Spotlight on GLES Writers Robyn Tellefsen and Diane Franklin
One of Gina LaGuardia Editorial Services’ longest-standing clients—the relationship was established in 2008—has been the senior care search site, SeniorsforLiving.com (SFL). In 2013, the publicly traded Houston-based company, RealPage Senior Living Inc., bought the NYC-based SFL and relaunched it at the company’s OurParents.com domain.
Over the years, several GLES team members have provided high-quality content, editorial direction, database updates, and social media management to the client—all with the purpose of driving traffic to the site—where visitors can access thousands of senior care listings (home care, retirement communities, Alzheimer’s care, or assisted living) by their city, state, and/or care categories.
The OurParents blog currently features the work of GLES writers Diane Franklin and Robyn Tellefsen. Their original, SEO-keyword-rich articles are written in a conversational tone, with practical takeaways tailored primarily to an audience of seniors and caregivers (typically, the seniors’ adult children). Topics run the gamut from hoarding to healthcare decisions to finding new hobbies later in life.
Franklin and Tellefsen submit pitch ideas and receive their monthly assignments in partnership with GLES social media specialist Michelle Seitzer, who leverages the 30K+ connections in the OurParents digital network to secure expert sources and interviewees for their articles. Here, get to know the women behind the site’s top-notch content:
How long have you been writing for OurParents/SeniorsForLiving?
Diane: Almost three years.
Robyn: I’ve been writing for OurParents since March 2015, and before that I wrote for SeniorsforLiving for four months in 2013.
Tell me about some of your favorite or most memorable posts.
Diane: One of the most interesting topics that I wrote about was the subject of hoarding. My source, Adrian Walter-Ginzburg from Caring Transitions of New York City, was quite informative. She told me that hoarding in its most extreme forms is actually a pathological disorder. Most of the items that hoarders keep are of limited value—old magazines, flyers, junk mail, etc. However, there is a compulsion among hoarders to keep those things because they feel there may be a valuable nugget of information that they may need somewhere down the road. When it gets really bad, hoarders may actually have to sleep in their bathtubs because there is no room left on their beds! But as with most disorders, there is hope. Cleaning, organizing, and decluttering take a lot of work, but helping a hoarder overcome this disorder can lead to a safer environment and a better quality of life.
Robyn: My 91-year-old grandmother is in the late stage of dementia, so I have a personal interest in the disease, and I try to learn as much about it as I can through these posts. I particularly enjoyed interviewing Kim Warchol, president of Dementia Care Specialists, who provided tremendous insight to help me craft “A Timeline of Dementia.” I also appreciated the holistic approach to memory care described by Kim Butrum, senior vice president of clinical services at Silverado, for “New Approaches to Dementia Care.”
Where (or from whom) do you draw your inspiration for topics?
Diane: My mother is definitely an inspiration for me. She just turned 89, but this year she discovered the joys of Facebook and Google, which are now accessible to her via the tablet that my brother, sister, and I gave her for Mother’s Day. My mother has proven to me that age does not have to be an impediment to being independent, learning something new, or getting something done.
When writing for OurParents.com, I think about topics that might be of interest to her or subjects about which I can educate myself on her behalf. If the topics are of interest to us, I think they would also be of interest to a large segment of our readership since we fit the profile of the target audience (elderly parents and their adult children) so perfectly.
Robyn: I’m often inspired by personal experience and the experiences of those around me. Portrait of the Urban Senior and Grandparenting in Your 70s were both inspired by my in-laws, who are septuagenarians with grandchildren ranging in age from 2 to 11, and who are staying in Brooklyn even after most of their friends and family have left the city. When Aging Is Anything But Graceful was inspired by conversations with my own parents, who have struggled with the aging process.
What topics do you look forward to covering in this new year, or what up-and-coming senior issues have caught your eye?
Diane: I am looking forward to learning more from our fantastic sources about healthcare issues that impact us as we age and also writing about how those in their 70s, 80s, and 90s can continue to reap joy from living the best possible life they can live.
Robyn: In 2016, I would really like to shine a spotlight on the problem of elder abuse. Writing How to Intervene in Cases of Elder Abuse was a tremendous eye-opener, and I want to do everything I can to educate people about this awful reality and change the way seniors are treated.
Know someone who is considering assisted living for a parent? Curious about how – or where – to spend your retirement years? Concerned about signs of dementia? Follow @OurParents on Twitter, like the OurParents Facebook page, or head straight to the site and connect via phone (toll-free) with a care advisor, search national listings, or read (then share!) Diane and Robyn’s articles.