Tag Archives: Florida

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

It Would Have Been Awesome: But It Was!

“It Would Be Awesome To Get Married, Even If For One Day, Because It Would Solidify What We Already Know ” ~ Chris MacLellan November 2013

weddingringsWhen the clock struck 12:00 am on Tuesday, January 6th in the State of Florida, same-sex marriage became the law of this fine state: Hooray I said! Of course there will be people appalled by this decision to grant equal rights under the protection of marriage; bully to them! I wonder about those who ‘worry’ about granting equal rights to same-sex couples through marriage?  Do they need a ‘piece of paper’ to signify their love? We’ve heard the religious arguments, the family values arguments, heck, even heard that world might end if same-sex marriage became law. Last time I looked outside, the ground was still standing firm in this fine state of Florida.

Same sex couples have known for a zillion years that we do not need a ‘piece of paper’ to solidify our love; however that ‘piece of paper’ does solidify our equal rights.   Bigotry and hatred, unfortunately, will always be  around us, yet that ‘piece of paper’ provides clear protection  to all couples who have been together, one day, or 50+ years.  When you look closely into the laws, both federal and state, and see how laws are granted to those who are married, this ‘argument’  of  marriage equality comes into perspective.   As Americans, we do not often like to talk about death and dying, but all the rights granted by marriage are intertwined at the time of death.   Did you know that in every state of the nation that the next of kin for an adult is a spouse! Until you’ve been denied the right to be with the one that you love at the time of death, or asked, ‘Who Are You’ by medical staff, or have been told, ‘your not next of kin’ after your partner hasThe Bow Tie Guys passed away, you never fully grasp the inequality.

Yes, this day is bitter-sweet for me: I’m sure I am not alone.  Richard and I talked about getting married, and it would have been an awesome thing to do!   I can’t imagine us getting married would have deepened our love, it just would have solidified what was already known! Yet I do hope our Caregiving story, In Sickness and In Health: A Couple’s Final Journey and what happened to us along the way as an unmarried couple,  helped pave the way for this historic day in Florida.   In some small way, I am sure that it did! 

Yes, it would have been awesome to get married, but our life was awesome together, without that ‘piece of paper! It would have been awesome to gather our  family and friends together for a ceremony, but heck, they all knew that we loved each other, that we were committed to each other, without that ‘piece of paper.’  As one of my sisters said to me today, “Heck, you two were everything to each hands touchginother, but married.” She was so right, because, in the end, the only thing that matters is that love, care and commitment is the same for any two people who are committed to each other as one.  Our ‘piece of paper’ was imprinted in our hearts.


Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

“In Sickness and In Health:” My Response to Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi comments on same-sex marriage

“Love, care and commitment is the same for any two people” – Chris MacLellan


I’ve taken a break from blogging  in order to adjust to life without my partner, Bernard Richard Schiffer.  Your letters, emails, phone calls of support for me over the past few months is  most appreciated!

On Friday, May 30th I was alerted to the news that Florida’s Attorney General submitted a court document stating  that “same-sex marriages impose significant public harm.”  On Tuesday, June 3rd, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial page wrote, “State wrong in its fight against same-sex marriage” and referenced Richard and I, and our Caregiving story, “In Sickness and in Health A Couples Final Journey”.   In Wednesday’s Sun-Sentinel, Attorney General Pam Bondi responded to Tuesday’s editorial.

Upon reflection of these events, it is important for me to share a letter with you that I have mailed to Florida’s Attorney General, Pam Bondi in regards to her comments on same-sex marriage.

June 3, 2014

 The Honorable Pam Bondi

Attorney General of Florida

The Capitol PL-01

Tallahassee, FL 32399-1050

Dear Madam Attorney General:

I write this letter in the hopes of sharing a position contra to that identified in your recent court documents that recognizing same-sex marriages “would impose significant public harm.”

Maybe you heard about our story in the Sun-Sentinel a few weeks ago?  I’m told over 400,000 people have read our story, “In Sickness and Health A Couple’s Final Journey.”  As Diane Lade eloquently wrote, “being an older gay couple not recognized by law, navigating a system they feared could rob them of their ability to care for each other in sickness and in health.  After all, legal rights regarding death are intricately entwined with the privileges granted when people marry.”

We never intended that the love that my partner Bernard Richard Schiffer and I shared could become politicized, until I read your recent comments about how same-sex marriage “would impose significant public harm.’

I am fair-minded enough to know that each side has a right to argue your position in this fair state of Florida.  However to deny, ignore, wish away, pretend, assume and say that there are negative consequences in granting basic equal rights, indicates a fundamental disrespect  to gay rights and human dignity.  The arguments you use are the same for those who argued that ‘separate was equal’ and advocated for anti-miscegenation laws.    Like many before you who debated, and denied equality in our society, your current position on this critical issue will be sealed on the wrong side of history.

​I invite you to read our story in the Sun-Sentinel. In fact, I will even share the link with you: http://interactive.sun-sentinel.com/lgbt-dying-couple/.  You might also be interested in some of the readers’ comments that were posted on-line, too.  After reading our story, looking at the pictures and viewing the video, please tell me, the people in this great state of Florida, and everyone in the country,  how the love that Richard and I shared “would impose significant public harm?”

The late Maya Angelou said it right, “Love recognizes no barriers, it jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.” Once someone understands that love, care and commitment is the same for any two people who are joined together as one, then it becomes obvious why marriage equality is such an important issue in our society.

My prayer for you is that you will see that love is universal and not unique or limited to heterosexuals.


Christopher J. MacLellan

Deerfield Beach, FL 33441




Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

Progressive Holiday Blog Party with Caregiving.com

Caregiving_Logo_Small1 2013_blog_party-300x199Welcome to the Progressive Holiday Blog Party 2013

Greetings!  ‘The Purple Jacket’ pleased to join the 2013 Progressive Holiday Blog Party with the wonderful members of Caregiving.com.  The Community at Caregiving.com  is like having an extended family;  I am proud to be a part of this wonderful group!


I graduated from radiation!

For those first time visitors to ‘The Purple Jacket’ welcome and Thank You for stopping by!  I blog about my Caregiving experience for my partner, who I loving refer to as ‘The Little One.’  He was diagnosed with esophagus cancer in August of 2011.  Given three to four months to live, he has outlived all predictions.   Yet in October of 2013, Cancer has returned to ‘The Little One’ with a vengeance as he was diagnosed with Cancer on the spine.  With three tumors on his spine; ‘The Little One’ just recently completed 30 radiation treatments.  For the most part, he is pain-free at the moment, my that continue!

While each one of us deals with the reality of cancer in a different way, each 20131015-225104.jpgone of us wants to look on the bright side of life. Yesterday is gone, today is here, not sure about tomorrow. It is our hope that lets us withstand problems; it is our beliefs that let us find solutions.

I have been blogging here and at Caregiving.com for almost two years now.  The Caregivers I have met along the way have become a part of our family.   While our Caregiving journey’s might be different, Caregivers have this innate ability to understand each other, to be there for each other, to care for each other.  

Things that I am looking forward to in 2014:

My Blog Talk Radio Show, ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’  has been on hiatus since October, but will be back on the air in January with a new title, ‘Healing Ties.’  You can visit my Blog Talk Radio page and listen to archived versions of the show by clicking here! 

I will be (returning) to studying Theology at St. Joseph’s College in Standish, Maine with the intent to finish my Thesis, ‘The Social Sin of Geriatric Care in America.”

I hope we do another CareCruise in 2014!

To learn more about me,  I invite you to visit my ‘about page’ on my website by clicking here.

bowtie guy rainbow 2_199

 We Might Have CancerBut Cancer Does Not Have Us!


Related articles



Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

Alzheimers Dementia Wristband Hospital Project


Bio 5

Gary LeBlanc

Join us on Tuesday August 27th at 1:00pm (est) for a conversation with Gary LeBlanc from Common Sense Caregiving, founder of the Alzheimer’s Dementia Wristband Hospital Project and Margaret Doerr, CEO of Nursing at Brooksville Regional Hospital in Brooksville, Florida.

To listen to our show live, simply click here! 

After enduring 3 nightmares hospital stays with his dad who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, Gary recognized that there needed to be a better way for staff to recognize the special needs of his father. 


Margaret Doerr

On today’s show, we are going to talk with Gary  and Margaret about how one, simple, identification bracelet can go a long way in providing comfort and security for patients, caregivers and a hospital staff. Yet this is more than just putting a bracelet on an Alzheimer’s patients:  this project is about training, educating and recognizing the special needs of Alzheimer’s patients to an entire hospital staff!


Gary’s project is a prime example of how Caregivers can have an impact on polices and procedures because Caregivers are always the ones in the trenches!  Through our conversation with Gary and Margaret, we will all learn how to ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver!’.


The Universal Symbol for Alzheimer’s

Can’t listen to our show live…NO Worries!  All our shows are archived for your listening convenience by clicking here! 

To learn more about Gary and the Wristband Project click here! 

To learn more about Brookfield Regional Hospital click here! 

Listen to:

cjmbtr (1)

Leave a comment

Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

Elder Care Mediation


 Join us Tuesday, July 30th at 1:00 pm (EST) for a conversation with  Doris Haas and Bonnie Pará from Elder Care Mediation.  Doris and Bonnie are both Florida Supreme Court Mediators with extensive experience in senior care. To listen to our show live, simply click here! 


Families are complex entities, and it is not unusual for submerged anger or conflict to boil up in times of stress. Siblings can often find it difficult to work together to help their aging parents, especially when there is unresolved conflict between them.  It can feel impossible to think about being together to make decisions regarding the well-being of their parents. Hence the need for Elder Care Mediation!

Elder Care Mediation

Our episode on Tuesday will surround the importance of Elder Care Mediation and why having an objective third person involved in the process is beneficial to everyone. Through our conversation with Doris and Bonnie, we will all learn how to ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver!’

To learn more about Elder Care Mediation, simply click here!

To listen to our show live, simply click here! 

Can’t listen live...NO Worries…All our episodes are archived for your listening convenience by clicking here! 

cjmbtr (1)


Leave a comment

Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

This Tuesday on ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ on Blog Talk Radio


On Tuesday April 9th, we welcome Shane Smith, Executive Director of Home Helpers to our ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ show on Blog Talk Radio.  You can access the show by clicking here!  


Founded in 1997, Home Helpers serves over 500 communities across the United States and Canada. Shane and is wife Jessika, are the owner/operators of Home Helpers in Weston, Florida.

When it comes to home health care, there are plenty of models to choose from.  Yet Shane and his staff offer the personal touch that makes them one of the leading Home Health Care agencies in the nation.

Through our conversation today, Shane and Jessika will demonstrate to us on how selecting the right home health care agency will help us all  ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ 

You can listen to our show live at 1:00 pm (est) by clicking here.

cjmbtr (1)

Cannot listen live, NO WORRIES, all our shows are archived so you can listen at a time that is convenient for you by clicking here

Leave a comment

Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

Are Your Advance Directives Up-To-Date?


As Caregivers, we often have a number of daily responsibilities on our mind in relation to the (physical) health and wellness of our Caree.   However, there are other important responsibilities that we as Caregivers have  to attend to that is not always on  the daily schedule.   One of those responsibilities is to assure that all  the Advance Directives are current and up-to-date!

We have been talking about reviewing our Advance Directives since we returned full-time to Florida last year.  Recently we visited with our attorney Jake Miller  to review our advance directives and did not realize  until we sat down with Jake, that our directives were more than six years old.  (Time does fly, even in Caregiving!) While our ‘instructions’ and ‘wishes’ were still the same, we learned from our visit with our attorney that Florida Law had changed quite a bit over the years and that we were in need of an update on our directives!






‘The Little One’ with our attorney, Jake Miller, Esq.

Here are some pragmatic reminders that will help us all ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’

  • Review your advance directives on a yearly basis:
  • Be mindful that State Laws do change and updates are needed on a regular basis:
  • When having ‘the talk’, reassure your Caree that this conversation is about their wishes, not yours:
  • Don’t pressure, reassure:
  • Keep a hard copy of the advance directives in your car at all times:
  • Consider storing your advance directive in an electronic database: I recommend Docubank :
  • Keep an updated copy of your Caree’s  medications with the Advanced Directives;
  • Always have a ‘hard copy’ of your advance directives readily available at home for emergency personnel including up-to-date information on medications:
  • Learn about the ‘Five Wishes‘ by clicking here:

While having ‘the conversation’ in regards to Advance Directives  is not always easy, assuring that your Advance Directives are up-to-date, will help reduce stress in an emergency!

Listen to: 

cjmbtr (1)

Every Tuesday at 1:00 pm (EST) by simply clicking here!

 Related articles

Leave a comment

Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket

‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ Every Tuesday on Blog Talk Radio


On Tuesday, March 12th at 1:00pm EST we welcome  Ernst Olivas, Jr from Nautilus Senior Home Care to our Be A Healthy Caregiver’ show on Blog Talk Radio.   

ernest 1

As A Caregiver, we are always looking for safe and competent help for our Caree. As the owner and operator of Nautilus Senior Home Care, Ernst is ‘hands-on’ when matching his clients with his staff.

Through our conversation today, Ernest will demonstrate to all of us how home health care can help is all ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver!” 

Visit Nautilus Senior Home Care website by simply clicking here.

Our show is available live at 1:00 pm with optional chat room for you to ask questions to our guest. (Our show is archived so you can listen at your  convenience.) To access our show, simply click  here.


 You can  access all our ‘Be A Healthy Caregiver’ episodes on

blogtalkradiologo Simply click here



Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket



As an outward expression of my values, I have joined SunServe’s team of walkers for the 2013 Florida AIDS Walk and Music Festival.   Once again, SunServe has the honor of being a beneficiary of Florida AIDS Walk,.  Please consider sponsoring me which means any money I raise through ‘The Purple Jacket’ goes directly to SunServe Social Services .    

 It will be one year in May when ‘The Purple Jacket and ‘The Bow-Tie-Guy  joined SunServe as the coördinator of Senior Services  and what an exciting trip it has been. Along with a wonderful board and staff, and great volunteers, the staff at SunServe has built a solid, well-recognized and respected social services agency providing needed services to the LGBTQ community. 
SunServe’s Programs–along with our Senior Center and Mental Health Services, we have started Senior Services aimed at keeping our seniors independent and in their homes as long as possible. We have started HIV housing case management and have opened “The Rainbow Room”, a drop in center for LGBTQ youth. We continue to train on cultural competency and offer conferences on LGBTQ challenges in the community. SunServe –is fiscally strong. We have worked to diversify our revenue streams to keep the agency fiscally viable while increasing our fundraising strength, Our administrative overhead is still right around 8% for 2012, we are very proud that we have no debt and our 2012 audit will be available on our website very soon.

Your contribution is tax-deductible where allowed by law and all funds                                                                                            collected by our team go directly to SunServe’s programs! 

Please visit my Florida AIDS Walk page to make your donation by clicking  HERE

Thank You very kindly for your support!

I love that I have a career in which I can be dedicated to improving


the lives of youth, adults and seniors despite race, creed, sexual identity, socioeconomic status.  

Leave a comment

Filed under Caregiving, The Purple Jacket