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Christopher MacLellan The Bow Tie Guy

You Might Know Me As The Bow Tie Guy - "Wearing a bow tie is like wearing two smiles."

When people ask me, "why did you create the Whole Care Network"... I always come back to our caregiving experience and how fortunate I was to find resources that helped me and my partner Richard Schiffer manage our caregiving journey. Every Caregiver has a story; through our stories, we find validation, resources, and respite to help manage our caregiving day.

We were fortunate to have our story chronicled in a 2015 Pulitzer Prize-nominated 3-part story, “In Sickness and In Health: A Couple’s Final Journey,” which told our journey of caregiving. The story told of the challenges LGBT partners have in dealing with the medical and legal system, but it also told of the love and joy my partner Richard's last years had on our relationship.

Our story has been read by over 500,000 people worldwide since it was published in April of 2014. One of the reasons our story was so successful was because readers could place themselves in our shoes, dealing with the health care system, the legal system, balancing work and life while facing the reality our time together was short. It was an afterthought that the story just happened to be about two men.

When it comes to caregiving, there are no economic boundaries, no racial boundaries, no gender boundaries, and no orientation boundaries. Caregiving impacts everyone, and it is through story sharing where diversity meets the road to collaborate on a common cause. And our common cause is to support caregivers before, during, and after caregiving has ended.

Recent Content

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Sam Timbrook: Helping Caregivers Heal &Raquo; Healing Ties
Sam Timbrook: Helping Caregivers Heal

Having served as a Pastor and public school special educator, my life changed when I became a Caregiver for his wife and child. Holding a Master's degree in counseling, and a Dr. of Ministry, Sam wa…

Having served as a P…

Having served as a Pastor and public school special educator, my life changed when I became a Caregiver for his wife and child. Holding a Master's degree in counseling, and a Dr. of Ministry, Sam was not prepared for this life-changing responsibility. Now, as a Board Certified Master Mental Health Life Coach, Sam has created a 501(c3) program focusing on caregivers and Grief. Listen in and learn how Sam is creating Healing Ties all around us! To learn more about SamTimbrook's non-profit visit Sam Timbrook

Listen · 53:04
Claire Sachs: My Path To Patient Advocacy &Raquo; Claire Sachs My Path To Patient Advocacy
Claire Sachs: My Path to Patient Advocacy

38 years ago, Claire Sachs' healthcare journey began with a near-fatal illness that put her in a wheelchair for 18 months. This experience evolved into a life that includes balancing 13 chronic and re…

38 years ago, Claire…

38 years ago, Claire Sachs' healthcare journey began with a near-fatal illness that put her in a wheelchair for 18 months. This experience evolved into a life that includes balancing 13 chronic and recurring conditions followed by caregiving for her mom. Angry, combative, and frustrated for a long time, Claire didn't want to talk about her personal health story, but that all changed when she was invited to speak about her experience and found her voice and path to Patient Advocacy. Listen in and learn how Claire Sachs is creating Healing Ties all around us!

Listen · 44:12
No One Without Song &Raquo; No One Without Song
No One Without Song

Through her marvelous book: "The Courage to Care: Being Fully Present with the Dying" Rev. Linda Bryce's mission is to pass on her understandings and show us how to be there at the bedside, fully pre…

Through her marvelou…

Through her marvelous book: "The Courage to Care: Being Fully Present with the Dying" Rev. Linda Bryce's mission is to pass on her understandings and show us how to be there at the bedside, fully present with anyone who is dying, and sharing in the mystery and wonder of death—and after.  When there is someone at our side, challenging times become more bearable. Whether it is an unexpected life-ending diagnosis, loss of employment or even of the ability to go places and see people, the presence of another alongside us offers reassurance and a confirmation of our value and membership in a c…

Listen · 48:44
Caregivers: The Journey Begins With You! &Raquo; Caregivers The Journey Begins With You 1
Caregivers: The Journey Begins with You!

For more than thirty-five years, Author Susan Ryan has been in roles of non-professional (unpaid) caregiving support for family and loved ones. Through her experience as a family Caregiver, (currentl…

For more than thirty…

For more than thirty-five years, Author Susan Ryan has been in roles of non-professional (unpaid) caregiving support for family and loved ones. Through her experience as a family Caregiver, (currently navigating her husband’s care with his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease), Susan has moved from feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and yes - sometimes frightened, to confident and balanced navigating the transitions being care receiver, those who support us, and I are on in our journey. As a dynamic and international speaker, Sue's free caregiving tips are a must-have no matter where you are o…

Listen · 46:57
Learn About The Lgbtq Caregiver Center &Raquo; Learn About The Lgbtq Caregiver Center
Learn About the LGBTQ Caregiver Center

Zander Keig, MS, MSW, LCSW, and Jennifer Henius, LCSW are caregivers and social workers embarking an ambitious and much-needed project to launch the LGBTQ Caregiver Center as a new online resource hub…

Zander Keig, MS, MSW…

Zander Keig, MS, MSW, LCSW, and Jennifer Henius, LCSW are caregivers and social workers embarking an ambitious and much-needed project to launch the LGBTQ Caregiver Center as a new online resource hub as part of the Caregiver Wellness Collective Inc, a new nonprofit startup based in greater Tampa Bay, Florida. The LGBTQ Caregiver Center aims to raise awareness of the unique challenges faced by #LGBTQCaregivers and those who care for #LGBTQ individuals, empower LGBTQ Caregivers to live with #pride and #dignity, and serve as a conduit for education, wellness, training, and research. The Cent…

Listen · 49:59
Empowerment Through Wellness: Jodi O'Donnell-Ames &Raquo; Empowerment Through Wellness Jodi O Donnell Ames
Empowerment through Wellness: Jodi O'Donnell-Ames

Jodi O’Donnell – Ames is a professional speaker, wellness and empowerment coach, author, podcaster, and tireless advocate for Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Jodi is …

Jodi O’Donnell –…

Jodi O’Donnell – Ames is a professional speaker, wellness and empowerment coach, author, podcaster, and tireless advocate for Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Jodi is also the founder and current board member of Hope Loves Company, a non-profit organization committed to providing educational and emotional support to children and young adults who have had or have a loved one battling ALS in their lives. Now on her second career after caregiving has ended, Jodi is helping people change their lives by empowering people to live happily through wellness in body, mi…

Listen · 49:05
Alz Authors: Untangling Alzheimer'S And Dementia One Story At A Time &Raquo; Alz Authors Untangling Alzheimers And Dementia One Story At A Time
Alz Authors: Untangling Alzheimer's and Dementia One Story at a Time

Marianne Scuicco is a registered nurse, dementia daughter, and author of the novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story. She is also a founding member and manager of AlzAuthors.com, the global…

Marianne Scuicco is …

Marianne Scuicco is a registered nurse, dementia daughter, and author of the novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story. She is also a founding member and manager of AlzAuthors.com, the global community of authors writing about Alzheimer's and dementia from personal experiences. On Alzauthors.com you’ll discover hundreds of inspirational stories which span all Alzheimer’s and dementia stages to offer you keen insights and better understandings of this insidious disease. Marianne also hosts and produces the popular Untangling Alzheimer's and Dementia podcast. Listen in and learn…

Listen · 46:11
Bj Miller: From Caregiver To Care Reciever To Palliative Care Physician &Raquo; Bj Miller From Caregiver To Care Reciever To Palitive Care Physcian
BJ Miller: From Caregiver to Care Reciever to Palliative Care Physician

Dr. BJ Miller is a longtime hospice and palliative medicine physician and educator. He currently sees patients and families via telehealth through Mettle Health, a company he co-founded with the aim t…

Dr. BJ Miller is a l…

Dr. BJ Miller is a longtime hospice and palliative medicine physician and educator. He currently sees patients and families via telehealth through Mettle Health, a company he co-founded with the aim to provide personalized, holistic consultations for any patient or Caregiver who needs help navigating the practical, emotional and existential issues that come with serious illness and disability. BJ has worked in all settings of care: hospital, clinic, residential facility, and home. Led by his own experiences as a patient, BJ advocates for the roles of our senses, community and presence in desi…

Listen · 49:02
Enjoy A Cup Of Comfort With Trish Laub &Raquo; Enjoy A Cup Of Comfort With Trish Laub
Enjoy a Cup of Comfort with Trish Laub

Award-winning author Trish Laub’s expertise is derived from the full-time care of her parents, one with Alzheimer’s and one with stage 4 cancer, for whom she delivered the care and end of life the…

Award-winning author…

Award-winning author Trish Laub’s expertise is derived from the full-time care of her parents, one with Alzheimer’s and one with stage 4 cancer, for whom she delivered the care and end of life they desired. She served not only as a hands-on Caregiver but also as the manager of both of her parents’ daily and medical care, as well as their in-home caregivers and overall care team. She has gone on to assist many others through their care journey. Trishs' "Comfort in Their Journey" book series provides the clear, concise, and easily accessible information that she wishes had been available…

Listen · 49:42
The Waiting Room Revolution &Raquo; The Waiting Room Revolution
The Waiting Room Revolution

Dr. Hsien Seow and Dr. Samantha Winemaker have worked their entire careers helping those who are facing serious illnesses. For years, they often heard patients and families say they felt unprepared …

Dr. Hsien Seow and D…

Dr. Hsien Seow and Dr. Samantha Winemaker have worked their entire careers helping those who are facing serious illnesses. For years, they often heard patients and families say they felt unprepared and overwhelmed. Despite years of education, research, and advocacy, they continued to hear patients and families say “Why didn’t anyone tell me that sooner…” They started the Waiting Room Revolution movement because they wanted to improve the patient and family illness experience. They wanted to educate …and build a community to share deeply human stories about caring for others. …

Listen · 49:59
Why Is Grandma Naked? &Raquo; Why Is Granda Naked
Why Is Grandma Naked?

Ellen Prober Rittberg is an award-winning journalist whose humorous essays and features have appeared in the NY Times, HuffPost, Reader's Digest, and other major platforms. After being a Caregiver t…

Ellen Prober Rittber…

Ellen Prober Rittberg is an award-winning journalist whose humorous essays and features have appeared in the NY Times, HuffPost, Reader's Digest, and other major platforms. After being a Caregiver to her mother for six years and realizing even though as an attorney she'd represented senior citizens for many years and had written reports and recommendations for judges on other cases, she felt overwhelmed and largely clueless when she began caregiving. From her personal and professional experience ….Ellen wrote Why is Grandma Naked? Caring for Your Aging Parent….in a practical and humorou…

Listen · 45:37
Celebrating Pride By Advocating For Lgbtq Seniors &Raquo; Celebrating Pride By Advocating For Lgbtq Seniors
Celebrating Pride by Advocating for LGBTQ Seniors

LGBTQ seniors are among the most important and rapidly growing segment of our community. Understanding LGBTQ history can help us be better caretakers and advocates for LGBTQ older adults. Our gues…

LGBTQ seniors are am…

LGBTQ seniors are among the most important and rapidly growing segment of our community. Understanding LGBTQ history can help us be better caretakers and advocates for LGBTQ older adults. Our guest, Amy Whelan has been a Senior Staff Attorney at the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) since 2011 and works on NCLR’s full range of litigation, policy, and public education work. Amy litigates complex civil cases around the country regarding marriage equality, employment discrimination, Title IX, family law, access to healthcare, prisoners’ civil rights, the First Amendment, and oth…

Listen · 49:31
Susie Singer Carter - My Mom And The Girl &Raquo; Susie Singer Carter My Mom And The Girl
Susie Singer Carter – My Mom and the Girl

Susie Singer Carter is a writer/director/producer who has an intense passion for projects that emphasize girl power of all kinds - for all ages. Above all that... Susie is an extraordinary Caregiver …

Susie Singer Carter …

Susie Singer Carter is a writer/director/producer who has an intense passion for projects that emphasize girl power of all kinds - for all ages. Above all that... Susie is an extraordinary Caregiver too! Featuring the late great Valerie Harper, Susie's critically acclaimed film…My Mom and the Girl is based on her true story of caring for her Mom, is a heart-warming, uplifting film that gives an unexpected and joyous look at Alzheimer's, diversity, and caring. Listen in and learn how Susie is creating Healing Ties through her Love Conquers Alz podcast and awarded winning film My Mom and t…

Listen · 48:43
Caregivers Are Welcomed At Nancy'S House &Raquo; Caregivers Are Welcomed At Nancys House
Caregivers are Welcomed at Nancy's House

Elissa Lewin is a licensed psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, who has been in practice over 30 years, and she’s the Founder and Executive Director of Nancy’s House. Nancy’s …

Elissa Lewin is a li…

Elissa Lewin is a licensed psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, who has been in practice over 30 years, and she’s the Founder and Executive Director of Nancy’s House. Nancy’s House is a program designed to break the isolation and exhaustion that can come with being a family Caregiver. The program evolved from Elissa’s own experience as a “serial Caregiver”. Nancy’s House is a unique program in the US. It combines rest and nurturing with Self-Care skills, connection and support for caregivers in 1-day and 3-day retreat. Throughout the episode you'll learn abou…

Listen · 47:34
It Does Happen: Early Onset Dementia &Raquo; It Does Happen Onset Dementia Diagnosis
It Does Happen: Early Onset Dementia

At any age, a dementia diagnosis is difficult to grasp... But a dementia diagnosis at age 42? This episode of Healing Ties features special guest David Benedetto who shares his important story about…

At any age, a dement…

At any age, a dementia diagnosis is difficult to grasp... But a dementia diagnosis at age 42? This episode of Healing Ties features special guest David Benedetto who shares his important story about being diagnosed with Early Onset Dementia at 42 and Dementia Care expert Gary Joseph LeBlanc from the Dementia Spotlight Foundation . Listen in and learn how David and Gary are inspiring other and creating Healing Ties by sharing their stories and critical resources to help those with faced with this diagnosis be better prepared for their own personal journey.

Listen · 49:33
Person Centered Approach To Dementia Care &Raquo; Person Centered Approach To Dementia Care
Person Centered Approach to Dementia Care

Judy Cornish is an author, founder of the Dementia & Alzheimer’s Wellbeing Network (DAWN®), creator of the DAWN Method® and retired elder law attorney. Her two books (The Dementia Handbook and De…

Judy Cornish is an a…

Judy Cornish is an author, founder of the Dementia & Alzheimer’s Wellbeing Network (DAWN®), creator of the DAWN Method® and retired elder law attorney. Her two books (The Dementia Handbook and Dementia With Dignity) take person-centered dementia care from theory to practice by identifying the skills not lost to dementia. Through DAWN, Judy provides counseling, private classes and an online video program for families and home caregivers. Judy's goal is to help families learn how to truly support their loved ones and enjoy more companionship as they live with dementia. Listen in and lea…

Listen · 49:47
Higher Standards Caregiver Training &Raquo; Higher Standards Caregiver Training
Higher Standards Caregiver Training

Emilia Bourland, OTR, ECHM is an occupational therapist who has spent her career advocating for and treating the needs of clients and caregivers. As an educator at Texas Woman's University Master of …

Emilia Bourland, OTR…

Emilia Bourland, OTR, ECHM is an occupational therapist who has spent her career advocating for and treating the needs of clients and caregivers. As an educator at Texas Woman's University Master of Occupational Therapy program, and as a clinician working in settings as diverse as the ICU, acute care, inpatient rehab, skilled nursing, home modification, home health, and outpatient clinics, Emilia came to see two well defined truths. Caregivers are foundationally vital to our healthcare system.Caregivers are rarely, if ever, given the tools, knowledge, and skill-set they need to safely care f…

Listen · 40:27
Hope Springs Eternal With Jeff Studzinski &Raquo; Healing Ties
Hope Springs Eternal with Jeff Studzinski

We've all heard the phrase, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" ...cancer coach and motivational speaker is Revolutionizing Growth and making lemonade all over the world with his inspiring sto…

We've all heard the …

We've all heard the phrase, "when life gives you lemons, make lemonade" ...cancer coach and motivational speaker is Revolutionizing Growth and making lemonade all over the world with his inspiring story of hope and love. As a two time cancer survivor and kidney transplant recipient , Jeff Studzinski shares his inspiring story that will warm your heart and fill you with hope. Listen in and learn about Jeff's "angel" and how he is creating Healing Ties all around us!

Listen · 45:48
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