In This Issue
FEATURE ARTICLE: Importance of Relationship Change in Dementia Care
Kudos From Kelly
We Will Miss You, Marguerite!
Reaching for the Far Side of Grief
Are We All Weary of Divisiveness?
"Mom remembers dad, but has a new boyfriend."
Providers We Love

Photos in top banner: Grace and Luke Dolan (our graphic designer's children) pretending to fly!; Marissa, Ryan, Scott and Nora apple picking (Regina's son and family); RJ (Jessica's son) playing in school.


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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.
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Importance of Relationship Change in Dementia Care
By: Bob DeMarco, Alzheimer's Reading Room

The role of change in dementia care is about discovering what your loved one likes to do; and then, figuring out how to guide them.

When Alzheimer's strikes, when we receive the diagnosis, we enter what can best be described as a period of "great sadness".

A kind of all encompassing emotional stress that can include: fear, denial, pain, stress, confusion, and an overall sense of hopelessness.

The list of potential negative emotions and feelings are long, very long.

How do you feel?  

The majority learns how to deal with these feeling and emotions.
Some of us fall deeper into sadness - a depression caused by Alzheimer's and related dementia.

One of the hardest things to discover is The Role of Relationship Change in Dementia Care.

Our initial instinct is to try and change the person living with dementia back into one of us. To help them come back - so to speak.

Kudos from Kelly
 KUDOS from Kelly
  By Kelly McNamara 
Delaine Hall and Donna Blidgen:each other, arrange time off easily and collaborate on all aspects of care for their client.  In this case, JG is a lovely, young looking lady in her 80s. We have cared for JG for a year now and she has had a few caregiver changes over that time period. 

The Delaine/Donna team has been in place for the past few months, interrupted for a short period for Delaine's maternity leave and the subsequent birth of her beautiful son Ashaine.  Over the course of this year, All JG's caregivers have dedicated themselves to her very gradual improvement from a severe stroke she suffered last year.  Their care helped her improve considerably and regain strength and mobility.  

But the most difficult aspects of her stroke recovery are the very small improvements in mobility, self-care and speech. These changes proceed extremely slowly.  They require very careful attention of her caregivers and extreme patience.  In addition to her physical recovery, helping her keep a positive attitude is critical.  In this regard, Delaine and Donna are at the perfect place and time.  They celebrate each small accomplishment with JG. Most importantly, they make a true difference in their beloved client's life.

All our thanks to Delaine and Donna for those creativity, optimism, astute observation, and sheer joy they bring to their work every day.

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...!! ■

Let your love be stronger than your hate or anger.

Learn the wisdom of compromise, for it is better to bend a little than to break.

Believe the best rather than the worst. People have a way of living up or down to your opinion of them.

Remember that true friendship is the basis for any lasting relationship. The person you choose to marry is deserving of the courtesies and kindnesses you bestow on your friends.

Please hand this down to your children and your children's children: The more things change the more they are the same.

Jane Wells (1886) ■

  We Will Miss You, Marguerite!   
Our beloved client Marguerite Bailey, 98, of Avon, died September 14, peacefully at her home with family by her side. She was born in Glens Falls, NY, daughter of the late John Spencer Lucas and Marguerite Webster Lucas. Her children Victoria, Marguerite, Madeleine, Joseph, Michael, Mary, Stella, and Frances, fifteen grandchildren and twenty-three great grandchildren, survive Marguerite. She was per-deceased by her first daughter Regina.

Marguerite was a truly remarkable person.  All her caregivers were amazed that she bore and raised 9 children. Very bright and alert through most of the months we cared for her until her last few days, she spent much time regaling all of us with tales of her adventures, her antics with her children, her travel ...So much travel!

  Reaching for the Far Side of Grief
    By: Barbara Karnes RN  
How does a person transition from caregiving following a loved one's death to restoring balance and focusing on the new role for his or her life?

Grief is not about the person who has died. Most religions of the world teach that being dead we are in a better place. Grief is about us and how we react and feel about our life with someone we care about that is no longer in our lives. Part of grief is figuring out how to rebuild our life now that a huge part of it is missing. Loss has forced us to change.

Grieving, as so much of living, is hard work. Finding new activities, new direction, new routines, and new focus while your heart is still crying is one of life's major challenges.

Really, each person finds his or her own way. There are as many ways of figuring out how to go on living, as there are grievers. For those that were a full time caregiver through an illness that ended in death there are additional hurtles.

  Are We All Weary of Divisiveness?  
    By: Alan Weiss  
The polarization rhetoric seems to be cooling just a bit. Whether it's political, or social, or scientific, or sexual, or historical, it doesn't seem to be as constantly in our face.

Maybe that's because we're all weary of it.

When you have a "cause" or an "agenda" or a "grievance," your commitment and involvement certainly may justify your wholehearted support. But when that support becomes zealotry, when no remark or statement can be made that doesn't include advocacy for that position, when you demand not discussion but converts, it becomes biased and wearying. After a while, when conversation becomes impossible without reverting to someone's mission, our eyes tend to glaze over.

As I'm sure you surmise, I'm not saying that there aren't sufficient and worthy causes to commit one's energy to addressing (and I'm not giving examples here, lest someone feels I've omitted their own priority). But we need to be "whole" people, organized around a full life, accommodating those who may disagree even while trying to influence them, and contributing to society in diverse ways.

Otherwise, to quote Marshall McLuhan, "The price of eternal vigilance is indifference." ■

  "Mom remembers dad, but
    has a new boyfriend."
       Dementia by Day: A Blog By Rachael Wonderlin 
A reader wrote in and asked me this question last week, and I answered it quickly, but wanted to go into more detail.

Anonymous writes: My mother has been in a memory care center for 2-½ years. She has recently started kissing a fellow resident even though she still recognizes my dad when he comes to visit. Most recently, she has now been found in this other man's bed twice. My dad and my sister are using humor to deal with the situation but I am heartbroken. I do realize that it is the disease and not my mom making these choices. How do you deal with these situations?

The first, and most important thing that we need to deal with is the issue of CONSENT. Consent is a really challenging thing to measure when people have dementia. Honestly, due to the fact that we don't know exactly what is going on in the brain of someone with dementia (does she think that he is her husband?, etc.) all we can ask ourselves is this: does she seem happy and willing to consent? Does the man in this relationship seem happy and willing to engage with this woman? If the answer is, "Yes, both parties seem happy," then we can agree that the relationship is consensual.

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

Masonicare Home Health and Hospice 
Wallingford, Newtown, East Hartford, New Haven, Mystic 

Masonicare provides comprehensive home health services to support aging gracefully at home. Their range of services includes skilled nursing care, physical and occupational therapy, wound care, telehelath, in home monitoring and complementary therapies. Their hospice program provides comfort to those near end of life allowing them to remain in their homes among family members. Across Connecticut, Masonicare is dedicated to providing excellent and compassionate care in any setting an elderly or disabled person and his/her loved ones call "home," be it a house, apartment, assisted living or nursing home community.

They can be reached at 888-679-9997

 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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