Newsletter – October 2008

In This Issue

Greetings From A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions!

With October comes the inevitable changing of the seasons. The trees are illuminated in seasonal beauty and the temperature is starting to drop, harkening the onset of cooler days and nights.

At A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions, this newsletter is our commitment to bringing you the latest and most important information in home care, home health care, and elder care news. We hope you will enjoy these articles in the spirit of community in which this newsletter was sent.

A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions – one of the first to become CAHSAH Certified!

cahsahThe California Association for Health Services at Home (“CAHSAH”), is a statewide home care association and the primary advocate of home care services for the western United States. Founded in 1966, CAHSAH has a long tradition of service to the home care industry and to the public. CAHSAH’s mission is to promote quality home care services and enhance the overall effectiveness of its members.

Currently the State of California does not provide any type of licensing or regulation over the home care industry. Additionally there are no certification standards that a Home Care Aide must meet in order to work in home care settings. CAHSAH has stepped in to fill this void by implementing an industry wide certification program for the benefit of all older adults and their families. All home care organizations are encouraged to participate in this new certification program.

A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions is pleased to announce that it is one of the first Home Care Aide Organizations to be certified by CAHSAH. We strongly advocate that all providers meet the certification standards set forth in the CAHSAH certification process in an ongoing effort to improve consumer and caregiver safety and protection.  For more information see our website at:

and the CAHSAH website at:

How Boomers are Reshaping the Landscape Today

Boomer LandscapeAccording to a recent study, by 2030 more than six out of every 10 boomers will be managing more than one chronic condition. Meeting that and other future healthcare challenges “will require more resources, new approaches to care delivery and a greater focus on wellness and prevention,” the report says. One out of every four – 14 million – will be living with diabetes. One out of every two – nearly 26 million – will be living with arthritis.

An aging population also presents opportunities, however. Two of the fastest-growing occupations in the U.S. today are personal- and home-care aides as well as home health aides. Between 2006 and 2016, the number of people working as home health aides is expected to grow by nearly 50%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For the full report, “When I’m 64: How Boomers Will Change Healthcare,” go to this link and download.

Jump on the Treadmill to Rewire Your Brain and Improve Fitness!

TreadmillIt is most typical for stroke patients to be told to “learn to live with” their disabilities, unlike heart attack patients and others who are often prescribed lifestyle changes and exercise programs to help recover function. According to recent research at Johns Hopkins published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, people who walk on a treadmill even years after stroke damage can significantly improve their health and mobility, changes that reflect actual “rewiring” of their brains. The study’s results suggest that patients’ brains may retain the capacity to rewire through a treadmill exercise program months or years after conventional physical therapy has ended.

Most stroke rehabilitation programs focus on short-term improvement, ending just a few months after a patient has had a stroke. Consequently, over the following years, patients’ functional improvement plateaus and their fitness often wanes, a factor that could increase the chance of a second stroke.

Hoping to find evidence that improved brain activity was responsible for the results, the investigators analyzed the brain scans and found markedly increased metabolic activity in brainstem areas associated with walking among all the treadmill exercisers.

Those patients with the most improvement in walking showed the strongest change in brain activity, though the researchers don’t yet know whether these brain changes were caused by more walking or whether participants walked better because brain activity in these key areas increased. This question will be the focus of a future study. Read the entire article here.

Creating a “Habitat for Living” for Seniors

William H. Thomas, M.D., switched to geriatrics after working in a nursing home in 1991. He found that “…their problems didn’t have to do with their medications. Their three biggest problems were loneliness, helplessness and boredom.”  This fall he is teaching “Aging 100: You Say You Want a Revolution,” for freshmen at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s Erickson School on Aging, Management and Policy.

Thomas and his wife, Judith Meyers-Thomas, started the Eden Alternative, which began by bringing parakeets into patients’ rooms in one nursing home, a program that has now been introduced into more than 300 nursing homes in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia. The idea is to make long-term care settings for older people more like gardens – habitats for living things – rather than sterile medical institutions. For the complete article click here.

A Conversation with Cancer

Leroy Sievers, in his blog on his own experience with cancer, writes, “After that day, your life is never the same.” ‘That day’ is the day the doctor tells you, “You have cancer.” Every one of us knows someone who’s had to face that news. It’s scary, it’s sad. But it’s still life, and it’s a life worth living. “My Cancer” is a blog that was Sievers’ daily account of his life and his fight with cancer.

No Sleep for Those Who Care for Persons with Dementia

Sleepless nightsResults of a recent study show objective and subjective differences in sleep patterns of older adults with and without caregiver status. A study in the August 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that the sleep patterns of older adults who live with and provide direct care during the night for a person with dementia are significantly worse than other older adults without caregiving responsibilities.

When sleep was measured objectively, and after adjusting for depressive symptoms, age, health condition and education, adults who take care of a person suffering from dementia took longer to fall asleep and had less total sleep than non-caregivers.

The most surprising finding of the study was that the caregiver group took a longer time to fall asleep, which is consistent with the greater worry and concern that caregivers may have.

Other measurement tools used in the study included daily sleep diaries, the Epworth Sleepiness Scale and the Fatigue Severity Scale. Participants were also assessed for depressive symptoms.

For the full article, click here.

If You Are Old and Drive in Texas – Beware: the Eyes of Texas Are Upon You

Elderly driverThere are 483,730 drivers 79 and older in Texas, about 3 percent of the state’s registered motorists. An analysis of Texas traffic data from 1975 – 1999 by AAA showed drivers age 75 and older are 2.38 times as likely to be impaired by illness or another physical problem when involved in an injury crash.

A new Texas law affecting older drivers is “Katie’s Law”, named for a Dallas teenager, Katie Bolka, who died in June 2007 in an accident with a 90-year-old woman who sped through a red light and slammed into Katie’s driver’s-side door. The Texas law requires motorists age 79 and older to renew their licenses in person and undergo a vision test. Starting at age 85, drivers must renew every two years, instead of every six. Also, if office staffers observe the driver having shaking hands, trouble answering questions or other red flags, they can require a road test or ask for input from onsite medical examiners.

Chicago lawyer David Rosenfield, who advocated reforms like Katie’s Law in a paper for The Elder Law Journal, says the older drivers “…are far and away the most dangerous drivers on the road” on a per-mile basis.

Read the full story here.

Depression Masking as Dementia

Visit A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions for more information and to download our free resources.

For more ideas on ways to research and make wise choices, we recommend the following resources:

National Memory

National Memory Screening Day is a collaborative effort spearheaded by the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America to promote early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and related illnesses, and to encourage appropriate intervention.

A Servant’s Heart Care Solutions is an official site participating in National Memory Screening Day.


Includes a scale to differentiate between depression and dementia and how to receive help.

Mayo Clinic

Provides information about treatment options for both Alzheimer’s and depression.


Interactive tutorial that is a self screening tool that can be used to assist in determining if depression is present and how best to proceed if it is.

Alzheimer’s Association

Provides an informative comparison of Alzheimer’s and depression.

National Guideline Clearinghouse

Information from a study describing characteristics that increase the risk of depression and some recommended tests for screening.

American Academy of Neurology

Downloadable guideline from the American Academy of Neurology entitled “Screening and Treatment for Depression, Dementia, and Psychosis with Parkinson Disease.”

Mental Health America

Provides concise facts on depression in older adults, as well as links for more information.

The link for free access to Medline search, the National Library of Medicine’s search service that provides access to over 11 million articles.

Did You Know?

  • Aging seniors and the disabled have a right, spelled out in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision of 1999, to enjoy care services in the least-restrictive environment possible. Oftentimes, that means at home rather than in a nursing home.
  • According to AARP, 59 percent of people older than 65 are living on a fixed income.
  • Roughly 7 out of 10 people living with Alzheimer’s disease are living at home and receiving 75% of their care from informal care partners.

Originally posted 2008-10-01 13:45:27.

Tim Colling
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 and to 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.

Articles: 557
Skip to content