Monday, November 1, 2010

Choosing the Right Nursing Home

The smell of freshly baked bread drifts from the kitchen. Old friends chat as a dog chases a tennis ball nearby. These are the sights, sounds and smells of what senior living should be.

Your Golden Years aren’t a time to “settle.” After a lifetime of hard work, you should enjoy bright, elegant and friendly surroundings – where you can indulge in hobbies, challenge your mind and commune with nature.

To be happy, you don’t have to live in the house where you raised your family. “In fact, the older we get, the more overwhelming owning a home can become,” says Aric Spitulnik, president of Levindale Hebrew Geriatric Center and Hospital. “That’s when it’s important to research new living options, so you can make life worth living without the headaches.”

His first tip: Start with a checklist of the things most important to you. Examples may include:
-Privacy, both with bedroom suites and bathrooms
-Internet connections
-Pets that live with you
-Beautiful grounds
-Nearness to shopping and museums
-Closeness to family
-Proximity to medical care
-Being treated with respect and compassion

Aric’s second tip: Get recommendations from friends, houses of worship, aging organizations and the Internet, and check each place yourself if possible. “The old institutional feel of nursing homes is not good enough for our elders,” continues Aric. “That’s why Levindale began a $31 million construction project in January – to create a modern, warm home that fits the desires of seniors ‘on the go’ and of seniors seeking dignified care.” It will be located on the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg campus.

Aric’s third tip: Give yourself enough time to figure out what accommodations will guarantee you a lifetime of fulfillment, and then take action. For more information about Levindale, call 410-601-WELL (9355).

-Helene King

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