Frequently Asked Questions
WHAT TYPES OF SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SENIORS?
Fortunately, there are many choices today that can add quality to life like never before. The following are the more widely known types of care: Independent living is pretty much what the name implies, assisted living is a combination of housing, personalized supportive services and health care designed to meet special needs and nursing care is probably the oldest and most recognized of all forms of senior care.
WHAT ARE INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES?
They are for seniors who want to enjoy the benefits of an active, independent lifestyle. These are sometimes called retirement communities, where they provide the best of both worlds: private living along with communal services and activities. Independent living attracts people who are looking to trade the responsibility of home maintenance, in exchange for a range of social, educational and leisure activities. Typically, residents are accountable for their own well being. Independent living communities usually offer living spaces in a variety of sizes and configurations. Usually, a residence has one or two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, one or two bathrooms and some storage. Community dining facilities are available; residents also cook and dine in their own residences as they choose.To meet changing needs, some communities offer a variety of care options on site; these range from assisted living to nursing care.
IF I'M READY FOR A MOVE TO AND INDEPENDENT LIVING COMMUNITY, WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR?
* Is it located in a desirable area?
* Is it convenient to what’s important? (family, shopping, doctors, hospital)
* Is the facility attractive?
* How is security handled?
* Is the staff well trained,helpful and friendly?
* Are management personnel trained, licensed or accredited?
* Is staff available 24 hours a day?
* Who does laundry and housekeeping?
* Is transportation provided?
* Are healthcare support service available?
* What on site amenities are available?
* Are the common areas well designed, clean and maintained?
* Is there a choice of floor plans?
* Is there personal storage space?
* Is there a working kitchen?
* Do the bathrooms have handrails and a shower seat?
* Can living spaces be decorated?
* Are there smoke detectors and a security system?
* Is there an emergency call system?
* Is there a flexible meal plan?
* Is there a wide range of planned activities?
* Are there scheduled off-campus activities and events?
IF ASSISTED LIVING IS SELECTED, WHAT SHOULD I (WE) LOOK FOR?
In addition to the same features as in the independent living communities you should look for the following:
* Can family and friends get there easily?
* Are doctors available for check-ups?
* Do nurses administer medicines?
* Are physical or speech therapists available?
* Are there ramps and elevators for wheelchairs?
* What is the assessment process?
* Is there a written service plan for each resident?
* Is there a strong focus on wellness?
* Are dining areas convenient to the living spaces?
WHAT IS NURSING CARE?
Nursing care is probably the oldest and most recognized of all the forms of senior care. Nursing care facilities are living communities for seniors who require constant, or 24-hour supervisory nursing care. A nursing care community represents a round the clock presence and influence of nurses, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses and certified nursing assistants. In addition to expert care, most nursing facilities offer many of the same services and day-to-day amenities as Assisted Living Communities. Within the context of the individual senior's specific care needs, residents participate in planned activities and social events. Facilities usually include dining rooms and social areas.
WHAT SHOULD BE EXPECTED AT A NURSING COMMUNITY?
Nursing care residents are designed for people who need medical/rehabilitative and restorative care; the living spaces include wide halls, handrails and nurse stations. Residents live in single or shared rooms, but they share community rooms for planned daily activities, socials, and dining. Meals are prepared based on individual dietary needs.
The type and amount of care a person receives is dependent on what is needed to maintain his or her normal lifestyle:
Basic Care refers to the basic activities of daily living (eating, bathing and grooming, toilet help, dressing, transport,etc.) in which a resident may require help or supervision.
Skilled Care is nursing care and related services for those who need medical or nursing care or rehabilitation services for the rehabilitation of injured, disabled or sick persons.
Sub-Acute Care refers to intensive, on-going care for an illness, physical condition or impairment. It is administered by a professional and requires frequent assessment.
WHAT SHOULD WE LOOK FOR IN A NURSING CARE ENVIRONMENT?
* What is the hiring process for staff?
* How many registered nurses are on staff?
* What programs or counseling are offered to families?
* Do residents have a specific daily plan or program?
* How are resident needs assessed on an ongoing basis?
* Is a specific nurse or team assigned to a resident?
* How often does the staff meet with family?
* What is the policy on administering medications?
* Who coordinates medical check-ups and other health care issues?
* Are physical, occupational and speech therapists available?
* How often are resident health and mental conditions evaluated?
* Is the community prepared to handle Alzheimer's patients?
* How close is the nearest hospital?
* What kind of security is provided for residents?
* How well are staff trained for health emergencies?
* Is there an emergency call system?
* Are there common areas for socializing and activities?
* Is the community clean, maintained and odor-free?
* How flexible are visiting hours?
* Are there varied menus?