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Barbara E. Friesner Generational Coach

Barbara Friesner is the country's leading Generational Coach and an expert on issues affecting Seniors and their families. She has been interviewed for Advising Boomers magazine, featured on NY1 TV's Focus on Seniors and Coping with Caregiving on wsRadio. She has also been quoted in newspapers and magazines across the country and her articles have been published in the CAPSule, the Children of Aging Parent's newsletter.

Barbara's company is AgeWiseLiving™ which she started as a result of being the care manager for her grandmother for many years and now for her mother (who has dementia). As a Generational Coach, Barbara helps her clients – primarily Baby Boomer women – resolve their eldercare issues by choice rather than crisis.

Barbara is an Adjunct Professor at Cornell University where she created and teaches “Seniors Housing Management” for Cornell's School of Hotel Administration and holds an MBA from Boston University. She is also a speaker & seminar leader. In addition to presenting her own seminars to hundreds of groups across the country, she has been a presenter at the Alzheimer's Foundation of America Annual Conference, the Ithaca College Gerontology Institute Annual Conference, the Assisted Living Federation of America's (ALFA) National Convention, the National Council on the Aging (NCOA), to name a few. For more information about Barbara, please go to www.AgeWiseLiving.com.

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Aging Parent: How Do I Know If I Should Be Worried?

Aging Parent: How Do I Know If I Should Be Worried? By Barbara E. Friesner NABBW's Elder Care Expert This is the time of year when we see parents and other aging loved ones that we may not have…Aging Parent: How Do…Aging Parent: How Do I Know If I Should Be Worried? By Barbara E. Friesner NABBW's Elder Care Expert This is the time of year when we see parents and other aging loved ones that we may not have the opportunity to see the rest of the year. Regardless of how often you talk by phone throughout the year, seeing an aging parent in person tells you a lot more than phone calls alone can reveal. The clues are all around you if you know what to look for. And the best part is that you can look around without making it a big deal for you or your parent. Here are some things to look for: Is your…

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Stand Up & Speak Out for Real Wellness

Stand Up & Speak Out for Real Wellness By Barbara E. Friesner NABBW's Elder Care Expert Many companies these days are focusing the employee benefits on wellness. That makes sense and I applaud…Stand Up & Speak Out…Stand Up & Speak Out for Real Wellness By Barbara E. Friesner NABBW's Elder Care Expert Many companies these days are focusing the employee benefits on wellness. That makes sense and I applaud them for it. Unfortunately, when they think of wellness, most companies are thinking exercise programs, healthy eating, smoking cessation, stress reduction, etc. However, the point that many companies are missing is the root cause for these issues – that many people aren’t exercising or eating healthily, and are smoking, drinking, self-medicating, and totally stressed because they’re s…

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Year-End Special

Year-End Special By Barbara E. Friesner My father used to quip:  What do you get the person who has everything?  A box to put it in. Oddly enough – that’s not such a bad suggestion!  Es…Year-End Special By…Year-End Special By Barbara E. Friesner My father used to quip:  What do you get the person who has everything?  A box to put it in. Oddly enough – that’s not such a bad suggestion!  Especially now when you’re helping them get rid of stuff! The kind of box doesn’t necessarily matter. What matters is what you put into it. Once I gave my mother a Mother’s Day card that said something to the effect of:  “I may have been a difficult child but I never deliberately stepped on a crack.”  My mother read the card and looked at me and it was obvio…

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The Silent Generation – Another Key to the Eldercare Code

The Silent Generation – Another Key to the Eldercare Code By Barbara E. Friesner, NABBW's Eldercare Expert My first article for the National Association of Baby Boomer Women was exactly 5 y…The Silent Generatio…The Silent Generation – Another Key to the Eldercare Code By Barbara E. Friesner, NABBW's Eldercare Expert My first article for the National Association of Baby Boomer Women was exactly 5 years ago (which staggers me!!)    That first article was about our Vicky-D (Victorian/Depression era generation) parents who are now about 85 years old and up – born roughly between 1905 and 1925. I mentioned that Vicky-D’s are generally (and I say generally because what is true for most is not true for all.  Other factors – such as region of country, raised in the city or country, e…

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! By Barbara E. Friesner Did you notice the energy in the air right after Labor Day?  It was really palpable here in NYC.  Everyone just somehow seemed to walk a little lighter…Happy New Year! B…Happy New Year! By Barbara E. Friesner Did you notice the energy in the air right after Labor Day?  It was really palpable here in NYC.  Everyone just somehow seemed to walk a little lighter!  Maybe it’s that this was such a miserable summer that people were just relieved that it was over.  Or maybe it’s the start of a new year!  Sure, I know people think January 1st is the start of the new year but September and a new school year always marked a fresh new beginning for me.  I loved going back to school . . . .  Seeing old friends; meeting new ones; new classes; new teachers…

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Have You Had That Conversation With Your Aging Parents?

We want our parents to use computers and the internet. The good news is that more and more of them are. The bad news is that an alarming number of them are also falling prey to identity thieves and …We want our parents …We want our parents to use computers and the internet. The good news is that more and more of them are. The bad news is that an alarming number of them are also falling prey to identity thieves and internet scammers. I\'m sure you\'ve seen them – emails from banks, credit card companies, and stores that say that there is some problem with your account. They may tell you there has been fraudulent or suspicious activity and you have to confirm your information. Some will threaten to suspend or close your account or report you to the credit bureau if you do not respond. Then they tell all …

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Is Your Approach to Eldercare Like Deferred Maintenance?

What Is the Cost of Waiting? In 1975, NYC went nearly bankrupt. In an attempt to save money, it was decided that the city would not paint the bridges that year so they could use the money somewhere…What Is the Cost of …What Is the Cost of Waiting? In 1975, NYC went nearly bankrupt. In an attempt to save money, it was decided that the city would not paint the bridges that year so they could use the money somewhere else. The next year, the “somewhere else” again expected to receive the bridge money . . . and got it – and for another year, the bridges were not painted. By the time the money was allocated back to the bridges, instead of just the cost of paint, there was serious damage to the infrastructure that ultimately cost 10 if not 100 times more in repairs – to say nothing of the impact on traff…

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How To Avoid “Return To Sender”

I have always been a big postcard sender and a recent vacation was no exception! Watching me write the cards, one of the friends with whom I was traveling, a woman in her 80\'s, mentioned how sad it i…I have always been a…I have always been a big postcard sender and a recent vacation was no exception! Watching me write the cards, one of the friends with whom I was traveling, a woman in her 80\'s, mentioned how sad it is that she\'s lost contact with many of her friends over the past several years. She said she doesn\'t know if her friends are sick, have passed away, or moved, and she doesn\'t know how to find out. Two of the most common reasons she hasn\'t heard from them are 1) physical or cognitive issues have made it impossible for her friends to communicate; and 2) her friends moved and didn’t tell her…

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Getting More Like My Mother Every Day

“You\'re getting to be more like your mother every day!” Whenever I do something weird or funny (like talking with total strangers at another table in a restaurant), that\'s what my sister tells …“You\'re getting t…“You\'re getting to be more like your mother every day!” Whenever I do something weird or funny (like talking with total strangers at another table in a restaurant), that\'s what my sister tells me. Well . . . the other day I caught a look of myself as I passed a store window. OMG – I couldn\'t believe what I was seeing. There I was, wearing a photography vest that had been my mother\'s. It\'s khaki colored with pockets for everything a photographer would need (with a diagram inside each side panel so you know what every pocket is for!). So practical and yet so ugly! I was als…

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3 Key Tips for Families with Loved Ones in a Nursing Home

A few weeks ago, man by the name of Omar Cain posted a video on my Facebook page. One look at the video and I fell in love! After seeing his video, I just had to talk with him and find out more abou…A few weeks ago, man…A few weeks ago, man by the name of Omar Cain posted a video on my Facebook page. One look at the video and I fell in love! After seeing his video, I just had to talk with him and find out more about him. Turns out Omar is a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) extraordinaire at the Golden LivingCenter in Stenton, PA. In addition to his CNA work, he also trains CNA students and those thinking about the field. What I found is a man lucky enough to have found his calling and the desire and ability to share what he knows with others in such a way that they are inspired too. With everyone as …

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What\’s My Motivation?

Whatever topic you need to discuss with your aging loved one, the objective is to bring up and discuss it in such a way that your aging loved one will willingly do what\'s in their best interest. Unfo…Whatever topic you n…Whatever topic you need to discuss with your aging loved one, the objective is to bring up and discuss it in such a way that your aging loved one will willingly do what\'s in their best interest. Unfortunately, however, the reality is that no one can make anyone want to do anything. All anyone can do is help someone see why doing something is in their best interest and therefore, why they would want to. This is true when working with anyone – the elderly, spouses and kids. For example: You want your son to pick up his clothes but he never does. You\'ve tried every reason you can thi…

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Sometimes It’s Good To Wallow

Five or six mornings a week, I walk 4 to 6 miles in Central Park. I get great joy from meandering. It’s something I do for my head more than for my body. In the past few years I’ve started feedin…Five or six mornings…Five or six mornings a week, I walk 4 to 6 miles in Central Park. I get great joy from meandering. It’s something I do for my head more than for my body. In the past few years I’ve started feeding the birds and now the Cardinals come directly to me when they hear me shake the bag of bird seed. The other morning, as I was feeding the birds, a guy with a dog came by. I nodded but he started screaming at me about how dare I spend money feeding birds when there are homeless and starving children in the world. I was very surprised and then started to laugh and pointed out that as a woman, I ca…

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Stand Up & Speak Out for Real Wellness

Many companies these days are focusing their employee benefits on wellness. That makes sense but when they think of wellness, most companies are thinking exercise programs, healthy eating, smoking ces…Many companies these…Many companies these days are focusing their employee benefits on wellness. That makes sense but when they think of wellness, most companies are thinking exercise programs, healthy eating, smoking cessation, stress reduction, etc. However, the point that many companies are missing is that many people aren\'t exercising or eating healthily, and are smoking, drinking, self-medicating, and totally stressed because they\'re struggling with eldercare issues. Parents are much older, often frailer and often living away from their adult children. As a result, elder caregiving employees miss more …

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Make It a Happy New Year

Are you like me . . . dazzled by all the lights and decorations of the holidays, surrounded by the warmth of family and friends, and swept up with the magic? Are you then bummed when January comes and…Are you like me . . …Are you like me . . . dazzled by all the lights and decorations of the holidays, surrounded by the warmth of family and friends, and swept up with the magic? Are you then bummed when January comes and, as if with a flick of a switch, the parties stop, the mail is once again just bills, the lights are turned off, and we go back to life as usual? This is a difficult time for a lot of people – the dreariness of the winter months and the sudden letdown after all the excitement. I know it’s a huge letdown for me but at least I have work and all kinds of obligations to distract me. Sadly, it’s…

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Make These Holidays to Remember

This week I went to a meeting where the topic was sharing special holiday memories. In addition to our memories, everyone was asked to bring their favorite holiday foods. It was a lot of fun but also …This week I went to …This week I went to a meeting where the topic was sharing special holiday memories. In addition to our memories, everyone was asked to bring their favorite holiday foods. It was a lot of fun but also a little sad because for several of them – including me – one of their loved ones past away this year. Fortunately for all of us, the happy memories of holidays past live on. When family members are visiting their parents for the holidays, I often encourage them to use that time to make sure they\'re parent is ok. Look for things such as: is your loved one clean, well groomed, and properl…

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How to Recall Memories More Easily

Because of the my mother\'s dementia, I\'m often asked by people who are concerned about “intellectual pauses” of their loved one (or their own) if there\'s anything they can do to remember more, …Because of the my mo…Because of the my mother\'s dementia, I\'m often asked by people who are concerned about “intellectual pauses” of their loved one (or their own) if there\'s anything they can do to remember more, longer, and make their memories easier to access. Please know that I\'m not a “brain specialist”. Nothing written here should imply a diagnosis or a way to prevent Alzheimers or any of the dozen or so other types of dementia. However, based on information I\'ve learned through research, personal observation and experience, I say Yes! Before I can tell you how to recall memories more ea…

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Living Together Meaningfully

Many parents are uncomfortable living in their children\'s home – the feeling that they\'re an imposition – especially if they have nothing to do. Most parents don\'t want to feel like guests, yet…Many parents are unc…Many parents are uncomfortable living in their children\'s home – the feeling that they\'re an imposition – especially if they have nothing to do. Most parents don\'t want to feel like guests, yet it\'s a fine line between helping and interfering. This is an actual story . . . “After my husband\'s death, my daughter invited me to live with her and her husband in their new large house, 125 miles away. Actually, I was the one who suggested it because at the time it appeared that her husband was going to be taking a job with such a long commute that he could only come home on wee…

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YOU WANT ME TO PAY RENT?

Here\'s a tough one . . . Your Mom and/or Dad has moved in with you. At some point s/he told you s/he wants to pay you something to help defray the cost and you said no. Or maybe when the subject …Here\'s a tough one …Here\'s a tough one . . . Your Mom and/or Dad has moved in with you. At some point s/he told you s/he wants to pay you something to help defray the cost and you said no. Or maybe when the subject came up and you were uncomfortable and said “let\'s discuss it later”. I mean. . . what do you say? Your aging loved one is now living with you so s/he is not a guest. In fact, it\'s even worse than that . . . they\'re your parents!! After all they\'ve done for you, can you seriously ask them to pay rent? So now s/he has moved in with you and the issue of money has never been resolved. …

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