Creating A Memory Cafe Directory


Try to learn something about everything and everything about something.  Thomas Huxley

The month of November is always an exciting time as we look ahead to Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season.   November is also significant for family caregivers as November is designated as National Family Caregivers month.  November is also designated as Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month.  Family Caregiving  and Alzheimer’s disease  go hand in hand, it is proper that they both share a month together.

Our caregiving journey did not include the insidious disease of Alzheimer or dementia. However thousands upon thousands of family caregivers care for a family member or friend  who struggle with memory loss.   The common denominator for all family caregivers is to find safe places where you and caree can enjoy life as much as a day in caregiving will allow.

As I have come to learn, those who suffer from memory loss often find it difficult to  go to loud and unfamiliar places.  We know isolation starts to occur when we feel there 2016-11-01-2is no viable option, rather, it’s just easier to stay home  than to do deal with the obstacles of the unknown.

But what if there was a safe place for those incurring memory loss and their caregivers?

KalendarKards is creating a Memory Cafe Directory where people can socialize, listen to music, play games and other activities. They can simply enjoy the company of those with these things in common.  A Memory Cafe is a safe and comfortable space and great place for individuals with Alzheimer’s or any of the dementia’s. But it’s not just for them, the memory café for their caregivers as well.

The Memory Cafe Directory was started by KalendarKards and is operated by KalendarKards, LLC .  Memory Cafe’s are not everywhere, but they are growing quickly.

On this episode of Healing Ties, Dave Wiederrich CEO and Co-Founder at KalendarKards provides us with a detailed description of the Memory Cafe Directory and how you can start one of your own.

 Listen in and learn how Dave Wiederrich and KalendarKards are creating Healing Ties all round us!

By creating a comprehensive national directory for Memory Cafe’s, KalendarKards believe they can help raise awareness of the value Memory Cafe’s bring to families.  I happen to agree!

 Join us in Chicago for the First National Caregiving Conference on December 2nd & 3rd.  Visit Caregiving.com for further details “

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

 

 

 

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Preventing One Million Falls


The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless. Jean-Jacques Rousseau

According to the Centers for Disease Control: “each year, millions of older people—those 65 and older—fall. In fact, more than one out of four older people falls each year, but less than half tell their doctor. Falling once doubles your chances of falling again.

Falls Are Serious and Costly

But what if there was a way to encourage those 65 and older (well, everyone for that matter) to exercise and create better balance?  Well now, you’ve come to the right place!

Dr. Sheryl Flynn is the founder and CEO of Blue Marble Health, a software company that specializes in developing tools that support healthy aging and chronic disease management.  Dr. Flynn founded Blue Marble Health because she wanted to develop tools that could directly impact older adults while supporting their care team.  I just love that!

2016-10-28-4Dr. Flynn’s Health in Motion platform offers older adults and those with chronic disease to screen their fall risk while offering exercises to help improve balance and coördination.  And best of all, the App is user-friendly along with the ability to send information to your care team.   Having your health care information readily available at a moment’s notice helps mitigate emergencies when we have to interact with healthcare professionals who are not regularly on our health-care team.

Dr. Flynn has a goal to prevent one million falls within the next five years.  This is a lofty, but attainable goal with the Health in Motion App.  Don’t just take it from me!  Listen in and learn how Dr. Flynn and the staff are preventing falls and creating Healing Ties all around us!

As an added bonus, enter the code “Healing Ties” and receive 20% off your order!

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

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Preserving Our Legacy


The good life is one inspired by love and guided by knowledge. Bertrand Russell

2016-10-27-3I am often inspired by family caregivers who share their story; I find story sharing to be healing.  One of the reasons I started to blog about our Caregiving experience was to have an outlet to share our story.   When we share our story, there is a sense of relief that you have been heard, that your experience might be of help to someone.

Mike Stith from One Legacy has a passion for sharing inspirational stories.  Mike has helped families preserve their family legacy through story telling that he captures in a variety of ways.    Mike believes that in sharing stories, On Legacy is adding a special piece of history for future generations.  I think he is right on target with that assessment.

I did not have the opportunity to meet three of my four grandparents, however I do remember my five older siblings talking about all four of our grandparents with fond memories.  How I wish we would have been able to capture my grandparents legacy so that I would have had a better sense of my grandparents.  One Legacy is preserving family stories for future generations in a way will capture the hearts of future family generations.

Don’t just take it from me, listen in and learn how Mike Stith from One Legacy is creating Healing Ties all around us!

To learn more about One Legacy visit them on-line at http://onelegacy.com/

You can reach Mike Stith via email at mstith@onelegacy.com   Twitter https://twitter.com/one_legacy_com  Facebook https://www.facebook.com/onelegacyllc

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

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Open Enrollment and the Affordable Care Act


Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. Confucius

Working family caregivers often struggle balancing work and caregiving duties.  Many caregivers who work full-time worry, about losing their benefits because of the amount of time they have to take off of work because of their role as a family caregiver.

The Affordable Care Act when into effect in 2015 and much as been written about the pros and cons of the Affordable Care Act.  As an self employed individual myself, I am grateful for the Affordable Care Act as, like 90% of today’s American’s, I am fully covered.

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Photo Credit: Wage Works

 I have not experienced some of the trials and stipulations that I read about in regards to the Affordable Care Act as I was able to stick with the same physician and my level of care has not changed one bit.  I know that is not the same for everyone!

Open enrollment is upon us and sometimes understanding the Affordable Care Act and  how it best works for  you is a daunting task.   Not today!   On this episode of Healing Ties, Independent Insurance Broker Sam Chalfant breaks down the Affordable Care Act in simplistic terms in preparation for open enrollment on November 1st.

Listen in and learn how Sam Chalfant is creating Healing Ties all around us!

Sam Chalfant is an Independent Insurance Broker in the state of Florida. Sam welcomes your call at 954.257.8788.  Visit Sam on line at Chalfant Insurance Services

See our video podcast!

Join us in Chicago for the First Annual National Caregiving Conference.  For more details on this exciting event, visit Caregiving.com by clicking here! 

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The Exceptional Theater Company


Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. Jonathan Swift

In this election season when there is so much negativity on our airways, it is nice to come across someone with a”feel-good” story that warms your heart.  Debra Lombard has your feel-good story of the day!

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Chris MacLellan with special guest, Debra Lombard Executive Director of The Exceptional Theater Company 

As the Executive Director for The Exceptional Theater Company, Debra has turn her passion for theater and the arts into a career that many of us dream of doing.   The Exceptional Theater Company is designed to teach theater to persons with physical and and intellectual challenges which creates opportunities for for personal growth in countless ways.

Debra’s program is filled with many feel good stories as the program enhances verbal skills, improves movement, builds self-confidence and advances socialization while stimulating free thinking.  During our conversation on Healing Ties Radio, Debra and I both recognized how this interactive environment created respite care for caregivers!

Don’t just take it from me;  listen into our episode of Healing Ties and learn how Debra Lombard is creating Healing Ties all around us!

2016-10-11-54Oh…and stay tuned to the end of the show and learn about the terrific story on how the logo was created for The Exceptional Theater, the story will bring a tear to your eye and a smile to your face!

Join us in Chicago for the First Annual National Caregiving Conference on December 2nd and 3rd hosted by Denise Brown as Caregiving.com!  To learn more about the conference and to sign up to attend, visit Caregiving.com 

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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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