Celtic Angels Inc: Newsletter

Celtic Angels Inc. – Summer 2013

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Celtic Angels Inc: Time to Throw in the Keys!

Lately, there has been a vast amount of reports in the News that frowns against elderly drivers. It is a controversial argument of whether or not senior drivers should be allowed to operate a motor vehicle due to recent events of fatal crashes where the elderly drivers are at fault. I believe that it should be a self choice when there are no short term memory issues or dementia involved because we all know what we are capable of and if a person has any sort of doubt in their driving skills that they should turn in their keys for the safety and lives of others.

I recently came across an inspirational article in AAA Horizons Newspaper, ‘Keeping the Keys’ for seniors and families by Aimee Carrier, that really shows empowerment in being elderly. The article featured an elderly man who voluntary gave up his driving license. Joe Boudreau fought as a U.S. Navy man in World War II where he had to drive, although he did not even have his license! He got his license when he was 20 years of age in 1947. For someone who has been driving even before having a license and had the poise to swallow his pride and give up an everyday privilege is inspiring. I cannot speak for everyone else, but I would not be able to get by without my car as materialistic as that sounds, it’s the truth, which is why this article really hit a soft spot for me.

Joe says, “It was a hard decision to make, but for me, I didn’t want to cause an accident where I hurt someone else,” he said. “Once you get in an accident, it’s too late.”

I feel that Joe is a very strong, caring man because as his eyesight started to decline, along with his driving skills, he took it upon himself to think not only of himself, but about the other drivers on the road with him. He would never want to cause any harm to others by getting into an accident, so Joe wanted to fix the situation before it became a problem. It is encouraging because he made the decision to give up his keys all by himself without any sort of intervention from his family or anything.

AAA is offering a seminar called “Keeping the Keys”. This seminar is a program for elderly drivers that help with determining when it’s time for a driver to give up driving for good. The seminar offers techniques for keeping driving skills sharp. The program also includes a series of discussions such as warning signs for when it’s time to stop operating motor vehicles. It also provides tips for family members in approaching their loved ones about not driving. I think that this program is a great place to start for families that have noticed a decline in their loved ones mental status as a family sometimes some tough love is called for in asking for a parent to hand over their keys. I once took care of a lady with no family involvement and whose power of attorney was a neighbor. This lady had dementia but was still driving around. The neighbor had no idea that her dementia was as advanced as it was. I had to tell him that she definitely was a danger on the road and she could not drive any more. It comes to the point that you as a family or power of attorney have to make these difficult decisions for loved ones safety and for all the other drivers on the road. The nature of dementia is cruel, every day is different and god forbid that your loved one drives into a crowd of pedestrians or even into the South Shore Plaza because they didn’t recognize where they were or what they were doing. You, as their nearest and dearest, can prevent this from happening!

Best Wishes!
Maria Burke

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Celtic Angels Inc: Irish Rewarded Euro from President of Ireland!

Irish rewarded for living to 100 years of age? IT’S TRUE and it’s called The Centenarian Bounty.

The Centenarian Bounty is a national award given by the President of Ireland to any Irish born person who has lived to be 100 years of age. This reward is a personalized letter of congratulations signed by the President of Ireland and earnings that can go up to €3,560.00. The Centenarian will receive these rewards on his or hers 100th birthday. It is important for all Irish living residents in the United States, or any other country for that matter, to know about this bounty as it is available to any person who was born in Ireland. This award was introduced by President Douglas Hyde in 1940, when the payment was only £5. The bounty has clearly risen since then and the elderly are being more appreciated in current days. I had one patient from county Galway who passed just eight weeks shy of turning a hundred. She had so much fun planning what she was going to do with her windfall and as her caregivers, we all loved to see her get so excited. I would love to share with you her final plan which was a cruise and we were all going to sip pina coladas on the cruise ships deck!!!!! She was an amazing woman and we all miss her but know that she is still with us. She lives on in our hearts and truly touched all of our lives. It was such a honor and I hope in your life time you meet someone who touches your life in a very special way.

When applying for this bounty you will need the following:
-Applicant’s civil birth certificate and/or Irish Passport. If surname is different from original name at birth, a marriage certificate will also be needed.
-Two recent proofs of identity will be needed as well. (Photo I.D., Utility Bills, ect.)

PLEASE NOTE:These documentations are essential to the application and are required to confirm applicant’s identity, age, Irish citizenship and place of birth.

I provided a link to The Centenarian Bounty application below:

http://www.dfa.ie/uploads/documents/centenarianaward.pdf

I feel that not many people know about this award and that it is important for the Irish community living in America or any other country, to have the knowledge of this beneficial bounty. Wishing you all every joy, happiness, peace and love today and every day and may 2011 be your best year ever!!!!!!!!
Best Wishes
Maria Burke

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Celtic Angels Inc: Food for Thought!

Stir Up Your Holiday Season with a Traditional Irish Sherry Trifle!

From my home to yours, a delicious holiday treat for all of you sweet tooths out there! I hope you can enjoy this Sherry Trifle recipe that comes all the way from my home, Ireland. My family and I love this dish, so give it whirl and bring some Irish into your home this holiday season!

Ingredients:

12 oz. Sponge cake
Raspberry or Strawberry Jam (Whatever flavor you prefer!)
1 Box of Cherry, Strawberry or Raspberry Jello (Whatever flavor you prefer!)
1/2 Cup of Sherry
1 Tin of fruit cocktail (Drained)
2 cups of thick Custard
2 cups of Whipped Cream

METHOD:
– Make in a large glass bowl.

1) Cut sponge cake into equal 1 inch square slices.
2) On each cake slice spread raspberries jam on each side and then line the bottom of the glass dish with the slices.
3) Pour fruit cocktail on top of the cake slices.
4) Dissolve the Jello in boiling water and when dissolved, add the sherry to make up approximately a pint of jelly liquid.
5) Pour prepared Jello on top of the fruit and cake slices.
6) Leave in Fridge overnight.

LAST TOUCHES:
1) Spoon over a thick layer of custard on top of the solid cake.
2) Finish with a thick layer of whipped cream on top of the custard.
3) Decorate with strawberry slices, raspberries or what ever else you would like to add on top.
4) Keep Refrigerated until serving time!

NOTE: If serving children, Exclude the Sherry.

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Celtic Angels Inc: A Few Tips for Caregivers

A few tips for caregivers!

Accept help and allow the entire family to share in the responsibility of your loved ones. I once overhead one brother say, “It’s just easier for me to do the food shopping then to wait for my sister to get around to it.” His sisters reply was, “When I offer help, he always says he has already taken care of everything.”

Allow the whole family the opportunities to give a hand in care-giving, even if it might require some flexibility in your schedule. Try not to brush off any offers of help. In one family I remember a very controlling brother who cared for his parents in his own home and wouldn’t accept his sisters offer of help on her day off from work due to feeling that this caused disruption in the routine.

Try not to subscribe to the notion that you are the only competent person in the family to manage care. For example one sister says, “She buys food that Dad is not supposed to have on his diet.” And the other sisters remarks, “Every time I try to help she just complains that I don’t do anything right.” Allow others to take on duties and show patience with their mistakes while learning.

Recognize that there usually is underlying reasons for the actions of the “all talk, no help” guy. He/She may feel guilty about not helping as much as he’d/she’d like but try to give him/her the benefit of the doubt with comments like, ” I know you wish you could come more often to see mom but she sure does light up whenever she gets the chance to see you.”

Encourage praise of all your family members regarding their efforts in care-giving and never “gang up” on one which will most likely cause alienation.

Try NOT to overlap family member’s visits if possible. Schedule in advance each family member’s visit in or to maximize the time for a regular caregiver to be off duty.

Alternate residences of siblings if at all feasible when parents can no longer remain at home. I have often seen brothers and sisters take turns having their parents stay with them for intervals of 1-2 months up to 6 months at a time and it seems to work very successfully.

Try to lean away from any type of dependency from either of your parents. Be careful to not, unknowingly, be put into the situation of being the only one who can properly take care of mom and dad. This can happen unrepentantly and be mistaken for a compliment initially but will eventually end with disastrous results later.

Be resistant to allowing a visit from an out-of-town family member that forces you to play the hostess role with things such as preparing meals and entertaining them. If you cannot use this time for your own well deserved resting time then at the very least make certain that this family member is not treated as company, but instead as another helping hand.

Consider hiring an elder law attorney and possibly a financial adviser to assist in managing the legal aspects of your parents affairs and relieves you from those responsibilities.

Consider hiring a GCM (Geriatric Care Manager) if you foresee the need for a neutral professional to oversee the care of your parents and assist with helping delegate care-giving responsibilities.

Also, Consider hiring a trustworthy agency to the provide a great home health aide to take care of your loved one at home and give you a much needed break. Some families I have worked with actually split the cost between them and makes this a very affordable option.

Try to always keep in mind the reason for the other family member’s care-giving efforts and that their help is purely for the love of their aging parents. Accommodating their needs and desires in order to bring  their happiness is a very unselfish act that is too often overlooked.

As we say in Ireland, “Wishing you all Health and Wealth!”

Best Wishes!

Maria Burke, RN

Celtic Angels Inc.

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Celtic Angels Inc: Younger Everyday!

10 Ways To Reduce Your Real Age!

1. Take your vitamins

2. Quit smoking and avoid passive smoke

3. Know your blood pressure

4. Reduce stress

5. Floss your teeth

6. Be active

7. Wear your seat belt

8. Fill up on fiber

9. Monitor your health

10. Laugh a lot!

What’s your real age?

Using the list above, what three steps can you take today to lower your real age?

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Celtic Angels Inc: Signs your Parents or Elderly Relatives Need Help!

In the course of my work with the elderly, I have found that I am often asked for advice from family members on what red flags they should be looking for that would indicate that their loved ones need help. I feel it is very important for concerned family members to know these signs so that their loved ones receive the care that they need, so I have provided below the vital, main things to look for!

1.  Medications  scattered all over house, multiple containers of the same medications still full, missed doses, can’t remember when they last took their medications, mistakes such as overdosing or interactions resulting in health concerns, if not hospitalizations.

2. Unexplained weight loss, outdated food in the refrigerator, not preparing meals,  or missing them completely; Poor selection of food or lots of take out containers and in some cases very little or no food in the cabinets.

3. Bills and important documents are not put away in appropriate places and left lying around. Bills not being paid.

4. Not knowing what to do in an emergency, for example when you verbally ask “what would you do if there was a fire” they are unable to tell you. Other things like leaving the stove on, burn holes in the carpet and not being able to make sound decisions that will most likely cause  harm to them self or others.

5.  Wearing the same clothes over and over, either urine or body odor, long, dirty nails, not shaving, not washing hair and just a general decline of their personal hygiene.

6. Patient becomes lost in familiar areas. Car has unexplained dents and scratches, driving safely becomes an issue, citations that you find in the patients house.

7. Walking unsteady, furniture walking where they are holding on to chairs, table to maintain their balance, unexplained bruises or scratches that could have occurred from a fall they do not want you to know about, Getting  in and out of  their home is becoming difficult, they start sleeping in a recliner as the stairs to go to their bed room becomes difficult.

8. Depression, Sleeping for long periods of time, no appetite, no interest in hobbies they previous enjoyed. Please seek help straight away. Go to their Doctor and get a referral if need be. One of the leading causes of suicide among the elderly is depression common risk factors: Death of a spouse or loved one, loneliness, illness, fear of not being able to take care of themselves. White men over the age of 85 are at greatest risk with a suicide rate of 48.4 per 1000.000.

9.  House hold repairs and maintenance neglected, Lawn not mowed, trash piled up in and outside of house, unpleasant odors.

I hope these tips will help you in caring and protecting your elderly loved ones! If you find that you’ve seen these signs in your loved ones and feel that they may need extra assistance, Please contact us  at Celtic Angels Inc. and let our  home health angels provide the best care for you!

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Celtic Angels Inc: Weymouth MA Health Department Details & More

Often people think of Government departments as being obscure, but Weymouth MA’s health department is not – they are very active in promoting the interests of Weymouth’s population.

Here are their details:

Town Hall
75 Middle Street
Weymouth, MA 02189
Tel: 781-340-5008
Fax: 781-682-6112
Clinic Information: 781-682-3579

Of course we also have South Shore Hospital looking after local healthcare needs!

If you are looking for a personalized in home healthcare option for yourself or a relative then please contact Celtic Angels Inc. for professional advice and assistance in this area. Our professionals are all highly trained and skilled and willing to help those who are in need in their golden years.

Contact us today!

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Celtic Angels Inc: It’s Flu Season – Time To Get The Flu Shot!

A close-up of a Caucasian person receiving a shot

No one really likes to get the flu shot – but as its flu season again, now is the time to get prepared so you don’t get sick!

Flu is a horrific sickness that can kill those who are chronically ill or elderly, so it is of the utmost importance to get a flu shot every season.

These days there are different options available – from the traditional injection to a nasal vaccine. Use this link to find a local clinic offering the vaccine.

So all you folks in the Weymouth MA area go out and get a flu shot to cut your risk of getting sick this winter!

If you are looking for a personalized in home healthcare option for yourself or a relative then please contact Celtic Angels Inc. for professional advice and assistance in this area. Our professionals are all highly trained and skilled and willing to help those who are in need in their golden years.

Contact us today!

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Welcome to the new Celtic Angels Inc. Website

What We Do:
Celtic Angels is dedicated to providing the care and support that will enable clients to reach the highest level of health, function and comfort while remaining in their homes. We believe in encouraging independence and self-care to the greatest extent possible in order to preserve the clients’ dignity and autonomy. We believe in providing care that has been tailored to each person’s unique situation and in recommending changes that will be of benefit to the clients. We strive to do more than what is expected and will measure our success not by numbers, but by the quality of our service and our relationship with our clients.

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