In This Issue
FEATURE ARTICLE: The Alzheimer's Caregiver Blame Game
Kudos From Kelly
Seniors and Fall Activities
Regina's Reflections
Alan Weiss on Optimism
Providers We Love

Photos in top banner: Luke and Grace (our graphic designer's children; Nora and Ryan, Regina's grandchildren playing with their pumpkins; Nicole and her client Lucy at a wedding.  

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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!!!

The Alzheimer's Caregiver Blame Game
 Bob DeMarco  |  Alzheimer's Reading Room

When you blame a person living with dementia for something they did you should try to remember - it is not their fault.

I was talking to an elderly woman that was having a particularly difficult time dealing with her husband who lives with Alzheimer's disease.

When we started talking before I knew it she was off and running. She talked non-stop for about twenty minutes. She was clearly stressed out. It did not surprise me, I have seen and heard it before.

At the core of what she was saying was a single theme, blame.
In Alzheimer's World persons living with Alzheimer's are different. They often lose some of their social and communication skills; and, the ability to articulate how they feel.

The woman was blaming her husband for all the things you could imagine. But mostly she was blaming him for being ungrateful and for a lack of understanding.

One of the themes that came out of the conversation, one of the things that seemed to be driving this woman crazy, was that her husband no longer appreciated her, or what she was doing for him.
I asked her a simple question.

Did he appreciate you in the past?

She answered yes. I asked, did he tell you he appreciated you in the past? She answered yes.

I asked what changed?

   KUDOS from Kelly     
  By Kelly McNamara  
Stacy Grizzle: Stacey has been with us a mere Ten months but has already made an amazing impact.   
Originally, as many of our new caregivers do, she started as a backup for another regular caregiver when she needed a break.  When the regular caregiver suddenly left the case, Stacey didn't hesitate to jump right in and take charge until we found a replacement for the regular caregiver. The client is Mrs. T but she has an especially attentive and loving husband and it is Mr T. who is very particular about his wife's care. As we were speaking with Mr. T about a potential permanent replacement, all he could suggest was "Can you please find me another Stacey ?? She's perfect.  "Done!
So, Stacey is now the permanent caregiver for Mrs. T and Mr. T could not be happier. He has consistent praise for how well Stacey cares for his wife, how tender she is with her, how thoroughly she meets her every need.
Mt T says what is special about Stacey is her attentiveness to his wife's every need. She in fact knows just what Mrs. T needs before she even asks. A few other admirable traits Stacey brings is the ability to adapt easily to change and her consistent reliability and dependability.
What a lucky lady Mrs. T is, to have such an adoring and concerned husband.
And how fortunate to have as special and amazing caregiver as Stacey.

Thank you for being your wonderful  self, Stacey and for bringing so much happiness to this wonderful couple every day!   
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...!!  

  Seniors and Fall Activities

The following fun fall activities for seniors offer some great ways for you to spend time together with your loved one this autumn.  
  • Enjoy the Crisp Air with Walks. Fall is the perfect time to take regular walks...
  • Watch a Movie...
  • Make Fall Crafts...
  • Bake Some Sweet Fall Treats... 
  • Visit a Local Pumpkin Patch...
  • Get Ready for Halloween...
  • Offer to help grandchildren with their costumes...  
  • Attend autumn craft fairs...  

  Regina's  Reflections    
I chose to copy (with permission) a lovely text sent from a client's daughter. Totally random, this arrived at the end of a long, frustrating Friday. Nothing went as planned, Exhaustion consumed me. Darcey waited patiently for a walk.

Then I glanced at my phone.

And my day brightened. Several months ago, We had cared for a lovely man in an assisted living community, newly discharged from rehab. Our caregiver, Ritta set right to work, strengthening him, encouraging eating and drinking, monitoring for complications and brightening all his days. After several months of care, he became ill, requiring  hospitalization. His daughter, Rena explained he would remain in the hospital on hospice. 

And many months later, at just the right time, this text arrived:

Dear Regina,

I am going through some of my dad's old records from last spring and I feel so remiss, I never thanked you properly for all the paperwork you sent me and the books on grief. In addition to sending us Ritta, our wonderful caregiver. I can also say that when there was one caregiver who was not a good fit for our family, you made time for me to voice all my observations and never questioned my feelings. You were immediately supportive then too and made me feel that giving us the care we wanted and needed was your top priority, and you made a staffing change as quickly as you could. That was very important to me too, because I had never had the responsibility before of caring for an aging parent and wasn't always sure of my decisions and judgment. Having you validate my concerns like that, and knowing there were options, was very reassuring to me.

You provided me with so much additional support, I can't imagine getting that "personal touch" from any other agency, so I still feel deeply indebted to you and wish I had let you know sooner.
It's obvious that you live and breathe this work and know how to help families through a particularly difficult transition time.
Thank you again, Rena
And thank YOU, wonderful Rena, for making my day! ■

  Alan Weiss on optimism   
    By Alan Weiss, PhD 
Did you know that over the last 20 years the proportion of world population living in extreme poverty has been halved? Or that life expectancy in the entire world is 70? That there are 2 billion children (age 0-15) in the world today and in the year 2100 that number will be the same? Or of all the world's 1-year-old children, 80 percent have vaccinated against some disease? Finally, did you know that in 1996 giant pandas, tigers, and black rhinos were all on the endangered lists, and none is today?

These are empirical data in the wonderful book Factfulness by the late Hans Rosling of Sweden. He points out that we tend to be overly negative, see things in a binary fashion (yes or no, up or down, black or white), and tend to group vast numbers of people with labels. All of this is encouraged by media which are paid to tell us about exceptions-primarily negative exceptions. "Emirate flight 1077 arrived on time in Heathrow" is not exactly "news."

We have problems, some of which seem insoluble at times. There are legitimate social and societal ills. But the sky isn't falling. And when we think the sky IS falling and duck for cover, we're unable to walk around trying to solve the legitimate problems while hiding from a mythical one.

The world isn't perfect, but it is getting better. I was born just after World War II ended-I'm among the senior of the "baby boomers"-and I'm impressed that we've succeeded thus far in not blowing each other up. We may just basically really be salvific. Life is good, it's what we make of it, not what we allow it to make of us.

Alan is a friend and college and an international speaker and consultant.

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
The Hearth Assisted Living Southbury, Branford, Guilford, Madison All it takes is one simple stroll through The Hearth to feel the special difference  their residents experience daily. Staff are friendly, helpful, genuine. You instantly feel the teamwork among their staff. Feeling lost? The first person you encounter shows you the way. Residents are treated like family. They are happy, and enjoy telling visitors all about their home. Their secret? The Live More philosophy that is at the core of everything they do and is the essence of what makes Hearth Management different. ..
Village Gate of Farmington Retirement Community
We have been familiar with Village Gate for some time as a place for meetings and a welcoming place to reside. Recently one of our favorite client families moved in and this provided us with an excuse to actually visit and explore the grounds and the lovely interior of this charming and active retirement community...

Every person between the age of 70-80 is:

On the path to a fall
Will likely miss their medications and confuse their medicines all together
Will go without meals on a regular basis
May suffer depression due to life's  losses
Will miss out on life's joyful moments due to loneliness

They are all vulnerable. We love them, you love them, and senior communities love them. We know that we can make that ten-year gap between 70-80 and well beyond that so much better, safer and more joy filled but many of you may not. You have many concerns and questions. But few answers.

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Luckily, we do have many of those answers. We improve life every day for seniors and provide support to their loved ones who are equally confused.
Navigating the increasingly complex healthcare system, understanding the benefits under long term care insurance and Medicare, establishing a safe, comfortable enjoyable environment in which to age in place with just the right caregivers to meet your needs are among the many complex issues facing seniors and their families.
No one learns how to best address these essential matters  in school, or in life.   
We can help. Always There Home Care is the only nurse owned and managed private duty company in Connecticut.  Our clinical expertise allows us to provide a wide range of services from providing personal care and meaningful engagement with seniors to managing complex chronic diseases in the home.
We Improve lives every day for our  special clients, their grateful families and our well-chosen extraordinary caregivers.
Give us a call and together we will discover how we can best help you and your family.  
Phone: 800 348 0485  ~  We are Always There