Memory Care / Personal Care vs. Assisted Living in Pittsburgh
Despite originally seeking assisted living in Pittsburgh, many residents choose a memory care facility
PITTSBURGH, PA (August 13th, 2019) – Staff at one local memory care community have noticed an influx in seniors seeking services in their community. “Many residents originally look at assisted living communities and then expand their search to include memory care and personal care communities. As they learn more about the types of communities in Pittsburgh and what they can expect in each community, they really get excited about non-traditional care models and communities like The Haven at North Hills,” says one employee of the organization.
One of the reasons residents and their family members choose memory care over assisted living is the programming, which is customized for memory-impaired residents and based on cutting-edge research in the memory care discipline. One example of this programming is the incorporation of life skills stations, which allow residents experiencing a cognitive decline to perform comforting, familiar activities in a safe environment. A few examples include baking, mechanic, and sewing stations. Another way the community specializes care for those with memory impairment is through the incorporation of the MIND diet, which is supported by research and designed to prevent cognitive decline and preserve memory longer. “Once I learned how different assisted living and memory care communities are – and how specialized the programming is at The Haven – I knew that’s where I wanted my mom. I knew they would understand her needs there,” says the daughter of one memory care resident.
Staff also cite safety as a driving factor for many residents and their family members. While assisted living communities are able to offer safety and security for most seniors, those who have Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia have more extensive safety needs. Common household chemicals and equipment, like cleaners and stove burners, can become safety risks as dementia progresses. For this reason, memory care communities are often the safest option for residents with dementia; every aspect of the design and layout is intentional and focused on the health and well-being of those who reside there. There are no stoves or ovens in apartments, chemicals are locked up, and safe, secure outdoor spaces prevent residents from wandering too far and getting lost while still encouraging time outdoors. “Knowing that the community is safe is a deciding factor in many cases,” says Jennifer Gross, Executive Director. “Our residents’ family members want to know that their loved one is going to be safe here.”
Gross goes on to say, “So many of the people we meet with are surprised to find how many options they really have. They know about home healthcare, assisted living, and long-term care, but when it comes to finding the right home for those who have dementia, all of these options miss the mark a little. And so when they learn there’s this option out there that offers as much independence as possible, safety measures designed for the resident with dementia, and such an intense focus on physical and emotional wellness, they’re pleasantly surprised. And then when they find out the rent is all-inclusive, they ask, ‘Where do I sign?’”
While the term all-inclusive can be deceiving, rent at The Haven really does include everything: laundry service, housekeeping services, personal care, three gourmet meals a day, all utilities (except personal phone), a full activities calendar, access to the gym, local transportation, and more.
While making decisions about retirement living can be bittersweet, peace of mind makes the process a little easier for seniors and their loved ones. Those interested in touring the community or learning more can reach out directly to The Haven at North Hills Senior Residence by visiting www.TheHavenRet.com or call(412) 599-1032.
About Sunshine Retirement Living
Family-owned and patient-centered, parent company Sunshine Retirement Living manages nearly 30 retirement communities across the United States. By providing a full range of services in their independent living, assisted living, personal care, and memory care communities, Sunshine Retirement Living promotes independence, confidence, and community among their residents. The organization’s mission is simple: to enrich the lives of those they serve. To learn more about their services, communities, or philosophy, visit www.SunshineRet.com or connect socially.
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