Caregiver Call In Show: How Do You Manage Long Distance Caregiving


Join Denise Brown from Caregiving.com and me tonight (September 25th) on Blog Talk Radio  for our monthly Caregiver Call-In Show for a conversation on long distance Caregiving: What’s it like to care for a family member from a distance?

Call us at (646) 652-4944 during tonight’s live 30-minute talk show which airs at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT). Share your answers to this question: What’s it like to care from a distance?  To join our chat room and to listen live, simply click here! 

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Join us in Chicago on December 2 and 3 for the First Annual National Caregiving Conference hosted by Denise Brown at Caregiving.com.   Complete a paid registration for our First Annual National Caregiving Conference on or before October 1, 2016, for a chance to win a free night (Friday, December 2, or Saturday, December 3, your choice) at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare.

To learn more about our conference click here! 

 

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Cancer, Caregiving and Advocacy


There is only one rule for being a good talker – learn to listen. Christopher Morley

Just this week I was asked to participate in a splendid article written by Bill Briggs of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle about family caregivers “Finding their calling: Why  cancer caregivers join cause”.    Bill’s questions to me were thought provoking and struck me at my inner core and caused me to ask myself, “Why am I an advocate?”

After pondering Bill’s questions about caregivers finding their calling, I am reminded about a book my good friends  Joni Aldrich and Christopher Jerry wrote entitled Advocacy Heals UYes advocacy does heal us!

I do believe family caregivers find a calling through caregiving. Family caregivers have an innate ability to understand each other; to validate another caregiver’s feelings, just when the time is right.  That is why I believe it so important for every family caregiver, (as they feel comfortable)  to share their story, because when you have been in the caregiving trenches, you understand the agony… and the joy that caregiving brings to a relationshipSharing your caregiving experience is not only therapeutic, it helps current and future family caregivers cope and understand.  That’s why so many people find their calling after caregiving ends.  Through story telling, we impact the lives of others, while allowing advocacy to play a key role in our own healing when our loved one life transitions and caregiving ends.  (Thank You Joni and Chris!)

Family caregivers are changing the landscape in America.  Take for instance the working family caregiver who advocates for paid time off of work to care for their elderly parent or a disabled spouse.  This reminds me of the child care crisis in the 70’s when employers recognized that they were losing good employees because there was no legal protection in place for employees to take time off of work to care for a new born or sick child. By 1993 FLMA was enacted sick-leavewhile employers made adjustments in personnel policies to accommodate working parents.   Now changes in FLMA are being proposed through local, state and nation wide legislation to impact the lives of family caregivers.  This is happening not only because caregivers are sharing their stories, this is happening because family caregiving is taking place in every neighborhood, and in every boardroom. While in the midst of caregiving, we as family Caregivers do not recognize that we are the backbone of the American Health Care System.   Yet when caregiving ends, and we have time to reflect on our time spent as a caregiver, we come to recognize the important role we played as an advocate.   That is why we as caregivers, continue on with our mission; to share, to educate, and to heal.

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

Even though Richard was 20+ years older than me, caregiving was the farthest thing on our mind when we started to develop our beautiful relationship.  Caregiving is not on anyone’s bucket list, Caregiving just happens.  The family caregiver is the unsung hero, and each an every one of us is an expectant caregiver.  I often relate caregivers to that of being a Servant Leader, putting the needs of someone else, first.  When Richard was diagnosed with esophageal  cancer, we  came up with a motto that got us through the day.  “We Might Have Cancer, But Cancer Never Has Us.”  Now, more than two years past his life transition, our motto is still the same, we just use it differently to positively impact the lives of other family caregivers.  Because that is what family caregivers do!

 Join us in Chicago for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference on December 2 & 3.  Register now by clicking here! 

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

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The Love Not Fear Movement


“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Elizabeth Noelle-Neumann was a German political scientist who developed a mass communication theory called the Spiral of Silence.  The Spiral of Silence is a term meant to refer to the tendency of people to remain silent when they feel that their views are in opposition to the majority view on a subject.  People who feel they are in the minority, sense isolation, fear or exclusion  and tend to remain silent instead of voicing opinions.  Often used in a political or media content,  Noelle-Neumann’s Spiral of Silence mass communication theory explains the growth and spread of public opinion.

It’s time to break our silence and exchange fear for love. 

People, like myself, who have lived in fear for a variety of reasons, often tend to stay silent until they experience that “Ah-Ha” moment and come to realize that fear is useless.th (2)As a young man, my fear always centered around my sexual orientation.  As I have grown older, my fear has shifted to fearing success. What a quagmire; life is a process...I am letting go of my fears.

In today’s society,  there seems to be a cultural bias that leans towards fear? Cable news tends to report more negative aspects of life and politics: Are things really bad as they appear (political climate) or is our current climate permeated by a lack of leadership, poor communication skills or…fear?   Where has open, honest and respectable dialogue gone from our leaders?   The Spiral of Silence is alive in our own fears.

One of the ways of letting go of fear is to embrace communication from the standpoint of love.  That is what the Love Not Fear Movement is all about.  I think all of us recognize from our diversity, we are not always going to agree,  nor am I am suggesting that we live in acalmPollyanna world.  However, when we focus our communication to others with love, we tear down walls, not build them. We lift people up, not criticize them. We disagree with respect, and learn from our differences.   We then break the Spiral of Silence

How do we build a community that surrounds us with the lovenotfearlogomessage of love?  Listen in and learn how Jeff Johnson is eliminating fear (and the Spiral of Silence) through the Love Not Fear Movement!   Because in the end…Love Is The Winner! 

Chris MacLellan is the author of “What’s The Deal with Caregiving? and the Executive Producer and Host of Healing Ties Radio. 

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Smart Home Technology that Connects Caregivers


Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke

The Purple Jacket is pleased to welcome back one of our favorite guest bloggers, Maria Alice

Caring for a loved one at home can be a challenge, but it’s also tremendously rewarding. Seniors are the fastest growing demographic in the United States, and the number of people who require care and monitoring at home continues to rise. Fortunately, modern technology now provides a broad assortment of tools that make in-home caregiving less stressful, more effective and safer than ever.

2016-07-28-1469685942-7343603-smarthomeThe Smart Home

For the aging or disabled, home automation offers great promise as a way to make their home safer, more accessible and better equipped to handle their specific needs. The modern smart home features a host of inter-connected appliances, fixtures and systems that are easily voice-controlled and able to be set to schedules, from locking doors at night to turning on lights and opening blinds in the morning.

Improving Quality of Life

The influx of smart products designed to aid seniors and disabled people is a significant step toward providing a higher quality of life. Accessible controls and automated scheduling mean more control over the local environment, granting more of the independence and agency that is so important to so many seniors. Caregivers, too, can enjoy the benefits of automation. The ability to automate many of the tasks that once demanded their attention leaves more time for caregivers to care for their loved ones, handle other tasks or even take a bit of personal time.

Improving Health Care

For caregivers, the health of their loved one is always a worry. Here, too, technology offers a variety of aids. Automated medication dispensers allow the elderly to handle their own medications without the typical risks of forgetting pills or taking the wrong dosages. Wearable technology, while still in the early stages of development, promises to provide a convenient and unobtrusive way for caregivers and even health professionals to monitor important vital signs and other health information.

For those caring for someone afflicted with Alzheimer’s, devices such as GPS-enabled trackers, door alarms and other monitors even offer the ability to send immediate alerts to a caregiver should their loved one attempt to leave the house after a set time.

Safety Through Technology

Security, too, is of paramount importance when it comes to the elderly. Remote monitoring allows caregivers to keep tabs on their loved one at any time, employing home security cameras not only for protection against outside threats but to allow monitoring from any location. Many of today’s security systems also feature monitoring for fire, carbon monoxide and other potential hazards.

Security can be further enhanced by installing door locks that can be automated or remotely controlled, implementing access codes to control who can enter the home and at what times and using a camera to safely identify visitors at the door.

The smart technology revolution is barely underway, yet it has already radically altered how caregivers protect and care for their loved ones. The elderly, ill or disabled finally have the tools to allow them more control, independence and accessibility to take on aspects of their lives that they were previously not able to manage, while technology also lessens the burden on caregivers. This benefits everyone, resulting in happier seniors, improved safety and quality of care and less stress for those who care for them.

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.

Join Us in Chicago on December 2 and 3 for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference hosted by Caregiving.com.  Registration is now open by clicking here!  .  Sponsorship  and Exhibitor opportunities available, contact me direct at Chris@thepurplejacket.com for details.  

For additional information on the conference click in the National Caregiving Conference click on the icons below or visit http://www.caregiving.com/national-caregiving-conference-hub/

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Reimagining the Care Experience—For Our Loved Ones and Ourselves


They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. Andy Warhol

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Mel Coppola

Mel Coppola is enriching the care experience and changing lives through advocacy, coaching and education .   On this episode of Healing Ties, Mel shares her wisdom on how we as caregivers can re-imagine the care experience, for our self, our care partner and our loved ones.

Listen in and learn how Mel Coppola is creating Healing Ties all around us!

 

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Visit Mel on line at http://www.heartsincare.com/

Join Us in Chicago on December 2 and 3 for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference hosted by Caregiving.com.  Registration is now open by clicking here!  .  Sponsorship  and Exhibitor opportunities available, contact me direct at Chris@thepurplejacket.com for details.  

For additional information on the conference click in the National Caregiving Conference click on the icons below or visit http://www.caregiving.com/national-caregiving-conference-hub/

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Authors Spotlight: Kathryn Leigh Scott


The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease. Voltaire

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Kathryn Leigh Scott 

On this episode of Healing Ties Author’s Spotlight, we visit with Kathryn Leigh Scott who has written writes a compelling story about her husband’s diagnosis of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) in her book,  LAST DANCE AT THE SAVOY.   

Progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) is an uncommon brain disorder that affects movement, control of walking (gait) and balance, speech, swallowing, vision, mood and behavior, and thinking. The disease results from damage to nerve cells in the brain. EstimatesLastDanceAtTheSavoyCoverBorder vary, but only about three to six in every 100,000 people worldwide, or approximately 20,000 Americans, have PSP—making it much less common than Parkinson’s disease (another movement disorder in which an estimated 50,000 Americans are diagnosed each year). Symptoms of PSP begin on average after age 60, but may occur earlier. Men are affected more often than women.

Listen and  learn how Kathryn Leigh Scott is creating “Healing Ties” all around us!

Join Us in Chicago on December 2 and 3 for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference hosted by Caregiving.com.  Registration is now open by clicking here!  .  Sponsorship  and Exhibitor opportunities available, contact me direct at Chris@thepurplejacket.com for details.  

For additional information on the conference click in the National Caregiving Conference click on the icons below or visit  http://www.caregiving.com/national-caregiving-conference-hub/

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Do You Know Your Numbers?


The great aim of education is not knowledge but action . Herbert Spencer

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Chris MacLellan with Dr. Sarah Koplow

Do you know your blood pressure?  Pulse?  Good and Bad Cholesterol?  The meaning of saturated fat?  And why is it important to your overall  health to know these important numbers?

On this episode of “Healing Ties” Dr. Sarah Koplow, PhD, RN  assistant professor from NOVA Southeastern School of Nursing breaks down these important numbers and why it is important for each one of us to “Know Our Numbers.”  Listen in and learn how Dr. Sarah Koplow is creating “Healing Ties” all around us! 

Join Us in Chicago on December 2 and 3 for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference hosted by Caregiving.com.  Registration is now open by clicking here!  .  Sponsorship  and Exhibitor opportunities available, contact me direct at Chris@thepurplejacket.com for details.  

For additional information on the conference click in the National Caregiving Conference click on the icons below! 

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Sunday August 28: Two Great Family Caregiver Events


 Join us on Sunday August 28th at 8 p.m. ET  on Blog Talk Radio for our monthly family caregiver call in show as I will be co-hosting with Denise Brown from Caregiving.com.  Our topic for Sunday’s show is “Dealing With The Daily Grind.”  To listen in and join our chat room log onto www.blogtalkradio.com/caregiving .    Guest call in line:  646.463.7486 to

FIRST CALLER RECEIVED A COPY OF MY BOOK: “What’s The Deal with Caregiving?” wpid-wp-1448113432219.jpeg

Twitter ChatAfter our call-is show is finished, take a half-hour break and jump over to Twitter for #carechat:  Sunday, August 28, at 9 p.m. ET (8 p.m. CT, 7 p.m. MT, 6 p.m. PT). Join us to connect and share with others who care for a family member or friend.

On Sunday, we’ll discuss how to balance work and caring for a family member friend. As part of the curriculum in order to graduate from Caregiving.com Certified Caregiving Consultant training program, I will lead the discussion on Sunday.  Interested in becoming a Certified Caregiving Consultant?  Final class of 2016 commences September 5th.

These questions will guide our discussion:

Q1.: What is your biggest obstacle balancing work and family caregiving?
Q2.: Why might it be beneficial to self-identify at work as a family caregiver?
Q3.: What are your fears in regards to self-identifying at work as a family caregiving?
Q4.: What is more difficult: Missing an important work meeting or an important doctors appointment. Why?
Q5.: How can your employer make your family caregiving journey easier for you?
Q6.: Is quitting your job the only solution?
Q7.: If I could change one thing about work and caregiving it would be…
Q8.: Why is a work-place caregiving support group important?

To take part in our chat, go to tweetchat.com, sign in with your Twitter credentials and follow our hashtag: #carechat.

Be sure to follow Chris on Twitter: @thebowtieguy and Denise @caregiving

CCC_CHRISInterested in becoming a Certified Caregiving Consultant?  Visit Caregiving.com for details by clicking here!  Final class for 2016 starts early September.  Use the coupon code Chris to receive 20% off the cost of the course!

Join us in Chicago for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference on December 2nd and 3rd.  For information on how you can be a sponsor orNational Caregiving Conference (1) exhibitor, email me at chris@thepurplejacket.com. Visit Caregiving.com for all the conference details by clicking here! 

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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 Sam@samchalfant.com 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 Chris@thepurplejacket.com .

Join us in Chicago for the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference in Chicago on December 2 & 3 hosted by Denise Brown at Caregiving.com.   Contact National Caregiving Conference (1)me direct at Chris@thepurplejacket.com  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.

 

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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 Caregiving.com.  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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