Wealth Goes Beyond Money and Property

portrait of generationsIt’s been said that our larger wealth goes beyond money and property. It’s our wisdom, acquired through lessons learned from parents and teachers, from foolish mistakes of youth, and from the insights that come from making better decisions as we get older. It’s the wealth born from our heritage, and the legacy we choose to pass on to those who come after us.

Too often, our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, pass without attending to this wealth, so the wisdom they accrued throughout their lifetime is lost forever. But there are ways to ensure this doesn’t happen to you or to someone you care about.

Here are some examples of what others have done to ensure that their elder’s “larger wealth” is passed down for future generations:

Record a Conversation

Michael prepared a list of open ended questions that he believed would inspire deep conversations and trigger long-hidden memories between himself and his parents. Armed with a portable audio recorder and his “conversation starters” he recorded, over a period of several months, stories and recollections from his parents. They spoke of mistakes made, wisdom gained, perspectives on money and success, life’s funniest and strangest moments, love and happiness, their core beliefs and values, and finally a personal message for each child and grandchild.

How to record stories to honor your elders »

Create a Video

Julie, a non-stop, busy mother of four, wanted to leave her children a video of advice and stories passed down from past generations. The video became a cherished family heirloom and inspired her children to begin video taping their own experiences with the intention of passing them on to their children at the appropriate times.

How to create a family legacy video »

Collect Favorite Family Recipes

Betsy, master of her own kitchen, created hand-crafted cookbooks in 3-ring binders for her daughters. Tabs were made to separate her own recipes, her mother’s recipes, and those attributed to her grandmother. A 4th tab was followed by lined blank papers with an invitation for them to record their favorites for their own children.

How to create a family cookbook »

Family Medical Genogram

When Mark’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer, he questioned his mother about their family medical history. He knew his grandfather has suffered from glaucoma, as well as an aunt and uncle. He drew a genogram to create a useful picture of who had debilitating medical problems in their senior years, and who died of what. This information was passed to his siblings who added to the genogram. Mark then drew a family health tree and presented each family member with a copy. This helped Mark’s female family members commit to annual mammograms, males to annual prostate exams, and everyone to glaucoma testing.

How to create a medical genogram »

The links provided are random discoveries. A simple web search using any of the paragraph titles will return a myriad of results to inspire you. Happy searching. Life is short. Begin today.

How to Get Help for Aging Loved Ones

Are you helping your elderly parent locate housing or home care?
Are you helping a senior find employment?
Do you have a parent who needs help paying for food?
Are you concerned that someone you love can’t meet their financial obligations?

The answers may lie in the resources offered by BenefitsCheckUp, a free online resource from the National Council on Aging. NCOA home page NCOA is a nonprofit service and advocacy organization in Washington, DC that makes it easy to find benefit programs than can help pay for medications, health care, food, utilities, and more.

But many people don’t know these programs exist! You can change that by sharing this blog with friends and family who may have concerns about themselves or an aging parent.

NCOA’s mission is to be a voice for older Americans and the community organizations that serve them. They seem to understand that seniors need to retain their dignity and are uncomfortable seeking out help, even when they need it so badly.

For example, are you aware that a senior can apply for a Medicare Savings Program that could increase their monthly income by almost $105?

If a senior doesn’t want to or isn’t able to use a computer at BenefitsCheckUp, a friend or family member can complete the forms on their behalf. Answers to questions generate a personalized report that describes programs that can help with expenses such as:

  • Medications
  • Food & utilities
  • Legal and health care
  • Housing or in-home services
  • Taxes & transportation

The also offer Job Source – free resources to help seniors define their job skills, sign up for free online courses to boost kills, build a resume, prepare for interview, and start a job search.

More the 13 million older adults live in or on the edge of poverty? NCOA’s BenefitsCheckUp identifies public benefits that can help. The screening is free and the report is free. What’s not to like about a resource that makes finding help so easy?

Find out at the BenefitsCheckUp website and get help now.