2021 is already looking more hopeful than 2020. Despite the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic trudging along, there is hope in the form of better practices, more pandemic experience and effective vaccines. The behaviours of all businesses, organisations and households have evolved to meet today’s requirements for staying safe during the pandemic.
The question has come up frequently over the past year: Are senior living communities or retirement villages safe to occupy during Covid-19? Like most communal, residential environments, senior living communities have adjusted and adapted to the new “normal”. The responsibility falls on owners, managers, caregivers and staff to create a safe and secure environment, in spite of the pandemic.
Temperature checks, sanitisation, social distancing, PPE and, now, vaccinations have become a regular part of retirement living. Having these protocols in place have allowed these communities to keep their residents and staff safe, while managing to maintain the thriving social communities that exist in South Africa.
Most seniors have been forced to miss out on their favourite activities during the national lockdowns. From restaurants to indoor exercise and family visits to local movie theatres, keeping up with your regular life as a senior citizen has been difficult. Fortunately, the careful preparation and learning over the past year has allowed retirement communities to continue some old – and adapted – social activities, safely.
You might be wondering if this is possible. Can now, really, be a good time to move into a senior living community? The reality is that this is a huge decision for you or your loved ones at the best of times. However, there are still a variety of benefits that are associated with living in a retirement village in a post-Covid-19 world.
Here are six of the main advantages of moving into a senior living community now:
All of your necessities are covered
Residents of senior living communities are assisted in all of their day-to-day activities, like cooking, cleaning, bathing, taking medication and shopping. There are a multitude of daily tasks that become harder to complete as we age – and even harder during a pandemic. All of the caregivers that assist in these tasks are tested, trained and advised on how to keep all residents and themselves safe during the pandemic.
Most retirement villages have transformed the way they cater to and serve their communities to ensure that all residents’ necessities and needs are covered, while keeping Covid-19 out. These communities will continue to evolve, in order to guarantee all of their residents are kept safe and well-cared for. Shopping, exercising, socialising, organising meals and housekeeping are all made easier in a senior living community, in spite of the pandemic.
Easy access to onsite healthcare services
Most senior living communities are equipped to offer assisted living and frail care options on their premises. This is in addition to the nurses, caregivers and staff that are trained to provide daily assistance to our senior population who are suffering from mental or physical decline. Some retirement villages have an onsite clinic which can perform emergency procedures, provide constant care and conduct necessary testing when needed.
These clinics will often include a dispensary and speciality services, like physical therapy or mental health services. Easily accessible and fully-integrated, these healthcare services are onsite to ensure that all residents are being taken care of and living their healthiest possible life. All of this helps to reduce the health risks associated with aging and adds an extra layer of protection and reassurance during the pandemic.
Strict health and safety protocols
In every retirement village, members of staff are being trained to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and residents to follow best practices. Beyond this, all common areas, like hallways, dining rooms, elevators, lobbies, etc., are being heavily sanitised and cleaned every day. Screenings and tests are being conducted to ensure all staff and guests do not exhibit symptoms and can safely interact within the community. Additional steps, such as contact tracing and mandatory mask wearing have become standard health and safety protocols.
Easy access to COVID-19 testing and vaccines
Phase 2 of South Africa’s vaccine rollout plan will include residents in congregated living environments and persons over the age of 60. This means that the vast majority, if not all, residents living in senior living communities will be eligible for a vaccine. Even further, these residents may have access to testing at their onsite clinic or government-funded testing, or be enrolled in a vaccination programme, without the hassle of confusing websites and online booking systems. Frequent testing and high vaccination rates are the fastest way to building a safe, Covid-free community.
Socialise more safely and confidently
Senior living communities have adopted some of the safest ways of socialising within their community. Communal practices, such as small group gatherings, outdoor activities, scheduled dining experiences and socially-distanced exercise classes, allow residents to carefully and confidently socialise with their community. This is on top of the strong public health practices and behaviours that are already being employed, like frequent sanitisation and testing.
Ensure financial stability
The financial security and stability that comes with living in a retirement village – during these times – can’t be overstated. Community members don’t have to worry about the maintenance, upkeep and sale-value of a home amidst the pandemic. Managing expenses, preserving your lifestyle and securing needed care or assistance in these communities is also easier than ever. Becoming a part of these vibrant communities is not only beneficial during the pandemic, but at any point that you or a loved one need a little extra help and support in their daily life.
If you’re looking to move into a senior living community, make sure you’re choosing the best one for you or your family member. Manor Retirement offer a wide range of independent and assisted living options with the best healthcare services and well-trained caregivers to support you.
When we think of retirement, we often re-assess our lives in terms of where we live, property ownerships and changes that need to be made. With this assessment, we often see a shift in our priorities when looking for a property ownership model that suits our needs.
Freehold and sectional title ownership schemes make sense for people looking to enter the property market or to accommodate a growing family. Therefore, on a global scale, many retirees are opting for life right ownership. Life rights is a form of property ownership designed to accommodate people in the retirement years, offering them secure, hassle-free living for the remainder of their lives.
How does Life Rights ownership work?
Life rights ownership is when a retiree invests upfront for the right to live in a property on a retirement estate for the duration of their lifetime. It is leasing a property for life. In return, the retiree gets to enjoy a high standard of living, with access to world-class amenities, without the hassles of maintaining a property.
When a resident passes away, the estate is responsible for reselling – the Life Right. A pre-established formula is applied to the profits from the sale, and the proceeds can go to the deceased’s nominated beneficiary.
What are the benefits of Life Rights?
There is a reason why life rights ownership is the most popular choice for retirees around the world, some of the biggest benefits for life rights ownership are as follows:
- You and your family have peace of mind of knowing that you and your spouse have a home for life.
- It provides an affordable means to enjoy an upmarket lifestyle in a fully equipped estate.
- You are exempt from paying VAT or transfer duty.
- Besides a monthly levy, there are no additional monthly rental or bond repayments.
- The estate retains ownership of the property and therefore has a long term vested interest in maintaining high standards, promoting improvements, and ensuring the profitability of the estate.
- When a spouse passes away, the surviving partner retains his or her life rights ownership to the property.
At Lonehill Manor Retirement Estate:
- Management utilises their extensive knowledge and experience in operating both Riverside Manor Retirement Estate and Lonehill Manor Retirement Estate responsibly and professionally.
- Management ensures the smooth operation of the Village, including the preparation of budgets.
- We offer assisted living suites as well as independent frail care rooms in the Care Centre which is owned and operated by the estate so should one spouse require frail care it is on site.
- When an apartment comes up for resale, the estate will sell on behalf of the occupant/s and an exit fee on the re-sale price is payable to the estate.
For many retirees, life rights ownership is the most sensible property investment, as it is a custom-crafted ownership model for people entering retirement. It offers financial peace of mind, hassle-free living, and enables you to enjoy a stress-free retirement without having to compromise on your standard of living.
Contact Lonehill Manor Retirement Village for more information on our frail care rooms, assisted living facilities and independent living .
Making the life-changing decision to move yourself or a loved one into an assisted living facility is a difficult one, it requires careful consideration of when and how this decision is made. As we continue to grow and thrive in our older years – and life expectancy continues to increase – seniors are having to decide where they want to spend their final years and decades.
Assisted living facilities are a happy medium between the community and comfort of a retirement village and the access and care of a nursing home. Seniors that are beginning to suffer from physical or mental decline may begin to find it difficult to take care of themselves or their homes. For these elderly members of society, an assisted living facility can offer the caregiving and medical attention a senior in this situation may need without constant supervision and assistance.
It is important for any family member considering an assisted living facility to consider all of the pros and cons of this option for our loved ones.
The Pros of Assisted Living
The greatest benefit of assisted living is in the name. The day-to-day assistance provided for those living in these communities is invaluable for an aging person who is struggling to take care of their homes or selves. These facilities have incredible caregivers who are there to help seniors live a fuller and more comfortable life.
Assisted living offers a level of care and support that is comparable to a nursing home with access to medical facilities and equipment, if any health incidences occur, and experienced carers who can assist as much as is needed. Seniors who are in need of help with medication, transportation, meals or other daily tasks can get the assistance they need while remaining independent and in a thriving community.
Assisted living facilities usually incorporate independent homes or apartments found in a larger retirement community. These communities are full of vibrant, active and thriving seniors who have so much life to live and experience. The home-like setting gives the elderly suffering from some mental or physical deterioration the personal freedom and privacy they deserve to enjoy while getting the daily help they may need.
Seniors are reassured that their social, mental and physical wellbeing is being taken care of, and they are able to build new routines and plans from the safety and comfort of a retirement community. The medical access and day-to-day assistance of an assisted living facility does not take away from the control, privacy and independence of this homely environment for our older population.
Being able to socialise is a critical part of any senior’s retirement years. Many older adults have suffered from loneliness and isolation when living on their own. In a retirement village – where most assisted living facilities can be found – there are hundreds of new people to meet, make friends with and do activities together.
A retirement community will often have a variety of scheduled programmes and activities, from dinners and exercise to games and outings – and there is so much more to fill the day with. All of these benefits are usually available for a lower monthly cost than an in-home caregiver, as well as some medical insurances providing significant financial assistance.
- Assistance for all day-to-day activities like bathing, cleaning, cooking and taking medication
- Retirement villages and assisted living facilities can adapt to individuals’ changing needs
- Greater privacy and a home-like environment without the need to maintain a home yourself
- Opportunity to socialise and remain active within your community with a variety of activities
- Often more affordable than nursing homes or in-home caregiving alternatives
The Cons of Assisted Living
The reality is that an assisted living facility will never have the same level of medical care on the premises that a nursing home does. If a senior requires intensive or specialised healthcare because of physical or mental disability, they will likely require higher levels of care than an assisted living facility is be able to provide.
While many seniors at home are struggling with loneliness or to remain independent, there are many seniors who prefer to stay in their homes and find ways to adjust to their own changing needs. In-home caregivers can be expensive, but do afford older people the opportunity to stay in their homes for a few more years.
Those who enjoy their privacy and quiet may struggle with adjusting to a community setting or a semi-private apartment with a roommate for example. In order to adjust, our elderly loved ones need to feel confident and secure in their ability to settle in. Some are put off by the community and social interactions and others are not happy with community rules, such as no pets allowed, smoking bans or a late-night curfew.
While assisted living is almost always more affordable than a nursing home and an around-the-clock or in-home carer, the reality is that it can be expensive. Cost can be a major drawback to assisted living as medical aid does not always cover some of the costs. Personal care and medical access can be treated as add-ons and if not, are usually accounted for in total monthly costs.
- Can become expensive or cost-prohibitive over time
- Some seniors can struggle adjusting to a semi-private or community setting, with rules
- Does not offer all the specialised care that may be required to treat advanced mental or physical decline or illness
Making the Decision to Move
Assisted living is not a perfect setup and nothing will ever be when trying to find what is best for our loved ones and older population. However, when it comes to those seniors who need a little extra care to help them through their day, an assisted living facility provides a safe, secure and social environment for them to continue enjoying their lives.
It is important to remember that while this has been a great choice for so many seniors, it is not always the best choice. Families and older people need to carefully consider which living situation keeps our loved ones and ourselves safest and happiest. After all, their wisdom, experience and life are so worth cherishing.
If you are considering an assisted living facility for you or a loved one, Manor Retirement is home to beautiful, dependable and affordable assisted living options in their Retirement Villages. Find out more, here.
Making the decision to move into a frail care or assisted living facility can be a difficult choice to make for seniors and their loved ones. Unfortunately, there usually comes a time for any senior where they are no longer able to care for themselves. We know that the wisdom, experience and love we receive from our elderly population is invaluable and they deserve to be taken care of.
Performing daily tasks, such as cooking, cleaning, bathing and getting dressed, become more and more difficult over time as a result of physical frailty, mental decline and often both. It is in these moments where the hardest and best decisions need to be made.
Seniors in these situations are moved into the care of a professional, fully-equipped and well-resourced frail care or assisted living facility. This is not always – but often – the best decision seniors and their families can make to ensure the best quality of life possible, in a safe and caring environment.
Here are a few things that you should know about frail care before making that important decision:
Frail care is designed to be a long-term living solution
The decision to move a loved one into frail care usually occurs after some kind of health incident. A heart attack, stroke, bad fall or mental health decline can all be a requisite for more acute hospital care. However, some seniors will not be able to recuperate enough to return to their normal lives and, it is at this point, more long-term solutions are considered.
For these senior members of society and others who have become unable to care for themselves, frail care or assisted living facilities can provide the around-the-clock access to the health care services that they need. For those who cannot care for themselves indefinitely, frail care facilities can become a permanent home where the level of care is necessary and beneficial to those who live in them.
The types of frail care services will differ across retirement villages
While most retirement villages are intended to meet the needs of older people generally, frail care facilities, services and level of care will vary from one community to another. Retirement villages will commonly offer basic services, caregivers will help their community members with daily tasks, such as cooking, bathing, laundry, cleaning and even taking medication.
Another retirement village may have a more sophisticated and better-staffed frail care facility that could include part-time or full-time medical staff, a pharmacy, surgical theatres for urgent care and life support equipment. The comprehensive range of frail care services at different retirement villages could offer independent or assisted-living facilities with healthcare access or specialised facilities for mental illness, in addition to their frail care wings.
Medical aid may not cover frail care
Medical aid schemes are notorious for their fine print. In the case of senior health care, there is an unforgiving difference in the way that health insurance companies define medical care versus frail care. In the type of health incidents, we covered earlier, short-term healthcare provision may be covered, but only for a limited time. If you suffer a stroke, heart attack or broken hip, they will cover your immediate medical care which does not include assisted living or frail care if that is what you require after recovery. Some medical aids may cover frail care, but it is usually for an exorbitant insurance fee.
Frail care is often the more affordable alternative to home-based care
The health impact of having part-time or live-in caregivers at home are unquestionable and our seniors benefit greatly from the services provided. It is an effective solution for elderly members of society who are timid about leaving the comfort and familiarity of their homes which is understandable. However, it can become a cost-prohibitive process and their access to high-level medical care is limited.
Not to mention the potential added costs of transport, groceries, housekeeping, hospital stays and at-home GP visits. On top of a deserved salary for the caregiver, these costs are hard to maintain for seniors and their families. For thousands of rand less, your loved ones can get the full-time care they deserve with medical professionals and facilities accessible in the retirement village they choose.
It is a huge and life-changing decision
Deciding to move into a retirement village’s assisted living or frail care facility is life-changing decision for seniors and should not be taken lightly. It should to be a considered and thoughtful family decision that takes into account the needs and feelings of our loved ones Choosing the right retirement village – with all the requisite facilities and resources – is critical to ensuring the best quality of life, wellbeing and care for our beloved elderly members of society.
If you are looking for a retirement village, with frail care or assisted living facilities, that are fully staffed and equipped by health professionals and caregivers who are committed to the health and happiness of their community, look no further than Manor Retirement.
There are so many decisions to be made about what we want our retirements to look like. The fact is that any man or woman in their sixties has so much more life to live and new experiences to discover. Age may seem like a large determining factor of what you can and cannot achieve in your older life. This, could be the biggest misconception that is explored today. Age is more than a number; it is a mindset and your physical body will stay younger for longer the more you take care of it.
We may think we know what aging entails, but the reality is that post-retirement life is as individual and unique as any working life. Here are 7 common misconceptions about growing older:
Being a senior is lonely and isolated
This is simply not true. Humans are naturally social creatures, who thrive amongst community. The same way our lives are bettered by the family, friends and communities we surround ourselves with growing up does not change as we grow older. Thanks to advances in communication, the progress of retirement communities and ubiquity of modern travel, you do not have to worry so much about your loved ones becoming inaccessible over distance or time. Not to mention, seniors will continue to make new friends and meet new people as you have over your entire life.
Your health will always be determined by family history
A very common misconception is that your health outcomes will match those of your parents and grandparents. Yes, genetics do have a small impact on your health outcomes and longevity, however there are a multitude of other factors that play a much larger role in determining your overall wellbeing. Your health is more likely to be influenced by other factors, such as regular exercise, a balanced diet, sleeping well, not smoking and drinking less and taking care of your mental health.
Seniors are weak or frail
It is often assumed that old people will, inevitably, lose their physical strength, mobility and resilience. This is absolutely not true, staying active and exercising regularly can help you build muscle, develop your flexibility and improve your bone density well-into your older years. Activities like yoga, swimming, daily walks, gardening and even household chores can all help keep you fit and in tiptop shape. This can include decreasing your blood pressure and incredible benefits for your mental health, such as preventing symptoms of anxiety, depression or senility.
All old people are senile
Many older people do experience some forgetfulness and a slight slowing in their problem-solving ability, but this is a far cry from becoming senile or suffering from dementia. Keeping your wherewithal and maintaining your mental capacity is more than a possibility. Symptoms of age-related mental decline, like all other symptoms of aging, can be thwarted by a variety of mental and physical activities. Staying physically active, maintaining a nutritious and balanced diet, learning new skills and keeping up with old ones can all help you keep your mental acuity even into your senior years.
Older people struggle to learn new skills
Teaching seniors’ new skills, or seniors learning new skills themselves, is much more common than people think. While the speed and ways in which we learn may change over time, ongoing research suggests that our ability to learn remains steady as we age. We develop, grow and craft our ability to learn new skills over many decades and these tools and information-gathering abilities continue to serve us as we grow older.
Old people are terrified of technology
There is seemingly endless rhetoric about old people being confused, intimidated or, possibly, terrified by new technology. This could not be further from the truth, seniors around the world are exploring new technologies, such as the computers, cell phones and the internet, every single day. Smart devices and the incredible advancements in video calls and instant messaging have proven to be an amazing way for seniors to stay in-touch with there family and friends, despite potential growth in physical distance.
Seniors should not be part of making important life decisions
A common – and dangerous – misconception is that with age seniors will begin to lose their ability to think clearly and their interest in life-altering decisions. This goes as far as to assume that they cannot track current events or even some events in their own orbit. This is wrong.
Involving seniors in the decision-making process is actually a critical means of keeping them engaged, happy, secure and fulfilled. Important decisions regarding their personal healthcare and finances or selling their home and moving into a retirement community should always include the person who if affects most and who has the most to gain from making good life decisions.
For years, Manor Retirement has avoided these misconceptions and have treated all of our retirees with the respect and dignity that they have earned and deserve in their post-work life. Our retirement villages have fostered supportive and engaging communities that help so many thrive in their retirement. For more information, contact us at Manor Retirement.
Deciding to move into an assisted living community can be an important decision and daunting change for those people and their families who make that choice. Your home was built over years within the neighbourhood and community that you chose. Your regular shops are nearby and your fondest memories were made in those rooms.
It is vital to appreciate the significance of moving out of your home. Whether you are downsizing, relocating or adjusting to new physical or mental health needs, your decision to move to an assisted living community should be the hardest part of that transition.
The potential stress and frustration that could occur when underestimating the impact of moving, is the most common mistake made by the families and individuals embarking on this new journey. But, when planned with care and consideration, starting this new chapter could be a seamless transition and exciting new opportunity.
Big changes often induce reluctance, but by making more informed decisions and defining clearer preferences, those changes become more manageable. Thankfully, there are more and better assisted living facilities around today than ever before and they are well-equipped to help you make a smooth transition and welcoming home.
Making a smooth transition
This move is not an individual act and is made much easier with the support of a loving family and help of the community you are about to enter. The tools, care and practices that can be undertaken for the benefit of new residents by them and their families are varied and personal, but unmistakably important.
Here is a list of things to consider and steps to take when moving into an assisted living community, for that future resident and their family support system:
Find a Community Together
As mentioned, finding the right community for you will take careful consideration and a keen eye. It is important that you and your loved ones are all involved in all the decision-making processes. By involving the family, they are afforded peace of mind and feel reassured that you are making the right decision together. The more involved you are in choosing your home, the more confident and comfortable you can feel in your decision.
Make Use of Available Resources
Do not go through the potential struggles of extensive packing, travelling and organising required when moving to a new home. Invest in an experienced moving company or professional organisers who are capable of streamlining the processes of downsizing, decluttering, prioritising or just fitting into the new space.
It Takes Time
A home is not made overnight and settling in can take time. After years of creating cherished memories and curating their perfect home environment, a new space that feels as good will need time and patience. If a loved one is unable to take care of themselves or they are considering a different kind of homeownership: a healthy, safe, accessible, friendly and inviting community can become the home they need and deserve, given the time.
Bring Your Cherished Possessions
Surround yourself with items and possessions that bring you joy and comfort. Consider bringing a favourite lounger or your most inspiring literature – the things that make you feel at home. This may include precious family photos, heirlooms or artwork. Have reminders of the home you and your family have shared, design the space in a way that suits you and help build new memories for all of you.
This is for the children, grandchildren, friends and acquaintances of loved ones who are moving into an assisted living facility. There is the potential to feel isolated and unwanted when anyone relocates from their established home; if those around them do not keep in contact. The strongest predictors of a smooth and happy transition are the maintaining of quality time spent with friends and family as well as integrating into their new social circles.
Making New Friends
Whether you are nine or ninety years old, making new friends can be hard to do. Something that makes it easier for all of us is entering into a new social circle. Like most of our retired population, these new social circles will be filled with an incredible array of life stories, interests and experiences. Eating lunch or playing cards with new friends could have a hugely positive impact on your community experience.
Take Part in Activities
All of the best assisted living facilities provide a wide selection of recreational activities that keep all members of the community engaged, active and social. By joining in on these activities, the previously unfamiliar faces that you see at breakfast or on your morning walk will fast become your teammates, competition, supporters and partners. Try out the different hobbies, arts, exercise and games that are organised regularly for the community.
Don’t Change Everything
Many men and women who are moving into an assisted living community are at a stage in their life where they may be struggling with their mental and physical health or even with residential upkeep. The change is usually a needed one and will benefit the new resident, their family and the community they are joining, tremendously.
However, keeping the size and scope of the changes to a minimum can help make the transition even smoother. Dinner dates with friends, game nights with grandchildren, church on Sunday or monthly family lunches are just as important to maintain as anything else. Adjusting to new surroundings are much easier when you do it with the people you love.
At Manor Retirement, we know how to make you or your loved one’s transition into assisted living as easy and gratifying as possible. For more information about our incredible communities, contact Manor Retirement.