start a garden (indoor or out!), you’ll quickly realize focusing your thoughts elsewhere is just a simple way to reduce your stress. 

2. Exercise:

Improving your overall physical health is one of the best ways to improve your mental health. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and improve your mood.

You don’t have to pound the pavement to enjoy the benefits of exercise. Especially during the summertime when heatstroke and dehydration are greater concerns, low-impact activities can be a great option for seniors looking to get in their daily steps or 30 minutes of cardio. Here you can find four low-impact activities you can enjoy outside.

3. Learn to meditate:

Meditation is a great way to focus on being present and pay attention to your breathing. It’s one of the simplest ways to reduce stress.

To start meditating, pay attention to your thoughts and feelings, relax your body. It might seem easy enough, but meditation—based on traditional Buddhist practices—requires you to be completely alone with your thoughts, and can actually take some time to “train your brain” to stop wandering. Get A Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness Meditation here.

Now that you have three ways you can start to de-stress, which will you choose? They all are great for finding ways to remove the stress from your life and begin to enjoy it!

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