Frequently Asked Questions

What is assisted living?

Senior living has four general levels: independent living, congregate housing, assisted living and skilled nursing homes. Assisted living is an apartment community that includes help with “activities of daily living” such as bathing, grooming, toileting, dressing and dining. Most assisted living facilities provide meals, housekeeping, laundry, social activities, transportation and some personal care.

People moving into assisted living, generally seniors age 75 and above, do so for a number of reasons. The predominant reasons are (1) inability to live safely or independently at home any longer; (2) feelings of isolation and the need for socialization; or (3) the need for assistance with one or more of the activities of daily living.

Although assisted living facilities are private pay, residents still enjoy the benefits of Medicare and other age-qualified medical or social programs that would be available in their own home. The level of medical care found in nursing homes is not offered by assisted living facilities, but many additional services are available through outside agencies such as visiting nurses and medical supply companies. Assisted living facilities usually have 24-hour personal care staff, but the presence of licensed nursing staff can vary from eight hours to 24 hours per day. 

Once admitted to a facility, a resident will receive an individualized care plan developed by an RN in collaboration with social workers and activities personnel. Some facilities have a secured section dedicated to residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related impairments.

How do I know it's time for assisted living?

For some, the decision comes naturally, and the move is made easily with the support of family and friends. For others, the decision is quite difficult, particularly because our identity and memories of shared experiences with family and friends may be deeply tied to our home or apartment.

But, of course, change is inevitable, and adjusting to those changes is essential along life’s journey. Children leave home. It’s time to retire from work. Friends move away. A spouse may die. Driving becomes difficult.  The house and yard become a burden. Assistance may be needed with medicine or personal care.

A number of signs can point to consideration of placing a loved one in assisted living. Here are a few:

  • Does Mom or Dad seem isolated or depressed in the home?
  • Has he or she lost interest in activities enjoyed in the past?
  • Is your parent uninterested in undertaking social activities?
  • Do friends still stop by the house to socialize?
  • Do you observe a significant decline in hygiene?
  • Are clothes as clean as they had been, and are they appropriate for the weather?
  • Does Mom or Dad appear anxious or fearful?
  • If parents live together, is one caring for the other? If so, does the caregiver appear worn out?
  • Does your parent show a noticeable change in weight?
  • Is the refrigerator as full as it had been? Is what you see part of a balanced, nutritious diet, or just snacks and convenience foods?
  • Is there leftover food that may no longer be safe to eat?
  • Do any pots or pans have burn marks that may signal forgetfulness about turning off the stove?
  • Are kitchen appliances working properly?
  • Does your parent move around the house with considerable effort?
  • Are medications being taken as prescribed?
  • If Mom or Dad is still driving, does the car have new dents or scrapes? Do you detect apprehension about driving?
  • Has mail been opened and sorted, or are piles of mail accumulating?
  • Are bills being paid and is money being managed appropriately?
  • Are housekeeping standards being maintained?
  • Are plants and animals being taken care of as in the past?
  • Is daily living pleasant or a chore?

To help further, we have developed a Senior Needs Assessment as a guide to help families make this important decision. You can use the assessment to help your family make an informed choice.

See Senior Needs Assessment attachment.

 

What are some ways to ease the transition to assisted living?

If the decision is definite, the staff at The Greens at Greenwich can markedly raise the comfort level of the incoming resident and the family before the move by arranging a lunch visit, attendance at programs and a tour of similar apartments to show how they can be furnished.

In addition we will provide for a Move Manager adviser to come to your home to help determine which furniture and other belongings can comfortably fit in the new apartment and advise how to dispose of any surplus.

If the decision is tentative, it is often helpful for the prospective resident to take some of these steps to gain more familiarity with The Greens at Greenwich and the residents:

  • Attend lectures and other community events at The Greens at Greenwich.
  • Take part in specific programs or activities.
  • Have some meals in the dining room.
  • Meet some of the residents.
  • Participate in the day program.
  • Try a respite stay.
  • Move into a furnished apartment on a trial basis.

 

Can I really afford assisted living?

At first glance, assisted living can seem expensive because it is private pay, but it is important to keep in mind that one monthly fee covers most of the costs of living in one’s own home. These include the following:

  • Mortgage payments
  • Real estate taxes
  • Heat, electricity & other utilities
  • Meals
  • Insurance (excluding renter’s insurance)
  • Housekeeping
  • Home renovations & maintenance
  • Landscaping & snow plowing
  • Basic cable TV
  • Movies, concerts & other entertainment
  • Transportation
  • Medication management
  • Personal care

Long term care insurance and federal veterans benefits for retired armed services personnel or their spouse may cover part of the cost.

 

About Housing

What is included in the rent?

The rent includes all utilities, cable tv, three meals daily, housekeeping, transportation, a full activity program and personal care.

How much care is included?

Our residents receive all their care needs which covers bathing, grooming, medication management, and overall support in activities of daily living.

Is there a community fee?

No. There is no “community fee.”

What is required on move-in?

The first month’s rent and a security deposit of $3,000.

What types of apartments are there?

The apartments include companion suites, studios, and 1 bedroom apartments.

What size are they?

Most are 400-500 sf, some range up to 800 sf.

What are the rents?

The rents range from $7200 to $10,800, depending on the apartment.

Is there a second person fee?

The second person fee is $1,500 per month.

What are the common spaces?

Common space includes greatroom, dining room, lounges, and an outdoor garden.

How much total space is there?

There are over 900 sf total space per resident, including common areas.

What is the staff ratio?

Overall, there are about three employees for every one resident.

What are some tips on responding to signs of dementia?

Coping with a parent or other older person showing signs of Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia can be extremely taxing for family members. Difficulty in communicating can even produce conflict, aggravating the situation. To help, here are several suggestions, culled from information provided by the Alzheimer’s Association for identifying and easing challenges.

Questions: Asking open-ended questions can be too confusing for someone with memory impairment, leading to frustration for both of you. It is better to make simple declarative statements. (“Let’s leave at 11 to shop for the gift for Lisa’s baby.”) Or ask yes/no questions. (“Would you like to leave at 11 to shop for the gift?”)

Redirecting Behavior: Instead of questioning or contradicting actions, communicate a positive message. (“You can put that magazine on the bookcase.”) (“Let’s use the everyday blue dishes.”)

Activities: Do activities together. Someone with dementia may be unable to undertake activities alone but quite capable of doing things with you. (“Let’s make your grocery list together.”) (“I’ll help you water the plants.”)

Tone of Voice: Loud or argumentative tones of voice can produce anxiety in those with dementia. Speak calmly and slowly with a reassuring tone.

Soothing Environment: Soft lighting and soft music, especially composed of familiar tunes, can be calming.

Clothing: Wearing out-of-season or otherwise inappropriate clothing is often an indication of memory loss. Help with specifics. (“Wearing your green raincoat will be perfect.”) Also, watch for trouble with buttons, which can cause frustration. Maybe Mom needs a new sweater that zips.

Touch: The sense of touch is very important for persons with Alzheimer’s. It is calming and helps remove the feeling of loneliness.

Expressing Feelings v. Facts and Ideas: When it is too difficult to discuss current events or even what happened to you yesterday, focus on feelings to maintain connections. (“I’ve always loved your sense of humor.”)

You can consult these resources for more tips:

The 36-Hour Day, Nancy L. Mace, Peter V. Rabins
Alzheimer’s From the Inside Out, Richard Taylor
Caring For a Person With Alzheimer’s Disease, National Institute of Aging
What's Happening to Grandpa?, Maria Shriver
I’m Still Here: A New Philosophy of Alzheimer’s Care, John Zeisel, Ph.D.
Living Your Best With Early Stage Alzheimer’s, Lisa Snyder
Speaking Our Minds: What It’s Like to Have Alzheimer’s Disease, Lisa Snyder
The Alzheimer’s Project, HBO