01.31.11

Plano Elderly Care

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Elder Care, Elderly Care at 1:58 pm by admin

Life in Plano, Texas

Plano, TX is home to more than two hundred thousand north Texans. It located just a short drive north of Dallas, but it provides plenty of excitement by itself. There are many attractions for a person looking for a place to retire, or for a senior wanting to move into a Plano elderly care facility. Here are a few of them:

  • Visit the popular Municipal Art Galleries of Plano
  • Take in a show at the Courtyard Theater in the Haggard Park Historical District
  • Go to a festival like the Big Tex Cat Show, the Fall Home and Garden Show
  • Check out a concert at Picnic in the Park
  • Take a short drive to a park at Lavon Lake, and catch some bass
  • Drive to the Dallas metroplex to take in a Mavericks game or one of the Dallas million other attractions!
  • Enjoy the warmth of the weather and the north Texas culture!

What type of Plano Elderly Care Do You Need?

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The world of elderly care has changed considerably in recent years. Elderly care used to be synonymous with nursing homes. But that is far from the truth today. Now, we have a wide scale of elderly care homes available to seniors, from full time nursing facilities to assisted living communities to hands-off independent living communities, and everything in between.

So, how do you know what type you need? Just consider a few basic questions.

1) Does your loved one have a major medical problem that requires constant oversight? Than you definitely need skilled nursing care. But if not…

2) Does your loved one require help doing things that the rest of us do by ourselves? I’m talking about basic Activities for Daily Living? Do they need a hand putting on their clothes in the morning, or bathing, or moving in and out of their bed? If so, don’t think “nursing home” right away. Rather, think assisted living. Plano Assisted Living homes are designed for those types of seniors exactly: people who aren’t necessarily in bad shape from a medical standpoint, but who need help with daily life. Who cannot live alone. These are communities that generally offer help with any of those activities, plus things like housework, transportation, and cooking. Most of them offer three meals a day in the common dining room, and they encourage interaction through social events throughout the week. In short, you can be independent without being alone.

3) If your loved one does not need help with basic activities, and wants independence, then a retirement community or a continuing care facility would be great. Independent living is a standard retirement community where seniors have help nearby if they need it, and they are secure. A continuing care community goes one step further and allows the senior to transfer their living situation to a place with more care if the time comes when they need it. This allows the medical community to adapt to the needs of the senior as the senior’s life changes.

Plano elderly care has plenty of senior care facilities no matter what kind of care you are looking for. To find the housing that fits your needs, put your information in the box at the top of the screen and start searching for retirement or assisted living homes in your area today!

Can a Blood Test Find Alzheimer’s Disease?

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Elder Care, Elderly Care at 1:32 pm by admin

Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise, and the statistics are disconcerting. According to a recent report, there were 5.3 million Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. In the first half of the last decade, Alzheimer’s deaths jumped an eye-popping forty six percent. Officially, the disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. With research, medical fees, and elderly care costs, we spend more than one hundred seventy BILLION dollars annually to fight this disease. And as we all know, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s. No vaccine. No way to knowingly prevent it, because the disease is such a mystery. But what if there was a way to discover the warning signs ahead of time?

Earlier this month, researchers released a small report suggesting a blood test for Alzheimer’s could be coming very soon. If confirmed in the general public, this could eventually open the doors to letting doctors and patients get a head start on treating the disease before it fully sets in.
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The study analyzed the blood from a group of senior citizens. Some were healthy. Some had Parkinsons. And some had Alzheimer’s. The test was pretty technical, of course, but in essense here’s what they did. They took blood samples from each of the patients and screened the samples with synthetic molecules peptoids. Peptoids are able to bond with human antibodies. These particular peptoids were three times more likely to bond with the antibodies in the blood of the Alzheimer’s patients than in the other’s blood. That is a weak explanation, obviously, but here is a link to the story. It explains it much better than I can.

For now, the study is not going to rock the Alzheimer’s world. But early detection in any disease can open the door to tons of new possibilities. Researchers and pharmaceutical companies love the studies, because someone who is diagnosed early is able and possibly more willing to volunteer for breakthrough research projects and drug trials. Right now, this is a difficult thing to do, because the disease takes hold so quickly, and most patients are too advanced in the disease to be able to offer much help.

So what difference does it make for Alzheimer’s patients? Right now, not much. It just suggests that there really can be future breakthroughs in fighting this terrible disease. With so many doctors and researchers on the scent, and with the possibility of early detection, we will one day be able to fight this disease. And we will find a way to beat it.

For more information on elderly care, and to find senior care or assisted living facilities in your area, put your info at the top of this page to find listings in your area.

Senior Housing with the Younger Generation

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Elder Care, Elderly Care at 4:46 am by admin

Senior housing is a pretty straight forward, cement idea. It is housing designed for and populated by senior citizens. Assisted Living communities, nursing homes and other forms of elderly care are communities that allow these senior residents to become a community of sorts: a community made up only of seniors.

But there is an obvious, inherent limitation in senior housing: there are only seniors. And while yes, there are advantages of not having wild kids that make lots of noise in the complex, many residents will actually miss the mixing of generations. Variety is the spice of life, after all!
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With this in mind, some complexes are starting to mix it up in some fairly innovative ways. For example, one senior housing complex has joined forces with the University of Minnesota’s medical school. They have allowed some U of M med students to lease apartments inside the senior housing complex. The goal is to get the students to rub shoulders with a demographic that they normally might not understand, but that they will be treating with all kinds of medicines and therapies before long. The results have been fun and promising. A couple of fourth year students confess that they are really getting to know people in their unity, and they are starting to understand their world. As future doctors, this will give them a huge leg up when dealing with geriatric patients.

This experiment has been positive for the residents as well. And it’s easy to see how this formula can catch on in other facilities around the country.

Why is this a good fit? Besides the obvious benefit that comes from hanging out with people from other generations, university students who are enrolled in serious studies are likely to be good neighbors: busy, quiet, and responsible. And since they don’t have oodles of extra time on their hands, they are likely to take advantage of events like corporate meals when they are offered.

Obviously, this is not a perfect formula, but this Minnesota arrangement… they might be on to something. Seniors can use a little change of scenery. And students can use the friendship and mentoring of the older generation. You see? Everybody wins.

If you need help finding retirement homes, assisted living, or other types of senior housing, type the name of your city and click the type of care you need. In a moment, you gain access to a list of elderly care housing from Bend, Oregon assisted living to Washington DC Retirement homes.

01.30.11

Finding Home Health Care

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Elder Care, Elderly Care at 8:41 pm by admin

As the economy continues to limp along in this country, many families find they simply cannot afford the cost of putting their loved one in assisted living. They would like to, but it just isn’t going to happen, and they need another solution. Where can they turn?

Naturally, they turn to the most common form of senior care: home care. This does not necessarily have to come from a nurse. Many seniors need help with daily activities that the rest of us take for granted (basic activities like getting dressed in the morning, and moving from a sitting position to a standing one), but they are not in need of a full time registered nurse. Others need medical professionals to help deal with illnesses on a daily basis, but they want that to happen at home. In either case, they need help. Some families to become the caretakers themselves, and others hire someone. Among those who choose to hire a caretaker, many people are now working with home health care agencies.
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Home health agencies are popping up all over the country. Many are franchises, and some of them are growing at phenomenal rates, as more and more people are catching on to the concept.

Take Addus Healthcare, for instance. Addus has a network of offices all around the country. Addus hires nurses, therapists, and caregivers to care for clients in a given region. Those clients can include individual seniors who need help. But the client hires Addus, and Addus hires the caregiver.

So, what is the advantage to choosing an agency like Addus versus hiring somebody yourself? Well, there could be many reasons.

Firstly, these agencies usually require full background checks and references for all their employees. So their people are generally safe hires. If you go it alone, you may not get to do all of that yourself. Secondly, if you are paying someone, you have to deal with a whole host of issues as you become an employer. You have to be extra sensitive that you are in accordance with a host of state laws. And when your employee needs time off, you have to struggle to find someone who will fill in for him or her.

That’s not to say there aren’t some advantages to doing it yourself. Certainly, there are perks there as well. As the boss, you can have full control over who is working with your loved one on any given day. And you might be able to pay less in the process.

But overall, there is a reason that home health agencies are doing so well: they work. That means that clients (families like yours and mine) appreciate their work. So it makes sense to check them out. Do a quick search for “home health care” and your city to find caregivers in your area. And if you need Assisted Living in your area, put the appropriate information in the fields at the very top of this page.

Odessa Assisted Living

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Caregiver, Elder Care, Elderly Care at 7:10 pm by admin

Living in Odessa Texas

Odessa, Texas is quintessential West Texas. It is home to a lot of history, and to almost one hundred thousand residents. Ten percent of these are senior citizens over the age of sixty-five. That means that elderly care services are not hard to find in this city.

Odessa was formed as a Railway town in the late 1800′s. The Pacific Railway came right through west Texas, and Odessa was born. Later, the city became a popular cattle shipping center. But when oil was found in the 1920′s, it really took off. To this day, Odessa is surrounded by oil pumps–some still chugging away after decades of work.

Today, young and old residents of Odessa enjoy attractions such as the Water Wonderland, and the Monahans Sandhill State Park. There are a plethora of shopping centers such as Music City Shopping Center, Town and Country Shopping Center, and the Great Oil Basin Shopping Center.

Seniors in Odessa might especially enjoy museums such as the Ellen Noel Art Museum, the Presidential Museum, or the Parker House Museum. And, maybe best of all, they can reach the Midland International Airport to pick up family in just a few minutes.
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Understanding Assisted Living

West Texas seniors can find senior housing facilities that meet their specific needs, from full time nursing and rehabilitation care to assisted living care to retirement communities. Here are a few specific options:

If they don’t have a lot of needs, but want a safe, comfortable place to retire, they can find a place like Lincoln Towers Retirement. At Lincoln, you can get a lovely private sweet of your own, and have access to a relaxed, comfortable lifestyle. There are three delicious meals per day. You can also have access to all sorts of social outings, and have the transportation to take you there. Lincoln Towers will allow you to live independently but with support if you need help with anything.

But say you can’t exactly live on your own, but you don’t need to be watched over twenty-four-seven, either. What do you do then? This is where Odessa Assisted Living can help out. One facility to consider is the Emeritus at Sherwood Plaza. At Emeritus, you not only get a private residence in a community with three meals a day and social opportunities, you also get assistance with daily activities, sometimes called ADL’s. Specifically, seniors can get help with bathing or dressing or transferring… every day things that most of us take for granted, but that some seniors cannot do alone.

For other seniors, unfortunately assistance with ADL’s is not going to be enough because of continuing ailments. These seniors usually require full time nursing or rehabilitation care, and regular assisted living homes are not able to provide that. Fortunately Odessa area nursing homes such as Seabury Center NCU. Seabury Center is a high rated nursing center that houses 97 patients and accepts both Medicare and Medicaid.

There are other types of Odessa Assisted Living, such as memory care for Alzheimer’s patients, residential care homes for those who want Assisted Living in a smaller environment, and adult day care for caregivers who need a break. If you need to find one of these or other TX Assisted Living options, submit your information at the top of this page and you’ll be on your way to finding the Odessa Assisted Living care you need!

01.29.11

Unintentional Weight Loss in the Elderly

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Elder Care, Elderly Care at 10:59 pm by admin

We’ve seen it happen to Grandma, Aunt Jane, and the sweet elderly lady at church. These elderly loved ones are shrinking before our eyes, and we wonder, is this a normal part of aging? At what point should we be concerned? We know muscle and bone mass is gradually lost as we age due to a decrease in hormones, metabolism, and activity, but there is cause for pause when an elderly loved one’s weight is dropping too quickly.

What causes unintentional weight loss?

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There are three primary categories for the causes of unintentional weight loss in the elderly, phycological, medical, and age-related. Age-related unintentional weight loss includes the typical factors we’ve already discussed: loss of muscle and bone mass. One of the leading psychological causes of unintentional weight loss is depression. Unintentional weight loss could also be an indication of another underlying medical condition including gastrointestinal problems and another leading cause of unintentional weight loss: cancer. Other factors that can contribute to unintentional weight loss are dementia, restricted diet, changes in the ability to taste and smell, and stress.

How much weight loss is too much?

Experts say a 5-10% drop in overall weight within 12 months or less could be cause for concern and should prompt a visit to the doctor. Excessive weight loss could be a sign of a serious underlying problem, or it could bring on other medical issues, so a doctor’s care should be sought.

Is unintentional weight loss preventable?

Depending on the underlying cause, unintentional weight loss could be preventable. Many elderly people lack necessary vitamins in their diet or experience a decrease in their body’s ability to absorb them. Also a lack of protein in their diet can be a common factor in excessive weight loss in elderly people. A doctor may order lab tests to identify any underlying medical problem or suggest dietary changes. Sometimes previously instated restrictive diets are lifted in order to re-establish appropriate weight. Whatever the cause, seeking a health care provider as quickly as possible after noticing excessive weight loss is a good idea.

For help finding retirement housing or assisted living housing options from California to Washington DC, use the tool at the top of the page to begin your search.

Waco Assisted Living

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Elder Care, Elderly Care at 1:21 pm by admin

Living in Waco

Waco, TX just might be the most accessible city in the Lone Star State. By that, I mean it is situated in the most convenient location, with all of Texas’ major metropolitan areas with reach. Dallas is under two hours to the north, and Austin is two hours to the south. Houston and San Antonio are reachable as well, with a drive that won’t take four hours.

Waco is home to more than one hundred ten thousand Texans, fifteen thousand of which are over retirement age. That is thirteen percent of the population. Of course, people of retirement age love to move to Texas because of the warm weather, the low cost of living, and the relaxed pace of life. I suppose they like to stay for the same reasons.

Waco, in addition to being senior friendly, is also a college town. It is home to Baylor University, which has about fifteen thousand students–more than ten percent of the city’s population. It is also famous for being the birthplace of Dr. Pepper. If you come to town, you can see the Dr. Pepper Museum, or take in a Baylor Bears division 1 football game.
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Understanding Assisted Living Options in Waco

Waco seniors who need elderly care can find all sorts of options. There are facilities that can meet them wherever they are at. For example, if Waco seniors need full time care by a medical staff, a Waco nursing home might be in order. If, however, they don’t need medical help, but need assistance with daily activities like taking a bath or transferring positions, they could settle into an assisted living community. In these facilities, residents live in their own apartments, but have access to community for dining, activities, and general assistance. In this sense, assisted living is a “best of both worlds” type of elder care. They can have independence, but have help at the same time.

There are special types of Waco Elder Care as well, such as memory care. This is a special type of care that focuses on treating seniors who have developed dementia, especially alzheimer’s disease. Memory care can be part time or full time. Families who care for their loved ones at home often take advantage of memory “respite care” during the day, which is often held at a full time memory care facility. But regardless of how long a patient is there, memory care focuses on keeping a senior safe and comfortable, and nurturing them as best as possible.

Seniors who want a place to retire can find good retirement options in the city of Waco as well. This might include one of the luxurious retirement options in the central Texas region. There are golf retirement centers, and other facilities that are centered around recreation and enjoying the outdoors.

Are you looking for Waco Assisted Living or some other TX Assisted living community? Use the silver info box at the top of this page, and enter the city and type of care you need. You’ll be on your way!

Fighting Elderly Obesity

Posted in Elder Care, Elderly Care at 11:57 am by admin

It happens to the best of us. You wake up one morning stiff, tired, puffing, and wondering why you ate that salsa last night. You know that “I shouldn’t feel this old” thought? It could be a sign of a serious condition, or it could be a sign that you may need to make some changes to accomodate natural bodily changes that everyone goes through as they age. As you age, your metabolism slows, muscles break down, fat is rearranged, and your body struggles to keep up. If your diet or activity level doesn’t change to accomodate these body system changes, you could be joining an increasing number of elderly people on the fast track to obesity.
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Defining Obesity

Before we get into senior weight issues, let’s define obesity. Obesity is a condition of being overweight to the point of potentially causing serious physical conditions. Obesity is measured by comparing a person’s weight and height using something called Body Mass Index (BMI). To measure in the obese range a person’s BMI would have to exceed 30kg per meter squared. As we age, muscle mass breaks down and is replaced by fat tissue. So even someone who doesn’t appear to be very overweight, could actually be obese if much of their muscle mass has been replaced by fat.

Is Elderly Obesity a serious problem?

Many studies have shown that obesity in younger years and middle age can have much more serious consequences than elderly-onset obesity, but that doesn’t mean obesity isn’t a problem if it hits you after 65. The Healthcare field has been inundated with a huge increase in required care due to an increase in the number of elderly patients who are overweight or considered obese. Obesity in the elderly contributes heavily to elderly disability and disfunction. Many people upon reaching their golden years experience new medical issues that may be caused or exacerbated by obesity: high blood pressure, sleep apnea, heart disease, diabetes, immobility, hip and knee pain, cancer, osteoarthritis inability to function as normal, and depression. Just a few good reasons to join healthcare experts in the fight against elderly obesity.

Is elderly obesity preventable?

With proper dietary changes, regular and appropriate exercise, and attention to any other underlying health issues, elderly obesity is preventable. Your doctor can advise you on what kind of changes you may need to focus on. Often doctors will recommend overal nutritional dietary changes such as decreasing fat and sugar and increasing fiber as well as including moderate exercise (gradual resistance strengthening or endurance exercise) in your daily routine. Usually the most effective diet changes and exercise plans are the ones you can follow through on, so finding activities and nutritious foods you enjoy will help immensely. You may not have to join the gym or buy Weight Watchers frozen foods. You might just have to find a friend to walk with, join a gardener’s club, or have an excellent excuse to go golfing. And why not take a gander down the produce aisle? You might just find out that you love stir fry and steamed veggies! For most elderly people who want to combat obesity, diet changes don’t have to be radical or exercise extreme, but even if extreme measures must be taken, isn’t it worth it to have better quality of life, energy, and strength?

Need help finding other senior housing, from Oregon Assisted Living to New York Retirement Centers? Put your info in the box above and begin your search!

01.21.11

Therapy Dogs for Alzheimer’s Patients

Posted in Alzheimer's Disease, Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Assisted Living Safety, care at home, Caregiver, Elder Care, Elderly Care at 11:34 pm by admin

For patients and families struggling with Alzheimer’s disease in an assisted living facility or at home, life can be immensely stressful. Not only is there the emotional strain of losing memories and relational connections, there is the new problem of sudden, unexpected, and totally inexplicable outbursts. As one Alzheimer’s expert said, “When you’ve seen one case of Alzheimer’s Disease, you’ve seen one case of Alzheimer’s Disease.” In other words, the disease is unpredictable, making emotional outbursts all the more jarring. And while the family suffers from these uncomfortable moments, the senior in their care is obviously struggling more. After all, something is bothering them and unsettling them.

Fortunately, the emotionally complex and “jumpy” nature of Alzheimer’s Disease can be tamed–or at least calmed–in some cases, by something very non-medical: pets.

Before I go into specifics here, I want to draw a parallel between seniors with Alzheimer’s and children. Both groups are unable to care for themselves. The world does not make sense to either of them. Both can be drawn into their own world by the most trivial things… And both of them seem the world through “new” eyes. So it should be no surprise that senior adults with memory ailments respond so similarly to pets as children do.
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But don’t take our word for it. Check out this quote from an expert at the Mayo Clinic:

“A pet is a medication without side effects that has so many benefits. I can’t always explain it myself, but for years now I’ve seen how instances of having a pet is like an effective drug. It really does help people.”
Dr. Edward Creagan

Oncologist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
Quoted from DeltaSociety.org

Dr. Creagan is not alone in his perspective. Doctors and experts all over the country have noticed and written on the benefits of animals on a person’s blood pressure, stress levels, and overall sense of health and well being.

Therapy dogs, of course, help millions of seniors and disabled Americans every year. This includes seeing eye dogs, and dogs to protect the mentally challenged: people with downs syndrome, autism, and all manner of ailments that would cause a person to be more vulnerable to injury and attack. And more recently, medical professionals have begun to use therapy dogs for Alzheimer’s patients, with positive results. Many patients have a noticeable decrease in aggression, a lift in social skills, and on overall reprieve from depression that so often plagues them.

So, how can this work, exactly? Several ways. The first is for caregivers who care for a loved one at home. If the family dog or cat is still alive and still well-behaved, make sure grandma gets lots of interaction with her if the two have any kind of rapport. But these criteria will not match most people’s circumstances. So for those who sometimes put their loved one in respite care or adult day care, ask about pet therapy. Many of these facilities are employing the assistance of animal professionals for several hours per day. These can include people from the Society to Prevent Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). The nice thing about going through these types of groups is that the animals are generally going to be very well trained.

A well trained animal can be just the thing that an Alzheimer’s patient needs. Many patients come alive the minute they see their new “best friend.” Even those who are not prone to any kind of speech or purposeful expressions light up when the dog enters the room. Are they, at some subconscious level, remembering pets they used to have over the long course of their life? Perhaps they are. We will never know. But I suspect it is something simpler. I suspect that there is some instinct that is created into these animals. An instinct to protect and care for people. This is why therapy dogs work so well in so many environments. And this is also why they can put up with so much abuse (especially from kids! I could tell you stories…).

But I will leave the psychology to medical experts. I don’t know why so many seniors seem to react well to pet therapy, especially seniors who are suffering from one of the most baffling ailments out there. But they do. Many of them do! And if your loved one is suffering from any form of dementia, and all the loneliness that comes with it, you might want to look into the possibilities of pet therapy. Here is one place to start . For more info on assisted living facilities from Oregon to Florida, visit our homepage and being your search!

01.18.11

Elderly Care & Taxes

Posted in Assisted Living, Caregiver, Elder Care, Elderly Care at 4:44 pm by admin

It’s a new year, friends, and that means we have to start thinking about our favorite thing in the whole world… taxes :(

For families involved in elderly care, taxes can often get even more complicated. This is especially true if the senior being cared for can no longer handle their own finances by themselves, or who know longer feel confident to make decision regarding their taxes. Where can a person turn?

Tax Aides for Seniors

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One great avenue is provided by the AARP. Tax Aides work at local AARP offices around the country. They are volunteers, and their chief aim is to help low and middle income senior adults file their returns. These Tax Aide volunteers typically begin their work in February, and continue all the way through tax day. At many of the offices, the filer can file his or her return electronically, which can significantly speed up the process (in the event of a refund, this is awesome!) To learn more about AARP Tax Aide volunteers, click here.

Since these are volunteer tax helpers, it is fitting mostly for seniors who have pretty straight forward taxes. However, if it is a more complicated return, then you will definitely want to rely on professional tax preparers, which will not be free, of course :) Here is a link some general guidelines to look for from the IRS webpage.

Tax Deductions for Elderly Care

If you, the caregiver, need help, you would be wise to look into a program like TurboTax, or to take your return to a professional service like H&R Block. But when you do, remember that there are many, many expenses that you have incurred as a full time caregiver that you can deduct on your taxes, provided the elder can be claimed as a dependent. That’s good news for you! Here are just a few ideas:

  • Mileage for trips to the doctor
  • Some adult day care costs
  • Medically prescribed hearing aides, crutches, wheelchairs, etc.

Of course, you can only claim these deductions if you are eligible. So if you think that you might be eligible to file your taxes and claim your senior loved one as a dependent, you definitely want to talk to a professional tax preparer first. Because we are not professional tax folk. Here is a good website to consult for more information.

As always, if you need more information regarding Texas Assisted living or other senior care, visit our homepage.

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