seniorIf most of us had our way, we would “age in place,” living our later years in the comfort of our own home.

Unfortunately, our own home is not so comfortable once our health needs reach the point where getting the level of care we need simply isn’t possible. The acceptance of the fact that it’s time to reside in an environment where physical, mental and emotional needs can be met is a stressful time for our elderly loved ones.

strokeWith 80% of strokes being preventable, it’s important to consider lifestyle behaviors that could affect your chances of having one.
Stroke – the fifth leading killer in the United States – is the most common cause of disability in adults, affecting nearly 800,000 Americans every year.

There are three types of stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control. An ischemic stroke is when blood supply to the brain is blocked by a clot. A hemorrhagic stroke is when a blood vessel in the brain bursts. Either type can lead to brain damage or death. The third type is a transient ischemic attack (TIA) or “mini stroke,” which occurs when blood flow to the brain is stopped for a short time, usually less than five minutes. A TIA is a warning sign of a future stroke.

medication monitoringAs more adults are living longer with multiple chronic conditions, chances increase for seniors being needlessly prescribed medications.

These medications may duplicate the effect of another medication the senior is taking, show no effectiveness for its intended use or otherwise be unnecessary. This “inappropriate prescribing” can be the result of doctor error or a lack of awareness about how the medications may affect each other. Further, seniors may take medicine past their intended use, potentially creating a harmful situation in the medicine cabinet.

AdobeStock 23565131Embassy Healthcare’s Grande Oaks location is a leader in providing ventilator care for patients with chronic respiratory issues in the Cleveland area.

The skilled nursing and rehabilitation center in Oakwood Village – located off I-271 just 30 minutes from Cleveland – has 15 years of experience with ventilator and tracheotomy patients. Our pulmonary services include having respiratory specialists on site 24/7, offering chronic respiratory management, COPD, BiPAP/CPAP and oxygen therapy, as well as weaning patients off a ventilator or tracheostomy when they are well enough to do so.

As a long-term ventilator care facility, Grande Oaks assists patients with a variety of respiratory support needs. Our 24-bed specialized respiratory clinic offers specialized services that are fully integrated with the rest of our resident-focused care, which is at the heart of our dedicated staff’s offers.

parent move inDeciding whether or not to invite an elderly parent to live with you is an important decision many adult children find themselves facing at some point. According to the AARP Public Policy Institute, one in three seniors receiving unpaid family caregiving reside in their family’s home. These living situations may prove rewarding for families, but they take a fair amount of planning and dedication to prove successful for both parent and child (and their family). Before making the offer to let them live with you, consider the following:

high cholesterolKnowing what factors go into our cholesterol numbers is a significant part of knowing what to do about those numbers. Knowing what factors go into our cholesterol numbers is a significant part of knowing what to do about those numbers.

Seniors are recommended to have cholesterol levels lower than 200 mg/dL to maintain a healthy heart.

Fotolia 114065844 Subscription Monthly XXLOlder bodies need exercise as much as younger ones.

However, only one in four senior citizens between the ages of 65 and 74 exercise regularly, according to the National Institute on Aging. Many older people may cite time, money and a lack of energy as being reasons for not exercising more. Exercise can help aging bodies in the following ways:

Image 3 senior citizens playing bingo.Being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia is a frightening event for any individual and family.

Embassy Healthcare’s Grande Pavilion has added the Allen Cognitive Level Screen (ACLS) assessment to help families facing memory loss. The ACLS is an evidence-based, standardized assessment of functional cognition.

The screen – developed by the Allen Cognitive Group – estimates a person’s learning and problem-solving skills during three visual tasks of growing complexity. Different versions of the screen are available to suit the individual’s vision, hand function or infection control needs.

Image of man in wheelchair talking to nurseEmbassy Healthcare’s Longmeadow community offers a unique way to help Parkinson’s disease patients improve their speech and limb movements.

The LOUD speech therapy program was developed by LSVT Global in 1993 to assist those with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions who find it difficult or impossible to communicate. In 2014, the company developed the BIG program to apply these same concepts to physical movements.

Getting LOUD

The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) identifies three factors causing speech problems in Parkinson’s patients:

  1. Motor: Slow, jerky muscle movements affect speech via the tongue, larynx and diaphragm.
  2. Sensory: Processing disorders may make them unable to tell that their voice is getting too quiet.
  3. Cueing: Although they can respond to directions to speak louder, they may find it difficult to cue the behavior on their own.

Woman holding hands with older womanHelping someone die the way they lived can seem like a lofty goal, but isn’t it what we all deserve?

Knowing what to say to a loved one in hospice care can be intimidating and frightening, but it’s important to show them that you care – even if it’s just with your presence.

Before your visit, prepare yourself emotionally by realizing that even though they may look different, they are still the same person you’ve known and loved. It may help to make a list of things you want to say to them.