Newsletter: Spring 2020|Volume 1/Issue 2

Although the world is full of suffering, right now, the world is, also, full, of the overcoming, of it! - Helen Keller

Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of how you respond to it! - Lou Holtz, Hall of Fame football coach

All of us, as a nation, state, business, and social community, are navigating these turbulent times, and unchartered waters, during this unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic.

Personally speaking, this dark time, in our nation’s history, as well, as our current world situation, has offered myself, much time to reflect, on what is important, in this game called life!

With the shelter at home, still in prolonged effect, for Illinois, and the vast majority, of our nation, like many people, I’m left wondering, “ When will this nightmare, be over? “ Many of us are praying for those currently battling this virus, or as President Trump, has stated, “This Invisible Enemy!”

Also, we are praying, for the many precious lives lost, and for their family members!

Before the pandemic, I must acknowledge, that I was one, of millions of Americans, that were caught up, in our daily routines, and my own self guided mission in life! As a former athlete, coach, and a business leader, I, like many, have based a lifetime, on reaching the next goal, and, often, not taking the time to thoroughly enjoy the many past accomplishments, and blessings, that have been bestowed, upon me. In honest reflection, I can truly say, that some great people, and good things, in my life were taken for granted! Do any of you, feel the same way!

Some of you may ask, “What relevance does this have for a business oriented newsletter? To Elite Life Care Services and Elite Guardian Services, from our team, all of you, mean everything to us! We are so honored, and blessed to have met so many amazing people, throughout this point, of our journey, in our mission to serve others, and achieve our common goal, which is to play some part, in making a person’s life better!” From the many attorneys, fiduciaries, healthcare professionals, clients, wards, and family members, that we are blessed to have so many positive interactions with, “Thank you!”

We will overcome, this invisible enemy! All of us, as a nation, state, and community! We are in a marathon, with some challenges, we may start strong, however, finishing strong is epic!

On behalf of the ELCS team; please continue, for you and your families to stay safe, as well, as strong! We will conquer this challenge, as we have conquered, and solved other situations, and life’s obstacles, and challenges! Let’s do this together, and ELCS looks forward to seeing all of you soon!


Troy Kerber
Executive Director
Elite Life Care Services
Elite Guardian Services

Hoarding: When the Estate takes on Life of it's Own!

During the current pandemic, is this a great time to organize and purge? Click the button below to view the PowerPoint presentation.

Click Here to View PowerPoint

The Elite View

We at Elite Life Care Services, take pride in our dedicated, loyal staff who are passionately committed to providing outstanding service to our clients and wards. Quarterly, we will highlight one staff member to provide you a glimpse of what sets them apart based on their experiences, contributions and insights which in turn, helps create the unique, quality of difference we provide for our clients.

Sally Hansen, Certified Guardian,
Expert Life Care Manager

Sally Hansen has a background in business and she has been a small business owner for over 30 years. She has worked as a Supervising Manager for three different companies overseeing staff of over twenty employees. Sally was an Educator and Platform Artist with a concentration on Theory and Practical Application of chemicals. She also worked for Dreyer Advocate of Aurora in numerous capacities where she learned a great deal about navigation of the healthcare systems.

Sally is a Certified Guardian and member of the NGA and CMSA, and a former Board member of the Child Welfare Society and also a Kane County CASA/GAL.

"Sally, you have been an integral part of Elite Life Care Services since its inception, what would you say to someone who is “shopping” around for a care management company- why should they buy Elite’s Services? What makes your company different from the others?”

Sally: Elite Life Care Services is unique, from the standpoint, that we are not a “Surface service” by that I mean, we get involved, with our clients and wards based on their life and healthcare situations. Life Care Management is a holistic approach that is used to develop a plan that promotes a person’s optimal quality of life and their dignity. Often, ELCS is brought into a situation, anything ranging from catastrophic to more simplified tasks which need to be completed that benefit our clients. Elite assembles a professional, personalized Care Plan that is custom designed to meet the individual needs of each client or ward. These care plans are shared with the referral sources and potentially in the many court systems, where we currently have active guardianship cases. The care plans are comprehensive with a precise blueprint that offers professional recommendations, strategies, and most importantly; it reflects the timeline of how the care plan will benefit the client or ward.

At Elite, our team builds strong relationships with clients. As we get to know them; it assists us in regards to anticipating their needs and how we can help them. We understand that not everyone can afford life care services although most people could benefit. Elite’s business model is designed to work with the client, fiduciary and family by exploring creative ways where we can still engage and help that person. ELCS has demonstrated successfully over the years the ability to offer continuity of care and to maximize the care plan in order to fully benefit the client or ward. ELCS, absolute last priority would be to refer a client or ward to another agency without knowing full well, that we executed everything in our power to ensure that persons life and healthcare situation was greatly improved by our team!

“Why would I need your services?”

Sally: People come to ELCS due to the fact that they need assistance at some level. A potential client could be feeling isolated, challenged to handle the stressor of everyday life, feeling a loss of independence, etc. The driving force behind directing a person in need, are the attorneys and their various fiduciaries, with whom we have relationships with. These “difference makers” will ask ELCS to engage the client and to provide viable solutions to their life’s challenges, and issues..

“What do you have to offer?”

Sally: My contribution and philosophy are in conjunction with, what we refer to as, “The Elite difference!” Our team treats our clients and wards, as we would like our parents, or family members, to be treated. This is what keeps a professional service, like ours, grounded.

According to Troy Kerber, Executive Director of ELCS, who has been in the Life Care Management and Guardianship Field for the past twenty-three years, “Out of all the excellent care managers, that I have collaborated with, and worked alongside for the past several years, I have never encountered someone, who works with the incredible passion that Sally has in regards to advocating to the maximum level for the clients and wards that she represents”. Without use of a better expression, “She is a pit bull in regards to her advocacy for our mental health clients, and wards!”

Without use of a better expression, “She is a pit bull in regards to her advocacy for our mental health clients, and wards!”

“My mother resides in a different state than me, she is experiencing declining health and there is no one else to look after her. I am trying to avid placing her in a facility. What would Elite be able to do for her that would benefit her and give me peace of mind?”

Sally: Elite can help in many ways when a family member resides out of state or town or is just unavailable due to work constraints. First of all, Elite has an “in house’ home health agency if the client needs a CNA or a private duty nurse while continuing to reside in their home. Elite can assist with that without subcontracting an outside home health agency, lending itself to be more cost effective. CNAs can assist with light housework, meal preparation, laundry, dressing and bathing.

If a nurse is required, it might only be once a week to set up a pill box for medication management or to check vitals. Elite Life Care Services also has what we call a “concierge” who is there to understand the client’s needs and provide them with personalized solutions, suggesting activities, taking the client out for socialization, facilitating appointments and transporting the client, arranging visits from friends or arranging a movie day, an evening at the theater/symphony, to go to dinner with friends.

Additionally, Elite can act in many capacities to assist the client/family. We can be names Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA), Financial Power of Attorney (FPOA), we can be appointed in court as Guardian of the Person or Estate, or both. We also act as Administrator of Estates or Executor of Estates. So, we are there to assist a family, living elsewhere, in numerous capacities.

“What do you find as the most rewarding part of what you do at Elite?”

Sally: The most rewarding part of my job is knowing I have truly advocated for a client/ward. That I have made a positive difference, even if subtle, in that person’s life. To know they are doing well or as best as they can, in a particular situation, warms my heart.

“Ok, what about the most challenging part of your job…?”

Sally: The most challenging part of my job I would have to say is working with people, with severe mental diagnoses, who refuse medication. The mental health laws are just not on their side. It’s difficult seeing someone who has so much potential, unable to be with their children, to lose family who can no longer handle the stresses of being around a toxic situation, to see doctors who’s “hands are tied”, who can only do so much, if the client/ward refuses treatment. This is a time they truly need intervention and there is nothing you can do. It’s heartbreaking..

“The field of case management can be very demanding, what things to you do to manage your own self care to keep from burn-out?”

Sally: The job can be demanding, I am one who will leave my phone on 24/7. It causes me more angst turning it off. I try to shut down at 5pm but there is always more to do. Calls from families, or attorneys, after hours, that must be addressed. I am trying to set boundaries, but I’m not very good at that. I am still trying to manage self-care. I started meditation and yoga, but I will always be a “work in progress”.

Thank you, Sally! Keep up the amazing work!

Elite Life Care Services - We Truly Care!

By Wallace Camis, BA, CNA, Veteran USAF

How does one make a company, in the business of Caring for others, stand out from all the rest? The short answer is to build a team of people who genuinely Care for their Clients and Wards. This team must start from the top down. This team must be able to demonstrate the genuine care for others more through actions than just saying the right things that people love to hear.

Troy Kerber, Director of Elite Life Care Services, has a mantra he likes to state during every team meeting. Troy always asks, “How can that action be of benefit to the Client?”. You see, at Elite Life Care Services the needs of our clients are of the highest priority! To this end, Mr. Kerber has built a team of people with an amazingly diverse array of backgrounds, but, with one thing in common. We Truly Care!

Each team member brings a unique combination of life experiences, education, and perspective to bear for the benefit of the clients. In an industry that must consider the needs of the individual, Elite Life Care Services is a company that is ready to address any and all needs of our clients.

One such area that Elite Life Care Services is a cut above the rest is in the area of Socialization. We often find that real, face to face, interactions with our clients is of great benefit to the client. This has never been more true than during the current global crisis. Clients who live in facilities have found that they are not allowed outside of their respective buildings. In some cases, they are not even allowed out of their rooms. This has had a dramatically negative effect on client morale.

In response to the mandatory lockdown, the Elite Life Care Services team has been putting together care packages for our clients, as well as providing small gifts and cards. This is done so that the clients know that there are people out there who care about them and are thinking about their welfare.

Margaret, a facility manager, stated, “Thank you Elite! Every time you show up with a gift and card you are making our job easier because your client is so happy for the rest of the day!”

Tara, a member of another facility staff, stated, “Thanks Elite! Your client was sad until you showed up with flowers and a card! Keep up the amazing work!”.

Elite Life Care Services is a company that consistently thinks outside the box in the care of our clients! The team at Elite Life Care Services is a unique creation by a leader who has been in the Care industry for many years. There is no issue that Elite Life Care Services cannot address with sincere Care.

Earth Day 2020

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, which was celebrated on April 22. This year’s theme is Climate Action - the enormous challenge with vast action.

The first Earth Day launched the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.

With the launching of Earth Day in 1970, it helped pass landmark environmental laws in the United States. The Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Act were created in response to the first Earth Day, as well as the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Earth Day continues to hold major international significance. In 2016, the United Nations chose Earth Day as the day the historic Paris Agreement on climate change was signed.

What can we do about climate change?

  • 1. Unite for bold climate action
    • a. Become involved, make your voice known
  • 2. Use energy wisely
    • a. Install a programmable thermostat
    • b. Unplug computers, TV and other electronics when not in use
    • c. Wash clothes in cold water
    • d. Look for Energy Star label appliances when buying new
    • e. Change to energy efficient light bulbs
  • 3. Use renewable energy
    • a. Solar and wind energy will help reduce our dependency on fossil fuels
  • 4. Eat for a climate-stable planet
    • a. Buy organic and local whenever possible
    • b. Don’t waste food
    • c. Grow your own food
    • d. Eat more meat-free meals
    • e. Don’t use single use utensils
    • f. Ditch the plastic water bottle for a reusable aluminum one
  • 5. Green your commute
    • a. Take public transportation
    • b. Use car share services
    • c. Switch to an electric or hybrid vehicle
    • d. Ride a bike

It is everyone’s responsibility to take care of our Earth. Even one or two small changes can make a big difference.

*Information obtained from: Earthday.org and davidsuzuki.org*

Exploring Wellness

Back in January 2020, we introduced you to the concept of WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) which is a program that can benefit a person in decreasing and preventing unwanted or troubling feelings and behaviors. It is about improving the overall quality of their lives and assisting them in the personal choices they make in how they live their lives. This is a program which is currently being effectuated by Elite Life Care Manager staff with their clients.

What does the groundwork look like for this program? Well, it is important to first relay the important key recovery concepts that are necessary for individual wellness, this includes:

Hope - This is important in our lives as we go on to fulfill goals and dreams even with the challenge and difficulties of encountering, additions, loss, mental/physical health issues or aging.

Personal Responsibility - We all have choices and it is up to us to do what we need to stay well. It is also important that we reach out others for the help that we need or want.

Education-Information - is at the tip of our fingers with the internet and learning all we can about our own experiences will help us in making informed decisions in various areas of our life.

Self-Advocacy - It is so vital to reach out to others to express our needs and get the help we need, want, and deserve to support our wellness.

Support - Receiving and giving encouragement to others while we are working on our wellness can go a long way in helping us to feel better and enhance our own quality of life.

In this program, these concepts can be used with our clients where we can explore further with them some self-reflective questions, such as, “what makes you feel hopeful?” or, “how do you define hope?” Another question, “how do you define personal responsibility in your life?” We can also share with our clients how other participants might respond in taking responsibility for themselves.

The main premise with WRAP is that there are no limits to recovery and wellness. Anyone can get well, stay well, change their situation, and do the things they want to do with their lives. Therefore, hope is identified as the first key concept. Without hope, it is hard to make changes in your life; with hope, anything is possible.

WRAP focuses on a person’s strengths and moves away from ones’ shortcomings. WRAP focuses on things we do well, building on the positives and avoiding negative self-judgments. It goes on the basis, that you are the expert on yourself and you do not have to use other people’s labels to define who you are or what you can do with your life. We encourage our clients to emphasize strategies that are simple and safe. Collaborating with others, especially with the Elite case manager, can help increase mutual understanding and knowledge, build support, and promote wellness.

Self-determination, personal responsibility, empowerment, and self-advocacy are some of the things our clients should expect to get from using WRAP.

The whole purpose of WRAP focuses on experiences and strengths, not on the “symptoms” or “problems”. We are confident that our clients at Elite Life Care Services as they actively engage the concepts of this program with the guidance of their case manager, will be able experience the full benefits of this program as they daily incorporate it into their lives.

Stay tuned for the next edition where we present how one of our client’s has utilized the strategies to positively improve his own behaviors and attitudes based on the WRAP model!


Donna Baranowski, MHSA

Elite Life Care Services