The Advantages of a Senior Living Community vs Owning A Home

When is the right time to move your loved one out of their home and into a senior living community?

How do you avoid feeling guilty for moving your loved one?

Is there a good reason to move a senior from their own home into a senior living community?

If questions like these have been swirling in your mind, you’re not alone. And you’ve come to the right place. You’re in the middle of making a really hard decision: senior living community or home.

Deep down you want to move your loved one, but you need some help knowing why that’s the right choice. In this article, we’ll explore three reasons why a senior living community may be a better option than owning a home.

More Social Opportunities

Living in a senior living community gives your loved one several opportunities to branch out and interact with new people. There are tons of social circles and clubs in senior living communities. Opportunities like these are unprecedented.

If your loved one remains in their own home, they’ll be in a familiar place, but they’ll be isolated. A senior living community will help them acclimate to their new home and give them plenty of opportunities to meet new people. The friendships and relationships with staff will make them happier and healthier.

Maintenance-Free Living

One of the most difficult parts of home ownership as people age is maintenance. What you could do at 40 may not be possible at 65 and that’s okay! 

But as we become less available and capable of significant upkeep, like mowing the lawn, replacing windows, and painting a room, the home can start to look a little dirty in the corners. While a little dirt never hurt, it can serve as a constant reminder that your loved one isn’t capable of cleaning regularly.

This is where a senior living community plays a major role in shifting the perspective. In a community, your loved one doesn’t have to worry about burdensome tasks and deal with constant reminders that they can’t do some things anymore.

Instead, they can let the maintenance crews take care of it while they enjoy their golden years!

Access to Comprehensive Care

One of the major differences between living at home and in a senior living community is the immediate access to comprehensive care. At home, you need to transport your loved one to their appointments.

Since every community is different, it’s important to ask these kinds of questions during your initial visit. Additionally, make sure the communities you visit and live in offer the care you need. There are several levels of care available in each community, and some communities even have amenities like fitness and wellness centers to help seniors. 

Independence Without the Hassle

Here are a few other benefits of living in a senior living community vs. living at home:

  • Meals are provided for you.
  • Light housekeeping is done for you.
  • Hassle-free living — you pay one bill instead of dealing with multiple bills like water, sewage, heat, etc.

Owning a home is great, but there comes a time when it’s too much to maintain. A senior living community gives your loved one the independence they crave without the hassle of maintenance. It’s a win-win for everyone!

When Is the Right Time for Assisted Living?

Every person needs different things. Babies need constant attention. Teenagers need space. Adults need help raising their babies and teens. And seniors need the comfort and safety of an assisted living community.

As a senior living community located in the heart of the Midwest, we understand the unique concerns and considerations of individuals in this region. Let’s talk about the right time for seniors to go into an assisted living community and get the attention they need and the life they deserve.

Maintaining Independence and Quality of Life

Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) are one of the best indicators of self-sufficiency and independent living. ADLs include tasks such as personal hygiene, meal preparation, medication management, or even navigating the home. When your loved one starts struggling to do these tasks, it may be time to explore assisted living options.

Health and Safety Considerations

Health and safety is no laughing matter. Chronic and painful conditions can limit and isolate a person from healthy interactions and medical care. Especially when seniors live alone, the risks are too great for accidents. Assisted living communities are equipped to provide the necessary support and care to ensure every senior’s safety and well-being.

Loneliness and Social Isolation

Loneliness and social isolation significantly impact seniors’ mental and emotional well-being. If a senior finds themself alone, and craving social interaction and companionship, they may be ready for a change. Senior living communities offer so many different ways to expand a senior’s friend circle and make lasting connections. Enjoying a sense of community is important for overall happiness and quality of life.

Home Maintenance and Upkeep

Homes hold a special place in our hearts. They’re a chest of memories, laughs, and tears. But with all the good comes a lot of work. There comes a time when maintaining a home is too much work and increasingly difficult to manage. Between cleaning, yard work, home repairs, and maintenance, the tasks are overwhelming and stressful. Assisted living communities ease the burden and take care of all those responsibilities so that your loved one can enjoy life and pursue other interests.

Family Caregiver Stress

Before most seniors enter an assisted living community, their family is normally their caregiver. As wonderful and supportive as this is, it’s incredibly stressful for the family caregiver. A caregiver plays a major role in every aspect of life for the senior. And to fulfill those needs, they need to make sacrifices in their own life, which often means spending less time with their own family. This can be physically and emotionally draining. Switching to a senior living community can be just the change everyone involved needs to balance life and get the necessary support and care. 


There’s no time like the present to make a change in your senior’s living situation. We always recommend making the change sooner rather than later so that you can do as much research as possible without feeling rushed. 

This decision is hard. There’s so much involved in making the right choice. But if your loved one is struggling with any of the challenges listed above, the right time to switch to an assisted living community is now.

Stay Cool and Hydrated: The Best Foods to Eat to Stay Hydrated in the Summer Months

Woohoo! Summer is here! With all your fun plans for this hot season, it’s easy to overlook hydration. You don’t want to make that mistake!

It’s essential for seniors to maintain proper hydration levels. While drinking enough water is vital, did you know that certain foods can also contribute to staying hydrated? To help you stay cool and hydrated this summer, let’s explore the best foods for seniors to incorporate into their diet.


Nothing says summer like a juicy slice of watermelon! With its high water content of approximately 92%, watermelon is an excellent choice for seniors to stay hydrated. Packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, this delicious fruit helps replenish fluids and prevent dehydration. Its natural sweetness and refreshing nature make it a perfect snack for seniors in senior living communities.


Cucumbers are a fantastic addition to summer hydration plans. Composed of 96% water, cucumbers are incredibly hydrating and low in calories. They are also rich in vitamins K and C, which support bone health and boost the immune system. Seniors can enjoy the cooling and refreshing crunch of cucumbers as a snack, or water infusion, or incorporate them into their meals to stay hydrated and nourished. Because cucumbers have a neutral flavor with subtle sweetness, they are easy to add to almost any recipe.


Berries, like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, are not only delicious but also packed with water content. These superfoods contain approximately 85-92% water, making them a hydrating option for seniors. Additionally, berries are rich in antioxidants and fiber, promoting heart health and aiding digestion. Seniors can enjoy these delightful treats as a refreshing snack, or add them to yogurt, smoothies, or salads to enhance both flavor and hydration.

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens like lettuce, spinach, and kale are not only nutritious but also high in water content. These greens typically consist of 90-95% water, making them an excellent choice for seniors in the summer months. Leafy greens are great for salads, sandwiches, and wraps. They provide essential vitamins, minerals, and hydration. Seniors in senior living communities can enjoy these versatile greens and their numerous health benefits while keeping their hydration levels in check.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is a natural and refreshing beverage that serves as an excellent alternative to sugary drinks. It is packed with electrolytes (sodium, potassium, and magnesium), which help replenish fluids and keep you hydrated. Coconut water is also low in calories and fat-free, making it a healthier choice for seniors. Like water and milk, you can use coconut water as a base for smoothies and mocktails, offering seniors a delicious and hydrating option.

How Will You Stay Hydrated This Summer?

Staying hydrated during the summer months is crucial, especially for seniors in senior living communities. By incorporating hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumbers, berries, leafy greens, and coconut water into their diet, seniors can enjoy delicious and nutritious options that help maintain proper hydration levels, support overall health, and beat the summer heat. Stay cool, healthy, and energized this summer with proper hydration!

Prairie Vista Village: A Beacon of Excellence, Winning High Recognition Two Years Running!

To our residents, family members, staff, and community partners!

We have some fantastic news to share with you about the remarkable achievements of Prairie Vista Village. Our commitment to providing exceptional care and quality living has once again received regional and national recognition.

Firstly, we’re thrilled to announce that Prairie Vista Village has been honored with a Top 5-Star Rated Nursing Home Award. This prestigious accolade is derived from data collected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CMS ensures the health and safety of millions of Americans through national standards and quality control in health care facilities. The 5-Star Quality Rating System was developed to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and identify areas they may want to ask about.

A 5-Star rating is the highest level of performance that a nursing home can achieve, and receiving this award showcases our unwavering commitment to providing outstanding care for our residents. This rating is based on our health inspections, staffing levels, and various quality measures, such as how well we manage pain and treat bed sores. Our team is deeply proud of this achievement, which is a testament to our dedication, professionalism, and the loving care we provide daily to our residents.

But the accolades don’t stop there!

We are also excited to share that Prairie Vista Village has been awarded the Best of 2023 Altoona award by the Altoona Award Program. This is a remarkable achievement, as it marks the second year in a row that we have received this honor. This award program acknowledges the best local businesses in our area, recognizing companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value for the community.

Winning the Best of Altoona award two years consecutively underlines our commitment to excellence in every aspect of our operations. We have always strived to contribute positively to our local community, and this award is a testament to our success in this area.

We want to extend our heartfelt thanks to everyone who has supported Prairie Vista Village. To our dedicated team, thank you for your tireless efforts and passion for caring for our residents. To our residents and their families, thank you for your faith in us and for making Prairie Vista Village the warm, vibrant community it is today. And to the wider community of Altoona, thank you for embracing us and recognizing our commitment to enriching the lives of our residents and the community at large.

These awards are a tribute to the whole Prairie Vista Village family. They reflect our shared commitment to fostering an environment where residents can thrive, families can have peace of mind, and where staff are proud to work.

Looking ahead, we are inspired to continue our mission of providing exceptional care and fostering a vibrant community, always aspiring to exceed the high standards these awards represent.

Thank you all for being part of our journey. Here’s to many more years of success at Prairie Vista Village!

Keep following our blog for more updates about life at Prairie Vista Village.

Expand Your Friend Circle With These Senior Living Clubs In Your Area

As people get older, making new friends can become a challenging task. People often feel isolated as they age because their children and friends move, and there are seemingly fewer opportunities for seniors to gather together. These kinds of challenges lead to loneliness and isolation, which is the worst thing that can happen to someone as they grow older.

But have no fear, there are many senior living clubs and leagues that offer opportunities to connect with others and make new friends. Here are some senior living clubs we recommend: 

Senior Centers

One of the many great things about cities is that they’re often filled with senior centers. Senior centers are great gathering areas for a range of activities and programs. Your loved one can participate in fitness classes, arts and crafts workshops, games, and other social events. And the best part is your senior can make new friends and find people to spend time with.

Senior Sports Leagues

Almost every child spends at least one season playing sports in their lifetime. And now, your senior can do the same thing. There are senior sports leagues popping up left and right around the country. Seniors can participate in softball, golf, swimming, tennis, disc golf, and many other sports. These leagues are great for physical fitness and socialization.

Book Clubs

C.S. Lewis said, “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” If your loved one resonates with that statement, then a book club is the perfect option for making new friends. 

Book clubs are a great way to connect with others who share your love of reading. Many libraries and bookstores offer senior book clubs, and there are also online book clubs that you can join from the comfort of your own home.

Culture Clubs

The world is filled with culture. And people shouldn’t stop learning about other countries and cultures just because they’re getting older. Culture clubs are great opportunities for seniors to come together to travel around the world, share their stories, and participate in fun activities that teach them about other nations.

And the cool thing about culture is that it’s not limited to travel. Art and theater are great avenues for learning about other cultures, and they’re engaging. Art and acting aren’t just for the young in age but also for the young at heart!

So, whether you’re interested in theater, music, art, or travel there are many senior arts and culture clubs that offer opportunities to enjoy these activities with others. From attending concerts and plays to visiting museums and galleries, these clubs provide a fun and engaging way to make new friends and explore your interests.

Making new friends as a senior can be challenging, but joining a senior living club can be a fun way to meet new people and engage in meaningful activities. Research the different centers, clubs, and leagues in your area to find the best options for loving life and making new friends.

What Are the Different Levels of Senior Care? And What Do They Mean?

Moving a loved one into a senior living community is a big adjustment for your family and requires careful planning. Figuring out which community is best for your loved one requires you to determine the kind of care they need–but you don’t have to do this alone.

Let’s go over the four main types of senior assisted living care that you can choose from and how to determine which level of care your senior needs.

Type #1: Independent Living

Independent living communities are great options for seniors who can still complete activities of daily living (ADL) but need some help with the light maintenance of a home. Your loved one won’t have to worry about any light housekeeping or emergency services in independent living quarters because the community provides those.

If your senior can safely drive, travel, and maintain a healthy level of personal care, independent living is an excellent option.

Type #2: Assisted Living

Assisted living is a step up from independent living. In short, your older family numbers won’t have to lift a finger for home maintenance in assisted living. The community takes care of it all.

Additionally, the homes come with a kitchenette, linen services, and emergency services. This kind of living situation is an excellent option for seniors who need help outside of personal care. They can’t quite care for a home, but they can take care of ADLs.

Type #3: Short-Term Rehab

At Pivotal Health Care, many of our communities offer short-term rehab services. These services cover physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Residents who need short-term rehab can access these services 5-6 days per week.

We understand that rehab is essential for a senior’s well-being, so we offer these in-house services to help take care of our residents. Seniors need short-term rehab if they are recovering from an injury, surgery, or other accident.

Type #4: Long-Term Care

Long-term care is the ideal service for residents who need assistance with ADLs, health, and personal hygiene. Residents can qualify for long-term care following a thorough assessment from our nursing staff. Following the assessment, the nursing staff will determine which services your loved one needs to preserve their dignity and respect their wishes towards their medical care.

Residents in our long-term care communities have access to 24-hour nursing care, rehab services, and electronic medical charting–all the things necessary for excellent care.

Choosing the Right Level of Care

Finding the right senior living community is challenging. The best way to decide which senior living community is right for you is to schedule a tour and have a list of questions ready to ask.

It’s so important to choose the right level of care for loved ones, and senior living communities have trained professionals who can give you an honest assessment of your loved one’s needs.

If you’re ready to start your search, schedule a tour with one of Pivotal Health Care’s highly-rated communities.

Questions To Ask When On A Senior Living Community Tour

Questions To Ask When On A Senior Living Community Tour

The time has finally come. Your family is looking at senior living communities because your loved ones need assistance with daily activities. Even though you knew this day would come, it’s still hard.

Finding a suitable senior living community is like finding a new home–there are plenty of options but you keep looking until you find the one that feels right.

Here at Pivotal Health Care, we want to help simplify the process for you. Ask these questions during your tours to find the best fit for your family.

Question #1: What’s the cost of living?

No surprise here–it’s important to figure out how much each senior living community costs. This isn’t a job interview where you don’t want to come across as too eager and ask about compensation. This is an important question that needs answering.

However, keep in mind that cost isn’t everything. Remember, your loved ones are living here full-time. Make sure the cost balances out with amenities, safety, food, and other accommodations.

Question #2: What amenities are available for residents?

Knowing what you’re paying for is good, so make sure you find out about all the amenities. Asking this question is especially helpful for seniors with physical limitations and disabilities. You want to make sure your loved one can enjoy their new home and everything that comes with it.

When you ask about amenities, don’t be afraid to ask about events. More and more communities are offering events, live music, delicious food trucks, and many other things. So, if a community has great gathering areas, a pool, or other community spaces, it’s not unreasonable to ask about events.

Question #3: How does the community keep its residents safe?

This one is a no-brainer. You need to find out how the senior living community is keeping its residents safe. There’s a burglary every 30 seconds in this country, and seniors can be at heightened risk because they often can’t physically defend themselves.

Although burglary trends are declining, you want to know if your loved one is protected. Asking about security systems, security guards, and gated communities is essential to making the right decision for your family.

But safety isn’t all about a burglary. It’s also about what happens in case of emergencies. Like when the weather takes a turn for the worse and the power goes out. It’s important to figure out how the senior living community takes care of its residents during these times of need.

Ask the important questions

It’s really easy to get overwhelmed in a senior living community. There are plenty of places to visit, and you’re absorbing information like water out of a firehose. During your tours, take in as much information as possible and grab as many pamphlets as possible. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions and write the answers down.

But most importantly, listen to your gut. Trust how you feel about a community.

Where to Look Online to Find the Best Senior Living Options for You

There are nearly 30,000 senior living options in the US. Deciding where to place your parents is a difficult decision that requires hours of research, visits, and conversations.

Because of the internet, you have access to thousands of resources to help you make the most educated decision for you and your family.

With so many online options available, we’ve narrowed it down to help you get the most out of your research. Here are four online sources to find the best senior living options near you.

Google Reviews

Have you ever wanted to know what people thought about a senior living center before clicking on the website? Thanks to Google reviews, now you can.

Google reviews come up every time you search for a company or business. It’s a great way to get an overview of the business before clicking on the site. Google reviews are cultivated from people who have used the senior living center. You can learn a lot from these unfiltered reviews.

Review Sites Like Yelp and Job Boards

If you need more reviews, consider checking out review sites, like Yelp, and job boards. 

Yelp is similar to Google reviews, except that it’s its own business and has a community of reviewers who’s sole purpose is to help others make a wise decision.

Job boards on the other hand are a great way to figure out what current and former employees think about the senior living center. Since your loved one will spend every day here, it’s best to know what employees think about it.

Website Testimonials

As great as reviews might be, it’s always best to take the positive and negative reviews with a grain of salt. Everyone can have a different experience for one reason or another. A great way to determine which senior living centers are right for your family is to visit the company’s website.

You can learn so much about a senior living center from their website. You can look at testimonials, amenities, facilities, and many other things. You get an honest picture at what life is like.

Social Media

In 2023, more and more businesses are establishing a presence on social media. Use these public accounts to your advantage.

On social media, you can watch what senior living centers post and how they interact with their followers. This is a great way to get an unfiltered perspective on what it’s like living at the senior living center.

Ready to See if PHC is Right for You?

Figuring out which senior living center is best for you takes patience and time. We strongly recommend looking at different reviews and interacting with the center online. Look at website testimonials and social media accounts to give you an accurate picture of what it’s like living in the senior living center.

Want to know if Pivotal Health Care is right for you? Check out our social media pages to learn more about us and schedule a tour today!

4 Great Christmas Gifts for Seniors

It’s that time of year when families gather together to share the holiday spirit. Christmas is a wonderful time to share meals and favorite recipes and give presents to loved ones. 

As you start checking people off your list, you finally come to your older family members. You’re ready to purchase them a beautiful, heartfelt gift, but you’re completely stumped. What do you get someone who can buy anything they want throughout the year?

We want to help you avoid this problem. Here are four great Christmas gifts for the seniors in your life.

Gift Idea #1: Coupon Book

This first gift idea is great for children to give to their grandparents or older family members. A coupon book can be filled with chores that the older family member needs help completing or fun outings and adventures.

The child includes several coupons with different activities, and the recipient “cashes in” on these gifts throughout the year. This is a great way to make a Christmas gift keep giving throughout the year..

Gift Idea #2: Tablets

Don’t live close to your loved ones? No problem. Tablets are a great gift for seniors who live far away. With a tablet, you can video call, share photos, text, call, and post on social media all with a click of a button.

There are so many tablets available on the market today. Find the one that works best for your senior and gives the best access to loved ones.

Gift Idea #3: Custom Calendar

As your family grows, there’s nothing sweeter than photos to remember special moments. Gifting a yearly calendar customized with photos from the year of family members and trips is a great way to spark excitement on every page.

A custom calendar is an excellent way to showcase birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays. Additionally, calendars are great for seniors with memory loss becuase it serves as a great reminder of important days and offers pictures of family members alongside the holidays.

Gift Idea #4: Cards and Board Games

Card games and board games are a great way to spend quality time with family and laugh with competitive spirit. Whether you’re playing Rummikub, Nertz, 42, Settlers of Catan, or any other game, you can gift your senior their favorite board game.

Want to make it more special? Find a game your loved one played as a child or young adult and surprise them with a new edition. A blast to the past is a great way to lift spirits and give your older family members the opportunity to teach the younger family members a new game.

Christmas Time is Here!

With the holidays around the corner, now is the best time to purchase a meaningful gift. With homemade gifts like coupon books, technology, customized calendars, and novelty games, you’re sure to shock and awe your loved one with a great gift this holiday season.

And from our family to yours, Merry Christmas!

How To Make Your Home Safe When Eating Thanksgiving With the Elderly

It’s that time of year when family and friends gather for the holidays and enjoy each other’s company. This time together is precious, especially for families with elderly members. The last thing you want is not to see your grandparents on Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, because of difficult travel conditions and dietary restrictions, Thanksgiving can be challenging for your elderly members. Help them enjoy the holidays with these simple adjustments.

Plan in Advance

Even though the holidays happen every year, it always seems like they come by surprise. Next thing you know, it’s November and Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

Avoid making hasty decisions and travel plans by taking the extra minute to plan the holiday in advance. When elderly members are part of your family, it’s best to consider how travel will affect them.

With enough notice, family members can buy plane tickets or drive into town. In most cases, it’s easiest to visit older family members than to have them come to you.

Adjust the Menu

Everyone has a favorite dish during Thanksgiving. But as people age, some food becomes more difficult to eat, like turkey.

When deciding who cooks what on this special day, consider what’s easier for your elderly family members to eat. This is where casseroles and potatoes come to play. Their softer texture is easier to chew and filled with flavor.

If you’re like most families, you plan on having a turkey. Help the elderly by cutting their turkey into small pieces for them so it’s easier to chew.

Part of adjusting the menu is considering health and dietary restrictions. Consider low-sodium and low-fat options. With a slight adjustment to the menu, everyone can be happy and enjoy their food.

Organize Fun Activities

Thanksgiving is about family time and appreciating one another. Although everyone loves to watch Thanksgiving Day football, have some other activities available.

We strongly recommend board games, card games, fishing (depending on your climate and location), strolls around the neighborhood, and anything else your family enjoys doing.

Better yet, find a way for your older family members to talk about their history and share stories–this will bring the family closer together and give a greater appreciation for the blessings in life.

Focus on Quality Time

Above all else, focus on quality time. Sitting in the same room together is different than visiting with each other. Spend time talking, laughing, cooking, and eating. No one ever complains about time well spent.

Take advantage of the time you have with your loved ones. Focusing on quality time ensures you have the best visit possible every year.

Now You’re Ready for Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is an excellent opportunity to spend quality time with family members, young and old. With the holidays around the corner, take advantage of the time you have with your loved ones with great food, company, and quality time.

We promise you won’t regret it!