Help Anytime

What would you do?
You’re home alone and you trip. It could be a rug, coffee table, mans best friend anything and it could happen anytime. Simply  walking, distracted for only a split second and down you go.
Hopefully you only bump your knee but what if it’s more serious?
Maybe you’ve lost consciousness or broken something and can’t get up.
How are you going to get help?
The phone is by your chair, in the other room or is it up on the counter? If you’re unconscious it doesn’t matter anyway.
How long will you lay there waiting for someone to realize that somethings wrong?

Did you know that some personal medical alert systems can detect falls?
Imagine this, you’re laying on the floor and a voice comes from a speaker connected to your phone “Mrs. Smith? This it Mary from XYZ Medical Alert. We detected a fall. Are you okey?”
This is a fantastic service! Depending on the response the operator receives or doesn’t receive you are not alone, help is on the way.

They can call 911, a family member, a neighbor or someone like me who is ready to respond to the emergency needs of my clients at anytime.
Not only can the pendants detect falls, they can be used when you don’t feel right or you hear a burglar or even if you suspect a fire. All you have to do is press the button and that comforting voice will ask if you need help.
My favorite is Philips Lifeline. I don’t get a commission for recommending them, my experience is that they are the best.
Here’s the link, check it out! 

Why use a professional care giving agency? Peace of mind

A while back I was at the home of a potential client and her grown daughter, chatting to see what their care expectations were and if we would be a good fit, like I always do. We were talking about their options for respite care, help while the family is away, this could be a few hours weekly or 24 hour care during a vacation. The daughter is part of our local law enforcement, she told me that she had been to a website that passed along contact information for independent caregivers. “ I recognized at least 80% of them as having been through our local criminal system.” I was shocked!

How do we protect our seniors? How can you trust a stranger to care for your mom or dad?

A Hand at Home is licensed through the State. This means that the business has to prove that it will follow the law, protect our seniors, pay their taxes, carry sufficient insurance to protect clients and employees and train and supervise their caregivers.

Caregivers who work for my agency must not only be compassionate, reliable and skilled they also need to register with the State. Registration includes a fingerprint background check that goes all the way back to when they turned 18, any infraction could make them ineligible.

One of my first clients hired us primarily because they had tried hiring an independent caregiver in the past, which had not worked out. The family had gone to Hawaii on a dream vacation leaving grandma in the care of an acquaintance. Luckily a friend stopped by that first evening to see how things were going. The front door was wide open, the remains of dinner sat on the table, and grandma was passed out on the floor, an empty bottle of booze and two glasses were the last they saw of the “caregiver”.

We ended up working with the family for several years and many happy vacations.

A Smile Goes a Long Way

Over the past few weeks I have been doing a lot of hands on work with our clients.

My role is generally as an administrator but since we are a small, family run, local business everyone must be cross trained to step in to any situation.So, recently I’ve jump in and covered some caregiving shifts.

Like everyone, when I go to a client’s home I’m not completely sure what I might encounter. I’ve worked with seniors who are a complete delight to those who get angry because the sky is blue.

Not only do you need to be a patient and compassionate person to do this work, you also need to be a good actor.

No one is thrilled to start a shift at 7:30 am and face a fouled bed and upset client. A good caregiver can put their personal feelings aside, take control of the situation and the very best do it with a smile.

I feel great at the end of a shift when my client says thank you and asks when I will be back.

Stepping out of the office and into the role of caregiver is a great reminder of what is important.

Training caregivers to do their jobs in a way that does not embarrass our seniors and to do it with a smile is a goal of supreme importance to me.


Today I ran into the daughter of a client that we helped move to a memory care facility last year. We only spoke for a few minutes but we did some real sharing. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to face dementia in a loved one with out the support of friends and family. Caregivers fill a special gap, not quite family or friend but definitely someone who’s been there and understands.
It is a privilege to be of help during such difficult times. I am honored by the deep yet often temporary role I play.

How do you deal with transportation?

Time to go to the doctor, dentist, hairdresser  or even just to the store? Well, as winter approaches you might want to  start thinking about this. The roads in Tahoe can be crowded and tricky, add the extra challenges of ice and snow. Why would anyone want to drive? At A Hand at Home we can help by providing great assistants to get you around. Just a few hours or all day I’ve got just the right person to help make your day easier.530-545-0780

Follow Mediterranean Diet For Better Memory

Why do people on a Mediterranean diet have lower rates of dementia? Learn how their brain scans show fewer problems. Get the diet’s basics.

A Mediterranean diet may help people avoid the small areas of brain damage that can lead to problems with thinking and memory, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology.

The study found that people who ate a Mediterranean-like diet were less likely to have brain infarcts, or small areas of dead tissue linked to thinking problems. (An infarct happens when blood passage is slowed or completely blocked by clotting.)

The Mediterranean diet is based on balancing an intake of healthy foods.

High intake of:

  • vegetables
  • legumes
  • fruits
  • cereals
  • fish
  • monounsaturated fatty acids such as olive oil;

Low intake of:

  • saturated fatty acids
  • dairy products
  • meat
  • poultry
  • mild to moderate amounts of alcohol.

For the study, researchers assessed the diets of 712 people in New York and divided them into three groups based on how closely they were following the Mediterranean diet. Then they conducted MRI brain scans of the people an average of six years later. A total of 238 people had at least one area of brain damage.

Those who were most closely following a Mediterranean-like diet were 36 percent less likely to have areas of brain damage than those who were least following the diet. Those moderately following the diet were 21 percent less likely to have brain damage than the lowest group.

“The relationship between this type of brain damage and the Mediterranean diet was comparable with that of high blood pressure,” said study author Nikolaos Scarmeas, MD, MSc, of Columbia University Medical Center in New York and a member of theAmerican Academy of Neurology. “In this study, not eating a Mediterranean-like diet had about the same effect on the brain as having high blood pressure.”

Previous research by Scarmeas and his colleagues showed that a Mediterranean-like diet may be associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and may lengthen survival in people with Alzheimer’s disease. According to the present study, these associations may be partially explained by fewer brain infarcts.

Allergies are getting to me

Late summer allergies absolutely effect me. I woke up this morning with itchy watery eyes and it felt like there was a feather tickling the inside of my sinus cavities. Oh What a Beautiful Morning … not today. A crazy little thing called a neti pot can give quite a bit of relief. You fill the pot with lukewarm saline or salted water and do a nasal irrigation. It feels so strange at first,  tickles and a bit like drowning. Who would want to do that? Right? Well when you’re suffering and you just don’t want another pill this is worth a try. (Always check with a health professional first)

neti pot

Early testing is key


While we still don’t know the actual cause of Alzheimer’s disease early detection and treatment may slow the progress. At a conference I attended recently they recommended seeing a geriatric psychologist at the first sign of problems. Their tests seem to be the best at pin pointing what may be going on. Remember, not all dementia is Alzheimer’s, some may be suffering from depression or side effects of medications. Knowledge is power.