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2018 │ Edition 2

Kit Whittington

Dear Friends,

The year is off to a great start.

In January, we held caregiver meetings to discuss our new company Vision, Mission and Core Values.

It was wonderful to see everyone and receive valuable input. I feel very blessed to work with such a wonderful team, doing meaningful and fulfilling work.

During our meetings, we discussed descriptive behaviors of our four core values – Dignity, Integrity, Compassion and Advocacy. I found it interesting that throughout the five meetings we held, one behavior came up at every meeting, and often in multiple categories. That behavior was to smile. 

Smiling is such a simple behavior, yet holds a lot of meaning and power. A genuine smile can immediately create comfort and start a basis of support and reassurance. It establishes a positive impression and can set the tone for a shift.

Smiling has the ability to take a lot of tension and nervousness out of what is sometimes an uneasy situation.

For the client hesitantly allowing a stranger into their home, or the caregiver visiting a new setting for the first time, a warm smile helps put each other at ease and set the foundation for a new relationship. For someone with dementia, a soft smile can sooth anxiety and confusion in ways that words simply cannot.

Building and maintaining a good relationship takes a lot of hard work, but a smile is always a good place to start.

Spring is here – don’t forget to smile!

Yours in Service,
Kit Whittington
RN, BSN, Founder

5 Reasons Volunteerism is Great for Seniors

Volunteerism isn’t just beneficial for those being helped — research shows that volunteering confers mental and physical health benefits for those doing the helping. Here are just a handful of reasons volunteer activity is beneficial:

  • It helps bridge the generation gap. Seniors who volunteer have a unique opportunity to work with and assist younger generations — and learn from them, too.
  • It helps change the way people think about older adults. By using their talents and skills, seniors demonstrate that they are active, involved and essential to a healthy community.
  • It is good for mental health and can help prevent Alzheimer’s. Volunteering can help keep the brain and the body active, which contributes to continuing cognitive health.
  • It helps prevent isolation and depression. Those who volunteer experience greater life satisfaction, a sense of purpose and accomplishment, more stress resilience, and lower rates of depression.
  • It promotes healthy physical activity. Volunteering can be good for keeping the body active, whether you’re building houses for Habitat for Humanity or walking around your favorite museum as a volunteer docent. Maintaining a healthy level of physical fitness helps ward off disease, injury and even dementia.

There are numerous resources, such as, to help match you with a specific cause in your area.


What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy helps people do the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of daily activities (occupations). Occupational therapy practitioners enable people of all ages to live life to its fullest by helping them promote health, and prevent—or live better with—injury, illness, or disability. 

Common occupational therapy interventions include helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes. Occupational therapy services typically include:

  • an individualized evaluation, during which the client/family and occupational therapist determine the person’s goals,
  • customized intervention to improve the person’s ability to perform daily activities and reach the goals, and
  • an outcomes evaluation to ensure that the goals are being met and/or make changes to the intervention plan. 

Occupational therapy practitioners have a holistic perspective, in which the focus is on adapting the environment and/or task to fit the person, and the person is an integral part of the therapy team. It is an evidence-based practice deeply rooted in science. 

Source: The American Occupational Therapy Association        

Get to Know…Jane Kraus

Jane is the newest member of SHC’s Nursing Department, where she performs skilled nursing visits, monitors changes in client conditions and medications, as well as field general medical questions from families and caregivers.

Fun facts about Jane:

  • SHC cared for her father at home for 5 years
  • Loves dark chocolate and Diet Coke
  • Exercise is one of her favorite hobbies
  • Favorite activity is spending time with her grandchildren

National Nutrition Month: Tips for Eating Right

Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Think about what goes on your plate. Choose foods that provide nutrients without many calories. Try these tips.

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables with meals and snacks. They can be fresh, frozen or canned.

Make at least half your grains whole.
Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice. Also, look for fiber-rich cereals to help stay regular.

Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.
Include three servings of fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese each day. If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.

Vary your protein choices.
Eat a variety of foods from the protein food group, such as seafood, nuts, beans, peas, lean meat, poultry and eggs.

Cut back on sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added sugars.
Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy. Switch from solid fats to oils when preparing food. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Select fruit for dessert. Eat sugary desserts less often.

Enjoy your food but eat less.
Avoid oversized portions. Try using a smaller plate, bowl and glass. Cook at home, where you control what’s in your food. When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options and dishes that include vegetables, fruits and whole grains. When portions are large, share a meal or take half home for later.

Be physically active your way.
Pick activities that you like and start by doing what you can. Every bit adds up and health benefits increase as you spend more time being active.

If you are currently inactive, start with a few minutes of activity such as walking. Gradually increase the minutes as you become stronger.

Consult a registered dietitian nutritionist if you have special dietary needs. A registered dietitian nutritionist can create a customized eating plan for you.


Client Testimonial

“Anything that we ask or need my mother’s caregiver from Seniors Home Care to do, she will do. My mother has dementia and her caregiver has rearranged things in the home to make things better for my mother. My mother’s caregiver is making both my mother’s and my lives easier.”
                                                                Diane S.

5 Shortcuts to Make Cleaning Your Bathroom Easy

Do you hate cleaning the bathroom as much as we do? Check out these five clever hacks for using dryer sheets and other common items to make cleaning your bathroom easier.

Get Rid of Soap Scum
Clear away shower-door soap scum effortlessly by wiping it with a used dryer sheet. It gets the job done in no time!

The Easiest Way to Remove Mildew 
Simply scrub the affected area with an old, damp toothbrush sprinkled with baking soda.

Get Rid of Hard Water Stains
To remove hard-water deposits in your toilet bowl, pour 1 cup white vinegar into the bowl and allow it to sit for several hours or overnight before scrubbing. A fizzy denture tablet works well too!

Use Lemon!
If your sink or tub is made of porcelain, rub a freshly cut lemon around the surface to cut through gunk, then rinse with running water. Plus, it never hurts to add a nice fragrance to the bathroom!

Quick Showerhead Cleaning
If you’ve been putting off cleaning your showerhead because you think it’s tough to clean, now it’s time to scratch it off your to-do list. Just unscrew the showerhead and submerge in white vinegar overnight, and the clogs will disappear. If you can’t unscrew it, fill a small, sturdy bag with vinegar and attach to the showerhead with duct tape, or use an old toothbrush and vinegar. Yep, it’s that easy.