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In This Issue
Featured Article: Planning for the Holidays
Choose a Better Way to Start the Day
Tips to Help Seniors Enjoy the Holidays
The Legal Issues Behind Caregiving
Kudos From Kelly
Providers We Love
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Farewell Jeanne

Jeanne Cote May 30, 1931-December2, 2012


Jeanne died peacefully at her home in Atria in West Hartford after a brief battle with cancer. Her husband Paul Cote who was her childhood sweetheart predeceased her. She graduated from University of CT and worked at Pratt and Whitney. After raising her children she earned her Masters degree and taught French and Spanish in Bloomfield. She had four children and 14 grandchildren. She had many artistic talents and gave of her time generously to any who needed it. She lived her life to the fullest and enjoyed being surrounded by her family, which she was right up until her death.


It was an honor serving Jeanne and her wonderful family and once again working with our colleagues at Vitas hospice. ■

MT and John
Above Image: MT and John

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For all grandmothers, 

mothers, sisters, mentors, girlfriends, partners... And you all know who you are...


Kelly and Grandmother

(Photo: Kelly and her Grandmother,
Regina's Mother)


"Behind every successful woman there's a great wo­­man."


  ~ Stella McCartney

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"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."


~ Aristotle

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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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Featured Article:  

Planning for the Holidays  


Holidays can be bittersweet for families affected by Alzheimer's. Consider simple tips to make the holidays enjoyable for everyone.


Alzheimer's disease affects both family and community life. Holiday observances are no exception. Holiday memories from before your loved one developed Alzheimer's may darken an otherwise joyful season - and worries about how your loved one's condition may disrupt your family's plans can overshadow the simple pleasure of being together. Rather than dwell on how much things have changed or worry about what might go wrong, focus on making the holidays as enjoyable as possible.


Keep it simple at home
If you're caring for a loved one who has Alzheimer's at home:

  • Make preparations together. If you bake, your loved one may be able to participate by measuring flour, stirring batter or rolling dough. You may find it meaningful to open holiday cards or wrap gifts together. Remember to concentrate on the process, rather than the result.
  • Tone down your decorations. Blinking lights and large decorative displays can cause disorientation. Avoid lighted candles and other safety hazards, as well as decorations that could be mistaken for edible treats - such as artificial fruits.

Host quiet, slow-paced gatherings. Music, conversation and meal preparation all add to the noise and stimulation of an event. Yet for a person who has Alzheimer's, a calm, quiet environment usually is best. Keep daily routines in place as much as and, as needed, provide your loved one a place to rest during family get-togethers.


Be practical away from home
If your loved one lives in a nursing home or other facility:

  • Celebrate in the most familiar setting. For many people who have Alzheimer's, a change of environment - even a visit home - causes anxiety. Instead of creating that disruption, consider holding a small family celebration at the facility. You might also participate in holiday activities planned for the residents.
  • Minimize visitor traffic. Arrange for a few family members to drop in on different days. Even if your loved one isn't sure who's who, two or three familiar faces are likely to be welcome, while nine or 10 may be overwhelming.
  • Schedule visits at your loved one's best time of day. People who have Alzheimer's tire easily, especially as the disease progresses. Your loved one may appreciate morning and lunchtime visitors more than those in the afternoon or evening.

Care for yourself
Consider your needs, as well as those of your loved one. To manage your expectations of yourself:

  • Pick and choose. Decide which holiday activities and traditions are most important, then focus on what you enjoy. Remember that you can't do it all.
  • Simplify. Bake fewer cookies. Buy fewer gifts. Don't feel pressured to display all of your holiday decorations or include a handwritten note with each holiday card. Ask others to provide portions of holiday meals.
  • Delegate. Remember family members and friends who've offered their assistance. Let them help with cleaning, addressing cards and shopping for gifts. Ask if one of your children or a close friend could stay with your loved one while you go to a holiday party.

Trust your instincts
As a caregiver, you know your loved one's abilities best. You also know what's most likely to agitate or upset your loved one. Resist pressure to celebrate the way others may expect you to. Remember, you can't control the progress of Alzheimer's or protect your loved one from all distress - but by planning and setting firm boundaries, you can avoid needless holiday stress and enjoy the warmth of the season.


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Christmas Collage Message
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Leaf  Choose a Better Way
   to Start the Day


I took the dogs for coffee yesterday morning and the owner was already complaining about a variety of personal and business issues at 7 am. We call him "gloomy Gus." A lot of people wake up miserable, or unhappy, or annoyed, or stressed. I have news for you: Start your day that way and it NEVER improves. Create a regimen for yourself. Listen to good music or some comedy. Have a meal you enjoy. Work out. Walk the dogs. Resist both the media, family, and others from inundating you with bad news and troubles before you're able to set your own sails. Don't rush to read your email or check your voice mail. Instead, rush to check the sunrise and listen to the harmonies of your own positive goals.


Alan Weiss, international business consultant ■


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Kelly and Friends



Photo: Celebrating with dozens of family members and friends Kelly turns 40, even though she looks much younger and is still carded in bars. (Which of course she rarely visits).  

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Leaf Tips to Help Seniors
Enjoy the Holidays


For most of us, the holidays are a wonderful time to share the joys of family life and friendship. But for many older adults the holidays can be highly stressful, confusing, or even depressing if their mental, physical and emotional needs are not taken into account. You can help older friends and family enjoy the holiday season more by following these simple tips:  


Stroll down memory lane. Holidays provoke memories, which can be especially powerful in the later years of life. "Memory and 'life review' are important parts of the aging process," says Barry Lebowitz, Ph.D., deputy director of UCSD's Stein Institute for Research on Aging. "Older people whose memories are impaired may have difficulty remembering recent events, but they are often able to share stories and observations from the past. These shared memories are important for the young as well-children enjoy hearing about how it was 'when your parents were your age...'." He suggests using picture albums, family videos and music, to help stimulate memories and encourage older seniors to share their stories and experiences.  


Plan ahead. If older family members tire easily, limit the number of activities they are involved in or the length of time they are included. Consider designating a "quiet room" where an older person can take a break or nap. "Assign someone to be the day's companion to the older person, to make sure the individual is comfortable," says Daniel Sewell, M.D., director of the Senior Behavior Health Unit at the UCSD Medical Center.  


Read Full Article 


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"Always forgive
your enemies; nothing
annoys them so much."

~ Oscar Wilde


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Leaf The Legal Issues
Behind Caregiving


Establishing a precedent when it comes to the care of a loved one is essential, especially with the legal aspects of finances and health care. Here are some points to consider when taking control over the legal responsibilities for your relative in need of care.


Tips to remember when dealing with legal issues:


* Find a lawyer who can help you establish a will or estate plan for your relative. A lawyer can also provide strong advice on other key developments in the life of your loved one.

* Discuss with your relative important financial aspects such as the location of documents, gaining access to their banking accounts, and stepping in to take over any financial responsibilities they may have.


* Look into the possibility of becoming the power of attorney for your loved one if they become incapable of caring for themselves. Often a durable power of attorney can provide better coverage instead of a simple one.


Read Full Article

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Kudos from Kelly



KUDOS from Kelly

By Kelly McNamara




Heloisa (Lola) Ballesteros 
Every company needs a "go to person". Few are as lucky as we to have someone as highly qualified, flexible and creative as Lola. Need someone to pick up a special outfit for a 98 year old for a holiday meal? Need a special astute, patient and compassionate caregiver to spend the day or night with a frail lady whose is also very bright and a talented pianist? Call Lola. A caregiver needs a bit of guidance with a challenging clients? Lola is a patient and kind teacher. She also  

has a rare knack of giving everyone in her presence her total attention and focus. She is a real favorite of MT, a long-term special client and frequent lunch guest with Lola. Lola brightens the lives of all she touches and we are so glad that for the time she is in school, she is able to share her talents and energy with us. Thanks Lola !!


Sheronne Martin 
Our live in caregivers are a hardy lot. Dedicated to their clients, and hardworking, they nonetheless still need occasional tine off. In fact, we encourage this and try to make sure all caregivers use their vacation time. But time off is not possible without a few very special people with a unique set of skills. The relief caregivers have a very important role. They are available to take over a case for a short period while the permanent caregiver takes time off. Sheronne is especially skilled at this. She has the unique ability to come into a new situation learn the ropes quickly and adapt her approach and care to the needs of each individual client. She even gives up holidays with her own family to take on relief weeks and allow the permanent caregiver to have a well-deserved break. We are so fortunate to have someone with Sharonne's skills on our team. Thanks Sheronne!


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...!! ■

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leaf 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 
Too many folks consider only the quality of interior décor when choosing a rehab facility. This is extremely short sighted. The real value and benefit in any rehab setting is the people. The therapists, the nurses, the aides. How attentive and responsive are they? How focused on the patient's success are they? Miller excels in this area. Their staff retention is high, they are all well experienced. Their patients do very well at home and do not return. Miller boasts an active and effective short-term rehab in addition to high quality long-term care. Miller also 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!


 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.

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Our caregivers 


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.

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For more information or service needs, call 24 hours a day at: 203-879-6675 or visit

We are Always There!   
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