A monthly newsletter for caregivers

Issue 1.1

Always Best Care Senior Service The Connection

Greetings Caregivers

From the Always Best Care Field Support Office in Roseville, California

As Caregivers, we know that you, in many cases, are the face of Always Best Care. Your compassion, caring, dependability, professionalism, honesty, flexibility, problem solving, and positive attitude create an exceptional care experience for each individual client you care for. In fact, as the face of care in the home for the many Always Best Care clients across the U.S. and Canada, you provide an invaluable service to seniors and their families struggling to keep their dignity and independence on a daily basis.

It is for these reasons that we are happy to share with you that we will be sending you a monthly newsletter that is just for you -- our many Caregivers at Always Best Care. Each month, we will provide you with information and news that we hope you find beneficial.

Here's an overview of what you will find in this month's inaugural newsletter.

  • Spotlight on Donnissha Moulden, Always Best Care Upper Chesapeake, MD
  • Tips & Best Practices: Safe Transfers, Easing Your Client's Fears
  • Nutrition Notes: Eating a High-Fiber Diet
  • Nominees for 2016 Caregiver of the Year Award
  • Tools you can use
  • Announcements

We sincerely hope you enjoy this issue of Heart Beat!

David J. Caesar
Vice President Franchise Operations
Always Best Care Field Support Office
Roseville, California

Caregiver Spotlight

Caregiver Spotlight - Donnissha Moulden
Always Best Care Upper Chesapeake, Maryland

Donnissha Moulden is a Caregiver with Always Best Care Upper Chesapeake, Maryland. Franchise Owner Elaine Gill recently received a testimonial letter from the daughter of one of her clients. The client's daughter shared that her father was totally independent in daily life, prior to an illness last summer. Following the illness, the client went on to share that her father now requires assistance with food preparation, personal hygiene, mobility, dressing and much more.

According to the client's daughter, when Donnissha first came to her parents' home to provide care, she quickly worked to acclimate herself to the home environment and to the routine. She helped the daughter anticipate her father's needs based on her experience, which allowed her to stock appropriate supplies and purchase items that made his quality of life much better.

The client went on to say that Donnissha provides excellent care in all aspects and is watchful for any changes to her father's physical and emotional state.

"As one would expect of a Caregiver, Donnissha's skillset is comprehensive and she performs all caregiving tasks exceptionally well. Their relationship is one of trust and friendship and with a bright outlook, cheerful disposition and good humor. Donnissha never fails to uplift his spirits.

But to say that dad is the only family member that Donnissha cares for and positively impacts on a daily basis would be a serious misrepresentation of the holistic care that she provides to both mom and dad. My mother doesn't warm to people easily, but she and Donnissha have certainly hit it off as well. It was a challenge for mom to have a stranger in their home doing things that she had always been capable of. Out of necessity of course. Donnissha has stepped in and she and mom work together to keep the household running.

I am so blessed to have Donnissha in our lives and I will be forever grateful to her for all that she has done for us."

Donnissha … on behalf of the entire Always Best Care family throughout the U.S. and Canada, thank you for being a valued Caregiver for Always Best Care Upper Chesapeake, Maryland. We are proud to have you on our team!

Tips & Best Practices

Safe Transfers:
Easing Your Client's Fears

Some clients may put up a "fuss" about being transferred, especially if you have to use transfer equipment to accomplish the job. It may seem like the client is being difficult, but maybe the client is just plain scared! Try these tips to help your clients feel more comfortable about transfer procedures:

Explain everything you are going to do--before you do it. You can do this even if you think the client can't hear or understand you. Speak clearly and calmly, with a relaxed expression on your face.

Provide for the client's privacy and comfort. Maybe the client doesn't want to be moved using the mechanical lift because she's afraid that others will see up her dress or that she'll get cold. Put yourself in the client's place and think about how you would like to be treated.

If the client has a weaker side, reassure him that you are aware of it. Tell him that you will support his weak side throughout the transfer.

Listen to your clients if they tell you that they are dizzy or feel faint. Clients who spend a lot of time in bed can become dizzy easily. They may be afraid of falling during the transfer, especially if they are rushed. Make sure you are completely familiar with any transfer equipment that you use with your clients-- and that you have practiced using it. If clients sense that you don't know what you are doing, they are more likely to feel scared. (For example, if you have to read the directions for a mechanical lift in the middle of a transfer, the client is not going to feel very safe!)

Check the equipment before you begin the transfer to make sure it is working properly.

Test a mechanical lift by raising and lowering the client--while the client is still over the bed. This will help the client feel safer when you swing him or her out over the floor

MORE TIPS: If a client complains that he feels pain during transfers, ask him where and when it hurts. His answers may help you figure out how to make transferring easier for him. Don't grab a client by the armpits during a transfer. This can really hurt—and it can pinch a nerve causing the client to lose feeling in her arms. (Have you ever wondered how it feels? Try having a coworker lift you up under the armpits!)

Nutrition Notes

Eating a High-Fiber Diet

Fiber is what gives strength and structure to plants. Most grains, beans, vegetables, and fruits contain fiber. Foods rich in fiber are often low in calories and fat, and they fill you up more. They may also reduce your risks for certain health problems. To find out the amount of fiber in canned, packaged, or frozen foods, read the Nutrition Facts label. It tells you how much fiber is in a serving. Nutrition label showing where to find information on the serving size, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, calories from fat, percentage daily value, sodium (salt), and dietary fiber. The serving size indicates the amount of food or liquid in a serving. The dietary fiber amount indicates how many grams (g) of fiber there are in a serving.

Types of fiber and their benefits

There are two types of fiber: insoluble and soluble. They both aid digestion and help you maintain a healthy weight.

  • Insoluble fiber. This is found in whole grains, cereals, certain fruits and vegetables such as apple skin, corn, and carrots. Insoluble fiber may prevent constipation and reduce the risk for certain types of cancer.
  • Soluble fiber. This type of fiber is in oats, beans, and certain fruits and vegetables such as strawberries and peas. Soluble fiber can reduce cholesterol, which may help lower the risk for heart disease. It also helps control blood sugar levels.

Try these foods to add fiber to your diet:

  • Whole-grain breads and cereals. Try to eat 6 to 8 ounces a day. Include wheat and oat bran cereals, whole-wheat muffins or toast, and corn tortillas in your meals.
  • Fruits. Try to eat 2 cups a day. Apples, oranges, strawberries, pears, and bananas are good sources. (Note: Fruit juice is low in fiber.)
  • Vegetables. Try to eat at least 2.5 cups a day. Add asparagus, carrots, broccoli, peas, and corn to your meals.
  • Beans. One cup of cooked lentils gives you over 15 grams of fiber. Try navy beans, lentils, and chickpeas.
  • Seeds. A small handful of seeds gives you about 3 grams of fiber. Try sunflower seeds.

Keep track of your fiber

Keep track of how much fiber you eat. Start by reading food labels. Then eat a variety of foods high in fiber. As you begin to eat more fiber, ask your healthcare provider how much water you should be drinking to keep your digestive system working smoothly. You should aim for a certain amount of fiber in your diet each day. If you are a woman, that amount is between 25 and 28 grams per day. Men should aim for 30 to 33 grams per day. After age 50, your daily fiber needs drop to 22 grams for women and 28 grams for men. Before you reach for the fiber supplements, think about this. Fiber is found naturally in healthy whole foods. It gives you that feeling of fullness after you eat. Taking fiber supplements or eating fiber-enriched foods will not give you this full feeling. Your fiber intake is a good measure for the quality of your overall diet. If you are missing out on your daily amount of fiber, you may be lacking other important nutrients as well.

Tools you can Use

Upcoming Caregiver Training Webinar

For the first time ever, Always Best Care will provide quarterly training webinars for Caregivers at the local franchise level. Training will be provided via GotoWebinar. The training will be facilitated by Erin Starner of the Institute for Professional Caregiver Education. Topics will range from subjects below.

  • Dementia from the Persons Perspective
  • Helping Families Cope
  • Supporting Families of Individuals with Dementia
  • Caregiver Core Values and Teamwork
  • Caregiving Tasks and Client Populations
  • Communicating with Others
  • Bed Bugs
  • Body Systems and the Aging Process

The first training webinar will take place on Friday, March 25 from 9 to 10 am PDT / noon to 1 pm EST. If you are a Caregiver and you would like to attend the online training webinar, click on the link below to register.

Register here

Franchise Owners, Area Representatives, and Team Members are invited to attend.

If you have ideas for other topics, please let your manager know. Franchise locations, be sure to pass your caregivers' suggestions, as well as yours, along to us.


Nominees for 2016 Caregiver of the Year Award

We are in the process of evaluating the nominees submitted for our 2016 Caregiver of the Year Award. Nominees are being reviewed by a selection committee. An overall winner will be chosen based on nominating criteria. Here are the nominees! Good luck to all!

Nominee / Franchise Owner / Area Representative

  • Deborah Seagrove (Caregiver) / Phil Stringer / Patty Bergey
  • Jacqueline Lewis (Caregiver) / Phil Stringer / Patty Bergey
  • Robin Sims (Caregiver) / Charlene Rhodes / Nate Rhodes
  • Davena Scott (Caregiver) / Charlene Rhodes / Nate Rhodes
  • Simone Williams (Caregiver) / Charlene Rhodes / Nate Rhodes
  • Terri Adams (C.N.A.) / Beth Kapperman / Nate Rhodes
  • Angela "Angel" Sparks (Personal Care Aide) / Jim Smeaton / Nate Rhodes
  • Donnissha Moulden (Caregiver) / Elaine Gill / Chris Zielger
  • Shahida Chaudhry (C.N.A.) / Chris Kondracki / Chris Ziegler
  • Terry Hill (C.N.A.) / Lynn Hancock / Chris Ziegler
  • Joshlynn Smith (Caregiver) / Kelly Britton / Vijay Persaud
  • Salina Wagner (Caregiver) / Tom Kessler / Erin Nichols
  • Nancy Rabiee (C.N.A.) / Jennifer Mancuso / Angela Graczyk
  • Dora Martin (C.H.H.A.) / Paulette Chatman / Ruben Trevino
  • Maxine Wallerson (Caregiver) / Carmen Fernadez / Dan Citrenbaum

Final Thoughts

A Caregiver Poem

They say we're unsung heroes, like soldiers in the field
Not knowing what the day's challenges will yield
But a little thank you here – a little thank you there
Throw in some love – tell me you appreciate my care.
A few kind words will go a mile
Especially if it's said with a smile
Who am I you ask, and is there a message I'm sending?
Darn right I am–I'm a caregiver and my work is never–ending.

– Eric Scanlan © 2006

The is an excerpt from Stroke Connection Magazine, January/February 2009.

If you have suggestions for spotlights, tips, best practices, or other stories of interest,
please contact David Caesar at dcaesar@alwaysbestcare.com.