Chocies EmbassyMany people reach a point in their lives when they need help with their daily functions. Assisted living communities and skilled nursing facilities are excellent options for helping you or your loved one stay healthy and safe, but choosing between the two can be challenging.

At Embassy Healthcare, we know your health care needs are as unique as you are, so we take the time to help you choose the community best suited for your healthcare needs.

What is the difference between assisted living and skilled nursing?
It is a common misconception that assisted living and skilled nursing are the same. Let's take a look at the key features and services of both so you can have a head start on your conversation with our staff.

Assisted Living
If you have reached a point where you don't feel comfortable living alone, but you don't need full time care, assisted living may be right for you.

Assisted living gives you access to as much or as little care as you need. It allows you to be as independent as you can be, while providing excellent care in a home-like atmosphere.

Types of care provided:

  • Medication maintenance
  • Assistance with grooming, dressing, bathing, toileting, and/or eating
  • 24-hour aids on call to help with falls or minor injuries and provide safety

Key features include:

  • Private apartments or rooms, with your own furnishings and comforts
  • Communal living spaces
  • Planned recreational activities
  • Housekeeping and laundry services
  • Transportation assistance
  • Community meals
  • Exercise and wellness programs

Skilled Nursing
If you or a loved one has serious medical needs that require 24-hour care by healthcare professionals, but that does not require a hospital stay, skilled nursing may be your best option.

You may be on bed rest after surgery or an injury, have non-healing wounds, have an advanced condition, or have cognitive impairment. As a resident of one of our skilled nursing communities, you will have access to around-the-clock care from licensed or registered nursing staff.

Types of care provided:

  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Wound care
  • Diabetes care
  • Infusion treatments
  • Cancer care
  • Alzheimer's or dementia care
  • Heart disease treatment
  • Ostomy conditions
  • Short-term surgery convalescence
  • Bathing, grooming, toileting, and eating assistance

Key features include:

  • 24-hour licensed or registered nursing care
  • Single or double occupancy rooms
  • Secure areas for Alzheimer's and other dementia patients
  • Entertainment and wellness services

At Embassy Healthcare, we're here to help you and your family. Call us today at 888-975-1379 to set up a time to meet with us, discuss your needs, and tour our communities.

Family Visits EmbassyVisiting your loved one in assisted living is a wonderful thing. They will likely love every minute of your visit no matter what you do, but here are some tips to make the most of your time together and maximize the positive impact.

Tip #1. Treat your loved one and other residents with respect.
It can be easy to slip into a parenting-like role when visiting someone in an assisted living community. Speak to your loved one as an adult, and avoid condescension at all costs. Your loved one deserves your love and respect, regardless of their health status or living situation.

Also, be open to chatting with other residents. Many don't receive regular visitors, and they may be eager to speak with you. Sharing your time with can mean the world to someone who doesn't have many family or friends.

Tip #2. Plan your visits.
Not only will planning your visits help you maintain your relationship, it gives your loved one something to look forward to! It also allows them to plan for the visit and shows you respect their time and activities.

Tip #3. Listen.
Your loved one may have a lot to share about their activities, friends, books, and TV shows. Stay focused on them and their stories. You won't have these opportunities forever, so cherish them.

Tip #4. Don't forget the kids!
Children can liven up a visit. The joy and exuberance they bring will make a lasting impression on your loved one and the other residents. Plus, you will be teaching your children about the aging process and how to show respectful behavior toward the elderly. Make sure to prepare your children for the experience. Let them know about any unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells they may encounter at an assisted living community and advise them on appropriate responses.

Tip #5 Go on adventures frequently.
If you loved one can't travel independently, an outing may be a welcome change. Take them to a favorite restaurant, park, museum, or other attraction. Simply going for a drive to get ice cream can also make their day. Not only do these outings give you a chance to visit one-on-one, it also gives your loved one a sense of identity and connection to the area outside of their assisted living community. An adventure will boost their sense of well-being and help create variety in their routine.

Tip #6. Keep your date.
The most important tip to remember is to show up when you say you will. Breaking plans can make your loved one feel isolated and abandoned. If you must reschedule, give them the same courtesy you would give others: call ahead and reschedule.

MedicaidMany families and individuals find themselves facing a significant challenge trying to pay for quality senior healthcare. If this sounds familiar, know you're not alone. Planning for senior healthcare is not something many people really consider until the time comes. Many families resort to cashing out retirement funds or savings accounts to make sure their loved ones are comfortable and cared for well.

Before you make any major financial decisions, educate yourself about the options available to you, and lean on us for help.

Here is a quick overview of some of the resources designed to make senior care affordable.

Medicare
Medicare is federally-sponsored health insurance for everyone over the age of 65. It is also available to people under the age of 65 with qualified disabilities. Like most forms of health insurance, Medicare covers temporary hospitalization, medication, visits to the doctor, and similar services. It is important to note that Medicare does not typically cover assisted living, but can pay for skilled nursing and home health care.

Medicaid
Medicaid is government-sponsored health insurance designed for long-term care needs. The amount of coverage an individual receives is based on their financial situation and may require you to cover most or all of the healthcare costs until your assets are depleted. Then your Medicaid benefits will kick in to provide for the rest of your needs.

Veterans Aid
If you are a wartime-veteran of the United States Military, you may be eligible to receive assistance from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Veterans Aid covers healthcare, long-term care, basic needs, home healthcare, and other forms of assistance. Veterans Aid is based on your need and financial situation.

Other options
Outside of these government-sponsored solutions, there are also private avenues like reverse mortgages, life insurance settlements, annuities, and trusts that can provide for long- and short-term care for seniors.

No matter what your situation, you can lean on the Embassy Healthcare team to help you navigate this process. Our administrative staff is well-versed in insurance benefits, financial assistance, and other solutions for residents and their families. Give us a call today at 888-975-1379 to get started.

Viusiting Parents EmbassyMaking the decision to place your parent or parents in extended care can be tough. But once you've transitioned your parent to one of our assisted living or skilled nursing communities, a new issue surfaces: How often do I visit?

The truth is, there is no right answer. Each family's situation is different, but by working together, you and your parent can develop a system that works for everyone and preserves your family connection.

Consider the following tips as you work through this transition.

Tip #1: Take care of yourself
Many children feel tremendous guilt about placing their parents in assisted living. You may worry your mother or father will feel hurt, abandoned, or lonely. You may doubt the reasons for your decision and wonder if you could have handled their care yourself.

Take a deep breath, and think about your needs and their needs. You would be in no position to help and support your parent if you wore yourself out trying to manage their care. Consider the impact on your work, relationships, children, commitments, and hobbies. These aspects of your life are just as important as your parents' needs. Without balance, you could lose parts of your life, which in some cases could lead to resentment toward your parents.

Tip #2. What does your parent really want?
It may be a surprise, but after the discomfort of leaving their home and moving into a new and unfamiliar community wears off, your parent may be having a ball! Depending on their health and abilities, they'll likely make new friends, integrate into the social scene, enjoy alone time, go on trips, and more. Visiting too often might cramp their style!

Find balance by sitting down with your parent on a regular basis to discuss your visits. Be open to their feedback while also considering your own needs. If your parent is suffering from cognitive decline, or has diminished mental capacity, listen carefully to what they say, but also look at what they really need. Observe their behavior and look for clues. Keep in regular contact with the staff and use their perspective to help you plan your visits.

Tip #3. Will you have any regrets when they are gone?
This one truly depends on you. If you feel confident that you will be happy with the frequency of your visit, you are likely on the right track. If not, then consider increasing how often you visit while you still have time.

Solon pointe 5-1412711631Have you or a loved one reached a point in life where you need help with your daily activities? It may be time to consider assisted living.

This is not an easy decision, but finding a community with all the right features, amenities, and medical services can make the transition easier. The following checklists will help you refine your preferences and prioritize your needs.

What do you need?
Before you begin looking at communities online or in person, consider your personal needs. What kind of help do you need in your daily life?

  • Will you require nursing care to manage chronic illnesses?
  • Will you need helping cleaning, bathing, or eating?
  • Will you need regular transportation for off-site medical care, such as dialysis?
  • Will you need Alzheimer's or memory care?

Which communities meet your needs?
Once you've established your needs, start researching assisted living communities in your area or in an area where you'd like to relocate.

Once you've got a list, contact each community to discuss their care programs and arrange an in-person tour. Use this checklist to help you evaluate each community. It will help you remember all the questions to ask and help you compare them later.

  • Is the place comfortable and home-like?
  • Do you like the décor?
  • Is it clean and odor-free?
  • Do the current residents seem happy and friendly?
  • Are you able to speak with the residents and staff?
  • Is the staff kind and knowledgeable?
  • Do staff members interact warmly and professionally with each other?
  • Are you able to visit or receive visitors at any time?
  • Is the building layout suited to your needs and easy to navigate?
  • Does the community have safety features?
  • How are care plans designed, evaluated, and revised?
  • What sort of amenities are offered, such as transportation or barber/beautician services?
  • Trust your gut: do you feel comfortable?

What to do next?
Now that you have a better idea of what services you need and what you expect from a community, it's time to explore!

Embassy Healthcare Communities offer you all the comforts of home, with a warm, loving environment and expert, comprehensive medical care. Give us a call today to learn about our services and schedule a time to come visit. Don't forget your checklist! Call 888-975-1379 today.

Choose Embassy HCMany people reach a point in their lives when they need help with their daily activities. The good news is that many options are available! Embassy Healthcare Communities provide skilled nursing, assisted living, and adult daycare. But how do you decide which one is right for you?

Personal needs
Each community comes with its own unique features, services, and care specialties. To choose the right level and type of care for you, start by evaluating what kind of care you need.

  • Do you need short-term care following surgery, injury, or extended illness?
  • Would long-term care be more suitable for your condition?
  • Will you need specialized care, such as respiratory or cardiac rehabilitation? How about physical, speech, or occupational therapy?

Community Services
Next, think about the type of community that works best for you and your needs.

  • What's the breakdown of short-term to long-term residents at this community? Does the community cater to your needs?
  • How will your care plan be developed and executed? Will the plan be revised according to your progress?
  • Is the community licensed by the state?
  • Do they offer Medicare/Medicaid coverage options in addition to private insurance?
  • What amenities are offered (e.g., group activities, a pool, private rooms, Internet access, etc.)?
  • What's the ratio of staff to residents?
  • What services are offered, such as therapy, rehabilitation, or complex medical care?

Our services
At Embassy Healthcare, we know your needs are as unique as you are. We offer assisted living, adult daycare, and skilled nursing at our communities.

Assisted living
Our assisted living communities give you access to long-term care, while allowing you to live as independently as possible. You might need help with daily activities like housekeeping and preparing meals, and we can provide that assistance. We can also help you manage your medications, care for wound, and provide physical therapy.

Adult Daycare
If you or your loved one only needs care for part of the day, adult daycare may be a great option. Our communities offer plenty of fun activities, on-site medical care, beautiful and secure grounds, and a chance to socialize with your peers.

Skilled Nursing
For those who need around the clock expert care, our skilled nursing services will put you at ease. We offer comprehensive medical care including:

  • Podiatry care
  • Dental care
  • Optometry services
  • Counseling
  • Assistance with daily tasks, including eating and dressing
  • Medication compliance
  • Physical, occupational and speech therapy
  • Wound care
  • Audiology services

Next Steps
It's never too early to explore your options. Give us a call today and set up an appointment. We'd be happy to give you a tour of our facilities and help you determine what services and communities will best serve your needs. Call us at 888-975-1379.

Senior Working Out ActivitiesWhen the temperatures dip, many seniors find it difficult to maintain their activity levels. Walking around the neighborhood is not only chilly, it can also be dangerous if the sidewalks are icy or wet.

But it is possible to stay busy, even if getting outside isn't an option. Here are a few options for getting some indoor exercise.

Water Exercise
Water exercise like aerobics and swimming are ideal for seniors because they're low-impact. The resistance of the water helps strengthen muscles and can alleviate arthritis and joint pain.

Indoor Walking
Indoor tracks are a great place for seniors to get in a little exercise. Walking is low-impact, but science has shown that it's as beneficial as running for reducing the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

Senior Recreation Programs
Programs like Silver Sneakers give seniors a chance to exercise at participating fitness centers in their areas. And their membership to those facilities is covered by the seniors' health plans.

Video Games
Dance Dance Revolution, Wii active and Xbox Kinect video games aren't just for the kids. Senior communities across the country have adopted the use of gaming systems in their recreation centers to engage residents in play and exercise.

Stretching
Stretching is just as important to senior bodies as regular exercise is. It helps keep the body limber and can reduce pain. And stretching can be done anywhere! This video contains easy, gentle stretches that seniors can perform a few times a week.

Happy Holidays from EMbassyThe holidays are a special time at our Embassy Healthcare communities. We're blessed to be able to share music, dancing, food and fun with your loved one, and we invite you to join us whenever you can.

Each Embassy community offers a variety of events throughout the season, including bingo, crafts, cookie decorating, socials and more. Check with your loved one's community to see what activities are coming up and let us know when you'll be joining us.

If you can't make it in person, our staff will be happy to arrange a phone call or a video chat with your loved one whenever is convenient for you. We'll also deliver any special gifts you've prepared for them.

Provided it's approved by their physician, your loved one can also come stay with you for a few days. Ask your home community for specific details on making these arrangements.

We wish you and yours the happiest holidays and a wonderful 2016.

Gift ideaShopping for the senior in your life can be challenging. Maybe their interests have changed over the years, or their dexterity isn't what it used to be. But you can still give a thoughtful or functional gift to let them know how special they are to you this holiday season.

Grandparent Talk
This fun conversation starter encourages social interaction between family members of all ages.

Bath Safety Grip
Slips and falls can be dangerous for seniors. This handy device will give them added support where they need it most. And it's portable, so they can take it with them when they come to visit you!

Car Cane
This handy tool slips easily into the latch on a car door to provide the leverage needed to get out of a vehicle easily. Makes a great stocking stuffer.

Event Tickets
Make a date to take your senior to a play, musical performance or museum exhibition.

Monthly Subscription Box
Your loved one will get special gifts selected just for them throughout the year. Check out Grandbox and Gramsly for details.

You can even enlist your senior's help to create gifts for others. Assemble favorite recipes into a book or card box for newlyweds. Copy old family photos to create an album that spans the generations. Or compile "Grandmas Little Survival Guide" filled with life hacks, stain removal tips and more for those moving out on their own for the first time.

Winter Senior HealthBetween slippery conditions, cold temperatures and the flu, winter can be a tough time for seniors. These five tips will help seniors stay healthy this winter.

  1. Get a flu shot. The immune system weakens as we age, so it's very important for seniors, as well as their family members and caregivers, to get vaccinated against the flu. A recent study show that "herd vaccination" actually helps lower the rate of flu infection among seniors.
  2. Keep sure footing. Icy, snowy sidewalks practically guarantee a slip and fall accident, which are especially dangerous for seniors. Injuries from slip and fall accidents are a leading cause of death for men and women over the age of 65. Quality shoes with good traction and tread will help seniors stay surefooted. And if your senior uses a walking aid, consider upgrading to a quad cane and using ice grip attachments for added stability on slick surfaces.
  3. Keep warm. Many people experience a slowing of the metabolism with age, so seniors are more susceptible to cold temperatures. Seniors can experience hypothermia, even if the room temperature is over 70 degrees. Dressing in layers, keeping extra blankets around, and staying active around the house will help seniors regulate their body temperatures. Remember that some seniors on a fixed income will lower the thermostat to control heating costs, so make sure your loved one's home is warm.
  4. Battle seasonal depression. The Winter Blues, also called seasonal affective disorder, affects people of all ages, but is especially tough on seniors. Check in with your seniors often, in person or over the phone, to help diminish the feelings of isolation and loneliness they can experience in the winter. And plan regular family gatherings to enjoy a meal, play games and spend time together.
  5. Drive safely. If your senior is still driving, make sure to have his or her car serviced before winter weather strikes. In the Cleveland, Ohio region, winter tires offer additional traction and control in slick winter driving conditions. Even if your loved one can still navigate the roads safely under normal conditions, it may be safer to drive him or her when the winter weather strikes.