Crozet’s Mountainside Senior Living Adds Dementia Unit

Crozet Gazette, September 8, 2017 -- Mountainside Senior Living, a 105-bed assisted living facility in downtown Crozet, will convert its entire third floor to a secure dementia unit containing 20 beds, according to Marta Keene, executive director of the Jefferson Area Board for Aging, which operates the facility with the aim of keeping affordable senior care available. The unit is expected to open in February of 2018, she said.

“Patients will stay on the floor for all activities,” she said. “Meals will be served family-style. There will a large common area that will overlook The Square. There will be ‘stations’ that allow patients to do safe projects, such as crafts. It’s going to be very personalized. They are not connecting with the present moment and they don’t need to be brought back to it.

“It’s recognizing that we have to find the personal things we can tap into to help them,” said Keene. “The key is personalizing it.” Read More.

How to know when it’s time to transition to assisted living

By Kati Decker, admission and marketing manager at Mountainside Senior Living. 

It can be hard to know when it’s the right time to start looking into assisted living options for your loved one. Many times, families fall into the habit of waiting for the crisis situation to occur before thinking about investigating senior care. They wait to make the tough decision until Mom falls and breaks a hip and can’t go home again, or Dad gets lost driving home from the grocery store, a route he’s driven weekly for years.

Instead of waiting for the crisis to occur, there are signs that you can start looking for to begin the transition to an assisted living community.

The biggest warning sign that I discuss with families who are just beginning their search is to think about the amount of time that their loved one spends doing their activities of daily living. These are activities that are part of everyday routines, including housekeeping and personal care.

Is it taking your loved ones most of the day to make breakfast, bathe and get dressed for the day? Are they having to take breaks frequently during their personal care routine because of fatigue? Has it just gotten too difficult to vacuum their carpets or dust their knickknacks? The biggest benefit of moving into an assisted living community is the ability to relinquish the need to have to do these taxing activities on their own. Many times I find that residents have had to give up their favorite pastimes, like knitting, woodworking and clubs, because their activities of daily living have been taking all of their time and energy. By making the move to assisted living, residents are able to spend more time enjoying themselves and doing what they are passionate about and less time worrying about having to do the housekeeping and tedious personal care routines.

The second major warning sign I discuss is a general decline in health and mental status. This goes hand-in-hand with the time consumed by doing activities of daily living.

Is a loved one who used to enjoy cooking all of his or her meals starting to eat more microwave meals or canned food products? Has he or she had a fall recently? This could be the result of trip hazards in the home or mismanagement of medications. I recently helped a family whose loved one was having trouble keeping up with medications and when to take them — and was hospitalized after a nasty fall as a result.

We all forget things; when was the last time you were looking for your phone while talking on it, or your keys when you had them in your pocket? However, forgetfulness that leads to general decline in well-being is another indicator that it might be time to look into assisted living. Where I work, at Mountainside Senior Living, an assisted living community in Crozet, we’re installing a special memory care floor later this year to assist those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Most of the time, if residents in an assisted living community need that kind of care, they have to move to another facility. Make sure you look into that as you are researching assisted living communities.

It can be hard knowing when to step in and help your loved one make the move to assisted living. Think about your college-aged child; if you walked into his dorm and saw that it hadn’t been cleaned in weeks, that his diet consisted of mostly microwave meals or ramen noodles and he had stopped bathing and taking care of himself, wouldn’t you intervene? For most parents, the answer is yes.

As we compare this scenario to the scenario of our loved ones living at home, struggling to maintain the upkeep of their homes or apartments, neglecting their diets for easy meals and not taking care of themselves, how can one not say it is time to start the transition to assisted living? Remember, it’s better to begin the transition now rather than wait for the crisis to hit.

This article originally appeared in the Generation Us section of the Daily Progress.

JABA To Open New Memory Care Floor at Mountainside Senior Living

As our senior population continues to grow, so too will the need for specialized services to treat Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. So, during National Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month, JABA and Mountainside Senior Living are proud to announce that the third floor of Mountainside Senior Living, our assisted living community in Crozet, is being renovated to provide 20 beds of memory care for current and new residents.

“Mountainside Senior Living is excited to create a memory unit,” says Marta Keane, CEO of JABA. “ There is a large unmet need in our community for assisted living dementia care, which we have seen with our own residents.  It will be wonderful to offer assisted living, along with levels of dementia care for those who need a quieter space, with more supervision and specialized activities, all in one facility so that residents won’t have to change where they call home.”  

The new floor is being completely renovated to serve residents in need of memory care, providing a safe and secure environment, special common rooms, separate dining and activity centers, and living quarters that meet the design standards for memory care units. And, of course, the floor will be staffed with those specially trained in caring for people with memory care needs. The new floor is being designed by Charlottesville-based Johnson, Craven, & Gibson Architects, who, for nearly 70 years, have been renovating and restoring some our area’s finest properties. The new memory care floor is scheduled to open in November 2017. Stay tuned for updates as we get closer to the opening date. 

“We are already the largest non-profit affordable assisted living in the area, and we expect our memory care rooms to be affordable, relative to the market, allowing more choices for potential residents and their families,” says Keane. 

To find out more about Mountainside Senior Living’s new memory care floor, and if it might be the right fit for your loved one, please contact Kati Decker, MSL’s Community Relations Manager, at 434-227-5568 [cell phone- 717-497-3557] or kdecker@jabacares.org

About JABA

Since 1975, the Jefferson Area Board for Aging, JABA, has been serving the needs of the aging community in the Thomas Jefferson Planning district (the city of Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa and Nelson). Through the years, from our roots as a federally mandated Area Agency on Aging to our current position as one of the most innovative and successful aging organizations, JABA has never lost focus of the needs and desires of the community. Working with state and local government, educational institutions, private citizens of all ages, businesses, and other nonprofit organizations, JABA has consistently risen to the challenge of its mission: to promote, establish and preserve communities for healthy aging that benefit individuals and families of all ages.

About Mountainside Senior Living

Mountainside Senior Living is the Charlottesville area's most affordable assisted living. Located in the quaint historic town of Crozet, Virginia, just 15 miles west of Charlottesville, MSL provides a warm and welcoming environment, advanced medical services, transportation for outings, three fresh and locally sourced meals a day prepared by our in-house chef, a vigorous activities program, and plenty of community involvement. Mountainside Senior Living is a non-profit 501(3)(c) under the direction of Jefferson Elder Care, LLC and is managed by the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA). MSL takes residents without bias to age, disability, race, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation or genetic information. Winner of the 2010 Commonwealth Council on Aging Best Practice Award, and the 2007 Governor's Housing Award.

For all press inquires, please email David McNair, JABA Marketing Writer/Publicist, at dmcnair@jabacares.org or call 434-817-5236. 

 

Time for a Nursing Home? Your Guide to Assisted Senior Living

Maybe your mom’s having trouble remembering to take her medicine. Or your dad’s doctor told him not to drive anymore. Realizing that it’s time for a nursing home or assisted living can be overwhelming, between sharing your concerns with your loved one, researching different options and figuring out how to pay for it.

Seki Balogun, MD, is a geriatrician at University Physicians JABA in Charlottesville. She helps families work through these difficult decisions and answered some common questions about elderly healthcare.

Signs It May Be Time for a Nursing Home

Balogun says difficulty performing everyday activities is a warning sign. Doctors call these the activities of daily living (ADLs), and they include:

  • Bathing and otherwise maintaining good hygiene
  • Using the bathroom
  • Walking and getting around without falling
  • Food preparation and good nutrition
  • Driving
  • Shopping
  • Managing finances

On top of that, increasing memory loss can create health risks and dangers, such as forgetting to take medicine or turn off the stove. Read more

Respite care offers a break from burden of worry

Being a caregiver can be stressful. It can consume your life so much that you forget to take care of your own needs. Likewise, having to be cared for can be stressful, too. Accepting losses of independence, along with the fear that comes along with that, can lead to additional health problems and depression.

That’s where respite care comes in.

Various respite care options are designed to take the strain off caregivers, and to give those being cared for the comfort of knowing they are safe and secure. It’s also a way to deal with unexpected situations, like trips or work and family obligations the caregiver must attend to. Or perhaps a fall or a recent return from the hospital has made those being care for at home vulnerable, and therefore requiring more constant care for a time.

However, it’s a good idea to plan ahead. Don’t just wait until there is an emergency, or your stress level has gone too high. Here are a few options to help you put a respite care plan in place.

» Friends and family: Of course, if you have friends and family willing to help, you’re lucky. Perhaps you can split up duties and spread out the caregiving tasks. However, be sure to find out who your loved one really trusts and wants to be with, and get some honest commitments from friends and loved ones about what they are truly willing to do to help. Avoid any potential misunderstandings by being clear about expectations, including issues such as payment for their time or reimbursement of expenses. Be sure to provide a list of medications and special instructions for care so that the transition from one caregiver to the next is seamless. This is also a typically low-cost way of getting extra help.  MORE

Learn about respite care at Mountainside.

Read Mountainside's Fall Newsletter!

Find out how Twice is Nice, the upscale resale boutique at Preston Plaza, has been supporting Mountainside since 2009, and meet new Twice Is Nice operations manager Lynne Levine. “It’s such a “feel good” shopping experience. Not only is the revenue going to an important cause, but shopping re-sale is environmentally conscious as well,” says Levine. Plus, find out about the “MSL World Tour” and meet the famous Covesville Waving Man.