12/17/14
Christmas Tree

The holiday spirit is sparkling at Friendship Manor!

We love celebrating the holidays at Friendship Manor! Throughout the month of December, there are a variety of activities and events scheduled to celebrate the season.

In the first week of December, residents and staff were entertained by the Music Guild’s “1940s Radio Christmas Carols,” the Rock Island High School Chamber Singers, and the Colona Grade School Band to kick off the festivities with musical holiday spirit.

“We love Christmas here at the Manor and always schedule several concerts during Christmas,” said Nancy Mann, Activities Director.

Residents will attend “The Nutcracker” at the Adler Theater to see a Christmas spectacle of music and dance, and the Tony Hamilton Orchestra will help residents rock out the old year on New Year’s Eve.

Another December tradition is the Candlelight Dinners hosted for residents and their families, where everyone is invited to dress up and enjoy a gourmet dinner prepared by Chef Myka and her staff. Families are also welcome to have their pictures taken in front of the huge Christmas tree in the Friendship Manor lobby.

Before Christmas, Friendship Manor hosts Family Christmas Night with cookies and cocoa provided by the King’s Daughters and Sons, and another favorite is the Christmas Lights Van Ride, in which we invite residents to bundle up and enjoy a van ride in order to see the Christmas lights displayed around the city. Our residents love the chance to go out with family and friends!

“Holiday activities for seniors are especially fun when you can get dressed up and have an afternoon out,” said Mann, “complete with hot cocoa and dessert somewhere afterwards.”

It is also important to remember that Christmas holidays can be a difficult time for some seniors, “especially if loved ones or pets have passed on, or if they are alone,” said Mann. “So it is especially important to involve the seniors in your life much as you can.”

Fun and meaningful activities such as growing or arranging flowers, making gingerbread houses like our residents in the Silver Cross Health and Rehabilitation Pavilion, and reminiscing together about past Christmases are great ways to engage your loved ones in meaningful ways this season.

Visit our website to see our December Activity Calendar for a complete list of festivities, and have a merry Christmas!

12/10/14
Snow

Crucial end-of-year giving to support new memory care unit

Friendship Manor is incredibly thankful for the donations received on Giving Tuesday last week, and there is still plenty of time to give before the end of the year! Your continued support is the only thing on our Christmas list as your donations enable us to continue serving our purpose and mission.

“For every non-profit, year-end giving is crucial,” explained CFP® Development Director Jeff Condit. “Without the generous help of the community, we couldn’t do it.”

Friendship Manor begins each year with about a million-dollar funding gap that we work to narrow by the end of the year.

“There are seniors living longer and outliving their resources, and it is our virtue to honor those seniors whether they can pay their bill or not,” said Condit. “We wish we could do even more.”

As part of Giving Tuesday, Friendship Manor hosted a trivia night sponsored by Illinois Casualty Company for the second year in a row, raising $3,500. The concept of Giving Tuesday caught hold partly to offset the consumerism of Black Friday, and many people make it their opportunity to give back each year.

In order to make a true impact with their giving, Condit encourages people to give to what really is their passion and where there is true genuine need.

“Give locally as much as possible,” urged Condit. “There’s a lot you can do across the country and around the world, but there are lots of needs right here in our own neighborhoods. Let’s not overlook those.”

This year, all end-of-year gifts to Friendship Manor go toward the addition of an eighth service division: New Friendships Memory Care Unit. The new division is intended to meet the underserved need in the area for memory care, and it has become Friendship Manor’s number one priority.

“All end-of-year gifts go towards that unless designated otherwise,” said Condit. “We want to make sure that unit is done right and built with as little debt as possible.”

Particularly with the new year—and a new funding gap—approaching, end-of-year giving is important in enabling Friendship Manor to continue its tradition of excellent care.

“It never hurts to pray about where you give, too. God has a way of directing that kind of prayer,” reminded Condit.

For all gifts Friendship Manor receives in December, there is a Board Matching Grant. And, your donation is tax-deductible, so giving before the end of the year qualifies for 2014 tax deductions! For information on giving throughout the year, visit our website or call Jeff Condit today at (309) 794-4104.

11/26/14
Klatts

Five lessons from the Klatts about keeping your mind sharp

Staying sharp is a concern for many seniors, but Friendship Manor residents Betsy and Richard Klatt keep up a robust routine of mental exercise to stay with it as they age. Here are five lessons we can learn from the Klatts about aging gracefully.

Stay playful

Betsy loves playing Bridge, Scrabble, and other games on a regular basis. Games are an excellent way to stay acute. Likewise, Richard loves to keep a sense of adventure around the Manor, surprising wheelchair-bound residents with a mini-trip down the hallway enjoying fun conversations.

“I make it my business to cheer people up here at Friendship Manor,” said Richard. “How fun it is just to talk about something!”

Stay creative

Richard was once an aesthetics and art teacher at Rock Island High School, so creativity is close to his heart.

“I was a teacher of beautiful things,” said Richard. A builder and sculptor, Richard creates original model ships and is in the process of sculpting a bird. “Anyone who wants to maintain their dexterity practices their skills,” said Richard about his continued work.

Betsy is also creative, and she loves reading and weaving, which are both great activities for staying sharp.

Stay involved

As well as continuing to use and hone their skills, the Klatts share those skills with others. Richard is part of a boat club and Betsy is part of a weaving group and a welcoming committee at Friendship Manor.

“We also attend church every week and have outside interests, too. We like to do a lot in between our doctor’s visits and rests!” said Betsy.

Stay connected

“I’m really active here,” said Richard. “I walk around and engage people in conversation.” This active engagement is part of what keeps Richard and Betsy sharp. But keeping in touch with fellow residents isn’t the only way the Klatts cultivate relationships.

“We also treasure our visits from our family,” said Betsy. The Klatts’ children visit often, helping to keep Richard and Betsy connected.

Stay positive

“When you get to be a certain age you complain about things,” said Richard. “But I was admiring the weather today simply because it was fresh.” He fully endorses active cheerfulness and taking the time and attention to find delight in every day.

Richard and Betsy have clearly brought their upbeat and adventurous spirits with them into their retirement, and their active attitudes keep them among the sharpest residents at Friendship Manor.

11/19/14
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What to consider when choosing an assisted living facility for Alzheimer’s patients

Special considerations must be taken into account when finding an appropriate assisted living facility for a memory loss patient with a disease like Alzheimer’s. A person with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is easily confused and upset due to their memory loss issues, and that is something a facility must be prepared to handle.

Training

An appropriate facility will have staff members trained to care for dementia and AD patients.

“There is certainly a difference between a CNA and a nurse and a CNA and a nurse that has actual training,” says Lori Steiner, RN, Director of Nursing at the Silver Cross Health and Rehabilitation Pavilion.

Friendship Manor nurses and staff are undergoing training with programs and seminars like those provided by the Alzheimer’s Association.

Programming

As a companion to trained professionals, the facility should offer programming and activities for memory loss patients. Research has found that staying active and exercising the brain seems to increase its vitality and also helps slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease.

Steiner points out that Friendship Manor currently offers activities geared toward memory loss prevention, and the programs and activities offered will increase as Friendship Manor prepares to better serve memory loss patients.

Security

As someone with AD may be prone to wandering and sudden mood changes, it is important that the facility in which they live is prepared for these behaviors.

There should be a level of security for the safety of these patients and other residents, including a separate living area and units that lock, according to Steiner.

Friendship Manor broke ground in October on converting a floor of one of its assisted living buildings to accommodate memory loss patients. The renovations will result in a state-of-the-art, secure wing with 15 studio apartments, a large community living and dining area, and specially trained staff members. The new floor is scheduled to open by next July!

 

The overall reputation of an assisted living facility is another factor to take into account—be sure to ask for recommendations from those who have experienced this search before! For more information on the new updates to Friendship Manor and the training of its staff, contact Lori Steiner at (309) 794-4165 or visit our website!

 

 

11/12/14
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How to spot early signs of memory loss

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a progressive, irreversible disease affecting memory, thinking, and behavior. As the most common form of
dementia, AD is characterized by abnormal thinking, memory loss, and unexplained behavior.

As part of Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, Director of Nursing Lori Steiner, RN, at the Silver Cross Health and Rehabilitation Pavilion has shared signals of AD to help you spot AD early on and seek a physician’s help as soon as possible:

 

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Asking questions repeatedly, forgetting or mixing up words, and getting lost in familiar places are all early signs of memory loss. Missing appointments or showing up for unscheduled ones may also go beyond simple forgetfulness.

Confusion

Memory issues often lead AD patients to become suspicious or paranoid. They are living in an inconsistent world where they cannot remember how they got where they are or why they are there, and this can be frightening.

Behavior

AD patients may also undergo unexplained changes in mood or behavior, like becoming short-tempered or angry when they never used to be. They are also prone to wandering, as they forget why they are in a place or where they are going.

 

These kind of signals may indicate early memory loss, characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease. Be sure to contact a physician immediately if you or a loved one displays these symptoms. The earlier AD is identified, the more effective treatment will be.

Alzheimer’s gets worse over time, and there is no cure. However, there are treatments that can help slow it down. While treatment plans depend heavily on the age of the patient, options include memory classes, cognitive training exercises, and medications. Keeping patients in familiar surroundings to avoid upsetting or “triggering” the patient can also help.

“Certainly if it’s caught earlier you have a better chance of slowing the progression,” said Steiner.


For more information on the top-notch care given to Alzheimer’s patients at Friendship Manor, visit our website.

11/3/14
Linda Solis

A friendly face at the Manor for more than 35 years

Linda Solis has been an asset to the Friendship Manor team for more than 35 years. Serving our residents in a variety of positions, Linda has been with us since our beginning.Linda Solis

A graduate of Rock Island High School, Linda remembers walking by the lot that is now Friendship Manor. After its construction, she applied and joined the team on August 21st, 1970. She now works in the Office of Culinary Services, placing food orders, preparing employee work schedules and invoices, and answering phones on behalf of the chef.

“I started out as a cook, then took other positions,” says Linda. “I’ve pretty much done everything in the kitchen before I came to the office.”

Because she’s been at Friendship Manor since the start, Linda has seen a variety of changes in the community, from its construction to its procedures—but its commitment to residents has always stayed the same.

“I’ve seen many changes here,” says Linda, “It’s always been an enjoyable place to work and as the years go by, things improve, like their quality of care and our facilities.”

Linda cares immensely for the residents, and they’re her favorite part of working with Friendship Manor. She loves hearing their stories of how they grew up in their lifetime, and she’ll often compare that to how her parents grew up.

“I have a deep feeling for them and love to hear their stories and their histories,” says Linda. “Someday I hope to retire, but I just love working with the residents and the employees.”

Visit our website for more information on our staff who have been with us since our beginning.

10/31/14

Are you safe from scams?

Today’s seniors grew up in a different world. They grew up learning to trust people and hold on to their savings and wealth. Because of these values, seniors are now the targets of many scams. To ensure the seniors in your life stay safe from scams, read up on three common cons that are currently targeting the elderly.

 

Door-to-Door Sales
Knocks on your door used to mean the neighbor kids were selling Girl Scout cookies or coming to mow the lawn. Now, a knock on your door could be a scam artist waiting to prey on an unprepared senior. Also known as the “gypsy scam,” scammers will come to your door asking to do repair work. They bring a few people with them, and while one person is negotiating the contract the others rifle through the home looking for valued possessions – including wedding rings.

“These people come from out of town,” said Officer Sloan, Rock Island’s Elderly Service Officer. “They look for seniors who might be living alone and target them for house repairs. They then take money and don’t complete the project.” Officer Sloan reminds seniors to never let anyone they don’t know in their home, to always hire a legitimate company to do repair work, and to always negotiate a signed contract before any work is done.

Health Care Fraud
All adults over the age of 65 are eligible for Medicare, which makes them a target for healthcare-related scams. Many times scam artists will call seniors posing as Medicare representatives to see if the person on the other line will give up their personal information, including social security numbers and bank accounts. Officer Sloan reminds everyone that Medicare and Medicaid will never call you and will never ask you for your full social security number. If you receive a call, hang up and call the company back directly to ensure you aren’t being scammed. Remember to never give out personal information over the phone!

Financial Fraud
Financial fraud is one of the most common types of scams as it can be carried out via phone, social networks, email, or mail. Brian Yaklich, Compliance Officer at Blackhawk Bank & Trust, warns seniors of lottery scams.

“Seniors will often receive a notification via mail or email that they’ve won the lottery in a foreign country. They’re asked to wire a payment up front for taxes then receive a lump sum from the lottery,” said Yaklich. If you receive a notification like this, remember that Americans cannot win a foreign lottery, and this is always a scam to have money sent to someone.

Another common financial scam that occurs via phone is what bankers and police call a distress scam.  A con artist will call a senior, pretending to be their grandchild, and say that they are in jail or stuck in a foreign country and ask that money be wired to help them out.

“The scammers are hoping that you act and not think during these calls. When in doubt, slow down and ask some questions. Call your family to verify if it was them or not,” suggests Yaklich.

 

The best ways to stay safe from scams is to always be alert, ask questions, and think clearly. At Friendship Manor, we’re being proactive to keep our residents safe. Take a look at our activity calendar for potential sessions on keeping safe from scams and other activities at Friendship Manor!

10/15/14
Silver Cross Steps June 2013 (103)

Silver Cross provides health and rehabilitation to more than just residents

In the spirit of helping the community at large as well as residents, the Silver Cross Health and Rehabilitation Pavilion provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy on an in and out-patient basis.

The Silver Cross Health and Rehabilitation Pavilion provides rehabilitation therapy to both in- and outpatients with a physician’s order. In the case that a patient doesn’t have a physician’s order, Silver Cross can help him or her obtain one if appropriate. Likewise, most insurance plans are billable through Silver Cross.

According to the Director of Rehabilitation at the Silver Cross Health and Rehabilitation Pavilion Mark Leverenz, OTR/L, Silver Cross specializes in problems often affecting seniors like balance deficits, joint replacements of upper and lower body, stroke rehab and other neurological impairments, and general strengthening and conditioning.

“[Programs are] all for the purpose of helping the person improve their level of functioning back to the point before they had their injury or illness,” said Leverenz.

These treatment programs utilize new technology like the Biodex Balance System—a computerized balance assessment and treatment tool—and NuStep exercise equipment, which helps patients regain range of motion.

“Anything that has caused a decline in function, we can address it,” said Leverenz.

More information can be found on our website, and any questions about outpatient rehabilitation and therapy services can be directed to Leverenz at 309-786-9334.

09/24/14

Your packing list for a short stay at a rehabilitation facility

A short stay at a nursing home or rehabilitation facility lasting around 20 days is not uncommon. After working out the details of the stay, someone may find herself asking, “But what do I pack?”

First, be sure to pack clothing. No, short stay patients will not be living in an open-back hospital gown for 20 days. Yes, Friendship Manor staff is happy to do laundry each week. Pack enough outfits for about five days, including underwear, pajamas, and slippers. Don’t forget proper clothing for outdoor excursions, too, like a coat, hat, and gloves if it will be cold.

In terms of personal care, most toiletries are provided at our Silver Cross Health Care and Rehabilitation Pavilion. Shampoo, soap, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and items of that nature are available.

Admissions Coordinator Sigred Chasey advises, “We do provide [toiletries], but if you have a favorite shampoo or lotion you want to bring… well, I recommend you do that!”

Electric razors for men to shave, hearing aid kits, and denture care products should be brought from home.

However, most medication should probably stay at home, as medication may be brought in for respite care only, according to Chasey. Otherwise, “medication will be ordered for you,” she says.

Lastly, bring something to pass the time!

“There is down time… you do have to fill that time,” says Chasey.

While Friendship Manor offers a wide variety of activities, those going through rehabilitation or respite may not be up to taking part. Chasey recommends bringing books, an iPad, or other things to entertain oneself during a short stay at the Silver Cross Health Care and Rehabilitation Pavilion.

Learn more about our nursing and respite care on our website!

09/17/14

Assisted or independent living: that is the question

In the age of choices, it can be difficult to make decisions these days. Doug Higgins, R.N., Assisted Living Nurse Manager at Friendship Manor, has some pointers for figuring out whether your loved one is in need of assisted living or independent living services.

According to Higgins, the main deciding factor is the extent to which someone can accomplish activities of daily living. These include meal preparation, feeding, dressing and bathing oneself, ambulation (moving from place to place), and otherwise being able to take care of personal needs.

While services are available to help with these activities at a certain level in independent living situations, Higgins says, “There will be a point where that level exceeds what staff can provide with those services.”

For example, residents may need to be cued to eat or take medication. “There are times when patients really don’t have the ability to deliver medication to themselves in a way that is safe and consistent,” says Higgins.

In an assisted living situation, residents can be checked on as often as every two hours, providing a level of monitoring and safety that is not available in independent living.

So really, the choice between assisted living and independent living depends on how able a person is to take care of themselves with limited additional services.

“Someone may be able to ambulate with a walker, but going to meals and such might be beyond their ability,” says Higgins. “Bathing is the same thing.”

In order to help figure out exactly how much independence someone can really manage, Friendship Manor provides formal assessments, in which health professionals go into a resident’s apartment home and score their daily activities in order to find out which level of assistance is most appropriate.

“If there are any doubts [about a family member living at home],” says Higgins, “contact a facility—or multiple facilities—to have them do a formal assessment to help make those decisions.”

While seniors should exercise as much independence as possible—“use it or lose it”—safety should always be the top concern. For questions about assisted or independent living at Friendship Manor, contact Doug Higgins at (309) 794-4171 or visit our website.