Kholiswa Mbete (Klohie)
(thanks Bridgette Ackiefi!)
Jean Fornaci, Regina's mom and
Kelly's grandmother and her amazing caregiver Antionette
"Those who wish
to sing always find
~ Swedish Proverb
Photos taken by Valerie Cipriano
"Old men can make war but it is children who will make history"
~ Ray Merrit, Full of Grace
Grace Dolan, daughter of Mary Dolan, our graphic designer
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Here at Always There Home Care, we are grateful you are slowing down to read our newsletter full of items that relate to home care, home health care, aging and eldercare, as well as some useful tips for daily living. Please enjoy in the spirit of community and cooperation in which this newsletter was sent.
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Don't get angry at the actions of someone who is deeply forgetful. Instead start asking yourself... Why are they reacting this way? How are they feeling (THEM, not you)?
By Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room
Bob DeMarco, my friend and colleague lost his mom a few weeks ago.
In last month's newsletter, I spoke of his finally calling in hospice for his mom's care, Hospice was wonderful, of course, but his passed away a mere 8 days later. So Bob has taken a couple weeks off. This is one of his earliest columns about when he first moved in with his mom to be her full time caregiver:
Bored, frightened, bewildered, apprehensive, anxious and angry. I can say that every one of those words applied to Dotty when I first arrived in Delray Beach to care for her.
It just amazed me how easy it was for her to get out of balance. To get just plain mean.
How simple? Consider this. Dotty would be standing there with the door wide open on the refrigerator and making a sandwich. She didn't do it the way most of us do it. We usually take all of the component parts out of the refrigerator, close the door, put everything on the counter, and then make the sandwich.
In our home when you keep the door on our refrigerator open too long, or if the door is ajar, the refrigerator starts beeping. It has an alarm system to alert you that the door is not properly closed.
You ever hear a refrigerator beep for five minutes? Let me tell you, after 15 seconds it will drive you nuts. You might likely overreact. I did.
When the refrigerator would start beeping away, I would go in to inspect the situation. And there would be Dotty.
I might say something like "here let me help you" in an attempt to try and get the refrigerator to stop beeping. Guess what happened?
Dotty would get mad, and off she would go to her bedroom and get in bed. Then she would refuse to come out. The more I tried to reason with her the worse it became.
All I was trying to do was help, but that is not the way Dotty perceived my actions.
End result, Dotty was angry, upset, betwixt, bothered and bewildered; and I ended up with a sore stomach and sore heart.
This happened over and over back in 2003-2005. And by the way, the refrigerator kept beeping away. Sometimes at 1:30 AM.
Read the full article...
Marianna and her brother Lanny at her
grand neice' wedding
"If we are to
ever enjoy life,
now is the time, not tomorrow or next year."
~ Thomas Dreier
Tips on family Care
giving from the Red Cross
This organization, which has been focused on safety and emergency preparedness, for over 130 years has created a simple to use pragmatic Family Care giving Reference Guide.
Family Care giving Reference Guide and DVD helps individuals provide care for a parent, spouse or other loved one.
Among the many areas of useful tips include:
- Best ways to de clutter
- Surprising facts about electrical safety
- Best ways for non professionals a loved one's health status in determining whether he/she needs to see a doctor
- How to encourage safe and healthy eating for elderly folks
- How to handle choking and other eating emergencies
- Self care for the caregivers, especially as the end of life
- Important aspects of developing a will
- Best ways to comfort loved ones with dementia
- Important health records to maintain
- Quick and effective ways to create a safe home environment for elderly
- The best ways to communicate with folks with dementi
And lots more.
The information is provided in an easily read practical format. Now you can download the first 2 chapters for FREE. If you like it, you can purchase the book from the Red Cross, all proceeds go towards a great cause!
"History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again."
~ Maya Angelou
Hospitalizing a Loved One
Whether it's for a planned procedure or a medical crisis, hospitalization can be chaotic and confusing for both family caregivers and a patient with dementia.
Hospital admission is the process of getting the patient set up for a room and bed, and clinically with the right medical orders and care plan. The admissions desk takes care of the first part: paperwork regarding insurance, contact information, and internal hospital planning.
The clinical admission is then done by the hospital doctors. This includes taking the patient's history and conducting a physical exam. Next, orders for monitoring and treatment are written based on the patient's needs. If your loved one begins in the emergency room, these evaluations will first be done there. But if an overnight admission to the hospital is necessary, the steps will be repeated, because the hospital itself has a different structure and staff, as well as a longer-term treatment vision than the emergency room. Although this process can seem confusing and redundant, think of it as dealing with two separate entities
To help get your loved one's hospital stay off to the best start, take these steps during the admissions process:
1. Explain the person's dementia status.
Make sure it's clearly marked in your loved one's patient chart that he or she has dementia as well as the stage of dementia. It can also be helpful to explain what your loved one can usually do and not do for him or herself.
2. Bring a summary of ongoing medical conditions.
Be sure to make an up-to-date list of all of your loved one's conditions, which you can give to medical personnel. Hospital doctors need to understand which other conditions and treatments might affect care.
3. Bring all medications the person has been taking.
An up-to-date list (including the drug's name, purpose, dosage, and timing of doses) is important, but much better is to bring the actual containers with the medications. Don't forget any regularly used over-the-counter meds, herbals, or supplements.
Read the full article...
Gert and her daughters Marilyn and Judy
"When you wake
up in the morning,
think of what a
it is to be alive; to breathe; to think; to enjoy; to love."
~ Marcus Aurelius
KUDOS from Kelly
By Kelly McNamara
Klohie is a new comer to our company. As always, our great employees come from other wonderful employees. Klohie jumped right in, staying busy as a relief caregiver for many different clients. This can be a very difficult challenge, since she needs to quickly learn everything she needs to know to provide the same level of care as the permanent t caregiver. In every single assignment, the clients who have had the pleasure of Klohie's care have raved about her level of professionalism, her common sense, her great personality and her considerable skills. And these were all completely different clients each requiring a unique skill set. Klohie will soon begin a permanent assignment with a special couple and their wonderful family. We all hope she stays with us for a long, long time!
Maggie has been G Z's live in caregiver for over 2 years now. At almost 101 years of age, G is our oldest (and dearest) client and the longest (and first) resident in her Assisted Living Facility. In the years that Maggie has cared for G, she has celebrated every holiday with her and her family, every birthday, including her very special 100th birthday bash last year. Maggie has become a beloved member of G's family and a good friend as well as great caregiver to G. During the years of care by Maggie, G has never had a fall, a serious illness, or a hospitalization. This is largely due to Maggie's vigilance and careful m monitoring of any changes in G. We are grateful for the loving care and concern Maggie has always shown toward G., and for the special place she has earned in G's family Thanks so much Maggie for a job well done!
All caregivers mentioned in this column will receive a gift card and our sincere appreciation! Many many thanks to all of you for once again extending yourselves to ensure that we are of course Always There...!!
"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."
Providers We Love
We are privileged to have received referrals from and be able to coordinate care with many Assisted Living facilities, rehab facilities, and Medicare Home Care and Hospice agencies. Our growth is in large part due to the trust the staff in these organizations have put in our caregivers. We are likewise impressed with them and we are committed to referring to them on a regular basis
Arbor Rose, Assisted Living,
Long a favorite facility of ours, Arbor Rose boasts a wonderful and caring group of staff, activity folks who keep life interesting for residents and a very welcoming environment for our pet therapy program. Our caregivers who are providing service for some residents at Arbor Rose have determined that Arbor Rose serves the best food and has the friendliest and most attentive dining staff of any facility in which they've worked. High praise indeed! Arbor Rose is the perfect environment for those who want to age in place gracefully and well cared for. Thanks to our colleagues at Arbor Rose for their continued support and trust in our caregivers. It is always a pleasure to work with all of you!
Vitas Hospice, Waterbury,
We are always proud to refer our clients to Vitas Hospice. Their beautiful new acute care inpatient unit at St Mary's is just another reason to refer folks there who are struggling with their family members care under hospice. Vitas has distinguished itself on its response time, its amazing and unique Veterans program and its commitment to providing continuous care (24 hour care by Vitas staff LPNs or CNAs at Medicare's expense). Continuous Care is provided by Vitas when clients are actively dying or need short-term symptom management. The vast majority of people have expressed their desire to end their lives at home in peace and comfort. Vitas excels in this area. We are proud to be a referral partner.
Seabury Active Living Retirement Community, Bloomfield
One of Connecticut's first retirement communities, Seabury has grown impressively from its original facility. The sprawling campus now boasts several individual residences, from apartments to substantial single homes. Their memory care unit is superb. The surroundings provide lovely views in all seasons. An immense fitness facility, including a large pool promotes continued fitness of older adults. Seabury boasts an impressive participation of its residents in the fitness facility. Seabury also has an innovative Life Care program and Seabury at Home service. Their home care program provides both Medicare as well as home private duty services for the community and surrounding area. It is a privilege to work in co-operation with them.
Emeritus Assisted Living in Glastonbury,
A truly special community, dedicated entirely to those with memory cares issues; Buckingham/Emeritus has truly distinguished itself in the market. One has only to visit, to see the happy residents and very caring staff and management who have all who received special training in Alzheimer's and other memory care conditions. It is an honor to serve their residents and work with their great staff!
Emeritus also has facilities in Woodbridge, South Windsor, and Rocky Hill.They were recently voted the Best Assisted Living Communities in CT. It is easy to see how they earned this award. All their facilities boast lovely exteriors, inviting interiors, personable, helpful and competent staff, great food, and varying levels of care to meet the specific needs of an aging population.
Miller Memorial Community,
Another long-term favorite of ours, Miller boasts extraordinary therapists and nursing staff who work wonders for patients undergoing rehab there. They do such a great job, we are happy to continue to help their patients return to their normal lives at home. Miller boasts an active and effective short-term rehab in addition to high quality long-term care. In addition Miller operates an active outpatient rehab facility for folks who have been discharged to home but miss the folks at Miller and can receive the same quality therapy in an outpatient setting. Our clients continue to visit after discharge, just to see their friends on the staff again!
Regional Hospice and Home Care of
Western CT, Danbury
Regional Hospice has been serving the residents of Danbury and western CT for decades. Their community programs are impressive, they care for both children and adults and provide palliative and hospice care in a very professional and compassionate manner. We have been so impressed with their end of life care to both patients and families. It is an honor to work with them to meet all the needs of their hospice clients.
We are happy to report that several folks have told us they use this column when seeking a provider for themselves or their family members. We take our recommendations of providers very seriously. Please consider our favorites in deciding care for yourself or your family members. We would choose any of them for our loved ones. ■
About Always There Home Care
Always There Home Care provides compassionate, dependable and professional one-on-one care for seniors who need assistance in the comfort of their homes or residential care communities. Services from highly qualified and trained caregivers range from companionship, meal preparation and incidental transportation to personal care, medication management and RN-directed case management. Available 7 days a week, services range from a few hours a day to 24-hour care.
Always There Home Care understands that every situation is unique and creates individualized care plans to help improve a client's quality of life.
Our caregivers are totally committed, highly qualified and carefully
selected individuals who are personally and thoroughly screened, bonded and
insured. Most are Certified Nurse Assistants or Home Health Aides. Most
importantly our caregivers are dependable and extraordinarily caring of others.
In addition to their previous experience, our caregivers receive continuous training
that includes dementia, hospice care, home safety, nutrition and other topics related
to seniors. These highly qualified and trained caregivers are ready to help you and
your loved ones with a variety of daily activities such as:
Personal care / Meal planning and preparation
Transportation to doctor appointments and other errands
Caring companionship / Light housekeeping
Medication reminders / Information and referral services
Our personalized, nurse- supervised services are available 7 days a week and can range from a few hours a day to 24 hour and live in care.
For more information or service needs, call 24 hours a day at: 203-879-6675
or visit www.AlwaysThereHomeCare-CT.com.
We are Always There!