assisted living vs. nursing home Senior Living Tips & Advice

Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: What’s the Difference?

Are you concerned about a beloved parent or another aging family member? Do you wonder what type of care they’ll need in the near future?

If so, you’re not alone. As of 2014, over 1.7 million Americans lived in nursing homes. A million more live in some type of assisted living community–and that number is expected to triple by 2040.

While both types of facilities care for senior patients, there are some key differences between the two. In this post, we’ll examine assisted living vs nursing home care so you can decide which is best for your loved one.

What to Expect in an Assisted Living Community

Assisted or senior living communities are designed for those who can’t safely live on their own anymore but don’t require 24-hour care.

In general, people who live in assisted living communities are still in fairly good health. They can generally move around, dress, and feed themselves.

But they may need assistance from a nurse for minor medical reasons. They might also need the help of a caregiver to assist with routine tasks like cooking, cleaning, or bathing. Some facilities also offer services and care for memory-impaired patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

One of the main advantages of an assisted living community is that its residents are given a large amount of freedom. Community activities are also popular, ranging from shopping trips and movie nights to fitness classes and karaoke.

The idea of an assisted living community is just that–to make its residents feel that they’re still very much part of an active community.

What to Expect in a Nursing Home

Nursing homes offer the same excellent level of care as assisted living communities. The main difference is that they’re designed for those with more serious health problems that require round-the-clock care.

Nursing homes are staffed with skilled nurses and nurse practitioners who oversee the care of their residents. They prescribe and administer medical treatment, as well as providing physical, occupational, or speech therapies.

Although nursing homes do offer some “community” activities, their primary focus is providing quality medical care for its residents. In many cases, the residents are not physically or cognitively able to participate in many activities.

If your loved one’s health has declined to the point where they need round-the-clock care, a nursing home may be the best choice. If they’re still healthy enough to handle most of their daily care themselves, they may thrive in an assisted living environment.

Assisted Living vs Nursing Home: Which Will You Choose?

Now that you know the differences between assisted living vs nursing home care, the only thing left to do is choose.

Of course, your choice is not an easy one. It’s heartbreaking to watch a beloved family member get older.

But rest assured that whichever path you choose, your loved one is sure to receive the care they need and deserve.

Do you live in the Washington DC area? Are you interested in seeing a beautiful assisted living community for yourself?

Click here to schedule a tour of the Maple Heights Senior Living Community and see everything we have to offer.

assisted living facility Senior Living Tips & Advice

How to Get the Most from Assisted Living

No one ever says, “I can’t wait to move to an assisted living facility!” Almost every senior wants to remain in the home where they spent their adult life and raised their children, or in the smaller space they downsized to as empty nesters. Change — especially a major one, like a move — can be incredibly difficult to embrace at this stage of life.

Yet assisted living is often the best choice for aging seniors who are still active, but who need a little help with life’s daily tasks. Read on to learn how to get the most out of an assisted living facility while still maintaining independence.

Do Your Research

When you begin looking for accommodations for your aging parent or other relative, it’s important to take your time. This is not an easy decision to make, and as such, should not be rushed.

Make sure to involve your parent in the decision, as well. After all, they are the one who most stands to benefit from — or be unhappy with — the new living situation. Try to maintain your objectivity until you’ve heard his or her opinion. This will prevent your judgment from being clouded by factors that matter only to you, such as proximity to your home, or cost.

Today’s senior living options are a far cry from the dreary, depressing nursing homes of yesteryear, and that’s thanks in part to the Baby Boomer generation itself. You might be surprised at just how cool assisted living can be!

Find a Good Fit for the Future

Another crucial consideration to keep in mind as you are evaluating senior living facilities? Whether it will provide the necessary amenities and services as your parent ages. It’s not pleasant to consider, but there’s a very real chance that he or she will become less independent and active in the coming years.

Your mother may enjoy cooking for herself now. Your dad could be perfectly capable of doing his own laundry and keeping his space clean and tidy. Whether or not this will be true in, say, 5 or 10 years is another matter altogether.

The facility you eventually choose should be appropriate now, yet also offer assistance that will be needed down the line.

The Many Benefits of an Assisted Living Facility

Your parent might not be eagerly anticipating a move to assisted living, but that doesn’t mean he or she can’t thrive there. The best facilities offer many perks. These include onsite dining options, transportation to and from local attractions and shopping centers, housekeeping services, exercise rooms, and more.

One of the biggest benefits is the companionship that’s available in senior living communities. Loneliness can be common as a person ages, and it can be debilitating. The wide range of social and recreational activities offered at an assisted living facility makes it easy to meet up with friends on a daily basis.

Want to Learn More?

At Maple Heights Senior Living, we pride ourselves on offering not just a place for seniors to live, but a home in which they can thrive. We’d love to show you around, introduce you to some great people, and explain what sets us apart from any other assisted living facility in the area.

Schedule a tour today, and come see what awaits at Maple Heights!

activities for people with dementia Senior Living Tips & Advice

5 Enriching Activities for People with Dementia

Around 50 million people around the world suffer from dementia.

As the condition progresses, it can become harder to perform everyday tasks. In order to keep patients happy and stimulated, it’s important to find tasks that they can do successfully.

In this article, we’ll give you five great activities for people with dementia.

The Best Activities for People with Dementia

1. Listening to Music

Music therapy can greatly improve the quality of life of dementia patients.

It stimulates various parts of the brain, causing it to release the feel-good hormones dopamine and oxytocin. It can even trigger the brain to unlock memories that it was previously unable to access.

Patients who were previously uncommunicative can become happier and more engaged, simply by having music in their lives.

As well as listening to music, get able patients involved by giving them instruments to play. Percussive instruments such as small drums, shakers, and triangles can work well.

Bringing musicians in to play or sing to patients can provide wonderful entertainment, too.

2. Playing Card Games

Card games can be great activities for people with dementia.

Simple games such as Snap, Go Fish or Blackjack can keep them busy, as well as giving them a way to communicate and engage with staff and other patients. If they’d rather be alone, you can try teaching them to play Solitaire.

Patients who struggle to play games like these may simply enjoy shuffling cards or sorting them by suit.

However you use them, it’s best to find larger cards, which have numbers printed clearly. That way, patients will find them easy to read.

3. Gardening

Gardening helps people with dementia both mentally and physically.

It gives them something to nurture and care for, and a reason to get up and go outside. They’ll enjoy planting seeds, pulling out weeds and watering plants, all while getting some exercise and strengthening their joints.

When the flowers bloom, they can also enjoy the fruits of their labor. This will brighten up their mood as well as their home.

4. Solving Puzzles

Puzzles are perfect activities for people with dementia. They can keep them occupied for a good length of time, giving them a goal to work towards.

Crosswords and jigsaw puzzles allow them to use their concentration, which can stimulate their short-term memory function.

For patients who struggle with more complex activities, puzzle cubes are a good choice. They don’t necessarily have to be able to solve the puzzle, it can just be something to fidget with.

5. Folding Laundry

Ask dementia patients to assist you with everyday tasks where possible.

This can be something as easy as folding or sorting laundry. It will give them a feeling of achievement, as well as the satisfaction of helping around the house.

A Stimulating Environment Is Key

Using these activities in your patient’s daily routine will keep them happy and healthy. It will also give them a sense of community by getting them to interact with others.

At Maple Heights, we know how important this is. That’s why we provide a range of amenities and activities for our patients to enjoy. This includes a theatre, an exercise room, and a beautiful private garden.

Learn more about what we have to offer at Maple Heights Senior Living.

living with alzheimer's Senior Living Tips & Advice

The Truth About Living with Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Is your loved one living with Alzheimer’s or dementia?

Dementia affects 4-5 million Americans and their families. Most of the cases of dementia are a form of Alzheimer’s Disease. Seeing someone close to you with dementia is an emotionally taxing experience. The important thing to know is that you’re not alone.

Keep reading to learn more about living with dementia.

Common Symptoms of Dementia

Dementia is essentially trauma or disease that happens to the brain.

There are many symptoms of dementia, and it’s possible to confuse these symptoms with normal memory loss.

For example, you loved one may have a slight memory loss, but still is active and social. A person living with Alzheimer’s may become more isolated and may be socially inappropriate.

Mood changes are also a common symptom of dementia, and they may become easily disoriented.

There are several different forms of dementia, with about 70% of cases being Alzheimer’s Disease. There’s also vascular dementia, which can result from small strokes. Mixed dementia is a combination of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.

Everyday Living

Living with Alzheimer’s or any other form of dementia can be extremely difficult.

Safety is always a priority for your loved one. You’ll want to make sure that the home environment is safe. It’s common for people with dementia to wander, which is why a locating device could be a good investment.

It’s important to understand that having a regular routine can help people with dementia maintain their independence. This includes reminders to eat and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

If you find that your loved one is struggling with basic tasks, chunk it down into sections that can be completed with ease.

Understanding Discomfort and Meltdowns

As dementia progresses, your loved one may have trouble communicating when they’re uncomfortable. They may lash out because of this.

The most common causes of discomfort are lack of sleep, disruptions in their routine, an unfamiliar environment, illness or injury, or being in the same seated position.

You can head these issues off by keeping your loved one comfortable as possible. That includes making sure the temperature isn’t too hot or cold. It’s also very important to keep your loved one on a regular routine.

Get Support

While you’re caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s, it’s easy to forget about caring for yourself. Caregivers often find themselves in a great deal of stress and suffer from burnout.

That’s why it’s critical to seek support. There are support groups online and in-person that meet regularly. You can also lean on your friends and other family members for support.

You may decide to choose to have your loved one live in a senior care facility.

You do need to make sure that you’re getting the support you need so you can ensure that you loved one is getting the care they need.

Living with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

It’s very difficult to see someone you love live with Alzheimer’s or dementia. At some point, you may need to consider a senior living facility that can handle these challenges.

At Maple Heights Senior Living, our community is designed to provide the best assisted living and memory care for your loved one.

Contact us today to schedule a tour.

memory care facility Senior Living Tips & Advice

How to Choose a Memory Care Community

As we get older, the chances of being affected by conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia grow larger.

And with an estimated 5.7 million people living with these conditions in the United States, families everywhere are being left with tough care decisions to make.

But handing over the care of a loved one to strangers can be difficult, and the decision hard to make.

Thankfully, a memory care facility can help by providing dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers with orderly, routined living conditions. Here are some tips and questions to consider to help you choose a facility you can trust.

How Often Can You Visit?

Given the security of other patients, and the overall care of your loved one, you may not be able to visit or withdraw them from the facility too often.

When you’re considering a memory care facility, be sure to check any policies regarding visitation first. Check how often you can see them and how often you can take them outside for special occasions.

Security and Protection

Research, ask and visually inspect the security and protection the facility offers. Given the confusion that dementia and Alzheimer’s can have, it’s important for a facility to be able to stop residents from leaving and causing themselves harm if needed.

Do they have a secure entry in and out of the building? How quickly do they respond to missing residents, and how often has it occurred in the past? If the history is poor, look elsewhere.

Special Care Requirements

Discuss any special care requirements with the facility to make sure they’re capable. What kind of nursing do they have available?

It’s important to also consider longer-term care requirements. The health of your loved one may deteriorate, so be sure to question how the facility will respond to this, to ensure you’re not left with rehousing difficulties later.

Leisure and Living Arrangements

Residents with Alzheimer’s or dementia need a safe and structured environment in which to live. Considering their living arrangements is as important as their individual care.

Where are they going to be sleeping, eating and enjoying leisure activities? The day-to-day experiences of your loved ones are important, so look into what sort of lifestyle they will get to lead, to make sure it’s suitable.

If you’re wondering about the amenities that a memory care facility can offer, why not take a look at our own?

Cost Considerations

While it can be difficult to think about, the cost of care has to be considered, to make sure it’s affordable.

Be sure to get a clear and upfront answer about the cost, including any additional charges that could be applicable in the future.

If you’re finding the cost of care difficult to bare, you might be able to receive federal or state help. Take a look at some of the government benefits you might be entitled to, especially if you’re from a low-income family.

Choose the Right Memory Care Facility

Our loved ones deserve the right to a caring, supportive environment that maintains their dignity and gives them the chance to flourish in their later years.

Picking the right memory care facility can go a long way to helping a family member with dementia or Alzheimer’s get the stability and care they need. While cost is important, so too is ensuring that the facility is respectable, with the right leisure, healthcare and security provision.

Why not schedule a tour of our facility here at Maple Heights and see if our community can’t become the new home for your loved one?

assisted living care Senior Living Tips & Advice

Advantages of an Assisted Living Community

In 2015, the United States was the home of 15,826 assisted living facilities. While some senior citizens need assisted living care in their daily routine, advantages of living in a community range from better healthcare to even social benefits.

Are you or a loved one curious about joining an assisted living community? Read on to see why so many Americans choose these communities, too.

Essential Help and Care

Living in an assisted living home can provide you or a loved one with the day-to-day care they need to continue living a life they love.

The leading cause of senior injury and death is falling down. With the assistance provided in an assisted living home, your loved one could instead live in a location made to be easily navigable. Staff members will also be present to address and aid your loved one in any way necessary.

The best assisted living care communities allow its residents a flexible, independent lifestyle with additional services if wanted or required. Whether these are assisted living or memory care services, the facility exists to put your loved one at ease.

Assisted Living Care Provides Community

Living in an assisted living community provides you or a loved one the opportunity to continue socializing even when movement or driving capabilities are limited.

While some individuals may enter a community with friends or loved ones, many instead find and make new friendships.

Assisted living communities often host their own events. This allows residents to meet and interact with each other. Forming friendships doesn’t have to stop with age. Through new activities and a shared living community, residents can regain social freedom.

Many communities also provide shuttles for their residents. These shuttles can bring residents to essential places, like the grocery store, if residents wish to cook on top of taking advantage of the community dining facility. Residents also have easy access to doctors appointments, community events, shopping and local social life in the nearby community.

Additionally, the shuttles serve to bring residents to events outside of the living community. Talk to your or your loved one’s assisted living community management to discuss opportunities like this.

Incredible Amenities

The vast majority of residents living in an assisted living move there directly from their own or a family home. Others move there directly from a hospital or rehabilitation facility.

Either way, the assisted living care community provides every facility needed for everyday care.

Some amenities can include:

  • dining services
  • exercise rooms
  • gardens and walking paths
  • theatre rooms

From food services to exercise rooms, communities ensure residents have everything essential and needed to stay healthy and happy.

Start with a Tour

Ready to find the perfect assisted living care community for you or a loved one? Start with a tour! A tour is the perfect way to assess a community’s ability to meet you or your loved one’s wants and needs.

Schedule a tour with Maple Heights Senior Living. We’d love to have you join us.

memory care assisted living Senior Living Tips & Advice

Understanding Memory Care in Assisted Living

If you or a loved one is suffering from dementia, is care becoming more and more difficult? It may be time to consider assisted living.

The idea of assisted living may seem frightening. It means lesjs time with family and trusting someone else for care. How can you know if it’s the right thing to do?

Allow us to ease your concerns. Continue reading to get a better understanding of when memory care assisted living is necessary.

Understanding Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

It’s common for most people to experience some memory loss as they get older. But dementia and Alzheimer’s are a more severe loss of cognitive function that can erase memories linked to identity and necessary daily tasks.

Dementia is becoming more and more common in aging people. It is believed to be caused by stress, vitamin deficiencies, and brain, liver, kidney or thyroid disorders.

Dementia is not simply a disease but a collective group of symptoms that hinder memory and cognitive function. Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia.

Warning Signs of Dementia

Like any degenerative disease, the key to treating dementia is an early diagnosis. Make an appointment with your doctor immediately if you or a loved one displays a consistent pattern of these behaviors:

  • Difficulty communicating
  • Difficulty with simple or familiar tasks
  • Misplacing items in strange locations
  • Mood swings, agitation
  • Overfixation on certain details
  • Declining level of self-care and hygiene
  • Poor judgment
  • Frequent, aimless wandering or getting lost

If you’ve noticed these behaviors frequently, call your doctor now. It’s best to be safe.

What to Do If You or a Loved One Is Suffering from Dementia

To repeat: first go to the doctor. The doctor will know best which treatment options to start with.

Unfortunately, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s and dementia. But there are treatments to keep it from getting worse, which is why early detection is so important. Common treatments include medication, live-in caregivers or assisted living communities with memory care.

Medications that act on neurotransmitters in the brain can relieve symptoms and improve cognitive function. But because they cannot stop the spread of the disease, they help only for a limited amount of time.

For early stages of dementia with mild symptoms, live-in care is a practical option. But more severe cases of dementia require 24-hour care to keep the patient from endangering his or herself. This may become a bigger commitment than family members or a single live-in professional can safely handle.

Memory care assisted living communities have the staff and home comforts dementia patients need. And it is all on hand, 24 hours a day.

When to Consider Memory Care Assisted Living

In this sensitive situation, you want to make the right choice for your family. To help, the Alzheimer’s Association provides us this list to know when memory care assisted living is the appropriate choice.

  • Has the person with dementia become unsafe in the home?
  • Is the health of the patient or caregiver at risk?
  • Is the person’s required care beyond the caregiver’s abilities?
  • Is the caregiver becoming stressed, irritable and impatient?
  • Is the caregiver neglecting work, family, and self?
  • Would the care structure and social aspects of an assisted living community benefit the patient?

Take some time to think over and discuss these questions with your family to decide if memory care assisted living can help.

Tour Maple Heights

If you and your family answered yes to those questions, please schedule your free tour of our brand new assisted living facilities in Washington DC.

Take a look at our floor plans and preview our amenities here. Call us to schedule your tour today.

assisted living homes Senior Living Tips & Advice

How to Choose the Right Senior Living in Washington…

Half of all Americans at retirement age will need long-term care at some point in their lives.

Approximately 10 million adults over 50 provide help to their parents. But many feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities.

When seniors need a community that will care for them while allowing them to enjoy their independence, they turn to assisted living homes.

Are you having trouble deciding between assisted living facilities in Washington DC? Keep reading to find out how you can choose one that best suits your needs and wants!

Pay Attention to the Staff

During the process of choosing the right senior living, you’ll need to visit the facilities. Getting a first-hand look is necessary to make an informed decision.

While you’re there, analyze how the staff treats the residents. Check to see if the residents seem happy and satisfied.

Also, make sure the staff is warm and accommodating when interacting with you as well. They should be ready and willing to answer any questions you may have.

Ask Plenty of Questions

Although it’s easy to get distracted during your visit, writing down a list of questions beforehand ensures you don’t miss anything.

Here are a few important questions you should consider asking the staff:

  • Does your community offer memory care?
  • Does each room have a private bathroom?
  • What types of floor plans do you have available?
  • Do you have wheelchair accessible furniture?

Feel free to add as many questions to your list as you wish. Prioritize those that pertain to any specific needs you have.

Look at Their Amenities

Do you have any interests or hobbies that are dear to you?

The availability of certain activities can play an important part in helping you feel at home. It also provides opportunities for you to socialize and build friendships within the community.

High-quality assisted living homes offer attractive amenities such as gyms and movie theaters. Some may have a private garden for you to take a walk or relax while enjoying nature.

Try the Food

Since they know food quality is going to be one of the key deciding factors for many people, most assisted living homes will show you their menu.

However, some will even allow you to sample their meals for free during the visit. They may also have a built-in bistro.

Don’t miss your opportunity to grab a bite. As you enjoy your free meal, pay attention to the freshness of the ingredients.

Final Thoughts on Deciding Between Assisted Living Homes

While it’s important to take proximity into consideration, try not to place too much emphasis on it. An assisted living facility that’s a couple miles further down the road might be a better option.

It’s also a good idea to avoid jumping at the first opportunity that presents itself. If possible, visit at least two or three communities before making your final decision.

Ready to experience what life is like in a luxurious senior living community? If so, make sure to schedule a tour with us today!

senior homes Senior Living Tips & Advice

Reasons to Choose Senior Living in Washington D.C.

Are you looking for a place to spend your golden years?

The years after you retire can be some of the best in your life. Hopefully, you’ve saved money and you can now enjoy spending it.

There’s no better place to retire than Washington D.C. This article will give you three reasons why you should look into senior homes in this area.

1) Amazing Public Transport

As we get older, it becomes riskier and riskier to drive a vehicle.

When you live in D.C., there’s no reason you should ever have to drive a car. Public transport can take you wherever you want to go.

Washington D.C. is known for its clean underground metro. You’ll no longer have to drive to doctor appointments or friends who live in the city.

You can put family member’s minds at ease when you stop driving a car. Plus, you won’t have to continually renew your driver’s license if you’re no longer driving.

2) Incredible History

When you live in the nation’s capital, it’s impossible to get bored.

You can use Washington D.C.’s amazing transport system to access a variety of public landmarks. The city is packed with museums, art expos, and monuments that will keep you exploring all through your golden years.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Museum of Natural History are two examples of incredible structures that are at your fingertips when you live here.

The majority of these museums are federally funded and free to the public.

When you were younger and traveling, you might have been more interested in going to a bar or nightclub than a museum. But now that you’re older, you can enjoy spending hours learning about America’s rich history in one of the many museums the city has to offer.

3) Plenty of Options for Senior Homes

Washington D.C. is home to dozens of assisted living facilities.

This means you can pick one based on your preferred location within the city. Senior homes are fantastic for reducing the stress on yourself and your family.

Senior homes offer assistance with laundry, meals, and prescriptions. The staff will ensure that you have everything you need while keeping your comfortable.

A senior home doesn’t have to be a sign that you can no longer take care of yourself. Actually, it can just be a sign that you’re lucky enough to have the money to gain access to one of these homes and all the perks that come with it.

Enjoy Your Retirement in D.C.

We hope this article has inspired you to retire in America’s capital city.

Washington D.C. is a wonderful city where you can experience seasons, history, and nature all at once.

Have questions about this article? Want to contact us for any reason? Please, do so here!

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