When you say…

services_activities_image When you say…

  • I get up several times a night to use the bathroom
  • I’m struggling with incontinence
  • I’ve had a few falls
  • I’m having trouble with memory loss
  • I can’t get out of bed or my chair on my own
  • I don’t feel safe at home alone anymore
  • I never want to move to a nursing home or assisted living
  • I’ve been hospitalized and am concerned about going home without help
  • I’m scared to drive
  • All I eat are frozen meals or fast food
  • I’m on multiple medications and need reminders
  • I don’t want to be a burden on my family
  • I can’t do the things I used to do without assistance
  • I’m lonely
  • I have a new medical diagnosis and feel overwhelmed
  • I can’t keep up with my housework
  • I need help with bathing and personal care

We can help! Capability Homecare provides trusted caregivers to assist in the home. We will do as little as 4 hours a week to overnight, around the clock care. Call us today to learn how we can help you stay safe in your own home. 425 679 5770

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Above and Beyond

Sheila

Sheila winning a door prize at the Alzheimer’s conference last year.

It’s important to highlight what makes Capability Caregivers so special. When you’re choosing someone to care for your elderly parents, it helps to know this person will go above and beyond what’s expected.

 

Take for instance our amazing caregiver Sheila.

Sheila has been caring for the same couple for over a year and a half. She provides live in care– meaning she spends 4 full days living in their home- helping them with day to day tasks (ADL’s) such as making meals, helping with bathing and dressing, personal care (assisting with toileting and catheter care) providing companionship and keeping them safe in their home.

She also takes them for walks, drives to doctor’s appointments, runs errands, takes out the trash, gets the newspaper each day, takes care of light housekeeping, keeps the kitchen stocked and more… all the tasks that we take for granted, but have to be done to keep our homes running smoothly.

Sheila has been a caregiver for 8 years- she is a trained CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and on her own time takes extra CEU classes to further her education and skill set. Last year I remember running into her at the Alzheimer’s conference- she had attended on her own so that she could learn more about caring for her clients.

Sheila says she loves working with Mr and Mrs S because she learns so much from them- they are interesting to talk to- and more importantly, they are still so in love with one another. Their love for one another brings a smile to Sheila’s face because she knows that she is helping them stay together in their home to live out their old age.

The hardest part of Sheila’s work day is recognizing that Mr and Mrs S both have dementia- and they are slowly slipping away from their former selves which makes Sheila sad.

Sheila’s passion is cooking- as was evident the day I went over to visit and interview her for this article. The house smelled delicious! She had prepared an omelet with green peppers, fresh cottage cheese with berries, sausage links, toast, coffee and juice (keep in mind she had no idea I was coming by, she cooks like that every day!).

What I noticed more than the amazing food- was that on the table were decorations for St Patty’s day. She had 4 leaf clovers scattered around, confetti strewn on the table, pictures of leprechaun and other little nick knacks on display. On a white board next to the table was written the day of the week, the schedule for the day and a little note reminding them that St. Patty’s day was coming up.

I asked Sheila about this- and she replied that she does this each month as a reminder to Mr and Mrs S about whatever holiday is coming up. It helps them stay in touch with the outside world and brings them a little joy. It also adds a festive element to their home- making it seem like a party every day!

I was so touched by this- because to me- it goes above and beyond what would be expected. She truly cares about Mr and Mrs S and treats them as if they were her own parents.  Her devotion to them is so evident in the loving way she cares for them. I know Mr and Mrs S (and their adult children) are grateful for all that Sheila does to help them live comfortably at home.

Sheila exemplifies the core values that we live by at Capability Homecare- honesty, integrity, empathy and compassion.

5 Ways to Prepare for Homecare

Once you’ve made the choice to provide in-home care for an elderly member there will be many things you need to take care of. At first, your decision may overwhelm you and create a lot of stress. But with a little knowledge and planning, some of this stress can be relieved. Here are some tips that will help you provide better and hopefully make the transition a pleasant experience for everyone involved:

Accept the Change

The very first step is to accept that there will be a change. Depending on the level of care there may be dramatic changes to your lifestyle, or negligible ones. Whatever the case may be, it is necessary that you accept and embrace the change that will soon be coming your way.

Keep Your Family Involved

Your decision to provide in-home care needs to be discussed with your family. The effects of ageing in an in-home care situation are very prominent, and will affect your family members in different ways. Take into account everyone’s opinions on the matter, so that you can prepare for any potential challenges. Make sure responsibility is divided equally so that no one person is stretched beyond their limits.

Eliminate Clutter

A messy environment in general makes it hard to get things done. This will become more of a hassle in an in-home care situation. Obstructed pathways and all round clutter pose challenges and risk the safety of your loved ones. Thus, a good way to prepare for in-home caregiving is to minimize clutter, and organize your surroundings. Having a neat space will make caregiving much easier for you, and will also be greatly appreciated by your elder family members.

Modify the Home

Sometimes, your home may need certain adjustments to make living more comfortable for your elder loved ones. Consider what modifications you may need, from installing a walk in-tub to investing in grab bars to promote stair safety.

Remember Yourself

Caregiving can take a toll on anyone. In the process of giving care, make sure not to neglect yourself. Caregiving is very demanding, even if you are helping your own family members. Neglecting oneself often happens subconsciously, but can have negative repercussions. As a care provider, it’s important to look after yourself so you are in the best condition to provide care for others. Remember to eat and sleep well, stay healthy, and take a break every now and then, giving yourself the attention and care you rightly deserve.

Keeping these things in mind will lessen the anxiety and stress that often accompanied in-home care giving in its initial stages. Ultimately, you will find that in-home care giving is a wonderfully fulfilling process – not only for your dearly loved elders, but also for you.

Written by Akshata Mehta, who has also written for Not Now Mom’s Busy, The Small FootPrint Family, Family Groove

Everyone Has a Story to Tell

merleA fascinating man lives in Redmond, WA- and I had the pleasure of meeting him last week. His name is Merle Fister, and he is a 3 time war veteran, having served in WWII, the cold war, the Korean War, Vietnam and the Pentagon.

Mr. Fister, or Merle, as he would like me to call him, came from humble beginnings. He was born in 1921 to a farming family in Nebraska. As a child growing up on the farm he was surrounded by 160 acres; which included horses, cows, chickens and pigs. However, when the dust bowl hit- his family was forced to move west, landing them in CA. There, his father worked for GE and Merle started a lawn care business.

After finishing high school, Merle got a job working for Northup Aircraft building airplanes- which turned out to be a stepping stone for a career in the military. He enlisted as Army Air Corp and was assigned to Atlantic City as a permanent party guard. He spent his nights on the boardwalk, carrying a WWI rifle with a bayonet looking for German spies.

A few months later, he applied for Ariel Gunnery School- but ended up in pilot training instead. Once he learned to fly- he discovered a passion for it and loved flying acrobatics in his tiny single engine open cockpit plane. In Salt Lake he learned to fly the B 24 and also merle 3met his crew of 10 men. They were sent to Italy to fight in WWII. Their  mission was bombing bridges. His regiment, the 454th Bomb Group, was part of the famous bombing of the Polesti Oil fields. This was a very dangerous mission- and his plane barely made it out in one piece. They were hit by enemy fire and lost multiple engines, having to do an emergency landing with little fuel, no brakes and only one working engine. Miraculously, no one was hurt! His group went on to fly over 50 more missions in three months.

His career went on from there- he went to radar school, then on to Germany to run radar for the military, including during the infamous Berlin Air Lift. He became an Engineering Officer, an instructor in air science and tactics for ROTC cadets, and also became Commandant of Cadets. He then went to advanced radar communications training in Mississippi and then became a Captain in the Korean War working as an advisor for electronics command. He traveled all over the world serving as Electronics Commander and was responsible for controlling the B52’s that were in flight daily to protect the US.

From there he went on the Turkey to be the Long Haul Communications Director- collecting information on Russians. Then he went to Tinker Air Force base in Oklahoma City and provided communications for central air command- controlling all air traffic for military flights in central US. He also went to school and finished is bachelor’s degree. During this time, Vietnam broke out- and Merle was sent to Hawaii to work with the Navy to stop the spread of communism.

The Pentagon was next on his career path- where he worked with high level planning and programming communications for troops around the world. We worked on the Worldwide Command and Communications System providing a secure voice of teletype in Vietnam. Finally, after a long and distinguished military career, he retired in 1970 as a full Colonel from the Pentagon.

Rather than simply rest and enjoy retirement, he then went on to get his Master’s degree in Public Administration and started a completely new career as a business man- owning a tax and accounting firm and then eventually owning beauty shops, rental properties and dry cleaners. He had a successful career as a businessman and helped develop a major housing community in Tempe, AZ that had over 1500 homes. He served as the Director of the Homeowner’s Association for two years.

Merle is a man who is extremely intelligent, extremely humble and clearly a very hard worker. Even in his retirement- he stays active and involved in his community of Fairwinds– a senior community in Redmond, WA. Here he runs the Men’s Breakfast Club, Chairs the Garden Club, Serves on the World Affairs Club, created the People Helping People Club and also started a Resident’s Association- of which he wrote the by-laws for.

Unofficially, he is called ‘the Mayor’ of his community- and it is evident why! He knows merle 2everyone, has a smile for everyone and works harder than any 94 year old I’ve ever seen! Merle is so well liked and welcoming- that he would make a perfect mayor! His mission in life is to serve; he is constantly looking for ways to make things better, get people involved and to give back to his community.

What’s fascinating to me about Mr. Fister is that he truly exemplifies what many refer to as the best generation. He is an excellent example of hard work, street smarts and perseverance. With only a high school education- he later went on to get several degrees- including his Master’s Degree and served our country in a long and distinguished military career- starting as a Private and ending his career as a Full Colonel in the Pentagon. It was such a joy to hear his life’s story.

 

Top 10 Did You Know?

Homecare services can be confusing sometimes, so today I want to share with you 10 things that you may not know about Capability Homecare.

  1. Did you know that if you have an elderly parent that you take care of- and you need to go out of town- Capability Homecare can provide caregivers to stay with them to ensure they are safe and well cared for in your absence?
  2. Did you know that almost 1/3 of our clients are on hospice care? Capability Homecare can be with the patient 24/7 to help support the hospice team and provide care during those critical times?
  3. Did you know that if your elderly parent is recovering from a surgery or procedure (hip replacement, knee replacement, mastectomy, back surgery…) and need help for those first few weeks, Capability Homecare provides caregivers to assist through the recovery process?
  4. Did you know Capability Homecare provides live in caregivers? Caregivers stay overnight in your loved one’s home and are there 24/7 to assist with whatever they need. This is a great alternative to moving into an Assisted Living and perfect for couples who want to stay together.
  5. Did you know that Capability Homecare offers Nurse Delegation? This is a much more affordable way to have skilled services!
  6. Did you know that Capability Homecare provides help for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s? If couple wants to stay together (instead of one moving to memory care) we have experienced caregivers who can assist with the day to day needs.
  7. Did you know Capability Homecare offers FREE online training for families who are caring for a loved one? It’s so easy- just log in and learn.
  8. Did you know that Capability Homecare helps with tasks such as light housekeeping and grocery shopping? We even can make meals to last all week!
  9. Did you know we pride ourselves on having a diverse office staff that can truly relate to our clients? Our internal staff have over 60 years of combined experience! We aim to always provide exceptional caregivers that enrich the lives of our clients.
  10. Did you know Capability Homecare is locally owned and operated- and not part of a franchise? We’ve been in business for over 8 years and are proud of the excellent reputation we have built!

Call us today to find out how we can help you! 425 679 5770

A Comprehensive Guide to Fall Prevention

 

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Walking in the Park

 

Believe it or not, falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans; one in three people 65 years of age or older falls every year. While it’s often assumed otherwise, falling is not an inevitable part of aging. In fact, through simple lifestyle adjustments, you can help reduce the danger of falling for the seniors in your life.

Assess Medication & Health

Medications play a surprising role in falls. Side effects can cause a wide variety of symptoms including dizziness, fatigue, and confusion. Work with your loved one to make a list of their prescription and over-the-counter medications and supplements. Have a doctor review the list for side effects and interactions that may increase the risk of falling.

 

Certain eye and ear disorders can also cause a fall. Discuss health conditions with your senior — how comfortable they are when they walk and if they have been experiencing any dizziness, joint pain, numbness, or shortness of breath. Pass any concerns along to their doctor.

 

Poor vision makes it much harder to get around safely. Make sure your loved one has their eyes checked every year — and that their glasses or contact lenses is the right prescription strength to ensure clear sight.

 

Physical activity goes a long way toward fall prevention — and there are a number of ways you can help keep your seniors mobile. Activities such as walking, water aerobics, and tai chi are low impact and reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, balance, coordination, and flexibility.

Remove Home Hazards

Take a look around your loved one’s home. You might find their living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, hallways, and stairways filled with hazards. To make their home safer, go through each room and ensure the following:

Bedroom

  • There is no clutter on the bedroom floor.
  • Clothes in the closet are easy to reach.
  • Light switches are within reach of the bed.
  • Lamps, telephones, or flashlights are placed near the bed.
  • Beds are easy to get into and out of.
  • Sheets and comforters are made of cotton or linen, rather than silk or satin.
  • A night light is installed along the route from the bedroom to the bathroom.

Living Areas

  • Bare floors are unwaxed and loose floorboards are repaired.
  • Carpets and area rugs are secured with double-faced tape, tacks, or slip-resistant backing.
  • Throw rugs are removed entirely.
  • Door sills higher than a half inch are taken out.
  • Floors and pathways are free of clutter.
  • Walkways are clear of electric, appliance, and telephone cords.
  • Light switches are installed at room entrances.
  • Furniture is arranged to create a clear pathway between rooms.
  • Low-rise coffee tables, magazine racks, footrests, and plants are out of the path of traffic.

Kitchen

  • Floors are unwaxed.
  • Any liquids, grease, or food spilled on the floor is cleaned up immediately.
  • Non-skid mats are placed on the floor near the stove and sink.
  • Food, dishes, and cooking equipment are kept within easy reach.

Stairs

  • Stairs are clear of packages, boxes, or clutter
  • Light switches are installed at the top and bottom of the stairs.
  • Stairwell is well lit.
  • Loose area rugs are removed from the bottom or top of the stairs.
  • Non-slip treads are affixed to bare steps.
  • Handrails are present on both sides of the stairway and extend the full length of the stairs.
  • Loose stairway carpeting or boards are replaced immediately.

Bathroom

  • Non-slip rugs are arranged adjacent to the bathtub or shower.
  • Grab bars are installed on the bathroom walls beside the tub, shower, and toilet.
  • The toilet is equipped with a raised seat.
  • A rubber mat or nonskid adhesive textured strips are placed inside the tub.
  • Glass shower enclosures are replaced with non-shattering material.

Outdoor Safety

When you’re on the go with your loved ones, encourage them to employ the following advice to prevent falls in public places:

 

  • Wear low-heeled shoes with high traction rubber soles.
  • Use hand rails when going up and down steps and on escalators.
  • If sidewalks look slippery, walk in the grass for more solid footing.
  • Be mindful of floors in public buildings. Those made of highly polished marble or tile can be very slippery — especially when wet.
  • Wear a shoulder bag, fanny pack, or backpack to leave hands free.
  • Use a walker or cane as needed.
  • Stop at curbs and check the height before stepping up or down.

 

One in five falls cause a serious injury such as a broken bone or head trauma. These injuries can make it difficult for a person to get around, accomplish everyday tasks, or live independently.

Many of those who fall, but are not injured, become afraid of falling. This fear can lead to a senior to cut down on their daily activities — causing a decrease in their quality of life. You can keep your loved ones as happy and independent as possible by making fall prevention an everyday part of life.

 

 

Liz Greene is a writer and former preschool teacher. She’s a lover of all things geek and is happiest when cuddling with her dogs and catching up on the latest Marvel movies. You can follow her on Twitter @LizVGreene