Interviews With Experts

The Most Pressing Money Questions When Caring for your Parents

This month, because its tax season and money is on everyone's mind, I am going to tackle the most pressing questions my clients ask me, as well as those they don't know to ask. At a potluck recently, a woman leaned over the table when she found out I was an elder consultant to say, “We...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is a Direct Primary Care Practice?

In most traditional practices, the patient pays the physician indirectly through his or her insurance. In a direct primary care practice, the patient pays the physician directly. The significance of this is that the direct primary care physician serves the health interests of the patient rather than the insurer, has lower overhead due to not...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is Hospice and Palliative Care?

Did you know hospice and palliative care are not just for the last few days of life? In fact, patients who seek services sooner often find more peace, less pain, and more "living" during the last months, weeks, and days of their lives. Also, many assume hospice care is just for cancer patients when in...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

Therapy for Seniors

My dad grew up in another time. There's no way he would agree to seeing a therapist, or would he? There is no way around it. Growing old, whether you are caring for a parent or you are the parent yourself, often provides situations which are stressful and can be very emotional. Many seniors grew up...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

Doctors Making Housecalls

Many physicians gave up making home visits at the turn of last century, however a relatively new practice differentiates themselves by going to the home of all its patients. As people age and lose mobility and tire more easily, a simple visit to the doctor's office--where there is a real risk of being exposed to whatever...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

Being Chased By the Hounds: Caregiver Burnout

When there's a pack of dogs chasing you in your dreams every night, it might be an indicator of severe caregiver burnout. It's time to care for the caregiver. To read the entire article, visit: https://www.wral.com/reaching-the-edge-caregiver-burnout/17420264/...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is an Aging Life Care Manager?

Are you having a hard time managing your mom's doctors' appointments, meds, and in-home services from a distance? Maybe you need an Aging Life Care Manager? Another critical and relatively recently-established profession is an Aging Life Care Manager (formerly known as a Geriatric Care Manager). I recently asked Meike Wiest, MSW, CMC, an Advanced Professional Aging...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is a Geriatrician?

What distinguishes a geriatrician from a regular internist and when should you seek the help of one? It wasn't just one or two people who asked me if I knew Dr. Parsons, an old school physician and geriatrician who has practiced medicine for almost 40 years, caring not only for older patients, but in some cases,...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is a Professional Healthcare Advocate?

Navigating mom's recent hospitalization and skilled rehab stay, especially if you are an adult child living at a distance, is untenable. How can you guarantee she is getting the best care? A Professional Healthcare advocate can help. Professional health care advocates are a new and growing profession in the elder care world, especially given how dispersed...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/



Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is an Elder Law Attorney?

No one has the time or wherewithal to become a jack-of-all trades when caring for their declining parents. To fill the needs, many new and emerging professions have come to the fore. For the month of March, I will be profiling some key ones through interviewing local experts. Elder Law Attorney Janna Wallace, of  Read more


Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

Building Your Team: Who to Tap for Your Parent’s Needs

It's almost like you need an advanced degree to navigate hospital bills, assisted living community contracts, or your parent's medical treatments and recommendations. No one can do it all. However, there are experts who can help. Until not too long ago, when the needs of elderly family members arose, younger family members nearby stepped in to...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is a CCRC?

A CCRC, short for Continuing Care Retirement Community, is a place that offers all levels of care, from Independent to Assisted to Skilled Nursing, within one community. Many CCRCs also offer Memory Care on-site. CCRCs are typically considerably more expensive than the month-to-month stand-alone options I’ve covered in previous articles. That said, people who can...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is Memory Care?

One in ten people over 65 has Alzheimer's. One in three seniors dies of Alzheimer's or other dementias. The symptoms of Alzheimer's disease worsen over time, although the rate at which the disease progresses varies. On average, a person with Alzheimer's lives four to eight years after diagnosis, but can live as long as 20 years, depending on other factors. To read the entire...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is Assisted Living?

Assisted Living was designed for people who are primarily independent, but need some help with Activities of Daily Living (called "ADLs"), such as bathing and dressing. They could also benefit socially and emotionally by being with others their age. Safety and security are also important benefits. North Carolina defines an Assisted Living as a facility...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

What is Independent Living?

Independent Living Communities, as opposed to senior housing, are communities physically designed with amenities and services that keep seniors independent as long as possible. For example, most Independent Living apartments are wheelchair accessible, have built-in safety features like extra lighting, grab bars in the bathroom, a roll-in or easy-step shower, emergency pull-cords, pendants and daily...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

Super Senior Amy Everett

Years ago, in an article about photographer Sally Mann, the interviewer disparagingly asked Ms. Mann why all her photographs were of her kids. At the time, she was a mother of three young children living a very simple life in rural Virginia. She responded, "I’m working within my constraints."   To read the entire article, go to:  Read more


Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

Senior communities for those who want to age in place

Senior communities are for people who are still living independently, but often want to downsize, simplify and/or live in a home with safety features, services or resources tailored to their needs over time. In this piece, I'll briefly cover four options, representing a broad cost spectrum, as well as tips from Senior Real Estate Specialist...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

The wild west: A primer on the senior housing landscape

"Help! Dad’s memory issues are too much." "Mom’s unsteady on her feet." "The house is so cluttered I’m afraid one of them will take a fatal fall." We humans avoid change until we’re forced, especially if it means leaving home. As one gets older, it almost feels like throwing in the towel. We dig our heels in. We...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/

Aid and Attendance – A Veteran Benefit

Recently, after identifying three Assisted Living Communities for a family I was working with, the daughter called in a panic, worried that her mom would outlive her savings. I knew her mother was the widow of a veteran who was on active duty in the Korean War. "Did you take into consideration the Aid and Attendance Benefit?"...
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Article and images are provided by WRAL. To view this and other articles written for WRAL, visit: http://www.wral.com/lifestyles/agingwell/