BrightStar Care - February 2019


FEB 2019



M ost everyone is familiar with what we call “The Jim and Judy Show,” but for those who aren’t, my wife and I struck out on our own to create something meaningful for our community. 2009 wasn’t exactly a booming time for the American economy, but Judy’s heart to serve and my desire to be in an honorable pursuit proved to be enough for us to not just get off the ground, but also thrive. We clung to these passions and continued to find ways to serve every step of the way through our journey. While most of you might be familiar with how we got off the ground, you might not be up to speed with where operations went from there. I remember reading an article years ago about do’s and don’ts for couples working in a business together. When your professional and personal lives are woven together so tightly, it’s easy to get overwhelmed — any advice was welcome. Essentially, the counseling boiled down to the idea that if each person had their own responsibilities outside of each other, the dynamic usually functioned well. Where breakdowns start to happen is where overlap occurs. For the most part, Judy and I were in different arms of the business, but just like all couples, sparks flew on occasion. However, when you have a woman like Judy in your life, it’s easy to work through any complications.

Judy is a little bit older than me, so when she retired, we were a bit worried about how we might replace her dedication to people. No one loves our clients like Judy

Flickinger. However, when Kelly Hahn came onboard, we

knew our clients and nurses were in good hands. Unfortunately, Kelly succumbed to illness, and in November, she

passed away. Our hearts have not been the same since this tragic loss. We continue to work forward after her passing. Some thought this would open the door for Judy to come back, but she’s found a great life in retirement. Life outside of business is actually more complicated than it was when we were working together. We used to be unified under that common platform. Our lifestyles were the same when we showed up at the office every day. Now, Judy has her activities, and I work 10–12-hour days. What keeps my head on straight during this chapter of our story comes from a devotional I read awhile back. It was through the lens of someone who wasn’t married, and it gave me perspective on how crucial it is to grow old together. I haven’t thought of myself as old until recently, but as I look at aging, I see Judy and I growing old together. We may not be together in the office, but we’re still bound to each other in life. I’m not actively looking to retire anytime soon, and as long as Judy is in my life, I don’t think I’ll need to.

—Jim Flickinger President

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We live in the golden age of information. The answers to many of life’s questions are just an internet search away. Despite this readily available wisdom, we still have a bad habit of believing health-related myths. Here are three popular health “facts” that are total works of fiction.

The 5-Second Rule Keeps Food Safe

Obviously germs and bacteria don’t really wait five seconds to pounce, but snatching your chip off the floor fast keeps most of the germs away, right? Not according to a 2006 study published by Dr. Paul Dawson. He found conclusive evidence that when food comes into contact with a contaminated surface, bacteria are transferred immediately. Even one second spent on tile, wood, or carpet is enough to infest your food with salmonella or another serious contaminant. People seeking out safer water alternatives increases the sales of bottled “spring water” each year. However, bottled water is more expensive, bad for the environment, and, as Dr. Morton Tavel of the Indiana University School of Medicine pointed out, over 50 percent of bottled water is just filtered tap water. The same effect can be achieved with a home Bottled Water Is Safer Than Tap Water


Success Stories

Have You Heard the Good News?

My daughter has received services from the amazing BrightStar Care staff for the past 10 years. She requires transportation and assistance with errands in the community on a weekly basis. She has always been matched with warm and friendly caregivers she relates to as friends. She always arrives home happy and feeling independent, which is important to her. Most important to me is their ability to tailor services to my daughter's needs rather than the other way around. -Nancy Mueller

When we called Brightstar of Central Dupage, Sonia answered and listened carefully to what our needs were. She then referred us to Diane Thorson, who has since helped our family so much in medication management for our loved one. Diane even went the extra mile at one point: When our loved one became ill, Diane went out of her way to stop off at a store to pick up chicken soup, crackers, and bottled water on her way to check up on our loved one! Not only is Diane very qualified (she is an RN), she is also very reliable, caring, and has a very cheerful personality! We are very thankful to have Brightstar, and especially Diane, helping us! -Judy Wang

John 16:33— “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11— “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” Philippians 4:19— “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13–14— “One thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus”


Ephesians 4:32— Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you”



filtration system. Of course, if the tap water in your area has been contaminated, bottled water is a safer alternative. However, in most circumstances, bottled water is no healthier than tap water.


Cracking Your Knuckles Causes Arthritis

The connection between knuckle-cracking and arthritis came from studies where participants self- reported their habits. Modern medical research has shown these results to be false. The official stance from the John Hopkins Arthritis Center states, “There is no evidence that cracking knuckles causes any damage such as arthritis in the joints.” Still, chronic knuckle- cracking can lead to reduced grip strength, so you might want to break the habit anyway.

With an extensive amount of external stimuli for nurses — heart rate monitors, pages, sensors, patient requests, etc. — it’s easy to have something important fall through the cracks. This complication has become such an everyday reality for so many hospital workers that the term “alarm fatigue” is now a common diagnosis for many mishaps. According to reports from the Cleveland Clinic, the desensitization caused by the variety of noises is involved in 44 percent of undetected cardiac arrests. When 1 in 4 patients does not survive hospitalized cardiac arrest, the necessity for proper recognition is even more pivotal. Hospitals around the country are taking note of this epidemic and implementing a new practice that could prevent any future avoidable deaths. Centralized patient monitoring allows for dedicated viewers outside of medical locations to oversee patients in real time. Through sensors, high-definition cameras, and other advanced equipment, accurate data on blood pressure and heart rate can be collected by a remote observer. With this focus on individual patients, detection rates have skyrocketed and helped save lives across the country. A 2016 study demonstrated a 93 percent survival rate for patients in hospitals who applied centralized monitoring. New advancements in this technology have yielded further positive results, making the possibilities for 2019 even more exciting. This new wave could be the future of making hospitals safer than ever. Is it right for you?

You’ve probably heard these myths for years, but just because something is common knowledge doesn’t mean it is true. With information so easily available, always take the time to research the facts, especially when it comes to your health.

TIRAMISU Inspired by


• 6 egg yolks • 3 tablespoons sugar • 1 poundmascarpone cheese • 1 1/2 cups strong espresso, cooled • 2 teaspoons dark rum • 24 packaged ladyfingers • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings, for garnish 1. In a large mixing bowl, use a whisk to beat together egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. 2. Addmascarpone cheese and beat until smooth. 3. Fold in 1 tablespoon of espresso. 4. In a small, shallow dish, combine remaining espresso with rum. Dip each ladyfinger intomixture for 5 seconds. Place soaked ladyfingers at the bottomof a walled baking dish. 5. Spread half of the mascarpone mixture on top of the first layer of ladyfingers. Top with another layer of ladyfingers and another layer of mascarpone. 6. Cover and refrigerate 2–8 hours. 7. Remove from fridge, sprinkle with chocolate shavings, and serve. INSTRUCTIONS

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The Sequel to The Jim and Judy Show 1 Let’s Retire These Health Myths Success Stories Have You Heard the Good News? 2 Tiramisu What Do You Know About Centralized Monitoring? 3 3 Ways to Invest in Yourself After Retirement 4

If you know someone in need of home care or more e-learning materials, contact


3 Ways to Invest in Yourself After Retirement

You’ve spent your entire life being told to save, save, save. Now you’re finally retired, so it’s time to spend some of that money—but you’re scared! This is only natural because it means breaking a lifelong habit of socking away money and refusing to touch it. You’re not alone. A recent study of retirees’ spending habits showedmany people actually spend less than they can afford to. They’re scared of the “what ifs” that come with living on a fixed income. However, at age 70 1/2, you have to start taking the requiredminimumdistributions (RMDs) from your traditional IRA and 401(k) whether you want to or not. Instead of stressing over the fact that you’re pullingmoney out of these accounts, embrace the opportunity to do something for yourself. Travel It can be tempting to hold off spendingmoney as long as possible. After all, who knows how long you need your savings to last? Travel, however, is one thing you can indulge in early without feeling guilty. Even the most leisurely trips can be physically demanding, so it’s better to see the world at 70 rather than wait until you’re 90. To keep yourself on track financially, use the bucket system to set up a separate savings account just for travel. Invest in Your Home Once you no longer have to work five days a week, you’ll be in your home more often, so why not make it amazing? An in- ground pool or a private tennis court might be outside your budget, but

new kitchen countertops or a deeper

tub will add a touch of luxury to the space you spend the most time in. Upgrading your home is almost always a good investment because it adds equity, which will pay off down the road. That extra cash will come in handy if you decide to sell later on in order to downsize or you plan to enter assisted living. Don’t forget to set aside money for ongoing maintenance, such as a newwater heater or roof repairs. Go Back to College It might sound counterintuitive to go to college when you’re not planning to go back to work, but continuing your education after retirement offers many benefits. Many individuals find themselves withmore time on their hands than they’re accustomed to, and without a plan to fill this time, it’s easy to become depressed or isolated. Numerous studies have shown that continuing to exercise your brain has a positive impact on cognitive function, so taking a few classes can be the perfect way to stay busy and keep your mind sharp. Attending school late in life is also a great opportunity to indulge your passions and learnmore about subjects you’ve always been interested in. Many colleges offer free classes or reduced tuition to seniors, so check with your local schools and see what classes or programs they have available.



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