Why Some Grown Kids Cut Off Their Parents

One mother reflects on whether she’s partly to blame. (Photo credit: iStock)

Could their estrangement be caused by how we raised them?

By Elizabeth Vagnoni for Next Avenue

The truth is — I am estranged from my two adult sons.

The truth is — I love my sons and I miss them every day.

The truth is — I can’t understand how in the world this has happened.

The truth is — saying you love them and miss them is not enough. There is much more to say, but you need a conversation — you need actual interaction, not just silence.

For me, the estrangement began over what I believed to be a misunderstanding. Since then, I’ve been on a journey of understanding, or at least trying to understand. read more

Don’t Miss These Signs of Ovarian Cancer

“By the time a CT scan was ordered, the cancer had progressed to an advanced stage that is treatable, but not curable. I was furious at myself and upset with my doctor.” (Photo credit: Thinkstock)

Abdominal bloating and a persistent ‘full’ feeling are common symptoms

By Sheryl Kraft for Next Avenue

(Editor’s note: September was Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.)

Ricki Lewis ignored her belly fat for months, attributing the extra weight and bloat around her middle to aging and menopause.

“I should have paid more attention when a well-meaning woman asked me when I was due — but instead, I just got angry,” the 59-year-old said. “It didn’t even occur to me to see the doctor.”

Lewis, a Schenectady, N.Y., science writer with a Ph.D. in human genetics, finally made an appointment to see her gynecologist when her best friend remarked on the noticeable change in her girth. “When the doctor saw my middle, she literally jumped back several feet,” said Lewis. An ultrasound revealed a 23 cm ovarian cyst. “The technologist said it was the second largest she’d ever seen.” read more

Do You Really Need a Will?

“Prince Needed a Will, But Maybe You Don’t.” Is this New York Times headline accurate? (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Though some advisers pooh-pooh it, a will can avoid big problems

By Rosie Wolf Williams for Next Avenue

You might have heard that Prince died without a will, which has already led to a flurry of legal maneuverings over his estate. But do mere mortals like the rest of us, with far smaller net worths, really need a will?

Traditionally, the answer to that question has been an unequivocal “Yes” — particularly if you have a spouse, children or stepchildren. Lately, though, some financial advisers have been saying that many Americans might not need a will. New York Times “Wealth Matters” columnist Paul Sullivan wrote about that provocative view in his article, “Prince Needed a Will, But Maybe You Don’t.” read more

Why You Need the Shingles, Flu and Pneumonia Vaccines

Close up view of a healthcare professional injecting another person's shoulder with a vaccine

Did you know that as you age, your immunity to the diseases you’ve been vaccinated against as a child starts to wane? (Photo credit: Adobe Stock)

The diseases can be a serious threat to older adults’ health

By Leah Ingram for Next Avenue

Did you know that as you age, your immunity to the diseases you’ve been vaccinated against as a child starts to wane?

So says Dr. Dana Hawkinson, infectious disease specialist at The University of Kansas Health System in Kansas City, Kansas. That’s why it’s just as important to be vaccinated as an adult as it was as a child. Plus, some of the illnesses you could contract in the second half of life aren’t just an inconvenience — they could make you very sick or even kill you. read more

You May Feel Lonely, but You’re Not Alone

Finding new friends later in life can increase happiness and improve your health. (Photo credit: Adobe Stock)

Although making friends later in life is difficult, perseverance is worth it

By Barbara Rady Kazdan for Next Avenue

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; can give and receive without judgment and derive sustenance and strength from the relationship,” Brené Brown, the author and speaker of one of the most famous TED Talks once said.

I was reminded of this quote when today’s mail brought a survey from my congregation for “households with only one adult member.” They’d found that 25 percent of members fit that description. How, the letter asked, could these households be better served? read more

How to Mentally Handle Financially Tough Times

Senior man holds fingers to his temples, indicating stress

Why reducing stress and getting better sleep and nutrition can help. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Stephen L. Antczak for Next Avenue

Stress caused by financial difficulties can become chronic, especially if the financial difficulties are ongoing. So how do you deal with it?

Many people don’t. Money is one of the most difficult subjects for people to talk about. It is also one of the top reasons marriages end in divorce. But there are a few things you can do to handle chronic stress caused by ongoing financial difficulties.

First, consider the source of your stress. Do you have trouble meeting your monthly expenses? Are your bills frequently paid late? Are you getting phone calls from bill collectors? Try to become more financially literate about what’s stressing you out. This means having the complete picture of your financial situation so you can figure out the steps you need to take to improve things. That by itself represents forward progress towards making things better and reducing stress. read more

3 Aging Decisions to Make Before Someone Does for You

Senior woman at the steering wheel of a car

Even if we need to give things up, we can still decide when and how. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Debbie Reslock for Next Avenue

Sometimes, growing older feels like one loss after another. No longer being able to drive or stay in our own home is difficult to accept. If we feel we are forced into those decisions, it can be harder still.

Yet when we put off making the decisions ourselves, others are pressed to step in. On the other hand, when we understand what we’re afraid of, we’re able to discover options that can alleviate the fear and take responsibility for the decisions that are truly ours to make. Here are three aging decisions to make before someone makes them for you: read more

6 Ways to Help Your Parents and Still Save for Retirement

Adult daughter writes notes while talking with senior mother

This expert’s advice is aimed to let both generations retire comfortably. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Rick Pendykoski for Next Avenue

No matter how much you’ve saved for retirement, it always seems like you need more. But what if, in addition to your own expenses, you also have to support your parents?

Statistics published by TD Ameritrade say that over a quarter of boomers are already supporting another adult and close to 8 percent of those adults are their retired parents.

If your parents’ savings and assets aren’t enough for their retirement, you may end up providing care and financial help, derailing your own future plans as a result. read more

7 Ways to Step Up Your Self-Care as You Age

Senior couple hikes along trail out in nature

Try these things for a healthier mind and body — and to just feel good. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Patricia Corrigan for Next Avenue

How do you cope with aging?

I’ve been thinking about that question since first exploring it two years ago on Next Avenue. This time, I was prompted to add to my list after a rather unusual conversation with my doctor.

Below are seven of my self-care “do’s.” What are yours?

  1. Get off the medical merry-go-round. “I am not accepting any additional medical conditions at this time.” That’s what I told my doctor earlier this month when she proposed a couple of tests to “rule out possibilities” of other medical conditions related to my growing older.

Saying “No” to the doctor is a powerful way to step off the medical merry-go-round when you’re sick of the ride, sick of the appointments, sick of the tests and all the follow-up conversations — and sick of thinking of yourself as a patient instead of as a whole person. read more

2018 Class of the Center for Leadership Announced

Maegen Pegues, Parsons Presbyterian Manor Executive Director

Brad Radatz, Salina Presbyterian Manor Executive Director

LeadingAge Kansas has selected 13 professionals in the field of aging services for the 9th class of the Center for Leadership. The program equips talented aging services professionals to positively influence the future of aging services in Kansas. The 2018 class includes Maegen Pegues with Parsons Presbyterian Manor and Brad Radatz with Salina Presbyterian Manor.

“Our goal is to grow our own leaders in Kansas”, states Dana Weaver, chief operating officer for LeadingAge Kansas, “The program will provide the opportunity for these individuals to hone their leadership skills within their own organizations as well as influence the field on a macro level.” read more