Planning Ahead to Age in Place

Author

Discovery Commons at South Biscayne

For more information about the author, click to view their website: Discovery Commons at South Biscayne

Posted on

Aug 04, 2023

Book/Edition

Florida - Sarasota, Bradenton & Charlotte Counties

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You’ve probably driven past one or more of these shiny, new-construction senior living communities that have been popping up in recent years and thought to yourself, “Wow, those sure don’t look like they used to.”

It’s true; they don’t. And in fact, today’s senior living communities simply aren’t like they used to be.

They’re modern and luxurious, with amenities and designer touches, amazing food and service, and the grandeur we’d expect from a high-end resort hotel. You’re almost amazed to the point where you have to remind yourself that it’s not a hotel—it’s home.

Indeed, so nice are these new senior communities that it’s easy to get caught up in all the marble and chandeliers and somehow lose track of what may be the most critical feature of all, and the question every senior and their families should be asking:

Can this community give me or my loved one the ability to age in place? 

Aging in place is the ability for seniors to remain in their residence of choice—without sacrificing quality of life—well into their late or even final years. But recent data suggests millions of seniors may be going about it the wrong way.

The Institute on Aging reports that some 43.5 million U.S. adults are sole caregivers for an aging parent. And while that’s both noble and selfless, rising life expectancies mean today’s seniors are living long enough to experience multiple, simultaneous health issues and depend even more on their relatives for care that, let’s face it, they aren’t able to nor qualified to give.

It’s a Matter of Lifestyle Quality for Both Seniors & Families

Pleasing aesthetics and all the modern luxuries convey exceptional lifestyle quality. But you mustn’t be so enamored with them that you neglect to consider the future and how aging may escalate any chronic conditions or otherwise weigh on mobility or the ability to perform daily activities.

Plenty of senior living communities offer only an exquisite independent senior living option, which means that the emergence of memory-related impairments or worsening health issues would likely necessitate a move to an entirely different community that offers assisted living, memory care or other specialized services.

In that case, you and your family would be left to figure out the logistics, plan and execute a move to a more care-driven senior living community, one you probably would’ve considered in the first place had you foreseen the road ahead. The availability of expertise in developing personalized care plans and services like medication management may have impacted that initial decision.

It Doesn’t Require a Crystal Ball to Plan Ahead

When evaluating today’s broad spectrum of available senior living solutions, remember the ultimate value and sustainability of a community isn’t determined in the here and now. You began your search thinking of the future and what’s best for you and your loved ones. Remember to keep that top of mind. Fancy chandeliers and marble countertops are nice, but knowing your loved ones have the opportunity to age in place and be properly cared for, without the added stress of moving into another senior living community and losing that day-to-day consistency, is really what your search is all about.

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Five Fun Out-of-the-Box Experiences to Enjoy with Your Older Parents

Tired of the same familiar activities with your parents? It might be time to try something different. The experts at Naborforce, an on-demand service for seniors, have come up with a list of exciting activities to spend time with older parents:Glass-Blowing Session A glass-blowing session might be the last thing you would expect from a senior outing, but here at Naborforce, weve seen this as one of the most exciting experiences weve had on our platform! Make sure you research your host, as glass blowing instructions can vary. We partnered with The Glass Spot RVA, which had step-by-step guidance that resulted in a beautiful finished product, prompting our client to call it A Million Dollar Day. Dance Class for SeniorsWhat can be more fun than dancing in the middle of the day? This could be a great activity to do with Mom- whether its salsa or tap, she will have something to talk about for days. Plus, dance classes are a great way to encourage fun and active aging. Research by the National Institute on Aging shows that movement in older age strengthens the mind, which potentially delays the onset of certain debilitating diseases. Here at Naborforce, weve had our fair share of dance classes. Just the other day, one of our community members took our client to a line dancing class at Pine Camp Community Center in Richmond, VA. An Art Class Outing or At-Home Project Art expression is such a great way to calm the mind, hone in on creative skills and create new memories, essential components for independent aging. You might already know of an art class in your area or senior living community, but have you ever tried setting up something at home? Kits sold by Artful Aging are in-home watercolor packages that also come with instructional videos, perfect for senior DIY-ers!Build-A-Bear Workshop OutingIt might be a while since youve stepped foot inside a Build-A-Bear Workshop, where you can customize a stuffed animal with your personal preferences, down to including a note embedded in the toy! We love Build-A-Bear as an activity for older parents, mainly because we saw the impact during one of our Naborforce visits. Our client wanted to customize a teddy bear for his wife. He booked a Naborforce visit to accompany him to Build-A-Bear, where he recorded a heartwarming note in a voice box inside the bear. To this day, our clients wife cherishes this gift as a reminder of their love and connection.An Evening at the MuseumAfter youve tried an art class at home (see out-of-the-box idea #2), maybe its time to hone your art skills by going to a museum. Check out the events calendar at your local art museum to see if there are any special offerings or exhibitions.  As an example, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers many adult classes. If walking too much is a concern for your loved one, know that many places might offer wheelchair assistance. Plus, in the summer the local museum is a great way to cool down!

The Comforts of Aging in Place

For many, the decision to age in place is more than just a practical choice it's a deeply emotional connection to the place they call home. A home is not merely a structure; it's a treasure trove of cherished memories, a sanctuary, and a canvas painted with the vibrant hues of life's moments. Every photograph or keepsake holds a story, enveloping you in a warm embrace of familiarity.This profound attachment to one's home is a potent elixir for well-being. It's the place where families were raised, communities were built, and a lifetime of memories was etched into the very fabric of its walls. For decades, perhaps, it has been the backdrop to your story, bearing witness to every milestone, every laugh, and every joyful moment.The true essence of aging in place lies in the consistency it offers. Maintaining daily routines, immersing oneself in beloved activities, and remaining an integral part of the community these are the elements that keep the spark of life burning bright. It's about being the captain of your own ship, steering life's course in the direction you choose.But the benefits of aging in place extend beyond the emotional realm. Familiarity with the home's layout and established community networks provide practical advantages, easing daily tasks and ensuring a helping hand is always within reach when needed.Naborforce can help!

Persuading Aging Parents to Get Help: 4 Strategies for Peace of Mind

Persuading Aging Parents to Get Help: 4 Strategies for Peace of MindPersuading an aging parent to ask for occasional help can be challenging. With some planning and understanding, you can come up with a game plan to persuade a strong-willed parent to welcome a landing hand every now and again. Read the 4 Strategies to Convince an Older Parent to Consider Getting Help below.Strategy 1: Identify Every Single Service Where Your Aging Parent Could Use HelpSmall Actions Can Add Up Start with your ideal scenario in mind. If you had a magic wand, what would you want help with right now? Maybe its some light cooking every now and again, or maybe its organizing and sorting leftover mail. Whatever it might be, come up with a full list and identify all of the existing services where its completely acceptable to hire a service. For example, requesting help with a ride or an occasional meal is totally normal, even desirable, with Uber and Doordash. If a parent is comfortable requesting Doordash, maybe theyll be open to a person coming in to help around the house just as easily. If your parent takes rides on Uber, maybe it wont be so far off to welcome assistance with a grocery delivery.Strategy 2: Understand the Source of Your Elderly Parents Reaction to Getting HelpTackle the Root Cause FirstOften, a refusal for help isnt about the action itself but something much bigger. The exact cause would depend on the individual aging parent, but some reasons could relate to a potential change in identity, perception, and social values. In situations like these, its helpful to insert your parent directly into the conversation. There are many ways to get at a root cause, but here are some starters:Ask your parent to describe themselves in 5 words Ask your parent to draw themselves on their ideal day Ask your parent to say whats their favorite thing they love about themselves Ask your parent to say what they think family members think about them Strategy 3: Reframe Asking for Help into a Concept that Matches Fit a Parents Core BeliefIts All about PerceptionNow that you have some insight into who your older parent really wants to be, you can develop a simple communication strategy that changes the way they view asking for help. For example, your parent might be very comfortable being served a meal at a restaurant, but they might cringe at the thought of someone coming in their home to cook. What if having someone come in at home is thought of as a convenient service rather than an ask for help? What if someone coming in to cook at home is reframed as a way to save time to spend with grandchildren instead? These are some ways you can flip the script away from someone needing help to someone choosing to get help so they can have more time doing the things they love. After all, anyone, at any stage, can use a little help. Strategy 4: Reach Out to Friends or Family Members Who Have Used Similar ServicesSocial Proof Can Make a DifferenceSometimes, all it takes is a nudge from our social circle to feel comfortable with a decision. How many times have you been wary of trying something, only to find yourself being persuaded by a close friend? Our parents might think the same way. Can you think of anyone in your older parents community who has previously used a helping hand? Consider asking them to have a casual conversation with your parents and briefly mentioning their experience. The more people talk about a certain topic, the more persuasive it is. Thats the power of social networks. Its never easy to convince a parent that its time to ask for help. After all, a parent has spent a quarter of a lifetime (or more!) caring for their children, that it can be hard to change their perspective of caregiving. With the 5 strategies on persuading an aging parent to ask for help, we hope that you can open up the conversation with an aging parent to view asking for help as a way to a flourishing, vibrant future rather than a sign of weakness or helplessness. Getting help frees up time, and is there anything more important than extra time to do what we love?

Local Services By This Author

Discovery Commons At South Biscayne

Assisted Living 6235 Hoffman St., North Port, Florida, 34287

Discovery Commons South Biscayne's Assisted Living option offers a perfect balance for seniors who value their independence but could benefit from some extra assistance with daily activities. The availability of qualified caregivers to help with personal care, medication management, and other essential tasks ensures residents can maintain their independence while receiving the support they need.What's particularly appealing is that Assisted Living at Discovery Commons South Biscayne isn't just about careit's about simplifying life and enhancing overall well-being. By providing a maintenance-free lifestyle, residents can focus on enjoying their days without the burden of household chores and responsibilities. This combination of care and convenience makes Assisted Living a great value proposition for seniors and their families alike.The community's cozy suites, resident-focused amenities, and restaurant-style dining contribute to a comfortable and fulfilling living experience. Additionally, the peace of mind that comes from 24-hour professional care and resort-style features ensures that residents and their families can rest assured knowing that their needs are being met in a supportive and caring environment.

Discovery Commons At South Biscayne

Memory Care 6235 Hoffman St., North Port, Florida, 34287

Our Memory Care neighborhood in North Port, Florida, demonstrates a thoughtful and person-centered approach to supporting individuals living with Alzheimer's or other forms of dementia. By implementing the nationally recognized Best Friends Approach, your community prioritizes building trust and meaningful relationships with residents and their families. Understanding each resident's unique life story, values, and interests is key to creating a secure and nurturing environment where they feel respected and valued.The inclusion of spacious studios and inviting shared spaces promotes independence while providing a comforting atmosphere. Secure outdoor courtyards and walking paths offer residents the opportunity to connect with nature safely, which can have numerous therapeutic benefits. Specially designed activities tailored to residents' needs encourage engagement, increased mobility, and a sense of achievement, fostering a fulfilling daily experience.Additionally, the emphasis on family-style dining and a diverse calendar of events creates meaningful opportunities for loved ones and families to connect with residents and participate in their lives. This holistic approach to memory care ensures that residents not only receive the support they need but also continue to live fulfilling and dignified lives.SHINE Memory Care program sounds like a compassionate and comprehensive approach to supporting individuals with dementia and memory-related issues. The emphasis on deep personalization and the incorporation of six points of focus highlights a commitment to addressing the holistic needs of each resident. It's heartening to hear that the nurses and aides welcome new residents with open arms and guide them through a journey of discovery and revelation, fostering a nurturing and supportive environment.The dedication of the certified team members to best practices in dementia and Alzheimer's treatment underscores Aston Gardens' commitment to providing high-quality care. The practical, inclusive, and nurturing approach of SHINE seems well-suited to meet the diverse needs of residents. Furthermore, the focus on instilling a sense of accomplishment and independence is crucial for promoting residents' well-being and dignity.