Meet the Expert »
Margie Veis
Margie Veis is the Executive Director at Oakmont of Santa Clarita . Prior to her work in assisted living and dementia care, Margie worked as a Registered Physical Therapist for over fifteen years in both rehabilitation and home health settings. Margie has over ten years of experience managing the transition from home to assisted living, as well as working with the special needs of those affected by dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Contact Information
Phone: 661-295-2025
Address: 28650 Newhall Ranch Road
  Santa Clarita, CA 91355

Assisted Living/Dementia Questions Answered by Margie Veis »
Section: Assisted Living/Dementia
Q:  What is the difference between an asssited living and a skilled nursing home?

Thank you for your  question.  Many of us get confused by the different terminology and I hope that I can help clarify it.

I like to think of an assisted living as 'the best of both worlds".  It is a senior living alternative that is based on a social model where a senior can live independently, or as their needs change, get assistance with personal care.  Many assisted livings offer  meals, activities, transportation, housekeeping and other amenities along with the ability to utilize caregivers as needed. Most assisted livings are covered through private pay and can be combined with Long Term Care insurance or the VA Aids and Assistance Program. A Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) or what in the past was called a convalescent home, is a medical model.  It has 24 hour skilled nursing and medical interventions available 24 hours/day. Most patients requiring skilled nursing have had a hospital stay and are not yet medically ready to return home.  Many skilled nursing facilities can be covered through Medicare or medical insurance, as they are part of the medical system.  It is so important to be clear as to what your needs are - is there truly a medical intervention necessary, to determine what the right choice is for you.

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Section: Assisted Living/Dementia
Q:  What are some recommendations for preparing to move someone from the home to assisted living?

Making a move at any age can be stressful, but even more so as a senior.  I think the most important factor in a successful move is keeping your loved one involved in the decision making process as they are able and acknowledging the stress of change. In moving a parent from their home, try to go through their belongs together, letting them decide what is important to them to bring. Don't forget to bring family pictures and nick-knacks to keep that homey feeling! The best advice I can give, is to not wait until there is a fall or an illness that deems an emergency situation where decisions get made out of urgency and need versus choice. Start having conversations early on, and get information on different living situations so that when you are ready to make a move, you are informed and feel confident in the decision that you make. 

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Section: Assisted Living/Dementia
Q:  My parents live alone and are starting to have some health issues. How will I know when it might be time to have them start looking into assisted living?
A:  Thank you for this great question!  So many of us are dealing with aging parents and while we want to be respectful of their need for independence and living in their own home, safety is always a concern.  I would start by asking yourself some of these questions:  Are they able to bathe safely? Are they keeping up with their hygiene? Who is cooking their meals and are they eating healthy? Are they taking their medications properly?  Have their been falls?  Is their home being maintained?  Have your parents expressed a fear of living alone? Are you spending your time going over to check on them more frequently or taking them to more and more doctor appointments?  Many assisted living communities offer a wide variety of amenities and services that will allow your parents the independence and dignity they deserve, while offering a peace of mind for both you and them.

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