Designer creates dress shirts infused with magnets for those with limited mobility and dexterity

February 14, 2019  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness

When your career is coaching college football and you spend two hours outside of practice exercising every day, one of the last concerns on your mind is being diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The unthinkable happened to Don Horton, however, when he was told he had Parkinson’s disease. Don’s diagnosis not only led to changes with his body, career and life, it inspired his wife Maura to return to the workforce as an entrepreneur and the inventor of MagnaReady —  the first fashionable dress shirt infused with a magnetic closure system designed specifically for people with limited mobility and dexterity.

 

The idea for MagnaReady came after Don returned home from an away game with the North Carolina State University football team. He shared a story with his wife that night about how after the game he was in the locker room getting ready for the flight home and discovered that he was unable to button his dress shirt because of the side effects of Parkinson’s disease. One of his players at the time, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, came to Don’s aid, helping him to button his shirt. The humbling experience was one Maura never wanted her husband to have to go through again.

 

“The moment I heard my husband’s story, I knew I had to take action and give him back the ability to perform the simple task of dressing independently, a task most of us take for granted every day,” said Maura, CEO of MagnaReady. “I used my background in fashion to come up with the basic design for a magnetically infused shirt, and after some trial and error, I had a finished product that seamlessly combined quality with functionality.”

 

She knew there were millions of other people with Parkinson’s and other mobility-limiting conditions who could benefit from her invention. Maura added the role of entrepreneur to her already busy schedule and launched the MagnaReady business.

 

For more information visit: www.magnaready.com.

 

Beware: More than One-Quarter of Vermont Adults Confirm First-Hand Accounts of Relationship Scams

February 14, 2019  
Filed under Aging Parents, Mature Matters, News

 

BURLINGTON, VT – As millions of Americans meet others on matchmaking websites, dating apps and social media, 27 percent of Vermont residents polled in a new AARP survey reported that they, a family member or a friend have encountered attempted financial scams while seeking friendship or love interest online.

To help empower people to take steps to protect themselves and their family members, the AARP Fraud Watch Network has launched an educational campaign to raise awareness of online-based relationship fraud schemes.

The idea of going online to broaden one’s social networks continues to gain in popularity.  More than half (53 percent) of Vermont adults have used the internet to find new friends, dates and/or romantic partners, according to the AARP survey.  But scammers also use the dating sites, apps and social media.  The AARP survey found that 10 percent of state residents have either been victimized by an online relationship scam or know someone who was.  More troubling, 59 percent of the victims reported suffering a negative effect on their physical and/or emotional health.

“Many of us, along with our family members, have successfully made new friends or even established deeper relationships online,” said Greg Marchildon, AARP Vermont state director.  “But as with every other aspect of life these days, you must be aware that the criminal element lurks there also.  Our message is: protect your heart – and your money.”

The AARP educational campaign includes advertising, webinars, podcasts, a fun video and a tip sheet.  Each of the campaign’s content elements urge consumers to recognize the warning signs that their online suitor may

actually be a fraudster:

  • They profess love too quickly.
  • The person immediately wants to leave the dating website and communicate with you through email or instant messaging.
  • Your new romantic interest sends you a picture that looks more like a model from a fashion magazine than an ordinary snapshot.
  • He or she repeatedly promises to meet you in person but always seems to come up with an excuse to cancel.
  • They make a request for money, for any of a variety of reasons: travel, medical emergencies, visas or other official documents, or losses from a financial setback. Ten percent of respondents in AARP/Vermont’s survey said a friend or romantic partner whom they have only met online has asked them to help them financially in some way.

Response to daily stressors could affect brain health in older adults

November 20, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness

Taking typical daily annoyances such as a long wait at the doctor’s office or a traffic jam on the freeway in stride may help preserve brain health in older adults, while emotional reactions could contribute to declines in cognition, a new study from Oregon State University has found.

“These results confirm that people’s daily emotions and how they respond to their stressors play an important role in cognitive health,” saidRobert Stawski, an associate professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences and the study’s lead author. “It’s not the stressor itself that contributes to mental declines but how a person responds that affects the brain.” Read more

Spotting Fraudsters: Don’t Become a Victim

November 5, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, News

By: Dr. Stacey Wood, Ph.D.

 

Fraud takes many different forms these days, with identity theft being foremost among them. Just about anyone can become a victim. Some groups are at greater risk than others of falling victim to identity theft. The groups most at risk for identity theft are children and adults with caregivers, users of social media, business owners, high-level employees, college students, and young adults. Learning how to protect yourself is essential for avoiding fraud.

Read more

5 Ways to Stop Spam Calls 

November 2, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, News

By Sid Kirchheimer, courtesy AARP Bulletin, October 2018

Unwanted phone calls and text messages continue to surge, no matter what efforts lawmakers and regulators take to curb them. In the first four months of this year, call-blocking service YouMail reports, more than 12 billion robocalls were made to American homes. That’s about 4 million every hour, and a steady increase from last year. Live calls from telemarketers have also continued to increase. Read more

Is Staying in Their Home Really the Best Choice for Retirees?

October 4, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, News

When asked, many retirees express a strong preference for staying in their home as long as possible. After all, it is often where they raised their children and is located near their faith community and familiar shopping spots. In her new book, Your Home Sweet Home, financial planner Penelope Tzougros helps people dispassionately evaluate whether staying put or going makes the best economic sense.

Tzougros shares the stories, insights, fears and clever solutions her clients made when facing the same dilemma. She also presents analytical tools, worksheets and a Decision Guide to create a step-by-step process for sorting out fears, facts and finances.

“Ultimately,” she says, “this is not a real estate decision but a decision about what retirees need to have the best life possible.” She adds, “And the reality is that when a house’s maintenance costs are draining people’s savings, it is no longer an asset.”

Extensively interviewed on TV, radio and in print, Tzougros produced and directed the television show Money Makeover. She has worked with thousands of retirees and is known for her ability to explain complicated financial concepts with elegant simplicity. She can discuss:

  • How to figure out if your home is the cheapest place you can live.
  • Calculating the relative costs of different housing options – and why almost everyone makes critical miscalculations.
  • The biggest mistakes seniors make when considering whether to stay in their home or move.
  • Whether you stay or move, critical timing mistakes to avoid.
  • The true and hidden costs of moving vs. maintaining your house.
  • How to move beyond your inevitable fears and discover clever solutions that can serve your long-term interests.

About the Author

Penelope S. Tzougros, Ph.D., ChFC, CLU, is a Financial Consultant, author, speaker and founder of Wealthy Choices, a Registered Investment Advisor. Although she is based in Boston, she is registered in all 50 states and offers securities and advisory services through LPL Financial, Member FINRA/SIPC. In addition to Your Home Sweet Home, she is the author of Wealthy Choices: The Seven Competencies of Financial Success, and Long-term Care Insurance: How to Make Decisions That Are Right for You. Tzougros holds a master’s degree from Harvard, a doctorate from the University of Toronto, and has taught at Northeastern University and Hellenic College.

The trust older patients place in doctors can compromise their medical care: study

September 13, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, News

Placing trust in doctors to advocate for their health needs, older adults rarely ask for referrals to specialists, specific prescriptions, express concerns or follow-up after medical visits, according to a new study from Case Western Reserve University.

The findings highlight a disconnect between the expectations of older adults and the realities of a changing health-care system, where doctors have less time to spend with patients.

“These findings are concerning,” said Eva Kahana, Distinguished University Professor and Pierce T. and Elizabeth D. Robson Professor of the Humanities at Case Western Reserve. “Our data suggests older generations are clinging to how health care used to be, when doctors had more personal relationships and continuity with patients.”

“When patients incorrectly assume actions and advocacy by doctors, this leads to major problems,” Kahana said, “especially for older adults living with one of more chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and high blood-pressure.”

The study shows that older adults (defined as 65 and older) are less likely to advocate for their own health concerns the more they trust the role is being taken on by their doctors.

The findings are especially relevant for minorities and the sickest of patients, who have less access to health care and face particular challenges in finding responsive care, according to previous research.

Among of the study’s other findings:

  • Older adults who feel comfortable advocating for their own care feel more empowered;
  • Compared to white patients, African-American patients were less satisfied with their physicians;
  • Latino patients expressed greater satisfaction with their medical care than white and African-American patients;
  • The perceived emotional support of physicians was associated with patients’ satisfaction.

“Our findings strongly suggest that families of older patients should be ready to step in as advocates for their older relatives,” Kahana said. “And it’s helpful for doctors to be more aware of how older patients see them.”

Published in the journal Clinical Interventions in Aging, the study is based on data from a diverse pool of 806 older adults from a large retirement community in Clearwater, Florida, and others in Orlando, Miami and Cleveland, where Case Western Reserve is located.

Read more

Older Americans Who Neglect Oral Care Put Overall Health At Risk

June 19, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness

 

Conscientious parents constantly remind their children to brush and floss, and routinely schedule dental checkups to make sure their teeth and gums are healthy – and staying that way.

But youngsters aren’t the only ones who who can use such reminders. Older Americans need to put a priority on their oral health as well, and research shows that as a group they aren’t doing so.

In fact, the statistics are grim. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost every single American over age 65 (96 percent) has had a cavity, and 20 percent have untreated tooth decay. Another 65 percent suffer from gum disease, an ailment that has been linked to a host of other problems, such as strokes, heart disease and diabetes.

“Anyone who thinks they can ease up on dental care as they age is making a big mistake,” says Dr. Harold Katz, a dentist, bacteriologist and developer of TheraBreath Healthy Gums Oral Rinse (www.therabreath.com).

“Not only do poor dental habits affect what’s going on in your mouth, they also affect your overall health.”

Some of the CDC’s findings that Katz says are troubling include:

  • Tooth loss. Nearly one in five adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. Complete tooth loss is twice as prevalent among adults aged 75 and older (26 percent) compared with adults aged 65 to 74 (13 percent).  The CDC points out that having missing teeth, or wearing dentures, can have a detrimental effect on nutrition. “It’s not surprising that people who have lost teeth, or wear denture, often are going to choose soft food they chew easily,” Katz says. “They will pass up fresh fruits and vegetables that are more nutritious, but are more difficult for them to eat.”
  • Oral cancer. Cancers of the mouth (oral and pharyngeal cancers) are primarily diagnosed in older adults; median age at diagnosis is 62 years. “That’s another reason it’s important for older people to have regular checkups,” Katz says. “Your dentist can check for signs of oral cancer during those visits.”
  • Dry mouth caused by medications. Most older Americans take both prescription and over-the-counter drugs, many of which can cause dry mouth. Reduced saliva flow increases the risk of cavities. Saliva helps prevent tooth decay, gum disease and bad breath, and also lubricates the mouth, making it easier to eat, swallow, speak and taste food. “Sometimes dry mouth might just cause mild discomfort,” Katz says. “At other times it can lead to significant oral disease that can compromise the person’s health, dietary intake and quality of life.”

“As  you age, proper oral care is just as important as ever,” Katz says. “It’s not something you want to ignore because your overall health is at stake.”

 

4 Common Retirement  Planning Mistakes

June 14, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, Health & Wellness, Money

And How to Avoid Them

Constructing a smart retirement income plan isn’t easy. Throughout the working years there are many factors to consider, such as salary, expenses – monthly and unforeseen – debt and college for the kids, just to name a few. Read more

Where to Retire

June 14, 2018  
Filed under Aging Parents, Feature Stories

And Things to Consider When Deciding

By Melissa Erickson

In addition to being a huge financial decision, retirement is not only a question of when, but where. Careful consideration and weighing all the factors are imperative to avoid a costly mistake. Read more

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