In This Issue
FEATURE ARTICLE: How to Navigate the Holidays when a Loved One has Alzheimer's Disease or Related Dementia
Kudos From Kelly
Love without losing yourself
In moments of Darkness Hanukkah Reminds Us to Search for The Light
Providers We Love

Photos in top banner: Yes that's our own Kim Burnett on stage with the amazing ageless Smokey Robinson; Ryan's school portrait -Where DOES the time go?!  (Regina's grandson); Our client Joan and her caregiver Tanya. Below: Luke and Grace (our graphic designer's children) enjoying a trip to the local lake. 


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Regina McNamara RN, MSN President & Kelly McNamara, Chief Operating Officer

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.
Also, see our beautiful new video,  here!!!

How to Navigate the Holidays when a Loved One has Alzheimer's Disease or Related Dementia    
 Last Updated: August 30, 2018   

While the holidays are a joyful time for many, they can be stressful and frustrating for caregivers, as well as people with Alzheimer's or other dementias. This page discusses some of the challenges associated with the holidays and offers suggestions in order to make them more enjoyable.

The Holiday Blues
Depression is common among the older population, and holidays, especially Christmas, can increase or compound feelings of sadness. The person with dementia may feel a sense of loss during the holidays. They may miss a loved one who they lost a long time ago, may not recognize the family around them, or may feel that someone is missing. Caregivers may also feel a sense of loss since their loved one is not the same as he / she was for prior holidays. Tending to such emotions may be particularly challenging during the holidays when so much is going on.

It is common for people with dementia to lack enthusiasm and interest in holidays. Caregivers may feel nostalgic over activities that their loved ones no longer understand or are able to participate in. Special traditions, such as decorating the house, lighting candles, or having company over for a meal may become too bothersome or dangerous to continue.
Travel & Disrupted Routines - The holiday season can disrupt routines that have barely been established for the person with dementia. Changes to the daily schedule, the presence of unfamiliar faces, or a large group of people around can upset people with dementia. Having time off and spending the holidays with relatives often means that travel is involved. If you are feeling overburdened, it is okay to ask relatives to come to see you this year, or skip the reunion altogether.
Tips for Traveling with Persons with Dementia- Traveling with a person with dementia can be difficult, so it is imperative that you plan for the trip in advance. Doing so will make the trip more enjoyable for everyone, as you will be prepared for any potential problems. When making travel arrangements, consider the stage of your loved one's disease, and whether the trip you are considering is a good idea, or even feasible.
Be sure the type of travel (car, bus, train, airplane), the length of time you will be away from home, and the place you are visiting is appropriate for you and your loved one's abilities, needs, and preferences.


   KUDOS from Kelly      
  By Kelly McNamara  
Angel Roya: Angel has been with JB since October 2017 and shortly after her arrival there was a series of unfortunate events with her client Jb. During her many hospitalizations she was diagnosed with CHF and had a pacemaker inserted.  Each time that JB was discharged from the hospital, Angel would need to start over with each therapist and nurse in order for her to regain strength and mobility.  Each time was a success.

Since being diagnosed with CHF, there have been a series of other challenging issues that have occurred as gout in her left foot on several occasions, and recently, the same issue in her right hand.  Currently she is facing hernia surgery.

They enjoy watching movies together, having a long conversations, and dining out (especially chicken).  They also enjoy shopping excursions, one of their favorite stores is Macy's.

Mrs. Jb's family members are fond of Angel, an important attribute of a good caregiver.

Thanks for all you do every day Angel.  We are very proud to have you on our team

All caregivers mentioned in this column will receive a bonus and our sincere gratitude!  Many many thanks to all of you for once again extending yourselves to ensure that we are of course Always There...!! ■

Love without losing yourself: 16 ways to survive caregiver stress
By Brenda Kearns 
Caring for an elderly or ill family member can be enormously rewarding, but it can be physically and emotionally draining as well. Here's how to be a respectful caregiver for elderly parents without sacrificing your own happiness:  
1. Scout out a geriatric M.D.
Sometimes a family physician won't have the expertise needed to diagnose or treat an aging person's tricky health problems.  
"Both of my parents struggled with Alzheimer's disease for over a year before they were even diagnosed," says Jacqueline Marcell, 58, author of "Elder Rage." "By the time they got help, my dad had became violent toward me, and my mom had almost died due to his inability to care for her. It was a nightmare."  
If you think a specialist's care could improve your loved one's life, ask for a referral to a geriatric physician. "All of their training and focus is on the elderly, so they'll pick up on subtle things that a general physician might miss," says geriatric physician Dr. Linda Rhodes, author of "The Essential Guide to Caring for Aging Parents."   
2. Check the drugs
Seniors take more drugs than any other group in society, and many of these meds interact with each other, causing nasty side effects or even permanent harm.  To prevent this type of mishap, keep an up-to-date list of everything your loved one takes and make sure that every doctor they see reads that list before prescribing anything new.   
3. Make the paperwork easier
A medical history, a contact sheet, an up-to-date list of's incredibly helpful to have information like this at your fingertips. If you take 10 minutes to fill out some basic forms, you can save yourself hours of searching, writing and frustration later on, give completed copies to your family members and keep extra copies on hand for doctors and other health professionals, so you're all on the same page. 

In moments of Darkness Hanukkah Reminds Us to Search for The Light    By Traci Voelke 
The miracle of light is celebrated in a season of darkness during Hanukkah and has been a tradition by the Jewish people for over two millennia. For me, the story of Hanukkah is a reminder that during my darkest hours of grief I can find hope by searching for the light with help from my loved ones.

My husband, Army Maj. Paul Voelke, was killed in Afghanistan in 2012. The holiday season had always been a time of such happiness in our lives. No matter where we were stationed, we always traveled to New York to be with our extended family after months of living away from the place we called home.

Now, celebrating the holiday season feels different after the death of my husband. When my two boys, AJ and Ben, and I  celebrate these eight days of Hanukkah, we sometimes feel overwhelmed by the memories of Paul and how we used to celebrate together.  We yearn for the feelings that remain, but we remember the past happiness and find ourselves comparing our lives before and after Paul's death. This season is supposed to be a happy and joyous time, but it becomes entangled with sadness and grief as we watch other "whole" families celebrate.
When we are struggling with our grief, we can find inspiration in the story of Hanukkah. The story of Hanukkah reminds us to cherish the light we have found in our loved ones who continue to support us through this season. The original oil found in the sacred temple in Jerusalem is called shamash. Translated from Hebrew it means "attendant" or "helper." We light eight candles on the menorah, one for each of the eight days of Hanukkah. The ninth candle on the menorah, the shamash, is lit first and then its flame is distributed to light each of the remaining candles. We keep the shamash candle close to all the other candles so that if one blows out the shamash can relight the extinguished candle. 

During this holiday season, I am not only grateful for finding light during a dark time, but also for the shamashim - all of the helpers - in our grief journey. I'm thankful for the family, friends and colleagues who stand behind us and relight our candles when they have seemed to have blown out - when our lights become extinguished. They are the helpers moving us all toward the light and giving hope of a brighter future.  

In the flickering of the menorah, flames let us be reminded to focus on the light of our future and to give thanks to all the helpers who continue to relight our flames when they seem to smolder out in this dark season of winter.

From the pen of... Traci Voelke is the surviving spouse of Army Maj. Paul Voelke.■

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
Seabury Active Living Retirement Community, & Seabury at Home, 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...  

McLean Hospice Palliative Care & Hospice, Simsbury McLean Home Care and Hospice enjoy the coveted highest Medicare rating of Five Stars based on outstanding patient outcomes as medication compliance, improved mobility and no hospital re admissions, as well as starting care in a timely manner.
McLean Hospice is dedicated to improving patients' comfort and supporting their families. Their team in helps patients you live as fully and comfortably as possible so their last days or months may be spent with dignity and quality. Their goal is to provide satisfying days; fear-free nights and the richness of time with loved ones, surrounded by a supportive team. Hospice nurses are available to 24 hours a day, 365 days a year...


 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 hours and live in care.

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For more information or service needs, call 24 hours a day at:
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