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Assisted Living

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted living is a long-term senior residence option that provides extra support services such as medication management, assistance with personal care, and meals along with housing and transportation. The goal of assisted living is to allow the personal freedom of self-sufficiency without the stress of household management and maintenance. Residents in an assisted living campus live independently yet always have a personal level of care available at all times. Because meals, fitness programs, and social events are provided seniors remain independent to their fullest extent and are free from the everyday worries associated with living alone.

See Our Assisted Living Services here.

What is the Difference Between Assisted and Independent Living?

The main difference between assisted living and independent living is the availability of onsite personal and medical care. Independent living is just that: seniors who chose to live in a community geared especially for their age group. Often this is a condominium, high-rise apartment, or "over 55" community that includes a common recreation area, but the main point is the residents live totally independent.

Assisted living, on the other hand, offers help with personal care, housekeeping, and medical needs as well as other services required for daily living. Residents live in their own apartment but have access to all services the community offers if they choose to participate. While their apartment features a kitchen all meals are provided in a common dining room, allowing for better nutrition and socialization.

One of the key components of assisted living is that the campus offers various levels of care. This allows the elderly to remain in their home when their needs change instead of being moved to a nursing home or other care facility. Here's a brief description of various facilities for the elderly; most of these services are available in an assisted living community:

  • Nursing homes provide short or long-term care for those who are unable to live independently due to medical conditions.
  • Respite Care is designed for the short-term care and is usually utilized when the senior's caregiver is not available such as during personal illness or vacation time.
  • Memory Care is for those seniors who are no longer independent due to loss of memory, such as Alzheimer's patients and those with dementia.

The Benefits of Assisted Living

Our resident care team will assist you with the activities of daily living (ADLs) that you desire and need based on your customized care plan. Because your plan is customized you'll have access to other levels of care as needed so you won't have to worry about future changes in your lifestyle. At Daystar you'll enjoy:

  • Comprehensive, Compassionate, Care
  • Assistance with Daily Tasks such as bathing, dressing, grooming
  • Medication management
  • Nursing care
  • Social programs and activities

Everything is more convenient when you have the assistance you need in a home you'll love. Residents of Daystar Retirement Village have access to amazing personal service and an experienced staff. There are many services included in your monthly rent (full list below) and customized service options that can meet your individual personal care needs.

Daystar Seattle Assisted Living Services:

  • Caring professional staff available 24 hours a day
  • Emergency call system
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner in our two dining rooms
  • Evening snack available
  • Weekly housekeeping, including changing of bed and bath linens (provided by resident)
  • Daily light housekeeping as needed
  • Laundry service - personal, bed and bath
  • Varied social and activities program
  • Scheduled transportation West Seattle, Burien, downtown Seattle, local churches, and appointments
  • All utilities, including electricity and expanded cable (resident pays for telephone)

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The Cost of Assisted Living

When making your decision to move to Daystar it's important to do a total cost comparison instead of just looking at the bottom line. Because your new assisted living campus is all inclusive, you should do a complete evaluation of your current annual cost of living in order to clearly see the true cost. Here's a brief list of things you should include in your current living expenses which will be included in your Daystar monthly fee:

  • Mortgage or rent
  • House or renter insurance
  • Utilities, including cable
  • Yard maintenance
  • Home maintenance
  • Home repairs
  • Homeowner fees
  • Property taxes
  • Home security system
  • Housekeeping
  • Caregiver expenses
  • Groceries and meal preparation
  • Gym fees
  • Class fees
  • Transportation costs
  • Vehicle insurance (if no longer planning to drive)

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How to Know When It’s Time to Move Into an Assisted Living Community

While no two people are alike and there's no set criteria or age for making the decision to move to assisted living there are many signs you can use to help decide. If you find more than a few of these describe your life you may be ready to make the move:

  • A chronic health issue that's getting worse, such as diabetes or high blood pressure
  • Accidents or close calls, such as falling in the bathroom
  • Slower recovery times after illness or accident
  • Difficulty in daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and managing medications
  • Weight loss or weight gain that's not easily explained
  • Becoming frailer
  • Changes in appearance that show less time spent on grooming
  • Less time spent with friends and family
  • Staying indoors for days on end
  • Less interest in hobbies and usual pastimes
  • Unopened personal or business mail
  • Unpaid bills that have been neglected
  • Unread magazines and books
  • Signs of unsafe driving, such as new dents or nicks in the vehicle
  • Failure to maintain vehicle, such as regular oil changes
  • Kitchen mishaps such as fires
  • Outdated or stale food in fridge and cupboards
  • Limited diet such as using an overabundance of prepared frozen foods
  • Less housekeeping, such as more clutter or a grimy bathroom
  • Pets and plants are becoming neglected
  • Neglected yard work
  • Home needs repair or maintenance
  • Concern from your primary care provider
  • Your caregiver is overwhelmed
  • Your family is worried

If it sounds like you're ready to take the step to assisted living remember you don't have to decide immediately. Plan a meeting with your family and caregivers and go over the pros and cons of both staying in your current residence and moving to an assisted living campus. Make a list of your questions and enlist a computer-savvy family member if needed for researching communities in the area you'd like to live in. Set a date for a follow-up meeting where all your family members can share their insight and thoughts on the subject and then start planning your next steps.

How to Find the Perfect Assisted Living Community

Once you've decided to find an assisted living community it's vital that you do your homework before making the move. Don't choose a campus just because it's convenient to your current home or near your adult children; instead, make a plan of action and compare several communities.  The key is to use all your senses and to trust your instincts if something doesn't feel right but you can't pinpoint the exact reason. You can download a checklist to make it easier to compare them, but here's a short list of things to look for when you're ready to find the perfect assisted living community:

  • Is the apartment airy and comfortable?
  • Is it handicapped accessible and equipped with handrails?
  • Is there an emergency call button if you need help?
  • What is the aide-to-resident ratio?
  • Is there nursing staff available around the clock?
  • Is the staff well trained, friendly, and approachable?
  • Can you talk to current residents?
  • Is the campus secure?
  • Is the community well maintained, clean, and smells good?
  • Does the dining room have a wide choice of well-prepared foods?
  • Is the dining room kitchen clean and sanitary?
  • Is there emergency medical care available?
  • What fitness amenities are included?
  • What social activities are available?
  • Are there different levels of care offered?

Don't worry if you miss a few things when you tour; a reputable assisted living campus won't pressure you to make your decision right away. If you can't choose between two places make a "pros and cons" list of each and schedule another round of tours so you can refine your decision

Download a Guide to Assisted Living

How to Move Into an Assisted Living Community

Once you've made your decision to move to an assisted living community you may find yourself overwhelmed by the sheer amount of chores that go into moving. The best thing to do is to break it down into manageable lists and take it one step at a time. Before you begin, measure the rooms in your new assisted living apartment so you'll know how much space you have to work with. It's also a good idea to reserve some storage room at your adult child's or a close friend's house so you won't have to worry about the things you're not sure you want to take. Here are some tips on making your big move:

  • Talk to a financial planner and decide what will work best in regards to disposing of your house and any larger assets you no longer wish to be responsible for.
  • Choose what you want to take with you. Do this room by room and set aside an area for everything you won't need. For example, you can move your "keeper" furniture to one area of the living room and use the other area for downsizing.
  • Decide how you wish to de-clutter. Whether you gift your treasures to your children, sell everything you don't need, or donate to your favorite charity, you'll need a plan of action to downsize.
  • Get help lined up for packing and moving, and unpacking once you arrive. Whether you enlist your family or professional movers the key is to remain in a supervisor position and not try to do the work yourself.
  • Remember to buy some snacks and drinks so you have something to offer your new neighbors once you arrive at your new home!

What it’s like to Live in an Assisted Living Community

Once you're ready to move you'll be wondering what your new life will be like. The biggest thing you'll notice once you move to assisted living is that all the pressure is off! You won't have to worry about being a burden to your caregiver or family because all your needs will be met by staff. Although they'll check on you regularly and help with any needs such as medication management you'll still have your privacy when you want it. You'll also have access to three well-prepared meals a day that meet your personal nutritional requirements, social activities such as arts, crafts, movies, and social hours, and a full fitness gym complete with classes. You'll also have access to transportation if you want to go shopping, and your appointments will be tracked so you won't have to worry about missing a doctor visit because you forgot or you need a ride. In short, you'll be free to enjoy your life any way you choose!

How to Stay in Touch with Loved Ones while Living in an Assisted Living Community

Once you move to assisted living you won't have to worry about staying in touch with your friends and family. You'll have your own apartment so you can have visitors whenever you choose; you can even have your grandkids visit for overnight stays. You can go for visits and vacations if you want to, or you can stay in touch via phone. Many seniors embrace the internet to stay in touch as you can even visit face-to-face by using programs such as Skype. Your friends and family are always welcome to join you for a meal in the dining room, or you can prepare a snack or meal in your own apartment if you decide to entertain.

 

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