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.