The Importance of Goals

Importance of goals, picture show caregiver getting a participant outside for some fresh air

Do you have goals? Well here at Breaking Barriers Today we value the importance of goals. The clients are currently being assessed to determine the appropriate goals for them. Some of these goals are already put in place by Community Mental Health, however as the clients are becoming comfortable here in our program, we begin to think about the next steps and new goals for them. For example, one of the goals that Jimmy, one of our clients, had was to get a walker. Now that he has the walker we are considering all sorts of new goals related to independence, endurance and stamina.

Regardless of your current situation it is very important to have goals to be able to move onto the next phase or step in your journey. The journey here at BBT started out as a dream and then a vision but without specific goals in place, BBT would have never have come to be. It is a pleasure to see small changes occur almost on a daily basis as we continue to plan and move toward our vision for the future at BBT, this happens because we have goals.

Please enjoy your time with family as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday which will be here quicker than we know it. Have a great month and look forward to sharing more in December!

Funds Available for Adult Day Services

Jenny is a volunteer in the Adult Day Services program. Here she is helping Don line up a shuffle board shot.

Funds Available for Attending Adult Day Services (ADS) Program


The Tri-County Office on Aging has allocated funds to Helping Hands Respite Care to underwrite all or part of the cost for new participants to our Adult Day Services program.  The amount of funds available to an individual is based on their household income and a number of other factors. The best way for us to help a family understand whether or not their loved one qualifies is to call us directly at 517-372-6671, ext 100. The only hard and fast requirement is that the participant must be 60 years old or older.


We don’t want to miss the opportunity to help another family or families enjoy the enormous benefits of respite care and the life-enhancing benefits of our quality senior activity program.


You can be a hero to a friend, family member, or neighbor in need by making a referral to us right away.  The timing is urgent so calling as soon as possible is important.  There are enough funds available to serve up to five individuals depending on the number of days they wish to attend.


Beginning the process of enrolling in the Adult Day Services program usually includes a pre-arranged visit where the potential participant and caregiver/family come to tour the program, get questions answered, experience some activities, and stay for lunch. Call program supervisor Alison Sarkozy at 517-372-6671 ext 107 to set up a visit. A visit to our website or our Facebook page also provides great input on the kinds of activities included.

Welcome Barbara Wright

Welcome Barbara Wright as office administrator at Helping Hands Respite Care. Barbara pictured in her new office.

We welcome Barbara Wright to the Helping Hands Respite Care team as our Office Administrator. Her past experience includes a long administrative and leadership career for a small national nonprofit based in Alabama. Her skills are a great match for Helping Hands Respite Care. We value having a seasoned professional on our team who brings a fresh look at our processes.

Barbara brings a technical and administrative background that will help our agency move forward on some of the goals that were set in our November 2013 strategic plan. Our Executive Director, John Stauffer sees Barbara helping us implement a paperless payroll process as early as next spring. This means no more time sheets to be filled out (yeah!). Additionally Barbara’s expertise with existing processes that we currently use like QuickBooks and cloud-based billing and payroll systems will result in simpler and more concrete information being disseminated to families, staff and our board of directors.

“Moving to Michigan has been a great experience. I really appreciate the training I have received and look forward to meeting all of the Board Members and getting to know the staff and caregivers better. I love being able to see our clients as they visit our offices or participate in the Adult Day Services program. However, I have noticed that they all have an accent …but I am getting used to that,” quipped Barbara.

Barbara is from Mobile, Alabama and has recently relocated to this area with her new husband Matt. She is a mother of a 23 year old son, Clayton, who remains in Alabama pursuing his career as a Firemedic. “I miss my son but am thrilled to have gained three stepchildren and one granddaughter through marriage,” shared Barbara.

When asked about her experiences and perspective on moving to Michigan Barbara is really impressed with the beautiful change of seasons and loves the colors of autumn. “I have tried to ski, and can’t; tried to ice skate, and can’t, but my husband and I love to go to hockey games and MSU Football games.

“When I interviewed for this position, what touched me most was that I would be part of a team that is helping the community serve a need that is growing. That is the well being of the care provider who is taking care of family members with early Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other related diagnosis impairing their abilities. This really touched home and I am thrilled to be part of this growing family. John and the staff of Helping Hands have made me feel welcome and I truly feel like I am part of the Helping Hands family,” concluded Barbara.

Holiday Tips for Caregivers

Holiday image, tree with lights, headline Holiday Tips for Caregivers

Holiday season is now here and if you are wondering how to make the holidays easier and less stressful here are some holiday tips for caregivers.

  1. Choose what holiday events to participate in, don’t feel obligated to attend everything. You are in charge of when to say yes.
  2. Avoid crowded and noisy places and watch sugar intake. Maintain usual routines as much as possible.
  3. Involve your loved one in holiday preparations when possible. To increase your success at this, break the tasks down, and sometimes hand over hand help is necessary to accomplish a project. The goal is not to achieve perfection but memories with the close time you will have with your loved one.
  4. If you have out of town guests coming, prepare them in advance. Let visiting family and guests know that their loved one may not remember their name and prepare them for known behavioral issues. This way you and your guests can be more relaxed if they are told what they might expect.
  5. Reminisce together about past holidays and happy times. One idea is to look through a photo album together. People with dementia can sometimes think of events from long ago but they may need help with names and specifics in the picture. To avoid embarrassment avoid direct questions, say “look, there is your sister Mary Ellen in her cute red and green dress. Oh, and there is our dog Spot, she looks so alert.” This can lead to more memories, relaxation, trust and bonding time.
  6. Think of meaningful family traditions such as certain food, singing carols or decorations that will trigger good feelings. Remember your loved one may not remember what you just did but they will remember that they had a good time with you.
  7. Trust yourself, if you think your loved one can’t handle an event or group of visitors, reschedule or decline.
  8. Pace yourself and have Happy Holidays!
    Jane Rogers RN