Timeshares Pt. 3: Scam or Investment?

As I indicated in the last issue, under Hawaii Revised Statute §514E-9, timeshare companies are required to give clients all information regarding the unit for purchase, including all the fees attributed to that unit that are due immediately and the “hidden” fees that require seemingly endless future payments — the monthly mortgage, property tax, maintenance fees and interest.

Now’s the Time: Charities Need Our Help

In these challenging economic times, many worthwhile charitable organizations find themselves in a precarious financial position. Meanwhile, they are experiencing unprecedented demand, especially those charities that provide basic needs like food and shelter. Thankfully, new, unique provisions in the tax code have been implemented in response to the COVID-19 crisis, creating more incentives for giving.

A Toolkit for Choosing Health Plan Options

Preparing yourself with the proper tools helps to make any job a bit easier. If you are baking, you need the proper ingredients. When building something, you need hammers, nails and other related items. It’s the same when you are preparing for your Health Plan Open Enrollment session; or if you are a caregiver, for your person’s Medicare Annual Enrollment.

When’s the Right Time for Memory Care?

Memory care communities that first began appearing in the 1990s are an important care option today for the growing number of families caring for a person living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia. When considering memory care, look for a community with a rich and lively activity program, and staff who are well-trained in dementia care, and exemplify a caring and kind spirit.

Reflections on a Caregiving Journey

Having been exposed to what it takes to be a care manager at a very young age as I watched my mother tend to disabled clients in our home, I followed in my mother’s footsteps. I pursued a social work degree from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and eventually worked at HMSA as a care coordinator, supervisor and manager. After nearly 20 years at HMSA, I realized that my husband and I had become members of the “sandwich generation,” caring for three children and aging parents.

Regain Your Posture as You Age

Forty years ago, medical exercise specialists Debbie and Norm Compton met in Hawai‘i and made fitness the key element in both their personal and professional lives. Personal training, stunt work, injuries and their continual quest for excellence compelled them to write Stacking: Your Skeletal Blueprint for Posture. In their book, the Comptons share techniques for regaining posture as you age.

Sugar is Bad for Your Teeth & Mind

I love sugar! Sugar makes desserts, candies and drinks taste wonderful! The bacteria in our mouth love sugar, too. Eating foods that contains sugar instantly activates bacteria for 20 minutes. As bacteria devour the sugar, their waste is acid. Acid is one of the few things that can destroy your enamel and may contribute to dementia.

Healthy Smiles Can Prevent Alzheimer’s

It’s no secret that poor oral health can lead to many overall health issues, such as heart disease, diabetes and other ailments. But studies show poor oral health may also lead to an increased risk of dementia. People who have gum disease for 10 years or more are 70 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who have healthy gums.

Healthy Heart, Happy Brain

According to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, chronic heart disease factors like high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity can quicken the pace of cognitive decline.
High blood pressure and diabetes can accelerate shrinkage of the brain, especially affecting the brain’s memory center, the hippocampus. When combined with other cardio risk factors, the rate at which cognitive decline advances, leading to dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Using Light to Improve Brain Health

One would expect that an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) would be  pharmacological. And yet, 99 percent of AD drug trials fail. The last time the FDA approved an AD drug was 2003. Acupuncturists might focus on neuroregeneration using neuroacupuncture. In a similar fashion, a new modality — photobiomodulation (PBM) — has been building its case as a credible treatment alternative for AD. Rather than targeting a single biological mechanism, it helps the brain repair itself.

The Benefits of Pilates

Joseph Pilates truly was ahead of his time with his holistic approach to exercise. “Contrology [now called ‘Pilates’] is designed to give you suppleness, natural grace and skill that will be unmistakably reflected in the way you walk, in the way you play and in the way you work,” Pilates said. “You will develop muscular power with corresponding endurance, ability to perform arduous duties, to play strenuous games,to walk, run or travel for long distances without undue body fatigue or mental strain.”

How You Can Help Fight Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association, formed in 1980, is the country’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to continue to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia by driving risk reduction and early detection, and by advancing vital, global research regarding treatment and prevention in it’s continuing efforts to find a cure.

A Great First Lady Cares

Hawai‘i’s first lady, Dawn Amano-Ige, is a wife (married to Gov. David Ige), a mother of three, a sister and a daughter. Dawn’s mother, Mitsue Amano, provided childcare for the Ige kids when Dawn was a young, working mother and David was a new legislator. Today, at 94 years old, Mitsue is no longer the family’s caregiver. That’s now Dawn’s role.

Love, Patience, Planning: Tips for Caring for Loved Ones With Alzheimer’s Disease

During the coronavirus pandemic, most adult day centers and community senior centers have closed or cut their services, and families across the state have had to scramble to provide caregiver services at home. If you’re now caring for a loved one with memory or other health issues, follow these tips and find links to resources below.

How You Can Help Fight Alzheimer’s

The Alzheimer’s Association, formed in 1980, is the country’s leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Its mission is to continue to lead the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other dementia by driving risk reduction and early detection, and by advancing vital, global research regarding treatment and prevention in it’s continuing efforts to find a cure.

Community Living Centers

As a veteran who is “getting up there,” how to live out my last years comfortably without being a burden is more than a passing thought. Fortunately, there are 100 Veterans Affairs Community Living Centers (CLCs) across the country. Their mission is to restore the veteran to his or her highest level of physical and/or psychological well-being before being discharged to their own home.”

Donating with Care

Hawai‘i’s residences are often targeted by door-to-door solicitors asking for donations. Here in Hawai‘i, we are a generous people. We take pride in living the Aloha Spirit, but we must exercise caution as well. We must know the basic things about charitable giving in the event that anyone tries to take advantage of our good nature.

Tax-Aide for Seniors

Tax season is officially under way, and Hawai‘i residents can count on AARP Tax-Aide volunteers to help reduce tax stress. Beginning Feb. 1, AARP-trained and IRS-certified volunteers will be available at 45 locations throughout the state to help taxpayers prepare basic federal and state forms.

Body-Proofing II – Motion is Lotion

Last month, we emphasized the importance of exercise to combat the natural aging process. Specifically, exercises like Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga provide coordinated full body workouts with an emphasis on core muscle strengthening, balance and fluidness of movements. But what if you have pain in your knees or back making even simple movements like walking difficult?

The Art of Pressure

Have you ever instinctively held your forehead or temples when you’ve had a headache? Everyone at one time or another has used their hands to hold tense or painful places on the body. This is the healing touch of acupressure. Acupressure is an ancient Chinese healing art that uses the fingers to press key pressure point to release muscular tension and promote blood circulation and the body’s natural healing abilities.

March into Medicare

Hawai‘i’s Sage PLUS (SHIP) counselors are often asked, “What is Medicare, and how does it affect me?” Medicare is the United State’s federal health insurance that is available to those 65 years and older, and to people at any age with certain disabilities. You can choose to use the government’s Original/Traditional Medicare, or a commercial Medicare Health Plan or a Medicare Supplement (also known as “Medigap” insurance).

Heavyweight Volunteer: Stuart Ho

The men in Stuart Ho’s family have been heavy weights in business for three generations. His father, legendary developer Chinn Ho, turned the ‘Ilikai into the state’s first high-rise luxury resort in the 1960s. Stuart served on the boards of such notable companies as Aloha Airlines, Gannett Co., and Pacific Resources in a long and successful career as state legislator, attorney and executive. Today, son Peter Ho is continuing the family tradition of business stewardship as president and CEO of Bank of Hawai‘i. At 75, Stuart is busier than ever in retirement.

Elderhood Project

In early February, seniors enjoyed the company of each other and a number of middle school students at the annual Senior Valentine Dance at Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. Oh, and by the way, there were some celebrities on hand to take a spin or two around the dance floor. I have had the pleasure in the past of taking part in this frivolity.

Healthy Heart, Happy Heart: Medicare’s Preventive Benefits

This February share your heart with those special people by using your Medicare Preventive Benefits. As of January 1, 2011, under Original/ Traditional Medicare and Medicare Advantage plans there are no co-pays for preventive benefits. That means if your doctor feels that you could benefit from a cardiovascular screening you will pay nothing out of pocket for the screen.

Body-Proofing Combats Aging

Growing older is inevitable but the rapid physical deterioration we call “aging” does not have to be.  In fact, the aging process can be slowed down or in some cases reversed with a consistent exercise program. Numerous studies show adults who make regular exercise a part of their lifestyle are biologically younger by almost 10 years than those who do not exercise.

More Than Just a Vegas Hotel

The ‘jewel’ of Downtown Las Vegas, Main Street Station Casino, Brewery, and Hotel is nestled just a few steps north of the Fremont Street Experience, and played a significant part in the revitalized downtown Las Vegas. Possibly the best-kept secret in all of Las Vegas, Main Street Station is set in the splendor of the Victorian Era and home to a fabulous collection of antiques, artifacts and collectibles.

Moving Made Easy

Anyone who has ever moved, regardless of age, knows how stressful it can be. But it’s particularly challenging for older adults and their families when it’s time to pack up a home filled with a lifetime of possessions and memories. Just the thought of moving and starting all over somewhere else can be overwhelming.

Crisis Communication

If a parent suddenly fell unconscious or required emergency medical attention, would you know what do? Would you know what paperwork, insurance cards and medical records to bring with you to the hospital? Once a medical crisis occurs, it’s too late to prepare for the large amount of information that is needed by doctors, hospital staff, family and relatives. The solution? A medical organizer.

Let the IRS Take a Bath for Change

Nobody likes to pay taxes, but most of us like to take baths. Unless the bath is the kind where money flows out of your pocket and down the drain. If you feel like paying taxes is a lot like seeing your money go down the drain, you will be glad to know about an exciting estate planning opportunity that can help make the IRS take a bath after your death instead of your loved ones.

Elderhood Project

Mrs. Matthews, Linda Coble, and I just celebrated our birthdays. I’m not going to say how old we are but I will say that we’ve had our AARP cards for quite a while. We are boomers and our generation has often been referred to as the “Me” generation. That may have been appropriate at some point in our lives and it may still be an apt description for some, but I get the feeling that more and more of us are looking for ways that we can give back to a community, a society that has done so much for us.

Ward off the Flu

It’s the holiday season, meaning most of us will be out and about more often than usual. Shopping malls, restaurants, parties, church services— wherever we are, it’s a good idea to remember that crowds provide the perfect environment for influenza viruses (the flu) to spread by coughs and sneezes.

Work After Work: Our new age of life and the moral necessity for “returnment”

At the turn of the 20th century, the average life expectancy was only 47. Today, it is rapidly approaching 80. Our fastest growing age group is folks over the age of 85, with someone in this country turning 50 every eight seconds. More importantly, older adults are healthier than previous generations and this has created an unprecedented average lifespan.

Come Zumba with Us!

The greatest party has arrived here in Hawai‘i. The Zumba® Fitness craze is exploding in popularity across the Islands. The Zumba program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms with easy-to-follow moves for all ages, shapes and sizes. This one-of-a-kind fitness program aims to get you hooked and make you want to workout.

Dr. Rio Banner, MD: Health Visionary

In Hawaii, we live an average of 81 years— longer than almost anywhere else in the world. But when it comes to successful aging, the key is to not only live longer, but to live longer as a healthy individual. The way to better health is taking care of ourselves as we age, which helps prevent the decline of our physical and mental abilities. And although any doctor would agree with that, the health care industry has traditionally emphasized treatment over prevention.

Beware: It’s the Return of the Estate Tax

The good news is that the federal estate tax took a vacation in 2010. The bad news is that it spent the whole year lifting weights and taking steroids. The estate tax is coming back in 2011, as big and bad as it has been in a long time. Now is the time to review your estate plan and make changes that could drastically affect how much of your estate goes to your loved ones, and how much goes to the IRS.

Tis the Season for Holiday Scams

The holiday season is a happy time celebrated with food, family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s also a time for fraud at the hands of identity thieves, computer hackers and deceptive sellers. Hawai‘i’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers advice on how to recognize and avoid common holiday scams.

The Secret of Happy Holidays: Spending with Discretion

As we enter the third holiday season after the onset of the “Great Recession,” American consumers may be battling penny-pinching fatigue. We’ve scrimped. We’ve saved. When do we get to reward ourselves? Sure, it would be fun to celebrate the holidays with a big spending binge, but if there’s one lesson to be learned from the recession, it’s the importance of fiscal prudence.

Elderhood Project

Last week, Mrs. Matthews—Linda Coble— had back surgery. The doctor was pleased with the results and four days later, she came home from the hospital. The doctor said to me, “This will be tougher on you than it is on her.” In some ways, he was right. I watch her like a hawk so she won’t do anything she’s not supposed to do during recovery. I bring home the groceries, vacuum, do the dishes, laundry. But in another way, the doctor was wrong. It has been a meaningful experience.

Do You Really Want to be a Trustee?

You were named as successor Trustee of a trust created by a family member or friend, and that person just died. What now? Before you rush in, think about what awaits. Until you sign on the dotted line, the fact that you have been named as a trustee does not obligate you to accept that position. Decide carefully, because once you accept the job, you accept all that goes with it. It is a position of great honor, and it involves great responsibility.

Medicare and Las Vegas

Now that we have your attention … Medicare is available in all 50 states and territories, including Las Vegas. Now is the time to review your Medicare options for both health and drug plans. Medicare Open Enrollment is November 15th to December 31, 2010, but you can compare options beginning October 15, 2010.

National Hospice Month

For many years, we in Hawai‘i have joined our colleagues across the nation in celebration of National Hospice month. Observed in November, it is a time when we come together to give thanks, reflect on the past year and look forward to the next. We remember those who have passed away and we recall our own experiences as that special person’s life was lived out. Almost 40 percent of all those families who experienced a loss received hospice care to help guide them.

Fit for Life

The objective at Club 50 Fitness is simple and direct: to improve the lives of people who are 40 years of age and above with fitness training and overall good health. As many Club 50 members will tell you, exercise is medicine! Just ask Rose, who says that exercise has been the best thing for her mentally and physically. “The days I’m tired or stressed, I have learned to let it go with exercising. I feel so much better after I leave,” she says. “I have maintained my weight for four years by just exercising. Everyone here is friendly, including the staff.”

Peopleʻs Open Market

More than 1 million people shop at the 25 market sites each year. Each market operates once a week and lasts about one hour. Prices are usually 35% lower than retail stores. The POM staff closely regulates the markets. The staff conducts weekly price surveys at various stores to determine a recommended price for the POM vendors to follow. Vendors may sell below, but not over, the recommended prices.

Talk Story with Lisa

Sonya Mendez, Entertainer, Founder of The Well of Hope How do you live your life? I live in the moment, because tomorrow is promised to no one. I approach my life and each project with energy and passion. When I helped bring clean water to 10,000 people in Ethiopia for generations to come, I felt that I’d finally made my rent on earth.

About Hypertension

Blood pressure is a measure of the force of blood against the walls of your arteries. Blood pressure readings include two numbers, such as 120/80 (say “120 over 80”). The first number is the systolic pressure. This is the force of blood on the artery walls as the heart pumps. The second number is the diastolic pressure. This is the force of blood on the artery walls between heartbeats, when the heart is at rest.

The Donut Hole

On May 29, 2010 my husband and I were enjoying a vacation in the Pacific Northwest when we received a “frantic” call from my sister-in-law who was staying with my 92-year-old mother-in-law. We had ordered a refill of Mom’s medication through her Medicare Part D plan. The plan called to see if it was okay to put a $1,200 charge on my credit card. “But I thought Mom has Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage” my sister-in-law exclaimed. Mom does have a Part D plan but she had reached the “donut hole” or coverage gap in the plan. How did this happen?

Who Gets My Stuff?

You may have heard the old joke, “where there’s a will … I want to be in it.” That may be true, but is estate planning really all about “who gets my stuff?” Who gets your stuff is 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.