Many older adults hope to age in place at our home, or perhaps a family member will step up and take care of a senior loved one. For those who can no longer take care of themselves as they used to, and do not have a family caregiver, long term care is the best option.
How is the decision made to find the perfect community? There are a number of questions and concerns as the wellbeing of someone who means so much is put in the hands of a stranger.
Look no further, this is the ultimate guide for caregivers and how they can find the best long term care community.
Long term care at assisted living communities
Assisted living is a setting for a senior who needs help with daily care, not medical or personal care like in a nursing home. In assisted living, dining services, transportation, wellness programs, laundry, social activities, and beautiful spaces are just a few of the amenities offered.
Some assisted living communities, like Kensington Park, offer some health care services such as speech, occupational, and physical therapy. At Kensington Park, we are especially known for our engaging music therapy program hosted by licensed therapists.
Is your loved one ready for assisted living?
Moving to an assisted living community comes from a long thought out decision. It may be backed with varying emotions, but by fully understanding the benefits, it can help ease any concern or worry.
The top considerations that lead to the decision to move into assisted living are the following:
- Having trouble with medication management
- Noticeable weight loss or gain from improper nutrition
- Lack of mobility or a sudden increase in falls
- Household maintenance is unable to be done on their own
- Grooming or preparing meals for themselves is something they really struggle with doing on their own
- Increased feelings of isolation or loneliness
- Loss of interest in hobbies or activities they previously loved doing
How to handle a conversation about the move to assisted living
Your senior loved one may resist the idea at the initial discussion. After living comfortably in their own home – oftentimes for several years or even decades – saying goodbye is easier said than done.
The concern for a lack of independence is a common one. Showing them the value of what an assisted living community can offer them to help strengthen their independence, such as various activities they never have been able to partake in before, can help them see the positive outcomes that await.
Here are some talking points for the conversation:
- Reassure them that they will be involved in all decisions.
- Present the assisted living community options with a positive tone.
- Understand why a senior would wish to stay at home and address any what-ifs or questions of concern they have.
By making them simply feel a part of the search, and working through their worries, they will start to see the benefit for themselves, as well as their family caregiver.
Long term care at memory care communities
Memory care is a form of assisted living that best suits those with varying stages of memory loss. Daily care is catered towards the individual needs with skilled professionals and therapists. These neighborhoods typically have a higher staff to resident ratio and security measures to help keep loved ones safe.
Is your loved one ready for memory care?
There isn’t always an easy answer to this. There are a number of considerations a family can ask one another in order to make an informed decision.
- Is your loved one with memory loss now unsafe in their own home?
- Is the health of the senior or caregiver at risk?
- Are the daily care needs beyond the caregiver’s physical abilities?
- Has the caregiver been feeling the effects of burnout: becoming stressed, irritable and not as patient?
- Is the caregiver neglecting other responsibilities and having trouble balancing the role?
- Is the structure and social interaction at a care community more beneficial to the senior?
Long term care at independent living communities
Independent living is a type of senior care for those individuals with greater confidence and ability to handle their daily care routine on their own, and without the help of a caregiver. Independent living is ideal for seniors who want to enjoy each day to the fullest, without the continued upkeep of a home.
Independent living communities gladly take on maintenance, repairs, cleaning, cooking, organizing social events, and scheduling excursions. With a calendar of daily activities and events, socialization, and exercise classes, this is a great situation for a senior looking to have a little more independence within a community.
Here are some of the questions that come to mind about those considering independent living:
- Is your loved one socializing as much as they’d like to?
- Are there hobbies and interests they wish they could pursue, but feel they don’t have the time?
- Is your loved one having trouble managing the upkeep of their home?
- Has their diet been enough to provide sufficient nutrition?
- Are their driving capabilities at a safe level on their own?
Long term care necessities
In enough time, research, and being patient with the process, a family and their senior loved one can find a community that best suits all of their needs. Varying health conditions aside from memory loss such as Parkinson’s, ALS, and stroke recovery can also be accommodated for.
Through therapy programs and rehabilitation, assisted living communities can work avidly to improve speech, mobility, and balance. Some communities will work closely with a loved one after a hospital visit to help them recover, and avoid reinjury.
For seniors who are in a greater state of independence, balance, and overall health, our independent living neighborhood is a great fit. This is especially ideal for those who want to enjoy the pleasantness of each day, without the demands of owning a home.
At Kensington Park, we promise to love and care for your family as we do our own. We want every resident to feel at home and as comfortable as can be, so family and friends can feel reassured that they are not only healthy, but happy. If you have questions about our assisted living, independent living, or memory care communities, give us a call today.
Recommended Additional Reading:
- What Does “Level of Care” Mean in Assisted Living?
- Coping with Caregiver Isolation
- How to Know When Senior Independence is Unsustainable