Tag Archives: senior living communities

Protecting Seniors from Pneumonia

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As the days pass and the days get colder, discussions surrounding staying healthy usually focus around trying to prevent the flu. While that’s important, it’s also very important to discuss pneumonia as another infection that is highly common among seniors.

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames the air sacs in one or both lungs. The air sacs may fill with fluid or pus (purulent material), causing cough with phlegm or pus, fever, chills, and difficulty breathing, according to Mayo Clinic.

As a loved one, it’s important to know the causes, symptoms and prevention for pneumonia just in case your family member starts to feel ill.

Causes of Pneumonia: 

According to the American Lung Association, there are more than 30 different causes of pneumonia. It’s important to understand what causes this sickness because that can help to know how to treat it. While there are many causes, it’s typically one of these five reasons as to what causes pneumonia:

  • Bacteria
  • Viruses
  • Mycoplasmas
  • Other infections agents, such as fungi
  • Inhaling various chemical and environmental agents 

Symptoms of Pneumonia:

As a family member or loved one, it’s helpful to know the signs and symptoms of pneumonia so you can be prepared if the time ever comes. While symptoms of pneumonia can be similar to the flu, these symptoms usually last longer.

  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Green or yellow phlegm that comes up while coughing
  • Feeling lethargic

Prevention of Pneumonia:

  • Get the flu shot: The flu is the most common predecessor to pneumonia in elderly people. We recommend that seniors over the age off 65 get a flu shot each year as well as a pneumococcal vaccine that protects against pneumonia bacteria.
  • Wash your hands: It’s important for seniors to keep their hands germ-free by washing them often. If you’re a caregiver, you should be washing them just as much, too.
  • Exercise, rest and practice healthy eating habit: Make sure your loved ones are drinking lots of fluids and avoiding anything that might cause stress and weaken the immune system. They should eat lots of fruits and vegetables. Without proper nutrients, seniors can become malnourished and thus, have a harder time fighting off illness.

Keep in mind that prevention is much better than treatment. Seniors who are hospitalized for pneumonia are at a higher risk for long-term physical and mental problems. Now that you know the causes, symptoms and prevention of pneumonia, you can be prepared if your loved one falls ill. If you think they might have pneumonia, contact their doctor right away.

New Year’s Resolutions for Seniors

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First and foremost, all of us at Vista Prairie Communities would like to wish you a happy new year! With the start of the new year, it is common for people to brainstorm resolutions they wish to make in order to change some aspect of their life.

It’s easy to make general resolutions—eat healthier, exercise more—but sometimes those resolutions don’t last very long. This year, try making specific resolutions in order to help make them stick!

Explore the three specific resolutions for seniors below and see which ones fit you best!

Instead of: Eat Healthier :: Try: Eat More Greens

While telling yourself you should eat healthier this year is an important resolution, making your promise to eat more greens is a bit more specific but still gets the same point across. This way, you can live a healthier lifestyle but have a specific example of how to do this. Incorporating more greens in your life will provide you with an abundance of nutrient-packed foods, help your heart and fight diabetes. Exploring other options to eat healthier like focusing your meals on incorporating superfoods is also a good idea.

Read More: Food for Thought: Superfoods

Instead of: Exercise Your Brain :: Try: Play a Brain Game Everyday

This year, try starting your morning with a brain game to get your mind going at the beginning of the day. There are many health benefits as to why seniors should exercise their brain each and every day including improving mental health, memory and helping prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Read More: 5 Daily Exercises to Promote Brain Health

Instead of: Exercise More :: Try: Walk 3 Times a Week

Stay on track of your exercise resolutions and accomplish your goals with a specific mission. Test out different ways you want to exercise or, maybe instead of walking, you like to swim. Update your resolution to whichever exercise you enjoy the most or a new exercise you want to try. Being active has been proven to reduce heart disease, blood pressure and stress.

Read More: How Seniors Stay Happy and Healthy

While all resolutions are important, making specific resolutions will help you stick to your goals and stay healthy. Remember, feel free to adjust any of these ideas to fit your lifestyle better.

We wish you all love, friendship and laughter in the new year. Welcome to 2019!

Important Conversations to Have with Your Senior Parents Over the Holidays

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The holidays are times for friends and family to gather around and spend some quality time together. While some family members have seen each other just a few days ago, many relatives haven’t seen each other in weeks or months.

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Tips to Manage Holiday Stress

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‘Tis the season – the holidays are upon us! While the holidays bring families and friends together, they can also bring stress. Unfortunately, the stress the holiday season brings can be challenging for seniors.

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Questions to Ask When Starting Your Senior Housing Search

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As you start to think about moving into a senior living community, or if you are assisting a loved one with their next steps, it’s important to establish what they’re looking for and what is most important to them.

In addition, you should determine which type of care is the right fit for their needs and preferences. Below, we have provided some key questions to ask the communities you tour when starting your senior housing search to help you make the right decision.

Ask yourself these questions to figure out what type of community you may need:

1.     What are the accommodations like?
This is an important question to ask because this will give you an overview of the community as a whole. What are the rooms like? Can you decorate it with personal effects? Can I bring my pet? What is the level of assistance provided? Getting to know the accommodations of the community will help you narrow down your choices. 

2.     What type of maintenance is provided and what are the housekeeping procedures?
Living in a clean and fresh space is important when you want to be comfortable and happy in your new home so, it’s important to be clear on maintenance and housekeeping procedures.

3.     What activities are offered?
By joining a community, many seniors find the group activities and social events keep them living engaging and fulfilling lives. Seniors can take advantage of the social network just outside their door. It’s important to know if the senior community offers activities or events to keep their residents social.

4.     What is the size of the community’s staff? Are they regularly trained?
When on a tour, it’s always helpful to pay attention to your surroundings – especially the staff. Are they interacting with residents? Do they seem to be up-to-date on their skills? Are they positive and friendly? The staff are a very important part of feeling at home in the community so, it’s useful to pay attention to their interactions with current residents.

5.     What are the food options?
Ask about the food style of the community and how it is prepared. Do they offer more than one choice at meal times? These questions are especially important if you have any dietary restrictions or preferences.

 6.     What are the safety and security plans and procedures?
Make sure to know how you can contact staff in case of an emergency in both your own living spaces and common areas. Find out about other safety features such as emergency pendants, daily ‘ok’ checks, availability of staff, 24-7 registered nurses, and other medical needs you might have.

Vista Prairie Communities is a leading provider of senior housing and health care services. We provide nurturing, homelike communities to the residents we serve. We are committed to improving the concept of senior living with vibrant environments, unique amenities and outstanding care throughout our communities in Minnesota, Iowa and Ohio.

Our size allows us to personalize your care and respond to your unique needs. We offer a variety of services including memory care, assisted living and health supportive services.

Explore our communities near you or a loved one and see which one is the best fit for you!