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Advice: Never Be Afraid to Ask for Help

“Alone we can do so little together; we can do so much.” – Helen Keller

As old age approaches, seniors often have a hard time asking for the help they may need. With fears of losing independence, being a bother to someone, or feeling like they’re getting in the way, many people often shy away from asking for help when they need it most.

Often, senior citizens have an ample amount of resources at their fingertips but might be wary of taking the first step. We’re here to tell you that it’s OK to ask for help. Not sure you need it? Here are a few tell-tale signs you should ask for help, and reasons why you shouldn’t be ashamed of it.

Are you having a hard time with the little things? Don’t be afraid to ask a family member or friend to take you grocery shopping or to a doctor’s appointment; often people close to you are happy and eager to help!

Are you feeling anxious, alone, or depressed? Seeking help from a counselor or doctor can help to reduce the stress and anxiety you may be feeling. Minimizing the occurrence of these feelings or anxieties can help your long-term health in a positive way.

Are you physically able to get around? It’s perfectly normal to not move as quickly as you used to. Asking for help to get the proper cane or walker can help you stay mobile!

Are you able to maintain your home and household chores? If it’s challenging for you to keep up with summer yard work, it couldn’t hurt to ask young neighbors or local volunteer associations for help. If help is needed to maintain cleanliness of your home and keeping up with chores, you may want to consider assisted living opportunities.

Would you be better off with just a little help? Remember, asking for help reveals strength, not weakness. People willing to help you are out closer than you realize, sometimes all you have to do is ask.

So, whether it is asking for someone to reach something for you at a grocery store, asking a friend for a ride, or seeking advice from a doctor or counselor, we promise it’s perfectly alright! The author of From Me to We, Janine Garner, said it best, “The truth is that we all have gifts to share – time, talent, connections, insights, experience, skills, resources, hospitality. And most people love to share them!”

How to Help a Senior with Pre-Move Anxiety

 

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Everything you should do before the move to make the transition easier for your loved one.

Leaving your home behind and transitioning to someplace new is always difficult. For seniors, this transition can be especially hard as the thoughts of leaving behind their family home and their many cherished items can cause stress. Common in elders, psychologists have called the anxiety felt before moving relocation stress syndrome (RSS). Following these tips when moving your elder can help to ease your seniors pre-move anxiety.

  1. Find a home for their treasures. Be sure to find a nice place for your seniors’ most cherished items. Whether it goes to close family member or friend, just be sure to let your senior know how much someone close to them will enjoy it.

 

  1. Map out their new room to determine what will fit and what won’t. Planning ahead can help avoid the stress of seniors having to get rid of something they planned on having in their room or apartment.

 

  1. Make the space familiar. Grab wall hangings and photos that were in their house instead of buying something new. Make the place cozy with their favorite end table or comfy chair.

 

  1. Identify what’s important to keep and what can be donated to charity. Be sure to keep your loved one involved in the process. Don’t make packing decisions alone.

 

  1. Show your support. Understand that this is a difficult process for your loved one. Be considerate and patient when moving day comes.

 

  1. Remind your elder that adjusting takes time. While the move might happen overnight, the transition to living in a new home will take some time to get used to.

While moving to an assisted living facility might be the right decision for your elder, it doesn’t necessarily make the process any easier. Be supportive, understanding, and flexible to make the transition as smooth as possible for your senior.

Six Signs that your Senior May Need to Consider Assisted Living

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It is a difficult time for many families when their parents or senior relatives begin to lose their ability to do everything on their own. This stage in a senior’s life can be met with a lot of worries as most seniors are often hesitant to seek help and make a change.

As moving out of their home is a fear for most, it can be challenging to determine whether your senior needs assistance. Often seniors can become very convincing of their ability to continue to live on their own and sometimes even put up a façade of wellness to stay in their home. Mostly, this occurs because seniors have an outdated image of an “old folks home” in their mind. They consider assisted living as a complete loss of independence and their stubbornness to stay put kicks in. To ensure your loved ones stay safe, consider these six signs that your elder might need to consider assisted living.

  1. Recent Accidents or Close Calls. This could involve falls or small medical scares. Be sure to consider the amount of time it took for someone to come help.
  2. Lack of Social Connections and Interactions. Is your loved one still able to maintain their close relationships? Are they still making it to lunch outings with friends, interacting with the neighbors, and getting places on their own? If they are lacking in these connections, it might help to consider an assisted living community.
  3. Driving Incidents. Be aware of any bumps or scratches on their vehicle. It wouldn’t hurt to take a drive with them to see how they are doing behind the wheel. If they have lost their ability to get places, it will quickly affect their quality of living at home.
  4. Cooking. Are they still able to cook on their own? Keep an eye out for burned pots and pans, appliances that have been left on, or spoiled food in the fridge.
  5. Hygiene Issues. Getting in and out of the tub and into a new outfit can become difficult with age. During a visit look for signs of soiled clothing or frequently repeated outfits.  
  6. Keeping up with Prescriptions. It can be hard to ensure your loved ones are keeping up with medications when nobody is around. Having a nurse on hand to check up on your senior ensures they are taking care of all their medical needs, so this sign can be a big one.

If you notice your senior displaying any of these signs, it might be time to sit down with them and talk about their options with assisted living. When having this conversation, be patient and take it slow, plant the seed before proclaiming that this is what you’ve decided is best for them.  Bring them in for a tour of Eberhardt Senior Community and talk to someone about all their options. Finally, express your worry for their safety and ensure them that you are looking out for their best interest.  If you have any questions or would like to set up a tour of our facilities, contact us today.

Benefits of Independent Living and Assisted Living

Eberhardt Senior Community offers a spectrum of care options for seniors, from independent living to assisted living at Eberhardt Village, to moving over to The Arthur Home for skilled nursing assistance. When looking to take the next step, it is important to consider the level of care you or your loved one will need at their new home.

Independent Living

Independent living is for the most independent seniors looking to pass off some of the responsibilities of living out in the community. It allows for an easier transition from living in the community to assisted living or skilled nursing. The senior can get to know Eberhardt Senior Community and the staff will get to know the seniors. In the case where the senior from independent living would need to move to assisted living or to the skilled nursing facility, they would be able to move to the top of the list and receive priority status. If there was a waiting list for any other service at Eberhardt Village or The Arthur Home, they would be moved to the top of that list and receive priority care ahead of someone from the community.

Independent living offers seniors a one-level living space with no steps in the garage to the home, or from the front sidewalk through the front door. Seniors do not need to worry about snow removal, lawn care, or other types of home repair. These homes are also fully equipped with an in-home emergency alert system in case of falls or other events, and emergency services can be dispatched if necessary.

Seniors moving into independent living must be able to live independently in their new home at Eberhardt Village without additional nursing services, such as in-home help with medication. The senior has access to meals and activities at the assisted living or skilled nursing facility on campus, allowing for healthy interaction with other individuals.

Assisted Living

At Eberhardt Village, assisted living has all the perks of independent living but is great for seniors who may need some additional assistance, short of needing skilled nursing care. Assisted living can provide care with medication, meals, bathing and more. Laundry and cleaning around the living space can also be provided. Packages are offered for seniors with different levels of care based on their needs and can be upgraded at any time when the circumstances arise.

Eberhardt Village boasts a staff readily available 24/7. Other amenities include a hair salon, social activities, a private dining room and church services. Our assisted living center is conveniently located next to the nursing and rehabilitation center, with the two buildings connected by a hallway.

Benefits of Eberhardt Senior Community as a whole

Activities and social interactions with other seniors at any level of care are extremely important to their physical and mental health. At Eberhardt Senior Community, with every level of care from independent living to skilled nursing, seniors are not isolated and are encouraged to interact with others daily to keep their mind active and provide social connections they may not receive if they are secluded in the community. Families can rest assured their loved ones are in good hands at Eberhardt Senior Community.

Three Types Of Beneficial Rehabilitation Therapy

Rehabilitation therapy comes in many forms, but the overall goal is to help people lead better lives. This is done by teaching ways to cope with a certain health situation, guide seniors through recovery or improve quality of life in one way or another. While some nursing homes only focus on long-term care as a way for children make sure their dependent parents are taken care of, these kinds of centers can lead to further dependency. This is why focusing on rehabilitation therapy is highly important, and why it is such a valued part of The Arthur Home.

Physical therapy

Old age is often associated with chronic conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis, which can limit movement or make movement difficult or painful. Physical therapy is can greatly enhance physical capabilities to prevent falls. Also, regular physical therapy can help recovery time following events such as a stroke or in those with a history of heart disease. Physical therapy can also help curb stress levels. Physical therapy for elder relatives is highly beneficial for the whole family, allowing more opportunities for relatives to engage and interact with each other without worrying about pain or extra discomfort. Seniors will feel more included when they can be taken on family trips, creating lasting memories with parents and grandparents. They will even be able to have a better time with younger children, an activity that is much more physically demanding.

Speech therapy

Risks of a stroke are relatively high during senior years and in the case that it occurs, they are often likely to face speech impairments that will last longer than just a few months. This can lead to feelings of isolation because they can’t communicate with family, resulting in potential feelings of depression.

Speech therapy helps seniors re-learn oral skills and stimulates their memory so they can better remember words. The speech therapist engages in conversation with them to provide them with skills to better their social lives, as they may not have much as many speaking engagements as they did when they were younger. This is not only beneficial for them, but also their family since it allows members to engage in productive conversation with their elders.

Occupational Therapy

Old age often comes with a lessened ability to perform various daily tasks such as dressing and bathing themselves, which leads to a lifestyle with dependency or lack of self-care. This inability to perform daily tasks can also coincide with injury or episodes such as stroke or heart attack. Occupational therapy seeks to correct this by helping them live self-sufficiently. They start off with simple things like assisting with meals and putting on clothes, and moves on to encourage them to take on other activities with the help of modified tools like eating utensils and handles for bathtubs.

These can have a positive impact when seniors move in with family because they no longer need any help or require less assistance than before. Instead, they can spend more time interacting with relatives and living a more normal life with less dependency.

 

The Bottom Line

Rehabilitation therapy is surely a step in the right direction to help senior relatives live comfortably. With an improved quality of life and increased independence, it is easier for seniors to connect with their families by sharing experiences together that didn’t seem possible before therapy. Long-term care doesn’t have to be the immediate solution. Give The Arthur Home a call to find out options for you or a loved one.

Tips to ensure Seniors are prepared for winter

It’s starting to get cold outside! The leaves are almost done changing colors and the hats and scarves are coming out of storage. You know what that means: winter is on its way, and it’s time to make sure you’re ready! Winters in the Midwest can be unpredictable, but with proper preparation, you can be ready for anything Jack Frost throws your way.

Dress for warmth. It’s always a good idea to dress in multiple layers to prepare for any time of climate you may find yourself in. If you tend to get warm indoors but know you’ll be traveling around the neighborhood, wear a sweater or sweatshirt under your winter jacket so that you can take your jacket off inside. Make sure you wear winter-appropriate socks, and don’t forget to keep a hat, scarf and gloves with you whenever you’ll be outdoors. Your extremities (fingers and toes) will get cold the fastest, so keep them covered and you’ll keep in your body heat!

Keep it cozy inside. Your body temperature should never dip below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to set your indoor temperature warm enough, usually no lower than 65 degrees, and keep some extra slippers and blankets around if you do catch a chill. If you decide to use a portable heater, find one with an auto-shut off function, keep it plugged directly into a wall outlet (not an extension cord), inspect the wiring to ensure it’s in good condition, and keep the heater clear of furniture, newspapers and other flammable material. Safety first!

Avoid slipping on ice. As your age increases, your risk for a fall increases as well. Don’t increase this risk by being risky around ice! Replace cane tips that are worn out to better assist walking. Make sure to always wear shoes with good traction and non-skid soles when you leave the house, and avoid walking around the house with dirty shoes. This could cause puddles and other slippery situations indoors, too. Be sure driveways and sidewalks are salted to help the ice melt quickly. Stay indoors until roads have been cleared to avoid dangerous travel situations. Here at Eberhardt Village and Arthur Home, we take care of snow removal and sidewalk maintenance for you, alleviating some of the winter stress.

Prepare for power outages. Winter storms, just like any other storm, can lead to power outages. Make sure you know exactly where flashlights and batteries are, along with a radio, and keep a clear path to these items to avoid tripping over things. Keep non-perishable food in the pantry in case the refrigerator doesn’t have power and perishable food spoils. Keep in mind, when the power goes out, the heat may also turn off. Keep plenty of layers on hand, including a hat, and try to move around to raise your body temperature and fight off the cold.

Keep your diet on track. With more time spent indoors and less time spent in the sun, nutritional deficits are common among seniors – especially Vitamin D deficiencies. Consume foods that are Vitamin D fortified, such as milk, grains and seafood options like tuna and salmon. Talk to your doctor if you feel you may need additional vitamins or supplements to keep you going through the cold months.

If you’re still driving, make sure your car is ready for winter, too. Winter driving is hazardous for any driver, but seniors who drive less often may have slower reflexes. Make sure to get regular servicing on your car to ensure all functions are working properly, including a fresh oil change, fully inflated tires, a working battery and winter windshield wipers. A good rule of thumb as far as keeping your gas tank full in the winter is to pretend like your “half-tank” line is the empty line. That way, you’ll never run out of gas and there will be enough gas to keep your lines from freezing. Investing in a AAA membership is an added safety measure in case of an emergency.

Most importantly, ask for help when you need it. If your driveway needs shoveling, call a friend or family member, or if you’re in our assisted living or independent living housing, let us know your sidewalk needs shoveling or salted. If you usually feel comfortable driving, but get nervous when the temperatures drop, arrange a ride to appointments or to the store, or take advantage of our shuttle services. Also, be sure you know how to use the emergency alert system in your dwelling in case of an emergency.

By keeping these safety tips and tricks in mind, spring will be here in the blink of an eye. If you feel like you may need some additional help or services this winter, don’t hesitate to contact us to set those in place or hear about your options. We would be happy to help!

Fall Activities for Seniors

Fall is officially among us! The change of season brings with it new sights, smells and activities. The leaves begin to bloom radiant colors of fiery oranges and reds. Apple cider is sold in every grocery store and local market. Hay bales, scarecrows and pumpkins begin to adorn front porches, and the smells of wood burning bonfires and spicy pumpkin pie linger in the crisp air. Turn off the air conditioner, open your windows and go outside. It’s time to take advantage of one of the most wonderful times of the year. Here is a list of fall-themed senior activities that will allow you to take full advantage of this stunning season.

 Apple Picking: This fall season take in the beauty that is the outdoors. Encounter the changing of the crisp autumn leaves, take in the brisk and refreshing air, and last, but certainly not least, pick some apples. Apples are one of the easiest, and tastiest fruits to pick. They’re juicy, don’t bruise easily, come in a variety of flavors, store well, and can be eaten fresh, cooked or canned. Apples also make many healthy and appetizing dishes. Apple crisp anyone?

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Here are some tips to keep in mind prior to your picking. Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples on the outside of the tree are the most ripe. Picking apples can be quite easy. Roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist. Don’t wash your apples until just before you start to use them to prevent spoilage. Have any leftover apples? Make a warm cup of apple cider on a cool day. Want to bring that wonderful spicy smell of apples into your home? Fill a saucepan half fullith water then add a sliced apple and some cinnamon sticks. Bring it to a boil then turn it to a slow simmer. Remember to add water periodically because it will boil away. Your home will smell like you’ve been baking apple pie all day.  

 Pumpkin Carving: How do you mend a broken jack-o-lantern? With a pumpkin patch! What can make sitting outside on the porch with a cup of your apple cider even better? Transforming a pumpkin into a spooktacular pumpkin. This fall get your creative juices flowing and get to carving. Hold a contest to see who can come up with the funniest, scariest, and most original pumpkin. This will make for an enjoyable arts and crafts day. Even try adding an LED candle inside your jack-o-lantern to make for a festive porch or window decoration for all to see. What’s even better? Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village offer a courtyard and a patio, the perfect place to put your carving skills to the test. The Great Pumpkin Patch in Arthur, Illinois is also a great place to pick up a pumpkin and take in the scenery.

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Picnic: Winter is coming! Before it gets here, go on a picnic one last time while the weather permits. A picnic can be on the porch or deck, or going to the nearest park to find a beautiful shade tree. Another good idea is to do a potluck with the other residents. Whip up your favorite seasonal recipes and dishes. Bon appetite!

Pie Bake-Off: Attention pie bakers of all ages! Host a pie contest and enjoy the opportunity to taste and bake family recipes among your peers. Gather with friends and family, and residents of your senior community, in the kitchen and hold a pie bake-off. Bake one or two pies of your choosing. Wait until they have cooled and add vanilla bean ice cream and let the staff be the judges. Have them vote for their favorite pie. Whatever leftovers you have, serve them as dessert for everyone. It’s a win-win for all. Plus, who doesn’t love free pie? Let the games begin!

Fall Foliage Tour: The Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village assisted living center are both located in Illinois, the beautiful Midwest, which you can experience all four seasons. This is the perfect place to plan for a foliage tour to see the stunning multi-colored leaves before they fall from the trees. When you’re staying at Arthur Home or Eberhardt Village, you can enjoy their park and watch the beautiful leaves changing. Don’t forget to bring your own camera and capture memories from the event. Make it a contest by printing off a list of different types of trees and have everyone mark off the trees they see. Have a fun award for the person who identifies the most trees. Best to have them collect a leaf from each tree species to share.

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‘Fall’ in love with this holiday season and all the activities that are out there just waiting for you! Remember, it’s the small things in life that end up being the big moments.

Steps That Kids and Parents Can Take to Prep and Plan for Independent and Assisted Living

“Good night Mary Ellen.” “Good night John Boy.” “Good night Momma.” “Good night Elizabeth.”

Memories of a family who lived together in one home, with a Grandpa and a Grandma, on Walton Mountain. “The Waltons” was a popular TV show that ran for 10 years on CBS in the 70’s-80’s.  It was based on the series creator Earl Hamner Jr.’s real life family members. Hamner based the characters of The Waltons’ grandparents on composites of both sides of his Grandfathers and Grandmothers. The show competed against “The Mod Squad” and “Flip”, which were two very popular series at the time, and most critics believed “The Waltons” didn’t have a chance to score in the ratings. It not only scored, it beat out the competition and ended each episode with the much loved and famous ending, “Good-night John Boy.”

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Most families today do not live with their grandparents, nor do they live on their own mountain. But the sense of love and community and care for one’s family persists, and was and remains one of the reasons, “The Waltons,” was such a popular show. Caring for our loved ones is a primary concern and need. So, what can you do to prepare for the time when your parent or grandparent should no longer live alone? Worrying about when the time comes is not the best plan. As Grandma Walton famously said, “You fear a thing enough, you’re asking for it.” The better plan would be to prepare and make arrangements now, so there is no need to worry. Knowing your loved one has a place to live, when and if the time comes is one of the most loving things you can do for them.

John Boy Walton: “Between two people in a good marriage there develops a kind of silent communication.”

Communication. No one wants to think about the time when their parents are at the end of their days, nor do they want to talk about what arrangements should be made. According to a study by Merrill Lynch and Age Wave, nearly 75% of adults have had NO discussion – what so ever – with their parents about long-term care, living arrangements, inheritance, and funeral wishes. It’s the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ and no one wants to bring it up. But who does this help, and when would it be best to discuss this? After your parents can no longer drive? After your grandmother has fallen and needs assisted care? Waiting is not the answer. What better time to make arrangements with your parents or grandparents then when they do not need the care; when they are mentally and physically able and well to let you know their wishes and concerns.

Communication! It’s the key to insuring their wishes are taken care of, when the time comes.

Olivia Walton: I don’t think you should call Grandma “Old Woman.”

‘Grandpa’ Zebulon Walton:  Well, why not? She’ll be 68 on her birthday coming up this Saturday.

Olivia Walton: That’s why not.

How to bring it up. No one wants to start a conversation with their parents about the fact they are getting older and it’s a good time to discuss ‘arrangements’ for the future. That conversation can be awkward, excruciating, and if not handled correctly, it can ultimately hurt your relationship. Exactly how does someone begin the conversation? Waiting for a holiday gathering isn’t a great plan since most holidays are steeped in chaos and a lot of stress. Plus, you don’t want to have the discussion in a setting where it’s not the focal point, and try to ‘slip it into the conversation.’ Calling your parent and talking about it over the phone isn’t a good idea either, since there are many things to discuss and cover. A better plan is to arrange a family meeting with your siblings (if you have them) and parents. Perhaps a way to start the conversation is to simply state you want to discuss future plans and arrangements for Mom and Dad for their long-term care, for when they need it. You know everyone will want them to have the best care possible and that by planning and discussing it now, before they need it, you’ll be able to make that happen for them. Ultimately, that is the goal and with everyone on board you’ll be able to achieve it by starting the discussion when they are still in good health. Your parents taught you to plan ahead, remind them of this and they’ll understand.

John Boy Walton: “Many times when I have tripped across those events in one’s life called milestones, I have thought about how they so often catch us unaware. There was, for instance, that unforgettable spring many years ago when Grandma had to face growing old.”

 Tour Senior Care and Assisted Living Communities.  There is an assumption that all care facilities are the same. This assumption is furthest from the truth. By taking the time to tour a few facilities, you’ll be able to determine which one is best suited for your parent. ‘Nursing Homes’ have had a negative connotation for a long time, but that is no longer the case. Senior Living Communities have stepped into the new generation with much to offer and Assisted Living Communities are a wonderful alternative for loved ones who don’t need long term care but can no longer live alone in their own home. Seniors are finding that living in these communities have given them new beginnings with social events planned and new friends found. By taking the time and touring the places with your parents, you can make a sound and formed decision ahead of time and know that you have a place they’ll be able to call home.

John Boy Walton: “There is a special niche in memory where a child places his parents, a place in time where they are never younger, never older, a time when they are changeless. For me, that memory is of many years ago, and no matter what came after, they are forever young.”

Thinking of our parents as growing old or older, and taking on the role of ‘adult’ for them, is never easy. However, putting off the planning and decision making now will only make it harder on everyone when the time comes and decisions need to be made. Plan ahead now so you can rest assured your parent will be cared for as they wish and deserve to be.

9 Summer Activities for Seniors

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It’s that time of year where the warm golden sun, the fresh cut grass, and the bright blue skies beckon us all to the great outdoors. Getting outside increases your vitamin D levels which can help fight osteoporosis, cancer, and depression. So get on out there! Take advantage of the soothing summer rays. Not only will it feel good to be outside, it can prolong your life, and give you a happier peace of mind.

Here are nine activities you can do this summer!

 Picnic: What better way to spend a summer afternoon than packing a lunch, eating outdoors, and enjoying the view? You can even take your grandchildren with you. Sit on a bench in a neighborhood park and watch the children and their families having fun. Fresh air can do wonders for a soul.

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Go Fishing: This can be as simple and fun as simply catching and releasing the fish. For those who have always enjoyed fishing and for those who have never tried it, it’s as simple as sitting back on a pier or pond and letting your pole do the work. Pack a lunch, grab some friends, and make a day of it, all the while communing with nature.

 

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Walk, Jog, or Run: A nice stroll in the summer can be one of the most refreshing and peaceful activities you can experience. If your legs are not capable, no problem at all! Just getting outside, moving around, and taking in the warmth of the sun’s golden rays can keep your body, and mind, in shape.

Gardening Anyone? Do you enjoy gardening? Never tried it but want to start? If you have mobility issues that keep you from bending over, do not fret. You can plant your veggies or flowers in raised pots and flowerbeds. What are you waiting for; garden away!

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Join or Start Your Own Book Club: Does your community have a book club? If not, start your own! Check with your library to see if they have one of if they, or a local church, can help you get the word out. Invite family and friends and pick book genres you will all enjoy. If that seems like too much work, you can always participate in a book club online. Check out https://media.bookbub.com/blog/2017/01/30/online-book-clubs-2017/. This website can help give you some ideas on where to start and which club to join.

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Visit Museums, Art Galleries and Local Events: Look to see if there are museums or art galleries in your community. A lot of times these events are free! Look to see what community events are going on and plan accordingly. There are often local websites you can go to, such as Arthur Festivals and Arthur Illinois Events, to check on the various activities going on in your town. During the summer months, there are many fairs and church festivals to enjoy, especially the Bingo Tent!  Some art galleries and museums in Arthur, Illinois include Joan Winters Gallery, The Vault Art Bank, Douglas County Museum, and the Amish Interpretive Center.

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Go to a Movie: No matter our age, one thing most of us will always love, is going to the cinema. A lot of times in the summer communities will offer outdoor movie nights. Too hot and humid? Check your local theater to see what days they offer lower ticket prices or attend an afternoon matinee which is always discounted. You can even host a movie night yourself and invite friends and family. Who’s bringing the popcorn?!

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Water Aerobics: Want to make a splash this summer? If you have access to an outdoor or even indoor pool, get out there, cool down, and have some fun. Because of the buoyancy, swimming is easy on the joints, allowing you to feel relaxed and flexible. You can even attend a water aerobics class.

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Bird Watch: With over 914 bird species in North America, there are a variety of birds to identify and spot. Get a pair of binoculars and check out a local library book to help you identify the various birds, and keep a notebook. They can be quite funny and entertaining to watch. You never know what you are going to see. Also, Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village even offer a bird aviary!

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There are other fun summer activities and amenities Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village offer such as card club, live music, a library, and wellness groups.  Whatever you decide to do this summer, the list is endless. So, keep moving, keep learning, and keep engaging. Take time to enjoy yourself and this beautiful weather at Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village!

The Grey Light: Seniors and Driving (How to Ensure You’re Driving Safely)

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Today, people are living longer, which means there are more seniors on the road than ever before. That is why it is important to know that as we age, so do our bodies. Your physical abilities can change, as well as decline, making it harder to operate a vehicle. It is important to assess these changes and understand how they can affect your driving. Here are some tips you can take to improve your driving to insure you stay safe on the road.

Get an Annual Eye Check: Having good vision is extremely important when it comes to driving and operating a motor vehicle. As we get older our eye sight can deteriorate and weaken. This can affect the way we drive. There are several steps you can take to ensure you are able to see well enough to drive, but most importantly, drive safely. Make sure you get your eye sight checked one to two times a month. Your eye doctor can help with treatment if you are having any vision problems. Check with them to see if you need a new contact or glasses prescription. It is important that you always wear corrective lenses while operating a vehicle. If you have night blindness or difficulty driving in the dark, try to limit your driving hours to daytime. Be sure to keep mirrors, headlights, and windshields clean. Another important factor, make sure you can see at least 10 feet above your car. If you can’t, you need to adjust your seat.

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What Medications Are You Taking?: It is important you know what medications you are taking and what side effects they may cause. Some medications can make you feel light-headed or sleepy. If you ever feel this way, do not drive. Read your medicine labels to see if any of them interfere with your driving or say, “Do not use while operating heavy machinery,” If this important warning is on one of your medications, do not drive. If you are unsure about a certain prescription or the side-effects, consult your doctor or the pharmacist.

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Check Your Hearing: What was that? It is important to be able to hear clearly while driving. You want to make sure you are able to hear if another passenger is honking their horn to prevent an accident or if an ambulance is coming up behind you, or a train is blowing it’s horn alerting drivers of its oncoming approach. Did you know at age 65, one out of three people has hearing loss? That is why it’s important to have your hearing checked every three years. It might be necessary for you to get hearing aids and wear them while you’re driving. If the radio or in car conversations impair your hearing, try to limit them as much as possible while driving. It’s important to also be careful of cracking windows while operating a vehicle because the wind can decline the efficiency of a hearing aid.

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Get Some Sleep: Sleep is essential for everyone, but it is a key factor to driving well. Make sure you are getting eight hours of sleep a night. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police reported crashes, each year, are caused primarily by drowsy driving and this results in more than 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. It is critical you consult your doctor about the effects your medications can have on sleep and driving. Bottom line, you are the one who needs to be aware of your own abilities. If you find yourself having trouble focusing while driving, or keeping your head up, constant yawning or rubbing your eyes, you must take the necessary cautions and not drive.

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Check Your Reaction Time: As we age our coordination, flexibility, and reaction declines. This can affect the way you drive, and not in a positive way. By having a slower reaction time, it can be more dangerous for driver’s when someone suddenly pulls out in front of them. However, there are a few steps you can take to increase reaction time and keep you safe while on the road. Make sure you leave enough space between you and the next car. It’s a good idea to stay the length of two car spaces between you and the person ahead of you. Try to avoid rush hour if possible. Find alternative routes with less traffic. If you do find yourself driving on the interstate or highway, stay in the right lane, as it is meant for slower traffic, but remember to watch for oncoming traffic.

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Driving is a pleasure everyone can understand and appreciate. It affords us freedom and mobility to go see our families and our friends. No one wants to be in an accident or cause one.  We all have loved ones on the road, so help keep them safe by being responsible and attentive to your own abilities of driving and help keep everyone safe on the road.