A Tech Perspective – What to Expect in 2015

By Andrew Parker, iTOK

The new year always starts with CES, the world’s largest consumer electronics show, where the newest technology is introduced for the world to see.

These flashy electronics, such as virtual reality goggles and digital shoe insoles, illustrate how far technology has advanced and what we can expect in the future.  Today, however, technology continues to permeate our lives, and companies are creating even more products to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. Here are a few examples of technologies that I think will be popular among aging adults this year:

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Jewelry and Family: Why Selling Jewelry Can Solve Family Disputes

dba2092a-7a53-4ecb-b951-3ab12ca77b04ByAndrew Fabrikant

Imagine giving your engagement ring to one of your daughters and not the other. Can she ever wear it around her sister? Each time the jewelry item is seen the thought seems to arise again: how much is it worth now? An uneven distribution of gems and jewelry often causes strife amongst siblings.

Arguments over valuables can separate families. We have seen it many times. I met with sisters over 15 years ago who stopped talking to each other after trying to share a pair of Van Cleef & Arpels earrings out of their mother’s estate.  Together the earrings are worth a fortune. Singularly each was worth a fraction of the whole.

In my experience conflicts like this happen more often than not. We have worked with thousands of families over the years and those who decide to sell the jewelry and split the proceeds are always happier than the siblings who fight over the jewelry.

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Some Food for Thought to Nourish Memory and Brain Function

Peggy BuchananBy Peggy Buchanan, director of fitness at Vista del Monte in Santa Barbara CA, a Front Porch community

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, five million Americans live with the disease with that number expected to triple by 2050. But the good news is, even though it’s the second most feared health condition after cancer, lifestyle choices make a difference in how the condition progresses because our brains have the ability to reorganize by forming new neural connections throughout life in a process called “neuroplasticity.”  Here are a few lifestyle tips to digest for preventing and/or reversing cognitive decline.

Eat Healthy Stuff:  Eat several servings of fish high in Omega 3 like salmon, albacore tuna, trout and canned sardines each week. Cut out the bad trans-fats; increase the good fats like olive oil and nuts. Reduce or eliminate alcohol and decrease your overall sugar intake. Eat like monkeys and rabbits, lots of fresh fruit and veggies high in antioxidants.

Get Moving: Exercise increases blood flow to the brain which stimulates the production of the protein BDNF (brain derived neurotrophic factor) that supports the survival of neurons and the growth of new ones (brain fertilizer). By the way, BDNF in Alzheimer’s patients is at a much lower level. In addition, exercise stimulates norepinephrine, a hormone that improves memory.

Go to Sleep: Get 7-8 hours of quality sleep. Less than six is associated with a decline in brain function. Good quality sleep allows the brain to remove toxic waste that builds up during the day.

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Best Ideas For Functional Constructions In Your Yard

backyard storage
Photo credit: inspirationgreen.com

By Melisssa Stevens

You have furnished your house,  and decorated it to the very last detail the way you wanted, and it reflects your personality. It is absolutely perfect!. Yes, now you do spend more time inside, but behind your house, in the garden, is where you will love spending a lot of your time during nice days. That is why at one point you will want to decorate it so that it matches the beautiful interior and your needs.

But when you look at it in greater detail, you realize that the space is limited, and you are not going to have enough room for everything you wish to have. Also, you have to think about your budget. That is why you should consider putting some of useful constructions in your backyard, and here we have a list of several functions they can serve. Best thing about all of them is that they are all environmentally friendly!


Like every backyard, yours too will need to have a space to put all of the tools and other things that you do not use that often. Building a shed out of brick or concrete might take a while, cost you a lot of money and you are probably going to have some problems with workers that you hire. However, some kind of storage needs to be made, so that your tools would not lie around the yard making you look like a hoarder. The easiest and cheapest thing to set up a simple construction out of pallet wood, that will not take up too much space, but just enough to cover the tools that you want to put away. Best thing is that it’s not so hard for building, and you can do it yourself.

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Healthcare at Your Doorstep


Nurse Practitioners are filling the healthcare services gap for older adults throughout United States.

By Sally Dimond, RN, MHA, MBA

One of my closest colleagues and friend who lives and works in a suburb just south of Cleveland Ohio visited one of her health plan members at home for a routine medical evaluation. During the examination she found that the patient had an extremely irregular heartbeat and immediately called 911. She contacted the patient’s primary care physician and comforted the patient until the help arrived. The patient had emergency surgery that same day and went on to have a complete recovery. The health plan member credits my colleague with saving his life and allowing him more time to spend with his family, especially his grandchildren.

There are 700 nurse practitioners with Matrix Medical Network, a company that is helping to make healthcare more affordable and accessible by sending nurse practitioners to where they are needed most – in the homes of individuals across the US. All Matrix nurse practitioners have completed graduate and undergraduate nursing degree programs, hold a Registered Nurse license, State Nurse Practitioner licensure/registration and National Board Certification (AANP/ANCC), and most specialize in Internal, Family, Primary, or Geriatric Care. Matrix nurse practitioners are located nationwide. They live and work in the same communities as the health plan members who we visit, so that we are ready to provide care when and where it’s needed.

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The No-Excuses, Post-Workout Guide to Being Fabulous

shutterstock_160655120I know what you’re thinking. “I can’t workout today—I just had my hair done!” Trust me, I’m all too familiar with that post-hairstylist excuse. And that’s what it is: an excuse. Am I right? I know a few other gems, too: “I have an early morning meeting,” “I have a date after work,” “I’m just too fabulous to sweat today.” Been there. Yes, you can still get your workout in and retain your fabulous status. You simply need to load up on the right tools. Here’s where to start.

Bag: Hold Up

You need three bags. I know that sounds excessive, but stay with me. First, you need a durable wet/dry bag for your workout clothes. Invest in a machine washable one with a waterproof lining. Second, you need a cute cosmetics bag to hold all your little secrets—touch-up makeup, hair accessories, emergency nail file and perfume samples for last-minute dabbing.

Finally, you need a superwoman bag. This is key. You don’t want to show up at that dinner party with a sloppy sports bag. That delicious tall tote from Coach? A definite yes. Plus, you need secure spaces for your gadgets. Don’t skimp here, ladies.

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6 Habits of a Successful Retiree

chip_h6By Chip Hollingsworth, CRP, CFEBS

Everybody want to retire successfully…..yet few people are really willing to prepare for it!  As human being’s we are creatures of habits. We’re told time and time again, good habits lead to success, while bad habit hinder progress. This philosophy holds true to the retirement process, especially leading up to it. I like to tell my clientele, “It’s never too late to start making better choices!”

By establishing the following six habits, you will hopefully be able to enjoy retirement and all the upsides it has to offer!

1. Have a Clear Vision of Where You Want to Be

Know what you want! More importantly always know where you stand financially! I always like to refer to your vision as a puzzle, you know what the big picture looks like, but make sure all of the pieces are fitting together to make it happen.

Planning and saving for retirement should begin as early as possible. Be clear on your spending and know your budget

Know what you want, what’s important and where you stand, especially with the big picture, but even with the small stuff like financial paperwork details.

Planning and saving for retirement should begin as early as possible. Being clear on spending and knowing your budget are great habits for any age, but even more in retirement. 

You can do this by Draft a balance sheet annually, and use it to gain a clear picture of your assets, debts and net worth. Periodically examine income and expenses to determine your discretionary income, then make a plan to use it for future needs.

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