Death is nothing at all. I have only slipped away into the next room.
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name.
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used.
Laugh as we always laughed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be the household word it always was.
Let it be spoken without effort.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
there is absolutely unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of your mind because I am out of your sight?
I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near . . . just around the corner.
All is well. Nothing is past; nothing is lost.
One brief moment and all will be as it was before - only better, infinitely happier and forever - we will all be one together with God.
~ Carmelite Monastery
Tallow, County Waterford, Ireland
Lillian, daughter of Jessica Krumenacker, our website Guru
"When nothing is Sure, Everything is Possible"
~ Margaret Drabble
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Alzheimer's Disease DOES NOT define a person. She is still there, still needing to be included in life. More than ever. Please.
By Regina McNamara, RN, MSN, MPH
As a home care company specializing in the care of persons with dementia, we usually reserve this space for columns by our friend and colleague Bob Demarco, founder of the wonderful Alzheimer's Reading Room. His site is one of the world's finest for information on dementia.
Recently our family lost my mother, Kelly's grandmother to Alzheimer's. Her course with this disease was not steady, but marked by periods of stability, lapses, improvement, then a fairly rapid decline. Like so many others with this disease, by the time her memory issues were brought to her long-term doctor's attention, and she was diagnosed, she was likely several years into the disease process.
Alzheimer's currently affects over six million people in our country and millions more around the globe in developed countries. By 2025, it is estimated that the number of persons with Alzheimer's will more than double due to the aging of the "baby boomer" population. Sooner or later, Alzheimer's will affect everyone - perhaps a loved one, a friend, a family member or themselves. There is no cure, no prevention, and not even a viable means of slowing the course of the disease in most cases.
And this is the bad news, the really sad news.
But there are also moments of joy during the course of this disease.
It is so very important to remember, as we have learned over the years of caring for folks with Alzheimer's and their families, that in even the later stages of the disease, the person is still there. The greatest gift we can give them is to respond to them, to interact with them, to treat them with respect, regardless of how they are acting or what they are saying. To go into their world, wherever it is: a high school prom in the 30's, a battlefield in World War II, a wedding day decades prior. They are there and so are you. Enjoy the journey.... the music, the memories along with the person.
Read the full article...
Jean Fornaci with Regina, Kelly and
her entire family
not passive; on the contrary, it is active;
it is concentrated strength"
~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
You will always be with us!Jean Fornaci, age 85 of Waldwick NJ, died peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Friday, July 6, 2012.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Jean lived in Waldwick for the past 58 years. She was a parishioner of St. Lukes R. C. Church in Ho Ho Kus where she was active in the Rosary Society, Senior Lucans, parish finance committee and served as a Eucharistic Minister. Jean also volunteered for the Valley Hospital Auxiliary for decades.
She was pre-deceased by her husband of 50 years, Horace J. Fornaci in 1998. Surviving are her devoted children, Regina F. McNamara and her husband Thomas Tella, William J. and his wife Julie, Diane M. Spring, Michael J. and his wife Gloria and Philip J. and his partner Michael Geller. Jean also leaves her adoring grandchildren, Kelly, Ellen, Scott, Basil, Billy, Jake, Christopher, Peter, Michael and Jeannette, her great-grandson Evan and her sister Monica Gallagher. ■
Noah and Penny.
Photo taken by Valerie Cipriano
"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
~ Walter Winchell
A Special Note of Thanks
from Kelly and Regina
We are both proud of having differentiated our company by our ability to care in a very special way, even in the most difficult of circumstances. This caring extends to our clients and their families, to our caregivers, and to our business associates.
Recently we experienced the loss of Jean Fornaci, Kelly's grandmother, Regina's mother. She died peacefully at her home with her family. We extend special thanks to Valley Hospice for making this possible. Almost immediately following her passing, we began to receive messages, prayers, emails, and cards from our caregivers, our employees, our clients and their families, our former clients, our referral sources, our friends, our vendors and others.
We received many notifications of donations to charities in her name that were important to her and to us.
To have all these gifts bestowed upon us now means more to us than any of you will ever know. It is like a cloud that holds us up and sustains us in this difficult time. It allows us to continue to do our special work every day. It is as though we are receiving from others the care we have provided to them over our years in business.
Thank you all for being there for us. ■
Antoinette and Jean wearing matching shoes (far left),
Jean with great grandson Evan (upper right),
Flower photo taken by Valerie Cipriano
"The best place to find a helping hand the end of your own arm"
~ Swedish Proverb
PLEASE STOP NAGGING
me to Drink more Water
This is a common complaint of our clients during the summer months when our caregivers really step up their efforts to have their clients drink more fluids.
This summer, much of our country is getting hit with a heat wave. One of the best things you can do right now, and through the rest of summer, is help prevent dehydration in your elderly loved ones.
Dehydration can be a threat to the elderly at any time of the year, but in the summer, they are especially vulnerable. They often sweat more than younger people with considerably less activity. Dehydration can also cause muscle cramps, a common complaint among elderly folks
The following is short list of why dehydration affects the elderly more and how you can help your elderly loved ones to drink enough water. Sounds like such a simple thing.... drink more water. But it truly can impact overall health.
Why does dehydration affect the elderly more?
- A person with dementia may miss the body's cue for thirst and not even think to drink water.
- Chronic illness, such as diabetes, and taking certain medications are risk factors.
- Even the elderly in good health tend to underestimate how much water they need
- An elderly person who is weak or tired may not have the energy to get up and get a glass of water.
- Someone with incontinence problems may limit their water intake so they can prevent an accident.
Why is preventing dehydration important?
- It can lead to confusion, fatigue, fainting, and unconsciousness.
- It can cause kidney, bladder and bowel problems and even delirium.
- Depending on illnesses and medications being taken, water is very important to flush any toxins out of the system.
What can you do to help your parent prevent dehydration?
- Limit caffeine and alcohol.
- Encourage your parent to keep a glass or bottle of water or juice nearby and sip on it. If acceptable to his/her diet, maybe add a slice of lemon or lime.
- Consume fruits and vegetables high in water content. Cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, peaches, grapes and watermelon are all very high in water content, and also provide a lot of other nutrients.
- One of the most innovative ideas I read about was a "Water Club" initiated at a UK rest home. The care home is also seeing fewer falls, significant improvements in health, fewer GP call-outs, reductions in the use of laxatives and urinary infections, less agitation among dementia residents,and residents reporting better quality of sleep.
- Suggest your elderly loved one fill a container each morning with the daily amount of water to drink. They can set a goal of drinking it all by bedtime.
Dehydration is reportedly one of the top 10 causes of hospital stays among Medicare patients! Body fluids are lost not only in urine output, but also throughout the day in sweat and in the air we exhale with respiration. So, especially during the summer months, be certain that you, your friends, and especially your elderly relatives drink plenty of fluids.
Photos taken by Valerie Cipriano
"Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength, mastering yourself is true power." ~ Lao-Tzu
SIGNS OF STROKE
All Always There caregivers have been instructed on the simple evaluation of whether an elderly person is having a stroke. Several of our employees have used this simple test for their clients when they had a sudden change of condition. Periodically we re-publish it in our newsletter to re-inform our readers of this simple technique than can be used by anyone, anywhere to determine if a person they are with may be having a stroke. Rapid treatment in the case of a stroke can have life saving benefits.
The FAST Test
FACE - Weakness on one side of the face Ask the person to smile; this will show if there is drooping or weakness in the muscles on one side of the face.
ARM - Weakness or numbness in one arm Ask the person to raise both arms to find out if there is weakness in one limb (both arms will not be raised to same level).
SPEECH - Slurred speech or trouble getting the words out Ask the person to say a simple sentence or phrase and listen for slurred or distorted speech (e.g. "Mary had a little lamb").
TIME - Time to CALL 9-1-1 if you see any of these signs If the person has difficulty with ANY of these tasks, or shows other signals of a stroke, note the time that the signals began and CALL 9-1-1 right away. ■
KUDOS from Kelly
By Kelly McNamara
Antoinette was my grandmother's live in caregiver for the last three months of her life. She traveled my grandmother's journey through late stage Alzheimer's with her. She brought joy, laughter, fun, and a special kind of love to her. She played games with her- card games, Alzheimer's checkers, and fun memories games. She brought her own unique sense of fashion and accessorizing to my grandmother. They occasionally wore matching outfits! They enjoyed sing alongs. We discovered Antoinette has a beautiful singing voice, a talent that was unknown to us when she cared for other clients in our company. During my grandmother's final days on hospice Antoinette was an attentive, loving and always present caregiver. Antoinette will have a well-deserv
ed rest then head off to her next fortunate client. But our family will never forget her, we are all so grateful for her very special gift to all of us. Thank you so very much, our special Antoinette!
Although my mother and I are very involved in the company, we needed to be in New Jersey at my grandmother's home during her final weeks. Throughout that time, Valerie who usually serves as office manager, community liaison, and all around right hand person did so much more. For those few weeks she became our "everything". She recruited, hired caregivers, set assignments and scheduling. She transported caregivers, managed clients' concerns, ran errands, ordered grocery deliveries, handled vendors and addressed countless issues from caregivers, clients and families on a daily basis. Valerie handled all these demands with ease. This gave my family members and me the space we needed to spend time with my grandmother. Valerie traveled to New Jersey with her daughter Katherine for the funeral which was an added and most appreciated bonus. Thank you for being where we needed you most and for providing us with peace of mind at such an important time!
These two Kudos employees will receive special gift cards and our heartfelt appreciation.Many many thanks to both of you for once again extending yourselves to ensure that we are of course Always There...!!
Antoinette in her new car, with love from Jean
"Regret for the things we did can be
tempered over time; it is regret for things we
did not do that is inconsolable."
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
Miller Memorial Community, Meriden
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!
Arbor Rose, Assisted Living, New Britain
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, Fairfield, Hartford
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, it's 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!
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!