Embassy Run pICEmbassy Healthcare is proud to present the second annual Spooktacular 5k and 1-mile Casper Crawl! Proceeds from the event will be donated to help fund breast cancer research.

The event will take place on Sunday, October 16, 2016 at Sunny Lake Park, 885 E. Mennonite Rd., Aurora, Ohio. Check-in and registration will begin at 8am and the run/walk will begin at 9am.

Pre-registration is $20 and day-of registration is $25. There is no fee for children 10 and under to participate in the Casper Crawl.

Your registration fee includes a DryWick T-shirt for pre-registered participants age 11 and over, refreshments, and of course, CANDY. (T-shirts will be provided to race-day registrants until supplies run out.)

Awards will be handed out to the top male and female 5K finishers, as well as the top three male and female finishers in the following age groups:

  • 10 and under
  • 11-19
  • 20-29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60-69
  • 70+

Since it wouldn't be a Halloween-themed event without a costume contest, we encourage you to come in costume! Awards will be handed out for best child costume and the best adult costume.

Register online here, or print this form , fill it out, and mail it in with your check. Mail-in entries must be received by Wednesday, October 12, 2016, and online registration will close at 9am on Friday, October 14, 2016.

Are you as excited for the Spooktacular as we are? Pick up your race packet EARLY from 2-5pm on Friday, October 14 at Embassy Healthcare Solon Pointe. You can also pick up your packet at 8am on the morning of the race.

Would you like to join us in the fight to cure Breast Cancer? We're looking for corporate partners to help provide items for our second annual Spooktacular 5K and 1-mile Casper Crawl event! Monetary contributions can be designated for general event use or as a contribution to breast cancer research.

Items needed:

  • 300 plastic bottles of water
  • 100 bottles of Gatorade or PowerAde
  • 200 bananas
  • 200 mini chocolate bars
  • 200 whole-grain cereal bars or granola bars
  • 10 large bags of Halloween candy
  • "Goodies" and collateral for the runners' treat bags

Event partners will be promoted at the race in the follow ways:

  • Logo on a banner at the Start/Finish line
  • Logo on event t-shirts
  • Logo on Embassy Healthcare's website and Hermes' website
  • Recognition as a sponsor over the speaker system
  • Two complimentary entries into the Spooktacular 5k and 1 mile Casper Crawl

Veterans Aid EmbassyRelying on the right type of assisted living community can lead to a higher quality of life, particularly for elderly veterans who have difficulty getting around safely on their own. Figuring out how to afford assisted living might seem difficult, but that's where the Veteran Aid and Attendance Benefit is important for you to consider.

What is the Aid and Attendance Benefit?
This pension program was developed following WWI to help returning soldiers get proper care at home. Through the years, it has expanded to provide financial assistance for veterans of all ages and their spouses/widows.

Veterans and/or their surviving spouses who are homebound or need the aid and/or attendance of another person to manage their daily living activities typically qualify for the benefit.

Often, we are faced with the difficult decision of how to best care for our aging loved ones. Here are the top three reasons to consider the Aid and Attendance Benefit for the beloved elderly veteran in your life:

1. The veteran has earned their pension. Based on their service, income levels, discharge status and assets, the veteran might qualify for the benefit. It's a good idea to consider applying for it, especially when choosing an assisted living facility – and constant care is an absolute necessity.
2. Assisted living can lead to a better quality of life. The right type of assisted living support has a positive impact on quality of life. An experienced caregiver will encourage an elderly veteran to socialize and pursue activities of interest. Having something to look forward to every day – even when showering, getting dressed and taking care of oneself becomes challenging –improves quality of life tremendously.
3. The benefit is there for a reason. The Aid and Attendance Benefit exists for a specific reason – to assist veterans who require assisted living or homecare support.

To receive the financial assistance your beloved elderly veteran deserves, remember these important facts:

  • Carefully and accurately fill out the application.
  • Remain patient. While the process often takes between 6 to ten months, the benefit is retroactive. This means it's awarded retroactively back to the time the your loved one first applied for assistance.
  • There is no "look back" period like you'll find with Medicaid. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs is actively working to amend this.

When considering an assisted living community for the elderly veteran in your life, our supportive staff can help. Contact the Embassy Healthcare group today at 888-975-1379, and mention you're interested in the Aid and Attendance Benefit for an aging veteran.

Embassy 5Star ArticleYou will likely come across five-star quality ratings while researching the best assisted living community or rehabilitation center for your loved one. It's what the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) uses for its Nursing Home Compare tool. This way, you can compare assisted living facilities in your search for safe and high-quality long-term care.

What is the five-star quality rating system?
This system is not your average customer feedback tool. The CMS created a data-driven system to help you compare assisted living communities. It measures many important factors, like:

Health inspections. This rating evaluates the results of yearly health inspections conducted by skilled government inspectors over the last 3 years. It measures whether assisted living centers meet standards designed to protect residents – like safe food storage and proper medicine management.
Staffing. This rating provides information on how much individualized care a patient receives. It quantifies the number of hours of care that the nursing team gives each resident per day. A high staffing rating means that the care facility's staff gives every resident the time and attention they deserve.
Quality measures. This rating assesses the overall health of the residents, their physical functioning, mental health, and safety/well-being. The CMS quantifies things like how many residents fell and were injured, whether residents received their flu shots, or whether residents have been losing too much weight.

Why is the five-star rating system important?
Assisted living communities vary in the quality of services and care they provide to their patients. Understanding the results of health inspections, staffing, and quality measures are three important ways to gauge an assisted living community's quality. This data gives you a snapshot of the care the assisted living facility provides.

Beyond the five stars
While the five-star rating system is a great place to start, it's only one piece of the puzzle. Visit the assisted living community to get a more personal feel of how staff and residents interact. Location and specialized care can play an important role, too.

Embassy Healthcare and the five-star quality rating system
Embassy Healthcare in Northeastern Ohio includes a range of assisted living, adult daycare, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers. We pride ourselves on extensive clinical capabilities and top-notch care.

Six of our Embassy Centers have a five-star quality rating from CMS. They include:

  • Shady Lawn
  • Northridge
  • Madison
  • Medina
  • Carlisle
  • Royal Oak

We encourage you to visit one of our assisted living and rehabilitation facilities – see for yourself why we'll provide the best possible care for your elderly loved one.

Contact us today or call 888-975-1379 to schedule a tour at an Embassy Healthcare center near you.

Embassy RehabIf your senior loved one has suffered an injury, serious fall or medical trauma, he or she may need to live in an inpatient rehabilitation center for some time.
Inpatient rehabilitation facilities offer the comforts of home in a residential setting. Your loved one doesn't have to travel to a clinic for appointments, and such centers provide around-the-clock supervision and treatment. Since progress is continuously monitored, your loved one stands a better chance of success in an inpatient treatment program.
For the best advice on whether an inpatient physical rehabilitation center might be right for your elderly parent or grandparent, consult with their physician. Usually, the following ailments are best treated in an inpatient rehab program:

  • Broken hip or fracture
  • Aneurysm
  • Joint injury or replacement
  • Neurological conditions
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Spinal arthritis
  • Stroke
  • Cancer or tumor
  • Brain injury
  • Nerve impingement
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Amputation
Inpatient physical rehabilitation centers strive to help your elderly parent or loved one return to his or her highest functional potential after suffering a life-changing event. At Embassy Healthcare, many of our facilities offer high-quality rehabilitation and therapy services, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Our experienced therapists work closely with patients and their caregivers to build customized rehabilitation programs tailored to your loved one's individual needs. All services and treatments are prescribed by a physician and implemented by licensed professionals and highly-trained staff.
For more information on Embassy Therapy and to schedule an appointment, visit one of the many Embassy Healthcare centers in Northeast Ohio – like Grande Oaks or Grande Pavilion. Or, contact our offices by calling 440-423-0381.

Senior Skin CareSummertime is here! Further enjoy holiday cookouts, lounging by the pool, and swimming in the ocean by implementing these skin safety practices.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer during their lifetime. Fortunately, skin cancer is preventable. The Skin Cancer Foundation reports that between 86 and 90% of all skin cancer is related to unsafe exposure to the sun's ultraviolent rays.

Reducing sun exposure throughout your life can prevent wrinkles, brown spots, and leathery skin. However, sun protection is even more important for your aging loved ones. Skin doesn't rejuvenate as easily and becomes thinner as we age. These factors make seniors more susceptible to sunburn and skin cancer.

Follow these 5 tips for senior skin safety:

1. Apply Sunscreen
Liberally apply SPF 45 or higher when outdoors. Reapply every few hours –sooner if you've been sweating. Even on overcast days, dangerous sun rays can penetrate the atmosphere. Remember to apply and reapply sunscreen, even if it's cloudy.

2. Seek the Shade
Seek out shady areas whenever possible. When you're out for a walk, choose a path with shading trees. When relaxing poolside or at the beach, sit under an umbrella.

3. Use Cover-ups
Ensure that your senior loved ones wear lightweight, breathable fabrics, like cotton. Invest in long-sleeved shirts and pants, and protective hats. Remember, dark-colored clothes absorb heat, so choose light-colored options.

4. Check Prescriptions
Some medications – like antidepressants, antibiotics and water pills – can make skin extra sensitive to the sun. Read package inserts and check with your loved one's doctor to determine the level of sun exposure – if any – that's safe with their prescriptions.

5. Stay Inside
During the heat of the day, plan your activities wisely and stay indoors. Limit your outdoor activity and sun exposure from 10:00AM to 4:00PM. During these hours, the heat and humidity are at their worst.

Follow these skin safety tips year-round, but especially in the summer months when you and your senior loved ones spend more time outside.

Benefits of gardeningFor seniors and their loved ones, gardening has a positive impact on their mental and physical wellbeing. From bettering core strength to lowering rates of depression, this hobby offers year-round enjoyment, even as we age. Consider these 5 benefits of gardening for seniors:

1. Lower Cortisol Levels
Studies show that gardening relieves stress, boosts mood, and lowers cortisol levels. Chronically-elevated cortisol levels are linked to everything from immune function and obesity to memory lapses, learning problems and heart disease.

2. Heart Health
Gardening is a great way for seniors to meet their target 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise per week. Research shows that regular gardening cuts stroke and heart attack risk by up to 30% for those over 60.

3. Hand Strength
As we age, diminishing strength and dexterity in the hands can gradually narrow the range of activities we can perform. Gardening keeps hand muscles agile without additional exercises that a physiotherapist might suggest.

4. Brain Health
Gardening involves many of our critical functions for healthy living, such as endurance, learning, problem solving, and sensory awareness. Researchers suggest that daily gardening might reduce dementia onset by up to 36%.

5. Immune System Regulation
The soil bacteria Mycobacterium vaccae – common in garden dirt and ingested with vegetables – alleviates symptoms of allergies, asthma and psoriasis: all of which can stem from a weakened immune system.

While gardening has countless health benefits for seniors, ensure to stay safe by:

  • Warming up your muscles and joints.
  • Using raised garden beds to eliminate balance problems associated with kneeling, bending, and getting up and down from the ground.
  • Investing in long-handled garden tools.
  • Installing garden benches and scheduling sitting breaks.
  • Using a wagon instead of a wheelbarrow to avoid lifting and pushing.

Choose Embassy for Senior LivingSenior care and lifestyle housing can vary widely, which can make the act of choosing a place for your loved one even more overwhelming. Keep in mind what kind of assistance, like medical care, they need now, and what additional services you might need or want for them down the road.

Embassy Healthcare includes a range of assisted living, adult day care, and skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers. We help you assess all your needs and find the best option for you or your loved one. Among other services, we offer:

  • Independent Living – Some of our communities are reserved for seniors who are completely active and independent. These communities might offer amenities and services like housekeeping, activities and dining.
  • Assistance Living – These communities include options for personal care services, like dressing and bathing assistance, medication reminders and transportation.
  • Full-Service Housing – These communities, also called continuing care retirement communities, offer independent living, assistance living, rehabilitation services and skilled nursing care. Such communities are extremely convenient – your loved one won't have to relocate if their health declines, or if they start to need basic assistance with daily living tasks.
  • Alzheimer's/Memory Care – Other senior living facilities specialize in caring for those with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia. These communities are safe and secure, and offer a range of daily enrichment activities to help your loved one live a full life.
  • Senior Daycare – Many Embassy Healthcare communities offer senior daycare to give those providing care for an elderly loved one at home a much-needed break during the day. Your loved one will get any assistance they need and enjoy activities and social interactions while they're with us.
  • Short Stays – Most Embassy Healthcare communities accommodate short-term guests when their primary caregiver needs a small break in the routine or is traveling. Short-term guests enjoy all the amenities and services of our full-time residents. This is also a great way to determine if one of our communities is the right fit for your loved one.
  • Hospice Care – For patients at the end of life, many Embassy Healthcare communities offer compassionate care and counseling so residents can stay as comfortable as possible in their familiar surroundings. Our trained hospice professionals provide comfort during these last moments, both for residents and their loving families.

For more information about Embassy's many senior living options, call 888-975-1379 or schedule a tour at an Embassy Healthcare center near you. We'll explain the many services we offer and show you around our state-of-the-art skilled nursing and rehabilitation areas. Embassy Healthcare's experienced admissions staff will work with you to explain the admission process and answer any of your questions.

Can dementia be prevented through diet? Some research suggests that eating the proper amount of healthy foods might delay the onset of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Incorporate these 5 foods into your diet for a healthier body and brain:

1. Fish-based Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Some scientific studies show that people with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids in their blood might be at a lower risk for developing dementia. Omega-3 rich foods – like salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines – contain fatty acids known as DHA and EPA that reduce inflammation in the brain and the development of beta-amyloid plaques.

You can always supplement cold-water fish with fish oil pills.

2. Walnuts and Flaxseed
ALA fatty acids also play a role in keeping your brain functioning healthfully. A 2014 study found that mice with a walnut-rich diet had an increase in learning skills and memory.

ALA fatty acids are also found in flaxseed, an easy-to-digest food that naturally adds fiber. Try blending flaxseed into smoothies or sprinkling it on top of Greek yogurt.

3. Dark Berries
Dark berries – like blackberries and blueberries – help protect the brain's glial cells. These non-neuronal cells make up 90% of the brain's tissue and help protect the nerve cells from damage.

4. Ginger
Ginger root provides the same protective benefits for glial cells – it also increases acetylcholine activity in your brain. This helps learning skills and maintaining memory. Further, ginger inhibits your body's production of acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme that naturally breaks down acetylcholine. Today's Alzheimer's drugs work similarly, but ginger has no side effects.

Ginger has more benefits, too – it's a strong antioxidant that reduces inflammation and prevents the formation of free radicals.

5. Leafy Green Vegetables
Research suggests that eating one serving of spinach, kale, or other leafy green vegetables per day might help slow cognitive decline. That's because these vegetables are rich in vitamin K, folate and beta-carotene.

Senior Brain health EMbassyWhen it comes to staying healthy as we age, we know that exercise strengthens weak muscles, a nutritious diet helps our energy levels stay up, and staying on top of our healthcare helps to prevent illness. But did you know that you can combat the effects of aging on your brain, too?

Here are five ways to keep your brain healthy and strong.

1. Take care of your body.
As you age, your body needs a little more help to stay fit and healthy. At Embassy Healthcare, we focus on three main areas to support your body and your brain: sleep, exercise and a healthy diet.

Quantity and quality of sleep is important at any age because your brain needs time to process, rest and form memories. But older adults can find it difficult to fall asleep. Establishing a routine will help, as will a dark, cool room with no distractions. Blue light that emanates from electronics such as TVs and e-readers can affect your body's sleep-inducing melatonin levels. If you find you're not tired enough at bedtime, try reading a book for a little while before you turn in.

Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, which helps to encourage brain function and also reduces your risk of heart attack, stroke, and diabetes. Try to do 30 minutes of exercise every day.

Your brain is a delicate balance of chemicals, fats, proteins and more. Eat a balanced and varied diet rich in dark fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish and healthy fats to give your brain the materials it needs to stay healthy.

2. Read and write
It's easy to fall into a pattern of watching TV to pass the time, but it doesn't stimulate your brain the right way. In fact, too much screen time has been shown to increase the chances of developing dementia and Alzheimer's.

Reading and writing help stimulate the parts of the brain essential for thinking, language and memory. Try to read at least 30 minutes every day, even if you need to break it up into small chunks of time. While you're not reading, try your hand at hand writing! Write down your memories, notes to friends or creative stories. Let us know if you need books or writing materials!

3. Play games and puzzles
Playing games with your family and friends not only helps you stay social, it can also help your brain! Putting together a jigsaw puzzle, doing a crossword puzzle, playing cards and even playing videos games all have beneficial effects on your brain. Each of our facilities has scheduled opportunities to socialize and play plenty of games. We don't even mind if you get a little competitive!

4. Learn to play an instrument
If you already play a musical instrument, keep on playing! If you don't play an instrument, or took lessons years ago, now is the time to jump in. The beneficial effects of playing an instrument on your brain are enormous – just a few months of musical study has been shown improve your brain function, hearing and hand movement. At Embassy Healthcare, we will help you coordinate lessons and cheer you on during your performances. You might even want to start a community band!

5. Socialize
When you and your friends get together, you're doing more than passing the time and enjoying each other's company. Chatting and interacting with peers is essentially exercise for your brain. Not only do you glean emotional benefit from spending time with family and friends, but socializing can actually reverse many of the effects aging has on your brain.

To keep your brain healthy, just remember to keep your brain busy and don't allow yourself to become isolated. At Embassy Healthcare, we know how important it is for you to stay physically and mentally active. Rely on us to help you come up with fun and engaging actives that support your body and mind.

Vitamins for Seniors EmbassyProper nutrition is an important part of healthy living, especially for seniors who may have trouble getting their recommended daily allowances of certain vitamins and minerals through food. Aging bodies are also less efficient at absorbing some key nutrients.

Talk with your senior and his or her physician about vitamin and mineral supplements to help meet daily nutrient goals, and be sure to discuss any medication your loved one is taking to prevent any undesirable interactions.

According to WebMD, these are the top vitamins and nutrients seniors need.

Vitamin B12
B12 is used in the creation of red blood cells and DNA, and it also promotes healthy nerve function. This is one vitamin aging bodies have trouble absorbing enough of through food sources like fish, meat, poultry, eggs and milk.

Folate/Folic Acid
A folate or folic acid deficiency can contribute to anemia. Good dietary sources of folate/folic acid include fruits and vegetables and breakfast cereals.

Calcium is essential for maintaining strong bones, but it's also essential to other functions in the body – so essential, in fact, that the body will leach calcium from the bones to account for deficiencies. And we don't get as much calcium in our diets as we age, so older adults are especially susceptible to brittle bones and fractures. Dietary calcium is best for the body and can be found in dairy products, kale and broccoli.

Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium and maintain bone density. Recent research suggests that vitamin D may also protect against some chronic diseases, including diabetes, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of falling. Vitamin D is mainly produced when the skin is exposed to sunlight, but it can also be found in food sources like salmon, tuna and eggs.

This mineral is vital for cell function and also helps reduce high blood pressure and the risk of kidney stones. Fruits and vegetables are the best dietary sources of potassium. But be cautious – too much potassium isn't good for you.

Magnesium crucial to the body's physiological processes, but it's often lost in the processing of foods. Plus, magnesium absorption decreases with age, and can also be impacted by certain medications. Whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables and nuts are good dietary sources of magnesium.

Fiber, found in foods like whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables, has a big impact on digestive health. Seeds, nuts and blueberries are also a good sources of fiber, and they're perfect for snacking.

Omega-3 Fats
Found primarily in fish like salmon, sardines and mackerel, Omega-3 fats are unsaturated fats that reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and slow age-related macular degeneration. They may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and help maintain mental sharpness. Other dietary sources of Omega-3s include soybeans, walnuts and flaxseed.

Embassy Healthcare communities offer special dietary and nutrition care for all of our residents. Our chefs and nutrition specialists plan all of our menus in accordance with accepted nutritional guidelines. We prepare three healthy, home-cooked meals every day, as well as delicious snacks, and our residents can choose from many palate-pleasing options.

If your loved one lives at an Embassy community, or if you're evaluating assisted living or skilled nursing communities, call 888-975-1379 to talk with us about any special dietary needs your senior may have.