We are only five days away from Christmas 2015



 We are only five days away from Christmas 2015, can you believe how fast time has gone by? So many memories fill my mind as I set and write this post on how very thankful I am for all the people who have touched our lives this year. There are not words to say how special each one of you are that have been added to our family of care your own unique talents to help us all reach out to those in need.

It has has always been my though that by helping others, we truly help ourselves in some ways. The stories of hardship and quality of life for seniors has been my lives work and by helping others I too have gained insight and wisdom into how to stand up and be counted by being present and using my voice to advocate for the frail elderly. At no other time of the year do we feel and see this so acutely with seniors who are struggling to find good quality of care and compassion with their situation. I see many who are on the verge of being homeless or already are and we search for ways to find answers and solutions. It is heart breaking when we find that resources are not there to fund the care seniors need. In this great country we live in how can we leave seniors living on the streets? 

In a time when life should be made eased for some seniors, it is made harder by having no home. Our communities do help, however far to little attention is paid to the real problems of affordable care for persons living on a fixed income. With the prices of food, shelter and medication it has made it impossible to pay for the care. And so I ask you, our local communities to reach out and help with solutions to this problem. Care Pathways will continue to support the growing needs of seniors and families but it takes a whole community to get the work done.

Thank you to our partners and the many social workers and case managers and physicians who have made a difference this year. Without your support many more seniors would be homeless.

 To the facilities that support our seniors we wish you a blessed Christmas and thank each one of you for working to care for the frail and elderly. Lets make a commitment for 2016 to not only continue but to do more in whatever way you can. All count, make no mistake what we give we receive back. 

So as we close out this year it is with heartfelt gratitude that we thank each of you for doing your part to make a difference in others lives.

God Bless each and everyone and Merry Christmas




Thanks and Giving




Thanks and Giving means to be thankful for all that we have and all that we can give back. The meaning of this season is spending time with family and friends. From our family to yours, Care Pathways wish’s you a time to be together and making new memories with those we love. I urge you to reach out in your community to seniors who are alone and invite them for dinner or take over dinner to them if they are home bound. It takes so little to help others and in doing so we help ourselves to. God Bless all seniors and families and Happy Thanksgiving.

Mary Kay Evans Director Social Services


If we do not take care of Elderly who will?



If we do not take care of elderly who will? We must step up and step out in our cities, towns and neighborhoods and do what is necessary to see to it that the frail elderly have a home. Did you know we log many calls weekly from seniors who are facing being homeless, or already are? Do you know what it feels like to call shelter after shelter to find there are no beds available to house them? That rent in ‪#‎Orangecounty‬ is beyond what they can pay on a fixed income? That our system is broken and no seems to be ina hurry to fix it. Social Workers and case mangers know we see it daily in our work. We look for creative solutions to get a bed for a senior somewhere and sometimes we are successful and sometimes we are not. Turning people away has never and will never be something I can do but I am limited on what our system allows us to do. Our system is broken badly and we all must do what we cab to fix it. What if it was your Mother or Father?

Seniors and Holidays

Senior Referral Agency

Care Pathways

When the cooler weather arrives our thoughts turn to the holidays, family and spending time with those we love. I have found so many fond memories myself of times gone by and gatherings with friends, family and the people we love. But there is also another side to this time of year for many. Being alone, depression and anxiety that is brought on by living in isolation. You see many seniors today have little or no family to spend this time with, or have suffered the loss of a spouse or health concerns that the Holidays can be a reminder of all that is past. When seniors who live alone or have begun to isolate the toll can be great.

So what can be done in our community to help seniors that live on their own and have little or no family present to visit with? We have a program that fills the needs of seniors at the Holiday time where we visit, bake cookies, pies, bring special care packages and just set and spend some time with seniors that live alone, we plant seeds of care and compassion and follow up with other community resources that a senior may need. There is much work to be done this year. We are at present making our lists of seniors who are in need. If you would like more information on our Paths to Care program please contact us. We are here to help and here to listen. 


Senior Hero Awards


I would like to thank the Senior Hero awards for their nomination for Social Worker of the year and for being in the finals. It is an honor and a privilege to  work with the seniors and families whose lives have touched mine through the years. I also wish to thank Dr. Frank Amato for his support and dedication to the many lives he has given his whole life too.

Please support this program that provides meals to so many seniors in need.  http://www.communityseniorserv.com/


SeniorServ prepares and delivers three meals daily directly to the home of homebound, frail, socially isolated seniors living in central, and north Orange County. Click here to download brochure

A registered dietician plans the meals to provide 100% of the U.S. Nutritional Recommended Daily Allowance – consisting of a cold breakfast, a frozen lunch and dinner.  The  program is more that just a meal.  In addition to meals, clients benefit from the daily contact of delivery drivers, as well as the calls and visits from our case management team who regularly check on their well-being.

Again thank you

Mary Kay Evans Director Social Services Care Pathways


Behaviors and Dementia

Senior Referral Agency

Care Pathways

People with dementia may sometimes behave in a challenging way, for example aggression or shouting out. This can be very distressing. By understanding what may cause this type of behavior and learning how to deal with it, you make sure it happens less often and that you feel able to manage when it does.

There are number of reasons why a person with dementia may act aggressively, and it is important to recognize that being in a hospital environment can make this behavior worse. Recognizing these reasons and providing person-centered care can very often begin to alleviate behavior. Reasons may include:

An unfamiliar environment and people, changes in care practice and the stress of hospitalization, along with an inability to articulate this.

An expression of unmet need, for example pain, dehydration or boredom.
Feeling frightened or humiliated.
Feeling frustrated at being unable to understand others or make themselves understood.
The physical effects of dementia, which may have eroded their judgement and self-control.
Loss of inhibitions and decreased awareness of rules about appropriate behavior.
Any form of aggression can be upsetting, but the most important thing to remember is that the person is not being aggressively deliberately. The behavior may appear to be targeted at you, but that is also not true.

It’s important to remember that all behavior is a form of communication. If you can establish what the person with dementia is trying to communicate, it may prevent them from feeling frustrated and acting aggressively.
Although the emotion at the root of the aggressive may persist, the person with dementia will probably quickly forget individual incidents.
A person with dementia may behave aggressively if they are in physical discomfort or pain or simply thirsty, hungry or want to go to the bathroom.
Try to stay calm and don’t enter into an argument. Reassure the person and try to distract their attention.
If the person is physically violent, give them plenty of space. Unless it is absolutely necessary, avoid closing in or trying to restrain someone as this can make matters worse.
Ask yourself if whatever you are trying to do for the person really needs to be done at that moment. If you are able to give them a little space, come back in five or ten minutes and try again gently − you may be able to avoid a confrontation.
Watch out for warning signs, such as anxious or agitated behavior or restlessness, and take action immediately to help the person feel more calm and reassured.
Try to work out what triggers any aggressive behavior by communicating with colleagues and the care givers. It may be something that can easily be addressed such as changing a battery in a hearing aid so the person with dementia can hear your explain you are going to undress them for a wash.
Talk to the person with dementia about what is upsetting them and involve care givers where possible, be patient and reassuring.
It is not an easy road sometimes and every person is different.

Being ill and not being able to communicate if you are in pain, hungry or feel the urge to go to the bathroom think how hard it may be for that person. Especially when a loved one is uncomfortable and you as the adult child or spouse do not know what to do. I suggest to anyone caring for a loved with this disease to make sure you educate yourself on what to expect.

And find support for yourself with your local Alzheimer’s Association you can find your local chapter by calling here The Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Help line provides reliable information and support to all those who need assistance. Call the toll-free anytime day or night at 1.800.272.3900.

Care Pathways Orange County Senior News

Senior Referral Agency

Care Pathways

It seems just like yesterday we were in the New Year and here we are at the half way mark into July. Time has a way of flying, or so it seems. Some think as we get older time speeds up. Time is in fact the same we just have more in our memory banks than say at twenty. Which brings me to my post this month. No matter what age you are, live your life to the fullest.

Yes I know we all age, (me as well), but we have to adapt or we stand still stuck in time. There are things we may no longer be able to do and this is the time to learn something new. Change is not easy. I know we all at one time or another must give up somethings and sometimes a lot of things in life. We may have suffered an illness, a death of a loved one, the loss is great and so is pain. But the time must come when you pick yourself up after the long dark night and go forward. Going forward in whatever way you can. It might just be having lunch with a friend, going to a movie with a friend, or even just taking a walk around your neighborhood. The thought is to continue to move forward. You still matter in this world no matter your age.


It Takes a Community to Care

It Takes a Community to Care

My Mother used to say this when I was a young child growing up, I did not realize at the time how right she was. In those days we had extended families with Aunts, Uncles, cousins and grandparents. The world has changed and so many families are fragmented and alone without the help of other family members to pitch in when an illness happens or a parent needs care. The community of extended families and neighbors was a life saving measure back in those days.

The community we live in now is one of finding solutions for a crisis situation through our local ER’s which has become a catch all for many when answers are needed.
The social workers of the ERs are heroes and many look to them for answers that are tough. You can walk into any ER on any day of the week and see the pain etched on the faces of persons who are looking for Life Support, people who have reached a crisis situation and are in need of life saving measures to help them find solutions for care.

Our unsung heroes who reach out to prevent a full blown code. Colors, numbers, or other designations may follow a code announcement to identify the type of emergency that is occurring in hospitals when life is at stake. There is no code for the Life saving measures that are taken every day by a team in an ER to prevent a fall, a stroke, intervention, services within the community it serves.

The doctors and staff are trained to recognize and respond appropriately when a crisis is in progress. There are countless hours, time and monies spent on Life Saving Measures but not many people understand this in our communities. Life support replaces or supports a failing bodily function. In treatable or curable conditions, life support is used temporarily until the body can resume normal functioning.

And so are the services that Social Workers and medical staff provide to help a patient and family through the crisis of life, information and support for their patients. 365 days a year. It is a privilege to be a part of this community of support as a social worker.

When Does Caring Become a Burden

Senior Referral Agency

Care Pathways

When does caring become a burden? Do you ever feel like you’ve had enough? Most people do not discuss the anger and bitterness that can come for caring for someone. They put on a face that appears to all the world that everything is fine. They experience anxiety, depression, health concerns and eating disorders as well as a whole host of other symptoms and illness.

It is not something that is talked about much, unless you are in a care group and not even than sometimes. You see people feel shame and guilt as well as “I should be able to do this without ending up hating the one I am caring for.” Sadly life does not always work this way. Many families are being hard pressed to care for loved ones that they are starting to resent it. Why? Some families are fragmented and do not have the social support that used to be. Families live out of area and sometimes you will find one adult child trying to do it all without the other adults involved. Most people hold full time jobs or have medical concerns of their own and asked to take on the care of a senior that was not involved in their life as child.

There are situations where persons have divorced and the well spouse has taken on the care of the person who walked away from them years ago and now in their time of need, stepped up to be the caretaker. If there was abuse in this marriage it may be a time of trying to resolve old hurts and come to terms with your past. ( A word of caution, while some persons can do this, many are unable and can become bitter, resentful and endanger their own health.)

The reasons are many, the answers are not easy. Cost is the biggest factor when a person is the caretaker. Parents have either not planned or monies have been lost to the recession and there is no one but you to take this on. There are many loving persons who feel they have made a promise to a parent or a spouse to care for them and now feel they must honor this. What I tell my families the promises you made at the time maybe 10 or 20 years ago are sometimes hard to keep. Not because you do not wish to but because lives have changed, needs have changed and while you made that promise in all good faith, you now find yourself unable to fulfill that promise. It’s okay, we all have made promises that at the time we felt we could do. But there comes a time of reality check, and the reality is Mom, Dad and a spouse needs more than you can give.

I know this from a professional level as well as a personal one. Unless you have been there and cared for a loved one it really is hard to understand all the stress’s and pain that can come along with the caring.

Care Pathways was founded for this very reason to give you the tools and information on caring, placement and services that can help you the caregiver. We are located in Orange County and not a nation wide data service. We provide real time help to seniors and families who are in need.. For more information contact us at 714-743-6309 or the form on this site.

Are You Ready for Help

Senior Referral Agency

Care Pathways

If I were setting in a room with you right now and could hear your story. I would be able to see how caring has affected you and your life.

I would ask you only one question, are you ready for help?

So many caregivers feel that no one else can take of their loved one the way they would. You are right. Someone who is not connected in an emotional way can actually do a better job. They do the labor (the hard work) and than they go home. The caregiver however is home and have the work load 24/7, with no time off. Unless you have a family who may be supportive and help you. I have found that adult children usually do not have good understanding of their are growing older and may need help and some caregivers will not ask the adult child for help. Many times I hear from seniors “my children have their own life, I do not wish to burden them.” In some situations families are estranged from one another. What ever your story, whatever your situation there is help.

Many more caregivers suffer stress, health concerns of their own and never get as far as even seeing a doctor. Although caregivers are a truly diverse group, stress is a common experience to all. For more information contact Care Pathways or your local Area on Aging in your community.

Get in touch with us!