Newsletter – November 2009

In This Issue:

Brisk Fall Greetings!

autumn_leavesFall is certainly in the air, with crisp Fall mornings and cool breezes blowing throughout the days.  It’s time to put away all the summer clothing and pull out the scarves and winter jackets.  And with Fall all around, the holiday season is rapidly approaching.  Our schedules are quickly filling up with holiday plans and family get-togethers.  In the midst of all the chaos and excitement of the season, we at A Servant’s Heart Senior Care wish to send Holiday Greetings to you and your families in a spirit of thanks for your continued interest, only weeks away from Thanksgiving!

We hope you enjoy this latest newsletter and recommend you share it with any others who may benefit from it.

Brand New Website

new_websiteWe have just released a brand new version of our website that we are excited to share.  It has been thoroughly redesigned for optimum convenience.  We made each page easier for our visitors to navigate, with clearer descriptions of our expert home care services and quick links to all of our different resources.  We are sure our visitors will enjoy the changes!

It is a brand new look, but we are the same company dedicated to serving the growing number of older adults, who prefer to live independently in their own homes, and their families helping them to achieve this.

Take a look at our new site and give us your feedback.  Our commitment at A Servant’s Heart is to provide the best service possible to all of our visitors!  We would love to know how we can make things easier for you!

To see the new site please visit: www.TrustWorthyCare.com

Cool Tool Of The Month: The TeleStik (Not Your Average Reacher)

telestikThe TeleStick reacher is a new twist on an old idea that looks like a great one.  It is slimmer than other designs so it fights into tighter, harder-to-reach places.  No trigger squeeze or lever pull is required, so this reacher is perfect for people with limited hand strength.  Best of all, it comes with three heads which stay attached.  It is also collapsible for easy storage in your kitchen, your purse, or even the pencil holder on your desk.

The TeleStick comes with three different heads designed for versatility: adhesive, magnetic, and hook.  The adhesive head is perfect for picking up clothing that has fallen behind the dresser.  The magnetic head is perfect for picking up the pen you dropped under your desk.  The hook head is perfect for all the jobs those other reachers can’t accomplish.

The Telestik reacher is collapsible to 7-8 inches long.  It weighs only 2.3 ounces, so it is perfect for carrying along on outings.  This tool is ideal if you suffer from arthritis, carpal tunnel, or limited mobility in your hands.  It could give your senior loved one a feeling of control they have been missing.  You might even want to order an extra one to have around your own house.

For further information, please visit: http://telestik.com/


Helpful Gifts and Products for the Holiday Season

pull_top_can_openerWith the holidays quickly approaching, it is time to start looking for the perfect gifts for your loved ones.  Have you already decided what to give the older relatives and friends in your life?  Are you having a hard time coming up with a great gift you know they will use and enjoy?

Here is a website to help you find those special gifts!

Simple Comforts focuses on products and aids for seniors to help them live their daily lives to the fullest.  They provide a variety of practical gifts such as kitchen utensils, apparel, exercise equipment and gardening tools.  They have categories focused on gift ideas for your mom and dad, which can sometimes be tough to find.  They also feature a few new products each month which make great gifts at an affordable price!

Visit Simple Comforts at http://www.simplecomforts.com/

Free Memory Screenings from A Servant’s Heart And The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America

senior_lady_on_the_phoneThe 17th is The Alzheimer’s Foundation of America’s “National Memory Screening Day”.  Education and information on memory and aging will be provided.  While we won’t be diagnosing illness, we will be able to give information on what you need to look out for.  If you have recently been experiencing getting lost, losing common objects, having trouble concentrating, or forgetting basic things, you may want to consider a free screening.  You may also want to consider establishing a baseline through this screening, so you’ll be able to measure your memory performance later in life.

A Servant’s Heart Senior Care will be offering free, confidential memory screenings on two different dates for anyone in the community who feels the need for them.

  • November 17th 11:00a.m. – 3:00p.m.
    Rancho Bernardo Senior Center
    16769 Bernardo Center Dr., Ste K14
    San Diego, CA 92128
  • November 18th 10:00a.m. – 12:00p.m.
    A Servant’s Heart Senior Care
    1165 Linda Vista Dr., Ste. 111
    San Marcos, CA 92078

Call (800) 777-4750 for an appointment for either location.

Here’s What To Expect During The Memory Screening Process

A memory screening is a simple and safe evaluation tool that checks memory and other thinking skills. It can indicate whether an additional check up by a qualified healthcare professional is needed.

  • Various types of qualified healthcare professionals provide memory screenings, including social workers, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, psychologists and physicians.
    The face-to-face screening takes place in a private setting; only the individual being tested and the screener are present.
  • A screening consists of a series of questions and/or tasks designed to test memory, language skills, thinking ability, and other intellectual functions. Screening tools include the GPCOG, MINI-COG and MIS.
  • The person who administers the screening will review the results with the person being screened, and suggest whether the person should follow up with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional for more extensive testing.
  • Results of the memory screenings are confidential. The participant will receive the screening results to bring to a healthcare professional for follow-up and/or inclusion in medical files.

Note: A memory screening is not used to diagnose any particular illness and does not replace consultation with a qualified physician or other healthcare professional.

Call (800) 777-4750 for an appointment for either location.

Eight Tips to Avoid Sales Scams for Medicare Advantage Plans & the Medicare Prescription Drug Program

metalmarious_Medicine_and_a_StethoscopeThe annual open-enrollment for Medicare Advantage plans begins on November 15th, running through December 31st.  If you are a Medicare beneficiary, you will want to be prepared and know all of your options before changing or enrolling in any of these plans.  As you or your loved ones consider taking advantage of a different plan to meet your health needs, beware of getting taken advantage of by aggressive insurance sales methods.  Steve Poizner, the California Insurance Commissioner, issued the following warnings to provide seniors with information to protect themselves against such methods:

  1. Make Sure They’re Licensed: Not all people marketing Medicare Advantage plans are insurance agents.  If the person you are dealing with claims to be an insurance agent, contact the California Department of Insurance or visit www.insurance.ca.gov to verify license status.  Insurance agents are required to print their license number on all business cards, quotations, and advertisements.  Also, verify that the insurance company is licensed to do business in California.
  2. Cold Calls Prohibited: Federal regulations prohibit “cold calls” which may take the form of uninvited sales calls, door-to-door visits, unsolicited emails, telephone calls or any other type of sales contact without your express invitation.
  3. Be Stingy with Personal Information: Never give out personal information such as your Social Security number, bank account numbers, or credit card information over the phone.  Verify that the person you are dealing with has proper authority to act on behalf of the plan before you provide your Medicare number.  This is a good time to seek assistance from a trusted relative, friend or advisor.
  4. Medicare Has No Official Sales Reps: Be wary of any salesperson who says that he/she is a Medicare representative. Medicare does not send “representatives” to solicit your business.
  5. No Marketing in Educational or Care Settings: Federal regulations prohibit the marketing of Medicare products in places where health care is delivered (such as a doctor’s office, clinic, or pharmacy counter) or at an educational event.
  6. No Such Thing as a Free Lunch: Federal regulations prohibit offers of free meals for listening to a sales presentation or for signing up in a particular plan.
  7. Don’t Let Them Oversell You: Federal regulations prohibit selling additional insurance products during any sales or marketing presentation for a Medicare Advantage or Prescription Drug Plan.
  8. Read and Understand the Plan: Be sure that the plan that you choose matches your needs and that you can continue to see your current health care providers if you wish.  It may be very difficult or even impossible to “undo” your selection later.

For further information, please visit:  http://www.insurance.ca.gov/


Local Resources for You and Your Older Loved Ones

caregiver_with_senior_ladiesSometimes it is hard to find local places or events for your loved ones to visit or participate in.  At A Servant’s Heart we want to help you discover the local resources at your fingertips that can help you care for your older relatives or friends to help them feel enthusiastic and independent.

Inexpensive Outings

Here are a few resources if you are looking for ways to travel around San Diego inexpensively and still be entertained.

The Coaster: Their reliable trains link communities and travelers from Oceanside to San Diego, with additional stops in Carlsbad, Encinitas, Solana Beach, Sorrento Valley and Old Town.

Visit www.gonctd.com for further information.

The Sprinter: This 22 mile rail line runs along the Highway 78 connecting Oceanside, Vista, San Marcos, and Escondido. Riders have the freedom to read, work or relax as these European-style light rail vehicles sprint to the 15 stations.

Visit www.gonctd.com for further information.

The Surfliner Amtrak: The station is home to Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliners’ twelve daily roundtrips.  Pacific Surfliners operate as far north as Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, with connection at Los Angeles to Amtrak’s trains to the east (Sunset Limited, Southwest Chief) and to the Pacific Northwest (Coast Starlght).

Visit www.amtrak.com for further information.

You can also visit http://www.sdcommute.com/ to plan multi-transit visits throughout San Diego County.

Local Activities

Here are a few suggestions for local activities that are engaging and free!

San Diego Trails: Use this website to locate convenient trails close to home.  You’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful weather and get some good exercise.

http://www.trails.com/activity.aspx?area=11880

Public Library Events: Check out the free events at your local library such as book clubs, signings, and community readings.

http://www.sdcl.org/

Online Health Resources

Check out these useful websites for excellent ideas to keep your loved one’s mind and body healthy.

Senior Health and Fitness: This website has helpful tips and information on keeping healthy and up to date with the latest fitness research.

http://seniorjournal.com/Fitness.htm

Audio Books: This is a great online resource to conveniently receive audio books through the mail.

http://www.simplyaudiobooks.com/

[get-post tag=”about_us”]

Originally posted 2009-10-30 09:06:27.

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Tim Colling
Tim Colling is the founder and President of A Servant's Heart In-Home Care, which provided in-home caregiving services in San Diego County, and also of A Servant's Heart Geriatric Care Management, which provided professional geriatric care management services and long term care placement services in San Diego County. Tim has more than 30 years of experience in management in a variety of industries. He held a Certified Care Manager credential from the National Academy of Certified Care Managers. Tim is also a Certified Public Accountant (retired), and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from California State University at San Diego. In addition to writing blog posts here for the Servant’s Heart blog, Tim also is a regular contributor to HealthLine.com and to FamilyAffaires.com as well as blogs of other eldercare services provider companies. Finally, Tim is also the president of A Servant's Heart Web Design and Marketing, which provides home care marketing as well as website design and online marketing for those who serve the elderly and their families.
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