Where Better Care is a Family Matter

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.

5 Foods that Lower High Blood Pressure

lower high blood pressure

If you struggle with high blood pressure, it can often times feel like you’re climbing an uphill battle and getting nowhere.

Avoiding caffeine and foods that are low in sodium are par for the course when you have high blood pressure, but what about foods that may actually be able to help lower it?

We’ve put together a list of 5 foods that combat high blood pressure. Rather than telling you what you should avoid, we’re here to give you some options of things you can start incorporating into your daily diet right now that are known for their ability in assisting to lower high blood pressure.

Leafy Greens

You knew this was coming, right? Leafy greens tend to make every healthy food options list and for good reason. They’re chock full of powerful vitamins and minerals.

In the case of using leafy greens to lower high blood pressure, focus on eating the ones that are high in potassium because it will assist your kidneys in getting rid of more sodium through your urine and consequently, lowering your high blood pressure.

Romaine lettuce, spinach, kale, and collard greens are great sources of potassium in leafy greens.

Not a fan of the green stuff? Throw it in a blender with your favorite fruits, some nut milk, and a bit of ice to make a delicious, heart-healthy smoothie. With a taste that good, your mouth will never even know you’re getting in your greens!

Blueberries

Blueberries made our list of 7 Immune Boosting Foods for Seniors, and the powerful punch these little guys have doesn’t stop there.

Blueberries are helpful in lowering high blood pressure because they’re loaded with flavonoids – a natural compound known for preventing hypertension as well as lowering it once you’re already there.

Chocolate

No, it’s not a trick. Chocolate has actually made our list for 5 foods that lower high blood pressure, dark chocolate to be exact.

Studies show that consuming dark chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. Plus, eating chocolate tends to make people happy, and the happier you are, the better chance you have to prevent hypertension.

Just consume dark chocolate with care. Like with anything in life, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.

Pomegranates

These beautiful and juicy fruits can have fast effects in lowering your high blood pressure. Not only are they quite capable in fighting hypertension, they can decrease the plaque build up in your arteries, improve your cholesterol, and reduce your risk of heart disease.

You can enjoy adding pomegranates to your diet by eating the fruit raw or drinking it in the form of juice. If you choose to go the drinking route, just make sure to watch for sugar content. Store-bought fruit juice can contain quite a lot more sugar, which may increase your health risks elsewhere.

Oatmeal

Adding whole-grain foods to your diet is a great avenue for lowering high blood pressure. Whole-grain foods offer valuable nutrients like fiber, magnesium, folate, and iron as well as potassium, which aids in reducing the sodium content in your body.

Not only is oatmeal stacked with these nutrients, but it’s also a perfect way to jump start your day with fuel from a high-fiber and low-fat source.

Make your morning routine a breeze and your oatmeal preparation fast and easy with this no-cook recipe for overnight oats. Exchange those chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips, and you’ve just amplified your breakfast bowl power.

Pssst….those bananas in your oats? They’re good for lowering high blood pressure, too!

When you realize that there are real and viable ways to help reduce your high blood pressure right at your fingertips, it can make climbing that uphill battle seem more like a walk to the park.

For more ways you can help lower high blood pressure, give the expert staff at Elmhurst Extended Care Center a call! Our highly-trained and experienced dietitians are skilled in powerful food knowledge for heart health.

Bonus tip: try substituting your canned veggies for frozen ones. Canned vegetables have added sodium while frozen are just like getting them straight from the earth, they’re just a tad colder.

The Difference a Family-Owned Facility Provides in Skilled Nursing Healthcare

skilled nursing

When the time arises that you’re focused on mental images of nursing homes and the negative connotations that can sometimes accompany those thoughts, you may feel like you’re admitting and recognizing that either you or a family member is getting older, and their needs have changed.

What’s more, you’d love to find a facility where the focus is not so much on “group care,” but rather on aiming to offer a superior, individualized quality of life approach for you or your loved one.

A Family of Caregivers Focused on Your Family

Since 1960, Elmhurst Extended Care Center has solved this dilemma in skilled nursing care by taking a different approach: the “small home,” family-owned model.

Instead of multi-story buildings where residents share rooms along bleak, long corridors – facilities that resemble hospitals at worst and corporate hotel chains at best – we try to create a home-like environment, where your loved one receives the individualized care and attention they deserve.

Our approach is simple … we truly are a family of caregivers focused on you and your family.

A Setting That Feels Like Home

At EECC, our smaller, family-owned model moves away from the hospitalization-like treatment of seniors. Within our facility, we try to recreate the personalized, patient-centric care given to a loved one in a home environment.

The big difference between large, traditional skilled nursing care facilities and smaller, family-owned facilities is the organizational structure. Traditional care facilities are hierarchical, task-centric organizations, where large staffs focus on executing a strict routine of tasks associated with the care of patients.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center is family-owned and run by a small, self-managed team, meaning the residents’ voices are heard and listened to – and our skilled nursing staff can better cater to each of their needs and preferences.

Enjoy More Staff Per Resident

The core attributes families are looking for, no matter what type of out-of-home extended care they are considering, include quality healthcare; staff who are compassionate, friendly and responsive; and security, safety and peace of mind that their family member is taken care of like their own.

EECC excels in these areas, where as larger institutions may fall short. A low ratio of residents to staff means staff members are more likely to notice problems early, when they are small, and help patients get treatment before those problems become serious.

Ability to Meet Specialized Needs In A Small Community Setting

For anyone with specialized needs, whether it’s a doctor-mandated diet, certain lifestyle choices or a cognitive disability such as dementia, EECC can be the ideal choice. Our facility more easily caters to these specific, individualized needs because of our incredible staff-resident ratio and our in-house specialists such as our physical therapists and dietitians.

You and Your Family Always Come First

EECC offers the opportunity for close relationships with the caring staff and other residents. We are not a large corporation with multiple branches and locations, so the setting feels comfortable, inviting, and simply like a natural extension of your home.

Elmhurst Extended Care Center raises the bar for skilled nursing standards and cares for you and your loved ones like they are family.

From excellent, unparalleled healthcare, to a host of amenities such as physical rehabilitation, long-term care, memory care, and respite stays, EECC is deeply committed and connected to you and the communities we serve. We work to meet the physical, emotional, and personal needs of residents in a caring, compassionate environment where families always come first.

To learn more about how Elmhurst Extended Care Center can meet you and your loved ones needs today, call or stop by!

Occupational Therapy – Getting You Back Better Than Ever

occupational therapy

Many older adults may hear the term occupational therapy and say, “What do I need that for? I don’t have a job.”

Not so fast — Occupational Therapy has become increasingly important to a senior’s vitality and well-being. It’s a complete game changer when it comes to enhancing their well-being and getting them back to feeling better than ever.

Live Strong Again With Occupational Therapy

As you age, you want to be able to maintain both an adequate level of autonomy and the ability to perform activities of daily living on your own.

Occupational therapy exercises for seniors focus on activities that allow you to maintain independence and help you overcome physical, mental or social problems as a result of a disability or aging.

Physical Therapy vs. Occupational Therapy? What’s the difference?

Within your plan of care, your doctor may recommend both physical and occupational therapy. An easy way to remember the difference is that occupational therapy (OT) is about the technical execution of daily activities. It tends to be more focused on improving life skills and involves adaptive tools that lead to a better quality of life.

Physical therapy (PT) typically helps to improve mobility and is more likely to only treat the physical source of the injury: damaged tissues, muscle, and structure.

When a physical therapist treats an older adult with a broken arm, their main goal will be to restore full mobility to the hands and elbow.

But, an occupational therapist will help that person relearn how to eat using utensils and comb their hair.

There’s an obvious synergy between the two therapies, and it’s no wonder they are often presented hand-in-hand.

Overcoming Daily Challenges

Let’s face it … everyday tasks that were once easy and completed with little or no thought, have now become quite challenging. And what’s worse, you feel the need to constantly depend on others for help.

Occupational therapy can help compensate for the hurdles you face each day. From dressing and feeding yourself, to home management or participating in social activities, OT can bring back your sense of confidence and independence.

Preventing Falls

Did you know that one in four older Americans fall every year?

Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65 and over. As we age, most of us lose some coordination, flexibility, and balance — primarily through inactivity, making it easier to fall.

When you or a loved one have experienced a fall, you’ll find just why occupational therapy is so essential. Our OT specialists help seniors with problem-solving strategies so they can stay active.

Modifying Your Home For Better Care

Occupational therapists make your life a lot simpler with convenient devices like built-up eating utensils, semi-automatic cutting boards, and more. Plus, OTs can help you acquire devices like a bathtub bench to make things easier.

The occupational therapists at Elmhurst Extended Care Center truly care about your longevity – even after you’ve left our facility. We’ll help you learn how to optimize your home to promote full participation in all activities of daily life so you can thrive.

Let EECC’s Occupational Therapy Specialists Lead You To A Healthier Life

Our OT specialists are on-staff to assist you or your loved one to gaining more independence, a new lease on life and a healthier outlook.

Even simple occupational therapy exercises done daily can improve function and help you get back to feeling better than ever.

Some of these include:

  • Relaxation Exercises
  • Range-of-Motion Exercises
  • Memory Exercises
  • Fine Motor Activities
  • Functional Strengthening

Wherever you are in your journey, our job is to help you feel the very best. Trust Elmhurst Extended Care Center to provide you with the care you deserve.

Hear how our short term rehabilitation program helped Anne after a fall that broke her hip.

Interview with Anne, Short Term Rehabilitation Center Patient

Former short term patient, Anne, discusses how EECC’s expert staff at our rehabilitation center helped her after she broke her hip.

When Anne found herself in the hospital after a fall that broke her hip, she wasn’t sure where to turn for her short term rehabilitation care. After choosing to use our rehabilitation center, she found that she received more than just the ability to get back on her feet.

We caught up with Anne to see how her rehab at EECC helped her get in even better shape than she was before.

What procedure or situation occurred that required you to need a rehabilitation center?

I was at home when I felt the urge to use the restroom. I live in a split level and had to go up a few stairs to get to it.

I’m not sure what happened but next thing I knew, I had fallen and slid down a few stairs and was in a lot of pain. I called my son, and he told me to call 911. The paramedics arrived and took me to the hospital.

When I got there, they took x-rays and told me my hip was broken. I was bruised all over.

How easy did you find the process to be in setting up rehab through EECC?

It was extremely easy for me.

Because I was stuck in the hospital there wasn’t much I could do to research where to go. I chose Elmhurst Extended Care Center because they visited me in the hospital and explained what would happen next and what to expect. It was nice because they offered to explain and help me whether I chose to go to Elmhurst Extended Care or not.

They seemed like the only ones that really cared. They just wanted to make sure I understood what was going on and were there to help.

What was your stay like? The staff?

I couldn’t say enough about my stay. First off, the place is extremely clean and well maintained.

It doesn’t smell!

I’ve been to other places to visit friends, and it either smells bad or like too much air freshener. At Elmhurst Extended Care it doesn’t smell like anything. It’s just clean.

My room was nice and bright. It had a big window letting in lots of light which looked out into the neighborhood. I had my own bathroom, fridge, and big screen TV. The room was well decorated.

Although the aesthetics were nice, the staff is really what makes Elmhurst Extended Care Center a hidden treasure. The CNAs were attentive and so kind. They always were smiling and happy to help.

The therapy staff was amazing. They saw me within an hour of me arriving and were there everyday to work with me. Because of them, I am in better shape than before I even broke my hip.

What did you enjoy the most about choosing to go through short term rehabilitation with EECC?

I enjoyed being around so many wonderful and caring people.

I was nervous about going anywhere but when I arrived at Elmhurst Extended Care, my worries went away immediately. The staff cared for me and wanted me to be happy. I could feel I was in good hands.

My son didn’t have to worry about a thing either. I hate being a burden on him, but he didn’t even miss a day of work.

How do you feel your mobility, health, and situation have improved since going through EECC’s short term rehabilitation program?

Like I said before, I’m better now than I was before I fell down the stairs.

I recommend Elmhurst Extended Care to anyone who needs help. If anything happens to me in the future, I’ll definitely go back to see my friends at Elmhurst Extended Care.

If you or a loved one are in need of a short term rehabilitation center that offers much more than just physical therapy, give Elmhurst Extended Care Center a call today!

7 Immune Boosting Foods for Seniors

This list of 7 immune boosting foods for seniors provides foods you can start including today.

As we age, we tend to eat less, and our diets become less varied with the essential foods we need to keep us healthy and at our best. That’s why it’s vital to ensure diets maintain a richness of immune boosting foods for seniors.

We’ve compiled a list of 7 immune boosting foods for seniors and how you can incorporate them into their diets.

1. Spinach

Spinach is packed with a multitude of antioxidants as well as beta carotene, vitamins A and C, fiber, magnesium, iron, folate, and more. Regular consumption of spinach acts as a sunscreen for your eyes, protecting them against age-related macular degeneration.

In order to preserve all the immune boosting effects of spinach, you’ll want to cook it as little as possible. Eating it raw offers full benefit.

Don’t like spinach raw? Try adding it to a smoothie.

2. Yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of immune boosting foods for seniors. It contains vitamin D as well as good bacteria that can allow your body to fight diseases by stimulating your immune system.

However, you have to be careful when selecting yogurt for the purpose of boosting immune systems. Some yogurts have removed the active and live cultures that contribute to the good bacteria in your body.

Make sure the yogurt you select contains lactobacillus, bifidus and acidophilus as these will give you the benefits you’re after.

3. Garlic

Garlic is not just good for giving you bad breath. It’s a powerful contributor in fighting off infections and boosting immune systems. Garlic also helps lower cholesterol levels as well as regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

To reap the benefits of garlic, you’ll want to make sure you’re using raw garlic, not powdered.

Worried about bad breath? Cut garlic cloves into pill size pieces and swallow them instead.

4. Broccoli

Your mom was right when she said broccoli is good for you. In fact, broccoli is a wonderful immune boosting food for seniors. It’s a superfood packed with vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber.

Perhaps most notable, broccoli is rumored to possibly aide in the prevention of cancer.

As with spinach, broccoli is most beneficial when consumed raw or only slightly cooked to maintain all the nutrients.

5. Blueberries

They might be tiny, but they pack a powerful punch. Blueberries should be a staple in nearly every diet containing immune boosting foods for seniors as they are low in calories and high in nutrients.

Blueberries also aide in cardiovascular health and may improve memory care.

Eat them by themselves, add them to your cereal, or team up to boost your immune system by adding them to your yogurt. Just be sure to always wash your blueberries (and any other raw fruits and vegetables) before consumption.

6. Almonds

Vitamin E is a key ingredient to a healthy immune system, and almonds are loaded with it. However, vitamin E can’t be absorbed properly without the presence of fat. Fortunately for you, almonds contain healthy fats that allow the vitamin to be absorbed properly.

It doesn’t take a lot to reap the benefits of almonds as an immune boosting food for seniors. Just one, half-cup serving of whole, shelled almonds provides almost 100% of the daily recommended intake amount.

7. Green Tea

While you may not physically chew it, green tea is another great source for antioxidants that enhance immune function. It also makes our list for 7 immune boosting foods for seniors because of its suggested ability to kill influenza viruses.

When preparing green tea, make sure not to add milk to it as the polyphenols (the part that may aid in killing off influenza viruses in your body) will bind to the proteins in the milk, rendering it ineffective.

So go ahead and wash down our previous six immune boosting foods for seniors with a nice, hot cup of green tea!

If you’re looking for long term care or a short term care facility with skilled nutritionists that know how to properly implement immune boosting foods for seniors, contact us. We’re happy to discuss the nutrition we implement for our residents with you!

8 Questions to Ask Before Choosing a Long Term Care Facility

Before choosing a long term care facility for you or your loved one, make sure you ask these eight questions.

When it comes to choosing a long term care facility, whether for yourself or a loved one, the decision can be difficult. It’s often challenging to know what to ask and where to pick, and the decision shouldn’t be made lightly.

We’ve compiled a list of eight questions to ask before choosing a long term care facility to make the struggle of choosing a skilled nursing facility easier to bear.

1. What are the staffing ratios?

Staffing ratios are a serious matter when it comes to choosing any skilled nursing facility. You need confidence in knowing that the staff isn’t stretched so thin that they won’t be able to attend to you or your loved one’s needs when they arise. Ensuring the extended care center you’re examining has more staff to handle the needs of the facility is key.

2. What are the inspection ratings?

This question is of utmost importance as it gives you an understanding of how the skilled nursing facility operates on a daily basis. Every year, nursing facilities are inspected by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and put under rigorous examination to ensure they are properly rated according to the care they provide. Their rating reflects this exam, and it’s a number you don’t want to take lightly. Take a look at the top rated nursing homes from U.S. News & World Report.

3. What services are offered?

Not everyone needs a long term care facility. Some might simply need a short term care facility, others might be in search of Alzheimer’s care, and some might be looking for a rehabilitation center following a health event or procedure. Knowing the different services offered at a skilled nursing facility gives you a better idea should other needs present themselves down the road.

4. Are Medicare and/or Medicaid accepted?

Whether you’re in a position to need it or not, you should know the answer to this question. There may come a point in time that money runs out, and you’re unable to afford the long term care being received. Knowing beforehand if the option to utilize Medicare and/or Medicaid is or isn’t there could make a big difference for you down the road.

5. Are the care plans individualized?

Just like in everyday life, no two people are the same. Much in the same manner, no two people’s care plans will be the same either. Look for a long term care facility that focuses on providing individualized care plans so that you or your loved one can get the care you need and deserve.

6. Is there a RN available at all times?

What happens when you or your loved one needs attentive care in the middle of the night? Will a registered nurse be available? Or will they be forced to wait until the next shift arrives, or worse, be delivered care by someone unqualified? Make sure the skilled nursing facility has a RN on-site 24/7.

7. What kind of activities are available?

It’s important that you or your loved one stays active even when residing at a long term care facility. Find out what activities are scheduled, how often they occur, and if any are open to family members. Knowing that you can join in the fun with your loved one will be an extra plus for both you and them.

8. Are personal belongings allowed?

Making the transition from home to a skilled nursing facility can be a challenging one. Often times, the comfort of having something from home can make it easier. Find out if personal belongings are allowed in resident rooms of the extended care center you’re checking out.

For more info, take a look at this comprehensive checklist from Medicare of things to think about and look for when choosing a long term care facility.

If you’re looking for a place that fits all of the above and more, stop by Elmhurst Extended Care Center. We offer Alzheimer’s care, a rehabilitation center, long term care, and so much more!