Frequently Asked Questions
We know many seniors and their families have questions about senior living and Benchmark. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions and answers.
Don’t see your question here? Reach out to a local Benchmark community for more information. Click here to find a community or schedule a tour.
Service Plans and Safety
Q: What lifestyle options are available?
A: Benchmark offers one or more lifestyle options at each community, ranging from Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Respite Care, Skilled Nursing Care, Continuing Care Retirement Communities as well as coordination of hospice and other care services. Not sure what type of care you need? Contact a Benchmark community near you and discover what option is right for you.
Benchmark’s Independent Living option is designed specifically for seniors looking for a carefree lifestyle without the burdens of maintaining a home. Our independent living residents seek out the active and maintenance-free lifestyle our communities have to offer.
Residents who choose Benchmark’s Traditional Assisted Living get senior living at its best – secure, at ease, pleasant and supportive. From assistance with basic activities of daily living and dressing, to transportation and reminders to take medication, to high acuity care, we give our residents the help they need and the respect they deserve.
Benchmark Memory Care, featuring our award-winning Harbor Program, is designed to help those with memory impairments to stay active and engaged, supported by a caring staff, specialized programs, and a neighborhood designed just for them. The Harbor Program is supported by Dementia Care Specialists who provide the programming, services and support to help residents feel secure, comfortable, and successful every day.
Our Respite Care Program can provide you with just what you and your loved one need — time to relax, recuperate, and rejuvenate. Whether you’re going away on business, planning a vacation, or simply need a break, Benchmark's short-term respite care is the perfect solution for providing your loved one with the individualized care they need.
Benchmark Signature Living Communities and select Independent Living Communities offer Skilled Nursing Care to current residents seeking quality rehabilitation in comfortable accommodations. With multiple levels of care in one location, Benchmark Signature Living Communities include independent living, assisted living, memory care, 24-hour skilled nursing services, and rehabilitation services, providing lifelong care and transitions as residents’ needs increase. Learn about Benchmark Signature Living Communities at Edgehill, The Commons in Lincoln and Wellington At Hershey’s Mill.
With multiple levels of care in one location, our Continuing Care Retirement Communities include independent living, assisted living, memory care and 24-hour skilled nursing services, providing lifelong care and transitions as residents’ needs increase. Learn about Benchmark’s CCRCs at Edgehill, The Commons in Lincoln and Wellington At Hershey’s Mill.
Q: Can Benchmark help if my mom or dad has experienced falls in the past?
A: Yes, that is part of the Individual Service Plan for your loved one. We provide our associates with the detailed care needs to address these safety concerns. If falling is a concern, the service plan may include interventions and special precautions to help address this issue that will be followed by our care managers.
At every Benchmark Senior Living community, we strive to help our residents maintain and improve balance through safety precautions, therapy, medication management and a variety of exercise classes.
Q: Do you have a medication management program?
A: Yes, Benchmark has a medication management program, which may be added to an Individual Service Plan. Our associates are trained and ready to help with medication management, whether that means a friendly reminder when it's time to take medications, oversight to ensure medications are taken properly, or daily medication administration.
Q: Do you offer rehabilitation or skilled nursing?
A: Care options vary by community. Skilled nursing and rehabilitation care are offered in certain Benchmark communities, and when a resident requires more care than can be provided by our team, we work with the family, physician and partner providers to find an alternate solution.
Q: How is my level of care determined?
A: Before move-in, our nurses and care team will assess your current health and review your medical history to see how we can best meet your needs. They will also discuss your preferences as well as your normal routines to develop a service plan that’s tailor made for you. We monitor each Individual Service Plan regularly, making constant updates and modifying as necessary.
Q: What is your staff to resident ratio?
A: Our care system is resident-focused. We determine our staffing based on the complexity of each resident's particular needs, not based on a set amount of time predicted to meet those needs. Care at Benchmark Senior Living is always thorough and personalized, and each resident is reliably delivered the particular services they need and prefer every day. Our Variable Staffing Model assures staffing and scheduling consistency, making it easier for our associates to do their jobs well. Ultimately, our care system means that each resident is treated with respect, kindness, and comprehensive personal care.
Q: How do you deliver comprehensive, personal care to every resident?
A: Benchmark’s Resident Care Associates are trained to deliver personalized care to our residents. With consistent contact, the Resident Care Associates in each community get to know our residents, allowing for personal, trusting relationships. Just as importantly, the Resident Care Associates gain the ability to identify more serious matters that might arise in a resident, such as a change in physical or cognitive condition. Benchmark’s Resident Care Associate program provides continuity of care for our residents and allows residents and families to cultivate a personal, trusting relationship with staff.
Q: Can you help to provide a doctor?
A: Residents may keep their current physicians or our team can help them find physicians near the community. Some doctors make regular visits to our communities, but a resident is not obligated to use them. We can also provide scheduled transportation for our residents who need a ride to a doctor’s appointment, for an additional fee.
Q: What training do Benchmark team members receive?
A: We provide continued education and training, clinical care protocols and multiple quality assurance measures to reinforce our strong standards. Benchmark’s extensive training programs have been developed throughout our nearly 20-year history and include classroom, online and hands-on training, and employee shadowing and mentoring.
Benchmark University is our companywide training and development program. Through it we provide executive and management development experiences for our highest potential leaders and skills-based series of courses, workshops, seminars, and experiential learning programs for all associates.
Q: What are the typical services provided in Benchmark’s Assisted Living?
A: Some of our residents in assisted living simply require general oversight and reminders while others need various levels of care and assistance. We can assist our residents with all of their Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) such as showering, dressing, grooming and even dining. Each resident has an Individual Service Plan that details his or her service plan and is regularly updated to meet evolving needs.
Q: What are the typical services provided in Benchmark’s Independent Living?
A: Our independent living communities offer restaurant-style fine dining, a full calendar of programs and events, housekeeping, laundry service, and transportation along with friendships to last a lifetime. Care is available when they need it, but most of our independent living residents seek out the active and maintenance-free lifestyle these communities have to offer. Learn more about Benchmark’s CCRCs at Edgehill, The Commons in Lincoln and Wellington At Hershey’s Mill.
Q: How much does senior living cost?
A: The cost to live at Benchmark is based on each resident’s Individual Service Plan and room rental fees, which vary by location. We can help you calculate your current monthly expenses, which might be helpful to consider when planning for senior living expenses. For more information, contact a community in your area.
Q: What financial options are available to make senior care more affordable?
A: Many state and federal programs offer financial assistance for certain senior living expenses. Help may come from federal, state, and local governments, the VA, non-profits, private organizations, and as many other agencies. Some long-term insurance policies may also cover part or all of the costs for assisted living care. We encourage you to speak with your financial advisor to learn more about options to help afford senior living.
Touring and Visits
Q: How do I arrange a visit?
A: The first step is to arrange a visit to a Benchmark community. During your visit, we’ll talk to you about your personal circumstances and how we can meet your individual needs. To set up a tour, simply click here to find your nearest Benchmark community to schedule a tour.
Activities and Programming
Q: What types of activities do you offer?
A: Our programming and activities vary by community and are specially designed to engage our residents in all six dimensions of wellness – physical, social, intellectual, emotional, purposeful and spiritual wellness.
Our intellectual and social activities include concerts, book discussions, cultural programs, food demonstrations, educational seminars and much more. We also offer programming that helps our residents stay physically active, from fitness classes, strength and balance programs, and walking clubs.
Guided by our award-winning Live Now, Live Well Program and supported by our Resident Care Associates, residents can get the support they need to connect and stay engaged. Programs available at all Benchmark communities include:
A fun and easy technology program to help residents stay connected to family, friends, and loved ones
Arthritis Exercise Program
Gentle activities to increase joint flexibility, range of motion and maintain muscle strength
Tour the world and experience different countries’ histories, traditions, cultures and foods
Residents and families can enter their “wishes” in to the Dream Now jar, and our Dream Team will help make the dream come true!
Welcome Committee and Friendship Club
Features a full calendar of activities and programs to bring the social life to senior living
View a sample activity calendar or find a community and view their unique week-at-a-glance activity calendar.
Q: How can you design activities to engage residents with dementia or memory problems?
A: The Harbor Program at Benchmark Senior Living helps those with dementia and memory impairments to stay active and engaged, supported by a caring staff, specialized programs, and a neighborhood designed just for them. The Harbor Program is led by dementia care specialists who provide the programming, services and support to help residents feel secure, comfortable, and successful every day.
Innovative programs help memory impaired residents reconnect with the world around them, including
Treasure Chests, Journey Stations, Engagement Boxes and Resident Choice Dining. Learn more about our Live Now, Live Engaged memory care program.
Q: Can residents request events or activities?
A: Yes! In fact, activity calendars are different at each community because each one is tailored to its specific residents’ requests and interests. Our communities also hold monthly resident council meetings, so we can be certain our activities meet their needs and interests.
Amenities and Environment
Q: What is the average age of residents in assisted living?
A: While age varies by each community, in general, our residents are in their mid-80's.
Q: How does the dining program work? Are residents given 3 meals a day? Are they able to eat only at mealtimes?
A: In assisted living, we serve three meals a day and our dining services coordinators serve our residents restaurant-style. Emphasizing choice is important in our Dining Services Program. In addition to the unique entrees featured at each meal, we also offer an “always available” menu for our residents. There is also a bistro in each community, which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, where our residents can grab a snack or beverage anytime.
Q: Will my loved one have access to transportation for appointments, trips to visit family, and other activities they participate in outside the community?
A: Yes, transportation to and from activities and outings are standard. While the calendar of events varies at each of our communities, most communities include a day in each week where they take our residents shopping or sightseeing in the area. Many communities schedule outings to local grocery stores, pharmacies and local shops for residents.
Q: Are there restrictions on visiting hours?
A: As this is our residents' home, we welcome visitors and work with our family and friends to visit their loved ones at a time that works best for them.
Moving-in Process and Short-Term Care
Q: How quickly can you help?
A: We work with each family to support their needs as best we can, including short-term stays when possible. Residents receive a comprehensive Individual Service Plan, developed from our own assessments by a registered nurse, as well as input gathered from the resident and their family. We monitor each Individual Service Plan regularly, making constant updates and modifying as necessary.
Q: Can I bring my own furniture?
A: Yes, you are welcome to bring your own furniture with you as this is your home! We encourage you to design your suite to be as comfortable and familiar as possible. If necessary, we can assist you in obtaining rental furniture. We reserve the right to inspect your furniture to ensure it is safe for our communities.
Q: Do we have to sign a long-term agreement for the apartment?
A: No. Our independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities do not require long-term agreements. However, most of our communities require a deposit/move-in fee upon signing the residency agreement. We also require 30 days written notice prior to moving out of the community. Select independent living communities may require a long-term agreement and each community will be able to provide specific information on their requirements.
Q: Do you offer any short-term care?
A: Yes, we do offer short-term, or Respite Care, at many of our communities. We offer the Easy Stay Program which gives you and your loved one the kind of personal short term care that you both may need. While enjoying all the services and amenities that Benchmark communities offer, you and your caregiver can take the time you need to recover or rejuvenate. Learn more about Benchmark Respite Care.
Q: Can we move in as a couple?
A: Yes! At Benchmark, couples can live together in their own suite surrounded by their familiar belongings. That means both spouses can move in, get the help they need, and not have to live apart. Couples that reside together can share one Benchmark personal care associate for service needs. Some restrictions may apply in the event a spouse is enrolled in the memory care program.
The Benchmark Difference & Benchmark Signature Services
Q: How can I show my loved one I'm not taking away her freedom?
A: If your loved one is worried about losing his or her independence, help them understand that senior living provides plenty of lifestyle choices. At Benchmark, senior living is meant to promote independence, not hinder it. For example, residents always have a variety of dining options at mealtimes and enjoy their normal daily routines just as they’ve always done, meaning they choose how to spend their day.
The Benchmark Experience includes relationship-based care, which means the same people are caring for our resident’s day in and day out. Every resident of Benchmark is assigned a Resident Care Associate per shift. With consistent contact, the associate truly gets to know the resident, allowing for a much more personal, trusting relationship. Benchmark's Dedicated Resident Care Associate program provides continuity of care for our residents and allows residents and families to cultivate a personal, trusting relationship with staff.