Senior Moments

Saturday Sisters

Posted by on Oct 22, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Saturday Sisters

Saturday Sisters

As the old saying goes, you can’t pick your sisters, but you can pick your… friends. Well, luckily I was born into a family of four girls. So I had built in sisters! Sure, we sometimes argued – over boys, clothes, or music. But we also bonded over boys, clothes… and music. Unfortunately they’re all living in the east now – Buffalo, NY and Fredericksburg, VA, and it’s tough to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee or glass of wine on a regular basis.


So… I found a group of what I call my Saturday Sisters. It started with my sorority sister, Jill, when we were both in Weight Watchers a few years ago. After weighing in, we would treat ourselves by going to Panera for coffee and whatever. Usually we shared the egg white and caprese breakfast sandwich, which with black coffee was only four points apiece.

Having been close during college, we had drifted apart while raising kids and launching careers. With that behind us, we were ready for some “sister time” and picked up right where we left off. And since we were having so much fun, we started expanding the group.


If memory serves, Mary was next. Then GB partner Nancy, Sherry and Carla (who both live in Canton, thirty minutes away) would join us whenever they didn’t have other obligations. Partner Suzanne lives in Palmyra (also a 30 minute drive), but joins us when she can make an excuse to come to town. This year we’ve added Darlene and Angela, and invited Catherine.


Pre-pandemic, we could count on the fact that Thursday or Friday one of the Saturday Sisters would send out the group text to decide which local restaurant we would visit on Saturday morning. During the initial COVID shutdown we were not able to get together. But when the weather warmed up, we had had enough of quarantine and started meeting on Jill’s breezeway, with proper precautions and social distancing. She supplied the coffee and we either brought our own breakfast or someone would treat the group. The food really doesn’t matter. Good coffee and good friends are the winning combination.


On any given Saturday there might be ten or just two, but some part of the group gets together to mull over the week before or the week to come. To bolster each other or commiserate over the pandemic, the job, the kids, etc. We laugh, we eat, we drink coffee. We relax and we let go.

According to, US adults reported

“considerably elevated adverse mental health conditions associated with COVID-19.”


Therefore, psychologists recommend reaching out to others as a strategy for maintaining your mental health and balance. In this article from Women’s Health Group, it makes the top five in “How to Support your Mental Health during CoVid-19”.

CLICK HERE to read more

Now the Saturday Sisters include four more college girlfriends, my partners and a colleague from Golden Bridges, and a friend from the theatre.


Recently I hosted the group on my open-air patio (see photo). My husband even cooked for the occasion. Excellent lemon-blueberry bread pudding and marinated orange slices. As usual, we laughed, we talked, and we drank coffee.


As the days get shorter and the chill drives us off the breezeway we are searching for a safe meeting place for the winter. Too big a group to socially distance in a restaurant. Too cold blooded to suffer the cold temperatures. Maybe we will all have to chip in for a tent with a heater. Or maybe we will go the route of other sisters and opt for the safety of Zoom or other meet up platforms.

CLICK HERE to read more on this topic


Whatever the solution, one thing for sure we’ll continue to be Saturday Sisters!


Who is in your “go to” group? What are you doing to stay close during the COVID uncertainty and confusion? Drop a comment on our Facebook page and tell us about your Saturday Sisters!


Susan Scholz

Partner, Golden Bridges


COVID Homecoming

Posted by on Aug 20, 2020 in Senior Move Managers, Uncategorized | Comments Off on COVID Homecoming

COVID Homecoming

Self quarantine and isolation for COVID is recommended as a healthcare strategy to stop the spread of the virus. For some, especially the elderly, this can lead to an unhealthy level of loneliness. According to an article from Barron’s, “Physical distancing is the key that keeps us safe, but we saw residents physically and cognitively declining from two to three weeks of social distancing,”

What is COVID doing to impact your relationship with your family… your aging parents? Even when they live nearby, we are encouraged to stay socially distant. Does that mean that you have not seen your parents in weeks or months? Have you had a COVID homecoming? If so, what did you find? Are they getting what they need for proper nutrition and safety?

Aging parents are not the only ones affected when we have to stay socially distant. “COVID-19   has robbed grandparents of many experiences… that special moment of meeting a grandbaby for the first time has, for many, been yanked away by the pandemic and been replaced by an agonizing wait.” 

But how long do we have to wait when there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight? According to an AARP article, “Experts recommend that if you are preparing to meet a newborn grandchild soon, all parties should quarantine for two weeks before gathering, even if people appear to be asymptomatic.” If you can’t quarantine completely at home, follow health department guidelines of wearing a mask when in groups where social distancing is not possible; staying six feet apart from others; and frequent hand-washing. All these are proven strategies to help stop the spread of the virus.

Of course, grandparents – especially new ones – tend to want to make sure that their grandchild is being parented properly. Here are some tips from AARP:


          Use video chat technology, such as Zoom and Facetime, to observe                          milestones like smiling and rolling.

  •           Don’t give advice unless asked for it (which can be the tendency when the            only option is chatting over the phone).
  •           Send meals, but don’t forget the impact that snail mail can have. A gift                    package, a letter, a poem, a book or something sentimental that has                        shared family meaning is appreciated.
  •           Try to distract older children with games and stories, via video chat, to                  give parents a break and allow them to focus on the newborn.
  •           Use technology to frequently talk to, sing to and interact with, a                              grandchild.
  •           Provide empathy and support to new parents, and acknowledge the                        sadness they’re likely feeling over the limitations of social distancing and              the pandemic.


Now that we’ve covered the grandchildren… what about the parents and/or grandparents?

If your elderly loved ones are in a senior care residential setting, be sure to follow the protocols set by the staff. It may be hard to only be able to see them through the window – or a visiting booth set up in the lobby – but it gives you the opportunity to see their physical state, and that’s important. If they aren’t close enough for this type of visit, see if the facility has a virtual visit method that allows them to see and hear you, and vice versa.

And, if they are in self-quarantine in their own home, you have probably already invested in virtual visiting options. From Duke University, here are some options suggested.


Bobbi Matchar, director of the Duke Dementia Family Support Program, has these suggestions for decreasing social isolation among seniors while maintaining physical distance:

  •           Snail mail
  •           Phone calls, texts, email, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook
  •           GrandPad (tablet designed for seniors; a good option if people can afford it)
  •           Volunteering from home by making phone calls (to others in quarantine)
  •           Watching live-streaming worship services and submitting prayer requests                     online
  •           Short neighborhood walks, waving to neighbors
  •           Gardening
  •           Online book groups
  •           Virtual tours, museums, concerts and plays


Normally programs for elders aim to increase human contact. Now that contact is potentially deadly. The National Institute on Aging has an online program called “Go 4 Life” with great at-home exercise videos, a downloadable book, online chat groups, and the option to make and track exercise goals. 


In all of the articles that I read for this blog (see citations), one thing was clear. This COVID pandemic has been a game-changer. The senior living industry is supporting a transition to more active healthcare available within the facility. From tele-medicine, to technology, to on sight healthcare professionals, they are embracing a new way to dispense care.

The way we participate in commerce has seen a huge shift to online order and delivery. If you have not already researched and set up these options for your parents, now is the time to put things in order. Not only will it meet their needs during the pandemic, but will be more important as they start to lose their mobility. If their goal is to age in place – engage an expert in making sure their home is safe for a change in lifestyle. At Golden Bridges, we have received special training in senior home design, coordination of services, and in down-sizing the things that might be in their way as their needs change.

We hope that you have a Happy COVID Homecoming – whether it’s with grandchildren, parents, or grandparents, and that you will take advantage of the opportunities within this “new normal”. It’s your move… Golden Bridges can help!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Season of Storms

Posted by on Jul 23, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Season of Storms

Season of Storms

The year 2020 has felt like nothing but storms and unusual phenomenon – CoVid, economic uncertainty, civil unrest, Blue Moon, Red Moon, Lunar Eclipse, Murder Hornets and Sahara sandstorms in the Midwest… and a few weeks ago Quincy, IL (where Golden Bridges is based) had a downpour of rain that flooded streets and basements.

But lest we forget, we have been through storms before. Facebook reminds me that five years ago our city lost hundreds of trees in a 70mph straight line windstorm…. And we recovered. We got help from volunteers around the country who came with their chainsaws and chippers to help us clean up. We had an active tree planting campaign to Replace the Canopy and today they are growing strong.

Three months into pandemic lockdown, partial business openings, drive-by birthday parties and wedding postponements, we are learning to live with the 2020 new normal. 

During this time of uncertainty and division,you can be a voice for calm in your household. Halfway through the year, it’s time to establish those routines that will enable you to weather any storms that come along in the second half of the year. 

Back to School will be coming soon, but do any of us know what that will mean? Cloth facemasks? Face shields? No papers to turn in – assignments on an electronic tablet? Zoom classroom? More home schooling? You can plan now to create a set up for your needs, whether that’s a sanitation station for after school or a dedicated space for distance learning.

For those working from home will that be over by fall, or will it go past the holiday season? Have you set up the perfect office space, or did you just put your laptop on a bunch of books on top of the coffee table so that it was high enough to capture your face for Zoom meetings? Are you jealous of all those people with the perfect living room, collection of books, children and pets acting like angels in the background?

Golden Bridges provides solutions for those in transition. We are all facing “stormy weather” in the form of these 2020 transitions. Need help getting your dining room back after going back to work? Or do you need to hang onto that green screen studio a little longer – but want it gone in time for Thanksgiving dinner? Now is the perfect time to tackle those spaces.

It’s your move. Golden Bridges can help!


Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Put your house on a diet

Posted by on Jun 27, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Put your house on a diet

Put your house on a diet

How many of us have tried dieting during COVID-19? Maybe you have made some intentional changes to your eating habits, using only fresh ingredients and natural foods. Or perhaps, you have added an exercise routine.

Now it’s time to put your house on a diet. During the past few months at home you may have sampled some trendy or crash diets in your house. Is it possible that you went all Marie Kondo on your sock drawer? Or, have you minimalized your kitchen utensils? Did you do the 50-hangers closet purge?

If you are like me – on Facebook more than once a day – you’ve seen pictures of your friends’ piles of clothes or decorative items they are either selling or donating to a local charity. But is there a better way? According to the ‘Nesting Place’, there are five things people with tidy homes don’t do:

  • Tidy people don’t act like a slob all day, and then get their house tidy in one fell swoop.
  • Tidy people don’t run out of cleaning supplies.
  • Tidy people don’t let the sun go down on their filth.
  • Tidy people don’t store things on the floor.
  • Tidy people don’t over decorate.


CLICK HERE to read more. 

So, if you accept the comparison that a “tidy” house is like a “fit” body, these tips are similar to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. But what if it’s too late for that? Finding motivation to get your house tidy is a very personal journey, but here is an article with ten “tricks” that I thought just might work for me: 

  1. Play music – I enjoy classical music, so using a streaming service on TV or Alexa or Spotify I would ask it to play either by composer or genre. For you, it might be rock and roll or even heavy metal to get you going!
  3. Set a timer – it doesn’t have to be a long time – twenty minutes can get you through picking up one room!
  5. Put just one thing back in its rightful place. 
  7. Reward yourself – wine perhaps?
  9. Do one small task a day.
  11. Have a friend come over to help. (and bring wine?)
  13. Acknowledge your weakness.
  15. Try a new cleaning product.
  17. Use a trigger. The article will help with some suggestions on this. CLICK HERE
  19. Invite visitors. This one definitely motivates me. Plan a party, or even coffee with a friend, and you will automatically get into a cleaning mood to show your house at its best!

And… if you get stuck, or need some EXTRA help, you can call us at Golden Bridges!


Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Spring Cleaning

Posted by on May 27, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning

“Spring Cleaning started as a way to clean away Winter’s mess. In those days, homes were heated by fires, and doors were kept shut tight to keep the warm air in. This, of course, led to soot and grime accumulating during the cold months.” This statement was published by The Cleaning Authority in March, 2017. CLICK HERE to read more.

So, why do we still do it today? I don’t know about you, but my home has a clean and efficient heating system. The filters are replaced on a timely basis, and the only soot and grime accumulated is in my fireplace chimney (yes, it is cleaned regularly too). So, do I really need to spend time “spring cleaning”?

Well, some would say that “cleaning can also give a sense of satisfaction that will put you in a good mood.” That someone would be Martha Stewart, and you can find the checklist that puts her in a good mood at this site.

But, if your spring cleaning doesn’t allow enough time for wiping down all the walls and ceilings, re-sealing the grout in all your tiled areas, polishing metal door and window hardware… whew, I’m exhausted!… you might want to just take a few tips from the Merry Maids checklist:
          ● Flip the mattress
          ● Changing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
          ● Wash bathmat, shower liner and shower curtain
          ● Check expiration date on fire extinguisher
The key to success here is to set an amount of time to work on it — say 20 minutes — and work through the checklist over a period of time. CLICK HERE for an additional checklist.

Spring Cleaning in the age of COVID
But, this spring brings us a new challenge and a new level for cleaning and sanitation. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily. “This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks,” according to their website. If surfaces are dirty, the site says, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. CLICK HERE to read more. 

AdventHealth is one of the largest not-for-profit Protestant health care providers and health systems in the nation, serving more than five million patients. Their website publishes a list that includes all of the above but adds a reminder to also disinfect kids’ toys. CLICK HERE to read the full article. 

And for those who don’t have the same dexterity they did when they first started housekeeping – i.e. my generation of Baby Boomers, consider the tips in this article which include using dusters with extended handles, a dustpan that stands by itself, and a vacuum cleaner with a retractable cord. Or – the best piece of advice – enlist your grandkids (who are home and looking for things to do) to help with the heavy lifting.

However you choose to accomplish your spring cleaning this year, don’t skip the most important
step… Sit back, relax, and enjoy a rewarding beverage when it’s all over!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Food Insecurity Among Seniors

Posted by on Apr 23, 2020 in Senior Move Managers, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Food Insecurity Among Seniors

Food Insecurity Among Seniors

“Nearly one in every six seniors in America faces the threat of hunger and not being properly nourished. This applies to those who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from and those who don’t have access to the healthiest possible food options.” These are the opening sentences of the April 2020 article from the Aging in Place website. (Note that these statistics published in 2019 actually reflect the numbers from 2017.)

The article goes on to say that senior hunger issues lead to $130B in resulting healthcare expenses to treat conditions that might be prevented with proper nutrition and food abundance.

During this COVID-19 pandemic we are learning new skills to cope with everyday challenges. Food purveyors are looking for new and better ways to meet their customers’ needs. For some, online shopping and pick up seem like just the latest gadget. It’s been embraced mostly by young working mothers who want to save the time they would have spent shopping. For seniors who may have transportation or mobility issues, these services are a helpful way to assure that their cupboards do not go bare. If your parents are in need of the service discuss it with them. If they could be served by Meals on Wheels, help them make the call and complete the application process.

Unfortunately, food Insecurity is not just a senior issue, especially now. Today I saw that a food bank in San Antonio had a line of 10,000 cars waiting for donations. They expect more tomorrow. In fact, cars were already in line at 9pm. No doubt there were seniors in that line. Previous statistics have been shattered by our current pandemic and unemployment problem.

In April, Golden Bridges typically starts our food drive in conjunction with the National Association of Senior Move Managers. We team up with the non-profit MOVE FOR HUNGER organization who collect and distribute non- perishable food items for donation to local food pantries across the United States and Canada.

For us that means making plans to march in the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce annual Dogwood Parade. Due to the standing orders to #stayhome the parade has been postponed to October. There may not be dogwoods in bloom, but you can be assured we will be pushing those grocery carts and collecting your contributions for Quincy’s pantries. Or, if you are moved to make a more timely donation, contact Horizons, GPS Ministries, Catholic Charities, Meals on Wheels and the United Way to learn how you can make a difference today.

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Collecting Dust

Posted by on Mar 26, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Collecting Dust

Collecting Dust

We Americans love our collections. Ask most anyone you know and they will admit to collecting something, either now or at some point in the past. According to Google, these are the ten most popular:

Comic Books. …

Coins and Currency. …

Classic Cars. …

Trading Cards. …

Dolls and Toys. …

Stamps. …

Wine. …

Fine Art and Jewelry. Fine art and jewelry are lumped together because they are both highly personal collectibles.

And if you find those dull and ordinary, here are some of the most exotic collections:

Toenail clippings

Belly button fluff

ABC gumball

Daleks (yes, I had to look it up too)

Airline barf bags

‘Do Not Disturb’ hotel signs

There’s even one man who collects autographs. Not so unusual you say? It is if you ask celebrities to write your name! Paul Schmelzer has done it over 70 times.

You really must read the article to learn how they justify these collections! CLICK HERE to read. 

Some people choose to invest by collecting items that will increase in value. Of those, the best is fine art followed by rare coins, jewelry and gems, and thoroughbred horses. But face it – most of us are not in that league.

We once did a downsizing presentation for a small audience in Macomb. When we asked them what would be the hardest to let go we got one of the most common answers: dishes. Assuming the attendee meant fine china, I asked why it was so special. Before she could speak, the friend sitting next to her said that it was because she had been collecting them for so long. She added that her friend was especially proud of the fact that she had twelve matching salad bowls… (drumroll please)… 16oz Cool Whip containers.

For those of you who thought your collection of Thomas Kinkade, Roseville Pottery, or Coca-Cola memorabilia would take care of you in retirement, here is a link that will surely disappoint.

So what do you have in multiple quantities collecting dust? If you are ready to downsize – and ready to get rid of it, who ya gonna call? Golden Bridges!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges


Seniors and Pets

Posted by on Feb 28, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Seniors and Pets

Seniors and Pets

Up front, I am not a pet owner. Sure, I had pets when I was a kid. My kids had pets growing up. But when I no longer had my children living with me I was relieved to leave pet ownership behind. So, when it came time to write this month’s blog, I was not really excited.

I started my research with the premise that pets aren’t for every senior. I googled the topic why not to have a pet in your senior years. Of course, what I found was that most articles suggest it is a good idea.

However, there were some caveats. had this to say.

“For those seniors who want a dog, there are many reasons to be wary of jumping into pet adoption too quickly. The lack of mobility and inability to drive to and from the vet, groomer, or pet store worries them. The initial costs are usually high. They also worry that if and when there comes a point when they can no longer care for the dog, that the dog might be taken to a shelter and eventually euthanized. Many seniors feel like their worsening health condition is a burden, and a pet might possibly add to that.”

But, they also listed six good reasons for seniors to care for pets. Some of the obvious:

  • Companionship
  • Exercise
  • Calmness
  • Purpose
  • Security
  • Socialization

While most of these truly are no brainers, they are good reasons for a senior to become a pet owner even if for the first time. CLICK HERE for more information. 

That is not to say that all of the research was positive. This article at lists some of the potential hazards of pet ownership, especially for seniors in poor health caring for aging pets.

“Caring for an aging animal can take an emotional toll; in one survey of pet owners, there was greater burden, stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as poorer quality of life, in owners of pets with chronic or terminal disease.”

Now, let’s look at the practical issues of pet ownership. If or when a senior needs to move to a location with a higher level of care, it is not always possible to take their pet. But, according to, 75% of for-profit senior living facilities do allow pet owners to bring their pet with them. CLICK HERE to read more on finding pet friendly retirement communities. 

Here are some things to keep in mind if you choose to take your pet along for the move.

  • Is there enough room?
  • What types of pets are allowed?
  • Are veterinary services available?
  • Is there a pet deposit, or monthly fees associated with pet ownership?

In the long run, to have or have not is always up to you. Weigh the benefits as well as the costs, and make the right decision for you and your lifestyle. And if you decide that it is right for you, recommends the following… small dog breeds for seniors include:

Shih Tzu


Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Boston Terrier

Miniature Schnauzer




Yorkshire Terrier


As always, your local humane society or animal shelter is happy to help!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges


Posted by on Nov 20, 2019 in Senior Move Managers | Comments Off on Caregiver


According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, “the “typical” U.S. caregiver is a 46-year-old woman who works outside the home and spends more than 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother. Most caregivers are married or living with a partner.”

Chances are that many of you reading this blog are in that or a similar situation. With the 65+ age group expected to double to 70 million people by 2030, the numbers  of these family caregivers will naturally increase proportionally. Caregivers, particularly family members, are at increased risk for health problems and burnout.

There are a number of things you can do to take care of yourself, stay healthy, and prevent burnout, including:

  • Ask others for help. …
  • Get support. …
  • Be honest with yourself. …
  • Talk to other caregivers. …
  • Take regular breaks. …
  • Attend social activities. …
  • Pay attention to your feelings and needs. …
  • Take care of your health.

The healthcare community –  providers, payers, and health insurance companies – are aware of these statistics and poised to help. 

Those who are caring for a family member who is a veteran or receiving Medicaid are in the best position for assistance. This article outlines how caregivers can be financially compensated.

VITAS Healthcare, a hospice service provider in 14 states and the District of Columbia provides support for family caregivers. They realize that 30% of them describe the experience as stressful and help them recognize the signs and symptoms of burnout.  CLICK HERE to read more on this topic. 

The Cleveland and Mayo Clinic both provide information and assistance to family caregivers regarding burnout and physical health concerns. A frank discussion  with your primary care physician and your loved one’s physician is a great start in taking control of your caregiving situation. The single most recognized action for preventing burnout or physical illness is joining a community of fellow caregivers. 

The Family Caregiver Alliance at is a resource that all caregivers should have in their list of favorite websites. They provide education, advocacy,  and an opportunity to connect with other caregivers. Sharing your experience with those in similar caregiver situations helps relieve stress and allows you to get ideas for better caregiving.  CLICK HERE for more on caregiving. 

While each caregiving situation is a unique one, the role as a family caregiver is not. Your caring and compassion are so valuable and especially valued by your patient. On behalf of our generation, our communities, and our clients, the owners at Golden Bridges thank you.


Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges


Source material:

CLICK HERE for Cleveland Clinic article on “Caregiver Burnout”

CLICK HERE for Mayo Clinic article on “Caregiver Stress”


TRICK or TREAT (for Seniors?)

Posted by on Oct 13, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on TRICK or TREAT (for Seniors?)

TRICK or TREAT (for Seniors?)

Yes! Seniors like to be treated at Halloween too. And senior living facilities love to host Trick or Treaters. This year while you’re selecting treats to give out at the door… and making sure the kids have the perfect costume… grab some treats for the seniors in your life.

If you don’t have an older neighbor or family member, check with a local church, community center, or nursing home for someone to “sponsor” at Halloween.

Some fun items you might include in a basket/bag for a senior are noted in this informative article: CLICK HERE

*Candy corn lip balm

*Small notepads and pens

*Playing cards

*Fun colored handkerchief

*Edible goodies that are safe for their diet (Poptarts, flavored applesauce, peanut butter crackers, microwavable lunch, nuts)

And make sure you schedule enough time for a visit with the senior when you drop off the treats. Spending time with seniors can be a valuable experience for all ages. The articles below outline things to be learned from visiting with seniors:

*Respect for elders

*A sense of self-identify

*A new skill, i.e. playing the piano or knitting

*Family or local history


Halloween is a fun holiday. Make it fun for the seniors in your life this year!


Happy Halloween!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges