“Autumn doesn’t always promise that winter will come but she works hard until every colored leaf has reached its destination.”

Terri Guillemets

Fall is my favorite season of the year – crisp air, beautiful sunsets, golden fields, and colored leaves. Beautiful changes happen all around you – the leaves slowly fade from green to red, yellow, brown, or orange and then dance one-by-one to the ground. 

I think we can learn a lot from fall and from leaves, in particular. Leaves teach us that there is beauty at every stage of life. They teach us that we are all unique – no two leaves are exactly alike. Leaves teach us that everything has a purpose – they offer us shade and then fall to the ground to provide rich nutrients to the soil. Leaves teach us that change is inevitable and that we must not be afraid to fall. We can even do it gracefully, knowing that it is a natural part of life.

Perhaps the hardest “leaf” lesson of them all is accepting change. Change is hard! The vast majority of seniors would prefer to age in the comfort of their own homes, not wanting to make a change in their living environment, and understandably so. However, much research from AARP and MetLife Mature Market Institute shows that making the change and moving to an independent or assisted living community is a good option for budgetary reasons, social involvement, overall happiness, and quality of life in one’s golden years. 

The landscape of senior living communities has changed over the past several years. The culture has shifted to one more focused on person-centered care. Seniors are given a greater sense of control and independence, often selecting their own meals or mealtimes and choosing activities that interest them and work best with their daily schedules. Care is more personal – caregivers want the seniors to feel at home, to feel connected and valued, and to become more like a member of the family. 

More options are available to meet seniors’ individual needs now. When seniors are faced with moving into a senior living community, there are options available to them to help them gracefully transition through this change in life. Here are a few of the available care units catered to meet seniors’ needs: 

  • Assisted Living Care Unit – A care unit for individuals who need assistance with daily activities (housekeeping, maintenance, medication management, personal care, etc.); support includes community activity and event offerings, outings, transportation, three chef-prepared meals per day, rehabilitation services, nursing care, and therapy services
  • Independent Living Care Unit – A care unit for individuals who can still live independently but enjoy having easy access to medical care, dining options, social events and activities, group outings, etc.
  • Memory Care Unit – A care unit for individuals diagnosed with memory problems; support includes extra emphasis on security, facilitated therapeutic activities and daily social events, three chef-prepared meals per day, health/personal care assistance, medication management, and a relaxing environment with carefully chosen colors and textures

Each care unit focuses on the unique individuals that they serve and ensures that the seniors in their care are treated with respect and dignity. As seniors go through the changes of getting older and their physical abilities diminish and memories begin to fade, they can still flourish in a place where they know they are valued, they have a purpose, and they can do hard things gracefully, just like the leaves.