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This is a reprint of an article written by Barbara E. Friesner, The Country’s Leading Generational Coach from AgeWiseLivingBarbara is also the creator of "The Ultimate Caregivers Success System" which I have recommended to many caregivers.In this interview Barbara interviews Laurene Hartman, is the Director of Community Relations at Sunrise Senior Living in East Brunswick, New JerseyI wanted to share this article, because it is so in line with the questions we answer everyday. Please enjoy and let me know your thoughts!Barbara Friesner: What is an assisted living community and what services does an assisted living community provide?Laurene Hartman:assisted living is a worry-freelifestyle with supportive services for the residents and their familiesas well. Assisted living communities provide meals, activities andlevels of care. Services vary greatly and depend on the type ofresident each community will accept. A vast amount of services andamenities are provided based solely on the individual needs of eachresident. I most assisted living communities, residents can totallyindependent; they can have their vehicle, they can travel. Familiesreally have to do diligence before considering an environment for theirloved one. Some might require one to be completely ambulatory – theymight need to be able to transfer from a bed to a chair. At Sunrisecommunities, residents can live in the community until the end of lifebecause we also offer Hospice care. It is definitely not“one-size-fits-all. It really represents the individuality of eachresident.BF: What are the requirements for admission?LH: It depends on the community. For some, therequirements for admission are really basic: no age requirement andthe financial ability to private pay for two years meaning thatresidents moving in do have to have the resources for at least a 2-yeartime frame.There again, families need to really be proactive in asking thosequestions as part of the process of a family visiting a community, butevery assisted living has their own criteria for their financial needs.Once in, it is strictly a month-to-month rental and residents arebilled monthly, and they can leave at any time with proper notice basedon their reasons for departing the community.BF: What are some ways residents can pay?LH: Some people have long-term care insurance whichassists them with their own personal finances. Families should alsocheck out the Veterans Pension and Disability benefit that is anentitlement to veterans and their spouses. (For information on the VA Special Pension with Aid and Attendance Benefit, go to or the 9/24/09 newsletter on the Newsletter page on my website What are some other requirements?LH: Once the decision is made on the community,there needs to be an assessment which is done through our health carecoordinator in speaking to the family and the potential resident aboutall of the things that we might need to provide for that resident.BF: Does someone actually go to their home and do an assessment?LH: We can go to their home, we can go to asub-acute private discharge, it can be done in our own community; wewill do whatever it takes to make it convenient for that family memberand the potential resident.BF: Does the assessment tool assess mental and physical abilities?LH: Yes, it includes both mental and physicalabilities because again, if someone’s memory is at a certain pointwhere there might be a wandering risk, or again, recognition of familyis no longer there with that particular situation, then of course, wewould know again, with that assessment tool, where that resident wouldbest be served; where their quality of life would be best, whether itsin the assisted living neighborhood of the community, or theReminiscence neighborhood of the community. And of course the needs ofthat particular resident would translate into the levels of care thatwe provide based on the degree and severity of their needs. Do theyneed total assistance? Do they need minimal assist? Do they only wantassistance with a shower once a week? Things of that nature. Do theyhave continence issues that we need to address? Do they need to betoileted because they’re not ambulatory? So again, that tool tells usevery nuisance of that resident to create that individual service planthat’s designed specifically for them.BF: In addition to the assessment, what else do they need to do?LH: Then the family needs a physician’s reportcompleted by their primary, a clean TB test, and to be free ofcommunicable disease, (different states have different requirements sobe sure to ask the community), and a resident profile that the familymust provide. The resident profile – basically a biography about theresident so that way we can create and generate a service plan based ontheir spiritual needs, their physical needs, how to approach them . . .all those things based on their particular circumstances.Watch for next week’s newsletter when we will look at accommodationsfor those with memory impairment, different levels of care, and whathappens if a resident’s situation changes and they can’t stay in thecommunity.If you think an Assisted Living Community is the perfect choice for your parent, I urge you not to wait for a crisis to develop.Tomorrow we will feature part 2 of this interview!

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