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Latest News

Success Story: Denise Bailey

April 19, 2024

Carter Nursing and Rehabilitation is excited to share resident Denise Bailey’s Success Story!

Denise Bailey admitted to Carter Nursing & Rehab Center on March 7th under the care of Kari Shields. During the course of her stay, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy were initiated by Reliant Rehabilitation to efficiently and effectively identify Denise’s unique needs and tailor specialized treatment plans to successfully transition her the next level of care.

The therapy team provided skilled interventions to address the adaptation, compensation, and restoration potential of Denise, and coordinated with our interdisciplinary team to ensure appropriate clinical care areas were addressed. We are proud to announce that on April 12th, Denise successfully returned back home! Congratulations to Denise and her Care Team on their success!

Participating in Activities You Enjoy As You Age

April 15, 2024

There are many things you can do to help boost your health as you age, including making healthy food choices and not smoking. But did you know that participating in social and other activities you enjoy can also help support healthy aging?

As you grow older, you may find yourself spending more time at home alone. Being lonely or socially isolated is not good for your overall health. For example, it can increase feelings of depression or anxiety, which can have a negative impact on many other aspects of your health. If you find yourself spending a lot of time alone, try participating in activities you find meaningful — those that create a sense of purpose in your daily life. These can include hobbies, volunteer activities, or time with family and friends.

BENEFITS OF AN ACTIVE LIFESTYLE

Engaging in social and productive activities you enjoy, such as taking an art class, joining a hiking club, or becoming a volunteer in your community, may help to maintain your well-being and independence as you age. An active lifestyle is more than just getting your daily steps in. It includes doing activities that are meaningful to you and benefit your mind, spirit, and body.

Research has shown that older adults with an active lifestyle:

  • Are less likely to develop certain diseases. Participating in hobbies and other social activities may lower risk for developing some health problems, including dementiaheart diseasestroke, and some types of cancer.
  • Have a longer lifespan. Studies looking at people’s outlooks and how long they live show that happiness, life satisfaction, and a sense of purpose are all linked to living longer. Doing things that you enjoy may help cultivate those positive feelings.
  • Are happier and less depressed. Studies suggest that older adults who participate in activities they find meaningful, such as volunteering in their communities or being physically active, say they feel happier and healthier.
  • Are better prepared to cope. When people feel happier and healthier, they are more likely to be resilient, which is our ability to bounce back and recover from difficult situations. Positive emotions, optimism, physical and mental health, and a sense of purpose are all associated with resilience.
  • May be able to improve their thinking abilities. Research suggests that participating in certain activities, such as those that are mentally stimulating or involve physical activity, may have a positive effect on memory — and the more variety the better. Other studies are providing new information about ways that creative activities, such as music or dance, can help older adults with memory problems or dementia.

FIND THE RIGHT BALANCE

Everyone has different limits to the amount of time they can spend on social or other activities. What is perfect for one person may be too much for another. You might start by adding one or two activities to your routine and see how you feel. You can always add more. Remember: Participating in activities you enjoy should be fun, not stressful.

ACTIVITIES TO CONSIDER

Read and share this infographic and spread the word about ways that may help foster healthy aging.

There are plenty of places to look for opportunities to engage in activities you enjoy, depending on your interests and ability. Following are ideas that might work for you. Some of these include activities that can be enjoyed even from a distance using phones, computers, and other devices. Others can be done alone. So even if you’re in a rural area or have other restrictions, you can still find ways to engage in activities you like.

CONNECT WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS

  • Play cards or other games with friends in person or online.
  • Travel with a group of older adults, such as a retiree group.
  • Video chat or call your friends and family members.
  • Try different restaurants with your loved ones.
  • Listen and share favorite music with your family.
  • Join a group interested in a hobby, such as knitting, hiking, birdwatching, painting, or wood carving.
  • Reconnect with old friends through your high school or college alumni association.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW

  • Take a cooking, art, dance, language, or computer class. Get in touch with your local community college or library. Many offer free or discounted courses for older adults. You may even be able to find classes online.
  • Form or join a book or film club
  • Try yoga, tai chi, or another new physical activity
  • Learn (or relearn) how to play a musical instrument
  • Visit local museums. Many offer free group tours and educational programs.

BECOME MORE ACTIVE IN YOUR COMMUNITY

  • Visit a community or senior center and take part in its events and activities
  • Serve meals or organize clothing donations for people in need
  • Run errands for people with limited mobility or access to transportation
  • Join a committee or help out with an activity at your place of worship
  • Volunteer at a school, library, museum, hospital, or animal shelter
  • Help with gardening at a community garden or park
  • Organize a park clean-up through your local recreation center or community association
  • Sing in a community choral group, or play in a local band or orchestra
  • Take part in a local theater troupe
  • Get a local part-time job or explore opportunities online
  • Teach a favorite pastime or skill, such as embroidery, photography, building models, chess, baking, woodworking, calligraphy, or quilting, to a new generation

GO OUT AND GET MOVING

  • Garden (indoors or out) or do yard work
  • Take an exercise class or do exercises at home
  • Go dancing
  • Join a sports club for older adults, like a bowling club or bocce league
  • Walk or bicycle with a friend or neighbor
  • Take a swimming class
  • Play with your grandchildren. Teach them a game or dance you remember from childhood
  • Take a stroll around the neighborhood or on nature trails

ADOPT HEALTHY STRESS-RELIEVING HABITS

  • Read a good book, magazine, or newspaper
  • Practice gratitude and mindfulness
  • Do tai-chi or yoga
  • Cook your favorite healthy meal
  • Enjoy the little things, such as a cup of coffee or sunrise

To learn more, please visit https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/healthy-aging/participating-activities-you-enjoy-you-age.

What Are Palliative Care and Hospice Care?

April 8, 2024

Many Americans die in facilities such as hospitals or nursing homes receiving care that is not consistent with their wishes. It’s important for older adults to plan ahead and let their caregivers, doctors, or family members know your end-of-life preferences in advance. For example, if an older person wants to die at home, receiving end-of-life care for pain and other symptoms, and makes this known to health care providers and family, it is less likely he or she will die in a hospital receiving unwanted treatments.

If the person is no longer able to make health care decisions for themselves, a caregiver or family member may have to make those decisions. Caregivers have several factors to consider when choosing end-of-life care, including the older person’s desire to pursue life-extending treatments, how long he or she has left to live, and the preferred setting for care.

What is Palliative Care?

Palliative care is specialized medical care for people living with a serious illness, such as cancer or heart failure. Patients in palliative care may receive medical care for their symptoms, or palliative care, along with treatment intended to cure their serious illness. Palliative care is meant to enhance a person’s current care by focusing on quality of life for them and their family.

Who Can Benefit from Palliative Care?

Palliative care is a resource for anyone living with a serious illness, such as heart failurechronic obstructive pulmonary diseasecancerdementiaParkinson’s disease, and many others. Palliative care can be helpful at any stage of illness and is best provided soon after a person is diagnosed.

In addition to improving quality of life and helping with symptoms, palliative care can help patients understand their choices for medical treatment. The organized services available through palliative care may be helpful to any older person having a lot of general discomfort and disability very late in life.

Who Makes up the Palliative Care Team?

A palliative care team is made up of multiple different professionals that work with the patient, family, and the patient’s other doctors to provide medical, social, emotional, and practical support. The team is comprised of palliative care specialist doctors and nurses, and includes others such as social workers, nutritionists, and chaplains. A person’s team may vary based on their needs and level of care. To begin palliative care, a person’s health care provider may refer him or her to a palliative care specialist. If he or she doesn’t suggest it, the person can ask a health care provider for a referral.

Where is Palliative Care Provided?

Palliative care can be provided in hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient palliative care clinics and certain other specialized clinics, or at home. MedicareMedicaid, and insurance policies may cover palliative care. Veterans may be eligible for palliative care through the Department of Veterans Affairs. Private health insurance might pay for some services. Health insurance providers can answer questions about what they will cover.

Visit the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization website to find palliative care near you.

In palliative care, a person does not have to give up treatment that might cure a serious illness. Palliative care can be provided along with curative treatment and may begin at the time of diagnosis. Over time, if the doctor or the palliative care team believes ongoing treatment is no longer helping, there are two possibilities. Palliative care could transition to hospice care if the doctor believes the person is likely to die within six months (see What does the hospice six-month requirement mean?). Or, the palliative care team could continue to help with increasing emphasis on comfort care.

What is Hospice Care?

Increasingly, people are choosing hospice care at the end of life. Hospice care focuses on the care, comfort, and quality of life of a person with a serious illness who is approaching the end of life.

At some point, it may not be possible to cure a serious illness, or a patient may choose not to undergo certain treatments. Hospice is designed for this situation. The patient beginning hospice care understands that his or her illness is not responding to medical attempts to cure it or to slow the disease’s progress.

Like palliative care, hospice provides comprehensive comfort care as well as support for the family, but, in hospice, attempts to cure the person’s illness are stopped. Hospice is provided for a person with a terminal illness whose doctor believes he or she has six months or less to live if the illness runs its natural course.

It’s important for a patient to discuss hospice care options with their doctor. Sometimes, people don’t begin hospice care soon enough to take full advantage of the help it offers. Perhaps they wait too long to begin hospice and they are too close to death. Or, some people are not eligible for hospice care soon enough to receive its full benefit. Starting hospice early may be able to provide months of meaningful care and quality time with loved ones.

Where is Hospice Care Provided and Who Provides it?

Hospice is an approach to care, so it is not tied to a specific place. It can be offered in two types of settings — at home or in a facility such as a nursing home, hospital, or even in a separate hospice center.

Read more about where end-of-life care can be provided.

Hospice care brings together a team of people with special skills — among them nurses, doctors, social workers, spiritual advisors, and trained volunteers. Everyone works together with the person who is dying, the caregiver, and/or the family to provide the medical, emotional, and spiritual support needed.

A member of the hospice team visits regularly, and someone is usually always available by phone — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hospice may be covered by Medicare and other insurance companies. Check to see if insurance will cover the person’s particular situation.

It is important to remember that stopping treatment aimed at curing an illness does not mean discontinuing all treatment. A good example is an older person with cancer. If the doctor determines that the cancer is not responding to chemotherapy and the patient chooses to enter into hospice care, then the chemotherapy will stop. Other medical care may continue as long as it is helpful. For example, if the person has high blood pressure, he or she will still get medicine for that.

Although hospice provides a lot of support, the day-to-day care of a person dying at home is provided by family and friends. The hospice team coaches family members on how to care for the dying person and even provides respite care when caregivers need a break. Respite care can be for as short as a few hours or for as long as several weeks.

To learn more, please visit https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/hospice-and-palliative-care/what-are-palliative-care-and-hospice-care.

Success Story: Kathy Roseberry

April 3, 2024

Carter Nursing and Rehabilitation is excited to share resident Kathy Anne Roseberry’s Success Story!

Kathy Anne Roseberry admitted to Carter Nursing & Rehab Center on January 30, 2024 under the care of Kari Shields. During the course of her stay, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy were initiated to efficiently and effectively identify Kathy’s unique needs and tailor specialized treatment plans to successfully transition her to the next level of care. Our therapy team provided skilled interventions to address the adaptation, compensation, and restoration potential of Kathy and coordinated with our interdisciplinary team to ensure appropriate clinical care areas were addressed. On February 15, 2024, Kathy Anne Roseberry successfully discharged to home! Congratulations to Kathy and her Care Team on their success!

How the Aging Brain Affects Thinking

April 3, 2024

The brain controls many aspects of thinking — remembering, planning and organizing, making decisions, and much more. These cognitive abilities affect how well we do everyday tasks and whether we can live independently.

Some changes in thinking are common as people get older. For example, older adults may:

  • Be slower to find words and recall names
  • Have problems with multitasking
  • Experience mild decreases in the ability to pay attention

Aging may also bring positive cognitive changes. For example, many studies have shown that older adults have larger vocabularies and greater knowledge of the depth of meaning of words than younger adults. Older adults may also have learned from their many years of accumulated knowledge and experiences. Whether and how older adults apply this knowledge, and how the brain changes as a result, is an area that researchers are actively exploring.

Despite the changes in cognition that may come with age, older adults can still do many of the things they have enjoyed their whole lives. Research shows that older adults can still:

  • Learn new skills
  • Form new memories
  • Improve vocabulary and language skills

How the brain changes as people age

As a person gets older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain.

  • Certain parts of the brain shrink, including those important to learning and other complex mental activities.
  • In certain brain regions, communication between neurons may be less effective.
  • Blood flow in the brain may decrease.
  • Inflammation, which occurs when the body responds to an injury or disease, may increase.

These changes in the brain can affect mental function, even in healthy older people. For example, some older adults may find that they don’t do as well as younger individuals on complex memory or learning tests. However, if given enough time to learn a new task, they usually perform just as well. Needing that extra time is normal as people age. There is growing evidence that the brain maintains the ability to change and adapt so that people can manage new challenges and tasks as they age.

Talk with your doctor if you’re concerned about changes in your thinking and memory. They can help you determine whether those changes are normal or whether it could be something else.

The brain-body connection

There is growing scientific evidence of the brain-body connection. Not only can changes in our brain affect our thinking, but also changes in our physical health may affect our brains.

For example, an NIA-funded study of almost 3,000 older adults showed that healthy lifestyle factors — physical activity, not smoking, not drinking heavily, following the Mediterranean-style diet, and engaging in mentally stimulating activities — can have important benefits. People who engaged in four or five of these behaviors had a 60% lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s compared to those who only followed one or none. People who followed two or three of the activities had a 37% lower risk.

In another study, older adults with higher levels of physical activity showed slower rates of cognitive decline than peers who were less active. Another example of how physical health can affect brain health has to do with the heart. Observational studies have found that high blood pressure in middle age, along with other cerebrovascular risk factors, such as diabetes and smoking, increase the risk of developing dementia.

Results from observational studies such as these can’t prove cause and effect, but they point to how a combination of modifiable behaviors may affect the brain as people age and identify promising avenues to be tested further.

To learn more, please visit https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/brain-health/how-aging-brain-affects-thinking

Emergency Readiness for Older Adults and People with Disabilities

March 25, 2024

In recent years, the United States has experienced a number of significant natural disasters. Several of these events happened with little or no warning. One key lesson that we have learned from these unfortunate circumstances is to “be prepared,” a message that is especially important for older Americans and people with disabilities. September is officially designated National Preparedness Month, but preparedness is something we should be thinking about all year long.

Unfortunately, natural disasters can disproportionately impact older people and those with disabilities. These populations are frequently less able to withstand periods of time without food, water, medication, and rest—and they may have mobility or communications limitations that impact their ability to respond. Half of the people who died during and after Hurricane Katrina were over the age of 75. People with disabilities who rely on service providers for meals, personal care, and medical assistance often go without critical support systems during a crisis. As we saw during Hurricane Sandy, the loss of electricity to power medical devices, such as ventilators, or assistive technology, can be life-threatening.

That is why it is critical that older adults and people with disabilities plan for emergencies before they happen. Here are three important steps to consider in preparing for a natural disaster:

  • Involve your community. When putting together a plan, individuals with disabilities and older adults should talk with their neighbors, family members, caregivers, and community members about emergency preparedness. Planning should be informed by individuals’ needs and preferences and should focus on creating a support team that can assist with evacuation, finding appropriate shelter, and meeting basic needs during a crisis. Planning should also take into account those situations when local services and supports are not available, and an individual needs to relocate out of the community. Consider including out-of-town relatives or friends in disaster preparedness plans.
  • Pack an emergency medical kit. People with disabilities and older people with chronic health conditions should pack an emergency kit. It should contain food, water, medication, copies of medical records, instructions for medical devices, and, if necessary, things like extra wheelchair batteries and oxygen tanks.
  • Make a plan for pets and service animals. Millions of people have pets and service animals that they love dearly. Owners should create evacuation and emergency response plans that include the needs of their animals. This includes packing an emergency kit for animals with food, water, and medication Pet owners should learn which shelters in their communities accept non-service animals and enlist the support of friends and neighbors to help with pet care if local shelters are not an option.

Every state is unique in terms of the local risks and types of natural disasters that can take place. But no matter where you are, it is important to take time to ensure that older Americans and people with disabilities engage in emergency planning so they are prepared to weather the storms that come.

For more information and links to resources about emergency preparedness for older adults and people with disabilities, please visit ACL’s emergency preparedness webpage.

Success Story: Samuel Banks

March 23, 2024

Carter Nursing and Rehabilitation is excited to share resident Samuel Banks’ Success Story!

Samuel Banks entered Carter Nursing & Rehabilitation facing difficulties with mobility and completing self-care tasks independently. Collaborating closely with the physical and occupational therapy teams, Samuel started his rehabilitation with determination to regain strength and enhance his movement abilities. Remarkably, within just 21 days of focused rehabilitation efforts, Samuel made significant progress! He was discharged, returning home with newfound independence and confidence. Congratulations to Samuel and his Care Team on their success!

Social Work Month: Miranda McClanahan

March 20, 2024

Carter Nursing and Rehabilitation is excited to highlight our outstanding Social Work team! Introducing Miranda McClanahan!

Name: Miranda McClanahan 

Years of Experience: 7 years 

What has ‘empowered’ you to become a social worker?: I began working in the medical field around the age of 19 or 20. Working clerical, pharmacy, etc., after my fifth year working long-term care pharmacy, I had decided to work on my social work degree. So, for me, the thought of advocating and helping others was the inspiration that empowered me to become a social worker. Originally, I began this journey with the intention of working in addiction but after doing one of my practicums at one of our facilities, my path changed, and I found how much I enjoyed working with the long-term care population. 

As we celebrate Social Work Month, what message or advice would you like to share with the community about the importance of social work in long-term care?: As I mentioned before, advocacy and helping others led me to this career.  As a social worker, I want to share with the community how important it is for long-term care residents to have someone to advocate for them. Unfortunately, not all residents have families or friends who are active in their lives. That is where we come in, to help and protect some of our most vulnerable population.  

Risk and Protective Factors for Older Adults

March 19, 2024

A combination of individual, relational, community, and societal factors contribute to the risk of becoming a perpetrator of elder abuse. They are contributing factors and may or may not be direct causes. Understanding these factors can help identify various opportunities for prevention.

Watch Moving Forward to learn more about how increasing what protects people from violence and reducing what puts people at risk for it benefits everyone.

RISK FACTORS FOR PERPETRATION

Individual Risk Factors

  • Current diagnosis of mental illness
  • Current or past abuse of drugs or alcohol
  • Current physical health problem
  • Past experience of disruptive behavior
  • Past experience of traumatic events
  • High levels of stress
  • Poor or inadequate preparation or training for caregiving responsibilities
  • Inadequate coping skills
  • Exposure to or witnessing abuse as a child
  • Social isolation

Relationship Risk Factors

  • High financial and emotional dependence upon a vulnerable elder
  • Past family conflict
  • Inability to establish or maintain positive prosocial relationships
  • Lack of social support

Societal Risk Factors

There are specific characteristics of institutional settings such as nursing homes and residential facilities, that can increase the risk for perpetration including:

  • Staffing problems and lack of qualified staff
  • Staff burnout and stressful working conditions

PROTECTIVE FACTORS FOR ELDER ABUSE

Protective factors reduce risk for perpetrating or experiencing abuse and neglect. Protective factors have not been studied as extensively as risk factors. However, identifying and understanding protective factors are equally as important as researching risk factors.

PROTECTIVE FACTORS FOR VICTIMIZATION

Individual Protective Factors

  • Emotional intelligence

Relationship Protective Factors

  • Having social support

Community Protective Factors

  • Sense of community, meaning, residents feel connected to each other and are involved in the community

To learn more, please visit https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/elderabuse/riskprotectivefactors.html

Success Story: Darlene McIntyre

March 15, 2024

Darlene McIntyre was admitted to Carter Nursing & Rehab after sustaining a double femur fracture, which rendered her incapable of self-care at home. Initially immobile and reliant on assistance for daily tasks, Darlene commenced strength-building exercises while awaiting surgical intervention. Post-surgery, she resumed rehabilitation to reclaim her autonomy. In just a few weeks, Darlene made remarkable progress! She regained the ability to walk, transfer safely, and manage self-care independently. Darlene expressed great satisfaction with the therapy provided at Carter, emphasizing the importance of persistence to future residents. Congratulations to Darlene and her Care Team on their success!