Why Your Funeral Director Will Likely Be Female

Funeral director Jan Smith of Flanner Buchanan in Indianapolis guides a casket into a hearse. [Photo credit: courtesy of Jan Smith]

By Kevyn Burger for Next Avenue

Jan Smith was in the final semester of her training to be a funeral director when her 8-year-old nephew died after a heart transplant.

Her family’s heartbreak deepened her understanding of the value of the work she was preparing for.

“I was able to be an observer of how my profession can help a family with a traumatic experience like the loss of a young child. I saw what a difference we make with creating that meaningful last experience,” said Smith, of Indianapolis. read more

The Power of Sharing Our Stories

Playing a game at an assisted living facility opened up connections [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Reyna Marder Gentin for Next Avenue

My friend runs an assisted living residence not far from where I live. When she called to say she had a mitzvah (a good deed) for me that was “right up my alley,” I was wary, to put it mildly. She explained that she was running an event where the residents would play a game encouraging them to share, open mic style, stories from their lives. My friend knows I write — essays, memoir pieces, a novel. I tell stories.

“Will you come?” she asked.

I wanted to say no. As my children will tell you, with the rare exception of a Shabbat round of Scrabble or Bananagrams, I don’t play games. Maybe I’m uptight, or just no fun, but games are not my thing. The idea of helping to facilitate an octogenarian quiz show was not high on my list. read more

Would You Want to Know Your Risk of Alzheimer’s?

There’s little chance now of finding out, but that may change. [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Joan Mooney for Next Avenue

If one of your parents died of Alzheimer’s or has it, what does that mean for your own prognosis? How much would you want to know about your risk of Alzheimer’s when there is currently no medical treatment?

This is not a simple question. Anyone who lives past 85 has a nearly one in three chance of developing Alzheimer’s. But what if you are in your 50s and your father had Alzheimer’s, but you have no symptoms?

Many scientists and companies are working on a blood test. read more

8 Ways to Preserve Your Family Memories

How to save precious images so future generations can enjoy them [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Claire Zulkey for Next Avenue

Does that box of unsorted family photos in your closet give you a gnawing feeling? Always wonder what you’re supposed to do with your old slides? Make it a winter project to organize and annotate your family images and records, not just for your current family but for future generations.

After all, said genealogy consultant Maureen “The Photo Detective” Taylor, “It’s your identity. It’s who you are. And you can’t see where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been.” read more

Fulton Presbyterian Manor announces Art is Ageless® winners

Ruth Horton, “Deer Deers”

Fulton Presbyterian Manor recently hosted a reception for the winning artists in the annual Art is Ageless® juried competition.

“We are honored to exhibit artwork by seniors,” said Keri Edwards, marketing director. “Art is Ageless is unique in featuring only the works of artists age 65 and older. Our artists prove that art, in any form, is an ageless ambition.”

Alma Hoffmann, “Orian Star Quilt”

Winners in the Fulton Presbyterian Manor Art is Ageless juried competition were:

People’s Choice (professional): Ruth Horton, “Dear Deers” read more

Volunteers bring voting to Fulton Presbyterian Manor

Laura Bolton, left, has many connections to the Fulton Presbyterian Manor campus. In addition to volunteering with the voting program, her mother, Evelyn Hopkins, far right, is a resident. Mother and daughter pose here with friend Charlotte Rosenstengel.

Every April, we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Month and honor those individuals who give their time freely to make Fulton Presbyterian Manor a better place to live and work. Volunteers can help in a variety of ways, and one volunteer, Laura Bolton, came up with a unique way to help residents fulfill their civic duties and remain an active voice in the community: voting.

“It was once up to the staff at Fulton Presbyterian Manor or family to make sure that any resident that wanted to vote could make that happen,” said Laura. “Denise Hubbard, the current Callaway County Clerk, and Kathie Ratliff, Deputy County Clerk, decided that it would be nice if there was a process to make that easier.”  With the help of social worker Donna Hunter, Laura was instrumental in bringing the ability to vote right to the residents at Fulton Presbyterian Manor. read more

Volunteer of the Year: Baylie Borman

Baylie with her grandmother Judy Borman.

Volunteers play a vital role in helping our staff and residents on a daily basis at Presbyterian Manor. April is Volunteer Appreciation Month, so now is a great time to highlight one particular volunteer who’s made a big impact, Baylie Borman.

Activity Director Beth Boyd says Baylie has been an outstanding volunteer, often just stopping in to see if she can do anything.

“She comes to mind so often when I need someone to volunteer or fill in. She comes here bouncing and smiling every time,” Beth said. read more

How a Daughter Helped Her Mom Face Death

Finding truth at mortality’s threshold [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Aimee Ross

“I have a question for you, Aim,” Mom said from her blue La-Z-Boy. “How did you stay so positive during everything you went through?”

This takes me by surprise. “Uh, Prozac?” I joke, and she laughs.

She needs to laugh. I know she is scared and depressed, awaiting her next chemo treatment. Twenty years ago, she battled uterine cancer, but stayed cancer-free ever since, a miracle. Three months ago, she was diagnosed with cancer again: non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. “I’m serious,” Mom said, and my brain begins its search for an answer. read more

How to Leave an Inheritance Without Causing Grief

A family wealth expert offers advice for parents. [Photo credit:
Adobe Stock]

By Amy Castoro, financial adviser

“I give them a $20,000 gift and I don’t get a thank you?” Sound familiar? The dollar amount may vary, but the frustration is the same. More and more people are frustrated and confounded at the lack of appreciation they experience when passing along their wealth to their children and grandchildren.

They worked hard for their money because they wanted to give their kids and grandkids a better life. But these generous people are realizing that their wealth is causing them more grief than gain. read more

Cashing In On Your Life Experience

Meet three people who share their wisdom and make money doing it. This is Monica Parikh.

By Barbranda Lumpkins Walls for Next Avenue

Forget traditional jobs where you earn a living working 9 to 5 at a desk or an assembly plant. You can tap into your own experiences, at your own schedule, and share your wisdom for a price.

Here are three entrepreneurs who have done just that and are enjoying the ride:

Nina Keneally: Need a Mom

In 2013, after living in Connecticut for more than 30 years, empty nester Nina Keneally and her husband decided to leave their suburban life and move to the hip neighborhood of Bushwick in Brooklyn, N.Y. That led her to start Need a Mom, a site providing motherly-type support to young adults. read more