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More seniors seeking assisted living post-pandemic

Talamore Senior Living floor plan
Talamore Senior Living floor plan(Erin Sullivan)
Updated: Jul. 5, 2021 at 5:00 AM CDT
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SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. (WMTV) - Many seniors delayed moving into assisted living during the pandemic, while others are now needing that increased level of care because of the pandemic.

Health experts say many seniors have suffered physical or mental declines from the pandemic, due to extended periods of isolation, and lack of activities and community engagement.

Wendy Kempf, the Director of Sales with Talamore Senior Living, said a lot of the families she works with avoided moving during the pandemic because of COVID restrictions.

“I believe that a lot of the folks that should have moved either pre-pandemic or during the pandemic are now having to make that shift and sometimes it’s not necessarily on their terms anymore,” told Kempf.

Also, because of delayed moves, many individuals that needed enhanced care during the pandemic did not get it.

“We saw a lot of people that had some emotional and health concerns that were maybe exacerbated during this time, because there just wasn’t that hands-on care,” said Kempf.

Other families she has spoken with say they only started noticing the need for additional care for their loved one during the pandemic.

“A lot of families that I’ve talked with over the course of the pandemic have noticed definitely a decline. It was far more evident during the pandemic than it was day-to-day. There’s the isolation and you take away all of those interactions folks were having and it’s detrimental to their health,” explained Kempf.

Talamore opens in August but is pre-leasing units now and Kempf said demand is high. “We’ve seen a lot of excitement and a lot of interest in our new community here in Sun Prairie. So definitely people are on the move.”

She added that it is always best to plan ahead and start the conversation about that next step with your family early.

“I would highly recommend as a family, as you’re planning, as you’re loved one ages, to take a look around. Go explore communities, look at the things that they would be interested in and that you would be interested in them having,” said Kempf.

Talamore Senior Living will offer 142 units comprised of independent living, assisted living, enhanced assisted living, and memory care.

Kempf said in her experience, many seniors end up wishing they would have moved into assisted care sooner.

“A lot of seniors think of moving to a community as a loss of independence and really you’re gaining so much more, including independence. It’s the freedom to go on vacation and not have to worry about ‘somebodies got to plow the driveway or mow the lawn.’ Also, gaining that sense of community and all of the social opportunities that go along with it,” told Kempf.

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