5 Strategies for Handling Resistance to Care

New Tools to Document End of Life Wishes

Probably one of the hardest conversations to have with an aging loved one is the “needing care” talk. A lot of the times the aging adult feels that help is unnecessary, and see it as a loss of independence. There are so many factors that come with resisting care. It’s important to try to see it from as many angles as possible. They could be scared that this means their life is ending, worried about being a burden, handling loss, and so much more. There are different ways you can handle resistance to care.

5 Strategies for Dealing With Resistance to Care

5 Strategies for Dealing With Resistance to Care


If talking it through the idea of care doesn’t work out, there are other strategies you can try.

1. Trial Run

Getting care can drastically change a person’s life, and that can be intimidating. Suggest a trial run and see how they feel after around a month. If there are any glaring issues, you can work together to figure out how to fix them.

2. Stay Positive

When talking about care, make sure to keep it positive. Mention activities they can do or creating a new friend with a home care provider.

3. Explain Why the Care is Needed

It’s not selfish to let them know that you also need the help and that having an extra set of eyes will make you feel better. Explain everything in an honest but considerate way, and they may be more willing to listen.

4. Be Upfront About the Costs

Costs can be a massive factor as to why they’re resisting care. Do research beforehand and explain that different types of insurance can help cover costs or go over the average prices of the kind of care you are hoping to use.

5. Be Patient

Remember, there’s a lot of emotion behind resistance to care. Try to be empathic to their point of view and focus on the big picture. You will have to make some compromises, but it will be worth it in the end.

Read more here.

Adult Day Center Opens in Center Conway

Adult Day Center Opens in Center Conway

It can be hard to get care in Northern New Hampshire, but the Mount Washington Valley Adult Day Center in Center Conway is changing that. It’s a safe haven for both seniors with memory loss or chronic health illnesses and their caregivers.

Adult Day Center Opens in Center Conway

Adult Day Center Opens in Center Conway


The Center has areas for social interactions and artistic endeavors. There’s also a cafe, a library, outdoor gardens, a spa, and a big-screen TV for watching. There will be different kinds of classes that people can take and even music and dance performances. There are indoor and outdoor walkways that are circular for easy walking. There are 1,400 plants of over 300 species throughout the garden.

The designers took bits and pieces from other similar centers around the country. The idea is the center gives a more relaxed vacation vibe instead of healthcare.

“The model is a hospitality model, not a hospital model. The folks who come here are the guests. We’re doing anything we can to break that institutional feel.”  Norman Cloutier

It can have up to sixty people for five-hour blocks. It’s open from 7:30 AM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. It costs seventy-five dollars.

The Center is working on finalizing insurance coverage. People can pay through private pay, long term care insurance, VA benefits, and Medicaid options. Subsidies could be available through the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services’ Choices for Independence. The department gives respite grants for NH people who live at home and are eligible for nursing-home care.

Read more here.

New Database Gives Stats on Aging in New Hampshire

New Database Gives Stats on Aging in NH

It’s no secret that New Hampshire is considered a gray state, meaning that there is a large aging population. A new database has been created to give stats on aging in New Hampshire. The Tufts Health Plan Foundation funds it.

New Database Gives Stats on Aging in NH

New Database Gives Stats on Aging in New Hampshire


The database has 244 Community Profiles, one for every city and town in NH. Each profile has 166 indicators of health and state averages.

People can look up stats on Alzheimer’s, different heart conditions, and how many people have more than one chronic illness. People can look at access to care and the cost of living too.

Having access to this database means that anyone from senior communities to the average person can access this information to help them know what’s best for their aging relatives. It may even point them in a direction when deciding what the next move should be, maybe moving to a new town is best for them. It’s also an excellent tool for creating policies to help our aging communities in those specific areas of need.

There are significant differences in health by zip code, gender, and type of town a person lives in.

The database is made of around 40,000 pieces of data. The top three sources include the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the Federal Census Bureau, and the FBI.

How NH Will Handle Healthcare Worker Shortage

Older adults who have Covid-19 can have "atypical" symptoms. making it harder to get proper treatment. The usual symptoms are a fever, an insistent cough, and shortness of breath. Unusal Covid-19 symptoms that can appear among seniors are sleeping more than usual, stop eating, or overall seeming "off." It can get to the point where they stop speaking or even collapse. 

It’s no secret, that New Hampshire’s aging population is big and only getting bigger. Seniors are going to need help, and there may not be enough help to go around. Many are wondering how the state will handle the healthcare worker shortage.

How NH Will Handle Healthcare Worker Shortage

The Financal Cost of the Shortage


There is a surprising amount of financial implications for this shortage. Costs like physician vacancies include salaries and fees paid to recruitment firms, lost productivity for employees doing the candidate selection, onboarding costs, like training and credentialing new physicians, and decrease in revenue.

The costs can be as high as $345,000 for the loss of one doctor.

How NH Will Handle Healthcare Worker Shortage


According to a December 2018 survey, community health centers have 109 clinical and nonclinical vacancies, and over 2,000 healthcare worker vacancies are scattered across the state. This includes hospitals and community mental health centers.

By 2030, around 1/3 of NH residents will be over 65.

The state is in a good position to invest in recruiting and retaining the healthcare workforce. A group of provider organizations, advocates, and policy experts have been working with Democrats and Republicans to create a bipartisan legislative proposal to secure the workforce we need.

Senate Bill 308


This bill combines key policy and budget initiatives to help with the healthcare worker shortage.

It addresses a crucial administrative burden, NH’s criminal background check system. While other New England states do online background checks, our state does not.

Instead, it’s normal for people to have to wait 15 days for a candidate’s application to be seen.

The bill would support the Department of Safety in implementing an online background check system.

Keeping Healthcare Workers in NH

Another problem is that the state is losing qualified workers. NH has one Family Medicine Residency Program with 8 slots. Half of its graduates move across state lines after graduating.

Investing in scholarships with service commitments, career advancement programs, and training programs would help. SB 308 wants to give NH the tools and opportunities that will encourage healthcare professionals to stay.

Encouraging People to Work in the State

The state pays the lowest Medicaid reimbursement rates in the country. Most Medicaid providers haven’t gotten a rate increase in years.

The low rates affect healthcare organizations’ ability to pay competitive wages. This leads to provider turnover and reduces timely access to healthcare services.

SB 308 suggests a modest Medicaid rate increase of 5% in the fiscal year 2020 and 7% in 2021 for all Medicaid services. This would be a needed investment in our healthcare workforce.

The State Loan Repayment Program (SLRP) is the number 1 tool to recruit providers in high need areas like rural NH. This is a difficult place to bring clinicians.

The availability of student loan funds is key for healthcare providers, including community health centers, to compete with providers in the greater Boston area.

Read more here.

Top 3 Aging Decisions You Need to Make Before Someone Else Does

7 Ways to Start the Senior Living Talk

The idea of getting older and less independent can be overwhelming. No one wants to think about how life is going to change as we age; that we may have less control over our lives. But, there is a way to take back control. Start making some of the decisions yourself. Here are the top 3 aging decisions you need to make before someone else does.

Top 3 Aging Decisions You Need to Make Before Someone Else Does

Top 3 Aging Decisions You Need to Make Before Someone Else Does


1. When to Stop Driving

Being able to drive around and go to places whenever we want is a sign of independence, but what happens when you start to become a danger to yourself and others? Having to take keys away from an elderly loved one is one of the most heartbreaking situations. The keys being taken away means their independence is taken away and the same goes for you.

You won’t get to go to places when you want to, you will have to ask for rides, and you may be stuck at home. While there is no tell tale age to stop driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that drivers in their late 60s and up have higher crash rates.

By 75, it goes way up. You can take this short self-assessment to get an honest look at your skills as a driver. Don’t forget there is public transportation and they often give discounts to seniors, there is also Uber and Lyft.

2. Whether you will stay in your home or not.

Where will your home be? Will you move to be near adult children that will keep an eye on you. Is your home safe? What works for you now, might not work when you’re older. Try looking at this checklist from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) for what can make your home safer as you get older. Then you can talk to a remodeler about what changes you will need.

Also will staying at home make you lonely and isolated? Do you have people around to visit, or maybe clubs to go to? Keep in mind that loneliness is a huge problem among seniors.
Top 3 Aging Decisions You Need to Make Before Someone Else Does

3. How will you take care of yourself?

As we get older, we will need help. As much as we hate admitting that we are not self-reliant, it’s a fact of life. So, how will you take care of yourself? Will there be loved ones around to aid you with anything you might need?

Will you need to hire a caregiver (like the ones at Seniors Helping Seniors NH!), or will forego both and end up finding an assisted community to stay in. There are pros and cons to both options and you will have to decide what works best for you.

Check out our comparison page of assisted living to nursing homes to get a better idea of your needs.

Read more about these choices here.

Portsmouth has Become the First Dementia Friendly Community in NH

Patients Being Put at Risk Due to Chaos at Chain Pharmacies

There’s about 24,000 people in New Hampshire suffering from Alzheimer’s. That doesn’t even include the different types of dementia. Recognizing this huge number, the city of Portsmouth decided to do something. Portsmouth has become the first dementia friendly community in NH.

Portsmouth Becomes the First Dementia Friendly Community in NH

Portsmouth has Become the First Dementia Friendly Community in NH


How did the city manage to do that? They gave proper training for the people who interact the most with people with Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Who are they? First responders, grocery store cashiers, bank tellers. Each one of these people can significantly help someone with dementia or alzheimer’s.

The idea came when Jenna Dion, senior living program specialist at Wentworth Senior Living, heard of the national Dementia Friendly program. She immediately got other professionals within the senior community to join her in creating a Dementia Friendly Community in Portsmouth.

Ronda Randazzo, manager of education programs for the Alzheimer’s Association’s Massachusetts and New Hampshire chapter, is in charge of training these individuals. The first being the Portsmouth police officers and firefighters, who are at the front lines when it comes to interactions with seniors.

Each of the officers and firefighters will receive two to four hours of training by the beginning of the new year.

Read more about the training and the national Dementia Friendly program here.

Great Gift Giving Program in Northern NH

Great Gift Giving Program in Northern NH

Christmas time is upon us. It’s the season of giving and charity. Many people step up their game to make someone’s day a little better. New Hampshire is no different. A great gift giving program in Northern NH is helping people help others.

Great Gift Giving Program in Northern NH

Great Gift Giving Program in Northern NH


Androscoggin Valley Home Care Services and Northeast Credit Union (NECU) have partnered to create a wonderful program for the most wonderful time of the year. It’s called Gifts from the Heart, and this great gift giving program in northern NH is spreading love and joy to residents who need it.

The anonymous gift giving program was developed to give joy to the elderly, home bound, and disabled in Berlin, Gorham, and other surrounding communities.

To join the program, go to a NECU branch in Berlin or Gorham and pick an ornament from the tree inside. Each ornament has a gift that would be nice for someone receiving care through Androscoggin Valley Home Care Services. The gifts must be wrapped with the ornament attached by the 19th of December.

While we were late in finding out about this program, hopefully those who want to participate can join next year. Read more about the program here.

Better Words for Retired

6 Different Types of Retirees

Sometimes the word retired can bring negative connotations. Some people may write off someone as insignificant when they hear the word, or maybe they aren’t sure what to talk about once they know. Some of this comes from ageism, the idea that if you are not working, you now no longer have anything to offer. But there are better words for retired.

Better Words for Retired

Better Words for Retired


Some popular terms are retooling, rebooting, reimagining, reinventing, but one that stands out is jubilee. This stands out no only because it breaks the “re” pattern but it’s not a word that is often brought up in conversation. The definition of jubilee is “a special anniversary of an event, especially one celebrating twenty-five or fifty years of a reign or activity.”

This can mean that maybe you chose retirement, aka to have more free time to enjoy life, rather than it being thrust upon you due to age.

Jubilee has Judeo-Christian roots, which you can find in The Bible’s Book of Leviticus. It’s linked to the number seven and tied to the ideas of a weekly Sabbath and a Sabbatical after seven years of labor. After seven sabbaticals, or 49 years, a person reaches the big one, Jubilee. In this year, The Bible says that God commands his people to stop working, forgive debts, and return family property.

Fun fact: The Queen of England celebrated her Golden Jubilee during the 50th year of her reign, in 2002.

Read more here.

Clowning Around for Dementia Patients

Two visitors dressed in costumes visit dementia patients hoping to make them smile. Their names are Dapper Dan and Beatrice, stage names of Dikki Ellis and Ilene Weiss. They work for Vaudeville Visits, a program at Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, N.J., which is run by Healthy Humor.  They hope clowning around for dementia patients will make them feel better.

Clowning Around for Dementia Patients

Clowning Around for Dementia Patients


Though this duo are not your average clowns, they focus more on Vaudeville style of entertainment. They dress in a variety of costumes from a cow girl, to a used-car salesman, to “Melvis,” supposedly Elvis Presley’s brother. At one point Beatrice dressed as a bride and encourage eligible bachelors to “marry her” and for women to be her bridesmaids.

Beatrice says that they recognize the image of bride and that feeling  of joy that comes with weddings. It might also bring memories of their own wedding. They sing songs and will take requests. They try to trigger memories from the patients and try to get them to interact with them. It seems to be working because Dapper Dan and Beatrice leave patients feeling good and laughing.

A recent study in  Journal of the American Geriatrics Society  showed that clowning helped with behavioral problems with dementia patients.

“We found that after the residents interacted with the clowns for 12 weeks, there was a significant reduction in their neuropsychiatric symptoms,” said Pia Kontos, a scientist at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and the lead author of the study. “Our study found elder clowns were just as effective as medication in bringing down aggression levels in seniors with dementia.”

Read the whole article here.

SHS NH Received Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve

SHS NH Received Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve

Recently SHS NH received statement of support for the Guard and Reserve from NH ESGR. We are especially proud to receive this recognition!

This is really special to Judy and Randy because Judy’s father, Judy’s son, and even Randy himself served. So this is very close to home. ESGR helps to keep our heroes employed.

We are happy and honored to support all who serve our country. Check out the photos below!

 SHS NH Received Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve

 SHS NH Received Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve
SHS NH Received Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve
SHS NH Received Statement of Support for the Guard and Reserve