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Lilacs & Greensleeves: 2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts Plus

  • Posted On September 19, 2014
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By

2014 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures


*The number of Americans with Alzheimer’s disease is growing – and growing fast.
“Today, over 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, including an estimated 200,000 under the age of 65. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease.
Of Americans aged 65 and older, 1 in 9 has Alzheimer’s; 1 in 3 people aged 85 and older has the disease.
Another American develops Alzheimer’s disease every 67 seconds. In 2050, an American will develop the disease every 33 seconds.
*Women are at the epicenter of the Alzheimer’s crisis.
Nearly two thirds of those with Alzheimer’s disease – 3.2 million – are women.
Women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease over the rest of their lives as they are to develop breast cancer.
More than 3 in 5 unpaid Alzheimer’s caregiver are women and there are 2.5 more women than men who provide on duty care 24 hours a day for someone with Alzheimer’s.
Among women caregivers who also work, 20 percent have gone from working full time to part time because of their caregiving duties.
*All caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s – both women and men – face a devastating toll.
In 2013, 15.5 million family and friends provided 17.7 billion hours of unpaid care to those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias – care valued at $220.2 billion.
Nearly 60 percent of Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers rate the emotional stress of caregiving as high or very high; more than one-third report symptoms of depression.
Due to the physical and emotional toll of caregiving, Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers had $9.3 billion in additional health care costs of their own in 2013.”

*Source and more information:

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Respite for Caregivers

  • Posted On August 1, 2014
  • Categorized In Support
  • Written By


As a caregiver, are you finding that you are ‘Desperate for Respite?’

“Family caregivers need to have sufficient and regular amounts of respite time. Give careful thought to how you want to spend your respite time. Respite needs to be meaningful and purposeful for caregivers to fulfill their needs and plans, as well as safe and enjoyable for the care receiver.”

“Respite is most effective when combined with other services and assistance, but don’t wait to take your break. You may also benefit from additional financial support, education, emotional and social support, and a sense of belonging with others, but before you can seek out those services, respite will give you a chance to step back and recharge.”


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Hydration for Everyone!

  • Posted On July 27, 2014
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By


Wow, are you having hot temperatures where you are? In an effort to hopefully help you feel a little cooler while reading this, I’ve decided to do this post in a cool blue color. I am smiling!

In step with our mission here at Care4You to help everyone keep informed of the effects of dehydration and the great ways to help make water less boring, (see our post below this one) we are adding an additional post just to see how you are doing because we care about you!

Whew, some of the days this month have been scorchers and making sure that all of us are drinking enough water is vitally important to our health!

And while we at Care4You are keeping a check on each other during these hot days, especially on our elderly, there are some very important members of our families that we also need to keep an eye on…our pets!

Water…it’s a good thing, don’t you agree?

Enjoy and by the way…did the blue font help to make you feel a little cooler? I hope so!

I’m still smiling.


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Dehydration and our Elderly

  • Posted On June 28, 2014
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By


It’s always good to keep an eye on our hydration but when hot weather sets in, it’s more important than ever to take a good look at how much water you and your loved ones are or aren’t consuming.

But water is boring, you say? Au contraire!!

How about checking out some great ideas on how you can make water less, ‘Ho Hum.’

But let’s first take a look at the causes and signs of dehydration to help us better understand this!

Dehydration: The Causes, The Health Risks

Dehydration is often due partly to inadequate water intake, but can happen for many other reasons as well, including as a side effect of prescribed medication like diuretics, diarrhea, excessive sweating, loss of blood and diseases such as diabetes. Aging itself makes people less aware of thirst and also gradually lowers the body’s ability to regulate its fluid balance.

Elders may not feel thirst as keenly.
Scientists warn that the ability to be aware of and respond to thirst is slowly blunted as we age. As a result, older people do not feel thirst as readily as younger people do. This increases the chances of them consuming less water and consequently suffering dehydration.

Less body fluids, lower kidney function.
The body loses water as we age. Until about age 40, the proportion of total body fluids to body weight is about 60% in men and 52% in women.

Dehydration: Recognize The Symptoms

Those caring for elderly persons should watch for these signs of dehydration.

Mild dehydration:
· Dryness of mouth; dry tongue with thick saliva
· Unable to urinate or pass only small amounts of urine; dark or deep yellow urine
· Cramping in limbs
· Headaches
· Crying but with few or no tears
· Weakness, general feeling of being unwell
· Sleepiness or irritability

More serious dehydration:
· Low blood pressure
· Convulsions
· Severe cramping and muscle contractions in limbs, back and stomach
· Bloated stomach
· Rapid but weak pulse
· Dry and sunken eyes with few or no tears
· Wrinkled skin; no elasticity
· Breathing faster than normal


And how about this very useful tool from H4H…Hydration 4 Health!

This may help you determine if you or your loved one might be dehydrated…

Ok, now that we know some more about dehydration and what to look for, here are some ideas on how to make water less boring!!

1. Add a Spa-Worthy Slice:Day spas and high-end salons have taken to filling their pitchers with slices you’d usually see resting on eyelids: piles of bright green cucumber. And with good reason. The resulting flavor is refreshing, and refreshingly different.”

2. Make Yourself Feel Bubbly:Grab a bottle of sparkling water for the bubbly feeling of a soft drink without the calories. If it’s too bland, add a twist of lime, says David Jack, director of Teamworks Fitness in Acton, MA . “I love this with cranberry or pomegranate juice,” Jack says. “You can add a few dashes of each of those, and maybe a bit of lemon, lime, or orange rind.” Try different combinations to keep things interesting, or to find your signature seltzer refresher.”

3. Tea time: Choose any of the innumerable varieties of teas and herbal drinks, not only to stay hydrated, but also to reap piles of benefit for your body. Black tea contains catechins, flavonoids that can improve cardiovascular health and may help prevent cancer. Green tea lowers your risk of heart disease, reduces your risk of lung cancer, and can help your body burn fat more easily—the polyphenols in the tea appear to work with caffeine to increase calorie burn.

And take advantage of herbal teas’ many properties. Sage tea can help with excessive perspiration. Chamomile can help control blood pressure, and ease digestion and gas. Ginger tea can soothe your stomach and ease arthritis pain.”

4. Bubble Some Broth Instead:Warm up in winter with a vegetable or chicken broth, or a light soup, says Jack. “Broth is a great hydrator, and you’re getting all those nutrients—vitamins from the vegetables, and protein from the chicken, if you add it,” he says.”

5. Go Herbal:You don’t have to brew herbs to enjoy their flavor. Add powdered or freshly sliced ginger, bruised mint leaves, or lemongrass to amp up your H2O . Or go floral. Lavender and rose hips are loaded with vitamin C and may help ease arthritis pain.”

6. Make it fruity:You’ve tried lemon and lime. Time to diversify: Add antioxidants found in sliced berries, suggests Devon Metz, founder of Fit Health Into Life in Boulder, CO. Or try what’s on sale or in season: cherries, mango, pineapple, oranges, watermelon—anything to add flavor, vitamins, and antioxidants. Can’t get fresh fruit? Just as with seltzer, try a splash—a quarter cup or less—of fruit juice for flavor with few calories.”

7. Change Up Your Cubes: “Freeze some fruit juice into ice cubes to add flavor that releases slowly in your water. Or drop some fresh berries or sliced grapes into your ice cube trays, or use frozen berries as if they were cubes. Changing just the texture of your cubes can create a new experience, if not taste, says Jack. So trade cubed for crushed, or vice versa.”

8. Make It Sassy: “As part of the best-selling Flat Belly Diet, dieters stay hydrated with this stomach-soothing recipe for Sassy Water. It combines fresh ginger, cucumber, lemon, and spearmint for a belly-pleasing (and slimming) cocktail.”

9. Eat Something Instead: “Eat more fruit,” says Alan Aragon, MS, a nutritionist in Westlake Village, CA. “Fruits are 80 to 90% water, and you’re getting a bunch of good nutrition that people tend to miss in their diets—potassium, fiber, folate, vitamin A, vitamin C.” Vegetables will do the trick too. Aragon suggests a salad of tomatoes, onions, lettuce, cucumbers, and other water-rich greens.”

10. Switch It Up:Simply change the way you drink water—out of a glass instead of a bottle, for example—says Jack. Or drink it at a different temperature. “If you change the temperature, you can change the experience, and that can be enough,” Jack says. Plus, “cold water takes longer to drink.” If you want to down it faster—to get your water-intake over with—drink it at room temperature instead of icy cold.”

Can you think of other ways to help make drinking water less boring as we keep an eye on our Seniors?

Please click on ‘Comments’ below and partner with us in sharing some of your own great ideas!

Care4You staff and caregivers are always looking for creative ways to help our Seniors and their families stay hydrated, especially throughout the hot months of summer!


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Summertime memories with our Seniors


Wow, summertime is upon us with all the fun that accompanies this beautiful time of year! Lots of great things to do, from going to the beach or to the pool, going camping, attending summer concerts, fairs, carnivals and festivals!!

For young people it can be freedom from their studies at school or finding a summer job! It can mean time with family, whether it’s playing together or even doing something constructive like cleaning out the garage, the bedrooms, donating old toys or clothes that are no longer played with or worn.

For our elderly, it can be a joyful time of visits from the family! I remember as a little girl, while our friends were at the beach for the summer, my sisters and I were at our grandmother’s home in the mountains! Two whole months of fun with grandmom! For me it didn’t get any better than that!!

Every summer before we arrived, she would bake one of her famous recipes, ‘Raisin-filled cookies’ and she would put them in an empty potato chip can, along with all the love that was in her! Back then I didn’t appreciate her efforts like I do now! I just wanted one of those cookies upon arrival…after I gave her a big hug and a kiss, of course! It was so good to see her!

We were really active during those two months! We would play with the kids in the neighborhood, running races, jumping over bushes in the yard to see who could jump the highest! We would go to the river to catch little minnows by hand or we would fish off of the bridge! We would skip rocks and see who could skip more times than the other kids!

We would go to baseball games in the evening, play dress up in our grandmother’s old evening gowns during the day. There were volleyball games, badminton, cards games with the kids on the street, sliding down the side of the grass hill on cardboard…can I tell you that we had a ball!!

Grandmom was cool! She loved us being there and I can imagine she might have been sad but yet a tiny bit glad when September came and we had to leave to go back to school but I always felt loved by her and I loved her dearly! Like most of us when we grow up, I really appreciate her more now than ever!! I look back and I am so glad that even though I sometimes wanted to go to the beach like the other kids, I wouldn’t have traded my time with my grandmother for anything in the world!!

Making memories with our loved ones…that’s summer fun! And even more so, making memories with our grandparents…now that’s just absolutely wonderful! I loved the contact I had with my grandmom and I have to say that every senior I ever spent time with throughout my childhood right into my adulthood, has made me the Senior Advocate that I am today!!

Summertime is a wonderful time for children! And when it includes time with our wonderful seniors, whether grandmom, grandpop or the elderly neighbor down the street, they can grow a respect and a love for our ‘Goldens’ that will stay with them right into adulthood.

And for all of us at Care4You…we wholeheartedly agree!!


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Scams against our Elderly

  • Posted On June 4, 2014
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By


They are out there and they are being run by people who seem to have one vice in common…greed!!

I was speaking with an elderly woman recently who told me that she had a horrible week due to a run in with people that tried to scam both she and her dear husband.

Those involved in bringing this terror were heartless, according to this woman. The culprits constantly called them on the phone, trying to breed their vicious scam.

Her husband was frightened and couldn’t sleep. He was up all night, pacing the floor in fear that these intruders into their lives would come by their home and do damage.

For you see, unfortunately this couple was a victim of one of the top ten scams going on especially with the elderly today…the Sweepstakes and Lottery Scam!

They called in law enforcement who did their best to help them through this evil and everything was set in place to remedy what had been lost.

This lovely woman who is her husband’s caregiver, (he has early stage Alzheimer’s Disease) said the money that was lost was not as much the issue as the intrusion into their lives which has left such a fear in them that she just shook her head in sadness as she looked towards the floor wondering how they could have fallen for such a scheme.

My heart broke as I listened to her words and all I could say to her was, “I’m so sorry!!”

But inside I grew angry!! Angry that anyone would do this to another person, especially to two of our seniors!!

It’s just plain unfair and something all of us need to be aware of and be willing to watch out for those who especially walk in their golden years. Some of the most trusting people that you and I know!

This couple is more wise now and on alert….the lesson is learned but like any violation, the effects of the scam may take years to remove and for them to ever feel completely safe again.

She wondered why more isn’t being done to alert seniors about this. I said that many who are senior advocates, from companies who specialize in the caring of our elderly to senior centers, are making a really good effort to get the word out.

So what are the top 10 scams going on today that target especially the elderly? While doing some research, I came across the NCOA and found their ‘Top 10.’

Please take a good look at the list below from the National Council on Aging and through the ‘source link’ provided, you will be given more detail about each one. Then talk with your family, your friends and please ask them to make sure that our Seniors are also informed. Maybe if we all shine the light on those who choose to walk this evil way, they will no longer be able to defraud any of us!

1. Health Care/Medicare/Health Insurance Fraud
Every U.S. citizen or permanent resident over age 65 qualifies for Medicare, so there is rarely any need for a scam artist to research what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of some money.

2. Counterfeit Prescription Drugs
Most commonly, counterfeit drug scams operate on the Internet, where seniors increasingly go to find better prices on specialized medications.

3. Funeral & Cemetery Scams
The FBI warns about two types of funeral and cemetery fraud perpetrated on seniors.
In one approach, scammers read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them, scammers will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts.

4. Fraudulent Anti-Aging Products
In a society bombarded with images of the young and beautiful, it’s not surprising that some older people feel the need to conceal their age in order to participate more fully in social circles and the workplace. After all, 60 is the new 40, right?
It is in this spirit that many older Americans seek out new treatments and medications to maintain a youthful appearance, putting them at risk of scammers.

5. Telemarketing
Perhaps the most common scheme is when scammers use fake telemarketing calls to prey on older people, who as a group make twice as many purchases over the phone than the national average.

6. Internet Fraud
While using the Internet is a great skill at any age, the slower speed of adoption among some older people makes them easier targets for automated Internet scams that are ubiquitous on the web and email programs.

7. Investment Schemes
Because many seniors find themselves planning for retirement and managing their savings once they finish working, a number of investment schemes have been targeted at seniors looking to safeguard their cash for their later years.

8. Homeowner/Reverse Mortgage Scams
Scammers like to take advantage of the fact that many people above a certain age own their homes, a valuable asset that increases the potential dollar value of a certain scam.

9. Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams
This simple scam is one that many are familiar with, and it capitalizes on the notion that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”
Here, scammers inform their mark that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes of some kind and need to make some sort of payment to unlock the supposed prize.

10. The Grandparent Scam
The Grandparent Scam is so simple and so devious because it uses one of older adults’ most reliable assets, their hearts.
Scammers will place a call to an older person and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?”

Source: NCOA National Council on Aging:

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!’