Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab News Blog

Caregiver Self-Care: 4 Ways Caregivers Can Support Themselves

caregiver selfcare support

If you’ve ever acted as a caregiver for a person with dementia or Alzheimer’s, you know how important it is for caregivers to protect their health as they care for their patients. In fact, it’s critical.

Today, caregivers are much more likely than non-caregivers to succumb to a wide assortment of health issues, including anxiety, depression, and burnout.

Today, 15.7 million family members are caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s or dementia. What’s more, 43.5 million caregivers have provided unpaid care in the last 12 months. These caregivers spend an average of 13 days each month on caregiving tasks. 46% of them perform medical and nursing tasks, and 96% provide help with ADLs. These caregivers provide critical care. Unfortunately, they also have incredibly high rates of burnout and stress-related illnesses.

If caregivers are going to avoid these conditions, and provide the comprehensive care their patients deserve, self-care is essential.

How Caregiver Health Impacts Patient Care

Caring for adults with neurodegenerative diseases can be exhausting.

Coping with things like wandering and behavioral issues can leave you stressed and sleep-deprived. In time, this can lead to serious mental and emotional health issues, including anxiety and depression.

As it stands today, caregivers (both family and nursing home-based caregivers) are 4x more likely than their counterparts to experience depression, and three times more likely to seek treatment for anxiety. While these conditions have devastating impacts on the caregiver, they can also impact the quality of patient care, and create a dangerous environment for both caregivers and patients.

4 Ways Caregivers can Practice Self-Care

We’ve all heard the saying that we need to put our oxygen masks on, first, before we can help other people. Nowhere is this more true than caregiving. When you get the support you need, patients, caregivers, and families thrive.

With that in mind, here are four ways to care for yourself, in the midst of your demanding job:

  1. Be Realistic About Limitations. You’re not an island, and nobody can do everything on their own. As such, it’s critical for caregivers to understand their limitations and learn to ask for help. Accepting limitations is a great way to avoid burnout and the issues that come with it.
  2. Prioritize. Prioritizing is an excellent way to avoid missing out on the things that are most important to you. If you know that spending time with friends refreshes and recharges you, make sure you’re prioritizing this and creating time for it in your life.
  3. Know Your Resources. There are dozens of resources out there for caregivers, and knowing what they are can help you avoid burnout. Local resources like support groups and interim care can help you ensure excellent patient care, while also giving yourself the support you need.
  4. Take Care of Your Body. If you’re not getting enough sleep, food, or water, it will be virtually impossible to be a great caregiver. With this in mind, make sure you’re getting to the gym, eating healthy, well-rounded meals, and making time for sleep. If your body doesn’t work, nothing else will, either.

Caring for the Caregiver

Caregivers have a challenging job, and self-care is a critical part of performing it well.

If you’re a caregiver and are looking for ways to provide better care, contact Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab. Our nurses and caregivers receive ongoing training and attention, so they’re excellent resources for learning, support, and, in the event your loved one needs it, assisted living. Caregiving is one of the world’s most challenging and rewarding jobs, and it’s at the center of what we do.

Contact us today to learn more.

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5 Tips For Your Best Life in a Senior Facility

best life at a senior facility

Happiness: we all want it. Most of us spend our lives looking for it. We know where it exists – in our families, in the things we love, in our favorite pursuits. But what about a senior facility? Is it possible to find happiness there? What happens when someone leaves the family home and moves into a nursing care facility?

While many people see nursing care, retirement, and old age as the end of an era, it can be the start of a new chapter. The only thing that separates the two realities is your perception.

Finding Happiness in Nursing Care: 5 Actionable Tips

Adjusting to life in a retirement community can be difficult. If you’re committed to happiness, though, these five tips can help you enjoy this new chapter of your life. After all, why not make the rest of your life the best of your life?

1. Commit to a Happy Life

The first step is to commit to your new lifestyle. If you’ve moved into nursing care, you’ll only make the transition harder by looking back behind you. Instead, start every day with a commitment to making the best of your new home.

As you’ll soon find, there are dozens of perks that come with living in a retirement community. You can kiss lawn work goodbye, for example!

2. Find the Activities That Interest You

One of the biggest perks of nursing care is that these facilities offer a huge assortment of resources, classes, learning opportunities, and more. If you’ve always wanted to try painting, you can probably find a group that does it.

The same goes for dance, yoga, book clubs, and more. When you focus on activities that keep the mind and body active, you have more fun and enjoy your new space that much more.

3. Schedule Regular Family Visits

Family is one of the best places to find ongoing happiness. With this in mind, schedule regular social outings, family visits, and meetings with friends outside the nursing community. In addition to that, get proactive about making friends within the community. The more you can build your social circle, the happier you’ll be.

Plus, research shows that social interaction reduces the rates of cognitive decline, depression, anxiety, and more.

4. Eat Well

Most nursing care facilities take care of cooking for you. This gives you a great opportunity to eat healthy without worrying about cooking and dishes.

When you eat outside the facility, focus on feeding yourself well. You are what you eat, and a diet full of healthy, nutritious food will boost your health and wellbeing throughout.

5. Give Yourself Something to Look Forward To

Old age doesn’t mean you stop doing the things you love. Instead, use your newfound free time to dedicate yourself to volunteer work, a mission, helping others, taking care of something or someone, or doing something that gives you a purpose in life.

While adjusting to your new space can be challenging, turning your love and attention outwards is a wonderful way to channel your selflessness and happiness each and every day.

Quality Nursing Care in Mississippi

We understand that the transition to nursing care is not an easy one, for aging people and their families. Here at Senatobia Healthcare, our team provides compassionate, human-to-human long-term care for you or your loved ones.

We’ll go out of our way to help you find things you love to do, keep your sense of wonder alive, and enjoy your transition as much as possible. Contact us today to learn more.

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What is the Difference Between a CNA, an RN, and an LPN?

differences between CNA, LPN, and RN

In healthcare, acronyms are everywhere. PA. MSW. CNA. RN, LPN. While these acronyms are meant to designate different levels of care, deciphering them can feel impossible.

The last three, especially, are essential for anyone curious about caring for the aging and related requirements. So, here’s what you need to know about the difference between a CNA, LPN, and RN.

Registered Nurse vs. Licensed Practical Nurse

While the names sound similar, there are many differences between RNs and LPNs.

While LPNs typically provide primary nursing care to ensure patient comfort, RNs receive a higher level of nursing education and training. Because of this, RN nurses are qualified to administer medication, advanced treatments, and educational materials to patients and families.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the job duties for each type of nurse:

LPNs

  • Providing basic medical care, such as checking and recording vital signs
  • Inserting catheters
  • Ensuring patient comfort and helping with activities of daily living (ADLs)
  • Discussing health care and treatment plans with patients and families
  • Reporting vital patient information to nurses and doctors

RNs

  • Administering medication and treatment to patients
  • Working with doctors and PAs to coordinate patient care plans
  • Performing diagnostic tests and interpret results
  • Overseeing other nursing staff, such as LPNs, nursing aides, and home health aides
  • Helping patients, families, and caregivers establish plans for ongoing care

What is a CNA?

A CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant, typically will attend less school than either an RN or LPN. Regardless, they are a critical part of the healthcare environment, and many focus on more aging education requirements than either LPNs or RNs.

Serving as the frontline contact between medical staff and patients, CNAs often work in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. These nurses help patients bathe, dress, eat, use the bathroom, and maintain their dignity in a wide assortment of ways. Because of this they are highly sought after in the Nursing Home Industry.

CNAs may also dispense medication, and are often the principal caregivers in residential care facilities. And, with their specialized training, many work in home health care, as well.

High-Quality Healthcare With Senatobia

RNs, LPNs, and CNAs all serve critical purposes in the healthcare environment. Here at Senatobia Healthcare and Rehabilitation, we understand that. Our entire organizational mission is dedicated to “Compassionate Care.”

The Senatobia Healthcare staff and nurses focus on education, experience, and helping patients improve their quality of life. Our fully-staffed Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation Staff work alongside our nursing staff to help people get and stay as healthy, and independent as possible. Both mentally and physically.

If you or a loved one experiences care at Senatobia, you’ll see this commitment to compassionate care firsthand. If you’re a caretaker looking for a new opportunity, we invite you to consider our Center. We’re always looking for good caregivers with a deep commitment to patient care. Our culture of “Compassionate Care” creates a rewarding work environment for caregivers and staff, as well as everyone we treat. Contact us today to learn more about our job opportunities.

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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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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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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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Five Gifts for Elderly Parents Staying in a Skilled Care Facility

gifts for elderly

While flowers and plants are thoughtful gifts for elderly parents staying in a skilled nursing facility, eventually your mom’s or dad’s room may begin to look like a greenhouse. If you’d like to give a more meaningful or practical gifts for elderly parents, try one of the following suggestions.

Gifts for Elderly Parents in a Skilled Nursing Facility

We know how hard it can be to see your parents lose functionality due to an age-related injury, illness or chronic medical condition. In many cases, recovering from these conditions requires spending time in a skilled nursing facility.

While our entire staff at Senatobia is dedicated to providing outstanding medical care to our residents, knowing that friends and family are thinking of them can help make the patient’s recovery process easier. To show your loved ones they are in your thoughts, consider giving them one of these gifts during their stay.

Family Photos

Picking up a few picture frames to fill with photos of their spouse, children, grandchildren and other loved ones is always a thoughtful gift. For sharing larger numbers of photos, try creating a scrapbook of your favorite shots. There are also several websites that allow you to upload photographs and create custom-printed photo books. Electronic photo frames that allow you to add favorite family photos digitally are another great option. The frame will cycle through the photos automatically, showing off the familiar faces of loved ones throughout the day.

Wireless Headphones

Wireless headphones allow our residents to listen to music, audio books or the TV at a comfortable volume — even during quiet hours. Whether your parent suffers from hearing loss or shares a room, they can turn up the sound and enjoy their favorite shows without disturbing those around them.

Bathrobes, Slippers or Blanket

As we age our circulation becomes less efficient, which can leave your elderly mom or dad feeling cold. Bringing them a favorite bathrobe, comfortable slippers with non-skid soles or a nice soft blanket can help keep them warm and cozy. Be sure to label these items with your parent’s name to keep them from getting lost!

Personal Toiletry Items

When staying at a rehabilitation center, having the simple comforts of home can make a real difference for an elderly parent. A gift basket filled with trial sized items of their favorite brands of tissues, lip balm, lotion, toothpaste or mouthwash is a great way to help them feel at home.

Your Time

Of course, the best gift you can give your mom or dad is a nice, long visit. Spending time with their children, no matter what their age, is especially important to parents while they are away from their own home.

Taking the time to talk, eat a meal or play a game together helps to alleviate the loneliness of staying somewhere besides your own home. In general, the more frequently you can stop in, the better.

More Ideas for Gifts for Elderly Parents

Check out a few of these shopping websites to order gift such as puzzles, word games, light weights, stretch bands, books, music and more:

  • Silverts has provided comfortable clothing and shoes for more than 80 years.
  • Products at the Senior Store run the gamut from games to large print books.
  • Parent Giving offers a wide selection of safety and assistive devices as well as home care, health care and nutrition products.
  • Buck & Buck has clothing for seniors, plus products designed to help with problems related to Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, incontinence, arthritis, and paralysis. Be sure to ask about their free labeling service for clothing!

Senatobia Healthcare & Rehab Offers Compassionate Care to Your Loved Ones!

Our award-winning skilled nursing facility offers both excellent short-term and long-term healthcare in the Senatobia, Mississippi area. Our facility has been owned and operated by the same family since 1978. When your loved one needs physical, speech or occupational therapy, call our compassionate and professional team for help.

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