Friday, June 13, 2008

ELDR Publisher & CEO on Celebrating Aging

To order your discounted subscription to ELDR magazine, click here ELDR.

Introducing ELDR, a print magazine and an online forum (, ELDR brings readers an opinionated and entertaining approach to aging. ELDR seeks to inspire the influential 60-plus audience to celebrate the joys, navigate the challenges and discover the meaning of aging.

ELDR is the first consumer magazine and online community created for the affluent and influential 60+ elder. Created from the word 'ELD' meaning a time in one's life when one comes into power and 'R' for revolutionizing the way we think about aging. ELDR's vision is to inspire and empower readers to live a more meaningful life, to celebrate the joys and to successfully navigate the challenges of aging.

ELDR Magazine addresses controversial topics such as “Right To Die” National Survey: Should Your Doctor Help You Die? (San Francisco, CA) – May 15, 2008 - ELDR magazine and released the results of a national survey of adults on the “right to die” issue or what some call “physician-assisted suicide.” The survey showed that over 80 percent believe the choice to end one’s life is a personal decision, with two-thirds of adults saying they want physician-assisted “death with dignity” legal, as in Oregon.

ELDR Magazine adds other thought provoking topics such as - Explores Sex & Intimacy Over 60 (San Francisco, CA) – February 19, 2008 - The third issue of ELDR magazine, named one of 2007’s “Hottest Magazine Launches,” gets hotter with an exploration of sex and intimacy over 60 years of age.

ELDR brings an enlightened, entertaining and sometimes edgy approach to aging through its reviews, articles and interviews, dynamic photography and artwork. Regular columns include ELDR Travel, ELDR Yoga and ELDR Tech. We also feature regular stories on grandparenting, caregiving, and staying mentally sharp, among others. ELDR offers fresh viewpoints on social issues and new ideas on health, fitness, finances and activism.

Welcome to ELDR! in partnership with ELDR gives family caregivers and seniors a discount on the one year subscription when you subscribe to the ELDR magazine for one year. A $5.00 value!!

Go to to view their website. Thank you for visiting,

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Family Caregiver Gets a Break - Essay Contest

Every family caregiver has a story. Caring Today & Home Instead offers you a chance to win the Grand Prize worth $5,000.00! Just submit a 500 word or less essay telling them you caregiving experience for a chance to win! You may qualify for the FIRST PRIZE worth $2,500 or an Extraordinary Caregiver Award worth $500. Deadline to submit entries is July 16, 2008. See below how to enter to win.

Just them about your day-to-day experience of caregiving: How you've embraced the role of caregiver for a senior loved one, what impact it's had on you and how you've inspired others, demonstrating how a Home Instead CAREGiver could make a difference in your life. 2008 Caring Today "Give a Caregiver a Break" Essay Contest

I read stories about your giving hearts & challenges and have experienced many myself helping mom & dad. Now it's your chance to share with Caring Today and Home Instead your personal experiences with a chance to gain financial help on this arduous path.

Your days are filled with concern, worry, and love - so take advantage of this great opportunity to win cash. The deadline to submit your essay entry is July 16, 2008.

Good luck to you all!

Carol at

Monday, May 19, 2008

Home Care in Houston, Texas - At Your Side Home Care

Donna Wrabel, MSW, is co-owner and operator of At Your Side Home Care with husband of twenty-five years, Rick Wrabel. At Your Side Care is a licensed home care agency by the State of Texas.

Two years ago they decided to put their marriage partnership to the test and buy a business both felt drawn to, serving seniors. Donna and Rick Wrabel's shared goal is to help elders remain safe and independent while living in their own home. A goal many seniors and elders crave to accomplish.

Donna is a licensed Social Worker and raised 2 sons. Out of her experience of mothering and caring for her sons she often wonders why families don't treat elder care with the same dedication and energy we use on caring for children! What a thought and great observation. Why do we feel helpless when it comes to caring for our elders? And why do many family caregivers and adult children take on passive roles when dealing with parent care as opposed to the empowerment we thrive on when raising our children! Thank you, Donna, for bringing that to our attention! I have a thought about that and will give you my opinion later in this post.

How Donna and Rick came about deciding on a home care businss was initiated by caring for Rick's grandparents. They found it difficult navigating through resources and locating quality care for them. So, they decided to do something about the lack of quality care in the industry and provide for families and elders what they had trouble locating... good, reliable care for someone you love.

Donna has learned over the years what is most useful when matching up a caregiver to the senior needing home care. Steps Donna applies to her business was learned over the years of marriage:
1. She and Rick, her husband, are a true match.
2. She applies this learned intuition (with Rick) to families and their loved ones when matching them to a caregiver.
3. She and Rick thoroughly screen the caregivers they hire.

But out of her experience, Donna talks about using intuition as a guide to help in her business. I agree with Donna. And believe most family caregivers and adult children have not learn to trust their own instincts when it comes to elder care. I think we take on that passive role... too many times.

Other tips Donna Wrabel gives to families when evaluating home care agencies:
1. Make sure they are licensed by the state.
2. Look for family owned businesses, this feature alone insures they understand the importance of family connection.
3. Who's in charge? Is the owner/operator an expert in the elder care industry?
4. Make sure the agency employees an RN or Social Worker, better yet, is the agency operated by one?
5. Pick an agency who's owner gets personally involved in the process.

Thank you, Donna and Rick. These tips are useful and many family caregivers will learn how to better care for their aging relative when applying them.

Contact Donna and Rick Wrabel at 713-337-1133 or send Rick an email

As for the passive involvement... it's my opinion that we behave this way because we still view ourselves as the child of the elder and having that perception limits our responsibility of caring for them.

My best,

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Austin Texas Home Health Care - First Care Home Health in Georgetown, Round Rock, Austin

First Care Home Health in Austin & Round Rock educates aging clients on how to take better care of themselves when living with chronic illnesses. It can be a lesser expensive way of caring for the elderly and allowing them to remain independent at home. Medicare requires the education so that the elderly does not slip into ill health and land in the hospital again. So, First Care Home Health finds that education is the best policy for remaining safely at home!

They help educate clients having concerns of medical conditions such as Congested Heart Failure, Arthritis, Cancer, Hypertention. Part of the education process includes how to take medications and follow treatments. They have employed a high quality staff of nurses and professionals.

First Care Home Health also communicates findings, treatments and outcomes to, and with your physician so everyone involved understands the patient care. They can also administer wound care, injections and topical agents as directed by your physician.

Nutrition Care is an important element of the healing process, First Care Home Health has a registered dietician on staff that will recommend modifications in the patient’s diet, or when required to accommodate the patient’s needs; after obtaining a physician’s order.

Both Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy is part of their offerings and expertise. Providing treatments concerning disorders of the muscles, bones or joints. They will assess the client’s rehabilitation needs and potential. A therapy program will be implemented based on the patient’s physician’s order.

The therapist will recommend modifications in the physical environment when required to accommodate the patient’s needs. The therapist will provide instruction on self-care, and activities of daily living according to the patient’s physician order.

Call First Care Home Health if your aging family member has a doctor's order for nursing care in the home. They are located in Round Rock, TX. Phone number is (512) 990-2425 or visit them on the web

My best,


Monday, April 21, 2008

Medical Transportation for Central Texas Seniors

David Phillips, President of Central Texas EMS & Medical Transport Services located in Georgetown and serves the central Texas areas from Waco to South Austin and all the little cities in between.

It's an important medical transport service that is a high priority and needed service by family caregivers, especially when we live at a distance from our aging loved ones. David's company, Central Texas EMS & Medical Transport can help your aging parent physically be moved from the hospital back home or vice versa when they need ambulance type transportation.

It is not to be confused with a 911 (true) emergency transportation to the hospital. A 911 ambulance is restricted to respond only to an emergency situation such as a car accident or a heart attack, it is not to be confused with an ambulance medical transportation that arrives at your aging loved one's home to take them to a non-emergency visit to the hospital, an assisted living facility, or back home from one of these.

Central Texas EMS & Medical Transportation comes to the home in a polite , non-intrusive, and cognizant of the environment. They primarily help transport elders with chronic illnesses that may be worsening in underlying health conditions.

Another form of medical transport that Central Texas EMS & Medical Transport delivers is Wheel Chair Van. Again, this is not a 911 transportation service. This type of transportation is needed when an elder might need a ride to the doctor's office for a check up or medical appointmant. I remember my dad using a service like this when he visited his doctor's office for check ups. Both the van and non-emergency ambulance are fully equipped with oxygen and other medical equipment for safety measures.

Now you might wonder "who" pays for these transport services? Most insurance companies do pay for the non-emergency ambulance service. However, the wheel chair van is an out of pocket expense. The cost ranges from $25 up to $40 per trip. But check with Central Texas EMS prior to scheduling a trip.. to be on the safe side.

Please contact David Phillips and Central Texas EMS & Medical Transportation at 866-404-0911. Or visit their company webstie at It's worth the relief that your loved one is in good hands!

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Texas Medical Alert - Leaving Our Loved Ones Unattended

In continuing the conversation about traveling and leaving our loved ones unattended, I interviewed Midge Norris, Director of Marketing, with The Personal Alert Link. It is an in-home medical alarm service that's cost effective, personalized, bilingual, and links seniors to independence. It simply attaches to any land line phone like an answering machine and whenever you need help, just press the button on The PAL. It instantly connects to our Emergency Call Center where you’ll have full two-way voice communication with a trained, caring Call Center Caregiver. The PAL gets you the help you need, whether it's an ambulance or just a call to your neighbor for help.

Looking back, Ginger, the traveling primary caregiver (see her story dated March 30, '08), now wishes she bought one for her dad. But he was left unattended for hours after his fall, laying on the floor. The simple system (which attaches to any land line phone like an answering machine) is an absolute essential if a care recipient is alone for more than a couple of hours each day.

Whether you traveling to the office everyday, traveling to Timbuktu for an extended visit or zooming to the supermarket for a loaf of bread, there is an opportunity for an accident to happen.

  • The CDC (The Center for Disease Control) has recently headlined an article “Injury Falls have become a leading cause of death in seniors".

  • 1.8 million Seniors were admitted hospital emergency rooms as the direct result of a fall

  • 40% of nursing home admissions are the direct result of injury falls

Unless you have someone "on site" 24/7, there is no better backup and communication system to help all involved to feel more secure and able to respond in the event of an emergency than a simple in-home medical alert.

Carla, a primary caregiver for 95 year old frail senior mom living in an apartment. Carla works full time as a teacher and spends her summers close to home and her mom. Her brother John lives out of state. Carla’s son is getting married this summer in another state and family wants to go, leaving Mom ‘home alone’.

They have subscribed to personal alert link service now so that Mom is completely comfortable with the system. The first responder, while on vacation, will be the the apartment complex manager, and the family will be secondary contact.

Summary: With a little planning the entire family is rest assured that there is a 24/7 plan in place not only for this family trip, but each day of the week.

Question to Midge Norris, Marketing Director, of the Personal Alert Link:

How do you train an elder to use or press the emergency button on PAL?
They need to keep the pendant or bracelet on them at all times. It is waterproof.

And once an elder presses the button, does your care center stay on the phone with them till help arrives?
Once the button is pressed, our Care Coordinator Center will talk on the two way speaker to the care recipient and ascertain what level of response is necessary. They stay connected throughout the process until help arrives. They follow up after the fact with all parties.

How do you notify the caregiver who is away – this can be a tricky situation… how to notify the caregiver without setting off an alarming reaction?
We deliver the news of the event as factually and unemotionally as possible, to reassure them all is ok (or Not) so they can make an informed decision about what the next step should be.

Thank you, Midge, for this useful information on another step for families to consider before leaving an aging loved one home alone.

You can contact Midge Norris at 866-633-2576 or visit the website:

If you need local senior services in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, or Fort Worth, please email me or visit

My best, Carol

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tips for Texas Caregivers Planning Travel

Continuing our series of the primary caregiver preparing to be away from their aging care recipient due to travel. I'm speaking with several "expert" advisors on how best to prepare before leaving home.

Today Lynn and Harry Shank, owners of Texas Assurance Care in Austin, give practical advice to family caregivers. They are well known through-out the senior community here in Austin and excel in resources for seniors.

Lynn tells us that you, the primary caregiver, can comfortably travel without much worry if you have put the following in place. And she also advises us to do what Sally Watkins, the Travel Agent suggests!

In the interview you'll hear good tips on preparing for travel - make sure you don't leave home without them!

1. Make a list or your loved one's (care recipient) center of influence with you safely tucked away into your carry on bag. The center of influence are people who know, see, and maybe visit your care recipient; neighbors, good friends, pastor at the church, pharmacist, doctor, and insurance agent (health, car, home, etc.). Just in case of an accident or delays in travel or change of plans on your end - you can make sure someone will oversee your loved one's safety and can check in on him/her.

2. On that list, add the care recipient's health insurance information and the plan description. You might consider adding your health insurance information onto this list too.

3. Prepare yourself as long distance caregivers do - to find useful tips Google "long distance caregiver". Check this link out:

4. Contact the neighbors and friends and give them your itinerary, how they can contact you in a need arises. Let them know what's going on; your travels and if they would please stay connected with your loved one. You may also want to contact a Geriatric Case Manager to help oversee your care recipient by making regular home visits.

5. If you can afford hiring an in home care agency so that someone, a caretaker, can check in on your loved one regularly. Lynn knows that in home care agencies have a minimum hour requirement, but this is a valuable assest for your family. They are trained in handling and being a primary caretaker while the family is away.

6. And like Ginger, our traveling primary caregiver, suggests: Back up your back up! The more back up you have in place, the more you can enjoy your vacation or business trip!

A big thank you goes to Lynn Shank! She can be reached at or (512) 343-5400.

Enjoy your travels!

If you need help with local Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio senior care, contact me, And visit our website

My best, Carol