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Senior Living Memory Care Richmond VA Blog



Find the Best Senior Living Community for Your Loved One

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 27, 2019
Spring Arbor in Richmond, VA

Transitioning a loved one to a senior living community can be a difficult decision. We understand this dilemma and that is why the experts at our Spring Arbor communities are here to help! With so many senior living choices and communities available, how do you select the best option for your loved one?

Finding the right community takes time and research. Below are some questions to ask when visiting a senior living community to help you make an informed decision:

What type of daily activities and events are planned?

Speak to the Activities Director to learn more about their approach to mental stimulation and social interaction, as both are important factors in sustaining positive mental health. Ask for a copy of their monthly calendar to see what types of activities are offered on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. In addition, ask about their community amenities and what makes this senior living community different from all the others.

How do you make residents and loved ones feel welcome?

Look closely at the community and people as you tour. Do the residents and team members look happy? Do they smile and say hello? It’s important to be observant and take the time to talk to residents and team members about their experience at the community.

Is your community up-to-date on annual inspections?

Check that the community has a valid license, history of state inspections and website information – including how often it’s updated. In the United States, individual care communities are licensed through the state’s department of health. The department of health can provide background information as well as any violations and/or complaints.

Are there financial benefits that my loved one is qualified for at your community?

If you have never considered long-term senior care before, seeing the price may instantly shock you. According to Forbes, the median annual cost of long-term senior living care was $45,000 in 2017. However, there are many financial benefits for which your loved one may qualify. For example, veterans are eligible for the Veterans Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit and many seniors qualify for Medicare. It is important to research to see if you or a loved one qualifies for any financial resources.

It’s how you live that matters, and in the end, it’s about the care, the teamwork of the staff, and the overall happiness of residents in senior living communities that matter. For more information on senior living, contact Spring Arbor - link to locations page.

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Questions to Ask About Assisted Living

Joseph Coupal - Wednesday, February 20, 2019
Spring Arbor, Assisted Living in Richmond, VA

When touring an assisted living center, you'll be on the lookout for standards of cleanliness and personal interaction. Eating a meal at the facility can be a great way to start gaining an insider's view — so if possible, arrange an interview over lunch or dinner at the facility. It's also helpful to observe a class or facilitated social activity. Here are ten suggested questions.

Questions Related to the Home / Facility

  • How many people live at the home? What is the ratio of caregivers to residents?
  • Does the facility feel home-like? Do you like the décor?
  • What are the apartment and room choices? Do you have a full apartment with kitchen?
  • Do you have a private bath? Will you share an apartment?
  • Does the residence have its own dog or cat? Can residents bring their own pets? What are the restrictions with pets?
  • Can residents bring their own furniture and decor? What furnishings are provided?
  • Is there a separate thermostat in your room? Is there plenty of natural lighting?
  • What is the view like? Is there enough closet and storage space? Are kitchen cabinets easy to reach?

Questions Related to the People

  • Talk to the residents and staff? Does the staff seem to genuinely care?
  • Would you enjoy sharing meals with the residents? Do you share common interests?
  • Are the residents somewhat independent? Is there social activity in the common areas?
  • Do the residents seem happy?

Questions Related to the Safety

  • Is staff there around the clock? Are all entrances and exits secured?
  • Is there a fire sprinkler system? Smoke detectors? Emergency call system in the rooms?
  • Are registered nurses on staff? What are their hours? If an RN isn't on duty 24/7, it's important to know the center's protocol in case of nighttime emergencies.
  • Are the halls and grounds well lit? Are there handrails in the hallways?
  • Are the hallways and doorways wide sufficient for walkers and wheelchairs? Are there walk-in showers?

Questions Related to the Amenities

  • Is there a monthly events calendar posted? Are the spiritual services on-site?
  • Does the facility have a space for outdoor recreation? If so, make sure that the area looks inviting but is guarded against trespassers.
  • Are there transportation schedules for errands and medical appointments?
  • What social activities, classes and field trips are facilitated by the staff?
  • Crafts room? Computers and printers? Massage therapy? Swimming pool? Convenience shop?
  • Is the community near a beauty/hair salon and barber? Library? Grocery store? Movies? Mall?

Other Considerations / Questions

  • Is there a meal menu and can choose when to eat? Do the menu selections vary from day to day?
  • Ask to see the facility's licensing and certification reports. These show any patterns of neglect and medication errors.
  • Ask to see a copy of the resident agreement which spells out the facility's obligations. And it will list the charge of items that are extra like laundry service.
  • How close are you to friends and relatives? Are they allowed to stay overnight?
  • What is the staff to patient ratio? A good ratio for fairly independent residents is 1 to 15. In some smaller facilities, the staff will perform all the duties while in larger communities there is a separation. What is the staff turnover rate? Rates in the double digits could indicate a problem.
  • If a resident becomes more disabled can the facility accommodate those needs?
  • Who dispenses medication and how much training have they had? States have training requirements.
  • What are the move-out criteria? When might a senior be asked to leave?

For more information on assisted living, contact Spring Arbor.

#HowYouLive
seniorliving.org


What you Need to Know about Assisted Living

Joseph Coupal - Thursday, February 07, 2019
Spring Arbor Senior Living - Assisted Living in Richmond, VA

What do people want to know about assisted living facilities?

Residents of assisted living facilities and their families and those considering moving into one were asked the questions below. Here are their answers:

What is assisted living?

In general, it is a residential care facility that provides some services but is not licensed as a skilled nursing facility. But that covers a broad range of assistance and standards.

What services can I expect to get?

They may range from little more than group meals in a dining hall, housekeeping, and a pull cord in the bathroom to full-blown dementia care. Here are some questions you need to ask of the assisted living homes you are considering: Is there a nurse on duty 24/7? Is a doctor available? Know what the facility is really capable of providing. Just because a home says it provides dementia care doesn’t mean it knows how to do this well.

What will quality of life be like?

Can people eat when they want, and with the people they choose? Are there activities of interest? Do other residents seem active and engaged?

How much will it cost? Many assisted living facilities change by levels of service, or tiers. The more care you need, the higher the fee. Be sure you understand the details up front.

What is the most important thing to know?

It is all about the aides. Forget about the wood paneling and fresh flowers in the lobby. When you visit assisted living, watch the interaction between staff and residents. Do the aides know the residents by name? Do they seem rushed or do they spend time to chat with residents? What are staffing levels like, especially at night?

Choosing to move, or to move a loved one, into an assisted living facility is a big and emotional step. It is important to take the time and ask questions.

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

Excerpts - Caring for Our Parents


Top 4 Balance Exercises for Seniors

Joseph Coupal - Friday, February 01, 2019

You can do balance exercises almost anytime, anywhere, and as often as you like. Having good balance is important for many everyday activities, such as going up and down the stairs. It also helps you walk safely and avoid tripping and falling over objects in your way.

Tai Chi

Balance is important to help you perform many of your daily activities and prevent falls. Research has shown that tai chi can significantly reduce the risk of falls among older people. In tai chi, which is sometimes called “moving meditation,” you work to improve your balance by moving your body slowly, gently, and precisely, while breathing deeply. Other benefits from practicing tai chi include:

  • improvements in bone and heart health
  • easing of pain and stiffness from osteoarthritis
  • better sleep
  • improvements in overall wellness

Balance Walk

Good balance helps you walk safely and avoid tripping and falling over objects in your way.

  1. Raise arms to sides, shoulder height.
  2. Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.
  3. Walk in a straight line with one foot in front of the other.
  4. As you walk, lift your back leg. Pause for 1 second before stepping forward.
  5. Repeat for 20 steps, alternating legs.

Heel-to-Toe Walk

  1. Having good balance is important for many everyday activities, such as going up and down stairs.
  2. Position the heel of one foot just in front of the toes of the other foot. Your heel and toes should touch or almost touch.
  3. Choose a spot ahead of you and focus on it to keep you steady as you walk.
  4. Take a step. Put your heel just in front of the toe of your other foot.
  5. Repeat for 20 steps.

Stand on One Foot

WHAT YOU NEED: Sturdy chair

You can do this exercise while waiting for the bus or standing in line at the grocery. For an added challenge, you can modify the exercise to improve your balance.

  1. Stand on one foot behind a sturdy chair, holding on for balance.
  2. Hold position for up to 10 seconds.
  3. Repeat 10-15 times.
  4. Repeat 10-15 times with other leg.
  5. Repeat 10-15 more times with each leg.

As you progress in your exercise routine, try adding the following challenges to help your balance even more:

  • Start by holding on to a sturdy chair with both hands for support.
  • When you are able, try holding on to the chair with only one hand.
  • With time, hold on with only one finger, then with no hands at all.
  • If you are really steady on your feet, try doing the balance exercises with your eyes closed

Watch this video to see how it’s done:

If you have any questions regarding the exercise programs at Spring Arbor, contact a senior living community near you.

#HowYouLive

NIH.gov