So not surprisingly, according to a 2011 report from AARP, the vast majority of older adults want to continue living in their own homes or communities. They want to “age in place.”
It goes without saying that relocation, even when associated with career advancement or new home, is still very stressful. Despite the many advantages of social stimulation and physical care, for seniors, moving is one of the most stressful events in their lives.
Over recent years, gerontology research has focused on the effects of intra-institutional relocation, or moving residents in senior communities from one place to another (Journal of Gerontology Nursing by Ander, Brazill, Ladrigan.) Findings have shown that residents who are transferred from one environment to another, such as Independent Living to Personal Care or Personal Care to Skilled Nursing, exhibit symptoms of relocation stress syndrome. This can include exhaustion due to sleep disturbances, anxiety, grief, loss, depression, and in some cases, disorientation.
At Liberty Senior Communities, we understand the stress of moving for our residents and we do all we can to eliminate it. Today, residents living at one of Liberty’s Senior Communities – Artman, Paul’s Run, The Village at Penn State or The Hearth are “aging in place” in their residence of choice – a lovely Independent Living apartment, or a deluxe suite in Personal Care or Assisted Living. It’s our philosophy and commitment that they will remain in their “homes” for as long as possible, and Liberty will continue supporting their unique needs with additional services when required.
Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin* moved into independent living at Paul’s Run at the ages of 90 and 88 respectively. They did well for several years living independently and enjoying the trips and activities provided by our community life team. When it became necessary, Liberty at Home staff provided services that enabled the Goodwin’s to remain in their apartment and for three years, assisted them, for example, with their showers and with shopping. When their needs increased, the couple seamlessly transitioned to Personal Care. Remaining in their apartment, they were able to continue enjoying their friends and the activities they so loved.
We believe that this approach to “aging in place” gives our residents the confidence that their home is part of a community in which they can enjoy meaningful activity and experience self-reliance. Ultimately, our goal is to provide residents with a home-life that gives each person a sense of security and well-being, and one that allows them to focus on their strengths and the deep relationships they have established.
*names have been changed for privacy purposes
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About Liberty Lutheran
Incorporated in 2001 and headquartered in Ambler, Pa., Liberty Lutheran, with locations across Pennsylvania and combined service history of 300 years, faithfully provides vital resources to more than 61,000 individuals and families facing life-changing situations. These individualized services include independent and personal care, assisted living, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, hospice care, in-home supports, wellness services, children and family services, integration services for immigrants and political refugees and disaster response. Liberty Lutheran’s team of dedicated employees serves individuals and families through their family of services in Pennsylvania, including Artman, Paul’s Run Retirement Community, Liberty at Home, Liberty Hospice, Lutheran Children and Family Services, Lutheran Congregational Services, The Hearth at Drexel (formerly Mary J. Drexel,) and The Village at Penn State. www.libertylutheran.org