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What We're Following Today August 13, 2019

The Nightmare Side of Income Caregiving

While I try to find more resources that are generally positive or informative about “trends”, this story hit close to home and I thought it worth sharing when considering how some of our loved ones who we can’t personally be around for are also vulnerable for people who may have malicious intent.

This story is a reminder of the need to make sure that we actively stay on top of finances and healthcare when we represent the Power of Attorney for our loved ones. In Florida, this gentleman’s caregiver is suspected of stealing and draining his bank account. The family noted that the suspected larceny may have contributed to the stress for their grandfather and therefore could have been a contributing factor in his death.

What’s worse, is that this is possibly not the first time. While caregiver agencies do their best to vet the backgrounds of the people who they hire, it’s not a perfect system and temptation can corrupt even previously good people. If you are bringing in a caregiver, it might be worth making sure you have oversight of day to day finances, even when a loved one has their full mental capacity. There are bad people out there and the more we can protect ourselves the better.

A Wonderful Interview About Ways to Age in Place

Colin Healey and Phyllis Hyman sat down together recently in her video program. Colin is an architect specializing in Aging in Place design and discussed some of the things that people can do to prepare for aging in their homes AND how many of the products and options out there are designed with functional AND aesthetic purpose nowadays.

What’s great about listening to people who specialize in functions like this is that you can hear the wisdom that exposure and frequency of challenges bring to the table. One thing that really stood out was a comment about designing around the house aesthetic so that alterations to the home won’t bring the house value down or impact value long term. In some cases we need to make changes in a response to an emergency - this can lead to quick construction that can diminish curb appeal, etc. When someone who works in the space all the time looks at the challenges, they can envision creative solutions that your average contractor may not be able to conceive. It’s not a knock on contractors, because they do amazing work, but sometimes if you tell one that you will need a ramp to the front steps, they are likely to build you a ramp, but someone who has seen the need in multiple scenarios may look at the home and wonder if the ramp could be done in the garage (hidden), or if the front yard could be graded upwards to lead to the home rather than building a ramp structure.

Also, should you want to meet Phyllis or Colin in person, they will be at the Generation Bridge Caregiver and Aging Conference on September 28 at Southern Connecticut State University. Register FREE today here: LINK TO CONFERENCE

A Nice Story About an FBI Agent and the Infant He Saved At the Start of His Career

Here’s a good story about a young man (Troy Sowers) just starting out with the FBI who helped recover a kidnapped baby and reunite him with his family. Fast forward 22 years and the baby boy is now a Marine who appeared at Special Agent Sower’s retirement party. He wanted to thank the agent for giving him a wonderful life with his family and to let him know that he appreciated his help and was living a good life.

It’s a sweet story, and perhaps in an environment where we focus on the “worst” in our government, we can remember that there are countless people who work HARD to improve the lives of the people in this country. It's also a good illustration to help us remember that the person we helped yesterday becomes a very different person in the future - we are not who we were and we are not who we will be, but we're better together in service and hope.

Five Strategies to Shift Your Negative Ideas on Ageism

This piece is a good framework for helping people to look at their own behaviors and identify ways to help combat ageism in our society and families. There are some meaningful ideas here that can be incorporated in your behavior today.

1. Challenge our ageist self-talk

2. Commit to education about aging

3. Foster positive interaction between older and younger people

4. Support anti-discriminatory legislation

5. Demand new images of aging

It’s a nice little article if you can find the time.

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