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Newsletter: Winter 2020 | Volume 1/Issue 1



Elite Life Care Services and Elite Guardian Services Quick Facts



Did you know...



Elite Life Care Services and Elite Guardian Services now services clients and wards in 13 different counties of Illinois, including Cook, Lake, DuPage, Kane, Will, McHenry, Kendall, Kankakee, DeKalb, Grundy, LaSalle, Winnebago, and Ogle counties, as well as Northwest Indiana and Southern Wisconsin.

Elite Life Care Services and Elite Guardian Services is currently expanding to a new office location in downtown Chicago, to further accommodate Elite’s growth in the Chicago Case Management and Guardianship marketplace.

Elite Life Care Services employs their own contractors to provide property renovations, refurbishment and adaptations to assist fiduciaries, attorneys, and clients in solving any property related issues, as well as ensuring that fiduciary managed and owned residences are in compliance with any city ordinances and guardianship court.

Elite Life Care Services offers the WRAP Program (Wellness, Recovery, Action, Plan) which offers dynamic and innovative strategies for clients and wards to offer further guidance, in regard to Elite’s advocacy for those clients and wards that have various mental health diagnosis.

Elite Life Care Services offers the CPA Program (Cost Projection Analysis). This program consists of the Elite expert case manager and the Elite CPA; formulating an extensive and comprehensive Life Care Plan that offers detailed cost service projections, and most significantly, formulating a plan that fits the individual profile of each individual client.

Elite Life Care Services and Elite Guardian Services has experience consistent growth since their inception in 2012.

As we continue our foray into 2020, there is one common thread all of us display on a daily basis. Whether it be in the role of attorney, fiduciary, health care professional, case manager, or certified guardian – all of us are making positive difference in the lives of our clients, wards, and their respective family members. On a daily basis, many of us are conquering anything, from ant hills to mountains, on behalf of our clients. Often, we are asked to solve “Mission Impossible!” We accomplish many great things, through our collective abilities, as proactive or reactive problem solvers.

One of my favorite coaches of all time, the late great North Carolina State Men’s Basketball Coach and the architect of the “V Foundation for Cancer Research”, Jim Valvano stated, “Every day in America, ordinary people are doing extraordinary things!” Coach Valvano was absolutely correct when making this statement. All of us are difference makers in the lives of the people that we touch and impact on a professional and personal level. Another thought from Coach Valvano on the three basic emotions of living life, “If you laugh, if you think, if you cry, that’s a full day! That’s a heck of a day! You are going to have something special!” How true is that statement? We all are striving to get the most out of our lives, by living life to the fullest, and in our professional lives, both combining our expertise with passion for what it is we do, and extend those abilities and talents onto others.

We mention the word “passion” for what it is that we do. A final thought from the revered Maya Angelou, “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so, with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style!”

In closing, all of us are striving to achieve that perfect balance in our professional and personal lives. Each day brings all of us new challenges and either anthills or mountains to conquer. We are difference makers! Elite Life Care Services is truly honored to join all of you, in regard to that journey together!

Sincerely,


Troy Kerber
Executive Director
630-470-3893
Elite Life Care Services
Elite Guardian Services
www.elitelcs.com


The Essentials of Gratitude

Writing down a list of positive events and why they made you happy at the close of the day can lower your stress and give you a greater sense of calm at night. Those who demonstrate gratitude are more likely to help others.

Nearly every culture has traditions of giving thanks. American Thanksgiving, India’s Pongal Harvest Festival, Japan’s Great Thanksgiving Festival, Indonesia’s Seren Tahun Festival, Israel’s Sukkot and Germany’s Erntedankfest are just a few examples.

We tend to focus on gratitude for what we have and what has happened to us. But you can also feel grateful for what hasn’t happened – for those close shaves with disaster of some kind or another, and all the bad things that almost happened but didn’t. Writing down what you’re grateful for at the end of the day will lower your stress levels and give you a greater sense of calm before bed.

Say “Thank You” to a colleague, friend, or family member today. Higher levels of gratitude make you stronger and more resilient. When you make a habit of expressing gratitude, it’s like storing up resilience in advance for difficult times ahead. It’s one of the best ways to show gratitude, which not only helps strengthen relationships, but helps us cope better with stress and boosts resilience too!




Are You SAD?

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you're like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, zapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.

In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Less commonly, people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.

Treatment for SAD may include light therapy (phototherapy), medications and psychotherapy. Don't brush off that yearly feeling as simply a case of the "winter blues" or a seasonal funk that you have to tough out on your own. Take steps to keep your mood and motivation steady throughout the year.

It's normal to have some days when you feel down. But if you feel down for days at a time and you can't get motivated to do activities you normally enjoy, see your doctor. This is especially important if your sleep patterns and appetite have changed, you turn to alcohol for comfort or relaxation, or you feel hopeless or think about suicide.

Sara Moody-Fink , MSW, LCSW, C-ASWCM
Director of Quality Improvement
Social Worker/Life Care Manager
Elite Life Care Services, Inc. & Elite Guardian Services, LLC




Signs and symptoms of SAD may include:

  • Feeling depressed most of the day, nearly every day
  • Losing interest in activities you once enjoyed
  • Having low energy
  • Having problems with sleeping
  • Experiencing changes in your appetite or weight
  • Feeling sluggish or agitated
  • Having difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling hopeless, worthless or guilty
  • Having frequent thoughts of death or suicide

Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, may include:

  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain
  • Tiredness or low energy

*All information obtained from www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/seasonal-affetive-disorder




The VA Team at Elite Life Care Services

The Elite Life Care Services team often receives requests that require the ability to think outside the box. With this in mind, Elite Life Care Services brought onboard their team of veterans who are very well versed in dealing with the needs of clients who are seeking veteran benefits and assistance.

With access to many years’ worth of veteran affairs knowledge, Elite Life Care Services is very happy to meet the needs of our nation's heroes. Whether the need is one-on-one contact for social support, transportation and expediting medical appointments, or even as part of the Elite Life Care Services Concierge Services, the Elite team is ready to serve those who have served our country with honor..

“Having the ability to help our nation’s heroes is a critical aspect of Elite Life Care Service’s desire to meet all the needs of our clients,” states Troy Kerber, director of Elite Life Care Service..




Be Well! The start of the new year is always a perfect time to do some personal reflection on our current state of mind and plan ahead on those areas in which we would like to improve in our life; we would all agree our desire is to be functioning well in all areas of life.

But what does wellness mean exactly? It can have many definitions; it can be defined as having a purpose in your life, being actively involved in satisfying work and play, being part of healthy relationships as well as having a healthy body and living environment. Wellness doesn’t necessarily imply the absence of physical illness or disability, or even the lack of behavioral health diagnosis. Anyone can experience wellness within their current life circumstance.

This is especially true for the many clients of which Elite Life Care Services provides services for daily. Many of our clients have mental, physical, and emotional challenges to which we must find healthy tools to empower them to make their own personal changes. In order to be well, one must recover, that is the process of change that helps improve our health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and work to meet ones’ full potential in all areas of one’s life.

Wellness Recover Action Plan (WRAP) is the program which can provide immense benefit to our clients, as it can be used to help one get well and stay well through a sequence of tools and action plans called WRAP. This is a process for anyone who wants to make positive changes in the way they feel and the way they react to life.

Besides decreasing and preventing unwanted or troubling feeling 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.

WRAP can be used to deal with and recover from any illnesses, condition or set of circumstances that interfere with your quality of life. It can also be used to keep you well on a on-going basis and cope with chronic or acute illness or troublesome behaviors. The WRAP program guides you through the process of creating a game plan for your life so you can achieve your goals and live the way you want to live.

In our upcoming newsletter series, we will provide you with snippets of WRAP in action, where you will understand how this works in practical terms along with personal testimonies of clients who have benefitted from their own self-designated tool box to change unwanted behaviors and feelings, and create self-directed activities which promotes confidence and direction in their life.

Elite Life Care Services is excited to bring you on this journey of wholeness, wellness, and recovery through the WRAP program. Please stay tuned for more information on the way!

Best,

Donna Baranowski, MHSA
Elite Life Care Services


The Great Divide! Family Dynamics for Clients


The Challenges

Logistically challenged - families are spread out in living in various parts of the country, as well as internationally, more than ever in history. Without a good plan, the divide can become an abyss or collateral damage.

Guardianship of the person or the estate serves as the vehicle to assist the client in successful navigation of life’s healthcare and life care related challenges..

How?

When a client reaches the point of guardianship, it is usually an indication that the plan was ineffective and that’s if there was any plan at all. In trying to avoid what we refer to as “collateral damage.”.

The term “Collateral Damage” in our profession simply means “when the care plan doesn’t have enough empowerment to accompany the actual application, the person most affected by the flawed care plan, or individuals with personal agenda’s is the client or ward..

What are some of the challenges to a care plan?

Everyone wants to stay home!

Factors to consider include:

  • Services in the home
  • Caregivers
  • Family and friends as caregivers
  • Not insured and bonded
  • The live-in caregiver who is unearthing clients assets
  • Caregiver burnout
  • Funding issues
  • Environmental issues
  • Neighborhood
  • Physical layout
  • Wandering
  • Falls
  • Medical complexities

Every care plan has a shelf life that occasionally needs to be revised and rejuvenated, but how?

  • Sound estate planning
  • Early intervention
  • Maximizing government entitlements
  • Continuous medical management
  • Making sure finances are in order
  • Attorney intervention
  • Estate planning review
  • Physician assessment (foundation of the care plan)
  • Getting the proper advice
  • Life Care Managers
  • Financial planners
  • Estate planners
  • Elder law attorneys
  • Trust officers
  • Personal bankers
  • Accountants

Terms of placement – there is a time and place if the following factors are:

  • Finding a living community that offers optimal socialization and has a stable infrastructure
  • Activities, visitor friendly, transportation in to the community
  • Independent with or without assistance, skilled rehab, assisted living, SNF
  • Evolution of care (avoiding the revolving door)
  • Who monitors?
    • Should be the staff, but most often the hired Life Care Manager
  • Payor source:
    • Medicare
    • Medicaid
    • LTC insurance
    • Private pay
    • VA benefits

Deinstitutionalizing the move! Bring home to the place!

  • Have family visits
  • Pictures and milestones
  • Rooms decorated as a home
  • Participation in activities, etc
  • Bringing the events to clients

Terms of Empowerment

  • Guardianship of the person
  • Guardianship of the estate
  • Healthcare power of attorney
  • Power of attorney for property (he or she that controls the money, controls the care)
  • More empowerment on a case will help create more effective long-term strategies!

New Year, New You!

More and more research is showing that the key to lifelong good health is what experts call “lifestyle medicine” — making simple changes in diet, exercise, and stress management. To help you turn that knowledge into results, we’ve put together this manageable list of health and wellness suggestions.

We asked three experts — a naturopathic physician, a dietitian, and a personal trainer — to tell us the top five simple-but-significant lifestyle-medicine changes they recommend.

Besides giving you three different takes on how to pick your health battles, this list gives you choices you can make without being whisked off to a reality-show fat farm — or buying a second freezer for those calorie-controlled, pre-portioned frozen meals.

James Rouse, N.D.
Naturopathic physician, triathlete, chef, author and host of TV’s “Optimum Wellness,” health-tip segments featured on NBC affiliates in several major cities.

1. Think positive and focus on gratitude Research shows a healthy positive attitude helps build a healthier immune system and boosts overall health. Your body believes what you think, so focus on the positive.

2. Eat your vegetables Shoot for five servings of vegetables a day — raw, steamed, or stir-fried. A diet high in vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of developing cancers of the lung, colon, breast, cervix, esophagus, stomach, bladder, pancreas, and ovaries. And many of the most powerful phytonutrients are the ones with the boldest colors — such as broccoli, cabbage, carrots, tomatoes, grapes, and leafy greens.

3. Set a “5-meal ideal” What, when, and how much you eat can keep both your metabolism and your energy levels steadily elevated, so you’ll have more all-day energy. A "5 meal ideal" will help you manage your weight, keep your cool, maintain your focus, and avoid cravings.

4. Exercise daily Did you know that daily exercise can reduce all of the biomarkers of aging? This includes improving eyesight, normalizing blood pressure, improving lean muscle, lowering cholesterol, and improving bone density. If you want to live well and live longer, you must exercise! Studies show that even ten minutes of exercise makes a difference — so do something! Crank the stereo and dance in your living room. Sign up for swing dancing or ballroom dancing lessons. Walk to the park with your kids or a neighbor you’d like to catch up with. Jump rope or play hopscotch. Spin a hula hoop. Play water volleyball. Bike to work. Jump on a trampoline. Go for a hike.

5. Get a good night's sleep If you have trouble sleeping, try relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga. Or eat a small bedtime snack of foods shown to help shift the body and mind into sleep mode: whole grain cereal with milk, oatmeal, cherries, or chamomile tea. Darken your room more and turn your clock away from you. Write down worries or stressful thoughts to get them out of your head and onto the page. This will help you put them into perspective so you can quit worrying about them.

Christina Reiter, M.S., R.D.
Resident consulting dietitian at the University of Colorado–Boulder Wardenburg Health Center for Nutrition Education and Therapies and former director of the nutrition program at Metropolitan State College of Denver.

1. Check your food ’tude What we eat and how we feel are linked in very complex ways. A healthy approach to eating is centered on savoring flavor, eating to satisfaction, and increasing energy, rather than focusing on weight. Check your balance of low-calorie foods, nutrient-dense foods (providing many nutrients per calorie), and foods that are calorie dense but nutrient poor. Most Americans need to eat more fresh whole foods (in contrast to processed, highly refined foods). Try to add more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, and legumes into your meals. Pair these carbohydrate-rich foods with a healthy fat or lean protein to extend satisfaction.

2. Eat like a kid If adding more fruits and vegetables sounds ominous, look to “finger food” versions that preschool kids love — carrot and celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli florets, grapes, berries, and dried fruits. All are nutritional powerhouses packed with antioxidants.

3. Be a picky eater Limit saturated fats and trans fats, and aim to eat more foods rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids to cut your risk of cardiovascular disease and maybe even improve depressed moods. The equivalent of just one gram of EPA/DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid/docosahexaenoic acid) daily is recommended. Eating cold-water oily fish (wild salmon, herring, sardines, trout) two to three times per week will provide both EPA and DHA. Adding up to two tablespoons of ground flaxseed and eating meat, milk, and cheese from grass-fed animals will provide you with a healthy dose of omega-3s.

4. Use foods over supplements Supplements are not a substitute for a good diet. Although many health experts recommend taking a multivitamin and mineral supplement that provides 100 to 200 percent of your recommended daily value, each and every supplement should be carefully evaluated for purity and safety. Specific supplements have been associated with toxicity, reactions with medications, competition with other nutrients, and even increased risk of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

5. Get satisfaction Both eating and physical activity are fun, sensory experiences! In both, aim for pleasure — not pain. Pay attention to the nutritional value of the foods you choose to eat, as well as your sense of satisfaction, relaxation, tension, exhilaration, and fatigue when you sit down to eat. Check in with yourself as you eat, rekindling your recognition of hunger, fullness, and satisfaction when considering when and how much to eat.

Rick Olderman, M.S., P.T.
A physical therapist and owner of Z-Line Training in Denver, Colorado, offering rehabilitation, personal training, Pilates instruction, motivational injury-prevention seminars, employee fitness program development, and custom foot orthotics casting.

1. Give yourself a break “I spend countless hours doing cardio and never seem to lose that last ten pounds!” is a common complaint I hear from clients. Give yourself permission to shorten your workout. Believe it or not, overtraining could be the problem. Your body can plateau if not given adequate rest to restore itself, ultimately leading to a decline in performance. Fatigue, moodiness, lack of enthusiasm, depression, and increased cortisol (the “stress” hormone) are some hallmarks of overtraining syndrome. Creating a periodization program — breaking up your routine into various training modes — can help prevent overtraining by building rest phases into your regimen. For example, you might weight train on Monday and Wednesday, cycle on Tuesday and Thursday, run on Friday and rest on Saturday and Sunday. You can also help balance your program by simply incorporating more variety.

2. Think small Often the biggest deterrent to improving health is feeling overwhelmed by all the available advice and research. Try to focus first on one small, seemingly inconsequential, unhealthy habit and turn it into a healthy, positive habit. If you’re in the habit of eating as soon as you get home at night, instead, keep walking shoes in the garage or entryway and take a quick spin around the block before going inside. If you have a can of soda at lunchtime every day, have a glass of water two days a week instead. Starting with small, painless changes helps establish the mentality that healthy change is not necessarily painful change. It’s easy to build from here by adding more healthy substitutions.

3. Keep good company You can do all the right things — but if you have personal relationships with people who have unhealthy habits, it is often an uphill battle. The healthiest people are those who have relationships with other healthy people. Get your family or friends involved with you when you walk or plan healthier meals. Making healthy changes with a loved one can bring you closer together as well as motivate you.

4. Make a list…and check it twice Take a few minutes and write down all the reasons you can’t begin an exercise program. Then look at the basis of each reason. For instance, if you wrote, “No time” as one of your reasons, then perhaps that’s based on a belief that an exercise program takes a lot of time. Starting with even five minutes a day will have a positive effect because you will have created a healthy habit where one didn’t exist before, and that’s a powerful mental adjustment. A closer look at your list will expose those false beliefs hiding behind each excuse.

5. Sign up for an event Let’s face it, exercising just for the sake of exercising or losing weight can get boring. Spice things up by signing up for an event like a run/walk race or a cycling ride where you can be part of a team. Doing so gives your workouts a new purpose, and it’s fun to be around others who are exercising just like you — not to mention that most events benefit nonprofit organizations, which doubles your feel-good high.