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Different Levels of Senior Care: Are You Getting the Help You Need?

Posted by Daystar Retirement Village on Jun 7, 2021 1:52:51 PM

As you age, your personal needs change in response to your mental, emotional and physical health. When looking for a retirement community in Seattle, it’s important to find a community that is equipped to meet those needs with an appropriate level of care.


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Making sure you have access to care services that are tailored to your particular situation is imperative for your long-term health, happiness, and even safety. However, knowing where you are at in terms of your needs, as well as planning for the future and researching different types of senior living facilities to find a good fit, can feel overwhelming and complicated—especially as you face major life transitions. 

At Daystar our experts know all the challenges that come with this season of life and are here to give the care and guidance you or your loved one need. Below are some options to consider as you think about your next chapter, but note we do know each person’s situation is unique and you will have more personal questions you want to be answered. We are here to help! Simply give us a call or email (contact us) and we guarantee we will talk through how to navigate all the options and ensure you won’t feel overwhelmed, stressed, and alone as you think about what is next for you or your loved one.

What are the Different Levels of Elderly Care?

While retirement communities throughout the Seattle area often share a couple of key similarities, they also can vary significantly in the types of senior care services, facilities, and amenities that you can access onsite. Here are some of the different levels of care you may come across as you search for the perfect home for you or your loved one:

Independent Living

Independent living generally incorporates the lowest level of care—along with 55-plus communities—and is best suited for seniors who are healthy, active, and can meet their own day-to-day needs. With independent living, you enjoy the comfort and convenience of being in a secure environment surrounded by your peers and with easy access to transportation, onsite amenities, and organized social activities. You can, of course, decorate your apartment or house however you want to make it homier; and you can consider having a pet live with you.

Assisted Living

Assisted living is a higher level of care than independent living. You still maintain a significant amount of freedom but have the added bonus of getting assistance with various activities of daily living (ADLs), such as bathing, cooking, dressing, or taking medications. However, there are even different levels of care in assisted living. Note that some communities in Seattle offer only personal and home care services, while others give you the latitude to incorporate clinical services into your individualized care plan as you need. As you are thinking about you or your loved one's needs, be sure to ask a facility what they offer in this regard and what they think you or your loved one needs in terms of care. Some of Daystar's clinical care, for example, includes diabetic management, pacemaker monitoring, memory care management, and rehabilitation therapies.

Continuum of Care

Over time as you age, your care requirements may change. However, moving multiple times to different retirement communities in Seattle is less than desirable. That’s where a continuum of care model is appealing. In terms of senior services, that refers to a comprehensive plan of care that can be modified over a period of time in accordance with your evolving needs. If you are concerned that your needs, or those of your loved one, may become more intense in the future, or you might require different types of assistance, it is helpful to pick a new home that offers a continuum of care and multiple housing arrangements within the same campus. And as you may have guessed, Daystar offers a continuum of care for our residents.

How do You Determine Your Care Level?

It can be difficult for anyone to honestly and accurately assess their situation and their personal needs. It is even more challenging to acknowledge any needs that could decrease your freedom or sense of control over your life.

As a senior investigating potential living arrangements and elder care options, one of the best resources to help you make these decisions is your physician. Family members might be able to provide valuable insight or you can ask the staff at any senior facility. For example, Daystar’s staff is well-versed in the care needs of seniors and can absolutely help you explore your options based on a range of personal and financial factors. Our priority is your safety, comfort, and well-being and we know that a lot of factors are involved in making the right decision for you or your loved one at the right time.

In general, these are the types of ADLs (activities of daily living) that will determine the level of care you need at this time: Bathing, getting dressed or undressed, grooming (including brushing teeth and shaving if necessary), getting to and from meals, continence, and medication management.

Although the exact components of each level of care vary from facility to facility in Seattle, there are some basic guidelines. And many senior living communities use a point system to determine a resident's required level of care, and you will receive an assessment prior to moving on campus.

In assessing the appropriate level of care for your unique situation, the team will generally consider two main factors. First, whether you are physically able to perform a certain task, such as buttoning or zipping clothes, brushing teeth, getting to meals, or taking medication. Secondly, whether you or your aging parent remember to perform the task without a suggestion or reminder from a caregiver or friend. And at Daystar our experienced nurses will also assess what type of clinical support you or your loved one need. [Click Here to View Daystar's list of Clinical Care Services]

How Does Care Level Impact Pricing?

Another factor to consider is how care-level may impact the monthly rate for living at a senior community in Seattle. At many assisted living communities, including Daystar Retirement Village, residents pay a base monthly fee that covers the cost of the apartment, utilities, housekeeping services, a meal plan, a daily activity program, and special events. All residents, whether in assisted living or independent living, receive routine wellness checks to make sure they are safe and healthy.

However, once you start needing help with ADLs (activities of daily living), the cost of assisted living will increase. Since costs will rise with varying and different levels of senior care it is important to understand the pricing structure before you sign an agreement. Important questions to ask representatives of the retirement community you’re considering include: What care, if any, is included in the base monthly fee? Do residents pay separately for each type of assistance, or does the facility use a tiered system with three or four levels of care, from minimal assistance to extensive? At Daystar we are here to help you navigate any of those difficult conversations related to pricing to ensure you get all you need while still fitting that into your budget.

Selecting a Seattle Senior Care Community

Every retirement community has a slightly different system for providing care to its residents. Don’t hesitate to ask those important questions upfront so there are no surprises for you or your aging parent later on. At Daystar Retirement Village, we offer a safe, caring environment and different levels of senior care that enable you to transition through the campus if your needs change in the future. We understand that moving to a Seattle retirement community can be a stressful and complex process. Our staff has plenty of relevant background experience to help you determine your care needs and walk you through every step of the assessment process before you make your move. Give us a call today! (206)937-6122

Assisted Living Amenities and Senior Care Services >>>

Tags: Senior Living 101, Senior Health

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