At the start of a new year, many of us make a New Year’s resolution to get healthy. Did you make a resolution to start the year with a “healthy” computer, too? Here are some computer health tips…
It is only by knowing what is going on in our parents’ and grandparents’ lives that we can prevent certain abuses from occurring. Get involved and find out your loved one’s routine. Talk to them. Any deviation from their norm may be a warning sign to you that they are being targeted for a possible scam.
Making an estate plan that clearly documents intention helps surviving family members avoid fighting; especially in court. Yet lawyers will write the estate plan for exactly that purpose — writing as if it were going to be fought over in court. I call this legalese legal dis-ease. Write your intentions down in your own hand-writing for inclusion in your estate plan so that you don’t risk miscommunication or misunderstanding among surviving family members.
We have a right to say “enough is enough” when it comes to medical care, including the use of respirators and tube feeding. We also have the right to name who will speak for us when we cannot speak for ourselves. Having a clear and comprehensive advance health care directive is only way to be sure that your wishes will be known and carried out.
The most important goal for many of my clients is to retire on their terms – which often means planning a long, secure retirement that enables them to check off items on their ultimate bucket list. Retirement requires careful planning in addition to avoiding financial missteps along the way. Here are five common mistakes, and strategies to avoid them…
Long-Term Care Ombudsmen are advocates for residents living in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult residential care homes, expanded adult residential care homes and community care foster family homes. We are NOT the state inspectors and do not write deficiencies or issue fines or citations. Our focus has always been on quality of life and quality of care issues — advocating for all our residents so their rights can be honored and protected.
Since 1989, ALU LIKE’s Elderly Services Department, Ke Ola Pono No Nā Kūpuna (KOPP), has provided nutrition and supportive services (recreation, education, promotion of well-being) to independent Native Hawaiians 60 years of age or older on the islands of Hawai‘i, Kaua‘i, Maui, Moloka‘i and O‘ahu. Today, there are 18 site locations statewide.
Lanakila Meals on Wheels, a program of Lanakila Pacific, works with registered dietitians and chefs to ensure their healthy and delicious meals meet or exceed USDA nutrition guidelines while addressing the age-related dietary needs of seniors.
Did you know Medicare coverage includes preventive services? Contact your doctor for more information and to schedule recommended preventive screenings, care, and to participate in educational classes. (Cost sharing and other limitations may apply.)
My Social Security gives you a personal online account you can securely use to check your Social Security information and do business with us. With a my Social Security account you can perform a variety of tasks.
Every 13 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury. Lower-body weakness, difficulties with walking and balance, and vision problems can make a person more likely to fall. Other causes include home hazards and clutter. Having a medical alert system can reduce a person’s risk of not being able to receive timely treatment, by obtaining immediate medical assistance in the event of a fall or emergency.
One of the challenges for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia is finding ways to engage their loved one or patient in tasks that strengthen the ability to recall who people are and what their relationship with them is. Dr. Warren Wong, a local geriatrician with decades of experience working with such patients, took on that challenge and has developed a free iPad app to fill that need: MemorC.
The only state veterans home in Hawai‘i, Yukio Okutsu State Veterans Home, celebrated its 10th anniversary of serving veterans from across our nation in 2018. From celebrating our seniors’ accomplishments to bringing the community to our residents, we know the importance of ‘ohana.
Human beings use five ways to take in data: sight, touch, smell, taste and sound. From the time we are born, we prefer to take in data first by what we see, then hear and finally through touch. Vision, our primary source for processing new information, is controlled by an area in the back of our brain called the occipital lobe. Dementia attacks and damages the occipital lobe resulting in skewed vision, poor depth perception and diminished peripheral vision.
At some point we’ve all had times of forgetfulness or misplacing things. Our keys get lost or we draw a blank trying to remember where the car is parked or what we just ate for breakfast. We can usually sort it out and remember things with some time and patience. But when is forgetfulness or memory loss of concern?
Kitchens are awesome places as great food is cooked and eaten there! But they can also be home to dangerous microbes. Did you know that kitchens are more heavily contaminated than bathrooms? Ordinary cleaning practices do little to reduce the microbial load, so kitchen sanitizing is a higher and more frequently needed level of cleanliness.
Regular exercise and physical activity can help to prevent disease, improve mental health, increase energy, reduce the risk of falling and much more. Here’s how!
With a new year comes new goals to better ourselves. Whether you have been exercising for years or are just starting out, be especially careful to avoid injury. Loss of flexibility and of bone and muscle mass increases the risk of injury and slows down recovery.
There are two main classifications of pain: the common type that arises from damaged tissue, and the more exotic kind that comes from damage to the system that reports and interprets damage, the nervous system.
Understanding the two types of pain will help you understand the solutions your physician or pain specialist suggest for easing it.
Stroke remains Hawai‘i’s third leading cause of death and a leading cause of major disability. However, 80 percent of strokes are preventable. And those that do occur, in many cases, are treatable if symptoms are quickly recognized and treatment is quickly sought. Hawai‘i EMS data shows, however, that almost 50 percent of Hawai‘i stroke patients aren’t being delivered to hospitals by EMS ambulances.
Most of life’s memorable experiences are memorable because they’re shared. What if there were an easy way to not only write down your memories for family and friends but to also give them the opportunity to reminisce with you about them? There is! Developed by a team right here in Hawai‘i — led by local entrepreneur Beth N. Carvin — JamBios is an easy-to-use memoir writing platform that lets you write one story at a time while also keeping you organized.
Pickleball combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis and is played either indoors or outdoors on a 20×44-foot court. Players use a paddle, perforated ball similar to a whiffle ball, and a 3-foot-high net. Pickleball can be played as singles or doubles and it’s like playing ping pong on the ground.
My current goal is to help Maui Arts League build a Visual Fine Arts Museum on West Maui — for our children, residents and visitors. My husband and I have always valued art and were inspired by collecting fine art. I believe art makes people happy. What could be better than surrounding yourself with family, good friends, delicious healthy food and beautiful art?
The biggest surprise about retirement is that I am busier now than when I had a regular job. My to-do list seems to get longer every day, even though I know I am continually completing tasks. Keeping busy with meaningful work is good advice to anyone contemplating retirement.
Portfolio workers are the “Jugglers” of multiple opportunities who know a diversified work portfolio increases the probability of realizing financial and personal success, improves their sense of control and boosts feelings of security.
Ageism is discrimination and negative stereotyping on the basis of a person’s age. It permeates the media and everyday conversations to such an extent and in such subtle ways that people may accept negative stereotypes of older adults (“forgetful,” “grouchy,” “less competent”) as truth, unconscious of their bias.
March is National Kidney Month! In celebration, the National Kidney Foundation of Hawai‘i will be hosting its 4th Annual Walk on the Wild Side event on Saturday, March 23, 2019 from 11am to 4pm at Fort Street Mall and Chinatown.
In January 1, 2019, Hawai‘i became just the seventh state in the US to permit medical aid in dying. The Our Care, Our Choice (OCOCA) law allows terminally ill adult patients with capacity to make medical decisions to be prescribed an aid-in-dying medication if all the requirements are met.
Seniors not only have to exercise and stay physically and mentally fit; they also need to make their money last longer. Social Security, regular investments (stocks, mutual funds) and retirement plans (401k, IRA) now have to account for an extended life span.
Since 2017, licensed Hawai‘i cannabis growers have been formulating and dispensing medical products to qualified state-registered patients. A majority of their clients who are benefiting from cannabis treatments are seniors. Maui Grown Therapies dispensary in Kahului has been open over a year. Leading their Science & Medical Advisory Board is Dr. Andrew Weil, director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrated Medicine, an advocate for alternative medicine and an early pioneer in the research of medical cannabis.
With all the natural disasters happening throughout the world, unscrupulous scammers are looking to take advantage of our empathy and generosity as we seek ways to help the victims of those disasters. These scammers will be soliciting donations using telephone messages, emails, and even social networking services like Facebook.
When my father-in-law “Gramps” had a stroke, he spent time at the hospital, rehab, and then a nursing home, before finally being able to return to his house. During those months of recovery away from home, my family made every effort to visit him daily. Between my wife, brother-in-law, mother-in-law and myself, we were pretty successful in making sure he would have the company of a loved one every day.
There is no “good grief” or “bad grief”— there is only grief. Drs. Kenneth Doka and Terry Martin* suggest that there are two types of grievers: “instrumental” and “intuitive.” Neither type is deficient; only different. Understanding the difference can allow family members to empathize with, rather than attribute bad motives to, another family member.
Setting New Year’s resolutions is a tradition for millions of Americans who see January 1 as a fresh start. However, we all know how easy it is to have resolutions fall to the wayside as the year progresses.
Fortunately, if the goal you have in mind is a financial one, there are ways you can break it down into steps that will keep you motivated and on track to achieve it.
Is estate planning really all about “who gets my stuff”? Your assets may be important, but when you sift through the reasons for doing estate planning, you may find that identifying who gets your stuff takes a distant back seat to far more important considerations.
The general enrollment period for Medicare Part B, medical insurance, begins January 1 and runs through March 31. Keep in mind that, although there is no monthly premium for Medicare Part A, there will be a premium for your Medicare Part B. And in most cases, that premium goes up each 12-month period you were eligible for it and elected not to enroll.
In 2019, a new Medicare Advantage Open Enrollment Period, from January 1 to March 31, will begin and is expected to run annually. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you’ll have the opportunity to switch to another Medicare Advantage Plan or to Original Medicare Parts A and B.
Although improved fitness plays a significant role in improving overall health and reducing your risk for disease, Medicare usually does not cover exercise classes or the services of a personal trainer. However, when medically necessary, Medicare Part B may cover occupational and physical therapy, which could include some exercise and fitness training.
Falling isn’t fun for anyone, but as we get older falling can have serious, life-changing effects. These injuries can require skilled nursing care — or worse, falls can be fatal. The good news is that falling can often be prevented.
An unexpected life-changing situation can happen in an instant. One minute you’re at a friend’s home, getting ready to enjoy watching UH football, then you slip and fall, and feel excruciating pain. Hours later, on a trip to the emergency room, you learn that you fractured your hip or, even worse, your spine.
As caregivers we reap the benefits of being of service, in a very personal way sometimes, to those that we love. But as the disease/disorders/illnesses rob our loved ones of the spontaneity, intimacy, and active partnership we once had, it also robs us as the caregivers. Our world changes differently than those that we are caring for.
Today, more seniors are receiving care in their homes for medical conditions. Many receive it following a hospitalization or discharge from a rehabilitation center and have complex needs. Seniors who require them may have difficulties adjusting to their care and can benefit from transitional care during this period.
Appropriate footwear is key to preventing injuries. So, knowing your foot type is crucial when choosing walking or running shoes. To find your best shoe type, stand in front of a mirror in bare feet and shift your weight, observing your inner arch.
When speaking with your doctor about pain, be ready to answer a few important questions. To make the best of your visit, and have time for your own questions, note down the following…
Fascia is the collagenous soft connective tissue that binds all of your body’s other structures. Defined as the largest organ system of the body in 2012 by the Federative Committee on Anatomic Terminology, it is now the most studied tissue in human movement science. Here is what current research is learning about this amazing tissue that, like the mesh on a garden hose, needs to withstand pressure from the inside (by exerting pressure itself) and also stay flexible.
Our daily lives are filled with so many distractions that it’s easy to feel scattered and stressed. When you are chronically stressed it becomes harder to function properly, increasing your stress even more and often inviting disease. To help manage their stress, many people have turned to yoga and mind-body training because its healthy effects on body and mind are now widely recognized.
With the holidays and the spirit of the season upon us, our energies turn toward the festivities with our friends and families. What better opportunity for us to shine the spotlight on our kūpuna than by tapping into their vast knowledge of life, wisdom and memories? A fun way to do this is through a day of “Life Stories,” where all the generations get together and share their fondest memories.
There is no perfect time to discuss end-of-life care. Most seniors would prefer to age in place at home, as independently as possible. But too few take the time to discuss their preferences with their family, leaving family caregivers
stressed and scrambling. The most important thing any family can do to prepare for a loved one to live at home is to talk about it today.
When I moved from Moloka‘i to Kapolei earlier this year, my goals for retirement were to spend time with my granddaughter, become involved
in my new community by volunteering at the library and local school, and to continue what I enjoy doing — walking daily, reading, acrylic painting, gardening, cooking healthy meals, attending art shows and educational workshops, and hosting new students from Southeast Asian countries who are currently pursuing their degrees at UH-Mānoa.
One of the pleasures of being a grandparent is spending time with the grandkids, and reading books together is a wonderful way to do just that — whether introducing a toddler to the alphabet or helping a sixth-grader research a project. Here are some ideas for locally published books to share with your special keiki.
The day I visit the Molokai Arts Center, Betty West is teaching a kūpuna ceramics class. Betty was one of the founders of the center, which grew from an idea discussed at the local pizza café by locals — mostly seniors — who felt the island needed a place to nurture the arts. Between 2010 and 2012, the group incorporated as a nonprofit, raised funds and applied for grants, and were offered a home on the property of Coffees of Hawaii in Kualapu‘u.
Not all fine art is in museums or galleries. These two seniors found other ways to enjoy fine art up close. Both have a connection to the Maui Plein Air Painting Invitational art event on Maui — coming up Feb. 16–24, 2019.
Find something you’re passionate about and stick with it! That’s the advice Ed Gayagas has followed for himself and the message he passes along to others.
I have learned a lot about setting goals from interacting with my smartwatch! The S.M.A.R.T. approach to setting goals has been around far longer than smartwatches, but the watches demonstrate perfectly the basic S.M.A.R.T. concepts originally created in 1981 by George T. Doran as a management tool but relevant for any type of goal.
If you are 50, 60, 70 or 80 today and need — or want — to continue to work, there is an exciting, fast-rising world emerging; a world filled with new ways of working and earning your way in Hawai‘i!
What I’ve learned is about just that: What I’ve learned these past 16+ years since I entered this field called “aging.” I was 42 years old and didn’t know a whole lot about retirement planning, Social Security or health issues, let alone caregiving and Alzheimer’s. Most people in that age range don’t think about this stuff; however, it is important to think ahead to when we get older and/or about our parents own aging and health issues.
From a very young age, Carole Kai showed a flair for the dramatic — sometimes pulling a bedsheet off the clothesline and holding it tightly across her shoulders while flying around the backyard like a superhero. Other times, she showed a more businesslike approach — like the time she hosted a boxing match in her backyard and sold tickets to neighborhood kids for 5 cents apiece.
If I were to open a crime college, a place to learn the fine art of thievery, one class that would assuredly be on the curriculum would be Advance Fee Frauds, commonly known as sweepstakes and lottery frauds. This con involves the victim being told the lie that money is coming their way (usually from lottery winnings, insurance refunds or inheritance) but a fee/tax/processing charge has to be paid first to receive it. This one scheme is responsible for more money being stolen in Hawai‘i than any other crime.
It is not just families who disagree about the interpretation of legal documents. There seems to be tension among estate planning attorneys in regard to recommending that clients write down their heartfelt intentions to accompany those documents. Many lawyers believe that it is the form that is most important — that the written legal language will communicate their client’s heartfelt wishes. Others believe that, no matter how carefully written, the form alone cannot transfer intention.
Many parents, in addition to planning for their own future, care deeply about helping their children find their financial footing as they enter adulthood. Having spent decades building up their nest eggs for retirement, they recognize the power of long-term financial planning and hope their children will capture the same benefits by starting to invest while they are young. Convincing someone just starting off in their careers to set aside money for retirement — which to them, may seem like light years away — can be a tough sell.
When hiring a caregiver, you may be tempted to try to make the process as simple as possible by treating the caregiver as a “private contractor.” You tell the person “I will pay you so much an hour, and you deal with the IRS and the State when it comes time to pay taxes.” After all, taking on the responsibilities of withholding taxes (and then paying the taxing authorities), buying Workers’ Compensation insurance, paying Social Security and Medicare tax, and all the rest, can be a real pain. However, the IRS and the State will take the position that the caregiver is an “employee,” that you are an “employer,” and that all the legal obligations that attach to those labels are applicable to your situation.
One question that is frequently asked by people about to turn 65 who have health insurance through an employer is: “Do I need to enroll in Medicare?” Good question! If you or your spouse are still working when you turn age 65 and have insurance through your employer you may consider delaying Medicare Part A and Part B until you retire if you have Creditable Coverage, which means coverage as good as Medicare. Or you can choose to elect your Part A, which is premium-free, and delay Part B until retirement. Depending on the size of the group, one plan would be primary while the other would be secondary.
Social Security benefits are paid each month. Generally, new retirees receive their benefits on either the second, third, or fourth Wednesday of each month, depending on the day in the month the retiree was born.
Volunteering is a popular antidote to feelings of isolation that can occur as we age. Here are two programs that enable seniors to share their time and skills with younger generations.
According to Kathryn Coleman, Director at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), a final rule issued in April 2018 has redefined the “primarily health related” supplement benefit definition. As a result, CMS expects Medicare Advantage plan sponsors to begin offering services for enrollees needing assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL) or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL).
When a senior member of your family is in need of 24/7 care, it is fortunate that Hawai‘i has many professional, caring and dedicated homes and facilities to welcome them. What every family wants to know is: “Will my mom or dad be happy living in someone else’s home, eat right, and stay mentally and physically strong?”
People living with dementia (PLWD) have challenges with verbal communication: language comprehension, speech production, and vocabulary. But they are not unconscious to what is going on around them. Even as the brain declines, emotional intelligence is preserved. PLWD take in data visually rather than auditorily and react to what they think is happening. As caregivers we must remember that PLWD are really doing the best they can with the abilities they have left.
Home healthcare providers are often asked what makes a better caregiver. The answer is that, while many factors come to mind, an interest in learning is high on the list, and essential to a caregiver’s progress. For example, an important role caregivers have is recognizing when an individual’s health condition is changing. Those who can reflect and learn from these changes often develop into better caregivers.
As we age, our hearing often loses its edge. Clinical research suggests that hearing loss can have a negative effect on some key measures of healthy aging as cognitive, physical and social functioning decline. A study by the National Institute on Aging indicates that people with untreated hearing loss are significantly more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Tai Chi, often referred to as “moving meditation,” is an ancient Chinese practice characterized by slow, flowing, low-impact movements and deep breathing. It offers wonderful benefits for any age group and is an incredibly effective and helpful practice for older adults.
A “modified squat” is one of the most beneficial exercises to learn. It strengthens the lower body and core and reduces the strain on the knees when done right. Unfortunately, most people never learn the PROPER way to squat.
October is National Physical Therapy Month and National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Physical therapy may not be the first healthcare field that comes to mind when someone is undergoing cancer treatment, but physical therapists can play an integral role in promoting a speedy recovery and in assisting a return to previous levels of activity following surgery and radiation/chemotherapy treatments.
As hearing loss progresses, it often becomes more difficult to understand what is being said over the telephone. While texting on a mobile phone is one solution, the loss of manual dexterity as we age can make that very frustrating. It’s disheartening not to be able to communicate easily with loved ones and friends.
One of the trending online fraud schemes involves being contacted by either friends or relatives via email or through social networking services like Facebook about receiving large amounts of money through investments, a class action lawsuit, or even a random contest drawing. However, these “friends” or “relatives” are NOT who they claim to be.
Family caregivers of older adults undergo fairly predictable stages in their caregiving careers. Each stage brings different challenges and requires different kinds of help for both the care receiver and family caregiver.
Hawai‘i is fortunate to be the home of many centenarians, and I love writing about them. Most recently, I spent time with Edward Jurkens, who celebrated his 100th birthday on December 23, 2017. We planned to talk at his apartment then go to lunch. On the way there, I thought, “Where should I park so I can drive him somewhere?”
Need to work? Need to earn? If your answer is “yes” to either question, then here are three immediate actions that will improve the return on your most important investment — YOU!
If you attend any sports events involving the University of Hawai‘i’s Rainbow Warriors or Wahine, it soon becomes obvious that local kūpuna are among their most avid supporters. From attending home games, to donating to booster clubs, to picking thousands of flowers to make lei for the Women’s Volleyball Team, Hawai‘i’s seniors are with the athletes every step of the way.
The 12th Aging in Place Workshop held on August 18 at the Ala Moana Hotel brought our readers and their friends and family in contact with Generations Magazine’s partners in a vibrant atmosphere of sharing and learning.
Former first lady Rosalynn was a caregiver herself and she believed that family caregiving is a cycle of life that touches everyone. Here, four people, each at a different point on the cycle, share their care stories from the heart, offering words of wisdom and points of caution. As you read, consider your journey on the Cycle of Caregiving. Where are you? Are you prepared?
Only one out of every 44 cases of financial abuse among the elderly ever gets reported and even fewer make it to trial. This is the true story of one of those cases.
“What does a con artist look like?” The answers I receive are oftentimes humorous. Descriptions of used car salesmen and politicians are shouted out, with visuals of “shifty eyes,” bad toupees, rapid speech, and loud aloha shirts added in for effect.
Ideally, estate planning is “by invitation only.” Most people misunderstand this to mean that we, as the lawyers, are the ones doing the inviting. In actuality, it’s you, the clients, who are doing the inviting, by inviting us into your unique and textured lives.
Another way to consider gifting assets is to set up a charitable trust. Trusts can help you manage highly appreciated assets in a more tax-efficient manner while, in some cases, allowing you to split assets among charitable and non-charitable beneficiaries
There are three estate planning documents that every competent adult living in the State of Hawai‘i should have. Of course, “competency” can be an elusive quality, but once a Hawai‘i resident has turned 18, the law of our State presumes that person to be competent.
Q: I’m trying to decide when to retire. Can Social Security help?
A: The best place to start is with a visit to the
online Social Security Statement. The statement provides you with estimates of benefits for you and your family as well as your earnings record and information you should consider about retirement and retirement planning.
The Big Island again finds itself dealing with a large number of people displaced by a lava event. “The fast-moving lava flow from Kīlauea volcano on May 3, 2018, forced 1,500 residents out of their homes and in search of shelter,” says Kimo Alameda, County Executive on Aging.
I visited Kīlauea several years ago with my hula sisters for the Merrie Monarch Festival. Walking toward the crater to bear ho‘okupu (offering) for Tutu Pele, my lungs suddenly tightened up and I was literally gasping for air.
I don’t know if anyone is really prepared for family caregiving — it all happens so suddenly,” says Terri Jorgensen of Maui. She became a family caregiver in 2016, when Maui Memorial Hospital discharged her 101-year-old Grandma.
In home care, a question I often get is how to care for someone with Alzheimer’s who asks the same questions over and over again. To better understand and manage what’s going on, it helps to first know a bit on Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
If you are one of the 100 million Americans who experience chronic pain, know that physical therapy can be a safer alternative to potentially addictive medications. Physical therapy plays a vital role in helping to manage and overcome chronic pain through proper strengthening and flexibility exercises, manual therapies, posture and body mechanics instruction.
Right here in Waikīkī there is more to learn about our famous nisei “Go For Broke” 442nd Infantry Regiment — at the U.S. Army Museum of Hawaii. It’s on the corner of Kalia and Saratoga Roads inside Fort DeRussy Military Reservation park.