Welcome ...

All too many times overwhelmed caregivers are physically and emotionally depleted and need to take time to rest and care for themselves. Believing in a holistic approach to caregiver stress and a strong commitment to helping our members find the right solutions, we created this blog to help you connect with others who, like you, may be facing the same eldercare issues and challenges. Feel free to comment, ask questions, and submit articles. Please forward the blog link to your family and friends. They'll be glad you did.

Warm regards,

Patricia Grace
founder & CEO
Aging with Grace

Friday, April 23, 2010

Elder caregiver stress a "real" problem...

Family caregiving stress filled and isolating

ScienceDaily (2010-04-22) -- Family members who provide care to relatives with dementia, but do not have formal training, frequently experience overwhelming stress that sometimes leads to breakdowns or depression, according to researchers. Interventions to alleviate this stress are not always effective, leaving caregivers isolated to deal with their stresses. ... > read full article

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Swallowing problems in the elderly

When an older person regularly gags or chokes in the middle of a meal, it’s obvious that there’s a problem. But what of the more subtle symptoms of trouble while eating?

Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times,says, "your father gets a runny nose or weepy eyes during meals, or clears his throat repeatedly, or develops a voice that sounds kind of gargle-y. Perhaps your mother takes forever to down a few bites or appears to lose interest in eating altogether. We’re less apt to recognize those signs, but they can be tip-offs to swallowing problems."

Swallowing, is a surprisingly intricate business, involving a number of neurological signals, physical processes and coordinated timing. We unthinkingly do it hundreds of times a day, yet “we don’t know how complicated it is until things go wrong,” said Janet Brown of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association.

Read Alyssa's column in full...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Protect your Assets for Retirement

By: Michael Clark

We all know by now that times have changed since our parents and grandparents retired. We cannot completely count on the things they may have had. That does not mean we should abandon those things, but simply accept them for what they are. They all boil down to asset protection, nothing more. As we approach retirement and enter into a new phase of life, we need to prepare to protect our assets that we’ve worked so hard to accumulate.

There are a few areas where we can prepare ourselves to protect our assets when we transition from work to retirement.

My health insurance is through my employer. What do I do when I retire?

Over time, our healthcare needs change. In most cases, this change means that we use the healthcare system more frequently to pay for our healthcare needs. When we reach age 65 or have certain disabilities, we typically become eligible for Medicare. Information about coverage can be found many places, but the most accurate information is found on medicare.gov. This site is owned and operated by the Federal Government and can help you in your decision making process. Another way could be either to contact a local health plan in your area or better yet, contact an agent that is contracted with ALL/MOST major health plans in your area and can complete an analysis of which plan best suits your individual needs.

I have Short Term and Long Term Disability through my employer. Do I still need it when I retire?

Short Term and Long Term Disability Insurance is something we might have while we’re working to protect our income if we become injured or disabled. Long Term Care insurance is a type of coverage that typically replaces both as we retire. Unfortunately, Long Term Care is one of the least discussed areas of asset protection, yet it is one of the most important. Most statistics show that one out of every two Americans will need some form of long term care in their lifetime, yet only a small percentage of individuals purchase coverage before or when they retire. In the United States, estimates show that long term care provided by a facility can range from $3,000-$10,000 per month, depending on the level of care needed. Again, medicare.gov has information on different plans available. As is the case with health coverage, working with an agent or a financial advisor is a better decision when it comes to evaluating your Long Term Care options.

My employer and I have been making contributions to my retirement plan most of my working life. How do I make sure my 401K/403B/Pension lasts through my retirement?

As life expectancy increases, people need to prepare to make their retirement income stretch further. Social Security is one form of income, but as most of you know, it too is in financial trouble. If you have saved through a 401K/403B or are fortunate enough to have a pension, you need to speak to a licensed, trained and well respected financial planner. We have all heard horror stories where people have lost their entire savings because they put their faith in an unscrupulous “advisor.” Do your homework! A little work on the front end will pay huge dividends in the long run.

I’ve had a couple of different life insurance policies to protect my family. Do I need life insurance after I retire?

There are different needs for life insurance. When you were working, life insurance was primarily used to protect your income and make sure your family was taken care of financially, should you pass away prematurely. As you enter into retirement, there may or may not be the same needs. Some use it as a form of income. Some use it as a means to pay taxes upon their death and some simply need a plan to pay for burial costs. If you had an employer based life insurance plan, you need to look closely at the policy provisions. Many plans decrease the face amount of the policy starting at the age of 65. If you plan to use this, it may or may not be there. Also, many employer based life insurance plans can be converted to an individual plan, but are typically not cost effective. Discuss this with your agent to determine how this fits into your overall assets protection plan. Many people do not like to talk about this difficult subject, but it is important if you want to protect those assets you worked so hard to create.

There are many areas that need to be evaluated when retiring, but if you work with a trained individual or firm, they can help assist you in protecting your assets in the most cost effective way to protect your assets. Homework will be crucial and a thoughtful process will allow you to live the retirement life you hoped and dreamed for.

About the author:

Michael Clark is the Chief Executive Officer of Strategic Growth Insurance Associates Inc. He has held executive level positions at multiple health and life insurance companies, both on a regional and national level. His responsibilities included sales, account administration, pricing/actuarial services, State/Federal government contact and Public Relations.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

New Advice on Getting Dementia Patients off the Road

By John Gever, Senior Editor, MedPage Today
TORONTO -- A dementia rating test and assessments by caregivers can be very useful in identifying people with dementia who need to quit driving, researchers said here.
Patients' own confidence in their driving ability and their fearlessness behind the wheel? Not so useful.
Those were the main messages in new practice guidelines issued by the American Academy of Neurology at its annual meeting here.
Headed by Donald J. Iverson, MD, of the Humboldt Neurological Medical Group in Eureka, Calif., an AAN committee reviewed the literature on driving risk associated with dementia, updating a 10-year-old guideline.
Read full article...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Guide to Choosing a financial agent

Sonya Mittelman, Owner, Law office of Sonya Mittelman

Unless all of your assets are held jointly with another, you need to ensure that they cam be managed in the event of your incapacity. The document that allows you to do this is known as a power of attorney. It is a complex document that needs to be tailored to fit your situation. it should not be prepared without the assistance of a competent attorney in your jurisdiction You may chose a single agent or multiple agents. if you chose multiple agents, they may act jointly or separately.

You may be wondering how should I choose my agent. You are giving your agent access to your money. This is not an honor like being a best man or maid of honor. It is serious responsibility. Chose carefully No one including your spouse or partner should be chosen just because it is natural or seems “fair”

What factors should you consider in deciding who to chose.? The most important thing to remember is that a power of attorney is effective. upon signing. The agent or agents may begin to manage your assets, even while you are still capable, so consider who you can work best with. While you are competent, will the person be able to abide by your wishes?

A power of attorney survives your incapacity, if you are no longer able to manage your assets, the agent may do so, At this point, he or she is standing in your shoes. He or she must do as you would want, not as he or she would do for him/ herself. Factors to consider here are (1) are your basic values as they involve money similar. (2) How finically secure is he /she. You are giving access to your funds. (3) What is His/ her level of Experience with money. Is he or she willing to serve?

In deciding whether to name two or more agents, and whether to have them act jointly or separately, consider all of the above, and whether their values about money are similar and how well they get along. Do NOT just chose all of your children in order to treat them “ equally”. They will not have equal abilities.

Once the decision is made, let every one know who is chosen and why. Open and honest communication will avoid problems later.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

For elderly, wired world holds terror - or delight

Sam Allis, The Boston Globe

They grew up in a time when technology meant a wall telephone, a TV set with three channels, and a radio. Today they're in the midst of a monumental transition. While some senior citizens are handling the rapid rise of the Internet age well - e-mailing, posting family photos on Facebook, paying bills online - for many it has prompted sheer terror.

People have always faced changes as they age - cable TV, voice mail, call waiting - but no generation has been thrown so much change, so fast, as today's seniors. Those who've adjusted feel confident. Those who've resisted feel vulnerable, oblivious to how critical the computer will be to help them stay in touch with friends, order food, or buy prescription drugs as they become more housebound.

If there is a silver lining, it's this: The next generation of seniors - the baby boomers - will not have to go through this wrenching change. They know how to reboot, IM, and tweet.

Read complete article...

Search This Blog

Helpful Resources

Low Vision Therapy Services

Children of Aging Parents (CAPS)

Well Spouse Association

U.S. Administration on Aging


Nursing Home Compare

Senior Safety Online

Mature Market Institute

Connections for Women

50Plus Realtor

Alzheimer's Speaks

Official VA Website