LOADS OF ANSWERS FROM ALL OVER.
If you’ve just started the journey of discovery about senior living communities, you may need to review mountains of information before you feel ready to make a decision. We’ve aggregated the Q&A below from the rest of the website for your convenience.
If you’re well down the path and know of other useful resources that could benefit fellow travelers, please don’t hesitate to share them with us, and we’ll post them here.
CATERED LIVING FAQS
If I can rely on caregivers to help me remain in my home, why is Catered Living better?
Caregivers — family members who call and stop by, neighbors who check on you — can become especially dear, with their commitment to you a bond of trust and their presence a meaningful and rewarding connection. But consider how Creekside provides an entire community of friends, engaging activities and social interactions. That’s an end to isolation right there. And then about how all your meals and snacks are made to order in our bistro and restaurant kitchens, and our 24/7 staff are always at your disposal, should your family ever be concerned about your safety. Rather than relying on those who come by when you need something, at Creekside you can be surrounded by caring friends and people eager to be at your side. Isn’t that better?
Can my family, friends and grandchildren visit?
Always! Guests are more than welcome to enjoy recreational facilities, dining, amenities and activities with you. They can stay in your home,or in a nearby hotel (we’ll give you a list, if you ask).
Are pets allowed?
Of course! Pets are family, too! This is a pet-friendly campus, and we welcome cats, dogs, fish and birds upon approval. When you visit, ask about the pet policy and approval process, and put your mind at ease.
Will I be able to have a voice in my own community?
Certainly! We always encourage residents to be participants in our Resident Council. You can actively participate in important decisions that affect Creekside activities, outings, dining, programming and more.
How do I know when it’s time to make the move?
Some 5-10 years after retirement, we begin to think about a change of lifestyle. In the early years after retiring, many people focus on catching up on things they couldn’t do during their working years, like home maintenance, a new hobby or extended travel. But after a while, thoughts often begin to turn in a different direction. Do any of these ring a bell?
- You live alone and feel isolated from friends and family.
- You have face-to-face contact with others less than once a week.
- You’re depressed and lonely several days each month.
- You’re weary of tackling home maintenance chores and cooking.
- You’re bored most of the time.
- You’re frightened at night and feel vulnerable in your own home.
- You live surround by younger people who don’t share your interests.
HEALTH SERVICES FAQ
How can I tell if my loved one belongs in Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing?
It’s always wise to start with a physician’s exam. After assessments of medical needs and ADLs (activities of daily living) abilities, our professional team is better able to advise you, as well as provide information, answer questions, and help you determine the best initial program and placement for your resident.
How active and independent are Assisted Living residents?
Very! Many Assisted Living residents are quite independent but simply need assistance with a daily task or 2 (or more), typically ranging from taking medications to bathing, dressing and/or help with meals, housekeeping, transportation, and other everyday activities. A trained, licensed nurse and certified nurse aides are available 24/7 to provide custom-tailored support to help your loved one preserve their active lifestyle.
What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia?
Dementia is the loss of cognitive ability (such as remembering and reasoning) severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. Dementia isn’t a disease but a symptom of disease, notably Alzheimer’s. When caused by drugs, alcohol, depression, or hormone or vitamin imbalances, dementia may be partially or fully reversible. When caused by disease or by certain injuries, dementia is irreversible. Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that affects the parts of the brain controlling memory, language and thought itself. Over age 65, 1 American in 8 has Alzheimer’s.
Who provides Skilled Nursing at Creekside?
Our licensed medical professionals include RNs (registered nurses), LPNs (licensed professional nurses), certified nurse aides and certified medication aides. Residents who require intensive therapies to manage well-being and health have custom therapy programs that help to preserve their dignity and encourage maximum social interaction.
Who will be involved in my Rehabilitation?
Short-term Rehabilitation is for those who need greater care while recovering from a hospital stay, and those recovering from illness, injury, surgery or stroke. Your team will include a doctor, nurse, social worker and dietician, plus the therapists who’ll actually provide your care, guide your rehab, and work in partnership with you and your family.
Assisted Living FAQ
Do Assisted Living apartments come furnished?
No. They include a kitchenette, private bath and walk-in shower with built-in safety features, and a 24/7 emergency response system. Bring treasured furniture and belongings or start fresh with all-new pieces to be completely comfortable. You’re free to furnish and decorate any way you wish.
Are there activities to fill the days?
Absolutely! Life-enriching amenities and services abound throughout the community, plus each day provides opportunities for new friendships through activities, socials and entertainment.
Can I get “out and about”?
Yes! For physician visits and other needs, we offer transportation services. In addition, there are frequent opportunities for dining, group shopping and entertainment excursions to all kinds of popular venues off campus.
Who pays for Assisted Living?
Care is usually paid for by the resident but can be partially offset by veterans’ benefits and/or long-term insurance, depending on the policy.
What if my loved one needs more help than Assisted Living can provide?
In addition to Assisted Living, we offer care for residents in Memory Support, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation.
MEMORY CARE FAQ
Is Memory Support really a whole lot different from Assisted Living?
Yes. It’s quite different, for several reasons and in several ways. The Memory Support staff are specially trained dementia care professionals who work together with each resident and their family to create structure, familiar surroundings and consistent daily schedules. The Memory Support environment must be completely secure and uniquely safe, yet one that stimulates response, promotes purpose and celebrates accomplishments. From dining to activities to staff training, care provided at Creekside is designed to meet the needs of each resident with compassion and highly specialized care, recognizing that memory loss — whether from Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia — affects not just the resident, but their family, too.
What is the difference between dementia and Alzheimer’s disease?
Dementia is the loss of cognitive functions (thinking, reasoning, the ability to remember) that are severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. Dementia itself isn’t a disease, though it often accompanies diseases like Alzheimer’s. Dementia is irreversible when caused by disease or certain injuries. It may be partially or fully reversible when caused by drugs, alcohol, depression, or imbalances in substances such as hormones or vitamins. In contrast, Alzheimer’s is a degenerative disease that affects parts of the brain that control thought, memory and language. It affects women more than men and is responsible for 60%-80% of dementia.
How is staffing Memory Support different?
It may seem odd, but the compassionate staff member who provides Memory Support services is gifted with a certain knack. Carefully selected and trained, each Memory Support staff member is, of course, highly person-centered, observant and focused — but beyond that, we look for a warm-hearted temperament, together with exceptional patience, gentleness, and a passion for consistently providing dignified and respectful care.
Skilled Nursing FAQ
What are Long- and Short-term Skilled Nursing? What’s the difference?
Skilled Nursing includes a host of medical professionals and therapists delivering a resident-specific 24/7 program of health services. Long-term Skilled Nursing is for the treatment of acute illness. When a senior’s medical needs can’t be met at home or in outpatient care, Long-term Skilled Nursing is the practical financial solution; in contrast, Short-term Skilled Nursing (aka Rehabilitation) is a specialized subset of Skilled Nursing, and while it stands on its own, it’s often located within — or adjacent to — a Skilled Nursing residence.
How do I know if my loved one needs Skilled Nursing — and if so, what kind?
Long-term Skilled Nursing can be more practical financially when a senior can’t receive necessary care at home. Short-term Skilled Nursing most often occurs after a hospital stay, for instance for surgery, or if a resident needs IV antibiotic therapy, or to transition from intense hospital care to a slightly lower level of nursing care. In these cases, it’s common for residents to eventually transition to Creekside Assisted Living.
What staff members are on Creekside’s Skilled Nursing staff?
Staff members include RNs (registered nurses), nurse practitioners, a full-time Life Enrichment coordinator, a consultant dietician and a variety of certified specialists. We have a comprehensive rehabilitation team that includes occupational, physical and speech therapists. Each Long-term Skilled Nursing resident receives a full-time personalized program provided on site through The Heights Health Care, our 24/7 licensed care center.
Who pays for Skilled Nursing?
Skilled Nursing is charged by the day, depending on the care provided and room selected. Services are usually paid for by one or a combination of Medicare, Medicaid, supplementary insurance(s), veterans benefits and long-term insurance (depending on the policy).
What should I look for in a Rehab center?
Put these 4 criteria on your short list:
- Care. Centers offer varying levels of care; some focus on long-term care while others specialize in post-op care. What do you need most?
- Licensure. Is the center licensed and certified for the specialty you need? If not, end of story.
- Staff. Don’t hesitate to ask about the training and qualifications of the staff. Visit the center and see how therapists interact with residents to quickly get a sense of whether their style (laid-back or by-the-book) might match your own.
- Amenities. Every center is different. Ask if the online list of amenities is up to date. When you visit, check for residence renovations and technology upgrades. How comfortable are you? Is this the right place?
How do I know if my loved one might need Rehabilitation?
If a resident needs IV antibiotic therapy, has had surgery or for any other reason is coming from the hospital, a short-term stay in Rehab is an appropriate and safe transition to a slightly lower level of nursing care. In these cases, residents often successfully transition to a Creekside Assisted Living apartment.
How often does a resident receive Rehab therapy?
Based on the attending physician’s certification, each treatment plan is individualized to address a specific need for Rehab. Following admission, the therapy team meets to review the treatment plan and recommend an appropriate schedule. All therapists will work closely with the most important person on the team: you.
How are PT (physical therapy) and OT (occupational therapy) different?
They both help restore mobility and strength, but PT focuses on the reacquisition of muscles, joints, limbs and ultimately mobility. In contrast, OT focuses on adapting to the social and physical environment through retraining for tasks (e.g., dressing, bathing, eating), activities for memory and cognition, and exercises to reduce the effects of arthritis or other conditions.
What can I expect from ST (speech therapy)?
In addition to communication issues such as relearning to speak following a head injury, our skilled speech and language pathologists address swallowing dysfunction, a major concern that can emerge with aging. Treatment plans are designed to reflect the resident’s specific language abilities, give precise alternate communication strategies and, when appropriate, even provide diet recommendations.
Who pays for Rehab?
Often, the answer is a combination of private insurance, Medicare and Medicaid, with any balance becoming the resident’s responsibility. Insurance options for long-term and short-term care can be confusing. It’s important to review your Rehab plan carefully to determine what your private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid will cover, and what portion you’ll be billed for. If you’re having trouble navigating your plan and coverages, Creekside case managers are here to help.
True or False: Residents in Rehab are unable to live independently.
False. In general, the purpose of Creekside Rehab is to help residents get back to full functioning after a medical procedure, stroke, heart attack or other disabling condition. In diametric opposition, a nursing home exists to provide care for people who can’t care for themselves.
The food here is awesome! What’s your secret?
Our executive director, James Logan, spent many years working in the food service industry and has significantly raised the bar in terms of our food quality, variety and appetizing presentation. Good nutrition matters, too. Our on-site dietician works together with our talented chefs to create menus that combine good nutrition with mouthwatering appeal to consistently exceed expectations — and delight our diners.
Rehab centers are pretty much all alike, right?
Wrong. Research matters, and your work will pay off. Be sure the center you choose provides exactly the Skilled Nursing and Rehab you need, and that it also has a solid reputation for high-quality care. Ask friends and co-workers about their experiences. Creekside has provided care to Huntsville-area residents for more than 30 years, and we take pride in delivering excellent compassionate care to our community.