“Planning Ahead”

On this rainy day in October, I thought I would share some thoughts from a recent article I have submitted for publication in a regional senior housing resource guide.  Please take a few minutes to read and think about how,  a bit of planning will ultimately help you create a better experience in what many call “the Golden Years”.
“To be prepared is half the victory.” Miguel de Cervantes
Mary had fallen a few times while living alone in the house that she had been in for 54 years; her sons felt it would be better for her to not be alone. Barb had given up driving and was lonesome, she wanted a place that provided transportation and activities (she loves cards). William’s family had been taking care of their dad for three years as his memory continued to decline, they could no longer meet his needs; Dad needed more medical supervision.
The decision to move into an independent living apartment, independent apartment with services or assisted living facility can be motivated in numerous ways. Loss of a spouse, ill health, memory decline or simply the desire to be less isolated all contribute to investigating senior housing options. The task to find the right place for you or a loved one can seem daunting.
However, with multiple possibilities, you can find the right place by asking a few questions. Once a senior has made the decision to make a move, there are certain considerations that will bring the right answer into light, and will help ensure the best housing selection outcome.
Here are some basic categories to consider: Timing, Location, Quality of Care and Finances.
Timing – Sometimes this is impossible, but planning ahead and being prepared are benefits not only to yourself, but to your family. Having to find senior housing during a crisis situation is stressful. You may or may not have the time to research multiple properties. It is also challenging to make all of the financial considerations while you are under duress. Doing your homework will ultimately make the decision for senior housing much clearer.
Location – Where is the property located? One of the biggest considerations is how close the property is to family or loved ones. More times than not, children are extremely influential with any senior housing decision for a parent. Other big questions to ask include: How many residents are independent or are on assisted living? Are there activities for the residents and are there opportunities to venture out when one wants to? Does the facility allow pets? If so, what kind and how big? What is the food like? What are the handicap and safety features of the building?
Quality of Care – What care is provided at the property? As medical needs change, will I be able to stay in the facility? Can I age in place and add medical services as needed? Can the facility do sliding scale for insulin? What if I have certain dietary needs? How many nurses and medical assistants are on staff? What level of training does the medical staff have? Is someone available 24/7? Does the facility have an emergency pendant system? Is there a visiting doctor, and what about other medical services like podiatry and hearing checks?
Finances – What is my financial situation? Will I be private pay or utilizing state or federal waiver funds? What if I start out private pay and run out of money? Can I stay in the same apartment or will I have to move? If I come into a facility knowing I will need to go on a waiver program, will there be a guaranteed spot available if I need it? How will my long term care insurance be considered and does the community accept it? Do I qualify for any type of veterans benefits?


Now, don’t be overwhelmed by the many questions to consider. Some may be more important to you than others. However, it is a good idea to do a little homework in advance. Nothing else compares to going out and kicking the proverbial tires. Decide what is meaningful to you and how your budget works with what you are interested in. Remember, you can’t always judge a book by its cover. Aside from the numerous resources out there, make sure you speak with a number of different facilities. With planning and research, one can make an informed decision. There are a vast number of facilities out there, all with varying price tags, hundreds of options and locations. By doing a little bit of homework, much of the stress and strain of making the decision concerning senior housing can be eliminated. As Benjamin Franklin so simply put it, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

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Celebrating 100 Years!!

Celebrating 100 Years!!!


Click on the link above and you can share in the 100th birthday party recently celebrated at Copperfield Hill.  Our very own, Eleanor, celebrated with balloons, song, cake and of course her friends and family.

Eleanor is somewhat of a celebrity around here.  On August 15th she celebrated her birthday early by throwing out the first pitch at the Twins home game at Target Field.   Her history with the Twins has had her on the field twice throwing out the first pitch.  Her husband caught the first foul ball at the opening game at the old Met stadium in 1961.  That ball was donated to the Twins and is part of their permanent collection.  Eleanor loves baseball and seldom misses a game.



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