SleepWith the hectic holiday season in full swing, there’s no better time to remind ourselves how important sleep is to the physical and mental health of seniors – and their caregivers.

Sleep disorders are a significant concern, especially in the geriatric population. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke states that over 40 million people develop chronic sleep disorders each year.

While changes in sleep patterns are part of the normal aging process, sleep disorders are linked to increased mortality, falls, dementia and cognitive decline. Seniors should clock 7-9 hours of sleep each night. If they’re not, and have the following symptoms, they might be suffering from sleep deprivation.

1. Irritability – Harvard Health Publications found that sleep disorders lead to negative emotions and, in some cases, mental illness. Sleep is critical to overall mood, so losing even a small amount can take a toll.

2. Foggy Memory – Forgetting something now and then is normal. But a study by the Behavioral Sleep Medicine medical group shows that sleep deprivation might cause frequent memory impairments.

3. Reliance on Caffeine to feel awake – Many start their morning with a cup of coffee, but having more then 1 cup a day to stay alert might signal that you’re sleep deprived. Too much caffeine could make sleep more difficult, too, so older adults should limit their caffeine intake.

To get a good night’s rest, you may need to change your current sleeping habits. The National Sleep Foundation recommends the following tips:

  • Follow a regular sleep schedule
  • Create a cozy environment by keeping the room cool, tidy and dark
  • Upgrade your mattress and pillows
  • Avoid napping when possible
  • Exercise on a regular basis to use up excess energy

Caregivers need a good night’s sleep just as much as their senior loved one. The National Alliance for Caregiving reports that caregivers often suffer from depression and stress, and 88% have sleep and energy problems. Many caregivers say their sleep is interrupted during the night, while others report the stress of their responsibilities keeps them awake.

At Embassy HealthCare, we offer a full range of services for seniors, from Adult Day Care to Assisted Living. We’ll give your senior loved one the care and compassion they deserve so you can rest easy.

To schedule a tour at one of our OH communities, contact us online or call 216-378-2050.  

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.

Skileld N Insurance EmbassyOdds are high that someone in your family will need skilled nursing care at some point. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, most people age 65+ require some type of long-term care during their lifetime, and 40% of seniors need a period of time in an assisted living home.

The cost of that care can be financially stressful, but there are steps you can take to minimize the impact. They key is to familiarize yourself with your senior's healthcare policy and coverage, and explore your options for added financial support like Medicare and supplemental insurance.

Andrea Lawrence, Director of Business Development at Embassy Healthcare, explains how Medicare can help seniors who need skilled nursing care, particularly after an injury.

"Skilled nursing care typically follows time in the hospital," says Lawrence, and the average resident spends about 30 days in a skilled nursing community.

If the patient has been admitted for three consecutive nights and the discharge instructions include skilled nursing services like rehabilitation, fluids or wound care, Lawrence says "Medicare will cover 100% of costs for days one through 20. Starting at day 21, the patient will be responsible for a co-insurance payment. The amount of that co-insurance changes every year, but it's in the ballpark of $150 a day."

Lawrence points out that having a secondary insurance, like AARP, can cover most – if not all – of that coinsurance cost.
To further reduce costs for families, Lawrence says that skilled nursing communities typically pay for the services upfront, file treatment paperwork with Medicare and receive reimbursement from the agency.

Embassy Healthcare has skilled nursing communities across Ohio. If you're looking for a care community for your loved one, Embassy Healthcare has one close to home. Find an Embassy community in your area and arrange a tour 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.