Want to consider a retirement community? The Tristate abounds with choices in senior living.
“There are many more offerings than ever before,” says Laura Lamb, vice president of residential housing and health care for Fairfax-based Episcopal Retirement Homes, which operates several senior living facilities in the region, including the Marjorie P. Lee Retirement Community in Hyde Park and Deupree House in the Hyde Park-Oakley area. “Even 10 years ago we didn’t have swimming pools, massage therapy and therapy on-site. We now have that, as well as chapels and event centers and people coming in for entertainment.”
According to people like Lamb, this amenities-filled lifestyle is exactly what retirees today want, whether they’re active and social or have some physical issue slowing them down.
Independence is key, and retirees are looking to find it, regardless of their care needs, by living at home, in active communities, condominiums with small yards or upscale campuses that address health requirements as they arise.
“The No. 1 thing I hear from people when they move into independent living is that they waited too long,” Lamb says. “The comment reflects the fact that we enable them to maintain their lifestyle while getting rid of the worries that come with owning your own home, (such as) lawn maintenance, property taxes and driving to the grocery.”
“At some point, seniors find themselves stuck with a set of unacceptable alternatives,” adds Jim Burton, owner of Home Instead Senior Care. “If they stay at home, they’re at risk. If they go into a nursing home, they’re leaving their home of many years. Our service allows them to stay home for as long as possible.”
For example, if a senior must give up his or her driving license because of failing eyesight, that’s not, in itself, a reason to leave home. Caregivers can provide transportation to the grocery store and other errands and help with home chores. If a senior falls and breaks a hip and the family has not decided how to provide long-term care for their loved one, home care can create a safe environment while family members come up with a solution.
Home Instead caregivers also serve clients after they’ve moved into senior housing facilities.
“We have quite a few clients with various levels of care within the facilities,” Burton says. “They’re people who live in independent cottages on the campuses and want help.” Often, the seniors have become friends with their caregivers over the years and want to continue seeing them regularly.
Many facilities in the area are expanding, and it’s worth it to visit a variety of them to see which ones you or your parents might like. Some of the campuses in the region include the well-appointed Maple Knoll Village near Glendale and the Knolls of Oxford, operated by LifeSphere and centered on a wellnessbased lifestyle. Kensington Place will soon open on the Maple Knoll Village campus. Also new, Deupree House is expanding with a nursing care option in Deupree Cottages.
Another luxury site, The Stratford at Kenwood, will open a 20-acre campus late in 2009 with on-site educational offerings, programming and five food venues, according to Mark Marron, director of sales and marketing for The Stratford at Kenwood. The site is on Kenwood Hills, overlooking Downtown and the hills of eastern Hamilton County.