2011 will be a year of change for most of us, especially if you’re a senior. Some things are out of our control, such as changes in Medicare enrollment, health care reform, the country’s (and our family’s) financial stability. That is why it’s important for us to affect change when and where we can.
It’s the holiday season, meaning most of us will be out and about more often than usual. Shopping malls, restaurants, parties, church services— wherever we are, it’s a good idea to remember that crowds provide the perfect environment for influenza viruses (the flu) to spread by coughs and sneezes.
The “Extra Help” and the “Medicare Savings Programs” now allow more people with Medicare to pay $2.50 for generics drugs, $6.30 for brand name drugs, never experience the “donut hole” and to get help from the State of Hawai‘i in paying for their Medicare Part A and/ or B Premiums.
Who are hoarders and clutterers? Television shows like Mission Organization and Hoarders on A&E TV have brought to the forefront this behavior that is often observed but rarely addressed. On a more sobering note, it has opened our eyes to thousands who may find themselves living with fear, isolation, shame and self-neglect.
The first few steps on a care-giving journey can seem fairly simple but within just a few days the path turns rocky and is full of turns and twists that confuse even the most experienced caregiver or capable family member.
These days, everyone is taking a new look at their finances—and no one is looking more closely than the millions of baby boomers who are nearing retirement age. While some boomers expected to retire at one of the traditional milestones, such as age 62, the current economy is forcing many of them to re-evaluate their plans.
At the turn of the 20th century, the average life expectancy was only 47. Today, it is rapidly approaching 80. Our fastest growing age group is folks over the age of 85, with someone in this country turning 50 every eight seconds. More importantly, older adults are healthier than previous generations and this has created an unprecedented average lifespan.
The greatest party has arrived here in Hawai‘i. The Zumba® Fitness craze is exploding in popularity across the Islands. The Zumba program fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms with easy-to-follow moves for all ages, shapes and sizes. This one-of-a-kind fitness program aims to get you hooked and make you want to workout.
In Hawaii, we live an average of 81 years— longer than almost anywhere else in the world. But when it comes to successful aging, the key is to not only live longer, but to live longer as a healthy individual. The way to better health is taking care of ourselves as we age, which helps prevent the decline of our physical and mental abilities. And although any doctor would agree with that, the health care industry has traditionally emphasized treatment over prevention.
The good news is that the federal estate tax took a vacation in 2010. The bad news is that it spent the whole year lifting weights and taking steroids. The estate tax is coming back in 2011, as big and bad as it has been in a long time. Now is the time to review your estate plan and make changes that could drastically affect how much of your estate goes to your loved ones, and how much goes to the IRS.
The holiday season is a happy time celebrated with food, family and friends. Unfortunately, it’s also a time for fraud at the hands of identity thieves, computer hackers and deceptive sellers. Hawai‘i’s Better Business Bureau (BBB) offers advice on how to recognize and avoid common holiday scams.
As we enter the third holiday season after the onset of the “Great Recession,” American consumers may be battling penny-pinching fatigue. We’ve scrimped. We’ve saved. When do we get to reward ourselves? Sure, it would be fun to celebrate the holidays with a big spending binge, but if there’s one lesson to be learned from the recession, it’s the importance of fiscal prudence.
As we all are lining up for the holiday season, our question to everyone, and to ourselves, is this: What are you grateful for?
Last week, Mrs. Matthews—Linda Coble— had back surgery. The doctor was pleased with the results and four days later, she came home from the hospital. The doctor said to me, “This will be tougher on you than it is on her.” In some ways, he was right. I watch her like a hawk so she won’t do anything she’s not supposed to do during recovery. I bring home the groceries, vacuum, do the dishes, laundry. But in another way, the doctor was wrong. It has been a meaningful experience.
Dr. Rio Banner, MD: Health Visionary