Prevent Falls with These Senior Exercises for Balance

Did you know that falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults?

Falls happen at all ages, but as we grow older, we lose muscle tone and our balance suffers. This leads to a higher risk of falling. Fortunately, balance, like any physical ability, can be improved with regular practice and exercise.

In this article, we’ll go over four senior exercises for balance that, if done regularly, can help prevent falls and keep your body strong and healthy for years to come.

The Tight Rope Walk

Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart and your arms straight out at your sides, parallel to the ground. Pick up one foot and place it in front of the other to form a line, like walking over a tight rope. Pause for a second or two to make sure you’re balanced and then repeat with the next foot.

See how far you can go across the room with this exercise. It’s a great exercise for helping your brain and feet coordinate and developing strength in your feet and ankles. And, as an added bonus, you’ll develop strength in your arms and shoulders by holding them out at your sides.

Tree Pose

Tree is an ancient yoga pose that’s known to help improve balance. There are many variations of this pose, so you can adjust it to your skill level and increase the difficulty as you improve.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Pick up your right foot and balance on your left, holding your right foot just above the floor. If you have the ability, turn your right foot in, placing the sole of your right foot on your left inner calf to form a triangle wiht your right leg.

Once you’ve mastered this, pick your arms up and raise them straight out at your sides, fingers stretched wide to mimic a tree leaf. Then reach your arms up over your head and touch your palms together.

Again, if you can’t do this on the first go, it’s okay to only do a portion of this pose to start. Finally, hold the pose for several seconds, then repeat on the other leg.

Sit, Stand, Sit

This simple exercise can make a big difference in your leg strength over time. Your legs are the base for your body, so the stronger your leg muscles, the more steady your base and the less likely you are to fall.

Start by sitting in a chair facing a wall. Leave enough space between your legs and the wall to allow you to stand up comfortably.

Touch the wall with your palms to steady yourself. Then rise up out of the chair to a standing position. If you need to, you can place your hands on the arms or seat of the chair and use them to help push you up.

Once you’re standing, sit back down in the chair and repeat the process 10 times, or as many times as you’re comfortable.

Mountain Pose

Mountain is another ancient yoga pose designed to help with balance. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands down at your sides. Face forward and close your eyes.

Mentally check in with your feet and legs. Feel your feet root to the ground to form a strong base for your body or “mountain”. Stand like this with your eyes closed as long as you like.

This seems like a simple exercise, but it’s very important for keeping your mind connected with your feet. The more aware you are of your feet and legs, the less likely you are to fall when you’re caught off guard.

Try These Senior Exercises for Balance

These senior exercises for balance are a great way to improve your balance from home. However, if you have a history of falls or recurring injuries, you should talk to your doctor about physical therapy to help with balance.

At St. William’s Living Center, we have a physical therapists on staff to help you with all of your exercise needs. Contact us today to learn about how physical therapy can help you recover and prevent falls in the future.

What Is Hospice Care? 5 Facts to Know

Did you know that 1.5 million Medicare beneficiaries receive hospice care annually? And that number is increasing with each passing year.

End-of-life care isn’t an easy subject for most of us to think about, but it is something that’s important to discuss with your loved ones. Many people don’t understand the many benefits of hospice care.

If you find yourself asking “What is hospice care?”, we’re here to help. Here are five facts to know about this special type of healthcare.

1. Hospice is Supportive Care

Rather than treating the underlying illness, hospice care focuses on supporting the patient through day-to-day life. Symptom control is the number one priority. By treating the symptoms of the disease, hospice caregivers make patients more comfortable so they can live their final days to the fullest.

A care plan is established for each patient by hospice professionals. This care plan is tailored to the needs of the patient and offers 24-hour support.

2. Hospice Helps with Daily Life Activities

Hospice is more than just healthcare. Care professionals help the patient with simple tasks like bathing, preparing food, doing laundry, and cleaning their home. They can also help family members learn how to do these activities so they can support their loved ones during difficult times. 

3. Hospice Care Includes Emotional Support 

It’s not uncommon for terminally ill patients to suffer from high levels of anxiety and even depression. Hospice care workers are specially trained to offer emotional support to those dealing with a terminal illness. They can even offer spiritual guidance if that is what the patient needs.

Hospice care workers are also a great source of companionship to the patient and their family members. They can provide some needed time off to family members who take on the brunt of the caregiving responsibilities.

4. You Can Receive Hospice Care in a Nursing Home

Most people believe that a loved one must be at home to receive hospice care, but that’s not true. If your family member lives in a nursing home, they too can receive hospice benefits. 

Nursing home residents that opt for hospice care will receive regular visits from hospice nurses that are specially trained in end-of-life care. They’ll work with the nursing home staff to ensure that the care plan is working as it should and they’ll offer suggestions for therapy and other care procedures that can improve the resident’s quality of life.

5. Hospice is for the Entire Family

Hospice can be a benefit to the entire family, not just the patient. The hospice service will provide access to counselors during the illness and even after death, to help family members cope. 

They’ll keep family members in the loop during the entire process and ensure that everyone’s wishes are respected. Daily meetings with hospice caregivers can offer family members hope and stress relief during these trying times. 

What Is Hospice Care? It’s Your Choice

Hospice care is an excellent choice for those who are looking to live a more comfortable life during their final days. Talk to your loved ones about choosing hospice care when the time comes. 

At St. William’s Living Center, we understand the difficulties surrounding end-of-life care decisions. Call us anytime to discuss hospice care options in Parkers Prairie.

4 Reasons Why Assisted Living is Better Than Living Alone

Home is where the heart is.

While this statement is absolutely true, it can be tough to take the leap and leave your home behind for good. This is especially true as we age. We become set in our routines, making change difficult and overwhelming.

But sometimes change is exactly what we need to improve our lives. A little assistance can go a long way toward a more healthy and social lifestyle.

In this article, we’ll give you four good reasons why assisted living is better than living alone.

1. Maintenance? What Maintenance?

Do you love shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, repairing leaky faucets, and fixing a broken A/C in the heat of summer? Not so much!

Home maintenance can become a big burden as we age. It becomes harder to keep up with even the most minor of tasks like cooking and cleaning.

When you join an assisted living community, these chores are taken care of for you. The best part is, you can choose the level of assistance you need. There are a variety of optional amenities to add to your daily routine. They include nursing care, in-house doctor visits, bathing assistance, and personal laundry.

2. Leave Loneliness at the Door

Socialization is a wonderful way to keep your mind sharp as you age. If you spend much of your day alone, an assisted living community is just what you need to improve your social life. There are regular social functions planned on the community activity calendar.

Join in when you want to or opt to stay in your apartment for some alone time if you want to. You have the option.

3. Move It or Lose It

Regular activity is essential for your physical and mental health. Assisted living communities offer lots of extra amenities like whirlpool baths, fitness centers, and even in-house occupational therapy to help you recover from illness or surgery.

There are lots of activities planned to get your out and about. And there are plenty of indoor and outdoor common areas so you can easily take a walk to get your blood pumping.

4. Great Food? Yes, Please!

Some of us love to cook… some of us don’t love it so much. That’s okay! In an assisted living facility, you have the choice to cook for yourself or to enjoy regular breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided by the kitchen.

The meals are delicious. And the best part? You don’t have to do the dishes when you’re finished eating!

Are You Ready?

At St. William’s Living Center, we have 15 beautiful apartments in our assisted living called McCornell Court. Our goal is to provide you with the peace of mind you need and the comfort you deserve.

Call us today to find out how we can assist you!

How to Spot the Signs of Memory Problems in a Loved One

Did you know that about 40% of people aged 65 and older have issues with memory?

For most people, this is just a sign of an aging brain and not a major health issue. But, in about 1% of these cases, the person goes on to develop dementia or other forms of advanced memory loss.

It’s important that you learn to spot the signs of memory problems in your elderly loved one. Keep reading to learn how.

They’ll Fight the War of the Words

If you’ve ever tried and failed to come up with the right word to describe something, you know how frustrating it is. People who have issues with memory experience this war of the words often and you’ll notice it happening more and more as they age.

Your loved one might have to pause longer when speaking in order to get the words out correctly. They may stop in the middle of a sentence and get lost in thought. Or they may fail to join conversations at all for fear of not being able to speak how they’d like to speak.

This applies to written words too. You may notice their handwriting becomes shakier and uneven. They also might make more spelling and grammar errors than you’re used to seeing.

You’ll See All the Emotions

As we mentioned, not being able to remember words is super frustrating. And you might notice your loved one getting angry when they can’t participate in a conversation. Someone who’s normally sweet and kind might lash out at others in situations where they can’t think of the right words.

You also might notice more frequent mood swings. They may be happy one moment and sad or withdrawn the next because they can’t remember something from their past.

Other common emotions are fear and anxiety. If they’re having issues remembering what they did in recent days, they may become anxious or even suspicious of those around them.

The Familiar Becomes Unfamiliar

Simple daily tasks, like shaving or cooking breakfast, may become more difficult for them to perform. They may forget how to turn on their oven or how to hold a razor. Or they may repeat things because they’ve forgotten they did them in the first place.

Misplacing items is common with those suffering from memory problems. You might find a cell phone sitting in the sugar bowl or other strange occurrences like that. And they’ll lose common items, like car keys and gloves, more often because they’ll lose the ability to retrace their steps.

Social Butterfly, No More

It’s often difficult for people to deal with the changes that come with memory loss. They’ll know there’s something wrong, but won’t be able to put their finger on it. A normally social person may become withdrawn and depressed.

You might notice that they have a hard time planning ahead and remembering when they need to be at certain places. They may lose interest in hobbies or attending activities because of fear that they’ll forget how to participate.

When to Seek Help for Memory Problems

There are some things that you can do to help your loved one improve their memory. You can talk to them often and make sure they’re eating a good diet and drinking plenty of water. Many times, memory problems are caused by dehydration or fatigue.

But if you notice that the issues are getting worse and memory lapses are becoming more frequent and distressing, it’s time to get some help. Make an appointment with their doctor to discuss your concerns about their memory problems.

At St. William’s Living Center, we offer a variety of care services to help our residents navigate life as they age. Call us today to talk to one of our experienced staff members.

How to Talk to Your Parents About Long-Term Care

If your parents are over the age of 65, the odds are pretty good that they’ll need long-term care at some point in the future. Which is why it’s so important that you start preparing them for this possibility.

But it’s not always easy to talk to your elderly relatives about the future. If you go into the discussion unprepared, you can come out of it frustrated and without answers.

That’s where we can help. Keep reading to hear some of our best tips for how to talk to your parents about long-term care.

Do It Early

As your parents age, their health can take a turn any day. Start the process of planning for long-term care sooner rather than later. If you don’t, you may have to make these difficult decisions under stress from emergency medical or financial situations.

This is also important because you want your parents to play a big role in the decision-making process. And if you wait too long, you may have to deal with memory loss or other mental health issues. These health problems can prevent your parents from participating in this important process.

Make a List

Walk into the discussion with an organized plan. We suggest making a list of all the important points you wish to discuss with your loved ones. That way nothing gets left out.

Here are a few of the items you’ll probably want to have on your list.

  • Review existing assets, liabilities, and income.
  • Talk about how they will pay for long-term care with options like retirement funds, long-term care insurance, medicare, etc.
  • Discuss estate planning and obtaining updated documents like their will, power of attorney, trust agreements, and care directives.
  • Give them information about facilities that provide hospital care, rehabilitation, memory care, skilled nursing care, etc. And make a list of which facilities your parents prefer.
  • Discuss alternative options for when they can’t live on their own anymore, like assisted living, home health care, or moving in with relatives.

Because every family is different, your list might look different from this list. And you’ll probably need to have several discussions with them over time to check all the boxes.

Inform Them, But Let them Make the Decisions

Do plenty of research before you attempt to discuss long-term care with your parents. Print out what information you can or bring brochures or pamphlets to the table. This way your loved ones can read through the information and take their time making decisions.

Give them advice, but allow them to make their own decisions about long-term care. If they have control of the discussion, it will keep stress levels down for all parties involved.

It’s also important not to gang up on them regarding these sensitive topics. Choose one or two adult children to sit down with them. Involving more people will likely overwhelm them and lead to greater stress levels.

When in Doubt, Write to Them About Long-Term Care

Sometimes people react better to hard discussions if the information is written down. You might find it easier to include all the pertinent information in a letter or email. And your parents might have an easier time processing these decisions if they can read everything over slowly.

This is especially helpful if you live far away from your family. You can follow up on an email with a phone call to discuss further. A detailed email can also be a great way to guide the personal conversations you’ll have in the future.

At St. Williams Living Center, we offer a range of long-term care options for your loved ones. And our experienced staff is here to support you in planning for the future.

Visit our website to learn all about the services we offer. And always feel free to call us with questions. We are here to help!

We’ve Remodeled! Join Us for a Grand Opening Event

We’ve Remodeled! Join Us for a Grand Opening Event

On May 20th, something very exciting happened at St. William’s Living Center. Our new addition was completed and residents officially moved in! 

This new addition has been in the works for several years now. And we couldn’t be more excited to give our residents a beautiful new facility to enjoy. And now we want to share it with you!

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about our upcoming grand opening event.

About the New Addition

The new addition to St. William’s started with a groundbreaking ceremony on April 27, 2018. Since then, we’ve been working hard to complete this new beautiful new space. 

The project included the construction of 14 private resident rooms, each with its own private bathroom and shower. Before the renovation began, there were 16 shared rooms at St. William’s. Now that the new addition is complete, there are only three shared rooms at our facility. 

This change has also increased the number of private bathrooms from nine before the renovation to 29 after. These new rooms and spacious bathrooms offer our residents a more modern feel with a greater sense of privacy. 

Not only do residents get to enjoy more private space, but they get additional common areas as well. There is a large new kitchen, a beautiful new lobby, and a spa room too. Plus, residents have access to a brand new handicap-accessible courtyard. The outdoor area offers a safe and peaceful environment for residents to enjoy our beautiful Minnesota summers.

Renovation Update

But it’s not only the new addition that we’re excited about! We’ve been working on renovations to our existing skilled nursing facility too. 

We’ve replaced our roof and added state-of-the-art heating and cooling systems. These changes will make our residents more comfortable by adding efficiency and humidity controls. There were also new electrical receptacles added in every existing room. 

We upgraded our security camera system to provide a safer environment for residents and staff. The fire alarm system got an update as well. And we renovated our tub room and spa. 

Our entrances are improved now too, with handicap accessibility on Jackson St, Soo St, and McCornell Ave. New sidewalks surround the entire facility. Plus, there was an additional parking lot added near the Jackson St entrance to accommodate outpatient therapy, residents, and their visitors. 

More Room and Expanded Services

All of this extra room means we can offer more services to our residents and to the community. The new addition features an outpatient therapy clinic that provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy. 

Therapy is so important in helping those recuperating from illness or injury to get back on their feet. The new addition houses a large gym with two private treatment rooms. It also includes an occupational therapy kitchen, bathroom, and laundry. 

And our therapy services aren’t only for residents. With this new facility, we can treat people of all ages in the surrounding communities. This includes physical therapy for student-athletes. 

We’ll See You at Our Grand Opening Event!

We are so excited to show you all these wonderful changes! Join us on Tuesday, August 20th from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. When you visit, you’ll receive a map showing you around our new facility. There will be tours of all the new areas, including our exercise gym and therapy rooms, our new mental health office, and the new resident rooms. 

Therapy Gym

There will be finger foods and appetizers available throughout the building. And we’ll have live music in the south dining room from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Stop by our grand opening event for a great time!


St. William’s Living Center consistently receives 5-star ratings in the Medicare Nursing Home Compare program. Which means we are well above average among other nursing homes in the country. We’re proud to serve our residents and the Parkers Prairie community!

Activities for Seniors: A Day in the Life of an Assisted Living Resident

Where will you live during your golden years?

Senior living is about so much more than location. It’s about finding a balance between community involvement and personal time. And finding a balance between the necessary level of care and the freedom to come and go as you please. 

If you’re looking into post-retirement living options, it’s time you consider assisted living! It’s a customizable option to find the balance you’re looking for.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the activities for seniors available at McCornell Court, St. William’s assisted living facility. And we’ll show you what a day in the life of an assisted living resident really looks like.

Morning Activities for Seniors

Breakfast is served! It is the most important meal of the day, after all. Start your day off right with a delicious breakfast in the facility’s community dining room. 

When you choose assisted living, cooking is optional. The dining hall offers lots of breakfast options to go with any diet. Get the morning meal you want without having to deal with groceries and kitchen clean up. 

And there’s always plenty of hot coffee! Get to know your neighbors while you enjoy mid-morning coffee in the common rooms. If you prefer to take your coffee alone, you can always have a cup outside on the patio. And during the winter, lounge in front of the fireplace with a good book. 

Physical activity is important to keep you aging gracefully. Walk off your breakfast by taking a stroll around the campus. Or work in the raised, community garden during the summer. In the winter months, try out the fitness center instead. And if you’re not quite as mobile as you used to be, you can opt to have outpatient physical therapy on site. 

Not only can you get physical therapy, but you can also arrange to have medical visits at the assisted living facility. Schedule your eye doctor or your podiatry appointment on site. You can even have lab work done or have your dental checkup done right here.

Relax or Ramp-up Your Mid-Day

At St. Williams, there’s always something to do. You’ll receive a copy of the activities calendar every month. Plan ahead or go with the flow! 

Invite your family to have lunch with you in the dining hall. There’s plenty of room to entertain even the largest families. Then, after lunch, head out to the afternoon activity in the nursing home next door. 

Afternoon activities include bingo, dice games, and trivia. Join in for the community happy hour. Or visit the salon for a manicure.

Of course, you can always choose to take it easy. The best part about assisted living is that home is always just a few steps away. Opt for an activity one day and a nap the next day. The choice is yours!

An Evening to Remember

Every evening, the dining hall serves a soup and salad bar to go with your meal. Eat early then head out of the campus to watch the high school football game. 

We offer bus outings to many of the local community events as well. Enjoy live music at the hall. Or sign up for the evening boat ride. 

If you’re not big on social events, choose to stay at home. Because you’re living in your own apartment, you can stay up as late as you like. Whether you’re “early to bed, early to rise” or a true night owl, assisted living offers you flexibility in your sleep schedule

Assisted Living: The Golden Ticket to Your Golden Years!

Assisted living offers you a living situation that’s as unique as you are. At McCornell Court, we offer plenty of activities for seniors. So there’s always something to do or someone to talk to.

We offer a customizable level of care that changes as you do. Let us take care of the mundane aspects of life like housekeeping, cooking, and lawn maintenance. Enjoy your golden years.

Contact us today to learn about all the services we offer at St. William’s Living Center and McCornell Court!