Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Max Burry’s lucky landing in assisted living

Max Burry and his wife bought a house in Williamsburg to retire closer to their children.

It’s a common story in this community. People move to southeastern Virginia for family, or after being stationed here in the military or just to escape the harsh winters in the north.

Max had lived in a lot of different homes around the eastern part of the country, as was used to buying a house, making it a home and keeping it well maintained. Independence is one of the most important parts of making those decisions.

Then Max encountered some medical issues that required an important medical procedure followed by rehabilitation. Upon discharge, Max was sent from the hospital to the rehabilitation facilities that are part of Patriots Colony in Williamsburg.

During his rehabilitation, Max got to know and like the campus and the Patriots Colony community.

“The amenities make it feel like a high quality hotel, but at the same time it’s very warm and welcoming.” Max said of his rehabilitation experience and, as Max continued to have health problems associated with his diabetes, he realized he could use that kind of care and attention all the time, which is when he decided to move to the Berkeley Assisted Living Community at Patriots Colony.

“I feel like I got excellent care there,” says Max.

“It’s a sadness to me that my wife didn’t have the opportunity to live here. I’ve found it to be a very caring environment. There are people to check up on me and help out when I need it, but no one is intrusive. I’ve made good friends and there are so many activities I couldn’t possibly do everything that’s available.”

“There are people here who have lived in places all over the world, and when you combine that with all the cultural events and the lectures by William & Mary faculty, it’s a stimulating environment. I get around pretty well and take advantage of the fitness opportunities but at the same time it’s comforting to know there are other levels of care available right here in the same community.”

“I think the best part for me, is that there’s no sense of confinement. I go out to dinner with friends or they have dinner with me here and are always pleased to see how vibrant and active the community is.”

Max landed at Berkeley Assisted Living Community at Patriots Colony through a stroke of luck. That’s an important part of this story, because all assisted living communities are not created equal.

All Assisted Living Communities Are Not Created Equal

Assisted Living is one of the growing range of residential options that older adults can consider when their current situation makes it difficult or impossible to remain at home. The term generally describes a living environment that brings together independent accommodations with support services.

On the most basic level, assisted living helps older adults enjoy a lifestyle that allows for a high degree of independence, dignity and social involvement, with the benefits of assistance to meet their daily needs.

But assisted living facilities are licensed and regulated on a state-by-state level so there can be a considerable difference in what’s required. Assisted living can also vary significantly when it comes to everything from the philosophy of care and the sponsoring organization to services, amenities, staffing and physical appearance.

Along with the kinds of services and programs that are offered, assisted living also varies in the level of health care that is available directly within the community or can be readily accessed nearby.

The Assisted Living Experience at Patriots Colony

The Berkeley Assisted Living residences are part of Patriots Colony, one of the region’s premier retirement communities with independent living exclusively for the military and federal civil service members. Located on a spacious and attractive campus in Williamsburg, Patriots Colony is a continuing care retirement community, meaning their continuum of care includes assisted living, memory care, convalescent center and short-term rehabilitation that are open to the everyone in the community, no prior military career required.

As the name suggests, it offers a tiered approach to older adult living that seamlessly accommodates any changes or needs related to health and lifestyle.

In that sense, The Berkeley Assisted Living is a community within a larger community that also features independent living, long-term care, convalescent and rehabilitation care and personalized memory support for residents living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. Assisted living residents have access to the extensive array of services and amenities offered throughout the Patriots Colony continuum of care along with a range of features exclusive to the assisted living community designed specifically to balance independence with assistance. In all cases, the services are personalized to individual needs.

Because Patriots Colony at Williamsburg is sponsored by Riverside Health System, the state’s largest non-governmental provider of services to older adults, residents at The Berkeley also have access to an exceptional level of health, wellness and fitness resources as well as a state-of-the-art emergency call system.

Residents live in attractive, private apartments that can be arranged with personal furniture, décor and belongings while also enjoying planned activities, impromptu gatherings or quiet time in thoughtfully designed common spaces adjacent to outdoor walkways, gardens and beautifully landscaped open spaces. Three daily nutritious meals (along with healthy snacks and therapeutic diets) with multiple selections are served restaurant style and friends and family members are always welcome.

What Else To Look For in Assisted Living?

As mentioned earlier, assisted living communities can vary greatly not only in the range of what they offer but also within the same service categories. Fortunately, there are quite a few resources available to help select a community that meets your needs. And when visiting, you can get feedback from residents and families.

But when you get past the details, what you find is that one of the most important considerations is knowing you or your loved one will enjoy as much independence as possible within an overall environment of caring and competence. You want to have full confidence that the people providing the supportive services are sufficient in number and highly qualified.

As you might expect, you can learn a lot by just looking around. The physical environment is, of course, critical. But when it comes down to day-to-day life in an assisted-living community, no single feature is going as important as a dedicated professional staff, so put a lot time into that evaluation.

Another consideration for you or a family member is the community’s philosophy and basic approach – from the administration to the licensed nursing staff to the certified nursing assistants to the personal care staff — regarding independence. You shouldn’t settle for less than the full resources of the community being directed toward helping residents remain at the highest possible levels of autonomy and independence in an environment that gives them the security of knowing people are available is they need assistance at any time.

While communities like The Berkeley at Patriots Colony provide a standard for selection, choosing an assisted living residence for yourself or a loved one requires time and effort. But when you consider that what’s at stake is the physical, emotional, cultural, intellectual and spiritual well-being of the resident, it’s well worth it.

The Berkeley Assisted Living Community at Patriots Colony also includes Springhouse, a specialized memory care residence. These care options are open to all, no prior military career eligibilities required. For more information on assisted living at Patriots Colony call 757- 220-9000 or click here.

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