Preserving the Life Stories of our Seniors

Preserving the Life Stories of our Seniors

Many families today are discovering and preserving one of life’s greatest treasures…the stories in the hearts and minds of our parents and grandparents. In our digital age, more and more families are saving their cherished family memories in digital formats like hard drives and DVDs. They have recognized the value of recording these stories for themselves, their children, and generations to come.

The art of getting these stories has taken on many forms. is a website where a loved story can be traced through genealogy. helps store a loved one’s physical memories of old film, photos, slides, and tape through digitization. StoryCorps is an independently funded 501(c)(3) organization. Its mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.

In 1994, Spielberg funded a project to interview 50,000 Holocaust Survivors around the world. I worked on that project interviewing and recording the stories of those seniors. I was so emotionally moved by those stories that I started my company, Personal History Interviews, where we interview seniors one-on-one, and capture their unique memories.

When we encourage our aging loved ones to remember their past and talk about their memories and feelings, it validates the importance of their life’s experiences and strengthens family bonds. It reveals previously unknown facets of their character and past, helping us better understand who we are, where we are, and how we got here.

Through their own words, they are able to relive the accounts of their lives and experience a full range of emotion. These are not just the heroic stories of war or the building of a business empire. They are the real stories of struggle, failure, heartbreak, success, and love.

When you are ready to discover the treasures of your family, there are two major factors to consider when selecting a professional interviewer/videographer:

  • They have the best equipment. Their cameras, microphones, and lighting are going to give you the highest quality results. Remember, these treasured memories are going to last for generations to come and they should be preserved in the best possible manner. This is no time for the do-it-yourselfer!
  • They have the background and experience in working with and recording seniors. They have a plan with the best questions to ask to gain more insight into your loved one. Plus, having a non-family member in charge provides a blank page for stories to flow, which leads to capturing more memories that a family member may have not considered.

As we age, our memories not only seem more valuable, but more vivid. For many wistful seniors, the events of 60 years ago may be clearer than the day before. I encourage you to record these stories while loved ones are able and healthy enough to tell them.

Their stories are incredible!

Contributed by:
Dan Gelfond
Personal History Interviews

6 Tips to Prevent Senior Falls

6 Tips to Prevent Senior Falls

Falls are a leading cause of injury among older adults. As you get older, physical changes and health conditions—and medications used to treat those conditions—may make falls more likely. Consider six simple fall-prevention strategies.

1. Make an appointment with your doctor.
Be prepared to answer questions such as:

  • What medications are you taking? Make a list of your medications and supplements, and review with your doctor for side effects that may increase your risk of falling.
  • Have you fallen before? Write down the details, including when, where and how you fell. The details may help your doctor identify specific fall-prevention strategies.
  • Could your health conditions cause a fall? Be prepared to discuss your health conditions and how comfortable you are when you walk—for example, do you feel any dizziness, joint pain, shortness of breath, or numbness in your feet and legs when you walk? Your doctor may evaluate your muscle strength, balance and walking style (gait) as well.

2. Keep moving.
Physical activity is important for fall prevention. With your doctor’s approval, consider activities such as walking or water workouts or a home exercise routine. Such activities reduce the risk of falls by improving strength, coordination and flexibility. If you have specific concerns about your risk for falling, your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist who can create a custom exercise program aimed at improving your balance, flexibility, muscle strength and gait.

3. Wear sensible shoes.
Evaluate your footwear as part of your fall- prevention plan. Wear properly fitting, sturdy shoes with nonskid soles. Sensible shoes may also reduce joint pain.

4. Remove home hazards.
Take a look around your home. Your living areas may be filled with hazards. To make your home safer:

  • Remove boxes, newspapers, electrical cords and phone cords from walkways.
  • Move coffee tables, magazine racks and plant stands from high-traffic areas.
  • Secure loose rugs with double-faced tape, tacks or a slip-resistant backing—or remove loose rugs from your home all together.
  • Repair loose, wooden floorboards and carpeting.
  • Store clothing, dishes, food and other necessities within easy reach.
  • Immediately clean spilled liquids or food.

5. Light up your living space.
Keep your home brightly lit to avoid tripping on objects that are hard to see. Also:

  • Place night lights in your bedroom, bathroom and hallways.
  • Turn on the lights before going up or down stairs.
  • Store flashlights in easy-to-find places in case of power outages.

6. Use assistive devices.
Your doctor might recommend using a cane or walker to keep you steady. Other assistive devices can help, too. For example:

  • Hand rails for both sides of stairways
  • Nonslip treads for bare-wood steps
  • Nonslip mats in your bathtub or shower.
  • A raised toilet seat or one with armrests
  • Grab bars for the shower or tub
  • A sturdy plastic seat for the shower or tub — plus a hand-held shower nozzle for bathing while sitting down

If necessary, ask your doctor for a referral to an occupational therapist. He or she can help you brainstorm other fall-prevention strategies. Some solutions are easily installed and relatively inexpensive. Others may require professional help or a larger investment. If you’re concerned about the cost, remember that an investment in fall prevention is an investment in your independence.

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Hallmark Homecare Attracts High Quality Caregivers with Wages Above Industry Average

Hallmark Homecare Attracts High Quality Caregivers with Wages Above Industry Average

Streamlined Homecare Franchise Model Offers Higher Earning Potential, Attracts Quality Caregiver Candidates

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nevada (Feb. 16, 2018) – Hallmark Homecare, a nationwide network of care coordinators matching elderly clients with the right caregivers, is a leading employment choice for qualified caregivers. Due to Hallmark Homecare’s business model, caregivers have a higher earning potential with Hallmark than with other home care providers. The higher pay attracts more quality caregivers for Hallmark Homecare’s wide client base.

“Hallmark Homecare differs from traditional caregiver agencies by cutting out the middle man and allowing families to hire directly saving on agency costs,” said Steve Everhart, founder and president of Hallmark Homecare. “The savings allow our families to pay caregivers a better than industry average wage. We attract high quality caregiver candidates, and everyone in the system benefits from franchise owners to clients.”

Hallmark Homecare specializes in connecting experienced, fully-insured, trustworthy, reliable and credentialed home caregivers with families who want to hire in-home care for their loved ones. Hallmark Homecare is different than traditional homecare businesses because franchisees, known as care coordinators, search for and recruit the best professional caregivers and place them with clients on a direct-hire basis. Clients prefer this model because it emphasizes choice and empowerment. As the cost of homecare services rises, families also find they appreciate the 35 percent or more savings Hallmark Homecare provides.

Hallmark Homecare is affiliated with The Senior’s Choice, the largest and most recognizable membership network of senior care providers in the world. This association allows Hallmark Homecare franchisees to leverage the experience provided by The Senior’s Choice, which was founded in 1999. Hallmark Homecare franchisees also enjoy low initial investment, continual corporate support, the ability to grow their own client network and work from home.

“I’ve been in the senior care industry since 1999, and I see which areas need support,” said Everhart. “Entrepreneurs with passion for helping the aging community, compassion for others and the ability to easily empathize with folks as they meet the challenges of aging will flourish as Hallmark Homecare franchisees.”

No prior healthcare experience is required due to comprehensive corporate training and support. During training, franchisees develop sales and marketing techniques crucial to building their client network. Corporate provides training on care coordination and remains available for support once the franchisee has their Hallmark Homecare business up and running.

For franchise information, visit or call (888) 519-2500 (ext. 6).


Founded in 2013, Hallmark Homecare is a network of care coordinators catering to the home care client segment that prefers to directly hire their caregivers rather than engage an agency. Hallmark Homecare was created by Steve Everhart, founder of The Senior’s Choice, the largest and most recognizable membership network of senior care providers in the world. Utilizing resources provided by The Senior’s Choice, Hallmark Homecare is an in-home care option that brings affordability to elderly clients and their families and ensures a legal caregiver by providing insurance and taxation compliance previously unavailable at a lower price point. For more information, visit For franchise information, visit or call (888) 519-2500 (ext. 6).