Sam Chalfant: Health Solutions With A Heart

Communication leads to community, that is, to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing. Rollo May

Sam Chalfant is an independent insurance broker in Florida.  Sam is also a former family caregiver, not once, not twice, but three times!  Now Sam helps family caregivers and their caree’s, secure credible insurance through the Affordable Care Act.  On this episode of video Healing Ties, Sam share his caregiving story and encourages each of us to be strong and diligent in our self-care.


As a member of the Whole Care Network, Sam has branded  my  book “What’s The Deal with Caregiving” with his company’s logo.   Inside Sam’s branded book, you’ll find a bio of Sam’s company, along with a brief story about his caregivingChalfant_logo_final experience and a resource guide for his clients in South Florida.  Visit Sam on-line at Chalfant Insurance or email Sam at for information on the Affordable Care Act or to order a his personalized copy of “What’s The Deal with Caregiving?”.   Sam Chalfant,    “Insurance Solutions With A Heart!” 

mockcover (1)To learn how you can be part of the Whole Care Network and brand my book, “What’s The Deal with Caregiving?” to your company, send me an email to .

Join us in Chicago for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference in Chicago on December 2 & 3 hosted by Denise Brown at   Contact National Caregiving Conference (1)me direct at  for information on being an exhibitor and sponsor of the event.

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Caregivers: When You Need A Lyft!

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. Voltaire

Have you seen a car driving down the street a featuring a pink mustache on the front of the hood, or maybe resting on the front of a windshield?  Those pink mustaches would be your next LYFT,  arriving to pick you up to take you to your next destination.

Dan Trigub

Dan Trigub

While attending the Florida Council on Aging in Orlando, FL I had the opportunity to visit with Dan Trigub Strategic Account Executive at LYFT.  Dan and his team at LYFT recognize the need for Caregivers and their Caree’s to have safe and adequate transportation to help make their caregiving day just a little easier.  Transportation is one of the biggest issues family caregivers face when juggling their caree’s appointments.  I know from personal experience, finding a ride in order for Richard to go to radiation was challenging.  My time spent on the road, driving back to the house, then to the doctor’s appointments…Whew…I spent quite a bit of time on the road that no can be eliminated with a LYFT!

LYFT recognizes the need for Caregivers to have additional transportation assistance, and they are doing something about it.  Don’t just take my word for it, take it first hand from Dan.

On this episode of Healing Ties, Dan Trigub and me chat about LYFT, the  pink mustache and how LYFT can make a Caregivers day just a little lyftless stressful.  Listen in and learn how Dan and the entire staff at LYFT are creating Healing Ties all around us!   

Just as Voltaire said, “Man is free at the moment he wishes to be”  LYFT free’s up a Caregivers moment, in order to make the Caregiver’s life just a littler easier.



Chris MacLellan is the author of “What’s The Deal with Caregiving?” and the Host of Healing Ties featured on Spreaker, iTunes, iHeart and UK Health Radio.  Healing Ties and The Purple Jacket are a part of the Whole Care Network, Inc

Join us in Chicago for the 1st National Caregiving Conference hosted by Denise Brown from  Now through August 25, register to win cash prizes to help with your travel cost to the conference.   Visit our conference hub by clicking here.   Contact me direct about becoming a sponsor or exhibitor at the conference! National Caregiving Conference (1)


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The Caregiving Years: Through the Lens of an LGBT Caregiver

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. John Dewey

Recently I obtained a certification from to present on the The Caregiving


Chris MacLellan and his deceased partner, Richard Schiffer. Chris became a full-time family caregiver after Richard’s diagnosis with Esophageal cancer in 2011.  Mr. Schiffer passed away in March of 2014. 

Years: Six Stages To A Meaningful Journey.   On Monday I will present The Caregiving Years at the Florida Council on Aging Conference in Orlando during my presentation on LGBT Caregiving: Is There a Difference?

The six stages of caregiving encompass from the Expectant caregiver to the Godspeed Caregiver and many different stages in between.  On Monday, I will present a preview of The Six Stages of Caregiving while demonstrating the similarities and differences LGBT Caregivers face on a daily basis.

Thanks to Colette Vallee from the Florida Council on Aging, I will be broadcasting live from the conference with special guest all throughout the three day conference.  Be sure to visit me on Spreaker for the podcasts.  Follow me on Twitter @thebowtieguy  with hashtags #fcoa1 and #fcoa2016.

I am available for Work Shops, Presentations, Panel Discussions: some of my curriculum includes…

  • Caregivers as Servant Leaders<>Leadership training for the family Caregiver.
  • The Caregiving Years <>Objective is to learn to create a perspective that best helps you during your caregiving experience
  • LGBT Caregiving: Is There A Difference? <> The Caregiving Years through the lens of an LGBT Caregiver
  • Beginning After Caregiving Ends<>Objective is to learn how to refocus your life after caregiving ends.
  • Spiral of Silence: Caregiving, Stress and its Impact in the Work Place.<>Objective is to learn the financial impact of Caregiving and create a positive workplace culture for family caregivers and employers/

CCC_CHRISShare your knowledge, become a Certified Caregiving Consultant and a Certified Caregiving Educator.

What’s The Deal with Caregiving available on Amazon. Ask Chris 3D1how you can brand “What’s The Deal with Caregiving” to your organization.

Contact Chris about being an upcoming guest on  “HealingTies” at


Join us in Chicago as an exhibitor for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference onNational Caregiving Conference (1) Saturday December 3rd contact me for details on this exciting event!

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Monthly Caregiver Call-In Show

Let’s Talk About: When We Want to Run Away

Each month on the last Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, we’ll pose a question that sparks a conversation we’d love for you to be a part of. You can give us a call during our live show at (646) 652-4944 to share your thoughts. You also can join the show’s chat room and discuss your experiences with other listeners. Listen to our show and join the chat room.

On July 31, we’re discussing this question: When do you want to run away? When do you feel intimidated or overwhelmed or frustrated or just done that running away seems your own option? Call and share your stories and experiences. Be sure to share how you stayed.

Join Denise Brown from and her co-host, Chris MacLellan,  Sunday July 31st at 8:00 pm eastern / 7:00 pm central on Blog Talk Radio as  we talk about when we just want to run from caregiving. Please feel free to call us during our 30-minute show! 

12144764_10207087416960465_5072855123559877099_nAbout Chris

Chris is the author of “What’s the Deal with Caregiving?” and the host of “Healing Ties,” a weekly radio show. You can learn more about  me on at and

d_cp6Qzj_400x400About Denise

Denise, founder of, coaches family caregivers before, during and after caregiving. She’s the author of “The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey” and “Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers.”

Join us in Chicago for the 1st annual National Caregiving Conference #NCC16. Looking for exposure for your products and services for Caregivers?  We have sponsorship and exhibitor packages to meet your needs!  Contact me direct at

National Caregiving Conference (1)

To learn more about the conference click here!

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Top Caregiver Conferences

We are pleased to welcome guest blogger, Jacqueline Hatch from to The Purple Jacket.

Top Caregiver Conferences

By Jacqueline Hatch

Caregivers deserve a much support as possible when it comes to caring for aging loved ones. It’s a difficult journey, filled with unexpected obstacles and a mountain of responsibilities. Many family caregivers refer to the experience as an emotional roller coaster. Fortunately, the caregiving community is as supportive as they come. And there are caregiving conferences all across the country designed to support these individuals in their role. And whether you’re new to the role or a seasoned professional, conferences can help you connect with others in a similar position and gain tools to help you better prepare to care for those you love. Read on for the top upcoming caregiver conferences in your area:

Upcoming Fort Lauderdale Conference(s):

The Fearless Caregiver Conference on October 20th, 2016

This upcoming conference will cover important topic areas including how to become a fearless member of your loved one’s care team, respite techniques for caregivers, expert advice on beating stress and other mental health concerns, and hands-on advice from local experts in the field. The conference will be held from 11:00am to 3:00pm on Thursday, October 20th at the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Registration is free.

Upcoming Florida State Conference(s):

Florida Conference on Aging, August 8-10, 2016

This August, the Florida Council on Aging will hold a conference focusing on topics surrounding the aging experience. Attendees can expect engaging workshops on topics including caregiving, health care, technology, elder advocacy, fundraising, long-term care planning and more. The event will be held from August 8-10 at the Caribe Royal Hotel in Orlando Florida. Chris MacLellan will be leading a workshop on August 8th entitled “LGBT Caregiving: Is There A Difference?” Register now so you don’t miss out!

Upcoming National Conference(s):

1st Annual National Caregiving Conference, December 3rd, 2016

The first of its kind, this conference aims to connect caregivers with support and solutions to empower them in a difficult role. Presentations are designed to be engaging and entertaining, and spark conversations about changes that need to be made to support caregivers at home, in our workplaces and our health care system. Educational sessions will be aimed at family caregivers, former caregivers, and working professionals. The event will take place on December 3rd at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare. Chris MacLellan, “The Bow Tie Guy” is honored to be attending as a presenter and part of the steering committee.

Additional Caregiver Resources:

The National Alliance for Caregiving

Family Caregiver Alliance

The Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving

For more caregiver resources to support you in a challenging role, visit the Seniorly Resource Center and search by keywords “caregiver support” or “caregiving”.

Jacqueline Hatch is the Content Manager at, a company that provides free resources for families in need of senior care services. Her goal is to produce educational articles that help families navigate the complicated world of aging options. She does this through managing the Seniorly Resource Center, where families can search for relevant articles based on topics and keywords.



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How Can You Help Seniors Prevent Identity Theft?

We welcome back guest blogger, Maria Alice to The Purple Jacket! 

Unfortunately seniors are a popular target for identity thieves. Criminals see senior citizens as more easily influenced and assume that they have assets to plunder. As a caregiver, you can educate your seniors with tips to help prevent them from being victimized and help them out whenever possible as well. The following are some of the most valuable ways your elder loved ones can avoid identity theft.

Protect Personal Documents

Many people are in the habit of carrying around personal documents, like social security cards and insurance cards, in a purse or wallet, believing it would be safer when its on your person. However, this is not the case. It’s better to keep this personal information in a secure place at home, such as in a locked safe, just in case your senior forgets or loses their bag somewhere or it gets stolen. Additionally, make sure that all documents containing personal information or account numbers are shredded when not needed anymore as identity thieves can easily search your trash.

Avoid Phone and Door-to-Door Scams

Never give out personal information over the phone. This includes insurance numbers, social security numbers, credit card numbers and any other financial information. Instead, they should request that the information be sent in the mail or done in person. Unscrupulous door-to-door salespeople may see seniors as easy marks when it comes to selling them things they don’t need at over-inflated prices. Some examples are unnecessary insurance and home services. One popular scam involves giving a “free” inspection of the heating/cooling system and then finding “urgent repairs” that are needed.

Practice Safe Online Behavior

Make sure your loved one monitors their credit report. Many seniors don’t realize that they can monitor their credit reports online and even put a freeze on inquiries. You may be able to use a good antivirus program that is updated regularly. This will help prevent viruses on your computer that capture personal and financial information.  It is vitally important to create strong passwords and change them from time to time. Different accounts should have different passwords as having the same password for everything would help a hacker gain access to all your accounts and personal information.

Be Mindful of Home Security

Always keep doors and windows locked whether you are at home or away. Unlocked doors are an invitation to thieves. Seniors might not even know that anything is missing until they see unknown charges on their credit card bill. Make sure that your home security system is maintained, including cameras, automatic locks, and arming your house while you are away. Different houses have different necessities, so it’s important to research different websites to find one that caters to your needs.

Caregiver Responsibility

Sharing these tips will help seniors in your care avoid the heartache and hassle of being victimized. Identity theft is on the rise; our most vulnerable citizens need to be aware of the threat. Protecting personal documents, avoiding phone and email scams while being proactive about home security can weave a safety net around us. As a caregiver, your help can be instrumental in preventing senior identity theft.

Maria Alice 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.

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4 Ways Your Patients Will Love You More

We welcome back guest blogger, Andrea Bell to The Purple Jacket

4 Ways Your Patients will Love You More

It is not only a nurse’s responsibility to wear a smile and treat patients with a positive attitude, but doctors also play a significant role in keeping their patients contented with their services. It hardly takes 16 seconds for a physician to understand patient’s condition, but in those 16 seconds a nice, first impression is also needed to make patients love you along with your skills.

Many hospitals are filled with doctors these days who only attend patients to diagnose their illness and vanish right away without exchanging a healthy conversation with them. This condescending attitude of doctors only pulls patients out of their comfort zone, which is why a happy, interactive doctor is the first step towards a happy, healthy patient. Following are some of the basic things that you as a medic can adopt to make your patients love you.

  • Be a Doctor, Not a Businessman

Of course, it is your profession, and you earn from it, but it does not mean you start treating your patients only as a source of income or business work rather than human beings who need help. Even if you are dealing your work as a mere job, take it that your patients are like your business clients whom you have to make happy no matter what. The only thing that builds a business better than any other is through healthy relationship, which is why a doctor has to stop being indifferent and start caring for their patients.

Walk in the room with a big smile on your face and be impressive. Rather than engaging them with your astonishing knowledge and appearance, try making them comfortable by asking questions about their life; learn about their name, hobbies, family, and daily routine. Most importantly, try to remember their face by name, so the next time you meet them, it would be easier for you to greet them by their name.

  • Build a Strong Relationship

A doctor-patient relationship does not breach outside the hospital. Since a patient recognises you outside your professional hours in a market or a bar, a doctor should also be able to identify patients by their name with a warm and welcoming attitude. Like your favourite clothing brand store keeps you updated about the deals you like or informs you about any post of your favourite sports that might interest you, a doctor should also keep a check on their patients’ hobbies. It will only consume a little fraction of your time – you can as well ask your assistance to run through your patients’ information and learn about their hobbies. Providing patients with thank you cards for recommending other patients, calling them to ask about their health after few days, and welcoming them with a cup of coffee are few things that can build a heartening bridge of relation between you and your patients.

  • Keep them Informed

Treating a patient is your foremost duty, and keeping them informed about their changing health also comes under this job. If they are coming to you, it reflects their trust in you as a doctor and your helpful office. This is why keeping your patients update on their progress including the bills they are paying is important. For this task, you do not need to hire an accountant rather it can be easily done by just implementing Medisoft medical billing software to your system, to take care of all your patient account history so that you can inform them where they spent their money and for what purpose. Medisoft technical support also helps fostering a strong bond between doctor and patient. So the next time a patient comes to you, he will not cut short or ask twice before investing money in your services.

  • A Tip For Free

There are doctors around the world who charge extra when a patient asks for suggestions other than their current sickness. This behaviour only holds back patients from opening up and sharing their thoughts with the doctor. To eliminate this habit, a consultant needs to listen to his patients carefully and give them suggestions regarding their health even if it does not relate to their present condition. Being kind towards your patients will create a soft spot in their hearts, which will not only keep them coming back to you but will also diminish the fence of shyness between you two.

Make sure to let your patients know that you understand them wholeheartedly. Give them advice regarding a healthy diet or other healthy activities that can keep them in shape. Mail them any interesting article or piece of information you come across regarding their health to boost their trust on you. Treat your patients, staff, and everyone with care and you’ll be their favorite person in no time.

Author Bio:

Andrea Bell is freelance writer by day and sports fan by night.  Andrea writes about tech education and health related issues (but not at the same time). Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover. Find Andrea  on twitter @IM_AndreaBell.

CCC_CHRISAsk me how you can become a Certified Caregiving Consultant!


Chris MacLellan is the host of Healing Ties Radio and the author of “What’s The Deal with Caregiving?”  

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Become A Certified Caregiving Consultant

Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself. John Dewey

Chris MacLellan became a full-time caregiver to his partner, Richard Schiffer, after he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer two years ago.

Chris and Richard, January 2014

You made a difference when you cared for a family member.

Now, make a difference to those who care for their family member.

The next session of the Certified Caregiving Consultant training program begins the week of July 4.   Join us!

Use the coupon code “Chris” and receive 20% off the cost of the course.


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New Call In Show: What’s Life Like After Caregiving Ends?

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them.  Buddha

Starting on Sunday, June 26 8 p.m. ET,  (and every 4th Sunday of the month) Denise Brown from and I will début a new monthly call in podcast for caregivers.   We’ll pose a question that sparks a conversation and  we’d love for you to be a part of the conversation.  You can give us a call during our live show at (646) 652-4944 to share your thoughts. You also can join the show’s chat room and discuss your experiences with other listeners.  To listen to the show and to join the chat room, simply click here!  

On June 26, we’re discussing this question: What’s life like after caregiving ends? Be sure to call us and tell us what it’s been like for you. What’s been difficult? Easy? What’s surprised you? Who’s surprised you? And, let us know what you worry about as you look into a future without caregiving.

About Denise
Denise, founder of, coaches family caregivers before, during and after caregiving. She’s the author of “The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey” and “Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers.”

About Chris
Chris is the founder of the Whole Care Network , author of “What’s the Deal with Caregiving?” and the host of “Healing Ties,” a weekly radio show.


Denise Brown,

Chris MacLellan

Chris MacLellan 

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Having The Talk: How To Make End Of Life Wishes Easier

The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Richard and I during one of our many talks about what he wanted. This conversation centered around his medication.

Having “The Talk” does not have to be hard or difficult, yet the talk does have to happen at some point in our lives.   I’m not referring to the birds and the bees talk our parents have with us when we are adolescents. “The Talk” I am referring to is the talk we have with our loved ones about end-of-life wishes.

As a caregiver, one of our most important roles, if not the most important one of them all, is to be an  advocate. How can one advocate if you do not know the wishes or desires of the person in your care?  Richard and I always had the ability to talk openly about his wishes. In fact, our end-of-life conversation happened spontaneously; by the end of the conversation, our tears of love and joy were comforted by the knowledge that I knew exactly what he wanted.  “I will tell you when I am ready for hospice” he bellowed…Yes you did!

the talk

Click on the image to purchase Jack’s book

Recently I had the opportunity to visit with Jack Tatar who has written a book called “Having the Talk.”  “Having the Talk” focuses on ways to begin a family discussion earlier rather than later, about planning for the later life issues of a retired or retiring parent. Jack’s research demonstrated to him people have “the Talk”, but they have it too late, either when there’s little that can be changed, or after expectations have been set by siblings about “who gets what.” When this happens, families are torn apart, and loved ones who played together and protected each other throughout their entire lives now find themselves not talking to each other, usually all the way to their deathbeds.

Here is our recent episode of “Healing Ties” featuring Jack Tatar as we discuss how to have those difficult end-of-life conversation.  

While I understand not everyone is going to be able to have the same experience of having “The Talk” like Richard and I did, let me share a few suggestions on how you might approach this delicate conversation:

  • Always use open-ended question
  • Don’t force the conversation, if there is strong resistance, back off and revisit it at another time
  • Express the importance of  the need for you to be comforted, knowing that by following their wishes, makes it easier on you
  • Enlist the help of an objective third-party
  • Use examples of family and friends.
  • Learn about The Five Wishes 

I believe there are two common aspects to caregiving that everyone experiences, there is a beginning and there is an end, and in most cases, we are not prepared for either one of these life changing events!  It is difficult to plan for the unexpected, but having a plan in place does help temper the confusion when an emergency happens.

Have the talk…you will be glad that you did!


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Christopher MacLellan, MA is a Certified Senior Advisor, Certified Caregiving Consultant, the author of “What’s The Deal with Caregiving?” and the host of “Healing Ties™” podcast.

All rights reserved ©WholeCareNetwork, Inc.

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