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Senior Living Communities and Resident Safety

Senior Living Communities and Resident Safety

When it comes to safety, how does community living measure up against private living?

While the familiar may seem safe, aging in place can become a trap of social isolation and home maintenance stress, which can result in dangerous scenarios. Senior living communities afford measures like accessible design, round-the-clock staff, amenities, and camaraderie that can actually help improve one’s safety.

“Part of helping older adults live life to the fullest is making sure that they have a safe and secure environment to live in,” said Brian Reinhold, Vice President of Risk/Safety/Compliance for Lutheran Senior Services (LSS), a nonprofit organization that provides housing, care, and support services for older adults.

Senior living communities can provide a combination of accessibility features, security measures, emergency preparedness, and caring professionals to help residents feel safe, secure, and happy.

 

How Will a Senior Living Community Help Make My Loved One Safer?

“I feel safe and secure at Meramec Bluffs,” said Mary Anne Wehrle, resident of Meramec Bluffs, an LSS Life Plan Community in Ballwin, Missouri, who is an active part of her community’s Safety Committee.

Some residents enjoy taking an active role through Safety Committees that work with LSS team members to support safety in their community. Mary Anne and members of the Meramec Bluffs Safety Committee are focusing on keeping their disaster preparedness skills on point. “We have ordered, received, and prepared supplies to establish and support ‘treat and triage’ areas at strategic points in the community,” she said.

“Other safety committees conduct mock inspections and surveys of their communities to spot things before they become a problem,” said Christina Ahrens, LSS Worker’s Compensation Specialist.

 

Designed with Accessibility in Mind

LSS communities are designed from top to bottom with accessibility, comfort, and safety for older adults in mind. Everything is considered, from the use of natural light to walk-in showers. Unlike in a private home, communities are accessible with wide doorways, ramps, and safety rails. There’s also a team of people dedicated to ensuring the community is safe. “Staff walk the community regularly to check and make sure there are never obstructions on pathways of main travel to avoid incidents. They check to make sure proper signage is in place to alert people to things like mopping,” said Christina.

 

On-Premises Security

 “From a physical standpoint, at LSS they are never truly alone,” said Brian. In addition to knowing help is just a call away, community residents also can rest easier knowing that access to communities is limited.

Knowing you can trust the team members charged with support and care in a community is vital to feeling safe. At LSS every staff member undergoes a series of background checks before employment. “If someone has been convicted of a disqualifying crime, they can’t work for us,” said Brian. “We run monthly checks to make sure we are employing staff that, to the best of our ability, are safe to work in a senior community.”

 

Licensed Professionals Available 24/7

 For residents in Assisted Living, Memory Care Assisted Living, and Long Term Care, trained professionals are available to manage each person’s unique health care needs, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. While this type of care is not a feature of Independent Living, Life Plan Community residents benefit from knowing that if such care is needed, they can access it in a different living level without ever leaving their campus. Accessing this level of support in a private home setting – locating, interviewing, vetting, scheduling, and paying independent staff – is far more challenging than relying on the expertise of trained community team members to provide care.

 

Convenience and Amenities Improve Quality of Life

Aging in private can mean a life limited by health conditions, challenges maintaining a home, and a shrinking social circle as travel becomes more difficult. Social isolation can be as detrimental to one’s health as smoking! In a senior living community, many of the burdens of home maintenance are lifted. Being surrounded by peers provides opportunities for widening  one’s social network, preventing the detrimental effects of social isolation.

Learning new things and staying active also are a must for maintaining body and brain health. With amazing amenities like fitness centers, pools, theaters, and more, staying active is easy and fun. Lifestyle Enrichment team members fill the calendar with events and outings from guest speakers to overnight trips that provide educational and recreational growth opportunities to keep brains fit. This is that perfect time in life to try all the things you always wanted to, but never had time – from painting to drumming, water volleyball to quilting.

 

Lutheran Senior Services Provides Care with Safety at the Forefront

 

Safety can mean many things: knowing your home is secure and help is nearby; living in a place that is both cozy and meets ADA requirements; preventing social isolation and keeping your brain and body fit. LSS senior living communities provide all of this and more. As our purpose statement says, we create places, services, and opportunities for people to age well with purpose and fulfillment.

To learn more about how you can live your fullest life at an LSS Life Plan community visit https://www.lssliving.org/.  Schedule a tour, request a call, and more at:

https://www.lssliving.org/contact/

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