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Other Side of 50 Editor
Andrea's blog centers on common boomer life transistions, succesful life planning and caring for aging loved ones.

Why are you calling me?

by osfeditor on Thursday, April 10, 2014 2:23 PM
A few Saturday mornings ago, I was jolted awake by a phone call at 6:15.

“This is Lifeline, Mrs. Gallagher. Your mother pushed her Lifeline button a little while ago and asked us to call an ambulance. Your father passed out. He and your mom are on their way to the hospital.”

With a trembling voice I asked, “Do you know which hospital?” I thought this was a more appropriate question than “How is he?” since I figured she did not know.

“No, I don’t. Their preferred hospital is not on our form.”


Something To Chew On

by osfeditor on Thursday, March 13, 2014 3:24 PM
As a child, I used to think teeth were the most important part of the human body. Can you blame me? So much attention was paid to them.

In first grade, I can remember the teacher demonstrating proper brushing methods using a huge set of molars and an oversized toothbrush.

One year we were asked to brush our teeth and then given a little red pill to chew; some of us were scolded when big red stains on our teeth showed we’d done a poor job of brushing.

Dental checkups...

Footing the bill for aging parents

by osfeditor on Thursday, February 27, 2014 1:11 PM
Are adult children legally responsible to pay for their parents’ care?

You may be surprised to learn that in 30 states, including California, there’s a law on the books that declares adult children have a duty to pay for care for their impoverished parents.

Filial responsibility statutes, as they are called, require an adult child to reimburse state programs or institutions that have provided food, clothing, shelter and/or medical attention for their parents who no longer have enough funds to pay...

What Turns Us Into Caregivers

by osfeditor on Thursday, February 13, 2014 1:57 PM
For Mary, it was when she began taking her dad to doctor visits. For Janice, it was when she began helping her mom in the bathroom.

For John, it was when his parent’s overdrawn bank account forced him to start handling their financial affairs. For my sister, it was when my mom needed help showering my dad.

That’s when each one of them identified as caregivers.

Whether helping with personal care, running the household, assisting with financial transactions, managing medications, driving or...

A Mother's Cooking Lesson

by osfeditor on Thursday, January 30, 2014 10:04 AM
I am sitting here looking at all the beautiful cookbooks I have on my shelves: “The Way to Cook” by Julia Child, “Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics,” “The Silver Palate Cookbook” and “Bon Appetit.”

Plenty to choose from, but I find myself more and more these days surfing the web for a recipe.

Last month I wanted to make a chicken, mushroom and sherry dish for a holiday get-together. I could look through 10 to 20 books on my shelf or go to the Internet and in seconds get 10 recipes for that one dish.


Housing choices for life

by osfeditor on Thursday, January 16, 2014 1:38 PM
According to former MLB pitcher Vernon Law, “Experience is a cruel teacher. She gives the test first, the lesson afterward.”

My neighbor quoted Law the other day in regard to the lessons she learned caring for her father. If she’d only known then what she knows now as a result of her experience, she said, the journey might have been better for both her dad and herself.

This rang in my ears as I recalled a conversation I had with a woman named Mary over the holidays.

This strong, stubborn...

Living More By Doing Less

by osfeditor on Thursday, January 2, 2014 7:15 AM
A friend of mine, a college marketing professor, amazes me with his ability to conversationally lay out his year in a way that gives him a clear picture of his future, recapping all the things he will plan for and look forward to.

He’ll say, “In January I will attend a conference in Switzerland. In March I will go with my brother to visit my mum in India, and we will help her to sell some property. In May the next edition of my marketing textbook will be released, and I will travel to a few cities to meet with professors. When I go, I will take my daughter, who will be on break from college, to have some great father-daughter time and visit grad schools.”


A Fond Farewell to the Incandescent Light Bulb

by osfeditor on Thursday, December 19, 2013 8:42 AM
I’ve had bad memories of the incandescent light bulb ever since third grade, so the recent news that the 40- and 75-watt versions of the bulb will be phased out in 2014 didn’t upset me in the least.

It all began with my science fair that year.

I was at a loss for a project idea. At dinner one night I made the mistake of asking my father for suggestions. Dad, a lighting engineer for GTE Sylvania, suggested I do a project on the incandescent light bulb.

That’s when the figurative light bulb...

Turkey basters: an endangered species

by osfeditor on Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:23 AM
This November, for the first time in 25 years, my husband and I traveled back east for Thanksgiving.

It’s not that we don’t visit family a few times a year, but it always seemed that traveling from Los Angeles to Boston on one of the most heavily traveled weekends of the year was a recipe for disaster.

But this year, since my mom decided she and my dad could no longer make the trip to her brother’s for their normal celebration, my sisters and I decided to bring Thanksgiving to my parents.


Accumulating too much

by osfeditor on Friday, November 22, 2013 9:09 AM
Right or wrong, many adults tend to measure their happiness by how much stuff they accumulate, but in later life, I think it’s just the opposite.

Today Mary, my motherin law, is happily living with a few prized possessions in a 400-square-foot room in an assisted living facility.

Last year her home was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, she was living in the facility at the time.

Early next year her house will be leveled and a new one built in its place.

Before demolition can begin, the two-story duplex with a detached garage has to be cleaned out. This will be no easy task because Mary had an issue with saving things. She was employed as a domestic worker and often her clients would offer her things. Mary never said no.


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