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.

Holidays SeniorsThe holiday season can be a lonely time for seniors and their families, but they don't have to be.

You'll almost certainly feel nostalgic for happier, healthier times, but by making the most of the present moments, your whole family will get more joy out of the holiday celebrations.

If your loved ones will be with you at home
Include your seniors in your plans as often as you can. Assign them small jobs such as wrapping presents or helping with meal prep. Ask them to be responsible for setting the table, lighting special candles, or giving a toast to mark the occasion.

Invite your senior to lead the family in a song of their choice or take turns telling stories of cherished holiday memories. Create new holiday memories by making family ornaments together or decorating cookies.

You can also take steps to ensure that your seniors aren't left out of conversations by ensuring they always have a companion sitting with them.

Keep in mind your seniors' needs, too. After a full day of activity, a nap may be in order, so make sure they have a comfortable quiet place to rest. And keep a sweater or a blanket handy in case they get cold.

If you'll be visiting your loved ones at their communities
Talk with the community managers about what activities are being held during the holidays. Visit as often as you can. Make plans to join your loved ones for special meals or parties. Bring small gifts for them to unwrap. Bring family albums along, too, and tell stories about the grandkids.

If your loved one can get around ok, ask the community management to take your loved ones out for the day. Take in a holiday performance or explore local holiday displays.

Help your seniors decorate their spaces with a small tree, trimmings and stockings. Make a modern mix tape with their favorite holiday songs and stock up on their favorite seasonal treats.

You can also help your loved ones spread the holiday cheer by making or writing cards to their friends and other family.

After the holidays, be sure to stay in touch with your loved ones. Send cards with photos taken during the holidays, and call regularly to remind them that you're always thinking of them.

Assisted Living Care EmbassyThe transition to assisted living can be challenging for a variety of reasons. These tips will help make it a smooth adjustment for your whole family.

When the time comes to consider assisted living, involve your loved one in the decision as much as possible. Take her on tours with you. The more she participates in the process and the choosing of a community, the easier the transition will be.

Try to choose a community where your loved one will have an opportunity to visit with friends and family often. Frequent visits will reduce anxiety and give her something to look forward to.

If you can't visit as often as you'd like, stay in contact however you can. Write letters. Call. Ensure that your loved one can reach you.
Ensure your loved one's new home feels like her old one. Decorate with keepsakes like family photos, her favorite chair and the blanket her mother made her.

This transition can be stressful for you, too. Keep in touch with the staff at the community. They'll be able to give you a neutral account of your loved one's progress and let you know if there's any cause for concern. And get involved. If you volunteer at the community, regularly attend meals, or participate in planned events, you'll have a better peace of mind about your loved one's new home.

Embassy Healthcare looks forward to helping you find a place where your loved one can thrive. Call us at 888-975-1379 to arrange a tour of one of our communities today.

Skilled Nursing ClevelandThere will come a time in all of our lives when we can't take care of ourselves any longer. When you need a helping hand, there's Embassy Healthcare.

We have several skilled nursing communities located throughout the Cleveland, Ohio area.

What is skilled nursing?
Skilled nursing refers to a specific set of medical care services that are commonly available in nursing homes. The skilled nursing services available at our Cleveland-area communities includes:

  • Post-operative care
  • Wound care
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy

Some of our skilled nursing communities in Cleveland also offer pharmaceutical services, laboratory services, and radiological services. And others are set up specifically for Alzheimer's care, hospice care and respite care.

We also offer a variety of non-skilled nursing services for our residents, including:

  • Laundry services
  • Transportation services
  • Personal hygiene services
  • Daily living support

Is skilled nursing right for my loved one?
You may be struggling with what kind of community will best suit your loved one's needs. A skilled nursing community, like our Embassy communities in the Cleveland area, provide a higher level of care and supervision for those who can no longer get on by themselves.

Assisted living communities are better suited for those who can still live independently.

If you're searching for a skilled nursing community in Cleveland, please contact us to help you located the best place for your family. Call 440-439-7976, or fill out this short contact form and we'll reach out to you soon.

8 assisted livings tour tipsYou've had the conversations, weighed your options and decided that an assisted living community will provide your loved one with the help and care they need. Now, it's time to start evaluating assisted communities in your area. The problem is that after the first couple of tours, it can be difficult to keep the details of each community straight. These tips will help you ensure that the community you choose ticks all the right boxes for your family.

  1. Is the community clean and fresh-smelling?
    Questions to ask: How often does housekeeping tend to community spaces and individual suites? Is laundry service included, or is that an added cost? Is personal care, such as bathing and dressing, part of the care package?
  2. Schedule your visit during an activity.
    If your loved one is with you, note his or her level of interest in the activity and if he or she interacts with the residents. Take note of the staff during activity time, too. Are they enjoying themselves? Are they kind and engaged with the residents?
  3. Observe the staff in other areas of your tour, too.
    Are they friendly? Do they greet you warmly or smile as you pass?
  4. Explore the outdoors. Does it feel safe and secure?
    Questions to ask: Do the residents have unfettered access to the outdoors? Are staff break areas separate from the resident gardens?
  5. Take in a meal.
    This is a great time to talk to other residents and give your loved one an opportunity to interact.
  6. Take note of security features.
    Questions to ask: Are residents allowed to move around freely? What security measures are in place to prevent a resident from wandering off?
  7. Do the residents look healthy and happy?
    Are they well-groomed and clean?
  8. Stop by unannounced for a follow-up visit.
    See if the community looks and feels the same when you're not on a guided tour.

We recommend creating a checklist or a score sheet of some sort to help you keep track of the pros and cons of each community you visit. You should also trust your instincts. If you're uneasy in the space, your loved one will probably be, too.

5 tips for assisted livingFinding an assisted living community for your loved one can be an emotional and confusing time.

You'll be taking a lot of tours and hearing to a lot of facility descriptions, and you may forget important questions you wanted to ask. We recommend writing your questions down in advance and carrying a notebook with you on your tours to jot down any thoughts you have mid-tour.

These are five questions you should ask during your assisted living tours.

  1. What will be the ballpark expenses for your loved one's care, and will the community help with paperwork for payer sources like Medicare?
  2. What amenities are included, and are there additional amenities available for purchase?
  3. Are the nurses and physicians qualified to deliver the specific care your loved one will need?
  4. What is the staff to patient ratio?
  5. How does the community update family members and primary care physicians on the residents' progress?

Before you leave the community, you should also ask for a copy of an admission contract to review with your family attorney. You may also want to ask for copies of their Resident's Bill of Rights, survey results from the state, and a recent dining menu, and a recent activities calendar. These items may help you determine which community is right for your loved one.

SpooktacularEmbassy Healthcare is proud to announce our inaugural Spooktacular 5K and 1-Mile Casper Crawl to benefit the Alzheimer's Association.

The events will take place on Sunday, October 11, 2015 at the Solon Community Center in Solon, Ohio. Pre-registration is $20 and registration on race day is $25. The fee includes a dry-wick t-shirt, refreshments, awards for the top finishers, and, of course, CANDY.

And it wouldn't be a Halloween-themed event without a costume contest! Awards will be handed out for best child costume, best adult costume, top male and female overall costumes, and top three male and female costumes in the following age groups: 10 and under, 11-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60+.

You can 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 7th.

Would you like to join us in the fight to end Alzheimer's disease? We're looking for corporate partners to help provide items for our inaugural Spooktacular 5K and 1-mile Casper Crawl event.

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
  • Monetary contributions to be used for operating the run. Contributions not used to operate the run will be donated to the Alzheimer's Association.

Event partners will be promoted at the race in the following 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

To make a donation, please contact Don Dye at 216-246-4848 by Sept. 18.