What is a continuum of care and how can seniors benefit from it?

There’s no denying that moving can be stressful for anyone, especially for seniors. Those who choose retirement living, however, can enjoy peace of mind knowing that many senior living residences provide what’s known as a “continuum of care”— setting and services that allow you or a loved one to age in place without the need for a move.

What does “continuum of care” mean?

Continuum of care or “continuing care” simply mean that a seamless range of health and wellness or care services are available in a retirement residence; services which adapt to your uniquely changing needs over time. The major benefit? Older adults maintain their independence as long as possible—continuing to enjoy an active and social retirement lifestyle—and can age in place with the help of supportive services too, helping to avoid a further move or the need for a long term care setting.

What is Chartwell’s Care Assist Program?

Chartwell’s Care Assist Program offers optional personalized care services that can help you or a loved one maintain your independence as your needs change over time. Together with a Chartwell Health and Wellness Manager, you create a customized plan of care based on your or a loved one’s needs, capabilities, and interests, choosing from a comprehensive list of à la carte wellness services or all-inclusive care packages.

Care services may include:

  • Medication management
  • Assistance with your morning or evening routine
  • Continence care
  • Injection services
  • Escort assistance to meals or activities
  • Meal assistance

Pharmacy and lab services in-house

Additionally, Chartwell has partnered with several health and wellness providers, including lab and pharmacy services. This provides you with access to a pharmacist or other health care providers without the need to leave your retirement community.

Furthermore, one of the most useful services Chartwell has introduced has been the availability of virtual physician appointments, allowing you to speak to a doctor via video call.

The compassionate people behind your care

In a senior living community, many residents are appreciative of the fact that personal care services are provided by staff they know and trust, unlike outside home-care agencies that may not send the same worker every visit.

Chartwell Health & Wellness teams collaborate with you or a loved one to provide services tailored to your preferred schedule, so you don’t miss favourite activities or visits from friends and families. The team includes dedicated and trained Personal Support Workers, Nurses, and other experienced staff, committed to working with you to partner in your care.

“Often, we will see new residents who use our medication management service, and that—combined with our dining program’s great nutrition and the residence’s social activities—means they experience improvements in physical and mental health and well-being,” says Charlotte Miller, Chartwell’s Vice President of Resident Care. “This is one of the best things for me: seeing the success stories of residents.”

Support seniors—and their caregivers—value

It's not just residents who benefit from the flexibility of adding—or removing—care services, but families and spouses who are caregivers.

“Now family members can go back to enjoying a regular relationship with their mother, for example, rather than being a caregiver, which can be a very different role,” Charlotte explains. “While families and spouses are usually happy to support their elder relatives, these services take away the stress of worrying about if mom got her medication, or if she was able to bathe. Families no longer have to take time off work to squeeze in the early morning lab appointment for fasting bloodwork, for example.”

Driving every service is the philosophy of helping you feel their best, every single day: “By providing the customized support residents need when they need it, we are able to give people back their independence,” Charlotte concludes. “And they also gain back a little more of themselves.”

To learn more about Chartwell’s care services—including our Care Assist Program, available in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia, click here.