Tag Archive for: senior health care

depressed senior on bench

How to Ask for Help With Depression: A Guide for Seniors

Living with depression can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. This is how to ask for help with depression.

Are you experiencing a loss of interest in activities you used to enjoy? Do you have feelings of sadness and hopelessness or difficulty sleeping? If so, you may be struggling with depression.

As we get older, life can become more lonely and it may leave you feeling lost.

Living with this disorder can be challenging, especially if you don’t know how to ask for help with depression. You might feel it’s not worth reaching out to someone.

If this describes you in any way, keep reading. This article discusses depression, the symptoms, and how to ask for help so you don’t have to feel this way any longer.

What Is Depression?

Depression, also called depressive disorder, is a mental disorder. It’s common and is characterized by an all-encompassing sadness or negative view of life. Depression affects how you think and act, leading to various emotional and physical problems that interfere with daily functioning.

Depression can occur at any age; however, it begins more commonly as an adult. There are several types of depression, such as:

Signs of Depression

Depression can present differently from person to person. Typically, symptoms include:

  • Feelings of sadness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in weight
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Excess fatigue
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Thoughts of suicide or suicide ideation

How to Ask for Help With Depression

Depression as a senior is manageable if you seek treatment. A medical professional will typically prescribe an antidepressant and possibly a mood stabilizer. If you’re unsure of how to ask for help with depression, there are a few things you can try.

Find a Trusted Person

Identify a trusted person with whom you can confide in. This can be a family member, friend, pastor, etc. 

Be Open and Honest

When you sit down and chat with a trusted person, you must be open and honest about your feelings. Ask them if they’re willing to help you through this difficult time.

Seek Professional Depression Treatment

If you need help seeking professional help, ask someone you trust to help find a professional or accompany you to one. A professional will have the necessary experience to help.

Help Is Around the Corner

Living with depression can be challenging as a senior, but it’s not something you have to battle alone. If you’re unsure how to ask for help with depression, ask someone you trust if they’re willing to listen.

You want to choose the right time to ask, and when they accept, be honest with how you feel. Professional help is strongly recommended wherever possible to assist with medications if necessary.

WelbeHealth provides full-service healthcare and personalized support to help you age well at home and in your community. Our Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) meets the changing needs of seniors, often at no cost. Many of our centers have support groups available to help you through your difficult times. To learn more visit: www.welbehealth.com/contact/

WelbeHealth Continues Los Angeles Expansion With Opening of New PACE Centers in Rosemead and North Hollywood


Through the Medicare and Medi-Cal funded Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), WelbeHealth delivers fully integrated care that allows seniors to age in place

Both new locations are poised to meet the needs of an aging population across greater metro LA; thousands of residents local to the new centers are over 55 and eligible for PACE

See photos of the new spaces here

Today the physician-led senior health services provider WelbeHealth announced the opening of its Rosemead and North Hollywood locations. The new locations will increase access to care in underserved communities where thousands of lower-income older adults qualify for health care through the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a national Medicare and Medicaid program that offers seniors access to comprehensive at-home and community-based services.

The expansion marks a greater Los Angeles metro area presence for WelbeHealth, which also operates centers in Long Beach and Pasadena. Both WelbeHealth Rosemead and WelbeHealth North Hollywood will offer spaces for medical and dental care, social recreation, physical and occupational therapy, personal care, meals and nutritional counseling. Transportation and in-home care are also delivered as part of WelbeHealth’s integrated services. 

Aligned with WelbeHealth’s commitment to holistic health, the new locations are thoughtfully designed contemporary spaces, inspiring an environment where participants can feel mentally rejuvenated while receiving high-quality medical care. Features like outdoor social spaces, hair salons and laundry rooms offer a respite from loneliness and limited access to personal care that many lower-income older adults experience. 

“Welbe’s purpose is to unlock the full potential of the most frail and vulnerable seniors through a model of clinical excellence, comprehensive social services and our courage to love culture, that values every one of our team members, our participants and their families. We see a huge need for services like this in the Rosemead and North Hollywood communities,” said Si France, MD, Founder and CEO at WelbeHealth. “We know that caring for this population has ripple effects throughout their families and their communities, and we’re honored to serve them.”

Both centers are currently enrolling new participants, with services set to begin on July 1.

Over 9,000 seniors are eligible for PACE within a 20-minute drive of the two centers. The surrounding populations are highly diverse, with over half of local seniors primarily speaking a non-English language including Spanish and Chinese. To meet the needs of its participants, WelbeHealth has employed multilingual staff members across many positions. Culturally appropriate meal menus, activities, and other services have been made available to best serve the needs of the local communities.

“California’s population is aging rapidly. We are expanding our presence in Southern California to meet the growing need for specially designed services that allow seniors to thrive in their communities while lowering costs compared to institutional care. Our mission to serve the most vulnerable seniors with better quality and compassion will lift the burden off family members and improve the lives of older adults,” said Vaneesh Soni, MD, Chief Growth Officer at WelbeHealth

In addition to the new North Hollywood and Rosemead centers, WelbeHealth operates programs across California, including in the cities of Modesto, Stockton, Pasadena, Long Beach and Fresno. 

About WelbeHealth

WelbeHealth is a physician-led public benefit company founded in 2015 that provides comprehensive healthcare services for seniors through a fully integrated program that includes all medical and dental care, physical and occupational therapy, transportation to medical appointments, meals and personal care services. WelbeHealth addresses social determinants of health to keep the most vulnerable seniors living safely in their own homes. Services are delivered through the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a national Medicare and Medicaid program. 

For more information, please visit welbehealth.com.

Contact: Ryan Jackson, welbehealth@berlinrosen.com

person getting eye care

The Importance of Regular Eye Care

The secrets that an eye exam can unlock

Making regular eye care a priority can be life-changing. Eleven million Americans need help with their vision, and technology has improved drastically in recent years. Eye exams can prevent trouble by alerting your doctor to health conditions you didn’t know you had and prevent vision loss. The typical eye exam is fast, simple, and pain-free.

What is a basic eye exam?

Just by taking a few simple eye images, a doctor can get an early glimpse of eye diseases and use treatments to preserve your vision or restore what you may have already lost. The first step is usually a dilated eye exam given by an optometrist. The test measures eye alignment, eye movement, visual sharpness, and depth perception. New technology offers an alternative to dilated eye exams. Sometimes, a doctor will snap a simple picture of your pupil, allowing them to see as far inside as they need without eye drops.

“Eye exams can also highlight other health issues. If we can see trouble coming, we can treat it faster and get ahead of it,” says Otashe Golden, MD, Regional Medical Director at WelbeHealth.

Many people, when they try on a new pair of glasses, suddenly see clearly and realize how out of focus the world had become. “Most of us have experienced it – and it can be scary,” says Dr. Golden. “One day you can read street signs perfectly well, and the next, you are driving on the highway at night and can’t find your exit.”

Many eye diseases are relatively common and can go unnoticed for a long time, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in adults

Diabetes patients are at higher risk for glaucoma and cataracts. Diabetic retinopathy — scarring on the retina’s blood vessels — can happen due to high blood sugar levels and is the leading cause of blindness in American adults. Diabetic retinopathy is also the most preventable cause of blindness. By seeing an eye doctor, early detection and treatment can prevent or delay blindness. For most people with diabetes, there can be very little treatment available if the diagnosis comes too late.

How often do you need an eye exam?

How often should you get an eye exam depends on certain factors. For people with diabetes, it is recommended to get an eye exam every year. On the other hand, individuals who are African American and aged 40 years and older, Mexican Americans who are 60 years or older, and those with a family history of glaucoma should have an eye exam at least every two years.

Get Ways to Protect Your Vision

  • Get regular eye exams.
  • Eat a healthy diet and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Wear sunglasses that block out 99% to 100% of UA and UVB sunlight.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Use protective eyewear to avoid injury.
  • If you are reading on a screen, be sure to take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest.

Pay attention to symptoms of eye trouble.

Call your family doctor, nurse, or eye doctor if you notice eye symptoms such as:

  • Difficulty seeing or double vision
  • Redness of the eye or pain in the eye
  • Flashes of light
  • Floaters (specks look like they float in front of you)
  • Circles/halos around lights

WelbeHealth responds to Governor’s budget proposal

MENLO PARK, CALIF. – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his state budget proposal for fiscal year 2023-2024. The budget included several proposals in line with WelbeHealth’s policy priorities, including an increase in resources for Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) administration within the Department of Health Care Services and the maintenance of funding for key health and human services programs including CalAIM, behavioral health and housing programs, and ensuring access to health care for all Californians regardless of documentation or ability to pay. 

PACE enables frail seniors to remain in their homes while receiving coordinated, whole-person care and is a high-quality cost-effective alternative to nursing home care. In recent years, the number of PACE participants has increased significantly. 

“WelbeHealth applauds the governor’s support of Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and other proven care models for frail and vulnerable seniors.  For every participant that enrolls in PACE, it saves taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars while increasing their length and quality of life, allowing them to live at home.  Whether from an economic, health care or social standpoint, this may be one of the best investments the administration could make,” said Si France, M.D., chief executive officer of WelbeHealth, in response to the proposed budget.

To learn more about Governor Newsom’s full budget proposal, you can click here: 2023-24 State Budget Invests in Californians while Safeguarding State’s Future

About Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE)

Program for All-Inclusive Care of the Elderly (PACE) is a comprehensive whole-person health care program for frail seniors living with chronic health conditions and other complex needs. As both insurers and providers, PACE organizations are able to seamlessly plan and manage all aspects of care for seniors – medical, social and supportive services. PACE participants are over the age of 55, live in a PACE service area and have been deemed eligible by the state for a nursing home level of care. 90% of PACE participants are dual eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.

About WelbeHeatlh

WelbeHealth is a physician led, mission-driven organization founded to serve the most vulnerable seniors with compassionate and quality care, in a pure value-based model. WelbeHealth manages the entire care portfolio for participants including their primary and specialty care, ensuring they get to and from appointments, helping them navigate any necessary paperwork, providing assistance with activities of daily living, and ensuring they have enriched lives through social and emotional care. 

Contact: Cyndi Hillery, cyndi.hillery@welbehealth.com

Managing Sadness and Grief Over the Holidays

Although it is not uncommon for people of all ages to experience some degree of sadness over the holidays, be it from having been isolated during the pandemic or having experienced the loss of a loved one, older adulthood is a time of greatest risk and could result in substantial increases in death by suicide. For this very reason, it is encouraged to start a conversation with a friend, family, therapist, or another medical professional about how your mood is going and if you might be experiencing some degree of depression. This is not to say that most seniors are depressed, but we do recognize that the experience of declining health or mobility, plus the shrinking of one’s natural support system due to loss, can raise the sense of loneliness and despair.

Warning Signs

In their toolkit for suicide prevention among seniors, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration identifies the following warning signs of suicide:

  • Talking about wanting to die or kill oneself.
  • Looking for a way to kill oneself.
  • Talking about being a burden to others.
  • Increasing the use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Acting anxious or agitated, behaving recklessly.
  • Sleeping too little or too much.
  • Withdrawing or feeling isolated.
  • Showing rage or talking about seeking revenge.
  • Displaying extreme mood swings.

If you experience any one or more of these behaviors, please reach out to your doctor or mental health professional they can listen to your thoughts and feelings around these matters.

From conducting one of the longest-running support groups at WelbeHealth in Stockton, Forever Friends, I can attest that not only do other seniors share your concerns, but they are ready to help out whenever possible

– Randall Ramírez, LCSW, LMFT | Behavioral Health Specialist

Strategies for Coping

As an alternative way of approaching the holidays, seniors can:

Be Proactive

Becoming more proactive in planning ahead on how they want to celebrate the season and how they can build special celebrations or memorials around those loved ones who have passed on or who are distant from them.

Sharing Memories

This may include raising a toast at the holiday dinner table to the lost family member or friend and asking others to offer one cherished memory. Or it may involve setting a place for them at the table and reminiscing.

Making a Donation

It could also be as simple as setting up a spot to collect donations to the loved one’s favorite charity. All these approaches not only honor the person we lost, but they create a space for acknowledging our collective sadness and feelings.

Socializing

We hold onto the belief that seniors retain talents, strengths, and skills into their later years that can be shared with others. Because seniors are living longer, we also support the idea of embracing quality of life and progressing with your dreams into the Golden Years. Joining a group that hosts activities, whether at a Senior Center or local club, aim at creating strong connections and bonds with fellow seniors.

WelbeHealth Executive Director Mindy Wilds Honored with Prestigious PACE Award

Mindy Wilds, executive director of WelbeHealth’s Fresno Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), was recently honored by the National PACE Association (NPA) with the prestigious Marie-Louise Ansak Award.

The Marie-Louise Ansak Award, named after the founder of PACE, recognizes the ingenuity, hard work and sacrifice of an individual PACE program employee who has worked to improve the quality of life for one or more frail older persons during the past year.

“We are proud to recognize Mindy with the Marie-Louise Ansak Award,” said Shawn Bloom, president and CEO of the NPA. “Mindy earned this high honor through epitomizing the innovative team player that is core to delivering PACE.”

Wilds received the award at the October NPA Annual Conference in Seattle.

“I love this model of care because we can think outside the box and provide common sense solutions for our participants and their families,” said Wilds.

Mindy Wilds with Award
Mindy Wilds with the Marie-Louise Ansak Award

Wilds joined WelbeHealth in February 2021 as the executive director of WelbeHealth’s Fresno Center, which provides medical care, physical therapy, social and recreational activities, meals and nutritional counseling, transportation and other support services to PACE-eligible medically frail seniors age 55 and over.

“Mindy is a model for all of us. Her tireless commitment and dedication to seniors in our communities enables them to thrive and live longer with greater connection, vitality and meaning,” said WelbeHealth CEO Si France, M.D.

About WelbeHealth

Founded in 2015, WelbeHealth provides comprehensive home-based medical and social services to more than 1,500 vulnerable seniors across California, including the cities of Stockton, Modesto, Pasadena, Long Beach and Fresno. The company recently became the first Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provider to convert to a public benefit company, meaning it is obligated to take into consideration the concerns of all stakeholders while prioritizing corporate responsibility and sustainability.

An alternative to nursing homes, PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps keep people in their homes and communities. PACE programs are proven to reduce depression, lower hospitalizations, decrease rehospitalizations, reduce nursing home admissions and improve preventive care, according to recent data from the National PACE Association.

For more information, please visit welbehealth.com.

Contacts

Jennifer Wezensky
jennifer@jwprmarketing.com

WelbeHealth center in Modesto

WelbeHealth Modesto Center Opens to Serve Medically Frail Seniors

Physician-led healthcare organization WelbeHealth and Northern California-based healthcare network Sutter Health have opened a new center in Modesto that serves medically frail seniors.

Located at 1224 Scenic Drive, the center is designated a Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) alternative care setting. Integrated with WelbeHealth and Sutter’s PACE center in Stockton, the new Modesto location provides day services to PACE-eligible medically frail seniors age 55 and over. The center, which will employ more than 100 full- and part-time employees when at capacity, features:

  • Physical and occupational therapy
  • Personal care and supportive services
  • Meals and nutritional counseling
  • Recreational therapy
  • Access to in-home care and mobile clinic

The new Modesto center addresses a community need, since only a fraction of the over 3,000 PACE-eligible seniors in Stanislaus county are receiving PACE services, according to a WelbeHealth analysis of U.S. Census data and the Medi-Cal Managed Care Enrollment Report.

“WelbeHealth was built on the mission of serving our most vulnerable seniors with greater quality and compassion in underserved communities,” said WelbeHealth CEO Si France, M.D. “As the first provider of PACE services in Modesto since 2019, we are proud to complement our care with a beautiful facility.”

PACE is a national Medicare and Medicaid program that helps keep seniors living in their own homes instead of nursing homes. PACE programs are proven to reduce depression, lower hospitalizations, decrease rehospitalizations, reduce nursing home admissions and improve preventive care, according to recent data from the National PACE Association.

“We are proud to partner with WelbeHealth to enrich the lives of seniors, their caregivers and the broader community,” said Christopher Stanley, M.D., Sutter Health’s chief population health officer. “WelbeHealth shares our commitment to high-quality, community-based healthcare services that help frail older adults anticipate problems and prevent hospitalization or early entry into a nursing home.”

Todd Smith, M.D., foundation area CEO for Sutter Health in the South Valley, said that the importance of good health for aging seniors can’t be underestimated.

“Creating greater access to comprehensive home and community-based healthcare services helps seniors achieve their best health and maintain their independence,” Dr. Smith said.

In addition to the new Modesto center, WelbeHealth has locations in Stockton, Pasadena, Long Beach and Fresno. More than 1,500 seniors were served in 2021. Sutter Health is a not-for-profit integrated health network that serves more than 3 million people in 22 California counties.

Contacts

Jennifer Wezensky
269-274-4071
jennifer@jwprmarketing.com

Doctors and nurses coordinate hands

WelbeHealth Becomes First Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Provider to Convert to Public Benefit Company Status 

FOR RELEASE: IMMEDIATE

DATE: 6/29/2022

WelbeHealth Becomes First Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) Provider to Convert to Public Benefit Company Status  

MENLO PARK, CALIF.— Physician-led healthcare organization WelbeHealth recently became the first Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provider to convert to a public benefit company (PBC).

Founded in 2015, WelbeHealth is a leading California PACE provider. An alternative to nursing homes, PACE is a Medicare and Medicaid program that helps keep people in their communities. WelbeHealth provides comprehensive home-based medical and social services to vulnerable seniors across California, including the cities of Stockton, Modesto, Pasadena, Burbank, Long Beach and Fresno.

In joining other companies that have become public benefit companies, including Patagonia, Seventh Generation and Vital Farms, WelbeHealth is exemplifying its commitment to helping seniors thrive and live longer, said WelbeHealth co-founder and CEO Si France, M.D. 

“The seniors we serve are the elders of their communities and families,” Dr. France said. “By helping them thrive, they can live longer lives with greater connection, vitality and meaning. We’re converting to a public benefit company to ensure that our mission and purpose are protected for generations to come.” 

Public benefit companies are obligated to take into consideration the concerns of all stakeholders, not just shareholders, prioritizing corporate responsibility and sustainability. For WelbeHealth, this means participants, their families and caregivers, employees, and the broader community.  

“Both our independent board and management team wanted to formalize WelbeHealth’s commitment to its mission, clinical quality and positive community impact,” said WelbeHealth Board of Directors member Robert Margolis, M.D., founder of the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. “By converting to a public benefit company, WelbeHealth is demonstrating its commitment to operating responsibly, sustainably and in the interest of all stakeholders, both now and in the future.”

This commitment to the greater good is not new. In fact, WelbeHealth was lauded for its elder care during the pandemic. A case study conducted by UC Berkeley found that WelbeHealth had a death rate more than 1.5 times lower than other PACE organizations and almost five times lower than nursing homes while, despite serving patients in some of California’s most impacted counties.  

“As the pandemic came in waves, WelbeHealth mobilized not only to vaccinate its own participants but to also vaccinate thousands in the greater community, which had an exponential impact on saving lives,” Dr. France said. “We want to take full responsibility for our part in making the world a more compassionate, loving place.” 

About WelbeHealth 

Founded in 2015, WelbeHealth is a physician-led organization that coordinates senior care, including all medical and dental care, physical and occupational therapy, transportation to medical appointments, meals and personal care services. WelbeHealth teams close the loop on comprehensive care to keep the most vulnerable seniors living safely in their own homes. WelbeHealth delivers these services through the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicare and Medicaid program. WelbeHealth operates four programs in California:  Stockton/Modesto, Pasadena/Burbank, Long Beach and Fresno. For more information, please visit welbehealth.com

senior drinking alcohol sadly

Alcohol Awareness: Know the Symptoms of Addiction, Take Action

Know the Symptoms of Addiction, Take Action 

We often raise a glass to remember someone who’s passed, celebrate a special occasion, and relax after a workday. With the prevalence of alcohol use, it may be tough to spot alcohol addiction in a loved one––or even yourself. Having a general alcohol awareness can encourage you to recognize the symptoms of alcohol addiction.  

Why is Alcohol Awareness Important? 

Alcohol is the most used substance in the U.S. and is the third-leading preventable cause of death. Annually, an estimated 95,000 people (approximately 68,000 men and 27,000 women) die from alcohol-related causes. 

Alcohol use is widespread in our country and impacts our lives in different ways. All Americans need to know the signs and symptoms of alcoholism to possibly save the life of a loved one who may be addicted to alcohol.  

Prevention is just as important as treatment. Speaking with your children and grandchildren about alcohol awareness and the dangers of underage drinking and binge drinking is important. You can play a critical role in informing young family members about the harmful impact drugs and alcohol can have on their lives. 

What Are the Signs of Alcohol Abuse? 

Alcohol is a legal drug in the U.S., but it still carries a significant risk of addiction. According to the American Addiction Centers, signs and symptoms of alcohol abuse include, 

  • Poor coordination 
  • Slurred speech 
  • Impaired thinking 
  • Memory impairment 
  • Wanting to stop drinking but not managing to do so 
  • Diverting energy from work, family, and social life to drink 
  • Being secretive about the extent of the alcohol abuse to protect it 
  • Engaging in risky behavior, such as drunk driving 
  • Being in denial about the extent of the alcohol abuse problem 
  • Becoming distressed at the prospect of not having access to alcohol 

How Alcohol Use Disorder Impacts Your Life 

If a loved one is unable to control their alcohol use, they may be suffering from Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). People with a history of childhood trauma, drinking at an early age, and a family history of alcohol abuse are at a higher risk for alcohol use disorder. 

Physical Impact 

Abusing alcohol can significantly increase your risk for chronic health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, and high blood pressure. Heavy drinking also takes its toll on vital organs such as the liver and the pancreas. 

Individuals with severe AUD often disregard their nutritional needs, frequently skipping meals. They may develop a nutritional deficiency, causing changes in the skin, hair, nails, and eyes. 

Social Impact 

As alcohol addiction consumes a loved one, they may withdraw from friends and family. Relationships can become strained and distant. Excessive drinking can also negatively impact your career. Alcohol abuse can cause you to miss work due to hangovers, lead to poor decision-making, and strain workplace relationships.

Emotional Impact 

Consuming alcohol produces chemical changes in our brain. We often feel more relaxed when we have a drink or two. But, some individuals with AUD report that they become angry, anxious, depressed, or abusive when they drink. There is also a strong correlation between alcohol abuse and suicidal thoughts

How to Get Help for Alcohol Abuse Disorder 

Many people with AUD don’t seek treatment because they don’t realize they have a problem or are embarrassed that they can’t control their alcohol consumption. Overcoming an addiction on your own is nearly impossible. It is crucial to enlist the support of family and friends. 

If you think you or a loved one may have a problem with alcohol, don’t be afraid to discuss treatment options with your doctor. You can also reach out to a resource below. 

Alcoholics Anonymous  

NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator 

SAMHSA’s National Helpline 

Together in a time of need

Coming Together in a Time of Need

When Libby Renshaw, Home Health Registered Nurse at WelbeHealth, visited Jim at his West Hollywood apartment, she became very worried, very fast. It was his first day home after multiple seizures had led to a 17-day hospital stay, followed by a month in a skilled nursing facility. She knew coming together in his time of need was critical.

“As I sat with him, I saw that he had severe tremors in his arms and hands,” says Libby. “His muscles were weak from being bedridden, and I also noticed significant memory impairment.”  

All of this was making even simple activities extremely difficult. The hand tremors were especially concerning because they made it hard for him to eat, and he couldn’t administer the insulin he needed to treat his diabetes.  

Jim had a caregiver on site that day, thanks to the quick work of WelbeHealth’s Home Care Coordinator, Michael. In addition, Jim’s good friend Amir was there and said he could assist. But these were only temporary solutions.  

“Living alone at home seemed unrealistic,” Libby says. She gently told Jim that he might need to go back to the skilled nursing facility, and she could tell that he was devastated.  

“He desperately wanted to be at home,” she recalls. “After I left his apartment, I got on a conference call with the care team. We all agreed that we would do everything possible to keep him living at home.” 

After the call, each WelbeHealth team member got to work on their part of the plan. When Libby returned to the apartment the next day, she was amazed by what she saw.  

Physical Changes All-Around 

WelbeHealth team including a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and a dietitian. They came together during Jim's time of need.
Care Team Members

WelbeHealth Occupational Therapist, Christine Gaw, had set up many solutions to make daily tasks easier for Jim.  

That day, he received a new bed rail to get out of bed more easily, and a bedside commode to avoid walking to the bathroom at night. Christine also installed a toilet riser and a shower bench to make the bathroom safer and more usable.  

She brought in a chair cushion, both for comfort and to prevent pressure ulcers, and she arranged for a recliner chair to help Jim transition from sitting to standing.  

Christine had also hunted down adaptive shoelaces—a big deal because Jim kept mentioning that he could no longer tie his shoes. 

Fitness and Food  

The apartment was humming with other team members, as well. Pam, Jim’s assigned Physical Therapist, was teaching Jim and his friend Amir a home exercise and walking program.  

Claire, Jim’s Dietitian, talked to Amir about good food for Jim. She provided ideas and recipes that tracked Jim’s preferences and would also help him manage his chronic conditions.  

Claire and Amir also talked about monitoring blood glucose levels and keeping a log to share with the dietary and medical teams. Claire noted that, in addition to using insulin, Jim could help keep his diabetes in check through his diet. 

Managing Medication  

On the medical side, Jim’s Primary Care Provider Lauren, with help from Registered Nurse Case Manager Jennifer, simplified Jim’s diabetes medications. He went from five insulin injections per day to one.   

Lauren also started Jim on medication to help reduce the tremors. She also educated both Jim and Amir on the side effects of Jim’s new seizure medication and answered all their questions.  

One Request Makes a Big Change 

Even with all these improvements, Jim and the WelbeHealth team were still concerned about whether he could safely navigate through his home, prepare his meals, and remember to take his medication. He clearly needed regular and consistent home care.  

WelbeHealth could arrange for this, but then Amir offered an even better solution; he could move in and care for Jim. Everyone agreed this was a great idea, but there was one problem. Because Jim was in Section 8 housing, strict rules applied. He could have no extra occupants and was concerned about losing his apartment since he didn’t want to violate the rules. 

WelbeHealth Social Worker, Twyla, delivered a solution by requesting a ‘reasonable accommodation’ through Section 8. With this change, a caregiver would be allowed to live in the apartment with Jim. 

Ongoing Support  

Today, WelbeHealth’s Physical Therapist continues to visit and work on conditioning and balance. And the Home Care Coordinator arranges caregiving support to support Amir and Jim. Other team members are available to help whenever needed and answer questions. 

Libby saw Jim recently and was heartened to see he was doing well. “He looked so good, and he was practically walking independently,” she says.  

Ultimately, Libby says, the experience showed her that the people at WelbeHealth don’t hesitate to go above and beyond for their participants.  

“This really is the embodiment of our values,” she says. “It is Courage to Love, Pioneering Spirit, and Shared Intention—all coming together. We provided what this vulnerable senior needed to ‘unlock his full potential’ and live independently in his community. It is a beautiful sight to see.”