Bright Star Care - December 2018


DEC 2018


I S YOUR LOVED ONE READY FOR ASS I STANCE? 3 Ways for Families to Combine Independence and Care

F amilies are a blessing and a curse, providing us with unwavering compassion and also sometimes significant distress. This dichotomy is amplified during the holidays, especially when an elderly loved one has to navigate the season alone. If individuals who need care are estranged or distant from their families, it’s often shocking for family members to find their relatives struggling. When family members are made aware of these struggles, many of our caregivers notice they will comment on their love one’s weight loss or the status of their living quarters, which can quickly turn a holiday into crisis intervention. We see this all the time, and that’s why I want to provide you with three ways in which you can help your senior get access to care while still giving them the power to choose. Home Care It’s extremely challenging for the elderly to accept leaving the comforts of their homes, and if we put ourselves in their shoes, it’s easy to understand why. Can you imagine spendingmost your life paying your house off, all the while making each nook and cranny your own, only to leave? For many individuals, having a little more assistance with simple daily tasks is all they need. They can bring in a cleaning person, transportation assistance, and BrightStar Care to helpmanage their personal care or socialization needs. This solution allows them to stay at home, improve their quality of life, but still maintain the independence most people

desire. BrightStar Care will maintain the freedom of the person in need and provide one-on-one attention, creating a balance between overall health and personal independence, which is difficult to find elsewhere.

Move inWith Family For those withmore extensive health needs, moving in with family becomes an option that allows them to live a little easier. Living with someone else reduces financial burdens if the costs can be shared. The bills can be split up, and everyone still has the ability to come and go as they please. The caveat is that sometimes family members don’t get along, or in other cases, pets are an issue if someone has allergies or family members may not have the available time to assist. Whenmoving in with a relative, it’s also important to factor in whether or not the medical care can be done by the family—procedures like insulin shots or medicationmanagement are simpler, but using a Hoyer Lift to transfer a loved one frombed to wheelchair isn’t as simple. Assisted Living Addressing the idea of skilled nursing assistance often pushes most senior adults away. However, there are many seniors who need this level of assisted living. Many severe cognitive needs or physical limitations require 24-hour attention and a dedicated nursing facility. For people who are still mobile and don't have severe conditions, assisted living isn’t ideal because of the personal limitations. In the end, the drawback to assisted living is a lack of space for personal items or pets. The hefty price tag is also a consideration for most, with the cost of care at these facilities rapidly rising. We frequently recommend using a balance of the aforementioned care options. Using BrightStar Care during the work week and the help from family members on the weekends lessens the financial burden while allowing the family bonding time with their loved one. Whatever you and your loved ones decide, keep inmind that no care plan works for every situation. When health, schedules, or care needs change, seniors and their support network need to adapt their care plan to the new reality. —Monica Labrot arketing and Custome Support Manager

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Cookies, cakes, and pies, oh my! The holiday season is brimming with sweet treats of all kinds. Sometimes it can feel like candy and sugary desserts are around every corner, and yet you still want to indulge. However, when you consider that over 50 percent of Americans are insulin-resistant, prediabetic, or diabetic, that piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream starts to look more dangerous than appetizing. During the holidays, how can you satisfy your sweet tooth without worrying about consuming excessive sugar and calories? Skip the candy and go for the fruits and nuts. Keeping a bowl of fruit and nuts nearby can help keep sugar cravings at bay. Dried fruits, such as cranberries, pineapple, or apricots, are both sweet and nutritious. Just be sure to check the packaging for added sugars. You can even make your own dried fruit with a food dehydrator. This way, you are completely in control of the ingredients. No matter what you do, just be mindful not to overindulge. Dried fruit is high in sugar and calories, but the fiber and vitamins make fruit much healthier than just about any other sugary treat.

Another way to cut down on your sugar intake is to use dark chocolate in all your chocolate-based treats. Dark chocolate has about half as much sugar as milk chocolate, twice as

Success Story The professional integrity of care the BrightStar Care team brought to our family has been and continues to be life-changing. The CNAs* are the Navy SEALs and guardian angels of the home health care industry. We have a complex, challenging set of circumstances and will face new health situations in the future with my parents. But with so much pain, suffering, and despair going on in the world, there is an organization dedicated to doing good, shining light, and making a dent in the universe. This mission gives me hope, not just for my family but for humanity.

Have You Heard the Good News?

1 John 3:1— See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Matthew5:15-16— Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Ephesians 5:2— And walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. James 1:12— Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

Sincere gratitude and respect, –Sushma Patel

*Certified Nursing Assistants




much healthy fat, less cholesterol, 4–5 times more iron, twice as much potassium, fewer carbs, and more flavonoids and theobromine. The antioxidant properties of the theobromine

The Walabot HOME


and flavonoids make dark chocolate as good for your heart as it is for your soul. If you have a recipe that calls for chocolate, reach for the dark stuff, whether it’s dark chocolate chips, cocoa powder, or baking chocolate.

The most common injuries among seniors stem from falls, most of which take place in their own homes. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 29 million individuals over the age of 65 experience falls that contribute to 7 million injuries annually. Due to these heightened statistics, Vayyar Imaging, a well-known company in the 3D sensor imaging technological world, invented a state-of-the-art smart home device for seniors. Just this October, they announced the launch of Walabot HOME, a small machine that uses a vastly different approach to detect falls that happen at home. Walabot HOME functions similarly to a smoke detector that operates in the background and monitors the user at all times through its use of low-power radio wave technology. Many people were initially drawn to its functionality since it doesn’t require the individual to wear a pendent or medical alert device. What’s more, the system monitors the house at all times, but it does so without the use of cameras, which allows the user to maintain their privacy. Since most falls occur in high-risk areas, like the restroom, the Walabot HOME functions better than a pendant because users can bathe or shower without having to remove their device. With the wearable devices that must be removed near water, it might be out of reach when a fall occurs in the shower or when getting out of the tub. Additionally, medical alert cameras are unable to monitor users in steamy rooms or when they are behind a shower curtain. Because it relies on its radio wave technology, the Walabot HOME detects falls no matter where they occur and places a call for help, all without sacrificing an individual’s privacy. Lastly, if the user needs to place an emergency call (even if a fall has not occurred), Walabot HOME also includes a push-style button that can immediately contact help. This device really does seem to fulfill all the requirements needed to help seniors feel safer in their homes. If you or a family member would benefit from the preventative care this device can offer, don’t hesitate to check out

While it may seem as though everyone and their grandma is overindulging in sugar this season, know that you have the

choice to opt for healthier sweets. And come New Year’s, you

won’t have to spend the first few months of 2019 working off that extra cookie weight.


Inspired by Good Housekeeping


4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth 1/2 cup heavy cream

1 small head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cored and sliced 1 leek, chopped 1 mediumonion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

• •

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

• •

1 tablespoon extra- virgin olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste


1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter into warm oil. Add onion and leek, season with salt and pepper, and cook until tender, about 10–12 minutes. 2. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add cauliflower, broth, and cream. Simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. 3. Using a blender, purée in batches until smooth. 4. Top servings with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of pepper.

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How to Balance Care and Independence 1 Indulge Your Sweet Tooth With Less Sugar This Holiday Season Success Story 2 Have You Heard the Good News? 30-Minute Cauliflower Soup Have You Heard of the Walabot HOME? 3 Scammed for the Holidays 4

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


How to Spot Fraud This Holiday Season

During the season of giving, charities receive a much-needed rush of donations as people open their hearts to others. Unfortunately, criminals are all too willing to abuse this goodwill. According to a report from the Justice Department, Americans over the age of 60 lose over $3 billion a year to scams and fraudsters. As charity scams reach their peak, here’s what you need to do to ensure your donations aren’t lining the pockets of criminals. Never Give by Phone or Email. Charities regularly reach out to past and potential donors through traditional mail, email, phone calls, or text messages. This means fraudsters will mimic their approach with less noble intentions. Because it’s impossible to determine who is on the other end of a call or email, you should never hand over your credit card information to strangers. If you really are speaking to a representative from a legitimate charity, they will direct you to a secure avenue where you can give without worry.

Feeling Pressured?Walk Away. A lot of charities set goals they want to reach before the new year, but even groups that are hoping to raise a certain amount of money know better than to pressure donors into giving. Donations should always come from the heart, and it’s a bad sign if someone insists there’s a deadline for giving. As the Better Business Bureau says, “Responsible organizations will welcome your gift tomorrow as much as they do today.” Only Give to Reputable Charities. Do some research before donating to charities. Look up any prospective charity on Charity Navigator at This service flags “high concern” organizations suspected of fraud and ranks how reliable established charities are. Even legitimate organizations can be misleading about how they spend their donations. A good rule of thumb is to avoid organizations that spendmore than 25 percent of donations on salaries or administrative costs.

There are many amazing charities and organizations that do good work. Stay vigilant tomake sure you are bringing joy to the world and not falling for a criminal looking tomake a quick buck.



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