Archive for Health and Fitness

Are you hero for seniors, or do you know one?

Dr. Mikol Davis & Carolyn Rosenblatt

By Dr. Mikol Davis & Carolyn Rosenblatt, RN, Attorney

Here at AgingInvestor.com, we are sponsoring a contest through May to feature the best of the best folks in financial services who stopped or prevented elder abuse.

We want to highlight professionals who stepped up and took action.

We’re calling all financial planners, wealth managers, RIAs, CFPs, trust officers, lawyers and others who have protected elderly clients after they became aware of abuse or predatory practices.

Without a fiduciary standard, financial professionals selling inappropriate products create one kind of elder abuse. There are many ways people take financial advantage of aging people. And that doesn’t even address predators outside financial services who seek out elderly victims. They’re everywhere.

If you have put any financial abuse to a stop, please get credit! Let us know.

At AgingInvestor.com we are allies of the elderly, having spent years of our lives serving them.

Carolyn Rosenblatt blogs at Forbes.com (Aging Parents) and AgingInvestor.com to keep readers aware of both the scammers and now the heroes. We want to tell your stories. We hope to educate our community by highlighting the actions of courageous people who showed leadership and care for elders by going above and beyond to protect them.

Did you stop thieves and greedy players inside or outside the financial services field itself? We have a few great heroes already! We know you’re out there.

Please submit your own name and story or that of someone you respect for their abuse prevention efforts to hero@aginginvestor.com.

For those of you who have sent your stories already, you’re in the running and we thank you. If you need to remain anonymous for political or personal reasons, we will honor that and not use your real name, location or workplace. We’ll share your exemplary actions. And if what you did was leave a large organization so you wouldn’t be part of abusive practices there, we think that’s heroic too. Please tell us. We’ll put your name in the story only if you give us permission.

And we are going to feature you if you are willing. Send your photo and address too, if you like!

We’ll feature you and let our social media contacts know that you are a standout among the rest. We applaud you. We will choose the winners and each will receive a signed copy of Carolyn’s new book, The Family Guide to Aging Parents: Answers to Your Legal, Financial and Healthcare Questions.

Thanks for joining us.

Dr. Mikol Davis & Carolyn Rosenblatt

http://agingparents.leadpages.net/clrbook2/

Something different for Father’s Day

By Carolyn Rosenblatt

AgingParents.com, R.N., attorney, mediator

Hello again:

My son, who is in his 20′s, called recently and asked what ideas I had about what he could do for Dad on Father’s Day. He lives at a distance and can’t come home this time.

He’s a struggling entrepreneur starting an Internet marketing business and, like most folks starting a business, he’s cash strapped. I did’t want to suggest any material thing he has to buy with his already too-high credit card debt.

So, I said this:

“How about taking the time to think about all the ways Dad has been thoughtful, kind, supportive and encouraging in your life and write to him about them, and how you appreciate him. Review some of the countless times he went out of his way for you. Recall how he always put kids first and asked so little for himself.

“Remember all the times he showed up for the awards you got in school, for your soccer games, your play, your DJ performances. He was there for just about everything important you’ve done.

“Think about how he never complained about working hard and putting in those hours year after year as a psychologist, dealing with tough stuff like other people’s anxiety and depression.

“He always made the time to listen patiently to you, no matter what and no matter how long a day of listening he’d already had. How about thanking him for the countless times he’s done that and still does?

“Maybe you can just sit down and write to him about what a fabulous father he is, no matter what faults he may have. Tell him you love him and appreciate him from the bottom of your heart and that you would not be the man you are without all he has taught you.

“That letter would be a wonderful gift to give Dad. It would mean more to him than anything you could buy.”

My son said, “Mom, you always think of such sweet things. That’s a great idea.”

And so, on Father’s Day, I look forward to what our son will say to the man I married. I love my husband for all the reason the kids do, and more. I see what a great Dad he is and has been for 30 years. None of us are perfect parents, but we all try our best. He always tried with good intention to put a lot into fatherhood. He knows a few things some Dads don’t. One of them is that you need to show up for your kids a lot more than you need to get them a lot of material objects.

As for anyone reading this, think about how we don’t acknowledge our Dads or even one another enough. It doesn’t take too much time to write down that we appreciate someone. You can make it a brief note or a longer letter. Tuck it in a Father’s Day card or email it in time. There probably isn’t a Dad out there who wouldn’t like to hear that his kids noticed all he has done, whether quietly or not, and that he is valued for who he is.
And if your Dad is gone, as mine is, I just say all those good things to him in my heart and I imagine him hearing me and smiling.
Until next time …

Together with her husband, psychologist Dr. Mikol Davis, Carolyn Rosenblatt is a founder of AgingParents.com, a resource for families located in San Rafael. Together they provide expert advice and dispute resolution services to individuals, families and institutions. She is the author of “The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents,” a help for those who are taking on the caregiver role in their lives. She has a personal mission to protect elders, keep their caregivers in emotional control and to instill confidence in all of us as we face the challenges of aging.

AgingParents.com

 

Healthy aging for the holidays

By Carolyn Rosenblatt, R.N., attorney, mediator

As with grandma Alice and her granddaughter, holiday get-togethers are a must for many of us. It’s tradition, or it’s expected, or it seems like the right thing.

We can be stressed and we can also look forward to them a lot. They can be fun, even if it’s work to put it on or get there, traveling during a busy season.

We have a reason to see people we don’t get to see so often.

It’s a good time to reflect and appreciate every person who can join us at these parties and family get-togethers. We can find something in every one of them that is positive.

And the best reason to treasure them is you never know when it will be the last one with the people who join you this time around.

I was reminded of this at a birthday celebration I had this year. We gathered some friends and family, had a great little party and so much fun. We laughed and talked and enjoyed excellent food and wine. It was beautiful.

Our dear friend, Bruce, shared that evening with us. He was a founding partner at AgingParents.com and so talented and helpful. Shortly after this event, he died suddenly of a heart attack.

Gone in a moment. I was so grateful that we had the party and so glad he came and enjoyed his time with everyone. I didn’t think or know that it would be the last time I would ever see him. It never occurred to me that a person my age would be gone so suddenly.

Yes, we’re aging, and we’re boomers, but I didn’t think of him as “old.” He was my age.

I was glad that I had made Bruce feel welcome and that I told him I was happy to share the evening with him. Likewise, he said he was go glad he could be there. Looking back, I had a sense of peace in knowing that he truly enjoyed the celebration.

We never know who will be with us the next time around. As our aging parents get up there in years, we are more aware than ever that we need to treasure these events.

Alice, Mikol’s 91 year-old mom, often jokes that she doesn’t even buy green bananas anymore. She is saying she never knows, at her age, when her time will be up. She accepts that every day is a gift.

And we learn to follow her lead. Besides looking at what Alice calls “being on borrowed time” for our aging parents, we also need to consider risks like dementia, strokes, memory loss and other things that can dramatically change them as they age. Whether it is family or friends, we need to be grateful for our chance to be with them. And just be in the moment, not looking back at any past hurts or problems, only looking at right now.

So, it may be a way to acknowledge that every family gathering, especially with aging parents, is a gift if we imagine that there is only the one, only this moment.

We will never need to look back with regret if we are extra patient with an aging parent, extra tolerant of the difficult ones, extra kind to anyone struggling, and putting out our best efforts to thank everyone for being there with us.

We wish you a thoughtful season and peace. May your next time with those you love be bright.

Carolyn Rosenblatt is a Whittier native and an attorney and mediator now living in San Rafael, Calif. Contact her at 415-459-0413, visit AgingParents.com or e-mail her at clrosenblatt@gmail.com

Together with her husband, psychologist Dr. Mikol Davis, she is a founder of AgingParents.com, a resource for families located in San Rafael. Together they provide expert advice and dispute resolution services to individuals, families and institutions. She is the author of “The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents,” a help for those who are taking on the caregiver role in their lives. She has a personal mission to protect elders, keep their caregivers in emotional control and to instill confidence in all of us as we face the challenges of aging.

Until next time,
Carolyn Rosenblatt and Mikol Davis,
AgingParents.com

AgingParents.com, 930 Irwin Street, Suite 215, San Rafael, CA 94901, USA

 

Healthy aging

What happened when Bobbie, age 61, decided to ‘Un-Retire’

By Carolyn Rosenblatt, R.N., attorney, mediator

Hello again, Carolyn and Mikol here from AgingParents.com. Imagine this if you are thinking about retirement.

Lots of people around our age are retiring. We hear about it all the time. When our aging parents retired from work, it was usually by or before age 65 and they were absolutely done with working. But our generation of 50 and 60 somethings is different.

Boomers of many occupations and professions may decide to work after the usual retirement age. It may be out of necessity. It may be because we want something more than sitting around with too much time on our hands.

What is becoming clear in current research on our Boomer work lives is that we are not like our elderly parents. We don’t consider ourselves “senior” or “elder” or old. And we may not be satisfied with just leisure in our lives. A lot of Boomers are not going to just retire and that’s it. We want more, as usual.

As long as we remain energetic and well enough to do it, Boomers are starting businesses, staying in the workplace or deciding on what gerontologists call their “encore careers.”

As a generation, perhaps some of us feel more vital when we have the structure of work in our lives. Many Boomer-aged women, particularly, are also the primary caregivers for aging parents and they need flexibility to be able to meet those responsibilities.

A colleague, Bobbie, is a good example. She had a successful career in the nonprofit world. Then, she got downsized out at age 61. She thought, “OK, I’m ready to retire anyway.” She did. And after a few weeks of twiddling her thumbs, being bored and restless, she was done with retirement.

She started to look for a new job. That was a challenge because she knew she would face ageism. It reared its ugly head immediately. Bobbie is a fit, healthy and highly experienced person in her field. She’s also had a couple of other careers in her younger days. So there were choices of where to apply for work.

She sent resumes to websites and it felt weird. Looking for a job? She put the word out. She was ready to go back to what she had done in her 20′s. But then a lucky break happened and she got an interview in her favorite field of nonprofit management.

Bobbie, at age 61, negotiating for her employment package was a very different person from the way she was when she was younger. She landed the job and got a load of perks to make it well worth taking. The organization wanted the wealth of her experience and she successfully asserted herself with confidence into a meaningful position where she is appreciated.

Successful retirement takes planning and so does the choice not to retire as we age. If you want to keep working, even if it means a different job after leaving what you used to do, it can take considerable effort to find it. Bobbie got a job that will not be overly stressful and she has congenial people around her.

She will do some traveling for work, which she likes. She has fashioned a life for herself that allows for healthy aging. She has time to exercise, time to relax and time to pursue her social interests. Most importantly, she wants the structure in her life of a job, the sense of community and the purpose of the new position.

I’m a big fan of all things about healthy aging as Mikol and I are pursuing it ourselves. Our work at AgingParents.com focuses on advising Boomers with aging loved ones and also on how to age in a healthy way ourselves. Like most encore careers, this one is less stressful for me than the life of a litigator. And for Mikol, it’s less stressful than a full therapy schedule five days a week.

Having purpose in our lives is a feature of being emotionally healthy whether we are retired or not.

Likewise, we need structure, whether it comes from a job or from self-imposed structure we find in retirement through volunteerism or other pursuits we enjoy. The sense of community Bobbie craved after sitting around isolated at home too much is one she’ll find at work.

It can also be created by participating in any group or charitable organization that needs you. You can choose to seek paid work if you want or need it, or simply work on making your community a better place in a way that suits you.

Here’s to successful retirement if that feels right or to unretirement if you prefer that. My colleague Bobbie created a win-win: they’re lucky to have her vast experience and she was smart enough to search for a right fit job and negotiate a great position with confidence.

My fellow Boomers, whatever you choose, I wish you the same smarts.

Until next time …

Carolyn Rosenblatt is a Whittier native and an attorney and mediator now living in San Rafael, Calif. Contact her at 415-459-0413, visit AgingParents.com or e-mail her at clrosenblatt@gmail.com

Together with her husband, psychologist Dr. Mikol Davis, she is a founder of AgingParents.com, a resource for families located in San Rafael. Together they provide expert advice and dispute resolution services to individuals, families and institutions. She is the author of “The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents,” a help for those who are taking on the caregiver role in their lives. She has a personal mission to protect elders, keep their caregivers in emotional control and to instill confidence in all of us as we face the challenges of aging.

Healthy aging

Inspiration from a 79-year-old

By Carolyn Rosenblatt, R.N., attorney, mediator
If you’re like I am, you don’t just want to live longer, you want longevity and good health. So, how do we get there?
We all hear the advice about eating right and getting more exercise. OK, so what does that mean for you personally? What are you willing to do in your everyday life?
I grew up in Southern California, where water and the ocean are part of the lifestyle.
At this point, part of my exercise routine and age-control effort involves swimming, along with biking and running. I use the term “running” figuratively. I jog. Slowly.
Swimming is great at any age. It has one shortcoming, which is that it does not involving weight bearing, essential to fend off bone loss. So, the jogging stays, as does the biking.
But I have to describe for you the positive experience of swimming in the sea, something that terrifies many, but to me can be another dimension. Not everyone has the chance or inclination for this. But the point is that there are a lot of ways to take control of your aging and I saw someone who made it real for me. Here’s how it happened.
Recently, I participated in an all-womens’ triathlon. That is an endurance event with swimming, biking and running, in that order. I do the short kind of tri, called a “sprint”.
The super jocks can do the long distance, more grueling versions. Not for me. At 65, I am happy just to be there and get it done still standing. If I’m not in pain at the end, that is excellent! So, for the swim, I have to share the oddly hypnotic feeling of that day and a bit about an inspiring person I saw at this event.
Picture hundreds of women of all sizes and shapes massing at the water’s edge. We are on a beach in Capitola, Calif., on a sunny morning where the event is held annually.
Music is playing. The announcer is calling the various groups to the start. We are grouped by age. They write your age in grease pencil on your calf! However, as we are almost all clad in full-length wetsuits, no one can see how old you are at this moment.
Very few women have no wetsuit on. We wear color-coded caps.
I’m in the “40 and over” group, which means that some of these ladies are a full 25 years younger than I am. Oh, well, I’m not here for speed. I’m here to finish.
We each have a timing chip on our ankle, recording our time as we complete each leg of the event.
The swim distance is about the length of six football fields. Out to the end of the pier and then left parallel to shore, left again and then in. Gulp. It looks far.
“OK, you can do this,” I tell myself. “You’re trained and you’ve been here before.”
Right. Butterflies in my stomach would not agree.
The younger ones go first. Then the countdown. Go! We rush into the cool waves and dive through them into the open water. I am talking to myself: head down, breathe, long strokes, don’t kick too much. Get to the side of the pack. Are you nuts?  Keep swimming. Avoid the flailing ones.
“Just keep going,” I say to myself. As I find a rhythm, I notice the rocking of the water, the slight current and the feeling of being in another world. I look up every few strokes to see if I am veering off course. The water is cloudy and you can’t see anything in it.
It’s surreal. Round the end of the pier and the first marker buoy, a huge orange thing. Left turn. Breathe.
There is a ton of little anchovies around us. And kelp. Kelp strands are on my arms and I shake it off a few times. I am moving slowly but steadily toward the last marker buoy.
It’s hard to see in the glinting sun, so I follow the others’ swim caps. I get into a sort of hypnotic state, stroke, breathe, repeat. I forget to look up. I hear one of the paddle board “lifeguards” yelling. I’m veering way off course and he’s yelling at me!! Oops, get back with the pack.
Then another left turn and I see the shore. Finally, I’m on it, feet in sand, catching my breath.
We manage to go up to the transition area where we strip off our wetsuits, jump on our bikes and cycle about 12 miles. Somehow, two killer hills do not stop me and I make it back to transition. We quickly change into our running shoes and begin the final leg. It’s the hardest for me. I feel very slow and I’m tired but I keep on, breaking up the run with a minute walk now and again.
The last stretch is back down to the beach. I am in a sort of daze as I cross the finish line. I’m smiling. Nothing hurts! I have earned my exhaustion.
At the end all the times and rankings are posted. There is a 79-year-old woman who finished and did the swim without a wetsuit. She’s awesome! She is first in her age group. There is no one else in her age group, 79 and up.
She just did this triathlon and I’m incredulous. She looks like a regular person, not superwoman.
My age group isn’t much bigger. There are three of us. I place second. I congratulate the 65-year-old first-place finisher. She’s awesome too.
Our prize caps say “Mermaid Athlete.” I’m still blown away by the 79-year-old. Isn’t she supposed to be, well, elderly?
It’s fun but it’s hard. You would never have to do this much to make your older years healthier too. But you do have to do something.
If you like the idea of no stress on your joints and you can find a pool in your community, you can learn to swim. Everyone, likely the 79-year-old too, practices in a pool. And then, there’s the magic of the ocean if you are near it.
If you’re not a water person, find a place to walk, a gym to join or an exercise DVD you can follow at home. Anything at all is better than being a couch potato.
If you are determined you don’t want to fall apart as you age, it’s never too late to start your own exercise program. It really helps to get a trainer or a coach to encourage you along. I love my coaches.
As for me, I’m hooked on the good feeling that exercise brings. I am inspired by that 79-year-old woman triathlete. I want to be like her. Here’s hoping she inspires you, too.

Carolyn Rosenblatt is a Whittier native and an attorney and mediator now living in San Rafael, Calif. Contact her at 415-459-0413, visit AgingParents.com or e-mail her at clrosenblatt@gmail.com

Together with her husband, psychologist Dr. Mikol Davis, she is a founder of AgingParents.com, a resource for families located in San Rafael. Together they provide expert advice and dispute resolution services to individuals, families and institutions. She is the author of “The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents,” a help for those who are taking on the caregiver role in their lives. She has a personal mission to protect elders, keep their caregivers in emotional control and to instill confidence in all of us as we face the challenges of aging.