EMBRACING LIFE TO ITS FULLEST - LEGACY RESERVE

Patrons of Legacy Reserve at Fritz Farm can hardly wait to move into their new homes this month. Some of them signed up over a year ago.  “I chose Legacy Reserve as my future home for many reasons,” said Don Bayer, a retired Chicago Public Schools principal. “I was fascinated by the fact that it is going to have a heated saltwater swimming pool. I love to swim.”   “We decided we wanted to live here the rest of our lives,” said Loretta Jones, another resident looking forward to moving in. “So we are downsizing and we’re ready to go.”

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LIVING FRUGALLY

Many people in the United States with significant savings fear going broke in retirement, according to a recent survey. However, there are ways to live frugally to try to prevent that from happening.

1. Analyze your living situation. According to research, the cost of a home and home-related expenses accounts for nearly 43 percent of spending for people who are 65 to 74 years of age. ....

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TECHNOLOGY PRIMER FOR GRANDPARENTS

No one needs to be told the younger generations are attached to their technology. It used to just be computers, but now it’s smart phones. These days, if you want to stay in contact with your grandchildren – and sometimes even your children – you’d be wise to learn a few basic methods of keeping in touch in the digital age. A study released in 2012 by Microsoft and AARP called “Connecting Generations” found teens and their parents and grandparents are communicating more because of social media and other online tools.

….FULL ARTICLE

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Money has to be the top problem for most second-time-around parents. Food, clothing and medical expenses suddenly increase enormously, but the Social Security check does not increase. Yet many grandparents would not have it any other way. They do not want strangers raising their own flesh and blood.


In Kentucky, relatives parenting children not their own may want to contact Legal Aid of the Bluegrass at (859) 233-4556 to get help. This would include information on the Senior Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) that assists seniors in accessing Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps and other government programs.


Substitute parents may also find helpful information by attending the low-cost, one-day Grandparents As Parents (GAP) conference held each March in Lexington. Call (859) 257-5582 or go to www.gapofky.org for more information.

Usually, having to take full parental responsibility for your grandchildren or other children not your own comes with little warning. Grandparents often cartwheel into a world of child neglect and abuse, court proceedings and drug addiction they never knew existed. Grandparents need fast, accurate answers to their questions.


In sorrow and love they take in the little refugees created by military deployment, fatal accidents, incarceration or mental illness. However, 80 percent to 90 percent of the cases where grandparents find themselves raising their children’s children happen because of the biological parents’ addictions to drugs and alcohol.


One of the first things grandparents or others stepping in as fulltime parents should do is go to family court and prove to the judge that it is in the best interests of the child for someone other than the birth parents to have custody and to be awarded that custody. Custody has two components: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody means being able to make decisions for the child – where the child goes to school, what doctor the child sees in case of illness – or to give permission for the child to play a sport at school that might result in injury. Physical custody refers to where the child lives, eats and sleeps. Sole custody, sometimes called full custody, gives you both legal and physical custody of your relative child. With full custody, grandparents

GRANDPARENTS AS PARENTS

have the complete say on everything.


One important effect of having full custody is lowered stress for the child. Many of these children live in fear they will be abruptly dragged back into the abusive situation they have escaped. If a court has awarded the grandparents custody, the natural parents cannot show up without warning and say, “He’s my kid. I’m taking him now.” At least there will have to be a hearing first.


Children coming out of neglect and abuse sometimes need special parenting methods. Little children often conclude from their experiences in the chaos of a dysfunctional home that adults cannot be trusted, that adults never do what they say they will do. Sometimes children who move from the custody of drunken and/or drug addicted parents to Grandma’s are amazed to find that she doesn’t live in her car and they come home to the same house every day. They are surprised to learn when Grandma says, “We will have dinner at 6 p.m.,” that is when they eat. Sometimes imposing a rigid schedule, at least at first, is helpful in parenting a young child who has been abused or neglected.

MARTHA EVANS SPARKS

Martha Evans Sparks is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

more articles by martha evans sparks