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2018 │ Edition 4

Kit Whittington

Dear Friends,

The summer seems to be flying by. This year we kicked off our summer with a series of caregiver meetings. I truly believe that our caregivers are the best-of-the-best in St. Louis and it’s always wonderful to have a chance to get everyone together. These meetings are a great way to review new policies and programs and seek out ways to improve.

We have also been working to increase our caregiver training. We have upgraded our learning lab to include a toilet and bathtub for increased transfer practice. We have also started planning monthly in-service training from area specialists. These are a great way to learn from industry experts.

I hope that everyone has had a happy and healthy summer.

Yours in service,
Kit Whittington
RN, BSN, Founder

Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase your risk of stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications.

During atrial fibrillation, the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) beat chaotically and irregularly — out of coordination with the two lower chambers (the ventricles) of the heart. Atrial fibrillation symptoms often include heart palpitations, shortness of breath and weakness.

Episodes of atrial fibrillation can come and go, or you may develop atrial fibrillation that doesn't go away and may require treatment. Although atrial fibrillation itself usually isn't life-threatening, it is a serious medical condition that sometimes requires emergency treatment.

It may lead to complications. Atrial fibrillation can lead to blood clots forming in the heart that may circulate to other organs and lead to blocked blood flow.

Treatments for atrial fibrillation may include medications and other interventions to try to alter the heart's electrical system.


Some people with atrial fibrillation have no symptoms and are unaware of their condition until it's discovered during a physical examination. Those who do have atrial fibrillation symptoms may experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Palpitations, which are sensations of a racing, uncomfortable, irregular heartbeat or a flip-flopping in your chest
  • Weakness
  • Reduced ability to exercise
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain

When to see a doctor

If you have any symptoms of atrial fibrillation, make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor may order an electrocardiogram to determine if your symptoms are related to atrial fibrillation or another heart rhythm disorder.

If you have chest pain, seek emergency medical assistance immediately. Chest pain could signal that you're having a heart attack.


Get to Know…Ann Jordan, Care Coordinator Assistant

Ann is a member of our Care Coordinators department, where she helps oversee scheduling matters and match caregiver personalities and skillsets to client needs. In addition to her office duties, Ann is a part of the after-hours on-call team.

Fun facts about Ann:

  • Favorite movie is Dirty Dancing
  • Favorite sports team is the Cardinals
  • Guilty pleasures are red wine and dark chocolate
  • Proudest accomplishment is being the mother of her two wonderful children
  • Has 9 siblings – she’s the 10th of 10 children

SHC Client Testimonial

"I don’t have to worry about things getting done because I know that the caregivers will be here to do them, and they will do them well."
                                                                Martha S.

7 Ways to Make Water Taste Better

Not everybody has a taste for water, but we all need it to ensure that our bodies continue functioning properly. If you want to drink more water, but aren't crazy about the taste (or lack thereof), here are some tips that can make it more enjoyable:

1. Add fresh fruit. Citrus fruits are classic water enhancers, but other fruit flavors might also tempt your taste buds. Try crushing fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water, or adding strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well.

2. Use juice. Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices, like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple, are especially delicious. Go for juices that are all natural, with no added sugars.

3. Make it bubbly. Many people prefer sparkling to still water. Try a naturally effervescent mineral water. Or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer, as suggested above, or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your local market.

4. Get creative with ice. Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Simply chop your additive of choice, add it to your ice cube tray along with water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes.

5. Drink tea. Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas (or coffee, for that matter) because they contain little to no caffeine.

6. Try bouillons, broths, and consommés. If your palate leans toward the savory, sip one of these hot and savory liquids instead. Choose low-fat and low-sodium versions for maximum health benefits. Because soup is water-based, a cup of hot soup will count toward your daily fluid consumption.

7. Add fast flavor. If you're looking for a quick-and-easy flavor booster, you might also consider sugar-free drink mixes, and flavor cartridges that can be used with your faucet filter system.


5 Reasons to Find a Workout Partner

Having a partner to work out with — and surrounding yourself with healthy eaters at meal times — can make a significant difference in your fitness and food choices. Consider these five findings and then see who will meet you for a walk.     

1. Get fitter together
Walking with a partner not only gives you someone to talk and laugh with, it also can help you stick with your fitness goals. Studies show that when people commit to working out together, they are much more likely to do it than those who go solo. 

2. Buddies work harder together 
Want to push yourself? Buddy up with some fitness pals. Turns out that it’s human nature to work out harder when we’re part of a group.

3. Healthy family and friends make you healthier
Choose your friends wisely. Why? Because you become whom you hang out with. Studies show that people are heavily influenced by the exercise habits of the people in their lives.

4. Walk and talk for mind and body
When it comes to walking, the more the merrier. A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that participants who engaged in group walking outdoors saw improvements in blood pressure, resting heart rate and body fat. These social walkers were also significantly less depressed. 

5. Eating for two 
We eat what our friends and family eat. In fact, we can even be influenced by what we hear that friends or family members are choosing to eat.