Grief & Bereavement — Part III

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.

‘Spoil’ Your Grandchildren Wisely

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.

Senior Resources During the Holidays

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.

Emotional Wellness During the Holidays

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.

What is Telemedicine?

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.

The Best Type of In-Home Care for You

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.

The Gift of Holiday Presence

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.

Perspectives on Aging

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?

Laughter is the Best Medicine

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.

Hawai‘i’s King of Tropical Music

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.

Eating Together

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.

Giving Your Voice to Charity: Inspiring Real Change With Advocacy

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.

A Gift from the Heart

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.

Beware of ‘InstaScams’

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 Journey of Compassion, Empathy & Courage

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.

The Book Sisters

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.”

How to Reduce Your Investment Risk

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.

How To Choose an Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home

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.

Think Ahead About Future Health Costs

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.

Trust Basics

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.

Does Dad Need More Help?

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.

Grief & Bereavement — Part I

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.

Choosing a Dignified Death

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.

Help Protect Our Kūpuna Against Crime

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: A Favorite Senior Pastime

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.

Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome

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.

Clean Your Closet Like There’s No Tomorrow

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.

The Rarified Air of Acceptance

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.

The Slap Heard Around the World

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.

Zooming Into the Future

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.

A Pioneer in Neurosurgery

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.

Protect Pets After You’re Gone

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.

Gimme A Break! Care for Caregivers

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!’”

Is Task-Based Home Care Right for Me?

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.

The Long Goodbye

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.

Diabetes and Hearing Loss

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.

The Genteel Sport of Lawn Bowling

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.

A Window of Opportunity

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.

Home is Where the Heart Is

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.

My Heart’s Song

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.

Estate of Mind

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.

Navigating Your First Year in Retirement

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.

Recognizing Substance Abuse in Older Adults

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.

The Art & Science of COVID-19 Prevention

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.

A Medical Marijuana Odyssey

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.

‘No Mom, I’m Not in Jail’

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?”