One of the most difficult decisions that so many families need to make is finding the best and safest living arrangement for a senior. Here are some options to consider:
Independent Living Communities
These communities are an excellent choice for seniors who can live alone without much support. The senior has the option of cooking because each apartment comes with a kitchen. However, seniors can also decide to have meals in a common dining room. There are facilities that offer a continuing schedule of activities and provide residents with the ability to socialize with other members of the community. Some residents benefit from onsite care services that may be offered, or they may bring in a caregiver to help keep them safe, happy and in place.
If a senior needs help with daily living activities such as dressing, bathing, toileting and walking, an assisted living community may be best. An assessment will be conducted by the facility staff before acceptance to ensure that the need level of the individual matches with the support offered by the facility.
Here, seniors can socialize and find an array of activities such as bingo, movies, discussion groups, card games, gardening and more. A skilled medical staff is available daily. Meals and housekeeping are included in the fees
Skilled Nursing Facilities
A skilled nursing facility is for seniors who require continual nursing care and have significant difficulty coping with the activities of daily living - bathing, walking, dressing, toileting and eating. Nursing aides and nurses are usually available 24-hours a day. Residents in a skilled nursing facility may also receive physical, occupational and other rehabilitative therapies.
Memory Care Facilities
There are many new memory care senior living communities that offer special programming and often a higher staff-to-patient ratio. These facilities focus on activities the senior can do to try to keep their memory as sharp as possible. They have specially designed community layouts to help individuals find their way around the campus. Most of these have a locked-entry/exit system to keep residents from wandering out of the property and endangering themselves. Meals and housekeeping are provided and a skilled medical staff are available each day.
“According to research by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age,” said Bob Tucker, a qualified dementia care provider (QDCP) and co-owner of the Senior Helpers office serving the north and northwest suburbs.
“Schedules can vary from one hour per week up to 24/7 assistance. The schedule and the services provided are customized to meet the needs of each client-and the care is one-on-one focused support” added Abbie Tucker, senior advocate and client services director, certified senior advisor (CSA), a qualified dementia care provider (QDCP) and co-owner of the local Senior Helpers office.
Services provided include: walking assistance, bathing and dressing, Alzheimer’s/dementia care, cooking and cleaning, medicine reminders, driving, errands and companionship.
“Senior isolation has been shown to be a major problem in the U.S. today and proven to be extremely detrimental to people’s mental and physical health,” Bob Tucker pointed out. “It’s really important that every senior finds the support, the companionship and the care they need to stay as healthy, happy, active and independent as possible.”
Senior Helpers offers a Free Initial Assessment to help determine what kind and level of care is needed, and where it might best be provided.
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, call 847-564-7500, or email Bob Tucker at: rtucker@seniorhelpers .com or visit www.seniorhelpers.com to arrange for your free assessment.
This Senior Helpers location is the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA Care Affiliate Office for the entire Chicago area.
Upcoming Senior Helpers presentations on senior care will be at Heritage Woods in South Elgin, May 24th, at 6:30 p.m., and at the Highland Park Police Station, July 11th at 7 p.m. Call for details and to reserve your seat.