Care Pathways wish’s all our families and clients a very blessed and Happy New year. I know many are dealing with multiple medical issues as well as caregiver stress. Please reach out for help in the New Year. Care Pathways is here to help and here to listen with solutions in Orange County for you or a loved one.
I came to stand
and be available.
to that which is possible…
To pour forth love and blessings,
at the end of our day, we are bigger for it.
We are not failing, we are falling into what God intended us to do.
Go to a memory of a time in life, a time of purpose, a time of love.
This is what you are here for. Live, breath, share your lives purpose. To stretch, to know that life is working for all good.
There is a reason. Give Thanks. MK
As the year is off and running we wish to let our readers know we will be offering In Home Assessments with a Social Worker or Case Manger to help you understand all that is available in the Orange County community for care and support. A full assessment is done with your loved one and family is encouraged to meet with us at time of assessment if possible.
If you live out of area and can not attend we provide a full written report to you as well as to your loved ones primary care physician based upon our assessment with impressions and recommendations.
For more information please call us and we will be happy to assist you either by phone or with an In Home Assessment. (714) 743-6309.
Guest Blogger: by: Kerry Whelan BA, AD
Park Vista Care Center Fullerton CA
A Meaningful Life full of Activities
To create a meaningful life I decided to look at a few areas that I think are important for activities for our elderly population. I have been an activity professional for over twenty four years in many different levels of care. I now work in a CCRC where I get to work with seniors in all three levels of care: Residential Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing, and every day is a new challenge as we explore possibilities in this dynamic field.
To begin, I have found that mentoring is essential to promote dynamic activity professionals in this field. We need strong Activity professionals in order to work with this diverse population of seniors. Nowadays your title might be Life Enrichment Director, Wellness Coordinator or Activity Director. I was so lucky to be mentored by exceptional people throughout my career. One of my first Administrators said ” Activities sets the tone for the building.” It is true, as an activity professional you have to be empathetic, organized and creative.
“You also have to be very flexible and learn to go with the flow of life.”
Mentoring or giving back to the community is also an essential part of a meaningful life for seniors. All levels of care from independent to dementia care, seniors can give back to the community. Many new programs have been established for seniors and children or young adults, whereby the senior is able to mentor young adults. In our weekly crafts program we often make cards for sick children at local hospitals. In our retirement area, our seniors knit lap robes and blankets for our residents who are in the health center and memory care. We are also involved in a program that the whole campus is invited to provide holiday gifts for the Crittendon center in Fullerton, and the seniors wrap the presents. We are also blessed to work with outside pet therapy programs and church groups who volunteer with our seniors.
“It’s a full circle and many of our residents volunteered throughout their lives and continue to do so.”
Secondly we need to examine what is an activity and what gives it meaning. The standard of practice now is that anything can be an activity. Activities can be sitting in a group and listening to an entertainer and socializing at happy hour. While many people enjoy and prefer to be with people, it’s not the only action in town any longer. If a resident is a “loner”, that’s okay, we work with them to find a meaningful activity that is important to them. We don’t ask our seniors conform to our expectations, we try to empower them to pursue activities of interest. A resident and a housekeeping staff person spend a bit of time daily discussing recipes. The housekeeper goes home and makes the residents’ special family recipe for banana bread. In my book that is a successful activity. A group of men sit everyday together in the dining room and shoot the breeze about sports, current events, politics and what’s happening in the facility…that’s an activity.
Last we have to recognize that Activities are multi level nowadays. Many of our new residents are computer savvy and want to learn more. They Facebook, instragram, Face time, email and some even Twitter.
“They want to be active participants in life, they don’t want to sit back and watch.”
The population is changing and the Activity programming must change with it. Technology is advancing at a faster rate that we can even imagine. People are living longer and longer and they want to be healthy as they do it. Wellness is a critical component, mind, body and soul is so important.
. It is essential to empower our elderly population to encourage them to make daily decisions regarding care and lifestyle and planning for the future.
Care Pathways wish’s to thank this week’s guest Blog Poster Kerry Whelan BA, AD
Orange County seniors are faced with the high cost of living that has steadily been climbing. Many seniors are faced with impossible situations on maintaining or finding housing that is not only affordable but obtainable. The counties HUD ran program Section 8 has a very long waiting list and usually about five years from the time you get on the list till housing vouchers are available for a senior. The process is not being addressed in this election year on any level from either side. How will Orange County continue to deal with low income seniors and finding housing?
We have placed our most vulnerable population at risk and many already are living on the streets, in homes that rent just a room with substandard living conditions. These homes are not regulated like Long Term Care Board and Care Homes by the department of social services. There is no watch dog to make sure of the conditions, treatment, or licenses required to rent a room in a private home, no over-site is provided. It can be a scary and dangerous situation for an elderly person to face. More affordable housing must be built to keep up with demand that is needed. Over-site of homes just renting out a room must require a licensees to do so with checks and balances. Our state ran Medi-cal program needs to cover the cost of Board and Care and Assisted Living facilities as they do skilled nursing. Changes must be made. If you do not think this could happen to you or close family member, I can assure yo it can. People from all walks of life, people who have worked their entire lives increasingly are requiring more help in just paying for food and medications. This is not a senior problem, this is a problem that effects us at the very core of our humanity. Changes must be made and to do so we need more people who will rally round this and use your voice to bring about change.
For more information and how you can help, contact
Area on Aging http://officeonaging.ocgov.com/
When you need someone to speak for you
When families do not live close to their loved one, or there is no family, we can step in and be there for the older person to make certain their care needs are met wherever they are; at home, in a retirement home or in a nursing home. We can also make regular visits, monitoring the person’s wants and needs. We keep the family updated on the condition of their loved one through telephone and written communication.
As a senior, where can you go for advice?
The seniors’ care system is riddled with contradictions, confusion and misinformation. Add to that, other people may be telling you they have a say in what you decide because we work directly with you and your family to help you determine what is the best solution to your unique situation. We look at all aspects of your care needs, as well as your wish’s in helping you decide what is best for you or a loved one alongside your physician. You’ve always prepared and planned your path. Retirement and the future of your loved ones deserve the same attention to planning. Our consultants will work with you to determine your future goals and help you with just what you and your loved ones desire and what is available in the Orange County area. For more information contact us at (714) 743-6309 we are available 24/7 to answer your care questions.
Believe me when I say that if having a positive attitude meant good health, I would not be sick. I relied solely on being positive so much at the beginning of my journey when my husband became ill. I paid no attention to my own needs. “Its just a little pain it will go away.” I told myself. When I first started to get symptoms of being unwell. I ignored them and tried to carry on with my hectic days, hoping that the pain and sickness would go away as a result of my determined attitude to get better and push myself.
And what happened?
I ended up pushing myself way too far, getting a lot sicker and doing myself no favors as a result of not admitting that the mind cannot control everything. As well as that, I continued on as my husbands caregiver, never once reaching out for help. Until I was rushed to the hospital with severe pain in my stomach and had to undergo emergency surgery.
I think we need to understand that even the most positive person in the world does not sustain this attitude 100% of the time. Realism must also come into play. Positivity doesn’t mean only thinking of rainbows and unicorns. It doesn’t mean having to always be smiling when your world appears to be crumbling. Instead it means accepting the difficulties that come your way and deciding the best way to get through them. Part of the acceptance process is to cry about it, to be angry about it and to have occasional pity parties. Ignoring this and just focusing on the positives in your life will not only prevent you from moving on but it will result in you blocking out feelings that at some stage need to be felt. It can even kill you as in Helen’s case.
Positivity is about maintaining hope and truly believing that you’ll come out of this stronger. You do not need to pretend everything is great all of the time. If someone tells you their feelings, respect that and show concern not negating their feelings. Ask for help, find the support you may need. Do not neglect your own health when caring for a loved one. Get enough rest. Make sure you follow up with your own doctor and not ignore any medical issues you may have yourself. You cannot be the sole person to care for another no matter how much you wish to do so. For more information on local services contact Care Pathways, we are here to help and here to listen.
Information and Support
This web site offers free information and personal assistance for people dealing with macular degeneration and similar retinal diseases. If you are new to macular degeneration, you may want to start by reading What Is Macular Degeneration? and following the links to further information.
Visual loss can occur at any age, however while you may have the support of your doctor many questions go unanswered. This site offers valuable information and tools to help support you both in finding resources and to connect with others who are also going through loss of vision. It has been a lifeline for many. I encourage you to visit and you can also ask questions that you or a loved one may have. http://www.mdsupport.org/
In this day of informational age we are better connected and able to obtain referrals and service at the tips of our fingers. Or are we?
While it is true we now how more information than we can handle at times, the personal touch of human contact seems to be receding faster everyday. I don’t feel this a good thing as humans we need to feel that when we reach out for help there will be someone there at the other end of the line to answer questions. It goes much further than that to have compassion and understanding of a personal situation and one on one communication to understand what you as a family member may be going through with a parent or loved one. This personal contact cannot be found through a website, google or social media. People need people.
When Care Pathways was founded in 1999 it was and still is till this day and will always remain a beacon of light for seniors and families who are in need of human one on one contact and information that is up to date as well as reviews that cannot be found on a computer or through a generated data base. We only provide services for persons living in Orange County and surrounding areas as well as social workers who are knowledgeable and are not called Care Counselors we are social workers, case managers with a wealth of information and hold degrees in social work and RN’s.
We are as our name states Care and we provide Pathways to many services that have been vetted and approved by not only social service agencies but also that meet the guidelines we require to exceed in senior care services.
Happy New Year, new day, and new programs that only Care Pathways will be offering to Orange County this year.
Our senior population and the needs are great and with that said we continue to provide the services and dedication based upon compassion, care and an commitment to serve. It will be 17 years soon that we began Care Pathways. Born out of a need for better care and a vision to provide that care and time to seniors and families in need and I am happy to say we have fulfilled our Mission. May God bless each and every person in need to find the answers they need in the coming year.
Mary Kay Evans
Director Social Services