Senior Living June 2020

• Controlled Entry Buildings • Community Rooms • Laundry Rooms • Inside Mailboxes • Elevator Within Building Call Now To Reserve Your New Apartment Home & Become A Part Of This Friendly Community & enjoy… These apartments let you enjoy the beauty and delight of senior living without the worry of yard work or home maintenance. GRANDVIEW APARTMENTS FOR SENIORS 62+ 3423 Kelly Street • Grand Island (308) 382-6163 • Rent Based On Income • Individual Heating & Air Conditioning • 24 Hour Emergency Maintenance An Independent Lifestyle With You In Mind! Small Pets Welcome The Grand Island Independent THURSDAY, JUNE 18, 2020 4B senior LIVING By Joanne Young LEE BHM News Service LINCOLN — They call it “windowwellness,” a visit to residents of assisted-liv- ing facilities who can’t have visitors in the buildings be- cause of COVID-19 precautions. In this case, the visitors — Noah, Molly, Bubba, Fuego, Doc, Sunny—don’t have much to say, but they bringwonder and joy to res- idents just by looking them in the eye, even through the glass. They walk calmly to the windows, lower their heads and look. It’s a meeting of minds of humans and animals. “It’s very moving,” said Sen. Anna Wishart, who in this context is just aLincoln resident and owner of horses, trying to bring some comfort to isolated residents of long-termcare and reha- bilitation facilities. “What’s amazing is the horses are so curious, so they push their noses up against thewindow, looking inside.” Wishart, and other friends who stable their horses at the same barn, be- gan making wellness calls to residents because after the COVID-19 quarantine began, she began towonder how she and others might be able to ease some of the intense isolation and lone- liness those residents were feeling. TheLincolnJournal Star reports she asked for ideas on Facebook about how to bring the outside world to those residents in light of the no-visitors policies. Her friend and fellow horsewoman Sheila Carroll said shehad takenherhorse Jewel on awindowwellness visit toHolmesLakeRehabil- itation and Care Center and Southlake Village. Wishart decided shewanted todo the same at Lancaster Rehabili- tationCenter, where shehad visitedresidentsasanelemen- tary school student. She found a friend to fur- nish a trailer and roped in a cowboy at the barn, who was there training horses, to help drive. “I mean, he was in his full gear. It was just great,” she said. “We spent a cou- ple of hours going window to window. It was just an in- credible experience.” Some residents get teary, Wishart said, when they see the horses because it brings memories of a life theyused to have on the farm. The ex- pressions on their faces, see- ing this cowboy ride up to the window, were worth it all, she said. After that first visit to Lancaster Rehabilitation, word was spread by fami- lies, nurses and staff, and other facilities have reached out to them for more visits. At Sumner Place, the horses were able to go into a courtyard and be visible to residents in the memory care unit. “It was really fun,” Wis- hart said. “Onewomankept saying, ‘That’s my horse.’ It was so sweet.” Evenwith the challenges the centers are facing, she said, they welcomed the horses on their grassy lawns anddidn’t care that theyhad to walk, at times, through landscaping. “Everythingwas focused on the physical and mental health of their residents,” Wishart said. And families have been really appreciative. Even though the pan- demic triggered the visits, the isolation and loneliness are not distinct to this time, she said. “It made me realize that we need to do more of this. And a lot of the things that have been brought to light, that we need to help each other out with, are things that, really, long term we should be doing,” she said. The world is so fast- paced, and those that can’t keep up get left behind, she said. “We all need to take time to slow down, and go and meet them where they’re at,” Wishart said. “And, in a lot of cases, that means taking the time to stop by your local senior living fa- cility to say hi.” Horses ease anxiety of people in isolation at Lincoln center In these May 27 photos, Jewel, a 30-something Arabian horse, with owner Sheila Carroll of Lincoln, visits Holmes Lake Rehabili- tation & Care Center in Lincoln. Having grown up with horses in Glenwood, Iowa, Edwin Johnson was happy to see them both. They call it “window wellness,” a visit to resi- dents of assisted-living facilities who can’t have visitors in the buildings because of COVID-19 precautions. “I mean, he was in his full gear. It was just great,” Carroll said. “We spent a couple of hours going window to window. It was just an incredible experience.” The Associated Press/Francis Gardler, Lincoln Journal Star Lindsay J. Peterson, University of South Florida The Conversation (TNS) As of today, the youngest of the nearly 70 million baby boom- ers is 55; the oldest is 74. Within the next decade, millions of them will need long-term care. Many will remain in their homes, with family or “drop-in” caregiver ser- vices lending a hand. Some will move inwith relatives. Thosewho aremost dependent on caremight choose nursing homes. For more than a decade, “as- sistedliving”residencesgrewfaster thananyothersegmentof the long- termcare industry. Typicallymore home-like than a full-care nursing facility, assisted living is often fa- vored by peoplewho are generally independent, but still needsupport withdailyactivities.Ingeneral,pro- vidersoffer fewermedical services, though many provide health and memorycareforresidentswithAlz- heimer’s disease and other types of dementia. To better understand howcon- sumers make choices when shop- ping for an assisted living resi- dence, we conducted an examination of health service websites in every state. Our goal: tofind out howmuch information the states provide to the public about assisted living. What we found Unlike nursing homes, which are regulated by the federal gov- ernment,thestatesoverseeassisted living; theydefinewhat constitutes an assisted living residence, estab- lish licensing requirements, and set quality standards. Data fromthe states onassisted living is provided free to the pub- lic. All licensed residences are listed. While private search ser- vices might help consumers sort through options, it’s not clear how complete – or objective – they are. Some services exist primarily for marketing purposes; they collect fees from the residences they list. Using criteria formulated from prior research, along with infor- mation provided by some states, we examined 39 key elements of each website. Those elements in- cluded the size of the facility, cost, license status, the insurance it ac- cepts, and any special services of- fered, such as memory care. We also looked at each website’s us- ability – the ease in finding criti- cal information. Onlyabout one-fourthof states divulged the type of payment ac- cepted by their residences. Al- though assisted living costs vary considerably from place to place, only two states disclosed what a customerwouldbecharged.Know- ing the accessibility of care per- sonnel is critical, but again, just two states had any data about the availability of staff. More than two-thirds of states didn’t saywhether their residences offered memory care. That’s dif- ficult to understand; many peo- ple with Alzheimer’s or demen- tia prefer assisted living over nursing homes. State websites were difficult to navigate Overall, the websites were not user-friendly. Although most of the basics were relatively easy to find, extensive searching was re- quired for details about individ- ual residences. Sometimes, it wasn’t even clear which state agency was responsible for as- sisted living oversight. Still, there were bright spots, mostly in stateswith significant el- derly populations: California listed inspectionupdates.Floridaitemized activities offered in each residence. Arizonapostedplain-languagesum- maries of inspection results, even cataloging thefines leviedonthe fa- cilities forregulatorybreaches.But commendablepracticeswereexcep- tions. At aminimum, more specif- ics are needed on quality, costs and essentialserviceslikememorycare. And all state websites should pro- videinspectionresults,includingde- tails about fines or penalties. Granted, improving the infor- mation on the websites might re- quire new or revised state regu- lations. Some states, for instance, conduct inspections only once ev- ery two years; this limits the avail- ability of new inspection reports. Aminority of states impose spe- cific staffing regulations, which explains the lack of staffing data available. But more andmore people are choosing assisted living. The gov- ernment is nowfundingmany res- idences to provide care for low-in- come disabled citizens. Their needs – and vulnerability – are significant, enough for states to reassess their roles in protecting assisted living residents. Adding accurate and detailed content to their websites would be a great first step. True, the statewebsites arebet- ter thantheywere15yearsago.But theyare less thanwhat theyshould be.Manyof theelderly,thedisabled, and the familieswho love themre- quire more to make appropriate choices. When navigating the in- ternet, the principle of “buyer be- ware” should not be the driver. Lindsay J. Peterson and Kathryn Hyer, both of the University of South Florida, wrote this article for The Conversation. Information lacking for seniors looking for assisted living facilities INCOMPLETE AND INADEQUATE Metro Creative Connection An older population, more diverse than ever and expanding each year, may be looking at assisted living facilities. But those facilities are not overseen by the federal government, and finding the best option is not easy.