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Senior Assisted Living Blog

Who Needs Memory Care? Questions to Consider

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 29, 2018

Spring Arbor, SC, NC, VA, TNWhen symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other dementia first appear, they might be mistaken for normal aging. When symptoms progress, caregivers might be unsure about whether memory care is needed. It’s important to know that early intervention can lessen symptoms and delay progression of the disease. Medication and other therapies can help people live at home safely and comfortably for longer. Visiting a primary care doctor about the symptoms can be life-changing. Eventually though, a person with dementia will probably need 24-hour supervision. This usually becomes essential for their own well-being and the safety of others.

Here are questions to consider if you’re wondering whether a loved one should move to a memory care home.

  1. Has he or she gotten lost in previously familiar territory, as when taking a walk in their neighborhood or running errands?
  2. Can your loved one state their phone number and address in case they need help returning home?
  3. Does the person forget to lock their doors, making themselves vulnerable to crime?
  4. Have they forgotten to turn off a stove or other potentially dangerous appliance?
  5. In case of fire, do you believe he or she would handle the situation safely?
  6. Has your loved one’s level of personal care declined? For example, are they “not themselves” in terms of bathing, dressing or eating?
  7. Is he or she taking medications as scheduled? Are you confident they’ll take the correct dosages?
  8. Has he or she become uncharacteristically suspicious or fearful of others?
  9. As a caregiver, are you risking your own health? Are your caregiving duties interfering too much with your other responsibilities?
  10. Could your family pay for the amount of skilled in-home care or adult day care required? A limited amount of respite care could be available for free or at low cost. If extensive help is needed though, a memory care facility could be more affordable.

For more information on memory care, contact Spring Arbor.


Assisted Living: What You Need to Know

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 26, 2018

Spring Arbor, SC, NC, VA, TNWhat You Need to Know: Basic Facts About Assisted Living

It’s important to know that “assisted living” is an industry term. It isn’t strictly defined, and there’s great variety in terms of assisted daily living services provided. For example, some but not all assisted living centers have 24/7 nurse staffing. The following facts about assisted living can help you understand the diversity. The more you know about possible differences from place to place, the better your odds of making a great move.

Cost is usually a top concern whenever people hunt for housing. Below we give details about assisted living expenses and how to pay for long-term care.

Here are comparative costs using data collected from 4,400 geographic regions of the US. On average, the cost of assisted living per month was about $3,600. Nursing home care was more than double at around $7,700 for a private room and $6,800 for a shared room. Of course, $3,600 /month isn’t small change for most — but if the price looks intimidating, stay strong. Prices vary by region and the services needed. Also, individuals and families find many ways to pay for assisted living without draining their resources.

Services with assisted living vary from place to place. The US lacks a nationwide or federal definition for assisted living, and state governments all have different industry regulations. Many states issue more than one type of license for assisted living facilities, resulting in different levels of care being allowed. Licensing also matters for payment to be covered by Medicaid, private insurance and other sources. Facilities with the most advanced licenses may provide advanced medical care when a resident becomes bedridden or has symptoms of dementia. Others might need the resident to transfer to a nursing home, hire a personal nurse, or choose in-home healthcare. Main categories of assisted daily living services (ADLs) are:

  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Medication Management
  • Meal Services
  • Transportation

Residents might also get help with housekeeping needs such as dishwashing, laundry and vacuuming. Examples of specialty services that might cost extra are hairdressing, physical therapy, memory therapy, and help with scheduling appointments. Besides providing personal care services, most independent living centers facilitate social groups and outings. Educational activities such as art classes and computer lessons are offered too. Generally the larger the assisted living community, the more activities it sponsors.

Memory care is an option at select assisted living centers. If you or a loved one is in an early stage of Alzheimer’s or other dementia, then choosing an assisted care facility might be your best option in terms of stretching your money and allowing a longer period of independent living. Staff at specially licensed centers can help delay the progression of dementia with various therapies. They can also help minimize or prevent common dementia-related challenges such as wandering and anxiety. When the condition becomes advanced, it might be possible to live at the same facility, but in a different area with secured doors and other special accommodations.

Culture or “personality” matters. The US has thousands of assisted living facilities and no two are quite alike…

  • In some the decor is formal; in others it’s relaxed.
  • Some are very small communities and others have hundreds of residents.
  • Depending on the property’s layout, and also the local climate, residents might tend to spend lots of time outdoors, or else tend to stay inside.

And of course residents bring different cultures along. When you search for assisted living centers, you can find homes that tend to attract residents from specific ethnic backgrounds, language groups, religious affiliations and so forth. Lately as more baby boomers are moving to assisted living, we’re seeing more and more “special interest” communities too. Residents are brought together by shared interests in areas as diverse as art, golf, vegetarianism and community service

Pets are welcome in many independent living communities. Sometimes animal care services such as grooming and dog walking are available for an extra charge. Some communities have their own “mascot” dogs and cats. When animal companions are allowed, generally there are restrictions about the size or breed. Homes have different policies about aquariums, birds and other “pet issues” — so before choosing an assisted care facility, verify that the pet policy fits your preferences.

For more information on assisted living, contact Spring Arbor.

Tips on Choosing Assisted Living Communities

Joseph Coupal - Friday, January 19, 2018

Spring Arbor, Richmond, VAIf you are considering assisted living for you or a loved one, the decision can be overwhelming. Here are some tips on how to make the process a little less stressful.

First, do your research so you can be an informed decision maker. Tour several communities, and ask questions. Second, remember that not all assisted livings are created equal, particularly in terms of what is included in their monthly fee.

Learn how each community cares for its residents. What services are available, who provides them and is someone available to help around the clock—or just during business hours? Does the community have its own nursing staff or do other agencies provide those services? Do residents receive customized, personal care to help them maintain their independence? Is assistance is available for activities for daily living, including medication management and help with dressing or bathing?

Ask what is included. Do residents live in private apartments that include bathrooms and small kitchenettes? Are three meals each day, weekly laundry and linen service and light housekeeping, scheduled transportation and some personal care services included in the rent? Most assisted living communities offer similar amenities. The difference: the cost. Ask each community you visit, about their community fees, levels of care and average annual rent increases.

Pay attention to the activities offered. There should be a wide variety of activities, such as daily exercise programs, gardening, painting and poetry writing and bingo. As you look at the offerings available, think about whether you, or your loved one, would participate.

Notice what the culture is like at each community you visit. Is it a more formal atmosphere? Are residents socializing, more mobile and having fun, and how are residents and staff interacting? Would you or your loved one be more comfortable in a smaller community where you can get to know everyone, or is a more lavish, populated environment preferred? At the end of each tour, consider your observations. Does the community feel like home?

Narrow down your choices. After you do your research, it is important to select your top two or three assisted living communities. This will make it easier to decide, especially if you are doing the research for someone else.

For more information on assisted living communities, contact Spring Arbor.


Greensboro, NC is a Best Place to Retire 2017

Joseph Coupal - Monday, January 08, 2018

Spring Arbor, Greensboro, NCGreensboro, North Carolina, is one of those places that's big enough to have everything you need, but small enough for you to regularly bump into people you know. People who live here love it and say they have no reason to leave. Those who do leave will often return home to Greensboro to raise their families.

Greensboro is part of the Piedmont Triad, which also includes Winston-Salem and High Point. It's nicknamed the "Gate City" with good reason: It's a short jaunt to and from all the major cities in North Carolina. Spend a day in the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west or head east for a beach weekend.

There is no shortage of arts, entertainment, recreation, shopping and restaurants to keep locals busy. Greensboro is home to the region's largest hospital, and it boasts 170 well-kept public parks and gardens. A broad range of neighborhoods offers a diverse array of homes to satisfy different tastes, and a strong sense of community makes North Carolina's third-largest metro area feel like a small town where the residents are neighborly.

U.S. News analyzed 100 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Greensboro, North Carolina is ranked:

#51 in Best Places to Live
#43 in Best Places to Retire

For more information on senior living in Greensboro, NC contact Spring Arbor.


US News - Real Estate

Richmond is One of the Best Cities in the South

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Spring ArborRevitalization—it’s a word used to describe what’s happening in nearly every American city right now, but in the South, our cities aren’t so much undergoing a revitalization as much as they are an awakening. Sure, we’re breathing new life into historic buildings and settling into homes that are in high rises and once-neglected neighborhoods. But from the Gulf coast to the Atlantic coast, a diverse mix of lifelong Southerners, millennials, newcomers, and transplants are launching start-ups, building new restaurants, creating new music, solving problems, and coloring the South as one of, if not the, most exciting regions of the country to live. And it's happening in ways we couldn’t have even imagined a decade ago.

9. Richmond, Virginia

Off-the-radar Richmond has the South paying attention. The beautifully restored Quirk Hotel, an unconventional music scene, and restaurants that are redefining Appalachian cooking have made us all take notice.

For more information on assisted living in Richmond, VA contact Spring Arbor.


Southern Living