July 20, 2011Kathy
I think a lot of us babyboomers have been worried about whether or not there would be any Social Security left for us when we hit retirement age. Well, in the July/August issue of AARP, Liz Weston dispels a lot of those fears.
According to Ms. Weston, although Social Security’s finances need “some work”, the remedies are not drastic and several proposals have been forwarded. If these proposals are combined and put into place, the program will be back on financially, firm ground.
Many of us have felt that Social Security’s assets are not worth anything but according to Weston, we haven’t done our homework. Apparently, if we look a little closer we will find that any surplus payroll taxes are used to purchase special-issue, interest paying Treasury bonds and are totally guaranteed and backed by the federal government, just as they are for other Treasury bondholders. The Treasury is scheduled to pay back these bonds shortly.
Ms. Weston states in her article that even if there were no changes made to Social Security it could continue to pay full benefits through 2037.
If Weston is correct, and she has been writing about Social Security for at least twenty years, we are in better shape than I thought. Of course, I hope proposals are put into action to ensure a more financially secure retirement for future generations. But, it is good to hear something other than the typical doomsday scenarios presented to us on a daily basis.
Anytime I come across any updates regarding our Social Security benefits, I’ll let you know. But, maybe, just maybe, we are a little better off than we thought.
Tags: AARP • babyboomers • Healthcare • Social Security
June 30, 2011Kathy
Among those who do develop Alzheimer’s, there are those who accept their situation and there are those who don’t. I’m referring to those who refuse to accept even the idea that they might have Alzheimer’s. You have no idea how a parent may react. Their reaction to your concerns might be extremely hurtful and not what you would expect. I believe everyone should speak to their family or caretakers to talk about the possibility and how to best handle the situation if it were to arise. If you and your elderly caretakers do not put into place some kind of plan, your ability to help them becomes extremely difficult.
Their doctor’s first impulse is to protect their patients. If the signs are subtle or sporadic, and therefore the doctor doesn’t detect any problems, you may not be helped by the doctor. If you have no power of attorney, there may be nothing you can do until the signs become apparent to anyone. Even if you do have a Power of Attorney, you would have to prove in court that your family member is incompetent. Unfortunately, a loved one could hurt themselves or others by the time their condition is recognized.
If you call the Alzheimer’s Association they will be very good listeners and refer you to a local chapter. The chapter will have access to an “Elder Care” association that will go to a home to check on an individual who is suspected of having Alzheimer’s or being unable to care for themselves. However, unless the loved one is exhibiting obvious signs of dementia, they will leave and close the case.
A living will that might designate you as a caretaker in the event of Alzheimer’s is useless unless you are able to prove they are incompetent.
The problem surrounding a loved one with what appears to be the beginning Stages of Alzheimer’s is if they are in denial and do get angry, they could cut off communication with you and there would be nothing you could do about it.
Everyone who develops Alzheimer’s progresses differently. If your loved one is independent and high functioning the likelihood of them accepting their plight is unlikely, The importance of this is they could have an “episode” wherein they pay for items two or three times or maybe not at all. They may not know where they are or what they are doing, including driving. They could end up hurting themselves or someone else. You cannot take their keys away without a diagnosis. You can’t force them to go to a doctor to get the diagnosis and you can’t help them manage their finances unless they let you. No one will help you help them unless the disease has worsened to the point anyone would be able to identify it as Alzheimer’s.
The other sad part of this difficult road is most medications used for the disease work best if they are taken in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. If the medicine isn’t administered at that point, its positive effects are diminished, the disease progresses more quickly and their time is shortened.
The medical industry and our government must design a plan to help those who show the beginnings signs but refuse to admit it. There has to be a plan put into place for family members to be able to help them without having to encounter one roadblock after another.
Tags: Alzheimer's • babyboomers • Healthcare
June 19, 2011Kathy
Aarp just finished scouting out some good APPs for us babyboomers and I love this one. It’s called “HeyTell”, and let me tell you,it’s great. It’s a free app you can download from your iphone or droid. Once installed, you make sure your name and number is in your phone directory and then just follow the instructions for adding whomever you want to your list. If you need to speak to them, you don’t have to dial them or text them. All you do is go to your HeyTell and push the name of whom you need to speak to or just leave a message, and then just push the talk button and start speaking. So, if you suffer from arthritis, like I do, it makes speaking on a cell so much easier.
If there is an emergency, just push the button to talk on your HeyTell and you can use it like a walkie talkie. And if you need them to show their location or you want them to know your location, you can add the feature for those you want to. So, don’t worry. The only way anyone knows where you are is if you allow it. There are different privacy levels on the app to allow different people different levels.
I love the way mobile telephones are incorporating all kinds of apps that work so well for us babyboomers. It’s getting easier and easier. Have fun!
Tags: babyboomer healthcare • babyboomers • cellphone app
June 15, 2011Kathy
Well, if you have an iphone, then I have the most perfect app for you. I feel like I just hired my own secretary and it cost me only $.99. It’s called Ultimate Todos (http://bit.ly/lhjhTX). It has completely organized me and that’s not always easy. But, setting up Todo was so easy!
I listed my “to do list” in order of importance. Todo lets me know which tasks I’m late on, or which tasks have to be done today, (such as making it to my doctor’s appointment on time, for once). The app also lets me know when I have to pay certain bills or who I have to call,( for instance, calling my doctor to set-up an appointment) or what and when I need to write.
I choose everything from the icon I want to use for each task and if I want to add voice notes to my “to do” tasks. Then, I can choose to have my completed tasks automatically eliminated from the list. I am still customizing the options offered but, for those of us who don’t remember things like we used to, this is a fantastic aid.
You know, I am learning things every day. I can remember when cell phones were considered great because we could call from almost anywhere. But now, they’re itty bitty computers and their assistance to us baby boomers is almost limitless.Tags: apps for babyboomers • babyboomer • babyboomer healthcare • babyboomers • iphone apps