Trends in aging: Local senior housing options, assisted living
In a previous column, I reviewed the attributes of independent living and gave examples of regional independent living facilities, but now, we will focus on another type of housing locally available if a senior cannot live entirely independently.
Assisted living facilities are a viable option if a senior has physical or cognitive impairments that make it difficult to perform activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring oneself and feeding.
Assisted living facilities come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from converted residential homes to multi-unit facilities. The larger facilities typically include one or two-bedroom apartments or small, private homes and are likely to have grab bars in the bathrooms, emergency call systems and design features sensitive to the needs of physically frail clientele.
Homewood Residence and Elmcroft are larger area facilities that offer assisted living housing, and there are several smaller facilities throughout the community, often housed in what was once a single family home in a residential neighborhood.
One of these smaller facilities is Main Street Personal Care, aptly named because it is located on North Main Street. According to director Linda Manor, the facility has been in operation since 1999 and can house up to 11 residences in semi-private rooms or up to eight residences in private rooms.
When deciding whether to move into an assisted living facility, as well as which facility to chose, it is important to determine the admitting standards of the facility.
Some assisted living facilities will admit residents with frailty profiles that require some skilled care, while others will only accept or accommodate less impaired and healthier residents. Thus, seniors and their families must make two critically important judgments:
Ascertain whether a prospective assisted living facility will accept and continue to care for or accommodate their physical and mental impairments if they worsen.
Decide whether even the most desirable stay in an assisted living facility can justify the considerable time and energy demanded by moving again.
While independent and assisted living residences are generally funded through private pay or long-term care insurance, seniors without the means to afford the facilities mentioned have other options should they decide not to remain living at home.
Wendy McHaney is a certified senior adviser and the owner and director of operations of Senior Helpers. For more information about Senior Helpers, visit seniorhelpers.com/victoria