Come learn about the effects of vitamin D on your respiratory health.
Say “No” to Coronavirus, and Any Other Virus, For That Matter
Following the recent outbreak of coronavirus, our facility has implemented new precautionary measures to keep our residents’ environment cleaner, healthier, and happier. As far as we know, Coronavirus does not generally have any lasting effects on young individuals, however, it can be potentially fatal for anyone over the age of 60. For this reason we have made the decision to take certain security measures in our building such as not allowing any visitors into our facility other than our staff and needed medical personnel.
Now that our doors have been closed to everyone but staff and residents, we have stressed the need for consistent cleaning of every high-touch surface throughout our buildings. We have been using this method of daily disinfecting on each shift for years,(especially during the cold and flu seasons from October through April) and have seen the health of our residents improve when it is being done consistently. Light switches, door knobs, handrails, keyboards and desks, elevator rails and control panels, and chair arms where possible are wiped down with disinfectant every shift by our hardworking CNA staff and management team. Because of the frequent sanitation of our facility, we have been able to avoid catching not only COVID-19 but flu and colds as well, achieving our goal of protecting our community from illness.
On top of our routine disinfecting, we have our housekeeping crew join our ranks every morning and night to deep clean the resident’s rooms, sanitize the common areas, and disinfect the bathrooms. Our staff also is encouraged, first and foremost to wash their hands between resident visits, and use hand sanitizer whenever they are able in between hand washings. With hand sanitizer being in high demand in the stores and online, we have even had staff members find hand sanitizer recipes and make their own! So far, even this year, our crusade on diligently disinfecting our environment has been effective in keeping the Coronavirus and other illnesses far away from our building’s walls and our residents (knock on wood!!). We encourage other senior living operations throughout the world to do their own version of Bel Aire Senior Living’s “no, no, no, no Corona!”.
For more information on our COVID-19 procedures call (801) 763-0622, or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an assisted living facility, we at Bel Aire understand the stress and confusion that can accompany the search for a good assisted living residence that the senior can call home. People from all walks of life come in for tours, assessments, and advice with varying methods for weeding out facilities that are not desirable, but often get caught up in the stress of the situation. They forget what questions to ask, skip over areas that they would normally focus on, and altogether just hope that whatever facility they choose will care for their loved ones as much as they do. We, as a facility, understand the difficulty of the process and would like to assist by providing a list of things to look for while touring a senior living community.
Does the CNA staff seem friendly?
This may be a bit hard to determine depending on whether or not the CNA staff are busy helping a resident during your visit, but if given the opportunity, try talking with one about the facility. Ask them what they like about their job. Notice if they know the residents by name. Overall, friendly and hardworking CNA’s make all the difference in the experience your elderly loved ones will have at a facility.
Are the meals visually appealing and appetizing to look at?
A study done by the Crossmodal Research Library at the University of Oxford shows that the more appetizing and colorful a dish is, the better it seems to taste. Just observing the dishes at a senior living facility serves as a helpful way to tell whether or not the meals are enjoyable, without actually sitting down and consuming the food. Ask if you can sample the food if a meal is being served at the time.
Is the environment clean?
Generally, when a facility keeps the common areas clean they keep the resident rooms clean as well and vice versa. Notice if it smells nice; an assisted living facility must work hard to keep the facility smelling nice despite the brief changes and messes that occur daily, and can be a good sign that they are working hard to maintain a healthy environment for their residents. A clean facility could equal a healthier, happier home for your loved one.
Do the residents react well to interactions with the staff?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the staff regularly tries to connect with the people living there, or if they are just putting on a show. It can feel fake or forced to see them interact while you are there searching for a place for your family member. A good way to tell if the comradery is real is to watch the residents’ reactions when CNA staff or management interacts with the seniors. Do they seem happy, excited, or relieved to see them? Or are they stressed, confused, or distant?
In addition to this list of things to look for, we have provided a list of 10 questions to ask when looking for senior living, to help you narrow down your search. This list can be found on our blog at http://belairecare.com/10-questions/. When people visit our community we strive to answer every question about senior living you may have and even provide our guests with a packet of resources to help them decipher what kind of care will be best for their loved ones. Call our number (801)763-0622 to get answers from experts and schedule a tour.
Avoiding Senior-Targeted Scams and Fraud
As our dependence on technology increases, so does the number of “scam” calls that we receive. It seems that every other call is from a shady ‘insurance agency’ or ‘credit card company’ asking for our social security, credit card, or bank account numbers. Unfortunately, for seniors, many of these scams are targeted at the elderly; often taking advantage of their compassion and unfamiliarity with modern technology. How do we avoid these scams? How do we prevent ourselves and our loved ones from losing money to deceptive and manipulative people? The answer is simple; spread the word! Knowing popular scam methods is an effective way to smoke out what is and isn’t legitimate. The National Council on Aging has provided a list of popular scams that target the elderly; the list includes,
- Medicare/Health Insurance Scams
- Scammers will pretend to be Medicare representatives in order to get personal insurance information from the elderly.
- Counterfeit/Prescription Drugs
- Online prescription frauds are false advertisements for cheaper medication, used to get insurance and credit card information.
- Funeral & Cemetery Scams
- Funeral and Cemetery services will take advantage of grieving families and claim that extra services (more expensive coffins, lots, and fees) are necessary in order to receive more money. It’s also common for scammers to read online obituaries and show up at a funeral demanding money from the family for fake outstanding debts from the deceased.
- Grandparent Scams
- This dastardly popular scam takes advantage of elderly compassion and love for their grandkids. The scammer typically calls an elderly person pretending to be their grandchild (often by saying things like “grandma, guess who this is” when the senior first picks up, to get easy information about the grandchild they are impersonating without having to do any previous research) and acts as though they have just had an accident – a car wreck, house fire, etc. – and ask for money.
- Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams
- These frauds make calls to the elderly pretending that they have just won the lottery, but don’t have the funds to pay the taxes for the prize money. The supposed ‘winners’ then say that they are willing to give the senior citizens a percentage of the winnings, if they will pay the tax on the fake jackpot.
As a general rule for everyone regardless of age, never give insurance, credit card, social security, or bank account numbers to anyone over the phone. Protect yourself from potential fraud by learning more about current scams on https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes. Stay safe!
We all remember the horrors of cafeteria food from our early education. The soggy rolls, half covered in gravy made from the mystery meat that never seemed fully cooked. Often, when assisting those trying to find a senior living residence, I have found that the quality and taste of food is one of the biggest resident concerns. No one wants to eat cold, cafeteria food for every meal. Luckily, the residents at our facility don’t have to!
Here at Bel Aire we provide home-cooked meals that are prepared by our kitchen staff and food services director. Using the Grove Menus System™, every meal is designed to keep our residents healthy and happy, with nutritious meals tailored for each resident and their specific dietary needs. Reduced-fat, low-calorie, high-fiber and low-sodium choices that have been approved by our dietitian combined with selections of classic favorites, regional dishes, and resident-suggested dishes give our residents the comfort of home-cooked meals.
We provide three meals a day and snacks every afternoon. We also have a hydration program to keep our residents from suffering the effects of dehydration such as dizziness, UTIs, and falls.
We often get asked; what happens if the residents don’t like a meal served that day? Are the only options to be forced to eat it or not eat at all? Our answer is simple – absolutely not! We provide an alternate menu every day for residents who let us know that they dislike the scheduled meal. Our food service and CNA staff here at Bel Aire Senior Living work hard to give the residents the best dining experience possible so they are healthy, happy, and feel completely at home.
Navigating the Internet in this day and age can feel like running in place; you can’t get anywhere. Surrounded by hundreds of website names, useless information, and phony facts, finding useful places to answer day to day questions for seniors is a difficult task, that’s why we decided to make a list of our top 10 websites for senior citizens.
- AARP® Official Site – Join & Explore the Benefits – This popular organization has tons of useful articles and videos designed for aging adults. For helpful tips and important news, peruse their headlines on the homepage of their website.
- www.pinterest.com – Cooking, crafts, and funny posts are abundant on the Pinterest website. This social media site lists thousands of popular ideas tailored to the user. It’s easy to use, and a great resource for finding fun, creative solutions to boredom.
- https://www.seniorsguidetocomputers.com – Technology can be confusing and frustrating, but no need to fear! This website is tailored for older adults who need help navigating the web.
- Free Family History and Genealogy Records — FamilySearch … – This church-run website was rated by The Wall Street Journal to be the number one genealogy site for everyone, regardless of religion. Family Search is a fantastic tool for creating a family tree and learning about your ancestors.
- http://www.investopedia.com/ – This website is a wonderful resource for keeping up with investment news.
- https://www.seniorliving.org/ – Find hundreds of resources on health, housing, health care, and finances on Senior Living. This website offers valuable resources for any question or concern regarding the aging process.
- https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/good-vision-throughout-life/adult-vision-19-to-40-years-of-age/adult-vision-over-60-years-of-age – This page takes you to the senior section of the American Optometrist Association. It lists common eye issues for seniors, and ways to prevent further eye damage.
- Google – No helpful website list would be complete without listing this indispensable search engine. Virtually any question can be answered using this popular website.
- https://hospicefoundation.org/ – Hospice organizations can be a hassle to find, but by using this website the process is made easy. The website also offers answers to frequently asked questions about hospice care, and resources for grief.
- Bel Aire Senior Living – 24/7 Assisted Living Services – Last but most definitely not least, our very own website posts weekly on our blog. We provide helpful articles for the aging adult and answer questions about senior living services. Feel free to explore our website for more information!
In this technology ridden world keeping up with the times can be stressful. We, at Bel Aire, believe it’s important to provide our senior’s with the resources they need to stay informed. We love our tech-savvy seniors!
Without a doubt, loneliness affects people from all walks of life, but according to the National Poll on Healthy Aging performed by the University of Michigan, seniors feel the impacts of loneliness significantly more than other age groups. The survey reveals, “The findings from this poll suggest that millions of older adults across the U.S. feel lonely. Research shows that chronic loneliness can impact older adults’ memory, physical well-being, mental health, and life expectancy. In fact, some research suggests that chronic loneliness may shorten life expectancy even more than being overweight or sedentary, and just as much as smoking”. Not only are the effects of loneliness great and possibly detrimental, but the levels of loneliness in seniors are significantly higher than other age groups. These shocking facts silently pose an important question; what can we, as caregivers, family, friends, or neighbors do about it?
Numerous studies have been done to research ways to alleviate loneliness among seniors; the solutions varying from simple to extraordinary. On the simplistic side are ideas such as regular calls from family or friends, community activity engagement, and volunteering. The more research is done on the subject, however, reveals the more complicated solutions. These ideas included animal robots to simulate the companionship of a pet without the upkeep for a live animal, artificially intelligent machines that attempt to start conversations with their elderly housemates, and complicated medical procedures. There are hundreds of ways to fix this problem, but not every solution is effective for every senior, since every person has a different life perspective and what makes them lonely.
The most effective responses to loneliness, are responses that start at the root of the issue. Solving the problem starts at finding the reason for loneliness. A recent loss, long-distance moves, and social or cognitive disorders all are significant causes of feeling lonely, and addressing these issues makes the most difference when assisting seniors, or looking for help. As a senior living community, Bel Aire Senior Living understands this concept of identifying the reason, which leads us to help the individual in the most appropriate way possible.
The staff at Bel Aire in American Fork understands that in order to understand a senior’s needs, emotional or mental, you must get to know them personally! That’s why we encourage our staff to spend time with our residents and learn about their life experiences, as time permits. We have found that as a team and even a community family, our efforts to decrease loneliness in the lives of our seniors have made an enormous difference in making them feel loved, happier and that they are living a higher quality of life.
Staff, Staff, Staff.
At Bel Aire, we know caregivers soon become like family instead of just “another employee.” However, let’s go back to the first step, the “hiring process.” Now with a highly competitive job market you could easily search, assisted living facilities or hiring CNAs. Many employers have other tricks up their sleeve, instead of just promoting hiring ads, because there is a battle ensuing for lower tier healthcare employees. Many job promotions seem to make working in assisted living facilities sound almost boring. Where larger companies such as Google or Facebook are receiving nearly 50,000 resumes daily, and their ads make work sound like fun!
With tens of thousands of applicants, you could imagine there being barely or no hiring struggle. At Bel Aire Senior Living, we have a system. We know that to have an amazing assisted living residence with amenities and fun for our residents’ family members, a key to our success is that we need to have amazing people working here, and our CNAs are those key people.
At Bel Aire we do our best to make sure the staff is recognized and feel that they are a main part of our successes. With four time and a half paid holidays, free meals, and a collegial atmosphere, we make our assisted living residence the best place for everyone – residents, visitors, and employees alike.
Now, with more accommodating state rules put into place in Utah, you are now able to apply for a Caregiving job without a CNA certification. Don’t panic if you already have your CNA Certification! We love those who have additional training and skill sets to act as mentors and leads to those with less caregiving experience.
Here at Bel Aire we can’t wait to meet and hire all these caring and amazing hardworker’s that only want the best for our residents! With every opportunity to become better in the most rewarding field around.
Is Your Glass Half Empty, or Half Full?
As a person ages, they are less likely to retain healthy water levels in their system, as well as having a decrease in thirst sensation. Because of these phenomena, our senior population is more susceptible to dehydration. We are all familiar with the 8X8 rule – drink 8, 8 ounce glasses of water a day. But, what happens if you don’t or you can’t consume that much fluid easily?
Being dehydrated can cause additional problems than only needing water. It can lead to headaches, dry mouth, low blood pressure which in turn leads to dizziness, and dizziness leads to falls. It can also cause urinary tract infections as well as constipation. Those issue as also bring a new problem for seniors such as increased confusion.
When people are hydrated they have the added benefits of:
- Increased physical strength – Water helps oxygen move to the muscles, which gives the muscles necessary bodily support and increased physical abilities.
- Increased memory function – Our brain is made up of 73% water, thus the need of water to function properly. When we are hydrated our memory’s cognitive function improves, which promotes improved focus, concentration and alertness.
- Reduced toxins that can cause infections – The more water a person drinks the more toxins are released from the body, preventing kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Excessive amounts of water may cause electrolyte depletion in the system, so be careful not to overdo your water intake.
- Improved heart health – Hydration helps keep the same consistency of blood, plasma, and other proteins that are passed through our system leading to a healthier heart.
As a senior it is difficult to be sure you are receiving adequate daily amounts of fluids, and that is why at Bel Aire Senior Living we instituted a resident hydration program in 2005. In our year-round arid, Utah climate, it is critical to us that our residents are continuously hydrated. Our program consists of daily distribution of fresh 16 oz. mugs filled with ice water to each resident in the mornings, refill mugs during snack time in the mid-afternoons, and at bedtime refill. When we see a resident hasn’t been drinking their water, we invite them to take two big sips from their mug. Likewise, when a resident is receiving their medications we ask them for additional water intake. The hydration program does not include what a resident drinks at meals – that is additional hydration beyond their sipping throughout the day.
Results: UTIs down 78%; Falls down 52% in the quarter after implementing the hydration program.