An Interview with Leslie Wilcox

Our “can do!” island culture values resourcefulness and cooperation when faced with challenges. “We know a guy” and where to get things, and have honed skills tūtū taught us. We don’t expect anything in return for helping out. “If can, can; if no can, no can.” We put ourselves to the task. PBS Hawai‘i (KHET or KMEB call letters in your guide) is our TV station. Our donations built it and it serves us. But don’t take it for granted.

How to Avoid Charity Fraud

It may be hard to believe, but during natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes — and even the current COVID-19 pandemic — unscrupulous scammers set up fraudulent fundraising operations to take advantage of Good Samaritans who want to help.

Meaningful Estate Planning

In medicine, there is cure and care; in finance, there is worth and value. In estate planning, there is wealth and meaning. Most people see the estate planner’s role as writing a document that transfers wealth at death. Just as significant is our role to communicate our client’s meaning clearly. This meaning is the foundation for estate planning.

COVID-19 and The Market

Historic market volatility has washed over the globe in recent weeks. The spread of COVID-19 (the disease caused by coronavirus) has precipitated a record drop in the stock market and a sharp plunge in bond yields, sending the U.S. into its first bear market in over a decade. People around the world are facing a health crisis that’s driving an economic crisis, which are leading to high levels of anxiety for families and individuals regarding their well-being and financial situation.

Using Hawaii Relay Conference Captioning

There’s a service available that can help you feel empowered and stay engaged with individuals or co-workers. Relay Conference Captioning (RCC) is a free* service available to Hawai‘i residents who are deaf or hard of hearing that enables them to actively participate in multiparty teleconference calls or web conferences. The service enables you to participate in teleconference calls or webinars by reading live captions through a web browser on your computer or mobile device. Saving a copy of the RCC transcript is one of the available options.

Solution for Loneliness & Housing Shortage

In response to this epidemic of isolation, a strategy called “home sharing” has been implemented in many U.S. cities for over 40 years. Recently, the nonprofit Hawaii Intergenerational Network (HIN), with funding from the HMSA, Kaiser and Atherton Family foundations, began a project called “Homesharing Hawaii” to offer a similar program in the state that will help seniors safely age in place and secure very affordable housing for low- and moderate-income renters. It is also a cost effective program because it doesn’t require building new housing or providing ongoing rental subsidies.

Exercise: A Panacea for Heart Disease

Exercise is the closest thing to a complete remedy — a panacea — for heart disease. The heart fuels the entire body. If the heart gets too weak, it cannot sufficiently provide nutrients to organs and the body slowly deteriorates. Unfortunately, this is quite common for people in hospice care. Thankfully, prevention is readily available.

Going to the Dentist After COVID-19

Hopefully, the COVID-19 virus is now under control and life is back to normal. Regardless, one of the lessons we learned through this pandemic is better personal hygiene. Dentists were asked to help contain the spread if the virus by limiting their care to only emergency visits. The main concern was patients spreading it to each other while in the office. Just as concerning was the direct exposure of the virus to dentists and their staff — and possible spread to their families.

Mindfulness & Memory

If you have ever forgotten why you walked into a room or you find yourself making small mistakes, you’ve probably chalked it up to an aging brain. Age is only a minor contributor to this condition. The main factor is how you utilize your brain. Learn how to guide your brain instead of following or trying to catch up to it and you’ll find you not only recall things easier, you’ll enjoy the moment more and feel better overall.

Tighten Your ‘Internal Belt’

Core training is one of the most popular concepts in the field of fitness and physical therapy. Core stability training is often associated with strengthening your abdominal muscles — the “abs.” The ab muscles play a very important role, but the core also includes multiple muscles in he mid-lower back, pelvic floor, hips and buttocks. This ring of muscles, or the “internal belt,” holds us up during the day, reducing falls, decreasing back pain and improving posture and even bladder control.

New Book Reveals Chronic Pain Solutions

Husband-and-wife team Anthony Chrisco and Eileen Paulo-Chrisco offer drug-free relief for chronic pain in Pain Free Everyday: The Roadmap for Natural Treatment When Pills, Injections, or Surgery Aren’t Your Solutions. The book explains how those suffering from stiffness and chronic pain who prefer to avoid opiates and surgical intervention can restore the body’s innate ability to heal.

Before Retiring, Prepare with an ‘Exit Plan’

When my husband told me in early 2019 that he wanted to retire, my first reaction was, “No, you’re still young and can work until you’re 70.” When we had a serious conversation a few months later, I agreed with his desire to retire, but said, “You need to have an exit plan because I have a home office and don’t want to see you sitting on the couch watching TV.”

Choosing the Road Less Traveled

Maybe you’ve never thought of your life in those terms. But everyone, whether they are aware of it or not, has selected a particular pathway in life. The most popular road seems to be aligned with what the world tells us we need — a nice home, a fancy car, a good job, exciting sports events, live entertainment and travel to exotic places. We are told, at least subliminally, that focusing on and fulfilling our needs and wants will lead to a successful, happy life.

Lifework Planning Amid COVID-19

Even in this time of uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic, two simple rules dominate the future of your life’s work and options that are available today: 1) Full-time, regular 8 to 5 jobs are off the radar as the singular source for employment. Sometimes we will work for others this way, but who needs long commutes if they can be easily avoided? 2) Even in the presence of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely that we will live longer than any previous generation. Do you wonder how you will handle your financial, mental, emotional and physical health? This is the time to consider multiple strategies.

Aging in Hawai‘i – A Moving Experience

There are many questions that families have as their parents age. Many adult children have never had to provide care for a senior. When they begin, they soon find it is not an easy task. Assisting your parents as they age in place seems like a good idea until we realize how much time it takes to provide meals, and clean and maintain an additional house, along with continuing our own career and meeting life’s demands.

Kawaiahaʻo Church – Keeping the Faith for 200 Years

In his epic historical novel Hawai‘i, James A. Michener created fallible heroes and villains who have lived in our memories for over 60 years now. But when the missionaries are interpreted in the norms of their times, the tenets of their beliefs, we see their abiding faith to bring the gospel of peace to Henry Ōpūkaha‘ia’s people. The fruits of their labor persist, and in 2020, we celebrate 200 years of teaching God’s word and singing sacred hymns that inspire faith, hope and love.

Timeshares: Scams or Investments?

My wife loves free things. When we go to any expo at the Hawaii Convention Center or the Blaisdell, she’ll be the one hoarding free pens and reusable bags. So, I should not have been surprised when she stopped at a table run by a hotel chain that was offering a free dinner, six hours of validated parking in Waikīkī and a two-night stay at a hotel. According to the salesman, all we had to do was review a hotel from pictures they would show us. The whole process would take only 120 minutes (not two hours?).

Siblingship

Siblingship is the state of being related or interrelated, or a state of affairs existing between one of two or more individuals having one common parent. The term describes the unique, dynamic relationship existing between siblings. Siblings begin their relationship at a very young age. They experience joys and setbacks together — laugh and cry together. And through fighting, they can learn conflict resolution together. No other relationship is like siblingship.

Options for Paying for Long-Term Care

In life, we always have options. And when it comes to covering the costs of long-term care, it is no different. In this article, I’ll share a few viable strategies you can use to help cover the future costs of care in our Aloha State. It is by no means all-encompassing and exhaustive, but meant to get you thinking on this critically important topic.

A Legacy of Aloha

Estate planning is the process of protecting that which is important and then passing those important things on to our loved ones and future generations. Many concepts that are central to Hawaiian culture are particularly applicable to estate planning. Starting with the concept of ‘ohana (a very inclusive notion of family), all the way through lokahi (a sense of unity — especially appropriate at the passing of a loved one), estate planning and the culture of our islands interweave to form a rich tapestry of aloha.

Leadership is Fun at RYLA

On Feb. 14, Hawai‘i District 5000 Rotary Clubs sponsored 42 island high school students for the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards camp at Salvation Army’s Camp Homelani in Waialua. Activities encourage leadership, citizenship and personal growth. Evidence-based, fun-filled experiences promote community service above self and develop youth empowerment for students who demonstrate potential leadership skills.

How to Get or Replace a SS Card

Now that your Hawai‘i driver’s license does not have your Social Security number on it, you may need to get an original or replacement card to use as a separate piece of identification. Getting or replacing your Social Security card is a free service. You can use a my Social Security account to request a replacement Social Security card online if you…

Your Hawai‘i State Office of Veterans Affairs

The State Office of Veterans’ Services’ (OVS) motto is “proud to serve those who served their country.” We accomplish our mission by reaching out to eligible veterans and helping them file service-connected disability claims for benefits and entitlements they’ve earned through military service. We have offices on Kaua‘i, Maui, Kona, Hilo, Tripler Army Medical Center and Diamond Head. We travel to Moloka‘i monthly and Lāna‘i quarterly. OVS-accredited counselors work very hard to assist all veterans who are separating or retiring from active service.

Dementia: Compassionate Communication

As a dementia educator, I am often asked why people living with dementia (PLWD) ask the same question over and over again. My reply is, “Because their brain is failing.” Every day, PLWDs are going through chemical and physical brain changes. Due to brain failure causing multiple problems with short-term memory, a PLWD can get themselves caught in a loop of asking the same questions. Here are some suggestions for the next time you recognize the start of another loop of questions.

Addressing Seniors’ Spiritual Care Needs

Compassionate care involves addressing the needs of the individual as a whole — their physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs. While providers dedicate themselves to managing the physical symptoms of aging and disease, seniors may experience other pain as well, on a mental and spiritual level. Why is this happening to me? What will happen when I die? Will my family survive my loss? How will I make it through this? The time has come for us to find other avenues to help our family members cope.

How to Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus

Persons over 55 with chronic diseases can die from the flu and COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. These diseases enter your lungs through your eyes, nose or mouth. Most people pick up viruses left on surfaces by infected persons. Flu bugs can live on surfaces, clothing and towels for up to two weeks! Since we touch our faces up to 90 times a day, breaking that habit will help keep us healthy.

Hydrating Helps Prevent Falls

It is part of our practice to ensure our patients drink ample water during a physical therapy session. The fact that water counts for 95 percent of the brain, 82 percent of blood and 73 percent of muscle tissue explains how important it is to be hydrated.  Dehydration can pose serious health problems for older adults, especially with Hawai‘i’s hot, humid weather. Dehydration  symptoms that increase fall risk are dizziness, weakness, fatigue, confusion and low blood pressure.

Proper Use of a Foam Roller

The popularity of the foam roller has been growing so steadily in the world of fitness that it is often used as a cure-all for many different conditions. It is a great tool for increasing mobility of the spine and soft tissue if used correctly. If it’s not used the right way, you could be doing more harm than good.

Brain Exercises

There are many ways of honing your mental sharpness and helping your brain stay healthy. You could work on jigsaw puzzles, listen or play music, learn a new language, use your non-dominant hand or even socialize. Doctors often use specific neurological exams to assess the integrity of the central nervous system. One could take these same neurological exams and use them to exercise or to rehabilitate specific areas of the brain.

Encore.org: Utilizing the Over-50 Resource

A Greek proverb says, “A society grows great when old people plant trees under whose shade they will never sit.” This is the basis for an expanding network that is harnessing the power of the over-50 age group. The demographic landscape has changed over time, requiring a paradigm shift regarding what we think and how we feel about people over 50 — including how they work and contribute to society.

Hot Hula Dance Moves for Seniors

The HOT HULA fitness® Matua workout provides exhilarating exercise using Polynesian dance moves. Matua is a Māori word meaning elder or parent, so this fitness routine is geared to seniors, but can also be enjoyed by all age groups and fitness levels. Anyone who enjoys dancing and keeping fit can benefit from this exercise with a Polynesian flair.

Networking: Living Your Best Life!

Do you recall in your younger days having lots of friends? Did you have so many that your social calendar always seemed full? As we age, our social network changes. Our friends may move away, enter careers that take us in different directions, or get busy with family activities. While our social network may look different now, it is still important to maintain a group of family and friends. Studies have shown a direct correlation between life satisfaction and the presence of social networks with older adults 50 and over.

A Treasure Trove of Island History

The Hawai‘i State Archives is a little-known, virtually untapped (by most of us) compilation of Hawai‘i’s history. It’s mission is to ensure open government by preserving and making accessible the historic records of state government and to partner with state agencies to manage their records. The division is organized into two branches — the Historical Records Branch, which is accessible to the public, and the Records Management Branch, which does not offer services directly to the public.

A Sweet Trip Down Memory Lane

Jane Hiranaga volunteers as a greeter for her senior community at The Plaza Assisted Living at Waikīkī. She also organizes group outings to Mānoa Valley to visit her granddaughter, Erin Uehara, a specialty chocolatier and owner of the Choco Le‘a chocolate shop.
“Who doesn’t love chocolate?” says Erin.

Dentists Are Busy People

Many patients wish they could enjoy their dentist’s company beyond a quick, customary greeting before their ability to speak is interrupted by the whirr of the drill. Like everyone else, dentists have families, hobbies, enjoy their favorite beverage, have bills to pay and look forward to having fun. And just like everyone else, “busy” is a dentist’s life.

The Price of Pessimism

Our state of mind affects our health, so when you think like a pessimist, always expecting the worst, your fight-or-flight response is often stuck on standby. To illustrate, think of worrisome thoughts as revving your car. It’s useful before a race to test the engine, but if you keep gunning it all the time, you will burn out the motor.

Are You Chasing After the Wind?

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Wow, sounds pretty negative doesn’t it. Yet, many men and women who have lived long enough to reach that mythical status known as “the golden years” find out exactly what King Solomon meant in the above quote. All those years of striving to accumulate wealth, land and power now might seem a bit wasted.

Having a Purpose in the Community

When people hear that I manage a Christian bookstore at age 70, they think I’m crazy — or a religious fanatic. I assure you, I’m neither. In light of large stores closing and the Barnes and Noble chain struggling to survive; and when Amazon has changed shoppers’ expectations, why do I think we can still run a brick-and-mortar bookstore — and a Christian one at that?

Choosing Peace: Our Care, Our Choice

Dying at home can be traumatic for loved ones. We long for a peaceful walk into a beautiful sunset. But most have never seen anyone die and that first indelible experience will stick with us. We may wish to die in our sleep, suffer an accident where we “never knew what happened” or drop dead while enjoying a favorite activity. But the odds are even — just as many people suffer and fight death to the last breath. Loved ones who witness such death throes simply don’t talk about it.

Special Needs Planning

Over 54 million adults and children in the U.S. have a disability. The concerns of parents of disabled children are the same for most any parent — ensuring that their children are safe, happy and live a meaningful life. Some children may be unable to earn a living. Both the federal and state governments understand this and provide benefits so that they receive food, shelter and medical care.

Don’t Be ‘Buried Alive’

Protecting personal privacy is generally a good thing, but can also have unexpected results. Consider the plight of a 90-year-old lady (“Nancy”) who was the life of her weekly exercise classes. Nancy was very well known for youthful outlook and zest for life.
So when Nancy missed class one day, her friends tried to contact her. All they were able to learn was that she had been moved to a nursing home.

Financial Planning for Non-parents

Those who do not have children tend to have more financial flexibility to pursue their goals throughout life and retirement. This makes sense when you consider that the cost of raising a child from birth to adulthood is currently estimated at $233,610 (before you factor in college). However, childless singles and couples still need to manage their future financial needs.

Gift of Sound – Free Hearing Aid Program

The Rotary Club of Honolulu is teaming with Miracle Ear Foundation’s Gift of Sound™ program, which provides free hearing aids to those that qualify. The application fee is $150, which includes a hearing assessment, hearing aid fittings and follow-up adjustments. While supplies last, the Rotary Club of Honolulu will assist those who can not afford the $150 application fee through its Can You Hear Us Now? program.

The Pearl State of Dementia

In previous articles that I’ve written for Generations Magazine, I mention the GEMS® states of dementia. There are six GEMS®: Sapphire, Diamond, Emerald, Amber, Ruby and Pearl. The last state, Pearl, signifies that the end of life is nearing. In the Pearl state, bodily functions are shutting down, the person is likely to spend most of their time in bed and may have muscle atrophy or contractures.

Are Dental Implants an Option for You?

The field of dental implants is one of the fastest growing areas in dentistry. In 2019, over 3 million implants were placed in the United States and that number is predicted to grow in 2020. Dental implants are very popular due to the high success rate of the procedure (over 90 percent) and the results of these implants are very beneficial.

Neuroplasticity: Key to Stroke Recovery

Many people who suffer from a stroke lose hope and resign themselves to their “new normal.” But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are some important recovery ideas. Heal the brain, heal the body. When the brain is deprived of oxygen-rich blood during a stroke, it leads to brain damage. Although this damage cannot be reversed, it is possible to train other parts of the brain to take over specific tasks.

Are You Golf-Ready?

Golf is a popular sports activity. Unlike most sports, it can be played throughout the golden years, if you can stay in shape and avoid injury. The American Physical Therapy Association says that older golfers often forget that while their passion for the game remains high, their bodies have aged. As we age, we lose flexibility, muscle mass and strength. Because the golf swing’s extreme bending and twisting movements are not natural for the body, senior golfers are at a greater risk of injury.

Helpful Hints for Organizing Your Space

Organizing and de-cluttering your home can be daunting. Conflicting emotions are sure to arise, so first, prepare yourself mentally. When you sense these feelings bubbling up, remind yourself that this is normal. Start thinking about enlisting a support team: a trusted family member, friend or  professional to help you step by step through the process.

Mellow Friends

Mellow Friends, a group of karaoke enthusiasts, visited 11 senior centers and assisted living facilities starting in 2011. Melvin Watarai, the founder of this volunteer ensemble, had the karaoke equipment and a format for the singers to perform solo songs, duets and group sing-alongs with the seniors. Three years ago, Gary Shimabukuro took the helm, adding more equipment and four more locations, increasing their total number of monthly visits to 15.

US Commissaries Open to 3M More Vets

On Jan. 1, 2020, 15,000-plus veterans in Hawai‘i — a “high cost area”— became eligible to shop in military stores. Commissaries have low prices and no state tax. Commissaries are like big box stores — some brands may be missing, but they carry almost everything you need. (Note that you will pay an additional fee if you use a credit card, so use cash if you can.)

Honorees Take a Stand Against Falls

More than 9,950 injuries from falls occur annually among seniors statewide. Each year, the Hawai‘i Fall Prevention Consortium (HFPC) identifies individuals with passionate dedication to reducing the number and severity of injuries from falls among seniors and honors their efforts to promote fall prevention initiatives in the state.

2020 Census Forms Will Be Available Online

Every 10 years, the U.S. government embarks on the herculean task of counting every person in the country. An accurate decennial census count is important in order to allocate more than $675 billion in federal  funds annually for community programs and services, such as healthcare services for the elderly, education programs, housing and community development, and job training. For example, in federal Fiscal Year 2016, Hawai‘i received over $3.6 billion from 55 different federal programs, including nearly $1.5 billion in Medicaid funding.