Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Gift Giving Ideas: Web Retailers Announce Unique Gifts for the Hard to Buy For

Web Retailers Announce Unique Gift Giving Ideas For the Holidays

Columbus, OH (PRWEB) November 26, 2007 -- Christmas gift giving got you down? Looking for the perfect gift for grandma, dad, the boss or other hard to buy people on your list? In preparation of the busiest shopping season of the year, Internet retailers are offering unique gifts for all tastes.

"How many holiday parties do you attend and see everyone bring the host another bottle of wine?" asks Al Bell, CEO of Moochie & Co., a specialty retailer of pet gifts and accessories. "Now imagine you bring the host a Christmas dress for her Chihuahua or a Happy Chanukah t-shirt for his beagle. Those are the gifts that get everyone talking."

Bell also suggested pet gifts as the perfect gift for the office. "If your boss has a dog or cat, Moochie and Co. gifts are a great way to make sure your present stands out."

Looking to give the gift of family history to those on your list? Consider visiting LifeBio.com. The site allows its members to create an autobiography online.

"LifeBio's online services provides individuals, family and caregivers a structured approach to creating a life story, sparking memories, and thinking about the past in new ways," Beth Sanders, President of the Ohio-based company explained.

The completed biography can then be printed on a home printer, accessed online or bound as a hard copy book.

"What better Holiday gift for the grandchildren than a hard copy biography of their grandparents' lives?" Sanders asked.

She added that LifeBio is also about the gift of family togetherness. "Many adult children purchase a LifeBio subscription and then gather the family to interview grandma and grandpa over the course of several days. It's a great way to get the whole family together and talking during the holidays."

Have an athlete in your life? Or, know someone who wants to make a commitment to fitness? Online personal training site HyperStrike.com offers hundreds of workouts customized by sport, fitness levels and goals.

Mike Greeves, President and CEO of HyperStrike explained, "Membership to HyperStrike provides access to thousands of workout programs that are fully customizable to each member." Videos of each exercise help members understand the correct form for each exercise.

"If anyone in your life is dedicated to health, fitness and sports, a HyperStrike membership is the perfect gift," Greeves said. "When you're a HyperStrike member, you'll never have to walk into your gym or home without a planned, effective workout that constantly challenges you and helps you attain results."

If you're determined not to give the pickup truck driving man in your life another tie or bottle of cologne he'll never open, consider ShurTrax, a product that enjoys a cult-like following from truck owners. "Everyone who owns a pickup and drives in winter weather has had to deal with the same problem," said Marty Carty, President of the company that manufacturers ShurTrax. "How can you safely add weight to the back of your truck?"

Carty explained that the durable ShurTrax adds up to 400lbs of weight to your vehicle ensuring a safer ride during the winter. "Just place ShurTrax in the back of your truck and fill it with water by attaching it to your garden hose. It's tough, durable and you can leave ShurTrax in all year and continue to use your truck for hauling cargo."

He added that ShurTrax didn't come with the mess of sand tubes or the danger of concrete blocks. "People who have a ShurTrax rave about it!" he said.

Want-to-be inventors who need a little guidance on how to get started on their own journey can read Carty's book "Do You Have A Million Dollar Idea?" available for $13.95 on Amazon.com.

Source: PRWeb: Automotive

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What LifeBio's Members Say

"I am thrilled about LifeBio's service.

My Mom has been saying for quite some time that she wants to write down some stories of her life. She hasn't done it and I think that it is in large part due to the fact that it is a big task. How do you start? This is perfect. I am very excited to give her a Memory Journal for Christmas and then enter her answers at LifeBio.com too. I have already told a couple of people about your service!"
--Lori, Livermore, California

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Tell The Story Of Your Life

CARROLLWOOD - A new program through the University of South Florida's SeniorNet program, LifeBio.com, has seniors writing about their lives.

The idea behind LifeBio is to jog the memories of seniors through a series of questions to illicit a life story to share with the family.


Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving Greetings from LifeBio.com

As Thanksgiving fast approaches, we're reminded of family stories and laughter shared around the dinner table.

It's a good time for us all to reflect on Thanksgiving Days from years past, the people who shaped our lives, and the gifts of home and family. Although life isn't always perfect, we certainly have a lot to be thankful for.

At the same time, we're noticing a widening

"Legacy Gap"

between younger and older generations. What's the

Legacy Gap?

The legacy gap is the gap between what younger generations know about older generations in a family. What priceless stories haven't been told? What unique experiences or historical events should be remembered from your family's perspective? What wisdom has never been shared? What values could be recorded and passed on to present and future generations?

We invite you to prepare some great questions that you'd like to ask your relatives this Thanksgiving. Some families even have their teenagers take turns asking grandma or grandpa questions during visits together. Great topics to get them started are..what was a favorite game you played (marbles, jacks, baseball?), tell about your neighborhood or life on a farm, what was school like for you?, tell about a time you got in trouble, what's a motto you live by?

Want more help? Here are links to a few helpful tools that can help you get prepared for this week without delay...

MEMORY JOURNAL PDF - downloadable eBook

Give the gift that keeps on giving..the gift of life stories!


There's no time like the present and no better gift to the future. Start closing that Legacy Gap without delay.

Autobiographically Yours,

Beth Sanders

P.S. Memories are a priceless gift.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Now, No Matter How You Write Your Words Will Be Right (No A’s in English Required)

Can you answer a straightforward question? That's all you need to be able to do to complete the LifeBio process.

If you think you need to write like your high school English teacher or Shakespeare, that's just not true. You need to write like YOU.

Your words will be a practical and touching way of explaining what truly matters in life to the next generation. You will also honor the memory of all of those people who came before you that influenced who you are.

I know that you can tell your story in your way--in your words. Maybe you answer questions with one sentence--maybe it's not even a sentence. That's okay. It’s your life story in your own words.

So unless you're looking to spend more money than you need to and you feel like you have all the time in the world to get started, I suggest that LifeBio's process will help you get your life story down on paper.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Great Reasons to Reminisce

Do your children and grandchildren keep asking you to write down your life stories? Even if they aren’t asking right now, don’t you think it’s only natural for them to want to know more about you someday? So how will you tell them more and why should you really do it?

First of all, there’s no one else like YOU—your story is unique and you can tell about people, times, and places that only YOU can share.

Why not tell your grandchildren about you….plus their grandparents, great-grandparents, and even their great-great grandparents (that’s your grandparents)! It’s really about creating a loving, lasting bond—preserving not just life stories, but relationships, for generations to come.

Of course, you can also give them your own advice about love, work, and how to lead a good life. Here was my grandma’s advice to me: “Be what you want. If you do something, do it the best you can.” Because it’s my grandma, it means so much more. I’ll always be able to remember what she said because it was actually written down. What’s your advice for your family? This is your opportunity to write it down.

Reminiscing is good for you too! Over 100 studies over the last 10 years have found that reminiscing lowers depression, alleviates physical symptoms (arthritis, asthma), and stimulates the hippocampus where memories are stored in the brain. So consider the great health reasons for reminiscing too.

Here are 3 quick tips for getting started:
1. Decide what structure you want for writing your life story. Many people don’t know where to start. A template of prompting questions (like the Memory Journal or LifeBio.com provides) will make it much easier.
2. Pull out the photo albums. The pictures will generate memories and stories.
3. Call or write to family members and find out what they want to be sure you record.

Most importantly, have fun with it and savor the opportunity to create an incredible bond with generations to come.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Eden Alternative and LifeBio.com Come Together to Build Relationships and Legacies of Elders

LifeBio.com and Eden at Home's Embracing Elderhood, an Eden Alternative initiative, have formed a collaborative relationship that brings the gift of legacy to long-term care communities nationwide. By their definition, a legacy is part life story and part gift to the world -- anything an Elder desires to share with younger generations.

"As our understanding of Elderhood and its rightful place in our society grows," says Dr. Bill Thomas, Eden Alternative Co-Founder, "the creation and sharing of legacy will come to be seen as an essential part of late life. Our society needs these legacies and, day by day, grows less and less able to gain access to them."

Eden at Home's Embracing Elderhood relies on legacy creation to build supportive, intergenerational communities by nurturing meaningful connections between Elders and other local citizens. A primary goal of Eden at Home (EAH) is to weave Elders back into the social fabric of their communities -- no matter where they live. EAH maintains that nursing home residents are also members of their larger community, each with something valuable to contribute.

LifeBio's mission involves empowering people of all ages and backgrounds to tell and share their life stories and preserving relationships via a thoughtfully crafted proprietary platform. LifeBio simplifies the publishing of personal and collaborative content to build autobiographies, biographies, and other memory and reminiscence products and services.

Both organizations have come together to combine Embracing Elderhood's emphasis on growing trust, companionship and a sensitive aging consciousness with LifeBio's thoughtful, user-friendly legacy creation system.

"Embracing Elderhood and its use of the LifeBio system builds a bridge between the long-term care community and the larger local area," says Laura Beck, Program Director for Eden at Home, "Our dream is to inspire program participants -- our Elder Storytellers included -- to see Elderhood in a new light, and transform the general public's perspective about aging one relationship at a time."

"This program has completely changed the way I think about Elderhood," shares Meredith, a twelfth-grader at Charlottesville's Miller School who participated in the program, "It helped me to understand that Elders don't just live in the past. They still have the desire to learn, great senses of humor, and important lives to live."

Beth Sanders, Founder and CEO of LifeBio.com notes that stories are powerful tools for improving quality of life and building meaningful relationships. "We must know people deeply in order to love and appreciate them. Embracing Elderhood's mission and LifeBio's tools are a perfect combination for long-term care settings or any community hoping to celebrate the lives of the individuals who reside there."

The program revolves around Recording Partners, either volunteers or students, collaborating with Elders, called Storytellers, in the creation of the Elder's legacy. Primarily about building relationships, Embracing Elderhood asserts that by nurturing the connection between members of the recording team first, all of the program's benefits are born. As the legacies unfold, they may also play a vital new role in care planning by becoming required reading for an Elder's care team.

LifeBio brings a template for legacy creation to the program that is just prescriptive enough for Recording Partners to focus their attention where it belongs -- on the relationship -- while leaving room for creative license. Using the computer or hard-copy resources provided by LifeBio, Recording Partners ask a series of carefully crafted questions to gather the life stories. The process leads to the documentation and sharing of each Elder's legacy with the Recording Partner, family members, staff and the community-at-large.

The Embracing Elderhood curriculum covers the power of story, the impact of ageism, appropriate communication and companionship building skills, and breakthrough ideas for intergenerational programming specifically for capturing legacies -- with easy ways to get started. The two-day intensive training session also leads to a clear implementation plan that is designed for each specific community's needs.

"What's unique about this program is how legacy creation is explored through the filter of the Eden Alternative's ten principles. The two work together as though they were made for each other. It is a marriage made in heaven," says Margaret Mooney a Recording Partner at Westminster-Thurber, an Eden-registered home in Columbus, Ohio -- the site of the 2008 Eden Alternative International Conference.

The Eden Alternative is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, with over 10,000 trained Eden associates, committed to improving quality of life for Elders and their care partners in both institutional and community settings. For more information, visit http://www.edenalt.org
LifeBio has created a LifeBio serves both consumers and community settings. The company has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and AP stories.

For more information, visit http://www.lifebio.com

Beth Sanders, Founder and CEO of LifeBio.com 614-580-0333

Laura Beck, Eden at Home Program Director, 607-351-3082

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Senior Living Communities Adopting New Program and Online Tool to Help Residents Create Autobiographies

Residents in senior living and active aging communities around the country are taking advantage of the opportunity to create their autobiographies (http://www.lifebio.com/communities.asp) as part of a new legacy-building initiative between communities, caregivers and the website LifeBio.com.

"Everyone has a powerful life story that deserves to be recorded and shared," says Beth Sanders, the country's leading legacy consultant and founder of LifeBio.com.

"Today's seniors have lived through some of the most amazing times in our nation's history, but very few have actually had affordable, easy-to-use tools at their fingertips to record it. Not only do residents in LifeBio communities have the opportunity to help capture the big picture of what was going on in the world during their lives, they also can capture their personal perspective to share with their families," added Sanders.

According to Sanders, the LifeBio Certified Community Program (http://www.lifebio.com/communities.asp) is currently in place at dozens of retirement communities from coast to coast in just its first year. "We expect our number of certified communities to triple in the next 12 months," added Sanders.

"This program allows caregivers and residents to get to know each other, it helps residents reminisce about their lives and it provides a lasting keepsake for family members," she said. "Most importantly, knowing residents' stories leads to quality relationships and care."

Ric Olson, President and CEO of Vibrant Living Communities and Services based in Downers Grove, Illinois, said, "LifeBio provides senior adults life changing opportunities to tell their stories in a powerful and meaningful way.

LifeBio honors and enriches future generations by capturing legacies that frequently disappear from personal family histories because oral storytelling is fading from generation to generation."

As part of the LifeBio Certified Community Program, seniors work in small groups, independently or with the help of a family member, volunteer or staff member who asks questions each week.

Answers are recorded in a web-based application or in LifeBio Memory Journals. The web autobiographies (http://www.lifebio.com/communities.asp) can then be accessed online, printed as a bound hardcover Legacy Book or output in an Adobe PDF file. Group classes on reminiscence recording are offered for people who like computers or for people who would rather use a journal.

"The LifeBio Certified Community Program is awesome," said Donna Gruis, Life Enrichment Coordinator at the Good Samaritan Society in Fort Collins, Colorado. "This program has generated excitement among the residents and in all levels of our community. It has helped develop relationships between residents, staff and volunteers."

Sanders said that independent living, assisted living, skilled nursing and memory care are looking for new ways to strengthen communication, deliver more person-centered care and help residents fight memory loss.

"The process of remembering details from your life story is not only rewarding, it has real cognitive fitness benefits too as we exercise the hippocampus region of the brain where memories are stored," Sanders explained.

"LifeBio questions made it much easier to stimulate my mind and record my life history. It's something I wanted to do for my children for a long time and LifeBio made it possible," said Mary McCreless, a resident at Good Samaritan Society's Fort Collins Village.

"More than 100 studies have been conducted in the past decade to prove that reminiscence is a tremendous contributor to healthy aging and wellness," Sanders said. "These studies reveal that reminiscence, recalling experiences and sharing life stories, has proven to improve staff to resident relationships, lower or prevent depression, engage people with dementia and reduce pain."

LifeBio products are available to individuals by visiting www.lifebio.com. Communities interested in implementing the LifeBio Certified Community program can visit http://www.lifebio.com/communities.asp or call 1-866-543-3246 for a free consultation. LifeBio's program will also be highlighted at the upcoming AAHSA (American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging) convention with the Tell Your Story Café sponsored by LifeBio.com.

About Beth Sanders: Beth Sanders is frequently featured in the media for her expertise on legacy consulting, creativity and aging, and memory care. Her recent media credits include the Wall Street Journal, the AARP member newsletter and Jacqueline Marcell's Coping with Caregiving.

About LifeBio: LifeBio.com is the nation's leading legacy company, helping people preserve relationships to last for generations. LifeBio, Inc. was the first company to empower users on the Internet to build their own autobiographies or the biographies of a loved one. LifeBio.com allows people of all ages and backgrounds to have a private place to share their life stories, upload pictures, and create a hardcover Legacy Book. LifeBio.com has partnered with senior living communities across the U.S. to impact many more lives, empowering people to say what matters most to the people they love through specialized curriculum. LifeBio is also encouraging senior living communities to connect deeply with residents through reminiscence and wellness initiatives.

It's time to tell your story...preserving relationships to last for generations. To learn more, visit http://www.lifebio.com or http://www.lifebio.com/communities.asp.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Do your children and grandchildren really know you?

When I was a kid, all we had to do was walk across the street to go visit grandma and grandpa. In fact, grandpa had a barber shop on our street where I got my haircut. Grandma enjoyed gardening and cooking so I could usually find her in the backyard weeding the flower beds or in the kitchen baking a cake. Today, things aren't always so simple.

We live in a very mobile society so it's not uncommon for grandparents like you to be states or countries away from your grandchildren. You may have retired in a distant place, or, perhaps, college or work caused your family to move away from where you live. OR maybe you live close by but you'd still like to connect in a deeper way.

Here are 3 tips for building a strong bond between you and your grandchildren:

1) Write letters. Letters may have been replaced by Email most of the time, but there is still nothing like getting mail in the mailbox for children and teenagers! Send mail regularly that is addressed to each grandchild once a month would be great. Tell them a story about you when you were little in each letter.

Stories can even start with something like, Once upon a time, grandma climbed an apple tree when she was a little girl. The simple tale you write, about what happened next, can take some twists and turns in the plot and make for great bedtime reading. Be sure to save a copy of the series of handwritten letters you send they most certainly could become a precious keepsake. Be sure to ask for letters to come back to you containing your grandchild's school artwork, that first A of the school year, or a letter in the grandchild's own handwriting.

2) Take phone conversations to a new level. Instead of the normal everyday small talk on the phone (How was school? What's the weather like? How did you do in soccer?), don't hesitate to relate your own life to their lives. Tell them about...

your best friend when you were little
a favorite game you played (marbles, jacks, baseball)
your neighborhood or life on a farm
what school was like for you
playing in the school band or singing in the choir
sports you played
a time you got in trouble with your mom and dad
a motto you live by
your grandparents (that's their great-great grandparents!)
how historical events impacted your life (war, civil rights, elections, etc.)
and much more.

Grandchildren may not initiate these conversations (we wish they would), but that doesn't mean that they aren't open to talking about these things. When you tell them a story, they may think of something new to tell you. By starting a deeper discussion, perhaps grandchildren may see you in a new way (you were once a child too after all!) and start to ask more questions and look forward to your talks by phone. You may even want to set a time for your weekly chats. Even if you're not sure if they are listening or if they care right now, you may be surprised at what they remember someday and it could impact them years down the road.

3) Plan vacations or long weekends together. This summer we vacationed with the grandparents for one week to Mount Rushmore in South Dakota. They only get to see my children, their grandchildren, every couple of months because we live four hours apart. The trip involved a fast flight and then over 2,000 miles of driving. My son and grandpa actually figured out a way to play baseball in the car! Mom enjoyed the wagon train ride and the wax museum as much as the kids did.

We had plenty of time for storytelling and questions about outhouses, farming, and life before TV. We even learned, for the first time, about a relative named Waldo who had disappeared years ago (now Where's Waldo? has new meaning for my kids). It was unforgettable for all of us there's nothing like a crowded minivan and hours of driving to bring a family together!

As you consider how you can connect over long distances with your grandchildren, keep in mind that YOU, as the grandparent, have an important job to do. You are the keeper of your family's legacy traditions, stories, memories of people, times, and places that no one but you can share. Don't leave your legacy to chance. It's important to be intentional about making this connection, or you and your grandchildren may never know each other in a deeper and lasting way. It's critical to build relationships to last for generations and that involves new conversations, telling (and writing down) your life stories, and sharing more than just photo albums.

Are Life Stories Really a Priceless Gift?

Why do people do it? Why are thousands of people capturing their life stories right now? Why are they recording it for all time so it won’t be lost or forgotten?
Are they thinking they are famous so they deserve it? Are they thinking that they’d like to have their name remembered for all time? What’s really going on here in the personal history trend that is exploding across America and around the world?

I would say that it’s definitely not about the fame. It’s not about being remembered for all time. For the wonderful people I know using LifeBio and the Memory Journal to share memories and experiences, it’s really about wanting to be sure that children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren know what really matters most.

So what does matter most? And how do we say it?

It’s about the people in one’s life. Many people are savoring the opportunity to capture what they remember about the generations who came before them. They want to not just tell their own story, but the story of people who never had the chance to tell their own. Their parents or grandparents lived through tough times and persevered nonetheless. One LifeBio writer said that the process reminded her of all the love she had experienced in her life from her parents and grandparents.

It’s about saying, “If I did it, so can you.” We all know people in our families who have lived through very difficult and complicated times. They have been affected by the Depression, wars, the civil rights movement, and just the everyday trials of daily life. It’s helpful and inspiring to know that, despite difficulties, they persevered and made it through. With their strength and inspiration, we can make it too.

It’s also about giving advice and passing on values. People recording their life stories have a chance to answer challenging questions that help them share things like get a good education, follow your faith, work hard, and keep your commitments. Plus, people’s words of love to their families practically jump off the page.

It’s about a journey of self discovery. Where have you come from? What have you learned? What’s next in your life? We see the “big picture” when we look back and reflect. This helps clarify where we’re going next and helps to direct our path.

Are life stories a priceless gift? Certainly they are. They teach younger generations to walk in our shoes and have empathy—plus they get some inspiration and advice along the way. People who write their stories can see “What’s next?” in life’s journey by examining their past and present story in clear view.

So there is probably someone in your family or another loved one that needs to tell their story. There’s no time like the present and no more better, more priceless gift to the future.