Enjoy Supportive Services in Independent Living Communities
Mike McClernonSep 29th, 2022
Senior Living Basics
Independent Living communities are lively, vibrant places where people can enjoy their vintage years in a resort-like setting. With so many fun activities, social events, and engaging physical programs to choose from, community residents remain independent for as long as possible – often for the rest of their lives.
However, over time, Independent Living residents sometimes need help with basic tasks such as the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which include washing, grooming, dressing, and housekeeping. These services are usually in Assisted Living communities. This poses the question: Can residents in Independent Living enjoy some of the same support offered to Assisted Living residents, allowing the Independent residents to remain in their community?
As a Senior Living Advisor (Mike McClernon, 516-254-9481), clients often ask about available services not included in Independent Living rental fees. The answer to this question is twofold.
Firstly, Independent Living communities are licensed for lodging, not care. They cannot directly provide personal care.
However, independent residents can receive all the extra support they need by hiring a local home healthcare company that provides in-home help with ADLs. Medical professionals, such as nurses and therapists, can also provide services at your residence. The Independent community can very often even suggest agencies and individual caregivers to come into the Independent community and provide this support.
How does home healthcare work in Independent Living?
Home healthcare agencies come right to your door at a prearranged time to assist with whatever you need. Whether you’re finding it difficult to tie your shoes, button your shirt, shave safely, or wash your hair, these professional care workers can help. They will also come for casual companionship, take a walk with you, or spend time chatting or watching television. An Independent Living apartment is your home, and you can absolutely invite in aides and housekeepers.
Many will also take on tasks like housekeeping or meal preparation. Although many Independent Living communities offer 1 or 2 nutritious meals as part of the monthly fee, a home health caregiver can prepare (or assist you in preparing) a special lunch or dinner in your kitchen. They’ll even dine with you if you like!
Nurses or therapists can also visit your residence to provide medical care. Eldercare workers can move in to provide 24/7 care. If needed, you can even arrange for a hospital bed or other medical equipment in your unit.
You can find home healthcare agencies by asking your neighbors which agency they use and whether they’re happy with the services provided. The community staff will also be able to suggest some agencies and individuals.
How do in-home care services and Assisted Living compare in terms of costs?
You have direct relationships with anyone you hire to provide in-home services. The Independent Living community won’t bill on their behalf, so it’s up to you to make direct payment arrangements with your home healthcare agency or medical teams.
In most cases, in-home care services charge by the minute. For example, they will log that they came to your residence for 45 minutes three times in a week for a total of 135 minutes. They will send you a bill for that amount of time at their by-minute rate.
Assisted Living communities, on the other hand, typically charge both “rent” and “care”. Individuals needing little to no personal care will have a lower “care” charge, while others who need a higher level of care will spend more per month on care.
The main difference here is the type of community: Independent Living communities attract a more active population of seniors, and most Assisted Living communities get a slightly more needy, less active group of residents. Living in Independent Living, even with modest care being provided by home health agencies, can allow the senior to live in a community with a more active population and a more involved schedule of outside activities.
Are there benefits to hiring home healthcare services?
One of the biggest benefits of hiring home healthcare services is that it enables people to remain independent. Only requiring part-time services a few times per week can help a person live independently for longer, perhaps even for the rest of their life.
Another benefit is that you retain the relationships you’ve made with the staff and your fellow residents. Generally speaking, Independent Living and Assisted Living populations are kept separate because their needs are different. Staying in independent residences means you’ll be able to dine, socialize, enjoy activities, and retain daily contact with the friends you’ve made since moving in.
When should you move from Independent Living to Assisted Living?
Many families believe that a move from Independent to Assisted Living becomes necessary when costs for Home Healthcare start adding up. However, as previously mentioned, moving isn’t usually based on finances but on needs.
For example, if a resident becomes less ambulatory, can no longer participate in the community, and would better benefit from 24/7 onsite care, a move to Assisted Living makes sense.
In Assisted Living, the entire community is designed to fit their changing needs. Leaving someone in an environment they can no longer participate in isn’t healthy mentally or emotionally, especially if they begin to shut themselves away from the community.
Community managers may also observe changes in a resident’s behavior that might suggest that a move to Assisted Living may be beneficial. At this point, they may consult with the family to discuss the available options.
There are many scenarios in Independent Living when considering elevated levels of care. Be sure to ask the community manager if you have any questions. They’re there to help you!
No-cost help finding Independent Senior Living on Long Island
Placement into an Independent Living community is often wise for older people. When looking for the right place for your elderly relatives on Long Island, contact Mike McClernon of Assisted Living Locators.
Mike has collaborated with hundreds of families just like yours to help find the most appropriate Independent Living, Assisted Living, or Memory Care community for their older relatives. He will ensure that you have all the information you need to decide where your loved ones will thrive and be well-cared for during their vintage years.
Contact Mike today at 516-254-9481 or firstname.lastname@example.org to explore Senior Living Community options for the older person in your life. His phone is always on!