Reviews

Thanks for stopping by. We understand busy caregivers so we want to give you some shortcuts to make your life easier. We will be updating this page frequently with reviews of books, products, websites, technology, apps, local senior communities, and much more, so please check back often. Of course if you would like us to review anything in particular, please let us know!

Apps

I love time-saving apps almost as much as I love exercising. Put the two together and I'm over the moon!

Sworkit is an app that allows you to choose from four categories (Stretching, Cardio, Yoga, and Strength), choose a time limit (in five-minute increments), and choose a particular program. Once the program begins, your personal trainer shows you how to perform each exercise and you also get a vocal reminder when to transition to the next exercise. It's wicked portable since none of the exercise programs require any equipment. 

Don't have much time? Stuck in a hotel room? Stiff from being at your desk working on your computer all day? No worries, bring up Sworkit to snatch a quick workout or stretching routine. It will do you wonders!

Books

I love this book.  From the back cover: 

"The Dementia Concept describes practical approaches that you can use to make interactions more pleasant and successful: by treating individuals with understanding, by connecting to what matters most to them, and by engaging them to be active participants in their own lives."

I've had the pleasure of taking several workshops with the author and I can attest to his entusiasm, knowledge, and insight into the world of dementia.  I highly recommend this quick read for all those who work with or who love someone with dementia. It will help you improve their quality of life and ease your burden of care.

Finding Freedom at Home: The Ultimate Guide to Home Care by Sam Sellers, CAEd, is a simple yet comprehensive guide for those who find themselves dropped into this new reality unawares. From the back cover:

You're not alone. Countless families are currently navigating the waters of long-term care for an aging loved one. Like you, they have many questions, doubts and fears. My hope is that his book will provide you with the answers and guidance needed as you care for your loved one on this journey. 

With over a decade working with and serving older adults, author Sam Sellers describes how in-home care of an aging parent can be empowering for everyone involved. 

Because it is short, sweet, and to the point, I highly recommend Finding Freedom at Home for busy caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed with their circumstances.

Local Communities

Birch Heights is a wonderful independent senior living community in Derry, NH.  It is a Holiday Retirement property that offers large, bright, and beautiful apartments with balconies or patios. There are studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom apartments. Garages and plentiful parking are also available. Amenities include activities, outings, and three meals a day, among many others. There are two sets of managers who live on-site. Costs are all inclusive and are reasonable in comparison to other properties in southern New Hampshire.

We have had many private duty clients in Birch Heights over the years and all have been quite happy. It's always a pleasure to visit. I love walking the hallways looking at all the beautiful pictures. It's like walking through a lovely art gallery!

Sorry my photos came out a bit dark. Click the picture above to go directly to their website for better quality photos. And of course, as always, if you have any questions please feel free to give me a call and if you set up a tour, please tell them Bonnie sent you! 

           

     

One of the loveliest communities in the Salem area is Greystone Farm. Bright and cheerful, comfortable and welcoming, the farmhouse ambience really makes you feel at home. We've provided private duty care to a number of different residents over the years, and all have been quite happy living there. I've personally been in the community at all hours of the day and night, both in the traditional assisted living and memory care areas, and can safely say that their staff is patient, attentive and caring regardless of time or circumstance. If you are looking for a new home in the Salem area, I suggest calling Greystone Farm to set up a tour. Their number is (603) 685-3672; you can also click on the logo and it will take you directly to their website. Feel free to tell them that Bonnie from Home Helpers suggested you call!

Country Kitchen     Living Room Into Library

Living Room     Studio Bedroom

Private Dining Room     Upstairs Gathering Area

Today I had the pleasure of touring the newly opened The Residence at Salem Woods in Salem, NH. What a beautiful community! The rooms are bright and spacious, and there are a number of open, inviting areas in which to gather with friends and family. This community has integrated independent senior living and assisted living, and memory care options as well.

Check out these photos for a quick idea of what to expect, then why not visit for yourself? They can be found online at www.residencesalemwoods.com or call (603) 890-0580 and ask to set up a personal tour. Feel free to tell them Bonnie sent you!

Resident at Salem Woods Parlor  Residence at Salem Woods 


Residence at Salem Woods Single  Residence at Salem Woods Reflections Common Area

We're always looking for the right combination of care for our clients. There are many situations in which I recommend our clients experience the increased socialization environment of an adult day program in addition to our private duty care before or afterwards. One of the adult day programs I love is Silverthorne Adult Day in Salem, NH. Executive Director Paula Faist has a wonderful program full of activity, laughs, and love. The building is bright, clean, and spacious, not that the participants are there all the time - they are off and running on field trips hither and yon!

Silvertorne is a medical model adult day program, meaning that there is a nurse on staff and they can provide personal care as well. For more information on Silverthorne, please call (603) 893-4799 or visit http://www.silverthorneadultday.org/.

         

                      

                              

Easy Recipes for Busy Caregivers

Those who know me know that I don't like to cook. I am quite comfortable with the fact that my place in the kitchen is in front of the sink, not the stove. That said, I sometimes give my husband a break from cooking. The slow cooker is my friend and Taste of Home Slow Cooker Recipes is my go-to cookbook.  

Any favorite recipe of mine must have minimal ingredients, short prep time, and taste great, which is why I love Taste of Home's Mushroom Salsa Chili. It's my husband's favorite as well based on taste alone. We enjoy this chili with fresh tortilla chips or on a baked potato. Click on the picture for the recipe. Bon appėtit!

This recipe is easy and delicious ... who could ask for more? Me! It's also wicked low calorie. My husband and stepson made it a few weeks ago, and we all loved it. The best part was that the leftovers traveled well to work for lunch the next day and tasted even better. All in all, this is a great recipe for overworked caregivers!

Useful Products

Does your loved one have trouble handling regular utensils at dinnertime because of hand pain or stiffness?  

From the Disability Products website: "A great solution for persons with arthritis, stroke, or other neurological impairments when bending the wrist, grasping, or other eating motions become difficult. Good Grips easy-to-hold cutlery handles are made of soft, rubber-like material with flexible ribbing that is comfortable, secure, and adapts to any grip."

Using adaptive equipment is an easy way to promote independence. These cool gadgets are affordable as well. Many web retailers, including Disability Products, listed them for under $11.00 each. You can find Good Grips utensils online through a number of different sites including www.disabilityproducts.com - go straight there by clicking the picture above.

Handybar

Do you transport an elderly or infirm loved one in your vehicle?  The Standers Handybar® is a portable handle that fits into the car door latch and gives them something to hold onto when lowering into the vehicle or when trying to gain leverage when getting out of the vehicle. This gadget is great for seniors, expectant mothers and those recuperating from surgery. Today I received the two I ordered and already gave one to a caregiver. At approximately $30.00, this gadget is cool and affordable.  I ordered mine through Amazon.com, but you can also order from Walgreens.com and other online retail outlets.

Websites

alz.org is my go-to site for any and all resources for Alzheimer's and related dementias. Family caregivers and professionals can find skill-level appropriate training and education along with local support groups and other resources.

Tremendous site for training and education for Survivors and caregivers. The ACS also has a live chat option on the website and a 24/7 help line ((800) 227-2345) for any and all questions about cancer or living with cancer.

The Arthritis Foundation exists to conquer arthritis. This site has loads of information about local and national resources, advocacy, and tools and information for those living with arthritis. 

Every TBI is unique to the type of injury, what part of the brain was injured, and the person who sustained it. If there is one thing that drives me around the bend five times before noon is the saying "it's only a mild concussion."  Every brain injury, no matter how mild or severe, has consequences and can cause significant health and behavior issues. The effects of TBI range from headaches, dizziness, and fatigue to more dire effects such as the inability to process information, talk, or understand language. Family and friends, while they may be supportive, may expect their loved one to progress faster than possible and get frustrated because it's not typically an injury that can be seen. The person looks the same, so they expect them to act the same as before the injury.  

It's best for all concerned to learn about the condition before interacting with a person with TBI. Once armed with this understanding, remind yourself to be patient and supportive, not only with your loved one but with other family members, colleagues, and friends as well. It's not an injury that happens in a vacuum: all are affected in one way or another. The common saying amongst the brain injured "all was well now all is hell" is common for a reason. Life has changed dramatically in the blink of an eye with no warning. It is a gift beyond measure to provide calm support in this time of uncertain chaos.

If you would like to learn more about brain injury, I highly recommend visiting www.brainline.org. It is my go-to site for brain injury resources. You can find them on Facebook as well at www.facebook.com/brainline. 

The National Stroke Association website has a lot of great information about stroke as well as resources for stroke survivors and their loved ones.  

ServiceLink Resource Centers are located throughout New Hampshire and are your link to information and support services in your communityfor the elderly and disabled. If your situation changes or your loved one needs assistance of any kind, the first place to check is ServiceLink. They can help you find services and provide information about Medicare, Medicaid, and other financial assistance programs.