Lilacs & Greensleeves: Professional Spotlight; Sharon Sparks

SHARON SPARKS Founder of ElderBridge SoCal
Care4You is honored to have Sharon Sparks in the Professional Spotlight! Thank you Sharon for all that you do for the elderly!

“When elderly seniors attend doctor appointments alone, important information can fall through the gaps, and they can end up being unnecessarily hospitalized. That’s the fact on which ElderBridge SoCal is based. But to be honest, I started this service mid-2014 for me. I was the one who needed it most. I realized my mom died when she was just 11 years older than me, and I only had five to ten more productive years left to give back to the world. I wanted to make them the best they could be.

Not that life has been so bad. I’m still with my High School sweetheart and have two grown sons who make my heart swell with pride. My father is hearing-impaired, but at 89 is still living by himself on the farm I grew up on in the Central Valley of California. Life has been an interesting journey. Over the years I have been: a fruit packer, a Clerk in the Assessor’s office, a Legal Process Clerk at the Reedley-Dunlap Justice (now Superior) Court, a Certified Nursing Assistant, an RN, a Pastor and an RN again. But all of these were “jobs” that only used part of the skills that make me unique. They were hard work, and not all so rewarding.

What I’ve learned from my business coach Marianne Emma Jeff, is that there is almost nothing more rewarding than looking back at your week and remembering the moments where you felt totally, 100% you; when you engaged what you do well naturally, to make a real difference in someone’s life. That’s what I’ve done with ElderBridge SoCal. Rather than being a job, it’s a joy!

What drives and delights me is using my calm presence, compassion and adventurous spirit in combination with the active listening skills I’ve developed working as a nurse, pastor and even a Court Clerk, to encourage elders to be active decision-makers in their healthcare, and to challenge the healthcare system to treat elders as whole human beings. And I’m developing a team of Partners in Care who use their unique skills so together we can do even greater things.

Every client I’ve worked with has also been unique, and my services have been tailored to their needs. Hopefully my brochure says pretty well what ElderBridge SoCal is about: with thorough communication, patient advocacy and safe transportation, we are bridging gaps between seniors, their healthcare teams and their families, so seniors are empowered to live independently and families are gifted with peace of mind.”

For the Vibrant Health of our Elders,

Sharon Sparks, Retired R.N.


Lilacs & Greensleeves: American Heart Association


Care4You is proud to have the American Heart Association as our Community Partner!



“The American Heart Association is hard at work to make an impact on your life by empowering you and your loved ones to live healthier lives and enjoy more peace of mind about heart disease and stroke, our No. 1 and No. 5 killers.”


“We are making your community healthier by advocating for key issues such as:

  • Smoke-free public places
  • More walkable and bikable streets, roads and parks
  • Appropriate nutritional information on food labels to promote healthy choices
  • Adequate, affordable and available health care for all
  • Lowering the amount of calories consumed by your children at school
  • Clean indoor air in public places, like bowling alleys, restaurants, pubs, workplaces, etc.”


“We are improving the quality of care for heart and stroke patients by:

  • Training millions of Americans in CPR, advanced life support, AED (defibrillator) use and first aid; promoting AED placement in businesses and public places
  • Improving emergency care for heart attack victims through our Mission: Lifeline community-based initiative
  • Helping hospitals treat cardiac and stroke patients according to proven guidelines using our Get With The Guidelines® program
  • Strengthening stroke systems of care, teaching the public to respond to warning signs, and providing resources for stroke survivors and caregivers.”


“We are reaching at-risk populations through cause initiatives and online tools:

  • Go Red For Women®: fighting theNo. 1 health threat to women – heart disease
  • Power To End Stroke®: reducing African Americans’ high risk of stroke
  • My Heart. My Life.: a comprehensive health, wellness and fitness platform to help Americans improve their cardiovascular health
  • Conozca Su Corazon (Search Your Heart): helping the Hispanic community make heart-healhty choices
  • Juntos Contra El Derrame Cerebral (Together Against Stroke): reducing Latinos’ risk of stroke
  • Heart Hub: our patient portal ( has information, tools and resources about cardiovascular disease and stroke.”


“Nationwide, we invest over $132 million a year ($3.3 billion since 1949) in heart and stroke research that has led to recent breakthroughs such as clot-busting drugs and drug-eluting stents. Healthcare providers learn about medical advances and new treatment guidelines though our journals, conferences and online courses.

Since 1924, we’ve been working in your area to better your health and your community.”

Source here>

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Community Partner; Marci Barrett


Care4You is very honored to have Marci Barrett as our Community Partner. Thank you, Marci!


“Marci Barrett, a graduate of the University of Southern California Law School, has worked with families, businesses and individuals in all types of dispute resolution proceedings for over 25 years, first as an attorney and now as a specially trained meeting facilitator and mediator.  Known for being a thoughtful listener and creative problem solver, Marci now devotes her career to the early resolution of family and community conflicts.

Marci started her own mediation practice in 2009, after discovering that her key strength as an advocate was her ability to facilitate and negotiate. In 2012, with Cynthia Saffir, she co-founded Elder Resolution Partners, LLC, which provides communication strategy, meeting facilitation and mediation services to families throughout California.”

Mediation Training:

  • Loyola Law School Center for Conflict Resolution, Mediation Training
  • La Sierra University Center for Conflict Resolution, Essentials of Elder Family Mediation Training and Dealing with High Conflict Personalities
  • High Conflict Institute, New Ways for Mediation for High Conflict Disputes
  • Southern California Mediation Association, Elder Family Mediation Seminar
  • National Association of Insurance Professionals, Communicate with Confidence course and competition

Family Communication Strategists and Elder Care Mediators

P.O. Box 1586

Arcadia, CA 91077

(310) 694-1455 or (626) 388-7083

Serving families and senior communities throughout Southern California

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Holiday Blues by Marci L. Barrett


Care4You welcomes Marci Barrett as our Professional Spotlight, with one of her thoughtful and caring writings on the Holiday Blues!


Holiday Blues: Mom isn’t quite what she used to be.”

By: Marci L. Barrett

Family Communication Strategist and Eldercare Mediator

Elder Resolution Partners, LLC

“Holidays can be fun, joyous occasions, with family members gathering from near and far. Sometimes, the holidays are the only time of year we get to see family members who travel long distances to join in a family holiday celebration. But, sometimes we also see changes that we don’t understand or weren’t expecting, like an aging loved one who is uncontrollably sad, withdrawn or “just not up to” his or her normal holiday cheer.

While family reunions give us the opportunity to catch up, share memories and make new ones, they can also be eye-opening and stressful. One cause of stress may be that family members are seeing an aging loved one for the first time in months, and may be in shock and dismay when they come face to face with changes in a parent’s (or other loved one’s) physical or mental condition.

It is clear to everyone that something is wrong and needs to be done. But what?

Often the best place to start is with a family conversation, and what better time than now that the family is gathered. Gathering and sharing information is key. The family needs to discover and understand the aging loved one’s situation, identify available resources and, if the elder is able to participate in that discussion, find out what the elder is feeling, wants and needs. Once the situation is clarified, the family can start to explore options to fulfill the elder’s wishes and take care of his or her needs, now and in the future.

Without a doubt, these family discussions can be difficult. To engage in them, we have to acknowledge and admit our mom or dad’s situation is changing and that roles in the family have changed or will need to change. We have to talk about issues with which we may feel uncomfortable, such as the need to consult with a mental healthcare professional, undergo therapy or consider medication.

Not all families are accustomed to having family conversations. Some don’t know how to start such a conversation. Others don’t know how to talk without fighting over perceived past injustices or current differences of opinion.

A specially trained neutral family meeting facilitator can help in many ways, such as helping to get the conversation started, keeping it structured and focused, and making sure that all necessary participants are present and able to express their concerns and share their ideas for how to solve the problems. A meeting facilitator can help you identify and evaluate options, with the ultimate goal being for the family to create a unique plan that allows it to move forward having made the best decisions possible under the circumstances.”

Lilacs & Greensleeves: Veterans Care Coordination


Care4You is very honored to have Veterans Care Coordination as our Community Partner!!


At Care4You, San Dimas, CA we proudly care for our Veterans, their spouses and surviving spouses every day. Our commitment to their care is just one of the ways we demonstrate appreciation for their service to our country.

“1 in 3 seniors in this country is a veteran or surviving spouse of a veteran. These heroes – our fathers, mothers, spouses, and friends – may be eligible for a unique benefit through the VA called “Pension with Aid and Attendance.” This benefit may provide reimbursement funding of up to $25,440 a year to help cover medical expenses, including homecare services. Homecare helps keep loved ones safe and comfortable at home.”


“Millions of qualifying veterans and families go without Aid and Attendance simply because of not knowing about the benefit and inability to pay for homecare. Through our partnership with Veterans Care Coordination, we are able to assist qualifying veterans and their spouses to apply for and obtain the Aid and Attendance Benefit through the Department of Veterans Affairs. What makes this partnership unique is the fact that Veterans Care Coordination can offer financial assistance to clients that cannot afford to pay for the up-front, out of pocket expense of homecare through their Veterans Appreciation Program. Who’s Eligible?

 Veteran, or surviving spouse of a veteran, who served 90 consecutive days of active duty with at least 1 day during a wartime period …(other war eligibility may be required depending on when you served)

 Veteran/surviving spouse must have non-service connected medical condition which is not related to military service

 Veteran/surviving spouse must require assistance with daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, eating, medication management and personal care

  Veteran/surviving spouse must meet asset requirements based on age and marital (excludes home and car)

 Veteran/surviving spouse must meet the Medical Expense-to-Income Ratio.”

Couple: $2,120.00 Monthly

Veteran: $1,788.00 Monthly

Surviving Spouse:  $1,149.00 Monthly

Healthy Veteran with Sick Spouse: $1,404.00 Monthly

For more information please visit the Veterans Care Coordination website here.


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Robert Ward; Veteran of the Month


I don’t believe that many of us can imagine what our men and women go through during their tours of duty, far, far from home.To sit at the feet of a soldier who cares to share their stories is a blessing for both our veterans and for those of us who listen to learn, who listen to understand.

How thankful we are for all of our veterans who served/serve with honor!

Care4You is proud to have such a soldier of honor…Robert Ward, as our Veteran of the Month!

His story goes beyond the words written below, as each experience…each step he took had it’s own depth of difficulty, it’s own depth of pain and those moments of quiet and humble solitude.




Lilacs & Greensleeves: October is Dementia Awareness Month

  • Posted On September 29, 2015
  • Categorized In Awareness
  • Written By




As you can see, there are several types of Dementia! The Alzheimer’s Association has a wonderful website to go to and find great information on this multifaceted disease such as:

“What is Alzheimer’s ~ What is Dementia ~ Diagnosis ~ Stages ~ Treatment”

About Dementia:

“Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a wide range of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies.

Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging.”

Read more here

And you can know the 10 signs of Alzheimer’s opposed to what is typical!!

See them here

What are the risk factors?

Age and Family History are two!

Let’s stand together in the fight to end Alzheimer’s as well as other forms of dementia!

Knowledge is power!!


Lilacs & Greensleeves: Professional Spotlight; Susan Howland MSG



Care4You is very proud and honored to have Susan Howland MSG in our Professional Spotlight for the month!

Thank you, Susan!!

“Susan Chapman Howland, MSG, has over twenty years of experience with community organizing around health care issues that focus on older adults. Currently, as the Director of Education at the Alzheimer’s Association, California Southland Chapter, Susan is responsible for all educational programs and diversity efforts that include tailoring services to the cultural norms of ethnic communities.

In this capacity, she oversees a number of nationally recognized programs serving dementia affected older adults and their caregivers throughout Los Angeles County. Her work in the Asian and Pacific Islander communities has been recognized through national awards from the National Caregiving Alliance/MetLife and the Rosalinde Gilbert Innovations in Alzheimer’s Disease Caregiving Legacy Award. Most recently, Susan received the 2014 Rosalynn Carter Leadership in Caregiving Award for her work with bringing the Savvy Caregiver Program to the State of California.”

Visit the Southland Chapter here!