New Display at Allen County Courthouse

new display

The Superior Court in Allen County, Indiana has set up a new display for Court information. The electronic Court docket display, which resembles technology you see at the airport, is located on the first floor of the Courthouse at the main public entrance. The docket display has been made possible by Court Improvement Grants from the Indiana Supreme Court. They were developed in partnership with Infax, a developer of custom digital display solutions, the Circuit Court, and the Allen County Clerk’s office.

The system displays names, schedules, and court room information on four  screens. The fifth screen displays information about the Courts, such as maps, contact information, and room numbers. The display will show docket information and court basics for both Allen Circuit and Superior Courts. However, juvenile and mental health cases will not be displayed due to their confidential nature. Instead, people that need to participate in those types of cases will be directed to the correct room for guidance.

The new system has been implemented in order to simplify the process for citizens coming to Court. Judge Frances Gull says, “We have worked hard in recent years to make the Courts more user-friendly through technology. This is one more way to make the process more accessible to everyone.” The displays are similar to those in place at the Charles “Bud” Meeks Justice Center.

In addition, the Allen County Building Maintenance custom-built an attractive enclosure to house the system. It blends the new technology with the interior architecture of the historic Courthouse. Craftsmen hand painted the support columns to match the adjacent marble. In the future, the Superior Court would like to display similar dockets elsewhere as the budget permits. The Court would also like to add more information in other languages.

Source: Allen Superior Court
Advertisements

June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month

alz- juneJune is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month! This month is focused on increasing public awareness of Alzheimer’s disease as well as highlighting the available resources on how to get involved and support the cause. Governor Eric Holcomb invites Hoosiers to raise awareness and take action through the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter’s 65 Ways to Go Purple.

Every 65 seconds, someone develops Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. To raise awareness about the severity of this issue, the Alzheimer’s Association Greater Indiana Chapter has created 65 Ways to Go Purple, which is the official color of the Alzheimer’s movement. There are many ways to participate, such as attending education programs, supporting groups or fundraising events, knowing where to find support and resources, turning the town purple, and more.

Here is a sample of “ways to go purple” this month:

  1. Learn the ten warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and how to recognize them in yourself and others.
  2. Write a letter to a local or online newspaper calling attention to Alzheimer’s.
  3. Share of photo of you or your friends/family wearing purple. Hashtag your photos with #EndAlz or #EndAlzheimer’s and tag @AlzIndiana.
  4. Help accelerate the search for a cure by signing up for TrialMatch, which is a free clinical studies matching service that connects individuals with Alzheimer’s, caregivers, and healthy volunteers to current studies.
  5. Join advocates from around the nation in Washington, D.C. for the three-day 2018 event: Alzheimer’s Association AIM Advocacy Forum.
  6. Encourage your gym to participate in The Longest Day.
  7. Become a volunteer to help serve the 110,000 Hoosiers living with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers.
  8. Get involved with the Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

You can read the full list here. Make it your goal to participate in this month’s Alzheimer’s awareness efforts!

Source: Alzheimer’s Association

Criminals Steal $37 Billion a Year from the Elderly

marjorie
Marjorie Jones

An unknown caller reached out to Marjorie Jones, an older blind woman living alone, to tell her that she had won a sweepstakes prize. She could collect the winnings once she paid taxes and fees. Marjorie sent the first payment, but the caller continued adding conditions to convince her to send more money. She depleted her savings, took out a reverse mortgage, and cashed in a life insurance policy. Her family did not know something was wrong until she began asking to borrow money. By then, Marjorie had lost all of her life savings – hundreds of thousands of dollars. One week later, she committed suicide.

Every year, scammers target and financially exploit some 5 million seniors in America. Seniors also suffer at the hands of family members and friends who are greedy, desperate, or drug-addicted. One financial firm estimates that seniors lose almost $37 billion a year. However, the number is nearly impossible to calculate and may actually be much higher. For every case reported to authorities, as many as 44 are not reported.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highlighted elder exploitation as a public health problem. Mark Lachs, from Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, says that victims of elder abuse die at a rate three times faster than those who have not been abused. Families are often unable to help because they do not know what is going on. Scammers push victims to keep things like promised winnings a secret.

The victims are usually emotionally devastated due to being betrayed. Although it may look as though the senior gave consent, it is often based on manipulation or deception. In many cases, the senior has some level of cognitive impairment and is no longer able to manage his assets. Sometimes, financial judgment can decline even before normal cognition does.

It can be difficult or nearly impossible to retrieve the senior’s money. A person can give his money to whomever he wants, even if the family disapproves. But this decision is called into question when the senior no longer has capacity to make financial decisions. If an evaluation shows that the victim lacks capacity, there is a stronger criminal case. However, determining capacity is not uniform across the United States and many places lack people who can conduct thorough evaluations.

Despite the growing severity of this problem, the government’s response has been somewhat limited. The Elder Justice Act was enacted in 2010 to address elder abuse but remained unfunded until 2015 when it was allocated $4 million. In February of this year, the Justice Department charged more than 250 defendants with scams that caused nearly 1 million Americans to lose more than $500 million. Also, 39 states and D.C. addressed financial exploitation of seniors in their legislative sessions. More than half enacted legislation or adopted resolutions. Financial industries have also put into effect additional standards to help protect seniors, such as obtaining a trusted contact’s information to discuss account activity and the ability to place temporary holds on disbursements.

Unfortunately, scammers know what they are doing. They take amounts under $10,000  that will not get picked up by fraud and they steal across institutions over time. Also, nearly 60% of elder exploitation cases involve a trusted friend or family member. The exploiter may use force or the threat of force to manipulate the senior.

If you have any suspicion that your senior friend or relative may be suffering at the hands of exploiters, you should investigate his finances carefully. Talk to your seniors regularly and keep the lines of communication open. Being diligent may help prevent financial exploitation of your seniors.

Source: Bloomberg

Older Americans Month 2018: Reinvent Yourself

reinvent.JPG

Today, older Americans are living longer and enjoying healthier lives. What are older Americans doing after retiring? Many are trying new careers, helping others, exploring new interests, or pursuing dreams. Reinventing yourself can be rewarding and good for your mental and physical well-being.

By 2029, more than 20% of Americans will be of retirement age.

There can be many benefits to reinventing yourself after retirement. It can help keep your mind active and maintain your physical health. Pursuing new goals and activities can give you structure and routine, connect you with your community, and promote social activities rather than isolation. In some cases, seniors can gain an additional source of income.

Careers after retirement can be personally and financially rewarding. First, determine what skills you have to offer. You can seek out classes and training to gain even more skills. Update your resume and start looking at job posts. Another option is to pursue your passions and hobbies. Express yourself through the arts – painting, dancing, or music. Take an art class or pursue a creative project. Studies show that the arts can improve your brain health. If you’re not artsy, learn a new language or take a computer class. Travel and discover other cultures. Pursuing new interests can keep you happy, healthy, and connected.

You can even consider using your years of experience to help others. You could mentor at-risk youths, provide job training, or help families recover from disasters. Connect with a local senior center, community college, or library to find various programs in your community.

Source: Older Americans

Older Americans Month 2018: Give Back

give back.JPG

Community service and volunteering are becoming more and more popular – even among older Americans. Being involved in the community benefits you and the people around you. Engaging in meaningful work can prevent mental health issues and provide physical benefits by being active and social.

One in four older Americans makes a positive impact through volunteering.

There are many benefits to volunteering. It can improve your mental and physical health.Volunteers report greater satisfaction in life and a greater sense of purpose in life. Also, studies suggest that volunteers are likely to live longer. Here’s how you can get started in giving back:

  • Schedule. Determine how much time you can and want to give. Then, choose community service projects that fit your lifestyle.
  • Tailor. Get involved in something that matches your interests and skills. You can visit nationalservice.gov/serve for tips and inspiration.
  • Support. Reach out to your neighborhood, spiritual community, or club to find programs that need help or different volunteer opportunities. Ask friends or family or even other seniors in the community to join you.

Getting involved and giving back is a great way to improve your overall wellness.

Source: Older Americans Month

Older Americans Month 2018: Be Well

be well

Although people are living longer, there are more people are developing chronic illnesses. Many think that the older you get, the sicker you will be. However, this is not necessarily true. Aging does not automatically mean you will have chronic illness. There is much that seniors can do to be more active or have a healthier diet. Small changes can lead to huge differences in the way you feel and how well your body works. You should always consult your doctor before making major changes to your health, but these small steps can improve your overall wellness no matter how old you are.

About 80% of older Americans have at least one chronic health condition.

Having a healthier lifestyle can help you control weight, strengthen muscles, and improve balance. These changes can make falls and other injuries less likely to occur. Healthy living also decreases risk of depression and risks related to brain health. You can even have more opportunities to be social and have fun. Here are some small steps you can take to have a healthier lifestyle:

  • Pace yourself. Do not overwhelm yourself and begin training for a marathon if you are not accustomed to exercising. Instead, choose low-impact exercises that you can do a little at a time. For example, take a short walk in the morning or learn some gentle stretches.
  • Get a partnerExercising is easier when you are able to enjoy it with others. You can gather a group of friends to exercise together or join a class. Exercising with others makes it more enjoyable and also keeps you accountable so you’re more likely to continue long-term.
  • Nourish your bodyNutrition is vital to your health. Try keeping a diary of what you eat so you can see how you are doing. Nutritionists can be a valuable resource to help you evaluate your diet. If you have any special dietary needs, consult your doctor before changing your diet.
  • Stimulate the mind. Healthy eating and exercise can reduce risks to your brain’s health, such as dementia. You can do more to exercise your mind by learning new things, reading, playing games, and being social.

Taking these small steps can lead to longer, healthier, and happier lives. Stay motivated to continue in your healthy lifestyle by picking goals that bring you joy. Regardless of your age, we can all improve our wellness.

Source: Older Americans Month

2017 Alzheimer’s Facts and Figures

2017 alz facts
Alzheimer’s disease was first described in 1906 but 70 years passed before it was recognized as a common form of dementia and major cause of death. Although Alzheimer’s is now a significant area of research, there is still much to be discovered about the cause, development, and cure of the disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association has published its report for the 2017 Alzheimer’s disease facts and figures. Some of the numbers are highlighted below:
Overview
  • In 2017, an estimated 5.5 million Americans were living with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • In Indiana, there were an estimated 110,000 Alzheimer’s patients in 2017 with a projected 20,000 additional patients in 2025.
  • One in ten people age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s.
  • Of people who have Alzheimer’s, 82 percent are age 75 and older.
  • Almost 2/3 of Americans with Alzheimer’s are women.

Deaths

  • Between 2000 and 2015, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased by 89 percent.
  • Among people age 70, 61 percent of those with Alzheimer’s are expected to die before age 80 compared with 30 percent of people without Alzheimer’s.
  • Alzheimer’s is becoming a more common cause of death, and it is the only top 10 cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured or even slowed.

Caregiving

  • More than 15 million caregivers provide unpaid care for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
  • In 2016, caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias provided an
    estimated 18.2 billion hours of unpaid assistance, valued at $230.1 billion. This is approximately nine times the total revenue of McDonald’s in 2015 ($25.4 billion).
  • In Indiana, caregivers of people with Alzheimer’s or dementia reached 335,000 people providing about 382 million hours of care.

Costs

  • Total payments in 2017 for all individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias are estimated at $259 billion. Medicare and Medicaid are estimated to cover 67 percent of the total cost.
  • The median cost for a paid non-medical home health aide is $20 per hour and $127 per day. Home care costs have increased by 1.3 percent annually over the past 5 years.
  • The median cost of adult day services is $68 per day. The cost of adult day services has increased by 2.5 percent annually over the past 5 years. Ninety-five percent of adult day centers provide care for people with Alzheimer’s or other dementias, and 2 percent of these centers charged an additional fee for these clients in 2012.
  • The median cost for care in an assisted living facility is $3,628 per month, or $43,539 per year. The cost of assisted living has increased 2.2 percent annually over the past 5 years.
  • The average cost for a private room in a nursing home is $253 per day, or $92,378 per year. The average cost of a semiprivate room in a nursing home is $225 per day, or $82,125 per year. The cost of nursing home care has increased by 3.5 percent and 3.1 percent annually over the past 5 years for a private and semi-private room, respectively.
 You can find the full report at the Alzheimer’s Association website.

Older Americans Month 2018: Engage at Every Age

Across the country, older Americans – a rapidly growing population – are taking part in activities that promote wellness and social connection. They are sharing their wisdom and experience with future generations, and they are giving back to make enrich their communities. They’re working and volunteering, mentoring and learning, leading and engaging.

For 55 years, Older Americans Month (OAM) has been observed to recognize older Americans and their contributions to our communities. Led by the Administration for Community Living’s Administration on Aging, every May offers opportunity to hear from, support, and celebrate our nation’s elders. This year’s OAM theme, “Engage at Every Age,” emphasizes the importance of being active and involved, no matter where or when you are in life. You are never too old (or too young) to participate in activities that can enrich your physical, mental, and emotion well-being.

It is becoming more apparent that remaining socially engaged can improve the quality of life for older adults. Troyer & Good will use OAM 2018 to focus on how older adults in our area are engaging with friends and family, and through various community activities. We encourage you to get involved!

How to Respond When Someone with Alzheimer’s Wants to Go Home

Alz-gohome690x400.jpg

Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers often hear their seniors say “I want to go home” over and over. This can be difficult and frustrating, especially when the senior is already home. But how can you respond in a way that helps the senior calm down and move on in a positive direction?

First, try to understand why they are saying this and what they really mean. Alzheimer’s takes away a senior’s ability to communicate effectively. Often times, when the senior says he wants to go home, he is not talking about the physical location of his home. It could mean that he feels unsafe or insecure or that he wants to be with family. It may be a request for comfort rather than wanting to go somewhere. Look past the actual words being spoken and try to discern why the senior feels that way.

Second, do your best to stay calm and not take it personally. Remember that this is the disease talking, not the senior. When you stay calm, you will be in a far better position to help the senior stay calm too.

Third, use kind and calming responses to help you avoid upsetting the senior or getting into a fight. When you better understand why the senior is saying “I want to go home,” you will be better prepared to respond in a way that meets the senior’s needs. For example, the senior may be saying “I want to go home” because he feels unsafe or uncomfortable. Your response, then, should allay the senior’s anxiety and fear so they can feel safe and comfortable. Alzheimer’s and dementia alters a person’s brain to experience the world in a new and different way. Try to be understanding, focus on comfort and reassurance, and respond to the emotions rather than the words.

Here are three responses that you may use when the senior says “I want to go home”:

  1. Reassure and comfort. Approach the senior with a calm and soothing manner. The senior will pick up on your body language and tone of voice and will subconsciously match you by calming down as well. Depending on your senior, this would be a good time for physical comfort, such as a hug, gentle touching, or stroking the arm. Perhaps the senior would prefer if you simply sat with him. You could provide additional comfort with a blanket, therapy doll, or stuffed animal.
  2. Avoid reasoning and explanations. Do not try to explain that the assisted living is now his home or that he is already at home. Trying to use reason with someone who has a brain disease will only make the senior more insistent, agitated, and distressed. The senior will not understand what you are saying and will feel like you are stopping him from doing something important to him.
  3. Agree, redirect, and distract. First, agree and validate the senior’s feelings. This will calm the senior because you are not telling him he is wrong. Then, redirect and distract. Subtly redirect his attention to pleasant and distracting activities that will take his mind off wanting to go home.  For example, you could say “Okay, we’ll go soon” and then walk down the hall to a big window. Point out some beautiful birds and flowers or offer a snack or drink he likes. Later, casually shift back to his normal daily routine. Or you can ask the senior to tell you about his home. You can later guide the conversation to a neutral topic. Asking about his home validates the senior’s feelings, encourages him to share positive memories, and distracts him from his original goal of going home. If the senior is stubborn and won’t let go of the idea of going home, you could try a brief car ride or go through the actions of getting ready to leave. This can give you more opportunity to redirect the senior to a different activity.

These suggestions can guide you in the right direction, but you may need to get creative. Not everything you try will work the first time or even work every time you try. Don’t get discouraged, though. It will get easier with practice and you can be successful.

Source: DailyCaring

What is an “Insolvent Estate”?

insolvent

When an estate is admitted to probate, it is classified as either solvent or insolvent. Solvent means that there are more assets in the estate than there are debts. Once the debts are paid, the remaining assets are distributed in accordance with the Will (or in accordance with state law if there is no Will).

However, if there are more debts than there are assets, then the estate is considered insolvent. The assets are liquidated and used to pay creditors in order of preference as outlined in Indiana code:

  1. Costs and expenses of administration, such as Attorney’s Fees, Personal Representative’s fees, and court costs.
  2. Reasonable funeral expenses, expenses of a tombstone, and expenses incurred in the disposition of the body.
  3. Allowances for surviving spouse and minor children.
  4. All debts and taxes having preference under the laws of the United States.
  5. Reasonable and necessary medical expenses of the last sickness of the decedent.
  6. All debts and taxes having preference under the laws of Indiana.
  7. All other claims allowed through the court.

Any unpaid creditors will have to write off the debt. The heirs of the estate will receive nothing as there are no remaining funds to be distributed.

Note that you are not personally liable for the debts of the estate. Simply tell creditors that the estate is insolvent and there is no money to pay the debts.

Of course, it is preferable to die with a solvent estate so you have a legacy to leave for your family and loved ones. Carefully managing your assets while you are alive will help you accomplish this.