Dallas In-Home Care Company Throws 5th Annual Pajama Party Kickoff

Dallas area residents can help seniors in need by participating in the 5th annual Pajama Drive! Our kickoff party will be from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Thursday, July 19, 2018 at the Acappella office: 7920 Beltline Road, Suite 380, Dallas, TX 75254.

Acappella In Home Care is collecting pajamas to be delivered during Christmastime to low income area nursing communities in DFW. Nursing home residents on Medicaid are allotted less than $60 per month to cover needed personal items, such as toiletries, paper products, and clothing. Warm pajamas are considered a luxury, as basic supplies, like toothpaste and soap, are the priority.

“I want to make a difference in the lives of our seniors,” said Jo Alch, a Registered Nurse and Acappella Owner. “I was a hospice nurse for many years and seeing firsthand the needs of lower income nursing home patients tugged on my heart strings. With such limited resources, some of the residents only have hospital gowns to wear. One of my favorite memories as a child was opening a present from my grandmother on Christmas Eve, a brand-new nightgown. It was something I looked forward to every year.”

Jo had the vision to create something great that would benefit seniors in need year-round, so out of her genuine passion for seniors, the nonprofit, Pajamas for Seniors was formed. The first 4 years of the drive were tremendously successful, with hundreds of pairs of pajamas bring distributed to area communities at Christmas. The company’s goal for 2018 is to collect 2,500 pairs of pajama sets and gowns.

Those who cannot attend on July 19th but would like to donate can drop off during working hours of 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday.  Several sponsors will be hosting pajama collection drives and parties this Fall. Please call our office at 214-866-0085, and speak with Krissa for questions about participating. Pajamas and Cash donations welcome.

Media Contact:

Krissa Shockey

teleCalm is Here

teleCalm was founded in 2015 by Tavis and Jill Schriefer and two other co-founders. In 2009, Tavis’ mother moved into a house across the street where he could better help her with her daily needs, during which she began showing increasing signs of early-stage dementia. After numerous medical issues arose, Tavis and Jill spent the next six years as his mother’s primary caregiver. During this time, they learned firsthand about the everyday challenges, including tasks such as using a telephone, for those living with early dementia. In 2015, they came up with the idea for teleCalm, developing and refining the designs while interviewing other caregivers about their family challenges with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia.

To Jill, the best part about the service is that it is designed to change with the changing needs of the senior with cognitive challenges, and their family caregiver. As their needs change, the teleCalm service can adapt as well. And the ultimate goal of teleCalm is keep seniors in touch with their friends and family while keeping them protected, thereby reducing loneliness and isolation for the senior. Jill Schriefer can be reached at jill@teleCalmProtects.com or by calling 469.701.0411.

teleCalm Family Flyer_20180320

Senior Living Specialists

Having trusted and valued resources in our community is so important.  No matter what service you find yourself in need of, there are many service providers.  The question really is, how do you separate the good from the bad and the mediocre from the excellent?  In our next blog series we will highlight resources in our community that we have personally found to be EXCELLENT, and of course we wouldn’t alight ourselves with anything less than THE BEST!

This week, we’ve invited Paul Markowitz, founder of Senior Living Specialists, to write a blog regarding senior living communities.  Paul went through the senior care maze of finding the appropriate assisted living community when he was 26 years old as his mom got diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease at the age of 59.



Paul Markowitz and Mom

Whether somebody is 26, 56 or 86, you might know of somebody that might have to go through the arduous task of finding the appropriate Independent Living, Assisted Living, Memory Care, Long Term Care Facility or Residential Care Home.  Most people end up in crisis as nobody wants to think about placing a friend or family member as I was when I had to right place for my mom.


Below are 5 key questions that I recommend for each family to ask when touring a senior living facility:

  1. How long has the Executive Director been at the community and what is their experience?
  2. What is the yearly increase in the price of rent?  What has it been over the past 3 – 5 years?
  3. What amenities are provided? e.g. transportation, meals, etc.
  4. What is a typical day like and what time does day get started?  What is security like at the community?
  5. How do you determine when a resident needs to move to a higher level of care?  Is the family responsible for identifying this or will the community let the family know?

With well over 900 senior living communities in the DFW Metroplex, identifying the very best fit for a loved one or friend is a most stressful and time-consuming ordeal.  At Senior Living Specialists we are here to help all in this maze providing FREE comprehensive assistance to identify the very best fit for each family.  We are most proud to be the first local placement company of its type as we serve the entire metroplex.  Since our inception some 9 years ago, our team of 12, are available 7 days per week to accommodate those families in need of transitioning a loved one from home to a proper facility.  We are most fortunate to have assisted over 5,000 families.  Let us do your “heavy lifting” and the best part about our service is that it’s no cost to any family that we help.

We are here to help “make a difference”.


Senior Living Specialists Contact Information
Paul Markowitz (owner)

Congratulations to one of our own Hope Self!

hopeAcappella is proud to announce that Hope Self has been given The Excellence in Nursing award by D Magazine. Hope has been an Acappella team member for over four years and has helped the company grow with hard work and compassion. Hope is a proud nurse for over 19 years and actively stays connected with her community. Hope is an ambassador for the Metrocrest Chamber of Commerce and a board member of the Dallas County Adult Protective Services. In Hope’s free time she enjoys singing in her church choir and being with her family. Congratulations to Hope and her commitment to providing the very best care!

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End of Life Challenges 2017: Highlighting Best Practices of Palliative & Hospice Care.

Please join Seniors Blue Note and Acappella In Home Care for a special CNE activity on March 31st from 7:15 am to 4:15 pm at the Tradition – Lovers Lane Assisted Living & Memory Care.

Seating is limited for End of Life Challenges 2017: Highlighting Best Practices of Palliative & Hospice Care. Information and registration are here: End of Life Care Final Flyer PDF.


End of Life Challenges 2017
Friday, March 31st
7:15 am to  4:15 pm
The Tradition – Lovers Lane Assisted Living & Memory Care
5855 Milton Street
Dallas, Texas 75206
Valet parking available


Note: The activity has been submitted to the Texas Nurses Association for approval to award contact hours. Texas Nurses Associations – Approver is accredited as an approver of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission Accreditation.

Acappella Family Wedding Celebration

The Acappella family is pleased to announce the marriage of our Lead Triage Nurse, Erica Shaw to Mr. John Moore. Please join us in wishing the happy couple many wonderful, joy filled years. Congratulations to you both!

Pictures from the Shaw-Moore wedding.

Pictures from the Shaw-Moore wedding.

Acappella Owner Featured in Brookhaven Alumni Newsletter

Acappella owner and Director of Nursing Jo Alch was featured in the latest edition of Brookhaven’s Alumni Newsletter. Read all about the entrepreneur and how she earned success:

Jo Alch Featured in the latest Brookhaven Alumni Newsletter

Jo Alch Featured in the latest Brookhaven Alumni Newsletter

Nursing Program Alum Combines Skills as a Successful Entrepreneur

Jo Alch remembers taking a test in the 7th grade on optimal career paths and the results confirmed her interest in nursing.  Since then Alch knew that nursing would ultimately be her profession.  After high school Alch, being from Lousiana, enrolled at LSU in hopes of majoring in nursing. Unfortunately, LSU did not have a nursing degree program, so she pursued other majors. Never finishing, she knew in her heart that nursing was her calling. During this time, Alch was financially strapped and knew she had to make some serious decisions about her career so she took various sales jobs in NYC and Dallas.

When Alch was 28, her grandmother was at Baylor Hospital having heart surgery.  Alch remembers that day vividly as a Brookhaven College nursing student walked in the room to take her grandmother’s vitals. After Alch struck up a conversation, the student expressed her enthusiasm and spoke of her wonderful experience with the nursing program at Brookhaven College. From that point, Alch decided to make her life-long goal of becoming a nurse a reality. 

Alch began taking some of the basic courses towards her eligibility for a nursing clinical program. She hopped from one DCCCD college to another enrolling in courses to fit her work schedule.

Sometimes taking only one course at a time. Alch was under some financial pressure so she worked diligently and tried to keep up with her studies.

“At times I was so broke I had to resort to making copies of chapters for required readings from fellow students.  I was determined to get into the program–despite the difficulties I was experiencing; I made all A’s,” Alch said.

When it was time to apply for the nursing clinical program, all Alch wanted was to be accepted to Brookhaven College since she had heard great things about their nursing clinical program. “I applied, and prayed,” Alch said.

The clinical nursing program at Brookhaven is very competetive, but a few months after her application, Alch was accepted. She was overjoyed and then reality sunk in; how would she pay for the program? Alch and her husband were not in the proper income bracket to receive grants.

“We were barely above the poverty line, but made too much for grants. So I worked two jobs–at a hospital one shift a week, and at restaurant while going to Brookhaven. Somehow with two toddlers and an awesome husband who also worked two jobs, I did it, “ Alch said.

After graduation in 1995, Alch began working in hospice. She loved her career and worked in hospice for many years.  Seeing a void in private-duty home care specializing in hospice care, in 2006 Alch decided to take another leap of faith and start her own agency, Acappella in Home Care. By offering excellent service to her clients, Acappella quickly became one of the leading providers in home care in the Dallas – Ft. Worth area. Her agency has won numerous awards, including  D Magazine Excellence in Nursing Best in Home Care, Great 100 RNs for DFW, and North Dallas Living Best Home Care.

Alch holds a special place in her heart for Brookhaven College. She credits the college as one of the main reasons for her success today. “Anytime Brookhaven comes up in a conversation, I am always ready to share my wonderful experiences while a student. I will be eternally grateful to Brookhaven College for giving me such an incredible education,” Alch said.

With the start of the Brookhaven College Alumni Engagement Program, Alch has plans on becoming an active volunteer to give back to her beloved institution, Brookhaven College.

Acappella Visits Victoria Gardens of Frisco and Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson

North Dallas Care Manager Hope Self visited Victoria Gardens of Frisco this fall for a Dallas Cowboys community service outreach celebration. Famed Cowboy Drew Pearson attended as well. Residents were delighted to see No. 88 and hear exciting stories from the gridiron. Everyone cheered for Pearson and the Cowboys!

On the left, Admissions Coordinator with Victoria Gardens of Frisco Cammie Satter, Rowdy, and Hope Self. On the right, Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson, Hope Self, and Liz Abio of Homevestors.

On the left, Admissions Coordinator with Victoria Gardens of Frisco Cammie Satter, Rowdy, and Hope Self. On the right, Dallas Cowboy Drew Pearson, Hope Self, and Liz Abio of Homevestors.


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