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Choose Outpatient Therapy to Recover While Living at Home

Choose Outpatient Therapy to Recover While Living at Home

Outpatient therapy is an alternative to hospitalization or other residential treatment for many seniors with certain types of injuries or other medical incidents. If your injury is mild to moderate and doesn’t significantly impair your daily routine, Nye Health Services’s outpatient therapy program may be an excellent choice for healing your injury and regaining your flexibility and mobility while living at home. The cost, convenience, and other advantages of our outpatient therapy program make us a favorite among patients across Nebraska!

 

Advantages of Choosing Outpatient Therapy

Being injured doesn’t have to mean being stuck in the hospital. There are several outpatient therapy advantages that make attending regular physical therapy appointments and going home at the end of the day an attractive option for many seniors!

Recover in the Familiarity of Your Home

Outpatient therapy allows you to recover from the comfort of your own home. Enjoying your own bed, familiar food, favorite activities, and other comforts of home can improve your mood and outlook on your health throughout your recovery process, as can being surrounded by your family, friends, and pets. If you need a little extra assistance adapting your lifestyle to fit your needs, especially during the first week after your injury, our home care services can help you regain your independence at home.

Outpatient Therapy is a Cost-Effective Option

Hospital stays can come with a hefty price tag. Spending just three days in the hospital can cost around $30,000, and most mild to moderate injuries do not require the round-the-clock care of long term hospitalization. Outpatient therapy is a much more affordable alternative that can help you recover without breaking the bank. Even patients with good health insurance can save thousands of dollars by choosing outpatient therapy.

Maintain Your Progress

Once you’ve started to make progress, be sure to keep putting in the effort so that you don’t lose it! Continue following your physical therapist’s recommendations even after you start to feel better in order to keep building muscle and decrease your risk of future injuries.

Physical therapy serves a variety of purposes. It is designed to help you manage pain while improving your strength, balance, mobility, and flexibility. Muscles that are not used frequently after an injury can atrophy, or lose strength and flexibility, which can make managing at home more difficult even after your injury has healed.

Your individual physical therapy treatment plan will vary depending on the type and severity of your injury. Attending physical therapy and doing recommended at-home exercises regularly help your injury heal and keep your body strong and functioning properly so that you can continue enjoying the things you love.

 

What Should I Know Before Starting Outpatient Therapy?

We are always here to answer any questions you have before starting outpatient therapy! We create individualized treatment plans for each of our patients, and we accept a variety of types of insurance to minimize your out-of-pocket outpatient therapy cost.

Obtain Your Doctor’s Permission

We require the approval of each patient’s physician before starting physical therapy. However, all you’ll need to do is contact Nye Health Services, and we’ll assist you in coordinating this. You’re always welcome to visit our therapy gym and meet with our rehabilitation team members before committing to treatment, and we’ll work with you to set up a therapy plan that meets your needs.

Medicare Federal Coverage

Outpatient therapy is an excellent option for patients that use Medicare. Medicare Part B covers a wide variety of types of outpatient therapy, such as physical therapy, speech-language pathology, and occupational therapy. As of 2020, up to $2,080 will be covered before your healthcare provider indicates that your physical therapy is medically necessary. At that time, 80 percent of your treatment will be covered.

Medicaid State Coverage

Medicaid coverage varies more than Medicare coverage, but most patients that use Medicaid will find that physical therapy is partially or fully covered. Keep in mind that your specific coverage depends on the state you live in and the rehabilitation provider you select.

At Nye Health Services, we prioritize helping seniors choose the best type of treatment available after an injury. Our outpatient therapy program is a top choice among patients throughout Nebraska and surrounding areas that want to maintain the independence of living at home while recovering from a mild to moderate injury. Contact us today to learn more about our outpatient therapy services or to schedule an appointment! 

Improve Your Health By Boosting Your Immune System

Improve Your Health By Boosting Your Immune System

As a senior citizen, your body’s needs and abilities are different than they used to be. Your immune system is probably not as strong as it once was, and the types of exercise that best benefit you are changing. For this reason, immunity care is more important than ever. At Nye Health Services, we offer a variety of services that are designed to address these challenges to boost your immune system and meet the unique health needs of seniors.

How Does Aging Affect My Immune System?

Aging can have a variety of effects on your immune system. Fortunately, seeing a physician who specializes in senior immunity care and other health issues can help you manage the effects of aging on your body.

What We Know About Aging and Your Immune System

Aging can significantly impact your body’s ability to fight off illnesses, which means that you are probably more vulnerable to colds, the flu, and other health problems than you used to be. If you are over age 65, you are more likely to both contract infectious diseases and experience more severe complications than younger adults. Seniors typically get influenza and pneumonia, as well as COVID-19, more easily and have a more difficult time recovering from them than younger people.

Be Cautious When Selecting Products

Although there are many supplements and other health products marketed toward seniors, it is important to take their claims with a grain of salt. Not all of these products are supported by science, and even what we do know to be scientifically true is constantly changing, which can lead to confusion. Although some supplements may benefit you, nothing beats the simple personal effort of eating well and exercising regularly.

What Can I Do About These Effects?

Although aging can have a significant impact on your immune system, there are several steps you can take to increase the quality of your life by increasing your body’s ability to fight off illnesses.

Exercise to Boost Your Immune System

Exercising regularly is one of the most important things you can do to improve your immune system and increase your overall health. Physical activity has a wide variety of benefits for seniors, including reducing stress, decreasing your risk for heart disease, increasing your bone and muscle strength, and giving you more energy to complete day-to-day tasks more effectively. By helping to remove bacteria from your lungs and airways and improving your antibody and white blood cell levels, exercise can also lower your vulnerability to colds, the flu, and other illnesses.

Although exercise is important, seniors need to be careful not to overdo it. Your body is more vulnerable to injuries than it used to be, and running, contact sports, and similar types of exercise should be replaced with less strenuous choices. Walking or biking around the neighborhood, playing golf, pickleball, or tennis, and taking aquatic therapy or other senior exercise classes are lower-impact options that still benefit your body.

Consistency is Key to Improving Your Immune System

Consistently taking care of your body is just as important as exercising as far as improving your immune system. Taking vitamins that are specifically designed to meet seniors’ needs and eating nutritious food regularly help your body get the nutrients it needs to resist illnesses and injuries, and regular check-ups can help you identify potential health issues before they become bigger problems.

At Nye Health Services, we are proud to meet the unique needs of your senior years and help you learn to take an active role in managing your health as you age. We are always here to answer any questions you may have and help you make adjustments to your lifestyle to accommodate your changing immune system and other health needs. Currently, we have one location in Wyoming and have several locations throughout Nebraska. Contact us today to learn more about the senior health services we offer or to schedule an appointment!

Technology Affords Seniors New Opportunities to Connect, Learn, And Have Fun

Technology Affords Seniors New Opportunities to Connect, Learn, And Have Fun

Seniors using technology

There are many unanswered questions about COVID19. One thing is certain: seniors are among those most at risk.

In these uncertain times, loved ones may be reluctant or unable to visit senior family members. (For the latest on COVID-19 and its effects on our services, find our most recent update here.)

While this hesitancy comes from a place of love and concern, seniors should not resign themselves to several uneventful and boring months without visitors.

Instead, use this time to adapt. Learn how to connect with family members online. Take advantage of technology to continue learning, growing, and living a full life.

Here are some ways to foster connection, pick up new skills, and have a bit of fun, too.

CONNECT

Fewer in-person visits mean fewer in-person visits, not an end to socializing altogether. With a little creativity and effort, seniors can easily take advantage of online platforms and video chat to stay in touch with family and friends. Some of the easiest to use are FaceTime and Zoom.

FaceTime

Thanks to FaceTime, there are more seniors connecting online than ever before. To get started, most iPhones and iPads come with the FaceTime app pre-installed. Search for the green icon with a camera. Once you have FaceTime up and running, type the name, phone number, or email address of your desired contact in the search box at the top. When you see the name of the person you are trying to reach, simply tap the phone icon on the far right of the screen and wait until you hear a dial tone. Click here for a YouTube tutorial.

Zoom

Zoom is another, easy-to-use platform that can be used on any device, including desktop and laptop computers and android phones. For a quick run-down of the basics of using Zoom, watch this YouTube tutorial.

A Few Words On Personal Safety

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 75% say technologies like a PERS device and medication management apps make them feel more confident about their safety well into old age.

A Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) is another important example of seniors using technology to improve the quality of their lives. A PERS device, GPS locator, or mobile application alerts medical services in the event of an emergency, Caregiverstress.com writes.

Medication management apps remind seniors when to take prescriptions and when to refill them. Ask your doctor about RxmindMe or Personal Caregiver.

LEARN

How are seniors using technology? One of the most common uses of the Internet among Americans 65 and up is to learn.

Seniors are using Google and YouTube to learn more about their favorite subjects and hobbies, like knitting, painting, restoring classic cars, sculpting, and dancing. For more in-depth instruction, seniors can turn to websites like masterclass.com or udemy.com for expert instruction and complete online courses. Masterclass enlists a whole host of professionals, often famous ones. Learn acting from Samuel L. Jackson or cooking from Gordon Ramsay. Udemy is great for practical skills, like speed reading, positivity psychology, and memory.

HAVE FUN!

Some overlook the best technology benefits for seniors: entertainment and fun. Here are just a few ways seniors can use the Internet and technology to simply have a good time.

Exercise

Workout safely while at home with these fun and straightforward YouTube videos. Videos include anything from seated exercises for seniors with limited mobility to lively, senior-friendly Zumba.

Play Video Games

The Nintendo Wii offers several engaging ways for seniors to work up a sweat and have fun while doing it. Nintendo’s Wii Sports and Wii Fit enable seniors to simulate playing golf,  bowling, or tennis.

Seniors can also visit the app store and search for their favorite classic games, like Tetris, Solitaire, and Dominos.

Enjoy Classic Films

Finally, there are several platforms you can use to watch some of your favorite classic films. Search Amazon Prime and Netflix for Gone With The Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and It’s A Wonderful Life. Use Disney+ to watch favorites like Pinocchio, Dumbo, and Bambi.

Stay connected and happy while the nation navigates the global pandemic. NYE Health Services encourages seniors to video chat with friends and family, learn new skills and/or brush up on old ones, and make a point of having some fun. Contact us to learn more about the services we have to offer!

Supporting a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: 7 Common Mistakes

Supporting a Loved One with Alzheimer’s: 7 Common Mistakes

Let’s be honest. Supporting a Loved One with Alzheimer’s can be tough, frustrating, overwhelming, depressing, and even painful.

With over 5.5 billion people of all ages living with this condition in the United States, billions of caregivers need advice on how to provide Alzheimer’s support. The pressure to take good care of a loved one coupled with feeling terrible about their condition can cause severe stress.

When you start caring for a person impacted by Alzheimer’s, mistakes may seem unavoidable. Let’s talk about a few errors you should try to sidestep whenever possible.

1. Getting into Arguments

Arguing with someone who has Alzheimer’s is useless. What can you achieve by trying to prove your point? If the person is convinced that you haven’t given them breakfast, whatever you say can’t make them less hungry.

Eventually, you’ll just ruin your mood and make your loved one upset. Try to put your best agreeable act on. Many caregivers adopt the “client is always right” strategy. If you avoid the argument and make the person happy, you both win. How hard is it to make another snack, anyway?

2. Asking “Do You Remember?”

Most likely, they don’t. Memory loss is one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s.  Your loved one is likely to be terribly upset over memory problems. By asking “Do you remember?”, you won’t achieve anything productive.

Assuming a person doesn’t remember is the smartest way to act. It’s much easier to say: “oh, I forgot we already talked about it” when they catch you repeating stuff than hurt their feelings by focusing on memory issues. 

3. Not Taking Care of Yourself

Caregiving can take a serious toll on your physical and mental health. It’s important to take good care of yourself every day.

Your health problems can negatively affect the entire family, especially the person who relies on you the most. Do your best to stay in good shape.

4. Forgetting to Laugh

Those who are effected by Alzheimer’s often feel depressed. Their life may seem tough and hopeless. As a caregiver, you can improve the situation tremendously simply by laughing every once in a while.

A bright mood can work wonders for both of you. According to Mayo Clinic, laughter is an excellent stress reliever and an immune system booster.

5. Thinking You Should Never Get Upset

Even though you are healthy and don’t have Alzheimer’s, you are still human. Taking care of an Alzheimer’s sufferer is tough. It’s ok to get upset.

Vent your feelings to a friend. Reward yourself. Accept that being upset is normal. Bottling up your emotions won’t help anyone. Eventually, suppressed feelings may turn into health problems.

6. Avoiding Exercise

Exercising isn’t just an excellent way to stay healthy. It’s an effective stress reliever. Even if you feel tired every day, find time to give your body what it needs. Exercising is an opportunity to pamper yourself and keep your mind worry-free.

7. Preventing Self-Sufficient Behavior

Dignity is highly important to someone with Alzheimer’s. They may seem fragile, vulnerable,  and child-like, but they are adults. By trying to block self-sufficient behavior, you could make your loved one feel terrible. Allow them to be as autonomous as possible unless their actions are a safety threat. 

Giving Top-Notch Care While Keeping Your Sanity

Supporting a Loved One with Alzheimer’s can be difficult. By avoiding the above mistakes, you can make life easier for both of you.

If you need assistance with caring for your loved one, please contact us at any convenient time.

A Guide to Providing Care for High-Risk COVID-19 Individuals

A Guide to Providing Care for High-Risk COVID-19 Individuals

Household members, intimate partners, and caregivers of individuals who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19 must take certain precautions. If you or somebody you know is a caregiver in a non-healthcare setting, this information could be crucial to your health and safety. Which is why we have created a guide to providing care for high-risk COVID-19 individuals.

These guidelines are intended to help caregivers mitigate the likelihood of the person who is receiving care as well as themselves from falling ill.

Close Contact Recommendations

Before delving into close contact recommendations, it’s important to define “close contact.” The CDC defines close contact as

  • Being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time OR
    • Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case
  • Having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on)

Maintain Distance and Minimize Visitors

Those caring for high-risk individuals should prohibit non-essential visitors in the home. This decreases the risk of transmission. COVID-19 caregivers should also maintain considerable distance between themselves, the person who is receiving care and loved ones.

That means that using separate bedrooms and bathrooms is ideal if at all possible. In most cases, these practices are reserved for individuals who already have COVID-19; additional distancing measures are necessary for high-risk individuals.

Stay Home

It isn’t only visitors that should be minimized, either. Help the individual maintain their own distance from the world outside. If possible, they should not leave their residency at all. They may go out to receive essentials if necessary.

Another option involves a little Googling, but alleviates the stress of heading out to make purchases. The person in need of care and their caregivers can (and should) explore local delivery and pickup services available from grocery stores and pharmacies.

Don’t Share Household Items; Be Consistent With Cleaning

COVID-19 caregivers should avoid sharing household items with the person who is being cared for. This means that you need to wash items like these thoroughly after anyone uses them:

  • Dishes
  • Drinking glasses and cups
  • Utensils
  • Towels
  • Bedding
  • Etc.

It’s also crucial that you clean the surfaces in your home diligently. High-touch surfaces, especially, require consistent cleaning. Some examples of these include door knobs, light switches, faucets and handles, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables

Laundry poses another potential risk in an already sensitive situation. All laundry should be washed thoroughly– and if an item has bodily fluids on it, it needs to be done promptly. Wear gloves while handling your laundry and use standard wash cycles for all clothing.

Go the Extra Distance

It’s important to ensure that the at-risk individual receives high-quality nutrition and daily care. Those with caring for individuals with certain pre-existing conditions should also take extra care. Some of these include:

  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory illness
    • Asthma, etc.
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension
  • Etc.

Face masks– For You and the Individual

THE PERSON RECEIVING CARE MUST WEAR A FACE MASK unless he or she is rendered incapable due to breathing purposes. If this is the case, the caregiver needs to wear a face mask. N95 respirators are ideal, but not always available. Work within the constraints of limited supply.

Face masks must be worn when handling bodily fluids and increments. Blood, stool, saliva, sputum, nasal mucus, vomit, and urine all necessitate the use of a face mask. The face mask should be disposed of immediately after use.

Hand Use and Hygiene

It’s important for you AND the person who is in need of care to minimize hand use and perfect the practice of frequent hand hygiene. You don’t need to use hand sanitizer– twenty seconds of scrubbing with soap under warm water does the trick.

You should also avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

If You Must Share, Be Aware

Sometimes, it’s not possible for us to fully isolate from one another in our own homes. It’s crucial to maintain good airflow in the area. An air conditioner or open window can do wonders to help circulate air.

When disposable gloves, face masks, and other contaminated items must be thrown away, it’s important to dispose of them properly. Place them in a lined container before disposing with other household waste.

Trust in the Correct Sources

For further questions, reach out to your local health department or healthcare providers and visit the CDC website. Or, if you’d like to learn more about NYE Health Services, you can contact us today for further details. If you enjoyed reading our guide to providing care for high-risk COVID-19 individuals, check out our other posts and guides here.

Senior Nutrition Habits: Fact Versus Fiction

Senior Nutrition Habits: Fact Versus Fiction

You might joke that your body ages like a fine wine– everything is perfectly balanced and nuanced after years of maturation and now it’s a perfect vintage. However, what worked for your body and nutrition when you were younger might not be as effective as you age. You may also be holding false information about senior nutrition facts that could lead to critical misinformation. Here we’ll look at some of the top nutrition myths related to senior nutrition, and also provide senior nutrition facts to keep your body healthy.

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