personal care
February 9, 2018

What can personal care at a retirement community provide for you or your loved one?

Assisted Living, Personal Care
The Senior Care Experts at Ecumenical Retirement Community

Older persons and families searching for a retirement community for support with daily living often prefer the option of personal care over a skilled nursing facility. They discover that personal care will provide the necessary support while letting seniors remain as independent as possible.

Personal care provides residents with individualized support for daily activities such as dressing; handwashing; bathing; dental, skin, hair and nail care; shaving; laundry; housekeeping; medication management; and 24-hour access to staff support. Senior living accommodations in personal care typically include a room, furnishings, private bath and three meals per day.

Privacy in personal care accommodations and services

Older persons might be concerned that with personal care they would sacrifice the privacy they have valued throughout their adult life. Experienced personal care staff understand these concerns and prioritize the privacy and dignity of residents, as well as their health and safety.

At Ecumenical Retirement Community, we hire and train people who respect older persons and enjoy tending to their daily needs. Our personal care team members know that seniors want to remain as independent as possible in caring for themselves. With sensitivity and gentleness, our co-workers are mindful of residents’ unique needs in all their interactions and communications.

For residents in need of memory care, our staff is trained in how to talk with them and explain what they are doing together at all times.

What is the difference between personal care and assisted living?

Personal care and assisted living are similar, but their definitions and regulations vary from state to state. In some states, retirement communities can offer several levels of care, including personal care, and all are covered by the same assisted living licensure.

The regulations are different in Pennsylvania. In 2011, the Commonwealth began distinguishing between assisted living facilities and personal care homes, and licensing them separately. Now, by definition, a personal care home offers housing, meals and assistance with medications and personal care tasks. An assisted living facility also does that but with the addition of some skilled health care services.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Office of Long-Term Living distinguishes between assisted living facilities and personal care homes as follows:

Concept – Assisted living residences permit seniors to age in place, meaning that even as their health care needs increase, they will not have to relocate to another senior living home to receive that care.

Construction – Assisted living residences must provide seniors a private room with a lockable door, a private bathroom and small kitchen. Personal care homes are not required to offer these amenities.

Level of Care –Assisted living residences must ensure that seniors receive skilled nursing care if their needs surpass standard assisted living services.

Many Pennsylvania retirement communities, including Ecumenical Retirement Community, offer personal care that provides most assisted living services, but they have chosen not to pursue assisted living licensure. This is because assisted living licensure can drive up administrative and staffing costs without increasing quality of care. In addition, Medicaid does not cover these higher costs.

Personal care and other service options at Ecumenical Retirement Community

If you are looking for a personal care home in lovely surroundings in central Pennsylvania, we invite you to contact us to learn more about our services at Ecumenical Retirement Community in Harrisburg, PA. Personal care at Ecumenical, as well as our other lifestyle options—independent living, memory care and physical support—offer security, comfort and a rich community life that engages the mind, body and spirit.

If you are still deciding whether a move to a retirement community is your best option, check out our previous blog post, “How to decide…is a senior living community right for us?”

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