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Annie Potts in Ghostbusters; Frozen Empire

In Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire, the Spengler family returns to where it all started ” the iconic New York City firehouse ” to team up with the original Ghostbusters, who’ve developed a top-secret research lab to take busting ghosts to the next level. But when the discovery of an ancient artifact unleashes an army of ghosts that casts a death chill upon the city, Ghostbusters new and old must join forces to protect their home and save the world from a second Ice Age. The film had its world premiere at the AMC 13 Theater at Lincoln Square in New York City on March 14, 2024, and was released in the United States on March 22, 2024, by Sony Pictures Releasing under its Columbia Pictures label.
Janine Melnitz is a fictional character in the Ghostbusters series. She is the Ghostbusters’ secretary and confidante and occasionally, a ghostbuster herself. She was played by Annie Potts in the first two movies, and in The Real Ghostbusters, she was voiced initially by Laura Summer and later on by Kath Soucie.
Annie Potts is an American film, television, and stage actress. She was born October 28, 1952 in Nashville, Tennessee. She is known for her roles in popular 1980s films such as Ghostbusters (1984) and Pretty in Pink (1986). She made her debut on the big screen in 1978 in the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer comedy film Corvette Summer (1978), with Mark Hamill, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe. In 2017 she was cast to portray Meemaw in Young Sheldon (2017), a spin-off of the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory (2007). Potts also voiced voiced Bo Peep in the animated films Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 4 (2019).
Interested in stage and film at an early age, Annie Potts attended Stephens College in Missouri, enrolling in the theater studies course, followed by graduate work in California. At the age of 20, she married her college sweetheart, Steven Hartley. Only a short time later, she and her husband were in serious automobile accident in Sumner, Washington — their Volkswagen bus was demolished by two drivers who were drag racing. Steve lost a leg, and Annie had multiple fractures (resulting in a traumatic arthritis that still persists).
Early roles were primarily in television, such as Black Market Baby (1977), but her presence moved up with an appearance in the mega-hit Ghostbusters (1984), and then she hit the big time with a seven-year stint as one of the stars of Designing Women (1986). A brief period in Love & War (1992) ended with the cancellation of the show.

Source – IMDb Mini Biography By: Bruce Cameron <dumarest@midcoast.com> and Pedro Borges and Sony Pictures

Understanding Back Health Challenges for Seniors
1. Degenerative Changes: With age, spinal discs lose water content and elasticity, leading to reduced cushioning between vertebrae.
2. Muscle Weakness: Natural muscle mass decline can weaken back support and stability.
3. Postural Changes: Years of poor posture or sedentary lifestyles can strain the back and contribute to pain.
4. Osteoporosis: Weakening of bones increases the risk of fractures, especially in the spine.
5. Chronic Conditions: Conditions like arthritis or spinal stenosis can exacerbate back problems.

Essential Back Care Tips
1. Stay Active: Regular exercise, including low-impact activities like walking, swimming, or yoga, helps maintain muscle strength and flexibility, reducing back pain and improving posture.
2. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight adds strain to the spine. Eating a balanced diet and staying within a healthy weight range can alleviate back stress.
3. Practice Good Posture: Be mindful of your posture while sitting, standing, and lifting objects. Use ergonomic furniture and supports to maintain a neutral spine position.
4. Lift Properly: When lifting objects, bend your knees, keep the object close to your body, and avoid twisting motions to prevent back strain or injuries.
5. Strengthen Core Muscles: Engage in exercises targeting the core muscles to provide better support for the spine and improve overall stability.
6. Stretch Regularly: Incorporate gentle stretching exercises into your routine to increase flexibility and relieve tension in the back muscles.
7. Use Assistive Devices: If needed, utilize assistive devices like back braces or canes to reduce strain on the back during daily activities.
8. Quit Smoking: Smoking can impair blood flow to spinal tissues, slowing down healing processes. Quitting smoking can improve overall back health.
9. Prioritize Sleep Quality: Invest in a supportive mattress and pillow to maintain spinal alignment and promote restorative sleep.
10. Seek Professional Guidance: Consult with healthcare providers, physical therapists, or chiropractors for personalized guidance, exercises, and treatments tailored to your back health needs.
Taking care of your back is a crucial aspect of healthy aging for seniors aged 55 and above. By incorporating these back care tips into your lifestyle and seeking professional guidance when needed, you can promote back health, maintain mobility, and enjoy a better quality of life as you age gracefully.

Written for California Senior Guide by Dr. N Abboud, D.C.

America, it’s time to have the money talk. According to research by Empower, a financial services company, 62% of people don’t talk about money. Mum’s the word with their family (63%), friends (75%) and even with their spouse/partner (46%), though millennials and Gen Z are twice as likely to say they’re an “open book” compared to older generations (28% versus 13%). Many people would rather discuss politics (43%) and death (32%) than their finances (24%).
It may be costing them their dreams.
Carol Waddell, president of Empower Personal Wealth, says, “Conversation is a currency on the pathway to financial security, and open discussions about money can have a truly transformative effect on society. Our study shows people believe that clarity about their financial picture, talking to an advisor and financial education are key to achieving financial success.”

1. Growing up without money conversations
Don’t talk about money: that’s the message half (52%) of Americans hear, learning it’s impolite to talk about finances (26%), and certainly not what you earn (35%). The taboo prevails for nearly two-thirds (60%) of people who don’t feel comfortable on the topic.
Americans recall stowing away coins in a piggy bank (41%) but say many practical financial lessons weren’t discussed – like the importance of having an emergency fund (31%), building good credit (30%), and managing debt (27%) – as kids or adults. This might explain why Americans tend to clam up when the conversation turns to money. While many received an allowance (36%), the majority (68%) were never taught how to manage a budget. Nearly a quarter of Gen Zers (23%) grew up in a household with a swear jar teaching about money and manners – yet 79% of all people say they never spoke about how much is “needed” to be financially secure.
One in 5 (18%) Americans surveyed say they were raised with a YOLO money motto: “You only live once, so don’t worry too much about finances.” Despite the saying, more than a third (37%) say they regularly worry. That’s even higher for Gen Z and millennials (51% and 49%) and women, who are considerably more stressed about their personal finances than men (42% versus 33%).

2. Talking about money at work
Figuring out personal finance is intimidating and overwhelming for half of Americans (48%), and when it comes to managing their money, 39% say they don’t know where to start, including 41% of women and 37% of men. Compare that with sky-high confidence managing money at work: 73% feel at ease overseeing company budgets and the majority say they clearly understand their employer’s finances and performance (70%).
Reassuringly, people have a strong grasp on employer benefits like the availability of their company’s 401(k) plan (80%) and say they know how their pay raises work (77%). Advocating for themselves is where it gets tricky. One-third (33%) of people don’t feel comfortable asking for an increase. Men feel more comfortable asking for a pay raise than women (74% versus 59%). Better market data on compensation could potentially boost negotiation confidence and nearly half (49%) of survey respondents (and a majority of millennials, 69%, and Gen Z, 71%) believe discussing salaries can lead to better career opportunities.
Americans say they avoid uncomfortable money talk at work (68%), and more than half (56%) wish discussing salaries wasn’t taboo. Do you know how much your co-workers make? Just 19% of respondents say they’ve asked. But the workplace isn’t the only area Americans are staying quiet. People haven’t asked their friends (68%) or family (60%) either. Women are less comfortable talking about money with co-workers than men (36% women versus 50% men).
That said, people may not be as shy as expected: 58% of millennials and 53% of Gen Z (and 34% of Americans overall), would share their salary information on their LinkedIn.
What’s it amount to? According to 62% of respondents, open money conversations could solve the gender wage gap. Americans say greater wage transparency would motivate employees to work harder (50%) and help avoid miscommunications (60%).

3. Speak with an expert.
More than three-quarters (77%) of Americans want to see society take on more “money talks” about ways to save for the future (41%), money mistakes they’ve made (36%) and basic financial literacy (34%). A quarter want more discussions about how to negotiate (26%) and pay for big expenses (24%).
Ultimately, people believe more open conversations about money can have a truly transformative effect on society: 66% think it can help more people achieve financial freedom.
So, how does America get there? Respondents agree that clarity about their financial picture (40%), talking to an advisor (36%), and financial education (34%) are key to achieving financial success.
“In these challenging times, staying tight-lipped about money is something people can no longer afford. As part of our mission to advance financial freedom for all, we’re here to help people speak up and take the next step for a brighter financial future,” says Waddell.
If conversation is a currency on the pathway to financial security, it’s time to start speaking up.
Source: BPT

 

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As a dentist specializing in senior oral health, it’s crucial to address the unique challenges and preventive measures for individuals aged 55 and above. Let’s delve into the specific dental concerns seniors face and offer professional advice on maintaining optimal oral hygiene for a lasting, radiant smile.

Understanding Senior Oral Health Challenges
1. Enamel Wear:
Aging can lead to enamel erosion, increasing the risk of cavities and tooth sensitivity.
2. Gum Recession:
Receding gums are common among seniors, exposing tooth roots and making them prone to decay and sensitivity.
3. Periodontal Disease:
Seniors are more susceptible to gum disease due to factors like reduced saliva production and systemic health issues.
4. Dry Mouth:
Medications commonly taken by seniors can cause dry mouth, contributing to oral health problems.
5. Dental Work Longevity:
Existing dental work may require maintenance or replacement as seniors age, such as fillings, crowns, or dentures.

Expert Dental Care Tips for Seniors
1. Comprehensive Dental Exams:
Encourage seniors to schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings every six months for early detection and treatment of oral issues.

2. Personalized Oral Hygiene Plans:
Tailor oral hygiene routines to seniors’ needs, including gentle brushing with fluoride toothpaste, daily flossing, and antimicrobial mouth rinses if necessary.

3. Addressing Dry Mouth:
Evaluate medications and recommend saliva substitutes or prescription rinses to alleviate dry mouth symptoms and prevent tooth decay.

4. Customized Preventive Care:
Offer professional fluoride treatments and dental sealants to strengthen enamel and protect against cavities, especially in susceptible areas.

5. Smoking Cessation Support:
Educate seniors about the oral and overall health benefits of quitting smoking and provide resources or referrals for cessation programs.

6. Nutritional Guidance:
Advise on a balanced diet rich in calcium, vitamins, and minerals essential for strong teeth and gums, while limiting sugary snacks and beverages.

7. Proactive Gum Disease Management:
Monitor gum health closely, provide deep cleanings or periodontal treatments as needed, and educate on proper gum care techniques.

8. Oral Appliance Maintenance:
Ensure proper fit and function of dental appliances like dentures or night guards, offering adjustments or replacements as necessary for comfort and effectiveness.

9. Patient Education and Empowerment:
Educate seniors about oral health changes with age, the importance of consistent home care, and empower them to ask questions and seek timely dental care.

10. Collaborative Approach:
Work collaboratively with other healthcare providers to address systemic conditions impacting oral health and coordinate comprehensive care for seniors.

As a dentist, prioritizing senior dental care involves a holistic approach encompassing preventive education, personalized treatment plans, and proactive management of oral health challenges. By implementing these expert tips and fostering a supportive patient-dentist relationship, seniors can enjoy healthy teeth and gums well into their golden years, enhancing their overall quality of life.

Written for California Senior Guide by Dr. Michael Abboud, DDS

Renowned for his iconic portrayal of the Fonz on “Happy Days,” Henry Winkler invites us on a poignant journey of resilience, unexpected relationships, and personal triumphs. In his memoir, “Being Henry: The Fonz…And Beyond,” he reflects on the moments when he was constrained by the expectations of who he thought he should be, realizing later that he wasted valuable time. Through this narrative, Winkler opens up about his struggle to find authenticity, highlighting the courage it took to break free and ultimately embrace a life that is genuine, free, and filled with gratitude.
In a candid conversation with CALIFORNIA SENIOR GUIDE, Henry Winkler shares the profound impact of his relationship with his father-in-law, Ed Furstman, and sheds light on the crucial significance of eye care health. Despite a challenging childhood marked by stern German refugee parents and undiagnosed dyslexia, Winkler found solace in the affectionate bond he shared with his father-in-law ” the first man to truly love him. “I loved him too. He was funny. He was massive and filled a room when he walked in. He was different than my father, more accessible than my father was,” As he recounts the painful experience of witnessing his beloved father-in-law’s loss of vision due to age-related macular degeneration, Winkler underscores the urgency of early eye exams to impede the progression of this debilitating condition. From the heart-wrenching moments of seeing his father-in-law adapt from reading mail to relying on specialized letter enlarging devices, Winkler passionately advocates for people not to delay in safeguarding one of our most incredible senses through regular eye check-ups.
Teaming up with Apellis for an awareness campaign, Winkler is on a mission to enlighten individuals, particularly those aged 60 and older, about geographic atrophy (GA) and advanced age-related macular degeneration. Recognizing symptoms early such as blurry or missing spots in one’s vision, distorted straight lines, and challenges seeing in low light, Winkler emphasizes that these signs can lead to the loss of essential daily tasks like reading, driving, and recognizing faces. Urging immediate professional help when such symptoms arise, Winkler dispels the misconception that significant vision loss is an inevitable part of aging.
“Don’t wait to see if it goes away or improves. Don’t self-diagnose when it comes to your vision,” urges Winkler. Stressing the irreplaceability of our singular body, life, ears, and eyes, he emphasizes that our vision is the gateway to the soul. Winkler encourages open dialogue about vision concerns, highlighting it as the primary gateway to maintaining overall health. “Mention it to someone if you notice something is wrong—say something,” he adds, reinforcing the importance of addressing and acknowledging potential vision issues promptly.
“It is a common misconception that significant vision loss is a natural part of aging, which can cause patients to delay in seeking out important care,” Caroline Baumal, MD, chief medical officer of Apellis, said in a news release. “An early diagnosis is critical for this progressive disease, so we are thrilled to be working with Henry Winkler to help older adults learn about GA and reinforce that eye health should be prioritized as we age.”
Please visit the website GAwontwait.com to learn more.
Emphasizing the importance of a healthy lifestyle, Winkler shares, “I am fortunate to have great genes and constitution ” still have hair and hearing, but my knees are going another direction,” humorously adding that he has no plans to slow down.
Reflecting on his journey, Winkler acknowledges the significance of maintaining one’s spirit and courageously trying new things. Despite struggling with severe dyslexia and facing mockery from his parents, he discovered the power of saying “yes” to challenges. Recalling times when he used to quickly reject opportunities, Winkler realized that attempting things he thought he couldn’t handle often turned out to be more manageable than expected. “The courage to try,” he states, is vital for maintaining the soul and mind.
Winkler encourages others to seek help, not letting self-doubt hinder their potential. In a resounding message, he advises, “Shut up and try,” encapsulating the pivotal lesson that fueled his journey and prompted him to embrace new challenges with courage and determination.
Reflecting on the enduring impact of his role as Fonzie in “Happy Days,” Winkler expresses how the character has left an indelible mark on his life. Beyond the entertainment realm, playing Fonzie provided Winkler with extraordinary experiences and opportunities.
In a standout episode, Winkler’s portrayal of Fonzie demonstrated a profound respect for Native Americans, a pivotal moment in the iconic “Happy Days” series. During the Thanksgiving episode, featured among the 255 episodes, Winkler, embodying Fonzie, showcased this respect. Inspired by the educational journey of his then third-grade son, who was studying Native Americans in school, Winkler took the opportunity to visit the Hopi Indian Nation. It’s worth noting that photographing the Hopi Indians is legally prohibited due to their belief that it diminishes their soul. However, Winkler’s respectful on-screen representation resonated with the community, leading to a rare invitation to take a picture with the chief—an honor he cherishes as one of the greatest in his life.
Winkler shares another touching encounter where a father approached him, asking for a photo with his autistic son who rarely allows others to touch him. “That’s the magic of connection, being able to transcend a character’s on-screen presence, into real-life moments… that’s what I dreamed to be able to accomplish, and I am living this dream.”
Another transformative power of television became evident during a midnight encounter in Italy. Recognized as Fonzie, Winkler realized the impact his character had globally when a car stopped, and someone shouted his iconic character’s name. This affirmed that the Fonz had become more than just a character; he had become a source of courage and inspiration for people worldwide.
Winkler acknowledges the profound lesson he learned from embodying Fonzie ” the courage to reinvent oneself and tackle the unexpected, trusting that one can figure it out along the way. The Fonz, beyond the screen, became a catalyst for personal growth and an emblem of the unexpected joys that life, inspired by the magic of television, can bring.
Winkler, initially hesitant due to dyslexia, defied his own doubts by authoring 39 books, including his autobiography. Drawing on his experience of working with partners, he discovered that tackling challenges becomes a breeze when you venture into the unknown. Winkler encourages embracing aging, emphasizing the choice between going with it or living anxiously.
Highlighting the untapped potential of the senior population, he envisions them as valuable tutors and mentors, urging society to transform thoughtless disregard into respect. Beyond dyslexia advocacy, Winkler’s life lesson centers on gratitude and flexibility. He dismantles self-imposed limitations with a powerful mantra ” “shut up and try.” Winkler calls on others to take a leap of faith, trust in their abilities, and discover the soaring potential within.

About Henry Winkler
Henry Winkler will celebrate 50 years of success in Hollywood this year and continues to be in demand not only as an actor, producer, and director but as a best-selling children’s book author. His autobiography, BEING HENRY…The Fonz and Beyond, was published on October 31 of this year.
Winkler was born October 30, 1945 (age 78 years), Manhattan, New York, NY. He has co-starred as acting teacher Gene Cousineau on the hit HBO dark comedy, “Barry.” And, in 2018, he won his first Primetime Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy for his role on the series. He was nominated again for an Emmy in 2019, 2022 and 2023. Winkler has also won two Television Critics Choice Awards for Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series and was nominated for both a Golden Globe and SAG Award. The fourth and final season of the series aired in April on HBO and HBO Max.
A 1973 audition in Los Angeles forever changed the life of the Yale School of Drama graduate when producer Garry Marshall and Tom Miller cast Winkler in the iconic role of Arthur Fonzarelli, aka “The Fonz,” in the TV series “Happy Days.’ During his 10 years on the popular sitcom, he won two Golden Globe Awards, was nominated three times for an Emmy Award and was also honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Both his famous leather jacket and Fonzie’s lunch box became part of an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in 1980.
In recent years, Winkler appeared in a number of series, including “Arrested Development,” “Children’s Hospital,” “Royal Pains,” “New Girl” and “Parks and Recreation.” He also starred and co-executive produced the popular NBC Reality series, “Better Late Than Never.”
His guest role in the ABC drama series “The Practice” earned him an Emmy Award nomination and he also starred in the CBS sitcom “Out of Practice.” His other guest-starring roles have included “Numb3rs,” “Third Watch,” “Crossing Jordan,” “Law and Order: SVU,” and the Hallmark Channel holiday movie “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
Lately Winkler’s become a much sought after voice actor having lent his talent to such shows as “Rugrats, “Monsters at Work,” “The Legend of Vox Machina,” “Central Park,” “Reindeer in Here,” “Human Resources,” “American Dad,” “All Hail King Julien,” “Puppy Dog Pals,” “South Park,” “King of the Hill,” “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons” and “Clifford: The Puppy Years,” for which he received a Daytime Emmy Award.
Some of his other notable roles include Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” “On The Count of Three,” “Pink Skies Ahead,” “Night Shift,” “Here Comes the Boom,” “The Waterboy,” “Click,” “The Lords of Flatbush,” “Heroes,” “Holes” and “Scream.”
Behind the scenes he has also made his mark as a producer and director. Winkler has executive produced or produced TV series and specials for over 25 years, including “MacGyver,” (which ran a total of 13 years),”So Weird,” “Mr. Sunshine,” “Sightings,” “A Family Again,” “All Kids Do It,” (which won him a Daytime Emmy Award for Best Director), “Ryan’s Four,” “Scandal Sheet” and the ABC documentary “Who Are the DeBolts and Where Did They Get 19 Kids?,” which won the prestigious Humanitas Prize.
He directed several movies, including “Memories of Me,” starring Billy Crystal and”Cop and a Half,” starring the late Burt Reynolds. On stage, Winkler has appeared on Broadway in “Neil Simon’s The Dinner Party” (with the late John Ritter) and “The Performers.”
Winkler has always been concerned about the quality of children’s television programming. He has produced countless worthwhile projects for young audiences, including “Happily Ever After” for PBS and its sequel, “Two Daddies to Love Me.” Additional specials include “Run, Don’t Walk,” and “All the Kids Do It,” which was about teenage drunk driving (he also directed).
Winkler can add to his resume the title of New York Times best-selling author. His first book, Niagara Falls or Does It? Hank Zipzer the World’s Greatest Under-Achiever, became a New York Times bestseller. The book was inspired by Winkler’s struggle throughout his education due to his learning challenges and became so popular, it grew into a series of 28 novels. All the books are available in bookstores and online across the United States and have been published around the world in nine languages with more than 5 million copies sold.


To date, he and his co-author, Lin Oliver, have written 39 children’s novels. Alien Superstar, a trilogy, became an instant New York Times best seller. Their newest book, Detective Duck was recently published.
Winkler has always believed in helping others and is especially passionate about children. He is a featured speaker at WE Day Celebrations promoting education and service for students. His work also included Honorary Chairman of United Friends of the Children; Founding Member of the Children’s Action Network; the first National Honorary Chairman of the Epilepsy Foundation of America; National Chairman of the annual Toys for Tots campaign; the National Committee for Arts for the Handicapped; the Special Olympics; and the Los Angeles Music Center’s Very Special Arts Festival for children who are physically challenged; as well as participating in numerous teenage alcohol and drug abuse programs.
He has received a number of accolades from a variety of prestigious organizations, including B’nai B’rith, Peace Prize by the United Nations and Women in Film’s Norma Zarky Humanitarian Award, presented to both Henry and his wife, Stacey, for their tireless efforts and devotion to the “improvement of the human condition.”
He also received the Chevallier de l’Ordre des Artes et Lettres, the French government’s highest honor. In addition, Winkler was one of 10 individuals honored by AARP with their 2010 Inspire Award.
Of all the titles he has received, the ones he relishes most are husband, father and grandfather. Winkler and his wife, Stacey, have three children, Jed, Zoe and Max and six grandchildren. They reside in Los Angeles with their two dogs.

Chances are you know a caregiver. It could be the teacher at your child’s school, balancing classroom duties and caring for an aging parent after the bell rings. Maybe it’s your coworker who also takes care of a chronically ill spouse at home. Or your friend who makes time to catch up despite their busy schedule assisting their disabled sibling with everyday tasks.
With caregivers playing such a vital role for loved ones – a spouse, child, parents or even a friend – it is important that caregivers be supported too. Becoming a fulltime caregiver is usually not a role anyone is prepared to take on and can often come with challenges and emotional hardships. However, creating connection and building support networks can provide a safety net for caregivers and give them somewhere to turn when navigating new or difficult situations.
Supportive communities and resources are important for caregivers in every season. An easy first step in showing up for the caregivers in your own life is to express gratitude and establish yourself as a means of support and understanding.
Need help getting started? Consider these 10 ways to say thanks to a caregiver in your life:
1. Write a thank you note. Whether short and sweet or long and detailed, a simple letter expressing gratitude and recognizing everything caregivers do is an easy way to say thanks and create connection.
2. Send them a personal gift. Gift cards and other small tokens of gratitude are a great way to express thanks and provide caregivers with something for themselves, encouraging self-care and prioritizing caregiver well-being.
3. The gift of time, so they can do self-care.
Another way to encourage self-care is by stepping in for a caregiver for a few hours, allowing them some free time to take care of themselves and do what they enjoy.
4. Make regular visits. Caregiving can often be an isolating role, as many of the people receiving care may have limited mobility or spend most of their time at home. In this, it’s important to physically show up for the caregiver in your life and spend quality time with them.
5. Gift them a journal or planner. An important role of caregivers is to keep track of appointments, medication schedules and more. Gifting a journal or planner to help them stay organized can be an easy way to support their everyday life.
6. Express your gratitude with food. Not only does cooking a meal for a caregiver help alleviate some of their workload, but it also is an effective way to connect with those around you and spark meaningful conversations.
7. Exercise together. Many studies suggest that exercising with a caregiver and the person receiving care can improve both mental and physical health, making it an easy way to show thanks and prioritize well-being.
8. Plan a movie night. Express thanks by arranging a movie night, setting aside time to connect and bond over a favorite movie of theirs.
9. Have a portrait taken. A powerful way to create connection and meaningful memories is by having a portrait taken of caregiver and care recipient, gifting an image that will always remind them of the vital role they play.
10. Create a team of support. One of the best ways to support the caregiver in your life and express consistent gratitude for all they do, is by surrounding them with a network of resources and creating a Caregiver Support Team.
Whether it’s by saying thanks, helping to establish a caregiver support network or simply spending quality time, showing up for the caregivers in your life can have an immense impact on their well-being, and in turn, can improve the quality of care they provide.
Source: BPT

How much money would make you happy? According to the average American, the price tag comes in around $1.2 million.
New research from Empower, a leader in financial planning, investing and advice, reveals 6 in 10 Americans believe money can buy happiness, though just 17% say financial contentment is about reaching a certain net worth. It turns out that a little goes a long way and incremental financial wins can make a massive impact on Americans’ well-being.
“Every generation has grappled with questions of how to calculate financial happiness: hard work, a lot of planning, consistent savings, and even a little bit of luck, in just the right measures,” says Carol Waddell, president of Empower Personal Wealth. “A spirit of financial confidence prevails, with 7 in 10 saying they have clear financial goals and Americans continue to envision a bright future.”
The financials of happinessWhile the study found that 7 in 10 Americans (71%) believe more money would solve most of their problems, for a third (32%) a relatively attainable gain of $15,000 would make a meaningful impact in their lives, boosting their feeling of financial happiness for six months. That number surges to 42% with a $25,000 gain, and just $5,000 would do it for 17%.
Indeed, happiness manifests in big and small ways. The majority of Americans say it’s on-time bill payment (67%) and living debt-free (65%), while roughly half say it’s the ability to afford small luxuries without guilt (54%) and home ownership (45%). Over half say their contentment can be found in spending on experiences with those they cherish (53%) and in optimism for what’s next, including retiring on their own terms (37%).
Readying for retirement Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say they’re currently experiencing financial stress, with today’s economic pressures like inflation (81%), rising interest rates (66%) and student loans (32%) dampening their sense of prosperity. Half report carrying debt (54% overall, and 72% of Gen X) and nearly 4 in 10 (36%) say that they couldn’t handle an unforeseen expense over $500 without real worry.
In the current financial environment, Americans now expect to retire three years later, at age 63. Those with a less detailed financial plan (or no plan at all) don’t expect to clock out until age 70, five years later than planned.
For about 4 in 10 Americans (37%), and exactly half of Gen Xers, retiring by a certain age is the meaning of financial happiness. The majority (84%) are taking steps to reach this target, including putting more money into retirement savings (39%), short-term savings like a high-yield account (31%), and working with a financial advisor (26%). A quarter of savers (25%) are paying off debt more aggressively than they would otherwise and 22% are delaying a major purchase like a car.

The power of planning
The majority of Americans (73%) say a solid financial plan would bring them happiness, and they would like help to get there: 57% of Americans wish they would have gotten advice sooner. Nearly half of Americans (45%) say they haven’t gotten the financial advice they need, including 55% of Gen Zers and 57% of Millennials. But those who already have a plan are proof of its power: Americans with a more detailed financial plan are three times as likely as those with a less detailed plan to report greater happiness around financial freedom (75% versus 24%), their plans to achieve financial goals (78% versus 23%), and the overall state of their finances, such as their net worth and debt balances (73% versus 19%).
“The financial professionals at Empower combine the power of advice with technology to help Americans get on the path to financial freedom,” explains Waddell. “With their financial goals in mind and a solid plan to reach them, savers can spend more time doing the things that make them happy – in their working years and beyond.”
Source: BPT

By Patricia L. Turner, MD, MBA, FACS, Executive Director & CEO, The American College of Surgeons

Navigating healthcare is a complex endeavor and knowing where to find high-quality surgical care can be an intimidating task. The American College of Surgeons (ACS) makes it easier for patients and families to find hospitals that meet high-quality evidence-based standards and consistently deliver better surgical outcomes.
For more than 110 years, the ACS has been setting standards for the care of surgical patients around the world. Surgeons who are Fellows of the ACS – designated by the letters “FACS” after their name – undergo careful review before attaining this distinction. In a similar way, hospitals that participate in 13 different quality programs submit themselves to detailed scrutiny to earn ACS accreditation or verification.
Meeting the rigorous qualifications of our programs is extremely difficult. Hospitals that achieve this distinguished status earn the designation of ACS Surgical Quality Partner and can proudly display the ACS Diamond in their hospitals.
ACS Quality Programs encompass care in a variety of specialties including cancer, trauma, bariatric, vascular and emergency surgery, among others. We also help hospitals deliver better care to specific populations such as children and older adults. For example, delirium is a frequent complication for older adults and our Geriatric Surgery Verification program equips hospitals with strategies and tools to reduce the risk delirium poses. This can lead to shorter hospital stays and higher success in achieving a patient’s care goals. Our Children’s Surgery Verification program ensures that hospitals take into account the different requirements for delivering the best care to our youngest patients.
The ACS Commission on Cancer and our quality programs in breast and rectal cancer guide hospitals in building team-based approaches to care, centering patient needs and adhering to the latest and best practices in cancer care. The ACS Committee on Trauma sets standards to ensure that hospitals are well prepared to care for injured patients, especially during those critical early moments that can mean the difference between survival and death. Patients treated at ACS-verified trauma centers have demonstrably higher survival rates than those treated at non-verified hospitals.
Patricia L. Turner is the Executive Director & CEO of The American College of Surgeons, the largest professional association of surgeons in the world, founded in 1913.
Source: BPT

Know the different kinds of health coverage that may be available to you

When you are looking for a plan to cover your health care needs, and perhaps those of your loved ones, it can be confusing to know what your options are and what you might be eligible for. And there could be a lot of factors that come into play, such as how old you are, where you live and your level of income.
Access to affordable health care coverage is more attainable than you might think. If you have questions about the different types of coverage being offered and who might be eligible, here’s a quick guide to help.
Employer-based coverage: For the 54% of Americans with employer-provided coverage, many employers set aside a 2- to 3-week period between September and December when their employees can select health benefits for the following year. A lot can change in a year, so if you have employer-based coverage, consider whether your current benefits are still meeting the needs of you and your family and see what plan changes your employer has made in the options offered. If you are unsure about your options, check with your employer.

Medicare:
This is a federal program that provides health insurance for people 65 years and older, with certain exceptions for those younger than 65. There are several types, or “parts” of Medicare.
Parts A (hospital insurance) and B (medical insurance) are considered Original Medicare.
Part C is what’s also known as Medicare Advantage and combines Parts A and B and usually includes prescription drug coverage. These plans often also offer additional benefits such as dental, vision and fitness.
Part D plans are stand-alone plans that help pay for prescription drugs. Part D plans may be added with Original Medicare and/or a Medicare supplement insurance plan, as well as with certain Medicare Advantage plans that don’t include prescription drug coverage.
Medicare supplement insurance plans, also known as Medigap plans, help pay some of the out-of-pocket costs not paid by Original Medicare.
For more information about Medicare, visit MedicareMadeClear.com.

Medicaid:
This is a federal health insurance program that is managed by each state, so the eligibility requirements (such as income level) may differ from state to state. Medicaid plans can also provide access to care for pregnant women, children, eligible low-income adults and people with disabilities. Medicaid plans cover things like hospital stays, doctor visits, and nursing home care. Often it includes things like prescription drug coverage, dental care and more. Check with your state plan to find out if you’re eligible and what that specific plan covers. Or visit MedicaidHelper.com.

Dual Special Needs Plans:
Some people are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. In this case, they are also able to have what’s called a Dual Special Needs Plan, or D-SNP. It combines features of both programs, but also can contain benefits that are exclusive to dual plans, such as credits for healthy food and help with utilities. These plans are administered by each state.

Other Special Needs Plans include:
Chronic Special Needs Plans (C-SNPs) for people living with severe or disabling chronic conditions
Institutional Special Needs Plans (I-SNPs) for people who live in a skilled nursing facility
Institutional-Equivalent Special Needs Plans (IE-SNPs) for people who live in a contracted assisted living facility and need the same kind of care as those who live in a skilled nursing facility

Individual & Family ACA Marketplace plans:
These plans are available on the Health Insurance Marketplace, also called the Exchange. This is where Affordable Care Act (ACA) health care plans are sold, offering affordable coverage, sometimes at low- to no-cost, for you and your family. These are health plans people can buy on their own. If you do not have health insurance through a job, Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or another source, an Individual and Family Plan may be a good alternative for you. To find out more about UnitedHealthcare’s Individual and Family Plans or to see if they’re available in your state, visit UHCExchange.com.
Source: BPT

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