Facing one’s mortality is the unspoken uneasiness that rests just below the surface of the conversation with an estate planning attorney. Estate planning attorneys are well-versed in the law of estate planning. But as they focus heavily on probate avoidance and tax minimization, they may overlook the emotional, human side of estate planning. Therefore, the best estate planning attorneys are counselors of law with the emphasis on counselor more than law.
Charities depend on gifts from people like us to do their good works. That’s why they are not shy about asking us for money. Here are some ideas about maximizing your charitable gifts.
Many grandparents spend money on their grandkids, whether by chipping in on big expenses like tuition bills and travel expenses, or covering smaller costs like meals and holiday gifts. The inclination to be generous is understandable and many seniors say it brings them joy to support (or even occasionally spoil) their grandchildren. But lavishing them with gifts shouldn’t come at the expense of your or grandparents own financial security.
It’s Medicare Annual Enrollment time again! So are you looking at a ton of information and videos online, and reviewing stacks of sales materials from insurance companies? Too much information can cause more questions than answers and more confusion than common sense.
The holiday season is a joyful time to spend with loved ones. However, it can be challenging or seniors who are alone or on limited income. Getting to the market or medical appointments is difficult when you have few transportation options. For those on a limited income, it may involve making a tough choice — using their funds to buy food or pay monthly bills.
Medicare and Medicaid agents are scheduled to begin recording calls and providing a new disclaimer at the beginning of phone calls this fall during the Medicare Annual Enrollment Period. These changes directly result from new compliance rules from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).
If you are considering a donation to a charity during this season of giving, Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) Hawaii warns you to be wary. Charities use the phone, face-to-face contact, email and the internet — and so do scammers. The Federal Trade Commission, an SMP partner, offers these tips to keep you safe from scammers.
With the holiday season upon us, it’s important to look after one’s mental health and emotional well-being. While the season typically includes family and social gatherings, holidays can also be stressful, and trigger feelings of grief, loneliness and depression. Consider some of these steps to help support your emotional health and find joy during the holidays and beyond.
Telemedicine facilitates medical professionals in providing medical care to patients outside of the traditional office setting by using modern technology. “Telemedicine” and “telehealth” are often used interchangeably. However, telehealth specifically describes the electronic and communications technologies being used to provide services remotely. Telemedicine can be viewed as the professional medical consultations you may receive remotely or outside of the clinical office.
In Hawai‘i, everyone loves to spoil their loved ones with sweet treats during the holidays. It’s okay to indulge in a treat or two, but don’t forget the toll it takes on your teeth and gums. Here are some oral health tips when eating common holiday sweets.
Quit feeling guilty over your morning cup(s) of joe. Research shows that coffee can help prevent dementia, improve cardiovascular health and increase lifespan. Coffee can help seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle. That is the conclusion of a plethora of studies on the steamy liquid that is synonymous with waking up for many Americans over 60.
It is important that seniors and their families understand their choices when it comes to in-home care, so they can decide what will best fit their needs. For some folks, traditional time-based in-home care services are the best option, while others will find task-based in-home assistance to be less intrusive, more affordable and an effective way to continue to live well at home independently.
Every year at this time, The Caregiver Foundation witnesses and acknowledge the “extras” caregivers provide for individuals who would otherwise not benefit from any holiday spirit. Cleo, a caregiver for a 100-year-old bed-ridden client with dementia, brought in a dazzling Christmas tree. Lights danced in our client’s eyes; a smile in remembrance of holidays past softened her face.
Many professional caregivers have deeply rooted memories that inspired them to pursue a career in a field — such as assisted living. My first experience with dementia, caregiving and compassion involved my own grandparents, my Lolo and Lola.
According to a 2021 research review on the impact of gardening in dementia treatment, exposure gardening activities has shown many benefits for the dementia population. Some of these benefits include reduction in depression and aggressive behaviors, an increase in engagement, improved mood and an increased sense of purpose.
The average life span has increased more in the past century than in all the years humans previously existed. As approximately 10,000 baby boomers (those born between 1944 and 1964) are turning 65 every day, it would appear that we will have a large influx of aging people over the next couple decades who may need services appropriate for “old people.” But is 65 really old?
Many forms of yoga have been developed over the centuries by serious practitioners who strive for the benefits of mind-body balance. Popular styles of yoga include Ashtanga, Hatha, Iyengar and many more. But if the thought of mindful meditation in a somber setting is not your cup of chai tea, there is good news for you. Laughter Yoga, a relatively new, alternative form of yoga that incorporates laughter with movement and breathing exercises, aims to cultivate joy, spark creativity, reduce stress and even boost your immune system, says Jenna Pascual, a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader and Life Coach on Maui.
At 71, Rolando Sanchez has the energy of a man half his age. Scratch that. He has the energy of a man a quarter of his age. If you’ve been in Hawai‘i for any length of time, you’re familiar with the charismatic percussionist/singer/band leader Rolando Sanchez, known for his high-energy shows that established Latin dance music in the islands that has continued for over 40 years.
Here in Hawai‘i, the idea of multiple generations sharing meals together under one roof isn’t reserved for just the holidays. Hawai‘i has the highest percentage of multigenerational households in the country, with nearly 8 percent of households statewide classified as multigenerational — at least three generations living under one roof. This household structure represents one of the most beautiful things about Hawai‘i. It embodies the word ‘ohana and exemplifies the concept of an extended family.
Especially during this time of year, many of us shift our mindsets to consider how we can spread aloha and do good in the world. Giving back to our community comes in many forms. There are ways that take no money — donating your voice and time. “Activist philanthropy” is a newer term, but it simply relates to people who embrace the role of public advocate to raise awareness and bring precedence to essential issues. These people are speaking up and sharing their stories to inspire real change.
The mission of Blood Bank of Hawaii is to provide a safe and adequate blood supply for all the civilian hospitals throughout the state to meet patients’ needs. Each and every day patients count on volunteer donors. One in seven people entering the hospital will need blood. Blood cannot be produced in a lab or anywhere else. It only has one source — volunteer donors. In Hawai‘i alone, 200 donors are needed every single day, yet only 2 percent of Hawai‘i’s population are donors.
There are always two sides of the same coin. Social media has made it possible for everyone to stay more connected over the years and across the miles. It’s reconnected old friends and kept families close. Unfortunately, it’s also given scammers the ability to become more sophisticated and creative.
A common thread runs through a tapestry of three stories in the September-October 2022 issue of GENERATIONS MAGAZINE. Having experienced the caregiving role themselves, Savina Makalena, Gary Simon and Gary Powell all saw the need to support individual caregivers and the various entities involved in providing that support. And seeing that need, they all decided to help fulfill it, each in their own way.
It’s not your ordinary book club. This all-women book club has a long history, having begun around 1980, says Ginny Meade, who joined in mid-’81. “It’s an amazing group of women from all walks of life. It all started because of our love of books and reading.”
Continuing from my last article, I believe that clients really want the estate planning attorney to help them meet their needs so that they can reduce their fear, anxiety and anticipatory grief in light of their knowledge of their inevitable death.
You probably know someone with Alzheimer’s, the most common type of dementia that’s currently affecting some 5.8 million Americans and growing so rapidly that as many as 14 million may be affected by 2060.
Kīhei resident Franny Durham unknowingly serves as an inspiration to those around her through her indomitable spirit, positive attitude and boundless energy. When asked about her secret to her physical health and spiritual well-being, she replied, “Moderation is the key.”
One in five people are affected by mental health conditions each year. Since the pandemic, that number has been on the rise. NAMI Hawaii, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the state organization that supports our community’s mental health and gives them hope.
Ahead of the 2022 General Election on Nov. 8, the Hawai‘i Office of Elections has a few key reminders for Hawai‘i’s kūpuna voters.
During times of market volatility like we’ve seen since the start of 2022, it’s natural to feel a bit skittish about the stock market. It’s a potent reminder that there are risks to stock ownership. Individual stocks are not guaranteed to grow and may lose value. The good news is that the stock market has historically delivered a higher rate of return than other forms of investment in the same timeframe.
Finding the right place for Mom or Dad is both an art and a science. You have to do your research and trust your gut. Assisted living facilities are widely available to help take care of older adults who need help with bathing, dressing or other daily activities. When that is no longer enough, a nursing home can provide 24/7 healthcare. Either way, it is important to research facilities to determine which one seems to give the best care.
Thanks to ongoing advances in medical care, people are living longer than ever before. But that longevity comes with a cost. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, roughly 70 percent of Americans over age 65 will require some type of long-term care services in their lives — costing potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars.
If you’re watching your sugar intake, but need to satisfy a sweet tooth, using a sugar substitute can be less harmful to your teeth and body. Here’s a breakdown of substitutes and how they can affect your oral and overall health.
A trust is created when a person transfers “stuff” to a trustee with the understanding that the trustee will manage it for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. “Stuff” includes any kind of property you can own: real property, such as land and buildings (including timeshares) and personal property, such as bank accounts, stocks and bonds, and personal effects.
How do family members prepare for the day their senior needs more help — the kind of help that requires loved ones to re-prioritize their lives? If only there were a date set aside for this change in everyone’s life. Planning on change at this level has never been easy because a plan may not be in place. A sudden fall or illness could change everything and it could happen anytime.
A recent study concluded that beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans spend almost $2,000 less per year on their healthcare costs when compared to those with Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and a stand-alone Medicare Prescription Drug plan (Part D).
The best way to guard your Social Security card is to keep it in a safe place and share it only when required. In fact, in most cases, just knowing the Social Security number should be enough.
You know what that means! For millions of Medicare beneficiaries with a Medicare Advantage prescription drug or stand-alone Part D prescription drug plan, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7 is the annual open enrollment period.
Grief is a natural response to the loss of someone special. The process of grieving allows the griever to adapt to a new world of existence without the loved one. If allowed to proceed through the grieving process with minimal guilt, anxiety, stress, unresolved issues and conflict, we can help each griever experience their grief fully and allow the griever to validate and honor the life of the deceased, and affirm and strengthen relationships with survivors.
A Provider Order regarding Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) says what measures should be used to keep you alive in a medical emergency. It is different from an Advance Directive in that it will be followed by emergency personnel, provided that they are aware of its existence. If you don’t have a POLST, emergency medical technicians (EMTs) are required to do whatever they can to restore and stabilize your heartbeat and breathing and take you to an appropriate facility for treatment.
The Federal Reserve (the Fed) has begun what it says will be a series of interest rate increases in an effort to slow the economy and temper the current surge in the inflation rate. At the start of 2022, the federal funds rate stood at near zero percent. By May, the Fed moved the federal funds rate 75 basis points (0.75 percent) higher.
Getting a newborn a Social Security (SS) number is important for his or her future. Feel free to share this time-saving information with prospective parents. If the child is born in a hospital, the easiest way to apply for a SS number is right at the hospital.
Every year, Hawai‘i residents are swindled out of money through many forms of crime. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that 2.4 billion robocalls made every month. Over 3,500,000 older adults are swindled out of nearly $5 billion in personal savings each year. The average loss is $34,200-plus for every senior who falls victim to a scam. More than $17 million per year are lost to internet crimes (2021) — and cases are expected to rise by 10 percent this year.
Talk story is a special and cherished activity among seniors at Roselani Place. Our activities director conducts a talk story twice a month and I also offer them from time to time. Talking story with our residents allows us to not only engage with them, but also encourages them to reminisce about the good old days, and learn more about one another.
When it’s a family caregiver’s sole responsibility to manage the care of a loved one, there will come a time when stress will get to a level where the caregiver becomes unable to perform self-care or continue to provide for their loved one. Getting others involved to help the caregiver will bring much-needed relief.
Lemonade, iced tea, smoothies and juices all sound delicious during hot summer days. But beware of the sugar content, especially if you’re drinking more than one glass a day. You probably already guessed that the most important drink is water! It’s good for your body and teeth.
Work-from-home “virtual” employees must take precautions in order to preserve the health of their eyes. Computer vision syndrome (CVS) isn’t a specific set of symptoms — it’s an umbrella term to describe the varying eye discomfort and symptoms caused by screen-related issues. It is almost impossible to avoid progressive vision issues with regular computer use.
Seniors take their sports seriously, but with perspective gained over years of competition, the element of fun has become paramount for most players. Although they have a passion for playing, winning isn’t everything. Camaraderie, reunion and ‘ohana, fitness and fun are the most important elements of a senior’s game plan.
It’s shocking! How did I accumulate all this stuff? An embarrassment of riches may be a first-world problem — having too much of too many good things — but it is a reality for many of us, even those who don’t qualify as full-fledged hoarders. But even simple clutter has its own risks; for starters, the chronic and repeated stress caused by frantic and frustrated searching, and the risk of falling over precious possessions left in precarious places.
Considering the rising costs of gasoline, is the initial price tag of an electric vehicle (EV) worth the extra money? EVs also impact the environmental less and offer other potential benefits, but what about hidden costs?
Our friends, old and new, are sweetly awed when we tell them our love story. We met in college in the mid-’70s. We fell in love. We knew beyond a doubt that we were meant to be together. Yet, as fate would have it, we met at the wrong place and the wrong time for our relationship to flourish.
While we are taught to treat those of a different race or religion equitably, seniors often face age discrimination. It first appears as an attempt to be helpful. Someone holds a door open for us. The bus waits a little longer for us to climb aboard. The bank teller smiles more as he hones his patience with our slowness.
Not too long ago, my extended family enjoyed getting all the cousins together to watch “The Wizard of Oz” every year. We loved watching Dorothy follow the yellow brick road to Oz. It was a great bonding activity. Now those same family members are calling to ask for help with Medicare. Where did the time go?
Last March, many witnessed the slap that was heard round the world. The unrehearsed and unscripted incident played out in front of the planet’s best actors, with 17 million viewers watching from home. It occurred in supposedly one of most civilized and curated places in the land. But everyone saw that even “winners” are not immune from knee-jerk reactions when messages perceived as offensive produce hurt feelings.
The US Census Bureau has reported that people aged 65 and older will outnumber those under 18 years old by 2034. Every year, millions of these senior citizens look at life after retirement as an opportunity to expand their horizons and learn more. It’s a time to take special-interest lessons or even earn a degree. For some, it may even mean going back into the workforce and starting a new career.
It’s a new day and a new time in today’s world of work. A shifting economic landscape continues to drive significant changes in the American workplace. Nearly every aspect of the country’s workforce has changed in the last 50 years.
Dr. William “Bill” Won, one of Honolulu’s foremost brain surgeons, was the first Hawai‘i-born Chinese American neurosurgeon in the state and only the second person born in the state to become a neurosurgeon. Dr. Won, now age 90, practiced from 1965 to 1996. After a stellar career, the quiet and humble retired brain surgeon continues to contribute to the community through a scholarship fund that was made possible through a beloved, lifelong hobby.
Growing up, my family always had a pet. From dogs to cats to frogs and even a chicken for a day, pets have always been a part of my life. Today, our pet family consists of three dogs, a guinea pig, a bunny and frogs. Our pets are not just animals but members of our family. And like our family members, we want to ensure that they are taken care of after we are gone.
How do you stay in control of your stuff while you are able and assure that your wishes will be carried out when incapacity or the grim reaper catch up with you? Sorry to rub it in, but at least one of these possibilities is going to happen to you and odds are that both of them will.
Having spent decades saving for retirement, it can feel like a major shift for retirees to spend down their hard-earned assets. Research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute found people with $500,000 or more in savings at retirement spent down less than 12 percent of their assets over 20 years.
There’s an old saying about money that sums up why credit unions have flourished: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Credit unions are unique in the world of finance, and for lots of people, that’s exactly why they choose to become members.
We are here for surviving family members when a worker dies. In the event of your death, certain members of your family may be eligible for survivors’ benefits. These include widows and widowers, divorced widows and widowers, children and dependent parents.
The woman in line in front of me was tending to her father who apparently suffered from dementia. Suddenly, she completely lost it and was yelling at him. I thought she was going to hit him! He looked frightened, dazed and confused. When I tried to console the woman, she yelled back at me, ‘YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M GOING THROUGH!’”
You may think that in-home assistance is only for people who are very old, very ill or recovering from a severe injury or surgery. But nowadays, capable and self-reliant seniors are employing a new kind of assistant to provide task-based in-home care. A task-based assistant can help you with those burdensome chores that are becoming challenging or that you just don’t like to do anymore.
Most people feel a sense of control when they’re behind the wheel. So what happens when it’s time to retire the car keys? The decision to stop driving can be one of the most challenging topics families and people living with Alzheimer’s disease face.
Usually, events that necessitate a goodbye are seen as sad… or at least poignant. In our younger years, we expected these goodbyes to be temporary — we knew we were going to see them again! As we get older, we start to understand that a goodbye may mean moving so far away that visiting will be unlikely and the relationship we loved may be permanently changed. And then come the goodbyes we know are final — the farewells at the end of a life that leave us with only memories of a loved one.
Family members must prepare now for the day their senior needs more help — the kind of help that may require them to reprioritize their lives. If only there were a date set aside for this change in everybody’s life. But we must keep in mind that a sudden fall or illness could change everything — and it could happen at any time.
Diabetes disproportionately affects older adults. Approximately 25 percent of Americans over the age of 60 years have diabetes. The aging of the US population is widely acknowledged as one of the drivers of the diabetes epidemic. Although the burden of diabetes is often described in terms of its impact on working-aged adults, the disease also affects longevity, functional status and risk of institutionalization for older patients.
Poor oral health can affect overall physical health at any age. Without treatment, poor oral health can lead to pain, infection, malnutrition and even serious illnesses. Therefore, it’s important to incorporate good oral health habits into all stages of life.
As we age, it may become more difficult to get a full night’s rest. This is caused by many things: changes in your body’s internal clock, spending less time outdoors or moving and a decrease in the hormones that help aid in sleep. It is a common misconception that we need less sleep as we get older. Sleep is still very important.
Naturalist John Muir once said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” The yearning to bask in the glory of nature is the same for those who can get up and walk as it is for someone who gets around by wheelchair.
While the sport of pickleball has swept across Hawai‘i, there’s another game that has been enjoyed by seniors for a much longer time but often goes unnoticed. Lawn bowling is a genteel sport particularly liked by seniors because it demands little physicality.
In the early hours of a chilly October morning, Rick donned his bomber jacket and hat, and stealthily snuck into the carport, his trusty shaving kit in hand. He quietly pushed his golf cart down the long gravel driveway before starting it, as to not wake his wife. The former Korean War pilot navigated back roads to the bank, where he withdrew $1,000.
Throughout our lives, we can call a variety of places home. For me, one of those places was my grandmother’s house. I’ve been going in and out of her house since I was a baby. I knew every inch of my grandmother’s house, like which rooms had the best hiding spots or which drawers held my grandma’s fancy scarves.
Ever imagine you might need to become a contestant on “Jeopardy” to pay your healthcare costs? Your answer may be no, but it seems it pays to understand how a health maintenance organization (HMO) works, if you have one.
Some of us seniors may still cling to the belief that the old days were so much better. However, most of us have certainly developed an appetite for the latest cellphones, ultra-modern appliances and high-tech cars. Likely as a result from the pandemic, baby boomers who previously gathered to talk story, now chat on Facebook.
The compassion at the heart of Ginny Tiu’s advocacy for those who have no voice is a great source of joy in her life. Her God-given talent as a piano prodigy at age 5 gave her the opportunity to travel the world, where she witnessed heartbreaking poverty and harsh inequities, calling her caring nature to action during a lifetime of humanitarian and animal welfare efforts.
Here in Hawai‘i, we’re lucky to live on beautiful islands with multigenerational families in multicultural communities. We have city life, country life, sunshine every day and some of the best food in the world. But our lifestyle, diet and even our genes can put us at risk for cancer. Yes, even here in paradise.
Parents often struggle with the concepts of equal, equitable, fairness and adequacy when it comes to the distribution of their assets among their children. Defining these terms will help us make the decision that most closely reflects our intention.
Remember the classic Abbott and Costello comedy routine, “Who’s on First?” The longer they banter, the more their frustration grows due to their seeming lack of understanding of the game they are discussing — and hilarity ensues.
Similarly, the language of estate planning can give rise to problems for the uninitiated, but the problems that arise may not be funny at all.
Dividing tangible personal property is a task that often causes problems for a personal representative and between heirs. A will typically directs that property with monetary value is to be sold and the proceeds deposited into the estate account. But what happens when the property has no real value but the sentimental value is priceless?
Like most Americans, you’ve probably spent years working to achieve the retirement of your dreams. Then there comes a point when this career milestone changes from a distant goal to an imminent reality. You can make your first year away from work more rewarding and less stressful when you take the time to anticipate potential challenges and prepare for how you will handle this important life change.
If you or someone you know is a Medicare beneficiary and is also prescribed insulin, the new Insulin Senior Savings Program is worth looking into.
You may need Social Security when you least expect it and we’re here to make sure our information is always accessible to you. Whether you’re planning for your retirement years in advance or thinking about applying today, you probably have questions.
Kūpuna are the most vulnerable to online scams due to social isolation during the pandemic. We must stay vigilant, as scammers use more sophisticated ways to steal your personal identity, shame you of your self-worth and steal your life’s legacy. Here are some important tips to avoid becoming a victim…
Meaningful, familiar and ability-matching activities for those with dementia is the goal of the Montessori method of dementia care. Long-term memories can be unlocked through engaging in familiar tasks.
While there have been terrible examples of guardianship abuse cases in the news, there are also thousands of individuals who are benefiting from ethical, well-disciplined guardians.
We all need help at some point in our lives — and this is true especially for our aging loved ones. However, it can be overwhelming to choose among the variety of help that our kūpuna can utilize as they progress into aging.
The many benefits offered by aging at home cannot be overlooked when deciding whether to consider at-home care for kūpuna. Here are some of the most valuable…
April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month and it’s the time of year to remind seniors and loved ones to visit the dentist. Did you know a routine visit to the dentist also includes a screening for oral cancer? While they look for signs of decay (cavities) and gum disease, they’re looking for typical warning signs of cancer in the mouth.
Although glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness, the most common presentation of glaucoma often has no noticeable symptoms in its early stages. When glaucoma develops, vision loss progresses so gradually that the people affected are often unaware of it until their sight has already been compromised.
When people think about substance abuse and addiction, they often imagine young adults. While it’s true teenagers are at a higher risk for substance abuse as a group, research done on the elderly population is lacking. Despite the lack of research, it’s widely believed that substance abuse and addiction in the elderly is a hidden epidemic.
It has long been established that consistently wearing a proper-fitting mask over your nose and mouth is critical in preventing the spread of COVID-19. In January, nearly two years into the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its mask recommendations, because as the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus changes and mutates, producing a bounty of variants, we must adapt.
Elton Goo was surfing in Peru when the government closed its borders to fight COVID-19 in March 2020. As an avid surfer, being temporarily stranded in one of the best countries in the world to score some “epic surf” might not have been such a bad thing, but unfortunately, Elton, who was diagnosed in 2016 with terminal lung cancer at age 55, was running out of his medication.
Retirement insecurity is one of the most serious challenges facing the country today. Most at risk are private sector workers whose employers do not offer a workplace retirement savings plan. However, the Hawai‘i State Legislature has initiated action on this critical issue.
It’s time to begin your spring cleaning! This year, don’t forget to include your wallet, the home of your critical medical and insurance cards. Do you know which cards you should carry or dispose of?
As an estate planning attorney, I observe how families decide to distribute their assets among their children. I have seen two main standards used to determine the gift. First is the standard of meeting needs and wants. As parents, we know the needs and wants of our children, and do our best to meet both of these.
I recently received a telephone call from my mother. Given that I was in a meeting, I didn’t answer it, but instead let it go to voicemail. Almost immediately, the phone started buzzing again from her same number. Usually, my mom would just leave a message, so this second call was very unusual. I excused myself from the meeting and answered the call. Mom immediately asked, “Scott, are you in jail?”