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In Their Own Words Blog

Autumn Pointe residents, friends, family and staff share things that make this community unique.

Daughter Elderly Mother Nebraska

Coming to terms with Aging Parents

By Autumn Pointe,
May 30, 2019
“Aging gracefully means being flexible, being open, allowing change, enjoying change and loving yourself.” ~ Wendy Whelan When it comes to life you’ll often hear people say how fast it goes, if you have children you know this is especially true. One moment it seems like you are changing diapers and the next moment you are dropping them off at college, walking them down the aisle at their wedding, and holding children of their own. While it can be difficult to watch your kids grow up, fly out of the nest, and get lives of their own, a shift often happens later on in life. The children have to come to terms with their aging parents. The process of becoming a decision maker for your parents can be emotionally taxing and stressful. Everyone is different including your needs, your parent’s needs, their current medical needs, and emotional health. After you’ve had time to consider your aging parent and their future, it’s important to keep certain things in mind before making a decision. Does your parent have mobility issues? When it comes to activities of daily living or (ADLs) does your parent need extra assistance? Is your parent suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's? Does your parent have special medical needs including prescription drug administration? Are you able to financially support your parent and care for them throughout the day? Would you receive peace of mind knowing they were cared for by compassionate and skilled staff members 24/7? Is your parent showing signs of decreased mood, irritability, and isolation? Is your parent able to enjoy outings and socialized events? When it comes to the proximity of a facility, how close would you like your senior parent to be to your own home, work, grandkids, etc.? Is your aging parent able to cook,…
Autumn Pointe Flowers

Springtime Activities for Seniors

By Autumn Pointe,
April 9, 2019
There is something magical about the turning of the seasons, especially spring. The birds are chirping, the buds of trees and flowers are starting to awaken and people are getting outside to enjoy the warmer temperatures. This sense of renewal is not only for the young, but the young at heart, and seniors can benefit greatly this time of year. Getting outside can not only improve cognitive function but mood and overall health. Here are some great tips for encouraging your special older adult to enjoy some springtime activities.   Go on a nature walk Whether your senior is wheelchair bound or is able to walk short distances, being outdoors can instantly boost mood. Research indicates that even short bursts of getting out in nature can have a multitude of benefits, including improving memory and a diminished sense of isolation. Consider talking about the things you see along the way or even turning it into a game. Print off a spring scavenger hunt and see who can find the most objects along the way. Spring cleaning There are little things as synonymous with spring than cleaning. If you are unable to spend some time outdoors or are looking for a project to do, why not tackle a little spring cleaning together? This can be as simple as a little dusting or maybe a deeper clean, furniture rearrangement, or new and fresh look. You can easily inject some spring in your senior’s living area with a new piece of art, freshly cut flowers, or pops of bright colors with accents. Consider hiring a photographer When was the last time you had a family photo? If you have a hard time thinking of a date, spring might be the ideal time to hire a photographer for some updated photos. Most photographers are willing…
Assisted Living NE

Choosing the Right Assisted Living for Your Loved One

By Autumn Pointe,
March 18, 2019
Choosing an assisted living facility for your loved one can be stressful. How do you know you’re choosing the right facility? Will they get the care they need? Will they be happy there? These are all common questions, and good ones at that. If you’re having a hard time knowing how to choose the right facility, try checking some of these things off the list. The Environment of the Facility As you enter the facility for the first time, how do you feel? Does it feel warm and welcoming? Could you see yourself being comfortable there? Is the location right for both you and your loved one? Try and answer them honestly, and really ask yourself if your family member would be happy there. Talk to other residents and get their opinions on it so you can get a better feel for the facility. Interior Features When looking at the physical features of the facility, make sure that all the proper safety precautions are being taken. Check for non-skid materials on the floor, easy to reach shelving, handrails in hallways and in stairwells, and if everything is clean and tidy. Medication and Care One of the biggest aspects of an assisted living facility is the type of care that’s available. Check to make sure your family member will be able to get all the assistance they need, including taking medication, bathing, getting dressed, cleaning, eating, and other basic tasks they may need to complete throughout the day. You can also check to make sure that there’s a thorough plan of action when it comes to the type of care your loved one should receive. Dining and Recreation You don’t want your loved one to feel like they’re trapped, which is why it’s important to make sure there are a variety…
Assisting Living Room

How to Make a Senior Living Apartment Feel Like Home

By Autumn Pointe,
February 25, 2019
What is it that makes a house a home? Many would argue that it’s the memories that you create in a space that transform an ordinary house into something you cherish forever. We at Autumn Pointe Senior Living are certainly not going to disagree with that beautiful and true sentiment! But there’s no denying that it’s the things you fill a house with that can make a space feel instantaneously stylish and comfortable. A home is a place where you can relax and enjoy yourself and the company of others. It’s a place where your unique personality and taste can instantly be defined based on the things you choose to surround yourself with. One of the things that people struggle with when it comes to moving into a senior living community is how to make their apartment feel like the home they occupied and loved for so long. For many families, incorporating key elements from the house into the apartment is a simple and effective transition that can transform their new space into a familiar and beloved one. Here are a few ways to decorate your loved one's apartment to make it feel like home. Bring What’s Important According to an exceptional blog on senior living, “A Place for Mom”, make sure you bring their favorite belongings, but remember the space is most likely a lot smaller than the family homes they are moving from. It’s easy to simultaneously recreate the look and ambiance of their current home’s decor while avoiding excess clutter in their new living space.   Think of How to Make it Cozy According to Apartment Therapy, color selection and keeping lighting a priority will have a big impact on your loved one’s satisfaction with their new apartment. We at Autumn Pointe completely agree with this statement.…
Active Seniors

How to Keep Aging Parents Active

By Autumn Pointe,
January 23, 2019
No one can deny that watching a loved one deteriorate, especially a parent, is a painful process. It is never easy to see someone you love so much, that has cared for you your entire life, suffer in any way. When they can’t walk across the living room as energetically as they once used to, or when their memory isn’t quite as sharp as it used to be, it’s easy to become saddened and discouraged. Although there is beauty in aging, it also often comes with unfortunate side effects, especially for families and friends. While it seems like a hopeless situation, there are plenty of things that you can currently be doing with your loved one to ensure that their physical and mental well-being and happiness remain intact for as long as possible. Here are a few of our favorite ways to keep your aging parents active: Spend Time in the Kitchen Focus on new recipes, techniques or ingredients by spending time in the kitchen together preparing a meal for you both to enjoy! Or, if you come from a family of cooks or bakers, consider dusting off old favorites — nostalgia and togetherness can be a powerful medicine. Get Some Exercise Don’t let the frigid winter weather stop you from finding ways to be physically active with your parent. Consider daily walks, chair exercise DVDs or, even, Wii video games, which offer low-impact fitness and sports games. Choose the exercise option that is best for your parent’s current state of mobility. Indulge in Favorite Pastimes Wherever you live, there are likely plenty of performances, concerts and festivals happening every week or month, many of which will appeal to you and your loved one. Not only are these fun to attend, but scheduling them creates something fun for you both…

Tips for Celebrating the Holidays with Aging Parents

By Autumn Pointe,
December 4, 2018
There are plenty of things to celebrate during the months of November and December: the fall season is in full swing and the autumn colors are especially breathtaking as the month of November arrives, and pretty soon, the ground will be covered with pristine snow as we enter December. But without a doubt, the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays surely make this the most wonderful time of the year. Every family has their special way of commemorating the holiday visits. We’d have to imagine that this time of year is filled with plenty of gatherings with family and friends. It’s a joyful time of year, and a true pleasure to spend this magical time with those that mean the most to you. But when it comes to having your loved one, who lives in a senior living facility, attend these gatherings, it’s easy to see that traditions and routines might not be what they always were. This holiday season, here are a few things to remember when your aging parents visit your home or spend the night to guarantee a joyful and relaxing celebration: Know What to Expect When it comes to celebrating the holidays with your beloved seniors, it’s best to not only expect the unexpected but to be as mentally prepared as possible. Think about your loved one's comfort and stamina and be prepared to modify some family traditions in order to reset pre-defined expectations.   Don’t Over-schedule Try to plan enough time to visit without filling the occasion with endless appointments and tasks. Schedule a couple extra days or make plans for another short visit soon after. Shorter, more frequent visits may be better if feasible, while long visits can be tiring and emotionally draining on all sides. Observe and Listen Having time during the holidays with your loved…
Talking memory loss

How to Talk to Your Parents About Memory Loss

By Autumn Pointe,
November 15, 2018
There are few things in life as painful as losing a parent. It’s nearly impossible to imagine your life without them; you rely on their comfort, and you have lived your whole life surrounded by their love and support. The thought of them departing this life is unbearable to their children and family. But a reality just as heartbreaking is losing your loved one while their physical presence is still here. Watching someone you love struggle with the challenges that come with a dementia or Alzheimer’s diagnosis is tragic. The thought of the cherished memories you have built together suddenly disappearing is frightening for all involved. During this difficult period, it’s important to talk to your parents about what is going on with them physically, and how you can work as a team to cope with the ongoing difficulties. Here are a few things to keep in mind when talking to your parents about their memory loss: Plan the Conversation If you witness memory or behavior changes, don't speak up at the moment. However well-meaning, blurting out your initial observations, may cause your loved one to get defensive, upset or withdrawn. Take the time to come up with a plan for how to have a respectful, productive conversation. Consider if your family member has personally noticed symptoms if they get the impression their memory loss is a natural part of aging, and who the best person in your family is to broach this difficult subject. Set the Scene Select a time when it’s guaranteed that your discussion won’t be rushed; this ensures that all possible concerns and questions are answered and the next steps can be properly planned. It’s a good idea to have the conversation shortly before a scheduled appointment with your loved one's primary care doctor or geriatrician.…
Elderly social

The Importance of Social Activities

By Autumn Pointe,
October 18, 2018
One of the major benefits of staying at an assisted living community like Autumn Pointe Assisted Living is the diverse social network.  As we age, it is very important to stay social and continue to build and maintain friendships. Everyone knows that staying physically fit is important, but the human brain requires social stimulation to function as well. It’s also easy to feel isolated the older we get. Here are some of the other benefits of being social in your community. Improves Cognitive Function Almost every social activity requires us to be mentally sharp and focused. Studies have shown that socializing is a good workout for your mind and can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia. Physical Health Many social activities also require physical activity. Whether it's biking with friends or playing ping pong, many activities allow you to have fun and stay in shape. We also tend to make better eating decisions when we eat with other people. Emotional Health Staying isolated from your community will have a negative impact on your overall health and could lead to depression. A 2012 study by Statistics Canada found that older individuals who engaged in regular social activities reported higher self-perception and lower levels of loneliness and life dissatisfaction. Acquire New Skills You can teach an old dog new tricks! Staying social is a great way to stay connected and keep learning new things. You can learn how to play poker, take a class on knitting, paint and more. There is so much out there in this ever-changing world. You could also learn how to use social media, which is a great way to stay connected with people outside of your assisted living home. Remain Independent As isolation can lead to many health problems that can impact your day to…
Pets assisted living

Owning a Pet in an Assisted Living Community

By Autumn Pointe,
September 17, 2018
There are few things in this world that can bring as much comfort and joy as being a pet owner. Especially so when you have a pet with you in assisted living. A dog truly is man’s best friend; they always greet you at the door at the end of a long day with an eager wag of the tail, and will never turn down playing a game of fetch with you after taking a leisurely stroll around the block. A cat is also a worthy and cherished companion; while they are known for their independence, they are just as eager to curl up with you on the couch as you settle in and relax. This special love and friendship doesn’t have to end (and frankly, shouldn’t end) when people make the adjustment from independent living to a senior living environment. Many assisted living communities, including Autumn Pointe Senior Living, recognize the benefits of pet presence in senior living. Dogs, cats, and other furry companions not only improve the lives of residents, but they can also help ease an individual’s transition to a senior living residence. But entering a new chapter in life, such as entering a senior living facility, requires preparation on what aspects of your current life are expected to slightly alter. Here are a few things to understand about owning a pet within an assisted living community. Understand the Current Community If the community a senior is moving into has plenty of residents who own dogs, then that facility can easily adjust to the pet you bring in. However, if the community has certain requirements, such as pets under a certain weight, you must take those things into account before that transition occurs. Know your Dog’s Breed Although they can be some of the most lovable breeds, large dogs…
Senior Volunteering

Volunteer Opportunities for Seniors

By Autumn Pointe,
August 17, 2018
When it comes to volunteering, seniors play a big part in interacting with the community. Each year, millions of seniors donate their time to various committees and organizations. Not only are seniors great at volunteering their time, but it can also be beneficial to their health. Below are some volunteer ideas if you know a senior who wants to donate their time. Among seniors who volunteer, most, “showed lower mortality and depression rates, fewer physical limitations, and higher levels of well-being compared to others in their age group.” In fact, the National Institute on Aging actually found that seniors who participate in meaningful and productive activities may lower the risk of certain health issues. There are plenty of volunteer opportunities for seniors to interact with kids, get outside and enjoy nature, or help organize donations. Volunteering at a local elementary school and reading to kids or helping out in the library is one way to get involved, or you could check out your local community center to see what opportunities are coming up. Many opportunities pop up during the holidays, so if you’d like to get involved make sure to pay close attention during the holidays. Here are some opportunities in Fort Calhoun: Girl Scouts: contact Prairie Hills Girl Scout Council at 402-564-8822 or Amy Vermaline at 402-642-5037 Boy Scouts: contact Mid America Council at 402-431-9272. Ed Lathrup is your Local Cub Scout Leader, and Clint Johnson is your Local Boy Scout Leader Washington County Youth 4-H Program: contact 402-426-9455 FCYSO (Fort Calhoun Youth Sports Organization): Contact Lance Steinhausen at fcyso22@gmail.com Goodwill Retail & Donation Center: contact 402-533-8000 for openings in their volunteer schedule Joseph’s Coat Thrift Store: contact 402-426-0440 for more volunteer information Washington County Food Pantry: contact 402-426-0440 for more information about volunteer opportunities at the food pantry…