December 2, 2022
“Caregivers” and “self-care” may seem like two diametrically opposed terms if the context is centered on the client. However, Lantern Lifestyle believes that fostering client independence is just as important in preserving the dignity and desire of seniors to be able to go about their daily lives on their own.
“I’m more than willing to subscribe to the idea that we can never really be completely self-sufficient,” says Lantern Lifestyle CEO, Jean Makesh. “The reality is that, as we age, we have no other choice but to rely on the care and intervention of others.
“However, the difference between seniors and toddlers is that the former are well aware of the importance of being afforded the respect and dignity that they rightly deserve. Some forms of caregiving can be stifling, to the point that the one receiving the care almost feels like a prisoner.
“That only does more harm than good because it simply goes against our very nature as human beings. To be human is to be free. To be free is to be able to move on one’s own free will. That being said, our capability for motion only diminishes as we get along in years. We always seek to address that in our clients.”
What, then, is Lantern Lifestyle’s approach when training its caregivers who will then be responsible for caring for most of its communities’ residents? “We strive to keep a delicate balance between our residents’ personal choice and independence,” Jean continues. “Even well before our clients decide to live and grow with us, we already orient them about the programs that they can enter and how we conduct our version of assisted living”.
The Lantern is also known for providing personalized care. “The choice really lies mostly in giving our residents as much freedom as possible in deciding what type of care will be rendered to them. Still, we don’t stop there because our philosophy also highlights the importance of maintaining the highest level of independence in the individual,” Jean finishes.
What exactly does “highest level of independence” mean in the Lantern context? Jean mentioned the need to maintain the seniors’ ability to be able to conduct their daily activities without intervention. At best, how Lantern uses the term can be summed up into the following points:
Many people may be quick to misinterpret Lantern’s approach as seemingly going against the very concept of assisted living. However, it’s actually one of the keys to their success. “The typical feedback we get from clients who have already given other assisted living communities a try is that we’re a breath of fresh air because we actually value their self-sufficiency,” Jean continues.
“True care is all about giving people the best opportunity to live their life to the fullest. It’s not just about delivering what they need or want at present, besides ensuring their safety and security. It’s not reactive but proactive. This is the vital philosophy that we teach and nurture among our caregivers, and thankfully, there’s no shortage of people who subscribe to and believe in it as well.”
Of course, we also can’t overlook the importance of social connections when fostering self-care. To connect with others is to actively avoid the conditions that plague people in Assisted living, not least of which are loneliness and depression.
“We give seniors in Lantern ample opportunities to do this with the regular social events, activities, and games we prepare and host. Our residents are quick to make friends with one another because, well, almost any Lantern resident is nice! I attribute our culture to rubbing off on anyone who decides to become a part of our community,” Jean adds.
“Our caregivers are always willing to motivate the seniors under their care to communicate and form meaningful connections with them and the community at large. But, of course, the personal choice factor will always be there. Think of Lantern Lifestyle communities as a treasure trove of opportunities to better yourself and still make the most out of life, regardless of your age.”
Indeed, now that we think about it, isn’t the ability to conduct self-care the most telling sign that one is still ready to face the challenges of life – and, in turn, enjoy its numerous bounties? The Lantern’s approach may seem unconventional as far as standard assisted living is concerned. Nevertheless, the results speak for themselves, as many of its clients can attest.