THE STARTING LINE

Choosing a senior living community can be an overwhelming process. Whether you are looking for yourself or a loved one or whether you are planning for the immediate or distant future, these five steps will get you started on the right track.


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MEMORY CARE NEIGHBORHOOD ENHANCES QUALITY OF LIFE

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, one in nine people age 65 and older has Alzheimer’s disease. As the size and proportion of this segment of the U.S. population increases, the number of Americans with Alzheimer’s and other dementias will grow, too.  For families with a loved one suffering from memory loss, a key concern is finding a place that can deal with such a diagnosis and enhance the individual’s quality of life. The Memory Care Neighborhood at Liberty Ridge offers families the peace of mind they seek.

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LIBERTY RIDGE OFFERS RESIDENTS A COMFORTABLE, FAITH- BASED ENVIRONMENT

Liberty Ridge Senior Living Community has a perfect place for you. Whether you’re looking for an assisted living apartment with a wonderful array of amenities from which to choose or you would like to find a Memory Care Neighborhood for a loved one dealing with dementia, you’re sure to discover just the right residence at Liberty Ridge.

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communities offer a wide-variety of on-campus and off-campus activities to help keep cognitive skills intact by creating an environment centered on lifelong learning.


Social – Socialization can improve both quality and length of life and staying socially connected grows increasingly difficult with age. Isolation due to living alone, having a small social network or lack of participation in social activities can have a direct impact on one’s health, increasing the likelihood of chronic health problems. Community dining like those found in senior living communities not only create opportunities for socialization, but also give seniors access to well-balanced meals. A poor diet can lead to a weakened immune system, but communities provide the convenience of on-site dining with chef-prepared meals so it’s easier to eat well.


Occupational – The opportunity to stay engaged in the community while utilizing your unique set of skills is a crucial step to achieving overall wellness. Many senior living communities offer volunteer opportunities for their residents based on their interests and abilities. Seniors can get involved with local charities, host support groups or mentor children. Volunteerism is beneficial for seniors in a number of ways – not only does it have mental and physical benefits, but it also helps improve the perception of seniors in society.


The ability to achieve whole-person wellness is even more important for seniors experiencing memory loss. Many senior living communities offer memory care programs which provide specialized care for those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. These are often secured environments staffed by caregivers who have training and experience working with residents living with memory impairment. In addition to all the benefits that come with living in a senior living community, memory care programs offer unique activities that are specifically designed to engage their residents which increases self-esteem. And not only is the nutrition that comes along with mealtime even more important to people with dementia, but studies show that the environment in which they eat is crucial as well. When memory care residents have the opportunity to eat with their caregivers in a family-style setting, their eating and drinking habits improve.


The advantages of belonging to a senior living community are too important to ignore. Seniors who choose to live in communities designed with their interests and abilities in mind will be healthier, happier and will live longer. Combine that with the maintenance-free living, care and safety that senior residences offer and the decision to move into a community just became much easier.


SOURCES & RESOURCES:


•  The Six Dimensions of Wellness

•  Community Living: It’s Healthier

•  Benefits of an Active Lifestyle on Health and Well-Being Later in Life

•  Social Disconnectedness, Perceived Isolation, and Health among Older Adults    

•  Efficacy of Peer Support Interventions for Depression  

•  2016 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures  

•  Why Pleasant Mealtimes Could Be Key to Alzheimer’s Care

Selecting a senior living community for yourself or the senior in your life can be a stressful and overwhelming process beginning with the initial decision to move. Perhaps you want peace of mind that Mom is getting the nutrition and medication reminders she needs. Maybe lack of transportation is keeping Dad isolated and he is becoming withdrawn. Or, it could be that you just aren’t up to the yard work and maintenance that owning a home typically requires. Regardless of the primary reason for moving, it’s important for families and individuals to understand all the benefits that come from being in a community of like-minded individuals with programs, activities and environments specifically designed for older adults.


The National Wellness Institute identifies six dimensions of wellness that everyone needs to achieve a happier, healthier self:


Emotional – In order to thrive emotionally, individuals need a support network and engaging activities that seniors often lack when they are isolated from friends and family. Senior living communities provide an opportunity for residents to interact on a daily basis, allowing personal relationships to form which creates a support system outside of the family unit. And don’t underestimate the value of peer-to-peer bonding. Building interpersonal connections with others who share your challenges can help reduce symptoms of depression.

A SOCIAL SENIOR IS A HEALTHIER SENIOR

Physical – Regular physical activity can lead to significant health benefits in seniors, such as reduced risk of falling, stroke and heart disease. Wellness programs found in senior living communities may offer activities like yoga to help with balance, tai chi to improve coordination or gardening to provide strength training. Studies show that exercise does not have to be intensive in order to be beneficial, but indicate that moderate, daily activity is key to receiving maximum results.


Spiritual – Community life and worship is an important wellness component to many lives. Lack of transportation or mobility can keep seniors from attending their place of worship. Senior communities often have a chapel onsite with a chaplain to provide spiritual enrichment or may provide transportation to the resident’s own church, temple or synagogue.


Intellectual –Studies suggest that engaging in brain boosting activities do more than just keep your mind sharp. Keeping your brain active every day by exploring new hobbies, playing games or working puzzles may help you live longer and possibly reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Senior living

LAUREN ASHLEY GERMAN

Lauren Ashley German is the Community Relations Director at Highgrove at Tates Creek, a premier senior living community opening fall of 2016. Formally with the Alzheimer’s Association, Lauren Ashley has had the privilege of working with families across Kentucky dealing with all levels of dementia as well as the senior living communities that serve them. Lauren Ashley can be reached at 859-245-0100 or lagerman@traditionsmgmt.net.

more articles by Lauren Ashley German