• November 25, 2018
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Check On Your Parents This Holiday Season

The holidays are often the only time of year when the extended family gets together, and those occasions offer you and your siblings an opportunity to check on your parents well-being and discuss your observations together. Do they seem more forgetful or confused? Are they frailer than the last time you saw them? Have they lost too much weight? If you’ve noticed significant changes in their behavior and appearance, it’s time to discuss these concerns with your siblings and then, with all of you together, with your parents as well.

With the exception of sudden and unforeseen medical events, such as a fall or stroke, the need for assistance in aging parents rarely happens over night. However, most families wait until a medical crisis forces major decisions before acting. I’ve observed firsthand that those families who have been prepared end up with better quality care and much less stress — for your parents as well as you, the caregiver.

What does being prepared mean? Here are links to several articles I’ve written on what you can do to get ready and be prepared. It begins with a conversation with your parents. And there’s no time like the present for that first step. 

 

 

 

 

  • December 18, 2018
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CHEFS for SENIORS: Let your own personal chef do all the work

Imagine having just the meals you want, prepared just the way you like, without having to do any of the shopping, cooking, or clean-up.  Now, imagine having all this in the convenience of your own home. Sounds too good to be true?  It's not. 

Introducing CHEFS for SENIORS, a meal service in South Florida that connects seniors with licensed, professional chefs who prepare high quality, nutritious and affordable meals.  Sounds complicated but it's really very simple. A professional chef will come to your home and prepare a customized meal. Each visit takes about 2-3 hours and when the chef leaves you will have 10-12 complete servings of four different items, portioned and labeled for your convenience.

I met with Kelly Sheehan who owns and operates the company in South Broward (Fort Lauderdale and South) and Miami-Dade County.  He explained to me how it works.  

 

 

  • A professional chef will come to your home for an initial assessment where he/she will learn about your food preferences, ie: likes and dislikes, allergies, restrictions, etc. (all chefs are thoroughly screened and background checked)
  • You can go through their rotating seasonal menus and pick meals that you like and customize them to meet your individual preferences, OR You can choose a more customized menu that may be part of a diet or nutritional suggested by a physician or dietician.
  • You choose if you would like to do it weekly or bi-weekly.
  • The Chef will do the shopping and bring the food to your home. You can even specify where they shop for the food. They will also bring the cooking tools and equipment for use in your kitchen.
  • While there is no contract, they do require that you initially commit to two sessions. This makes sense because it can take a second visit to get it perfect!

Wondering if it's affordable?  Their prices are very reasonable.  It's the price of the food plus $140.00 for the standard weekly or bi-weekly service in which you receive 5-6 days of nutritious good, even more if you don't share!!  If you choose the more customized plan it is $165 plus the costs of the groceries. They also offer a pre-packaged plan where they deliver 2 portions of 5 different light lunch or dinner selections once a week. Regardless of the plan you choose all ingredients are fresh and low sodium. And by the way they also offer cooking classes and catering. 

I love this service for many reasons over and beyond the importance of maintaining healthy nutrition habits as we age. For those living alone, it's great company. You can chat, provide your two cents on recipes, and even be the sous chef if you'd like.  You can also invite a friend to do it with you and then have company for dinner.  

This is a great gift for any occasion.  Your loved one will love it. I know I would. Truth is, you don't have to be a "senior" to enjoy this great service.

To learn more about Kelly Sheehan and his services, visit his website.

They provide services throughout the East Coast of Florida as well as locations throughout the country. To see if there's a CHEF for SENIORS near you , click here.

  • December 28, 2018
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Keeping Your New Year Resolutions With The "New Years Shuffle"

Every year I make New Years' Resolutions, and every year I come back to this 2010 article from The Wall Street Journal on how to keep resolutions.  It never gets old or out of date, so here you go: 

_________________

 

I take the process of making New Years' Resolutions very seriously. Every year I make the resolutions just before December 25--- and spend the final week of the year thinking about what I will do to make them a part of my routine seamlessly.  I like the idea of starting anew with a clean slate in areas that I have failed at during the year.

And then, beginning on January 1--- I'm off and running!

Last year was the first year that I did not fall "off the wagon" two weeks into the year. I attribute that to the New Year's Shuffle!

An article in the WSJ from a few years ago made me realize that perhaps my lack of resolve was not entirely my fault. I’d just been going about it all wrong. According to Sue Shellenbarger, it’s not so much about willpower and discipline as it is about retraining the brain to form new habits. In other words, saying that I’m going to change my behavior just wasn't enough.

New Years' Resolutions require a more detailed plan of action that looks something like the diagram of the New Year's Shuffle shown in the article (diagram on right). It's a process. So for each resolution I make I do the following:

  1. Decide on my goal and make a plan.
  2. Practice beforehand.
  3. Think about what I do that makes me slip up.
  4. Plan for rewards when I practice my resolution.
  5. Practice focusing on my improved behavior.
  6. Reduce other stresses that get in the way.
  7. Plan punishments that will help to get started.
  8. Have a plan to get myself back on track if I slip.

I think this makes good sense, and it worked for me last year so I am going start practicing my 2012 resolutions...tomorrow.

What about you? Have you ever been able to stick to a New Years resolution? If so, how?

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Keeping Your New Year Resolutions With The "New Years Shuffle"

Every year I make New Years' Resolutions, and every year I come back to this 2010 article from The Wall... Read more


CHEFS for SENIORS: Let your own personal chef do all the work

Imagine having just the meals you want, prepared just the way you like, without having to do any of the... Read more