A Word From Ari:

Happy National Chocolate Day, also known as February 14th!

or for the Romantics among us, Valentine’s Day

Growing up, chocolate was very important in the Medoff household. My grandparents would bring Swiss chocolate each time they would visit us, and I remember the joy of trying different flavors of Lindt, Toblerone, and Frigor. The richness of these chocolates meant that I could not eat a lot of it, unlike M&Ms or many other American chocolate candies that seemed to be designed for us to indulge in quantity over quality.

Ari with Papa Alan and Nanny Rita in Greensboro at his Bar Mitzvah in 1994

Fast forward to a holiday party in our Durham office many years ago, a teammate of ours shared with me one of her grandfather’s sayings about eating dessert — “the best bite is the first one, and it’s all downhill from there.”

So what is it about chocolate that connects to our Arosa values? Much like European chocolatiers, at Arosa, we care deeply about quality.. For the nearly two-thirds of our caregiver teammates who are part-time with us,we treasure their contributions as much as if they were full time employees. One of our smaller offices, Inland Empire in California, won the most Caregiver and Client Satisfaction awards in 2023. A number of our clients need three or four hour shifts each day to enable them to live independently instead of twelve hour shifts, and we strive to honor those requests and make a huge difference in their lives.

As Steve Jobs famously said, “One home run is better than two doubles”.

I’ve tried to incorporate the quality over quantity ethos in many aspects of my life:

  • My workouts will be shorter high-intensity 20 minute bootcamps instead of spending 40 minutes on an elliptical;
  • I am getting pickier about the books that I read and putting down a book if I am not enjoying it; and
  • As my travel to our offices increases and I am away from home more often, trying to be off my phone and email when I am with my kiddos, and always saying yes to that next game of ping-pong, basketball or Settlers of Catan (so long as it’s not past their bedtime!).

Let’s take this National Chocolate Day to focus on bringing our best to work each day. Let’s focus on the quality of the service that we provide. Let’s be like Swiss Chocolate – one taste and our clients know that they have chosen to work with the highest quality team.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside

Unless you are an Arosa Caregiver in the Southeast region and have thus far escaped the cold, many other Caregivers have experienced some dangerously cold temperatures with wind chills below minus 30 degrees in many parts of the central US in mid-January.  Even sunny California was hit with torrential rains and flooding in early February.   Whether you’re experiencing temps in the 30s, 40s, or 50s, frigid weather can pose special risks to your clients.  We’d like to share some advice for helping your clients avoid hypothermia — when the body gets too cold — These simple precautions will ensure their safety until the end of the winter season.

Hypothermia is generally defined as having a core body temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit or lower and can occur when the outside environment gets too cold or the body’s heat production decreases. Older adults are especially vulnerable to hypothermia because their bodies’ response to cold can be diminished by underlying medical conditions such as diabetes and by the use of some medicines, including over-the-counter cold remedies. Hypothermia can develop in older adults after relatively short exposure to cold weather or even a small drop in temperature.

Here are some signs of hypothermia when exposed to cool temperatures:

  • Slowed or slurred speech
  • Sleepiness or confusion
  • Shivering or stiffness in the arms and legs
  • Poor control over body movements
  • Slow reactions
  • A weak pulse

Here are a few tips to help older people avoid hypothermia:

  • Make sure the home is warm enough. Set the thermostat to at least 68 to 70 degrees. Even mildly cool homes with temperatures from 60 to 65 degrees can lead to hypothermia in older people.
  • Clients can wear long underwear under clothes, along with socks and slippers. Use a blanket or afghan to keep legs and shoulders warm.  If it’s really cold inside, wearing a beanie is helpful.
  • If your client needs to go outside in the cold, it is important they  wear a hat, scarf, and gloves or mittens to prevent loss of body heat through their head and hands. A hat is particularly important because a large portion of body heat can be lost through the head. Wearing several layers of warm loose clothing helps trap warm air between the layers.
  • A big safety issue in wintertime is falls. A caregiver can help prevent this common injury-causing scenario by keeping sidewalks and door entryways clear. Think of things that might tempt your client to go outside? The mail? Pets? Appointments? Be available to assist with these daily tasks while the weather is less than desirable.
  • Avoid cabin fever by exercising indoors and encourage socialization by inviting friends and family over. “Brain” games such as word and number puzzles and simply reading the daily paper help maintain a sense of connection during the long winter months.

Keeping warm isn’t the only thing on your busy to-do list during the cold season. Ensuring a safe environment will lead to a happier winter for all.

Caregiver Quarterly Catch-Up

Arosa is thrilled to host our Second Quarterly Caregiver Catch-Up.

If you missed our first Quarterly Caregiver Catch-up, our next date is March 21st. Join the virtual meeting at these times:

11 am Pacific Time

12 pm Mountain Time

1 pm Central Time

2 pm Eastern Time

This 30-minute virtual meeting allows all Arosa Caregivers from 33 Arosa locations throughout 10 different states to come together and discuss important issues, share information, meet the Leadership Team, learn tips and tricks from our Care Management Team, and get your questions answered.  We want to meet you.  We hope you can make it.

How to join:  

Join by phone:  Dial in during the scheduled meeting time by entering this phone number: 413-369-1137‬, then enter this pin: ‪213 755 401‬#. You won’t be able to see the shared screen but will be able to hear and speak.

Join the video meeting:

If you have a question you would like addressed, send the question in advance to [email protected].

Write ‘Caregiver Quarterly Catch-Up Question” in the subject line.  

The Ace Awards help us celebrate and reward exceptional acts of care at Arosa. The program is only as rich as the incoming nominations. If you see an inspiring act of caregiving or are moved by exceptional service from an office teammate, honor them by nominating them for the ACE Award. ACE winners will be awarded with a $250 award and the nominator will receive a $50 gift card. So don’t put it off, nominate today! arosacare.com/nominate  

Congratulations to our ACE Winner, Lily Ayon from Orange County, California. Area Director Jackie Kim and Care Manager Hope Placentia surprised Lily at work.

Here’s Jackie’s winning nomination that earned Lily the prize:

Lily works with a client with advanced dementia and is the client’s source of comfort, care, and everyday normalcy. She is the only Caregiver that the client responds to, and she keeps her client active by going to cafes, walks along the beach, and rides on the trolley. Everyday, Lily makes a special effort to do the things the client used to enjoy including dressing up, listening to U2 and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Lily Ayon embodies Arosa values through her work and is an example of how our caregivers help make the lives of our clients rich and fulfilling even through the struggles of aging.

Congratulations Lily. We appreciate all you do!

PayActiv Transaction Fees Waived for March

PayActiv is instant access to earned wages. It allows teammates to access funds from hours worked in advance of payday, borrowed funds are then deducted from the next paycheck. Each transaction usually incurs a fee of $3.49, and for the month of March, the transaction fee for all Arosa teammates will be waived. 

To ward off illness and maintain physical vitality throughout the winter months, the elderly need all the nutritional assistance they can receive. As Caregivers, you can help your clients battle the winter blues. Help your clients eat healthy meals and if your client is active, cooking is a fun winter activity.

Oatmeal with Bananas

Banana split oatmeal is a delicious and healthy way to start the day, especially during the colder months. The high nutrient density of oatmeal will provide the elderly with the vitality they need. A hearty and nutritious breakfast of banana split oatmeal can be made in only ten minutes. The bananas and strawberries must be cut into thin slices and small pieces, respectively.

In honor of Black History Month, Care Specialist Helen Bynum from our Triangle office has shared an article that highlights the impact that Black community has had on the trajectory of America’s growth, culture, and prosperity.

I am glad I have a THERMOSTAT CONTROL to use with my AIR CONDITIONER UNIT (created by Frederick Jones). I dry my uniforms in my DRYER (created by George Sampson) and then use my IRONING BOARD (created by Sarah Boone) to iron them. I like to use my HAIR BRUSH (created by Lydia Newman) when getting ready for work. I can’t forget to make a PEANUT BUTTER (created by George Carver) sandwich and put it in my LUNCH PAIL (created by James Robinson). I used a FOUNTAIN PEN (created by Walter Purvis) to write out my bills to put in the MAILBOX (created by Paul Downing). Now on my way to work, I’m glad to go through the green TRAFFIC LIGHTS (created by Garrett Morgan). When I arrive at the Nursing Facility, I grab my STETHOSCOPE (created by Thomas Carrington) and badge. I take the ELEVATOR (created by Alexander Miles) to the third floor. After knocking on the door, I hear a voice say come in so I turn the DOOR KNOB (created by Osbourn Dorsey) to greet my client with a smile.

“We must never forget that Black History is American History. The achievements of African Americans have contributed to our Nation’s greatness.”

By Yvette Clark

Tips To Make Mealtimes Easier

Eating sounds like an easy task but many Caregivers have reached out asking for guidance with clients who have difficulty swallowing after a stroke or due to late stages of Alzheimer’s disease.  Chewing may become challenging.  Clients may feel nauseated from certain medications.   Or they simply might have little or no appetite.  Regardless of the reason, our Caregivers need to ensure that their clients get the nourishment they need to stay physically and emotionally healthy and remain as independent as possible.

Your Care Managers have prepared Care Plans that should be your first guidance as to how to approach your client’s needs.  Likewise, they are always available should you have any questions.  But here are some general pointers to help you make eating as pleasant as possible.

Perfect Posture

Position your clients so they are sitting up straight.  Reclining while eating increases the risk of choking. Cut food into small pieces and make sure the food is soft enough to eat.

Mealtime: a time to look forward to.

Mealtime often is a time spent with family and friends. Some might still have their spouse, but dinner time with their grown-up children might be rare.  

Take time to socialize with them.  Sit down with them. Talk to them, even if they don’t understand everything.  Avoid rushing through the meal.

Pretty Table

Flowers from the backyard in a vase can make a lovely difference. Or add a different table ornament daily that provides a topic of conversation. Think of a family picture or house trinkets. Don’t forget to check the temperature of the food and cut solid foods into smaller bites. Present what you are serving.

Take it step-by-step

For clients who can feed themselves but seem confused, provide them guidance. You might say “Pick up your spoon”. Now scoop up some mashed potatoes”. Serve meals in a consistent pace, way, and time.  Offer foods your client likes.

Give the play-by-play

For clients who need more help, identify each food as you offer it. “Here’s a bit of fish” or “Now let’s take a sip of water”.

Always encourage your clients to do as much as possible for themselves, But for clients who cannot feed themselves, here are a few best practices:

  • Avoid forks
  • Fill the spoon only half full
  • Place the food on the center of the tongue with slight downward pressure
  • Allow time for your client to chew and swallow each bite
  • Vary food.  Vary food colors

Bon Appetit!

Ask A Care Manager

Kirstie Basnet is a Care Manager in our San Francisco office

Hello to our Arosa Caregivers. Like last month,  it’s a great honor to answer your questions and offer guidance and support. It is my goal to answer one question per newsletter as well as one during the Caregiver Quarterly Catch-up.

Caregiver Kathy asks:

What kind and how much information about our personal lives are we able to share with our clients? I want to make my relationship with my client personal but want to remain professional and not cross any lines.

Kathy, this is a great question.  

Be genuine and understanding of how your news and sharing affects others, like you would (or should) others we care about…..

We don’t want to be (1) unprofessional, (2) upsetting …..while still understanding that we are here to share in something special and it takes getting to know each other to make it work….   Here are a few pointers:

  • Don’t share upsetting or super private information…
  • Do share common interests and loves…
  • Don’t share confusing or controversial things … but do share ideas and be open to discussing things together… lean less on your own opinions and more on learning new things about yourself and your client…

Do you have any questions? If so, send them to [email protected] with “Questions for Kirstie” in the subject line. If your question is published, we’ll send you an Arosa gift!

We are lucky to have you on our team! Congratulations for another year at Arosa!

1 Year

  • Chinwe Agbata, North Jersey, January 25
  • Mary Rose Cabotaje, San Francisco, January 26
  • Shenny Coronado, Los Angeles, January 12
  • Brianna Eady, Orlando, January 19
  • Edith Garcia, East Bay, January 4
  • Hannah Gilliam, Middle TN, January 16
  • Starvon Glenn, Los Angeles, January 24
  • Kenya Johnson, Los Angeles, January 31
  • Surinder Kaur, San Francisco, January 31
  • Siti Kemal, Chicagoland, January 25
  • Luz Martinez, Central Coast, January 21
  • Charles Mccarthy, Middle TN, January 27
  • Lydia Nakimuli, Boston, January 1
  • Annet Nandegeya, Boston, January 12
  • Dayo Ogunniyi, Chicagoland, January 23
  • Karina Ramos, San Francisco, January 17
  • Kassi Reed, Orlando, January 19
  • Cecilia Rojas, East Bay, January 19
  • Mona Saint Valler, Piedmont Triad, January 4
  • Chancey Taylor, NC Triangle, January 20
  • Renee Villalobos, Silicon Valley, January 20
  • Jamir Williams, Los Angeles, January 24
  • Wannie Wilson, Chicagoland, January 25

2 Years

  • Kolopeeki Afu, South Bay, January 11
  • Joyce Agyei, Los Angeles, January 28
  • Lanrewaju Akinyemi, Chicagoland January 27
  • Heather Berger, Salt Lake City, January 12
  • Wilbert Davis, NC Triangle, January 12
  • Regina Fincher, Houston, January 20
  • Shamira Gill-Card, Los Angeles, January 3
  • Daisy Hernandez, Los Angeles, January 6
  • Kathy Johnson, Houston, January 29
  • Jacob Martimianakis, Inland Empire, January 31
  • Angie Maturana, Inland Empire, January 19
  • Velia Montoya, Los Angeles, January 17
  • Bukola Ogunyolemi, Chicagoland, January 27
  • Zandria Olubode, East Bay, January 16
  • Kim Terry, Silicon Valley, January 7
  • Justine Tomusange, Boston, January 11
  • Cynthia Williams, Orlando, January 18
  • Jacquelyn Williams Orlando, January 19

3 Years

  • Jessica Arguello, Orange County, January 20
  • Richard Benyarko, Boston, January 18
  • Ebony Cooper, San Diego, January 27
  • Edolia Kennedy, Houston, January 15
  • Juliane Miller, NC Triangle, January 21
  • Shirley Olla, NC Triangle, January 21
  • Ketsia Remedor, Orlando, January 21

4 Years

  • Glenda Clark, NC Triangle, January 7
  • Blanca Jaimes-Cornejo, NC Triangle, January 17
  • Sherissa Lamb, Chicagoland, January 16
  • Chanell Loyal, North Jersey, January 9
  • Lina Maya, San Diego, January 21
  • Sophiah Nanyanzi, Boston, January 22
  • Blanca Navarrete, Los Angeles, January 17

5 Years

  • Joana Apasu, Chicagoland, January 4
  • Orlando Ardila, Orlando, January 16
  • Esperanza Hardy, Los Angeles, January 25
  • Renee Kent, NC Triangle, January 29
  • Grace Mobu, Chicagoland, January 31
  • Mabel Yeboah, North Jersey, January 24

6 Years

  • Helen Mateo, Los Angeles, January 24
  • George Otoo, North Jersey, January 11

7 Years

  • Hardeep Kaur, East Bay, January 25
  • Rebeccah Kityo, Boston, January 6

8 Years

  • Jose Leon, Orange County, January 24

9 Years

  • Jeffrey Halvorson, Orange County, January 4
  • Rhoda Kusiappiah, Los Angeles, January 3
  • Regina Norwood, NC Triangle, January 21

10 Years

  • Jennifer Geer, NC Triangle, January 6
  • Karen Karapetyan, Los Angeles, January 22
  • Emilia Meh Kenah, North Jersey, January 27
  • Iona Nevesky, Los Angeles, January 13

14 Years

  • Floret Tulloch, North Jersey, January 1

18 Years

  • Aurelia Espinoza, North Jersey, January 18

23 Years

  • Anthony Dawson, Los Angeles, January 27

1 Year

  • Jemila Adem, Boston, February 23
  • Emily Advincula, San Francisco, February 22
  • Zainab Alonge, Chicagoland, February 21
  • Robert Asmah Boston, February 15
  • Liddet Assefa, San Diego, February 6
  • Margaret Atherton, East Bay, February 1
  • Pamela Benford, Clarksville, February 21
  • Rebecca Brunson, East Bay, February 9
  • Cesar Bueno, Silicon Valley, February 28
  • Wykia Dawson, Los Angeles, February 27
  • Adriane Do Valle, Boston, February 8
  • Gernee Edem, Los Angeles, February 23
  • Bonita Estes, Middle TN, February 22
  • Maria Auxiliadora Gurdian Espinoza, San Francisco, February 23
  • Faustina Hagan, Boston, February 22
  • Alejandra Julian, San Francisco, February 10
  • Kathryn Kinsley, Central Coast, February 22
  • Lorena Landeros Macias, East Bay, February 4
  • Patrica Mathis, South Jersey, February 2
  • Nancy Molinero-Vences, Central Coast, February 28
  • Marie Maude Mondestin-Oge, Boston, February 22
  • Babra Namukasa, Boston, February 7
  • Nasser Nasasira, Boston, February 1
  • Ann Nkoba-Kabwa, Boston, February 13
  • Guadalupe Rodriguez, East Bay, February 20
  • Tatiyanna Sanders, Clarksville, February 9
  • Carolyn Senoga, Boston, February 15
  • Julia Smith, East Bay, February 16
  • Krystan Spinello-Kiraly, Crystal Coast, February 16
  • Ruth Voer, Piedmont Triad, February 3
  • Anastasia Williams, Crystal Coast, February 3
  • Exavier Wilson, NC Triangle, February 23

2 Years

  • April Bradley, Los Angeles, February 7
  • Lin Das, East Bay, February 15
  • Djenabou Diallo, Chicagoland, February 17
  • Josie Eulin, Central Coast, February 28
  • Laurina Fuller, Inland Empire, February 17
  • Karen Matthews-Newton, North Jersey, February 1
  • Zaina Nassozi Kikomeko, Boston, February 22
  • Clementine Okullu, Los Angeles, February 2
  • Nadie Pitts, Los Angeles, February 16
  • Elizabeth Sanchez, Inland Empire, February 2
  • Xochil Sanchez, East Bay, February 17
  • Allyson Willis, Los Angeles, February 18

3 Years

  • Juliana Ajayi, Houston, February 23
  • Sharon Andrus, Orange County, February 10
  • Nancy Barrera, South Bay, February 18
  • Natalya Khmeleva, Piedmont Triad, February 20
  • Asinah Kibirige, Boston, February 1Cewanna Pittman, Houston, February 10
  • Leticia Valdez, San Diego, February 18

4 Years

  • Phoebe Ashaba, Boston, February 1
  • Glenda Eclavea, East Bay, February 25
  • Aibatou Gueye-Diane, North Jersey, February 6
  • Denise Higuera, Central Coast, February 25
  • Tonya Johnson, NC Triangle, February 4
  • Suzanne Martinez, NC Triangle, February 11
  • Maria Ron, East Bay, February 25
  • Jennifer Overby, NC Triangle, February 27
  • Angela Wade, Middle TN, February 12

5 Years

  • Hadijat Akpan-Ifiok, Houston, February 3
  • Michelle Bailey, San Diego, February 27
  • Birie Birhanu, Boston, February 25
  • Johanna Harrison, NC Triangle, February 26
  • Firehiwot Menbere, NC Triangle, February 28
  • Julie Rodriguez, Silicon Valley, February 22

7 Years

  • Arlene Krasner, Los Angeles, February 8
  • Thresa Scott, Orlando, February 8

8 Years

  • Cynthia Harris, NC Triangle, February 23
  • Billy Mobley, North Jersey, February 11
  • Olufunmilayo Ridley, Chicagoland, February 11

9 Years

  • Aura Aguilar-cerna, East Bay, February 16
  • Lisper Bosire, NC Triangle, February 4
  • Diana Smith, Chicagoland, February 20

10 Years

  • Sarah Joy Castillones, Chicagoland, February 21

11 Years

  • Victoria Jenkins, Middle TN, February 18
  • Charylee Wood, North Jersey, February 23

12 Years

  • Beverly Ferguson, NC Triangle, February 23
  • Nicole Wood, Middle TN, February 27

13 Years

  • Miguel Martinez, Los Angeles, February 18

14 Years

  • Lillian Zacharias, Middle TN, February 5

15 Years

  • Sandra Mc Kain, Middle TN, February 12

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