The Need For Assisted Living Options

Category News & Blog | Time | Published April 20, 2017

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Your parents raised you and protected you as a child. Now the tables have turned. As they age, your parents may require a new level of care from you. If you or their spouse cannot provide that type of care in the home, it may be time to consider assisted living.

In 2012, 12 million aging Americans needed long-term care. That number is expected to climb to 27 million by the year 2050, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

When it comes to assisted living, the numbers are more specific. In 2012, the government listed 22,200 assisted living facilities across the United States. Frontline reported that nearly 750,000 people lived in those assisted living facilities.

Cottage Grove Place in Cedar Rapids is expanding to meet the needs of these seniors. We’re happy to report that we’ll be adding 24 additional assisted living apartments, for a total of 43 apartments. We will also build 18 more memory care units, which will increase our memory care units to 30 spaces.

With a chronic shortage of assisted living and nursing home accommodations in Linn County, Cottage Grove Place is poised to grow with the area. We offer independent living, skilled nursing care, memory care, and assisted living. Further, we are the only LifeCare retirement community in the Cedar Rapids area

As a LifeCare retirement community, your loved one is guaranteed care. LifeCare includes a full continuum of on-site services. For example, someone may begin in our independent living community, then transition to assisted living, skilled nursing, or memory care, as needed. Once your parent or loved one moves into Cottage Grove Place, he or she receives guaranteed LifeCare benefits.

Why is this continuum of care so important? According to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers, assisted living residents have many chronic medical conditions. In fact, 46 percent of the residents studied had three or more serious illnesses. But just a little more than half those facilities had a registered nurse on staff. At Cottage Grove, your loved one has access to professional nursing care 24/7/365.

When people visit our beautiful Cedar Rapids campus, we enjoy answering questions about our retirement community. If you’re considering assisted living housing, we’ve compiled a few of our frequently answered questions (FAQ’s). We hope these will also help guide you as you tour other facilities.

How do I know if my parent needs assisted living care?

People who live in residential care facilities (RCF’s) receive support and housing services. However, residents in assisted living typically do not require the advanced level of care provided by nursing homes.

Many medical and insurance assessments mention the phrase activities of daily living (ADL). For most of us, these are actions and routines we easily perform. However, if your parent needs help with any of them–eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring (walking) and continence–it may be time to consider assisted living. Doctors and social workers can help you determine if assisted living makes sense for your loved one.

In addition to the ADL list above, sometimes there are more subtle changes you observe in your parent. For example, has your Mom or Dad:

  • Stopped opening the mail?
  • Lost a lot of weight?
  • Had trouble driving?
  • Become noticeably more frail?
  • Stopped going out with friends?
  • Ceased cleaning the home?
  • Neglected pets?
  • Slept longer than usual?

As the child, you know what is normal behavior for your parent. If anything seems different, it’s a good idea to have schedule physical to rule out anything easily fixed. There may be a logical explanation for changed behaviors.

For example, cataracts may be the reason driving is more difficult for your loved one. Hearing loss may explain why your parent doesn’t like going out with friends. A thorough exam–with detailed questions by the doctor–can determine what changes can be improved or reversed and what changes may be permanent.

You may also see that a chronic disease is progressing more rapidly. Sometimes a short stay in a rehab center–like the superior program we offer at Cottage Grove–is enough to help. If you cannot provide the level of care necessary for your parent, sometimes a move to assisted living is, literally, just what the doctor ordered.

What questions should I ask about assisted living?

If you’ve ever chosen a daycare or doctor, the questions to ask at assisted living facilities are very similar. However, because assisted living may be one of the last moves your parent ever makes, you need to focus on financial matters as well as healthcare. You should feel confident with all the answers provided by the retirement community. If not, we recommend continuing your search.

Following are a few questions potential residents have asked us over the years:

  • What are your costs for assisted living? This is a critical question. Medicare does not cover assisted living costs. You must be sure the required care fits in your parent’s budget.
  • Are there different costs for various levels of service? Like the question above, this an important consideration. Some facilities will quote a price for care. Later–sometimes too late–you’ll learn there are lots of additional service or a la carte fees. It’s upsetting enough for your parent to leave his or her home. Don’t uproot your loved one again when you discover you can no longer afford assisted living care.
  • Is your retirement community licensed? The answer must be yes.
  • How many nurses do you have on staff?
  • What are your billing policies?
  • What coverage does my parent’s long-term policy provide? If your parent has a long-term insurance policy, it’s important to note that it may only pay for partial care unless your loved one is in a qualifying nursing home. Realize that long-term care policies can pay different amounts for different services (i.e. $50 a day for home care vs. $150 a day for nursing home care).
  • Describe your visitation policy.
  • What is your staff-to-resident ratio? The higher the ratio of staff to residents, the more likely your parent will receive services quickly.
  • Who dispenses medications?
  • Do you have a visiting physician? If yes, when and how often does he/she make rounds?
  • Please describe the meal plan. What meals are included? If my parent misses a meal, is he/she credited?
  • Do you allow pets? If yes, what types?
  • Who coordinates care for physical therapy and other specialists?
  • If we need to terminate the contract, what is your refund policy?
  • Do you provide insurance on personal property?
  • What is your response rate for medical emergencies?
  • Do you provide transportation for the residents? If yes, when are these services available? Do rides need to be booked ahead of time?

At Cottage Grove Place, we believe that transportation is a critical component of retaining an active lifestyle. If your parent can no longer drive, he or she needs a reliable way of getting to and from appointments, shopping, and events. If you work full-time–or live out of the area–you won’t always be available to drive your loved one. Make sure any assisted living facility you consider offers transportation.

As you tour each location, new questions will occur to you. We recommend that you visit a facility more than once. Take notes so you can compare what you learn at each building. This will make it easier to recall information and make decisions after you’ve toured multiple locations. You may also want to snap photos of your loved one at each facility. Looking at these pictures is an effective way to recall the tour.

What services does Cottage Grove Place provide to assisted living residents?We know seeing your parents age can be difficult. You want a safe and welcoming home for your parents. That’s why we treat everyone like family at Cottage Grove Place. Our warm and professional caregivers and staff provide dignity and grace for our residents.We also create a customized plan for everyone. We know no two residents are alike. Everyone has different preferences, personalities, and unique needs. Our staff will sit down with the entire family to prepare a detailed plan of care. Among the many services offered in assisted living, Cottage Grove Place provides:

  • Meals and snacks
  • Consultations with a registered dietician
  • Medication administration
  • Housekeeping
  • Personal laundry services
  • Assistance with grooming, dressing and bathing
  • 24-hour security
  • Comprehensive care management
  • Social work services
  • Transportation to and from activities, shopping, and appointments
  • Apartment maintenance
  • Local phone, basic cable, and utilities

We want to ensure every resident is engaged, connected, and feels at home at Cottage Grove Place. We offer daily programs and activities for social, intellectual, physical, and spiritual enrichment. Dances, holiday parties, exercise classes, book clubs, gardening, and socials are just a few of the activities we provide at Cottage Grove Place.

We also have an on-site woodworking shop, computer center, walking paths, libraries, a beauty salon, convenience store, and billiards room. You’ll find everything you need for entertaining and learning on our welcoming campus.

What type of accommodations are offered in assisted living at Cottage Grove?

Private, beautiful, and convenient, each assisted living apartment features a spacious living room, bedroom, bathroom, and walk-in closet. Because we provide all the sumptuous meals, there’s no need for a kitchen. Our assisted living apartments offer the perfect balance between independence and support.

Because each apartment is private, family members can visit at any time. Hosting children and grandchildren in the apartment can make it feel more like home. And because our staff takes care of all the housekeeping, the apartments are always fresh and clean, ready for guests.

Your parent can customize his or her new space by decorating the apartment with furniture, art, and photos from the family home. Best of all, your loved one can shut the door for privacy and sleep in his or her own bed. You’ll have peace of mind knowing we provide security, housekeeping, meals, opportunities for socializing, transportation, and outstanding healthcare.

What’s the best way to involve my parent?

If a doctor or social worker has recommended assisted living, it’s important to include your parent in all the decision-making steps. Since your loved one will be living in the community, make sure he or she goes on all the tours, asks questions, and gets to meet the residents. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, you may want to visit more than once to get a good feel for the place.

Show empathy and compassion. Imagine yourself in the same position. If you had been independent for six or seven or eight decades, how would you feel if were told you needed to leave your home? Probably confused and a little afraid. That’s why we recommend that your loved one has the final say on the location.

We hope you’ll visit Cottage Grove and find it to be the ideal retirement community for your loved one.

Why choose Cottage Grove Place?

We know making decisions about long-term healthcare can be difficult. At Cottage Grove Place, our residents always come first. We’re here to listen, to learn, and to help. You’ll immediately feel at home. We’re a local not-for-profit corporation with more than 180 dedicated friendly, compassionate, and caring staff members. We even offer moving assistance to help with the transition.

Our beautiful residential campus is located just minutes from two major hospitals, as well as shopping, churches, and restaurants. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your loved one is protected by our LifeCare benefit. Remember that LifeCare provides health care when your parent needs it and is guaranteed for as long as he or she lives at Cottage Grove Place.

As a not-for-profit, all resident fees are reinvested in the local community. In addition, our residents pay no real estate taxes. As a LifeCare community, residents can deduct a substantial portion of their entrance and monthly fees and claim them as annual medical expenses.

Your parents always nurtured and protected you. Make sure you choose the best possible care for your Mom or Dad. We know you’ll be delighted by Cottage Grove Place. Contact us today for a free tour. We’re proud of our community and enjoy showing it to others.

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