Category Archives: Healthcare

Worrisome Signs from Aging Parents?

Caring for aging parents

Tips for Providing Effective Care from a Distance.

Seniors and boomers face many challenges as they near retirement, chief among them is the ability to secure enough savings to help offset social security income, ensuring financial security. There also is the need to determine if downsizing would be beneficial to your retirement goals.

For some seniors and boomers, these decisions are managed by their adult children, who help to navigate the journey toward a successful retirement. This “sandwich generation” often finds itself raising children while helping aging parents, which can be a daunting task. But what can add extra stress to this kind of caregiving arrangement is having aging parents who are not living close in proximity.

Caregiving from a distance poses unique challenges for both the provider and the receiver of such care. Adult children who observe worrisome signs of their parents’ frailty from afar often can feel helpless in dealing with it. In this article, we will provide some tips and tools for long-distance caregiving that are beneficial to both parties. Continue reading

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Wrinkles, Dry Skin and Age Spots

Senior woman caring for her aging skin

Oh the Joys of Aging Skin.

A lot of things change as we age, both physically and mentally.

Skin, hair and nails can become more brittle, lose elasticity and wrinkle. By the time we reach age 80, it is perfectly normal to have lost as much as 2 inches of height, which can be attributed to the kind of compression in the joints, bones and discs that are part of the normal aging process. Our hearing and eyesight are not as sharp as they once were, and sleeping can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Our metabolism slows down, making it harder to lose and keep weight off, and our brain and nervous system do not function as efficiently as they did when we were younger.

While it may be true that how your body ages depends, in part, on your genes, lifestyle choices have a greater impact. Eating well and exercising can help with some of the physical changes we experience, while keeping ourselves engaged socially can help to slow our mental decline.  Avoiding certain activities can help protect us and allow us to age with a little more grace. Let’s talk about the best ways to help our bodies ease into the natural changes that come with age. Continue reading

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Healthy Hearing Can Balance Your Life

Senior having hearing and balance checked.

Understanding the connection between hearing and balance.

De-cluttering and downsizing a home can be a dizzying process.  The overwhelming stress can even throw us off-balance.  However, if you are reorganizing and notice you are clumsier than usual; your body could be signaling something more.

Our balance system, also known as the vestibular system, helps us stay upright and allows us to move without falling. Our balance and equilibrium are controlled through signals from the eyes, inner ear and sensory systems to the brain.

Research by Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging revealed that hearing loss can alter our balance and increase the likelihood of falls.   Hurting yourself in a fall can prevent you from simplifying your life.  Before tackling any laborious projects, especially those on a ladder, make sure you are protected.   Here are a few ways you can reduce the risk. Continue reading

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The Hidden Dangers of Genetically Modified Food

Genetically Modified Food

 

Why and How Seniors Should Avoid GMOs.

For most Americans – regardless of their age – eating a fresh, sustainable diet is an important aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  Studies have shown that including fresh fruits and vegetables, and limiting the amount of saturated fat and processed foods we eat, is the best way to stay fit and healthy.

But have you ever stopped to truly think about what it is you’re putting on your plate?  Are all foods created equal? How were those fresh fruits and vegetables in your refrigerator grown? What about that package of chicken?

The answers may surprise you.

The Emergence of GMOs

So how, exactly, is food genetically modified? Continue reading

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Top Four Issues Affecting Seniors This Election Season

Presidential candidates

Where do the Presidential Candidates Stand?

In a month’s time, we’ll be lining up at the polls, waiting to cast our votes for the person who will lead this country for the next four years.

I think it would be a mild understatement to say that this particular election season has been a bit rough. There has been a divide among the American people that hasn’t been seen in quite some time in this country, which can cloud the entire election process.

In 2016, we have been presented with two presidential candidates who couldn’t be more opposite of one another in the way in which they’ve conducted their public campaigns and in their stances on the vital issues facing this country. It’s enough to make even the most seasoned voter discouraged. Continue reading

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Select the Best Medicare Supplement in Three Easy Steps

2017 Medicare Advantage Plan Registration Tips and Tools.

It’s almost that time of year again.

No, we don’t mean the time of year when the leaves change and the sounds and smells of fall fill the air. Medicare Open Enrollment for 2017 begins Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7.

During the fall enrollment period, seniors and boomers who already are enrolled in the Medicare program can make changes to coverage, including:

  • Switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage or vice versa;
  • Switching between Medicare Advantage plans, or from one Medicare Part D prescription drug plan to another; or
  • Enrolling in Medicare Part D if you were not eligible to do so when you originally enrolled in Medicare.

Those who will be enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan must meet some basic criteria before being eligible to sign up, including being enrolled in Medicare Part A and B; be a resident of the selected plan’s service area, and must not be in the end stage of renal disease with some exceptions. Continue reading

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In Sickness and in Health

Healh issues come up as time passed

How to Cope While Keeping the Vow.

There are many reasons seniors and boomers choose to downsize. For some, it’s a matter of wanting more freedom during their retirement years. For others, it may be a necessity brought on by an unexpected health issue or illness.

In situations where an illness or injury has prompted the downsizing, it can create stress for the partner in the relationship who may not be ready to make the move, but feels obligated to do so in order to stay with their spouse. One particular condition which prompts many seniors and boomers to downsize before they initially planned is Alzheimer’s. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, 5.4 million Americans are now living with Alzheimer’s disease. In 2015 alone, 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care was administered to those with Alzheimer’s by caregivers who were either spouses or other family members. Continue reading

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Enjoying the Benefits of In-Home Care

Man receiving help from an in-home care worker

Best Ways to Bring In-Home Care to Any Location.

One of the biggest fears as we age is ending up in a situation where our needs are not being adequately met.  Fear of the loss of independence, safety and security and loss of a familiar environment are among the top fears expressed by seniors and boomers.

While some seniors and boomers downsize and welcome the transition to a retirement or assisted-living community, others prefer to stay in their existing homes for as long as possible and simply age-in-place.  For these folks, a familiar environment is a source of comfort.

Other seniors and boomers may experience a decline in health or injury that requires they have a little extra help, but are not yet ready to leave their homes. This can even include those who have downsized to an independent retirement community, which are generally reserved for those who do not normally require any kind of assistance for daily living needs. In situations such as these, in-home care can be a viable option. Continue reading

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Healthcare Without Borders

Woman receiving healthcare in a foreign country

Growing Reasons to Consider Healthcare Outside the U.S.

As Americans, we like to think of our country as providing the best medical care from the world’s top-notch doctors. But the truth is, healthcare has become unaffordable for many in this country, including seniors and boomers who often do not have unlimited financial resources to pay for the rising costs of that care.

The cost of prescription drugs alone have more than doubled for seniors and boomers over the last eight years. According to the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists, there are more than 43.1 million adults aged 65 and older in the U.S., with 92 percent of those with at least one chronic condition and 77 percent with two or more chronic conditions. Seniors spend roughly $177.4 billion annually on prescription-related treatment for chronic conditions. Continue reading

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Occupational Therapists Vital Part of Downsizing

Senior visits occupational therapists

There are many providers involved in the downsizing process. From real estate professionals to estate planning attorneys, a number of professionals can assist.  Occupational therapists are among those who play a vital role in downsizing.

Occupational therapy practitioners work across the age span, according to Natalie Anderson, an occupational therapist and owner of OTPlus in University Place, WA. “However, specifically with seniors, OTs address all aspects of aging, from wellness strategies to treatment following injury, disease or disability,” she said. “With a focus on function, OTs help keep older adults independent and safe, and maintain their ability to engage in meaningful and productive activities.” Continue reading

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Risking Your Own Health to Care for Others

Frustrated senior couple over being a caregiver

As more Americans insist on aging in place, family members and friends find themselves filling the role of caregiver.

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, the percentage of caregivers who are caring for those aged 85 or older is 70 percent, with parent care making up the majority of those caregiving situations. Most care recipients – 58 percent – continue to reside in their own homes, with another 20 percent living with their caregiver. Continue reading

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