Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving From ComForcare in Pasadena!


Happy Thanksgiving From ComForcare!

Please remember to check on your elderly family members.  It's the perfect time to establish a base line on behavior and make sure they are taking care of themselves. If not, please have discussions and don't be afraid to 'say what you see'. Let them know your concerns so that these discussions can continue without hard feelings. Let them know they are loved!


If you need answers to
elder care questions or need help with home care in Pasadena or the surrounding area, please visit or call 626-639-0226.


Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Choosing the Right In-Home Care Service For Seniors in Pasadena

Each November, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) celebrates National Home Care and National Hospice Month to honor the men and women who have dedicated their lives to caring for others. Below are some tips for families who may be looking into home care and what they can and should expect from the caregivers they choose. If you need more information about in home care for your loved one in the Pasadena area, the caring staff at ComForcare can help answer any questions. Visit or call us at 626-639-0226.

A Guide to Choosing the Right In-Home Care Service and Care Giver for Seniors
By: Kori Irons

What Seniors Can Expect from In-home Care

It can be incredibly difficult for a senior to allow a stranger into his home to help with household tasks, personal care and/or transportation. There is a great deal of confusion and anxiety around what exactly "in-home care" and an "in-home caregiver" might involve and entail--not to mention how to go about hiring and supervising the help. Here are some suggestions for what seniors can expect from in-home care and some advice on how to search for the perfect assistant:

An in-home caregiver can have a variety of qualifications, depending on the depth and intensity of personal care they are able to provide. Some take care of household tasks and hep with errands and transportation, while others have medical credentials and are able to help with more medical details and nursing needs. The most popular services required of in-home caregivers for seniors include:

  • assistance with mail and correspondence

  • housekeeping

  • laundry and ironing

  • help with grocery shopping and other errands

  • coordinating and reminding about medications 

  • cooking and meal planning

  • transportation and mobility assistance

  • and companionship and other personal assistance needs

Even seniors who may have special needs such as those who are recovering from an accident or illness, or those with dementia or Alzheimer's disease, or those with other more permanent disabilities can benefit from the services of an in-home care provider. A senior may need assistance on a daily or weekly basis, or something in between. It is not necessary to hire a caregiver to be present for every hour of every day if that is not what is needed or required.

Source: Associated Content

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

"DO YOU THINK I AM OLD?" Seniors allergic to help

It is very interesting observation, seniors are very allergic to the term "HELP". I was recently talking to a friend Dan who was recollecting the conversations he had with his 87 year old mom. She has been diagnosed with Dementia and uses a walker "What do you think I am, old & senile?  I am just fine".

The seniors in their golden comes from a generation where they are self made. They have been extremely self reliant and never accepted help from anyone. True to their credit, they are very proud of their accomplishments and would be the first one to jump up to help anyone in need. To them taking help does not come easily.

I was researching for the upcoming seminar "New Concepts in Living Well". The topics we cover are designed to improve or maintain the lifestyles of the seniors. The inputs we received from many seniors we talked to are very revealing.

  1. We do not appreciate being perceived as weak and helpless.

  2. We don't need help, just because we are not able to manage ourselves.

  3. We like to enjoy the life to the fullest and what can you do to support that?

  4. How can you enrich our lives?

I know a 92 year old client who is very excited about the new book he is working on. They always look at what they can do and not how much time is left.

Dignity is very important to them and hence in dealing with seniors we need to keep in mind what  the important attributes are . Seniors still have dreams about what they can do. So in dealing with seniors, it is important to steer away from compassion and kindness. Sounds strange right?  They feel it makes them look weak. Compassion in your heart should be there and should be the platform to do the right thing in a timely basis. However, the communication should be built on the foundation of how we can enrich their lives, about how we can maintain their independence and dignity.

Respect them, they are achievers and they still have a lot more to offer. I am eagerly waiting for my 82 year old client to publish his book.

Alzheimer's Awareness Spotlights Treatment, Prevention in Pasadena CA

Alzheimer's Awareness Month Sheds Spotlight on Treatment, Prevention Efforts

November marks the beginning of National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month, a reminder that the number of people who will develop the disease is expected to skyrocket over the next few years.

Starting Jan. 1, 79 million baby boomers will turn 65 at a rate of one every eight seconds.

That is more than four million per year, according to a recent op-ed piece in The New York Times. If scientists could delay onset of the disease by five years, via better drugs, the United States could keep much fewer Alzheimer's patients from needing nursing homes, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and Alzheimer's experts Stanley Prusiner and Ken Dychtwald said in the piece.

Currently, for every penny the National Institutes of Health spends on Alzheimer's research, Americans spend $3.50 caring for individuals with the disease, for a total of $172 billion a year.  At that rate, by 2020, the cumulative total will be $172 billion a year, or $20 trillion by 2050, according to the op-ed titled “The Age of Alzheimer's." more from

For information about how ComForcare can help your family with home care for a loved one suffering from Alzheimer's Disease in Pasadena and surrounding areas, visit or call 626-639-0226.


New Concepts in Living Well

San Gabriel Valley is invited to a FREE Seminar

"New Concepts in Living Well"

November 20th, 2010

Follow this LINK for details

Friday, November 5, 2010

Issues Seniors face in their Golden Years in Pasadena, CA

We are hosting a free seminar that addresses the issues seniors face in their golden years. The seminar is designed to help the seniors deal with some of these issues. This is a free seminar and the location, Lake Avenue Church, offers free parking. The seminar is part of  our community service efforts  to help seniors with their daily living.

New Concepts in Living Well

Thursday, November 4, 2010

New Concepts in Living Well: A Free Seminar For San Gabriel Valley


New Concepts in Living Well

San Gabriel Valley is invited to a FREE Seminar

"New Concepts in Living Well"

November 20th, 2010

Follow this link for details:

New Concepts in Living Well

Visit ComForcare for all of your home care needs in the Pasadena and surrounding areas.


"Who is there?" Very Often you here this troubled and unsure voice from other side of the door. I was visiting with an elderly friend recently and she brought up this issue of her friend who is currently getting some home care services from another agency.

"Nancy, my caregiver could not make it today and they sent another caregiver Claudia after about two hours. What is challenging for me is that I have never met Claudia before and I don't know what she looks like. I am in wheel chair myself and I  feel very vulnerable opening the door to a stranger".  Betsy, my friend brought up this conversation to highlight some of the good approaches we have adopted.

In similar situations, always the client is introduced to the new care giver by someone who has met the client before. The difference is our client is meeting with someone they already know. "It makes a huge difference" Betsy insists, "you know you are meeting with someone you know and I feel lot more comfortable opening the doors". Good point.

What we have learned so far is to think from the client's perspective. Seniors in their golden years feels vulnerable in unfamiliar situations. Our promise to our clients is that at no time will they every have to face a stranger at the door who claims to be representing our agency. My biggest benefit has been that I get to meet my client and connect with them. I enjoy their company so much that sometimes Betsy warns me "Sam, you need to get back to your office and run your business". I gently remind her, "Betsy, you ARE my business". Guess what I am enjoying every moment I spend with the seniors. !!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

November is National Alzheimer's Disease Awareness Month

Friends and Family May Be Best Detectors of Early Alzheimer's Disease

Family members and friends may be better judges of early Alzheimer’s disease than standard memory tests, a new study reports. The results could help doctors diagnose suspected Alzheimer’s at an earlier stage, when treatment may be more effective and families can better prepare for the changes to come.

The study comes from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, where researchers developed a two-minute questionnaire that asked close friends and family members if they have noticed problems with memory or judgment. The survey asked “yes” or “no” questions about whether they have noticed such signs in loved ones as:

  • Bad financial choices or other problems in judgment;

  • Less interest in hobbies and other favorite activities;

  • Repeating questions, stories or statements;

  • Trouble learning how to use a tool or appliance, such as a television remote control or a microwave oven;

  • Forgetting the month or year;

  • Difficulty handling complicated financial affairs, such as balancing a checkbook;

  • Difficulty remembering appointments; and

  • Consistent problems with thinking and memory.

Survey results were then correlated with so-called biomarkers, like brain changes on brain scans or blood tests results, that are generally regarded as of Alzheimer’s. The survey proved more accurate than standard word and memory tests like the mini-mental state exam, which doctors perform in their offices to look for early signs of Alzheimer’s.

...continue reading from

Alzheimer’s home care counselors at ComForcare are available to talk with you and your family about care needs for your loved one, including, how to reduce caregiver stress while providing better, affordable care. ComForcare is a home care agency providing Alzheimer’s Home Care in Pasadena CA.

"Can you take me to my Doctor?" Share a moment with your seniors

There is never enough conversation about this topic.  In my conversation with a doctor recently he explained that the biggest challenge his patients face are transportation and communication. Interestingly these two topics go hand in hand.


"My daughter cannot make it and my son is out of town, how do I make it to the doctor's appointment?"  Or very often they just don't know what to do to make sure that they can get around. They are at a stage when it is no longer safe for them to be driving and hence do not have license any longer. Also they need help getting in and out of the car and also to move around. This is not a situation when they could call for cab services. The needs includes lot more than that. "Don't you know I have a problem with the left leg and also I have a bad back?" . Seniors are often worried when they have to plan a trip as to who can hep them with understanding and compassion. With the pace f today's life, family may not have the ability to  take their parents around all the time. While the sandwich generation puts in a lot of effort, many times they themselves are stretched too thin.


"So how was the doctor visit?" the daughter asked. "It was alright", mom replied. "Did the doctor give any new instructions?" the daughter continued. "Yeah... he said something...... some kind of a test.....  can't remember properly what he said. Yeah he also said to change some medications........ Oh  I forgot reg the next appointment..... I left the card behind....". Doctors tells me that this is the most frustrating part of their work, where the communication is not reaching the family and as a result the health of the elderly suffers.

This is a typical everyday situation with the life of  an elderly. The need of the hour is to offer services that understands the situation and offers solution. What we learned with these experiences, we put that in effect with our services. We offer to drive the elderly for their doctor visits. Our caregivers are trained to take notes regarding doctors recommendations on what needs to be done, when etc. They becomes the eyes and ears for the seniors. The notes are then passed on to the family members. I was discussing the new approach with a Geriatric Care Manager I work with  very closely. "Sam, what you have here is very well developed and has a lot of value for the families". Health Services Director in a retirement community told me "this solves the problem we have been having for several years".

For us Seniors are not part of a forgotten society, they are the reason and the passion for our existence.

New Concepts in Living Well

On November 20th, I will be presenting at a seminar on "New Concepts in Living Well". This seminar will present innovative ideas and useful generation-bridging information to adult family members as they address important family matters around aging and living well. Families who proactively order the affairs of the loved ones and who successfully prioritize their life style choices are better positioned to maximize the quality of home life for their entire family both now and into the future.

The seminar has four components, Fred Sohl will speak on "Legacy Planning",  Sam Gopinathan will speak on "Home Care Services Do's and Don'ts", Bill Hunter will present on Long Term Care Insurance and finally Steve Hamlin will present Cognitive Exercises.

The seminar is co-sponsored by Convalescent Aid Society and Lake Avenue Community Foundation.

Venue          Rose Room,  Lake Avenue Church, Pasadena, CA

Time             10:00 AM  to  11:30 AM

Date              November 20, 2010

This is a free seminar and the location will also provide free parking