FREE Home Care Is Available Now!

“As a young boy in the mid 80’s, I remember making home visits (off SW 51st & Western) to my then 85 year old, great-grandmother, Mrs. Tennie Frass, also known as ‘Ninny’ to us kids. Today, over 30+ years later it chokes me up knowing that she could have received 40 hours per month of FREE home care services through this unique program AND because she was a widow of a WWII Veteran! However, the care was never introduced…. Why? because no one knew about it.”
Question: Have you heard of a ‘not-so-popular’ benefit called the Aid & Attendance through the VA? In 1952, Congress passed Title 38 of the US code creating the Department of Veteran’s Affair which authorized benefits for Veterans. One of these benefits was the Aid & Attendance (a.k.a. the A & A) that was created to provide non-medical care for those that qualify. An incredibly powerful benefit that covers non-medical expenses of light house cleaning, bathing, meal prep, laundry, transportation, medication reminders, companionship and much more… again, if you ‘qualify.’
Qualification requirements include the following: · over 65 years old · Veteran served 90 days of active duty, one day during a major wartime (i.e. WWII, Korean, Vietnam) · be honorably discharged · have a medical condition causing them to need assistance with ADL’s (Activities of Daily Living) · have limited income and assets (excluding home and car)
Fact: Traditional methods of getting ‘entitled’ with the A&A takes an estimated 6-24 months before care starts… why so long you ask? Because most family members don’t understand the precision and articulation of the estimated 15+ pages of VA required forms. When these items are submitted to the VA, in most cases they’re sent incorrectly. So what is our estimated start of care? It ranges from 2-4 weeks! It’s not voodoo or black magic but it does include an experienced staff. Moreover, there are never any hidden fees or upfront costs and remember, once you’re entitled, the benefit can remain in effect for the rest of your life!
“I can only imagine how good life would have been for Ninny had we known about this program so many years ago. My goal today is to NOT allow other ‘Ninny’s’ to go through life without the awareness of such an awesome and available offering!”

This article was submitted by Steve Lee, Founder & Owner and Shelley Degelos, Area Manager in OKC, (siblings). Veterans Aide at Home, is a non-medical home care agency dedicated to Veterans, Spouses and their Widows/ers with coverage in CO, OK and WY. For more info, Shelley Degelos and our OKC office number is 405.415.1444 or email her at: Shelley@VeteransAideAH.com

Brenda Cox (C) is congratulated on receiving the 2018 Direct Care Caregiver of the Year award from Gara Wilsie and Jim McWhirter.
Joe Canaan (C) receives the 2018 Maintenance Caregiver of the Year award from Gara Wilsie, Remedi Senior Care who sponsored the awards.

Sagora Senior Living proudly announces that two of its associates working in Tulsa, Okla., have been named 2018 “Caregiver of the Year” by the Oklahoma Assisted Living Association (OKALA). Bellarose Maintenance Director Joe Canaan was named Maintenance Caregiver of the Year and Aberdeen Heights Certified Nursing Assistant Brenda Cox was named Direct Care Caregiver of the Year.
OKALA, which is dedicated to excellence in care for Assisted Living residents, conducted a state-wide search to recognize associates that have positive & inspiring attitudes and go above and beyond to improve quality of life for their residents.
Canaan has provided excellent service at Bellarose for more than two years. “Joe goes out of his comfort zone to help residents and families to ensure we are well taken care of, wherever and whenever he is needed,” one Bellarose resident noted. “With his great personality, Joe is a go-to person for just about anything I need in my apartment,” wrote another.
Cox has delivered exceptional care to residents and families for more than eight years at Aberdeen Heights Assisted Living. “Brenda is reliable, dependable, patient and Johnny-on-the-spot—she isn’t pushy, and she doesn’t rush me,” wrote one Aberdeen Heights resident that nominated Cox. “She stands out! Brenda jokes with me and goes out of her way to care for me,” wrote another.
“We are extremely proud of our associates for receiving these prestigious accolades,” said Sagora Senior Living President Bryan McCaleb. “Brenda and Joe emulate the Sagora philosophy of ‘resident first’ every day, and we are so glad their hard work and dedication is being recognized in the senior living industry.”
Bellarose Senior Living offers a true continuum of care through independent living, assisted living and memory care in a dynamic environment where residents receive the appropriate level of compassionate care specific to their needs. Located at 18001 East 51st Street, the pet-friendly community has 135 comfortable apartments.
Aberdeen Heights Assisted Living at 7220 South Yale Avenue, boasts 80 apartments in a caring, pet friendly environment that offers privacy and independence with the benefit of 24-hour support and access to care.


Centennial Hospice, an Oklahoma City hospice services and palliative care provider, has been named a 2018 Hospice Honors recipient by HEALTHCAREfirst, the leading provider of Web-based home health and hospice software, billing and coding services, CAHPS surveys and advanced analytics. Hospice Honors is a prestigious program that recognizes hospices providing the highest level of quality as measured from the caregiver’s point of view as part of Medicare’s Hospice Quality Reporting Program (HQRP).
“We are excited to recognize the 2018 Hospice Honors recipients for their hard work and dedication to providing exceptional care,” said J. Kevin Porter, CEO of HEALTHCAREfirst. “I congratulate Centennial Hospice on its success in achieving this highest of honors.”
Award criteria were based on the Hospice Community Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey results required by Medicare for all hospices nationally. Data was reviewed during an evaluation period from October 2016 through September 2017. Award recipients were identified by evaluating performance on a set of 24 quality indicator measures. Performance scores were aggregated from all completed surveys and compared on a question-by-question basis to a National Performance Score calculated from all partnering hospices contained in HEALTHCAREfirst’s Hospice CAHPS database. Hospice Honors recipients include only those hospices scoring above the HEALTHCAREfirst National Performance Score on 20 of the evaluated questions. Please visit www.healthcarefirst.com to learn more about HEALTHCAREfirst Hospice CAHPS survey program as well as the Hospice Honors awards.
Kevin Offel, President & CEO of Centennial Hospice, credits Centennial’s experienced team of caregivers and staff for being named a 2018 Hospice Honors recipient. “We could never achieve this level of recognition without the exceptional service provided by our team of amazing nurses, home health aides, social workers, chaplains, support staff, and volunteers,” said Mr. Offel. “Our incredible team of caregivers has been providing care to Oklahomans for more than 10 years and this recognition is a testament to the exceptional care delivered to hundreds of patients and families throughout OKC. It is an honor to serve our community and we are proud to be named a 2018 Hospice Honors recipient.”
Centennial Hospice is a privately-held, locally-owned provider of hospice and palliative care services, delivering clinical, emotional, spiritual, and supportive services to patients and families facing life-limiting illnesses. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Oklahoma City, Centennial Hospice employees provide high quality care and services to patients and families in 9 counties surrounding the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Centennial Hospice is one of only three hospices in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area accredited by the Joint Commission as a deemed hospice agency, indicating its ongoing commitment to the highest quality of care and services to its patients and their families.


Dear Savvy Senior, What’s the difference between Alzheimer’s disease and dementia? My aunt has dementia, but they don’t know if she has Alzheimer’s disease, which is very confusing to me.   Trying To Understand

Dear Trying,
Many people use the words “Alzheimer’s disease” and “dementia” interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. In fact, you can have a form of dementia that is completely unrelated to Alzheimer’s disease. Here’s what you should know.
Dementia versus Alzheimer’s
Dementia is a general term for a set of symptoms that includes memory loss, impaired communication skills, a decline in reasoning and changes in behavior. It most commonly strikes elderly people and used to be referred to as senility.
Alzheimer’s disease is a specific illness that is the most common cause of dementia. Though many diseases can cause dementia, Alzheimer’s – which affects 5.7 million Americans today – accounts for 60 percent to 80 percent of dementia cases, which is why you often hear the terms used interchangeably.
But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia like vascular dementia, which is the second most common cause, accounting for about 10 percent of dementia cases. Vascular dementia is caused by a stroke or poor blood flow to the brain.
Other degenerative disorders that can cause dementia include Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Frontotemporal dementia, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), Huntington’s disease and Korsakoff Syndrome. Some patients may also have more than one form of dementia known as mixed dementia.
Dementia is caused by damage to brain cells, but the symptoms can vary depending on the cause. In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, protein fragments or plaques that accumulate in the space between nerve cells and twisted tangles of another protein that build up inside cells cause the damage.
In Alzheimer’s disease, dementia gets progressively worse to the point where patients cannot carry out daily activities and cannot speak, respond to their environment, swallow or walk. Although some treatments may temporarily ease symptoms, the downward progression of disease continues and it is not curable.
But some forms of dementia are reversible, which is why it’s important to be evaluated by a physician early on. Vitamin deficiencies, thyroid problems, brain tumors, depression, excessive alcohol use, medication side effects and certain infectious diseases can cause reversible forms of dementia.
Another treatable form of dementia is a condition known as normal pressure hydrocephalus, which is caused by a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain that can be relieved by surgically implanting a shunt to drain off excess fluid. This type of dementia is often preceded or accompanied by difficulty walking and incontinence.
To learn more about the different types of dementia, including the symptoms, risks, causes and treatments visit the Alzheimer’s Association at ALZ.org/dementia.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

by Ron Hendricks

BINGO! Central Oklahoma Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America (COCHLAA) held the annual Bingo Night in June and is looking forward to more great fun in July, August & the rest of the year.
In July we will be the guests of Fernando Acuna, the Executive Chef and Director of Dietary at both, the North and South Oklahoma Heart Hospital locations. He is also one of two certified Pritikin chefs in the state of Oklahoma. We will taste some great recipes and HEAR how to cook them. The room will have a hearing loop!
August 4th will be the annual Ice Cream Social at Lakeside United Methodist Church, 2925 NW 66th St, 2-4PM. There is no charge and the public is invited. This is where COCHLAA announces new officers and planned programs for both the night and day groups for the year. We will introduces scholarship winners, and this year will give away a home loop system. Great things are happening!
This is a year of celebration for COCHLAA as we begin our 28th year of service to those with hearing loss in Oklahoma and the Hearing Helper’s Room (HHR) will be celebrating 20 years of helping, answering questions, and demonstrating all sorts of assistive hearing devices. The HHR is a place to learn and get information but you can’t buy anything,
We are very proud of one of our members, Ana Covey a representative of Assist2Hear, a private company supplying LOOP systems to Oklahoma. Ana has been instrumental in the installation of hearing loop systems in the Nichols Hills City Council Chamber, the Civic Center Music Hall, Church of St Mary in Tulsa, and most recently the Rodeo Cinema which is due to open any day now. A hearing loop connects to the sound system and provides a magnetic, wireless signal which is picked up by the telecoil inside most hearing aids and cochlear implants. Instead of struggling to understand, straining to hear the words clearly, or trying to read lips, the hearing loop brings clear sound straight to those of us suffering with hearing loss.
Your Central Oklahoma Chapter of Hearing Loss Association of America is excited about the coming year. To learn more visit our website, www.OKCHearingLoss.org.

Peanuts. Shellfish. Eggs. Milk. While that may look like a grocery list to some, to those who are allergic to these common foods, it reads like the start of a horror novel.
More than 50 million people in the United States suffer from at least one food allergy, and many can result in serious health problems and even death. Allergic reactions to food are most common in children, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting 4 to 6 percent of youngsters in the U.S. are affected.
With food allergies making such a significant impact on the population, are we any closer to solving the issue?
“We don’t yet have all the answers, but we’ve found some important new clues in recent years,” said Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation President Stephen Prescott, M.D.
Food allergies occur when the body has a specific immune response to a food. While our immune system is designed to fight off foreign invaders like viruses to keep us healthy, occasionally it can incorrectly identify a harmless substance—like peanuts or shellfish—as a threat.
Prescott said for many years, health experts focused on identifying allergens and telling people to stay away from those offending foods.
“This resulted in stringent requirements for food labels and measures like peanut-free classrooms,” he said. “Still, the prevalence of peanut allergies kept increasing.”
In an effort to understand why, scientists studied hundreds of infants deemed at high risk of developing a peanut allergy. They randomly assigned some of the babies to be regularly fed peanut products, while denying the others all foods containing peanuts.
By age 5, less than 2 percent of those children fed peanuts developed an allergy, compared to almost 14 percent of those who’d avoided peanuts. A second study involving children who already showed peanut sensitivities at the beginning of the study yielded similar outcomes.
“These findings suggest that we’ve been going about things all wrong,” said Prescott, a physician and medical researcher. “Instead of protecting kids from food allergens at young ages, it looks like we’d do better by exposing them.”
Indeed, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has issued new guidelines recommending giving babies puréed or finger food containing peanut powder or extract before they are six months old.
“If parents follow this advice, I’d hope to see the peanut allergy numbers start to drop in the coming years,” said Prescott. “If that happened, it would be a big step forward.”

INTEGRIS announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase all associated assets of Deaconess Hospital located near NW 50th & Portland in Oklahoma City from an affiliate of Community Health Systems, Inc. (NYSE: CYH) headquartered in Franklin, Tennessee.
Deaconess operates under the AllianceHealth brand name in Oklahoma and the purchase does not include other AllianceHealth facilities in the state. INTEGRIS will continue operations in the Deaconess facility offering quality health care to area residents.
“This purchase will provide much needed additional capacity for INTEGRIS,” said Chris Hammes, Interim President & CEO, who added, “We see tremendous community benefit and anticipate a seamless transition.”
“Deaconess has offered quality health care services to local residents for many years,” said Damon Brown, Interim CEO, AllianceHealth Deaconess. Brown added, “We believe the combination with INTEGRIS sustains and enhances Deaconess’ commitment for delivery of quality health care and services to the community.”
Due diligence efforts continue, and the transaction is expected to close during the third quarter of 2018, subject to customary regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
Kaufman, Hall & Associates, LLC is acting as the exclusive financial advisor to INTEGRIS Health on this transaction.

Date/ Day/ Location/ Time/ Registration #/ Instructor
July 5/ Thursday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Varacchi
Integris 3rd Age Life Center – 5100 N. Brookline, Suite 100
July 10/ Tuesday/ Yukon/ 9 am – 3:30 pm5/ 350-7680/ Kruck
Dale Robertson Center – 1200 Lakeshore Dr.
July 10/ Tuesday/ Midwest City/ 9 am- 3:30 pm/ 691-4091/ Palinsky
Rose State Conventional Learning Center – 6191 Tinker Diagonal
July 12/ Thursday/ Yukon/ 9 am – 4 pm/ 350-5014/ Kruck
Spanish Cove – 11 Palm Ave.
July 13/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 951-2277/ Edwards
SW. Medical Center – 4200 S. Douglas, Suite B-10
July 13/ Friday/ Okla. City/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 297-1455/ Palinsky
Will Rogers Senior Center – 3501 Pat Murphy Dr.
July 24/ Tuesday/ Okla, City/ 8:30 – 3:30 pm/ 773-6910/ Kruck
Healthy Living Center – 11501 N. Rockwell Ave.
July 28/ Saturday/ Shawnee/ 9 am – 3:30 pm/ 818-2916/ Brase
Gordon Cooper Tech Center – One John C. Bruton Blvd.

The prices for the classes are: $15 for AARP members and $20 for Non-AARP. Call John Palinsky, zone coordinator for the Oklahoma City area at 405-691-4091 or send mail to: johnpalinsky@sbcglobal.net

Dr. Cherian A Karunapuzha MD

Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City is expanding neurology services with the creation of the Herman Meinders Center for Movement Disorders at Mercy NeuroScience Institute (NSI), adding an expert physician and cutting-edge new treatment.
Dr. Cherian Karunapuzha, a neurologist specially trained in treating movement disorders, has joined Mercy NeuroScience Institute. A movement disorder is a neurological disease that impairs a person’s ability to move naturally. The most common types include Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor and dystonia.
“At Mercy, we have developed a comprehensive multidisciplinary program which serves as a one-stop shop for care for all aspects of movement disorders,” Dr. Karunapuzha said. “This first of a kind center for Oklahoma will provide patients and referring physicians access to advanced care without having to travel out of state.”
As part of the comprehensive approach to care, Mercy will now offer deep brain stimulation (DBS) for patients living with movement disorders. Dr. Eric Friedman, an experienced neurosurgeon, will perform the new procedure at Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City.
Deep brain stimulation involves implanting electrodes in the brain to help regulate abnormal body movements using electrical impulses.
“DBS essentially acts like a pacemaker for the brain,” said Dr. Richard Vertrees Smith, medical director of Mercy NeuroScience Institute. “Movement disorders may progress very slowly, often over decades, and some patients reach a point where medications no longer work. We are proud to be able to offer this exciting new technology that can dramatically improve the quality of life of our patients.”
The creation of the new comprehensive movement disorder clinic was made possible through a $1.7 million donation from local philanthropist Herman Meinders.
In 1970, Meinders founded American Floral Services Inc. (AFS), an international flowers-by-wire service based in Oklahoma City. AFS grew to be ranked as one of the largest floral wire services in the world. Meinders sold AFS in 1994, and it merged with Teleflora in 2000. He remains chairman emeritus of Teleflora.
Herman and his wife were longtime supporters of Parkinson’s research and treatment before he was diagnosed in 2014.
“When I became a patient of Dr. Karunapuzha, I realized what a great doctor he is and when I learned he was considering joining Mercy, I wanted to do whatever I could to make that happen,” said Meinders. “The fact my donation provided the funding necessary to create a comprehensive center for movement disorders and also allowed Mercy to add the best Parkinson’s doctor in Oklahoma to its outstanding staff made this an easy decision for me.”
At the Herman Meinders Center for Movement Disorders, patients will also have access to the most up-to-date imaging services, group exercise classes and a specially trained team of nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists.
“We couldn’t be more grateful for Herman Meinders and his extreme generosity,” said Jim Gebhart, president of Mercy Hospital Oklahoma City and regional strategy officer. “This donation will have a profound impact on our patients and families for years to come.”
Dr. Karunapuzha will begin seeing patients May 21 at Mercy NeuroScience Institute Suite 218. To schedule an appointment, please call the movement disorder center at 405-302-2661 or the administrative office at 405-749-7000.

INTEGRIS, Oklahoma’s most comprehensive health care system, announces the selection of Timothy Pehrson as its president and chief executive officer following completion of a national search. Pehrson comes to Oklahoma from Intermountain Healthcare in Utah where he most recently served in a dual role as regional vice president/CEO for the North Region and vice president of continuous improvement for Intermountain Healthcare.
Like INTEGRIS, Intermountain is widely recognized as one of the most innovative, high-quality health systems in the country. In his role as CEO of the North Region, he was the market leader of a five-hospital region in Utah and Idaho, responsible for integrating the efforts of physicians, hospitals and health plans to improve care for the communities Intermountain served. In addition to his role in charge of regional operations, as vice president of continuous improvement he led the enterprise-wide improvement efforts across Intermountain Healthcare to drive caregiver engagement and strong performance in safety, quality, patient experience, access, caregiver engagement, costs and growth.
“Tim distinguished himself throughout the interview process with his impeccable record of accomplishment, an impressive understanding of not only today’s health care industry and its challenges, but more importantly his insights into areas of opportunity for sustainability, affordability and even greater success,” said INTEGRIS Health Board Chairman Pete Delaney, who added, “Tim’s strong physician and employee focus and his genuine enthusiasm for the possibilities that exist here make him the right choice to lead INTEGRIS.”
“I am both humbled and pleased to be joining INTEGRIS, a health system also recognized nationally for excellence, pioneering medicine, innovation and commitment to community,” said Pehrson. “The physicians, clinical professionals and employees at INTEGRIS are some of the most accomplished anywhere. Professionally and personally, my family and I are excited to be making the move to the Oklahoma City area and being part of a growing community that offers an excellent quality of life.” He succeeds Bruce Lawrence, who retired last December, and Pehrson officially steps into his INTEGRIS leadership role Aug. 1.
Pehrson’s career at Intermountain began in 2000 as operations officer at one of its hospitals, and he was named that hospital’s CEO in 2004. Prior to his career at Intermountain, Pehrson worked for United Healthcare, Samaritan Health and Henry Ford Health System.
Tim earned his B.A. in history from Brigham Young University and his master’s in health services administration from the University of Michigan.