Happy Thanks CareGiving

Feeling Gratitude and Not Expressing it is Like Wrapping  a Present and Not Giving it! – William Asher Ward

Thanksgiving comes around once a year, but giving thanks and showing gratitude is a daily practice that I want to create in my life. 

I am thankful for 11 wonderful years with Richard and as I think about the past 18 month since he made his life transition,  I am reminded about not taking life so seriously while learning to live life in the moment.  Yesterday is gone, tomorrow has not arrived, what is important is today.


These last 18 months have been filled with lots of different challenges, many of which  have been self-afflicted.  But we move on with our head held high, knowing that bumpy roads do smooth out.

I don’t miss being a Caregiver, I miss the person I was caring for, because Caregiving is a two-way street.  When Caregiving ends, the realization that what once was, is now different, is obvious.  However, what I have come to know, now that Caregiving is over, the good days far out weigh the bad days and memories last forever.

So Happy Thanks-Caregiving to you, not only on this special day of thanks, but for everyday, in gratitude for all that you do!

Chris MacLellan is the Author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” and the host of “Healing Ties” radio program.




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November 23 is Caring Selfie day with Caregiving.com

Denise Brown has been a pioneer in the Caregiving industry for 20 years and operates one of the best, if not the best online Caregiving community, Caregiving.com.   When I started to blog about our Caregiving experience in April of 2011, I came across Denise and Caregiving.com and found not only terrific information about how to deal with the challenges of Caregiving, I found an extended family of friends through Denise’s vast network of Caregivers.  Denise’s soothing style is infectious and puts one at ease, while gently challenging us when needed.

As a Caregiving expert and advocate, Denise has been coming up with innovative ways to support and bring attention to family Caregivers for two decades.  She has done it again with #caringselfie day on November 23!   So how can you get involved in #caringselfie day?  Simple!  Take a selfie and post it on your social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) on Monday, November 23. Use the hashtag #caringselfie. Be sure to include some of your caregiving story and explain that you’re sharing a selfie to put a face on caregiving.

Visit Denise at Caregiving.com  to learn all of the great things she is doing to bring awareness to Caregivers everywhere. Along the way, you will also find an extended family of Caregivers who are there to support you 100% and a tremendous amount of resources that will help you along on your caregiving journey too.  We could not have gotten along without Denise and our extended family at Caregiving.com!

So in honor of Denise’s commitment to Caregivers, I am sharing one of my most favorite photos with you for #caringselfie day!

Denise and TLO

Denise and Richard, Winter in Florida, 2013




What’s The Deal With Caregiving is available on Amazon by clicking here! 

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Lessons in Color

Source: Lessons in Color

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In Studio Guest Today on Toula’s Tips For Caregivers


Excited to join Toula Wootan on her show, “Toula’s Tips for Caregivers” on Saturday morning, November 21 to talk about life after Caregiving ends. 

The stark reality for all Caregivers is that there is a beginning and an ending to our Caregiving journey, and in most cases, we are not prepared for either of these life events.  I will share my experience as a Caregiver and a former Caregiver who is learning how to care for himself.

Join us at 11:00 am (EST) on WBOB Radio 600 AM or 100.3 FM  in the Jacksonville, FL area or listen in by streaming on line at http://www.wbobradio.com.

Have a question for today’s show?Call us at 904.222.8255.


Toula’s soothing style is infectious!

I’m creating a life to love after Caregiving ends through advocacy, leadership, writing, radio, r


Chris MacLellan is the Author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” which is available on Amazon.com by clicking here!


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Managing a Loved One’s Care from Out of State

Today we welcome guest blogger Max Gottlieb, content manager of Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona.

Managing a Loved One’s Care from Out of State

Whether you are in the same house, same town, or out of state, successfully caring for a loved one can be a challenge. Obviously, it is much easier to care for someone in the same city, but unfortunately families live in different states, oftentimes across the country. It may seem unmanageable at first, but there are many things you can do to provide support and maintain a better quality of life for the person in need of care.

1.) Keep on Top of your Loved One’s Health

The most important way to keep track of a loved one’s health is to create a schedule where your loved one is evaluated at designated intervals. This could mean that after each doctor’s appointment you call the doctor or that once a month, you check in with a care manager. It’s best to have more than one person doing assessments so you can hear multiple opinions. A primary physician is a good option since they’ll be most familiar with medical records, but people like physical therapists, care managers, social workers, or in-home caregivers can also offer valuable information. The important thing is to keep in constant communication with the people most frequently in contact with your loved one.

2.) Have a Plan in Place

Planning ahead is essential. Rather than waiting until a physical decline or medical emergency occurs, make sure you know what the next step is. That may mean you’ve scheduled a home health aid to come in or you’ve hired a care manager to manage your loved one’s care. Whether your loved one has a homecare professional coming in every day or once a week, make sure the caregiver is familiar with what their patient can and can’t do physically. This means talking to the caregiver on the phone and bringing them up to speed with your loved one’s conditions.

If there are any memory or behavioral issues, be sure to let the aid or caregiver know so they can monitor to see if anything changes. If there are no memory issues you are aware of, it’s still a good idea to ask a caregiver to keep a close eye on whether or not there are changes. Also, if there are times when a caregiver is not there, an emergency medical alert could be a good idea.

In the event that a physical decline or an emergency occurs, full time home health might be a good option, which can be recommended from the patient’s primary care physician. Additionally, adding on caregiving hours will help ease the effects of a physical decline. Depending upon the medically needy person’s income, assets, and condition, they may qualify for Medicaid, which will pay for a certain amount of caregiving hours per week. See this Medicaid guide for your state’s exact requirements as it does vary state by state.

3.) Around the Clock Caregiving:

Sometimes, depending upon the circumstances, patients may need a caregiving aid 24/7. Many caregiving agencies are readily able to provide 24/7 care and patients are able to age in place. For an out of state family member, this alleviates some worry about their loved one because there is always a caregiver around to assist. Many people forget to consider around the clock caregiving and usually believe assisted living or skilled nursing facilities are better options. Most of the time, however, these types of facilities aren’t staffed at the ratio of one caregiver to one patient. The major benefit of having a private caregiving aid is the one-to-one care provided, which equals a greater level of care in most cases. There is of course cost to consider and what works for some people may not work for others. Be open to your loved one’s changing needs and don’t be afraid to seek the help of private or state professionals.

Max Gottlieb is the content manager of Senior Planning in Phoenix, Arizona. Senior Planning provides free assistance to seniors and the disabled who need help finding and arranging care services, finding Phoenix assisted living, or applying for state and federal benefits.

Thanks Max for your timely suggestions!

Chris MacLellan is the Author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” and Host of “Healing Ties” Radio.

To purchase a copy of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” simply click here! 


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New Station, Same Great Show!

Everyone has a story, but not everyone gets to share their story.

Healing Ties radio returns in January with new guests, new topics, new format, and a new station.

It is about creating a life to love after Caregiving ends through advocacy, leadership, writing, radio, travel, cruises

What’s coming up?
Radio: Have a story to share, an idea for a show, or would you like to be a guest on the show…contact me!
Whole Care Network: Looking to list you product or business in our resource guide…contact me! (rates vary: reserve your premium location now on the Whole Care Network)

Hire Me: Looking for a Key Note Speaker, Lunch in Learn, I have a variety of topics to choose from or I can customize a presentation to meet your organization needs.

Coming Soon:
Travel With The Bow Tie Guy
Custom Bow Ties to support charity!

You can also visit our FB page at The Bow Tie Guy

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When Caregiving Ends

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Ralph Waldo Emerson

AARP’s monthly bulletin arrived in the mail and I have to say, it is impressive.  There are plenty of wonderful stories about Caregivers, terrific wpid-wp-1447734881364.jpeginformation and quite a bit of wonderful resources to help Caregivers on their journey.  November’s AARP Bulletin is a must for all Caregivers! As I paged through the magazine, I looked to see if there might be an article or two that might fit my current role as a Caregiver.  I sensed something was missing?   Thinking that I might find the information I was looking for, I moved over to AARP’s massive website and navigated to the Caregiving section and noticed about 2/3 of the way down the page an article on Coping with Loss – One Step At A Time.   I was sadden to see that the article was more than a year old!

My role as a Caregiver changed on March 9, 2014 when my partner, Bernard Richard Schiffer passed away. When Caregiving ends, lives are transformed forever.  All of a sudden, Caregiving is over and what is there left to do?  Immersed in  the care of someone else, now the (former) family Caregiver is learning to live life differently, learning to be a caregiver to themselves.   There are two aspects to Caregiving that is similar, there is a beginning and and end to Caregiving and in most cases, we are not prepared for either of these life events.

As we continue to celebrate National Family Caregiving month and recognize family Caregivers across the nation, I have to wonder if we are not missing an entire segment of family Caregivers whose Caregiving journey has ended. Filled with first hand experience that can be beneficial to family Caregivers,  we are learning to be a Caregiver to ourselves.  When Caregiving ends, its uncharted waters, but when we swim together, the distance to good health and happiness is not too far away.

I’m creating a life to love after Caregiving ends through advocacy, leadership, writing, radio, travel and cruises!

Chris MacLellan a former family Caregiver and is the host of Healing Ties Radio and the Author of “What’s The Deal With Caregiving.”

Our 2015 Pulitzer Prize Nominated Story In Sickness and In Health: A Couple’s Final Journey, still resonates today!



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