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How Much Does Independent Living Cost?

Oftentimes, whenever independent living is brought up, cost becomes the focal point of attention. While this is certainly understandable, it should never prevent older adults from getting the care they need for quality of life.

In fact, many seniors who look into long-term independent living communities don’t think they’ll be able to afford it. Unfortunately, the costs and fees associated with senior living tend to overshadow the many benefits, services, and amenities that independent living communities offer.

To help you get a better understanding of retirement communities and all that they entail, join us as we discuss value versus price, the average cost, and more.

The Cost of Independent Living: Value vs. Price

Moving to an independent living community is a big step. After all, you or your loved one is likely leaving a residence of many years to go somewhere completely new. Not only are the surroundings different, but so are the neighbors and way of life.

As such, the costs of independent living aren’t necessarily cheap. As mentioned, this is often the deciding factor for many people. But you have to look at senior living communities in the same light as you would if you were buying a new home or vehicle.

You’re making an investment, and with that investment comes living costs that need to be accounted for. But more importantly, you’re paying for the peace of mind of safety and security.

Unlike assisted living communities, independent senior housing offers a greater sense of freedom. You won’t find ongoing skilled nursing care or memory care, for example. But you will find independence. And for many seniors, that’s the most valuable part of independent living communities.

What Does Independent Living Include?

You can look forward to having access to helpful services designed to make your life easier once you move into an independent living community.

Whereas assisted living programs and nursing homes are centered on continuing care, retirement community services provide assistance to active residents who are capable of handling most of their own personal care.

The residents in a senior living community can look forward to getting help with home maintenance, yard work, housekeeping, laundry, transportation, and more.

Dining Options and More

Although the care independent living provides doesn’t require residents to be given three meals a day like assisted living, many offer dining options. Seniors can pay for their meals in advance, as well, if they should choose to do so.

What’s more, the living options in independent living communities differ from those found in assisted living programs. Housing is typically in the form of apartments that come with convenient amenities found in other traditional apartment buildings.

These include on-site laundry, maintenance personnel, and the other aforementioned services, such as assistance with housekeeping or transportation.

Some communities even have game rooms, theatres, bars, and more. These kinds of amenities ensure that seniors have plenty to do on a monthly basis. In addition, many of the apartments are equipped with entrance ramps and other accessible conveniences.

Is Independent Living Covered By Medicare?

While Medicare can sometimes pay for certain short-term care expenses, it does not pay for the costs associated with independent living. Instead, there is a monthly fee that you will be responsible for in order to live in a retirement community.

What Is the Average Cost of Living in a Retirement Home?

Depending on where you live, living in a retirement home can cost between $1,500 and $4,000 per month. While this may seem like a lot, it is considerably less compared to the fees involved with living in an assisted living facility.

If your income isn’t enough to cover the required rent, you might consider looking into a CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Communities). CCRC is a fee-for-service program that helps aging seniors get into long-term living communities.

Whether paying rent or an entrance fee, CCRC may provide the solution you need to get the care you deserve.

Need Assistance?

If you need help finding the right living arrangement or have questions about the cost of independent living, we encourage you to contact us at Mary T., Inc. Our specialists are more than happy to aid you in your search. We’ll ensure that you get into the best place based on your age, health, and needs.

Should I Move Into a 55 and Over Community?

Have you been wondering if moving to a 55+ community is right for you? You’ve probably passed by them as you drive around town, or seen commercials for them on TV. Real estate agencies usually market 55+ communities to older adults that live an active lifestyle. But what does that mean exactly? There are pros and cons to all retirement communities, and the 55+ ones are no different. Today we give you a glimpse of what life is like inside an active adult community. What you can expect while living there and reasons why it may or may not be a good fit for you.

What Is a 55+ Community?

55+ communities are built with the idea of bringing people together who are at the same stage of their lives. In other words, people who are either retired or preparing to enter retirement within the next 10-15 years. In reality, 55+ communities aren’t any different than other neighborhoods or developments. The reason behind the restrictions is not to exclude those that are younger but because the amenities of the property are geared toward people in that age bracket. You are more likely to find tennis courts, golf courses, and a clubhouse as opposed to a basketball court and a playground.

While most of the time these developments set the minimum at 55 years or older, they can range anywhere from 50+ to 65+. 55 plus communities are simply designed for active residents interested in a low maintenance lifestyle. They want to enjoy access to amenities and features steps away from their homes.

Pros of Living in a 55+ Community

One of the biggest reasons people move to a +55 community is maintenance. Owning a home usually comes with a lot of work – raking, painting, mowing, and all the other wonders of keeping up the curb appeal of your house. 55+ communities usually take care of all exterior home maintenance required to keep your home clean and attractive. This frees up more of your time to enjoy leisure activities.

55+ active adult communities can be almost resort-like. They feature a lot of amenities that allow you to take part in activities without ever leaving your community. You’ll find pools, fitness centers, walking paths, tennis courts, and theater rooms. Some may even have their own restaurants or business centers. Often there are organized community events giving you the opportunity to make friends with others in your neighborhood. Because you’ll be living with others who may be empty-nesters with established careers, you may discover it’s easy to create strong bonds and friendships with the other members of your retirement community.

Last but not least, because these communities are designed for those 55 years of age or more, you get to enjoy a mostly kid-free environment. Of course, children and grandchildren are welcome to visit. But lack of kids living there full time usually means 55+ neighborhoods are peaceful, quiet places to live.

Cons of 55+ Retirement Communities

Some of the very things that make active adult communities attractive to some can also feel very restricting to others. For some, the lack of age diversity in a retirement community is not something they want to seek out. Living with people of varying ages can make one feel more a part of mainstream society as opposed to being sheltered with others in your age bracket. Also, if you are looking to buy a house as an investment for your family, be aware that age restrictions could make it difficult for your heirs to take over the house from you upon your passing. Most active adult communities require at least one resident of the home to be over the age of 55 in order to live within the community.

Another thing to consider is that all of those amenities that are included in active senior living communities are not free. The homeowner’s association usually pays for them. HOA fees for 55 and older communities can cost quite a bit of money. They also only increase with the number of amenities and services the communities offer. And most HOAs do not include any sort of assisted living or healthcare services. In fact, most age-qualified communities are considered single-family homes. They also do not offer any type of senior-specific medical care or assistance. HOAs can also be very restrictive and don’t allow much room for creativity. Be sure to investigate the rules of your HOA. You want to make sure that it doesn’t impact the lifestyle you wish to pursue.

What Does Active Community Mean?

An active adult community refers to an age-restricted neighborhood or development where anyone the age of 55 or over can live independent, active lives. The seniors who live here are looking for a location that offers easy ways to keep active and in shape. They don’t require care services, medical assistance, or help with daily activities. Seniors interested in fitness, playing golf, and living their later years to the fullest typically live in these types of communities. They enjoy being near to other neighbors. They also like being part of a robust senior living community while aging in place and enjoying their independence.

Is An Active Adult Community For You?

If you are looking to downsize from your home into a site that offers low-maintenance housing with a lot of amenities, one of these communities may be the perfect place for you to call home. Residents often find socialization a lot easier with yoga classes and walking clubs at their disposal. Life inside an active adult community can open up a lot of opportunities. Opportunities that you may not get to normally take advantage of. Just be sure that the site you choose has the features you are most interested in. And that the homeowners association doesn’t have rules you won’t find acceptable. Most people find that the benefits of living in an active adult community are just what they need in the years leading up to retirement.

Mary T has 55+ community locations in both Coon Rapids, MN and Casa Grande, AZ. If you’re looking independent living or a 55+ community in those areas, contact us for more information.

Working as an Assisted Living Nursing Assistant

Nursing assistants play a vital role in the care of residents at nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They are essential providers. They help patients with the activities of daily living. As well as support nurses by taking vital signs and giving medications. Being a CNA is a challenging but rewarding job. It’s also a great way to embark on a medical career. What does being a certified nursing assistant involve? What are their responsibilities? How do you become one?

What You Do as a Certified Nursing Assistant

Certified Nursing Assistants take on a multitude of tasks on a daily basis. While some of the job is routine, no two days are ever alike. The main responsibility of a CNA is to care for patients and help them to do things they can’t do on their own. You will need a certain amount of strength as you’ll often be working with people who may be frail or ill.

Working with RNs and LPNs

Most times, a CNA works under a Registered Nurse (RN) or a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). It’s important for you to have great communication skills. This is because you will be acting as the go-between for the nurse and the patient. You’ll be asked to perform daily tasks such as bathing patients to keep them clean and comfortable, helping them eat and drink, and making sure their rooms stay clean and sanitary. You’ll be asked to assist patients in and out of bed and help them to change positions.

It is also the job of nursing assistants to support the nurse in the medical care of a patient. You may answer call buttons and fulfill personal patient requests as they come. As well as take and record patients’ vital signs such as temperature and blood pressure. Nursing assistants become very close to the patients in their community. That’s why they are often the ones who notice health changes first. It’s important for them to be able to convey these changes to the nurses so that appropriate measures can be taken.

Nursing assistants are in charge of a lot of things, but there are tasks that they are not allowed to perform. For example, while they are allowed to administer medications, they are not qualified to give intramuscular shots or IV injections. They also don’t work with open wounds, insert catheters or administer tube feedings. These are procedures that only nurses have the training and skills to complete.

What is the difference between a PCA and a CNA?

A Patient Care Assistant’s primary job is to be a caregiver to a patient, whereas a CNA is a ground-floor healthcare worker. You do not need to become certified to be a PCA, but a CNA must have certification status before embarking on a career. PCAs work with patients to make sure they eat, keep good hygiene, and work on mobility needs such as pushing a wheelchair. Nursing Assistants have more training and are therefore expected to take care of the medical needs. Both careers are worthwhile jobs that are important within the patient community.

How Do You Become a CNA, and Where Can You Work?

Whether you are interested in getting in on the ground floor of a nursing career or just think getting a job as a CNA is something you want to do, getting started is easy. If you have a high school diploma or a GED, you can enroll in a state-approved CNA program. The length of the program will vary depending on your state’s requirements, but most education programs take anywhere from 4-12 weeks to complete. Your training and education will include courses in health, science, and hygiene; as well as building skills in the field. Once you are certified, you can search for a job at almost any health facility, including hospitals and nursing homes. Salaries vary depending on employers and location, but you can expect to make a salary anywhere between $20,000 – $45,000 per year.

Start Your Career as a CNA

The need for CNAs on a national level is expected to increase due to the aging population in the country. If you are a compassionate person who loves to work with people, becoming a certified nursing assistant may be the perfect career for you.

Mary T is always looking for kind individuals who have chosen to make the care of others the focus of their career. Visit our website to see our open positions and come join our team!

Levels of Hospice Care

Hospice care is a service given to a terminally ill patient or anyone given a prognosis of six months or less to live by a medical doctor. Also considered end-of-life care, or comfort care, Medicare has defined hospice services as made up of four levels of care. Not all hospice patients need or receive all four levels of hospice care. One patient may only use one level, while another may go through all four levels in a week or less. Each hospice patient goes through their own unique journey.

Level 1: Routine Home Care

This is the most basic level of medicare certified hospice care. It exists for patients living at home, have been confirmed eligible for hospice care by a medical doctor, and qualify for Medicare Part A and B. The majority of patients who receive 90 days of hospice care or more are getting this type of hospice care. This level of hospice is usually appointment-based and includes such services as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Intermittent skilled nursing services
  • Durable medical equipment
  • Part-time use of a home health aide
  • Medical supplies for home use

At this level of hospice, you don’t have access to 24/7 care. However, many centers for medicare and hospice agencies keep a nurse on-call at all times for families that have urgent needs.

Level 2: Continuous Home Care

Continuous care is the second of the four levels of hospice care. It is usually used in times of crisis. We elevate patients that require continuous care for a minimum of eight hours straight, within a 24 hours to manage acute symptoms, into this hospice care level of care. Continuous home care may cover such symptoms as:

  • Severe nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Unrelieved pain
  • Heightened anxiety or panic attacks
  • A change in primary caregiver support at home

If a hospice patient has symptoms that cannot be controlled, level 2 hospice care allows a nurse to stay with the family as long as necessary until the patient is comfortable. Level 2 can also assist in cases where the person is actively dying.

Level 3: General Inpatient Care

Sometimes patients may experience symptoms so extreme that they cannot receive adequate hospice and palliative care at home. Or sometimes they feel more comfortable at a certified hospice care facility. General inpatient care gives a patient access to palliative care 24-hours a day, and can be done at a nursing home, assisted living facility or other hospice facility. Some patients with a terminal illness prefer an inpatient facility because it eases the responsibility of family caregivers and allows them to simply be there for emotional support. A nursing facility can administer sufficient pain relief and medications along with emotional support for everyone during a difficult time. This doesn’t mean that an inpatient facility gives a better level of care than intermittent or routine home care. Every patient is different and needs to take advantages of the services that best suit their wishes and needs.

Level 4: Respite Care

You shouldn’t underestimate the stress of being a primary caregiver. While many of them would not have it any other way, taking care of someone who is nearing the end of their life is an around the clock job. Medicare understands that sometimes, for many reasons, people need to take a break, or step back from giving their loved one constant care. With respite care, we can admit a patient to a 24-hour nursing facility on a temporary basis. Which gives a caregiver time to take care of their own physical and emotional needs. Not everyone needs this hospice benefit, but respite care can be a lifesaver to caregivers who do not have enough help or support.

Who Determines The Levels of Hospice Care?

Anyone who qualifies for hospice has a team that consists of both the patient’s personal doctor and a hospice doctor. The levels of hospice care a person qualifies for falls under the responsibility of the hospice physician. The most important thing is that with these four levels of hospice care in place, a patient may always be able to get the care they need to live out their lives in a calm and peaceful manner.

If you have any questions about our hospice care services here at Mary T, send us a message or give us a call.

Hospice Care Criteria

Nobody likes to contemplate the need for hospice care because it’s never easy to face the loss of a loved one. It’s a decision that usually needs to be made while dealing with strong emotions such as sadness, anger, and grief. However, hospice care can be comforting as well. Both for the patient and the family. Hospice care criteria is different from palliative care in that palliative care can begin at the time of diagnosis. Hospice care, on the other hand, begins once treatment is stopped and it becomes apparent that a person will not survive their illness. Both hold the comfort of the patient in high regard, but hospice is where end-of-life comfort care becomes a top priority.

When is it time to consider hospice care as an option?

People become eligible for hospice when a doctor determines they have a terminal illness with a prognosis of six months or less if the disease runs its normal course. A doctor will usually recommend hospice services based on the following three situations:

  1. The patient’s condition stops improving, and they fail to thrive. Usually, at this point, they have progressed into end-stage disease.
  2. If one’s goals change and they decide that they aren’t feeling better and would rather not be in a hospital setting. Or, they feel anxious about dying and want extra supportive care.
  3. Any acute health event, such as a heart attack or stroke, may require immediate end-of-life care.

During hospice, the goals of treatment change. You are no longer treating to cure a disease, you are treating to keep the patient as relaxed and pain-free as possible. Whether patients are suffering from a terminal illness or simply old age, the goals are the same. To ease the process of dying and make it as comfortable for the patient and the family as possible.

How do patients qualify for hospice care?

First, a medical professional must refer a patient for hospice care. Then a hospice nurse will perform an assessment of the patient’s health. During this assessment, the hospice nurse will look for certain hospice care criteria, such as:

  • Daytime sleeping
  • Increased cognitive impairment or confusion
  • Weight loss of 10% in the last 3 – 6 months
  • Incontinence
  • Disease progression in spite of treatment
  • Not performing daily activities
  • Increased hospital stays or visits to the ER
  • Pain and suffering

Once the assessment is complete, it’s reviewed by a hospice team, which is responsible for making the final recommendation that a patient will qualify for hospice care. However, in most medical facilities, it is the medical director that makes the final decision.

What is the hospice care criteria for Medicare?

Hospice is usually covered under the Medicare Hospice Benefit for patients that are eligible for Medicare Part A – Hospital Insurance. A hospice benefit is also available to those that qualify for Medicaid as well. In order to confirm hospice eligibility from Medicare, both a hospice doctor and your regular doctor must certify that the patient is terminally ill with a life expectancy of six months or less if the disease runs its normal course.

It’s important to note that when you agree to hospice care, you forgo any care meant to cure your illness. The patient or their power of attorney will be required to sign a statement choosing hospice care over other Medicare benefits used to treat the patient. Medicare coverage for hospice care includes anything needed for pain relief, nursing and social services, drugs for pain management, durable medical equipment, homemaker services, and other things such as spiritual and grief counseling for the patient and their family.

Hospice Is Difficult but Often Comforting

Once you get through making the hard decision, patients always benefit from end-of-life care. Hospice teams are very experienced in making a custom plan of care for their patients. Whether you decide to use an inpatient facility or do home hospice, the family and the hospice team work closely to provide the best services to benefit the patient. Hospice will make a very difficult time easier to manage for all involved.

What is it Like Working in Assisted Living?

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work in an Assisted Living facility? It’s not easy work, but it can be one of the most rewarding careers out there. The residents you meet and the relationships you build with both them and your fellow employees can literally change your life. When people move into senior living, it’s a huge adjustment. Being surrounded by staff that has the compassion to understand the difficulties we will all face later in life can make a huge difference.

What Can You Expect?

The main to expect when working in a nursing home or an assisted living community is to expect the unexpected. Typically, assisted living facilities are active communities and you never know what the day will bring. Of course, the main thing you will be focused on is providing care for the patients and residents who live there. This includes everything from nursing and medical care to helping a resident with their activities of daily living. You may run a senior yoga class, or arrange for a local high school choir to come in and perform a concert. You also may help residents with more sensitive tasks such as bathing, toileting, and getting from one place to another.

The Benefits of Working in an Assisted Living Community

While the work can be challenging, there are many benefits to working in a senior facility. If you are interested in a nursing career, working in assisted living provides the opportunity to work with nurses and gain some valuable hands-on experience. Most senior living facilities provide their staff with the opportunity to become First Aid and CPR certified free of charge. This way employees are always prepared to support a resident in need.

A more personal benefit is the ability to give back to a generation that did so much to help us learn and grow. It’s very rewarding to help members of your assisted living community live fuller, happier lives. Many long-term patients do not get regular visits from family and friends. So it means a lot when you building relationships with the residents. You may be surprised by the stories you’ll hear and the valuable lessons you can learn from the seniors you take care of day in and day out.

What Types of Employees Work in Assisted Living?

Many jobs come together to help nursing homes and assisted living facilities to run smoothly. We consider nurses management when it comes to the total care and medical needs of a patient. A nurse that works in any senior care facility needs special skills, training, and schooling to perform their duties. Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, provide basic care to residents who need help completing daily tasks. They assist in nursing duties such as the daily monitoring and recording of vital signs. They also help patients with their daily physical needs, including eating, bathing, using the bathroom, and moving around.

Administration employees help run the day-to-day of the facility. While Marketing professionals work to spread the word about their facility and make sure potential residents see the benefits of one facility over another. The Maintenance staff has a huge responsibility in giving patients a clean and pleasing environment to live in. It takes a large team with many different skills to provide the high level of care residents deserve.

How to Adjust to an Assisted Living Career

If you have never worked in senior services before, it may take a bit of an adjustment before you are completely comfortable. One of the most important things to watch out for is something known as compassion fatigue. Most people who go for a job working in a nursing home or an assisted living facility do so because they want to make a difference. As much as you want to make an impact on the health and well-being of your residents, it’s important to maintain professional boundaries for your own health and well-being. Empathy is important when working in senior living, but empathy without boundaries can drain you both mentally and physically.

It’s also helpful to remember that not everyone who lives at your facility wants to be there. They may be suffering from serious healthcare problems such as dementia, or more general mental conditions such as depression. Basically, often aging seniors have a lot to deal with. Try not to take it personally if they are not initially receptive to your help and support.

Lastly, you can’t work in such a personal capacity with people without talking about grief. Death is never far away when working in a nursing home or senior care community. You will be in close contact and develop personal relationships with seniors who are nearing the end of their life. It can be very difficult to let go when the inevitable happens. Learn to lean on your peers. Talk to your coworkers and take advantage of any support program your facility has to offer.

If you are interested in finding a job within the assisted living community, there is always a need for professionals willing to take on the challenge. Come on board and get ready to embark on an amazing career. Visit our career page for more information see what positions are available!

Apartments for Seniors

If you or a loved one have your heart set on aging in place, a senior living community might be the perfect place to do it. Downsizing into an apartment allows you to cash in on the equity you’ve built up in your house. Which also gives you the freedom to enjoy retirement. And apartments geared specifically for seniors offer an ideal environment for those who are still able to live independently but want to let go of the responsibility and maintenance that comes with owning a house.

What Are Senior Apartments

Senior apartments are the same as any other apartment, except that you must be over the age of 55 to live there. These communities are filled with all kinds of active adults who are in the same stage of their lives. Everyone is winding down and getting ready to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Senior apartments are not necessarily a retirement community. But certain things specific to Making sure the apartments are wheelchair accessible, for example. You may also find extra perks like laundry and housekeeping services, onsite fitness centers, and more. Mary T. has several senior living communities that offer tons of amenities that are included in your monthly rent payment.

Independent Living at Mary T.

Margaret Place, the premier independent senior living community, is named after the daughter of Rosa Camille Williams, who dedicated her life to caring for those in need. Rosa was a nurse who provided care in hospitals and homes in the early 1900s. She was the inspiration for her daughter, Margaret, and her granddaughter, Mary T, to provide services to improve the lives of others in the community.

Margaret Place is located in Coon Rapids, Minnesota only a short walk from Lions Coon Creek Park. It features one-and-two-bedroom apartments for adults aged 55 and over starting at $1,350/month as of the writing of this article. Each unit offers individual temperature control and an emergency response system. In addition, heat, hot water, trash, and recycling are also included with your monthly rent. You’ll find complimentary laundry facilities on each floor, a resident-controlled entrance, and have a 24-hour on-site resident manager at your disposal.

What Makes Margaret Place Special

Margaret Place is an active community with numerous scheduled activities. There are garden clubs, on-site church services, a multitude of wellness and fitness programs, and other things all hosted by our caring staff. You can choose from a number of group activities and outings. Or even just take a walk along Sand Creek Trail, which is within easy reach from your unit. You can also take advantage of the exercise room, or book one of our indoor or outdoor common areas for private gatherings with family and friends.

There are also other services you can add on for an additional fee. These include a regular lunch, housekeeping services, or access to our parking garage. We even have an on-site beauty shop so you can pamper yourself steps away from home. Also, if you need any ongoing medical care, our awesome Home Health staff is available through Mary T. Home Health to assist you in any way we can.

If you’d like more information about senior housing at Margaret Place, we are located at:

1555 118th Ln NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448

763-754-2505

7 Tips for Adjusting to Assisted Living Facility

Moving your parent into an assisted living facility is bound to be bittersweet, whether it’s a welcomed decision or not. Change is always difficult even in the best of circumstances, but when moving to an assisted living community, your loved one is leaving their home, and their independence, behind them.

There will be many emotions to sort through, for both you and your parents. They will most likely be mourning the loss of their younger years, nervous about the future, and grieving over the life they are leaving behind. You will inevitably feel guilt at making this decision. Sometimes wondering if you acted too quickly or if there was more you could do to help them stay in their home longer. Try not to worry, there are many ways you can help ease the transition into an assisted living community.

1. Make sure to pick an assisted living home that’s a good fit.

Most people find that assisted living becomes a necessity when their senior needs help with at least three daily living activities. Like eating, bathing, and dressing, for example. There are many priorities to consider when choosing the best senior living facility. Location is one of the biggest considerations that should be taken into account. Should you find one that’s close to where they are currently living? Or can they relocate somewhere closer to friends and family? It’s very helpful to have your parent nearby so you can support them with frequent visits, engage with staff members and take care of your loved ones day to day needs.

Quality of life is another thing to evaluate. What is the food and dining situation like? Do they have the types of social happenings Mom or Dad like to participate in? Investigate how they handle housekeeping services and medical assistance. Don’t underestimate transportation and parking either. You will probably be visiting frequently and you don’t want to waste time or money searching (or paying!) for parking.

Don’t be afraid to reach out for recommendations from family members, agencies that advocate for the elderly, or your local church community. These can be valuable resources as you search for the perfect place.

2. Help them make their new room their own.

The first few months of living at an assisted living facility are often made better by placing familiar items in their new environment. You obviously won’t be able to bring everything. But bringing along family photographs, their favorite books, and wall decorations can make the transition easier. You may even be able to take a favorite easy chair or dresser. Assisted living facilities want your family member to feel comfortable. They’ll encourage you to help your loved one set up their room just the way they like it.

3. Visit often and be an advocate.

Most experts agree that it’s best to visit your parent as much as possible. However, in the beginning, as your parents begin to adjust to assisted living, you will have to gauge how often you should visit. Frequent visits may help your senior feel at home and give them the confidence to take advantage of the benefits that come with their new home. But if you find that your loved one is coming to depend on your visits too much and not getting involved in their new community, it might be better to give them time to adjust on their own.

At the same time, it’s important to be an advocate for any new resident. They may feel hesitant to speak up for things that they want. The staff is almost always open to things that are outside the norm as long as it doesn’t interfere with the resident’s health or safety. Never be afraid to ask for special considerations or raise concerns on behalf of your parent.

4. Make sure they have access to the activities they loved.

Being able to still do the things they have always loved is important to helping a loved one with adjusting to assisted living. If your senior loves to read, make sure they have plenty of books at their disposal. If they have an obsession with movies, a TV and a DVD player may be in order. If they never missed their weekly bingo game, see if their new home has a regular game. Assisted living facilities have many activities for seniors to enjoy. So help your family member get involved in the ones they find the most interesting.

5. Provide them the means to maintain some independence.

In other words, try not to be overprotective. Of course you want to make sure Mom or Dad is taken care of. But our seniors had lives of their own before making this transition, and they will be happier if they feel like they are still in charge of their own lives to some extent.

If they are tech-savvy, give them a smartphone as a way to stay connected to the outside world, and a way to call you if they need something. Set them up with their own television and pay for cable so they can watch their favorite TV shows without having to do so in a common room. Many seniors live full and interesting lives inside assisted living, so be a part of it but don’t hover.

6. Encourage them to develop a community and life within the facility.

Don’t be afraid to leave a new resident alone to experience and socialize with their new community. Adjusting to assisted living will take some time. Once residents adjust to their new home, they will usually develop a whole new social circle filled with new friends, adventures, gossip, and drama. You want to be a part of their new life, you don’t want it to revolve around you. Encouraging them to be involved in their new surroundings really goes a long way to the long-term health and happiness of all residents.

7. Connect with the staff.

This may be one of the most important tips you get when moving your parent into a new facility. The staff are the ones that are responsible for taking care of all the residents. They will be interacting with them day in an day out, and will be the first to notice any change that should be brought to your attention. Developing a good connection with the staff will naturally create a better environment for your loved one. Involve them in discussions about how your loved one is adjusting to the transition. Talk to them about who your parent is, what they love to do and any personality traits they might want to be on the lookout for. Going the extra mile to show the staff that they are appreciated does wonders for everyone involved.

Bonus Tip – Be a Good Listener

Good senior care starts with being a good listener. When you move someone into an assisted living facility, it’s a difficult transition. Listen and be empathetic to your parent as they adjust to their new surrounding. Pay attention to the things they need, and bring them on your next visit. Listen to what the staff says about behavior they see, or changes that need to be dealt with. Listen to family members if they report back to you after seeing your loved one if you can’t be there. With patience and a lot of love, making the move into assisted living will be a great decision for everyone involved.

Types of Jobs in Assisted Living Homes

If you are looking for a career that allows you to give something back to others, one that touches lives and leaves the world a better place, you may want to consider jobs in an assisted living homes. Assisted living facilities need more than nurses. They are supported by a wide variety of people holding various full-time jobs. All working closely together to lift up those that call these communities home.

What is it like working in an assisted living facility?

Assisted living is different from a nursing home. Many who live in this type of community do not receive around-the-clock nursing care. They mostly need what is considered custodial care. Maybe they suffer from mobility issues and need help getting around, or they have minor memory loss and are no longer able to live completely on their own.

Unlike a nursing home, which requires more of a hospital feel due to the medical needs of its residents, assisted living is often made up of individual residential apartments, or suites. When you work at an assisted living facility, your days are never boring. You get the chance to build meaningful relationships, both with staff and the residents. You will encounter many different types of challenges that often require thinking outside the box. Whether you are helping a family support a depressed loved one or assisting a senior with mobility issues get his exercise, the work is rewarding and fulfilling.

Below is an overview of some of the jobs assisted living homes rely on to keep their residents safe and healthy.

Nursing

Even though assisted living communities don’t require 24/7 medical care, Nurses are often kept on staff to keep an eye on the resident’s health. If it’s a smaller community, they may use the services of a Visiting Nurse instead of having one on staff. However, most places keep at least one Nurse on-site at all times.

Nurses usually develop close relationships with residents, observing them in detail to ensure top-quality healthcare as a whole. They are responsible for managing total care. Which includes duties such as creating initial care plans, administering medications, giving injections, drawing blood, and preparing IVs when necessary. They are also responsible for meeting with the families to report changes in the health and safety of their loved ones living at the home.

CNA

Certified Nursing Assistants usually work under a nurse and provide basic care to residents who need help completing daily tasks. Certified Nursing Assistants will monitor vital signs and help residents with their daily needs. Things like eating, bathing, toileting, and moving around. Being a CNA is a physically challenging job, often requiring them to be on their feet most of the day. They will be the ones to help lift and move patients. They transfer them from one place to another and push them in wheelchairs whenever necessary.

Because they spend so much time with the residents, CNAs are a vital link between the resident and the rest of their healthcare team. Job seekers who are looking for a position within the healthcare industry can usually complete a CNA certification course within 4-12 weeks.

Resident Assistant

A career as a Resident Assistant means spending your days providing for the needs of residents and completing various administrative tasks as required. Some of the responsibilities overlap with things a CNA does. For example, bathing residents, helping them to the toilet, dressing them, cooking and serving meals, and collecting food trays. You may help answer phones, receive visitors and help nurses with documentation. RAs also assist in the planning and execution of social and recreational activities for the residents to enjoy. It is a challenging job, but a rewarding one.

Activities Director

One of the benefits of living in an Assisted Living community is easy access to activities. That job falls to the Activities Director. They are in charge of making sure the residents have plenty to do. Yoga, karaoke, movie nights, bingo, and exercise groups are usually scheduled on a regular basis for senior residents to take advantage of. The Activities Director may also look to outside resources to provide entertainment such as concerts or poetry readings as well as outside trips for those who are able to museums, theaters, and more. If you have great people skills and enjoy event planning and doing what you can to improve people’s quality of life, this is a great career choice.

Administration and Marketing

Job seekers that have no direct interest in health care may find their place working on the administration side of an Assisted Living Facility. These people typically include those that make sure their facilities are up-to-date regarding the latest state standards. Jobs in assisted living homes that fall under the administration umbrella include the Facilities Director, Administration Assistants, and other coordinators. And of course, Assisted Living Facilities need residents in order to be profitable. So that is where the marketing staff comes in. A Marketing Director is employed to spread the word about their facility. They also make sure potential residents see the benefits of one facility over another.

Mary T Senior Living

Rosa Camille Williams was a nurse who provided care in hospitals and homes in the early 1900s. She dedicated her life to those in need. She was the inspiration for her daughter, Margaret, and granddaughter, Mary T., to provide senior living services to those that need them. We have two Assisted Living locations that provide a healthy, safe, and caring environment for those that reside there.

Creekside Cottage

1190 117th Ave NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448

Eagle Street

Eagle Street NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55448

Each of these 12-bed locations provide personal care for those with special medical needs and memory loss. Mary T as a company is proud to serve as employers to over 1,000 people who work a variety of different jobs. Visit our Careers page to learn more about jobs in assisted living homes and working for Mary T Inc.

Caring for an Elderly Parent

Watching your parents age can bring up a whole host of different emotions. It’s difficult to go from being cared for to being the caregiver, and it’s a role reversal that most of us will face at one time or another. Being a caregiver means different things to different people. It doesn’t matter if your elderly parents are aging in place, living in your home, an assisted living facility, or a nursing home. There will be things you’ll have to deal with that are outside of what you have done in the past. But how do you go about caring for an elderly parent? How do you turn the vague feeling of “My parents need help” into an actionable plan? Try not to be overwhelmed. Take things a step at a time and use the resources available to help you along.

Who is responsible for taking care of aging parents?

For some of us, the answer to this question is simple. It’s the responsibility of the adult children, right? Not necessarily. Relationships are complicated, and sometimes making the decision to become a caregiver can be very difficult. From a legal standpoint, whether or not adult children are responsible for their parents’ caregiving varies from state to state. 27 states have what are called Filial Responsibility Laws that require family members to take at least minimal responsibility for aging parents. In other states, children are under no legal requirement to provide senior care. But in general, most of us want to make sure our loved ones are cared for in some fashion.

How do you take care of elderly parents?

Caregiving comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. It doesn’t mean that you have to allow your parents to move in with you and your family, although you may absolutely choose to do so. Caregiving simply means making sure the long-term care needs of your loved one are met. Seniors need support in many different ways. Some have health issues that need to be addressed. Some need help finding programs and services that can keep them in their own homes as long as possible. Others may require in-home care or even 24-hour supervision. How you choose to care for your aging parents is a deeply personal decision. What is right for one person may not be feasible for another.

Consider Their Needs

The best way to start caring for aging parents is to take a step back and see what they need help with. Consider what they do on a daily basis. Can they prepare their meals safely? How is their mobility? Do they have a good social support network? Do they have any health care issues that require assistance? Can they take care of their personal hygiene? Make sure to engage them in the conversation about how they feel about living on their own. Pay attention to how their home looks when you visit. You may discover that for the time being, your parents can take care of themselves and stay at home with some added safety precautions and additional care from you or someone else in the family. You can also tap into programs and services that provide some type of home care such as cleaning services or Meals-on-Wheels.

When it’s Time for the Next Step

However, you may find that your parents aren’t able to safely live on their own. If you and your aging parents agree that it’s time to find some extra support, take stock of what you are able and willing to provide. Your first instinct might be to bring them into your home, but caring for elderly parents takes time and commitment. You may find that you can’t provide your seniors with the help and support they need to be safe and healthy. In that case, finding another solution, such as an assisted living facility or a nursing home, may be the only option that will work for all involved.

How do you care for elderly parents at home?

A Teenage Girl with Mother and Grandmother at HomeCaregiving for aging loved ones in your home is a big decision that should be discussed openly and honestly with all involved. Once you have everyone on board, you can get down to the business of actually caregiving. Make sure you know what needs you have to meet to keep your Mom or Dad healthy and safe. Keep a notebook handy to jot down notes of things that you notice during the first few weeks you’re caring for them at home. Create a list of caregiving tasks that need to be completed on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. Level of home care may change based on time of day, or on weekends. Decide how much you are able to handle on your own, and find help if you need it.

Taking care of a parent is often made easier by enlisting other family members for assistance, but there are also respite programs, cleaning services and more that can help out when time is a problem. If you work outside the home, try looking into adult daycare services that can watch your parent while at the office. Living with an aging parent has its own set of challenges, so it’s important not to get overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to step back and reassess the situation if need be.

Is there government assistance for caring for elderly parents?

Caregivers may not be aware that there are many government programs available that can help if you are charged with taking care of an aging parent. You probably know that Medicare is available to cover the health care of seniors. Medicare Part A covers hospital care and is usually provided for free. Medicare Part B is additional health coverage and Part D covers prescriptions. Caregivers that discover they can’t meet the needs of their aging parents can get their seniors approved for Medicaid to help pay for a long-term care facility. Another option Medicaid provides is paying for in-home caregivers, and the person who provides that care can often be a family member, or even a spouse. Some states also offer financial assistance to caregivers of aging seniors.

The Administration of Aging has agencies located in each state to help families navigate health insurance questions, legal assistance and help with long-term care if that is something your senior needs. They are a great source of information and can point caregivers in the right direction to help resolve many of the challenges put forth when caregiving.

How do you deal with the stress of caring for an elderly parent?

Caring for aging parents can be a very rewarding experience, but it is also one of the most stressful things you may ever do. Oftentimes, a caregiver is so focused on the care they’re giving that they fail to provide care for themselves. This can lead to caregivers becoming overwhelmed and resentful. It can also have a negative effect on your own health, making you incapable of caring for anyone at all! So how do you deal with the stress?

For one thing, it’s extremely important for you to check in with yourself on a daily basis. Be sure you get enough sleep, exercise and downtime. Lean on family members to help with certain tasks. Make time for activities that you enjoyed prior to taking on your caregiving duties. There are caregiver support groups available in-person or online to help you navigate the new emotions and challenges that come with caregiving. Most important, try to remember that you can’t be everything to everyone. At the end of the day, you will know that you did the best you could to support your loved one as they take on their senior years.

If you’re looking for senior care and senior living options in Minnesota, our staff at Mary T will be happy to help. Contact us when you’re ready.