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How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community

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Guest Blog: How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community
By: Derek Hobson

First let’s tackle the basics. Many people are wary of senior care homes because there’s a stigma that surrounds them; people see them as gloomy, dreary, end-of-life communities. While certainly there was a time when this was the case (several decades ago), most communities have worked hard to battle this stereotype and they have succeeded.

Many communities have done away with “institution” or “hospital” –like settings. Even more have become increasingly lenient on policies regarding residents’ possessions; some facilities have been known to permit pets and even furniture to help it feel like home. So, when the time comes to transition into one of these senior care homes, the question becomes, “How do I find the right one?”

1. Find out About Affordability
This is usually at the top of everyone’s list and for good reason. Today, people are having children later in life. This isn’t a bad thing, but it means that around the same time their kids are going off to college, their parents are starting to need extra care. This can put a lot of stress on adult children, but some senior homes provide help.

Some Assisted Living Facilities will accept private pay for a period of time and then accept the rest through Medicaid. This way, your senior does not need to move and they won’t need to fear outliving their assets.

2. Visit the Community (Often)
If you think a community looks good for your loved one, then you should visit and revisit. You should tour the facility on different days of the week at different times. This way, you’ll get a much broader view of the day-to-day.

See if people are out and about, if engaging activities are going on, and if there’s a general feeling of community. If you show up to an elder care home that looks more like a ghost town, then it’s probably not the one for your loved one.

3. Talk to the Residents & Staff
This one is critical, as nothing quite beats a first-hand view into the establishment. Ask residents if they enjoy the community, what they do on a daily basis, and if they’re happy.

When asking the staff, of course they’re not going to disparage against the home, but one of the most important things to take notice of is how they interact with the residents. If they refer to them by name and have clearly established relationships with them, then this can be a huge indicator of the level of personal care your loved one will receive.

These are the three most important criteria to face when choosing an elder care community and they should give you a well-rounded idea of the facility you’ve chosen.

By |2022-07-30T11:48:29-05:00September 14th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community

Memory Care Compared to Assisted Living

Moving into an assisted living community is a changing phase of life. You will surely miss your home for a long time, but expect to find new friends and an easier life. But if a senior is experiencing a memory problem, it’s a different story. You may need an assisted living facility or a memory care facility. Choosing the right option is confusing at first. This post will help you decide.

What is Assisted Living?

Seniors in the assisted living facilities are leading independent lives. They need help to carry out the activities of daily living. As a person grows older, it would be difficult to move and driving can be risky. Aside from helping with activities of daily living, this senior living home also provides independence, companionship, security, and privacy.

Many assisted living facilities offer apartment-style settings with community spaces, housekeeping services, communal meals, and other activities. The professional caregivers assist the residents when taking medications, walking, bathing, grooming, and dressing.

Living in this facility is never boring because the residents are allowed to socialize. There is a range of activities, including musical entertainments, art classes, faith-based activities, physical exercises, game nights, and film showing. It has a social room where the residents can engage in board games, jigsaw puzzles, and arts and crafts.

What is Memory Care?

Unlike assisted living facilities, memory care communities cater to residents with serious and specific memory-related needs. They need personalized care because they are prone to wandering, which is dangerous to them. Sometimes they easily get frustrated and be aggressive.

This senior living option has a different approach to the facility’s design. The walkways are circular so that residents would not end up through doors or obstacles that may cause frustrations. Has consistent lighting to prevent shadows and the exits are locked. They have planned activities to allow the residents to reminisce about their pasts.  Music therapy sessions help the residents to remember their younger days.

Services covered by Assisted Living

Minor over the site with some ADLs (Activities of Daily Living)

The staff provides keen monitoring of the residents needing help to do the activities of daily living. It is the responsibility of the staff to help the residents who have difficulty in taking a bath, dressing, and grooming.

– Meal services

The assisted living facility provides meal services prepared by an in-house chef. They ensure preparing foods suitable to the health requirements of the residents. A nutritionist worked together with the chef to create a food plan.

  – Medication management

Because of old age, many seniors in the assisted living facilities need help in managing medications. The staff reminds the residents of taking medications and if there’s an appointment for a checkup.

   – Housekeeping and laundry services

Obviously, seniors can no longer do the laundry and clean up the place. The residents of assisted living facilities have nothing to worry about because the facility offers laundry and housekeeping services. It means that a utility staff will be the one to clean the apartment and do the laundry.

   – Exercise classes

The assisted living facility offers exercises classes for the residents to keep them physically fit. Regular exercise is beneficial for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It helps to improve endurance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness. Encouraging the seniors to join exercise classes can improve their behavior and eventually reduce the possibility of acting aggressively and wandering.

 – Transportation to appointments

Included in the core services of an assisted facility is transportation to appointments. Residents in the facility cannot drive on their own, one issue when going to doctor’s appointments. The transportation service of the facility is a big help.

Services covered by Memory Care

According to AlzheimerSupport, activities in memory care facilities are designed not to trigger anxiety that may lead to dementia. The services of assisted living and memory facilities are similar, but the latter is more profound. If a senior can no longer manage herself, the best decision is to shift to memory care.

– Assisting with all ADLs

The staff of the memory care facility helps with all the activities of daily living of the residents. It is because the residents are more dependent.

  – Meal service and assistance as needed

Three meals are served daily in a restaurant-style setting, along with extra beverages and snacks throughout the day. The facility has an in-house nutritionist and chef to prepare the foods of the residents. Thus, ensured to provide the right food appropriate to the health condition of the residents.

  – Medication management and oversight

Aside from managing medications, the staff offers 24/7 monitoring of the health condition of the residents. They also have in-house medical alert systems.

  – Specially trained nursing staff, including certified dimension practitioners

In a memory care facility, they do not have only caregivers but also trained nursing staff. They are trained to provide care to fragile adults. That is why the staff can provide first aid and CPR during emergencies. The staff can also administer medications with the supervision of a licensed medical professional or registered nurse.

  – 24-hour care and supervision

Memory care provides long-term care. That is why they offer 24-hour care and supervision to the residents to ensure their well-being.  The facility has a daily therapeutic recreational plan for the residents. To slow the progress of memory loss among the residents, they encourage them to play brain games. Recreational and social activities, like day trips, bible study groups, organized games, and fitness classes are also offered.

  – Additional housekeeping services

The staff of the facility does the housekeeping chores, such as changing linens and laundry. Sometimes the housekeeping services are beyond the usual chores. The staff ensures the entire place is cleaned and sanitized, especially the bed and the bathroom.

  – Peer support groups for family members

Residents living in assisted living long for their families. The facility provides not only support to the residents but also to the family members. Family members can visit their loved ones in the facility. Memory facilities also allow pets inside the premises and even in the apartments.

   How to decide between assisted living and memory care?

Choosing the right living option involves many factors. You should not decide outright but think many times. If the senior is close to family and friends, looking for assisted living near you that will allow regular visits. Know if the facility would involve the family members or friends in providing care or any activities in the facility.

Consider the cost of the living options. Determine if you can afford to support the monthly cost. Choosing assisted living or a memory care facility would cost you a huge amount of money. Check if the insurance company covers the cost of senior living facilities.

The most important thing to consider is to choose a licensed facility that follows safety standards. This way, you can ensure the safety and security of your loved one. Likewise, the community must meet the changing healthcare needs of the residents in the future.

 

By |2022-02-22T12:57:08-05:00February 22nd, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Memory Care Compared to Assisted Living

10 Things to Consider Before Moving to a Care Home

A care home makes up for one of the best places to access assisted living services. There are many such services in the country, making it difficult to choose the right one. You have to consider many unique factors to ensure you choose the ideal service provider. Fortunately, this guide looks at ten things to consider before moving to a care home:

1. The Pricing Packages

A care home offers services at a cost, and you have to be aware of their pricing plans. Usually, each pricing plan comes with different offers and levels of assisted living benefits. Reviewing these plans will help you make an informed decision for your care home needs. You can request information such as the average cost of assisted living by calling the care home or vising their website. Ensure you ask all relevant questions about each pricing plan before investing.

2. Online Presence

A good assisted living service is available online because nowadays, the average person uses the internet to search for solutions. The service should be available on social media, a website, or any other internet-based platform. A simple search engine query should help expose all the relevant care homes in your location. The ones that come up high in the search results are usually the most reputable.

3. Location

Logistics is a crucial factor when choosing the ideal care home. People have different location needs, and you have to consider this in choosing the ideal home. Some prefer homes that are in urban areas, while others prefer those that are in reserved locations. The location also helps determine whether you have chosen a reputable service because unprofessional people tend to work in remote areas.

4. Regulatory Approval

A care home should run as a state-recognized and approved business entity. Usually, the evidence of this approval is available on the business’s website or product portfolio. Or, it can also be available through local state databases or records. The approval helps to show that you have chosen a professional service.

5. Medical Services Offered

People in care homes sometimes need various types of medical services. A good care home can address these needs and suits the need of different patients. Medical services can include prescription management, mental health initiatives, and more. You also have to determine whether the home has the licensing to offer such services.

6. Enhanced Assisted Living

Enhanced assisted living refers to the various technologies a care home offers to patients with special needs. A good example would be assistive devices that help deaf patients or those with memory loss. The devices help these individuals to navigate everyday obligations conveniently. While such resources are likely to increase the cost of medical care, they are crucial for assisted living purposes.

7. Team of Staff

The team of staff available at the care home is also crucial for the assistive living services they can provide. Ensure you have a broad perspective of each team member before settling on a specific service provider. Doing this will help increase the likelihood of receiving high-quality medical health attention or help. It also helps ensure that the facility well addresses each patient’s needs.

8. Offers and Incentives

The quality of incentives the care home provides is also crucial for the medical services to its patients. The offers and incentives should be transparent and suitable for patients with long-term needs. The reason is that most care home patients are patients who will live in the facility for long durations. The offers can include discounts and privileges such as vacations for loyal clients.

9. Affiliations

You should also consider a care home with excellent affiliations with entities such as medical facilities. The reason is that it helps guarantee the likelihood that you will receive high-quality care home services. The affiliations can include those that exist with traditional medical services.

10. Social Support Programs

The ideal care home also has excellent social support programs for its patients. The programs should include recreational, physical, and other forms of outdoor activity. It should also include custom programs for people that have specific care needs.

Conclusion

As you have noticed, there is more to receiving medical care than the average person can expect. You must consider various factors and details to ensure you get the best service provider.

By |2022-01-24T12:45:12-05:00January 24th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on 10 Things to Consider Before Moving to a Care Home

Guest Blog: 5 Things You Should Never Expect From Assisted Living Facilities

 

Eldercare homes are all about the care and comfort of senior citizens. The best ones, like Whittier, assisted living offers physical and mental treatment to their elder residents, which is always lacking in other places.

Regardless, there are some things you should know before you consider visiting or living in assisted living facilities (ALFs). Here are five things that these facilities should never give you:

1) False promises

Most older people have a certain set of the idea when it comes to assisted living. They expect warm bedding, lavish meals, a luxurious atmosphere, expert doctors on call at any time of the day, 24/7 security services, along with so many other benefits. But in reality, ALFs can provide nothing more than regular nursing homes do.

The fact is that assisted living homes are not here to make false promises. They put down everything in writing, so you know what to expect from the place before moving in. Look for an ALF that has all its promises documented with legal documents.

2) Flowers and chocolates on your birthday

We all like flowers and chocolates on our birthdays, who doesn’t! But residents of ALFs don’t receive these things as often as they might like because it’s simply not practical. It does happen now and then, but nothing more than that.

ALFs provide basic amenities like food, water, electricity, clothes, etc., but they do not spend money on frivolous things like providing flowers and chocolates on your birthday. So if you are looking for a place that cares for the tiny details, ALFs might not be the best choice.

3) Luxurious furnishings throughout

Another misconception about assisted living homes is that they provide residents with luxurious furniture throughout the facility. But nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just not possible to have luxury furniture in all parts of an assisted living home. Some places might have it, but that’s just because their owners are very generous.

You should know that older people find it challenging to move around, so having luxury furniture everywhere in an ALF makes no sense. Leave expensive things like designer chairs, couches, etc., at home or buy them for yourself if you need them. ALFs provide basic amenities, and you must get the things you think are essential.

4) A daily visit from a doctor or nurse

When you check into an assisted living facility, one of the most significant benefits is round-the-clock security with trained staff members who can help whenever they are needed. But this does not mean that there will be a full-time medic on duty.

ALFs employ doctors who come in on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on their availability and the requirement of residents. So make sure to find out how often a doctor will visit before finalizing any place for yourself. If it isn’t made clear, ask questions till you get all of the answers.

5) 24-hour internet connection

The idea of ‘wired town’ cannot be implemented in ALFs because it’s simply not possible to do so. Some places might have a wifi facility, but it won’t work throughout the day; there will be certain timings when it works and times when it doesn’t.

Even if you get a place where the wifi does work, then you should know that there is no guarantee that everyone in your family will be able to use it at all times. So before you decide for yourself, make sure to ask these questions: What time of the day will I be able to use the internet? Will my children also be able to access the net? Will I be able to use it after 8 pm?

Wrapping Up!

The only important thing is that you should check every facility and promise through legal documentation. DO NOT take any verbal promises for granted; there might be a miscommunication that can cost you your money and peace of mind.

If you think about it, there’s no way that a care facility can be perfect all the time because they’re dealing with older adults who cannot always do things by themselves. Like we mentioned above, your loved one will probably never become a completely different person due to the aging process. However, even if they do, there’s still bound to be problems when it comes to them doing what they’re told (i.e., not eating when it’s time for dinner).

I’m not saying that every facility out there provides atrocious care – most of them do try their best to make life comfortable for their residents – but keep in mind that humans are only human. Mistakes will be made, accidents will happen, and sometimes they’ll be forced to cut corners when they can’t afford something – it’s just the way life is, so don’t expect perfection.

 

 

By |2021-12-08T18:35:32-05:00December 8th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Things You Should Never Expect From Assisted Living Facilities

Guest Blog: What to Look For in a Senior Living Community

Before you look up a senior living community or Google personal care homes near me, you should first get to know about the common options available for where your aging parents can reside.

Below are the most popular and preferred options to pick from –

  • Independent Living – This type of living is good for the elderly who can largely function independently with occasional medical care required. Medical care is provided in collaboration with hospitals or medical establishments. Typical services include accommodation, laundry, transportation, housekeeping, and other amenities like pool, concierge service, library, fitness center, etc.
  • Assisted Living Assisted living centers, in addition to accommodation also provide onsite health care and help with ADLs like dressing, bathing, and medication management so residents can live independently. The setting is very home-like without the residents having to worry about maintenance, cooking, or cleaning. There’s round-the-clock supervision available.
  • Memory Care – This facility is specifically designed to treat and care for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s. The staff is medically trained to handle their special medical needs. The rooms and buildings are structured to avoid wandering. Supervision is available all the time with plenty of programs for socialization. There are housing and laundry services along with an emergency medical call system.
  • Enhanced Living – You can think of this facility as a move up from Independent living with a whole lot of extra services available.

 

Things To Look For In A Senior Living Community

Senior Living Culture

Now the living culture is not something that you define in words. It’s mostly just a feel or a vibe that you pick up on. At times, you just know it when you visit the facility. Other times it’s a hunch of an intuition.

To truly assess the culture, it’s better if you call up your list of communities and visit them one by one. Observe the residents and see if they seem happy. How is the staff? Are they polite to respond? Is the overall energy of the place happy? Ask for social activities to keep the residents happy.

Lifestyle & Wellness

Lifestyle and wellness largely depend on the social calendar of the place. So, be sure to look at those activities as well as exercise, health, and wellness programs. Make sure to ask about how often the residents are allowed to go out for activities.

What about housekeeping and laundry services? How often are friends and families allowed to visit? Is there a dedicated private or common area for family get-togethers? What about pets? Are they allowed?

Staff and Care

How many staff members are present at the facility? Are the staff members nice to interact with the residents? Do they seem polite? What kind of help can you expect from them? Is the medical staff made to undergo regular training to update their knowledge?

What’s the mode of communication for updating families on the health updates of the residents? Also, how quickly can you expect your questions to be answered? What kind of care is available for residents with special medical issues such as diabetes, memory, or mobility issues?

What’s Food Like?

Food is a huge part of staying healthy during old age. So, this is something you must not overlook. If possible, arrange for a tour of the mess/kitchen. Look into how the food is prepared. Are the conditions there hygienic?

What about the food menu? Does it look interesting? Is it extensive and accommodates special dietary restrictions such as gluten-free and vegan-friendly foods? What are the dining hours like and is there food sampling available?

Extra Amenities

It’s not uncommon for people to get stuck between two close contenders. Sometimes two communities can look exactly the same; making it difficult to pick one. When faced with such a dilemma it’s often the extra amenities that help you make the right choice.

See if the laundry and housekeeping services are free. Some facilities charge extra for those. Look into community events, transportation, or socialization activities. Anything extra is a good thing to consider.

History and Reputation

How long has the community been in business? For how long has the management been with the community? What about the staff? For how many years they have been working there?

One of the best things to discern all this and more is to go online. Check out reviews and see what they have to say. Pay attention to how the community has responded to negative reviews. Only avoid the community if you come across something disturbing like bad handling of residents or complete neglect on part of the staff.

Bottom Line

Selecting the right living community for your senior can seem like a daunting task. But, if you invest a little bit of time and effort, it should be a cakewalk.

By |2021-09-07T10:42:59-05:00September 7th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: What to Look For in a Senior Living Community