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News and Events
- January 2020 - 2020 Senior Housing Trends
2020 Senior Housing Trends
Each year, the senior living industry prepares itself for upcoming challenges, trends, and innovations, especially in regards to housing. From implementing the newest technologies to preparing for the retirement of baby boomers, 2020 has a lot of changes in store for senior living. Here are the latest housing trends to watch out for in the coming year.
Make Way for Big Tech
We can expect to see an influx of big technology companies, like Amazon and Apple, continue to make their way into senior homes. As these particular companies continue to dominate the tech world, they certainly won’t shy away from the senior living market. Many older adults will continue to rely on these technologies, like Alexa or Google Home, for security reasons, access to healthcare questions, and to stay informed, both in their communities and in the global network.
Rise in Food Delivery Services
DoorDash and Grubhub are not only for millennials who prefer not to cook. In fact, as the year progresses, you can expect to see more and more seniors relying on these services for their daily food needs. Seniors who find it difficult to get to the grocery store or who choose to spend their time in other ways will also rely on other food delivery services like HelloFresh and grocery delivery services.
Continued Increase in Competition
Senior living facilities, industry-wide, are preparing for the wave of baby boomers entering retirement communities. As the demand increases, these facilities have the opportunity to accommodate a large number of seniors. Because of this, facilities are making changes to become more desirable for perspective residents. A rush to secure the top talent, in addition to making aesthetic changes, is beginning throughout the industry.
Hospitality Meets Healthcare
Traditionally hospitality has always guided the senior living industry. However, there is more of a demand for accessible healthcare for seniors in the comfort of their own homes. In the coming year, we can expect to see more healthcare related offerings like medication management, electronic health records, and e-visits with doctors on a computer or smart phone.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky are busy preparing for the year and can’t wait to share in the exciting new trends coming our way. If you’d like to talk to us about our facilities, or schedule a tour, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
- December 2019 - Financial Resolutions for the New Year
Financial Resolutions for the New Year
With the New Year right around the corner, now is the time to start making your resolutions for 2020. While many people choose to focus on health-related resolutions, January is a great time to reevaluate your finances and gain financial control of the coming year. According to U.S. news, nearly 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by the second week of February. However, these four financial resolutions are S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely) and are simple enough to stick with all year long.
Track and Prioritize Your Spending
Whether you’ve spent your entire life budgeting your money or are looking to get back on track, monitoring your spending is a good place to start. You might consider starting by reviewing your spending habits over the last year, identify where you seem to spend the most money, and brainstorm ways you’d like to cut back. You can track your weekly and monthly expenses by hand, spreadsheets, or by using an app on your smartphone.
Meet with Your Financial Advisor
Your financial advisor is the best person to give you advice and help you set financial goals because of their familiarity with your specific financial situation. You might consider reviewing your investment allocations and together set goals for the coming year. Some of your goals could include giving to your favorite charities, reevaluating your will, or making financial plans for a vacation in the next year.
Plan for Health Care Expenses
Health care is not only expensive, but it’s hard to predict exactly what your needs will be in the next several years. That’s why it’s a good idea to have both proper coverage and additional savings that can cover unexpected expenses. The best way to plan for your health care needs is by being proactive and staying healthy. Here are a few ideas to help keep you safe and healthy, while also avoiding hospital visits.
- Use a life alert pendant. In the case of a fall or severe injury, these pendants can be programmed to call emergency services for help.
- Get familiar with your health insurance. Whether you’ve just changed your Medicare plan or can’t remember the specifics of your policy, now is a good time to review the fine print.
- Remember to get your exercise. Walking, building your muscles, and eating a well-balanced diet will help keep you safe, while also protecting you from unseen health care expenses.
Protect Your Credit
Unexpected expenses can happen to anyone, no matter how prepared or careful you are with your finances. If something does happen, and debt is unavoidable, you’ll want to be sure your credit history is in a good place in the event you have to borrow. Here are a few ways you can protect and improve your credit score:
- Make automatic payments for your monthly bills. This allows you to pay your credit card bills on time without having to write a check or pay online. One late payment can hurt your credit score.
- Understand the safety measures set on your credit card and bank accounts. In the event your bank account or credit card is compromised, you’ll want your bank to call you and immediately freeze your card. You might consider keeping a contact number for your bank in a safe and accessible place.
However you decide to prepare for the New Year, our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky wish you health and happiness all year long!
- December 2019 - A Holiday Guide for Visiting Aging Parents
A Holiday Guide for Visiting Aging Parents
The holiday season gives us a great opportunity to get together with friends and family, especially if you live far away. For many adult children, visiting aging parents during the holidays can come as a shock. You might notice changes in their physical health, or even in their cognitive abilities. For those who are unable to see their parents often, the holidays provide an opportunity to assess your parent’s condition and to make changes when necessary. As you prepare to visit with your loved ones, keep these tips and suggestions in mind.
Important Talks to Have with Your Parents
While you spend time with your parents this holiday season, you might consider approaching some important conversations. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Many families choose to spend long periods of time together over the holidays. During this time, you might consider talking with your parents about their current health status. You might notice they seem a bit older, frailer, or perhaps they aren’t getting the care they need. During your visit, take note of their environment, hygiene practices, and weight. If you notice their living space is unkempt, or if there is rotting food in the fridge or unpaid bills sitting out, it could be an indication that they need more care. You can gently approach these topics by simply asking them how they are feeling.
As we age, our financial situations can change quickly. If your parent had an unexpected illness or a long-term hospital stay, they might need to address their financial planning. It can be hard to know exactly what to plan for, so reevaluating your financial situation at least once a year can keep you on track. You might encourage your parents to schedule a meeting with their financial planners. If they are cognitively unable to manage their finances, you might encourage them to choose someone they trust to step in as their power of attorney.
As you spend time with your parents this holiday season, you might consider talking to them about their wishes for the future. This could include readdressing their will, and discussing where they want to spend their later years if they haven’t already decided. You might also consider discussing end-of-life wishes such as burial plans and other long-term plans for their finances. This can be a difficult topic to discuss, so remember to bring the conversation up gently and to readdress the conversation when necessary.
Things to Look Out For
If you haven’t visited your parents in a while, it’s important to take note of their living environment. If you notice any of the following, make sure to contact their healthcare provider:
- Excessive bruising, especially on the arms
- Dramatic weight loss
- Unpaid or overdue bills
- Lack of hygiene, including inconsistent bathing and wearing dirty clothing
As you prepare to spend the holidays with your family, our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky wish you and your loved ones a happy holiday season.
- November 2019 - 4 Best Ways to Prevent Sarcopenia
4 Best Ways to Prevent Sarcopenia
Age-related muscle loss, known as Sarcopenia, is very common in older adults. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, nearly half of people aged 80 years and older experience muscle loss. Lean muscle mass makes up nearly 50% of total bodyweight in a healthy young adult, however, that can be expected to decrease to 25% between the ages of 75 and 80 years.
Older adults who experience Sarcopenia are at a larger risk for disability, hospitalization, weakness, and falls. In addition, Sarcopenia patients are also at risk of losing their independence as their ability to perform basic daily tasks decreases. However, there are simple and proven ways to decrease your chances of age-related muscle loss.
Eat More Protein
It’s not uncommon for seniors to experience a loss of appetite as they age. This can be attributed to a number of reasons such as a side effect from medications or lack of movement and exercise. However, diet plays a crucial role in aging, especially when it comes to muscle loss. Older adults should pay attention to their diet and make sure they are consuming enough protein which helps build and maintain muscles.
Exercise with Weights
Resistance training is the most effective exercise for building up muscle mass. While weight training can be done without the risk of injury, it’s important for older adults to receive proper training if they are unfamiliar with this type of exercise. Weight training can be done with handheld dumbbells, weight machines, elastic bands, and body weight. Older adults should aim for two days of resistance training a week.
Many older adults find it difficult to be active each day, which can cause muscles to atrophy more quickly. Along with weight resistance training, taking walks each day is equally important. Walking will help keep the muscles active while also strengthening your bones.
Consume Vitamin D
Vitamin D deficiency can cause weakness, lack of strength and grip in the hands, and is often associated with Sarcopenia. Before consuming Vitamin D supplements, it’s important to get your levels checked by your healthcare provider. In addition to Vitamin D, consuming omega-3 fatty acids from salmon, tuna, or sardines, can also help reduce inflammation that ultimately affects muscle mass and strength.
While muscle loss is a normal part of aging, it doesn’t have to affect your daily life. Taking care of yourself through exercise and a well-balanced diet will help defend yourself from age-related muscle loss.
- October 2019 - The Hidden Costs of Healthcare
The Hidden Costs of Healthcare
It’s no surprise that one of the most expensive aspects of aging is financing your healthcare needs. In fact, according to a report published by West Health and Gallup, collectively, American seniors have withdrawn $22 billion from long-term savings to pay for their healthcare expenses. While healthcare coverage is a non-negotiable expense for many older adults, there are some ways to reduce its cost. Like many insurance plans, some healthcare policies have hidden costs that the policy holder might not know to look for before purchasing. USA Today published an article highlighting the top healthcare expenses to be aware of:
Unfortunately Medicare plans don’t include dental coverage in their plan offerings. That’s why many older adults choose a Medicare Advantage plan. These plans, while more expensive, offer more in-depth coverage, including dental care. Another option is to buy dental insurance unrelated to Medicare. These plans can be more expensive than an Advantage plan, but in some ways, are more customizable. You might consider doing your research by talking to an insurance broker or Medicare counselor.
While Medicare doesn’t cover routine eye exams, it does cover treatment for eye diseases and injury, like glaucoma or cataracts. If you wear eye glasses and plan on getting a new pair or to have your eyes checked every year, you might consider a Medicare Advantage plan. Vision care can also be purchased by a private insurance company, but you are also at risk for high premiums.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, one in three people between the ages of 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing. However, Medicare plans do not cover items such as hearing aids for those with hearing loss. If you already have hearing loss and use hearing aids or other devices, you might consider buying an Advantage plan to make sure you are covered.
Long-term care includes in-home-aids, stays in a nursing home or assisted living, among other services. Medicare does not cover long-term care services unless it’s related to a medical problem or recovery from a specific procedure. That’s why many adults choose to pay for long-term care insurance. However, this type of insurance can be expensive, and if you wait to buy when you’re older or actually need coverage, you can expect rates to increase dramatically. However, long-term care insurance will protect your assets, while giving you the care you need if you ever need it.
Ways to Prepare
It’s important to start planning for your retirement before you get there. This means starting a retirement account early in your career, and finding other options that will help offset the cost of retirement expenses including healthcare coverage. Here are a few you might consider:
- Have emergency funds that are easy to access and available for immediate use
- Plan out your estate plan and will while it is cognitively easy for you
- Research your preference when it comes to choosing health and life insurance policies
- Forecast your needs as best you can
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky know how hard it can be to navigate the nuances of retirement. We’re here to help. If you’re interested in talking with one of our staff members or scheduling a tour, please contact us here.
- October 2019 - The Case for Life Insurance
The Case for Life Insurance
It’s never comfortable to think about, or even plan for our own deaths. However, as we age, it’s something that should be considered. Many older adults choose to buy life insurance for a number of reasons. In fact, according to a study published by Policy Genus, nearly 57% of American adults have life insurance. While some believe life insurance is just another monthly expense, there are valid reasons to consider purchasing a policy.
Reasons to Consider Life Insurance
We Live Longer
It’s no surprise that adults are living much longer than they used to years ago. In fact, the research from the Social Security Administration reports that the age expectancy for men is 84, while women can be expected to live until the age of 87. With the age expectancy increasing, it can be difficult to adequately prepare your finances.
Finance Final Expenses
The cost of paying for funeral expenses usually increases each year. Many older adults choose to pay for a life insurance policy so the burden of their funeral expenses doesn’t fall on their adult children.
Estate taxes can be very expensive. That’s why some seniors use life insurance in order to pay estate taxes instead of relying on their retirement savings to cover the cost.
Life Insurance can Act as a Good Investment
There are some types of life insurance policies that can actually earn cash value while deferring taxes. However, life insurance policies can be very complex. If you don’t fully understand your policy, you might consider consulting with a professional.
Types of Life Insurance to Consider
There are a lot of different types of life insurance policies. However, there are three main types of policies that each have different subsections. You can learn about the different types of life insurance policies here.
This type of insurance covers its policyholder for fixed amount of time, depending on that person’s preference. This is a popular type of policy, especially because the premium payment amount stays the same for the designated amount of time agreed upon in the policy. Many older adults use this type of life insurance to replace lost income to help pay a mortgage, college tuition, or business expenses.
This policy covers its policyholder for the duration of their life. This policy can be raised or lowered, depending on your situation. This policy helps people to preserve their wealth, while using it as a way to supplement long-term income.
Whole Life Insurance
As long as the policyholder pays the premiums, whole life insurance remains valid. This policy is more complex than its counterparts because it has both cash value and a death benefit. This means the policy covers expenses like funeral costs, while also covering endowments and estate plans.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky know how complicated it can be to plan out your later years. We always offer support for our residents and their families. To learn more about our facilities and offerings, you can contact us here.
- September 2019 - What to Know about Senior Scams
What to Know about Senior Scams
We all experience those annoying scam phone calls, and while they are a nuisance, they can actually pose a dangerous threat to seniors. According to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on aging, older adults have lost nearly $2.9 billion in scams. There are a variety of scams that specifically target seniors, whether it’s on the phone, in the mail, or through the Internet. However, understanding what these scams are and how to avoid them will help protect you from scam artists.
Types of Scams
There are hundreds of scams that target people each day, but these three scams are widely successful and target older adults.
Social Security Scams
Recently, there has been an increase in social security scams. In this type of scam, usually a person or an automated voice will claim that there is a problem associated with your social security number. Oftentimes, the caller will threaten the victim with jail time or fees. Scammers use these tactics to get your social security number and gain access to your personal and financial information. If you receive a call like this, hang up immediately. Social Security will not contact you by phone unless you contact their offices first.
The Grandparent Scam
It’s the oldest trick in the book, but it never fails to fool people. In this scam, a caller will act as a grandchild of the person on the receiving end. The person posing as the grandchild will usually ask for money after explaining that they’ve been in an accident or are in trouble. Worried about their loved one, the senior will send money through the mail or through a wire transfer.
The first thing to do in this situation is to hang up the phone, and call your grandchild or their parents to confirm the situation. Move slowly, and make sure to think through every action.
These types of scams usually gain popularity after natural disasters and during the holiday season. Callers will claim to be representing a charity for a local cause, when in reality they are conning the victim for access to their credit cards or cash. Many times, these callers will be aggressive and won’t take no for an answer. Most creditable charities do not pressure their donors into making a contribution. If you think you might be getting scammed, do your research. Use the computer or phone book to access the charity and call for more information.
How to Protect Yourself
- Keep your personal information private. Never give out your credit card or social security numbers.
- Take your time with decision-making. If you are ever approached for money over the phone, the last thing you want to do is to act quickly. Do your research, make follow-up calls, or discuss the situation with someone you trust.
- Sign up for the Do Not Call List. You can register your phone number to limit the number of telemarketing calls. You can access the list here.
How to Protect Your Loved One
Here are a few signs that your loved one may be a victim of a financial scam:
- Bills are not being paid on time
- There are unusual charges on a credit card or bank statement
- The senior is isolating him or herself
- There are signs of excess “junk mail” such as magazine subscriptions or sweepstakes mailings.
If you suspect that you or your loved one is being targeted through a scamming effort, you can always call your local law enforcement team. Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky keep our patients’ safety a top priority through daily interaction and visits. If you’re interested in learning more about our facilities, please feel free to contact us here.
- September 2019 - The Case for Assisted Living
The Case for Assisted Living
When it comes to making a decision about transitioning into an assisted living facility or retirement community, many people are surprised at how much it can cost. While the high cost of assisted living is something to consider, it shouldn’t be the only factor you in the decision-making process. In fact, assisted living and retirement facilities provide more opportunities for protecting your assets than you might think. You might consider the following ways you might actually be saving money while living in a senior living community, whether it be independent living, assisted living, or skilled care.
Choose your living arrangements wisely
There are a number of choices that can cause your cost of living to skyrocket. If you are making any renovations to your new home, make sure to pay attention to what you are choosing. For example, a one-bedroom apartment can be nearly half the price of a two-bedroom apartment. As you make choices, it’s important to keep in mind what you can afford and make decisions that support your financial situation.
Take advantage of the meal plans
Many retirement facilities offer their residents a meal package. Depending on the facility, this can include anywhere from one to two meals a day. If you or your loved one is used to eating out or paying for a meal service while living independently at home, an assisted living meal plan option could offset some of the cost.
On-campus fitness centers or partnerships
While the cost of assisted living can be shocking, most facilities have a lot of unexpected benefits like free membership to their fitness or recreation centers. Not only is this a good way to stay healthy and fit, but it also allows you to cancel any other memberships you might be paying for on a monthly basis.
Understand what is offered
In addition to accommodations and meal services, some facilities also offer free transportation services, activities, and entertainment opportunities. If your transportation is provided, you might consider leaving your vehicle behind before you move into your assisted living facility. Without the cost of maintaining and caring for a vehicle, the cost of assisted living may become a more feasible option.
At Carespring, we know how difficult financing a move to assisted living can be on our patients. That’s why we strive to give our patients high-quality care in a dignified environment. If you or your loved one is interested in learning more about our facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, or Northern Kentucky, you can contact our staff here.
- August 2019 - Quick and Easy Exercises to Relieve Arthritis Pain
Quick and Easy Exercises to Relieve Arthritis Pain
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 49.6% of adults aged 65 years and older reported signs of arthritis to their healthcare professional. There are different types of arthritis, but the most common type is Osteoarthritis. This type of arthritis occurs when the cartilage within a joint begins to break down and the bone itself changes. This can result in stiffness, swelling, and pain. Exercising and simple daily activities like driving and walking can become extremely painful. However, there are many gentle exercises that have proven to reduce Osteoarthritis pain. If you or your loved one suffers from arthritis, you might consider making these simple exercises part of your daily routine.
Low Impact Exercises
- Gentle exercises like light weight lifting, or working with resistance bands are good for increasing strength while also avoiding further inflammation and pain.
- Many people who suffer from arthritis, experience severe stiffness which can make any type of movement extremely uncomfortable. Flexibility exercises like yoga and tai chi help to loosen the muscles, decreasing joint stiffness and discomfort.
- Low impact aerobics like cycling, swimming or water aerobics will allow you to increase your heart rate and stretch your muscles without causing further damage to your joints.
Arthritis pain can occur all over the body. To decrease this physical pain and discomfort, it’s important to incorporate these gentle movements into your day. As always, make sure to consult your doctor or healthcare provider before attempting any new exercises.
- Fist Close- Practice closing your fist while holding a soft, malleable ball. Keep repeating while opening and closing the fist, making sure to use each finger. Hold for as long as you can and then release.
- Wrist Stretch- Wrists are one of the first areas to become inflamed. Try gently bending your wrist by using your right hand to bend the tips of your left fingers back towards the wrist. Go as far as you can and then repeat on the other hand.
- Leg and Back Stretch- While sitting on the floor with your legs in front of you, bend forward at the hips, reaching your hands towards your toes as if you are going to touch your feet. If your arthritis is severe, this might be very challenging.
- Ankle and Feet- Holding onto a chair for balance, lift your foot and rotate your ankle creating small circles. This will release the tightness in your ankles and feet.
We know how difficult it can be to live with arthritis. Consider using these stretches to relieve your arthritis pain, but remember to consult your doctor before practicing. Our Carespring facilities in Northern Kentucky, Dayton, and Cincinnati are always looking for ways to help our patients lead happy and healthy lives.
- August 2019 - Healthy Habits to Close the Summer
Healthy Habits to Close the Summer
As we approach the final months of the summer season, now is the time to establish healthy habits that will carry over into the fall and winter. These few weeks of summer can help to restore the body and mind, allowing us a smooth transition into the cooler months. You might consider these quick tips and techniques to keep your mind, body, and soul healthy as the weather begins to change.
Pay attention to your diet
Eating the right foods can be difficult for seniors, especially for those who no longer prepare their own meals. It’s important for aging adults to ensure that their meals are nutrient dense, meaning meals are made up of a variety of food groups. If you’re ordering food at a restaurant or have a caregiver preparing your meals, a good rule of thumb is to eat the rainbow. Make sure your plate is colorful, full of fruits and vegetables, to ensure you are getting the nutrients you need for a strong immune system and healthy bones. As always, you should communicate with your doctor before making any major changes to your diet and eating habits.
Be Proactive, not Reactive
By focusing on preventing diseases and illnesses before they happen can decrease your chances of contracting them later. If you haven’t already, make sure you are seeing a doctor for a physical exam at least yearly. Making consistent trips to the dentist and optometrist can allow you to stay healthy longer.
Prevention also applies to unhealthy habits like over-drinking alcohol, consuming nutrient low foods that are high in unhealthy fats and calories, and using tobacco products. By eliminating these habits, or at least, decreasing your consumption, will allow your body to grow stronger and fight off illnesses and disease.
It can feel easier to stay physically active during the summer while it’s warm and the weather is nice. You might consider using this time to make daily exercise a habit that will stick with you into the winter months. Enjoy the end of the summer with long walks, visiting outdoor parks, or gardening with friends. As always, make sure to stay hydrated!
It’s easy to forget how important a good night’s rest can be for the body. While we sleep our body repairs itself, fights illnesses, and gives our joints time to rest. When we don’t get enough sleep, our immune systems can become weaker, increasing our chances of illness and disease.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky wish you happiness and health in these last few weeks of summer!
- July 2019 - The Best Smart Devices for Keeping Seniors Safe
As technology continues to advance, it can be a challenge to discern which items are the best in terms of quality and price. These smart devices have proven to keep seniors safe in and outside of their homes, while giving loved ones and caregivers peace of mind. If you or your loved one are looking for ways to use technology to live safer lives, here are some items to consider.
Smart Home Lighting
According to the National Council on Aging, “falls are the leading cause of fatal injury and the most common cause of trauma related hospital admissions among older adults.” Many seniors experience falls in their own apartments. In addition to clearing hallway spaces and corners free from sharp objects and furniture, smart technology can be a great addition.
There are many home devices that can help reduce the risk of falls, such as lighting options, like automatic lighting and nightlights. Many smart lighting devices can detect when seniors get up from their beds or enter a different room and automatically turn on. You can find these lighting devices on Amazon for very affordable prices.
Voice Activated Pill Dispensers
It’s important for seniors to stay on top of their medications, but remembering what to take and when to take it presents a challenge for many adults. Smart technology has introduced many types of pill dispensers that will remind residents to take their medications. The Wirecutter, a New York Times Company, has compiled a list of some of the top pill dispensers for seniors.
Smart Home Hubs
Smart devices like the Google Home or Amazon Alexa act as a centralized hub for anything a senior might need. These devices have many different capabilities that work to keep seniors safe. These home hubs can be programmed to make emergency calls, announce reminders such as appointments or events. These hubs are also designed with different add-ons, such as voice activated light sensors and switch on/off capabilities. Make sure to do you research before purchasing to ensure the best price and desired capabilities.
In case of emergencies where phones are inaccessible, wearable technology is a great alternative. These devices come in many different forms such as pendants and wristbands. In case of a fall or other emergency, the device can usually alert medical services by the push of a button. Many senior living communities provide these devices, so make sure to do your research before purchasing. Consumer Reports has compiled a list of some of the best wearable technology devices for seniors.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky strive to keep our patients safe and their families with a peace of mind.
- June 2019 - The Case for Senior Living
Baby Boomers, those born between 1946 and 1964, make up nearly 77 million people of the U.S. population. Of those boomers, nearly 10,000 of them turn 65 each day. With this surge of people experiencing or on the brink of retirement, the senior living industry is faced with producing more living and care options for seniors. However, this situation is less about where they will go and more about where they will experience the highest quality of life in their later years. A study conducted by AARP found that out of retiring baby boomers, nearly 77% of them want to stay living in their homes and communities as long as possible. But, this isn’t always the best option.
The buzz phrase, “aging in place” refers to adults who prefer to stay where they are, mostly living independently in their own homes, a lot of times alone or with their spouse. Aging in place comes with benefits, like the idea of staying independent, or avoiding the chaos of having to sell their homes and search for a senior living community. But, seniors who choose to move into assisted and independent living facilities show higher levels of happiness, financial security, and experience more positive social interaction.
If you or a loved one are navigating the nuances of retirement, you might think twice about staying put. Here are a few benefits of spending your later years in a senior living community.
Take the stress off your caregiver.
As we age, living completely independent gets extremely difficult. Daily tasks like getting dressed, driving, or handling medications can present challenges that weren’t always there in earlier years. These challenges are also exacerbated by illness, disease, or physical limitations which are hard to forecast when we’re young. Instead of relying on family members, a spouse, and paying for in-home care options, many assisted and independent living facilities provide caregivers to help with these tasks.
There are more opportunities for social interaction and intellectual stimulation.
Most independent and assisted living facilities offer a wide variety of activities that keep their residents active and socializing with others. Staying physically and socially active becomes extremely important as we age, and these facilities make it easy to participate. Happy hours, music and art experiences, and exercise classes are not uncommon occurrences for residents in senior living facilities.
It can help you save money.
In many ways, maintaining a home can be very costly, especially as we age. Things that could be done independently like mowing a lawn or fixing appliances usually have to be contracted out, which can add up quickly. Senior living facilities usually include housekeeping, food preparation, and maintenance in their monthly rent.
It can keep you healthier.
Many senior living facilities allow their residents the option to cook for themselves, while providing dining options for those who are unable or uninterested in cooking. These meals provide needed nutrients for healthy bones and immune systems.
At Carespring, we know moving into a senior living community can be really difficult. But, we believe retirement should be enjoyed, even in your later years.
- November 2018 - Preventing Pneumonia in Older Adults
As we begin to experience winter weather, the chances of falling ill increase, especially in the elderly. Older adults are significantly more susceptible to winter illnesses like the common cold and flu. More surprisingly, however, is the danger of pneumonia. Pneumonia is a bacterial or viral infection which flares up in the lungs, causing our airways to fill with pus. According to the American Lung Association, nearly 85% of pneumonia related deaths occur in older adults ages 65 and over. It’s important that older adults take the necessary steps to protect themselves from this dangerous illness. Here are some ways you can prevent pneumonia this winter season.
If you or your loved one have never received the bacterial pneumococcal pneumonia vaccine, now is the time. This one-time vaccine helps prevent the chances of contracting pneumonia. Getting other immunizations, like the flu shot can also prevent the contraction of other illnesses that have the history of causing pneumonia, like the flu.
Wash Your Hands
We should always be washing our hands, but it’s especially important during the winter months. Our immune systems are put to work during the winter, and washing our hands helps prevent the spread of germs and illnesses. If you are going out for the day, make sure to bring some hand sanitizer with you!
Pneumonia attacks the lungs and ingesting tobacco can weaken our lungs’ ability to fight off disease and infection. Plus, smoking can cause other health complications which can lead to cancer and other illnesses. If you do smoke, it’s extremely important that you get vaccinated since smokers are at greater risk.
Practice Healthy Habits
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle especially during the winter months will decrease your chances of contracting winter illnesses. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, exercise, stay on top of your medications, and eat a well balanced diet. Our bodies are more likely to be able to fight off illnesses when we take care of them by building strong immune systems.
Understand the Symptoms
If you can’t prevent pneumonia completely, it’s important to catch the illness early and seek medical attention immediately. Commonly, pneumonia presents itself though fevers, a heavy cough, and body chills. However, it’s not uncommon for older adults to experience different symptoms such as dizziness, confusion, and weakness. If you feel unwell, no matter the symptoms, make sure to make an appointment with your doctor immediately.
Our Carespring skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky want all of our patients and their families to stay healthy this winter season! When it comes to fighting off cold weather illnesses, what do you do to stay healthy?
- November 2018 - Celebrating Thanksgiving with Seniors
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many families are starting to make preparations for their celebrations. This holiday is a great opportunity to gather with friends and family to share a meal, show gratitude, and enjoy the company of the people we love most. If you are preparing to celebrate the day with your adult parents or grandparents, here are a few tips to make the day enjoyable for everyone.
Keep Traditions Alive
Many seniors struggle with not being able to participate as actively in Thanksgiving preparations. You might consider making an effort to ensure that your senior feels included this holiday. Ask about their favorite recipe or talk about how they celebrated thanksgiving when they were children. Delegating small tasks like folding napkins, or helping you decorate will make seniors feel involved without adding stress.
Make it Comfortable
As you prepare for Thanksgiving, don’t forget that your senior may need assistance during the day. Consider asking a relative to help your senior get their food, drink, or help find a place to sit and rest. Thanksgiving day can be exhausting, so you might consider setting a time limit or organizing rides to and from the party.
Show Your Gratitude
What’s a better time to show your senior how much you care about them than Thanksgiving? It sounds cliché, but going around the dinner table and taking time to say what you are grateful for will mean a lot to your senior. If you don’t always take the time to tell your senior that you appreciate them, try doing so this Thanksgiving holiday.
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Get your senior excited for the holiday season by taking them to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard. Call the facility before your trip to ask any questions you might have. If your senior needs assistance or uses a wheel chair, make sure to ask about handicap accessibility. Many patches let you pick your own pumpkin, or you can always choose from preselected items. End the day with carving or decorating your pumpkins with paints.
Enjoy the Day
Mix up the day by trying something new or creating a new family tradition. You might consider taking a walk, watching a Thanksgiving-themed movie, or making a new dish. Spending time together is the most important part of the holiday, so why not make it fun?
Always remember that Thanksgiving is about being together. No matter where you are or how you plan to celebrate, remember to tell your loved ones how much you care about them. Our Carespring Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky wish you and your families a wonderful Thanksgiving!
- October 2018 - Fighting Off Colds and Flu
It’s that time of year again! We’re not talking about the holidays, but the season of colds, flus, and other seasonal illnesses. Contracting the flu is dangerous at any age, but it’s especially dangerous for seniors. As we age, our immune systems aren’t always as strong as they used to be in our younger years. This can make recovering from illnesses more difficult. Here are a few tips to staying healthy this winter season.
Wash your hands
We rely on our hands for thousands of tasks. We open door knobs, answer the telephone, and cook our meals, just to name a few. Our hands carry thousands of germs that can get ingested when we eat or touch our lips and face. This winter season, make sure to wash your hands frequently, especially before eating. You might also consider carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer with you when you run errands, just in case soap and water aren’t accessible.
The winter season is especially busy with all of the holiday parties, shopping, and other events. However, avoiding large crowds can help prevent contracting colds and the winter flu. Many of these traditional sicknesses can be transferred through the air or commonly used surfaces, like hand rails and door knobs.
Watch your diet
Eating foods that are high in antioxidants such as dark green veggies, sweet potatoes, and berries can help boost the immune system, in addition to foods high in Vitamin C, like citruses. Make sure to get enough protein from poultry and fish to maintain high levels of energy and strength.
Get your flu shot
The flu is especially dangerous for older adults. In fact, many people get hospitalized or even die from the flu. Most insurance plans cover the flu vaccine, so don’t wait until you feel sick to get the shot. Call your local pharmacy to receive more information regarding the vaccine.
It can be easy to overdo it during the holidays, but rest is essential to remaining healthy. Make sure to get enough sleep during the night, and save some energy during the day. You might consider asking someone to help you with Christmas shopping, cooking, and holiday cleaning in order to avoid fatigue and illness.
Finally, remember to have some fun! Carespring's nursing homes and skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky want you and your loved ones to have a happy and healthy fall and winter season!
- September 2018 - Healthy Habits for Seniors
Leading a healthy lifestyle is important at every age, but as we get older our wellbeing becomes more dependent on our lifestyle choices. Contrary to popular beliefs, healthy living is more than just diet and exercise. In fact, our physical well-being also relies on our mental, spiritual, and social health. Share these tips with your senior to help them improve or maintain their quality of life.
Visit Your Doctor
As we age we become more prone to illnesses, that’s why it’s so important to make sure we take preventative measures. Visiting your doctor for regularly scheduled visits ensures that any illness or disease will be caught early so treatment plans can be put into place. Visiting with your doctor also allows you to stay on top of your medications, including the type and dosage.
When we age, basic daily activities can become more difficult. It’s important to take care of our bones and overall health through a healthy diet. Make sure to eat meals with all food groups, especially leafy greens, fruit, and foods high in fiber.
Healthy social lives can help us more than we think. In fact, socialization has been said to help fight off illnesses, colds, and even the flu. Proper socialization can also prevent feelings of depression, isolation, or loneliness. Joining groups such as bridge or book clubs can be great ways to meet new people and stay busy during free time.
Drink Plenty of Fluids
As we age, it can be difficult to drink the proper amount of fluids each day. Getting enough liquids, both through drinking and eating is crucial to digestion and general health. Consider using fun, low sugar drinks like lemon or berry infused waters or flavorful soups to help stay hydrated.
Get Your Exercise
Maintaining strong muscles and bones can prevent falls and even help speed up the healing process when injuries do occur. Contact your local recreation center for information on senior memberships. Always ask for guidance when trying a new exercise, and above all, make sure you consult your doctor before exercising consistently.
Take Advantage of Studies and Clinics
Many clinics and universities conduct studies that monitor senior health and wellness. These can be helpful in providing you or senior with new information about illnesses and diseases as well as ways to prevent or treat them.
As we age, it’s not uncommon to wake up frequently throughout the night, due to insomnia or bathroom breaks. This can disturb our sleep patterns and keep us from getting the recommended 8 hours of sleep each night. Make sure your senior’s room is comfortable, both in bedding and temperature. Don’t be afraid to consult your doctor if interrupted sleep is affecting your quality of life.
Our Carespring skilled rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky work hard to keep our patients healthy and happy. Stay tuned for more health and wellness tips for you or your senior.
- September 2018 - How to Stay Safe Behind the Wheel
As we age, certain conditions can make driving more challenging and might even become dangerous for some seniors. Changes in health like loss of vision and hearing, or a change in medications can affect the ability to safely and operate a vehicle. However, there are various precautions that can be taken to ensure the safety senior drivers and others on the road. Help your senior stay safe on the road with these tips:
- Visit Your Doctor Regularly. As we get older, it’s extremely important to maintain your relationship with your healthcare provider. Scheduling consistent appointments allows your doctor and their staff to more quickly understand your body and conditions. It’s also a good idea to keep track of your medications and note any changes in type or dosage. If your medication changes, your doctor will be able to decipher if you should or shouldn’t be behind the wheel.
- Schedule appointments for hearing and vision tests. The ability to see and hear are crucial when it comes to operating a vehicle. Sometimes, hearing or seeing abilities can fade slowly, making it more difficult to notice a change. Getting your hearing and vision tested often and consistently will help identify any changes that might put you at-risk on the road.
- Get Fitted to Your Car. Driving without the proper adjustments can cause slow reactions or muscle and joint pain. AAA offers car fitting and seniors. This means a professional will help adjust your seat, mirrors, and steering wheel to keep you comfortable and safe.
- Put Electronics Away. Many accidents are cause by distracted drivers. Make sure to put your cell phone or any other electronic device away before getting behind the wheel. This will minimize your chances of becoming distracted and decreases the risk of causing or participating in a car accident.
- Understand Your Limitations. When you’re on the road, you should be aware of your own boundaries. Know what makes you uncomfortable. Some seniors avoid busy areas, driving at night, and using the highway. It’s important to think about what you are comfortable with and taking necessary precautions.
- Keep Your Skills Sharp. There are many different driving classes available for seniors. As we get older, it’s important to keep our driving skills fresh. Participating in classes can ensure our safety, while also providing tools that make good drivers, even better ones.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky are always trying to keep our patients and their families safe. When it comes to staying safe on the road, what tips do you use?
- August 2018 - Tips for Moving Your Parent
Transitioning your parent from their home to a senior living facility comes with a variety of challenges. While making the move to a senior community is a great fit for many seniors, it doesn’t make saying goodbye to family homes, or feeling like you’re losing a sense of independence any easier. During a move, emotions can be high and the stress of physically moving your parent’s personal items can add another element of worry. So, if you or someone you know is helping a parent transition into a nursing home or retirement community, be sure to use these helpful tips.
Have a Plan in Place
Many seniors feel a loss of control as they prepare to leave their homes. Make sure you and your family members clearly communicate what will be happening, why the move is in place, and what will happen to their belongings. Give your parent the option to have as much participation in the process as they would like to have. This can include making decisions on which room to pack first or what items should be given away or donated.
Stick to your plan as much as possible. As you sort through items, make sure to clearly identify which items your parent will take and which items they will leave behind. Go through the house slowly, allowing time to say goodbye to certain items or memories. It’s important not to rush the process and allow all feelings to be felt and recognized.
Know What Will Happen the Day of the Move
Think about how much help you will need the day of the move. Will other family members be involved? Will you be hiring a company to help you move boxes and large pieces of furniture? If you choose to enlist a moving company, consider making reservations in advance and give yourself enough time to search around for the best deals.
Make Preparations in the New Home
New homes take some time to feel comfortable. Do as much as you can beforehand to make your parent’s new arrangements as familiar as possible. You might choose to keep some familiar items like lamps and pictures to make the new place feel like home.
No matter where your parent chooses to live, it’s crucial to keep communication channels open. Don’t forget to ask your parent for their opinion, needs, and desires for a smooth transition. Moving to a new place is stressful, but communicating makes the whole process easier.
Our Carespring transitional care and long term rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky are always looking for ways to ease transitions for our patients and their families. What’s helped you and your parents during a transition to a new place?
- August 2018 - Seniors and Low Vision Aids
As older adults age, it’s common for them to experience a loss of or damage to their vision. Losing vision makes daily tasks and activities much harder, especially for older adults. However, with the need so high, there are many low vision aids and devices that are available to those who need sight assistance. If you or your loved one suffer from low vision, consider some of these tips before you purchase the vision aid of your choice.
There are many different devices that are available to those who need assistance. Here are some of the most common types of devices and how they work:
Electronic Glasses: Designed for those who are legally blind, these types of glasses help people with many different conditions such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or macular degeneration. These glasses help to enlarge the field of vision while adding additional light into the user’s line of sight. Built-in cameras work to clarify what its user is seeing, which enables many older adults to keep their independence. The glasses also come with battery packs which are designed to last for the entire day. You can read more about these glasses here.
Magnifiers: There are many types of magnifiers designed for people with low vision. Handheld magnifiers are great for quick uses like reading a recipe or seeing a note or looking at a menu in a restaurant. Stand up magnifiers are more suitable for lengthy reading such as newspaper articles or novels. Reading machines, like this one, magnify anything put below it. They also have the capability to read materials aloud. This is especially helpful for people whose sight is far beyond repair.
Enhanced Devices: Many companies have enhanced regular household items making them more accessible to those who can’t see. There are many normal objects like watches, alarm clocks, timers, and telephones that come with talking ability.
For those who experience only minor difficulty with seeing and reading, here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to low vision:
Tips and Techniques
- Make sure there is proper lighting around you when you read or write.
- Avoid glare. Glare that comes from windows, or direct light can make reading more difficult for people with low vision. Try to avoid glare by adjusting lights or wearing sunglasses while outdoors.
- Be bold. Contrasting colors and patterns can make seeing objects easier. Try using bowls and cups with patterns instead of regular white ceramics.
Our Carespring Rehabilitation and Healthcare Facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky know how frustrating it can be when experiencing low vision. When it comes to navigating low vision, what works for you?
- July 2018 - Tips for Senior-Friendly Vacationing
Summer is in full swing, which means family and friends have officially entered vacation mode. But, for seniors with mobility needs, traveling and vacationing can bring many concerns. When you’re preparing to travel with you senior, there are a lot of variables to consider including accessible transportation, lodging, and other necessary equipment. If you or your loved one is planning a summer vacation, stick to these tips to keep your trip fun and safe for the whole family.
There can be many steps to reaching a destination, especially if you’re traveling out of the country. First, make sure you give yourself enough time to plan. Start planning your next excursion between 6-8 months before you expect to travel. When flying, make sure to request a wheelchair and attendant who will escort you or your senior to the airport gate. If you plan on driving, assess your senior’s needs and rent a vehicle that will make them most comfortable. Make sure to have a wheelchair lift, extra cushions, or high seating if needed.
Finding a great place to stay is a crucial step in planning a vacation everyone will enjoy. If you choose to stay in a hotel, make sure to confirm with a manager that all needed items will be available. Consider asking about the following items:
- Wheelchair accessible elevators
- Shower and toilet hand bars
- A shower seat, or walk-in shower
- Accessible entrance to the hotel
- Handicap parking
- Well-lit paths
- Wide walk ways to the bed and restrooms
If staying in a hotel isn’t convenient for your group, consider checking out Airbnb. This home-sharing network offers a variety of searchable filters that will make it easy to find a home that will best suit your needs. The site also offers direct communication with the homeowner to ensure that all questions are answered in a timely manner.
Most vacations include outdoor or group activities on the beach or in the mountains. Make sure to plan which activities you anticipate on participating in during your stay. Have a conversation with your senior about which activities they feel will be joining in on and brainstorm ways to make them feel more comfortable. This might include making phone calls to staff about accessible parking or wheelchair accessibility.
Our Carespring Rehabilitation and Healthcare Facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky love summer! However you decide to celebrate summer, we hope it’s fun and safe for the whole family.
- July 2018 - Helping Your Parent Cope with Parkinson’s Disease
Whether you are acting as a caregiver, or assisting your aging parent with daily tasks, finding ways to help them cope with their situation can be difficult, especially if they are diagnosed with an illness or disease. According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, nearly one million Americans live with the disease, and more than 10 million people worldwide have been diagnosed. Parkinson’s is a disorder that affects the brain, usually causing a consistent tremor, rigidity, and balance problems. This disease can look different to each person, which makes finding ways to cope a challenge. Here are some ways to help your parent or family member navigate the disease:
1. Stay involved. If you are the primary caregiver, or family designated advocate, it’s important to stay up-to-date on all medical matters. This means assisting your parent or loved one during their doctor’s visits, understanding which medicines they need to take, when to take them, and what they do. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or take notes during these visits. After all, helping your parent through an illness is emotionally demanding, so don’t forget to be gentle and patient with yourself.
2. Find support both for yourself and your parents. People living with Parkinson’s usually experience symptoms slowly throughout the years, which makes finding a solid support system crucial to mental and physical healing. It’s not easy watching a parent suffer, but thankfully there are many different support groups available to caregivers and children of those who have been diagnosed. Those living with Parkinson’s are also encouraged to seek out support groups in order to discuss the disease with others who are experiencing similar symptoms and emotions.
3. Don’t take over, even if it’s hard! Many caregivers and children feel protective over their loved one, which is completely normal. However, it’s important to let your senior to make the calls and communicate how they want to be cared for and what type of support they feel most comfortable with. Of course, you should always check with a doctor before making any medical or health-related changes.
4. Get help in planning your parent’s care. It’s not uncommon for caregivers or adult children to feel like they can handle their loved one’s illness alone. The truth is, it takes a team of people to provide the support your senior deserves. Whether it be family members, doctors, counselors, or caregivers, it’s important to create a team who will provide support for each other and to the person diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
5. Try to recognize that your mom is still your mom. Parkinson’s disease can often show up in different ways. Some people experience rigidity, and difficulty to physically express emotions. A lot of times, this can present itself as being disengaged or not interested. If this happens, try to remember that although it might not seem like it, they are still the same person you know and love.
Our Carespring nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky are always looking for ways to help families care for their loved ones. When it comes to caring your parent with Parkinson’s, what helps you?
- June 2018 - Check Out Our Latest Commercial!
We LOVE our latest commercials...have you had a chance to see them yet?? Check them out and schedule a visit to tour one of our state of the art Transitional Rehabilitation Facilities and Nursing Homes in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky or Dayton!
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- June 2018 - Celebrating Father’s Day
Father’s Day is right around the corner and celebrations are waiting to be planned! Whether your dad is living at home or in a retirement community, there are many ways to show your gratitude for all he’s done over the years. Get the family together and get ready to have fun with these Father’s Day celebration ideas.
Celebrate with Food
Show your appreciation to Dad by cooking him a home cooked meal, or invite him over for a Father’s Day BBQ. Most seniors love being around their families, especially when it involves their favorite meal. Make sure to have plenty of comfortable seating available for dad and any other seniors who might attend. Pay attention to the heat and be sure to provide shaded areas and plenty of water if you decide to celebrate outdoors.
Attend a Sporting Event
This summer, baseball is in the air which makes a perfect family outing. Many stadiums have discounts for seniors and offer handicap seating for those who have trouble walking. To make sure you get the tickets you desire, it’s advised to call beforehand and reserve your seating arrangements. Baseball is a great way to take dad back to “the good ole days” with the whole family. Grab a hotdog and some cracker jacks and enjoy the game!
Go to the Movies
A trip to the movie theatre is a perfect treat on a hot summer day. Surprise your dad with a trip to see a new release, or stay back and watch his favorite movie at home. Consider surprising him with an old movie he used to watch when he was younger, or even better—let him choose the movie. Make it special with his favorite snacks or some popcorn.
Do a Craft
Keep your dad busy this year with a fun family-friendly craft. Making photo frames from fabric, painting bird houses, or coloring together is a great way to spend the day. If you can, try getting the whole family involved! The craft will be a great reminder of how much he is loved each day.
Help with Chores
Ask your dad to give you a list of things he needs help with, either around the house or uncompleted errands. Shopping for groceries or repairing a broken cabinet are great ways to show your appreciation for dad. You can always do these chores together to make mundane tasks feel special.
Our Carespring Nursing Homes and Rehabilitation Facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky love celebrating dads! We wish you and your family a wonderful and happy day!
- May 2018 - Celebrating Mom on Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and time is running out to find mom the perfect gift for her special day. Assisted living communities and nursing homes put limitations on gifts for your mom, but there are still plenty of options she’s guaranteed to love. Consider some of these gift ideas for your mom this year.
A Beauty Day
Treat your mom to a spa day at her favorite salon. Some facilities even have their own salons on campus, which are easily accessible to residents. Nothing says thank you like getting your nails and hair done! Wrap the day up with a gift basket full of her favorite bath gels, lotions, and perfume.
Music and Movies
If your mother has an Ipod or Ipad, you might consider pre-loading the device with her favorite music and spend the day enjoying it together. Movies are also great gift ideas too. Choose a variety of recent releases and her favorite movies from her younger days. Enjoy together as a family on your next movie night or during a rainy day.
Treat your mom to her favorite special treat this Mother’s Day. Specialty chocolates, cookies, jams, and crackers are all wonderful things she can share with her friends in the assisted living or nursing home facility. Send these specialty items along with a beautiful bouquet of flowers for an extra-special gift.
If she’s able, take your mom out to find a new outfit at her favorite store or shopping center. If you and your family have plans for Mother’s Day, take her out a couple of days before so she can wear her new outfit for her big celebration. Pajama sets make great gifts too, especially as the seasons change and she needs a lighter set of pajamas for sleeping.
Many residents who live in assisted living or nursing homes like to have reminders and mementos of their families and friends in their living spaces. This Mother’s Day, consider taking a family photo and choosing a special frame to give to your mom. Another option is to give mom a digital picture frame and upload all of her favorite pictures. This is a great option for mothers who have a lot of photos or live in a small space.
As our mother’s get older, it can be difficult to remember appointments, events, and birthdays. Consider choosing a special calendar for this year’s gift. Choose from landscapes, animals, or even customize your own calendar with pictures from family events and outings.
Mothers should always be celebrated, but Mother’s Day gives us the perfect opportunity to tell our moms how much they mean to us. Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky wish you and your mom a wonderful day of celebration!
- May 2018 - Helping Your Loved One with Dementia Adjust to Change
Navigating through dementia can be difficult for the family members of the person diagnosed. Many family members have to learn a whole new way of communicating effectively with their senior. This can be challenging, especially when a senior living with dementia moves to a different living community. There are many different reasons families choose to move their loved ones, but many choose to do so in order to give their senior as much support and high-quality care as they need. A change in lifestyle can be a hardship for any senior, but especially those who suffer dementia. If your loved one has just moved, or is anticipating a move, here are some helpful tips to ease the transition:
Keep your senior’s new surroundings as familiar as possible. It’s difficult to adapt to any change, but when dementia patients are taken out of their normal routine, adapting to life changes can be an incredibly hard challenge. Taking some of their favorite mementos and belongings with them to their new home. Familiar pictures, bed covers, clothing, or furniture can do a lot to soothe feelings of anxiousness and confusion.
Get to know the staff at the new facility. Being able to meet the staff who will be caring for your loved one will help you get a better sense of the support and care that’s being offered. It’s also important for the staff to get to know your loved one. Don’t hesitate to tell the staff a few things about your senior, so they are able to establishing a connection. Reviewing your senior’s medication list, expectations, and needs with the new staff and health care team is significant in any type of transition, whether it’s from a retirement community to assisted living, or vice versa.
Help your senior establish a new routine. It’s helpful to give your senior time to get used to their new daily schedule. Make sure you senior has all the information they need to get involved with their new community. Taking them home with you every few days, may slow down their transition. It will be difficult for the whole family, but give your senior time to adjust to their routine before taking them out.
Encourage participation in activities and events hosted by their new facility. Many communities offer activities for their residents to get involved and socialize with others. Sometimes these activities are hosted on the campus grounds, while other times residents will have the opportunity to go on trips and outings like seeing a play or going out to lunch. Make sure to ask for the activity information during your senior’s move in and encourage them to try something new. This will help foster feelings of belonging in their new community.
What’s helped your senior transition into a new community?
- April 2018 - Proud to Be a Carespring Caregiver!
Carespring and its locations are so proud of our partnership with the American Heart Association and this year’s Heart Mini Event. Our facilities raised around $40,000 to help fight heart disease and better care for those suffering. As well, we had 250 team members and their families participate in the event! What a terrific outpouring of support! Each and every team member should feel so proud of their individual efforts. PROUD TO BE A CARESPRING CAREGIVER!
- April 2018 - Dehydration in the Elderly
Now that the weather is finally beginning to get warmer, staying hydrated is as important as ever, especially in older adults. Since our bodies are made up mostly of water, it’s crucial to refuel them in order to maintain basic body functions. At Carespring's skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities and nursing homes in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky, we take hydration very seriously. Read more about dehydration and how to maintain proper hydration below!
What Is It?
When our bodies give out more water than we’re putting in them, we can start to feel the symptoms of dehydration. Dizziness and high heart rate are some of the symptoms caused by lack of water. Dehydration is especially common in older adults due to medication side effects, lack of thirst, and inability to recognize changes in body temperature. There are serious consequences if dehydration goes untreated, such as hospitalization or worsening of existing illnesses.
Things to know:
Dehydration can sneak up on us! It’s important to make hydration a habit to avoid the side effects and symptoms of dehydration. Here are some signs of dehydration:
- If you’re thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Drink water or your beverage of choice slowly and consistently.
- The color of urine can indicate dehydration if it is bright or dark yellow. Hydrated urine is pale yellow. However, medications and vitamins can sometimes interfere with the color of urine, so make sure to consult your doctor.
- There are certain conditions that can exacerbate dehydration, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of dehydration.
Consider some of these tips to staying hydrated all year long:
- Make sure to drink a full glass of water each time you take your medication. This way staying hydrated becomes a habit that will be easy to remember.
- Drinking water doesn’t have to be a chore. Water is in everything! Drinking flavored drinks like decaffeinated tea, smoothies, or flavored water are tasty drinks that will keep you hydrated. If you occasionally drink alcohol, it’s always important to accompany it with a glass of water. Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks can cause you to feel dehydrated quickly.
- You don’t have to strictly drink water in order to stay hydrated. There are many foods that have a high water content. Adapting these foods into every meal will substantially increase your water intake without having to think about drinking. Foods like cucumbers, pineapple, grapes, tomatoes, beets, carrots and celery are great meal additions to keep you hydrated.
- March 2018 - Myths About Aging
There are many different preconceptions we have about aging. Consider some of these myths about getting older and share them with your family and friends:
Older adults are always lonely
Simply put-this isn’t true! There’s a common thought that when we get older, loneliness is right around the corner. While that can be true for some older adults, there are many opportunities for socializing, especially at retirement communities. Retirement communities and nursing homes recognize the importance of socialization for seniors. That’s why most facilities host daily activities, giving their residents the opportunity to mingle and strengthen relationships with their neighbors.
Dementia is inevitable
While aging does bring on additional health concerns and illnesses, not each and every adult will develop dementia. In fact, according to the World Health Organization, only 5 in 100 adults ages 60 and older develop dementia.
Seniors eventually lose all of their independence
While they may benefit from a little assistance, most seniors live very independent lives. Some older adults choose to move into retirement facilities so ensure the care they might need later on is available to them. Other older adults live within the community until a late age. Despite their choice, there are many opportunities for seniors to practice independence even in their later years.
Seniors only watch television and little else
Quite the opposite, actually! Since most older adults are in retirement, there is a lot of time to spend on activities they enjoy. Many seniors find a renewed sense of creativity and enjoyment when they tap into their hobbies. While some older adults choose to spend their time painting, reading, or writing, some enjoy visiting museums, the symphony or trying new foods.
Aging makes you fear change
Think of all the changes we experience throughout our lives. Older adults are excellent at navigating changes! While it’s uncomfortable for some, older adults have proved over and over that they are experts in the field.
Our Carespring Nursing Homes and Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky work to make aging feel like the privilege it is for our residents and their families.
- March 2018 - Talking with Your Children About Retirement
So you’ve made the big decision to retire and now it’s time to break the news to your adult children. We all handle changes and transitions in different ways, so it’s important to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it to your children. These types of conversations can be difficult for many adults, especially when they include discussing after-life plans like health care and writing of wills. At some point in retirement, many older adults rely on the help of their children to provide part-time or full-time care. Discussing these issues before they happen, and even before you decide to retire ensures that when the time comes, everyone is on the same page. Consider using some of these tips to navigate your retirement conversation.
If your children want to be active parts of your care during your retirement years, it’s important to establish roles and needs as early as possible. If you have many children, in-state and out-of-state, it’s important to know who will be responsible and for what tasks. This could include taking care of finances, making health related decisions, providing care, or managing medications and groceries. This is a good time to discuss what kind of care you see yourself wanting in the future. It’s best to decide if you will hire outside help, or if one of your children are willing to play the part. These kinds of conversations need to be revisited, especially as time goes on. However, it’s wise to have a game plan in mind before the situation becomes immediate.
Write it To Remember it
It’s great to have conversations about retirement with your children, however it’s important to take notes so that everyone remembers the same things. Have one person take notes during your conversation and have the whole family read the document before agreeing to close the discussion. This way, if there are any inconsistencies or items that need clarification, they can be addressed at that time.
Know What You Want
Some adult children choose to be very involved in their parents’ retirement. However, it’s up to you as the parent to choose where you want to go and how you want to live the rest of your retirement years. Take some time before your discussion to think about what you want help with and what you would like to do on your own. Some parents like their children’s assistance when it comes to touring different retirement facilities, while some prefer help only when it comes to physically moving. Always remember that if you able to make sound, fully cognitive decisions, the choice should be yours.
Our Carespring Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities and Nursing Homes in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky take pride in assisting happy families and seniors. When it comes to having hard discussions, what’s been best for you and your family?
- February 2018 - Fall Prevention Tips for Seniors
Winter isn’t over yet and that means more winter weather conditions could be on the way. Unfortunately, falling is very common for seniors. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “one in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year.” During the winter months, many seniors are at risk of falling or losing balance because of the cold temperatures and slick walkways. There are steps seniors can take to reduce their chances of falling or getting injured. Here are the best ways to ensure safety for you or your senior.
Visit Your Doctor
If you’re feeling dizzy or have a history of falling, make an appointment to see your doctor. Sometimes a mix of medications or the dosage can cause side effects that can make you more prone to falling. If you or your senior have a hard time keeping your medications organized or remembering to take them, ask for some assistance. Many retirement communities have nurses available to help sort and organize medications.
Assess Your Home
There are many modifications that can be made to your home to make it safer.
- Consider installing grab bars in hallways and in the bathroom near your tub or shower. Grab bars are great for seniors who have trouble walking, or who use the restroom during the nighttime when it’s dark.
- Make sure your space is well lit. Falling can happen at any time, but chances of falling increases when visibility is limited. Install lights near staircases, door entrances, and in hallways. Night-lights are great for hallways and in bedrooms too.
- Falls can happen when reaching for items such as kitchen appliances. Consider reorganizing your kitchen and bathroom so all of your most commonly used items are within reach. Standing on stools and chairs is dangerous and can put you or your loved one at risk for falling.
- Always keep your house or apartment clear of clutter and unused items. Things like hampers, baskets, or boxes on floors increased the probability of falls and can be dangerous for seniors.
Wear Safe Shoes
Many older adults fall due to wearing the wrong type of shoes. Pick shoes that have a sturdy rubber bottom and a lot of grip. Wide shoes help keep seniors steady on their feet while staying balanced.
Occupational therapists can always give seniors tips on how to stay balanced. Modifying the way we walk, sit, and sleep can help keep us upright and far away from falling. Many retirement homes have clinics with visiting or full-time occupational therapists, so give your information desk a call to see what’s available.
Our Carespring Skilled Nursing, Rehabilitation and Nursing Home facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky always want our patients to stay safe and healthy!
- February 2018 - Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Your Senior
Valentine’s Day can be a difficult holiday for some seniors, especially if they’ve lost their spouse or a loved one. But, thankfully Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be lonely for those without someone to celebrate with. Consider trying some of these Valentine’s Day activities with your loved one this week.
Coloring Valentine’s Day cards for special friends or family members is a great way to spend time with your loved one. Depending on your senior’s capability, consider using cutout hearts, glitter, and glue to make these cards extra special.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to put up new decorations around your senior’s apartment or home. Simple decorations like hearts or red garland will be enough to lift your senior’s spirits while keeping them busy and creative for a few hours.
Who doesn’t love a special Valentine’s Day treat? Making cookies to pass out to friends and family is a fun way to celebrate the special day. Bake your favorite recipe, or consider trying something new. Want to take your baking a little further? Try using a heart shaped cookie cutter to put a little love in your cookies or brownies.
Play a Game!
If your loved one likes playing board games, try adding a few Valentine’s Day elements. For example, if you’re playing bingo, try swapping the plastic chips for Hershey kisses. Or, consider buying a Valentine’s Day themed puzzle. Most grocery or hobby stores will have Valentine’s Day games in stock this time of year.
Watch a Classic
Valentine’s Day is a perfect opportunity to re-watch some of the best classics of all time. Grab your sweets, and head to the couch to indulge in a Valentine’s Day movie. Consider watching Casablanca, Sleepless in Seattle, or When Harry Met Sally to lift get you into the Valentine’s Day sprit! If your senior feels like taking a field trip, consider going out to the movie theater to see a new release. Valentine’s Day is usually a great time to see a new movie.
Flowers are a class Valentine’s Day gift. Treat your senior to a fresh bouquet of flowers. You can make this an activity by going to your local florists and making the bouquet together. Some specialty stores will let you make your own bouquet and provide the perfect container. Make sure you call before stopping in.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky are wishing you and your loved one a special Valentine’s Day!
- January 2018 - Boost Your Immune System This Winter
Winter can be a difficult time for our bodies and immune systems. As the flu season begins, it’s important to strengthen our immune systems, especially for older adults. There are a few ways we can give our immune systems the boost it needs. Our Carespring Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities and Nursing Homes in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky want our patients and their families to stay healthy all winter long. Consider implementing a few of these immune boosting steps into your daily routine!
Wash your hands
It seems obvious, but washing your hands after being in public places can help you avoid winter illnesses like the flu. Sanitizing shopping cart handles, doorknobs, and telephones also helps to eliminate germs and decreasing your chance of getting sick this winter. Hand sanitizer can be bought in travel size containers, which fit perfectly in purses or jacket pockets. Some hand sanitizers come with hydrating oils that help keep your hands soft and avoid dryness.
Add more herbs to your diet
Try eating more of these herbs to strengthen your immune system to avoid sickness.
- Mint- Add this to your favorite hot tea, or sprinkle some on frozen yogurt for a special treat. Mint helps aid digestion while soothing chest and stomach pains. Mint is also great for adults who experience asthma during the dry winter months.
- Parsley- Full of antioxidants, parsley is also high in vitamins A and C, which gives your body the boost it needs. Great for bones and delicious to add to meals, parsley acts as an anti-inflammatory.
- Rosemary- Known to relieve migraines, rosemary also helps improve memory function and soothes indigestions. Need a mood lift? Try adding rosemary to your next meal!
Take a supplement
Supplements like multivitamins or probiotics can help increase your daily dose of nutrients that help fight off dangerous infections. Before you add anything to your normal medication, get approval from your doctor or healthcare provider.
Get more sleep!
Our bodies fight infections in numerous ways. Getting enough sleep, at least 8 hours, will help our bodies have enough energy to keep us healthy. Our bodies have to work hard when they fight off illnesses, so do them a favor and give it the energy it needs!
Drinking enough water each day is a must when it comes to staying healthy during the winter seasons. However, drinking water can be hard to do when it’s cold outside. Try drinking herbal teas, or adding flavor enhancers to your water bottle. Eating foods that are high in water content, like soup, help you stay hydrated too.
Stay healthy this winter with some of these immune boosting tips!
- January 2018 - Healthy Hobbies for Seniors
When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, many people promise to lead healthier lifestyles through diet, exercise, and daily activities. As the months go by and hard-to-break habits start to creep back in, it can be tempting to abandon our resolutions. It’s especially important for seniors to take steps into leading a healthier lifestyle in order to live longer. At our Carespring Rehabilitation and Long Term Nursing Care facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, we want all of our patients and their families to live long and healthy lives!
Here are some healthy hobbies to try in the coming months:
Gardening is the perfect outdoor activity, especially in the spring and summer. However, older adults can prepare for the gardening season during the wintertime by growing small plants, like herbs or tomatoes, indoors. Gardening is known to help people, especially older adults, cope with stress, depression, and loneliness. Not only does gardening help strengthen mental health, it also promotes a healthy lifestyle through activeness and exercise. Gardening can also be modified for adults who are unable to bend over or stand for long periods of time.
Playing Cards with a Group
Research has shown that older adults who consistently participate in group activities, like playing bridge or bingo, improve their cognitive abilities and overall happiness. Most retirement communities have group programs that engage their residents in games like dominoes or scrabble. Consider hosting a game evening with your family or friends and try playing together each week.
Take a few hours or an afternoon and dedicate your time to others. Volunteering gives us the chance to interact with different age groups and people who come from different backgrounds. Try and think about your interests and find a volunteer opportunity that fits well. Schools, homeless shelters, churches, and other non-profits are always accepting volunteers who want to donate their time for a good cause.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Exercising is crucial in leading a healthy life. Thankfully, there are a lot of varieties of exercise, so you should be able to find something that works for you. Consider taking a walk outside with a friend or family member. But, always remember to check the weather and dress appropriately while outside. If the weather is working against you, take a trip to your local recreation center for an exercise class like gentle yoga or water aerobics.
We’re wishing you a healthy and happy start to the New Year! What are you looking forward to in 2018?
- December 2017 - Celebrating the New Year with Your Senior
Holidays can be a time of celebration and joy, especially when they are spent together with friends and family. However, as we age the holiday season can become difficult, particularly after losing a loved one or spouse. The New Year represents a new start, a time for rejuvenation and excitement, which can be hard for some adults to do in the midst of holiday grief. At our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, we are always looking for ways to bring happiness to our residents and their families, especially during this holiday season. Consider some of these ideas to make the New Year a special time for you and your loved one.
A New Year’s Brunch
Staying up until the clock strikes midnight can be difficult for anyone, but even more challenging for older adults. Get an early start in celebrating the New Year with a holiday brunch. If you and your loved ones feel up to it, consider making a delicious meal at home, or wear your special holiday clothes and head out to your favorite restaurant. During the holiday season, many restaurants have different hours of operation than usual, so make sure to call ahead and make a reservation to skip the waiting line.
What’s better than brunch? Brunch at midnight! If you have a late night ahead of yourself and are wondering what to do while waiting for the ball to drop, consider having a New Year’s breakfast for dinner. Pancakes, bacon, and omelets are a delicious way to bring in the New Year!
Create a Time Capsule
Arts and crafts can be a fun way to bring family and friends together for an evening of laughter and joy. Have your loved one choose their favorite mementos to remember 2017. Favorite music or movie selections make great tokens of remembrance. Consider including family pictures, a favorite dried flower, or bottle of your favorite wine to add to the capsule. Opening the capsule is a great way to start the New Year at the next celebration!
Holidays in the mid-eastern United States can be cloudy and rainy. A movie marathon is a perfect way to celebrate the dreary weather. Have each of your family members or friends make a selection of their favorite movies and enjoy watching them together. Don’t forget to bring your favorite snack or candy to add to the celebrations. If you and your senior feel like going out, consider going to the movie theatre to see a movie on the big screen. Many new movies debut during the holiday season, so you’re bound to find something that looks interesting.
No matter how you decide to celebrate this year, our Carespring family wishes you and your loved ones a special New Year and wonderful holiday!
- December 2017 - Relieving Winter Joint Pain
Winter is around the corner, and as temperatures begin to change many older adults who suffer from arthritis or osteoporosis might notice an increase in pain. While some practitioners don’t believe there is a link between joint pain and cold weather, other researchers argue that as the pressure in the air changes, it could cause tissues in our joints to swell. Luckily, there are simple at-home remedies and medicine alternatives to relieve pain and get you feeling back to normal.
Participating in light exercise and stretching can help warm up the muscles in joints and relieve pain. Swimming in warm water pools, walking on a treadmill, or trying a yoga class might help bring relief. Try something new and discover what works for your body!
Explore Eastern Medicine
Consider trying different non-pharmaceutical therapies such as a massage or acupuncture. Massage therapists use different techniques to identify points of pain and apply various amounts of pressure to the area. Consistent massages help many adults with chronic pain and discomfort. Slightly more aggressive types of therapies, such as acupuncture, use thin needles to relieve built-up pressure in specific areas of the body.
Try Supplements Natural alternatives such as glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate have been found to help relieve pain for people who suffer from osteoarthritis and joint pain. Unlike other prescription medications, these supplements have very little side effects for its user. Other natural supplements in the omega-3 fatty acids family, such as fish oil help relieve pain and reduce the dependency on other pharmaceuticals.
The simplest way to relieve winter joint pain is to stay warm. Using hats, gloves, and scarves might seem obvious, but they go a long way in keeping you comfortable and pain free. Remember to pad areas of discomfort, especially when going out in cold weather.
Some studies have shown that people are dehydrated experience more sensitivity to pain than those who are less dehydrated. Drinking plenty of water (at least 8 glasses a day) will help you combat pain while feeling alert and energized. Drinking water during the winter can be difficult for many. Consider using hydration packets or flavored sugar-free packets to give a little personality to your water.
Our Carespring Nursing Homes and Skilled Rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky wish you and your loved ones a safe and pain-free winter. When it comes to combating winter joint pain, what’s been working for you?
- November 2017 - Celebrating National Family Caregivers Month
During the month of November we celebrate those who dedicate their lives to supporting and assisting others with declining health or long-term illnesses. Caregivers average 24.4 hours a week providing care to their spouse, loved one, or relative. The demands on caregivers can be difficult, both emotionally and physically, so remember to thank a caregiver this month. Here are some ways to acknowledge the special work caregivers do each day:
Say Thank You
Caregivers often go unrecognized in their day-to-day activities. If you know someone who provides care for their loved one, consider sending them a special thank-you card, or take time to visit them in their home. Small tokens of gratitude and acknowledgement go a long way. Sometimes all it takes is “thanks” to brighten a person’s day.
There’s never enough time in the day for caregivers. Although rewarding, Caregiving can also be exhausting and demanding. Try asking for concrete ways that you can help a caregiver get through their day. Maybe they need help prioritizing things to get done, or maybe they just need a hot meal. Sites like meal train helps groups organize and plan hot meals for a family or couple who needs it the most. Crowd funding platforms such as GoFundMe or YouCaring provide a way to collect donations to ease the financial burden that some caregivers face.
Care for the Caregiver
Caregivers are often preoccupied with the wellbeing of their loved one and often put their own health second. Reminding caregivers to look after themselves is important, especially when it comes to avoiding burnout. Exercising daily and eating healthy meals is crucial for any caregiver. You might consider suggesting counseling, a spa day, or try to provide a way for a caregiver to participate in their favorite hobbies or activities.
Sometimes caregivers need a helping hand, especially when it comes to planning for the future. Find a time to sit down with a caregiver and help them consider what they want for the future, what their plans are, and how you can help them achieve their long-term goals. There are long-term care resources, such as the Family Caregiver Alliance, that help caregivers devise a plan for care when they are no longer able to provide support themselves.
Our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky thank the work caregivers do each day! How have you helped a caregiver?
- November 2017 - Advice for Seniors: How to Avoid Running Out of Money
Retirement is an accomplishment that marks years of hard work and for many, relentless saving. Many retired older adults rely on their savings to support them throughout the duration of their remaining years. This means something different for each person. Some might plan to move into a retirement community, while others have financially prepared to hire outside help. No matter the preference, it’s important to have a plan that you won’t outlive.
Here are some tips when it comes to planning your retirement:
Save, Save, Save
We hear it everywhere: start saving as much as you can, as early as you can. Some theories say that you should start building your retirement fund in your twenties, or at the start of your first fulltime job. An employer sponsored 401K plan helps maximize your savings by allowing you to set aside pre-taxed money.
There are restrictions on a 401K including penalties for taking it out and limitations on how much you can save each year. However, for employed adults, a 401K is the safest way to save a large amount of money.
Know Your Plan
We all know plans change! But, when it comes to saving for retirement, having a plan is crucial, even if you have to keep readjusting it. Having conversations with your spouse or adult children about your plans for your retirement is extremely important. Think about where you see yourself in your later years, what kind of care you want, and how you’d like to live. Do you want to travel? What kind of living arrangements are important to you? Answering these types of questions will help you understand what kind of lifestyle you will be living and how much you should be saving.
Be Goal Oriented
Setting goals and working toward them will help you stay on track when it comes to planning your retirement fund. Goals should be concrete and challenging, but acceptable. Goals might include opening a saving account for your grandchildren, or, saving a certain amount each month. Celebrating these goals will make a difficult task more enjoyable. Saving for your retirement is not easy, but it’s crucial to your future.
Running out of money can be a scary reality for many people. At our Carespring Nursing Home and Skilled Rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, we’re always working to provide the best care to our patients throughout their retirement. When it comes to saving, what works for you?
- October 2017 - Celebrating Halloween With Your Senior
As the autumn season continues, Halloween brings the perfect opportunity to make special memories with your loved ones. When it comes to choosing ways to celebrate the spooky day, the list of creative ideas is endless. Our Carespring nursing homes and skilled rehabilitation facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky love looking for ways to bring patients and families together in every way possible. This season, consider some of these festive Halloween activities to spark the spirit of creativity in your senior!
Paint a Pumpkin
Carving pumpkins is a fun Halloween tradition for many families. However, this can be difficult for seniors because dexterity and strength usually start to deteriorate as we age. Consider adapting this favorite Halloween activity to fit the needs of your senior. Painting pumpkins instead of carving them is a great way to participate in Halloween celebrations without causing any injuries or pain.
Visiting pumpkin patches and helping choose the prized pumpkin before painting or carving is a great way for seniors to feel included in celebrations. Make sure to call before visiting to make sure all areas are handicap accessible, if necessary.
Nothing says Halloween quite like spooky decorations. Try making a craft with your senior to make their room or apartment scream Halloween! Creating spider webs from cotton balls or making these Halloween-themed candle holders will be the perfect touch to your senior’s home.
Spend a day or two making Halloween cards from stencils and markers to send to family and friends. Card making is a great way to keep creativity and personal connection a part of Halloween celebrations. Consider making a list of family and friends and send them a homemade card along with a Halloween treat.
Cook Halloween-Themed Food
Choose a Halloween inspired recipe to cook with your senior the week of Halloween. Making “ghost” cookies or decorating spooky cupcakes for friends and family is a perfect way to feel festive. Make sure to read the recipe beforehand to know which ones will be suitable to your loved one’s capabilities. Allowing your senior to be a part of the process, from choosing the recipe to baking it, will keep them feeling purposeful and happy. Try one of these spooky recipes!
At Carespring, we love celebrating holidays with our residents, especially Halloween. How are you choosing to celebrate this spooky holiday with your senior?
- October 2017 - How to Prevent Falls
As we age, our need for different medications and therapies increases. Our bodies begin to work in different ways, perhaps joints aren’t as strong as they used to be, or climbing stairs is now harder than in our youth. It might be surprising that the combination of these factors, especially in older adults, often lead to falls, which can cause severe injuries. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “One in four Americans aged 65+ falls each year, making it the leading cause of fatal injury.” However, there are steps you can take to prevent you or your senior from falling.
Check Your Meds
If you or your loved one is suffering from dizziness or loss of balance, be sure to make an appointment with your doctor. Medications can cause these types of symptoms, especially when a senior is taking various kinds of medicine. Making a list of medications, their doses, and time of consumption will help your doctor know if you are at risk for falling.
Participating in moderate activities like walking, gentle yoga, or swimming is especially helpful when it comes to maintaining balance. Adults who are physically fit are less likely to experience falls because their bodies are stronger and more flexible.
Consider attending an exercise class at your local wellness center, or work with a physical therapist to learn customizable exercises that will keep you strong and staying upright!
Keep Your Home Safe
Many falls in older adults happen in their homes. Clutter around the house, like moving boxes or laundry baskets are more dangerous than we think they are! Make sure walk ways and highly frequented areas like the kitchen are cleared out. Keeping homes clean and organized is especially important when it comes to fall prevention.
There are extra preventative measures that are customized for at-home safety. Consider installing balance bars in places like the bathroom or along staircases. Securing loose carpets or coffee rugs to the ground will keep you from losing balance. Nonslip mats are a necessity in wet areas like the bathroom and kitchen. Many places specialize in converting homes to safer places for seniors and will often offer special senior rates that make the transition less expensive.
The safety of our patients and residents is a high priority at our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. Preventing falls can be life saving. What do you do to stay safe?
- October 2017 - How to Stay Healthy During Flu Season
As the autumn season continues and temperatures begin to drop, staying healthy becomes harder, but not impossible. As we age our immune systems get weaker and common illnesses like the flu become more dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Between 71 and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older.” However, there are simple everyday steps to prevent and protect you or your senior from the flu and other related illnesses.
Get a Flu Shot
It seems simple, but the best thing to do is to make a trip to your local pharmacy and ask for the flu shot. Covered by most insurance plans, a flu shot greatly reduces your chance of getting the flu during the fall and winter. Most pharmacies offer different doses of vaccinations, so be sure to check with your doctor to find what will be best for you.
Practice Safe Hygiene
We can’t always protect ourselves from the world around us. But, staying away from large crowds of people and washing your hands often will help protect you from unwanted germs. Consider carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer with you during the day or when you go to public places. Germs shouldn’t stop you from taking public transportation or going out to restaurants, but being mindful of your own personal hygiene will keep you healthy all season long.
Pay attention to your body. When the flu strikes, it often causes fatigue, fever, cough, sour throat, headaches, and pain in the body. If the flu goes undiagnosed for a long period of time, the symptoms can become more severe and the illness gets more difficult to treat.
It’s also important to protect other people. When you cough or sneeze, be sure to minimize the spread of influenza by covering your mouth with your elbow, not your hands. It’s good practice to wash your hands and stay away from others when you’re feeling ill.
Keep Your Home Clean
If people are coming in and out of your home, especially if you or your senior has an in-home caregiver, it’s important to wipe down surfaces with antibacterial cleaner everyday. Germs are sneaky! Because we can’t see them, it can be easy to forget about them. Cleaning surfaces like phones, doorknobs, and kitchen counters will help kill the germs that get us sick.
There is much to be enjoyed this fall season. Don’t let the flu ruin the fun! Our Carespring nursing home and skilled rehabilitation facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky are wishing you and your family a healthy fall.
- September 2017 - Fall Festivities for Seniors and Families
As summer comes to a close and autumn begins, it’s time to start thinking about ways to enjoy the changing leaves and dropping temperatures. It’s important to keep seniors physically active and mentally engaged during each season! Our Carespring nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky work hard to keep our residents happy and healthy all year long. Here are some ideas to enjoy the new season with your senior.
Pumpkins and Apples, Oh My!
Treat your senior to a scenic day trip around your town, making sure to pass by apple orchards and pumpkin patches for a fall-themed outing. Even an hour-long car ride is enough to leave your senior feeling refreshed and entertained. Car trips are perfect for all seniors, but especially those who have difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time. Top off your trip with a cup of warm apple cider or piece of pumpkin pie from a local restaurant.
There are a variety of fall-themed baked goods that are simple to make and even easier to enjoy. Ask your senior to help you prepare an assortment of items for a bake sale, trick or treating, or just to enjoy as a family. Country Living offers recipes and instructions for preparing the perfect fall treat. Don’t forget to share!
Along with pumpkins and sweaters, fall is the time for football. If your senior is able, consider attending a sporting event, or celebrate the game by watching at home with friends and family. Most sporting venues offer seats for the elderly that are easily accessible.
Football isn’t the only game to enjoy. Try working on a fall-themed jigsaw puzzle, or color autumn landscapes with pencils or watercolors. Afraid of the chilly weather? Host a family game night and get cozy with board games and blankets.
Crafts are Calling
Making crafts to decorate your senior’s room or home is a perfect way to celebrate fall. Arts and crafts allow seniors to engage their creative energies while enjoying the company of others. Try some of these DIY projects for new fall décor.
While it may still feel warm outside, as of September 22 fall has officially arrived. We hope your autumn is full of happiness and warmth all season long. How do you celebrate fall with your senior?
- September 2017 - How to Have a Successful Family Visit to a Nursing Home
Senior care communities can be full of life, fun, and happiness. But, bringing children to visit grandparents at a nursing home or retirement community can be uncomfortable for some, especially when it’s a first-time visit. However, there are a few simple ways to prepare your children and family for their visit, allowing them to enjoy the time spent with loved ones.
Discussing an upcoming visit with your family will help uncover any fears or worries they might have. Talking through scenarios and anxieties will encourage your children to think about their visit, while creating an opportunity for them to ask questions. Consider beginning the conversation while you cook dinner or as your child helps you with daily tasks. Making the conversation light-hearted will help ease your child’s fears as they prepare for their visit with grandparents.
Choose the Right Time
Some older adults prefer to do activities as certain times during the day or evening. Call you loved one beforehand to see what time is best for them. If you know your parents or loved one is in high spirits in the morning rather than the afternoon, try planning your visit earlier in the day. Consider planning your visit at lunchtime and treat your senior to a meal out.
Make It Fun
Visits don’t have to be all talk. Try making the visit something to look forward to by bringing puzzles, games, or even going out for a treat. Decorating your loved one’s apartment or room with lights or pictures will keep your children busy while enjoying time with their grandparents. Listening to music or looking through old photo albums are fun ways to spend time together as a family.
Spend time after the visit discussing the day. Consider asking your children questions about what they enjoyed and what they might do differently at the next visit. Choosing a scene from the day to draw, or making a craft to bring on the next visit are helpful ways to keep your children excited and mitigate fears. Ask your children to help you plan the next visit with their grandparents and see what fun ideas they come up with!
Our Carespring nursing homes and rehabilitative care centers in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky aim to bring patients and their families together through high-quality care. Spending time with family helps older adults feel happier and stay healthy longer. What fun ideas do you have for your next visit?
- September 2017 - How to Manage Your Money While Caring for Aging Parents
Preparing for retirement and long-term care can be difficult to get right. No one knows how much care we might need in later years, or how long we will need it. When something changes in our financial plans, or in the worst scenario, when money runs out completely, financial responsibility often falls on a senior’s family, specifically their adult children. According to the Pew Research Center, ”Nearly 37% percent of adult children report providing monitory support for their aging parents.” If this happens, it’s important to have a plan.
What Do Your Parents Want?
Discuss how your parents imagine living their later years. Knowing their expectations and needs will guide you while making decisions in difficult situations. Approaching seniors in a compassionate and kind way while talking about finances is important and will help you get the answers you need while planning for the future.
Make a Budget
Before you know how to budget your finances, you have to know where your money is going. Keep a list of all known expenses required for your loved one’s care. Keeping track of what your parent needs will help you design a better monthly budget. If there are other people in the family who are contributing, such as siblings or other extended family members, it’s important to be clear about where the money is going how it is being spent.
Meet with an Advisor
A senior living advisor will help you explore all available options for your senior, from immediate care to planning for long-term assistance. Investing in an advisor to help you forecast future needs while allocating money could help you save money long-term. These advisors will know more about long-term care, specialized needs, and caregiving facilities, and will be able to advise you during critical decision-making situations.
Look for Ways to Lower Your Taxes
Caring for an aging parent is difficult, but there are ways to ease the financial burden. If an adult child is doing most of the caregiving in addition to giving financial support to their parents, they could be eligible for tax cuts by including their parents as dependents. Talk to an accountant to see if you might be eligible, or visit here.
We want the best for our patients and their families at our Carespring nursing home and rehabilitation care facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky. Planning for the future can be difficult, that’s why we encourage families to get the support they need while providing resources along the way.
- September 2017 - Celebrating Labor Day with Seniors
As summer comes to an end, Labor Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. Not only does this holiday pay homage to all workers in various industries, but it also provides the opportunity to share our experiences with one another. Keep your seniors in mind as you prepare to celebrate Labor Day with family and friends.
Host a Barbeque
Enjoy the last few weeks of summer’s warm weather by hosting a family party for all your neighbors and loved ones. Getting together, sharing stories, and playing games is a great way for seniors to feel connected to those around them. Studies have shown that socializing with others greatly improves the quality of life for aging adults. Get out that grill, fill up the cooler, and enjoy the day by spending it with those you love!
Make a New Tradition
Family traditions are a way for new and old generations to stay connected throughout the year. Establishing a new tradition for Labor Day, or partaking in one that already exists will help families create memories that will last for decades. Sharing in conversation about how seniors celebrated Labor Day when they were younger, or discussing their careers are great ways to engage older adults.
Fishing out old photo albums is perfect for sparking conversation with seniors. Reminiscing on old memories and asking questions about seniors’ lives and experiences will leave the family feeling connected to each other and to the true meaning of Labor Day.
Enjoy the Outdoors
Going outside and enjoying nature’s beauty is good for the mind and body! Depending on your loved one’s ability, taking a walk in a nearby park, or enjoying a picnic lunch will leave your older adult feeling rejuvenated and in high spirits. Local parks are free and fun for the whole family, from babies to seniors.
Finding ways to engage seniors can sometimes be challenging. Setting up an arts and crafts station with watercolors, flowers for bouquet making, or stencils for drawing will leave you and your loved one with something special to remember. Making memories doesn’t have to be difficult. Spending time together and leaving with something to take home is an easy way to make Labor Day special.
Our Carespring nursing home and rehabilitative care facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky wish you and your family a safe and fun holiday weekend! How did your family celebrate?
- August 2017 - How To Stay Connected To Aging Parents
How To Stay Connected To Aging Parents
Providing care for aging parents can feel like a full-time job, and at times, can require an entire team of people. Managing the logistics of daily life, such as nutrition, handling medications, and coordinating doctor’s appointments often become difficult for older adults. This can be equally as challenging for families and children of aging adults, especially for those who live far away.
Families who are long-distance might consider hiring a team of caregivers for their seniors. But, keeping connected with a loved one is also important. According to a study conducted by the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, “Elders who are socially connected have a slower progression of health declines than those who are less engaged.” Now that older adults have access to the Internet and smartphones more than ever, staying connected with family is a click away.
If your loved one has access to a computer, setting them up with an email address will allow the whole family to connect quickly. Emails are great for sending written updates as well as sharing photos and important documents. Receiving special messages from family members will always leave your aging parent feeling loved and well connected.
Phone Calls and Text Messages
Consistent phones calls allow caregivers and family members to be aware of their senior’s wellbeing. It’s important to recognize changes in behavior, especially if your parents or loved one becomes agitated, frustrated, or shows a decline in memory. Using phone calls as a way to connect, while monitoring health and behavior will allow seniors to get the help they need when they need it.
Video chats are great for families who live far away from their senior. Programs like Skype or Google Hangouts are easy to use and help families and loved ones feel like they are spending time together, even when they are remote.
Most mobile phones allow its users to download various programs, many of which are free to use. Applications like bSafe creates a safety network by connecting its users with their family and friends through GPS, allowing them to see where you are and when you might need help.
CareZone helps families share their senior’s important health records, notes from caregivers, and medication schedules. Using a central location, like CareZone, to communicate and manage important documents allows the whole family to stay up-to-date on their senior’s health.
At our Carespring facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky, we strive to keep patients and their families connected. What’s working for you and your family?
- August 2017 - Tips for Fighting Fatigue
As we get older, and daily tasks become more burdensome, it’s easy to assume that fatigue is a normal part of aging. Common among seniors, a Columbia University study found that a lack of energy is linked to other health problems like joint pain and poor physical function. The study also reported an increase in hospital visits for seniors who had a lack of energy. Fatigue and low energy can greatly affect a senior’s quality of life. However, there are simple, everyday activities that can combat fatigue and renew a person’s energy level.
Many older adults don’t get enough water each day. Dehydration can cause low energy, weakness, and can even slow down a person’s metabolism. Drinking eight glasses of water and consuming foods high in water content will keep you feeling healthy and refreshed. Remember, fluids high in caffeine and sugar don’t keep you hydrated and can actually make you feel more tired. Stick to clear fluids!
Eat What Fuels You
Eating the right types of food is an important step in maintaining healthy energy levels. Prepare meals that are high in protein and nutrients for fuel throughout the day. Foods like fish, chicken, spinach, and other dark green vegetables give the body energy and endurance.
Physical activities such as walking, yoga, or jumping rope help to wake up your body while engaging your muscles. Not only does exercise fight fatigue, but it also encourages a healthy weight and prevents diseases and illnesses. Remember to choose exercises that are gently on your joints if you have Osteoporosis or suffer from pain.
Engage in Social Activities
Older adults who spend a lot of time alone will often feel more tired than those who are consistently surrounded by and interact with other people. Joining social clubs, like bridge or book clubs, or spending time with friends and family will leave you feeling happy and content.
Getting a good night’s sleep might seem obvious, but there are many adults who fail to get enough rest. The recommended amount of sleep is between six and eight hours each day. Going to sleep at a regular time each night will help you feel rested for the next day.
At our Carespring nursing home and skilled rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, we always want our residents feeling energized and ready for each day! What’s helping you fight fatigue?
- August 2017 - When Your Parents Refuse Care
As our parents age, and the parent-child roles begin to reverse, knowing what to do when parents refuse help can be a hard situation to navigate. While many adult children begin to worry about their parents’ health and safety, seniors might not understand or be willing to accept their children’s advice and concerns. When it comes to giving advice, research shows that, “77% of adult children reported their parents acting in ways attributed to stubbornness.” This means that seniors’ refusal of their children’s advice about their health and safety isn’t an isolated incident.
At our Carespring nursing home and skilled rehabilitation facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, we’re always looking for ways to improve the lives of our residents and their families. Here are a few tips on what to do when your parents or loved one refuse care:
When it comes to aging, there can be a lot of issues, especially concerning what seniors are able and not able to do. Instead of being overwhelmed with the quantity of issues at hand, consider focusing on the quality. Try writing down your concerns and then decide which two or three are at the top of the list. Addressing issues in this manner will help you feel in control and less overwhelmed. If possible, try involving your parents or loved one in this conversation.
Having a plan in place before a situation becomes stressful is best for both parents and children. Consider writing down the plan together as a family, so when the time comes, parents and children can be reminded of the agreement. Asking questions like, “Where do you want to spend most of your time?” or, “How do you feel about hiring help when the time comes?” is a great way to start a conversation.
Know Your Options
Being prepared with two or three options for each issue helps turn decision-making into something your parent has control over. If you are comfortable with each option, then allowing your parent to choose which they prefer will give them the feeling of independence. Consider options for living arrangements, caregivers, and which person will accompany them on doctor visits.
Whether your parent is confused or even angry, it’s important to try to understand what’s motivating their unwillingness to accept care. Sometimes parents might be experiencing fear, or perhaps it’s their disease that’s causing their stubbornness. Giving yourself time to understand their motivations will help you become more compassionate, especially during stressful moments.
There are many joys in getting older, but there are many challenges as well. Caring for older adults can affect the whole family. Knowing your options and resources before you encounter changes in your senior will help you do what’s best for your parents.
- August 2017 - Congratulations to Our CEO, Chris Chirumbolo!
Carespring CEO Chris Chirumbolo has been named to the Cincinnati Business Courier's 40 under 40 list! Congratulations on this prestigious accomplishment, Chris-we're so proud of you!
- August 2017 - Meal Delivery Options for Older Adults
As we get older, it can become more difficult to shop for and prepare meals each day. But, hunger among older adults is a bigger issue than you might have expected. According to the National Council on Aging, “10.2 million older Americans face the threat of hunger, representing 15.8% of adults aged 60+ in the United States.” This is concerning for many seniors and their families. If your loved one lives far away, or doesn’t have access to healthy food options, you might consider other alternatives.
When it comes to preparing well-balanced meals, food delivery services can make things much easier. Companies like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh organize and ship ingredients for nutritious meals. These meal kits are great for seniors who like to cook since they require preparation like cutting and cooking meats. Packages can be chosen based on quantity and food preferences.
Meals on Wheels
Not all seniors are capable or willing to spend time in the kitchen. Food preparation can be difficult, and even dangerous, for some seniors. In this case, consider meal delivery options like Meals on Wheels. Serving over 219 million meals in 2016, Meals on Wheels is the nation’s largest provider of meal services for seniors. Fueled by volunteers, Meals on Wheels delivers hot meals to seniors every day. Along with a nutritious meal, seniors also get to visit and socialize with volunteers. Call your local Meals on Wheels organization today to see what services are available for you or your loved one.
GA Foods Similar to other meal kits, GA Foods provides prepared meals for seniors. Unlike Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, most meals don’t require much preparation. Seniors can choose which type of meals they want and the frequency of delivery. This option is perfect for seniors who are unable to prepare their own meals, but still want a home cooked meal.
Most assisted living and nursing home facilities provide dining services for their residents. If your senior is unable to leave their room, some facilities will bring food to their door. Most dining services prepare meals that are high in nutrients and protein, ensuring seniors receive a well balanced meal. All of our Carespring facilities go to great lengths to ensure that our residents receive proper nutritious meals that are also delicious.
At our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, we want all of our residents to be healthy and well fed. Knowing what resources are available for seniors helps families make decisions that are best for everyone.
- July 2017 - Why Seniors Thrive in Living Communities
Many seniors and their families hesitate when it comes to transitioning into community living. Whether it’s moving into a retirement community or assisted living, most seniors benefit from the transition in more ways than one. In addition to accessible medical and long-term care, most facilities encourage their residents to interact with one another by engaging in various social activities. According to a Harvard School of Public Health study, “elderly people in the U.S. who have an active social life may have a slower rate of memory decline.” While some might find the transition into care difficult or even scary at first, most seniors find this new chapter exciting.
Our Carespring nursing home and skilled rehabilitation facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky work to improve the quality of life of all of our residents. Here’s what some seniors love about living in our communities.
Nursing homes and assisted living communities are often viewed as stagnant, melancholy places. But, these communities are full of life! From social hours, informational programs and evening performances, residents very rarely feel bored. Some communities even offer day trips and weekend getaways to residents who are still able to get around on their own.
As we age, basic daily tasks get more difficult. Cooking, driving, and organizing weekly medication can be a challenge for many seniors who live on their own. In retirement communities and assisted living, most seniors and their families can decide how much help they need and when they need it. For those who are able complete tasks, but enjoy the security of living in a community, cooking and driving are still available options. For seniors who need more care, like an aide to assist with grocery shopping and driving, most retirement communities will help residents get the help they need.
Housekeeping is difficult for anyone! In assisted living and retirement communities, this is most often taken care of by the housekeeping staff. Seniors can enjoy the benefits of having their own space without the burden.
Food and Nutrition
Food options at retirement communities should be healthy and delicious! Most facilities cater their menu to the needs of the residents. This means seniors should be able to find well-balanced meals with fruit, vegetables, protein, and low fat content. For residents who are used to cooking for their families, shopping and preparing food for just one or two people can be a frustrating obstacle. Most facilities offer dining services that allow residents to choose nutritious meals that are prepared for them.
Community living isn’t the right choice for everyone. But, knowing the benefits can help you decide whether or not senior living communities is right for you or your loved one.
- July 2017 - Tips for Communicating with Your Senior’s Doctor
Transitioning into assisted living and nursing home facilities can be difficult for the whole family. As our loved ones age, keeping up with their health, medications, and other needs is an integral part of their care. Medical teams do their best to communicate with their patient’s families, but sometimes the lines of communication aren’t always open and clear. Putting systems in place that keep your family and loved one informed are important at every stage of care. At our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, we want our patients and their families to have the knowledge they need. Here are a few tips when it comes to creating a good relationship with your senior’s medical team.
Designate a Family Contact Person
When a patient has a large family network, it can be challenging to make sure all members are kept up to date on their loved one’s health. Choosing one person to contact their senior’s doctor or nurse and disperse the information to the rest of the family is best for everyone involved. When doctors receive multiple calls and emails from different family members, it’s difficult to remember who knows what.
Ask the Right Questions
For older adults, especially those with dementia or Alzheimer’s, remembering everything a doctor says during a visit can be nearly impossible. Choosing a family member, preferably the same person designated as the contact person, to attend doctor’s appointments will ensure that critical information is retained and shared.
Asking questions about medications, results of medical tests, or asking the doctor to reiterate instructions are all critical components of a visit. Don’t be afraid to ask too much! Take notes and ask for additional paperwork or information when necessary.
Families can’t be with their loved ones at all times! If you and your family live far from your loved one, it might be a good idea to hire additional help. Aides and hired caregivers are great options for out of town families. Hiring someone to attend doctor’s visits and support patients with daily needs like grocery shopping or taking medication can give all family members peace of mind.
Become Your Loved One’s Medical Power of Attorney
Legalizing your ability to make medical decisions for your loved one is a viable option for adults who are unable to make their own decisions. As a medical power of attorney, family members will be well prepared when critical decisions arise, like ending care, undergoing surgery, or accepting certain medications.
Caring for seniors takes many people! Staying informed and communicating with everyone involved keeps seniors happy and healthy.
- July 2017 - Making Parties Enjoyable for Seniors
There’s nothing better than spending time together with family and friends. This time of year is popular for family reunions, holiday celebrations, and neighborhood block parties. It’s easy to forget that seniors have special needs and wishes during these times of merriment. Some older adults, including those with hearing loss, have difficulty participating in different events, especially ones that are heavily populated.
If you’re interested in hosting or participating in a party or celebration where seniors will be present, here are a few tips to make it a day that everyone will enjoy.
Make Sure Seniors Have What They Need
It can be easy to forget necessities like hearing aids when you’re rushing out the door! A study reports that, “the number of senior citizens in the US with significant hearing loss could increase to 35-40 million by the year 2030.” Hearing impairment among the elderly is rampant, and will continue to affect more seniors in the years to come. Reminding seniors to bring their hearing enhancers to noisy and crowded events will help them enjoy themselves—and each other.
Standing Room Only?
As we age, our joints and legs don’t work like they used to years ago. Seniors enjoy celebrations as much as anyone, but most appreciate having comfortable seating available. Outdoor furniture with cushions or indoor seating near activities or groups keep seniors relaxed and ready to mingle!
Meet Their Needs
We might not be sure what exactly it is that our seniors need the most. In this case, it’s appropriate to ask older adults what would make them most comfortable at parties and gatherings. Showing patience and genuine interest in their needs is important. Aging has its benefits, but can also make simple tasks more difficult. Giving seniors a chance to vocalize what works for them will help ease the situation.
Senior Friendly Party Activities
Make a Photo Book
Remembering parties and special moments can become difficult for older adults, especially those living with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Make a camera available to seniors and other partygoers and encourage picture taking. Creating a photo book through a website like Shutterfly is a great gift for seniors and will help them remember time spent with family and friends.
Record Special Recipes
Food is often a central part of any birthday or holiday party. Collecting family favorite recipes, especially from seniors, will keep memories alive for future generations. Most recipes have a story or special moment that comes with it. Encouraging seniors to recall these stories will make a recipe card or book even more special.
Most importantly, remember to enjoy time spent together with family and friends! At our Carespring facilities in Dayton, Cincinnati, and Northern Kentucky, we love seeing our residents and their families happy.
- July 2017 - Challenges in Assisted and Nursing Home Living: How to Deal
Assisted living and Nursing Homes are a great option for older adults who need extra care or want the benefits that come with living in a community of seniors. Many facilities offer a wide variety of activities, medical assistance, and support to its residents. However, there are also challenges that seniors and their families should understand. These issues are important to be aware of before choosing a facility for or with your loved one. At Carespring, we’re always looking for ways to provide quality care and knowledge to our residents. Here are a few of the most common challenges in assisted living and nursing homes and how to solve them:
High Turnover Rate of Staff
Because of the intense nature of working in assisted living and nursing homes, facilities can often be understaffed. It’s important to gather information about the organization and its team to ensure high quality care is being provided.
In order to address this issue, many facilities, including Carespring facilities, have initiatives that work to improve the workplace culture for the staff. Some facilities offer student loan forgiveness, continued education policies, and conduct a thorough interview and selection process.
In many assisted living and nursing home facilities, older adults live among a diverse group of people in a contained space. As with any group of people, there can be conflicts between residents, or even between a staff member and a resident. When this happens, residents or their family members should contact a staff member or director for assistance.
Changes in Healthcare Policies
With new presidential administrations comes a possibility that the healthcare system will change. This has been a heated debate, especially in last year’s political campaign. Understanding possible changes and how they will affect you or your senior is critical for long-term planning. Forecasting policy changes will allow you to prepare as necessary.
Depending on the level of care needed, the cost of assisted living and nursing home tuition can be extremely expensive. For seniors with limited savings, or for families absorbing the cost of their senior’s tuition, the high monthly cost can cause stress and anxiety. Some facilities accept Medicaid, while others commit to lifetime coverage even if the resident can’t pay in full. Plan ahead and research various ways to cut down on cost. Looking into long-term care insurance, and researching available benefits will help diminish the monthly cost of care.
At Carespring, we believe every resident deserves high quality care at every stage of life. Planning ahead and asking the right questions will help you get the care and support you or your loved one needs. We are confident Carespring facilities are the best in Cincinnat, Northern Kentucky and Dayton areas, so we'd love to show you around and help you with decision making during this important time!
- June 2017 - The Search for Assisted Living
Transitioning into assisted living can be a difficult choice to make for older adults and their families. Often, the burden of completing everyday tasks while maintaining households can be too much for aging adults. Some seniors might recognize their limitations and transition into assisted living communities willingly and with ease, while others may not. At Carespring, we want all of our residents to transition smoothly into our skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in the Cincinnati, Dayton, and Northern Kentucky areas. Here are some things to know about assisted living communities and nursing homes, along with tips to finding the perfect place for your loved one.
Plan Your Care
Many nursing homes and assisted living communities offer different levels of care for their residents. Moving into assisted living can be a difficult time for adults of all ability levels. It’s important to find a facility that has the care your senior needs now, while offering additional care to meet their long-term needs. Some communities specialize in independent living, while others are better equipped to provide specialized care to those who need it, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia patients.
Know Your Style
Just like people, not all nursing homes are the same! Each facility has its own style, so it’s up to your senior to find out what they prefer. Some communities are large, housing up to 300-500 residents. Larger communities might provide more residential space, a wide variety of recreational activities and groups, and more opportunities for social interaction. Other small-scale communities might provide more hands-on attention, and a less chaotic environment.
In addition to size, residents might prefer to find a facility that feels more cottage-like and traditional or perhaps mid-century modern and vibrant. You can tell a lot about a facility just by visiting, so make sure to plan a tour before making a commitment!
Choose Friendly Staff
Once your senior chooses a particular assisted living facility or nursing home, it becomes their home. Many older adults will spend a majority of their time at their new place of residence, so it’s important to choose a friendly and supportive community. During a tour or interview, it’s helpful to speak with some of the staff and observe their interactions with other residents. This will help you evaluate the quality of care being provided and the workplace culture of the facility.
Many older adults decide to transition into assisted living for quality of life and safety reasons. While researching different facilities, pay attention to the overall safety of the facility and the measures the staff takes to protect their residents. It’s always great to ask if there are registered nurses on site at all times, who is available during nightshifts and on the weekends. Safety first!
And lastly, remember to have fun with the transition! It can be difficult to make the move, but many facilities offer high-end care that drastically improves the quality of life for its residents.
- June 2017 - We're PROUD to be a TOP WORKPLACE!
Carespring was awarded the distinction of Top Workplaces of 2017! We are so proud of our communities and our caregivers and we work hard to be an enjoyable place where our caregivers and tema feel at home! Take a moment and check out an article featured in the Enquirer about Carespring HERE!
- June 2017 - The Caregiver’s Ultimate Guide
A caregiver’s number one priority is to recognize and meet the needs of their seniors. This can be difficult when caring for seniors who are unable to vocalize their needs, especially those living with dementia or Alzheimer’s. As caregivers, time for self-care can be hard to find and often falls aside. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, “40% of caregivers are in high-burden situations.” Although the situation varies, many caregivers spend a majority of their time meeting the needs of their elders. Carespring nursing homes and rehab centers in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky rely on caregivers to improve the quality of life for its residents. Here are some ways to keep yourself refreshed and ready to care for your elders:
The first step in caring for elders? Caring for yourself! Eating a well-balanced meal with fruit, vegetables, and protein will keep you fueled for work, and will strengthen your immune system, keeping you healthy throughout flu and cold seasons. MyFitnessPal is one way to track your meals, while also monitoring your water intake throughout the day. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough calories and nutrients throughout the day. This app can be accessed from your smartphone and also recognizes foods by their barcodes.
Some caregivers are on their feet most of the day, but it’s still important to get additional exercise. Not only does exercise increase your endurance and stamina, it also keeps you happy and in high spirits. Exercising gives caregivers the opportunity to get rid of stress, be alone, and recharge. A great exercise goal is 30-40 minutes each day. Try a class, strength training, or swimming for a comprehensive workout. Don’t stress! Simply going on a walk will let you reap the benefits of physical health.
Using a calendar connected to your email or phone will help you keep track of time. If you make sure to write down things that have to get done, and things you want to do for yourself, you’re more likely to make time for them. Choosing one day to plan will help you stay productive and efficient throughout the week. Planning when we will exercise, buy groceries, and visit our friends and family is important in maintaining a healthy and well-balanced life.
At Carespring Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton, we value all of the things our caregivers do for our residents. We want our caregivers to be healthy, happy, and ready for a great day of caring. By taking better care of yourself, you take better care of your seniors. What’s been working for you?
- May 2017 - Springing into Summer: Warm Weather Activities for Seniors
As the weather continues to get warmer, and the sun begins to shine a little brighter, now is the best time to get outside and reap the benefits that Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky have to offer!. It’s especially important for older adults to spend time outdoors. According to a study conducted by the University of Michigan, adults who spend time outdoors are more likely to increase their sense of daily positivity and lessen the symptoms of serious conditions, such as depression. Spring is a perfect opportunity to shake off the winter blues, and spend time with friends and family in the great outdoors. This week at Carespring, we aim to inspire you with some of our favorite outdoor activities. Enjoy!
Cheer on Your Favorite Team!
Baseball season has arrived giving you the perfect opportunity to get outside and enjoy a sporting event. Many stadiums and venues have special services for the elderly, such as wheelchair rentals and personal attendants. Speaking with a representative before attending is a sure way to get all of the information you need beforehand.
Relax in the Park
During the warm spring and summer months, local parks usually host events such as community barbeques, outdoor movies, and free concerts. This is an inexpensive way to enjoy socializing with friends and family while getting to know your city. Most public parks post events on their website pages, but you can always call the park’s representative for the most recent events and additional information.
Get Your Toes Wet
During this time of year, pools begin to open up for the summer months. Swimming is a great form of exercise, especially for those living with joint pain and osteoporosis. Some retirement communities have their own swimming facilities available to their residents, but there are always other local options available. Contact your local recreation center or the nearest YMCA for more details. Most centers will have senior discounts, making entrance fees reasonably inexpensive.
Find Your Furry Friends
Visiting your city’s zoo is a fun way to get some exercise while also admiring the beauty of its animals. Zoos will often offer special discounts for older adults and will work to accommodate special needs, such as wheelchair rentals and close parking. This is a great way to interact with family, especially for seniors who have grandchildren. Remember to keep your hands to yourself!
Participate in Public Holidays
There are many public holidays during the summer, such as Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. Cities and smaller neighborhoods usually host parades and public parties
to celebrate. Participating in these celebrations and being a part of a crowd can do great things for seniors who love being around people of all ages.
Carespring's Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky wish you a happy and healthy summer! What activities are you looking forward to?
- May 2017 - Spring has Sprung...Finally!
Spring is the Earth’s first breath of life and, now that we are into May, it is officially here. Spring in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton is a revival, which was a little longer coming this year, it seemed! This could be a revival for your house with spring cleaning or home improvement projects. This could be revival from bracing against the cold winter elements. People of all ages aren’t cooped up inside anymore. Just as excited about that as anyone else are the elderly.
With such nice weather it is a shame to stay inside. Here are some great activities for the elderly they can do outside:
- Gardening: Helping life grow and collecting a harvest a harvest is one of the most rewarding activities. It also helps you get in tune with nature. This is a fun and productive activity that can be done solitarily or as a group effort.
- Painting: Slowing down and observing nature is relaxing and beautiful. Painting can be an enjoyable afternoon spent taking in the sights and smells of the season while creating something beautiful. It can also be a nice change of pace and skill.
- Kite Flying: On a windy day, consider flying a kite. This activity can rekindle a lighthearted spirit and is just plain fun. It isn’t just for kids!
- Bicycling (or other exercise): There are many kinds of bicycles that can be found to suit any needs an elderly person may have. It is great exercise and a great way to enjoy the weather.
- Go to the Park: Visiting your local park, by yourself or with family, is always fun. They offer sweet treats, beautiful scenery and many different activities. The park is timeless. Spend some time exploring yours.
- Golf: Golf is another great activity for exercise for the elderly. You can enjoy a little competition and relaxation while experiencing the great spring weather.
Who says you can’t teach and old dog new tricks? Spring is an inspiring time to learn new things. Just because you or your loved ones aren’t familiar with these activities doesn’t mean you can’t give them a try! And for the days that aren’t so blissful as far as weather is concerned, (April showers do bring May flowers…) consider curling up with a good book and something warm to drink. You are never too old for a good story!
We love springtime are Carespring. Our hearts are light and so are our patients’. We encourage you to visit your loved ones whether they are in our independent or assisted living facilities or in transitional care or our nursing homes. Take advantage of this wonderful weather and walk and talk with them. We hope everyone is enjoying the season!
- May 2017 - Traveling Tips for Seniors
As spring arrives and summer approaches, many people are preparing for vacations and holiday travel with friends and family. Summertime can be a great opportunity for much needed relaxation! For older adults, especially those with caregivers, traveling can be a cause of concern and a question of capability. Although the planning and traveling can be stressful at times, there are some wonderful benefits that come with it. As you prepare your summer activities, consider the gifts of traveling, and always remember that safety comes first!
Here are some of the treasures of traveling:
Boost Your Mood! Whether it’s for a family reunion, a wedding, or just for pleasure, exploring different areas of the country can help improve one’s outlook on life and increase their mood.
Today is the Day. As adults age, each year can bring a new challenge or difficulty to overcome, physically and mentally. It’s important to consider traveling while there’s still an ability to do so, especially for dementia patients. Traveling is a great memory to have, and one that can be reminisced on in the future.
Decrease Isolation. It becomes increasingly important for older adults to socialize and participate in events and activities. Studies show that elders who become isolated are at greater risk for depression and increased disability. Traveling is a great opportunity to spend time with family and experience something new together.
Safety Tips for Travel
Know Your Limits. It’s important to respect your abilities and to never put yourself in dangerous situations. Traveling can be exhausting—it’s okay to take a break or pass up an activity or two along the way. When we respect our bodies and their limitations, we’ll have more energy along the way.
Check With Your Doctor. Before traveling, elders should make sure to get the green light from their doctor. It’s always a good idea to let your doctor know you are going away, just in case you need to get in touch with them while you’re gone.
Pack Your Meds! Just because you are traveling doesn’t mean you have permission to take a vacation from your prescriptions. Make sure you’ve planned and organized all of the medications you’ll need while you are away. Staying committed to your daily medication schedule will keep you feeling strong and healthy throughout your travels.
Traveling with family and friends is a great way to enjoy the summer while making memories for the future. At Carespring's Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation centers of Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and Dayton, we want our residents to live full and happy lives. If you travel this summer, have fun and stay safe!
- April 2017 - Making the Move: Worries and Fears About Senior Living
There are a lot of stigmas and negative connotations attached to assisted living and nursing home communities. A lot of seniors have fears about what it will be like moving from their home into a community with people they’ve never met. The same fears can be found in their families, too. At Carespring, we want to assure our patients and their families that there is nothing to fear! When facilitated correctly, assisted living and nursing home communities actually help seniors age gracefully. Here are some of the most common worries among seniors and facts to help squelch the fears.
“I’ll get lonely!”
A lot of seniors fear the transition from independence to living in a community where there is assistance 24/7. While there might be a loss of direct independence, seniors also have the opportunity to expand their social circle through activities sponsored by their living communities. Seniors also conserve energy by opting out of daily activities that take more effort than they used to—cooking, cleaning, etc. Seniors will feel more excited by the possibilities of meeting new people and trying new things without the burden of daily responsibilities.
“I won’t get the best care”
A lot of seniors and their families worry about finding the wrong facility when it comes time to transition to assisted care. There are many facilities that provide excellent care for seniors, which are licensed and staffed by experts on senior care. Caregivers or family members should maintain excellent communication with their seniors especially within the first months of moving. This will ensure that the proper care is being given and the transition into assisted living is going smoothly and without cause for concern.
“Assisted living will make me age faster”
The idea of transitioning into assisted care can be very concerning for some seniors. An excellent facility will be able to provide customized care, which gives seniors everything they need to age gracefully while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Assisted living communities can actually slow down illnesses and improve health.
“I will lose control”
Many seniors fear the loss of autonomy over their own lives. While this is a natural part of aging, their feelings are extremely important and should always be voiced and received. Senior care facilities work with their residents to ensure that their needs are being met while giving them a sense of independence and privacy.
Moving into an assisted living or nursing home community is a monumental transition for some seniors and their families. At Carespring's Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and Dayton facilities, we are dedicated to making that transition as smooth as possible. Remember to talk to your senior about how they are feeling about their upcoming move and what they need to feel supported.
- April 2017 - Moving on Up- Finding an Assisted Living Community That’s Right for You
Finding an assisted living community for your loved one doesn’t have to be as hard as you might think. At Carespring, we are dedicated to helping residents transition into our community with grace and ease. Whether you live in the same city as your senior, or are tackling the task from across the nation, we have some helpful tips to find a perfect community for you and your loved one.
Set a Budget
Having a budget that you are comfortable with will make searching for a great place much easier. Budgeting eliminates facilities that are out of your price range, allowing you to focus strictly on places that will work.
When figuring out your budget, it might be helpful to start by answering these questions:
* How much do you receive in social security each month??
* Do you have a pension or VA benefits?
* How much do you currently have in your retirement accounts?
* How much (if necessary and possible) will other family members be able to contribute?
These questions will help you get closer to finding a reasonable monthly budget when planning for a move into assisted living.
Do Some Digging
Do some research on amenities that are important to your loved one. Do they value open space? A recreation center? These are great things to know before you start making physical visits to living centers.
We recommend pursuing websites of local centers for inspiration and quick facts. Senior living assistants are also available to customize your search in a short amount of time, if you need to speed up the process and move-in quickly.
Go on a Tour
Once you’ve focused your search down to 3-5 facilities, it’s time to start making visits. Usually you can contact the facility and book a tour through the phone. Make sure to request to see the living quarters, activity center, and even have a conversation with some of the current residents, if possible!
Moving can feel like a large task, so it’s always better to start early. It is important to be prepared when the time comes, especially if you find yourself in a time-sensitive situation. Talk with others who have found themselves in the same position! At Carespring, we know there are challenges that come with making the transition to assisted living. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have comments or questions!
- April 2017 - Caring for the Caregiver
Being a caregiver is no simple task. Many caregivers give support to their parents or grandparents, and for others, caregivers step-in when family is unable or unavailable. No matter the relationship, caregiving is a noble profession that is often misunderstood or even goes unacknowledged. At Carespring, we are always looking for ways to care for our seniors and the people who care for them. If you are a caregiver, or know someone who is, it’s important to be aware of how this type of emotional work affects our bodies and minds. Here are some common side effects of work-related stress and some ideas for self-care and support.
How to Recognize Stress
Stress can present itself in people in many different ways. Although each person might react differently, some common signs of stress include:
- Feeling unusually tired
- A compromised immune system
- Inability to sleep deeply
- Avoiding things that usually bring you joy
It’s important to listen very carefully to our bodies, especially when the workplace or home can be intense or emotionally taxing. When you feel like you might be stressed, check-in with this simple 10 question stress test.
Tips to Cope
- Recognize when you need help. If the stress of caregiving gets to be too much, take advantage of other resources. In addition to caring for their senior, many caregivers have families of their own. Hiring additional help, whether it’s someone to cover a few hours during the day, or an extra pair of hands to help you with chores and food preparation, a little can go a long way. Accepting help when offered will help you maintain your own health and wellbeing.
- Take care of YOU. If you’ve ever been in airplane, you might remember that the flight attendant, in case of emergencies, always advises to secure your own oxygen mask before helping others. When it comes to caregiving, the same concept holds true. Caregivers should make sure to take care of themselves by eating wholesome and nutritious meals. Exercising and participating in social activities will help caregivers maintain a healthy and holistic lifestyle.
- Do something you love! Most caregivers are selflessly committed to caring for and supporting their aging senior. Caregivers should be encouraged to make time for themselves by doing things they love. Trying new activities like painting, hiking, or taking some time off to relax with their friends and families will help them avoid stress, anxiety and workplace burnout. If extended vacations aren’t an option, a day trip can be a nice way to escape without breaking the bank!
Carespring nursing homes and rehabilitation centers in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky encourage all caregivers to take care of themselves, so seniors everywhere can receive the care and love they deserve!
- March 2017 - How to Find Love in Assisted Living
Many seniors who move into an assisted living community do so alone. Oftentimes seniors have lost a spouse or have gotten divorced either early or later in life. However, many seniors are still interested in finding love. If you or your loved one want to find that special someone in the senior living community, here are some encouraging stories and tip to get you feeling energized and hopeful!
Love Gives Second Chances
Seniors who are used to living independently might think that their chance at finding love is over. But, many seniors report finding someone special in a senior living community after the death of their spouse and even after a divorce. People are resilient and are perfectly capable of learning how to be in a romantic relationship even after many years of living alone. Some caregivers even share stories of their seniors finding romance by trying new things that require them to be in social settings with other residents. Get out there and be surprised!
All the Single Ladies!
According to data scientist, Ben Hanowell, “older adults age 65-70, there are 57% more women who move in alone than men.” While men have the dating advantage, there are many ways to meet new people in an assisted living community. Many communities will host Valentine’s Day dances or even birthday parties for their residents. These can be great opportunities to meet new friends, scope new romantic interests, or just enjoy the people in your community. It’s true that some men and women are interested in finding long-term relationships, but the contrary is also true. Some men and women are only interested in dating just to have fun. Don’t let statistics stop you!
Get Past the Obstacles
There are a few obstacles standing between seniors and finding love. Sometimes, older men feel inferior when compared to younger men. Even women face obstacles too. They might view themselves as unattractive because of the media’s glamorization of young women. However, if seniors are on the quest for true love—or even just a date, they’ll have to move past social norms and expectations and focus on being their true, genuine selves.
We hope these facts and suggestions are helpful to all seniors looking for someone special. Remember, dating and building a relationship take time, so be patient and have fun while you are waiting!
- March 2017 - Caring For Those With Dementia
Knowing how to care for loved ones living with dementia can be extremely difficult, especially when the illness changes their personality. Those with dementia can suffer greatly and not know how to articulate what they need or how they might be feeling. At Carespring Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities, we are always looking for ways to better care for our patients and how to educate their families. Here are some tips on how to provide excellent care for those living with dementia:
Dementia patients will consistently experience responsibilities being taken away. Finding ways to encourage your loved one to complete tasks and express their autonomy will help them stay confident and energized. Speak words of encouragement and only help when needed!
Try a new activity at the local recreation center with your senior to keep them active and healthy. Physical activity and staying fit will help dementia patients stay sharp and will keep them healthier, longer.
Puzzles and card games are also great activities to keep the brain healthy. Finding fun ways to socialize with those living with dementia is extremely important for maintain positive health and a happy life. Check your local newspaper for entertainment open to the public- like bingo night or group card games.
Stay on Track with Technology
For dementia patients, remembering when to eat and take medications can be difficult. Using a smart phone to set reminders and alarms for basic daily activities is a great way to stay on track. Keeping a calendar with activities near the door is also a good way to remember what’s happening each day. Make sure to keep alarms and schedules updated when necessary.
Visiting your loved one is important, especially for those suffering from dementia. Socializing and laughing will keep your senior in high spirits. Finding something to do together- making a simple meal, playing music, or making a craft is a wonderful way to spend the evening or afternoon!
At Carespring facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky, we care for the physical and mental health of all of our residents. Empowering your loved one by utilizing the tips above will help them stay healthy, fit, and sharp!
- March 2017 - Planning for Medicare
From planning for the future, to taking care of the present, there are many things to consider as we age. For many adults who are approaching 65, applying for Medicare can be at the top of the to-do list. Its reputation for being inefficient and complex can be intimidating, especially for something so important. At Carespring Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities, we’re always finding ways to make our residents’ lives easier. Here are some tips to navigating Medicare when the time comes.
Start before you need to
Since the process can be time consuming, start right when your initial enrollment period begins, which is exactly three months before your 65th birthday. You have four months after your birthday until the enrollment period ends. After this, you are at risk for paying penalty fees for tardiness. Many people start learning about the process a whole year before applying. So, don’t be afraid to start research the process before you actually need it!
Know what you want
There are a lot of options offered by Medicare, so make sure to know what will be a good fit for you. According to Medicare Interactive, here are some of the most common terms you will read while doing your research.
* Medicare Part A refers to all hospital-related coverage such as, skilled nursing facilities, home health, and hospice care. This care is free if you have worked and paid Social Security taxes for 10 years. If you don’t meet those qualifications, you will pay a monthly premium, like most traditional health insurance plans.
* Part B concerns medical insurance like doctor’s services, preventative care, equipment, outpatient services along with a variety of tests and some home health services. This is available for a monthly premium.
* Part C are policies provided by private health insurance companies. Every Part C plan must provide the same Medicare benefits as Part A and Part B. Part C plans are referred to as Medicare Advantage Plans.
* Part D covers prescription drugs and is provided only through private insurance companies. Part D is also available as a stand-alone plan.
Be sure to choose a plan that will serve you well. After you turn 65, Medicare is your primary insurer. This is true even if you have individual health insurance or retiree health insurance. Make sure to get as much information as you can about your new Medicare plan because there may be differences on coverage when compared to your previous insurance plan. There are companies in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky that may be able to assist you as well.
When the time comes, try the tips above and always remember to take care of yourself by taking care of your health.
- February 2017 - Seniors and Wearable Data
In an effort to live healthier lives, many people, including 17% of Americans over 65, use wearable data trackers to keep count of steps taken each day. Some trackers even go a step further and detail heart rate, physical activity, and sleep patterns. A study was conducted by CDW Healthcare in partnership with Big Cloud Analytics to discover how wearable data could be used to benefit the health of adults, especially those living in senior care facilities. The discoveries of CDW and BCA could change the way seniors approach healthy living.
The study included a pilot program at four senior care communities and tracked daily physical activities in addition to monitoring heart rate and sleep patterns for their residents. The tracker’s findings were used in comparison with daily activities. For example, if data showed increased heart rate, it could be tracked back to what the senior had scheduled at that moment- perhaps aerobics or swimming. The findings showed that an adult who participated in physical activity was more likely to have a deep bio-restorative rest at night than compared to someone who didn’t participate in any activities.
The study’s data was cross-compared with different scenarios and resulted in findings that could help your senior live a longer, happier, and healthier life. Some of the discoveries included results that showed adults who took sleep aids would sleep deeply but without restoration for the next day. In addition, seniors who wore the trackers were able to get personalized care that met their exact needs and preferences.
Wearable data comes in many different forms so that you or your senior can choose a style that fits them the best. Here are some different varieties to choose from:
- Withings Pulse Ox is worn on the wrist and allows seniors to track their activity status, heart rate, blood oxygen levels and quality of sleep. Checking the data daily will allow seniors to look out for their own health and well-being.
- The Fitbit Zip acts as a fitness tracker and is worn like a clip, so you don’t have to worry about it coming lose when walking or exercising. This clip tracks distance traveled, steps, and calories burned.
- The Misfit Flash looks like a watch, which is great for everyday use. Affordable and waterproof this fitness tracker monitors your daily exercise, calories burned and sleep patterns.
At Carespring of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton, we are always looking for ways to help our seniors thrive by living healthy and happy lives in our nursing home and rehabilitation centers. Fitness trackers are a great way to keep physically fit while paying attention to your body and its needs. Let us know what kind of fitness tracker works best for you!
- February 2017 - When Valentine’s Day Hurts
For many seniors, especially those who’ve lost a spouse, Valentine’s Day can be difficult. Adults who divorce or lose their loved ones later in life might experience mixed emotions during this time of celebration. Dating styles have changed throughout the years and elders might find dating challenging or uncomfortable. However, some older adults choose to find another partner. If you or your senior is interested in finding a special someone, here are some helpful tips for healthy and happy dating:
Open Your Horizons Meeting new people is always more fun with a friend! Take a friend or family with you and spend time volunteering at a local shelter or visit a city museum. Your local YMCA or recreation center will usually offer classes especially for seniors. Silver Sneakers or water aerobics classes are great, fun ways to meet other seniors and increase your chances of starting new relationships.
Online Dating Some adults prefer online dating because it acts as a quick and more direct platform for finding someone special. Dating sites are widely used, but it’s always important to act with care and protect your safety. Bring a friend or family member with you to make you feel more comfortable. Below are some popular dating sites.
- AARP Dating
Safety First Remember to stay safe when you venture out into the dating world, especially if you are meeting someone you don’t know well. These tips will keep you safe and happy while you navigate the dating experience:
- Always make sure someone knows who and where you are meeting. Tell your friends and family where you are going and give them the number of where you are headed, or be sure to carry your cell phone!
- Meet in public places. First dates in homes and in secluded places won’t always be safe. Make sure others can see you at all times.
- Try a phone conversation first before meeting in person. You might be able to tell if someone isn’t who they say they are, or if something feels “wrong” just by talking on the phone.
Have Fun! Dating can be a great way to make new friends even if the romance doesn’t grow. Try choosing activities that make you happy and invite a new special person along with you. Exploring your local city, trying a different type of cuisine, or taking a cooking class can be great ways to spend time together without all of the pressure.
At Carespring of Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and Dayton, where our main priority is your happiness, we hope these tips will help you enjoy dating and meeting new people.
- February 2017 - February Health Around the World
While it has its perks, growing older can come with many challenges. At Carespring nursing home and rehabilitation and long term nursing care facilities, we are always looking for new and inspiring ways to help our patients live long and healthy lives. This week, our inspiration comes from around the world. Below are some ways that elders from all over the world are staying fit and active in their own ways. Let’s get inspired!
Australia- Embracing the Body and Mind
Stateside, fast-paced exercises such as circuit training and weight lifting are popular but can be harsh on the body, especially as you age. In Australia the focus is often on the connection between the mind and body. Exercise is not only about physical appearance but also about emotional balance and well-being. Yoga and Pilates are ways to foster your physical endurance through strength training and flexibility while also encouraging brain development.
France- Eat like the French!
Unlike most Americans, French eat without the time constraints of 30-minute lunch breaks. Try eating slowly, thinking about each bite. The French eating experience is as much about socializing as it is about actually eating. Try turning off the TV and other distractions and sit down with family or friends and enjoy your meal together. Focusing on food and conversation will help you pay more attention to your body, and allow you to recognize when you feel full.
Iceland- Love the Water
In the summertime, most public pools are packed with people, some for recreation, others for exercise. Don’t let the winter seasons stop you! In Iceland, you’ll find people utilizing public pools all year long. Along with an excellent form of exercise, especially for those suffering from achy joints or osteoporosis, swimming can be a great way to socialize with others. A healthy lifestyle isn’t only about exercise and diet- it’s important to do activities with friends and family too.
Sweden- Stay in Season
At the grocery store it’s possible to get anything you want, even if it’s not in season. Strawberries in December? Potatoes in the summer? Learn from the Swedes and try to eat what’s in season and grown locally. Eating foods at their time of harvest helps you avoid contaminates used in the shipping process. When you stick to foods that are in season, you are more likely to get foods richer in nutrients and flavor.
Staying fit and active doesn’t have to be difficult. When we incorporate small daily changes each week, a healthy way of living will form naturally. Let’s learn from our friends around the world and live a healthier lifestyle here in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton together.
- January 2017 - Most Common Senior Health Concerns
Now more than ever, research is showing that Americans have great probability of living longer, healthier lives. However, as we age our bodies and minds face many health challenges. It’s always important to stay informed about common health risks and how to overcome them. At Carespring in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky, we encourage our residents to do their research in order to live a long and fruitful live. Here are some of the most common health concerns for elders and how to cope:
1. Arthritis- A staggering number of adults live with arthritis- nearly 1 in 5 adults, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Those living with arthritis have widely reported a decrease in the quality of life due to joint pain and discomfort. According to the CDC, physical activity can actually decrease pain and offset other arthritis symptoms. Exercise doesn’t have to be vigorous or painful—choose an activity that seems fun and adjust according to your ability. Swimming and aerobics are often helpful and gentle on joints.
2. Heart disease- Heart disease is common in elders and remains one of the most common causes for death for aging adults. Heart disease includes several different conditions and diseases, the most common are Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Attack. While some people are more prone to heart disease than others, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly is proven to decrease the risk of heart attack and stroke.
3. Inlfuenza and Pneumonia- While all people are at risk of contracting influenza and pneumonia, the CDC reports, “the flu season takes the heaviest toll on people 65 and older.” Seniors easily contract these illnesses and have a more difficult time recovering. Flu shots and pneumonia vaccines are available, but checking with your doctor first is recommended!
4. Falling- Seniors are prone to accidental falls which can result in broken bones. Installing balance bars in the home, especially the bathroom, are helpful for seniors living alone or who prefer an independent lifestyle. Non-slip rugs are great for the kitchen or other non-carpeted areas. Balance exercises like yoga and tai chi are gentle on the body and are proven to help elders maintain balance and promote quick recovery from falls or other balance related accidents.
5. Depression- As seniors experience the death of their friends or loved ones in quick intervals, depression can result. Socializing with family or people in the community is a great way prevent or cope with depression. Try joining a card or book club with friends, or try an activity that is new and different. In addition, exercising regularly helps decrease the symptoms of depression.
At Carespring's nursing home and rehabilitation facilities, we value excellent care and health for our patients. We are always looking for ways to educate and empower our residents with the knowledge they need to live healthy and happy lives.
- January 2017 - What You Don’t Know
Navigating the ins and outs of illness and disease can be difficult for both the diagnosed and their families. Caring for and supporting those living with a memory disease or illness is especially difficult because many of the diagnosed also suffer from Anosognosia- or the lack of awareness of impairment. What happens when those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia are unable to understand and acknowledge their own illness? At Carespring, we are always looking for ways to inform our residents and their families. Here’s what you need to know about Anosognosia and how to best care for your loved one if they are diagnosed:
What is it? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Anosognosia occurs when, “someone is unaware of their own mental condition or are unable to perceive their condition accurately.” Anosogonsia is common in those diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Schizophrenia or after someone has experienced a traumatic brain injury.
What does it look like?
Anosogonsia can look similar to and is often confused with denial. Unlike denial, Anosogonsia patients are completely unaware of their illness during serious relapses, however some people may experience different and changing levels of awareness. To help you spot Anosogonsia in your loved one, here are some common signs you can look for:
* Those living with Anosogonsia might have the tendency to be more adventurous and less concerned with risk without noticing or recognizing the change in their behavior.
* Patients often confuse past events with present situations and often give fabricated answers to questions.
* When confronted with symptoms of Anosogonsia- forgetfulness, making poor decisions, and lack of self-hygiene, patients often become angry and irritable.
* Patients are usually unable to manage their finances alone.
Your loved one has Anosogonsia, now what?
Care for Anosogonsia patients is delicate due to their inability to fully comprehend the extent of their symptoms. Here are some tips to help you give your elder care:
* Create a schedule of activities for each day. Be sure to include meal and medicine times, when to bathe and other extracurricular activities to keep your elder healthy. Try hanging a calendar on the wall so your loved one is sure to see the schedule each day. Regularity and routine help those with diseases and illnesses that effect memory.
* Help patients with big tasks like managing finances, scheduling appointments, travel and cooking. Independence is hard to give up, so make sure you work on these tasks together as a team as much as possible.
* If you feel frustrated when your loved one is unable to comprehend their illness, stay calm. The best thing to do is to gently articulate your thoughts with compassion and respect.
Coping with illness is difficult no matter the diagnosis. Understanding how to assist your loved one through illness and recovery is the most important step. At Carespring nursing home and rehabilitation facilities in Cincinnati, Dayton and Northern Kentucky, we aim to give you and your family the support you need to live a healthy and happy lifestyle.
- January 2017 - Resolution Reality Check
The holidays have passed and mid-January is here, reminding us of our New Year’s resolutions. If you’ve fallen off the wagon, or maybe you’ve forgotten, it’s never to late to jump back in and get on track. Perhaps you’ve committed yourself to being healthier, going on more adventures, trying something new, or eating more vegetables. Whatever your New Year’s resolution is, your friends at Carespring invite you to check-in on your progress and keep getting inspired. Here are a few tips to give you the energy you need to keep up with your resolutions all year long:
Mix It Up
Don’t be afraid to stray away from your normal exercise routine and replace it with something you’ve never done before. If you’re a walker, try water aerobics. Elders may find new aches and pains as the years go by, but there are various activities and exercises that can be adjusted so each person is comfortable. Each exercise has different benefits. Swimming is a zero impact exercise that is easy on the joints and perfect for those with arthritis and osteoporosis. Balance exercises like yoga help to prevent falls.
Take a class or try some of these exercises with an instructor:
* Pilates, like yoga promotes balance and good posture while challenging your body with long stretches that help you build muscle and strength. Make sure you have proper instruction before trying any new exercise on your own!
* Seated Exercises are especially common and great for active elders. Exercising while sitting in a chair decreases the risk of injury and harsh impact on the joints, but still allows you to stay fit and build up your strength. Check your local fitness center for seated exercise classes.
* Aerobic Exercise allows you to build muscle just like lifting weights without all of the lifting. Resistance bands help you become stronger by using the weight of your own body against the stretch of the band. These types of exercises help prevent falls and also increase your recovery time from other fall-related injuries.
Staying active doesn’t have to be a solo venture. Finding a friend to help you stay committed to your goals is sure to keep you inspired when you feel like giving up. Invite a family member or friend from your community to join you in an exercise class, a walk around the neighborhood, or just catch up over dinner or tea. Talking about and sharing your goals with someone you trust is an important step in achieving success and maintaining stamina.
Resolutions are great ways to keep fit and active all year long. Try some of these exercises by yourself or with a buddy to keep you happy and healthy. Whatever your goals for the coming year might be, your friends at Carespring of Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and Dayton are always cheering you on.
- January 2017 - Fresh Flavors in Health Care
Many things have changed in the long-term and post-acute care profession over the years. Individuals now have an entire spectrum of care-specific housing options, including independent living and Alzheimer’s units, to choose from based on their personal health needs. The facilities that are open today are much different than the facilities available just one or two generations ago. With a focus on patient-centered care and major advances in technology and medicine, people are living happier, longer lives.
One area that has also received an upgrade is food. In 2015, NPR released an article featuring the luxury dining experiences that many retirement communities offer their residents, and U.S. News and World Report recently showcased several nursing homes around the United States that have significantly improved the dining experiences of their patients and residents.
But why is this trend happening across the country? The reason is simple: better, more nutritious food is connected to better health outcomes. There are multiple levels of a patient’s experience that are impacted, more than just their taste buds. As meals improve, residents tend to look forward to the experience. The more positive the dining experience, the more of a social event the meal becomes. With more social, positive interactions, residents can reduce anxiety, depression and other psychological factors. Additionally, meals that include foods that are familiar to the individual are showing positive outcomes, according to the NPR article. That article notes that if an individual is eating more foods that he or she would naturally eat at home, the more comfortably they feel eating those foods—thus getting the full amount of nutrients and calories that the dieticians and nutritionists to carefully consider in their menus.
The most obvious benefit to changing the foods and menus provided at various health care centers is the critically important role that nutrition plays in overall health and wellness. Residents must eat a variety of healthy foods to keep their body nourished, especially when an individual is ill or recovering from an illness—a time in which proper nutrition is the most important. As we age, our bodies require more assistance getting and absorbing all of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it needs. The best way, according to most nutritionists, is to simply eat more foods that are packed with the right vitamins and minerals. However, when food does not taste good or meals are not enjoyable, people eat less—consuming fewer calories and nutrients.
In addition to creating delicious, healthy meals that residents will enjoy eating, many facilities across the country are supporting specific dietary restrictions and preferences, such as kosher meals.
At Carespring, we highly value each of our patient’s unique dietary needs. We consider our first-class dining options as an opportunity to care for each individual while creating an atmosphere and social event that everyone can enjoy. We work hard to make sure every individual has the food and overall wellness support they need to be healthy. If you have questions about our services or would like to learn more about Carespring's nursing home and skilled nursing rehabilitation facilities in Northern Kentucky, Cincinnati and Dayton, please contact your nearest Carespring location.