Category: Senior Living

Five ways rehabilitation promotes independence

Everyone wants to be independent.

That’s true no matter your age.

But it can be especially important when you face the physical challenges that sometimes accompany aging.

In fact, one of the most common desires among older adults is to remain as independent as possible, as long as possible.

While many people achieve this goal by staying healthy, sometimes accidents or unforeseen illnesses can threaten independent vitality.

When a physical injury limits your mobility, or an illness disrupts daily life, taking advantage of rehabilitation services can help you to get back on your feet and remain independent much longer.

Rehabilitation services at Diakon Senior Living Services cover a variety of therapies and meet the needs of adults in less-than-their-best health. In fact, many seniors turn to rehab following a hospital stay if they’re not yet able to return home. Others seek outpatient rehab to continue therapy after an injury or surgery.

Whether physical, occupational or speech therapy, such programs can help you to regain optimal abilities and well-being.

If you face an illness or injury with the risk of loss of independence, rehabilitation can help you maintain independence longer and to the extent possible.

1.    Allows you to maintain your daily routine. Recovery can be a long road for older adults, but rehabilitation can help you get back on your feet—and back to your regular lifestyle—much faster. Those who opt out of rehab or therapy might not heal as quickly or suffer from subsequent injuries, making it harder to maintain a daily routine. For example, if a shoulder injury doesn’t heal correctly, you may always need help lifting heavy loads or reaching above your head. Rehabilitation services can help you to meet your goals for continuing your normal way of life.

Click here to read more about what rehab can do!

Everything you need to know about CCRCs

Continuing Care Retirement Communities, or CCRCs for short, are one of the most popular choices for older adults seeking a carefree community home.

These communities attract so many seniors for numerous reasons, but before you determine if a CCRC is right for you, it’s helpful to understand everything you can about this type of community and what it offers.
 
●    Continuum of care
The “continuing care” part of CCRCs refers to the variety of senior lifestyles and care the community provides. In addition to maintenance-free retirement or independent living, these communities may offer personal care/assisted living, memory care, skilled nursing care, rehabilitation or any combination of these. Some may also offer minor support for independent living residents or allow personal care services to be received in an independent living home. Residents of any type of lifestyle typically have access to the additional services offered on campus, should the need arise.

You can read more about CCRCs by clicking here.

Why you deserve a time out!

You need a time out!

Well … not the type you might assign your child!

Your time out is from caregiving.

Caring for a loved one who requires daily support is a full-time job. No one doubts that.

And that job can be especially involving if your loved one has a chronic health condition such as Alzheimer’s disease. Often, providing care can take its toll on you as well, affecting physical and emotional well-being.

As with any job, you deserve an occasional timeout to rest, recharge and return to your role with renewed energy.
 
Unfortunately, many caregivers ignore the need for a break. Whether they feel fully responsible for meeting every one of their loved one’s needs—or they simply don’t know how to obtain help—caregivers can quickly burn out.

If that occurs, the situation can affect other aspects of your life, including not only your physical health but also emotional stability, family relationships and more.

Moreover, when you’re drained, it’s hard to give your best to the person depending on you for care.
 
Respite care is an ideal solution for busy caregivers hoping to avoid burnout and practice some necessary self-care.

Respite care is frequently offered by senior living communities, such as those within Diakon Senior Living Services, on a day-by-day basis, or by such programs as Diakon Adult Day Services, which has locations in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, and Hagerstown, Maryland.

Using respite care for a few days or weeks can help you to take care of yourself, while knowing your loved one is being cared for by professionals in an environment that promotes socialization and engagement with others.
 
In “Respite Care for the Elderly Is Important for Family Caregivers,” author Shelley Webb, RN, describes the benefits of taking a time out:

Click here to read more.

Patient turned faithful volunteer

I volunteer two days a week at Frey Village, but it’s just not long enough.

After I spent several weeks recuperating from back surgery in the village’s health care and rehabilitation center, I knew I wanted to return. I sympathized with the patients and residents who didn’t have many visitors and jumped at the chance to volunteer when asked. My job is to help with activities, deliver mail and make visitations.

The part I like best is visiting with people. I ask how they are doing, talk about their hobbies, anything to break up their day a bit. I really enjoy the connections I have made and have found I have a lot in common with many of them. We get to talking, and it makes the time fly for both of us!

I know from personal experience that when you lie in bed all day with nothing to do, it makes for a long day. While I was recovering from my back surgery, I initially had difficulty walking. With the help of physical therapy, I improved to where I could use a walker. That was a game-changer and I soon was getting get out of bed and walking in my walker all over the building!

It was during those walks that I met some of the people I visit today now that I am fully recovered. One woman, for example, knows my sister-in-law. She would talk with her whenever she visited the grocery store where she worked. I know another man’s whole family—I went to school with one of them and lived down the street from the other. In fact, some of residents were surprised to see me come in—because they knew me as a patient!

I empathize with many of them who are struggling with physical challenges, and I sympathize with those who feel forgotten by family and friends. That is why at the end of my six- or seven-hour shift, I often feel as if that wasn’t enough time to do everything I wanted to do.

I’d go every day, if I could. In fact, I wish I had started volunteering sooner.

I’m retired so I have the time to give and the desire to help. But it is the big smiles that greet me every visit that motivate me to do more. They all ask me to return, but they don’t need to worry.

I’ll be back.

Frey Village Volunteer Gary Shomper is a retiree who lives in Highspire, Pennsylvania.

Because we review comments, they do not appear immediately. Please do not submit each comment more than once. Please review our comment policy.

Choosing warm-hearted care for your parent

Sam knew his mother needed care and daily assistance; his family’s holiday visit had revealed just how dangerous it might be for her to remain at home by herself any longer.

But the idea of finding a senior living community offering the type of care his mother needed seemed daunting and Sam was not certain he was comfortable with this sudden role-reversal.

However, as parents age, children often find their roles shifting from earlier ones receiving care and support to now ensuring care and support for their parent.

In fact, the decision may fall to you to make the decision on where a parent moves or who comes into the home to provide care.
 
Fortunately, many people have already made this journey, and experienced professionals in senior living can be a valuable resource.
 
Typically, it helps to focus on the priority of finding care—giving a parent the best quality of life possible.

Sadly, not every senior care community stands up against the scrutiny of family members seeking compassionate, dignified care for their loved ones.

So, as you evaluate options, keep in mind the following considerations that can help to give your parent the warm-hearted care he or she deserves…

Click here to learn more.



The value of intergenerational relationships

A few months ago, I attended a women’s breakfast with an intergenerational theme. My daughter performed there as a “millennial” in a skit that highlighted just how different she was from her “mother,” the Generation X-er and her “grandmother,” the Baby Boomer.

The skit was funny and light-hearted as the players tried to plan a baby shower from their three different—and stereotypical—perspectives. But, as can happen, interactions became a bit heated when they tried to push their own agendas. Eventually, however, instead of being frustrated with one another, they decided to focus on their similarities rather than differences and work together.

If our society could learn to do that in real life, I believe we could get so much more accomplished! It often also is interesting to experience a different point of view. And that was the point they were trying to make in the skit.

I work for an organization that serves people of every generation and I love the perspective it offers.

Senior living … with the emphasis on living!

It’s a concern I often hear.

Life in a senior living community means giving up your independence. Or it means you no longer own your own home. Or it means we’ll be isolated from our friends and family. And on and on.

But nothing could be further from the truth!

And so many people who come to live in a Diakon Senior Living Community later say they held back from making a decision and were suddenly forced to consider the move. They frequently add that they wish they had made the decision long ago, had they known the positive impact our lifestyle can have.

We at Diakon Senior Living Services are happy to debunk such commonly held myths. In fact, many of our residents say that community life opens up new opportunities for better health and wellness, quality of life and a sense of fulfillment they could never experience living on their own!

From greater independence to security for the future, the benefits can be life-changing:

Click here to read more!

Decreased sense of smell could be linked to cognitive illnesses

Hmmm …

Not smelling as well? (And we don’t mean personal hygiene!)

According to Harvard Health, recent studies show that an inadequate sniffer could be a red flag when it comes to determining one’s risk for developing cognitive impairments (what the medical field calls dementia).

While much more research needs to be done before smell becomes a reliable diagnostic test for memory loss, a study published last year in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society claims that scientists might have picked up the scent on a new correlation.

Last September, the journal published a study conducted by otolaryngologist Jayant M. Pinto in which nearly 3,000 adults ages 57 to 85 were asked to smell and identify five odors.

Click here to read more about the results from this study…

The value of having access to on-site health services

When Sarah and John began the process of selecting a senior living community for their retirement years, the minor health issues they had faced recently—Sarah’s chronic arthritis had flared up and John learned he has diabetes—played a role in their decision.

In their early 70s, they were still a very active and independent couple and yet they had come to recognize that future, potential health-care needs played a bigger role in life now.

In fact, a significant reason many older adults choose to make the move to a senior living community is for the health benefits.

A community setting inherently promotes a more active lifestyle, not to mention the availability of amenities that make exercising more feasible and fun. But perhaps the greatest value is the senior living community’s on-site access to health care and related services.

Diakon Senior Living Communities offer a variety of health-care services. Having access to lifestyle options that range from daily personal care to rehabilitation programs that enhance recovery, older adults feel confident and secure, no matter what the future holds.

Consider how the health-care services on site at Diakon Senior Living communities add incredible value to the health and happiness.

Click here to read more…

Why older adults should explore new interests

Many of us imagine retirement to be a chapter of our lives filled with relaxation, free schedules and the opportunity to do whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted.

However, many older adults with this expectation are often disappointed when their lifestyle doesn’t make them as happy as they thought it would. So why doesn’t golfing, reading or doing our favorite things every day make us happy?

The reason lies in the difference between pleasure and meaningful engagement. Our favorite pastimes may be pleasurable, but that feeling only lasts so long, fading shortly into our retirement.

Longer-lasting joy comes from doing things that not only truly engage our minds, but also provide meaning. For example, reading may be a pleasurable activity, but joining a book club and sharing ideas with others can be more engaging. Leading a book club or planning a Reading Day at your local school offers additional meaning.

If you’re searching for more than just pleasure in your retirement, exploring new interests can lead you to a more engaging, meaningful and fulfilling lifestyle. Click here for just a few reasons to try something new!

Because we review comments, they do not appear immediately. Please do not submit each comment more than once. Please review our comment policy.