Placing a loved one is already a difficult task considering they are going to a place you are not familiar with yet. To help ease this discomfort, it is important to look into the staff-to-resident ratio. This number determines how many employees are taking care of a resident at a particular time.
In senior living, residents are placed into various levels of care depending on their personal care needs. Some residents need very little assistance during a 24-hour period, or they may only need bathing assistance a couple of times a week. Whereas, other residents may need multiple staff interactions per day for their care needs. The staffing ratios in a senior living community are based on how many residents are in each particular level of care.
If the majority of residents are in a high level of care offered by the senior living community, the staffing ratio will be higher. However, if the majority are in low levels of care, the ratios are adjusted to meet the needs of the residents.
Make sure that while you are looking at the staff-to-resident ratio, you only account for the staff that will provide personal care assistance to your loved one. It’s only direct care staff that you should be asking about, for example, nurses and Certified Nursing Assistants.
It’s important to ask if there is 24-hour nursing in a senior living community because a qualified medical staff member can determine if a resident concern is emergent or if it only requires a call to the doctor. The nurse determines if it is an emergency or not. Our goal is to avoid unnecessary hospitalizations for seniors, and having a nurse 24/7 gives you more of a chance to avoid that hospitalization.
The staff-to-resident is significant, as it determines how much personalized care a resident will receive. There will be someone there to take care of emergencies, health complications, and increase the frequency of social interactions. The staff is also there to create relationships with the residents and make sure they are socializing daily.
It may be a good idea to visit the community to get a feel for the staff-to-resident ratio. An important factor to consider while visiting a community is the time that you choose to go, as the number of employees on staff differs throughout the day. Have the director of sales and marketing at the community explain how the staffing ratios work so that you feel comfortable.
In a residential apartment, there are several emergency pull cord locations. A resident can use the pull cord when they need assistance. However, the assessment done by the nursing staff prior to a resident having moved in hopefully will have anticipated a resident’s needs throughout the day. For example, if a resident typically uses the bathroom at various times a day, the goal of the staff would be to assist the resident prior to them having to even use the pull cord.
Locate the evening staff-to-resident ratio as well. Typically, through the night, the residents don’t need as much hands-on care so the ratio is lower.
An appropriate amount of staff, based on the levels of care in the entire community, will ensure that any unforeseen emergencies are taken care of swiftly. The staff will accommodate resident needs which also includes socialization and keeping the residents happy and healthy.
Keep in mind that activities staff, therapy staff members, dining staff and administrators all take part in a resident’s day as well.
Senior Living Experts is here to help you determine which communities are the best fit for your loved one. We can help you break down the staff-to-resident ratio to ensure that you have a good stance on how your loved one will be taken care of in their new home.
Give us a call at 773-302-2015 to contact one of our advisors. They will be here to help you with your search!
Senior Living Experts advisors are asked questions about cost quite frequently. Last month, we decided to make your questions even more clear by interviewing one of our senior living advisors, Nancy Pappas, on some of the most common cost questions we get. Nancy can be reached at (847) 287-3623.
Q: What is the cost of senior living?
A: That depends on what type of care you need, and whether you need it in your home or outside of your home in a community. It will vary by the type of care that you need and what location you choose.
Q: What is the upfront fee?
A: Typically, you will find an upfront fee. There are two types. One is called an entrance fee which is also known as a buy-in for continuing care retirement communities. It offers you the promise of future healthcare along a continuum. Or, a month-to-month rental basis will typically require a community fee that is non-refundable to help pay for taking care of the common areas and getting the apartment back to its original form.
Q: Does the cost go up annually?
A: Yes. Typically the cost will go up anywhere from 3-6%. This allows communities to provide raises for their employees and keep up with their own expenses, just as when you have increased expenses when living at home.
Q: When are levels of care considered as a resident continues to live there?
A: That depends on the community that you choose. Some communities specifically specialize in one level of care, such as assisted living or memory care. Someone may also need nursing care which will be in a skilled nursing home or you can have a continuum care retirement community that starts with independent living and offers the entire continuum from assisted living and memory care through skilled nursing.
Q: What if mom moves in the middle of the month?
A: You should expect that your community can prorate your monthly cost if they move in the middle of the month.
Q: Do I have to provide financial documents?
A: It depends on the community. Month-to-month rentals typically do not require financial disposure. However, if you are moving into a continuing care retirement community with the future promise of healthcare and they will never ask you to leave because of financial hardship, they will require financial disposure.
Q: If I put down a large entrance fee, when do I get that back?
A: Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t. There are different types of plans that offer high refundability. High refundability will keep your monthly fee on the higher end. If you go with the plan that goes to a 50% refundability or 0 refundability, you will find that your monthly fee will be kept lower. So, depending on where your income and your assets fall is a good determinant of which plan is best for you.
Q: What are my incidental expenses?
A: Incidental expenses are typically things like toiletries, incontinence products, or medications that are not covered by Medicare, that you are personally responsible for in an assisted living, memory care, or skilled nursing facility. Senior Living Experts can be reached at 771-213-7212, and the advisors will be happy to answer any more of your questions about senior living! We are just a phone call away.
“Complexity creates confusion, simplicity focus.”--Edward deBono
Eleven seconds. The National Council on Aging tell us that on average an elderly person suffers a fall in the United States every eleven seconds. In the four minutes you may spend reading this article, approximately 22 older Americans will have fallen, and unfortunately, almost a third of these falls will directly contribute to their eventual death.
When an older loved one falls, it often starts a chain reaction of questions, decisions and complexity that many of their adult children are unprepared to ask or address. Caregiving, bill-paying, cognitive ability, investment management, insurance coverage, having up to date legal documents in force, and future housing decisions all need to be addressed. The impact of the Coronavirus pandemic has only made these decisions more difficult.
This complexity can be overwhelming and stressful—and if not managed well can be costly. The key to managing such a crisis is in taking inventory of the situation, getting all the issues on the proverbial table and building a plan to simplify as much as you can. German-American painter Hans Hoffman explains simplification as follows, “The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak.”
Start by making lists of the key areas of your loved one’s life: Medical, Financial, Legal, Housing, Family. Under each heading start with questions or primary concerns you may have. Include contact information for professionals who are familiar with their situation, so you know where to find it. What is his/her medical prognosis? How long will their assets last if care is needed? Is there any long term care coverage? Who has been identified as the key decision makers for medical or financial issues? If it is unsuitable to bring them back home, what housing options will be a best fit? If we need additional help, what family or friends can be counted on to be resources?
Continue to jot down questions when they come to you so that when you have the chance to speak to their doctor, attorney, financial planner, insurance agent, Realtor®, care advocate or senior housing advisor, you are ready to get the answers you need.
Separate any documentation you can find into files for financial matters, insurance, legal and housing.
For finances, consider consolidating multiple accounts with one firm. Not only does it simplify record keeping, but also likely saves on account fees and limits your required interactions. Also, by organizing and consolidating with a single firm, the future estate settlement after death will be much easier to process. Look into setting up direct deposit and automatic bill-pay wherever possible to simplify the day-to-day financial management.
Review insurance policies so you have awareness of what is covered. Understand the “triggers” for a long term insurance claim (if a policy exists) along with policy exclusions. Determine whether or not a life insurance policy might have an accelerated death benefit option available to access life insurance proceeds while the senior is still living to help pay for care.
Review the estate planning documents, with an attorney if necessary, to review powers delegated to whom under the medical and financial powers of attorney, as well as wishes that were noted in any advanced medical directives about desires for life sustaining measures.Geriatric Care Managers can help with building a care plan to optimize the return to health and set expectations for rehabilitation, therapy, and assistance with the activities of daily living (ADL's).
Finally, meeting with a Senior Advisor can provide resources on bringing care into the home if necessary or vet the myriad of independent living, assisted living, memory care or continuing care retirement communities that might meet your health care needs location and budget.The prospect of managing this unfamiliar scenario may seen daunting, but by taking an organized approach to addressing needs and concerns and involving experienced, trusted professionals that have been through similar experiences many times with other clients, you can avoid the complexity that results in increased stress and unnecessary expenses.
For more feedback and to help identify gaps in your loved one’s living transition, take this Living Transitions Assessment and receive a customized report with steps to consider.
Assisted Living helps your loved one continue to remain as independent as possible while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Often times when people think of senior living they think of Assisted Living as the main form of care. However, there are many branches of senior living that are easily misunderstood or looked past.
So, what makes Assisted Living different from other forms of care? Each branch of care depends on how much care a person will need. It ranges from Independent Living to Memory Care.
First, Independent Living is structured so the resident can choose to pay for any extra services they desire. Assisted Living includes the services, whereas, Independent Living is like having A La Carte services available.
Independent Living is designed to keep all services and activities close by, so the resident does not need to travel far in order to access what they need. There are recreational centers, libraries, bistros, and outdoor space available for the residents.
The resident can choose to get assistance with services such as dog-walking, laundry, and daily check-ins. Once someone uses a certain amount of additional A La Carte services, it may become more economical to choose Assisted Living as their choice of residency.
Second, Memory Care is another type of care that involves more supportive cognitive services. This is specifically aimed towards those who have Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive impairments.
This type of living is placed in a separate memory care unit with 24-hour supervised care, along with an easy layout so the residents can navigate easily. It revolves around keeping the residents not only physically healthy but mentally healthy as well. There are activities planned by staff in order to accomplish this goal, while also entertaining the seniors.
Memory Care is a great option for your loved one if they need more supportive cognitive services, as it will help them feel safe, stress-free, and supported.
Next, there is Supportive Living. This form of care is the most similar to Assisted Living.
The main difference between Assisted Living and Supportive Living is that Supportive Living is subsidized by the State and there is a financial safety net. In Illinois, services offered in Supportive Living can eventually be covered by Medicaid once assets have been spent down.
Assisted Living and Supportive Living involve similar places of residency and services offered. This is a way for residents to be supported financially while still receiving the personal care services they need.
Finally, there is In-Home Care, which is when a caregiver comes to your loved one’s home and helps them with the services they need.
The resident can choose how much care they need. It ranges from a few hours a day to 24/7 care. The caregiver can help with companionship, transportation, cleaning, and financial management, among other things.
In-Home Care is a way for the resident to be in the comfort of their home while being offered services to help support them with their needs.
Where Should I Place My Loved One?
Assisted Living seems to be the first thing that comes to mind when having a conversation about senior living. However, there are many different branches that are offered depending on the person’s level of care.
When looking at where to place your loved one, it is important to consider how much care they will need. This will determine whether they will be placed in Assisted Living or one of the other forms of care.
No matter which form of care your loved one ends up being placed in, they will be supported and assisted, depending on how much care they need.
What’s should you look for in a community? As our loved one’s age, we may find the need for additional care for them to remain happy and healthy. Moving your loved one into any senior living community is a big decision for every family, so here are a few things you should look for when moving them into a memory care community.
One of the top priorities for those who suffer from memory related diseases is a safe and secure living environment. This is carried out in a couple different ways first being 24/7 on site staff for residents. This is beneficial in memory care communities because things can be quite confusing for those with Dementia and Alzheimer's, so it really helps to always have care staff present. Doors and entrance ways are also closely monitored to make sure no residents accidentally wander off. Easy to navigate floor plans along with lots of natural light are also great for those with memory related diseases. If your loved one enjoys the outdoors you may look for a community that has good enclosed outdoor space.
Diseases and people both change and progress with time so do their needs. When initially moving your loved one into a community they may have early stage dementia and be somewhat independent. That may change over time as the disease progresses and you want a community that will be very flexible with these changes. Care plans can also be changed due to non-Alzheimer's related reasons such as mobility and when this happens you want a community who will adapt to care for your loved one.
Many memory care communities often have care staff that have undergone additional training, or are specialized in caring for those who suffer from memory related illnesses. When looking for a community, you want to find one with friendly and knowledgeable staff. Another good thing to look for a care staff that values continuing education to keep up with the most recent dementia care techniques. When moving your loved ones into a community the staff there will be the ones, they may engage with the most so it is especially important to make sure you think your loved one can thrive under their care.
No one knows your loved ones as well as you do. When you visit different communities, it is important that you ask questions and get answers. The staff is there to best take care of your loved ones and they want to help you find the right fit. If your loved one has certain habits or needs, you should bring these up to their potential caretakers. This is a big decision and will most likely be the final home for your loved ones so take your time and visit multiple communities before you make the choice.
Regardless of your choice, your mom is good hands. For example, Brookdale, which has a little under 10 communities in Chicagoland, offers a private companion, trained staff 24 hours a day, personal assistance, and so much more. Whether in Barrington, Lake Barrington, Lake Zurich, Deer Park, Naperville, Bull Valley, Crystal Lake, Schaumberg, and the City of Chicago, senior living communities care options for your loved ones. Contact us to get in touch with a certified advisor who knows your area.
A lack of appetite in seniors at home or in senior communities is so very common. For our loved ones in quarantine, it happens even more often, and is sometimes linked to depression. Often, we tell our families to watch the inside of the refrigerator as you visit your senior loved one to be sure they are eating properly. Is the food still there from the previous days? Is there trash in the trash bin? These are signs to look for to be sure your senior is eating properly. Just as it’s normal to see a decreased appetite in seniors at this stage in their lives, it’s also now that they need healthy nutrition the most.
Although there’s no treatment for loss of appetite in elderly, but there are some tricks that can help you to answer the question: "How do I get an elderly person to eat?’ According to Countrywide Healthcare, follow these tips to help your senior eat proper meals:
In our more than 85 combined years of working in and with senior living communities, we can’t tell you how many times a family member has mentioned the weight gain in their senior loved one! This is good to hear after the weight loss we often hear about when the senior was living alone at home. Eating and socialization go hand in hand. We all need to feel socialization on a daily basis, and for seniors, that is their three meals a day enjoyed with new friends and neighbors.
We are so excited to welcome Clare Quirin, our SLE Summer Intern. Clare is a talented student at Grand Valley State University majoring in Film and Advertising, and will be helping SLE create meaningful content.
Welcome to the team, Clare!
In the time of Coronavirus, you may be asking yourself: what are my senior living options for my mom or dad, and how much do the senior living cost? Should I pay for a full-time home care, or find a home for my loved one in an assisted living community? First, figure out how much you're paying. We've made our Cost of Senior Living Sheet available to print.
Use this sheet to compare the cost of maintaining and staying at home vs. the cost to live in a senior living community. Remember what else included: increased socialization, freedom from demands of maintaining a home, and increased opportunities for both mental and physical activity can vastly improve the quality of life.
Senior Living starts at around $2,000 for some communities. Use our Expense Calculator on the homepage.
COST OF LIVING COMPARISON WORKSHEET
MONTHLY EXPENSES CURRENT SENIOR LIVING
Association/Condo Fees included
Property Tax included
Utilities (Gas, Electric, Water, Sewer, Trash) included
Lawn Maintenance & Snow Removal included
Home repairs & Maintenance included
Licensed Nurse Available included
Assistance with ADL’s included
3 Meals a Day + Snacks included
24 hr security & supervision included
Emergency Response System included
Scheduled Transportation (car, gas, repairs) included
Health Club/ Exercise Class included
When our loved ones age and new difficulties with health arise, it is important to be honest and plan ahead. There are a few options (how do you choose?) for our loved ones with Dementia and different people require different care to be happy and healthy.
Many seniors find immense comfort in living in their own home where they have lived for the majority of their life. As we age, most of us plan to live out our days in the homes where we hope to raise our families, this can be a possibility for our loved ones with dementia.
There are a couple crucial factors to consider like does you love one to live alone in the house or is his/ her spouse there too? Are the living conditions of the home up to par or is there too much maintenance? And most importantly: how far has the Dementia progressed? Your loved one's doctor can also be extremely helpful. Depending on the answers to these questions you can evaluate if your loved one can live safely in their own home. Part time or live-in aid is also available. One thing to keep in mind is that Dementia will continue to progress so even if they are fit to live on their own now things may change later.
Moving your loved one into a memory care is a great option for some families. For early stages of Dementia, senior communities often have specialized units for seniors who have the beginning symptoms of Dementia. Care for initial stages will feature a more independent living situation for seniors, but will still have consistent aid with an easier lifestyle with the majority of needs taken care of. Would they be good fit for early stage Dementia care? Once again, your doctor is your best friend. One important thing about moving your loved one into an assisted living community at the signs of early dementia is that they can always be moved into a late stage unit as their disease progresses and their needs increase. This is an easier transition than that of home to late stage care.
Late stage dementia requires more care may be necessary. Many assisted living communities offer a unit for those with late stage dementia which offers a more controlled environment and around the clock care. This is a good fit for those who cannot live by themselves and need a lot of aid to be happy, safe, and healthy. Your loved one's needs can be assessed by both those who have been near them and their doctors to decide if late stage care is a right fit for them.
Whether in Barrington, Lake Barrington, North Barrington, Lake Zurich, Deer Park, Inverness, Bull Valley, Crystal Lake, Schaumberg, and Hoffman Estates, senior living communities offer many memory care options for your loved ones and you will be sure to find one that fits.
What's included in memory care? As our loved one's age, we may find the need for additional care for them to remain happy and healthy. When looking into next step care here are 5 features that most memory care communities incorporate (don't know what memory care is?).
Memory care communities are specially designed for seniors who suffer with memory impairment diseases. One important goal in designing these communities is that they are easy to navigate for seniors. Clear walkways with lots of natural lighting are crucial, proper signage can also be beneficial for some seniors. Visual stimulation is also important and included in memory care; this can be achieved in many ways including aquariums which have constant visual movement and can be quite relaxing to watch. Many seniors also enjoy colorful wall art. These communities are designed to keep stress and anxiety of seniors to a minimum while also being enjoyable places to live.
You will see a higher staff to resident ratio then you would in assisted living--it usually included comes in memory care. The staff in memory care is also specially trained and have usually undergone additional training before working in a memory unit. This added training really allows staff to understand the memory related diseases like Alzheimer's and be able to recognize progression of the illness. The training also benefits senior's daily life as the staff will learn activities and fit for seniors with Alzheimer's and dementia and their special needs.
In memory care safety and happiness of the residents are the priority for staff and they carry out this in a couple of ways. One of the common behaviors those with Alzheimer's or dementia express is wandering. To combat this turning dangerous many communities, have 24/7 surveillance and keep all doors secured. Memory care include an enclosed courtyard where seniors can enjoy the outdoors in a safe way. During the COVID pandemic, memory care communities are taken the safest measures possible.
Enjoyable and meaningful activities are crucial in memory care for both the senior's happiness and for their mental care. Many care facilities include both a variety of leisure and therapeutic activities in the social calendar to entice seniors of all backgrounds. This social and physical stimulation created by activities and hobbies can help lessen behaviors such as wandering, anxiety, and depression (https://seniorlivingexperts.com/depression-in-the-elderly-more-facts/) in seniors. These activities also help seniors to maintain their current cognitive abilities in an enjoyable way.
Every senior is different and so are their care needs. One of the best things about memory care is it caters to both a senior's physical abilities as well as their cognitive ones in a personalized way. There are varying levels of memory care ranging from communities for early dementia to late stage dementia seniors. Person-centered care is a top priority and each resident will have a personalized care plan tailored to their needs. This allows residents to get nothing short of the best care that they need to live out a happy and meaningful life.Regardless of your choice, your mom is good hands. For example, Brookdale, which has a little under 10 communities in Chicagoland, offers a private companion, trained staff 24 horus a day, personal assistance, and so much more. Whether in Barrington, Lake Barrington, North Barrington, Lake Zurich, Deer Park, Naperville, Bull Valley, Crystal Lake, Schaumberg, and the City of Chicago, senior living communities care options for your loved ones. Contact us to get in touch with a certified advisor who knows your area.
Your loved ones have reached an age where little gestures can have a great impact. Their livelihood and identity may feel restricted or lost within an assisted living community or a memory care community, mostly with the social isolation of COVID-19.
This is something you can help remedy. Send your elderly friend or relative a care package that will provide warm greetings and let him or her know they are in your thoughts. Here are some care package ideas that will brighten the day of your loved one:
While many assisted living communities provide residents with activities, they may not offer the games or recreation that your loved one enjoys. Create an activities package designed especially for them, that incorporates their personal interests and hobbies. For the artistic soul, assemble a basket that includes paint, brushes, paper or canvas, and a book of picturesque scenes that will inspire a work of art.
For the senior who wants an escape through entertainment, create a package with his favorite movies that will suit the television and entertainment equipment he has in his room. If he doesn’t have his own television or DVD player, you could send him a tablet with downloads of the movies he enjoys. Mostly in a time of social isolation, this individual act of kindness—and the joy your loved one gets—goes a long way.
Send a basket that has a bundle of seasonal specialties. During the winter, you can send a holiday basket that includes a cozy throw blanket, holiday treats, handmade gifts and photos of family and friends. Springtime is perfect for gifts like seasonal produce, Easter-themed gifts, and flower bulbs that can bloom on the windowsill.
For summer, create a basket with photos of the beach, a handheld fan, sunglasses and dried exotic fruits, like mango and pineapple. Autumn is a time when you can provide your loved one with cozy slippers, pumpkin spice treats, and miniature pumpkins for festive decor.
Flowers Are Always Appreciated
Flowers are always a wonderful gift that will help your loved one brighten her room. The presence of plant life will increase the tranquility of her room and make it feel like a place of solace. You can send your loved one bouquets from FTD — a company with an online service that helps you create custom bouquets for delivery. There are a number of seasonal and special occasion bouquets that are available. Make sure you incorporate your loved one’s favorite flower, so the arrangement will feel more personalized.
Send your elderly friend or relative a basket full of goodies that will delight his senses. For the chocoholic, include drinking chocolate, a box of various truffles and maybe a humorous T-shirt that has the famous quote of “life is like a box of chocolates.” They can share it with all their friends! If your friend enjoys French cuisine, send her a package that includes video of Julia Child’s television program, a baguette, cheese and some French wine. You can also create an edible arrangement for someone who is a healthy eater and may have dietary restrictions. The arrangements can be custom made for the particular dietary needs or preferences of the gift receiver.
Rebecca Donze and the Senior Living Experts team have partnered with talented high school seniors, many of whom have been preparing for months for their recitals, to perform for the residents at Arboria of Long Grove. The residents at Arboria, on the other hand, had advice for them.
You can watch the original Seniors4Seniors below.
Unsure of what we mean by "Memory Care"? This article breaks it down.When first looking into a senior living community for your loved ones the options can seem overwhelming with all the terminology: between nursing homes, assisted living, memory care there are many choices to pick from. Depending on the needs of your loved one there is usually one type that fits the best.
One of the first and most important differences that distinguishes Memory Care from all other kinds is that it is formatted and planned for those seniors who suffer specifically from Alzheimer's, dementia, or other memory impairing diseases. What this means is that everything from the layout of the facility to the activities that seniors engage in will be different.
Both Memory Care and assisted living include many activities and hobbies for seniors, but they do differ slightly. In Memory Care, activities will cater to the mental abilities of the seniors just like they cater to the physical abilities of the seniors in assisted care. Additionally, Memory Care and Assisted Living both are regulated by the Illinois Department of Public Health. IDPH tracks regulations, and currently is tracking the COVID outbreak (though they are not always up to date).
Contact us to get in touch with a certified advisor who knows your area. Whether in Lincoln Park, Barrington, Lake Barrington, North Barrington, Lake Zurich, Deer Park, Naperville, Bull Valley, Crystal Lake, Schaumberg, and Hoffman Estates, senior living communities offer many care options for your loved ones.
When buying a home, we seek out a realtor to guide us to the perfect house within budget. When we want to draw up a Power of Attorney, or a Will, we seek out an Attorney who can make sure we are within the legal guidelines so our futures are secure. How do we do the same when finding long-term care for our loved one?
According to an article in the LaGrange Patch earlier this week, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) was not counting positive Covid cases that were located in Plymouth Place, a Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC). The nursing team at Plymouth Place was following protocol to alert the State to the positive cases, but noticed in later updates that their cases were not showing up on the daily reports shared by IDPH. Senior Living Experts is aware of another CCRC in the Chicagoland area that has had no positive cases, but was inaccurately reported as having three in their community by IDPH. We are closely monitoring other communities in present time.
When our loved one desires, or requires senior living, we (should) seek out a Senior Living Advisor who can guide us to communities that provide the level of care, services, and amenities the senior would benefit from the most.
With so many unknowns and misinformation these days, at Senior Living Experts we believe it’s important to work with an Advisor so that you are getting accurate information. It’s our job to know the details of a community, and find out not only the pricing, but also the “culture” of a community. This translates to things such as the ingenuity of activities brought to residents and creative solutions that work within State regulations. Yet, guaranteeing the residents remaining in their current level of care, a good experience and consistency in staff.Covid-19 has shined a light on Senior Living, and we want to guide you down what can be a very overwhelming path. We will get the information you need right along with you, for you, and with the very individual preferences your loved one needs at this time.
Argentum, the leading national trade association serving companies that own, operate, and support professionally managed senior living communities, is calling on Congress to take swift action to ensure the safety and wellbeing of residents and staff of the communities as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We urge our senators and congressmen to commit to providing these communities with the protective equipment, virus testing, and financial support they will need to continue providing care.
Seniors are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 and their caregivers are working around the clock on the front lines to protect them and keep them out of the hospital. But they need more protective equipment and a lack of testing makes it challenging to stop the virus from spreading. It is critical for communities to be able to test residents and staff. How can NBA players get immediate testing, and senior living residents and workers cannot? They aren't able to see their loved ones and must spend all day in their room, unable to join others for dining or activities. As we look to return to normal, senior living should be prioritized for testing, PPE, and the resources they need to fight the virus and help the community get back to the place our seniors call home.
Restaurants, hotels, airlines, and Airbnb owners have received federal financial support, and they are not caring for the most important people in our lives. Senior living communities need your support to keep providing the exceptional care that is needed now more than ever.I urge you to consider the needs of our most vulnerable and precious- seniors and their caregivers by prioritizing our communities for PPE, testing and federal financial support.
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents unique challenges to the senior living industry, as individuals who are at the greatest risk from the virus include people aged over 60 years and those with underlying conditions. Timely access to testing is the most critical component to prevention and response, and we recommend that forthcoming legislative packages provide for adequate supplies to prevent, test for, and respond to any outbreaks, ensure regulations support the ability to care for residents, and that communities have the resources able to maintain operations throughout this pandemic and beyond.
While communities are taking preventive measures against the virus, there is no doubt that support is needed from the federal government to help keep our residents and team members safe. It is imperative that lawmakers hear not only from industry leaders, but from constituents who are most directly affected by this crisis and why Congress must prioritize senior living communities.
Please take a moment to send your federal legislators a note on the urgent need to prioritize senior living in the COVID-19 response.
When it comes the time when a loved one needs extra care and assistance to remain happy and healthy, the words "memory care" may come up as an option. As our loved ones age, they lose not only physical capabilities, but also mental ones.
Memory care communities are designed for those with Alzheimer’s or other memory related illnesses in mind. They aren’t too different from assisted living communities, They provide many fundamentals such as housekeeping, meal preparations and aid with daily needs, but also pays specific attention to those with memory loss and their unique needs. Memory care communities prioritize keeping seniors involved and mentally active. Even with the loss of cognitive abilities, seniors can continue to engage with others and take part in many activities and hobbies that staff provides. Many care communities have social calendars filled with a variety of activities to get seniors excited. For some communities, that means cognitive abilities like brain games.
Just like every senior is different, so is the memory care provided. When you choose a new community, the care plans you get customized to fit the needs of your loved one. Often, seniors with memory problems are placed in a solely memory care community that best enables care workers to assist our loved one's unique needs. Memory care units can also be separated for those with early dementia or late stage dementia. Staff in memory units are also highly trained and equipped as well as usually having undergone additional training for dealing with those who have memory related diseases. During the COVID pandemic, memory care communities are taken the safest measures possible. Memory communities are a secure and safe environment for your loved ones who deal with Alzheimer’s or memory related diseases where they can continue to enjoy life while also getting the best care possible. Regardless of your choice, your mom is good hands. Whether in Barrington, Lake Barrington, North Barrington, Lake Zurich, Deer Park, Naperville, Bull Valley, Crystal Lake, Schaumberg, and the City of Chicago, senior living communities care options for your loved ones. Contact us to get in touch with a certified advisor who knows your area.
What better way to support our locals? These last 2 weeks, our Advisors Kerry Quirin, Rebecca Donze, and Nancy Pappas have been delivering meals to nurses at Chicagoland hospitals. We've been extra careful to not only provide meals to the nurses during the day shift, but also the night shift. This week, we partnered with Mojo's East Coast Eats.
Here, Western Suburbs Advisor Kerry Quirin talks about all the wonderful ways the average Chicagoland person has been helping. From PPE to other gifts and food, these communities have received so much support![video width="400" height="224" mp4="https://seniorlivingexperts.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/95819651_241097490312652_2706580255547588608_n.mp4"][/video]You may have a question then: is it safe, or even is it worth it to move a senior living community?
Wondering how Assisted Living and Nursing Homes (also known as skilled nursing facilities) differ and which might be best for your loved one? In the last post "Nursing Homes and Assisted Living Are Not The Same Thing!" we tried to show you that senior living facilities are not created equally. That means that nursing homes, and assisted living facilities differ from one another in some important ways. It’s important for you to know what care is available to your loved one across the board. This is called Activities of Daily Living, or ADL. These activities include bathing, dressing, and different types of personal care.
While mom may not need that care at the moment, it’s comforting to know that even the baseline care provided at these facilities is of high quality. Professionals at these facilities are there for you and your loved one, whenever needed. Below you can find out other examples of personal care that are provided at assisted living facilities and nursing homes, alike:
Type/ Example of Care Present in Both Assisted Living and Nursing Home
Medication Management Someone is always there to be sure mom takes the right medicine at the right time
Sense of Community Many opportunities to make friends, and feel emotionally, spiritually and physically uplifted
Supportive Services These include laundry, housekeeping, transportation and more!
Secure Environment From small things like grab bars and handrails in bathrooms to entire emergency call systems
Dietary Health Three well- balanced meals a day as well as nutritious snacks at all times
Let’s delve into ways in which care differs. The major differences exist in the care and services provided, and in the appearance of the facility:
Care and Services- Residents in nursing homes usually require around the clock care. This is because they typically live with more complex health conditions. That is why nursing homes come with nurses, therapists and even respiratory support. Contrastly, residents in an assisted living community generally require what’s called custodial care (hence, a different cost structure. check out our cost calculator). An example of this is memory care or help with moving from one location to another, or taking preventative measures to minimize falls.
Difference in build- This includes the layout and appearance of the institution. While a nursing home generally looks a little institutional because of the type of care provided, an assisted living usually resembles a normal apartment. Nursing home residents are more likely to share a room with another senior, since this expedites the ability to provide quality care. Residents in an assisted living community usually have their own apartment or suite.
Here's an excellent graphic from Brookdale Communities!
We hope this was helpful to you and that you can give some more thought to what type of facility might be the most fitting for your loved one!
Mom is struggling at your childhood home, so you’ve started your senior living search. There are so many new terms- what do they all mean? Growing up, you had only heard of nursing homes and now you seem to be at a loss for what might be the best option for mom. This is a crucial decision as mom is so important to you and her quality of care and life are very surreal concerns of yours.
Since the mid 1980’s the senior care industry has become acutely aware of the needs of the aging, as they are dynamic and not one size fits all. An explosion occurred in the types of facilities that are offered to those searching for an assisted living solution. These options include hybrid, hospitality, housing, and health care. Since then, the options for assisted living have only become more and more abundant. This may sound overwhelming, but Senior Living Experts exist for this exact reason; we aim to best aid the aging population in all of Chicagoland, from, Barrington, to Schaumberg, to Highland Park.
Let's unpack and shed light on the different options available for senior living. First, let’s consider what the major differences are between assisted living and a nursing home:
It is very important to note that assisted living facilities have evolved over time to fit the needs of their patrons and to make them feel more at home. There are even senior care professionals and specific designers whose job is making sure that your loved ones are being heard, listened to, and cared for.
Lastly, remember: care is not one size fits all. There are options that have differing levels of care, differing communities, differing costs, different living cultures, and even have varied services such as memory care. In short, the options for assisted living are abundant and we are here to help you do your due diligence to make your loved one feel at home. Knowing even these basics will aid you in finding the best assisted living facility for someone you love.
During this on-going global crisis one thing on the forefront of all our minds is the health and safety of our loved ones especially those who are older and require more care. Though it feels like the world has slowed down in some respects our loved ones are continuing to age and now might be the time that they are ready or needing to move into a senior living community, where less than 1% of residents get COVID-19. Even though this timing is not ideal here are some of the pros and cons of moving your senior loved ones into a senior living community.
One of the biggest benefits and the reason many families move their loved ones to a community is for the consistent care and attention to medical needs (even small things that go unnoticed, like what they do to prevent falls). In a community residents health needs are always a top priority and are monitored closely this is very important with the risk of COVID-19. With this current health crisis what better place for your older loved ones to be then a place designed with their health needs in mind.
Sanitized with the Highest Standards
With COVID-19 one of the biggest suggestions given by our world health leaders is washing out hands and staying clean. Sanitation is a permanent top priority in senior living communities with an even bigger emphasis now. If your loved one struggles with independent self-care a senior living community can fulfil this need while also helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
All Food, Care & Necessities Provided
I’m sure by this point everyone has heard and or is familiar with the term social distancing. By moving your loved ones into a senior living community full social distancing is easily obtainable. All residents' needs are fulfilled in one place this includes food, medicine and other daily needs so trips to the grocery store or pharmacy will no longer be needed. During this time getting all your loved ones’ needs met can be difficult but you can be assured that they will be met in a senior living community.
No Interactions with Strangers
Another great thing senior living communities are doing during COVID-19 is limiting foot traffic. By limiting interactions with those outside of the community they also limit the risk of COVID-19 spreading.
It's difficult to tour communities because of social distancing. How do you know this is the right one?
When picking out a senior living community for your loved ones one aspect many enjoy is touring to find the right one. But with limited foot traffic through communities touring will not be possible for most. Though this is a downfall with the help of technology, virtual tours and online resources can give potential residents an idea of what each community has to offer, mostly when it's so expensive.
You're moving your loved one to a new environment during a difficult time
With the COVID-19 health crisis ongoing many of us are tempted to freak-out and hoard resources, like toilet paper, during this challenging time. While so much is on our minds moving our loved one into a senior living community may seem like a worrisome task. Even with this it's important to remember that care staff want what's best for your loved one just like you and you will be moving them into safe hands.
You're moving your loved ones around other seniors, who are also at high risk
We all know that COVID-19 poses a bigger threat to those over 65 so for many moving your older loved ones in with other similarly aged people may seem like a bad idea. With this though being around others who are elevated risk does not necessarily mean you are at higher risk for contamination. About 9 out of 10 cases of COVID-19 are being spread by “silent spreaders” so placing your loved one in a senior care community does not increase their risk because these communities have the facilities to practice social distancing and room isolation to slow the spread.
While COVID-19 is interrupting many aspects of our normal life you can now know the pros and cons of moving your loved one into a senior living community during this difficult time.
For More Info:“How 'Silent Spreaders' Are Fueling the Coronavirus Pandemic.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2020, www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-03-17/how-silent-spreaders-are-fueling-the-coronavirus-pandemic.