Successful Aging

A weekly syndicated newspaper column by Helen Dennis

After 18 years and more than 875 columns, Helen continues to delight readers with her Successful Aging column for the Southern California News Group.  The syndicated column reaches more than 1.6 million readers weekly.



Successful Aging appears

in the following newspapers:

The Los Angeles Daily News

The Daily Breeze

Pasadena Star News

Long Beach Press Telegram

Whittier Daily News

San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Santa Barbara Sun

Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Orange County Register

Redlands Daily Facts

Press Enterprise

Successful Aging: How can I help my mother manage her finances without hurting her feelings?

Q. My mother, a 90-year old widow, is in reasonably good health yet easily gets confused. She has always taken pride in managing her own finances, which she did very well. Every year, it’s been a battle for me to do her taxes, although this year she seemed more willing. How can I take on more financial responsibility without hurting her feelings, lessening her sense of purpose or making her feel incompetent? P.M. A. Dear P.M. The subject is a sensitive one. PBS reports that 54 percent of adults admit that they would rather talk to their kids about sex than their parents about aging. And the topic of money falls into that aging discussion. Many ask, “When is the best time to have the talk abo

Successful Aging: What is a geriatrician, and do I need to see one?

Q. I am 79 years old and recently widowed. Since my regular primary care physician moved, I had to find a new one. Given my age, I decided to see a geriatrician. My initial visit was professional and thorough; the doctor was cordial, attentive and quite nice. Yet I just did not feel he was right for me. Note: I am healthy, walk several miles a day, volunteer at a hospital, care for my two grandchildren one week per month and have a very full life. Should I have seen a geriatrician?M.L. A. Dear M.L. There is a good reason you did not feel there was a right fit. A geriatrician is a medical doctor specializing in the diagnosis, treatment and the prevention of disease and disability of older adu

Successful Aging: What’s been learned from 60 years of friendship

Dear readers. I rarely discuss my own personal experiences for this column. This week is different. Here’s the story and it’s about friends. I recently spent several days with two women with whom I went to college. We have known each other for 60 years since we were freshmen. (You can do the math.) All three of us are widows. After experiencing wonderful marriages to fabulous men, each of us has carved out a life for ourselves, continuing in our careers; two recently retired. We discussed why we remained friends for so long a period of time. Yes, the college years were formative, but there was more. Here are a few threads that have sustained our friendship: We all are engaged with life. Non

Successful Aging: Help! I got bullied into expensive treatments I can’t afford

Q. I am a 70-year old reader of your column. I attended a neuropathy seminar and subsequently went into the chiropractic office sponsoring the seminar for two consultations to determine if I needed neuropathy treatments. They said my situation was serious and I could end up in a wheelchair or possibly have to get my leg amputated. Original treatment: $17,000; the hardship discount for me: $7,000. They told me if I consulted my neurologist I would not qualify for their program. I have not improved and the payments are more than I can afford. In 2012, the clinic owner was fined for fraudulent practices. Can you advise your readers how to avoid becoming a victim of such a scam and what I can do

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