Archive for the ‘ Directory ’ Category

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness month.

In an effort to spread awareness of prostate cancer as well as resources and support for prostate cancer patients and family caregivers, I have highlighted some key points from Us TOO International.

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Us TOO International is a non-profit organization whose mission is to help men and their families make informed decisions about prostate cancer detection and treatment through support, education and advocacy.”

Furthermore, “Us TOO International Prostate Cancer Education & Support Network is a … prostate cancer education and support network of 325 support group chapters worldwide, providing men and their families with free information, materials and peer-to-peer support so they can make informed choices on detection, treatment options and coping with ongoing survivorship. The organization was founded in 1990 by five men who had been treated for prostate cancer.”


According to UsTOO International [], “prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States.” [Overview & Statistics]  Yet many families are unfamiliar with this disease, which usually begins to show serious symptoms once it is in its advanced stages.  In addition, some of prostate cancer’s symptoms mirror those of other diseases, so it is not always correctly diagnosed early.  This is when education about this illness proves beneficial, not only to men, but to their families as well.  Cancer of any sort touches far more individuals than the patient alone.


The signs and symptoms of prostate cancer may include [from Us TOO]:

  • Pelvic pain
  • Frequent need for urination 
  • Difficult or painful urination 
  • Blood in the urine 
  • Painful ejaculation 
  • Loss of appetite and weight 
  • Bone pain


Because certain groups of people are more prone to getting prostate cancer, knowing what the risks are and discussing them with the doctor can improve the chances of early detection and early treatment.

Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer

*  African-American men get prostate cancer about 60% more than white males & have double the mortality.

*  If a man has a father or brother with prostate cancer, his chances of getting the disease are 2 times greater.

*  Men over 45 have an increased risk, although prostate cancer is found mostly in men aged 55 or older.  The average age of diagnosis is 70.

*  Obesity increases a man’s chance of dying from prostate cancer by about 1/3.

*  1 in 6 men is at a lifetime risk of getting prostate cancer.

*  High-fat diets may increase the chances of getting prostate cancer.

*  Prostate cancer is the #1 cancer diagnosis in US men today.


As a family caregiver for a man with prostate cancer, it is necessary to be proactive.  Us TOO International recommends:

*  Learn about the disease and its treatments

*  “Be there” for your caree, be a good listener, be understanding

*  Be your loved one’s advocate:

—  accompany him to his doctor’s visits (if he agrees)

—  ask questions about the illness, medications, side effects

—  help him adhere to his usual routine as much as possible, including activities, exercise and social life

—  encourage healthy eating and rest

—  adjust to the new lifestyle and treatments as prostate cancer runs its course

—  find support: for your loved one and for yourself

*  Take care of yourself!


It is important for both patient and family caregiver to face their situation “as is” so that they may focus on finding the appropriate solutions that will help them to move forward with their “new normal.”  Adjusting to a new lifestyle involves being receptive to changes, accepting them and taking advantage of the resources that organizations like Us TOO International provide.


Wearever, maker of washable incontinence underwear, has partnered with Us TOO International to raise awareness of prostate cancer during September.  Details of how you can help to raise funds so that Us TOO can further support its community of people living with prostate cancer follow.


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Support Us TOO International with Wearever Purchases this September, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month!

A portion of proceeds from select sales of Wearever undergarments will benefit prostate cancer nonprofit Us TOO International this September. Wearever is partnering with Us TOO International to raise               money in support of prostate cancer awareness, education and support networks for patients and their families.

Throughout the month of September, 10 percent of proceeds from the Wearever men’s underwear line will be donated back to Us TOO International. This includes all sizes, styles, colors and purchases in singles, three-packs and six-packs from the Wearever Men’s Incontinence Underwear line. To learn more and purchase products to support Us TOO International, visit



(DISCLOSURE:  Wearever provided me with a garment for review.  The family caregiver and caree who used it were pleased with the product and would add it to his wardrobe.  Her husband found it comfortable and laundering was easy.  I am happy to share useful resources with family caregivers in order to make their tasks more manageable.)

Images: Us TOO   Wearever


We had a lively discussion at Caregiving Cafe’s support group meeting last week.   A couple of topics dominated the conversation: carees who are controlling & hiring a helper.


I have found a few articles that address those topics and have included links to them below. While the articles about control talk about aging parents, their suggestions can be applied to spouses as well. The important point is to try to find out the cause of the controlling behavior. This is no easy task [and most of us do not have a Ph.D. in Psychology], especially when dealing with a loved one diagnosed with conditions affecting cognitive functions. Nevertheless, as caregivers, it helps us to have an idea of the root of the problem so that we can take the appropriate steps to make things better.  Remember that you can always call your caree’s doctor / nurse to discuss these issues and to ask for guidance.


Some of the causes of controlling behavior are explained in the 1st article.  While no one should have to condone or to put up with abusive or offensive behavior, we caregivers need to remember that our carees may be changing / “behaving badly” as a result of their illness, medications or emotional state.  Imagine being in their shoes – losing abilities, cognitive functions, feeling helpless / worthless, dependent on others for most things / everything, losing control of their life as the condition worsens, being in pain…  They may be lashing out at the first person they see, which happens to be the caregiver. [Caregiving spouses, especially, can be the target because the caree/spouse can let his/her guard down and feels free to release built-up emotions on him/her.  The caree/spouse doesn’t need to put up a front of bravery like s/he may do in front of others.  Keep in mind that these emotional eruptions are more an emotional release than an attack against you.]  It may be more of an attempt to hold on to some sense of control & independence than a true complaint about your care.  It is important to NOT take hurtful comments personally. With practice, we can learn to take these comments as cues that our loved one is having a difficult time, that the illness is running its course and that they are not directed at us.


Often, this desire to control stems out of fear: that you may get fed up and abandon your loved one, that family and friends will forget about him/her, that s/he has become useless or totally dependent on someone else. This fear can cause him/her to follow you around the house, insist that you not go out [for you may not come back], insist that only you help him/her on a daily basis and refuse outside help, you you you…  Reassurance helps your loved one allay those fears.  Remind him/her that you will be back to continue your care, to do xyz…, that you will do everything you can for him/her.  BUT in order for you to continue providing good care, you must also take care of yourself, and this means taking time to rest & to relax.  Try to come up with a plan with his/her help so your caree feels s/he has some control and is not excluded from the decision-making process.  A team effort will be more likely to succeed…and you will get what you need!


When the emotional volcano is about erupt, excuse yourself and leave the room, count to 10 [or to 1000!], take a few slow deep breaths, tell yourself that s/he is seriously ill, and return to your loved one when you are calm. Chances are that s/he may have moved on to the next thought. We need to do the same.


Your loved one may not be keen to let anyone else take care of him/her while you take a break. Expect it, explain that sometimes your body feels tired and you need to make sure you don’t get sick, provide reassurance that you will be back, & TAKE YOUR BREAK.  You could even plan activities in which you will both partake upon your return.  Your caree will see that you are not abandoning him/her and that you are serious.  You need to mean what you say and follow through with your intentions. You will both benefit.




How to Handle an Elder’s Controlling Behavior

Detaching With Love: Setting Boundaries in Toxic Relationships

Caregiver Challenges: Caregiving for a husband or partner who is or has been controlling or hurtful

How to Recognize a Controlling Person



In-Home Help  –  Austin area

Comfort Keepers      512-331-4211

Halcyon Home         512-815-9009

Home Instead          512-347-9207

Nurses Unlimited     512-380-9339

Senior Helpers         512-388-4357

Visiting Angels         512-250-2103      800-365-4189



Hiring In-Home Help – How to select the right person

Hiring In-Home Help

Hiring a Home Care Worker

How to Hire In-Home Care for Your Senior

Hiring a Caregiver for In-Home Help

What NOT to Do When Hiring Home Health Care



Technology is here to stay, so all of us may as well use it to help us do whatever we do every day.  The boomer population is no exception.  The ladies who have lived past saddle shoes, poodle skirts, go-go boots & disco dresses will enjoy the article below.

Shayne Fitz-Coy, Co-CEO and President of Alert-1, a medical alert system that helps seniors remain safely at home, compiled a list of iPad apps that can put the world at all Golden Girls’ fingertips.  Thank you, Shayne, for contributing this article!



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The Oscars of Golden Girl iPad Apps — 11 Winners

The iPad means that an older woman with an internet connection has access to almost anything she wants. The Academy Awards may be over, but that did not stop us from handing out awards for the best iPad apps for the tech-wired lady.

The Marilyn vos Savant Award for Most Likely to Make You a Mensa Member — Lumosity ($14.99/month)

Your brain is a big beautiful muscle. Lumosity offers games that will challenge and develop your memory, cognition and attention. Businesswoman and philanthropist Teresa Heinz Kerry credits the app with helping her brain to recover after seizures last summer. Who knows? With a little dedicated use, you might even get your own column in Parade magazine!

The Barbara Ehrenreich Award for Best Management of Financials — Pageonce (Free)

Don’t end up like Marie Antoinette! Use your brains to organize your bills. Pageonce helps you view and manage your account information and schedule bill payment. This app is Verisign and TrustE approved, so you know you’re safe.

The Martha Stewart Award for Best Home Decoration App — Houzz (Free)

Houzz allows you access to a slew of resources that will make the Home Decorating Queen herself turn green with envy. Inside are dozens of drool-worthy design ideas, each completely customizable to your household. High resolution photos highlight specific aesthetics that you will desire in your own projects. Plus, a community of architects, decorators and the Houzz team stand available at your disposal.

The Maya Angelou Award for Thought and Knowledge — Ted Talks (Free)

Facebook COO Sheryl Sanberg’s lecture “Why we have too few women leaders” is just the tip of the inspirational and empowering iceberg. You can browse thousands of TED talks viewable with the TED Talks app. TED gives you access to loads of lectures from contemporary innovators, scientists and thinkers. Themes such as “inspirational” or “courageous” categorize the mood you are looking for. Prepare to laugh, learn, and cry.

The Virginia Apgar Award for Ounce of Prevention — WebMD (Free)

As the old saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” WebMD helps you pinpoint and specify what may or may not be occurring. Just input your symptoms and WebMD will run a query for possible ailments. WebMD also has a prescription medication identification tool. Take an active role in your health by informing yourself before stepping into the doctor’s office.

The Helen Mirren Award for Flawless Entertainment — Netflix ($7.99/month)

Don’t have anything to watch with that bowl of popcorn? Netflix began with movies but now also has a wide array of television programs, including award winning original series. Take part in the cultural phenomenon with your handy tablet and learn the meaning of “binge watching.”

The Rachael Ray Award for Queen of the Kitchen — Epicurious (Free)

With Epicurious, you can access a trove of recipes and search for new ways to make your old favorites. Filter the recipes based on skill level and bookmark the best ones for future reference. The app makes one stop shopping easy. A grocery list feature lets you access desired ingredients while on the go at your local supermarket.

The Cinderella Award for Best Chore Reminder — HomeRoutines (Free)

Earn your insignia in good housekeeping with HomeRoutines. This app creates checklists for your chores. Daily or monthly reminders will keep you on top of your must-dos. The tasks reset once they’re checked off. You won’t need a fairy godmother’s help when you’ve got HomeRoutines on your side.

The Aung San Suu Kyi Award for Best Nonprofit App — iKiva (Free)

Channel your inner Melinda Gates. Donate your resources to make would-be business people’s dreams come true. Kiva is a micro-lending nonprofit organization that helps you support entrepreneurs in the developing world. With iKiva, you can dictate your repayment terms, search for lenders and keep track of your account. A little from you here can go a long way over there.

The Diane Sawyer Award for Remembering Everything — Evernote (Free)

Do you have a to-do list that rivals Oprah’s? Are you concerned with balancing Carrie Bradshaw’s social calendar? Evernote is a personal organization tool for the woman who never wants to forget anything. Take notes, make voice recordings, capture images, and create to-do lists. Access your information from any technological platform, including PC, Mac, or iPhone.

The Michelle Obama award for multi-tasking — Dragon Dictation (Free)

If you’ve ever had a fleeting thought that could get as lost as Alice in Wonderland at any given moment, use Dragon Dictation. Record your musings, letters, thoughts, and ideas with this personal secretary. Just speak out loud and the application will capture your words faster than your speedy fingers can type them. Pool your notes together and send reminders to yourself.

Everyone knows that older women have the whole world in their hands. With these award winning iPad apps, her hands just got a little more powerful.


About the author

Shayne Fitz-Coy is the Co-CEO and President of Alert-1, an aging-in-place technology company headquartered in Williamsport, Pennsylvania with offices nationwide. Shayne has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Harvard College and a Masters in Business Administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Shayne hails from Maryland, and now calls the Bay Area home.

Family caregivers put much time and effort into caring for their loved ones.  The time sometimes comes, however, when the condition worsens to a point beyond what care can be safely provided at home, regardless of how diligent and compassionate it may be.  The difficult decision to even consider moving a loved family member to any type of senior living can be troubling.

Jacob Edward, founder of Senior Planning, shares some insights and tips to help family caregivers in their search for the right place to call “home.”

Thank you, Jacob, for contributing this article!



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Choosing Long Term Care for a Loved One


Making the decision to move a loved one to a long-term care facility is never an easy decision. About 2 years ago, my grandma was diagnosed with dementia and the doctor told me she wouldn’t be able to live alone any more. Finding long term care for elderly is my job, but having to move a family member into a facility was one of the hardest experiences of my life.


My grandma was always very independent, being a successful female business owner (from the 1950’s) and raising a family of 5 by herself, I would have never imagined she wouldn’t be able to get by on her own. Breaking the news to her was probably one of the hardest parts of this experience and I still remember the day where I visited her and told her that we were going to be finding a new place for her to live.


The first thing you need to do in a situation like this is to determine the needs of the loved one and have ideas already prepared as not to overwhelm him/her with the process. The doctor said she would need 24-hour supervision. She wasn’t eating properly, taking her meds, or keeping up with hygiene. The facility we were to choose had to offer all of these (most memory care facilities do). Once you get a good idea of the type of care your loved one needs, the next step is to find properties that can meet her needs. The different types of care are:


Independent Senior Living

Independent senior living is very similar to living on your own, just with more amenities and a watchful eye on the residents. Meals are generally provided along with transportation, housekeeping, and activities. Utilities and rent are also included in the rate. With some communities, there is the option to add on care for medication management, assistance with showering, help getting dressed, etc.



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Assisted Living

Very similar to independent senior living but licensed through the state to provide care to its residents. Some of the assisted living facilities charge a flat rate that includes all the care necessary, some have different levels and others charge a la carte. What is the difference between independent and assisted living? Often times the assisted living facility will have a full-time staffed nurse where the independent living facility will not. Not all assisted living facilities can accommodate a patient that is wandering. If the patient is wandering, you need to make sure the unit is locked. All memory care facilities are.


Skilled Nursing

Skilled nursing is able to provide 24/7 care. It is also able to help with wound care, intravenous nutrients, and other things only licensed nurses can attend to. Even though skilled nursing is the highest level of care, it may not be the right level of care for your loved one. Oftentimes, it is the most expensive level of care.  One of the other levels may be more cost effective and still accomplish the task of providing all the necessary care.


Residential Care Homes

Often referred to as group homes, residential care homes are generally licensed up to directed care. This means they can handle a patient even if they are bed bound. These types of places are smaller scaled and often in a standard residential house that has been retrofitted to accommodate disabled seniors. Residential care homes can provide more personalized care at a lower cost than assisted living. They are often around half the price of an assisted living facility. They are able to handle all the ADLs (activities of daily living) and are able to accommodate patients that are bed-bound, need help with toileting, need help with meals/feeding themselves, need help getting dressed, are wandering and pretty much anything that assisted living can handle.


Memory Care Facilities

Memory care facilities are similar to assisted living facilities in that the patients either get their own room or a shared bedroom, but they specialize in patients that have dementia and Alzheimer’s. Oftentimes, the assisted living will have a memory care wing. The best memory care facilities are ones that divide the patients into levels of need and that way the higher functioning memory patients are with other higher functioning individuals and the lower functioning are attended to more closely.


All of these facilities are open to touring and the best way to find out which facility is a fit is to first speak with your doctor and then stop by a couple of local facilities in the category they deem most fitting. In addition to the category your doctor feels is most fitting, you have to also think about which facility your loved one will be happiest in. Would he/she prefer to live closer to family? Is the community able to accommodate a special diet, if applicable? Most importantly, does it fit the budget? Many people are limited to their Social Security income and/or pensions. Medicaid is the program run by the states that provides financial assistance to your loved one to help him/her pay for the community. It is always a good idea to contact your local Medicaid office to see if you are eligible.


Once you start looking at a couple facilities and interacting with some of the residents and caregivers there, you will definitely get a better feel for what community would be the best fit for your loved one. Sometimes you will find the right community on the first try but other times you may have to visit 5-10 communities before you find one that would be suitable. It took me around 3 memory care facilities to find a good fit for my grandma.


There were some communities that were too confined, which might be good fits for other people. The one we choose was one that offered a lot of space, made her feel independent, but still provided the care of a great memory care facility. She is still in the same level of care and loving it. Instead of Medicaid, she used her Veterans benefits from her deceased husband. To qualify for Veterans Aid and Attendance, the deceased spouse (in this case and these benefits are also able to pay for the Veteran themselves) must have served one day of active duty during a time of war, which her husband had. She is very happy and we visit her many times a week. Finding a great fit facility was one of the best decisions we made and it is well worth the initial time it takes to find it.



About the author

Jacob Edward is the manager of Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona. Jacob founded Senior Planning in 2007 and has helped many Arizona seniors and their families navigate the process of long term care planning. Senior Planning provides assistance to seniors and the disabled finding and arranging care services, as well as applying for state and federal benefits. In his spare time, Jacob enjoys dining out and supporting his alma mater Arizona State’s Sun Devil sports teams. Jacob lives in Tempe, Arizona.


One of the most important roles of caregivers is to support their loved ones through recovery.  It helps to know what can help their carees to make steady progress toward regaining independence.  Recovering from a stroke requires diligence, patience and determination, if not a little bit of assistance.

Brian Black, from Stechford Mobility, shares some tips to help those recovering from a stroke.  Thank you, Brian, for contributing this post.



How to improve your balance after a stroke

Taking hold of your independence again after a stroke can seem like a difficult task and part of that will be down to the decrease you feel in your mobility and balance. Tasks which were once easy and required little thought will need your full attention. It is not an easy road to recover your balance, but that’s why we have compiled a list of ways in which you can slowly retrain your body to offer more stability over time.

Keep in mind that strokes can be traumatic for your body and that you may not be able to take on all the tasks which you once did (the severity of the stroke and how soon after the stoke you receive treatment both factor into your recovery). It is important to keep your goals manageable and relative to your immediate needs.

Begin with some gentle exercises…

You can’t throw yourself in at the deep end and expect to sail through the process. If you start off with gentle exercises you will regain your mobility steadily and with more confidence. The key to initial exercise is to make it functional, giving you a practical application for life.

Try sitting down on a firm but comfortable seat or sofa – give yourself a prop up if you can’t stay balanced – but you should eventually work towards sitting up without having to think too hard about it. You can train yourself further in the seated position by raising your arms out in front of you and keeping them level as well as keeping your body upright.

Carrying items is another practical challenge, whether this is a small item held out in front of you (something which isn’t fragile is preferable), then upgrade to holding a carrier bag of light items. This way you can ensure you work up to heavier items and train your body to balance when standing up holding things like shopping.

A gentle walk is something that can bring joy to a lot of people recovering from a stroke because the fresh air and exercise are good for you. You must remember to take smaller steps first, however. Train yourself to walk from one end of a room to another, taking care to have something to hold on should you feel yourself losing balance. Over time, you will build confidence and begin walking outdoors. You may use an aid such as a walking stick, but the more you walk of your own volition, the better your balance will become. Steer clear of tricky terrain initially, as you will find it harder to keep your footing on unsteady ground.

Hydrotherapy might aid your recovery…

Most people won’t be recommended to use hydrotherapy, as balance control can be regained using simpler techniques; but doing your training in a therapeutic pool has its advantages. You will be assisted in the pool; and, because you aren’t fighting gravity, it is safer for you to stand and walk in should you start to lose balance. This reduces the strain on your joints, too, improving your strength without the toll on your body.

Extra care and assistance are available…

If you suffer a severe stroke and find it hard to recover, your doctor will recommend a carer to assist you in the home and in day to day activities. There are over 1 million stroke survivors living in the UK, meaning special steps have been taken to help in these situations. Stair lifts are yet another way you can lessen the strain on your body around the home, and other mobility aids are available for getting around on a daily basis. Although it’s important to do as much for yourself as you can, there are some situations in which you wouldn’t want to risk further physical injury.


About the author

Brian Black works for Stechford Mobility; based in Birmingham, they supply all manner of mobility aids throughout the West Midlands, UK, area.


Smile!  Taking care of loved ones needs to include oral health. Healthy teeth and gums allow them to eat nutritious foods that can help their body stay strong or fight infection.  The desire to eat quickly diminishes when a tooth aches or becomes sensitive to heat or cold.

When a tooth is lost, it is a good idea to replace it or risk adversely affecting the neighboring teeth.  Jennifer Hughes discusses the need to have healthy teeth and how dental implants can be the ideal solution to replacing missing teeth.

Thank you, Jennifer, for contributing this post.



Dental Implants: Is It Time You Started Considering This Solution?


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Once your adult teeth emerge in your late childhood, you only have one set of teeth and they are meant to last you a lifetime. Unfortunately, due to illness, your genetic heritage, gum disease, tooth decay, accidental trauma, general wear-and-tear and many other factors, it is very common for one, several or even all of your teeth to require restoration or even replacement. Many people decide to simply ignore a missing tooth and while this may offer you a better option for your finances in the short term, it can lead to some pretty complex and expensive problems further down the line!


The great news is that the field of dentistry has evolved to an extraordinary point where it is possible for dentists to provide patients with new teeth that aren’t only non-removable – unlike traditional dentures – but also feel, function and look just like natural teeth. We are, of course, referring to dental implants and the many different teeth replacement appliances these artificial tooth roots provide support for. Here, we speak to an implant dentist in Chicago about teeth implants and why it is that experts in the industry regard them as the best possible solution for missing teeth.


Problems Faced When Teeth Go Missing

Most patients make the mistake of focusing on the cosmetic aspect of a missing tooth or teeth, when in fact the primary concern should be the loss of bite function, bite strength and the problems a missing tooth causes for the underlying jawbone. Sure, a missing tooth can have a devastating effect upon the quality of your smile and if this compels you to seek prompt treatment from an implant dentist, then that’s a good thing. But Chicago dental professionals warn that, over time, a missing tooth can cause the localized jawbone to atrophy from a loss of functional stimulation. This in turn can lead to it wasting away.


With the disappearance of jawbone volume at the site of the missing tooth, the neighboring teeth can become unstable and loose resulting in a greater risk of further tooth loss. This is not even to mention the impediment missing teeth cause to eating, speaking and one’s self-esteem and social confidence.


Solutions to Missing Teeth

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There are many dental technologies available for the replacement of missing teeth. Some, such as removable dentures (false teeth – see image above) and partials, are more rudimentary in their approach and cannot offer patients the comfort, convenience, function and aesthetics that teeth implants can. Others, like tooth-supported bridges, are used to replace single missing teeth, but they too come with their own challenges and problems, which include a greater risk of decay of the neighboring natural teeth, discomfort and the need for frequent repair.


Dental implantation, on the other hand, is the closest thing to natural teeth the industry has to offer and implants can last many decades if cared for properly.


The Benefits of Dental Implants

Dental implants are fixed in the mouth. In other words, they are non-removable, just like natural teeth.


They feel natural and don’t tend to make patients feel self-conscious.


They enable patients to eat all their favorite foods; foods that they previously couldn’t manage with missing teeth and/or inferior technologies like dentures.


It supports teeth replacement appliances that are expertly fabricated to look like a natural tooth or a set of natural teeth and gums.


They last several decades or even a lifetime if cared for properly, thereby making dental implants the most cost-effective teeth replacement choice.


Teeth implants enable patients to smile without self-consciousness and the benefits for social and professional confidence are boundless.


The Success Rate of Dental Implants

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Another fantastic benefit of dental implants is the procedure’s success rate. If placed by a qualified and experienced implant specialist, single tooth replacement procedures typically have a success rate of 98%. The techniques used to provide edentulous (not having any natural teeth at all) and near-edentulous patients with a brand new set of teeth, such as the All-on-4 dental implant protocol, typically enjoy a success rate of 95% over a period of 10 years. By following your surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care and by avoiding smoking during your healing period, you can ensure the greatest chance of success for your new teeth.


Post-Operative Care 

During the first few days and weeks after your procedure, you will need to restrict your diet to soft, easily chewed foods. It is also recommended by Chicago dental professionals that patients take it easy and avoid strenuous exercise or activities during this time. You should also avoid smoking or chewing tobacco – it slows the rate of healing – and avoid drinking alcohol. Get plenty of rest and enjoy some time off!


Pain isn’t typically a major problem in the days following dental implant placement, but it is recommended that you follow the dosage of pain medications provided to you by your surgeon. This will reduce swelling and keep you comfortable while your jawbone starts the healing process.


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About the Author

Jennifer Hughes is a passionate science writer and online journalist who enjoys working with healthcare professionals to convey cutting-edge industry news and information on Dental Implants in Chicago.


Family caregivers can find a variety of support IF they know where to look or whom to ask.  Unfortunately, this help is frequently “hidden,” as resources are not always mentioned during treatments because they are rightly focused on the patient.  The challenge arises when the family caregiver is back home and needs to find a way to properly care for his or her loved one.  Because the attention is on the patient, as it should be, supporting the caregiver is not an obvious issue to discuss when dealing with the diagnosed condition.

Where does a family caregiver go for answers & support?

Matthew Morris, a social worker in New Jersey who runs CNA Career Agency, offers great tips to find free resources in your area.  Social workers are a fountain of information on useful resources that can help caregiving become a more manageable responsibility.  Thank you, Matthew, for your great suggestions!



How to Learn About FREE Social Services in Your Area 

Providing consistent and long-term support for an adult family member can pose unforeseen financial challenges, and while many people understand the emotional toll of caring for family members, few realize the tremendous economic strain that caregiving can create.

The following tactics are excellent ways to discover local resources that can ease your financial burden—and hopefully bring some relief to your wallet!


Find Services on Your State’s Website

People are often surprised to find that their state offers a wide range of free services. Type your state’s name and “homepage” into a search engine, and your state’s webpage should be at the top of the list. Navigate to the area for which you’re seeking services—even if it takes a little while to find what you’re looking for! Some state websites were created years ago and may be a little bit “labyrinthine.” Hang in there and keep looking!

Here’s an example: California offers a range of services for seniors and for caregivers, but their site is a little overwhelming. If you didn’t become well-acquainted with the site, you’d never find that they have a Department of Aging that list services and programs by county, or a Persons with Disabilities page that offers rehabilitation programs, developmental disabilities programs, and a variety of resources on special, alternative, and continuing education for those with different needs. It’s all there, but it’s a little hidden.

State agencies can help in a ton of different ways, and may provide assistance related to:

  • Family Consultations & Care Planning
  • Legal & Financial Consultation
  • Professional Training
  • Respite Care
  • Support Groups
  • Education
  • Counseling

The search can be frustrating, but worthwhile, as some states have agencies specifically for caregivers—such as this one in New Hampshire.


Go To A Support Group—But Not For The Support

Extensive research has shown that people who have emotional support from family and community members have better physical health and a more optimistic outlook. Support groups provide camaraderie and understanding that can make a huge difference in a caregiver’s experience (so contact your local hospital and find a support group!).

However, support groups also serve an overlooked function: they are excellent knowledge hubs.

In any given support group, there will be people in a situation similar to yours who have already maneuvered through the services maze. They’ll have insight on free vs. paid programs, agencies that can better your situation, and people to contact.

So, don’t be shy! Next time you’re at a support group—and you should be going to a support group!—ask other group members about the services they’ve utilized. You may find a free or low-cost program that makes a big difference on your financial responsibilities.


Utilize Groups That Don’t Quite Fit Your Needs

While it may seem counter-intuitive, programs that only tangentially related to your circumstance may provide services that can help.

For example, in New Jersey, the Mental Health Association in each county offers counseling services to persons who have an adult family member with a severe mental illness. The program is mainly used by parents who have an adult child with schizophrenia, severe bipolar disorder, or debilitating anxiety. But it is also utilized by people who have a parent with dementia or Alzheimer’s. While not the group’s primary function, caregivers in need of one-on-one therapy use the program for support.

When perusing your state’s website, take note of any agencies or programs that may seem related to your concern, and follow up to see if you can utilize them of get free services.


Talk to Social Workers

In his book, “The Tipping Point,” Malcolm Gladwell talks about the idea of “mavens.” The word refers to people who serve as information brokers, or, as he says, are “almost pathologically helpful.”

Social workers—particularly those with a master’s degree in social work—are mavens of public services. They’ve been trained to link community members with programs appropriate to their circumstance, and have at their disposal a vast network of state agencies and local nonprofits. If there’s a program that can assist you, a trained social worker probably knows about it.

There are two sites to find social workers: one here, and one here.

However, because most of the social workers at that website are licensed social workers and may charge a fee for their time, you can exercise a cheaper option and call your county’s administrative office. You can ask them to connect you with a social worker at any agency related to your issue (i.e., services for senior citizens, help for family member with mental illness, disability assistance, etc).


Do Some Online Research

Some nonprofits offer services that are unique to that particular agency. For instance, Elder and Adult Day Services in Seattle offers a program called “Destinations,” that provides three free hours of respite care to family caregivers one Saturday during every month. It’s not the answer to all your problems, but it’s a free afternoon to take for some errands, reconnect with a friend or family member, or spend some alone time.


Keep Looking Until You Find What You’re Looking For

As with all things, knowledge is key. Caregiving is a tremendously difficult task, and it is not meant to be tackled alone. There are free services out there—be sure you use them to your advantage!


CNA Career Agency


About the author

Matthew Morris is a social worker in northern New Jersey. As a mental health counselor, he helps community members attain social services on a local level, and he also runs the CNA Career Agency for individuals looking to start a nursing career in the healthcare industry.



The number of people who need caregiving is on the rise. So is the way that families are providing care to their loved ones, thanks to the creative minds that have applied the latest technological advances to caregiving.  That includes Satish Movva, Founder of CarePredict and creator of CarePredict Tempo.  This new device, which is scheduled to become available in Fall 2014, learns the wearer’s routine.  Any deviation from the norm prompts an alert to the caregiver.  In addition to this, Tempo also helps to identify a decline in health that could go undetected.  Forewarned is forearmed!  With Tempo, family caregivers can discuss subtle health changes with the doctor and take action if necessary.

Meg Baatz’ article below gives us a glimpse of Tempo and of how it can help family caregivers take better care of their aging loved ones.  Thank you, Meg, for contributing this post.














How CarePredict is Revolutionizing Elder Care

by Meg Baatz



THERE ARE PLENTY of medical devices out there.


Historically, there have been a ton of bells and whistles designed to help keep seniors safe. But the latest tech is about more than just safety.


Picture the situation of your aging mother or grandmother:


She’s moved multiple times in her life. She has had deep relationships. But now, she finds herself alive after many of her friends and family have passed away. Her kids have kids. Sometimes she feels she isn’t needed or even wanted around anymore. The world has changed at record speeds, and few people appreciate the things she adores, the memories she carries, and the challenges she’s overcome. And now, her body’s clock is working against her. For younger people, major injury or illness tends to elicit more attention and timely response from others. But for her, when she experiences a slow, gradual health decline, her ailments may be overlooked because they are seen as “normal aging.”


These are the factors we must consider when we create technology for our seniors. It’s not just about preserving a body for a little longer. It’s about helping a human being to enjoy health and independence during the last stages of his or her life.


But how would one define the phrase “excellent care”? What would it take for us to build a product that helped a senior not just with her health, but facilitated her relationships with her family?


Caregivers often struggle to keep up with the demands of working, taking care of their parents, and raising family of their own — among others. That’s why CarePredict Founder Satish Movva created CarePredict Tempo. This device is a wearable health sensor worn by seniors, which tracks not only activity, but also location within the home, learning normal patterns of living of an individual, and alerting loved ones when there is a potentially concerning change in the pattern.


Satish Movva created his new system with his own parents in mind, both of whom are over the age of 75 and aging in their own home. As a husband and father of three children, two of whom are infants, Movva is familiar with the challenge faced by approximately 10 million Americans.


Not only does CarePredict alert caregivers in the case of an emergency, it also helps detect slow, gradual health decline that may otherwise go unnoticed – even by seniors experiencing such decline. That way, seniors and their caregivers can spot decline and seek proper medical attention sooner rather than later. By tracking the “tempo” of a senior’s daily and weekly routines, this device is leading the way for prevention of slow-acting health issues.


In the case of a problem, CarePredict will alert a caregiver via text message or email that a potential issue has arisen, and provide the details of that issue (without infringing on privacy). The caregiver is then prompted to follow up with a phone call to check in. He or she can then discuss with his or her senior about coming to visit, scheduling an appointment with the doctor, or other measures to take.


What would it take for someone to say, on his or her final day, “I am thankful and utterly satisfied with the last years of my life”?


Many of our seniors may feel depressed or discouraged so they could not say this even if they were cared for perfectly. But there is one thing we can strive to give our seniors even amidst challenges:




How can we adapt our lives, our attitudes, our resources to help our seniors to feel at peace? What can we do to help our seniors know they have capable doctors, trusted caregivers, and a family who loves them? How can we have peace as caregivers, even during the times when we’re away?


That is why the work we’re doing at CarePredict is so important. We want to help you be all these things for your seniors. Regardless of a man or woman’s family situation, caregivers can come alongside and help him or her feel loved, respected, and at peace.


CarePredict Tempo offers peace to both seniors and to their loved ones alike. Caregivers often juggle dozens of responsibilities to their families, friends, clients, coworkers, and others — not to mention trying to keep their own lives in order. Tempo relieves remote caregivers of the unknowns that often pile anxiety on top of already stressful situations. With the Tempo system, seniors will know they have someone who’s always there for them without feeling like a burden. Caregivers can rest assured that, if a worry does arise, they will be the first to know. And when their seniors are feeling well, they can be at full peace.


Allow CarePredict to monitor their health 24/7 so you don’t have to. Instead, you can devote your full attention to the tasks at hand, whether playing with your kids, working with clients, taking a vacation, or paying your aging parents a visit.


As caregivers, we are not just interested protecting a body. It’s about being there for someone who has thoughts and feelings, who deserves to feel cared for and appreciated.


Our hope is that, no matter where you may be in life — you can be ­there for your senior when he or she needs you most.


CarePredict is expected to be brought to market in Fall 2014. Bracelet sensors are $99 apiece, and room beacons are $19 each. For seniors living together, bracelets can sync with the same set of beacons. Pre-orders are already available on their site.


About the author

Meg Baatz is on the marketing team for CarePredict, a company that’s revolutionizing life for seniors and their caregivers. CarePredict Tempo is a cutting-edge service that allows seniors to age independently and alerts caregivers before a serious health event occurs. Learn more at



Aging at home is usually most people’s preferred way to spend life’s autumn years.  To do so, it is a good idea to make some changes in order to ensure safety and comfort for ourselves or our loved ones.  Michael Joseph, an experienced interior designer, offers ways to make a home the ideal place for seniors to enjoy their days and to maintain their independence – without the worry of accidental falls or injury.

Thank you, Michael, for your practical tips.



7 Ways Seniors Can Make their Home Elderly-Friendly

If you are one of those who would like to live out your years in the beautiful home you have so lovingly built over the years when your children were growing up, the thought of shifting to an assisted living facility will certainly not appeal to you.  But as the years roll by, the inescapable facts of slower mobility, weaker grasping capacity, fading eyesight, and the tendency to lose your balance, raise the following question, “What can I do to modify my own home so that I am able to take up the challenges of life independently and in a meaningful way?”

Here are seven simple ways in which you can do this. Take a walk around your home and look at things from a fresh perspective. And if you need advice, there’s a wealth of information online to help you along the way.1


1.  Keep your home free of all clutter

Unnecessary clutter can make it difficult and even unsafe for an older person to move around freely at home, so the first step is to eliminate all such clutter. Put away extra stuff that is not normally needed. Ensure that the electrical cords of appliances and electronic equipment are arranged safely out of the way.


2.  Make alterations to reduce the risk of falling

Many areas in the home need attention if you are to reduce the risk of falling. Your floors should be made of slip-resistant material, especially in the bathroom and kitchen. Avoid the use of area rugs, but if you must have them, secure them with non-skid tape. If your floors are carpeted, use low-pile carpeting, which is safest for those using walkers or who have a problem with keeping their balance.

Thresholds are a dangerous trip-point so, wherever possible, have threshold-free doorways.

Installation of grab bars around the tub, shower and toilet will provide stability and safety. Make sure that these grab bars are anchored solidly onto the walls. Handrails fitted onto staircases, at waist-length, will be of great help to those who, occasionally, need to steady their balance. Stairs that are all one color can be unsafe for many older people who have fading eyesight or loss of depth perception.  If the edge of the tread on the staircase is clearly defined with a contrasting color, it will help prevent falls.

Cover your entranceway so that during the wet weather it will remain dry and prevent you from slipping. Just inside the entranceway, place a small table and chair or bench for putting down stuff you have brought into your home. This will provide a measure of safety and comfort when you come in and as you change your shoes.


3.  Adjust things systematically for easy accessibility

There are heaps of ways in which you can make things easy for yourself, some of which are listed below:

  • Replace door knobs with lever handles that are easy to pull. This will help particularly if you have trouble manipulating the door knobs because of arthritis.


  • In the bathroom, replace dual water faucets with single-handle lever faucets, which apart from being easy on your hands, will reduce the chances of scalding yourself at the sink. A pressure-balanced control will do the same in the shower where a hand-held showerhead will be far easier to use for someone with limited mobility. While grab bars may help with negotiating the bath tub, it makes more sense to install a seated step-in shower with an entry which has a minimal step to go over, if any.


  • Place light switches (illuminated rocker switches instead of the standard toggle type) lower down on the walls so that they can be accessed easily, even by someone in a wheelchair.



4.  Improve lighting arrangements

It is essential to have sufficient lighting in every room, in the hallway, near doorways, on the stairways and especially at the main entryway.  Don’t forget the porches and pathways outdoors as well. Put night lights in wall outlets and leave them on at night in the bathroom and kitchen at least. Alternately, install motion-sensitive lighting throughout your home.

Let plenty of natural light enter the home in the daytime but use blinds or drapes to control any unnecessary glare.


5.  Beef up security arrangements 

Elderly people are often soft targets for unscrupulous elements, so it is imperative that you strengthen your security arrangements.


6.  Reduce Energy Costs 

If your budget permits, you can also strengthen your home’s thermal envelope by changing doors and windows to energy-efficient replacements. Elderly folk can benefit from the greater degree of comfort, security and savings in energy costs that these provide. The newer replacement windows with their dual-paned glazing and low-E coating are much stronger than the old single-paned windows and with laminated coating, they become tougher and more difficult to break into. You might want to consider investing in energy-efficient windows with Comfort365 from Champion Window. These have the Energy-Star labels and you’ll save significantly on your utility bills over time.


7.  Widen entry doors

If you intend to install a new entry door, consider widening the doorway to make it easy to maneuver a wheelchair easily through it and fit the door with a wide-angle peephole at a lower height for the simple reason that with age, height also decreases.


Additional Resources:

American Association of Retired Persons:

Home Modification Resource Center:

National Council on Aging:

The AARP Home Fit Guide at

Rebuilding Together:



About the author

My name is Michael Joseph, a freelance writer who has had 12 years of experience as an interior designer. I have a natural flair for interior and exterior home decor. I believe home improvements should not only be aesthetic but sensible and energy-efficient as well.


As I begin my 7th year as a family caregiver, I feel like an accomplished event coordinator!  It is hard to grasp the depth of emotional investment and the variety of tasks that a caregiver takes on.  Not only do we deal with the actual treatments, but we coordinate a myriad of related functions – such as special diets, appointments with health care professionals, making important health care decisions for our carees, medication refills & administration, home modifications, assessing & documenting the current health condition in order to discuss changes or lack of improvement with physicians, being a voice for our loved ones with medical professionals, nurturing our caree’s emotional state, etc. – AND we must still take care of the non-caregiving duties – such as grocery shopping, finances, taking care of children, updating family and friends, etc.  To top it all off, about half of family caregivers in the US are also working full-time!

How can a family caregiver manage all this?  How can caregivers find support?

In Austin, Texas, family caregivers can call on Halcyon Home for help.  Halcyon Home was launched in March 2012 with the mission “to bring the most exceptional care to your home and your loved ones” and to incorporate a “peaceful, idyllic setting for you even in the hardest and most stressful of times.”  Amy Sweet, MHS, PA-C & CEO of Halcyon Home, was a caregiver for her aunt.  She and her “highly educated and trained medical, business and eldercare professionals” had been caregivers and understand all too well the type of quality help that caregiving demands. They not only assist with the care of our loved ones, but also aid family caregivers to carry out many other tasks that are indirectly related to caregiving.

After their initial free assessment, Halcyon Home will generate a custom plan for your loved one’s particular needs to help make aging at home a better experience.

Some of the services Halcyon Home provides:

Personal Assistance Services

  • Bathing & grooming
  • Medication reminders
  • Respite care
  • Dementia & Alzheimer’s care
  • End-of-life care
  • Transportation
  • Companionship


Concierge Services

  • Errands, driving
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Checking on loved ones
  • Cooking, cleaning, bill paying
  • Email & secretary assistance
  • Organizing
  • Information gathering
  • Waiting for repair people
  • Hospital sitting
  • Basic computer training & skills


One of the best features of Halcyon Home is that they do not require a minimum number of hours to begin services!  In the past, I have encountered hourly requirements that were higher than what I needed, which kept me from getting any help at all.  I am glad that Halcyon Home is realistic about what caregivers require and gives them due priority!

To complement Halcyon Home’s services, Transitions Geriatrics Group provides help and support for seniors and for people with disabilities who cannot visit a doctor’s office.  They have fully licensed, credentialed medical professionals who can come to the caree’s home (wherever “home” may be).  This is a truly helpful service, especially for persons living with chronic pain or with severe mobility impairments.  Their physicians can be your caree’s primary doctors or they can work with his or her current care team.

Among the services that Transitions Geriatrics Group provides are:

  • Routine medical examinations
  • Prescription refills
  • Regularly scheduled visits
  • Diagnostics tests
  • Blood draws

Transitions Geriatrics Group can also coordinate hospital admissions, transitions between facilities and care delivery between “families, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, nursing agencies and other Home Health Services.”

A growing movement across the US toward making house calls again is a welcome – necessary, really – feature in healthcare.  It prevents unnecessary suffering for persons for whom walking, sitting or traveling is a terrible ordeal. (My husband has had to postpone a few doctors’ appointments because he was in too much pain to travel in a car!)  Transitions Geriatrics Group and Halcyon Home allow extraordinary patients to continue to receive their treatments without exacerbating their already delicate physical condition.

More information on how Halcyon Home and Transitions Geriatrics Group can help your caregiving follows.  As a family caregiver for my husband, disabled due to CRPS, I welcome the valuable services that both groups offer caregivers and carees.  I see them as the next step in caregiving: a way to provide family caregivers with excellent, realistic assistance in all aspects of caregiving, and a way to keep their loved ones safely at home.


Transitions Geriatrics Group   512.452.2100

Halcyon Home                          512.815.9009



What prompted Amy Sweet to start Halcyon Home?

Amy took care of her Aunt for 15 years. When her Aunt, who suffered a rare blood disorder, needed additional care in the home, she had difficulty trying to find the right “fit.” She wanted someone who had experience, was skilled, could help in every aspect of daily living, was an out-of-the-box thinker and resourceful. She wanted a caregiver that was not just a “warm body” in the home but someone that would enrich her aunt’s life.



What is different about Halcyon Home that other agencies may not offer?

Amy Sweet is a licensed Physician’s Assistant with 12 years experience. Halcyon Home has the ability to assess any situation and stave off a trip to the emergency room. Amy is always a phone call away and spends several hours a week personally meeting with each client for a full assessment.  Halcyon Home is one of the only companies in the city [Austin, Texas] that has the ability to perform Physician Delegated tasks. Typically, [with] a non-medical company such as ours, a caregiver cannot “touch” the client.  However, with the Physicians Delegated task option, our caregivers can help with activities such as changing a pain patch, helping with diabetic hosiery, and help with lymphedema equipment.

We also offer clients and caregivers the ability to ALWAYS speak with a Halcyon Home admin team member. We take turns “on call,” as well as answer the phone 24/7!! Never will you get an automated voice!



What forms of payment do you accept?

We take long-term care insurance, private pay. We recently began accepting Medicare. We have added a skilled nursing piece/options to our company as well.



What does Transitions Geriatrics Group do?

TGG is a group of 4 MD’s and 8 mid-level providers (Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants) that make house calls to the homebound or disabled geriatric population. We have the ability to follow a patient from Hospital back to “home.” Home may be a Personal Care Home, Assisted Living facility, Independent Living facility, Skilled Nursing Facility or an actual private home.



What is Amy Sweet’s vision of in-home care in the future?

The ultimate goal is to add both Home Health and Hospice to Halcyon Home. Amy has always believed (just as Dorothy said) “There is no place like home!”  Keeping people safe, comfortable, healthy in the comfort of home is extremely important and can ultimately stave off a rapid decline in health, as well as, encourage continuity and avoid going into the hospital.



What specific services do Halcyon Home and Transitions Geriatrics Group offer? 

Halcyon Home offers everything from help with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s), transportation, medication reminders, medication management, house cleaning, cooking, packing and unpacking from a move or downsizing, office organization, bill paying, holiday decorating, hospital sitting, animal care, plant care and joyful companionship.

TGG offers skilled medical services from minor procedures in the home, podiatry, optometry, dermatology, X-ray’s, EKG’s, blood draws, prescription refills (must see MD) and specialty services.  TGG, in the coming months, will begin contracting with specialty Doctors to be able to offer Pulmonology, Cardiology, Internal Medicine, Nephrology, Psych nursing, and Neurology.



You said that Halcyon Home has no minimum hourly requirement.  How much advance notice is required to have a caregiver come to a client’s home?

Typically we request 24-hr. notice but have been known to get a contract signed and have a caregiver in place within 4-6hrs. We have several “on call” or “as needed” caregivers in place and ready to start at any time.



What areas do you serve at the moment?

We service Georgetown to San Marcos, Lakeway and Marble Falls [Texas].

Will this area expand?

At this point we don’t have plans to expand further than these areas but we are growing daily and are excited about the future….so it’s possible!!



Are you hiring caregivers? 

We are always looking for excellent, passionate caregivers with experience!  You can apply on our website at under the Employment tab.

What qualifications do you look for in an applicant?

We typically look for experience, reliable, CNA certified (not required but preferred), flexibility, has own transportation, experience with Alzheimer’s, Dementia and Parkinson’s (not required but preferred), and a true passion for taking care of others.



Do you train your caregivers?

Our caregivers a provided with 12 hours of unique training throughout the year. We invite caregivers to our office for initial training, as well as our personal homes to learn about aging in place, Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s, teach cooking classes, offer transfer technique classes, how to combat caregiver fatigue, and helping families cope with end-of-life.

How do you make sure that they know what they need to know in order to properly care for clients?

When our marketing team meets with the family, we take lots of notes about the client, family, needs in the home, current living situation, family requests, type of caregiver needed, details of the care being provided, etc. Then, after visiting with our scheduling team we place the “right” caregiver in the home. It is important to match the skill-set of the caregiver with the needs of the family and client.



Do you carry out background checks? How extensive are these checks?

Yes. We do what is called the triple check. This involves and regular Texas background check, the Employee Misconduct Record and 2 reference checks.  Amy Sweet, owner, also meets with every caregiver upon being hired. It is important to her to make sure the “face of our company,” the caregiver, meets the standards for our clients.  We are very proud of our company and the caregivers we employ. We are looking for caregivers that “want” to be there and will work hard to provide the best care possible!



Are your doctors also practicing on their own? 

Not our main TGG employed Doctors.  However, we do have contract Physicians who will be providing specialty services and also work in hospitals.


What specialties are covered now?

Podiatry only at this point in time.

In the future?

Optometry, Dermatology, Pulmonology, Psychology, Nephrology, Neurology, Endocrinology and Cardiology.



What else would you like to tell families and caregivers?

I encourage families to check out the testimonials on our website Halcyon Home.  It is very important, when seeking a caregiver, that you use a company.  Reason being that they hire the employees, can staff positions no matter what the situation, can be a resource for additional care or services, and offer stability in the home.  We are locally owned and operated with close ties to the community. We want families to keep their loved ones in the comforts of home, aging gracefully and happily!!