Family Resources

Gentry Park Bloomington welcomes and encourages the active participation of adult children (or other loved ones or care-givers) in the process of choosing Gentry Park and throughout the life of the resident in the community. This section features answers to frequently asked questions, as well as a glossary of common terms and some important resources.

As you learn more about the community, other questions may arise. Give us a call. We invite you to call for a personal tour or for additional information.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the time right to move to a retirement community?

There are many kinds of lifestyles available in senior living communities these days. For those who are still active – a move to independent living can mean setting aside the chores of home maintenance, repairs, cleaning, etc., and really engaging their time as they see fit – often, in hobbies and interests that have been set aside for years. Those who are beginning to need a bit of physical assistance will find a move to an assisted living community not only provides needed assistance, but peace of mind, as well. The best time to make the move? When you can enjoy it as fully as possible.

How will I know it’s time for my loved one to move into an assisted living community?

While the aging process includes a natural slowing down, you may observe that certain day-to-day functions – such as bathing, dressing, grooming, eating, and remembering to take medications – have become a challenge. At that point, you may find yourself questioning how viable it is for your parent or loved one to live on his or her own, because you have a natural concern for their safety and well-being. A move to assisted living can provide great comfort and peace of mind for your loved one – and for you!

Many people will begin the process of seeking an appropriate retirement community – touring the community and talking with staff on behalf of their aging loved one, and having made the initial inquiries, will draw their parent into the conversation.

What the difference between dementia, Alzheimer’s, and ordinary memory loss?

Some degree of memory loss is normal with aging. To be considered dementia, symptoms need to affect more than one area of brain function significantly enough to interfere with everyday life. Memory loss is a common example: your loved one may have difficulties forming new memories. Communication is another key area. Your loved one may experience challenges in processing speech and language. In finding the right words. Changes in mood are common: depression, apathy, or a change in personality. He or she may be confused, or be challenged in their sense of direction and spatial orientation, or may experience a decline in judgment – the ability to consider facts and come to a reasonable conclusion.

You may be in a good position to observe and monitor subtle changes such as these in your loved one. It’s also a good idea to talk with your loved one’s doctor and share your concerns.

These questions are interesting, but don’t cover my specific question or concern. Any general advice?

Yes! Please think of us as a resource. Give us a call. We will likely have excellent guidance, or know where to direct you to get your questions answered. In the meantime, this Family Resource section includes a number of the leading online organizations and resources. We hope that helps!

Glossary of Terms

Age-restricted

Most retirement communities require that residents have reached a given age before moving in. You’ll find 65+ is a common benchmark.

Assisted Living

Assisted living communities typically provide services which allow the resident to maintain a degree of independence, while offering a helping hand with given tasks such as bathing, grooming, dressing, and taking medications.

Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC)

CCRCs are senior living communities that provide a continuum of lifestyle options and choices, generally including independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing residences or suites. (Gable Pines at Vadnais Heights offers three distinct lifestyles: Independent living, Assisted Living and Memory Care.)

Independent Living

In an independent living community, residents are capable of living in a residence with or without assistance.

Life Care

Life Care is a term often used to distinguish communities that offer lifestyles and care—for life, with virtually no additional increase to monthly fees, whether a resident is in a residence or a residential health services program including assisted living, memory care or skilled nursing. By contrast, some CCRCs provide continuing care with a fee-for-service contract, requiring additional fees for living at higher levels of care.

Long-term Care Insurance

Long-term care insurance is a type of insurance developed specifically to cover the cost of skilled nursing, assisted living, home health care and other long-term care services. These services are usually not covered by traditional health insurance or Medicare.

Medicare

The federal health insurance program called Medicare is designed for people who are 65 and older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover specific services and care.

Medicaid

Financed by state and federal governments, Medicaid is the program of medical assistance designed for those unable to afford regular medical service—available to fund care in a skilled nursing setting.

Memory Care

A specialized type of elder care, memory care is tailored specifically for the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive disorders.

Nursing Home (or Health Center)

Skilled nursing care facilities, commonly referred to as nursing homes or health centers, are licensed health care communities that are inspected and regulated by a state’s Department of Health Services. They offer long- and short-term care for individuals who need rehabilitation services or who suffer from serious or persistent health issues that are often too complicated to be tended to at home.

Rehabilitation Services

Services designed to help an individual recover from an injury, operation, stroke, or illness. These may include physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and memory care. In most cases, services are planned to help the patient return as closely as possible to pre-challenge levels. The services may be residential (inpatient), or outpatient, and may be short- or long-term, depending on the needs of the patient.

Retirement Community

The term “retirement community” encompasses a wide scope of variations—several of which are covered here. Rental communities, continuing care, Life Care, assisted living and skilled nursing care communities all fall within the spectrum, as do age-restricted communities of individually owned homes with common services and amenities.

Skilled Nursing Care

Skilled nursing care communities offer daily nursing care, provided or supervised by licensed medical personnel.

Links to Resources

AARP is a membership organization leading positive social change and delivering value to people age 50 and over through information, advocacy and service.  www.aarp.org

 

Administration on Aging provides home and community-based services to millions of older persons through the programs funded under the Older Americans Act. www.aoadhhs.gov

 

Alzheimer’s Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. alz.org

 

Arthritis Foundation provides members with specialist referrals, Arthritis Today magazine and updates on the newest research. www.arthritis.org

 

Caregiver.com offers support and guidance for family and professional caregivers through newsletters, online discussion, Today’s Caregiver magazine, chat rooms and more. www.caregiver.com

 

Caring Connections is a national consumer and community engagement initiative to improve care at the end of life, supported by a grant from The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. www.carf.org

 

LeadingAge is focused on advocacy of effective services for seniors including home health, hospice, assisted living, continuing care and more. www.leadingage.org

 

Elder Law Answers supports seniors, their families and their attorneys in legal issues surrounding aging. www.elderlawanswers.com

 

Family Caregiver Alliance addresses the needs of families and friends providing long-term care at home. www.caregiver.org

 

GovBenefits.gov is the official benefits site of the US Government with information on over 1,000 benefit and assistance programs. www.govbenefits.gov

 

Hospice Foundation of America exists to help those who cope personally or professionally with terminal illness, death, and the process of grief and bereavement. www.hospicefoundation.org

 

International Council on Aging unifies organizations focused on older adults and provides education, information, resources, and tools. [Links to www.icaa.cc]

 

National Council on Aging is a nonprofit organization with a national network of more than 14,000 organizations and leaders. www.ncoa.org

 

VA.gov explains U.S. Government Veterans’ Affairs benefits to assist eligible veterans and dependents with the expense of intermediate or skilled nursing care. www.va.gov