Why Aging Education?

Recently, someone asked me again why I continually give of my time to aging education. It is a simple question really, with a complicated answer. Why do any of us give with our time, talent and treasure? To help make another’s life better, of course!

Typically, as a former salesperson, I know to find the customer’s needs, and fill them. Learn what someone desires, and give it to them. Know that a question needs an answer, and give it. We must do anything we can to quench the thirst for knowledge in the aging arena. That was our mandate in our Gerontology Masters Program, Give aging education wherever, whenever and however you can to our aging tsunami of 78 million Americans. Teach them to build their own networks to aging quality. There will not be enough care for all of us in the future.

For too long doctors didn’t give answers with transparency, government only answered what absolutely needed to be answered, families have kept their problems behind closed doors. None of these practices have served to educate our aging population.

The internet has opened a world to “stay-at-homes”, the under-educated, and the under-estimated. We can Google any question we have and get peer-reviewed and evidenced-based research articles. we read them and can make educated decisions. There isn’t any reason to not educate ourselves on the aging matters of the day. We don’t need to rely on Wikipedia like many of our youth have in the past.

Aging education outreach is another way to socialize with other aging persons and learn at the same time. Whenever there is an opportunity to attend a program on any aging subject, it behooves us to go…and learn of our future. We want to age at home and have an excellent quality of life so let us arm ourselves with the tools of our new trade…aging!

Thanks for reading!

Kindest Regards with warmest Aloha,

Laura ;-))

The Heart of the Matter of Aging

Social Media=A Generation of Aging Press Writers

Ok, so I’m not sure if anybody really missed me blogging lately but for the last several months, let’s just say that life got in the way. Not just life was in the way, but so was social media. Who knew ten years ago that I would have spent so much time on Facebook in 2014? That my friends would too? Maybe it is because we, as Baby Boomers, are a generation used to instant gratification. We can be in touch with our friends at the drop of a sentence. Not just a sentence, but a bullitt sentence at that.

Years ago when I was being taught to write press releases, I learned that the most you can say in as short a sentence that you can use, would get printed, since advertising space was at a premium cost. Even though we don’t pay to use Facebook, per se, we are all so short of time to live our daily lives and keep up with social media, that we have to keep it short to get our points across.

We are anxious to know and see what all of our friends and family are doing. We want to see what the next generation behind us is doing. We know they are on social media. We may not have the time or inclination to go and visit them, nor do they have the time for us with their equally, if not more, busy lives. So, armchair travel through social media is perfect. I got to see one nephew do the ALS Ice Challenge before anybody knew what it was. The graduation photos of another were priceless. A former classmate’s new baby is literally growing up in front of my eyes through her photos. Who knew that when we were first putting tin foil on the television antenna ears to get better reception, that we would be seeing our friends on safari in Africa as they were experiencing it? This is all news, as it happens!

Here is to the new generation of aging press writers! Keeping us informed, keeping us current, and keeping us visible!

Thanks for reading! ;-))

Senior Car Buyers Beware

You may be seeing car advertisements on television like the cute little vehicle coming out of the ocean and driving up on the sand, or another darling little car driving across the desert as if it is a mirage, and must seem too good to be true. Well, maybe it is.

One unknowing purchaser bought the cute little car for her husband’s birthday and was pleased to learn there was a 4 year, 50,000 mile warranty. The purchase was made in California with the intention that the car was to reside in California. When circumstances changed and the couple relocated to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, they checked if there was a dealer there and were relieved when they found out there was, so they shipped the car at great personal expense.

When the first thing went wrong with the car, they took it to the dealer and were told they didn’t have an authorized repair person on the Big Island so the car would have to be transported by barge to Oahu were they could have an authorized repair person fix it. It was something minor, so they didn’t see the sense of sending it all the way over there so called Detroit and spoke to customer service. After many, many hours on the phone negotiating with them, they finally agreed to let it be fixed locally. The couple had to pay for it and then send in the bill to Detroit and then they were reimbursed. They said that it was a “One-time goodwill gesture.” The overall cost was a couple hundred dollars after many hours of their staff time and the couples’ time spent haggling over it. Blood pressure was raised.

Several months later when the car was around 2 years old and had only 31,000 miles on it, it stopped driving in a shopping center parking lot when it wouldn’t shift. The husband had it towed by his insurance company to a local repair shop who he knew could fix it. Again, a call was placed to the headquarters in Detroit. After much negotiation and the car company agreeing to pay for the car being transferred, it was sent by barge to Oahu to the dealer with the authorized repair person. The husband suggested they fly the mechanic over to do the work because that would be cheaper than the transport fees of approximately $1200.00 round-trip.

Once the car was in the car dealer in Oahu, the repair person determined that it was the clutch plate assembly and it MAY be covered under warranty. The husband again called Detroit and was told that it was not covered, that it was “Normal Wear and Tear.” The husband was incredulous and explained that he had driven a standard shift all his life and 31,000 miles was not enough on a two year old car to be “Normal Wear and Tear.” He asked to speak to a supervisor. He spoke to a man who said that he would get back to him. He didn’t so the husband called for three more days in a row and the man was always out. Meanwhile, the husband was also without a car so he and his wife had to share one. With a limited retirement income, they couldn’t afford to rent a car, and the car company wouldn’t give them a rental because the deal they had with a rental company was on the wrong island. The couple’s insurance company wouldn’t cover the rental either because the car hadn’t been in an accident.

At this writing the F__T Car Company has not called the man back, the work has not been done on the car, the couple has only one car, the dealer has it taking up space at their lot, and nobody is remembering the commercial of the happy drivers coming up the beach!

Ask these questions before you buy:
1) Who does the warranty work if I move the car someplace without authorized dealer repair?
2) How much money will you take off the purchase price of the vehicle if I can’t get the warranty work done?
3) Who do I refer interested prospective buyers to that take up so much of my time asking about the car every where I go because it is so cute? And, do I tell them that the $20,000.00 purchase price is only good for the first 31,000 miles?
4) Are they an “Aging-Friendly” business or do they take advantage of older adults by wearing them down with lack of communication and customer satisfaction?

Let the Senior Car Buyer Beware!

Thanks for reading! ;-)

Planning for Alzheimer’s

Do you want to know when you will get Alzheimer’s Disease and be able to plan for it? A new study from Georgetown University states that with only a simple blood test you may know if you will get the disease within three years. It is interesting to note that the test is on fats in the body. It begs the question that if there are less fats in the body, maybe less Alzheimer’s? Something to ponder.

Finding out early about contracting Alzheimer’s May have many ramifications benefitting families. Monetary and caregiving considerations may actually be planned for, easing the burden of sudden onset.

Some may not want to know, afraid of knowing, but it is only staving off the inevitable. Being ready can help by starting some medications earlier to put off the severity and consequences of memory loss. Planning for your own caregiving options will give you the say on how you will be treated and cared for. Your children will know and not have to guess about what your wishes were/are!

Perhaps looking at it like you have a three year option to stay as healthy as possible and tackle your bucket list will help some. Remember that knowledge is power and you can take control of how you will handle the disease.

Thanks for reading! ;-)

For Better, And For Aging Worse, Try Aloha

When one spouse starts having a decline in health due to aging, the other spouse usually has to pick up the slack. Not only do they do the caregiving, but also the other person’s share of household duties, billpaying, gardening, shopping, pharmacy runs, getting the mail, taking care of the pets, all the transportation responsibilities, and any other myriad of things that come up. Once married, we agree to a lifelong decision of caring for each other for better, and for worse. Unfortunately, the worse part usually comes at the end of our lives when we don’t have the strength and vitality of youth to energize us for the caring. Imagine if you were 70 or 80 years of age and suddenly had a new baby to care for. That is what caring for a partner feels like to the older adult. There is a drastic change in life that happens unexpectedly. It shouldn’t seem unexpected because we all age, but, we all think, it won’t happen to me.

There may be adult diapers and adult formulas to buy. There may be caregivers hired to be there when the spouse can’t be, or wants to go out for respite. A baby monitor may need to be purchased to listen if the person has to sleep downstairs becuase they can’t physically make it up to their bedroom. Their life has come full circle. 

Living with Aloha is what we, in Hawaii do and would like to see others practice its meaning of kindness, unity, and agreeable, with humility, and patience. Understanding and patience is needed for all in the family circle that provide care and companionship for the loved spouse and relative. Children should be instructed about how to be compassionate, without pity, to the older adults in their lives. Every life is worthwhile to the end. Until death do us part.

Thanks for reading! ;-)

New Year, Old “Friends”

The new year is here and it is a time for reflection. Many older adults take stock of their lives during this time and evaluate the quality of their lives. Some have had changes like the loss of a spouse whether it be by divorce, or death, and are having to change their way of living which can be excessively difficult during and after the Holidays. Many will find out who their real friends are once they are alone, and not part of a couple anymore. It is common, unfortunately, for many “couples” friends to fall by the wayside leaving the lonely remaining spouse to carve out a new way of life. That is when they learn who their true friends are. It is also a time when some supposed friends may try to take advantage of the persons’ sadness for personal gain. There are studies out that are evidence-based that show as we age some people will experience a loss of judgement capacities. The old saying of “There is safety in numbers” applies for older adults. When trying to make an important decision, run it by your friends and family first, and get a consensus from those that truly care about your welfare. Take a trusted friend or family member to appointments with you. Get advise from unpartial professionals. Sometimes paying for advice, or a companion to accompany you might be a good way to go. Get referrals from others. Help yourself, help yourself.

Kick those old “friends” out that don’t have your best interest in mind out of your life, and make way for new ones. there are others out there just like you who need friends too. Stay away from negativity as best as you can during the trying times in your life. Read the comics in the newspaper first, before you read the news. It just may help you through the hard news of the day. Make new friends by joining into new activities at church, the gym, take a class; anything that will help you stay positive.

For the “friends” that don’t know what to say or how to be around the newly alone person, just try to be kind. There, but for the Grace of God, goes you.

Thanks for reading! ;-)

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