Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab News Blog

Understanding the Difference Between Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease

Dementia and Alzheimer's

As we age, most of us expect to lose some functionality. We know that our muscles will change, that we may experience balance issues, that we’ll probably stop driving at some point, and that many of us will need help and may wind up in some form of assisted living.

But what about our mental capabilities?

If you’re familiar with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, you know that these common conditions can affect people as they age. What most people don’t understand, though, is how common these conditions are or that there are actually some very important differences between the two.

Here’s what you need to know.

What is the Difference Between Alzheimer’s and Dementia?

While most people group Alzheimer’s and dementia into a single bucket, they’re not the same disease. While dementia is a blanket term used to describe a host of disorders that affect memory, daily activities, and performance, Alzheimer’s is a more specific kind of dementia. In fact, it is the most common type of dementia. Right now, Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. It’s also important to remember that Alzheimer’s is a disease and dementia is a syndrome.

While it’s possible for young people to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the risk for each increases dramatically during the aging process. Additionally, people can have more than one type of dementia, while Alzheimer’s is a single condition.

Signs of Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Wondering how to spot the early indicators of dementia or Alzheimer’s in yourself or a loved one? Here are the signs to watch for:

  • Memory Loss. No matter how old you are, it’s normal to experience occasional, mild memory loss. These “brain farts” don’t impact your overall life or put other people in danger. They’re as simple as forgetting your keys or being temporarily unable to recall someone’s name. Memory loss related to Alzheimer’s or dementia, however, is quite severe and ongoing and will disrupt your daily life. Think things like leaving the stove on or getting lost while you drive.

  • Challenges With Everyday Tasks. If everyday tasks, like paying bills, getting dressed, cleaning the house, or cooking a meal have suddenly become difficult, it’s time to take notice. Alzheimer’s and dementia both cause concentration and focus difficulties that become more severe over time.

  • Confusion About Time or Place. While it’s normal to think it’s Thursday when it’s actually Wednesday, it’s not normal to lose track of dates, passages of time, or seasons. These are some of the earliest signs of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Senatobia Healthcare: Your Partner in Dementia Care

Nobody wants to experience dementia. This condition affects about 5% of the older population, though, and rates are expected to double by 2020. If you or a loved one are experiencing early signs of dementia, Senatobia Healthcare can provide the resources, information about possible treatments, and care you need to keep life moving forward. Contact us today to learn more.

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How to Understand and Cope with the Aging Process

aging process

Betty Friedan once said, “Aging is not ‘lost youth’ but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” Unfortunately, it can be tough to see it that way when you’re right in the midst of it, or when you’re watching a loved one move through the aging process.

Between limited physical abilities, changing lifestyles and bodies, and the mental and emotional challenges that come with growing older, it’s no wonder aging can be so difficult for everyone affected by it.

Fortunately, it is possible to navigate the aging process gracefully and to help your loved ones do the same. Here’s what you need to know:

What Happens During the Aging Process?

The process of getting older is filled with seemingly baffling changes and shifts. Here are some of the most common, according to MedLine:

“As aging continues, waste products build up in tissue… Connective tissue changes, becoming stiffer. This makes the organs, blood vessels, and airways more rigid. Cell membranes change, so many tissues have more trouble getting oxygen and nutrients and removing carbon dioxide and other wastes. Many tissues lose mass. This process is called atrophy. Some tissues become lumpy (nodular) or more rigid. Because of cell and tissue changes, organs also change as you age. Aging organs slowly lose function. Most people do not notice this loss immediately, because you rarely need to use your organs to their fullest ability.”

Because of these physical changes, many people also lose independence during the aging process, moving out of their family homes and into long – or short-term care facilities.

How to Help Your Parents Through the Aging Process

Currently, there are about 10 million adult children in the U.S. who are caring for their aging parents. If you’re one of them, you’re probably looking for any tips you can find about how to help your parents navigate their golden years as enjoyable as possible. Here are a few things our staff recommends:

  • Enlist Community Support. It takes a village to help someone age gracefully. With this in mind, don’t be afraid to enlist the support of your friends or family. Have the neighbor check on your parents when you’re out of town, start a meal train, and encourage your parents to get involved with community events and activities to stay active and sharp.

  • Keep up With Doctor’s Visits. As your parents get older, be sure they’re keeping up on their doctor’s appointments. This is a great way to prevent needless issues from arising and detect small problems before they become big ones.

  • Look for Warning Signs. Helping your parents age is as much about looking for danger signs as it is promoting independence. If your parent starts wandering, getting lost, forgetting things like time, dates, or directions, or exhibiting behavior that is likely to be dangerous to themselves or someone else, it’s time to call in additional help. In these cases, physical therapy, a nursing home, and other such resources can help prevent or reverse declining health.

Aging Can be Graceful

Here at Senatobia Health Care, we are a short and long-term care facility.  Our goal is to help slow the aging process and promote health and wellbeing (for older adults and the children of aging parents, as well), well into the golden years. Call us today to learn how our Mississippi caregivers can help you or a loved one stay healthy and independent for as long as possible.

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What You Should Know About Physical Therapy

physical therapy benefits

Here’s what you need to know about the process of working with physical therapists, and how critical the process is to healthcare as a whole.

For many people, the idea of physical therapy is a foreign one. Often associated with accidents, strokes and aging, it is frequently seen as something designed for people with extreme injuries or illnesses.  But did you know that its benefits extend far beyond rehabilitation? Yes – physical therapy can help you heal from a traumatic health event, but it can also strengthen muscles, promote independence, and encourage better balance and improved health.

The Benefits of Physical Therapy

While physical therapy is an effective treatment for people recovering from accidents or strokes, its benefits stretch far beyond that. According to the National Institutes of Health, physical therapy can improve balance and strength and boost overall fitness and mobility. These are things that all aging people can benefit from, as each of those perks will promote independence and long-term comfort and health.

Want to learn more? Here are a few other benefits of PT:

  • Improved Balance. Did you know that adults lose 10% of their strength and balance for every decade that passes after the 30s? As it stands now, one in four Americans over the age of 65 will fall each year. Falling is currently one of the primary risks facing the aging population. Fortunately, physical therapy can help reduce this risk. By improving balance and strength, PT can make falls less likely and promote long-term health.
  • Better Social Interaction. Senior isolation can be a real risk for the mental and emotional health of the aging population. Fortunately, physical therapy provides structure and social interaction, both of which can promote happiness and wellbeing.
  • Independence. Even for seniors who have not suffered an accident or stroke, physical therapy promotes wellbeing and can help support independence. Because of this, many seniors who want to live on their own for as long as possible utilize physical therapy as a prophylactic measure.

How to Get the Most out of Physical Therapy

Are you or a loved one considering physical therapy? If so, there are a few simple “rules” that will help you get the most out of the process. The first is to maintain a positive attitude.

Physical therapy can be a tough process, and it will push your physical boundaries. No matter how hard it gets, though, it’s critical to maintain a healthy attitude and be positive about your course of treatment. This will improve your results and help you create the change you want to see.

Maintaining open communication is also essential. Your relationship with your physical therapist will become a close one. Ask the questions you have about your health and treatment. Express your concerns and roadblocks. Be grateful for your changes. As you move through your therapy process, this communication will help ensure you’re getting a comprehensive treatment plan that works for you.

Physical Therapy: A Critical Form of Healthcare

For seniors, stroke survivors, anyone who has suffered an accident, and people who simply want to promote independence, physical therapy is a great option. Designed to promote balance, graceful aging, and long-term strength and mobility, PT is good for the mind, body, and heart.

At Senatobia Healthcare and Rehab we honor and appreciate the hard work of our PT’s and PTA’s.  Every year during the month of October is National Physical Therapy Month (#ChoosePT).  This is an especially opportune time to celebrate and  “Thank a Physical Therapist”!

To learn more about physical therapy or to speak with one of our experienced physical therapists, contact our team today!

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Senatobia Healthcare’s New “Dreamcatcher Program”

At Senatobia Healthcare and Rehab we’re all about helping our Residents fulfill their dreams. Learn about our Dreamcatcher Program here!

As people age, the common misconception is that their hopes and dreams age with them. While someone may have once wanted to be an astronaut, the assumption is that they don’t have any desires like that now that they’re in their golden years.

Unfortunately, this assumption is entirely unfounded, and can actually be very damaging to the aging population and the people that love them!

When we treat older people like they don’t have any dreams or aspirations, we deny them an essential part of their humanity, and we do ourselves a disservice in the process. Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab is out to buck that stereotype and take aging care in a new direction.  We believe in honoring the willingness to dream and will take the steps to fulfill them, no matter the age.

What is the Dreamcatcher Program?

The Dreamcatcher is a program that identifies the unfulfilled dreams of our Center’s nursing home residents and works to make them come true. By working with organizations in the community and matching them with seniors pushing toward their goals, we create an environment that focuses on helping peoples’ dreams come true at any age.

Dreamcatcher Success Stories

Wondering what effect the Dreamcatcher program has had? Here are a few recent success stories:

Emma Dean

Local nursing home resident Emma Dean is a retired beautician and a resident at Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab. Recently, she participated in our Dreamcatcher program to spend a day living out her ultimate dream.

Ms. Dean’s biggest dream was to enjoy a day doing what she loved most –  being back in the beauty salon. Our Center’s Dreamcatcher Team heard this, put their heads down, and went to work.

Vanessa Morgan, our Staff Development Coordinator, worked with Veltis Walton of D’z Hair & Beyond Salon in Batesville and together they set out to fulfill Ms. Dean’s dream. Thanks to their efforts and those of the entire Dreamcatcher staff, Ms. Dean spent a full, blissful day socializing and interacting with the salon staff.   She also learned some new hairstyling techniques, like straightening hair using flat irons.

After her visit, Ms. Dean was beaming and happy with her salon experience. “I really enjoyed myself! This is just what I needed. It was like a dose of medicine!”

Kathleen Toliver

Currently a nursing home resident at Senatobia Healthcare and Rehab, Kathleen Toliver had a lifelong dream of recording her own music album. Thanks to our Dreamcatcher Program, she was finally able to fulfill that dream!

Miss Toliver worked with Hernando, Miss., music recording studio operator Danny Childress to record some of Toliver’s favorite tunes, including Orville Frizzell’s “Long Black Veil,” and Tom T. Hall’s “Washed My Face in the Morning Dew.”

A More Compassionate Approach to Senior Health

Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab is focused on rehabilitation, health, and happiness. We are very proud to announce our Dreamcatcher Program and to continue focusing on quality of life and dignity for all residents, their dreams, and their families. Want to learn more? Contact us today.

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The Most Common Rehabilitation Needs for Older Adults (and How to Prevent Them)

Older Adults Physical Therapy

While aging looks different for everyone, there are three common conditions that create a need for rehabilitation for older adults. Learn more about each (and how you can avoid them) here.

As we age, our bodies start to wear down. It’s an unfortunate truth, but it’s something we all go through eventually. In most cases, this gradual breakdown is normal and does not impair the activities of daily living as an older adult.

Many seniors remain mobile and independent well into their golden years. In other situations, though, conditions like balance problems and strokes, or the injuries caused by accidents like falls can create a dynamic that requires physical therapy or rehabilitation.

In these cases, extended care is typically necessary, and may be the only way a person can get back to health and continue to live independently.

While not all of these situations are preventable, there are certain preventative actions you and your loved ones can take to ensure health in the long-term.

The 3 Most Common Conditions That Require Nursing Care

From injuries to chronic conditions, these are the most common situations that may land seniors in long-term care or rehabilitation:

1. Strokes

Strokes are the third leading cause of death in the U.S. Each year, upwards of 140,000 people die from strokes. Beyond that, though, they are the leading cause of long-term disability in this country, with more than 795,000 people suffering strokes annually.

Depending on their severity, strokes can cause slurred speech, impaired movement, and paralysis. After suffering a stroke, most patients go through physical therapy or nursing care to regain strength and re-integrate into their normal lives.

2. Balance Problems

According to Move Forward, a division of the American Physical Therapy Association, balance problems affect 75% of older adults ages 70 plus. While these vary in severity, they can be crippling and can lead to ongoing problems with strength and stability.

When balance problems reach an unstable level, physical therapy is often required to help the senior fix muscle weakness and joint stiffness, and regain the strength needed to live independently or semi-independently.

3. Falls

Falls are very common among people ages 65 and older. In fact, NCOA (The National Council on Aging) reports that one in four Americans ages 65 and older fall annually, and that American emergency rooms treat a senior for a fall every 11 minutes. Falls can cause injury and have a heavy impact on quality of life.

Broken hips, chronic pain, and disability are all potential side effects of falls and can make it difficult for a senior to maintain independence without physical therapy or nursing care.

How to Avoid Needing Rehabilitation as Older Adults (or Speed the Healing Process)

While not all conditions are avoidable, these tips can help seniors stay healthy and speed up healing throughout the golden years:

  • Stay active. The more active a senior stays, the lower the risk of injury. Regular activity keeps the heart and bones healthy and can help ward off balance problems and muscle atrophy.
  • See a doctor regularly. It’s recommended older adults see a primary care provider on a regular basis. This can help prevent major health incidents and deliver preventative care.
  • Eat a healthy diet. A healthy diet is one of the best ways to prevent strokes, heart disease, diabetes, and other conditions that often necessitate rehabilitation.


Want to learn more about staying healthy as you age? Visit our blog to read the latest news.

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Benefits of Speech Therapy After a Stroke

Brain missing a piece representing benefits of speech therapy after a stroke

One of the most traumatic effects of a stroke is losing the ability to communicate, a condition known as aphasia. Up to 40 percent of all stroke victims have their ability to speak or understand speech affected to some degree. Thankfully, speech therapy can help patients regain some or all of this important function.

Communication Problems from a Stroke

A stroke, sometimes called a “brain attack,” occurs when a blockage or burst blood vessel prevents blood from flowing to parts of the brain. The resulting lack of oxygen can quickly cause large numbers of cells in the brain to die. Depending on the area affected, damage from a stroke can cause any number of physical and mental changes.

When a stroke causes damage in one of the areas of the brain dedicated to producing or understanding speech, victims may experience trouble communicating with others. The severity of this impairment varies widely from patient to patient. Some victims may only have minor difficulties, while others may suffer a complete loss of all verbal abilities.

Speech Therapy Benefits

According to the National Stroke Association, nearly two-thirds of the estimated seven million stroke survivors in the United States end up with some level of disability. Receiving rehabilitative treatment by physical, occupational and speech therapists can significantly improve these disabilities.

Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab speech therapists note that working with survivors in the first few weeks after suffering a stroke often helps them to make big improvements in their abilities. Research corroborates these observations, showing that patients who immediately work with a speech-language therapist have an increased opportunity to regain speech and other functions.

What to Expect in Speech Therapy Sessions

Speech therapy sessions typically start with an assessment to establish a baseline of how the stroke has affected the patient’s communication abilities. The assessment includes tests to measure difficulty speaking, understanding speech and reading. Using the results of this assessment, therapists recommend an individualized recovery plan for the stroke victim.

For example, some patients have difficulty understanding the meanings of words spoken to them, known as receptive aphasia. In these cases, the speech therapist may ask the patient to match words to pictures, sort words based on meaning, and judge whether certain words have the same meaning.

For patients that have difficulty speaking words, known as expressive aphasia, speech therapists may ask them to describe their surroundings or repeat simple sounds or phrases. This strengthens the patient’s ability to remember the meanings of different words and connect them to both the spoken and written forms.

Family Involvement in Speech Therapy

For some patients, involving a loved one in the recovery process can be an effective way to improve the results of therapy. Therefore, speech therapists often invite family members to participate in sessions and observe the exercises. Family members are also provided with written instructions for exercises they can practice with their loved one at home between sessions.

The best way to prevent damage from a stroke, however, is learning to recognize the signs of a stroke and immediately seek medical attention when you see them. In 2009, the National Stroke Association popularized the acronym F.A.S.T. to help improve recognition of these symptoms:

  • F = FACE — Ask the person to smile. Look closely for an uneven smile or pronounced drooping on one side.
  • A = ARMS — Ask the person to raise both arms in the air and hold them there for a few seconds. Look for one arm drifting towards the ground or weakness on one side.
  • S = — SPEECH Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence. Listen for slurred speech or unusual speech patterns.
  • T = TIME — If you observe any of these signs, don’t wait! It’s time to call 9-1-1 and get to the nearest stroke center or hospital.

For Compassionate Care After a Stroke Choose Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab

Our Baldridge Award-winning skilled nursing facility has been owned and operated by the same family since 1978. We provide both short- and long-term care and we strive to restore our residents to independent living as quickly as possible. Reach out to us to schedule a tour and see if our highly-trained medical care team is right for you and your loved ones.

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Make Moving to a Nursing Home Less Stressful

moving to a nursing home

According to the AARP, about 10,000 members of the Baby Boomer generation turn 65 every day. If you are an adult child of Boomer parents, you may notice them beginning to have difficulty with everyday activities and household chores. Decreasing agility and balance, trouble remembering appointments and forgetting to take important medications may all be signs that it is time to consider moving to a nursing home.

Reduce the Stress of Moving to a Nursing Home

It can be difficult, however, to deal with the emotional aspect of transitioning your mother or father to a skilled care facility. While you may see the logic in providing a safe and supportive environment, your parent may be resentful or afraid of leaving their home. Many Boomers are reluctant to give up the sense of freedom and self-determination that this generation values so highly.

Thankfully, there are several things you can do to help to ease their stress about the move. A good place to start is asking them to join you on a guided tour of a skilled nursing facility. This may help your parent feel more involved in the decision and make them more receptive to the change.

Most importantly, don’t simply dismiss their fears or apprehensions about moving to a nursing home. Reassure your mother or father that you are not going to forget about them after they move. Be sure to take the time to get answers to your parent’s questions and inquire about counseling and support groups at the facility.

What to Expect After Moving to a Nursing Home

The first few weeks after moving to a nursing home can be a confusing time for your loved one. While they get used to a new place, new people and new routines, don’t be surprised if your elderly mother or father makes a few negative comments. Often, the best way to handle this situation is to simply listen to their concerns with empathy and understanding.

You can also help to ease the fear of being in a new place by exploring the facility with your parent. Check the social schedule for an activity you can enjoy together, sit down to eat a meal or get a cup of coffee. Enjoying these everyday activities together can go a long way towards helping them feel more relaxed in the new environment.

Help Your Elderly Parent Feel More at Home

Making their new residence as comfortable and personal as possible can help your parent maintain a positive outlook. Start by ensuring they have some of their favorite things from home, such as a favorite blanket or treasured knickknacks. Stocking their room with snacks or drinks they enjoy is a good idea, too.

Bringing a gift of photos of the people they love or artwork from grandchildren is a sure way to brighten your parent’s day. Enliven their room during your visits by decorating for holidays, bringing fresh flowers or adding a container of potpourri.

Additionally, bringing new books or current magazines can help to keep your parent engaged and entertained. Ensuring they have a telephone in their room to make or receive calls can help them feel connected to friends and family, too.

Visit Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab

Our skilled and experienced healthcare staff works hard to provide compassionate care to all of our residents. Call us today to schedule a tour of our facility in Senatobia, Mississippi, and see how our award-winning team can give you and your family the peace of mind you deserve.

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Looking for a Nursing Home? Get Answers to These Four Questions

looking for a nursing home

When looking for a nursing home for your loved one, it’s hard to know which one is best for your exact situation. Having the right information can help make this challenging and emotional decision easier for everyone involved.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than half of the elderly population in the United States will spend at least one night in a long-term care facility. When looking at the available options, obtaining answers to these four questions can help ensure the facility is safe, compassionate and offers high-quality care.

When Looking for a Nursing Home Get Answers to These Four Questions

Looking for a nursing home for your elderly parents is a big decision. To make choosing the right one easier, try your best to get honest answers to the following four questions.

How Happy are the Members of the Staff?

Quantitative answers, like staffing ratios and turnover rates, are a good place to start to assess the satisfaction levels of the staff at a facility. For these details, you can check out a skilled nursing facility’s staffing rating at Medicare.org.

For more insight, try asking individual employees if they like their job, how they would rate their own stress levels and how they would rate the staff overall. The answers you get should give you a good idea of what it’s like at the facility and the quality of care it provides.

How Does Senatobia Stack Up? Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab is happy to say we can tackle the tenure question head on. Our employees truly enjoy working at our facility, and the numbers back this up: 67 percent of our staff has worked here over three years, 50 percent over five years, and 33 percent over 10 years. This longevity becomes critically important to our residents who count on receiving consistent treatment from their caregivers.

How Well Does the Facility Meet Patient Needs?

Ascertaining how well caregivers treat patients is important but may be difficult. Knowing your elderly parent will receive their medication, therapy and food in a timely manner is, of course, of the utmost importance when looking for a nursing home. In addition to these daily routines, the facility should be able to offer therapy for anything from a stroke to hip fracture — or partner with an organization that can.

One indicator to determine if there is a good level of care at a facility is current certification from Medicare and Medicaid. All skilled nursing facilities must meet minimum health and safety standards to participate in these federal programs. Look for lower-than-average reported deficiencies and no reports of mistreatment, actual harm or immediate jeopardy.

Once again, your own observations when touring the facility can give you some insight into this answer. Observe how the current staff handles the residents. Do you see the staff sit and talk with patients? Do they answer requests quickly and with a smile? When a call bell is activated, how long does it take before it’s answered?

How Does Senatobia Stack Up? Our 120-bed, post-acute care facility features a highly-trained and licensed staff who consistently go the extra mile for our residents. We are certified by Medicare and Medicaid and have a wide range of state-of-the-art physical and occupational therapy equipment and treatment options.

What is the Atmosphere of the Facility?

To support their resident’s mental and emotional health, a facility should have a comfortable and home-like atmosphere. During your tour, look for evidence of touches that make the facility feel like home. This may be as simple as allowing patients to decorate their rooms or keeping favorite items close at hand.

Whether your loved one needs a short-term stay to recover from an injury or will become a long-term resident, a happy and comfortable environment is crucial. Smiling faces, happy voices and the comforts of home can all add up to a more enjoyable stay and improve medical outcomes.

How Does Senatobia Stack Up? At Senatobia, we work hard to maintain a warm, home-like environment for our long-term residents. We strive to ensure that “our residents don’t live in a facility, we work in their home.”

How Full is the Activity Calendar?

Keeping busy with an assortment of activities is important to patient satisfaction at a skilled nursing facility. A quality nursing home will have a wide range of daily activities planned for residents of varying interests and abilities.

Staying active has a well-documented effect on health and recovery levels. Activities that engage residents with physical, mental, and psychosocial aspects tend to produce the best results. This is especially important for those suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s or dementia.

How Does Senatobia Stack Up? We maintain a full calendar of activities with music and art programs, rehabilitative physical activities and innovative technologies to engage our long-term patients.

Choose Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab

We realize the decision to place a parent or loved one in a skilled nursing facility is extremely important. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and your family and invite you to visit us here at Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab when you are looking for a nursing home. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you have and show you how we create a caring and comfortable home for our residents. Give us a call today!

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Dreamcatcher Program Fulfills Dream of Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab Resident

dreamcatcher program

When Beatrice Milam was ready to return home after a stay at Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab, she faced a new challenge: the front steps of her home. The Dreamcatcher Program at Senatobia rose to the occasion and organized a community-wide effort to help Milam overcome this obstacle.

At Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab, we work hard to help our residents regain as much independence as possible. We show them ways to adapt to new challenges and overcome physical limitations. While our team of rehabilitation specialists helped Milam regain her mobility by using a wheelchair, those steps seemed like an insurmountable challenge.

Adding a wheelchair ramp to her home was the obvious solution, but Milam did not have the resources to make it happen.

“I didn’t know how I was going to get one,” said Milam. “I thought there was no way I would be able to go home.”

The Senatobia Dreamcatcher Program Steps Up

Milam’s situation is exactly the sort of challenge for which the Dreamcatcher Program was designed. Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab started the program to identify the unfulfilled dreams of its short-term and long-term residents. The program matches these residents with individuals and organizations in the local community to help make their dreams come true.

Senatobia’s Laurie Billingsley, a Dreamcatcher team member and licensed social worker, got right to work raising funds and gathering supplies. Two local churches — Olive Branch Fellowship Church in Olive Branch and First United Methodist Church in Senatobia — were major contributors to the effort. Local supplier Puryear Lumber also helped with a big discount on the necessary building materials.

Bringing it All Together

With the building supplies for the ramp taken care of, Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab owner Marty Parrish acquired a new door to help improve Milam’s access to her home. All that remained was the time and effort needed to remove the old steps and build the wheelchair ramp.

A local man, who wished to be known simply as “A Guy with a Hammer,” volunteered his carpentry skills to help Milam.

“If Ms. Beatrice says the only way she can go home is if she has a wheelchair ramp built on her house, then we’re going to build her a wheelchair ramp,” said the Good Samaritan.

A Joyful Return Home

Once the wheelchair ramp was completed, a relieved and excited Milam was finally able to go home.

“I am so grateful for Senatobia’s Dreamcatcher team,” Milam said with a smile.

At Senatobia, these are the moments we live for: when the work of many hands comes together to help our friends and neighbors live the life they deserve.

Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab: A Commitment to Caring

Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab is a 106-bed, fully-certified Medicare and Medicaid center offering award-winning post-acute, short-term rehabilitation services and long-term care. Contact us to schedule a tour of our skilled nursing facility in Senatobia, Miss., serving Tate County and the surrounding areas.

For more information about Senatobia’s Dreamcatcher Program, please contact our Executive Director, Mark Tuggle, at 662-562-5664 or mark.tuggle@sccrsnf.com.

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Nursing Home Visits to See Your Loved One

nursing home visits

As the Baby Boomer generation ages, many of them will spend at least some time in a long-term care facility. If you are an adult child of a nursing home resident, you may struggle to find the right time and how often your nursing home visits should be.

Adult children of elderly parents are often placed in the difficult situation of providing support for both the younger and older generations in their family. Deciding on a realistic visitation schedule to the nursing home and planning activities to enjoy together can help ease the stress for both you and your parent.

Nursing Home Visits to See Your Elderly Parent

As our parents age, it’s natural for their health to begin to deteriorate. You may notice their muscle strength or sense of balance decreasing, as well as memory issues, confusion or other signs of cognitive decline.

These deficits, especially when combined, can lead to an increased risk of injury to elderly parents who live alone. For many adult children, ensuring the safety of their parent requires the 24-hour supervision provided by a nursing home or skilled nursing facility.

If you find yourself in this situation, you may struggle with deciding how often to visit your elderly parent, as well as what to do during these visits. While there is no one right answer for everybody, the following tips can help you choose an appropriate schedule and make the most of your visitation time.

How Often Should You Visit?

Deciding how often to visit a parent in a long-term care facility is often complicated by a myriad of factors. While you may think going as often as possible is best, consider making fewer visits that are of higher quality.

For example, going every day for a few short minutes may not provide as much emotional support as devoting one or two hours a few days each week. Be sure to work out a schedule with the skilled nursing facility staff to avoid disrupting appointments with doctors, social activities or rehabilitation sessions.

Suggestions from SenatobiaAdult children often feel like they have to take on the entire responsibility of making nursing home visits. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, try enlisting the help of family members and friends of your elderly parents. Sharing the responsibility helps to ease your burden, and visits from a variety of friendly faces is a great way to keep your parent’s spirits up.

What Time Should You Visit?

While checking with the staff is always recommended, in general mid-mornings or mid-afternoons typically have fewer scheduled activities for nursing home residents. That does not mean, however, that you need to go at the same time every visit. Senior care experts recommend visiting on different days and at different times.

Varying your visits allows you to become a more effective patient advocate for your elderly parent, too. Skilled nursing staff, rehabilitation specialists and physicians may see your parent at different times throughout the week. Talking with several of them will give you a better sense of the quality and appropriateness of the care your parent receives.

How Long Should You Visit? 

Like the other choices we’ve discussed, deciding how long you should spend visiting your elderly parent will depend on your exact situation. Again, simply staying as long as possible is not as important as spending quality time together.

If you live close to the nursing home and can visit regularly, spending an hour together every few days may be right for you. If your nursing home visits require traveling a long distance, spending two or three hours together once a week may be a better option.

What Should You Do During a Visit?

Before you arrive, take a moment to consider the activities your parent may enjoy. For example, check with the nursing home staff to make arrangements to eat lunch or dinner together. Joining your elderly parent during one of the skilled nursing facility’s social activities is another great way to spend quality time.

Bringing a gift like a photo album may spur your parent to reminisce and engage in a heart-felt discussion. If your parent is able to walk or get into a wheel chair, consider having them give you a tour of the facility or grounds. For parents with mobility issues, try playing cards or board games, reading to them or watching a favorite movie or TV show together.

No matter how you spend your time during a nursing home visit, remember that your visit makes a big difference to their emotional and physical health.

Why Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab?

At Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab, we treat your loved ones the way you would want to be treated. Our knowledgeable and experienced healthcare team members have a commitment to providing compassionate care. Owned and operated by the same family since 1978, our award-winning skilled nursing facility provides both short- and long-term healthcare and rehabilitation services. We do this in a homelike environment and family-type atmosphere. Consider us when your mother or father need special care in the Senatobia, Mississippi, area.

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