Making the decision to move an aging loved one into an assisted facility is not one families take lightly. It is an emotional choice that comes down to providing the best care when it becomes clear that older relatives are no longer able to remain at home safely. Today, assisted living facilities today are designed to offer assistance while maximizing independence. Many facilities provide residents with their apartments or rooms, in addition to common areas where residents can enjoy social and recreational activities, such as wellness programs, book clubs and games. Some offer off-site trips to the movies, concerts and more.
The real comfort is the peace of mind for both residents and family members. These facilities typically offer around-the-clock supervision and a range of services, including meals and assistance with medications.
“Families have the benefit of knowing their loved one is going to be cared for 24/7,” said Linda Rubino, admissions coordinator at Daleview Care Center in Farmingdale. “It is peace of mind for the family. For the residents, everything is done for them. When they have someone helping them manage their medication and preparing their meals, they do so much better than going it alone.”
Facilities typically offer multiple levels of care depending on what residents need. Daleview Care Center is a family-owned and operated 142-bed facility that offers a full continuum of care, from temporary respite stays and short-term rehabilitation to long-term skilled nursing care. It also boasts an array of specialty programs and services, such as its Dementia and Alzheimer’s Care Program, as well as a range of social activities.
“What makes Daleview Care Center stand out is the family-type atmosphere of the facility,” Rubino said. “We are a free-standing facility; not affiliated or owned by any corporate chain. The vast majority of our key personnel have been with us for 20-plus years, and most live locally in the community. They have tremendous pride in being part of a thriving community skilled nursing facility.”
Atria Senior Living also offers a wide range of long and short-term care options at its seven locations in Nassau County: Atria Cutter Mill, Atria Glen Cove, Atria Park of Great Neck, Atria Lynbrook, Atria Plainview, Atria on Roslyn Harbor and Atria Tanglewood. Specialized care includes customized living options for individual needs and preferences, as well as programs for Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia.
Atria prides itself on its vibrant communities where residents have opportunities to be active, eat well, set goals and live purposeful lives.
“As we grow older, our network of social connections shrinks,” said Jennifer Kuzmech, regional vicepresident at Atria Senior Living. “As a result, an older person ends up relying on just one or two people to serve a number of roles and help with everyday tasks. What’s more, a setting that offers 24-hour support is often what’s necessary for a senior to maintain their independence.”
The apartments have the option to have a terrace, plus a washer and dryer are included in each apartment, as well as a full kitchen.
AARP recommends asking the following questions when considering if the level of care provided different facilities is a match for your loved one:
- What level of personal and health care services are provided?
- What privileges do residents have? For example, are they permitted to bring personal furniture?
- What are the transfer and discharge policies? What specific reasons would lead to a resident being asked to move out, and how much notice would be given?
- Is a resident’s space held if he or she has to be hospitalized?
Schedule A Visit
When you’ve narrowed down a short list of potential assisted living facilities, scheduling a visit is next.
“Prospective residents and their families should look for the right location that can provide the level of service that meets their needs,” Kuzmech said. “Their top requirements often concern location, care or service levels and affordability. However, when they tour prospective communities, they should consider questions concerning the social atmosphere, dining options and fitness opportunities too.”
From AARP’s checklist, here are some other things to look for:
- An emergency generator or alternative power source in case of an outage
- Enough common areas, such as dens and living rooms
- A floor plan that’s logical and easy to follow
- Large enough rooms for your family member’s needs
- Rooms and bathrooms with hand- rails and call buttons
- Safety locks on doors and windows
- Security and fire safety systems
- Services such as banking, a beauty salon or a café
- Well-lit stairs and hallways with well-marked exits
To ease the transition, Atria facilities connect families with real estate professionals and downsizing/decluttering experts.
“‘What if I don’t like it?’ is a question that’s often asked. And of course, there’s no obligation to stay at an assisted living community, especially if they offer month-to-month rental apartments like Atria Senior Living,” Kuzmech said. “When a new resident moves in, our resident ambassadors welcome them to the community by inviting them to programs they might enjoy and introducing them to new friends.”
At Daleview, Rubino welcomes everyone and anyone to tour their facility before making a decision. The step-by-step process walks each potential resident and their families through the facility, while providing information on payment options and assistance on making the best decision for ongoing care.
“The first step is to feel comfortable with your decision to send a loved one to us,” Rubino said.