Getting the Care Your Loved One Needs – Understanding Levels of Care
Today, many older Americans are living longer. As a result, many of them now require some additional help to maintain their independence or to improve their quality of life. It is important for families of senior adults to have an understanding of the levels of care offered, what each variety entails, and how they can be useful to their loved ones when needed.
Meeting the Care Needs of Today’s Seniors
Susie Sarkisian, Director of Family Services at The Kensington in White Plains, NY, says:
“Based on the growing need, two of the most popular and fastest-growing care options for seniors today are assisted living and memory care.”
Assisted living offers seniors an independent lifestyle with just the right amount of care and support they need to enjoy a safe, active and enriching life. Leading assisted living communities today, such as The Kensington, are licensed for “enhanced” assisted living, which means they can provide a higher level of care and handle more complex situations than others. This expanded capability virtually eliminates the need for loved ones to move as their health needs increase over time.
And, with the increased prevalence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, memory care has become another very important service. Rather than a ‘one size fits all’ approach to memory care, The Kensington offers two separate memory care options specifically tailored to a loved one’s stage of memory loss and their specific needs. We recognize that a loved one’s capabilities and behaviors can change considerably between early-stage and late-stage memory loss. Therefore, we offer two distinct programs designed to optimize comfort and quality of life for loved ones in each stage.
The Kensington: Offering Progressive Levels of Care to Meet Seniors’ Changing Needs
- Enhanced Assisted Living
The Kensington’s “enhanced” assisted living license clearly differentiates us from other traditional assisted living communities. This expanded licensure permits us to offer a much broader spectrum of clinical support. As a result, our enhanced program of care makes it possible for residents to continue living here, even if their assisted living care needs change or increase.
This enhanced licensure also allows our team to care for those with complex needs such as advanced central nervous system disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease,” and Parkinson’s disease.
- Connections for Early- to Middle-Stage Memory Loss
We believe the degree of memory loss is an important consideration when providing memory care. Therefore, we offer two “neighborhoods” that our residents call home. Our Connections and Haven neighborhoods are homelike environments where residents can feel comfortable and secure and where loving professionals can accommodate specific needs that accompany each stage of their disease progression.
Our Connections Neighborhood is for residents in the early to middle stages of progressive memory loss. Our goal in Connections is to help loved ones be independently engaged in activities that give meaning and purpose to their days. We assess residents’ maximum cognitive ability and recall, then we “meet them where they are” to make the most of their strengths.
- Haven Neighborhood for Middle- to Late-Stage Memory Loss
Haven Neighborhood is a soothing and peaceful neighborhood for loved ones in the middle to late stages of memory loss and designed for residents who are showing more advanced signs of memory loss.
Our Haven Neighborhood residents need a higher level of assistance and care, so our goal is to maximize their comfort, minimize their agitation and offer soothing care and compassion. We also strive to offer these loved ones opportunities to become involved in ways that are meaningful.
Susie adds, “Within each of the progressive levels of care we provide, we build rapport and cultivate personal relationships with our residents. To create the best conditions for this “relationship-based” focus, we assign a primary care manager to each resident. This creates a sense of familiarity, trust and confidence that promotes teamwork and creates an environment for better care and results for everyone.”