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Posts Tagged ‘location of assisted living’

How to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

caregiver burnoutBeing a caregiver is a stressful job, putting a strain on your time, your resources, and most of all, your emotions. Unfortunately, there is no day off from being a caregiver. Your loved ones can’t control when they need you, and the more their abilities deteriorate, the more they’ll need you. It’s no wonder caregiver burnout can sneak up on you as all the stresses of the job pile up. Without a release, you’ll burn out, so we’ve come up with a list of things you can do to help you avoid that.

Talk to Someone

There are support groups for caregivers all over the country for people to get together and talk about the struggles of being a caregiver. Talking about your troubles always helps, even when the people listening can’t do anything to help. In the case of these support groups, knowing you’re not alone and that your feelings are perfectly normal can be a huge release and help you get back to your job as caregiver refreshed and ready to face whatever challenges may come your way.

If there isn’t a caregiver group in your area, start one of your own. If you can’t make it to meetings, just talking to a friend or relative about the strain can help relieve some of the pent-up emotions. At the very least, keep a journal where you can feel free to write it all out. Writing is an extremely cathartic exercise and has been shown to help with mental wellbeing and stability. It doesn’t even matter if you destroy everything you wrote when you’re done, what matters is the act of getting it all down on paper.

Set Aside Time for Yourself

It’s been said before and we’ll say it again: you can’t take care of others without first taking care of yourself. While many people (especially women) misinterpret taking time for themselves as being selfish, there’s nothing selfish about taking a break to recharge. On the contrary, doing so allows you to come back to the job better and stronger than ever, meaning you’re better able to fulfill your duties as a caretaker.

Be Realistic

Many of us want to solve the world’s problems, and even when we know on a logical level that it’s not possible, it doesn’t always stop us from overextending ourselves and agreeing to take on more responsibilities than we can handle.

When you take on the responsibility of caring for a loved one, it can be very tempting to say “yes” to everything. You’ll take care of their day-to-day needs and their nutritional needs and make sure they take all their medication and get them to each and every one of their doctor’s appointments, and handle all their finances, and why don’t you write up and notarize their will for them while you’re at it?

Taking care of a sick person who is losing control of their faculties is not like taking care of children (which is a full-time job in and of itself). Your senior relatives have built a life for themselves that will continue to follow them to the end – bank accounts, credit cards, savings, debt, assets, liabilities, etc. None of that includes the medical needs that can build up quickly as their body slowly deteriorates (unlike children, who are building up their capabilities as time goes on).

Know right away that you can’t handle your loved one’s life and your own life at the same time. Recognize your limits and agree to take on only a reasonable amount of duties that you know you can handle. This will mean asking for help from others and that’s OK because it means all of you will be able to provide your loved one with better care than you could provide by yourself.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

What You Need to Know About Assisted Living

assisted livingIf you think it might be time for you or a loved one to move into an assisted living community, there are a few things you need to know. In addition to considering the level of care you need to look for, we’ve come up with a list of a few other factors you need to consider before you start looking for an assisted living community.

The Difference Between Assisted Living and a Nursing Home

The first thing you need to determine is whether you should be shopping for an assisted living community or a nursing home because it’s important to remember they are not the same thing.

While assisted living communities provide different levels of care depending on the facility and on each patient’s needs, assisted living communities generally do not provide anything beyond help with daily tasks. This can include things like help with remembering to take your medications, but they can’t prescribe medications or fill your prescriptions for you.

A nursing home generally provides a level of care between that of a nursing home and a hospital. They maintain a staff of nurses, have doctors visit regularly to check up on patients, and maintain relationships with local hospitals to help manage patients who might need to go from the nursing home to a hospital and vice versa.

The Available Levels of Care Differ Between Communities

There is no single definition for assisted living, although every state has its own laws regulating assisted living communities. While some provide just the basic level of care in helping with daily tasks, others provide more extensive care to those who need help eating and/or can’t get out of bed. Doing your research ahead of time and considering all your options can help you make the best decision when it comes to getting the care you need while maximizing comfort and minimizing costs.

Affordability

Paying for assisted living can be easier than you think. Again, it depends on the level of care you need and making sure you do your research ahead of time. Once you’ve determine your requirements for an assisted living community, it’s a simple matter of knowing what your options are and comparing the pros and cons of each community until you find the one that’s right for your needs.

You Are Able to Bring Your Pet

Every assisted living community has their own guidelines and restrictions when it comes to pets, but we welcome you bring your furry friend! We even have a built in dog park in the back!

You Can Continue Living with Your Spouse

Assisted living communities understand the importance of keeping couples together and many of them will work to make that an option whenever possible. Most of them even offer customized bills so that if your spouse needs more care than you do, or vice versa, the community will only bill you for the services you use, even if you and your spouse live in the same unit.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

What to Say to a Loved One Who Doesn’t Want to Move into Assisted Living

assisted livingMany of us dread the day we have to face facts and acknowledge that it’s time for Mom and/or Dad to move into assisted living. Many people maintain outdated ideas of what assisted living is like, imagining the dreaded “old folks’ home,” sometimes referred to as “heaven’s waiting room.” Many people see the move to assisted living as the last step before death, which is why they resist it so strongly.

But you know better. Not only do you know they need assisted living, but you know how full of life a good assisted living community can be. Here are some things you can say to your loved one to convince them of what you already know:

“It’s safer.”

The number one concern for seniors who have an increasing amount of difficulty in moving around is that they might fall and be unable to get help if they’re injured. A personal safety alarm can help alleviate some of this fear, but what if they live alone, they fall, and they can’t set off their alarm? Or what if they forget to turn off the stove/oven while they’re cooking and there’s no one around to remind them to turn it off before it starts a fire? Assisted living can help prevent such catastrophes, while giving residents as much privacy as possible.

“Wouldn’t it be nice not to have to worry about taking care of this big house anymore?”

Taking care of a home is a lot of work and it gets increasingly difficult to find the energy for it all as we get older. Residents in assisted living don’t have to worry about shoveling snow, raking leaves, mowing their lawn, or any of the other hassles associated with living in their own home. They can continue cooking and cleaning for themselves as long as they’re able, but most of the responsibilities that come with property ownership fall on the shoulders of the assisted living community, freeing up the residents to rest and save their energy for other tasks.

At the same time, if residents have trouble cooking and/or cleaning, assisted living can also provide help in that area and do so in a way that’s comfortable and easy for the resident.

“You won’t lose your privacy.”

Privacy is also a big concern for those who are used to living in their own home, but most assisted living communities maintain an apartment-building style and provide residents with only the care they need. If residents want help with day-to-day tasks, while maintaining as much of their privacy and independence as possible, assisted living is ideal for providing all those needs at a price your loved one can afford.

Take Them on a Tour

If all else fails, take them on a tour. Let them see the units for themselves and have staff explain exactly what they can expect if they were to move in. It’s the best way to dispel the outdated fears they might have about assisted living.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How to Make Healthier Choices While Enjoying the Holidays

Healthier Choices While Enjoying the HolidaysThe holidays tend to be a dreaded time of year for all ages who are trying to maintain our weight, or even shed some pounds. When we’re surrounded by so many unhealthy treats, what can we do to make healthier choices while enjoying the holidays?

BYOF

When going to a holiday party, ask if you can bring a veggie tray or other healthy dish you know you love. That way you’ll know there will be something there you can eat. If you’re going out to a restaurant with some friends, look at the menu ahead of time (not when you’re hungry), choose the healthiest option and stick to it when you get there and place your order. Don’t even consider any other options.

Eating before you go out to a party or restaurant is also a good way to keep your calories and portion size down and make sure you know exactly what you’re eating.

Don’t Stand Next to the Food

Most parties have one room where all the food is laid out. Avoid that room. If you’re hungry, make yourself a plate with the healthiest offerings, sit down and eat it, and be done. The most important thing to avoid is eating all night long, and one of the best ways to avoid that is by loading up on healthy food right away. That, combined with keeping a safe distance from the food table after that will help you avoid all the tempting sweets.

Drink Water

We tend to consume a lot of alcohol around this time of year and that’s not healthy. It’s high in sugar, which spikes our blood sugar, which in turn makes us eat more when the sugar crash comes. It’s also hard on our livers, so if you do decide to indulge in some festive drinks this time of year, keep it to one alcoholic drink per party. The rest of the time, stick to water, which will help keep you hydrated. Make it sparkling water with some lime and it will look and feel like a gin and tonic, but your body won’t punish you for it the next morning.

Three Bites

When indulging in unhealthy foods, some people practice the “three-bite rule,” which means they enjoy three bites of it, and then they’re done. If you’re eating a piece of cake, three bites is usually about half the piece, depending on how big the slice is. Three bites could also be one cookie, brownie, or a couple pieces of fudge. Besides, after three bites you tend to stop really tasting it anyway, at which point you’re just shoving food in your mouth because you’re high on the combination of fat and sugar.

Talk

The point of parties is to see friends and family, new and old. Look at holiday parties not as a chance to stuff yourself with food and alcohol, but to talk with your friends and family members and even meet new people. Ask them how they’re doing and what they’re looking forward to next year. If you don’t know them, ask how they know the host(ess). If you’re talking, you can’t be eating.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

5 Natural Ways to Ease Arthritis Pain

ease arthritis painArthritis is a common problem for almost all seniors, so it’s no wonder the pharmaceutical industry has plenty of drugs to offer that can help reduce the pain of arthritis.

But not everyone wants to resort to taking a pill every day (or multiple times a day) just so they can move without pain. For those who prefer to take the more natural route to feeling great whenever possible, here are five options for easing arthritis pain naturally.

Yoga

Movement is often key to preventing and managing arthritis, although it seems like a catch-22 that movement can help manage arthritis when arthritis makes it difficult and painful to move.

But yoga has many moves and exercises that specifically target the joints to improve flexibility and joint health. One study found that yoga significantly helped manage osteoarthritis in elderly women. It may take some practice and you’ll have to do it regularly, but yoga is probably one of the most powerful ways to help handle arthritis pain.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

A diet that’s high vegetables and low in sugar and grains is beneficial for all kinds of health problems, including arthritis. Not only is it the best way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to keep your body strong and fight off disease, it’s also an effective way to keep inflammation low, which is key to managing arthritis.

Ginger and Turmeric

Speaking of keeping inflammation low, ginger and turmeric are both powerhouses when it comes to reducing inflammation. You can try incorporating these into your diet in your cooking and/or by drinking tea infused with one or both of these potent spices. If you can’t stand the taste, both can be bought in capsules in most supermarkets and taken as a supplement with one of your meals.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Eating right is also key to keeping our bodies at a healthy weight, which is great because being overweight is also linked to a host of health problems, especially as we get older. With approximately one third of all American senior citizens qualifying as obese, that extra weight can put a lot of stress on aging feet, ankles, knees, and hips – weight that those older body parts were never really equipped to handle, especially for long periods of time. If you’ve been gaining weight and have noticed pain and/or stiffness in one or more of those areas, the first thing you might want to try is cutting calories, eating more salads, and getting more exercise into your daily routine.

Acupuncture

It’s not for everybody, but if you’re not one of those who gets squeamish around needles, you might want to consider acupuncture. Multiple studies have shown that, in the hands of a professional acupuncturist, many patients with osteoarthritis do tend to report relief from their arthritis pain after getting acupuncture.

None of these measures are foolproof, but it’s always a good idea to try different methods and see what works for you. In some cases you might find you need the right combination of measures to effectively handle your arthritis pain the natural way.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

What You Don’t Know About High Cholesterol CAN Hurt You

High cholesterolHigh cholesterol is one of those things that easily sneak up on you. There’s just something about human nature that makes us want to bury our heads in the sand rather than receive bad news – as if it can’t hurt us if we don’t know about it.

When it comes to our health, a large part of the problem is the lack of information available, and much of the information we do have access to is conflicting. But knowledge is power, so here are 8 things you need to know about cholesterol to help you and any loved ones you may be caring for.

1) There are no symptoms that come along with having high cholesterol until it’s too late, which is why it’s vital to get your levels checked regularly.

2) When you do get your cholesterol checked, make sure you get your HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) levels measured, not just your total cholesterol, which doesn’t tell you much of anything. Your cholesterol numbers might be slightly higher than the average, but if it’s mostly HDL and low LDL, you have nothing to worry about. On the other hand, if your overall cholesterol is low, but it’s mostly LDL with low levels of HDL, that’s something you should be concerned about. Also keep an eye on your triglyceride numbers, which you want to be lowest of all.

3) The body makes most of its own cholesterol – only about ¼ of the cholesterol in our body comes from the food we eat. Because of the specific form cholesterol takes in most of our foods, most of it doesn’t get absorbed, so you don’t actually need to worry about foods that are high in cholesterol, especially since they are often among the most nutritious foods available to us.

4) That said, genetics do play a factor. Some people are genetically predisposed to make more cholesterol than others, and in some cases, the ratio of HDL to LDL might be less than favorable. Diet and exercise both play a role, but it’s always a good idea to check your family history and be sure to remain vigilant about getting your levels checked.

5) While we tend to focus on high cholesterol, it’s important to remember that there is such a thing as cholesterol levels that are too low. Cholesterol is vital to maintaining our health – it helps carry nutrients around the body and HDL actually helps keep our arteries clean. So don’t get too focused on getting your cholesterol as low as possible – if it’s in the healthy range and you have a good ration of HDL to LDL, you’re fine and you don’t need to worry about it.

6) Cholesterol levels tend to rise as we age and women in particular tend to experience higher triglyceride levels after menopause, so be on the lookout for all of those warning signs.

7) The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends adults over 20 get their cholesterol levels checked every 5 years, but those who are at risk (especially people over the age of 45) might need to get their levels checked more frequently.

8) High blood pressure and smoking are also both associated with higher levels of cholesterol, so if you have a loved one who smokes and you know they have high blood pressure, try to be extra vigilant about making sure they get their cholesterol checked regularly and keep their diet and exercise regimen as healthy as possible.

Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is not only good for helping to prevent heart attacks and stroke, but also dementia and a whole host of other potential health problems. It’s just one more reason to educate yourself on the facts of cholesterol so you can protect yourself and those you are caring for.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we do everything we can to answer the questions of our seniors in our community, as well as help them manage their health. If we do not have the answer, we will find someone that does.

CONTACT US TODAY for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

How To Recognize Signs That It’s Time For Assisted Living

time for assisted livingMaking the choice to put a loved one into an assisted living facility can be one of the most difficult choices we have to make as adults. It can be a painful process that’s often met with resistance from those who are most in need of assistance with day-to-day chores and activities, but you must remain firm. In order to do that, it helps to know for sure that it really is time for your loved one to go to an assisted living facility.

You’re Afraid To Leave Them Alone

Even the most capable of us have times when we forget to turn off the oven or unplug the iron, but if it happens regularly, it might be time to consider an assisted living facility. Many people can continue taking care of themselves well into their golden years, but if your loved one appears to be slipping in even the most basic aspects of self-care, you should probably start looking for an assisted living facility for them.

Changes in Housekeeping

Failing to maintain their normal level of cleanliness around the house and/or hoarding can both be signs that their ability to care for themselves is declining and they need help.

The Level Of Care They Need Continues To Rise

Many people try to take care of their senior friends and family members themselves by having them live with them. This can be a great way to make sure they remain an active part of the family, but if the amount of care they need rises too high, it can become a problem for all of you. There’s only so much friends and family can do, and when the level of care needed by the senior citizen starts to rise above and beyond what you can provide, it’s time to start looking for professional help.

Wandering

Wandering can be one of the earliest signs of cognitive decline if your loved one tries to go to a store that no longer exists or insists on shopping at odd hours. When that starts to happen, their confusion could potentially put them in dangerous situations. You can do your best to keep an eye on them, but you cannot possibly watch them 24/7. What you’ll need instead is an assisted living facility with the resources necessary to care for your loved one and make sure they don’t wander off.

Paranoia

Paranoia can take all sorts of forms, from hiding money in various places around the house to outright accusing friends and family members of trying to harm or trick them. It’s a common sign of aging, as well as cognitive decline from a variety of sources (Alzheimer’s, stroke, etc.). It can be especially difficult to convince a paranoid senior to move into an assisted living facility, but it’s more necessary than ever. Paranoid individuals can often end up hurting themselves by accident and no one wants to take that risk with their loved ones.

Here at Stillwater Senior Living, we treat our residents like family. Our apartments include studio, one bedroom, and two bedroom suites. They are designed with security features, maximum accessibility, and include walk-out patois with a full range of amenities for the entire family.

CONTACT US today for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.

Does Location Matter When Choosing Assisted Living?

Does Location Matter When Choosing Assisted LivingWhat’s the most important factor in a business? Location, location, location. We’ve all heard it, but how much does it play a role when choosing the right assisted living facility for you or a loved one?

As important as location is, it remains just one factor to consider, although it usually has an impact on other considerations, such as price. Below are some reasons seniors might choose to live somewhere other than their top choice city:

1) There’s no adequate assisted living facility in their hometown.

Like most of us, seniors generally want to stay in their communities, whenever possible. It’s where all their friends are and often they’ve spent years putting down roots in that neighborhood. But if it’s a small, rural town, there might not be an assisted living facility nearby, or if there is one, it’s less likely to have all the amenities they need. In that case, they might be better off moving to a nearby city with a better-equipped assisted living facility.

2) Proximity to medical facilities.

Assisted living facilities and nursing homes can provide significant medical care to their residents, but they have their limitations. While doctors may visit their patients in assisted living facilities, most facilities don’t have a doctor in the building 24/7, and as we age, we’re more likely to need professional medical treatment. Those with chronic conditions are especially likely to need to stay close to a medical facility, which means even an affordable assisted living facility in their home town might not be the right choice if it’s too far from the nearest hospital.

3) Proximity to loved ones.

Assisted living facilities can provide seniors with everything they need on a day-to-day basis, but nothing can replace the care and attention of close friends and family. Even if the senior’s children or grandchildren can’t take care of them in their home full time, just having them nearby to be available for visits and check-ins can mean a lot. Social isolation is one of the biggest challenges seniors face, but that can be abated by having someone nearby who cares for them and is readily available.

While some seniors might want to stay close to home, others are just as likely to want to move away, depending on the circumstances. If they live in the Midwest, for example, they might want to relocate to a warmer climate. Enough seniors choose to do this that seeing all their friends move south might create an incentive for them to follow. That way they’ll have a ready-made community when they get down there, and as a bonus, warmer climates have been known to help ease chronic conditions like arthritis, in which case their doctor might even recommend the relocation.

At Stillwater Senior Living, we do everything we can to accommodate the needs of our seniors in our community. We are conveniently located to a variety of other medical providers, and will help our seniors stay in touch with their family in any way that we can if their family lives far away.

CONTACT US TODAY for more information and a tour of our beautiful state-of-the-art community.