7 Considerations For Selecting Healthcare Providers For Seniors

7 Considerations For Selecting Healthcare Providers For Seniors

Deciding where you, your parents or other family members will live out their lives when they are in need of healthcare services, is a momentous decision, often made in haste during a health crisis.

During these times, it is important to be armed with the information you need to make the best decision possible.

Below are seven key criteria for determining which assisted living or skilled nursing facility is right for you or a loved one.

1.  Check the Star Rating

The federal government’s Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services created a Five-Star Quality Rating System to help families compare health care providers. Facilities are rated based on health inspections, staffing and quality measures. Look for a facility that has a four-star or five-star rating. NursingHomeRating.org also employs a five-star rating system, as you can see here.

2. Seek Recommendations 

An objective review is important, but you also need to think about whether a healthcare provider is right for your particular circumstances. In that case, it can be helpful to seek opinions from both experts and everyday consumers like you. Talk to your friends who may have experienced similar circumstances. Then examine the online reviews of facilities from individual consumers and organizations that specialize in senior living communities. For example,  here is the review from Senior Advice  of Gateway Vista, a continuum of care community in  Lincoln, Nebraska.

3. Research the Company Online

Online recommendations and reviews can be eye-opening, and while they only tell part of the story, they can help you understand the real-life experiences of other families, patients and residents. Research the organization on Google, their website and other online review sites, such as SeniorAdvice.com. Consider both the good and bad information – they will provide ideas of things to look for and questions to ask if and when you visit.

4. Review the Organizational Values and History 

Is the organization you’re looking into family-owned or does it report to a corporate board elsewhere? Is its mission to maximize the health and well-being of its residents or to generate profits for shareholders? Is it a place where employees love to work and remain for years or is there constant turnover of staff? Are the people in charge innovators in the field going back decades or are they fairly new to it? Answers to questions like these will go a long way towards determining whether this is the healthcare provider for you.

5.  Check Their Credentials

It’s easy to determine whether a provider is recognized for excellence by the American Health Care Association and the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

6.  Get a Sense of How It Feels There

You want to walk onto the campus and feel like you’re home. You want to see staff and residents smiling and celebrating life. You may feel down when you need assistance with daily activities or rehab for an injury, but you want the people around you to pick you up with their spirit.

7.  Make Sure There is Easy Access to Healthcare Partners

Most continuum of care communities have a wide range of healthcare providers on site, but how about the physicians, therapists and specialists you may need while living there? Determine in advance whether those providers are right down the road or two towns over where they might be difficult to access. That can make a world of difference for you or your loved one.

Nye Health Services  offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and one in Wyoming, structured to meet the needs of their residents from independent living to skilled nursing care. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call  402.753.1400to schedule an appointment at locations in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit  NyeHealthServices.com  for more information.

Nye Health Services  ·  2230 North Somers Avenue  ·  Fremont, Nebraska 68025  ·  402.753.1400  ·  Privacy Policy

6 Ways to Stay Connected This Holiday Season

6 Ways to Stay Connected This Holiday Season

6 WAYS TO STAY CONNECTED THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

You’ve transitioned to an independent living community or an assisted living arrangement somewhere new. You still have your old friends and family, but maybe they’re no longer in your neighborhood. 

Now here come the holidays and you’re worried about getting lost in the hubbub as your old friends and family enjoy their traditions without you. It’s a common concern.  

Fortunately, you live in the best time ever to keep friends and family close even when they’re far away. Here are 6 ideas you might not have considered. 

1. Enjoy New Traditions with New Friends 

All those opportunities for socializing with neighbors in your new community will pay off come holiday time. If you have been socializing, you probably know people who are facing the same predicament. Why not start a new tradition with them? 

2. Invite Folks to Your Place for a Pot Luck 

You can have your friends over without playing host. In fact, you don’t even have to do it in your home. You can rent a community room on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day, invite everyone to bring a dish appropriate to the holiday, and enjoy communion with old friends and new. Or, you can cook together as a group. Either way, you’re not doing all the work yourself. 

3. Organize a Volunteer Opportunity Together 

Serving meals together with friends at the local soup kitchen, visiting patients in a hospital or in hospice care, or doing a project that helps others can be spiritually uplifting, and can help you forget any loneliness you might feel. If your family joins you, focusing on others who have less than you is a great way to strengthen the bonds among you. 

4. Get with the Times and Follow Family on Social Media 

Keep up with the grandkids by following them on Instagram or Snapchat, or find your children on Facebook. It’s amazing how much of their lives people share on social media today—things you might not even hear about in a phone conversation or personal visit. A lot of older people are intimidated by social media, but it was all designed to be used by regular people. The only reason you don’t know how to use it is that you haven’t yet learned.  

5. Video Chat! 

For friends and family who are far away, there is now the alternative that allows you to talk to them and see them, almost as if you’re in the room together. Video chatting is easy to set up; in fact, most computers and laptops are already equipped with cameras and microphones. If yours isn’t, webcams cost 50 bucks at the local electronics store or on the web. 

6. Play Games with Them Online 

The Internet is awash with games that people can play online, like Words With Friends, the online Scrabble knockoff; or Splatoon, the cartoon-based ink-shooting game; or… well, literally thousands of others. You can even do it while video chatting, so you can trash talk your family or friends and watch their reactions while you play. 

It’s just easier than ever to keep up with those you love or start relationships with new friends, thanks to technology and communities for people like you.  

Nye Health Services offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and one in Wyoming structured to meet the needs of their residents from independent living to skilled nursing care. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call 402.753.1400 to make an appointment at a location in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit NyeHealthServices.com for more information.

Nye Health Services  ·  2230 North Somers Avenue  ·  Fremont, Nebraska 68025  ·  402.753.1400  ·  Privacy Policy

Maintaining a ‘Sense of Family’ Even if Your Living Arrangement have Changed

Maintaining a ‘Sense of Family’ Even if Your Living Arrangement have Changed

MAINTAINING A ‘SENSE OF FAMILY’ EVEN IF YOUR LIVING ARRANGEMENTS HAVE CHANGED

October 24, 2018

Are you dreading the holidays because you’ve left your longtime home? Do you feel as if all your holiday traditions have become upended? 

It makes a big difference in your life. Part of our identities are tied up in those holiday traditions, often those that include family and friends. 

But you don’t have to give that all up when you move to a continuum-of-care community. Home is where the heart is, so get the people you love around you, wherever you are. Here are X tips to making that happen. 

1. Play Host Again 

Was your home the center of holiday activity for your family? Make your new place the center of activity again by inviting family to enjoy holiday meals and events hosted by the community onsite. Or, host your own gathering in your house, apartment, room or communal space. With family photos and holiday decorations, it will feel just like old times only in a new place. 

2. Create a New Tradition with New Friends 

Most senior living communities organize their own holiday parties and invite everyone on campus to attend. Often they organize daily holiday-themed events from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. These might include baking parties, nostalgic movie nights, gift-wrapping sessions, etc. If you don’t have family around to share in the holidays, what a great way to meet new friends and feel included in holiday traditions. Even better, when the facility throws the party, you don’t have to cook, host or clean. That is a welcome relief during stressful times. There is also a health and safety advantage to joining your neighbors at a facility party. You may not be physically equipped to host a party or travel to family, and your family may not be able to provide the level of care you need. 

3. Take Advantage of Provided Transportation to Family 

Your senior living community likely has an arrangement that will bring transportation off campus to your door. Taking advantage of that convenience can deliver you to your family to enjoy the holidays in their homes safely and quickly. Adult children with young children of their own sometimes stress about traveling to grandparents during the busy holiday season. Having grandparents travel to where the whole family is celebrating could be more convenient for everyone involved. 

4. Create an ‘Orphans’ Holiday’ 

Many seniors feel alone on the holidays, but in fact, this feeling of isolation is widespread among those who live by themselves. While you may not be prepared to travel or host, you can connect with other people who are feeling the same way you are and have your own Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year’s Eve.   

The holidays are always a festive time at the seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and one in Wyoming affiliated with Nye Health Services, offering independent living to skilled nursing care. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call 402-753-1400 to make an appointment at a location in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit NyeHealthServices.com for more information. Happy holidays!

6 Ways a Continuum of Care Makes Winter Safer for Seniors

6 Ways a Continuum of Care Makes Winter Safer for Seniors

6 WAYS A CONTINUUM OF CARE MAKES WINTER SAFER FOR SENIORS

Are the punishing winters turning you into a shut-in? Do the short days and long nights make you feel lonely and sad? What about shoveling your driveway or salting the sidewalk? Do you dread having to do it? If you go out less because you’re afraid of falling on snow and ice, we may have the solution.  

It doesn’t have to be this way. A continuum of care community can give you all the independence you want without the hassles and dangers of living in harsh weather.  

Consider the six reasons moving now will improve your winter: 

1. Assistance at Your Fingertips 

A continuum of care community allows you to continue to live your active lifestyle while someone else takes care of the chores like snow removal. And if you’re not so active, a continuum of care community provides whatever assistance you need and plenty of opportunities for socializing with people in the same stage of life. 

2. Services Are Right There 

You don’t need a car to go out to dinner, hit the gym, take a dip in the indoor pool or join in activities at the community center. They’re all right there for you. And if you need transportation off campus, they’ll arrange that too. 

3. Your Safety Matters 

Older people are at risk for illness and injury during the cold, dark, slippery season. Just walking is often treacherous. Frostbite and hypothermia disproportionately affect older people, too: seniors account for more than half the deaths from hypothermia in the U.S. And living alone can be deadly for seniors who catch the flu, which already takes three-quarters of its victims from among those age 65 and older. Being around others, where the grounds are clear, indoor activities are convenient and medical care is present can be lifesaving. Which means you should move now before winter hits. 

4. Happy is Healthy 

Seasonal Affective Disorder is tough to endure but easier around active, like-minded people your own age, and a caring staff that looks out for your health. Isolation and sadness can exacerbate medical conditions that seniors endure, so being around others is important for your physical and your mental health. 

5. Give Yourself Time to Make Friends 

Moving to a continuum of care community in the winter allows you to make friends during the season when you won’t be leaving campus much. Then, when the robins sing, flowers bloom and you’re ready to be more active outdoors, you will already have a gaggle of friends to take with you. From a friend-making standpoint, winter is the absolute best time to start life at a continuum of care community. 

6. No Time Like the Present 

Arranging visits to continuum of care communities now allows you to see what life is like around the campus before everything moves indoors. Deciding now means you avoid the hassle of moving in the cold and snow. Once winter hits and the sun sets before dinner, you might not want to take the life-altering step, and you’ll endure another four months alone.  

 Nye Health Services offers six communities in Eastern Nebraska and one in Wyoming, structured to meet the needs of their residents from independent living to skilled nursing care. A family-owned company with a rich history of connecting with the people they serve, Nye Health Services is open for visits anytime. Call 402.753.1400 to schedule an appointment at locations in Fremont, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Norfolk, or Jackson Hole, or visit NyeHealthServices.com for more information.

6 Advantages of Short-Stay Rehabilitation

6 Advantages of Short-Stay Rehabilitation

6 ADVANTAGES OF SHORT-STAY REHABILITATION

Going directly home is not always the best option for people leaving the hospital after a surgery, illness or accident. Instead, short-stay rehabilitation programs provide the physical, occupational and speech therapy services necessary to help patients return to their house or to an assisted living facility in the shortest time possible. 

In most cases, therapists are part of a team of medical professionals who collaborate with patients and their family members to develop an individualized plan aimed at completing the recovery process. 

A few days or even a few months at a short-term rehab facility offers several advantages over outpatient physical therapy. For example: 

1. Access to Care 

The patient has access to professional medical care 24 hours-a-day, seven days-a-week. This takes the burden off of your loved ones and allows you access to more advanced care and assistance while you recover. 

2. On-Site Therapy 

Some facilities employ physical, occupational and speech therapists, as well as social workers, physicians, nurses and nutritionists. Having all of the specialized care you need speeds up the recovery process, and ensures the smoothest, quickest path to healing. 

3. Organized Activities 

Recovering at home can be an isolating experience, especially when those in your life carry on with the fun, daily activities you enjoy. Many short-term rehab facilities provide private rooms and a variety of social and recreational activities, which means you won’t be stuck at home watching TV all day. 

4. An Opportunity to Take a Break 

Being at home isn’t easy, especially when you look around and see everything that requires your attention. At a short-stay rehabilitation facility, you can forget about the leaf-filled yard and pile of laundry while your recover. Patients won’t feel like they have to return to their normal household responsibilities sooner than they are ready to do so, which means they’ll be healed sooner, too. 

5. The Best Fit 

You have the opportunity to choose a short-stay rehabilitation facility that is the best fit for you. Here are some questions to ask if you are looking for a short-stay rehab facility for yourself or a loved one: 

  • What percentage of patients go home or to as assisted living facility after short-stay rehab, and how many patients must return to a hospital? 

  • How does the Medicare program rate the facility? 

  • What is the ratio of staff to patients? 

  • What is the average length of recovery time? 

  • Are private rooms available? 

  • Is the facility close enough for friends and relatives to visit on a regular basis? 

6. Recovery in Less Than Two Months 

How long will you have to remain in short-stay rehab? That depends on why you’re there and your goals for recovery, though generally speaking, four to six weeks is normal. If you have Medicare coverage, the federal insurance program will usually pay for your stay, as long as you’ve spent at least three nights as a hospital inpatient within the past 30 days. And, of course, the facility you choose must be certified by Medicare. 

If you are covered by health insurance other than Medicare, you should check to make sure a specific facility is in your network and find out exactly what services are covered. 

Are you interested in learning more about how short-stay rehabilitation can help you transition from the hospital to your home or to an assisted living facility? Check with Nye Health Services, which offers short stay rehabilitation services In Fremont, South Sioux City and Lincoln, Nebraska. For more information, visit NyeHealthServices.com or call 402-753-1400.