The Greatest Generation needs our protection

This past Sunday I was fortunate enough to go see the new Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer movie with my 80-year-old mom and my two sisters. This movie isn’t for everyone but the four of us laughed out loud many times at the Sonoma 9 Cinema on Mother’s Day. Afterward, we walked down to the Dollar Store and again we all laughed about some of the things they sell at this super cool retail store. Senior citizens prefer the Dollar Store over Amazon because, to my surprise, every single item in the store cost less than a buck and you don’t have to wait for shipping. My mom has had a laptop and a cellphone for a few years but even though she has five grown kids and 20 grandchildren, ranging from 3 to 38 years old, that have tried to teach my very intelligent mother how to use these computers, she doesn’t ever use the technology. So Amazon loses to HSN, the Home Shopping Network. The purpose of this column is about seniors and their need for assistance in this modern world as they get older. Thankfully, I have a brother that is a CPA and one that is a stationary engineer along with my two sisters – one is a RN and the other a drama teacher – and both live within 30 minutes of my folks in the Oakmont senior community in Santa Rosa. When it comes to money matters, estate planning and real estate issues, caring adult children should not be shy about protecting our seniors from all kinds of mistakes and potholes. In my 35 years, I have seen many grown children procrastinate in talking about money matters until it was too late. Kids don’t want to talk about death and money with their parents, it’s natural because of respect for their parent’s privacy and pride but not reviewing estate planning can be a costly mistake. In addition to protecting your senior citizen relatives’ wealth and making sure they have a will and trust, if necessary, the other thing that has to be covered is crooks and fraudsters that prey on the elderly. The Solano County DA sent investigator Elaine Perry to the NSCAR real estate breakfast a couple of weeks ago and some of her stories about elder abuse and fraud were pretty scary. Her phone number, if you suspect a senior needs help or is being taken advantage of, is 784-6800. Let’s protect our seniors.