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2014 │ Edition 1

Ryan Whittington


As I sit here today, we have received more than 10 inches of snow in St. Louis and the area children are celebrating a snow day.  Cocoa for all!

Today’s measurable snow reminds me of the dedication and selfless acts performed every day by those around us.  The snow and ice will pass with warmer temperatures however the need to care for others will always remain.  I feel privileged to be part of an industry that cares for a generation who also felt the need to place others first.

This edition of the newsletter continues to highlight ways to take care of yourself and those around you.  In addition to these tips, I welcome you to engage with us through our blog and Facebook page.

As a parting thought, help us make a difference this year.  The great impact we can make in the lives of families in need starts with a personal referral.  Families needing a helping hand trust and respect people around them.  If your interaction with Seniors Home Care has been great, please share this experience.  Your comments may make the difference to someone you know this year.

Much success and happiness,

Ryan Whittington

C.D.P., Director of Operations

Making Daily Activities Simpler

Simple changes in a home can help an older adult conserve more energy.

Here are some things you can do to make daily activities simpler:

  • Store household items on lower shelves so that you can easily reach them.
  • Use a reaching device that you can buy at a medical supply store so you do not need to climb for an item.
  • If you have trouble seeing, purchase a phone with larger numbers from a medical supply store.
  • If you have to climb for something, use a step stool with handrails.
  • Do not try to carry too many things at the same time.
  • Have a place near your door where you can place packages and groceries while you close the door and get ready to put items away.
  • Wear low-heeled, comfortable shoes that fit well and give your feet good support.
  • Use footwear with nonskid soles and check the heels and soles of your shoes for wear.
  • Repair or replace worn heels or soles.
  • Do not wear socks without shoes on smooth floors.



If you have had total knee or hip joint replacement surgery, or have another significant problem, you may need more help with balance and walking than you can get with crutches or a cane. A pickup walker with four solid prongs on the bottom may give you the most stability. The walker lets you keep all or some of your weight off of your lower body as you step. You use your arms to support some of the weight. The top of your walker should match the crease in your wrist when you stand up straight. Do not hurry when you use a walker. As your strength and endurance get better, you may gradually be able to carry more weight in your legs.

Walking - First, put your walker about one step ahead of you, making sure the legs of your walker are level to the ground. With both hands, grip the top of the walker for support and walk into it, stepping off on your injured leg. Touch the heel of this foot to the ground first, then flatten the foot and finally lift the toes off the ground as you complete your step with your good leg. Don't step all the way to the front bar of your walker. Take small steps when you turn.

Sitting - To sit, back up until your legs touch the chair. Reach back to feel the seat before you sit. To get up from a chair, push yourself up and grasp the walker's grips. Make sure the rubber tips on your walker's legs stay in good shape.

Stairs - Never climb stairs or use an escalator with your walker.


Orchid Show at the Botanical Garden

The plants in your yard may be brown and lifeless, but you can enjoy beautiful, fragrant flowers at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The annual Orchid Show offers visitors a once-a-year opportunity to see a rotating display of hundreds of orchids from the Garden’s expansive permanent living collection amid a tropical oasis inside the Orthwein Floral Display Hall.

The 2014 Orchid Show celebrates the orchids of South America through March 23, 2014


I made appointments with three agencies and can honestly say choosing SHC was the right and only choice. The other two agencies didn't begin to compare to what SHC offered and the way I viewed SHC. Nurse Alice met with us, answered every concern I had and explained everything in complete detail. After her visit, I knew I had found the right one to care for my father-in-law. I found each caregiver to be well trained, professional, caring, patient, and each had her own method for dealing with an elderly man with increasing Alzheimer's. He was treated with the respect he's earned after 95 years of life and for that I'm so grateful.      

Linda W.  Fenton, MO

I have now used SHC every day for over a year and couldn't be more pleased with the professionalism, responsiveness, trustworthiness and compassion through some very difficult times. SHC caregivers have provided care at home including 24/7 hospice care for my relative as well as care in the hospital, rehab center and for visits to the doctor. I trust them implicitly. They have managed all of the pieces such as transitioning from rehab to home and coordinating everything from medications to physical therapy to medical equipment to following-up with the doctors. They are excellent at communicating with me.  SHC caregivers are first rate. SHC has my highest recommendation and my deepest thanks.

Lynn A.  Minneapolis, MN

Communicating with Alzheimer’s Disease

8 Helpful Tips...

To effectively communicate with a person with Alzheimer’s disease, it’s important to realize that these individuals experience life “in the moment.” The ultimate rule of communicating with someone with Alzheimer’s disease is keeping it simple. For instance, “Let’s take a walk” is less confusing than “Isn’t it a nice day to take a walk and hear the birds chirping?”

Other tips for effective communication include:

  • Use neutral tones that are gentle and relaxed – a person with Alzheimer’s can react to your emotions so be careful to not be in a hurry, frown or speak quickly or angrily
  • Approach the person from the front, establish eye contact and use their name
  • Speak slowly, clearly and at a volume appropriate to the listener
  • Reduce surrounding distractions
  • Break tasks and instructions into clear, simple steps
  • Ask one question at a time and listen to the response
  • Act out the message, such as pointing to the object you are talking about
  • Make nonverbal messages match your words – smile when greeting someone, wave when you say goodbye

Naturally, the effectiveness of these techniques will vary among different individuals and the stages of dementia they’re in. If you have further questions, please contact the SHC office. Our experienced staff includes four Certified Dementia Practitioners who would love to help.

Source: SHC blog


Hypothermia (literally "low-heat") is a condition marked by an abnormally low internal body temperature. It develops when body heat is lost to a cool or cold environment faster than it can be replaced. Temperatures do not have to be below freezing for hypothermia to occur, especially in vulnerable individuals. Many older adults can develop a low body temperature after exposure to conditions of mild cold, which would only produce discomfort in younger people.

What You Can Do. To avoid being harmed by hypothermia, now that cold weather has come to many parts of the United States, here is some practical advice:

  • If you live alone, arrange for a daily check-in call with a friend, neighbor, relative, etc.
  • Insulate your home properly. Caulking is a particularly low-cost and effective technique.
  • Wear warm clothing. Instead of tight clothing, wear several loose, warm layers. Wear a hat and scarf to avoid significant heat loss through your head and neck. Stay dry. Moisture from perspiration, rain, or melting snow can seriously reduce or destroy the insulating value of clothing because water conducts body heat over 25 times faster than air.
  • Use extra blankets because hypothermia can develop during sleep.
  • Eat nutritious foods and exercise moderately; proper diet and physical conditioning help protect you against abnormal heat and cold.
  • Get proper rest; fatigue makes you more vulnerable to subnormal heat and cold.
  • Drink adequate amounts of liquids, such as water. Limit your alcohol intake because alcohol speeds up body heat loss.                                                                                


Full-Page Magnifier Lamp

Enjoy reading again! Thirty bright LEDs and a super-large lens with 2.5X magnification let you read a full page of a magazine or book without glare, distortion or hotspots. Flexible gooseneck brings the light and magnifier right where you want it. Side handle and big on/off button makes lamp easy to maneuver and operate as you sit in your favorite chair. Also ideal for close work, such as sewing and cross stitch. Silver-finish lamp complements any decor. Uses standard household current. Lens is 10-1/2"x7-1/2". As with all magnifiers, please keep away from direct sunlight.

Gold Violin 1-877-648-8466