Why Choose an Eco-Friendly Senior Living Community

You might be looking for a senior living community, either for your folks or somewhere to retire when you’ve hit that advanced stage in life. It’s more than looking for a location that will be your new home, and you deserve nothing but the best.

Some of the criteria include great amenities, an accessible support system, and social opportunities that are especially for the seniors living in it. One option is to look for eco-friendly senior living communities, upgraded areas that are not just focused on reducing the carbon footprint of its area. Its all-around approach to sustainability means that it can give you and your family an improved quality of life. To better appreciate this fast-rising alternative, here are a few reasons why you should choose an eco-friendly senior living community:

Reduce plastic waste

Although plastic waste reduction sounds like a vague and wide problem, it actually affects each of us in ways we’re not even aware of. Studies have shown how certain chemicals in plastic packaging can leech into the food and beverages wrapped within. This poses health risks that are only magnified with age.

Generally, an eco-friendly senior living community sources its needs from socially and environmentally responsible sources. This includes the preferences toward organically grown produce often delivered from the farm straight to their doorstep. These are fruits and vegetables that reduce the use of plastics that not only pose risks of contaminating food but are also disposed of afterward after only being used once.

Additionally, most of these communities have proper waste management plans that invite their members to participate in. Knowing that your wastes, plastic or not, is handled and managed well, assures you that less of these materials end up in landfills or worse, the oceans.

Better energy efficiency

Most green senior living communities have implemented the use of alternative energy sources such as solar or wind. To be honest, these options are might appear discouraging in the form of higher upfront costs. However, remember that these investments pay for themselves in the long run. In fact, the costs of renewable energy sources have plunged over the years and are expected to go cheaper in the future. A study showed that 62% of these energy sources were cheaper than the cheapest form of conventional fossil fuel use.

Other energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly alternatives also benefit the seniors that live in them. Stable and consistent geothermal heating and cooling allows near-constant access to these utilities at a lower cost and computed, low-flow plumbing helps preserve water and makes for gentler showers. There are even indirect energy benefits to choosing an eco-friendly senior living community, such as its sustainable sourcing options meaning less energy used for transport, processing, and packaging of the foods they eat.

Safer and for the residents

There are senior living communities, and there are eco-friendly senior living communities. By choosing alternatives that are good for nature, these locations are basically healthier for the people in advanced age living in them. You’ve probably heard of natural paint, or eco-friendly paint for some, which contains significantly lower levels of volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). These compounds have an effect on the air quality surrounding them, especially in rooms where people might spend most of their time. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed a number of short- and long-term health effects of these materials.

Aside from paints, the same applies to adhesives, sealants, and other substances used in finishing and furnishing houses. Also, you can expect these communities to make healthier choices in all aspects of lifestyle such as considerations on ventilation and air quality, and natural lighting for illumination. While these all sound like minor details, any of these factors could contribute to the difference between health and disease in an older individual.

Promote a healthier lifestyle

The human body is a complex machine made of too many parts, each of them requiring a specific level of care to maintain. As people age, they get weaker and require additional care to avoid any untoward events. Developers behind an eco-friendly senior living community are aware of this and try to provide as much encouragement and incentive as they can to get the seniors to move more.

In terms of encouraging physical activity, note how these locations have scattered green spaces all over the place instead of a singular area with trees. Additionally, there are roads intended only for walking or jogging, oftentimes bicycle lanes being separate. Also, a common amenities to this goal is the inclusion of regular exercise programs that not only invite the residents to exercise but also give them an opportunity to meet new people.

Conclusion

In looking for a senior living community, you deserve nothing but the best. Although it seems like the problems of the world are not our concern when looking for the perfect location, the benefits listed above show how our choices affect the environment and affect us in return. By going for an eco-friendly senior living community, not only do you help make the world a better place, but also provide the best option available.

By |2022-01-19T20:27:16-05:00January 19th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Why Choose an Eco-Friendly Senior Living Community

Guest Blog: Money-Saving Tips for Senior Living and Care

Many people are looking for ways to save money these days, especially for senior living and care. Many seniors live on a fixed income that may not cover all their expenses at home or assisted living facilities. This article will provide you with some helpful tips to help you save money while also giving your loved one the best possible care.

Stay Informed about the Costs of Senior Living and Care

By staying informed, you can help to save money. For example, if your loved one is considering a care facility or an assisted living community, be sure that they have researched costs. If possible, try to get as many competing bids as possible before deciding where your loved one will live. This way, you will find the best care and living situation at a price that fits your budget.

Keep Track of All Essential Expenses Related to Senior Living and Care

A critical element of saving money is keeping track of all expenses related to senior housing services, such as meals, hygiene products, or other needs. For example, it might be helpful to create an excel spreadsheet with columns where essential items can be tracked so that there are no surprises when bills come in each month. Include sections for medicine since many seniors need prescriptions regularly. They may also have high costs attached depending on what medications your loved one requires for their health.

Do Not Overlook Small Necessities that are Often Forgotten about When Budgeting for Senior Care Expenses

Often, there might be small things like a magazine subscription or basic cable television service. Most seniors will not consider including them when budgeting their monthly expenses because they do not see them as necessary. However, these costs can add up over time, and you want your loved ones to have everything they need at an affordable price.

Supplement with Home-Delivered Meals and Other Services that can Help to Save Money on Senior Living Costs

Consider home-delivered meals or help with daily activities like bathing, cooking, and cleaning. These types of services might be too expensive for you. But if your loved one already has these items included in their monthly expenses, or they will pay extra. You can help them save money by having a local service come to the house instead of taking your loved one out for food each day. This way, they will not have additional transportation costs attached, which could cut into their budget. If possible, try looking around locally since it may cost less than other options depending on where you live geographically.

Find Additional Savings Opportunities by Volunteering at a Local Senior Living Facility

One way to save money is to find ways where you can help for free. One option might be to volunteer at local senior living facilities each week or month in exchange for helping the staff complete their daily tasks, such as cleaning rooms, organizing supplies in storage closets, or assisting with administrative work like filing paperwork. Thus, they may allow you access to amenities that would need an additional fee if paying customers were using them. This could include swimming pools, hot tubs, or other entertainment options that residents enjoy during some of their downtimes.

Ask About Additional Senior Living and Care Options to Save Money on Expenses

Another way of finding additional savings opportunities is to ask about senior living options beyond what your loved one currently has in their current budget. For example, if they are paying for meals but do not need them. Why? Because they have friends or family that come over every day that provide food, you could inquire with the staff at the facility about moving into a private room instead. Thus, your loved one can save money by having more space without needing another person sharing it with them all the time. Alternatively, if an assisted living environment is too expensive, your loved one needs help because of chronic pain or difficulty moving around. Then you could ask about having a private nurse come by to assist them instead of hiring someone on staff at the facility.

Make Sure Your Loved One is Receiving All Senior Care Benefits Which Are Available to Them

Even if they have already moved into senior living services. For instance, you can consult with an estate planning law firm in Los Angeles for assistance. Additional benefits may include property tax exemptions, energy assistance programs, and financial planning services available through local government agencies. This could help your loved ones save money on their monthly expenses, even if it’s not something that they need at the moment. You may take advantage of these benefits for them by helping with paperwork or verifying eligibility requirements before filing a claim form so that there are no delays in receiving assistance when needed later down the road.

Final Thought

One of the best ways to save money as a caregiver is by being proactive and continuing to look around. Whether asking new questions about their senior living options, check with local government agencies for additional financial relief programs. There are always more opportunities out there waiting to be discovered to allow them to live comfortably without breaking the bank.

By |2021-12-07T16:23:30-05:00December 7th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Money-Saving Tips for Senior Living and Care

How to Prepare for Senior Living

As Americans age, they must face the prospect of what to do when maintaining their independence is no longer recommended or feasible. The following resources from Senior Care Central will help you and your family figure out how best to make decisions about retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

How Do I Know When to Make a Change?

Sometimes it is difficult to know when it’s time to change your living arrangements or those of an aging loved one. Check out these sources for help in knowing when the time is right.

  • Consumer Affairs lists 17 signs that it may be time to consider assisted living.
  • If you’re still unsure about moving into senior care, perhaps aging in place is an option, at least for a little while.

How Do I Know a Facility is a Good One?

Once you are certain a senior care option is necessary, you have to choose the location. However, there are so many facilities in operation that it can be difficult to tell which one is best for you or your loved one. Utilize these tools to make sure you’ve made the best choice.

  • There are several websites that rate retirement communities, so be sure to take these reviews into consideration.
  • However, many people are more comfortable with consumer reviews, so don’t neglect this source of information.
  • It also doesn’t hurt to check out what government inspection procedures are and to make sure the facility you’re considering has few if any citations against it.

How Do I Pay for Long-Term Senior Care?

It is hard enough figuring out senior care without even considering the costs associated with it, but sooner or later, the price of assisted living must be taken into consideration. Fortunately, there are many ways to make the cost affordable.

It may not be pleasant as you investigate options for senior living, but it will likely be necessary. The process can be confusing and stressful, but the resources discussed in this article will make the process a little easier to understand and navigate.

 

 

By |2021-11-18T18:38:06-05:00November 18th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on How to Prepare for Senior Living

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