Posted on March 25, 2021 by Ajla Bedzetovic
Diane worried about leaving the hospital. She’d been admitted, again, for losing consciousness due to a health issue that caused her blood oxygen level to drop.
“It’s scary to wake up on the floor and not realize what happened,” she said. “Since I live alone, my family and I decided I should recuperate at Atria to make sure the new treatment plan from my doctor works. If not, somebody will be there to help.”
Diane is staying at an Atria community while she recuperates. Short-term stays offer older people like her an excellent way to receive the care and support they need while recovering from an illness or surgery. Short-term stay guests enjoy a furnished, private apartment plus all the same services, amenities and social opportunities available to Atria residents.
A short-term stay is also a great way to see what senior living is like.
A better outcome
When an older person is discharged from a hospital or rehabilitation facility, their recovery depends largely on following doctors’ orders. Are they taking medications properly? Adhering to their new diet? Keeping follow-up appointments?
For people who live alone, no longer drive and may possibly be dealing with a number of chronic health conditions, compliance is often a struggle. As a result, their recovery can suffer and they risk a setback, which could lead to another hospital or rehab stay.
“A lot of short-term stay guests come to Atria due to health issues,” said Karen Devaney, Atria’s National Director of Care Management.
“Short stays offer a way for people to recover with trained staff available around the clock to make sure they’re doing everything they need to do,” Devaney added. “We also provide their meals, housekeeping, drive them to appointments and offer opportunities to connect with others.
“Short-term stay guests go through the same initial care assessment as residents before move-in. The care coordination they receive is also the same.”
So, instead of juggling instructions from numerous healthcare providers, a short-term stay guest can focus on recovering while Atria manages the rest. Care coordination also makes sure everyone involved in a person’s well-being is on the same page – from doctors, nurses and physical therapists to caregivers and family members.
A quick solution
A short-term stay often comes to the rescue for families facing a sudden or unexpected situation. An older family member may be discharged from the hospital or rehab sooner than anticipated and needs a place to recover. Families may discover an older relative’s living environment is no longer safe.
“Our door is always open,” stated Pamela Filby, Atria’s Vice President of Sales. “When a person needs to move quickly, a short-term stay provides a furnished apartment on short notice, with support available around the clock.”
Knowing their older relative is safe and cared for gives family members time to more thoughtfully explore their options.
A welcome change
When it comes to taking a break, short-term stays go both ways.
Caregivers occasionally need time off to rest and recharge. Maybe they’re planning a vacation with their spouse and children and need to make arrangements for Mom. Since short-term stay guests enjoy the same services, dining options, amenities and social opportunities as residents, the break can be a welcome change for her, too.
On the other hand, perhaps an older family member would like to enjoy a long visit with relatives in another state but doesn’t want to stay in a hotel or the family’s home.
“We have regulars,” said Filby. “We jokingly call them ‘frequent fliers.’ It’s a nice way for them to get to know the community.
“We even have couples who book short-term stays at communities in Florida, just to get away and have everything handled for them.”
A toe in the water
“Sometimes a family is reluctant to make a move and sell the home, even if they’ve started to realize their parent needs more care,” Filby explained. “We suggest families try a temporary stay while sorting things out.”
For active older adults who don’t need daily support but are ready to downsize and let go of the cooking, cleaning and home maintenance, a short-term stay is an ideal way to try out senior living. After a short-term stay, many realize how much more fulfilling their lives can be when surrounded by daily opportunities to pursue new interests and hobbies in a community of friendly neighbors.
“I hope more families take advantage of short-term stays because the benefits can be tremendous,” said Filby.