Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Children Going Broke Taking Care of Their Parents

Walecia Konrad wrote an article in the New York Times entitled "Taking Care of Parents Also Means Taking Care of Finances" published on September 18, 2009. In this article, the author cited that an estimated 30% of adults are taking care of their elder parents in some capacity. It is often the case that in the process of taking care of the elders, adult children can forget the financial consequences. In doing so, they rake up on their own savings put their own children in the same predicament later on. The author suggests taken several critical steps including engaging in a honest discussion about the elders' financial situation, making sure the proper documents are in placed, and consider hiring a case manager who specialized in geriatric care.
Points well taken.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Planning Your Retirement

Yesterday, NPR ran an article about planning for one's retirement. The underlying message is that you have to plan early, prioritize, and start saving. It also outlines the need for women to save more than men. The article did not point out the part of the planning process to include continuing to work as long as you a capable. It also focus mostly on middle- and upper-income potential retirees. These issues as especially critical as the economy is slowing recovering with no certainties in sight.
For a full article click here.

We want to hear from you!

MinnESSI is interested to hear stories from seniors and/or their family members about their economic security or lack there of. Please send us your concise story of economic struggles you faced. We hope to feature your personal stories in upcoming news, presentations, and events.

We are also building a wider community of organizations advocating for improving the economic status of older people in Minnesota. So, if you have events or resource information on this topic, please share and we will try to spread the word.

Email us at eesi@mnwomen.org or call 651-228-0338. We are eager to hear your stories!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Astor Trial

The topics of elder abuse and financial exploitation of seniors are rarely a focus for the mainstream media. However, in the case of Broke Astor, a long time philanthropist, conjures up these very issues. The case is still going on with little answers provided regarding whether Mrs. Astor indeed signed the codicils to grant her son, Anthony Marshall, a bigger share of her estate. The court is assigned to determines whether Broke Astor was "lucid" or fully competence when she resigned her will to increased Mr. Marshall's share to a cumulative 60 millions. Mrs. Astor was reported to have been diagnosed with dementia.

Click here for the latest updates on this interesting case

Alzheimer's Disease On The Rise

Yesterday, the Atlanta Journal Constitution published an article outlining the increased in Alzheimer's disease, especially in low and middle-income countries. Alzheimer’s disease is coined after a German Physican, Alois Alzheimer, who first studied the condition in 1906. It is a degenerative brain disease that destroys brain cells leading to memory loss and potential alterations of one's personality and behaviors. It is one of the most common form of dementia that affected mostly adults 65 years old and up. It is estimated that 5.3 million Americans are living with the illness. The article investigates not only the financial cost of the illness, but also it effects on family members and caregivers.

Click here for the full story

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting There

Mary, Bonnie, and Belle presented at the Metropolitan Area Agency of Aging's board regarding the MinnEESI project today. Prior to the presentation, we had the opportunity to briefly watch a video clip shown at the meeting regarding elders' civic engagement. The video is part of the Twin Cities Public Television channel series "Getting There." Getting There comprises various open and honest dialogues on issues regarding elders. The more impressive aspect of these dialogs are the panel-approach in much multiple experts and laypersons are all involved in the discussions.
While civic engagement is important across the lifespan, it is especially critical in the older population. In this particular segment, the panel discussed each person's definition of civic engagement as well as the multitude of benefits of civic engagement. Please click here for the direct link of this episode.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Caring For Elders

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn) recently co-introduce a bill -American Giving Care to Elders Act- that would give tax credit of up to $1,200 a year to broaden services for elders including the "caregiver coaching" that many elders needed. While not a huge leap, it is a more positive step caring for aging family members. It would also enable elders to staying in their home, even just a few months longer...
Click here for the full article

Thursday, September 10, 2009

If You Build It (They) Will Come

I ran across an article from South Florida Business Journal from awhile back but it's still note worthy. The article explores the concept of "aging-in-place" in which businesses are increasing building or fixing houses so that elders are able to reside in their home more comfortably and safely. It brings up the idea that many so called "baby boomers" do not want to live in institutions and would rather live in their own home if given choice. Thus, houses made for these elders must be modified. Changes to the house would consist simple modifications such as larger faucets, wider doors, and easier to navigate household fixtures. Other architectural changes include replacing bathtub with showers, wood floors, built in elevators, and so on. The overall message is to create more mobility homes that are also aesthetically pleasing. In all, the article does a decent job (despite lacking depth) of outlining the need for more "elder friendly" homes and brought to light the idea that our current housing system is unfavorable for our aging population.
For the full article click here.

Belle Khuu

Hello From Belle

My name is Belle Khuu, and I am starting my first year at University of Minnesota School of Social Work. I'm really excited to be a part of the Minnesota Women's Consortium for my internship because it has been both an academic and personal interest of mine to get involved with women's issues. Growing up in a predominantly patriarchal society, I have always been discontented about the treatment of women. It wasn't until my freshman year in college through sociology classes that I began to learn about the unequal treatment of women on a systematic level in society. From those moments on, it has always been a mission of mine to work toward advancing women's rights.

I completed my undergraduate studies in 2007 at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a Bachelor of Science in sociology and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and philosophy. In conjunction with the internship, I also work as a research coordinator for the University of Minnesota Schizophrenia Program. My role with the program includes coordinating between clinical services and patient care as well as serving as the therapist for the metabolic studies and the being the neurocognitive assessor for the cognition trials.

I am looking forward to making a difference for women and elders. Feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or ideas that you might have.
I can be contacted at eesi@mnwomen.org / 651-228-0338.