Senior Concerns’ services have grown with population

Senior Concerns’ services have grown with population

Certain charitable organizations are even more vital today than they were 20 years ago.

For example, brain disorder nonprofits like the Alzheimer’s Association orAutism Speaks are serving a much larger percentage of the population today than when they were founded.

Whether the originators of these organizations were visionary or were simply responding to a need at the time, we’re fortunate to have nonprofits that are focused on growing challenges in our communities.

Early on, the founders of Senior Concerns realized an unmet need for nutrition for homebound seniors. Over the ensuing years, the organization grew to meet a large variety of needs of aging seniors and their families.

I’m fairly certain those founders hadn’t imagined the demographic and longevity changes that would take place over the years, but never has an organization been more relevant to a community. We have begun to experience substantial growth in our older population, which will continue over the next 30 years.

Sole searching for comfort

Sole searching for comfort

My cocker spaniel, Rolo, has gradually lost most of his eyesight. When I’m in the kitchen, he stares intently at my feet because his vision is so poor. If I walk toward the refrigerator or the pantry he knows there might be a treat for him.

I’m thankful no humans stare that closely at my feet because I say with a hint of regret that I am now consigned to wearing “comfort shoes.”

Until recently I didn’t know there was such a term.

While I never was a fashionista, what I did know is that it seemed harder and harder to find comfortable stylish shoes and sandals.

I walk through shoe departments and sigh at all the lovely styles that will just not work for me—heels too high, toe box too narrow, slippery soles and flats with no arch support.

At almost 60, why is shoe shopping such a challenge?

Matching gifts are often overlooked

Matching gifts are often overlooked

Paid vacations, sick leave, health insurance and retirement plans are benefits companies commonly offer their employees.

But, as part of their commitment to corporate philanthropy, many employers offer another benefit that is frequently overlooked: a matching gift program designed to support the nonprofits their employees are passionate about.

Today, one-third of all employees in America are baby boomers (age 52 and older). Nearly half say they don’t expect to retire until they are 66 or older, and 10 percent say they will never retire.

Not only are boomers a large population of the workforce, but they are one of the largest charitable donor generations.

According to Blackbaud, a supplier of donor management software, 72 percent of baby boomers donate to charity, with the average boomer giving $1,212 to an average of 4.5 charities.

The yin and yang of caregiving

The yin and yang of caregiving

On a recent trip home to New Hampshire I felt the yin and yang of family caregiving or, more specifically, the interconnected and sometimes opposing forces of the local family caregiver and the long-distance ones.

While my mother is the primary caregiver for my father, my sister Carla, who lives less than 5 miles from my parents, assists them with all their needs. She picks up groceries, accompanies my parents to appointments, sits with my father so my mother can run an errand, attends doctor appointments and joins my mother on her respite outings.

She’s also the one who is enlisted to help transfer my father when he falls, fix the internet or TV when my mother’s skills are outmatched or interpret complex insurance and financial forms.

About four years ago, as my parents realized their needs exceeded their abilities, all three daughters suggested Mom and Dad move closer. Their choices included New HampshireConnecticut and California.

Give milestone gifts with meaning

Last week my sister asked me for a gift idea for a friend who was turning 50.

As I began to brainstorm with her, my thoughts turned to how a person might feel on the occasion of a milestone birthday, whether it be 50, 60, 70, 80 or beyond.

Do milestone birthdays change the way people evaluate their lives? And should we think about this in our gift giving?

Studies show that our outlook on life is affected by milestone birthdays. It is at those times that we take stock of our existence and become more thoughtful about our satisfaction with life.

Approaching a milestone age has recently been shown to drive people toward a search for meaning, purpose and health.

While I’m sure many would enjoy a bottle of wine, a piece of jewelry or a new tech gadget for one these significant 

Think before setting a password

If you are internet savvy, you are mindful that you should not click on an email link from an unknown source. You are wary of online ads for items that are too good to be true, like that miracle anti-aging cure or the financial investment that will earn you millions overnight. You ignore email requests to enter your full Social Security number on an online site.

And you know that it is probably unlikely you won the Zimbabwe lottery (since you never entered in the first place), so you won’t be paying them the small fee to collect your winnings.

But new online security threats abound, especially when it comes to email addresses and passwords.

Recently I was one of millions of people who received an email from LinkedIn informing us of a security breach and

Helping seniors to keep driving

As much or more than they wish to remain in their homes as they age, today’s seniors wish to keep their ability to drive for as long as possible.

This should come as no surprise to most adults. The capacity to drive represents their ability to enjoy out-of-home activities when they choose to, and that is linked to a feeling of independence and control.

Seniors will stop driving in certain situations so that they can continue driving when they feel it’s safe. They may not drive at night, only drive short distances, not drive in bad weather or on freeways or unfamiliar roads.

These self-imposed restrictions allow them to feel more comfortable behind the wheel and may extend the number of years they can safely drive.

How to be a savvy residential care shopper

Along with buying a new home come mounds of paperwork that must be signed. Most of us review documents in detail for accuracy and completeness because we recognize that we’ll be held to their terms and conditions. Some even hire an attorney to triple-check everything.

Do seniors or their loved ones take the same precautions when signing residential-care-facility contracts? Whether you’re the senior or the responsible party, the complex journey to entering a care facility can be daunting.

So many of the activities along that path are emotionally challenging: accepting that living on your own is no longer the best option

The 100th birthday ‘celebration’ that wasn’t

My Grandma Ada lived for 100 years and five days. The most important lesson she taught me was the value of a goal and a purpose.

Technically speaking, Ada was my step-grandmother. My maternal grandmother (Nonna) passed away suddenly in her 70s, and my grandfather (Nonno) briefly courted and then married Ada.

Ada was a sweet woman, a widower who was never blessed with children. The wedding was a casual affair. It was heartwarming to see two people in their 70s rediscover new love.

Nonno died less than three weeks into their marriage. He decided to stop taking his heart medication because “he felt great.”

Second-half choices matter

If soap operas taught me anything, it’s that bad choices result in bad outcomes.

As a teenager, I’d arrive home from school just in time for “General Hospital.” I can still remember the lies of omission Luke made to Laura that destroyed their relationship. Or the many times Blackie would refuse help from others, causing himself to land in even more trouble.

Even then I wondered why people refuse to choose options that would make their lives better.

It’s especially sad when we see this happen in the senior community. The result of bad choices can be poor health, loneliness, isolation and even homelessness.

Take the case of Hugh, who at age 80 had hip replacement surgery.

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