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…
The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified mental wellness issues — stress, depression and anxiety — as the leading causes of a “global health burden.” Could it be that, for the past century, we’ve had the mistaken notion that these problems are all in our head, when in reality they are largely in our gut?
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.
The measures that came into effect in wartime Hawai‘i were described by one man who helped create them, Maj. Gen. Thomas H. Green, as “a new experiment in government — a joint operation of the military, civilian business and the general public.” A great number of the general public were, of course, women and they played many roles on the home front.
What do singer Cyndi Lauper, comedian Tim Allen, wrestler Hulk Hogan, attorney Marcia Clark and politician Jeb Bush have in common? They were born in 1953 and are turning 65 this year, along with many others who may not enjoy fortune or fame. Celebrity or not, if you share their birth year and you or a spouse/partner worked and paid Medicare taxes, you may qualify for valuable Medicare insurance benefits.
Momentia (rhymes with dementia) is an arts-based movement targeting persons with dementia and their care partners
that “celebrates life in the moment.” It is a strengths-based grassroots movement to empower and energize those impacted by memory loss to remain connected and active in the community.
Born in ‘Ewa to plantation workers, Sadie Kaya had the best childhood ever. Her memory of growing up there is so strong today, at the age of 103, that she sang a childhood song to me: “Ewa is our happy home. Yes, yes, oh yes. Never from her shall we roam. No, no, oh no. Oh how happy now are we, when we see the DPD. Soon the waters we shall see. Sing, children, sing.”
The Office of Elections and county clerks of Hawai’i are looking for volunteers to help conduct the 2018 General Election on Tuesday, November 6.
More than 4,000 volunteers are needed to fill various positions on Election Day which include assisting voters at the polling place, transporting election materials and supplies, and resolving inquiries from the control center.
The YMCA’s National Senior Health & Fitness Day was enjoyed by many on Wednesday, May 30th, at the Kahala Mall. The YMCA thanked the Kahala Mall and Generations Magazine for their co-sponsorship of the day. A number of nonprofit organizations participated, as well as more than 30 Generations partners, who offered valuable information to seniors and their families.
It’s taken local girl Stacey Hayashi more than 15 years to bring this story of the 100th/442nd and MIS to the big screen. Her dream — to perpetuate stories like this for today’s youth and for future generations — took perseverance and sacrifice, like that of the veterans she passionately honors with this film.
In Hawai‘i, we must always be on the lookout for scammers going door to door posing as trustworthy salespeople. They may be offering lawn care, home improvement services, alarm systems, and more, and also pretending to be legitimate companies just to get you to trust them. Five tips to help protect you and your home
I have been with the Prosecutor’s Office now for over 22 years, and 10 years ago created the Elder Abuse Unit. This unit was the first (and still is the only) team in Hawai‘i dedicated to prosecuting felony offenses where the victims were 60 years of age or older.
Before you panic about the new “Hawai‘i Aid in Dying Law,” it’s a great law but not for the reasons you may think. Governor Ige signed the Our Care, Our Choice Act on April 5, 2018 and it will become law on January 1, 2019. The new law’s purpose is to establish a regulated process whereby a mentally competent adult resident of Hawai‘i with a terminal illness and less than six months to live may choose to end life with a prescription.
In today’s world of wondering whether information is reliable or not, it is critical to protect our kūpuna and their families. You may hear or see an advertisement for a business professional with a bunch of initials after their name and wonder what do all those initials really mean?
Class reunions are poignant reminders of change. With each passing year, our classmates grow a little grayer, perhaps a little balder, and maybe a little more expansive at the midsection. Good thing we are not like our classmates, right? Actually, we are. Father Time is catching up with all of us. That sobering fact should inspire us to reflect each year on our estate plans and whether they still do what we want them to do.
Inflation is the normal state of affairs in the U.S. economy. Most economists consider an annual increase in the cost-of-living of two or three percent per year to be a manageable level of inflation. This increase usually is a good trend, because it is an indication of a growing economy.
Have you heard these questions before: “How do I get my Mom to let go of her things?”, “Why does my Dad not want to get rid of his junk?” and “I’m not making much progress with them, what am I doing wrong?” Most times the answer isn’t black and white, as it really depends on the emotional attachment a person has to those items. Every item has a memory or a story that tugs at their heart, and for those reasons, they can’t get rid of them.
I’m applying for disability benefits. Do I automatically receive Medicare benefits if I’m approved for disability benefits?
In the last issue we discussed how people diagnosed with chronic respiratory failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at higher risk for infection. This issue, we focus on ways to ease their breathing problems.
It’s a mistake for family caregivers to forget about their own well-being while caring for their loved ones. Many feel guilty for taking time off for a spa day or a staycation. I encourage them to accept it’s perfectly OK to get away and return reinvigorated and refreshed.
Despite the great advancements in retirement community resident care in recent years — some through government involvement, but most through business owners seeking to create a better quality of life for seniors — one of the challenges faced when discussing senior living options is the negative stigma that immediately comes to mind about “assisted living.”
Not everyone has spare cash to spend on expensive physical therapy equipment to use at home, so why not learn how to utilize household items to get the same results?
Knee pain while descending stairs is often due to the force on your kneecap (patella), which studies show is 3.5 X your body weight. If you weigh 140lbs, the force on your patella can be as much as 490lbs! That is a lot of stress on your knee, and the pain will be magnified if you have weak muscles or degeneration of the cartilage in the joint.
Let us start with this little fact: almost half of all adults in the United States are affected by hypertension. Recently published revised guidelines for the detection of high blood pressure mean that 46 percent of all Americans 18 years and older are now considered to have hypertension (otherwise known as high blood pressure).
As we age, exercise becomes more and more important — not only for our bodies, but for our minds as well. But fitness doesn’t always have to happen from inside the local gym. You can get on a path to a fit and healthy lifestyle by incorporating cycling into your daily routine.
At the YMCA of Honolulu, our programs and services are tailored to meet all ages, abilities and goals — and so are our yoga classes! All health and fitness facility Y Branches offer a range of yoga classes for kūpuna, from ones that will bring on a light sweat to others that will give you a soothing stretch while seated on a chair.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is for the physically challenged and disabled community. The elevator industry, with the help of the government and educators in civil law, has been addressing ADA issues over the years. Elevator and lift manufacturers have many solutions to meet and exceed the ADA requirements.
Many seniors, especially those who live alone, might not realize that there are items they should have in their hurricane emergency kit other than Spam, baked beans and Vienna sausage. June marks the beginning of the six-month-long hurricane season and reminders about being prepared are all over the media.
Telephone scams have been around for years, even before the birth of the internet, and they are just as dangerous as their online counterparts. Because modern telephone networks use digital technology, it is easy for cybercriminals to manipulate what appears in the Caller ID to trick you into thinking you are receiving a call from a trusted source. This tactic is called “spoofing.”
At Common Cause Hawaii, we believe that the more people who participate in civic engagement, the more representative our democracy. Participation can come in the form of service, or testifying on an important issue, but the most important way to get involved is through voting.
Giving back. That’s the theme and the name of a special — and talented — seniors group who entertain other seniors as a way of giving enjoyment back to their community.
Project Giving Back is a group of 36 singers, ranging in age from 60 to 87, who are now in their 8th year of performing. Wayne Uejo is the founder and administrator of the group, overseeing the singers and coordinating the concert schedule at venues across O‘ahu.
It’s hard to believe 22 years have passed since the renovated Hawaii Theatre Center reopened its doors to the public following a decade-long effort by community volunteers to raise $32 million and save the historic structure from the developer’s wrecking ball. Today, volunteerism is still the lifeblood of the Hawaii Theatre Center.
Were you a high school senior in 1972, singing Alice Cooper’s classic hit, “School’s Out” (for Summer)? Then you may be turning 65 soon and wondering if you need Medicare insurance. Figuring it out on your own may leave you clicking through a lot of scam websites and staring at a mountain of brochures and flyers that arrived in the mail.
Turning 100 is no small feat, but Mrs. Lenora Cho made it look easy when she officially became a centenarian in 2017. Lenora, a small-town girl from back East, found ways to stay active early on in life: in high school, she played basketball and softball.