Journeys Senior Solutions: Providing In-Home Counseling

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Journeys Senior Solutions is counseling service that serves individuals and families in Louisa, Charlottesville and surrounding counties. Owned and operated by Wendy Smith, Journeys Senior Solutions provides individual and family counseling in their offices as well as in-home counseling for the elderly, disabled and caregivers who are unable to come to the office.

“So many are no longer able to drive and many caregivers are unable to get out as they have no one to look after their loved one for them to make an office visit themselves,” says Smith. “That’s why I decided to enter this line of work. Currently, about 50% of my practice is provided to persons in their homes.”

For more information, read Journeys Senior Solution’s full profile on CareisThere.com

For more articles like this, see: Resources for Central Virginia, Aging in Place, Care for the CaregiverResources for Central Virginia – Charlottesville, Resources for Central Virginia – Harrisonburg, Resources for Central Virginia – Staunton.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?
Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

Care is There Welcomes Martha Williams

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Care is There Geriatric Care Management welcomes Martha Williams, our newest Lifestyle Coordinator, to the team. Martha’s passion for supporting and honoring seniors in our community combined with her experience working for Jefferson Area Board for Aging and caring for her own parents make her an excellent addition to the Care is There team.

“I feel called to help those who have come before me and made my life possible,” she states. She also understands how difficult it can be to be a long-distance caregiver. “It is hard enough to see your parents’ mental and physical health fail when you are nearby and able to get to them quickly, but it is almost impossible when you live far away.”

Learn more about Martha at CareisThere.com.

For more articles like this, see: News and Events

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?
Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

Team Spotlight – Wendy Smith

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wendy_smithCare is There Geriatric Care Management is operated by a group of like-minded people whose goal is to provide quality care and access to the necessary resources. Every month, we’re shining the light on the people who make Care is There what it is – a group united by that common goal.

Our August installment of Team Spotlight features Wendy Smith, a Certified Professional Geriatric Care Manager, Aging Life Care™ member and founder of Journeys Senior Solutions. We took a moment to chat with Wendy about her profession and what drives her to continue in this field:

How long have you been working at Care is There?

A little over three years.

What do you do at Care is There?

I am often the first point of contact, answering phone inquires about the services we provide, providing initial consultations either on the phone or in person. If they decide to hire Care is There, I do a complete geriatric care management assessment, develop the care plan and introduce the lifestyle coordinator who will be working with them. From there, I provide oversight and guidance to the lifestyle coordinators. I also work as a lifestyle coordinator for a couple of people.

What is the most satisfying thing about working at Care is There?

Helping people understand the maze that is long-term care, what all of their options are and what their rights are, particularly for those who are in nursing homes and other facilities. Many people have no idea what those rights are, and we have prevented many improper discharges from occurring before our clients were ready to leave. In the reverse, we have educated many as to what their alternative options are, and they realized they didn’t have to stay, that they could go home safely and have the care they needed there.

In addition to working at Care is There, you also run Journeys Senior Solutions, your counseling company. Is it difficult balancing the responsibilities of both companies?

Not really.  Some weeks are tricky if crises occur, but most weeks flow smoothly. Journeys is a private practice in the town of Louisa. About half of my practice is in office and half in the person’s home.  Many elderly and disabled persons, as well as their caregivers, are unable to get out to an office.

What services do you offer at Journeys Senior Solutions?

Mental health assessments and counseling.

Why did you start Journeys Senior Solutions?

Many years ago, while working in Adult Services for the Department of Social Services, I realized that there weren’t any counselors who provided in-home counseling for the elderly and disabled, though there are plenty who provide that service to families with children. The rate of depression and suicide among the elderly is high, so it became my goal to provide that service, which is what I am doing today.

(You can learn more about Journeys Senior Solutions here)

Read Wendy’s profile at CareisThere.com or meet the entire team on our “Team” page.

For more articles like this, see: News and Events, Team Spotlight.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?
Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

Guest Post by Kim Volker: Keeping a Journal with your Senior Loved One

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Kim Volker, a certified nursing assistant, is a Lifestyle Coordinator at Care is There. Her passion for acting as an advocate for the elderly and helping seniors in the community live life to the fullest has given her a unique insight into the small ways we can improve our loved ones’ lives. She shares one such tip with us today!

For a parent or loved one who doesn’t always remember the happy moments in their day, I suggest keeping a journal. This does not have to be anything fancy; a simple composition book works great. This journal is dictated to the caregiver, who writes down exactly what is said. As the caregiver, you should try to encourage them to share feelings they had throughout the day, visitors they saw and activities they did.

These writings are a great way for visiting family members or friends to remind your loved one of the many friends they have, the activities they still enjoy and more. They are a written account of the great things in life that they love so very much!

An example of a journal entry:

“Today I woke up feeling a little tired. I got out of bed and had a nice shower. Then breakfast was great!  Maria fixed oatmeal with raisins, my favorite! I helped fold laundry and decided to organize my closet. That was quite a chore; I will have to finish another day.

My neighbor, Opal, stopped in; we sat on the porch and talked about her son’s upcoming wedding. Opal stayed for lunch with me… we had turkey and provolone sandwiches with fresh strawberries. She will visit again next week. I enjoy her company.

I talked with my son on the phone. He is enjoying time away from work in the mountains. He says the weather is perfect and he will visit soon with amazing pictures.

This afternoon, after my nap, I wrote some thank you notes to a few friends who came over for refreshments after church on Sunday. I plan to have a few friends over on Thursday before dinner. I am continuing to work on my painting for my granddaughter’s house warming gift. I hope to get this finished soon.

I decided to stay for home dinner. I had black bean soup and a fresh spinach salad with key lime pie and raspberries for dessert. This has been a great day.”

Encourage your loved one to share their daily stories and even their trials – it is a great way to show them how amazing life is, no matter where they are in their journey.

For more articles like this, see: Long Distance Caregiving, Aging in Place, Care for the Caregiver, Communicating with Senior Citizens.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?
Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

Panel Discusses Variety of Options for In-Home Care

On Friday, August 21st, our meeting will feature a panel discussion of important information regarding different types of care available for people who want to remain in their homes. Learn more about what agencies offer and how a variety of services may benefit a client or loved one!

Jeannette Suter with Home Instead Senior Care will lead the discussion by sharing a fictional case study of a patient who ends up moving through the various levels of available care. Other panel participants include: Fred Haar of Senior Helpers, Elizabeth Swider from Care is There Geriatric Care Management, and Robbie Franklin who is with First Choice Home Health.

Join us from 9:00 – 10:30am at Bridgewater Retirement Community (302 North Second Street, Bridgewater) in the Houff Community Center. Visitors are welcome – look for the signs!

The meeting will also feature a “member spotlight” presentation as well as our monthly contest! If you’re traveling this summer and you met up with family, the person who visited the oldest relative will win a prize!

Download the meeting agenda here: Agenda AIPBRT August 2015.

About the Aging in Place Round Table from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce:  The Aging in Place Round Table seeks to educate the community about local services supporting vitality and choice in the second half of life and to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration about the issues surrounding aging in place. The group meets on the third Friday of each month from 9:00 to 10:30 am, and is open to visitors. For meeting topics and locations, visit http://www.harrisonburgseniors.com

Contact Information:

Chair – Jim Maust
Venture Builders, Inc.
540.434.7927

Co-Chair – Phyllis Friesen
Design Concrete Builders, Inc.
540.383.2982

35 Years in Hospice Care: Hospice of the Piedmont

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Hospice of the Piedmont is expanding to provide more services to a larger community of people. 2015 marks their 35th year providing end-of-life care that focuses on the quality, not the quantity, of an individual’s final days. The staff and over 200 volunteers that work for Hospice of the Piedmont ensure that no one dies alone or in pain. Their services are available to people in all walks of life, regardless of insurance or financial background – just as they have been since Hospice of the Piedmont first opened in 1980.

In 35 years, Hospice of the Piedmont has provided care for thousands of terminally ill patients and their families each year throughout the Central and Northern Virginia. Their staff of health care professionals visit patients each day in the place where they call home — be it a private residence, nursing home, assisted living facility or their Hospice House on Park Street in Charlottesville. At the patient’s home, trained volunteers and staff members provide comfort and supportive care to the patient and family members.

In addition to providing comfort to the patient, Hospice of the Piedmont provides a comprehensive set of programs that meet the end-of-life care and grief support needs of residents in Central and Northern Virginia:

  • The Center for Children delivers end-of-life care for terminally ill children and grief support for children experiencing the recent or impending loss of a loved one.
  • The Center for Grief and Healing programs provide care for neighbors experiencing a loss through education, individual counseling, and grief support groups.
  • The unique HOP Education Institute aims to increase the understanding of hospice care among healthcare professionals and our community while cultivating future hospice leaders and enhancing the skills of HOP staff and our more than 200 volunteers.
  • Their Hospice House and Center for Acute Hospice Care at UVA (opening in fall 2015) both offer round-the-clock care to patients whose needs are too great to be met at home.
  • Hospice of the Piedmont also provides free complementary services to patients and families, including music and massage therapy, Reiki therapy, the We Honor Veterans program, and other volunteer-led services that help the patient and their families deal with the pain of loss, such as support groups.

Hospice of the Piedmont is constantly growing. In 1988, they received certification to provide service under the Hospice Medicare Benefit. Their service area has expanded from just Charlottesville to include Albemarle, Augusta, Buckingham, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Green, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, Orange, and Rappahannock counties. In 2015, they integrated with Hospice of the Rapidan, in a move to expand on their ability to provide exceptional patient and family care to those seriously ill and dying in Central and Northern Virginia.

Their 35 year record is impressive – read their profile on CareisThere.com or visit their website for more information – and we look forward to another 35 years of quality hospice service from them.

For more articles like this, see: Resources for Central Virginia, Aging in Place, Care for the CaregiverResources for Central Virginia – Charlottesville, Resources for Central Virginia – Harrisonburg, Resources for Central Virginia – Staunton.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

Team Spotlight – Suzanne Brower

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Care is There Geriatric Care Management is operated by a group of like-minded people whose goal is to provide quality care and access to the necessary resources. Every month, we’re shining the light on the people who make Care is There what it is – a group united by that common goal.

Our seventh installment of Team Spotlight features Suzanne Brower, one of our talented lifestyle coordinators. We had a chance to ask Suzanne what it’s like being a lifestyle coordinator for Care is There:

How long have you been working at Care is There?

I started working with Care is There in October 2012.

What do you do at Care is There?

When I started, my client assignment was with a gentleman living independently who was transitioning into care and supervision, but did not have any local family to see to his transition. I aided him with the transition by ensuring the right care providers were on hand.

Currently, I work with two clients in care facilities, one with family in the area and one without.

What is the most satisfying thing about working at Care is There?

Most satisfying thing about working at Care is There has been the real difference I have made in the lives of my clients and the real affection I have developed for them. I have had an opportunity to guide them into medical care that, if missed, could have made a real impact on their lives. We are also in a position to be the information lifeline to our clients’ families, who value our input.

Read Suzanne’s profile at CareisThere.com or meet the entire team on our “Team” page.


For more articles like this, see: News and Events, Team Spotlight.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

Why long term care insurance should be part of the strategy for aging well

To compliment what was presented last month, we’ve decided to continue the discussion of planning well for the future. For our July 17th meeting, Charity Shahan of Northwestern Mutual and a representative from Town and Country Insurance will present details for long term care insurance and discuss other products that may help individuals pay for care and life transitions that may occur in the future.

Join us from 9:00 – 10:30am at Sunnyside Retirement Community (The Highlands) 3935 Sunnyside Drive Harrisonburg, Virginia. Visitors are welcome – look for the signs!

The meeting will also feature a “member spotlight” presentation by Dr. Michael Gowen of MobileEyes, a division of Shenandoah Eye Care. MobileEyes will come to nursing homes, rehab facilities, assisted living residences, and similar locations to provide eye care for residents and the staff, as well. Learn more about how the eye doctor will come right to you!

You’ll be the winner of our contest this month if you wear the most patriotic outfit!

The prize is donated by Lee Croteau of VBS Mortgage.

About the Aging in Place Round Table from the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce:  The Chamber’s Aging-In-Place Roundtable’s mission is to educate the community about local services supporting vitality and choice in the second half of life and to provide a forum for discussion and collaboration about the issues surrounding aging in place. The group meets on the third Friday of each month from 9:00 to 10:30 am, and is open to visitors. For meeting topics and locations, visit http://www.harrisonburgseniors.com

Contact Information:

Chair – Jim Maust
Venture Builders, Inc.
540.434.7927

Co-Chair – Phyllis Friesen
Design Concrete Builders, Inc.
540.383.2982

DIY Home Safety Assessment: SafeScore

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The following article was prepared by Sarah Pruett of Universal Design Partners.
Learn more about Scott and Sarah Pruett at CareisThere.com.

Planning to live your retirement years at home instead of moving to a senior living community? Or perhaps your elderly parents will be moving in with you soon? You’ll want to make sure your home is ready to serve your entire family.

Scott and Sarah Pruett of Universal Design Partners specialize in helping people design or modify their homes according to Universal Design principles. They offer a free DIY Home Safety Assessment at SafeScore.org that gives great baseline information for understanding how safe the home is currently and provides immediate suggestions on what features could be improved to make it safer.

Read Sarah’s blog post on universaldesign.org to find out why she and Scott created this handy tool.

sarah pruetteSarah is an occupational therapist, and is trained to understand the direct relationship between a person’s abilities and how the features of the environment should be designed for ease of use. Scott and Sarah collaborate with building/design professionals to make needed changes to the home based on each family’s current needs and situation. They serve within a one-hour radius of Harrisonburg, Virginia.

For more articles like this, see: Resources for Central Virginia, Aging in Place, Resources for Central Virginia – Charlottesville, Resources for Central Virginia – Harrisonburg, Resources for Central Virginia – Staunton.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

Valley Vital Care Home Infusion Pharmacy

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Valley Vital Care Home Infusion Pharmacy is an infusion company based in Waynesboro that serves the Shenandoah Valley. They provide clinical pharmacy services and instruction, specializing in in-home infusion supplies and medications. In addition to compounding infusion medication and delivering supplies, Valley Vital Care provides their patients with infusion suites that are suited for one-on-one patient-therapy situations as an alternative to inpatient hospital care.

Valley Vital Care tracks their patients doses, providing reminders a day or two in advance of the final dosage to ensure that treatment is uninterrupted. Their office staff is equipped with pharmacy, nursing, nutrition and quality management specialists who are available during office hours (8am – 5pm) as well as emergency assistance available 24/7. Their staff assesses and monitors patients on a case-by-case basis, ensuring that therapy and treatment is coordinated with the patient’s physician, local nursing agency and family.

All of the medication prepared at Valley Vital Care is compounded in a sterile environment. Patients are encouraged to book a tour to see how their medications are prepared. Their medications and supplies are available for delivery or pick up.

For a complete list of their services, read their profile on CareisThere.com.

For more articles like this, see: Long Distance Caregiving, Resources for Central Virginia, Aging in Place, Assistive Technology, Managing Medications, Resources for Central Virginia – Harrisonburg, Resources for Central Virginia – Staunton.

Do you need help managing the care of an elderly loved one in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg, or Staunton Virginia or in Kansas City or Overland Park, Kansas?

Contact us at Care is There Geriatric Care Management for a free consultation: 800.434.1633 or info@careisthere.com. We specialize in geriatric care management, support for independent living, assisted living enhancement and peace of mind for long distance caregivers.

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