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Healthy Cells is a local health magazine with most of the articles written by local professionals. People love to read about healthcare from their local health professionals. Each month includes a wide variety of articles on various topics.
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Your Loved One Had a Stroke... What’s Next?

Aunt Henrietta had a stroke, and it was devastating to our family. Initially, she was in a nursing home.
    As Henrietta’s strength and mobility increased to an acceptable level, my cousin took her mother home. The burden of assisting with activities of daily life was draining her strength and spirit. As a caregiver, you may think your first responsibility is to your loved one, but you’ve got to take care of your own health and well-being to do the best you can for your loved one.

    Henrietta thought an assisted living facility was one step away from a nursing home. It was evident that we needed to continue our search. Then we found an insurance policy that covered assisted living and long term care. This allowed us to expand our search and not settle with the original facility the family could afford.
    When we had evaluated all the things that differentiated one facility from another, we found only three components that mattered. First, we had to ensure the best quality of care for my aunt. We talked not only to the administrator, but also to staff members in the hall. We soon found some facilities had unhappy staff members. Only two were satisfied with the ownership and management. Only one had an entire staff that spoke highly about their executive director.
    We learned that a compassionate, caring administrator that truly cared for residents like a member of their family was very important to us.
    The second most important thing on our list was a fun and engaging atmosphere. Henrietta is a bit shy, but we saw her open up during our visit when the group was singing hymns. She wanted to stay and make Valentines with her new acquaintances. We all knew this was going t o be a wonderful home for Henrietta.
    The third most important feature of the assisted livings we toured was the food. The food looked appetizing, tasted good, and was nutritionally balanced. Sitting down eating pie, talking, and laughing with Henrietta was the final check on our list. Everything else didn’t matter to us because we knew she was going to be a welcomed member in their happy family.
    Since then, we have become involved in a program to create meaningful roles for families of assisted living residents. This helps to improve residents’ quality of life and reduce staff burden. More importantly, this improved the quality of life for residents. Our physician believes family involvement is a strong predictor of life satisfaction and less depression among many assisted living residents.
    I once read that researchers found that environmental supports help family members focus on an activity by freeing them from helping the resident with activities of daily living and preparing the resident to participate in those activities.
    If you are a senior or a caregiver in need of assisted living or memory care services, we recommend looking at several communities and narrowing your personal checklist down. 
    You can learn a lot about a facility by viewing their website; look at the photos and read descriptions of services. Include things on your checklist that will make life more enjoyable for your loved one. Companionship, good food, and fun activities are a must. A compassionate, caring staff that is knowledgeable about your loved one’s specific condition and needs is important.
    Safety should always be a factor in your decision. Check out other items like grab bars in the bathrooms and handrails in the halls. Verify the quality of their fire suppression system. Check out the state surveys to see where the facility might have safety violations or care service issues.
    The biggest factor we found in making our decision was finding a facility where the residents are happy and engaged in an active lifestyle. Find a quality assisted living community that has highly trained caregivers on-site 24-hours each day to give residents the best possible lifestyle, care, and environment.

    The Villas of Holly Brook provides living options including Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Respite Care when apartments are available. The Villas of Holly Brook is committed to enriching the lives of seniors they serve every day by working under the faith-based philosophy established by owner Reggie Phillips and his family. They also offer Alzheimer’s and Dementia Specialty Care in Reflections Memory Care when your loved one has those needs. Call 1-855-20-VILLA (84552) for more information or visit


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