Newsroom

Watching members of our families struggle to function at home either because of illness or aging can cause stress and worry because, unfortunately, houses have been built with only healthy residents in mind. Today the concepts of Aging in Place and Universal Design are revolutionizing the way we build and adapt our houses adding features that are flexible with our changing needs. [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="154"] Gerry Cherney[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_1571" align="alignleft" width="170"]Shawn D'Amelio Shawn D'Amelio[/caption] With A Little Help’s Director of Business Development, Shawn D’Amelio, is serving as 2014 Conference Chair for the Washington Home Care Association (WAHCA) formerly known as Washington Private Duty Association (WAPDA). In her role D’Amelio will plan and organize the annual WAHCA conference, Blooming with the Boomers, September 16 and 17, 2014 at the Lynnwood Convention Center. “I’m excited to serve as Conference Chair,” D’Amelio said. “Serving in this role is a wonderful learning opportunity for me and I have been blessed with a Conference Committee that brings a great deal of knowledge about home care and our industry as a whole.” The Washington Home Care Association (WAHCA) is a 9 year old organization active in education, support and advocacy for best practices and industry standards that govern businesses providing Private Duty Home Care in Washington State. WAHCA member agencies such as With A Little Help are all licensed by the Washington State Department of Health. Their caregiving teams pass background checks and are licensed, bonded, trained and supervised.
Music is all around us. We hear it in movies, at social gatherings, weddings and funerals, in stores and offices, and in our places of worship.  Whenever we encounter it our bodies react physiologically and our minds form associations. Because we’re all in contact with music and all experiencing its powerful effects, therapists have long suspected it could be used therapeutically. Music therapists began integrating music as a healing modality in the 1970’s but demonstrating its value took time. Today mounting research and case studies, and the advent of MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and FMRI (Functional Magnetic Imaging), substantiate music as an effective therapy for stress and a variety of mental and physical health conditions including Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Tuesday May 6th was Seattle’s 4th annual GiveBIG day!  GiveBIG donations surpassed 2013 giving by over a million dollars thereby channeling strong support to Seattle’s non profits. In just 24 hours 64,000 people pledged online donations to over 1500 charitable organizations that shared a portion of matching funds. Senior Services won a "golden ticket" this year garnering an additional $1,000 from the pool of matching dollars!
“Something really exciting is emerging in the aging community,” NEST (North East Seattle Together) executive director, Judy Kinney said, brightening as she described NEST’s services for people aging in place and Seattle’s broader network of innovative aging support programs. “People in NEST are laying a path [for aging services] with the idea ‘let’s do this differently-something with a creative bent,’ she explained. NEST and the PNA Village, a similar program run by the Phinney Neighborhood Association, draw resources and modeling from a national movement of virtual retirement villages. NEST and PNA Village, like villages in communities across the nation, charge a modest annual fee in exchange for providing volunteer help with practical household needs, trusted professional referrals, and life enrichment activities that bond members.
Smartphones, I Pads, Google Glasses….isn’t it time that we adapted today’s technological innovation to help us care for our elders? That’s the promise of telecare. The most popular telecare device, the push button pendant, debuted over 20 years ago and is still on the market. It’s sold in every color you can imagine by companies from Verizon to AARP.  It works but is limited by whether or not it’s worn when needed and is effective only when the wearer has the strength, coordination and coherence to push the button in emergency. Second and third generations of Telecare have advanced greatly and hope to solve those problems with smart technology that widens the net of caring support. With A Little Help debuted modern telecare technology in 2013 integrating it into some caregiving strategies. Is telecare right for your care plan?
If you were in attendance at With A Little Help’s Holiday Open House party we hope you had a good time! You probably met owner, Marcia Ives, and perhaps received one of her handmade cups. Ives, 57, reconnected with her love of pottery after thirty years during which she raised a family and grew a business. “I took a pottery class or two almost 30 years ago simply because it piqued my interest,” she said. “I was so confident that I would do it again someday, that I held onto the little collection of tools that I had purchased way back then. It came right back to me, and I got sucked in…I have tapped into a whole artisitic/creative side of myself that I had not really explored much in my life, and it’s so much fun!” As Ives’ experience reflects, reconnecting with creativity as we navigate later years leads us to new discovery and welcome benefits. It’s also being used successfully to deliver health benefits to people living with dementia and Alzheimers disease.
We speak pets! With A Little Help staff and caregivers know how important pets are in an owner’s life. We’re pet owners ourselves and can testify about the value of our pet’s companionship and loyal affection. Pets make us feel special. They meet us at the door, often notice when we’re sad or sick, and encourage us to play and exercise. It’s no wonder that many scientific studies conclude that they’re good for our health and good for the health of aging Americans.
The leaves are falling and there's a cold edge to November winds but warm holiday gatherings aren't far away. Stop into With A Little Help's loft like Eastlake office in coming days and you might find us transforming the space adding sparkles and light in preparation for our 4th annual Holiday Open House. "The holiday season is a very vibrant time around our office," owner Marcia Ives explained, "as all our activities involve plenty of planning and forethought. Open House invites are in the mail. Everyone in the office is involved in pulling this event off." Shawn D'Amelio, Director of Business Development described the scope of the event, "We're inviting clients, caregivers, friends, neighbors, and others that care for seniors in our community. This is an opportunity to do something special for everyone we work with and care for," she said.