Is it the Right Time to Consider Senior Living? 

By StoryStudio June 16, 2020 11:08 AM - Houston Chronicle

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oving to the right place at the right time for senior care can be a life-saver – in more ways than one. Retirement communities can help seniors stay active, healthy and independent longer. Plus, the many options for social interaction alleviates isolation, anxiety and depression.

At Treemont Retirement Community, residents gain peace of mind – with affordable, home-style living, three meals a day, housekeeping, transportation and a variety of planned activities.

Staff members are available around the clock, director of marketing and admissions Kelli Walleck LeLacheur explained. At the same time, residents can relax knowing that there are no dishes to wash, meals to cook, bath to scrub or grass to mow.

“In fact, a lot of our residents tell us that they wished they had come here years ago,” Kelli said.

Usually, however, families often wait until there is a what she calls a “cliff event,” a major medical issue that forces them into care, like a heart attack, a stroke, a new diagnosis or a major injury.Kelli quote 1_senior living houston

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As you start exploring senior living options it’s best to identify your key objective(s) and move while you or a loved one are healthy and can enjoy the many amenities and benefits that retirement living offers. This might be the opportunity to meet new friends, have more time for hobbies and leisure activities, or simply enjoy the peace of mind of living in a more supportive environment.

The following indicators can help determine if it’s the right time for you or a loved one to consider senior care:

  • You’re facing a health setback. Whether a fall or stroke, a new diabetes diagnosis or a chronic heart problem, senior care can offer a solution. “It’s like having 10 extra daughters around to keep an eye on your loved one,” says Kelli. Many like the idea that there are also extra care options available such as medication management should mom or dad need a bit more support down the road.
  • Fear is curtailing individual freedom. Perhaps a senior becomes scared of falling or telling family members about other underlying issues. They might worry about misplacing their belongings or driving to the store seems treacherous. At Treemont, there is always someone to call. Residents enjoy safety checks, emergency pull cords, inside corridors, an overnight security guard and home health care options on-site.
  • Feeling lonely has become the new norm. Seniors can feel isolated, especially when they are no longer driving, Kelli explained. At Treemont, residents don’t have to go far to enjoy social interaction and specially planned events. “Most people end up meeting new friends here,” she said. “We even have a few couples who met and married here.”
  • Doing chores has become a burden. Taking care of a home and yard, or even cleaning an apartment, can become overwhelming as you age. Unpaid bills can pile up, simply because it is difficult to manage finances. Preparing meals each day can feel arduous – or even going grocery shopping becomes too much of a task. At Tremont, necessary chores are taken care of – leaving residents with more time for hobbies and friends. Maintenance is on call to even hang a painting or change light bulbs. Meals are provided by professional chefs. Residents can throw away their lists of daily chores, housekeeping, and grocery shopping.assisted living houston residents IMG_0062
  • The social calendar is empty. Staying home and watching TV is not a social activity, Kelli said. Treemont offers about 250 events a month. When it’s not going to the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta or Mother’s Day Social, residents are invited to take virtual trips to other countries, to attend a lively group debate after watching a TED Talk together or headed on a journey to Galveston for some fun in the sun. The schedule includes classes, clubs and activities. Seniors enjoy the painting parties, bridge club, creative writing group, sewing club and weekly happy hours complete with live music. Going to a meal or heading to an exercise class also often becomes a social outing. Treemont also has regular transportation to events and stores, as well as a regular lunch bunch, which Kelli often joins. “We just hop on the Treemont bus and go down the road,” she said. “It’s a really nice outing.”

Treemont provides residents with options, Kelli said. Resident counselors are available to discuss each choice to help seniors discover what they prefer.

Treemont offers 300 independent living apartments for those 55+, as well as assisted living,  short-term rehabilitation, and home health care on premise. Senior Allegiance Home Care offers extra care options to residents in their apartment that helps them retain their independence. Senior Allegiance also offers rehab and nursing care paid for by Medicare. There’s no one-size-fits-all, Kelli explained. And what works today can later be adjusted to meet future needs.

“We have a slew of senior care on campus,” Kelli said. “We can help people whenever they are ready to retire – as well as when they need a higher level of care.”

Kelli discusses senior care options in depth on the “Ask the Experts” Senior Living Info Series on KSEV 700 AM. The seven episodes cover covering topics such as:

      • When is it time to consider senior care?
      • What are the benefits of independent living?
      • How do I navigate rehabilitation after a hospital stay?
      • What are my payment options for senior care?

        Play podcast_senior livng houston-1

Once families decide on senior care, there are a number of ways to support loved ones as they make the transition, Kelli explained.

“Change is always scary,” she said. “Seniors are worried about moving out of the home they’ve built for decades.”Kelli-2

Adult kids also experience guilt and anxiety, wondering if they made their decision too quickly or waited too long. “It’s an adjustment on both sides,” Kelli said.

She reminds families that their loved ones can actually gain independence at the right senior residence. For instance, since Treemont residents have support services on site, they don’t have to ask family members for help with home repairs, shopping or visits to the doctor.

“It gives kids a chance to regain that parent-child relationship, instead of being caregiver and patient,” Kelli said. “It’s easy to lose when you’re taking care of someone – and this can give you your relationship back.”

Residents often appreciate the value of living at Treemont beats the cost of being at home. Rental Pricing includes rent, utilities, housekeeping, three meals each day and entertainment. There are no “buy-in” fees or extra expenditures. Staying at home, on the other hand, comes with taxes, insurance, utilities, home repairs and lawn care, not to mention the cost of a car upkeep.

Residents can surround themselves with personal belongings. Kelli noted that there are companies that are pros at downsizing and organizing. But there’s also plenty of space for as much of home as possible, including photos, books, art and furniture. “They don’t have to give up their homes to come here,” she added.

Adult children can also help staff by engaging in honest conversation about their parents’ needs. “It’s best for us to know so we can better guide or help families,” Kelli said.

Treemont was the first Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in Houston, with a proven track record of providing the best in senior care. “There’s a lot to be said about our longevity,” Kelli said. “Being the original CCRC in the city makes us stand out.”

Even staff members have stayed for decades. “People whose grandparents were here return with their parents,” Kelli said. “Our families are really happy to be here.”

In addition to a long tradition of health care for seniors, Treemont also adopts new best practices and seeks innovative solutions.

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Top 10 Reasons for Seniors to Make a Move

Treemont is located at 2501 Westerland the Memorial area. There are walk-in tours for independent living and virtual tours available for nursing/rehabitation/assisted living. Call 281-957-1299 for independent living and 713-783-4100 for nursing/rehab or visit to find out more. Kelli can be reached at 713.816.2033. To download a PDF of this story, click here.

                                                                                                                                 Click below for Ask the Experts Podcasts on Assisted Living  

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