Continued care retirement communities (CCRC) are long-term care options for the elderly who wish to stay in the same retirement care facility through different phases of aging. They can offer peace-of-mind for your senior loved one for the rest of their lives.  

There are many factors to consider when helping your aging parent plan where to spend their remaining years. For many elderly loved ones, remaining at home is the ideal option. If mom is no longer able to remain at home independently, consider aging in place vs. the step up in care model. Continued care retirement communities or CCRC may be the best option as these places offer numerous amenities.  

Continuing Care Retirement Communities let residents move in while still healthy and active, yet have access to services and care for when their needs change. The community provides a handful of senior living alternatives or care levels at one campus.  

Even though certain communities provide more choices than others, most would offer the following levels of care:  

If your mother were to move into an independent care facility within continued care retirement communities, she may eventually require assistance with medication administration and bathing, in which case they would simply transition to assisted living in the same community.   

This layered approach allows seniors to stay on the same campus close to family, friends or a spouse, even when more care is needed in the future.   

Pond at continued care retirement community

What is it Like to Live in Continued Care Retirement Communities?

Your loved one's experience in a continued care retirement community largely depends on the lifestyle choices they are looking for. Most seniors start with independent living with little to no restrictions regarding how they spend their time.   

They are free to pursue their interests, hobbies, receive visitors, and come and go whenever they want. Certain communities even provide flexible dining options.   

As care becomes more extensive, residents may have to be more closely monitored and be assisted daily. In various cases, residents get on-site caregiving. Assistance with Activities of Daily Living or ADLs, can be provided within the assisted living portion of a CCRC. Because this is their "home", home health care services can also be provided to include nursing, physical therapy or occupational therapy services. Here is an explanation of Activities of Daily Living.

At times, your loved one may require more intensive nursing and therapy care due to an injury, illness or surgery. If this happens, a short term transition to the rehabilitation unit may be needed. This would happen with the intent to help them get back to their apartment when safe to do so.   

Besides offering wellness and medical care, CCRCs also provide a range of social opportunities and on-site activities.   

Lady enjoying tea time at continued care retirement community.

How CCRCs Cater for Your Lifestyle  

Numerous facilities provide large dining areas and other areas for the sole purpose of encouraging interaction between residents. Some communities even partner with educational institutions to allow seniors to make use of ongoing education classes.   

Some of the daily activities CCRCs provided include:  

All levels of continued care retirement communities render services like:  

Higher levels of care within the community also offer assistance with medication reminders, bathing, some medical care assistance with activities of daily living.    

Pros and Cons Associated with Continued Care Retirement Communities  

Before you and your parent decide whether or not they wish to move into a CCRC, it will help to be aware of the advantages and challenges of becoming a resident of this type of retirement facility.   

The Benefits of Living in a CCRC  

One of the biggest pros of living in continuing care retirement communities is that everything you could possibly need is included. You may want to compare it to a hotel or amenity resort. It sure is an excellent option for those who wish to age in place but lack the support systems or home care to do so comfortably.  

Residents get to enjoy maintenance-free living coupled with the freedom of living on their own. To put it in a nutshell, the worries associated with maintaining a home and other requirements for living independently is taken away. This will allow your senior loved ones to simply enjoy their retirement.   

Residents are given access to social networks where they will find other aged ones with similar interests to them. This is especially ideal for widowed or single seniors as they will benefit immensely from the sense of belonging and numerous activities, mixers, outings, and so forth. Many thrive within community setups while they have the added benefit of their own private living space.   

Seniors experience the advantages of a health care support system when they opt for continued care. The majority of continuing care retirement communities provide varying levels of care such as memory care, skilled nursing, and assisted living. The benefit of being part of such a facility is that the person concerned can be moved to another level of care without having to leave entirely.  

Partners or spouses often have differing care needs, which is something CCRCs accommodate without placing them in separate facilities.  

You will experience peace of mind as you know they will receive continued, loving care within a safe environment.   

Challenges of Living in Continued Care Retirement Communities  

One of the foremost things that come to mind is that your parent would have to adjust to a new lifestyle. Leaving their familiar surroundings can be a difficult transition to make.  

The cost can be another drawback. In Georgia in 2019 the average cost for independent living was $2463 per month. Assisted living costs $3335 per month on average. Each step up in care comes with additional expenses. This can put a strain on someone living on a fixed income like social security.

The food may not always be what mom would prefer or cook at home. And she may have to adjust to a different caregiver if she transitioned from home with a personal caregiver.

There is often a stigma within the communities related to transition to the next level of care. People in independent living may talk about and look down upon someone who has had to transition to the assisted living area. The same is true for assisted living to memory care or long term care. These residents can be afraid of change and tend to gossip or feel sorry for their friends who now require more help.

Conclusion

Continued care retirement communities are designed to allow our aging parents to remain in one community as they begin to require increased assistance with time. There is a step up in care with each new level, from Independent living to assisted living to long term care to memory care. There is also usually an option for short term rehabilitation to allow for return to previous level of care. Finding the right continued care retirement community will require a bit of forethought and planning but will allow for peace of mind knowing your loved one is well taken care of.

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For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.



That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. AGING IN PLACE DEFINITION
  2. CAREGIVER QUOTES TO INSPIRE CAREGIVERS
  3. HOME CARE FOR SENIORS TO HELP THEM LIVE INDEPENDENTLY

What does it mean to age in place? Simply put, it means your loved one gets to retain their independence and level of autonomy, which is something that is not available to many other seniors. The beauty of aging in place, is that you are allowed to continue living in comfort and familiarity offered by one's home.  

One of the first benefits of aging in place is the comfort and routines of home are not forced to change. The ability to remain in their community with their friends and familiarity can significantly reduce the stress aging and change causes. Another plus is that the cost of aging care is much lower than living in a senior care center. However, this is not always the best choice for everyone. Various factors must be assessed to decide if this would be the right option.   

Did you know that the average lifespan of Americans increased dramatically over the last 100 years? For instance, male children that were born in the early 1900s lived 46 years, while a female child had a life expectancy of only 48 years. Now, males can expect an average 76 years while females will exceed 81 years of life expectancy. The MSD Manual Consumer Version has much more information on life expectancy and normal aging.   

How to Age Well When Aging in Place  

Lady using technology to assist with aging in place.

Our parents are going through major life changes which began when we left home. Continued changes include career transitions, retirement, health challenges, losing loved ones and losing their independence. Helping them stay at home is a great way to avoid a major change. It is how they respond to the many changes and challenges that is the key to aging well.

It is tough to cope with change at any age, but how we assist them and how they respond to these challenges is the key to aging well. Guiding mom's attention to the positive aspects of her situation and away from focusing on the negative can help her shape a healthier outlook on life.

Aging individuals can remain healthy and continuously reinvent themselves as they pass through various landmark ages such as the 60s,70s, 80s, and older. Adding new hobbies, making new friends and utilizing modern technology can significantly improve your loved one's quality of life. This is often easier said than done, but positive change can reduce the negative effects of other life changes.

Aside from learning how to adapt to all sorts of changes, aging in a healthy way means they will need to find joy in staying socially and physically active. Helping our elderly stay connected with loved ones and other like minded folks in their community is a good start. Adult day care centers and community centers with activities are great ways to get our parents to be more socially active, while providing a much needed break for you as caregiver. This can help you avoid caregiver burnout.

All too often, our parents experience fear and anxiety as they age in place. These emotions are not easy to deal with even in the best of times. They may face questions such as:  

These are all real concerns for the aging that we need to be aware of. Many of the fears that are conjured up in our loved one's minds originate from known misconceptions about aging. On the contrary, people are stronger and more resilient than they give themselves credit for. Reminding mom of the many changes and challenges she has already overcome can help her know that she can face what is ahead.  

Practical Tips for Seniors on How to Cope Well When Aging in Place

  

Lady aging well while aging in place.

Everyone experiences mood swings and bouts of depression, regardless of age, our parents are no exception. When having a great day, she may be joyful, and on other days the stress may be too great. Reminding them that "this too shall pass" can help to reduce the feelings of permanence often associated with current emotional states.    

Below are some ways we can help them keep their spirits up (and ours too as caregivers):  

Ask mom to make a list of 5 things she is truly grateful for. A daily gratitude practice has been shown to raise people's baseline level of happiness. There are also many other benefits including:

Encourage her to express how she feels: It is not considered a weakness to show others how you feel at any given time. Hiding your feelings can result in depression, resentment, or anger. Suggest a healthy way to process how she feels by writing in a journal or speaking to you or someone else close to her.

Help her accept what she cannot change: Many of the things we face are beyond our control. Instead of stressing out about these, help her focus on what she can control. Developing a good sense of humor and learning to react favorably to any problem coming your way will help as well.   

Point out the bright side of difficulties: When she is faced with what seems to be a major challenge, look for opportunities that will help her grow and let her know that if mistakes are made along the way, they can be learned from.  

Do not sweep hard to deal with challenges under the carpet: Pretending something didn't happen is often the easiest way out. The problem is that whatever y'all are facing is not going away. Rather take one small step at a time and work through each issue as it will boost each of your confidence and demonstrate the tenacity to deal with anything that may come along.  

Help Mom Find Joy in Aging Care  

As your aging parent becomes a bit more dependent on caregivers, bear in mind that a primary ingredient for aging healthily is to continue finding joy and meaning in everything. Her life will change with age as all of ours will, but resisting change makes it so much worse. She will need increased assistance with ADLs in time, but being thankful for assistive devices, new techniques and physical help can keep the joy in necessary activities of daily living.

What Do You Need to Support Aging in Place at Home?  

Some folks may think aging in place only refers to modifications to your physical environment to accommodate mobility issues, but this is only part of making aging care work. There is a distinct need to find support systems for other areas that will affect the quality of life of your elderly parent and making it feasible for helping the elderly age in place and staying out of the medical system.  

Other aspects include transportation, healthcare, housekeeping, and meals.   

Fortunately, nearly every county in the U.S.A has a network of aging care services that allow seniors to age comfortably at home. Traditional services you will find include; senior care centers that offer social engagement, visiting nurses, and delivered meals.   

Furthermore, in certain communities, service providers like house cleaners, landscapers, handypersons, and dog walkers offer their services at a reduced rate for seniors. For assistance in this regard, you may want to refer to the National Aging in Place Council.   

What about professional in-home care for the elderly? Below are some options in this regard.  

Aging in Place Home Care Options

  

Therapist providing assistance to man aging in place.

Your loved one may require one-on-one care as you do not have a large family network to depend on for helping out in caring for the needs of your elderly parent. In this case, it would make sense to hire a professional caregiver. Or if you are the primary caregiver, respite care for the elderly may be needed so you can take a break.

Different types of home care:

Where Do You Find a Skilled Caregiver to Provide Aging Care?  

The best advice we can give you is to get in touch with a professional in-home care agency who will take care of on-the-job training and supervise the person whom they hire for this position. Independent contractors can be sourced through an in-home care registry.   

Another way to get hold of a trusted in-home caregiver is through word of mouth. However, if you hire someone independently, you are solely responsible for the screening procedure and taking care of the tax withholding system set up. Ensure you have insurance, too, in the case of on-the-job injury.  

Would you like to learn how much you can expect to pay for the services of an independent caregiver or caregiver agency? Check out Genworth's Cost of Care Survey tool to help you calculate the costs of long-term care in the U.S.   

While there may be certain limitations to aging care in home, you can always make use of other programs such as adult daycare services.  

Daycare Programs for Adults Who are Aging in Place  

One of the best ways to keep loved ones safe and busy at the same time is through adult daycare programs. They provide supportive supervised environments for individuals with dementia or anyone who is unable to care for themselves.  

Some adult daycare facilities offer door-to-door transportation and also hot meals that your loved one gets to enjoy when socializing with other elderly ones. Additional activities they may offer include; painting, trivia games, chair exercises etc.   

The cost to belong to a place like these varies from $25 to $100 a day. It is a case of researching various adult day programs to find what works for you. Some of these facilities offer a sliding fee scale for people with a limited budget.   

Assistance with Food Preparation and Proper Nutrition for Seniors  

Purchasing, buying, and cooking meals can be very time consuming for the elderly. Needless to say, it becomes a huge issue to provide healthy and balanced meals for seniors for various reasons.   

Many homebound seniors are not in a position to get themselves to the grocery store. They may also face dietary restrictions or an inability to chew and swallow their food properly. Often older people do not get the nutrition they need. According to the Journal of American Geriatrics Society, roughly two-thirds of participants were at risk of nutritional deficiencies.   

Eating well is very important to seniors' health and overall well-being. This will give them the strength and energy to live independently at home. Eating poorly has various negative effects on one's health and overall quality of life. Seniors may not as motivated to prepare a nutritious meal for only one or two people. They often find it a challenging and settle for a less than adequate meal.

Summary

It is clear that the elderly who age in place need our full support and understanding. It requires forethought and proper planning to ensure aging in place is the right option for your senior loved ones, both in terms of cost savings and their individual preferences. When done right, it can be one of the best ways to help your loved one's age with comfort and dignity. 

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.


That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. CAREGIVER QUOTES TO INSPIRE CAREGIVERS
  2. ELDERLY CARE IN HOME AND ELSEWHERE
  3. PREVENTION OF FALLING AT HOME - STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PREVENT FALLING

Falls are among the leading cause of injury-related deaths for people over the age of 65. Are you aware of the fact that the rate of deaths from falling increased by a whopping 31% from 2007 through 2016?  

Falls pose a real threat to older adults and reduces their ability to stay independent. However, you do not have to fear fatal injuries or fall deaths for your loved one as there are ways to significantly reduce their chances of falling.  

Before discussing strategies that can be implemented by the elderly to reduce and prevent falls, let’s take a look at the reasons why people over the age of 65 fall, and fall deaths statistics.   

What are the implications around deaths from falling? 

The number of people aged 65 and over increasing in the U.S each year with aging baby boomers. Unfortunately, so are the number of deaths from falls related to balance and gait. For this reason, special attention was given to reviewing seniors’ medications and to advise the elderly to incorporate strengthening and balance training into their daily routine.  The Falls Free Initiative by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) is a national effort led by NCOA to address this serious issue.

Death from falling resulting from head injury.

Takeaways from Fall Deaths Statistics 

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) deaths stemming from unintentional injuries are number 7 on the list of the leading causes of deaths among older citizens.  

Close to 30,000 adults aged 65 years or older died due to falls during 2016. Also, the rate of deaths from falling was reported to be much higher among older Caucasian adults than any other ethnic groups.  

The fatal falls rate was much higher among older men than women in 2016 who mostly experienced nonfatal falls. Men may have experienced more traumatic falls as they are more inclined to perform riskier activities as they age. Climbing a ladder would be an example.

The number one leading cause of unintentional fall deaths among individuals 65 totaled 32,522 during 2018 as can be seen on the chart below

Deaths from Falling Statistics from World Health Organization 

How would you define a fall? In physical therapy, a fall is defined as any event that leads to an unplanned, unexpected contact with a supporting surface, such as the floor or a piece of furniture, that is not the result of a push or shove or the result of a medical event, such as a heart attack or fainting. This definition is from choosept.com. Fall related injuries are categorized as either fatal or non-fatal.  

Take a look at some key factors highlighted by the World Health Organization related to fall deaths: 

Fall Deaths Among Elderly People

Chart by CDC on Fall Deaths

Fall injuries prove to be a major health issue in older people. In fact, according to an assessment conducted among older people in Finland during 1971 through 2002, fall induced deaths increased among the elderly as reported by the American Public Health Association. And is projected to increase another 108% by the year 2030.

In the United States, injury from falling is the already the number one cause of death in the elderly. 

Who is the Most at Risk?  

Age definitely plays a huge role as elderly individuals face the risk of deaths from falling. For instance, up to 30% of older people who experience falls experience moderate to severe injuries like head trauma, hip fractures, and bruises. Once over the age of 65, every year increases the chance of significant injury from a fall.

How Deaths from Falling Incidences Can Be Prevented 

Reduce risk of death from falling

Effective fall prevention strategies must be put in place to help prevent fatal injuries and reduce the total number of falls. Your mother would benefit from fall prevention programs, such as: 

Conclusion

One of the best ways to reduce risk of death from falling is through regular visits to a physician. They can prescribe therapy to assist with home evaluations or strength and balance exercises. This will improve your loved one's mobility, improve their quality of life and reduce their risk of a significant injury from a fall.

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.





That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. CAREGIVER BURNOUT AND STRESS - SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT
  2. WHAT ARE THE ADLs - HOW CAREGIVERS MAY ASSIST
  3. AGING IN PLACE AND STAYING OUT OF THE MEDICAL SYSTEM

Caregivers go through tremendous stress to care for our loved ones. They need all the support they can get as well as a bit of encouragement. The caregiver mantra to remember is this - "The only control you have is over the changes you choose to make." This was one of the caregiver quotes Nancy L Kriseman gave from The Mindful Caregiver fame.   

We know how much you, as caregivers, give of yourselves. The question is, who comforts you when you are feeling down or not coping well? Hopefully these caregiver quotes are enjoyable and uplifting. They may come in handy when you feel especially drained by caring for your loved one.

Funny Caregiver Quotes to Boost the Caregiver's Morale

A happy caregiver shares quotes with a patient.

It is critical to make time for yourself as the primary caregiver of a loved one. Using humor can change your perspective on a challenging situation and reduce caregiver burnout and stress. Taking a step back and few deep breaths (deep enough so that someone next to you would hear) can help reduce the stress and build the confidence to move forward. As caregivers, we are not at our best when frazzled and thinking about all the things that need to be done. Slow down and take it one step at a time and look for the silver lining in every cloud.    

Some funny caregiver quotes that come to mind include:  

Are you a Caregiver in need of Inspiration?

Famous quote for caregivers

As a caregiver, self-identification is an essential step towards overcoming various overwhelming responsibilities that your role entails. Are you someone who is tasked to care for a loved one that belongs to one or more of the following categories?  

If you said yes to any of these, then you are a special person and responsible caregiver. We need to remember that caregiving is an activity that takes commitment, time, and personal sacrifice. As author Jim Rohn said, "One person caring about another represents life's greatest value."

It may seem intimidating, but the best part is that you are not alone, as there is always someone else going through a very similar journey. We can draw strength from knowing this and connecting with others dealing with similar difficulties. There are many facebook groups for support such as the Caring for Elderly Parents group.

Survival Tips Caregivers Should Care to Remember  

Caregiving can be an adventurous journey.

It pays to take note of the following 10 survival tips to help caregivers make it through every day:  

Caregiver Quotes to Buoy Your Spirits  

Often, we did not ask to be caregivers, but it's something that came our way due to unforeseen circumstances. Millions of people just like you, find themselves caring for chronically ill or aged family members. The role certainly has its peaks and valleys, which is why caregiver appreciation quotes can do a lot to boost your morale no matter how tough it may be to care for a loved one.  

Some of you may resonate with a situation where your mom fails to recognize you at all. Times like these can leave you feeling drained.   

No doubt, taking on the role of a caregiver can make you feel like you're walking through a maze or jungle with lots of unforeseen twists and turns. If you are a child who is looking after an aged parent or a caregiver by profession, your care and devotion to the individual in need means the world to them. Whether they express it or not.

Mahatma Gandhi had a very nice way of putting it - "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."  

As a final thought, Maya Angelou, who came up with her own inspirational caregiver quote, put it aptly when she said - "Try to be a rainbow in someone's cloud."  

JOIN MY EMAIL LIST
For a free copy of 11 Common Fall Hazards in the Home and Solutions
And a free copy of the Static Balance Home Exercise Progression.




That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. FALLS FREE INITIATIVE TO PREVENT GROWING FALL RELATED INJURIES IN THE ELDERLY
  2. ELDERLY CARE IN HOME AND ELSE WHERE
  3. WHAT IS THE SANDWICH GENERATION AND HOW THEY CAN COPE WITH THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES