The holiday season can be a difficult time of year for seniors who can’t be with family due to a variety of issues or if they struggle to participate in holiday traditions they once practiced in the past. If you have a senior loved one in your life that has these struggles, you may feel overwhelmed with uncertainty of how to care for and include them. We want you to be able to enjoy this wonderful time of year with your loved ones safely and happily. This is also a good time of year to prepare your senior loved ones for the winter, so keep reading to learn how you can keep them safe during the change in season.

Catering to Every Stage of Life

Making the right choice when moving into a senior living facility is important. Many facilities have different divisions that cater to your needs in every stage of life. Immanuel in Omaha and Council Bluffs serves seniors at 11 communities on six campuses. Immanuel provides senior living options in independent and assisted living, memory support, skilled nursing, and long-term care communities. Each of the Immanuel communities offers a whole host of amenities, robust wellness, and life enrichment programming, exceptional dining, and spiritual programs and support.

The holidays at Immanuel are an extraordinary time for both residents and staff. Connie Chisholm, the director of communications at Immanuel, gave us a glimpse into the magical time that is the holiday season at Immanuel!

Connie Chisholm

“Our executive chefs create menus and services to build holiday cheer, our Life Enrichment leaders produce robust and active programming that quickly becomes holiday tradition inside the community, and our Mission and Spiritual teams provide a full range of worship opportunities and support throughout this time of year,” said Connie. “Recently, Immanuel kicked off the holiday season by hosting Mr. Gerald Charles Dickens, the great-great-grandson of the author Charles Dickens, for an exceptional performance of his one-man show of A Christmas Carol.”

While the holidays are an exciting time at Immanuel, they aren’t complete without the people you love. To show extra appreciation for your loved ones living in a senior living facility, Connie recommends giving the gift of connection.

“More and more aging adults are comfortable with using technology. They are looking for devices to stay connected to friends and family, up on current local and national events, and hobbies and interests,” Connie shared. “Immanuel community residents are going digital through our resident portal, where they can get their wellness and life enrichment invitations and program information, dining venue menus, and can send messages to fellow residents and staff all from any laptop or mobile device.”

After experiencing a global pandemic, it has become clearer that time is precious and we may not always have access to our older relatives, whether it is because safety or lack of travel options.

While they may be physically isolated in an event like this, having the option to video call or see photos of loved ones can make the world of difference in their daily mood.

Keep Moving

According 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. This aims to prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age, as well as grow 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 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.

Person-Centered Care

When visiting loved ones for the holidays, you may see a change in their wellness, which can be overwhelming if you are unsure of what steps to take to keep them protected. We spoke to Collette Mieres, executive director of assisted living at Ovation Heartwood Preserve, about this possibility and what to do next if changes are necessary.

Collette Mieres
Ovation Heartwood Preserve

“Ovation’s mission is to enhance the life of every person we serve and the holidays give us the opportunity to create events that make the month of December memorable,” said Collette. “Ovation is celebrating this special time of year with life enrichment programs that include a holiday music performance, armchair world travel, featured menu items in Lorraine’s Kitchen, a Christmas luncheon and family gatherings to name a few,” stated Collette.

Families are encouraged to visit their loved ones during the holidays and if that is not possible a Facetime call is always welcome. Collette shared that Ovation team members develop meaningful relationships with the residents and their families and are dedicated to providing purposeful connections.

Ovation is your chance to live where independent living, assisted living and memory care are inspired by life and those who live at Ovation. Ovation’s hospitality culture stresses person-centered care and service. Call (402) 999-7900 for a tour!

Know the Signs

Kyle Johnson with CCA Home Care had much to say on the importance of addressing all aspects of physical health for seniors as early as possible, especially leading into the winter months.

Kyle Johnson
CCA Home Care

“Declining eyesight or hearing, mobility problems, and memory issues can lead to losing the ability to drive, an increased risk of falling, and everyday tasks becoming more difficult to perform,” he said. “These health concerns are even more important to take into consideration during the winter. Making sure seniors have mental stimulation, companionship, transportation for outings, and assistance with personal care or household chores can help keep these issues under control.”

CCA refers caregivers who are CNAs and can assist seniors with companionship, personal care, light housekeeping, and much more. They have caregivers available to help starting at one hour or up to 24 hours a day, along with access to short-term assistance in the case of an emergency. This flexibility gives families the peace of mind knowing their loved one is being cared for by a qualified and caring individual.

CCA Home Care also produces the ElderCare Resource Handbook. The Handbook is an all-inclusive listing of services, programs, and other resources available for the aging in each area. With this handbook, they hope seniors and their families can make informed decisions to enhance their quality of life and independence.

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.

Monika Gall
Brookestone Meadows

“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.

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.

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,” said Monika.

Everyone wants to continue to be healthy and live comfortably as they age. These local businesses and experts have the tools and resources to help you and your loved one do just that. From assisted living communities to home care to elder law, they each have so much more for senior living than what we can fit on paper, so be sure to reach out to them to learn more about what they can offer to you and your family.