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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Retired teacher reflects on 101 years

IMG_0088Grace Clark has had many titles during her 101 years, including mother, grandmother, sister, friend, wife and more. “Teacher” is the one we’re highlighting during the month of August.

Grace was born and raised in the Oklahoma City area, and it was her husband’s role as a Presbyterian minister that brought her to Kansas, in Yates Center initially.

“I didn’t necessarily set out to become a teacher. They were in need of substitutes, so I started out doing that. Then, some of the teachers I was substituting for moved, and I was offered a contract. I taught English and French.

My first full-time teaching position was in Anadarko, Oklahoma,” said Grace. “When we moved to Yates Center, it seemed like such a small town, so that took a while to get used to. Eventually he retired from ministry, but I wasn’t quite ready to retire from teaching, so I did that awhile longer.”

Grace and her husband had three children, one of whom has died. They have 10 grandchildren and enough great-grandchildren that Grace has lost count. Many more children have been impacted by Grace’s teaching, though. Probably more than she will ever know.

“Once someone gets what you’re trying to tell them, you can see it on their faces. It’s a wonderful feeling. And you develop a certain camaraderie with some students. You either have it or you don’t, but I never tried to be their equal. I had to establish myself in a superior position, and I saw some younger teachers try to get along with everyone. That’s not your job,” said Grace. “It’s awfully hard to teach someone how to be a teacher. If you’re a good teacher you’re going to change as you have more experience. I liked that. I felt like I was learning just as much as my students. I had an adult who wanted to be in the French class, and attended one semester. She said ‘I just wish your students realize how much you’re teaching them besides just French.’”

Grace’s students may not have realized how much they were learning at the time, but there’s no doubt they realized it later in life. Perhaps some of them even went on to become teachers themselves, and Grace continues to give words of advice to new teachers even today.

“Take it a day at a time and make the most of the day you’re in. Think too far ahead or spend all your time wishing the past was different and you don’t get anywhere. Live the day you’re in,” said Grace. “And actually, my husband was a minister, and had quite a number of responsibilities, so he taught me some things. Plan your day and get through that, and enjoy your children right where they are.”


On your case and by your side

IMG_0089Most of the time, you don’t want someone “on your case,” unless of course, it’s Case Manager Roschell Wilkerson.

Then, you’ll be more than glad that she’s by your side, walking you through the sometimes tricky world of Medicare, insurance and doctors.

Roschell started at Topeka Presbyterian Manor in 2007 as a CNA (certified nursing assistant), then quickly became an LPN (licensed practical nurse) in 2008. She served as an LPN in Assisted Living until 2015, when she became an RN (registered nurse) and then became case manager in 2016.

“In 2006, I obtained my CNA, and Presbyterian Manor was the first job I acquired in the health care field. I came to work here in 2007 as a CNA while I attended LPN school. I decided to go on to pursue my RN because there are many avenues opened in health care with this designation,” said Roschell.

“I received a scholarship from PMMA (Presbyterian Manors of Mid America) while in RN school, and I was able to work in Assisted Living and as a PRN in health care while I attended RN school,” adds Roschell.

PMMA prides itself on its yearly education assistance program, which allows staff across our many campuses to pursue higher education in their prospective career fields.

This learning environment is just one of the many reasons Roschell enjoys her position as case manager.

“My favorite part about my job is the residents. I enjoy them. I love to smile and the return smiles from my residents is the best feeling ever. My goal is to provide satisfactory care, especially during illness and that lets me know they are happy or satisfied,” said Roschell. “The hardest part about my job is when we lose a resident. I am not able to be as hands on with them as when I was doing RN work, but I still visit with them daily.”

While not at work, Roschell is still busy helping others. She has four children, ages 17, 13, 10 and eight and also is an active member of TKBNA (Topeka Kansas Black Nurses Association), which offers health screenings and preventative education to underserved individuals.

We’re glad to have Roschell on our team, and on your case!