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Aging Wisely April 2016 - Aging Wisely

Linda’s Mother’s Day Gift List: Top 20


Linda Chamberlain and kids

Linda’s Mother’s Day Top Twenty Gift List: Make Mom Feel Special This Mother’s Day!

Time spent with your Mom is always the best gift. Whether in person, via telephone, email, or a handwritten letter she can read over and over again – any of these will be gratefully enjoyed by your Mom.

I miss my Mom on Mother’s Day and think back to all the special times we shared. As I get older I appreciate her hard work and efforts more than I probably let her know. The understanding of the talent, time, and patience it takes to care for your children is something you often don’t realize til many years after the experience.

Best recommendation – take time to spend with your Mom, let her know how much you appreciate her, and say thank you!

We’ve had fun putting together this Mother’s Day Gift Guide for you. Ideas that will work for Mom at any age, as well as some particular gifts chosen for the older Mom.

1. Passion PlannerIt’s never too late in the year to help Mom get excited about focusing on taking care of herself, setting goals, and enjoying the process. Special pricing is in effect right now.  I love the fact that this planner reminds you every day to write down “Good Things that Happened that Day”!

Mother's Day gift idea: Passion Planner

2. Amazon Echo: This is an incredible way to get Mom excited about technology and all of the awesome information, news, and music Alexa can provide throughout the day!  I love walking into my house after work and asking Alexa to play whatever type of music I’m in the mood for.  And then when something comes to my mind I don’t want to forget, I ask Alexa to set a reminder.  She has been an awesome addition to the family!

Amazon echo

3. Trakdot: I’ve been blessed to have never had my luggage lost while traveling.  With my Trakdot, if my luggage did get lost I can track exactly where it is.  It makes my traveling process much easier and less stressful.

TrakDot for luggage

4. Kindle Paperwhite Reader: My son gave me the very lightweight Paperwhite Kindle.  It weighs less than a paperback book.  I love it because no matter what position I want to be in while I read the Kindle it is never too heavy to hold for an extended period.  I love being able to make the font size so big I do not need to wear my glasses, what a perk!

Kindle Paperwhite

5. Box Sign with Mom Message: A variety of very cute and clever box signs are available for purchase on this website. The one I like especially as a Mother’s Day gift: “You’re the Mom everyone wishes they had.” What more is there to say?  This covers it all.

Mom Sign as Mother's Day Gift

6. Photo Album with Annotated Pictures: Shutterfly and Walgreens each have online services to help you create a photo album allowing you to annotate each picture with a note for Mom.  Memorializing your childhood, a special trip, pictures of Mom with her children, etc.… will all be great memories for her to enjoy and to share with others.

Mother's Day Gift Photo Book

7. Sonic Care Toothbrush: While not the sexiest Mother’s Day gift, this is often over looked and is a much needed item.  The Sonic Care toothbrush can help reduce your plaque, preventing a variety of health complications.  (Thank you, John, for the heads up!) WebMd states the following: “A growing body of research finds that bacteria and inflammation in your mouth are also linked to other problems, including heart attack and dementia, and may well jeopardize your overall health.”

Sonic Care Toothbrush

8. A facial or massage at a local spa or dermatologist’s office: Every woman loves to be pampered. There is nothing better than getting the little lift and perk you get from a facial.  Feeling brighter and looking more energetic feels good.  A massage will work all the knots out of Mom’s muscles from you stressing her out from time to time.

Mom enjoying a facial massage

9. A manicure/pedicure date: Accompany Mom and enjoy the time spent together while each of you enjoy a little pampering.  It will provide a good hour of one on one time your Mom will thoroughly enjoy.  Consider bringing a new nail polish along for Mom to try.

Mother's Day Mom Daughter pedicure date

10. Private stretching session: As we get older our body often gets stiff and we need to stretch our muscles and tendons.  Learning how to do stretching properly and prevent injuries is very helpful.  The benefits of learning to stretch and adding daily stretching to your routine are amazing.

Stretching Session

11. The Roomba:  We have two Labrador Retrievers, Lucy and Ethel.  The Roomba is one of my favorite household tools as we set it every day to vacuum the piles of dog hair that seem to accumulate daily.  I am surprised how well the Roomba vacuums and how easy it is to use.  It is very smart and even vacuums areas I’m sure that I may often miss.  I got mine at Costco and love it.

The Chamberlain dogs

12. Homemade dinner and/or Mom’s favorite dessert:  I remember my Mom always telling me she loved everything I cooked for her because it was so nice to not have to cook it herself.  She always appreciated the time and energy it took for me to make a meal.  I love it when my children invite me to their home for dinner and it really doesn’t matter what they serve.  I appreciate their efforts and the time spent with them.

family meal for Mother's Day

13. Exercise classes: As you may have read in my previous Blog post, I love Pure Barre.  It is challenging and the workout covers all parts of your body, top to bottom.  A series of classes and some cute Pure Barre Socks may be just what Mom needs to get her motivated.  Mention my name at Pure Barre Clearwater for a special discount!


14. Yoga mat and Basic Yoga class: Yoga …….  It is hard to believe the difference yoga can make with decreasing your stress and anxiety levels.  A yoga mat and matching towel is a fun way to enjoy the yoga experience.  One of my favorite places to shop for everything Yoga is Lululemon.

yoga clothes for Mom

15. Exercise clothes of any type: Exercise clothing is an easy and great gift to give to Mom.  A new workout outfit motivates you to get moving.  Since most workout clothing comes in S, M, L, and XL it is easy to buy something that will fit Mom.  Coordinating the colors with her socks and shoes makes it fun!  Title Nine is one of my favorites and if you don’t have time to order you can’t go wrong at Target.


16. Pajamas: Whether Mom lives at home or in a long term care facility new pajamas are always nice to receive.  Pajamas tend to fade and lose their comfortableness over time.  A new pair of pajamas can help you feel better and remind you someone was thinking of you.  Pajamas also cover your body to ensure modesty.  Even if Mom has some memory issues new pajamas will help her feel fresh and clean.  I love the selection at Pajamagram and love their delivery in a cute pajama bag.


17. Yeti Water Bottle: This bottle keeps liquids cold or hot, your preference.  It is pretty and functional.  It gives Mom the daily reminder of how much she means to you.  You can’t go wrong with a Yeti!

Yeti water bottle great gift

18. Flowers, candy, cards: Fresh fruit arrangements, favorite candies, or beautiful cookies are always great options.  One of my new favorites is Eleni’s cookies.  They are sugar cookies decorated with icing making them crisp and tasty.  Don’t want to say how many I sampled, but I wore them home from New York City!


19. Playlist of special music/songs for Mom to download: Make a play list of your favorites along with Mom’s favorites for her to download to her music device of choice.  I love listening to what my kids are listening to and sharing my favorites with them.  Music is a great and fun connector.

Mother's Day gift: custom playlist

20. Say thank you and mean it:  Writing it or saying it – it makes a difference.  While Moms are not perfect they often have sacrificed and worked hard to help you grow up and develop into the person you have become today.  Taking the time to state how sincerely thankful you are to Mom will make her year.  She will NOT forget and on those days she misses seeing you she will remember you sharing your thankfulness.

20_Thank you

For more great ideas and advice from Linda, join us on Facebook and sign up to receive Linda’s Journal delivered right to your inbox monthly. We hope these ideas have helped you find the ideal Mother’s Day gift to make your Mom feel special and appreciated.

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My Dad’s Death Still Haunts Me…Fitbit, Can You Help?



Over the last few weeks the image of my Dad on a ventilator has kept me awake at night. I’m still feeling very frustrated his Living Will was not available to prevent the insertion of a ventilator tube.

The Vial of Life program I discussed in my last blog post seems outdated when you think of all of the technological advances we have available. Many states have bracelets available you can wear to signify your desire of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and/or Comfort Measures Only (CMO). Some states allow for state registration of your completed DNR and CMO forms with electronic access made available to health care providers.

Fitbit, can you help?  Storing your known allergies, diagnosis, current meds, and treatment desires (i.e. DNR, CMO) on a secured site with access available through your Fitbit would solve a multitude of issues. Fitbits are widely accepted and worn by all ages. You can purchase fashionable Fitbits as well as very plain Fitbits. Your Fitbit can be a bracelet or it can attach to a piece of your clothing. I imagine a necklace could easily be developed.

Lives could be saved by immediate access to known allergies or diseases. What many people do not realize is that the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) System used by their physician’s office, their specialist physician’s office, their dentist, and their local hospital do not work together, therefore each location has their own set of medical records. If you have been to the doctor or have had a hospitalization you quickly see how many times you need to share the same information. Not only is it irritating to have to repeat when you are not feeling well there is lots of opportunity for error.

We may be years from nationwide legal health care directives but having a method of universal access to your healthcare information would save many lives. From bee stings to diabetes emergency treatment access to medical information could save lives.

The use of a Fitbit as universal access to self-established legal documents and health care records could save lives as well as help individual’s ensure their end of life wishes are going to be followed.  Plus all the current enjoyment of tracking your steps and staying healthy. Fitbit, can you help?

fitbit email

Update: I wrote to Fitbit Support and they expressed appreciation for my suggestion about Fitbit storing information such as known allergies, diseases and treatments. Stay tuned! I’ll let you know if anything develops from this as well as other possible technology solutions. Hopefully our experiences can help companies develop better solutions! 


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Blaze a Trail to Wellness


blaze a trail to wellness

As we lead up to Older Americans month with the theme of “Blaze a Trail”, we’re here to share additional resources and tips around the Older American Month tips sheets. Today’s topic, “wellness”, is one near and dear to us, and we have loads of great information for you!

Wellness Inspiration and Getting Started

First, for some inspiration, check out these amazingly fit older adults and learn how some of the myths you believe about aging and wellness are probably not true! Wellness is definitely possible in your later years, and it’s never too late to get started. It is even possible to challenge yourself with workouts like Crossfit. Weight lifting and building core strength can greatly improve quality of life and functionality for older adults.

But, as the OAM tip sheet recommends, pace yourself and check with your doctor about news fitness routines. Don’t think of wellness as chore, but think about things you might enjoy adding to your life. Did you love to go dancing when you were younger? Do you enjoy the outdoors? Would it be fun to socialize with a group and meet new friends through exercise class or a walking group?

Check out our local fitness ideas, including lots of fun groups/classes and free ways to stay fit. Joining up with a partner or buddies can help keep you on track, with the added bonus of socialization for mental and intellectual wellness.

Nutrition for Wellness

Staying active is important, but so is healthy eating. Check out our great resources on healthy eating and longevity and commit to making one small change today! Consider trying “meatless Monday” (or one day/week or meal each day with no meat), adding one additional serving of vegetables to your daily diet or cutting back on sugary drinks. Here are some great resources for eating wellness:

Healthy Food for a Long, Healthy Life, including the world’s 100 healthiest foods and easy ways to incorporate more vegetables and fruits into your diet

EasyLiving’s Aging and Nutrition, including tips for healthy eating on a budget

Engage for Wellness

Staying engaged (socially and intellectually) is important for brain health and overall well-being. Consider volunteering or try learning something new.

Here’s the Older Americans Month Tip Sheet on Civic Engagement for some ideas. Our team loves helping clients continue all the activities they enjoy (or trying new ones!). Contact us for a wellness assessment and recommendations or for help with senior transportation, meal preparation, senior concierge services and more.

contact us

Don’t forget to “like us” on Facebook…we’ll be highlighting amazing seniors blazing trails in all walks of life along with wellness tips and inspiration all month and beyond!


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Florida Medicaid Application Filing Workshop


Florida Medicaid application workshop seminar

Join us to learn more about filing a Florida Medicaid application for long term care benefits! Our expert, long-time elder law attorney and advocate, Linda Chamberlain, has filed thousands of Florida Medicaid applications for clients and she’s here to take some of the mystery out of this process for you! Make plans to join us on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 from 1:00-2:30. RSVP to reserve your seat, as they’re limited to the 1st 20 attendees.

What will you learn in the Florida Medicaid application workshop?

  • What long term care services does Florida Medicaid cover? What are the programs and options for care?
  • Who qualifies for long term care assistance under Florida Medicaid?
  • How to file a Florida Medicaid application for long term care services
  • What documents are required when filing a Florida Medicaid application?

This workshop specifically covers long term care services under Florida Medicaid, not other types of Medicaid programs. Please contact us if you need resources about other Medicaid programs or are not sure about what types of services or programs you might need. Our seasoned elder and disability advocacy team can help you find all the right resources!

*Informational materials are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.

Click below for the event flier with all the details:

Filing a Florida Medicaid Application workshop flier

RSVP for the Florida Medicaid application workshop by calling 727-447-5845 or emailing lashford(at)

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Older Americans Month 2016: Blaze A Trail


Older Americans Month logo


Blazing a Trail to Older Americans Month

Our Aging Wisely team has been privileged to work with many amazing older adults. We see all the value of their history and wisdom, as well as the varied ways they contribute to society today. Older adults have long made great contributions to society with important roles in politics, the arts, business, science and more. This year’s theme, “Blaze a Trail,” emphasizes the ways older adults are reinventing themselves through new work and passions, engaging their communities, and positively impacting lives of people of all ages.

While we celebrate and support older adults year-round, we will use the time leading up to Older Americans Month to focus on some special older adults blazing trails in our community and world. We will also highlight the importance of advocacy and planning for aging issues and share specific tips and resources on the various “Blazing a Trail” topics highlighted in the OAM tips sheets (reinvention, securing your finances, wellness, civic engagement).

History of Older Americans Month

A meeting in April 1963 between President John F. Kennedy and members of the National Council of Senior Citizens led to designating May as “Senior Citizens Month,” which later became “Older Americans Month”.

The annual observance, spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living, offers the opportunity to learn about, support, and celebrate our nation’s older citizens. Every President since Kennedy has issued a proclamation asking that the entire nation pay tribute to older persons in their communities.

Older Americans Blazing a Trail

We’ll be sharing more stories of older adults who play a big part in society today and don’t let age keep them from pursuing excellence. We welcome your suggestions/comments! Here’s some inspiration to kick us off:

Check out a few of our favorite ultra-fit seniors, 97 year-old-yoga instructor Tao Porchon-Lynch, marathoner Harriette Thompson, and bodybuilder Ernestine Shepard.

Just a few famous examples of older adults’ contributions to society:

Laura Ingalls Wilder published her 1st book at age 64 and completed the series at age 76.

Benjamin Franklin signed the Declaration of Independence when he was 70.

“Grandma” Moses inspired many with her paintings, after picking up the paintbrush for the first time at age 76.

Ruth Bader Ginsberg, 83-year old Supreme Court Justice, took her seat at age 60 as the 2nd woman Justice.

Join us on Facebook to share your inspiring stories during Older Americans Month and to get our latest updates.

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Our goal is to enable every individual we work with to live the most fulfilling life possible, with utmost dignity, focusing on their physical, mental, spiritual, family and financial wellbeing.