The Amazing Mind!
July 20, 2011
The mind is amazing. It has a data base unlike any computer ever developed. The senses can record a memory that will last a lifetime. The smell of a musty room or a fragrant flower can rush the past into the present. The sound of thunder or of rain falling on a tin roof can bring back a moment in time; security or fear. The sight of a majestically colored sunset or the clear, turquoise ocean as it washes up on a pristine beach can bring pleasant memories. And music; ah yes, music can take you from a present moment and catapult you back to a wonderfully memorable event in your life. And we cannot forget taste; childhood memories that just can’t be shaken. Some memories are blissful while some are less than pleasant.
What is the memory for? Where will it go when I’m gone? What is its value now? Simple questions I have asked myself. I think about putting my memories in writing and storing them on a flash drive. But so easily it could be destroyed by a simple magnetic force or overheated components. Devices that are common now may be obsolete in the future, rendering them unusable. And if by chance my memories were to be discovered by someone, would they even have an interest in my life experiences?
But wait….there is hope. The past cannot be changed, the present is now, and the future is yet to come. We can take the present and introduce new memories, building relationships that will give others a memory to cherish. In those moments we take time to stop and listen and share. We give a flower, and its fragrance fills the senses and lifts the spirits of one that was grieving or struggling with life. Perhaps we share a meal or an ice cream cone on a hot day. Singing a song or sharing an event that puts music into one’s heart and soul. The most important part is making memories with and for others by investing in their lives. This is like “sharing” files of your memory data base; passing on part of your life, and as time goes on your experiences will live on in others.
I guess I’ve answered my questions with my own pondering:
What is it good for? Teaching and sharing with others.
Where will it go? Into lives that we touch.
What is the value now? To learn from the past and to hold our family and friends close.
Memories are a powerful tool that God has blessed us with. We must learn to master its power and handle it wisely so that it can bring the best into the lives of others as well as our own.
I Can't Lose Clients!
July 17, 2011
When I began at Home Instead Senior Care, I loved working with my elderly clients. Within a month of my starting, my father became ill and was diagnosed with cancer. He contracted a blood infection that rendered the cancer treatments useless and my father died soon after. I had to “be strong” for my mother and my children. However, within a week of my father’s passing, the client that I had grown so fond of also passed away suddenly. Needless to say I was devastated. Soon after my dad’s memorial service, I finally allowed my tears to flow, and flow they did. My husband found me curled up on the bathroom floor sobbing uncontrollably. He held me while I cried, “I can’t do this job, I can’t lose clients, I can’t do this!” He said to me, “You have the ability, the love, and the compassion to make their lives better. You fill their last months, weeks, or even days with love and kindness that gives them something special to look forward to. Yes, you can do this. God put you here for this reason.”
So, with the support of my family, the support of the Home Instead Team, and God … here I am, going into my seventh year in my job and loving every minute of it! Although I am no longer a CAREGiver, I am now using my experiences to help new and current CAREGivers make that special connection and a positive difference in the lives of others.
A New "Member"...
June 21, 2011
I am excited to introduce the newest member of our CAREGiver Education and Training team, “Buddy”. Buddy is our new training mannequin. Buddy is eager to assist new caregivers in training so that they will feel more competent and knowledgeable in the area of personal care.
Adding Buddy to our team truly gives us an advantage in the area of providing hands-on training in the areas of: incontinent care, bathing and dressing a client who is bed bound, and changing a bed with a bed bound client. This practical training provides our CAREGivers with greater confidence when faced with these tasks in the client’s home.
In addition to incorporating training with Buddy in our regularly scheduled training, CAREGivers will now have the opportunity to receive individual training and practice with Buddy in our Skills Lab whenever they feel the need. The best part is Buddy doesn’t complain about the rigorous schedule.
Buddy is the latest improvement to what we believe is the best non-medical training program for CAREGivers in Tucson. I encourage you to come by and check out our training facility and program. When you do, don’t forget to say, “Hi” to Buddy.
Tormay Newsom - Home instead Senior Care Tucson
Testimonies from the Client-side...
June 14, 2011
Recently, Hank Dallago, the executive director for Home Instead Senior Care in Tucson, spoke to a gentleman who was frantically searching for answers on how to provide care for his parents. The conversation he had was a good reminder about the challenges that lay ahead for many adult children as they look at the future of care for their parents.
The man’s father is 90, and has a considerable, regimented military background. His mother is 85, and was recently diagnosed with mild to moderate dementia. Both the son and a younger sister live in two other states other than their parents and have families and obligations of their own.
Hank asked the son what he thought his biggest challenge was. He naturally wished he lived closer and was unsure how his Father would be able to fully care for himself, let alone care for his now-dependent Mother. At the conclusion of the conversation the son exclaimed that his Father’s plan for such a difficult time like this would simply be to move in with one of their children’s home…and since this was not an option, the Father casually told the son that he would then just leave his wife, and let the kids take care of her!
At this point it was obvious there had been little conversation between the parents and the adult children about a formal plan of care. So Hank mentioned Home Instead Senior Care’s “40/70 Talk.” The 40/70 talk shows how to begin the conversation about care for boomers in their 40’s and their senior loves ones in their 70’s. It was Hank’s sincere intention to help to get the process started with the family and hopefully open-up some discussions to get the help they needed, as well as healthy alternatives for care for both parents.
Time will tell, but the first, good step was that they engaged in what the future COULD look like when planned out well…
Scott Ehrsam - Owner, Home instead Senior Care Tucson
CAREgiving and Touching Lives!
June 7, 2011
I absolutely love being in this business! Not that in-home care doesn’t come with its challenges; it does….especially in a “tough economy”. But the great thing about this business (so rare in most business) is that we truly get to touch lives every day at Home Instead Senior Care. Sure, I suppose many businesses technically “touches lives” just by virtue of whatever transaction took place, but I’m talking about affecting lives in a way that truly makes a difference. The kind of opportunity to impact someone’s day for the better. In an emotional, connected and deeper way than simply selling widgets to people.
As a recent example of what I’m talking about regarding “touching lives”, Paul, one of our clients, called to request a CAREgiver be with him and his wife the entire day, up until 9pm that night. Unfortunately the CAREgiver who was already working with him couldn’t stay past noon, the original scheduled stop time. Bonnie, our Staffing Manager was able to ask another CAREgiver, Pat, to go even though she was just coming off a shift and was clear across town. So the solution was provided.
Then another, even more wonderful thing happened…Paul called his Client Care Manager, Nancy at 9 o’clock that night for the sole purpose of THANKING her for sending him his angel. He was so pleased with Pat’s care and compassion that he wanted to let us know right away. What a privilege and honor it is to be able to positively impact lives hundreds of times a day just like that. How nice it is when someone goes out of their way to let you know. We are truly blessed by our clients AND our staff as we (I’ll say it again) touch lives!
Scott Ehrsam - Owner, Home instead Senior Care Tucson
Helping Siblings Overcome Family Conflict While Caring for Aging Parents
May 19, 2011
Here's a resource I think most people can use. It's free and helpful. Check it out. I've included a blurb from the website to help you gain a better understanding of what the brochure is all about.
"...This guide is designed to help adult siblings and their aging parents deal with those sensitive situations that arise among brothers and sisters as their parents age and need assistance. The downloadable guide covers a variety of sibling caregiving topics such as: How do you divide workload with your sister? What’s the best way to build teamwork with your brothers? How can you reach agreement as a family on important topics to avoid family conflict? "
You can download it here:50-50 Rule® brochure
Scott Ehrsam - Owner, Home instead Senior Care Tucson
Blogging for Peace of Mind
May 18, 2011
Home Instead Senior Care in Tucson give promises you peace of mind no matter what you are dealing with in your loved one's life as they grow older. As a result, we provide updates and content that can help you gain knowledge and understanding about how people age, the likelihood of what may happen, and how to cope with or pro-actively participate in the upcoming years. All of this is in order to allow your loved one's senior years to be the best possible.
Let's be frank...often unexpected things happen with our parents or older loved ones that are challenging to us. Unless we know what may happen in advance, this can take us not only by surprise, but it can severely hamper our ability to react well in that situation. Only by getting information BEFORE things happen will we have the strength and better ability to manage any crisis.
We don't want you to think that all will be bad, because that certainly isn't the case. However, we do want you to be prepared to deal with whatever may arise confidently and with peace of mind that you are doing the right things and making the right decisions in response.
Look for compelling articles, links to resources and videos...and any number of helpful and practical tips as we continue with our blog. It's a quick and easy way to get the information you need, when you need it!
For now...check out this great article on how to have a better summer! Summer Health
Scott Ehrsam, Owner - Home Instead Senior Care