Senior bank accounts: Should you get one?

4 ways to size them up before you sign up

By Margarette Burnette for Next Avenue


It isn’t hard to figure out why some banks and credit unions offer special checking accounts for customers they call “seniors.” Once they establish banking relationships this way, they can try to entice the new accountholders with savings accounts, loans and retirement accounts.

But is a “senior” checking account (generally restricted to people over 60 or 65, though sometimes available to people 50 and up) a good deal for you? That depends.

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Common myths of hospice debunked

Five things you may think about hospice that aren’t true

By Jacob Edward for Next Avenue


In the past 40 years, attitudes towards death and dying in America and much of the rest of the world have slowly changed. The hospice movement has grown considerably and now constitutes its own segment of the health care system. Prior to hospice, people often died alone, in institutional settings like hospitals.

While some people still pass away without their loved ones around them, many are choosing to receive palliative care at home as a way to make the end of their lives as comfortable and rewarding as possible. But there are still many common misconceptions about hospice. Nobody likes to dwell on the subject of death, so people are naturally reluctant to study what hospice care is until they are in need of hospice services.

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A smart way to curb senior loneliness

In this program, old and young people connect with one another

By Rachel Adelson for Next Avenue


“Take two friendships and call me in the morning.”

That’s what Dr. Paul Tang, an internist and national expert on health care quality, would like to tell aging patients. He, and other doctors like him, view social engagement as a treatment for a very modern ill: loneliness.

Tang divides his time between Washington, D.C. (where he influences health care policy) and the David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation (he’s the director). Tang has developed a cross-generational program meant to get people of all ages helping and connecting with one another. Called linkAges, the centerpiece of the program is a community-based service exchange in the form of a volunteer time bank. The service is being tested in California, with hopes that it’ll soon expand elsewhere.

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How to craft your memoir

Be sure to include experiences and feelings that make your life story meaningful

By Bart Astor for Next Avenue


When I overheard my father reminiscing with his old Army buddy about how desperate they felt as kids having to do menial tasks to earn money that would help their families — even plucking chickens — I realized I hadn’t heard much about his emotional life growing up.

In fact, other than the few stories he told about his two brothers, he didn’t talk about his childhood. Over the years, I managed to collect facts and figures— where his mother and father were born, important dates and some highlights of his life. But I knew little of his family’s financial struggles during the Great Depression and almost nothing about his older brother’s death.

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Lighten up your favorite recipes of yesteryear

You don’t have to give up all the flavor if you use a “sliding scale of decadence”

By Joanna Pruess for Next Avenue


Do you long to eat favorite foods from your youth without a side order of guilt? With creative tweaking, chocolaty brownies, creamy scalloped potatoes, hearty meatloaf, green bean-mushroom casserole with fried onions and other comfort foods can return from the list of no-nos. The key is determining which diet-wrecking ingredients you’re willing to compromise on and how much you’re willing to cut back on them. But the choices aren’t black or white: I think of them as existing on a sliding scale of decadence.

Leaving a little indulgence in foods helps us to eat better because we end up feeling more satisfied. Think about it: If your revisions are super-healthy but tasteless, you’ll probably do something at least twice as unhealthy later, like diving into a bag of chips or having a date with Ben & Jerry.

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What to know about money and work by 50, 60, 70

Master these skills for your finances and career when turning each age

By Liza Kaufman Hogan for Next Avenue


Staying on track with your finances and career requires checking in every so often to be sure you’re meeting your goals and anticipating your needs at each life stage. Although you may have been saving for retirement and enjoying success at work for years, there are still some things to learn. You may have gaps in expertise you’d like to fill or may be ready to plunge into a new career.

Whatever your goals, here’s a checklist of basic money and career management knowledge it’s good to have by age 50, 60 and 70:

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Why your relationship needs forgiveness

Even for serious wrongs like infidelity, hanging on to anger hurts you, too

By Barb DePree, M.D. for Next Avenue


By the time we reach midlife, we’ve experienced all kinds of things in our relationships, some good, some bad. It’s great to think back on the positive experiences once in a while, maybe even re-live them from time to time.

For the negative experiences, that’s not such a good idea.

And the more serious the situation, the harder it is to not think about it. Maybe you’ve had to deal with an infidelity or some other kind of betrayal by your partner. If so, its lingering effects may very well be interfering with your ability to fully embrace your partner in a healthy — and even in a literal — way.

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Your pet and your estate: No joke

If your pet isn’t in your estate plans, it’s time to remedy that

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue


Maybe you heard that Joan Rivers left a portion of her $150 million fortune to her four rescue pups, who are now living with her longtime assistant. Or that Lauren Bacall’s will said her dog, Sophie, would inherit $10,000 of her $26.6 million estate.

You might have even laughed when you heard the news.

But anyone who owns a pet or ever has understands exactly what Rivers and Bacall were doing — ensuring that their loved ones would be cared for after they were gone. As Rivers told The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman in early September: “I’ve left money so the dogs can be taken care of.” (In my own family, the loss of our beloved miniature schnauzer, Chance, a few years ago, was one of the saddest days of our lives.)

If you’re a pet owner, you should follow the lead of Rivers and Bacall, no matter how big your estate will be.

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Congratulations, Lisa Flick!

Lisa Flick, front row far right, poses with members of her dining services team.

Lisa Flick, front row far right, poses with members of her dining services team.

While it’s back to school time for kids everywhere, Lisa Flick is celebrating a graduation of sorts. Lisa recently completed the Certified Dietary Manager Program, a year-long course that prepared her to take over the job of dining services director for Manor of the Plains.

Lisa was named interim director in December 2014. She has worked for Manor of the Plains since October 2010, when she came to us as a dining services aide. Before that, she worked for 15 years as a school cook for USD 240 in Tescott, Kan. Lisa came to Dodge City because her son worked for Manor of the Plains in environmental services at the time.

When Lisa was asked to step up from evening cook to director, she was surprised but pleased. “I was happy, because it was something I should have been thinking of doing,” she said.

Manor of the Plains paid for Lisa’s course, which she completed by mail. Many employees have been able to take advantage of Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s tuition reimbursement program to advance their education.

“They have been good to me here,” Lisa said.

Lisa had already completed Gracious Dining training and attended PMMA’s Culinary Boot Camp for Cooks in 2014. When she’s not working, Lisa likes to spend time with her grandchildren.

Game reveals connection to Betsy Ross

The winning team in our new assisted living trivia game, “Who Am I?” was Nadine Higley, Wilma Goertz, Doris Young and Dean Young. The Youngs revealed that Dean is a descendant of one of the people who asked Betsy to make the flag.

The winning team in our new assisted living trivia game, “Who Am I?” was Nadine Higley, Wilma Goertz, Doris Young and Dean Young. The Youngs revealed that Dean is a descendant of one of the people who asked Betsy to make the flag.

When Lisa Montoya chose Betsy Ross as the subject of a new trivia game for assisted living residents, she had no idea one of the game players had a connection to this Revolutionary War figure.

After the game of “Who Am I?,” resident Doris Young revealed that her husband, Dean, was a distant relative of Robert Morris – one of the three men who asked Betsy Ross to make the first American flag.

The story Lisa had read to the residents included a mention of Robert Morris. Doris said he is an ancestor of Dean’s mother. “We were already familiar with the name,” Doris said. It was a fun coincidence to hear him mentioned in the Betsy Ross story, she added.

Morris was part of a secret committee from the Continental Congress who called on Betsy Ross at her home in May 1776; the other representatives were George Washington and George Ross. The men asked her to sew the first flag, and she agreed. According to Wikipedia, Morris was a wealthy landowner who helped finance the American Revolution. He was the highest-ranking civilian in the new government and was considered the most powerful man in America next to Gen. George Washington.

Born in England, Morris was one of a handful of people who signed all three of the founding documents: the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, and the U.S. Constitution. He became one of Pennsylvania’s first two senators, from 1789 to 1795.