Assisted Living Facility

Are There Benefits To Moving To An Assisted Living Facility Early?

When choosing a retirement community for yourself or your loved one, there are a lot of factors to consider. Ensuring current health needs are met is important, but will the retirement community be able to meet your future health needs as well?

Learn more information about continuing care and senior care options for seniors, and also about the benefits of moving into assisted living early.

Benefits of Moving Into Assisted Living

As seniors age, their health needs grow and become more complicated. That is why it’s always been important to choose a retirement or senior community that has a continuum of care in place.

According to the NCBI, the “continuum of care is a concept involving an integrated system of care that guides and tracks patients over time through a comprehensive array of health services spanning all levels of intensity of care.”

Historically, seniors were seeking continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), and paying a premium for them to ensure that when they moved into an independent living community they would be guaranteed a future spot should they need to make a move to assisted living later on. With this older CCRC system, seniors were financially locked in because they paid an upfront fee to guarantee their stay and their ability to get that back when they moved was reduced with time.

Some seniors, then, question whether or not it is more affordable to move to an assisted living community from the start, bypassing independent living altogether.

How Assisted Living Communities Provide More Choice and Freedom to Seniors

Most areas across the United States have a variety of retirement communities to choose from and these communities offer a continuum of care, ensuring their health services are designed to meet seniors needs. Renaissance is one of these places in your community! The days of long waiting lists are gone, giving seniors greater flexibility and choice.

Now, seniors can enter an independent living community that meets their needs in terms of amenities, price and location without worrying about whether they will find a spot in an assisted living community should they need one. They can cross that bridge when they come to it.

Increase in Homecare Services within Assisted Living

According to Willis, another change in the industry that has resulted in greater flexibility for seniors is the increase in home care services within independent care communities. “Anyone can bring in in-home care and it is your right to do that as your needs change.” Willis says.

For seniors who have made strong relationships with the staff and other residents at their independent living communities, in-home care allows them to stay in their community as long as possible, remaining connected to their support system. In fact, these relationships contribute to a senior’s emotional well-being and can often help delay the need to move to an assisted living community.

In short, it doesn’t make sense to move into an assisted living community until your health needs require that extra level of assistance.

Instead, seniors should look for a community that meets their present emotional, physical and social needs. With this flexibility, a senior’s continuum of care is more adequately addressed.

Communicating With Loved Ones With Dementia

Understanding how to connect and communicate with our loved ones through this time is of the utmost importance. Learn more from these communication strategies for dementia. Here are 5 tips on how to effectively communicate with someone who has moderate to severe dementia.

  1. Recognize what you’re up against. Dementia inevitably gets worse with time. People with dementia will gradually have a more difficult time understanding others, as well as communicating in general.

  2. Avoid distractions. Try to find a place and time to talk when there aren’t a lot of distractions present. This allows your loved one to focus all their mental energy on the conversation.

  3. Speak clearly and naturally in a warm and calm voice. Refrain from ‘babytalk’ or any other kind of condescension.

  4. Refer to people by their names. Avoid pronouns like “he,” “she,” and “they” during conversation. Names are also important when greeting a loved one with dementia. For example: “Hi, Grandma.  It’s me, Jeff,” is to be preferred over, “Hi. It’s me.”

  5. Talk about one thing at a time. Someone with dementia may not be able to engage in the mental juggling involved in maintaining a conversation with multiple threads.

Top 10 Facts About Alzheimer's Disease

Researchers learn more and more about Alzheimer’s every year, and some of the statistics are staggering indeed.

The Alzheimer’s Association publishes an annual report detailing the complications and costs of the disease to caregivers and the health care system, and we’ve pulled out 10 of the latest facts about Alzheimer’s that A Place for Mom’s readers will want to know.

1. Half of adults aged 85 and over have Alzheimer’s.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association’s Facts and Figures report, an estimated 45% of American seniors 85 and older suffer from Alzheimer’s, and one in eight people aged 65 and over (13%) has Alzheimer’s disease.  It is the most common cause of dementia among older adults.

2. More than half of the 5.4 million Americans with the disease may not know they have it.

In part because of the difficulty with detecting early-stage Alzheimer’s or mild cognitive impairment (MCI), many of those with the disease remain undiagnosed. With research and time, our ability to detect early-stage Alzheimer’s continues to improve, though it will increase the overall number of people known to have the disease.

3. More women have Alzheimer’s.

The Alzheimer’s Association reports that nearly two-thirds of Americans suffering from Alzheimer’s are women. However, it is important to note that this does not mean there is a gender-based predisposition for the disease; the primary reason for this statistic is that women generally live longer than men.

4. Symptoms of the disease can develop in people as young as age 30.

We may think of Alzheimer’s as a disease of the elderly, but up to 5% of Americans with Alzheimer’s (around 200,000) have the early-onset variety, which can start to show symptoms as early as one’s 30s. Though the cause still isn’t well understood, some of these cases have a genetic component.

5. The incidence of Alzheimer’s will increase to every 33 seconds by 2050.

The rate at which Alzheimer’s occurs — every 66 seconds in the U.S. — is projected to double by 2050 because of the growing population of people over age 65. The number of people who live into their 80s and 90s is also expected to grow, and the likelihood of Alzheimer’s increases with more advanced age.

6. The disease is the 6th-leading cause of death in the U.S.

“Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death as the populations of the U.S. and other countries age,” reports the Alzheimer’s Association. In part, this is because we are experiencing more success in reducing the rate of death from other causes such as heart disease, while the rate of death from Alzheimer’s continues to increase.

7. There are over 15 million American caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia.

Family caregivers of Alzheimer’s patients provide a whopping 80% of the care at home, while a mere 10% of seniors receive all their care from paid health professionals. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, most (70%) of those caregivers are women.

8. There is an increased likelihood of depression, emotional stress and financial problems among caregivers for those with the disease.

The communication difficulties and personality changes of Alzheimer’s can place incredible strain on caregivers. “The close relationship between the caregiver and the impaired person — a relationship involving shared emotions, experiences and memories — may particularly place caregivers at risk for psychological and physical illness.” (Facts and Figures) Therapeutic and social support are shown to reduce this risk.

9. The total cost of health and long term care services for Alzheimer’s is $259 billion.

Over $56 billion of that amount was paid out of pocket. About $175 billion, or roughly 70%, was paid by Medicare and Medicaid. Medicaid coverage is particularly important for those Medicare beneficiaries who have very low income and assets but who need long-term care or skilled nursing.

10. There are an estimated 800,000 Americans with the disease living alone.

For all of the Alzheimer’s sufferers who are receiving support from family caregivers or who are living in an Alzheimer’s or dementia care facility, as many as 15% of people with the disease still live alone. Many of those have no identified caregiver, a situation which puts them at greater risk of medical emergencies, poor self-care, social isolation and a range of other issues.

SOURCE: http://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/2013-02-28-scary-facts-about-alzheimers-disease/