2021 | Edition 2
We’re delighted to be ushering in spring and nearing summer. It’s always refreshing to start seeing the colors of flowers and trees coming back to life. The longer days seem to provide a feeling that we can get more out of a day.
It’s also an exciting time of year for us because SHC turns 34 this month. We’re very proud of how far we’ve come since 1987 and thankful to have you as part of the SHC family as we continue to serve our community.
Before long it will be May, which happens to be Older Americans Month. As a company dedicated to improving the lives of seniors, we celebrate older Americans every month, but we encourage everyone to do a little extra celebrating in May and give thanks to the joy and wisdom that older Americans bring into our lives.
Speaking of May celebrations, we would like to wish an early Happy Mother’s Day to everyone. Many of our clients and caregivers are mothers and we hope everyone is able to celebrate with their loved ones.
Around the office, we’re all still glowing in the excitement of our recent honor of being named a Best of Home Care® Leader in Excellence once again. We covered the award quite thoroughly in our last newsletter. If you missed it, we encourage you to check it out in the resources tab of our website.
April is Stress Awareness Month: Tips to Help You Cope
Stress Awareness Month has been recognized every April since 1992, but this year it seems particularly important. Learning to cope with our stress and find healthy ways to deal with situations can go a long way in living a healthy and positive life.
Long term stress can be more than just a mental issue. From headaches to stomach disorders to depression – even serious issues like stroke and heart disease can come as a result of stress.
When you are in a stressful situation, specific stress hormones rush into your bloodstream leading to an increase in heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels. This is helpful in emergency situations, but having this “rush” for extended periods of time can be dangerous and make you susceptible to the issues mentioned previously.
Learn to overcome issues you cannot change
Sometimes the stress in our lives is not something we have any power to change – it is during these times that Federal Occupational Health recommends you change your approach to situations. Try to…
- Recognize when you don’t have control, and let it go.
- Avoid getting anxious about situations that you cannot change.
- Take control of your reactions and focus your mind on something that makes you feel calm and in control.
- Develop a vision for healthy living, wellness, and personal growth, and set realistic goals to help you realize your vision.
Tips for coping with your stress
The CDC provides some basic ideas to help you cope with stress…
- Take care of yourself – eat healthy, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep, and give yourself a break if you feel stressed.
- Discuss your problems with a family member, friend or another trusted source.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol.
- Recognize when you need more help – know when to talk to a psychologist, social worker or counselor if things continue.
Source: Williams Integracare Clinic
May is Stroke Awareness Month. Strokes are a medical emergency, and every second counts, because time lost is brain lost.
Over the years, we have seen numerous instances of SHC Caregivers saving the day by acting quickly and dialing 911 upon noticing the signs of a client having a stroke.
Know these stroke warning signs and share them with others:
- Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.
- Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.
- Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
- Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.
- Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.
If you or someone with you has one or more of these signs, don’t delay! Call 911 or the emergency medical services (EMS) number immediately. Also, check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. It’s important to take immediate action. If given within three hours of the start of symptoms, a clot-busting drug can reduce long-term disability for the most common type of stroke.
Source: American Heart Association
Stress relief from laughter? It's no joke.
Whether you're guffawing at a sitcom on TV or quietly giggling at a newspaper cartoon, laughing does you good. A good sense of humor can't cure all ailments, but data is mounting about the positive things laughter can do.
When you start to laugh, it doesn't just lighten your load mentally, it actually induces physical changes in your body. Laughter can:
- Stimulate many organs. Laughter enhances your intake of oxygen-rich air, stimulates your heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by your brain.
- Activate and relieve your stress response. A good laugh fires up and then cools down your stress response, and it can increase and then decrease your heart rate and blood pressure. The result? A good, relaxed feeling.
- Soothe tension. Laughter can also stimulate circulation and aid muscle relaxation, both of which can help reduce some of the physical symptoms of stress.
Laughter isn't just a quick pick-me-up. It's also good for you over the long term. Laughter may:
- Improve your immune system. Negative thoughts manifest into chemical reactions that can affect your body by bringing more stress into your system and decreasing your immunity. By contrast, positive thoughts can actually release neuropeptides that help fight stress and potentially more-serious illnesses.
- Relieve pain. Laughter may ease pain by causing the body to produce its own natural painkillers.
- Increase personal satisfaction. Laughter can make it easier to cope with difficult situations. It also helps you connect with other people.
- Improve your mood. Many people experience depression, sometimes due to chronic illnesses. Laughter can help lessen your depression and anxiety and may make you feel happier.
Improve your sense of humor
Are you afraid you have an underdeveloped — or nonexistent — sense of humor? No problem. Humor can be learned. Developing or refining your sense of humor may be easier than you think.
- Put humor on your horizon. Find a few simple items, such as photos, greeting cards or comic strips, that make you chuckle. Keep funny movies, books, magazines or videos on hand for when you need an added humor boost.
- Laugh and the world laughs with you. Find a way to laugh about your own situations and watch your stress begin to fade away. Even if it feels forced at first, practice laughing. It does your body good.
Go ahead and give it a try. Turn the corners of your mouth up into a smile and then give a laugh, even if it feels a little forced. Once you've had your chuckle, take stock of how you're feeling. Are your muscles a little less tense? Do you feel more relaxed or buoyant? That's the natural wonder of laughing at work.
Get to Know…Connie Miller, Accountant/Bookkeeper
Connie is the newest member of the SHC Office Staff. Connie handles client billing, employee payroll and accounts payable. Her friendly, outgoing personality and eagerness to help have led to a quick and smooth transition into the SHC family. We couldn’t be more thrilled to welcome Connie to the team!
Fun facts about Connie:
- Favorite hobby is crafting with her Cricut cutting machine. Also loves making jewelry!
- Hidden talent is that she knows how to rebuild a big block engine.
- The most unusual item in her desk is Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup (which she sometimes adds a touch of to her coffee).
- Bucket list items include European travel, skydiving and hiking the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone.
- Her favorite place in town is Maggiano’s Restaurant.
- Raises furniture: Makes standing or sitting easy
- Strong: Wide heavy-duty plastic reinforced with ribbed construction
- Stable: Deep cavity for sure fit of furniture feet
- Non-Skid Pads: Protective pads protect the furniture and floor
- Neutral Color: Blends with any interior
“I feel very comfortable leaving the house to do errands or see friends. I can lead my life knowing she is getting good consistent care. I don’t have to worry about what is going on at home. I would’ve lost my mind without them.”