Why Virtual Events Should Stick Around

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My team and I have offered virtual presentations for many years.  Prior to the healthcare crisis, many of our wonderful customers and partners preferred to have us speak at their in-person events rather than attempt online programming.  But since many of them have been forced to cancel onsite events, they are now enjoying the benefits of marketing and hosting virtual events.

Here are just a few benefits hosting an online marketing event for professionals or prospective clients, residents or family caregivers provides:

  1. There is a lot less work for the host.  There are much fewer logistical hassles because you don’t have to arrange a conference room, provide refreshments or worry about parking! 
  2. Different geographic locations and/or divisions of an organization can collaborate because people can join the event from anywhere across the country (or even in the world)!
  3. You will reach potential customers who have never attended an in-person event.  A family caregiver who is juggling a demanding career, kids and a frail aging parent may never have found the time to drive to your in-person support group.  But if she can log on from the comfort of her home office, you now have her participation.  The same goes for professional referral sources.  Maybe prior to the healthcare crisis that hospital discharge planner would never have been able to attend your lunchtime CEU event because he “just couldn’t get out” at lunchtime.  But now that he can join at his desk, he’s excited to earn credits and learn more about what services you may be able to offer his patients.

Personally I can’t wait until we start doing more in-person events again!  But in the meantime, virtual events can help you get the word out about your services in a new, creative way.  In fact, there are so many benefits, you may just want to keep them in the rotation once in-person events are again considered “safe.”

Operation Varsity Blues: Why The College Admissions Scandal Still Doesn’t Give Us Permission To Bash The Younger Generations – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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This week’s story about celebrities and uber-wealthy parents is reinforcing the stereotype that our younger generations are so much more entitled than everyone else who was born during “a different time.” 

It still boggles my mind how openly so many people bash our younger generations.  People who wouldn’t dare utter a racist, homophobic or other politically incorrect comment often feel quite comfortable talking about “those lazy Millennials” or “kids who expect everything handed to them.”  If you feel that way about Millennials and Generation Z, remember they didn’t raise themselves.  If this story upsets you, remember that it is primarily Generation X and Baby Boomer parents who engaged in the alleged criminal behaviors.

Really, the college scam story is one about socioeconomic advantage rather than generational expectations.  As long as college has existed, rich families have employed both obvious and covert strategies to boost their children’s applications to elite educational institutions.  Don’t think for a moment that members of older generations–including Baby Boomer and Traditionalists–haven’t also benefited from such methods unavailable to most people.

Operations Varsity Blues is not a story about generational issues. It’s a story about economic disparity.  And it’s not a new one.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Who’s The Captain? Why Reason & Logic Fail With Little Kids…And Dementia Patients – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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“I’m the Captain,” declared my 3-year old nephew Enzo as soon as he boarded our boat on a warm autumn day last fall.  Wearing the captain’s hat his mother had purchased for him on Amazon.com, he purposefully strode to the captain’s seat.  When he noticed our family’s amusement at his audacity, he looked directly at us and repeated, “I’m the Captain.  I am.” 

Obviously when my husband was ready to launch the boat we needed Enzo to move.  But did we sit him down and logically explain to him that he was not the Captain?  No.  We told Enzo that it was Uncle Sean’s turn to drive the boat and that he could have a turn later.  Enzo considered the statement, resisted briefly and then reluctantly moved to sit with his parents and cousins.

Could we have attempted to reason with Enzo?  Sure.  Would it have done any good?  Probably not.  I can only imagine how explaining to a 3-year old that he did not have the credentials to launch a 34-foot cruiser.  It probably would have gone over as well as trying to reason with someone who has advanced dementia.

People who suffer with advanced dementia are adults.  They are grown-ups who have lived full lives and are most certainly not children.  But as Alzheimer’s disease (or any other dementia) progresses, their ability to reason is comparable to a small child’s.

Nobody tried to reason with Enzo because we understood that he didn’t have the capacity to understand he lacked the skills to captain a boat.  But why is it that the same people who wouldn’t attempt to reason with a child try to do so with someone with dementia?

Countless times I have witnessed well-meaning, intelligent people try to “remind” their loved one with dementia that she is no longer allowed to drive.  Or that he has already eaten dinner.  Or that it is winter when their loved one is convinced that it’s summer.  And I can see why.  Dementia is tricky. 

There might be a moment in the day that Mom will remember that she is not supposed to drive.  But as the disease progresses, no amount of arguing, rationalizing, reasoning or logic will convince Mom that her doctor told her to stop driving.

Tell Mom you feel like driving today rather than reminding her that she is unsafe behind the wheel.   Just as it wouldn’t have been productive to tell Enzo he’s not qualified to be a boat captain, it wouldn’t be productive to tell Mom the whole family is afraid of her driving.

Treat your older loved one who has dementia with dignity because he’s an adult.  But remember that his capacity to understand logic and reason is often child-like.   

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Legal But Inappropriate Financial Products – By Jennifer L. FitzPatrick, MSW, LCSW-C, CSP

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Like many investors, my Grandmom lost a lot of money in the late 2000s.  It caused her a great deal of stress…and anger.  After losing so much money, she was told by a representative at her bank that if she wanted to earn some of that money back there was a way. 

Click here for a video of the story:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWBSab0djvM

There was nothing inherently wrong with the product.  But it wasn’t a suitable one for my Grandmom for a variety of reasons.  Maybe it was ignorance on the part of the financial professional.  Or perhaps the financial professional just cared more about making a commission on the sale of the product than serving his client.  While most financial professionals are ethical and knowledgeable, it is critical for older investors and their loved ones to keep their eyes open.  And this is why I recommend the 24 Hour Rule to most older adults.

The 24 Hour Rule means that most older adults should take a day to consider any new “opportunity” to part with their money, particularly when this “opportunity” is presented by someone they don’t know very well.  This includes a new financial product that’s being recommended by a new person.  Or a charity request.  Or lending money to somebody they don’t know very well.   Or buying property… or a vehicle. 

Take 24 hours to talk it over with people you trust.  Sleep on it.  Do some research about what you’re getting into.

Jennifer L. FitzPatrick – MSW, LCSW-C, CSP
The founder of Jenerations Health Education, Inc., Jennifer FitzPatrick has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and gerontology. The author of Cruising Through Caregiving: Reducing The Stress of Caring For Your Loved One, she is also a gerontology instructor at Johns Hopkins University. She helps you reduce stress and increase productivity, morale and revenue. Jennifer and Cruising Through Caregiving have been featured in Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, Univision and The Chicago Tribune. She has also appeared on ABC and Sirius XM.

Hello! I’m Officer Julie Smith from the Internal Revenue Service – By Guest Blogger Paul Hynes, CFP

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The title of this blog is the opening line in a phone call that people around the country are getting. Is it really a call from the IRS? No, it’s not.

Senior Safe & Sound warns everyone to be aware of scam phone calls from criminals intent on stealing their money, their identity, or both. These criminals pose as officials from the IRS. The tone of the call is often threatening and intimidating. You can listen to two examples of these fraudulent calls by clicking here and here.

According to the IRS website, the IRS will not:

• Call you to demand immediate payment. The IRS will not call you if you owe taxes without first sending you a bill in the mail.
• Demand that you pay taxes and not allow you to question or appeal the amount you owe.
• Require that you pay your taxes a certain way. For instance, require that you pay with a prepaid debit card.
• Ask for your credit or debit card numbers over the phone.
• Threaten to bring in police or other agencies to arrest you for not paying.

Phone scams such as this one often target older people, but just about anyone can become a victim if they’re not careful.

So, remember that the IRS will not call you out of the blue. And, tell your friends and family about this scam. Education and awareness is your best protection from this scam and others like it.

To learn more about this scam, visit

https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-urges-public-to-stay-alert-for-scam-phone-calls

Paul Hynes, CFP is the Founder of both HearthStone Private Wealth Management and www.Safeandsound.org, an on-line resource and blog to help educate the public and prevent financial elder abuse.  His organizations are located in the San Diego, California. To reach him go to www.safeandsound.org or www.hearthstoneinc.com.