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Silver Connections 2014-610 S. Main Street, Wake Forest, NC 27587 Place your service area and phone number here

Welcome to the Spring 2011 Issue of

Silver Connections

We have a lot to share in this  newsletter issue, including an  expanded Caregiver Profile!   

Bridget Day When considering entries for our recent caregiver contest, “What Makes Stay at Home Five-Star,” Bridget’s poem won our hearts and made her the winner! Her poem is included on page 4. Bridget joined Stay at Home four years ago, after enjoying several positions with Carolina House of Wake Forest. While caring for her brother-in-law's great Aunt Mary, she realized that she enjoyed individualized care, a one-on-one ratio, rather than having several seniors under her supervisory care. Then she met Deborah, and was introduced to Stay at Home when Aunt Mary used their services. She was intrigued with the company, and the more she learned about it, the more she liked it. Bridget shares, “I've always enjoyed being around seniors, and I love learning from them. Listening to their life stories, their values of family and God, the changes in their lives, and how they see the world today are invaluable to me, and I have high regards for all they have accomplished so far in their lives.” She is pictured with one of her favorite clients, Mrs. Ruth Denton. Having just celebrated more than four years together, Bridget absolutely adores the way she lights up a room when she meets someone for the first time, especially at the company Christmas party. Mrs. Denton is Continued on Page 4…


This year, we have created fun  opportunities for our caregivers to  share their client experiences. The  first competition was “What  Makes Stay at Home Five‐Star?”.   As you’ll read in the Caregiver  Profile of Bridget Day, she is the  well‐deserving winner! Next will  be “My Buddy & Me Contest,”  where the caregivers can submit  creative photos with their senior  clients. Each 1st place winner  receives a cash award of $100,  with other great prizes for 2nd, 3rd  and 4th place recipients. Of course,  our own Kim Dingus is behind  the fun!    All of us at Stay at Home were so  excited to celebrate our 8th  birthday in February, and are  looking forward to many more!   See page 4 of the newsletter for  photographs from our party.    We have some technology  updates too!  Through our  scheduling system, ERSP, clients  or their loved ones can now access  “real time” visit details on‐line.  If  you are interested in obtaining  your personal log‐in and pass‐ word, please contact the office.   

An electronic invoice payment  option is also now available to  ease the process for all of our  clients.     All of us are THRILLED to  announce the Crossings at  Heritage as an additional Shared  Care partner. Beginning in April,  we will be providing blood  pressure checks, a cooking class,  and will be available on‐site for  any resident service needs.    Finally, please check out the  upcoming Calendar of Events on  page 4. If any of these events are of  interest, we would love to have  you participate!    As always, we remain committed  to exceptional client service and  compassionate care.  Please do not  hesitate to contact us about a care  issue for yourself or a family  member.   And remember, we treat every  contact as a friend, every client as  family, and complete every task  with honor.    Best wishes, Deborah Bordeaux President

Certified Senior Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE:    President’s Welcome             1    Caregiver Profile                         1    Health & Lifestyles:  Help for Lonely Seniors           2    Rotating Topic:  Medicare’s Free Health Screenings    2‐3     Finance/Consumer:  Auto Aids for Aging Drivers      3    Caregiver Profile, cont’d., Birthday Photos, Calendar of Events  4 



Combating Loneliness in Seniors We sometimes become preoccupied with the physical health of our seniors, while overlooking their emotional health— which can also dramatically affect their quality of life, and in turn influence their health. Loneliness in seniors is a common emotional issue that is often not addressed directly by seniors or their families. Those who have lost spouses, or who live far from their relatives, or who find themselves home-bound due to ill health, often find themselves emotionally as well as physically isolated. This isolation over time can lead to depression and physical decline. Research indicates loneliness raises the likelihood of high blood pressure and heart disease and has been found to be a major risk factor for mortality in older adults. Those suffering from loneliness often won’t speak of their unhappiness and they internalize their feelings. They may not feel there is much they can do about their circumstances, however extensive research has been conducted to discover strategies to alleviate the condition. There are many lifestyle choices they can make to alleviate loneliness and re-introduce interest and joy into their lives. Below are listed a few suggestions: Clubs and Organizations. If you can leave your home, there are a variety of options for meeting like-minded people. Social or special interest clubs, such as book clubs, quilting clubs, gardening clubs, etc., are a great way of meeting people with continuing similar interests. If you have a faith, becoming active in a church of your choice provides emotional and social, as well as spiritual support. Volunteering at a charity of your choice provides both social opportunities and reinforces feelings of value and participation. Classes. Take a class of interest at your local senior center, or if you cannot leave the home, consider a tele-class or seminar. This may not lead directly to long-term friendships, but it offers the opportunity for learning and provides mental stimulation as well as a social outlet.

Get friendly with the Web. There are so many social opportunities now on the Internet, from finding old friends or staying in touch with relatives on Facebook, to participating in chat rooms or online communities. New technologies used by companies such as Skype make it easy to do video chats now, for free and anywhere there is a satellite signal. There are also opportunities to do games, puzzles and the like on the Web that can also be interactive. So those who find themselves homebound have more opportunities than ever before to reach out to others. Invite people to your home. If you cannot leave the home, have regular gatherings at your home, whether for cards, or reading groups or whatever common interest you may have. If you are not mobile, make it easy for friends to come to you. Care for a pet. The therapeutic value of pets is well know to both children and the elderly. Pets such as dogs and cats are a calming influence—petting animals has been shown to lower blood pressure— but they are animal “friends” who provide their owners with unconditional love. An added benefit is that the responsibility of caring for a pet often provides the senior with a sense of value, since they know they are needed by another. Consider finding a significant other. There is no expiration date on love. People can start new relationships at any age, and even if the relationship that develops is more companionship than passion, it provides both partners with someone whom they know is available for them and cares for their well-being. There have never been more opportunities for seniors to engage socially with others, even when they are home-bound. If you have a loved one who is suffering from loneliness, discuss their options with them, and if necessary, help them take the first steps toward a more social life. By Caren Parnes, for The Senior’s Choice

Medicare’s Free Health Screenings As part of the health care reform law, as of Jan. 1, 2011, all seniors with Original Medicare now have access to many important preventive health services, and most of them are cost-free. No Out-of-Pocket As of January 1st, Medicare beneficiaries will no longer have to pay any out-ofpocket costs for most preventive services, including annual wellness visits. Here is a list of the preventive services that Medicare is offers that are completely free: Annual Wellness Visits In addition to the one-time Welcome to Medicare physical (which new beneficiaries can get but only within their first year of enrollment in Part B), free annual wellness visits with your physician will now be available. Each exam will include body and blood pressure measurements, a review of your medical history including any medications you're taking and care you may be receiving from other health care providers, an assessment of your cognitive condition, and establish an appropriate screening schedule for the next five to 10 years. Health Screenings In addition to the wellness visits, here's a list of the free health screenings and vaccinations Medicare will be offering its beneficiaries in 2011, along with the eligibility requirements you'll need to meet to get them. • Breast cancer screening: Yearly mammograms will be offered to women age 40 and older with Medicare. • Colorectal cancer screening: includes the flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy for all beneficiaries age 50 or older. • Cervical cancer screening: Pap smear and pelvic exams are available every two years, or once a year for those at high risk. Continued on page 3



Auto Aids for Aging Drivers There are lots of gadgets and devices on the market today that can help make driving easier and safer for seniors. Here's a breakdown of some popular budget-friendly products that can help with a variety needs. Mobility and Flexibility Each year in the U.S., an estimated 37,000 people age 65 and older are injured by simply entering or exiting their vehicle. If mobility problems or limited range of motion is hampering your ability to get in and out of your car, look over your shoulder to back up or merge into traffic, or even reach for your seatbelt, here are some items that can help: • Handybar: This is a portable support handle that inserts into the U-shaped striker plate on the door frame that helps with getting into and out of the vehicle. • Car Caddie: This is another type of portable handle that hooks around the top of your door window frame giving you something to hold onto while getting out of the car. • Swivel seat cushion: A round portable cushion that turns 360 degrees to help older drivers and passengers rotate their body into the car. • Panoramic (or wide-view) rear view mirror: These attach to your existing rear view mirror to widen your rear visibility and eliminate blind spots so you can see traffic without significant neck or body rotation. It also helps during parking. • Convex (or wide-angle) side view mirrors: These attach to the existing side view mirrors to improve side and rear vision. • Easy Reach Seat Belt Handle: This is a six-inch extension handle that attaches to your seat belt to make it easier to reach. Arthritic Hands Drivers who have arthritic or weak hands may find the tasks of turning the ignition key to start the car, or twisting open the gas cap to fill up, difficult and painful. Items that can help include an

"easy-to-grasp key holder," which is a small handle device that attaches to your car keys to provide additional leverage making it easier to turn the key in the ignition or door. And for help at the pump, a "gas cap turner" makes removing the gas cap a breeze. Another comfy add-on is a "steering wheel cover" that fits over your existing steering wheel to make it larger in size and easier to grip. Sensitivity to Glare Aging eyes almost always become more sensitive to glare. A fantastic item that can help is the "Sun Zapper Glare Shield"—a device that clips right on to your existing sun visor to remove sun glare without obstructing vision. It also comes with a special sliding shield that lets you block extrabright glare spots. Small Drivers Most seniors shrink a little as they get older (due to gravity and osteoporosis) and for those who were small to start

Medicare Screenings, from page 2 • Cardiovascular screenings: Free blood test to check cholesterol, lipid and triglyceride levels are offered every five years to all Medicare recipients. • Diabetes: Twice a year screening for those at risk. • Medical nutrition therapy: Available to help people manage diabetes or kidney disease. • Prostate cancer screening: A digital rectal exam and PSA blood test is available to all male beneficiaries age 50 and older every year. You pay nothing for the PSA test, but you pay 20 percent for the doctor's visit. • Bone mass measurements: This osteoporosis test is available every two years to those at risk, or more often if medically necessary. • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening: To check for bulging blood vessels, this test is available to men ages 65 to 75 who have ever smoked. • HIV screening: Available to those who

with, it can be difficult seeing over the steering wheel, or reaching the pedals without being too close to the airbag. Solutions include getting an orthopedic (wedge-shaped) seat cushion that supports the back and elevates you a few extra inches to help you see. Or foot pedal extensions that allow you to reach the gas and brake pedals while keeping you 10-to12-inches from the steering wheel. These cost around $200 and need to be installed by a professional. Shopping Tips: All of these items (except the foot pedal extensions) cost under $40, and can be found online at a variety of locations. Some good shopping points include, Dynamic Living (888-940-0605;, ActiveForever (800-377-8033;;) and AutoSport (800-953-0814; Reprinted with permission from: are at increased risk or who ask for the test. • Vaccinations: An annual flu shot, a vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia and the hepatitis B vaccine are all free to all beneficiaries. For more details on Medicare's preventive services and their eligibility requirements, see your "Medicare & You 2011" booklet that you received in the mail in October. Or see "Your Guide to Medicare's Preventive Services" at Medicare Advantage If you have Medicare Advantage you need to know that the health care reform law did not require these plans to provide free preventive services. However, most Advantage plans already offer Medicare-covered preventive services without costsharing. You'll need to check your plan to find out your specific coverage. Reprinted with permission from:


Caregiver Profile – Continued from Page 1 a great pianist, enthralling everyone with her musical talent, and brightening the room with her sparkling smile and merry laugh. Bridget moved to North Carolina from Ohio 12 years ago. Her husband Dave and their children, Kristen and Justin, love the small community feel of Wake Forest. She is very happy that she has found a career that speaks to her heart. Another interest in Bridget’s life is writing, hoping one day to be a book author. She has written several articles on a website named, an informative writing site covering many topics. “The seniors that I work with are also considered my family. Seeing their smiling faces each day, how could I not love them?” And, it’s no surprise that all of us at Stay at Home are very proud to have Bridget as a member of our family! We love you Bridget!!! **********

What Makes Stay at Home Five Star By Bridget Day Stay at Home Senior Care was a beautiful start, Created by a woman’s caregiving heart. Deborah B., the owner/operator, is the lady to see, If Mom, Dad, or Gran need some company. Kim D.’s funny antics make the seniors laugh hardy, Her zest and zeal for life, throw a fabulous party! Stay at Home’s ladies (and gents) are the best there will ever be, A small piece of heaven for all to see. Our seniors are spotlights, belles and beaus of the ball, Their lives hold a story, treasures for all. Here at Stay at Home hearts of hope and joy abound, Pure light shines here, no darkness found. Homes filled with warm laughter, peace and love… Are “5-star” gifts sent down from above.

Also join us in recognizing our caregivers of the month!!! January February March

Cindy Tate Jeanne Kirkland Cindy Henn

Upcoming Events: Crockpot Cooking with Carol, The Gardens at Wakefield May 16th at 2:30 pm Blood Pressure Checks, The Crossings at Heritage Second & Fourth Fridays from 1:00-2:00 pm Blood Pressure Checks, The Gardens at Wakefield Every Wednesday from 9:00-10:00 am Blood Pressure Checks, The Lodge at Wake Forest Every Wednesday from 10:30-11:30 am AARP Presentation – Family Conversations with Older Drivers, The Gardens at Wakefield - June 10th at 3:00 pm Wake Forest Purple Heart Dinner, Wake Forest Presbyterian Church August 6th (more details to come…)







Stay at Home Senior Care Spring 2011 Newsletter  

Quarterly Newsletter with health tips and company information