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“Silver Tsunami” Bringing Major Challenges

p-glen-smithLike the nation, the Northland faces significant challenge as the population ages and the needs increase for everything from specialized health care to financial assistance.

P. Glen Smith, Esq., recently shared a realistic but hopeful message with the Aging and Mental Health Coalition of Kansas City North meeting Sept. 15 at Tri-County Mental Health Services.

“This is going to impact a lot of people,” he said, noting that some 233,000 residents will be retiring in metro Kansas City over the next 14 years, according to the Mid-America Regional Council. “Each individual must begin now to make the best plans they can.”

While the web of laws, available services and regulations are complex, they offer options for people who take time to use those that benefit them. A key is to begin planning early. “Don’t procrastinate,” Smith stressed. “Start now to maximize your resources.”

Smith presented a brief overview of those areas, from durable powers of attorney to Medicaid. He recommended consulting with professionals, especially if a family member is facing issues such as dementia. “It’s something I hear too often,” he recalled. “A loved one is running off, spending all the money. ‘What do we do? We thought we had time.’”

The coalition meets quarterly at Tri-County Mental Health Services, which sponsors the group. Open to older adults, caregivers and professionals, the meeting features a lunch hour schedule and participants are invited to bring refreshments. The next meeting will be Dec. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and feature Harold Ivan Smith discussing “Grief and Change in Older Adulthood.”

For more information or to RSVP, contact Tonya Rother at 816.877.0481 or [email protected].

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