4 Pillars of Community Assisted Living
Independence should be the cornerstone of any quality assisted living community. At first glance, this may seem counterintuitive to some. Meemaw doesn’t need her independence… she needs dedicated care. That’s a common way of looking at it, but in truth, she needs both. A senior who moves into community assisted living is not giving up their independence; they are simply getting the support they need to maintain it.
Explore options for more intensive, medically focused support programs: What is the Difference Between Assisted Living and Nursing Home Facilities?
Springtime at Our Community Assisted Living Campus
Spring is the season of rebirth. It is a time of celebration and excitement (at last the snow is gone!). Of course, here in Ohio, those first rays of Spring sunshine mean we have at least one requisite hailstorm left in April… But after stepping outside last week with the expectation of mid-70s weather only to find, instead, little pellets of ice pelting the pavement, this week I dare say that spring is here to stay for awhile. And with Easter around the corner, we’re hopping into the season with a renewed vigor at The Ohio Eastern Star Home.
Community assisted living presents a way to take the isolation factor out of a senior’s independence. The reality is that many seniors living on their own are actually less independent, not more. They may simply stop doing things they love because they can no longer safely do them. They may feel too proud to ask for help or fear that they will become a burden to their loved ones. This is a less-than-ideal way to live, and it can be dangerous too. With community assisted living, seniors have access to whatever they need while staying free to run their own lives, interact with new (and old) friends, and participate in activities and events that interest them.
Movies are great (especially if there’s popcorn), but many of our seniors also lead very active lives. That means they need their energy too! So, there’s something that the OESH community gets even more excited about than the latest romcom…
They say that one of the top criterion when choosing a college should be the quality of the dining halls. We don’t see why an assisted living community would be any different! OESH seniors enjoy 35+ standard menu items, made-to-order breakfasts, room service, and a soft-serve ice cream machine! But it doesn’t stop there…
Our love of food is well documented on this blog. From the mayor visiting us for February’s soup contest to heartwarming images from doughnut day, our Elders (and care staff) love to eat. But it isn’t just about tasting yummy treats — it’s also about the sense of community that sharing a meal can engender. After all, nothing brings people together like excellent food!
One inspiring group we haven’t talked about quite as much on this blog are the patients in our rehabilitation center here on campus. Talk about champs! Every day, these folks move forward, learning to perform independent tasks like laundry, cooking, and showering in the aftermath of life-changing accidents and injuries. This can be seriously tough work! While we hope our independent and assisted living community seniors are never in this situation, we take inspiration from the consistent emphasis that our rehab staff and patients put on purposeful striving and incremental improvements.
We try to encourage the same in each of the other OESH communities. One of the most important things we provide as a person-center care center is a long list of varied opportunities to learn new skills, try out new interactions, and just generally live as adventurous of a life as is safe and comfortable for each individual!
This is where opportunities like music therapy, painting classes, and pet therapy come into play. We learn by experiencing, and our Elders are out there day after day perfecting their brush strokes, learning to exciting meals, and horsing around with (in some cases) actual horses!!
It’s right there in our mission statement: “All elders are entitled to self-determination at every stage of their journey.” That’s not just an OESH thing either, that’s the law. According to the Patient Self-Determination Act, all adults must be granted the ultimate decision on their own medical treatments and surgeries while able to make competent decisions. This includes using “advanced directives” such as power of attorney and/or a living will to dictate future wishes should they ever become incapacitated or deemed officially incapable of make sound decisions regarding their healthcare.
Autonomy is a basic human right that each of us relies on. As we grow older, it becomes a crucial aspect of aging with dignity. To support a senior we must respect this. A support network for aging with dignity is the bare minimum of what an assisted living community should provide to seniors, but it is still extremely important.
The previous four pillars are (as four pillars imply) sufficient to hold up the structure of community assisted living. Still, if this is where an assisted living community stops, who would want to go there? In our humble opinion, you NEED to add a whole lot of fun into the process. That’s why our life enrichment team stacks our monthly calendar with activities and games. From our top senior activities to seasonal shenanigans, birthday parties, and our world-famous senior slip-n-slide tradition, there’s always something around the corner here on campus!