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Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) can happen to anyone, at any time. Even someone in the prime of their life and who has no prior health conditions that would suggest the likelihood of an SCA event.

On June 27, 2015, J.R. Bourne, Manager of Corporate Marketing for the PGA Tour, was spending a typical morning on a Jacksonville, FL beach, kicking a soccer ball around with a friend. He began to feel lightheaded and then collapsed. J.R.’s friend thought it was a joke, but that quickly turned to fear when J.R. began shaking, eventually becoming still and unresponsive.

Luckily for J.R., a physical therapist was practicing yoga nearby. She ran over to see what was happening, and quickly began administering CPR. After only one minute of CPR, the Jacksonville Beach Volunteer Life-Saving Corps appeared. The lifeguards had begun their shift only 20 minutes prior and had not yet driven their response truck to a different area of the beach, so they were moments away from J.R.’s location.

JR Bourne_SCA.jpgThe lifeguards brought their rescue expertise, and their automated external defibrillator (AED), to the emergency scene. They performed team CPR as one of them prepped the AED. Two shocks were delivered, with J.R. regaining consciousness briefly after the first shock. He was unable to open his eyes or verbally respond, but he remembers hearing the urgent conversation among his rescuers. “I heard them talking about someone’s pulse returning and then starting to lose it again, and I wondered who they were talking about,” he recalls, “and then I was gone again.” He had become unresponsive again and the lifeguards delivered a second shock.

By the time the ambulance arrived, J.R. was conscious and talking to EMS.

“It’s almost too overwhelming to even think about,” J.R. explains. “That this happened to me. That I was so lucky that all the steps in the Chain of Survival were followed so perfectly. I lived through something that so many others don’t survive. It’s too much to comprehend and the emotional acceptance of what happened took some time.”

With that eventual acceptance came a desire and commitment to spread the word about bystander training for CPR and AED. The PGA Tour organization holds biannual CPR/AED trainings and J.R. has taken on the role of motivational speaker at the classes. He also works with local training organizations to teach hands-only CPR to children through Jacksonville school system, where he explains first-hand just how important bystander intervention can be.

After recovering from his SCA, J.R. met with the lifeguards who saved him, thanking them and eventually accepting a position on the Board of Directors of the Jacksonville Beach Volunteer Life-Saving Corps to assist with marketing and fundraising efforts. “I’m proud to connect the lifeguards to the broader community this way,” he says. “We have this Baywatch perception of lifeguards who hang around the beach enjoying themselves all day, and that just isn’t the case. These are ocean rescue-trained heroes and it’s rewarding to showcase the important work they do.”

And what about those who have dedicated their careers to emergency care training? What would this SCA survivor say to them? “Keep spreading the word, teaching the public and pushing for AED access laws in your communities. Stories like mine are the best teaching tools. Before this happened, I didn’t even know what an AED was; I ask myself ‘Would I have known what to do with one?’ That’s what emergency care instructors give to the world. You empower people to run towards the emergency, not away from it because they know have the skills and tools to respond. That’s what saves lives, and there’s plenty of proof to show it works.”

As for the future, J.R. now has an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) in case SCA strikes again. Since the 2015 event, the ICD has activated once while he was on the golf course. He came through that second event with flying colors. “I think the placement of the ICD in my chest has actually improved my golf swing,” he quipped.

Feeling inspired to take a CPR, AED and first aid class yourself? Visit our website by clicking the button below and navigate to “Locate a Training Center” in the top navigation bar.




Difficulty speaking after stroke is common

When someone is recovering from a stroke, there are both physical and cognitive challenges to overcome.

One common side effect is aphasia (pronounced ah-fay-zhuh), which affects about one third of stroke survivors. It happens when parts of the brain that deal with language are damaged.

Aphasia doesn’t affect intelligence, but people with this condition might have trouble speaking or finding the right words. They may also have problems understanding conversations, reading, writing, and using numbers.

We found a helpful tip sheet from the American Stroke Association that makes it easier to communicate with someone who’s having difficulty speaking after stroke. It also includes suggestions to help them express themselves more easily.

Tips for improving communication with someone who has aphasia

aphasia communication


Next Step  Print or save this aphasia communication tip sheet from the American Stroke Association – choose an image of a woman or a man (PDFs)


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By DailyCaring Editorial Team
Infographic source: American Stroke Association

A Story of Two Men

It will take just 37 seconds to read this and
change your thinking..

Two men, both seriously ill, occupied the same
hospital room.

One man was allowed to sit up in his bed for an
hour each afternoon to help drain the fluid from
his lungs.

His bed was next to the room’s only window.

The other man had to spend all his time flat on
his back.

The men talked for hours on end.

They spoke of their wives and families, their
homes, their jobs, their involvement in the
military service, where they had been on

Every afternoon, when the man in the bed by the
window could sit up, he would pass the time by
describing to his roommate all the things he could
see outside the window.

The man in the other bed began to live for those
one hour periods where his world would be
broadened and enlivened by all the activity and
colour of the world outside.

The window overlooked a park with a lovely lake.Ducks and swans played on the water while
children sailed their model boats. Young lovers
walked arm in arm amidst flowers of every colour
and a fine view of the city skyline could be seen
in the distance.

As the man by the window described all this in
exquisite details, the man on the other side of
the room would close his eyes and imagine this
picturesque scene.

One warm afternoon, the man by the window
described a parade passing by.

Although the other man could not hear the band –
he could see it in his mind’s eye as the
gentleman by the window portrayed it with
descriptive words.

Days, weeks and months passed.
One morning, the day nurse arrived to bring
water for their baths only to find the lifeless body
of the man by the window, who had died
peacefully in his sleep.

She was saddened and called the hospital
attendants to take the body away.

As soon as it seemed appropriate, the other man
asked if he could be moved next to the window.
The nurse was happy to make the switch, and
after making sure he was comfortable, she left
him alone.

Slowly, painfully, he propped himself up on one
elbow to take his first look at the real world
He strained to slowly turn to look out the window
besides the bed.

It faced a blank wall.

The man asked the nurse what could have
compelled his deceased roommate who had
described such wonderful things outside this

The nurse responded that the man was blind and
could not even see the wall.

She said, ‘Perhaps he just wanted to encourage

There is tremendous happiness in making others
happy, despite our own situations.
Shared grief is half the sorrow, but happiness
when shared, is doubled.
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things
you have that money can’t buy.
‘Today is a gift, that is why it is called The
Present .’

The origin of this letter is unknown.

Exercise Helps Keep Hearts Young & Happy

Polk Senior Games Include a Heap of Heart-Healthy Activities


Introducing or stepping-up regular exercise programs can result in dramatic improvements to the lives of the 65 and older population— and the emphasis on heart health this month offers an ideal opportunity to spread the word.

In a 2010 Center for Disease Control study, more than 30 percent of those 65 and older indicated no leisure time physical activity in their leisure-time they need it.

And locally, the upcoming Polk Senior Games will soon offer lots of ways older people can participate in heart-friendly activities.

Polk Senior Games offers an annual series of competitive athletic and recreational events for men and women 50 years and over. There’s something for just about everyone— from the highly competitive to the just-having-fun participant. People who are physically challenged can find a niche as well.

Many of the categories included in the games match recommendations made by the American Heart Association (AHA) on how seniors can stay fit.

Polk County residency is not required to participate in the games, which include archery, bag toss, basketball shooting, billiards, bowling, bridge, checkers, fishing, fly casting, golf, horseshoes, and lawn bowling.

On its site, the AHA cites many of the benefits of physical activity for seniors. Examples include increase of muscle strength, improvement of balance and coordination, improved quality of life, and reduced incidences of coronary heart disease.

Studies have shown that increased levels of physical activity are associated with a reduced incidence of coronary heart disease, hypertension, non-insulin dependent Type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, depression, and anxiety.

Many people who participate in the annual games event are already on top of the benefits of exercise.

This year’s Polk Senior Games— marking the event’s 26th year— will be held Feb. 24 through March 12 at various locations throughout Polk County. Registration began the first week of January. Entries must be received by Feb. 9— there are no late or onsite registrations.

Entry fees are $10 for the first event and $3 for each additional event— up to a maximum of $28. There are additional fees for bowling, golf, archery, shooting, and team sports. All participants will receive a PSG t-shirt. General sponsorships and volunteers make it possible for the event to be held.

The games qualify participants to advance to the annual Florida Senior Games— leading up to the biannual National Senior Games.

The Polk Senior Games event was founded in 1992 by Nancy Thornberry of Lakeland. There were 777 participants that year. By 2013, nearly 2,500 people participated.

Participants, family, and friends are invited to attend the closing celebration at the Youkey Theatre and the RP Funding Center on March 12. Admission and parking are free. The health fair starts at 12:30 p.m. and the ceremony starts at 2 p.m.

PSG is a non-profit, 501(c)(3), organization managed by a salaried executive director and a volunteer board of directors. For detailed information about the games, go to

5 Hidden Signs of Depression and How to Spot Them in Others

By Kat Gal 

Your friend seems fine.

She is social and appears to be cheerful all the time. Her life is in order. She rarely even complains.

There is no way she’s depressed.

The truth is, though… depression shows up differently for everyone.

Not everyone dealing with depression shows it in public. Not everyone struggling sits in the corner, cries all the time or acts withdrawn either.

There are people who have hidden depression and because they hide it so well, it can sometimes be very difficult to support them in getting better and finding happiness again.

But support is crucial and I want to show you how to spot a friend or loved one who may need you during this time… even if they aren’t openly asking for it.

5 Things To Look For With Hidden Depression

1. They may be irritated or angry a lot.

Anger and irritation are two common signs of depression. When you think of depression, you usually think of sadness, helplessness, apathy and melancholia. When someone is angry or irritated, you may mistake it for a bad mood or bad temper. However, anger and irritation are often a way to express depression, especially in men.

2. They may withdraw.

When someone is dealing with depression, it’s common for them to lose all interest in anything, especially in the activities they once loved doing. They may become more withdrawn, sleep in late and call into work more often, etc. Becoming withdrawn can be one of the biggest signs that someone is suffering.

3. They may become flakey and unreliable.

People dealing with depression may make plans with you when they feel up to it or feel pressure to do so, but then they may not follow through with it, cancel or not show up at all. You may consider this rude. If they do this several times in a row, you may even consider cutting ties with them. But be aware, someone who suddenly begins flaking out on you could be secretly depressed.

4. They may be exhausted, have trouble sleeping or sleep too much.

Dealing with depression is difficult and tiring. Everything becomes way too hard, even sleeping and/or staying awake. People with depression may have trouble falling asleep, staying asleep or may be tired even when they’ve slept all day long. They may be coping with depression by sleeping far too much. Sleep problems and unusual sleep patterns can often be a warning sign of deeper issues.

5. They may suddenly gain or lose a noticeable amount of weight.

There can be many reasons for weight loss and weight gain. People often lose weight because they’ve started eating better and exercising. They may gain weight because of indulging during the holidays, having less time to exercise or having a few too many brownies. A variety of illnesses and health conditions can also cause weight loss or weight gain.

Be careful trying to associate someone’s weight loss or weight gain with depression (or eating disorders) right away. Just keep in mind that not eating enough or eating too much can be a coping mechanism as well. Look for other signs of depression along with the weight fluctuation. If there is no other explanation – an improved diet, more or less exercise, or a medical condition, etc. – it may be a sign of depression.

What Can You Do If Someone You Know May Be Dealing With Hidden Depression?

  • Talk to them. Don’t interrogate them, but be there for them. Genuinely express interest in their lives and well-being.
  • Offer support. Do so by listening and trying to understand, without judgement. Also offer non-emotional support, like cooking a healthy meal or helping them around the house or with their pets of children.
  • Be patient. Depression is difficult. Healing is a difficult journey too. It takes time and may be full of ups and downs.
  • Believe in them. Don’t give up on them, even if they seem to have given up on themselves. Tell them you believe in them and that you believe they can heal.
  • Love them. Tell them that you love them unconditionally. Love them through words and actions.

What Can You Do If You Have Hidden Depression?

  • Become vulnerable. You don’t have to do this alone; you are not alone. Just sharing your story can be liberating. This is a great way to begin healing and allowing those that love and care for you to help.
  • Eat better. When you are dealing with depression, sometimes the last thing you want to do is to eat healthy (or eat at all). But an unhealthy diet can lead to further depression. Focus on organic, plant-based whole foods: vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains. Your gut influences your brain, so take care of your gut flora and consider adding in a quality probiotic.
  • Move your body. Stretch, walk, do yoga, run, dance or anything you’d like. You don’t have to do too much, but try to move at least a few minutes – preferably 20-30 minutes each day.
  • Be in nature. Connecting with nature is healing. Walk barefoot in the grass. Hug a tree. Watch the sunset. Go for a hike. Swim in a lake. Play with animals.
  • Journal. Journaling is an excellent way to express your emotions, recognize patterns, let go of limiting beliefs and just ‘let it all out.’
  • Do some art. Art is another way to express your emotions, deal with negative feelings and create happiness. You don’t have to be an artist and you don’t have to show your work to anyone. Draw, paint, take photos, make some sculptures, knit, crochet, do some craft work, make a picture album, or color in an adult coloring book.
  • Do something that makes you happy. For now, it doesn’t have to be profound. If watching your favorite show puts a smile on your face, do that. It is important to start somewhere and that looks different for everyone.
  • Start practicing self-love. Do some mirror-work by looking into your own eyes in the mirror and talking positively to yourself. Practice affirmations. Practice smiling.
  • Get professional help. There is no shame in seeking professional support. A psychologist, therapist, counselor or a life coach can help you find answers and find happiness in life.

Always remember that there is HOPE. Help, love and guidance is out there, even when it doesn’t feel like it is. Don’t give up on yourself and most importantly, don’t give up on those you love.

We’re all in this together – no matter what.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at We Elderly Care

NY Times: No Place Like Home for Rehab

There has long been a debate over sending a patient to a post-acute facility versus utilizing at-home rehabilitation following joint replacement surgery. However, being at home, even if someone lives alone, can be more beneficial than going from the hospital to a post-acute facility, according to a recent article from The New York Times.

The number of people receiving joint replacements, specifically knee and hip replacements, is increasing due to the fact that people are living longer. Along with the increase in joint replacements comes the increased need for rehabilitation services, and in-home services may be less expensive with comparable, if not better, outcomes than inpatient rehab facilities, the article reported.

There needs to be a re-examination of who, if anyone, should go to a rehab facility after joint replacement, Dr. Javad Parvizi, chairman of research in orthopedics at Thomas Jefferson University, explained in the article.

In one of Dr. Parvizi’s studies he worked with 769 patients who underwent either a knee or hip replacement for advanced arthritis. Of the patients, 36 were discharged from the hospital to a rehab facility, and the rest went home and received outpatient rehab, even those who lived alone.

“Based on an assessment of the patients’ function, pain relief and personal satisfaction three months after their surgery, the team concluded, ‘Patients living alone can expect a safe recovery, equivalent to those not living alone, when discharged directly home after total joint arthroplasty,’” the article stated.

Another potential perk of in-home rehab services is that patients who go directly home from after joint replacement surgery may be less likely to experience adverse events like blood clots and infections. This is because there was “substandard treatment, inadequate patient monitoring, and failure to provide needed treatment” at inpatient facilities.

Cost is also a huge differentiator between inpatient and in-home rehab. Inpatient rehabilitation is typically much more expensive than receiving in-home services. Dr. Parvizi’s study found that the cost per patient is reduced by more than $10,000 without inpatient rehab.

Read the full article from The New York Times.

Written by Alana Stramowski

Dementia and Sleep: Eight Tips to Keep Nighttime from Becoming a Nightmare

Dementia and Sleep: Eight Tips to Keep Nighttime from Becoming a Nightmare


Recently, I was visiting a Brookdale community and met Renee, the daughter of a new dementia care resident. Renee told me she was her mother’s full-time care partner prior to the move. I asked how they were both adjusting to her mother’s new living arrangements and she lit up. She said her mother loved her new home and had transitioned quickly. Renee said the most beneficial part of the move for her as a care partner was that she was actually sleeping again. “Mom had her days and nights turned around, and sometimes I would stay up all night with her. It was really bad for both of us.” Unfortunately, this is a common issue.

Night can become an anxious time as dementia progresses. The disease may interfere with the sleep/wake cycle in the brain, leading to overnight restlessness and daytime drowsiness, which can make symptoms worse. It may also rob care partners of the rest they need, leading to chronic and even dangerous exhaustion.

For all adults, aging tends to change sleep patterns. Typically, people begin waking up throughout the night, sleeping fewer hours and achieving a lower percentage of deep sleep. All of these issues also affect those with dementia as they age, but they can be more pronounced. The synchronized circadian sleep rhythm becomes disrupted, breaking sleep up into several segments over a 24-hour period. This can cause excessive sleepiness during the day and insomnia at night.

In addition, a few forms of dementia are associated with certain sleep disorders. People living with Alzheimer’s are more likely to wander at night, while those with vascular dementia may experience altered breathing while sleeping. Parkinson’s can cause daytime drowsiness, or sudden onsets of sleep, and dementia with Lewy Bodies can produce hallucinations and the more frequent awakenings at night due to vivid dreams.

While sleep medication might seem like an answer to the problem, research has not proven that it helps. In fact, a number of studies show that it can lead to more sleep disturbances rather than less. Plus, these medications can negatively affect cognition, which increases confusion for people living with dementia. However, there are a number of helpful steps care partners can take that don’t involve drugs. They include:

1. Checking with a physician to make sure a physical condition such as undiagnosed pain or a urinary tract infection isn’t the culprit.

2. Ensuring exposure to natural light during the day.

3. Making sure the person with dementia exercises for least 30 minutes a day, although not within four hours of bedtime.

4. Providing purposeful things to do throughout the day. Being engaged in meaningful ways discourages daytime sleeping and contributes to feeling pleasurably tired in the evening.

5. Not serving alcohol, caffeine and large meals as bedtime approaches.

6. Scheduling a bathroom visit right before going to bed.

7. Using time-honored methods for relaxing, such as a short massage, a warm bath or snuggling with a pet.

8. Limiting screen time before bed or using an amber-colored nightlight. Studies show white light interferes with a person’s ability to return to REM level sleep. Shutting off electronic devices or switching them to the night shift setting can help. Amber light doesn’t affect a person’s ability to sleep like white light does.

Dementia’s impact on sleep is something to take very seriously. Just as Renee did with her mom, care partners should carefully consider how much it is compromising their own health and ability to cope. Chronic exhaustion can become dangerous, even causing accidents and injury.

If the issue can’t be addressed, it may be time to consider a dementia care community, where teams of specially-trained people can provide the care that’s needed both day and night. This ensures high quality of care for the person with dementia and enables family members to get the rest they need to continue their invaluable role of cherishing their loved one.



Managing Editor


Here are some tips to help your loved one maintain their friendships and stay social:

1. Advocate. Your friends may not understand dementia and may accidentally act patronizing. Remind them of your loved one’s abilities and needs.

2. Plan Ahead. Let your friends know what changes to expect as the disease progresses. Warn them, for example, of potential emotional outbursts, or the need to repeat themselves.

3. Quiet Environment. Meet in a calm and quiet space. This will help your loved one focus on your friends.

4. Choose activities. Pick a shared activity suited to your loved one’s abilities—looking at old photo albums, taking a walk, listening old records.

We’re Closer To An Alzheimer’s Blood Test For Early Diagnosis

As with many diseases, including cancer and heart disease, detecting Alzheimer’s early would help providers create a better treatment plan to stop further damage. Right now, we can’t identify the disease before major symptoms, like memory impairment, appear, but scientists have been working on creating a blood test that could diagnose it early, and now believe they’ve created a technique that would be accurate.

The method examines white blood cells, also known as leukocytes, and looks for pieces of DNA specific to Alzheimer’s. In tests, the method successfully distinguished among Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and healthy control subjects. But don’t expect the test to be available soon, as the research is still preliminary, according to a news release on Science Daily.

The hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s disease include confusion, memory troubles, and other cognitive delays. Patients may be afflicted with the disease for up to 18 years before they begin to experience these symptoms, Time reported. That’s years’ worth of brain damage caused by the disease before it’s ever diagnosed, which makes treatment especially difficult.

“What we’ve done in our paper is to replicate our own work multiple times with different populations and even using different technologies,” Paul Coleman, an Alzheimer’s researcher at the ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center (NDRC), who was also involved in the study, explained in the release. “We also presented data showing the ability to detect people at risk of a future diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease.”

The study is now published online in Neurobiology of Aging.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 5 million Americans are currently living with the disease, and this number is expected to significantly increase as populations further age. The association also notes the disease is progressive; although cognitive problems may not seem too serious in the beginning, they can progress over time and make it difficult to complete everyday tasks.

For a disease as widespread as Alzheimer’s, we have few options to diagnose the disease and just a few options to slow it down. Researchers hope that when the test is availabe, it will identify the disease in patients before it has caused much damage. The test likely wouldn’t be given to every patient, as those with family history and a genetic predisposition have the highest risk.

Source: Delvaux E, Mastroeni D, Volz J, et al.  Multivariate analyses of peripheral blood leukocyte transcripts distinguish Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, control, and those at risk for developing Alzheimer’s. Neurobiology of Aging . 2017