Q: Recently you wrote an article on falls and provided some simple steps that can be taken to help make your home safer. Are you aware of any upcoming seminars that address this subject?
A: Yes I do. The Elderly Fall Prevention Coalition of Ventura County is hosting an event, "Healthy Aging: How to Prevent Falls," on Sept. 26.
The event will be at Pleasant Valley Recreation & Park Community Center Auditorium, 1605 E. Burnley St. in Camarillo.
Q: My father, a widower, lives some distance away and I am considering having him live with us but have heard negative comments about such arrangements. Do you have any suggestions on how to make it work?
A: I too have heard negative comments about sharing a home with a parent, however, I have also heard of situations where it worked out very well. No two situations are alike but some advance planning can certainly ease the way.
Open communication is probably the most important factor for success. First you and your spouse, if you are married, must discuss the idea and face the changes that will take place in your lives. A dual commitment will go far in resolving problems. If there are children still living at home they should also be brought into these discussions as there will be some impact on their lifestyle.
Q: I am trying to get my affairs in order and am somewhat confused by some of the terms associated with wills and trusts. Could you provide definitions for those terms?
A: If preparing a will is part of your plan, you should know the meaning of testator, executor, heir, issue, minor, codicil and probate.
A testator is the person, you, who makes a will. An executor is the person you name in the will to carry out the provisions and directions of your will after your death.
Q: Every day, I seem to have a mailbox full of invitations to free seminars on living trusts and financial planning. Would these seminars provide me with the information I need?
A: The answer may be yes — but more likely no.
These seminars address general issue of estate planning. The right strategies for a person to make proper decisions must be based on that person's unique circumstances.
The sponsors of this type of seminar many times have a product or service to sell, and while they do provide some useful information, they also are promoting the purchase of their product or service.
The complexity of estate planning unfortunately provides a window of opportunity for con artists at financial planning seminars. You need to protect yourself. Be very careful about what information you offer about yourself and carefully read and fully understand anything you sign.
Q: I live in Thousand Oaks and am planning to give up my driver's license. Some time ago there was a seminar on how to use public transportation. Do you know if that seminar will be offered again?
A: Yes, I have just been told that another Transportation Orientation Workshop is "back by popular demand."
The Senior Adult Master Plan (SAMP) Transit Committee is offering another free orientation workshop July 23 from 12:30-2 p.m. at the Goebel Adult Community Center, 1385 E. Janss Road in Thousand Oaks.