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.

Details: http://www.caregiving.com/become-a-certified-caregiving-consultant/

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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 Caregiving.com 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 CareGiving.com, 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.

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Denise Brown, CareGiving.com

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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Diploma In Hand


My diploma arrived today…WOW!  I am dedicating my diploma to Bernard Richard Schiffer and all caregivers with my pledge to continue to advocate for caregivers and their caree’s for as long as I live.  This diploma is for you, TLO!

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Dec. 3 in Chicago: 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference


The Whole Care Network and The Bow Tie Guy is excited to be part of the 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference Dec. 3 in Chicago:

chicago-890354_640Organize a caravan for your support group members. Create a car pool with your co-workers. Plan a get-away for you and your caregiving friends.

And, then come to Chicago in early December to connect, share, support and learn at our 1st Annual National Caregiving Conference.

Our conference will take place on Saturday, December 3, at the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, conveniently located minutes from O’Hare and a subway ride from downtown Chicago. Feel free to spend the weekend at the hotel; we’ve got a special conference room rate of $119. Our conference begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday morning and wraps up at 5 p.m. You can spend Sunday shopping or sight-seeing.

The goal of our conference is to connect you with support and solutions; empower you with insights and information; and entertain you with engaging and enlightening presentations. We also want to spark important conversations about what we need as family caregivers and former family caregivers in our communities, our workplaces and our health care system.

You’ll want to attend our conference if:

  • You care for a family member or friend;
  • You cared for a family member or friend;
  • You work with (or want to work with) family members, either in your own business or in an organization or agency;
  • You offer products and services for family caregivers.

Our conference will include an exhibit floor and educational sessions featuring three separate tracts:

  • Family Caregivers: Connect with others who care for a family member; attend sessions which speak to your experiences and gather resources which help you manage the experience.
  • Former Family Caregivers: Connect with others adjusting to their life after caregiving ends and attend sessions which help you enter the next phase of your life.
  • Professionals Working With Family Caregivers: Connect with others who work with family caregivers, either through their own business or in an agency or organization. Gain insights into the caregiving experience which will help you work well with family caregivers. In addition, learn marketing techniques to help you reach family caregivers.

The tentative cost for family caregivers and former family caregivers to attend is $10. The cost for those who work with family caregivers is $50; we’ll also offer CEUs. Your cost includes breakfast and lunch as well as access to our sessions and exhibitor floor on Saturday. You’ll pay for your travel expenses, including your hotel.

I’m working to create respite options so your caree receives care while you take a break. I’ll keep you posted.

Look for a call for presentations on July 5. Presentation proposals will be due August 2 and we’ll notify you if we’ve chosen your presentation on August 23.

We’d love to get a feel for how many will attend our conference. Please let us know via the form, below, your interest. We’ll also send you regular updates, including information about sponsors, presentations, special activities and exhibitors.

Follow this link to the form to submit your information.

http://www.caregiving.com/2016/06/dec-3-in-chicago-1st-annual-national-caregiving-conference/

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Webinar: Working and Caregiving Survey Results


e6d06522-963a-4fad-8fa6-11992d1bee66I was most thankful to participate in Caregiving.com  annual Working Family Caregiver Survey earlier this year.  Your participation helped me earn my masters degree in Leadership and Communication from Gonzaga University in Spokane Washington.  On Thursday, June 9th, join me with Denise Brown from Caregiving.com for our webinar on Working Family Caregivers as we discuss the results of the 2016 survey.   Follow the link below to register for a reminder for Thursday’s webinar via Caregiving.com: See Denise Brown’s post below.   See you on Thursday!

Topic: Second Annual Working and Caregiving Survey Results

Day and Time: Thursday, June 9, at Noon ET (11 a.m. CT, 10 a.m. MT, 9 a.m. PT)

A 2012 report released by AARP found that 42% of U.S. workers provided unpaid eldercare for a family member or friend over the last five years. And, 49% expect to do so in the coming five years. Caring for a family member is a workplace problem.

To better understand their experiences, we asked working family caregivers to share in our Second Annual Working Family Caregiver Survey. We partnered with Chris MacLellan (@thebowtieguy), who used our survey results for his thesis. 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 his work on his website, www.thebowtieguy.com.

Join us for this 45-minute webinar during which Chris and Denise M. Brown, founder of CareGiving.com, share the results of the Second Annual Working and Caregiving Survey.

Register to receive a reminder for our webinar below.

 

Register to receive a reminder for our webinar below by following this link: http://www.caregiving.com/caregiving-webinars/webinar-working-and-caregiving-survey-results/

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We Might Have Cancer, But Cancer Never Had Us


I learned through social media that Sunday June 5th is National Cancer Survivors Day which reminded me of the motto Richard  and I lived by after he was diagnosed  with esophageal cancer in 2011 -“We Might Have Cancer, But Cancer Never Had Us.”  Even in some of our most difficult days, we always stuck by our motto because it freed us from the burden of cancer. Sure, we were aware of the reality of the diagnosis, but the fact of the matter is, Richard outlived his original prognosis by more than two years.   I’m confident that  our motto kept us strong throughout the ordeal of dealing with his cancer diagnosis.

I started The Purple Jacket blog not to long after Richard  was diagnosed with cancer.  I remember the day the diagnoses came in quite well, “Mr. Schiffer has a massive growth where the esophagus and stomach attach” said the gastroenterologist.  After beating prostrate cancer, two cardiac by-pass surgeries, Richard looked at me and said, “I guess this will be something that will eventually take me.”  Richard was a realist, that was one of the many qualities I admired about him.

As I think about National Cancer Survivors day, I am reminded about the importance of caregivers sharing our stories with each other.  Writing the blog helped me and Richard cope with the diagnosis.  Our story in the Sun-Sentinel, In Sickness and In Health:  A Couples Final Journey  had a major impact on the importance of  sharing ones story.  I encourage everyone, as they feel comfortable, to share as much of their caregiving story as they possibility can. Sharing ones caregiving story, albeit it cancer, Alzheimer’s, or whatever health calamity you and your caree face, is a good antidote for any insidious  diagnosis, like cancer.

As we age and face different life challenges, we can look back on pictures to help tell the story of what we don’t see right before our eyes.   (2003 thru 2014 – click on the picture to see the year it was taken)

Pictures do tell a thousand stories.  What I did not see in January of 2014, was because I was looking at 2003.  The reality of a cancer diagnosis has a profound affect on everyone.  Sharing ones story has a profound affect too.  It reminds us that we are not alone in our caregiving journey.

I encourage you to share your caregiving story as you feel comfortable because cancer can never take away our love.  You see…”We Might Have Cancer, But Cancer Never Had Us”

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

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Seniors Finding Energy in Self-Driving Cars


We welcome back guest blogger, Maria Alice

Autonomous, or “self-driving,” cars have been making the news rounds for a few years. These computer-controlled vehicles are capable of following a preset course when the driver is impaired or would otherwise be unable to manage the pedals and steering wheel, meaning fewer accidents. These vehicles run on electricity instead of fossil fuels, providing a host of ecological and cost-friendly benefits. These two benefits alone are merely the tip of the iceberg of benefits that self-driving cars can provide.

An automated car means that seniors and others with mobility problems or handicaps can truly share the road with the rest of the driving populace. Elders unable to drive by themselves would simply need to tell the computer where they wanted to the car to take them and then relax. Furthermore, a self-driving car does not require additional, sometimes-costly, mechanical alterations that a conventional handicap-accessible car would require to drive around unsupervised.

The main draw of a self-driving car is that all of the content between point A and point B is handled by someone else. The passenger just needs to know those two points.

When looking into the big names behind this booming industry, Audi, Baidu, BMW, Ford, Google, Mercedes and Tesla, all make appearances. Google offers two different models of self-driving car: one is a “pod” lacking either a steering wheel or pedal and the other is a modified Lexus outfitted with sensors and an on-board computer.

While you may think that this technology is being championed by the elderly, the blind and visually-handicapped will also greatly benefit from the proliferation of self-driving cars. Independence is a big merit for these people and it can do a lot for their self-esteem to know that they don’t need to ask around for a ride or hunt for just enough fare to pay a public bus or taxi. A self-driving car is the perfect means of granting that sort of independence.

The benefits of driverless cars extend beyond just people – the environment gains a huge boon as well. According to Energy Companies Alberta, full integration of electric driverless cars would reduce fossil fuel consumption by nearly 3 billion gallons between relying on electricity, running the vehicle at a sustained speed, and streamlining traffic on busy highways. While electrical self-driving cars would not eliminate fossil fuel usage entirely, the technology could eventually be reworked to handle other industries that involve automotive devices, like the shipping industry.

While all of this information may sound wonderful, the reality is mired in legal quicksand. One speed bump on the road to automotive modernization and the disabled comes from the legal requirements for operating a vehicle. Most states and federal districts have laws on the books which dictate that a driver must be in full control of the vehicle at all times. This means that while driverless cars can be put into the marketplace, a designated driver must still remain within the vehicle as long as it is on the road.

Do we think self-driving cars are a worthy endeavor? Does the idea of giving your parents the freedoms they used to enjoy appeal to you, especially when several major automotive and technology industries are looking into them? Would you rest better not having to include time spent driving them around into your schedule? Do you care about renewable energy and the future of the planet’s health? The short answer to these questions is “yes.” All research points to driverless cars becoming common enough that the gas-guzzling auto will be a relic of the past and will greatly loosen our reliance upon technology that requires fossil fuels to operate.

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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