The Benefits of Speech Therapy

The ability to communicate effectively is an essential part of everyday life. For older adults, speech can be affected by age or following an illness or injury. Thankfully, specialized speech therapy is available to help older adults regain and improve their ability to communicate. Speech therapy can be especially impactful for those who have suffered a head trauma or stroke, those with dementia and those who have trouble swallowing.

Here are some of the ways Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services utilizes speech therapy to enhance quality of life:

Speech Therapy to Strengthen Vocal Cords

Vocal cords become less elastic as we age. The larynx muscles weaken, making communication more difficult. Specialized vocal exercises can strengthen vocal cords to improve communication.

Speech Therapy to Improve Swallowing

Weakened muscles can also affect swallowing, which increases the potential risk of choking on food. Therapy exercises that strengthen larynx and jaw muscles can improve the swallowing reflex, which helps restore an individual’s ability to safely eat and drink the foods they enjoy.

Speech Therapy to Treat Stroke-Related Disorders

Following a stroke, an individual can develop aphasia or apraxia. Aphasia makes it difficult to express thoughts. Someone might say “bed” but mean “chair.” Speech therapy can help them focus on finding the correct word. Apraxia is the inability to move lips properly in order to form words. With speech therapy, the repetition of specific sounds can be used to help someone turn those sounds into words.

Speech Therapy for Dementia Patients

Speech Therapy can also be utilized to help those who suffer from dementia or memory loss. Because speech therapy targets brain functions associated with communication, it can address cognitive aspects of communication like problem solving and staying focused.

Overall Benefits of Speech Therapy

Not being able to adequately express wants, needs and desires can cause frustration and make someone feel disconnected from their friends and family, disrupting their ability to live the quality of life they are accustomed to. People tie their mental capabilities, including their ability to speak, into what makes them their own person. When they can’t thrive in everyday conversations, it can weigh heavily on their self-esteem. If they can’t enunciate or find the right words, it may leave them feeling self-conscious around others. Through rehabilitation, speech can be corrected or at least improved to alleviate some of the problems associated with difficulties speaking.

How Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services Can Help

With 38 locations throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, you can find convenient speech therapy for you or a loved one that is close to home. Whether staying at one of our skilled nursing facilities or receiving outpatient therapy, individuals will work one-on-one with a skilled speech language pathologist to reach their individual goals. We will create a personalized treatment plan to help you or a loved improve communication skills and regain confidence.

Contact Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services today to learn more about our speech therapy services. You can request a free consultation on our website or by calling us at 800-999-9883.

January Is National Thyroid Awareness Month

The thyroid is a gland in the neck that produces and stores hormones that control vital functions like metabolism, blood pressure and heart rate. If your loved one has a thyroid problem, they could have difficulty achieving and maintaining a healthy weight and may frequently experience an abnormal heart rate.

It’s important to understand the types of thyroid problems, their treatments, and how our skilled nursing facilities can assist, especially in January during National Thyroid Awareness Month. Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services, serving various regions throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, can help care for your loved one’s thyroid problems at our skilled nursing facilities.

Signs of a Thyroid Problem

Your loved one could have an underactive thyroid gland, also known as hypothyroidism. With this condition, your loved one could be more sensitive to cold or suffer from frequent fatigue or recurring constipation. He or she may gain weight, have dry skin, experience thinning hair or develop a slow heart rate. It can also affect memory.

Hyperthyroidism occurs when your loved one’s thyroid produces more thyroid hormones than normal. It causes symptoms such as the following:

  • Fast heart rate
  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Tremors
  • Hair thinning
  • Fatigue
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Osteoporosis

Other examples of thyroid problems include a thyroid storm, Grave’s disease, thyroid goiter, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and thyroid cancer. The symptoms of these conditions can be similar to hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism.

Diagnosing and Treating Thyroid Problems

Our nursing team pays careful attention to all of our residents. When we notice a problem, we discuss it with you and your loved one’s primary care physician.

Once the practitioner determines a course of action, our nurses will administer the appropriate treatment as instructed by the physician. The treatment could include a medication to decrease hormone production, such as radioactive iodine or an antithyroid drug. On the other hand, your loved one may need medication to increase hormone production. If it’s thyroid cancer, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, radiation, or surgery may be needed.

Our staff continuously monitors all residents for signs of health conditions like thyroid problems. These issues have symptoms with overlapping signs for other conditions, so we’ll follow up with a physician to order the correct lab work to confirm a potential diagnosis.

To learn more about the skilled nursing services we provide at Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation, you can request a free consultation online.


The Benefits of IV Therapy

Intravenous (IV) therapy is a treatment used to deliver fluid into a patient’s veins through an IV drip. IV therapy is one of the quickest and most effective ways to administer medication, nutrients and fluids the body needs directly into the bloodstream. 


Do Skilled Nursing Facilities Offer IV Therapy?

Yes! Our Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services skilled nurses at all of our locations are trained and certified to administer IV therapy to residents who need this type of treatment. They will explain how it works, help residents feel as comfortable as possible during treatment and ensure patient safety by monitoring the entire process.


Who needs IV Therapy?

IV therapy is an ideal treatment option for individuals with severe infections, nutritional deficiencies or immune diseases. The most common uses for IV therapy include administering antibiotics, providing necessary nutrients and assisting with rehydration. Our skilled nurses use IV therapy for residents who cannot swallow or digest food, water or medicine. IV therapy is also utilized when residents become dehydrated because they cannot keep water or food down. It allows our skilled nurses to replace fluids and electrolytes to maintain a proper and healthy balance. If a resident cannot take medication orally, in some emergency cases, IV therapy can even be a life saver.


To learn more about IV therapy options at Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services or to request a no-obligation consultation, call the Liberty Customer Center toll free at 1-800-999-9883. 


How Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services Can Help Those With Diabetes Maintain Their Independence

More than 34 million people in the United States have diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is more than 10 percent of the U.S. population. Over time, diabetes can damage the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves, which makes preventative measures so important.


Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services has a network of skilled nursing facilities that can help seniors manage their diabetes and any health complications that may result from the disease. Older adults with diabetes have special concerns that need to be addressed such as physical activity, medical intervention, hydration, nutrition and a focus on controlling blood sugar and preventing injury. Our skilled nursing facilities are uniquely qualified to meet the needs of older diabetic patients in a safe, medically supervised environment while still encouraging as much independence as possible.


Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services also provides post-acute care after a hospitalization due to a diabetic complication. If a patient loses kidney function, we can provide dialysis to help manage chronic kidney disease. If an amputation is necessary because of a diabetic complication, we can provide rehabilitation to help patients recover as much function as possible. 


Just because you live with diabetes does not mean you cannot live a healthy, happy and long life. Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services combines a safe community, personalized support services and a devoted care team available 24 hours a day to administer medications, bridging the gap between self-reliance and supportive living. With our knowledgeable staff, a resident’s diabetes can be managed effectively so they can continue to live a healthy life. Give us a call today to learn more about our services. 

How To Choose The Right Residential Care For Your Loved One With Alzheimer’s Disease


Navigating Alzheimer’s disease with a loved one is a difficult journey, especially when that loved one can no longer live on their own. The decision to move your loved one into a residential care facility is not easy, but it is often the best way to ensure they receive the level of care they need. When the time comes for residential care, Liberty Senior Living and Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services have options for your loved one. 


Independent or Assisted Living:

Liberty Senior Living provides both independent and assisted living options. Independent living is better for someone with early Alzheimer’s who can still care for themselves and live alone safely, but may have a difficult time managing an entire house. When a little more support is needed, assisted living bridges the gap between living independently and in a nursing home. Our Liberty Senior Living communities provide meals, housekeeping, medication management and recreational and social programs, allowing your loved one to live as independently as possible while receiving additional support. Some of our Liberty Senior Living communities also have specialized Dementia Care Programs and Memory Support Units with staff trained in memory care who can facilitate meaningful engagement and activities based on an individual’s preferences and strengths. 


Nursing Home:

During the later stages of Alzheimer’s, it is usually best to transition your loved one to a nursing home. Our Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services’ skilled nursing facilities provide around-the-clock care that includes long-term medical treatment, nutritional meals and social activities. The stages of Alzheimer’s disease affect everyone differently. Our team carefully reviews each resident’s medical history to make sure Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services is the best fit for their specific needs.


Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease. Through each stage, Liberty Healthcare’s ability to provide a continuum of care services allows your loved one to easily transition as their level of care changes. Our team of dedicated caregivers is on standby to help you and your loved one through the challenges of this disease. Creating a plan early on can help ease the physical, emotional and financial burdens of caregiving. Early planning may also allow your loved one with Alzheimer’s to express their personal preferences for the future. To start creating that plan now, you can request a free consultation here or give us a call at 1-800-999-9883.


Pisgah Manor Achieves Five-Star Quality Rating

Pisgah Manor recently achieved a highly sought after Five-Star Quality Rating – the highest rating possible on the scale dictated by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). 

The CMS created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help potential residents, their families and caregivers compare skilled nursing facilities.

The quality rating is determined by three sources of information: health inspections, staffing and quality measures. 

  1. Health Inspections: The health inspection rating uses the three most recent health inspections and any investigations due to complaints. Trained, objective inspectors visit each facility to determine if the facility meets Medicaid and Medicare’s minimum quality requirements.
  2. Staffing: The staffing rating is determined by the average number of hours staff provide care to each resident each day. 
  3. Quality Measures: The quality measure rating involves 15 different physical and clinical measures for residents, offering details about how well facilities care for their residents’ physical and clinical needs.

Pisgah Manor’s Five-Star Quality Rating was achieved by a team whose goal is to continuously evaluate potential areas of improvement and growth to provide the highest quality of care to our residents.

Pisgah Manor is located in Candler, North Carolina just outside of Ashville and offers skilled nursing care, short-term rehabilitation and assisted living.

National Handwashing Awareness Week Highlights Best Practices During COVID-19

National Handwashing Awareness Week, observed the first full week in December, is a great reminder to practice certain techniques to make handwashing as effective as possible. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of proper handwashing – a trend Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services hopes will continue in order to curb the spread of germs and viruses in the communities we serve.

Washing your hands keeps you healthy and prevents the spread of respiratory and diarrheal infections. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends following these five steps every time you wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

 The CDC outlines the following key times to wash your hands to avoid spreading germs:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before and after eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal feed or animal waste
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage

To prevent the spread of germs during the COVID-19 pandemic, the CDC emphasizes the importance of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or to use a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol before and after the following actions:

  • Touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • Touching your mask
  • Entering and leaving a public place
  • Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts or electronic cashier registers/screens

The Henry the Hand Foundation started the first National Handwashing Awareness Week in 1999. The non-profit dedicated to improving community health and wellness teaches people the role their hands play in the spread of infectious diseases through the 4 Principles of Hand Awareness:

  1. Wash your hand when they are dirty and before eating.
  2. DO NOT cough into your hands.
  3. DO NOT sneeze into your hands.
  4. Above all, DO NOT put your fingers into your eyes, nose or mouth.

While visiting loved ones during the holidays, especially those who are older and more at risk of contracting COVID-19 or another virus, handwashing is a simple and easy precaution we can all take to protect our family, friends and community. 

Visitors at all of our Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation facilities have access to hand sanitizer throughout the facility and bathrooms to wash their hands. To learn more about the extra precautions Liberty Healthcare and Rehabilitation Services is taking to protect our residents, visitors and team members from COVID-19, visit our website.

How To Help Seniors Sell Their Home


Selling a home can be a stressful time for any homeowner. For seniors looking to sell their home, the process comes with a unique set of challenges and things to keep in mind. Whether a senior person is selling their home due to retirement, looking to downsize for easier upkeep, or because they are ready to move into an assisted living or senior community, there are unique obstacles to selling a home for this demographic.


Seniors make-up a unique demographic in the real estate market. In most cases seniors have lived in their homes for many years and the property may need updates or repairs. When a senior is preparing to sell their home, it is usually connected to a large life change or is sometimes urgent due to a change in situation like needing assisted or medical care, which can make the process of selling the home especially emotional.


The key thing to remember is that selling a home can take time, so it is best to be prepared and have a plan of action for when that time comes. For seniors who are looking to get their homes sold as soon as possible so that plans can move forward, being prepared can make the process smooth for the senior person and their families.


When thinking about selling a home, open houses, showings, and offers usually come to mind first. However, the process of selling a home for a senior begins long before the for sale sign goes up in front of the house. 


Declutter As Soon As Possible

Oftentimes, Seniors have lived in their homes for many years and in that time they have accumulated clutter. The fuller a home is, the harder it can be for potential buyers to get a feel for the bones and space of the house. Homes with minimalist decor have a better chance of getting sold and perform better at open houses. 


Work with Seniors and their family members to decide which items will be going with seniors to their new homes and what is to be sold or handed down to the family. Marking items with colorful sticky notes can help keep things clear for the Senior, and give a visual sense of where items are destined. If possible hold estate sales or garage sales early in the home selling process, so that as much excess can be removed from the house as possible. 


If the home needs to sell quickly, moving clutter into a storage unit works well as a temporary plan, and gives the family and Senior more time to decide what to do with items. 


Get A Trusted Real Estate Agent

Seniors should consider working with a trusted real estate agent over selling the home themselves or working with a less reputable agent. Talk to a friend or family member who can give a good recommendation and work with a real estate agent who knows the area. Remember that seniors are a demographic that may be taken advantage of.


The process of selling a home for seniors can be more complex and it’s important to work with an agent who may understand these nuances. Consider working with a Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES), a special designation that real estate agents can receive through a certification course that helps them meet the unique challenges of selling homes for people over 55.


Make Small Repairs & Improve Curb Appeal

For older homes that buyers may view as “outdated” it may not be necessary to do big remodeling projects in order to sell that home. Indeed, old homes may be more marketable to a certain target market of home buyers who are interested in having a more vintage or home with some history. 


What can help is making small repairs like fixing a leaking pipe or patching up drywall. These small repairs can make a home seem like less of a “fixer upper” to potential home buyers. Little repairs can also make the home more marketable to the target buyer. 


Ask a friend or family member to help with small repairs or work with a reputable company to tackle repair jobs. While this might make the initial cost of selling the home higher, it could result in a faster sale of the home rather than it sitting on the market for months.


Curb appeal also matters as it is the first interaction a potential buyer may have with the property. Hire a professional company to trim bushes, trees, and clean up the landscape. A major overhaul may not be necessary, simply making the area around the home, and the exterior clean and tidy can make the biggest difference. What may seem like a small change can make the home more marketable to buyers.


Emotionally Prepare

Selling a home at any time can be emotional. A home is a place where memories are made and is an intimate part of life. For seniors and their families, selling a home can be even more emotional as it is often tied to a major life change, like the senior retiring, downsizing, or is sometimes care or health related. 


For seniors selling their homes, it is not only an emotional time for them but also their families who may have grown up in the home. 


During the sales process, it’s important that seniors and their families be transparent with each other about why the home sale is happening as it can help to ease tensions. It’s also a wonderful time to relive happy memories and focus the reason that seniors are selling the home and what the future holds for the next phase of life.


Seniors making the decision to sell their home can signify a big change in life. No matter what the reason, making preparations as early as possible can help make this step go smoothly. For seniors who are in need of short or long term care connected with the decision to sell their home, Liberty Healthcare & Rehabilitation Services can help meet seniors wherever they are in the journey.


How to Plan for Your Aging Parent's Future

Your parents spent a great deal of time planning for your future, more than likely. They went above and beyond to make sure you were cared for, and now, it’s your time to do the same for them. Liberty Healthcare and Rehab, serving various areas throughout NC, has some tips to assist in the process. 


Evaluate Your Parent’s Situation

Before you have a game plan for your loved one, you should look at their current situation. Does your loved one live alone? How close are you in the event of an emergency? What are the dimensions of your parent’s home? Is it small enough that they can easily care for it? 

By answering these questions, you can get a better idea of your parent’s situation and determine if you should begin the search for nursing care in North Carolina for them. 


Look at Your Parent’s Health

As you’re planning for your aging parent’s future, you should consider your parent’s health. Assess their mobility. Think about if they’re able to walk and get around their house easily. Evaluate how many falls they’ve had recently. 

Take some time to evaluate your loved one’s health condition, both physically and cognitively. Determine whether the conditions are worsening or remaining the same. 

If you notice that your loved one is falling more or struggling to maneuver around their home, it may be time to look into care. Additionally, nursing care in North Carolina could be an option if your loved one has worsening health conditions that require monitoring.


Factor in Your Situation 

When you’re considering their future, look into options for them to stay at home. If the option of them staying with you seems impossible and there’s no one else to step in, you may need to consider a nursing care facility. 


Have the Talk 

Talk to your parents about how they feel about their current living situation and how they feel about downsizing their home, going to a care facility, living with a family member, or whatever their situation is. You don’t want your loved one to be resentful of you if you make decisions without their consent. 


Review Your Parent’s Finances

While you’re in the planning process, make sure you know your loved one’s finances to determine which nursing home in NC is right for them. Take into consideration that some locations take insurance while others require you to pay out of pocket only.  


Know Their Level of Care Needed

Different care levels for the elderly exist, such as assisted living and skilled care.

Assisted living is for patients that can benefit from assistance with specific everyday activities in a safe residential setting. This allows seniors to maintain their independence in a safe, supportive residential community.

Skilled care is for patients who require a bit more care, often only that a nurse can provide. Additionally, a person who qualifies for nursing care may have a serious medical condition that nurses can better manage.

Ultimately, you should have a general idea of the level of care your loved one requires based on their health. If you’re paying with insurance, it’s important to contact the provider to determine what level of care they’ll cover for your loved one and what needs to happen for them to qualify. 


Legal, Financial and Medical Considerations

Before your loved one goes to any facility, it is important to make legal, financial and medical decisions. Making these decisions early, gives you the advantage of being prepared for the future and not having to worry about them, when other life circumstances are at play.

As you plan for your parents future, you need to keep your loved one’s interests and health in mind. Eldercare attorneys and financial planners can help families determine which documents are needed and how they should be completed. 

Find a care home for your loved one with Liberty Healthcare and Rehab, serving various cities in North Carolina.   


Four More Liberty Healthcare and Rehab Facilities Receive National Recognition

The Pavilion Health Center at Brightmore, Royal Park Rehabilitation and Health Center of Matthews, The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge and Yadkin Nursing Center are the proud recipients of Silver and Bronze National Quality Awards from the American Health Care Association (AHCA) and the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL). These facilities are joining a growing list of Liberty Healthcare and Rehab facilities that have achieved this honor that shows their commitment to quality care. 

Our AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award recipients now include:

Capital Nursing and Rehabilitation – Silver Award

Shoreland Health Care and Retirement Center – Silver Award

The Pavilion Health Center at Brightmore – Silver Award

Bradley Creek Health Center at Carolina Bay – Bronze Award

Elizabethtown Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center – Bronze Award

Golden Years Nursing Home – Bronze Award

Liberty Commons Rehabilitation Center – Bronze Award

Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Alamance County – Bronze Award

Liberty Commons Nursing and Rehabilitation Center of Halifax County – Bronze Award

Royal Park Rehabilitation and Health Center of Matthews – Bronze Award

Three Rivers Health and Rehabilitation Center – Bronze Award

The Foley Center at Chestnut Ridge – Bronze Award

Yadkin Nursing Center – Bronze Award

The prestigious awards are part of a rigorous process that evaluates long-term and post-acute care providers against nationally recognized standards. The AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program is one of the most comprehensive performance assessments for providers to know where they stand based on the Baldridge Criteria for Performance Excellence. 

Bronze recipients must demonstrate a groundwork for excellence by completing a self-assessment that outlays their organizational priorities and goals.

Silver recipients must outline their systematic approaches and demonstrate sustainable results linked to their key customer requirements, success factors and challenges. 

Trained experts spend more than 100 hours reviewing each application. Applicants then receive an objective written assessment detailing their strengths and opportunities for improvement. The application process itself provides an opportunity for internal assessment and team building.

Paula Crawford and Tanya Rocquemore, pictured above, represented our Liberty Healthcare and Rehab awardees at the 72nd AHCA/NCAL Convention & Expo just outside Washington, D.C. on October 12. James Krob, Jeff Wilson and Paul Babinski were also in attendance to celebrate this exciting achievement for Liberty Healthcare and Rehab.