June is National Safety Month. For seniors, safety takes on many different shapes. In Assisted Living, we find that some of these safety issues are the primary reasons families will reach out for help for their elderly loved ones. One of the primary safety concerns is that of medications.
Heads on Meds
If you are worried that your loved one is not taking their medications as prescribed…or too much…or not at all…then it may be time to consider assisted living. We all know that misuse of medications can cause all sorts of problems, or in some serious cases even death. Assisted Living communities can provide residents with assistance with their daily and as needed medications. Residents must meet the requirements for admission to a community, including being able to identify your name on your medications. Staff are trained to assist residents in taking their meds using the:
- The right route.
- The right time.
- The right resident.
- The right documentation.
Medication management also helps prevent against a loved one taking a medication that has expired.. Looking out for the safety of your elderly loved ones in regards to their meds is one way that residing in an assisted living can help families find peace of mind.
For more information on one of our assisted living communities visit our website:
Spring has sprung and one of the most therapeutic things for me is getting out and tending to flowers in the yard. Sadly, this only comes in small doses because my hectic schedule leads to the demise of many of my plants. I love to tell the story of how my Mom came for an extended stay and made it her business to water my neglected yard. She started spraying the plants on my front porch as I stood watching barefoot in the parched grass. “See how I’m reviving the porch plants? You must water them!” I nodded in approval, barely having the heart to tell her that she was doing an excellent job of knocking the dust off those fake plants. But given the chance, I love to plant, prune and water with the best of them. Being that many of our facilities have the name “The Gardens” in them it only makes sense that we have flowers and other plants on the grounds of our communities. Through the years I have learned valuable advice from many of my resident gardeners. Here are a couple invaluable tips I have discovered over the years.
Knock back the Knock Out Roses
One of my former residents, Mrs. Betty, had a lovely rose garden placed in her memory in front of our community by her family. After the garden had been there a little over a year, I was instructed by one of our sweet lady residents to cut the bushes back if I wanted them to grow. Cut it back?? But why?? It had some blooms. She explained that the blooms had become scarce and that the bush would be more full with blooms and leaves if I cut it back. So, paired with some thick leather gloves and long clippers I got to work. In no time at all the roses were prettier than they had ever been. Mrs. Betty would be so proud!
Pile Up the Pallets
In several of our other communities we have had fabulous gardens built up high so that residents do not have to stoop over to tend to them. These pallet gardens are a wonderful way to let residents get their hands dirty and show their skills. I love to get tips on when and how to grow vegetables in these gardens. One of the best tricks that a resident in Daphne once told me was to always check your Farmer’s Almanac on when and how to grow seeds or plants in the garden. Now you can access the Farmer’s Almanac online and it will allow you to pull up your location in Alabama and get tips specific to your region.
So, for some of the best therapy around, get down and dirty in the soil. Plant some pretty flowers or vegetables like our residents. It is a wonderful way to get cheap therapy and bloom where you are planted.
It’s a bit surreal to think we are already bracing for another Black Friday! Now some of us might be scouring the Internet for the best cyber deals or some are still pinning DIYs to our Pinterest boards. But when it comes to being Santa to the seniors in our life, we have a gift giving guide to help save the day!
When I visit the rooms of most residents, the things that they typically want to share aren’t THINGS…they are photos or mementos from loved ones. So, take a little time and put together that scrapbook. Or for those that are more computer savvy, an online photobook that you design and print is always a hit! Even a picture book that gives a family tree type storyline is a great idea! Another way to share snapshots is through the calendars that feature family members for every month of the year. You can find great sites to create these items online. These are treasures that residents love to receive and share.
Warm and Soothing
As you probably already know, most elderly people like to stay warm. So, any type of crocheted blanket or even store bought throw is always well received. Other items that seniors love to have are those cozy socks with rubber gripped soles. Those are both warm and help protect against falls! You do want to stay away from electric blankets and personal heaters as these items can be unsafe and/or violate state regulations.
A Group Effort
One thing that I have seen a trend in recently is when families/groups decide they want to
do something for the entire community. Many assisted living communities are relatively small and they become a very tight knit group. So, families, volunteers or church groups will ask what is something they can do for everyone. I say talk to your Administrator. They can talk to the residents and let them decide. The residents may want seasonal plants for the porch, a new set of puzzles, large print books or even a pizza party! I even know of one group that got a Karaoke Machine! I think that is great! If you decide to do a group approach and want to do food or treats, remember that you need to remember there may be diabetics so you may want to go for sugar-free items.
Wrapping It Up
In a season of giving it is always more of a blessing to give than receive. Time can be the most precious and hard to find commodity. But when you can…stop by. Bring the young ones when they are out of school. Join us for an activity. The residents are so appreciative of everything. I have seen it live and in living color. In the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, stop in and say hello. The gift you will receive in return will be priceless.