Ashby Ponds Staff Share Information on Levels of Support in Observance of Social Work Month

(Ashburn, Va.) - In honor of Social Work Month during March, Ashby Ponds retirement community is hosting several events focused on social workers and the support they are able to provide.  One of the social workers at Ashby Ponds, Ron Longo, and the Director of Continuing Care, Amy Grossman, recently shared some insight on the variety of services available to seniors as they age.  Grossman also spoke about the levels of support that will be available at the Continuing Care neighborhood at Ashby Ponds when it opens early next year. Longo described some of the ways that social workers are able to assist at Ashby Ponds including helping with the adjustment to community life, situational counseling, and providing assistance through levels of care transitions.  He also discussed the differences between Home Support and Certified Home Health Care: Home Support:
  • non-medical home care
  • private pay; not covered by Medicare
  • services may be contracted at any time
Home Support is generally a supplement to assisting an individual in living independently, Longo said.  Additionally, Home Support services tend to satisfy more long-term needs rather than the temporary, short-term care that Certified Home Health may provide.  Generally, nursing assistants/companions provide care which may include help with bathing, dressing, housekeeping, medication reminders, and respite care. Certified Home Health:
  • medical care provided in the home
  • paid though Medicare, Part B
  • requires a physician's order generally after hospitalization or stay in a rehabilitation center
Certified Home Health is typically temporary, short-term care that may last for approximately 3-4 weeks with 2-3 visits per week.  Certified Home Health Care may be provided by registered nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists and/or nursing assistants.  These medical professionals provide a variety of care such as wound care, intravenous therapy, and injections. Longo indicated some individuals receive services from both Home Support and Certified Home Health.  A multitude of factors may determine what service is right for each individual including finances, dignity, quality of life, and one's ability to make choices. Longo also described the difference between hospice and palliative care; both palliative and hospice care require physician's orders and are typically covered under Medicare, Part B. Palliative Care:
  • manage pain and symptoms to help improve quality of life
  • includes  treatment for curable illnesses and/or chronic diseases
  • appropriate for patients in all disease stages
  • provide support for individual and family by controlling symptoms such as pain, shortness of breath, or fatigue.
Hospice Care:
  • manage pain and symptoms to improve quality of life in the final stages of life
  • physicians make home visits for care
  • staff is available on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • spiritual and psychological support and bereavement counseling is provided for one year after a loved one's death
When is the right time to talk to a doctor about Palliative or Hospice Care?  Longo described a number of factors that may indicate a need for a conversation:
  • unintentional weight loss
  • excessive sleeping throughout the day
  • multiple hospital stays or visits within six months
  • difficulty breathing even at rest
  • pain that is poorly controlled
  • loss of appetite
  • wounds not healing
  • not bouncing back after illness
Longo summarized the supportive options available to assist Ashby Ponds residents. His presentation highlighted the fact that Social Workers are available to help residents understand the options and decide what choices are best for them. Amy Grossman shared some information regarding the levels of care that will be available within the Continuing Care neighborhood at Ashby Ponds when it opens early next year.  Upon its completion, the neighborhood will be a four-story, 120,000 square-foot building comprised of 132 residences offering assisted living, memory care, short-term rehabilitation and nursing care services. Grossman described Assisted Living as a residential option that focuses on assisting residents with activities of daily living (i.e. bathing, dressing, transferring, and eating). Care is provided based on residents' strengths and abilities. The focus will be "person-centered," whereby the team members get to know the whole person and provide support based on an individual's strengths. Assisted Living will also provide the following, plus additional benefits:
  • personal care and support services
  • cozy, home environment
  • opportunities for meaningful engagement
  • fostering of independence
  • access to health and medical services
  • around the clock supervision
  • assistance with medication management
  • social, recreational and wellness activities
  • emergency call response
  • routine housekeeping
Memory Care is another residential option and a level of assisted living for residents with cognitive impairments, according to Grossman.  Assistance with activities of daily living will be provided by licensed nursing staff.  She indicated that one may need Memory Care if it is unsafe for them to remain at home and they can benefit from 24-hour programming, fostering meaningful interaction.  Additionally, memory stations will be available with "touch, feel, see, do" activities that are familiar to residents, such as a sewing or woodworking station.  The focus at Ashby Ponds will be "person-centered"; this means care professionals will get to know the whole person and understand their behavior in order to assist appropriately. Grossman said that Nursing Care may become necessary when one has complex medical needs and requires 24-hour continuous support from licensed nurses and nursing assistants.  The focus for nursing care also includes strength-based and person-centered care approaches. Short-Term Rehabilitation includes medical and physical rehabilitation after a hospital stay. This care allows an individual the opportunity to regain their highest level of functioning before returning home, according to Grossman. Continuing Care at Ashby Ponds will feature the following:
  • high quality care, as part of the Erickson Living program, including on-site physicians
  • philosophy of care approach (person-centered care)
  • state-of-the-art neighborhoods that include private apartments and suites with full bathrooms
  • variety of different floor plans options available
About Ashby Ponds:  Ashby Ponds, one of 16 retirement communities managed by Erickson Living, is situated on a scenic 132-acre campus in Ashburn, Virginia (approximately 30 miles west of Washington, D.C.).  The community is home to over 700 residents and is filled with fascinating people and fantastic opportunities.  With over 100 resident-run and resident-driven clubs and groups, an indoor pool, a fitness club, transportation services, 24-hour security, and flexible dining options, life at Ashby Ponds offers a true sense of community and is an exciting alternative to the typical retirement community.  More information about Ashby Ponds can be found at: www.ericksonliving.com.