Prairie Vista Village Wins 2021 Best of Assisted Living Award From SeniorAdvisor.com

ALTOONA, Iowa — Prairie Vista Village is proud to announce that they have been selected as one of the 2021 Best of Assisted Living Award Winners on SeniorAdvisor.com, the largest ratings and reviews site for senior care and services in North America and Canada.

 

SeniorAdvisor.com is in their 8th year of hosting the Best of Senior Living Awards SeniorAdvisor.com’s Best of 2021 Award winners represent the best of the best of in-home care, assisted living, and other senior living providers, based on the online reviews written by seniors and their families. This exclusive designation honors the top 2-3 % of senior care providers across the United States and Canada.

 

The annual SeniorAdvisor.com Best of Senior Living Awards tabulates over 240,000 family created reviews to find the highest quality care providers for this honor. Of the nearly 45,000 communities currently listed on SeniorAdvisor.com, just over 610 were recognized with this prestigious award.

 

Prairie Vista Village is one of three winners in Iowa, and regularly receives exceptionally positive reviews from their senior customers and their families like this one: “My husband and I have lived here for over three and a half years. We have very clean and comfortable surroundings. The staff goes above and beyond to make sure everything stays safe and clean.”

 

To qualify for inclusion in the Best of 2021 Awards, care providers must have maintained an average overall rating of at least 4.5 stars while receiving five or more new reviews between November 17, 2019 and October 18, 2020. Additional details and a complete list of award winners can be found on SeniorAdvisor.com.

 

About SeniorAdvisor.com LLC

SeniorAdvisor.com is the largest consumer ratings and reviews site for senior living communities and home care providers across the United States and Canada with over 150,000 trusted, published reviews. The innovative website provides easy access to the information families need when making a senior care decision, and features trusted reviews and advice from local residents and their loved ones. For more information, please visit www.SeniorAdvisor.com or call (866) 592-8119.

 

About Prairie Vista Village

Life is great at Prairie Vista Village. Here, you can live life on the go, or just relax. Designed with active seniors in mind, Prairie Vista Village provides a secure environment where you can enjoy the independence and privacy of your own apartment in independent living, assisted living, short-term rehab, or long-term care. Everything you need is right here at Prairie Vista Village. 

 

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6 Gift Ideas For Your Parents or Grandparents

It’s that time of year again! If you’re struggling for new ideas for what to buy for grandparents or seniors in your life, here are a few fool-proof suggestions sure to please. The best part of these gifts? They are made to be shared with your loved one.

 

Books

Reading is a lifelong pastime. Books are now available in various print sizes and audiobooks or translated into multiple languages to accommodate all readers. Whether your loved one enjoys fiction, true crime, or history, there are bound to be dozens of titles to interest them. Or find an old favorite that has recently been put back into print.

Another excellent technology for readers is the rise of Kindles or e-Reading programs. While not every senior citizen is adept at technology, an e-Reader is a compact and adaptable device for those with extensive book collections looking to downsize. These devices can hold hundreds of book titles. You could even purchase one and preload it with titles they would enjoy.

 

Monthly coffee or tea subscriptions

Most adults enjoy spending their mornings with a cup of coffee or tea. There are plenty of subscriptions that specialize in delivering coffees and teas to your loved one’s mailbox every month.  Selection choices vary from international selections to specifically curated choices based on the type of subscription service.

 

Puzzles and games to share as a family

Everyone has a favorite quiet at-home pastime. Puzzles, board games, and card games have risen in popularity recently as affordable and fun family entertainment alternatives. Several favorite games for adults have released family and kid-friendly versions, which would be an excellent way for children to bond and spend time with their grandparents. Or have grandchildren pick out a puzzle for their grandparents that they can complete together, as an activity for them to do together.

 

Go digital

One of the most significant challenges seniors face as they downsize to smaller homes or into retirement communities is downsizing their belongings and treasured keepsakes. Fortunately, technology has provided nearly limitless ways for those looking to downsize without tossing our precious mementos. Digital photo albums and frames are more compact and attractive than ever. Many can hold hundreds, if not thousands, of cherished family photos while taking up a fraction of the space. Some services will help digitize and upload home videos as well.

 

Ancestry kits

One of the most popular gifts over the past few years, for all ages, has been the rise of ancestry kits. There’s a variety of services and products that specialize in helping your family discover their history. While this is an excellent gift for older family members, it is one that the entire family can benefit from and enjoy.

 

Grocery delivery subscription

If your loved one is still cooking or preparing their meals, consider a subscription to a grocery delivery service. While many retailers offer special hours for senior citizens to shop, grocery delivery removes transportation burdens. It also gives them the security of getting items delivered to their door in a safe and distanced way.

5 Socially-Distant Ways to Show Grandparents Your Thankfulness

grandparents on phone

The pandemic has temporarily changed how generations of families interact with one another. Here are a few fun ways to spend time with loved ones, while observing social distancing guidelines.

Set a routine.

Try to block off a regular check-in time every week or every few days to say hello and discuss life events. If your grandparent is not particularly tech-savvy, this can be a regular phone call, or if they are, a Zoom or FaceTime chat.

 

Mail letters.

Not all seniors are savvy when it comes to digital communications like Facetime and Zoom. Not only are letters more familiar for some, but they also give younger generations a chance to flex their writing and creativity skills. Drawings, handmade cards, and childrens’ arts and crafts projects are a wonderful thing to include if you have children who might be too small to write a letter. And if you have young children, sending and receiving mail is a fun novelty for a generation that has grown up on the internet.

 

Make a care package.

In addition to mailing letters and cards, put together a package of fun activities for grandparents. Puzzle books, crossword puzzles, card games, or books are a good start. Set up an exchange. One week you mail them a package; the next week, they send something back. And while everyone is encouraged to avoid unnecessary trips to the store, this might be an excellent time to utilize online deliveries or get creative. Putting together an album of old photos or recipe collections is a fun activity to get children involved while everyone is at home. It costs virtually nothing and has a more profound sentimental value for your loved ones.

 

It’s a date.

Set aside a time to watch a television show or movie simultaneously. This way, you will have something to talk about the next time you check-in. Perhaps start a virtual family book club if you have avid readers at home.

 

Virtual Activities

Do your grandparents have a unique skill or hobby they could teach grandchildren over a video call? Maybe your children want to give their grandparents a show-and-tell or talent show over Facetime? Some numerous hobbies and activities can be done virtually with grandparents, from teaching a hobby or skill to finishing homework or sharing a meal.

 

How To Talk To A Loved One Who Doesn’t Remember You

For adult children and loved ones, facing the changes dementia and Alzheimer’s presents can be devastating. Abrupt changes in mood, odd behavior, and the loss of precious memories can be challenging to watch. You might be unsure how to interact with your loved one. Here are some things to consider when your loved one no longer remembers who you are.

Don’t question them

Often, the first thing family members want to do when a parent or loved one cannot remember their name is to continue asking. “Do you know who I am?” “Do you remember me?”. However, repeated questioning can cause those who have dementia to become more confused or start to panic. These questions might make you, as an adult child, feel better, but they can only worsen a situation for your loved one. Their memory recall is not as fast as ours, and often in a hurry, they will answer, “I don’t know.” Another helpful tactic is to reintroduce yourself to your parent when it merely happens. “Hi, I’m John. I’m your son,” for example.

Focus on fond memories – and making new ones.

Even if your parent struggles to recall names and faces, they are still the same person they once were. It can be beneficial for everyone to spend time reminiscing about fond memories you both share. Try not to bombard them with too many specific questions and instead let them guide you through their memories. It’s essential to ask broad, leading questions that can help trigger their memories. Many people living with dementia remember their childhood and young adult lives quite vividly. It might be helpful to look at old photos or ask them about family vacations or traditions.

Stay in the moment

Spending quality time together will help your loved one with dementia feel more secure. Doing things they enjoy or that you share is a great way to strengthen your relationship and provide them with confidence and a renewed sense of self.

Practice self-care

It can be easy to get caught up with worry for your parent with dementia, but it is crucial to take the time to check in to make sure you are okay. If you aren’t looking after yourself, how can you look after someone else? It is vital to seek out professional support when you need it, from licensed professional caregivers or other adult children of people with dementia who might share your same frustrations and concerns.

How To Start The Conversation

A helpful guide for navigating a tricky conversation around senior living

There are a handful of conversations we have at different phases of life that carry a stigma. Talking to an aged parent(s) about moving to a nursing home is definitely on that list. The fear of this conversation is understandable and may be keeping you from striking it up. But it is in everyone’s best interest to have the conversation, and have it with care. Here’s a guide of things to consider that may make this conversation much easier to approach.

 

Start the conversation early

Start it too early. Start it when it feels like it’s relevance is way down the line. This offers an opportunity to have the seed planted long before there is any threat of eventuality raising the emotion of the conversation. Find out what is important to them as a couple, as individuals, and for their family. This way, your parent(s) has the chance to freely share their wishes and you can be armed with that information when the right time comes.

Maybe they already have a specific location in mind! Inquire about waiting lists long before you need them so you’re not in the position of choosing a place based on availability when crisis strikes.

 

Assess the right time

At some point, the conversation about moving to assisted living becomes a necessity. This looks different for every family, but hopefully you’re able to make this decision a priority before there is a disaster at home.

One great way to identify the right time is to volunteer to come around the house for a project, something extensive like landscaping or cleaning the house, so you can see their range of motion and the state of the household. It will give you an idea of how your parents are faring with the upkeep of their residence while also laying a foundation of good will and trust that could be the opening for a future conversation.

 

Do your research

Having information prepared always makes a hard conversation less challenging. Hopefully you know your parents’ wishes, but even if you weren’t able to start the conversation early, you know your parents.

Do they want to be closer to family? Do they care about having access to a kitchen to make family favorites? Do they want to live in assisted or independent living? What is the future of their illness? Do they have a pet or furniture they want to bring along?

These are concerns they will raise when the conversation comes, so knowing what their options are that address these needs can be a real lifesaver when presenting the option of aged care.

 

Consider your language

Often times, family dynamics can be the hardest part of a conversation like this. Even your own assumption that this conversation will be hard can make the conversation hard. Enter into the conversation in a positive and helpful way. Ask questions about how your parent is doing. Present your concerns directly, but also offer a balanced amount of optimism about the benefits of the communities they might consider. Use your knowledge of what matters to them to frame these benefits.

This conversation could bring up a lot of feelings for your parent. Be sure to acknowledge whatever your parent communicates to you, whether positive or negative. People want to be heard, and not only will affirming their concerns let them know you understand them but it will also give you insight into what may be holding them back so you can help them overcome their objections.

And, perhaps most importantly, take it slow. You don’t have to make a decision in a day. This is a huge life change for you parent. Let it simmer for a bit to give them time to adjust.

 

Personalize it

Mention how much your friend’s mom loves the social aspect of her new home, or how you ran into the son of your parent’s old colleague who says his dad couldn’t be more thrilled about being off the hook for yard work.

If they don’t buy the anecdotes, take your parent to check out places out together! Sometimes seeing a senior community in person can dispel an unsavory preconception. Especially if you can take them somewhere where they already have friends! Seeing the a place up close can help your parents actually envision themselves there.

 

It’s their decision

As long as it is safely possible, this needs to be their decision and they need to know that you know that. If they’re not ready right away, offer other solutions that bridge the gap and buy them the time they need to adjust on their own. Gift them a cleaning service, update some safety features of their home, or organize home care.

Not forcing the issue and letting your parent decide will make you a safe sounding board for your parent as they processes this idea, but also will make their adjustment when they finally decide to move much smoother and happier.

You may be surprised to find out your parent is more amenable than you imagined, and giving them their own space to decide what their life will look like will make them feel even better about their decision to move forward into this next phase.

 

Bring in help

If it is getting dangerous at home and you aren’t making any headway, consider bringing in a friend, spiritual leader, or another trusted person to help have the conversation. The truth is, no matter how well intentioned, the adult children of aging parents aren’t always the best person for this conversation. Your road block isn’t the end of the road, often a third party can pave the way when you thought the conversation was going nowhere. Don’t take this personally, let the help you’ve enlisted move the conversation forward and you can focus on being a support system and maintaining your relationship with your family.