In This Issue
FEATURE ARTICLE: Care, the Importance of the Early Morning Wake Up Routine
Kudos From Kelly
Marianna... Forever in Our Hearts
10 Products for Under $10 for People with Dementia
Alan Weiss on Focus Point
How to Decide Who to Marry?
Providers We Love

Photos in top banner: Kelly
and her Niece Nora, Tom
(Regina's husband) fixing
Marianna's washer;  Zöe
looking glamorous at the park.


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

Please accept our humble apology for the tardiness of this month's e-Newsletter.

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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Alzheimer's Care, the Importance of the Early Morning Wake Up Routine The daily routine gives a person living with dementia a sense of stability in their life. 
By Bob DeMarco  |  Alzheimer's Reading Room 
After years of floundering around, I finally concluded that the only way I would accomplish my caregiver mission was to introduce a systematic routine to our daily life to maintain a stable, relatively constant condition.

The "our" in this equation was my mother, Dotty, the person living with dementia, and me, Bob, the Alzheimer's caregiver.

Prior to the installation of the "patterned" routine I had been fighting a long list of Alzheimer's wars. The list is too long to mention but did include: the early morning negativity, the poop  war, the pee  war, the shower wars and the routine use of the word NO.

For now, lets focus on the importance of the early morning wake up routine.

Years ago, my mother would wake up in an immediate state of confusion and angst. As soon as she woke up she would start saying loudly, Bobby Bobby, where are you?

I could clearly hear the fear, confusion, and worry in her voice.

The fear, confusion, of being alone, or maybe abandoned. The sound of my mother's voice did disturb me, and it then filled me with a feeling of angst.

A feeling of trepidation that our day was getting off to a bad start.

After a while I thought if  I woke up and I didn't know what day, month or year it was, or couldn't remember what I did yesterday, I would probably be confused and scared.

What I am going to describe didn't happen overnight. I had to piece it together until I reached the point where I came to believe I was accomplishing my mission - creating a safe, secure and understandable environment for Dotty.

Kudos from Kelly
 KUDOS from Kelly
  By Kelly McNamara 
Ashley Colon and Bernice Addo: We are fortunate to have a few clients who are really so special to us. Dr. P. is one such favorite, so nothing but the very best caregivers would suffice. After a few missteps, we arrived at the live-in partnership of Ashley and Bernice who provide companionship, oversight of his needs, and share outings with him.

Forever in Our Hearts
Marianna was our most beloved
client. Her official obituary read:

Marianna Tartaglia, 102, of Wallingford, passed away peacefully November 26, 2016 at her home.

She was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 22, 1914, a daughter of the late Leonardo and Genevieve Freschi Tartaglia.

She worked for Allegheny-Ludlum for over 45 years until retiring as payroll manager. She was a past member of the Wallingford Garden Club, enjoyed gardening, cooking, and baking, and especially loved being with family. 

She is survived by her sisters-in-law, Jane Tartaglia of Lebanon, CT and Barbara Tartaglia of Columbia, CT; 15 nieces and nephews; many great nieces and nephews; and several great-great nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sister, Rose Fazzino; and her brothers, John, Frank, David, Leonard, and Albert Tartaglia.

We cared for her for Marianna for over seven years.  She is our longest length client thus far. She was our friend, our family.  Our memories of her are too numerous to mention.  But highlights included:  So many parties, often attended by her caregivers, their families, new friends of hers and occasionally other clients. She was always up for an adventure; whether it was days shopping at the mall, a ride in a convertible to go for a pizza, sleep overs with a caregiver and her daughter, many trips to visit her brother in eastern CT. A farm girl in her early life, we helped her grow tomatoes in her yard and shared the fruits of our own harvests with her.  We made sure we never missed a birthday, a holiday, any special occasion.  Noteworthy was the time of the terrible storm a few years ago when many of our clients were without power.  Marianna generously shared her home with another client who was without power, her caregiver and a small dog for a few days. A busy, crowded house, a long storm party.  She was seemingly unstoppable. Alert and ambulatory up until her final days, Marianna is our most special and fondly remembered client.  It was an honor to care for her up until her peaceful death at home on hospice.  Thank you, Seasons Hospice for being our partners in smoothing her transition into the next life.  Very special thanks to her many caregivers who brought joy, fun, excellent care and many adventures into her life.  We are all better for the privilege of having her in our life.  We will never forget her. ■ 

From: Dementia
by Day, a blog by
Rachael Wonderlin

A visitor to my Facebook page recently wrote in and asked me a question about this. She was told by her Executive Director to please put a list together of inexpensive activity and programming ideas that they could implement immediately. 

1. Plastic box of dollar store, baby socks/child socks. Residents can fold and organize the socks. 
2. Plastic box of dollar store cups and artificial flowers for residents to arrange. 
3. Big puzzles because the pieces are big and easy to hold but the puzzles aren't childish. 
4. Plastic box of clothes pins. Residents can clip the clothes pins to the outside of the box. It's simple, but great for dexterity and people who have trouble with much else. 
5. Lace and trace kit for residents who are accustomed to sewing 
6. Plastic box of dollar store towels to fold and sort 
7. Acrylic paints and paintbrushes for residents to create art 
8. Mind-Start's Finishing Lines is wonderful and I've had a lot of success with it. 
9. Mind-Start's Finishing Lyrics is also wonderful. The activity staff can read the lyrics and the residents can fill in the blanks. 
10. Adult coloring book & markers for residents who enjoy art. ■

  Alan Weiss on Focus Point

We miss far too much while embroiled in minor matters. People have their faces planted in their phones while an eagle flies overhead with a fish (or, worse, a car approaches them with another texting driver). Intent on selfies, tourists miss the grandeur or the lake, or temple, or mountain. Focused on getting their money's worth from the buffet, diners miss the pleasure of conversation. (I recently watched two parents and their two kids all punching their phones amidst Christmas decorations at breakfast in one of New York's best hotels. They were tourists from Germany.)

We multi-task and miss the action, instead depending on the replay and the rewind. We jog the beach intent on our training regimen and miss the pelican diving ten times to catch a fish (the historic success rate of predators). More people seem to be concerned with the latest computer backups than with trying to meet buyers.

This is the story of misdirection in magic-creating a minor diversion while the sleight-of-hand takes place.

We can be preoccupied with the strong wind instead of noticing that birds soar most easily in strong winds and have to flap their wings more in still air. When someone finally paid attention to that phenomenon, the curved wing was created, which enabled all subsequent powered flight.

Don't look back with regret or forward with anxiety. Look around with curiosity and awareness.  ■ 

How to Decide Who to Marry?
From a children's perspective
  1. You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep  the chips and dip coming.  ~ Alan, age 10

    No  person really decides before they grow up who they're going to  marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later  who you're stuck with. ~ Kristen, age 10
    Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then... ~ Camille, age 10
  3. HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED? You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids. ~ Derrick, age 8

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  

Kindred Care at Home / Formerly Gentiva Home Health Care Services Stratford, Old Saybrook,
Hamden, Farmington. 

Their services include: Skilled nursing, physical therapy, occupational and speech language therapy Neurorehabilitation, wound care, disease and pain management, medication management and education. They maintain a special expertise in dementia care.

Most of these services can be found in any certified agency. And there are several hundred such agencies in CT.

 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.

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