February 12, 2020
Sponsored by: Resort Lifestyle Communities
Independent vs. Assisted Living: What Do I Need To Know?
If you’ve been thinking about downsizing or even transitioning to a new living situation, you’re likely doing a lot of research to discover possibilities and help guide your decision. As someone over the age of 55, those options may include an independent living community or an assisted living arrangement. To some, these options appear to be one in the same, but while each situation is designed to simplify your life, there are a few varying features. Below, we’ve highlighted the differences that separate these two senior living options.
What is Independent Living?
As the name implies, independent living is for seniors who want to continue to live an independent lifestyle. You’ll find residence options like apartments, duplexes, town homes and condos, all in a variety of sizes and floor plans. This type of environment is designed to make life more comfortable and convenient. For example, most offer housekeeping, laundry service, dining plans, and transportation. Imagine the feeling of not having to dust, vacuum, or even mow the yard again!
When it comes to activities, amenities can include fitness centers, multiple on-site dining options, beauty parlors and barber shops, banking, art studios, movie theaters, game rooms, and other entertainment spaces that give you social opportunities to make new friends. Above all, you get the freedom to enjoy the retirement of your dreams.
What is Assisted Living?
Many assisted living facilities have the same features as independent living communities, such as meal preparation, laundry services, housekeeping, and transportation. There can also be planned social activities and opportunities for exercise and special outings. And there’s typically trained staff on site at all times to help with all of the above.
With regard to your living space, assisted living offers an apartment-style setting with access to assistance, as needed. One of the most significant differences is assisted living is designed for those who have special needs and cannot live alone safely. It offers an environment where seniors can receive support for daily activities such as bathing, dressing, medication administration, and mobility.
Assisted living communities tend to have one or more full-time medical personnel, such as certified nursing assistants, who are trained in meeting the needs of older adults. This staff isn’t typically available around the clock like a traditional nursing home, though.
What About a Resort Lifestyle?
You may be wondering where Resort Lifestyle Communities fits into your decision-making process. RLC’s resort lifestyle is a customized experience that meets your individual needs, goals, and interests. They take the best of everything to provide an independent, simple, all-inclusive lifestyle, all for one monthly price with no buy-in fee or long-term leases. They offer all of the luxuries you’d expect: beautiful accommodations, resort-style dining, around-the-clock concierge services, housekeeping, fitness center, travel program, and much more. RLC communities are also a pet-friendly, which allows your furry family members to move with you with no extra fees!
And should the need arise, RLC communities also offer the option of home health assistance to enable you to stay in your home and near your friends for as long as possible. At an RLC community, you have the varying levels of support you’ll need for the multiple stages in your adult life.
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November 7, 2019
By Brooke Chaplan
If you’ve found that, as you’ve aged, you now need assistance with your daily tasks, then an assisted living facility can be a great option for you. It will provide you with the care you need to live a fulfilling life. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that you find a community that’s right for you.
Make a List of Needs
Many seniors start out by looking at the various assisted living communities and end up getting overwhelmed. Instead, start by making a list of needs. Include everything from the type of medical care that you need to the recreational activities you need in your life. When you have a list of what you’re looking for in an assisted living facility, you can better determine what facility is going to fit your needs quickly.
Set a Budget
Your assisted living care should be easily affordable for you. You should take a look at what your budget is and will be in the future. Set yourself a budget for what you can comfortably afford to pay for your cost of living, keeping in mind your retirement fund and savings. By setting your budget ahead of time, you can limit yourself to looking at facilities in your price range. If you look at facilities first, you may find yourself signing a lease for a place that you end up having trouble affording.
Take a Tour
Now, you should have a very good idea of the qualities you’re looking for in a property and what price range you can afford. Next, it’s time to get your list together of potential properties to visit. You want to take the time to tour each facility to get a feel for how it will work for you. Don’t be shy about visiting a place multiple times before you decide whether or not you want to live there.
Speak with the Current Residents
One of the best ways to get a feel for how a community will work out for you is to talk with the existing residents. See how happy they are with the assisted living facility and get some information about the daily activities that are offered for residents. You may be surprised that you can learn more from a 10-minute conversation with a resident than you’ll get from reading all the fliers about the community.
When it becomes time to move into an assisted living facility it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of questions running through your mind. Understand how to slow down and take it to step by step; this can drastically help with your overall decision on where to stay. Be sure to start by utilizing the four tips above to find an assisted living community that’s right for you.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan
October 9, 2019
By Lizzie Weakley
As a loved one age, they may find it difficult to care for themselves or maintain their independence without assistance and monitoring. If you or your loved one has made the decision to move to an assisted living home, there are a few ways to maximize comfort throughout the transition and adjustment periods.
Find a Suitable Assisted Living Program
One of the most important steps to take with a loved one who is in need of assistance and care is to take the time to find an assisted living program that is right for your loved one. Take the time to research each individual assisted living program or home you are interested in for your loved one. Read reviews and client testimonials to learn more about individual assisted living homes in your area and to determine which facility is optimal for your loved one’s lifestyle, health conditions, and daily needs.
Help Your Loved One Get Comfortable in Their New Space
Once you have transferred your loved one into an assisted living home, it is important to help make their new space as comfortable and as welcoming as possible. Spend time decorating and adding personal belongings, decor, and various items for your loved one into their bedroom or living space. The more comfortable your loved one feels at their assisted living home, the less likely they are to withdraw socially or become depressed as a result of loneliness.
Commit to visiting your loved one regularly once they are living full-time in an assisted living home. Visiting loved ones regularly can help minimize stress and depression in the elderly. Loneliness is serious and can ultimately lead to serious and life-threatening depression and anxiety.
Ensure Your Loved One Remains Active and Social
Always ensure your loved one remains active and social while staying in an assisted living facility. Check-in on your loved one daily to make sure that they are happy and being taken care of by staff. Encourage your loved one to join social gatherings and to partake in hobbies and activities that are hosted by the assisted living facility.
With the right assisted living home, help your loved one to readjust to their new way of living without stripping them of their independence and what it means to care for themselves. By taking the time to help your loved one adjust to their new assisted living home, gain peace of mind knowing that they are in the right place.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.
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September 26, 2019
By Lizzie Weakley
Assisted living facilities can help seniors and other individuals with physical and mental challenges lead better lives. If you’re considering entering an assisted living facility or enrolling a loved one, there are some key things that you should know in advance. Here are four things that you should know about living in an assisted living facility to determine if it’s the right option.
What’s Included in the Cost
Even though the cost of living in an assisted living facility can seem steep, the money spent for residency can cover many living expenses. In addition to housing, the costs of utilities and meals are usually included in the fee. Trash removal and ground maintenance are other expenses that may be included in the total cost of living in a facility. Total costs will also depend on the level of care that’s required for the individual.
The best living centers offer a variety of additional services to make residents’ lives easier. Basic services often include housekeeping, transportation and laundry. Exercise programs and outdoor activities may also be offered. It might be possible to find an assisted living facility that offers bodywork services like acupuncture and massage therapy. Any reputable assisted living facility should provide medical support and at least some basic care services to residents.
Activity is Encouraged
Assisted living doesn’t have to mean giving up independence. The fitness programs at these facilities, which often include yoga, swimming and even dancing, can help each resident maintain a sense of independence while still allowing them to receive all the needed support. The art classes and religious services that are offered at many assisted living facilities can provide further independence. Transportation can even be provided for trips to shopping malls, restaurants and local attractions.
Private Accommodations are Available
Residents can often choose to move into private apartments in assisted living facilities if they want their privacy. Even though residents can live in their own units, they’ll still have neighbors and support staff nearby in case anything bad happens. Living in a shared unit with another resident can also usually be arranged. Some of these private and shared accommodations at certain facilities even allow pets.
Moving into an assisted living facility can be a big decision. This decision can be made easier if all the pros and cons are weighed before choosing to move into one of these centers.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.
September 17, 2019
By Anica Oaks
The diagnosis of Alzheimer’s in a loved one can be a disruptive event. You may have many concerns and questions about managing the condition at present and what will happen in the future. Fortunately, family members have several options to ensure their loved one receives appropriate care for their special needs.
Adult Day Care Centers
Adult day care center are a new concept that provides daytime caregiving for seniors and those with memory problems in a stimulating, social environment with trained personnel who supervise activities. Individuals can participate in a variety of group activities, which helps to provide mental stimulation and physical exercise.
Individuals who choose to provide full-time care for their loved one with Alzheimer’s may occasionally have other obligations that take them away from care. Respite care is a system that provides experienced, compassionate care for the loved one, while you are out of town or are taking a break from the demands of caregiving.
Assisted Living Care
Assisted living centers are facilities that offer separate living quarters for residents, but also a range of services to make every life more manageable for them. The facilities generally offer group dining rooms, housekeeping services, group activities and field trips to local events. Assisted living centers offer a measure of independence and privacy, but with ongoing supervision and medical support. They provide careful building security; which can be important for individuals who tend to wander.
At-Home Senior Care
Many seniors prefer to stay in their homes, and home health care agencies offer a variety of services to help these individuals receive necessary care in the comfort of their own homes. You can choose the level of senior care your loved needs and add more features, when needed. In-home caregivers can often be the best solution for working family members who still need to provide care for elders and are concerned about the disruption of changing the loved one’s living situation.
Nursing Home Care
Nursing home care provides comprehensive, 24-hour care for individuals who may be in the later stages of Alzheimer’s disease and need full time care. These facilities also have the ability to manage the medical problems that are involved in those who are dealing with Alzheimer’s disease.
Each family has their own needs, and the care needs of your loved one may change over time. Careful consideration of your loved one’s current situation, and consultation with the individual’s physician, can help you determine the best option to ensure their safety and health.
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April 11, 2019
March 13, 2019
Courtesy of Elise Morgan
Moving your parents into an assisted living home is almost never going to be an easy process, and although there are many benefits to the transition, it’s inevitable that some aspects of the change will in one way or another upset them. Oftentimes, when being moved into a senior living home, parents may feel abandoned and believe that they are losing part of their identity.
Instead of having your parents feel as though they are ending the life they have always known, ensure them that they are moving into a new chapter of their lives and make the transition as smooth as possible with the following tips.
- Encourage Your Parents to Participate in Community Activities
Make the transition smooth and mitigate second-guesses from your parents by introducing them to the community and encourage them to participate in the home’s activities. This should be done both before the big move and after – helping your parents make friends and get to know their way around the community.
Assisted living communities have plenty of activities for your parents to participate in, and while not all may appeal to them, some may really grab your loved ones’ attention. When residents feel as if they have a place among the community, it is bound to help their outlook on the transition and even has the possibility of making the move a little bit easier.
- Make it Feel Like Home
This is where they will be living from now on, so make it feel like home. Not all assisted living homes have the idea of coziness in mind when designing the rooms, so be sure to bring over any items that can help with this. Some starter ideas to vamp up their new room for comfort is to sprinkle in family pictures and to add color to the walls with new paint or to the floor with a lovely rug. To maximize their bedroom for ultimate comfort, consider bringing in their old bed that they trust, or a new one that they will love instead of the typical assisted living mattress that is not typically designed for comfort. When you prioritize their home living space, your parents will start to recognize this as their new home in no time.
- Show Your Parents That They Did Not Lose Their Independence
It’s hard to not feel protective over your parents as they switch to a new home, but don’t feel that you need to be with them at all times during the move. In fact, this can actually hurt their progress, as excessive ‘handholding’ could inhibit your parent from successfully adjusting to their new home. Let your parents feel as if they still have control over their own life, and let them choose their own schedule, their own friends, and other decisions that are most important to them.
- Prepare Yourself for Bad Days
This transition is usually not going to be a walk in the park, so prepare yourself for your parents not taking to their new home immediately. You may experience some negative comments here and there, but remember that this is an important time in their lives and that this change is only to benefit them – not hurt them. Instead of taking these negative comments or feelings personally, document them and see them as an opportunity for places of improvement to their lifestyle down the road.
Just like any transition, it will take time to integrate your parents into their new home, but stay positive and know that this way they will lead a healthier and safer lifestyle.
- Remember – It Will Get Easier
Even though moving your parents into their assisted living home is difficult right now, know that it will not always be this way. Soon enough, your parents will start to get used to their new lifestyle, and the more that they are involved in the community and activities, the more likely it is that they actually begin to really love it. At the end of the day, remember that you made the right choice for this situation and that you did your best during this difficult time in everyone’s lives.
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November 2, 2018
June 29, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
The level of health care and personal care provided varies greatly between a skilled nursing facility and an assisted living facility. An assisted living facility (ALF) is a long term living environment where the resident’s care is customized based on health and personal needs. A skilled nursing facility (SNF) is a temporary facility based on hospitalization or a significant decline in health.
Skilled nursing facilities include room and board, any necessary physical and/or occupational therapy, social services, medication, speech, audiology, and all care is provided by registered professional nurses. The level of care that they provide may include rehabilitation, tube feedings, intravenous, and rapidly declining health services.
Skilled nursing facilities are also required to meet federal criteria for Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement for nursing care. Skilled care is covered by Medicare for typically up to 100 days after a hospitalization. Once you use 100 days, your current benefit period must end before you renew your SNF benefits. Custodial care may be needed for an extended period. The Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services provides detail on what is covered under each of their plans.
Before choosing a Skilled Nursing Facility, consider the following:
- Make sure you have a recent medical evaluation with a recommendation for a Skilled Nursing Facility vs. another housing option
- If 24/7 medical care is required, a skilled nursing facility is best. If custodial needs are required, consider an Assisted Living Facility.
- Because a Skilled Nursing Facility is temporary, consider the medical needs of the patient and make sure that there may not be an alternate plan. If a family can fill in the gaps in care with adult day care programs, home health care, or respite care there may be alternatives to consider.
If you feel that you or a family member needs a Skilled Nursing/Rehabilitation facility, please visit www.SeniorLivingGuide.com, click on “Skilled Nursing/Rehabilitation”, and your state or area of interest. You will be able to choose from multiple options and review in detail what each one offers and if it meets your needs. Do your research and make the best possible decision for you and your family.
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June 22, 2018
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By: Darleen Mahoney
By definition, an Assisted Living Facility (ALF) or assisted living community is housing for the elderly or the disabled that provides nursing care, prepared meals, housekeeping, and other services.
What you can expect from an Assisted Living Care Facility is continuing care providing a combination of personal and health care services designed for individual needs. They offer daily activities, coordinate patients health care, supervise and ensure the overall well-being of their residents.
While the facility may assist in arranging the healthcare for their residents, those residents typically choose their own medical and dental care providers.
Please keep in mind that these communities are intended to be the next step for those who can no longer live alone, but do not provide the same level of care that a nursing home would.
These communities can be freestanding communities or part of larger facilities such as skilled nursing homes, hospitals, continuing care retirement homes, or even part of independent housing communities.
The benefits of Assisted Living Facilities:
- Maintain a patient’s independence while providing the help they currently need is the primary goal
- Family relationships and engagement with the community is encouraged
- Patients level of care is based on need, as their needs change, their care changes.
Most patients of Assisted Living Facilities are seniors, this includes those with memory challenges such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
You can rest assured that most states require certifications and licenses in order to register as an ALF.
What can you expect in your actual accommodations? These can vary greatly from one facility to the next. Some might have private rooms, baths, and kitchenettes, others might not. If you would like to see what is available in your area, visit us online at www.SeniorLivingGuide.com, click on Assisted Living at the top of the page, choose your state and city/area of interest, take your time, and see what they have to offer and what meets your needs.
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