Are you looking for the perfect city in which to spend your golden years? We might be biased, but there’s a reason our residents chose a senior living community in KC. You might be ready to join us once you learn why we love assisted living in Kansas City!
When you have a loved one with dementia, making the time you spend with them count is essential. If you aren’t sure how to make a visit a good experience for you and your loved one, we’re here to help. Learn how to visit with a dementia patient, and you’ll treasure the time you spend together.
When you think about the best places to retire, Kansas City might not be at the top of your list. But if it isn’t, you might miss out on all the great things our city offers retirees. Ask any senior at The Piper, and they’ll be able to tell you exactly why you’ll love assisted living in Kansas City.
How do seniors make the choice to enter an assisted living community? The answer is different for everyone, and it depends on what you want and what you need from your living situation. How do you know when to move to assisted living?
When seniors who live at home begin to have memory issues, there are difficult choices to be made. How can seniors maintain their independence while still getting the help they need? What is memory care?
Home is one of the most essential parts of our lives. Home is where you feel safe and where you are loved and understood. Even for those that have not had a particularly happy home-life yearn for it as we all do.
A home isn’t just bricks and mortar; it is comfort, care, support, and security.
Home is where you find all of your familiar possessions. If all your belongings were recovered from a hurricane and put into a warehouse with hundreds of others, you would probably identify them instantly. Your family pictures, your family heirlooms, and your collectibles are home to you.
How Many Homes Have You Lived In?
The average American will move 11.4 times in their life. Today that number is rising because we are a very mobile culture.
It is an interesting exercise to think back over your life and count the number of homes you’ve had or places you’ve lived.
The average person may move out of their parent’s home into an apartment or smaller domicile. Then as life transitions take place, moves are made to fit the situation.
A young, married couple may decide to buy a larger home in anticipation of a growing family.
If a couple is fortunate to grow financially, they may decide on a bigger home with more amenities. Homes seem to be a reflection of the lifestyle and financial situation.
A career change may cause a relocation and the need for a new residence in a new community.
There is a myriad of reasons people move, and most often, those are exciting adventures. To move to a house with a larger kitchen, more bedrooms, bigger yard, or garage can be a very happy and exciting time.
Moving Is A Healthy And Normal Activity, Although It Takes A Lot Of Work.
When Seniors take a hard look at their living situation, it may become necessary and wise to begin to downsize.
Leaving the family home is a difficult decision, but it also is a natural sequence in the journey of life. Suddenly it feels as though leaving the last residence is a dead end, but that is not necessarily true.
In order to prepare for a more carefree life without the worry of home upkeep, yard work, taxes, and insurance, moving to a maintenance provided community is a great option.
Seniors Want To Live Independently As Long As Possible.
Finding the right-sized home is a key to staying active. It may be possible to find the right neighborhood that offers neighbors of similar age and interests. Some of these neighborhoods have community centers and athletic courts.
With less time spent on maintaining a home, there is more time to pursue interests, hobbies, and exercise that have been ignored in the past.
This move can lighten the load and burden of too much stuff. It is also an opportunity to give treasured items to children and grandkids while you are able to see their excitement.
Each Time A Move Is Made, More Items Can Be Left Behind Or Given To Family Members.
But home is always home. Selections are made to take the treasures and comfort pieces to make the new house a home. Bricks and mortar are transformed into a comfortable home.
People love to be surrounded by photographs of family and artwork that speaks to them. Precious books may represent personal growth and lifelong learning. Music can be portable and made available in the new home.
What Happens When An Elder Is In Need Of Medical Support And Can No Longer Live Independently?
The Piper Assisted Living and Memory Support creators designed the whole community around home. It is more than architecture; it is a philosophy that embraces the concept of home.
From the beginning, it was envisioned and designed to be home, not an institution. Each resident has an apartment that will hold the treasures, the books, the music, and all the things that have made a home for years. They will enjoy their own living room, kitchenette, bedroom, and private bath.
Each small intimate household of 20 residents has a comfortable living room, dining room, den, family-style kitchen, and sunroom. There are areas for card games, TV watching, reading, visiting, and relaxing. And of course, the private apartment is the quiet getaway.
There are areas for family members to spend time visiting and a spacious formal dining room where a family could have a private get together.
It is the perfect home!
This move can be as appropriate and exciting as any of the other moves. It is the time of life when smaller is better, much like you very first venture out to live on your own. It is as if our domiciles take full-circle and return to a small, cozy, safe, and secure place to live and thrive.
From Small To Big, Then Small Again!
It is a life transition that can bring years of happiness. Elders can live successfully when they are ‘at home’ with support and caring individuals who appreciate them. Just like all your life, home is where you feel safe and where you are loved and understood. It is more than downsizing; it is right-sizing for this chapter of life.
If you are interested in The Piper for your loved one, please contact us with any questions.
In this unprecedented time with a worldwide crisis, the need for careful and accurate communication and transparency has never been so critical.
With a no-visitation policy in place at many assisted livings in Kansas City, it makes communication even more critical.
Families are normally visiting not only with their parents, but with staff. There are many ways to gather information.
Families become comfortable knowing their loved ones are safe and secure. They also have a better understanding of their health status and if it is stable or declining.
Families Need To Know And Understand What Is Happening With Their Loved Ones While Living In A Senior Community.
Under normal circumstances, good communication is essential, but with the pandemic in place, it is necessary to be more diligent in day-to-day messaging either in groups or individuals.
This takes a great deal of time and organization on the part of the staff and administration. Individual calls take time, and accuracy of information is critical. When a resident has an issue that needs attention from the family, it needs to be communicated by phone.
It is not hard to imagine the extra time and information that it takes to do that on a daily basis. Beyond the regular duties of staff, there is charting and sharing information with individual families. In regular times those communications often happen when families visit in a more natural flow of information.
Keeping in mind the strict HIPAA laws, this information has to be carefully and communicated only with people that are directly involved with the care of that individual.
Individual communication would happen in the following scenarios:
- Health status change of any resident or need of care
- Information concerning a resident that had potential symptoms of COVID
- Individual testing requirements or retesting
- Any issues of required isolation for a resident
There will be announcements that all residents and families need to know at the same time.
The Piper has instituted a blast email system that communicates information when needed. It is important that family members or designated persons get this information and read it thoroughly. Possible group communications would be:
- Rules and changes of rules about visitation
- Ideas for communicating in nontraditional ways like Skype and FaceTime
- Testing procedures
- Alerts if there are active cases of COVID-19
In addition, there is an active Facebook page where The Piper staff shares pictures about events and activities that involve residents. That allows family and friends to see their loved ones in a group setting.
All of these are efforts to keep families and residents connected.
Everyone Involved Is Looking For Clarity And Transparency.
There have been some very disturbing reports of Senior Communities that were not transparent. Families found out loved ones were ill days after they became sick. There are many possible reasons for that, but it is not acceptable to hide information.
When news reporters are asking for information that is legally private, it cannot be shared. But family members have the right to know about their own loved ones.
The Piper Has Made It A Priority To Communicate Accurately And Clearly.
Secrecy to protect the reputation of a community is not good business for many reasons. Honesty and clarity provide trust and security for all involved.
It is the policy of The Piper to be transparent about vital information. There will be no intentional concealment of information. There are people who are entitled to that information and, likewise, people who are not entitled to that information.
Outsiders, other Senior Communities, news media are not allowed access to personal information of residents.
It would be improper for a resident, family, or staff to talk about the status of another resident.
Communications and transparency can always be improved. The Piper is working continually to do the best job possible in these difficult times.
It truly takes everyone working together for the best outcomes. The commitment of the community is to provide safety, security, and as much happiness possible for all of our residents. It takes patience and transparency on the part of everyone. Together we’ll get through this!
With so many negative things surrounding us these days, it is a good time to focus on some good memories and fun for elders living in assisted living. Since conversations and activities are still a part of senior living, it helps to guide communication in a positive direction. Shared memories can help lift the spirits and create a positive environment.
Recently an article appeared in Reminisce Magazine that was filled with fun memories that most Elders have in common about things that no longer exist. Whether these events happened when they were growing up or if they are experiences that their children had in the family, it is fun to look back.
Shared Memories Are Community Builders And A Way To Find Common Bonds.
Even though intellectually we know that the good ole days were not always so good, it does seem like it was an easier, less complicated time. Summertime was supposedly a time of easy living; when slow was good and sitting in the shade or on a porch swing was a way of life.
Today it is all about speed and accomplishment. So our elders may feel out of sync with the contemporary world. Memories of earlier days can take us back for an afternoon of conversation.
Here are some shared memory ideas for those who are in their 80s and 90s:
- Do you remember sharing a phone on a party line? Everyone had a nosey neighbor who might not hang up. You spoke to a real live operator who placed the call and put it through for you. Can you remember your first phone number? What about getting your first rotary dial phone on a private line? You were really uptown!
- Do you remember when gas stations pumped your gas, washed your windshield, and checked the oil? All of that for 25 cents a gallon. You might have enjoyed a Coke out of a big box that had ice water in it, and you paid a dime to wind it down the channels to the gate where it popped out. Some folks put a package of Planter’s Peanuts right into the Coke bottle for a salty-sweet flavor!
- Did you collect S & H Green Stamps at the store? You could trade them in on various household gifts. Did you ever collect a set of dishes with green stamps? You might be interested to know that if you found a book of Green Stamps today, they can still be redeemed online!
- Did the iceman deliver ice to your home for your icebox? Did you run out to meet the truck and try to get a sliver of ice that fell off the blocks?
- Was milk delivered to your front door in glass bottles? Did you can your own vegetables? Did you make bread at home or buy it?
- Do you remember going to the theater, getting popcorn, and a drink all for 25 cents?
- Do you remember when female teachers could not be married, and if they did get married, they were dismissed?
- Did your kids wait on the front porch for the ice cream truck to come down the street?
- Did you wear a swimming dress? Do you remember when the first bikini arrived?
- Were you or your kids fans of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans? When did you see your first television? What radio shows were your favorites?
- What was your first car? Do you remember what it cost?
A Conversation Could Last For Hours With A Few Good Questions.
It doesn’t make any difference if two or three people are engaged in a conversation about common memories, or if someone leads a guided conversation with a larger group. The acknowledgment of shared experience is a community builder.
A Walk Down Memory Lane And Memories To Talk About.
In The 1930s, What Was Happening?
- Great Depression
- Franklin D Roosevelt elected
- The Star-Spangled Banner was named the U.S National Anthem
- Prohibition Repealed
- Adolf Hitler named chancellor in Germany
- Dust Bowl
- Hoover Dam was built
- Al Capone went to jail
- Clarence Birdseye introduced his new frozen foods to the market
- Ruth Wakefield invented the chocolate chip and the chocolate chip cookie
- Fiberglass first hit the market
In The 1940s, What Did Things Cost?
- Average Cost of new house $3,920.00
- Average wages per year $1,725.00
- Cost of a gallon of Gas 11 cents
- Average Cost for house rent $30.00 per month
- Radio $16.95
- Average Price for a new car $850.00
- Battery for Torch 10 cents
- Hoover $52.50
- Campbells Tomato Soup 25 cents for 3 cans
- Chewing Gum 12 cents for 3
- Flour 25 cents 5 Pound bag
- Fresh Chickens 55 cents per pound
In The 1950s, What Were The Main Trends?
- The postwar booms
- Moving to the suburbs
- The Civil Rights Movement
- The Cold War
- 1950s Pop Culture
- 1950s music
Enjoy Your Senior Living Community The Best Way Possible In These Hard Times.
It is so important to have meaningful conversations that lead to good memories of an earlier time. Elders will each have a different viewpoint and different experience, but it is fun to share.
What they all share is the ability to survive and thrive through some pretty difficult times. It may make today’s challenges a little easier to handle.
Whether you live in your own home or in Assisted Living in Kansas City, make it a goal to have fun a great conversation about shared memories with elders!
Everyone Needs Patience And Kindness As We Continue To Deal With Isolation In Assisted Living In Kansas City.
Moving into an Assisted Living or Memory Support community has its challenges and its rewards. Leaving home and making a transition is enormous, and families are there to provide support and encouragement.
Typically, resident care is a combination of the individual resident, staff, and family members. Residents are always encouraged to be as active as possible, and there are many activities of daily living that they can accomplish themselves. In addition, the staff is there to provide the support and assistance needed.
Families have always been an essential element in well-rounded care. They provide emotional support, visitations, financial, and bookkeeping assistance. Families might run errands or take the resident out to appointments or social gatherings. Families have always been an important piece of resident life.
Now We Are Continuing To Deal With No Visitation Rules.
These no visitation policies in assisted living communities have caused a great deal of frustration for residents and families. And it is not unusual to feel like you’re at the end of your rope. Tensions are running high everywhere, and the emotional toll is high for everyone.
The rationale behind these visiting restrictions is sound. The first obligation of any facility is too to keep residents safe. With the early failure around the country, it became apparent that Elders needed the highest levels of protection. Not only are they more vulnerable to the tragic effects of the COVID-19 virus, but any communal living setting is easy prey for the unseen enemy.
There Is A Profound Psychological Impact.
The psychological impact of the quarantine is dramatic. Separation from loved ones, the loss of freedom, uncertainly about the future, and boredom create dramatic effects. Depression, substantial anger and legal battles are on the rise. The potential benefits of mandatory mass quarantine need to be weighed carefully against the possible psychological costs.
As states and local governments begin to test the waters of loosening regulations, it has become apparent there is a severe cost to pay. It is a risk that cannot be tolerated in Senior Living Communities.
Waiting For A Vaccine Or Cure Takes An Enormous Amount Of Patience And Understanding.
What started as a mere interruption of normal activities has turned into a frightening scenario with no visible end.
Dr. Tsatiris, a practicing Board Certified psychiatrist that specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders, says this condition can be aptly called burnout.
Burnout symptoms include:
- Feelings of detachment or apathy
- A high level of dissatisfaction
- A reduced sense of accomplishment
- Reduced performance at work or home
- Emotional exhaustion
- Increased levels of irritability
A Time For Kindness
Families feel this frustration daily, and irritability is not uncommon. Although there are many noncontact ways to stay in touch and provide support, it is not the same as a face to face visit and a hug shared with your loved one. It is not uncommon for the frustration to be transferred to their loved ones or taken out on others, like staff.
This is a time for maximum self-control and empathy. The quarantine affects everyone and no one is happy about the situation. Administration and nursing staff have to abide by the regulations and do their best to comfort and console residents. Anger directed at them, although understandable, is sometimes misplaced.
Being kind to others also means being kind to yourself. Understanding the incredibly stressful time we are going through allows us to understand our own feelings of inadequacy and forgive ourselves.
The only way through this is with grace, patience, kindness, and understanding. Everyone involved will benefit from kindness!
It Would Not Be Accurate To Say That Falls Are Eliminated When You Live In An Assisted Living Community, But They May Be Minimized.
A recent study by the National Institute on Aging states that one out of three individuals 65 years and older will experience a fall.
The fall risk goes up as we age. It is no wonder that a great deal of senior healthcare focuses on fall prevention.
Living at home has risks that must be overcome. Climbing stairs or carrying laundry to the basement, going outside to get the mail or trying to shovel snow are serious opportunities to experience a fall.
Even though families may insist that their loved one no longer use the stairs or shovel snow, it is almost impossible to monitor such behavior. In addition, Elders want to stay active and independent.
Usually, we think of a simple trip and fall or accident, but scientists have linked several personal risk factors to falling, including muscle weakness, problems with balance and gait, and blood pressure that drops too much when you get up from lying down or sitting (called postural hypotension).
Foot problems that cause pain and unsafe footwear, like backless shoes or high heels, can also increase the risk of falling.
Some medications have side effects of dizziness or confusion that add to fall risk.
Falls Are A Serious Health Risk For The Elderly Population No Matter Where You Live, But There Are Benefits That Will Minimize Fall Risk When Living In An Assisted Living Community.
Assisted Living Communities have precautionary measures in place every day to lower the risk of a fall. First of all, there should be no stairs to navigate.
Hallways and living areas are kept clear of throw rugs and other obstacles that might be stumbling blocks.
Laundry and food preparation are provided services. All maintenance inside and out is taken care of.
There are care providers present to help those who need assistance with transferring from place to place. For those who have trouble getting out of a chair, they will be assisted by staff.
At the Piper Assisted Living all residents are given call buttons to get help with transfers so that no one is left stranded alone needing help.
Details that you might not think of like dining room chairs that do not have wheels are important. Furniture that is high enough and has straight arms make it easier to stand up and down.
Although residents may decorate their private apartments any way they chose, staff member cautions them about decorative rugs and other items on the floor. Staff can help pick up newspapers and other items dropped on the floor.
What Happens When There Is A Fall In Assisted Living Or Memory Care?
The biggest and most significant difference between a fall at home vs. in Assisted Living is help is right there. If the resident is able to use the call button they can summon help immediately. If there is a need for an ambulance then the time lapse between injury and help is shortened significantly.
Even if they cannot use the call light, we check on residents regularly so that a resident who has fallen in their apartment will be discovered much more quickly than if they were alone at home.
As Reported By The National Center For Disease Control Falls Are The Leading Cause Of Injury And Death In Older Americans.
Today physicians ask if you’ve had a fall within the last year. These details are important like other statistics such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and general overall health issues.
Preventing falls is everyone’s business. Understanding the serious repercussions is vital to our health and welfare.
If your loved one has fallen recently it may be time to consider Assisted Living in Kansas City. Schedule a tour at The Piper today.