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Diane Engel: Please have 'The Talk'

I hear from widows, widowers and people recently divorced, who say they wish they had learned about financial information from the other spouse or learned other survival skills. If one spouse depends on the other to take care of the financial tasks or car and home maintenance, then when the other spouse is gone, they don't know how to take care of it. Something as simple as knowing where the important papers are can make all the difference. Passwords to the accounts online should be shared also. What life insurance policies are there, or what property is owned?

Prearranging your burial is good to do because this can prevent friction within the family when they know what mom or dad wanted. Also, telling the children where to find the important information can relieve some stress during what is already a very stressful time.

If you are an adult child, have a talk with your parents and find out what their wishes are for the future. It's a subject that is hard to bring up, but it's better to be prepared than not to know where to start when the time comes.

Another area difficult for people is having the right survival skills when a relationship ends either through divorce or when a spouse dies. Do both partners know how to cook, clean house and do laundry, lawn care or snow removal, home maintenance or car care? Without these survival skills, the surviving spouse may have to move to a different home or may feel taken advantage of when having someone else do the job. Even if one spouse does the task all the time, they should take the time to show the other spouse how it is done or what to look for if they have to have work done on the car for example, or how to keep the red shirt from bleeding onto the other clothing.

There are also many classes through Community Education that can help or you can bond closer to your spouse by learning these survival skills together.

Thank You

Thank you to all of the volunteers for helping with the rummage sale in July. Thank you to the Eckles Community Center for allowing us to use your beautiful Center. Thank you to Lueken's Village Foods for your donation. Thank you to all who donated to the rummage sale. Thank you also to the people who came to the Rummage Sale and supported the Senior Activity Center. Thank you also to all who donated your baked goods for our Bake Sale in August.

Wish list

The Senior Activity Center is in need of white copy paper, coffee, postage stamps and monetary donations. If you are able to donate, please drop it by the front desk as it will be greatly appreciated. You can receive a receipt for tax purposes.

Be sure to stop by the Senior Creations Gift Shop, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or on the second Saturday of each month from 8 to 10:30 a.m.

The Senior Activity Center is located at 216 3rd Street NW, Bemidji.

Diane Engel is the executive director of the Senior Activity Center.