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

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A Travel Agent Gives Tips on Preparing for a Vacation or Business Travel - Taking You From Aging Parent

Welcome back to our continuing series on preparing for a trip that leaves your aging relative behind. In our kickoff story, you read and listened to Ginger's dilemma dealing with an emergency while traveling in Europe. She was frantic when she first learned about her dad's fall and hospital stay.

Today we continue the Preparing for Travel series featuring a local Austin travel agent Sally Watkins, CTC (Certified Travel Counselor) with Century Travel. I asked Sally to please share with our readers tips on preparing for a journey away from home, potentially putting thousands of miles between you and your aging loved one. Sally advises families to plan ahead weeks prior to leaving the country or state:

l. Purchase Travel Insurance – and read the policy thoroughly. Be aware of the "pre-existing conditions" part in the policy and know that full insurance has to be bought and put in place within 14 days of first payment toward the trip, for most insurers. There are some insurers that allow the purchase of travel insurance on final payment of trip but that’s the exception.

2. Also be aware that paying the "taxes due" on frequent flier tickets can be interpreted as the "first payment" toward the trip. That would start the clock running.

3. It's a GOOD reason to use a travel agent, so that if something happens to the aging parent/relative, the traveler has help in working out how to fly home! Without a travel agent, that traveler is on his or her own to work out all the details, from abroad, putting the family member in ultra stressed mode.

4. Be aware of all cancellation policies, as they will differ by hotel or tour or guide, etc.

5. Make sure the people "back home" have your contact information, where you are staying, etc., and they are instructed on how to dial the foreign numbers where you will be – using 011 to get international. Also instruct them on what countries require a zero before the area code when dialing from the USA, etc.

6. Get a cell phone. Leave the cell number and instructions on how to dial it with the aging relative and other family members and friends.

And I add, give them your email address too!

Make it easy on yourself and book your next trip/vacation with Sally and give her details of your aging relative... she can give futher instruction if necessary and assist you in getting back home in a hurry, if the need comes up.

Thank you, Sally for these great tips! She can be reached at 1-800-950-8283 or go to

Thank you readers for joining our continuing series on being away from an aging loved one. Stayed tuned when we hear from local Geriatric Case Managers giving us valuable tips on being away.

If you need local senior services email me, and please visit our website

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A Primary Caregiver Gives Tips on Preparing a Trip Away From Aging Parent

Ginger, the primary family caregiver (for years), helping her dad age 100 to remain in his home of 60+ years - overseeing his care. But being the primary caregiver, she put her dreams of traveling on hold for some time because she did not want to leave him. Although doctors reassured Ginger that his health is good and no need to worry, she remained loyal to her role.

But after several years of juggling her heart's desire ...stay... go... stay... go , Ginger decides to go for it.

We talked about the structure she put in place of her absence, which seems very reasonable to me, there's always that element of surprise that can bite you when you're not looking!

Ginger's story... Click here to listen...

Before leaving the country Ginger did the following:

  • 1. Asked her two adult children to step into the role of primary caregiver and moved the youngest (adult child) son (35) into her dad's home part time to oversee his safety and well being.
  • 2. Hired a Geriatric Case manager to visit the elder several times a week to insure quality care.
  • 3. Requested Call Doctor (Home Medicine Care) to visit him once weekly to check on vitals.
  • 4. Put her oldest sibling (out of town) on notice that she would be gone for two months and if he would please help her adult children. He agreed.
As life would have it, a curve ball is thrown while Ginger's in Italy. Her son, living at his grandfather's takes ill and decides to move back to his house for a day or two just so his grandfather doesn't catch the cold he has developed.

The next morning, the grandson stops by for a quick "check-in" but finds his grandfather has fallen and is on the floor. He places a call to the Call Doctor but they don't make home visits on the weekend so he dials 911 and off to emergency hospital they go. While in the hospital, the emergency staff discovers the elder has peumonia and into ICU he goes.

By this time, Ginger's daughter steps in because her brother isn't feeling well. Unfortunately, the daughter sends a frantic email to her mom, Ginger, because the elder's health is failing. The only form of communication was email. In that message, Ginger reads her father has fallen, went to emergency, and now dying of peumonia. Well, needless to say, Ginger is an emotional wreck.

In less than 24 hours later it was determined that her dad was not dying and that he is back on his feet and going home.

What did Ginger learn from this experience? She would like to share..

1. If you are sending someone a message being email or voice mail, keep the message as benign as possible. Do not inject highly emotional verbiage and frustration. This will only make matters worse for the receiver. Give all details and keep them simple. Do not exaggerate the condition or accident. When a person is close to a highly charged situation like this, it is necessary to step back and take a few minutes to breath and gather your thoughts. Remember, the person you're sending the message to is far, far, away and cannot quickly return home. So, please equalize the emotion.

2. Buy a long distance phone card. Don't leave home without it. There are many on the market that can be used in another country. This gives the traveling family member a tie home. If you don't know where to purchase one, please call your travel agent.

3. Back up your back up. Even though Ginger deployed her son, daughter, and brother to help oversee her father's care... life threw that curve. Her son got sick, her brother had to travel for business, so that left her daughter to carry the full responsibility. It's tough to be the only family member handling an emergency! Hind sight tells Ginger, it's best to have more back up. A friend, neighbor, etc.

For those of you family caregivers getting ready to vacation, please know that you must think through the details of "what ifs" scenarios. We hope this story gives some help and insight for preparation.

What about you? Care to share with us your personally designed travel strategy for caring while out of the country. We would love to hear your story too. Just post a comment below.

Tune in again for more tips on the traveling primary caregiver from senior care experts!

If you live away from your aging parents and need local help in Texas, email me

My best.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Looking for Local Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio Senior Services for Aging Parent?

Are you an adult child of aging parents and you're working full-time, juggling your immediate family's schedule, balancing a personal life, and helping mom & dad? Are you living at a distance from your aging relative? If the answer is "Yes, who isn't?" Then you may need my senior referral help finding local senior services for you aging parent(s) or relative. It's no cost to you.. all we need is the following information from you - Get Local Help for Senior Now.

Our senior care network serves the Greater Austin, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, and San Antonio for family caregivers like you. If your aging parent or relative lives in Texas or outside of Texas, I can help you locate the following:

  • House Call Medicine
  • Senior In-Home Care (Non-Medical - Companion, Light House Keeping, Cooking, Daily Living)
  • Senior Home Health Care (Skilled Nursing - RN's and LVN's, Certified Nurse Aides, Medical Social Workers, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Respiratory Therapist, and Certified Dietician)
  • Geriatric Case Managers
  • Assisted Living Options
  • Home Remodelers
  • Reverse Mortgage
  • Financial Services
  • Home Maintenance
  • Personal Services
  • Transportation
  • Delivery
It's extremely difficult to help an aging relative from any distance, across town or across the country. In truth, in takes time and energy to research for senior services. It all comes down to this... you have two choices - get help with locating senior care for your aging parent NOW by clicking on Get Local Senior Help Now or you can remain worried, confused, and worn-out. Let me prove it to you - Ask me now!

Which situation are you in?

My loved one is in a crisis! As you may already know, health conditions of our seniors develop over time. I'm telling, from my experience, the need to arrange for caregiving or senior help comes on fast, when you least expect it.

I'm a family caregiver and I need help! Whether you are paid or not, caring for a senior is hard work and quickly leads to stress and burnout.

I want to plan for the future, now what? The time to plan for elder or senior care such as advance directives, getting legal papers in order, financial strategies, living arrangements, help with caregiving, and dealing with changes are much easier if you prepare in advance. It's better if the aging loved one can participate in the process of their care.

We can help you. Send me an email or leave a message for us by calling 1-888-797-7806. We promise to get back with you as soon as possible.

Gain your peace of mind. Call or email me. Thank you for visiting.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Assessing Texas Senior's Needs to Stay Home Safely

Samantha Young, Director of Practical Care Continuum, a home care agency in Austin, Texas shares solid tips on senior's living at home.

Are you confused when thinking about your aging parent's safety? Do you second guess your aging family member's ability to live independently? And yet, you know deep in your heart that they really want to remain in their home and you don't want to disrupt their comfort level.

And you know what? Most family caregivers walk this path of second guessing and worrying about our parent's safety, cleanliness, and nutrition. So how can you know what to look for when evaluating the safety of a loved one in their home?

What Samantha talks about here are the safety issues and what to look for to make sure your family member is safe, especially while they are away.

And that's not all, Samantha shares a checklist with us that she gives to families when they are in a dilemma of figuring out what to look for. I remember when my siblings and I were in the middle of helping dad and figuring out what kind of help he needs, it would have been so helpful to have a checklist that Practical Care gives to families facilitating direction and clarity.

Here's a sample of what to look for when assessing for the care they need:

  • Ability to use the phone - operates the phone on own initiative. Can dial, look up numbers, etc.
  • Shopping - takes care of all shopping needs independently.
  • Food preparation - plans, shops, prepares, and serves adequate meals independently.
  • Housekeeping - maintains the house alone or occassional help for cleaning.
  • Laundry - does personal laundry completely
  • Travel - independently on on public transportation or drives own car.
  • Responsibility for own medication - is responsible for taking correct dosage at correct times.
  • Ability to handle finances - manages financial matters independently.
Obviously, the list above is best case scenario. Go to is see the entire checklist and to take the test.

Thank you for visiting.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Help Coping with Alzheimer's

Dr. Roy Steinberg, Ph.D. Highly sought out expert in the field of geriatric psychology in diagnosing and facilitating treatment of individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of Dementia. His website is Caregiving For Caregivers.

When coping with a loved one’s Alzheimer's Disease or another type of Dementia, it can feel frustrating, sad, at times angry, lost and not in control. For those who feel this way, Dr. Roy Steinberg's process is your compass and your map – educating and guiding you with meaningful information.

What appeals to me in his work is how Dr. Steinberg addresses society's myth that aging is about illness and sadness. Many times, Americans support this misconception. Dr. Steinberg points out in this audio that "this is not, and need not, be the case. Though your loved one's Alzheimer's Disease or another type of Dementia can be a very real part of life, it does not need to define your life." Dr. Steinberg's expertise has helped thousands of people, from health care providers to Caregivers, understand that there is a better, healthier, more meaningful way. That way begins here.

Dr. Steinberg teaches Caregivers how best to equip yourself by: 1) meaningfully and accurately assess whether your loved one may have Alzheimer's Disease or another type of Dementia; 2) give your loved one the best possible care and support; and 3) learn how to "grieve for the living," the healthiest way to truly be an effective Caregiver for a loved one.

Thank you for visiting. Carol at

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fifty Plus Fitness - Stay in Shape Using Fitness by Phone

Lori P. Michiel, NASM, CPT Fifty Plus FitnessTM Serving Active Adults and Seniors *Private Training *Fitness By Phone CoachingR *Boot-ish Camp *SeniorcizeTM *Lectures and more P.S. Learn more about FITNESS BY PHONE COACHINGR and why STANFORD University studied phone-based coaching for 24 years. Their research confirms 85% adherence rate to exercise with this approach. Empower yourself to do more!

In this podcast, Lori tells us how is it different than traditional personal training. She gets you fit in 20 minutes a week over the phone by supporting you in maximizing your motivation and showing you how to get better, more permanent improvements in your fitness, energy levels and body fat reduction than you’ve ever experienced before. She had me at "Fitness by Phone"!

It’s perfect for the busy executive, senior, or caregiver who wants to get fit, but does not have the time to meet with or depend upon the presence of a personal trainer each week. Lori also helps with an intuitive eating program that really works, if you are interested, not a deprivation diet or one that has any gimmicks attached to it.

Many of her clients have said that this is the first program that has ever helped them to achieve and maintain their desired weight and still can’t believe how easy it is to keep up their new levels of energy and weight loss and make it part of their lifestyle.

What I wondered about, though, if you don’t see the client each week in person, how can this work? Lori says that Fitness by Phone is so effective because of the independence, confidence building approach she uses that it has people automatically exercising on their own. Let me break it down for you so you understand it more thoroughly. She has her clients use “Motivational Activity Monitors” which provides the client with objective feedback so they know immediately how well their work-outs are really working.

One is a Heart Rate Monitor (HR) and the other is a Caltrac. These tools act as your seven (7) day a week, 24 hour a day personal trainer. They are comfortable to wear allowing you the versatility busy people need to be successful in sticking with their exercise program. With an Activity Monitor a client is not be limited to a particular time or place for his/her exercise. The feedback you get from these tools give you the personal control and confidence you are spending every minute of exercise effectively. Lori's clients are actually excited about wearing the Caltrac everyday because they can see the difference between taking the stairs versus the elevator, parking at one end of a mall versus right up front.

The way it works is call Lori Michiel at 818-620-1442, your Fitness By Phone coach at the same time each week. The purpose of the 20-minute phone call is to get specific focus, direction and new progressive goals each week so that you continue to get new results. By holding you accountable to someone else, your exercise program increases by over 2200%. A study conducted at Virginia Polytechnic proved that by the end of 24 weeks, only 2% of the people who did NOT get a call were still exercising (walking in this case) compared to 45% of the people who DID get the call. The combination of Motivational Activity Monitors, Fitness By Phone Diaries, the focus and guidance of an exercise expert and accessibility to your Coach all week makes Fitness By Phone more successful than any other approach to personalized fitness training.... guaranteed!

Get started today! 818-620-1442 or visit and tell her Carol at sent you!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Tips for Seniors and Family Caregivers on Remodeling Senior Homes

James and Patti Wright with JNA Construction, winner of the Austin NARI General Contractor Award in 2005, understand the needs Austin Seniors have in remodeling their homes to meet their active and sometimes, not so active lifestyle. JNA Construction can be reached at (512)266-2046.

Seniors want to live out their entire lives living at home but some look short-term, the next five years. When that's the case, JNA Construction says most look to do improvements or remodeling. JNA Construction excels in remodeling tips for making homes more senior-friendly.

Life events common to the Senior 50-plus generation that trigger home remodeling or improvements are retirement, birth of a grandchild, caring for an elderly parent and moving them in, an adult child moving home, often provoke home improvement projects. Many seniors also want the functionality of their home to be hobby-friendly and a comfortable place to entertain friends and family.

When our boomer and Senior customers plan home remodeling or improvement projects, JNA Construction offer the products, services and know-how they need to create an intergenerational living space that welcomes all ages and abilities in the family.

Key home improvement findings for consumers 50 and older include the following: (by Senior Citizens Home and Communities)

● 60 percent expect to live in their current residence during the next five years.

● 65 percent plan to remodel or improve their homes.

● 42 percent of all home improvement projects will be done by outside contractors.

● 77 percent believe how their home looks is an important part of who they are.

● 73 percent say the kitchen is the most important room for them.

Give JNA Construction a call at (512) 266-2046. They will discuss with you:

1. The type of projects they do
2. How their business operates
3. Services they provide
4. Site Visit - The first visit and consultation is completed at no charge
5. The Design
6. The Bid
7. Contract
8. Construction
9. Warrantly
Go to for details DESIGN/BUILD Process.

Thank you for visiting! Carol at

Sunday, January 27, 2008

How to Deal With Family & Personal Issues When Caring for Aging Parents

Sheryl Karas, a former Alzheimer's Association consultant discovered that when caregivers called in to locate senior resources the bulk of her work wound up being providing emotional and spiritual support along the way. The issues that came up for family caregivers were very different for each person. It seemed like whatever their unresolved issues were - the family dynamics, feelings about things that happened in the past, beliefs and expectations they carried - THOSE were the things they needed to talk about most.

For many family caregivers, elder care or senior care in not always a labor of love; for some it can be a trap they fell into, an obligation, a task they resent and struggle to survive. In this conversation, Sheryl Karas shares with us when caregiving comes to us by default, how we can change this worst case scenario into one that actually works for all involved; the primary caregiver, family members or siblings, and the senior being cared for.

Sheryl says it's sad and frustrating when a family caregiver says they did not “choose” to be in this rold, they are a caregiver by default. Sheryl goes on to say she usually hears “My brother says his career keeps him too busy. My sister says she’s too busy with her three kids. I just got divorced and I don’t have kids or a career I care about. Mom insists on living at home and refuses to let a ‘stranger” into the house despite how much help she needs, so the job of taking care of her fell to me.” In this situation if pressed, Sheryl might hear that the woman cares about her mom and would feel guilty to say "no" to her... but the truth is that this caregiver doesn’t believe she had any choice but to say “yes.”

The anger and resentment can be so intense, that a caregiver cannot talk about her brother and sister without spitting out the words. In continuing work with the family caregiver, Sheryl finds out that family relationships are miserable because many times guilt is used to try to make other siblings do what they chose not to. Family dynamics are sometimes a disaster and primary family caregivers want someone to come in and fix it the family dynamics.

Caregivers are capable of making a change. No one can force a person to be a caregiver against their will. Our beliefs shape our experience and we always have the ability to change our experience by examining those beliefs and the choices that stem from them.

To contact Sheryl Karas at her blog on

Monday, January 21, 2008

Helping Seniors Choose Best Living Options

Meet Sandra & Gary McElvaney with Real Living, Lifestyles Realty
at 512-751-6352 or visit
Family caregivers and adult children worry about their aging parent or relative living at home alone. Even if both parents are alive and living together, we worry if they are okay. Are they safe? Have they eaten today? Or bathed? Is the house in good condition? Do they need my help? Are they able to continue living in their home?

It may be easier for a family member, living in the same city, to check on mom or dad, but what about those of us who live at a distance?

Knowing what options are best for our aging relative can be challenging. Sandra, a Senior Real Estate Specialist, and Gary McElvaney, Realtors at Real Living, Lifestyles Realty, give good tips they learned while caring for an aging relative.

Sandra and Gary McElvaney speaks to us about what to look for when visiting our relatives, when worried whether they are able to properly care for themselves. You will also hear some options family member or family caregivers have when looking for a place for mom or dad outside their home.

If you are thinking of selling the family home, Sandra and Gary will walk you through "things to look for" or "how to prepare" the home for best showing. They want the family to walk away happy and feeling they got what they deserve.

Thank you for visiting. Carol at

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Texas Family Caregivers Discounts for Senior Services in Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio

Texas employees, working family caregivers, and Texas Seniors!! Get your discounts for elder care services, senior services, and family caregiver help! We've added some quality products and resources that you need when caring for an aging relative in Texas and self help for the caregiver.... Check it out by signing up for our discounts today! I know you will love them. I do!

Do you need a Geriatric Care Manager offering a 30 minute phone consultation at no charge to you? How about a discount on a cruise? That would be nice, a long get-a-way! How about a massage for $39 from Massage Envy? Oh, yeah... I can feel my back purr. Reverse Loan Guide offers $100 off the reverse mortgage loan appraisal, when closing on a reverse mortgage loan with Bob Heckler. And Sandra & Gary McElvaney, Senior Realtor Specialists, offers a 12 month basic Home Warranty package when you buy or sell a home that closes with them.

More discounts on senior services Caregiver Discounts

Introducing the CARE Memory Band! Enjoy a discount on the USB band that's worn on the wrist ~ it can save your life! It organizes and saves you personal medical history. You literally have your health history at hand and the EMS staff or caregiver can access the information needed to expedite care!It's a USB flash drive built into the wristband. See it in the Senior and Caregiver Discounts.

Exciting news for all Texas Seniors and the family who cares for you!

Thank you for visiting. Carol @

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Who Pays for Long Term Care? Remedy for Austin Caregiver Burnout and Texas Financial Help with Elder Care

Introducing Patti Wilikins with Genworth Financial at (512) 970-3428. She can help with Long Term Care Insurance and answer concerns on caring for yourself when getting older.

Who Pays for Long Term Care? In the past 12 months, how many conversations have you had about LTC?

Caring for aging relatives can quickly climb the ladder of stress, depression, and isolation. Family caregivers find themselves consumed with the elder's life! I've watched my own siblings shred apart when worrying about our dad. A hard topic to bring to family meetings is; "When does dad go to the nursing home?" We struggled with that question for a year.

I watched my two older sisters labor with that senior event - well, actually, they battled more with guilt the whole time dad went downhill and finally made the grueling decision to move him to the nursing home. I hated it. I hated the fact we could no longer care for him, we were thankless adult children and could not continue to do for him what he did for us. We then had the horrifying experience watching him resist moving to the "old folks" home.

Although dad passed eight months ago, guilt is still alive in my heart, mind, and soul. How can I come to terms with it? I don't know.

There is a better choice for you though. And there are many options for happier aging relatives. Yes, living out their lives living with you is not one that I'm referring to. Thank goodness. That can be a tough one especially if you work full-time and care for children of your own. Although, it can be a good, temporary option in the meantime.

I remember my dad, while discussing his move to the nursing home, he cried and said to us, "I wish I had done this differently." Yes, me too.

How could he/we have done it differently? Years before a Long Term Care Insurance Representative visited my parents and presented a long term care plan with LTC insurance. I was there. I sat on the living room floor and listened. After his presentation, I begged my parents to PLEASE think seriously about this option. My mom simply replied, "No, I'm going to the nursing home when I can no longer care for myself." Guess what??!! That never happened to her. But it did to my dad. Looking back he GREATLY anguished over losing the option of living his life out at home.

What I profess to seniors and family caregivers is consider your options. Look at all your choices. You may not have to choose just one but know you have options! So, how do you know "what" to do for yourself or your aging relatives? First, plan ahead. Think about how you want to live out your life... and start planning.

Long Term Care Insurance? What's that? If you parent's are like mine, they are unclear what it is, what it does, and how it can be a life saver for them and you, the caregiver.

Patti Wilkins, a career representative for Genworth Financial, speaks about the misconceptions of Medicare, Medicaid, Veterans Administration, and all the topics that get us confused about who's going to take care of me when I get old?

Click here to download…

Yes, there are misconceptions on what it can and will do for the senior and family. It can be confusing and LTC Insurance has changed since there are so many of us living longer. It works well for a lot of seniors. When doing your homework consider the facts; what LTC does and does not do for you.

Call Patti Wilikins today at (512) 970-3428. Ask her to help you understand all your long term care options. She's patient and thorough when helping put forth a plan for the future. Long Term Care Insurance can take the stress out of caregiving and tears out of aging.

Call now! You do have options but only if you plan ahead.

Thank you for visiting. Carol @