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Serving Illinois and Wisconsin

Is Senior Living Better Than Living Alone?

November 14, 2022

Are seniors supposed to be living alone, or do they need to turn to senior living in the Chicago area? This question is one of the most debated topics in households where family members try to convince seniors to move into assisted living, but seniors reject the proposal. The persuasion tends to be challenging because seniors prefer living alone than being bunched up with strangers in an unfamiliar environment.

A report by the Administration on Aging found that 36% of women and 20% of men 65 years old and above are living alone. Aging in place is what they prefer. Seniors would rather stay in their own homes and accept the risks than have to adjust to a new environment where their independence might be jeopardized. These concerns stem from a lack of information. If seniors knew more about the risks of living alone, they would likely value the help and assistance senior living communities offer.

a senior woman living with a care provider in the Chicago area

Reasons Why Seniors Should Not Be Living by Themselves

Falls 

Falls are common, especially among the elderly. CDC reports 36 million fall cases each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four older adults falls each year, making it a public health concern.

However, it’s essential to know that even though it’s one of the leading causes of injury and injury death in this particular age group, it’s not considered a normal part of aging. 

Even though it’s a minor fall, it can still cause extensive damage to the elderly due to their aging bodies. Remember that their bones are not as strong as they used to be while they were younger. The healing process takes much longer too.  

While broken bones can be hazardous, what’s more concerning are hip fractures and brain injuries. When seniors fall, they must receive medical attention right away to minimize the extent of the damage. Besides physical injuries, falls can also have psychological effects. Seniors will be traumatized and become fearful of falling again.

Social Isolation

Seniors are prone to experience loneliness and social isolation. Loneliness and social isolation are not the same, but they are related in some ways. Loneliness is described as a feeling of being alone.

Meanwhile, social isolation is having a limited number of people you interact with regularly. However, some people can live alone and not feel lonely, while others still feel lonely even though they are around people.

But studies show that older adults are more at risk for loneliness and social isolation because of the changes in their health and social connections. The loss of loved ones, trouble getting around, memory loss, and physical decline are some of the factors that contribute to social isolation. 

How can feelings of loneliness and isolation affect the health of the elderly? You wouldn’t guess it, but lonely or socially isolated people are more likely to be admitted to a nursing home or hospital. Studies found that these emotional responses are associated with an increased risk for the following:

Alcohol and smoking are common habits among lonely people. Furthermore, they don't get enough exercise and sleep, which increases their risk of serious health problems. When people are lonely, they start to lose connection with the community, and their perceptions about others and the world begin to change. They become suspicious and cautious of other people.  

Interestingly, there’s also a link between social isolation and loneliness to brain health. Lonely and socially isolated people have a poor cognitive function and are more prone to dementia.

a senior couple receivig help from a care provider in the Chicago area

Depression and Anxiety

Being sad or lonely is not synonymous with depression. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a loss of concentration, motivation, interest, energy, and appetite. Many seniors suffer from undiagnosed depression. Research shows that depression is one of the symptoms of social isolation.  

The majority of the elderly population who are living alone are depressed without even realizing it. However, if someone lives with them, they’ll have a different outlook on what’s happening.  

Malnutrition

Malnutrition is common among seniors living alone, especially if they used to have someone to make their meals for them. Research shows malnutrition can be a symptom of poverty, anxiety, or depression.  

Besides these, malnutrition can also result from seniors not being able to cook for themselves or eat on time, like when they have memory issues. Unfortunately, not getting enough nutrients in the diet can lead to a weak immune system, poor wound healing, a high risk of hospitalization, and muscle weakness, making them susceptible to falls, injuries, and fractures.  

Problems With Medication Management

It can be challenging for seniors to take their medications on time if they are battling with memory issues, like in the case of dementia or Alzheimer’s. They can either forget to take them or forget they already took their meds. Under dosage and overdosage of medications can often lead to relapse or exacerbation of the patient’s condition or, worse, death.  

Seniors are prone to overdosing as they can take the medication several times a day instead of following the prescribed dosage.  

Compromised Safety

There is no doubt the reason why seniors prefer to live in their homes is so they can maintain their independence. Living alone is not a health risk if the elderly are mentally and physically capable, but if your loved ones are showing symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s, being alone can be dangerous.  

Senior living communities offer 24/7 services and supervision for seniors who need an extra hand with daily activities without compromising their independence.

a senior in a wheelchair with a care provider in the Chicago Area

Are You Interested in Senior Living in Chicago Area?

Although we’d like to respect the wishes of the elderly to continue living on their own, sometimes it’s not the best option for them, especially if their condition puts their health and safety on the line. The best you can do is to find a suitable living arrangement to give them the help they need whenever necessary.  

At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you to find the perfect fit for your loved ones. We have been working with over 230 communities in the Chicagoland area. Rest assured that we can help you find what you need. Contact us today to learn more.

It can be dangerous for some seniors to live alone. Senior living in the Chicago area is what they need to keep them safe. Call today!

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Understanding Senior Living and Medicaid Spend Down

October 3, 2022

When family members can no longer commit to caring for their elderly parents, they encourage them to consider Lake County Senior Living. Even though we would like our parents to enjoy the remaining years of their lives in the comforts of their homes, sadly, living alone can compromise their health, safety, and well-being.  

Comfort is a priority, but if you compare it to safety, the latter is more pressing. Senior living is a type of community that aims to help seniors live independently while receiving care whenever it’s needed. Some of the examples of assistance they receive are activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, eating, walking, household chores, laundry, etc.  

While many senior living communities offer flexible payment options, you can’t deny that the services they charge will cost you money. Many seniors find it difficult to afford such services. Luckily, Medicaid programs are available and can help seniors with their finances.  

Lake County Senior Living community

Medicaid and Medicaid Spend Down

What Is Medicaid?

The services offered by assisted living communities are not for free, but it also doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay for all of them. One way of paying for assisted living services is through Medicaid. Medicaid is a public health insurance program administered by your local state. It was designed to help provide health care coverage to low-income families.  

Does Medicaid Pay for Assisted Living?  

Medicaid can cover some of the costs of assisted living like Alzheimer’s or memory care under one condition; the person applying for it must be eligible. Certain requirements must be met for the elderly to qualify and enjoy the benefits of the program.  

Be sure to check the state since the requirements vary based on where the applicant resides. Room and board are not covered by Medicaid, but emergency responses and skilled nursing are.  

How Much Does Medicaid Contribute to Senior Living?

The following factors influence how much Medicaid will pay:

  • The state of residence
  • The level of care needed

Typically, Medicaid will request a needs assessment to calculate how many hours the program covers. For instance, seniors who require extensive assistance will use more caregiver hours in a month.  

residents of Lake County Senior Living

How Do You Qualify for Medicaid?

As mentioned, the criteria vary depending on the location of the applicant. However, the program has established general requirements such as the following:

  • Must spend almost all assets toward health care
  • Low-income earners  
  • Medical care that exceeds the income
  • Currently resides in a state that offers such benefits

What If You Don’t Qualify?

If your loved one does not qualify for Medicaid because their assets and income exceed the limit, you can do a Medicaid spend down. A Medicaid spend down is a financial strategy and an important tool that you can take advantage of if your loved ones’ income is too high for the limit set by Medicaid.  

Medicaid spend down can be confusing because of its complex web of rules and restrictions. It’s crucial to gain deep knowledge about this tool so you can use it to your benefit.    

What Is A Medicaid Spend Down?

A Medicaid spend down can have different meanings for different states because each state has its own guidelines. Nevertheless, it is considered a financial tactic that you can use when the person’s income surpasses the limit of the Medicaid program. To be accepted, individuals must spend some of their income so that they can finally qualify for the program.  

What Are The Rules and Limits of a Medicaid Spend Down?

The first step is to complete an income or asset spend down. What does this mean? The person’s income must be spent on medical-related bills or health care. They may also spend their income on credit card balances, mortgages, vehicles, and other accrued debt.  

Some examples of the cost that are included in Medicaid spend down are the following:  

  • Past and current medical bills
  • Transportation expenses to access health care
  • Home improvement related to medical care
  • Medical expenses like hearing aid, contact lenses, or eyeglasses

What’s the Difference Between an Income Spend Down Versus Asset Spend Down?

How Does an Income Spend Down Work?

An example of an income spend down is when your father makes $800 every month because of a Social Security check. What if the Medicaid income limit is only $600? In such a case, your father must spend down $200 so that Medicaid will cover nursing costs. This strategy can be challenging as it depends on your father’s medical expenses.    

Assuming your father has a medical bill debt of thousands of dollars. He can pay his medical bills off with the $200 every month. This expenditure is acknowledged by Medicaid spend down. Besides hospital debt, he can also use the excess $200 to cover routine doctor visits and maintenance medications.    

How Does An Asset Spend Down Work?

The asset limit for each state varies significantly for a person to qualify for Medicaid benefits. The individual must spend down all of their eligible assets to be able to enjoy the benefits. However, this does not mean they must sell their property or car.  

What, then, is regarded as a countable asset? An example of a countable asset is when the person has money in their savings account or if that person has a second property that they’ve decided to rent out. Other examples of countable assets are bonds, stocks, and mutual funds.

How Do You Do Medicaid Calculations?

Not everyone has the same financial status. To know the exact calculations, we recommend you consult with a professional Medicaid planner. According to the American Council on Aging, some offer free consultations while others charge a professional fee between $300 and $600 every hour.  

Lake County Senior Living advisor

Get Help From Lake County Senior Living Advisors


If you are considering taking your loved ones to a senior living community in Illinois or Wisconsin, you found us! At Senior Living Experts, we are dedicated to helping your beloved senior loved ones understand the options available so they can live the best life possible.  

Our staff includes financial planners, elder law attorneys, insurance experts, and home health providers ready to provide you with all the help you need. For questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts. Let us know if you need anything, and we will assist you. Our friendly team will gladly answer your questions and redirect you to the right people when needed.  

How can Medicaid Spend Down cover your Lake County senior living costs? Call us at Senior Living Experts to know more.

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Senior Living or Staying at Home: Which Is More Affordable?

September 14, 2022

Despite understanding and accepting the human life cycle, you can’t help but feel emotional seeing your parents age. Over time, you’ll see the changes in their cognition, mobility, and function. As time goes by, their health will slowly deteriorate. What used to be easy for them has now become a struggle. Luckily, affordable senior living in Highland Park can ease all your worries. You’re sure to find a place for your loved ones with various housing and care options.    

Family members often dismiss the idea of senior living because it’s an added expense. They don’t realize that remaining at home also comes with costs, which may already be familiar to you, such as medications, insurance, taxes, etc. If money is an issue, you should consider pricing out the costs.  

Affordable Senior Living in Hyland park

Comparing the Cost of Staying at Home Versus Moving to Senior Living

What Is a Senior Living Community?  

A senior living community is an umbrella term that describes various care and housing options for the elderly. The level of care will depend on the senior's needs, lifestyle, and budget.  

Residents of senior living communities enjoy many perks, such as forming new friendships, engaging in leisurely activities, learning and discovering new hobbies, taking advantage of nutritious and tasty foods, and fully enjoying the place's amenities.    

It is disheartening that many family members are incognizant of what goes on inside these communities. One of the major misconceptions is they’ are only exclusive to the affluent.    

If your opinions are based on stereotypes and not on facts, you’ll miss out on a great opportunity for your aging parents to enjoy their lives in a place that offers safety, tranquility, socialization, and much more. Older adults living in these communities say they thrive better compared to when they’re at home.  

Is Staying at Home Costly?

After weighing the pros and cons, ultimately, the decision lies in the cost. How much will it cost to live in a senior living community? And let’s say you could afford it, are your parents interested in the activities and amenities being offered? Because if the offers don’t meet their expectations and needs, then it’s not going to be worth it even if the price is right.  

One mistake families make is thinking that living at home is free since the mortgage was paid off years ago. Don’t forget that food, transportation, utilities, insurance, taxes, electricity, grocery, repairs, and maintenance still need to be considered.  

According to financial experts, aging at home can be costly. In fact, it can cost the family twice as much compared to senior living communities, especially if your parents need medical assistance.  

Will There Be Hidden Costs?

Don’t compare the mortgage to the cost of a senior living community because if you do the math, it will probably show that you’ll pay less with a mortgage. However, the mortgage doesn’t include living expenses, in-home care, and ongoing home maintenance. These expenses may not seem much upfront, but eventually, they’ll add up.  

For a fair comparison, start by checking for hidden costs. If you want to keep your parents at home because it’s less expensive, you may want to ask the following questions first:

  1. Is there a high chance the home will need major repairs in the next ten years?
  1. Will your parents still be able to socialize and join activities if they can no longer drive?
  1. How much does entertainment cost to keep your parents happy?  
  1. Were there home modifications I wouldn’t have to pay for had I brought my parents to a senior living community?  
  1. Is the home they are living in safe?  
  1. How much is the cost of installing safety features in their home?  
  1. Does the budget include in-home care?  
  1. If your parents require in-home care, is it covered by their insurance policy?  
seniors exercising at an Affordable Senior Living in Hyland park

Will a Senior Living Community Save My Family Money?

The cost of senior living in communities varies depending on the amenities the place offers, the type of housing provided, the geographical location, monthly fees, and other miscellaneous fees for utilities, housing, etc. Typically, the more services and amenities offered, the higher the cost. If it’s in an upscale neighborhood, the price may hike up.  

What If I’m Unsure and Can’t Decide?

First of all, there is such a thing as affordable senior living. Although it’s not free, it’s important to emphasize that it can be affordable, and the services are customized based on your parents’ unique needs. These communities know affordability is a concern for most families, which is why their pricing is justifiable. Some families prefer to consult with professional financial planners for assistance. You can also use an inaction calculator tool to see how much is spent daily at home and compare it with the costs of senior living communities.  

Is There a Program for Low-Income Seniors?

If your parents belong to the low-income bracket, they may qualify for the Illinois Supportive Living Program administered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family. This program aims to provide services that Medicaid does not cover.  

You’ll need to submit a waiver form to the Medicaid program to know if your loved ones qualify. Once approved, the Illinois Supportive Living Program will cover the costs of your parents’ needs apart from room and board.

Who Is Qualified for The Program?

To apply, the resident must be 65 years old and above or between 22 and 64 without physical disabilities. They must also have an income of more than the SSI of $750/month. The program also requires the resident not to have cognitive or behavioral disabilities to qualify.  

a smiling older couple living in an Affordable Senior Living in Hyland park

Looking for Affordable Senior Living in Highland Park?

We know that choosing a community for your loved ones can be overwhelmingly stressful. If you don’t know where to begin, we can guide you.  

At Senior Living Experts, we offer our consultation completely free of charge. We specialize in advising and assisting our clients in making the best possible decision for their loved ones. We don’t want you to worry about the potential financial burden of senior living, which is why we do everything we can to find affordable options for you and your family.  

Our expert advisers will sit with you to discuss your parents’ needs, wants, and budget to ensure we find the best place for them. Contact us today to get started.  

Is staying at home cheaper than being in a senior living community? Luckily, you can find affordable senior living in Highland Park. Call today!

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How to Help a Senior Get Started with End-of-Life Planning

September 9, 2022

It’s human nature to put off thinking about or dealing with unpleasant topics. And for many people, death and dying is one of those topics. So it’s not uncommon for a person to reach their senior years without putting any detailed end-of-life plans in place. 

As the loved one of a senior, you might want to help them start this challenging task. However, you might not know where to start either. If there’s a senior in your life who’s starting the process of end-of-life planning, the tips below can help you help them.

1. Ask them questions.

A good place to start with end-of-life planning is simply asking some of the difficult questions. Although it can be tough to think about some of these topics, you might find it easier than you expect. 

End-of-life planning questions are a great way to learn more about a senior loved one as well as start thinking about your own end-of-life plans. 

Here are some questions to ask: 

  • Have you thought about your end-of-life wishes? (You might find that they have thought about this quite a bit but haven’t put their plans into place.) 
  • Have you ever created a living will (aka advance directive) or a last will and testament? 
  • What are your thoughts and feelings about cremation and burial?
  • Which would you prefer, and how strongly do you prefer that option?
  • What do you want done with your remains? (Which cemetery, where to scatter the ashes, et cetera.)
  • Who do you trust to make medical decisions for you if you’re unable to do so? 
  • Who do you want to execute (carry out) your will?
  • Who do you want to take care of or adopt your pets when you’re gone?
  • Where do you want to spend the final months or years of your life? Consider senior living, hospice, and palliative care homes, as well as in-home care options.
  • What do you want to be remembered for? 

2. Put wishes in writing. 

The goal is to eventually prepare official documents, like an advance directive and a will. But in the meantime, putting your loved one’s wishes down in writing is an excellent first step. 

This ensures that their ideas are easier to remember when it’s time to create official documents, and it means that their wishes are recorded if something happens to them before that paperwork is in place. It’s always better to have something in writing than nothing at all.

3. Prioritize important documents. 

There are many documents associated with end-of-life planning, but not all of them are essential to complete right away. 

Here are the most important documents to take care of: 

  • Advance directives (living will, healthcare proxy form, Physician's Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment or POLST, HIPAA Release)
  • Will (aka last will and testament) 
  • Trust (to designate funds for a specific purpose)

4. Help them talk to their doctor. 

An important part of end-of-life planning is understanding current medical conditions and how they’re likely to progress. You can help the senior in your life create end-of-life plans by discussing the topic with their primary medical provider. 

Ask what the outlook is as far as living at home alone, and what they would recommend based on your loved one’s current level of health. You can also ask when you should start thinking about senior living or assisted care, and what the alternatives are. 

Your loved one’s medical team can also help you prepare documents like a living will, HIPAA release, and healthcare proxy documents.

5. Review their estate, assets, and debts. 

It’s important to make sure that your loved one’s estate is passed on in the way they would prefer. To help ensure that happens, you can go through their investments, assets, and debts to see what the overall picture looks like. From there, you can go through together how they want to distribute their estate and who will be responsible for any debts.

6. Speak with a lawyer and a financial planner. 

Although you can create a will yourself and have it made legal, most seniors would benefit from speaking with a lawyer about their estate and their wishes. Often, creating a simple will only takes one or two visits with an attorney, especially if you already know what you want to put in the will. 

If your loved one has a large or complicated estate or a lot of debt, it might also be beneficial to have a discussion with a financial planner or accountant. 

Creating Your Own End-of-Life Plans

While you’re helping a senior loved one create their end-of-life plans, you may begin thinking about your own. It’s never too early to start putting plans in place for the end of life, as long as you make sure to keep them updated and accurate. 

Creating your own end-of-life plans can also be a great way to help a senior loved one feel more comfortable and supported throughout the process. 

Sarah Kessler is a writer at JoinCake.com, an end-of-life planning website with free resources and information on how to estate plan and honor loved ones’ final wishes.

If there’s a senior in your life who’s starting the process of end-of-life planning, the tips below can help you help them. Contact us today to learn more.

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How to Live a Happy Senior Life

August 15, 2022

Why do you think the older population thrives in senior living communities in Illinois? Are they happy being there? Apparently, senior living communities contribute to happiness.  

Study author Dr. Dilip Jeste, a geriatric psychiatrist, and director of the Center on Healthy Aging at the University of California, San Diego, says that we perceive older people as unhappy and depressed. But studies show otherwise. Happiness is thought to take a U-shaped curve throughout life. It gets to the bottom during middle age then slowly inches its way up as the person ages.  

resident in Senior Living Communities Illinois 

How to Live a Happy Live While Aging

What Does Happiness Feel Like?

The goal of every human being is to be happy. Happiness is an emotion characterized by feelings of satisfaction, joy, and contentment. Can you be happy at any age? The answer is yes. Are seniors happy despite their age?  

Quite surprisingly, older people are happier in the sense that they are emotionally stable. Years of experiencing life’s stressors have made them wiser and more compassionate, allowing them to make better decisions.  

What Can the Elderly Do to Be Happy?

Stay Active

Studies show that exercise can help boost a person’s mood and make them happier. Exercising doesn’t have to be hardcore. One can do light exercises like going outside for a walk. According to experts, working out is an excellent way to beat the blues as your body releases happy hormones known as endorphins. If your parents haven’t been active lately, you can encourage them to start exercising. It’s never too late.  

According to a study in Harvard done on 1,600 men and women in the older population, incorporating light workouts into their usual routine, regardless if they used to exercise before, can reduce their chances of becoming disabled by up to 25%.

Besides becoming happier, exercise can relieve pain from conditions like pinched nerves and arthritis. Additionally, it helps the elderly maintain a healthy weight. A healthy weight can boost their immune system and lower their blood pressure.  

Watch Their Diet

Ideally, you should eat a nutritious diet throughout your life, especially when you’re older. To keep mealtimes enjoyable for your elderly parents, join them. Eating together will remove feelings of loneliness. Also, when preparing their meals, make them tasty and presentable to improve their appetite.    

Preparing healthy and nutritious meals is one of the struggles of busy family members, which is why they consider senior living communities for their parents. This gives them peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are well cared for - eating at the right time, with the right food, and having company during their meals. Focus on a high-fiber diet to aid in digestion. It’s also important to remind them to drink plenty of water.  

leisurely activities in Senior Living Communities Illinois 

Having a Sense of Purpose

A sense of purpose is vital to a person’s mental and emotional well-being. When seniors feel that they don’t have a purpose, they are twice as likely to become anxious, withdrawn, and depressed. Seniors who have found their purpose are happier and more content with their lives.    

Being Social

Did you know that seniors who are socially active are happier and are less likely to feel stressed? Scientific evidence shows that loneliness will increase a person’s chances of becoming ill or depressed.  

In a study done in the UK, it was found that one million people can go for a month without seeing anyone. No matter how much of an introvert you think some people are, social interaction is still necessary for life as we are designed and programmed to be social creatures.  


Family members who make an effort to spend time with the elderly noticed that their parents looked happier and were more connected.  

What happens if most of their friends have passed on? If you cannot commit to seeing them daily because of other social obligations, you may want to encourage them to check out assisted living communities.  

These communities offer programs and activities that allow them to interact and socialize with people in their age groups. They’re also likely to meet other people who share the same values and interests as they do.  

Get Up to Date

Who says using the internet is only for young people? Since the older population have all the time in the world to relax and enjoy their lives, why not teach them how to use the internet and other social media platforms for entertainment?

They can listen to the top billboard hits, and maybe they’ll discover a new song they might like. You can also teach them how to use YouTube to listen to their favorite songs from the past.  

Studies show that listening to music will positively impact one’s memory and mood. In fact, doctors use music therapy on patients with dementia as it has led to improve cognitive function.  

Besides entertainment, they can also use the internet to stay abreast with the latest news, so they’ll know what’s happening in the world in real-time.  

Can Seniors Be Happy in a Senior Living Community?

Part of aging is accepting that their home will not be as lively and busy as it used to be. Eventually, their children will move out, leaving them alone in their homes.  

Living alone can have repercussions. Aside from being a safety hazard, it can also lead to loneliness and social isolation. Besides building friendships with other residents, these communities also ensure that the elderly are well cared for holistically. Food, transportation, and all other perks can be customized based on what you want for your loved ones.  

girl visiting her grandma in Senior Living Communities Illinois 

Interested in Senior Living Communities in Illinois?  

Senior living communities offer numerous benefits for the older population. It’s a safe and comfortable place where all their needs are catered for.    

If you want to talk to one of our advisors, feel free to visit us. We will work closely with you to find the perfect fit. We have been working with over 230 communities and have plenty of options to help you find what you need. Contact us today!  

You can help the elderly live a happy life in their senior years by finding the best community for them to thrive in. Contact us today to learn more.

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Looking for a Living Space for Your Loved One After Rehab?

July 12, 2022

How can people with dementia benefit from memory care in Lincolnwood? The prevalence of this cognitive impairment has seen a sharp rise in numbers over the years. By 2050, it is expected to soar to more than 130 million.

According to the National Institute on Aging, dementia is defined as the loss of cognitive functioning. This impairment dramatically affects a person’s ability to think, reason, and remember to the point where it interferes with their quality of life.

People with dementia may experience personality changes and may have a difficult time controlling their emotions. As it continues to progress, the patient may be compelled to rely on other people to assist them with activities of daily living.

patient in Memory Care in Lincolnwood with caregiver

Dementia: What’s Life Like?

Understanding Dementia  

Dementia is not a specific disease, but an umbrella term used to describe people who have a hard time remembering, thinking, and making decisions for themselves. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Although it often affects the elderly, it's important to know that dementia is not a normal part of aging. Not everyone goes through it.  

Normal aging may include the following:  

  • Weakening of bones and muscles
  • Stiffening of vessels and arteries
  • Age-related memory changes include struggling to find the right words but often remembering them later, misplacing keys, forgetting the names of acquaintances, and failing to recall recent events.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Dementia?

The symptoms of dementia vary from person to person. Generally, people with dementia experience problems with the following:

  • Communication
  • Memory loss
  • Reasoning
  • Poor judgment
  • Problem-solving
  • Visual perception
  • Acting on impulse
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty speaking and understanding
  • Problems expressing thoughts
  • Repeating questions
  • Trouble managing money
  • Hallucinating
  • Not caring about the feelings of other people
  • Losing interest in usual activities

People are suspected of having dementia if they exhibit the following signs:

  • Failing to complete tasks without assistance
  • Not able to recall old memories
  • Getting lost in your neighborhood
  • Forgetting names of family members and close friends
  • Using odd words to call familiar objects
old man in Memory Care in Lincolnwood playing chess with caregiver

What Increases a Person’s Risk for Dementia?

Several factors predispose your loved ones to dementia.

  • Age – Dementia typically affects people older than 65 years old.
  • Family History – People who have siblings or parents with dementia are at risk of developing the condition themselves.
  • Race – Research shows that African Americans are twice as likely to develop dementia.
  • Poor Heart Health – Hypertensive People, smokers, and those who have high cholesterol levels are vulnerable to dementia
  • Brain Injury – Injuries to the head can increase your risk of dementia

How Can Dementia Affect a Person’s Life?

Can dementia negatively affect a person’s life? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. As the disease advances, dementia patients will find it hard to complete even the simplest tasks like bathing, eating, and dressing. Their needs will depend on the stage of the disease.

This degenerative disease condition obstructs messages that are being sent to the brain. These messages are essential to enable a person to perform daily tasks.  

#1 Executive Functioning

Executive functioning comprises certain mental skills, including self-control, flexible thinking, and working memory. These skills are being used daily. When you have problems with executive functioning, like in the case of dementia, a person will find it hard to control emotions, follow directions, and have difficulty focusing.

When the brain’s normal functioning is impeded, it will compromise a person’s ability to plan, sequence, and organize actions.  

#2 Memory

The most notorious symptom of dementia is short-term and long-term memory loss. During the early stages of the disease, a person may forget how to make coffee and sometimes forget how to dress. Over time, their forgetfulness worsens to the point that even the simplest activity like putting on clothes becomes impossible without assistance. Having a caregiver to provide assistance and support will help preserve their independence as much as possible.

#3 Judgment, Decision Making and Focus

Since signals to the brain are impeded, a person with dementia may experience poor judgment, lack of focus, and poor decision-making skills. Dementia patients may turn on the heater in the middle of summer or go out at midnight to shop. The lack of judgment can put patients in danger as well as the people around them. Professional caregivers can keep patients safe by helping them make rational decisions while allowing them to practice independence.

Can Rehab Help Patients with Dementia?

The WHO describes the term rehabilitation as a holistic approach that aims to reduce a patient’s disability and improve function. The organization emphasizes that rehabilitation is important not just for those recovering from an illness or injury but for people with declining function due to aging.

Patients with dementia can benefit from rehab since they are provided with a wide range of therapies and interventions that aim to improve their quality of life.

Why Is Memory Care a Good Option?

After rehab, you may want to consider taking your loved one to a memory care facility. There is no cure for dementia. One moment they may be fine, and the next, they’re not. People with cognitive impairment should be guided and monitored for their safety.

A memory care community is much like an assisted living facility, but it is ideal for dementia patients because its activities are designed for patients with memory-related disorders.  

Memory care communities aim to provide a safe environment for your loved ones where they get assistance and support in their daily activities.  

old patient in Memory Care in Lincolnwood

Are You Interested in Memory Care in Lincolnwood?

At Senior Living Experts, our expert advisor will gather all relevant information needed so you can find the perfect place for your loved ones with their needs, location, and budget in mind.

Once we know their needs, we’ll use our resources and find the best options for them. We will accompany you on tours because we want nothing but the best for your loved ones. If you have any more questions about memory care, assisted living, or dementia, please give us a call, as we are always happy to answer them for you. Are you interested in finding the perfect home for your loved one? Contact us today.

Patients with dementia can benefit profoundly from memory care in Lincolnwood. Contact us today to learn more about the next steps you should take.

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Can Seniors Maintain Their Privacy in Assisted Living Communities?

June 14, 2022

A major draw for seniors considering assisted living in Chicagoland is the fun and exciting programs these communities offer. Generally, seniors are encouraged to participate in exercise classes, parties, book clubs, and other social activities where they get to mingle and form friendships with other residents. All these can help improve their quality of life.

However, there is one thing that holds them back – privacy. Many seniors are apprehensive that assisted living communities may not grant their right to privacy. Privacy is important to the elderly population because they thrive better if their privacy is safeguarded. Do senior communities acknowledge the elderly’s right to privacy? Before you subscribe to any community it’s important to learn what services they offer and how they can protect the privacy of their residents.

senior smiles at grandchild at assisted living in Chicagoland

How Assisted Living Communities Preserve Privacy of Residents

Monitoring Residents

Assisted living communities are obliged to deliver a certain level of care to their residents to ensure their safety and wellness. To do that, residents are constantly provided with assistance on daily tasks, including medication monitoring and management and personal care, among others.

Despite the residents’ need for assistance, caregivers are cautious to safeguard the dignity and privacy of their residents. They do that by allowing seniors to decide for themselves based on their ability.

Right to Privacy Versus Social Isolation

Senior living communities understand the need for privacy, but they also make sure that the elderly doesn’t feel left out. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults are at risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more prone to contributing factors like the loss of family and friends, living alone, and being diagnosed with chronic illnesses.

When you take your loved ones to an assisted living community, you will have peace of mind knowing that caregivers are responsible for ensuring that their senior residents do not feel isolated while still maintaining their privacy.

These communities know that every senior resident has unique wants and needs, which is why they provide various customized services.

What Are the Ideal Ways to Treat Seniors?

Understanding the Need for Independence

Due to their age and increasing needs, seniors often feel that they are slowly losing their independence. Inevitably, this will leave them feeling discouraged. This is the reason why independence is such a big deal for them when they seek care in assisted living communities. When seniors are given opportunities to practice independence, they can do the following:

  • Create positive and meaningful relationships with the people around them. They’ll also feel confident when interacting socially with others.
  • Their memory skills are enhanced and sharpened. High activity levels will help boost blood flow to the brain, which in turn helps preserve their memory.
  • Practicing independence also helps them feel like an individual and maintain a sense of self.
  • Independence is a big deal for the elderly because it gives them a sense of purpose. With the independence they are given, they can set goals and achieve them.
  • Empowerment and self-control are also perks of practicing independence.
  • Independence also boosts balance and strength.

Senior Rights Explained

  • What are the rights of the residents living in assisted living communities? Residents have the right to keep and use their personal belongings as long as these do not interfere with other residents' safety, health, and rights.
  • Residents are also entitled to have private visits and receive personal phone calls.
  • They also have the privacy and the right to send and receive snail mail and emails.
  • The elderly may request to share a room with their spouse if they are both residents of the same community.
  • The resident must be notified if there is a change in room or roommate. Their preference must be considered.
seniors getting tea at assisted living in Chicagoland

Different Levels of Privacy

The level of privacy depends on the kind of service subscribed to. It can also change based on the level of care being offered.

Independent Living

In an independent living community, you can expect an extensive array of services, programs, and amenities. Their social calendars are likely packed too. People who can manage to perform activities of daily living are a good fit for this type of living arrangement. It’s a community that promotes complete independence while sharing the same services and features as senior living facilities.  

Some of the amenities included are pools, cafes, fitness centers, libraries, gardens, theaters, outdoor walking paths, and recreation rooms. Housekeeping, transportation, and meal plans are also included. Privacy can be enjoyed since they’ll have their own space.

Memory Care

Memory care is a community that’s quite similar to assisted living. However, the program focuses more on activities for patients who have memory disorders. This service aims to provide a supportive and safe environment for dementia patients while encouraging them to still be able to perform activities of daily living.  

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities by offering personalized services so that residents can perform activities of daily living with ease. This type of community also provides social activities and events for all residents to keep them entertained and engaged.

However, residents are given the liberty to decide if they wish to participate in the said activities or retreat for some alone time. The assisted living community staff are obliged to help their residents with housekeeping, personal care, medication management, and whatever support or assistance the residents may need.

senior plays game with child at an assisted living in Chicagoland

Interested in Assisted Living in Chicagoland?

We at Senior Living Experts understand that choosing a community can be challenging and sometimes may even leave you overwhelmed with your options.

Our goal is to help guide you in making the best possible decision for your loved ones, and the best part is we offer it completely free of charge. Our expert advisor will gather relevant information by asking you about your preferred location, the needs of your loved ones and their budget.

Once we have your answers, we’ll narrow down your options and give you a list of communities that will fit your needs. Even if you have already found a new home for your loved ones, we will continue to check in to make sure everything is going smoothly. Contact one of our experts today if you want more information about assisted living communities and their amenities.

Privacy is honored and encouraged in assisted living in Chicagoland. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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Top Reasons Why Seniors Value Their Independence

May 4, 2022

Many family members struggle to convince their aging parents to consider Evanston senior living. If you’ve tried everything you can to coax them, but you’re still not getting the response you are hoping for, don’t give up just yet. It’s probably because they are afraid of losing their independence. One of the biggest misconceptions about senior living is that they’ll be deprived of independence.

We understand that this can be stressful and frustrating for you. You may be stressed because you know that your parents’ health and safety are at stake if they continue to live at home and feel frustrated that you can’t get them to say YES to your request. But there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. To address their resistance, you must put yourself in their shoes and try to understand why they so badly cling to their independence and why it’s such a big deal for them.

a smiling senior couple at an Evanston Senior Living facility

Seniors and Independence

Why Does the Elderly Value Independence?

Older adults live for independence, and if they feel that this will be taken away from them, they will instinctively and vehemently resist you. They’ve spent years enjoying their freedom to make decisions for themselves, raise families, sustain jobs, and many more. Naturally, they would want to preserve it.

Unfortunately, the effects of aging can make it challenging to live independently. Studies show that the elderly are prone to falls and injuries. In addition, they also have problems with mobility, memory, and behavioral health conditions. Addressing these issues is paramount not only for their safety but also for the family’s peace of mind.

Reasons Why the Elderly Care About Their Independence

#1 Feel Empowered as an Individual

Having the power to decide for yourself can significantly impact how you feel. So, when there comes the point in your life when you can no longer manage to make those decisions, you will feel subjugated. Your elderly parents have lived their entire lives making their own decisions, and when they can no longer do that, they’ll feel angry and depressed.

The good news is that senior living communities will never take away their independence. They encourage senior autonomy, which is why independent living communities allow their residents to personalize their space to give them a sense of familiarity and encourage them to make daily choices like what food to eat and what clothes to wear. These may seem trivial, but they dramatically affect the elderly as it gives them a sense of control over their lives.

#2 Preserve Strength and Balance

Two critical factors that determine a person’s ability to stay independent are strength and balance. Many older adults aim to stay physically active because, aside from the health benefits, it also allows them to enjoy their independence.

Without strength, the aging adult will inevitably lose core balance and muscle mass. When they lose balance and strength, they become vulnerable to falls. Seniors who have succumbed to injuries end up staying in hospitals and rehabilitation centers for a long time, and this could affect their independence.

Maintaining physical strength can help prevent the occurrence of falls that could lead to loss of independence. There are programs intended for the elderly to teach them how to manage falls while building up their confidence, balance, and strength. You can also provide them with mobility devices for additional support.

an elderly couple playing video games at an Evanston Senior Living facility

#3 Provide a Sense of Purpose

Seniors who have lost their independence feel isolated. And when they feel isolated, they begin to develop feelings like depression and hopelessness, which can negatively impact their mental health and reduce their quality of life. For seniors, enjoying their independence gives them a sense of purpose.

They get to have the chance to make valuable contributions to their community, friends, and family and enjoy the activities they have always loved.

Their independence allows them to take on challenges, whether big or small, and they gain a sense of accomplishment when they overcome them. Although seniors’ mobility is already limited due to their age, they can still be able to do activities that help give them a sense of purpose.

#4 Helps Enhance Memory

Did you know that independent living can help improve seniors’ memory skills? As we age, our memory starts to deteriorate gradually. Luckily, independence can help enhance memory skills. Studies show that increased activity levels can boost blood flow to the brain, helping preserve memory. Daily activities can also help promote good memory.

#5 Sense of Control

Aging can change a person’s life dramatically. They cannot control wear and tear. Perhaps the only thing they have control over is their independence. Being able to live independently is something they take pride in because it empowers them. Even though they can no longer do most of the things they used to during their younger years, making decisions for themselves is enough to give them a sense of control. A sense of control gives seniors a feeling of self-worth, which will help enhance their mental health.

#6 Create Positive Relationships

Seniors seem to think that when they are given a caregiver, their independence is stripped away from them. This is far from the truth. An expert caregiver can build a strong and harmonious relationship with the elderly and teach them how to live independently by providing them with all the necessary resources and tools. Just because they have a caregiver doesn’t mean they’ll be entirely dependent. Caregivers can help set up safety features in their homes to prevent falls and injuries and teach them to use gadgets so they can keep in touch with family members.

an elderly woman talking to a caring staff at an Evanston Senior Living facility

Do You Have Questions About Evanston Senior Living?

Even if we want our senior loved ones to continue living the life they are used to, sometimes their age makes this difficult. There may come a time when you’ll need to convince them to consider senior living communities for their health’s sake. Your job is to let them understand what senior living is all about. It will not take away their independence but rather make their lives easier by offering help whenever needed.

At Senior Living Experts, our efficient advisors will work closely with you and your family to help get you the perfect fit. We have worked with more than 230 communities in the Chicagoland area, and we’ve explored a plethora of options to get you what you need. Contact us today to learn more.

Evanston senior living offers tools and other resources that can help build senior independence. Contact us today to learn more.

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Who Qualifies for a Senior Living Facility?

April 4, 2022

If your loved one is struggling to complete everyday tasks such as bathing, eating, dressing, and using the restroom, they qualify for admission to an assisted living facility. If they suffer from memory loss or similar mental health problems, this is a good reason to move them into a retirement home that offers professional around-the-clock care. There are great facilities that provide memory care in the Lincolnwood area. But when is the right time to take advantage of them?  

Talking About Memory Care Lincolnwood

When is it The Right Time?  

When you are no longer capable of meeting the physical demands of your caregiving duties, it’s a sign to make the move into an assisted living facility with nursing services. As tough as this decision may be, your loved one deserves 24-hour care from medical professionals.  

How Can I Make the Right Choice?  

We understand it can be difficult to know which facility is best for your loved one.  

You can meet with an advisor in your area who will help you make the right call. With their expertise, you’ll find a community that has just what your family member needs.  

What Can Senior Living Communities Provide?  

Whether your loved one needs assistance with daily activities, or they’re suffering from chronic health problems, a senior living facility can improve their living situation.  

If your family member is facing memory problems, there are senior living communities that offer memory care in the Lincolnwood region.  

#1 Professional Care 24/7  

As a senior’s mobility worsens, they are going to need physical assistance with everyday tasks. A senior living facility employs overnight caregivers trained to properly care for elderly patients.  

Physical therapists are constantly available to provide the proper medical care for all residents. Some services include caring for wounds, monitoring the resident’s overall health, and managing medications.  

#2 More Spare Time  

More free time is a chance for residents to explore more fulfilling activities. Assisted living facilities offer a variety of hobbies for their residents.  

Some of these include:  

  • Meditation
  • Swimming
  • Yoga
  • Zumba
  • Crafting
  • Book clubs  

The senior’s assigned caregiver will narrow down the activities most appropriate for them depending on their physical health. Loneliness and social isolation are highly common amongst senior citizens.  

These daily activities allow residents a chance to socialize with other seniors while exploring their own interests!  

#3 Nutritional Meals  

When living alone, seniors may find difficulty cooking their own meals.  They may not know the exact foods and proportions their body needs to consume.    

At an assisted living facility, the resident’s assigned caregiver will construct an essential meal plan based on the senior’s personal dietary needs.    

#4 Serenity  

Considering all the wonderful perks a senior living facility has to offer, residents can enjoy peace of mind. They don’t have to worry about:  

  • Cooking
  • Diet
  • Safety  
  • Poor hygiene  
  • Feelings of isolation/loneliness  
  • Transportation  

Senior citizens want to live in a world where they can receive the best care and live comfortably. An assisted living facility is the best option to ensure your loved one has a stress-free life.  

Kid Going Down Memory Lane at Memory Care Lincolnwood

Are Assisted Living Facilities Safe?  

A major concern for a senior’s loved ones is security. When they’re unable to provide constant care for their family member, they want the reassurance that they’ll receive the care they need.  

The unfortunate reality is that when people age, their stamina and ability to defend themselves will weaken. They become more prone to falls, accidents, and injuries. In the right facility, there are trained, patient, and skilled staff on duty to ensure the well-being of the residents.  

Assisted living communities are specifically designed for the senior’s convenience. There are safety features incorporated throughout the establishment such as:  

  • Grab bars in showers
  • Toilet safety frames
  • Tub seats in bathtubs

At a senior living facility, residents have constant access to wheelchairs. The establishment’s fully qualified team conducts regular wellness checks to ensure every senior is receiving the proper care.  

Studies have shown that individuals 65 years and over are much more susceptible to falls as opposed to the younger generation. The facility must ensure around-the-clock aid for the senior to avoid such an event.  

Security monitors all entrances and exits 24/7 for the resident’s safety.  

Experts Who Care

When thinking of an assisted living home, many are plagued with the idea that their loved one will face abuse or neglect at the hands of unsuitable staff members.  A slew of upsetting stories has spread over the years, further deterring people from sending their family member to a senior living facility.  

A five-star establishment only hires individuals who are licensed healthcare professionals. A facility that is run by registered nurses and physical therapists is bound to be a healthy environment for seniors, freeing you of your worries.  

What Are Your Options?

Finding the best assisted living for your loved one is possible. It’s all about what you’re looking for. Here are some questions to ask yourself when searching for a quality senior living facility:  

  • Do costs for care increase as services are added?  
  • Will my loved one’s medical team communicate with me effectively?
  • What services should this facility provide to suit my loved one’s needs?
  • Will my loved one be happy and comfortable here?

For the best interest of your family member, it’s important to ask yourself these essential questions. This way, you can make the right decision for your loved one.  

Your family member deserves a senior living facility with well-equipped care providers who understand your concerns. A team with compassion and patience is the key to a high-quality establishment.  

Choose Wisely  

A senior living advisor can offer assistance to your senior living search and can ease the decision-making process. Their specialized experience in the field will land your loved one in the facility best suited for them.  

Care Worker Talks to Senior About Memory Care Lincolnwood

Looking for Quality Memory Care in Lincolnwood?  

Devastatingly, it is highly common for seniors living alone to suffer from falls.  If there’s no one home with them at the time of the incident, they’re unable to get the help they desperately need.  

It’s scary to think about the scenarios likely to happen when the senior is home alone, however, these thoughts cannot be ignored. Considering all the factors at play, the worst-case scenario is completely in the realm of possibility.  

An individual with poor physical or mental health will struggle to function properly on their own. Seeking out the right facility for your loved one is the best course of action. Please call us today for assistance.

Does your loved one qualify for memory care in Lincolnwood? Here’s what you should know. Contact us to learn more!

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Planning Ahead for Expenses Medicare Doesn’t Cover

March 14, 2022

When Americans turn 65 years old, they become eligible for federal health insurance provided by Medicare. Considering health care costs make up the majority of a senior’s expenses, Medicare coverage is a huge financial relief for many people. Yet however helpful Medicare can be, it doesn’t cover everything. The following guide from Senior Living Experts can help you understand what Medicare does and doesn’t cover.


What Doesn’t Medicare Cover?

As you plan for the future, it’s essential that you have all the information you need in order to make thorough preparations and well-informed decisions. With that in mind, here’s a list of what medicare doesn’t cover:

  • Acupuncture
  • Chiropractic services
  • Alternative medicine
  • Elective cosmetic procedures
  • Dental care
  • Vision care
  • Hearing exams and aids
  • Certain podiatry services
  • X-ray copies
  • Non-emergency transportation
  • Overseas care
  • In-home help
  • Homemaker services
  • Nursing home care
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Adult daycare
  • Post-mortem medical bills
  • Final expenses

Some of these make sense; after all, most people don’t expect federal health insurance to cover elective cosmetic surgery. However, the fact that Medicare doesn’t cover certain things like long-term care and post-mortem medical bills comes as a surprise for many seniors. The truth is that more than half of Americans will need nursing home care at some point, and many of them are underprepared for the expenses. 


How Much Does Long-Term Care Cost?

The majority of Americans are wildly unprepared when it comes to covering the staggering expenses associated with long-term care. A private room in a nursing home costs over $92,000 annually, while a semi-private room runs around $82,000. Homemaker services and in-home healthcare can cost $45,000 to $46,000 annually. An assisted living facility puts a person back about $43,500 a year. Adult daycare, meanwhile, is a steep $17,600 annually. 


How Much Do Final Expenses Cost?

Final expenses, such as funeral costs and paying off medical bills, can leave a huge financial strain on the loved ones you leave behind. The average funeral with a viewing, burial, embalming, hearse, transfer of remains, and service fees costs between $7,000 and $10,000. Cremation can be more cost-effective, but it can still put your family members back $6,000. Meanwhile, any medical debts you’ve accrued can end up becoming your family’s responsibility after your death if your estate cannot cover them.


Covering Costs Medicare Doesn’t

There are many ways to cover the high costs of healthcare in later years, but two great options are long-term care insurance and final expense insurance. These two types of insurance plans help protect your finances and your family when these costs eventually rear their ugly heads. While they can add thousands of dollars to your current annual expenses, these policies have the potential to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars on medical expenses in the future. 

Long-term care insurance can help cover the expenses associated with nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult daycare, and in-home care. Insurance policies may even help pay for home renovations that prevent falls and injury. The earlier you apply for a long-term care policy, the less your monthly premiums will be. Most insurance providers have a waiting or elimination period before the company agrees to make any payouts to the policyholder. 

Final expense insurance (also called burial insurance) is a type of whole life insurance policy that alleviates the financial pressure put on a family after a death. It can be beneficial because it helps pay for expenses you leave behind, such as funeral costs and medical bills. Final expense insurance never expires and even accrues a cash value over time. Monthly premiums tend to be more affordable, as death payouts tend to be less than the benefits of traditional insurance, making this a great choice for those on a limited budget who simply want to afford their family’s peace of mind. 

If you own a home, consider selling your home to cover the cost of things like long-term care or assisted living. It’s important to understand the value of your house before you move forward; this way, you’ll have a realistic estimate of what buyers will offer. For many people, this is the best way to have money to cover these costs.

Medicare helps American seniors cover the rising costs of medical care, but it doesn’t pay for everything. Long-term care and final expenses can cost a person thousands or even hundreds of thousands out-of-pocket if they are not prepared, so take action now to protect yourself. Find a plan that will help ease your financial burdens down the road, such as long-term care insurance, final expense insurance, and a better healthcare coverage plan. Planning ahead and taking action as early as possible can help provide a sense of security down the road. 

Millie created SeniorWellness as a way to inspire older generations - including her own! - to embrace their wellness throughout their golden years. She hopes her site will help people of all ages feel young at heart. When she’s not playing with her grandkids, Millie can be found writing, taking photos (film or bust!), or putting those skills to use via scrapbooking.


At Senior Living Experts, our advisors work with you and your family to find the perfect fit. Call 773-231-7212.

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The Biggest Challenges You'll Face When Caring For The Elderly

February 16, 2022

As we age, the body slowly weakens. Over time, the elderly will need assistance to help them with activities of daily living. Luckily, Lake County senior living is ready to take on the responsibility of caring for the aging population.

A senior living community is an ideal place for the elderly. It’s a low-stress community that allows seniors to thrive, allowing them to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. But unfortunately, not a lot of people know about senior living. Instead of asking for help from a community that’s designed for the elderly, family members are taking matters into their own hands. They don’t know that caring for the elderly is not an easy job. In fact, it can be a complex and extremely challenging undertaking.

 

A caretaker and elderly patient at Lake County Senior Living

The Common Challenges of Caring for Senior Parents

 

Managing Activities of Daily Living

As your parents get older, their needs become more and more difficult. Sooner or later, their age will make it hard for them to do their usual activities such as going to the doctor, shopping, managing finances, preparing meals, and many more.

The children will shoulder this responsibility, which means you’ll have to cancel some of your essential plans to take your parents to the doctor or give up a big meeting with your boss to ensure your parents are well fed.

Caring for the elderly is often a full-time 24/7 job where you may have to make huge sacrifices to keep them safe and healthy, even if it’s inconvenient for you. Being a caregiver is a tough job. It will even get more challenging if your parent has dementia.

 

Health and Medical Problems

If caring for a healthy aging adult is challenging all the more if your parents suffer from medical issues. We’ve come to accept the fact that older people are prone to getting sick as their health deteriorates. Seniors diagnosed with chronic medical conditions will require constant attention and support from caregivers.

Family members may survive this challenging task for several months, but if it becomes an everyday thing for the rest of your parents’ lives, would you be able to do it? Are you willing to sacrifice your personal goals to become a caregiver?

 

Safety Concerns

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 36 million falls are reported each year among the elderly leading to 32,000 deaths. In addition, statistics show that around 3 million elderly are rushed into the emergency room because of a fall injury. Given these statistics, you can’t help but feel paranoid whenever your parents walk around the house.

You have to keep an eye on them 24/7 to ensure they are safe. Does your home have safety features to help minimize the risk of injuries? If not, you’ll need to invest in accessories to ensure your loved ones’ safety. In addition, constantly worrying about your parents’ safety can be emotionally draining.

 

Dealing with Other Family Members

Caring for your parents is a heavy workload, but in addition to that, you’ll also have to deal with other family members who have different opinions on how you should handle the elderly. They will criticize your service or make unrealistic suggestions. This can lead to emotional exhaustion.

A caretaker helps senior patient with medication at Lake County Senior Living

 

How Do You Overcome These Challenges?

 

Be More Understanding

The elderly will have a hard time accepting that they are slowly losing their independence, leading to changes in their behavior. Don’t take their behavior personally. This isn’t about you; it’s about them and their new struggles that will take time to get used to.

To help you overcome this emotional turmoil, try to be more understanding of the situation. Put yourself in their shoes so you can be more sympathetic. You may have already anticipated this reaction, but you can never prepare your emotions for it. So, it’s best to be more understanding and sensitive to your parents.

 

Open Communication

The abrupt change in their lifestyle can be painful to accept. To help them cope, be there for them. You can ask them how they are doing, how they feel about the change, and what they can do to make themselves feel better. The more they can express themselves, the more they’ll feel lighter. Also, let them know that if they need anything, you’ll be there for them.

 

Assist Them During the Adjustment Phase

Transitions are part of aging. Their health, strength, motion, cognition – so many things can change, whether abruptly or gradually. Regardless, be ready to assist them in this adjustment phase. Letting them know that you’ll be there every step of the way is one way of assuring them that things will be okay.

If your parents have to change living conditions because of their health, make sure to bring possessions with sentimental value to make them feel at home. Your job as a caregiver is to make their transition as smooth and hassle-free as possible.


Preserve Their Dignity

One of the most challenging tasks caregivers face is maintaining the elderly’s dignity. The secret is to involve them in everything, even the most trivial things. Ask for their opinion so they can feel that they’re still in control. Involve them in activities. Doing so will give them a sense of purpose.

 

What If You Can’t Do It?

Believe it or not, many family members cannot endure the life of full-time caregivers. They may get off on the right foot, but as they face unending challenges, they eventually succumb to caregiver burnout. We can’t stress this enough. Caring for the elderly is a tough job.

If you can’t give your 100% commitment, we suggest giving senior living a try. Senior living communities have improved the lives of thousands of aging Americans with their quality services that aim to preserve the integrity and independence of their residents. In addition, the community offers fun and safe programs to help the elderly thrive.

 

A youthful hand placed over an elderly hand at Lake County Senior Living

Do You Have More Questions About Lake County Senior Living?

At Senior Living Experts, we help you find the best assisted living and memory care communities for your loved ones. Our years of experience in the industry working with various clients have helped improve our service over the years. We offer our resources, knowledge, and technology to give you the best living options. Call us today for a free consultation.  

If you’re having a hard time caring for your aging parents, you can count on Lake County senior living. Call today to learn more.

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Tips for Tying the Knot in the Golden Years

January 31, 2022

Are you ready to say "I do" in your golden years? Of adults 60 and older, 9 in 10 have been
married, and of adults 60 to 69, at least 20% of them have been married twice, according to
the U.S. Census Bureau. Before you get married, consider these tips for a senior marriage
from Senior Living Experts.


Planning Finances
If you're used to having your own money, combining finances can be stressful. Discuss
whether you'll keep separate bank accounts or join your finances. Agree on who pays for
various expenses. Consider how marriage might impact your taxes, Social Security benefits,
and other finances to prepare for those changes.


Choosing a Place To Live

If you haven't moved in together yet, you'll need to choose where to live. One option is
moving into one of your current homes. One survey shows that 76% of adults 50 and older
want to age in place or stay in their home in their current community. When you're
combining households, you'll have to agree on which residence is best. According to an
AARP survey, a third of seniors need to make modifications to age in place, so consider the
accessibility of both homes. 


Preparing for the Future
Even if you're still living at home now, it's important to plan for possible future medical and
long-term care needs. The CDC reports that six in 10 adults have one chronic condition and
four in 10 have two or more. Whether or not you have health conditions now, talk about
how you'll handle future health issues and long-term care needs. Discuss what you'll do if
you can't live independently in the future.


Handling Estate Planning
Estate planning becomes even more important when you're combining two households,
especially if you both have kids. According to Gallup, only 68% of people 65 and older have
wills. Create wills if you don't have them, and update them with new beneficiary
information now that you're getting married.


Considering the Kids
Getting married in your senior years likely won't include custody agreements or a blended
family, but your kids might still react negatively. Adult children still worry about their
parents and want to make sure they're in a good situation. It can create tension in the
family if some family members don't support the marriage. Consider how your kids and
other relatives might react. Talking to them in advance and preparing for resistance can
make it easier to navigate.

Starting a Business Together
Starting a business is a way to spend more time together in your golden years. It can also be
a good source of income for your long-term care expenses and to build up your retirement
income. You don't have to commit to a 9-to-5 business. Consulting and freelancing give you
the flexibility to work on your schedule. Forming an LLC based on Illinois laws can provide
personal liability protection in this endeavor while giving you tax benefits and less
paperwork.


Enjoying a Golden Years Marriage
Having your plans in order before you tie the knot makes the transition to senior married
life easier. Explore the professionals, including financial planners, from Senior Living
Experts who can help you prepare for marriage.

Millie created SeniorWellness as a way to inspire older generations - including her own! - to embrace their wellness throughout their golden years. She hopes her site will help people of all ages feel young at heart. When she’s not playing with her grandkids, Millie can be found writing, taking photos (film or bust!), or putting those skills to use via scrapbooking.

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Benefits of Tai Chi

January 25, 2022

It is very important for seniors to stay active, and Tai Chi is a great way for seniors to engage in exercise and practice deep breathing techniques. Our advisors at Senior Living Experts encourage seniors to practice this type of exercise, as it has several physical and mental health benefits.


What is Tai Chi?

Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that involves movement in a slow, focused manner. These exercise movements help with balance, flexibility, and stability. Each posture slowly moves into the next posture, so there is rarely a time when your body completely stops moving. It puts very little pressure on your muscles and joints, which is what makes this such a relaxing type of exercise. 


This type of exercise is mostly practiced while standing up. However, a chair can be used for support if needed. 


What are the physical health benefits of Tai Chi?

Practicing Tai Chi can result in multiple physical health benefits, especially for seniors. When practiced regularly, it can reduce knee, back, and shoulder pain. A 2016 study delves into this research, and talks about specific pain-related health conditions that may benefit from Tai Chi. 


For seniors, Tai Chi can help with stability and muscle control, including seniors with Parkinson’s Disease. This also results in a reduced risk of falling. A 2017 research study discusses a 50% reduced risk of falling, in older adults who practice Tai Chi regularly. 


As for people with cardiopulmonary conditions and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Tai Chi might be a great option for exercise. A 2018 research study indicates that Tai Chi and Pulmonary Rehabilitation are equivalent in reducing symptoms of COPD.


Moreover, seniors may notice that they have a stronger core and improved strength overall. Immune function can also be improved from Tai Chi practice.


What are the mental health benefits of Tai Chi?

Tai Chi can help seniors with cognition in general. It can also improve their mood, ability to focus, and stress levels. Seniors who experience symptoms of anxiety and depression may experience reduced symptoms after regularly practicing Tai Chi. 


Additionally, it can teach seniors how to breathe correctly while moving their bodies. Breath work calms the brain, and is an easy way to reduce stress levels.


Get Started

All you need to get started with Tai Chi is an open room, comfortable clothes, and a chair for support, if needed. Check out this YouTube video for a beginner Tai Chi 6-minute video. Take 15-30 minutes out of your day to practice this type of exercise. It is comfortable, and results in a multitude of mental and physical health benefits!


Senior Living Experts can be reached at 771-213-7212, and the advisors will be happy to answer any questions about senior living! Visit our website at www.seniorlivingexperts.com for more information.

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How to Care for Someone with Alzheimer's

January 21, 2022

Caring for the elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s is fundamentally different from caring for a healthy aging person, so family members of dementia patients tend to consider memory care in Chicago. Alzheimer’s is a disease that attacks a person’s brain cells affecting behavior, thoughts, and memory. The worst part about this disease is that it’s progressive. Furthermore, it doesn’t have a cure.  

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2021, over 6 million Americans older than 65 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 75 percent of this population is 75 years old and above. One in every nine people older than 65 has Alzheimer’s, and nearly two-thirds of Americans who have Alzheimer’s are women.  

Patients with Alzheimer’s require daily care and assistance, whether from family members or professional caregivers. The following are helpful tips on caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.  

senior resident and caregiver at a Memory Care in Chicago

Alzheimer’s Care Tips

#1 Understand The Disease

To provide the best possible care, you must learn about the disease. Caregivers should know that as the disease progresses, the symptoms may worsen, making caring for your loved ones even more challenging. It helps to mentally prepare yourself by understanding the different stages of the disease as well as their accompanying symptoms. Knowing what you’re about to deal with will help you prepare and plan.

Alzheimer’s falls under three stages – mild, moderate, and severe.  

Mild – People who have Alzheimer’s in the early stages can still function independently, and they can continue with social activities without a problem. However, they may struggle to remember or concentrate. They also tend to forget specific names. Other signs that your loved ones may have Alzheimer’s are when they show difficulty solving problems and writing.  

Moderate – When the disease progresses to moderate Alzheimer’s, the person will exhibit substantial memory loss and confusion. They will have trouble recognizing close friends and family members, plus following instructions and organizing become a problem. In addition, they’ll have difficulty performing activities of daily living such as dressing and bathing.  

It’s also common for patients to feel restless or have trouble sleeping, get lost, and show personality changes.  

Severe – The last stage of Alzheimer’s requires 24/7 help with almost all daily tasks such as eating, walking, sitting up, dressing, bathing, etc. By this time, the patient will not be able to converse coherently with you. They may even have difficulty chewing their food. In addition, they won’t be able to recognize their own family.  

senior patient and nurse at Memory Care in Chicago

#2 Establish a Routine

You can make the elderly more comfortable by establishing a daily routine. A routine allows them to be familiar with some activities despite living with a disease that affects their memory.  

As a caregiver, you should avoid making major changes to the routine, as this will only lead to more confusion. However, if changes are necessary, introduce them gradually to the patient and not abruptly.  

#3 Plan Activities Ahead  

To keep the elderly engaged and entertained, we suggest you plan their activities. There are so many things they can do even if they have dementia.  

Some of the activities that will keep the elderly active and engaged are listening to music, dancing, exercising such as stretching and walking, baking, cooking, watching a movie, visiting family and friends, going to the park or a café, and doing household chores like folding clothes or doing the laundry.  

You can initiate an outing if the elderly are in a good mood. For example, some patients feel bright in the morning while others are more energetic at night. Observing their energy level can be your cue on when you should plan the outing.  

#4 Encourage Communication

As the disease worsens, the elderly’s ability to communicate with you becomes affected. They will have trouble remembering words and struggle to interpret what you say. It’s also likely that they’ll lose their train of thought.  

As a caregiver, you can implement several communication strategies such as:

  • Maintaining eye contact and smiling when talking to the elderly
  • Asking only one question at a time and waiting for the patient to answer
  • Using their name
  • Making sure your body language is relaxed
  • Speak with a soft voice, but don’t “baby talk” them.  

#5 Prepare Nutritious Meals for Them

Since Alzheimer’s affects their memory and independence, the elderly cannot be able to prepare their meals themselves. Therefore, as their caregiver, you should plan their meals, ensuring that they are nutritious and healthy to give them energy and keep them in good shape.  

Remember that some Alzheimer’s patients can no longer remember how to cook, and it’s also unsafe as they may leave the stove turned on. It’s also possible that they are disoriented with time, so they won’t know when to eat. In addition, some patients have lost their ability to taste and smell foods.  

When serving meals, do it at the same time, which means you should stick to a schedule. You should also serve the food on plates with vibrant and bright colors as this helps emphasize the meal.  

Serving bigger portions is okay during breakfast, and don’t forget to assist them with taking their vitamins. Another important reminder – make sure the food you prepare is easy to chew.  

#6 Their Safety Is a Priority

People with Alzheimer’s are prone to injury and danger. It’s your responsibility to keep them safe. Even if you put signs that say “Danger” or “Keep Out,” they may not understand it.  

How can you keep them safe?  

  • Apply striking-colored tapes on the edges of steps
  • Put a cushion on sharp corners of all the furniture in your home
  • Hide mirrors in your house
  • Install safety locks on the stove

#7 Consider Memory Care

Trust us, very few people have the time to be full-time caregivers to patients with Alzheimer’s. If you’re burned out and can no longer commit to caring for your loved ones because of work and other obligations, you may want to consider memory care.  

Memory care communities are just like assisted living facilities, but their main focus is memory-related disorders like Alzheimer’s. The goal of the community is to provide your loved ones with a strong support system while providing a safe environment for them to thrive.  

seniors at Memory Care in Chicago

Are You Interested in Memory Care in Chicago?

If you need professional help, we have you covered. At Senior Living Experts, we always strive to provide the best care in the best environment for your loved ones. Call us today to learn more about memory care.  

Family members of dementia patients consider memory care in Chicago to help patients cope and thrive. Call today to learn more.

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Why Should I Choose A Local Senior Living Advisor?

January 11, 2022

Choosing a senior living community is an exciting process. A Senior Living Advisor is there to enhance your senior living search and help you make smart decisions. How do you make a decision on which Senior Living Advisor to choose? We recommend working with a local Senior Living Advisor (connect with one of our advisors here!) because of their specialized experience in the area, among many other benefits.


Familiarity with the Communities in the Area

Local advisors visit the communities in the area often. They are apprised of any events, offerings, new initiatives, recognitions, and awards earned by communities. They can also quickly report the availability and pricing of the communities to you. 


With this information at their fingertips, a lot of the legwork is done on your behalf, and expeditiously at that. Advisors can connect you and your family to events going on in the area, and enhance your senior living education experience, even after you have chosen a community. 


Additionally, local advisors are familiar with the local market in terms of pricing and any current incentives. They can give you more accurate financial information on the communities that you are interested in. As the years go on, the prices of a senior living community may fluctuate, so local advisors have the advantage of knowing what the most recent price looks like.


If you are interested in touring a community, a local Senior Living Advisor can accompany you. They will be happy to walk through a community with you, and go over many questions you may have about life at that community. They can also meet at hospitals or rehabilitation facilities  with families in order to discuss next steps.


Personal Connections with Community Staff

Local advisors have worked in the senior living communities in the area, so they personally know the Executive Directors, Sales and Marketing Staff, and sometimes the clinical staff, as well. 


With a personal relationship established, our advisors have built a trusted bond over the years with staff at senior living communities. They share a collective goal in seeing that the seniors, and their families, are well supported and cared for. 


Along with being familiar with the staff at the communities, Senior Living Advisors may have personal connections outside of the communities. For example, local Senior Living Advisors may be able to connect you with elder law attorneys, financial planners, or SRES realtors in your area. 


Community Reputation and Culture

Local advisors are informed on the satisfaction levels and reviews of the communities. They are aware of the word of mouth in the area, along with the quality of the relationships the communities have with local hospitals. 


Moreover, local advisors know the culture of a senior living community because of the ease of ability to visit. They can determine if a community is more active or subdued, if they can take on a higher level of care, or if they take a lot of off-site trips, or prefer on-site activities. 


Senior Living Advisors are always there to help and guide you through the moving process, however, local advisors can offer you more benefits due to their geographical location. Senior Living Experts is happy to help you with any other questions you may have. Call us at 771-213-7212 or visit our website at www.seniorlivingexperts.com.



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Practicing Gratitude Into the New Year

January 2, 2022

As we enter 2022, we encourage seniors to practice gratitude. There are a multitude of benefits that result from doing so. These may include increasing mental wellness, strengthening relationships with peers, and improving memory. 


Boosts in Mental Health and Overall Wellness

According to a 2020 study, being grateful reduces depression and anxiety. It leads people to feel more positively towards the world, and be grateful for what they have. This reduction in anxiety and depression results in a physical wellness boost as well.


Reducing stress is a great way for your immune system to fight off illnesses more easily. By reducing negative thoughts and feelings, your immune system will become stronger and do a better job of protecting you. 


Other aspects of physical health can be boosted as well, such as a reduction of the risks associated with heart failure. A 2017 study discusses how gratitude journaling can lead to better heart health. 


Relationships: How Do They Become Stronger?

Gratitude can lead a person to view their peers in a positive light. It will encourage the person to think about how the person has improved their overall quality of life, instead of focusing on their negative attributes. 


This will allow them to feel socially connected to their peers. They will be more willing to walk up to a person and start a conversation. 


Memory Improvement

Gratitude is all about remembering past experiences. If a senior practices going through memories, it is improving their brain’s ability to recall information. The more a senior does this, the more they are improving their overall brain health. 


Ways To Practice Gratitude

Being grateful is not just reminiscing on past memories; there are a variety of ways to practice gratitude. 


Gratitude journaling

Pick up a pen and paper, and write down as many things you are grateful for as you can. Aim to fill the entire page, or two! 


You can time yourself as well. Give yourself 5 or 10 minutes, and try to write down as many things as you can. This does not need to be in list form: you can categorize the things you are grateful for. For example, what are you grateful for about your family? What are you grateful for about your home? What are you grateful for about nature? Be specific. 


Gratitude mapping

If you have a cork board, dry erase board, chalk board, or any board in general, you can add sticky notes or write on it. Add a new thing to be grateful for every day. Then, at the end of the week you can have a creative and colorful board on the wall, of everything you are grateful for. 


Gratitude jar or bucket

Add a tiny piece of paper to your gratitude journal or bucket every day. At the end of the month, you can take out slips of paper and read them. Find out what you were grateful for the past month.


This does not need to be emptied out each month. You can create gratitude jars or buckets for each year. Start by making one for 2022 today!


Meditation or prayer

Practicing gratitude can make you feel spiritually connected. Sit in a quiet, comfortable location. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and put on comforting music if you would like to. Think about everything you are grateful for. 


Make a scrapbook or photo album

Collect photos of your family, friends, or past memories. Put all of the photos in a book and decorate the pages. This will be a great decoration for your home, and also a great way to practice gratitude in the future. 


Call a loved one

Gratitude can be practiced with others as well. Give your loved ones a call and reminisce on memories with them. You can have a photo book next to you, as a reminder of certain memories with that person. Consider writing down your favorite memories with each person, because it is a way to keep track of memories with specific people. They will be great to look at later!


Our advisors at Senior Living Experts encourage you to practice gratitude today! Feel free to use any of our suggested techniques. Today is a great day to get started on your gratitude practice. Call us at 773-231-7212 or visit our website at www.seniorlivingexperts.com.










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How to Convince Your Loved Ones to Consider Senior Living

December 17, 2021

At one point or another, many families will have to discuss senior living in the Chicago area with their elderly relatives. People, in general, often don’t want to be taken away from their homes. Over the years, they’ve built countless priceless memories there. So, when you open up the possibility of senior living, many might reject the idea completely.

Unfortunately, allowing seniors to remain in their homes while their health deteriorates may not be the best decision. It can be dangerous for their physical and mental health. And not to mention, it will also take a toll on the mental health of family caregivers. So how then can you convince your aging parents to move to a senior living community?  

Chicago area elderly man being helped up by a nurse in assisted living

How to Persuade Aging Loved Ones to Move to a Senior Living Community  

What Do Senior Living Communities Offer?

Most people assume that a conventional nursing home is similar to senior living communities. Although these two share similarities, they are different in many ways. Senior living offers a homey, comfortable, and warm environment for seniors.

It’s a place where they receive the support and care they need to maintain their quality of life despite their age. These communities also offer an excellent avenue for the elderly to socially interact with other residents and participate in fun and engaging community activities.  

Senior living offers laundry services, escorting, dressing, bathing, incontinence assistance, and medication management. In addition, all the residents are given three full meals a day, outings, utilities, housekeeping, and 24/7 accessible staff.  

In a senior living community, you don’t have to worry about your parents being on their own or getting anxious that they might hurt themselves or take the wrong medication. Someone will always be there to look after them.

Who Qualifies for Senior Living?  

If your parents keep forgetting to take their medications, they are unsure about the dosage or frequency, or they are having difficulty completing activities of daily living such as bathing and dressing, they can benefit from senior living communities. Even though they will be getting professional assistance, these communities encourage independence.

Every person’s needs are different. Your loved ones will be thoroughly assessed to determine what type of care they need.

Nevertheless, seniors who have had a fall or those who are suffering from nutritional deficiencies, and those who need help with activities of daily living, are good candidates for senior living communities. You’ll know if it’s time when you are constantly worried about your parent’s safety and well-being.

The challenge isn’t about deciding whether they need senior living; the real test is to convince them to leave their beloved homes. How can you convince your parents to go for it?

Two hands clasped in comfort at an assisted living community in the Chicago area

What Can You Do to Convince Them to Try Senior Living?  

#1 Talk Casually About Senior Living

Don’t start out with a formal presentation or an educational session with your loved ones. Instead, talk about it casually. You can start by saying that your friends’ parents gave it a shot, and they were delighted being in senior communities.

Talk about real people with real experiences. You also don’t have to state the name of the living option. You can just explain what it offers and how it can make their lives more comfortable, safer, and easier for them.

#2 Be Prepared for Questions

If you are going to convince your aging parents to try senior living, you must be prepared. You’ll be presented with numerous questions, and if you can’t answer them, they will get discouraged. So, the best thing you can do is to do your research. For example, you may use search engine sites to gather information about senior living or call these communities yourself and ask them questions.

#3 Wait for the Perfect Moment  

The timing of your offer also matters a great deal.  For example, if your mom slipped and hurt her knee, you can use that opportunity to let her know that a senior living community can keep her safe since the place is fully equipped with safety features to keep accidents at bay. This will give your parent some time to digest the information and acknowledge the need for help.  

#4 Look for Referrals  

Another effective way to convince your loved ones to go to a senior living community is to find someone you know whose parents are thriving well in such communities. It’s also a good way to let them know the possible outcomes of being a senior living community resident.

#5 Tour Them Around

Senior living communities offer delectable meals and fun activities for their residents. You can take your parents there for a tour so they can get a feel of what it’s like to be in such a facility. Show them around and ask for their opinions.

Would they prefer to be in a smaller community or a bigger one? Does the living condition fit their standard? Is the place comfortable for them? What can they say about the location or the food? Did they have fun with the activities? The answers to these questions will help you find a facility that suits them best.  

#6 Talk About the Benefits

If you’re looking for a tactic that will make your parents want to be in a senior living community, you should start talking to them about the perks of living in one. Emphasize the advantages of a senior living facility both for them and for you.

Let them know that they will get the assistance they need whenever necessary. In addition, all the staff members are trained to respect personal space even if they offer professional help.

Seniors can focus their attention on tasks and activities they enjoy instead of using up all of their energy on chores. These chores are done for them.  

Three elder men in the Chicago area enjoying life in an assisted living community

Would You Like to Learn More About Senior Living in Chicago Area?

If you have more questions or wish to learn more about our services so you can explain them better to your parents, feel free to come to us, and we’ll answer all your questions.

At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you and your family to help you find the perfect place for your parents.

We have been working with over 230 communities, and we’ve helped hundreds of seniors live better and more comfortable lives with the array of options we offer. Call us today to learn more about assisted living and nursing homes.

How can you convince your parents to consider senior living in Chicago area? Call us to learn helpful strategies!

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Resources to Help People Moving into Senior Living

December 8, 2021

Donna Erickson, creator of Fit Memory, shares a blog with us about moving into a senior living community, and some resources you can use while going through the process.

If you’re considering moving to a senior living community, you should be prepared. Some seniors may be worried about leaving their homes. Others may wonder how long they can stretch their savings to cover their stay in a senior living community. We’ve collected several resources about senior living and handling your finances. We’ve also added some tips about hygiene and cleanliness and finding new hobbies so you can enjoy your stay.

 

Choosing Senior Living

 

Deciding which type of senior living arrangement you need, will depend on how much support you need and how independent you are.

 

●     An independent living community allows for maintenance-free living with many opportunities to enjoy activities with other seniors.

●     If you need help with activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, meal preparation), then an assisted living community may be your best option.

●     Work with SeniorLiving Experts to find the right senior living fit in the Chicagoland area!

 

Financing Senior Living

 

These resources will discuss how to finance your residency at independent and assisted living communities, and your options for funding.

 

●     Learn more about funding your stay in senior living.

●     There are times when we may encounter difficulties regarding our finances when living in a senior living community. If this happens, here are some things you should know.

●     When you’re ready to make the move, search “local movers near me” and find customer testimonials and ratings about moving companies in your area.

 

Healthy Habits

 

Seniors tend to be more susceptible to illnesses, so we have to be more conscious about our health. Here are some resources for maintaining hygiene, sleeping better, and eating right.

 

●     Basic hygiene starts with washing your hands often. Here’s how you should do it.

●     What you should know to get quality sleep.

●     Eating right doesn’t have to be a major lifestyle change. It’s all about adding some healthy food into your diet to boost your immune system.

 

Have Fun Inside

 

Senior living communities are full of activities that seniors enjoy. These activities can also be educational and allow us to make new friends.

 

●     Arts and crafts are popular activities. There are so many choices available, depending on the community you live in. Here’s a resource about drawing for seniors.

●     There are many activities arranged by senior living centers. Learn more about them, but remember that these activities differ in each community.

 

With resources like these on hand, you can make smart decisions in regards to your choice of senior living, finances, healthy habits, having fun, and how to stay safe.

Donna Erickson is a retired public educator. She created Fit Memory with a few friends as a way to promote wellness among senior citizens with the hopes it will help inspire others to make the most of their golden years.

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Early Signs of Alzheimer's

November 30, 2021

Because November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Month, our advisors at Senior Living Experts want to provide you with the early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s Disease is the most common type of dementia, and it is a brain disease that causes memory loss over time. 


Slow decline in memory that affects daily life

If your loved one tends to forget important dates,  or relies on memory aids, such as reminder lists and electronic reminders, that may be an early sign of Alzheimer’s. Forgetfulness happens to the average person, however, if you also notice personality changes, increased anxiety, and ruminating thoughts, it may be time to see a Neuropsychologist. 


Additionally, if your loved one has trouble with problem solving or sticking to a plan, this may be considered an early symptom. For example, if the senior forgets how to manage their finances, we would advise you to keep watch of these instances occurring more than once. 


If they are starting to forget how to do familiar tasks, this is something that should be closely monitored, as well. You should begin the Memory Care conversation if familiar tasks, such as forgetting how to work with microwave settings, creating a grocery list, or playing their favorite game has become difficult. 


Trouble understanding space and time

People showing early signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s may forget where they are, how they got there, what day it is, or anything else relating to location and time. Sometimes the average person may temporarily forget the day of the week, but if it happens every day or multiple times a day, then it should be a concern. 


Misplacing or putting things in odd places can also be an early symptom. The average person may find themselves putting milk in a cabinet, but as mentioned previously, the frequency and severity of these occurrences is what should be monitored. 


Early signs of Alzheimer’s may also include not being able to stay balanced, or understand spatial relationships,  and visual cues. An example of this would be if a senior struggles to read. 


Confused speech

Seniors who have trouble telling stories, or speaking in chronological order,  may be experiencing Alzheimer’s symptoms. They may repeat themselves, or stop speaking mid-conversation because they do not know how to continue. Vocabulary can also become confusing to them, as they may not be able to recall the names of things such as a “clock” or a “sidewalk”. Aphasia is the inability to express speech, and this becomes quite common with the onset of Alzheimers. 


Mood changes

Those with Alzheimers  may seem more depressed, anxious, or frustrated. This can happen when they are at home or doing something outside of their comfort zone.

You may notice personality changes as well. The person may feel overwhelmed with the changes they are experiencing. Make sure to support them and guide them towards helpful resources which assist in additional support. It is also important to consider Memory Care as an option, and become educated on communities in your area which offer this level of care. 


Our advisors at Senior Living Experts are always available to help you through the Memory Care process. For more information, contact www.seniorlivingexperts.com or call us at 773-231-7212.

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Commonly Asked Questions About Assisted Living

November 15, 2021

Family members are torn between wanting to keep their parents in their homes and the need to move them to an assisted living facility. When is the best time to consider assisted living in Chicagoland? You have to face the reality that your parents are getting older by the day. And the older they get, the more they’ll need to be assisted. This is the unfortunate part of aging.

If leaving your parents at home worries you, then it’s high time you check assisted living communities in your area. Assisted living communities offer the best support that is guaranteed to cater to the needs of your loved ones.

Woman living in assisted living in Chicagoland

Frequently Asked Questions About Assisted Living Communities

What Is Assisted Living?

The best description for assisted living is a supportive community for the elderly. It’s a unique living option that helps promote senior independence while preserving their dignity in a safe environment. These facilities are fully equipped to give seniors a comfortable and homey place to stay.

Professional assistance is available 24/7. This assurance will ease your worries, knowing that help is provided whenever needed. Assisted living services include medication management, evening care, laundry, incontinence assistance, bathing, dressing, etc. The care plan designed for your loved ones is tailor-made to suit their preferences and unique needs.  

Family members fear that leaving their aging parents in assisted living communities will make the elderly feel isolated and depressed. On the contrary, surveys show that residents feel more alive than ever because they get the chance to interact with other residents socially. In addition, these communities have well-established programs that encourage residents’ active participation.

Assisted living is an excellent option for seniors who don’t want to live alone and require professional help. Instead of being institutionalized, they’ll be housed in private apartments while receiving laundry services, housekeeping, meal plans, and maintenance. And the best part is they have full access to the community’s modern amenities. It’s like being on vacation 24/7.

This type of community is ideal for seniors who don’t require extensive medical care but only added support with their activities of daily living and personal care. It’s also suitable for the elderly who have memory gaps since living alone makes it unsafe for them.

What Makes Assisted Living Different from Nursing Homes?  

Everyone is more familiar with nursing homes, so they often mistake a nursing home for an assisted living community. These two are different in multiple ways. In assisted living, independence is encouraged as much as possible. Residents get to live in private apartments that they can decorate as they please.

They also get to choose what meals they want and have the liberty to decide what activities they’ll join. The elderly have complete control over how they are going to enjoy their day.  

On the other hand, a nursing home is an institutionalized setting designed to care for sick seniors. The seniors receive 24/7 skilled nursing care. As a result, the place is more clinical than the homey and warm vibe of assisted living.

man under care of Assisted Living Chicagoland

How Much Are You Going to Pay for Assisted Living?

The cost of these communities depends on your location, the size and type of rental apartment you’re getting, and the level of care your loved ones need. Some residents opt for additional services, and this will add up to the overall cost.

The average cost of assisted living is between can vary depending on amenities, care, and location. Patients with disabilities, like those who have Alzheimer’s, will have to pay more for special memory care.  

A nursing home is more expensive than assisted living communities because the residents receive specialized care.  

Who Qualifies for Assisted Living?

One of the questions family members want to know is whether or not their parents are good candidates for assisted living. Assisted living is the perfect place for the aging population. The residents do not need specialized care if it’s not necessary – and can get assistance with daily tasks such as meals, housecleaning medication, dressing, monitoring, etc.

Most adult children will eventually move out of their homes to build their own families, leaving their aging parents behind. Sadly, seniors are no longer as strong and agile as they used to be, unlike their younger years. As a result, they become prone to falls and injuries.

By this time, there should be someone in the home to look after them. If you can’t make that commitment, your parents might be better off in assisted living communities where they can thrive and practice their independence. It’s a win-win case for you and your loved ones.

You get to have peace of mind knowing that they’re safe, and you won’t feel guilty for living your own life while your parents get the assistance they need to improve their quality of life.  

What are the Benefits of Assisted Living?

Research shows that seniors in assisted living communities are happier than when they were in their own homes. Here’s why.

#1 Companionship  

Assisted living communities are designed to make the elderly feel at home. The place has a warm and homey vibe, unlike clinical nursing homes. One of the things seniors love about these communities is the companionship. Through the activities, they can engage, interact, and socialize with other residents and staff. Over time, they develop long-lasting friendships with other people.

#2 Personal Wellness

The staff of assisted living communities is trained and skilled to help the elderly. One example is medication management. The team monitors and keeps track of the dosages, frequency, and any adverse reactions to the medications.  

In addition, they update the family members about any concerns regarding the medication while keeping an open communication line with the resident’s physician.

Facility for assisted living in Chicagoland

Are You Looking for an Assisted Living in Chicagoland?

The options may seem overwhelming, but don’t worry, we can help you! At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you and your family to help you find the best community for your aging parents.  

We have been working with over 230 communities, and we’ve helped hundreds of seniors live better and more comfortable lives with the array of options we offer. Call us today to learn more about assisted living and nursing homes.

Are you looking for assisted living in Chicagoland? If yes, you’ve come to the right place. Call us today to have your questions answered.

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What happens next?

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Discovery

Your expert advisor will accumulate information necessary for proper placement, such as your needs, location, and budget.

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Recommendations

We provide numerous recommendations based on the details provided. Our goal is to combine your needs with our knowledge of senior communities.

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Tours

Your advisor will accompany you on tours so your search can be as thorough as possible. We want what’s best for your loved ones just as much as you do.

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Follow-ups

After a choice has been made and your loved one has moved into their new home, we will continuously check in to make sure everything is going well.

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Together, let’s begin the journey to finding the home that will enhance the life of your family.

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