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      Ready for 'The Talk' with older relatives this holiday?

      The holidays---especially Thanksgiving and Christmas--are times for far-flung families to come together. And, as they share food and catch up, it's also a good time to ensure that everyone--especially older members who may be living with less relative support--is doing ok.

      One big issue, should seniors continue to drive. "Don't be confrontational' advises Lisa Alford, Commissioner of Aging and Youth for Onondaga County. "And, have the conversation before you're at a crisis point."

      Other concerns include making sure that 'housekeeping', like paying bills on time, is being done. Making sure medication is taken on time, and that living conditions are still safe and appropriate are also on the list.

      There is lots of help: several organizations can do home safety checks to help minimize the risk of falls. A 'caregivers' institute' offers classes on tackling other issues. And there are phone help lines, as well.

      Onondaga County's Department of Aging & Youth has a list of resources and referrals (look under 'aging services').There's also help, if your older loved ones live outside of Central New York and you need to find resources there.