How to Choose an Assisted Living Community for Your Senior Loved One

Have you noticed that your senior loved one has been needing a little more help than usual these days? Maybe he or she is having trouble navigating the stairs, or has had some falls recently. Perhaps you’ve noticed that their home is not quite as clean as it used to be, or you’ve noticed expired food in the refrigerator or the house just seems a little run-down. Or maybe your loved one has been complaining about all the work that owning a house entails, and that they’d really like to step back from that and spend their time as they wish.

This may mean that assisted living would be a good choice for your senior loved one, says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “The family home that your loved one lives in isn’t always the best choice as they get older,” she says. “In order to live safely, he or she may need to make costly renovations. But that’s not all. Home upkeep, grocery shopping and staying social are all things that are necessary for a comfortable life … and that can simply be hard to do when you live on your own.”

As an adult child or relative of a senior, you may be concerned – and rightly so – about your loved one’s safety, both now and in the future. Your loved one may have health issues that are becoming more severe, and you aren’t sure how he or she will manage if things get any worse. Fortunately, there is a solution: assisted living.

“Moving into assisted living is something to be celebrated these days,” says Andrea. “Today’s senior living communities are worlds removed from the ‘homes’ of old – in fact, many adult children of our residents joke that they wish they could move into our community. Today’s communities are built around the idea of providing support and giving residents as much independence as possible. Moving to an Assisted Living community like The Reutlinger Community allows older adults to enjoy their golden years in peace, knowing that they will always receive as much or as little care as they want and need.”

Tips for Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community

No two assisted living communities are created equal, which is why it’s important for you and your loved one to do your research and carefully weigh the options in order to find the best fit. Andrea suggests starting the process as soon as you possibly can – it’s a lot easier to make an informed choice and move before it becomes necessary. “Oftentimes, people will wait until there’s been an incident, like a fall or a health scare, to move into an assisted living community. That’s not really the best way to do things, because it causes a lot of stress, quick decisions and a ‘good enough’ solution. By giving yourself time to research options and be thoughtful, you and your loved one can choose the best solution possible and provide a good foundation for this next chapter of life.”

Make a list of needs and wants.

The first step before you begin looking for a community is to sit down and write a list of all the needs your loved one has, as well as what they want in a community. “Needs” should include all the health-related and care-related issues that should be addressed. “Wants” are things like dining options, apartment sizes and styles, community location and the like. Having these lists will help you narrow down options and make informed decisions.

Ask for advice.

Do you have friends or family members who’ve placed loved ones in assisted living? Does your loved one’s physician have any recommendations? Ask around both in-person and online to get firsthand information of what the process is like and what places others would recommend. You can also connect with your local Area Agency on Aging to gather information and look for options.

Look at cost.

The price tag is often the most important issue facing those who go into assisted living communities. The cost depends on many factors. Some places charge a community fee and a monthly rental fee, while others work on a month-by-month basis. Some communities will have an all-inclusive rate, while others do more of an add-on type of approach. You will need to take a look at your loved one’s finances and determine what is a reasonable cost for his or her lifestyle and needs.

Research care levels.

What will happen if your loved one requires more care than he or she currently needs? Are there options for higher levels of care on-campus, or would it be necessary for your loved one to move if they require memory care or skilled nursing? Progressive care is offered at some communities and not at others; there are benefits to both styles. You and your loved one should discuss what options will work best.

Take a look at the lifestyle offered.

Obviously, assistance is the biggest benefit to moving into assisted living. But another significant benefit is the social life and activities available. There are many seniors who move to assisted living not because they need the help, but because they want to be part of a community and do things. Talk with your loved one to see what opportunities they’d like to see, and choose communities that offer the lifestyle they’re looking for.

Tour each community on your list.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list to the top two or three communities, schedule on-site tours to get a feel for what life there is like and learn more information. You may wish to tour a community more than once – in fact, we recommend touring several times, at different times of the day. This will help you get a full picture of what life is like at that particular community.

Moving into an assisted living community is a big decision, but it doesn’t have to be something that’s stressful or sad. In fact, your loved one may say something we hear so often at The Reutlinger Community: “I wish I’d moved here sooner!”

For more information about how to choose an assisted living community for your loved one, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s renovated, 110,000-square-foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

What Caregivers Should Know Before Choosing Memory Care

At some point during your loved one’s journey with dementia, he or she will require around-the-clock care in order to live safely. Generally, this occurs in a Memory Care community – a facility that’s been designed specifically to meet the needs of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of cognitive issues. Even if your loved one is only in the very early stages of dementia, it’s never too early to begin thinking about these types of services.

“Many people with dementia will be cared for, at least at the beginning, by an informal caregiver,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “This could be a spouse, an adult child, a dear friend or even a hired home aide. However, as the disease becomes more advanced, a caregiver can quickly become overwhelmed and stressed, which results in a poorer quality of life for both the caregiver and potentially the individual they’re caring for. ”

One of the hardest parts about caregiving, says Andrea, is that the role becomes all-encompassing to the point of pushing aside the roles of ‘spouse’ or ‘child.’ “We talk a lot about the benefits of Memory Care in terms of how it improves safety and reduces stress, but one of the biggest benefits of Memory Care is that it gives people the ability to rekindle their relationship with their loved one,” Andrea says. “At The Reutlinger Community, we’ve seen how caregiving spouses are able to go back to being simply a husband or wife – which helps both parties tremendously in so many ways.”

Being proactive about choosing memory care for your loved one will help caregivers avoid burnout and provide the best possible assistance for the individual with dementia. “Before you choose a Memory Care option, you’ll want to put together a list of questions and get some information about the services being offered,” says Andrea. “Being informed will give you the tools you need to find the right home for both you and your loved one with dementia.”

Where should care take place?

 Memory Care services and communities come in all shapes and sizes, and also provide a range of different services. While some Memory Care communities are standalone communities that only provide care for those with dementia and memory issues, others are separate wings attached to a larger Assisted Living community.

Depending on your loved one’s current situation, says Andrea, one of these choices may be better for him or her than another. “For example, if you’re a caregiving spouse, you may want to move you and your partner into a more comprehensive community that offers Independent Living or Assisted Living in conjunction with Memory Care,” she says. This is particularly helpful if you have your own health problems and need assistance yourself, or if your loved one is in the earlier stages of dementia.

“However, if your loved one is in the later stages of dementia, and you are capable of living on your own, you may wish to move your loved one into a standalone memory care community,” she says. “It all depends on your individual needs, financial situation and also what options are available in your area.”

Will my loved one receive proper care?

 Oftentimes, caregivers feel guilty moving a loved one into memory care because they worry about him or her not getting the care they need. Andrea wishes to put caregivers’ minds at ease on this particular point.

“Memory Care communities are staffed with professional, empathetic individuals who have received knowledge and training specific to caring for individuals with cognitive issues,” she says. “Residents will be cared for by a dedicated team of staff members, who help form relationships and become familiar faces.”

Best of all, she says, there is assistance available 24/7, no matter what. “Having multiple caregivers means that help is never far away,” she says. “Plus, since the community is designed to meet the needs of those with dementia, it is incredibly safe, easy to navigate and free of hazards that might be in a family home.”

What questions should I ask?

Andrea says it’s important to search for Memory Care communities and create a list of a few top choices. Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, she suggests touring each one and taking a comprehensive list of questions with you. “By visiting the communities, you can get a feel that’s impossible to get over the phone or through pictures, and having a standard list of questions will allow you to compare one community to the other more easily,” she says.

Here are some suggested questions for your list. You will want to add or subtract questions, depending on your individual situation and what is important to you:

  • What level and types of care does the community provide?
  • What sort of training has the staff received? Is ongoing training part of their objectives?
  • What is the monthly rate for the community? What services are included in that rate? What services and options would be an additional cost?
  • What sort of floor plans are available, and how are they priced?
  • How are care plans developed, and how often are they reviewed to ensure my loved one is receiving optimal care?
  • What are your policies regarding visitors?
  • How are medical emergencies handled?
  • What sort of meals are provided, and are special dietary requirements or preferences able to be accommodated?
  • Is laundry service and housekeeping provided? How often?
  • What sort of programs are available to residents? Is there a full range of physical, mental and social activities to help them live a full, engaged life?
  • How does the community handle undesirable behaviors like aggressiveness, wandering or other dementia-related symptoms?
  • How does the community communicate with family members?
  • What is the ratio of staff to residents during the day? During the night?

The most important thing for caregivers to know, says Andrea, that moving a loved one to Memory Care is one of the most selfless and kind things you can do as a caregiver.

“I’ve spoken to many caregivers who feel like they’re ‘giving up’ or are guilty about moving a senior adult into Memory Care,” she says. “I try to make sure they know that they are actually doing the best thing possible for their loved one. Moving to a Memory Care community like The Reutlinger Community provides the best possible care in the safest environment with highly trained, caring staff members. It allows your loved one to get the care he or she needs…and gives you peace of mind and the ability to nurture your relationship with them throughout this journey.”

For more information about choosing Memory Care for your loved one, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

Why Assisted Living Is the Key to Health and Longevity for Seniors

Everyone wants to live a long, healthy life – emphasis on the healthy. As Americans naturally are becoming more and more long-lived thanks to a focus on wellness and medical advancements, the goal of remaining active and healthy in your senior years has become more and more important to today’s older adults. This thinking is also causing a seismic shift in how seniors and their loved ones consider where to live their golden years.

“The focus for so long has been keeping older adults in their homes, because yesterday’s ‘nursing homes’ were less than optimal,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “Today, however, there are so many opportunities and advantages being offered at senior living communities. People are beginning to see that Assisted Living can provide better health and longer lives for seniors who choose to call those communities home.”

And there’s actually evidence to back that up. According to research, seniors who have moved into a senior living community live healthier, on average, for seven to 10 years longer than counterparts who live in their own private homes. Andrea suggests that this is due to many factors, like reduced stress overall, opportunities to socialize, easier fitness opportunities and general peace of mind.

“Seniors who live in their own homes may have the comfort of familiar settings, but also face hazards and dangers like stairs, slippery floors and bathrooms that aren’t set up to accommodate those with mobility issues,” she says. “Senior living communities like The Reutlinger Community, on the other hand, are designed specifically to give seniors and their family members confidence and knowledge that caring assistance is never far away.”

The Advantages of Assisted Living

Designed and adaptable for changing health needs. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Assisted Living provides that ounce of prevention in many ways by taking a holistic, proactive approach to care. In fact, many seniors who move into Assisted Living may be perfectly healthy and active – they’re just planning for the future. Because Assisted Living is staffed with caregivers who are equipped to flex care services as needed, seniors can comfortably age in place in their home – without having to move.

Safety and security. Not only are Assisted Living communities set up to keep residents safe in the sense of “living in an environment that doesn’t have hazards that could cause accidents,” they also often have secured entrances and security guards available 24/7. There are also caregivers available 24/7 and call systems in rooms, so that if a resident is experiencing an emergency, summoning help is as easy as pressing a button.

Nutritious meals. As we get older, it can be harder to cook healthy, delicious meals for ourselves. Getting to the grocery store, not to mention going to the effort of cooking and cleaning up, can just seem like too much work. Also, because tastebuds and appetites diminish as we get older, eating just isn’t much fun – especially if you live by yourself. This can lead to poor meal choices and malnutrition, which in turn can lead to health issues like hypertension, a lower immune system and stress.

In Assisted Living, by contrast, meals are chef-prepared and served tableside. Not only is the food delicious and nutritious (and the senior doesn’t have to cook or clean up!), but there’s also an added social element that can be difficult to get in a private home. Residents at Assisted Living communities sit at tables with friends, which provides a lively, emotionally connected atmosphere. Even if Assisted Living residents have their own kitchen or kitchenette in their apartments, many still choose to eat meals in the dining room with their friends – because the best meals are the ones we share with others.

Transportation. Driving can become more dangerous as we age. Many seniors end up not going out or bowing out of social engagements because they don’t want to drive in the dark, don’t trust themselves behind the wheel or perhaps aren’t cognitively capable of driving safely. Fortunately, if seniors decided they no longer want to drive, an Assisted Living community is happy to take that chore over. Most Assisted Living communities will offer transportation for community events, like shopping or outings. They also can arrange transportation if a resident has a doctor’s appointment or needs to go somewhere. Even if the community has garages for the residents’ personal cars, many seniors will opt for the community transportation – greatly reducing their risk of getting in an accident on the road while still getting everywhere they need to go.

Less work and worry. Even if you’ve paid off your mortgage, there are still many expenses that go with owning a home. Utilities, insurance, property tax and maintenance can all quickly add up, depending on how old your house is. Fixes can become expensive if you hire it out – and can be dangerous if you try to do it yourself as an older adult. Assisted Living communities like The Reutlinger Community provide maintenance-free living, meaning that seniors never have to climb on a ladder to clean gutters ever again. This means less stress – and a lot more free time for you.

Socialization and opportunities for friendship. Loneliness is incredibly common among older adults, and is one of the biggest health issues facing those who live alone. Yes, health issues – because loneliness can lead to anxiety, stress, depression, hypertension, a lowered immune system and poor physical health. By contrast, socializing with people, being engaged and involved in activities we care about boost endorphins, keep our minds sharp, improve our physical health and keep us young … both in heart, in mind and body.

“Today’s seniors are demanding more out of their retirement and golden years, and today’s senior living communities are actively providing the lifestyle that enables them to achieve everything they want and desire,” says Andrea. “It also gives them choices … choices to live their life how they wish while receiving the care they need. It truly is the best of both worlds.”

For more information about the benefits of Assisted Living, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

5 Tips for Finding the Best Memory Care for a Senior Loved One

If you have a loved one with dementia, there will come a time when they need more assistance than you yourself can provide. Although this can be a hard realization to come to, it truly is the kindest thing you can do for yourself and for your loved one, says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA.

“Dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease are progressive, which means that eventually your loved one will require around-the-clock care – something that’s difficult for a family caregiver to provide,” she says. “That’s why it’s important to become educated on the types of care available and understand how to assess your loved one’s needs so you can meet their care needs and safety requirements long-term.”

Memory Care is not a one-size-fits-all solution, which is why we’ve put together this guide on the various types and levels of dementia care available. That way, you and your family will understand and know how to choose the right Memory Care option for your loved one when the time arrives.

Types of Dementia and Memory Care Available

Adult Day Care
This type of specialized Memory Care provides your loved one with dementia a structured and safe environment during the day, which allows you (as the primary caregiver) to go about your daily life such as going to work, taking a break to run errands or simply give yourself some self-care. Adult day cares are often in or near Memory Care communities (specialized senior living communities that provide assistance for individuals with memory loss), and individuals are cared for by professionally trained caregivers who understand the unique needs of those with memory issues.

Adult day care centers offer supervision, socialization opportunities, activities and more. They also offer healthy lunch and snacks (at some centers). This type of Memory Care service is perfect for caregivers who have full-time or part-time jobs and need a little extra assistance during the working day. Most centers are open during regular working hours, and some offer pick-up and drop-off services. Some centers also offer care on weekends or in the evenings.

In-home Care
In-home care providers do exactly what their name says: they provide structured care for individuals with dementia in their own homes (instead of in a specialized facility). Services can include everything from companionship and personal care to caregiving around-the-clock, housekeeping, nursing care and respite care.

In-home care often allows caregivers and those with dementia to maintain their comfort and dignity in the privacy of their own home.

  • Common kinds of care services may include: Companion services, which include socialization and supervision
  • Homemaker services, which induces meal preparation, housekeeping or shopping
  • Personal care, which includes help with the tasks of daily living (ADLs)
  • Nursing care, which includes nursing and medical care such as medication administrations, therapies and other skilled medical care

Residential Care
This type of Memory Care takes place in a communal environment so that residents may receive emergency care, medical supervision and personal care whenever it’s needed. This type of care is usually reserved for individuals who require a higher level of care than those who currently live in an in-home environment. The different types of residential care can include:

  • Assisted Living, which are communities for seniors who need a higher level of care but only on a part-time basis.
  • Continuum of Care, which is a type of senior living that’s designed to meet a senior’s needs as their health changes over the years. A resident may begin in Independent Living, and then progress through the continuum of care all the way to Skilled Nursing or Memory Care.
  • Independent Living, which are communities for individuals with a high level of functioning. People with dementia usually do not qualify for this type of residential care.
  • Nursing Home Care, which is 24-hour Skilled Medical Care provided in a specialized environment. It’s more intense than Assisted Living but not as specialized as Memory Care.
  • Memory Care, which is usually held in a standalone community or a special wing of a senior living community that has been designed to meet the specific needs of an individual with dementia.

Finding the Right Memory Care for Your Loved One

The dementia journey is personal and unique to all of us, which means that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for your loved one with Memory Care. Here are some tips for finding the right place for him or her.

  1. Ask for references. Other family members and friends may have gone through the process of helping a loved one with dementia get the assistance they need. These individuals can provide priceless information about the various Memory Care options in your area.
  2. Research. Start with a Google search, but don’t hesitate to ask your local Area Agency on Aging to find out what resources might be available to you.
  3. List your loved one’s needs. Depending on the level of your loved one’s dementia and health needs, one type of community may be better than another.
  4. Tour your options. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to different Memory Care communities and facilities, schedule tours so that you can see firsthand what life is like at different communities.
  5. Ask questions. Prepare a list of questions to ask during every Memory Care community call or visit. It’s best to come up with a standard list of questions, which will allow you to compare apples-to-apples when it’s time to make a decision.

Perhaps the best tip, says Andrea, is to ask your loved one’s physician and nearby Memory Care communities what type of services might be best for your loved one.

“Choosing the right type and level of Memory Care for your loved one is a big decision, but there are people out there who can help,” she says. “Not only are you helping to provide for your loved one’s needs, but you’re also caring for yourself and other family members. By helping your loved one receive the Memory Care they need, they’ll have the highest quality of life possible and give you back the time and space you need to nurture your relationship.”

For more information about finding the right type of Memory Care for your loved one, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high-quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any seniors needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

What Artful Living Means at The Reutlinger Community

What does it mean to live an “artful life?” Simply put, it means a life that is filled with art – the art you consume, the art you create, the art you share. It’s about appreciating and creating art for its own sake, without thought to gaining fame or fortune or anything other than leaving the world a little better than you found it.

“The arts attract us all, no matter how young or old we are,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “There is a drive in every person to create things of beauty that stem from our emotions, feelings, imagination or visions. This is something that nourishes us throughout our whole lives, helping us to be well-rounded individuals. The arts teach us to communicate, help us broaden our minds, connect us to one another and improve our quality of life in many, many ways.”

There is extensive evidence that art and artistic expression can benefit the lives of seniors in incredible ways. Throughout history, creating art has been therapeutic for both the creator of the work and those who participate in or view it. This knowledge has helped to shape the philosophies and best practices of today’s art therapies, music therapies and other forms of self-expression used to enhance lives across the world.

Next Avenue, a research-focused art blog, wrote in one of their studies that “the most compelling evidence of the value of the arts revolves around improving the lives of older adults.” For residents at The Reutlinger Community – and for all other senior individuals – there is substantial proof that participating in artistic forms like drawing, painting, dancing or writing can help to maintain health, quality of life and fulfillment for older adults.

How Does an Artful Life Benefit Seniors?

Although the therapeutic benefit of the arts has been studied extensively, the study of aging and the arts is still fairly new. Still, there are many anecdotal tales of seniors who experience better moods, become more social and have a greater sense of self-worth after participating in an art program.

“Knowing everything we do about how to age successfully, it’s no surprise that the arts and an artful life are a benefit to seniors,” says Andrea. “We’ve seen that having a purpose, participating in an activity they enjoy, being social and connecting with people helps seniors stay healthy physically, mentally and emotionally, all of which are integral to a fulfilled life.”

Don’t believe us? Here are some of the things that have been discovered about the arts and aging well:

  • Dancing helps boost motor skills and cognition.
  • Singing can improve mental health and self-esteem.
  • Participating in the arts increases one’s psychological health and social engagement.
  • Playing a musical instrument can improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of diseases like Alzheimer’s.
  • Seniors report feeling a stronger sense of identity after creating a piece of art.
  • Practicing some form of art helps individuals gain a sense of control.
  • Seniors report reduced boredom, better mental function and more happiness when they participate in an artful life.

Discovering an Artful Life at The Reutlinger Community

The Reutlinger Community’s award-winning Art Program, “Discovering the Artist Within,” offers our residents an opportunity to create art within an encouraging, inspiring atmosphere. Betty Rothaus, our full-time Artist-in-Residence, offers residents individual guidance in bringing their unique visions to life.

“In our beautiful fine arts studio, our residents are able to express themselves through a variety of mediums, including sculpting, throwing pottery, working with jewelry or textiles, painting and so much more,” says Andrea. “Residents who’ve never picked up a paintbrush before work side-by-side with experienced artists to learn new skills, express themselves and simply have fun creating.”

Within a beautiful fine arts studio, residents who have never created art before, as well as experienced artists, enjoy learning new skills and expressing themselves through drawing, painting in oil, acrylic, pastels or watercolor, sculpting/pottery in clay, collage, textiles, jewelry and/or mixed media.  Each year, The Reutlinger Community hosts a variety of exhibitions showcasing the residents’ work, which are then printed into a yearly calendar.

“Our award-winning program has been heralded as one of the most outstanding Art Programs in the country,” says Andrea. “Most importantly to us, though, is that so many of our residents have found purpose, happiness and passion through our program, providing them an outlet to let their imaginations soar.”

For more information about artful living, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.  

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s renovated, 110,000-square-foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any senior’s needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour contact us today.

FAQs Regarding Reutlinger Affiliation with Eskaton

Q. Are Jewish values, heritage and identity at risk at Reutlinger?
The agreement between Reutlinger and Eskaton was drafted with an emphasis on maintaining Reutlinger’s community culture and heritage and a focus on the continued fiscal health of the community to maintain and improve quality care. In particular, the agreement explicitly protects Reutlinger’s name and identity as a facility with a commitment to Jewish values, policies and practices. Further stipulations in the agreement preserve policies that maintain the Residents’ Assistance Fund and Holocaust Survivors; the on-site synagogue and full-time Rabbi; Kosher and non-Kosher meals; all Torahs and prayer books and Mezzuzot on doorposts. Reutlinger will be vested with extensive rights to enforce Eskaton’s fundamental commitments in the agreement and maintain the community’s Jewish identity. Eskaton has agreed to cover all legal fees in the event of any alleged breach to the agreement.

Q. Will Reutlinger relocate its facility and residents?
No relocation is planned and none is expected. Stipulations within the affiliation disallow the facility’s relocation within the first five years of the agreement and would only be contemplated thereafter in the unforeseen event of catastrophe or unlikely circumstances. In the event of such unlikely circumstances, all residents would be guaranteed comparable accommodations in the East Bay at comparable costs, including at a facility with the same Jewish values, scope of services, quality of care and commitments.

Q. How does the affiliation help Reutlinger continue its mission?
Reutlinger and Eskaton share mission values that focus on providing high quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. The affiliation will allow both organizations the ability to expand their respective missions, while protecting Reutlinger religious and cultural Jewish values unequivocally moving forward.

From a financial perspective, the proposed affiliation will provide financial support for Reutlinger to help carry out and enhance its mission with new and evolving health care technologies. Reutlinger will receive up to $5 million from Eskaton to honor all of the community’s obligations and to carry out planned physical upgrades at the facility, to the extent that Reutlinger’s own capital is insufficient to do so. Additionally, Eskaton has agreed to support Reutlinger where possible by reducing the management fee if necessary to eliminate any Reutlinger net operating margin deficit, excluding donations from management fee calculations and agreeing to return all management fees received by Reutlinger if necessary to guarantee any Reutlinger liability that impairs Reutlinger’s ability to carry out Eskaton’s fundamental commitments in the agreement and/or eliminate any Reutlinger cumulative net operating margin deficit.

Q. What will happen to the assets owned by the community?
All community assets, subject to existing community liabilities, will be maintained for the benefit of community residents. The affiliation does not involve any sale, transfer, surrender, merger or disposition of any asset owned by Reutlinger. Eskaton will manage use of all assets for Reutlinger, but Reutlinger’s assets remain dedicated to a charitable trust and must be used for the specific charitable purposes outlined in Reutlinger’s governance documents.

Q. What efforts did Reutlinger take to inform the public of the affiliation agreement with Eskaton?
Reutlinger scheduled town hall meetings with members of the Jewish community several times since signing the Notice of Intent to Affiliate with Eskaton in November of 2018. Meetings were both scheduled in advance and coordinated in response to requests from the community for additional information. Informational and website materials were drafted as soon as terms were known and completed for a variety of audiences, disclosing the nature of the affiliation, efforts by Reutlinger to preserve its mission and cultural values and the need for additional resources for Reutlinger to flourish well into the future.

Q. Was Reutlinger facing an urgent need to affiliate with an outside organization?
Efforts were made to identify a sustainable solution during the past half-decade ahead of any financial need by Reutlinger. Future needs were projected out as were revenues, and the Reutlinger Board of Directors understood its advantage in leveraging Reutlinger’s fiscal health, well-being and strong position to negotiate favorable returns from a potential partner. Reutlinger’s priorities all along have been to unreservedly preserve the community as a Jewish-based institution for retirees in the East Bay. 

Q. Did Reutlinger consider alternatives to the agreement with Eskaton?
Yes. Reutlinger entered discussions to affiliate with Eskaton only after exhausting a variety of possibilities presented by Jewish institutions. Eskaton was determined to be the right fit from both a financial and cultural perspective. Eskaton, in the affiliation, pledged substantial economic support and agreed to provide Reutlinger with strong protective rights to ensure its Jewish community values moving forward.

Q. Why isn’t TRC partnering with a Jewish organization?
TRC evaluated several Jewish organizations for strategic partnerships. Ultimately, TRC determined a partnership with these organizations was not viable. TRC’s goal for a partnership was to ensure the right fit both financially and culturally.

Q. Has Reutlinger followed all steps of the affiliation process completely and correctly?
Yes. The process followed by Reutlinger with respect to the affiliation, including submitting the affiliation for approval by the California Attorney General, is the process prescribed by law and consistent with the process customarily followed in similar transactions.

Q. What type of information did Reutlinger obtain from Eskaton to plan for long-term sustainability during due diligence?
Reutlinger leadership conducted extensive diligence of Eskaton prior to the affiliation agreement. Financially, Reutlinger used external accounting and auditing professionals to review Eskaton financial statements. Subsequently, Reutlinger vetted Five-Star survey results for Eskaton from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, interviewed members of Eskaton management and Board of Directors, toured a number of Eskaton sites and also reviewed Eskaton’s litigation history prior to the agreement.

Q. Will the Reutlinger board of directors remain as-is
No. Eskaton will become the sole governing member of TRC. The Eskaton Board of Directors will become the Reutlinger Board of Directors. In turn, the outgoing Reutlinger Board of Directors will appoint a representative to the Eskaton Board of Directors from the East Bay Jewish community to enforce commitments from Eskaton to maintain Jewish values and heritage at Reutlinger. Jordan Rose, final chairman of the Reutlinger Board of Directors, will be the first such representative on the Eskaton Board of Directors. The Eskaton Board of Directors currently has 12 members and will expand to 13 once the Reutlinger representative is appointed. The Reutlinger Community will retain its name and corporate status as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

Q. How long a term will the Eskaton board member, appointed as the Reutlinger representative, serve?
Each appointed representative will serve a maximum of nine years broken into three (3), three-year terms, barring resignation, loss of life, etc. Successor replacements will be determined by a three-to-five-person committee (Commitment Committee). The Commitment Committee will be selected first by the outgoing TRC Board. Moving forward, the existing Commitment Committee will select individuals to fill vacancies when needed.

Q. Will leadership at TRC change as the community transitions from a stand-alone to an affiliate of Eskaton?
Jay Zimmer will remain as president and CEO through the transition. An executive director will be appointed by Eskaton in succession. Zimmer will play an active role in recruitment efforts for the successor. Jordan Rose will be the first representative selected to serve on the Eskaton Board of Directors.

Q. Will there be any other changes to staff from the affiliation outside elimination of certain management positions?
All collective bargaining agreements at Reutlinger will remain in full force and effect through the affiliation. Both Reutlinger and Eskaton agreed with the affiliation to maintain current care and nursing staff at Reutlinger. Certain management positions at Reutlinger may be eliminated if redundant and replaced with Eskaton personnel. Reutlinger management personnel have already been notified of the potential changes. Moving forward, staffing may be adjusted to meet the needs of Reutlinger residents as required by applicable regulations.

Q. What exactly does Eskaton get from this agreement?
The agreement will allow Eskaton to continue to expand its footprint and provide services to a larger population of seniors in the Bay Area in addition to existing locations in Pleasanton and Burlingame.

Inquiries Regarding The Reutlinger Community’s Affiliation Plan with Eskaton

To the East Bay Jewish community,

The Reutlinger Community intends to affiliate with Eskaton, a Sacramento-based senior living nonprofit, to sustain our East Bay Jewish community, reflect its religious and cultural traditions and enhance its quality of care well into the future.

We look forward to ongoing collaboration, discussion and transparency with our residents, their families and the greater East Bay Jewish community where retired residents and those approaching retirement are searching for the best and most comfortable lifestyle options. We encourage anyone with questions or comments to reach out directly to us and have provided online resources and contact information below for that purpose.

It took more than two years of planning for a long-term and enduring solution for The Reutlinger Community. Today, at the end of an extensive and comprehensive search, we are certain we made the best possible choice.

Sincerely,

Jay Zimmer
President and Chief Executive Officer
The Reutlinger Community
JZimmer@rcjl.org
(925) 964-2063

 

RESOURCES

Link to FAQs regarding TRC’s affiliation with Eskaton:
http://www.rcjl.info/CA_Attorney_PDFs/TRC_FAQs.pdf

A copy of the affiliation agreement has been shared on our website, and is also available in print upon request from our administration office. Please visit the link below or call 925.648.2800 for additional details.
http://www.rcjl.org/written-notice-california-attorney-general/

The California Attorney General has posted a notice of the proposed transaction on its website, which is available here:
https://oag.ca.gov/charities/nonprofithosp

6 Warning Signs Your Loved One’s Memory Loss Isn’t Just Forgetfulness

Is your senior loved one starting to be … well … forgetful? Have they started misplacing items and been unable to find them? Are they starting to call you by someone else’s name, or struggling to recall the name of a new friend? Do they walk into a room and forget why they did so? We can shrug these off as senior moments or the sign of a busy brain, but sometimes memory loss can be the sign of a bigger problem.

“An occasional lapse in memory is normal and to be expected as we get older,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “Think about your own life: there are more than likely times when there are words on the tip of your tongue, or when you call your child by the dog’s name. That’s why it can be hard to know the difference between normal forgetfulness and memory loss that should be concerning.”

Andrea says that if memory problems are interfering with your loved one’s daily routines or day-to-day-tasks, or if you’re noticing them getting worse over time, it’s important to schedule a visit with their doctor to see what’s going on. “Frequent forgetfulness isn’t a normal part of aging, and indicates something’s wrong with your loved one,” she says.

Here are some warning signs that your loved one may be experiencing less-than-normal memory loss for their age:

Clue 1: Their memory loss disrupts their daily life.

Memory loss is the most common and most talked-about symptom of dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease. This can include forgetting important dates and events (like their wedding anniversary), repeating the same question over and over again or forgetting something they just did (like making dinner). A more subtle sign is relying more and more on memory aids and family members in order to accomplish normal tasks.

Clue 2: They’re having difficulty performing familiar tasks like balancing a checkbook.

Some individuals will suddenly begin to have problems in remembering how to solve problems or accomplish normal tasks, like making a favorite recipe or forgetting how to access their bank account. If your loved one is suddenly forgetting how to do something they’ve always known how to do, that’s a red flag.

Clue 3: They forget what day or time it is.

It’s possible you’ve experienced forgetting “when” it is (this is especially true if you’re wrapped up in something interesting, or if you’re on vacation). What’s uncommon, though, is forgetting what season it is or what month it is. People with serious memory loss can forget where they are in time, literally, and may be unable to know what day it is without looking at a physical calendar (and even then may have difficulty).

Clue 4: Losing or misplacing items and being unable to retrace their steps to find them again.

It’s easy to forget where you put your glasses or your car keys. What’s not normal is not knowing where to look for them, being completely unable to narrow down options of where they could be or starting to accuse other people of stealing or hiding items.

Clue 5: They can’t remember what to call familiar objects or forget common words.

Dementias like Alzheimer’s disease affect the brain in many ways, including the areas that deal with language. If your loved one is suddenly struggling with vocabulary, calling items by the wrong names (but something that could sound “close,” like “hand clock” for a watch) or literally forgetting they’re having a conversation while they’re having it, something is going on.

Clue 6: You’re worried about their memory loss – but they aren’t.

One of the biggest signs that something is wrong is if your loved one simply doesn’t see that they have a memory problem, or otherwise can’t tell that something is wrong. If you’re noticing that things are concerning, but your loved one believes everything’s fine, that’s a flashing red light that something needs to happen, quickly.

What Should You Do?

The very first step you and your loved one should take is to visit their primary physician to narrow down causes and determine what may be happening. While it’s very possible that the memory loss is due to a cognitive disease like dementia, there are many other reasons why your loved one might be experiencing memory loss.

“The thought of dementia is terrifying to so many people that they will hide signs of memory loss in the hope that it will get better or to keep others from noticing,” says Andrea. “This can end up backfiring, because there are causes of memory loss that can be reversed and cured – but your loved one won’t know unless you visit a doctor.”

Your loved one’s doctor will run some tests in the office and then, if necessary, refer your loved one to different specialists like a neurologist. They will also perform a physical and perform tests to rule out any alternate causes of the memory loss, such as:

  • Medication interaction
  • Infections (forgetfulness is a common side effect of UTIs in the elderly, especially for senior women)
  • A nutritional deficit
  • Untreated anxiety, grief or depression
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • A variety of physical disorders

Tips for Helping Your Loved One Maintain Brain Health

Even if your loved one is experiencing memory loss, there are things you can do to help them prevent further memory loss or  improve their brain health.

  • Eat a healthy diet that includes fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, lean meats, whole grains and low-fat dairy.
  • Get plenty of exercise and make sure there’s a mix of aerobic exercise as well as some strength and resistance training.
  • Engage their mind with meaningful activities, puzzles and games or help them learn a new skill.
  • Get a full night’s sleep for seniors, that’s seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
  • Remain socially active, because memory loss can be a sign of depression, which is exacerbated by becoming socially withdrawn.

No one likes to think that their loved one’s memory loss could be the sign of something more serious. However, by staying alert, looking for warning signs and staying on top of their health, you and your loved one will be better able to navigate cognitive changes in a positive and beneficial way.

For more information about determining when memory loss may be problematic, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s renovated 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any senior’s needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

New Year and a New Lifestyle That Enlivens the Spirit

What New Year’s resolutions did you make for 2020? Even if you didn’t “officially” make any promises when the ball dropped on December 31, we imagine that you’d like the new year to be filled with happiness, friends, family and a lifestyle that engages and fulfills.

“No matter how old or young we are, there’s something exciting and hopeful about the start of a new year,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “Which makes it the perfect time for new beginnings, whether that’s a small change like adjusting your diet or a large change like making the move into senior living.”

If you’re a senior who’s been thinking about how to make life even more fulfilling in 2020, Andrea suggests that the new year is an excellent time to research, reflect and perhaps even make the move to a senior living community like The Reutlinger Community.

“Senior living these days is much different than the nursing homes of the past,” she says. “Communities are focused more on wellness and inspiring lifestyles while helping residents stay as healthy, active and independent as possible. It’s not uncommon for us at The Reutlinger Community to see very healthy, ‘young’ seniors moving to our maintenance-free community to take advantage of all we have to offer … so they can live the lifestyle they want.”

How Does Senior Living Offer an Inspiring Lifestyle?

No more chores or home upkeep.
We understand that you love your family home – and it’s probably been paid off for a while (always good to not have mortgage payments). But a paid-off, beloved home still requires you to pay for things like water and electricity, property taxes, home insurance and repairs. And, of course, the responsibilities of owning a home aren’t just financial. The never-ending routine of housecleaning, cooking, laundry, yardwork, shoveling snow … it gets exhausting after a while. Doubly so if you’re an aging senior whose joints or energy levels aren’t as high as they used to be. Plus, isn’t it time for you to not have to worry about these types of chores anymore? Your golden years should be, well, golden, and who wants to spend more time doing chores than they have to?

Moving to senior living provides an elegant solution with true maintenance-free living. At a community like The Reutlinger Community, all the chores and upkeep are taken care of by a professional maintenance staff. Never again will you have to run the vacuum cleaner, rake leaves, shovel the driveway or even run a washer and dryer. All your to-dos will be taken care of, leaving you free to do all the things you want to do – but may have pushed to the side in favor of taking care of the details.

An instant social network and community.
Many seniors naturally become more isolated as they get older. This is due to a variety of things, such as friends and family moving away, difficulties getting out and about (especially if you don’t like driving at night) and the aforementioned chores that seem to take up more and more time. However, at a senior living community, residents find themselves instantly a part of a large community of individuals in the same stage of life as them. Not only that, but everything in the community is designed to make socialization easier and more fun. Dining with friends is as easy as heading to the dining room (no choosing a restaurant or having to coordinate a dinner party). Social events and activities take place all the time (and you don’t have to do the work of organizing them). You’ll find so much to do, and so many new friends to do them with.

Total peace of mind.
Living alone can be nice, but there are a lot of things to worry about, too. For example, what happens if you fall or get sick and there’s no one nearby to check in on you? What happens if you need to go away for a week or so – who will watch your home? Or what if you suddenly need more assistance and care than you currently require – will you have to move away then? Moving into a senior living community can instantly remove all those worries. You’ll have the independence and privacy that you want, but you’ll also have the benefit of 24/7 care and assistance if and when you need it. Senior living communities employ a full-time security staff, so there’s never any need to worry about your belongings or your safety.

Perhaps best of all, a senior living community provides you with a home where you can easily and safely “age in place.” If your health needs change and you end up needing more assistance, it’s usually a seamless process to receive what you need. Since communities are designed with seniors in mind, you may even be able to put off assistance for longer, since you won’t have to worry about things like stairs, non-accessible hallways and not-always-safe showers. Instead, you have peace of mind … now and in the future.

Is Moving to a Community Right for You?

There’s no right or wrong answer – it’s entirely dependent on your needs and what you’re looking for in this phase of life. Even if you don’t “need” senior living (in other words, if you’re healthy, active and independent), moving to a community can be incredibly beneficial – not to mention freeing.

If you’re wondering if 2020 is the year for you to enliven your lifestyle by moving to senior living, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Would you like to not have to worry about chores or home maintenance anymore?
  • Are you bored, lonely or simply would like more social opportunity than you currently have?
  • Would you like more time to do the things you want to do, not the things you have to do?
  • Are you worried about your health now or down the road?

If you answer any of these questions with “yes,” this might be the year for you to look into the freeing and rewarding lifestyle you can find at a senior living community like The Reutlinger Community. For more information about the benefits of senior living, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high-quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s newly renovated, 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any senior’s needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.

5 Reasons Why Caregivers Prefer Memory Care to Aging in Place

Ask any aging adult how they’d like to spend their senior years, and you won’t be surprised to learn that 9 out of 10 of them say “at home.” Overwhelmingly, seniors wish to remain in their current homes for as long as possible – for the rest of their lives, if they’re able to do so. While older adults who are dealing with “normal” issues of aging may be able to live at home with minimal difficulty, this desire becomes compounded when the senior has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia.

“When dementia presents itself and is first diagnosed, many individuals and caregivers choose to remain ‘at home’ for care, which means that the caregiver spends time at the individual’s home or the individual moves in with their familial caregiver,” says Andrea Campisi, Marketing and Admissions Director of The Reutlinger Community, a Continuing Care Retirement Community in Danville, CA. “The idea of moving to a Memory Care community is scary and can make the disease too ‘real.’ It’s easier, many think, to stay at home where it’s familiar and safe.”

It is possible for someone with a dementia such as Alzheimer’s disease to age in place in their home versus moving to a memory care community. However, there are many decisions that have to be weighed, particularly by caregivers. While a spouse or other family member may try to care for their loved one at home for as long as possible, there may come a time when it’s simply not a safe, affordable or reasonable option, says Andrea.

“It doesn’t matter how dedicated of a caregiver you are – if you’re a family caregiver, there may come a time when it’s preferable to move your loved one to a Memory Care community. And that’s totally fine,” she says. “In fact, many caregivers prefer to move their loved one into a Memory Care community because there are so many distinct benefits to the individual. While at first the caregiver may feel like they’re giving up or taking the easy way out, the truth is that many individuals blossom and thrive when they’re in a safe, comfortable community that’s designed for their needs.”

5 Reasons Why a Memory Care Community Can Be the Right Choice

  1. Consistent, around-the-clock care.
    Dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease are progressive, and over time the senior will lose the ability to reason, speak, perform simple tasks and even control their body. In the mid- to late- stages of the disease, someone with dementia will require assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, just to remain safe and secure in their living environment.

    Family caregivers who may have started the dementia journey helping out every once in a while will suddenly find themselves in a situation where caring for their loved one becomes their entire existence. This is exhausting for the caregiver, who’s balancing many other responsibilities – work, their own family and their health – and it’s also dangerous for the individual with dementia, who won’t have the attention they need because their caregiver is burning the candle at both ends.

    By contrast, a memory care community is staffed 24/7 with a professional team of caregivers who have been trained in best practices for dementia care. Residents always have someone available at any time of the day, and because this is the staff’s job, they are dedicated and focused on one thing: assisting those in their care. This provides consistent, high-quality care for individuals with dementia.

  2. Safety and security.
    As dementia progresses, a comfortable home can become hazardous to a senior. A gas stove can transform from a way to cook a meal to a dangerous tool that could potentially set the home on fire if unattended. Stairs can become treacherous and a cause for trips to the emergency room. Transforming a family home into an environment that’s safe for someone with dementia can be time-consuming and costly. Many caregivers and families may not have the resources to deal with the necessary changes.

    Memory Care communities, by contrast, have been designed specifically to meet the needs and unique challenges facing those living with dementia. Private living spaces are equipped with emergency call systems, as well as safety features like pull bars and easy-to-navigate rooms. Hallways feature soothing colors and directional cues, and – perhaps best of all – the communities are completely secured so that the individual can’t wander off. Everything has been designed to keep seniors with dementia as safe as possible and as independent as possible.

  3. Social interaction.
    Studies have shown that staying socially active and engaged in meaningful activities can help slow the progression of dementia while also providing the highest quality of life for seniors, no matter what their abilities. If the senior is living at home, it can be hard for family caregivers to provide stimulating, meaningful activities and interaction while juggling everything else that has to be done in order to care for their loved one.

    Residents at a Memory Care community benefit from a thriving, full social calendar and an entire community of people filled with like-minded individuals and caring staff. There’s something to do just about every minute of the day, and it’s all just steps away from their living areas – no driving or travel necessary. The activities and interactions are all designed to be accessible to those with dementia and are tailored to each individual’s preferences and likes.

  4. Nurturing relationships.
    One of the things family caregivers love about placing a loved one in Memory Care is the sense of relief and the ability to step away from the caregiving role…and become the spouse/child/friend that they were prior to the diagnosis of dementia. Without the strains of taking care of the day-to-day (or moment-to-moment) needs of the individual, they’re able to spend time together doing the things they want to do…not the things they have to do. This allows both the caregiver and the person with dementia to create meaningful moments and form memories to last a lifetime.
  1. Peace of mind.
    Finally, a Memory Care community provides peace of mind that can’t be replicated at home. Knowing that a loved one is surrounded around the clock with trained professionals who will treat them as individuals and care for them with respect, where your loved one will receive the assistance they need to live the independent life they deserve, and having the time back to spend your moments together as family member is a priceless gift.

For more information about dementia caregiving, or to learn more about our community, mission and values, please contact us at 925-272-0261.

Premier Senior Living, Dedicated Care

The Reutlinger Community’s mission is to provide high quality health care and social support services in a life-enhancing and stimulating environment with a commitment to Jewish values.

Offering Assisted Living, Enhanced Assisted Living, Memory Care, Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation, The Reutlinger Community provides a continuum of care that allows seniors to live a life-enhancing and stimulating environment. Located in Danville, California, The Reutlinger Community’s newly renovated, 110,000 square foot community combines the comfort and familiarity of home with seasoned senior care and skilled nursing specialists to suit any senior’s needs, allowing them to live the life they choose with freedom and security.

Because we specialize in a continuum of care, our residents never need to worry about leaving the community they call home or wonder what will happen when they need some more care. Residents and families alike can have peace of mind knowing that there are full-time licensed nurses available, along with activity coordinators, social workers, caregivers, a concierge and Rabbi who focus solely on helping each resident thrive. Even better, our services and amenities are equal to those of a state-of-the-art resort. This is the lifestyle and care that your loved one deserves.

At The Reutlinger Community, seniors have numerous opportunities to engage in award-winning programs that are designed to engage the mind, renew the spirit and provide opportunities to meet new people and learn something new. Whether residents are enjoying our art program and museum, listening to a lecture or educational program or attending spiritual programming and our wide range of activities, there’s something for each resident to love. Participate as much or as little as you like, the choice is all yours.

For more information or to schedule a personal tour, contact us today.