23 Jan Decoding and Simplifying the Care Continuum
Studies from Northwestern University and Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging highlight that community living contributes significantly to social, physical, intellectual and vocational wellness. Reduced stress and improved self-esteem are among the many benefits reported by residents.
Continuum of Care
At its core, the care continuum offers a spectrum of services in a single location. This approach ensures that the care you receive adapts seamlessly as your needs evolve and change over time. From independent living to skilled nursing, this model provides peace of mind, knowing you’re covered at every step.
Of course, the alternative to having access to a full continuum of care is having to move later. If you’re living at home or in an independent living apartment community that does not offer access to escalating levels of care that you or a loved one needs, it could present difficulties. Uprooting your life when you least feel like it due to illness or lack of mobility is not only extremely stressful, but it can also result in having to take whatever place is available at a moment’s notice, and perhaps giving up some levels of control, instead of being thoughtful and discerning about where you’d like to live. One resident put it this way, “Good decisions are seldom made in a crisis.” We couldn’t agree more!
Defining the Support Spectrum
Within the care continuum, various support models exist to meet you where you are on your journey. These include:
Independent community living represents a transformative approach to senior living, where freedom and self-reliance are at the forefront. It’s designed for adults aged 62 years old or better, who wish to live a maintenance-free, active lifestyle while enjoying the perks of a supportive community. At its core, this model caters to those who don’t require daily assistance but cherish the idea of a community that simplifies life and enriches it with opportunities. Residents have the autonomy to shape their days and the convenience of having their needs seamlessly taken care of. From no longer worrying about tedious tasks like mowing the lawn and snow removal to having access to a full menu of amenities and social activities, residents at these communities are offered a perfect blend of independence and support.
As an example, let’s take a quick look at Ring House, CESLC’s independent living community in Rockville, Maryland. Residents here have access to a full calendar filled with diverse activities. The possibilities are endless, but they are also optional. Residents can enjoy what interests them and leave the rest.
- Balance, tai chi, Zumba and other fitness classes
- Visits to historical sites, concerts, museums and fine dining
- Jewish culture and religion classes
- Art classes
- Entertainment, including live classical music, jazz concerts and movie nights
- Learning opportunities
- Community dances
Many people start with independent living. As time passes and the need for extra care increases, an assisted living community is the next best step for older adults who need support with their daily routines. While in independent living, family members or homecare agencies may be able to provide some of these vital services. However, moving to an assisted living community has a range of benefits that are simply unavailable in an independent setting.
Likewise, many assisted living communities offer social activities and fitness classes that community members wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Studies have shown that social connection plays an outsized role as we age. Meanwhile, those who live by themselves often experience greater cognitive decline, depression and loneliness. By moving to an assisted living community, older adults can enjoy a better quality of life and greater independence.
To that end, CESLC’s Landlow House features assisted living in an environment conducive to overall well-being and serves residents with a rich tapestry of experiences and activities specifically designed to celebrate the person as a whole.
Memory care communities are designed to provide a safe and supportive environment for older adults experiencing cognitive changes. With specially trained staff who know how to interact with residents in ways that calm and encourage them, formerly uncommunicative or withdrawn residents often become more responsive. Residents are monitored around the clock to ensure their safety, and secure outdoor areas allow them to enjoy fresh air and sunshine while eliminating the danger of wandering away. Many activities, such as music therapy and group conversations, stimulate the brain’s memory functions, and many residents feel comfortable engaging in them. By providing the right environment and care, memory care communities can enhance the quality of life for residents and make a positive difference in their lives.
CESLC’s Cohen-Rosen House and Connections at Landow House provide safe, serene and caring homes for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia-related disorders. Residents experience the benefits of a unique setting where private accommodations, creative programming and personal solutions organically shape their daily routines. The first impression most visitors have when they tour our memory care communities is that they do not look or feel like a memory care. Instead, residents live in a warm and inviting atmosphere that feels like a home, instead of a clinical setting. Their award-winning interiors boast stunning communal areas, well-lit spaces and roomy outdoor courtyards, enabling residents to move around comfortably and engage with their surroundings.
Long-Term Care and Short-Term Rehabilitation
Skilled nursing for both long-term care and short-term rehabilitation plays a pivotal role in the healthcare landscape, providing a crucial bridge between hospital care and a return to daily life for individuals with complex medical needs. These specialized facilities are staffed with highly trained healthcare professionals who not only administer medical treatments but also deliver compassionate support during what can be challenging times for patients and their families. A doctor’s referral is often needed for admittance.
Skilled nursing facilities serve as vital hubs for rehabilitation, post-surgical recovery and long-term care, offering a spectrum of services that encompass physical therapy, occupational therapy and nursing care tailored to individual needs.
The Hebrew Home of Greater Washington is the largest nursing home in the mid-Atlantic region and includes a five-person physician staff. The long-term care team is dedicated to delivering award-winning quality and person-centered care.
Short-term rehabilitation services can be found at Warren R. Slavin Post-Acute Care Center at Hebrew Home of Greater Washington. After an injury, surgery or medical event, a team of over 30 experienced therapists focuses on the lifestyle of each individual.
How Do You Know Where To Go?
Good question. We hope this overview was a good primer for what is available in the care continuum. Long-term care, short-term rehabilitation and memory care are often clearcut and obvious. However, there are individuals who think they are ready for independent living but may be better suited for assisted living. Likewise, someone who thinks that their loved one needs assisted living or memory care may be able to get by with support from a home care professional, such as those who work at SmithLife® Homecare.
If unsure, we recommend talking with one of our advisors and coming in for a visit at one of our residences.