Letter From a Former Client

Today I wanted to share a letter we received from a former client*, I’ll call her L.

Several months after our client passed away, his daughter emailed us this letter:

I do not know how to begin to thank you for the exceptional care and compassion you and all of your staff and caregivers showed towards my father and my entire family during our time of need.  It has been several months already since my father passed away, and as I look back on those few months that he was not able to care for himself, there was such an obvious turning point the moment we came in contact with your group.  I just wish we had found you sooner!

I will always be grateful that we found Capability to see my Dad through his final days.  

Sincerely,

L

Before we came on board her dad had been on hospice- and the family had hired an agency to help take care of him throughout the day. Many people don’t realize that when hospice is in place, the care they provide is not 24 hours a day; so often families hire extra help to take care of the day to day stuff (ADL’s, bathing, med management, companionship, housekeeping).

Unfortunately, our client was very unhappy with the care the agency was providing (for a number of reasons; which included poor communication, concerns with transfers, rotation of staff and non pro-active caregivers)- so they brought Capability Homecare on board to take over.

After meeting with the client and his family, Capability Homecare developed a care plan specific to their situation. By meeting with them as a family- and careful listening, we then had a better understanding of exactly what went wrong with the other agency- and how we could better meet their needs.

We then used our Care Match system to find the perfect caregivers to meet these specific requirements. Our caregivers were ‘live in care’- meaning they lived in the client’s home and were able to provide care as needed.  Our amazing caregivers had the pleasure of serving this client until he passed away.

It’s letters like this that make our day. We are so blessed to do the work that we do- and so honored to be a part of someone’s life at such a crucial time.  Thank you, “L” for taking the time to write.

*We always ask client’s permission before sharing their letters.

Senior Centers for those who Age In Place

One of the benefits to moving to a retirement community is the opportunity for social interactions with other seniors. However, numerous studies have shown that most elderly people prefer to remain at home rather than move. The choice to ‘age in place’ is one we fully support at Capability Homecare, yet we also recognize the importance of social interactions and life enrichment.

Luckily, in the Seattle/ Eastside area we have a number of senior centers that provide these social needs- for those seniors who want to ‘age in place‘. It’s the best of both worlds- you get to stay in your home but also have the opportunity to get out, see friends, have a nice meal, play games, learn a craft, participate in outings and enjoy life!

Besides the social interaction, one advantage of senior centers is that they connect older adults to a variety of services. There are many services available to the senior population- yet educating them on all of their options is sometimes difficult. Senior centers can be that gathering place where information is available.

Some of the other benefits to a senior center include:

  • Information and assistance
  • Health, Fitness and wellness programs
  • Meal and nutrition programs
  • Transportation services
  • Public benefits counseling
  • Employment assistance
  • Volunteer opportunities
  • Social and recreational activities
  • Educational and arts programs
  • Intergenerational programs

The best news is that participating in a senior center can actually be good for you!

“Research shows that older adults who participate in senior center programs can learn to manage and delay the onset of chronic disease and experience measurable improvements in their physical, social, spiritual, emotional, mental, and economic well-being.”*

Check out the list below to find the senior center closest to you!  

Ballard Northwest Senior Activity Center

5429 – 32nd Avenue Northwest
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 297-0403
(206) 297-0558 (FAX)
Burien Senior Program
14700 6TH Ave SW
Burien, WA 98166
(206) 988-3700

Central Area Senior Center
500 30th Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98144
(206) 461-7816

Columbia Club
424 Columbia St.
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 448-5021

Greenwood Senior Center
525 N 85th St.
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 297-0875

International Drop-In Center
409 Maynard Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 587-3735

Northwest Senior Center
5429 32nd Ave. NW
Seattle, WA 98107
(206) 461-7811

Pike Market Senior Center
1931 1st Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
(206) 728-2773

Ravenna-Bryant Senior Center
6559 Ravenna Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98115
(206) 527-0718

Salvation Army Senior Center
9002 16th SW
Seattle, WA 98106-2354
(206) 763-8842

Senior Center Of West Seattle
4217 SW Oregon
Seattle, WA 98116
(206) 932-4044Shoreline Senior Center
18560 1st Ave. NE #1
Seattle, WA 98155
(206) 365-1536

South Park Senior Center
8201 10th Ave. S
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 767-3650

Southeast Seattle Senior Center
4655 S Holly St.
Seattle, WA 98118
(206) 722-0317

Tallmadge Hamilton House
5225 15th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98105
(206) 524-0473

Wallingford Senior Center
4649 Sunnyside Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103
(206) 461-7825

King County outside of Seattle

Auburn Senior Center
808 9th St SE
Auburn WA 98002-4132
(253) 931-3016

Federal Way Senior Center
4016 S. 352nd
Auburn, WA 98001
(253) 838-3604

Muckleshoot Indian Tribe
Senior Center
39015 172nd Ave. SE
Auburn, WA 98002
(253) 939-3311

North Bellevue Community Center/City of Bellevue Aging Services
4063 148th Ave. NE (PO Box 90012)
Bellevue, WA 98009-9012
(425) 452-7681
E-Mail: nbcsc@bellevuewa.gov

Black Diamond Senior Center
31605 3rd Ave. (PO Box 220)
Black Diamond WA 98010
(360) 886-2418

Northshore Senior Center
10201 E. Riverside Dr.
Bothell, WA 98011
(425) 487-2441

Sno-Valley Senior Center
P.O. Box 96
Carnation, WA 98014
(425) 333-4152

Des Moines Senior Center
22030 Cliff Ave. S.
Des Moines, WA 98198
(206) 878-1642

Enumclaw Senior Center
1350 Cole St.
Enumclaw, WA 98022-2633
(360) 825-4741

Klahanee Senior Center
33901 9th Ave.
Mail To: 33530 1st Way S.
Federal Way, WA 98003
(253) 661-4151

Issaquah Valley Senior Center
105 2nd Ave. NE (PO Box 786)
Issaquah, WA 98027-0786
(425) 392-2381

Kent Senior Center
600 E. Smith St.
Kent, WA 98031-4628
(253) 859-3342

Kirkland Senior Center
352 Kirkland Avenue
Kirkland, WA 98033
(425) 828-1223

Mercer Island Parks and Recreation
2040 84th Av SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040
(206) 236-3545

Mount Si Senior Center
411 S. Main St. (P.O. Box 806)
North Bend, WA 98045
(425) 888-3434

Pacific/Algona Senior Center
100 3rd Ave. SE
Pacific, WA 98047-1335
(253) 931-8289

Redmond Senior Center
8703 160th Ave. NE
Redmond, WA 98052-3534
(425) 556-2314

Renton Senior Center
211 Burnett Avenue North
Renton, WA 98055-1626
(425) 430-6633

North Seatac Park
Community Center
13735 24th Ave. S.
Sea Tac, WA 98168
(206) 439-9273

Tukwila Senior Program
12424-42nd Ave. South
Tukwila, WA 98168-3133
(206) 768-2822

Vashon-Maury Senior Center
P.O. Box 848
Vashon Island, WA 98070
(206) 463-5173

http://www.scn.org/seniors/senior_ctrs.html

*Source: http://www.ncoa.org/press-room/fact-sheets/senior-centers-fact-sheet.html#sthash.49aIE2NF.dpuf

 

Education and Support for Adult Children of Seniors

At Capability Homecare we love to be a resource for events in our community.

Sara Shelton, MS Gerontology & Owner of Seattle Aging Solutions is offering a 6 week program to help educate the adult children of seniors.

The program will offer:

  • tools for coping with stress, guilt and feeling overwhelmed

  • Strategies for communicating effectively with your parents and other family members

  • Emotional support from others who are in a similar situation and understand

Workshop will be held at Ida Culver, Broadview starting Tuesday, Oct 15th from 6:30-8:30 pm and will run through November 19th.

Cost: $250 for one attendee and $400 for two attendees

For more information, call Sara at 206. 228. 2446 or email her at: sara@seattleaging.com

September is World Alzheimer’s Month

Considering that 1 in 3 seniors will die with either Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia*, and more than 5 million Americans* are living with the disease, it is very relevant that September is World’s Alzheimer’s Month.

Capability Homecare specializes in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s– it is a disease that hits very close to home for us.  Our caregivers are highly trained and experienced at working with seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s.

What’s important to know is that families who have a loved one with Alzheimer’s are often stressed, confused and exhausted. You are not alone.

At Capability Homecare, we want to make sure you take care of yourself  and find ways to alleviate the stress and burden of caring for a loved one with this disease.

Some ways to take care of yourself include exercise, joining a support group and hiring outside help to give you some respite.

Other important things to do when faced with Alzheimer’s is to make sure you get as much information as possible. There are many resources available to help educate you about the disease.  There are wonderful books, films and lecture series that deal specifically with Alzheimer’s. Social workers at your doctor’s office or local hospital are a great resource for this.

One way to get involved is to support Alzheimer’s research.   On September 21st (in Seattle) there will be a Walk to End Alzheimer’s– have you considered forming a team? For more information- click here!

Source: http://www.alz.org/alzheimers_disease_facts_and_figures.asp

A Revolving Door Policy? Not for Us!

 I had a meeting with an attorney a few weeks ago and he mentioned that the Homecare firms he refers his clients to have a system in place to rotate their caregivers.  If you are unfamiliar with what that means- let me explain.

 Let’s say a client needs care 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Instead of assigning one caregiver to that client, these Homecare agencies rotate who will be providing the care.  Each week (or each day) a different person will show up to take care of the senior.

He claims that they do this so that the caregiver doesn’t have time to develop a relationship with the client.  Therefore it is less likely they will have the opportunity to take advantage of the senior.  His belief was that by having a different caregiver- the client will be protected from any misconduct.

Capability Homecare disagrees with this theory.

While we recognize the need to ensure a senior is safe and protected, we don’t think this is accomplished by having a revolving door of caregivers coming in and out of the senior’s home.  In fact, this exposure to so many different people might even make it easier to take advantage of the client.

At Capability Homecare we assign one caregiver to each client (or possibly two if it is more than 40 hours a week) because we believe that by having the same caregiver taking care of a client they are able to develop a true relationship. In fact, our motto is ‘a relationship you can trust’.

Our primary goal is match the caregiver’s personality to the senior’s personality. We employ 2 full time recruiters whose job is to do background checks, reference checks, and also to screen, interview and get to know our caregivers so that we can confidently assign them to a client knowing it will be a good fit. Our recruiters spend hours finding the best caregiver- it’s so important to us that it’s worth the extra time and effort.

Contrary to our competitors, we want our clients to build a trusting relationship with the person caring for them.

I know in the case of my grandfather this couldn’t be more important! He absolutely loves his caregiver- and if for some reason she isn’t able to be there- it completely stresses my grandpa out. It ruins his whole day- and as a fragile 92 year old man, this is the last thing we want to worry about. He counts on Erin being there- and relies on that consistency.

In addition to peace of mind for the client, it is also extremely important in terms of the actual care. By having the same caregiver each shift, the caregiver gets to know the client and what their needs are, what their likes and dislikes are, what sort of personality they have (talkative, private, depressed, forgetful…), what sort of food they like, what activities they enjoy…

By having the same caregiver each time the caregiver is completely familiar with the care plan and what the requirements are. By having a new caregiver each week, there is extra burden on making sure they are familiar with the specific details of the care plan.  Without this familiarity, mistakes can easily be made. With a medically fragile senior- a mistake can be extremely dangerous and even life threatening.

As for the protection of the senior- this is also extremely important to us.  Capability Homecare uses a process of extensive background checks, reference checks and interviews so that we feel confident that the person we have hired is a trustworthy individual. To further ensure that level of safety- we do random safety checks. We also feel it is extremely important to constantly communicate with the client and the client’s family.  As an added precaution- we have even gone so far as to offer Lifelock to some clients who require live in care.

So it’s your choice- would you rather see your loved one cared for by someone who has taken the time to get to know them and will treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve, or would you rather just have a random person show up to do the job?

Call Capability Homecare today to find out more about our homecare services 425 679-5770.

Capability Homecare, A Relationship you can Trust

Mary and Don* are an elderly couple who live in Marysville. Don was being discharged from Marysville Care Center and Mary was concerned that she wouldn’t be able to help Don at home as much as needed- that’s where Capability Homecare came in.

Mary called Capability Homecare to inquire about our services- and we immediately set up a meeting to help Mary understand her options and to help her learn more about who we are as a company.

Our motto is ‘A relationship you can trust’ and that is very important to us. We want our clients to feel completely comfortable and at ease about using our services. We consider every client to be like our family- and we carefully select our caregivers with that standard in mind.

Mary wasn’t sure exactly what help she would need.  She felt scared, unsure and overwhelmed. Here was her husband of 35 years needing help that she felt unable to provide.

Fortunately, our caregivers are Certified Nursing Assistants, and specifically trained in providing homecare.

They are able to assist Don with Activities of Daily Living such as bathing and getting dressed. They help transfer him from his chair to his walker. They encourage him to participate in his rehab exercises. They cook healthy, nutritious meals to help Don in his recovery.  They accompany him on his doctor’s appointments and assist with housework- so that Mary can simply enjoy spending time with her husband.

When Mary called us- she had no idea what she was getting into- but she has relied on Capability Homecare over the past year and a half to care for her husband. We now feel like family and are proud to be a part of their lives. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to be of service.

*names have been changed to protect privacy

Client Profile, John & Ann

John and Ann* have been clients of Capability Homecare for over 2 years. They are a sweet couple who never had any children of their own. As they have grown older, and Ann has had some health problems, they decided to hire Capability Homecare to provide Live In Caregivers to help them Age in Place.

They decided that rather than move to an ‘old folk’s home’, they would rather stay in the home they lovingly built 40 years ago. It’s a serene place, on a quiet road and backs up the a river. Sitting on their deck, listening to the sound of the water while watching the wildlife is a large part of their lives- and giving that up is inconceivable.

So is moving away from their neighbors.  They love the comfort and security of knowing everyone around them. It’s a safe and familiar place. Yet they are unsafe all alone. It is essential that they have help.

Ann uses a lift to help her transition from chair to bed- (and vice versa) and a caregiver trained in using lifts is essential- John is 80 years old, it would be impossible for him to help his wife every time she wanted to move.

Furthermore, they can no longer cook their own meals, clean their house, or take care of personal needs. Having a live in caregiver allows them the luxury of having every need met- within the comfort of their home.

Their caregiver feels like part of the family, she truly loves them- and would do anything for them- including staying at their home during the snowstorm and power outage.

Although it was difficult to actually get to their remote house, the owner of Capability Homecare was able to drive the caregiver to work, as well as bring a load of camping supplies to help keep them comfortable.

He brought a camping stove, heater, lanterns, food and other provisions. The entire journey took well over 2 hours. But, unlike some companies who actually charge their clients for this extra time and effort- it was (of course) free to our clients. To us, charging for that extra service is unthinkable- we were simply doing the right thing- taking care of our client in need.

That is what Capability Homecare is built on- the core belief that you simply do the right thing- no matter what.

Please call Capability Homecare today if you or your loved needs care in the home. 425 679-5770, or check out our website.

*Client’s names have been changed