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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Educational Webinar: Hoarding in Seniors - Identifying the Five Levels of a Hoarder

Register now for our October educational webinar, Hoarding in Seniors: Identifying the Five Levels of a Hoarder. This event is being held tomorrow, Thursday October 27, 2011 at 12:00 PM Mountain Standard Time. Certified Senior Advisor, Marilyn Ellis will take professionals in-depth on this very critical topic by helping them to identify the five levels of hoarding as well as:

• Understanding why hoarding affects so many seniors
• The 2 most common mental disorders surrounding hoarding
• Define the limits of what is possible when working with a hoarder
• Learn how to stay personally safe when working in a hoarder’s home

Register Now!

Date: Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Time: 2:00 PM (EST)
1:00 PM (CST)
12:00 PM (MST)
11:00 AM (PST)

Cost: Free for CSAs; $49 Public

Register Now!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rx: Help Others

I recently was introduced to a gem of a book by Dr. Stephen Post. In the book, Dr. Post relates an experience he had with his family of being forced to move from their home to another place. While this was as physically dislocating as you would guess, it was emotionally and spiritually damaging as well.

I think many of us are living in an environment where dislocation – due to things such as loss of a job, our health, our money – is an ever-present possibility. These have the power to turn our lives upside down, and create an environment where we may become physically, emotionally, and spiritually unhealthy.

When faced with such an experience, how can we move back into health? Here is an excerpt from the book that may answer that question:

Rx: help others. This little prescription has the side effect of benefiting the helper, so long as one does not become overwhelmed. Science supports this assertion: giving help to others measurably reduces the giver’s stress; improves health and well-being in surprising and powerful ways; renews our optimism about what is possible; helps us connect to family, friends, place, and lots of amazing people; allows the deep, profound joy of our humanity to flow through us and out into the world; and improves our sense of self-worth. - Post, Stephen G. (2011-01-14). The Hidden Gifts of Helping: How the Power of Giving, Compassion, and Hope Can Get Us Through Hard Times. Jossey-Bass. Kindle Edition.

I recommend reading the book, but whether or not you do, if your life, or that of someone you know, is in a state of dislocation, consider reaching out to provide some help. Doing so will benefit the other person, and may be just the thing the doctor ordered to encourage your own wellness.


Blog posting provided by:

Michael Snowdon, CFP ®

Michael is president of WealthRidge, a wealth management and financial planning firm, and is a professor emeritus of the College of Financial Planning. His focus in financial planning is to coach people in the process of meeting their goals and achieving their dreams.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Today is Alzheimer's Action Day!

Join the Alzheimer's Association by honoring the heroes that fight against this heartless disease every day. You can help raise awareness by taking the following actions:

1. Wear PURPLE today, September 21st (Alzheimer's Action Day.)

2. Turn your FACEBOOK PURPLE by changing your profile picture to the "End Alz" Icon.

3. Purchase a PURPLE item when you shop.

Here are some important resources on Alzheimer's Disease:

10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer's Disease

If You Have Alzheimer's, What You Should Know, What You Should Do

Alzheimer's Facts and Figures

Help Support Alzheimer's Research, Care and Programs. Donate Today!


Blog posting provided by SCSA, courtesy of The Alzheimer's Association

Friday, September 16, 2011

The SeniorNet Learning Center Will Come to You. Who Knew?!

SeniorNet is an international volunteer organization that was founded in 1986 by seniors 50 and over who teach a broad spectrum of computer skills to senior adults. The Huntington, NY location is recognized as one of the leading computer learning centers in the country with over 100 volunteers who teach, coach, do technical support, write PR and marketing materials, and serve on numerous committees.

One unique program offered by SeniorNet is the Mobile Learning Center which actually comes to your home at your convenience. As the host, you supply the room, table, chairs, and the broadband connection to the internet. SeniorNet provides the computers and course handouts, and does the rest. The program consists of ten classes, each approximately 2 ½ hours long, designed to introduce seniors to basic computer applications. The topics covered are:

1. email
2. Internet: doing research
3. eBay
4. websites of interest: shopping, travel, genealogy, technical updates, product reviews, free downloads
5. music: downloads, LP to CD conversions, music players
6. social networking: Facebook, LinkedIn, blogging
7. security: virus protection, backing up, phishing, spam, scams
8. file management
9. movie making: slide shows, videos
10. digital photography: uploading photos from camera to computer, enhancing photos, making albums, digitizing prints and slides, exploring photo-sharing sites

SeniorNet would be pleased to teach you how to surf…the web.

For more info about the Mobile Learning Center call (631) 427-3700 x 268 or 235, or visit

Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a freelance writer specializing in social, health, and spiritual concerns of seniors. She resides in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Thinking Outside the Box: Alternative Healthcare Options

$34 billion is a lot of money.

It is the amount that Americans spend each year on alternative medicine for pain management and proactive health benefits, according to a survey conducted three years ago by the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for Health Statistics (CDC/NCHS).

Seniors represent a considerable portion of the group of people interested in alternative health therapies. In fact, 41% of older adults reported their use of complementary and alternative medicines in a study published in the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. And this number is steadily increasing.

What is “alternative care”? What is the attraction to it? The term is used to describe any medical treatment or intervention that is outside the scope of mainstream medicine. Alternative modalities encompass a wide variety of popular disciplines—including meditation, massage, yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, chiropractic, dietary approaches, nutritional supplements, herbal remedies--among others.

For seniors who worry about the cost or side effects of prescription medication, alternative solutions are becoming increasingly appealing. For example, people who experience acupuncture and chiropractic frequently report relief from their back or joint pain. In addition, many seniors who do yoga and tai chi swear by the effects of improved balance and increased flexibility.

It is always a good thing to consider options; alternative therapies may offer us viable choices.

Additional information is available at

Be healthy,
Laraine Jablon

(Excerpt from her CSA Journal article, Healthy Complements: The Role of Alternate Healthcare Options, December 2009.)

Laraine Jablon, BA, MA, is a freelance writer specializing in social, health, and spiritual concerns of seniors. She resides in Nesconset, New York, and welcomes your thoughts.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Is Longevity the New Normal?

Reading an article this week, on longevity and healthy aging, not only inspired me but also caused me to wonder, “Is longevity the new normal?” It is true that as a society, we are living longer. In 1900, life expectancy was 47 and in 2010 it was 78.3 years.

According to the Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) coursework, I learned the fastest growing segment of the American senior population is what we call the “Oldest Old” or the 85 plus. In 2006, there were 5.3 million who were 85 or more years in age and by 2050, it is projected there will be 19.3 million who are 85 or older – wow!

We may be living longer but another question we may ask ourselves might be “When I’m 85what level of health, type of lifestyle and what interests will I have?” Check out this article to see what some of our “Oldest Old” are up to. I think they are saying yes to longevity and living life to the fullest!

Christie Munson, CSA, lives and works in Phoenix, AZ and is the Communications Manager for Beatitudes Campus (a Continuing Care Retirement Community) and a Professional Organizer, specializing in senior services. She can be contacted via email at

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Retirement Success – the Importance of Journaling

We live in a fast-paced world with tremendous convenience and we love to get things done quickly. We rush around, moving from one project to the next with little or no time to think about what we have done and how we did it.

However, if your clients are to be successful in their retirement life, they need to take time to reflect on their actions to see what worked, what could have been done differently and plan for the next challenges. Journaling, the simple act of writing, is a way to slow down and help assess where they’ve been and where they are going.

Successful retirees all stress the importance of having some sort of written record; including documentation of the retirement plan, actions taken, thoughts, perspectives and observations.

Writing can also be an effective way to manage stress and enhance personal growth. It is easy to do and provides an opportunity to express dreams, purpose in life, memories and feelings.

Whether your client writes lists or keeps a journal – or both, encourage them to:

• Write out their retirement vision as it progresses.
• Write out their retirement plan, including goals, milestones and actions.
• Write about what worked or is working, and about what didn’t work.
• Write about successes and the challenges yet to come.
• Record reflections and ideas, thoughts and feelings on how their retirement is unfolding.

Writing is certainly a way to manage the details of a successful retirement – a tool to create the best retirement possible. But more than that, writing is a way to document a journey into a new way of living.

An example of a journal entry may be:

Currently, I am searching for a mentor to help finalize my retirement thinking. John and Robert are two people I know who I respect and are making a success of retirement. I can learn from both. This week I will contact John and Robert to explore their interest in becoming my retirement mentors.

Some of the things I need to address in the coming days and weeks are to evaluate my circle of friends and how I can enlarge my social circle. I need to make an appointment with my financial advisor to review my financial plan in relationship with my retirement vision.

I am feeling physically and emotionally well and am very much looking forward to the coming challenges and adventures retirement presents.

One area for improvement is to create an exercise regime. Next week I will be meeting with a physical trainer. Though I walk regularly, I believe a physical assessment and resulting exercise program will give me additional initiative to keep physically fit.

Besides encouraging clients to keep a journal, suggest that they review their entries. Have them note the progress or lack of progress they are making. Have them mark areas of success and the reasons for it as well as areas they may have missed and actions required.

Many clients who keep journals bring their journals when meeting with their financial advisor. It’s amazing how often conversations move off of money matters into broader retirement concerns. A client may wish to share parts of his or her writing with you – this information can add greatly to your understanding of the client’s retirement thinking and may highlight areas in which you can help.

As one successful financial advisor recently said to me, “By sharing their journal entries with me I get a good grasp of a client’s retirement progress including issues and questions they are facing. In many instances I can offer ideas and resources including suggesting actions others have tried and found useful.”

Richard (Rick) Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors, is an expert in pre-retirement planning. He is author of the best-selling book, Don’t Just Retire – Live It, Love It! Rick facilitates workshops for clients of advisors and others. He is available for speaking engagements. Twitter: @dontjustretire.