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De-Mything Stereotypes

There are many stereotypes surrounding elder care and nursing facilities. Before we talk about the most common examples, it’s best to define stereotype. Stereotype is “any commonly known public belief about a certain social group or a type of individual.” The media industry tends to give nursing homes a negative stereotype by portraying them as depressing and abusive.  These stereotypes can give the public a negative outlook and opinion on these homes, especially if a person has never visited one.  In rare cases, some of the stereotypes may be accurate, but the majority of nursing facilities are opposite of what people assume.

Depressing

The media and entertainment industry tend to portray nursing facilities as being depressing because they show them as a place for people to go and die, which isn’t true.  It may be hard to envision a close loved one somewhere other than his or her home, but in most cases a nursing facility is what’s best for the family member.  Elders keep busy with many activities throughout the day and company is always welcome to join.  There are always people around which makes the environment more lively than living at home alone.  Plus trained staff are around to provide assistance when needed.

Smell

If you’ve never walked into a nursing home, you probably assume they smell bad, which is actually the opposite.  Nursing homes tend to smell clean and sterile.  In order to keep a safe and germ-free environment for the residents, employees use sanitizers and cleaners throughout the day.  Bathrooms and shower areas are cleaned on a regular basis, as are tables, chairs and other surface areas that receive heavy contact.

Abusive

One of the worst stereotypes about nursing homes is that they’re abusive.  Contrary to belief and what is played out in the media, most of the employees that work in a nursing facility love their job and their field of work. When people like what they do, they create a positive and fun environment for people around them. People who care for the elder also tend to be caring, compassionate and patient people which radiates onto people living in the communities.

While there are stereotypes that surround elder care and nursing facilities, it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of them are inaccurate.  Nursing facilities are a safe and loving environment for your loved ones where they will feel right at home.

Fighting the Winter Blues

As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, it’s common to feel the winter blues.  In fact, nearly one in four adults experience different degrees of depression in the winter due to the lack of sunshine and limited activities. However, for the majority of us, there are several tactics we can do to help stay upbeat and positive this winter.

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Additional Quality Time

If you’re starting to feel a little down this winter, spend additional quality time with friends and loved ones. Most people tend to isolate from others when their mood goes south, so it’s important to reach out to friends and family members for group support.  It can be as easy as spending time with them listening to music, playing cards, or even flipping through old photo albums.  A little additional time spent with others can go a long way to improve a person’s well-being.  If you don’t live within driving distance to your family members, consider setting up a video call.  A face-to-face video chat can help communicate with loved ones and improve your mood through uplifting conversations.

Daily Diet

Since we receive most of our vitamin D from the sun, choosing a daily diet rich in vitamins can go a long way in fighting the winter blues.  Vitamin D rich foods include salmon, eggs, tuna, milk, yogurt, sardines and fortified cereals.  Winter is also a great time to test out mood boosting soups and stews.  Key ingredients may include squash as it is a good source of magnesium and potassium, as well as eggplant, which is full of fiber, copper, vitamin B1 and manganese. Sweet potatoes is also a hearty winter food packed with vitamin b6, biotin, and anti-inflammatory flavonoids. Here’s a list of recipes for delicious dinners that include these key mood boosting ingredients.

Light Lamp

Researchers believe that sitting in front of a fluorescent light lamp, which mimics outdoor light, can cause a chemical change in the brain that lifts your mood and eases symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Results show that this technique can start to improve depression symptoms within just a few days. Seniors should sit in front of the light for about 20 to 30 minutes within the first hour of waking up in the morning. They’re designed to be safe and effective and with prices starting at $39.00, light lamps are affordable.

While the winter months can be difficult at any age, all it takes is a little patience and some small adjustments in your daily routine to help beat the winter blues.  It’s important to remember that winter doesn’t last forever. Try to envision the spring and sunshine at the end of the blustery tunnel.

Yes, You Should Get a Flu Shot.

 The Importance of Staying Vaccinated.

It’s that time of year again – when flu vaccinations are highly recommended by flu-shotdoctors and pharmacies. While a flu vaccination won’t guarantee protection against the flu, it significantly reduces your chances of getting sick. Here are four reasons why you should get a flu shot.

Reduce trips to the hospital

Receiving a flu vaccine reduces the risk of doctor visits by approximately 50% to 60%, according to studies by Center for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, it may reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization, especially among children and older adults. One study reported that people 50 years and older who got the vaccine reduced their risk of getting hospitalized from the flu by 57%.

Partners as a preventative tool

The flu vaccine is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Flu vaccinations have been shown to reduce hospitalizations in people with diabetes by 79% and 52% in people with chronic lung disease.  An October 2014 article in JAMA reported adults who had received a flu shot were 36% less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke within the next year than those who weren’t vaccinated.

Affordable and convenient

The flu vaccine is offered by many pharmacies and within major retailers such as Walgreens and Target, so you don’t have to wait in long lines. Most places also take walk-in appointments, so there’s no need to schedule something far in advance. In addition to being convenient, the flu vaccine is also affordable. Your health insurance may cover the cost or in some cases, a local clinic may offer days where you can get vaccinated for free. Even if you do have to pay out of pocket, the average fee of $30.00 is well worth the price.

Keep your friends and neighbors healthy

Per the Harvard School of Public Health, 20%-30% of people are carriers of the flu virus who never experience symptoms, but are contagious.  When you get infected without knowing it, you could spread the virus to others such as your friends, neighbors and family members.  This means someone else may become sick and hospitalized, even though you never showed symptoms.

A seasonal flu shot is the single best way to protect against the flu. Do your part this winter to keep yourself and others around you healthy. Type in your zip code to find the closest place where you can get vaccinated today.

*It’s important to note that while a flu shot is highly recommended in most people ages 6 months and over, you should check with your doctor before receiving a flu vaccine if you’re allergic to eggs or certain antibiotics. Most types of flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein and while you can still receive a vaccination if you’re allergic, you should be vaccinated and supervised by a doctor who can manage allergic reactions. 

 

Importance of Activities for Seniors

Activities for seniors offer far more than just pleasure. Here’s our top five reasons why seniors, and their families, should participate in weekly activities.

Nurtures Relationships

Taste testing food with the chocolate fountains.

Taste testing food with the chocolate fountains.

Whether it is going to bingo night, a music event or joining the Red Hat Ladies Club, it is important to meet new people, build relationships and enjoy the benefits of having a social network. Social activities and relationships help seniors stay involved and active in their communities. Developing and nurturing relationships also helps seniors defeat loneliness and isolation.

It’s just as important for the families of seniors to be involved in activities with them to keep growing their already established relationships. The amount of quality time spent with your elder is a better predictor of their psychological well-being than the amount of time spent with them.

Keep Learning

Activities present an opportunity to learn new skills and brush up on current talents. From studying a new language to learning how to play chess, there are so many new hobbies to learn and engage in. No matter their chronological age, there is always an opportunity to learn something new for seniors.

Mental Stimulation

Activities stimulate the brain. Whether it’s signing up for a cooking class, playing a game of Wii bowling, taking up crocheting or playing UNO with friends, each activity keeps the brain and body engaged. Not only are social activities enjoyable, they also keep our brain sharp. Mental exercise stimulates the brain, providing long-lasting positive effects on seniors thinking skills, reasoning skills and memory.

Social Stimulation

If seniors don’t make an effort to stay socially active, they begin to withdraw from the world and suffer physical, mental, and emotional consequences. Social activities help give seniors a sense of purpose, whether it’s simply the routine of having a schedule and a place to be or the sense of accomplishment that comes from reaching a goal. Social stimulation also helps to promote positive self-awareness. These activities may include journal writing, reading, singing groups or even reminiscing with friends.

Improve Health

According to an article published in the Journal of American Medical Association, elderly people who remain physically and mentally active significantly reduce their risk for cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Taking part in group activities and social events help elderly people maintain a sense of meaning and purpose in life, which boosts their emotional well-being.

Assisted Living Versus Nursing Homes – What’s the Difference?

examplefacility-03When you or your loved ones reach a certain age, one of the most difficult decisions will be about living arrangements. If you’re considering alternatives to independent living, it is important to be well-informed about your options. In particular, there is a distinct difference between a nursing home and an assisted living facility. Think of both nursing homes and assisted living facilities as pizza, but one is New York style and the other is deep dish. They both can be great, but one might fit your preferences better.

Assisted Living

Assisted living refers to communities that seniors live in which provides a higher level of personal care than living independently. There may be a 24-hour caregiving staff, but not necessarily around the clock medical care. Sizes of assisted living facilities vary from small, like a single family home, to large planned communities. Assisted living is a wellness environment that encourages and supports the well-being of each community member. Our very own Eberhardt Village is an assisted living community!

Nursing Home

A nursing home provides around the clock medical care and focuses on sub-acute care. People can live in nursing home on a short term or long-term basis. Nursing homes are also known as skilled nursing facilities because of the skilled care that is provided. Arthur Home, or facilities like these, are great communities for individuals who need a higher level or more frequent amount of care. The cost of a nursing home is generally higher than the cost of an assisted living facility due to the specialized care residents at a skilled nursing facility receive.

So which one is right for you?


Assisted Living

  • You’re looking for a community where assistance is available, but not necessarily around the clock medical care
  • You or your loved one still wants to maintain a level of independence
  • You want to participate in community activities, meet new friends, and have new opportunities to socialize

Nursing Home

  • You or your loved one has complicated medical conditions
  • You’d prefer around the clock medical care
  • You or your loved one’s health is declining quickly
  • Help with everyday activities is needed

Meet Eberhardt Village’s New Director, Jennifer Starr, RN

In mid-July, Eberhardt Village, a senior community located in Arthur Illinois, welcomed Jennifer Starr, RN, as the new Community Director. With a passion for enriching the lives of residents, there is no one better suited for this position. As Jennifer assumes her new role, she is full of delight. Jen says, “I’m excited to get to know all the seniors and staff better. I’m excited for the future and all that we can accomplish.”

Eberhardt_Director_JenJennifer grew up in the neighboring town of Sullivan, Illinois. At the age of 12, she discovered her desire to help others through nursing. Her grandmother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and moved into Jennifer’s family home. Hospice nurses started to visit and Jennifer admired the compassion they showed her grandmother, realizing she wanted to become involved in nursing.

Jennifer attended Lakeland College and graduated with an associate’s degree in nursing in May of 2014. Following her graduation, she passed the nursing boards and earned her Registered Nurse title. In her career thus far, Jennifer has committed herself to caring for and enriching the lives of residents in various living facilities. Additionally, Jennifer has traveled throughout central Illinois consulting for different facilities. She has an extraordinary work ethic, at one point working within three different facilities at one time.

Now that Jennifer has joined the Eberhardt Village team, she is adjusting to her new role. Before she came to Eberhardt, she had always heard such wonderful things about this community. Since her arrival, she has not been disappointed! The staff is awesome, the facility is beautiful, and the residents are welcoming. Jennifer says that everyone has been amazing. She genuinely feels she is at home and that Eberhardt Village is where she is meant to be.

Most of all, Jennifer is excited to get to know the residents of Eberhardt, as well as their families. She wants to demonstrate that she is not just an administrator behind a desk, but rather someone who is involved with the residents and part of their daily lives. Jennifer explained that when she interviewed for the position, the toughest interview was with the residents who asked her what her goal was. Jennifer explains, “I understand that residents have worked their whole lives to be here. I want to ensure that I can make each resident’s time here happy.” Jennifer believes it is her responsibility to ensure residents are well taken care of and full of life. She wants you to enjoy life, because you deserve it!

Vote for Eberhardt Senior Community

lg-headerEberhardt Senior Community is currently in a contest to possibly win$30,000 for a technology makeover by the RK Dixon Make My Non-Profit Run Better Contest! We have made it to the final round, but are in desperate need of votes!!

The contest runs until July 29th at 5pm. You can vote once per day per device. Currently we are in 3rd place but hopefully we can reach out to enough people that we can soar to the top!

Vote today at: http://www.mmnprb.com/search/

Farewell from Jo Ellen

Dear Friends & Family,

A heartfelt Thank you to everyone for the warm wishes, parties, cards, memories and prayers as I leave my position as Community Director here at Eberhardt Senior Communities. I started here in 1994 and I never dreamed I would have experienced all the wonderful people, friends, and co workers that I have had the pleasure of meeting and se
rving the past 22 years. I always felt like this was my 2nd home, and I will always treasure the memories, and friendships that I have obtained over the years. Building Eberhardt Village in 2008 was a wonderful experience, and I enjoyed bringing more senior living and programs to the community. The campus is a wonderful addition to the Arthur area and the service offered to the local community is a blessing. I feel grateful that I was a part in helping getting it underway for today and the future.
God Bless you all, my love and prayers are sent to every one of you.

Love, Jo Ellen

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A Letter from Community Nurse, Stephanie Thompson

Well, I decided this month not tStephanie Thompsono write about some disease process or what you should or shouldn’t do to stay healthy.  You all hear enough out of me day after day about that.  Instead, I have decided to write about my experience at Eberhardt Village.

Before March of 2013, I had never worked in an assisted living setting.  I had always taken care of people that were sick and was helping get back to good health.  When I started here, I really had to shift gears.  I had to really step back and say, these people are for the most part healthy, living their lives and just need some overseeing, or be there if they really do get sick.  It took a long time not to want to treat or constantly want to make someone better.  What I have learned, though, is that an assisted living is really an awesome place for someone to be, and whoever invented the idea, had it right!  It is genius to have a beautiful place where you can have your own apartment, be waited on if you want, be able to come and go as you please, yet still have someone right there if something goes wrong!  It has been an absolute joy to get to know all of the seniors and their families.  So many make me feel like I am family, and let me tell you, that is going to be hard to leave. 

My husband and I have decided that we need to relocate back to the panhandle of Florida, where we once lived and thoroughly enjoyed.  We feel this is the time to do it while we are still able.  If there is one thing I learned from all of you, it is living life to the fullest and never take anything for granted.  You all have been a true blessing to me and I will miss you all greatly.  I will be giving Jo Ellen my address, when I get one, so I can receive newsletters to keep up with all that is going on.  You are definitely in good hands with the wonderful staff that works here, and those too, I am going to miss.  We will be back to visit, as most of our family are here.   I will definitely make this one of my first stops!

Take care and love you all,

Stephanie Thompson RN

Preparing for Your Immunizations

By Stephanie Thompson RN, Eberhardt Village Community Nurse

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August is national immunization awareness month. There has been a lot of talk in the media about children not getting immunizations, but the need for immunizations does not end with childhood. Each year, thousands of adults in the United States suffer serious health problems, are hospitalized or even die from diseases that could be prevented by vaccines. Some of these include whooping cough, influenza, certain bacterial infections, hepatitis A & B, shingles and even some cancers.

For instance, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that though the shingles vaccine is recommended for all adults over age 60, only an estimated 15.8% of that population received it. Furthermore, less than 1/3 of females 19-26 years have received the HPV vaccine which prevents infection with the human papillomavirus, the virus that can lead to cervical cancer.

There are many factors why so few adults are receiving the immunizations thy need to maintain good health. One of the simplest reasons is that many people don’t realize the need for adults to receive vaccines. It has been reported that 40% of adults believe they do not need vaccines because they were vaccinated as a child.

ImmunizationProtection from some childhood immunizations wears off over time, leaving you vulnerable to disease. There has been a rise in the adult cases of whooping cough for example. Adults are now recommended to get one booster of Tdap whooping cough vaccine.

Some other reasons for adults not being immunized are gaps in insurance coverage, inability to pay for vaccines if not covered by insurance and limitations to access to care.

Many adults may be recommended for certain vaccines due to age, illnesses, hobbies or jobs. Some adults might be at higher risk of serious complications from vaccine preventable diseases.

Adult immunization does not only protect the person receiving but loved ones and those in the community as well. Vaccines can be obtained at your healthcare provider, pharmacies, work places, and health departments.