Is it time for a talk about assisted living or memory care?
If you’re worried about a parent or loved one living alone, it may be time to talk about a supportive living community. At Village Walk, we’re providing resources to help you advise your parents. Explore our FAQs and Glossary. Then, visit communities, experience the environment, meet the people and decide if it feels right.
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Assisted living offers seniors an opportunity to remain independent while receiving assistance with activities of daily living. It is a great option when 24 hour skilled nursing and rehabilitative care, such as a nursing home environment, is not required, but just a little daily help is needed. Activities of daily living include tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming, walking, self- administration of medications, or the administration of medications and more. The staff at many communities also assist with housekeeping, shopping, laundry—whatever the resident needs to keep feeling independent as long as possible.
Memory care provides a specialized environment for residents coping with memory loss, Alzheimer’s, or other dementia-related disorders. Therapeutic activities and programs help maximize existing cognitive abilities, diminish anxiety, lessen confusion, and increase peace of mind.
Memory care communities are often licensed as assisted living communities, but the staff has undergone additional training to handle the needs of those who have Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Programming designed specifically for those with dementia is also an important part of memory care, and should focus on promoting physical and emotional wellbeing, prolonging daily functioning, and maintaining a sense of purpose, satisfaction, dignity and quality of life.
Watch for a few factors that may signal it’s time for a move to supportive living. For example, a senior may suddenly stop doing a longtime hobby, or withdraws. You may notice sudden weight loss or a change in grooming habits. You may find the house is in disorder or your loved one seems to be unable to follow conversations. And if you suspect memory loss is disrupting your loved one’s daily routine, it also could be time to seek medical advice.
AARP suggests an adult child ask his or her parents questions that might help start the conversation. You would not ask all these questions in one sitting, but use them as a guide for topics of conversation when the time is right.
Here are a few examples: Is your home still appropriate for your needs? Do you need help with household chores? Can you cook your favorite meals? Do you feel comfortable driving? Would it be a great relief to have transportation available right at your door? Are your prescriptions current and are you taking your medications correctly? Have you seen the doctor lately? Do you get lonely, especially at mealtimes?
Village Walk offers so many on-site amenities—like multiple dining venues, including a bistro, internet lounge and pub. There’s a theater for moves and entertainment, rooftop observation deck with nearby sunroom, a creative arts studio and a library. You just have to visit this casually sophisticated community to see it all.
Your parents are welcome to bring furniture they love to make their apartment feel like home. To help you visualize the space, ask for copies of our floor plans.
Glossary of Senior Living Terms
Get Answers to Frequently Asked Questions.
A seal of approval given by a governing body to a housing and/or service provider. To become accredited, the community or provider must meet specific requirements set by the accreditation entity and is then generally required to undergo a thorough review process by a team of evaluators to ensure certain standards of quality.
- Activities of Daily Living
Daily activities such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, assistance with medications, and transfers along with other tasks.
Generally, a licensed professional who manages the day-to-day operation of a care facility such as a nursing home or assisted living facility.
- Assisted Living
Assisted living is a senior housing option for those who cannot live independently and need help with activities of daily living, including but not limited to bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, housekeeping services and transfers.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
A progressive, neurodegenerative disease characterized by loss of function and death of nerve cells in several areas of the brain, leading to loss of mental functions such as memory and learning. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia.
Describes ability to walk around and move from place to place, not bedridden or hospitalized.
- Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)
A community that offers several levels of assistance, including independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing care. These communities usually offer long-term contracts or written agreements between the resident and the community which offer a continuum of housing, services and health care system, usually all on one campus or site.
The severe loss of intellectual functions, such as thinking, remembering and reasoning. Dementia is not a disease itself but a group of symptoms that may accompany certain diseases or conditions. Symptoms may include changes in personality, mood and behavior. Dementia is irreversible when caused by disease or injury, but may be reversible when caused by drugs, alcohol, depression, or hormone and vitamin imbalances.
- Durable Power of Attorney
Designates any proficient adult(s) to see to an individual’s affairs should they become either mentally or physically incapacitated. It is imperative to keep good, clear records of such agreements and recommended that you have a lawyer draft any durable power of attorney.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
This act states the requirements that a long-term care policy must follow in order that the premiums paid may be deducted as medical expenses and benefits not paid be considered as taxable income.
- Hospice Care
Approach to providing comfort and care at end of life rather than providing heroic lifesaving measures. Hospice care can include medical, counseling, and social services. Most hospice care is in-home, while specialized hospices or hospitals also provide these services.
- Living Will
A legal document that states the wishes of an individual who is no longer competent and able to make decisions on their own. Living wills address the use of life saving devices and procedures in the event of a terminal illness or injury.
- Long-Term Care
Care given in the form of medical and support services to someone who has lost some or all of their capacity to function due to an illness or disability.
Glossary of Senior Living Terms
- Long-Term Care Insurance
Insurance that pays for a succession of care giving services for the elderly or chronically ill. This care may be provided in a community or in an individual’s home with a nurse or aide.
- Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)
LPNs are trained to administer technical nursing procedures as well as provide a range of health care services, such as administration of medication and changing of dressings. One year of post high school education and passage of a state licensing exam is required.
- Managed Care
The partnership of insurance and a health care delivery system. The goal is to coordinate all health care services received to maximize benefits and minimize costs. Managed care plans use their own network of health care providers and a system of prior approval from a primary care doctor to achieve this goal. Providers include: specialists, hospitals skilled nursing facilities, therapists, and home health care agencies.
The federal health insurance program for people who are 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover specific services and care.
- Medication Management / Medication Administration
Formalized procedure with a written set of rules for the management of self-administered medicine. A program may include management of the timing and dosage for residents in assisted living, and could include coordination with a resident’s personal physician.
- Nursing Home (Skilled Nursing)
State licensed facility that provides 24-hour nursing care, room and board, and activities for convalescent residents and those with chronic and/or long-term care illnesses. One step below hospital acute care. Regular medical supervision and rehabilitation therapy are mandated to be available, and nursing homes are eligible to participate in the Medicaid program. May be referred to as a Nursing Facility or Convalescent Home.
- Palliative Care
An area of health care that focuses on providing pain relief and preventing chronic suffering for patients. The goal of palliative care is to improve the quality of life in all areas of a patient’s life including physical, emotional, spiritual, and social concerns that arise with advanced illness.
- Registered Nurse (RN)
A Registered Nurse is a nurse who has passed a state board examination and is licensed by a state agency to practice nursing. A minimum of two years of college is required in addition to passing the state exams. The RN plans for resident care by assessing resident needs, developing and monitoring care plans in conjunction with physicians, as well as executing highly technical, skilled nursing treatments.
Therapeutic care for persons requiring intensive physical, occupational, or speech therapy.
- Respite Care
Temporary relief from duties for caregivers, ranging from several hours to days. May be provided in-home or in a residential care setting such as an assisted living facility or nursing home.
- Veterans Aid and Attendance Benefits (VA Benefits)
A supplemental income provided by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs available to veterans and their spouses. The veteran must have served at least one day during wartime. Resources: Guide to Using VA Benefits for Assisted Living | VA.gov