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?”
After spending a lifetime of earning, saving and investing — and paying income and capital gains taxes all the way along — you may wonder why our government feels entitled to tax the value of what’s left when you die. However, the IRS and the State of Hawai‘i both want a piece of your estate.
If you are among the nation’s more than 31 million small businesses owners1, you likely spend much of your time juggling day-to-day business activities and put off planning for the future. If retirement planning has fallen on your back burner, now is the time to bring it to the forefront.
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.
Running a small business is often a 24/7 endeavor. Managing employees, inventory, scheduling, services and marketing can be challenging for small business owners — even in normal times. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has been testing all of us, it has been especially challenging for small business owners.
Having trouble paying for Medicare or other health costs? Medicare Savings Programs (MSP) are available to help older adults pay their monthly Part A/B premiums, annual deductibles, or copayments for visits and services. MSPs are administered by the Hawaii Med-Quest Division.
Recently, the SEC, NASAA and FINRA published a report to help advise financial professionals in detecting signs of diminished capacity among older investors. Some red flags: The senior seems unable to process even the simplest concepts. The senior appears to have memory loss. More…
In Hawai‘i, it is common that some kūpuna will remain at home under the care of younger family members, even as their health declines. Aging at home can work well for some ‘ohana, but care becomes more complicated if your loved one is facing a serious or terminal illness and experiencing symptoms that are challenging to manage at home.
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.
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…
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.
Most people visit the doctor only a few times a year, so it’s important to get the most out of each appointment. The more information you share, the better your doctor can take care of you.
Hawai‘i’s sandwich generation is confronted with both unique challenges and great opportunities as baby boomers care for their elderly parents, while also supporting their adult children and grandchildren. Multi-generational homes are very common in Hawai‘i.
A common misconception is that massage is a luxury. Massage is becoming recognized as complementary medicine, along with other modalities, such as chiropractic care and acupuncture. An increasing amount of research is being conducted that demonstrates the scientific and medical benefits of massage.
As we age, we’re faced with the dilemma of where and how we will live during the next phase of our lives. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How do I know when it’s time to move?” Here are some questions that may help you to self-discover when it’s right for you…
Happy New Year! The beginning of the year often means a fresh start and new goals for many aspects of our lives. Today, we’ll focus on our health and fitness, and the mind-body connection that can contribute to a healthier new you.
During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of Epiphany Episcopal Church in Kaimuki served as a testament to faith and dedication as they continued to attend services in person — when we were allowed to do so. It renewed me as a minister each and every Sunday.
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.”
The call came in. “Help! Papa needs an ADA-compliant bathroom.” According to Adele, his granddaughter, “Papa refuses to come downstairs to shower because he says he already has a blankly-blank shower upstairs.” Jim “Papa” Raynor is a 98½-year-old WWII veteran.
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.
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.
Why is it important that seniors continue to work on their fitness? It’s always important to remain active to stay healthy and strong. Regular exercise is also great for brain health, boosting mood and energy, and speeding up recovery from an injury or illness. “Use it or lose it” applies to balance skills, agility, muscle strength and stamina.
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.
Two of the most frequently asked questions I hear are “How do I choose a trustee?” and “Am I choosing the right trustee?” Here are six criteria to help you choose the right fiduciary for you.
Only about 25 percent of family businesses survive for 15 years or more, and only about 25 percent of the “survivors” will survive the transition to the next generation. There are many contributing factors.
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.
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.
Preparing for retirement is one of the most significant decisions you can make. A great place to start is the Social Security Administration‘s retirement portal. The portal is easy to use, whether you are ready to learn about, apply for or manage your retirement benefits.
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.
For someone with dementia, both too much and too little sensory stimulation may lead to agitated behaviors. To keep your loved one at a regulated state of sensory stimulation, it is important to consider what is providing sensory stimulation in each space.
Although there are many seniors still on the road, some may have lost critical cognitive and physical functions. These limitations may result in dangerous, life-threatening situations. A formal driving assessment or refresher course may help mitigate problems.
Providing care for an aging loved one can be challenging, especially if he or she has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. These challenges have been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. Hawai‘i has an estimated 29,000 citizens suffering from Alzheimer’s. By 2035, that number could rise to 35,000.
There is nothing more frightening than the image of a 93-year-old helping a 96-year-old step into the shower or stumble down a stairway. While this scenario is becoming more common in Hawai‘i, the reality is this generation wants to take care of themselves.
Do you ever feel faint or lose your balance? Are your legs unsteady or seem like they’ll give way? Would you feel safer using a walker or cane? If you answered yes to any of these questions, talk to your doctor about preventing falls that can lead to serious injury. Meanwhile, consider these other ways you can help fall-proof your life.
Alzheimer’s, the most common cause of dementia, is a disease of the brain that leads to loss of memory and function due to damaged and dying brain cells. The early symptoms include forgetfulness, lack of focus, trouble with decision-making, confusion and poor judgement.
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.
Your oral health directly impacts your overall health, which is why seeing a dentist is just as important as seeing your primary care physician. Your dentist can determine if you will come across issues such as gum disease, which may impact your quality of life and even raise your risk for systemic disease in your later years.
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.
As an adult daughter, do you ever feel like a little girl when conversations with your mother end in misfires, teary rants or silence? You’re not alone — it happens this way for 43.5 percent of us. However, there’s hope. By using ASK Presetting, you can stop walking on eggshells.
The Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society will honor Emmet White at its virtual fundraiser on Nov. 4. His service and dedication to so many families, and his professional career serving kūpuna through the Arcadia Family of Companies, Hawaii Long Term Care Association, Hawaii Healthcare Association and the Central Union Church are legendary.
For the past 20-plus years at midnight on the 23rd of December, a gathering of veterans has taken place near the Capitol, by the memorial for our Korean and Vietnam brethren. The group includes men and women who have served in various campaigns. It is a big crowd.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The COVID-19 pandemic reminded Americans how fragile life is. Applications for life insurance policies in the United States increased 4 percent in 2020, according to the MIB Life Index. If you’re thinking about purchasing life insurance coverage, here’s some basic information to help you make an informed decision.
Turning 65? Congratulations! You are now eligible for Medicare! But what do you do next? Firstly, it’s important to know that your Initial Enrollment Period or IEP begins three months before you turn 65 and ends three months after your 65th birthday. Secondly, you aren’t required to sign up for Medicare.
The Social Security Administration’s Advance Designation program allows you to pre-select a trusted individual if a time comes when you need a representative payee to help manage your money. Advance Designation enables you to identify up to three people, in priority order, who you would like to serve as your potential representative payee.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our kūpuna need our attention now more than ever. The pandemic hinders not only casual gatherings but also activities that contribute to the happiness of our elderly. This is especially hard for them, since they eagerly look forward to family time, when they get to truly enjoy our undivided attention and company.
Take inventory of your situation before you begin looking into senior retirement communities. You can start by determining your timeline and reviewing the information in this article. You will then be ready to call the senior community sales department and ask the right questions.
Many experts believe that art therapy can help individuals with dementia express themselves — beyond words and language. “In nurturing, calm, supportive settings, they sometimes have moments of clarity and express things that shock us all,” says Ruth Drew, director of family and information services for the Alzheimer’s Association.
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.
Navian Hawaii’s comprehensive, interdisciplinary program of care is designed to provide patient-centered care for every life journey, offering relief from suffering, support for the entire family, and hope, compassion and love.
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.
Do you often experience pain, numbness or tingling in your feet? Have you noticed that your balance has been affected over the past few years? Are you diabetic or prediabetic? You may be experiencing peripheral neuropathy.
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.
“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.
Hanakago, woven flower baskets used for ikebana, is the theme of this year’s Splendors of Ikebana, hosted by Ikebana International Honolulu Chapter 56 on Oct. 15 and 16. This popular event will be held at the Ala Moana Hotel Ilima Room.
Annette Kam’s free eBook is “a complete guide to all thing no one really wants to think about (but everyone needs to know!).” The guidebook was written last year, after the author endured a heart-wrenching ordeal. WAIT — Don’t Die Yet! is a step-by-step guide for adult children and spouses who are either preparing for their own death or someone else’s.
Dad passed away many years ago. Mom is 79 and very active. She golfs, plays mahjong, exercises and, of course, plays with her grandkids. Although we’re grateful Mom is healthy, we’re also concerned because she now lives all alone in the large house we grew up in.
It is always difficult and painful to loose a loved one, even as memories of them remain in our heart to comfort us. I’d like to share a few tried-and-true coping skills to help deal with a loss.
Social media is a great way for all of us to keep in touch with family and friends, and our kūpuna are no exception. The use of social media among senior citizens has been a growing trend. However, social media presents some extra risks for older people.
As we begin to put the harshest effects of COVID behind us, large numbers of us are developing ways to live and work that create positive outcomes from negative change. The emerging opportunities featured in this post are associated with fast-growing careers throughout Hawai‘i.
The Hawaii Pacific Gerontological Society (HPGS) will present its biennial conference, Foresight 2021 and Beyond, on Sept. 15 and 16.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Family plays a key role in the well-being of a loved one diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes. While such a diagnosis might seem overwhelming, it is the small things we do daily that determine how the condition will progress. Family members can help and encourage their loved one by becoming part of their healthcare team.
Passing on keepsakes to those we care about and who we know will cherish them can be a meaningful experience. We hope that the recipient of these items will continue to find value and meaning in the keepsake long after we are gone.
Winning the game of life — and death — depends on having an effective plan in place before the inevitable happens. If you do not have an advance healthcare directive, your loved ones may find themselves blindsided and sidelined at the precise moment you need them to step in and make medical decisions for you.
If a person close to you has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, it may be time to address some serious financial questions. It is wise to get financial matters in order as soon as possible due to the debilitating nature of Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia that affect your loved one’s ability to make sound decisions.