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Home Care in Diamond Valley, UT

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, sometimes they cannot live independently without someone by their side to provide care. Unfortunately, some older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live in the comforts or their home rather than in an assisted living community. Home care in Diamond Valley, UT is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

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Home Care Diamond Valley, UT

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they age. We are proud to have helped tens of thousands of seniors to maintain a higher level of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home care services in Diamond Valley, UT. Always Best Care is here to help.

How does In-home Senior Care in Diamond Valley, UT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 In-Home Care Diamond Valley, UT

Types of In-home Care in Diamond Valley, UT

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

 Elderly Care Diamond Valley, UT

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes or Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming
 Senior Care Diamond Valley, UT

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading

Respite Care Diamond Valley, UT

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite activities and hobbies while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community Events and Social Outings
 Caregivers Diamond Valley, UT

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy other activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress helps reduce the risks of caregiver burnout.

When it comes to non-medical home care, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible. If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

Benefits of Home Care in Diamond Valley, UT

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Home Care Diamond Valley, UT
  • Age in Place
    According to AARP, 9 out of 10 seniors prefer to age in place within the comfort of their own home. With in-home care, seniors have a way to stay at home, receive the care they need, and maintain a sense of independence, improving overall wellness.
  • Peace of Mind
    If you or a member of your family have assumed the role of caregiver for your senior loved one, you know how stressful the job can be. Between caregiver burnout and constant worry, being a family caregiver is hard. In-home care relieves your burden and gives you peace of mind knowing that your senior family member is in expert hands.
  • Socialization
    Unlike many senior care facilities where the staff and residents rotate frequently, seniors can foster new friendships and build bonds with their caregiver. Seniors who socialize on a regular basis are often happier, which fosters positivity and leads to increased wellbeing.
  • Personalized Care Plan
    No two seniors need the same kind of in-home care assistance. That is why each of our care plans are tailored to meet our client's individual needs. We offer plans that cover everything from light housekeeping to more involved duties like transportation to doctor's appointments. Our Care Coordinators will work closely with you to develop a personalized plan to ensure your senior's needs are exceeded.

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for clients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

 In-Home Care Diamond Valley, UT

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

Comfort

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Diamond Valley, UT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

Independence

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

 Elderly Care Diamond Valley, UT

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Diamond Valley, UT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

 Senior Care Diamond Valley, UT

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

  • Veteran's Benefits: Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
  • Private Insurance: Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
  • Life Insurance: Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Diamond Valley,UT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

01

An assessment of your senior loved one

02

An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home

03

Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs

Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

Latest News in Diamond Valley, UT

Future Legends Sports Complex has its dome up and sports on site. What to expect in 2023

The dome is up, sports are happening inside the bubble and you can see the four-acre structure throughout much of Windsor.Yes, the "future" in Future Legends Sports Complex (1111 Diamond Valley Drive) is now the present."We are now officially open as a complex," said Casey Katofsky, son of founder Jeff Katofsky and the site's executive director. "We have people playing youth and adult sports on site, right now."The Coloradoan recently got a look inside Future Legends' indoor f...

The dome is up, sports are happening inside the bubble and you can see the four-acre structure throughout much of Windsor.

Yes, the "future" in Future Legends Sports Complex (1111 Diamond Valley Drive) is now the present.

"We are now officially open as a complex," said Casey Katofsky, son of founder Jeff Katofsky and the site's executive director. "We have people playing youth and adult sports on site, right now."

The Coloradoan recently got a look inside Future Legends' indoor facility and spoke with Casey Katofsky about what the year holds for this long-anticipated, often-delayed sports complex.

Here's the outlook for Future Legends in 2023:

The dome is ready for play

One look inside the massive 96-foot-high, 167,000 square-foot dome reveals that it's as impressive as it sounds.

The multipurpose bubble was officially set in October 2022 after the original cloth material was damaged last May.

Approximately half the indoor space is dedicated to a full-sized synthetic turf soccer/flag football/lacrosse field. The other half is a Sport Court playing surface (the same used at NCAA volleyball championships) that can be configured for dozens of basketball, volleyball or pickleball courts and even concerts.

During our recent visit, the Northern Colorado Hailstorm pro soccer team had just completed an indoor practice on the turf, followed by a University of Northern Colorado softball practice.

Youth volleyball, high school basketball teams, pickleball clubs and more have utilized the facility already this winter.

Anecdotally, volleyball teams have appreciated the slightly more forgiving surface, while basketball teams haven't noticed a significant difference as the tiles get broken in.

There are still capacity limits ("200 instead of 3,000") given a lack of parking due to exterior construction and impending fire marshal approvals. Both are expected to be resolved "in the next couple months."

While there is also still exterior work left, Casey Katofsky said the structure is "99% complete inside," with only minor aesthetic adjustments remaining.

It's also been a catalyst for the entire complex. Windsor residents can see more tangible signs of progress after a multiyear construction delay, while the staff sees actual gameplay.

"You’re no longer a construction site," Katofsky said. "Now you’re an actual sports complex, with some things merely under construction."

The latest on the Hailstorm, Owlz

The Hailstorm (USL League One) and the Northern Colorado Owlz (Pioneer League baseball) are based out of Future Legends but spent their first seasons in the area as nomads in 2022.

The Owlz played out of Jackson Stadium at UNC's campus in Greeley. The Hailstorm also played there, at Severance High School and even at CSU's Canvas Stadium.

They shouldn't have to travel for home games in 2023.

The Owlz (May 23) and Hailstorm (May 27) are each scheduled to play "on-site" home openers in late May.

The "on-site" distinction accounts for the fact that the TicketSmarter Stadium (6,500 capacity) and Future Legends Field (2,500 capacity) structures may not be fully ready for maximum capacity by then.

"The biggest issue is (the number of) fans, not playing-field readiness," Katofsky said. "If construction is still happening, that takes up space and presents safety risks with heavy machinery. But the fields themselves will be ready to host games regardless."

Both stadiums have dual-purpose synthetic-turf fields that can be used interchangeably for baseball and soccer, an admittedly unique combination of sports.

The Hailstorm made a significant dent in their inaugural season, winning two U.S. Open Cup matches and nearly making the USL League One playoffs.

The Owlz (who moved to Windsor from Orem, Utah, in 2021) recently hired local baseball staple Frank Gonzales as their new manager, a move made to foster more community connections.

"We are extremely excited to have Coach Gonzales," Katofsky said. "Not only is he extremely qualified within the (Colorado) Rockies system, he is someone who cares a ton about this community with deep roots in it."

What tournaments will be played at Future Legends?

Future Legends (and the Town itself) has long touted it would be an economic boon for Windsor via an estimated 1.2 million visitors per year, many through national and even international youth sports tournaments.

Katofsky said multiyear contracts for major youth tournaments have already been signed, some of them starting as soon as later this year.

He declined to name specific events, citing a desire for partner organizations to announce finalized details themselves.

However, you can expect these tournaments (and more) over the coming 18 months:

Katofsky said there's a balance between local use and these national tournaments.

Local practices, clubs and teams may dominate the Monday-to-Thursday range weekly, while weekends are expected to heavily feature events with a wider scope.

"Those tournaments and events get a lot of priority, but we will also prioritize getting plenty local representation for our local clubs and high schools in these broader events."

2023 timelines for Future Legends structures

Future Legends Field, TicketSmarter Stadium

The aforementioned outdoor centerpieces of the complex will be field-ready for the 2023 Owlz and Hailstorm seasons, likely with limited capacity. Full construction is anticipated for completion in the latter half of 2023.

Scheels Sports Center

This part of the complex will feature eight outdoor multipurpose synthetic turf fields and a youth baseball/softball field. Snow and construction backups delayed a fall 2022 opening to this year, and it's anticipated to be ready for play during summer 2023.

Restaurant/lounge

The restaurant and lounge is connected to the indoor dome, with windows overlooking indoor play on one side and outdoor windows offering views out toward the mountains and TicketSmarter Stadium plus the outdoor pickleball and beach volleyball courts.

On-site dormitory

This is one of the more unique elements of Future Legends and is approaching completion for summer 2023. The 64-"room" dormitory fits up to 12 to 14 players and two coaches per room, according to construction specs.

Katofsky said this will allow the facility to host these major youth events as "dorm-style" tournaments, where many traveling participants can stay on site.

Indoor bubble/dome

The four-acre indoor structure is basically finished and open for play as of winter 2023. There are still remaining capacity limits due to parking and fire marshal approvals, but they are expected to be resolved soon.

"People have been waiting to see this for so long," Katofsky said. "Even before we came around, they wanted an indoor facility. It's a dream to finally make it happen."

What the Future Legends complex will ultimately include

In case you need a refresher, here are some of the various structures planned for the completed version of Future Legends:

6A football will feature 3 regions of 6 teams from 2023-25. Here's who's moving

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutesMIDVALE — Utah high school sports will be realigned regionally, at least in the state's largest classification.After a meeting of the Utah High School Activities Association's board of trustees held Thursday, in addition to several rounds of public feedback, the board finalized a new realignment cycle beginning with the fall of 2023 through the 2025 academic year.The biggest change in the 6A classification involves Corner Canyon and 6A newcomers and ...

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

MIDVALE — Utah high school sports will be realigned regionally, at least in the state's largest classification.

After a meeting of the Utah High School Activities Association's board of trustees held Thursday, in addition to several rounds of public feedback, the board finalized a new realignment cycle beginning with the fall of 2023 through the 2025 academic year.

The biggest change in the 6A classification involves Corner Canyon and 6A newcomers and reigning 5A football champion Lehi, which will essentially swap regions from the original recommendations.

The Chargers are headed to Region 2 alongside Bingham, Copper Hills, Herriman, Mountain Ridge and Riverton; and the Pioneers will move to Region 3 with American Fork, Lone Peak, Pleasant Grove, Skyridge and Westlake.

Davis and Weber county-based Region 1 remained unchanged with Weber, Fremont, Layton, Syracuse, Davis and Farmington.

The original proposal called for Lehi and Westlake to be placed in the old Region 3 (now Region 2), and Corner Canyon to remain in Region 4 (now Region 3) — giving 6A regions of five, six and seven regions. That was realigned after representatives from American Fork, Lone Peak, Pleasant Grove, Skyridge and Corner Canyon in Region 4 petitioned the UHSAA to even out the regions last month, as first reported by the Standard-Examiner and confirmed by KSL.com.

The primary goal was to align all three regions with an equal number of teams, officials from the UHSAA said.

The 4A and 5A classifications will be played among four regions in all sports, while 3A will feature three regions for every sport and activity but football; 2A will have four regions for every activity but football; and 1A will include four regions for every activity but football, with a small carve-out amongst football-playing schools in the recently re-introduced eight-player division.

In all, 17 teams from 11 different schools were approved to move to a higher classification in a single sport — most notably, Layton Christian Academy to 4A in boys' soccer and boys' basketball and Orem in boys' basketball and baseball.

The Eagles will play in the primarily Salt Lake County-centric 5A Region 10 in soccer and the mostly Utah County-centric 5A Region 8 in basketball. The Tigers, meanwhile, will join 5A Region 7 in boys' basketball, baseball and football, while playing in the newly aligned 4A Region 8 alongside Mountain View, Payson, Provo, Timpanogos and Uintah in most other activities.

Other single sports moving up include American Heritage boys' basketball (3A Region 14), American Leadership baseball and softball (3A Region 14), Jordan baseball (5A Region 6), Juan Diego baseball (4A Region 10) and boys' basketball (5A Region 4), Murray baseball (5A Region 4), Park City boys' and girls' lacrosse (5A Region 6), and Salt Lake Academy boys' and girls' soccer (6A Region 2).

Four teams from three schools will play as UHSAA-approved independents from 2023-25: Mount Vernon boys' basketball, Wasatch Academy boys' basketball and Salt Lake Academy boys' and girls' basketball.

UT MARTIN SOFTBALL ANNOUNCES 2022 SCHEDULE FEATURING 15 HOME GAMES

MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin head softball coach Brian Dunn has announced its 2023 schedule which features four tournament appearances, a loaded Ohio Valley Conference slate and 15 home games.The Skyhawks open the year with 50 schedule contests including matchups against three teams which earned berths to the NCAA Tournament last season. UT Martin will travel to eight states inc...

MARTIN, Tenn. – University of Tennessee at Martin head softball coach Brian Dunn has announced its 2023 schedule which features four tournament appearances, a loaded Ohio Valley Conference slate and 15 home games.

The Skyhawks open the year with 50 schedule contests including matchups against three teams which earned berths to the NCAA Tournament last season. UT Martin will travel to eight states including Alabama, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee while competing against 14 different conferences before opening the team's 24-game OVC schedule.

UT Martin will open the season at the Black and Gold Tournament in Montgomery, Ala. in a five-game tournament running from Feb. 10-12. The Skyhawks will join a field with a matchup against Kennesaw State to open the season on Friday, Feb. 10. The following day with see the squad play two games on Saturday against Western Carolina and Alabama State. The tournament will wrap up with rematches against Western Carolina and Kennesaw State on Sunday morning.

The following weekend will see the Skyhawks travel to the UE Invitational in Evansville, Ind. on Feb. 17-18. UT Martin will square off against Green Bay and Kansas City on Friday before repeating both matchups on Saturday.

The Skyhawks will close out the month of February at The Spring Games in Madeira Beach, Fla. for a five-game tournament appearance. UT Martin will face off against 2022 NCAA Tournament performer Notre Dame on Friday before closing out the day against Dartmouth that afternoon. Saturday will see another NCAA Tournament team across the diamond as the Skyhawks face Oakland in the morning before a quick turnaround against Valparaiso. The tournament will be capped off against Siena College on Sunday.

The team's final tournament appearance will come at the Saluki Invitational in Carbondale, Ill. running from March 3-5. UT Martin will battle the tournament hosts Southern Illinois on Friday afternoon before squaring off against Butler and SIU on Saturday. The final contest will see the Skyhawks square off against Loyola on Sunday.

UT Martin will have its home opener on Tuesday, March 7 when playing host to Alabama A&M. The Skyhawks will round out their non-conference schedule with matchups against Marshall and Bellarmine in Louisville, Ky. on March 22 before hosting Mississippi Valley State on March 28. Other non-conference matchups include a road matchup at Ole Miss (Apr. 4), a home meeting against Memphis (Apr. 11), a neutral site contest versus Memphis in Lexington, Tenn. (Apr. 25) and a road game at North Alabama (May 3).

OVC play will begin with a three-game home series against Eastern Illinois (March 11-12). The Skyhawks will also play host to three-game series against Tennessee State (March 25-26), Tennessee Tech (Apr. 7-8) and Lindenwood (Apr. 22-23) in conference matchups. Rounding out the OVC slate are road series at SIUE (March 18-19), Southern Indiana (Apr. 1-2), Morehead State (Apr. 15-16) and Southeast Missouri (Apr. 29-30).

The OVC Softball Championship is scheduled for May 10-13 and will be held at Choccolocco Park in Oxford, Ala. for the seventh year with the top-eight programs qualifying for the field. UT Martin will look to advance to its 12th OVC Softball Championship in the past 14 championships.

A plan to share the pain of water scarcity divides farmers in this rural Nevada community

In central Nevada, on the edges of the small town of Eureka, farm fields unfold for miles between the Sulphur Spring Range and Diamond Mountains.Green crop circles fill up the remote land. Tractors roam slowly across open fields. Black cattle dot dusty playas.This is Diamond Valley, a high-desert basin with 26,000 acres of irrigated agriculture – mostly hayfields – that relies heavily on groundwater pumped up to the surface to grow crops.A slice of that acreage is owned by Marty Plaskett, who’s spent hi...

In central Nevada, on the edges of the small town of Eureka, farm fields unfold for miles between the Sulphur Spring Range and Diamond Mountains.

Green crop circles fill up the remote land. Tractors roam slowly across open fields. Black cattle dot dusty playas.

This is Diamond Valley, a high-desert basin with 26,000 acres of irrigated agriculture – mostly hayfields – that relies heavily on groundwater pumped up to the surface to grow crops.

A slice of that acreage is owned by Marty Plaskett, who’s spent his entire life farming this land. On a hot summer morning in early September, Plaskett stood next to an irrigation pivot, a large rotating sprinkler system that was watering his green alfalfa field.

In a light blue checkered shirt and gray trucker hat, Plaskett smiled beneath his mustache as he described some of the innovations in irrigation.

“This water here is spraying mainly in the crop canopy so it’s spraying directly to the ground,” said Plaskett, noting how the low-elevation sprinklers reduce his water use – and waste.

For years, Plaskett used elevated sprinklers that sprayed more plants at once. Sometimes colorful rainbows would show up in the mist – a sight he used to enjoy.

“Now, it makes me sick to my stomach,” said Plaskett, shaking his head. “Because any water that’s leaving by evaporation is going up in the air. It’s the worst thing to see water drifting anymore.”

To Plaskett, any groundwater being pulled to the surface just to evaporate is wasted. And this valley can’t afford to waste any water.

Since the 1960s, state officials had let farmers over-pump the basin-fill aquifer in Diamond Valley, which is mainly recharged by winter storms. Back then, the state appropriated irrigation groundwater rights totaling about 126,000 acre-feet. One acre-foot is the amount of water that fills an acre of land to a depth of 1 foot.

Decades later, however, it was discovered the amount of water available in the valley each year is only 30,000 acre-feet.

As a result, for more than half a century, groundwater levels have dropped by an average of 2 feet every year.

And without water?

“Your land value is zero, you have no livelihood, see you later. So that wasn’t an option for us,” Plaskett said.

Few things are more valuable to a farmer in the West than water. When there’s not enough to go around, figuring out whose use matters the most often leads to heated arguments.

Faced with the threat of some farmers losing their access to water entirely while others didn’t feel the scarcity at all, farmers got together in an attempt to shoulder the burden together.

They were able to do that because in 2015 the state declared Diamond Valley a critical management area – Nevada’s only basin with that designation. They had 10 years to put together a groundwater management plan.

If they didn’t succeed, the state could turn off at least half of the farmers' wells to ensure the aquifer didn’t run completely dry. The oldest rights would be protected; the newer ones were vulnerable. The same legal foundation governs how water is managed across most of the Western U.S.

Jake Tibbitts, who oversees Eureka County’s natural resources department, said doing nothing wasn’t an option.

“We’re taking water out much quicker than it’s being replenished by Mother Nature,” Tibbitts said. “So, that becomes the big issue here is it’s something that we can’t continue on that path forever.”

So, Tibbitts helped develop a plan that could fit the needs of water users in Diamond Valley while addressing the need for cutbacks. The process, he said, wasn’t easy. Many meetings ran long into the night and often grew heated. Tensions formed between farmers and ranchers in the valley.

“There are some that are fully senior water rights holders that do not support the plan, and it did drive a wedge in some of those personal relationships,” Tibbitts said.

In 2018, after years of negotiations, a groundwater management plan was approved by a majority of the valley’s water users, with a mix of senior and junior water rights, and later green-lit by the state.

Tibbitts said many irrigators in Diamond Valley own both junior and senior rights, and 64% of those with the latter signed onto the plan. The new system required all irrigators to reduce their use, spreading cuts over a 35-year period. By year 5 of the plan, farmers and ranchers, as a whole, have to reduce their groundwater pumping by 15%. By year 10, they’ll have to cut back pumping by 30%.

That’s a drastic change from how most water law functions in the West, according to Philip Womble with the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University.

“The prevailing system for allocating water in the western United States is known as prior appropriation,” Womble said. “And this is a priority-based system where older, more senior water rights get their entire water allocation before newer, more junior water users get any water.

“(Diamond Valley) is the only place where a groundwater system that is only implementing that priority-based water-rights system has transitioned to a different allocation scheme that shares shortage.”

But not everyone is in favor of sharing shortages, especially those farmers with senior rights. They sued to keep the groundwater plan from moving forward. One plaintiff was Sadler Ranch, a cattle operation with some of the oldest water rights in the region.

Ranch manager Levi Shoda said those rights shouldn’t be messed with. He’s not against a groundwater management system. But he sees the approved plan as a loss – not only in the value of the ranch but also in the way of doing things.

“We see water rights as a private property right,” Shoda said. “And when you start taking private property rights and start giving them to — reallocating them to somebody else, I think you're crossing a line.”

The farmers with senior rights argued that the groundwater plan went against the basic tenets of western water law. Carson City-based attorney David Rigdon represents Sadler Ranch.

“This basically overturns 155 years of Nevada water law that people have set themselves up economically,” Rigdon said. “They've made investments on the basis of this principle of prior appropriation.”

But those farmers facing a complete shutdown of their pumping as the aquifer declined said the plan is a reasonable ask for shared sacrifice. Reno-based attorney Debbie Leonard represents Plaskett and other farmers backing the plan, which she called a creative solution to an unsustainable priority-based system.

“It encourages conservation in a way that prior appropriation never would do,” Leonard said. “Prior appropriation has the exact opposite – it has no incentive to conserve because then you lose your water rights and nobody wants to do that.”

Despite legal challenges from Sadler Ranch and two others, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld the contested plan in a 4-3 ruling this June. The ranch’s request for a rehearing was denied late this summer. Without any more legal barriers, the new plan is on track to be implemented next irrigation season, starting in the spring of 2023.

“We recognize that our opinion will significantly affect water management in Nevada,” wrote Associate Chief Justice James Hardesty in the court’s majority decision. “We are of the belief, however, that – given the air nature of this state – it is particularly important that we effectuate the plain meaning of a statute that encourages the sustainable use of water. The GMP [groundwater management plan] here is a community-based solution to the long-term water shortages that befall Diamond Valley.”

According to Womble, Diamond Valley is one of many overdrafted groundwater systems in the West. This, he said, is why expects water managers and policymakers elsewhere to look at this unique plan as an example of adapting to shrinking aquifers.

Back on farmer Marty Plaskett’s hay operation, he said he knows there’s no guarantee that this plan will work, but they had to try something to protect their futures. Even if it means everyone is getting less water.

“It’s just the need to have the long-term vision,” Plaskett said. “It’s not about me, it’s about our kids or whoever comes next.”

He added that this plan is unique and might not apply in other regions of the west dealing with water issues. In other words, the ripple effects coming from Diamond Valley may be small – at least, for now.

This story is part of ongoing coverage of water in the West, produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, distributed by KUNC, and supported by the Walton Family Foundation.

Copyright 2022 KUNR Public Radio. To see more, visit KUNR Public Radio.

Next total solar eclipse will be the last for US in decades

After 2024, the next total solar eclipse to be visible from the United States is in 2044!Want to watch a total solar eclipse without leaving the United States? Your chance is coming relatively soon — but after that, not for another 20 years.On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will sweep across Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. According to NASA, the contiguous U.S. won't see another total solar eclipse until Augus...

After 2024, the next total solar eclipse to be visible from the United States is in 2044!

Want to watch a total solar eclipse without leaving the United States? Your chance is coming relatively soon — but after that, not for another 20 years.

On April 8, 2024, a total solar eclipse will sweep across Mexico, the U.S. and Canada. According to NASA, the contiguous U.S. won't see another total solar eclipse until August 2044.

Total solar eclipses happen when the moon completely blocks the face of the sun, darkening the sky. While solar eclipses themselves aren't uncommon, they're only visible from a portion of the Earth each time — making total eclipses that are visible from near home rare.

The last total solar eclipse to be seen from the U.S. was in 2017, crossing from Oregon to South Carolina.

Where can I see the 2024 eclipse?

Only observers on the path of totality will see the sun's face completely blotted out by the moon.

That path enters the U.S. in Texas early in the afternoon before sweeping through Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Observers in states outside of the path will still be able to see a partial eclipse.

2 years from tonight, we'll be preparing for an epic total solar eclipse. Path of totality from Texas to Maine.April 8th, 2024Can't wait pic.twitter.com/xi3afNFwcX

— Eric Fisher (@ericfisher) April 7, 2022

Those who want to travel to see totality may need to plan ahead or risk skyrocketing hotel prices. A month before the 2017 eclipse, CNBC reported that hotel execs were seeing “strong double-digit demand” along the path. For a room at one such location, rates had jumped from $199 to $425 in just a week.

What should I expect?

Totality only lasts a few minutes, but the phases of a total solar eclipse last hours.

It starts with "first contact," when the moon first appears to touch the sun. This is the beginning of the partial eclipse phase, when the moon passes between us and the sun but doesn't completely cover its face. A crescent of the sun will be visible.

Young girls jump on a trampoline during a partial solar eclipse near Lahore, Pakistan, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)

Once the moon covers most of the sun's face, observers may see tiny beads of light. Called Baily's Beads, they're caused by rays of light running through the moon's craggy surface. NASA says they're short-lived and may not be visible to all observers. When the moon has almost completely blotted out the sun's face, only one bright spot will be left. This is called the "diamond ring" effect.

The diamond ring effect appears as the solar eclipse totality ends Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, over the Orchard Dale historical farm near Hopkinsville, Ky. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

Finally, totality begins. This is the only time you can safely look at the eclipse directly — you'll need eclipse glasses to look before and after.

"During totality, take a few seconds to observe the world around you," NASA's website says. "You may be able to see a 360 degree sunset. You may also be able to see some particularly bright stars or planets in the darkened sky. The air temperature will drop and often an eerie silence will settle around you."

The moon covers the sun during a total solar eclipse in Piedra del Aguila, Argentina, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Natacha Pisarenko)

The dark sky even tricks nocturnal animals into thinking it's nighttime. You may hear crickets chirping or frogs croaking.

The moment ends as quickly as it begins, with brightening and then another "diamond" on the opposite side of the moon. Observers will see the partial eclipse for another hour or so, with coverage gradually decreasing until the sun's light shines freely.

The 'ring of fire'

When it rains, it pours. On Oct. 14, 2023, less than a year before the total solar eclipse, the U.S. will see an annular solar eclipse.

This is what happens when the moon passes between Earth and the sun at its farthest point in orbit. Because the moon is further away, it appears smaller and doesn't cover the sun's face. NASA says this creates a dramatic "ring of fire" effect.

FILE - In this May 20, 2012, file photo, the new moon crosses in front of the sun creating an annular eclipse over West Mitten, left, and East Mitten buttes in Monument Valley, Ariz. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

The full annular eclipse will be visible in Oregon, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas, as well as some parts of California, Idaho, Colorado, and Arizona. All 48 contiguous states will see a partial eclipse, though the effect will be limited for observers in the Northeast.

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