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Understanding the various levels of senior care can be confusing. We're here to walk you through it. Please find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions below.

What is the difference between a nursing home and an assisted living facility?

Skilled nursing communities, commonly referred to as nursing homes, provide round-the-clock care for people in frail health who can no longer live on their own. Physical and personal needs are met by a multi-disciplinary team of professionals including a medical staff, nurses, nursing assistants, dietitians, physical therapists and social workers. Skilled nursing facilities often feature a subacute rehabilitation unit for adult patients of all ages who are recovering from illness or injury. Typically, these patients are well enough to be discharged from a hospital but will need a level of care not available at home – usually for less than a month. Residents who live in assisted living are more independent and able to care for themselves but benefit from minimal to moderate assistance with daily needs like meal preparation, housekeeping, dressing, bathing or medication management. Assisted living provides a wide range of amenities and services for residents.

What is enhanced assisted living?

As health needs change, so might a person’s need for assistance. Enhanced assisted living provides additional support, helping seniors age in place for as long as possible. Extended care includes nursing services for injections, catheter care and colostomy care; help managing incontinence, and assistance with necessary medical equipment.

What is assisted living?

Assisted living helps adults continue to live independently by providing just a little extra help with activities of daily living. This can mean providing daily meals, laundry service and housekeeping, or help with dressing, bathing, or keeping track of their medications. The atmosphere is social, with plenty of activities, entertainment and outings. In addition, staff are on-hand 24-hours a day, should any needs arise.

What is Seasons Memory Care?

Elderwood’s unique Seasons Memory Care program is structured to provide individuals with memory care the best quality of life at every stage of their disease. Our person-centered approach draws on the residents’ background and remaining abilities to develop programs that keep them active and engaged within their environment. Understanding the progression of dementia enables our memory care team to meet an individual where they are and support their best ability to function, while minimizing frustration and anxiety.

What is secure memory care?

Elderwood’s secure memory care floors are designed to enable residents with dementia who are prone to wandering to explore their environment safely. Hallways and common spaces contain subtle visual cues, such as wall color and use of framed photographs, to help orient the individual. Additionally, memory care floors feature a higher ratio of staff to residents. These staff understand how to relate to a person with dementia on their terms and how to redirect a resident, when necessary, to minimize their stress, frustration and anxiety and preserve their dignity.

What is independent living?

Elderwood’s independent living communities are designed for adults 55 and older. Typically, these are apartment or patio homes and often feature well-appointed common areas for group activities. Residents in independent living come and go on their own and many have their own transportation. Some couples select an independent living community on a campus setting that features higher levels of care as a way to age in-place as well as “downsize.”

Do I have a choice of living arrangements?

A variety of living arrangements are available at each level of care to fit your preferences and needs. Options in our assisted living communities range from private apartments and shared suites to private and companion rooms. Skilled nursing accommodations include both private and shared rooms. In all cases, residents are encouraged to bring furnishings and special belongings from home to personalize their space.

How do I pay for nursing home care?

Elderwood accepts private pay from a variety of sources, including pensions, 401K accounts, health savings accounts, the sale of private assets like stocks and bonds, and family contributions. Long-term care insurance also can help defray the cost. When all private sources have been exhausted, we can assist with navigating through the Medicaid application process.

Do your assisted living communities accept supplemental incomes?

If you are a U.S. veteran or the spouse of a veteran, you may qualify for Veterans Aid and Attendance benefits to help defray the cost of assisted living. Some Elderwood communities offer the Assisted Living Program (ALP), a Medicaid-based program that lowers the monthly rent to a state-designated rate. A long-term care insurance policy may also be an option.

What is palliative care?

Palliative care typically is associated with end-of-life care. Palliative services provide support and comfort to complement life-prolonging treatment. Comfort plans are designed with the wishes of the individual and family in mind to control physical symptoms and cope with the stress of the illness.

What happens if my care needs change?

If your care needs change, we will work with you to help you remain within the Elderwood continuum of care when possible. Some of our locations offer a campus setting with Independent Living; Assisted Living; and Skilled Nursing all in one location. There are a wide range of Elderwood locations from which to choose.

What is subacute rehabilitation?

“Subacute” refers to a level of non-acute, or non-hospital care. Your care is supervised by a staff of medical professionals who provide medication management, wound care, pain control and continued monitoring of health conditions while undergoing any combination of physical, occupational and/or speech therapy.

What happens in rehab?

Your customized care plan is coordinated by a team that includes therapists, nurses, dieticians and social workers. You will benefit from daily therapy and pain management as proscribed by your physician. Your functional ability will be measured and regularly reviewed to track your progress. You’ll also be advised on methods that can help you transition more easily to home so you can gradually and safely resume your everyday activities. Elderwood communities feature a knowledgeable and dedicated staff of physical, occupational and speech therapists and aides to help you reach your therapy goals. For your convenience, Elderwood’s rehab services include pre-plan services for advance scheduling and insurance authorization.

Coming from the hospital to subacute rehab - how do I get there and what should I bring?

Some Elderwood communities provide transportation, free of charge, from the hospital to our rehab unit. You will want to bring several pair of comfortable, loose-fitting street clothes; pajamas; non-skid shoes/sneakers; slippers (non-skid, no open-back); 5-7 pair of socks; seasonal outerwear; hairbrush and comb, electric razor (men).

Will my insurance cover the cost of a subacute rehab stay?

Elderwood accepts a variety of local and nationally-recognized managed care insurance policies that can defray or completely cover a rehab stay. These include Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Independent Health, UHS and Medicare. Some insurances may require a three-night hospital stay to qualify for coverage.

In assisted living, can mom/dad bring their pet? Their car? 

Several Elderwood assisted living communities welcome small pets, as long as the resident can adequately care for the animal’s needs on their own. Ask about the pet policy at the Elderwood assisted living community of your choice. Many Elderwood assisted living communities also provide a parking space for residents with personal vehicles. If a resident does not wish to drive, transportation to shopping, church, doctor’s appointments and other areas in the community can be arranged. Be sure to check with the facility in your area about the availability of transportation services.

My husband needs assisted living, but I do not. Does that mean we have to live apart?

That depends on the community you choose. As long as one individual medically qualifies for assisted living services, couples who have different care needs can continue to live together in Elderwood’s assisted living apartments. Additional rates apply for a second occupant. This type of arrangement is not available at all locations.

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