Welcome, Cynthia Arnold!

Although I have been involved with Generations Magazine (GM) for over 13 years in various capacities, it feels surreal that I now have the privilege of writing this editorial — my first as GM’s new owner and publisher. Last year, I served as GM’s account executive....

Love is Here!

The November/December 2023 “Ask a Kupuna” column posed this question: “Do you have a favorite Valentine’s Day story to share?” Marlene wrote, “After a disappointing experience the year before at an upscale downtown restaurant, we decided to never go out to dinner...
Pickleball: A Hole Different Ball Game

Pickleball: A Hole Different Ball Game

Few places can outshine Hawai‘i when it comes to healthy outdoor activities. The weather and the environment provide countless opportunities for exercise, whatever your fitness level. Canoe paddling challenges the physically fit, just as a short walk in a park or on a beach might challenge someone who has mobility issues. One sport that welcomes all fitness levels is pickleball.

Hiring Strangers as Caregivers

When Hiroko hired a healthcare agency to assist her in caring for her husband, she trusted that the company would provide her with caregivers who were responsible and professional. Unfortunately, this agency sent a “caregiver” who helped herself to Hiroko’s jewelry. This is only one of many cases of caregiver abuse handled by the Office of the Prosecuting Attorney, but it highlights the need for people to become aware of the risks involved when hiring a stranger as a caregiver.

Starting Your Estate Planning Journey

The first steps in your estate planning journey are learning 1) how to stay in control of your stuff while you are able to be in control and 2) how to make sure your wishes are carried out when incapacity or the grim reaper catch up with you. Sorry to rub it in, but there is a 100% probability that at least one of these things is going to happen to you and a 70% probability that both of them will.

Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Costs

The number of infants born in the US jumped significantly after World War II and continued to increase through the mid-1960s. Social scientists believe it was the result of the thousands of WWII veterans returning home to a booming economy and GI Bill benefits that provided access to home ownership, encouraging them to marry and start families. These infants born between 1946 and 1964 are known as baby boomers.

Helping Seniors With Technology

Technology is ever-advancing these days, with information on new devices everywhere. For early adopters, this is seen as helpful and even normal. However, for some seniors, adapting to new devices can be challenging due to physical limitations. Vision loss is one of the more common problems experienced, as is age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that typically affects older adults.

Creating Resilience

The Institute for Human Services (IHS) has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a ministry distributing peanut butter sandwiches to those sleeping on the streets of Chinatown in the late 1970s. The team Connie Mitchell put together after joining IHS in 2006 can be justly proud of how the nonprofit tackles the many challenges faced by the unhoused.

The Houseless Are Not Homeless

Growing up modestly in a suburb of Chicago, I remember the first time we went camping. I was so excited, because this was a family vacation. My brothers and sisters helped pack the hot dogs and buns, collected our sleeping bags and pillows, and gathered wood for the fire. We were thrilled to eat canned beans! It was an exciting adventure… until the doorbell rang.

A Sweet Life

Many claim they are leaving a legacy, yet Henry Kapono Ka‘aihue lives his every day, instilling pure aloha into everything he does. In his alleged “Golden Years,” when most are retired or slowing down, this remarkable music man has no intention of doing any of that any time soon.

Lower Prescription Copays in 2023

According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the number of Medicare beneficiaries in Hawai‘i has grown to 281,091. Seventy-two percent of  beneficiaries have prescription drug coverage through Medicare Parts C and D. Even so, prescriptions can be expensive. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 is intended to help lower copays for covered medications.

Keep Good Health Insurance

During my 12-plus years in the Medicare health insurance field, I have talked to many people aging into Medicare. In our discussions, I am consistently told that they never get sick and take few drugs, so they are just looking for the cheapest plan. I am always surprised, because I have noticed that health problems tend to manifest as seniors move into their 60s, 70s and beyond.

Prevent Identify Theft

Protect your identity and help prevent healthcare fraud by guarding your Medicare card like you would a credit card. Scammers are expanding their targets, especially kūpuna, and they can be very convincing. A fraudster recently contacted a Honolulu resident, stating the resident’s name and date of birth. The con artist then offered to replace the resident’s Medicare card if he would share his Social Security Number. Luckily, the resident did not cooperate with this scammer.

Manual vs. Electric Toothbrushes

A healthy smile requires everyone to commit to three simple actions: Brush twice a day, floss daily and see your dentist twice a year. You may have also considered new technology to make your oral hygiene routine a little easier and more efficient. So, which is better, manual or electric?

Self-Renewal Tips for Caregivers

Caregivers are some of the most selfless people you will find, constantly putting the needs of others before their own. In Hawai‘i, over 65,000 people are family  caregivers for almost 30,000 loved ones living with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. In my seven years of experience working with family caregivers, I’ve seen caregivers who make many sacrifices, sometimes neglecting their own health and often postponing vacations for years. If this is you, it’s time to focus on self-renewal.

Benefit of Live Music in Nursing Homes

Much more than just a time-filler, live music holds therapeutic benefits for nursing home residents. According to a 2016 study, live music has been shown to reduce cortisol levels in the body, allowing for a stronger immune system, reduction in depression, better memory and many other benefits. It’s no wonder that nursing homes schedule in a healthy dose of live music!

McDating: Romance Under Golden Arches

Turns out, you just might find more than two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun at your local McDonald’s. Venetia Angel, 63, routinely visited her local McDonald’s in Pukalani on Maui. One evening, she approached a group of senior ladies who were playing cards. She noticed them there often. That evening, she asked what they were playing. Although she did not know the game called “books and straights,” they insisted she join them the next night.

A Perfect Match Forged in Honesty

Rose Singarella and Mladen Karcic, both 53 when they met through an online dating site, did not wade in the shallows during their initial conversations, but plunged right into the deep end. Mladen’s mother was seriously ill; Rose was still recovering from the loss of her fiance. She had promised him that she would look for love again. So with pain still fresh from her own loss, Rose sought to help Mladen grapple with his mother’s illness and eventual death. It just doesn’t get any deeper than that.

Spreading Happiness One Chocolate at a Time

Valley Isle Chocolates, a small family business on Maui, is beginning the New Year with a new kitchen space, new equipment, new packaging and new ideas for the future. Now, they are very busy making chocolates, developing recipes and selling their wares at many farmers markets and local brick-and-mortar stores. At the end of last year, Susan Schwartzkopf “and sons” moved production from their certified home kitchen to a commercial kitchen space in Kahului.

How to Downsize the Right Way

Downsizing sounds like a great idea… until  you begin to wrap your head around the massive task of moving. The thought of leaving a longtime home, with all of its associations — the height chart on the laundry room doorframe, the grave of a beloved pet — can be heart-wrenching. Add to that the cost of moving and the burden of offloading half (or more) of your possessions, and the project can quickly overwhelm even the most capable older adult.

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.