Trinity Elder Law - March 2020

Act Fast & Combat Memory Loss Peace of Mind Post MARCH 2020


J ust last week, someone asked me a fun question: “Would you rather live every day with the memories you have up to this point, or would you rather forget everything you knew and live your life from that point on?” It’s an age-old question that gives many people pause. What’s more important — the memories we’ve cultivated so far or those we’re looking forward to experiencing with our loved ones? I think it’s tough to answer because all of our memories are invaluable. taking photos and videos to capture the moments; it involves protecting our memory itself. The third week of March is Brain Awareness Week, and I want to share some of the ways we can strengthen our memory so we don’t forget a second of life’s most meaningful events. Brain Foods Fatty fish are a rich source of omega-3s, a major component of the brain that is crucial to sharpening memory and protecting our brain against deterioration. Studies have shown that omega-3s slow the process of age-related mental decline and fend off Alzheimer’s disease. Some fatty fish to incorporate into your are include salmon, trout, and sardines. Blueberries also have a lot of antioxidants, which alleviate oxidative stress and inflammation. These two conditions contribute to brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Turmeric, a yellow spice known as an ingredient in curry powder, has several benefits for the brain. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, may improve memory in people with Alzheimer’s disease. It accomplishes this by clearing amyloid plaque in the brain, which are a leading cause of the disease. Best Practices As we age, we have to continue to learn and expand our general hobbies from our typical routines. While I don’t read as much as I want, it keeps my brain active and thinking, and I thoroughly enjoy it. Right now, I’m reading “The Growth Mindset” by Carol Dweck. Brain safety is also crucial to maintaining our memories because concussions can cause severe memory loss. CTE in football players is probably It also reminds me how fragile our memories are and how important it is that we do everything we can to protect them. This goes beyond

the most widely known form of brain and memory problems caused by concussions, but you don’t have to be a professional athlete to be at risk for concussions. I’ve ridden horses my entire life, but until about fifteen years ago, I never wore a helmet. When I was 23, I fell off and hit my head on the side of the arena. The pain was significant, and it took me several days to feel normal again. Now, I wear my riding helmet every time I ride. My father recently had a bad experience as well. He was leading one of our horses into the barn when it got scared and ran into him, slamming him into the ground. He had a concussion and was definitely not himself for several days afterward, but we were fortunate it wasn’t worse.

“Fatty fish are a rich source of omega-3s, a major component of the brain that is crucial to sharpening memory and protecting our brain against deterioration.” Soaking up some Arizona sunshine at the N3AP (National Alliance of Attorneys for Alzheimer’s Planning) Conference last month. New studies have shown Vitamin D can help protect your brain.

In the spirit of Brain Awareness Week, when you’re not snacking on brain foods, take a few minutes to play a full-brain teaser like completing a sudoku puzzle or working on a jigsaw puzzle! Like reading a book, these games are a fun way to keep your brain active and healthy.



Connect With Generations o NEVER MISS ANOTHER FAMIL Between spring-cleaning and tax season right around the corner, it can be challenging to keep up with our loved ones. When we’re unable to maintain contact with them as they age, any concern or worry we have regarding their health is magnified. While an assortment of tools are available to help, it’s hard to find one that best suits you and your family members. Here are some of the best applications and techniques to keep in contact with your older family members. Use Social Media Social media platforms like Facebook are a great way to stay connected with your senior loved ones. Your family member wouldn’t be alone because 1 out of every 3 older adults already use Facebook. In fact, seniors are one of the fastest- growing demographics on the site. Through Facebook, your parents and grandparents can share photos and videos and check on their friends. With Facebook’s Messenger app, you can contact them anytime and check to see if they’ve been on the site or have seen your messages yet. Skype Skype is a user-friendly video-chat application for your phone or laptop. Video is considered a handy tool for those who suffer from hearing problems. Video calls

E ven if you’ve always planned for a comfortable retirement in the United States, choosing to live internationally could be a smart alternative to improve your standard of living in retirement. International Living Magazine’s Retirement Index has tracked objective retirement metrics — like the cost of living, democratic stability, and health care — for the last 40 years. They also take into account reports of correspondents actively living abroad. Here are some of their top picks for international retirement destinations. Panama Panama ranks No. 2 in International Living Magazine’s list of best places to retire internationally. With its tropical climate, proximity to the United States, excellent health care, and low tax burden, it’s easy to see why. In Panama City, you can expect to pay at least $2,600 a month in living expenses, but housing costs are substantially lower outside of major metropolitan markets. Panama also offers excellent discounts, up to 25% off of things like airline tickets, hotels, and energy costs through its Pensionado program. Costa Rica If it’s a textbook paradise you’re looking for, look no further than Costa Rica. Thanks to a 1948 decision to abolish their military and direct all of those funds to health care and education, Costa Rica is often referred to as the “Switzerland of Central America.” Known for its stable democracy, safety, and socialized health care that’s only available once you’ve obtained residency, Costa Rica also offers climates for just about everybody — from the lush jungles of the south to the hot, dry beaches of Guanacaste in the northwest. Expect to find large communities of expats to help you acclimate. Mexico The first things that come to mind for most people when you mention Mexico are margaritas and beach umbrellas, but this country offers a lot more than that. For starters, Mexico features an enticingly low cost of living. International Living estimates a couple could live in Mexico on anywhere from $1,500–$3,000 per month, depending on location, including health care expenses. Once you’ve obtained residency status, you can sign up for national health care plans that offer full coverage for just a few hundred dollars annually. 3 PLACES TO RETIRE INTERNATIONALLY

Green Velvet Cheesecake Bars • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs • 1 cup chocolate graham cracker crumbs • 1 stick butter, melted • 1 oz green food coloring (gel works best) INGREDIENTS 1. Heat oven to 350 F, and line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. 2. In a large bowl, combine crumbs, butter, and food coloring. Press into the baking pan. 3. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar together. DIRECTIONS

• 3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened • 2/3 cup sugar • 3 eggs • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract • Green sprinkles, optional 4. Add eggs one at a time and stir in vanilla. 5. Pour mixture over the packed crumbs. 6. Bake for 40 minutes or until the center is set. 7. Let cool completely before adding sprinkles and slicing.

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Family Through Technology

LOSING SLEEP OVER LOSING SLEEP? What Troubles You at Night Affects You During the Day Tax concerns this time of the year can keep us up at night, which makes it hard to get the sleep we need. When we’re sleep deprived, we can become irritable and easily distracted. Not only does it affect our daily performance, but it can also lead to some severe health issues. If you suffer from sleep deprivation, here is how it affects your health and what you can do to combat it. Health Risks Sleep apnea or sleep deprivation increases the amount of cortisol that’s released into the brain. If you’re unfamiliar, cortisol is a chemical in the brain that causes stress. A high amount of this chemical can cause you to stress over little things like traffic or the weather. Sleep issues can increase your risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Additionally, your quality of sleep affects how your body reacts to insulin, the hormone that regulates your blood sugar levels. Poor sleep can result in higher blood sugar levels, which increases your risk of diabetes. Sleep Techniques Try to keep the same sleep schedule every day, including the weekends, as any significant change can disrupt your body’s sleep-wake rhythm. Use

EVENT AGAIN utilize facial and body language, which can help us determine the well-being of our

loved ones should they neglect to tell us. Skype is also

great for sharing those more significant family moments our loved ones may not be able to attend physically due to location. For example, if Grandpa Mike lives across

the country, he can still see you blow out the candles on your birthday cake and sing “Happy Birthday” with everyone!

Regardless of the method you choose, make sure you schedule daily or weekly video calls or Facebook chats. This way, you always know how your loved one is doing and can address any medical issues before they significantly affect their health. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. Together, we can build a care plan that works best for you and your loved ones. Call us today at 724.256.8850 or visit our website at for more information.


the hour before bed for reading or another quiet activity. Any strenuous

exercise or bright artificial light from a TV or computer screen may signal your brain to be alert and attentive. Avoid caffeine before bed as much as

possible, as it can keep you alert for up to eight hours. If you’re an avid napper,

limit them to 20 minutes or less and take them earlier in the day. A long, refreshing nap late in the day will make it hard to fall asleep at night. If you still struggle with getting the right amount of sleep, consult your doctor or visit for more tips.

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340 N. Main St., Suite 103 Butler, PA 16001 724.256.8850


I N S I D E This Issue


Don’t Let a Concussion Steal Your Memories


3 Places to Retire Internationally Never Miss Another Family

Event Again Green Velvet Cheesecake Bars


How to Combat What Troubles You at Night


The Evolution of St. Patrick’s Day


F rom extravagant parades to green-dyed rivers, something about St. Patrick’s Day feels quintessentially American — despite its Irish heritage. That’s because many common St. Patrick’s Day traditions actually originated in America, evolving beyond their roots in the Emerald Isle in a few key ways. On March 17, Irish folks commemorate the death of St. Patrick, who brought Christianity to pagan Ireland during the late fourth and early fifth centuries. Historically, these religious origins make for a more somber observance of St. Patrick’s

The observation of St. Patrick’s Day grew in popularity in cities with large Irish populations, like Boston, New York, and Chicago. Then, in the booming post-World War II economy, various businesses aggressively marketed the holiday to Americans of all heritages. Thus, it became a day when anyone could celebrate Irish American heritage, or at least it gave everyone an excuse to drink like they believe the Irish do. Ironically, imbibing was not a part of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Ireland until relatively recently. Due to the religious nature of the holiday, pubs and bars closed down on March 17 until 1961. Additionally, the traditional meal of corned beef and cabbage is another American addition. In Ireland, pork and cabbage was actually more common, but impoverished Irish immigrants substituted less expensive beef for pork, and the tradition stuck. Even though the most widely observed St. Patrick’s Day celebrations originated in America, many of them have found their way back to Ireland. Starting in 1996, the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Dublin now attracts over 1 million attendees with all the drinks and revelry that Americans love. You’d be hard pressed to find a green beer, though. In the hallowed birthplace of Guinness and whiskey, some traditions may be better left across the pond.

Day. Many Irish families go to church and eat a modest feast as the extent of their celebration. However, St. Patrick’s Day in America is not so much about venerating Ireland’s patron saint as it is about celebrating Irish heritage in a foreign land. When Catholic Irish immigrants first came to the United States, they faced persecution from a largely Protestant population. In response, Irish Americans began using March 17 as a day to publicly declare and celebrate Irish heritage with parades and demonstrations.


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