Letter from a client…
The Benefits of Cooking with Alzheimer’s: A Caregiver’s Guide
The Cullinary Schools have put together an extremely helpful guide to “Cooking With Alzheimer’s”. Please follow the link below to view their entire blog post.
In many advice columns and informational resources for caregivers of loved ones with Alzheimer’s disease, you’re likely to find recommendations that suggest unplugging the stove. There’s solid reasoning behind this advice: Some people who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease may begin to cook but lose track of what they’re doing partway through the process. When the stove is forgotten, the results can be disastrous. Click here to read more…
Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease: Part 1B – Stages of the Disease
Part 1B: The Stages of the Disease
This is a short series of information CareTeam would like to present about Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Over the course of this series, we want to help people who are caring for loved ones with the disease be better able to cope with the effects, and ultimately to become a better caregiver for their loved one so that the family can be whole again.
Understanding AD. Sometimes you may feel that you don’t know how to care for the person with AD. You’re not alone! This is a common feeling among AD caregivers because each day may bring different challenges. Learning about AD can help you understand and cope with these challenges.
Since it’s “discovery” in 1906 by German psychologist Dr. Alois Alzheimer, the disease has seen rapid developments in its understanding and treatment. The first drug approved by the FDA was not released until the 1990’s. In the 2000’s, new drugs arrived on the market. We are even in the process of developing an AD vaccine with hopes that there will one day be an end to the disease!
Alzheimer’s Disease consists of three main stages: mild, moderate, and severe. Understanding these stages can help you plan ahead.
Stage I: Mild. In mild AD people often have some memory loss and small changes in their personality. They may have trouble remembering recent events or the names of familiar people or things. They may no longer be able to solve simple math problems or balance a checkbook. They may also lose the ability to plan and organize – such as having trouble making a grocery list and finding items in the store.
Stage 2: Moderate. Memory loss and confusion become more obvious. People have more trouble organizing, planning, and following instructions. They may need help getting dressed and may start having problems with incontinence. They may not know where they are or what day or year it is. During Stage 2 AD is often when people begin to become restless and may wander. Personality changes may become more serious, with incidences of kicking, cursing, screaming, hiding things, and stealing. Most people experiencing Stage 2 of AD require full attention of the caregiver during all hours of the day. It is usually not safe for these individuals to be home alone for more than an hour or two at a time.
Stage 3: Severe. This is the last stage of AD. Severe AD is sometimes called late-stage AD. In this stage, people often need help with all their daily needs. They may not be able to walk or sit up without help. They may not be able to talk and often cannot recognize family members. They may have trouble swallowing and refuse to eat. Stage 3 individuals need full attention at all times, day and night. Sadly, Alzheimer’s Disease is a very cruel disease, and will ultimately take the life of the person fighting it. But there is hope. There are many treatments and therapies that may slow the symptoms of the disease. And more importantly, there are many organizations of people who can offer help and support for families fighting the disease.
Learn More About AD. We will continue in the series to provide information on how to care for a person with AD. In the mean time, here are some ways to help you learn more about Alzheimer’s Diease: (1) Talk with your doctor about AD. Ask for a refer to someone who specializes in the disease. (2) Ask your doctor about good sources of information. (3) Contact the local North Texas Chapter Alzheimer’s Association at (940) 767-8800. (4) Go to educational programs and workshops on AD. (5) Try to find a good support group for caregivers. There are some open in Wichita Falls. The Alzheimer’s Association can help you locate a group.
When you can’t go it alone anymore, you may need some extra help from professionals who are trained in caring for AD patients. CareTeam has a group of specially-trained staff who are experienced in this area and can provide the care needed to help your loved one and give you some time to reenergize if you have been the primary caregiver for a loved one with AD. Many schedules are available and we will work to fit your budget. Call CareTeam at (940) 723-5273.
CareTeam Spotlight on Parkinson’s Disease
April is National Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month. According to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, one million Americans are living with Parkinson’s Disease. CareTeam can be a great benefit to helping these patients with daily routines, meal prep, fall risk reduction, and medication reminders. Read more for some ways that CareTeam can specifically help people with Parkinson’s Disease.
Activities of Daily Living. Because of Parkinson’s patients’ muscle condition, basic ADLs such as bathing, grooming, and dressing can be very difficult. This condition often limits fluid movement and makes it difficult for patients to complete ADLs without assistance. Functional limitations may be overcome by a caregiver helping the patient complete their ADLs.
Meals & Feeding Assistance. Diet is important for successfully managing the Parkinson’s Disease progress. The patient may not have the motor skills to be able to prepare a meal and will rely on a caregiver. Often the patient’s tremors interfere with their ability to feed themselves. Having a caregiver is a good solution for someone who needs help with meal preparation and feeding. Caregivers can also help with preparing adjusted menus that make meal time easier for the patient, such as blended or softened foods.
Motivational Exercise – Home exercise programs for Parkinson’s patients focus on maintaining a suitable range of motion and improving mobility, flexibility, and balance. Patients are often more likely to complete their home exercise with the encouragement of a CareTeam caregiver.
Plan of Care Compliance – Caregivers are critical in helping a client stay on track and reminding them of the daily tasks required to manage their heart disease. Our job it to implement the plan prescribed by medical professionals.
Transportation – A patient with Parkinson’s disease is often unable to drive safely. They may also need assistance when attending medical appointments or on other errands due to their balance issues. Caregivers can provide this transportation and assistance.
Home Safety & Supervision – Patients with Parkinson’s disease are often at a risk of falling. Due to mobility issues, they are unbalanced and may have trouble protecting themselves if they fall. Another common challenge is that once a patient starts any movement, such as walking, they may not be able to stop until they run into an object. Caregivers can verbally or physically aid the patient while navigating inside or outside.
Medication Reminders – Our caregivers can verbally remind a patient to take their medication, which affects the quality of movement and can be critically important for being able to complete activities.
We often hear from families of individuals with Parkinson’s disease that they feel that their loved one has to move to a specialized care facility to manage the disease process. But they don’t have to! Think of CareTeam as a transition. Even if the family would like the Parkinson’s patient to be relocated to a special facility, our caregivers can supervise the patient in the mean time while the family tours facilities, or we can be a temporary solution while the family makes a decision about what the best next step is for their loved one. Often families see that keeping the patient home is most comfortable for them, and CareTeam caregivers can provide the needed assistance at home – with a more one-on-one approach than they would receive in a facility!
We also hear stories of spouses who have become great caregivers, but even they need help at times. Having a CareTeam caregiver just for a short time in the morning to help the Parkinson’s patient get up, dressed, and prepare breakfast reduces the burden and provides much needed assistance during that strenuous time of day.
Do you know of someone with Parkinson’s Disease who could use some extra help, or whose family could use a temporary rest from caregiving? We would love to help out! There is no contract, no commitment. We can come over as much or as little as you need us. Give us a call 24/7 to talk with one of our Care Managers. (940) 723-5273
A CareTeam Exclusive Service: Care Management
CareTeam is unlike any other agency: our clients is assigned their own personal Care Manager from our staff to oversee and coordinate services with other healthcare providers. Our clients can call their Care Manager anytime – at no charge – to visit about health other life issues. And the best part is that this service is available to every CareTeam client!
So what exactly is the Care Management service? CareTeam takes caring at home to the next level. It is more than simply caring for clients’ physical well-being at home. Our Care Managers can act as the first point of contact to troubleshoot life’s daily issues and needs of our home care clients. Here are some of the services our Care Managers arrange for you:
- Coordinate care with other healthcare providers (doctors, clinics, specialists, etc.)
- Ensure clients attend all scheduled health appointments, and arrange the transportation when needed
- Medication management, which includes monitoring, setup, dispensing, ordering and picking up refills
- Arrange necessary home maintenance and services
- Provide need skilled nursing treatments, as ordered by your physician (performed by our staff RN Care Manager)
- Perform a home safety check for fall prevention and other safety hazards in the home
- Routine communication reports to family, physicians, trusted advisors, etc., per request
- Arrange disease management programs for chronic illnesses
No matter how tough you or your loved one’s situation may be, CareTeam specializes in highly-involved cases. We have extensive experience in working with clients that have challenging family dynamics, difficult medical complications, mental health challenges, long distance family or no family, any age or disability, couples and individuals.
CareTeam’s clients decide on the services they want and need, and they can build their customized service schedule to meet those needs and stay exactly within a budget. Services offered range from simple assistance around the home (light housekeeping, shopping or errands, or cooking) to personal and nursing (assistance with bathing and grooming, dressing, wound care, and medication assistance).
Whether you or a loved one needs someone to come stay with you just a few hours a week, or several hours a day—CareTeam can do that. If you need a break from caring for a loved one, and just want someone to help out for a few days as a one-time thing—CareTeam can do that, too. Remember, with private duty services, the client is in control of when a caregiver works. There is no case too large or too small; CareTeam can cover anything you need.
CareTeam is the only private duty home care agency in the area providing Care Management services. We have an office staff of Care Managers with a variety of backgrounds, including and RN and a home care Administrator with over 10 years of experience in the business. Our company has been helping seniors in the Wichita Falls area for over 40 years.
Do you know of a senior adult in our community who is beginning to face the challenges of aging? CareTeam’s goal as a preferred provider of in-home assistance, is to give our clients the extra help they need to stay in their own homes—happy, comfortable, and independent.
Exclusive Breakthrough Treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease!
What Is the Ashby Memory Method?
The Ashby Memory Method is a system of therapeutic activities designed to encourage brain stimulation. Developed by a doctor, the program has shown proven results for reining in (and in some cases reversing) the effects of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other mental challenges.
Watch video newscoverage of the Ashby Memory Method in action: here!
Call our office anytime to speak with a care coordinator to set up memory therapy services for you or a loved one.
Senior Focus 2012 Was a Hit!
An estimated 600 seniors made it out to the 2012 annual Senior Focus. Vendors from all over the greater WIchita Falls area were there to offer information, services, and products to seniors. The early birds were rewarded with free flu shots and blood labs. Other services provided included blood pressure clinics, glucose tests, bone density scans, laser massage techniques, and strength tests.
CareTeam participated in the expo this year, offering a free Hand & Foot package to the lucky winner of our doorprize! We also hosted a “Like our Facebook Page” contest in which anyone who Liked our page (www.facebook.com/careteamofwichitafalls) before the end of Senior Focus would be entered in a drawing. The winner (Caren Rangel of United Regional HCS) was selected at the end of the day, and received a $50 gift certificate to Harvest Drug & Boutique.
NPDA Awards “Outstanding Employees” of 2012
The National Private Duty Association’s Oklahoma Chapter held nominations through the spring for employees who have shown exceptional dedication and committment to their organizations.
The nominations came from agency managers and Administrators throughout Oklahoma. There were many categories to nominate from, including: Office Staff, Companion Caregiver, Aide Caregiver, Nurse, and Administrator. A winner was selected from each of four regions of the state: Tulsa Metro, Oklahoma City Metro, Western OK State, and Eastern OK State.
Of the areas who submitted nominations, 13 winners were chosen by the NPDA’s Awards & Recognition Committee. Five of these winners were from a CareTeam SeniorSelect company:
Sandy Griffin, Office Manager – Enid
Office Employee of the Year, Western OK Region
Jennifer Johnson, Business Development Specialist – Tulsa
Office Employee of the Year, Tulsa Region
Cassandra Grizzle, CHHA – Oklahoma City
Aide Caregiver of the Year, OKC Region
Robbie Franklin, RN, Administrator – Tulsa
Administrator of the Year, Tulsa Region
Ramonda Goodridge, Companion – Enid
Companion Caregiver of the Year, Western OK Region
Congratulations to all of our wonderful staff members who help make us great!
CareTeam Welcomes HealthBridge to Our Team!
In March, 2012, CareTeam expanded its service coverage area by the addition of HealthBridge, a Dallas-based private-pay agency.
Our founder and advisers hatched the idea for a different kind of senior care in 2006. They were interested not in how home health care was delivered, but rather in how family caregivers were affected by caring for their parents. The discussions and early work were ongoing for a year and HealthBridge was officially founded in 2007.
HealthBridge’s vision is to assemble a team of world class caregivers and provide great advice to families helping them to sleep easier at night knowing that their elderly loved ones are being cared for. Most people would choose to stay at home, rather than move into a retirement home. But, most families struggle to provide their loved ones with the care they need to safely and independently stay at home. This creates a ton of tension and anxiety in the family – mom and dad are worried about having to move and the kids are afraid they’re not going to be able to do it all.
HealthBridge’s goal was simple: to help people care for each other.
In early 2012, HealthBridge merged with CareTeam. This new partnership expanded CareTeam’s coverage area to include locations covering all of the North Texas and Oklahoma region.
HealthBridge is headquartered in Richardson, Texas and serves clients throughout North Texas. Please visit their website for more information: www.myhealthbridge.com
Enid Senior Expo a Hit!
With 80 vendors, food, games, and information, the Enid “Prime Timers” Senior Expo was a hit. CareTeam stole the show with our PLINKO board game! Drop in a token at the top, and watch it bounce around before landing at a prize!
See original posting here.