Tag Archives: agency


Born at St. Luke’s Hospital in Chicago on July 21, 1951, Robin Williams was the son of Robert Fitzgerald Williams, a senior executive in Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln-Mercury Division. His mother, Laurie McLaurin, was a former model from Jackson, Mississippi. During a television interview on Inside the Actors Studio in 2001, Williams credited his mother as an important early influence on his humor. He said he tried to make her laugh to gain attention.

Williams attended public elementary school at Gorton Elementary School in Lake Forest and middle school at Deer Path Junior High School. When he was twelve, his father was transferred to Detroit. When he was sixteen, his father took early retirement and the family moved to California.

He began performing stand-up comedy in San Francisco and Los Angeles in the 1970’s. He also starred in numerous films including Good Morning, Vietnam (1987) and the box office hit Mrs. Doubtfire (1993).

On August 11, 2014, the world learned that Williams had committed suicide by hanging himself in his California home. He was sixty-three years old. The autopsy report showed no alcohol or illegal drugs were involved. Prescription drugs in his system were at “therapeutic” levels. The final autopsy report noted that Williams had been suffering “a recent increase in paranoia.” An examination of his brain tissue suggested Williams suffered from “diffuse Lewy body dementia.”

According to a Mayo Clinic article “Lewy body dementia” at https://www.mayoclinic.org., “Lewy body dementia, also known as dementia with Lewy bodies, is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer’s disease dementia. Protein deposits, called Lewy bodies, develop in nerve cells in the brain regions involved in thinking, memory and movement (motor control).

“Lewy body dementia causes a progressive decline in mental abilities. People with Lewy body dementia may experience visual hallucinations, and change in alertness and attention. Other effects include Parkinson’s disease-like symptoms such as rigid muscles, slow movement and tremors.”

If you have a family member who suffers from Lewy body dementia and needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski


Looking down the long hall from her office to the conference room, Elaine must have thought about the number of steps required to get there. Fifty? A hundred? Five hundred? A thousand? Even using the cane only helped a little. At least there were no stairs to climb.

And then there were the problems at home. How much longer would she be able to take her dog, Patrick, for a walk past the school playground where the children were playing hopscotch? Who would pull the weeds out of the flower garden in the front yard? How much longer could she make the beds or wash the dishes? So much of life depends on the ability to stand and walk.

Elaine’s primary care doctor referred her to an orthopedic surgeon. He recommended knee replacement surgery. He explained that nearly one million Americans undergo hip or knee replacement surgeries each year. He said the majority of these procedures were performed on patients over the age of 65. According to https://www.webmd.com/osteoarthritis/guide/knee, “Osteoarthritis is the main reason why people go for knee replacement surgery. The age-related condition is very common and occurs when cartilage—the cushion between the knee and bone joints—breaks down.” Elaine fit into those demographics.

The doctor explained that patients having knee replacements are normally discharged from the hospital three days after surgery. Elaine would need to be able to use a walker before she could be discharged. Then someone would need to be with her at home 24/7 during her recovery.

The doctor told Elaine that the initial short-term recovery stage lasts four to six weeks for most patients. Nurses would need to be with her to tend to her medical needs. Therapists would come to her home to provide physical therapy. The final phase, long-term recovery, could take as long as six months.

Patients need the encouragement of family and friends throughout the whole process of knee replacement surgery. It would be easy to feel alone and to get discouraged. If someone you know is having knee replacement surgery, send a card. Call your friend or family member. Make a gift basket and deliver it. Do something to let them know you care.

If you have a friend or family member who is having knee replacement surgery and needs private duty nursing, call American Home Health at (630) 236-3501. The agency can provide round-the-clock nursing care by Registered Nurses (RNs), Licensed Practical Nurses (RNs), and Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs). Our service area covers fifteen counties in Northern Illinois including Cook, Lake, McHenry, Boone, Winnebago, Ogle, Lee, DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, LaSalle, Grundy, Will, and Kankakee. American Home Health is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For further information, go to our Web site, www.ahhc-1.com, or call (630) 236-3501.

—By Karen Centowski


One of the hazards of providing home healthcare is the daily challenge of driving to and from the client’s home. In Winter, the streets may be snow-packed or icy. In Spring, roads may be flooded. Even under ideal conditions, driving can be challenging.

OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, has published an overview of hazards in home healthcare at https://www.osha.gov. The article states that home healthcare workers “have little control over their work environment which may contain a number of safety hazards. These hazards include bloodborne pathogens and biological hazards, latex sensitivity, ergonomic hazards from patient lifting, violence, hostile animals and unhygienic and dangerous conditions. In addition, if their daily work schedule requires them to provide care for multiple patients, they face hazards on the road as they drive from home to home.”

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has published six Fact Sheets to assist in reducing home healthcare workers’ risk for injury and illness. Publication Number 2012-122 focuses on preventing or reducing driving related injuries. The Fact Sheet addresses behaviors and conditions which contribute to car accidents. These include distracted driving, aggressive driving, failure to use a seatbelt, driving while tired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol, poor weather conditions, and poorly maintained vehicles.

What can you do to protect yourself? The OSHA Fact Sheet lists the following things employees should do to prevent driving-related injuries:

  • Use seatbelts.
  • Stop the vehicle before using a cell phone.
  • Avoid distracting activities such as eating, drinking, and adjusting radio and other controls while driving.
  • Avoid driving when over-tired.
  • Use detailed maps to determine your route before you leave, or use a GPS.
  • Have the vehicle checked and serviced regularly.
  • Keep the gas tank at least a quarter full.
  • Carry an emergency kit containing a flashlight, extra batteries, flares, a blanket, and bottled water.

—By Karen Centowski

To see a video about distracted driving, go to Distracted Driving Presentation at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfknB9CZiA8.


In an article called “Top 5 Reasons Why Clients Choose A Home Care Provider,” Home Care Pulse described the results of a 2016 Home Care Benchmarking Study. According to an article at https://www.homecarepulse.com/, each month the company conducted thousands of interviews with home care clients across the country. During these interviews, Home Care Pulse associates asked clients why they selected their provider over others. Their answers to the questions were recorded and analyzed and published as the 2016 Home Care Benchmarking Study.

Below are the results of the survey:

  1. Recommended by family and friends (34.3%)
  2. Reputation of company (25.4%)
  3. Recommended by referral source (22%)
  4. Consumer marketing of company (14.5%)
  5. Selected by case manager (government programs, hospital, etc.) (3.9%)

A report published on http://www.nielsen.com/ confirms that recommendations from family and friends remain the most important form of advertising. The report, RECOMMENDATIONS FROM FRIENDS REMAIN THE MOST CREDIBLE FORM OF ADVERTISING; BRANDED WEBSITES ARE THE SECOND-HIGHEST-RATED FORM, states that “eighty-three percent of online respondents in 60 countries say they trust the recommendations of friends and family.”

Twenty-five per cent of respondents said the reputation of the company was important. How can a person find out about the reputation of a company? Do some checking. Is the agency licensed by the State of Illinois? Is it approved for Medicare patients? Does it have contracts with the State of Illinois? Is it accredited by the Joint Commission? How long has it been in business?

Twenty-two percent of respondents said a referral source had recommended a home health provider. Referral sources include hospital discharge planners, doctors, nurses, and case managers. These individuals determine the level of care the patient will need after discharge and recommend agencies which provide these services.

Fourteen and one-half percent of the respondents said that they had selected a company because of consumer marketing. This includes ads in magazines, newspaper ads, TV ads, billboards, and the company’s website. Some consumers become aware of a company because of its participation at health fairs. Some respondents had heard a representative of a company speak at a senior citizen center,

Almost four percent of the respondents said that a case manager (government programs, hospital, etc.) had selected the home health provider.

If you or a friend or relative in the Chicago area is needing home health services, consider American Home Health. The agency is over twenty-five years old and has hundreds of employees. It is licensed by the State of Illinois and accredited by the Joint Commission. For more information about American Home Health, go to www.ahhc-1.com.

—By Karen Centowski


Microsoft recently compiled a list of the top ten grammar mistakes people make while using the English language.  This data was culled from users of Microsoft Word and/or Outlook.  Both of these have a tool called Editor, which highlights spelling and grammar errors.   What do you think would be on this list?

Subject verb agreement? (e.g., Thirty dogs was playing on the lawn.)  This must have been a real dog party.

Dangling participle?  (e.g., Running down the street, the lamp lit up the sidewalk.) Quick!   Catch that lamp!

Misplaced modifier?  (e.g., The watch on her ugly hand was worthless.)  The watch was ugly, not her hand.

Malapropism?  (e.g., Texas has a lot of electrical votes–Yogi Berra)   Texas has a lot of electoral votes.

Many people believe that their computers will catch all their errors.  This is not true.  Microsoft Word will recognize and even automatically correct certain misspelled words.  It may not recognize your grammar mistakes.  YOU are responsible for the grammar.  Below is the Microsoft list of the top ten grammar mistakes people make.

  1. Leaving too many white spaces between words
    Example: To  the  left.
    Correct: To the left.
  1. Missing a comma
    Example: If the weather remains the same we’ll leave early.
    Correct: If the weather remains the same, we’ll leave early.
  1. Missing a comma after an introductory phrase
    Example: First of all we must make sure that the power is off.
    Correct: First of all, we must make sure that the power is off.
  1. Missing a hyphen
    Example: 3 year old son
    Correct: My 3-year-old son
  1. Incorrect subject-verb agreement
    Example: The cats eats.
    Correct: The cats eat.
  1. Incorrect capitalization
    Example: It’s cold, But we are going out.
    Correct: It’s cold, but we are going out.
  1. Mixing up possessive and plural forms
    Example: My sisters car is old.
    Correct: My sister’s car is old.
  1. Incorrect agreement with noun phrases
    Example: I would like to buy this apples.
    Correct: I would like to buy these apples.
  1. Commonly confused words
    Example: After all that running, I am out of breathe.
    Correct: After all that running, I am out of breath.
  1. Incorrect verb form after auxiliary
    Example: They had ate when we arrived.
    Correct: They had eaten when we arrived.

By Karen Centowski


Between 1908 to 1942, Sears, Roebuck, and Company sold more than 70,000 mail-order catalog homes in North America. Marketed under the name Sears Modern Homes, the houses offered the latest technology including central heating, indoor plumbing, and electricity. The houses were built primarily in East Coast and Midwest states, but Sears catalog homes have been located as far south as Florida and as far west as California.

You may already be aware of a Sears catalog home in your area. According to the Web site https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sears_Catalog_Home, Aurora, Illinois has 136. Carlinville, Illinois has 150 in the Standard Addition neighborhood. Downers Grove has 26 Sears homes. Elgin, Illinois has over 200. Washington, D.C. has over 200. Cincinnati, Ohio and surrounding communities in southern Ohio and Northern Kentucky have over 450.

The Sears catalog homes in Carlinville, Illinois were bought in bulk by the Standard Oil Company in 1918 to house their mineworkers. The homes were built in a twelve-block area known as the Standard Addition. Using eight different models, the 150 homes were built at a total cost of approximately $1 million.

Who thought of the idea of selling homes through mail-order catalogs? Credit is given to Frank W. Kusel, a Sears manager of the building materials department. Sales were down, and there was excess inventory in the warehouses. Kusel suggested to Richard Warren Sears that the company could assemble kits of the parts needed and sell entire houses through mail order.

The first Sears catalog houses sold prior to 1916 contained Sears-supplied lumber in approximate lengths, but the home builder had to cut the lumber to the exact length. In 1916, precut and fitted lumber was first offered. This reduced construction time by up to 40%. The Sears Modern Home kit was shipped by railroad boxcar and then usually trucked to the home site. According to the en.wikipedia.org article, an average kit had 25 tons of materials with over 30,000 parts. Plumbing, electrical fixtures, and heating systems were not included in the base price of the house. They could be included, at an additional cost, with the house order. The home builder was responsible for meeting local building requirements that certain work be done professionally.

Today, several of the Sears catalog houses are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Sears catalog houses can also be found in historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

—By Karen Centowski

To see a 2013 video about Sears Modern Homes, go to Sears Modern Homes YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKP2RTLkiTg.

Janelle’s Favorite Spicy Chicken – Recipe

Spicy Chicken Recipe


  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 package taco seasoning
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup jalapeño cream cheese


  • Put chicken in crockpot, sprinkle with taco seasoning, mix soup and salsa together then pour over chicken. Cook on high 4 hours, remove chicken, add cream cheese and stir into sauce in pot. Shred chicken put back in pot and mix well.
  • Serve how you would like.
  • We put on tortillas with some rice.
Recipe submitted by Janelle Fulfs.