Garden Club - The Selfhelp Home

8 Things to Know About Assisted Living

Assisted living communities are residential settings for seniors who require personalized care and extra support for daily activities. Retirement communities like The Selfhelp Home (often called retirement homes or nursing homes) are perfect for aging adults who require companionship while living independently with some support.

Assisted living offers safe, comfortable housing for seniors to live in their own private space while enjoying services like housekeeping, medication management, meals, and laundry. Retirement communities also offer social engagement programs and enriching activities to encourage an active, fulfilling lifestyle for residents.

Whether you’re searching for assisted living services for your parents, grandparent, or loved one, it’s important to do the research first. In addition to reading testimonials, there is more to consider. Has the facility won any awards for their high-quality level of care? Does their staff undergo special training for conditions like dementia? To help you choose the best home for your loved ones, here are 8 things you need to know about senior living communities.

8 Things to Know About Assisted Living at Selfhelp

1. Move-In Process: Lifestyle changes are tough and it can be difficult to adjust to new living conditions, especially for the elderly. It is important to find out how the new residents are welcomed in the community. You can inquire about what to expect in the first few days and weeks. Are there any special activities held to welcome the new residents and make them feel at home? Is there a community newsletter to introduce them? What support systems are in place to make this big life change as smooth as possible?

2. Staff Training and Expertise: When choosing the best senior living community, look for well-trained, compassionate staff. The staff and personal aides can make all the difference in how your loved ones adjust to their new home. You can ask about the training and certifications of the assisted living team, as well as the rest of the building. Also inquire about their practices, staff logevity, training, background checks, and evaluations.

We can assure you The Selfhelp Home only employs highly qualified, caring, and experienced staff to provide excellent care for our residents and make them feel safe. The personal aides assigned to residents are not only kind and patient but highly trained and are capable of assisting residents with a range of needs from medical to non-medical concerns, as well as companionship. Selfhelp staff are required to participate in an in- depth dementia training program that offers to help sharpen skills throughout the year. 

Field Trips - The Selfhelp Home

3. Level of Care Available for Residents: Assisted living communities will most likely offer various levels of care and will be determined by a nurse assessment. Each resident is unique with a unique set of needs that may change from time to time. At Selfhelp, residents are offered 4 levels of care that range from very basic assistance with medication management for example, to providing a helping hand with many ADL’s. As care needs progress some communities offer a full continuum of care such as skilled nursing or short-term rehab when needed. At The Selfhelp Home, residents can move into our skilled nursing unit when their care needs exceed what is offered in assisted living. At our home, making the transition from Assisted Living to Skilled Nursing is a smooth and less stressful process for the resident and their family because they remain at Selfhelp, avoiding the need to move to another community.

At Selfhelp, the assisted living team is managed by flexible, trained, kind and experienced individuals who encourage residents to remain active and involved in our community. At Selfhelp, the assisted living team is managed by flexible, trained, kind and experienced individuals who encourage residents to remain active and involved in our community. We take a proactive and personalized approach to addressing resident healthcare needs by maintaining ongoing communication with each resident’s physician and their families. This commitment to our residents has earned us a solid reputation for quality care throughout the Chicagoland area. Our assisted living team is the first in the nation to be accredited by the Joint Commission for Assisted Living in 2021. Our nurses and personal aides are available 24/7 to meet the needs of our residents. Learn more about the medical professionals who are available onsite, including our wound care physician.

4. Senior Living Options: Next you’ll want to know what the apartments look like. When choosing a retirement home, we suggest taking a tour (either in-person or virtual) to see where your loved one would be living. Are the apartments modern? When were they last renovated? Selfhelp offers senior living options that include one-bedroom or studio apartments. Two very important features that we feel are essential to senior living communities are 1. Adequate lighting and 2. Curbless showers. These apartments feature fully-equipped kitchens, Wifi, storage and closet space, emergency notification systems, and everything else your loved one needs to feel comfortable and safe.

Maintenance and repairs are managed regularly by our Environmental Services team, making living hassle-free! Our assisted-living services come to you in your apartment, so there is no need to move to a separate unit. As a CCRC, our independent and assisted-living communities are integrated, allowing residents to age in place as their needs change, without a stressful move.

5. Calendar of Activities: Community activities and engagement programs are important for keeping seniors active and social. Make sure you ask about the kind of activities available on a daily basis. For example, Selfhelp’s activity calendar includes a generous mix of sociable, physically active, spiritual activities, along with intellectually engaging ones. We make sure to offer a variety of hobbies, games, and clubs for every interest. Our activities are designed to make sure our residents experience a fulfilling life and keep their minds active. Popular activities at our home include live concerts every week, art classes, music therapy, book club, morning exercise, movie reviews, news briefs, garden club, and much more!

8 Things to Know About Assisted Living - Selfhelp Home
8 Things to Know About Assisted Living - Selfhelp Home

6. The Family’s Role: While the staff will be assisting the residents, families also have a major role to play. Of course senior living communities allow visits, but do they offer volunteering and participation in social activities? Are families invited to any social events or celebrations on the calendar? Communication is also vital to ensure the best outcome for your loved one. Does the assisted living team stay in contact with families to keep in touch about the health and well-being of their loved one? What voice do the families have in how the community is run? The answers to these questions may prove critical in your choice of facility. The Selfhelp Home prides itself in maintaining ongoing communication with every resident and their family.

7. Services and Amenities Available: Senior living facilities have services available on-site and these are included in the packages you choose. Most communities  offer meal service, laundry, housekeeping, medical facilities, medication management, beauty salon and spa, gyms and fitness centers, etc. Residents are also offered transportation for doctor’s visits, errands, and even moving throughout the facility. Concierges are available for grocery shopping and other necessities. At Selfhelp, we’re proud to offer unique amenities for our residents to enjoy, such as transportation, our rooftop garden, social hall with state of art technology, physical therapy, the solarium,  art studio, outdoor seating, and our gift shop.

8. Culture and Community: A sense of community and shared culture is truly what makes a new resident feel at home. Be sure to ask how the staff and residents spend time together and stay engaged as one community. The Selfhelp Home fosters connection with a strong emphasis on our Jewish heritage. We have a sanctuary on-site and welcome rabbis to our home every month for our “Visiting Scholar” program. In addition to weekly Shabbat services and celebrating holidays, our residents take part in Jewish Studies, Yiddish Club, and a Kosher diet. Selfhelp also offers a variety of intergenerational programming with bar/bat mitzvah age children.

Choosing the Right Assisted Living Community 

Choosing the right retirement home and assisted living program can be a daunting process, but we’re here to help make it a simple choice for you and your family. We encourage you to schedule a tour of our home where you can get a feel for our community life, meet our staff, and view the apartments. We’re happy to answer any question you may have! Read our FAQ to learn more.

For aging adults looking for an assisted living community in the Chicago area, we invite you to consider The Selfhelp Home. As an award-winning facility, we are the top choice for seniors in need of assisted living. Our home was the first in the nation to receive Joint Commission accreditation for Assisted Living Services. You can read more about the accreditation here.

“The Selfhelp home has been a great gift to our family! Everybody from Sheila Bogen, the Executive Director, and the rest of the professional staff have been exceptional to our mother. We rest much easier knowing our mom is surrounded by professionals who treat her and the other residents like members of their own families. They handled the pandemic with award-winning aplomb. The Selfhelp Home is over 70 years old, yet is ageless in its dedication to past, present, and future residents. We wish we could name all the staff that have changed our lives for the better, but the list keeps growing every day!”

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