12 WAYS TO HELP AN ALZHEIMERS CAREGIVER

One in 10 Americans over age 65 years and almost half of those over age 85 years have Alzheimer’s disease or a related type of dementia.  Alzheimer’s disease (AD), the most common form of dementia, involves a gradual breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Affected persons lose the ability to interpret information and send messages to their bodies to behave in certain ways. Over time they experience mental, emotional, behavioral and physical changes, necessitating increasing amounts of….

PROBATE BASICS

Probate is the legal process of transferring ownership of property from the decedent to his or her heirs either by accepting the validity of their last will and testament or by following the Kentucky laws of intestacy.  For a will to be valid, it must be “self-proven” or proven as valid in court by at least one of the witnesses.  A valid will can also be holographic: written entirely in the handwriting of the decedent, signed, and dated.

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CONTAINER GARDENING

Gardens are great, but they require a lot of time, labor and money. They also require land space and good soil. Container gardening skirts all these obstacles, offering reduced time, effort and costs, and can be enjoyed in an apartment or other home lacking a yard. Vegetables and herbs can be grown in containers on a balcony, patio or walkway.

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When you have an estimate of the total cost of the holidays, be honest with yourself. Can you responsibly spend that amount this year? Would it be possible to defray costs this year by reallocating some monthly funds toward paying down Christmas?


Now that you have a plan for this year’s budget, plan ahead for next year by opening a new Christmas savings account, using automatic deductions for deposits.


No matter what you spend, find ways to make Christmas meaningful. Think of the real reason for the season. That will help you take some of the stress out of the holidays.

The holidays are here. What would they be like without those special meals with family and friends? This also means gift giving, parties to attend or host — and stretching your budget. Consider the following tips to help you stay merry and bright this season:


Decide on a Budget.  Estimate what you are able to reasonably spend. One golden rule: No going into debt for the holidays. Decide now to pay in cash or with a check or a debit card. The average holiday bill is $980 and more. Try to pare down your estimate to a manageable level. Set a limit and stand by it. See if your family can have a more meaningful kind of holiday season with a sensible plan for spending.


Count the Costs.  Not only is there the cost of the gift-giving ritual to consider, but you also need to think about the dollar amounts for meals that must be purchased and prepared, including food items you take to others’ get-togethers. And don’t forget the clothes you’ll probably buy to wear to those parties. What about deco-rations and a tree? Add those to your calculations as well and see where you can economize.


Start Planning Early.  Make a list of all those for whom you need to buy gifts. These might include teachers, service workers and your minister as well as family and friends.

BUDGETING FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Look for Bargains.  Use apps that point you to the best buys, especially on big-ticket items. You can also use apps to compare cost or help you as you’re looking for sales. Look at group buying sites such as Groupon and check out Amazon Local to get discounts on services and products. Shop through cash-back reward sites to earn back a percentage of your purchases.


Be Creative.  Search for ways to supply gifts at a low cost. Perhaps making some of them would work for some family members. Coupons offering to clean house, wash the car or bake a pie may be especially appreciated by aunts and uncles and busy moms and students. When in doubt about what to purchase, a gift card may be in order.


Travel Smart.  Book reservations ahead of time. Use your airline miles. Remember, you must count not only transportation, but lodging and meals.


Be Sensible. Ask guests to bring a dish to festivities. Know a store’s refund policy. Save all your receipts. Avoid impulse spending.

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN and a freelance writer. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines. Her Web site is at

www.normajean.naiwe.com

more articles by jean jeffers