Finding yourself in the middle of choosing a retirement community for your loved one can be emotional, to say the least. But if you aren’t just choosing a retirement community, and instead are looking at living options for a loved one with failing health, the stakes only get higher. Choosing between memory care, assisted living, and nursing homes in Jacksonville, Florida is unique from other parts of the country. Not only are you looking for the best care for your loved one, you are also looking for quality programming, the best health options, and long term planning - all within a community close to home.
You can empower yourself before you start touring memory care, assisted living, and nursing homes in Jacksonville, Florida by considering what is important to you and your loved one as they navigate their golden years. Here are a few options to consider.
For those of us living in the Jacksonville area, we often want to stay as close as possible to our current neighborhood. Finding a senior care community near our favorite beach or streets can help your loved one feel less stressed out by the move, and can offer feelings of comfort. Besides, close friends and neighbors can visit without driving 30 minutes away, which is a pleasant benefit for sometimes lonely residents.
Your level of care
After you find a few options within your desired neighborhood, it is important to take a realistic look at the level of care that your loved one needs. If you are unsure if you should look at skilled nursing care, assisted living care, or memory care, ask your doctor for recommendations as a starting point. Often, families misjudge their loved one’s care needs - either by lack of knowledge or a lack of realism - and it can cause the resident problems or multiple moves before finally settling into an environment that best suits them.
It is also important to consider what types of care your loved one may need as their medical needs increase. Unfortunately, residents in an assisted living community without an Extended Congregate Care (ECC) license who require total care with activities of daily living or other increased needs are often asked to move out of their assisted living community and more into skilled nursing care. Should your loved one require extended medical needs, as many seniors with dementia or chronic physical conditions will, it is wise to seek an assisted living community that holds an ECC license.
Your safety concerns
If you are working with memory care issues, it is best to take some time to evaluate safety when you head in for a tour of a community. While most nursing homes in Jacksonville offer a locked unit model, several in the area are discontinuing this service due to payment issues stemming from Medicaid. However, even the locked door units can be terrifying for loving family members inquiring for a home for their loved one.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep your loved one safe without opting for a locked door unit that feels too clinical to be homelike. Instead, look for communities that offer memory care programming on an assisted living license. Even better, choose a community that specializes only in memory care interventions. This will make their staff - from caregivers to housekeepers - well trained in the newest approaches for residents struggling with memory or judgment issues.
Finally, hone in on the amenities that your senior care community offers. When it comes to memory care, look for engaging programming options to keep residents busy, content, and contributing to their community. Look for a busy activity calendar that is full of options for small and large group engagement, as well as trips to take advantage of what the Jacksonville community has to offer. Dining programs that feature nutritious meals served in a way to promote dignity and independence is another amenity that is worth searching the Jacksonville area for.
Finding your senior care community in the Jacksonville area can seem daunting at first. However, with just a few tours and appropriate questions, you can feel confident in your decision to give your loved one a community in the perfect neighborhood, with the perfect care assistance, and the perfect amenities to keep them as healthy and engaged as possible.