The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services established the Administration for Community Living (ACL) to advance independence, integration and inclusion throughout life. ACL recently honored Older Americans Month in May. The theme encouraged older adults and their families to explore the many ways seniors can continue to be an active part of their communities. Below is a short summary of the history of Older Americans Month, taken from the ACL website:

“When Older Americans Month was established in 1963, only 17 million living Americans had reached their 65th birthday. About a third of older Americans lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Interest in older Americans and their concerns was growing. A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as ‘Senior Citizens Month,’ the prelude to ‘Older Americans Month.’

Older Americans Month may be over, but we want to keep the momentum rolling by sharing more about senior health. We spoke to several reputable senior living services throughout the Omaha area, and industry experts have provided lots of wonderful advice, thoughts and recommendations on how older adults can best manage their health as they age.

Stay Prepared

Our health becomes more and more unpredictable with age, and many problems arise in the blink of an eye. Alzheimer’s and other dementias progress differently in each individual diagnosed. For some, the decline may be very rapid and sudden. In the event your loved one with dementia unexpectedly needs additional care, Prairie Meadows Alzheimer’s Special Care Center ( is a wonderful option, providing exceptional person-centered holistic care to residents with cognitive impairment. Their 24/7 on-site nursing goes far beyond the minimal regulations of eight hours a day, and it eliminates any stress and anxiety a family may have when placing their loved one in memory care. Prairie Meadows is a homelike and freestanding memory care facility that specializes in memory care, secured courtyards and restaurant style dining.

Don Woods
Prairie Meadows

“Prairie Meadows partners with The Alzheimer’s Association by offering support groups for families with those in need of memory care,” said Marketing Director Don Woods. “The journey of memory care can be challenging. We are available to meet with families and share resources that will benefit families as they are on this journey alongside their loved one.”

Finding specialized care for those living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia-related illness is an incredibly intricate and personal process. Prairie Meadows Alzheimer’s Special Care Center offers freestanding memory care and assisted living services with a team speciallytrained in memory care. Prairie Meadows also utilizes the SPARK program.

SPARK was inspired by the teachings and research of Maria Montessori and Dr. Cameron Camp and provides meaningful and life-enhancing experiences for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

“The program engages their residents with proven rehabilitative strategies that strive to heighten interaction, optimize cognitive skills as well as promote a sense of purpose and accomplishment,” Don said. “SPARK uses tailor-fit assessment tools to evaluate each resident’s capabilities and strengths, so the program can best meet their specific needs.”

Specialized care like the kind provided at Prairie Meadows is crucial for anyone experiencing memory loss or a memory disease. Living comfortably while staying active and social can keep you or your loved one in good spirits during a difficult transition. Prairie Meadows Alzheimer’s Care Center is ready to welcome you or your loved one into their connected community.

“Services we provide include everything from convenient access to skilled nursing to activities of daily living—whatever is necessary to maintain a safe and secure living environment,” said Don. “We give our residents restaurant-quality dining with multiple options for every meal, three times a day. We also offer hospitality services, such as regular housekeeping, scheduled transportation for social events, exciting social program and more.”

Prairie Meadows doesn’t forget about the mind, body and soul, either, they provide occupational, physical and speech therapy, group exercise classes, community outings, support groups, religious services and interactive learning. They have created an environment for memory care residents that encourages autonomy and self-expression, provides a structure which supports memory retention and ensures each resident’s healthcare and long-term care needs are met.

Prairie Meadows also partners with home health services, hospice services and anything they need to provide the necessary elements that will allow families to rest assured that their loved one is safe and cared for.

Get Back on Your Feet

According to the CDC, adults 65 years of age and older who are generally fit and do not have limiting health conditions should get 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week and work on muscle strengthening at least twice a week to prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age. This also grows one’s muscles to allow them to continue to perform their day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.

Injuries come when you least expect them, and as you age, the healing process often becomes longer, leading to difficulties in living your day-to-day life. To get yourself or your loved one back into their pre-injury health and strength, visit See The Trainer (

See The Trainer has a variety of sports medicine products that can help seniors who want to live an active lifestyle protect themselves from aggravating a past injury or a weak part of the body. They also offer exercise products, such as exercise balls, shoulder pulleys, foam rollers and more, so you can stay fit right from your home.

In the event that you or your loved one finds themselves going into surgery, See The Trainer can help you through the rehabilitation process.

Kristie Egan
See The Trainer

“We have a variety of helpful products that can assist someone going through rehabilitation after a major surgery or injury including canes, sock aids, bathroom accessories and more so that they can safely get back to their normal routine as soon as possible,” shared Owner Kristie Egan. “We understand that it would be challenging to have to adjust your daily routine for weeks or months due to something unexpected. Our products can help you through your recovery to ensure everything heals properly and you can get back to your pre-injury routine.”

Visit See The Trainer today to see how they can help you or your loved one continue to stay active and live comfortably at home.

Helping You Improve

Brookestone Meadows ( offers short-term rehab and long-term skilled care. Designed specifically for resident-centered care, the short-term rehabilitation facility provides an extensive range of rehabilitative services and 24-hour skilled nursing care. The goal is to return home or to a residential care environment. For long-term skilled care, there are options for medical care, nursing and rehabilitation care and personal care. The Vetter Senior Living facility has five households for long-term care and three for rehabilitation.

Molly Skidmore
Brookestone Meadows

“We provide short-term rehabilitation to seniors following a hospitalization after an accident, illness or injury. Seniors at our facility receive skilled nursing care and therapy to increase their strength and independence. Planning for the transition back to the community starts at admission,” said Molly Skidmore from the Brookestone Meadows social work department. “If there is an increased need for care in their home environment, we assist in making those community resource connections. Brookestone Home Health Care also assists with this transition to the community by providing therapy and nursing in the home setting. We also provide long-term care for those who are unable to return to their prior living arrangements who need 24-hour skilled nursing care.”

Registered physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech pathologists are available to assist residents in achieving maximum independence and improved quality of life. Residents at Brookestone Meadows will benefit from state-of-the-art modality equipment and treatments administered by highly skilled therapists. Occupational therapy strives to help residents gain their maximum independence in functional daily living skills, which in turn helps improve self-esteem. Brookestone’s physical therapists are equipped to help residents maximize function by building their strength, coordination and mobility. Speech pathologists focus on maximizing communication and swallowing skills through individualized programs to treat language, speech and swallowing disorders.

For those who may be experiencing an unexpected situation with their family members or themselves, Molly shared one last piece of advice.

“Don’t give up! Although the life changes or difficult challenges at hand seem new or overwhelming, seniors have often faced many difficult situations throughout their lives and have been successful in navigating them,” Molly said. “They’ve often helped their friends and families through challenges too. Seniors are resilient! Although independence is highly valued, but don’t be afraid to accept the help of others. I hear from many seniors that they don’t want to burden their family members by asking for help. For family members and caregivers alike, it’s an honor to help the seniors of our community.”

Everyone should be prioritizing their health, especially so as one ages. We recommend utilizing the amazing services and products offered by these outstanding senior living businesses!