The constant demands on your time. The never-ending worries. The kind of stress that wakes you up in the middle of the night. Does finding balance while juggling the demands of work, family, and caring for aging parents sound overwhelming? Where do you even start to look for answers?
At Seniors Blue Book we understand your challenges. We are committed to providing you with the resources you need to navigate these issues. With years of expertise in elder care and a deep understanding of the emotional and logistical elements involved, we are your go-to resource and companion on this journey.
Our comprehensive directory of local resources is available 24/7 to make sure you have the knowledge and guidance to navigate the challenges of caring for your aging loved ones:
- Free Printed Community Resource Guide with all the resources you need
- Chat for free with a Resource Specialist on our Free Referral Line at 412-551-5951 or on our Live Chat on our website
- A monthly newsletter to keep you up-to-date on the latest information
- An Events Calendar filled with local programming and education, support groups, health fairs, and webinars
As your trusted resource on this important journey, we will share practical tips, key questions you need to ask along the way, and offer the compassionate guidance of a supportive community so you can make informed decisions that work for you and your family.
When it feels like you’re carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders, remember that you are not alone. Seniors Blue Book is your trusted companion, guiding you through the complexities of caregiving, and offering a compassionate hand along the way so you can restore balance in your life.
Your role as a caregiver is invaluable and you deserve the support and guidance to succeed. Seniors Blue Book is here for you, every step of the way.
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter today and make sure you have these valuable resources and support for your caregiving journey by calling 412-551-5951.
This article was written by Patty Toner, Director of Marketing with Seniors Blue Book Greater Pittsburgh Area. She can be reached at Patty@SeniorsBlueBook.com. Visit our local page at www.SBBPgh.com.
If youre part of a blended family (meaning you are married with children from a prior marriage in the mix), youre no stranger to the extra considerations and planning it takes to keep your familys life running smoothly from which parent your children will be with for the holidays to figuring out the schedule for a much-needed family vacation. Youve also probably given some thought to what you want to happen to your assets and your family if something happens to you. But what you might not have realized is this: If you dont create a plan for your assets before you die, the law has its own plan for you that might not reflect your wishes for your assets, especially your retirement assets. And if youre in a blended family, this can have a significant financial impact on the ones you love and even create expensive, long-term conflict.This week, we explain how the law affects retirement distributions for married couples, and why you need to be extra careful with your retirement planning if youre in a blended family to ensure your retirement account assets go to the right people in the right amounts after youre gone.Be Aware of How ERISA Affects 401K DistributionsIf youve remarried, you and your new spouse have probably talked about updating the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts to reflect your blended family arrangement. (If you havent talked about it, you need to talk about it ASAP). Sometimes, people who are remarried decide to leave their retirement funds to their children from a prior marriage and leave other assets like their house and savings accounts to their current spouse. You may do this to avoid future conflict between your spouse and your children over your assets.But even if you want to leave your retirement for just your children, if youre married and your retirement account is a work-sponsored account, your children wont inherit the entire account even if you name them as the sole beneficiaries. Thats because the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs most employer-sponsored pensions and retirement accounts. Under ERISA, if youre married at the time of your death, your spouse is automatically entitled to receive 50 percent of the value of your employer-sponsored plan even if your beneficiary designations say otherwise.The only time that your surviving spouse would not inherit half of your ERISA-governed retirement account is if your spouse signs an official Spousal Waiver saying they are affirmatively waiving their right to inherit 50 percent of the account, or if the account beneficiary is a Trust of which your spouse is a primary beneficiary. IRAs Have Different Rules Than 401KsIf you want your children to inherit more than 50 percent of your work-sponsored retirement benefits, and completing a Spousal Waiver isnt an option, consider rolling the account into a personal IRA instead.In contrast to 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored plans, IRAs are controlled by state law instead of ERISA. That means that your spouse is not automatically entitled to any part of your IRA. When you roll a 401(k) into an IRA, you gain the flexibility to name anyone you choose as the designated beneficiary, with or without your spouses consent. On the other hand, if you want to ensure your spouse receives half of your retirement savings, make sure to include them as a 50 percent beneficiary or better yet, have your individual retirement account payout to a Trust instead. With a Trust, you can:Document exactly how much of your retirement you want each of your loved ones to receiveControl when they receive the funds outrightEasily update and change the terms of your Trust without having to remember to update your financial accounts.Beneficiary Designations Always Trump Your WillWhether you have an employer-sponsored 401K or an IRA you manage yourself, there is one critical rule that everyone needs to know: beneficiary designations trump your Will.A Will is an important estate planning tool, but most people dont know that beneficiary designations override whatever your Will says about a particular asset. For example, if your Will states that you want your retirement account to be passed on to your brother, but the beneficiary designation on the account says you want it to go to your sister, your sister will inherit the account, even though your Will says otherwise.Similarly, lets imagine that you get divorced and as part of your divorce decree your ex-spouse agrees that they will not have any right to your retirement fund. However, after the divorce, you forget to take their name off of the beneficiary designation for the account. If you die before updating the beneficiary designation, your former spouse will inherit your retirement account. If you forget to update your ERISA-controlled account and have remarried, your current spouse would receive half of the account and your former spouse would receive the other half. Thats why its so important to work with an estate planning attorney who can make sure your accounts are set up with the proper beneficiary designations and ensure that your assets are passed on according to your wishes.Work With An Attorney Who Makes Sure All Your Assets Will Be Passed On How You Want Them ToUnderstanding how the law affects different types of assets is essential to creating an estate plan. But theres more to it than just having a lawyer you need an attorney who takes the time to really understand your family and your assets so they can design a custom plan that achieves your goals for your assets and your legacy. Thats why we help our clients create an inventory of all of their assets to ensure that every asset they hold is accounted for and passed on to their loved ones exactly as they want it to.Contact Entrusted Legacy Law at 412-347-1731.
In the delicate tapestry of aging, where memories form the threads that weave life's narrative, dementia introduces unexpected intricacies. Memory care, a tender expression of compassion, seeks to honor and uplift seniors traversing this challenging terrain. Join us on a journey as we explore the artistry of supporting our elders with grace and understanding.Harmonizing with Dementia:Dementia, a gentle whisper of forgetfulness that echoes through time, invites us to create a sanctuary of support. Through personalized routines, we compose a symphony of stability, providing seniors with a comforting melody of familiarity amid the uncertainty of memory's ebb and flow.The Canvas of Supportive Environments:Structured Routine: Like the gentle strokes of an artist's brush, a structured routine paints a canvas of predictability, offering a comforting backdrop against the ever-changing landscape of dementia.Memory-Friendly Spaces: Sculpting living spaces with intention, we carve out havens that speak the language of familiarity. Clear signs, uncluttered spaces, and cherished items form the brushstrokes that redefine the boundaries of a memory-friendly environment.Meaningful Activities:In the vibrant palette of activities, we find hues of joy and connection. Music, art, and gentle exercises become the pigments that breathe life into each day, invoking a spectrum of emotions that transcend the limits of memory.Harmony in Communication:Clear and Simple Communication: The gentle cadence of clear and simple language becomes the language of empathy, a conduit that bridges the gap between confusion and comprehension.Non-Verbal Cues: Like a silent ballet, non-verbal cues gracefully dance alongside words, creating a symphony of communication that transcends the confines of language.Active Listening: In the sacred space of active listening, we lend our ears to the unspoken melodies of our seniors, offering validation and understanding in the absence of complete clarity.Caring for Caregivers:Education and Training: The nurturing soil of education and training allows caregivers to bloom into knowledgeable guides, navigating the delicate landscape of dementia with wisdom and understanding.Respite Care: A respite, a moment of reprieve, becomes the gentle breeze that revitalizes caregivers, preventing burnout and ensuring the continuity of compassionate care.Joining Support Groups: In the mosaic of caregiving, support groups form a mosaic of understanding, offering caregivers a sanctuary of shared experiences, advice, and the reassurance that they are not alone.In the enchanting realm of memory care, where love and empathy intertwine, we discover the beauty of honoring our seniors with dementia. Through the strokes of structured routines, the colors of meaningful activities, and the gentle dance of communication, we craft a masterpiece of care that transcends the challenges of memory loss, embracing the journey with unwavering grace.
In the realm of senior therapy, the integration of music and arts stands out as a transformative approach to holistic well-being. Recent studies highlight the profound cognitive benefits that music can offer to seniors, from stimulating memory recall to enhancing overall cognitive function. Whether through familiar melodies that evoke cherished memories or the joy of learning a new instrument, music becomes a powerful tool for self-expression and connection, particularly for seniors facing cognitive decline. Simultaneously, engaging in visual and performing arts provides an avenue for creative expression, offering a sense of accomplishment and purpose. The emotional impact of these creative endeavors is equally significant, alleviating feelings of loneliness and fostering a sense of community through shared experiences in choir singing or art classes.In essence, the incorporation of music and arts into senior therapy transcends mere entertainment, becoming a vital aspect of promoting the overall well-being of older individuals. By tapping into the creative spirit, seniors can find avenues for cognitive stimulation, emotional connection, and a renewed sense of purpose. As society recognizes the importance of a comprehensive approach to senior care, the role of music and arts in therapeutic practices emerges as a valuable and enriching endeavor for the aging population, contributing to a fulfilling and vibrant later life.