Things To Know Q&A

Supportive Living

Why should my loved one move to a retirement community?

Any one of our staff, residents, and families could share first-hand experiences of the full and active lives our residents lead. Here some of the top benefits we see on a daily basis:

  • Social Connections – Our communities provide endless opportunities to develop close friendships and bonds – a benefit that becomes increasingly important as we age and face circumstances that might foster isolation. Share a meal together. Enjoy special occasions with friends. Activities and informal games are readily available to keep minds sharp and days full.
  • Carefree Living – Find freedom from home maintenance and repair allows residents more time to do the things they love and to try something they’ve never done before.
  • A Healthier Life – We don’t want to brag, but if you ask around, it’s no secret that our food is delicious – and it’s nutritious as well. As a result, our residents often notice improvements in their health, since they’re eating three great meals a day. Convenient access to healthcare and medical advice, as well as fitness activities, ensures that mind, body, and soul are nourished on a daily basis.
  • Enhanced Relationships with Family – We hear constantly that making the move to a Living Branches community is a blessing to both residents and their families. Because children do not need to step into a caregiver role for their parent, they can enjoy “mom” as “mom” – or “dad” as “dad” – a precious gift for both families and residents.
  • Peace of Mind – The continuum of care ensures that your loved one can remain independent for as long as possible. We offer the ability to move smoothly from one level of care to another, so residents can live life to the fullest, without worrying about evolving needs. 

How do I know which level of care is best for my loved one?

Our ultimate goal is to keep residents independent as long as possible.

Through the support of a compassionate and competent staff ready to assist with daily activities, Personal Care, previously known as Assisted Living, aims to reduce risk while respecting and promoting each resident’s independence. Residents in Personal Care are able to remain independent in the right size space, while receiving three meals a day, and assistance with medication or laundry as needed.

Health Care, previously known as Skilled Nursing, is available on a short-term or long-term basis to residents who require the most assistance with their daily needs. Our Health Care staff assists with the activities of daily living, making every effort to enrich the lives of residents in a clean and comfortable environment. Nurses are present around the clock along with resident assistants who have undergone our own rigorous, state certified training.

Memory Care is available for residents with Alzheimer’s or related dementias. These home-like environments offer the highest level of safety and security for residents. Specially-trained staff members offer around the clock care to support a daily routine that is reassuring and promotes social interaction.

We encourage you to speak with one of our Sales Counselors, who can provide expert advice on the best path forward, based on your loved one’s unique needs. Meet the Sales Counselors here.

Is now the right time to consider a move to Personal Care for my loved one?

We all age differently. Sometimes our brains remain sharp, but it becomes harder to move around. For others, it might be tougher to keep on top of life’s many details. We know that it can be incredibly hard – for both you and your loved one – to acknowledge that he or she might need care services as they age. It is very important to recognize when your loved one needs support to remain safe and healthy.

It may be time to start the conversation if you notice any of the following:

  • Mobility issues
  • Not eating well / loss of appetite
  • Not taking medications
  • Hygiene issues
  • Increased forgetfulness
  • Unusual untidiness
  • Unexplained bumps and bruises

Taking steps early can better help ensure that your loved one can remain independent – in a home of the right size – for as long as possible.

How do I initiate the conversation with my loved one about his or her care needs?

Timing is everything. Choose a date, time, and atmosphere where and when the conversation can be relaxed. Share your concerns – and be prepared to listen. Being human and compassionate can go a long way.

We strongly encourage that you emphasize your role as an advocate for your loved one. Explain that you are not there to make decisions for them, but rather, to provide support as he or she considers options that will allow him or her to live the fullest life possible. Try to end the conversation with an agreed-upon plan for next steps.

We have plenty of more detailed resources for having this necessary conversation, and we are always available to chat through any questions or concerns you have before you initiate the discussion with your loved one.

My loved one needs care now. What do I do?

Our best piece of advice in this situation is to not wait for a crisis to occur. The sooner you can begin talking with your loved one, the better. Having a conversation in advance of a serious incident will create a less stressful foundation for the discussion.

We also encourage you to do your homework before the discussion. There are many options for care and support in the greater Philadelphia area. Research online and talk with community representatives to gain information for your loved one. Our team is more than happy to speak with you during any stage of the process to answer questions and provide guidance. We know this can be difficult; we’re here to help. Meet the Sales Counselors here.

I think my loved one needs care. He or she does not feel a change is needed. What do I do?

Reinforce your role as an advocate. Remind your loved one that just as they have guided you through the formative years of your life, you want to be there for them now. Express your desire to enjoy the parent/child relationship for long as possible – which is usually more possible when expert care is available to alleviate the stresses on both sides as care needs change.

Encourage your loved one to talk about his or her fears – and that way, you have a better understanding of what questions will need to be addressed as you consider options. It will probably take more than one conversation to reach a place where your loved one feels receptive to exploring new possibilities.

Sometimes, it can be helpful for your loved one to speak with a professional to receive outside, expert advice. We are more than happy to participate in whatever discussion you feel would be helpful as you and your loved one make decisions about his or her path forward. 

Will I be included in decision about my loved one's health and well-being?

Absolutely! We believe in the importance of a caring, open partnership between our residents, their families, and our staff. This circle of care unites us.

Living Branches professionals develop a comprehensive care plan for residents that includes objectives and timetables to meet each resident’s physical, intellectual, and psychosocial needs. The goal is to achieve the highest level of well-being. This plan is regularly reviewed with the resident and designated family members or powers-of-attorney.

Our door is also always open if you or your loved one has questions.

What is the financial responsibility for residents at Living Branches?

The simplest answer is, “It depends.” We consider every application on a case-by-case basis – considering factors like income, assets, long-term care insurance (if applicable), marital status, and the level of care needed (e.g. Personal Care vs. Health Care).

There are two types of costs associated with the financial commitment of becoming a Living Branches resident in Supportive Living:

  • Admission Fee – a one-time cost that you pay up front when you become a resident of one of our communities.
  • Monthly Fee – covers day-to-day expenses, such as meals, assistance with activities of daily living, medication administration, additional supportive services, and access to community amenities and activities.

Because every application is unique, we encourage you to speak with one of our experienced sales counselors, who can provide advice about the best path forward, based on your individualized needs.

How does my loved one apply to Living Branches?

Living Branches has one application for all campuses and levels of care. This application requires personal and financial information as we make a lifetime commitment of care to all residents and want to ensure each resident has the ability to pay for his or her care. The application fee is $1,250, and $1,000 is refundable if applicants choose not to move to a Living Branches community.

After you complete the application, it is processed by the marketing team and then submitted to the Admission Committee for review. The committee considers every application on a case-by-case basis – considering factors like income, assets, long-term care insurance (if applicable), marital status, and the type of residence you prefer (e.g. studio vs. two-bedroom).

The Sales Counselor will then give you a call to relay the results from the Admission Committee. If accepted, you’ll receive information about the next steps in the admission process. This includes:

  • Meeting with the nurse and social worker to assess your loved one’s care needs
  • Having your loved one’s primary care physician complete the required paperwork
  • Making final decisions about your loved one’s future residence

Is there an advantage to Living Branches' status as a not-for-profit?

Yes, and we talk often about our not-for-profit advantage with potential residents and families (read more here). At Living Branches, our core values put people before profit, quality of life over efficiency, and personal and community growth above all else.