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Two valuable partnerships:
Bringing onsite innovative care services to The Carrington

By | News, Senior Living

Onsite health care CLINICS in senior living communities
Although the concept is certainly not new, the idea of convenient, in-house clinics within a senior community is becoming more and more popular—and essential—as baby boomers age. What’s more, recent studies show that offering primary care on-site in a residential setting reduces hospital readmissions, as well as extends life expectancy.

The Carrington at Lincolnwood has embraced this growing trend in health care services by way of two important partnerships: one with Hansa Medical Groupe (HMG) providing onsite specialty care for residents, and a second with Open Arms Solutions Personal Care at Home. Both medical programs offer numerous benefits for The Carrington’s residents. As we profile both HMG and Open Arms Solutions here, we’ll share the many advantages our residents enjoy. Two in particular offer incredible value and undeniable peace of mind for our residents AND their families:

  • Access to primary and specialty care services without leaving the community.
  • Unparalleled value of nighttime attention and care during health-related episodes.

Keep these benefits in mind as we tell you why Hansa Medical Groupe and Open Arms Solutions mean so much to the lifestyle at The Carrington.

Hansa Medical Groupe
If you thought “house-calls” were a thing of the past, you are going to love—and appreciate—the story of HMG. In the summer of 2008, Dr. Chiraq Patel of Wilmette launched HMG, a one-doctor practice offering an old-school solution to a modern medical dilemma—taking quality medical care to seniors in their homes. Practicing internal medicine for more than a decade, Dr. Patel says he was often dealing with elderly patients who couldn’t travel to clinics as often as they needed to because of a stroke, arthritis, or the limited availability of family members to drive them.

“Over the years, we realized that something like the ‘horse and buggy’ doctor from 50 years ago would really help many of our patients,” Patel said. Hard-pressed to travel to medical appointments, these seniors and their adult children supported Dr. Patel’s specialized practice and he soon carved out a niche in home-visit medicine in Chicagoland.

Hansa Medical Groupe continued to grow, true to its vision of delivering uncompromised medical care with ultimate grace and compassion. (In the Gujrati Indian dialect, Hansa means ‘swan’ and signifies, per Dr. Patel, the way HMG practices medicine—with grace, elegance, and compassion.)

What does Hansa Medical Groupe bring to The Carrington?
A team approach: HMG is a concierge-style medical practice providing onsite comprehensive medical care—primary and specialty—to patients who reside in senior living and assisted living communities. Service and care incorporate a “team” approach involving the community staff. Working closely with this staff, HMG keeps patients healthier and happier while they reside in the comfort and convenience of The Carrington.

“Over the years, I realized it takes a team approach to help the geriatric population. This includes not only the physician but the great staff at senior housing locations, visiting nurses and therapists, family members, and even others in the community. Working together as a team and having great communication with families really makes a difference for our HMG patients.”

Chirag Patel, MD, CEO & Medical Director
Hansa Medical Groupe

More valuable HMG benefits
In addition to access to primary and specialty care services without leaving the community and the unparalleled value of nighttime attention and care, Hansa Medical Groupe enhances The Carrington lifestyle by bringing the following additional benefits to residents:

  • Access—seven-days-a-week, including holidays—to the convenience of home-based medicine administered by well-trained medical professionals who have the highest level of skill and education.
  • Promotion of independence, healthy living, preventive medicine, and overall positivity of The Carrington culture. Every patient/resident is treated as a beloved family member.
  • Onsite visits by primary care physicians and specialists in internal medicine, cardiology, nephrology, pulmonary, urology, and neurology.
  • A focus on preventive care—HMG professionals consult with patients, determine the needs, and make recommendations and orders for community staff to carry out each day.
  • Elimination of transportation hassles to outside medical care for residents and their families, especially nice during the harsh winter months.
  • No busy waiting rooms or impatient, rude office staff. Care services are administered by professionals our residents see at The Carrington every day.
  • HMG care and attention to detail are proven to help:
    • Prevent emergency room visits
    • Minimize hospitalizations and improve outcomes
    • Delay the need for skilled care
    • Decrease life insurance premiums

Open Arms Solutions Personal Care at Home
Open Arms Solutions—just like HMG—has a beginning that’s founded upon personal objectives and family needs. Open Arms President Julie Kollada’s mother Jeanne was given a diagnosis of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease leaving her completely dependent. Julie and her family—like so many adult children today—were left to figure out lodging, care, insurance, and finances for Jeanne, along with a vast web of questions.

And so it began for Julie—an introduction to and education in senior healthcare and its support team of home, assisted care, skilled nursing, and hospice professionals, along with attorneys, physicians, nurses, therapists, and more.

Based on her firsthand experience, Julie made the long-term commitment to give back by guiding other families through the toughest of times, providing education, relevant resources, and referrals, and helping seniors regain, maintain, and preserve their independence and quality of life.

She founded Open Arms in 2009, and, with her business partners who share significant personal and professional experience in providing solutions for seniors, Julie has helped hundreds of families navigate the challenges of aging and illness.

Expertise in senior home care
Open Arms Solutions is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured home-care agency dedicated to helping families find exceptional care for their loved ones. This personal, award-winning service has been providing Chicagoland families the highest level of expertise in senior home care. The following core values define Open Arms Solutions and The Carrington residents benefit from this incredible partnership offering onsite home-care services:

  • Teamwork and collaboration are considered foundational to the Open Arms team.
  • Compassion and empathy guide the actions of every Open Arms team member.
  • Do the right thing by delivering on the Open Arms promise to families.
  • Above & beyond the normal job description or 9-5 day—the Open Arms mantra.
  • Positivity drives the Open Arms attitude and focuses on moving toward solutions.

THE FINAL SAY: Only the best
West Bay Senior Living manages The Carrington—bringing veteran leadership in senior living, as well as an on-location presence that sets the tone for providing truly personalized, caring, and dedicated services to residents. Hansa Medical Groupe and Open Arms Solutions are the perfect fit for The Carrington lifestyle. We are proud of this partnership!

Experience the life of active independence at The Carrington at Lincolnwood by calling (847) 744-9469 for a personal tour and complimentary lunch.

5 helpful suggestions when acclimating to a new senior living community

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Last month, we presented 8 helpful questions to ask when visiting a senior living community—questions that will help you get at the heart of a community. Your research is now complete, and you’ve made the decision where you want to spend the next chapter of your life.

Let’s fast forward. The movers have unpacked the last box and positioned your furniture just as you want it. It’s finally time to really get comfortable and acclimated to your new community.

5 Helpful Suggestions
A successful move—especially to community living—involves much more than just getting used to a new apartment. You’re transitioning into a whole new lifestyle! There’s bound to be stress. Hopefully, the following suggestions will help you settle in quickly and avoid the emotional challenges of such a major life change.

      1. Be true to yourself and what you’re experiencing. Excitement, nostalgia, sadness, fear of the unknown, loss of independence, sense of relief. Experts will tell you these emotions are NORMAL. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way you do. As for “loss of independence,” just look at it this way: Consider all the decisions you’ll soon make about the new opportunities, friendships, activities, and life experiences awaiting you in your new home.
      2. Say a proper goodbye to your current home. This is important. After all, the years you spent there provided you with wonderful lasting memories. Take time to create one last special memory for yourself. Maybe it’s some quiet time in your favorite chair by the fireplace. A glass of wine at sunset on your porch. One more leisurely stroll through your garden. It might be fun to leave a secret message or time capsule for the next residents. Hide an artifact in your yard as an exhilarating way of proving your own existence there. Yes, I used to live here…and now I’m on to something better!
      3. Make your new home your own. You’ll probably be rightsizing into a home smaller than where you were before. Be selective in what you take to your new home. You’ll want the important things that reflect your unique personality and needs—the small touches. Leave the outdated or damaged items you kept only because there was “space for it.” New furniture and décor may even be a possibility. Integrate the old with the new and enjoy a refreshing—and very personal—new living environment. The Carrington offers a wide array of floor plans to choose from in making your living space uniquely yours. Each residence at The Carrington has been designed for an independent, maintenance-free lifestyle with security and comfort.
      4. Get familiar right away. Your move to community living is truly a “journey.” Keep a travelogue for your exciting trip. A place to record answers to your questions about daily routines, availability of services, dining, the community calendar, worship services, and planned excursions you’ll not want to miss. Make a few personal notes on the layout of the community, as well. Pay close attention to common areas and where to secure transportation if needed to stay connected with family and friends in the area. The highly desirable Lincolnwood area offers multiple opportunities for dining, shopping, and cultural enrichment for residents of The Carrington. You’re going to meet so many new people—community neighbors, new friends, and staff. You’ll want to remember the names and details about their lives. Your travelogue is the perfect place for these notes. Arrange for a “buddy” to travel with you—a current resident to show you around, answer your questions, and introduce you to other residents who will play a major role in your new memories.
      5. Mix and mingle—daily. Socialization is key to getting quickly acclimated, and the common areas of your new community offer the best opportunity to socialize. Find out if your new community has a happy hour—if not, host one yourself. Don’t eat alone—always invite others to join you. Involve yourself in community activities and amenities. At The Carrington, the amenities, coupled with endless programs, activities, and events support a vibrant, independent, social lifestyle. While you’re busy meeting new friends and neighbors, don’t forget to maintain attachments to your previous neighbors, friends—and family members, too. Share your new lifestyle with them. Invite them to join you for dinner, special activities, and events. They all want to know you’re doing well—and it’s possible if you take these five suggestions to heart.

To experience the life of active independence at The Carrington at Lincolnwood, call (847) 744-9469 for a personal tour and complimentary lunch. You’ll see how easy it is to settle in with us.

What to ask when you visit a senior living community:
8 questions to get you started

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Many people research senior living communities by reading brochures or visiting websites—like you’re doing now. Those are great starting points, but if you want a full picture of your options, it’s worth taking the time to visit communities in person. That way, you can zero in on the facts—all the details that distinguish each community. Just as important, your visit helps you understand the heart of each community—the unique feeling residents have when they live there.

To get the most out of your visit, it helps to have a list of questions in mind before you visit. Ask the same questions at each community, so you can easily compare the answers.

8 questions to ask during your visit
Think of these as starting points—with one question leading to another. You may have other questions that apply to your particular situation. The goal is to dig deep and get a complete picture of each community.

Question #1: Who owns and manages the community?
> Was it specifically designed for this area?

These questions will help you get a feel for the overall vision and direction of the community. For instance, The Carrington at Lincolnwood was designed and built specifically to meet the needs of seniors in Lincolnwood, Skokie and the surrounding Chicago neighborhoods, as well as seniors with adult children living in the area.


Question #2: What services are included in the monthly fee?
> What costs extra?

Senior living communities typically offer a range of services as part of the monthly fee. For instance, independent living services at The Carrington include maintenance, restaurant-style dining, planned events, social activities, and more. (As a rental community, there’s no entrance buy-in fee at The Carrington.)


Question #3: How does the meal plan work?
> Is it flexible for people who want to dine at different times or at different dining venues?
> How many entrée choices are on a typical menu?
> Is there an emphasis on special dietary needs?

Some communities, including The Carrington, offer a flexible dining program for independent living that includes a monthly credit for residents’ choice of meals and dining venues.


Question #4: What programs are available to help residents stay well?
> Is there an on-site fitness center and/or pool?
> Does the typical resident participate in wellness activities?

Wellness is a hot topic among senior living communities. The key is to determine if the community actively engages residents to participate.


Question #5: What safety features does the community have?
> Does someone check on residents each day?
> How do residents get help in case of an emergency?

Recognizing that peace of mind is a key reason why residents and their families choose a senior living community, The Carrington makes security a top priority, with 24-hour staffing, personal security response pendant service, and other optional safety features.


Question #6: Who are the typical residents?
> Are they from the area or have family in the area?
> Are they out-and-about and actively involved in the community?

You’ll discover these answers simply by observing residents during your visit.


Question #7: What types of activities are offered at the community?
> How is the activities program at this community different from other communities?
> What are some of the community’s most popular activities?

Find out if the community offers unique and interesting activities that entice residents to participate.


Question #8: What health services are available on-site?
> Do current residents have priority access to on-site care?
> What is the staff-to-resident ratio in each level of care?

These questions will vary depending on the care options available at each community. For example, The Carrington offers assisted living with an emphasis on helping residents remain as independent as possible. The community also offers a progressive approach to memory care in a neighborhood-style environment.


Compare your answers.
Write down the answers to each question as you visit communities. You might even want to create your own comparison chart or spreadsheet, so you can easily see the similarities and differences. All of this information will help you make a smart and informed decision. Try our cost calculator to compare the cost of senior living options.

The Carrington welcomes your questions—contact us! Call (847) 744-9469 to schedule an appointment for a tour and complimentary lunch.