As we prepare to enter into the season of fall, you or a loved one may also be preparing to enter into the next season of life. For some, this may include retirement living, and for others, they may be looking at assisted living or in-home care options. Wherever you or your loved one are at in the aging journey, Omaha has many wonderful resources available to help the seniors in our community continue to live comfortably and joyfully.
Staying Safe at Home
True North Home Care offers non-medical personal assistant services to seniors in the Omaha Metro and surrounding areas. Services include everything from chores and errands to companion care, and hands-on assistance with Activities of Daily Living (bathing, dressing, feeding, toileting, etc.). Their specialty is hospice caregiving and assisting families through the natural declines in health and functions that many seniors face.
The United States needs roughly one million more caregivers before the Baby Boomer generation is in need of caregiving. The demand for homecare is higher than ever, and most companies are struggling to keep up with the demand. Kayla Nelson, RN, chief executive officer said that you should not wait to get on the books with a homecare company. Start small – even if it’s just a few days a week. It takes time to build rapport between a caregiver and client, and that shouldn’t be rushed.
“It is our goal to connect the right caregiver to the right client so that they enjoy their time together as companions,” said Kayla. “Our caregivers participate in one-on-one activities with their clients. Activities and outings include trips to the zoo and movie theater, shopping at the mall, book clubs, and volunteering opportunities.”
The staff at True North isn’t afraid to have those hard conversations about physical and mental decline or end of life. They know that education and planning will set clients and their families up for success. Another benefit that True North offers their clients is the recommendations to holistic providers in the community from their owner, a Master Reiki Practitioner. This offers a full mind-body-spirit approach to aging and wellness.
“True North was started in an effort to raise the standard of care in non-medical caregiving,” shared Kayla. “I worked in hospice for two and a half years and saw a huge need for quality caregivers that were getting the training they needed to be successful. That’s why my clients don’t just get a caregiver – they have access to my expertise. We make it our mission to connect clients to the resources and services they need to be safe and happy.”
On the topic of personal home care, it is also important to keep your home up-to-date with products that can help you live a safer, risk-reduced life. ShelfGenie provides custom pullout shelves that fit new or existing cabinets and pantries. These shelves can be installed anywhere in your home including the kitchen, pantry, closets, and bathrooms.
“Our pullout shelves give you better access, better organization, and usually more storage space,” said Jay Durmaskin, franchise owner. “Installing pullouts means you no longer have to get down on your hands and knees to find items in the back of your cabinets or on the lower shelves. This reduces fall risks and helps when you have problems with your knees, back, hips, or shoulders. In some cases, installing pullouts could be a tax deductible medical expense and might even qualify as a reimbursable expense from your long term care insurance.”
Not only do the shelves provide peace of mind, but they can also be a useful tool for those finding themselves needing more storage in a smaller home. Whether you’re downsizing your home or moving into a retirement community, pullout shelves maximize the amount of storage you can safely access.
“The installation process starts with a free design consultation with no obligation,” said Jay. “Once a purchase has been made, a company-certified installer will conduct a field measurement to make sure every shelf is fit perfectly to your cabinet size. All of our pullouts are custom-built for the cabinets in your home. There is also no need to outsource installation, as we provide the installation service once your shelves are built.”
The entire design and build process takes four to six weeks, with most installations taking less than a day. The shelves have a lifetime warranty, which means that they truly are a one-time purchase.
Raising the Bar for 135 Years
At Immanuel, they take great pride in their almost 135 years of service to seniors and their families. As a not-for-profit senior living, care, and service provider, they make business decisions based on the best interests of their residents and not the bottom line. Immanuel continually raises the bar. From property renovations and expansions, robust life enrichment and wellness programming to exceptional dining venues and recognized healthcare services, Immanuel cultivates programs and services to meet the wants and needs of those they serve rather than shareholders.
“In the Omaha and Council Bluffs markets, we serve seniors at our 11 communities on six campuses,” shared Connie Chisholm, director of communications. “We provide senior living options for 55+, independent and assisted living, memory support and skilled nursing and long-term care in our communities. Immanuel offers vibrant life enrichment and wellness programs; this includes happy hour socials, special interest clubs, movie nights, volunteering events, trips to art galleries, personalized exercise programs, uplifting group fitness classes, and health and wellness education. There are always opportunities to make new friends and find new passions!”
Immanuel encourages families to get a head start on researching senior living options for their aging loved one – don’t wait for a major health event to force the decision. They have even created an easy-to-use downloadable Comparison Guide (immanuel.com/love-whats-next) to help weigh the options; social and lifelong learning opportunities, robust wellness programs, dining options, and level of spiritual enrichment are all elements of a successful retirement living experience.
“Being part of a vibrant community of peers is proven to help protect against illnesses like heart disease and dementia. It’s also a lot of fun!” said Connie. “Our communities are architecturally designed to encourage social life. At Immanuel, you will find gathering spots, open-air patios, restaurants, and comfortable common areas that foster connections between residents. Come visit one of our communities today to see what it’s all about!”
Road to Recovery
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.
“We provide a variety of activities from group exercise to community outings,” said Monika Gall, the life enrichment coordinator. “We also strive to closely work with organizations such as Dreamweavers and Live Well, Go Fishing., to enhance our resident’s stay with us. Our community is constantly upholding our mission of Dignity in Life through various activities and making others smile.”
Monika also mentioned that Brookestone has taken part in the Music and Memory program. The program is designed to help individuals with a wide range of cognitive and physical conditions engage with their surroundings through personalized playlists. It is a non-pharmaceutical, therapeutic method that can increase a person’s spirit, decrease pain, and brighten their moods.
Brookestone Home Health is an option for those who want to continue their progress after their stay. They provide the assistance needed to recover from injury, illness, or any medical care that you or your loved ones need to remain as independent as possible.
“Holding the same mission, vision, and values, our Home Health Care is dedicated to providing you the health care assistance that suits your lifestyle all while allowing you to remain in the comfort of your own home.”
Memory Care with Flair
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 specially trained 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. SPARK uses tailor-fit assessment tools to evaluate each resident’s capabilities and strengths, so the program can best meet their specific needs.
Day-to-day life at Prairie Meadows is uniquely fit for each resident’s interests. Don Woods, senior regional marketing director, mentioned a specific resident that took an opportunity to engage in her favorite activities with other residents.
“One of our residents, Marilyn, used to teach water aerobics for several years when she was younger and now she shares her passion for exercising with others,” Don said. “This is one of many examples of the activities we offer at our community. Other activities include family movie nights, birthday parties, Veteran’s ceremonies, and holiday celebrations.”
On top of fun activities to keep you or your loved ones busy, Prairie Meadows prides themselves in quality amenities that create a safe, at-home atmosphere for their residents. The community features spacious living quarters, spa services, spiritual services, and five-star cuisine.
“We give our residents restaurant-quality dining with multiple options for every meal, three times a day,” Don shared. “We also offer hospitality services, such as regular housekeeping, scheduled transportation for social events, exciting social programs, and more.”
Custom Care at Home
Living at home can help you or your loved one feel more independent, but sometimes it is important to get a little extra help. CCA Home Care provides clients with the best possible care using a nurse registry. The nurse registry screens CNAs, CMAs, and nurses, and matches them with the right clients based on the client’s needs. Services can include assistance with bathing, dressing, walking, meal preparation, medication reminders, Alzheimer’s/Dementia care, hospice support, light housekeeping, and many more. Kyle Johnson, president of CCA Home Care, emphasized the quality and safety of this program in a recent conversation.
“We are the largest Home Care Registry in Nebraska, and our model is different than any other home care provider available to clients. All of our caregivers are licensed CNAs and work as independent contractors for their clients,” Kyle explained. “Before any caregiver is allowed to work with a client, they are run through all background checks, criminal history reports, work authorization in the United States, become CPR certified, carry their own professional liability insurance, and are bonded through our company.”
CCA Home Care’s services are hourly and are available at any time of the day. Whether you or your loved one just needs a check-in or help all day, scheduling care is entirely in your control. Rest assured that there will always be an affordable, quality option for care with CCA Home Care.
Another great option for at-home care is Key Home Care. Key Home Care provides personal caregivers, bedside sitters, respite care, hospice care, and companionship. Personal care providers offer a wide variety of services like mobility assistance and medication reminders. Key Home Care’s compassionate bedsitters can offer companionship and reassurance, whether sitting at the bedside in the hospital setting or helping your family member adjust to the new setting of a nursing home or assisted living. Their services are available all day, every day.
“Key prides itself on being available 24/7 for seniors living in their homes needing care,” said Community Liaison Desiree Rossi. “The main objective for Key is to provide quality care and put every effort into making sure seniors get to stay in their own home for as long as possible. It is a very hands-on company that will never leave a senior without care.”
The home care service is women-owned with over 30 years of experience. If you or your loved one is not quite ready to commit to full-time care, Key Home Care’s respite services are a great first step. Respite services help families of patients take time away from caring for their loved ones without feeling guilty or worrying about their wellbeing. Respite services are designed for short-term care, whether it be a few hours or a few days.
Strengthen Your Body and Mind
Taking care of your body is something that is important at every stage of life. As you get older, exercise becomes harder for many people, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, exercising several times weekly can help those who are combating memory-loss related diseases. Along with strengthening your mind, exercise also garners good heart health and many other positive benefits. See The Trainer is an orthopedic, sports medicine facility dedicated to keeping a diverse population functioning through a variety of bracing and support products.
See The Trainer offers a full line of in-stock bracing, home health, and rehabilitation products. Whether your pain results from a chronic condition or an acute injury, they are dedicated to improving your quality of life. For those wanting to pursue an active lifestyle, See The Trainer can help protect your body from re-injuring a past injury with their sports medicine products, or provide exercise products like exercise balls and foam rollers if you prefer to workout at home.
Kristie Egan, owner of See The Trainer, also talked more about the different home health products they provide: “If you are a caregiver of someone with memory loss, it may help both you and your loved one to have products that can assist with daily routines. We carry helpful items such as shower chairs, sock aids, canes, dressing sticks, reachers, and toilet safety seats to help you feel comfortable in your day-to-day tasks.”
Brand New Living Community
With a recent grand opening on June 7, Ovation Heartwood Preserve is ready to provide a new senior living community to the West Omaha area. Ovation’s care ranges from an independent living community to assisted living and memory care.
The independent living community gives its residents peace of mind knowing that they are able to live freely on their own, but also knowing that help can be there right away if they need it. The high-end luxury apartments have elegant fixtures and upscale upgrades. The homes are maintenance-free and include around-the- clock security.
The assisted living community has the same independence factor as the independent living community, with a little bit of help along the way. Residents of the assisted living community are given help with activities for daily living in their own private apartment. Ovation Heartwood Preserve helps residents decide the level of care they want, and creates a friendly environment for residents to socialize with neighbors and connect with staff.
Memory care at Ovation is headed by experts that are specially trained in Alzheimer’s and dementia care and foster a nurturing relationship with each new resident and their families. Memory support plans are unique to each resident and helps keep them on a consistent schedule with engaging activities in a stimulating environment.
Ovation takes a modern, progressive approach to senior living. Located in Heartwood Preserve, Ovation is surrounded by large urban neighborhoods of family homes, shopping, and opportunities to engage in the history and culture of Omaha.
Planning for the Future
For most families, planning a loved one’s move into a senior living facility includes a careful analysis of their finances. The average cost of assisted living in Nebraska is $4,188 and for nursing homes, the average cost is $7,194 a month. Many families lack the ability to “private pay” out of their own resources to cover these exorbitant costs.
This is where the attorneys at Burnett Wilson Law, LLP can help. The lawyers on their Elder Law team have expertise in long-term care planning, including the use of trusts, Medicaid, and Veterans Benefits. They can help seniors through many difficult situations, such as being injured in a fall, that make it necessary for them to move from their home to a facility, sometimes with only a few days’ notice.
“Situations like these can be incredibly stressful,” says founding partner, Anne Burnett “We do our best to help relieve that stress by joining the care team.”
“We think we bring added value to our clients,” added Burnett. “Because we help families in so many ways all the time, we are familiar with the range of services available in our communities and can provide useful information about where to find them.”
Find the right fit for you and your family, and get a little help along the way. These businesses are here to provide you with the tools to garner a healthy lifestyle, and live comfortably wherever you end up. Feel confident and secure in your senior living journey when you work with these reputable Omaha organizations!