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How to Determine the Right Level of Care

Elderly woman smiling up at a caregiver while receiving assisted care

Informed Decision-Making 

In the past, there were not many options available for senior living aside from nursing homes. It’s a relief to know that nowadays, there are different levels of excellent care available in less clinical environments. 

There are far more choices available for the older adults in our lives. The variety of options can seem overwhelming or confusing, but thankfully, support and information are readily available. 

Choosing the correct level of care for ourselves and our loved ones can be a tremendous step. It’s helpful to plan and have a good understanding of care needs before beginning the process.

If you are unsure of the level of care required, it can be beneficial to arrange for a senior needs assessment to help you decide. Having an idea of the required care needs will help significantly with your decision-making! 

Main Types of Care 

At The Villages of Murfreesboro, we offer three main levels of care for our residents: 

  • Independent Living 
  • Assisted Living 
  • Memory Care 

Independent Living 

Independent living is for residents with a low level of care requirements. Different facilities may have different definitions of independence, but at The Villages of Murfreesboro, you are an excellent fit for independent living if you: 

  • Want to maintain independence, while still enjoying the benefits of a community with older adults in a similar stage of life. 
  • Prefer a more “hands-off” form of care. 
  • Like to participate in wellness options, activities, socializing, and community events on your terms and schedule. 
  • Can bathe, dress, move (with or without assistive devices), toilet, eat and take medications with minimal or no assistance. 
  • Can act independently in an emergency situation. 

Independent living residents have meals and housekeeping available in their suites, as well as access to all our incredible amenities, third-party medical services, our in-house pharmacy, and our nurse practitioner. 

Assisted Living 

Sometimes we need a little more support in our everyday lives. Assisted living is for our residents who require a higher level of care, and who made need assistance navigating regular daily activities, such as: 

  • Taking medications 
  • Getting dressed
  • Bathing 
  • Cooking 

There are higher and lower levels of assisted living care. 

You may require a lower level of assisted care if you: 

  • Can respond in an emergency 
  • Can walk or move independently (Slowly and carefully is a-okay!) 
  • Have some independence with taking medication
  • Do not require complex medical monitoring 

Residents requiring higher levels of assisted care may need extra help with: 

  • Responding in an emergency
  • Moving from one area to another 
  • Bathing, dressing, and toileting 
  • Successfully managing the day 
  • Monitoring more complex medical conditions 

Our assisted living residents benefit from personalized care, have access to scheduled meals, activities, and full use of all amenities The Villages of Murfreesboro has to offer. 

A senior woman doing a puzzle to help maintain and improve cognitive functions

Memory Care 

Many people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia can thrive in assisted living in the early stages of the disease. Still, there may be a point when your loved one requires additional care and attention.

A memory care facility can provide more structure and round-the-clock care. Memory care is a safe place for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or advanced dementia. Here are a few signs that your loved one may benefit from memory care: 

  • Your loved one is becoming unsafe in their current living situation.
  • Your loved one’s health is at risk. 
  • Your loved one’s needs are beyond the capabilities of their present caregiver. 
  • Your loved one requires more structure and social interaction.

Residents in memory care are provided with their own activities and routines to help maintain and improve cognitive functions. Activities can include: 

  • Music: Listening to music can help to enhance memory, lower stress, and improve cognitive skills. 
  • Puzzles and activities: It’s vital to have physical and mental stimulation tailored to every resident’s abilities.
  • Arts & Crafts: Having a creative outlet is essential, no matter the level of skill or cognitive ability. 
  • Much, much more: Life-enriching daily activities are a vital part of building and maintaining cognitive function.

At The Villages of Murfreesboro, we’ve designed The Maud Ferguson Memory Care neighborhood as a safe, comfortable and engaging environment for our residents with more unique care needs. 

A Supportive Team of Experts 

It can take time to sit back and assess your or your loved one’s needs and determine the level of care required to ensure the best quality of life. Make sure to have the right conversations to understand the wants and needs of everyone involved. 

If you’ve read through this information and still feel unsure about the right level of care for you or your family member, contact our team at The Villages of Murfreesboro. We are truly committed to our residents and their families, and can help you determine the next steps in your journey.  

Determining the right level of care can be daunting, but we’re here to help. We want to ensure that everyone experiences the right balance of care, living well, and enjoying life!

How Much Exercise Do Seniors Need?

Smiling senior lady exercising with dumbbells to live a healthy, active lifestyle

Physical exercise and wellness are important aspects of staying healthy for everyone – including seniors. If you are 65+, it’s essential to make exercise a part of your weekly routine. Ensuring you’re staying active can have a drastic effect on your mental health and psychological well-being, while helping to prevent future health problems

But how do you know how much exercise you need? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about how often you should exercise, what types of exercise you should do and how to stay safe while exercising. 

How Often Should Seniors Exercise? 

The centres for disease control & prevention (CDC) recommends that seniors who are generally fit and have no limiting health conditions partake in: 

Types of Physical Activity for Seniors 

There are four types of exercise that are important to work into your routine: endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility. Including various activities in your workouts can help reduce boredom and lower your risk of injury. 

Endurance

Endurance or stamina activities increase your breathing and heart rate. These types of activities can increase your energy levels, help you sleep better, and improve your overall health. Examples of endurance exercise include:

  • Brisk walking, jogging or running
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Climbing stairs

Strength

Strength training includes doing exercises that strengthen your muscles. Strength training has many benefits. Strength training can:

Examples of strength training exercises include:

Group of seniors working on their one-legged balance

Balance

Balance training focuses on strengthening the muscles that help keep you upright. These kinds of exercises can improve your stability and help prevent falls. Examples of balance exercises include:

  • Standing on one leg 
  • Standing up and sitting down in a chair without using your hands
  • Walking while doing knee lifts 
  • Doing certain types of yoga or tai chi 

Flexibility

Flexibility exercises stretch your muscles which helps keep you limber and maintain your ability for movement. Examples of flexibility exercises include:

  • Stretching
  • Doing certain types of yoga

Safety tips 

Physical activity can help seniors stay in physical and mental shape, but in order to reap the benefits, it is crucial to make safety a top priority. There are many things you can do to prevent harming yourself while working out, including:

  • Staying hydrated before, during and after you exercise
  • Starting slow and avoiding pushing yourself too hard 
  • Exercising with a friend or family member
  • Wearing proper workout clothing and well-fitting shoes
  • Paying attention to your body and avoid or stop exercising if you feel unwell

Risks & Considerations   

How Much Exercise is Too Much?

Exercising too much can negatively affect your health. The amount of physical activity you need depends on your current physical condition, individual health risks, and body composition. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, you may be over-exercising:

  • You injure easily
  • You feel exhausted instead of energized
  • You’re sore for days at a time

Talk With Your Doctor 

Before beginning any new exercise program, you should check in with your doctor. Your doctor can help you exercise beneficially. If you are concerned about starting a new exercise program, you can ask your doctor the following questions:

  • Is it safe for me to exercise?
  • How do I get started?
  • Are there any exercises or activities I should avoid?
  • Is my preventive care up to date?
  • How does my health condition affect my ability to exercise?
  • Which exercises will help me the most?
  • I watch my diet and am not overweight. Do I need to exercise? 

The Takeaway

Exercising is an integral part of maintaining your overall health. Incorporating a range of endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility exercises has many benefits and can lead to a more healthy and fulfilled life. 

If you are concerned about your health or are curious about implementing a weekly exercise program, talk to your doctor or contact us today!