It’s Ten O’clock – Do You Know Where Your Elderly Mother Is?

Category:Blog | Legal Issues

woman-373554_640Welcome to the Oreo generation – those of us coping with elderly parents while we raise our own children to adulthood. Your aging parents present unique challenges, especially if they develop an addiction to gambling.

Gambling

While gambling is not legal in most states, it is available through the Internet, and if you live in a state that has gambling, or is adjoining one with legal gambling, your family members may have access to the casinos.

Gambling has existed as long as mankind; it is one of the oldest pastimes in existence. Gambling is not a problem for most of us; however, for those with addictive tendencies, gambling can become a disease, just like drugs. Elderly people have more trouble with gambling addictions than you might  think, as their abilities to recognize consequences is dimmed, especially if they are beginning to experience dementia-like symptoms.

What You Can Do

If you have an elderly family member who is showing signs of a gambling addiction, you’re going to have to intervene. If you are not the legal guardian of your relative, or you don’t have a power of attorney, your options are limited. If the family member in question is not your parent; perhaps it’s an aunt or uncle, then contact your cousins or other relatives and let them know what’s going on with their mother or father.

You need to evaluate the situation as quickly as possible, including getting a guardianship or power of attorney if your parent or parents are showing signs of dementia. If both parents are still living, you need to talk to the unaffected parent and discuss what to do about the other one. If the elderly parties are not affected with dementia, getting them help for a gambling addiction is a must. Start with Gamblers Anonymous, and if they resist, try counseling.

If they resist all efforts at helping them deal with the issue, take steps to protect the unaffected parent’s assets. Move money and investments out of joint accounts into separate ones, and don’t give the affected relative access. If their house is paid for, encourage the unaffected relative to be sure their name is on the deed, to prevent the affected relative from taking out a mortgage or selling the property without their knowledge. If you can make sure they don’t have access to their ATM card and credit cards except under supervision.

Coping with the Problem

If the relative affected is not in your immediate family, there’s not much you can do beyond alerting their closer relatives to the situation. If the gambling-addicted relative is your mother or father, you should consider counseling for yourself and your family, to cope with the stress. Your best bet in dealing with the situation is to find a competent family law office and learn what steps you can take, to protect your unaffected relative from the consequences of financial loss through gambling, and to help the one with the problem.

Be aware your affected parent may try to enlist your children, to enable them in their addiction. Educate your entire family about the problem, to head off family conflicts down the road. It is possible you may have to place your relative in a nursing home if they are showing signs of dementia; make sure your kids are cognizant of the facts before it comes to this point.

Gambling addiction among seniors is a growing problem. Learn how to head it off before it becomes a major issue for you and your loved ones.

How to Clean Your Computer

Category:Uncategorized

Computer MaintenanceTaking care of your computer on a regular basis is the key to avoiding spending too much on computer repair in the future. Obviously, some repair, especially of hardware, will become necessary over time, but you can still do a few things to keep your computer clean yourself. Here are a few examples.

Dust

Dust is the bane of computers that belong to anyone, whether it’s a home computer or those that belong to an IT service. What you need to do on a regular basis if possible, is get either a pump or air in a can, and constantly flush out the dust that settles into your computer. Usually opening the case isn’t too difficult, and it makes it easier to get the dust out this way. Make sure you turn off your computer first and unplug it before you try this though. And if you’re still nervous about it, you can always bring it to a professional. The important thing is to also make sure that you protect yourself while you are doing the dust cleaning. You’ll want to use microfiber towels on anything smooth surface, such as LCD screens to avoid damaging them. You’ll also want to wear a mask when you’re kicking up dust, especially if you have dust allergies.

Antivirus

Another good thing to do periodically to clean out your computer is to do full scans for viruses. You need to download free software if you don’t already have any, such as from Avira or Malwarebytes. Then it’s important to periodically update the software so that it’s using the most recent definitions. This allows it to identify viruses that were made yesterday, if necessary. Some viruses don’t always stand out right away, and they may simply be clogging up your computer’s processing.

Other Cleaning

Other things you can do on a regular basis include deleting unnecessary files, uninstalling programs you no longer need, and flushing your system of cookies that might be slowing its operation. There are various programs that will do this for you if necessary. But you can also go into the tools page for most browsers, or else the options page, in order to clean the cookies yourself. Many systems also have an option for listing programs based on which ones you used the most recently and often. When you look at this page, you should seriously considering uninstalling programs that you haven’t used at all in the last several months. You can always reinstall these programs later. You should also check your system for which programs are set to startup when you first boot your computer. Programs such as Spybot can help you accomplish this. If you have too many programs running at once, it can eat up your computer’s RAM and so slow you down.
A lot of these cleaning duties are taken care of by managed services people in big corporations, but they are good for anyone to learn themselves as well.