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Real Scares: No Tricks about Senior Fears

Real Scares: No Tricks about Senior Fears

The Halloween season traditionally celebrates the spooky and scary. Despite the many delights of the season—cute trick-or-treaters, zany holiday dishes, creepy movies—we recognize there are real frightening facts of life. While it can be fun to experience a little fright here and there, it is important to acknowledge the real fears seniors face as they age. Understanding seniors’ legitimate fears equips families and friends to be there for their loved one. After all, we all want to provide meaningful support to those we love.

 

A chief concern facing older adults is losing independence. Traditionally speaking, U.S. culture values independence, more so than many other cultures. Consequently, U.S. seniors tend to avoid receiving aid from their children or programs, preferring to inconvenience themselves to maintain their own affairs. As long as seniors demonstrate self-reliance, they deflect questions and prevent concerning their children. For many in the elderly population, self-reliance is comfortable, familiar and desirable.

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Senior Metabolic Changes

Senior Metabolic Changes

“It’s the inside that counts.”

 

Aging has certain internal and external ramifications. Older adults view life differently than they did in their youth—often for the better. Externally-speaking, hair turns lighter, skin shows its laugh lines and stature begins to shrink. For some, one side effect of aging hits prior to the senior years: weight gain.

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Short-Term Stay Therapy Trend

Short-Term Stay Therapy Trend

There are certainly advantages to living in an innovation-friendly culture. In the United States’ culture, there is an expectation of constantly “new and improved” products or services. Not only do we enjoy innovation in small things, like cell phones, but we reap the rewards in the healthcare industry.

 

Medically speaking, it would take days to relate all of the clinical advancements recorded in the last 100 years. Between pharmaceutical discoveries, refined surgical procedures, and improved methodology, the medical environment has substantially changed.

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Seniors & Depression: Know the Signs

Seniors & Depression: Know the Signs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates just over 15% of seniors aged 65 and older experience the effects of depression. Age does not predict the onset of depression as not all seniors develop depression; however, depression is more common among seniors who already have other conditions, such as heart disease. Seniors, family members and health care providers alike often attribute the symptoms of depression to aging or to an illness, making it less likely that seniors receive treatment for their depression. Although overlooked, it is possible to alleviate the emotional troubles affecting elderly loved ones.

 

Identifying depression in senior loved ones starts with familiarizing oneself with their routine, noting changes in behavior or proficiency in completing activities of daily living (ADL). Seniors affected by depression may avoid social environments, eat too much or too little, or experience drastic changes in sleep cycles. Internally seniors may feel hopeless, become irritable or restless, have less energy or lose interest in the activities they once enjoyed. Any one of the symptoms above does not mean a senior has depression, nor is it an exhaustive list of depression symptoms. However, learning a few signs of depression equips friends and family members with knowledge to help seniors in their lives.

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Perspective and Aging: How to Make Your Senior Years Better

Perspective and Aging:  How to Make Your Senior Years Better

“Beauty lies the eyes of the beholder.” – Plato

 

Beauty lying in the eyes of the beholder certainly resonates with personal experience. No matter how much a culture progresses, each generation seems to laugh at the style ahead and behind it. What seniors deem beautiful or attractive the younger generation may find laughable, and vice versa.

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We Work Where You Live: Making a Home at Heritage

We Work Where You Live: Making a Home at Heritage

Have you ever felt uncomfortable visiting someone, feeling more like nuisance in their home than a welcome presence? That person probably did not mean to put you off, but you certainly did not feel “at home”. Skilled nursing facilities have long had a similar unwelcoming reputation. Many say they feel like they are in an institution or feel uncomfortable walking through a traditional nursing home. It is easy to see why families feel guilty leaving their loved one in a stiff, depressing environment like that. It is anything but “home”.

 

Fortunately, Heritage Health offers seniors an alternative to the nursing home stigma. Lengthy experience in long-term care informs Heritage Health’s approach to senior care. We fully believe seniors should feel at home at any Heritage facility. After all, residents do not live where we work. We work where they live!

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What Makes the Heritage Difference? See for Yourself!

What Makes the Heritage Difference?  See for Yourself!

We live in a time barraged by outrageous claims. How many times have we heard an infomercial on the pill that can turn full-figured individuals into supermodels, without dieting or exercising? Or how about “the” car that unleashes the wanderlust and adventure long buried deep within? While some advertising techniques may be charming or catchy, they can make us skeptical as to whether these promoters can truly deliver on their claims.

 

Although it is important to promote products or services, Heritage Health understands your needs are different. When it comes to entrusting your senior health care needs to someone else, you demand more than clever advertising and catch-phrases. Heritage agrees.

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Communication Across Generations

Communication Across Generations

With the number of communication tools at our disposal, why is it still so hard to communicate sometimes? Despite its challenges, it is not too late to develop your communication skills, especially as it relates to your aging loved one. Although some may feel aversely toward interacting with different generations, Heritage Health finds serving seniors to be a very positive, rewarding experience.

 

No doubt many of us have run into misunderstandings or awkward moments. In general, misunderstandings and conflict often arise from a difference of communication style or preference. A few factors influencing communication style include:

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Partners in Senior Care: Choosing the Best Long-Term Care Pharmacy

Partners in Senior Care: Choosing the Best Long-Term Care Pharmacy

We have all heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Although maintaining a sensible diet and healthy lifestyle reduce our chances of developing certain conditions, our bodies still need a little extra support sometimes.

 

It is truly amazing what a difference medicine can make to our quality of life. As we age, the number of medications we take tends to increase. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, seniors account for 40% of prescription medication consumption despite representing 13% of the population. This is likely due to fact that seniors between the ages of 65 and 84 take an average of 16 prescribed medications per year. Considering the number of prescriptions seniors may take—all with their own set of warnings and side effects—it is important to use a trustworthy pharmacy.

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Joint Health

Joint Health

Heritage Health often cares for seniors affected by joint pain arising from osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and other conditions. While the causes of painful joint conditions vary, seniors have options for coping with the symptoms. Heritage Health helps seniors reduce the effects of joint pain in late life. Below are some suggestions for seniors to manage joint pain, or stave it off before it disrupts their daily life.

 

One way seniors prevent and treat joint pain is regular exercise. Although moving around is the last thing seniors experiencing joint pain prefer to do, pushing through the initial pain bears great reward. Seniors who maintain a steady exercise program enjoy a decrease in pain and increase in range of motion. Walking is a great inflammation-reducing, bone-building exercise at every life stage, but it is especially helpful to seniors. Heritage Health skilled nursing facilities organize plenty of exercise- and movement-based activities to alleviate senior joint pain and stiffness. Heritage supports active senior living!

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Wound Care

Wound Care

When it comes to senior health care, wound care is an area of particular concern. At Heritage Health, our skilled nursing staff understands the connection between wound care and the natural degeneration of the skin. The skin tends to grow thin and less resilient with age, slowing the healing process. The poor healing ability of seniors’ skin causes the elderly to be predisposed to developing and sustaining wounds for longer periods of time. With chronic wounds come the increased risk of infection, and other complications. Medical conditions, such as diabetes, can compromise the success of seniors’ wound care too.

 

Effective wound treatment takes frequent nursing care. Fortunately, Heritage Health skilled nursing facilities provide around-the-clock care to seniors. Our skilled nursing staff completes regular trainings to ensure our nurses provide appropriate wound care to all residents. Heritage’s Field Nurse Supervisors provide another quality control measure to ensure seniors heal from their wounds. Our Field Nurse Supervisors are extremely qualified and look forward to educating nurses and families alike.

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Find Your Balance in Senior Life

Find Your Balance in Senior Life

How good is your balance? As children we may have enjoyed balance challenges or competitions to see who could stand on one leg the longest. We chuckled as we watched our friends wiggle about, often taking a comedic tumble. What was fun and games in our youth turns more serious as age reduces our resilience to falls.

 

Age dictates the seriousness of falls; the older we get the more painful they are and the more likely falls will result in injury. Seniors are the most at-risk population for falls. Some statistics from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasize seniors’ level of risk. The CDC reports falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for seniors. About one-third of seniors over age 65 experiences a fall, with sharply increasing fall rates past age 75. This leads to the 2.5 million fall-related injuries and 25,500 senior deaths in 2013. From an expense standpoint, medical costs directly caused by falls totaled $34 billion. It is essential that seniors recognize their risk of falls, modify fall hazards and work to strengthen their balance.

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Senior Heart Health

Senior Heart Health

Heart health has gained much attention in recent years, and for good reason. The heart is one of the most important organs the body, circulating roughly 6 liters of blood throughout the entire body, fueling both work and play. Not only is the heart an organ, but it is a muscle. Rhythmically pumping oxygenated blood out to the body and pulling deoxygenated blood back from body, the heart plays a vital role in replenishing the blood’s oxygen and nutrients. The heart also houses an electrical current that times the pulse, making sure the processes within the heart fire at the right moment. The whole process is rather amazing.

 

Unfortunately, not all hearts work as they should, especially in the senior population. There are numerous conditions compromising the heart’s efficiency, such as coronary artery disease (CAD) that can lead to chest pain, irregular heartbeat, heart attacks, and other life-threatening conditions. Seniors in particular are prone to conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, which elevate seniors’ risk of heart disease. Some statistics suggest heart disease is life-threatening to 84% of seniors over age 65. Although some seniors may not have experienced symptoms of heart disease growing up, the long-term effects of lifestyle choices have a large impact in late life.

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Communication is Key!

Communication is Key!

We have all heard the saying, “Communication is key!” Most people believe they “know” how to communicate well and it is the other person’s fault when there is a misunderstanding. Experience tells us otherwise. Good communication is not as common sense as we might assume. Although no one can consistently deliver flawless, effective communication, we should always aim to improve our end of social interactions.

 

Happy to Oblige
To Heritage, professional communication is vital to delivering excellent senior care and forms the cornerstone of our “Happy to Oblige” organizational culture. Heritage Health skilled nursing facilities endeavor to use clear, empathetic communication with our seniors, their family members and fellow staff. In the Heritage family, we believe you or your aging loved one should receive compassionate, straightforward communication wherever you are, whether exercising with a certified therapist in the RESTORE therapy room or dialoguing with a housekeeping staff member.

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Who Should I Trust for Long-Term Care Decisions?

Who Should I Trust for Long-Term Care Decisions?

Making long-term care plans does not have to be a scary process. Whether planning for yourself or for your loved one, it is important to determine who your allies are. When it comes to senior care, Heritage has the answers to your queries! With over 50 years of experience caring for seniors and their family members, Heritage makes a point of anticipating seniors’ needs and offering solutions. The mission of each facility in the Heritage family is to address senior care with empathy and professionalism, making Heritage a leader in the long-term care industry.

 

Providing around-the-clock clinical care, you can rest assured that your loved one is in safe hands at Heritage. It is our sincere pleasure to meet the health care needs of aging individuals. Heritage Health excels in therapy care, making Heritage a top consideration for seniors in need of certified occupational, physical or speech therapy following a medical event.

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Happy Independence Day! Promoting Senior Independence

Happy Independence Day!  Promoting Senior Independence

Independence is a highly-regarded value in the United States. At a personal level, independence stirs our pride and fuels the confidence in our step. Collectively, we tend to feel independence is something to be protected. Our cultural attitudes about independence shape our views about aging.

The elderly wrestle for independence as they recognize the limitations of their bodies. Even sweet, mild-mannered individuals can become agitated and quick-tempered during this process. Rather than give in to tension and frustration with one another, turn to Heritage! Heritage has been caring for seniors since 1962. We value senior independence and offer guidance in senior care, from independent living to skilled nursing services.

 

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Deciphering Health Care Acronyms: Terms you should know

Deciphering Health Care Acronyms: Terms you should know

Ever get lost in a sea of acronyms? Have you ever had a jargon-filled conversation with someone that just left you scratching your head? Every specialty has its share of jargon and acronyms. Most of the time we can laugh about these misunderstandings, but health care is not an area to be confused. When it comes time to end-of-life decisions or deciding whether a to place a family member in a skilled nursing environment, you need to be armed with information.

 

Heritage understands the importance of clear communication when it comes to senior care. Part of our heritage of care includes walking families through the difficult "legalese" and terminology seniors and families members alike stumble over. Some acronyms you should know include: POA (Power of Attorney), DNR (Do-Not-Resuscitate) & POLST (Practitioner's Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment).

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Happy Father's Day!

Happy Father's Day!

As the summer heat turns up we are afforded yet another opportunity to honor someone special in our lives: our fathers! Many of us have great memories with our fathers. Dad was the first man to meet our needs physically and emotionally. He taught us how to tie our shoes, encouraged us to eat our broccoli and demonstrated the meaning of strength. As you grow up and watch your father age, you may begin to see some changes. The man who cared for you so well now turns to you for special care to meet his unique needs.


Heritage Health has much to offer your dad in his advanced years. One feature our Heritage homes boast is the RESTORE therapy program. Whether your dad needs help retraining his gait, strength to recover from surgery, or coaching to overcoming issues with swallowing, our RESTORE therapists work very hard to get your father back on his feet and independent at home. Our skilled nursing facilities can meet your father's needs for Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy in an environment tailored to our residents.


Does your father need more than a temporary therapy stay? Heritage can help. Heritage Health provides skilled nursing care for seniors. Our nursing staff is specifically trained to care for seniors in a warm, welcoming environment. Not only do Heritage Health skilled nursing facilities meet clinical needs, but our Activities department plans a wide array of social events to keep your father engaged and connected. Heritage is centered on making your father's end of life experience a positive, fulfilling one.

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More than Skilled Nursing Care

More than Skilled Nursing Care

Heritage is more than a nursing home. Heritage Health has been a leader in long-term care since 1962. Our experience with seniors and their family members has shown us the value of providing a continuum of care to families in our community. Each family must decide when is the right time to provide or enhance care for their aging loved one. Many caregivers provide wonderful, heartfelt care to seniors in their lives, keeping their loved one in the comforts of home for as long as possible. Heritage understands how taxing being a caregiver is and provides an array of services to meet senior caregiver needs.


One service Heritage provides to support caregivers is respite care. Respite care simply means Heritage cares for your loved one for a short period of time. During this time, the caregiver can take a break, recharge or take care of some personal items long-ignored. While a caregiver may not be ready to pursue around-the-clock senior services just yet, Heritage provides a safe, qualified place to take a loved one so that the caregiver can get some well-deserved time off.


Another service beneficial to caregivers is short-term rehabilitation. Perhaps your parent or grandparent is still largely independent, but requires therapy following a joint replacement procedure. Heritage provides short-term rehabilitation stay through our exclusive RESTORE to Home therapy program. Our certified therapists meet the physical, occupational and speech therapy needs of seniors so loved ones can recover from surgery with confidence. The therapists serving in the RESTORE therapy program are specifically trained to meet the unique needs of the aging population—and get them back on their feet!

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Nutrition for Seniors.

Nutrition for Seniors.

As the body changes over time, our diets must change also. We know we should not keep eating like we did in high school, but sometimes it is hard to stay on track. Seniors can experience added challenges to eating well. Just a few of the nutritional challenges facing seniors include:


• Physical impairment from weakness or instability
• Forgetfulness
• Loss of interest in food due to depression or loss of a loved one
• Overall health deterioration
• Digestive challenges
• Dental complications or pain
• Food interactions with medicine


When it comes to senior nutrition, our registered dieticians know the answers! At Heritage, our registered dieticians and dietary aides take senior nutrition seriously. Part of the specialized care seniors receive at Heritage skilled nursing facilities is a visit from the Dietary Manager. Each resident receives a personalized diet plan—low-sodium, pureed, low-glycemic, etc.—to best support the care plan determined by the nursing staff, resident and resident family members.

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Heritage Operations Group is proud to provide the senior population in Illinois with rehabilitative therapy services, skilled nursing care, specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care, assisted and supportive living, independent living and pharmacy services.

 

Heritage Operations Group, is a separate and distinct legal entity from any and all other entities named or listed on this website.  Any information contained in this website does not constitute evidence of a relationship between Heritage Operations Group, or any other named or listed entity.

Heritage Operations Group •  115 W. Jefferson St. Suite 401  •  P.O. Box 3188   Bloomington, IL   61702-3188
PH. 800-397-1313  •  FAX: 309-829-5477

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