Photos in top banner: Kelly and Bonnie's Christmas - Kelly, therapy dog Tortilla, Rosemarie, Adolph and Marilyn; Someone made it to Santa's NICE List! Mishelle, 17 months; Scott (Regina's son) and Ryan and Nora on the ski slopes.
Photo below: Kim our executive assistant (in Christmas tree sweater) with family who gathered from far and near to share Christmas.
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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.
The Importance of Respite Care
By: Pamela R. Kelley | Alzheimer's Reading Room
"Good enough" is enduring 25 minutes of mean and nasty and unrelenting remarks on the drive to an adult day program twice each week.
Those of us who turn to The Alzheimer's Reading Room as caregivers are making every effort we can to do right by our loved ones afflicted with dementia.
We sacrifice much in pursuit of the goal. We're focused on trying to provide loving care, and trying to create some ease and contentment for someone we love who needs a lot of assistance.
Respite is essential. We're in it for the long haul, and we have to last. When our tank runs to empty, we simply cannot perform our roles with the same kind of enthusiasm or grace that we try to bring to the effort. We need to be able to restore our spirits so that we can bring our best efforts to bear.
Respite revives us. Without it, we display our exhaustion in our expressions, in our voices, in our tones and in our moods. And our loved ones often mirror what we display.
In our house, no respite leads to an irritable Pam. Irritable Pam leads to very unhappy Audrey. It infects everyone.
That's why we're often our most discouraged when our respite plan falls apart. It happened to me last month. And then this morning I read the article Bob posted, asking us what advice we had for the caregiver whose ten hours of weekly respite care just evaporated. I wrote a little comment then, and it felt familiar - as though I was talking to myself.
The caregiver who'd put in the time to reach a rapport with my suspicious and unwelcoming mother had to leave the state. A new caregiver needed to be brought on board. We were looking to fill ten hours of time, two five-hour shifts. We have been working on restoring the balance for three weeks now. We're not there yet.
We've been through three potential caregivers in that time. The first showed promise, but then didn't show up to cover her shift twice in the same week. Dependability grade: F. Back to the drawing board.
The second caregiver could not tolerate the ethnic name-calling that is part of my mother's Alzheimer's influenced vocabulary. She notified me of this one-hour into her first shift.
By Kelly McNamara
Nicole Lange: There are times when we fail to recognize the reliable, the "floater", the person who happily volunteers to help out last minute under any circumstances. On our team we call her Nicole.
Nicole, in the short time she has been with us has always come to the rescue at the drop of a dime. Cheerfully, always on time, always prepared.
She consistently steps up to help out and take care of someone whether old or young, giving them her best service, often going beyond the call of duty if it is required. Nicole is a very loving and a compassionate person. With this in mind, she always says, "I am not doing this as a job, but just being a human being taking care of another human, providing the care you would have wanted for one of your loved ones."
Being able to let someone know that you care, that you are there to lend a listening ear when they need someone to talk with, take them out for grocery shopping, hold their hands when they feel afraid or alone, giving them some type of assurance and comfort that you care, are some of the few strong points that make Nicole shine brighter than the average caregiver.
She enjoys watching movies and sharing many laughs with her clients. She has cared for several clients here at Always There Home Care and everyone seems to always sneak in a request... "Can I please have Nicole again??
Sports teams have utility players. Those special few who can fill an opening and always do their best.We have Nicole, and we are all so grateful she chose our company. We hope she stays with us for a very very long time! Many thanks from all of us, Nicole!!
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...!! ■
10 Ways to Live Kindly
The Economist has declared 2019 as The Year of the Vegan. The percentage of millennials who have committed to a vegan diet is now 25% and growing.
If plant-based "meats" take off, they could become a transformative technology, improving Westerners' protein-heavy diets, reducing the environmental hoofprint of animal husbandry, even cutting the cost of food in poor countries. -John Parker, the Economist
Closer to home, Kelly McNamara, Always There's COO and an owner, has become a passionate advocate for animal rights by practicing and encouraging others to eliminate meat, fish and dairy from their diets
Looking to make the world a little kinder? We are, too. Today, the market- place is ripe with compassionate options in every supermarket aisle or department store counter.
There's so much you can do, from choosing animal-free entertainment to supporting animal sanctuaries that provide refuge for abused, orphaned, or displaced animals. We've rounded up our top ten tips for going kind.
They're surprisingly easy, and in many cases, delicious, too!
1. DITCH DAIRY
Milk is usually the easiest for people to replace. Most grocery stores carry at least one type of plant milk. Cheese and ice cream have nondairy alternatives in mainstream brands
2. REPLACE EGGS
Both male and female chicks are subject to horrific living conditions , constant pain then early death. Many egg substitutes are available. Making this change will spare lives and suffering and help you to avoid the high cholesterol and saturated fat content of chicken eggs.
3. GO MEAT-FREE
There has never been a more perfect time to think about ditching meat. The range of meat replacements has never been so expansive.
Alan Weiss on Starting the New
Year Right... Down with Enmity!!
I watched people of all persuasions and positions come together to pay respects to George H.W. Bush. I heard wonderful words, funny stories, and poignant remembrances. These often came from former opponents and foes.
We deal daily, it seems, with people with whom we disagree, often virulently. They may be strangers, acquaintances, even family members. The disagreement is sometimes a debate, sometimes an argument, sometimes a vendetta. We sometimes, as a result, forsake former friendships and sever family ties. We assign derogatory labels: deniers, bleeding hearts, bigots.
People often face the deaths of friends and loved ones realizing the last encounter with them wasn't the one that they would have wished for. They pine for another chance, attempting to somehow rewrite the final words, the final sentiments, the ultimate feelings.
What if we took a pause in our enmity, a break in our antipathy, and considered the eulogy first? Does that sound macabre? Well, as you read this, every major newspaper and broadcast news outlet has a pile of obituaries and honors "in the bank" awaiting the demise of famous people. What if we all considered what we would like our final encounter to be like with someone-and how we'd prefer to remember them and reflect on their influence-before we allowed our anger to ignore what they had to say and to define them as an "enemy" or "ignorant" or "dumb"?
It's touching how sensitive we are to people's merits and contributions when they die, but it's confounding how insensitive we are to their presence while they're still with us, albeit in disagreement with some of our cherished values, beliefs, and, often, myths.
I know it's a bizarre thought for some of you, but what if, before condemning and slandering and castigating someone who disagrees with us, we considered what we'd be feeling and saying if they were no longer with us? And, for that matter, would people be saying how much they missed us, focusing on our great, lasting influence?
Or would they just be saying, "Good riddance!"? ■
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, which allows seniors to continue to live in their own homes while enjoying the benefits of Seabury services...
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.
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:
Meal planning and preparation
Transportation to doctor appointments and other errands
/ 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.
For more information or service needs, call 24 hours a day at:
or visit www.AlwaysThereHomeCare-CT.com.
We are Always There!