Monthly Archives: January 2019

Understanding the Value of Safety and Security

Senior coupleOnce the decision to sell a home and transition to a retirement community has been made, the real questions begin. As you start researching available options for your loved ones, you will quickly learn that there are many important factors at play that need to be researched – and one of the most important involves resident safety and security.

What questions should you be asking retirement communities?

Kathy Gerdes, Executive Director of Nursing at Primrose Retirement Communities, L.L.C., believes there is one question in particular that is of the utmost importance. “If your loved one is in need of assisted living services, it is essential to ask the staff how they will communicate with you about the care being provided. It is important to learn how a community involves you in the caretaking process,” Gerdes said.

“Good communication and a commitment to developing a personal relationship with residents and their family members is the key,” she added. At Sweetwater everything from email and phone calls, to text messaging and Skype-based teleconferencing are utilized to make the family communication process easy and efficient.

If your loved one is in need of assisted living services, it is essential to ask the staff how they will communicate with you about the care being provided.

It is equally important to ask about what staff protocols are in place to ensure that internal communication is also happening effectively. “We make sure that our staff have the ability to talk to one another at all times no matter where they are in the building,” Gerdes said.

“Things can change quickly from one moment to the next. Ensuring that our staff are in a position to be able to adjust quickly to accommodate the unexpected, gives us the best opportunity to provide our residents with the safest possible environment at all times,” she added.

Safety measures should rank high in your research

Once you are confident that the communities on your short list have effective internal and external communication plans in place, you may start evaluating safety features. For example, many communities will offer on-call nursing services, but not all will have a nurse on-site 24 hours a day.

What about personal safety measures? Is it important to you that your loved one have a wireless pendant around their neck or an emergency pull cord system available in case something happens to them in their apartment?

Maybe the security of the building itself is of importance to you. At some communities, exterior doors are locked 24 hours a day to prevent intruders from entering, but residents are given a passcode allowing them to come and go as they please. Maybe it is important to you to know where the security cameras and fire alarms are located, or what the protocol is in the event of severe weather. These are all important safety-related questions for you to ask.

As you can see, the issue of safety covers a lot of ground. Obviously, the end goal for family members who are doing the research is the well-being of their loved ones. But understanding how a community goes about achieving that goal will go a long way in helping to ensure that you’ve made the right choice.

If you have questions for us, Primrose would be honored to assist you. Feel free to visit our website at for more information.

The Car Key Conundrum: What is the Right Way to Take Them Away?

hand passing key to another hand

Age alone is never reason enough to take away a person’s freedom to drive. As people get older, though, they develop a greater risk for mental and physical illnesses that could have a negative effect on their ability to operate a vehicle. If you know a loved one whose driving performance has declined, it may be time to talk to them about giving up the car keys. Here are a few things to consider before having that conversation:

A Life-Changing Decision

Losing the ability to drive and the freedom that comes with it can be a traumatic experience. It means you can no longer go to church, to medical appointments, to the store, or to any other place spontaneously. Understandably, this can be a difficult thing for aging loved ones to accept.

Having a candid discussion with them about why you are concerned for their safety — and giving them a voice in the conversation — may help make the decision to give up the keys a little bit easier.

Your Loved One’s Doctor is a Resource — and a Respected External Opinion

Also, if your loved one holds a certain doctor in high regard, consider talking to them about addressing the issue during their next scheduled appointment. Sometimes, just hearing it from another person they trust outside the family is enough. Also, the doctor may agree to complete a medical status report for you that you can take to your State Department of Motor Vehicles. This may lead them to request further testing of your loved one to determine whether they can drive safely.

Remember That There Are Alternatives

Of course, family can help with transportation when they have time. They are generally the first option for a senior who can no longer drive themselves, although not the only one.

Public and Community Transportation

Public transportation like taxi cabs and buses, ride share programs, paratransit services, and hitching a ride with a friend are all viable alternatives to driving. If your loved one lives in a more rural setting where public transportation opportunities do not exist, options for travel are often limited to whatever family and friends can provide.

Scheduled Transportation at Assisted Living Communities

Of course, if your loved one is already dealing with health-related issues that are preventing them from driving, there is a good chance that those same issues could be causing challenges in other areas of their life as well. All of our assisted living communities at Primrose include free, scheduled transportation for residents who cannot drive while also providing them with a customized plan of care that addresses their unique health needs.

If you have additional questions, we would be honored to assist you. Just visit for more information.

Choosing the Right Long-Term Senior Living Options for Your Loved Ones

Adult child with parents

Making the decision to sell your home and move to a retirement community often leads to as many questions as it does answers. One of the most common inquiries we hear is, “If my health needs change, will I be able to stay at Primrose — or will I need to move to another community?” In this article, we will outline why it should be less of a concern in senior living today than in previous years.

Personalized Care, More Options

In the past, when a senior began to develop health problems, or when they would start losing their independence as they struggled with home maintenance and other daily activities, their options were limited. Basically, they could sell their home and live with family or move into a skilled nursing facility (nursing home).

Today, independent living, assisted living, and memory care options are also available — often under the same roof. Seniors have more appealing accommodations to choose from which can provide the personalized care they need in a spacious apartment that offers privacy, convenience, and security.

Eliminating Relocation Worries by Keeping Moving to a Minimum

Assisted living residents at Primrose enjoy all the benefits that come from person-centered care. Each individual is provided with assistance according to their unique needs, and many are pleasantly surprised at just how much care we can provide. As health needs change, we change right along with them, which helps make it possible for our residents to enjoy living at Primrose longer. They also pay significantly less money than they would to receive similar care in a skilled nursing facility.

There is Always a Way

It happens very infrequently, but if your health needs become more advanced than Primrose can accommodate, we can work with you to bring home health care professionals in. This allows you to remain in the comfort of your Primrose home and still receive the care you need.

If you have questions about this or any other topic, we would be honored to assist you. Just visit for more information.