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Articles Posted in Resources for Seniors and Caregivers

men-sticking-tongues-at-each-other-300x211Sibling relationships can be fraught even in the best of times. Under the stress and strain of dealing with the needs of aging parents, they can deteriorate swiftly and dramatically. It’s a common issue faced by families from all walks of life. But it can be easier to manage if you know that to expect.

It’s important to make the distinction between knowing what to expect and having expectations.

Most people, if they are honest, have an idea of how they’d like their sibling group to handle the various financial, emotional, and day-to-day needs as parents get older. But reality doesn’t always line up with those expectations. With the added pressure and anxiety of having to make important decisions and sacrifices, adult siblings often fall into old childhood patterns, triggering each other in unhealthy ways. Emotions run high. The concept of what’s “fair” gets distorted.

Brendan-mug-shot-e1595015692932-281x300By Brendan Daly

As an elder law attorney, I’ve been advocating for my senior clients for twenty years, but I recently discovered that my 78-year-old dad still has a few things to teach me.

It was a lesson I maybe should have seen coming.

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There is no perfect time to talk with your parents about their finances. No matter when you bring it up or how you broach the subject, it’s bound to be awkward for you—the adult child—and your parents. Be that as it may, having “The Money Talk” is a critical part of ensuring that everyone is prepared for whatever may come. 

Right now, such conversations may seem almost inappropriate. The entire global population is dealing with the frightening and life-changing experience of living with a pandemic. Our minds are focused on day-to-day needs and the swiftly changing news, not long-term financial planning. On the other hand, the reality of the situation is drawing attention to places where we might want to ensure a little more certainty, including addressing big questions about estate planning and other money matters. 

Why this is such an important conversation

AdobeStock_301232145-300x200With most of the country under stay-at-home orders to combat the spread of the coronavirus, even the most reluctant among us are becoming better acquainted with our kitchens. As you burn through your culinary repertoires (and continue to avoid trips to the market and/or find that grocery delivery services are running weeks behind), you may be looking for creative ways to add a little variety and excitement to your meals.

Just maybe, a meal kit delivery service is just the thing you need.

These services come in a variety of styles, price points, and skill levels. They are great for people who are just learning to cook, for people who are too busy to do their own meal planning, and for folks who just want to bust themselves out of a cooking rut. They are also an especially appealing option in these days of self isolation and social distancing because they deliver everything you need right to your home.

AdobeStock_295677330-300x206We are living in some pretty surreal times right now. Things are changing so quickly that it’s almost impossible to keep up with the news. Our daily routines have been upended, and our daily conversations with friends and family are all focused on the same topic: the coronavirus.

Few among us have ever lived through a crisis so intense and so global in nature. It’s no wonder that our stress and anxiety levels are through the roof.

But humans are amazingly resilient and adaptable creatures. Even in the midst of all the uncertainty and chaos, people are finding beautiful ways to extend small kindnesses and create joy.

red-phone-300x150According to the Senate Special Committee on Aging, American seniors lose almost $3 billion annually to financial scammers. The Federal Trade Commission puts the median amount stolen at between $600 to $1,000 (the lower figure for seniors aged 70 to 79, the higher figure for seniors over 80), but there are many cases where people lose much, much more—hundreds of thousands of dollars and sometimes their entire life’s savings.

The people who perpetrate these crimes are the worst kind of criminals—people who take advantage of peoples’ vulnerabilities in a most heinous example of “preying on the weak.”

The best way to stay safe from such financial predators is to get up to speed on what kinds of scams are out there, the kinds of language to look for, and how to handle the situation if you are targeted. As the saying goes, forewarned is forearmed.


AdobeStock_207729475-300x200Over the course of our lives, we feel a sense of purpose and pride for a variety of reasons, but most of them have to do with helping others. Whether we are parenting children, caring for aging parents, serving in a professional role, or fulfilling a philanthropic mission, we feel good when we are actively engaged in doing good work out in the world.

As we get older, it can feel like our worlds become a lot smaller. Opportunities to feel productive and useful start to dwindle. Kids move out, parents pass on, and we retire. Piece by piece, whole areas of our life are reshaped in a way that can—if we’re not careful—lead to social isolation and loneliness. 

Older adults who find themselves in this position are often at a much greater risk for a variety of serious mental and physical health issues, including anxiety, depression, cognitive decline, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and a weakened immune system. 

AdobeStock_146000120-300x238The holidays are a time for family, but sometimes the chaos of the season overwhelms all our best intentions to create special moments with our loved ones. With so much to do (and so little time to do it), it can feel like the holiday season comes and goes before we’re able to get fully on board. Sometimes, it’s all we can do to get the decorations up and the shopping (barely) done!

But there’s a big difference between merely surviving the holidays and actually enjoying them.

One way to bring the magic back into the season is to develop your own special family traditions. And what better place to start than with your grandchildren. They provide endless inspiration and make excellent accomplices.

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Of all the things we do in taking care of our aging parents, dealing with their household stuff might be the most cumbersome. After all, when the end finally comes, it’s up to us to sort, store, sell, toss, donate, and clean everything until the home is empty.

This is no small task, especially in a time of grief. Where to start?

Here are some options for dealing with your parents’ items that won’t be finding a new home with family members. Remember that the more time you have, the more money you can make for the estate. Continue reading

AdobeStock_57199720-300x300Whether you’re a card-carrying member of an older generation or a younger person looking to buy a new gadget for a parent or grandparent, finding technology solutions that are functionally effective for seniors while also being aesthetically pleasing can be a major challenge.

Despite the fact that Americans in the 60-and-over age bracket are adopting technology at a faster pace than ever before, most tech designers and manufacturers are missing the boat.

Instead of collaborating with members of the target audience to design products and technology solutions that meet the needs (and wants) of this mature demographic, most tech companies fall back on delivering traditional devices and products that are at best simply clunky and at worst downright embarrassing.

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