Forms 101: Mary Winners on Important Documents

Gerontologist Mary Winners outlines how to prepare critical documents that provide guidelines for the care of an aging family member. Winners uses the acronym GIFT as a simple way to trach the process. “G” is for gathering information. The “I” is for involving everyone – professionals, family members and so on. The “F” is for follow through on everything, especially all document requirements. Lastly, “T” is a reminder that family members need to tell everyone where all the documents are kept, as well as any other pertinent information.
To watch Forms 101: Mary Winners on Important Documents, click here.

5 Ways to Cut Elder Costs

The so-called sandwich generation– those caring for their children and their aging parents — are being squeezed more than ever these days.
The retirement savings their parents were depending on are being decimated, while health care and other costs associated with caring for them skyrocket. Add to that steep college tuition bills and the strain on the family budget is, well…overwhelming. According to a 2005 Pew Research Center report, 13% of baby boomers (about 9.75 million) are in such a situation.

How to Identify Senior Needs – Knowing When It’s Time for Additional Help

It’s the holiday season again and you haven’t seen your parents face-to-face since this time last year– has it been that long already? You are looking forward to a visit with your whole family: your mom, dad, siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins and everyone else in between. Although you’ve kept in touch over the phone, you worry about your parents since it’s hard to tell if everything is going smoothly for them.

Knowing About Social Security Benefits

In 2014, Social Security is expected to pay $863 billion in benefits to more than 59 million Americans. The government agency plays a vital role in the livelihood of so many individuals, but the complexity of the rules governing the program’s benefits remains a major source of confusion. For many, Social Security is synonymous with retirement benefits. It is not unusual for a person to be unaware of other categories of benefits such as disability, dependent’s, and survivor’s benefits. Knowledge about Social Security benefits can be empowering during inevitable periods of life transition.

Why You Should Have an Advance Health Care Directive

Many parts of life planning require a discussion of uncomfortable topics. Drafting your advance health care directive is no exception. No one likes to talk about “end of life” preferences. However, having an advance health care directive can ensure that your preferences are carried out when you are unable to make your own health care decisions. An Advance Health Care Directive is a legal document outlining your health care choices.

Is a Living Trust Right For Me?

It’s difficult to think about what will happen upon your death. However, careful life planning can make things much easier for your survivors and ensure that your wishes are carried out. While creating a will has often been recommended as an estate planning tool, creating a living trust is often a reasonable option as well. Consider some advantages and disadvantages to creating a living trust.

Elder Preparedness Should Include Money Management Services

In many cases, when senior citizens need help in managing their money, adult children or other relative step in, but oftentimes, the children live too far away or just don’t have the time due to their own busy schedules. Whether it’s just balancing a checkbook or a monthly reminder of bills that are due, the process of elder preparedness should include money management services.

Elder Preparedness Requires Good Recordkeeping

Care for the elderly can be quite stressful and at times completely overwhelming. A caregiver or potential caregiver can avoid a considerable amount of elder care stress by taking a proactive approach in organizing and planning for the unplanned events in life. It is very important to get all paperwork and legal papers in order while the aging person in your life is still well, if at all possible.