‘Elder orphans’ have a harder time aging in place

Why we need more services for those without family

By Carol Marak for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

Thriving in a place that’s safe and comfortable, surrounded by cozy memories, is a natural desire of older adults. We treasure independence and want a space to call our own, and we prefer that place to reflect the person we’ve become. We understand that aging bids compromise, and once 65 hits, the changes bring reminders that we’re no longer the same. We don’t move as quickly, we don’t multitask as well, nor do we easily adapt. Those are the simple cues. As we age, the physical and mental challenges delivered through loss, immobility and dependence are the ones that put us at higher risks.

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Uncommon technique yields outstanding results

quilling Quilling, or the art of paper filigree, is making a resurgence in popularity, thanks to the affordability of material and soothing nature of producing the art work. Thin strips of colorful paper are curled, rolled and/or crimped tocreate intricate designs. Although it’s making a comeback on the folk art scene, it’s still not a common technique, and many are astounded by the results.

Clay Center Presbyterian Manor resident Norma Graham recently received an award for her quilling piece, and she was surprised by the accolades. An image of her artwork will appear in the 2017 Art is Ageless®Calendar, which includes the best of the best entries from the Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America network.

“I was very surprised and excited. It was all my children’s idea to have me enter my work,” said Norma. “I don’t even honestly remember learning to do this type of art. It’s been so long ago since I started. It’s a peaceful pastime.”

Although Norma isn’t able to continue pursuing her paper-art passion, she enjoys other activities like playing pitch and pinochle. She also enjoys watching “Dr. Phil,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and KU basketball. She and her late husband, Bill, were married for 55 years and made many friends in the community when they owned Miltonvale Lumber Co. Norma was a homemaker, and they had four children: Deb (deceased),Bruce, Steve and Tyler.

How to save money when you travel in retirement

The ‘Vagabonding Through Retirement’ authors offer practical ideas

By Bill and Ina Garrison Mahoney for Next Avenue

Credit: Thinkstock

Credit: Thinkstock

(Bill and Ina Garrison Mahoney are a globetrotting couple who recently wrote Vagabonding through Retirement: Unusual Travels Far From Our Paris Houseboat.)

To save on expenses when you travel in retirement, it helps to first ask yourself a few questions: What are your travel goals? Do you want to be a passive observer or an active participant? Are you on a quest for information about the country and its people or is your interest in visiting museums and seeing tourist attractions?

Once you’ve determined your reasons for traveling, you can then decide on a destination and begin employing some of our suggestions below for ways to save.

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An invitation to dump your obligations

If you’re feeling overbooked, this simple anti-time management tool can set you free

By Achim Nowak for Next Avenue


Credit: Getty Images

It seems like the impossible dream: To carve out unobligated time.

We often complain that we don’t have enough time to do all the things we wish to do. For many of us, it’s a true statement. We truly don’t have enough time. We ardently desire a “time out” from our obligations.

Some call this time out “me time.” A faintly derogatory term. It smacks of self-indulgence and narcissism. I feel queasy when I hear these descriptors because I don’t wish to be thought of having either of those traits.

The moment we claim a slice of “me time,” we instantly obligate this time. We get the spa treatment we have postponed for months. The facial that is overdue. We finally play squash with our buddy Raul. Go to see the French movie with our friend Lori that she has raved about. All cool things, I know. Still obligated time.

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Why smart people fall for investment scams

The authors of ‘Financial Serial Killers’ explain how not to get duped

By Tom Ajamie and Bruce Kelly for Next Avenue


(This article is adapted from the book, Financial Serial Killers: Inside the World of Wall Street Money Hustlers, Swindlers, and Con Men by Tom Ajamie and Bruce Kelly.)

There are many reasons why we fall for investment scams. As we understand and realize these factors, we are less likely to fall prey to investment scamsters — who we call “financial serial killers.”

Robert Cialdini, formerly Regents’ Professor of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University, says the root cause of people falling victim to a financial fraud is their uncertainty about the details of the financial environment. When people feel uncertain about financial decisions, he notes, they look outside themselves, and this sets them up for the fraud.

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Did you know arts can lower your blood pressure?

The arts offer real health benefits as people age

By Heidi Raschke for Next Avenue


I don’t know whether New York Times columnist Jane Brody is a soprano, a mezzo or an alto. But I do know that I’m glad to add her voice to the chorus of those noticing the connection between arts and vitality.

In her March 7, 2016 column for the Times’ Well section, Using the Arts to Promote Healthy Aging, the respected health writer mentioned several studies and programs familiar to those who’ve been following Next Avenue’s Artful Aging special report to demonstrate how “the arts in their myriad forms are enhancing the lives and health of older people.”

Among her examples of the health benefits of the arts, Brody touted the work of the Music and Memory project, which promotes the power of music to bring someone with  dementia back to life.

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Why working longer is good for your health

Here’s how recent studies upend conventional wisdom

By Chris Farrell for Next Avenue

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Retirement didn’t sit with Lee Humphrey when she tried it about a decade ago, at 62. About a year after leaving her St. Paul, Minn. job at the Department of Employment and Economic Development, she unretired and began creating indexes for books after taking an online course on this. She wanted to work longer. “As pleasant as that first year of retirement was — reading, gardening, walking, some volunteering but generally relaxing — I came to realize that, for me, it was very important to add something in my life that was more mentally taxing,” says Humphrey. “I found myself feeling a bit sluggish, mostly mentally sluggish, and that was way out of keeping with my entire life.”

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The surprising secrets of successful retirees

What ‘The Retiree Next Door’ author learned by surveying them

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue


If you’re in your 40s, 50s or early 60s, odds are you’d like to know what it takes to have a happy and successful retirement. To find out, a few authors — such as Wes Moss (You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think) and Bob Lowry (Living a Satisfying Retirement) — have surveyed retirees.

And now Marc Diana, the Los-Angeles-based CEO of the new personal-finance site MoneyTips.com site, has surveyed 510 retirees to learn the magic elixir. He published the findings in the free e-book, The Retiree Next Door: Successful Seniors’ Surprising Secrets (you can download it at the MoneyTips site).

I spoke with Diana, a serial entrepreneur who also founded Savings.com, to find out what those surprising secrets were and what pre-retirees should do now if they want to join the club. I confess that the results did, indeed, surprise me.

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Where Clinton and Trump stand on caregiving and long-term care

What the candidates have said, or not said, on these vital topics

By Emily Gurnon for Next Avenue


Credit: Instagram Caption: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

(This is the fourth in a series of Next Avenue’s Election 2016 blog posts on where presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump stand on key issues of interest to Americans over 50. The first article was about where they stand on Social Security. The second article was about health care and Medicare. The third article explored their views and policies on retirement security.)

Considering that Americans 65 and older are the demographic group most likely to vote, it is astounding how little the major parties’ presidential candidates have talked about two issues that loom so large in older adults’ lives: caregiving and long-term care.

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Helpful apps for seniors

8 tech solutions to maintain independence and give caregivers peace of mind

By Jeff Salter for Next Avenue


Every day for the last 24 years, I’ve worked with the elderly and, by extension, with their families. As the founder of Caring Senior Service, a non-medical in-home care provider, my goal is to ensure that people can age with dignity in their own homes and to reassure families that their loved ones are safe and secure. Increasingly, technology helps on both fronts.

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