Become Your Loved One’s Best Advocate

by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

Q: My brother lives in a care facility about an hour away. We try to go visit him once a month, and each time we do, he seems to be declining. We always find him in his room, often asleep in his chair. We ask him if he would be more comfortable in his bed, but he says he does not want to bother the staff. Other times he is soiled, because he couldn’t get to the bathroom in time. We keep encouraging him to ask for help, but he seems reluctant. Do you think we should be concerned?

A: Older adults are often reluctant to ask for help for a variety of reasons. This may or may not be a direct reflection of the environment. It is great that your brother has you as an advocate and you are correct to pay attention to any red flags. Continue reading “Become Your Loved One’s Best Advocate” »

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Coping with Alzheimer’s Caregiving

By Donna Brock, Care Manager, Aging Outreach Services

During a recent conversation with a retired Vietnam Veteran and recipient of a Purple Heart, I was enlightened by an analogy of living with and caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease and being at war. I had never considered this idea prior to our conversation, but it seemed very insightful and appropriate.

Although I have never experienced the trauma of war, I have experienced caring for someone with dementia. I don’t assume to know, and I cannot ever fathom what being at war “feels” like. However, on many levels, I can entirely relate to what this kind, soft-spoken gentleman was telling me.

The emotions and challenges are quite similar: isolation, depression, anger, resentment, guilt, lack of control, sadness, fatigue, confusion … and the list goes on and on. Continue reading “Coping with Alzheimer’s Caregiving” »

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Considering Your Options Before Making a Move

by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

Q: My wife died a few years ago, so I have been living at home alone. I still drive and can take care of the house and myself, but I have outlived my savings, and I am on a fixed income now. There is a lot of work that needs to be done on my house, and I don’t have the money to make the needed repairs. My friends have suggested that it is time to make a move to a more manageable situation. What do you think?

A: Many people are finding that they are living longer than they planned for financially. The expense and upkeep of a home can start to become a burden when you are trying to make ends meet. There are several things to consider in deciding if it might be time to make a change. If you have a financial adviser that you work with, he or she can help you look at income and expenses to make projections for how long your resources may last. You will also want to talk to your attorney about how your decision fits into your overall estate plan. These professionals will have information and advice relevant to your decision. Continue reading “Considering Your Options Before Making a Move” »

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Coping with Incontinence

by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

Incontinence is a much more common occurrence than you might imagine, for both men and women. You may have noticed an increase in the number of incontinence products being marketed to the baby boomer population. This is because so many people are facing bladder or urinary system concerns.

As we age, there are changes to the body that can impact bladder control. Bladder muscles become weaker, nerves can be damaged by diseases like Parkinson’s, an enlarged prostate may cause blockage, or there can be an infection that has gone undetected. These are merely some of the possible causes. Continue reading “Coping with Incontinence” »

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Avoid Scams When Canceling Timeshares

by Amy Natt, MS, CMC, CSA

Q: My dad has been trying to get rid of a timeshare he purchased years ago. He recently got a call from someone claiming to have a buyer. He authorized a credit card payment of $5,000 to complete the sale. After that, nothing ever happened and when we call, it is always a recording. Can you offer any advice on what we should do next?

A: The “Phony Timeshare Reseller” is a growing scam across many states. According to the North Carolina Attorney General, victims receive a call from a person who claims to have a buyer for your timeshare. The caller may even guarantee that the sale will go through. After the scammers obtain authorization to access your funds, they will send a contract. Continue reading “Avoid Scams When Canceling Timeshares” »

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