A Book Cover Preview: On National Bow Tie Day

As you might have noticed, I have not spent much time blogging on The Purple Jacket over the past six weeks or so.  However, that does not  mean that I have stopped writing.   As The Bow Tie Guy,  it seems fitting on National Bow Tie Day I share with you with a preview of the cover of my  first book, ‘What’s The Deal With Caregiving’ published Jack Tatar at People Tested Media.


Photo Credit: Photo Journalist Carline Jean with permission from the Sun-Sentinel

Now in our final edits, my goal in writing  “What’s The Deal With Caregiving” is to bring readers a comfort zone to reflect, re-energize, and find reassurance, knowing there are other Caregivers out there, just like you, who understands your journey, who cares for you, and simply loves you because you care.  As a Caregiver, I’ve been there and because of my personal experience, I want to guide and assist your journey

I will be sure to keep you informed as we get closer to publishing this fall.   Here is just one of the many testimonials that have been sent in to me.

“I really love the approach you took with this – it’s different and of great interest to me as someone who was caregiving a loved one. It’s different because you are approaching it from angles that I don’t remember reading about before. You highlight important issues that sat at periphery of my awareness. I wish I had read this the year Kris started to wind down. Unfortunately I can’t go backwards, but for those now embarking on the caregiving journey it will be of immeasurable value.” Ira Woods, President and CEO of One World Memorials.  Author’s Note: Please visit Ira Woods’ blog, Conscious Departures.com for his well-written and compelling story in regards to when Caregiving ends.

A special thanks to my family, Richard’s family and my  friends in both South Florida and St. Louis for their continued support as I finish this first project.

Writing this book has been cathartic!

We are already working on book number 2 ‘Healing Ties: A Story about Love, Care, Cancer and Commitment’ which will delve deeper into our Caregiving  story with personal accounts of the five pillars:  our physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and financial health. I will write openly about our joys, laughter and struggles, because in the end, our story is about the meaning of love. Look for book 2 to be published early 2016.


We Might Have (had) Cancer, but Cancer Never Had Us!


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The Conference on Aging Wrap-Up

We welcome Guest Blogger, Maria Ramos to The Purple Jacket!

The Conference on Aging Wrap-Up

The White House hosted the much-anticipated Conference on Aging on July 13th. This long-running event, held once per decade since 1961, explores the issues facing the elderly, their caregivers and families, while promoting new advances in technology and government programs. In addition to the attendance of some 200 delegates, the conference was broadcast over the web, allowing access to viewers across the country. With the White House as organizer, and President Obama giving a keynote speech, this prestigious conference shined a spotlight on challenges facing the elderly that might otherwise have gone unreported.

In his address, the president highlighted the importance of Medicare and Medicaid in providing funding for elder care, and explained how the Affordable Care Act aids in reducing the number of Americans who lack health insurance, and by making prescription drugs less expensive. Besides health care, he also mentioned the significance of social security, private pensions and 401k plans in making sure that retirees have enough money to comfortably live on. President Obama wants to make it easier for workers to enroll in retirement plans and receive tax benefits for doing so. As he praised the efforts made by previous generations, he also stressed the fact that more work needs to be done to foster the welfare of senior citizens.

As viewers tuned in at hundreds of watch parties around the country, and participated through Twitter, discussions took place about the level of care required by the nation’s oldest citizens. Because life expectancy in the United States has reached nearly 80 years, up from about 70 years half a century ago, there are many more elders today who need assistance particularly those with Alzheimer’s disease or other debilitating conditions. Some caregivers are trying to take care of their own parents while at the same time raising children. By allowing flexible working hours and paid leave, society can make it easier for people to care for their loved ones without putting themselves at financial risk. Also touching upon the topic of financial loss, discussions were held about the need for financial caregivers to carefully steward elders’ financial health just as traditional caregivers promote their physical health.

As it has transformed so many aspects of society, so too is modern technology changing the lives of the elderly for the better. This topic was explored in a panel called “Technology and the Future of Aging.” Participants spoke about the fact that a growing number of seniors are learning how to properly use electronic devices despite the popular conception that old people have no interest in modern technology. By using sensors and remotely accessible video cameras to track the daily habits of elders, their loved ones can easily keep tabs on their health from afar. At the same time, fully featured home automation equipment enables the elderly to remotely control their utilities, home security systems, door locks and other components of their homes automatically. These advances will make it possible for large numbers of seniors to remain in familiar surroundings, or “age in place” rather than having to move to assisted living facilities.

Although changing demographic trends mean that there are fewer younger people around today to care for a larger population of seniors, there are many ways in which society can step in and lend a hand. From new policies for workplaces and retirement plans, to broadening health insurance options, we’re moving in the direction of seriously working towards the happiness and well-being of those above the age of 65. Just as technological developments are largely responsible for many people living to their retirement years in the first place, so will they make  those years richer, more convenient and more secure.

Maria Ramos is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a minor in Communication. She blogs about environmentally friendly tips, technological advancements, and healthy active lifestyles.

Thank You Maria for your great post!

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Creating A Cohesive Care Team

Join us live from St. Louis, MO. At 7:00 pm (EST), 6:00 pm (CST)  on August 12th for a special episode of Healing Ties Radio on Health Café Live.com as we visit with  Judy Ryan from Life Work Systems.

Creating a cohesive care team is one of the essential components in order to be a health caregiver. Creating the life you love is possible for all of us, especially when we create a cohesive care team.  On Wednesday’s show, we’ll discuss seven steps that will help you create the cohesive care team that we all need to help us transform our day.

Judy Ryan_Healing_Ties_8_12_2015

To listen live on Wednesday August 12th at 7:00 pm (EST), 6:00 pm (CST) simply click here! HealingTies (1)

Cannot listen live?  NO WORRIES!  We have plenty of options for you to access all of our episodes of Healing Ties

ON DEMAND on our iHeart Radio Channel by clicking here! 

Available on UK Health Radio by clicking here! 


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Elements of Healing Touch Massage

Caregivers, looking for a way to relax, take some time for yourself, to loose some of that pent up stress?  Have you ever considered a massage from a licensed massage therapist to help rejuvenate the body, mind and spirit? Well, then join us on Wednesday, July 29th on Health Café Live.com at 7:00 pm (EST) for a conversation with  Licensed Massage Therapist Wayne White. Massage therapy dates back thousands of years and is  derived from the Greek word,”massein” meaning ‘to knead.’  Through the  manipulation of soft tissues of the body by  squeezing, rubbing, tapping, vibrating or compressing for therapeutic intent, massage therapy heals and helps rejuvenate our body, mind and spirit.  Don’t just take it from me! Listen in and learn how Wayne is  creating Healing Ties all around us through the art of massage therapy.

Cannot listen live?  No Worries! Healing Ties Radio is available ON DEMAND at:

Our iHeart Radio Channel  by  clicking here!

Our Healing Ties Website by clicking here.

And in the United Kingdom on UK Health Radio by clicking here! 




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On Becoming A Fearless Caregiver


Join us on Wednesday, July 22nd  on Health Café Live.com at 7:00 pm (EST) as we visit with    Gary Barg, Editor-in-Chief of Caregiver Magazine & Caregiver.com. A noted speaker, writer and   publisher on caregiving issues since 1995, Gary is Founder of the first national magazine for caregivers, Today’s Caregiver, as well the original online caregiver community, caregiver.com.  Gary created The Fearless Caregiver Conferences, hosted across the country, which brings together  caregivers to share their knowledge, experience and wisdom as well as learning about vital products, services and technologies.  Listen in and learn how Gary is creating Healing Ties all around us!

Cannot listen live?  NO Worries!  Healing Ties Radio is available on demand on our iHeart Channel by simply clicking here. 

You can also find Healing Ties Radio on UK Health Radio by clicking here. 

Visit ‘HealingTie.com/guest-appearances for all our shows by clicking here. 

Or visit our Healing Ties Facebook Page to listen to all our shows by clicking here! 




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Delivering an Accessible World!

Are you a Caregiver?  Do you like to travel? Worried about taking your Caree on a trip?  Thinking about planning a cruise, land tour, or train ride? Well, we have the solution for you!  Tune in on Wednesday July 15th at 7:00 pm (EST) for another episode of  Healing Ties’ radio with our special guest, Andrew Garnett, President of Special Needs at Sea.  Andrew has taken his passion for the special needs community and has made travel more accessible for everyone!

To listen to ‘Healing Ties’ radio live at  7:00 pm on Wednesday, July 15th, simply click here! 

Can’t listen live?  NO WORRIES!  Healing Ties Radio is available on demand on iHeart Radio by clicking here!  

‘Healing Ties’ radio show is also syndicated in the UK on UK Health Radio by clicking here!



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The Era of Aging Caregivers?

Christopher MacLellan:

Wonderful words of wisdom from one of the best Caregiving bloggers on the internet. Thanks for your great post, Ira!

Originally posted on Conscious Departures:

Elderly CaregiversAn article caught my attention in the New York Times recently about the aging of non-paid caregivers (More Caregivers are no Spring Chickens) .  A study cited in the article claimed there were as many as 7% non-paid caregivers over the age of 75. That doesn’t sound like many people until you learn there are some  50 million non-paid caregivers in the US. That 7% equates to about 3+ million caregivers over the age of 75. That’s astounding.

I’ve been hearing from a lot of friends and acquaintances about their aging parents still living into their late 80’s to late 90’s. I see a lot of them in Facebook photos together celebrating another 90+ birthday and still looking pretty good. One person employed at my business just lost her uncle who was 108. Despite his age he was very clear about choosing his own cremation urn before passing away and…

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