Senior bank accounts: Should you get one?

4 ways to size them up before you sign up

By Margarette Burnette for Next Avenue


It isn’t hard to figure out why some banks and credit unions offer special checking accounts for customers they call “seniors.” Once they establish banking relationships this way, they can try to entice the new accountholders with savings accounts, loans and retirement accounts.

But is a “senior” checking account (generally restricted to people over 60 or 65, though sometimes available to people 50 and up) a good deal for you? That depends.

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Common myths of hospice debunked

Five things you may think about hospice that aren’t true

By Jacob Edward for Next Avenue


In the past 40 years, attitudes towards death and dying in America and much of the rest of the world have slowly changed. The hospice movement has grown considerably and now constitutes its own segment of the health care system. Prior to hospice, people often died alone, in institutional settings like hospitals.

While some people still pass away without their loved ones around them, many are choosing to receive palliative care at home as a way to make the end of their lives as comfortable and rewarding as possible. But there are still many common misconceptions about hospice. Nobody likes to dwell on the subject of death, so people are naturally reluctant to study what hospice care is until they are in need of hospice services.

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A smart way to curb senior loneliness

In this program, old and young people connect with one another

By Rachel Adelson for Next Avenue


“Take two friendships and call me in the morning.”

That’s what Dr. Paul Tang, an internist and national expert on health care quality, would like to tell aging patients. He, and other doctors like him, view social engagement as a treatment for a very modern ill: loneliness.

Tang divides his time between Washington, D.C. (where he influences health care policy) and the David Druker Center for Health Systems Innovation (he’s the director). Tang has developed a cross-generational program meant to get people of all ages helping and connecting with one another. Called linkAges, the centerpiece of the program is a community-based service exchange in the form of a volunteer time bank. The service is being tested in California, with hopes that it’ll soon expand elsewhere.

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How to craft your memoir

Be sure to include experiences and feelings that make your life story meaningful

By Bart Astor for Next Avenue


When I overheard my father reminiscing with his old Army buddy about how desperate they felt as kids having to do menial tasks to earn money that would help their families — even plucking chickens — I realized I hadn’t heard much about his emotional life growing up.

In fact, other than the few stories he told about his two brothers, he didn’t talk about his childhood. Over the years, I managed to collect facts and figures— where his mother and father were born, important dates and some highlights of his life. But I knew little of his family’s financial struggles during the Great Depression and almost nothing about his older brother’s death.

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Lighten up your favorite recipes of yesteryear

You don’t have to give up all the flavor if you use a “sliding scale of decadence”

By Joanna Pruess for Next Avenue


Do you long to eat favorite foods from your youth without a side order of guilt? With creative tweaking, chocolaty brownies, creamy scalloped potatoes, hearty meatloaf, green bean-mushroom casserole with fried onions and other comfort foods can return from the list of no-nos. The key is determining which diet-wrecking ingredients you’re willing to compromise on and how much you’re willing to cut back on them. But the choices aren’t black or white: I think of them as existing on a sliding scale of decadence.

Leaving a little indulgence in foods helps us to eat better because we end up feeling more satisfied. Think about it: If your revisions are super-healthy but tasteless, you’ll probably do something at least twice as unhealthy later, like diving into a bag of chips or having a date with Ben & Jerry.

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What to know about money and work by 50, 60, 70

Master these skills for your finances and career when turning each age

By Liza Kaufman Hogan for Next Avenue


Staying on track with your finances and career requires checking in every so often to be sure you’re meeting your goals and anticipating your needs at each life stage. Although you may have been saving for retirement and enjoying success at work for years, there are still some things to learn. You may have gaps in expertise you’d like to fill or may be ready to plunge into a new career.

Whatever your goals, here’s a checklist of basic money and career management knowledge it’s good to have by age 50, 60 and 70:

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Why your relationship needs forgiveness

Even for serious wrongs like infidelity, hanging on to anger hurts you, too

By Barb DePree, M.D. for Next Avenue


By the time we reach midlife, we’ve experienced all kinds of things in our relationships, some good, some bad. It’s great to think back on the positive experiences once in a while, maybe even re-live them from time to time.

For the negative experiences, that’s not such a good idea.

And the more serious the situation, the harder it is to not think about it. Maybe you’ve had to deal with an infidelity or some other kind of betrayal by your partner. If so, its lingering effects may very well be interfering with your ability to fully embrace your partner in a healthy — and even in a literal — way.

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Your pet and your estate: No joke

If your pet isn’t in your estate plans, it’s time to remedy that

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue


Maybe you heard that Joan Rivers left a portion of her $150 million fortune to her four rescue pups, who are now living with her longtime assistant. Or that Lauren Bacall’s will said her dog, Sophie, would inherit $10,000 of her $26.6 million estate.

You might have even laughed when you heard the news.

But anyone who owns a pet or ever has understands exactly what Rivers and Bacall were doing — ensuring that their loved ones would be cared for after they were gone. As Rivers told The Daily Beast’s Tim Teeman in early September: “I’ve left money so the dogs can be taken care of.” (In my own family, the loss of our beloved miniature schnauzer, Chance, a few years ago, was one of the saddest days of our lives.)

If you’re a pet owner, you should follow the lead of Rivers and Bacall, no matter how big your estate will be.

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Chaplain: Am I like God?

By Wayne Mason, Chaplain, Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice

Can you tell the difference between:

– A person who genuinely cares, and someone who is paid to care?

– A person of good character, and someone who is simply an actor?

– A person who is telling you the truth, and someone telling you a lie?

– A person who is a Christian, and someone who claims to be a Christian?

– A genuine friend, and someone who will walk away when times get tough?

– A friend who will tell you the truth even when it hurts, and someone who will tell you anything to stay on your good side?

Over the years, I have had many friends come and go. There are a certain set of friends that I can always go back to for an honest assessment of life. They are the ones who will tell me the truth, even when I do not want to hear it. Have you ever been caught in that situation where you want someone to tell you everything will be all right even when you know disappointment is just around the corner? I love those friends who tell me the truth, and then stand there to support me through the difficult moments of life.

Ephesians 4:22-23 says: “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Later, Paul writes, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, …” (Ephesians 5:1-2) It is hard to imagine the changes that would happen in this world, if we all lived up to the words in these verses.

Could we tell the difference between a real Christian and a pretend Christian or a real friend and a friend in name only if these standards were practiced daily? Are we living “like God in true righteousness and holiness,” and are we “imitators of God” living “a life of love?”

Prayer: “Lord, help me to reflect your character of integrity, righteousness, holiness and love. You were willing to give everything to rescue us. Make us like you. Let other people see you in us. Amen.”

For a deeper study of this subject, read Ephesians 4:17-5:21.

Former teacher inspires many

Jean (3)As yellow school buses once again travel up and down our streets, one can’t help but reminisce on the days we spent inside the classroom. Friends were found, lessons learned, and for one Parsons Presbyterian Manor resident, legacies were made.

Jean Fabrycky was a long-time Parsons school teacher, but her influence on youth didn’t end when she retired from teaching. In total, she taught for nearly 30 years, and then went on to form the MAGIC club, which stood for “Me and God in Company.” She did that for 10 years, and was also a substitute teacher. You’d be hard pressed to find many Parsons residents who weren’t impacted by Jean in one way or another.

“Almost everywhere I go, people say, ‘I had your grandmother as a teacher,’” said Caleb Fabrycky, Jean’s grandson. “She really had an ability to influence children. Every time she goes to the grocery store, or anywhere, she sees former students, and there are several families with multiple generations taught by my grandmother. She really did have a profound effect on many young children in town. Whether directly with teaching or volunteering with the church, she really did affect the lives of many children in Parsons.”

So how did Jean come to be a teacher? It was the influence of her grandfather, the preacher, builder, and all-around inspiration.

“My grandad H.L. Marsh lived half a block away. He was a generous man, and taught me to do so many things. He believed in me. He lost his eyesight in the late 40s when he was attacked, and had to relearn how to do so many things. He was able to do so much though, even build homes, and had such a faith.”

Jean had a wide variety of interests and abilities, including drama and choir, and is known as a gifted singer, even today. She grew up across the street from Wichita State University, and has a funny story about how she met her husband, who also worked in education.

“I was a senior in high school, and my parents decided to rent out a bedroom to a student for extra income. But they rented to boys, not girls, because there was a frat house across the street. Well he met me though! He went to WSU for a year, then when I decided to go to Asbury University for my teaching degree, he came along. He ended up getting his Master’s and was a psychology professor at Valparaiso.”

Jean and her husband had three children, one of whom passed away, as well as seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Her teaching legacy extends beyond the classroom and into the family. Her daughter-in-law and granddaughter are teachers, and a future granddaughter-in-law is a teacher. Her father and uncle were also college professors.

“I guess you could say she influenced us to marry teachers,” joked Jean’s son Steve. “We saw the value of education. Teaching was not just a job for her. Her commitment to children, whether it was at MAGIC club, teaching, as a youth sponsor at church, at youth bible school or even when she restarted the Big Brothers, Big Sisters program in Labette county, there’s just so much she’s done.”

We thank Jean for her dedication to children throughout the years, and no doubt, Parsons is a better place thanks to her impact. Her advice to new and weary teachers alike is advice for us all: keep the faith.