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Doctor Compton Wins Tamra West Leadership Award

Posted by Joe B. Nester on September 17, 2015 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (444)

Congratulations to Dr. Compton for his Dedication and Service in the Field of Hospice and Palliative Care

~ Tamra West Leadership Award (SC): Mrs. West was The Carolina Centers (TCC) South Carolina Program Director for over 11 years. She was recognized as a hospice leader in South Carolina and was a true leader for TCC. The recipient of this award will be someone who works to form strategic partnerships with others entities in the community, a fierce leader and a strong advocate - all the characteristics that Mrs. West possessed.

Nominees for each Leadership Award must:

• Have devoted significant time to promoting hospice care

• Have vision and be forward thinking

• Have been involved in hospice care throughout NC or SC

• Be involved in fostering relationships with strategic partners


Dr. Compton is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Geriatrics, and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He graduated from University of Virginia School of Engineering and then finished his medical degree in 1976 at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, DC. After a three year Internal Medicine Residency at the University of South Florida he entered United States Public Health Service and served in the National Health Service Corps for two years. After leaving the service he went into private practice in his hometown of Laurel, Maryland.


His practice has involved office, hospital and nursing home medicine. He is an AMDA certified medical director.


Palliative Medicine has always been a large portion of his geriatric practice going back to the days prior to when it was not considered a specialty. He has served as a Hospice Medical Director continuously since 1986.


His current practice is inpatient and outpatient Palliative Medicine at Trident and Summerville Medical Centers under the aegis of Agape Senior and Physicians Care. Dr. Compton also serves on the MUSC Ethics Committee and is the chair of the Trident/Summerville Ethics Committee, and Cancer Committee.


When he is not practicing medicine, he enjoys time with his family, grandkids, playing golf, and participating in outdoor activities.



The Death of Bingo Cards in Long Term Care

Posted by Joe B. Nester on September 15, 2015 at 8:20 AM Comments comments (685)

There has to be a better way; is how we have looked at senior care in South Carolina for the past 15 years. Heat sealed punch cards or bingo cards as they are sometimes referred to have been used in the pharmacy industry for decades and are finally being eliminated by efficient, automated medication management systems such as the Taylst™ system by InSite™.

The digital age has ushered in these new technologies which have proven to be far superior to previous methods, and in effect allow Long Term Care facilities to have a virtual pharmacy within their buildings. There are many advantages to this new system and the positive impact directly correlates to better care and more efficient medication management for patients and residents.

Some of the major advantages of an automated system are:

• Elimination of waste due to the fact that just one days’ worth of medication is dispensed at a time.

• When doctors change medication orders they can now be administered immediately instead of waiting days for them to be couriered from a physical pharmacy.

• Nurses have more time to spend with their patients because their time performing medication passes has been cut by approximately 60 percent per pass.

• Dramatic reduction in errors to a fraction of what can be achieved with the old method.

Agapé Senior pioneered this new technology in South Carolina for Long Term Care facilities and realized the advantages of the system within their own facilities. Expanding this technology throughout South Carolina and working with The Board of Pharmacy to allow the system to expand into Assisted Living Communities will ultimately lead to better senior care throughout South Carolina.


The Alzheimer's Epidemic

Posted by Joe B. Nester on August 13, 2015 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (34)

Alzheimer's is a devastating disease for both patient and caregiver. In 2015, Alzheimer's continues its epidemic rampage through our senior population in South Carolina and the nation. According to the Alzheimer's Association, there are 5,300,000 people in the United States with the disease and 5,100,000 of those are over the age of 65. Almost two thirds or 3.200,000 are women. By 2025, it is estimated 7,000,000 people will have the disease, which is a 40 percent increase in just 10 years.

There is new evidence suggesting the disparity between men and women is not just attributed to a longer life span for women. In a recent Washington Post article, Kristine Yaffe, a professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology at the University of California at San Francisco said "It's not just that women are living to be older, there's something else going on in terms of biology and environment for woman compared to men that may make them at greater risk or, if they have some symptoms, may change the progression.”

There are some promising drugs on the horizon and the BBC recently reported on one from the Eli Lilly Company that may have the ability to slow the progression of the disease. Solanezumab, has shown some promise in people with early stages of the disease and in some tests halted progression of the disease by as much as one-third.

Slowing down the progression of Alzheimer's, if proven to be successful, would truly be a breakthrough in the fight for a cure. Today medications only deal with symptoms of the disease and do not have any effect on the progression.

Meanwhile as researches and scientists work toward a cure, caregivers are using more innovative approaches for connecting with their patients. Music, light, art, aroma along with dozens of other techniques for stimulation are helping caregivers provide a better quality of life for the patient or loved one.

Education for families and caregivers is still one of the most significant components for improving the experience of both caregiver and patient. Learning new skills and techniques that allow a caregiver to enter the world of an Alzheimer patient is invaluable for ultimately gaining the understanding and compassion required for a positive interaction.

Agape Senior


Ambassadors for Lexington Hospice House and Suites

Posted by Joe B. Nester on June 9, 2015 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (31)

On a cold and windy November evening in 2011 a hospice memorial service was held on the steps of the South Carolina Statehouse. The service was the conclusion of a two day celebration designed to raise public awareness about hospice. Holli McGee Roberts stepped to the podium and in 48 short words defined perfectly what hospice had meant to her family.


"Agapé Hospice was there for us; they wrapped their arms around our family and helped us through the dark times. Like the umbrellas' here tonight, Agapé Hospice sheltered us from a storm. I will always remember their support, their loving care they gave to my Mother, Emma McGee"

Holli had lost her best friend when her Mom, Emma McGee died in August of 2010. Her Mom had been through what seemed like a lifetime of battling cancer. The first sign of trouble had come in the form of breast cancer when Holli was just eight years old. This was followed with a long period of remission until cancer resurfaced 18 years later in another form. At this point Holli was married and raising a young family.

For the next three and a half years Holli along with her family dug in for a battle. Holli became the primary caregiver along with her dad Carroll McGee and took daily care of her Mother while trying to raise her own young family. Holli started to show all of the classic signs of caregiver burnout during this time including the degradation of her own health.

Hospice was called in during the final stages of Emma's life which allowed Holli some precious time to just be present with her Mom. Emma was on hospice for just seven days before she passed peacefully into the next life.

Looking back on her experience, Holli wished she had been aware of hospice earlier in the struggle. Spending quality time with her Mom without constantly worrying about the actual care would have been the best gift Holli could have received.

Holli and Carroll are now Ambassadors for the new Lexington Agapé Hospice House & Suites that just opened in June of 2015. Carroll will be a part-time Chaplain for the facility and Holli will volunteer and continue her advocacy for hospice.



Agape Hospice and We Honor Veterans

Posted by Joe B. Nester on May 25, 2015 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (59)

The NHPCO National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization put out a memorial day press release reminding people of the unique needs of Veterans on hospice. Five years ago the organization recognized the necessity for an enhanced educational and awareness program to help providers better care for Veteran hospice patients. The "We Honor Veterans." program was born and it allowed hospice providers an opportunity to partner with NHPCO to achieve a higher and more relevant level of care for their Veteran patients.


The program has four partnership levels with educational benchmarks and practices required to advance to each level. The partnership allows hospice companies an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the special considerations and practices involved when caring for the Veteran.


Agapé Hospice, one of the largest hospice providers in South Carolina was already caring for many veterans inside and outside of its communities at the time and welcomed the new program with open arms. "Our veterans and their families sacrificed so much for our freedom. Agape Hospice is proud to be a significant part of the We Honor Veterans national initiative, affording us the opportunity to better serve those who gave so much for our country." stated Theresa Younis, COO for Agapé Senior.


Agapé instituted a program within its online employee training system, Agapé University, to meet the educational goals of "We Honor Veterans." The company today is a level three partner and hopes to achieve the fourth level soon.


Donald Schumacher, NHPCO President and CEO stated "Our Veterans deserve support and recognition of their service and the losses they may have experienced. Memorial Day can be a time to reach out to acknowledge all they've given and celebrate our national pride."


So on this memorial day we honor those men and women that paid the ultimate price for our freedom. And we are thankful and honored to have the opportunity to be of service to the Veterans that made it back and need our help today.


Living Home Alone with Dementia is Safety Balancing Act

Posted by Joe B. Nester on May 6, 2015 at 6:40 AM Comments comments (327)

The safety of a loved one living alone at home is a concern for a lot of family member caregivers. A study conducted by John Hopkins in 2013 found significant issues when looking at 254 home assessments they performed with people living alone with dementia and 246 interviews with their informal, non-professional caregivers. The study found  99% of the people with dementia and 97% of their caregivers had one or more unmet needs. 90% of those unmet needs were safety related.



There are many safety issues facing a person living alone with dementia. The person may not have the ability to make good decisions about their day to day care. Falling, wandering, malnutrition and an inability to take care of personal hygiene are some of the complications that can contribute to an unsafe living condition.


In addition to the physical challenges of staying safe in the home, a person with dementia will often feel isolated and alone. Loneliness can lead to depression and further lower quality of life for the individual.


The study also showed that more than 60% of the people with dementia had medical needs related and unrelated to their dementia. The researches surmised that earlier and better routine medical care could significantly reduce the number of potential future hospitalizations within the study group.


The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society in that same year reported that most caregivers have multiple unmet needs, including lack of access to resources and referrals to support services and education about how to best care for a loved one with dementia.


Planning ahead is one way to limit exposure to safety issues when a loved one is diagnosed with dementia. The caregiver should look within the community to see what resources might be available. Help with meals and transportation are two important areas to research. Durable Medical Equipment companies will often do free home assessments and point out areas in the home that can be improved with simple solutions. Education is an important part of the equation and senior care providers can be a good source of information for caregivers.

Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.



Creativity and Patience Required for Small Spaces

Posted by Joe B. Nester on April 30, 2015 at 4:40 PM Comments comments (32)


If you think about the way you spend time within your home, you may be surprised at how little space you actually occupy out of the total space available. I recently moved from a small three bedroom two bath home that was approximately 1400 square feet into a 550 square foot efficiency apartment in the center of downtown.

While living in the house I had consciously or unconsciously picked out my favorite areas of the home and spent the majority of my time moving between those areas while ignoring the rest of the house. My life within the space revolved around my desk in the living room which had the best natural light, the guest bath because it was more convenient than the master, a bedroom and the kitchen. In essence I was only occupying one third of the available space in the home.

When I moved to my downtown apartment my goal was to create a cozy retreat that only utilized the amount of space I required. The reason I chose the apartment was because it has three large windows across the front that flood the space with natural light and I could instantly see my desk positioned in front of one of the windows.

Every space offers challenges and my new apartment had plenty. Some of the furniture I brought with me from the house was just not going to work there. You will need to be flexible, creative and patient when moving into a small space and transforming it to fit your lifestyle.

Evaluating the things you currently own and making smart decisions about how they may or may not be utilized in the new space will be critical. If they will not work, put it on Craig's list, consign it or donate the item and start looking for the right piece.

Look at the space with a creative eye and think about the potential for multiple purposes. Look at going vertical, horizontal or any other innovative way to squeeze usefulness out of every square foot. But most of all have patience and realize you will not create the perfect space overnight. It will take time and experimentation to get it right. I have been in my apartment for a month and there are still several containers filled with things that are looking for a new home within my new home.

Don't go it alone. There is a plethora of information on the internet about people and companies with a passion to live small. Here are a few links to get your creative juices flowing.

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Senior Care Real Estate Needs – Joe B. Nester serves the Real Estate Needs of our Senior Clients. Joe is currently a licensed Realtor and the Director of Internet Marketing for Agapé Senior. Visit link and ask Joe any question about Real Estate and Senior Care. Or call (803) 730-7269.


A Cup Of Joy

Posted by Kimberly Brace on April 13, 2015 at 2:40 PM Comments comments (35)

To be happy you first have to create it in your mind...

It's not something you search for or seldom find.


When you wake up in the morning and begin your day ...

First count your blessings and then thank God and pray,


Give up those thoughts that breed discontent...

And just remember everything that comes your way is heaven sent.


Don't spend time wishing for things that you have not...

But simply make the best of what you've got.


Know that life is already determined for us...

Then pursue each task without a fret a fume or a fuss.


Just get busy and complete what God gives you to do...

Do that and you'll find real contentment and be happy too.


God wants you happy because it's good for the heart...

And being happy in your mind is a great place to start.


So fill your cup with joy as you as you begin your day...

Then health and happiness will be headed your way.


A Prayer For Hope

Posted by Kimberly Brace on April 13, 2015 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (34)

Heavenly Father, I am your humble servant,

I come before you today in need of hope.

There are times when I feel weak.

I pray for hope.

I need hope for a better future.

I need hope for a better life.

I need hope for love and kindness.


Some say that the sky is at it's darkest just before the light.

I pray that this is true, for all seems dark.

I need your light, Lord, in every way.


I pray to be filled with your light from head to toe.

To bask in your glory.

To know that all is right in the world,

as you have planned, and as you want it to be.


Help me to walk in your light,

and live my life in faith and glory.


In your name I pray, Amen


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