2017 │ Edition 2
Dear Clients of SHC,
Now that spring has sprung, things are really starting to come back to life and we start looking forward to the fun we have planned for the year.
We’re excited to be expanding our SHC University program for family caregivers. In addition to the original Caregiving 101 class, we recently held our first class about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and will also be covering In-Home Equipment and Supplies and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) later in the year. If you, or anyone you know, might be interested in attending, please call the office for more information and to reserve a seat.
We’re also thrilled to celebrate our 30th Anniversary year. Our success is thanks to you – our wonderful clients, caregivers and community partners. Keep an eye out for some of the fun events we’ll be having throughout the rest of the year!
Yours in Service,
Kit Whittington, RN, BSN, Founder
Seniors Home Care Celebrates 30 Years Serving St. Louis
A lot has changed in the three decades since Kit Whittington, RN, founded Seniors Home Care, but her passion has not faded a bit. April marks the 30th Anniversary of SHC and Kit couldn’t be prouder.
In 1987, after providing care for her grandmother, Whittington made the bold decision to leave her corporate career and pursue her passion to provide care and support for older adults and their families.
“SHC arose from my experiences and struggles caring for my grandmother,” Kit explains. “I was repeatedly let down by people I’d hired to care for her. I became driven by the notion that my grandmother deserved the highest possible quality of life. SHC’s success is due to our dedication to provide consistent, compassionate care for all clients.”
Home care was a pretty new concept in 1987, when Kit opened SHC. As the industry and need for home care services has grown, SHC has established itself as a leader by steadily maintaining its family-focused dedication to providing skilled and compassionate care.
Today SHC serves more than 120 clients and employs 125 caregivers. In addition to providing comprehensive training for all employees, the company offers free family caregiver training to the community through their monthly SHC University classes.
“It’s humbling to think about the many families we have helped and relationships we’ve built,” Kit says. “We’re grateful for every family who has allowed us into their lives and every caregiver who has been a part of the SHC team.”
In 2008, Kit’s son, Ryan Whittington, joined the company and in 2011 proudly became her business partner.
“Some factors of the industry may change but the basic principles stay the same,” Ryan says. “Success in home care depends on people – caring for clients and caring for caregivers. Through our growth, we remain true to our family focus.”
Spring Outings in St. Louis
Spring is here and many St. Louisans are excited to end their cabin fever. There are many opportunities to enjoy spring in St. Louis. Here are a few favorites.
- Visit the Butterfly House. Celebrate spring with a visit to the Butterfly House in Faust Park. For more information, call 636-530-0076.
- Fun at the History Museum. The St. Louis History Museum offers all sorts of fun for all ages. Seniors will enjoy a trip through memory lane by visiting the current Route 66 Exhibit.
- Visit the Botanical Garden. Get inspired for spring at the Missouri Botanical Garden, which is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of their Japanese Garden. For details, call 314-577-5100.
- UMSL’s Free Community Concerts. Music fans can enjoy free classical music concerts featuring UMSL students and alumni at the Touhill Performing Arts Center in St. Louis County. Visit their website for a schedule of events.
- Enjoy a Cardinals Game. Regardless of where you watch the game, it’s always more fun with friends and family. Fans of all ages enjoy getting together for hot dogs, peanuts and the national pastime.
Source: SHC Blog
Surprising Health Benefits of Hugs
Who doesn't love getting a hug from someone they love? But did you know that hugs are also good for? It's true! There are a number of ways in which getting a hug can improve your health. Here are 10 surprising health benefits of hugs:
- Hugs boost oxytocin levels, which lessen feelings of anger, loneliness, and isolation.
- Hugs raise serotonin levels, improving mood, creating happiness, and helping regulate your sleep cycle.
- Hugs release endorphins, the body's natural pain relievers, so getting a hug will actually soothe your aches and pains!
- Hugs increase production of dopamine, which makes you happy and relieves depression.
- Hugs reduce levels of circulating cortisol in the blood, which alleviates stress and calms the mind.
- Hugs activate pressure receptors, which send signals to the part of your brain responsible for lowering blood pressure.
- Hugs strengthen your immune system, by stimulating the thymus gland which regulates the body's production of white blood cells, which fight off disease.
- Hugs increase circulation to the soft tissue and relax muscles, relieving tension in the body and soothing pain.
- Hugs balance the nervous system, by activating receptors that help balance out the nervous system. The longer the hug, the more balanced the nervous system becomes.
- Hugs are awesome! You didn't need to read about the physiology behind hugs to know that they are awesome! Hugs help us connect with the loved ones in our lives and they feel great. They have a similar effect on the body as laughter and meditation by detaching you from stress and connecting you with mindfulness and happiness. Give someone you love a hug today.
Emergency Disaster Preparedness
It’s important to have a plan in the event of a natural disaster. Friends and family should ensure that loved ones are properly prepared – especially those with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, who cannot be expected to plan for, react to or spot warning signs of a disaster.
Generally, there are three steps to effective preparation:
1. Become informed
- Learn the risks of your community and the best ways to respond.
- Meet your neighbors and build a support group. Inform them of any special needs.
- Know the location of the shut-off valves for gas, electricity and water utilities, and how to turn them off, if necessary.
- Locate an emergency shelter and know how to get there in the event of an evacuation order.
2. Prepare an emergency supply kit. It should always be ready and include:
- Water for at least three days
- Non-perishable food for at least three days (and hand operated can opener)
- Medications for at least three days
- Portable radio
- Spare batteries
- First aid kit
- Cash or travelers checks
- Contact list with names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses
3. Make a Personal Plan
- Once you gather information and supplies, complete a personal emergency response plan. Identify all special needs and how they will be met.
- Create a medical summary sheet for your residence and wallet. Include:
- Contact information for yourself, doctor and family or emergency contacts
- Current medications (and the pharmacy where they are filled)
- Medical conditions
- Health history records
- Type and model of any medical devices used
Source: SHC Blog
“Everyone involved in my mom’s care were at the top of their profession.”
Get to Know…Ted
(A new monthly segment featuring members of SHC’s office staff.)
You’ve probably talked to Ted while calling the office. He also assists with marketing and administrative tasks. Ted performs a wide variety of tasks associated with client and caregiver development. He also happens to gather the content for this newsletter.
Fun facts about Ted:
- He loves watching St. Louis Blues hockey.
- He likes orange M&M’s more than the other colors.
- He failed his first attempt to get his driver’s license after forgetting to take the parking brake off for half of the driving test…when he smelled burning rubber.