Aishling Companion Home Care Worker Helping Client

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Aishling Companion Home Care Worker Helping Client
Aishling Companion Home Care Worker Helping Client
Aishling Companion Home Care Worker Helping Client
Aishling Companion Home Care Worker Helping Client
Aishling Companion Home Care Worker Helping Client

What is Home Care

Home Care services are non medical, personal care services for hire. Sometimes as we, or our parents age we require additional care. This is usually a difficult time in our lives to identify for ourselves or for our loved ones.  There are many reasons for this. As a adult, watching our parents age, is not something we are prepared for. We are used to them being independent and it is hard to imagine a day when they need us in return. Not only is it hard for us to realize, but it is challenging to identify as well. How do we know if they need help? Is it dementia, or is it the natural aging process? You may have siblings that disagree with you making this process even more challenging. What if you live out of state? You may not know they need help until you get a call. The point is, there is no distinct or clear time or behavior that triggers the decision for home care until usually there has been an “incident”.  A fall or an illness of some sort usually begins this journey when the hospital then recommends that Mom or Dad are no longer home alone
Start The Conversation
Gather the family members around and begin the discussion that Mom or Dad may need additional help. It is important to include all family members so that no one feels left out from the beginning. It is not important to all agree at this time. It is essential at this time to identify who will be the person in charge physically and legally, in case the two are different. (POA and Healthcare POA)

We offer a comfortable conference area for families as a central place to meet to start the discussion.

Get A Formal Diagnosis
Start with you General Practitioner or a Geriatric Specialist. It is helpful to reassure your parent that you are going to alleviate your mind and make sure they are safe.  This is a difficult process.

It is very important for a correct diagnosis and therefore an appointment with a Gerontologist is suggested.  A Gerontologist specializes in elder care and will be able to properly diagnose. There are currently over 200 different forms of Dementia. To be clear, a person with Alzheimers has a diagnosis of dementia, but a person with dementia does not necessarily have a diagnosis of Alzheimers. Every type of Dementia has it’s differences:  different onset, possible different medications for treatment, different challenges and maybe even a different progression. It is extremely important to know exactly what type of dementia you are dealing with so you can create an appropriate plan for the natural progression of the disease.

Unfortunately less than 20% of Dementia patients are accurately diagnosed. In some cases people just assume it is dementia and they deal with the consequences. However, sometimes their can be other medical reasons for altered behavior.  It is like having a form of cancer and not knowing what type you have in order to treat it.  This is why it is so important to start with the diagnosis.

​Please feel free to contact our office for a referral to a Gerontologist:  708-361-7845
To get more information about the myths of Alzheimers, visit:  Alzheimers Organization
To get more information about a proper diagnosis, visit:  Alzheimers Organization

Understand The Difference Between Home Health Services And Home Care
When clients call our office they are always shocked when we explain that Home Services are not covered by Medicare. Home Care, no matter who you use is all private pay – which means it comes out of your savings.  However, there are two exceptions:  if you had a long term care policy or you were a veteran. (certain conditions apply)

​Home Health is different than Home Care. Home Health is covered by Medicare and is prescribed as necessary by a doctor. Home Care is assisting a person at home for normal and daily activities including showering and running errands.  Home Care and Home Health can and should run concurrently for optimal coverage and safety.

Review Medical And Legal Paperwork
We suggest you take the time now to review all applicable medical insurance coverage, long term care contracts and review your legal documentation.  It may even be necessary to consult with an elder law attorney to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order to take care of your loved one.

Please call our office if you are looking for assistance in choosing an elder law attorney:  708-361-784Review

Create A Plan Of Care
We suggest you take the time now to review all applicable medical insurance coverage, long term care contracts and review your legal documentation.  It may even be necessary to consult with an elder law attorney to make sure you have all the necessary paperwork in order to take care of your loved one.

Please call our office if you are looking for assistance in choosing an elder law attorney:  708-361-784Review

Dementia CT (Training Classes for Caregiver & Family Members


What we know about Dementia has changed
over several decades. With knowledge comes better understanding of the key role that caregivers play in ensuring quality of life and dignity for the patient.

This training program was specifically designed to meet the needs of the community and to provide useful information that every day caregivers and family members can understand, and most importantly implement daily when living with a loved one with dementia.​

This is an interactive, learning, conversational course like no other in the industry. Aishling Home Care offers a guarantee that every student will gain knowledge and value from this course. We also offer you the ability to return any time for a refresher course free of charge.

The Program is divided into two Sessions, A & B for a total of 3 hours each session. Class can be purchased by each session. If you purchase both A & B an Irish Lunch will be served during the break!
Each Course has been certified for CE credits and can be offered in many different configurations based on need. Please contact us to set up a specific training opportunity for Public and Commercial use.

Session A

Understanding the Brain

In this session the student will learn the basic and specific functions of the brain. Students will learn about the many different types of dementia in addition to how these affect the various parts of the brain and daily function.

The Language of Dementia

This session will show you how to read the body language and nonverbal communication of those suffering with dementia . We will discuss triggers that provoke behavior changes.

Activities of Daily Living

The half day session ends with a hands on demonstration of assisting, overseeing and learning the necessary skills to accomplish activities of daily living (ADL’s). These tested and proven techniques are designed to:
Encourage independence
Meal time issues
Prevention of Weight loss /dehydration
Infection control and hygiene
Relaxation & the power of touch
Music therapy

Session B

Challenging Behavior’s

Here we will demonstrate how to deal with different types of behavior’s. We will also focus on many different scenarios and possible reasons that may cause behavior’s to change acutely.

Safety Measures

Safety is top priority for all concerned. In this class we will teach the necessary skills to be a master detective and anticipate what may be needed in the near future. We will explain how to read between the lines and implement necessary factors to prevent falls and accidents while still promoting independence.

End of Life Issues

We will discuss common problems and possible solutions to ensure that the families have the knowledge and education they need to make the appropriate choices for their loved one as the circle of life comes to an end. We will incorporate and demonstrate the importance of music, touch and the power of the senses.


Ageless Grace is a cutting-edge brain fitness program based on neuroplasticity that activates all 5 functions of the brain;

  • analytical,
  • strategic
  • kinesthetic learning
  • memory/recall
  • creativity and imagination

It simultaneously addresses all 21 physical skills needed for lifelong optimal function.

Primary Benefits of the 21 Simple Tools for Lifelong Comfort and Ease™

Primary Benefits of the 21 Simple Tools for Lifelong Comfort and Ease 1-11

Exercise Tool #1 Juicy Joints: Joint Mobility.
Also Ligament Flexibility, Circulation

Exercise Tool #2 Dive In!: Upper Body Strength.
Also Upper/Lower Body, Psoas, Right/Left Brain Coordination, Hip Flexors

Exercise Tool #3 Spelling “B” (for Body): All five areas of the brain. Also Cognitive Function, Kinesthetic Learning, Range of Motion

Exercise Tool #4 Front Row Orchestra: Multi-skilling.
Also Spinal Flexibility, Right-Left Brain Coordination, Eye-Hand Coordination

Exercise Tool #5 Zoo-ology: Systemic Movement.
Also Breathing, Fall Prevention, Cognitive Function (Memory/Imagination), Humor

Exercise Tool #6 Try Chi: Stability in the Ligaments/Joints.
Also Muscle Control, Eye-Hand Coordination, Breathing and Relaxation

Exercise Tool #7 Yo Baby!: Flexibility.
Also Alignment, Joint Stability, Bone Density

Exercise Tool #8 Body Math: Ability to Respond, React and Recover. (The Three R’s)
Also Cognitive Function, Agility, Neural Response

Exercise Tool #9 Gentle Geometry: Neuroplasticity.
Also Coordination, Neural Response, Multi-tasking, Sense of Humor

Exercise Tool #10 Rockin’ Rockettes: Hip Flexors and lower body function.
Also Thigh Strength, Hip Mobility, Ankle and Foot Flexibility, Arch Support, Foot Health

Exercise Tool #11 Spaghetti Spine: Spinal Flexibility: all 26 working parts of the spine.
(7 Cervical vertebrae, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, sacrum and coccyx)

Primary Benefits of the 21 Simple Tools for Lifelong Comfort and Ease 12-21

Mobility, Strength and Agility in Entire Arm.
(the Hands, Fingers, Arms, Shoulders, back and chest muscles)

Exercise Tool #13 “Power” Tools: Power and Leverage.
Also Integration, Imagination, Memory/ Recall, Coordination

Exercise Tool #14 Saving Face Release of Tension in the Face, Head and Neck.
Also Relaxation, Muscle Toning, Headache Relief, TMJ/ Jaw Tension, Sense of Humor

Exercise Tool #15 Balancing Act: Balance and Fall Prevention.
Inner Ear Fluid Stimulation, Neural Pathway Development, Bone Density, Ankle Strength

Exercise Tool #16 B-R-E-A-T-H-E Out Loud: Oxygenation of Cells
(bloodstream, muscles, brain). Also Sense of Humor, Stress Relief, Personal Power

Exercise Tool #17 Grab Bag: Dexterity in the Hands, Fingers and Wrists. (ADLs)
Also Muscle Strength, Arthritis, Joint Flexibility/Mobility, Eye-Hand Coordination

Exercise Tool #18 Shake It Up Baby!: Myofascia/Connective Tissue.
Nervous System Stimulation, Skin and Connective Tissue Health, Agility

Exercise Tool #19 Team Fit: Muscle Mass and Coordination.
Overall Physical Strength, Eye-Hand Coordination, Memory/Recall/Strategic Planning

The Muscle of the Heart/Cardio Conditioning.
Also Muscle Strength, Spinal Health and Flexibility, Bone Density, Fall Prevention

Exercise Tool #21 Dance Party!: Emotional Expression.
Also Memory/Recall, Cardiovascular Conditioning, Overall Functionality.

Music & Memory

Aishling Companion Home Care is a certified MUSIC & MEMORY facility. This program makes a difference in the lives of seniors who suffer from Alzheimer’s / Dementia. These memory support patients receive a gently used iPod, pre-loaded with music that can calm, relax and soothe.

​3 Locations for iPod Drop off Locations:
Aishling Companion Home Care office:
between the hours of 9AM-4PM

Orland Park Chamber of Commerce: 8799 W. 151st. St. Orland Park

Lake Katherine: 7402 Lake Katherine Dr. Palos Heights, IL

A Moment to Remember

Watch the magic as Aishling introduces Marie to the iPod-based Music & Memory program.  It has been proven time and time again to take seniors with Dementia and/or Alzheimers from a non-responsive state and re-engage them with the world.

It is absolutely amazing to watch.  Why not bring a moment of happiness to our Loved Ones.​

Bring it Home Henry!

Henry is another example how introducing the Music & Memory program can reinforce positive memories and bring them back to today’s world.

Music and Memory launched at Smith Crossing on 10/15/2015

Margaret Lavery, 101, reacts with excitement as she listens to music on an iPod donated by the community. Research has shown that music helps those with failing memory. At Smith Crossing retirement home, Thursday, October 15th, 2015, in Orland Park.

Read the Costco Connection article: Click on the image below to go directly to the article to read in full.

Watch “Alive Inside: A story of MUSIC & MEMORY” today on Netflix!

Music gift gives dementia patients trip down memory lane
by Donna Vickroy, Southtown Contact Reporter: October 21,

When they placed the headphones on Margaret Lavery’s ears and turned up the volume, the 101-year-old resident of Smith Crossing in Orland Park immediately began to dance in her wheelchair.
Dean Martin’s “Ain’t that a Kick in the Head” was one of her favorite songs, back in the day, back before dementia began a slow assault on her memory.”Eeeeeeeee,” she squealed. “Ooooh, I like. This is fun. You know how to take a girl’s breath away.”Lavery was one of 15 elderly residents of the continuing care retirement facility to receive an iPod loaded with memories.
The iPod give-away last week was organized by Aishling Dalton-Kelly, owner of Aishling Companion Home Care in Orland Park.

The agency is certified in the national non-profit Music and Memory program that trains caregivers and facilities how to provide music through digital technology to elderly or infirmed patients. The program was founded by Dan Cohen in the United States in 2006. A 2012 documentary, “Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory,” helped broaden its reach, which today extends into Canada and Europe.Even before she was invited to attend a local Music and Memory presentation, Dalton-Kelly said she understood the benefits of music on people who struggle to communicate, relax and find comfort. Her mother, who lived in Ireland, struggled with dementia for seven years.

“At the end she lost her ability to talk and communicate. But all her life she was a fabulous pianist. She loved Glenn Miller,” Dalton-Kelly said. “So one day when I was taking care of her I figured I’d put on some music – I mean what else can you do with a person who has dementia? — so I put on a cd and the next thing I see through the blanket her little feet start moving, then the fingers start going and then she starts singing along.

“I thought, ‘This is fantastic,'” Dalton-Kelly said.
Six months later, back in the United States, a friend invited her to a Music and Memory event.

“They talked about how end-stage dementia people can connect through music,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (, dementia is an umbrella term for a group of cognitive disorders typically characterized by memory impairment, as well as marked difficulty with language, motor activity, object recognition and executive function. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia.

Statistics from the Alzheimer’s Association ( project that by 2050 the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will increase from 5.1 million to 7.1 million. Alzheimer’s, which primarily affects women, is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States, according to the association.

Dalton-Kelly said because the bulk of her client base is senior citizens, many of whom have some form of dementia, she vowed to get certified and start a program here.
She reached out to Frank Guajardo, executive director at Smith Crossing.

While Dalton-Kelly launched an iPod collection drive, Guajardo contacted family members for help compiling personal playlists for each recipient.
Life Enrichment employee Caitlin Sullivan took the lead on that project.

“The favorites seem to be Sinatra, Perry Como, Glenn Miller, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis, Jr.,” Sullivan said.
Dalton-Kelly’s company bought and donated the ear phones because, she said, many elderly people have hearing issues and prefer over-the-ear headphones to the tiny ear buds that come with a device.

Recent college graduate Brian Paglia, who lives in Orland Park, volunteered to load the iPods.

When the devices were ready, Dalton-Kelly had them gift-wrapped and paid a visit to the retirement home.
Like Santa’s elves, she, Guajardo and Sullivan wheeled a cart filled with gift bags around the facility. One by one, iPods loaded with customized playlists were handed out to residents.

Wrapped in a yellow and white afghan and sitting in a common area of the facility, Lorraine Mayes at first seemed confused by the contraption being placed on her head. But as soon as she heard Roy Orbison’s “Pretty Woman” coming through the ear pieces, she got emotional.

​With a hand over her heart, she began to cry.
Sullivan asked, “Are these tears of joy?”
Mayes nodded.

“Thank you. Thank you,” Mayes said, reaching out and kissing, first, certified nursing assistant April Supran’s hand three times and, then, Guajardo’s cheek.

“She does that when she’s happy,” Supran said.
Barb Schlegel loves Rod Stewart. Her daughter, Jill Dohm, took her to a concert a few years ago when the dementia was not so advanced.

“She’s got a book in her room, a Rod Stewart shirt,” Dohm said. “She likes music. Elvis and Frank Sinatra, too.”

Schlegel’s cognitive degeneration has been slow, Dohm said, with the last four years being the worst.

When Sullivan placed the headphones over Schlegel’s ears and turned on “Bad Moon on the Rise,” the 78-year-old smiled, sighed and seemed to sink deeper into her highback chair.

Dalton-Kelly said: “That is the key to the program. For people with dementia, we know that the last part of their brain to die off is the music recognition part. So when you play the tunes that they’ve probably forgotten, that awakens something inside them. They start to become more relaxed, less anxious, tap to the beat and maybe even become more vocal.”

The aim is to “stir them from the inside out,” she said. “We want them to have some sort of communication with the caregivers. Most at the end stage don’t speak and can’t communicate. This is a little trip down memory lane and a respite for both the patient and the caregiver. There are results that show people who were nonverbal actually begin singing the words to the songs.”

Dalton-Kelly said she’d like to expand the program to other retirement homes but she understands the constraints. Facilities need a music director on staff to keep the program up and running, charge the iPods and update the music lists.

And, above all, she needs donations of iPods and CDs.
“All of this is voluntary,” she said. “But it is so worth it because it is so necessary.”

Guajardo said: “Once people reach a certain level within memory loss, communication is gone. Sometimes patients will be upset but we don’t why because they can’t express themselves. They can get angry and we don’t know how to help them.”
In advance of the give-away, Smith Crossing staff tested the music program on a particular resident who would sometimes get angry and upset. Guajardo said, “It worked wonderfully to calm him down.”

Dalton-Kelly hopes to build case studies based on the music program and share them with other caregiver organizations.
“In our world, we think whenever there’s a problem we must need a pill; let’s fix it with a pill,” Guajardo said. “But this is something that can fix that behavior without medication.”
​”The goal,” Dalton-Kelly said, “is to have doctors write prescriptions for iPods instead of for pills.”
For more information on Aishling Companion Home Care call 708-728-5538 or visit
For more information on Smith Crossing, call 708-326-2308 or visit

We are currently collecting new or gently used iPods (shuffles preferred) and iTunes gift cards.

iPods can be dropped off in Orland Park at the following locations:

Aishling Companion Home Care 13255 Southwest Highway, Suite 200,  Monday through Friday between 8am and 4pm
Orland Park Chamber of Commerce Office – 8799 W. 151st Street,  Monday through Friday between 10am and 3pm