MCPA President’s Note

by Barbara Nova, Ph.D.

Hello, MCPA Members! Whew! It has been a whirlwind start to the year in terms of “behind-the scenes” activities! As far as our more public presence:  Thanks to all who attended both our Annual Meeting in February and the Meet & Greet at Wipeout Grill in March! I very much appreciate all the  feedback – both positive and negative – from all of you and will continue to try and be responsive to your requests.

A special thanks to those who attended CPA Leadership & Advocacy (L&A) in Sacramento – Mark Kamena, Meghan Harris, Beth Tabakin. This was my second time and I really feel inspired to be more active in government affairs in general. More specifically, I want to urge all of you to voice your opinions via letters to our local legislators about the issue of sunsetting the Board of Psychology. We learned at L&A that without this Board, we licensed psychologists would no longer be able to practice in CA, no longer be able to obtain malpractice insurance (having lost our licensure), and no longer be able to care for or make recommendations for care to our clients and patients. While some seasoned practitioners may see this as an opportunity for early-ish retirement (ha-ha), those of us who are recently licensed or soon-to-be licensed may be in a state of shock & awe that our years of study and training stand the chance of being dismissed (not to mention all those unpaid student loans!!).

Another important issue is fondly referred to as “parity.” The parity bills will make CA law equivalent with Federal law, so that our clients’ access to mental health treatment is more equitable and is not limited to certain specific diagnoses.  Our GAC representative, Beth Tabakin, will be emailing requests to send letters and we are studiously looking for ways to make it easier to complete this task – stay tuned to your emails for updates!! If any of you would like more information about these very important issues, please do not hesitate to contact me!

Several of our board members recently attended CPA’s annual conference in Monterey. In addition to the beautiful setting and weather, we had ample opportunities to connect with old friends and colleagues and have some fun, as well as earn a lot of CE hours in very well-planned and presented seminars! Congratulations and thanks to our very own Mark Kamena who coordinated CPA this year – it was a huge success.

The rest of our year is shaping up with a few changes. Dates for the Marin Baroque Concert & CE event and Dr. Lonnie Barbach’s presentation on “Sex After 60” have been changed to the Fall – check the website and future emails for specifics. We welcomed a presentation on parenting young adults by Dr. Kenneth Perlmutter – thank you, Kenneth! Next up we have our own Dr. Keith Sutton with a much-needed update on diagnosis & treatment issues of ADHD. Hope to see you there (Mind Therapy Clinic) on Saturday, June 2 from 10-12. Thanks for liking us on Facebook!!

-Barbara Nova, Ph.D., MCPA President

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Please visit http://www.marincountypsych.org for more information about our association and membership benefits or to locate a licensed clinical psychologist in Marin County.

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Blog Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed by the authors are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the Marin County Psychological Association. The information posted on this blog is not intended as, and is not, a substitute for professional mental health services.

Has Your Aging Parent Told You to “Mind Your Own Business”?

by Mikol Davis, Ed.D. and Carolyn Rosenblatt

Getting rebuffed hurts.

Have you ever tried to talk to your aging parent about finances and been told to take a hike? “Just mind your own business. I’ll be fine”.

Or has your aging parent ever said, “Let’s talk about that some other time” when you bring up the subject of money and the future? Of course the some other time never comes.

Some parents clam up, change the subject and otherwise put off having a conversation when their adult kids raise it.

What are they afraid of?

According to what I’ve learned at AgingParents.com from asking directly is that some aging parents are afraid of losing their independence and control. They are afraid of being put in a home if they lose control over their money. It is frightening to bring up something that they believe may lead to loss. They are Depression era survivors. If you talk about money you could lose everything.

Their thinking seems to be that if they can avoid talking about it, they can avoid the things they fear.

When visiting my 89 year old mother in law Alice, recently, my husband, Mikol and I talked to her and her friends about why people won’t discuss finances. Alice is very open and wants Mikol’s help in managing her finances. But many of her friends are not so open. We went out to dinner with some of them and asked them their thoughts on the secrecy around money in their age group.

Here’s what they said are the top reasons why elders don’t want to disclose what they have and don’t want to talk about it with their adult kids.
“If the parents have a lot of assets, they are afraid that their kids will lose motivation to work if they know about how much their parents are worth.”

“If their kids know how much they have, some parents are afraid their kids will pressure them to give the kids money as gifts, or more than they want to give as gifts and it will be unpleasant or confrontational.”

They are afraid that “if their kids know what they’ve got that the kids will take advantage of their parents, or try to get control over the money as the parents get older” and less able to fend for themselves.

Are aging parents’ fears realistic as described here? Perhaps. There is no doubt that in some families we see at AgingParents.com, the “vulture syndrome” does exist. Some ruthless adult kids are circling, relatively speaking, waiting for a parent to pass so they can inherit. Fortunately, I don’t observe that to be a majority of adult children I see.

Perhaps in some families, kids will pressure their parents for money or try to take advantage of them. After all, financial elder abuse is a $3.2 billion dollar a year problem. Most abuse is committed by families. However, these risks are not a good reason to avoid discussion of finances.

If you are a responsible adult child with parents who are getting older and less capable than they once were, it is definitely time to get past their resistance about the subject of money and the future. There’s one good reason for this. If you don’t do it, you may have it all come down on your head when a crisis hits.

Imagine your parent with a stroke, unable to speak. Or your parent falls and is unconscious for a time. If you don’t even know what bank Mom uses, or where the accounts are, how useful are you going to be? Someone still has to pay the bills when your parent is incapacitated. If they bank online and you don’t have the passwords, you won’t be able to do much.

So, the tips for the day are:

1. Insist that your parent speak with you about finances because it’s for your sake. They would be putting a huge burden on you if anything went wrong with their health and you had no information.

2. Find out what they have, where it is, how to get to it, and what it would take to manage finances for them in the event of an emergency.

3. Find out if they have done any planning for long term care in the event that they could not manage without help at home. If they have done no planning, this is a good reason to seek an appointment with their financial adviser post haste.

4. If you have siblings or other relatives who are involved with your parents, call a family meeting. Think it through and talk it through about what you’ll do if a parent suddenly loses independence. It can happen to anyone.

It’s a bit like disaster preparedness: we are all likely to fare better if we have a plan about how to take care of ourselves.

If this hits home for you, consider a date for you to take the first step and get it on your calendar. If you feel lost and confused, help is available to everyone, no matter where you are. Your Area Agency on Aging is a place to locate sources of help.

Until next time,
Dr. Mikol Davis & Carolyn Rosenblatt
AgingParents.com

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Please visit http://www.marincountypsych.org for more information about our association and membership benefits or to locate a licensed clinical psychologist in Marin County.

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Blog Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed by the authors are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the Marin County Psychological Association. The information posted on this blog is not intended as, and is not, a substitute for professional mental health services.

 

by Betsy Levine-Proctor, Ph.D.
CPA Chapter & Division 1

Mark your calendars! The date is June 16, 2012, the time 8:00 P.M.  The event is the debut concert of Marin Baroque, a professional level Chamber Choir and period instrument Orchestra co-founded by Daniel Canosa, Music Director, and Betsy Levine-Proctor, San Rafael Psychologist.  The program includes: Bach’s Cantata 106, Actus Tragicus, Vivaldi’s double-choir Beatus Vir, and selected Hebrew Baroque works by Rossi.  Highly acclaimed instrumentalist Shira Kammen will be featured.  Tickets are available at Brownpapertickets.com and at the door.  The concert will be held in the beautiful sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church of San Rafael, 1510 Fifth Avenue (corner of E Street), San Rafael with a reception immediately following.

In October, 2011, Dr. Levine-Proctor and Mr. Canosa began discussing the idea of developing a music organization which would include a small, professional level singing ensemble and a period instrument orchestra with a primary focus on Baroque music.  Such organizations are quite active in San Francisco, Sonoma County, Berkeley, and Carmel.  However, there is nothing quite like this in Marin County, and a number of individuals, both singers and audience members, have expressed the desire to be involved in one “…without having to cross a bridge to get to it.”

Auditions began in November; rehearsals began in February; and a strategic planning meeting was held in March, facilitated by Dr. Jo Linder-Crow, wearing her non-Executive Director of CPA, Facilitator hat.

Several MCPA Psychologists expressed an interest in Marin Baroque and attended the strategic planning meeting in March.  Drs. Meghan Harris, Past-President, Claudia Perez, Past-past-President, and Laura Dunning, Past-Newsletter Editor and List Serve Coordinator, were all there along with 21 other singers and supporters.  Since then, these three Psychologists have been providing invaluable assistance with publicity and setting up a really useful list serve for the Choir. If you attend the concert and purchase your ticket at the door, Dr. Nancy Hoffman will sell it to you.  Either Dr. Harris or Dr. Dunning will be your gracious wine pourer at the reception, and you will see a number of your colleagues among the audience.

MCPA and Marin Baroque have a surprise collaboration in store for you next concert season which begins in late fall.  Stay tuned.

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Please visit http://www.marincountypsych.org for more information about our association and membership benefits or to locate a licensed clinical psychologist in Marin County.

# # #

Blog Disclaimer:

The opinions expressed by the authors are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the Marin County Psychological Association. The information posted on this blog is not intended as, and is not, a substitute for professional mental health services.