Whether you’re the adult child of an aging parent, or someone approaching 65 or older looking for ways to enrich your lifestyle in and out of the home, New Orleans has an astounding abundance of options for increasing quality of life and providing care when needed for its senior community. Needs are specific to every individual and family, and retirement or assisted living can be tailored to those needs. In some cases, there are no needs, just wants – desires for less home maintenance and more mobility and social activities.
From completely independent living in a continuing care retirement community, to the helpful companionship of an in-home service or required medical assistance in an assisted living or nursing care residence, researching and choosing the right option for your family need not be frightening nor intimidating. The services are here to help individuals to continue living their lives as they want to live them.
Located in Uptown and overlooking the Mississippi River is Lambeth House (150 Broadway St., 865-1960, LambethHouse.com), an age-qualified community that offers condo-style residences for independent living with the option for assisted living and nursing care if and when needed. Lambeth House is New Orleans’ only continuing care retirement community with LifeCare, a program allowing residents the ability to move across levels of care if ever needed with little to no increase in fees.
Maintaining a person’s lifestyle is paramount at Lambeth House. Residents can customize their home, maintain their pet and enjoy a robust offering of services and amenities that include flexible meal plans, weekly housekeeping and grounds maintenance, parking, wellness and fitness center, business center, interfaith chapel, game room, salon and cultural, educational and social events across the city. According to Helen Foster, owner of Foster Strategy, LLC, a recent survey from Lambeth House residents described their living environment as “delightful” and “stimulating” – some remarking that they “can’t imagine living anywhere else.”
This year, Lambeth House is expanding with a new $17 million state-of-the-art building. Continuing the legacy of St. Anna’s Residence, St. Anna’s at Lambeth House will be located on the Lambeth House campus. The building will feature a new wellness and fitness center, lap pool, chapel, meditation garden, massage therapy room, salon and additional nursing suites.
Poydras Home (5354 Magazine St., 897-0535, PoydrasHome.com), is another nonprofit continuing care retirement community located Uptown, which, in addition to independent living, assisted living and nursing care, also offers memory support services, as well as PHASE, a senior day program for older adults still residing in their homes. PHASE allows a respite for caregivers, providing them time to attend to responsibilities or break from the caregiving routine, and it allows participants the opportunity to interact, socialize and benefit from programs and activities while having onsite medical supervision.
Poydras Home’s grounds include the Garden House for independent living in one-bedroom apartments, Historic House for assisted living and nursing care in private rooms and Hunter House for Alzheimer’s and memory care in private rooms. Currently under expansion is the new Oak House, which will feature 33 new assisted living rooms, 11 of which will be dedicated to memory support. Additionally, the Historic Home is currently being renovated to include a new nursing area, a therapy and wellness room, and two new dining spaces with fine dining and bistro settings.
“One strength of ours is the small size,” says director of Admissions & Social Services Erin Kolb. “We’re able to provide a personal experience to residents in a true homelike atmosphere.” Now in its 195th year, Poydras Home has nearly two centuries of experience in caring, first as a home for female children and now for older adults. “We have the history and service to back up our mission and what we do, a reputation of caring,” says Kolb.
Overlooking picturesque Bayou St. John and City Park is Vista Shores (5958 St. Bernard Ave., 288-3737, VistaShores.com), an assisted living and memory care residence with three “neighborhoods” of one- or two-bedroom apartments and an entire floor dedicated to memory care. Their mission is to encourage residents’ own unique balance of independence and to provide them with the greatest level of assistance possible. The innovative community design incorporates community, familiarity, safety and support in a home-like environment.
“Because we’re locally owned and operated, we have the ability to truly personalize care and services according to the unique needs of our residents,” says director of Community Relations Denise Gordy. “Unique to Vista Shores is our 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. open dining policy. We offer elegant, restaurant-style dining prepared by chef Sylvester Campbell, formerly executive chef at the Le Pavillon Hotel’s Crystal Room.” Additionally, an on-site beauty salon and barbershop is available, along with a full calendar of social events.
While moving to independent living communities works for many, there are also those who wish to remain in-home despite changing needs and abilities. As these changes occur, non-medical and/or medical assistance may be necessary.
Home Care Solutions (828-0900, HomeCareNewOrleans.com), provides in-home, non-medical assistance and companionship as well as Geriatric Care Management services when needed.
“While Home Care Solutions isn’t an assisted living facility, our caregiver staff frequently provides complementary support services for residents of various assisted living facilities as well as in the home,” says owner and director Betty Landreaux, LCSW, CMC, NCG. “Based on a professional assessment of need, our caregivers can assist residents with such activities as running errands, walking pets, cooking light meals, doing laundry, helping residents shower, dress, move to and from bed, go to the salon or doctor appointments – any personal care assistance and/or personal tasks their adult children cannot accomplish because of time or distance.”
With Home Care Solutions, all in-home services begin with a professional assessment visit. A plan of care is designed specific to the client’s needs while incorporating family input. Experienced, bonded and insured caregivers are chosen based on need and personality. If Geriatric Care Management services are needed, such as in the case of long-distance caregiving, professional Geriatric Care Managers are available to consult with family on complex care issues, act as a liaison between family and healthcare provider and coordinate services.
“In one or two consultations with a Geriatric Care Manager, clients gain an accurate picture of their needs and the local resources available to meet those needs,” says owner and director Dianne Boazman, LCSW, CMC. “Often times, people won’t call for help until they’re in a crisis situation. Our Geriatric Care team knows the full gamut of available care options and how to efficiently access services needed. They are invaluable in helping families prepare for the best fit for loved ones.”
Locally owned and operated, Gifted Nurses (2748 Metairie Lawn Drive, Metairie, 832-8985, (888) 566-8773, GiftedNurses.com) provides both non-medical and medical in-home assistance. In non-medical assistance, Certified Nursing Assistants and specially trained sitters help with daily activities. Gifted Nurses offers services anywhere the client calls home, including independent living communities and, in some cases, assisted living residences. If and when medical needs grow, Gifted Nurses can also provide skilled medical assistance, offering a smooth and flexible transition.
“We also have care givers with specialties,” says co-owner Mullady Voelker,. “If the client has Alzheimer’s, for example, we have a core group with training in the disease and in cognitive stimulation exercises that help slow its progression.”
The amount of daily or weekly care is based on the need of the individual after the initial assessment.
“We offer services from an hour a week up to 24/7,” says Voelker, emphasizing Gifted Nurses’ flexibility in working with individuals and families.
Flexibility is key with each of these service providers, as they flex to your lifestyle or that of your loved one. They make it their business. In a city where lifestyle is everything, rest assured no matter your needs, you still get to be you.