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?”

Paving the Way for a Healthy, Secure Future

One year ago, I made a lifestyle change. I went from a vegan diet to pescatarian diet. After adding fish over a year ago, I lost a few pounds. Then my wife and I decided to go on the keto diet together. I also started an exercise program. Seniors must exercise to stay physically and mentally fit to help prevent Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Seniors also need to prepare financially.

Humility Meets Compassion

Twenty years ago, I was hired as the assisted living director for a Jewish community, where I learned about their culture, faith and life experiences. Some of the residents I cared for were Holocaust survivors and I listened to their stories. One survivor, who I will call “LL,” lost his mother and sister during this horrific time in history. He showed me a photo of his mother and sister, as well as the number tattooed on his forearm that served as a constant reminder.

Create a Safe Home Care Environment

When planning for the in-home care of  their kupuna, family caregivers may have difficulty looking at the home environment and adapting it to provide proper care. For example, a room layout that worked well when the loved one was mobile may not be ideal when circumstances change and bed-bound care is required. Back injuries, sprains and  preventable falls can have significant consequences that can adversely affect quality-of-life. Here are some tips to ensure the care environment is safe…

Common Misconceptions About Hospice

Despite hospice care’s increasing popularity, there are still widely held misconceptions regarding end-of-life care. This article by members of the Society of Certified Senior Advisors (www.csa.us) seeks to dispel many myths about hospice care and to present accurate information on this growing segment of our healthcare system. By doing so, it is hoped that hospice benefits will be accessed more widely.

Living in Harmony With Nature

Lot Lau is putting his lifelong love of trees to good use. At age 81, he is a member of a Citizen Forester group whose efforts are aimed at helping to save the planet — one tree at a time. “When I was young, I thought of trees only for climbing to get the fruit,” he recounts. “I preferred the Samoan palm variety. They bear coconuts much lower to the ground and are tall, stately, durable and strong. They sway gently in the breeze like a hula dancer. They give of themselves to benefit others.”

Ransomware

Major corporations, government agencies, healthcare organizations, small businesses and private individuals are all being targeted by ransomware. The law enforcement and cybersecurity communities believe many of the cybercriminals behind these attacks are connected to organized crime, anti-US entities or even terrorist groups. It is an ongoing challenge to identify hackers and bring them to justice.

Longevity Benefits of Working Longer

In 2010, I wrote a booklet for Career Partners International, a leading outplacement counseling firm, in which I compared the 20th century workplace with the 21st century workplace. In simple terms, I made the case that the once-upon-a-time dominant workplace of regular, full-time workers was fast becoming a workplace of workers who work part-time, some of the time, for free or for a fixed fee.

A Welcoming Rainbow After a Storm

When the phone rings at Jessica Lani Rich’s office, it can be a really bad thing. And her phone rings a lot. Sometimes, the police call to tell her about a crime or a tragic accident. Other times, a social worker will call about an illness, an injury or even a death. And each time she answers the phone, Jessica answers the call. As president and CEO of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawai‘i (VASH), Jessica leads a team of trained volunteers who provide comfort and support to visitors who have been victims of a crime or other adversity, and help them create a positive memory of their stay in our islands.

Navigating Today’s Housing Market

In many parts of the country, home prices have been soaring. According to the National Association of Realtors, the median existing-home price rose more than 17 percent in the one-year period ending in March 2021. This reflects just how competitive the market has become for homebuyers. If you are among those looking to purchase a new home, you should have a solid strategy in place before entering the market.

It Takes Our Entire State to Protect Kūpuna

We’re home, still feeling isolated during the pandemic. The phone rings; a welcomed sound. We look forward to hearing from a family member or friend — a warm voice to spend time with. We answer the phone, and minutes later, our whole life is turned upside down. Does this sound familiar? Too often, unfortunately, many of our kūpuna fall victim to scammers who want their health, financial or other personal information.

What is a Fiduciary?

We hear the word “fiduciary” used more and more. But what does it mean? The origin of the word comes from the Latin word “fidere,” which means “to trust.” Today, we use “fiduciary” as a noun, meaning a trustee, a word most of us are familiar with. Fiduciary is also an adjective, referring to a relationship of trust and good faith between the fiduciary and the person for whom the fiduciary acts.

Better Posture, Better Health

Mention posture and everyone sits or stands straighter. But are you truly aligned? Most people have some type of asymmetry and don’t even know it. It’s impossible to correct an imbalance you aren’t aware of. Properly aligned spine and joints, and functionally balanced muscles allow your body to move with optimum efficiency and minimize the risk of injury or permanent structural damage. Achieving this state requires self-awareness.

3 Steps to Help Kūpuna Cope With Change

Change continues at each phase of life and is not always easy. That is why changes like retirement, new living arrangements, health diagnoses, and the loss of close friends or a spouse can leave kūpuna feeling vulnerable and insecure. Whether you are in a season of change or helping an older loved one navigate new circumstances, there are practical steps you can take to make change a positive process.

Open the Door to Real Communication

What does a life coach do? A life coach helps clients to reach their personal and business goals by guiding them through self-doubt. Coaching can provide methods for self-education and transformation. It’s thrilling to see their “aha” moments and confidence after taking committed and measured action. Some focus on family relationships.

Lei of Aloha

Lei Day, May 1, is dedicated to the Hawaiian tradition of making and giving lei. But some may not know the the tradition entails much more than the officially dedicated day. The traditions that surround lei make them appropriate for many occasions. Hawaiian tradition also offers particular lei for celebrations and seasonal events.

January – February 2022

January – February 2022

The January – February 2022 issue of GM features Jessica Lani Rich, president of VASH – the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, an organization that provides support – and comfort – to visitors who have been victims of crime and other adversity. We also feature stories in this issue about how massage is good for the body and soul; we review some common misconceptions about hospice care; and for small business owners, some tips on retirement for people who aren’t sure if they’ll even get a chance to retire.

March – April 2022

March – April 2022

The March-April 2022 issue of GENERATIONS MAGAZINE leads with a story about cancer in Hawaii and even though we live in paradise, we’re still susceptible to cancer in all its forms. You’ll also get some tips on navigating your first year in retirement, the benefits of again at home, and you’ll read some good news for Hawaii’s kupuna who are taking insulin.

October – November 2021

October – November 2021

The October – November 2021 issue of GM features a tradition in Hawaii that everybody loves – the making and giving of lei. The colorful and fragrant strings of flowers has a rich history and many meanings which you’ll discover. We’ll also get some tips on relationships with people with dementia, how to navigate today’s crazy housing market, and we’ll give you some tips on Social Security and retirement.

Define Your Legacy’s Intentions

According to the book, Preparing Heirs: Five Steps to a Successful Transition of Family Wealth and Values, “60 percent of transition failures were caused by a breakdown of communication and trust within the family unit.” With the aging demographic of baby boomers, the high cost of living in Hawai‘i and the increase in multigenerational homes, the potential influx in trust litigation is foreseeable.

Ingredients for Cooking Up a Scam

In the dozen-plus years I have specialized in prosecuting elder financial fraud cases at the Prosecutor’s Office, it has become pretty easy for me to spot and disassemble how the majority of scams work. Like how a master chef can taste a dish and tell you the ingredients he tastes, I can smell a “business opportunity” or a get rich quick scheme and identify the individual parts of it that will reveal it to be an actual scam.

Give While You Live

Making gifts to your loved ones during your lifetime will enable you to see how your beneficiaries handle newfound wealth. This could be a great way to “test drive” your estate plan and determine how well it works while you are still able to make adjustments. If one beneficiary turns out to be a poor steward of your wealth, you can always direct assets to other beneficiaries upon your death.

Benefits Enrollment Center

The Benefits Enrollment Center program helps low-income kūpuna 65-plus and disabled Medicare beneficiaries to access food benefits. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, kūpuna were encouraged to stay home and self-isolate. Dining in restaurants or grocery shopping became difficult for all of us, but particularly for seniors who were most vulnerable.

ATRC Links People With Assistive Technology

Assistive Technology Resource Centers of Hawai‘i (ATRC) is a nonprofit resource center that provides information about assistive technology (AT) to persons with disabilities, as well as their family members, employers and educators. Its mission is to link people with AT and empower individuals through its use.

Caregivers Can Help Seniors Downsize

When the time comes for Mom and Dad to move or downsize for safety reasons, they may find it difficult to decide what to do with what they consider to be their precious heirlooms. Designating items to friends, family or charities in a will or trust will ensure their destination, while passing on these items before the inevitable occurs can give both the giver and the receiver tangible pleasure in the here and now.

Should I Become a Full-Time Caregiver?

Every year, an increasing number of seniors are needing 24/7 care, whether it is due to a fall, heart condition or old age. Some have prepared for this, determining in advance who will be their power of attorney and who will care for them at home. Others may have already decided to go to a care home or nursing home when they can no longer care for themselves.

When Mom Falls, What Happens Next?

The unexpected can occur at any time, no matter how prepared we think we are. A crisis will bring families together in an instant. If you are distanced from the area, there are ways to manage the situation. Working as ‘ohana with strong communication will help coordinate what is needed. Recently, I experienced a crisis when my mother fell and broke the head of her femur — otherwise known as a hip fracture.

How to Brush and Floss if You Have Arthritis

Arthritis can be a painful condition that comes with aging. Those who have rheumatoid arthritis may have an even harder time staying on top of their oral hygiene routine due to inflammation in the joints and knuckles. Simple movements such as holding a toothbrush and floss may make it difficult to clean teeth and gums in various areas of the mouth.

Forgotten Filipino Veterans Continue Fight for Long-Overdue Recognition, Benefits & Honors

On July 26, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt called upon all organized military forces of the Philippines into the service under the US Army Forces in the Far East. When Pearl Harbor and Manila were attacked on Dec. 7, 1941, these soldiers were brought into direct combat as the US officially entered World War II. During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, US and Filipino soldiers fought together in many battles across the Philippine islands, including the battles in Bataan, Corrigedor, Luzon and Leyte.

Getting Back on the Bike

“I don’t remember how to ride a bike!” “I’m too scared to ride in Honolulu traffic!” “I don’t have a bicycle.” These are some of the reasons Hawai‘i seniors give for not riding a bike. The Hawaii Bicycling League (HBL) is here to help with the first two excuses. Honolulu-based HBL has recreational and educational programs for all ages. HBL’s Senior Cycling Program is back in action after a pandemic break.

10-Digit Dialing Starts in October

Starting this October, you’ll have to dial “808” with all phone numbers you call in Hawai‘i. It seems easy, right? But the change could lead to complications. Starting Oct. 24, 2021, all calls — including those on the same island — must be dialed using 10 digits or the call will not go through.

MDX Lends a Hand to OurKupuna.com

OurKupuna.com is a Hawai‘i-based nonprofit that started in March 2020 in response to the global pandemic and its impact on the state’s seniors. In the face of this adversity, the group envisioned a Hawai‘i where all kūpuna have food security and access to essentials. Through grants and donations, the organization has made great strides in helping Hawai‘i’s aging population.

Hawai‘i Honors Its Senior Volunteers

Every May during National Older Americans Month, Hawai‘i’s four county Area Agencies on Aging recognize seniors from each county for their volunteer accomplishments. This year’s national theme was Communities of Strength. Each county received nominations from the public for Outstanding Older Americans. A man and a woman were chosen from each county.

Reasons, Steps, Benefits: Preparing for the Future With a Smart and Sound Estate Plan

Facing one’s mortality is like staring into the sun — we don’t want to do either for very long. There is no cure for mortality, but we can do the next best thing by providing peace of mind in a stressful time. Estate planning provides that peace of mind to those with the foresight to create this important document. They know they can rest in peace when they die, because their loved ones are going to be provided for and their path into their future will be smoother.