Page 1


May 2011


special issue

Dealing with a Loved One’s Estate

Caregiver Help for Those caring for Veterans

Overcoming Caregiver Stress

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Letter from the Publishers Our May issue focuses on caregivers, the unsung heroes that help care for relatives and loved ones of all ages on a daily basis. Caregivers range from family members to professionals, but they all have one thing in common – providing care with love and compassion. According to Caregiving in the U.S. it was estimated that in 2009 nearly 67.5 million people provided some type of care to children and adults, including the elderly. These caregivers often put their own lives on hold to insure that the people they are caring for receive the daily assistance they need to remain in their own homes and familiar surroundings. May also is the month to salute the supreme caregivers – Mothers! As we honor moms this Mother’s Day we all acknowledge the care, love and guidance mothers everywhere provide to their families. Thanks Mom! Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial kick off to summer, but it is also a time to remember the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives to keep America strong. Thanks to all members of the Armed Forces who are serving our country!

Mary Ann and Marsha $ Your Neighborhod Store $ Everything Just A Dollar!

$ dollarville $ 9931-A Rose Commons Drive (next to Harris Teeter) Exit 23 Huntersville 704.947.8003

in this issue boomer essay 5 My Mother’s Day


boomer generations 6 Caregiver Help for those Caring for Veterans 7 Caregiver Resources 10 8 Baby Boomers Aging Parents Drive Demand for Geriatric Care Managers

9 Baby Boomers Stressed Out over LTC 10 Emotional Assistance when Dealing with a Loved One’s Estate

14 Six Tips for Overcoming Caregiver Stress and Guilt

road trip 12-13 Charlotte Pet Expo, Great American Race, White Squirrel Festival, NC Wine Festival, Hog Happenin’


Boomerpreneur 8 Shadowbox Productions, LLC stayin’ alive 15 Falls Prevention money money 17 Adventures in Wonderland legal matters 17 I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter

boomer pets 20 Felines Find Fifteen is the New Five


Does your Dog Snore?

boomer lifestyle 22 When the Empty Nest Becomes Full Again

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Volume 3 | May 2011

Publishers Mary Ann Dore 828-781-3583 Marsha L. Opritza The Baby Boomer News, LLC P.O. Box 5326 Mooresville, NC 28117

Magazine Design & layout aDvertiseMent Design Tammy Rojas / redhot marketing & design Volume 1 | June 2010 704.274.9978 704.274.9978

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Publishers Mary Ann Dore

Contributing writers:

Marsha L. Opritza

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for a complete listing of our distribution locations: Contributors Linda S. Amstutuz, Dr. Jane Barber. Andrew Buchbinder, Tammy Cox, Virtual Assistant Tina Hilton

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Search: The Baby Boomer News Search: The Baby Boomer News A complimentary magazine published by The Baby Boomer News, LLC and distributed throughout the Metrolina Region.

A complimentary magazine published by The Baby Boomer News, LLC and distributed Copyright 2010Region. by The Baby Boomer News, LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction throughout the Metrolina in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

The opinions expressed by the columnists contributors to The Baby Boomerin Copyright 2011 by The Baby Boomer News, LLC. and All rights reserved. Reproduction Newswithout are not necessarily those of the editor publisher. Fraudulent or objectionable whole or in part written permission from theorpublisher is strictly prohibited. The advertising is not knowingly accepted. Advertisers and advertising agencies assume opinions expressed by the columnists and contributors to The Baby Boomer News are full liability for all content of advertising and for any claims arising there from. Editorial not necessarily those ofassume the editor or publisher. Fraudulent or objectionable contributors responsibility for any claims against the publisheradvertising based on is not knowingly accepted. Advertisers and advertising agencies full liability for published work. All items submitted to The Baby Boomer assume News become the sole property of The Baby Boomer News, LLC. all content of advertising and for any claims arising there from. Editorial contributors assume responsibility for any claims against the publisher based on published work. All items submitted to The Baby BoomerThe News theNews, sole LLC property of The Babybecome Boomers reserves the Baby right Boomer News, LLC. to deny any advertisement that does not meet The Baby Boomer News standards.

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Michael Possumato • Eyefour Design Print • Packaging • Identity 973-471-7829 •


other’s Day is designated as the official day to show our gratitude to the Original Caregivers – our own moms, and in our three-generation household, Mother’s Day was a huge deal. It was a joyous day of appreciation for both Mom and me. For our boys, it was misery. Every year, we dragged my two sons through our Mother’s Day rituals, and every single year, the boys asked the same question, “Why is there a Mother’s Day? There is no Kid’s Day!!” To which we always replied, “Are you kidding? Every day is Kid’s Day!” The first thing that bugged our boys was the Mother’s Day dress code; they had to dress up for Mother’s Day so that we could show them off at church and then at dinner. We were happy to wear our new dresses, but the kids weren’t so happy. They would have been more comfortable in their ripped, muddy jeans and latest Star Wars t-shirts. And the corsages made them sneeze. Remember corsages? Little arrangements of carnations we pinned to our dresses or wore on our wrists? Red corsage if you still had your mother. White corsages if your mother was deceased. The sad yellow corsage to show you were a bereaved mother. All my sons knew was that the corsages made them sneeze and that was enough to ruin their day. That and being dressed up. And then the photo-taking. Both of them hated having to sit still long enough to have their photo taken with Mom and Grandma. They hated it and they squirmed and refused to smile and in most cases, when we later examined the photo (Remember when we had to take film to the drug store and wait days to see our photos?) someone in the photo would be crying. Usually it was one of the kids, but by the time the photo was taken, we all kind of wanted to cry. Then there was church. Sitting quietly through one

hour of prayer and praise for mothers. And a church full of mothers, all wearing corsages as proudly as any soldier ever wore a Purple Heart. And don’t most mothers deserve a Purple Heart? Especially mothers of sons. After church, we always had dinner at some hotel buffet where they served freshly-carved beef or ham, along side heaping bowls of buttery mashed potatoes and little glasses of chocolate pudding topped with whipped cream and a cherry and rows and rows of multi-colored cups of cubed jello. My mother and I loved those dinners while the boys yearned for hot dogs and French fries. There were years when one son, or other, would nod off during dinner, sleeping all through the meal, only waking up later to find we were on our way back home. And then back at home, there were gifts. Little boxes of jewelry and handmade cards with scribbled signatures and inverted letters. My youngest son never failed to sign his card with both his first and last name…..just in case we didn’t know who he was. Those were the days. The smell of fresh carnations. The sound of repetitive sneezes. The taste of freshly carved roast beef. The sight of a toddler nodding to sleep in his high chair. The annual photos of Mom and me and the boys. The memory of those little hand-drawn cards, stick figures with no necks but big smiling faces. And for just a short while, just that one Sunday afternoon every May, I had a chance to treat my mom like a queen. Those were the days . . . You can read more humor from Ms Amstutz at and you can contact her at MAY 2011 THEBBNEWS.COM


boomer generations


caregiver help

for Those caring for VeTerans

the department of veterans’ affairs is pleased to announCe the launCh of a toll-free national Caregiver support line 1-855-260-3274. The Caregiver Support Line was created to recognize the significant contributions made by caregivers allowing Veterans to remain at home surrounded by family and friends. Open Monday through Friday 8:00 am –11:00 pm, Saturday 10:30 am to 6:00 pm EST. Licensed clinical social workers will be available to answer your questions, listen to your concerns and directly link you to the Caregiver Support Coordinator at your local VA Medical Center. Each VA Medical Center has a Caregiver Support Coordinator who can locate assistance tailored to your unique situation.

Caring for a loveD one with an illness, injury, or Disability Can be very rewarDing. it is also harD work anD, at tiMes, stressful anD exhausting. you May begin to feel run Down, DePresseD, or even siCk. it is iMPortant that you take gooD Care of yourself as well.

TIP 1 Ask for help – you can’t do it all Make a list so when others ask what they can do, you have a list they can choose from

TIP 2 Take time for yourself – even caregivers need a vacation Take advantage of respite care, home health care, or adult day health care for short or long breaks

TIP 3 Take care of your health – the healthier you are the better caregiver you will be • • • •

Keep regular eating and sleeping schedule Eat healthy meals and snacks Exercise daily or several times a week Get regular medical and dental check-ups

TIP4 Express your feelings – sharing your experiences with others can help Feelings of frustration, sadness, anger, and depression are normal – so consider: • Talking to a friend, relative, or counselor • Joining a support group in your community

TIP 5 Talk with professionals Contact your Veterans’ VA Social Worker or your local services agency to help you find out about caregiver support services



TIP 6 Watch for signs of burnout - contact your Veterans’ VA Social Worker or your Doctor for assistance. you may be overwhelmed if you are: • • • •

Not eating well Feeling lonely Crying Losing your temper more than usual

TIP 7 Take breaks – helps you refresh • Find some time when you can safely step away • Make a time each day or week to do something you enjoy

TIP 8 Avoid isolation Pursue a hobby, take a class, or join a reading group or telephone support group

TIP 9 Give yourself a treat – you deserve it • Take a relaxing bath • Order dinner from your favorite restaurant and have it delivered • Get a spa treatment • Watch a favorite TV show

TIP 10 Learn about your Veteran’s condition and how it can change over time Lower your stress by knowing what to expect over time and how to care for their needs

boomer generations


caregiver resources THE ELDERCARE LOCATOR Federally funded by the U.S. Administration on Aging and provides callers with information about local services by zip code. Call 1-800-677-1116, M-f between 9:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. est or access the information on the internet at: The Eldercare Locator will give you the phone number for the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) in your family member’s area. The AAA is often able to either assist you in finding resources or direct you to an agency or individual who can. BENEFITS CHECK UP This site was developed by the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and can assist aging adults and their families in determining benefit eligibility for services in their area. access the site at: http:// NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR CAREGIVING The National Alliance For Caregiving website includes research on caregiving as well as practical assistance for caregivers including tip sheets. It can be accessed at This website provides assistance and in¬formation for family caregivers on a variety of issues related to caregiving as well as resources for locating needed services. The website can be accessed directly at STRENGTH FOR CARING The Strength for Caring website provides a wealth of information for caregivers on topics such as medical diagnoses, financial planning, legal issues, insur¬ance, and daily care. It has a listing of statewide and local caregiving and healthcare resources as well as support information for each of the 50 states.

LOTSA HELPING HANDS Free, personalized, private group calendar that helps caregivers, friends, family members and other volunteers coordinate the dates and times when they will help with caregiving duties, such as preparing meals, providing rides, keeping your loved one company or running errands. Anyone who wants to help can create an account, access the calendar and receive notification and automatic reminder e-mails of upcoming tasks. Lotsa Helping Hands also features an online bulletin board to share news about the person, photos and gives others an opportunity to offer support or well wishes. VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA Volunteers of America launched “Aging with Options™,” an initiative aimed at transforming the way seniors receive care by providing home- and community-based services to allow older Americans to remain at home longer and not move prematurely into a nursing home. Support services include senior centers, transportation, intergenerational programs, information and referral services, protective services, meal programs, handyman repair services and others. Services and programs promote health and independence for the elderly. THE ABCS OF RESPITE Respite is planned or emergency care provided to a child or adult with special needs in order to provide temporary relief to family caregivers who are caring for that child or adult. A free guide provided by ARCH National Respite Network is useful for family caregivers who may be unfamiliar with respite,

the types of programs available, and funding sources. It provides guidance on finding on assessing personal needs for respite; finding, hiring and training respite providers; and links to other useful resources. it is available at www. CAREGIVERSTRESS.COM Today over 43 million women and men take care of their mothers, fathers, grandparents, and other senior loved ones. And the stress of this care, when combined with their other life commitments, is taking its toll. In a five year study conducted by Home Instead Senior Care®, 58% of caregivers said they are getting ill more frequently and that care giving is taking a toll on their jobs. Furthermore, 81% say their loved ones’ needs are becoming overwhelming compared with 73% who thought so just four years earlier. To help caregivers overcome some of these issues, has launched a new educational video series developed specifically to help today’s caregivers provide better care. Some of the video topics include senior communication issues, providing quality in-home care in a recession, and determining when your senior needs help.

Visit our website for additional caregiver resources at:

CloCk RepaiR 828-381-0509 Wm.G. Isenhour

My 37th Year MAY 2011 THEBBNEWS.COM



Boomers’ aging parents drive demand for



nursing facility or assisted living,” she said. “I also have clients t’s the phone call every adult child dreads. An elderly parent who just want to keep their parents at home and independent, has been rushed to the emergency room and someone so I set up and coordinate home care. Or sometimes families needs to be at the hospital to help make medical decisions. aren’t sure what they need, they only know the current Except the adult child or children live miles away and it could situation is not working and they live too far away to help. I can be hours or days before a family member can be at Mom or provide a complete assessment and point them in the right Dad’s bedside. The solution to this crisis? Call a geriatric care direction.” manager to be there until a family member can arrive. According to the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers, a geriatric care manager is a health and human services specialist who helps We do all the things that adult children would do, families who are caring for older adults. A relatively said Cheryl Smith, founder and owner of Kansas City new profession which traces its roots back to the Home Care, a leading provider of geriatric care mid-1980s, the national association now has about 2,000 members, and those numbers continue to management services. grow in response to the growing demand for this We often become their surrogate family. profession. Cheryl Smith, founder and owner of Kansas City baby booMers’ aging Parents helP Drive DeManD Home Care, a leading provider of geriatric care management for this Profession. services, says that geriatric care managers can be licensed The profession of geriatric care management has been social workers, counselors, nurses, gerontologists or around for decades. But with families living miles apart and psychologists with an expertise in elder-care issues. She also said that they can help families navigate insurance, act as the dramatic increase in the number of baby boomers (who advocates at hospitals and nursing homes, arrange for inalso may be taking care of their own children); Smith said that home care and home modifications, monitor medications, the demand for geriatric care managers is on the rise. “There find lawyers for legal problems, take parents to medical are many older adults who don’t have someone locally to look appointments and can travel with them to their vacation after them, yet they require someone to help with day-to-day homes. Hourly fees generally range from $85 to $200. decisions and care,” she said. “It is more affordable and often more practical for families to hire a geriatric care manager “We do all the things that adult children would do,” said Smith. “We often become their surrogate family.” Smith also said that the services she offers depend on the family’s needs. “Some families want advocacy for a loved one living in a

“ “

boomer lifestyle 8


than to have to travel frequently to deal with the issues surrounding elderly parents or other loved ones.” Smith also added that with a geriatric care manager, families have access to inside knowledge on everything from local facilities, in-home services, where to find medical equipment and supplies to unadvertised benefits entitled by various associations— local (such as Alzheimer’s Association) or national (such as Veterans). Most of all, the support of a geriatric care manager allows adult children to continue the routine of daily life while staying involved with their parents. Time with mom or dad becomes bonding time, rather than a visit that leaves the family feeling stressed or helpless with the aging experience of their loved ones. geriatriC Care ManageMent at a glanCe: what is it? Geriatric care managers (GCMs) are professional advocates who help guide seniors and their caregivers through complex long-term care issues. GCMs are trained to recognize telltale signs that indicate specific needs, signs which you may not be able to recognize yourself. GCMs can be hired to help you in times of crisis, can provide respite services and can serve as the full-time point of contact for senior care services what serviCes shoulD you exPeCt? GCMs begin by conducting a comprehensive care assessment of the senior’s health, social, emotional and physical needs, then drafting a plan of care. They often work with other long-term care professionals to coordinate the implementation of the needed services outlined in the plan of care. The services a GCM provides include screening, arranging and monitoring the services the senior requires, preserving financial resources by helping you avoid inappropriate placements and duplicated services, intervening in a crisis, counseling and supporting; educating and advocating. who Pays for the serviCe? Geriatric care management is strictly private pay. Medicare, Medigap, Managed Care, Medicaid and LTCI do not cover the service. finD a geriatriC Care Manager Visit the National Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers website for a searchable database of reputable national care managers.

BaBy Boomers

STRESSED OVER LTC A study done by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and ComPsych Corporation (“Stressed- out Sandwich Generation Needs Help” Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and ComPsych Corporation, 2011) revealed that demands of balancing a full- time job and caring for an injured or ill family member is a major source of stress for many Baby Boomers. (generation born between 1946 and 1964) and is impacting their productivity and their health, according to research by The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and ComPsych Corporation.


About Cheryl Smith and Kansas City Home Care, Inc. Cheryl Smith is the president of Kansas City Home Care, Inc., a leading provider of home care and geriatric care management services since 1989. She is a gerontologist and a long-standing member of the National Association of Professional Care Managers (GCM), past president of the Midwest Chapter of GCM and a founding member of the National Private Duty Association. For more information, call 913-341-4800 or visit http:// MAY 2011 THEBBNEWS.COM


boomer generations


emotional assistance When Dealing WiTh a loVeD ones esTaTe

AMIDST THE CHAOS OF TENDING TO A LOVED ONE’S NEEDS - THE CONSTANT WORRy, PERSONAL PAIN, MAKING THE RIGHT DECISIONS, REMEMBERING THE COUNTLESS DETAILS OF EACH DAy, PHONE CALLS, DR.’S APPOINTMENTS, DOTTING THE “I’S” AND CROSSING THE “T’S,” DEALING WITH FAMILy MEMBERS AND EVERy OTHER IMAGINABLE DETAIL - IT’S NO WONDER WE HAVE A TENDENCy TO LOSE OURSELVES, OR AT THE VERy LEAST, FEEL LOST. SOME MAy EVEN FEEL THEy ON THE BRINK OF SNAPPING EMOTIONALLy AND THIS IS NOT OUT OF THE NORM. If your loved one is still living, but you with the contents of an estate, one can feel it is a have come to the inevitable crossroads of surreal experience. making difficult decisions about assisted Suddenly you find yourself in need of living, long term care, etc., the emotional direction and guidance. Sometimes you just PROZAC pressure and exhaustion can be enormous need a strong shoulder or a willing ear. This can TIME! to see it is well planned and carried out. come in the form of a best friend, trusted sibling, Challenging as it may be, even with the loved counseling or a therapist, which I would highly one’s refusal to go along with the best possible recommend to keep you on track and stay healthy. choice for them and their given situation, we Eating right, staying hydrated, moderate exercise and know we have to make the best choice for them and sleep are paramount. Prayer or meditation is necessary for then to live with that choice. Often guilt can accompany these spiritual well being. Do little things for yourself along the way difficult decisions, especially if these decisions went against to maintain stability -- get your hair done, eat that chocolate the will of the loved one. Family members, too, will often have bar, put on your favorite song and listen to it as long and as differing opinions than you do, which further adds to the stress, often as you want. Music elevates mood! Crying is also good to confusion and frustration. It also fuels some mighty powerful purge the myriad of emotions swirling around inside you. fights. Getting proper assistance from an estate planning attorney If your loved one has died and you are left to contend with may be needed along the way, and a true professional in estate the estate and all that goes with it, many of my clients have told liquidation will guide you through the process and help ease me it’s now “Prozac time.” It is said with a bit of humor, but they the burden of all the tangible assets in the estate to be dealt mean it. They walk into the family home for the first time and with. He or she can also help decipher what should be sold, their brain betrays them with dozens of intense thoughts at donated, discarded or kept by the family. once: Where do I begin? There’s so much stuff! What was she Make sure all of these professionals have appropriate thinking keeping all of this? What do we do with it? Is there experience, credentials and training to be the best possible anything of value in here? Will the heirs fight over this? Should help to you. They too, are valuable resources that shouldn’t be we sell, donate, keep? overlooked . Exercise caution when fees seem too cheap, or And this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are answers to all it’s someone who “dabbles” in estates. Dabbling is dangerous! of these questions and solutions to be had by hiring the right Get the best professionals and the process will flow smoothly professionals in the estate industry. When it comes to dealing because they know what they are doing.



this is a heavy burden to carry and you should ask for help. Remember to document, ask questions, get multiple opinions and seek out the help of a few trusted professionals to smooth this bumpy road. the really good ones are worth their weight in gold. As mom always says, “this too shall pass,” and it will. It’s just a difficult pill to swallow. millions of us are going through this at the exact same time, and take comfort in knowing that it will get done, and keep your sights on the end result.

Let us heLp you with

Your retirement JourneY

©2011 the estAte LAdy®, LLc Julie Hall, known as The Estate Lady, is an estate expert specializing in personal property. With more than nineteen years experience, she has assisted thousands of individuals in the daunting and often painful process of managing their deceased parents’ affairs. Her experience has been sought across the United States and Canada on radio, TV, and newspaper media including Bloomberg News, WSJ, MSN Money, and the LA Times. She has authored a best-selling book titled “THE BOOMER BURDEN: How to Deal With Your Parents’ Lifetime Accumulation of Stuff”, currently available on With increasing numbers of boomers and older adults across the globe, they are all leaving behind a lot more than their children bargained for. THE BOOMER BURDEN will guide loved ones on how to appropriately handle their parent’s belongings while keeping one’s sanity...and that is priceless. Julie writes a weekly blog which is available at http://estatelady.wordpress. com, called The Estate Lady Speaks.

Providing safe, comprehensive investments for your sound financial future . . .


• Retirement Planning • Wealth Accumulation, Preservation & Distribution Strategies • Asset Protection • Tax Planning


• Long-Term Care • Estate Planning • Income Planning • IRA & 401(k) Rollovers

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Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region, Uptown & South Charlotte Hospice & Palliative Care Lake Norman Hospice & Palliative Care Lincoln County Levine & Dickson Hospice House

MAY 2011


Ready to get your fun on?

May 21


Charlotte Pet Expo park expo and conference center, charlotte, Nc The Charlotte Pet Expo is a woofing, chirping, & meowing good time for the whole family! Four-legged friends can sample delicious treats, & try on the latest fashions; their humans will enjoy learning pet-care tips from animal welfare organizations. Rounding out the list of activities are an agility course, pet talent & costume contest! The highlight of the event is definitely the adoptable animals showcased by area rescues--who knows, you may just come home with a new family member! Bring your Pet! (on a fixed lead with proof of vaccinations, please)

June 11


Great American Race wheels through time museum, maggie valley, Nc

The world famous Great American Race will make its way to Wheels Through Time Mu second leg of its 7-day journey from Chattanooga, TN to Bennington, VT. The world’s pre and classic car race is now in its 28th year, and 2011 is shaping up to be one of its biggest yet. 75 historic vehicles will be participating in this year’s event. Great American Race is a time, spee rally for vintage cars (1969 and earlier) where passion meets the pavement through the back roads of




useum on the emier antique An estimated ed, endurance f the U.S.

May 28 & 29

White Squirrel Festival Brevard, Nc Get Ready To Go Nuts! Running of the popular Squirrel Box Derby. Voted one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events in May 2009, White Squirrel Festival is host to an opening “Memorial Day Parade,” 5K/10K foot race, White Squirrel Photo Contest, guided tours, and plenty of nutty fun for the entire family. you won’t want to miss the 18 free, live concerts – headlined this year by Acoustic Syndicate, Jill Andrews, Town Mountain, and a SURPRISE Saturday Headliner!

Photography Coutesy of: Don Weiser

May 29

11th annual

NC Wine Festival at tanglewood park clemoNS, Nc The largest wine festival in North Carolina. your ticket provides you tasting from all wineries, artist and crafter displays, great food choices and music all day featuring The Chairmen of the Board, The Band of Oz and The Plaids! you may also purchase by the glass and the case and stock up on all the North Carolina wines that you love!

June 3 & 4 friday 6:00-10:00pm, saturday 10:00am-6:00pm

Hog Happenin’ liNcolNtoN Nc

Kansas City BarBq cook-off and regional bike fest. Great food, vendors, bike show, bike games and poker run! Hog Happenin’ is a regional bike fest and Kansas City Barbeque Society Sanctioned North Carolina State Championship Barbeque Cook-off that brings motorcycle owners and Barbeque teams together in downtown Lincolnton. This is a unique event that draws visitors from across the Charlotte Region and the Southeast. The Hog Happenin’ is free and open to the public. MAY 2011 THEBBNEWS.COM


boomer generations


6 tips

for overcoming Stress & Guilt When caring for elDerlY parenTs


aring for elderly parents as well as their own family many aging baby boomers find they are stressed and dealing with guilt. Overcoming caregiver stress and the guilt feelings that often accompanies the role of one person taking care of another is possible. Guilt is a feeling of perceived failure. This failure may come in the form of expectations we set for ourselves or what we perceive are the expectations that others have set for us. Our response to these feelings of perceived failure affects our decisions and our actions. Guilt, in any form is detrimental to any relationship. When caring for another individual, guilt presents itself to us on many different levels. Along with guilt feelings, there are feelings of anger, frustration, resentment and sadness. Many individuals torment themselves with unrealistic expectations and worry trying to anticipate every possible need. Others find themselves dealing with the disappointment and frustration of uninvolved and uninterested siblings or extended family members still others find guilt stemming from sadness and fear of losing someone very close to them. They second guess themselves into believing that if they had paid attention sooner, or did something different their aging senior’s condition would be different. Whatever the reasons for guilt, they take away from all the good a care giver does. Guilt can mentally and emotionally imprison a person into making poor decisions or becoming totally immobilized to make any decision. Some individuals are more inclined to feel guilty than others. Learning to manage guilt is imperative for the physical and emotional well being of the care giver as well as the aging senior that are providing care.

1 2 3 4 5 6

The first step to overcoming guilt is to acknowledge that is a feeling you are experiencing. There are many other feelings that go along with guilt such as sadness, anger, frustration and resentment. If you can acknowledge that you are having these feelings, you can begin to see things from a different perspective. If you have identified and acknowledged you have these negative feelings, take time to identify what is causing you to have these feelings. Are you angry and resentful that you siblings do not pitch in and offer assistance? Do you feel that your life is not your own? Are you afraid that you are losing someone close to you? Maybe you feel guilty because you wish you did not have to care for the aging seniors in your life. Many feel that they cannot do enough to or are the opposite and resentful that they have to do anything at all. Have you considered your needs and wants? This is a very important step for every care giver to realize. The caregiver needs are just as important as the person for whom they are providing care and support. Caregivers feel guilty that they have needs. Many feel that their needs are not as important as their aging senior. This thought can be a big culprit and be the root cause of dealing with guilt and caregiver stress. A care giver must come to realize and accept that unless they take care of themselves and take action to meet their own needs, eventually they become ineffective as a care giver. Learn to be kind and patient with yourself. you are going to have your good days and your bad days. Allow yourself to feel the negative feelings. Realize that your feelings do not have to control your actions. With practice, over time, the guilt feelings will subside. Acknowledge you have needs and take action to get those needs met. It is OK to have some “me” time. In fact it is necessary. Give yourself permission to be selfish at times. Ask for help from others or accept help when it is offered. If you have uninvolved siblings investigate other avenues through the local church, community program or aging and adult services. Explore options to get some free time. Aging baby boomers caring for elderly parents must realize that guilt is an emotion that comes with the role of caregiver. Dealing with guilt and overcoming caregiver stress can be accomplished by taking time to meet your own needs. Caregivers need to focus on the good that they achieve everyday and the improved quality of life they bring to the aging senior in their life. With this perspective guilt will never be an issue.



Diane Carbo Registered Nurse has more than thirty five years in the nursing field. Her experience as a geriatric care manager, makes her uniquely qualified to help those who want to live out their lives in their own homes. Please visit Diane’s web site and learn more about caregiver stress and feeling of guilt Sign up for “The Caring Advocate” her free newsletter and take advantage of a complimentary e-course Advocating For Yourself and Others

boomer generations


ne of the many ways that boomers can help aging loved ones live long, healthy and happy lives (as well as prepare for their own aging process) is to learn how to prevent accidents in unforeseen situations and know how to survive them if they do happen. Statistics show that one-third of the population over the age of 65 has at least one fall each year. Furthermore, the risk of falls increases with age to the point that by 80, over half of seniors will have a yearly incident. It is important to keep in mind that these numbers may fall well short of the actual number due to many going unreported. Those who have fallen once are 2-3 times more likely to fall again. Fear of falling can be devastating to an elderly person because of the consequences. It is reported that falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among the elderly with 87% leading to a fracture. Another frightening aspect is that 47% of fall victims are not able to get up without assistance. For those non-injured fallers, the period of time spent immobile after a fall can greatly affect their health with dehydration, pressure sores, hypothermia and pneumonia as complications that can result. It is shown that the best way to deal with these complications is to take precautions to prevent falls from occurring in the first place. Fall prevention is best initiated by focusing on the safety of the home environment. Clutter in the halls, unsecured throw rugs, electrical cords and uneven flooring are primary causes of falls around the house. Walking areas need to be kept clear and open and uneven flooring repaired or covered. Poor lighting in between living areas can also be a factor. Some good ways to improve visibility is to place nightlights in hallways and in bathrooms and replace all worn out bulbs. Always keep a lamp at your bedside, know what is in your path, and where to find all light switches. To further guard against unexpected slips, installing assistive

SHANNON WILLIAMS, RN. devices can provide a important safety net in dangerous areas. Bathroom and bath tub rails, raised toilet seats, bath tub chairs and hand-held shower nozzles are all good ways to stay safe in the bathroom. Handrails on both sides of a staircase offer an extra layer of safety as well as non-skid floor wax on linoleum. To reduce strain on the body, place frequently used items in cabinets within easy reach. If all else fails, a portable alarm system or cordless phone within reach can be the best tool to find help. If falls become a frequent risk, schedule a time when family members or a friend checks in to make sure that safety is being maintained. Perhaps the best prevention measure is to take measure to maintain your physical health. The first step is to start with a visit to your doctor to review all of your medicines and health history. Be sure to ask about the stability of your blood pressure. A large number of falls are related to an unsafe drop in your blood pressure due to various control medications. Also, ask your primary physician if you are healthy enough for regular exercise. To improve your cardiovascular conditioning, you only need 12 minutes of continuous exercise per day to improve your strength and balance. Staying in good physical shape will not only help prevent falls, but can also make recovery easier after a fall. Participation in physical activities doesn’t have to be limited to an exercise routine. By simply staying active around the home with yard work and light housework, you can greatly increase fitness levels. The famous comedienne Betty White attributes her physical fitness to a two-story home and a bad memory. So, to easily improve the outlook on your health in the future, solutions can be as simple as assessing your current surroundings and knowing how to manage them!



Shannon Williams RN. is the Clinical Manager for Bayada Nurses in Statesville, NC. MAY 2011 THEBBNEWS.COM




shadow box


n 2010, Curt and Barbara Needham away of two close family members. One C NS, LL IO T C decided to reinvent themselves and had documented her final wishes and the U PROD started ShadowBox Productions, 8207 other one did not have any written notes, Village Harbor Drive, Cornelius, NC, wishes, directions…nothing. This made which produces various workbook-type them realize the need for the recording of publications, the first of which is a prethe important information not covered in a planning checklist-workbook for end-of-life Last Will and Testament. wishes entitled, “Charting a Course for My This lead to their developing a Loved Ones”. comprehensive checklist to document those Curt, a Business Management graduate of directions that are invaluable to a family, UNC, did post-graduate work in Economics although grief-stricken, that must make at George Washington University in decisions and locate important information Washington, D.C. He retired as a Lt. Colonel after the death of a loved one. The many after spending almost 30 years in the U.S. Air topics that are not Last Will and P R O D U C T I O N S , L LC PRO D Ucovered C T I O N Sin , LaLC Force, including many years in management Testament are included in the checklist. and the piloting of “Air Force 2. Since then, he founded several Their preliminary research yielded very little information on local real estate development companies. the relevant personal and emotional side of closing an estate. Barbara was a professional in the banking industry and also That is where “Charting a Course for My Loved Ones” picks up, served as assistant to the mayor of a large city. Highly successful and covers those items many of us tend to overlook. Their in the commercial real estate industry, she served on the Board friends heard about the checklist and wanted a copy, too. Their of Charlotte Region Commercial Board of Realtors and was one consensus was: “I don’t want my loved ones to struggle with of the 5 founding members of CREW (Commercial Real Estate the process of determining my desires for my funeral or what I Women of Charlotte). want done with my pet.. I want my loved ones to know where to The impetus for their compiling of “Charting a Course for locate my important documents, account and policy numbers, My Loved Ones” was their personal experience with the passing computer ID’s, passwords, etc. I want to have specific directives for my loved ones so they can avoid those burdensome emotional tasks ahead.” It is the last loving thing we can give to our loved ones and survivors.


shadow box

as an introduction of their new product to the marketplace, they are offering a 50% discount to anyone who goes to their website ( and completes a short, anonymous survey that will help to identify the demographics of their target market thus enabling the development of an effective marketing plan.



money money


ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. In the 1951 Disney animated film, Alice in Wonderland, based on the original novel, the Cheshire Cat is depicted as an intelligent, yet mischievous, character that sometimes helps Alice, and sometimes gets her into trouble. In one of the classic scenes in the story, Alice comes upon the Cheshire Cat, after wandering aimlessly in the forest. ALICE ASKS:

“Do you know which way I should go?”


“That depends on where you are going.”

“I really do not know where I am going.”


“Then it really does not matter which way you go.

How many of the 76 million baby boomers are wandering aimlessly in the retirement forest, with the same real idea of their destination but still asking for investment/savings direction? In a previous article, I began the conversation about the longevity revolution that is upon us, and how it will influence the future. Like Alice, the problem most pre-retirees have is that they have not really figured out what they are going to do with the extra 20-30 years that longevity will provide. Therefore, for most people, the way to simplify the financial planning process is by selecting some arbitrary amount or target rate of return to determine success. They arrive at retirement day, look at their statements and then try to figure out what kind of life they can lead. Rhetorically, I ask you, does it really matter how much money you accumulate if you do not know how much you need to have? If you do not know what the money is to be used for? In more statistical terms, is $1,000,000 enough? While it is easy to say that earning 8% is better than earning 6%, will earning 8% cause you to take on too much risk? The answer is ‘it depends’, because what are you going to do for 20, 30, even 40 years of retirement? I would suggest that the standard process of planning is backward. Maybe you should write the last chapter of your financial future story first. Base the story (or action plan) on your outcome, not the path! Dr. Ken Dychtwald, a leading expert in the trends of aging of America, categorizes retirees into four groups. The two most unfulfilled groups got there by default due to a lack of vision, and therefore, a lack of planning. The other two groups, that he describes as ‘engaged’ in their retirement lifestyle, decided what they wanted to do first, and then built their financial plan accordingly. Most of them had an investment strategy based on

their vision and received assistance in developing a plan. In the accumulation phase of investing, it is reasonable to consider the rate of return as part of the equation because of the time factor, and most people are adding to the pot of money, even in down markets. The key in the income distribution phase, however, is the sequence of returns, not so much the rate of return. In this phase, distributions are made (even in down markets), thus impacting the total account value and in-turn, how long the money will last. It is obvious that 8% is better than a 6% rate of return, but what’s missing is the follow-up question, “what is the beta, or amount of risk, being taken to achieve that extra return?” If you make a clear lifestyle plan, you have to ask yourself, “Do I need to take the extra risk or can I live the life I want without that added risk to my principal?” Do you need a better reason to ask this question than the stock market of 2008? In general, the financial industry and the media educate the public with broad stroke rules and guidelines. General rules are not customized to fit people with individual dreams. It is the role of a good financial advisor to help you write that last chapter first and then work the plan to “live happily ever after.” Please contact Jeff Karp at Karp Financial Strategies to assist in helping you write your last chapter first and plan to live happily ever after at 704-658-1929 or visit Jeffrey R. Karp is President and Founder of Karp Financial Strategies. Karp Financial Strategies specializes in helping clients manage wealth for today, financial security for tomorrow, enjoyment for a lifetime. Visit us at or 704-658-1929. Securities and advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. MAY 2011 THEBBNEWS.COM


legal matters




Talk to your family about the elephants in the room – disability, death, funerals, who gets what. you’ll clear the air and, down the road, save your family much grief. But the talk is hard to start; that’s why you haven’t had one. (If you have, you should still read this, smugly.) Sneak up. Write a letter and have your family read it; this will get things started. The real value of the letter, however, lies elsewhere. We think, and talk, in a flash “I don’t want to be hooked up to a lot of machines.” Writing, your mind slows, giving your Little Voice the chance to break in, “What are those machines, anyway? What will it be like to be on them? Do I really know enough to say I don’t want to be hooked up to one?” Writing forces you deeper; you may learn things about yourself you didn’t realize. Best writing advice “Don’t write about what you know, write about what you don’t know you know.” Here’s my letter. Don’t expect brilliant insights or profound self-realizations - I’m a lawyer. yours will be better. (As a teacher who has his share of disappointments, I know few of you will actually write the letter, thinking“What a great idea. I will write the letter. Tomorrow.” Flash!)

Dear Family, If there comes a time I am ill and unable to make my own decisions, I want my family to make them for me. Docs usually ignore Living Wills and do what the family wants. This makes sense: your family will be in a better position to decide now than you were, 10 years ago, checking boxes, as the lawyer’s clock ticked. If you can’t agree it is up to Kris who I have given my Health Care Power of Attorney. The most important document you can have is the Health Care Power of Attorney. Take my word for it (I’m running out of space). And don’t get a form off the internet. Like all Powers of Attorney, it’s just a piece of paper unless the folks you show it to believe that it is legally proper. (They can get into trouble if it isn’t.) A lawyer’s bells and whistles, and telephone number, work miracles. I realize your decision might be to “pull the plug” and remove me from all life support. At some point that is absolutely the right decision. Keeping me alive beyond that is not an act of love. Don’t keep me alive simply because no one wants to face the bad news. Insist that my doctors tell you my chances of recovery, how long it would take, and what would be my condition afterwards. A good question, “Would it surprise you if he died in the next month?” In Oscar Wilde’s Importance of Being Earnest, learning that Earnest had died shortly after his doctor told him he was dying, a character remarks “He seems to have had great confidence in the opinion of his physician.” Doctors, perhaps not realizing it was a comedy, are very reluctant to give the bad news. When everyone is in denial, futile, expensive, and painful treatment will continue. One in five die in ICU, hooked up. I can live without walking but really don’t want to live if I can no longer appreciate my family and friends and can no longer understand the world around me. This will give my family better guidance when the time comes (and it will) than a series of “Don’t do that!” It is also a terrific question to ask yourself.



I am a wimp when it comes to pain. Tell my doctors to give me enough pain meds even if it means they might kill me, that’s my choice and my family supports it. Because of governmental crackdown on narcotic drugs many doctors fear they may lose their license if they give too much pain medication. I’ll need an advocate. Some health care providers are expert in palliative care and I hope my family seeks them out. If there comes a time that my driving endangers myself or others, I want my family to tell me. I’ll be pissed but do all you can; I don’t want to end my life by killing someone. If there comes a time that I must move in with one of you, I want the others to realize how difficult and expensive my care will be. Families fight over who gets the grandfather clock. Get together and write a list of who gets what. (I don’t have a grandfather clock; it was a metaphor.) Before starting your letter ask, “If I were to die tomorrow, or become disabled, what problems would my family face?”Jot a list – driving, home care, who gets what - I’m sure you will have your own items and the list, even if you don’t write the letter, will help if you get the conversation started. I love all I hear about hospice. I want to die under their care, either at home or at a facility. Short stays in ICU are okay to stabilize my condition and figure out what to do. Donate what you can of me. To clear up some things about hospice. It’s not just for cancer patients, some curative meds are allowed if they are also palliative, and some folks walk out – when all their meds are tossed, some get better. And it is essentially free as Medicare picks up the bills. As to burial, cremation and Irish Wake. But, if he’s in his cups, don’t let uncle Joe speak. None of us want Joe telling that story about us, one that never happened, at least not the way he tells it. Once you read this letter, please sign it. Then we talk. I’ll bring wine. Malt does more than Milton can, to justify God’s way to man. Having your family read and sign the letter will assure that everyone understands your wishes and will lead to meaningful discussions. These discussions need not be all at once and need not be somber; serious but not somber (perhaps even just a little north of sober). And as A.E. Houseman reminds us, malt (and wine) helps. To view Professor Hegland’s free videos on elder law topics, go to www. His book is New Times, New Challenges: Law and Advice for Savvy Senior and their Families

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boomer pets



felines finD fifTeen is

is the new five “Due to advancements in veterinary diagnostics, medicine and vaccinations, neutered indoor house cats are living longer than ever before,” said Dr. Michele Gaspar, DVM, a boardcertified feline specialist. “It’s not unusual for cats to reach their 20th birthday.” When you adopt an older cat, providing the right care can go a long way in ensuring you have a long and happy life together. Just as it’s important to take good care of ourselves and pay attention to our own bodies, aging cats also need special care. Older cats have different nutritional requirements. Prevent your cat from becoming overweight by feeding the proper proportions and providing a healthy diet that is high in protein, as extra weight can lead to other health complications. Avoid treating your cat with table scraps and discuss any changes in your feline’s diet with your veterinarianN No matter how old your cat may be, exercise is important. Introduce your cat to new toys that will get him or her excited to keep moving, even if it is only for a short period of time every day. However, keep in mind, as cats get older, they tend to like privacy and look for relaxing environments to get away from other pets and children. Create a place where your cat



can do a little catnapping throughout the day without being disturbed. Some aging felines develop conditions that lead to increased or irregular urination, such as loss of litter box training, diabetes or kidney dysfunction. If this happens, increase the number of litter boxes and space them throughout the home. Keep litter boxes dry by using a highly absorbent, odor eliminating cat litter, such as Feline Pine. Learn more at www. It is recommended that senior cats visit the veterinarian for a comprehensive examination every six months or more frequently if they are diagnosed with a condition. Some veterinarians specialize in working with geriatric cats and others make house calls for cats that can no longer handle the stress associated with going to the veterinarian’s office.

boomer pets


Does Your Dog snore? It Could be Seasonal Allergies

The same pollen and allergens that keep you from enjoying your garden come the warmer weather could also be affecting your pet. Now that more dogs spend time snuggling up to their pet parents in bed or share the same room at night, many people are discovering that their pooch has a snoring problem. Dogs snore for many of the same reasons people do. Causes can include being overweight, nasal obstructions, illness, and allergies. Some dogs with flat faces and compact noses may be more prone to snoring as well. Secondhand smoke can be another cause. By visiting a veterinarian you can help rule out certain causes of the snoring. If together with the vet you determine that the cause of the snoring is allergies, you don’t have to lose anymore sleep. Pollen counts are generally the highest in the morning and at night. Walk your dog during the afternoon when the levels are lower. Also, keep your pet out of the garden during peak pollen times. Allergies other than from the environment may be the result of additives in dog food or from flea and tick problems. Talk about your concerns with the veterinarian to choose products that may help your dog to be more comfortable.



boomer lifestyle






oaring unemployment numbers, rising prices on necessities and stricter rules regarding qualifying for Many eMPty a home mortgage have become the norm. As a sidenesters are effect, many adult children are finding difficulty making ends finDing their meet. The solution for many is to ask Mom or Dad if they can aDult ChilDren move back home. neeD to Move young adults and even established families are finding that the economic crunch is taking its toll on their ability to make it baCk hoMe for on their own. The scarcity of jobs and high foreclosure rates is one reason or leading a number of adult-age children to solicit their parents another. for a place to stay. While the situation is often billed to be temporary, the economic downturn might linger longer than expected. Recent census figures indicate that more than 80 million • It is important for the child to have a good relationship with parents who generally would be empty nesters actually have Mom. Studies indicate that a happier household is indicative at least one grown child living at home. Whether this is a result of mother and child cohabitating well. The relationship with of the economic downturn, adult children caring for aging the father isn’t as important, behavior experts say. parents or another financial situation, the rates are growing. • The parents’ relationship should be strong and established. What’s happening is that individuals who grew accustomed Newlyweds welcoming an adult child (who will be a stepchild to their independent lifestyles are forced once again to make to one parent) could face tension. compromises living under the same roof. The results can be tenuous. However, there are steps to take to help the situation • Set ground rules for the house. Remember, the child is living under his or her parents’ roof. Parents’ rules apply. work. • There has to be a legitimate need for children to move back home. It can’t simply be a whim or lack of ambition. • Parents should see a real need to help their child or children. • The situation should be presented as a temporary one, with a firm deadline. Children are expected to find new living arrangements as soon as possible. • The children contribute to the household in a tangible method. This can involve financial contributions, housework, caring for parents or a combination of factors.



• Give each other the space needed. Three or more adults living in a space can eat away at nerves, especially if everyone has their idea of how things should be done. Respect others’ privacy and spend time alone when possible. • Parents should not feel obligated to care for their adult children’s kids if they are moving in as well. Don’t take over responsibility or diminish your child’s authority over his or her own progeny. • Do not sacrifice your own financial future to help your children. Decide how much you want and can afford to help.

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May 2011 -The Baby Boomer News  
May 2011 -The Baby Boomer News  

A lifestyle magazine for today's Baby Boomers. The May issue focuses on caregivers and resources for care giving.