How to Find the Perfect Personal Care Community for Your Aging Loved One

Senior and adult child drinking tea and laughing together

You’ve noticed that your aging loved one is needing more and more assistance in order to live independently. Perhaps you’ve found yourself shouldering more of the burden as time goes on, like running errands, driving them to doctor’s appointments or visiting frequently in order to help with one issue or another. Eventually, there may come a time when you and your loved one make the decision to move to a personal care community in order to allow him or her the highest quality of life possible.

“Choosing to move to a personal care community can be tough for today’s seniors, especially those who are in the older generation, because there is this misconception that senior living is like the nursing homes of yore,” says Allison Hicks, Community Liaison of Bluegrass Senior Living. However, she says, the reality is far different than what many people imagine. 

“Today’s modern personal care communities have amenities and services that rival what you’d expect from a fancy resort,” she says. “Plus, many seniors have found that moving to a community where all their needs are catered to, plus having an immediate network of potential friends, helps them live even more independently than living by themselves. At a personal care community like Bluegrass Senior Living, all the tasks are taken care of for our residents, including things like medication management and personal assistance. It means they can spend their time doing the things they want to do instead of the things they have to do.”

What is a personal care community? 

Many people may think that a personal care community is the same thing as an assisted living community. However, in the state of Kentucky, these are two completely different types of communities. Although there are many similar features between the two, a personal care community has one primary difference: 24/7 nursing staff for continuous resident supervision of residents, plus basic health and health-related services alongside personal care services, residential care services, and social and recreational activities. 

“At an assisted living community, residents receive the personal support they require in order to live as independently as possible, but they don’t have access to the additional medical services they may need as they age,” says Allison. “At a personal care community, though, that assistance is available on-site. Bluegrass Senior Living is able to help meet the needs of all our residents, whatever their health need, even if they require memory care services.”

How to choose the right personal care community for your loved one. 

No two communities are created alike, so it’s important to do your due diligence when selecting one for your senior loved one. As with any big decision, it requires research, asking the right questions and putting in some legwork, but the end result will be a community that’s perfect for your aging adult. 

The first step is to determine the location of the personal care community. Does your senior loved one want to stay in the area where they currently live, or do they want or need to relocate due to proximity to health care, family members or other opportunities? Once you and your senior have selected a general area where they would like to live, you can start researching the actual personal care communities in and around that place. 

Next, you’ll want to determine the level of care your loved one will require. Since a personal care community has health care services available on site, this is not as much of a worry as if you were looking for assisted living-only or memory care-only communities. Still, you’ll want to make sure that potential communities have solid care and assistance available, as well as strong connections to hospitals and other medical professionals in the area in the event of an emergency. 

After that, you can narrow down your options by looking at the amenities, services and activities available at the community. What are your loved one’s interests, and does the community reflect those? Are there a variety of events available both on-campus and off- on a regular basis? Does the community provide transportation? What sort of living arrangements are available? You’ll want to discuss with your loved one about the types of things that are most important to him or her and then match up personal care communities with that list. 

Touring personal care communities.

Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a manageable number, it’s time to visit them. The best way to see what life is like is by touring the community (often several times) and getting the opportunity to ask questions of and interview staff members, leadership and other residents.

Prepare to spend a good amount of time at each community in order to really get a feel for the place. Consider scheduling your tour to coincide with a meal or special event. On your first visit to each community, be sure to take a list of questions with you as well as write down your impressions and any important information (it’s easy to become overwhelmed). Here are just a few questions you may care to ask while on a tour:

  • What kinds of services are available? Does the price change if the level of care changes?
  • What is the staff to resident ratio?
  • How are staff members trained, and do they receive ongoing training in order to stay apprised of best practices? 
  • How is a resident’s care plan created? How involved will the resident and their family be in the process? How often are these plans reviewed? 
  • What sort of social events are available? Are they well attended? How involved are you with the greater community at large?
  • What are your visiting hours, and are there any restrictions? 

As you’re touring the community and getting your questions answered, be sure to use your senses to get a “feel” for the community. Does it look and smell clean? Are residents smiling, happy and engaged? What condition is the building, both inside and out? You’ll also want to get copies of the resident agreements as well as specific information for fee structures and payment options to review at your leisure. Afterward, you can schedule a follow-up tour (or two) if you decide to keep it as an option. 

“Don’t forget the importance of how a community feels,” says Allison. “You want to make sure that whatever personal care community you and your loved one choose will feel like home and is comfortable for your loved one. Bluegrass Senior Living is committed to helping our residents feel at ‘home’ because it is our honor to welcome them to our family. Every aspect of life at our personal care community is designed and personalized for our residents’ needs so they can live the happy, healthy and inspired senior lifestyle they want and deserve.”

For more information about our personal care community, please contact us at 859-474-7856.

Big on Commitment. Big on Community. 

Ever since its founding, Kentucky Farm Bureau has served as the "Voice of Kentucky Agriculture," representing the interests of agricultural producers and rural communities and being an effective advocate for its members. When the organization discovered a severe lack of affordable, quality senior care available in the state, they acted – and thus, the vision Bluegrass Senior Living was born. 

Bluegrass Senior Living, coming soon to Somerset, is the culmination of three years of planning by KFB and its partners. Bluegrass Senior Living aims to empower residents with the right amount of support, free from the concerns of home upkeep and chores. Instead, residents can enjoy the social benefits of community living with the benefit of top-notch amenities and programs to ensure their future happiness.

Our Somerset location will be the first of several planned communities across the state that will provide Kentucky families with quality senior living options inspired by the familiar traditions and values on which our community thrives.

For more information, please call 859-474-7856.