Independent Retirement Living Bridges the Gap for Seniors

2014-01-26T07:00:00Z Independent Retirement Living Bridges the Gap for Seniors nwitimes.com
January 26, 2014 7:00 am

There’s an entire generation of adult children discovering just how fine the line between their parent(s) being able to live independently and needing assistance can be.

As parents grow older, they begin facing new challenges that adult children may not know how to address. For example, many children want to support their parent(s)’ desire to continue living independently, even as concern grows regarding their safety and well-being.

As a result, discussions about moving to a retirement community are often put on hold as seniors fear the loss of independence, and family members feel guilty because they can’t always be there to help.

“Everyone hates change, and family members often have very different opinions when it comes to determining if there’s a right time for seniors to move,” Kevin Orze, Director of Marketing and Sales at Hartsfield Village Senior Living Community, said. “I’ve counseled seniors and their families for over 10 years now, and I’ve had plenty of people in tears telling me how they promised their parents they would never move them from their home to a retirement community. I let them know that for some people it’s a fun and enjoyable process, they can’t wait to move in – while others are not nearly as enthusiastic. However, after just a short time as a resident, they all seem to agree life is better here. Whether it’s simply having someone who can help administer a daily eye drop or lend a hand with getting dressed first thing in the morning, our goal is for our residents to be as independent as possible with plenty of opportunities to socialize and stay active.”

While you might feel nervous, uncomfortable or guilty about initiating a discussion with your loved one about moving, evidence indicates the best time for seniors to make a move is when they are healthy. Not only will they find it easier to acclimate to a new lifestyle when they are mentally and physically fit, finding reliable, reputable and affordable extended care options when the need suddenly arises may drastically limit your options and increase costs.

Dedicated to celebrating the full continuum of life – starting with individuals who wish to maintain their independence and couples looking to enjoy a worry-free lifestyle to those who would appreciate a little help now and then - Hartsfield Village is a nonprofit Continuing Care Retirement community (CCRC) sponsored by the Community Healthcare System.

Offering the peace of mind that comes with maintaining your independence at the highest level for as long as possible, Hartsfield Village allows residents to seamlessly transition from Independent Living to Assisted Living, Memory Support or Skilled Nursing Care if a medical issue arises.

“We all want to believe we will be completely independent for the rest of our days, but there are times when we realize we could use a little help with everyday tasks,” Orze explained. “Some people may do quite well in their home, especially those who have lived there a long time. Many of them love the memories associated with their homes and feel very comfortable in them. Yet even these people often find that over the years maintaining their home can be very time consuming and costly, climbing stairs can be difficult, preparing healthy meals on a daily basis can be a challenge and, in some cases, their changing neighborhood means longtime friends are no longer around – that impacts both their sense of security and socialization.”

Along with a busy calendar of social and recreational programs that promote an active lifestyle and provide opportunities to meet new friends, Hartsfield Village encourages overall wellness with proper medical care and good nutrition.

“Lots of folks don’t like to drive at night or during the winter when it snows, and that can leave them trapped in their own homes,” Orze said. “At Hartsfield Village our residents are truly ‘Living Well, Living Wise’ with a comprehensive wellness program that’s proactive, easily available and fun. Plus, if there’s ever a fall, a health crisis or any other event requiring assistance, our 24-hour-a-day professional and caring nursing staff is here to help. That way, there’s never a need to make a hurried or stressful decision regarding care or rehabilitation. That’s the benefit of continuing care.”

According to U.S. News’ Best Nursing Homes – 2013 report, an estimated 3.3 million Americans lived in the nation's nearly 16,000 nursing homes during 2013.That number translates to 1 in 7 people ages 65 and up, and more than 1 in 5 of those 85 and older. At some point, the rest of these families may want or need to find a source of the best possible care. For many, it won't be easy.

Earning four out of five possible overall stars, Nursing Care at Hartsfield Village was one of just two top-rated Continuing Care Retirement Communities in our area, according to the report, which compared health inspections, nurse staffing and quality measures.

“While we are extremely proud of our rating, we also know that it’s just a starting point for people having this conversation right now,” Orze added. “There’s no better way to get a feel for the different neighborhoods in our community than to come out and take a tour, meet the staff and see the residents interact.”

Located in Munster, Hartsfield Village boasts a scenic 38-acre campus that’s near shopping and restaurants as well as cultural and leisure activities. Residents also have the opportunity to explore Chicago with trips downtown, including special seasonal events, like a holiday visit to the Drake Hotel for high tea.

Always looking for new ways to enhance their facilities for residents, Hartsfield Village recently completed a $2 million dollar expansion that includes a new, 1,755-sq-ft state-of-the-art physical therapy gym with accommodations for short-term rehabilitation patients working to regain the skills they need to live independently.

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