Windward Life Care Celebrates 15 Years of Meeting Evolving Needs of San Diego’s Aging and Disabled Adults

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San Diego, CA – May 15, 2019 – This month Windward Life Care® reached a milestone, celebrating 15 years of business. Since 2004, Windward Life Care has grown to be one of San Diego County’s premier aging services firms, evolving alongside the rapidly transforming elder care landscape. Starting out with a handful of employees, Windward now employs over 150 office and caregiving staff, following its 2017 acquisition of Lifeline Care, and has served over 2,000 older and disabled adults.

The story of the company began 37 years ago in 1982 when Windward Life Care founder, Norman Hannay, MPS, CMC, first learned about the “integrated model of care” while working with geriatric care management expert B.J. Curry Spitler. In the integrated model, geriatric care managers directly supervise in-home caregivers to create optimal client outcomes. Hannay sought to expand the integrated model of care throughout the county and formed his own company in May 2004, first known as Elder Care Guides. To reflect changes within the geriatric care management profession, the name was changed to Windward Life Care in 2016. Today, Hannay continues to serve as president of the company, which employs a team of social workers, registered nurses, certified care managers, and professional caregivers who work together to care for older and disabled adults throughout the county.

“Norman and I are proud to work with so many people who are as passionate as we are about caring for older and disabled people. I enjoy my daily interactions with our dedicated team of Aging Life Care Managers® and home care aides, who continually strive to be the most compassionate and effective advocates they can be for our clients,” stated Susan Valoff, LCSW, C-ASWCM, current vice president and part owner, with over 20 years of geriatric care expertise. “It brings me great pride to celebrate 15 years in business with our devoted employees, valued clients, and trusted business partners.”

The home care and health care landscapes have transformed since 2004, particularly with the advent of California’s Home Care Organization licensure in 2016. New technologies have become a big factor in how in-home care providers coordinate their efforts and communicate with families. Geriatric care managers are now known as Aging Life Care Professionals®. But, for the most part, the challenges of aging remain the same: families are still spread out over long distances; dementia still poses tremendous challenges to those who live with the symptoms as well as those caring for them, and clients and families continue to need help navigating the complex health care and long-term care systems.

More and more U.S. families are learning the benefits of working with an Aging Life Care Professional who can help long-distance family caregivers have peace of mind and assist older or disabled adults with practical support in the location where they want to live. As members of the Aging Life Care Association, Windward Life Care’s care managers specialize in dementia care, complex family situations, mental health issues, and helping clients age well with a sense of purpose and quality of life.

“Fostering the growth of Windward Life Care has enabled us to serve many more clients and families throughout the county, allowing many people to reach their goal of aging in place in their own homes,” said Hannay. “We remain dedicated to helping our clients age well, honoring their individual goals, and supporting loved ones and involved professionals in making decisions that enhance the client’s quality of life.”

Windward Life Care continues to evolve as a local leader in elder care. The company plans to open a licensed home health agency to serve more medically complex clients and is embracing new technologies that elevate the quality of personalized care services.

Contact Info:

Julie Moore, Director of Business Development

[email protected]

619-450-4300

2045 1st Avenue, San Diego CA 92101

 

About Windward Life Care

Windward Life Care is San Diego County’s premier aging services firm providing Aging Life Care™ Management and expert in-home care. Windward’s clinical staff are members of the Aging Life Care Association® and are experts in the eight Aging Life Care knowledge areas: health & disability; financial; housing; family; local resources; advocacy; legal; and crisis intervention. Windward’s discerning recruitment and rigorous training sets it apart from other home care providers. Each individual client has a personalized plan for aging well. The interdisciplinary professional team at Windward is comprised of leaders in the Aging Life Care Association, including registered nurses and master’s level social workers. Their areas of expertise include dementia care, complex family situations, mental health issues, and helping clients age well with a sense of purpose and quality of life. The company’s office is located at 2045 1st Avenue San Diego, CA 92101. Connect with the company on social: facebook.com/WindwardLifeCare; twitter.com/WindwardLC; or on LinkedIn/Windward Life Care.

AGING LIFE CARE™ is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association®. Only ALCA Members are authorized to use this term to identify their services. AGING LIFE CARE PROFESSIONAL® is a trademark of the Aging Life Care Association. It is an indication of membership in ALCA, and only ALCA Members are authorized to use this term.

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Recommended Vaccines for Older Adults

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With all the recent news headlines about measles outbreaks and vaccinations, it’s a good reminder for people of all ages to evaluate their immunization schedule. Are you up-to-date on the immunizations required to strengthen your immune system against avoidable diseases?

Often, older adults assume that they don’t need to worry about this topic because of the vaccines that were given in childhood. The truth is that the CDC recommends a few key vaccines for seniors, helping you maintain optimal health in the later years of your life.

Recommended Adult Vaccines

The first step is to evaluate your immunization history with the recommended CDC adult immunization schedule. Your doctor can help you identify the vaccines that should be administered. Health professionals have found that protection from childhood vaccines can wear off with time.

These are some of the guidelines that should be considered to prevent the contraction and spread of serious diseases:

  • Seasonal Flu: The flu strain changes each year, which means that all adults should receive a seasonal flu vaccine. This immunization is most important for older adults, people with chronic health conditions, and pregnant women.
  • Measles: Outbreaks have been reported across the country, making it more important than ever to stay current with your measles vaccination. The CDC recommends that people born between 1957 – 1967 should be revaccinated now.
  • Tdap: If you did not receive a Tdap as an adolescent, then this vaccine is suggested to avoid the risk of whooping cough. Also, a Td booster is recommended every 10 years.
  • Shingles: Older adults have a higher risk of shingles contraction, which is why it is a good idea to have a shingles vaccine.
  • Pneumonia: This vaccine is recommended for adults 65 years or older, as well as children younger than 2 years old. People between these ages with specific medical conditions might also benefit from the pneumonia vaccine.

While illness and disease are a part of life, there are things that you can do to protect your health and avoid serious health concerns. Staying current with your vaccinations can be an important step in your overall health plan. Do you need assistance in designing a personalized healthcare plan or finding the right health care providers in the area? Windward Life Care is here to help. Call to learn about the available services.

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Eldercare Mediation: Resolving Family Discord

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Family conflict can occur if an older person has not planned ahead and becomes disabled. Adult children frequently disagree about the best way to care for an elderly parent, and they may have concerns about finances. Failing to see eye-to-eye on caregiving issues can introduce confusion and contention among family members, and old family “roles” can be revived, sometimes in unhealthy ways. When families are unable to resolve their differences, it can help to bring in an eldercare mediator.

What is Elder Mediation?

Eldercare mediation or elder mediation is a professionally guided process to engage family members in a productive dialogue to achieve agreement around elder care issues. Each mediation session is personalized based on the circumstances.

Eldercare mediation addresses common issues facing seniors and their adult children, including:

  • Driving safety
  • Living arrangements
  • Home support services
  • Financial management
  • Medication use/misuse
  • Alcohol and drug use/misuse
  • Assistive devices: purchase/use/training
  • Advance health care directives
  • Durable Power of Attorney
  • Diminished mental capacity and functional abilities
  • End of life wishes
  • Leaving a legacy
  • Family cultural and religious differences

How Does It Work?

Elder mediators first meet with the interested parties individually to determine their concerns and viewpoints. They then determine who needs to be “around the table” for the discussion, and then hold one or more sessions where critical issues are addressed and family members come to a shared agreement about how to proceed. The mediator is impartial and does not place the interests of one party in the mediation above other parties. The goal is to agree upon a course of action before a medical crisis forces decision-making under severe stress.

Elder mediation can cost between $175-$375/hour. Family disputes that are not resolved in mediation frequently result in legal battles costing far more in attorney fees.

Finding a Mediator

As you are searching for an elder mediator in the area, ask about the person’s background, approach, confidentiality, certification, and pricing structure. Personality fit is important too. A few questions up front can be a valuable way to learn about your options before engaging in services.

For more information about finding the right resources for your family needs, Windward Life Care is here to assist. Contact us any time for personalized support and guidance in your life care planning. Thank you to Dr. Craig Grether, Ph.D. of Just Solutions, for contributing to this article. He is a clinical psychologist, neuropsychologist and certified mediator in Carlsbad, California.

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Maintaining Healthy Hearing: Prevention and Treatment Options

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Hearing loss is surprisingly common among older adults, with an estimated 33% of people between the ages of 65 and 74 suffering from this problem. Aging can contribute to these issues, as well as genetics, noise, and disease.

Hearing Problems Faced by Older Adults

Poor hearing in older adults isn’t only an inconvenience, but it can have a ripple effect on many aspects of life. When someone is experiencing hearing loss, they find it hard to hold conversations with family and friends. Additionally, hearing loss can increase the risk of depression, isolation, and even dementia.

Sometimes, a person suffering from poor hearing feels embarrassed or frustrated because they can’t understand what other people are saying. Friends and family might mistakenly think that the person is uncooperative, unresponsive, or confused when really the problem is with the person’s hearing.

Is it Time to Get Your Hearing Checked?

When hearing problems are ignored or left untreated, the issues will get worse with time. If you suspect that you have a hearing problem, then it is essential to visit a doctor for expert advice and treatments.

Signs of hearing loss include:

  • Difficulty hearing when talking on the telephone
  • It is hard to follow conversations when two or more people are participating
  • There is often a need to ask people to repeat their comments
  • Turning up the TV or radio to a point where other people complain about the noise
  • Unable to hear due to background noise
  • The perception that other people are mumbling

Technologies to Help with Hearing

The recommended treatment plan will vary depending on the severity and type of hearing loss that you are experiencing. Some treatments will work better than others. Available treatment options include:

  • Hearing Aids: Small, electronic devices worn behind or in your ear, helping to amplify sounds.
  • Assisted Listening Devices: Certain devices can be used to amplify the sounds coming through a cell phone or tablet. Additionally, closed circuit systems can be used in public locations, such as auditoriums, theaters, and more.
  • Cochlear Implants: These implants are placed in the inner ear and are often used when the hearing loss is severe.

Other treatment options include lip-reading training or even medications in some cases. If you need help finding the right medical support for your hearing loss, then our team is here to assist. Contact us at Windward Life Care.

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Vietnam Veterans – Unique Needs and Benefits

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The Vietnam War Veterans Recognition Act was signed into law in 2017. This act was designed as an official recognition of March 29th each year as the “National Vietnam War Veterans Day.” Veterans of the Vietnam War are aging and many now require additional assistance to perform their everyday activities. It is important to understand their unique needs in order to care for them respectfully and effectively.

Wounds From the War

The Vietnam War was the one of the longest wars fought by the United States, and many soldiers came home with injuries that affect them to this day.  Over 153,000 soldiers were wounded, and more than 58,000 members of the US military lost their lives in this war.

Many of the disabilities affecting Vietnam vets today were caused by exposure to herbicide and defoliant Agent Orange. Other injuries occurred due to equipment and machinery, exposure to loud noise, and contact with a variety of other chemicals during service. The Veterans Administration recommends that Vietnam Veterans be tested for Hepatitis C since they are also at high risk for this infection.

Benefits for Veterans

Fortunately, there are a number of benefits available to Vietnam veterans and their children, including:

  • Training and education
  • Disability compensation
  • Monetary benefits
  • Health care, and assistance with home or facility care
  • Insurance coverage
  • Vocational rehabilitation
  • Home loans
  • Burial services

After Agent Orange exposure, many children were born with birth defects, such as spina bifida. Many children of women veterans of the Vietnam war were born with birth defects including congenital heart disease, hydrocephalus, and cleft lip and cleft palate.

For access to veterans’ benefits, an application needs to be submitted to a VA regional office. An online application is available, as well as local services to help veterans find the support and medical care that is needed. The VA benefits application process can be completed by veterans, current service members, families, and accredited representatives (also called Veterans Service Officers).

At Windward Life Care, we are here to help you in finding the right resources based on your needs. Whether you are seeking medical support or you are interested in VA benefits, you are welcome to contact us for information and assistance.

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Chronic Kidney Disease – What Is Your Risk?

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Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is a growing public health issue, with an estimated 10% of the worldwide population affected by this condition. This lasting damage to the kidneys gets worse over time, especially without lifestyle changes and treatments to slow the disease. World Kidney Day is March 14th; this day is designated to spread information and knowledge about kidney health.

Your kidneys work hard to keep you alive each day. If the kidneys fail, then it is necessary to have a transplant or receive dialysis treatments several times a week. It is important to take good care of them, helping you maintain optimal health in all stages of life.

Symptoms of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD)

In the beginning, you might not recognize that your kidneys are struggling. It is common for the symptoms to start slowly and get worse with time. When the symptoms are recognized, it might be that your kidneys are already severely damaged.

If your kidneys are struggling, common symptoms include:

  • Muscle cramps
  • Itching
  • Reduced hunger
  • Swelling in the ankles and feet
  • Changes in urine output
  • Difficulty catching your breath
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Vomiting and nausea

The best thing you can do is contact a doctor as soon as possible if you notice these symptoms.

Risk Factors for Kidney Disease

Genetics and age play a role in the development of kidney disease. For example, if you are over the age of 60 and have a family member with kidney disease, then your risk is high. Doctors have also found that other health issues increase the risk of CKD:

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)

If you’ve been diagnosed with one or more of these conditions, don’t overlook the importance of managing the disease to keep your kidneys healthy. Lifestyle changes and proper treatment can improve overall health and have a positive impact on your kidney health as well.

Do you need help finding the right health resources and medical care? At Windward Life Care, we are working hard to ensure that you have the support needed to live a healthy lifestyle. Contact us to learn about the services that are available.

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