Help for Their Golden Years: What Your Loved Ones Can Expect from Assisted Living Communities

Why do people move into assisted living communities? Failing health was the leading factor for 75 percent of respondents in a recent survey. 

Losing the ability to drive, loneliness, and the loss of a spouse or partner are the other top reasons.

Assisted living offers safety, social interaction, and personal care to each resident. Anyone uneasy about living alone appreciates the social aspects of a community.

Keep reading to learn what you can expect from assisted living communities.

Healthcare Services

While an assisted living community isn’t a nursing home, there are healthcare services. The amount of help depends on the resident.

Medication management and pharmacy services match the resident’s needs. A staff physician or nurse provides wellness and medical checkups.

An emergency response system connects to each apartment. Trained staff perform emergency first aid.

Assisted living makes sense for a range of health-related issues. When someone has visual problems or is unsteady on their feet, living with others is safer. Fast help in a health emergency is a relief for someone with heart problems.

Help with Daily Personal Care

Most communities have caregivers who assist residents with activities of daily living.

These activities include dressing in the morning, help with eating meals, and bathing. Caregivers may provide extra help with tasks like toileting and dental hygiene.

Many communities have on-site salon services and physical therapy for residents. Staff members help schedule and coordinate appointments.

Social Activities and Engagement

Assisted living communities make it easy for residents to make new friends. Community libraries, cafes, and game rooms are perfect for casual social meetups.

Scheduled activities give residents a chance to meet and interact with like-minded people. Clubs, classes, and visiting entertainers keep everyone engaged. It’s easy to find a bridge game or start a book club.

Residents can opt-in to outings at local restaurants, theaters, and attractions. The community provides scheduled group transportation.

Fitness rooms, walking groups, and wellness classes keep residents active. A chapel with scheduled services offers spiritual support.

Assisted living gives each resident many ways to make new friends. Social and fitness events replace loneliness and isolation. Engagement with other residents reduces senior depression and related health issues.

Delicious and Nutritious Meals

Grocery shopping and cooking can challenge older adults. Someone who lives alone isn’t motivated to cook for one. They may choose unhealthy food options instead of cooking.

Residents eat chef-prepared meals served restaurant-style in a dining room. Dinner is more than a meal. It’s a social experience that aids in digestion. 

The staff customizes meals to meet personal tastes, medical conditions, and diet restrictions. The menu changes every day to please tastebuds and meet nutritional needs.

Snacks and beverages are often available during the day. A shared meal or snack is a fun way to combine nutrition and socializing.

Housekeeping

Residents in an assisted living community don’t worry about housekeeping and maintenance.

Housekeeping staff is available 24/7 for emergencies, including spills, and toiling accidents. Weekly cleaning includes laundry and linens. Staff vacuum, dust, and clean the entire apartment.

You won’t have to worry about interior or exterior maintenance. Basic cable, WiFi, and utilities are part of the monthly fee.

Transportation

One of the reasons people move to assisted living is because they can’t drive anymore. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t go places.

The assisted living community schedules transportation for appointments, shopping, and recreational outings. Residents can always get around town.

Residents who drive have reserved parking with easy access to their vehicles.

Residents can use scheduled group transportation or arrange personal transportation for a fee. Use chauffeured transportation for appointments, classes, and errands.

Safety and Security

24-hour help removes the fear of dealing with an injury or illness alone. Residents can summon help anytime they need it with the emergency call system.

Residents know the staff is nearby to assist with health or housekeeping concerns.  

The amount of monitoring depends on the resident’s health. Keep reading for a definition of assisted living levels of care.

Care Levels in Assisted Living Communities

Many families think their loved one needs a nursing home. Often, assisted living is the appropriate choice. It’s a vibrant residential choice that offers varying degrees of support and care.

An independent person may only want housekeeping and medication management. Another person who’s at risk for falls may opt for help with bathing and dressing.

Seniors who move into assisted living can maintain a high level of independence. They enjoy an active social life. They’re engaged in physical, mental, and artistic endeavors that suit their needs.

Daily activities keep residents active and engaged. Some assisted living apartments include kitchen and laundry facilities to encourage independence. Staff is always close by to lend a helping hand.

An assessment by a medical professional is the best way to decide on the level of care you need.

Assisted living residents are independent. Some may need help with bathing, dressing or medication management. Typical assisted living care includes:

  • Medication Management. Prescriptions administered and reordered by staff.
  • Bathing. A staff member helps you enter and exit the shower. The caregiver stands buy to give partial or full aid with bathing.
  • Dressing. Help with balance while the resident dresses or undresses.
  • Grooming. Assist with combing hair, shaving, and brushing teeth.
  • Toileting. A caregiver helps the resident transfer on and off the toilet.

Assisted living care depends on personal preference and need. Everyone is different. It’s important to acknowledge and celebrate each resident’s personal needs.

Visit More Than One Community

There’s no single model for assisted living communities. Visit several communities to find the right one. Choose a community that supports aging in place so your loved one can stay as their needs change.

Look for a community with healthcare, housekeeping, and transportation services. Review the social and recreational activities. Schedule a personal tour to find the best match for your loved one.

Contact us today for answers to your questions on customized services and care.

Do You Have Everything? Moving to Assisted Living Checklist

Over a million seniors live in assisted living facilities throughout the United States.

But moving your loved one to an assisted living facility can be difficult—for everyone involved. Packing might be the last thing on your mind.

Why we’ve put together this moving to assisted living checklist to help you through the process.

So let’s get started.

Tour and Talk to the Community

Before you start packing, make sure you visit the assisted living community. This will get you familiar with how much space your loved one will have after they move.

You should also talk to someone in charge at the community. Ask for the exact dimensions of the living area and if there are any items they don’t allow in the facility. (Some assisted living communities don’t want anyone to bring expensive jewelry collections.)

Getting this information will give you an idea of how much you can pack and what to leave behind.

Start Packing Early

The earlier you can start the packing process, the better.

Your loved one will most likely have to downsize, and getting rid of their things can be difficult for them. Start at least a month in advance so they have time to sort through everything. If you can, start even earlier than that.

Start with a small space, like a closet, to help ease them into the process. Keep track of the items you’ll donate, throw out, sell, and take during the move.

Assisted Living Packing Checklist

No matter how much time you spend planning or prepping, moving is still overwhelming. This is especially true if you’re trying to juggle taking care of a senior who can’t get by on their own anymore.

We’ve put together this assisted living checklist so you don’t forget anything important.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what you’ll need from each room.

Bedroom

You’ll need to bring all the basic bedroom furniture. This includes the following items:

  • A bed
  • A nightstand (or two)
  • A dresser
  • Lamps
  • etc.

Most assisted living facilities don’t have a lot of storage space, so it might be worth bringing two dressers. You can put one in the closet for extra storage.

You should also pack all the necessary bedding, such as pillows, sheets, comforters, and other blankets. Make sure you have at least two full sets so your loved one will have something to use while they’re doing laundry.

Don’t overlook clothing.

Pack comfortable, around-the-house clothes, formal wear for special occasions, PJs, seasonal clothes, a bathing suit (optional), and plenty of socks and undergarments. Your loved one should also have at least one pair of shoes and a pair of comfy slippers.

Kitchen

Some assisted living communities provide basic kitchen appliances. If they don’t you’ll need to bring everything yourself.

Keep the furniture small. Remember, your loved one probably won’t have a lot of space.

Make sure you stock the kitchen with these items:

  • Small table and chairs
  • Fridge or mini-fridge (depending on the space)
  • Microwave
  • Dishes (plates, bowls, cups, silverware, Tupperware, etc.)
  • Pots, pans, and cookie sheets
  • Kettle or coffee maker (or both)
  • Trash can
  • Dish soap
  • Sponges
  • Hand towels

You should also make sure your loved one has plenty of food when they move in. But it might be easier to make a shopping trip after the move.

Living Room

You want to make this space as comfortable and as homey for your loved one as possible. If you can, use the same furniture they had at home (you might have to buy something smaller).

Make sure you have these things when you move:

  • Couch(es), chair(es), rocker, etc.
  • Pictures and other decor
  • Coffee table (or end tables)
  • Lamps
  • Curtains
  • TV
  • Radio
  • Phone

If your loved one uses a computer, you might want to put this in the living room as well.

Bathroom

Pack plenty of bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths, and make sure you have all the toiletries your loved one needs, such as:

  • Toothpaste and a toothbrush
  • Toilet paper
  • Shampoo, conditioner, and soap
  • Makeup items
  • Other health items
  • Hairdryer
  • Trash can

Don’t forget any medication your loved one takes.

Laundry Room

Your loved one might not have a traditional laundry room in their assisted living home, but you should still bring laundry detergent and general rags for dusting or cleaning up spills. Make sure you also have supplies to clean the bathroom and other living areas.

Important Documents

Gather all your loved one’s important documents and make sure they go in a secure and organized spot. This will help you find the necessary financial, legal, or medical information when you need it.

Entertainment

Make sure you bring entertainment for your loved one. Bring supplies for any hobbies, such as knitting, painting, scrapbooking, cooking, etc. You should also pack things like games, a deck of cards, books, magazines, and more.

Things You Shouldn’t Pack

There are a few things you should leave behind during your loved one’s move. These items will just take up space, and some of them are safety hazards.

Here are a few things you shouldn’t pack:

  • Area rugs (tripping hazard)
  • Office chairs (or other furniture on wheels)
  • Large, bulky items
  • Repeat items (they will just take up space you don’t have)
  • Items your loved one never (or hardly) uses
  • Random, personal items

Remember, you won’t have a lot of space. If your loved one has a lot of collectibles, it’s a good idea to only take the most important items.

Your Complete Moving to Assisted Living Checklist

If you follow this moving to assisted living checklist, your loved one should have everything they need in their new home.

Still looking for the right assisted living community for your loved one?

We can help! Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for more information!

You’re a Danger to Yourself: 5 Signs It’s Time for Memory Care

When our loved ones begin to get older it can become impossible to take care of them.

It’s an unfortunate truth, but in the US alone around 5 million people struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. And it’s not the only condition that requires memory care.

It’s hard to commit our loved ones, but at times it becomes necessary simply to make sure that they’re healthy.

Let’s get to the bottom of it. If you’re still questioning what to do then look for these signs it’s time for memory care.

1. A Dementia or Alzheimer’s Diagnosis

The most obvious sign that your loved one needs some form of memory care is simple… if their diagnosis includes dementia or Alzheimer’s. These crippling conditions can be painful for the whole family.

When the diagnosis comes in many families will strive to take care of their loved ones but the truth is that sooner or later someone with these issues will need full-time care.

It’s a horrible situation and not one that anyone expects or looks forward to. You should begin to make plans for care before the condition progresses too far.

2. Declining Health

When someone begins to suffer from a condition that requires memory care they’ll often have accompanying health problems.

This cascade begins and will often spiral out of control in short order even when full-time care is given. A well-meaning family can only help for so long before it all becomes too much for them.

Compassion is great, but it can’t prepare someone without a professional background for the enormous amount of problems that may emerge in short order.

The cycle can be intense as physical and memory problems lead to injuries and missed medication doses. A care facility may be the only option for many families since staff on hand will are trained to react to these situations as they occur.

3. Consistent Disorientation and Confusion

If your loved one is still living on their own then they may become disoriented on a regular basis as their mental condition deteriorates.

Depending on the exact circumstances this can lead to them becoming lost, injuring themselves, or even causing incidents that require emergency service intervention.

Because the symptoms of dementia can vary so much and increase in intensity without warning it’s important to make sure that you pay attention to your elderly family members. The onset can seem sudden and all it takes is one badly managed incident to cause serious problems.

It’s doubly important if the family member still has their driver’s license intact. Or thinks they do, many people will continue to drive long after they should be and a minor accident can be disastrous for a frail and elderly person.

These symptoms are often the first signs that it’s time to move to a high level of assisted living, even if they are hesitant to follow through.

4. A Lacking Social Life

Many elderly patients begin to see a stark decline in their social life. This isn’t just sad, it can spell a worsening of symptoms. Studies show that maintaining social connections improve prognosis in patients with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Memory care facilities can help with this. Since it seems to counteract memory loss it often means that a person will be coherent for much longer than they would be if they were socially isolated.

In many elderly patients, it’s just a matter of outliving their friends, but a general decline in social relationships is also common as a person ages.

While it may just seem sad from the outside, a lacking social life is actually a serious environmental hazard for the elderly.

5. Aggressive Moods and Behaviors

In some cases, a dementia patient can begin to become aggressive as cognitive decline increases.

This is hard on family members and caregivers. Most people aren’t trained to handle these situations and the conflict will affect the whole family. Trained professionals and around-the-clock care is for the best when this happens.

In most cases the person doesn’t truly realize what they’re doing either, making it even harder.

6. Caregiver Burnout

The truth is that not everyone is cut out to take care of a patient going through physical and mental decline. As time goes on even the most loving and well-meaning caregiver may begin to burn out.

When that happens it’s hard on the family and it can lead to decreasing quality of care. It’s one of the most common reasons for a person to be placed in some sort of assisted living situation after all.

There’s a reason that professional facilities exist: it takes too much time, patience, and training to deal with a dementia patient for most to be able to do it alone.

In the end, dedicated facilities and services, trained staff, and a safe environment usually end up being the best options. It can be sad to see our loved ones needing care, but when the primary caregiver begins to burn out it may be time to look into other options.

Seeing These Signs It’s Time for Memory Care?

Your loved ones deserve the best care possible and with the complications of modern life, it’s not always possible to do it alone. If your family member is displaying these signs it’s time for memory care then you need a trusted facility to ensure their safety.

It’s not always easy, memory care can feel hard on the family and you might not know who to trust with such a vital task.

We offer several levels of care for the elderly and disabled, if you’re looking then we suggest you check out our memory care facilities to see if they’re the right fit.

The Best Assisted Living Facilities Near Me: How to Choose the Best from the Rest

When you search for “assisted living facilities near me” the results can be overwhelming. You see the many options and some of them look like they are very similar.

Our parents have helped us throughout our lives from learning to walk and talk to getting us through college. We want to make sure that we give them the best care available.

Continue reading this article to learn how to choose the best assisted living options for your loved one.

Determine Your Parents’ Needs

Before you reach out to any assisted living facilities, determine what needs these facilities need to cover. Knowing your parent’s abilities and the areas where your parents need the most help will allow help you throughout the rest of the search.

Make a List of Potential Matches

Once you know what you need, look at the available assisted living facilities near you and see which ones offer the services you need. Once you have all of these listed, you can start looking at the pros and cons.

Make a List of Pros & Cons

After you’ve narrowed it down to a few choices, make a pros and cons list to help you decide which assisted living facilities you want to tour and interview. If you have too many cons, you should drop that facility from the running. These facilities are meant to make your life easier and if there are too many drawbacks, it may end up doing the opposite.

Do an In-depth Interview

When you’re doing the interview, you should already have a list of questions that you want to ask. Preparing the questions before the interview will make sure you don’t forget something important. Here are some questions you might want to ask when you’re interviewing the facility’s staff.

  • Can I see a list of the rules and regulations?
  • Can residents come and go as they please?
  • Are there medical professionals available on-site at all times?
  • What would get a resident removed from the facility?
  • How much are all the fees combined each month?

You likely have your own list of questions but these can help you get your wheels turning.

Make the Decision

Once you’ve gone through the above process, it’s time to make the decision. While it might be difficult to make these types of decisions for your parents, if you know they need help, it’s the best thing you can do.

Avoid These Common Assisted Living Mistakes

There are some common mistakes people make when they are choosing an assisted living facility for their parents. Read through the following mistakes so you can avoid them.

Choosing a Location You Like Vs. What Your Parents Like

You might walk into a facility and absolutely love it. It looks and functions the way that you want it to and you feel like it’s very cozy.

While it’s good if you like the facility, if your parents don’t like it — don’t go for it. You’re not going to be the one that is going to live there and you need to make sure that your parents are at ease with the decision.

Choosing a Facility That Doesn’t Fit Your Parents Current Needs

If your parents have certain needs but you choose a facility that doesn’t yet offer these services, you’re going to make life hard on yourself. You may think you’ll be able to come and help with these areas, but life can get busy fast.

Make sure the facility you choose can help your parents in their current situation and if they can help in their next stages of life, that is even better.

Making a Decision Too Quickly

When you are looking for a good place for your parents to live and get help, you might want to make this happen as quickly as possible. Your parents might be in a nursing home and no longer need that level of care or they may just be getting out of the hospital.

Depending on the situation, it may be more urgent than others but it’s still not good to rush your decision. Make sure you go through the process we outlined above — going to the tour and asking questions.

If you make a decision too quickly, you may find that you have to relocate your parents because the location turns out to be a mismatch.

Failing to Read the Fine Print

If the facility you’re considering isn’t forthcoming with their terms and other information — run. Make sure to ask for all of the terms so you can go over them carefully.

When you don’t read the fine print, you might miss fees or rules that you didn’t think about. When your parents are on a fixed income, you’re likely to have to pay some of the expenses for their assisted living arrangement, so making sure you know how much money you’ll be paying is important.

Finding the Best “Assisted Living Facilities Near Me”

Now that you’ve begun to make heads and tales out of the results you find when you search for “assisted living facilities near me”, you can make a good decision for your parents.

Maybe you have some questions or there’s something else we can help you with. If you’d like to find out about our facility and see if it might be a good fit for you, be sure to reach out.

Visit our site and schedule a tour today. We will be glad to see how we can help you and your loved one.

What is Assisted Living? The Main Levels of Memory Care

How often do you find yourself worried about your aging parent? Maybe your mom has become forgetful, and she no longer takes her medication as prescribed? Or perhaps your dad is getting lonely by the day, and he can no longer take care of himself?

These concerns can keep you awake at night, especially if you are not able to live with your parents and take care of them personally. What’s the best way to not only assure their safety but their health and happiness too?

Searching for assistance can be quite a daunting task because the senior care industry is huge. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the information available online, and it may get hard to choose as you may not understand what each one has to offer.

So, what is assisted living? We have gathered all the information you need to know about assisted home living and other common senior levels of care that are likely to benefit your loved ones.

What Is Assisted Living?

Senior living facilities are usually categorized by the levels of care they provide. Assisted living facilities are one level of care, and they provide seniors with a safe place to call home. The living spaces could be anything from shared quarters to apartments and individual rooms.

These facilities offer a home-like setting and offer a helping hand while still maintaining a level of independence. They focus more on providing assistance with day to day tasks and health care maintenance.

How Are Assisted Living Facilities Different From Other Levels of Care?

There are several types of senior care facilities, such as memory care, nursing homes, and independent living facilities. It’s essential for you to understand how each one differs from assisted living so you can make an informed decision. Your parent deserves the right kind of care, so let’s see what each one has to offer.

Memory Care Facilities

Memory care facilities are similar to assisted facilities in that they offer 24-hour care. However, memory care is more geared towards providing specialized care to seniors who have Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia diseases.

Independent Living Facilities

These two are similar in so many ways that most people confuse between them. Independent living facilities are for seniors that are able to take care of themselves fully. These facilities offer the convenience of living in a community to prevent seniors from getting lonely and bored at home.

Seniors get to enjoy the company of each other as well as services and amenities such as housekeeping, dining, social amenities, security, transportation, among others. If your parents are totally capable of taking care of themselves and you are just worried that they get lonely living alone, this is a good option. They’ll not only get to interact with others, but they can exercise and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Nursing Home Facilities

Nursing facilities are the most clinical of the lot. They offer skilled nursing for seniors that need constant medical assistance. If, for instance, your parents are living with complex medical conditions and need significant care, a nursing home would be the best option.

Many nursing home facilities are set up like hospitals, and depending on the one you choose, your loved one could have their own room or share with other residents. Some have a home-lie decor and a community kitchen so the residents can interact as well. They offer treatments for all kinds of illnesses.

What Will Your Loved One Get From an Assisted Living Facility

Understand that most facilities differ from each other in terms of features and the living culture. However, they do have certain similarities as well, and you need to find the one that suits your loved one.

So what is assisted living all about? To begin with, all of them offer a safe, home-like environment. You may choose an apartment setting and choose the kind of amenities you’d like your loved one to enjoy. Some communities allow seniors to bring their decorations and furnishings.

Housekeeping services allow them to enjoy their retirement without worrying about chores that may be a hassle for them. Beyond that, the facilities also have nursing staff that help with medications and things like blood sugar testing for the seniors that need it. Most facilities also have professional medical practitioners on-site who offer different types of care, going from audiology to physical therapy, occupational therapy, and more.

Your loved one will also enjoy exceptional dining opportunities as they are offered healthy meals. Some of them have a community dining area that allows seniors to interact and enjoy a familial and social environment.

Finally, an assisted living facility will offer a social hub for your parents. Even if they are introverted, they will get a chance to make friends as they engage with peers. The facilities have fully staffed departments that organize activities, events, and trips to keep seniors engaged and entertained. They emphasize on building friendships and pursuing hobbies.

Who Would Benefit From An Assisted Living Community?

How do you know whether an assisted living facility is the best place for your loved one? Depending on age and health condition, you need to weigh which senior living facility your loved one will thrive in. Here are just a few examples of people who will benefit from living in an assisted living community

Independent People

Seniors that enjoy their independence and don’t mind living at home, but are having a hard time keeping up with chores will fit perfectly here. They won’t have to worry about preparing meals or cleaning up after themselves. They will have more time to pursue their hobbies and enjoy other activities they may want to try out.

Social People

Seniors who once had a bustling social life will get very lonely with age and would thrive in these communities. With all the activities and exercises provided, they will not only make new friends but stay active and decrease any chances of loneliness and possibly depression.

People with a Fall Risk

If your loved one has a history of falling and you are constantly afraid they may get hurt, this would be a good place for them. Most assisted living facilities have fall risk assessments that prevent falls.

In case it happens anyway, they have on-site emergency services that will offer assistance immediately. Besides, with group mobility and all the exercises they get, they increase balance, minimizing or eliminating any chances of falling.

Ready to Make a Choice!

Now that you know what is assisted living community, would it be right for your loved ones? Finding the right one is the next thing you should look into.

You may search for assisted living facilities near me and see what you can find. How about you get in touch with us, and we’ll tell you all the nice things your loved one will enjoy in our facility.

17555 Emmet St, Omaha, NE 68116

© 2017 Esprit Whispering Ridge Assisted Living and Memory Care Omaha. All rights reserved.

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