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CareNotes: The Home Care Newsletter Vol 8. Issue 1

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Letter From the Editor:


Happy almost summer! We are excited to share the most recent issue of our CareNotes Newsletter, which includes a reminder about our upcoming educational webinar on Wednesday July 8th, “Dementia Examined: Exploring Approaches for Treatment,” led by Patricia Spilman, Senior Staff Scientist at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. We also share articles on researching long-term care options and choosing a plan that is best suited to your loved ones’ unique needs and preferences, as well as an article about supercentenarians and how they are on the rise worldwide. Last, but certainly not least, we would like to acknowledge Heather Theisen from Home Care Assistance of Douglas County for being selected as Caregiver of the Month. Thank you, Heather, for you compassion, dedication and commitment to changing the way the world ages!  

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or comments related to the articles in our newsletter by replying to this email.

Dementia Webinar for CE Credit led by Buck Institute’s Senior Staff Scientist


Dementia Webinar for CE Credit led by Buck Institute’s Senior Staff Scientist

Home Care Assistance, the premier provider of in-home care, is hosting an educational webinar for CE credit on Wednesday, July 8 at 10AM Pacific, 1PM Eastern. Led by Patricia Spilman, Senior Staff Scientist and specialist in Alzheimer’s disease research and drug development at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, the webinar will provide an overview of the diagnostic criteria for dementia with an emphasis on the cognitive, behavioral and emotional issues that accompany the various forms of the disorder. Patricia Spilman will also discuss current treatments, both pharmacological and non-pharmacological, available for individuals with any form of dementia. Scientific studies will also be presented concerning neuroplasticity and the manner in which engagement in specific activities, or interventions, can promote structural and physiological changes in the brain that may in turn increase functioning and enhance quality of life. To register for the webinar, please visit

This CE course is offered free to all registrants as part of Home Care Assistance’s mission to change the way the world ages and commitment to community education around topics related to aging and wellness. This webinar is the ideal opportunity for professionals from a wide spectrum of fields, ranging from social workers to nurses to care managers and many more, to earn one CE credit while simultaneously gaining valuable information that will be beneficial in advancing their careers and strengthening their patient relationships.

By the end of the presentation, webinar attendees will be able to: 

  • Describe different forms of dementia (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Lewy body disease, etc.) and associated cognitive, psychological and behavioral symptoms
  • Have a comprehensive understanding of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to dementia intervention
  • Understand neuroplasticity and how specific activities may promote physiological changes in the brain that result in improved function and increased quality of life   

The CE credit is available if the healthcare professional is licensed in a field or profession from one of the boards listed below. Professionals who are not sure whether their state board will accept this CE credit should contact the organization before registering:

  • Social Work (NASW)
  • Nursing (CA Board of Registered Nursing)
  • Case Management (CCMC)

In order to receive one hour of CE credit, healthcare professionals must attend the full webinar, complete an evaluation and score 80% or higher on the post-test. The post-test must be completed by 5pm Pacific/8pm Eastern on Wednesday, July 15th, 2015. Attendees who pass will receive their certificates via email.

For more information about Home Care Assistance or the upcoming webinar, please visit or call 1-866-454-8346.

What Type of Caregiver is Right for Your Loved One?


What Type of Caregiver is Right for Your Loved One?

With age comes understanding long-term care options and developing a future plan that is best suited to your unique needs and preferences. There are a variety of home care services that allow individuals to remain in their home and maintain their independence. Planning ahead is important and can have real benefits for you and your senior loved ones.

Services can be provided by a non-medical home care agency, a Medicare-certified home health agency, a placement/referral agency, a privately hired caregiver, or a family member. Oftentimes individuals find navigating long-term care options confusing and difficult. For instance, a family caregiver may be the most cost-effective option when caring for an aging loved one, but there are several downsides to this solution including higher rates of depression (40-70%) among family caregivers and lack of professional training. Below, you can read about the Pros and Cons associated with private hires, family caregivers and reputable home care agencies.

Private HirePrice: Costs, at least initially, may be lowerBurden of Responsibility: The family or senior is responsible as employer for the private hire and will have to adhere to local employment laws, including paying unemployment wages to dismissed caregiversLiability: Private hire caregivers are typically not bonded and insured

Lack of Oversight: If the private hire is unavailable for any reason, the senior may be left alone and the family may not be apprised. Furthermore, there is limited management of the caregiver’s time while she is working

Professionalism: Private caregivers typically do not have the same training in areas related to aging, health and quality of life issues

Home Care AgencyLiable for Caregivers: A reputable agency will be the sole employer of their caregivers and manage taxes, insurance, liability, etc.Caregiver Compatibility: A top agency will hire only the best caregivers and have a team of expertlytrained caregivers to match with the senior

Experts: The best agencies are up-to-date on aging trends in health and wellness and will constantly train their caregivers to provide the highest caliber care for their clients

Resources: Reputable home care agencies will have well-defined scheduling and backup procedures so that there is constant monitoring and care management and the senior is never at risk for being left without care

Costs: Many of the top agencies may not accept Medicare or other types of insurance, so out of pocket costs can be higher. Some agencies do accept Long-Term Care Insurance (LTC).
Family CaregiverComfort: Knows the senior best and the senior may initially feel most comfortable having a family member provide his or her careTime Management: Caregiving responsibilities are often added to family, social and career responsibilities for thefamily caregiver, adding stress and pressureExtremely high burnout rates:Stress-related physical and emotionalimpacts such as back pain and depression. On average, around 55% of family caregivers have symptoms of depression

Inexperience: Lack of formal training can prevent the senior from receiving the best possible care and optimal wellbeing


Of course, these pros and cons should only be considered a guide in determining the best possible care for your loved one; all caregivers are wonderful companions, but finding the best match given the individual’s specific circumstances and preferences is the most important goal. With that said, understanding the risks and benefits associated with each of the different in-home care options is important and necessary in making a well-informed decision when it comes time to choosing a caregiver for your loved one.

If you are considering an established and reputable home care agency, check out Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care for seniors across North America, and most recently, Australia. With a mission to change the way the world ages through innovative offerings that enable older adults to live happier, healthier lives at home, Home Care Assistance is truly elevating the quality of care across the home care industry. Care plans are tailored to clients’ individual needs and preferences and clients are expertly matched with thoroughly trained, screened and conscientious caregivers. Learn more about how Home Care Assistance is fulfilling their mission to change the way the world ages by calling 1-866-454-8346 or visiting

Number of Supercentenarians on the Rise


Number of Supercentenarians on the Rise

Advancements in medicine and technology have resulted in fewer infections and accidents, enabling us to thrive much longer than before. Because of this, more people are living longer and those that have made it past their 110th birthday have been dubbed supercentenarians. These supercentenarians have become overnight sensations, making headlines around the world for their impressive and rare lifespans.

Some supercentenarians have the honor of holding the record for oldest living person in the world. The surprising thing is that many of these record-holding supercentenarians are only in the limelight for a short time before passing away. Gertrude Weaver, a 116-year-old Arkansas resident, passed away two days after becoming the world’s oldest living person. People are living longer on average, yet the oldest have been passing away around the same age for the past few decades, reaching an upper limit of 114.

Robert Young, a senior claims researcher for the Gerontology Research Group and the senior gerontology consultant for Guinness World Records, calls this trend the “rectangularization of the mortality curve”. According to the research group, the oldest person holds their position for about a year on average. Interestingly, over the past 40 years the average age of the oldest people has only increased from 112 to 114. There were two exceptions: Jeanne Calment, who lived to be 122, and Sarah Knauss, who lived to be 119 years old. These two women are the only people known to pass the age of 118.

Another interesting fact is that the majority of supercentenarians are women, making up 90% of all instances. Women have two X chromosomes while men have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome, and some scientists attribute this fact to why women live longer, saying that the second X acts like a backup chromosome.

The current supercentenarian to hold the record for being the oldest living person is a woman named Jeralean Talley. Talley is currently 116-years-old and in good health. As with all record holders, the Gerontology Research Group has verified her age through documents. Over time, the verification process has gotten easier as more documents have become available online, allowing researchers like Young to disprove invalid claims. Young thinks that as data collection gets better we’ll find more supercentenarians around the world, but for now many of them are from the United States and Japan.

This is not surprising given the Okinawans of Japan are some of the longest-living people on Earth and have been studied for their methods to live long and healthy lives. The Balanced Care Method™, a program developed by Home Care Assistance, is based off of these studies and focuses on a healthy diet, physical exercise, socialization, mindfulness and a sense of purpose to promote healthy longevity and enhance the lives of the seniors we serve.

Caregiver of the Month Spotlight: Heather Theisen


KarinaJune’s Caregiver of the Month is Heather Theisen from Home Care Assistance of Douglas County.

Heather has been with Home Care Assistance since March 2015 and she is a fantastic caregiver. Heather is passionate about helping others and it warms her heart to see her client’s smiling faces when she arrives at their home.

Heather has been working in the healthcare industry for several years and she couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. She loves working for Home Care Assistance and shared that she truly looks forward to going to work every day because of the strong support system that Home Care Assistance offers.

As Hope Freeman, Home Care Assistance’s Care Coordinator put it, “Heather has a smile that reaches her eyes. I know that our clients are in the best of hands with her; I can always count on Heather to cover emergency shifts. I would love to be able to clone her. It’s caregivers like Heather that help us accomplish our mission to change the way the world ages!”