The Limitations of Pain

Pain is physical suffering or discomfort caused by illness or injury as per Merriam-Webster dictionary. Pain, in many people, is due to some kind of inflammation. There are several things that can hinder us from living independently and happily, especially when we are having pain due to a condition. For a lot of sufferers, the pain starts and gets worse as we age. So let’s explore what are the limitations we experience when we have pain in;

Arm(s) {from hands to shoulder}

  • You might not be able to grasp things easily or it can be painful
  • Movement can be stiff and rigid
  • Putting on clothing can be difficult


  • You can’t do activities over-head (i.e. difficulty washing/combing hair)
  • Can’t reach behind your back (i.e. clasping your bra)
  • You can have difficulty sleeping on your injured shoulder

Leg(s) {to include ankles, knee and hip}

  • You will have difficulty walking
  • You will be more prone to a slip, trip or fall (Among older adults, falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries.)¹


  • You will have pain while walking or standing, making it difficult to walk or stand for lengths of time, which can make traveling difficult


  • Can make it difficult to move or stand
  • Performing certain task may become impossible
  • This pain can be from mild to severe and can be greatly debilitating as most movement requires your neck and back area to be performed


  • If you have a headache, a migraine or any other cause for pain in your head there might not be much that you can do depending on the severity as the head is what controls the body

At Exclusive Care we want to keep everyone safe, secure and comfortable if they are experiencing pain. As a leading license home care agency, we provide the best possible home care services in New York City. With our highly trained personal care aides and skilled home health aides we provide the adequate care you and your loved one may need. Our aides provide such services as: grooming, bathing, toileting, dressing, feeding and assistance in getting around your home or outside the home to name a few items. For any aspect of care or information on pain management, our highly trained nurses can provide the knowledge to minimize or make you able to tolerate your pain better. For your convenience a nurse can be scheduled to visit you or your loved one at home to evaluate the level of care that is needed at no cost for you, if you or your loved one participates in our program. The nurse will also be able to evaluate the home to make you aware of any potential hazard that might cause harm to our clients. The RN will help clarify some questions you or your loved one may have. We can provide as much care as is needed from a couple of hours a week to 24 hour live-in care and everything in between. Exclusive Care is always here to help you and your! If you would like some assistance, please feel free to contact us at (718) 364-4032 or reach us on our website at

  1.  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web–based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. Accessed August 15, 2013.

What Life is Like Caring for My ……………?


Most of us never think that one day our parents will become an “elder” person and we think less about the day we will have to start caring for them. For most individuals, becoming a caregiver usually sneaks up on us. As we start to notice changes in our parents, we do the loving thing of providing them that extra hand to make them happy and go about their regular day. This additional attention for our parents also feels good because we are making sure that they are o.k. (they are our parents after all). We might start with the little things as helping our parents run an errand or running the errand for them. We might progress to helping them with their bills. Depending on how our parent’s health condition(s) develop, we can end up with a second job “caring for my ……………”, since our first job “only” pays the bills. This second job can develop such responsibilities as assisting them with;

  • Getting out of bed
  • Bathing them
  • Brushing their teeth
  • Getting them dressed/undressed
  • Toileting
  • Cooking
  • Feeding
  • Cleaning
  • Running most/all of their errands
  • Become a record keeper of all appointments, events and activities
  • And finally assist them with their entire day until they go to bed

Now we do all this and then repeat it every day and as stated earlier, we might start with a few task at first, but soon more and more things on the list above are being added to the daily tasks you must perform.

As time goes on, all of these additional tasks can cause you to become tired, depressed and could possibly cause you to start suffering from health issues of your own. Caring for someone is not an easy task. It can be the most rewarding thing in life, but it can also be draining at times. Luckily, there is hope and a great solution to maintaining your own piece of mind for the care of your loved one and allowing for time to recharge your own “battery”. You can call Exclusive Care the licensed home care service agency that can take over the “second job”, which will allow you to be more productive, less stressful, more fulfilling and give you the peace of mind knowing that a certified home health aide is there providing care with as much compassion and sympathy as you offer. If you are a caregiver and nee d a break or just need someone to take over all these responsibilities, call 718-364-4032 and speak with the professionals that can provide care.

Suicide Amongst the Aged

Suicide takes plenty of lives on a yearly basis, but did you know that it is becoming such a problem that it has made the top ten list of leading causes of death in the United States. According to census data from 2010, 38,364 individuals committed suicide, which meant that every 13.7 minutes someone died by suicide. The most alarming part is how often it affects people 65 years of age and older. According to the American Association of Suicidology, there was one elderly suicide every 97 minutes. There were about 14.9 elderly suicides each day, resulting in 5,421 suicides in among those 65 and older. Suicide rates for males are highest among those aged 75 and older (rate 36 per 100,000) ¹.  The most shocking part is that the completion rate is highest amongst seniors more than all other groups, making them most successful at killing themselves. This is a very sad truth as this affects family members and communities as well as the individual. The biggest problem is because suicide can be caused by many different factors and signs of intent to commit suicide are not easily detectable, particularly amongst males who tend to hide their feelings. And while we all face many issues we usually have friends and family that can assist and help us during these times, but for seniors they might lack that support system that is essential to avoid a possible suicide attempt. So, we must pay special attention to our elderly loved ones around us to make sure that they do not get absorbed into this trap.

Some of the warning signs:

  • Loss of interest in things or activities that are usually found enjoyable
  • Cutting back social interaction, self-care, and grooming
  • Breaking medical regimens (prescriptions, diets, doctor visits)
  • Feelings of depression and worthlessness
  • Putting their affairs in order and giving things away
  • Gathering items that are for lethal means (guns, rope, medication etc…)
  • Expression(s) of suicidal intent

Some of the risk factors:

  • Physical illness and prolonged pain
  • Social Isolation & Loneliness
  • Major changes in social roles (retirement)
  • Experiencing or expecting a significant personal loss (spouse or other) – sometimes leads to multiple suicides as the remaining person might not want to be left alone
  • Financial problems

Some of the numbers²


The simple truth is that as people age more issues come into play that greatly affect one’s mental health. Imagine someone that has retired and has lost most of their social environment and now is left alone due to death or divorce and their grown children have left and moved on as well. Then add in depression to their mental health due to a chronic health condition that has affected them and made them more handicapped. Feeling isolated and with a chronic condition that might be causing someone pain or difficulty with activities of daily living adds a great deal of strain to one’s mental capacity to think clearly and maintain a feeling of hope. Having someone there to assist the individual, communicate and interact with them can be the difference between an elderly loved one and a deceased loved one that has now affected your life. If you or someone you know is living alone, having difficulty with activities of daily living or is going through some form of hardship; getting them a certified home health aide can be that difference. At Exclusive Care, we care for many patients and can be there for you and your family if they have been suffering from loneliness or even  a chronic medical condition and can no longer care for themselves or others. Our highly trained certified home health aides and personal care aides can be there to help them lead the most enriching life possible. You can count on Exclusive Care to be available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for any and all Live in Care, Personal Care, Home Health and Companionship needs. For your convenience, we may even schedule a nurse to visit you or your loved one’s at home and evaluate the level of care that is needed. This will help clarify some questions you or your loved one may have. Exclusive Care is a licensed home care service agency that provides top quality aides to all our clients. If you would like to have more information, please feel free to contact us by phone at 718-364-4032 or on our website at

¹. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online]. (2010). [cited 2012 Oct 19] Available from html.

². National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (1995) Suicide in the United States 1980-1992 Violence Surveillance Summary Series, No.1

Oral Hygiene and aging

The miracle of life is a wonderful thing! We are born into this world perfect in a sense; just lacking any teeth. Therefore, we cannot feed on the vital things we need such as: meats, fish and plants that provide us with most of the nutrients and energy we need to function to our maximum capacity and maintain a healthy body and mind. So as we grow up, we develop our teeth and progress accordingly and we start to eat more solid foods, which help us develop faster and stronger until we hit approximately age 5-6 years old when our baby teeth start to fall out and we begin to have gaps in our teeth and look crazy in our school photos. While this is a short and funny time period in our lives, it is fixed naturally when our adult teeth grow in. But as we become adults and start losing our teeth, unfortunately there is no natural cure to re-grow our teeth, which is why keeping our teeth and gums in good shape as we age is very important. Granted we will look just as crazy as when we were kids, but this time it can be a permanent problem. Having a mouth full of missing teeth becomes more of a problem than just the aesthetics with the more teeth we lose. The loss of teeth, causes an individual to not be able to chew as we used to; thereby causing us to forgo eating foods that we need to keep us healthy. Also, we can lose the ability to speak clearly and confidently as we can become self-conscious about our missing teeth. Poor oral hygiene can lead to very serious conditions besides bad breath and ugly looking gums if not monitored. Poor oral hygiene can be an early sign that an individual is developing more serious health conditions. This is why proper oral care and regular dental visits are a must! This can help fight tooth decay, gum disease and other potential medical conditions.

Did you know that?

  • Infections in the mouth can be a sign of diabetes, stroke, heart disease, pneumonia, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease and other health conditions
  • Some medications can affect your oral health. So you should talk to your doctor about the potential effects on your mouth when new medication is prescribed
  • Having multiple abscesses in your mouth can be a sign that you have diabetes
  • In most cases gum disease isn’t painful
  • There is such a thing as burning mouth syndrome (BMS)
  • Having poor oral hygiene can be a sign of mental decay

Once your mouth has deteriorated, your body usually follows as both are interconnected. Ours mouths are a key tool in what is needed to take care of our bodies by allowing it to take in and break up the meats, fruits and vegetables that provide us the needed nutrients and vitamins to function. If you know someone that is having difficulty eating and processing their food and they need some assistance, contact Exclusive Care at 718-364-4032 and one of our certified home health aide can cook for specific diet needs, feed or assist in feeding the client so they can get needed nutrients and stay healthy. Also the certified home health aide can escort the individual to their dentist appointments and thereafter provide the necessary oral care the individual would need to continue with proper oral hygiene.

How to Prepare to Become a Senior

We are getting older every single day, yet if you are like me you still think you are “young” regardless of your actual age. Regardless of our age, we must do certain things that are recommended to help us to live happier & healthier lifestyles. For instance, getting a regular prostate exam for males or getting a mammogram for a female beginning after a certain age. Here are a few things to help you prepare in the years as you become more senior.




Do your Will


Exercise some more

Get your “situation(s)” in order

Do brain teasers

Exercise your brain forever

Eat healthy daily

Continue to eat healthy

Healthy eating should be a habit

Learn to control stress

Practice Yoga

Learn to Meditate

Get Long Term Care Insurance

Get some life insurance

Have the proper health plan

Lose all the negative people in your life

Tell all you love, that you “love them”

Learn what happiness is

From all my years in this world, all that I have learned so far is that the happier you are the healthier you are as well. So don’t sweat the small stuff, stop and smell the roses and enjoy your life because people say all you have is one life to live and if you do it right you, don’t have to repeat it.

I know people do things at their pace and when they feel it is appropriate but, remember that time waits for no man and time is always ticking. So if you are alive today and get to accomplish all these goals, you should be a happier and healthier person knowing that you have covered all bases.

But, for those of us that have not completed our life goals, it’s o.k. There is still time!

So if you haven’t done anything on the list, do something (In bold letters). Plan to see what you will need most at this point in time and in the future and prepare for those things. If you are healthy, continue to strive to be the best you can be. If you are not healthy and need some assistance within your home with activities of daily living, feel confident that you can get the care you need by calling Exclusive Care at 718-364-4032.

Joint Pain in the Winter

Due to the recent cold weather and all the snow that the Tri-State Area has experienced lately, I’m sure some of you have heard complaints from people who suffer from joint pain, arthritis or osteoarthritis. This is the season in which sufferers (possibly you are one of the pain sufferers) experience great pain in their knees, ankles, hands, shoulders or other body part due to the extreme weather. Apparently, you are not alone! Some scientists theorize that the joint pain can be caused due to the drop in the barometric pressure.  The barometric pressure is the atmospheric “air” pressure caused by the weight of the atmosphere that surrounds us.  The air pressure could be rising or falling and usually when it falls that usually signals rain, clouds and bad weather such as: cyclones and tropical storms. In people with inflammatory conditions, this usually cause soreness and stiffness as the swelling inflames the nerves around the joints, causing pain.  Let’s say the tissue surrounding the joints are like a balloon, high barometric pressure that pushes against the body from the outside will keep tissues from expanding. While low pressure on the body would allow the tissues to expand and those expanded tissues can put pressure on the joints according to This can make it difficult enough for some sufferers; that they have a challenge getting out of bed in the morning let alone trying to go about the rest of their day with the soreness, stiffness and pain. These pains can cause some people to have real difficulties trying to do their daily activities.

There are different ways to try to alleviate some of the pain.

Stay warm – Keep yourself indoors in heated places when it’s cold outside or dress in layers and warm the car up before going into the cold. Using warming pads and taking warm baths can help as well.

Stay active  – While it might be difficult to move with stiffness, stretching and doing exercise have shown to provide some relief.

Prevent the swelling – Wear spandex type of materials where the pain is to minimize the swelling allowed by the body from your joint fluids.

Take better care of yourself – Eat healthy, get plenty of rest and be in a positive mood as it helps alleviate the feeling of stress and depression etc.

Lastly, always remember that the pain will be temporary, since we don’t have low air pressure every day!

Now, for those that are really hindered by the pain and stiffness that interferes with their activities of daily living; there is relief available by getting someone to provide you with assistance. Typically most people want/like to rely on their family members to provide them this assistance they need, but now a days with so many things going on in each of our lives it can sometimes be difficult to have someone to provide you that assistance needed. However, with a certified home health aide around, they can assist the individual with all activities of daily living making it easier to live with joint pain.

If you or someone you know suffers from joint pain, feel free to reach out to Exclusive Care which is a premier home care service agency who can connect you to certified home health aide to provide you all the assistance of activities of daily living. Feel free to call us at (718) 364-4032 and explore your options in care.

6 Main Concerns of the Elderly

As life progresses, human beings are plagued with more and more concerns. They don’t just go away once we become older. We might like to think, “Those will be the carefree days … the days when I’m older and retired,” but the truth is: today’s basket of worries simply becomes different worries tomorrow. As caregivers for the elderly, it’s important to know which anxieties might be stressing the thoughts and concerns of a senior. This is important so we can try to ease the worries and concerns of the elderly the best we can. As seniors, we need to recognize our anxieties so we can attempt to counter them with positive thoughts and actions.

  1. Money Issues
    No one wishes to outlive their savings, yet with today’s unique set of circumstances, the fear may be justified. People live longer today than ever before. Healthcare costs continually increase. Retirement savings have decreased due to a poor economy. Running out of money is a serious concern; one that can be eased through careful financial planning.
  2. Feeling Useless
    Many seniors, especially those who led very active lives, often feel they no longer have a purpose once they’ve retired from their job or their children have grown. Family members can help counter such a concern by keeping in touch with senior loved ones. Let them know they’re still an important part of your life. Another idea: give seniors useful projects to take care of such as organizing family photos, for example.
  3. Loneliness
    As a senior’s social circles shrink and their ability to get out and about becomes increasingly more difficult, loneliness can set in. This is especially true for those seniors who were social butterflies in their youth. Call or visit elderly loved ones often. Help them attend social functions. This will help seniors remain socially engaged and lessen one of the concerns of the elderly.
  1.  Risky investment and management strategies. Because of increasing medical costs and static retirement incomes, some elderly people are making risky investments to try to increase their cash flow to pay for medical care. This, in turn, often puts principal at risk and places the elderly family in illiquid positions.
  2.  Joining Medicare HMO’s instead of relying on Medicare. Each week, thousands of Americans over age 65 choose to join Medicare HMO’s without appropriate investigation. In some instances, this can cause less coverage and greater financial exposure.
  3. Not understanding what Medicare and Medicaid Cover. Medicare does not pay for long-term nursing home care except for a very short time and then on a limited basis. For the one in four Americans who enter nursing homes without a plan, this can be quite a shock.

This information is brought to you by and To continue to read more about this subject please visit either one of these sites. During this time of gathering and season for compassion, let us not forget those who are not able to travel to their loved ones, have no family/friends to share with during this season. At Exclusive Care we would like to wish everyone a Happy Holidays from our family to yours. If you or a loved one are in need of home care services, please contact us by calling 718-364-4032 or by emailing us at

How to Determine if Mom or Dad Needs Care at Home

The holidays are upon us and this is usually one of the few times we get to visit our family and friends and spend some meaningful time with them. As we have grown into adults, we might have started to notice that some things might be a little off with mom or dad or possibly Aunt Sally.  Initially we might try to rationalize and say “oh she is just getting older but, she’ll be fine”. The truth of the matter is that we might feel guilty for suggesting that a loved one is losing their ability to remain independent at home. The worst part is, is that the adult person losing their abilities might feel ashamed to admit such a thing. Well, we don’t have to be so closed minded and worried all the time especially during this time of celebration and family. The best thing to do is to look for clues that they might need some assistance/help or even companionship. For this, all we need to do is use our five senses to determine if our loved ones might need some home care services to provide them with the freedom to remain at home longer without having to be placed in a nursing home.

To use our senses requires us to do the following:

 Eyes - With a visual inspection of someone or their living conditions, we can pick up on many signs that things are not going well.

  • Look to see if their place is a mess or becoming messier than usual.
  • See if their clothes are dirty, stained or that they are wearing the same clothing for several days at a time.

Nose - Your nasal senses are very powerful especially in picking up foul odors.

  • Sniff around their living quarters to see if it smells like an old gym locker or if the trash has not been taken out in some time.
  • Smell the individual to see if they have taken a bath.
  • Smell their breath as well to check if they are brushing their teeth and doing everyday activities.

Ears - Giving people the opportunity to be heard is one of the best ways to find out what is going on with them. Listening to what people say can tell you a lot about their current mental status.

  • Listen for clues of repeated events – Such as I fall often, I forget to take my medication; I forgot another doctor’s appointment.
  • Listen for signs of sadness, disorientation or confusion.
  • Listen to see if their speech is slurred or impaired as this can signify mental problems.

Touch - Your hands are the best tools to maneuver through many things.

  • Wipe a finger/hand around areas that should generally be clean to check for dust or other dirty conditions.
  • Bathroom areas – such as the sink and toilet area.
  • Kitchen – touch to see if things have spilled and the fridge is all sticky.
  • Living room – look if the TV has so much dust you can barely watch it.

Taste - Your tongue can distinguish between four basic taste of salty, sweet, bitter and sour

  • Not everything smells like it is spoiled. So give several items in the fridge a small taste test to see if they are good or spoiled. Be careful, because you don’t want to end up being the one that needs care for food poisoning.

If you sense that your loved one is having issues with their overall general well-being, do not hesitate to get them care now. Being proactive can be the difference between them getting hurt and ending up in the hospital and having a safe, happier and healthier family member. For any aspect of care or information on care-giving, please feel free to contact Exclusive Care.

At Exclusive Care we provide services in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens. For your convenience a nurse can be scheduled to visit you or your loved one at home to evaluate the level of care that is needed at no cost to you, if they participate in our program. The nurse will also be able to evaluate the home to make you aware of any potential hazards that might cause harm to your family member. They will help clarify some questions you or your loved one may have. We can provide as much care as is needed from a couple of hours a week to 24 hour live-in care and everything in between. We have highly a trained staff of home health aides, personal care aides, homemakers, and nursing care members. We help with bathing, cooking, toileting, grooming, medicine reminders, laundry and cleaning services. Exclusive Care is a licensed home care service agency that provides top quality care to all our clients. Feel free to give us a call at 718-364-4032.

How to persuade my mom, dad, family member or friend to get home care services

There is nothing more awkward then having to start a conversation with a loved one about the need for them to get some help. Particularly when it pertains to that loved one getting home care services. As we age and get older, we feel that we are getting bigger, faster, stronger and smarter. However the opposite holds true as we age because we get smaller, slower and weaker and lose some of our acuity when it comes to information. This usually causes the dilemma between parent and adult child or other individual that you made need to have this conversation with.

There are two sides of the story here; one is of the individual that needs care – They might feel like they are being attacked or that the person no longer loves the individual or might feel like the person is trying to abandon them. On the other side of the coin is the person that is caring for the person who needs to get them care.  This person might feel guilt, sadness, stress and possibly overwhelmedat times.

But, we must remember here that the ultimate goal is to have the individual that needs the care to be healthy and independent and at the same time to have the current caregiver healthy and independent as well. As the caregiver could have a family, work and other activities that are going on in their lives that make it difficult for them to provide the adequate time and care to the individual that needs the care. Therefore, leaving the caregiver burnt out physically and emotionally. So, where do we go from here? The best thing is to have an open and honest conversation about getting some professional help to provide them with home care services. In order to have this conversation the environment and the way the conversation flows must be a seamless process so no one feels uncomfortable.

That’s why we created our own little conversation guide.

  1. Do your homework – Look to see what services are available in your area and be able to answer some of their questions they might have in regards to the care.
  2. Pick the right time and place for the conversation – Pick a place that is comfortable but non-emotional as this place is important to having a successful conversation.
  3. Approach the conversation slowly by asking questions – You might want to ask about level of pain, difficulty or any challenges the person might be having.
  4. Direct the question towards your goal –Inquire to see how they would feel about care and let them come up with answers that are appropriate.
  5. Point out the Benefits – To get them away from that “worry” mind frame may dispel any concerns they might come up with. Steer them towards the benefits of a home health care aide.

If the conversation is not going as smooth as possible there is still time to correct the conversation.

  1. Take a break – Delicate conversations like this can go bad but not to the point where both parties are upset. If the conversation is not going as you planned, cut it short and bring up a different topic and approach the conversation at another time.
  2. Call in the authority – In every family there is always that authoritative person that everyone listens to but it does not have to be a family member it can be a friend, religious leader, someone that is trusted or a care worker from a professional setting.

In the end, the focus is to get them the right care sooner rather than later to avoid further decline and a potential hospital stay. At Exclusive Care we understand the concerns about growing old, being disabled or possibly losing some independence. The truth is, home care service is provided so the individual may remain at home, independent, healthier and leaving them able to focus on the things they enjoyed in life not the things they are now limited too. If you or a loved one are in need of home care services, please feel free to reach out to us today at 718-364-4032.

You don’t have to be alone for the holidays

The holidays are a time of joy, family and laughter for most, but for others it can be a sad time of reflection and/or loneliness; especially for those who have lost someone dear to them.  The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) released several statistics on loneliness and seniors that were published through an article written by Erin Schmidt of .  The study examined prevalence rates among older Americans, and also presented a descriptive profile of lonely older adults and examines the relationships between loneliness and health, health behaviors, involvement in a social network and use of technology for social communications and networking.

Key findings revealed:

  • A little over one-third (35%) of the survey respondents were categorized as lonely.
  • Older adults reported lower rates of loneliness than those who were younger (43% of those ages 45-49 were lonely compared to 25% of those 70+).  Married respondents were less likely to be lonely (29%) compared to never-married respondents (51%), and those with higher incomes were less likely to be lonely than those with lower incomes.
  • Lonely respondents were less likely to be involved in activities that build social networks, such as: attending religious services, volunteering, participating in a community organization or spending time on a hobby.
  • Almost half (45%) of those who had lived in their current residence for less than 1 year reported feeling lonely.
  • Loneliness was a significant predictor of poor health. Those who rated their health as “excellent” were over half as likely to be lonely than those who rated their health as “poor” (25% vs. 55%).
  • Lonely and non-lonely respondents did not differ significantly from each other in terms of their frequency of email use.  However, 13% of lonely respondents felt they have fewer deep connections now that they keep in touch with people using the Internet, compared to 6% of non-lonely respondents.

Loneliness is a very real issue for many people this time of year, and we can all make a difference in their lives one by one by simply reaching out and bringing them into your circle of happiness.  Here at Exclusive Care we make sure that companionship and home health care services are available to you all year round. We distinguish ourselves  from the rest by ensuring that our aides are people who not only “do their job”, but they are also people who treat our clients with love, care, and compassion.  So if you or a loved one are in need of Home care or companionship services don’t hesitate to contact us at 718-364-4032 or email us at