Archive | Campus News

RSS feed for this section

How Technology Has and Will Continue to Improve Seniors’ Lives

In the 40’s a phone was positioned on your kitchen wall, and your phone number was a few digits. You had ‘party lines’ meaning you could pick up the headpiece and hear that Susie Thompson down the road was talking to her best friend, Tilly. You would have to politely ask Susie if she could end her call so you could make a call. In the 60’s and 70’s the phone became a fashion piece in the home. Robin egg blue and harvest gold phones were situated in living rooms and dens all across the nation, and instead of rotary dials, there were push buttons that you pressed to make your call. No longer were you on a party line, but you had your phone line to yourself and could call anyone at any time without having to wait for your neighbor to get off the phone. Today our phones not only call someone, we now have the universe at our fingertips with the internet and web. At first, this was shocking, hard to understand, foreign and even those who were tech savvy were unsure what data was or even roaming charges. That has all changed!

Today 80% of seniors, 65 and older, own a phone. More than 60 percent own a computer or laptop.

Today, technology is benefiting and helping seniors by allowing them to be in touch with not only family and friends but also allowing them to engage in activities that are in the reach of their own hand. With iPhones and Androids, there are hundreds of helpful apps for everyday use, including topics on safety, learning, and so much more. The list below is just a sampling of some that help improve senior lives.

seniors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helpful Apps:

  1. EyeReader: An app that acts as a magnifying glass for reading, allowing you to see small fonts.

 

  1. Park ‘n’ Forget: Parking lots can be confusing and all of us know that feeling “where did I park?” Trying to locate your car out of a hundred others is no longer a problem with the Park ‘n’ Forget app. All you have to do is put in what floor, aisle, or section you’re on, and it creates a simple map that will easily lead you back. The app also monitors the amount of time you have spent in metered parking spots.

 

  1. Pillboxie: An app that easily helps you to remember your meds. The nice thing about the app is that it “visually” helps you remember. You can customize your pills by color and dragging and dropping them into the virtual pillbox. This will help you remember to take your medication at the scheduled time you set and also help you remember if you have taken that pill.

 

  1. Lumosity: Aging often affects our memory. This can frustrate many seniors who wish to stay mentally active. The app Lumosity is an easy way to keep your mind sharp which contains hundreds of puzzles and games. It was designed by neurologists and is proven to help memory recall and information retention.

 

  1. Facebook: Seniors can now stay in contact with their grandchildren, children, and friends. They can post what they are doing as well and have a sense of being in contact with loved ones by posting and messaging.

 

  1. Yesterday USA – Old Time Radio: Such a fun app if you are a fan of old time radio. This FREE app offers up radio shows from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s.

 

Here is a sampling of technological advances that are focused on aging Americans needs.

doctor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Edema socks: based on a Danish company called Ohmatex, these socks can detect and notify the person wearing them of swollen feet and edema. Most of the time this is a sign of illness or other health problems.

 

  1. Shoes that prevent falls: researchers have concluded that vibrating the insoles in your shoes can improve balance and stability, making a fall 70 percent less likely. Although the study concluded these findings as useful, we will have to wait because no company is manufacturing them quite yet.

 

  1. Shirts that conduct CPR: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is currently conducting a shirt that would be able to sense a heart attack and then administer CPR. It is estimated that this shirt won’t be completely ready for about 15 years, but shirts with sensors are already on the market.

 

  1. Self-driving cars: Most seniors fear the day when they won’t be able to drive anymore, losing a sense of their independence. However, Google is already testing self-driving cars, which use sensors to assess the environment around them and software to do the actual driving. The cars are still in the experimental stage, but it is predicted they will be available within a decade or so.

 

Sources:

http://www.pewinternet.org/fact-sheet/mobile/

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/retirement/articles/2015/12/09/7-tech-advances-that-will-change-seniors-lives

 

Diabetes Alert Day is Tuesday, March 28

You Better Watch Out

According to the book “Fast Food Nation”, 96% of American schoolchildren can identify Ronald McDonald. The only other fictional character which they were able to recognize more – was Santa Claus. Just let those facts sink in. Then ask yourself, ‘What exactly does that say about our nation?’

Today in the United States more than two-thirds of adults are considered to be overweight or obese. The numbers are staggering. Diabetes is a common factor in the majority of those numbers. In fact, the two main causes of diabetes are obesity and lack of exercise. Diabetes has become a serious epidemic in our country. It affects more than 29 million Americans or about 9% of the U.S. population. An estimated 86 million Americans have prediabetes and 90% of those don’t even know they have it. Probably the most alarming fact is diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States.

Every year on the fourth Tuesday in March, The American Diabetes Association observes Diabetes Alert Day. It is a one-day, wake-up-call to inform Americans how serious and important diabetes is, as well as to alert everyone to the increasing numbers of people who are affected by this disease and how severe the outcome can be when left undiagnosed and untreated. This day encourages all to take the Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test; a quick and easy test you can take online in minutes. This alert day also encourages anyone and everyone to participate in work friendly activities that teach you how you can reverse the effects of diabetes and live a healthier and longer life.

There are two types of diabetes; type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes is the more severe form and is referred by different names like insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes-juvenile diabetes because it usually occurs in children and teenagers. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas produces little or no insulin which then causes the body’s immune system to attack its own body, and in this case, a part of the pancreas. Scientists do not know why, but they do know the immune system mistakenly recognizes the insulin producing cells in the pancreas as foreign, so it destroys them. It is this characteristic that classifies type 1 diabetes as an autoimmune disease.

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90-95% of all diagnosed cases and has several causes, but lifestyle and genetics are the most common. A combination of these can cause insulin resistance when your body doesn’t use insulin well. Insulin resistance is the most common cause of type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is also hereditary, which doesn’t guaranty you diabetes if your parent or parents have it, but it does mean you have a greater chance of getting it. Researchers have not been able to pin point which genes carry the risk, but the medical community has been researching certain genetic mutations that lead to a risk of type 2.

Symptoms of diabetes include: extreme increase in thirst, recurrent urination, unexplained weight loss, an increase in hunger, and tingling in your hands or feet. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your doctor who can run a variety of tests, such as a fasting or a normal plasma glucose test.

To help reduce your risk of getting diabetes, tips include exercising regularly, eating a balanced and healthy diet, limiting processed foods in your diet, managing your weight, limiting your alcohol intake, and not smoking.

As Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation wrote, “Fast food is popular because it’s convenient, it’s cheap, and it tastes good. But the real cost of eating fast food never appears on the menu.”

The facts don’t lie. Ignoring them can be deadly. On March 28 take part in Diabetes Alert Day. Be aware. Be active. Be involved. It is time that we make healthier life choices for ourselves and for our children. It’s okay that Santa Claus is at the top of the list of fictional characters’ children recognize. Let’s change who number two is. Children don’t make choices where they eat, parents do.

 

 

 

 

Love You Forever

arthur home 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When the author of the ever-popular book, “Love You Forever” first wrote those famous words: “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be” he didn’t write them, he actually sang them. There is a much darker side to this popular children’s book, the actual story behind the famous four lines. The author, Robert Munsch, sang those words inside his head, speaking them not even out loud for his wife to hear. He did this after his wife gave birth to their stillborn baby, the second stillborn they would have to mourn. After the loss of their second child the doctors informed them they would never be able to conceive a child on their own. The couple went on to adopt three children, but the loss of his first two babies as well as the little song he made up to sing inside his head silently, “my way of crying” stayed with him over the years, eventually becoming the blockbuster book published in 1986 . By 2001 it was listed as No. 4 on Publishers Weekly’s list of best-selling children’s books.

The parents, who would have read that book to their babies, back in 1986, would be around 60 years old. Certainly not an age most would think need care, but the idea that we as children should take care of our elderly parents seems simpatico with that book’s theme. It’s a common theme throughout our lives, that we will always take care of what is ours. A nice thought, a solid ideal, but one that can fall short when the actual task comes to hand.

As our parents age and become elderly, where they need our assistance, we often find ourselves in a position we did not plan for or give much thought to. Often like making out a will, if we don’t do it, then won’t that mean we won’t die? Why take on worry when it’s not at our door? But the reality of this situation is our parents are aging and living longer lives and we are marrying later in life and starting our families later, meaning we have our own children still in the home, still to be raised by us as we were by our own parents. Do you see where we are coming in this crossroads of life we didn’t want to ‘look’ at for fear it would happen?

We as adult children of parents, who are aging, believe our parents would want to be cared for by us, possibly live with us when that time came when they needed assistance. But the truth is, they all don’t want to, in fact – a majority of them do not want to. Less than a third (31%) of those surveyed for a Gallup & Robinson research project on aging and quality of life said they would live with a younger family member when they could no longer live on their own. We are raised by our parents to be independent, to build our own lives, hopefully close by, but on our own all the same. Our parents drilled that into us because they also love their independence. The assumption that they want to be living with us when they are elderly or cared for – primarily by us – is not true. Remember when you came home after college, flopped into their basement and thought your Mom was going to continue to cook your favorite meals and do your laundry? Do you remember how well that went over? You were shocked to find your Mom not home and your Dad had turned the basement into his ‘big game room’ filled with deer heads and stuffed turkey.  You were ushered to the door and it was soundly locked. The keyless entry on the garage was changed and it no longer bore your birthdate. They are independent. They are active, viable, and busy on their own. They love you, they love your children, but they raised you with the understanding the world had opportunities galore for you to thrive and survive. They did not, nor do not, want to live in your home to see what a bad job they did raising you.
Arthur homeThankfully Eberhardt Village and Arthur Home have paid attention and have kept up on what the elderly of this new generation are looking for. Eberhardt Village offers many amenities for their active seniors including; card club, live music, transportation to scheduled outings, a Main Street Eatery and so much more. Located on sight is a Beauty & Barber Shop, a full laundry facility with complimentary washers and dryers and even a weekly housekeeping service. If the needs are greater they have Arthur Home, a full scale nursing home for both long and short term skilled care. Plus, they offer rehabilitation services for those who just need time to mend and get back on their feet. At Arthur Home they know that not everyone has the same wants or likes for their living arrangements so they offer two different room styles, many just remodeled, which fit the many needs of their seniors. Wireless internet, built-in dressers, call lights and so much more.

By offering continuum care with options that include completely independent living, assisted living, and even nursing home-level care, Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village meet the needs of today’s senior. Enabling them to make their new home –  their last home, which has been a reoccurring ‘MUST’ among elderly who are moved around from one place to the next. They want their own home. And with this new era, long  gone are the days of ‘Old Folks Homes’, replaced by the up to date living communities that are centered on meeting the needs of viable seniors who like yoga, who play euchre on their computer and enjoy going on trips to shop. They like to spend their money, not save it for you. They made you independent for a reason. And the resources for you to earn a good life and make a good savings of your own are more abundant than ever before.

If you remember the book “Love You Forever” you must then also remember the very end of the story. The son, grown now, went to his mother’s home to hold her and rock her. He didn’t go down the stairs to the den that was converted into a bedroom. Perhaps the author was telling us something?

 

 

 

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.

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!

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