Do you have “helicopter kids”?

Do you have "helicopter kids"?Do you feel defensive when your kids visit? Notice them exchanging knowing glances when you don't recall a date or name? Perhaps you feel reluctant to approach them when you do have concerns, because they overreact. So you keep your distance. That isn't good, either. It's a fine line between feeling that your adult children...

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Disclosing a dementia or MCI diagnosis

Disclosing a dementia or MCI diagnosisIt might feel scary to tell others if you've been diagnosed with dementia or even just mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Start with those you think will be the most supportive. Perhaps close family and friends. Common reactions. People will vary in how they respond to the news. Some will be genuinely caring and ask how...

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Choosing a health care agent

Choosing a healthcare power of attorneyYour health care agent is an individual you trust to speak for you when you are unable to voice your own decisions: A car accident, surgery, coma, dementia. In such circumstances, doctors need someone who knows you well and has had conversations with you to guide them in terms of the medical procedures you would...

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What is a “life plan community” (aka “CCRC”)?

What is a "life plan community" (aka "CCRC")?Life plan communities—sometimes called "continuing care retirement communities" (CCRCs)—are private communities that offer residents a full range of care levels, depending on need. For those in independent living, amenities such as a golf course, gym, pool, and tennis and pickle ball courts are typically provided. Some communities even offer college-level classes, a salon, and grocery...

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Living apart together

Living apart togetherCan two households be better than one? In a trend called "living apart together" (LAT), a growing number of older adults are experimenting with committed relationships that also allow for autonomy. These are people who prefer intimacy and companionship in their lives. At the same time, marriage—or even living together—brings more entanglements than they want...

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Medicare: Wellness and prevention

Medicare: Wellness and preventionIf you are used to having an "annual physical" and ask for that, original Medicare won't pay for it. That is, original Medicare won't pay doctors to do a general physical exam "to see what turns up"; you'll pay out of pocket. (Medicare Advantage might have this as an "extra." Check with your plan.) Medicare...

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Making friends in later life

Making friends in later lifeWe tend to think friendships should grow organically. They don't. Particularly in our later years, when we often lose friends—to death, illness, or moving away—we need to be much more intentional about making new ones. This is especially so for "solo agers," those without children and grandchildren. The younger generations in the family typically make...

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What is IRMAA?

When Medicare first began in 1965, the idea was that it was for everyone over age 65, not just those who were poor. There would be no stigma. Things are different now. We live longer. Medical costs are rising. In 2003, Congress decided that those with higher incomes should chip in extra to share the...

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Crime proofing your home

Crime proofing your homeSeniors experience property crime thirteen times more often than violent crime. Burglary is the most common. (Interestingly, it typically occurs between noon and 4:00 pm!) The average loss is roughly $3,000, although that does not account for the emotional impact: A profound sense of violation and vulnerability. October is Crime Prevention Month. There are things...

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Sharing your home

Sharing your homeThere are many advantages to having a housemate: Defraying expenses. Sharing household chores. Help with transportation. Companionship. Increased safety. Peace of mind. In a survey of older adults who shared their homes, 50% said that since gaining a housemate, they are happier, sleep better, are getting out more, and they call upon their families less...

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