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Lilacs & Greensleeves: Honoring our Veterans

Memorial Day…a time to show honor to those who gave their all in the line of duty.
I went out to breakfast this morning and as I looked around the room of one of my favorite places to eat where the clientele are mostly seniors, I found myself wondering how many of them have served in the military. How many of them have children and grandchildren who have and are serving today.
And I no sooner finished my dish of pineapple while waiting for my main meal when a gentleman of golden years walked in all alone and with a newspaper tucked in under his arm, he followed the hostess over to a small table and sat down.
He had a cap on his head, one that showed some emblem that I thought was military but because he sat at such an angle to where I was sitting, I couldn’t see what it said.
I watched him as he respectfully told the waitress that he would like some coffee. Then after she brought him his cup of Joe, he kindly gave her his order and thanked her.
I love love love our elderly!! I find them to be some of the most respectful people in the world.
Ok, I know…there are a few curmudgeons out there but even with them, who knows…they may have had a tough life or a life that was wonderful and then they experienced loss, sadness and pain and their golden years became not very golden.
Everyone has their story. We all are witnesses to a life that can explain why we are the people we are today.
“Be kind because everyone you meet may be fighting a battle you know nothing about.”
Something I try to remember, everyday.
Ok…back to this gentleman in the restaurant.
As I was eating, I kept looking over at this man hoping he would turn his head so I could see what the emblem on his cap said. Alas, it wasn’t to be, at least at that moment. But the time did come and as I got up to leave, his table was in the path I would take to reach the exit.
His cap was now sitting on his table and I could see what it said.
“U Boats. WWII.”
I was not alone at the restaurant this morning so I couldn’t stay and chat with this gentleman like I wanted to. I would have loved to hear anything he wanted to share with me so that I could understand this time in his life, from his perspective.
Unfortunately I couldn’t, so I just lightly tapped him on the shoulder to get his attention and then pointed at his cap and I sincerely said, “Thank you.”
He smiled at me and said, “I was in WWII and I’m in my 90s!”
I told him that I wanted to thank him for his service to which he looked up at me with the kindest smile of a dear old Grand Dad and softly said, “Your welcome honey, anytime!
I walked out of the door of that restaurant feeling very blessed to have had the pleasure and the honor, even for just a short time, to meet one of our military warriors.
Someone who at a very young age served our country and made it home to talk about it and I can’t say it enough that I think we should listen. Listen to their stories.
The good, the bad and yes even the ugly because maybe, just maybe, we will learn some things we never knew before and they will feel the respect of a Nation that truly means what we say when we tell them we will never forget them and we will never forget their fellow soldiers who never made it home.
They deserve to be honored everyday, cared about and cared for to the best of our abilities because they cared about us during a very, very difficult time.
Thank you from Care4You, to all of our Military!!

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Care4You and CAHSAH

The California Association for Health Services at Home was founded by members who encouraged the development and delivery of high quality, home care services throughout California. In continuing to meet this goal, the association membership seeks to establish and retain the highest possible level of public confidence.
The California Association for Health Services at Home (CAHSAH) developed the ‘Home Care Aide Organization Certification’ to help guide patients and families to reputable in-home care providers throughout California.
Why this is important?
Usually, patients and families access in-home care after an urgent or crisis situation has occurred. Because there is little time to investigate and research proper options, families often settle on the first available agency or individual caregiver. This could have significant consequences in the long run.
Care4You is a trusted, certified provider!
In our continued effort to support CAHSAH in their mission, Donna Hoover and Gaby Romero attended the 2014 Annual Conference and Home Care Expo being held on May 13-15 in Palm Springs, CA.
“Everyone here considers it the ultimate privilege to care for someone at a time when they are most vulnerable.
They are allowing us, a virtual stranger to come in and become a part of their life and we are deeply honored.” ~ Donna Hoover

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Encouragement


Good for the Mind, Body and Soul? I think so! And don’t we all need a little encouragement? A reminder that in the midst of the storms, there is that light at the end of the tunnel!

And isn’t it amazing that just when you need that encouragement, something or someone comes your way and lifts you up by saying just the right thing? Just the right words that will motivate you to hold on and move forward?
I love posters of encouragement and I look for them everyday to use in reaching out to those in need. I guess you can say that I collect them.

I keep them in a special folder on my computer and should the time come when I cross paths with another person who is walking a difficult road, I pull from those posters the words that hopefully will reach into their mind, their body and into their soul and soothe, if just for a time, the pain that they may be going through.

At Care4You, we work with clients everyday who are walking a road that sometimes is filled with many different kinds of issues.

Illness, loneliness, heartbreak, concerns for family and friends, feeling the realization that they are not as young as they used to be and can not do things like they once could do, face them often.

And then there are times when our clients are having such wonderful moments during their day that we become drawn into their beautiful world and are blessed more times than one can imagine!!

And what is happening then? They are encouraging us!

They lift our spirits with their ‘can do’ spirit! They wake up in the morning and they soar through the day, living each moment with a ‘smile on their attitude’.

It’s contagious and I find myself filled with joy as I laugh at their little quips, their little remarks, their conversations…stories of days gone by as these marvelous Golden Agers reach out to share their lives with us!!

They teach us that life isn’t over when you reach a certain age or are facing retirement. They are moving and they are serving all of us who just happen to be in their path and they sometimes don’t even know it!

They are who they are, pure and simple and I am absolutely drawn into their spirit! They are blessings in disguise that’s saying, “Life is to be lived, all the way through, the best way you can!!”

They are walking-talking posters, live and in person!!

And while we at Care4You are walking side by side with our clients, giving them our best care, encouraging them with all the dedication we can give…..we too are being given encouragement as we watch in amazement our elderly living their lives by giving it everything they can!!

I’m motivated! How about you?

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Journaling

  • Posted On April 4, 2014
  • Categorized In Support
  • Written By
Journaling…do you do it in your daily walk as a caregiver? Whether we are professionals, family members or friends who walk this road alongside our loved ones as caregivers, I have found that  journaling can be a real asset!
For one, it can be an easy way to look back over the past days, weeks, months or years and regain the knowledge of what went on in the lives of those we are caring for at that time.
I remember one day about six years ago while I was working at home, going through organizing some of my closets, my Mom flashed across my mind. Oh I do think about both she and Dad often but this time some interesting questions entered my thoughts.
Did Mom ever have happy moments during her walk with dementia? Did she ever laugh? Did we ever laugh?
I cringed at the thought that the answer was, “no,” as memories wizzed by my mind like lightening bolts.
Sitting down in front of one of the boxes I was going through, I sighed and proceeded to open the lid. Inside was a white looseleaf notebook. I immediately remembered that this was the personal journal I kept during those many years I cared for Mom.
Being a nurse, I wrote more like ‘Nurse’s Notes.’ The kind we used to do in the good old days of caring for our patients in the hospital. Everything from activities of the day to doctor’s appointments, to test results, to yes, even bathroom results.
Now don’t laugh! Try to remember ‘that’ when the doctor asks you questions that pertain to this part of your loved one’s day. I am grinning.
I sat down on the floor and proceeded to open my journal. I read it like a book, cover to cover and oh my, the memories returned in full detail and yes, I’ll admit it…I’m a detail kind of person. Just ask anyone that knows me when I am telling them something that went on in my life. I am crinkling my nose and smiling!!
As I sat there sipping a cup of camomile tea, I continued to read and I just couldn’t put my journal down. I read with such intensity as page after page brought our past into my present. I was in anticipation of finding something, just some little thing that would say, Mom laughed! We laugherd together! Anything!!
So I continued to read and yes…tears were coming as I relived the moments that she and we endured during this time of caring for one of the dearest people I have known in my life. Someone who went from being very independent to being totally dependant. 
As I turned the pages, I saw that in between those sometimes difficult moments, we had many times of calm, of peace and oh my goodness, there it was…laughter and more laughter!!
She laughed! We laughed! Oh my goodness, can I tell you what joy I felt at that moment, reading this?!
I sighed with a smile as I looked up towards Heaven and said, “Thank you!!”
I continued to read the moments in that journal where we had those wonderful cleansings and yes, I do think that laughter is cleansing and I also believe it’s good medicine.
As days go by, we may forget those moments. In the pain, in the heartache, in the focusing seriously of helping our loved ones, laughter needs to enjoy a place in our caregiving!
And so does journaling!
Care4You recognizes how important it is to keep good care notes on our day to day walk with our clients! It’s good for all involved.
For me, journaling during that time of caring for my parents, was a blessing in so many ways! I encourage all of you who are involved in the care of your clients, your family members and your friends, please…..journal!
Not only for pertinent information that may be needed at that time but for looking back one day and remembering moments, whether difficult or joyful, that can only be described in one way….’Priceless!’ 



Lilacs & Greensleeves: Respect

Isn’t it something that we all want from one another? Isn’t it something that most of us strive to do towards those around us? I know I do and yet I also know that while most of us never ever want to disrespect anyone or anything in this world, none of us have walked this road perfectly.
But we are hopefully growing. Growing every moment, not only because we want to but because if we pay attention, we can see the frustrations and even the sadness that comes when one feels disrespected and our hearts tell us that we need to find another way of communicating.
Our work here at Care4You is a joy to do. We get to walk alongside our clients as they allow us into their private lives in an effort to help them continue living theirs in the best way possible. And we all know that respect has to be there in our efforts to relate together.
Consider this…Through the years, Dad has always been the one to fix everything around the home. Things inside the house, outside the house and even the cars. He is well verse and quite the expert and he is truly dependable.
But that time may come when he is no longer able to handle those ‘fixes’ alone and he finds himself needing to call on the expertise of another. Sometimes a professional, sometimes a family member, a neighbor or a good friend.
He knows how something should be done and done right. Yet what worked in the days gone by and maybe even with years of experience in a trade once had, sometimes there are changes in how those things are done now.
New discoveries are sometimes made where the fix may be better than what was done in the past. Progress can be good!
So then, how do we help our loved ones recognize that sometimes changes in the fix may be done in a way that’s new? How do we do that respectfully?
Unfortunately there is also a way to fix something and it’s done by cutting corners and then the quality becomes lax and Dad is not a happy camper.
He explains his concerns to the professional but is met with a less than respectful comment, “Well that’s not how we do it today….period!”
Well maybe true but the response of the professional leaves Dad with a feeling his concerns are not being validated nor respected.That’s not good nor is it a way to bring understanding.
So how do we help those who are professionals, realize that their clients need to be respected, that they need to be listened to? 
And what if shortcuts that are taken by a professional produce shoddy and unsafe results, then this is definitely unacceptable and  the need for the quality takes precedence and an understanding between the two parties has to be reached.
It takes patience. It takes talking things out together and hopefully an understanding can be reached along with a plan of action that will be fully acceptable to the client. 
With Care4You, we recognize this as we respect what our clients desire. It takes a bond between the caregiver and the care receiver, a trust if you will, that once established is priceless.
This can be done in any situation presented that involves two parties.
Both can speak freely and know that the other is listening and validating feelings expressed and the two can move forward and get what needs done, done to the satisfaction of both and especially the client.
This is something that can be found with Care4You and our clients and it’s a very good place to be for both of us as one of our desires is to help those entrusted to our care, receive one of the most treasured gifts we can give them….

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Right around the Corner

  • Posted On February 14, 2014
  • Categorized In Support
  • Written By


Here we are halfway through February and I can remember, as if it were yesterday, the years when I was a caregiver for my parents. It was a time of true dedication in the hopes of doing all that I could to help them during that time.
I, like so many of you who have been or are caregivers now, move forward each day with a heart to serve in caring for loved ones in need. We don’t think about how we will be tested in our abilities and our endurance. We just do what we have to do because this time in our lives is about them, these very dear people who at the moment are in need of our help!
How many of us have been looking for assistance from wonderful caregiving companies out there? Companies who are just as dedicated in helping our seniors as we are as family members and friends. I must confess that at the time of my life when I was caring for my parents, I didn’t even think about who was available to help me.
I was so focused on what I was doing that I didn’t see who was so close by, ready to help my parents and in turn be there for me, also!
Like the picture below that is done with a slight sense of humor, it does make a point that sometimes what we are searching for is just there waiting for us to look in the right direction.
I will never, ever regret being there for my parents, yet knowing what I know today, I would not hesitate to make that call and ask for assistance that would have benefited both my parents and myself.
Meeting Donna Hoover, learning how professional and caring she is and the fine example she sets for not only her staff and caregivers but also for the community, I would have had no difficulty in choosing Care4You to help me with my parents.
The offer of excellent services are there, both ‘Standard’ and ‘Specialized’  and that can be found on their website:
The comments I have personally heard from both clients and families have been really positive, as people seem to be very happy with the professional and caring manner of everyone at Care4You.
The confidence and trust is a major plus for this dedicated company!
Care4You is now officially recognized as and approved by top elder expert and advocate Susan B. Geffen as a company you can trust and has received her special seal of approval, ‘Susan’s Picks,’  which you will also find on our website.
Yes, I do look back and honestly wish I would have looked into well run home care services in our community. That would have been time well spent and definitely worth every step of the way for my parents and for myself!
So please don’t hesitate to see who’s out there as ‘recommended’ caregiving companies in your area. Companies who are willing and very capable in helping you care for your loved ones.

Who knows…they may be closer than you think.

They may be right around the corner!

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Gone from My Sight


Today was a very sad, somber day at Care4You. We have lost a special lady; she has entered into rest. Our client since 2003, she was near and dear to us as she touched all of our hearts! Because she had no family, we became her family and her caregiver of 10 years developed a rapport like no other. Although we have lost her, we are consoled knowing that heaven has gained a precious soul. May she rest in peace.

Gone from My Sight
by Henry Van Dyke
“I am standing by the seashore.
A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the
morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean.

She is an object of beauty and strength and I stand and
watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sun and sky come down to mingle with each other.

Then someone at my side says, “There she goes!”

Gone where?
Gone from my sight – that is all.

She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was
when she left my side and just as able to bear her load
of living freight to the places of destination.

Her diminished size is in me, not in her.

And just at the moment when someone at my side says,

“There she goes!”

There are other eyes watching her coming,

And other voices ready to take up the glad shout:

“Here she comes!”


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Setting the Example!

Looking back over the years of my life, I’ve come to realize how many good examples my parents have set for me. I take those memories with me wherever I go and every so often they surface and I can’t help but smile and yes, sometimes I even cry, when I think of them.
I find myself looking up to Heaven and saying, “Thank you Mom” or “I get it now, Dad!!”
Do you do that, too?
Of all the examples that they have set for me, there is one that really stands out.
I saw Dad’s love for Mom throughout the years but it was never more evident to me than when Mom had Post Infarct Dementia.
Here was this dear independant woman who, through the years following her diagnosis, had become more and more dependant on the people who loved her. And we were there for her! Each of us contributing in the best way that we could to help Mom through this time in her life.
And there of course was Dad, continuing to love, care and be so devoted to his ‘one and only’ and putting the ‘exclammation mark’ on the vows that he took when they were married…
“To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.”
Yes, through my eyes, that was Dad! He set the example and I hold that memory along with so many others both he and Mom set, very close to my heart.
Working with our clients at Care4You, we meet couples who are walking in that same devotion! And when there is only one spouse left to carry on, we hear stories from them and their family and friends who tell of years of loving, caring and staying the course, through it all.
Just like this dear man George with his beloved Adriana, told through the eyes of their loving son, Marco.
Thank you George and Adriana, for setting such a wonderful example for all of us!
And thank you Marco, for sharing your Mom and Dad’s beautiful story…

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Patience

  • Posted On December 29, 2013
  • Categorized In Inspiration
  • Written By
Patience…what is it and how does it affect us as we walk this road we are all on and how does it affect those around us to whom we so graciously give of it?
I think this story is just one of many examples but a memorable one to say the least and maybe, just maybe we can all remember this the next time we don’t think that we have the ‘time’ to wait. Goodness, I know that I will as it reminds me of Care4You, a company who strives  to practice this very important ‘walk’ in such a fast paced world.
Kent Nerburn is the author and this article  was originally published under the title “And where there is sadness, joy” in his 1999 book, “Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace.”
“A NYC Taxi driver wrote: I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked..
‘Just a minute’, answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor. After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90’s stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940’s movie. By her side was a small nylon suitcase.
The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets. There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
‘Would you carry my bag out to the car?’ she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman. She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb. She kept thanking me for my kindness. ‘It’s nothing’, I told her.. ‘I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.’ ‘Oh, you’re such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, ‘Could you drive through downtown?’
‘It’s not the shortest way,’ I answered quickly.. ‘Oh, I don’t mind,’ she said. ‘I’m in no hurry. I’m on my way to a hospice. I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. ‘I don’t have any family left,’ she continued in a soft voice..’The doctor says I don’t have very long.’
I quietly reached over and shut off the meter. ‘What route would you like me to take?’ I asked. For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator. We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds.
She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl. Sometimes she’d ask me to slow down in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, ‘I’m tired. Let’s go now.’
We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico. Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair. ‘How much do I owe you?’ She asked, reaching into her purse. ‘Nothing,’ I said ‘You have to make a living,’ she answered. ‘There are other passengers,’ I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly. ‘You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,’ she said. ‘Thank you.’ I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.
Behind me, a door shut. It was the sound of the closing of a life. I didn’t pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day, I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver, or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don’t think that I have done anything more important in my life. We’re conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments. But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.”
“In 2008, Kent Nerburn posted an entry on his blog in response to the Internet-prompted popularity of this item:
A website out of the U.K. has recently posted the now well-traveled story of my experience as a cab driver, when I picked up an old woman who was on her way to a hospice. It has reached number one on a number of websites as a result. 
I am thrilled when my ordinary life offers up an extraordinary moment that brings some solace or insight or enjoyment to others, and such has been the good fortune of that moment in the late 1980’s when I was driving the “dog shift” in Minneapolis, Minnesota. What is noteworthy about that moment, beyond it’s poignancy, is that I did not create it; I merely experienced it and let it unfold. 
Life gives us all such moments — I call them “Blue Moments” — where a brilliant light shines through the ordinary moments in our ordinary days. They come unsolicited and unannounced, and provide us the gift of significance and, if we are lucky, the opportunity to serve. 
What is important is to remember that these ARE gifts, and that we cannot receive them if we are not open to them. We need to listen closely, watch closely, and take care not to rush past or through them when they arrive. They are the fabric of our lives, and they will weave themselves with complexity and beauty if we give them time to do so.”
Thank you Kent Nerburn, for what you did for this dear elderly woman and thank you Donna Hoover for being such a wonderful example of showing what it means to be patient, not only to those of us who walk alongside of you at Care4You, but also to our clients who need and want us to help them in their homes and to all of those who support our endeavors to serve our beautiful seniors and our community!