Spread the Word!

An ongoing series of informational entries

I believe in Miracles

February 5, 2019

The Jackson Sisters song from 1976, “I Believe In Miracles” became reality to me a few years ago. In 2007 my husband’s job moved us from North Carolina to Delaware County. My father’s health had been declining and just three weeks after our move he passed away, July 8th 2007. Traveling back to NC to help my mother with the funeral arrangements I knew I had to do all I could to convince my mom to move to Pennsylvania. It was hard living so far away while my father was dying but now I couldn’t bear for her to be there alone. During her visit over the holidays, she toured several communities and much to my happiness confirmed her move for the upcoming summer.

On July 1st, 2008 she was officially a fellow resident of Delaware County, PA! Her first week was full of unpacking boxes, meeting new neighbors and finding her way to the grocery store.

On the one year anniversary of my dad’s death (July 8) mom was sitting in her apartment looking out the window. A tapping sound caused her to look to the side window and there perched on her less than 1-inch window sill sat a full grown, pure white dove! In her shock, she slowly reached for the phone and called me. I assured her pigeons are common and not to overreact. “NO! it is not a pigeon! It is a white dove!” she demanded. After sitting for a couple of hours mom decided to chance to move and take photos as proof. The dove did not move and seemed to pose for the photos! Finally, after 11 p.m. and six hours of looking eye to eye with my mom, the dove lowered its head to sleep.

Mom went to bed knowing ‘all is well’ and her move was blessed. The next morning the dove was gone. It could have been a dream but thanks to mom’s photos and the um,  “droppings” down the wall we have proof it wasn’t a dream!


Carla Payne became a Professional Geriatric Care Manager in 2010 and co-founded Brandywine Elder Care Management, LLC assisting families in Pennsylvania. She now resides in Wake Forest, NC and is proud to continue her professional services through Aging Care Matters, LLC. 

I hate Scams!

February 7, 2019

by Jennifer Leach

Acting Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Business Education, FTC


Scammers pretend to be from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and try to get your Social Security number or your money. That scam is now growing exponentially.  So far THIS year: more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, and they tell us they’ve lost $10 million. Scammers are saying your Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime. Sometimes, the scammer wants you to confirm your SSN to reactivate it. Sometimes, he’ll say your bank account is about to be seized – but he’ll tell you what to do to keep it safe. (Often, that involves putting your money on gift cards and giving him the codes – which, of course, means that your money is gone.)

Here's what to know:

  • Your Social Security number is not about to be suspended. You don’t have to verify your number to anyone who calls out of the blue. And your bank accounts are not about to be seized.
  • SSA will never call to threaten your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those things is a scammer. Every time.
  • The real SSA number is 1-800-772-1213, but scammers are putting that number in the caller ID. If you’re worried about what the caller says, hang up and call 1-800-772-1213 to speak to the real SSA. Even if the wait time is long, confirm with the real SSA before responding to one of these calls.
  • Never give any part of your Social Security number to anyone who contacts you. Or your bank account or credit card number.

If you get one of these calls, tell the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

Message from a Daughter

February 17, 2019

It hurts every day knowing I never got to say goodbye. There was so much I wanted to say at your service but couldn't seem to think of the right words. You were my best friend, I could go to you about pretty much anything. We didn't always see eye to eye but you always had my back when I needed someone. It breaks my heart knowing you won't be here to watch me graduate, get married or see your first grandchild I know you'll always be here with me. I love you more than words could ever express. You taught me to be a strong person but also know it's okay to cry. I will always regret telling you "no" when you offered to hold me every time I cried....because I'd give anything to be in your arms again. You were such a kind person with such a beautiful heart and soul. I'll never forget the days you'd pick me up from pre-school (yes I somehow remember back that far) and you'd make me grilled cheese with tomato soup and we would watch tv together. I really hope you and Abbey found each other...I know how much you loved that dog. It's going to be hard being in the house and not seeing you and being able to hold your hand and hear your voice, but I know dad and I are going to get through this together. Dad and I have an amazing support group who have been here for us when it came to taking care of you and saying goodbye. Everyone loved you mom, this has been a really hard loss but I know you're not in any more pain and I now have a guardian angel. Will it really get easier? Growing up I always thought I'd be in my 40's by the time it was time to say goodbye to you or dad. I really hope one day they find a cure for Alzheimers/Dementia so nobody would have to go through what all of us went through...I wouldn't wish it upon my greatest enemy. I love you so much mom, I miss you more and more each day. Please watch over dad, Lyla, and me.

If your lucky to still have your mom with you please be grateful....tell her you love her. Enjoy the time you still have with her....because life can be very unpredictable.