~ Hilda Gyamfi Hughes
~ Sabena Sackey
~ Addai Emmanuel Takyi
~ Nonhlanhla Pinkie
| Diane, Regina's sister, Kelly's aunt with their mother/grandmother Jean|
"A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary"
~ Jewish proverb
|Mikael and Semeon..grandsons of proud caregiver Benter Okuom|
"The most wasted
of all days is the one without laughter"
~ EE Cummings
"The ordinary acts we practice every day at home are of more importance to the soul than their simplicity might suggest."
~ Thomas Moore
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You may be wondering why you are receiving September's newsletter a second time today. There was a mishap with the In This Issue contents. Please accept our sincere apologies.
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Are Alzheimer's Caregivers The Forgotten?
By Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room
One issue that really frustrates me is the treatment of Alzheimer's caregivers. Most Alzheimer's caregivers hear people tell them how wonderful they are for taking care of their loved one. As a caregiver, I learned to appreciate these compliments.
They help, they really do.
However, if you have a loved one, family member, or friend that is an Alzheimer's caregiver and all you do is tell them what a great job they are doing - it is not enough.
Many Alzheimer's caregivers are forgotten by family and friends. This is a sad truth that is rarely discussed.
I meet and talk to caregivers all the time. It is not unusual for them to tell me that as time goes on, and as Alzheimer's worsens, one by one their family and friends fade away. This is understandable - Alzheimer's is scary and disconcerting. It is hard to accept, hard to understand, and hard to watch as it progresses.
It is not unusual for the friends and family to continue to call and give the caregiver the old 'rah rah siss boom ba" and then they get back to their own life.
Meanwhile, the caregiver puts their life on hold - or worse they have no life - while caring for a person living with Alzheimer's. Calling and letting the caregiver "vent" is helpful, very helpful, but it is not enough.
Like it or not, if you are a family member or friend of an Alzheimer's caregiver and you are not helping them - you have abandoned them. I am sure this sounds harsh. But, it's not even close to the harshness of your own behavior.
Caregivers need help. A few hours here and there to get away from it all is an important step in improving their lives. Some time to enjoy the world outside their home. Time to re-attach with others.
Read the full article...
Gert is 101!!
Gert Zeigler and her special long time caregiver and stylist Maggie Boamah
Tracking Down Financial
Assistance Programs for Seniors
Millions of seniors in the U.S. are missing out on more than $20 billion in aid that could help pay for food, medicine and utilities, simply because they don't know it's there.
To help with this ongoing problem, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a) are promoting two key resources to help seniors track down government benefits and financial assistance programs that they might be eligible for, and will show them how to apply.
Online Search: If you have access to the Internet, the easiest and most convenient way to search for benefits for seniors is at benefitscheckup.org.
Created by the NCOA 10 years ago, BenefitsCheckUp is a free, confidential, web-based service that helps low-income seniors and their families identify federal, state and private benefits programs that can help with prescription drug costs, health care, utilities, and other basic needs. This site contains more than 2,000 programs across the country.
To help identify benefits that could help you, you'll need to fill out an online questionnaire. Once completed, you'll get a report detailing all programs and services you may be eligible for. You can also apply for many of the programs online, or you can print an application form, fill it out and mail it in.
Phone Help: If you don't have Internet access you can get help over the phone by calling the Eldercare Locator (800-677-1116), which will assign you a counselor to review your situation, and provide you with a list of possible programs you may be eligible for, and who to contact.
Types of Benefits: Depending on your income level and where you live, some of the different benefits that may be available to you include:
Food Assistance: Programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can help pay for your groceries. The average monthly SNAP benefit is currently $119 for seniors living alone. Other programs that may help include the Emergency Food Assistance Program, Commodity Supplemental Food Program, and the Senior Farmers' Market Nutrition Program.
Health Assistance: Medicaid and Medicare Savings Programs can help or completely pay for out-of-pocket health care costs. And, there are special Medicaid waiver programs that provide in-home care and assistance.
Prescription Assistance: There are hundreds of programs offered through pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and charitable organizations that help lower or eliminate prescription drug costs, including the federal Low Income Subsidy known as "Extra Help" that pays premiums, deductibles and prescription co-payments for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.
Heating and Cooling Assistance: There's the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), as well as local utility companies and charitable organizations that provide assistance in lowering home heating and cooling costs.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI): Administered by the Social Security Administration, SSI provides monthly payments to very low-income seniors, age 65 and older, and to those who are blind and disabled. The average SSI payment is around $500 per month.
Veterans Benefits: Approximately one-third of all veterans who are 65 years of age and older may qualify for up to $2,019 a month in additional income through Pension, also referred to as "Aid & Attendance Benefits"?
Yet, according to government statistics, only five percent of potentially eligible veterans are actually these benefits. This little-known source of money for paying long-term care costs has been on the books since 1953 and is available to veterans who served on active duty during a period of war or to the single surviving spouses of veterans.
If you qualify, this valuable source of revenue can be used to pay adult children, other relatives, friends, or services provided by a home care agency perhaps preventing or delaying admission to a nursing home.
These funds can even help with the cost of independent and assisted living, which can be substantial. Contact your local elder care attorney to leant more about your potential eligibility for these resources for veterans. ■
Reprinted with permission from The Savvy Senior.com
|Bess and her caregiver Lydia |
celebrate Rosh Hashanah
"The secret to a
rich life is to have
~ Dave Weinbaum
SISTER MARY ANN'S GASOLINE
Sister Mary Ann, who worked for a home health agency, was out making her rounds visiting homebound patients when she ran out of gas. As luck would have it, a Texaco Gasoline station was just a block away.
She walked to the station to borrow a gas can and buy some gas. The attendant told her that the only gas can he owned had been loaned out, but she could wait until it was returned. Since Sister Mary Ann was on the way to see a patient, she decided not to wait and walked back to her car.
She looked for something in her car that she could fill with gas and spotted the bedpan she was taking to the patient. Always resourceful, Sister Mary Ann carried the bedpan to the station, filled it with gasoline, and carried the full bedpan back to her car.
As she was pouring the gas into her tank, two Baptists watched from across the street. One of them turned to the other and said, "If the car starts, I'm turning Catholic!!"
Thanks to our colleagues at About Boyd & Nicholas, Inc.
Premier financial consulting firm www.boydandnicholas.com
KUDOS from Kelly
By Kelly McNamara
Versatility and ability to take on new challenges are two of the most important attributes of great caregivers. Madonna became EW's caregiver a few months ago and has adapted nicely to his changing needs. A formerly independent and resourceful man with a full life and supportive family EW was slowly failing due to chronic diseases. A long time widower, he initially had difficulty sharing his home with a caregiver. Madonna however quickly became a valued support a good cook and an astute caregiver who quickly picked up changes in him and reported them to the office, the family and the physicians. A short time ago, the client went on hospice care and Madonna has honed her skills in this direction. And in collaboration with Vitas Hospice, is providing compassionate competent care to EW and his family at this important time. Thanks Madonna for your contributions to our company and to EW's family.
One of our most adaptable caregivers Flora has been with us for over two years and has cared for many grateful clients. She takes on new challenges with energy and commitment. She was one of MT's favorite and most attentive caregivers. She brings a special joy and enthusiasm to all her clients and takes on challenges on a daily basis.
She quickly became a favorite caregiver of yet another client, LH, who needed support to care, but also time to herself while being safe at home. Flora was a welcome support to LH's family as well As they coped with their many options for elder care for their mother as she faced the challenges of chronic disease. Flora has now taken on responsibilities as a senior caregiver and manages on call support for management. Her extraordinary common sense and ability to take and provide direction has served her well in their role. Flora has completed her pre requisites for nursing school. We all look forward to the day when she joins the ranks of nurses! Thanks Flora for all you do to help us grow and maintain our high quality.
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...!!
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
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.
Apple Rehab Coccomo Rehabilitation Facility, Meriden
We have long been fans of all the Apple facilities. They currently own and manage 26 rehab health care centers throughout the state of CT. Coccomo has distinguished itself by their state of the art equipment, recently renovated facility in Meriden (It's really lovely) and outstanding staff members, most of whom are long standing Apple employees. They provide a full range of therapies as well as Rehab team home safety evaluations, family & resident educational groups, support groups and many other services designed to make the rehab experience a pleasant as well as therapeutic experience for both the patient and family.
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.
Mulberry Gardens Assisted Living and More... Southington (Plantsville) CT
Mulberry Gardens is situated conveniently in a lovely setting in central CT. They are continually improving their programs and living options for seniors.They offer Three Choices in One Residential Setting... Assisted living, Premier Alzheimer's Care and Adult Day Care. Their assisted living program includes a full social calendar with activities, events and day trips, and a unique and fun Good Life Fitness program. They also offer residents their It's Never 2 Late (IN2L) Computer System. Their Alzheimer's Their Adult Day Care provides perfect options for family members caring for elderly folks who need additional care during the day due to dementia or other conditions. ■
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!