We understand the journey you have embarked on—whether you are an active senior hoping to begin an exciting new chapter in life or exploring options for a loved one to thrive™ with a little assistance. You may use the resources below to help guide your decision-making process to the choice that’s right for you.
Yes, the best time to move it a senior living community is always sooner than later: It’s the best way for you or your loved one to live each day with maximum independence and freedom from household maintenance and chores, as well as take fullest advantage of all of the community’s amenities and offerings. Whenever possible, it’s always a good idea to research, visit, and evaluate all your senior living community options before a sudden change in health forces your family to make important decisions urgently, during an already stressful situation.
Once you have made the decision to make a move, it is time to find a new home that is right for you. Below are a few things to keep in mind when doing your research:
- Think of your health in the long term. You may be healthy now, but what types of care options might you want in the future? Explore communities with a continuum of care that encourage aging in place—or “thriving in place” as we call it!—so you can avoid multiple moves as your health changes.
- Consider the location of the community—how accessible is it and is it located near other amenities and attractions? Is it close to your friends and family?
- Make a list of the senior living communities you are interested in. You may want to start at each community’s website to get a general feel for the community.
- Next, schedule an in-person tour. Bring along family or friends whose opinion you trust.
- During your tour, speak with the staff and ask the opinions of current residents.
- What types of care do you offer in case health needs change?
- Are apartment homes rentals or are they condos? If condos, are there real estate taxes associated with the units?
- What types of activities and wellness programs do you offer?
- What’s the staff-to-resident ratio in each care level?
- What is the dining program like?
- What is the pet policy?
- How much is rent, what is included and are there any hidden fees that need to be factored into the financial equation?
- Do I need to sign a long-term lease?
- Does the community have a waiting list and how long it would take to move in?
After you’ve found the right community, it’s time to make the move. Ask your community’s representative if they have any suggestions on moving services or home selling resources. Ask the representative to provide you a list of all the items and documentation you need to provide before the move-in date.
During the move, it’s important to make the new room or space feel like home. Fill it with meaningful personal possessions. Bring your family photos and favorite bedding and furniture.
For family members of those with memory impairment, framed photographs, photo albums and personal mementos are particularly important. All of us can become stressed and confused by a shifting environment. People are comforted with familiar images and personal items. It is helpful to label pictures too for staff and others to identify the important people shown.
There’s a lot of information out there about aging and health. Here are links to resources we think will be useful as you search for senior living options:
Information on health and aging
Powerful Tools for Caregivers: An education program designed to help family and friends caring for older adults with long-term health conditions (e.g., stroke, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease and others).
WebMD: Tips on Aging Well: WebMD provides a host of tips for living longer and better.
Let’s make sure we are speaking the same language! Here’s a brief intro to words and expressions you may hear for the first time when exploring your options for senior living. Knowing these words may help—but if anyone says anything you don’t understand, don’t be afraid to ask them to say it again in plain English!
Advance directive (living will): A document written when in “good” health that informs an individual’s family and health care providers of wishes for extended medical treatment in times of emergency.
Alzheimer’s: Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes memory loss and problems with thinking and behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80% of dementia cases. Every 66 seconds, someone will develop Alzheimer’s.
Assisted Living: Assisted Living is for those 55+ who want to live as independently as possible but may desire assistance with some of the activities of daily living such as laundry, housekeeping, bathing, dressing, transferring/walking or medication management.
Dementia: Dementia is not a specific disease. It is a descriptive term for a collection of symptoms that can be caused by a number of disorders that affect the brain. While memory loss is a common symptom of dementia, memory loss by itself does not mean that a person has dementia. Doctors diagnose dementia only if two or more brain functions—such as memory, language skills, perception, or cognitive skills including reasoning and judgment—are significantly impaired without loss of consciousness.
Enhanced Care: Enhanced Care is for seniors that need a higher level of service and regular assistance with the activities of daily living, but not necessarily Memory Care.
Hospice Care: Hospice care and comfort measures are provided to those with a terminal illness and their families- it can include medical, counseling and social services.
Medicaid: A jointly funded medical financial Federal-State health insurance assistance program, offering benefits to individuals with limited financial resources, the disabled and the elderly. There are income eligibility criteria which must be met to qualify for Medicaid. A person must have exhausted nearly all assets and be in a skilled nursing facility to participate in this program. Medicaid can reimburse skilled nursing facilities for the long term care of qualifying seniors, and in some states, Medicaid pays for assisted living through Medicaid waivers.
Medicare: National medical insurance program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), a part of the Department of Health and Human Services, for individuals 65 and over and certain disabled people, regardless of income. Provides for hospital and nursing facility care (Part A) and physician services, therapies and home health care (Part B).
Medicare Part A: Helps pay for care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility, lab tests, surgery, home health care and hospice care.
Medicare Part B: Helps pay for doctors and other health care providers, outpatient hospital care, durable medical equipment, home health care and certain preventive services.
Memory Care: Memory Care offers specialized care for individuals with memory impairments such as Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
Occupational Therapy: Occupational therapy (OT) coaches show individuals how to achieve their maximum level of ability to perform tasks and activities of daily living. OT may focus on relearning cognitive skills or increasing independence in daily activities such as bathing, dressing and grooming.
Petals: The Waters signature Memory Care program is known as Petals, designed to celebrate the life story of your loved one so they can ‘bloom where they are’ in their journey.
Physical Therapy: Physical therapy (PT) helps individuals obtain and maintain the highest possible level of physical functioning. Treatment may focus on exercise techniques as well as strengthening and pain relief. The goal of PT is to make daily tasks and activities easier, including walking, going upstairs and getting in and out of bed.
Speech Therapy: Speech therapy helps individuals improve any impaired speech functions and regain their communication skills. Qualified speech therapists also complete an assessment and provide treatment for swallowing.
Respite Care: Respite Care provides temporary relief from duties for caregivers, ranging from several hours to days. May be provided in-home or in a residential care setting, such as an assisted living community or skilled nursing facility.
Senior Living with Services: Senior Living with Services is for those 55+ who want to live as independently as possible and prefer the socialization, comfort and meals offered in a community. This option includes some services to make daily life a little more worry-free.
Skilled Nursing: Skilled Nursing provides round-the-clock assistance and medical attention on either a long-term or short-term basis. Skilled nursing can include restorative nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology.
SPLASH! This is The Waters signature onboarding program for residents—where we are introduced to your life story, and you are introduced to all The Waters has to offer.
Transitional Care: Transitional Care is for those who need to regain strength and independence after surgery, injury or illness and are in transition from home or hospital.
The list below answers the questions we’re asked most often. If you don’t find the information you want, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Do I need to sign a long-term lease agreement?
Our lease terms are month-to-month and we ask that, when moving out, you give a 14-30 days notice (requirement varies by state).
Are pets allowed?
Yes, The Waters communities are pet-friendly. We recognize the enjoyment and companionship pets provide their owners. In our Independent Living, Assisted Living and Senior Living apartments, we allow residents to keep well-behaved dogs and cats that do not inconvenience neighbors. For the wellbeing of the residents and on behalf of the animals, we do not allow pets to live within our Memory Care neighborhoods, though they are allowed to visit. Guests and visitors are allowed to bring pets as long as they are under the constant supervision of the visiting guest. There is a nonrefundable fee for each pet that lives at The Waters.
Dementia and Alzheimer’s; what are they and how are they different?
Dementia is a term used to describe a collection of symptoms caused by memory impairment, whereas Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that causes memory loss and issues with thinking and/or behavior severe enough to affect work, lifelong hobbies or social life.
Is The Waters religiously affiliated?
The Waters is nondenominational and embraces all faith traditions. Each community has access to a variety of spiritual care services.
Do you have space for when my family visits?
Yes, family and friends are always welcome at The Waters. Most of our communities offer short-term guest suites for visitors, as well as private dining rooms for special events and spacious community rooms should an event you host call for extra space.