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Got Clutter, Get Clean

Posted by on Oct 15, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Got Clutter, Get Clean

Got Clutter, Get Clean Is clutter holding you back from reaching your goals? WebMD asks (and answers) that question in this article. https://www.webmd.com/balance/features/clutter-controlIn it, Peter Walsh, an organizational expert and former host of The Learning Channel’s Clean Sweep show, divides clutter into two general types. “Memory” clutter is stuff that reminds us of important events, like old school programs or newspaper clippings. Photographs also fall into this category.“Someday” clutter refers to items you won’t toss because you feel you might need them someday. Like the ends of wrapping paper rolls and Christmas bows saved from packages.The article goes on to suggest that cluttered spaces lead to mental clutter that keeps us from making decisions or starting new projects. Some suggestions to fight clutter include:          Pay bills online          One in, one out          Make clutter clearing appointments          Discard stained or torn clothes while doing                            laundry          Start small Paying bills online will cut down on the amount of paper you receive in the mail. This can make getting the mail and sorting it at the same time faster, reduce stressful decisions andleave you more time.One in, one out follows Newton’s Third Law of Physics which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.When you buy something (clothing, baking pans, new bedsheets) you should discard one item that is worn out.Mark your calendar. If you put it on your calendar or in your phone appointment book you are more likely to actually complete the task. Saying you will take care of that “later” makes it easier to skip it or forget it until you need to get into that cluttered drawer again.On laundry day, when you are pre-spotting make a note of the items that are stained. If the stain doesn’t come out, then throw the garment out. If clothes are torn or missing buttons, either mend them right away or discard them. (Items that can be repaired might also be donated to a thrift store or homeless shelter.)Starting small might be the hall closet full of mismatched gloves and boots. Taking stock of your families’ winter gear now will also avoid the chaos and rush to find essential items on that first snowy day!Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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Grab Bars and Shower Stools and Ramps… Oh My!

Posted by on Sep 8, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Grab Bars and Shower Stools and Ramps… Oh My!

Grab Bars and Shower Stools and Ramps.... Oh My! It’s understandable that none of us wants to admit that we’re getting older. And nobody wants to face the fact that we might need “assistance” for activities of daily living. But the truth is that the assists available today could make life easier and safer for any of us. For someone returning home after experiencing a stroke or a hip or knee replacement, these assistive devices can assure a successful recovery and the ability to remain in their own home independently for years to come. A recent article in the New York Times (and shared through our NASMM WordPress) follows the story of one patient, John, whose life was changed by making the bathroom accessible with grab bars, a shower stool and a heightened toilet. These low cost improvements allowed him to be more confident and comfortable living in his own home. They extended the time he could remain independent and not rely on family or caregivers.            For full article CLICK HERE Yes, some other home modifications can be expensive. Installing a chair lift can cost as much as $4,000, but moving to an independent or assisted living facility can cost that much per month. According to the Assisted Living website, the most common home modifications for those who want to remain in the home include: Widen DoorwaysInstall RampsKitchen ModificationsShower and Bathtub ModificationsFlooring Modifications For the full article CLICK HERELighting, trip hazards, and storing items in places that are easier to reach are modifications that can easily improve home safety, often at low cost to the homeowner. At a higher level, technology can allow patients with chronic conditions to manage their health through electronic monitoring of vital signs and capturing  dangerous situations such as blood sugar changes or falls. With the NASMM @home certification, Golden Bridges can come to your home to provide an assessment and connect you with the products and services needed to keep you safe at home. Do you, or someone you know, need to explore your options? Check our website www.goldenbridges4you.com for more information about NASMM@home, or call us at 1-888-922-6368 to schedule your free consultation.  It’s your move. Golden Bridges can help!Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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The Conversation

Posted by on Aug 9, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Conversation

The Conversation Recently, my sisters and I had lunch with our mother in our childhood home in our hometown. My sisters live in Virginia. They had come to see the family, and to pick up my mother for a visit in Virginia. Of course, my mother spoke of the trip in the words that must not be said as “possibly the last time”. Therefore, it was no surprise when after lunch she set us down at the table. She gave each of us a notebook and a pen. She retrieved a folder that she has obviously been keeping for this purpose. It contained her life insurance information, her retirement savings account information, and names and phone numbers for the locations of her lock box, her undertaker, and a list of hymns she would like to have sung during her funeral.Following the conversation about these final wishes, we spent some time looking inside her China hutch at some of her treasured items that had been passed down to her from family members. We discussed the likely recipients based on their lineage, and reminisced about their origins.Since I live in a town nearby, I was already aware of most of this information and knew that I was tasked with maintaining and remembering these final wishes and dispositions.My mother is a worrier, a skill that I too have honed against the whetstone of my own motherhood.She worries about the weather, she worries about any of us driving on the highway, she worries about the pandemic, she worries about the sharp division in our country, and she worries that when she is gone she won’t have enough money to leave to her children. Although we have often expressed exasperation at this last worry, she has frugally saved and sometimes done without in order to make this a reality.Mom lives in a very small town and lives a fairly simple life. She was an Avon Lady and worked at a bank. She still plays the organ at her church. She attended college while I was in high school. She makes the best red cake. She is my mentor and my friend. Our mother has traveled to all 50 states. This is a fact in which she takes great pride. Her photo albums are filled with those experiences. She is trying to go through them to remember those times, and the drive that she and her husband had for reaching this goal. She knows that when she’s gone these photos will not be preserved, and has told us many times to “just back up the dumpster”.Have you had The Conversation with your parents? Have you had The Conversation with your kids, or significant others? Preparing your family to honor the decisions you have made is important. But not as important as actually making those decisions so they don’t have to.Woman taking care of her senior motherAccording to AARP, these are some things that you can do to get started.          * Choose a photo you would like to use for your obituary (if you wish to have one)          * Choose your burial plan          * If you wish to have a funeral, choose the type of service          * Write your life story for your family to preserve          * Gather a list of the people who should be informed, including contact informationTo read more  CLICK HERE There are also several tools that will help you. Start with the funeral home you prefer and discuss your wishes. They have workbooks and questionnaires...

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Post-Pandemic Senior Strategies

Posted by on Jul 10, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post-Pandemic Senior Strategies

Post-Pandemic Senior Strategies It is estimated that at least 10,000 people turn 65 every day in America. During the COVID-19 shutdown (March, 2020 through April, 2021) that means over 4 million people became “seniors”. What should they expect of their senior years in a post-pandemic world? What strategies will work for them in planning for life after COVID-19?Get vaccinatedFirst and foremost, doctors and the CDC recommend that seniors be vaccinated. Once you are vaccinated, you can return to the activities you enjoyed before the pandemic. Not only are you safe, but your grandchildren are safer because you are vaccinated. The CDC provides the following list of indoor and outdoor activities that can be resumed when fully vaccinated.Attend a small, outdoor gathering with fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people, particularly in areas of substantial to high transmissionDine at an outdoor restaurant with friends from multiple householdsAttend a crowded, outdoor event, like a live performance, parade, or sports eventVisit a barber or hair salonGo to an uncrowded, indoor shopping center or museumAttend a small, indoor gathering of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people from multiple householdsGo to an indoor movie theaterAttend a full-capacity worship serviceSing in an indoor chorusParticipate in an indoor, high intensity exercise class Unvaccinated people attending these events will be expected to wear a mask and remain socially distanced.Check on your retirement fundsAccording to information published by Generations: American Society on Aging, a January 2021 poll found that as of last November, nearly 60 percent of Americans withdrew or borrowed money from an IRA or 401(k) during the pandemic, and 63 percent used those retirement savings to cover basic living expenses. If this includes you, now is the time to review your retirement financial plans.While it might be tempting to start collecting on Social Security now, benefits can be reduced by as much as 30 percent when collecting even five years earlier than planned. Calling the local office of Social Security is your best move to get the information you need when considering this option. Just make sure you’re prepared to wait on hold for a while. There are many others who are exploring their options. But be patient, it is worth the wait to get assistance from an expert.And if waiting another year or two is the best option, then consider a part-time or seasonal job. Returning to the workforce might not have been in your plan, but there are some exciting options to consider.Starting a new businessAccording to AARP, success at starting a new business increases with age, even into one’s 60s and 70s. Your experience and skills can help you succeed as an entrepreneur. After all, Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals at the age of 76.Considering that the Boomer generation now includes about 73 million people in the US, there’s a very large audience for products that help them (you) improve their everyday lives.Starting a business, or introducing a new product to this demographic takes fortitude but the rewards are well worth it.An article in Inventor’s Digest from 2018 states that Charles Greeley Abbot became secretary of the Smithsonian Institution at age 56. At 99, he invented a solar cooker that used the energy of direct sunlight to cook food and heat beverages. At that time, he became the oldest person to receive a patent and may still hold the record as the oldest inventor.Invest in improving your digital skillsMany older adults have increased comfort with and willingness to use new technology to survive in an increasingly digital world. Whether working from home, staying in touch with family and friends, ordering groceries, conducting telemedicine visits or attending church services...

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Mother’s Day Bouquet

Posted by on May 12, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Mother’s Day Bouquet

Mother's Day Bouquet “There’s a lot of pressure on us all when it comes to Mother’s Day gift ideas. You want to find something she’ll use all the time, but it can’t be strictly utilitarian. It should also have a sentimental spin.” That is a direct quote from the pages of Real Simple magazine.CLICK HERE for the full articleTheir list contains everything from flowers/book of the month to electronics and sheets. Of course there are some traditional items. Specialty chocolates, teas, and coffees. Tried and true, these items are always well received but don’t last very long. How long will your Mother’s Day gifts last this year?Roses, and most flower bouquets last about one week. Of course, many of us start rearranging the ones that are still good after that and downsizing to a smaller and smaller vase until we finally give in and let them go so we can clean up the baby breath droppings and dust the table.Chocolates can last for 6-9 months. Or, that is to say that anything that is left will still be tasty and fresh after that time. Some expert advice is pointed out in this article from a chocolatier. Don’t refrigerateStore in cool, dry placeDo place in airtight sealed container Hide somewhere that only you know about*For more on how to store chocolate CLICK HERE*Ok I threw that in so that the kids who probably gave them to you don’t devour them all on Mother’s Day.Gift certificates are nice. Sure. That way she can get something she wants at a store you chose that she has maybe never visited, or is in another town. Maybe your intentions were good, “Mom, we’ll go on a special shopping trip together. Won’t that be fun?”  Except then there’s a pandemic and it’s another year before you get to do that shopping trip, and your family is very busy, and work is crazy… It’s estimated that 19% of albeit well meaning gift certificates are never used.How about clothing? She hasn’t shopped for herself in more than a year, right? She’s maybe put on weight during the pandemic, about which she will be happy you reminded her (after she’s taken down all but that small mirror above the sink)  Yes, get her some clothes that will last until next pandemic.Of course, the best and most meaningful gift is time. Your time with her. Listening to stories she remembers about when you were a child. Or even better when she was a child. Time to spend helping her with chores she finds a little more difficult to get done by herself, like turning the mattress or changing out her seasonal clothes and decorations. Changing the furnace filters and washing out the mud in the garage.And if you don’t live close enough to your Mother to do those things in person, Golden Bridges can help. We offer an Advantage Card that works on an hourly punch card rate. Call 888-922-6368 to learn more about how we can help her live life better. Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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Food Insecurity and Hunger in America

Posted by on Apr 14, 2021 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Food Insecurity and Hunger in America

Food Insecurity and Hunger in America When the pandemic began last year, more American families than ever were thrown into the situation of not knowing where the next meal was coming from. Lines at food pantries snaked around pylons in parking lots as long as the Covid-19 testing lines. And while our country has been dealing with hunger for far longer than the pandemic, most food pantries and shelters still struggle to keep up with the demand.This updated report from Feeding America states that: “The COVID-19 crisis has dealt a swift blow to the economic health of individuals and communities across the country, and the effects have the potential to be long-term. It took ten years for food insecurity rates to return to pre-Great Recession levels. For now, with no immediate end to the crisis in sight, demand for charitable food assistance is expected to remain at elevated levels for the foreseeable future.”CLICK HERE for full report.  As an industry, the National Association of Senior & Specialty Move Managers (NASMM), to which we belong, has focused on helping to stock food banks. Our charitable partner, Move for Hunger helps by teaming up with movers and move managers to collect food items that homeowners will not be taking with them and donating them to local food pantries.CLICK HERE to visit Move Hunger’s website.  May is the designated month for bringing awareness to food instability and Golden Bridges has participated in Move for Hunger food drives that have collected over 22 million pounds of food in the US and Canada. This year we are starting early on April 17th at the Pittsfield Health and Wellness Fair. We will have our vans at Pittsfield Lake between 10am and 2pm that day. And with the return of the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce’s Dogwood Parade we will again be walking with our shopping carts to collect food donations on May 1st.We hope you will be able to participate in one of these events! “But what should I donate?” you ask.When it comes to meeting the greatest need, cash is king. By donating cash, you enable those operating the pantries to purchase what is just right for their most pressing needs. It’s also a good idea to check with the charity to see what they can accept, and what they can’t.See what some experts have to say on the subject:https://www.todaysparent.com/family/parenting/food-banks-need/https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-blog/what-donate-food-bank-and-what-avoidhttps://www.theeverydaymomlife.com/mom-life/donating-to-food-banks/https://www.delish.com/food/g4557/things-you-should-never-donate-food-bank/So what are some items that you can bring to these Golden Bridges food drives?Peanut butterPudding cupsCooking oilBoxed mixes (especially if they only need water to prepare)Canned meat or pouches of chicken, tuna, salmon, etc.Dried fruitFlour and sugarSpicesDried pastasBoxed or bagged cerealGrainsInstant coffee and teaHowever, if you think that donating gives you an opportunity to clean out your own kitchen cupboards, think again. Food pantries DON’T accept anything that has been opened and half used, any foods that are out of date, cans that are dented or rusted, and anything that was cooked at home.Helping people live life better. It’s what we do at Golden Bridges… for our clients, and our communities. Please give us a hand this year as we pack our vans full so we can pack the pantries serving those in need.Susan Scholz, PartnerGolden...

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