Thursday, May 11, 2017

5 Tips for Better Senior Health: Celebrating National Senior Health & Fitness Day

Senior Health
Photo Credit: 123 Photos
Exercise is vital for good physical and mental health. Healthy eating plus regular exercise is the winning formula for positive well-being at any age. As we age and our bodies change, how we safely exercise and the importance of what we eat to keep fit also changes.

May 31, 2017 is the 24th annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day. According to the their official website, the common goal of this day is "to help keep older Americans healthy and fit.” In honor of this beneficial day, here are five things you can do year round to keep you fit as a fiddle.

1) Getting Out and About

Getting Out and About
Photo Credit: Fabrizio Verrecchia
A fun way to get your steps in is to join group outings. Going to the museum, the zoo, flea markets, historical tours, or craft shows are a few ways to get out and about, learn new things and be social. Walking is a simple exercise that strengthens muscles, can stop bone mass loss, and improves sleeping. Even if a person has mobility issues that keep them confined to a wheelchair, one can still enjoy the new sights and change of scenery.

2) Yoga

Photo Credit: 123 Photos

Yoga is for every body. Many people erroneously think yoga is about turning people into human pretzels. But that is not true. Yoga is a mind-body practice that strengthens and stretches our bodies while connecting with our breath. There are numerous postures, from beginner to advance, and ways to adjust the postures to suit different individuals’ needs. One can even do yoga while sitting in a chair. There are gentle restorative yoga routines designed specifically for seniors or for people with back problems

3) Enjoy Your Favorite Hobbies

Enjoy Your Favorite Hobbies
Photo Credit: 123 Photos

Oh, the simple joy of casting a fishing line on warm summer day, watching the sun dance on the water and listening to the birds singing. Gardening, fishing, birding, flying a kite - these are all great ways to move around and have so much fun doing it, you will forget you are exercising as well.

4) An Apple A Day…
An Apple A Day
Photo Credit: Peter Belch

As the old saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Health concerns such as diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers are connected to poor weight, nutrition and not enough exercise. Healthy diets are an important part of keeping one’s cholesterol, blood pressure and other health-related numbers in the healthy zone.

5) Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day

Rome Wasn't Built In A Day
Photo Credit: 123 Photos
Before embarking on any new fitness routine, talk to your doctor to find out if there are any physical or health considerations to keep in mind. Remember - Rome wasn’t built in a day. All new exercises should be built up slowly and gradually. A great way to stick to your exercise routine is to find a group of like-minded people to join you and help you stay motivated, accountable and to share the joy of accomplishing goals with.

The Scottish Home is a unique senior living community nestled in five quiet, park-like acres just a few miles west of downtown Chicago, in North Riverside, Illinois. Our beautiful location is filled with lovely outdoor spaces for people to go outside and enjoy the fresh air! Come see for yourself. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring Has Sprung: The Healing Power of Being Outdoors for Seniors

Spring Has Sprung: The Healing Power of Being Outdoors for Seniors

It’s time to shake off that coat of winter hibernation and let the sunshine in! The cold weather makes movement a lot more challenging for those who have trouble getting around. Spring’s warmer weather invites us outside to celebrate the beauty of the crocuses and the lilacs blooming and inspires us to move about while giving us a renewed sense of freedom. Exercise and the warm sun are good for our stimulating our minds and moving our bodies. This is especially important to seniors that may have been homebound during the winter months.

5 Ways for Seniors To Enjoy The Warm Weather Outdoors

1) Take A Stroll
Getting outside in nature and taking a walk is beneficial to people on so many levels.
It strengthens muscles, can stop bone mass loss, can improve sleeping and boost the immune system, and is a great way to lose weight. The benefits of walking for seniors are tremendous.
2) Have a Picnic
Pack a little snack, and find a quiet, peaceful spot and enjoy “al fresco” dining. Bringing cards and playing a game outside is always fun too. This is a great way to enjoy social time together and the beauty of the outdoors.

3) Get a Bird Feeder
Who doesn’t enjoy watching birds at a bird feeder. You can make a game out of it and get a bird identification book to help name the different birds that come to visit - helps stimulate our minds and memories as well.

Spring Has Sprung: The Healing Power of Being Outdoors for Seniors

4) Just Be
Simply sitting outside and enjoying the sights and sounds of being outside is a fulfilling way for everyone to improve their physical and mental health. Getting outside breaks up the day-to-day routine and brightens our mood. Just 15 minutes a day outside in the sun can boost your vitamin D levels, which can improve your immune system and help foster a more positive outlook.   

5) Simply Open a Window
Seniors with limited mobility may have limits to their ability to go outdoors. But even sitting by an open window can bring the fresh air in, brighten the senses - and make a world of difference.

The Scottish Home is located North Riverside, Illinois, in a beautiful location with lovely outdoor spaces that allows its residents and guests to go outside, enjoy the fresh air - and feel better! Come see for yourself this special assisted living community where friends become family.

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Scottish Homes Presents: Hand Massage “Touch” Therapy Workshop

The Scottish Homes Presents: Hand Massage “Touch” Therapy Workshop
Physical touch is a sensation that human beings crave from birth. Infants cuddle their mothers, children hug their parents and friends and family members regularly embrace to provide a sense of security and closeness. Even a kind touch on the shoulder or a gentle hold of a hand helps people feel more connected and less lonely. Senior citizen’s living in retirement communities are especially receptive to the benefits of human interaction and touch.

The Secret Touch
Research has suggested that providing touch-therapy to elderly residents, in particular those suffer from Alzheimer’s and dementia, can have a drastic, positive effect on their mood, demeanor and health. Touch and massage therapy are some of the oldest non-invasive therapies in the world and generally focuses on using human touch along with calming essential oils to provide pressure and stimulation to muscles in the body. In the book, Care Through Touch, the author says that “touch is a natural and therapeutic way of being with the elderly . . . touch and its life-enhancing benefits are too frequently denied the elderly in our culture."

Social & Physical Healing
Senior communities can often create a sense of isolation or loneliness for residents. Through touch therapy practices, experts and properly trained family members can create a better, more full life for individuals in the senior community. Regular human contact from family members, friends and peers can help maintain a positive, connected mindset for seniors. Aside from the obvious social benefits, the practice of touch therapy can create an immense improvement in seniors’ overall health. Massage and touch therapy has been reported to:

- Relieve sore muscles -Help with arthritic pain -Improve circulation -Enhance digestive and respiratory system functionality -Improve circulation -Stimulate the nervous system -Help normalize appetite, sleep, and mood -Speed up postoperative recovery time.

Join Us
At The Scottish Home, we strive to provide a sense of living for our residents resembling that of a warm and welcoming home. We believe that touch therapy and massage can provide miraculous benefits to our residents which is why we are hosting a “Hand Massage Touch Therapy Workshop” for those curious about proper technique and its benefits for seniors. The session is $55 and attendees will receive a workbook, certificate of completion and a gift of essential oils. Learn more by viewing the event on Facebook or visit our site to learn more about senior living options at The Scottish Home. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

What to Say When the Memory Fades

Communicating with someone who is diagnosed with Alzheimer's can be an emotionally challenging situation. Alzheimer’s disease and dementia steal away stories and details that were once easily accessible and make everyday communication difficult. These changes happen in three stages (referred to as mild, moderate and severe Alzheimer’s disease) and take understanding, patience and good listening skills to deal with. For those experiencing Alzheimer’s, these changes can be scary and extremely frustrating. Effective communication can help put those with dementia or Alzheimer’s at ease.

Mayra Ligeza, from the Alzheimer's Association, recently presented a Brunch Series at The Scottish Home that examined “Effective Communication Strategies.” She explained, “communication is more than just talking and listening – it’s also about sending and receiving messages through attitude, tone of voice, facial expressions and body language. As people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias progress in their journey and the ability to use words is lost, families need new ways to connect. Learning to decode the verbal and behavioral messages delivered by someone with dementia or Alzheimer’s can help you connect and communicate at each stage of the disease.”

A few effective tips for successful communication are:

Mild Alzheimer’s:
       Don’t exclude them from conversations. Talk directly to them.
       Take time to listen to how the person is feeling and if they need anything.
       Be patient and give them time to find the right words and respond. Don’t interrupt or finish their sentences unless they ask for help.

Moderate Alzheimer’s:
       Keep eye contact. It communicates you are active listening and that you care about what is being said.
       Speak slowly and clearly.
       Don’t overwhelm the person with complicated requests. Offer simply, step-by-step instructions.

Severe Alzheimer’s:
       Promote nonverbal communication, e.g. pointing and gesturing.
       Utilize touch, sights, sounds, smells and tastes as another way to convey experience.
       Remember - it is OK if you don’t know what to say. The most important thing is your friendship and presence.

Looking for more tips? We highly recommend exploring the Alzheimer’s Association's webpage. They have a host of resources and information, including more tips on effective communication strategies:

The Scottish Home regularly hosts events with expert presenters that examine issues involving elder care; including our regular Memory Care Brunch Series, every 2nd Friday of the month, from 9am - 11am. We would love it if you could join us. Check our Facebook page or website for upcoming events. Call Rebecca Drennan to RSVP: 708-447-5092.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Senior Living That Feels Like Home

Senior Living That Feels Like Home
Putting loved ones into a senior living facility can create more worry than relief for family members who wonder if they are making the right decision. If your parents are struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, there is even greater importance that their new living space feels like a home and not a hospital. The Scottish Home and the Caledonian House in North Riverside, Illinois offers a unique living arrangement that provides you with peace-of-mind knowing that your loved one is well cared for. Here are five unique advantages to The Scottish Home:

1.     A step above assisted living – The Scottish Home is licensed to provide Sheltered Care. This means that we offer your loved one the same level of care they would get in assisted living, plus nursing care around the clock. We give personalized assistance based on patient need as well as friendship, emotional, and physical support for whole patient care. In addition, our residents get three meals a day, housekeeping, beauty and barber shop services, and regular activities and outings.
2.     Skilled nursing and intermediate care – If your loved one requires more care because of an injury, surgery, or prolonged illness, our staff is trained to provide skilled nursing care as well as therapeutic recovery services in a comfortable, homelike setting. We provide a personalized approach for each of our residents so the level and type of care is tailored to meet their specific needs.
3.     Memory care – Our facility offers an environment that helps patients struggling with the impact of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. A homey setting comforts them and is free from long, confusing hallways and an institutional feel. Residents have private bedrooms and a full bathroom that open to a center common area with a comforting fireplace, seating area, and open kitchen. 
4.     Family setting – All meals are enjoyed with fellow floor residents. Additionally, our certified nursing assistant staff are trained to help patients with personal care, culinary requirements, housekeeping, and dementia care. They take the time to engage with each resident and make them feel at home.
5.     Respite care – We offer respite care for family members who need a short break to recharge from the demands of caring for their loved ones.

The Scottish Home is the only facility that offers this type of elder care model in the Chicagoland area. Contact us to schedule a visit. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Survival Tips for Alzheimer's Patients and Families During the Holidays

Survival Tips for Alzheimer's Patients and Families During the Holidays

Survival Tips for Alzheimer's Patients and Families During the Holiday
It truly is the most wonderful time of the year. Sleigh bells are ringing, Jack Frost is nipping at your nose, and it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Yes everyone, tis the season to be merry! The time of countless family gatherings, gift buying, wonderful meals, and endless holiday cheer.
But with the many joys and special memories that are created during the month of December, there can be as many stressful and painful experiences as well, particularly when a loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s.

Why not give the gift of preparation and calm this season not only to your loved one, but to yourself. Take advice from your friendly experts at the Scottish Home , and listen to these three quick survival tips for you and Alzheimer’s patients.

Plan Carefully
It’s often hardest on Alzheimer’s patients and their family members when they are not prepared for the challenges they could encounter in their holiday plans. We highly recommend you consider your social and emotional expectations and discussing your holiday plans with relatives and close friends as far in advance as possible. It may even be advisable to celebrate the holiday a day or two early!

Take Good Care of Yourself
The holidays are special time to not only spend quality time with the people you love, but also, for you to relax and enjoy yourself! Asking for assistance for you and your loved one is a great day to maintain a positive attitude during the holidays. You can also arrange for in-home care when the holiday rush dies down to take an afternoon for yourself!

Make Sure Your Loved One is Prepared for the Holiday
Making sure your loved one is prepared for holiday events allows everyone to get the most out of the holiday season. Schedule naps and family and visit times to make sure everyone is well rested and enjoying their time together. We also recommend you play familiar music and reserve a quiet room for necessary breaks when planning an event.

From all of us at The Scottish Home, may you have a happy and blessed Holiday season!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Every 3seconds a new case of dementia is diagnosed. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. This is not a normal part of aging, there is no method of prevention and there is no proven cure. November is Alzheimer’s awareness month. Do what you can: donate, educate someone, educate yourself, wear purple, throw an event, pledge your birthday, share your story, share the message. Together, we can educate the population and decrease the stigma placed on Alzheimer’s. We can educate the young population that will one day be doctors, researchers, and caregivers. We can light the fire inside their hearts. Such an awful disease can only be fought, defeated, treated, cured if we fight together.  

What is Alzheimer’s?
Alzheimer’s is the most common form of dementia and is currently the 6th leading cause of death. Currently, there are 46.8 billion people worldwide fighting dementia. This means that 1in every 3 senior citizens die with some form of dementia. This number will increase to around 74.7 million in the next 44 years. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease; this means that the symptoms will worsen over time. Per the Alzheimer’s Association, here are ten early warning signs of Alzheimer’s:

Alzheimer’s Awareness Month   1.      Memory loss in daily life
   2.      Challenges problem solving
   3.      Difficulty with familiar tasks
   4.      Confusion with time/place
   5.      Trouble with visual images
   6.      Problems with speaking & writing
   7.      Frequently misplacing items
   8.      Poor judgment
   9.      Changes in personality and mood
   10.  Withdrawal for social activities

To formally diagnosis Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia, visit your doctor.  Your doctor will perform memory tests that involve problem solving, counting, and language followed by brain scans; CT scans and PET scans. 
If diagnosed, there are some wonderful facilities that provide caregivers specifically for dementia and Alzheimer’s. The Scottish Home recently added The Caledonian House to their facilities. This new location specializes in best in class memory care. Our memory support program understands the challenges, changes, and difficulties associated with conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia. The program focuses on emotional and physical health of your loved ones.
The Scottish Home provides loving care, friendship, and enriching activities. Because of our small size, the environment is very intimate; this makes our residents and staff feel like a family! In addition to the new memory care facility, The Scottish Home also offers assisted living and nursing home care facilities. Schedule a Tour of our facilities located at 2800 Des Plaines Avenue in North Riverside Illinois. For more information, visit our website or give us a call at (708) 447-5092!