Tag Archives: Family

How to Help Your Loved One Overcome the Fear of Asking For Help

We welcome back our guest writer Trevor to “The Purple Jacket”

Overcoming obstacles in life is only half the battle. The other half is living and functioning after the obstacle has been overcome. Addiction is a complex disease that individuals can violently be sucked into, without any recollection or realization that a substance or behavior has suddenly defined their life so dramatically. Pulling oneself out of addiction is a process – a journey that takes almost a lifetime to conquer. The desire to end an addiction is self-respect, but seeking help itself might possibly be the most frightening step, but the most courageous one and a mark of strength.

By seeking guidance outside of their own opinions, an individual with addiction is completely opening up their emotions and memories, leaving an incredibly personal part of themselves vulnerable to criticism – by no means is that a walk in the park. The fear in asking for help is completely valid and should never be something seen as humorous or a disposition to be taken lightly. Asking for help is always the hardest step. As the supporting friend, family member, or spouse – you are an assurance to your loved one that there is value in seeking help. You are their support system that provides positive affirmations and actions. Not to mention, you also remind your loved one there is a meaningful life outside of addiction, and they have so much to experience that makes life worth living, and that it can be done without unhealthy coping mechanisms and tendencies.

 First, sitting down and having an honest, raw conversation with your loved one sets everything on the table and gives you both an opportunity to share how you feel. You are able to learn why they want to take this journey. On the other hand, your loved one will always remember that someone understands their circumstances to the best of their abilities and is willing to be supportive. The utter transparency between you both is a solace, and may even make your loved one speak more easily and freely to a professional therapist or support group in the future. By your encouragement and love, it can give a loved one a little push to take the initiative to find help on their own. You can hold them accountable but also encourage their independence – because self-reliance is all that is necessary. Remember when you asked for help once? It was monumental to feel acknowledged by another human being.

 If your loved one wishes, go with them to support groups, wait in the seating area of a psychiatric office, or attend an event with them that will be a bit more bearable with a person by their side. The actual presence of someone during a difficult moment can make all the difference in the world. It is natural to be hesitant doing certain things alone, especially when particular moments require openness.

Besides meaningful conversations and formal treatments to addiction, simply having fun with your loved one is a break from anything disheartening in life. By experiencing the world outside of addiction, your loved one can see that there is truly an end-result to the recovery process. It is easy to lose oneself in addiction, question self-identity, and spiral into a dark place. But by enjoying themselves and letting go of pain – even just for a few minutes – your loved one can find pleasures in things and hobbies that they once loved, or will come to love.

 If there is one last thing that helps your loved one, it is never losing a sense of purpose from the trials of their mistakes and relapses, triumphs, and self-doubt that gives them the courage to ask for help. Life isn’t a race to see who can get to the finish line with the least amount of trauma and scars. Life is what they make it, and you hope that even through unexpected and painful bumps along the way – there is not an end, but a never-ending opportunity to give themselves an existence they have always wanted.

Trevor is a freelance writer and recovering addict & alcoholic whose been clean and sober for over 5 years. Since his recovery began he has enjoyed using his talent for words to help spread treatment resources and addiction awareness. In his free time, you can find him working with recovering addicts or outside enjoying about any type of fitness activity imaginable.  Trevor can be reached at 

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/trevor-mcdonald
Website: https://about.me/trevormcdonald
Email: trevorc.mcdonald@gmail.com

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It Is All About Family

Family is not an important thing. It’s everything.  Michael J. Fox

Healing Ties Radio show kicks off our first show of the year on Wednesday evening with a conversation about Family.  We will visit with all five of my siblings and their spouses and we talk about parenting, grand kids and most importantly, bonds that we create and show with our family and friends, especially as we age.  We will be debuting our new feature, ‘The Motivational Minute with Judy Ryan from Life Work Systems and of course, our Healing Ties Juke Box will be playing a special tune half way through the show!

To listen to the show live at 7:00 pm on Health Cafe LIVE, simply click here! 

Cannot listen live? NO WORRIES…All of our shows are available ON DEMAND on our Healing Ties iHeart Channel by simply clicking here! 






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Tips on Effectively Balancing your Professional Life and Caring for Your Aging Parents

Today I am pleased to welcome a guest blogger on ‘The Purple Jacket’ , Fiona Jameson.

Tips on Effectively Balancing your Professional Life and Caring for Your Aging Parents

There comes a time in life when you will need to help care for your aging parents. While many aging people prefer to maintain their independence as much as possible, most will welcome the help. It will be hard with your busy professional life and family of your own, but with a little help and a few tips the balancing act will be easier to accomplish. When the aid that your aging parents needs is more than you are able to provide, respite care may be the best answer.

blog1Move your Parents into your Home

In some cases, it is easier to help your parents and maintain their independence as much as possible is to move them in with you. This may mean purchasing a new house, making a few renovations or updating a few things to make it comfortable for them. When aging parents live with their children and their families, someone is around a good amount of the time to help them with their needs.

Schedule Meal Deliveries

Several meal delivery services and private chefs can be accessed to ensure that your aging parents eat balanced meals. If you do not have a work schedule that coincides with their eating schedule, having meals delivered to them daily, or even weekly, will provide them with that nutrition. All they will have to do is warm up the items in the microwave or in the oven and it is ready to eat.

blog2Consider Assisted Living Situations

In order to help your parents maintain a good amount of their independence, ask them to consider moving to an assisted living community. Here they will have access to medical staff in case of an emergency and can get assistance with cleaning, laundry and other items if needed. These communities are safe areas with many having security cameras and entrance gates. Within these communities are other aging persons that your parents can bond with.

Visiting your parents can be done anytime you’d like, since the living areas are like them having an apartment of their own. It is one of the easier ways to manage their care and be able to help them with things like getting to doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping and picking up medication. It will be less stressful for you since worrying about their well-being will be less of a burden.

Look into Hiring a Caregiver

If you have spoken with your parents and they refuse to move into your home or consider an assisted living situation, offer to help find a caregiver that can come daily, or a few times per week. This can be someone to come in and clean, cook meals or just provide companionship. A caregiver can also drive your parents to appointments, activities, entertainment, grocery shopping and anywhere else they need or want to go. It helps both you and your parents. The weekends, of course, should be the time when you take time away from work to spend with your parents helping them with maintenance, talking and whatever else they might want to do.

blog3Spend Weekends Helping Them

When your professional life doesn’t leave time for you to visit and help your aging parents as much as you’d like, be sure to set time aside on the weekends for them. If they are still living in their own home, cut the grass in the summer months and help maintain flower beds, vegetable gardens and their home. While it may seem like having a second job, a few hours a day on the weekends makes all the difference in the world. They spent their lives raising you and your siblings, it’s now the job of the children to help take care of them. It shows a great appreciation for your parents and can add to the longevity of their lives.

 Consider Respite Care

If in-home care and assisted living situations are absolutely out of the question, a respite situation may be needed. As parents age, they can become ill, frail and unable to take care of themselves. This may also be something that is far beyond what you are able to provide. A respite situation ensures that your parents will be well cared for. They will have exercise, balanced meals, companionship and their medications distributed at specific times daily. Many respite facilities also have activities, crafts and social events for residents to partake in. This helps keep them feeling like there is a purpose to fight and stay stubborn.

blog4Get Other Family Members Involved

Even with a busy professional life, there are other members in the family that can help care for your aging parents. Your children can be taken to visit for a few hours during the week to share what is going on in school and listen to stories told by your parents. Siblings and spouses can also do their part to help out by taking turns going to help out for a little bit each day after their days are done. When some of the tasks are taken off of your shoulders, balancing your career and caring for your parents is absolutely possible.

 Parental care is something that every family has to face at some point. It is up to the members of the family to work out a schedule to help them. You can balance your career and take on all of the responsibilities yourself if you wish. Use the tips above to make balancing your professional life and caring for your parents easier.

  •  Fiona Jameson is a Psychology major. Since her college, she has actively taken part in a lot of social service programs which further enhanced her urge to help out the elderly and disabled. Over the years, she has closely worked as a consultant with several philanthropic organizations, guiding those who need her help.


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GrandParents Day: In The Beginning


Grandparents are don’t just drop from the sky, there is always a starting point…Our family started in 1938…


Stuart and Annabel MacLellan Circa late 1970’s

Annabel MacLellan_edited-3_1024

Dad was from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island:  Mom grew up in the 9th Ward in New Orléans, Louisiana which was devastated by hurricane Katrina.  My memory of New Orléans is from my Grandmothers home on Gentilly Blvd close to the historic Fairgrounds Park.

46 Prince Street PEI. jpg

Prince Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Gentilly Blvd New Orléans by the Fairgrounds

My parent’s met in St. Louis in 1938 and soon started a family and settled in the suburbs of St. Louis, Missouri!

St. Louis Gateway Arch

Joseph Avenue

Bungalow in Brentwood, MO

From Stuart and Annabel, six children were born!


Jimmy, JoAnn, Merrille, Chris, Gerri, Mary. Due to Age restrictions from ‘some’ of my sisters, the pecking order is out of sink in this picture!

Stuart and Annabel have long made their transition to eternal life, Annabel in 1984 and Stuart in 1987.  What they started from six, grew into 24 grandchildren and now over 40 great-grandchildren.  Because of their poor health, they did not have the opportunity to enjoy their grandchildren as much as they would have liked, not to mention their great-grandchildren which came long after their life.


Adding Sissy’s husband George; Chris’ partner Richard; Jimmy’s wife Pat.

At times I don’t even know myself or even who you are. Happy, sad, mad, BigGlassesglad. Yet good friends to the end. We grew up together, under the same roof. Fighting and screaming. I escaped by daydreaming. 5 individuals then there were 6. I was scared, were you? I didn’t know which way to go. I wanted to be noticed, I wanted to be seen, all I could do was dream…dream of living with Mother 175Dear. I just wanted someone to tuck me in. If I wasn’t so hard on myself I’d probably be thin.

My defects of character number a few, and when I start thinking of them I feel blue. Have your dreams come true? Have you done all you wanted to do? By the way my favorite color is blue. We were all set free, to drift alone to find 438165our way. Some never came back home to stay, we’ve done the best we can, even with the cards dealt in our hand. We’ve all had our ups and downs, but always land with both feet on the ground.

Everyone should be proud and say it out loud! Our kids have grown up in spite of our faults, hopefully we didn’t fall short. They’ll know we tried our best and they will too. I will give myself credit and so should you. Your kids are great and mine are too! We’re all getting older,3 Sisters Minus 1 at Dr. Jazz (2) we’re in the prime of our lives.

Everyday is a new adventure and I’m very grateful I’m not wearing dentures. Don’t forget to take time to smell the roses. I’m still younger and that’s how it TLOCJMgoes, or until Chris opposes.

A call or a visit is good medicine too! And another reminder, I younger than you! Mary MacLellan Stough


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Grandparents Day Poems by Meo!


Grandparents Poems from my Sister, Mary MacLellan Stough


Mary MacLellan Stough



God has created all things big and small and in His great wisdom He created Granddaughters best of all! (Grandsons too!)

Pinks, purples, ruffles and all the times you get lots of snuggled. You sing, you dance together and you realize life could not be better.

Mary with GrandSparkling eyes, cute little noses, kisses from head to toes. Kayla with those big brown eyes.

Alyssa sometimes can be shy. Her eyes are as blue as the sky. You make me swell with pride. I love it best when you are by my side.

You both stole my heart the first time we met. I was so happy I’m sure I wept. Although we are separated by miles, I think of you often (Gavin too) and I smile.

Sleepover’s at my house have been few and far between but I hope you will be seen sleeping on my canopy bed just like it use to be.

I miss our times together and treasure the times we are together. But youMary with Grand2 know I love  you but know I love you forever.

We have this special bond and always will.

Hearing from you is always a thrill. I love you every minute of the day not just on Grandparents Day.

Hugs and kisses to both of you and Gavin too.  Love  the New Nana from me to you. Mary MacLellan-Stough


Grandmotherhood: To babies you and new

To their moms who are young too. The greatness of birth, the joy of life, that birdfirst kiss and the goosebumps you get. Our kids are ours to have and to hold, to love and to cherish…that is a natural thing. But grandkids are beyond anything. As far as they are concerned, grandparents are the greatest thing!

You can sing off-key, you can bounce them on your knee. Did you ever believe what a joy they could be. They look at us with wonder and as us “why” then they ponder.

You do sing-a-longs and skip-a-longs, you blow bubbles and listen to their pruplerosetroubles. But nothing could be better to hear…”Can we go to the park.” or” Nana, I’m so afraid of the dark..” “Nana, when are you off work?” “I love you, Nana.”

The thunder rumbles and makes their hearts tremble. If feels good to make them feel better. Thank you God for my precious gifts. Send your angels to guide and protect them, and their parents too because, without them none of this would be true. Mary MacLellan Stough –


Mary MacLellan-Stough

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Happy Birthday Caregiving.com!



Denise Brown, Caregiving.com

It is not often someone get’s to celebrate a 17th birthday twice, but that is what is going on today with Denise Brown at Caregiving.com! Denise registered CareGiving.com seventeen years ago on August 3rd; Denise and her website continue to offer soothing support, wonderful direction for a host of family Caregivers that instantly become your extended family.  Denise has been a mentor to many Caregivers and always, I MEAN ALWAYS, is there to lend her support, wisdom and care.  

There are an estimated 66 million family caregivers just in the United States.  Caregiving is about collaboration, not about competition. Each family Caregiver has their own Caregiving journey story to tell, yet it is through those stories where Caregivers connect with each other, understand each other, are there for each other.  Denise Brown and Caregiving.com is a perfect example of this philosophy.  

Take the time to visit Denise at Caregiving.com by simply clicking here! You’ll find Denise as an author, keynote speaker, radio show host and a friend to many.  But what you will really find without evening knowing it, is that gentle  guide and support that every caregiver needs while on their journey from someone who really does care.  

I found Caregiving.com two years ago when I started to write about my Caregiving Journey and have not looked back since.  Denise has encouraged me to find my voice through blogging, and my weekly radio show; my life has been changed for the better by Denise and my extended family of Caregivers on Caregiving.com   Your life will be changed too by visiting Caregiving.com!  Stop by today or anytime this week and wish  Denise another 17th birthday and see what she has in store for everyone during her birthday celebration!  





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Happy Thanks-Caregiving


We are thankful for those who are Caregivers today, those  who will be Caregivers tomorrow and especially those who have been Caregivers in the past.


We share in our Caregiving Journey with each other in a special way, knowing that while our roads might be different, our paths are filled with comfort and joy from the support we receive from each other!

From our Caregiving Journey to yours…Happy Thanksgiving from                  ‘The Purple Jacket‘ and The Bow Tie Guys’



‘The Bow-Tie-Guys’

Remember…We Might Have Cancer...

But Cancer Does Not Have Us! 





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November – National Care Givers Month

November is National Care Givers Month!

 We all know some one who is a caregiver, whether we find ourselves taking care of a loved one, know someone who takes care of a loved one, or even if we have heard an inspritational story on the news.

 In today’s busy world it can be easy to forget to show our appreciation to those who make a difference in our lives and the lives of others everyday. As we prepare to celebrate another Thanksgiving, let us give thanks to those who choose to spend their days serving others.

“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.”
Alan Cohen

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