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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Making the Most of the Holidays When a Loved One has Dementia by Lisa Mayfield and ALCA

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Celebrating the Holidays with Dementia

by Lisa Mayfield, MA, LMHC, GMHS, CMC, Principal, Fellow Certified Care Manager

The holidays can often be a time filled with high expectations, requiring lots of energy and engagement in non-stop activities. For the individuals and families living with Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, it can be challenging and a time of high anxiety. Festivities can agitate, confuse, and overstimulate persons living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Meanwhile, caregivers can feel anxious, frustrated, and lonely.

To minimize the anxiety and encourage a happy holiday season for the entire family, a little advanced thought and planning can go a long way in ensuring everyone has a wonderful time. Remembering that the holidays, at their best, are a time for enjoying one another’s company and sharing gratitude for each other can make some advanced planning go a long way.

Here are some stress busters that have worked for other families and might prove successful for your celebrations:

  1. Let guests know what to expect before they arrive. If your loved one is in the early stages of dementia, it’s likely family and friends won’t notice any changes. The person with middle or late-stage dementia may have trouble following conversation or tend to repeat him- or herself. Family can help with communication by being patient, not interrupting or correcting, and giving the person time to finish his or her thoughts. Make sure visitors understand that changes in behavior and memory are caused by the disability and not the person. Understanding, acceptance and patience go a long way.
  2. Adjust expectations. The challenges of caregiving responsibilities combined with holiday expectations can take a toll. Invite family and friends to a conversation ahead of time. Be honest about any limitations or needs, such as keeping a daily routine, or making modifications to plans to minimize holiday stress. The goal here is time together. Your loved one will enjoy the company of friends and family. Let their presence be their present!
  3. Be good to YOU! This is often the hardest step. But giving yourself permission to do only what you can reasonably manage is one of the most precious gifts you can give yourself. If you’ve always had a large group at your home, consider having only a few guests for a simple meal. Let others participate by having a potluck dinner or ask them to host at their home. This is the time to be especially gentle and kind with yourself. This is also a great time to practice saying “No” and pace yourself.
  4. Involve the person with dementia. Focus on activities, traditions and memories that are meaningful to the person with dementia. Your family member may find comfort in singing old holiday songs or looking through old photo albums. Involve the person in holiday preparation. As abilities allow, invite him or her to help you decorate, prepare food, set the table, wrap packages, or address holiday cards.
  5. Maintain a normal routine. Sticking to the person’s normal routine will help keep the holidays from becoming overly stressful or confusing. Plan time for breaks and rest. Make sure to have favorites at the ready: holiday music, movies, clothing, and food. All these familiar favorites can bring comfort and build enjoyment into a holiday celebration.
  6. Use the buddy system. Plan ahead to have family and friends take turns being the buddy to your loved one. This is a great way to encourage one-on-one time as well as to shield the individual with dementia from distress. It also gives a break to the primary caregiver.
  7. Engage an Aging Life Care Professional®. Aging Life Care Professionals are the experts in aging well.  We understand dementia, aging, family systems, and the myriad of challenges and obstacles that families experience in caring for a loved one.  An Aging Life Care expert can help anticipate issues and address them before they happen, offering the options and wise counsel on how to navigate the holidays successfully. Our focus is on the well-being of the older adults in your life, while also helping you to care for yourself.  By engaging an Aging Life Care professional, you are working with someone who takes a holistic, client-centered approach to caring for older adults. Visit the Aging Life Care Association website to locate an expert near you.

By setting realistic expectations, involving others, maintaining a routine, and keeping activities and traditions to a select few, you can ensure yourself, your loved one, and family and friends a low stress, memorable, and successful holiday season.

Author Lisa Mayfield, MA, LMHC, GMHS, CMC, Principal, Fellow Certified Care Manager, founded Aging Wisdom® in 2003, recognizing early in her career that problem-solving and thoughtful, personalized care management were what most people needed, not therapy, to address the challenges and concerns of aging. When she discovered the Aging Life Care profession (AKA geriatric care management), she immersed her herself fully in the profession, and Aging Wisdom was born.

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Client Story: Maintaining Independence in Times of Crisis

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As we age, it can become harder to navigate unforeseen, life-altering events on our own. At Windward Life Care®, our Aging Life Care™ Managers are trained to help clients maintain their independence despite adversities. The following story demonstrates one of the many ways our Care Managers create personalized plans of care that emphasize the client’s goals and maximize freedom and quality of life — even in times of crisis. 

Aging Life Care Manager Story: Camille and Heather

Camille is a 63-year-old-woman with special needs who had been living in a partially flooded home for over a year without alerting anyone to her situation. The flood had destroyed the interior of her house and nearly all of her personal belongings. She needed extensive assistance moving into a safe space and getting back on her feet after this disaster had left her vulnerable and without direction.

After learning of the state in which Camille had been living, her trustee contacted Windward for help. Heather Arsenault, an Associate Care Manager at Windward, instantly relocated Camille into an extended-stay hotel with kitchen amenities and laundry service. Over the next several months, Heather worked diligently with Camille to put together a long-term plan.

Heather found a new apartment that would meet Camille’s needs while granting her the autonomy she longed for. “I was given a limited budget to furnish the one-bedroom apartment including the bedroom and living room furniture, kitchen appliances, and television,” said Heather. Heather shaped the apartment into a comfortable home.

Heather coordinated the lease, gas/electric and cable and transferred Camille’s mail to the new apartment. After it was discovered that Camille did not have health insurance, Heather researched her eligibility for government benefits and soon Camille was granted Medi-Cal coverage that allowed for personalized at-home assistance.

Heather’s compassion and dedication gave Camille the ability to maintain her sense of independence in a safe and supportive living environment. “Now she is living on her own in the apartment with a caregiver visiting twice a month and assisting her with laundry, grocery shopping, and errands,” said Heather. “Camille is so excited to be on her own again and is thankful for all that we did for her.”
We are dedicated to supporting our clients and willing to go above and beyond to bring together the right resources. The reward is bringing peace of mind to clients like Camille; this inspires each of us to do even more every day.

Windward Life Care’s interdisciplinary team of Aging Life Care™ Managers has certification and professional training in a number of areas related to healthy aging, including nursing, geriatric care management, and social work. If you would like us to create a personalized plan for yourself or someone you care about, please visit: https://windwardlifecare.com/what-we-do/aging-life-care-management/

*Due to respect of our clients’ privacy, some names have been altered.  

 

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Safety on the Road: Driving in the Later Years of Life

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Driving offers the independence that many aging adults want to maintain for as long as possible. But, it is essential to ensure safety on the road, to protect yourself and other people in the area. It has been found that older drivers have a higher risk of collision when they are behind the wheel.

Why Driving Skills are Limited

What causes driving skills to decrease later in life? There are several potential issues that could lead to accidents on the road:

  • Stiff Muscles and Joints: Aging causes the muscles to weaken and the joints to become stiff. As a result, it becomes more difficult to have the agility needed for checking your blind spot, turning the steering wheel, or braking down.
  • Vision Problems: Many older adults suffer from vision problems, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. These eye diseases can make it harder to see the street signs and other people around your car. Vision problems often get worse at night because of the glare or halos that might be around street lights and headlights.
  • Slower Reflexes: It is common for people not to have the ability to react as quickly as they could when they were younger.
  • Medications: Do you take any prescription or over-the-counter medications? Side effects of these drugs could potentially have a negative impact on driving. If a medication makes you less alert or feel lightheaded, then you need to ask your doctor if it is safe to be on the road.
  • Hearing Loss:. If you can’t hear sirens or horns, then you might not be aware of circumstances that are happening nearby.
  • Memory Loss: Some older adults can have trouble remembering their route or where they intended to go. Problems in this area may indicate a need for cognitive screening.

Questions about Your Driving Ability?

There are things you can do to ensure you are safe on the road. These include:  scheduling an evaluation with a driving rehabilitation specialist, such as an occupational therapist or another trained professional; driving only under favorable conditions such as daylight and good weather; completely avoiding alcohol if you are going to be driving, especially if you are taking medications that might interact with alcohol; using only surface streets or other routes that make you most comfortable; and looking for a safe driving course in your community.

At Windward Life Care, we can help you find the right resources to support your independence. Contact our team to learn more about the services that are available.

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