senior-housing-lynchburg

Types of Senior Housing in Lynchburg

Unless you’re in the retirement industry or have already gone through the process of placing an aging loved one in someone else’s care, you probably aren’t familiar with the many options that now exist for senior living. Finding a home for mom in Lynchburg, Virginia may seem quite daunting, so here’s a quick guide of current housing options and the level of care they offer.

Active Adult Communities

Active adult communities are built for adults 55 or older who are capable of taking care of themselves and function normally within their activities of daily living without issue. These communities are geared toward those who desire additional social engagement, and most offer options for residents to rent or own their own residence. Many communities offer a variety of amenities to bring residents together and create a social connection such as social outings, holiday parties, recreational events, etc. The level of independence is very high, and residents are able to maintain their own property just like they could while living on their own private property. 

Retirement or Independent Living Communities

If mom still desires to live alone but you want the option of having someone available if a need arises, a retirement or independent living community may be the best option for her. In these types of communities, residents are able to care for themselves, and assistance is not necessary. However, if a resident would ever need something, they would have access to the care they need. Most places still offer options to rent or buy, and communities such as this may offer additional services such as housekeeping and food preparation.

Assisted Living Residences

In her book, Get Ready, Get Set, Stay Put: Aging at Home and Other Options for Senior Living, Emily Butler-Morton describes assisted living as “serving as a bridge between independent living and nursing homes. ADLs (activities of daily living) such as eating, bathing, dressing, laundry, housekeeping, and assistance with medications are provided.”

Similar to retirement or independent living communities, assisted living residences offer many of the same amenities plus the addition of assistance with personal care. These types of facilities may offer different tiers of service, like The Williams Home, Inc. in Lynchburg, Virginia. Here are a few common examples:

  • Independent Living. Mom is able to perform her activities of daily living (ADLs) on her own. She can self-administer any medications or dietary supplements and treatments. Supervision is not required at this level of care, and you feel comfortable that she is able to care for herself.
  • Minimal Assisted Living. While she is mostly independent at this level of care, mom may require additional assistance with her ADLs on occasion. She’s still able to self-administer or partially administer medications or dietary supplements and treatments. Minimal assisted living looks very similar to independent living, but there will be supervision whenever mom requires a helping hand. You can rest at night knowing she will have the help she needs if she’s unable to do something on her own.
  • Moderate Assistance. With moderate assisted living, mom requires more advanced care, including incontinence assistance. ADLs are often assisted, and there will be staff that provide services such as general housekeeping or laundry. Nurses and other aides are regularly available and are used more frequently at this level of care.

“You will want to have a detailed copy of the levels of care rates before you sign a contract. Sometimes an individual starts out a higher level of care and after settling in, will need less assistance, thereby reducing the care needed.”

Emily Butler-Morton

At The Williams Home, Inc., the following four tiers of care are offered:

  • Tier 1 – Independent Living – Independent in:
    • All activities of daily living (ADLs) without assistance as documented on the Uniform Assessment Instrument (UAI)
    • Able to self-administer medication/dietary supplements and treatments
    • No nursing care (vitals-emergency situation only, CPR/basic first aid exception)
    • 24/7 nurse on duty and/or registered medication aide, direct and non-direct care staff on duty
  • Tier 2 – Residential – Minimal Assistance – Dependent in:
    • Only one or more of four Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs) or medication administration – a resident may be capable of self or partial administering medication /dietary supplements/ treatments if the Uniform Assessment Instrument (UAI) has indicated that the resident is capable of doing so
    • 24/7 nurse on duty and/or registered medication aide, direct and non-direct care staff on duty
    • Requires minimal assistance with oxygen, ted hose, diabetic compliance, injections and treatments
  • Tier 2 – Residential Plus – Minimal Assistance with 1 ADL – Bathing Only. Dependent in:
    • One of seven activities of daily living (ADLs) – bathing only, as documented on the Uniform Assessment Instrument (UAI) OR
    • One or more of four instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs) OR
    • Medication administration – a resident may be capable of self or partial administering medication /dietary supplements/ treatments if the Uniform Assessment Instrument (UAI) has indicated that the resident is capable of doing so
    • 24/7 nurse on duty and/or registered medication aide, direct and non-direct care staff on duty
    • Requires minimal assistance with oxygen, ted hose, diabetic compliance, injections and treatments
  • Tier 3 – Assisted Living – Moderate Assistance – Dependent in:
    • Two of seven activities of daily living (ADLs) – behavior pattern as documented on Uniform Assessment Instrument (UAI)
    • Medication administration – a resident may be capable of self or partial administering medication /dietary supplements/ treatments if the Uniform Assessment Instrument (UAI) has indicated that the resident is capable of doing so
    • 24/7 nurse on duty and/or registered medication aide, direct and non-direct care staff on duty
  • Tier 4 – Assisted Living – Moderate Assistance – Tier 3 services plus:
    • Incontinent and requires staff assistance with pads or briefs
    • Requires assistance with toileting (reminders, supervision, or physical assistance)
    • More than weekly housekeeping and/or laundry services; more substantial use of emergency call system, requires more frequent assistance from staff

Nursing Homes

If medical assistance is needed on a more consistent schedule, a nursing home may be better suited for mom. Nursing homes offer care at all hours, and many have the same amenities as assisted living facilities for a comfortable residence. You can expect nursing homes to have more professional, medical personnel on staff as they cater to those with additional care needs. If mom has a serious medical condition, having the additional medical staff will provide the comfort you need to know that mom will be well taken care of. 

Continuing Care Communities

If long-term care with transitional assistance interests you, continuing care communities may be the option you’ve been searching for. While every location varies, most offer the same levels of care while limiting the need for transferring to a new location if mom’s health declines faster than expected. These facilities are able to provide more options for mom in one location, so check with the facility to see what types of care they offer.

Whatever option you’re considering for mom, make sure you do your homework and take a tour (or two!) of your top options. With the most up to date information and resources available, you’ll be able to make a confident and educated decision on where mom will be living out the next phase of her life. If independent or assisted living options are ideal for mom, schedule a tour of The Williams Home, Inc. today!