COVER PAGE

MANO PO                                                                                                FALL 2017

Aging is not a Laughing Matter

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Ma. Consuelo Almonte

TIME TO ENJOY THE GOLDEN YEARS

…aging is not loneliness and giving up

   .it is a continuing life of fun, diversity and spin.

             ..one must seek it....PCCSA is here for you.

 

 

 

A Heartfelt Profession of a Mission

 

I have been blessed with an excellent, creative and exciting diplomatic career as Assistant to the Press Minister of the Pakistan Mission to the United Nations for 43 years. Now, the best life path for me is giving back and making a difference in the lives of seniors and elderly persons by "Preparing and Enjoying the Golden Years ". This advocacy has, and still is, giving me deeper meaning in my life, far beyond the personal and professional satisfactions I have already experienced and achieved.  Indeed, the best and most satisfying life is serving those who are truly in need.

 

My ultimate dream, as I lay the foundation of the Philippine Community Center Services for the Aging, is for it to become an "enduring" institution to serve one of the most forgotten sectors of the Filipino American community and the world at large.

 

Ma. Consuelo Almonte

Founder/ President

(A Program of The Nursing Office Services for Aging Immigrants)

Quarterly Journal for Fil-Am Seniors & Families

Theme: Preparing and Enjoying the Golden Years

Health, Financial, Legal & Family Matters

Table of Contents 

Front Cover 

Greetings by PCCSA Founder (p 2)

The Mission: Saving our Seniors, The Endangered Species (p 3)

Mano Po: A Culture based on Love and Respect for the Elderly 

A Tribute to Mark Shafer (p 4)

Once Upon a Time & Ninety Years Later (p 5)

Preparing & Enjoying the Golden Years : Estate Planning (p 6)

Featured Story: General Antonio Taguba (p 7)

Back Cover

Editorial Board

Executive Editor 

Myrna D. Santos

Chief Editor

Lutgarda Resurreccion

Contributing Writers

Pauline Santos

Carol Tanjutco 

Graphic Artist

Criselda Cac

Executive Director

PCCSA

Consuelo Almonte

Marketing Director 

Nieva Burdick

Distribution

Electronic Copy

Paper (Hard Copy)

 

Founding Organization

The Nursing Office.Com/PCCSA

Publisher: Four Dragon Global Network, Inc./ PCCSA

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The Mission: Saving our Seniors, The Endangered Species

Ludy Resurreccion

Mission

To promote, celebrate and salute the elderly, and provide products and services to influence a change in culture to prepare and enjoy the golden years through a carefully designed program by and for seniors.

Vision

Aging should not be a challenge.

Objectives

 

We envision Aging Seniors or Elderly Immigrants, who are educated and trained advocates, to access culturally sensitive & competent health-care services or therapies; fair housing practices; technological literacy; and financial independence.

 

We are seeing immensely Creative, Innovative, and Vibrant Seniors and Elderly Persons, utilizing their experience and hard-earned skills to mentor young people and activate intergenerational dialogues which inspire and motivate the next generation to create their own legacies. 

 

We see these engaged Seniors and Elderly persons building strength for themselves, their families and communities, through Art, Dance, Theater, Literature, and many other expressive cultural forms.

 

We see active Seniors reach out to invisible aging or Elderly Immigrants seriously challenged by chronic illness, loneliness, isolation, or separation from close family, and by lack of information on access to government benefits. and engage them in self-empowering health & wellness practices.

 

We support Active Seniors who are opening their own private homes (or houses) to provide Living Spaces for fixed income Seniors, or Interactive Spaces for dialogues where Elderly Immigrants and Younger Immigrants interact, recall, and document their family and social histories living in Queens and other boroughs of New York City.

 

We encourage Seniors to expand their range of choices & strengthen support networks that help them navigate resources to address their health, housing, psycho-social, financial, or legal/immigration needs and issues. 

 

We all look forward to our productive, beautiful and healthy Golden Years!

Ludy Resurreccion

Program Director/ Editor in Chief

Mano Po: A Culture based on Love and Respect for the Elderly

Tradition, Tradition!

“Mano Po” comes from Spanish word for hand “mano” combined with the Tagalog honorific term “po.” It literally means, “May I kiss/touch your hand to my head,” in an attitude of deep filial respect and greeting. This gesture is done with the younger person bowing the head and the elderly extending his or her hand to touch the forehead of the younger person. This beautiful traditional Filipino gesture shows profound respect and honor for our elderly. Mano Po symbolizes that we value the ancestors’ wisdom that our elderly carry with them, just the way they are.

 

 

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A Tribute to Mark Shaffer

 

“Good Night, Sweet”

 

You never said you were leaving me; You said you will be always be there for me.

You never said good bye; You were gone before I knew it.

God only knows why.

In life I loved you dearly; In death I love you still

In my heart you hold a place,That only you can fill.

It broke my heart to lose you,But you did not go alone;

A part of me went with you,The day God took you home.

Wait for me to go home For soon I will join you, when

God in His Infinite goodness, Will welcome me home.

Thank you darling for the wonderful years you gave me,

The thought of you, the legacy you left behind,

I look forward that remembrance of sweet memories,

That would sustain me as I imagine a life of emptiness, fear and loneliness…

Mark you have been my strength! I love you.

 

Ma. Consuelo Almonte

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The THIRD INSIGHT

 

We used to have a McDonald's downstairs from my apartment.  It was a hangout for our model senior citizens community in Rego Park, Queens, New York.  I say "model" because they exemplify what attitude to have when you start to age, whether you are Fil-Am or not.  After lunch, they start to gather, about ten of them or more sometimes, and they bring their cookies.  The store gives them senior discount for coffee, so that's why the McDonald's appeal.  They laugh and gossip, tell stories and make friends.  They would say hi to me because they notice I'm there every day as well, reading and writing.  I think this is a sign that they want to make friends with younger people.  

 

I live with my Mom who is now almost 89 years old.  Her main complaint about ageing is that young people don't want to be with old people.  They feel rejected.  This rejection can sometimes cause depression, although they don't talk about how it really makes them feel.  So I smile at them at McDonald's and even have a chat sometimes with the very extroverted ones.  I can see the joy in their eyes, and it pleases me.

 

Rejection of old people is prevalent in western society.  For Fil-Ams, you are lucky if you get the attention you deserve from your grandchildren.  Though perhaps we are a tad luckier as Fil-Ams, because we are used to the all-inclusive extended family system.  Everyone cares for one another beyond the nuclear family kuno, so that parents encourage the young ones to care for the elderly.   The children are encouraged to take care of a sick elderly.  When my lola Sayong had a fall in my aunt's house in Quezon City, my aunt requested my cousin Nilda (her apo or granddaughter) to take care of her for a week.  It was my aunt's intention not to just to get help, but to show her apo that she had an obligation as an apo to take care of a sick lola (grandmother). 

 

Nilda, raised as a bourgeoisie, had a negative response.  She felt that she was being unfairly targeted as a young niece.  "Why can't she ask one of her daughters?" she confided in me.  She had a point.  So she told her aunt that her Dad did not allow her because she had a full load at the university.  So she did not really see it as an opportunity to be of service to an old person.  Perhaps we have to look at the family history and family relationship to understand Nilda's feelings.

 

So I encourage Fil-Am parents to continue the tradition of young ones taking care of the ageing; to honor what their own parents taught them when they were young.  Because it is indeed a very well-kept secret among the ageing population that they don't want to feel rejected by the young people.

 

~Pauline Santos

 

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Estate Planning 101

by Carol Tanjutco, J.D., C.P.A.

 

Estate planning is for everyone, not just for the wealthy, not just for the seniors. The word “estate” may conjure images of vast property but it simply refers to your assets like your home, financial accounts, and personal possessions. Everyone has an asset, and has someone or something you care about. It is, therefore, important to create a plan and update that plan when life events happen.

 

An integral part of estate planning is Advanced Planning. This will ensure that your family, and someone you trust will carry out the plans that you have in the event that you are unable to do so. There are five (5) basic documents that you will need: a will that is customized for you by an attorney and compliant with the laws of your state, a durable and a non-durable power of attorney that will authorize an agent to act on your behalf, a living will, health care proxy and HIPPAA medical authorization.

 

Depending on your financial situation, you may need a trust. Trusts allow you to stipulate the conditions on how and when your assets will be distributed upon your death. A trust can also serve to reduce estate and gift taxes and to distribute assets to heirs without forcing them to go to the Surrogate Court for probate of a will. It will also prevent contests encountered in wills.

The final issue you need to consider is the obligations you are leaving to your family. Credit, mortgages, taxes will be taken from your estate, and if there is anything left, gifts and legacy will pass on to the next generation. This is when life insurance provides a tax-free benefit that will automatically go to your named beneficiaries, which can also be used to pay for obligations left behind.

 

This holiday season, make an inventory of your assets. Think about who are your possible heirs, who do you trust to handle your affairs and who do you trust to pull the plug at the end of life. On the bright side, calculate how much you can afford to spend for your lifestyle for the next 20 years or so, who will provide for your care and don’t forget your beloved pets, too.

 

Taking control of your life today will give you that peace of mind that everything and everyone you care about has been provided for, and planned ahead.

 

Carol Tanjutco, JD CPA, is Wealth Adviser if Eagles Strategies LLC, a Registered Investment Adviser, and author. Reserve your Free E-book atwww.ABCofInvesting.com 

A traditional Filipino view on estate planning (A Case Story)

 

“Hindi ko akalaing gawin ito sa akin ng aking anak”(I never thought my own child would do this to me…)

These were deeply painful words of 80-year-old Aling Maria when she came back to America after a 5-month stay in her hometown, presumably to retire for good in the Philippines. Aling Maria, a healthy, strong, independent business owner, had spent the last 20+ years of her life working as housekeeper/nanny, scrupulously saving her money and sending it back home to help expand the family business and landholdings there.

 

Two years before, she had traveled back home and took for granted that the family property in her name would still be hers to use. She did not think of writing a Last Will and Testament, since she trusted that her property will always be there, and that her only son and heir would protect her. For her retirement, she had planned to use proceeds from the family business to set up a grocery store to re-establish contacts with kasama, kapitbahay and kaibigan (tenants, neighbors and friends) and to run her own business like she did before she left for America.

 

A rude and painful awakening awaited her. With all the excitement of coming home, her son told her she was not the owner of the family property anymore, as her signature was forged to transfer all properties to him, his wife and children. Aling Maria was shocked and angered by this betrayal. Everyone, including her grandsons whose college education she paid for, refused to listen or support her. Later she would be locked up in her room with hardly anything to eat; she decided to come back to America. She persuaded her son to pay for her one-way fare back to America. Finally, she told him that they would never see her again.

 

~Ludy Resurreccion

 

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The Story of Antonio Taguba and HomeCare Giving

Don’t Wait for a Crisis to Start Planning

I wish my siblings and I were better prepared for my parents’ caregiving needs. I wish we had planned how to support my mother as she suffered from cancer and my dad with dementia in his old age.

Both of my parents needed help at home in Hawaii. My siblings and I were committed to caring for them, but we lived in different states. We traveled home every few weeks, but it caused rifts between us as we juggled finances and started resenting each other. We could have avoided the anguish and arguments had we planned ahead and paid closer attention to our parents’ ailments, medical, and financial needs.

Several of my friends’ parents are in the early stages of needing extended care. Most of them don’t have a plan to provide for their parent’s needs. Some think they can handle everything within their immediate family. A few don’t want to think their parents will need additional care because their savings and health insurance will cover it. Caregiving is a critical family matter. Below is my advice on caregiving:

1. Begin the conversation now
Start talking to your parents and other family members about finances, health care insurance, medical coverage, housing, and other personal concerns. Your parents might be reluctant to discuss these sensitive topics because they fear losing their independence or being removed from their home or don’t want to be a burden to you. Reassure them that their long term health care is not only important for them, but for the entire family. Tell your loved ones this conversation is needed because you love them.

2. Research resources
There are many caregiving resources available. If you don’t live close to your parents, research the resources available in their communities like social service agencies, advocacy groups, nursing and assisted living facilities, hospice care, fitness centers, recreation, and churches that your parents can frequent. Online resources can also be helpful in planning. AARP.org/caregiving provides information, tools and tips for caregivers. AARP's Long-term Care Calculator offers state-by-state comparisons of home health, hospice and assisted living costs.

3. Create a caregiving plan
Organize the information you’ve collected, including contact names, phone numbers, and locations, and create a routine for your parent’s caregiving with checklists. Schedule medical appointments, arrange for transportation, and synchronize other activities with caregiver’s calendar. Discuss the plan with your parents, siblings, and trusted caregivers. Adjust the plan as your parent’s physical and medical condition, financial, insurance, or other circumstances changes, and share the revised plan with everyone. 
Developing a comprehensive plan is time consuming, but it will be even more difficult and complicated without one if your parents suddenly fall ill. Seriously consider the positive effects of having a family plan.

By (Ret.) Major General Tony Taguba/ AARP Ambassador

Source: AARP

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FUTURE (COMING UP EDITION)

Table of Contents

  • Front Cover 
  • Greetings by PCCSA Founder 
  • The Mission: Saving our Seniors: The Endangered Species
  • Mano Po: A Culture based on Love and Respect for the Elderly
  • Featured Story: General Antonio Taguba
  • Once Upon a Time & Ninety Years Later (Myrna D. Santos)
  • Preparing & Enjoying the Golden Years : Estate Planning
  • Third Insight
  • How to Celebrate your 100Th Birthday
  • The Care Givers
  • Medicare & You
  • Resources
  • Announcements 
Gilda Sambajon on Aging Gracefully
Emma Santos: The Doctor's Wife

SPOTLIGHT

When Peace is All that Matters
Succession Planning
Is it I am depressed?
The Doctor's Wife
The Final Bow
Where's Fun?
Reading the same page
I'm ready, take the shot!
Mixing Keyboard Notes
You are not Alone
Pagbabalik Parangal: The Silent Unsung Heroes of Fil-Am Families
Keeping in tune

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