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Safe, Sound and Savvy

Caregivers’ Corner: ‘Tis the Season to Check Parents’ Safety

Caregivers’ Corner: ‘Tis the Season to Check Parents’ Safety

We are known as the Sandwich Generation. Many of us are blessed to have one or both of our parents still alive. We can also enjoy our maturing children and delight, if we’re lucky, in our grandchildren. We are at

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Estate Planning: Good News for Medi-Cal Recipients

Estate Planning: Good News for Medi-Cal Recipients

If you’re an older Medi-Cal recipient, you can breathe easier. Thanks to new legislation signed into law by Gov. Brown in 2016, the state can no longer seize your home and other assets after you die to cover costs of

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Estate Planning: California’s Transfer on Death Deed

Estate Planning: California’s Transfer on Death Deed

Californians have a new way to transfer their houses or condos after death without going through the often time-consuming and expensive probate process.

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New Homes Rise on Butte-Ravaged Land

New Homes Rise on Butte-Ravaged Land

Calaveras Recovers, a nonprofit organized in the fire’s aftermath to help its hundreds of victims, reports two homes under construction on the burn.

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Help for Homeowners Facing Costly Tree Removal

TMAP will remove drought-stricken pines and cedars that could fall on or bring fire to the doorsteps of Tuolumne County homes. Eligible are older or disabled homeowners whose trees won’t be removed by county or PG&E programs and who can’t afford to pay for the work.

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Caregivers’ Corner: Simple Strategies for Happier Trips

Caregivers’ Corner: Simple Strategies for Happier Trips

Whether it’s a trip to visit family, a beach getaway or a trek to a distant medical appointment, being on the road with an ailing loved one can be problematic.

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Protecting Pets From Wildfire

Protecting Pets From Wildfire

“When people are preparing their animals, they are preparing themselves also,” says Jeane Kennedy of Calaveras Animal Disaster Shelter.

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Estate Planning:  Remarriage Complicates Estate Planning

Estate Planning: Remarriage Complicates Estate Planning

As Frank Sinatra said, “Love is lovelier the second time around.” What he didn’t say is that it sure as heck makes estate planning a lot more complicated – particularly when children are involved. With high divorce rates and record

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Quick Dementia Rating System (QDRS)

Quick Dementia Rating System (QDRS)

The QDRS survey below appeared in Joan Jackson’s story, “Could it Be Dementia? 10 Quick Questions” in the Spring 2016 issue of FAN. QUICK DEMENTIA RATING SYSTEM (QDRS) Reprinted with permission. ©2013 The Quick Dementia Rating System: A Rapid Dementia

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Estate Planning: Assisted Suicide Closer to Legalization

Estate Planning: Assisted Suicide Closer to Legalization

Terminally ill Californians may soon have the legal right to end their own lives. In October, Gov. Jerry Brown signed the End of Life Option Act, which authorizes the use of drugs to hasten a suffering patient’s death if certain

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Animal Advocate: Is Your ‘Service Dog’ a Fake? Shame on You

Animal Advocate: Is Your ‘Service Dog’ a Fake? Shame on You

You may have seen them without realizing it. Wearing vests proclaiming they are “service animals,” they accompany their owners into stores, restaurants, planes and other areas where dogs are normally not allowed. Yet you can’t tell what service these animals

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Estate Planning: Help Plan for Your Grandkids’ Futures

Estate Planning: Help Plan for Your Grandkids’ Futures

This summer I joined the ever-growing ranks of boomers who have become grandparents. Welcome to the world, Violet Rose. And we’re keeping the welcome mat out, as the ultrasound shows a grandson on the way for our other son and

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Caregivers’ Corner: Helping Children Understand Dementia

Caregivers’ Corner: Helping Children Understand Dementia

When grandpa is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s the repercussions slam through the entire family. Grandpa may respond with fear, denial, grief, sadness, depression, confusion, embarrassment, resignation or a shifting kaleidoscope of emotions. With this he’s also dealing with memory loss, confusion,

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Silver Streak: Calaveras Seniors, Veterans Welcome New Ride Service

Silver Streak: Calaveras Seniors, Veterans Welcome New Ride Service

Calaveras County is taking a big step forward in providing transportation for its senior citizens, veterans and disabled adults who can’t drive or use public transit.

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High-Tech Grandparents Connect from Afar

High-Tech Grandparents Connect from Afar

More and more grandparents are firing up desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones to bridge the gap.

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Finding Your Roots: Celebrating Family Historians

Finding Your Roots: Celebrating Family Historians

Without these family historians, what would genealogists do?

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Aging Forward: Coping with the Grief and Guilt of Dementia

Aging Forward: Coping with the Grief and Guilt of Dementia

A loved one’s diagnosis of dementia often leaves family members with intense feelings of disbelief, fear, dread, uncertainty and guilt.

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Who Can and Can’t Inherit Your Guns? A Look at the Law, Part 2

Who Can and Can’t Inherit Your Guns? A Look at the Law, Part 2

This is the second in a two-part series about the laws affecting firearm transfers in California. Part 1 appeared in our Spring 2015 issue.

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The Guardians: Columbia Air Attack Crews Primed for 2015 Wildfire Fight

The Guardians: Columbia Air Attack Crews Primed for 2015 Wildfire Fight

The pilots and fire crews at Columbia Air Attack Base have a heart for helping, a tolerance for risk and a focus on safety. Their job? “Controlled chaos” – fast and furious aerial attacks aimed at saving lives and property in the foothills and beyond.

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The Vet Is In: Keep Pets Away from These Foods

The Vet Is In: Keep Pets Away from These Foods

A list of grocery no-no’s aimed at keeping your pets safe and healthy.

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When You Die, What Happens to Your Guns? A Look at the Law, Part 1

When You Die, What Happens to Your Guns? A Look at the Law, Part 1

This is the first in a two-part series by Sonora attorney Jim Gianelli on laws affecting firearms transfers in California. The next will appear in our Summer 2015 issue.

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Caregivers’ Corner: Surviving Family Celebrations

Caregivers’ Corner: Surviving Family Celebrations

Make sure you have a plan for making it through those sometimes exhausting family celebrations.

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Estate Planning: California’s Take on the Right to Die

Estate Planning: California’s Take on the Right to Die

Brittany Maynard’s assisted suicide has again placed a spotlight on the right to die. Stricken with terminal brain cancer, the 29-year-old Californian moved to Oregon to take advantage of that state’s law allowing physician-assisted suicide. That law requires a short

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Aging Forward: Beware the $50,000 Lesson

Aging Forward: Beware the $50,000 Lesson

I spoke recently with a friend whose 80-year-old father had wired $50,000 to a British woman he had never met. He transferred the money after a phone call from a stranger whom he described as “a lovely woman who was

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Slam the Door on Scammers

Slam the Door on Scammers

Experts tell you how to sidestep scams aimed at emptying your wallet and bank account.

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Grandparenting

Grandparenting

Local programs and support services for grandparents raising grandchildren in the Central Sierra.

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Estate Planning: Use Caution With Gifts to Caregivers

Estate Planning: Use Caution With Gifts to Caregivers

If you’ve had the help of a trusted caregiver for years, you may want to leave that person a gift upon your death. Or perhaps your elderly parent is considering such a bequest. In either case, plan carefully to make

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Caregivers’ Corner: Legal Documents Make Choices Clear

Caregivers’ Corner: Legal Documents Make Choices Clear

Our world changes and so do our options and choices as illness and age push us toward the end of life. Many of us would rather not think about it. But having some control over those choices and being treated

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Plan Ahead to Outsmart the Bad Guys

Plan Ahead to Outsmart the Bad Guys

A 28-year law enforcement veteran who has dealt with thousands of criminals shares tips on staying safe at home and on the road.

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A Mother’s Search for Answers

A Mother’s Search for Answers

Darvis Lee Jr.’s mother has written a book, a public appeal to learn how her son really died.

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Aging Forward: Help and Hope for Hoarders

Aging Forward: Help and Hope for Hoarders

An expert on aging discusses the prevalence and impact of hoarding, and the help available for those who suffer its consequences.

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The Summer of 2014: Coping with Drought

The Summer of 2014: Coping with Drought

In a season of drought, do you save that 30-year-old flowering dogwood or your prize roses? Can you do both? Does your vegetable garden take priority over the lawn? How can you ensure pets and livestock have enough water to

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Estate Planning: Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages

Estate Planning: Pros and Cons of Reverse Mortgages

We’ve all seen or heard advertisements touting reverse mortgages as risk-free sources of ready cash for seniors. Although I tend to be skeptical of such claims, a reverse mortgage may be a good option in the right circumstances. But homeowners

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The Summer of 2014: Preparing for Wildfire

Drought’s even more evil twin is wildfire, and the same bone-dry winter that makes water conservation so vital this year could ratchet fire danger sky-high by summer’s end. Just as it is with surviving drought, the key to preventing or

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Suicide Prevention: When a ‘Crisis of Hope’ Signals a Call for Help

Suicide rates in our rural counties are two to three times the state average, and perhaps surprising to many, older men are most at risk. Experts offer advice on how to help a family member, friend or neighbor in need.

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Caregivers’ Corner: The Scary Topic of Dementia and Guns

She was afraid to get up at night to go to the bathroom. Her husband, diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and exhibiting symptoms of paranoia, had recently recovered his favorite pistol from his son and stashed it in their bedside nightstand. He

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Estate Planning:  College Prep –  the Unexpected Kind

Estate Planning: College Prep – the Unexpected Kind

Parents: Be prepared in the event of a medical emergency or death of your young adult child.

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Aging Forward:  Helping Men Recover from Depression

Aging Forward: Helping Men Recover from Depression

Acknowledging the differences between the symptoms of depression in men and in women is the first step in helping men recover from depression.

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Study Focuses on Depression in Foothill Seniors

The SPARROW Project aims to help seniors with depression.

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Kim Molina: Raising Awareness After Tragedy

A state report finds that access to prevention services such as hotlines, peer support programs and other outreach efforts holds promise in saving lives. This resonates with Kim Molina, a Calaveras County resident who just endured the 13th anniversary of

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Lola Zachary:  Pushing Through the Pain

Lola Zachary: Pushing Through the Pain

Pain dominates her days and nights. And yet she pushes forward to help her family heal from the devastation of a suicide.

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Estate Planning: How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Seniors?

Estate Planning: How Will the Affordable Care Act Affect Seniors?

By Jim Gianelli and Tamara Polley Many seniors have no doubt shrugged as rancorous debate over the controversial new federal health plan has swirled around them. “Obamacare? I’m on Medicare. It has nothing to do with me.” But the Affordable

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Caregivers’ Corner: Serious Illness Alters Family Roles

Caregivers’ Corner: Serious Illness Alters Family Roles

“My husband is supposed to take care of the bills and I keep telling him he has to do it. I’m already doing too much.” “My wife yells at me when I try to mow the lawn. She says it’s

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Estate Planning: Why gay couples should get married … the sooner the better

Estate Planning: Why gay couples should get married … the sooner the better

We all have gay friends or relatives, whether we know it or not, and many share life with a partner. After a historic U.S. Supreme Court decision opened the matrimonial door for California same-sex partners – and prohibits the federal

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Caregivers’ Corner: Learning to say no

Caregivers’ Corner: Learning to say no

I’
I’m just a girl who cain’t say no. I’m in a terrible fix. I always say, Come on, let’s go! Jist when I orta say nix…
– Ado Annie – “Oklahoma!”

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Aging Forward: Finding Beauty in the Changing Seasons

Aging Forward: Finding Beauty in the Changing Seasons

With this issue (Autumn 2013) we welcome our newest columnist, Patrick Arbore, Ph.D., of the Institute on Aging (IOA), a San Francisco-based nonprofit providing services to the elderly, caregivers and adults with disabilities. Each quarter he will explore a different

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2013 Fire Safety Information for Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador Counties

2013 Fire Safety Information for Tuolumne, Calaveras and Amador Counties

To stay informed when fire threatens, use the information below: To report a fire anywhere in the FAN coverage area or statewide, call 911. For up-to-the-minute information, DO NOT CALL 911 or dispatch numbers for county sheriff’s offices or fire

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Estate Planning: The Family Vacation Home

How do you successfully pass the family vacation home on to your children? As a foothills estate planning attorney, I have clients with beautiful vacation homes in Twain Harte, Pinecrest, Strawberry, Bear Valley and other mountain communities. Most of them

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Caregivers’ Corner: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep

Trying to function on too little sleep is the pits. It plays havoc with memory and focus, exacerbates pain, makes us cranky and negative, and diminishes our ability to react lovingly. Sleepless nights set us up for depression, anxiety, weight

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Great Neighbors: Rotarian Enlists Sunshine in the War Against Hunger

Great Neighbors: Rotarian Enlists Sunshine in the War Against Hunger

When Irene Perbal moved to Calaveras County in 1998, she learned about solar cooking from her daughter, Magali McGreevy, who had a cooker. “I started trying to do it,” Perbal says. “I do lot of cooking myself.” Rice and beans

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