Unplanned Life Changes in Omaha – April 2021

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As Heraclitus put it so wisely, the only constant in life is change, and while change is inevitable, that doesn’t mean it’s always a pleasure. Unplanned life changes can give rise to emotions of every ilk—from shock to anger, fear, helplessness, or disorientation. That said, if you have the right people in your corner to guide you through unplanned life changes—including injury, rehabilitation, and the arrival of the day you are faced with making senior-care or senior-living decisions—change can translate to growth and a journey to a thriving new life chapter.

Maybe no group of people has faced more change than seniors and people hospitalized or at home dealing with illness or injury. Senior communities and services in Omaha did an amazing job of keeping life as comfortable as possible for residents, including those faced with sudden changes and moving to senior living amid the pandemic. Seniors in the region are uber-blessed to have access to such an incredible senior-care system that can guide seniors and their families through unplanned change and make sure they never feel alone in their journey.

A Big Decision

If you or a loved one is not ready to move into a senior-living community but needs a little help to stay safely at home, CCA Home Care (ccahomecare.com) is there for you. They are the area’s most affordable home-care solutions and screen and refer certified nurse assistant (CAN) level caregivers who work privately for clients in their own homes. CCA caregivers are available to help with things like morning and evening routines, companionship throughout the day, medication reminders and administration, and transportation to and from personal appointments. Throughout the pandemic, CCA Home Care has helped seniors adapt to change and thrive.

Kyle Johnson
CCA Home Care

“The pandemic has changed everything we were once used to,” said CCA Home Care Owner Kyle Johnson. “This industry has stayed true to serving our elderly population and has made the appropriate adjustments required to reduce the stresses of change. Many caregivers are receiving the COVID-19 vaccination, which should reduce the concerns of transmitting the virus as we begin to return to normal.  CCA Home Care is recording all caregivers who have received their vaccinations and can provide that information to any client prior to allowing a visitor in your home.”

CCA also publishes an annual ElderCare Resource Handbook, which is available online at ccahomecare.com and provides an all-inclusive listing of business services for elderly clients. The Handbook includes information about government, financial and legal services, medical support, home health services, living options, and more. CCA Home care can help walk you through the process for home care that allows your loved one to stay in their home—and do so at the most affordable prices going.

When you’re ready explore moving you or your loved one into a senior living community, the options can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Oasis Senior Advisors (bethfriesenrn.com) Omaha—also owned by Kyle Johnson—is there to walk you through it and help you find the community or living option that is exactly right for your needs, likes, and budget.

“We currently partner with over 65 retirement communities to help find a perfect forever home,” Kyle said. “Each community offers different services and amenities, so it’s best to work with an advisor to navigate that process rather than take hours and do all of the homework on your own. We will only recommend communities that fit your financial, medical, and geographical preferences in the Omaha Metro area. An Oasis Senior Advisor will stay with you from the start to finish, even joining you on tours of communities to ensure your questions are being answered and concerns are being addressed.”

Oasis Senior Advisors is part of a national franchise and is an equal opportunity partner in searching for your forever home. They have referral agreements with nearly every community in the Omaha Metro area. Whether you are 100% independent and just want to downsize your home or your loved one needs high level memory care, they are able to find the perfect fit right here in Omaha.

Highly Trained

When your loved one moves into a senior-care community, you want to be sure that the staff not only cares about the residents but is well-trained to serve their needs. You don’t have to worry about that with the assisted-living and memory-care support teams at Ovation by Avamere Heartwood Preserve (ovationbyavamere.com/omaha-nebraska), Ovation’s newest community opening this fall in Omaha. With the additional stress that the COVID pandemic has added to the sometimes-difficult decision to move into and assisted-care community, it’s crucial that you find a place staffed by senior-living professionals who make you feel comfortable. Ovation by Avamere promotes open dialogue and effective communications with each potential resident and their families because there are many nuances to each situation.

Stephanie Grade
Ovation by Avamere Heartwood Preserve

“We are here to listen to the specific needs of each resident and their family and create a care plan that puts the family at ease about their loved one’s care,” said General Manager Stephanie Grade. “Ovation not only has the latest technology to support each individual’s independence, but we also have one of the most extensive training programs for our team members. Our team spends two weeks learning our values and 30 days of job shadowing before they are allowed to be in their perspective role alone.”

Ovation by Avamere Heartwood Preserve also provides fabulous opportunities for people 55 and older who are looking for an active, independent, luxury retirement community. Regardless of what your priorities are—fitness, wellness, culinary options, transportation, or other interests—Ovation has it covered.

“Ovation boasts incredible culinary venue options with restaurant-style menus, multiple menu items, and a micro market bistro that is open 24/7,” Stephanie said. “We also have a pool and fitness programs with certified exercise physiologists, plus a theater, art classes, cooking demonstrations, and vibrant activity programming. Those living at Ovation are part of a larger community, surrounded by an urban development full of family homes, vibrant shopping, history, and engaging culture. A lifetime of hard work and service is worth a standing ovation and the chance to engage at your own pace. Life happens here.”

A Return to Normalcy

One of the tremendous options you’ll find as you search for quality senior living in the Omaha area is Prairie Meadows Alzheimer’s Care Center (https://frontiermgmt.com/communities/prairie-meadows-alzheimers-special-care-center/?utm_source=gmb&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=prairie-meadows). The staff there has gone above and beyond to make life as “normal” as possible for their residents throughout the pandemic, and they’re thrilled to be seeing restrictions eased with the delivery of COVID vaccinations to their community.

Don Woods
Prairie Meadows Alzheimer’s Care Center

“Prairie Meadows is open to family visits, programming, and dining,” said Community Resource Director Don Woods. “We have an electronic sign-in feature that offers safe social distancing for families during their visits, and we’re also allowing in-person tours to see our community. You can book a tour anytime by calling (402) 391-2790 or emailing marketing@prairiemeadowsseniorliving.com.”

Prairie Meadows operates a fabulous Meaningful Memories program for their residents who have Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia challenges. Through this program, they get to know residents by learning their life stories and finding out their preferences, including likes, dislikes, family, hobbies, careers, achievements, and cherished memories. People living with memory loss face greater challenges than most of us, but that certainly doesn’t mean that they’ve lost the capacity to experience joy and the ability to continue leading meaningful lives. If they have a favorite restaurant where they always went to have their favorite pie, for example, Prairie Meadows will make sure they still get to enjoy that.

“Our residents have access to a whole host of amenities and programming options to help keep them active and engaged in daily life,” Don said. “Plus, we have a nurse here 24/7, which is way above and beyond the minimal regulations of eight hours a day, and we partner with home health, hospice services, and everything we need to provide all of the services they need so their families can rest assured that they are safe and cared for, even if they might not always remember who they are. They still cherish their time together, enjoying the same things they always have.”

Smiles for Miles

The increase in socialization that easing of COVID restrictions has brought has translated to seniors smiling more. In Midwest Geriatrics Inc. (omahaseniorcare.org)’s senior living communities, the staff takes residents’ needs seriously and is looking forward with excitement to the end of the pandemic. Housed in Florence Home, Midwest is an Omaha-based nonprofit organization and provide the management team for Florence Home Healthcare Center, Royale Oaks Assisted Living, House of Hope Alzheimer’s Care, House of Hope Assisted Living, Senior Health Foundation, and Gerimed and Unimed pharmacies.

Julie Mburu
Midwest Geriatrics Inc.

“Seniors who are isolated have higher rates of depression and loneliness, and increasing socialization leads to a decrease in falls, and we are seeing them happy and joking more,” said Julie Mburu, life coach for Midwest’s Florence Home. “We have been safely allowing visitors and going above and beyond to make sure our residents are safe to visit. We help them apply for Medicaid and additional community resources, and when they leave Florence Home, supply them with future references they might need. We build relationships with community partners on behalf of residents and really reach out to support residents who may not have family and friends.”

The folks at Midwest Geriatrics understand that making the transition from family care to a care community is difficult for everyone involved, so they also have a “Transitions Day Program,” which is designed to ease the stress and worry of those caring for a loved one at home. Day services are available day or nights, and activities are similar to the ones offered in neighborhoods. Midwest Geriatrics’ living communities are designed to resemble living spaces and entertainment options for residents. At their House of Hope Alzheimer’s Care, for example, the residents live in apartment-style housing with neighborhood dining areas, and they are encouraged to swing by the 50s-themed diner, sip an old-fashioned soda, and embrace the sunshine on the deck.

A Save Haven

Marty Hug
CountryHouse Residences for Memory Care

As you consider senior-living options in the Omaha area, don’t miss checking out the brand new CountryHouse Residences for Memory Care (countryhouse.net) at Elkhorn. The world-class community is one of four CountryHouse communities in the Greater Omaha area and total of 25 nationwide. They are focused on helping families whose lives have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The new community is a 30,000-square-foot purpose-build residence, where those with memory loss can live comfortably in truly homelike surroundings, and it’s a community that local families can count on to provide their loved ones with a loving, caring, and safe home. CountryHouse is committed to treating all who live and work in their community like family.

“Our view of those who have memory loss is that, if it comes with physical or cognitive challenges, they’re just challenges,” said COO Marty Hug. “We don’t see age. We don’t see challenges. We just see people. And all the people want the same thing—to live a purposeful, well-lived life. So we focus on them individually and use our resources to give them a voice that’s heard. We help them to grow, to have fun, and to life the life they always wanted before their diagnosis.”

Right at Home

Kristi Benning
Right at Home in Home Care & Assistance

If your loved one wants to remain at home but needs some level of assistance to stay there, consider Right at Home In Home Care & Assistance (rightathome.net). They offer top-shelf caregiving services for almost any family and situation in southeast Omaha and southwest Iowa. Their in-home care lets loved ones enjoy health lives in the comfort of a familiar environment. They tailor their care to your unique situation through a Custom Care Plan that includes whatever your loved one needs from any of their care categories, including companion care, personal care, and specialty services like Alzheimer’s or other dementia care, skilled nursing, couples care, and transitions from hospitals, nursing facilities, outpatient clinics, or surgery centers.

“We believe in the mission, principles, and values that Right at Home was built on and try to live up to those standards in all we do,” said Right at Home Franchise Owner Kristi Benning. “We try every day to be of service to both groups. We take seriously our responsibility to those who are in need by either providing the Right Care with our wonderful care-team members, or by being a resource for them while they figure out what’s best for their future. We are excited to offer consistent, high-quality standards and care across Omaha, Council Bluffs, and the surrounding areas!”

Aging in Place

Brenda Ouellette
CareBuilders at Home

Another terrific option for seniors who want to continue to live at home is CareBuilders at Home Omaha (carebuildersathomeomaha.com). They provide in-home, non-medical services—not just for seniors but for people of all ages. They are dedicated to helping clients lead dignified, independent lifestyles in the comfort and safety of their own homes. They provide experience and options that support aging in place and maintaining independence, including safety-alert devices, medication management, electronic dispensers, and other assistance.

“You are not alone,” said Executive Director and Owner Brenda Oullette. “We are here to help care for your loved one at home and give your family the support you need to manage the challenges of the changes you are faced with. CareBuilders at Home understands the struggles families face, and it is our mission to provide as much love and support to not only the clients we serve but also to their families.”

Catastrophic Events, Injuries

Life changes are often unpredictable, but injuries caused by an accident or someone else’s negligence can be especially devastating. When those incidents result in the need for increased care services, you’ll want to be sure to engage a dependable, trustworthy law firm right away—and Berry Law (jsberrylaw.com) is there for you. They provide legal advice and support, handling the day to day details of your claim so that you can focus on your recovery.

Susan Napolitano
Berry Law

“Berry Law is one of Nebraska’s premier providers of legal services for people who have experienced a catastrophic event,” said Berry Law Attorney Susan Napolitano. “We pride ourselves on going beyond the average law firm to handle every aspect of our clients’ recovery so our clients can focus exclusively on regaining the life they knew prior to their accident. There is a lot of detail work and negotiation with insurance companies following an accident, and Berry Law can help ease that burden. Let us deal with insurance companies, hospital bills, and debt collectors for you. We recognize that you’re injured, not broken. We stand ready to help you rebuild. We fight for our clients’ to recuperate and thrive in every sense of the word.”

Berry Law Firm will advise clients of their rights, obligations, and options with respect to managing mounting medical bills for treatment of catastrophic injuries. The important thing is to get the treatment you need and let Berry Law handle the rest.

“Many people may not even know that they have med-pay coverage on their auto policies, for example,” Susan said. “Or they may not understand what they are entitled to with respect to uninsured or underinsured parties. When you have been in a serious accident, you will want to be certain to get the most from your policies to cover expenses.”

Handling bills that feel urgent can add a significant amount of unnecessary stress to your recovery.  Most treatment providers should offer at least 90 days from the date of service before threatening collection actions. During this time, injured people can try coordinate a sustainable payment plan with their providers if necessary, and Berry Law will negotiate for a reduced settlement of outstanding bills.

Accidents can divert your plans at any time, but with the right legal team, you can get back on track and be compensated for your loss.

Preparing for the Unexpected

A crucial step to preparing for the unexpected is to ensure that you have adequate life insurance in place to help your family after you are gone—and possibly also provide benefits while you are living. King Insurance (kingins.com) in Omaha can guide you through the process to obtain the right life-insurance policy for your specific needs so you can provide death benefits for your beneficiaries. That’s only one of the benefits of life insurance, though. It can provide income replacement for years of lost salary, provide funds for your children’s college education, pay off your home and other debts, and more. Life-insurance also comes with tax advantages, as death benefits generally are tax-free and some other policies can transfer money to family members with lower tax liabilities than others. Many policies also have riders that can provide benefits while you’re still living. Call on King Insurance when you’re ready to put together the right life-insurance policy for you and your family!

The pandemic has taught us over and again that change can be difficult, but it’s always better when you have someone on the journey with you. Fortunately, when it comes to senior living and other unplanned life changes, Omaha is home to so many amazing providers to support you and get you the services to fit your particular situation to a tee. Look to these folks for help when you need it most!