The Importance of Staying Hydrated for Seniors

The Importance of Staying Hydrated for Seniors

Often when we hear the word nutrition, we think about the foods we eat. An essential part of nutrition is adequate hydration. Good hydration is critical for health and well-being, especially for seniors. The body is made up of approximately 60% water. The amount of water one should consume daily depends on multiple factors such as age, diagnosis, activity level, and medications, to name a few.

Seniors are among the most at risk for dehydration. Because of the potentially significant health consequences of dehydration to seniors, it’s important to recognize the causes and symptoms of dehydration as well as know how you can stay properly hydrated.

The top six benefits of good hydration for seniors:

  1. Increases energy and brain function: Even mild dehydration can result in changes in mood, concentration, headaches, memory, fatigue, and anxiety.
  2. Joint lubrication:  The cartilage, located in joints and the spine’s disks, is made up of approximately 80% water. Lack of adequate hydration can lead to increased joint pain and muscle cramps.
  3. Water makes minerals and nutrients accessible:  Minerals and nutrients dissolve in water, making it possible for them to reach different parts of the body.
  4. Kidney Function: Insufficient water intake can lead to kidney stones, urinary tract infections, and other kidney problems.
  5. Heart Health: Dehydration results in decreased blood volume, resulting in the heart working harder and faster to ensure the body has adequate oxygen.
  6. Digestive Health: Insufficient water intake can lead to digestive problems such as constipation and an overly acidic stomach. This increases the risk of heartburn and stomach ulcers.

What You Can Do

If you find that you frequently forget to drink or occasionally experience mild signs of dehydration like dry mouth, decreased urination, or fatigue, try following these tips to help you stay well hydrated:

  • Don’t wait until you feel thirsty to drink water or other non-caffeinated liquids.
  • Make it a habit when you leave home to fill a portable cup of water or take a water bottle with you.
  • Take sips of water or other non-caffeinated beverages between bites at meals, such as juice or milk.
  • Add liquids throughout your daily routine.
  • Drink a full glass of water when taking medications.
  • Don’t stop or reduce liquid consumption due to urinary control – consult your physician.
  • Incorporate foods into your daily meals and snacks that are high in water content, such as melons (watermelon, honeydew, or cantaloupe), strawberries, pineapple, peaches, oranges, cucumbers, broccoli, bell peppers, celery, zucchini, and lettuce.

Senior Health and Wellness at Nye Health Services

At Nye Health Services, wellness is key in our approach to helping seniors thrive. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer to help you and your loved one live happy!

People Live Happy Here: Benefits of Independent Living

People Live Happy Here: Benefits of Independent Living

Living independently doesn’t have to mean living alone. If maintaining a large home is becoming more challenging but you don’t need the extensive services of an assisted living community, independent living options provide the perfect middle ground. Nye Square in Fremont, Nebraska; Gateway Vista in Lincoln, Nebraska; and The Meadows in Norfolk, Nebraska, blend private apartment living with the benefits of on-site trained professionals, planned activities, and community opportunities.

Our Built-In Community Makes You Feel at Home

Living down the hall from friends and within walking distance of a wide variety of social events and other activities makes an independent living community an ideal option for seniors that are interested in staying connected and living an active lifestyle.

The Nye Health community is the perfect choice for individuals, couples, and even pets, and we strive to provide a balance between the benefits of managing your own home and having people around when you need them.

“I came to Gateway Vista more than three years ago. I enjoy the company of all of my friends here, especially after my husband passed away. I stay busy with all of the activities they offer, from Book Club to Bingo, to Lunch Bunch, to Reader’s Theatre, as well as Mass and Rosary. I love it here!” Josie, Resident of Gateway Vista

We offer plenty of onsite options for spending time with neighbors, friends, and visiting family members. From enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend at the Sweet Shop and celebrating a special occasion in one of the private dining rooms to browsing the library and relaxing in the sunroom, our community amenities provide everything you love about your current community close to home. All Nye Health Independent Living communities are a short drive from local favorite restaurants, shops, and recreational options.

“I haven’t seen Dad this happy since before Mom passed away. The family environment and community at Nye Square have allowed him to enjoy life again.” Amy, Daughter of a Resident at Nye Square

Our Safety Features Make Independent Living Easier

Safety is often a key factor when it comes to deciding that it might be time to move out of your current home. Although you may enjoy the benefits of your private home, managing your own safety is often one of the first aspects of your life that becomes challenging. Our independent living communities feature an array of measures to ensure your safety:

  • Check-in for visitors
  • Emergency response system
  • 24-hour onsite staff

Boost Your Peace of Mind By Choosing Independent Living

Independent living options provide the perfect bridge between managing your own life and having someone available when you need it. The relaxed, calm environment at any of our locations blends the comfort and privacy of living in your own apartment with the perks of having friends and skilled professionals in the building.

“We love the helpful & thorough team members that go the extra mile for all of us. Our apartment is very spacious and has great views. We are very happy that Izzy, our dog, could join us and he loves it here too!” Bob, Helen, & Izzy, Residents of The Meadows.

Our staff provides 24/7 emergency assistance and a bit of extra help, giving you and your family peace of mind that choosing your preferred level of independence does not mean compromising your safety if something were to go wrong. Each apartment includes an emergency call system, which connects you to our skilled nursing staff for assistance at any time of day or night.

At Nye Health Services, we firmly believe that you don’t have to choose between living alone and completely giving up your independence. We provide an in-between option that makes it easy for residents of Nebraska and surrounding states to choose their desired level of independence while enjoying the perks of community living. Contact us today to learn more about what sets us apart or to schedule a tour of our Nye Square, The Meadows, or Gateway Vista communities!

4 Common Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout (and How to Combat them)

4 Common Symptoms of Caregiver Burnout (and How to Combat them)

Being a caregiver is incredibly rewarding, but it also comes with its share of challenges. Spending a large portion of your day meeting someone else’s needs can make it easy to forget about your own. You may find you are neglecting your own needs for eating, sleeping, and enjoying life that can quickly lead to burnout. Here are four common signs of caregiver burnout, as well as tips for avoiding them!

Caregiver Burnout Sign #1: Feeling Overwhelmed or Exhausted

Being overwhelmed from time to time as a caregiver is not uncommon, but it shouldn’t be a constant feeling. Although meeting someone else’s daily needs on top of your own can be challenging, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to do everything yourself.

What You Can Do

  1. Allow yourself to accept help from friends, family members, and outside resources. Take the initiative to ask for help with specific tasks. People often want to help, but don’t know what you need specifically, or don’t think to ask.
  2. Focusing on what you can do tends to be more productive than investing too much energy into too many things and feeling stressed about what you can’t get done. You can’t be everything to everyone, and it’s important to know how much you can handle while still doing your best and taking care of yourself.

Caregiver Burnout Sign #2: Changes in Your Own Health

Stress, struggles with time management, and other burnout-related inconsistencies can lead you to neglect your own eating, exercise, and other healthy habits. This can lead to weight loss or gain, which can have an impact on your overall energy levels and outlook on life.

What You Can Do

If you find that you’re frequently forgetting to eat, gravitating toward unhealthy foods, or struggling to stick with your exercise routine, making small changes can go a long way toward helping you get back on track. Try implementing one or two of these ideas at a time and see what feels good:

  • Eating more fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
  • Schedule short workout sessions that you enjoy (yoga, anyone?)
  • Go to bed 30 minutes earlier
  • Try a guided meditation before bed to de-stress
  • Take a walk or do something for yourself first thing in the morning
  • Spend 10 minutes journaling daily

Sometimes adjusting more than one area of your life can feel like too much. Remember, making even one change at a time can have a significant impact on your health.

Caregiver Burnout Sign #3: Loss of Interest in Hobbies and Passions

The person you’re caring for may be your most important priority right now, but they shouldn’t consume your entire life. But not having interest in doing anything, even starting a new TV show, is common among full-time family caregivers. It’s hard to maintain the physical and emotional energy you once had for your favorite activities.

What You Can Do

Just like getting your health back on track, maintaining your passions may come in baby steps, and they may change over time.

Start by thinking about or writing down what you loved or made you happy about your hobbies. Do those thoughts still bring you joy or make you want to participate? If so, find a way to adjust your current lifestyle to make time for it, even if it’s less than what you used to do, or requires some accommodations from others to make it happen.

However, if you find that thinking of those activities no longer spark joy or make you tired just thinking about them, consider setting those aside for the time being and focusing on new activities that energize you. This could be as simple as calling an old friend or close family member once a week, or rereading a favorite book.

Caregiver Burnout Sign #4: Irregular Habits

Doing your best to stick to a regular schedule is a must when it comes to avoiding caregiver burnout and keeping yourself healthy. Although it isn’t uncommon for caregivers to skip meals, fall behind on household chores, and get far too little sleep, your body and home still need regular attention in order to maintain a sense of balance in your life.

What You Can Do

Start by being intentional about your eating and sleeping routines, which are the most important when it comes to boosting your overall health, and gradually add in other healthy habits around your caregiving responsibilities. Having a regular schedule to maintain your own health and wellness could make a big difference in your overall physical and mental wellbeing.

At Nye Health Services, we stress the importance of maintaining a balance between caregiving responsibilities and the rest of your life in order to minimize burnout and be the most effective caregiver you can be. Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer, including respite care and home health care, to help you and your loved one stay healthy.

It’s Officially Fall Time, But Don’t Fall!

It’s Officially Fall Time, But Don’t Fall!

The fear of falling can keep older adults from being active and enjoying life. The good news is that you can prevent many falls by making minor adjustments to your home and taking care of your health.

Here are Kathy’s Top Fall Prevention Tips:

  1. Make an appointment with your doctor to review:
    • What medications are you taking? Make a list of your prescription and over-the-counter medications.
    • Have you fallen before? Write down the details, including when, where and how you fell.
    • Could your health conditions cause a fall? Let your doctor know if you feel it is more difficult to keep your balance or if you feel weak.
  2. Keep moving
    • Physical activity can go a long way toward fall prevention. Walking, water exercise, chair yoga are good choices. Such activities reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
  3. Wear sensible shoes
    • Consider changing your footwear as part of your fall-prevention plan. High heels, floppy slippers and shoes with slick soles can make you slip, stumble and fall. Walking in stocking feet poses an increased risk to your safety.
  4. Remove home hazards
    • Take a look around your home. Your living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, hallways and stairways may be filled with potenital danger. Keep your floor clutter free.
  5. Light up your living space
    • Keep your home brightly lit to avoid tripping on objects that are hard to see.
  6. Use assistive devices
    • Your doctor might recommend using a cane or walker to keep you steady. Other assistive devices can help, too.
    • If necessary, ask your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist. He or she can help you brainstorm other fall-prevention strategies.

If someone you love could benefit from these tips, click here to download this sheet and print it off for your loved one.

For more ideas on how to make the home safer learn more about our Nye Home Health Care Services, click here.

Senior Independent Living Bridges the Gap Between Private Home Ownership and Assisted Living

Senior Independent Living Bridges the Gap Between Private Home Ownership and Assisted Living

If you’ve found yourself becoming frustrated with the challenges of maintaining your home lately then senior independent living may be an attractive option that can make your life a little easier. This type of living situation was designed while keeping the needs of older adults in mind and allowing them to live as independently as they want.


What Is Independent Living?

Senior independent living is a type of housing arrangement that was designed for adults over age 55 that do not yet require the extra services of assisted living, but are interested in a simpler living situation than their current homes.

At Nye Health Services, we offer private independent living residences in a variety of layouts that eliminate many of the challenges that you may be struggling with in your current home, such as yard work and other types of maintenance.


Benefits of Independent Living

Choosing Nye’s independent living residence allows you to be as independent as you want by bridging the gap between living in your current home and moving into an assisted living community. You can continue to live your current lifestyle in a private living space with a few perks to make your life easier, such as having a bit of extra help available whenever you need it and eliminating the burden of owning your own home.

Although continuing to live a mostly independent life for as long as you are able to is the main goal of many of our residents, we also offer a variety of extra services to eliminate many of the challenges of everyday living. Our team covers any repairs you may need, as well as every aspect of interior and exterior maintenance. We are also here to assist you with laundry, housekeeping, medication administration, and transportation if you need a little extra help. 

Continuing to live in a private living space is important to our residents, but we also offer a variety of social activities to help you build friendships with the other members of our community. Each of our campuses offer unique amenities that make it easy to safely spend time with other people, such as our coffee shop, ice cream shop, fitness facilities, small social distancing group exercise classes as well as social and recreational programs.

While current public health regulations are in effect that impact visitations to the surrounding restaurants, movie theaters, places to shop, and various outdoor recreational activities, each campus will be offering other unique sources of entertainment on-site.

Your health and safety are top priorities at Nye’s independent living communities. Each resident is equipped with an emergency call system that connects you to our nursing team at any time of day or night, and our secure building is staffed 24/7. We offer transportation to appointments and have certain types of in-home care available onsite if you need it, and we are paying close attention to local guidelines in order to keep our current activities and community spaces as safe as possible. 


Key Benefits Takeaway:

  • Residents can live their life privately and independently, without any of the burdens of home ownership
  • Independent living allows for the choice to receive as much or as little care desired
  • Each participating Nye community offers a wide variety of onsite amenities, activities and recreational programs
  • Every resident is equipped with an emergency call system that instantly connects with onsite nursing staff

Cost of Independent Living

The average cost of independent living varies depending on the state you live in, the amenities your residence offers, and the level of care you need.

It is important to look beyond the sticker price to make sure that the independent living community you are interested in offers everything you need, as a low cost option may not reflect the level of care that may be required.

Choosing independent living also means that many of the other expenses you are already paying for are covered, such as maintenance, meals, and medical care, which can make the residence you choose more affordable.

If you’re interested in choosing a new place to live that eliminates many of the challenges of your current home without sacrificing your lifestyle, look no further than Nye Health Services’s senior independent living options. Our caring staff members are always available to support you as much or as little as you want, and we offer the perfect combination of privacy and community activities.

Read our FAQs to learn more about whether independent living may be right for you or contact us today to speak with our team about what makes us a top choice among seniors in Nebraska and nearby states!


Key Costs Takeaway:

  • The cost of senior independent living depends on the state, amenities and level of care needed
  • Focus on the care that is needed first, then see what options fit within your budget
  • Nye community expenses are even more affordable when you consider the coverage of items that you’re already paying for such as meals, maintenance and medical care
  • Contact a Nye independent living representative to see what housing options are available in your area
How Can I Make Senior Care More Affordable?

How Can I Make Senior Care More Affordable?

Whether you’re looking for somewhere that can give a parent the 24 hour care they need, or considering a wonderful retirement community yourself, you’re likely searching for ways you can make future senior care options more affordable. At Nye Health Services, we are here to help. Once you consider the costs of home ownership, meals, health care and transportation, you might be surprised at how affordable our communities really are.

Whether you’re ready to move into an assisted living community or are interested in a bit of extra help while continuing to live in your home, we will work with you to help you find funds from a variety of sources. Here are some answers to the most common questions we receive about paying for various types of senior care, as well as tips for making your senior years more affordable!


How Much Does Senior Care Cost?

The average cost of senior care can vary significantly depending on where you live and the level of care that you need. In 2017, the national median cost of living in an assisted living community was approximately $45.000 per year, but many states have a much higher or lower average.

If you require a higher level of care, you can expect an average cost of $4,290 per month for in-home care and $8,517 for residential skilled nursing services. Again, these national averages vary depending on the state you live in. Although approximately 90 percent of senior care is covered through private pay, you have a variety of options for making your senior years more affordable.


Private Options for Making Senior Care More Affordable

Many seniors have a variety of types of insurance and other private funding available that can be applied to assisted living or in-home care.


Life Insurance

Your life insurance policy can help you cover the cost of senior care in a couple of ways. Although you won’t receive the full face value of your policy to put toward senior care, cashing it in is one of your first options for finding money to fund your senior care. You can also convert your policy into a deferred annuity, which allows money from your policy to be paid directly to your assisted living community or in-home care provider each month.


Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance

LTC insurance policies generally have benefits that range from $50-300 per day. These funds can be used to supplement other sources to offset your total cost of senior care.


Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage allows you to obtain cash from the partial value of your home. This can be a particularly attractive option if you would benefit from in-home care services but aren’t quite ready to move into an assisted living community, as it does not require you to sell your home before receiving benefits.

This type of loan is usually not taxed, but you will need to pay interest on it. You should also be aware that the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) is the only type of reverse mortgage that is federally insured and that choosing this option means that leaving your home to your children usually will not be possible.


Bridge Loans

A bridge loan gives you the option of quickly moving into a senior living community even if you aren’t able to sell your home or other assets immediately. Although each bank handles bridge loans differently, you will generally need to make a down payment in order to obtain benefits up front. You (or your family members) will then make monthly payments as needed until your assets sell, at which time you will pay the full lump sum.


Public Options for Making Senior Care More Affordable

Although public options usually do not provide as much money to work with as private choices, the following sources may be available to you if private funding options do not meet your needs.


Veterans’ Benefits

Many wartime veterans and their spouses qualify for the VA Aid & Attendance Benefit, which is a monthly payment in addition to your pension that can be applied to senior care.



You won’t be able to use Medicare funds to cover the cost of moving into an assisted living community, but they can be applied to up to 100 days of temporary care following an illness or injury.

It’s important to note that Medicare will not cover assisted or traditional long-term skilled nursing care, but it can be applied to a short-term skilled rehabilitation stay when qualifications are met. For more information, you may visit the official Medicare & Medicaid services website.



Medicaid funds can be applied to senior care in some states. Although it is unlikely to be your best option, it is worth looking into if you have no significant assets or income to use.


How Can I Learn More About the Best Options for Me?

At Nye Health Services, we are here to help make your transition to senior living as smooth as possible. We are a top choice among seniors throughout Nebraska and surrounding states, and we work closely with each individual to create a senior care plan that best meets their unique needs. Contact us today to talk with one of our senior care experts about how we can make your future assisted living options more affordable or to learn more about our campuses!