2020 Senior Living Trends: Get Ready for Changes

The start of the year is an exciting time because we’re open and motivated to accept new opportunities, trends and ideas. However, there are also new challenges to be tackled. Like never before, senior living communities need to prepare for change because of uncertainty in the industry. Too many changes are happening too fast. New trends and technologies emerge with unparalleled speed and old proven techniques stop working.

In November 2019, Health Dimensions Group published a report called “Top Trends in Aging Services: Preparing for Historic Changes”. Here’s a quick overview of what’s in it.

The Need for Low- and Middle-Income Senior Living Is Increasing

Baby boomers are aging, which means that in the next decade, the USA will see an increase of seniors aged over 75 who have middle or low income. The senior living industry will need to adjust and provide new solutions to serve large numbers of new seniors whose financial resources are limited in terms of the type of care and accommodation they can cover.

The increase of low-income older adults who’re going to need comprehensive care will impact state and federal budgets. It will also create new challenges for all kinds of organizations whose aim is to help seniors to have a better quality of life in their communities.

There already are care models, such as PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly), which can be a great deal of help for eligible older adults. The program offers comprehensive care that helps participants to live in the community and postpone moving to institutional long-term care. 

As for assisted living facilities and other types of senior living, they will need to come up with ways to offer more affordable care for this group of seniors. These solutions could include:

  • Coming up with more affordable models of care
  • Tweaking expectations of return for services aimed at middle-income seniors
  • Exploring cost-effective construction alternatives
  • Rethinking the use of existing real estate
  • Exploring new partnership opportunities
  • Leveraging technology to increase efficiency

Occupancy Challenges

Despite our growing senior population, maintaining occupancy remains a challenge, particularly in saturated markets. In the second quarter of 2019, occupancy took a plunge to 87.8%, which is the lowest level since 2011. Because even the oldest baby boomers are still below the average assisted living resident age, 2020 will be a difficult year for communities struggling with occupancy. Conducting detailed demographic research and combining it with financial analysis will help senior living facilities to move forward and tweak their model according to future supply and demand.

Staff Challenges

Staff shortages and turnover are a big issue in the senior living industry. With healthcare unemployment rates being as low as 2%, assisted living communities find it harder than ever to find qualified and trustworthy care staff. Stricter immigration controls, rising rates per hour and fierce competition add to the problem. 

Another staff challenge senior living communities are facing is navigating through a variety o work cultures, as currently there are five generations working (from the silent generation to Generation Z). These differences in employees’ views and expectations can be difficult to manage. That’s why communities need to offer flexibility and advancements, as well as utilize social media to connect with the right audience and build awareness.

Call for Outstanding Customer Experience

All of the above-mentioned challenges mean that your assisted living community needs to offer the very best to continue making profits and survive. Like never before, prospective residents and their families are looking for the best possible quality of service.

2020 is the year to differentiate your facility in the marketplace and invest in improving literally everything, from amenities and quality public spaces to better use of technology. Think better and friendlier service, higher quality of accommodation and care, more spaces to alleviate depression and improve socialization, smart watches to monitor residents’ health and track movement of residents of the Memory Care unit, and partnerships with related service providers. The list of ideas goes on!

These are only a few of senior living trends and challenges we expect to see in 2020. The bottom line is that only those who thrive to provide a great service and market their community effectively will be able to benefit from the change.

What Is Assisted Living Like from a Resident’s Perspective?

Many seniors are biased against assisted living communities because they confuse them with hospitals and nursing homes. However, surveys show that a vast majority of assisted living residents state that they wish they had moved sooner because their quality of life has increased a lot. Recently, I had a conversation with Jennifer H., a lady in her eighties who move to assisted living a couple of months ago. Here’s her story:

“My husband and I lived in a 2000 sq ft house with an acre of land for many years. Our children grew up there and neither of us thought we’d ever move out of it. But life worked out differently. Two years ago, my husband died of a heart attack and I was left all alone – the children moved out ages ago and live miles away.”

At first, I was coping but then things started to get difficult. First, I had to give up my garden because managing it by myself had become impossible. We used to have peach trees but I couldn’t take care of them, so I had to get them removed. Also, house maintenance proved to be very challenging to manage because it was my husband who dealt with all the repairs.

I decided to move to a senior living community about six months ago after I fell when I was washing the windows. The fall gave me a fright – I was lucky not to break any bones. True, I was scared out of my wits but I knew I couldn’t take care of myself anymore and in-home care was too expensive.

I didn’t want to leave my home and it was difficult to move to a much smaller apartment. You see, I had to say good-bye to a lot of cherished things and a lifetime of memories. Hosting a yard sale was especially hard but luckily my daughter traveled here to help.

If you ask me what worried me most, I have to admit that I was frightened of losing control over my life and concerned about privacy. You know, privacy is something you can’t really maintain with lots of older people living in one place! Us, old ladies, like gossiping! And yes, I was worried that I won’t get along with other residents.

My eldest daughter took care of the move – she helped me to pack, found movers, decorated my new apartment. I’m so grateful and proud of her, she went to great lengths to make my new home look just like the old one. And she was there for me for the first few days when I was settling in.

Has my life changed?

Yes. But it changed for the better (although I do miss my home and my old routine). I don’t have to worry about chores, cooking, maintaining a large house, going shopping, and a thousand of other things. Most importantly, I feel healthier now because I don’t forget to take my medication and I eat better (I used to skip meals when I felt ill or too tired to cook).

The caregivers are very nice and friendly, always up for a chat. You know, I thought I’d be embarrassed to let other people help me get dressed and have a shower but these girls make everything all right. They don’t judge me for being old.

I still have my privacy in my cozy apartment and my family and friends can always visit me. Most importantly, I’ve made new friends, so I’m never lonely. And I’ve joined the choir! Singing is a passion of mine, I even used to sing in Handel’s Messiah when I was younger. We sing all sorts of music here: classical, songs from old musicals, folksongs, and we have concerts every month.

When I think of it, I wish I had moved to senior living sooner, before the fall. You never know, I might have never fallen! And I wouldn’t have had to push myself so hard to do all the housework. Often, I was too tired to go upstairs to the bedroom and slept on the couch. And I used to be very lonely and scared in my empty house. I sometimes have high blood pressure and I was frightened that I might not be able to reach the phone if I felt unwell. Now I don’t have to worry about all these things. So yes, I wish I had moved sooner because my life is better now. I feel that I could live to be a hundred years!”

Downsizing Tips for Seniors: How to Make the Move to Assisted Living Easier

Most Americans know that sooner or later, they will need to downsize and move to a smaller place or a senior living community. Moving out of the home where your loved one lived for many happy years isn’t easy, and downsizing makes the process even more stressful both emotionally and physically. Often, the senior and the family don’t know where to start because everything feels so overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right planning and a positive attitude, downsizing can be a lot easier. Here are some tips to help you deal with it. 

View Downsizing as a Benefit 

Believe it or not, downsizing offers quite a few benefits to seniors. It’s a lifesaver when the upkeep is becoming difficult – doing all the gardening and cleaning a large house becomes very hard to manage with age. Also, climbing up the stairs to the bedroom isn’t as easy as it used to be. And don’t forget the cost of upkeeping a large house, too, not to mention that there are too many empty rooms now that the children have long moved out. 

There’s no denying, downsizing is bittersweet. But surveys show many seniors say that moving into an assisted living community has improved their lives in many ways. They are more socially active, free of chores and house maintenance, and ultimately happier and healthier.

 Settle on a New Place to Call Home 

Before you actually start going through possessions and making lists of things to keep, you need to find the senior living community where your loved one will be moving and check out their future living space. Doing this will help you and your loved one to plan what to bring to the new home. Since assisted living apartments are smaller than an average house, plenty of furniture and other items will have to go. The trick is to keep the pieces that will look and work well in the new place, and make the new home look just like the old one. Make Lists and Sort Through Things It’s never too early to start making lists of things to keep, give to family and friends, sell, and donate. You’ll be amazed how much clutter you find in an average household. And, you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you can make quite a few dollars selling the stuff you don’t need on facebook marketplace, offerup, eBay, Craigslist, and by hosting a garage sale. 

Make decisions about what to keep as you go. I suggest that you take a piece of paper and have two columns – “Yes” and “No”. It’s very tempting to add a “Maybe” column too but that complicates things and brings unnecessary stress. So, keep things simple – just two columns. Only keep the things that matter and have happy memories associated with them. 

When going through possessions, ask yourself these questions to make the choices easier: 

  • Is the item necessary?
  • Does your loved one really want it?
  • Are there duplicates of the item?
  • Is the item used regularly?
  • Are there any memories associated with the item?
  • Is it of significant financial value?
  • Will it fit into the smaller space?
  • Would a family member or friend like to have it?

 If your loved one has lots of albums with precious photos and newspaper cuttings, digitalize them so that the senior can keep them without cluttering the new apartment. 

Eliminate Rooms

 No, you don’t have to demolish any walls! An easy way to decide which items of furniture your loved one is going to keep is to eliminate them by rooms the senior won’t have in the new apartment. Nearly everything in those rooms will need to be sold or donated. 

Pack a “First Day” Box 

When the senior moves to their new home, it’s important to help your loved one feel comfortable from the start. A “first day” box with all the necessary toiletries, prescriptions, cleaning supplies, kitchen supplies, basic tools, etc. will help your older adult feel more at home and have everything they need for their first 24 hours in the new apartment. 

Selling a Senior’s Home: What You Need to Know

With life expectancy on the rise, most Americans will need some type of long-term care when they grow old. While there are several options to choose from, most of the time, assisted living is the most practical and cost-effective choice for your older adult. Moving to an assisted living community usually means that the senior has to sell his or her home to cover the cost of care. Let’s have a look at some important things you need to know when helping your loved one to list their house for sale.

Choose a Real Estate Agent With the Right Experience

If you think that selling a senior’s home is just like selling any other property, you’re wrong. Not only is selling a home full of decades of memories is never easy but some specific procedures need to be taken into account. That’s why you really should try to find a real estate agent who has experience helping seniors sell their homes when they decide to move to a senior living community.

List the House for Sale in Advance

Selling a property always takes time but selling a senior’s home usually requires at least 8-10 weeks more because everything needs to be ready for the older adult’s relocation. This timeframe allows the family and the senior to comfortably downsize, do some space planning for the new home, find movers, pack, and settle in the new apartment.

First Impressions Matter

When selling a home, first impressions are what make or kill the sale. Most potential buyers are likely to skip a property that looks like an old person’s home or buy at a seriously reduced price simply because the house doesn’t look spick and span in the pictures. Luckily, it’s not too difficult to make the property look more attractive to buyers.

For most houses, increasing curb appeal does the trick. Invest your time in mowing the lawn, power-washing the house from the outside, and decluttering and depersonalizing the interior. You should avoid taking pictures of old furniture (unless you’re photographing character pieces), use natural light, and photograph the property on a sunny day using high quality camera settings.

Financial Implications

For most older adults, assisted living works out as the most affordable care option. The cost of maintaining a house and paying for in-home care can become extremely high in time and it’s difficult to project the expenses for years to come. Assisted living fee structure is a lot more transparent and predictable in the long term than in-home care and nursing services. This makes it easier for the family to budget and know what to expect. In addition to that, your loved one may be eligible for financing like VA benefits that can cover assisted living costs in part or in full.

What you need to take into account is that the sale of your older adult’s property may result in some expenses. You’ll need to pay off the remaining mortgage and taxes, and the sale may affect eligibility for benefits that can be used to pay for assisted living. If you’re unsure of how the sale will affect your loved one’s finances, consult a trusted financial advisor to make an informed decision.

Downsizing Is Never Easy

Downsizing is always stressful for the senior because of all the memories associated with pieces of furniture and other possessions that can’t be kept. You can help your loved one to make these difficult choices and then decorate the new home so that it resembles the old one.

Manage the Stress

Moving house always involves some stress, even when you’re young and full of energy. It’s particularly challenging for older adults, though, because they have to say good-bye to a home they love and move to a place very different from what they’re used to. As a senior’s caregiver, you’ll need to do your best to help your mom or dad handle the stress. Be patient, don’t pressure your loved one and help to go through possessions and decide what can be kept and what has to go.

Selling a home full of lifetime memories and moving to a senior living community can be tough and stressful. A real estate agent who specializes in helping seniors sell their homes will make the process faster, easier, and less traumatic for the senior and the family.

Reduce The Risk Of A Broken Hip

Seniors Are The Most Frequent Victims

The hip is a large, ball-and-socket joint.  It is made up of two parts. The acetabulum (socket), is carved into the hip bone.  And the ball, which is actually the top of the femur (thighbone). Daily, the hip is subject to much stress.  This is due to movement, impact and weight. Fortunately, its design of bone, along with supporting cartilage and ligaments, makes it strong and flexible.  However, it is not infallible.

More than 300,000 seniors over the age of 65 are hospitalized for hip fractures each year in the U.S.  The primary cause of these breaks is a fall, often combined with frail bones. The majority of the ill-fated falls are to the side of the person, pointing to balance and strength issues.  

Many hip fractures are preventable.  It starts with knowing who is at risk.  Then those at risk must take the necessary preventative measures.

Risk Factors

Here are some of the factors that put a person at a higher risk of fracturing their hip.

  • Poor balance or lack of mobility.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Cognitive impairment.
  • Misuse or failure of walking aids.
  • Poor vision. 
  • Poor nutrition.
  • Osteoporosis.
  • Female gender (75% of all hip fractures).
  • Age: people 90 + are 15 times more likely to fracture a hip than people 60-65.
  • Taking a medication or have a disease that make falls more likely.
  • Have taken a previous fall.
  • Have had a previous fracture.

Prevention

Here are some things you can do to decrease your chances of breaking a hip.  

  • Lessen the risk of falling.  It helps to clean clutter, add grab bars and improve lighting.
  • If you are at high risk for falls, wear hip protectors regularly and properly.
  • Strengthen the lower body and improve balance by incorporating weight-bearing exercise into your routine 3-4 times per week.  Examples: walking and dancing.
  • Eat a balanced diet that is rich in vitamin D and calcium.
  • Avoid smoking and limit alcohol intake.
  • Utilize bone density testing and medications, when appropriate and with the supervision of your doctor.

Ask your doctor for specific recommendations that fit your medical, dietary and personal needs.

(Sources:  Nat. Ctr. for Injury Prevention & Control, Amer. Acad. of Family Physicians , NIH, CDC)

The “hip” design allows for movements on a combination of planes: side-to-side, flexion and extension, and internal and external rotation.

Assisted Living vs Home Care: Which One to Choose

If you’re an adult child of someone who recently began needing assistance with daily activities, you and your parent are faced with a difficult choice between home care and assisted living.

In this article, I’ll try to help you understand the difference between the two options, your older adult’s needs, and help you make the right choice. The choice between assisted living and home care depends on your older loved one’s specific needs and situation. There are many factors you should consider, such as the level of care needed, the senior’s personal preferences, and most importantly finances. That’s why it’s vital for you to understand the key differences of assisted living vs home care.

 Key Differences Between Assisted Living and Home Care 

When you’re considering the best senior living option for your loved one, the first step is to understand how assisted living is different from home care. Let’s have a look at some pros and cons of each option. 

Home Care

 Home care is when a hired caregiver comes to the senior’s home to help with daily activities like bathing, getting dressed, moving around the house, cleaning, cooking, and so on. The exact level of care depends on your older loved one’s needs and health condition. Remember that the level of care affects the cost – the more help the senior needs, the more expensive home care will be. 

Pros

  • Seniors can safely continue living in the comfort of their own home
  • Seniors get one-on-one care from a caregiver they get to know really well
  • Family chooses the caregiver
  • If not much assistance is needed, home care is an affordable option
  • Care arrangements can be very flexible 

Cons: 

  • The family has to be constantly involved in hiring and managing caregivers
  • There is a need to plan for a backup option
  • Tasks like shopping, housekeeping, and house maintenance need to be managed by the family
  • If 24/7 care is needed, the cost can skyrocket
  • Seniors can potentially become socially isolated, which may lead to depression and cognitive decline
  • The house may require expensive modifications for safety and/or wheelchair accessibility 

If you’re considering home care for your aged loved one, you should take into account all the costs associated with the senior staying in their home. While the caregiver will help the senior with chores and provide companionship (those are the things in-home care agencies emphasize when they sell to potential clients), they don’t provide nursing services like giving injection and medication, lifting to the toilet, and so on. If your loved one requires those services, you’d need to hire a nurse to handle them, in addition to paying for home care.

Add to that the cost of maintaining the house and taking care of the bills, and you’ll see why assisted living often is a much more affordable choice.

 Assisted Living

 An assisted living community provides accommodation and a wide range of care options for seniors. The monthly fee typically covers meals, housekeeping, group activities, transportation, and other care options, although residents who need a higher level of care may need to pay extra. 

Pros

  • 24/7 assistance, care, and supervision at a more affordable price
  • No need for the family to hire, manage, and schedule caregivers and be responsible for things like shopping, paying utility bills, etc.
  • The level of care can be easily adjusted depending on the senior’s needs
  • Lots of opportunities for social interactions and participating in engaging activities 

Cons

  • No consistent one-on-one care as staff changes are quite common
  • If a high level of one-on-one care is required, the resident will have to pay extra for it
  • Quality of care may vary depending on the staff
  • Less privacy
  • Not all seniors enjoy a group living environment, especially if the community provides accommodation where two residents share a room.

Now that you have a good understanding of assisted living vs home care, you need to figure out how much help your aging loved one needs. That will help you choose the option that works best. 

Determining the Required Level of Care 

Before you start calling assisted living communities or home care agencies, you should sit down and make a list of everything your older adult needs help with on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. Be realistic about the help you or other relatives can provide on an ongoing basis and don’t overestimate your loved one’s abilities. Even if they can manage some tasks now, they may not be able to deal with them in the near future. For example, you can’t expect someone with glaucoma to keep driving. When you have your list, it should become pretty obvious which works best for your loved one, assisted living or home care. If you’re not sure, consult your older adult’s doctor.

 Take Finances into Account

 Before you make the final decision, you need to carefully consider your loved one’s budget. Assisted living and home care costs can greatly vary depending on the senior’s needs, location, and other factors. The best way to get a good estimate is to call some assisted living communities and home care agencies in your area. You can also use an online estimate tool for a quick check and have a look at average senior living prices in your state. Don’t forget that you’re doing some long-term planning, so don’t jump into the cheapest option that offers the most basic level of care. 

Let’s have a look at some basic expenses you need to take into account:

Home Care:  

  • Hours of care needed on a monthly basis
  • Personal and household supplies
  • Food and meal preparation
  • Housekeeping including laundry
  • Home and garden maintenance
  • Utilities, garbage, and water
  • Mortgage, rent, property taxes
  • Transportation 

Assisted Living 

Assisted living cost varies from community to community. Make sure you know what’s included in the monthly fee and what’s not in advance before you sign the lease. Typically, the monthly expenses include:

  • Base rate
  • Extra fees for additional services
  • Personal care supplies
  • Snacks and in-room dining 

While in-home care seems to be an easier and more affordable option at first, it usually works out a lot more expensive and stressful than assisted living in the long run. Once you add up the cost and project the expenses your older loved one will have to handle for the next few years, you should have a very clear idea of whether assisted living or home care is the best choice for you.

Essential Information to Ask Your Aging Parents to Prepare: a Checklist

As people age, sooner or later they need to put their affairs in order just in case something happens and their adult children or other loved ones have to help take care of things. While every older individual realizes this, it can be hard to talk to your mom or dad about things like money, legal affairs, insurance, and health problems (especially mental health). No one is ever comfortable with bringing up these topics because it’s emotionally draining to ask your parents how they want their affairs to be handled when they can’t take care of everything themselves. It can be difficult for you or your parents to ever imagine a day when they are no longer able to handle their own day to day legal and health decisions, but you can’t avoid this conversation forever.

So, what’s the best way to get the information you need without evoking defensive behavior from your parents and flaring up an argument? Having an earnest conversation and asking them to complete a simple checklist could be the answer. It will help you to get your parents’ papers in order and have a plan in place for the time when you need it most.

Why You Should Ask Your Parents to Fill the Checklist

We’re so used to thinking of our parents as independent adults who’ll always support us and give valuable advice that we don’t really think about the time when we’ll need to take care of them. But sooner or later, that time does often come. If you’re not prepared, you may end up in a stressful situation and unprepared to answer questions and assist them with paperwork and decision making. Not knowing critical information about your parents’ arrangements can make the task truly overwhelming.

Do you know who your mom’s cardiologist is? Do you know if your dad has long-term care insurance? Do they have any debt? All this information can become very hard to get hold of in an emergency situation. Besides, you wouldn’t want to have to deal with the research when you need to be attentive and available to help with life-changing decisions for your parents. Having all the information at hand ahead of time will make it so much easier both for you and your parents. That’s where the checklist comes in.

Essential Questions to Add to the Checklist

It’s in your best interest to get as much comprehensive information about your parents’ arrangements as possible. That’s why it makes sense to divide the checklist into the following categories: insurance, health, and finances & legal. Since health and finances are very sensitive topics, it’s best to start the checklist with insurance and move on to the more difficult questions.

Insurance

✔ What kind of health insurance do they have?

✔ Do they have Medicare, Medicaid or a Medigap supplement policy?

✔ Does their insurance plan cover health care bills?

✔ Do they have long-term care insurance?

✔ Do they have life insurance?

✔ Have they paid their insurance premiums? How are the payments being made (direct withdrawal?)

✔ Do they qualify for VA or other benefits that could help pay for assisted living?

Health

✔ Who is their primary MD, what other physicians are they utilizing?

✔ What health problems/conditions do they have?

✔ What medications are they taking? Has their doctor checked all of their medications for side effects?

✔ Do they have any allergies and if yes, how severe the allergic reactions are?

Finances & Legal

✔ Have they set up POA and where do they keep the paperwork?

✔ Do they have a will and an estate plan?

✔ Where do they keep the will?

✔ Do they have a living will and health care proxy?

✔ Where do they keep their life insurance paperwork?

✔ What is equity in the home value to help pay for care? How are the house taxes being paid (monthly, yearly) Are they automatically withdrawn?

✔ Are their pension and social security checks deposited directly in the bank?

✔ Do they have any debt?

✔ What are their current and possible future bills?

✔ Do they have any savings set up for paying for long-term care down the road?

How to Ask Your Parents to Fill the Checklist

As I’ve already mentioned, having a conversation about what happens when your parents can’t take care of themselves is never easy. It’s important to avoid asking all these questions out of the blue – you may need to wait for the right moment and be indirect at first. You might want to casually mention how your friend’s parents completed a checklist like that and how it gave peace of mind to the whole family. Perhaps your parents can assist you in determining what exactly needs to be included in the checklist? Explain how important it is to have all the necessary information at hand for the future. Also, mention that all your parents need to do is complete the checklist and tell you where they plan to store it so that you can access it if you ever need to. Try to assure these conversations do not become adversarial. If they do, let it rest for a while and work to bring it up again using a different approach. Maybe utilize another family member to discuss it from a different perspective with your parents. Set a timeline for yourself and your parents to get this task completed. You will be very glad when the time comes that your family documented these important topics early on.

How to Choose a Pet-Friendly Assisted Living Community

Does your elderly mom or dad have a pet? While there are numerous benefits of being a pet owner, taking care of a dog or a cat can become difficult as your loved one ages. And when it’s time to move to senior living, the question of what to do with the pet arises. Luckily, there are plenty of assisted living communities that allow pets across the US to choose from. Let’s have a look at things to keep in mind when contacting and touring a pet-friendly assisted living community.

Things to Consider Before Moving to Pet-Friendly Assisted Living

Before you begin your search for an assisted living community that allows pets, you should carefully consider several things. While it can be heartbreaking for the senior to part with a loved cat or dog, the pet’s habits and wellbeing should be taken into account. In some cases, it may turn out that finding a new home for the pet would be a better option in the long run. 

Before you decide to bring the pet to an assisted living facility, ask yourself the following questions:

  • How difficult will it be to find a community that allows pets and your type of pet in particular? Depending on the area, it may not be easy to find a pet-friendly assisted living facility that meets both your and your pet’s needs. And if the pet is a large dog, finding a community that accepts large breeds can be a real challenge.
  • Would your older loved one be able to keep taking care of the pet? Most of the time, seniors move to assisted living because it becomes difficult for them to do daily tasks and take care of themselves. If your loved one needs a lot of help with daily activities and has mobility problems, then it might be best to find a new home for the pet because taking care of it may become too hard in the near future.
  • Can the pet get used to a mostly indoor life? If you have a dog that’s used to a large yard, it simply isn’t fair to make it live in a small apartment. Not only will the dog be unhappy – it will make a lot of noise and constantly look for ways of getting out. The same applies to cats that are accustomed to coming and going whenever they please.
  • Will your loved one be able to afford the pet? Assisted living isn’t cheap and taking care of pets can be expensive too, especially as the pet ages and may need a vet a lot more frequently.

If your loved one still wants to bring the pet to an assisted living community and you’re sure that the benefits will outweigh any potential problems, it’s time to start your search. Explore and tour all the available options, see how things are working out for the community’s resident pet owners, and don’t forget to check all the pet-related rules and policies in advance. 

Policies and Restrictions to Pay Attention to

When you’re looking for an assisted living facility that allows pets, don’t leave any questions until the move-in date. Each community has different policies and restrictions and it’s good to find out about them in advance. Ultimately, these restrictions may affect your choice.

Let’s have a look at some common requirements and rules assisted living communities have about bringing pets:

  • Breed, size and temperament restrictions: a lot of communities are happy to let you keep your small dog or a cat but they won’t allow larger dogs or certain breeds. For example, many communities will not allow attack-type dog breeds such as pit bulls. The community may also ask to assess the pet’s temper to prevent any problems that may arise from allowing you to bring an aggressive animal.
  • Vaccinations: almost all pet-friendly senior living facilities will ask you to provide proof of vaccinations. Make sure you have it handy in advance.
  • Noise and behavior rules: a lot of communities have rules and policies against noise and pet-related complaints from other residents. Most of the time, this means that if there’s a certain number of complaints about the pet’s behavior or noise, the pet will have to leave.
  • Age and training: some assisted living communities have pet age and training requirements. Most of the time this means that the pet has to be at least one year old and be housebroken.
  • Extra deposit: at some facilities, seniors who want to bring their pets may have to pay an additional refundable deposit.
  • Limited number of pets: usually, the senior is allowed to bring a maximum of two pets.
  • Pet caretaker: some communities may require you to designate a pet caretaker. This is done to make sure that someone from the neighborhood will take care of the pet if the resident is unable to do it due to health issues or any other problems.

While finding a pet-friendly community is usually the top priority for the senior, there are numerous other factors to consider. Fortunately, Premier Senior Living  communities understand the benefits and value of accommodating pets and work hard to coordinate a care plan for your loved one that includes their beloved animal by their side.

Respite & Short Term Stays

Premier Senior Living’s respite/short-term stay program is a convenient option designed to give you, the caregiver and your family, the opportunity to take a break from the demands of caring for a loved one at home for planned or unforeseen circumstances that require you to seek temporary housing and care for less than 30 days in a secured environment (7-day minimum). This option provides peace of mind when you need a vacation, are called away on business, have other family emergencies to deal with or if you just need a short break to recharge your batteries from the daily caregiving demands. In addition, this is a terrific option for residents needing assistance during an illness or needing rehabilitation after a hospital visit to get back on their feet before returning back home. Unlike a nursing home, assisted living facilities to offer these flexible programs that can help a great deal when dealing with loved ones that are homebound.

Respite/Short-term stay residents experience the same great services and amenities available to permanent residents including:

  • Secured Environment
  • Medication management
  • Trained staff available 24-hours a day
  • Three nutritious & delicious home-cooked meals
  • Snacks
  • Daily personal care
  • Incontinence management
  • Therapy Services including PT, OT & ST
  • Housekeeping & laundry services
  • Furnished suite
  • Daily Activities

Respite/short-term stay residents move into an attractive, furnished suite and enjoy three delicious meals served daily with menus designed by a registered dietitian in addition to enjoying snacks throughout the day. Along with our Healthcare Coordinator, who is a registered nurse, certified professionals trained in caring with resident with Alzheimer’s disease or other memory loss disorders are available 24-hours a day to provide assistance with activities of daily living, which may include bathing, dressing, personal hygiene, assistance with eating, mobility, medication management and much more all in a secure environment. Residents are also encouraged to participate in our various social, educational, devotional and recreational programs and activities as well as scheduled outings in the community.

Respite/Short-term stays are based on availability and residents ability to meet the community’s admissions criteria. Give us a call, let’s discuss the options for your loved one.