Is a senior living facility right, right now?
Jul 6, 2020 by Danielle Andersen
If you’re considering a senior living facility, whether for you or a loved one, you may be asking yourself a lot of questions. Is now a good time? Is it safe? Am I ready?
There are many things to consider when it comes to transitioning to senior living. Whether you’re ready now or a year from today, here’s what you should know to ensure you’re choosing the right place when it’s the right time.
When is a Senior Living Facility Right for Me?
Cleaning, cooking, taking medications and paying bills. These are just a few things we all need to do on a day-do-day basis. But as we age, it’s these things that fall by the wayside; and when that happens, our quality of life suffers. When these tasks become too much, it’s time to lean on the help of other caring individuals; and a senior living facility is a great place to get that support.
“Our team assists with the day-to-day tasks so residents can worry less and focus on living,” said Brianna Olson, clinical consultant for Knute Nelson’s housing division. “Our goal is to optimize the wellbeing and safety of each of our residents."
The Knute Nelson staff provides a variety of support, including nutritious meals, cleaning, transportation to appointments, administering medications, and assistance moving around.
“It’s really about minimizing the worry and stress that comes with remembering and doing these things as we age,” Olson said. “We’re there to also help provide an enriching environment, from activities to socializing.”
What Will It Be Like?
Many facilities like Crystal Brook, Nelson Gables and Grand Arbor focus on developing a sense of community for residents. The team works hard to create an environment that minimizes loneliness while promoting a positive mood and improved energy.
“We provide unique opportunities to engage residents in activities, including arts and crafts, bible study, happy hour socials, wellness classes and more,” Olson said. “Also, your neighbors are all under one roof so socializing is easy.”
In addition, Knute Nelson works to keep residents connected to family and friends offsite. They offer a new e-Konnect program, which allows you to communicate via video, phone or chat. The staff also uses a secure online web portal to share real-time information with residents’ families and loved ones.
“Staying connected is really important to our overall wellbeing. It has always been important for everyone involved and today is no exception,” Olson said.
Olson added that there are many things residents gain when they move to a senior living facility. Friendships, peace of mind and improved wellbeing are the big ones.
Is it safe?
If you’re ready for senior living, but aren’t sure if it’s safe, you can find peace of mind knowing this is one area not taken lightly.
“Our number one priority is the health, wellness and safety of those we serve and our staff,” Olson said. “We closely monitor COVID and the recommendations from The Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health for senior care providers. We continue to change and adapt to new processes and innovative ways of providing exceptional care to our residents.”
Knute Nelson visitors as well as each staff member are screened immediately upon entering the building, which includes temperature and symptom checks. Visitors inside the facilities are currently limited to compassionate care individuals and essential service workers. Families and residents can also participate in outdoors visits.
The staff also routinely screens residents for symptoms, checking temperature and oxygen saturations multiple times per day while wearing the proper personal protective equipment at all times.
In addition to screening, Knute Nelson adjusted its dining, wellness and life enrichment offerings to ensure everyone follows safe social distancing practices.
“We are ensuring all measures related to routine infection control practices and cleaning are being implemented,” Olson said.
On-site nurses work closely with each persons’ primary physician to coordinate care. Residents also receive a personal-emergency-call-system pendant so they can alert a staff member anytime they need help.
“Personal safety and high-quality care is our top priority,” Olson added.
How do I get started?
The best place to start is with research. Find the communities in your area and get to know more about them. Look online or call to ask questions. The more information you have about each place the easier it will be to choose the one that’s right for you.
Once you’ve chosen the place you're ready to call home, get to know the staff. Often they have a wealth of information that can help you prepare and become familiar with your future home. This includes tips specific to moving, activities and groups you can look forward to, and introductions to your future neighbors.
Preparing your personal items is important as well. Sell, recycle or donate to family, friends and charities in your area. Discuss your move with your financial advisor and if you live in a house get in touch with your realtor.