Best Practices in Person-Centered Care

by dale on October 13, 2015

a safe drive through driving process

ATTENTION: Nurses, social workers, long term care administrators!!!

Michiana Gerontology Institute’s one day conference offers 5.75 Contact hours for Nurses; 5.5 CEU’s for Social Workers and Long Term Care Administrators. Holy Cross College, Notre Dame, Indiana. Thursday, October 22, 2015.

This year’s conference theme, “Best Practices in Person-Centered Care” features Viki Kind ( international speaker, clinical bioethicist and author of “The Caregiver’s Path to Compassionate Decision Making”.)

Additional break-out sessions, breakfast, lunch and a FREE autographed copy of Viki’s book are included.

This will be a great day of learning, sharing and networking across the road from University of Notre Dame.

Limited seats left. To reserve your space today,
register online at

We hope you can join us!




A Daughter’s Last Words to her Mother

by dale on September 7, 2015

Mom at 16 years old

My mother’s funeral service was this past Friday, September 5, 2015 at Fairhaven chapel in Maryland.  My brother sang “It is Well with My Soul” in a voice that can only be described as angelic!  I then delivered her eulogy, as follows:

“On behalf of my brother and me, thank you for being here today to join in the celebration of Mom’s life.  I want to share our special memories of our mother and also what the Fairhaven community meant to her.

Mom had a caring and gentle spirit.  As I look back, it was the everyday moments that are etched in my mind:

  • Sitting on her bed as she taught me to tie my shoes
  • Sitting in her lap in the church parsonage as she took committee meeting minutes
  • Walking beside her to school during 1st and 2nd grade, a total of 6 miles each day which she walked in high heels!

As the years went by and I became a young mother, states away and often feeling overwhelmed and alone, she supported and guided me with long distance phone calls, most everyday.

Allan experienced her unconditional love and support during and after his divorce and job loss.

She was our rock.

As our families grew with spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she had an amazing knack of keeping up with each family member despite the distance, with family living in Chicago, Denver, Seattle, Richmond and Atlanta.

When possible, she traveled to visit each of us and our families to enjoy everyday moments and milestone events.  Despite health challenges, she attended every graduation and every wedding of her 4 grandchildren.  At the age of 78, she delighted in finally getting her first computer.  She quickly learned to Skype and view photos from her Facebook friends.  She loved to say she had entered “the world of technology.”

Let me share what Fairhaven meant to her.  In 2008, after a health and life crisis, she chose to sell her home and move to as she called it, “that place on the hill.”  She said she felt like she had finally gotten to college and was living in a dorm.  She was blessed to have her lifelong friends, Jean and Sarah, stay with her to the end.  But, at Fairhaven, she found a new family, the residents and the staff.  She told me she learned so much from talking with and getting to know others.  She especially enjoyed mealtime, truly the highlight of each day.  Mom would invite Allan, Jan and me to join her at meals when we visited.  We were stunned to hear our quiet mother engage others in conversation.  We knew she had found her “home.”

As cancer began to take hold, she chose to fight.  She told Allan that she would fight to the end with every fiber of her being, and she did.

In retrospect, we truly believe she fought to continue impacting lives.  The wonderful aides, nurses and staff were so loving, caring and professional.  But they were more than that.  They became her “true friends.”

Mom came to Fairhaven, physically ill and broken in spirit.  She departed, an integral part of the Fairhaven community, feeling loved and respected.

As I think about the way in which Mom lived each and every day, I am reminded of the quote by Mother Teresa, “Do small things with great love.”

If Mom could speak to us today, I know she would simply say, “love you and thank you.”

We love you Mom!



Workbook for Older Drivers & Their Families – now available in South Bend, Indiana

August 7, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (July 25, 2015 . Contact:  Matt Gurwell, Founder & CEO, Keeping Us Safe, LLC.  (877) 907-8841 or (South Bend, IN) – Do you wonder if the older driver in your family may be experiencing diminishing driving skills as a result of the natural aging process?  Has your parent become lost recently while […]

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Parkinson’s diagnosis? Amazing help & hope!

June 7, 2015

Do you recall the moment of your loved one’s diagnosis of Parkinson’s (or Lewy Body with parkinsonism)?  It is devastating because your loved one is told … you are the best you will ever be.  Your symptoms (the tremors, shuffling gait, balance issues) will only get worse. When my husband received his initial diagnosis at […]

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How to Help Your Aging Parent ‘Retire from Driving’

May 18, 2015

Worried about your aging loved one driving safely?  Don’t know how to broach the issue?  Fearing the conversation?   Then consider  the “Enhanced Self-Assessment Program”, a tool that has been used by thousands of families across the US and Canada.  It helps guide families and older adults through the stressful, emotion-packed and often life-threatening issue of […]

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Geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas 30 City Tour: Changing the Face of Aging

May 6, 2015

Geriatrician Dr. Bill Thomas asks, “What if nearly everything we think we know about aging is wrong?  Our culture tells us that aging will change us against our will, and for the worse.  What if we decided to change aging and begin to approach life’s most dangerous game with the skill and enthusiasm it requires?” […]

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Think You’ll Never Need Long Term Care? Think Again!

April 29, 2015

Do you know what you really can expect after retirement? 86% of us will use caregiver services 61% of us will use home health services 51% of us will use a nursing home And, the real eye-opener is that only 12% of the projected cost will be covered by Medicare! Take a bit of time […]

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Out of the Ashes: A Two-part Seminar Dealing with Difficult Life-Changes

April 5, 2015

Many thanks to Carol Swope, Stephen Ministry Coordinator at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church (Edwardsburg, MI), for the following guest post about a very special upcoming event as well as their ongoing Stephen Ministry.   Out of the Ashes:  A Two-part Seminar Dealing with Difficult Life-Changes   Tuesday, April 21st and 28th, 6:30 […]

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Pet Loss and Dementia

March 30, 2015

When it comes time to end the life of our beloved pets, it is hard enough when the pet owner is of sound mind.  But imagine having dementia, especially early stage! For more than 3 months, Zeus (our 11 year old Australian Shepherd) had been very ill.  At first it seemed to be bronchitis and […]

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How to limit Sibling Rivalry in Senior Care

January 31, 2015

Many thanks to Fay Wein, a content marketing and communications specialist at Senior Planning Services, for the following guest post.  (To learn more about Fay, see her contact information at the end of this post.) Sibling roles and family dynamics are usually aggravated when there is a nerve-wracking or stressful family dilemma to deal with. […]

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