Home for the Holidays: Exploring Senior Living Care Options

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Sponsored by Westminster at Lake Ridge

As the holiday season rolls around, nothing is more important than being with those who are closest to us and give our lives meaning. But for many families, that togetherness can be interrupted by the realization that a loved one may require additional support to live their best life. The process through which a person or family comes to this kind of decision is never easy, but always important. The executive director for the Westminster at Lake Ridge life plan community shares here some of what she’s learned over more than 20 years in the senior living industry, working with people as they make this transition.

Keep the conversation open and inclusive.

One of the most important first steps to keep in mind is to make sure that all family members are included in having their input and feelings heard in this decision-making process. Making the decision to move is challenging enough, which makes it even more important to have significant life decisions be a collaborative family effort. Keeping everyone involved in this research process might even come to include planning family trips to tour life plan communities together and getting a up close look at what each campus offers to find the best possible fit. This would give everyone involved the opportunity to spend time talking with residents and staff about the quality of life at that community.

Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Long-Term Care: Getting to know the options.

As families start their search for the proper level of senior living, it’s important that the proper research and information gathering be done on each available option. Life Plan Communities offer the full continuum of care, including independent living, assisted living, long-term nursing, and rehabilitation.

Peace of mind is the key ingredient for independent living residents who can cook as much as they like, or simply head down to the nearby café to pick a meal for themselves. Independent living residents can keep to themselves if they prefer, or they can join in any number of physically and socially invigorating campus programs and clubs with their new neighbors. From going to run daily errands or taking off on an out-of-town vacation without having to worry about things like trimming the lawn or taking out the trash, independent living gives residents that ability to enjoy life on their terms.

Assisted living offers more support, helping with basic daily activities like dressing, bathing, and dining activities. When it comes to this level of service, there are several important questions that should be addressed to help evaluate if assisted living is the right move to make:

  • Is your loved one lonely?
  • Is your loved one struggling to prepare their own meals and manage medications?
  • Are basic chores such as laundry and paying the bills being neglected?
  • Are they able to drive or maintain reliable transportation options for themselves?
  • Are they maintaining a level of mental and physical fitness?

Long-term care, also referred to as “skilled nursing,” offers access to round-the-clock health services, in addition to daily assistance previously detailed. Quality long-term care generally involves a person-centered approach, with a personal assistance plan that is specifically designed to support the needs of your loved one.

Conclusion: Picking the right senior care option will give you a sense of relief and peace of mind.

 From finding the right care provider, to making the move into a life plan community, research and open communication are critical in making this a confident step into the future. Take heart in knowing that if this process is approached thoroughly and with a positive attitude, it will allow your family to move forward with the peace of mind that they deserve.

To learn more about life plan communities and the levels of care that they offer, visit inglesideonline.org.


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