When it comes to senior living environments, you’re already on the right track, examining the variety of options available in Greater Palm Springs. But you know the saying about beauty: You want it inside and out. The desert resort communities have a long history of luring folks who want year-round sunshine after living and working in colder climates. But it’s important to also know the lay of the land in terms of senior living situations that suit your specific needs. To get you started, consider the varying levels of independence and care in the most common environments:
Independent Senior Living
Are you or your loved one fairly self-sufficient? A home in an independent senior living community might suit the circumstance. Residential options run the gamut from apartments to freestanding cottages or villas, townhomes, or condos. Typically, the age threshold for entry is 55 and up, and most offer security as well as recreational activities and opportunities for social interaction. Depending on the community, transportation might be available and even dining plans, housekeeping, laundry services, and more.
Are there personal tasks you or your relative have difficulty accomplishing solo? Assisted living facilities bear some similarities to independent senior living dwellings except help is provided with some daily activities many of us take for granted. One to three meals a day are generally included and help with personal care, such as dressing, bathing and remembering to take medications, is available.
Have you or your loved one been diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease? Memory care is a form of residential long-term care that provides intensive, specialized care for people with memory issues. Many assisted living facilities, continuing care retirement communities, and nursing homes have special memory care floors, wings, or neighborhoods. As residents are prone to wander, memory care facilities feature enclosed outdoor spaces and have alarmed doors and code-operated elevators. Creating set routines is part of the formula to provide a safe, structured environment and to lower stress among residents.
Home Health/Companion Care
Is the goal to remain in your home? Home health aides support seniors by providing housekeeping and laundry services, shopping for food and other household necessities, as well as preparing and serving meals and snacks. They frequently assist with bathing, dressing, and grooming. Companion care, on the other hand, primarily provides emotional support and socialization although it is possible to secure a hybrid situation whereby an aide would also help with a variety of tasks such as light housekeeping, errand running, meal prep, and transportation.
Skilled Nursing/Nursing Home
Are you or your family member recuperating from an illness or injury or dealing with a serious chronic condition? In a skilled nursing setting, individuals receive 24/7 care from licensed health professionals such as registered nurses and/or physical, speech, and occupational therapists under a doctor’s supervision. The need for short- or long-term skilled nursing services doesn’t necessarily mean placement in a facility, as it can be accomplished in a variety of settings, including your own home (typically at a higher cost).
“Ultraviolet light exposure is a significant factor in cataract development and macular degeneration.”
Bart P. Ketover, Ophthalmologist
Are you or your relative seeking to address all the different phases of the aging process and remain in one place? A continuing care retirement community, aka a CCRC, might be the answer. A resident could start out living independently in an apartment and later transition to assisted living to receive help with daily activities, or to skilled nursing to receive medical care, or potentially memory care, all while remaining in the same community. The chief benefit of a CCRC is the wide range of care, services, and activities. It offers residents a sense of stability and familiarity as their abilities or health conditions change.
Does your circumstance require specialized medical care to relieve the symptoms and stress of dealing with a serious illness such as cancer, congestive heart failure, or COPD? Palliative care — which can be provided in a variety of settings, including your home — is designed to improve the quality of life for both patients and their family. A specially trained team of doctors, nurses, and specialists work together with a patient’s primary physician to provide an extra layer of support. Palliative care is appropriate at any age and stage of serious illness and can be provided along with curative treatment.
Are you or your loved one entering the last phases of an incurable disease? Hospice care focuses on providing quality-of-life care for people who are experiencing an advanced, life-limiting illness. Most hospice care is centered in the home, although it can be administered in a hospital, extended-care facility, or an inpatient hospice center.