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Americare Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Independent living FAQs from Americare

What is Independent Living?

Independent senior living communities offer maintenance-free living for those seeking a balance between independence and security. These "retirement" communities range in size - from large campuses to smaller enclaves of homes. Service packages also vary; While most include home maintenance - others provide dining, social activities, and some access to health care.

  • What is different about the Americare Cottages and other retirement communities?
  • Can I bring my own furniture?
  • What about housekeeping and maintenance?
  • I would feel more secure if I knew someone would check on me from time to time. Is that available?
  • Is there an expensive buy-in required to live in the Cottages or Patio Homes?

What is different about the Americare Cottages and other retirement communities?

Size. Instead of a large multi-building, multi-winged campus, our intimate enclaves of cottages and patio homes are nestled next to a sister assisted living facility. We offer privacy without isolation.

Can I bring my own furniture?

Absolutely. In fact these efficient homes are perfect for those looking to downsize but who have special items they just can't part with. Window treatments are included.

What about housekeeping and maintenance?

You leave that to us. We provide bi-weekly housekeeping with optional flat linen service. All repairs and maintenance - both inside and out - are taken care of.

I would feel more secure if I knew someone would check on me from time to time. Is that available?

That's part of Americare's independent living package. We know that for many seniors - just knowing someone is there when they need them - is all the security they need to live independently. We provide it with daily checks and 24-hour emergency voice response.

Is there an expensive buy-in required to live in the Cottages or Patio Homes?

No. Our leases run month to month. That way you stay in control of your money and can use it when and how you want to. Why pay for care now that you might need down the road? At Americare we believe independent living should also mean financial independence.

What is Assisted Living?

An assisted living residence provides a combination of housing, supportive services and health care designed to meet the needs - both scheduled and unscheduled - of those seniors who need help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, meal preparation and medication monitoring (Assisted Living Federation of America). Most states define a resident appropriate for assisted living care as one who can negotiate a pathway to safety in case of emergencies with no or little assistance from another person. These are broad definitions and each state regulates this level of care a bit differently.

  • When is assisted living a better option than independent living?
  • What do you mean by "care on demand"?
  • If my care needs change would I have to move?
  • When is skilled nursing a better option than assisted living?

Assisted Living FAQs from Americare

When is assisted living a better option than independent living?

Generally speaking, when an individual living at home can no longer be assisted with "scheduled care" (either by family or home health agencies) - and requires more "care on demand", assisted living becomes an attractive option.

What do you mean by "care on demand"?

This would include assistance that is available 24-hours a day - whenever the resident needs it. Protective oversight, on-going medication management, nutritional support and personal assistance with dressing and bathing are all examples of care on demand.

If my care needs change would I have to move?

Many residents live their remaining years quite comfortably in the assisted living setting. Since supportive care is provided (assistance with bathing, medication monitoring, meal preparation), living in an assisted living setting can significantly reduce the risk of serious health setbacks that might necessitate a higher level of care. In addition, Medicare home health services, rehabilitation and even Hospice services can all be accessed in an assisted living community. Certainly meeting a resident's needs is the number one priority and should a higher level of care be required, skilled nursing (both short and long-term) is a viable next step.

When is skilled nursing a better option than assisted living?

Skilled nursing care is reserved for individuals with often complex medical needs requiring the "skill" of licensed nurses and therapists. Skilled nursing is appropriate for seniors recovering from stroke or surgery that needs intensive, 7-day a week therapies. In addition, if a resident regularly requires the assistance of another to move from bed to chair, or is confined to bed due to their condition, they are generally more appropriate for the skilled nursing setting.

Memory Care FAQs from Americare

What is Memory Care?

Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative brain disease that impairs memory and the ability to perform the activities of daily living. Over 5 million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease and that number is growing. One out of every eight people 65 years and older are affected, and almost half of those 85 and older have Alzheimer's disease.

  • I thought only skilled nursing centers could care for those with Alzheimer's?
  • What makes Americare's memory care assisted living services different from their traditional assisted living services?
  • Is the staffing different?
  • What about security?
  • Why is the size of the Arbors communities so important?

I thought only skilled nursing centers could care for those with Alzheimer's?
That used to be the case. However, more and more states are enabling assisted living communities to specialize in this level of care. More rigorous staffing, physical plant and training standards must be met. Today, however, specialized assisted living communities, like The Arbors, are an attractive option to those seeking care outside the home.

What makes Americare's memory care assisted living services different from their traditional assisted living services?
All the services provided in our Arbors communities — from dining, to nursing, to activities — are designed around the unique needs of the memory-impaired. By working closely with loved ones, we preserve the life story of every resident of The Arbors — creating a guide to the past and the present to prevent loneliness, helplessness and boredom. Days are quietly structured to provide a sense of order. Residents are engaged more readily in this setting thru verbal cues and daily routines.

Is the staffing different?
Yes. Not only is the staff-to-resident ratio higher than in a traditional assisted living setting, every employee at The Arbors successfully undergoes training on the Best Friends™ Approach, as well as the person-centered CARES training, developed in partnership with the Alzheimer's Association. The decision to work in this level of care is an important one. We screen prospective caregivers on the front end to ensure they have both the passion and temperament to work with these special individuals.

What about security?
What's wonderful about Americare's Arbors communities is that the security is there — but not readily apparent to the resident. All doors are equipped with keypad entry/exits. Our outdoor living areas are also secured and are monitored through closed-circuit cameras. Residents who may require additional oversight are given discreet monitoring bracelets.

Why is the size of the Arbors communities so important?
Research shows that residents with Alzheimer's or other forms of memory impairment do best when they're in a calm, intimate setting and know their caregivers. With no more than 24 units (most with only 14), The Arbors neighborhood allows for flexibility with structure. So each person's daily routine remains, whatever that may be. Our entire building is specifically designed (not just retrofitted) for the memory-impaired resident.

What is Skilled Nursing?

Skilled nursing care is reserved for individuals with often complex medical needs requiring the "skill" of licensed nurses and therapists. Skilled nursing is appropriate for seniors recovering from stroke or surgery that need intensive, 7-day a week therapies. In addition, if a resident regularly requires the assistance of another to move from bed to chair, or is confined to bed due to their condition, they are generally more appropriate for the skilled nursing setting.

  • Are short-term stays available?
  • Americare promotes person-centered care in its skilled nursing centers. How is that different?
  • Does Medicare cover my stay in a skilled nursing setting?
  • What if I don't have the funds to pay?

Skilled Nursing FAQs from Americare

Are short-term stays available?

Many of our residents are only with us a short time. Our goal for many is to help them return to their home or assisted living setting after surgery, accident or injury. We do this through state-of-the-art therapy programs and a comprehensive discharge plan that helps families know what to expect when a loved one returns home.

Americare promotes person-centered care in its skilled nursing centers. How is that different?

Person-centered care is simple. It puts the needs and desires of the resident above work routines and clinical protocols that are often driven by regulation. Whether a resident is with us short or long-term, the same quality care is delivered - but in a way that helps the resident retain their own identity. Meal schedules give way to open breakfasts that accommodate both early and late risers. Unsightly medication carts give way to medication securely stored and administered in the privacy of the resident's room. Bath days give way to the bathing preferences of each resident. Person-centered care, while simple, is changing the way our residents experience skilled nursing care.

Does Medicare cover my stay in a skilled nursing setting?

Medicare does cover some care in this setting - but it is limited. Generally, Medicare will pay for care when someone is recuperating from a stroke, injury or accident. Medicare's payment criteria is very stringent and once a resident no longer makes progress in their recuperation, payment becomes the responsibility of the individual should an extended stay be necessary.

What if I don't have the funds to pay?

When Medicare or long-term care insurance is not available, and a resident lacks the private funds to cover their stay, public funding known as Medicaid can be accessed. Our social service department is adept at identifying funding sources for those in need. We help families with the paperwork and documentation to make sure residents get the financial assistance they need.

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