At every stage of life, staying healthy is critically important.

It sounds simple, but it's not always easy. It often involves being proactive. And, sometimes being proactive makes us come to the realization that we're in need of help.

"If you wait too long, a health issue can turn into a health crisis," says Good Samaritan Society regional vice president Dustin Scholz.

The good news? The Good Samaritan Society offers a wide variety of services including senior living, home health and rehabilitation therapy. But, before deciding which service is the best fit, it's important to know what each service is, and isn't.

Senior living

Dustin says one option is senior living, which is apartment living in a residential-style setting. This setting is a good option for prospective residents who are still very independent.

"What's unique about our organization is we can layer on a continuum of services. Whenever, wherever, however someone might need it," he says.

As more needs arise, more services can be added while a person is still living in the same community. And, it's up to the resident which services those are.

Senior housing, also called independent living, would be a good fit for someone who's looking to downsize.

"A lot of times we see people deciding maybe it's a little bit more than they want to manage to live at home on their own, take care of their own home, and all that comes along with that. Maybe it's a big house and they no longer need the space," says Dustin. "That's a challenge that sometimes is the tipping point for folks."

Often, people come to live at a Good Samaritan Society senior living community so that they have services available if they ever need them.

Assisted living

For those who need or want services, assisted living can provide a nice fit. Caregivers work with residents and their loved ones to find the right balance between independence and support. Assisted living is for those who don’t need around-the-clock nursing supervision.

Services include help with grooming, bathing, dressing and managing medications. Laundry, housekeeping, meals and transportation are provided, along with the security of having staff members close by.

Home health

Rochelle Rindels is the vice president for nursing and clinical services at the Good Samaritan Society.

She says three components make up home health services. They include skilled nursing and rehabilitation therapy, hospice care and home care.

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are the most traditional services offered through home health.

"Those services are something people receive in their home as they recover from a procedure, an injury or an acute condition," says Rochelle. "Home health services are also beneficial to those who need help with chronic disease management."

Other services that fall under home health include:

  • Nursing therapy
  • Social work
  • Wound care
  • Intravenous therapy (IV)
  • Medication management and education
  • Restorative therapy 

Related: Signs your parent needs help at home

Hospice care

Rochelle says most people associate hospice care with a terminal diagnosis. However, hospice care through Good Samaritan Society reaches even beyond the immediate patient.

"It's really that holistic care focused not only on the patient, but also their family members or their caregivers," she says.

Patients in hospice care are provided with comfort care and end-of-life care. Bereavement services are available to the family up to one year after their loved one's passing.

Home care

This non-medical service is geared toward extending a person's ability to live independently in their home.

Services can include:

  • Help with household chores and laundry
  • Transportation
  • Meal preparation
  • Assistance with bathing and grooming

Rehabilitation therapy

These services are a good option if it’s become harder for someone to manage daily tasks, or they have a decrease in strength, says Martha Frohwein, director of clinical services for therapy and rehabilitation at the Good Samaritan Society.

Clients can use rehabilitation therapy services after surgery, an injury or illness.

“An individual might need some medical intervention with the skill of a nurse, depending on what their needs are. But, then they also might need the skill of a therapist depending on multiple factors,” Martha says.

A telltale sign that someone could benefit from therapy and rehab is if they notice that things are more difficult to do.

“Maybe they’re having a hard time buttoning their clothing, having some challenges with getting their shoes and socks on, maybe they're finding that they're just not as steady on their feet. Or, they're forgetting things that are part of their normal everyday functioning. It might be something that's identified by a family member, physician, or health care provider,” says Martha.

If a patient needs additional services, another option is long-term care.

Long-term care

Our long-term care communities are for those who need services over a long period of time, such as rehabilitative care and/or skilled nursing care. These services are available 24 hours a day.

Most of our long-term care communities offer therapeutic recreation programs and other specialized therapies and services, including:

  • On-site licensed therapists
  • A full calendar of recreational and spiritual activities
  • Around-the-clock, personalized care
  • Nutrition planned meals
  • Barbershops/salons
  • Care planning with family

Residents are each cared for in a way that benefits their own physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

How to get help

If you or a loved one could benefit from any of these services, the first step is to talk with a physician or medical provider.

“They can ask for a referral to a Good Samaritan Society location. See what services are available to you and where you live,” says Rochelle. “You can always call us. We’d be happy to talk you through what things you might be looking for right now, what you might need, and how we can help you.”