5 Great Ways to Express Love to a Family Member in Senior Care

5 Great Ways to Express Love to a Family Member in Senior Care

Throughout history, elders have been revered for their life experience, wisdom and connection to forbearers. In today’s fast-paced, “just Google it” world, we don’t always value our seniors, particularly when they become frail. 

We still love our family members though, and want to provide the best for them within the confines of our own daily lives. So how do we demonstrate our love and gratitude for all they have done for us, particularly when they live in a senior community and not with us?  

Well, the short answer is: the same way we show anyone love. We express it verbally and non-verbally. We do things for them and with them. We sacrifice on their behalf. Here are some specific suggestions. 

1.  Visit! 

For a senior who is living away from old friends and family, there is no present like our presence. Every visit we make tells them that at that moment, there is nowhere else we would rather be than with them. Just make sure you’re fully present when you visit. 

2. Help Them with Small Tasks 

Life is a struggle for some seniors, but you can help ease the burden. Check their mail and make sure their bills are being paid. Pick up around their living quarters if they are unable to do so. Brush their hair or apply moisturizer on their skin. Making their life easier is a sure demonstration of love. 

3. Reach Their Heart Through Their Stomach   

Does the senior in your life miss particular ethnic or regional food of their early days? Cook them the things that remind them of home that may not be on a meal plan menu. Nothing says love like a home-cooked meal. 

4. Get Involved in Their Lives 

Listen to your loved one and show interest in their stories and their opinions. Learn about their daily activities and meet their friends. In short, show them you value being a part of their family even if you don’t live with them.  

5. Don’t Forget to Tell Them You Love Them 

Showing is better than telling, certainly. Visiting, helping, sharing meals, and sharing in their lives are great ways to show someone we love them. But it’s nice to say it too. Saying “I love you” is a great way to end a visit – until your next one real soon. 

Nye Health Services  offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and 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 Amazing Ways a Positive Attitude Improves Aging

6 Amazing Ways a Positive Attitude Improves Aging

“You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing.”  George Bernard Shaw 

Study after study has shown the power of positive thinking, no more powerful than as we age. A glass-half-full attitude towards getting older leads to a longer and better life. 

Here are six ways a positive attitude has been shown to improve our lives:

1. We Live Longer!

Research shows that a positive attitude towards aging leads to a longer life. One study found people with positive perceptions lived seven-and-a-half years longer, all other things being equal. That’s double the impact of exercising regularly or maintaining a healthy weight. The happier you are about getting old, the more of it you get to do!  

2. We Age Slower

Optimistic people have better mobility as they age and are more likely to be able to perform their activities of daily living. The less concerned we are about aging, the less aged we appear. 

3. We Age Better 

Lots of research has found that we walk faster, think sharper and remain more physically fit the more positive our outlook. It’s like we’re all little engines that could – we think we can, we think we can. And then we can! 

4. We Are Much Healthier

It’s incredible how much our outlook on life affects our health, but numerous studies have found that people with a positive mindset have less coronary disease. In fact, in one study, even people who had a family history of heart disease but a thumbs-up outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack. Similar findings have involved a wide range of maladies like strokes and even brain tumors. Other studies reveal lower cholesterol, greater ability to fight off the common cold and other benefits, just from keeping a smile on our face.

5. We Are Less Stressed

The more we look forward to getting older, the stronger our immune system and the greater our ability to ward off the physical and emotional toll of stressful situations. Research shows a positive attitude better protects us against the inflammatory damage of stress, compared to people with a negative outlook. We’re also less likely to suffer negative emotions in response to a stressful event if we start with a positive outlook. 

6. We Bounce Back from Adversity Faster

Being positive isn’t a guarantee that only good things will happen to us. People with positive attitudes fall and break their hips, get hit by cars and suffer cancer diagnoses just like everyone else. But research has found that people who feel good about aging were significantly better at bouncing back from severe disability than those who don’t. 

The evidence is pretty clear: whether you think your later years are going to be great or miserable, you’re likely to be right. So why not think positively about your life ahead and enjoy all the benefits? 

Nye Health Services  offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and 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 Helpful New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

6 Helpful New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

Just because you’re a senior doesn’t mean you don’t have things in life you want to achieve or improve. People who never stop learning and never stop achieving live longer and better. 

So, this New Year, let’s think about some resolutions that would benefit many seniors – maybe even you. 

1. Cross Off Something from Your Bucket List

Is there something you would regret not doing if you knew your life was about to end? Do it! George H. W. Bush skydived at 90 because – he could. Whatever you think is holding you back, ask yourself this: will it be less true next year, in three years or in five years? Unless the answer is yes, go for it now. 

2. Eat Healthy

You hear people say things like this: “I’m 75. I’m not going to live longer if I cut back on sugar now.” Of course, that isn’t true. You can live longer, and better, by eating a diet high in vegetables, fruit, whole grains, lean meats, and healthy fats, and by skipping all the processed food, especially the big killer – sugar.  

While you’re at it, reduce the calories. As we age and slow down, we need less fuel. Take these steps and you might just discover how much better you feel. 

3. Be More Physically Active

Physical activity isn’t as important for people in later life – it’s more important! Keeping the muscles working, the heart pumping and the joints lubed is critical as we age because our bodies are naturally losing strength. We need to stretch more too so our bodies remain flexible. Consider yoga, stretching, tai-chi or Pilates. 

4. Stay Mentally Active

Like your body, your mind needs a daily workout or it will become weak. Studies show that brain exercise pays off for seniors. Reading, brain teasers, crossword puzzles, math problems, and Sudoku are great mind benders. Socializing is also great for mental stimulation and health. So, if you don’t have a robust social life, join a club or discussion group. Senior communities are great for these kinds of gatherings. 

5. Volunteer More

You know what feels great? Helping others, and it’s amazing how the benefits actually rebound to you. Research shows people who volunteer live longer and happier lives and often report they get more back than they give. Moreover, volunteering is often a social activity, something retirees need. 

6. Write Your Family History

Do you have grandchildren or great-grandchildren? How much of their family heritage do they know about? Think about the gift you could give to them by writing down everything you know, going back as far as you can. Something you remember about a great grandparent would take a great-grandchild back seven generations. 

Nye Health Services  offers seven communities  in Eastern Nebraska and 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 Tips to Visiting a Continuum of Care Facility with Kids

6 Tips to Visiting a Continuum of Care Facility with Kids

Bringing children to a retirement community can be an inspiring, enjoyable proposition for everyone involved. It is also fraught with trials that can ruin the experience. Bring joy to children and elders alike by planning your visit and preparing for challenges ahead. 

Consider these 6 tips for visiting a continuum of care community with your children:

1. Talk to Your Children

A senior community is probably unlike anything your children have seen before, filled with seniors, some of whom may be physically compromised or intellectually diminished. Explain to your children what they are going to see. If the person whom you are visiting has memory issues, make sure your children understand that they may not be recognized, or may be called by the wrong name.  

Consider getting a book out of the library that teaches children about visiting relatives in a nursing home. They include: A Little Something by Susan V. Bosak; Sunshine Home by Eve Bunting; My Grandma’s in a Nursing Home by Judy Delton. 

2. Prepare to Be the Center of Attention

Older adults light up around children, even other people’s. Your children may be thrust into the spotlight, with people they have never met fussing over them. For some kids, this can be overwhelming and frightening. Let them know in advance that there is no danger in that, and run interference for your children if you detect that they are being overwhelmed. 

3. Bring Toys and Games 

The opposite is possible, too: your children can find themselves with nothing to do. Make sure you have activities to keep them occupied – games, toys, etc. A bored child can lead to acting out that undermines the good tidings you meant to spread. 

4. Show Off Your Kids’ Talents 

Nothing excites seniors more than children singing, dancing, playing musical instruments or otherwise attempting to entertain. Encourage your child to perform their talents for the residents and watch their faces light up. 

5. Plan Activities for Everyone

Think ahead about activities that would be enjoyable for the person you’re visiting and your children alike, and bring any supplies that might be necessary. This will help build a bond between your children and their elderly relative and facilitate an enjoyable experience for everyone. 

Some activity ideas include: 

  • Help decorate their room for the holiday; 
  • Help put up and decorate their Christmas tree; 
  • Sing holiday songs; 
  • Play Go Fish! or a board game, particularly one that harkens to the resident’s childhood; 
  • Arrange for the children to interview their elder and record the answers; and 
  • Have the children teach their elder how to use technology. 

6. Keep Coming Back

A single visit is a valuable experience for the kids that will brighten their relative’s day, but continued visits are even more meaningful. They allow for a true relationship to develop or flourish, provide ongoing joy to the loved one and memories for the children to cherish the rest of their lives. 

Nye Health Services  offers seven communities in Eastern Nebraska and 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.