Person-centered care is a growing trend in senior living communities and is the preferred method of care by older adults. However, it’s less about doing things for people they could do themselves, and more about giving them the ability to make their own decisions by respecting each person and valuing them as an individual.
Read this easy guide to person-centered care and find out why senior living communities like Pomperaug Woods are revolutionizing the traditional approach to healthcare and giving residents the confidence to take control of their retirement.
What Is Person-Centered Care?
A traditional approach to healthcare primarily focuses on treating medical conditions, which can cause caregivers to lose sight of the person behind the condition they’re treating. This can lead to older adults feeling like objects or merely tasks to be checked off a to-do list, rather than a human being with thoughts and feelings.
A person-centered approach prioritizes caring for your needs beyond your current health condition. It involves tailoring your care, environment, and services to meet your individual preferences and interests, along with providing excellent healthcare.
This approach involves getting to know each resident, valuing them as an important part of the community, and respecting their views on what’s best for them, so they can take an active role in care-related decisions.
5 Signs of Person-Centered Care at a Senior Living Community
While every senior living community is different, there are some basic signs residents are enjoying a high quality of life with tailored care. Here are five pillars that are at the heart of a person-centered approach to care at Pomperaug Woods:
Dignity and respect. Every resident has value. Our caregivers respect your wishes and treat your beliefs, feelings, opinions, and thoughts with dignity.
Tailored care. Our senior living community in Southbury, CT, offers independent living, assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing and rehabilitation services on campus. No matter which level of living you require, you can confidently move through retirement knowing our community understands your unique needs.
Empathy. Caregivers in senior living communities that practice person-centered care strive to understand your experiences and empathize with them. Your voice always matters, and you’ll never feel judged for expressing your opinions or emotions.
Empowerment. Person-centered care requires you to take actions to support yourself and maintain independence. This helps you feel more in control of your life and makes you less reliant on your caregivers.
Information and Education. To make better decisions about your health, you need information. Educational resources, lifelong learning classes, and detailed conversations with your caregivers are all ways we support a whole-person approach to care.
Why a Person-Centered Approach Is Essential in Memory Care
Every senior can benefit from person-centered care, especially those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.
This tailored approach to healthcare recognizes that seniors living with dementia still have the desire to express themselves, understand their behavior rather than having it managed, and have the right to make their own choices whenever they can.
Here are more benefits of person-centered approach to memory care:
- Better sleep patterns
- Decreased feelings of boredom
- Increased social opportunities
- Lower risk of depression
- More independent lifestyle
- Reduced aggression and agitation
- Returning to their favorite hobbies and activities
A lesser known benefit of person-centered care for residents in memory care or assisted living that has a big impact is a lower risk of caregiver burnout. This whole-person approach increases job satisfaction, decreases stress, and leads to a happier environment for both residents and staff.
Do All Senior Living Communities Offer Person-Centered Care?
Though person-centered care is preferred among most seniors, it’s not offered at many senior living communities. That’s because it takes an entire cultural shift, extensive training, and upgrading services to redesign how a community serves its residents, and many communities aren’t willing to go the extra mile.
At Pomperaug Woods, medical attention is a priority, but our highly trained staff is also skilled at providing an engaging environment and working hand in hand with each resident and their family to customize a care plan based on personal preferences and established daily routines.
Our wellness program is research-based and provides a whole-person approach to health by improving your physical health, stimulating your intellect, providing engaging social opportunities, strengthening your spiritual connections and more. In fact, more than 90% of our residents take part in our wellness program!
Engage and Energize Your Mind, Body, and Spirit with Person-Centered Care at Pomperaug Woods
To learn how you can take control of your retirement with person-centered care at our community in Southbury, CT, contact our sales counselors online or call us at 203-936-8985. We’ll be delighted to answer your questions or schedule a tour!
We’re used to hearing the terms memory care and assisted living, but what is secure assisted living? Quite simply, it’s a long-term memory care option that offers a higher level of safety measures for seniors experiencing beginning to moderate stages of Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia.
So what does it mean when communities offer secure assisted living for memory care?
Secure assisted living means a community offers a safe, serene space for memory care residents to feel calm while their needs are taken care of by trained staff with the experience and expertise to provide the right level of support no matter what stage of dementia a resident is experiencing. Secure assisted living units can be stand-alone or be part of a larger senior living campus, hospital, or nursing facility.
What are the benefits of secure assisted living?
Person-centered secure assisted living offers a warm, therapeutic environment in which those with memory loss can remain as independent as possible for as long as possible while navigating their memory loss journey.
Benefits for residents:
- Active, independent lifestyle for as long as possible
- Dignity and a sense of pride and accomplishment in day-to-day activities
- Engaged eating with specialized diets
- Self-worth, self-esteem, and overall health and well-being
- Reduced fear, anxiety and frustration
Benefits for family members:
- Know your loved one has the best quality of life possible
- Return to the loving relationship you once shared
- Opportunity to make the most of your time together
- Resources, counseling and other services
What to look for in secure assisted living.
Not all memory care options are created equal. In-home care may seem like the best choice, until you realize it is a 24/7 job that gets very expensive very quickly. Another disadvantage of in-home care is that it usually doesn’t focus on personalized programming and dining options. In general, while this may sound like a great option, in-home care just can’t provide the level of support throughout the entire memory loss journey that a secure assisted living community can.
At a minimum, look for a memory care program that offers:
- Support from certified nursing assistants in activities of daily living, including bathing, grooming, dressing, eating
- Medication management by nursing professionals
- Nutritious chef-prepared meals
- Dementia-friendly programs and activities
- Nursing staff available 24/7
- Vital sign and blood pressure checks
- Transportation coordination to medical appointments
- Regular housekeeping
Pomperaug Woods offers secure assisted living in Southbury, CT.
At Pomperaug Woods, we call our approach to memory care Heartfelt Connections – A Memory Care Program®. Whether you call it secure assisted living or memory care assisted living, all that matters is that our residents proudly call it home. If you’d like to know more about our innovative approach to secure assisted living, let’s get in touch. We’d love to show you around the neighborhood.
While it’s true that as people grow older, they experience some of the same changes, such as vision loss and decreased flexibility, the aging process can vary greatly from one person to the next. Couples often see this firsthand. One partner might be healthy and active, while the other may have a chronic or life-limiting illness. It can result in the partner who enjoys good health becoming a caregiver for their spouse, sometimes to the detriment of their own well-being.
Older adults who are exploring senior living options for couples often find a Life Plan Community (also known as a Continuing Care Retirement Community), such as Pomperaug Woods, to be an ideal solution. Residents who call one of these communities home benefit from having a full continuum of care available on one campus. It’s a choice that allows couples to remain loving partners instead of weary caregivers.
The Challenge of Caregiving for a Spouse or Partner
It’s a scenario that plays out often. One spouse or partner experiences a significant change in health and the other becomes their primary caregiver. That may be a manageable arrangement in the short-term, such as after a surgery or an accident.
If it’s for a longer period, however, it can cause the family caregiver to develop health issues of their own.
There’s ample evidence to show that caregiving for a loved one can take a physical and emotional toll:
- Develop health issues: Family caregivers are at higher risk for a range of medical conditions –– including depression, migraines, back pain, obesity and diabetes –– than peers who aren’t caregivers.
- Neglect self-care: Spousal caregivers commonly overlook their own well-being. It’s common to see them skipping physician appointments, eating a poor diet and falling behind on important health screenings. Developing unhealthy habits to cope, such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol, are other concerns.
- Experience early mortality: Unfortunately, a spouse or partner over the age of 66 who assumes the caregiver role has a 63% higher mortality rate than their non-caregiving peers.
These are just a few of the reasons why it’s a good idea to get to know more about the senior living options available for couples.
The Advantages of a Senior Living Community
At a community like Pomperaug Woods, senior couples can take advantage of a forward-thinking approach to ensure they have access to the type of living they need now, and the care they may require in the future. If one partner or spouse is in the earliest stages of dementia, a couple might be able to initially reside in independent living. In time, it may be necessary to transition the senior with dementia to memory care. These specialized neighborhoods are secure spaces designed to cater to the unique needs of adults with memory loss.
Another situation that happens among couples who opt to move into a Life Plan Community’s independent living is that one spouse develops a chronic or life-limiting illness. Their condition might require assisted living, skilled nursing or hospice. With a full continuum of on-site care available, the transition can be seamless. The bottom line is that couples benefit when the senior living community offers a variety of levels of care to accommodate changing needs.
Visit Pomperaug Woods for a Personal Tour
The best way to make an informed choice for the future is to visit continuum-of-care communities in person and get to know the residents and staff. Pomperaug Woods is the only not-for-profit LifeCare® senior living community in Southbury, CT. We believe that by sharing experiences, residents find purpose and joy in life, and we invite you to share in that experience.
Contact us today to schedule a time for your personal tour of our senior living options for couples. You’ll see for yourself why J.D. Powers has awarded us top honors in customer service for three years in a row!
When you visit a senior living community for the first time, one thing that will likely catch your eye is how vibrant the lifestyle is. A thoughtfully designed community promotes and encourages the art of living well. One reason why is that research clearly shows engaging in the creative arts can make life more enjoyable at every age. From plein air painting at a local park to taking a pottery or stained glass workshop, the benefits of art for seniors are numerous.
Equally important are the health advantages participating in arts activities provides. The list of mental health and overall wellness benefits that seniors gain from art is a long one.
The Positive Impact Art Has on Seniors as They Age
Much of the solid research on art therapy began with the Seattle Longitudinal Study in 1956. After following subjects for nearly 50 years, scientists concluded that having a flexible, creative mind is crucial to warding off cognitive decline in your 70s and 80s. It also helps seniors stay healthier over a longer period of time.
When it comes to art therapy and senior wellness, how researchers define creativity is important. They believe that being creative keeps people curious, open to new experiences and more adaptive to change. These are all traits that challenge the mind and keep seniors more active and engaged with life.
Benefits of Art for Seniors
A study conducted through a partnership between the National Endowment for the Arts and The George Washington University looked at the role engaging in the creative arts can play in senior health and wellness. Their findings were surprising, even for those who already believed art improves quality of life.
The majority of seniors who participated in the study saw an overall improvement in health, as measured by:
- Fewer doctor’s visits
- Reduced number of falls
- Less use of prescription medications
- Stronger immune system function
Other research shows that people who actively participate in art projects during retirement are less likely to experience depression and more likely to have a positive outlook on life.
Staying Creative Also Helps Ward Off Dementia
Art therapy might even help you guard against Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia – it is a common therapy in memory care neighborhoods. The Mayo Clinic Study of Aging showed that taking part in creative endeavors stimulates the brain. That’s essential for protecting brain health.
Here’s a quick overview of the study and what researchers found:
- 256 participants with a median age of 87.3 years were studied for almost four years.
- None had cognitive impairment as the study commenced.
- Researchers tracked participants’ engagement in arts and crafts activities and other behaviors.
By the end of the study, researchers spotted several noticeable patterns:
- 121 participants developed mild cognitive impairment (MCI).
- Participants who involved themselves in art projects in both middle and old age were 73% less likely to develop MCI than peers who did not.
- Participants in the same age groups who engaged in craft-style projects were 45% less likely to develop MCI.
It’s research like this that led memory care programs, including the one at Pomperaug Woods, to incorporate arts and crafts activities into daily programming.
Tips for Exploring the Creative Arts
Don’t let the phrase art therapy intimidate you. You don’t need any special training or even any real artistic skills to reap the rewards associated with creative pursuits. A few easy ways to live a more artful lifestyle include:
- Take a variety of classes: With workshops being offered by organizations ranging from parks and botanical gardens to art supply stores, you’re likely to find a variety of options for taking a class. Many include all the supplies you need in the price. It’s a great way to try your hand at a few different types of art projects. Then you can continue to develop your skills in those you find most enjoyable. If you can’t find any in-person opportunities nearby, sites like YouTube and Skillshare might be of interest.
- Incorporate art into favorite hobbies: Another idea is to combine some of your favorite hobbies with art-related activities. For example, are you a huge sports fan who never misses a minor league baseball game? Invest in a beginner DSLR camera and try your hand at photography. It’s a visual art that encourages creativity on a variety of fronts. Or you might be a bird lover who sets up trail cameras to watch the feathered occupants in your own neighborhood. Take it a step further by starting a field journal and using colored pencils or watercolor pens to sketch the birds who visit.
- Don’t limit your view of art: Remember that art takes many forms. It might be researching garden perennials and creating a plan for a new border in your yard. Or it could be purchasing a plan to build raised flower beds, assembling them in your yard, and filling them with vegetables or flowers. Creative writing is another avenue. You could develop an idea for a children’s book and write it, or put together your own screenplay. The intent is to see art as more than just paint and brushes.
A Lifestyle Focused on Maintaining Independence
At Pomperaug Woods, we know that thriving during retirement takes more than just staying busy. The entire community is committed to creating an engaged senior living environment. Each resident has the potential to get involved in life enrichment activities just a few steps away from the door to their private apartment.
From an on-site creative arts studio complete with an experienced instructor to outings to enjoy local dinner theater, museums, opera and more, the opportunities to live a stimulating, artful life are endless. Contact us today to learn more!
Downsizing into a smaller living space doesn’t have to mean sacrificing an open, airy ambiance. Smaller spaces can be inviting and spacious, too.
A common concern among retirees who are considering downsizing into a senior living community is whether they can really fit comfortably into a one-bedroom apartment without feeling cramped. With the right furnishings and a few design tricks, it’s absolutely possible.
At Pomperaug Woods, our thoughtfully designed one-bedroom senior apartments come in a variety of floor plans so you can find the fit and layout that works for you. Once you make your choice, you’ll be ready to begin learning how to make a small apartment feel bigger.
Keep Furniture in Scale
Too much furniture will fill a room quickly, but even smaller amounts of the wrong kind of furniture can make a room feel cramped. Avoid oversized, bulky pieces, and instead opt for furniture that matches the scale and proportion of the room. Favor pieces with sleek lines (as opposed to an overstuffed sofa, for example) to give the appearance of more space. Using furniture that doesn’t extend far off the ground will give the illusion of higher ceilings, and styles that give the appearance of movement, such as exposed legs that allow air and light underneath, create a sense of more openness.
Use Window Treatments Artfully
One of designers’ favorite tips for how to make a small apartment feel bigger is creative use of drapes and other window treatments. Hanging curtains from floor to ceiling gives the illusion of taller ceilings, which opens a room up instantly for a larger, more contemporary feel. Similar to your furniture selections, avoid excessively heavy materials that can have a dimming effect and instead select breezy fabrics that offer an airy allure.
Pay Attention to Your Color Palette
Not only do lighter shades of color lend a sense of calm and serenity, but they also reflect light, making a room instantly brighter and more inviting. This isn’t to say your entire design aesthetic has to be muted; your furnishings and accessories can bring pops of color while you preserve the benefits of a softly hued backdrop with light-colored elements like walls and window furnishings. You can also bring color into the room with textiles, such as a striped rug with a pale base and strips of vivid color.
Make the Most of Natural Light
Your first inclination may be to flip on an overhead light to brighten a room, but natural light lends a far more appealing ambiance. Overhead lights shine down into a room, making it feel more confined. Conversely, windows allow light to filter across the room, filling space with brightness. During the day, throw back the drapes, open the blinds and let the natural light fill your apartment. Mirrors are an excellent decorative element to pair with windows in a small space; they reflect and bounce the natural light for extra brightness. You may want to also add some table lamps or sconces for cozy illumination in the evenings.
Select Multi-Purpose Furnishings
To get more out of your space, incorporate items that can serve multiple purposes while taking up the same amount of space. For example, side tables that double as storage or nest with a bench seat add practical function that expands your useful space without adding clutter. If space allows, a coffee table with storage is another good choice in the living room. A bookshelf with a fold-out table is another example of how to make a small apartment feel bigger; it adds a useful surface for crafting or even dining that easily stores out of sight.
Find Spacious Apartments for Downsizing
If you’re eager to start tackling some of these ideas for how to make a small apartment feel bigger and transform your new senior apartment into a cozy, inviting retreat, you’ll be happy to hear new residents at Pomperaug Woods receive four hours of moving and downsizing consultation at no charge. You’ll also have the option of customizing the finishes in your residence, so you can create a light, bright and roomy space. Contact us to learn more about available floor plans, and be sure to ask about our move-in specials on one-bedroom apartments.
Retirement may be your chance to let loose and enjoy your freedom, but it’s also a time to consider what unknowns the future may bring. Part of creating a responsible retirement plan is settling into a lifestyle that ensures you’re prepared for whatever lies ahead.
A major factor in your future plan is where you’ll live, and if you’re looking for senior care in Southbury, Connecticut, you may be wondering what kind of community is right for you. For many seniors, the answer is a Life Plan Community, also called a continuing care retirement community or CCRC.
Pomperaug Woods is one such Life Plan Community offering senior care in Southbury, CT. In fact, it’s the only community in Southbury offering a Type A LifeCare® contract, the gold standard for senior care. At Pomperaug Woods, residents have access to a full continuum of care, which ensures access to graduating levels of service within our senior living community, helping residents remain independent longer.
An active and fulfilling retirement doesn’t leave much time for mundane housework, and that’s one of the great advantages of independent living. Residents have the freedom to explore their interests while enjoying a maintenance-free lifestyle and spending time appreciating the art of living. Private one- and two-bedroom apartments and spacious studio floor plans give residents plenty of options to settle into the retirement life that fits them best, with the option to schedule in-home assistance and health services to maintain maximum independence.
At Pomperaug Woods, you’ll find our approach to assisted living is unique among communities offering senior care in Southbury, CT. Assistance-in-living brings a helping hand into residents’ independent living apartments, allowing them to remain in their comfortable, private surroundings. Customized plans reflect individual preferences and daily routines, all with the idea of providing day-to-day personal care where it’s needed and making autonomy a priority.
Home Assisted Living offers an additional level of assisted living within residents’ apartments, with additional support tailored to each resident’s unique needs and round-the-clock personal assistance and medical care supervision. Residents enjoy the comfort of familiar surroundings and ability to retain their privacy and independence, while family members appreciate the peace of mind.
Focusing on residents’ abilities and the qualities that make them individuals makes our memory care community an uplifting and fulfilling setting for seniors navigating Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Through Heartfelt CONNECTIONS – A Memory Care Program®, we work to reduce stress and create meaningful, purposeful moments that allow our residents to celebrate each small victory with dignity and pride.
The Medicare-certified Health Center at Pomperaug Woods is a comforting resource for seniors with skilled medical needs who require ongoing professional care, often as the result of an ongoing health condition or permanent disability. At the Health Center — which has a 5-Star rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services — clinicians, licensed nurses and therapists work closely with residents, families and physicians. Together, they create customized care plans that provide optimal skilled nursing care along with services that support emotional needs and other aspects of well-being, including participation in The Art of Living, a research-based wellness program.
After a hospitalization or emergent medical event, getting back to your normal self may take a little extra time and effort. That’s what our rehabilitation center provides to seniors in the Southbury area. Our licensed therapists and registered nurses specialize in short-term recovery care, and they guide seniors recuperating from illness, injury, or surgery through each step toward their normal lifestyle. Personalized treatment plans incorporate a variety of therapies to build strength and regain mobility so they can safely resume a familiar routine.
A Community to Call Home Every Step of the Way
Living in a Life Plan Community like Pomperaug Woods means you have priority access to the level of care you need when you need it. Whether you’re in the early stages of retirement and making plans for your extended future, or you or a loved one need more immediate support, we’re here to answer your questions. Give us a call to talk more about your options for senior care in Southbury, CT, and whether independent living or a particular level of care will give you or your loved one the greatest fulfillment and freedom.