• Dealing with disasters

    Tips for dealing with the immediate shock and facing the challenges.

    Disasters affect us for months, and live in our memories for years. For those who lost homes due to fires, floods, tornadoes, landslides, hurricanes or other so-called natural disasters, life will never be the same.

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  • A reverse mortgage can really turn things around for seniors who are struggling to get by. But, when does (and doesn't) it make sense to cash in on your home equity?

    As one of my friends puts it, "There's nothing worse than being old -- except being old and being broke."

    It's a simple fact: As we live longer, we may find ourselves outliving our savings accounts. Pensions and social security often don't keep up with inflation, and then there are the kids who need help, the new roof, the prescriptions not covered by medical insurance, and all those other expenses that keep coming long after a regular paycheck has stopped fattening the savings account every month.

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  • Young people need to understand dementia and share their feelings about it. These tips will help the entire family.

    Alzheimer's disease can have a big impact on every member of the family, including children. Each child reacts differently to someone who has Alzheimer's. The young people in your life might have questions about what is happening. It's important for you to take the time to answer these questions openly and honestly.

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  • Seared Salmon with Daikon Slaw

    Cooking healthy, tasty meals for selective eaters might be challenging, but you can please the older palate.

    As we age, our dining needs change. Food doesn't taste the same as it used to. Our evolving health needs restrict or even banish certain foods. But this doesn't mean meals must be bland and tastless. It might seem challenging, but with a few tweaks and techniques you can create healthy, delicious food that is also pleasing to the older adult palate.
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  • More Boomers plan to work well past "normal" retirement age, a shift that will affect everyone.

    Retirement is one of the most significant life transitions, and current Senior "retirees" and the 78 million Baby Boomers just behind them are re-writing the rules. No longer satisfied with just a retirement dinner and commemorative watch, then endless days of golf, or arts and crafts at the local Senior Center, many of us want a lot more out of our "golden years." In fact, many of us aren't planning to retire anytime soon -- if ever.

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  • An Advisor Academy tutorial

    When your child or grandchild has questions about energy, how do you begin to explain such a vast concept?

    Teaching kids about energy starts with conveying that there are many forms of energy around us and even inside us. Life as we know it would not exist without energy. Energy is so important that all food packages list Calories, an old energy unit. Energy is either stored or involved with motion.

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  • Julie Christie

    Two movies give us revealing looks at Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

    "Away From Her" stars Julie Christie and Olympia Dukakis.

    "The Savages" stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney.

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  • Long-distance, long-term care

    Q: How can I be an effective caregiver from far away? I don't feel comfortable just jumping in.
    -- Ed W., San Diego, California

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  • People covered by Medicare have different options each year.

    Choices range from Original Medicare to a variety of Medicare supplemental plans. The right choice next time might not be the same as last time. It's an important decision about a complex matter, so make sure you know how it works.

    NOTE: This article was written before Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2014. ACA does not focus on Medicare, but it may affect some of the information in this article. As always, you should consult insurance experts to determine what is right for you.

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  • Barbara Barnes sporting gorgeous gray hair

    Tired of the time and effort it takes to banish your gray hair? Maybe it's time to embrace it.

    I was at the beauty salon waiting to have my hair highlighted when my hairdresser sighed, "This just isn't going to work anymore." — my situation demanded a new set of chemicals. But I wondered, why am I doing this? What's wrong with gray hair? Here's my answer. 

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  • Hairy Tale Film Crew sign

    A movie production crew takes over my street.

    Ahh, the glamor of Hollywood, the excitement of film-making... Unless the movie crew has filled up your street and you just want to get home! It happened in my neighborhood (again). Here's a report. San Diego might not be known as a hotbed of film production, but one day the one block street leading to my house once again filled with movie-making trucks, equipment, people and even actors who aren't people.
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  • AnnMarie Garcia and Edward James Olmos

    The Vital Aging Conference provided valuable resources for Boomers and Seniors, and brought a visitor to inspire us.

    Actor Edward James Olmos is a vitally aging Boomer, so I enjoyed his inspiring keynote at "Vital Aging Conference: Caring for Yourself and Others" held in San Diego in 2007. The event featured information on important health concerns for older adults and family caregivers on topics, such as diabetes, nutrition, fitness, legal issues, and stress management.

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  • Your home has equity

    A home equity line of credit is popular, but is it smart? Learn how to get the cash you need while keeping your home and finances safe and sound.

    A Home Equity Line of Credit, or HELOC (pronounced hee-lock) as it is called in my industry, has become as common as SUVs and Starbucks. If you don't have one, I bet you know someone who does. People use HELOCs as an easy way to get lots of cash.
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  • Alzheimer's disease is a progressive degenerative brain disorder that gradually diminishes a person's memory and ability to learn, reason, make judgments, carry out daily activities, and even communicate. People with Alzheimer's or related dementias have more difficulty expressing emotions, and can also have trouble understanding others.

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  • Sometimes it takes a while for children to warm up to new stepparents.

    Q: I'm a newly married stepmom. I have to admit, my husband and I jumped into this pretty quickly, only knowing each other a little under a year before getting married. Our marriage is solid, but his children are just not warming up to me. I knew it would take time, but we just don't seem to be making any progress. Help!

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  • Marilee Driscoll

    Long-term care insurance determines how well you'll be taken care of when you can't take care of yourself.

    Long-term care insurance is potentially one of the most important purchases you'll ever make. It likely determines how well you'll be taken care of when you can no longer care for yourself.

    There are lots of decisions to make -- and they need to be informed decisions. Tempting as it is to think you'll never be in the position to need long-term care, you risk literally everything if you hide from this issue.

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  • Try these wonderful ways for grandparents to spend terrific time with grandkids.

    "What do you wanna do? I dunno -- what do you wanna do?" These words are all too familiar between grandparents and grandkids looking to spend time together. The goal is to really spend time together: talking, relating, sharing unique life adventures. After all, grandparents have so much wisdom to offer. And kids, well, grandparents never experienced being a kid in this millennium, so the youger generation has something to share, too. If you're in San Diego or Southern California, try these fun ideas. If you're somewhere else, look for similar opportunities in your town (or come visit San Diego).

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  • Flying is often unpleasant and frequently inefficient. Can traveling -- and working -- in a motor home be better?

    To begin at the end, I now have an RV, a motor home that gives me an office on wheels, a meeting place for customers, a way to avoid the hassles of flying and dirty hotel rooms. And yes, it's a home on wheels. (In fact, it's my second motor home / mobile office.)
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  • Older adults and those in the hospital are at increased risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

    Every year, approximately 2 million Americans are affected by deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot in the thigh or leg. Approximately 600,000 experience pulmonary embolism (PE). For up to 200,000 of those with PE, the blood clot in the lung proves fatal -- almost twice as many deaths per year as AIDS, breast cancer, and highway fatalities combined.

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  • Stephen F. Barnes

    Living longer, healthier lives, Boomers are rejecting their parents' version of retirement -- and changing their future in the process.

    Like every other phase in their lives, Boomers are busy redefining retirement -- "busy" being the key word.

    San Diego State University professor Dr. Stephen Barnes, a specialist in adult learning and Boomer issues, discusses some of the many choices Boomers are facing, the effect these are having on the workplace, and the future world Boomers are inventing for themselves.

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