Easing the Transition to a Higher Level of Care

Easing the Transition to a Higher Level of Care

As an executive director, there are many ways I work with my team to counsel residents and their families as they transition from independent living to assisted living.

Helping residents and families understand the transition from independent living to assisted living can be a challenging but rewarding experience. At Atria, we work closely with residents and families and discuss all of the care services and amenities available at our community. I’ve discovered what comforts residents most when facing physical or cognitive decline is helping them understand how our community—combined with the personalized support provided by our care staff—can enhance their lifestyle, allowing them to maintain their independence. Too often, assisted living is viewed as a sign of dependency rather than receiving professional support to improve health, safety, and well-being.

To ease the transition to assisted living, we use a team approach. Each resident receives a thorough evaluation of their physical, emotional, and functional needs from a licensed nurse prior to move-in, 30 days after move-in, and every 90 days thereafter. Additional evaluations are performed as needed, based on caregiver recommendations or a perceived change in condition. Residents, family, physicians, and staff discreetly discuss changes in physical or cognitive health that are observed over time. Having these conversations during the initial inquiry, and through each evaluation, helps establish a baseline and also provides the opportunity to discuss future needs and expectations.

Frequent communication and progress updates to both our residents and their families are critical to demonstrate the value of the care services we provide. Following those updates, we’re able to offer flexible, personalized care that’s scheduled at our residents’ convenience and with their preferences in mind. Recognizing when care needs change, and offering just the right type and amount of care at the right time, is the best way we can show our genuine concern for their well-being.

by Janis Knorr, CDAL
Executive Director, Atria Darien
Atria Senior Living