Friday, December 27, 2013

Why You Family Needs To Talk About Caregiving Now

Latino Family
Keeping Your Family connected
On Friday, November 1st, National Family Caregivers Month officially begins. If you’ve ever been a caregiver you know the emotional, mental, and physical health problems that accompany caring for a loved one.
As our population ages the need for caregivers has increased and many of us our stepping into caregiving roles. This year the Pew Research Center reported:
  • 39% of U.S. adults are caring for a loved one with significant health issues.
  • 36% of U.S. adults said they provided unpaid care to an adult relative or friend in the past year.
So, what does caregiving mean to you?
Be prepared. The facts are in your lifetime. “You’ve either been a caregiver. You’re going to be a caregiver. You’re going to need a caregiver.” Remember “It’s not if, It’s When.”
From the Caregiver Action Network, “Maybe it started slowly. You visited your parents and started to worry about them living alone. You found yourself taking over more of the responsibilities for your spouse. Maybe it happened all of a sudden. Mom slipped and broke her hip. The neighbors called to say that dad was wandering around looking lost. However it began, you are now a family caregiver. ”
Caregiving is a role we often assume when a loved one needs assistance, care or help managing everyday tasks. We step in the role untrained and with no experience. All families will be involved with caregiving at some time.
Before the inevitable happens begin the conversation now. Ask now what role each of you will play. Who will make phone calls? Who will run errands? Who will manage medical paperwork? Who will provide hands on caregiving?
Every morning we make choices on the outcomes we want. Go to work, to provide a service and earn a salary. Put on a seatbelt, to avoid injury. Connect with a friend, to get and provide support.
Caregiving is similar — we want the best for our familias, to love, and be loved.
Read more about CaregiverMonth and follow #NowMoreThanEver hashtag to join in the conversation.
Judi Bonilla is an aging expert, educator and social entrepreneur.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why Public Transit May Save Your Retirement

For many Americans when they think of retirement they think of financial planning. Very few think of transportation. For many of us driving retirement is inevitable. Research shows men outlive their ability to drive by six years and for women it's about 10 years.
New Public Transit Riders
Retirees enjoying their
first ride on public transit!

What happens when you no longer driver? Who do you ask for a ride? Neighbors? Children? Grandchildren? Friends? The answer is yes. You begin to prepare for your transportation while you continue to drive.

However, like most American's you want your independence and want to remain self reliant. Riding public transportation is an excellent way to control your schedule. However, for many adults over 65 years of age it's been a long time since you've ridden the public. Here are a few ideas to get you out in your community on public transportation.

We Get Around! Transportation Instruction Judi Bonilla
Plan your driving retirement and
learn how to use public transportation.
Do your homework. Contact your local transportation provider to find out if they offer "Travel Instruction" or "Travel Training" classes. These classes are often available to older adults who are transitioning out of driving. Led by a trained Travel Instructor you'll learn how to plan and travel using your communities public transportation systems.


If classes are unavailable in your community, GoogleMaps is now your best friend. For novices I suggest planning a trip to a local mall or another familiar location. In GoogleMaps you can plan and get detailed directions to your destination

Before you leave home pack light. That means removing extra money, credit cards, and jewelry. As a novice transit ride everything you experience will be new. Keep your focus on personal safety and not how heavy your bag is! I also suggest carrying a coin purse and use this to keep your exact fare and ticket.  

With age comes wisdom and also rights to priority seating. After paying your fare use the seating closest to the driver for your journey. Once you become a regular transit rider carrying a book is always an excellent way to avoid an unwanted conversation.

The important point is to get out and explore your community using public transportation. Using public transportation is a great way to maintain an active lifestyle as you age.