Dianna Brantley has a proven leadership track record in the post-acute space demonstrating expertise in achieving growth goals through strategic planning and executive mentorship. Through her leadership home health care executives have achieved high quality sustainable and repeatable results.

Prior to joining Surefire Health, LLC Dianna served as an Executive Director – Regional Director of Operations Texas Home Health, Pinnacle Senior Care and Consolidated Home Health where she drove results to achieve operational, financial, and clinical excellence. She has overseen operations for multi – state home health providers throughout her 29 years in the care at home industry and was instrumental in increasing revenue and patient census as well as achieving 5 Star patient satisfaction and outcome ratings.

Dianna Brantley is pleased to now serve as the Vice President of Operations at Surefire Health, LLC the fastest growing home care non – medical company. She oversees the home care division at Surefire Health, LLC with a focus on ensuring that all clients have the best care experience by maintaining an exceptional level of care through excited, well trained caregivers. Through operational solutions that encourage team collaboration, Dianna will continue to lead the company to extraordinary growth.

Shelly Crosby with CareBuilders at Home, Lindsay Bellard with Texas Home Health, and Racheal Miller with Harbor Hospice treated the residents and staff of Carriage Inn on Tuesday, July 11, 2017 to delicious snowcones. The Kona Ice truck came with the most popular flavors and let each resident and employee pick out which one they wanted. A big shout out to Jackie Oldham with Carriage Inn for your help in locating Jessica Dugan with Kona Ice so that we were able to hold this fun event.

Snowcones 12 (2017)Snowcones 13 (2017)Snowcones 14 (2017)Snowcones 15 (2017)

One out of three older adults fall each year, but less than half tell their doctor that they have fallen. One out of five falls involving a Senior Citizen causes a serious injury. Each year, 2.5 million older adults are treated in the emergency room for fall-related injuries. Over 700,000 patients a year are hospitalized because of a fall injury. More than 95% of hip fractures are caused by falling. Falls are the most common cause of Traumatic Brain Injuries and the leading cause of accidental death in older adults. The fear of falling can have a huge impact on a Senior Citizen resulting in them reducing their activity and becoming isolated, lonely, and depressed. It can decrease their mobility and even increase their risk of falls.

The best way to prevent falls in the home is to remove the risks. For instance make sure that stairs are brightly lit, have handrails and grab bars in place where needed, and remove throw rugs, clutter, and exposed electric cords. Furniture should not be too low so that it is easy for the Senior to get up and down from. Also, medications can be a physical risk factor in the risk of falling. Of patients that are taking 5 or more medications, 35% of them have an adverse event as a result of their medications. Dietary supplements or herbals result in 23,000 hospital visits each year. Every year 700,000 emergency room visits and 100,000 hospitalizations are directly related to medications. In the Senior population, 25% of medications are either not indicated or are no longer necessary. Symptoms of being over-medicated are confusion, incontinence, agitation, insomnia, falls, sleepiness, change in appetite or thirst, depression, and difficulties walking. Other physical risk factors are orthostatic hypotension, vertigo, neuropathy, and poor leg strength.

Some falls are even easier to prevent by eliminating risky behaviors such as not using ladders, turning on the lights when entering a room, not wearing floppy slippers or flip flops, leaving one hand free when walking, not walking distracted, thinking before you act, and hurrying to answer the phone. Let the phone ring! Also, it is very important to ask for help instead of thinking you have to do everything on your own. Be assertive, ask for what you want, and feel blessed that others are willing to help you. It is just as much of a blessing to them for you to let them help you as it is to you that they are helping you.

Also staying active is extremely important. Keep moving! Physical and mental activity either alone or with an accountability partner helps prevent falls. Set goals for yourself. Check the activity schedules either where you live or at your area Senior Centers.

According to Dr. Leaf at Harvard Medical School stated, “Research shows that many of the problems once attributed to aging such as slowing down, declining muscle strength and fatigue are actually the results of a sedentary lifestyle. 80% of the health problems once associated with aging are now thought to be preventable or postpone-able if a person keeps fit.”

The bottom line is Senior Citizens can avoid preventable falls and unnecessary injuries by focusing on exercise, asking for help, and staying active. Enjoy life!

One of the hardest things for anyone to deal with as they get older is making the decision that it is no longer safe to continue driving an automobile. Retiring from driving too many people is a very traumatic experience because driving represents to them their ability to be independent. When a senior citizen is no longer able to drive many times they experience a time of readjustment and grief. Usually, many things have changed that have led to this decision and the Senior feels a major loss. The key to helping your loved one deal with this major decision is finding ways for them to remain as independent as possible. We as their loved ones should remind the Senior that the choice to retire from driving is a serious matter, very often being a matter of life and death. Studies show that senior citizens driving has the highest fatality rate in car accidents. This fact is attributed to not only the severity of the crashes but also the frailty that results as we age which makes it much more difficult to recover from the physical trauma of an auto accident.

As we age, several factors change that make it necessary to evaluate not only our driving skills but also our mental and physical abilities.

  • Mental: our ability to make split-second decisions, judgment, and instant complex problem-solving, memory, and ability to plan alternatives such as detours, etc. diminishes as we age.
  • Physical: our strength and flexibility, our ability to move fluidly to control the gas and brake, to turn our head and neck to monitor traffic and back up and park safely becomes less effective as we get older.
  • Visual: our ability to read street signs and traffic signals, anticipate the actions of other drivers, our peripheral vision to see traffic coming from the side, or what’s around when turning or changing lanes definitely gets worse as we age.
  • Reaction time: our ability to make quick changes in the flow of traffic, or react to unexpected actions of animals or small children slows down as we get older.

A good way to approach the subject with your loved one about retiring from driving is to let them know that the most important thing is and has always been their safety and their freedom. By mapping out an alternate plan to help them remain independent and mobile by using a reputable company like CareBuilders at Home to take your loved one to the Dr’s office, grocery store, beauty shop, church, or other social activities you can ease the sting of taking away what many people feel is their ability to remain active. Our caregivers who are our employees, not contract service workers, can take you or your loved ones in your vehicle or in our caregiver’s car so that you don’t have to give up your independence. CareBuilders at Home’s caregivers have been drug tested and background checked, are CPR certified and TB tested, as well as tested on their caregiving skills. Please call our office at 979-258-6728 today to set up a service for yourself or your loved one. We are here to serve you and keep you independent.

Senior Fest 2017 (7) Senior Fest 2017 (6) Senior Fest 2017 (4)
The 2017 Annual Lake Jackson Senior Fest was held on February 4, 2017 at the Lake Jackson Civic Center and attracted a large crowd of Senior Citizens from the area and beyond. This year’s theme was “Seniors Rock” so Shelly Crosby-owner/administrator and Cindi Eaton-office administrator were decked out in their Fities outfits and had a great time rockin’ with all the Seniors while they gave away prizes to those lucky winners on the roulette wheel at their booth. CareBuilders at Home was joined by many other businesses from the Senior Healthcare Industry in informing our Seniors about their choices when it comes to dealing with their healthcare issues. The Lake Jackson Senior Fest is one of the largest activities geared toward Senior Citizens in the Brazoria County area every year and this year was no exception. Thanks to some great weather the turnout was spectacular. This event is always held on the first Saturday of February so mark your calendars for next year and come join us. You won’t want to miss it!

Our home should be a place we feel safe and be able to relax. As we age, the way we live and how we get around changes in ways we may not have expected. Stairs, door handles, and loose wires on the floor all pose a threat to our loved one’s mobility safety. At CareBuilders at Home, we want to provide you with the peace of mind that your loved one is well taken care of in a safe environment that will allow them to navigate through their home with ease.

The first step in making your home safe is to assess what posses the most danger to your loved one. Every person ages differently and each comes with their own set of obstacles. For those who suffer from mobility issues, making hallways, bedrooms and bathrooms are first priority in making sure pathways are clear and free of objects. Have your caregiver pick up any loose articles that may block hallways or be a tripping hazard. If wires or cords are present on the floor, make sure they are hung up on the wall or safely tucked away free from the walking path. Even something as simple as a rug can cause detrimental damage if a walker or foot were to get tangled and cause a fall.

If your loved one has difficulty standing in one place for too long, can’t keep balance, or can’t pick things up easily try suggesting to them or their family to install easily accessible gripping rails. Railing in a home can significantly increase safety by allowing your loved one a safe object to hold on to while bathing or otherwise moving about their home such as upstairs or down a hallway. Installing door handles with a handle instead of a ball grip make opening and closing doors easier and faster and cause less pain in the hands.

Floors that are of tile or hardwood are often more likely to cause falls than those with carpet. To decrease the risk of falling in the home, wear socks or shoes with excellent grip on the bottom. Bathroom tubs are especially risky as the combination of water and a smooth floor are more likely to cause falls. An easy remedy to reduce the risk of bathroom danger is to get a special no-slip mat for the bathroom both in the tub and when exiting. Have your caregiver help you get in and out of the tub to make sure bathing is a safe experience.

Having access to a home phone can cause problems in case of an emergency if it isn’t reached in time to call for help. Have your caregiver move your home phone to an easily accessible place in your home where you spend most of your time and are able to reach it quickly in case of an emergency. You may need more than one home phone throughout your house such as in the bedroom on a nightstand, in the kitchen on the counter, or even in the living room next to your chair. Placing a phone in these easy to access places can not only make you safer but even save a life.

Every home deserves to be a place of comfort and safety. No one should live in fear of their home because they are getting older. With a few adjustments and the help of a caregiver, living at home in our older years can be a rewarding and enjoyable life-changing experience.

So excited for this afternoon! CareBuilders at Home and Harbor Hospice are bringing the Snowey Joey Snowcone truck to Carriage Inn this afternoon to treat all of the residents there to a snowcone! You see a couple of weeks ago I was at the beach with my daughter and grandkids and we were driving past the Snowcone truck when a lightbulb went off. Wouldn’t it be fun to bring some summer fun to our Seniors? So I asked the Snowey Joey driver for a card. Several days later I was sitting in my office with L’Donna Reynolds from Harbor Hospice and we were trying to decide what we could do that would be different and fun for our local Seniors. And the rest is what will be happening today.

When Snowey Joey’s Snowcone truck arrived so did all of the smiles from everyone. Several residents at Carriage Inn had never had a snow cone and many who had enjoyed one previously hadn’t had one in many years. It was an amazing afternoon and I can’t wait to do this again next week at another Senior facility in Lake Jackson.
Since we have so many northern transplants in our area it could just happen that some of these Seniors may have never had a snow cone before. 20 or so years ago when I was the manager of another local retirement community we were having snow cones out by the pool and one of my 90-something residents Hershel Herring said that he had never had a snowcone.

He was from up north somewhere and apparently they didn’t do snowcones there. So he was so excited to have his first snowcone. I will never forget watching him enjoy that grape snowcone just like he was a young boy again. I hope that we are able to see that kind of joy again today in some of the faces of the most wonderful generation-our precious Senior Citizens! Thank you Carriage Inn for allowing us to do this for your residents. I will be posting pictures later! Stay tuned! Definitely my favorite event ever! I loved it so much!

As our country’s population ages and our health care system experiences many changes, such as shorter hospital stays, a growing number of people are becoming the caregiver for their loved ones. Many of these newly appointed caregivers have no experience at all at being a health care professional. The latest statistics state that more than 65 million Americans provide care to a loved one.

If you are a caregiver, you know that taking care of someone who needs your help can be very rewarding. Many caregivers feel that they must take care of everything themselves, which can result in caregiver stress consisting of the emotional and physical strain of caregiving. The human body is able to handle short bursts of stress and strain without compromising his or her health, but prolonged periods of stress can impact the body in a negative manner. The caregiver should watch for these signs of caregiver stress: feeling tired much of the time, feeling overwhelmed and irritable, sleeping too much or too little, gaining or losing a lot of weight, and losing interest in activities you used to enjoy. As a caregiver, a person is more likely to experience symptoms of depression or anxiety and may not get enough physical activity or eat a balanced diet, which only increases his or her risk of medical problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.

Some of the ways to deal with caregiver stress are to accept help whether that be from a friend or family member or by hiring a caregiver through a licensed and bonded agency such as CareBuilders at Home. Also, focus on what you are able to do for your loved one and don’t give in to the guilt if you can’t do it all. Remember no one is perfect, not even you! Thirdly stay connected with organizations in your community and/or at the local hospital that can help you learn more about your loved one’s specific disease diagnosis and how to deal with its symptoms. You can also join a support group that can prove to be a great source of encouragement and advice from others in similar situations, and you might even meet some new friends. Seek out social support in an effort to stay emotionally connected with family and friends and make it a point to get out of the house to take a breather. Don’t forget to set personal health goals to be physically active on most days of the week, set a goal to get a good night’s sleep, and be sure to eat a healthy diet. Lastly, see your doctor. Be sure to get your recommended immunizations and screenings, tell your doctor you are a caregiver and don’t forget to tell him or her any concerns or symptoms you are having. If you are your loved one’s caregiver and you get sick or hurt, who will take care of  YOU.

Don’t fall into the trap of believing that you have to do everything by yourself. It is normal to need an extra set of hands, time for yourself, or someone to bounce ideas off of. Take advantage of the many resources and tools that are available to help you provide the best quality care for your loved one. It could save BOTH of your lives.