By Alexander Germanis
One of the most difficult things for most humans to do is ask for help. Our pride, vanity, and egos are so very often tied up in a need to “do it on our own.”
To ask for help may be bad enough, but to require it on a regular basis can feel detrimental to one’s self-worth.
For some, however, the need for daily assistance due to declining health can supersede these issues of pride. Furthermore, the wisdom in the Bible reminds us that to shed oneself of pride can result in blessings. “Be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
At Apostolic Christian Skylines in Peoria, residents in assisted living seek to overcome these obstacles and, through the loving effort of the staff, are treated with all the grace promised them in the Bible.
Admitting there is a need for help can be a difficult first step, but that difficulty is often compounded by the myths that have plagued the concept of assisted living for decades.
One such misbelief is that assisted living communities are environments akin to hospitals or nursing homes. “That is not true,” insists Apostolic Christian Skylines Director of Assisted Living, Tricia Stenger. “We are focused on providing a very cozy, home-like setting.”
Of course, the comforts of home are made that much more comfortable and comforting knowing there can be assistance at all times and for all things. “Our community can help with activities of daily living—like getting dressed and bathing—things that may be hard or dangerous for one to do at home on their own,” Tricia says. “We also provide meals, medication assistance, or management, housekeeping, laundry activities, and social events.”
Assisted living is not solely about receiving direct physical help with the personal activities of daily living. Freedom from the chores of daily living is a perk as well. “The earlier someone moves into a community like Skylines,” Tricia adds, “the sooner they can enjoy the freedoms of having no household chores, no household maintenance, utility bills, etc. They can become more active and social with other residents who can relate to them and their situation.”
Breaking Down the Barriers
Although one should not wait until there is a need for care before moving into Skylines, there is still an obstacle that affects people, whether they need assistance or not. Naturally, moving into a community like Skylines does come with the caveat that one’s amassed possessions might need to find a new home.
“Downsizing can seem overwhelming,” Skylines Executive Director, Matt Feucht, understands. “There are companies that Skylines partners with to make this a smooth transition. Once the downsizing is completed most people say it is liberating and freeing to have all but what they need for their new living arrangement taken care of. Not putting that burden on their family is a great place to be in.”
Another obstacle to making a move is price. Any move, regardless of location, can be expensive. While transitioning to assisted living may not be as costly as a move to skilled care and can even be less expensive than some home care, the cost might still be a barrier to some. “At Skylines, the cost is less expensive than many other assisted living communities in the area,” Matt says. “We believe we offer a very good value.”
Transition Without Moving
The last thing anyone wants to do after making a life move is to pick everything up and move again. Once a move to Skylines Assisted Living is made, for a resident to be able to age in place now becomes a major priority for the staff.
While in one’s new home, the level of assistance provided depends on the level of care, customizable to specific needs. Level One assistance includes utilities except phone and access to all activities. Further services may, of course, be provided for a fee.
At Level Two, a resident receives all of what Level One provides, plus laundry service, housekeeping, three meals per day, and some assistance with personal cares.
Level Three includes all aforementioned care plus assistance with medications and increased assistance with personal cares. “Under our assisted living license, we are able to provide any three of the previously mentioned levels of care in any room,” Tricia explains. “As needs change, we update service plans to provide cares and services within the regulations. For the most part, staff work with the resident and their families to develop a plan of care and take care of each resident to the best of our ability until a further transition into skilled care might be needed.”
As Tricia says, life does not always follow our plans, so there may be a need for assistance beyond what the assisted living levels provide. Should the need for added assistance or even skilled care be needed, a resident does not necessarily need to make another move.
“We have the full continuum of care services for seniors,” Matt insists. Should someone need additional help, they are able to receive that within the same community.
“We try our best to let residents age in place as long as we can,” Tricia concurs, “and we provide them the care that is needed.”
A Call to Serve
Although Skylines is staffed by highly qualified men and women and is rated five stars by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, their greatest strength lies in their focus.
“We are a Christian-focused community,” Matt states. “It is very important to our board, administration, and our frontline staff that the residents’ Christian faith is built up and supported at Skylines.”
The staff, therefore, view their positions not as jobs, but as higher callings. They are a part of a ministry, Matt declares, helping seniors live out the remainder of their lives. “Our staff,” he adds, “care deeply for the people they serve.”
At Apostolic Christian Skylines, care begins and ends with a dedication to the core Christian belief that one should love one’s neighbor as oneself. That love allows residents to live their lives in an atmosphere of dignity and grace.
Apostolic Christian Skylines is located at 7023 Northeast Skyline Drive in Peoria, Illinois. If you would like to arrange to tour Skylines to see if it’s the right community for you or your loved one, please contact us at (309) 683-2500 or visit us on the web at www.acskylines.org.
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