In This Issue
FEATURE ARTICLE: Coping with Mirror Anxiety in Dementia Patients
Home Remodeling for Seniors and People with Disabilities
Kudos From Kelly
Alan Weiss on Observing Behaviors
Providers We Love

Photos in top banner: Bella (Jessica's daughter) smiling for the camera; Darcey spreading cheer at her first public appearance in her pet therapy role; Ryan (Regina's Grandson) Is feeling better and back from the hospital!


Join Our List
Join Our Mailing List
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!!!

Coping with Mirror Anxiety in
Dementia Patients
 By Rita Jablonski  |  Alzheimer's Reading Room  
People with dementia move backwards in time, and may no longer recognize their current selves in mirrors (or any reflective surfaces, like inside windows at night-time).

Some people "friend" themselves.  They happily talk to and interact with their reflection. Other people become upset when they see a stranger staring at them in the mirror.

Reflections can cause paranoia or accusations of infidelity arise.
* Has your loved one ever accused you of having an affair?
* Or, told you there is someone else in the house?

Think about it. If I don't recognize my reflection and see some strange person staring back at me, and then I notice my spouse standing next to this strange person, I am going to decide that my spouse is running around with this stranger.

This actually happens with dementia patients.

When mirror anxiety happens, I suggest removing the mirrors. If that is not feasible, place a towel or cloth over the mirror. Keep window shades and curtains drawn at night so that the person with dementia does not see their reflection in the glass.

Some people have decorative art that incorporates mirrors or reflective surfaces. You may need to remove these objects. You can leave the wall bare or replace with a canvas painting/reproduction of flowers or landscapes. Avoid replacing with another picture or artwork with a glass surface.

The next time you hear the person with dementia tell you about a strange man or woman visiting them, or they claim someone is in the house, before you assume that the person is having hallucinations, check around the house for reflective surfaces.

Highly polished furniture, like coffee tables or desks, can be a problem. Table cloths, doilies, even place mats can interrupt the surface and may help with the issue.

Note from Bob DeMarco...

Home Remodeling for Seniors and People with Disabilities by Michael Sledd   
For many people, owning and maintaining a home is one of the most significant investments they ever make. But for individuals living with disabilities, or seniors aging in place, It's vital they and their loved ones have access to the best resources about how to make their homes livable and enjoyable.

Getting Started
While it's beneficial to have some concrete suggestions in mind, you should first fully evaluate your needs and goals for remodeling. Assess your remodeling requirements with an extensive checklist.

Creating Accessible Approaches, Landscapes, and Doorways
When looking at alternatives to stairs for people with mobility issues, the two primary options are ramps and lifts. Ramps are generally less expensive, more reliable, and less prone to needing repairs due to not having electronic or other moving parts. If you're concerned about costs, or only have a small rise to navigate, you may want to consider a portable ramp.

Depending on the amount of vertical rise to your entryway and the amount of space you have to work with, a ramp may not be viable. Instead, a lift may be necessary. There are many types of lifts, including inclined platform, vertical platform, and stair lifts. Many companies specializing in lifts can help you select the best option.

   KUDOS from Kelly      
  By Kelly McNamara  
An Amazing Team:
Jasmine Flowers, Candy Francis, Brenda Ortiz

Mr. S is a truly lovely man, living in a beautiful home with a supportive family.  He is struggling on many levels, a result of his disease and its limitations. But his spirit is strong, as well as his physical abilities. Amazing, actually.  He requires 22-hour staffing to adequately meet his needs.  We are always careful in staffing cases, and try  to match both caregivers' chemistry with the client's needs. They must have appropriate clinical skills and clear understanding of protocols. It is important that they develop and maintain a supportive relationship with family members. Above all, they must be genuinely competent and kind human beings.

They work closely with the Medicare Home Health agency's nurse and therapists and follow the plan of care they establish including a daily exercise session in Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and Physical Therapy.

We chose carefully with this case.  The team we now have caring for him are not only excellent and  patient caregivers. They have also been a wonderful source of support to the family members.  Their commitment to this client and his family are such that, when his schedule changed, they worked as a team to make sure all the hours were staffed.  They cover for each other, insuring that each member can attend to their personal lives as well as their client's care.  When we needed to add an additional team member to provide relief to the existing caregivers, Jasmine stepped in and recommended a friend as a candidate to join this remarkable team.

Many thanks to Jasmine, the recruiter as well as great caregiver, Brenda the wise, experienced caregiver, and Candy, a top-notch care provider as well as a beautiful singer who joins Mr. S. as he sings his way through his speech therapy exercises.

You are all wonderful role models to the rest of our staff.  It is an honor to have your team as part of our company.

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...!! ■

  Alan Weiss on Observing Behaviors 
The rabbits have returned to Nantucket (many were killed by poison intended to kill ticks). Some mornings they're outside the house, some mornings not. I never understood their schedule, since what they munched on was always present. Then my daughter pointed out a huge hawk sitting on the roof of the shed. The rabbits made themselves scarce when the hawk was present, interrupting their breakfast so as not to become his breakfast. 

We often think there are random actions at work. But they are actually controlled by other, specific causes. Behaviors are often super incumbent. What we think is random is caused by something just below the surface or slightly out of view. There was a famous counting horse in the early 20th Century, Clever Hans, who was supposedly taught math by his owner. Someone would give Hans a problem, such as 16 minus 7, and the horse would hit its hoof on the ground 9 times. The horse was nearly infallible. Finally, after years, it was discovered that the horse was using extraordinarily small changes in its owner's physiognomy to know when to stop hitting its hoof. (When the owner didn't know the answer, Hans was only 6% accurate, but when he did, the horse was over 90% accurate). Just the owner's involuntary relaxing of facial muscles when the right number was reached was sufficient for Hans to stop counting. 

Many of us react to others and are even influenced, intimidated, or motivated in their presence because we discern certain changes subconsciously. Perhaps that's the core of charisma, when many people are thusly affected. In any case, it's a good reason to be in the moment, to be consciously competent. You need to know if the hawk is causing the rabbits to hide or your client is causing you to behave poorly.

Read the signs. If Hans could do it, so can you. ■ 

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, and 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 and 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.

Even Longer Dotted Divider Line
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.

Even Longer Dotted Divider Line

For more information or service needs, call 24 hours a day at:
or visit  
We are Always There!