For the month of June 2020, Heron’s Key has chosen the thematic topic of Caregiving and Care Partnering as its focus for important senior living messages. As a valuable resource for neighbors and friends within the surrounding area, Heron’s Key continues to provide ideas, solutions, and direction for families currently engaged in conversations about the need for future care related to themselves and/or seniors in their lives.
A Positive Starting Point
Although you or a senior in your life is ready to leave the family home, the ability to maintain an independent lifestyle is most certainly of primary concern. So, why make the move? You simply want more in your senior years. More friends around. More security. More activity options. With less responsibility for housekeeping and maintenance. However, you do want the same precious independence you enjoy today.
Now, For The Reality
With this positive outlook in mind, you still need to consider unforeseen future circumstances that may impact your independent lifestyle. Most often there is a potential need for health care as time progresses. Recent research suggests that most Americans at some point will need long-term care to help meet health or personal needs. Most long-term care services assist people with activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, etc. And, within this group, 47% are men and 58% are women. In addition, 33% of people turning 65 will need more focused skilled nursing care and physical rehabilitation at some point in their lives. This is the reality, but as a family, you can plan for it.
Starting The Conversation
If you or your senior is still healthy, well and independent, it’s actually the best time to make smart decisions about the future as no unexpected health crisis is influencing your move and causing you and family members to make a rushed decision.
As the senior, start by telling your children your desires and don’t be surprised when feelings and emotions start entering in. Talk it through. Don’t fear the discussion or deny the realities of aging. Keep in mind that you’re not the only one transitioning to a new lifestyle. Your family needs to prepare for this major change, too. Communication, transparency, and positivity will be key as you go forward. If handled appropriately, this decision-making process can actually be rewarding and unifying for you and your family.
Making The Right Decision
And the search begins. If caregiving and care partnering—immediate or in the future—are primary elements on your list of senior living community criteria, know your options, and consider the best fit for you and your family. Numerous communities offer various levels of care—and valuable lifestyle programs for all residents. The levels of care available within the community setting are obviously important—and we’ll discuss them specifically next—but just as critical to the overall quality of life and wellbeing into the future are the opportunities for socialization and support available through neighbors, friends, and other community residents. This is where the care partnering enters in. At Heron’s Key, you will find active, vibrant, welcoming residents who will be there for you from the start. They form the foundation of a strong sense of belonging, community, and support. Just what a family looks for in seeking the perfect lifestyle for their loved one, especially if that loved one has been living alone.
In your search, be sure to visit each community—more than once. Do your homework first so you know what questions you’d like to ask. When you get there, talk to the residents—especially about their life at the community. Will they make a good care partner for your loved one? Make sure you schedule a visit or two to Heron’s Key and we’ll show you the wonderful community support your entire family could enjoy.
Heron’s Key is unique. Now that you have a good feeling for the care partnering so important in choosing the right lifestyle, let’s talk more specifically about the caregiving available at Heron’s Key. You may just find the community the best fit for you and your family.
As a true Life Plan Community, Heron’s Key provides you and your family with peace of mind and financial security. As the only senior living community in Gig Harbor that offers independent living and a full continuum of care—assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation—backed by Life Care, you can be assured that your cost of living will remain predictable, even if you move into independent living initially and find you need care services later. You are guaranteed unlimited days of long-term health care—at any level of care—and at the same predictable monthly rate as your independent living residence.
Caregiving—and care partnering with families—at Heron’s Key is less about what you might be giving up and more about what you will gain. Resident-centered care is at the forefront of Heron’s Key’s approach to offering the area’s newest and best in assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing, and rehabilitation services, along with the latest in residential design and lifestyle concepts. Here’s what you’ll find at Heron’s key:
- Independent Living. Offers a maintenance-free lifestyle designed to maximize freedom. Experience an array of top-notch services and amenities, as well as an engaging lifestyle filled with recreational, social, and educational opportunities.
- Assisted Living. Provides a helping hand to maintain cherished independence. From the premier environment of Penrose Harbor, enjoy privacy, and a personalized plan of daily assistance, care and support enhanced by the services, amenities, and life enrichment programs. Read our recent blog to learn more.
- Memory Care. Penrose Harbor focuses on creating positive experiences of residents who are experiencing signs of cognitive decline or memory loss. Residents feel right at home as they receive personal, compassionate, dignified care from a highly specialized memory care staff.
- Skilled Nursing. All residents of Heron’s Key have guaranteed access to skilled nursing care at Penrose Harbor, as needed. Here, a dedicated short- or long-term care plan is created and administered by highly skilled professionals who work directly with residents, their families, and personal physicians to promote wellness, independence, and engagement.
- Rehabilitation. The only community in Gig Harbor to offer all-private suites, Penrose Harbor has a dedicated team of therapists and nurses who have residents back on their feet as soon as possible following major surgery or illness.
How Do You Know What Type Of Care You Need?
In closing, Kathy West, Lifestyle Advocate for Penrose Harbor at Heron’s Key, would like to share some insight on how one decides on the care needed. She will also share a few words of wisdom for potential residents and their families.
Care partnering with residents, their families, and the staff of Penrose Harbor can be characterized as immediate, on-going, and resident-centered. Per Kathy, “Prior to move-in, a personalized care plan is developed and agreed upon by the resident, family, and a care team comprised of social services, nursing, and resident life services. We discuss social engagement activities important to the resident, consult on medical care needed, level of assistance desired, and the resident’s preference of a daily schedule. Once the resident moves to Penrose Harbor, the care planning process is ongoing and ever-changing as resident needs and wants change.” Kathy attributes Penrose Harbor’s success to this thoughtful development of each individual care plan, a small community size with a very desirable resident-to-caregiver ratio resulting in quick response rates and happier, healthier more independent residents.
In searching for a quality, reliable caregiving community for a loved one—an environment rich in socialization and care partnering—Kathy has many suggestions for the entire family—including these three that stand out:
- Have a conversation with your loved one well before care is actually needed. Speak from the heart and make decisions together.
- Do your online research and consult the community’s CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) ratings.
- Visit the community in person, and focus on cleanliness, layout, and configuration of resident rooms; talk to the residents and staff.
Discover more about caregiving and care partnering at Heron’s Key-Penrose Harbor, rated by CMS as a 5-Star skilled nursing community. Call (877) 892-7129 or contact us online to start the conversation through a virtual consultation and tour of our community, and its services and amenities.