Silver Linings: Safe and Soundin a Memory Care Community


CountryHouse at 70th & O

Posted on

Oct 05, 2021


Nebraska - Eastern Region

Lisa Graham is Agemarks Director of Human Resources. A member of the Agemark family since 2013, Lisa focuses on hiring and developing an engaged workforce a key to providing top-notch care for seniors. She is in a unique position as both an employee of a senior living company and an adult child of a father who lives with Alzheimers Disease and resides at CountryHouse, an Agemark memory care community.
I remember getting a call from my mom. She was crying and did not know where Dad was. He had left the house in the middle of the night. We found him, but it was terrifying. Even more so because my dad had been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease. My mom worked hard as his caregiver but was having a difficult time keeping dad safe. So, in August of 2016, we made the difficult decision to move him to memory care at CountryHouse in Omaha.

Luckily, he settled in very quickly at his new home. I am so grateful to have an amazing community and wonderful, loving care for my dad as we walk the path of this horrible disease. Here are some of the reasons Im grateful for memory care.
Caregiving is tough
My mom was his caretaker, but she hadn't been sharing how difficult it was with us. She had been battling terminal cancer and could barely take care of herself, but she insisted on caring for dad as well. The worry and stress took an extra toll on her health. My brother and I had no idea it was affecting her so much because she hid it from us. I know many caregivers suffer from guilt and stress when taking care of someone with Alzheimers and my family was no exception. Moving his daily care off our plate helped our family focus on our own health. My brother and I were relieved and so was my mom.
He's happy and busy
With two kids and a full-time job, I knew there was no way I could keep Dad happy and occupied, and truly give him the care he deserved. The team at CountryHouse is so good at keeping him busy with fun, meaningful activities but only if he chooses to. Sometimes he can be a bit stubborn! His caregivers are so patient, kind and encouraging.
He's safe
Dads community is secure, with locked doors to ensure safety. But with long hallways, multiple common areas and a large outdoor space, theres plenty of room for him to walk and wander. Gone are the days of us worrying about him leaving home and getting lost.
He has people to monitor his health each day
About a year ago, dad contracted a UTI and pneumonia two things that seniors are particularly susceptible to. The staff identified these problems right away and got him to the hospital for treatment. He ended up needing rehab to recover. His experience in rehab was not positive. He would no longer talk and he wouldnt eat. The rehab suggested we move him to skilled nursing. Instead, my brother and I chose to move him back to his home CountryHouse. He was designated as being on hospice, which can mean someone is near the end of life. However, in just 4 weeks he was walking on his own again! I am so grateful for the expert care he has in place and how quickly they helped him recover.
Im even more relieved my dad is in a safe environment during the coronavirus crisis. Now more than ever, we know that he is ok and has great care. Because visitor limitations are in effect and we cannot see him in person, its a relief to know he is loved by all who work there and that he feels right at home. Seeing photos and videos sent by staff members ensures us that hes happy and healthy, and relieves some of the guilt we feel by not being able to be there by his side.

My dad no longer likes to even leave CountryHouse its very much his home and his comfortable place. Although it was a very difficult decision to move him at the time, looking back, we are 100% positive it was the right one for our family.

Other Articles You May Like

Top 7 Tips for Touring Florida Assisted Living Communities

Top 7 Tips for Touring Florida Assisted Living CommunitiesNovember 30, 2022Florida is Great For SeniorsFlorida is one of the best states for active seniors. Florida seniors comprise more than 21% of the states population, or about 4.6 million seniors.   And Florida seniors have the added advantage of living in a state their kids and grandkids love to visit. With some of the best beaches, world-class theme parks, and more than 240 sunny days per year, relatives love to visit the Sunshine State. Florida gets more than 120 million tourists annually. Many visit their parents and grandparents and sneak in a visit to the beaches, Disney World, Universal Studios, and many more.Florida Seniors are Active and Living LongerEveryone wants a long life, but no one wants to get old. There are many factors that contribute to a long life - including healthy food, rest, exercise, genetics, and happiness - but staying active is one of the most important. For example, the oldest poll worker in Florida is Vera Craig, who is 101 years old and has been working for Lee County for the past 20 years. Eventually, Everyone Needs a Little AssistanceNo matter how healthy we eat or how much we work or exercise, eventually, everyone needs a little help as they age. Some Floridians choose to age in place at home for as long as possible. Sometimes progressive diseases, like Alzheimers, dementia, or other conditions, result in the need for a nursing home or memory care facility.But more and more senior Floridians are choosing to live in assisted living communities, with plenty of amenities and trained staff, to get just the right amount of care and assistance they need.First, Decide Your Needs, Budget, and LocationIf assisted living seems right for you or your senior loved one, you first need to narrow your search. You and your family should decide on your medical needs, an affordable monthly budget, and your desired geographic location. Then, you can tour the communities to decide your best option.Florida Senior Consulting works with assisted living communities throughout Florida and will help you with this process without charge.NeedsDecide what assistance you or your senior loved one require now and in the future. Your needs will be specific to you, and each Florida assisted living community offers different services. According to the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, the typical assisted living community offers the following:24-hour assistance and supervisionHealth, exercise, and wellness programsHousekeeping and maintenanceDining services and mealsMedication managementHelp with Activities of Daily Living and personal care servicesTransportationSome assisted living communities even specialize in serving individuals with specific needs, like Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia, intellectual and developmental disabilities, and specific medical conditions, like Parkinsons disease.BudgetFlorida is fortunate to have more than 2,400 assisted living communities statewide. These communities come in varying sizes, with differing amenities and fees. According to Genworth Financial, the average assisted living community fee is about $4,500 per month. There are also more upscale units that can cost between $10,000 to $15,000 per month. LocationLocation is critical. Do you want to be near your current neighborhood? Do you have family in Florida? Will your out-of-state family be coming to visit? Once you have narrowed your search with the basics of medical needs, budget, and location, you can begin touring communities to see if they are the best fit for you or your senior loved one.7 Tips for Assisted Living TouringWhether you are touring assisted living communities in Sarasota, Ft. Myers, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Miami, or elsewhere in Florida, visiting these potential communities in person is an important step. Below are the seven top tips for touring.1. Bring Your Own ExpertTouring assisted living communities can be fun and exciting. After all, you are choosing a new home and neighborhood. But with so many choices and critical information, the process can seem complicated and overwhelming. How do you know you are asking the right questions?Assisted living communities welcome you to tour their properties. But bringing an unbiased senior care specialist and advocate will ensure you make the best choices for your situation. For example, Florida Senior Consultings team knows senior care, the communities, the amenities, the level of care available, how to coordinate care management, and so much more. Unlike the tour directors of individual communities, Florida Senior Consulting is not limited to one place, but instead is dedicated to finding the community that best fits your situation. And this service is at no charge to you. We work with these communities daily and can show you the pros and cons of each facility, so you can make your best decision.2. Compare Costs Equally (Apples to Apples)Every community has its own services, amenities, prices, and options. Making a financial apples-to-apples comparison can seem a bit complex. However, it is essential to know your actual living costs and precisely what is and is not provided for you in each community.  Financially, you want to know if there are any annual increases, unlisted fees, community fees, and more. Also, how do the recreational amenities compare? How are the food plans different? What medical services are available? As you get answers to all these questions, you can compare the communities equally.3. Notice How the Community FeelsHome should be warm and welcoming. When you are touring, notice how the atmosphere feels in the buildings, grounds, and residences.Are the grounds green and attractive? Are there outdoor places to relax and meet with friends and family? Are there flowers, trees, and gardens?Are the halls wide and brightly lit when you walk through the buildings? Are the carpets well-kept and modern? Is the paint fresh and new? Are the community areas inviting? Is the dining area spotless and welcoming?Does the indoor air smell fresh and clean? Are the residences spacious or cramped? What are the views from the rooms and apartments? Are the window sills, baseboards, and corners clean? Do the amenities fit your lifestyle? Are there walking paths, exercise rooms, community rooms, and more? Are there places to socialize? Will you feel comfortable inviting your friends and family to your new home? Florida has gorgeous and well-maintained assisted living communities. Choose one that feels right for you or your senior loved one.4. Determine if the Staff is Friendly and QualifiedNo matter how gorgeous the building and residences are, a well-qualified staff is the backbone of an assisted living community.Are the staff members professional, helpful, and friendly? When touring, observe the interactions between the staff and residents.Are staff members qualified? What certifications and licenses do they have? How many registered nurses are on site? What are the ratios of staff to residents? What are the qualifications of the staff included in these ratios? Does the staffing ratio change at night?Staffing and level of care are significant factors in comparing community pricing.5. Observe the Other Residents (Your New Neighbors)Assisted living communities are just that: communities. As you tour the community, take time to notice the residents as they go about their day.Are they active, engaged, and happy? Are there enjoyable daily activities for them? Talk to some of them and ask questions about life in the community, like food service, card games, family visits, pets, alcohol, cooking, and more.The gorgeous building is your residence. The qualified staff takes care of you. But the residents are the community. You want to pick the most comfortable community for you and your lifestyle.6. Consider the Activities and Food Activities.  An active assisted living community is often a happy one. Review the community's events calendar. Try and schedule your tour when activities are happening.See how closely the activities appeal to you or your family member's interests. When visiting, be sure to observe or even participate in an activity. Look for the range of resident participation levels and how much fun the staff seems to be having. Ask about the opportunities for trips off-site, shopping outings, and the location and frequency of nearby religious services.Food.  Assisted living communities now pride themselves on their food and meal offerings. Find out what meal options are available. Visit the dining areas. Besides being nutritional and healthy, food should be fun and great tasting. When touring, make sure and try the cuisine.7. Ask about Safety and SecuritySafety and security bring peace of mind to you and your family.Ask about the community's safety protocols if residents need assistance in their living quarters or anywhere on-site at any time.Ensure the grounds and residences are always secure, with security cameras, sign-in policies, and security personnel on-site.Ask if there is adequate lighting throughout the community. Do the residents have call lights or pendants? What are the after-hour safeguards in place?The best assisted living communities have state-of-the-art security and are proud to share it with you on your tour.Your Next Best StepChoosing one of Floridas great assisted living communities may be your best choice for health, well-being, and living the best life possible. And it does not have to be confusing or complex.Florida Senior Consulting knows senior care and the available assisted living communities that have the best services and amenities for your particular needs. We regularly visit communities along with their management and staff. We know the pros and cons to help you make your best decision.Florida Senior Consulting has certified staff, licensed nurse advocates, and decades of experience in the field. We are a Florida-based company with expert knowledge of the Florida senior market. While senior options can seem confusing, this is all we do.Whether you are considering an assisted living community or aging in place at home, let us help.Senior living should be on your terms, and the choice should always be yours.Call us, and we will answer all your questions and help you decide what is best for you or your senior loved one.For peace of mind, call us at (941) 661-6196 or visit us at

Assisted Living & Memory Care Weighing Options

What family caregivers need to know about services, costs and finding the right place.Assisted living facilities are designed for older people who are no longer able to manage living independently and need help with daily activities such as bathing or dressing, but dont require the round-the-clock health care that a nursing home would provide.Typically, residents need a little bit of help, says Rachel Reeves, director of communications for the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL), an industry group. Assisted living is there to offer that assistance, while maximizing their independence.Assisted living facilities usually provide residents with their own apartments or rooms, as well as some common areas. They offer around-the-clock supervision and a range of services, including meals, housekeeping and laundry, as well as assistance with personal care and help with medications.Assisted living also aims to offer a rich social environment where residents can get plenty of interaction thats beneficial to their health care and mental well-being, Reeves says. That can include social and recreational activities, such as book clubs, trips to movies and concerts, and exercise and wellness programs.Facilities typically offer multiple levels of care depending on what residents need and what they and their families can afford.Assisted living facilities, which are mostly regulated at the state level, have a lot of variation among them.To ensure that you find one thats a good fit for your loved one, its important to follow a structured, methodical search process and ask a lot of questions. Have your senior living advisor carefully evaluate the facilitys contract before you sign it.And include your loved one, if you can, in the decision-making, Its imperative that the person who will be moving there be involved in choices about care.Range of assisted living servicesNationwide, 28,900 assisted living facilities nationwide have nearly 1 million beds, according to the most recent data available from the National Center for Assisted Living.They vary widely in size, from fewer than 10 residents to more than 100, with an average capacity of 33. More than half of assisted living facilities are part of national chains with the rest independently owned.Most facilities provide some basic health care services, according to the organization.Access to a pharmacy: 83.6 percentDietary and nutritional guidance: 82.8 percentPhysical, occupational and/or speech therapy: 71.4 percentHospice care: 67.7 percentSkilled nursing care: 66.1 percentMental health services or counseling: 55 percentSocial worker services: 51.1 percentSome offer specialized services for people with dementia, sometimes called Memory Care. A little more than 14 percent of assisted living facilities have a special memory care unit, wing or floor, and another 8.7 percent accept only dementia patients.Some also offer services tailored for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities or particular medical conditions such as Parkinson's Disease.How to find facilities in your areaThe best way to find the right community is to connect with a FREE local referral service like: The Right Senior Living Solution who will know all the communities in the area and have professional relationships with them to ensure you get the best community that suit you needs.. These resources can help you get started: A  Local Senior Living Advisor  Will Know:1. What are the size and types of units available?2. Do any units have kitchens or kitchenettes?3. Are all the rooms private?4. Are bathrooms private?5. Is special care available for residents with Alzheimers disease or other conditions?6. Does each resident have a written care plan, and is the person involved in creating it?7. Is a contract available that details fees, services and admission and discharge policies?8. Are additional services available if a residents needs change?Remember that the person you speak with will most likely be a marketing or sales representative whose job is to promote the residence and a good well connected assisted living advisor will assist you in negotiating and get the best move in incentive package available.What to look for when you visit with your advisorOnce you and your advisor narrow down your list to a few communities/facilities with the services and price range youre looking for, your advisor will schedule visits and tour the communities with you. During your visit you will speak with administrators, staff and the residents to ask questions and get a feel of the community.Its good to also bring a friend or family member for support.An Advisor will recommend visiting each community/facility multiple times. It is best to be there during mealtimes and perhaps even have lunch with residents, to give you a better sense of what its like to live there.When visiting communities with your senior living advisor, there are some other very important things to look for:CleanlinessAn emergency generator or alternative power source in case of an outageEnough common areas, such as dens and living roomsA floor plan that's logical and easy to followLarge enough rooms for your family members needsRooms and bathrooms with handrails and call buttonsSafety locks on doors and windowsSecurity and fire safety systemsServices such as banking, a beauty salon or a cafWell-lit stairs and hallways with well-marked exitsA good referral agency like The Right Senior Living Solution will advise that you ask plenty of questions about staff members, including their qualifications and whether they receive additional training from the facility.On your visits, observe how employees interact with residents. Ask about the facilitys suggestion, complaint and grievance procedures, and whether it has resident and family councils to provide feedback.Before signing a contractLook carefully at the facilitys contract. Take it home with you and go over it with other family members.State regulations for assisted living facilities are on the National Center for Assisted Livings website. The list also contains contact information for each state's regulators, who can guide you on how to find information about a facility.Make sure you clearly understand the terms, and if you have questions, get them answered before you sign. Your Advisor will know: How much are entrance fees and monthly rent, and is a security deposit required? What level of personal and health care services are provided? What privileges do residents have? For example, are they permitted to bring personal furniture? What are the transfer and discharge policies? What specific reasons would lead to a resident being asked to move out, and how much notice would be given? Is a residents space held if he or she has to be hospitalized? Does the contract put any limitations on your right to bring legal action for injury, negligence or other causes? Consumer Reports cautions that many residences include arbitration clauses, which require disputes to be settled outside the legal system via a third party.Some financing options to keep in mind: Long-term care insurance. If you have a policy, it probably covers assisted living, but Medicare and most private health insurance plans do not. Medicaid. The federal/state health care program for people with low incomes and limited assets, may provide some help if youve exhausted other financial resources.Most states offer some level of financial aid to qualified assisted living residents Do you qualify for Aid & Attendance Benefit  Department of Veterans AffairsFormer service members may be able to get federal help. The Aid and Attendance benefit, a supplement to VA pensions for older veterans who need help with daily living activities, can help pay for assisted living or memory care.VA health care does not pay for room and board at an assisted living but might cover some additional services.The Right Senior Living Solution Specializes in communities in:Independent Living in BradentonIndependent Living in SarasotaAssisted Living in BradentonAssisted Living in SarasotaMemory Care in BradentonMemory Care in SarasotaGeorge Smith The Right senior Living Solution (941) 705-0293

Causes and Prevention of Falls in Seniors

Causes and Prevention of Falls in SeniorsChances are, you or an older adult you know has had a fall. Each year, more than 1 out of 4 people ages 65 and older fall. Furthermore, emergency departments treat 3 million seniors for injuries from falls each year.Falling is the leading cause of accidents, serious injuries, and accidental deaths in older adults.  Falls should be taken seriously when they occur, as they can be a major threat to seniors health and independence. Understandably, falling is a common fear for many seniors, even if they have never fallen before. However, falls do not have to be inevitable with age. There are many ways to prevent or reduce an older adults chance of falling. Causes of FallsAccording to The National Institute on Aging, a number of factors can lead to a fall, including certain health conditions and environmental risks. Some risk factors include:Weakened eyesight, hearing, reflexes, and balance Certain health conditions that impair balance, such as diabetes, heart disease and thyroid issuesMild cognitive problems and some types of dementiaLoss of muscle mass, also known as sarcopeniaLowered blood pressure after sitting or standing up quickly, also known as postural hypotensionVitamin D or calcium deficiencyUnsafe footwear, such as high heels, backless shoes or shoes without tractionCertain medications with possible side effects of dizziness or confusionSafety hazards inside and outside of the home, such as uneven steps and clutterA combination of these factors causes the majority of falls. The more risk factors someone has, the greater their probability of having a fall.Repercussions of FallsWhile some falls do not cause harm, others can seriously impact a seniors health and lifestyle. In fact, according to the CDC, 1 in 5 falls lead to serious injuries and bone fractures, with at least 300,000 seniors being hospitalized for hip fractures per year. Falls are also the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Having one fall doubles your chances of having another.Not only can falls cause serious health repercussions, but they can also be costly. The CDC states that senior falls result in $50 billion in medical costs each year, with 75% being covered by Medicare and Medicaid. Furthermore, according to the National Council on Aging, the financial toll is projected to increase to over $101 billion by 2030 as the population gets older.Additionally, falling can lead to another significant consequence: the fear of falling. Oftentimes this fear causes seniors to avoid certain daily activities, including walking, running errands, and socializing with others. Avoidance of these activities can greatly reduce a seniors quality of life. However, it is these activities and others that encourage movement, keep the body in good physical condition, and actually help prevent falls in the long run.Prevention of FallsWhile it is impossible to prevent all falls, it is possible to reduce the chance of having a serious fall by taking the following actions:Stay physically active. Exercise frequently to strengthen your muscles, maintain flexibility in your joints and ligaments, and slow bone loss caused by osteoporosis. Engage in balance training. Yoga, pilates and Tai Chi are effective ways to exercise and improve your balance and flexibility.Make your home safer and fall-proof. Remove clutter, rugs, and cords that could be tripping hazards. Install grab bars near the shower and toilet, and have non-slip mats in the bathroom and shower. Make sure the stairs have handrails and that the house has ample lighting. Keep frequently-used items in cabinets within reach so you do not have to use a step stool.Have your hearing and vision checked at least once a year. Even the slightest changes in hearing and sight are linked to an increased fall risk. If you wear eyeglasses, make sure they are up to date.Talk to your doctor. Your doctor can evaluate your risk of falling, check your blood pressure, review your medications for potential dizziness side effects, and recommend certain supplements if needed.Get enough sleep. Being tired makes you more likely to have a fall. It is recommended that adults get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.Avoid or limit alcohol. Too much alcohol consumption can lead to balance issues and falls.Use a cane or walker. These assistive devices can help steady you when you walk. Make sure your cane or walker is the right size for you and the wheels roll smoothly.Take extra caution in wet conditions. Consider staying indoors in these conditions as a precaution. Take advantage of the delivery services offered by many grocery stores and pharmacies instead.Choose safe footwear. For full foot support, wear non-skid, rubber soled shoes with low heels. Do not walk around in socks or slippers without traction.Next StepsWhen you or a loved one have a fall, it can reveal or trigger the need for additional support. Whether you are looking for support in a residential senior community or are seeking in-home care services, Florida Senior Consulting can help. Our certified staff and licensed nurse advocates will find you the care you need to lead a healthy lifestyle, stay safe and lower your risk of falls and injuries. With this peace of mind ultimately comes a better quality of life. Call us today at (941) 661-6196 or visit to talk to an expert about your individual situation, needs and preferences. We will find you the care you need to live your best life. 

Local Services By This Author

CountryHouse at 70th & O

Memory Care 240 S 70th St, Lincoln, Nebraska, 68510

Devoted exclusively to benefiting those living with Alzheimers disease and related dementias, CountryHouse residence for memory care is not typical memory care. Were all about experiences. Do more. Engage more. Live more. Walk into any CountryHouse community and see residents engaging with one another. See families enjoying dinner together grandchildren included. See bowling and badminton on the lawn, budding artists in the art studio, chefs baking in the kitchen and smiles throughout the community. At CountryHouse, we provide the uplifting, engaging and meaningful lifestyles and care people with memory loss need and their families want. Days are filled with joyful moments to ensure our residents still have opportunities to lead enriching lives, filled with the happiness simple pleasures can bring.