Palm Gardens offers senior housing search tips

By April 21, 2011

Freedom of choice, independence and individuality are traits that characterize the American psyche no matter how old a person is. Yet with age, new challenges arise that defy one’s notion of these ingrained traits, including the challenge of where to live.

Palm Gardens knows all about the difficulties families face in looking for the right home. The assisted living center in Woodland offers the following tips when searching for a housing solution for seniors.

“Aging brings challenges that require some help with life’s daily tasks, but it does not erase a person’s desire to control his or her own environment, activity and care. Past generations folded the elderly into their households, but today that age-old arrangement is harder to maintain,” said Miriam Faris, marketing director for Palm Gardens. “We find that our residents want more out of life than sitting in a fireside rocker. They are a vibrant generation used to doing more and enjoying the best that life can give – that is why assisted living works for so many of today’s seniors.”

According to the National Association of Caregivers, an estimated 34 million Americans provide some care for an older family member, and 90 percent of individuals who receive home care get most of their help from family and friends.

“When a senior enters an already overworked or financially stretched household, resentment, guilt and fatigue can build on both sides, damaging the parent-child relationship and jeopardizing the well-being of everyone concerned,” Faris said. “On the other hand, if one partner in a marriage needs greater assistance than the other, the same feelings can develop.”

The impulse to care for one’s own is worthy of respect. For some people, home care is the best choice. But another choice is assisted living, the fastest growing long-term care option in the U.S. Why? It’s the philosophy of assisted living to embrace independence, choice and the opportunity for seniors to live enriching lives.

Here are some ideas when considering an assisted living community:

* Start the conversation before a crucial step needs to be taken. This gives everyone time to get used to the idea.

* Consider the financial situation. How much money is there for care? What needs to be done to pay for living expenses?

* Keep communicating, engage in conversation and allow everyone influenced by the decision to be a part of the conversation.

* Consider the parent or loved one’s perspective and emotional readiness.

* Think about location — should it be near your loved one’s current home or would it make more sense to move closer to yourself or to another sibling?

* Once location is decided, visit several senior living communities in the area.

* The healthier the senior is, the more options they’ll enjoy. As health declines, so do the options for care.

* Keep the conversation alive and plan accordingly.

* It may feel somehow callous or ungrateful to share the caregiving responsibility with outsiders, but story after story and statistics tell otherwise.

In assisted living, family members are welcome to visit and participate in community life, and benefit from the support services and knowledge that their loved one is more than well cared for, they are partaking in an active, stimulating lifestyle, according to Palm Gardens.

“It’s well documented that older adults who need some assistance with daily living benefit from assisted living. Tasks such as dining, cleaning and medication management are taken care of. They thrive from better nutrition, more social interaction and higher activity levels in assisted living communities.”

Palm Gardens provides assisted living and memory care for seniors. It is operated by Integral Senior Living, which manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties. ISL is founded on a care philosophy that fosters dignity and respect for residents and promotes their independence and individuality.

For information about assisted living options at Palm Gardens, call (530) 661-0574 or visit www.palmgardensal.com.

Special to The Enterprise

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