Navigating Health Care is Easy at Timber Ridge at Talus Senior Living Community

Timber Ridge at Talus is a senior living community that offers residents the opportunity to “age-in-place,” while enjoying access to services, amenities and health care without leaving their residence. Timber Ridge at Talus is a Life Plan Community, and residents can take advantage of the health care options within their apartment homes or onsite at Briarwood Health Center. The team of experts also collaborates with residents to tailor health plans unique to each individual that include setting and managing health goals.

The Health Care Navigator and the team of health care professionals will work to create a customized health plan, connect residents with the right staff and services, coordinate medical appointments, and, if necessary, help facilitate a seamless transition to living arrangements that address all health needs.

Helping to Navigate Resident Health Care

Joy Del Calzo, Director of Residential Health Services, is the community Health Care Navigator at Timber Ridge at Talus.

“I am here for a number of things. I help with health care coordination and support, such as referring to a physician, helping folks with pre-planned hospitalization, provide assistance with coming home from a hospital stay, coordinating home health care, or navigating different levels of care, should they need it.”

Joy and her team also provide education and collect and share resources.

“My background is in care management and gerontology, so I am very familiar with disease trajectories, available care options, and all kinds of education. That is a really fun part of my job,” explained Joy.

“We provide monthly health talks. It might be a speaker talking about recent research and findings with Alzheimer’s Disease, or perhaps addressing women’s heart disease. We also have our physician providers come in and talk about the services they offer residents.” The most recent lecture explained how residents can benefit from Residential Health Services, and the next lecture will focus on stroke awareness.

The Guide to Wellness

Joy shared that the most important thing when helping residents with wellness is to establish rapport.

“It’s about sitting down and building trust with that person. Understanding their individual stories and individual challenges. I get to know them so I can tailor the right response,” she said.

“Once I know more about them, the rest falls into place.”

On any given day, Joy works with an average of 30 residents.

“We have a weekly meeting with the interdisciplinary team and go through our list of residents who we know need guidance, and we identify solutions, talk with colleagues about suggestions and insights they might have from knowing those residents.”

Joy added that she and her colleagues “have their eyes and ears open” to make sure they are aware of anyone else who may be in an at-risk situation.

Uniquely Timber Ridge at Talus

At the Timber Ridge at Talus Wellness Center, physicians provide direct care to the independent living resident population on a weekly and monthly basis. “We have an internal physician who is a gerontologist, we have an audiologist, a podiatrist, and a dentist,” Joy explained.

Simran Kaur, the Wellness Center Coordinator at Timber Ridge at Talus, works alongside Joy. “We also refer to her as a Care Navigator. She is a medical assistant and has a background as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She is a huge resource to me,” explained Joy. “She coordinates residents’ appointments with physicians. She understands and recommends different levels of private duty care that residents may need in their apartments.”

In addition to the Wellness Center, Timber Ridge at Talus has a Fitness Center. “It’s a holistic approach to wellness on so many levels. I can’t think of any other community that offers so much on so many levels. Timber Ridge at Talus residents, I feel, are lucky to be here.”

When Changes Occur

Timber Ridge at Talus recently expanded their Health Center, now offering assisted living and memory care.  “We now have the full continuum of care, from independent living on through skilled nursing,” Joy explained. “This is really wonderful.” Joy added that the priority is still to help residents age in place and remain independent as long as possible. “They want to stay in their apartments, and it’s our job to help them do that. Should their needs require higher levels of care, then we work with them to assess their needs.”

Joy explained that many older adults won’t ask for help, don’t recognize the importance of preventative intervention, or are in denial. “They just think, ‘Oh, it’s just a part of growing old.’ That’s where we can step in and more appropriately balance that independence with safety.”

“It’s about getting in and recognizing their strengths – not so much their weaknesses – and helping them age in place as long as possible. I might request a referral from their private care physician for some physical therapy. I’ll educate them about being more preventative – not necessarily in a scary way, but maybe talk with them about the risk of falls,” said Joy.

“I think it’s necessary to have pretty frank talks with people to raise their awareness. Maybe some medication management reminders by an in-home aide to avoid mishandling or taking medications at the wrong time. If we can identify and educate folks about those easy fixes, we can put little changes in place that can make a big difference.”

Enhancing Lives

Joy knows that the Health Care Navigator is a unique and important role.

“When potential residents are looking around at various communities, and touring and trying to make decisions, they need to know that this position is not common at all,” she says.

“I learn so much from my colleagues, the residents, and I continue to learn. It’s that kinship we share with the passion for helping older adults thrive in the long-term care setting. Seeing the results of residents who’ve taken steps to address issues, who have had positive results and enhanced their lives as a result. That’s true success.”

To find out more about how Timber Ridge at Talus senior living community can help guide you or a loved one through a healthy and vibrant senior life, get in touch with us at 425-427-2929.