FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) about Senior Living Communities

What is Memory Care?

Memory Care facilities offer seniors living with memory loss, or other memory impairments, long-term care. Assistance with daily living activities, nutritious meals and life enrichment opportunities are provided. Memory Care services evolve with the oversight of nursing staff and loved ones as symptoms progress.

Dementia commonly progresses over time, with seven unique phases. At earlier stages of dementia, Assisted Living communities may offer appropriate services. However, as symptoms (such as wandering or exit-seeking) progress, specialized Memory Care facilities offer the safest environment, including dementia-oriented care. The team of medical staff in these specialized facilities are trained to work with older adults experiencing any stage of memory loss.

Centralia Point’s Memory Care program provides a comfortable, home-like atmosphere that specifies care to every individual’s needs. Our wholistic approach includes a full schedule of life enrichment opportunities, communal meals, and intentional care. All aspects of daily life are catered to meet an individual’s physical ability and awareness, with an emphasis on independence.

Centralia Point offers Memory Care, Assisted Living and Respite Care in a quiet and secure location. Our goal is to support the transition of aging with dignity and respect.

What services does a senior living community provide?

At Centralia Point, we offer Assisted Living Services, Memory Care services and Respite Services.

The following features are included in the monthly rent for Assisted Living:

  • 3 house-prepared meals a day and ample snacks (modified diets available)
  • Weekly housekeeping services
  • Weekly linen services
  • Basic Cable TV
  • All utilities (except telephone services)
  • Assistance with scheduling transportation to medical appointments
  • Activities, outings and a robust life enrichment program
  • 24-hour staff and RN oversight
  • Regular medical monitoring for general health and comfort
  • Apartment maintenance

The following features are included in the monthly rent for Memory Care:

  • 3 house-prepared meals a day and ample snacks (modified diets available)
  • Medication management
  • Weekly linen services
  • Weekly housekeeping
  • All Utilities (except telephone services)
  • 24-hour staff and RN oversight
  • Activities, outings, and a robust life enrichment program
  • Regular medical monitoring for general health and comfort
  • Apartment maintenance

*If the services included in the monthly base rent are not enough to maintain independent living, additional personal support services can be added. We can assist in designing a care program to fit individual needs for living as independently as possible. The ‘personal support services fee’ is based on the actual services provided. We determine services after a personal assessment conducted by our professional team.

Additional services are available to individuals requiring help around activities of daily living. What’s more, third party services (like Physical Therapy and Podiatry) come to the building to offer convenient, personalized care. A strategic plan of services is created using input from doctors, nurses, and family members. Each plan evolves as needed throughout every individual’s aging journey.

What is Assisted Living?

Seniors needing assistance with their activities of daily living consider this service the perfect choice. Whether help is needed bathing, grooming, dressing, eating, supporting mobility, taking medications, or something else, we provide that here! Our kind and professionally trained staff provide personalized support services on a flexible schedule. Apartments are available as studios, deluxe alcoves and one-bedroom units. The rooms are designed to maximize comfort and simplify navigation. Your loved one can keep pieces of treasured furniture and belongings close at hand. There is reassurance in having a favorite keepsake nearby. Building meaningful relationships amongst our residents, families, and staff is the cornerstone of our assisted living program. Knowing an individual’s personal preferences makes it easy to provide the assistance they deserve.

What is Respite Care?

Respite Care includes all the wonderful services and amenities that a senior living community provides for a temporary amount of time. These short-term stays do not require a commitment to moving in full time and respite is charged at a daily rate.

Respite Care is a useful solution for a variety of situations:

– A caregiver or family member is going out of town
– A senior is recovering from surgery or illness and greater care is needed
– A family or their loved one is interested in the “try-before-you-buy” approach

A short-term stay offers insight and assistance when extra care is needed. Gain understanding around the world of senior living before making a larger commitment.

The length of stay for Respite Care is often pre-determined (and a minimum length of stay is common, ranging from one week to one month in most cases). As previously mentioned, services are charged at a daily rate. If Centralia Point ends up feeling like “home” at the end of one’s stay, we can easily transition from Respite Care to a full-time move in. We are here for support at every step of the aging journey.

Can I bring my pet?

Centralia Point permits pets once the resident’s ability to manage them is evaluated, and, if the pet can be managed at the community.  We love furry companions. 

How do I choose a senior living community?

We built a list of 8 variables to consider when comparing senior living communities for when it’s time to make an informed and confident decision. In addition to obtaining the proper type of care you need, it’s also important to feel comfortable in and around the community.

  1. Location, location, location. Is it important to you to be close to family? Does a quiet neighborhood or centralized location meet your needs? Are local attractions, business, and health care facilities something to consider? Location of your new home should be considered first and foremost.
  2. Consider your finances. What is the cost associated to your favorite facilities? How does it align to your personal finances? Does your facility accept Medicaid, and is that something you qualify for? These are preliminary financial questions as you begin your search.
  3. Know your wants versus your needs. Does your room have a window with a view? Is there a space to garden? Are modified diets available? Can you bring your favorite piece of furniture? Start contemplating needs over wants in your new home!
  4. Tour and explore. Get into the space and see it for yourself.
  5. Excellent enrichment. Are there weekly/daily events taking place that interest you or your loved one? Is there something new to try? Does the Activity Director take time to get to know each resident? Are activities adaptable to any level of care? Figure out these unique details that make a huge difference in the long run.
  6. Staff and Resident relations. Does everyone seem calm? Happy? Take note!
  7. Due diligence. Ensure that your communities of interest are properly and licensed to provide care.
  8. Staff retention. How long have staff been working in the community? What is the staff to resident ratio? Happy staff result in happy residents.

We hope you consider most, if not all, of these factors when choosing you or your loved one’s new home. This is just a starting-off point. It is our hope for you to find a space where comfort and care come hand in hand

What does a day in the life of senior living community look like?

Moving into a Senior Living Community should provide a sense relief—everything is taken care of for you and/or your loved one! Surrounded by a home-like environment, services (like medication management, grooming and dressing assistance, feeding assistance) are provided to make life as good as it can be. Between personal hobbies and group activities, here’s a list of what’s typically going on around Centralia Point:

  1. Social Activities and Special Visitors – Our Activity Director offers a wide array of daily activities built around the interests, entertainment, and well-being of our residents.  In addition to arts and craft projects, movies and snacks, board and card games (among many other activities), our Activity Director invites magicians, musicians and furry friends for special visits each month.
  2. Nutritious meals with friends – Our chefs provide our residents three nutrient-dense, delicious meals each and every day.  We love our dining room; sharing a meal among friends offers opportunities to socialize and connect. Centralia Point considers communal dining a healthy win-win! We can also accommodate dietary modifications.
  3. Help with personal care (if needed) – We provide caregivers 24 hours a day to assist with personal care.  Intention and time are dedicated to assistance with daily living activities, i.e., getting dressed each morning, eating meals, or taking a bath in the evening. Furthermore, caregivers are always on call to meet any unscheduled needs. Appointments with third party care providers (like Podiatrists and Physical Therapists) also take place within the building, reducing time spent commuting, transitioning in and out of vehicles and waiting in an office. 
  4. Little to no housekeeping and/or maintenance – Leave those to us. Cleaning and maintaining a comfortable environment are the responsibilities of our dedicated team of housekeepers. Our Maintenance Director is responsible for maintaining a safe environment. Every day, our staff seek out and resolve problems as they occur, ensuring that every aspect of your space is fully functional and safe.
  5. In-house amenities and convenience options – Different communities offer different convenience options, but some of them (like Centralia Point) include salon parties, a library, an activity room, and outdoor areas to be enjoyed.  These areas are accessible and resident friendly, all day long! 

What makes Centralia Point Assisted Living and Memory Care (a senior living community) different from a nursing home?

Senior living communities and nursing homes are two different things, although they are often terms that are used interchangeably.  Here’s what you need to know:

A senior living community (also referred to as a retirement community) is a long-term residential facility.  It is designed to give older adults a healthy social environment, including daily activities, in a stay-at-home setting. A good way to think about this set up is like a cruise ship with the addition of 24/7 medical assistance that is available should you need it. Older adults who are mostly independent but may occasionally require assistance with day-to-day living would find a senior living community to be a perfect fit.  Seniors experiencing memory-loss would be best suited for a Memory Care facility which offers memory-loss-specific care and security.

A nursing home (also referred to as a skilled nursing facility) is comparable to a long-term hospital stay.  Nursing homes provide in-patient medical treatments and rehabilitation. Staffed with trained medical professionals, patients receive 24-hour medical supervision as most patients are unable to care for themselves.

Can my spouse live with me in my community?

Senior living communities are a great option for couples who want to spend the rest of their days together. They provide safety and security that make it easier for you to age in place, without worrying about being alone.

In most cases, spouses can live together in the same apartment. This is assuming that the level of care is similar for each person. A second resident fee will apply to cover utilities, activities, apartment services such as housekeeping, as well as meals and dining services. Care plans will be charged separately according to each person’s needs.

Since Centralia Point offers a range of care options within the same community, we can also accommodate couples with very different care levels that want to stay close to one another. For example, if your spouse requires memory care but you require assisted living services, you can both live in our community and each get what you need from your living environment.

How much does senior living cost?

There are multiple factors that determine the cost of a senior living community.  Some of these are big picture costs—like location.  Other variables are determined by what level of care is provided, how big of a space is being rented (this can vary from studios to a one bedroom to a shared room) as well as personal care options. Rent is typically charged on a monthly basis and typically increases among higher levels of care (for instance, assisted living will cost more than independent living considering greater services are provided).

An individual’s care plan can also impact monthly cost.  At Centralia Point, we assist with a wide range of personal care needs.  A resident is only charged for the services that they require.  Before a new resident joins our community, our nurse and Executive Director complete an assessment that helps determine a personalized care plan.  Our team learns about any specific requests and needs, in addition to the individual’s lifestyle and daily routine.

Below are a few sample questions that may be asked during an assessment:

  • What daily tasks (if any) are difficult for you?
  • When do you typically wake up?
  • What types of medications are you currently taking? How often do you take them?
  • When do you like to get dressed? Do you need help getting dressed?
  • What is your daily routine?
  • How do you like to spend your time?
  • How often do you prefer to shower or bathe?
  • What types of services would you like to receive?
  • Who do you call for help now?
  • What are some of your questions or concerns around a senior living community?

Once an assessment is completed, a monthly cost is determined (based on the apartment available/chosen and a personalized care plan). As you embark on finding a senior living community that best suits you or your loved one’s needs, we recommend taking a look at the monthly expenses currently being spent. It is helpful to have a sense of how much money is currently being spent towards living costs in comparison to the monthly cost of a senior living community.

Monthly expenses may include:

  • A mortgage/rent
  • Grocery bills
  • Utility bills
  • Prescription costs
  • In-home healthcare bills
  • Entertainment

According to Memorycare.com, “Memory care in Washington averages $7,500 per month. The national per-month cost estimate for memory care is $5,625, a figure that’s on par with the neighboring states of Oregon ($6,306) and Idaho ($4,798).

When it comes to Washington cities, memory care costs vary. Seattle is the most expensive, with an average price of $8,438 per month for memory care, while Walla Walla’s cost is significantly lower at $4,014. In the middle is Spokane at $6110. Bremerton has a monthly average price of $7,188 for monthly memory care expenses, which is close to the state average.”

How do I pay for senior living?

There are different ways to pay for senior living.  Some people pay through a combination of private funds or use the money they made from selling a home.  There is assistance available, as well.  You could be entitled to Veterans Aid and Attendance if you served in the military.  You can learn more about this program by visiting your local/regional VA center or by visiting the VA website. Long-term care insurance or life insurance policies may also be utilized to help pay for senior living costs in some instances.  We suggest consulting with a financial advisor while considering your options.

State assistance programs are also available, as well as Medicaid, depending on certain criteria. Find out what assistance programs are available in your state. Do not hesitate to reach out to Centralia Point with questions you may have.  We are happy to provide resources and answer questions as best we can—we are here to help!

How do I move myself or a loved one to senior living?

Moving into a senior living facility may feel daunting, especially if it involves leaving a home filled with generations of items.  The best time to get ahead is to start preparing and downsizing in advance.  Get a feel for exactly what you need, and nothing more.  We built a list to help you get started:

  1. Get help with packing and moving – Hire movers to do the heavy lifting!  What’s more, you can enlist the expertise of a senior move-manager.  These are professionals who specialize in the transition and relocation of older adults.  Don’t feel like you need to reinvent the wheel.
  2. Be mindful of your new space – Make your new space functional yet familiar.  We encourage the use of our Centralia Point’s floor plans when deciding on what items to bring to the facility. We can help ensure that the space is safe by avoiding overcrowding and potential injury by omitting trip hazards.  Familiar furniture and keepsakes are some of the ways in which our residents feel at ease in their new space.
  3. Purposefully sort your belongings – As you begin to organize a space, divide items into groups or boxes.  We suggest four different categories: Keep, Trash, Donate, and Sell.  For anything you plan to keep, store like items with like items!
  4. Make a Memory Log of Items you’re parting with – It’s natural to experience difficulty parting with certain belongings. Making a photo album full of items with fond memories may help keep those feelings alive! This is a great project for family and friends to “give” into this experience and provide happy memories to enjoy again and again.
  5. Stay Positive and Expect Emotions  

Selling a house is a big undertaking no matter what time of life it is, and it can feel especially overwhelming further along one’s aging journey.  Centralia Point is here to help connect you to a network of people who offer a wealth of knowledge.  We connect with real estate agents, moving companies, estate planners, referral sources, etc., who are all willing to assist in the sale of your home, as well as address any questions that may arise.  You have a team of support behind you—you are not alone!

What should my loved one (or myself) bring to a senior living community?

There are 5 big-ticket categories to account for as you pack to join a senior living community:

  1. A Short-Term Suitcase with Personal Items – Before the bigger boxes get unpacked, we want residents to feel comfortable the first night or two in their new space.  Pack a bag with a change of clothes (or two), pajamas, medications, eye glass, medications, etc.  It will feel nice to have what you need close-by.
  2. Home Furnishings and Decor – Decorative items that will make the new space feel like home include plants, pictures, special items, etc.
  3. Entertainment – Although your community will have a variety of entertainment activities, you may want to keep a few items for entertainment in your apartment like computer, iPad, radio, books, etc.
  4. Housewares – You may need a few items for a small kitchenette or just to make an afternoon cup of coffee.
  5. Cleaning Supplies – For small, unexpected messes or quick clean-ups you may need a broom and dustpan, surface wipes or multipurpose spray, stain removal spray, paper towels and kitchen towels, etc.

How do I talk to my loved one about moving to senior living?

Is your loved one (or are their loved ones) reluctant or “unrelenting” about a move to a senior living community?  We suggest approaching the topic with patience, persistence and rationality.  Here are a few tips to consider:

  1. Do not ‘Spring’ a Move or Relocation – Deciding to transition a loved one into a senior living community feels best when your close circle and the individual is involved in the discussion as well as the decision-making process (as much as possible).  Surprising your loved ones with a big change/move can set the transition up to be more challenging or upsetting for everybody involved.  Even if you are faced with resistance, having a move be a topic of discussion over a longer period (with associated time stamps) offers gradual exposure to the reality of change.
  2. Share Empathy – Addressing the frustration and fear that often accompanies the loss of independence is a good place to start.  Provide reassurance, stay calm, and do your best to meet your loved one where they are at surrounding this discussion, and, in their aging journey.  Empathizing and listening are big factors to any successful conversation, and often result in less difficult outcomes.
  3. Highlight the Benefits – Give multiple examples as to how independence remains intact at senior living communities.  Everyday offers opportunities to connect, relax, explore, and play.  Between communal meals with their peers, activities and guests of multiple varieties, and housekeeping taken care of, there might be something worth celebrating with your person. 
  4. Consult a Neutral, Third Party – In some instances, the messenger of information can make all the difference.  Don’t hesitate to involve a third party (think: a trusted physician, a different family member or close friend, someone from church) to help make the message easier to hear. This additional person many also help build some compelling reasons as to why a senior living community is the best next step. Embrace your community!
  5. Provide Options – When possible, keep your loved one (and their loved ones) involved in the decision-making process and encourage them to explore the different communities in the area. Work together to determine what day of the week works best to visit and tour a community, which locations do they prefer, and, what kinds of activities best suit their interests. 
  6. Visit a Community – Centralia Point suggests visiting during active times, such as lunch or dinner, during a social event, or coinciding with a planned activity. Give us a call and let us know you’re coming so we can have a meal prepared for you and your guests!
  7. Discuss How Relationships are being Affected – Do not use this as an opportunity to guilt trip a loved one, but softly explain how caring for them (i.e. dishes, grocery shopping, cleaning, appointments, all the things that lead to burnout) has altered your relationship and makes meaningful one-on-one time harder to come by.  As your loved one sets a date to move, look over the following month’s activity calendar together and set up visits and activity dates to connect!

Please, let us know how we can further assist you!

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Photo of young woman who works at Centralia Point and assists in answering FAQs