Rosh Hashanah -Sharing the holiday with our elders

As we enter the New Year, how do we share this time with family when we can’t be with them in person. Carol Silver Elliott, the CEO and President of the Jewish Home Family, suggests the following:

“How do we bridge that divide this year? How do we keep our elders from feeling alone and our children and grandchildren from losing the opportunity to build a memory? Rather than sit alone at our holiday tables, this is the year to connect with elders virtually, either before or during the holiday. Ask them about their holiday memories, to share a story of holidays in their youth. Record it or jot down notes and take screen shots. Ask them what they hope the coming year will bring. Give the children and grandchildren an opportunity to share their own holiday wishes with the elder. Maybe it’s a video greeting card, maybe there are cards or drawings or crayoned pictures, maybe there are photos as the family gathers that can be sent to the older adult, either via mail or electronically. We must find ways to hold onto what’s important and not let the virus have this victory. COVID has already taken far too much from us and from our elders.” https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/a-new-year/

Let’s all create some new memories by sharing our elders’ memories of holiday celebrations from their youth. Let’s keep the oral tradition of generation to generation going strong.

Have a safe and healthy New Year.

WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY, September 10, 2020

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. Below is a message from the Bergen County Division of Mental Health. Please sign up to see the free screening of Scattering CJ. We should all educate ourselves on suicide prevention so we can assist our loved ones when necessary.

Divorce is a particularly stressful time in the life of a family. Hopefully this film and discussion with keep your family safe during this stressful period.

WORLD SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY

We strongly encourage everyone to take advantage of our open screening of Scattering CJ, scheduled for September 10th – 15th  concluding in a community discussion on September 15th from 7-8:30 pm. ” Register to stream this movie at HCONTINO@CO.BERGEN.NJ.US.

“This documentary not only gives the viewer insight into the loss of a loved one, but how that loss connected people all over the world and initiated conversations among families and communities around suicide prevention, depression and general mental health.

If the pain and the struggle stay silently in the shadows losses will continue to occur that could have been prevented.  Even 6 feet apart we can still illustrate the outstretched arms that exist. 

Be Well!

The Bergen County Division of Mental Health

**** Due to the strong emotional nature of the content we do not recommend anyone under the age of 18 view the film without an adult present.****

Ageism in the Era of COVID – 19

During this pandemic we have been told to self isolate, wear masks and refrain from public gatherings in order to protect “those most vulnerable among us, the elderly.”

Unfortunately this mantra has resulted in resentment of our elders for infringing on the freedom of the young.  The young feel they are invulnerable and covid-19 is not a serious threat to their health and safety.  They attend house parties, frolic on the beaches and become infuriated when reminded to wear masks and social distance. How wrong these people are as the current increase in cases of covid-19 include the young among their number.

I recommend the following article to you, Ageism in the Era of COVID-19, https://leadingage.org/members/agesim-era-covid-19, written by one of the leaders in our community advocating for the rights of our elders, Carol Silver Elliott.

Let’s work together to remove ageism from our society.

 

Divorce Mediation: Confidentiality in Mediation “What’s said in mediation, stays in mediation.”

One of the reasons for choosing mediation for your divorce instead of litigation is the confidentiality of the mediation process. In litigation, everything is open to the public. Court appearances are open to the public and pleadings and documents filed with the court, are for the most part, accessible to the public.

Mediation is favored by the Courts and that public policy has resulted in rules, laws and case law holding the mediation process confidential. The mediator cannot be compelled to testify on behalf of either party in court, nor to submit to depositions. The confidentiality of the process is to assure the parties that full disclosure will be made during the mediation process and the parties don’t have to worry that what they say in mediation will be used against them later in court.

Confidentiality is important to high profile clients, as well as clients who do not want their dirty laundry aired in public or to have their clients, associates or friends know that they are in the process of getting divorced.

When you come to me to mediate your divorce, you sign a confidentiality agreement before proceeding with the mediation. Such an agreement adds an additional layer of protection to insure the confidentiality of the disclosures made during mediation.

I look forward to assisting you with your divorce and to working together with you in a confidential environment to reach a fair and equitable resolution of your marital dissolution issues.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

June 15th of each year has been designated by the United Nations as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day — Stressing the importance for each of us to be aware that elder abuse, whether physical, financial or psychological is happening every day.  We need to learn how to identify the abuse and where to obtain assistance for those of our elders who are abused.

There are many events planned to raise awareness of Elder Abuse. Google WEAAD to find locations near you.

Visit the New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman Website to find information and assistance on elder abuse in relation to long term care facilities.

Legal Services of New Jersey has received a grant to assist victims of elder abuse. You can reach out to Adelina Herrarte, Esq., at Northeast NJ Legal Services, 574 Summit Ave., 2nd Flr., Jersey City, NJ 07306, 201-792-6363 for assistance.

Be aware.

Dementia: Don’t Count Your Loved Ones Out

Yesterday was Memorial Day.  It was a day of remembering those who died fighting for our freedoms.  It was also a day spent with loved ones including our elders.  For those of you who have family members diagnosed with dementia, you may feel that you have already lost them even though they are still with you physically.

Please read the article entitled “Counting Them Out” by Carol Silver Elliot, https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/counting-them-out.  The article offers a story of one elder with dementia who rarely responded to any communication yet responded to a therapy pony.

I hope Ms. Silver’s blog brings you some comfort and perhaps a method for stimulating your loved ones with dementia.  Don’t count your loved ones out –  they are still with you.

 

Ageism

Ageism is not only discrimination based on age, but is also the use of words to diminish a person’s value.  When we describe an older person as “cute”, “sweet” or “adorable” we are using the same words that we use to describe a baby or a child.  In the case of an older adult this is an insult, not a compliment.  An older person is wise, not cute.  An older person has years of experience to share with us.  An older person is a mentor.  An older person is a teacher.

We should be celebrating our older adult population not demeaning them or diminishing them.

In elder care planning mediation we celebrate our elders and work towards giving them the future they want for themselves and providing them and their families with the tools and assistance to achieve that goal.  Please call if I can be of assistance.

I recommend the following blog post for a heartfelt discussion on Ageism. https://blogs.timesofisrael.com/freedom-from-ageism/

 

 

 

Divorce Mediation: Mediating Alimony under the New Federal Tax Law

For divorces finalized beginning January 1, 2019 and going forward, alimony payments will no longer be deductible to the payor nor will alimony be considered income to the payee under the provisions of the new federal tax law. This change has caused a run on the courthouse for those wanting to get divorced in 2018 and still have the old alimony tax rules apply.

For those of you who are just beginning to consider divorce, or are the midst of your divorce, what does this change mean to you and your negotiations regarding alimony?

The change in the tax law simplifies the alimony calculations. The parties can concentrate on the 14 factors set forth by the alimony statute which must be taken into account in determining alimony. Those factors include the actual need and ability of the parties to pay, the duration of the marriage and the parties marital lifestyle.

As your divorce mediator I will review all the factors with you to help you to reach a fair and equitable alimony amount.

Signs Your Aging Parent May Need Assistance at Home

As holiday season approaches we are looking forward to family gatherings.  Use this special time with family to check on the current home environment for your aging loved ones.  Please click on the link below to an article that will help you evaluate if additional care and assistance is needed, https://www.caring.com/articles/signs-need-home-care.

If you need assistance with elder care planning or you and your siblings cannot agree on a plan, please let me help you.  Call my office to schedule a free half hour consultation.

 

Mother’s Day

Many of us this Mother’s Day are taking care of our Moms rather than having them take care of us.  The circle of life.

I share the following blog with you which brought tears to my eyes.

http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/for-mothers-day/

If you need assistance with making elder care decisions for your Mom, let me help.