Making the Right Choice for Your Loved One

Experts from three local retirement communities offer their perspective and advice.
Deborah C. Gerbers
Zack Kittaka

Navigating an Overwhelming Process

Making the decision to search for a retirement community for a loved one is not easy. You want to select the perfect place where your loved one will feel most at home, and a place that will offer them the best level of care. Different communities have features and amenities that make them the best choice depending on the needs and preferences of the individual resident. Families face tough obstacles during this process and sometimes doubt themselves in their decision making, so being prepared with a plan helps solidify the choices that are made.

Sarah Horacek, director of marketing at The Towne House Retirement Community, suggests people do sufficient research and homework to ensure they make the best decision. “Each place is a little different in what they offer residents,” she says. “Maybe today one place is perfect, but knowing that the individual’s needs can change over time, so another community might be a better fit in the future. It’s a lot of thinking forward, but also just gathering as much information as possible. And, it can be a very daunting and overwhelming process.”

Jill Headrick, director of community relations for Kingston Healthcare, agrees that this is a difficult decision to make. “Many times when an individual is moving into assisted living, they are moving directly from their own home into a retirement community,” she says. “That in itself is a very emotional process. Individuals who move into a nursing facility are likely coming from a hospital so that is an easier transition sometimes.”

Headrick suggests people think ahead about what needs may arise for their loved one. “Family members know that individual better than anyone else,” she says. “This is very difficult, and although we all know we are getting older and will probably need this type of care someday, it is not something people investigate until it becomes necessary. If people can anticipate future situations and even do some preliminary legwork, that will help them be better educated about the process and available community resources.”

Being familiar about the various available options is important, according to Angi Wright, rehabilitation case manager at St. Anne’s Home. “In my role, I often go to hospitals to speak with people about what decisions to make for their loved ones,” she says. “One common challenge they face is to get everyone in the family on board with making the best choice for that person, in spite of differing opinions. Transitional Care focuses on the medical needs and services that are essential during the movement from one health care setting to another. When someone is unsure about the future of their loved one, this supportive environment allows the individual, their family, and care givers time to determine what that next step is.”

Different Options for Every Need

It is important to understand the unique features of each retirement community so that your loved one’s needs are met and the transition is smooth for them. The Towne House, for example, has been in Fort Wayne since 1965 and has a long-standing history and solid reputation. It also offers all levels of care for its residents, including independent villas, apartments with assisted living, Medicare certified rehab, 24-hour nursing care and memory care all on the same campus. Residents are able to stay in the same community as their needs change over time. 

Memory care is a special kind of care that requires its own unique skill set. Having 16 years of memory care experience, Kingston at Dupont’s staff are available 24 hours a day ensuring the safety and well-being of our residents throughout the progression of the disease process. Personal care services such as nutritional support, mobility assistance, bathing, dressing, medication administration, housekeeping and laundry services are provided within a secured setting that offers numerous homey social areas, enclosed courtyards and a variety of stimulating activities. “There is a highly qualified nursing staff available to meet every daily need of each resident,” says Headrick. “Someone is always looking after them to ensure that medication is properly administered and that each individual is safe.”

When an individual needs to transition from an independent level to one with more assistance, communities like St. Anne’s offer a specialized transitional unit to ease the stress. “For example, if you have memory care needs you can still be in our apartments with the added care you need,” Wright says. “Our transition unit allows people without a skilled need and who don’t qualify for rehab but who are also not ready to go home, to move from the hospital to our unit.”   

Kingston at Dupont

1716 E. Dupont Road
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825
(260) 490-5111

The Towne House Retirement Community

2209 St. Joe Center Road
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825
(260) 483-3116

St. Anne Communities

1900 Randallia Drive
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805
(260) 484-5555

Parkview Physicians Group - Fort Wayne

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