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7 Tips for Discussing Assisted Living with your Parents

7 Tips for Discussing Assisted Living with your Parents

Bringing up the idea that it may be time to consider assisted living to your parents may not be easy for you and your family. However, we’ve provided a list of ways to approach these conversations that can help make them more meaningful and productive.


Research Senior Care Options

In order to focus your research on locations that will best meet your parents’ needs, think about their current health and level of independence in order to determine whether assisted or independent living is most appropriate. Assisted living communities provide more consistent care and access to staff, while independent living simply eliminates the responsibilities of homeownership and will more closely resemble your parents’ current lifestyle. In addition, many communities offer specialized healthcare services, such as: 

  • physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • memory care
  • medication administration
  • personal care assistance
  • other specialized services that are tailored to meet individual needs


Involve Your Parent(s)

Involving your parents in your decision-making process shows them that their happiness during retirement is important to you. Be sure to ask them for their perspective and take their input to heart regarding:

  • how they feel about their health
  • what type of care they need
  • which community they prefer
  • what they would like to do with their home
  • what to do if they or their spouse experience sudden, serious health issues

 

Use Positive Phrasing and Tone

Using the right terminology can go a long way toward helping your parents develop a positive outlook on leaving their current home. “Assisted living facility” and similar phrasing can be off-putting, and Nye’s retirement communities prioritize creating a happy place for your parents to spend their senior years that is filled with amenities, fun things to do, and meaningful relationships with others in the community.

Although this discussion can be challenging for many families, using a respectable tone and setting up your conversation for two-way dialogue that respects your parents’ thoughts can help you peacefully and productively talk through the delicate decisions you need to make.

 

Consider Finances

Finances are a common concern among families considering assisted living options, but there are many ways to make assisted living more affordable. Begin by talking with your parents about their financial situation and what they have saved for retirement, as well as with one of our Senior Living Advisors to learn more about the costs of each retirement option you are considering. 

 

Involve Your Siblings and Loved Ones

Although you may feel tempted to make a decision yourself, it is usually best to involve your siblings and loved ones in the decision-making process. This approach helps to assure your parents that the people they care about want what’s best for them and are working together to find the best assisted living option available. Presenting unity and moral support throughout the process can make a significant difference in easing the transition to senior living for your parents. 

 

Explore and Tour Communities

Visiting the communities you are interested in is a must before making a final decision. If possible, tour communities with your parents and siblings in order to be sure that everyone is on the same page. Remember to focus on communities that offer a variety of options for specialized care that your parents may need, as well as the necessary amenities. You should also consider the travel distance from where the community is relative to family and friends in the area for future get-togethers and special events. 

 

Involve Your Parent’s Doctor

Although you won’t automatically have access to your parents’ health information because of HIPAA laws, which protect patients’ confidentiality, a parent can recommend that you and your siblings have access to this information in order to help them make decisions. Discussing your parents’ health and any concerns you may have with their doctor and asking for his or her recommendations is an important step in making an informed decision regarding assisted living.  

At Nye Health Services, our retirement communities provide amenities and services that will give your parents a safe and enjoyable place to spend their senior years. While we know that conversations about assisted living are rarely easy, we hope that taking advantage of these suggestions will make your family’s discussions less difficult.

Feel free to contact us to learn more about how choosing one of our retirement communities can be the perfect match for your family or to schedule a tour of any of our locations!

Caring for Your Aging Parents While Supporting Your Children – 5 Tips for the “Sandwich Generation”

Caring for Your Aging Parents While Supporting Your Children – 5 Tips for the “Sandwich Generation”

Are you taking care of your aging parents and your growing children at the same time? You are the ham, turkey, or even the cheese that’s in the middle of what’s known as sandwich generation. It’s not always an easy place to be. Everyone needs your attention — sometimes at the same time — and you can easily burn out if you’re not careful.

Here are five tips to help you make this time in your life a little easier:

Plan ahead

Your parents didn’t just age overnight and if they aren’t at the point where they will need you as their caretaker, they might soon. Start thinking about what you need to know to make the transition easier for all of you. Do you know what your parents’ wishes are for when they need help? Do you have a good understanding of their medical conditions? Do you know where all of their financial records are and where they want to live?

If you have siblings, who will help and what will they do? Planning as much as you can ahead of time will help prevent undue conflicts and stress when the time comes.

Talk it out

You might have had the important conversation with your parents and siblings, but what about talking to your boss? Something might come up with your parents or children while you’re at work, so let your boss in on what’s going on. Perhaps you can work from home occasionally to catch up on work when things get hectic or take some of the commute pressure off of you.

Depending on your child’s age, have a heart-to-heart with him or her too. If you’re raising a teenager, they can pitch in and help around the house while you are with your parents. The last thing you need is to come home to a messy home after working all day and then checking in on mom or dad. Talk to them about carrying some of the weight. In turn, make sure you spend some quality time with them when you can, even if it’s something as simple as ordering take out and watching a Netflix movie at home.

Reduce stress

Speaking of stress, caregiver burnout is real. It is defined as a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able, physically or financially. Make sure you that you take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. “It’s okay to take a break,” said Kathy Kirby, Executive Director of Nye Home Health Care. “If you’re feeling overwhelmed, ask your siblings to take over or see if a babysitter can watch your children for a few hours while you nap. You’re not going to be any good to your parents or your children if you burn out.”

If you need more than occasional relief, enlist professional services for your parents before there is a crisis. It can make any transitions easier.

Get some help

In addition to siblings and babysitters there are caregiver resources that you can tap into when you need some additional help. For example, AARP has a family caregiving checklist at www.aarp.org/caregiving where you can get legal checklists, care options and tap into an online community.

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, memory care, and now home care services. 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 Nye Health Services for more information.

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Legends of Legacy Lodge: Beverly Hofmann, A Woman of Creativity and Courage

Legends of Legacy Lodge: Beverly Hofmann, A Woman of Creativity and Courage

What do you do if you have a good life in Illinois but feel the call of mountains? You get in your car and head west to Jackson, Wyoming. That is what Bev Hofmann did in 1973.

She had been here with her parents when she was five years old and remembered not only the mountains, but also things like someone playing a calliope outside the doors of the Pink Garter Theater on Deloney street. and bears raiding the garbage cans outside their cabin in Yellowstone.

The first day after her arrival in 1973, because of her typing ability, she found a job at the Jackson Hole Guide, where she worked as a typesetter for three years before moving on to other work at the Alpenhoff and the Aspens. In the late 70’s, she moved to a job at the Valley Shop in Jackson, an office supply store. Also, in the 1970’s, she started doing needlepoint and started her own business, Beverly Designs.

Like most artists, she needed other work, as well. In 1981, she met a woman who worked in medical records at the hospital and Bev decided that job would be a good match for her. She was right—she worked in medical records for 30 years and for the last 6 years before she retired, she worked as a Revenue Cycle Coordinator for the hospital. She also continued her design business.

In 1990, artists were sought to design and make needlepoint chair covers for dining chairs in the Wyoming Governor’s Mansion. 24 chairs were commissioned in total, one chair for each county in Wyoming. Bev designed the Sublette county chair, because there was no one from Sublette county to do it. It wasn’t a quick task—it took her a year to complete it. 

Bev has sold an original design to a catalog company and continues creating them, but needlepoint design isn’t her only creative activity. She has managed craft shows, created amazing mod-podge items, bead work, jewelry, and more. She has worked with copper netting, plastic canvas, and ribbons.

Lucky us to have her in our midst!

 

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Legacy Lodge Legend: Grace Merritt

Legacy Lodge Legend: Grace Merritt

Once upon a time, not too many years ago, there lived three sisters in eastern Wyoming. The youngest of these, a pretty and bright little girl, was 22 months old when the three sisters were adopted by a western Wyoming couple who lived near Afton. The couple was happy to have these little girls and after a few years, had four more daughters born to them, so there were seven sisters in the family. The young 22-month-old toddler grew up to be our neighbor here at Legacy, Grace Merritt.

Grace liked living on the farm in Star Valley where she grew up and where her mother was a school teacher. She also liked seeing things grow and appreciated the family’s big garden. Grace liked books and read almost anything she could get. She fondly remembers reading while lying outdoors in the grass. She still likes to read and always has books near at hand in her apartment. A farm is a busy place and Grace learned to work early in her life. Each of the family’s daughters had many tasks (such as feeding calves, pigs or chickens) and were assigned to prepare some of the family’s meals.

Grace met LaMar, the man who became her husband, at a roller-skating rink. He had just come home from his stint in the Army. They married in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple when she was still a teenager. She finished high school after their marriage. Later, she and her husband bought a farm near Bedford where they had around 35 dairy cows that had to be milked, both morning and night. They also raised wheat, barley, and alfalfa on the farm.

Tragedy came into their lives when Grace was still a young wife and mother—her husband was run over by his tractor. The large rear wheel rolled over much of his lower left body. There was no one in Afton who could do anything, but his life depended on receiving help rapidly. With Grace and two others alternating driving and trying to care for her husband, they made the trip to Idaho Falls, over 90 miles away, via a graveled road in 68 minutes. He survived and lived for many more years.

Back on the farm, Grace did all the farming for a time while her mother and mother-in-law helped with the home and children. Later, Grace worked at a creamery which was popular not only for cheese, but also for the pies people could buy there. One of her jobs was to make the pies, often 100 of them a day, which everyone liked a lot.

Grace and her husband had five children. Three of them live in Star Valley and two are in Logan, Utah.

I’m sure we all appreciate Grace’s creativeness—not everyone could make a tin can man, fashion a woman’s head from a bowling alley pin, or create some of the other wonderful arrangements outside her apartment.

  • Written by Jeanie Mebane

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Keeping an Active Social Life as we Age: The Hidden Benefit of Senior Housing

Keeping an Active Social Life as we Age: The Hidden Benefit of Senior Housing

At first, 70-year-old Patricia shunned the idea of moving out of the comfortable home she’d lived in for decades into a senior housing apartment. Her daughter Anne tried to change her mind, explaining that the home was too big — and too expensive — to take care of herself anymore. She also gently told her mother that she didn’t have much of an active social life. Living alone watching television was not the way that Anne wanted her mother to enjoy her well-earned golden years.

After thinking about the conversation with Anne for some time, Patricia finally agreed to make the move to senior housing. A few weeks after her mother settled in, Anne visited and was pleasantly surprised to see how much her mom changed for the better. Patricia, who considered herself a loner, was playing cards with new friends, seeing a show, and enjoying the weekly dancing lessons.

Senior housing should offer a full range of organized social and recreational events and wellness programs. And your loved one should not be limited to staying at the facility or in their rooms. They should be able to venture out to such fun activities as golf, fishing, movie theaters, shopping and restaurants that are in close proximity.

Studies have shown that if seniors stay socially active, they are likely to live longer, which suggests that social engagement is a very important health factor for seniors.

As a result, this increased social activity typically leads to making new friends which, the Mayo Clinic said, also has its own benefits for seniors. These include increasing their sense of belonging and purpose, boosting happiness and reducing stress and improving self-confidence and self-worth. Seniors with strong social support can also reduce their risk of depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI).

Some seniors may find it hard to make new friends or might be reluctant to try something new. Moving into senior housing is moving to a new neighborhood where you might not know anyone and might end up fighting a bit of loneliness. Encourage your loved one to participate in one new activity and see how it goes. As in any new environment, once they take that first step, they will realize the benefits of the move and wonder why they didn’t do it sooner.

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, memory care, and now home care services. 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.

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6 Benefits of Aquatic Therapy for Older Patients

6 Benefits of Aquatic Therapy for Older Patients

At some point in our lives, we all need some physical therapy, particularly as we age. The older we get, the more brittle our bones, less flexible our muscles and more tenuous our balance becomes. In that case, the gentle, safe, restorative qualities of aquatic therapy can make all the difference between recovery and ongoing physical limitations and pain.

There are many benefits to employing water in a physical therapy regime. Let’s consider the big ones:

1. The Effects of Buoyancy

Because we are lighter in water than in air, standing in water places less strain on our bones, muscles and connective tissue. Standing in shoulder-level water reduces effective weight by 90%. The reduction in the force of gravity is particularly helpful to patients who struggle with weight-bearing activities, such as those with recent bone fractures, arthritis or excessive weight.

2. Increased Resistance

At the same time, water’s higher density provides more resistance to movement, allowing patients to build more strength and flexibility. Water provides natural and safe resistance, compared with free and pulleyed weights often used outside the water. The continuous exertion required for movement in water contributes to toning atrophied muscles by requiring the involvement of many more muscle fibers.

3. The Safety of Water

Patients unsteady on their feet cannot easily fall and get hurt in water. Those who do lose their footing can be easily righted, where their effective weight is a fraction of that on land. The psychological comfort of immersion in water boosts confidence and allows leery patients to enjoy their therapy.

Warm water reduces pain, improves flexibility and soothes muscles by increasing the blood supply and promoting relaxation. Aquatic therapy is usually performed in pools at 92-96 degrees, a temperature range perfect for patients with chronic back pain and muscle spasms. The heat dilates blood vessels, improving circulation and removing lactic acid – the source of soreness.

4. The Wonders of Hydrostatic Pressure

By exerting pressure in all directions against the body when immersed, and conforming to the shape of the body, water forces the heart and lungs to work harder. A short workout in water, though gentler and safer, can have the therapeutic value of a longer workout outside the water.

Hydrostatic pressure also provides water with a massaging quality, by compressing aching muscles to reduce spasms and relieve chronic pain.

5. Water Facilitates Good Form

Because of its higher resistance, water slows everything down and allows the brain time to better process muscular movement. Slower, more cognitively-involved movement helps facilitate good technique through a full range of motion. Slower exercises also protect joints from becoming injured.

6. Better Patient Compliance

Rehabbing in water is more fun than on land and less fraught with the perils of falling. Patients often look forward to aquatic therapy sessions and are willing to rehab for longer in water. This psychological element should not be discounted: a patient’s frame of mind is an important component of their progress

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, memory care, and now home care services. 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.

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