During my short time interning with New LifeStyles, I have learned so much about the senior living & care industry, such as the different types of communities and the services they offer. From independent and assisted living, respite care, memory care, home care and hospice care, they differ greatly. So far, my favorite experience has been visiting the Highland Springs Community because I have never been in such a large and elegant senior community before, so I definitely learned a lot.
When I first walked into Highland Springs in Dallas, Texas, I was warmly greeted by some of the friendly staff who later introduced me to Jennifer O’Reilly, the director of sales. She gave me a detailed tour of the big community, showing me their in-house bank, clinic, dining services, pool, gym and so much more. I was so impressed with the place that I wanted to move in myself.
What stood out to me the most at Highland Springs was all of the activities that they offer and host. There are more than 600 groups and activities for their residents. Personally, the water aerobics looked like a lot fun, as well as the drawing/painting room. From walking around & greeting numerous residents, I could tell that they were truly happy and living their lives to the fullest capabilities.
What I can tell others that don’t know about this industry that may help them if they are looking for a senior community is that you must take all factors into consideration before making any big decisions, and there are all types of communities out there. New LifeStyles can help you find quality information on local options. Then you must evaluate personal finances & the level & quality care for you or your loved one. Then you can make a decision.
Baby boomers are aging and it won’t be long before a whole new generation of families are taking care of their elderly relatives. Some seniors will end up in long-term care facilities, but many families will choose to care for their loved ones at home.
As a caregiver, taking care of your loved one can mean putting in countless hours of unpaid work, which often results in feeling fatigued. Although the caregiver may need a break, many still do not take advantage of respite care. Respite care, part-time care, including adult day care, can significantly ease the stress of caregivers, especially in the summer vacation months, by helping caregivers receive the break they need while continuing to provide the quality care their loved ones deserve.
So, what is keeping families from participating in programs designed to help them love and care for aging adults? The answer is: lack of awareness, misplaced guilt or hesitation about expenses. Below are a few reasons debunking these common fears, explaining why you should pursue respite care for your loved one.
• Lack of Awareness
Unfortunately, many caregivers who need help don’t know that help is available to them because they don’t know that these types of programs exist, but this is no longer the case. Caregivers are so focused on making everything work that they don’t always take the time to seek out new options. Because of this, families may become stressed if they do not give themselves an opportunity to relax. Families can take advantage of a quality respite care program because not only will their loved one be cared for, but families will be able to take the time they need to tend to their own responsibilities and enjoyment.
• Misplaced Guilt
Being a family member and caregiver can be a very challenging job, so sometimes it is best to leave it to the professionals, where they can give quality care and attention to your loved one. Caregivers are notorious for putting everyone’s needs before their own, but occasionally a caregiver will feel guilty about taking a break or spending some time to refill their own energy reserves. Addressing guilt head-on will help to convince caregivers that taking the time they need to de-stress and unwind, which will help them give more compassionate care in the long-run.
Caring for an aging relative may put a strain on an already tight budget. Many families won’t look into assistive programs because they think that they can’t afford the help. However, there are many programs designed to help ease that financial burden for families, including insurance reimbursement, Medicare benefits and even grants. Many adult day cares offer affordable options for working families.
Respite care can help out a great deal of families by giving them a break and taking care of their loved one during the day, night or over a vacation. It is even a good first step towards finding a community for the future, if that is in your plans.
Hospice is an important care service for both patients and families. Hospice care specializes in providing support and health services to families and their loved ones during their final moments. If you are looking into hospice care, here are a few things to know about hospice:
Hospice Care can be accommodating
• Most people say that they want to pass away at home. However, most end up spending their last few days in a hospital. Having a team of hospice workers allows seniors to stay home where they are most comfortable.
• Hospice care workers are also able to help with your pain and can adjust medications so that you will endure less pain.
Hospice workers help their patients deal with their impending death.
• Whether they are looking for spiritual or emotional guidance, hospice workers know how to help their patient. They have been trained to deal with death and all of the emotions that go along with it. Many people get very spiritual in their last few moments and hospice workers can guide them to rest peacefully.
Hospice care is not only for the patients.
• Many times hospice workers can help family members come to terms with the passing of their relative. They allow them to visit freely with their relatives in their last few months, weeks, and days. They are also available to listen to family members as they struggle with the impending death. Sometimes it seems that hospice workers do as much for the family members as they do with the patients.
When you are considering a memory care community for a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you must make sure that the care that’s provided meets the needs of your loved one. Someone who knows all about this is Katrina Parker. She is the Corporate Director of Marketing at The Memory Center. Katrina has been in the memory care industry for almost 20 years and got into this business when she volunteered at a young age and in college.
The Memory Center has three memory communities that are located in Atlanta, Georgia; Virginia Beach, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia. “We are looking to expand to other cities in the south for the future,” Katrina said in a recent interview. “We will expand to South Carolina, Tennessee and other cities in Georgia.” The Memory Center in Atlanta is currently under construction and will be opening up very soon.
When it comes to choosing an appropriate memory care community for your loved one, Katrina said that families should ask the right questions to make sure that community can take care of them through all the stages and end of life. It is a good idea to take tours of at least three communities to find one that you and your loved one connect with and provides the proper care. For instance, The Memory Center is specially designed for the cognitively impaired. The community focuses on their design with the Town Center concept, which makes it interactive for their residents and makes memorable visits for both the residents and their family members. Their care team and medical director addresses the needs of those living with memory loss.
“Filled with natural light, our safe indoor and outdoor spaces allow for freedom of movement and independence, including a Town Center, a secure courtyard and walking trails,” Katrina said. “Our whole building is set up in a town-like setting and a living home environment because we really want to give them the meaning of life.”
The Memory Center believes that the challenging conditions of an aging brain are met with care and interactive communities designed around the individual. They are optimized to enhance the quality of life for their residents.
Katrina said that every person with memory loss needs to know that they are valued, cared about, loved and needed. Our team and care staff can do simple tasks for loved ones that can make them feel treasured. “Photos, songs, a dance, pet visits, a walk down memory lane, sharing a simple hug or even having a good laugh can help them feel better and make them smile.”
People often change with the disease process. “One of my favorite stories is that I once had a family share that their dad was never a social person growing up, but once they moved him into a memory care community, he became very social,” Katrina said. “The family didn’t realize that the disease process made him change too. He was at home not thriving, but when he came to the community, he started to flourish and it brought back life to him.”
If you are looking for a secure memory care community in the Atlanta area, or Virginia, then consider The Memory Center! Click to find a memory care community in another area with the help of New LifeStyles.