Page 17 - Scene Magazine 42-07 July 2017
P. 17

Small Business
BY JENNIFER ANDREWS, Campus Administrator, Ganton Senior Communities
With so many choices for senior living, from inde- pendent living to nursing (skilled) facilities, it’s diffi- cult to know where to start your search.
Independent living can be the first step for seniors who do not want to have the burden of home ownership any longer. Seniors live among other seniors in an apartment-like setting and maintain their independence. Nursing (or skilled) facilities provide around-the-clock skilled nursing care for the frail elderly who require a high- er level of medical care and assistance. Twenty-four hour skilled nursing ser- vices are available from licensed staff. Nursing homes are best suited for peo- ple who require significant personal and nursing care: being bed-bound, having fractures or wounds that are not healing, and having multiple medical problems like diabetes, heart disease and conges- tive heart failure for a few examples. Assisted living offers an environment that bridges the gap between indepen- dent living and nursing (skilled) care. While residents may no longer be able to safely live by themselves, they may not require constant medical care; and assist- ed living offers care services in a more “home-like” environment. Residents in an Assisted Living environment have as
What is Assisted Living?
much independence as they want with the knowledge that personal care and support services are available if they need them. Assisted living communities are designed to provide residents with assistance with their basic activities of daily liv- ing including bathing, grooming, dress- ing, medication management and more.
When looking for admission into as- sisted living, potential residents meet with the Director of Resident Care, who makes the decision for admission based upon the current acuity of the other res- idents living in the community, as well as, the skill set of the staff on each shift at the time. He/she carefully analyzes the culture of the building and assesses not only physical and medical needs, but also the new resident’s ability to feel comfort- able and accepted socially. Transitioning into this environment can be stressful and part of the Director’s role is ensuring both parties start off on the right foot and it’s a good fit for the resident.
In Michigan several types of residen- tial and health care communities may fall under the umbrella of “assisted living”. These types include independent senior apartments, housing with service estab- lishments, licensed homes for the aged, and licensed adult foster care homes. Re- gardless of its location or licensure type, assisted living communities embrace a resident-centered care philosophy of maximizing his/her dignity, autonomy, privacy, independence, changing needs
and preferences, while also minimizing the need to relocate in the likely event that their needs will increase over time as they “age in place”.
The concept of aging in place is fre- quently the most challenging dynamic facing assisted living communities. It can be difficult to balance the desires of resi- dents and families who have an interest in maintaining continuity of setting against the need to have continuity of care. As resident’s medical needs increase, assist- ed living communities utilize licensed home health care agencies and hospice to deliver the medical component of the care that is needed. In most cases, these addi- tional services enable residents to age in place.
Understanding a community’s pro- gram of care is an important step in se- lecting the right fit for yourself and/or your loved one. Be sure to understand what a community specializes in, if any- thing, and what connections it has to ex- ternal resources such as physical/occupa- tional therapy, nursing or hospice.
When visiting a facility, whether inde- pendent, assisted or skilled nursing, pre- pare ahead of time with a list of questions and if you are looking for a loved one, bring them with you! While the decision to move is not easy, the combination of independence, care, security and social- ization offered at assisted living facilities will benefit all, but most importantly, the resident.

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