What’s Your Next Move? 

Our experts talk about how to pick a senior living solution and when to know it’s time for help.

When families are in the process of looking for new living arrangements for Mom or Dad, or when senior community members are thinking about later care, there can be a lot of confusion. Industry terminology, varying levels of service and even new healthcare concerns born from the recent Covid-19 pandemic can all make the process more difficult than it needs to be. How do you determine what’s right for your family? Meg Clouser, director of health services at Foxdale Village in State College, offers a few helpful tips.

1. Understand your options.

Not all assisted living and retirement communities are the same. “Some retirement communities do not have associated healthcare. They’re standalone, independent living facilities, which is much different than a continuing care retirement community, or what they’re now referring to as life plan communities,” Clouser explains.

Foxdale Village is a continuing care retirement community, with independent living residences and personal care and skilled nursing neighborhoods, all with access to 24-7 nursing staff and an on-site physician’s office. In personal care, staff assist residents in being as independent as possible with their daily activities, while residents in skilled care benefit from total nursing care, as needed, through end of life.

2. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Many individuals, Clouser says, want to live in a more independent senior community, but wait until their care needs have progressed beyond what a personal care facility can offer. However, if individuals can simplify their lives and find 24-7 nursing support in personal care before their needs progress, they can often see a delay in the natural cognitive changes that come with aging — allowing residents to remain more independent, for longer. Not only is this more comfortable for residents, but it can also be more affordable for families.

3. Look for a living arrangement that provides easy transitions.

 Anyone with a parent who has changed living arrangements knows how the change can be an adjustment for the entire family. However, at communities like Foxdale Village, residents can move into an independent living cottage or apartment, then continue their care as needed in Foxdale’s personal care or skilled nursing settings. This continuum makes for less disruption, creating less stress and allowing residents to maintain the relationships they’ve built with fellow residents and staff over the years. 

4. Know the signs.

But how do you know it might be the right time for a family member to make the move to a life plan community? Clouser says there are a few signs to watch for. “You may notice their house is looking unkept or clothes are looking unkept, because it’s more of a struggle to do laundry. You may find them telling you they’re doing the same thing every day. They might be missing medications. They may have increased falls,” she says. “The biggest thing is that they start becoming more isolated. They decline to go to church. They decline to meet up with their friends, because doing everyday tasks is exhausting, so, they start isolating in their own homes. Oftentimes, people don’t realize how isolated they are until they move into a personal care setting and get that little help, and then they have energy to do all the things that are really meaningful in life.”

5. Understand the (lack of) risk.

While the Covid-19 pandemic may have made some individuals more hesitant to move into a healthcare setting, Clouser notes that, thanks to vaccines and new treatment methods, the risk of moving into a community and then experiencing a nine-month lockdown, as occurred in 2020, is, in her opinion, nonexistent. With a 100% vaccination rate for its residents and stringent screening protocols, Foxdale Village is well-equipped to take care of its residents.

Explore Foxdale Village

With all the perks of independent living, none of the downsides and added benefits such as on-site healthcare, Foxdale Village provides Centre County’s older adults with a unique community to call home. To learn more or schedule a tour, contact the Residency Planning Office today, at (814) 272-2146 or toll-free (800) 253-4951.