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California Home Care Newsletter

Living with Arthritis

An estimated 41 million Americans are living with arthritis. Forty percent of those are aged 65 years or better. Arthritis hurts the joints where two bones meet and causes pain, swelling, warm sensations and redness. If you have discomfort for more than two weeks, it’s time to make an appointment with your doctor. Since there are more than 100 different types of the condition, your physician can diagnose and prescribe a treatment for your specific needs.

Although there’s not yet a cure for arthritis, there are numerous medications that can help those living with the ailment. A medical professional can also show you range-of-motion exercises that can relieve arthritic pain.

“Eating the proper foods, stretching and resting are a few ways to help make living with arthritis easier,” says Margarette Borg, president of California Home Care. “Yogurt, cheese, ice cream, broccoli and salmon are excellent sources of calcium that are also good for aching bones.”

A warm bath before bed can relieve muscle tension and ease joints to help you get a restful night’s sleep. Also, make sure to wear well-padded shoes with plenty of room for your toes. Quality shoes can make a world of difference in the way you feel. An ice pack can lessen the pain of aching joints. A bag of frozen peas or corn can be used and molded to the shape of your body. There are also numerous assistive devices designed for those living with arthritis.

For more information about living with arthritis, call the Arthritis Foundation toll-free at (800) 283-7800.

Assistive Devices

Canes and crutches help reduce joint stress. Stools, carts and other objects on wheels can be pushed, rather than carried or lifted.

Padded handles make objects such as keys, kitchen gadgets and toothbrushes easier to hold.

Electric can openers reduce the need for twisting movements.

Spring and Summer Sniffles…
Sniffling, sneezing, coughing and wheezing? Because of our year-round warm climate, San Diegans live with high levels of pollen and other allergens that trigger seasonal allergies. If you experience congestion, sneezing and a runny nose, then you know seasonal allergies are nothing to sneeze at! These types of allergies cause irritation of the nasal passages and upper airways. “Clients and caregivers often ask us about taking over-the-counter allergy medicines,” says Margarette. “Since many of our clients are on several medications, we always recommend asking your doctor before taking any over-the-counter remedies. Some of them may not be compatible with your prescribed medicines.”

Reducing the Sniffles
Stay indoors during the early morning hours, and on breezy days. Keep windows closed at home and in the car on “high-pollen” days. If possible, use your air conditioner. Wash your hair and change clothing at night. This helps keep pollen off your pillows and sheets. Avoid using outdoor clothing lines during allergy season. Consider an indoor clothes rack, or using a dryer.

Continuing Education
Did you know that CHC’s continuing education classes are free to employees – and you also receive a $20 bonus for each class attended? Additionally, CHC caregivers earn a Star toward the Star Program for every five classes completed! You can also bring a friend, who pays just $5 per unit. Caregivers who keep their skills updated qualify for more assignments. CEU classes provide four units toward renewing CNA, LVN and RN licenses. Make sure you’re “in-the-know” when it comes to providing the most professional caregiving services possible. Call the CHC office, (619) 521-5858, to register.

Class Schedule

Saturday, June 4 - Lung Disease / CEU
An increasing number of seniors are living with lung disease. Learn how to provide quality homecare to those with special needs.

*Focus / Communication
Professional caregivers know how to communicate effectively with clients, families and physicians. Join us to learn this important skill.

Saturday, July 9 - Auto Immune Disease / CEU
This class was recently added to make sure our caregivers remain updated on diseases of the immune system. Call early to register!

*Focus / Personal Care
When you look good, you feel better! We’ll discuss personal care tips that help caregivers and clients feel their best.

Saturday, August 6 - Skin Cancer / CEU
Join us to learn how to recognize skin problems that may need medical attention. This is an important class that can help protect our clients from skin cancer.

*Focus / Basic Home Safety
We’ll discuss safety tips that help make sure our clients remain secure in the comfort of their homes.

Saturday, September 3 - Diabetes / CEU
Living with Diabetes requires special attention and care. You’ll learn how to make life easier for our clients with this serious condition.

*Focus / Body Mechanics
Protect yourself from injury. You’ll learn proper body mechanic techniques for bending, lifting and transporting our clients.

Focus Classes include Communication, Personal Care, Body Mechanics, Basic Home Safety and Meal Preparation. Classes are held from 8 am to noon at the CHC office, 3078 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park. Caregivers are encouraged to attend a minimum of five Focus Classes.

Client Profile

Mr. William Tirk
We had a delightful visit with Mr. William Tirk and CHC caregiver Bill Currin on a beautiful spring day. Mr. Tirk has been a CHC client for about two years, and has lived in his home since it was built more than 60 years ago. He is a WW II veteran who specialized in vehicle maintenance.

Mr. Tirk’s wonderful sense of humor probably stems from his interesting childhood. “Our family traveled with the carnival,” says Mr. Tirk. “My father had a wild animal act that included ponies and monkeys.” When asked if he was in charge of taking care of the animals, he laughed and said, “No, the animals took care of me!”

He recalls fond memories of two particular monkeys. “I remember taking one of them walking with me. We would buy five cent wafers. I’d give the monkey the orange ones because they were hot,” says Mr. Tirk. “He was a good monkey.”

One monkey, however, wasn’t so good. “One day my grandmother was getting ready to move. She was wrapping the dishes in newspaper, and packing them in a large barrel.” Apparently that monkey didn’t want to move. Mr. Tirk says, “He took all the dishes out and unwrapped them. Then, he chased my mother and grandmother onto the roof.” They were stranded on the rooftop until someone came home to their rescue!

With his interest in searching for, and studying gems and crystals, Mr. Tirk has been a “rock hound” since 1956. He has served as treasurer of the San Diego Mineral and Gem Society for the past 45 years. In addition to conducting field trips, the organization holds educational classes such as rock carving and silver work. Mr. Tirk still enjoys attending monthly board meetings and remaining active in the society. “When I first joined the group the annual dues were $3. Now it costs $25,” Mr. Tirk says. “I guess it’s been a long time!”

We enjoyed our time with Mr. Tirk, and are glad that he’s part of our CHC family.

Caregivers of the Month

Thank you for a job well done!

November 2004
Irma Peralta is hardworking and very patient. We appreciate her professionalism!

December 2004
She’s caring and always attentive to our clients’ needs. Thank you, Tammy Montano, for a job well done.

January 2005
Rose Bush is a great conversationalist, and always has a bright smile. Thank you, Rose!

February 2005
Sara Esquivel is one of our most motivated caregivers. We can always count on her.

March 2005
She’s nurturing, and loved by our clients. Sandra Riley is an asset to the CHC family!