Willow Creek Assisted Living Las Vegas
Value-Based Perspectives in Choosing an Assisted Living Community

Assisted Living communities are popping up all over the country. So many choices have made identifying the best value a real consumer challenge. All communities are attractive. All offer meals, house-keeping and activities. However, the philosophical focus of a community can mean the difference between simple maintenance and a comprehensive, proactive environment.

  • The most effective assisted living communities do much more than provide meals, housekeeping and bathing assistance. Choosing well and getting the best value requires that you ask additional questions.

Start with these:

Do they monitor residents’ health and well being, both physical and psychological?

Ask how. You want to hear that they have a case management system that starts with a thorough baseline assessment when the person moves in, and an individual care plan for building strength and managing chronic conditions. You want to hear that residents are reassessed frequently and that their individual programs are adjusted accordingly.

Do they encourage independence or dependence?

Expect specific answers that involve teaching the use of assistive devices and how to manage pain and chronic conditions. Listen for the philosophy that elderly people should be empowered to remain in control of their own lives. Avoid any place that seems to treat elderly adults like helpless children.

How do the residents feel about living there?

Are you permitted to talk with residents encountered during your tour of the community?

Does the tour staff speak to the residents, calling them by name?

Look closely at the exchanges between resident and staff. Talk to the residents about how long they have lived in the facility and what they like best or least.

Does the place look like a hospital or nursing facility? 

Are there obvious nurses’ stations, medical carts in the halls, staff in white uniforms? Healthcare should be present and attentive, but almost invisible.

How much training do they give their direct caregivers, the people who give assistance with ADLs?

How much do caregivers know about symptoms of change, and about the psychology of community building and communications skills? Caregivers should go through intensive training at the beginning of their employment. They should have frequent on-going in-service training on a wide range of topics.

What is the staff turnover rate? 

Can residents expect to be seeing familiar faces giving them care?

Obviously, a place where staff members enjoy their work has a better emotional climate for residents as well. So look at the employees, and talk with them directly during your tour.

Discerning the value factor among a large number of facilities requires the smart consumer to rely on intuitive skills. These questions should help you focus on the essence of any facility. Look beyond the pretty interior to find that facility which most closely reflects and satisfies your perspective of the highest level of care and service for our highly regarded seniors.

  • Willow Creek Assisted Living
  • 8374 Capovilla Avenue
  • Las Vegas, NV 89113
  • 702.222.3600
  • www.willowcreeklv.com

The Different Types of Senior Living

Active Adult Community

Usually offer a choice of spacious homes rather than apartments, often with a clubhouse in which a variety of activities are planned for residents. Monthly fees may cover services such as housekeeping and maintenance, but meals are usually not included.

Apartments

Apartments for seniors who are totally independent. Meal service, activity, programs and services usually aren’t included.

CCRC - Continuing Care Retirement Community

Full service communities offering a long term contract that provides for  continuum of care, including retirement assisted living and nursing services, all on campus.

Retirement

Independent living with amenities such as meals, transportation and activities usually including a monthly fee.

Assisted Living

Multi-unit facilities that provide assistance with medications and daily activities such as bathing and dressing.

Residential

Usually single family homes licensed to provide assistance with medications, bathing and dressing. 

Group Home

Serves the elderly and disabled who do not require constant medical supervision but cannot live independently. These persons may be on medication but must be self compliant and ambulatory.

Alzheimer’s

Facilities offering specialized programs for residents suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or other forms of memory loss. These programs can be offered y Residential, Assisted Living or Nursing facilities. 

Nursing/Rehab

Facilities licensed to provide skilled nursing services under the supervision of licensed nurses.

Congregate Care

Usually single family homes licensed to provide assistance with medication, bathing and dressing. Also licensed to provide skilled nursing services under the supervision of licensed nurses.

Sub-Acute

Facilities licensed to provide nursing services, but specializing in higher levels of care. 

Rehab

Comprehensive rehabilitation services included inpatient and outpatient treatment designed to restore and strengthen abilities. 

Home Care

Includes both companies that provide licensed health care services in the home and companies who provide non-medical assistance with such tasks as bathing, dressing, meal preparation and transportation. Medicare and Medicaid provide financial assistance in some cases.

Hospice

Hospice care may be provided in the home or a senior care facility. Services can include pain management and a variety of emotional, spiritual and physical support issues. Medicare, and Medicaid provide financial assistance, in some cases. 

Day Care

Various programs provide a range of geriatric day services, including social, nutrition, nursing and rehabilitation. Not all programs provide all services.

Sitter Service

Services of sitters, aids or private duty nurses or therapists in the home, hospital or residential facility on a private pay basis. May include personal care assistance, grooming, medication supervision, light housekeeping, transportation, nursing care or therapy. 

Care Management

Offer advisory services addressing a wide range of senior issues, such as selecting a senior residence, choosing in-home care providers, and various financial options. Typically care managers evaluate a seniors situation with regard to health needs, housing choices and financial needs and then provide a recommended care plan.

Behavioral Health

These are usually hospital-based programs that provide a range of geriatric psychiatric services in either an in-patient or outpatient basis. Medicare and Medicaid or Medi-Cal provide financial assistance in some cases.

Physician Care

Medical professionals who offer health services or referrals to match the special needs of patients.

Important Questions You Should Ask Before Moving Settling into A Home.

When selecting a nursing home, assisted living facility, or any type of elderly care, we recommended that you ask the following questions of the administrator or admissions coordinator:

  1. What levels of care do they offer?
  2. Do they accept Medicare or Medicaid?
  3. Are there any restrictions on the type of patients they admit?
  4. What is provided for in the basic daily rate?
  5. What services cost extra?
  6. Is there a volunteer program?

We also recommended that you visit the facility and observe the following:

  1. Is there adequate staff?  Check on how long nurse call lights stay on. See if the patients look clean and if they are dressed in clean clothes. Observe if staff members are kind and responsive when they talk to residents.
  2. Is the food good?  Ask a resident how it tastes. See if it looks good and if it is served hot. Do the patients seem to get enough to eat? Are they offered second servings, diet permitting? Does the home serve snacks? Is the dining room clean and well furnished? Are patients assisted with eating when required?
  3. Is there an activity program?  Ask if a full-time activity director is employed. Is a list of activities posted? Is there something for patients to do who are confined to their rooms? Are there many patients sitting around with nothing to do? Does the facility have community TV with good reception? Is there a volunteer program?

Based on the above factors, your choice of a senior/elderly care facility should include the following:

  1. Good visible resident care.
  2. Convenient location.
  3. Friendly, competent staff.
  4. Good food, well prepared, attractively served, in adequate portions.
  5. Clean facilities, free of unpleasant odors.

Tips for Maximizing Positive Relationships with Persons who have Alzheimer’s Disease or a Related Dementia

1. Be complimentary. In the early stages, these individuals often realize that something is wrong. Compliments make them feel better.

2. Focus on the abilities that a person still has rather than on what abilities he has lost. That can be a little tricky with a group, but following tip three will help.

3. Know the people in the group. Learn about them by talking to them, talking to other staff members, and talking to family and friends about them. If he/she is a resident in a facility, examining the chart may also help.

4. Allow ample time for a response.

5. Help the memory challenged person to communicate. He may have trouble word finding. Fill in the blanks for him. At the same time, be complimentary.

6. Give out plenty of hugs. Please note that there are a few of the memory challenged that do not like to be touched.

7. Adapt and modify an activity they used to enjoy.

8. Use chaining, (Have all but one or two steps of a project completed ahead of time), then ask the memory impaired person to finish the task.

9. Go with the flow. If a group session does not go as planned, follow the lead of the participants. You should always have an alternate activity planned.

10. Make group activities multilevel. In this way, you can include everyone in the activity planned (see the idea pages for help with this).

11. Establish a daily routine, but…..

12. Be flexible.

13. Allow plenty of time to get ready.

14. Have something to do if you have extra time.

15. NEVER argue.

16. Enter their reality

  • Example: If the person thinks its 1980 and she is sixty years old, then, for the moment, it is 1980 and she is sixty years old. You can have some great discussions with her about this time period.

17. Use therapeutic fiblets (an untruth told to a person with dementia to make him feel better)

  • Example: A person with dementia is asking to see his mother. In reality, his mother died twenty years ago. You do not want to tell him that because, most likely, he will think he is hearing this information for the first time. He will be devastated. Therefore, ask him about his mother. Say, It sounds to me like you are thinking about your mother. Tell me about her. Ask other questions if necessary.

18. Allow people to express their feelings. People with dementia may not remember what was said or what happened, but they often will remember how it made them feel.

19. Nip agitated behavior in the bud. Divert and redirect. Do something to stop the unwanted behavior, then, redirect him to another activity.

  • Example: Say, I understand you want to go home now, but first can you please help me wash this table. You are the only one who can do it right. Let’s go get the supplies we need. Then talk about the supplies you need. Ask as many questions as you can to redirect his interest. There is a chance this will not work. You can try another diversion such as looking at this book, counting the number of cards in a deck, or sorting the cards. It is best to know what the person’s interests are in order for this strategy to be most effective.

20. Be patient. Ask the memory challenged person to be patient also. Using this saying often helps; Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can. Often found in women but never in a man. Substitute someone’s name in place of women, especially if you want that person to be patient.

21. Smile and ask the memory challenged person to smile. Smiling is contagious.

22. Laugh and ask the memory challenged person to laugh. Laughing is even more contagious. If the group leader starts belly laughing, the group members, most likely, will soon follow.

23. Take advantage of Adult Day Care. If you are the primary caregiver for a person with dementia, these settings offer you a much needed break. They also offer the memory challenged person a fun place to be. These centers offer creative ways to get the memory challenged involved. There should be one in your area. For help finding one, contact your local Alzheimer’s Association.

24. Attend a support group. Don’t go through this alone. You will find many caregivers are in a similar situation to yours. Talking about issues you face will, at the very least, make you feel better. You probably will get some good ideas as well. Groups meet everyday in most areas. Again, there should be a group in your area. Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association for more information.

Just a few pictures from the Alzheimer Memory Care Walk in November 2010!

Why Willow Creek Assisted Living?

Not only do we want your elderly loved ones to still obtain that sense of independence, we want to provide them with the 24 hr care that they may need. Willow Creek Assisted Living has built its foundation on giving other families what we would want for our own and we strive to make sure that is delivered with every new and existing resident. 

Think about not having to worry about your loved one falling and no one is around to know and help them! We here at Willow Creek Assisted Living would love to take that worry away; give them a beautiful living space and you a peace of mind.

With all the different activities and events they are sure to have a good time with old friends and new friends. Book your free tour today at one of our locations! We would love to talk with you and show you what we can provide. 

Willow Creek Assisted Living San Martin
8374 Capovilla Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89113 
702.222.3600 

Willow Creek Assisted Living Buffalo
3890 N. Buffalo Dr.
Las Vegas, Nevada 89129
702.396.1700 

www.willowcreeklv.com

Getting Your Loved Ones To Accept Assisted Living.

Convincing an elderly or senior loved one to move from the comfort of a home he or she has known for many years into an assisted living situation can be one of the toughest hurdles for families to accomplish. The best way is to start the conversation sooner rather than later, while your loved one is still in good health. Getting him or her used to the idea beforehand will make it easier when the time comes.

But what if you haven’t already made plans for the transition? If it is time for your loved one to alter his or her living situation, here are some ideas for what you can you do.

1.  Think Safety First—keep in mind that your loved one’s safety is the most important thing. If you know that he or she cannot remain at home safely, don’t let your emotions override what you know needs to be done. Don’t wait for a broken hip, a car accident or a crisis call before you step in. Recognize that when you were a child, your parents would have done everything possible to keep you safe. Now, as hard as it is, you have to be the “parent,” and you have to make the best decisions for your senior loved one’s safety.

2.  Consider a Multi-Level Facility—be sure to consider the benefits of a multi-level facility, which allows for additional services as your loved one’s health declines. This prevents the turmoil of having to move a loved one to a new location as more services are needed. Many seniors start out with their own private apartment, then progress through assisted living and eventually to skilled nursing and dementia care, all within the same facility. They may be able to bathe and take their own medications now, but as they need help, it is a blessing to know that additional services are available. Many times the friends they have made progress with them, which provides the comfort of familiar faces.

3. Get References—the best way to check out a facility is to talk to numerous families who already have a senior loved one living there. Drop in on the weekend when families are visiting and ask if they are happy with the accommodations, food, service, activities, cleanliness, reliability, personnel, etc. If they had it to do again, would they move their loved one there? What have they learned from the experience? What do they wish they had known when they were beginning the elderly care process?

Also ask the administrator if there are any liens or lawsuits filed against the facility. If they will not give you a written statement that there are no legal problems, keep looking.

4. Ask about Activities—adult children are often filled with guilt for moving their parents out of their home. That is, until they see them flourishing in a new environment and participating in activities that they haven’t enjoyed for years. Speak with the activity director to make sure that there are numerous activity options. Does the facility offer field trips, games, crafts, singing, dancing, gardening, cooking, exercising, etc.? Monitor the activities to make sure they are happening.

5. Create a Need—once you have picked out the right place, ask the administrator for help in convincing your loved ones to move. Staff members of Assisted Living Facilities are very familiar with this problem and deal with it daily. Ask a social worker to call your parent and develop a relationship over the phone. He or she may also be able to drop by while you are there to talk to your parent and invite him or her for a get-together. Later, take your parent out to lunch, then casually drive by the facility to say hello to that social worker who had come by to visit. Seeing a familiar face is usually very helpful. Remember, any kind of change can be very scary for anyone, especially a senior. Take things slow, calm and steady, making your loved one’s safety your goal.

Another idea is to have the social worker ask for your parent’s help with “fixing” something. Could they, for example, go over to help out with the Bingo event or singing classes? Tell your senior loved one that they are “needed” there to help entertain others. Giving them a “job” to do can ease the transition of moving there.

6. Reach for Support—realize that everyone who has ever been lucky enough to have a parent reach his or her senior years has experienced the pain of watching their once-competent parent decline. We all know it is a part of life, but even with all that has been written, there are no words that can prepare us for the sorrow. Reach out for help from family and friends, and look into a support group. Don’t even think you can do it alone!

New intro video for Willow Creek Assisted Living!