Posts Tagged ‘women’s issues’

Long-term care very much a women’s issue

November 9, 2012

By Barbara Franklin

Work-life balance, equal pay, access to childcare – these are the issues that we tend to think of as “women’s issues.” But there’s a very real issue that doesn’t get as much attention among women: long-term care planning.

November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month, an effort to bring attention to this important issue. Long-term care planning is very much an issue of grave importance for women and one they should make sure is part of their financial planning and retirement program. Women typically outlive their spouses, so this means not only will they most likely be caring for a spouse but they also will need outside care as they age.

The majority of nursing home residents and those with Alzheimer’s disease are women. More than 65 percent of all long-term care insurance benefits are paid for care received by women.

Most of us don’t like to think about growing old or needing nursing home care, but the truth is 70 percent of people who reach age 65 will require long-term care services. And the last thing any of us wants to do is become a burden to our families as they struggle to figure out how to pay for our care. Rather than spending time together as a family, our children are saddled with the emotional and financial strain of nursing home or home health care bills. That’s not exactly most women’s idea of aging with dignity.

That means now is the time to plan for the future. The average age for new long term care insurance applicants is 57. That means you don’t want to wait too long to secure coverage. The older you get, the more likely you’ll have a health problem that could keep you from getting coverage.

Don’t put off getting your own insurance because you think Medicare will take care of you. Medicare covers very little of the cost of long-term care.   Most of us want to have choice in the type of care we receive.   Do you want to choose the best nursing home or wait until you have to select the least expensive nursing home? Do you want to be prepared for in-home care or leave your loved ones struggling to help take care of you?

Making decisions now means you can have more control over where and how you want to live out the final years of your life.

A long-time Center for Women member, Barbara Franklin is the owner of Franklin & Associates, a Charleston-based company offering both traditional and innovative approaches to long-term care planning and financing. During the month of November, Franklin & Associates is offering a complimentary policy review of any long-term care insurance policy. To schedule an appointment, call 843-762-4260 or visit

C4W Member Profile: Harriet Smartt

December 1, 2010

What is your profession? Retired, Career Consultant

What do you enjoy doing outside of your career? Volunteer activism within the cultural arts and the political realm.

How long have you been a member of the Center for Women? 16 years.

What inspired you to become a member? When I first arrived in Charleston, I was quickly made aware of the challenges women were facing related to finding careers or jobs that offered them a livable income. I was also made aware of the many discriminatory hiring practices that were prevalent at that time. Therefore I felt it important to offer to help the organization which was one of the few offering support for women on a myriad of issues.

What kind of impact has the Center for Women had on you? I have enjoyed the association and watching the positive growth and influence offered women of this community.

How has living day-to-day as a woman affected you? In SC, it continues to be a struggle for so many women, so I note that on a day to day basis. The Center for Women offers opportunities to open hearts and minds beyond the continuing prevalent thinking about the roles of women in society today.

What kind of message would you like to send out to women who are trying to succeed in todays economy? Continue to follow your passionate interests. Women are always the most creative and resilient despite what might be swirling around in their world(s). Network with friends and family and you will emerge from this economic downturn with new and invigorated ideas and experience.

What I learned at Harvard: Part 1

May 27, 2010

Jennet Robinson Alterman
Executive Director
Center for Women
Charleston, S.C.

Jennet pictured with Dr. Hannah Riley Bowles

Jennet pictured with Dr. Hannah Riley Bowles

Last week I was one of 60 women chosen to participate in a seminar on “Women and Power” at the Kennedy School at Harvard. Nineteen countries were represented. One of the 4 women elected to the Kuwaiti Parliament in 2009, the first year that women were allowed to run for political office, was in attendance along with the biggest real estate developer in Mongolia. We had a diverse makeup in terms of professional affiliations as well with several members of the military, both US and foreign, and the first woman chief of a South African Zulu tribe.

Hannah Riley Bowles was the coordinator and chief lecturer and she blew the top off the impact of gender when negotiating. She shared good solid data on how women needed to approach conflict resolution and how to negotiate for base pay and raises. She roped in some of the best talent on campus to share their research with us such as Iris Bohnet, the Director of the Kennedy School Women and Public Policy Program and a behavioral economist focused on questions of trust and decision-making, often with a gender and cross cultural perspective. Pippa Norris, the McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics had a wealth of knowledge on democratic institutions and cultures, gender politics and political communications in many countries. Andy Zellecke, a Lecturer in Public Policy is an expert on leadership and corporate governance. He helped us unravel the past governance turmoil at both the Red Cross and the Security Exchange Commission. Sara Lightfoot-Lawrence, a Macarthur prize winning sociologist, shared her experiences writing her newest book, The Third Chapter: Risk, Passion and Adventure in the Twenty Five years after 50.

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, of Harvard Business School fame joined us for an evening. Her comments centered on the importance of confidence in creating winning organizations. I was truly honored to be in the presence of the person who coined the term ‘token woman’. Our last day, we were in the thrall of Ambassador Swanee Hunt, an expert on women in politics and dedicated advocate for women’s rights worldwide. She reminded us that every time we speak before a group, we are auditioning for leadership and went on to share her recommendations for finding one’s voice.

It was a whirlwind and the days passed quickly, but the themes became evident early on. Understanding the differences between power and leadership, learning how groups come to decisions, effective conflict resolution, good governance, and the importance of negotiation and presentation skills. All of these add up to the formula for becoming a powerful leader. As women, we need more nuanced approaches in order to succeed. We all have these skills on some level, but for one week I was able to operate above that baseline and learn what it takes to soar. I am bringing that home now and will look forward to continuing the discussions here at the Center for Women. I am interested in providing a forum for such discussions and ask anyone who is interested in participating to speak up now.

I also anticipate expanding our programming to include more learning opportunities on the subjects addressed at this seminar. We have the talent in this community to offer programs on how gender affects so many management skills. We also have the role models who can share their expertise in navigating the shoals of their careers. What holds us back from seeking power and leadership positions? Help me answer that question by sending me your thoughts on how we can position Lowcountry women to take their rightful place at the decision and policy making tables.

Why now?

June 27, 2008

I have the best job in Charleston. I work at the Center for Women and everday I meet great women who do awesome things. Starting this blog will allow me to share their stories. It will also provide a forum to talk about women’s issues and why we still have them.

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