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The September Edition | September 14, 2017
Katherine Peters
President & CEO

Message from the President

Greetings friend, and welcome to the September Comfort Connection! 
In my July newsletter, I talked about being more active outside and enjoying the weather. I took up that challenge myself and decided to walk to work at least twice a week. I’m happy to say I managed to keep that promise to myself and found some unexpected pleasures along the way!
Although I work out, I really don’t walk much. At first the 18-minute walk was a little tiring! But after a few days, it was so easy, and much more pleasurable! I anticipated enjoying the added activity, and loved the warm sunshine! But what surprised me was what it did for my soul!
I usually jump into the car, drive it out of the garage, go straight to work, jump out of the car, and head straight into the building. This little walk made me feel energized in a whole different way: 
Watching a little girl pet a cat under a tree and stopping to pet that same cat myself.
Watching the squirrels chase each other as they climb higher and higher up the tree, jumping from one branch to another; and for a grand finale, performing an indescribable high wire act across a telephone wire.
Saying hi to the neighbours who were out walking or watering their flower beds.
Observing Zumba aerobics in the park was inspiring all by itself, and listening as the loud Latino music followed me all the way home.
Walking to work opened up a whole new world to me I would have completely missed had I not decided to walk to work twice a week.
I was also able to get in a few phone conversations while I was walking. Fortunately, I was also able to blow off the steam as I walked that accumulated from the stressful phone conversations! Haha, the antidote was immediate!
Walking is good for so many things! I’m glad I followed through. How about you? I hope you enjoyed your summer and got to enjoy some added gifts waiting for you outside your door!


Katherine Peters
President & CEO

Caregiver of the Season

This month's Caregiver of the Season is Ari F! She has been a part of the Comforts of Home - Care team since April 2015.
Ari loves working for Comforts of Home - Care: she feels ours is a company that is dedicated to providing quality care.
She also really likes the freedom it gives her to be able to do things with her clients, such as going for walks outside and spending time doing activities they enjoy, as opposed to simply staying in their homes. It's important to Ari that the clients she works with feel comfortable with her and truly enjoy the time she spends with them.
Ari enjoys our outgoing staff and the support she receives from the entire team here at Comforts of Home - Care. She loves meeting new clients and being able to be there for them!
In her spare time, Ari likes to go on walks, read books, visit the beach, and spend quality time with family and friends. She is an amazing caregiver who truly cares about the needs of all of her clients and will accommodate in every way possible to take care of them! Thank you, Ari, for all that you do!

Recipe of the Month: Apple & Walnut Couscous Salad

Transition from summer to autumn with this tasty, satisfying Apple & Walnut Couscous Salad!
Enjoy this dish for lunch or as a side dish. It's fast to put together and the combination of flavours and textures make this salad a winner!

Video: Kids Meet a Woman with Alzheimer's

In this powerful video, children get the opportunity to meet and connect with a woman with Alzheimer's, and get to hear first-hand what her experience is like.

Click here to watch the video now

Care Plans: The Secret to Confident Caregiving

This article is a helpful primer about the importance of having a care plan in place for your loved one. This process can be facilitated by a reputable care service, who will typically perform a thorough assessment, help you develop a Care Plan customized to your loved one’s needs and then provide the support you need to execute it, ensuring your loved one can safely enjoy life.
Whatever your specific situation, be aware that the nature of providing care for someone can change in an instant. Therefore it can be especially beneficial to organize your myriad caregiver tasks into an plan of action. Then, should anything change, you will have a list of available resources ready to help you meet new and emerging needs. A care plan can be a casual organization tool, an informal or verbal agreement with a loved one, or a formal contract used to coordinate payment for care services. Plans can vary from daily to-do lists to detailed weekly accounts of amounts and types of care provided. The following steps can help you create  your very first care plan or reevaluate your current plan.
Assess the situation
The first step in the process is an assessment of your loved one’s home environment, activities of daily living (ADLs), medical and legal documents, and financial situation, to see what is working well and what is not. 
Identify needs and set goals
Based on the results of the care assessment, make a list of all concerns with the highest priorities at the top. Your loved one’s immediate health and wellbeing are the top priority, so for example if they are losing weight, this problems must be dealt with first. Next, setting goals for their wellbeing will provide a proactive approach to ensuring their quality of life.
A care plan is an ideal approach to longer-term objectives like financial, advance care, estate and funeral planning. These preparations are extremely important, so they should be a top priority to address. Your loved one’s participation in this process is paramount, as long as they are still competent to make these decisions.
Create a well-rounded care team
A caregiver shouldn’t have to coordinate and execute all of these tasks unaided. Embarking on this journey alone frequently leads to damaging caregiver burnout. The purpose of creating a care team is to gather all resources at your disposal and encourage cooperation amongst all those willing to participate in your loved one’s care. Friends, family, neighbours, and other community members are the first tier of support.
The more complex medical, legal and financial aspects of a care plan are then best handled by elder care professionals such as in-home or respite care services, elder law attorneys, therapists, benefits counsellors, certified public accountants (CPAs), financial advisors, social workers, and geriatric care managers, who can be valuable additions to your care team.
Match team members with solutions
Some team member’s specific tasks will be obvious. An elder law attorney will handle drafting POA and advance directive documents, whereas a financial advisor can assist with money management strategies. Assigning specific tasks to friends and family members can be a little more challenging. Make a list of possible solutions for each need in your care plan. For example, to help Dad eat healthier meals more frequently, your sister who lives nearby could provide some pre-made meals or invite him over for dinner on a regular basis, and siblings who live far away could contribute to a food delivery service to make up the difference.
Try to identify each person’s abilities, and match them with feasible solutions. These can include proximity to the care recipient, free time in their schedule, monetary contributions, and skills like cooking, cleaning, and communicating.
Put your plan into action
The ultimate goal of having a care plan and care team in place is to promote communication and unified efforts for the welfare of care recipient and caregiver. Keep in mind that a care plan is an ever-evolving tool. Finding proper solutions may take some trial and error, and your loved one’s needs are likely to increase over the long term.
Even if your loved one does not currently need a care plan, beginning to put these pieces of the puzzle into place early can help you avoid a great deal of stress later on. Having them keep an updated file with financial and medical records including medications, health information, and legal documents can be vital in the event of an emergency. Should something happen, you will have the fundamental materials needed to make any decisions quickly and confidently.
From https://www.agingcare.com/articles/how-to-create-a-care-plan-195526.htm

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Joke of the Month

"A stockbroker urged me to buy a stock that would triple its value every year. I told him, 'At my age, I don’t even buy green bananas!' " 
- Claude Pepper
Comforts of Home - Care
P: 204.949.3234 | F: 204.949.9049 | E: info@cohcinc.com | W: ComfortsOfHomeCare.ca
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