12.29.10

The Best Nursing Homes in Dallas

Posted in Elder Care, Elderly Care, Nursing home at 7:31 pm by admin

If you are looking for the best nursing homes in all of Dallas elderly care, there is one place you need to look: the rankings from Medicare and US News & World Report. Each quarter, US News issues a list with the top nursing homes in the nation, based on periodic reviews and inspections based on a consistent criteria. Here are the three categories they are rated for on a level of one to five stars:

Health Inspections: Has the home met safety standards for food preparations and general health conditions.
Nurse Staffing: This rating is graded by the typical number of hour of care a resident receives per day from nursing staff
Quality Measures: Rates based on whether patients are receiving the type of care they need (for anything from medication to changing bed pans to vaccinations, etc.)

The most recent round of inspections and grades gave these Dallas / Fort Worth area nursing homes a rating of Five stars based on those three criteria:

The Plaza At Edgemere Health Care
8502 Edgemere, Dallas, TX 75225
(214) 615-7045
The Plaza at Edgemere is a small, twenty-two bed facility that accepts Medicaire. They received 5 stars for Health Inspections and nurse staffing, and 4 stars for quality measures for an overal 5 star rating.

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Trinity Terrace
1600 Texas St, Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 338-2400
Trinity is a 60 bed non profit medicare facility that scored a stellar five star rating after earning five stars for health inspections and quality measures, and four stars for nursse staffing.

Life Care Center Of Plano
3800 W Park Blvd, Plano, TX 75075
(972) 612-1700
The Life Center of Plano is a 120 bed facility that accepts both medicare and medicaid. It received 5 stars for Health inspections and nurse staffing, and 4 stars for quality measures. The final tally: 5 stars.

C C Young Memorial Home
4829 W Lawther Dr, Dallas, TX 75214
(214) 827-8080
CC Young Memorial is an 88 bed nonprofit nursing home that accepts both Medicaire and Medicaid. They were given four stars both for health inspections and nurse staffing, and five for quality measures. Their overall star ratings was a 5.

Christian Care Center
1000 Wiggins Pkwy, Mesquite, TX 75150
(972) 686-3000
Christian Care Center is a 180 bed non profit nursing home that will accept both Medicare and Medicaid. They received an overall 5 star rating after scoring five stars for Health Inspections, and four for quality measures and nurse staffing.

Woodridge Nursing & Rehabilitation
1500 Autumn Dr, Grapevine, TX 76051
(817) 488-8585
Woodbridge is a 120 bed for profit nursing home that accepts both medicare and medicaid. They received an overall 5 star rating after they scored 5 stars for health inspection and 4 for nurse staffing and quality measures.

Crestview Court
224 W Pleasant Run Rd, Cedar Hill, TX 75104
(972) 291-5977
Crestview is a 125 bed nursing home. They are a for profit company, and they take Medicare and Medicaid. They received three stars for health inspections, four for nurse staffing and five for quality measures. Overall, they got five stars.

Lake Village Nursing And Rehabilitation
169 Lake Park Rd, Lewisville, TX 75057
(972) 436-7571
Lake Village is a 112 bed for profit nursing home that will take medicare and medicaid. They received 5 stars overall after they scored 5 stars in health inspections, four stars on nurse staffing, and three stars for quality measures.

Signature Pointe On The Lake Healthcare Community
14655 Preston Rd, Dallas, TX 75254
(972) 726-7575
Signature Pointe is a 195 bed for profit nursing home. They will take Medicare and Medicaid. Their five star rating came from getting three stars for health inspections, four for nurse staffing, and five for quality measures.

Silverado Senior Living – Turtle Creek
3611 Dickason Ave, Dallas, TX 75219
(214) 559-0140
Silverado Senior Living is a small twenty-four bed for-profit nursing home that accepts payment from medicare and medicaid. They received Five stars for both health inspections and quality measures, but only two for nurse staffing. Overall, they came out with five stars.

Arbrook Plaza
401 W Arbrook Blvd, Arlington, TX 76014
(817) 466-3094
Arbrook Plaza is a 120 bed, for profit nursing facility that takes medicare and medicaid as well. They scored 4 stars for health inspections, two for nurse staffing, and a strong five for quality measures. Overall, their rating is a five.

Cottonwood Nursing And Rehabilitation Lp
2224 N Carroll Blvd, Denton, TX 76201
(940) 387-6656
Cottonwood is a 60 bed nursing home that will accept medicare and medicaid. They received just one star for nurse staffing but 5 stars for quality measures and health inspections. Overall rating: 5 stars.

Lone Star Comprehensive Adult Care
1005 Ira E. Woods Parkway, Grapevine, TX 76051
(817) 421-1313
Lone Star is a 132 bed nursing home that accepts medicare and medicaid. Like Cottonwood, they received only one star for nurse staffing, but 5 stars for health inspections and quality measures.

Town East Rehabilitation And Healthcare Center
3617 O’Hare Dr, Mesquite, TX 75150
(972) 284-8600
Town East is a for profit nursing home with 130 beds. They take both medicare and medicaid. They received 5 stars overall after scoring five stars for health and quality measures, but only one star for nurse staffing.

The Legacy At Willow Bend
6101 Ohio Ste 500, Plano, TX 75024
(972) 468-6300
The Legacy is a 60 bed non-profit medicare facility. They scored an overall 5 star rating by earning 5 stars for quality measures and nurse staffing.

Traymore Nursing Center
4315 Hopkins Ave, Dallas, TX 75209
(214) 358-3131
Traymore is a for profit, 88 bed medicare facility. They received 4 stars for health inspections and five for quality measures for an overall 5 star rating.

Broadway Plaza Healthcare Center
5301 Bryant Irvin Rd, Fort Worth, TX 76132
(817) 346-9407
Broadway is a for profit 60 bed medicare nursing home that received five overall stars after earning five stars for health inspections and three for quality measures.

To find more information on these and other nursing homes around the state, visit the US News and World Report site directly. If you need to find assisted living residences, use the box at the top of this page.

12.08.10

Elderly Care… From Robots???

Posted in Elder Care, Elderly Care, Elderly Diseases, Nursing home, Senior Citizen at 2:53 pm by admin

We all remember the visions of the future that were given to us as kids by the Jetsons. There would be flying cars, instantaneous travel, and a robotic maid. It seemed so fun, so whimsical, and so utterly absurd. Could a robot ever actually take care of a person?

And here we are in the year 2010, and robots do not do our housework, answer our doors for us, or make us dinner. But in a few years, robots just might become elderly care professionals.

Sound crazy? It should. But scientists in Japan are very serious about the possibility. Well, sort of. Here, have a look for yourself at RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance):
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As you can see, this robot is helpful for one thing, basically: transferring a person from a bed to a wheelchair, and vice versa. And although this is one of the very common ADL’s (activities for daily living) that are dealt with at your typical Assisted Living facility on a constant basis. In fact, lifting patients from one place to another can be a truly exhausting task for caregivers. Still, it seems highly unlikely that any facility is going to want to buy a robot to take care of that one duty. Even if the robot did not resemble a huge, creepy bear, most seniors will probably prefer an actual human being.

So no, Riba will not be taking the place of elderly care nurses and workers any time soon. But the possibilities are somewhat intriguing. And the scientists are going for more. Riba is being programmed to be able to respond to a person’s touch, voice commands, and movements. Considering the incredible leaps in technology (we talked about how the XBOX Kinnect could be an awesome help to seniors in assisted living), the RIBA does represent a fascinating thought that seniors could get a huge lift (pun intended) by technology.

Here is another example of how robots could help with elderly care in the future:

As you can see, the University of Connecticut seems to think that their “ethical robot” can be a big help in the medical community. Could they remind seniors to take their medicine, and report them if they refuse? Certainly, the technology seems to be there. once again, it seems that seniors would be more than a little creeped out by it. Nobody who ever saw Terminator wants to take orders from a robot.

Is The Human Touch A Necessity in Elderly Care?

All of this raises a very important point, I think, in how we think about elderly care, and about senior citizens in general. We have an aging population, and companies certainly pay big bucks for elderly care workers to take care of menial tasks like lifting patients to different positions, or reminding patients to take their meds. And if there could be an inexpensive form of technology (robots, for instance) to do these jobs–even if they could do them better than the human workers–would that really be a good thing?

I am not talking about the economic effects of replacing human workers with virtual ones. Every time there is a leap in technology, the workforce expands because new jobs are created. So the big strong twenty-six year old assisted living stud who lifts patients into their wheelchairs every day… he may get fired, but he would find a new job, and the cost of assisted living could actually drop for seniors in the long run. The economic effects are secondary, though, to the simple human touch factor. Will patients (senior or otherwise) who are already fighting loneliness and depression ever be comfortable with getting help from a machine? I don’t think so.

The fact is, seniors in nursing homes and assisted living need human attention. Those short conversations about the weather that they have with the aid who brings them their pills every day… those awkward questions that they ask the young man who puts them in their wheelchair… they might seem meaningless to the aid, but to the patient, they can be priceless. Seniors in full time nursing care need touch and general human attention as much as any other neglected person on the planet. There is simply no substitute for the touch and concern of another human being. Certainly not by a robot bear or a dancing, ethical tattle tail.

No, elderly care will never be taken over by robots. So breath a sigh of relief, terminator fans. That cute candy striper isn’t going anywhere.

For help finding TX assisted living facilities, check out the cool Senior Housing finder at the top of this page.

12.03.10

Continuing Care Communities in Houston

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Nursing home, Retirement, Senior Citizen at 2:38 pm by admin

Seniors in Houston have many options at their disposal for elderly care. If they are not healthy, there are dozens of full time Houston nursing homes that will take care of their medical needs around the clock, or to give them physical rehabilitation after an injury. If they are healthy, but need some help with daily living activities, they can find one of the many Houston Assisted Living homes to meet their needs. And if they are healthy and physically active, they can find a Houston retirement community (a.k.a. Houston Independent living community) to settle down in ease and comfort.

And rest assured, there are some awesome facilities in each of these categories. There are especially some terrific retirement communities in the Houston area. Seniors love the year round warm temperatures, the wide assortment of entertainment options, the sports scene, the shopping, and the championship golf courses. Many retirement communities are centered around golf courses, even. So there are some awesome reasons for seniors to live in the Houston area.
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And yet, there is a quandry for Houston seniors and their families regarding their future in senior care, and it is this: a senior’s health and activity level are not static. Those are constantly changing factors, and generally, there will be a deterioration in a senior’s health over the years. So there is an inherent risk to signing a contract with an assisted living facility or buying a condo at a retirement center. What happens if your loved one takes a fall and breaks his hip? Or what happens when he contracts a disease that needs more oversight? Then you are stuck in a facility that does not care for the needs you actually have.

This is where Houston Continuing Care communities come in to play. Continuing care is a revolutionary kind of elderly care that adapts to the health and needs of the residents. In Houston continuing care facilities allow a resident to move into a different part of the facility (it is generally more like a large campus with different departments) that will better fit the particular needs they are facing.

Typically, it works this way: a resident will sign a contract with a continuing care community to last a certain length of time. Most seniors sign on with the community indefinitely–for the rest of their lives. They do this while they are healthy and active, generally, and living in a low maintenance retirement setting. But when they need to, they can transfer to assisted living or nursing home care without worrying about ending a lease and signing a new contract with another company. Needless to say, this is a huge break, as contracts can be a massive hassle for Houston seniors and the companies.

The Forum At Memorial Woods
777 N Post Oak Rd
Houston, TX
Phone: 866-333-2176

Alliance Care Phone
2626 S Loop W Ste 415
Houston, Texas,
Phone: 866-407-7211

Hampton at Post Oak
2929 Post Oak Blvd.
Houston, TX 77056
713-993-9999

Holly Hall Retirement Community
8304 Knight Rd
Houston, TX 77054
713-799-9031

Bayou Manor
4141 S. Braeswood Boulevard
Houston, TX 77025
(713) 663-3801

University Place TX
7480 Beechnut
Houston, TX 77074
(713) 541-2900

To find other kinds of Houston TX Assisted Living and retirement communities, use the “Find Senior Housing” box at the top of this page. Feel free to request more information from as many communities as interest you. Enjoy your search!

12.02.10

When Grandma has to Spend Christmas Alone…

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Depression, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Nursing home, Senior Citizen at 1:02 pm by admin

The Holidays are supposed to be the most joyful days of the year. Everywhere you look, people are singing songs, buying gifts, and celebrating life and relationships. But there is an ugly truth about the holidays: they are also the most depressing time of the year for millions of Americans. This is no more true then in nursing homes and assisted living housing communities. All too often, the seniors who live in these homes get left and forgotten over the holidays while the rest of their family is gathering together and celebrating. This usually happens when family lives in another region, of course, but it can even happen when people live close together.

At any rate, if you cannot be with your aging loved one this Christmas, and they are left to spend the holidays alone in their senior housing facility, there are still ways to bring a little bit of Christmas cheer to them. Here are a few ideas to make that happen:

1.) Let them “virtually” join you
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We have talked a lot about the terrific technological gadgets that allow video conferencing, but we need to mention it here again. Take it from someone who regularly has the grandkids connect with “grammy and pappa.” Being able to see and talk with the grandkids is special for seniors. Very special. So imagine how much better it would be if you could video chat while the kids are opening their presents, or going through some Christmas traditions. Then grandma or grandpa could “experience” it with them. Is it quite the same? Of course not. But it is a huge step in the right direction, and they will be very grateful for the chance.

(If you don’t know how to set up video conferencing, there are many options now. For seniors in an elderly care facility is a modern smart phone like the iPhone 4, which has video conferencing capabilities available. We wrote about that already. But if they have a computer with high speed internet access, you can get them connected with a camera and Skype account. Trust me, it will be worth it!)

2) Get the Kids to Make them Gifts
Nothing says love like a hand-made gift, especially when it comes from the grandkids or great-grandkids. And it does not have to be elaborate at all. We’re talking something simple: a home made card saying “we love you grandma.” A craft that they made at school. Something that they touched themselves, something they put thought into.

3) Send a Christmas Care Package
There will always be things a person does not like about their environment. Maybe the towels in the fitness center are scratchy. Maybe the toilet paper is rough, or the silverware is ugly. A giftbox can be a great way to address several of these small irritants at once. Of course, they can live with any and all of these things. It’s not a big deal. But the fact that you knew they bothered her, and cared enough to track down several different little things to cheer her heart can go miles to making her know that she is not forgotten.

4) Send a Christmas Telegram
What? A telegram? It’s the twenty-first century! Of course it is, but your loved one remembers when they were a normal part of life. Telegrams that are sent directly to your loved one’s room, hand-delivered at just the right time communicate one thing and one thing loudly: “We remember you!” You can easily find a telegram service on the internet that will deliver to the assisted living facility, just make sure you arrange it ahead of time, as the Christmas rush could be difficult.

5) Call them. Multiple times.
Give them a ring on Christmas eve just to say “we love you, and we wish you were here.” Let the kids say hi. And then in the morning, after the kids have opened their gifts, call again. Let the kids say “Thanks for the presents. Describe how the festivities went. Let them feel a part of the holidays. The sound of your voices is far more comforting than you probably realize.

So there it is. You can let your aging loved ones feel joyful during the holidays, even if their surroundings are something less than joyous and comfortable. All it takes is a little imagination, planning, and intentionality. With those, even the loneliest TX Assisted Living facility and nursing home can glisten with holiday cheer.

11.27.10

Continuing Care Communities

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Atria Senior Living, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Elderly Diseases, Nursing home, Texas Elderly Care Services at 1:55 pm by admin

Continuing Care is a type of elderly care designed to help senior citizens make just one housing decision that will last for years to come. Here is why this is necessary. Think about what happens when a senior who lives in a retirement facility has something unexpected happen to them. For instance, what happens if they are diagnosed with a disease that will require medical help on a regular basis? Or what if they take a fall, break their hip, and now need help getting dressed in the morning? Typical retirement communities have no provisions for these unexpected events. They are built to let seniors live independently.

Similarly, Assisted Living communities are meant for seniors need help with basic activities for daily life, but not full time medical attention by nurses. But as anyone who has ever been through such trials knows, the health of a senior is a tenuous thing. It can all change very quickly.
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In the past, when elderly care was synonymous with skilled nursing (what a narrow definition!), all varieties of seniors from the healthy to the terminally ill were often housed together. That took care of this concern on one level: patients already had full time nurses patrolling the halls, after all. But today (thankfully), the situation has changed. How can a man who lives in a condo on a golf retirement community get help bathing every morning after he breaks his leg?

Understanding Continuing Care Communities

Continuing Care Communities are facilities that offer adaptable levels of care. Patients can be comfortable making one elderly care decision with one company. There is no need to end a contract, move their belongings to a different part of the city, and sign a new care contract at a new facility. And seeing as those changes usually need to happen during times of crisis, that can be a massive relief for everyone involved.

Here is how it works. When a senior finds a multi level continuing care community, they can sign a contract with that company that will either last for a defined period of time, covering any needed types of care, or can last for the remainder of the patient’s life. The services offered are generally right there on the same physical facility, but sometimes the nursing home facility is offsite. But either way, the principle is the same: the resident is dealing with the same company which adapts to their own unique needs. So when it’s time to move into different housing, everything is still very much in order. No reason to panic.

The best thing about Continuing Care Communities is the “community” aspect. Residents are more like members of a club then they are patients. There are social events planned in house, and there is transportation available for social outings offsite. Residents can eat together (assisted living, in most cases, offers three meals per day), and do life together. In this way, they are not alone, wasting away in isolation. They are surrounded by friends, and they have a support system already in place.

Does continuing care sound like the right type of housing for your aging loved one? Use the gray box at the top of this page to find facilities near your city. It will help you find TX Assisted Living facilities, as well as senior housing from all around the United States and Canada.

11.26.10

Elderly Care in Texas

Posted in Assisted Living, Caregiver, Elder Care, elderly and education, Elderly Care, Nursing home, Senior Citizen at 8:33 pm by admin

Texas is increasingly becoming a popular retirement destination. Elderly care services in Texas are meeting the demand. People of all ages like to live in Texas, and the reasons are fairly obvious. First, Texas is a warm place. Even in the winter time, temperatures are comfortable, and ice and snow–both of which most seniors do not care for–are rare occurrences. In addition, many move to the state because it has one of the lowest living costs in the nation. There is also no state income tax. But mostly, people like to live in Texas because of the culture. The pace of life is relaxed already, and southern manners and hospitality make the state a treasured throwback to simpler times.

With a population of around twenty-five million, Texas is the second largest state in the country. The elderly care business is expansive, including senior housing and senior services that are as broad as Texas itself. Here are a few examples of what you might see with Texas Elderly Care, and a few ways to find a particular service you might be looking for.

Texas Senior Centers

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Senior Centers are an important aspect of elder care for millions of retirees. They are places where elderly people can connect in a variety of ways, where new friendships are formed, and where seniors can find out how to take advantage of a whole host of elderly care services. In Texas, there are senior centers available in virtually every significant metropolitan area. Here is how you can find some of these in the Texas’ biggest cities:

Dallas
Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas-the Senior Source
3910 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas
(214) 823-570

Houston
Senior Citizens Center
2500 Campbell St, Houston, TX 77026
(713) 228-7543

San Antonio
Senior Citizens Ctr Social Service & Welfare Organizations
Address: 6th St & Ave E
(830) 742-8711

Austin
Lamar Senior Ctr Senior Citizens Service
Address: 2874 Shoal Crest Ave
(512) 474-5921

Places for Texas Seniors to be Involved

Many retired seniors find adjusting to life a difficult task because they cannot be idle. They have worked hard their whole life, and when they quite their career, they feel a sense of loss. They miss the feeling of being productive, and they miss being with people. For them, volunteer opportunities are a central part of Texas elder care services. Here are some networks for senior volunteer opportunities in Texas’ largest cities:

Dallas
Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)
3910 Harry Hines Boulevard
(214) 823-5700

Austin
100 N I H 35
County of Travis: Retired Senior Volunteer Program
(512) 854-7787

San Antonio
Retired Senior Volunteer Program
202 West French Place
(210) 222-0301

Elderly Care Housing in Texas

The most notable type of elderly are is, of course, senior housing. And Texas is full of all types of senior housing.

Texas Elderly Care Housing can be divided up into three primary divisions: Skilled nursing, Assisted Living, and independent living. Patients and residents have very different needs when they choose one of these, and there are many shades of care in each category. Texas skilled nursing homes, for example, are for ill seniors who need around the clock care, or full time rehabilitation. This can include hospital care for seniors as well.

TX Assisted Living, on the other hand, is mostly for seniors who do not need that kind of intensive oversight, but who still need some help with Activities for Daily Living, or ADL’s. This can include anything from doing housework to taking baths to getting dressed in the morning. Seniors at assisted living facilities can get specific care for their specific needs. That way, they can live independently for most things, enjoy living in an active social community, but still be taken care of where the situation calls for it.

Texas Independent Living is for seniors who are ready to retire, but who do not need oversight. Retirement communities let seniors live by themselves, without having the responsibilities of home ownership. They can often get help for all sorts of things like lawn care, housekeeping, etc. Texas Independent Living facilities often resemble resort communities.

Some Texas elderly care communities can combine all three types of care in one. These are known as continuing care communities. Seniors who choose this option generally move in to the facility when they are able bodied and independent, with the understanding that they can adapt their care options asw their situation calls for it. So when they decide they need help with basic daily activities, they can move in to an assisted living care level, and if their health unravels, they can get skilled nursing attention. Continuing care communities allow residents to sign one contract when they move in which will last for the remainder of their lives, if they wish to.

If you are looking for Texas senior housing options around the state, enter your city location and type of care desired in the gray box at the top of this article. If you find a facility that suits your needs, you can request more information from them.

11.24.10

Making the Holidays Special for Elderly Loved Ones

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Elderly Care, Nursing home, Retirement, Senior Citizen, Texas Elderly Care Services at 9:40 pm by admin

The Holidays would not be complete without our nearest and dearest. Many families include traditional ways of celebrating that have been passed down through the generations. The holidays are a special time to include elderly friends and family. The following are some steps to ensure that the elderly one you love will enjoy the Holidays to the fullest.

Preparing your home

Whether you’re having a massive family celebration or just your family and grandma, everyone enjoys sprucing up the house and adding special seasonal decor. One thing to keep in mind in your preparation is to keep the floors clear of loose rugs and objects that might easily be tripped over and cause a fall. Outside walkways and driveways also may need some sand or salt to prevent icy surfaces, prime culprits of senior falls. Having a comfy seat handy for Grandpa to plop down in rooms where you will be spending most of your time is also a safety measure worth taking. Pulling out decor and photo books that have sentimental value, like the quilt Great Aunt Nettie made or the kids most recent school photos may mean more to your elderly loved one than any gift and become great conversation pieces for everyone.
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Making room for special diets on the Holiday menu

Keep in mind that the elderly one joining your celebration may have diet restrictions will save you some last minute flurry and prevent anyone from being left out of the Holiday feast. Many elderly people need to watch their salt, fat, or sugar intake, even on the Holidays, so ask before you start your baking, and be sure to include a few special-diet-friendly dishes

Accommodating Special Needs

In the case of an elderly loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia, having someone on hand to guide them through the Holidays and keep tabs on them is a wise idea. Whether you assigned a family member or hire a respite care worker, having a loved one with dementia take part in family celebrations is important. Briefing family and friends who are unaware on how to interact can be helpful. The Holidays may be a particularly sentimental and emotional time for people who have Alzheimer’s Disease, and having someone close by who is familiar and calming helps.

Planning ahead to make the house as accessible as possible will ensure that no one gets left out. Keeping family activities on the ground level and in easy-access rooms will allow everyone to participate. Leave space at the table and through the house for walkers or wheelchairs, and make sure the bathrooms are easily accessible for everyone.

Planning for meaningful interactions

Many holiday celebrations are centered around the kids, but some of the most precious traditions are the ones Great-Grandma started. Having special, traditional activities that will bridge the generation gap and bring the elderly and the kids together can create unforgettable memories. Putting Great Grandma in charge of a taffy pull, turkey craft, or cookie decorating, or setting Grandpa in charge of choosing the best dishpan to send the kids down the snowy hillside is an awesome way to stir up family stories and create priceless memories.

The Holidays are filled with precious family interactions and traditions. Take time this year to make them special for the elderly one you love.

If you are looking for help finding TX assisted living or other elderly care, use the search box above.

10.18.10

Church in the Nursing Home

Posted in Assisted Living, Assisted Living Facilities, Depression, Elderly Care, Nursing home at 1:51 pm by admin

Living in a Nursing Home can be a difficult, lonely way to live. We all know this. It can be extremely depressing for many seniors who just a few short years earlier lived vibrant, healthy lives to be stuck inside the four walls of a drab, dreary environment without being able to get out and do the things they used to care about.

One of those lost priorities, for thousand of seniors, is church. For seniors who are deeply religious, it can be depressing to be forced to stay home on a Sunday morning. They want to be able to connect with other people. They miss their worship services. And they want to be able to connect with God the way they used to.

For years now, many churches have tried to help alleviate this problem. It does not always have a great affect, but it can.
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Currently, my church “adopts” two elderly care facilities–one nursing home and one assisted living facility–every three months or so. We rotate with other churches in our town. When it is our turn, we send a team of parishoners to the senior home to hold a special service just for those patients who would like to be able to come on Sunday morning.

Because of the obvious scheduling conflict, we go in the afternoon. We generally take somebody who can lead us in a few songs of worship, and somebody to give a short sermon. Often, it is the head pastor, but sometimes it is somebody else: an elder, or someone who feels like they have a special message for them. The service is never long. Maybe a half hour at the most. And after it is done, we spend time talking with the patients. This is the most rewarding part of the afternoon by far.

I remember leading a service when I was in my early 20′s. I was not an ordained minister. Just a kid who loved to worship. I was filling in for my father in law who was an ordained minister. He loved these precious people, and they loved him. For him, these services were not in any way a burden. He recognized what I did not at the time: that these were devout souls, many of whom were still as sharp as a tack, and who wanted to worship just as much as I did. So even though I felt like my afternoon was lost in the beginning, I came to see how valuable it was to them. And it became valuable to me.

Today, my daughters–ages seven and eight–love those sunday afternoon services. That is partly because they love to worship, but it is also because they see just how much the seniors in these homes appreciate their special attention. They have learned to treasure and value their stories. They learned their names, and prayed for them. And they spent time with them.

Churches who get involved in nursing home services often feel like they are pulling teeth to get people to come. As a result, the patients who sit in those afternoon services fee like second class parishoners. But with a little attitude change, the people in these churches can become a powerful witness of God’s love to people who are often sad and feeling forgotten. It happens everywhere. To seniors in the middle of nowhere to those in the middle of lots of activity, like in an Orlando FL assisted living facility. They want to be a part of society. They want to be a part of a family. If a church can think of them as family and not a burden, they can be an incredible blessing.

10.14.10

Family Meetings: When it’s Time for Elder Care

Posted in Assisted Living, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Nursing home at 12:07 pm by admin

When it’s time for elder care, you all know. You and your siblings. You have been worried about your mom for a while. When you get on the phone, you lower your voice a little and talk about your concern. Maybe you have seen her stumble and fall more often. You have noticed that she is starting to forget things. And you cannot be sure that she is taking the medicine that the doctor prescribed. She says she is, but her condition is not improving, and she didn’t want to take them in the first place. You would love to take her in, but your house is too small. And your siblings cannot do it either.

Clearly, it is time for a family meeting.

How to talk about elder care as a family

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Broaching the subject of elder care is not easy for you, the family, or for the senior whose life is about to be altered. For them, the decision can feel like a rejection, and a vote of no confidence. So how can you navigate this tricky situation?

Years ago, we had to confront my wife’s parents on some very difficult issues that were giving us great cause for concern. For us, it was not yet time for full time elder care, but it was getting close, and their lifestyle (endless clutter, unsafe living conditions, etc) was seriously getting in the way of them being healthy and happy. It was not easy, but it was a conversation that absolutely had to happen. Here is what we did.

1.) We got together for a meal. Now, you might be thinking “No! I don’t want to trick them into anything.” I understand. And you do not have to. It is probably a good idea to tell them you want to discuss some things together as a family before hand, so they know there is another reason for you to get together. But a meal can help to foster the sense of normalcy that is so essential. Even if the situation is about to change, make it clear that your relationship will not have to. And of course, it doesn’t have to be a meal. Maybe your family does other things together on a regular basis. That is fine. Just try to make it natural. That is the key.

2.) When it was time to talk, we communicated love! Think back to the times when your parents had to confront and discipline you. The times when they did it right, anyway. Those were times when you might have hated them in the moment, but when you look back on it as an adult, you understand why they did it. You understand they loved you. Well, this is a time to do the same thing. Yes, you need to say some difficult, unpleasant things. You have serious concerns that she is not seeing. She will probably disagree. In her mind, everything will be just fine. But you are the objective one this time. So above all else, she needs to feel your love and care for her. There were times when they did that well with you, and other times… not so well. So make this like one of those good times. Love them.

3.) Be direct. Family cultures can be very different. I grew up in a family where we would just come out and say what we thought. My wife’s family has alway been more subtle, so that I could walk away from a conversation without ever understanding what just happened. And yet, on the night we confronted her parents, everyone had to come out and say it. “We love you, and we are concerned…” “This is not healthy…” “You really need to make some big changes.” Of course, do it in love. But do not mistake love for being soft, and not addressing issues you believe are very serious. That is, in reality, something less than love, and it is rooted in fear.

Because we took our time around a meal, communicated in love, and were direct, our message was well received. And yours can be, too, if you take those things to heart. The elder care choice–whether it is a Texas nursing home or an Oregon assisted living facility, ultimately, can be a very positive change once it is made. So make it easier for them in a family meeting.

10.08.10

The Benefits of Adult Day Care

Posted in Adult Day Care, Assisted Living, care at home, Caregiver, Elder Care, Elderly Care, Home Health Care, Nursing home at 11:21 am by admin

In the last article, we talked about the feelings of guilt and fear that come with choosing a nursing home for our parents. It is a tough decision to put your loved one in a full time elder care facility, not just because of the things we think could happen (neglect, abuse, etc.), but because we can’t shake that feeling that we ought to be the ones caring for them. After all, they took care of us, didn’t they?

The problem is not a lack of love in most cases. The problem is that, while many of us really would like to care for our parents at home, we have full time jobs. We have kids that need to be shuttled to basketball practice. We are constantly on the go. And if your parents need supervision because of medical problems, you realize that you cannot offer that. Not full time anyway. Your parents might be retired, but you, on the other hand, are swamped.
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I want to present another option to you that you maybe have not thought about before, although we have written on it in the past: adult day care. Now, adult day care is a pretty new phenomenon in the elder care industry, but you can bet it will be growing in the coming years. Here’s how it works: Suppose your mother lives with you in your house. You can help her with her medications at night. You can cook for her, do her laundry, help her stay active. The grandkids can spend time with her and lift her spirits… And then you can go to bed. In the morning, as you are packing up the kids for school, packing your bag for the gym, and sorting out the grocery list, you can bring your mom with you.

After you drop the kids off, you can take your mom to her other caregivers: the adult day care center staff. These care centers are sometimes attached to full time nursing homes or assisted living facilities, but not always. They are often next to parks, or else they have open outdoor leisure spaces, and they will have nurses right there on staff, should you need them.

The staff of the adult day care will make sure your mom is cared for. They will feed her, hang out with her, let her spend time with other seniors who are in the same position as she is. And they will make sure she doesn’t wander off (an important fact for those dealing with Alzheimer’s especially.)

The benefits of adult day care are vast:

  1. It’s cheaper! Because your mom is not living there, she does not need a bedroom. Which means she does not need a bathroom. Which means she does not need to pay rent. She is living at your house, remember? And that is alot cheaper than paying out massive checks every month to a full time Nursing Home or Assisted Living facility.
  2. She still gets to be a part of your life
  3. The Grandkids can spend time with her
  4. You don’t have to worry about her being lonely
  5. Your life does not have to end
  6. You have other caregivers that you can compare notes with, including nurses
  7. Your mom can socialize with people her age every day
  8. She feels valued!

If you love your parent, and if you desire to care for her, but cannot do it full time, you should look into the prospect of adult day care. I have a feeling you will all be glad you did.

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