• Plan now for an Advanced Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney, before you and loved ones need to use it.

    Several times a month, a call comes into Elder Law and Advocacy's office in San Diego that goes something like this: "Hello, my wife (husband, or parent) has advanced Alzheimer's disease and her doctor told me I need to get power of attorney. Can you help me?"

    Misconceptions about creating and using a power of attorney for health care or finances creates problems for many families. Here's what you need to know.

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  • ADVISOR ANSWERS

    Q: My sister told me there's a connection between aluminum and Alzheimer's disease and suggested I throw out my aluminum pots and pans. She also told me that there's a lot of aluminum in antiperspirants, and that I should switch to just deodorant. Is this necessary?
    -- W.T., Del Mar, California

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  • Hot sun

    Our risk of hyperthermia problems increases with age

    Summertime, and the living is...hot -- TOO HOT. Alas, we are less able to handle hot days as we age. The wonderful summertime of youth can become a serious problem for a Senior. Heat-related illnesses, known as hyperthermia, can include heat stroke, heat fatigue, heat syncope (sudden dizziness after exercising in the heat), heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Here's advice to help older people avoid these problems.

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  • How people evaluate older vs. newer might surprise you.

    How do you evaluate a policy, a painting or a piece of chocolate? What makes you decide the "best" tree or treatment? Probably not what you think, reveals an interesting scientific study. Compare your own behavior to these results.

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  • Warrior 05

    Progress has been made in War On Cancer, but we face many challenges

    We seem to be waging war on many fronts: drugs, crime, illegal immigration, drunk driving, Afghanistan, Iraq, terrorists in general, terrorism on airplanes in particular. But our most serious war -- the one most likely to affect all of us -- is one we are still losing: The War on Cancer.

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  • Robert Banfield, Nancy Schieck Banfield, Jeanne Banfield Hawkins

    As our parents get older, where can we turn for advice and information to help us deal with everything?

    My husband John and I were having dinner with two other Boomer couples. We've been friends for years and were catching up on our lives and families. Near the end of the evening, a friend commented, "We used to get together and talk about the challenges of raising our kids. Now we get together and talk about our aging parents."

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  • Here are the facts about how hospice and palliative care can give your family help and hope when they need it most.

    Hospice and palliative care services focus on meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of a person with advanced illness, and also provide support for the patient's loved ones. Care can be provided wherever the patient resides, including the person's home, residential or skilled nursing facility, or assisted living environment.
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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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  • Adult incontinence is common, yet it can be a difficult subject to discuss with family, friends, and even physicians.

    Adult incontinence is much more prevalent in the United States than you might think. According to the National Association of Continence (NAFC, 2006), approximately 25 million adults in this country have experienced incontinence at some point in their lives. In fact, this number may be higher as most adults, especially men, won't admit or are embarrassed to discuss this condition with their healthcare provider, family, or friends. And 75-80 percent of those suffering incontinence are women.

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  • A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s has more than just medical implications — there are financial issues, too.

    An estimated 5 million people in the United States have Alzheimer's disease; this number is expected to double by the year 2050 as the elderly segment of our population grows. Not only does the disease have a significant emotional impact on individuals and their families, it also causes severe family financial burden and places considerable demands on the greater public health system. 

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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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  • What can you do if you think fraudulent telemarketers are scamming your parents?

    Consumers lose billions of dollars a year to telemarketing fraud. Scam artists often target older people because they tend to be trusting and polite toward strangers, and are likely to be home and have time to talk with callers. You can empower your parents and others by discussing rip-off tip-offs, explaining their rights, and suggesting ways to protect themselves.

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  • Car keys caution sign

    Strategies for taking away the keys when mom or dad should no longer drive.

    Automobiles transcend other possessions. They are part of our identity, almost like a member of the family. After a lifetime of mobility, the prospect of losing that aspect of independence can be seriously frightening. But, what do you do when your parent is no longer safe on the road? Here are some suggestions.

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  • Meeting

    During the care plan meeting at your loved one's skilled nursing or other care facility, make sure your voice is heard.

    When you have a loved one in a skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility, you'll often be asked to participate in a "care plan conference," or a "quarterly care conference." Unfortunately, family members usually go to this meeting with little understanding of what a care plan document should provide, or what the goals of an effective care plan conference should be. This article helps you be prepared.

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  • Doctor Visit

    How to be prepared for your doctor appointment

    Your time is tight, and so is your doctor's. But medical care is too important to cut short. To get the most out of every doctor office visit, use these tips from Dr. Hannah Chow, Loyola University Health System pediatrician. These smart suggestions apply to everyone, and include extra tips when the patient is a child.

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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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  • You might be surprised to see what the YMCA has to offer. Check it out!

    YMCAs are for people of all ages, abilities, and incomes. At YMCAs, both Boomers and older Seniors have a chance to keep active and grow in spirit, mind, and body. New friends and new opportunities add joy to life. The Y also gives Seniors a chance to share their time and talents with others, such as children and teens.

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  • Older people are too often the target of financial scams and money-focused manipulation.

    We've seen this all too often: Joey wanted to cash a large check from his grandmother's account. A bank employee called his grandmother, Joyce, who said her husband had recently died and that her grandson was helping out. Further review of Joyce's account revealed expenses for electronics, auto accessories, and adult entertainment. Joey was not using the money for his grandmother's benefit.

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  • Don't put off preserving your own family's unique history for generations to come.

    My nephew, Connor was working on a project for school and needed to interview my dad about his time in the Army during World War II. As it turns out, my father had a lot to say (but only with much prodding) because he was a young private, 18 years old in 1943, who was shipped off to fight in Italy, wounded in both legs by sniper fire, and back to the United States before he turned 19. And that was only one of his many interesting lives!

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  • Across the country, falls are the leading cause of injury-related death for people 65 or older.

    Chances are, someone you know has taken a dangerous tumble. In San Diego County alone, an average of 19 seniors (people over the age of 75) a day have falls so serious they require help from paramedics. And every single day in California, two seniors die from fall-related injuries.

    More then 60 percent of all falls take place in the home. But many of these can be prevented through basic precautions.

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