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ABOUT MARTHA EVANS SPARKS

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

ANNUAL GAP CONFERENCE CONTINUES TO GROW

When the first Grandparents as Parents (GAP) conference convened in Lexington 15 years ago, the pleasant facilities of the Fayette County Agricultural Extension office on Red Mile Place were roomy enough to accommodate the 100 or so people who attended.

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DO YOU NEED A CAREGIVER AGREEMENT?

A friend and I were leaving a church meeting one Wednesday night when she said, “I have an awful headache. It’s strange. I don’t usually have headaches.” I said I was sorry and hoped she would feel better. We said goodbye in the parking lot and both of us drove home alone. The next day, I learned that later that night she suffered a brain.....

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SENIORS HELPING SENIORS - IN-HOME CARE SERVICE PAIRS PROVIDERS WITH THOSE IN NEED

Seniors Helping Seniors (SHS) is an in-home senior-care service founded more than 10 years ago and headquartered in Pennsylvania. SHS now has almost 300 franchise locations coast to coast in the United States.  What sets SHS apart is that all the care providers are seniors themselves.

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LEXINGTON COMMUNITY SENIORS: TRAVELING ON YOUR TERMS

If you like to travel but have reached a stage in life where you don’t wish to go alone, Lexington Community Seniors (LCS) has good news for you. The organization does all the planning, makes all the arrangements and provides the safety and security of traveling with a group. You pay one fee up front that includes the entire cost of the trip.

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GRANDPARENTS RAISING GRANDCHILDREN HAVE RIGHTS

Jimmy, 8, standing in his grandparents’ front yard, waves his arm toward the house. “This is my home now,” he says. What Jimmy does not say is that he has trouble sleeping and sometimes has panic attacks. His grandmother, Sandy, thinks it is because of the child’s conflicted state of mind.

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WHAT IS A WILL AND WHY SHOULD YOU HAVE ONE?

A will is the legal declaration of what a person wants done with his or her possessions after his or her death. The person making the will is called the testator. Generally, though there are exceptions, the will must be in writing and must conform to the laws of the testator’s state and nation.

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GRANDPARENTS AS PARENTS

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.

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WHO ARE THE CAREGIVERS?

Though definitions and criteria vary, numerous studies of informal caregiving in the United States generally define a caregiver as an unpaid individual – spouse, partner, family member, friend or neighbor – who assists another person on a regular basis with activities of daily living and/or medical tasks.

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REVERSE MORTGAGES ALLOW YOU TO LIVE IN AND STILL OWN YOUR HOME

How does a reverse mortgage differ from other mortgages? Why did one financial adviser call a reverse mortgage “an option of last resort”?  Although private banks sometimes make reverse mortgages (often referred to as a home equity conversion mortgage, or HECM), these days most senior citizens apply for reverse morgages through....

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WHEN YOUR LOVED ONE IS ABUSED IN A NURSING HOME: A PERSONAL STORY

My sister opened the door of our mother’s nursing home room one afternoon just in time to see the nursing assistant hit her. It was a real haymaker that snapped Mother’s head back.  “Why did you hit my mother?” my sister asked.  “I asked her to sit up and she didn’t,” the young woman replied. Our mother was 96 years old and blind.

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PROGRAM OFFERS SENIORS HEALTH INSURANCE ASSISTANCE

Mary Lou Campbell believes every senior in Kentucky needs to know about the Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) services available through the office of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass.  “I want people to know there is help,” said Campbell, who works in the Lexington office of Legal Aid of the Bluegrass.

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TRAVELING WITH A WHEELCHAIR

If anybody knows how to travel by wheelchair, it’s Ralph Yoder. For more than 20 years, Yoder’s lower body has been paralyzed and he has only limited use of his hands.  It all began Aug. 15, 1994, the day Yoder fell off a roof. He landed on a concrete driveway 20 feet below, completely shattering two vertebrae in his neck.

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PERSONAL SERVICE LENDS A HELPING HAND

If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed by the length of your to-do list, perhaps you should call Let Us Do That, a personal assistant service based in Lexington. The name of the company describes how it works quite well: You call, describe the chore you need done and they do it.

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