Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hi-Tech and Hi-Touch Transportation System for Elders

One Company's Goal to Offer Quality Transportation to the Senior Community

Offering an affordable, accessible and high quality transportation system for the senior community is the goal of Cleveland based company, Senior Transportation Connection. For over 10 years, STC has been helping seniors in the Cuyahoga County and Cleveland area get around the city in the quickest and easiest way while offering a personal touch not experienced by public transportation.

Janice Zeigel, of STC, says that their transportation services can take seniors wherever they need to, from medical appointments and senior centers to grocery stores and hairdressers. Janice says “One of the most difficult decisions someone can make is giving up the car. We exist to make that an easier process for older adults.”

Making the decision to give up driving is a tough one that many people don’t like to make. A recent AARP study shows that men will out-live their driving age by 8 years, and women by 10. Janice explains, “There are many reasons older adults may need to give up driving, it may be as simple as arthritis that limits the range of motion in your neck. There’s also limitations in older adults being able to use public transportation, growing up in the Cleveland area we drive, we dont extensively use public transportation. It’s a difficult transition to make if you stop driving to think you can just start using public transportation.”

Janice says that there service is different than what you would get with public transportation. “We are very customer focused, our drivers are well trained and they provide as much physical assistant as an individual may need, whether it’s boarding the bus or carrying the grocery bags.” STC makes an effort to not only provide a high quality ride and assistance on the bus, but also behind the scenes. STC has a sophisticated program that their reps use that remembers names, the last five locations an individual has traveled to and a system that calculates the fastest routes to make sure they arrive at appointments on time.

Helping Your Family Stay Safe

Something that STC offers that you won’t get anywhere else is a safety net system they have in place with their drivers. “The Hi-Touch part of the service is that driver the high level physical assistance as well as taking note of that individual's condition that day. We have a responsibility to report things if we know them. We have connections in the community, if our driver notices something with an individual that may not be quite right we always ensure there is a follow-up.”

Janice says that there a number of signs you can look for to see if someone you know may not be in the condition to drive anymore. If you get in the car with this person, a big sign is if they are only making right turns or if they are decreasing the radius that they will drive. Other things to look for are if the person’s car has scratches and/or dents that aren’t explainable, this may mean they are having a tough time staying alert while driving.

“It’s important to understand the importance of access for people. Everything can’t happen at home, so the ability to get out and appreciate life and activities is so critically important in the lives of older adults in our community” says Janice.

Senior Transportation Connection is here to help your loved ones get around town easily, safely and in the most enjoyable way possible. If you or someone you know could benefit from STC’s service, please don’t hesitate to contact. You can visit their site at or call one of their representatives to answer any questions at 1-800-983-4782.


Here at Stay At Home Modifications, we make your well-being our priority. Our interview series goes hand in hand with that effort, and we hope you find it helpful! For more information on how we can help you make your home a home for life, visit us at or call me (Brian Pritchard) at 216-212-7531.

Planning for People not Property

Estate Planning does not have to be a scary word anymore.

When you hear “estate planning” you may be thinking of what a millionaire will do with their home and what they will do with all their money when they pass. This is something that Margaret Karl, estate planner and elder law professional of 13 years, gets all the time and she explains why that is not the case. “They have the misconception that if I don’t have millions or a lot wealth then I don’t need to be concerned about it”. She adds that “Things like power of attorney, living wills, designating your wishes. Who is going to take care of my stuff if I can’t, who is going to pay the electric bill if I can’t or who will talk to the doctor. Those are all things people need to be concerned about.”

Margaret lists a few life events that make people a little bit more proactive in their own planning. These events include an illness, either to yourself or a spouse, death of a family member, or having children. Margaret says that “those are the most common things that I see happen that draw people in to sit and talk about things.”

Not Planning Ahead
Our conversation leads into what could go wrong if something happened and the person has not planned anything. She explains, “Some of the things that can go wrong, regardless of how much or how little money they have, people don’t have beneficiaries on accounts like life insurance or IRA’s, they never updated them. Those are very simple things that cost no money to update that help pass money along, but it gets forgotten.” Margaret encourages people to take out documents like wills, life insurance, IRA’s and review them every couple of years just to make sure the information on them is current.

Planning Ahead
There are a number of cases where people do plan ahead though, and are able to be prepared for life events. A client's son, explains Margaret, “had been put on permanent disability, and every program for disability provides a max on how much income and assets a person can have. We made some modifications so when the time came and his dad passed away, the money would be put in a trust in order to provide for him.” She says that in a case where they had not met, the money would be paid directly to the son and would have caused some major conflicts with his benefits he would be receiving from disability.

Knowing When to Get Started
Sometimes it might be difficult to tell if you need to sit and talk with an estate planner, it is not something most of us think about very often. Margaret offers advice on when is the right time to sit and talk with a professional. “If you have never done any kind of planning, if you have no will, no power of attorneys, nothing, or if it has been more than four or five years since you have even looked at anything. The other reason would, like we discussed earlier, if you had something happened, somebody passed away or life changing event, certainly we want to speak during those times.”

Many people tend to put things like this off because they think they need to know everything and have all kinds of paperwork prepared. Margaret explains that is not the case and this a process that can go as slowly or quickly as you need it to. Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know what to do. Margaret offers a free consultation as well as free seminars where you can learn more about estate planning.

To speak with Margaret you can visit her site to email her or find out if she is hosting a seminar near you. You can also call her at 440-973-4145 or her toll free number at 850-560-6062. Margaret truly cares about her clients and gets to know them so she can help in the best way possible.


Here at Stay At Home Modifications, we make your well-being our priority. Our interview series goes hand in hand with that effort, and we hope you find it helpful! For more information on how we can help you make your home a home for life, visit us at or call me (Brian Pritchard) at 216-212-7531.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Giving Voice to Our Soldiers: The Music of Jimmy Flynn

Local Songwriter Puts Soldiers and Veterans In the Spotlight
Jimmy Flynn, American patriotic singer/songwriter live performance

Jimmy Flynn is a local songwriter with a unique focus: He writes songs that pay tribute to America’s men and women in uniform. “My first song was about Christmas time,” he shared. “I realized how difficult Christmas time—the holiday season—can be on people who have recently lost loved ones, so I wrote a song from the perspective of a loved one in heaven. … Then I dovetailed that into another concept that I had as far as a recent soldier dying and going to heaven and writing and singing how he still loves and cherishes his beloved America. That song became My America, I Love You.”

From there, Flynn felt inspired to give further voice to American soldiers and those who love them. He imagined different scenarios and let his creative process unfold. “I started writing patriotic songs from different perspectives, i.e., a mother and a father sending their son off to war, [and another] from the perspective of people welcoming soldiers back home, that sort of thing. I think to date I’ve written over 40 patriotic songs.” Of those 40, Flynn included 13 songs on his new album, My America, Vol. 1.

While Flynn did not serve in the armed forces himself (he was never called during the Vietnam War due to having a high draft number), he has always felt a strong support for our troops. “I’ve always been patriotic, and the longer I live, the more patriotic I become. … I had a number of uncles who were [in the second World War]. … As you know, that generation is known as the greatest generation. All they did was save the world for us, certainly when you think of Hitler and Stalin, the fact that France had already fallen and Great Britain was about to fall. Some may feel that this is an exaggeration but I don’t feel that way at all. The Americans literally saved the world. … Because of the American involvement and that generation, we are here today enjoying our freedoms.”

“My generation, the generation of Baby Boomers, our war was the Vietnam War. It’s such a tragic issue as far as how the veterans returned from the Vietnam War and how they were not treated well, at best, and mistreated at worst when they did come home. It was a very controversial war and very confusing times, but we need to honor our Vietnam veterans to a great degree. … My newest song is called, Soldiers of Vietnam, Welcome Home.”

Helping Soldiers Heal

One of the most unique and touching aspects of Flynn’s work is the impact it is having on veterans. During a recent performance, no less than six different Vietnam veterans came up to him after the show to express how his music had affected them. “There was a family,” said Flynn, “the father of which had just found out about the tribute [performance] an hour before. He was a Vietnam veteran. … [After the show] via Facebook, they sent me a message saying that 46 years later, this gentleman finally feels welcomed home, that he had never been welcomed home. Pretty touching.”

The way music can touch people’s hearts and heal old wounds is truly incredible, and Jimmy Flynn is making this possible for active soldiers and veterans everywhere through his songwriting.

If you would like to hear some of Jimmy’s songs or attend an upcoming performance, you can find him on the web at


Here at Stay At Home Modifications, we make your well-being our priority. Our interview series goes hand in hand with that effort, and we hope you find it helpful! For more information on how we can help you make your home a home for life, visit us at or call me (Brian Pritchard) at 216-212-7531.