Why Write Your Life Story? How To Turn Home Sweet Home into Home Safe Home A Laugh A Dayâ€Ś Do You Have The Right Exit Strategy For Your Business?
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22 Aging Your Way - In Your Community 32 The Four “No’s” - Part One
14 Why Write Your Life Story?
16 How To Turn Home Sweet Home into Home Safe Home 24 Life Simplified... 34 Three Crucial Areas To Prepare Your Home To Age In Place
11 A Laugh A Day… 28 Is Hearing Loss A Cause of Dementia? 30 Major Victory in Passage of “NAPA,” The National Alzheimer’s Project Act
money & business
18 Are Reverse Mortgages A Good Option for You? 26 Do You Have The Right Exit Strategy For Your Business? 36 Is Long Term Care Insurance Right For You?
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Contents (Cont.) care-giving
20 NOW Is the Time To Talk To Your Parents About Senior Housing and Care
in every issue 5 6 3 7 8 4 9 38
Contributors Editor’s Letter—From Me, For You Online Glimpses Letters From Our Readers On Our Bookshelf Subscription Info Conversations In The Next Issue...
Online Glimpses To See More Articles and Free Resources Go to our website at http://aginginplaceoptions.com
Quarterly & Annual Subscriptions for Maturity Available! Get Your Subscription Today! Click Here For Details! © Winter 2012 | Maturity | 4
30 ÂŠ Winter 2012 | Maturity | 5
From Me, For You Graceful Living Is Possible
for all of us even in these difficult times. It takes just a little more ingenuity on our part to care for our loved ones. In particular, if we are baby boomers, we are looking to the future for ourselves and our parents. Here at Maturity, we hope to answer your questions or at least get you thinking about what solutions are best for you.
In this inaugural edition of Maturity, we are taking a holistic approach to life in the “Senior Lane.” Many of us are still active, traveling, volunteering, working, enjoying our children and grandchildren, and living our lives to the fullest. Some of us are in the “sandwich generation,” caring for our own children while helping our parents in varying degrees. As an interior designer, I love to help those who want to live in their homes and age in place. Our environment makes a huge impact on the quality of our lives. As you peruse our magazine, I hope that you are encouraged and will join me in caring deeply about living our lives gracefully and with meaning.
Joyce Joneschiet (Jonah-shite) Publisher & Editor in Chief © Winter 2012 | Maturity | 6
From You, For Us Letters From Our Readers
are always appreciated and welcomed. We hope to hear from you about our first issue and want to get your feedback on what you would like to see in future issues. This helps us tailor this magazine to your needs so we can provide the content that you’re looking for. If you’ve received a benefit from a particular article or video, tell us about it! We also want to hear if there is something missing and you’d like us to add it. We will be using this page to mention your letters and emails and we are looking forward to hearing from you! Please send all your letters to: Aging in Place Options LLC 1911 SW Campus Dr, Ste 487 Federal Way, WA 98023
Please send your emails to: Customerservice @aginginplaceoptions.com
© Winter 2012 | Maturity | 7
On Our Bookshelf Click on the book images for more info!
By Joy Loverde, Three Rivers Press
by Adelaide Altman, Chelsea Green Publishing
Adelaide Altman has created a practical and timely guide to help prevent accidents, ensure comfort, and maintain an independent, sustainable lifestyle in your own home as you age. This could be the most exciting home renovation of your life!
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By Sharon Burns, Raymond Forgue, McGraw-Hill
In this indispensable guide, two family finance experts who are caring for their own parents' finances provide a basic primer in personal finance for those who are involved in their parents' financial lives. Filled with checklists, worksheets, resource lists, and other essential tools, this comprehensive guide supplies the knowledge and confidence you need.
Comprehensive and detailed, sensitive and realistic, practical and accessible, the 2009 edition provides even more tips on prioritizing and organizing care-giving tasks, balancing work and family responsibilities, and navigating the complex maze of eldercare services. In addition to an expanded index of Internet resources and access to downloadable forms of key documents, youâ€™ll find indispensable checklists, worksheets, step-by-step action plans, lists of questions to ask, lowcost and free alternative resources, and The Document Locatorâ„˘.
Conversations By Joyce Joneschiet, Editor in Chief
Recently I Had A Conversation
with Dr. Doug Wornell, Geriatric Psychiatrist, Author, and Dementia Expert. He is currently the Medical Director of the Geriatric Psychiatric Center of Auburn Regional Hospital. He’s a consultant in long term care for skilled nursing facilities, and speaks for pharmaceutical companies regarding dementia medications. http://www.dougwornell.com/
Dr. Doug has recently published a new book, “Wandering Explorers: Practical Dementia For Families and Caregivers.” We discussed his book and why he believes it’s important for our readers. The book’s purpose is to educate families and caregivers in understanding dementia and try to translate medical lingo. It’s designed to be “a guide for families who are making the lengthy and agonizing journey through the course of a loved one's dementia. The title itself reminds us of the devastation that occurs in the brain - leading to wandering and confusion. And yet, there remains a curious human drive to explore and find purpose of life. Understanding this duality in dementia patients turns what is otherwise an apathetic family tragedy into a meaningful terminal event. This book is written in easy to understand terms and describes a multitude of aspects of brain disease including the many types of dementia, medical issues, drugs, behavioral management and the severe social consequences of this disease.” ~Amazon review How can we understand what dementia is then, especially in the case of a loved one? Dr. Doug said that the term “Alzheimer's” is overhyped and inappropriate. Treating high blood pressure and diabetes throws reality into the landscape of mental health and helps to determine a better diagnosis. First we have to rule out other medical problems, delirium, infection for instance, environmental regression (which is out of the familiar environment and routine) and when these are eliminated, often dementia was masked underneath. I asked him to give us an example of a situation from his book so he mentioned a couple that were in his unit at the hospital. The woman was a writer and the husband was an electrical engineer and bi-polar. They came from a small Oregon coastal town and the husband had no short term memory. Through Dr. Doug’s efforts coupled with family awareness, they were able to reintegrate the husband back into the town and to continue to have support from the townspeople. His book is now out in paperback and is available on Kindle. I highly recommend this for yourself, your family, and friends, to understand the impact of dementia on our society today and especially, if you have loved ones that may suffer from it.
Click on the image of the book to purchase it here: $17.30 for paperback $9.00 for Kindle edition
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Find out how easy it is to change your life for the better! Join Host Joyce Joneschiet (Jonah-shite) from Aging In Place Options LLC as she interviews Kristina Brown from Eating Skinny on our special three part series of recorded calls! You will receive the recordings of all three calls for one low price!
Including three informative teleseminars: First Call: Aging Well You will learn:
How to age well and support our elders to have a healthy and happy life. What are the three core areas that we need to focus on to be balanced and healthy as we age? What foods support us as we age? What are some of the unique challenges that the elderly have to being healthy and how can we overcome them?
Second Call: Beat the Sugar Blues Learn: How to stop sugar cravings and avoid the 3pm candy run. What does sugar really do to us? Where does all that sugar lurk? Become a savvy shopper! Food and mood, is sugar the answer? Proven tactics for dealing with that sugar siren call! Third Call: Heart Healthy Living The Top Ten Tips for Heart Healthy Living What are the Super Foods that keep our hearts happy How to set your New Years Heart Healthy Goals with Kristina during the class using an interactive worksheet Plus over $125 of FREE BONUS GIFTS!
Click here to get more info about the teleseminar and FREE Bonus Gifts!
ÂŠ Winter 2012 | Maturity | 10
A Laugh A Dayâ€Ś Click on the image to start the video!
Jan Saxton grew up in Rock Hill, MO. and moved to the Puget Sound area 20 years ago. She has worked in several aspects of senior healthcare over the past 10+ years; retirement and assisted living, skilled nursing, and care management & in-home care. She has always had a love for the elderly and was blessed with having 2 sets of greatgrandparents as a child. Jan also knows first-hand the challenges of raising a family while caring for an aging parent. When her mother was diagnosed with cancer, her parents moved into her home where the family shared in care-giving. She also managed her grandmotherâ€™s affairs until her passing a few years ago at 97.
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onâ€Ś Health Money & Business Nutrition Home Care-Giving ÂŠ Winter 2012 | Maturity | 13
Why Write Your Life Story?
“We are a earth. We d historic
here are many excellent reasons to write your life story. Your story may pass on the wisdom it took you a lifetime to learn; it may be a source of inspiration to others when they see how you overcame obstacles; it may heal yours and others’ emotional wounds. And your story is part of history. History is not just about the famous or the infamous. It is not just about “big” things that make the newspapers. History is merely connection over time. We are all connected to each other, to the past, and to the future. We are connected by our stories. We are all actors in the powerful drama of earth. We do not merely react to events and historical trends — we create them. And you are a witness to history, as well as an actor. Do not underestimate the necessity of this role. You know what you saw and what you experienced. Tyrants and unscrupulous power-seekers always seek to rewrite the past. This is why it is often said that history is “written by the winners.” But those who preserve their stories help ensure that the truth remains. How many of us wish they had an ancestor’s story, told in their own words? Wouldn’t it be wonderful, we think, to know the hopes, dreams,
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wishes, and fears of Great-Great-Grandma as she bounced over the plains in a covered wagon? Wouldn’t it be cool to know what Great-Great Uncle Joe was thinking while he robbed that bank? Yes, it would be wonderful to know our ancestors’ stories. But what we often forget is that we, too, are someone’s ancestor. We are the future historians’ primary sources. A primary source is a term historians use to describe the thoughts, opinions and witness of those people who were really there. Two hundred years from now, historians could be looking for you. What do you want them to find? Merely a tombstone? Does that tell your dreams, opinions, triumphs and failures? Does that tell what part you played in the story of the world?
all actors in the powerful drama of do not merely react to events and cal trends — we create them.”
Sharing your stories is an affirmation of belonging. You have a rightful place here. Without you, the history of the world is incomplete.
Kim Pearson is an author and ghostwriter, and the owner of writing service Primary Sources, www.primarysources.com. She has authored 6 books of her own, including award-winning Making History: how to remember, record, interpret and share the events of your life. She has ghostwritten more than 35 non-fiction books and memoirs, telling the stories of a wide variety of people. © Winter 2012 | Maturity | 15
How To Turn Home Sweet Home Into Home Safe Home A growing number of seniors are realizing that there is no place they would rather live than the home they have grown fond of. However, the house that was once a haven can become a potential hazard for falls as we get older. The home building and remodeling industry has responded to the trend of seniors wanting to age in place. The National Association of Home Builders, for instance, has created the Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist (CAPS) program. CAPS prepares home remodelers to adapt homes to the changing needs and physical abilities of seniors. The NAHB reports that home modifications for older Americans have become the fastest growing segment of the home remodeling industry. The Administration of Aging of the U.S. Department of Health and Services provides a checklist to guide seniors and their families in assessing a house for needed aging-in-place modifications. The Fall Prevention Center of Excellence, headquartered at the University of Southern Californiaâ€™s Andrus Gerontology Center, maintains a website, which offers extensive home modification resources for professionals and families across the country.
Reducing the Risk of Falls
Home modifications serve a number of purposes: helping seniors perform tasks more easily, preventing accidents, such as falls, and promoting independent living for as long as possible. They range from simple solutions, such as decluttering, elimination of throw rugs and moving a bedroom to the first floor, to installing assistive devices such as grab bars and ramps, to physical renovations, such as a walk-in or roll-in shower or electrical upgrades to eliminate the need for extension cords. In combination with medication management and physical activity, home modifications are essential to reducing seniorsâ€™ risk of falls, which are a leading cause of death among older Americans. The Fall Prevention Center of Excellence reports that 60 percent of falls occur in the home, often the result of hazards such as loose throw rugs, clutter and obstructed pathways through the home, and lack of tub or shower grab bars. ÂŠ Winter 2012 | Maturity | 16
The Fall Prevention Center of Excellence offers a comprehensive directory of resources to help families assess a senior’s home environment to determine needed modifications. In addition, the National Directory of Home Modification and Repair Resources provides a nationwide guide to providers of home modifications with the caveat that the listing does not serve as an endorsement. Coupled with home modifications, technology solutions, such as SafetyChoice® by Comfort Keepers, can enhance the safety and independence of seniors around the clock. SafetyChoice offers devices such as personal emergency response systems, motion detectors, pressure sensitive mats, a GPS locator and a medication solution.
Removing Home Hazards
Following are just a few tips on how to reduce the risk of falls at home: Move chairs, coffee tables and other furniture to create safe pathways Clear pathways of electrical and phone cords, newspapers, boxes, etc. Secure loose rugs, to prevent tripping, with double-faced tape, tacks or slipresistant backing Store dishes, food, clothing and other daily necessities in easy reach Repair loose wooden floorboards and carpeting. Place nonslip mats in the bathtub or shower and nonslip treads on bare wood steps Improve lighting--as sensitivity to light decreases with age--to decrease the risk of tripping and falling Locate night lights in the bedroom, hallways and bathroom and place a lamp by the bed within easy reach in case you need to get up in the middle of the night Install light switches at the top and bottom of stairs so you can switch on lights before going up or down. Consider installing illuminated switches Use assistive devices to make everyday tasks easier and safer, such as grab bars mounted inside and just outside the shower or bathtub, a raised toilet seat, and a shower chair in the shower or tub Kim Sanchez Owner of Comfort Keepers 28815 – Pacific Hwy. S., Suite 7A Federal Way, WA 98003 (253) 945-1400 http://www.comfortkeepers.com
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Are Reverse Mortgages A Good Option for You? According to a recent survey 5,574 Americans turn 65 every day. In our daily work with the largest American generation in history we are finding just how many of them are re-locating or downsizing their primary residences. There are many reasons this occurs but the most common are getting closer to the sunshine, getting closer to the grandchildren, downsizing or acquiring a property that is more â€œuser friendly.â€? One of the many solutions is helping people that are 62 years and older eliminate their current mortgage payment, retain ownership of their homes and access a portion of their equity for whatever financial obligations that need to be met. This financial tool is referred as a HECM or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage and is basically a refinance of their current residence. For eligible homeowners it is very important to know that you do not have to sell your home to access your equity or refinance on a conventional forward mortgage that requires qualifying and an increased monthly mortgage payment. In 2009 HUD recognized the need for a HECM mortgage product that could be used to purchase properties for any of the reasons mentioned in the first paragraph. It is not uncommon for seniors wanting to downsize or relocate to just sell their existing home and pay cash for their new home. Once cash is tied up in all that equity it may become difficult to access if that should become necessary. With a reverse for purchase mortgage you are simply using a reverse mortgage to fund part of the acquisition cost and ÂŠ Winter 2012 | Maturity | 18
covering the balance of the purchase price with a smaller portion of your liquid assets. It is important to note that under this scenario you still have no mortgage payment but you do have more liquid assets to access should that become necessary. On the surface any reverse mortgage transaction can seem very complicated but when you work with a reputable lender, attend mandatory HUD approved counseling and seek financial advice from any of your trusted advisors you will have enough information to make an informed decision about reverse mortgage loan products. There are some very compelling reasons that a reverse mortgage may or may not be right for you. The library is pretty full of articles about reverse mortgages, some good and some bad. Perhaps the best way to formulate an opinion about this loan product would be to speak with anyone who has a reverse mortgage.
Rod Halvorson has been making home loans to Washington residents for the past 40 years. During this time he has held senior management positions with national mortgage banking firms. Rod has also operated his own mortgage banking company for 10 years prior to joining Axia Home Loans of Bellevue, WA. He is now Vice President of Business Development and remains active in assisting clients with their residential financing requests. Most of his loan origination experience in the last 7 years has been assisting seniors retain ownership of their homes, providing increased financial security and eliminating any current mortgage debt or monthly mortgage payments with reverse mortgages. Rod’s other focus has been to assist our Veteran’s with understanding the homeownership benefits they are entitled to through the Veteran’s Administration. Axia Home Loans is one of the premier mortgage banking companies in the Pacific Northwest and is committed to the professional and ethical treatment of every client that expects us to be their trusted advisor. Axia Home Loans 425-445-1879 http://www.reversemortgageofwashington.net
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NOW Is The Time To Talk To Your Parents About Senior Housing and Care If you dread approaching the subject with your parents about senior housing and care you are not alone. For most of us this conversation is right up there with having “The Talk” with our teens about the birds and the bees – awkward and uncomfortable. But the message I have for you today is that open, honest conversation NOW is so much better than trying to figure things out on your own later. Equipping yourself with a strategy and clarifying your parents’ goals and preferences will help relieve anxiety for all involved. Encourage your siblings to be involved in the discussion. This will ensure that everyone understands your parents’ desires and needs, and will keep peace in the family, as well as lessen guilt when those tough decisions have to be made. Set the Tone To begin your discussion, choose an appropriate time and place which respects your parents’ feelings and privacy. Be aware of your own stress levels and choose a time when they will be lowest. The key is to approach the subject with a goal of honest, direct communication. Ask for permission to discuss the topic. For example, “Can we talk about what is important to you should either of you require care or assistance in the future?” If someone they know has recently experienced a crisis of this type, it is the ideal time to bring this topic up. Provide “what if ” examples, such as “What is important to you if you could no longer live at home?” “What if you could no longer care for yourself ?” Practice Good Listening Skills Recognize that your goal is to assist your parents in exploring their situation and options – not to force an agenda or opinion of your own. Think ahead and prepare for your reactions. Avoid getting frustrated if your parents are not receptive initially to the discussion. The caretaker role reversal which so often begins to take place between adult children and their aging parents can feel stressful for both parties. It’s helpful to keep in mind that your parents are still adults and treating them as you would any other adult will go a long way in keeping the relationship comfortable. People are more relaxed when they feel they are being heard and understood. As you listen carefully to their concerns you will then be able to hear and dispel some of their fears, such as the loss of independence or freedom. Ask non-threatening, open-ended questions such as “What concerns you most about moving into an assisted living community dad?” Emphasize the positive aspects of minimizing many responsibilities and gaining the freedom to do other things. When you resist the temptation to make decisions for them you can take the long way through discussion and allow them to come to decisions themselves.
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Educate Yourself There are two things you need to educate yourself about: First, educate yourself on the types of care options available to seniors. Understand what home care provides, what a retirement or an assisted living community offers, etc. For many elderly persons, their only knowledge of long term care options is a nursing home. Second, if you are not aware of your parent’s financial situation, this would be an appropriate time to find out. Ask about monthly pensions, social security amounts, savings accounts and investments, any long term care policies or whole life insurance that may be converted to cash. Find out if either of your parents served in the military during a period of war time. (There may be benefits available to help pay for long term care.) Although this discussion is again uncomfortable, this information is needed should you have to find long term care options quickly at some time. It is also vitally important that your parent has a “Durable Power of Attorney” (POA) established prior to becoming incapacitated. This will allow whomever they choose as their POA to make decisions on their behalf, and can specify if those decisions include medical, financial decisions, or both. They (and all of us), also need an “Advanced Directive” specifying what their wishes are for care should they become too ill or hurt to express their wishes. Many fear a loss of freedom if they assign someone as their POA, but a POA can specify that it takes place immediately – or at the time the person becomes incapacitated. Don’t Make Promises Please, for your sake and your parents’ sake, do not make promises such as “You can just come and live with us and we will take care of you”, or “I will never put you in a nursing home”. Care needs and circumstances can change, and you may have made the promise with the very best of intentions only to find that this is no longer the best solution. Unfulfilled promises can create such great anxiety, and guilt and potential conflict in a family. Setting the Stage These conversations aren’t initially easy and can be challenging. Your loving and honest direct communication with your parents will set the stage for future open conversations. This is an opportunity to become closer to your parents as you move through this life journey together. Michelle Graham, CSA Michelle is a Certified Senior Adviser with more than 20 years of experience in the long term care industry. In addition to over six years guiding and directing families as a consultant, she has been an assisted living administrator, regional sales manager for assisted living providers, and an admissions/marketing director for skilled nursing facilities. She has also been a healthcare recruiter and staff retention consultant for 17 nursing facilities, and managed operations of nine Certified Nursing Assistant training schools and a nursing pool of 70+ licensed nurses. She has a wealth of knowledge to share with families who are seeking the right care options for their loved ones. Free Guidance and Options for Families: www.grahamandgrahamllc.com 1-888-217-1655
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Aging Your Way… In Your Community Maturity interviewed Dori Gillam and Sabrina Jones with Senior Services of Seattle on their project, Aging Your Way. We were able to attend 2 of their 12 meetings with the local community as they brought the question, “What are some small steps that could be taken towards your vision of a more senior-friendly community?” Each meeting was free, provided dinner and had three goals in mind: Create a vision for your community that will support YOU as you age, brainstorm concrete projects that will get us there, and take steps to make your vision a reality right here. Participants were encouraged to share freely their individual ideas at each table by discussing what they wanted in their community so that their physical, mental and social needs would be met. Then they put down their ideas on a large piece of paper. One person was the “artist” and the ideas given were all either written down or drawn in a picture. Then each table came up to the front, showing their artwork and presenting their ideas. Many of the drawings were very creative and an artist was present that took all the ideas and make a large drawing from each meeting to show the entire vision of each area. Some of the artwork is included on this page and video of a presentation. The culmination of each meeting was that action teams would be formed in each community to start implementing these ideas. Aging Your Way can assist each team with resources but will not manage or oversee them. In March of this year, a summit is scheduled to meet with state and local policy makers along with community leaders to present each community’s artwork, vision, and action team’s progress.
INTERVIEW: Maturity: How do you both serve on this project and for Senior Services? Dori: I’ve worked for Senior Services for 2 years and as a project manager for Aging Your Way. Sabrina: I function as a community organizer and assist with the action teams for Aging Your Way. Maturity: How did Aging Your Way come about? Dori: Joann Donahue and Denise Klein of Senior Services met with consultants from Community Resources and read Ken Dychtwald’s book, “The Age Wave.” He describes seniors as more adventurous, do more volunteering, and have to continue working than earlier generations. Seniors these days want to age differently and AARP says that 94% plan to work indefinitely. Joann and Denise saw the need to give local baby boomers a place to voice what they wanted to see in their future and to help facilitate that. Sabrina: The project uses discretionary funds set aside and has no other agenda than to let the local communities
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speak out about their individual visions. Maturity: What are your goals for this project? Dori: The Summit will showcase the community’s presentations to policy makers. We hope to have 10 or 11 Action Teams which we will assist with until they’re sustainable and then pull out when they’re viable. Baby boomers can be the most involved but they tend to have the most denial about aging. A side goal for Senior Services is to be able to sustain these community discussions. Maturity: What kinds of results have you seen so far? (this question was asked after 10 events had taken place) (CLICK ON IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO) Dori: We’re very encouraged to see that action teams were started right away and over 6,000 people have attended the past 10 events. Some teams that have come about are: Sound Learning—An area resource for alternative learning. Time Banks in Shoreline, the Eastside and on Bainbridge Island—These are sites that are similar to bartering and have a $45 annual fee to participate. You list what you can do and what you need in hour increments. Each hour is treated equally, no matter what the offering. It is geographically based—neighbor to neighbor services. Alternative Housing—Snoqualmie Valley shared housing, etc. World Dance Party—Diverse cultures such as Jewish, African, and Reggae come together for a potluck event where the community dances together. Dance instructors give 20 minute lessons and then everyone dances together. Leschi Park—Clean up of a wooded area. These are all community driven. People want to be a part of a community so they are participating. Baby boomers are not interested in 60+ living. They want multi-generational and multi-cultural communities and the latest technology. Maturity: What is your favorite story or result from these meetings? Dori: At a northeast Seattle event there was a gentleman that was very negative. The table he was at though was filled with ideas and when they presented their ideas, he saw that the room was filled with a “we can do this” attitude which changed his. At another meeting, some kids were complaining that they had to walk a long distance to school as a shortcut had become overgrown. A man, Bub said he’d take his truck and clear it up right away. Sabrina: I appreciated how different every neighborhood was. For example, in Snoqualmie Valley, they loved their senior center and in Carnation, they got together to build sidewalks. Maturity: Who will you be presenting all these findings to? Dori: To all policy makers in the area—Appointed, elected, leaders in business, social services, philanthropic, faith -based, cultural leaders and the general community. Maturity: Any recommendations to other communities in other states? Dori: We wanted people to realize that it was their city and they can’t rely on their local government to do everything; that they need to get involved too by approaching city leaders and working on action teams. We were happy to further community feeling, of community for all. For more information, please go to: http://seniorservices.org/getting_assistance/all_programs/ aging_your_way.aspx
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Life Simplified... An ever increasing number of boomers and their aging parents are simplifying their lives. For many, this process begins with downsizing belongings and weighing the pro’s and con’s of moving to a smaller house, condo, or retirement living apartment. Moving to a smaller space requires extensive planning and careful consideration of both your current home’s style and function. Most importantly, you must consider your current lifestyle and how you intend to live your daily life in the future. The best way to prepare for a future move is to define your priorities and develop a holistic transition plan. The effort you dedicate now will help minimize moving unnecessary items – reducing clutter in your new living space and saving you money in the moving process. Following are tips and techniques from Benevia (www.benevia.com) for reducing the stress of downsizing. Plan: Create a plan with goals, timelines, and people involved. Plan the work and work the plan! Pace: Start early, dividing the work into achievable parts. Reward yourself along the way. Begin: Choose locations that are not part of daily life such as storage lockers or garage. Ask: Ask yourself the following questions regarding each item: Does it enhance my quality of life? Do I really use this? Do I like this?
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Would this item fit in my new location? Is it valuable? Should I sell it? Does this fit my new lifestyle? Do I really need a full set? Dots: Don’t disrupt your living environment. Use adhesive colored dots to sort items into one of the following groups: Keep, Sell, Donate, Give Away, Discard. Share: Share heirlooms sooner than later - making it easier to let them go and taking pleasure in watching them received. Value: Have belongings appraised if you think they may be valuable. Shred: Avoid potential identity theft by shredding any unnecessary personal documents Fun: Have some fun! Downsizing can be liberating. It is a time to revisit old memories, while making way for a new chapter in your life. The most important tip in downsizing is to start now! It may be a year or more before you plan to move, but life sometimes surprises us. Having a plan and beginning now will minimize stress and ensure that the belongings you keep and the new living space you choose will support your desired lifestyle.
With more than 15 years in the retirement living industry, Eric's passion for transforming the way older adults and their families navigate transitions has shaped the Benevia service model. Eric holds responsibility for the strategic direction of the company, leading new business development activities, developing and managing the marketing function, and ensuring service quality. Prior to Benevia, Eric served for seven years as the Corporate Director of Marketing for Era Living Communities, one of the premier retirement living development/management companies in the Puget Sound region. Eric's professional background in senior living also includes Erickson Communities based in Baltimore and Glenwood Senior Living, formerly based in Chicago. Eric holds a Master’s Degree in Hospitality Management from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from Whitman College.
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Do You Have The Right Exit Strategy For Your Business? We all know that there is allot of blood, sweat, and even tears that goes into a life as a business owner and the families who support them. For most business owners you have either entered the game by purchasing a business, been forced to take over the business due to seen or unforeseen events, started your own business intentionally, or found a great hobby that has exceeded your expectations and now you are “in business.” In any case, this business most likely has taken on a life on its own and you probably haven’t spent much time planning beyond how to get through today and are more challenged with finding more time in the day and making more money than thinking about your exit strategy and including it in your businesses planning process. To go one-step further, thinking about the “what if something happens to me” or “how will I know when it is time” or you fill in the blank with the many other calamities that affect business owners can be daunting. While the fore mentioned may be daunting, succession planning requires answering complex questions of law, tax, family, etc., and it may be even harder for you to discuss than the fore mentioned or even your own death itself. As a business owner, this is your baby and the thought of someone else being able to do it as good as you can is most likely non-existent. While creating a transferrable asset is most business owners’ dream, would that dream exist if you knew that only about 30 percent of businesses survive into the second generation, 12 percent into the third generation, and only three percent into the fourth generation? Would you make that dream a reality by developing a plan or would you plan more effectively to develop a sellable asset? The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines, succession as “the act or process of one person's taking the place of another in the enjoyment of or liability for rights or duties or both.” It is interesting to note that the first part of succession is success, which is a favorable or desired outcome. © Winter 2012 | Maturity | 26
As you think about your business regardless of its current life stage, I would like you to evaluate these three questions. 1. What is your favorable or desired outcome as a business owner in regards to success in exiting your business (your timeline, the money you desire, the transfer of ownership, or whatever else maybe important to you)? 2. If something were to happen to you today, what would happen to your business and more importantly, your family? 3. Do you want to make this process a liability to your loved ones if you are unable to transition out of business ownership on your own terms? At any given time, about 40 percent of US businesses are in the middle of transferring ownership. The problem is that your options shrink when you have no plan and you haven’t prepared for “the day.” What is your plan? Mel West is President of West Business Concepts, Inc.and the owner of The Alternative Board (TAB) South Puget Sound, a business consulting company based in Tacoma, WA, that focuses on empowering privately held companies to increase their revenues, improve their profitability and strategically lead their companies more effectively by providing peer advisory and business coaching and consulting services. Mel brings over 20 years of management experience with leadership roles in the financial services industry, manufacturing, and the military that includes operations, marketing, sales, finance, human resources, compliance, and quality management. Mel has a passion for helping people succeed both in their personal and professional lives thru coaching, change management, and process improvement. Mel is a TAB-Certified Facilitator and a Strategic Business Leadership Coach. He earned his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from St. Martin’s University and his Bachelors of Science Degree (BS) in Workforce, Education, and Development from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Mel is a U.S Navy Submarine Veteran. He has also been recognized with several career distinctions and certifications. Mel can be heard every Tuesday on KLAY 1180 from noon to 1:00 p.m. as he helps to co-host BIZTECH TALK, a radio show focused on discussing the latest in local, regional, and national business and technology trends.
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Hearing Loss The Cause of Dementia? Recently several people have sent me links to a study that suggests that hearing loss might be a cause of dementia, and they are understandably alarmed! It is important to note that this was a statistical study, not one based on research. What this means is, in looking at the statistics alone, people with hearing loss have a higher rate of dementia than those without hearing loss. It does not mean that hearing loss has been shown to be a cause of that dementia. Then the next question is, why do people with hearing loss have a higher risk rate? First of all, it is important to understand that there are between 80 and 90 different kinds of dementia. Some are caused by drug interactions or abuse, including alcohol; some, like Huntington’s, are genetic, some are caused by vitamin or hormone deficiencies, some are caused by diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, some are caused by brain injuries….and the list goes on. It would be difficult to pinpoint what, if any, affect that hearing loss would have on each of these diseases or conditions. It is known that some factors put individuals into higher risk categories for developing Alzheimer’s Disease. They are: Diabetes – the brain needs sugar and oxygen to function properly; uncontrolled diabetes interferes with both and can contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s; Down Syndrome – nearly all people with Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder, develop Alzheimer’s if they live to old age; Genetics – it is quite rare, but there is one form of Alzheimer’s disease that is genetic, and diseases such as Huntington’s Chorea are genetic; Vascular Disease – any disease of the cardiac system, which carries sugar and oxygen to the brain, is a risk factor, including high blood pressure; Brain injury – years after a brain injury, Alzheimer’s can set in; Depression and lack of stimulation; and Age – the older one is, the higher the risk of developing Alzheimer’s (5% of those at 65, 48% at age 85) As people age, they are far more likely to have hearing loss. The same can be said for several of the Alzheimer’s risk factors. For example, people with hearing loss are particularly prone to de© Winter 2012 | Maturity | 28
pression and self-isolation, leading to a lack of the mental, social and emotional stimulation. And that bumps them up into a higher risk category for Alzheimer’s! So it is far more likely that it is the response to the hearing loss that puts one in a higher risk category for Alzheimer’s, not the hearing loss itself. Look at the list of risk factors above. While you can’t do anything about the genetic package you inherited, a previous brain injury or aging, there are several steps you can take to improve your health and decrease your risk factors. Exercise – both for weight loss and cardiac health; Eat a good diet – decrease the fats and processed sugar, increase the fresh fruits and vegetables. Lose the excess weight; If you have diabetes, keep it under control; If you have depression, get treatment; Stay involved – don’t give up on church, movies, parties, family events, and work; Have goals – have a reason to get up every day, something to do, somewhere to go, something to accomplish; and Exercise your brain – card games, crossword puzzles, word puzzles, math puzzles, use your non-dominate hand, learn a musical instrument or a new language – choose things that are hard enough to make you think and build more brain pathways. For more about Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias, you can get the latest information on the causes and on the status of medications, research, and treatment from the Alzheimer’s Association. Go to the national website, www.alz.org. Also look for the Helpline 1-800 number on the site for answers to specific questions. Michael A. Bower, BA, ACC received her degree in Recreation Administration/Recreation Therapy, with a minor in Psychology, from Western Washington University. She has been providing leisure and recreation programs in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living homes, and memory care communities since 1987. Michael is a Certified Activity Consultant, is the President of the of Board of Directors of the National Certification Council for Activity Professionals and sits on the Board of Trustees of the Hearing Loss Association of Washington State, currently serving as the Secretary. She has presented at state and national conferences throughout the US on subjects relating to eldercare and disability issues, is a published author, and is a Washington State approved Dementia and Mental Health Trainer, as well as the Lead Trainer for the Alzheimer’s Association of Western & Central Washington. Michael has presented at the HLAA National conferences for the last three years on hearing loss and dementia misdiagnosis. • Author: If Only I Could Hear You: Creating Hearing Friendly Senior Residential Communities; to be published in 2013 by Idyll Arbor Press. • National Speaker on Elder and Disability issues at state and national conferences, including: Hearing Loss Association of America, National Association of Activity Professionals, Ohio Health Care Association, Montana Health Care Association, Pioneer Network, National Certification Council for Activity Professionals Symposium, Oregon Health Care Association, Kansas Activity Directors Association, Washington State Association of Activity Professionals, Horizon West Recreation Therapy Symposium, Association of Late Deafened Adults 1134 57th Place SE, Auburn, WA 98092 * 253-569-7287 * Fax 253-833-9147
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Alzheimer’s Association Wins Major Victory in Passage of “NAPA,” The National Alzheimer’s Project Act On January 4th, 2011President Obama signed into law the National Alzheimer’s Project Act (NAPA), marking the largest legislative victory in many years in support of the Alzheimer's cause. Passed unanimously by both Houses of Congress, NAPA establishes an Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s research, care, and services. The new Advisory Council will develop a national strategic plan to respond to the Alzheimer’s crisis, coordinate Alzheimer’s disease efforts across the federal government, and ensure the coordination and evaluation of all national efforts in Alzheimer's research, clinical care, institutional, and home and community-based programs. This national strategic framework will include outcome-driven objectives, recommendations, implementation steps and accountability in the fight to overcome Alzheimer’s. One of the most important components of NAPA is that it allows participation in the evaluation and strategic planning process by specialists outside of the federal government including patient advocates, health care providers, state health departments, Alzheimer’s researchers and health associations. Why NAPA and Why Now? The Alzheimer’s Association was the leading voice in urging Congress and the White House to pass the National Alzheimer's Project Act. With a disease that is already impacting so many Americans, the Association recognized the need for a national, coordinated effort that pools the skills of all those working on the problem. The Alzheimer’s Association states the need clearly in its literature:
For too many individuals with Alzheimer’s and their families, the system has failed them, and to-
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day we are unnecessarily losing the battle against this devastating disease. The government must make a meaningful commitment to overcome Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States and is the only cause of death among the top 10 in America without a way to prevent, cure or even slow its progression. By making Alzheimer’s a national priority, we have the potential to create the same success that has been demonstrated in the fights against other diseases. Leadership from the federal government has helped lower the number of deaths from other major diseases such as HIV/AIDS, influenza and pneumonia, and stroke. NAPA will allow Congress to assess whether the nation is meeting the challenges of this disease for families, communities and the economy. Through its annual review process, NAPA will, for the first time, enable Congress and the American people to answer this simple question: Did we make satisfactory progress this past year in the fight against Alzheimer’s? As a private home care agency serving seniors, we look forward to learning about new findings and recommendations from the Advisory Council that will help community based businesses such as Family Resource Home Care best serve our Alzheimer’s clients. To learn more about NAPA and hear a brief presentation by President Obama in support of the new legislation go to: http://napa.alz.org/ David Lawrence, President & CEO Founded in 1996, Family Resource Home Care is one of the oldest and most established private duty home care agencies in Washington State. This allows me to provide leadership for other home care agencies as a founding board member of the Washington Private Duty Association. Before starting Family Resource Home Care, I spent 20 years as an elementary school teacher and principal. I enjoy understanding the needs of families and helping people. In addition to running Family Resource Home Care, I am a member of the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers and was the eighth Washington State member. I am also on the Advisory Board of the University of Washington’s Institute on Aging and have taught in their Certificate Program in Gerontology. I have an 91-year-old father who worked until age 87, and 4 years later is still a source of inspiration and jokes. I also cared for my mother from the time she became ill until her death at age 80. 10700 Meridian Ave. N., Suite 215 Seattle, WA 98133 Phone: 206 545-1092 firstname.lastname@example.org http://familyresourcehomecare.com/index.html
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The Four “No’s” - Part One Saying “No” is difficult when you are concerned about hurting people’s feeling or damaging a relationship. Having the right tool for the job makes it easier. This article is first in a four part series detailing the 4 No’s. The 4 No’s are simple, practical solutions to gracefully decline requests without creating drama or conflict. Each No tells you what situation it’s designed for and gives you the exact words you need to execute it. At the same time, the 4 No’s are couched in kindness. All you have to do is pick the right “NO” and put it into action. No #1 - Short & Sweet Ideal for: Strangers or intrusive salespeople Script: “ No.” or “No, thank you.”
Remember: “Ne one a priority w you an o
With Short & Sweet, you keep an interaction short and sweet with a smile and a simple “No” or “No thank you” response. Be polite, but clear. If this sounds impossibly abrupt, think about what’s really motivating you. If you want to avoid hurting a person’s feelings, you’re potentially holding them back from someone who might actually be interested. By quickly and clearly ending the conversation you’re really doing them a favor. Over time, engaging in time consuming conversations with strangers, takes time and energy away from people, projects and causes that are your true priorities. This sends a message to your friends and family that you are disregarding them in favor of a stranger. Demonstrate your commitment to who and what matters to you most with your actions, even it these small ways. Practice Short & Sweet by making a game out of it. On your next trip to the mall, decide you’re going to Short & Sweet every request you encounter © Winter 2012 | Maturity | 32
(food sample, kiosk demonstration, cologne-spray girl, etc.) That way you won’t feel like you’re picking on someone in particular. If someone persists after you’ve said no, be a broken record. You don’t have to come up with any thing new or better. Your original no was good enough. It’s my rule to never repeat myself more than 3 times. If you must repeat your “no” more than 3 times, it’s a sure sign your dealing with a bully or master manipulator. We never negotiate with social terrorists! Repeating your no or terminating a manipulative conversation isn’t harsh. Actually, it’s a very civil, measured response to social terrorism. You’re only responding reasonably to someone’s reluctance to respect your words and boundaries. People qualified to receive your time, resources and talents must be willing to respect your answer. As Maya Angelou says, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” When people show you they are willing to bully you into going against your “No” be grateful. They are revealing what they truly value. If they only value your compliance, you must not make them a priority. Extend them an internal note of thanks and move on.
ever make somewho only makes option.”
To l e a r n m o r e , v i s i t www.LearnHowToSayNo.com.
Stephanie Owens is a coach, speaker and trainer. She teaches her clients how to bridge the gap between where they are and where they want to be to create a life they fall in love with. She coaches purpose-driven, high-performance people to achieve not only success but deep personal satisfaction. A small business owner for over a decade, Stephanie blends her experience in the business world with a Masters in Counseling. Whether coaching privately with clients or speaking to groups, Stephanie teaches participants how to stop fear from sabotaging success and unlock their full potential. Stephanie is a recurring guest host on the radio show Chat With Women. and author of a book entitled Be A No Pro: How to Say No, Set Better Boundaries and Reclaim Your Joy. Stephanie lives a peaceful happy life with her husband and two wonderful children.
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Three Crucial Areas To Prepare Your Home To Age In Place
Many of us baby boomers find ourselves planning for our futures while we care for our aging parent. The question of how to keep us in our homes for as long as possible is one we will all face. The initial challenges to staying at home can be grouped into issues of mobility, transferring and toileting. If we can create safe spaces for these activities, we can prolong the independent time spent in the home. Consider these ideas: Mobility: 路 Install handrails at all entry ways, even the small 2 step entry between house and garage can be a big factor in preventing a fall. All handrails 漏 Winter 2012 | Maturity | 34
should be firmly attached and set approx 36” off the floor. · Use ramps to reduce the need to climb stairs. Code requires a 1” rise in 12” run… This can take a lot of space that may not fit into the lot. Any shallow sloped ramp is better than stairs. Pay attention to the ramp surface to eliminate slipping. The ramp must have a gritted texture. · Grab bars in bathroom at toilet, shower and bathtubs are very effective. · Remove all throw rugs and clear out the floor area clutter · Consider stair chairs and personal elevators · Place a lockbox with key inside attached firmly to the house near the front door so emergency teams could get access. Make certain your phone number is in the window and visible. Transferring: · Consider shower benches and shower chairs · Tubs with a opening sidewalls are effective · Showers can be built like locker room floors with no curb to retain water. Toileting: · Taller add on toilet seats · Portable safety frames can be added around the toilet for balance · Use tub and shower mats for better footing · Faucet knobs can be difficult to turn so consider paddle handles. Richard S. Jansen CGR, CAPS Project Developer Chermak Construction, Inc www.chermak.com 206-793-0167 cell 425-776-1367 office © Winter 2012 | Maturity | 35
Is Long Term Care Insurance Right For You? In early 2012 a new partnership program for Long Term Care insurance will go into effect in Washington. Thirty-one states have already established the program and now Washington state will be added to the list. As the number of elderly Americans increases, long term care needs and costs are certain to grow. Many believe private LTC insurance should be encouraged for the financing of home care, assisted living and nursing home expenses. More extensive use of insurance could transfer the expense from individuals, thus avoiding depletion of their retirement accounts. In addition, it would relieve state Medicaid programs which are already heavily burdened. In the new state program purchasers of private Long Term Care Partnership policies who exhaust their policy benefits will qualify for Medicaid while retaining a greater amount of their assets. This is more than would ÂŠ Winter 2012 | Maturity | 36
have been possible under the usual state Medicaid “spend down rules”. The ability to retain additional assets, yet still use Medicaid as a “safety net” if private coverage is depleted, is the incentive for more people to purchase at least a moderate amount of private coverage. The following example illustrates the advantage of a Partnership policy. John is a single man without a policy. In order to qualify for Medicaid, he would be entitled to keep only $2000 in assets, which the state would also recover from his estate after his death. Now because John bought a Partnership policy with a life time maximum of $100,000, when he exhausts his policy benefits and applies for Medicaid, he can keep $102,000 in assets and the state will not recover those funds after John’s death. For further information about the Washington state approved Partnership policies contact Lucille Smith at 206 877 3456.
Lucille Smith is a Certified Long Term Care specialist. She works with individuals and groups in designing Long Term Care plans. She represents John Hancock, Prudential , United of Omaha and many others. She is a popular speaker, often giving educational talks to business groups, Lions Club ,Kiwanis and Rotary among others. Lucille is a partner with LTC Financial Partners, whose national headquarters is at Carillon Point in Kirkland. She may be reached at 206 877 3456 or Lucille.Smith@LTCFP.net. www.lucillesmith.com
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In The Next Issue…
A New Discovery That Extends Your Creative Years Adult Conversations For Siblings And Parents Care-giving Relief Solutions Part Two In The Special “No” Series New Recipe And Nutrition For Adults Only! And Much More!
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