Heart Care Unti EmbassyHaving heart disease doesn't mean you should stop living your life to the fullest. That's why Embassy Healthcare, with senior communities located throughout Ohio, offers the care you need so you don't have to give up the things you enjoy.

Heart failure affects more than 5 million Americans, and for people over age 65, it's the most common cause of hospital stays. The cardiac care team at Embassy Healthcare provides the highest level of treatment to meet the challenges of living with chronic heart failure. Our proven heart program aids in the recovery from:

  • Congestive heart failure
  • Heart attacks
  • Angioplasty
  • Chest pain
  • Pacemaker
  • Coronary artery disease
  • And more

Embassy Healthcare acts as your bridge between hospital and home, specializing in post-surgical cardiac care. There's less likelihood of re-hospitalization when you take advantage of our in-house comprehensive heart care. Other benefits of our heart program include:

  • Strengthening the cardiovascular system
  • Controlling weight and lowering cholesterol
  • Daily on-site monitoring through evaluations and lab analysis
  • Healthy lifestyle education
  • Caregiver education

Our individualized cardiac treatment plans are designed to help with a variety of heart diseases so you can achieve your optimal health. Our interdisciplinary team will evaluate your needs and customize a cardiac care plan to meet them. Services include rehabilitation, diet and coping strategies so you can continue a heart healthy lifestyle at home.

You'll benefit from our preventative care strategies, where we'll provide you with the tools to manage your condition. When you leave one of our heart care communities, you'll have the routines and information you need for success – whether that's at one of our other communities or at home. Our heart program is available to ALL residents who have early signs of heart failure, have been diagnosed with heart disease, or have advanced heart failure.

For more information about the cardiac care program at Embassy Healthcare, call 888-975-1379 and tour our Solon Pointe community today.

Decision Making EmbassyIt take time and plenty of research to find the right senior living community to meet your unique needs. Avoid these five common mistakes in your search for a senior living community to feel comfortable with your final choice.

1. Not staying realistic about current and future needs.
When we're caring for an aging parent, we want to remain optimistic about their health. Too often, though, families choose a senior care community based around existing care needs, without considering how that community can help as those needs change.

Talk with you loved one's physicians and get their input on what kind of care may be required in the future. This way, you can avoid having to change communities every time your loved one's care needs change. Frequent moves are not only costly for your family, they're emotionally and physically hard on your senior, especially if he or she is living with dementia.

Embassy Healthcare offers numerous senior care services, from senior daycare to advanced clinical focuses like dementia care. Our skilled nursing staff will be here for your loved one, today and in the future.

2. Not including your parents in the decision.
Sometimes, families choose a community without getting their parent's input. We encourage families to include their senior loved one during the decision-making process. Bring your parent on a tour of one of our communities, let him get to know our current residents, and have them speak with an Embassy teammate about his preferences.

If your loved one can't participate, carefully consider his care needs, preferences and personality as you weigh all the senior living community options.

3. Basing the decision on proximity.
Naturally, you want to keep your loved one as close as possible, but the closest senior living community may not be the right fit.

Remember that Embassy has communities throughout Ohio – particularly in the Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati areas – with differing specialties. So, you can both find a community that's both close to home and can meet your parent's medical and social needs.

4. Not choosing a community for who your loved one is today.
Fancy amenities like golf courses are definitely a perk. But if dad hasn't touched his clubs in years because of arthritis, he won't be able to take full advantage of the course.

Think about who your parent is today and choose a community with add-ons that make sense, rather than just add up.

5. Not consulting other family members/professionals.
Of course, you don't want to burden anyone by asking for help selecting a senior living community. But you shouldn't tackle a decision this big alone. Consult with other family members and care professionals to get their perspective on the communities you're considering. Talk with friends who've gone through this process with their parents, too. Their insights will be invaluable to you.

We all make mistakes, and that's okay. But if you think your loved one isn't in the best senior care community for his/her needs, don't be afraid to acknowledge the situation and take steps to correct it. It's better to make a change now.

For more information on assisted living at Embassy Healthcare, our services and our skilled nursing staff, contact us online or call 216-378-2050 today.

Grand Kids BlogIt can be strange, even for grownups, to go from visiting grandma at her house to visiting her in a retirement community. Kids need even more time to adjust to these kinds of changes. With a little planning, though, you can ensure your children have a great visit at their grandparent's senior living community.

Our staff invites you to make your next visit together special – and something your children won't forget.

1. Take advantage of amenities.
There are lots of amenities at Embassy Healthcare communities that your kids will enjoy! Join an art or game activity, play in the gardens on the grounds, and stay for a chef-prepared dinner.

2. Let your kids roam.
Embassy Healthcare encourages visitors at our communities to walk through common spaces. Your entire family will meet other residents, and walking a little is a great way to burn off extra steam. It's also an opportunity to show your children where their grandparent lives now. You'll find plenty of places to explore at your parent's Embassy Healthcare community, and showing them off to your children will reassure them that their grandparent is safe and happy.

3. Go on an outing.
This can be an ideal way for your kids to get to know what their grandparents do in their spare time. Kids can interact with other residents, too, and get to know your parent's community even better.

4. Enjoy the little things!
It's important to maintain traditions that your family has built, especially involving your children. Have you always read books together, or played board games? Keep these activities alive, even when your parent's living situation changes.

Follow these tips and find what works best for your unique family situation. Before you know it, Embassy Healthcare will feel like home for your parents, and an engaging place for your children to visit!

Contact us and schedule a tour of one of our communities online, or call 888-975-1379 to speak with a representative about making the transition for your parents to an Embassy Healthcare senior living community.

Elderly exercise EmbnassyExercise has numerous benefits for those of all ages, like stronger bones, a healthier heart and better flexibility. But for those over 50, regular exercise can also reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improve one's mood and lower the chance of injury.

As we age, we lose coordination, strength and balance. But how early do these changes occur? Many of us think that we won't notice severe physical decline until our 60s or 70s. However, research from the Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development at Duke University found we actually start to experience signs of physical aging in our 50s.

"Our research reinforces a lifespan approach to maintaining physical ability," claims lead researcher Katherine Hall, Ph.D. "With proper attention and effort, the ability to function independently can often be preserved with regular exercise."

There are many ways to protect and improve your physical fitness. To ensure healthy aging, the U.S. News and World Report recommends getting 150 minutes of moderately-intense aerobic exercise each week. In addition to walking and cycling, mix up your regimen by:

  • Doing 30 seconds of jumping jacks
  • Performing 15 squats with weights
  • Carrying a 20-pound bag of dog food and walk 25 feet
  • Assuming the push-up position and holding yourself up for 30 seconds

Before starting any workout routine, meet with your doctor for suggestions that meet your personal needs.

In addition to increased physical fitness, seniors who exercise regularly also have an improved quality of life. Exercise improves mood, ensure strong cognitive functioning and reduces downtime from illness and injury.

It's never too late for individuals aged 50+ to adopt a regular exercise routine. Find something you enjoy doing, and start at a level that's easy to maintain. Remember, consistency is more important than intensity.

If done on a long-term basis, the increased mobility that comes from regular exercise helps seniors maintain their independence. Embassy Healthcare throughout Ohio offers fitness programs at many of our communities. To learn more about how we can help you or your aging loved one, contact us at 216-378-2050 to schedule a tour.

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.