Navigating the Transition from Independent Living to Assisted Living

Sep 8, 2022 | Life At Sunset

Senior living can sometimes feel like a lot to wade through. Between finding the right senior community, comparing costs, and planning for the move, you already have plenty on your plate. As you make plans for the road ahead it is important to consider the level of care that you or your loved one may require in the future. More and more, retirees are moving to Independent Living communities where they have the freedom to enjoy retirement the way they want. But what happens as residents’ needs change? We take a look at how to navigate the transition from Independent Living to Assisted Living, as well as our exciting new service: Independent Living Plus.

What is Independent Living Plus?

Over time, Independent Living residents may find themselves in need of a little extra assistance, though they might not be quite ready for Assisted Living. Independent Living Plus is a suite of services designed to help you or your loved one continue to thrive in an Independent Living home. Currently, Independent Living Plus is only available in Waterford Place Glens North and South, but we hope to be able to expand it soon. Services offered include:

Daily Meals – A daily meal, including the Chef’s Daily special or up to $8 of items from any Waterford Place menu.

Once Weekly Housekeeping – Up to one hour of weekly housekeeping services, customized to a resident’s specific needs.

Once Weekly Laundry Services – Up to two loads of laundry per resident, including washing, drying, and folding.

Daily Wellness Checks – Once a day, Waterford Place staff will contact the resident at home to check on their wellbeing.

Weekly Medication Administration & Setup – A medication administration machine is provided in the resident’s home, with refills stocked as needed by pharmacy technicians. The machine provides verbal and visual reminders for medication to be taken at prescribed times, with optional alerts to notify the resident and/or their family of any medications not taken.

How was the Need Discovered?

After years of serving seniors in West Michigan, we noticed there seemed to be a missing step in the transition from Independent to Assisted Living. Ben Leavell, Executive Director at Waterford Place, discusses the process:

“We saw that some of our residents were moving from Independent Living to Assisted Living due to a fairly basic shift in needs, such as medication management, meals, laundry, regular housekeeping, and daily wellness checks. We developed this program to offer residents a third choice, as well as a transitional state to ease the shift to Assisted Living, should they need it.

We strive to keep our residents as independent as possible, so we decided to put together the Independent Living Plus program to offer them additional options. Although licensing restrictions prevent us from performing hands-on care in this setting, there are still many services we can assist with. We’ve noticed that when residents receive this additional level of care, with quality meals and regular medication administration, their overall state of health begins to improve.”

When is Assisted Living Necessary?

Whether starting their journey in complete independence or in a setting that provides a bit more aid, each Sunset resident is provided with a Continuum of Care tailored to their specific needs. Seniors looking to enjoy a maintenance-free retirement within a friendly and inviting community are the perfect fit for Independent Living. These communities offer a wide array of social activities and amenities, with several on-site dining options. For an additional monthly fee, our new Independent Living Plus provides residents with a basic level of assistance, allowing them to remain as independent as possible. When a resident needs more than just support with everyday tasks, the next step is Assisted Living. With professional staff members available day and night, Sunset Assisted Living combines basic needs with personal care, meeting the individual needs of all of our residents.

How We Can Help

As we observe the ever-changing needs of our residents, Sunset’s care options continue to expand in response. If you have questions regarding a loved one’s journey through senior living, we encourage you to call us at 616.457.2770 or send us a message online. Our caring, experienced staff are here to help you as you navigate the world of Independent Living and beyond.