Where Better Care is a Family Matter

July 2018 Newsletter

Join us for our Alzheimer’s and dementia Family Support Group on July 31st at 4pm! For all the wonderful events and activities happening this month at Elmhurst Extended Care Center, check out our latest newsletter. And it might not be until September, but the Alzheimer’s Association Memory Walk will be taking place before you know it. If you’d like to join us in the walk, please speak with Cindy in Activities!

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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.

June 2018 Newsletter

It’s Backyard Games Month at Elmhurst Extended Care Center! Don’t forget to wear your favorite Hawaiian shirt or sports apparel every Friday.

We have so much going on during the month of June. Join us for our Father’s Day social on the 17th and our Healthy Eating Family Education event on the 30th. For even more opportunities of fun and learning happening this month at EECC, check out our latest newsletter below:

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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!

May 2018 Newsletter

National Nursing Home Week is this month! Celebrate with us by joining your loved ones for fun activities at Elmhurst Extended Care Center. It’s also time for Spring Cleaning, so be sure to check out the newsletter for tips on how to help in this area.

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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.

April 2018 Newsletter

Won’t you join us for all the fun we have planned for the month of April? Check out our latest newsletter to learn more about all the great activities we have going on at Elmhurst Extended Care Center this month, including bowling, Craft Club, and more!

Also – interested in finding out your jelly bean personality trait? Read on to learn!

Elmhurst Extended Care Center

Elmhurst Council Approves Expansion for Elmhurst Extended Care Center

Elmhurst Extended Care Center will be expanding their facilities to offer more private rooms and many other benefits.
A rendering of the planned addition to the facility.

Our vision at Elmhurst Extended Care Center has always been to provide the highest quality of care for our residents and their families centered around a home-like environment filled with love, compassion, and a positive outlook for any that stay with us.

In pursuit of continuing and advancing our already high level of care, we purchased land adjacent to our current location and applied to expand our facility to ultimately provide our residents with the accommodations they deserve.

Elmhurst City Council Approves Expansion

The new, two-story, 31,000 square foot building has officially been approved by Elmhurst City Council and will expand our current Lake Street facility onto Fremont Street. The new building will attach directly to our current location.

This new addition to our facility will bring so much more to our current and future residents. Here are just a few ways the expanded Elmhurst Extended Care Facility will benefit those that stay with us:

More Room for Residents

Once the expansion is complete, our facility will be able to fully utilize its 108 bed license. Currently, the facility operates approximately 85 beds to prevent overcrowding.

In an effort to afford more privacy as well as the home-like environment our residents truly appreciate, the enlarged facility will offer 54 private rooms. These private rooms provide the ability to enjoy extra comfort as well as an increased level of patient care.

For those that are paying privately and are looking for ways to save money, we will also have 27 semi-private rooms.

More Variety in Nutrition

Something we are very excited about at Elmhurst Extended Care Center is the coming of cook-to-order option we will be able to offer with the completion of the expansion!

Residents will have the option to place orders for their meals similar to ordering room service at a hotel. This option is another that really drives home the importance we place on having our residents feel like they’re at home.

For any residents that aren’t able to order for themselves, we will still feature a set menu full of balanced, nutritious meals like we do now.

We are excited about expanding our facility! These improvements will amplify our continuous, high level of care, allowing our residents and their families to feel confident in knowing they’ve chosen the best place for themselves and their loved ones.

While a definitive date has not yet been set, Elmhurst Extended Care Center hopes to break ground this fall!

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!