Manor Lake Hiram Blog
7 October 2019
Many people who are in need of assisted living services or memory care services in and around Hiram put off looking for care for fear of how they will pay for it. Here at Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care we are fully committed to providing the highest quality and most affordable assisted living services across the Nashville area. We fully realize that assisted living services, for some, can be cost prohibitive. However, we are fully committed to assisting you with potential sources of financial aid so that you and or your loved ones can secure the care that you deserve.
Check the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Program
Check eligibility for the Veteran’s Aid & Attendance Pension, a program which can provide financial help to those who require assistance with activities of daily living such as eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature.
It can pay up to $1,830 per month to a veteran, $1,176 per month to a surviving spouse, or $2,170 per month to a couple for veterans and surviving spouses (as of 2017). Certain income and asset limits also apply.
This program allows you to keep more assets than most state aid programs, and it provides a higher level of assistance. You cannot receive benefits from both the Veterans program and a state aid program, so you may want to evaluate both to determine which provides the highest level of assistance for you or your loved one.
Check with your state’s medicaid office
Find your state Medicaid office and check on their available resources. To qualify for Medicaid you'll need to have assets and income that are below the federal poverty levels.
Many state programs offer assistance with assisted living costs for those who have no financial resources. Qualifying for such assistance usually means you have less than $2,000 in assets, although exact program requirements can vary from state-to-state.
Find non-profit resources for assisted living and elderly care
With a little digging you may find a non-profit organization that can help. If they can't help they may direct you to additional sources of assistance. Start with these two organizations:
- Contact your local Area Agency for Aging. They can help you locate resources such as elder refugee or elder abuse programs, counseling, meals on wheels, volunteers who will visit, adult day care services, and much more.
- Visit Eldercare.gov to find help in your local community, or call them at 800.677.1116. They will help refer to local resources such as home health services, transportation resources, senior housing options, respite care, find financial assistance if you are eligible for it, and much more.
Ask for family support
One home health company has created a free personalized way to stay in touch with those who need in-home care or assisted living through a feature they call CareTogether. It functions like a customized form of Facebook designed just for a senior who needs care, allowing the family to stay updated on what their needs may be.
You could use a feature like this, or a Facebook page, to explain your or your loved one’s needs to extended family and then ask family members if they would be willing to contribute a small monthly amount to provide in-home or assisted living care for this family member.
We want you to know that we are here to help. Contact Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care in Hiram today.
30 September 2019
When it comes time to begin the most difficult task of choosing an assisted living community in Hiram or a memory care community in Hiram, take a deep breath and accept the fact that you are about to take on very serious responsibility. We want to help you in that endeavor by offering some guidance on how to move forward. Please know that we are here for you to help and expand upon the following advice.
At the very core of best practices to find the perfect senior living or assisted living community in Nashville is to speak with as many staff members and current residents as possible.
Questions to ask
Obviously, you can't just rely on facility tours or promotional brochures to make this crucial decision. First, get your ducks in a row. When you're ready to visit in person, turn to administrators, staff members and residents for answers to pivotal questions.
Consider Before You Visit:
Is the location realistic? Lengthy drives, not to mention flights, will affect visits and add barriers to relationships with friends and family members, including spouses still living at home.
Many families face a tough conundrum. Sometimes it's a matter of choosing between top-ranked but distant facilities versus more accessible locations for loved ones to visit regularly and monitor care.
Ask Administrators and Nursing Directors:
What are the staffing ratios? Bolster your question with research.
What is your staff turnover? Stable staffing is a good sign. In addition, consistent assignment – when the same caregivers are assigned to the same residents on a daily basis – is critically important. That way, staff members really get to know residents, anticipate their needs and can recognize and address problems early.
Which services do you offer? If you're undergoing rehab to recover from a hip fracture, you'll need a higher level of care than some nursing homes can offer. With medical conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, residents may need help managing supplemental oxygen.
Do you provide special care for people with dementia? Memory care means much more than just a locked unit to prevent residents from wandering. Staffing ratios should be no more than five residents per caregiver, including nurses and aides, around the clock. Caregivers should have special training in dementia care, and the awareness and sensitivity to best address these needs.
What kind of food do you serve? Residents rely entirely on nursing homes to meet their nutritional needs. Healthy, tasty food improves everyone's quality of life.
How do you satisfy cultural and individual food preferences? People in nursing homes still want to enjoy meals that evoke family traditions and tastes they've developed over their lives.
Do you accommodate special diets? Residents come in with their own dietary preferences and restrictions. Some also may have medical orders for soft or puréed diets, for example.
Can residents eat when they want? Some people prefer to eat outside routine schedules.
After the formal tour, explain that you'd like a chance to speak with several residents. Drop in at the activities room or a lounge, introduce yourself, say you're considering a move there and ask what it's like for them.
Are you happy here? "Do you enjoy living here?" "What do you like best about living here?" and "If you could change one thing, what would that be?" are positive ways to frame your questions and make residents more likely to respond.
Do you have freedom of choice? Does the facility offer resident-centered care? Are you able to get up when you want? Do you go to bed at the time you want?
When you ask for help, how long do you have to wait? If you always have to wait beyond five minutes for help, you're likely to try doing things on your own, which could set you up for falls.
Ask Activity Directors:
What about activities? How do you keep residents engaged? Ask to see monthly activity calendars. Offerings should be varied and appealing.
Does the facility have a resident or family council? These self-determined groups can provide a strong voice for quality care.
Is reliable transportation available? Sometimes nursing homes only provide transportation for certain medical appointments – and they don't provide transportation for social purposes. Is there staff to help residents get to a granddaughter's play?
Can residents easily spend time outdoors? Attractive courtyards are sometimes the first thing visitors notice. But how often can residents, particularly those with mobility issues, actually go outdoors? Does staff encourage and help them to do so?
For more information on senior living or memory care services here in Hiram, contact Manor Lake Assisted Living & Memory Care anytime!
23 September 2019
Like his mother Virginia O'Brien before him, Greg O’Brien is battling Alzheimer’s disease with all his might.
O'Brien's mother did everything she could to stave off the disease as she cared for her cancer-stricken, wheelchair-bound husband. And she did somehow manage to keep things going until her husband, O'Brien's father, died from prostate cancer.
It was from watching his mother live with Alzheimer’s that allowed O'Brien to recognize the signs in himself and prompted him to see a neurologist at age 59. Brain scans that revealed he had Alzheimer’s, too. Shortly after his own diagnosis, both of his parents passed away.
“My mom taught me how to live with Alzheimer’s,” O’Brien of Cape Cod, Massachusetts told TODAY. “She fought and fought and fought. She wouldn’t give up. She kept telling me, ‘I can’t get sick, I can’t get sick.’”
Now nearly 70, he's still not giving up.
“It’s not for me, it’s for the next generation,” O’Brien said of his daily fight against the disease, choking up. “It’s for my kids, my granddaughter. We've got to stop this demon.”
Currently, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates that there are 5.8 million Americans living with the disease and that the number will rise to 14 million by 2050.
As O’Brien waits for medical breakthroughs that might stop the mind-robbing disease, he’s made lifestyle changes that recent research suggests might at least slow Alzheimer’s down. He follows a Mediterranean diet and makes sure he gets enough sleep. He exercises regularly and writes every day to “reboot my brain.”
Conor and Greg look through family photos.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Conor and Greg look through family photos.Conor and Greg look through family photos.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Can Alzheimer's be slowed?
To help make daily life run better, O’Brien, a journalist and writer for 45 years, leans on habits he honed in his profession. With short term memory frayed by the disease, “I write everything down,” O’Brien said. He started doing that because, “I worried I would forget.”
Greg O'Brien was the caregiver for his mother, Virginia, while she had Alzheimer's.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Greg O'Brien was the caregiver for his mother, Virginia, while she had Alzheimer's.Greg O'Brien was the caregiver for his mother, Virginia, while she had Alzheimer's.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
O’Brien tries to stay mentally engaged and hopes that his years as a writer will help him in his battle against Alzheimer's progression. The idea is simple, using your brain builds and maintains connections, kind of like putting money in the bank that you can depend on later.
“Doctors tell me I’m working off what they call cognitive reserve, as my mother did,” O’Brien said.
While Alzheimer's runs in O'Brien's family, so does caregiving. Just as Virginia O'Brien cared for her husband, O'Brien's 30-year-old son, Conor, is his father’s caregiver. After graduating from college, the young man moved home to help his dad.
“I’ve always enjoyed spending time with him," Conor O'Brien said. "You just find a way every day to take it step by step.”
Conor says he doesn’t really see the progression in his father, but there are times that it really hits home. The day his dad didn’t recognize him “was the scariest moment of my life.”
O'Brien calls Conor his “rudder” because he steers him every day.
“We've got to bring this out of the closet so people can understand there are people still working who are scared [expletive] and are afraid to talk about it because they’ll lose their jobs,” he said. “We have to try to enable people to speak about the strategies, the medicines, the supplements.”
Still, O’Brien has had to accept limitations the disease has placed on his life. Two years ago he gave up driving.
“I have this ‘Where’s Waldo’ app that tells people where I am at all times,” he said.
Greg calls his office his "memory room." Writing isn't easy for Greg, whose short term memory disappears after 30 seconds.
But making a record helps him to remember some things.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
Greg calls his office his "memory room." Writing isn't easy for Greg, whose short term memory disappears after 30 seconds. But making a record helps him to remember some things.Greg calls his office his "memory room." Writing isn't easy for Greg, whose short term memory disappears after 30 seconds. But making a record helps him to remember some things.Alexandra Galante/TODAY There are certainly hints from research that exercise may not only slow cognitive decline, but also modify the amount of the sticky amyloid protein that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s, said Maria Carrillo, chief science officer at the Alzheimer’s Association. Those studies were done in patients with Alzheimer’s tied to a dominantly inherited gene.
“We don’t know yet if you can expand that to people with late onset disease,” Carrillo said.
And there is evidence from animal models of Alzheimer’s suggesting the disease course is modifiable and that living in an enriched environment can slow the progress of the disease, Carrillo said. O’Brien takes a lot of his cues from Massachusetts General neurologist Rudy Tanzi, an Alzheimer’s researcher who is looking to cure the disease. In the meantime, Tanzi has suggestions for slowing its progression — his program, called SHIELD.
Each letter of the acronym stands for a lifestyle modification that might impact the development of Alzheimer’s.
'S' stands for sleep.
“It’s during deep sleep that you clean your brain of debris. Seven to eight hours of sleep a night is essential,” said Tanzi.
For physical exercise, Greg likes to play golf. He also goes for a run every day.Alexandra Galante/TODAY
‘H’ stands for handing stress.
Learning new things can help you make new synapses, Tanzi said. “The bottom line is in Alzheimer’s, the degree of dementia correlates most with the loss of synapses."
‘I’ is for interacting with friends.
‘E’ is for exercise.
‘L’ is for learning new things.
‘D’ is for diet.
Recent studies point to the brain benefits of a diet rich in leafy green vegetables, beans, olive oil, nuts and poultry. It's recommended to avoid red meat, sweets and fried foods.
While O’Brien and his family acutely feel what he’s lost to the disease, they do see a silver lining.
“Alzheimer’s has kind of actually brought our family a little closer,” said Conor. “I would say that’s kind of a blessing in disguise.”
“I can’t step in my dad’s shoes and feel how he’s feeling,” Conor said. “I just look at him and he’s my hero.”
23 September 2019
Modern researchers have discovered that music soothes those suffering from dementia, and/or Alzheimer’s disease.
Researchers at The University of Utah Health recently tested whether they could alleviate anxiety in seniors suffering from dementia by playing familiar music to them using headphones and a hand-held music device. Anxiety and agitation are two of the most disruptive aspects of living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease for both patients and caregivers.
After the researchers helped the patients pick meaningful music, they used a functional MRI to record the changes in the brain while the music played. The brain images showed that music helped the areas of the brain known as the salience network, the visual network, the executive network, and the cerebellar and corticocerebellar networks all work with better connectivity. These areas of the brain activate language and memory, according to the study’s authors.
“When you put headphones on dementia patients and play familiar music, they come alive,” Jace King, lead author of the study, said in a press release. “Music is like an anchor grounding the patient back in reality.”
Music and movement are the last things to go in the brain.
It’s almost miraculous what music can do for Alzheimer’s patients and the research about the benefits is there.
Health care providers have seen firsthand how much music helps dementia patients. with the clients there.
Play songs from their era that they might recognize. Patriotic songs are also popular.
Music touches people on so many levels.
The reaction by dementia patients to music was also dramatically demonstrated in the 2014 documentary, Alive Inside. Elderly care professionals can set up personalized playlists on iPods for their patients. The music helps the patients access the deep memories not lost to dementia. It also helps them converse and socialize in ways they weren’t doing before the familiar music became a part of their daily life.
For more information on senior assisted living and memory care services in Hiram, contact Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care .
16 September 2019
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, seniors supported by professional assisted living professionals realize a statistically significant decrease in hospitalization for heart disease. This positive report is attributed to the professional support provided by assisted living communities such as ours at Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care (Hiram, GA) that deliver quality of life support programs as well as regular and reassuring professional health consultation.
What We Do?
The following items are primary goals of assisted living communities in an effort to reduce the rate of senior patients developing heart illnesses.
Provide Fitness and Relaxation
Keeping seniors active and relaxed improves heart health. Workout programs that range from low to moderate impact exercises are managed based on fitness levels and health status. Regular exercise helps lower stress levels and improve quality of sleep. When these two vital factors are achieved and stabilized, a healthier heart is guaranteed.
Promote Nutrition and Healthy Diet
Assisted living communities pay close attention to the nutrition and diet of their senior residents. They make sure that the food served to senior residents are both appetizing and healthy to improve food intake and facilitates consumption of important nutrients that can strengthen the heart. Also, taking note of food that must be taken moderately. Low-salt, low-fat, low-sugar diet are usually the dietary recommendation for these people.
Provide Smoke-Free Environment
We know for a fact that a smoker has a higher risk of developing chronic heart disorders including atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease. Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care in Hiram offers a designated outdoor area for smokers separated from non-smokers so that non-smokers will not be exposed to smoke-filled air. This is also a way to encourage current smokers to break the habit. Medical advises are also given to those smokers to support them to give up smoking.
For more information about assisted living, contact Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care in Hiram.
9 September 2019
Caring for your loved one with memory issues is an exhaustive yet fulfilling labor of love. Without doubt it is very stressful as well. At some point this labor of love becomes an unhealthy tax on both the mental and physical state of the caregiver(s). It is at this point where guilt sets in when we recognize our inability to keep pace with the ever-increasing challenge of providing memory care support services. This guilt is natural but fortunately it is usually short-lived once we come to accept the realities of life that, at some point, we must turn to memory care professionals to help us carry the load.
The key word there is “professionals”. We are programmed to believe that no one outside the family can provide the same level of loving care that a family member can. But that is simply not true. When you enlist the support of senior memory care professionals in and around Hiram you are empowering you and your family with the power of scientific research and professional expertise that will enhance the quality of life of your loved one in ways that the non-professional family simply cannot. No offense of course.
So take the step to research your transition to professional memory care with confidence (not guilt) that you are about to increase the quality of life of both your loved one AND yourself. Conduct thorough research of the memory care communities near you to experience the campus, assess the skill and attentive nature of the staff, and to simply get a feel for the memory care community as a whole. Trust your instinct, it will guide you well.
If you think it's time to move your parent or loved one to a memory care facility, contact the memory care professionals at Manor Lake Hiram. Our team is available to help guide you through this difficult process and answer any questions that may arise.
22 August 2019
For most seniors, the notion of losing independence is something extremely difficult to admit. The thought of the need to move into an assisted living community is unsettling at best. Putting off the conversation between a senior and his/her caregiver(s) will only exacerbate the fear and anxiety for all parties. With a little research, planning, and yes a LOT of love, you will ensure a positive outcome.
- Talk to your parent(s) about assisted living options in Hiram as early as possible—before the situation becomes urgent. That way you can spend more time exploring different solutions, and your parent will be able to more fully participate in the process.
- Know the options and the benefits of each one. Moving into an Assisted Living Community like Manor Lake is just one option, but there are many others. Depending on the level of independence and care your parent desires and needs, there may be home care solutions or other solutions that might be a good fit. Learn more about the various options.
- Address your concerns about their current situation openly and completely. Be realistic – and help them be as well – about their health care needs and safety and the potential needs they may have in the near future. Be candid about the impact their care may be having on you and emphasize your overwhelming concern for their well-being. Now is not the time to dance around delicate topics. Being honest and upfront is the best approach, but make sure you do it with a tone of empathy and respect.
- Listen carefully to their fears and objections. It’s best to have an initial conversation to get the ball rolling, then take a few days to digest their initial reaction and comments before continuing. This also shows them that they are being heard and honored and will have a role in the process.
- Find out what’s most important to them. Perhaps they are concerned about leaving their friends behind or being forced into a routine that they don’t like. Understanding these issues can help you address them upfront and find a solution that will provide them with the care they need along with the lifestyle they want to be happy and fulfilled.
- Be prepared to talk about finances. Part of the fear of losing independence is the concern about losing control of their finances. Have a realistic assessment of their financial situation, along with ballpark costs, and financial benefits they may be able to utilize ready to discuss. Consider the potential “what if” scenarios that may arise, and how they may each impact your long-term financial situation.
- Take a positive approach and tone. Your parent will be more likely to embrace change if it’s presented in the most positive and caring light. Humor can help lighten the situation, but it’s important not to let the conversation become too lighthearted or trite. After all, this is one of the most important decisions of their life, and the decision that you make together will make all the difference in the quality of their remaining years
20 August 2019
When returning home to Hiram to visit your aging parents at Manor Lake Assisted Living and Memory Care, give your visit some thought in advance. You are not alone if you find that your visits can be stressful for a host of reasons, not the least of which is witnessing our parents in a state of physical and/or mental decline. In some cases, this decline can be as simple as realizing that you need to devote regular efforts to help a loved one manage daily life; in others, we might face the grief of knowing, or fearing, that this may be one of the last holidays together.
Because remote family members visit so often during the summer vacations and holidays, we often receive requests at this time of year to help assess whether someone is still safe, and to identify the kinds of help available and what might be needed. We also notice enormous stress in uncertain adult children hoping to do the right thing with their parents while navigating uncharted waters. We find that it helps to use these vacation visit guidelines, from how to manage taking a dependent elder a short trip away from home to considering whether a senior can continue to live alone, safely and unaided.
1. Treasure and be present with the person before you
First, it is always good to stop and remember those things that cannot be changed: aging, the effects of some illnesses, the progress of dementia, and other factors. “Old age,” as Betty Davis said, “is not for sissies.” Sometimes we see families whose holidays would improve if they paused briefly to realize that a parent will never again have the health and energy of past times. However, treasured memories can still be created with person before you. Honor that person; try to make him or her comfortable; ask to hear a story, or tell one yourself. Even in advanced stages of illness, holiday experiences can be joyous if accepted for what they are. It is good advice for life in general, and especially with aging loved ones.
2. Assign someone the task to be sure your elder is not over-stimulated
Especially for elders who are not used to being active, and have their own hopes for a vacation experience “like old times”, the temptation to try to keep too fast a pace during a holiday can lead to exhaustion. Be sure that every day someone is prepared to stay at home, or leave an event early; your elder will be happier not trying to keep up with the most energetic members of the family. Try to rotate this responsibility so no one misses too much. It can be an adult child, a younger family member, family friend, or regular caregiver. This is simple, but easy to forget.
3. If the elder is traveling, plan extra time
Whether it is security scans at airports or long car rides, the pace and distractions that many of us take in stride as part of travel can be exhausting, confusing, or frightening for elders. If you are in a rush, the problem is exacerbated. Plan ahead, allow for a slow pace and leisurely pace, and explain what is going on. This can relieve pressure on everyone.
4. If you visit home, be on the lookout for signs that help may be needed
People who visit home after an absence of several months sometimes can see the signs of decline in the condition of the home or the elder. It is important to be on the lookout for these, especially if family is not regularly present. Signs include a poorly- stocked kitchen, plumbing or appliances that do not function and have not been repaired, clutter that may be the initial stages of hoarding, or poor hygiene. Rarely to our elders call and say, “I cannot manage alone and I need help to continue living here.” Far more often, the signs appear without a request for help. If you have concerns about whether someone is safe at home, an assessment by a geriatric care manager or local senior citizens’ service center is called for.
Vacations with aging parents can be bittersweet. But with proper planning and the right attitude, the emphasis can be on the sweet. Do not try to do too much; find ways to enjoy the person as he or she is today, and to help him or her enjoy the day as much as possible. Grieve if it is called for, laugh when you can, ask for help when you need it. It is all part of life.
Source: Connected Home Care