Where Better Care is a Family Matter

When It’s Time to Consider Long-Term Care for Your Parent

senior assisted living

Making the decision to consider long-term care for your parent can be a difficult one to make. However, if you’ve been the primary or only caregiver for your loved one, it’s important to recognize when they might be better served by a skilled nursing facility equipped to handle all their needs.

Overcoming Feelings of Guilt and Nursing Home Stigma

When you are looking after the care, health, and wellbeing of a parent, it can feel incredibly overwhelming to come to the realization that you are no longer in a position to continue doing so. Oftentimes, caregiving children are overcome with feelings of guilt and letting their parents down. This results in a continuation of care that could bring about other health concerns for your loved one. It can also create resentment towards your parent later in life due to the taxing burden that caregiving can become.

It’s important and necessary to set your personal feelings aside and look at the care of your parent from a perspective entirely focused on what would be best for them.

In addition, nursing homes haven’t always had warm and fuzzy feelings associated with them. However, by touring different locations, you can quickly get a good feel for how that stigma is just that, and you’ll find that many skilled nursing facilities have really become quite the oasis for residents seeking both long and short-term care.

A tip for finding the perfect long-term care facility for your parent: Take advantage of Respite Care stays. This will allow your loved one to get acquainted with the facility and the staff members to help them discover if long-term care at the facility would be enjoyable.

Signs It’s Time to Consider Long-Term Care for Your Parent

If you’ve been feeling like it might be time to consider long-term care for your parent, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to assist with the decision-making process.

Are you finding it increasingly difficult to handle the physical care your parent needs?

This might sound like a simple question, but it’s important. If physically helping your loved one is difficult for you, you’re only putting them more at risk. Skilled nursing facilities have trained professionals on-site that are easily able to handle the physical demands of caregiving. To avoid risking a fall or injury to your loved one, take a serious look at what physical demands you are capable of meeting in a way that won’t put your health at risk.

Are you finding yourself suffering from chronic exhaustion or feeling emotionally drained?

The answer to this question has a great impact on your overall health, both mentally and physically. And if you’ve been struggling with exhaustion or mental fatigue, that can be negatively affecting your parent as you care for them, including bringing on feelings of parental guilt, and the inability to provide the quality of care they need.

Does your parent need rehabilitation or specialized supervision?

If your loved one requires rehabilitation, oftentimes it can require around-the-clock care, and you may not realistically be able to provide it. If they aren’t receiving the amount of care they need to fully recover, it can hinder their ability to heal as well as create a much longer timeline for rehab. On the same token, if your loved one suffers from Alzheimer’s or dementia, they could greatly benefit from a long-term care facility that offers a certified Memory Care Unit.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center Offers Long-Term Care in a Home-Like Environment

If you are considering long-term care for your parent or loved one, stop by Elmhurst Extended Care Center. We offer long-term skilled nursing care in a home-like environment where our residents thrive. Schedule your tour today or attend one of our family support groups for more information.

4 Exercises to Do After Knee Replacement Surgery

senior men playing chess outside

According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 600,000 knee replacements are performed each year in the United States. When you’ve gone through knee replacement surgery, it’s natural to want to get back up and moving as quickly as possible. But in order to do so, regular exercise is a must. It will help restore your strength and mobility and make use of your new knee that much easier and more enjoyable. Here are some exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine to help extend mobility, flexibility and strength:

1. Sitting Knee Extension

Sit up straight in a chair. It’s important that your chair be firmly set on the ground – no wheels or uneven flooring underneath. Bend your knees over the edge of your chair, resting your feet on the floor. Lift the leg of your new knee up until your knee is straight (do not lean back to do so). Hold your elevated leg in this position for 5 seconds, and then slowly return your knee to a bent position, foot on the floor. Repeat this exercise 10 times, 2-3 times a day.

2. Standing Knee Flexion

Using a walker or back of a heavy chair for support, stand upright facing your support piece. Slowly bend the leg you had knee replacement surgery on so that your foot comes up behind you. Bend your knee as far as you can, and then gently bring it back down for your foot to rest on the ground. Repeat this exercise 10 times, 2-3 times a day. This exercise is also easy to do while standing at the kitchen sink! Simply use your kitchen counter for support.

3. Heel Slides

Lying down flat on your back, gently bend your new knee. Slide that foot up towards your buttocks as far as you can go. Make sure to keep your other leg flat on the bed. Hold your bent knee position for 5 seconds, then gently straighten your leg back out and relax for 15 seconds. Repeat this exercise 10 times, 2-3 times per day. Make sure to take your socks off as they can make this exercise difficult and slippery. If you notice your unoperated knee trying to bend and slide up, place a pillow under that knee and focus on pushing your unoperated knee down into it as you slide your new knee.

4. Straight Leg Raise

Lie flat on your back. Bend your unoperated knee and place that foot flat on the bed, knee bent. With your knee replacement surgery leg, tighten your quad (the muscle at the front of your thighs), and raise your operated leg straight up. Make sure to keep your raised leg straight. Do not bend the new knee. Hold this raised position for 5 seconds before lowering it slowly back down. Relax for 15 seconds and then repeat 10 times, 2-3 times per day.

If you’re in need of physical therapy following your knee replacement surgery, give us a call at Elmhurst Extended Care Center. Our skilled therapists work with post-surgical patients for short-term rehabilitation that will progress you to your highest level of function. Find out how we can make your recovery process enjoyable and productive when you call us at 630-516-5000.

Respite Care Offers Solutions for Caregivers to Take Vacation

senior care, old age, senior hands

Summer is in full swing, and with it comes the time where families venture out on vacation together. However, if you find yourself caring for a loved one full-time, it can be difficult to arrange taking time away from them to enjoy a vacation away. What many caregivers aren’t aware of is that skilled nursing facilities offer short-term overnight stays for those needing assistance with daily living. It’s called Respite Care, and it offers the best solution for your loved one to be properly taken care of when you need it.

Respite Care Provides Your Loved One with Dedicated, Trained Professionals While You’re Away

One of the biggest challenges when trying to find short-term care for your loved one is having peace-of-mind in knowing they’ll be given the best care possible. By choosing a skilled nursing facility with an on-site, around-the-clock team of caregivers, you can rest easy knowing they’ll be taken care of while you’re away.

Is your loved one exhibiting early signs of Alzheimer’s? Have a special diet that must be monitored closely? Need assistance with regular tasks such as walking to the bathroom or taking their medications? By choosing a nursing facility that offers dedicated and trained professionals who specialize in these areas, you’ll know the staff can assist your loved one with anything they need.

Respite Stays are Easy to Schedule

You have enough on your plate as a full-time caregiver already. So making it easy to schedule a respite stay for your loved one is a no-brainer. When planning your vacation this summer, make sure to schedule your loved one’s respite stay at the same time. It’s always a good idea to call and set up a time to tour the facility they will be staying at while you’re out of town. Once that’s complete, it’s a matter of simply providing a few documents so that your loved one’s stay runs smoothly for both you and them.

For scheduling Respite Care at Elmhurst Extended Care Center, you’ll need to provide these documents:

  • A list of current medications with dosage amounts
  • A copy of their medical history
  • A copy of their most recent physical from their physician

Respite Care Isn’t Just for Vacations

While knowing you don’t have to say goodbye to family vacations just because you’re a caregiver is wonderful, it’s also important to know that you can utilize Respite Care services at any time. Here are a few times you may find Respite Care to come in handy for you and your loved one:

  • You need to take a trip for work
  • Friends are coming to visit for a few days and plan to stay with you
  • You get sick and need time to recuperate
  • You’re feeling the strain from caregiving and feel a short break will reinvigorate you in taking care of your loved one

Respite stays are also a great way to try out a skilled nursing facility before committing to long-term care for your loved one. It provides both you and them the opportunity to get a good feel for the staff, the facility, as well as how your loved one feels in their new space. If you’ve been considering long-term care for your loved one, Respite Care is a great place to start.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center is the Best Nursing Home for Respite Care

It’s incredibly important to know your loved one is being taken care of with the same loving, generous commitment that you bring to them as a caregiver at home. At Elmhurst Extended Care Center, all of our residents are like family to us – and their families are an extension of our own. If you’re looking for the best nursing home for your loved one, look no further.

We also offer Respite Care for your convenience. If you’re interested in touring our facility or scheduling a respite stay for your loved one, contact us today.

“Food is healing, enjoyable, and brings people together.” An Interview with Registered Dietitian for EECC, Christine Fitzgerald.

EECC Registered Dietitian Christine Fitzgerald

The daily meals and snacks enjoyed by short and long-term residents at any skilled nursing facility are incredibly important. Better health, both physically and mentally, and longevity of life often go hand-in-hand with a proper diet. We sat down with our in-house Registered Dietitian, Christine, to find out more about the passion she has in her career and how that pairs perfectly with our residents here at Elmhurst Extended Care Center. Here’s what she had to say:

What inspired you to become a Registered Dietitian?

I’ve always had an innate passion for food. I remember rushing home from school to catch the last half of Emeril Live before jumping in to the kitchen to cook dinner with my mom every night. As I became older and involved in athletics, I developed an interest not only in cooking, but in the healing power of food. As a gymnast and swimmer for over 10 years, I was constantly eating to fuel my body and realized that my curiosity towards food was more of a lifestyle than the hobby I initially thought.

Growing up, I was very lucky to have parents who emphasized family meals. Despite our busy schedules, there was always time to sit down together and enjoy a healthy and home-cooked dinner. I learned from a very young age that food is healing, enjoyable, and brings people together. While I didn’t always know I wanted to be a dietitian, I found myself eager to share this love with others and ended up in my first nutrition class.

What things do you take into consideration when planning a menu for residents?

When creating a menu for residents, I prioritize freshness, flavor and variety. I make sure there is something for everyone to enjoy and that our meals are both nourishing and delicious, just as food should be! My go-to when it comes to planning menus is using in-season ingredients to create the freshest and most flavorful dishes possible. I always keep in mind what I would want to eat and strive to make sure the environment is not a barrier against enjoying meals. It’s tough to be away from home. Through physical stress and hospitalizations, many of our residents can feel overwhelmed when they walk through the door.

I’ve found that the quickest way to connect with people is through great food. Taking a little extra time to plan a thoughtful and delicious menu goes a long way towards helping our residents feel at home during their stay.

When a resident has special nutritional requirements, how do you accommodate for those?

Working directly with the residents to fulfill their individualized preferences and nutritional needs is one of the most important parts of my job. The first thing I do is introduce myself to the residents and assure them that their nutritional needs can be met. Typically, residents are eager to discuss meal preferences right away… everyone wants to know what they’re eating! Making that instant connection can really help us get off on the right foot and help new residents feel comfortable. Once the initial interview is in the books, I get to work on communicating needs with my staff and executing requests. With a full commercial kitchen at EECC, we can accommodate pretty much anything!

What are some ways you provide nutritional education to residents at EECC?

Educating the residents is all about individualization. While I enjoy sharing my knowledge of nutrition with others, I recognize that not everyone wants the information. The biggest misconception about dietitians is that we are here to make everyone eat their salad and skip the fries. While a balanced diet is important, it’s not everything. I love inspiring people to have a healthy relationship with food and empowering them to understand there is no such thing as the perfect diet.

With regards to education, some of the residents want detailed information in scientific format. Others prefer a more casual conversation about their lifestyle and ways to achieve nutrition goals at home. I’ve even used food models to help people visualize portion sizes! Nutrition isn’t a one-size-fits all model; Whether it is teaching someone the difference between carbs, protein, and fats, or giving detailed education about dialysis and minerals, nutrition education is intended to best serve the resident and their needs.

Are there ever any circumstances where you work with family members of residents to develop a nutritional plan for their loved one? If so, what does that process typically look like?

Every day! As I described above, I like to meet with new residents ASAP to discuss food preferences and address questions or concerns they may have about their meals. Oftentimes, this initial interview is in the presence of family members and friends. Connecting with the residents’ family members provides invaluable insight from the people who know them best. If a resident isn’t eating well or doesn’t seem to like the food but isn’t vocal about why, in almost every case I’m able to consult a family member to unpack exactly what’s going on.

Whether it’s a missing condiment on the plate, the wrong flavor of juice, or someone who doesn’t like their food to be touching, family members are the best detectives. I often hear that the residents “don’t want to be a bother” to staff so concerns may go unvoiced. We are in business to serve the residents and working with the people who know them the best is absolutely key towards providing excellent care.

What do you enjoy most about your position at EECC?

While I have worked in multiple settings as a dietitian, my time at EECC has already proven to be a wonderful opportunity. My role is both challenging and fulfilling and every day brings about new experiences and opportunities for growth. I love getting to work in multiple settings on a daily basis. Seeing the residents as the dietitian to complete nutritional assessments keeps my clinical knowledge sharp and I get to learn about new trends in science and medicine. Healthcare is very fast-paced and stimulating so experiencing it every day definitely keeps me on my toes!

On the other hand, I have dual responsibilities at EECC and serve as the Dining Director to take on a more managerial approach. I get to work with food safety and sanitation regulations, customizing menus for the facility and I oversee all the procurement and production of meals. Working simultaneously in both avenues is a bit uncommon for a dietitian and has been my favorite part about this role. Every day is a bit unconventional, exciting, and has made me a more well- rounded professional.

Experience the Elmhurst Extended Care Center difference for yourself. Call or stop by today for a tour of our facility!

The Importance of a Certified Memory Care Unit for Your Loved One Suffering from Alzheimer’s or Dementia

memory care unit

Memory care units offer those suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia a safe environment with around-the-clock care. While a standard long-term care facility can provide a home-like environment for residents and patients, it’s best to find a facility with a certified memory care unit when considering where to place your loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s.

Memory Care Units Offer Unique Layouts for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients

The physical layout of a certified memory care unit is strategically designed to offer the best environment for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. The design is created with wandering in mind – a symptom common for patients suffering from these diseases – and minimizes symptomatic behavior while also making it easy for residents to navigate around the unit.

At Elmhurst Extended Care Center, our wander management system within our certified memory care unit allows residents to freely move about the floor while ensuring their safety and security in the area.

It’s important that, although wandering is intended to be minimized in a memory care unit, Alzheimer’s and dementia patients are still able to enjoy plenty of movement and stimulation. EECC has designed our unit with two multipurpose areas for dining, visiting and activities. Each area is on opposite ends of the floor, promoting continuous movement and stimulation.

Dedicated, Trained and Experienced Staff Make Up Certified Memory Care Units

As Alzheimer’s and dementia patients require specialized care, it’s important that the staff at your long-term care facility are trained especially for this. Memory care provides intensive, long-term medical care, and as such, the staff in the certified memory care unit is a key factor in the comfortability of your loved one.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center holds our compassionate staff in high regard. They are regularly trained in behavior management in order to maximize each resident’s highest potential. Some of the benefits of our memory care unit include:

  • Developing individualized plans for person-centered care
  • Providing adaptive activities programs focused on each resident’s abilities
  • Striving to reach each resident’s highest potential
  • Encouraging participation in favorite life activities and familiar tasks
  • Assisting family members and loved ones in understanding these complex diseases

Memory Care at Elmhurst Extended Care Center

Through our skilled staff and ongoing training in dealing with these complex and difficult diseases, EECC understands the challenges that you face when caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. We offer a monthly Alzheimer’s and dementia support group along with DVDs and other valuable information that can support and assist you with your loved one and their care.

If you’d like to see if the certified memory care unit at Elmhurst Extended Care Center is the right place for your loved one, schedule a tour today.

Worried your loved one may be developing Alzheimer’s or dementia? Here are 7 signs and symptoms.

Individualized Care Plans Set Elmhurst Extended Care Center Apart from Other Skilled Nursing Facilities

When considering where to complete your short-term rehabilitation following a surgery or the best place to call home for your loved one in need of long-term care, it’s important to know that priority is placed on individual needs, not a regimented ‘one size fits all’ checklist for each person that walks through the door.

We sat down and talked with Noel Tapia, Assistant Director of Nursing and Care Plan Coordinator at EECC, to find out how Elmhurst Extended Care Center handles the individual needs of each resident. Here’s what he had to say:

What do you enjoy most about developing care plans for each individual that comes to Elmhurst Extended Care Center?

I like developing individualized care plans because it lets me get to know my patients and their history. With the diverse population we serve, it’s important to create a care plan specific to the patients wants and needs. I also enjoy creating care plans with the Interdisciplinary team.

How does the process work for putting together a care plan for a new patient or resident?

It starts with the patient’s hospital diagnosis and their current medication list. Each diagnosis and medication have its own plan of care. The patient is also assessed and interviewed for their preference with care and health needs. Each member of the Interdisciplinary team also creates a care plan for their respective department (Social Worker, Dietician, Activities, and Restorative Nursing).

How do you deal with conflicting demands from a patient, their family, and other health care providers?

We do what is best for the patient. We try to accommodate the family’s demands, but if it’s conflicting with the care then we make sure we follow the facility’s policies and procedures. We seldom have issues with health care providers.

Have you ever come across a stumbling block while coordinating care for a patient? If so, how did you resolve it?

There is definitely a lot of stumbling blocks in nursing. As long as nursing staff continues to provide advocacy to the patient and follow the necessary policies and procedures, then the patients get the care they need. Also, talking about the issues with the Interdisciplinary team can help brainstorm solutions.

What do you think sets EECC apart from other skilled nursing facilities in regards to care plans developed for residents?

Our care plan is individualized. It’s not just the care plan coordinator that creates it, but the entire Interdisciplinary team. The care plans are also revised as patient health care needs change.

If you’re looking for personalized care for you or a family member, give Elmhurst Extended Care Center a call today. We’ll discuss how we can provide what you’re looking for in a way that is advantageous for your health, happiness, and comfort.

Memory Care: 5 Superfoods to Improve Your Brain Health

memory care

As we age, it’s natural for our cognitive brain function to slow. However, we don’t want to lose pieces of it or its function entirely. Sufferers of Alzheimer’s and dementia are growing in numbers rapidly. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive list of 5 superfoods to improve your brain health and ensure your memory care plan is working for you, not against you.

Add these five superfoods to your regular diet to improve memory care:

Fish Packed with Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids aren’t just good for your heart health, they’re beneficial to your memory care. One of those fatty acids is DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, and this acid helps keep the neurons in your brain running normally. DHA impacts the structure and signaling systems in your brain and allows your memory to function at optimum levels.

Keep your brain at its best by replacing some of the red meat in your diet with fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon.

Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables

It’s always been said to ‘eat your greens’, but what you may not realize is that some of those greens are literally keeping parts of your brain alive. Dark green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collard greens and broccoli are incredible sources of vitamin E and folate.

Folate assists in lowering the levels of certain amino acids such as homocysteine in your blood, and homocysteine itself is responsible for killing off nerve cells in your brain. By adding these leafy greens to your diet, you’re stepping up your memory care and keeping those cells alive.

Avocados

Like our dark green friends above, avocados are rich with folate as well as vitamins E & C. Avocados are monounsaturated fats which allow increased blood flow and lowers blood pressure – two factors that have been linked with the cognitive decline found in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Want an even better reason to add this fruit to your diet? It’s also chock full of omega-3 fatty acids, just like our fish friends salmon, tuna and mackerel.

Peanuts, Almonds and Hazelnuts

Diets that are high in healthy fats have shown positive results in staving off the decline in cognitive brain function. Peanuts, almonds and hazelnuts are all great sources of omega-3s, omega-6s, vitamins E & B, folate and magnesium.

If these stats aren’t enough to convince you to add plenty of omega-3s to your diet, this just might: People who incorporate omega-3s in their daily intake decrease their chances of developing dementia by 26%.

Blueberries, Strawberries and Acai Berries

As we age, our memory tends to age with us. However, research has found that blueberries, strawberries and acai berries are powerful contributors to assisting the brain with removing the toxic proteins that are associated with memory loss.

It’s no wonder that these berries made the list as blueberries are also a great food for lowering high blood pressure and boosting your immune system. Whether you’re young, old, or somewhere in between, memory care is something no one should take lightly. Add these superfoods to your diet and improve your brain health.

Worried you or a loved one might be losing brain function? Read our post on the 7 signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s not to ignore.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center has a dedicated and certified Memory Care Unit for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. For more information or to tour our facility, give us a call today.

Why Caregivers Should Take Advantage of Respite Services

respite care

Being a caregiver to someone else can be very demanding and requires more effort, time, and energy than most people realize. When our loved ones are depending on us for assistance, meal preparation, housekeeping, transportation, and regular daily needs, it can become cumbersome as we try to juggle these duties with our own lives.

At some point, you may find yourself feeling burnt out, mentally, emotionally, and physically fatigued, and desperately seeking a much-needed break. That’s where respite care services from Elmhurst Extended Care Center come in.

Allow Yourself a Break While Your Loved One Gets the Care They Need

When we aren’t at our best, it’s not possible for us to give our best to our loved ones. That can have a large impact in situations where we’re providing regular care for another person. While it may seem worrisome to have someone else take over your duties for a few days or even weeks while you recoup your energy, respite care services offer the ultimate advantage in ensuring you’re coming back to caregiving refreshed and renewed.

At Elmhurst Extended Care Center, your loved one will receive the same services and care that are offered to our long-term residents. It’s our goal to make sure you and they are secure in knowing that the care our skilled nursing team provides is held at the same exceptionally high standards for everyone that enters our facility, no matter how long or short their stay.

What You Need in Order to Take Advantage of Respite Care Services at EECC

Our dedicated staff members at Elmhurst Extended Care Center want to provide the best possible care for your loved one during their time with us. In order to do so, there are a few things we need before the respite stay can begin.

  • A list of their current medications and dosages
  • A copy of their health history from their physician
  • A copy of their most recent physical from their physician

There is a 5 day minimum stay for respite care services at EECC in order to allow you adequate time for recuperation.

Respite Care – Not Just for When You’re Worn Out

While respite care is definitely favorable for those caregivers finding themselves in need of a break, it’s also a beneficial method for providing the skilled nursing care your loved one needs when other circumstances arise.

You may find yourself needing to go out of town for business or wanting to go on that family vacation you had planned before you became a caregiver. With respite care services from Elmhurst Extended Care Center, you’re able to take the time away you want and need while feeling secure in knowing your loved one is being well taken care of.

Have you thought about what happens if you get sick? Generally, individuals receiving regular care are at a higher risk for succumbing to illness. Respite care is a great way to allow them to receive the care they need while you get back to health.

If you’d like more information on how the respite care services at EECC can assist you in providing the care required while you’re away, give us a call today.

Post-Surgical/Orthopedic Rehabilitation at EECC

Orthopedic rehabilitation at Elmhurst Extended Care Center goes beyond your therapy at our facility. We’re there every step of the way to make sure your post-surgical experience sets you up for success upon returning home.

Following any surgery, it’s important to make sure that your musculoskeletal system is brought back to a proper functioning level. This includes your bones, muscles, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Orthopedic rehabilitation provides the necessary care and treatment through physical therapy that allows you to return to your level of functionality before surgery, and in some cases, puts you at a greater level of functionality than before.

Post-surgical, orthopedic rehabilitation through Elmhurst Extended Care Center offers many advantages including:

Individualized Care Plans

At Elmhurst Extended Care Center, we understand that each and every person’s needs are uniquely theirs. Likewise, each person’s care should be unique to their own needs and situation.

For any patient receiving physical therapy at our facility, we sit down with you and create an individualized care plan that encompasses your needs following surgery, your goals during your stay, and your vision for what it will be like when you return home.

Our dedicated and knowledgeable staff put together a plan with you that is centered around the care that you need, not anyone else. If you have family members joining you for this process, we also work closely with them to ensure that your needs are being met because at EECC, your family is our family.

Home-Like Environment During Your Stay

Staying somewhere other than your own home during rehabilitation can be a difficult transition for anyone. Our facility is designed to feel as much like home as possible. We offer many private rooms that include their own private restroom, bed, sitting area, and TV. Our courtyard is a wonderful gathering place that brings that feeling of the comforts of home outdoors, and our aviary is a unique touch that allows our facility to not feel like a facility at all, rather just an extension of your home.

We hear repeatedly from both long and short term residents and their family members how much Elmhurst Extended Care Center doesn’t have the sterile feel of most nursing care facilities. It’s our goal to make you as comfortable as possible, no matter how long or short your stay.

Assistance Upon Returning Home

Post-surgical, orthopedic rehabilitation through EECC doesn’t stop the moment you walk out the door. We know in order for you to be successful following therapy, you need to be able to return to functioning well in your own home environment.

Our staff works closely with you and your loved ones to ensure that your return home is an easy transition and that your needs are being met. We are always here to help if any needs arise after your return home.

If you or a loved one is preparing for a surgery, stop by Elmhurst Extended Care Center today to see how our dedicated team of rehabilitation therapists can assist you with your recovery.

Don’t Ignore These 7 Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Elmhurst Extended Care Center has a certified memory care unit specializing in patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. If you or your loved one is exhibiting signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s, give us a call or stop by today.

We all experience “senior moments” and even in our forties and fifties, we can be forgetful, confused, and a bit disoriented. We may be able to attribute it to getting older, hormonal changes, or imbalances in brain chemistry as we age. After all, isn’t this normal? How can we tell if these moments are typical, age-related changes or signs of Alzheimer’s? Forgetfulness is very common especially as we age, but it’s critical to recognize when mild confusion or memory loss may mean something much more serious.

Memory loss that disrupts daily life may be a symptom of Alzheimer’s or dementia. The disease causes a slow decline in memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. Even today, scientists still continue to unravel the complex brain changes involved in the onset and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It seems likely the damage to the brain starts a decade or more before memory and other cognitive problems appear.

If memory problems are seriously affecting your daily life, they could be an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. While the number of symptoms you have and how strong they are vary, it’s important to identify the warning signs and ask yourself some tough questions.

1. Memory Loss

Do you easily forget information you just learned? Do you lose track of important dates, names, and events? Do you forget significant milestones even happened? Do you ask for the same information over and over, or repeat thoughts or questions to others often? Do you rely heavily on memory aids like post-it notes or reminders on your phone?

2. Trouble Following Directions

Maybe you have a “tried-and-true” recipe that you could cook in your sleep, but now you suddenly have trouble assembling it? Is it hard to concentrate on detailed tasks, or do you have trouble making plans and sticking to them? Tasks that require problem-solving and attention to detail might be especially difficult.

Another place you may notice an impact is in your financials — you may have trouble keeping track of bills, which will be more obvious if are typically diligent about paying them on time.

3. Behavior or Personality Changes

The mood and personalities of people exhibiting signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s can change. Do you get upset easily, or feel depressed or anxious? While it’s normal for people to battle depression or experience frustration at times, changes in a person’s basic disposition or temperament aren’t normal and may be cause for greater concern.

Perhaps you or your loved one is exhibiting unusual behavior? Are you more prone to wandering, wearing clothes that don’t suit you or your environment, or engaging in “unsafe” behaviors?

4. Trouble Communicating

Are you having trouble following or joining a conversation? Perhaps you have stopped in the middle of an ongoing dialogue with someone, and have no idea how to continue, or you repeat yourself. Do you struggle with vocabulary, have problems finding the right word, or call things by the wrong name?

5. Misplacing Things and Losing the Ability to Retrace Steps

Everyone misplaces things from time to time, but can you retrace your steps to find them again? Do you put things in unusual places, like placing your wallet in the refrigerator? Do you accuse people of taking things that you later find you misplaced?

6. Decreased or Poor Judgement

Many people with Alzheimer’s disease may experience changes in judgement or decision making. You may even find yourself doing things that are very out-of-character and atypical of your personality. Are you using poor judgement when dealing with money? Giving large amounts to telemarketers or others? What’s more, you may be paying less attention to grooming or keeping your home tidy.

7. Withdrawal from Work or Social Activities

A person with signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s may start to remove themselves from hobbies, social activities, work projects, or sports. You may even have trouble keeping up with your favorite sports team or remembering how to complete a favorite hobby. You also may avoid being social because of the changes you’ve experienced.

If you notice any of these warning signs in yourself or someone you know and love, don’t ignore them. Schedule an appointment with your doctor. With early detection, you can explore treatments that may provide some relief of symptoms and help you maintain a level of independence.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center has a secured certified memory care unit for those with dementia and Alzheimer’s and our dedicated staff understands the challenges you face when dealing with these memory-related diseases.

Alzheimer’s disease progression can be slow, but the impact it has on families can be difficult to process. The most important aspect behind this emotionally-painful disease is that you are not alone. Rely on Elmhurst Extended Care Center to be your support and resource center.

For additional guidance and information for those facing Alzheimer’s and dementia, check out our regular Family Support Groups. Contact our facility today to find out when the next group will be held.