Newsletter: Summer 2020 | Volume 1 / Issue 3

In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity! - Albert Einstein

Hello to all our distinguished attorneys, fiduciaries, and colleagues in our professional field! As we continue our navigation, and further foray into phase 4, I must say that it’s been wonderful to see the ever increasing signs of a continued return to normalcy, with our favorite stores, restaurants, and other respective venues reopening! Schools are slated to reopen in the fall, and hopefully there will be a return to full extracurriculars for our young people!

Does anyone else besides me feel that we were in a time warp? Three and a half months in the previous phases of the pandemic felt like an eternity! I was definitely missing the unexpected magic of March madness, my favorite restaurants, and the hustle, the bustle of the courtroom, and studying the attorneys as they plied their trade on behalf of their clients and wards! Like Elite, and our philosophy of the Elite difference; always fighting the good fight! We were all missing the direct contact, of our valued clients and wards, who were under quarantine, who all of us, serve as irreplaceable lifelines, on their behalf!

In some strange way, the rise of the pandemic also encouraged us to be more creative and innovative in keeping those valuable lifelines intact! The team at Elite Life Care Services and Elite Guardian Services has always strived to be the best that we can be, on behalf of our clients and wards! Yet, sometimes when there is extreme adversity, those circumstances can really define who we are, and what we are to become! A very well known former Chicago Bulls basketball player; perhaps, arguably the greatest of all time stated,

Obstacles don’t have to stop you! If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up, figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it! - Michael Jordan

I would imagine that all of us have implemented any one of the three strategies that are suggested here! All of us have people that depend on us, and in turn, we depend on them, as well! In this time of my personal reflection, it’s my opinion that the greatest gift that we should bestow upon our clients, wards, professional relationships, and personal relationships is the gift of hope! The power of hope is the greatest force, that we can give to anyone in our lives!

Only in the darkness, can you see the stars. -Martin Luther King

A sunrise and a sunset, reminds us of new beginnings, and the hope of a better tomorrow. - Richard Krawzcyk

Again, as we continue into phase 4, with great optimism; knowing there will be a phase 5. As a society we have experienced great loss during this pandemic, but we also know that we will come back stronger then ever! Let’s look forward to the upcoming days of a return to “ business as usual", or, at the very least a slightly modified version, of business as usual! The professional collaborations between the attorneys, fiduciaries, and the case managers in regards to solving the life and health challenges of a ward, or client will always be a positive X factor! Again, the hustle and bustle of the various courtrooms in the Chicago area, from the prestigious 18th floor of Cook County to the quiet splendor of traditions in the various suburban county courtrooms! As attorneys, fiduciaries, professional guardianship services, and case management services; we all have a common thread with or without a pandemic. We are the difference makers, with the special empowerment, of making positive differences in the lives of those we touch on a daily basis! There are no obstacles that we can’t overcome in our pursuit of excellence, on behalf of all clients and wards, in regards to making the best decisions! Knowing this fact and our ability to assist the people that we guide, no matter how adverse the circumstances are! This simple fact provides hope for all of us, as we continue our journey, and soon reach phase 5!


Troy Kerber
Executive Director
Elite Life Care Services
Elite Guardian Services

Life's Best: Care Managers

To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt

To be an effective care manager, one must be multi-faceted in their specific roles and tasks. Being a care manager requires excellent organizational mastery in addition to being a good communicator with keen listening skills and the ability to empathize with a client. A care manager is someone who can tap into resources and utilizes the collaboration of team members for advice and input. Care managers provide self-less service for the betterment and well-being of others, holding them to the highest value and esteem.

In my early years working in the case management field in foster care, I recall my supervisor explaining our role to that of an octopus. An octopus has eight arms that flail around looking for food. But in the task of care management, those arms represent the various functions we perform to achieve the defined goals of the clients we serve.

Where care management is considered an 'umbrella,' a covering, or the essence of services conducted for an individual, care coordination acts as the 'handle' by providing support for care managing to flow effectively. Coordination involves the detail of organizing activities and sharing information among all of the parties concerned. Care coordination activities include; on-going risk assessment, care planning, communication across providers and constituents, and monitoring to ensure the client receives timely services. In so doing, we hold ourselves accountable to ensure that best practice measures are in place for our clients.

The critical question we ask ourselves, 'what does the client need? What are their preferences?' The problems provide a framework for the care manager to apply their unique skill sets, talents, and abilities to formulate achievable client-centered goals.

Another significant aspect of care coordination is the client care plan. This tool encompasses the very essence of what makes our clients who they are and provides a template for action. The data obtained comes from the client or family member. The information we assess consists of; contact information, medical and mental health history, education, diagnosis, medications, family background, functional strengths, and limitations. With a completed assessment, the care manager formulates a plan of recommendations and goals. In turn, the care plan has a foundation to build upon and carry out the appropriate activity for the cycle of the case.

Aside from the tactics, planning, and strategies for effective care planning, the ultimate core of the profession is the one-on-one relationship the care manager establishes with their clients. Trust and respect provide the pivotal framework for continuity of care.

We demonstrate that we care by a daily phone call check-in asking how they are doing. Sometimes we may arrange medical appointments or assist with medication management. It might mean taking them to the show after being isolated all week, or just listening as they grieve the loss of a loved one; this is real care management in motion, this is what Elite does best.

Donna Baranowski, MHSA
Life Care Manager
Elite Life Care Services LLC
Direct: 331-229-1637
Fax: 630-548-0541

Summer Bucket List

Summer is a time for a more relaxed schedule, but one of the best ways to come up with some great ideas is to write down a physical summer bucket list. It's a great motivation to think of a few things to try that are out of the norm and bring back a few old favorites. And if you find yourself in a boredom rut, it's great to refer back too.

If you have children, you may want to write your list out before getting their input. In this way, you can make clear your priorities before they add their ideas.

Some of the questions to ask when starting a list are:

What are your favorite things to do? What leaves you feeling recharged?

How can I do more of those things this summer?

Other questions to consider:

What is my least favorite thing to do?

Where do I need a break?

Which skills or subjects do I want to learn?

What do I need to need to get started?

If you are working on this with your family, it's helpful to narrow down the list that fit your priorities. Keep a reminder for everyone by posting it on the refrigerator.

When you review your list, you may see a theme emerging. If that's the case, think of a simple word or phrase that defines your goals for the summer.

Perhaps, place the theme around your home to build some excitement and anticipation!

Here's an example of a summer bucket list. Most of these are very free or very low cost.

1. Hike a new trail

2. Try new, fresh food at the farmer's market

3. Go to a matinee or drive-in movie

4. Have a picnic

5. Take a road trip somewhere you haven't been

6. Make a birdhouse

7. Fly a kite

8. Join the library's summer reading club

9. Teach kids to make homemade ice cream

10. Visit a local museum

11. Go wild rafting for herbs and plants with a local expert

12. Play frisbee

13. Have a backyard camp out

14. Learn new card games

15. Have a luau for neighbors and friends

These are just a few, making a summer bucket list can be fun. The important part is to look at it as family inspiration and not a "to-do" list. Even if you don't get to all the items on your list, it's a great way to spend quality time together and try new things, whether you're out adventuring or at home.

Summer Bucket List

Summer Safety Tips

Summer is in full swing – the sun is shining, the days are longer, and the temperature continues to rise. It’s the perfect time of the year for barbeques, day trips, and relaxing in the garden, but it isn’t free from risks, especially for senior citizens. When it comes to keeping safe during the summer, elderly love ones should become a top priority, particularly when under home health care. In fact, even the healthiest elderly people are susceptible to the dangers of summer, so it’s important to take a pro-active approach to ensure everyone remains safe and healthy.

Check out these top summer safety tips for seniors!

Drink Lots of Water

Hydration is important for people of all ages during the summer, but it is especially important for the elderly, namely due to the fact the ability to conserve water reduces with age. So, any elderly loved ones should drink plenty of water throughout the day and be sure to stay on top of this for them as some older people don’t quite realize how thirsty they are.

Consider stocking up the refrigerator with bottled water or investing in a water filter pitcher so there is always access to fresh, cool water. Don’t forget to pack water whenever going out of the home, especially if the temperature is soaring into triple digits!

Talk to the Doctor About Medications

Not everyone is aware that high temperatures can affect medication, which could spell bad news for any elderly that leave their prescriptions lying around. This is even more prevalent when the temperatures rise and there is no air conditioning, so be mindful that there could be a risk.

Therefore, it’s a good idea to speak with the doctor so you know what medication could be affected by the weather. If not, medication could become less effective, which comes with obvious health risks that are well worth avoiding.

Always Keep Cool

Increasing indoor temperatures is an often-overlooked risk for elderly people during the summer. Even just a small increase in the temperature can cause all manner of problems, even more so when dealing with chronic pain or illness. Air conditioning at home is highly recommended but not everyone has it, in which case you should consider investing in several fans to keep rooms cool. Another great idea is to visit local spots with air – think malls, the movie theater, libraries, museums or even a nice restaurant.

Heading outside to a local spot to keep cool isn’t just good for their physical health but also helps them get out of the house, which has a great affect on mental well-being too. Why not arrange a weekly date where family members take turns to visit places during the summer? It’s a great way to keep them feeling fit and healthy, not to mention letting them make the most of the great weather!

Have Sunscreen Ready

Whenever heading outside be sure there is plenty of sunscreen applied to the. With much more sensitive skin, a senior citizen requires additional protection to ensure minimal discomfort in the sun, and to avoid painful burns. Family members and carers can both contribute to this, whether helping to apply the sunscreen or simply providing a frequent reminder to wear it.

Dress Appropriately

Hats and sunglasses are always recommended for the everyone during the summer as they help protect the scalp and eyes from the searing heat of the sun. Sunglasses are very important for anyone with vision issues, as the bright sun could make the problem worse, so be sure to protect the eyes and to help keep vision safe.

Remain in Contact

One of the most important things to stay safe this summer is keep in contact! Whether you’re stopping in every day to see how they are, speaking with a home health care worker, or even just phoning to check up, make sure you are in frequent contact throughout the summer.

Communication is key for keeping the elderly safe during the summer! Carers should be checking at least twice daily during peak summer months, so make sure you keep on top of this. If possible, get help from family members, friends, and neighbors to provide a robust communication network during the summer.

E-Lite View

We at Elite Life Care Services take pride in our dedicated, loyal staff who are passionately committed to providing outstanding, quality service to our clients and wards.

Each quarter, Elite will highlight one staff member to provide a glimpse of what sets them apart. Their experiences, contributions, and insights-create the unique quality and difference we provide for our clients.

Susan Jerwers, Elite Life Care Associate, has been with Elite for over six years and spends many hours a week providing activities of daily living assistance for our clients and wards.

Susan, what is a Care Associate?

"My role can be essentially defined as I function as a valuable gateway and essential link between what a client or ward may need and how they will benefit from my services. Often, in my position at ELCS, I become a valued link in ensuring that our clients and wards receive what they need”.

Tell me, what do you find yourself doing on a given day?

"I find myself doing a lot of errands for the clients. Most of my clients and wards like to have their house cleaned or make them lunch or dinner."

Why would I need the services you provide?

"I assist with daily tasks that most clients and wards cannot do because of their health or physical disabilities. I provide socialization support and cognitive stimulation; this might include going out to lunch, having conservations, or watching a favorite game show with a client."

What is the greatest reward you find from serving your clients?

"The greatest reward is when I hear, "thank you for what you do for my family and me."

We all have good and bad days, when have you encountered your greatest obstacle or challenge? How did you have overcome?

"I find my most significant challenge when my clients try to do for themselves when they are physically unable to. It's necessary to have a lot of patience in dealing with clients and wards who like to do things their way. This is especially true for my clients that have a Traumatic Brain Injury, I might have to reinforce a daily task fifty times a day.”

What would you say sets you "apart" from others who do similar work like yourself?

"I provide crucially, 'fill-in-the-gap' services essential to the overall care of the client or ward. I provide socialization for the client, and I conduct wellness checks to ensure that they are safe in their home. Occasionally, I accompany the client to their physician appointments."

Can you share what you would consider a success story?

"I would consider it a success when attorneys and fiduciaries request me to work on a new case. They know the quality work I do with the clients they refer us. Some of them have referred to me as a "gift."

What is the best part of being on the Elite Team?

"I love meeting people and helping clients with daily tasks. I consider myself the ultimate people person, and my extensive experience makes me a connector to our clients’ needs and dreams.”

Thank You Susan for the amazing and incredible work you do for Elite Life Care clients!