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…
Call Today For Your Free In-Home Consultation!
Buying healthcare can be an intimidating venture. But quality care for you or your loved one shouldn’t be expensive.
To further assist you with any questions you may have about home care, CareTeam offers a free in-home consultation during which we meet with you to discuss how we can build a custom service schedule specific to your budget. Our in-home consultation is 100% free with no obligation. And it’s fun to talk with you and discuss how CareTeam can help you most!
What is an In-Home Consultation?
A knowledgeable CareTeam service director will meet you and/or your family in person at your own home. During this time we gather more information about your specific situation, and you can get a more comfortable feel for our company and our services. An in-home consultation (or “in-home assessment”) is good for both you and us:
- Don’t Pay Too Much! An in-home consultation gives us the opportunity to meet you in your own home environment and get to know your expectations. We can then help build you a service plan that gives you all the assistance you want or need, and still fits your budget!
- Ask More Questions! We understand that every client is unique, and we want to learn more about you. We can also answer any questions that you or your family have regarding services or special situations.
- Get Comfortable with Our Staff! An in-home assessment lets you get to know our staff a little better. You are free to call at anytime with any need, and you’ll feel more comfortable having met us in person.
- Personality Preferences? When we meet you in your home, it lets us get to know yourpersonality and your preferences. We want to pick the very best caregiver for your specific situation and to be someone who will respect your unique circumstances.
Call us to schedule your in-home consultation. Remember, it’s free and you have no obligation to commit to anything! We can’t wait to hear from you!
More Helpful Information Before You Begin
- Assistance With the Cost of Home Care: Information about special ways to pay for home care
- Care Comparison Worksheet: (Download) To help you compare multiple healthcare options
- Healthcare Cost Fact Sheet: (Download) Data gathered by the U.S. Census Bureau and a MetLife Market Survey.
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.
Truly Valuable Anti-Aging Vitamins
Many dermatologists and other physicians agree that despite the array of products on the market today that claim to reverse your signs of aging – there are three valuable antioxidants that truly yield results. Selenium, Vitamin C and Vitamin E are all proven to be the most effective at repairing and protecting damaged cells. This characteristic can not only keep you younger looking, but can also help your body function well and keep you healthy.
Selenium is a mineral that helps protect your body from cancer, which includes skin cancer that can be caused by sun exposure. Selenium also slows down the aging process of tissues or hardening of tissue caused by oxidation over time. In order to boost your natural reserves of selenium, consider a diet rich in seafood, eggs and even garlic.
Many people are aware of the preventative and healing effects of Vitamin C. It’s abundant in the body naturally and easily found in a diet full of fruits and vegetables. Vitamin C helps your body fight off radicals and is thought to prevent cells from becoming cancerous.
Vitamin E is not as widely used or understood by many older patients. However Vitamin E protects your cells membranes and prevents cellular damage. It can be found in vegetable oils, nuts and dairy products.
By naturally incorporating foods into your diet that contain these three vitamins and minerals you are helping prepare your body for the aging process both physically and aesthetically.
New Product Blends Safety With Style!
Have you heard about Cuff safety monitoring products? Long gone are the days of the old, beige plastic neck lanyards and our friend, the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” lady. The company has launched a brand new line of safety monitoring jewelry (for all ages), that will have your friends so jealous!
Not only do these function as your typical safety alert pendant, they also can connect wirelessly to your cell phone and notify you when you receive messages, etc. Further, they can function as an health and wellness activity tracker.
These are brand new, and are available only for preorder right now. Starting at $49, what a great Christmas gift for a hip senior you know!
Winner: 2014 “Family-Owned Business of the Year”!
Each year the Wichita Falls Chamber of Commerce hosts the annual Small Business Awards. Finalists are selected from nominees who display entrepreneurial success, and winners are named from these finalists by an outside judging group. There are three categories for the Small Business Awards: Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Small Business Person of the Year; and Family-Owned Business of the Year.
This year, CareTeam was named as a finalist in the Family-Owned category, against other successful Wichita Falls businesses including Casa Manana Restaurant and House of Flowers. The judges perform extensive interviews and comparisons of the companies’ performance, longevity, and contributions to the local community.
CareTeam won this award due to many things, particularly its 40+ year history of providing both a needed service to Wichita Falls, and also creating thousands of local jobs over the last 40 years.
Family member and Vice President Lacey Morgan says, “A business like ours is all about trust. Our clients are opening their homes to us, expecting us to come in and take care of them. They have to trust that our caregivers have the highest integrity and reliability. Winning an award like this helps us stand out as a truly trustworthy agency, as our 40-year track record shows.”
Family owners are Ann Popejoy, President and CEO; Greg Huffman, V.P. of IT; Lacey Morgan, V.P. of Marketing; and Colby Huffman, Business Development. Other owners who are not family have been no less a part of CareTeam’s success. These include Sherrie Childers, V.P. of Operations; Jana Fournier, V.P. of HR; and Arnold Gresham, CFO.
“We really are proud to be recognized with this honor, because family is most important to us. I’m glad we could be a part of this annual Wichita Falls tradition, and we’re so happy that the outside judging panel saw the benefit that CareTeam has brought to this community for three generations.”
CareTeam would also like to thank the countless employees who have really made the company into what is it today. The quality of customer service and care has made the company what it is today, and that is solely due to the hard work of each employee.
The Chamber hosts the Small Business Awards each year with hopes of encouraging even more people in the local area to support local business, or start their own.
Winners of this year’s Small Business Awards will go on to the Texas district level to compete against winners from other areas, including the DFW Metroplex. Winners of that round compete at a national level for the Small Business Awards of America.
If you or someone you know needs a little extra care at home, call CareTeam. The Care Coordinator staff is available 24/7 to answer your call. 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
Caring for a Person with Alzheimer’s Disease: Part I – The Brain’s Aging Process
This is a short series presented by CareTeam about Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). 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.
Scientists have learned much about what happens in the brain when people have a neurodegenerative disease such as Parkinson’s disease, AD, or other dementias. Their findings also revealed much about what happens during healthy aging. Researchers are investigating changes related to healthy aging in hopes of learning more about this process so they can fill gaps in our knowledge about the early stages of AD.
Natural Changes Associated with Aging. As a person gets older, changes occur in all parts of the body, including the brain: Certain parts of the brain shrink, particularly areas associated with memory, learning, and planning. Changes in the brain’s blood vessels occur, so that blood flow is reduced and fewer new capillaries grow. In some people, structures called plaques or tangles develop (though this is natural, it occurs in much larger amounts in individuals with AD).
These aging effects are normal. Most elderly adults notice a modest decline in their ability to learn new things and remember information, or to perform complex tasks of attention. However, if given enough time to perform the task, healthy people in their 70s and 80s often reach similar results as those of young adults.
So why do some adults’ brains age “normally”, while others’ develop diseases? Researchers are still investigating into this, but they believe this is the result of differences in genetics, education, occupation, lifestyle, leisure activities, and other life experiences. These factors provide a certain amount of tolerance and ability to adapt to change and damage that occurs during aging.
The Medical Effects of AD. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) disrupts critical metabolic processes that keep neurons healthy. This causes nerve cells to stop working, lose connection with other nerve cells, and finally die. The destruction of these cells causes the memory to fail, personality to change, and problems in carrying out daily activities. The brains of people with AD have an abundance of two abnormal structures that develop as people age: amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles. These structures are made up of mis-developed proteins.
Amyloid plaques are found in the spaces between the brain’s nerve cells, as first described by Dr. Alois Alzheimer in 1906. Plaques consist of largely insoluble deposits of a toxic protein called beta-amyloid. We now know that most people develop plaques in their brain tissue as they age. However, the AD brain has many more plaques. We don’t know if the plaques themselves cause AD, or if they are a byproduct of the AD process.
The second characteristic of AD, neurofibrillary tangles, are abnormal collections of twisted protein threads found inside nerve cells. Healthy brain neurons are supported by structures called microtubules which help carry these protein threads to the cell. In AD, an abnormally large number of additional phosphate in the brain causes the protein threads to leave the microtubules and become tangled with each other inside the neuron cells. The microtubules – which are no longer being used by the proteins – disintegrate. This collapses the brain cells’ internal network so that nutrients are no longer able to reach the cells and so that neurons can no longer communicate with each other.
All In the Family – CareTeam Adds New Family Member To Staff
At CareTeam, we always talk about how our company is a family business, and it truly is. Now, we’ve added one more branch of the family tree to the bunch. CareTeam is introducing Colby Huffman as the new business development manager for the company. Colby will be responsible for continuing to grow the company and educating other healthcare professionals about how CareTeam helps seniors in our community.
So let’s see if we can get all of these family members straight: Ann Popejoy founded the company in 1972 with the original office location here in Wichita Falls. Ann’s oldest son, Greg Huffman, has played a critical role in developing the technology to grow the business into other states and regions since 1996. Greg’s daughter, Lacey Morgan, has served as the Marketing Director for the company’s Texas and Oklahoma branches. Colby is Greg’s son and Lacey’s brother.
“Even as kids, Colby and I always got along better than most siblings,” says Lacey. “Sure, we argued sometimes, but for the most part, we’ve always been a tight-knit, loving family. Now as adults, we get along terrifically.”
Colby has always been a very active person. He is a graduate of MSU, and a current nominee for this year’s Wichita Falls “20 Under 40”. He is also a graduate of the Leadership Wichita Falls class of 2011, an organization which teaches participants about the history of Wichita Falls and how it runs today, as well as encourages them to be actively involved in charitable projects throughout the year. Colby has served on committees for the Zombie Crawl, the Cattle Baron’s Ball, and has participated in the Hotter’n Hell Hundred. If that’s not enough to keep a person busy, he is also currently earning his private recreational pilot’s license.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun having him involved on a daily basis. He and I have complementary skills: he’s a people-person with lots of charisma. I’m a behind-the-scenes planner and enjoy developing the business strategy. One day soon it will be completely up to us to continue on with the family business, and I look forward to sharing that challenge with my brother.”
CareTeam has been caring for Wichita Falls’ loved ones for over 40 years. If you know someone who could use a little help at home, we hope that CareTeam will come to mind as an experienced and reliable provider of in-home care. We are available 24/7 by phone, which is always answered by a member of our staff (never an answering machine). Call us anytime to schedule care for yourself or a loved one.