Four Key Benefits of Nursing Homes for Senior Parents

Howard Fensterman has been instrumental in helping nursing homes maintain high quality health care for their patients. Most nursing facilities provide private accommodations and personal care to a majority of folks that are elderly individuals; hence, the decision to move to a nursing home can be emotionally taxing for both the immediate family members and the senior parent.

Most often, family members try their best to take care of the individual. But the demands of the work involved or the illness can become difficult at times, especially if the family member is not well versed in medical care. Sooner or later, it may become mandatory to seek outside help. In such a situation, nursing homes are a viable option.

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Here are four main benefits of nursing homes for senior parents

Social Experiences

Nursing homes provide the best social experiences for the elderly individuals. They can take part in activities with other senior persons and share their life views and experiences.  Some of the nursing facilities also organize social events where all the residents of the nursing home can mingle together and share experiences.

As a result, the senior parent won’t succumb to the feelings of depression or melancholy due to being isolated. Most of the senior individuals that reside at nursing homes enjoy a quality time having fun with people of their own age group.

Assistance with Chores

Performing simple daily chores becomes difficult during the old age. Several senior individuals lose their ability to perform such simple tasks. Nursing home care professionals assist the senior individuals in performing activities such bathing, changing clothes, eating and drinking, driving, administering medicine, and using the restroom. What’s more, the help is offered to the senior individuals as a premium service and not as assistance due to being handicapped. This ensures that the senior persons don’t feel invalid in any way due to not being able to perform simple daily chores.

Round the Clock Medical Help

Nursing homes provide 24/7 medical help to the elderly individuals. Many nursing facilities have medical professionals onsite at all times. Living in the home will ensure the perfect safety of the senior patients and can offer immediate medical assistance in case of an emergency. This will ensure that your loved one is under the proper care and able to lead a good life without much physical or emotional pain.

Safety and Security

Another key advantage of a nursing home is that they offer a greater level of security as compared to home care or when the individual is living alone. Imagine the horror if the senior parent forgets to turn off the gas after cooking, or forgets to lock the door at night. Placing senior parents in a nursing home will offer a peace of mind in knowing that the loved and dear one is provided maximum protection and security, both during the day and night.

In conclusion, a nursing home is the best option when it comes to the care of the elderly parent. The senior individual can have a quality time socializing and engaging in fun and exciting activities. Also, the senior person would be offered round the clock medical help that will ensure maximum safety and protection of the individual. The decision to place in a nursing home care can be the best one you can make for your senior parent, particularly during the stage of life when the person can’t live without external assistance.





Social Interactions Helps Maintain a Healthy Mind for the Elderly

Strong Mind = Strong Body!

Seniors taking classes
Seniors taking classes is a great way to keep the mind healthy

 Our work and our jobs are just obligations which we need to do in order to survive. On the other hand, it is our hobbies that shape us, define our personalities and the people surrounding us. At times, the prospect of these engagements is the only thing that gets us through the day. But what happens once we retire? What happens when we reach our 70’s and 80’s and stop meeting people that we used to meet every other day?

With no work and no social hobbies, seniors begin to have too much free time on their hands, which subsequently leads to loneliness, negative thoughts and an identity of loss. It’s time we understand that more social engagements mean better senior living.

There are several ways to achieve a Strong Mind:

Make New Friends

We are not asking these seniors to forget about their old friends. As a matter of fact, it couldn’t be better if they remain in constant touch with those friends. However, in most cases, older friends are not as frequently available as they used to be. Some might be having their own health issues, some might have moved out of state or some might have just disappeared. Regardless, new and positive people in our lives are like a breeze of much needed fresh air.

Get Out of the House

The world always feels like a much better place once we are out in the open. It helps to maintain a routine to keep yourself busy. For instance, just going for a walk every morning could open the doors of adventures and an excellent source of making  new friends. Just be sure to be generous with your smile.

Taking Classes

A great way to expand the mind and keep those neurons going, as well as finding new friends. Social meeting classes also gives the senior a new hobby to enjoy. Many nursing facilities offer classes in many subjects and if your elderly one is not in a home, they can take any number of interesting classes geared for their age at continuing education courses offered by many colleges and universities, as well as their local YMCA or YMHA.

Find Dining Partners

Invite people for tea or dining as frequently as possible. In fact, keeping an open invitation for tea will surely lead to pleasant surprises every now and then. Dining together provides an excellent time to talk and share your feelings with others.  Research proves that being social helps lower risks of diseases.

Take Part in Social Events

No matter where you live, there is always some sort of senior group activity going around. Becoming part of knitting circles and book groups help seniors not only socializing, but also provides them some sense of purpose in their life and prevents them from succumbing to off-putting thoughts.  

Tech Savvy

This advice is more for the people surrounding and taking care of the seniors rather than the seniors themselves. With technological advancement at the forefront, every single piece of equipment comes attached with it. So, why not let the seniors make use of it too? If an elder person is having trouble listening, then provide them with the latest hearing aid. Are they having trouble walking? Are they dependent on someone to push their wheelchairs? Then find one with automatic controls for them. Let technology make their life easier and positive.

Just being a senior and retiring doesn’t mean all the best things in their life have to end. If anything, this is the time to give them the most attention, care and company to spend their time with. Add in a hobby in the mix and you’ll be looking at a happy and a healthy senior.


Caring for the Hearts of Older Patients

Cardiovascular disease is one of the major causes of death around the world. This disease is more common in people who have diabetes or if the disease runs in the family.  Another high risk of heart diseases comes with the age. As people age, their heart becomes more susceptible to diseases or many might have already become a patient. Either way, old patients need care and prevention not just through medication, but with the help of a proper diet and a maintained lifestyle.

Here’s how we can take care of the old people around us and save them from heart problems:

Healthy Diet:

After reaching a certain age, the elders must not be given food that has a lot of sugar, has butter, ghee, shortening or any other ingredient which might affect their cholesterol level. Vegetables, fruits and fish must remain a major part of their diet with no grains in them.  All their food must be low fat.

Physical Activities:

Physical exercises must become a part of older people’s schedule. Even walking is very good for the health and heart. Elders must partake in aerobics, muscle strengthening exercises and balance improvement. All these physical activities will not only avoid the risks of heart diseases, but will also help them create better physical endurance and the ability to stay active. Many older people fall frequently because their muscles have started to weaken and they find it hard to balance their body.

Smoke and Alcohol:

Smoking is bad for health as it is but when old people do it, it becomes outright deadly. Smoking poses a danger to the lungs and might even cause a stroke.  Similarly, alcohol can make conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, liver problems and mood disorders worse. Thus, it is essential that elders stay away from both.


Alternative medications have allowed people to choose their own medicines and more often than not, they make the wrong decision. Alternative medicines might be natural but that doesn’t mean they are effective when it comes to saving lives. Also, there is no official release or research data about these alternative medicines by the FDA. Many elders, on their drive to use natural means, end up losing their health, or worse, as alternative medicines are not always trustworthy.

Avoid Stress:

Stress, shock or any extreme trauma in older people can cause high blood pressure, heart attack or even death. If elders are sleeping properly, exercising daily, taking the proper diet and maintaining a happy and healthy lifestyle, then the above-discussed conditions can be avoided. However, people who make the elders anxious, worried or stressed out might trigger a negative effect on the health.

Stay Ready:

If the elder person is a heart patient and somehow ends up suffering from a heart attack, then the caregiver must know how to give emergency treatment. If the elder person is staying with their family, then the family members must learn how to conduct emergency treatment in case of heart failure. Immediate action could help save lives.

The hearts of elderly people is very vulnerable to diseases. Thus, it is important that we take care of them.

The Importance for Seniors to Stay Fit

We all have this common misconception that too much movement and activities are just too dangerous for seniors. In all honestly, it is the opposite that puts them at jeopardy. Staying inactive for such a long period of time not only makes them a victim of many diseases, but also lowers their life expectancy.

As we begin to age, our bones become brittle and the muscles lean towards shortening; as a result, elderly people begin having trouble staying active, flexible, and simply, coordinating their movements. That is where all the exercises and physical fitness techniques come in handy.

In addition, keeping the blood flowing during exercise helps the mind stay active also. One senior that we knew well remained active his entire life, by making sure he exercised to what would equate to walking 10 or more city blocks a day, every day. Our patient lived till he was 99 years old, four months before he reached 100. In this case of course, he was totally independent and did not need the convalescence of a nursing home, but for those that are already residing in nursing homes, it cannot be more emphasised that the individual exercise everyday (of course, under a doctor’s guidance*).

Let’s discover the importance of exercising and how exercise can help people in their later years:


As we grow older, we begin to grow weak. Exercise is one of the most effective means of maintaining our strength. Sitting in the same spot for hours and avoiding any kind of physical exertion will not only make the seniors inactive, but will also bring several physical problems with it; one of them being atrophied muscles. Regular movements and even basic exercises, such as walking, could lead to better mobility and an active lifestyle.


David C. Niemen, a Ph.D. doctor and author, believes that the effect of physical activity on healing is so high that no medicine can even come close to replicating its effects. It was found that people who begin exercising early built up a better immune system which subsequently helped them deal with their injury faster.

Reduces Stress

It is not just physical fitness that can be achieved through exercises. In fact, it is our mental health that benefits from it too, just like most people run to get rid of their stress or play their favorite sports to release all that strain. Similarly, an elderly person too can have a positive effect on their mental health by doing exercises. Just taking a light stroll down the street on a bright sunny day can do wonders to lift their spirits.

Social Activity

Exercises are a solution to many of the senior problems and one of them includes loneliness and solitude. Joining group exercises and group activities will not only help seniors deal with all the rigidness in their bones, but will also give them an excellent opportunity to meet new people and have a positive impact on their life.

Prevents Injuries and Accidents

Most fatal injuries in seniors are caused by falling, which incidentally happens because of their bad coordination. Due to aging, muscles begin to grow weak and the only way to stay up to date with their body is through exercising. It will reduce the chances of falling and ultimately, lead to fewer risks of deadly injuries.

Better Sleep

Sleepless nights are just a side effect of growing old and the best way to deal with it is to have enough physical exertion in the daytime that will enable them to sleep peacefully at night.

Do not wait until later to get your elders in the habit of exercising. At the first sign of weakness, visit a doctor for an exercise plan and then reap the benefits.

* Disclaimer. This article is for information purposes only and as such, we highly recommend that the patient or the patient’s guardians refer to a physician for the appropriate type and amount of exercise that should be recommended for the person in question.


Tests and Treatments Older Americans Should Question

The American Geriatric Society (AGS) has released an updated list of recommendations that will raise awareness about treatments and tests that may lack efficacy and even cause potential harm. The list is part of the ABIM Foundation’s Choosing Wisely campaign. More than 70 societies have released recommendations of test and treatments that patients and providers should question.

The updated list from AGS reflects new research on conditions affecting older adults, such as agitation, certain types of cancer, delirium, dementia, diabetes, and insomnia. Based on new research and insights, these topics may warrant deeper discussions on the appropriate healthcare choices, according to AGS.

“Providing high-quality care to older adults means recognizing and responding to the specific, evolving challenges and opportunities that we all face as we age,” Wayne C. McCormick, MD, MPH, AGSF, president of the AGS, said in a statement. “Since 2012, the AGS and the ABIM Foundation have worked together through Choosing Wisely to synthesize pressing updates from the geriatrics field in a format that is easy to understand—and apply—in everyday practice.”

AGS has updated 7 specific tests, treatments, or procedures based on emerging expert opinion. For instance, lung cancer screening have been added to the list of oncological screenings that should not be recommended for older adults without first considering life expectancy and the risks associated with testing, overdiagnosis, and overtreatment. In addition, when recommending moderate blood-glucose control for older patients with diabetes, medications other than metformin should be avoided.

AGS continues to recommend avoiding antipsychotics as the first choice treatment for behavioral and psychological symptoms associated with dementia. This guidance has been expanded based on new data. The AGS panel of experts determined that antipsychotics provide “limited and inconsistent benefits” and include the risk of oversedation, worsening memory problems, and increased likelihood of falls, strokes, and mortality.

The Society also added new guidance:

  • Pursuing oral-assisted feeding for patients with advanced dementia instead of a “percutaneous” feeding tube threaded through the skin into the stomach
  • Not using antibiotics to treat patients who have bacteria in their urine (a condition known as bacteriuria) unless certain urinary tract symptoms are present
  • Conducting a treatment regimen review before prescribing medication

“As the older adult population in the US continues to grow, it’s so important that geriatrics care principles reflect the latest science, evidence, and advice supporting quality health and care,” said Paul Mulhausen, MD, MHS, FACP, AGSF, who chaired the AGS Choosing Wisely Workgroup responsible for the list. “We are grateful to the ABIM Foundation for this opportunity to share timely recommendations that will help patients avoid unnecessary tests and procedures and support overall well-being.”