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2020 | Edition 3

Kit Whittington Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well. This holiday season is sure to be different than any other. Despite the challenges posed by the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, I hope that everyone is able to experience a variation of the joyful traditions of the season.

We may not be able to gather as we have in the past, but with a little creativity, I know there’s still joy to be found. Thanks to modern technology, family and friends are only a phone call or video-chat away.

SHC’s vision to “Make home the best place to live” has been taken to a new level amidst this pandemic. I believe we are in a position to help see that just because this holiday season is different, it doesn’t have to be less special. Perhaps a caregiver can help set up a videocall for those who aren’t as tech savvy as their grandkids. When holiday outings aren’t possible, a drive around the neighborhood to see the lights could be a great way to raise spirits. As always, SHC caregivers can lend a helping hand in the kitchen with favorite meals or treats. We’re here for you.

While we may not be going out much this year, we must remember to practice safety precautions when we do. It’s as important as ever to wear our masks in public, wash our hands frequently and avoid crowds whenever possible.

In addition to these new safety precautions, we mustn’t forget the precautions we’ve always followed this time of year. Watch out for slippery, wet leaves and keep walkways well lit. As the temperature drops, the threat of falling rises. Be sure to check out the fall prevention tips included in this newsletter.

From the SHC family to yours, we wish you a safe and happy holiday season and look forward to working together in the new year!

Yours in Service,
Kit Whittington

Introducing Relias Learning

We’re excited to introduce our new caregiver training platform, Relias Learning.

Quality, up-to-date training is a cornerstone to providing excellent care at Seniors Home Care and we have found that in Relias Learning. We know our clients and caregivers will both benefit from this new ongoing training resource!

Ryan Whittington
Seniors Home Care CEO

Planning Your Holidays During the COVID-19 Pandemic

With the holiday season fast approaching and coronavirus (COVID-19) surging in most parts of the country, millions of Americans will break with tradition this year to celebrate in ways that we hope will help to keep us all safe and healthy.

Celebrating holidays alone or with your immediate household members can sound rather dreary. But, if you look at it another way, the pandemic offers opportunities to make this holiday a season to remember in new and different ways. Here are a couple of ideas to consider:

Send Gifts. Although COVID-19 has changed our lives in many ways, sending cards or gifts remains a relatively easy way to let loved ones know that you’re thinking of them. Who wouldn’t want to receive some home-baked goodies, a basket of fresh fruit, or a festive wreath?

Make Videos. Share a musical performance, dance routine, demonstration of athletic skill, or even some stand-up comedy. The key is to have fun and let your imagination run free.

Share a Meal Remotely. Most of our end-of-the-year holidays involve the family sitting around a table overflowing with delicious food. With all of the videoconferencing platforms now available, it is easy to set aside a block of time to share a meal and good conversation remotely with friends and family members, whether they live nearby or across the country. You can compare your culinary creations, swap recipes, and try to remember to leave room for dessert. If you have a tradition of playing games or giving thanks for your many blessings, you can still do many of these activities remotely.

Take an After-Dinner Walk. Due to the physical demands and psychological impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been difficult for many of us to stay physically active. The key is making exercise a daily priority, and the holidays are no different. After your holiday meal, go on a virtual group walk through your respective neighborhoods to work off the food (but pay close attention to where you’re walking!).

Stay Safe. If you plan to go ahead and join a holiday gathering in person, it’s important to remain vigilant, even when interacting with dear friends and loved ones. The greatest risk for spread of COVID-19 right now is these family gatherings. Remember there are risks associated with travel and interacting with people who’ve not been tested for the coronavirus prior to the event, especially if they reside in a COVID hot spot—which is almost everywhere these days. Try to keep any family gatherings brief and relatively small, about five people or less. If the weather permits, hold the get-together outdoors.

To protect yourself and your loved ones, both now and over the holidays, please follow these 3 W’s:

Wear a mask when you are out in public and when you are indoors with people who are not part of your immediate household. The only exception is while eating or drinking!

Watch your distance, staying at least 6 feet away from people who are not part of your immediate household.

Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently.

Making these adjustments is a lot to consider when you’re trying to have a good time and there are children and older adults in the mix.

This holiday season is likely to be memorable in ways that we never could have imagined. Thanks to the rapid advances being made by medical research, we ultimately will get the COVID-19 pandemic under control so we can once again give everyone we love a big hug in person. Until then, please stay safe.


Winter Fall Prevention Tips

Winter and the holidays should be times of celebrating. Unfortunately, studies have shown a direct link between cold weather and falls in the elderly. Each year, 2.8 million elderly adults are treated for fall-related injuries.

Ice and snow present a serious danger for anyone venturing outdoors in winter, but it is especially unsafe for elderly adults.

Here are some suggestions for preventing falls in the elderly during winter:

  1. Clear walkways and treat surfaces with salt or sand to prevent falls. Be prepared with adequate supplies of salt and sand.
  2. Plan ahead. When possible, plan trips around the weather. If you do not need to go out, don’t go out. Wait for the weather and travel conditions to clear.
  3. Allow enough time to get where you are going. The chances of falling increase when you rush.
  4. Exercise caution when getting into and out of vehicles. Always hold securely to a door or another person.
  5. Look for the safest route to your location, including the paths into buildings. Choose alternate routes when necessary.
  6. Ask for help. Ask someone to help you navigate slippery or unsafe paths.
  7. Concentrate on the path ahead. Take your time and walk slowly and deliberately. Try to place each foot flat on the ground with each step.
  8. Wear appropriate footwear. Wear shoes or boots with rough-textured soles that provide good grip in all kinds of weather conditions.
  9. Avoid carrying items. Wear gloves, if necessary, to keep hands free for stabilization and balance.
  10. Use handrails when they are provided. Holding securely to a handhold can prevent a fall if you should slip.
  11. Clean your shoes after going inside. Snow and ice can freeze onto the soles of shoes and become treacherous, even indoors.

We cannot change the weather, but we can take measures to prepare and be safe.


95th Birthday Gifts

One evening, four brothers chatted together after dinner. They discussed the gifts they’d given their elderly mother for her 95th birthday.

The first said, "You know, I had a big house built for Mama."

The second said, “And I had a large theater built in the house.”

The third said, “And I had my Mercedes dealer deliver an SL600 to her.”

The fourth said, “You know how Mama loved reading the Bible and you know she can’t read anymore because she can’t see very well. I bought her a parrot who could recite the entire Bible. It took ten preachers over eight years to teach him. I had to pledge to contribute $50,000 a year for five years to the church, but it was worth it. Mama only has to name the chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it.”

The other brothers were impressed.

After the birthday celebration, Mama sent out her “Thank You” notes. She wrote:

“Milton, the house you built is so huge that I live in only one room, but I have to clean the whole house. Thanks anyway.” Love, Mama

“Marvin, I am too old to travel. I stay home. I have my groceries delivered, so I never use the Mercedes. The thought was good. Thanks anyway.” Love, Mama

“Melvin, you gave me an expensive theatre that can hold 50 people, but all of my friends are dead, I’ve lost my hearing, and I’m nearly blind. I’ll never use it. Thank you for the gesture just the same.” Love, Mama

“Dearest Michael, you were the only son to have the good sense to give a little thought to your gift. The chicken was delicious. Thank you so much.” Love, Mama

Get to Know Jaymiee Sheppard-Johnson, Lead Scheduling Coordinator

Many of you have likely spoken with Jaymiee since she joined our office staff as the Lead Scheduling Coordinator in June. Jaymiee first began working at SHC as a caregiver in 2018. In her new role, Jaymiee oversees all scheduling matters. She works with her department to coordinate schedule modifications and communicate changes to all families and caregivers involved. Though we were sorry to lose Jaymiee as a great caregiver, we couldn’t be more delighted to welcome her to her new position!

Fun Facts about Jaymiee:

  • Hobbies include being outdoors and going to the gym.
  • Her bucket list includes visiting Bora Bora and Thailand.
  • Her most proud accomplishment is receiving a letter of academics from President Obama and going back to school to complete her degree.
  • Her favorite candy is Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.
  • Jaymiee is an only child.

SHC Client Testimonial

Not only did the caregivers care for my husband, they also showed concern for me. It was a very trying time for me. I told them – they were truly angels coming into my home. 
Marene O.