All posts by Leonardo Dawson

How to Make Assisted Living More Affordable

Challenges of Growing Older

When you were younger, you may have given some thought to the challenges associated with aging. However, now that you are getting older, those challenges are becoming more real every day.  As some point, you began to realize that you needed help with basic tasks such as cooking and housekeeping.

 

Assisted living may provide an answer. Depending on your circumstances, assisted living can range from having your meals delivered to your door to full-time residency in a nursing home. No matter what level of assistance you receive, you’re facing a significant expense. Even if you have abundant savings, you will probably want to save money wherever you can. Fortunately, there are ways to make assisted living more affordable without doing without essential care.

Economize on Costs

Special equipment represents a major proportion of the expenses associated with assisted living. Obtaining top quality equipment is essential; paying top dollar for the equipment you need is not. If you have limited mobility, you may rely on a wheelchair, scooter or power chair to get around. Depending on your insurance policy, you may be able to obtain a power chair or a wheelchair with little or no out-of-pocket expense. If that is not the case, don’t settle for inferior quality equipment. Instead, look for wheelchairs for sale as well as discounts on prescription and over-the-counter medications.

You can also economize on household expenses. You don’t have to deprive yourself completely, but skipping one or two fast food meals out each week can translate into significant savings. Purchase clotting and personal grooming items on sale. Begin your holiday shopping early in the year. You’ll save money and avoid the mad holiday rush.

 

Look For Savings on Essentials

As a senior, you are likely eligible for discounts on a variety of products ranging from groceries to personal grooming to meals out. If a company does not advertise senior discounts, don’t hesitate to ask. Discounts for services you use every day can really add up. Buy your favorite products such as toilet paper and canned soups in bulk when they are on sale. You will save a significant amount of money and you will have a supply sufficient to last a long time.

Communicate With Your Family

Of course you don’t want to be a burden on your family. However, there will be times when you need their help. Have an honest discussion about your needs and their schedules and work out an arrangement that works for everyone. If possible, try to distribute the responsibility for care as equally as possible among your family members so that no one person feels overly burdened.

Check Out Assisted Living Facilities and Services

If you need to move to an assisted living facility, or hire a professional caregiver, don’t settle for the first facility or service you find. Check out facilities with consumer ratings agencies and the regulatory agencies in your jurisdiction for complaints and health code violations. Check out the fine print on the contract for any facility or service you are considering before you sign or make any payments. If you have doubts, go with your instincts. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Adam Jenson works in a nursing home. He loves to help his and other nursing home residents save money by writing for senior blogs.

Senior Smarts: What You Can Do Now to Prevent Elder Abuse Later

In elementary school, teachers and elders instruct children on how to stay safe, keeping from strangers, abstaining from taking rides, and allowing parents to check Halloween candy before consumption.

As we get older, much older, the propensity for danger rises again. Over 2 million Americans, of all socioeconomic backgrounds, suffer forms of elderly abuse. Elders live with loved ones and keep houses and apartments in protective communities, yet it’s still happening.

Elders may lower their risk of abuse by staying alert, keeping the following information in mind.

Get Finances in Order

Elders are major targets for thieves and financial swindlers; unfortunately, some of the offenders are family and friends. Lower the risk of theft or forgetfulness by having social security and pension checks directly deposited into banking accounts.

If handling expenses becomes too difficult or confusing for an elder, ensure they elect a trusted family member or hire a money manager who will track finances, guaranteeing no bills are late and no deposits go missing.

Survey Home Living

As one gets older, friends, family members, and spouses pass. In some cases, elderly family members only have friends and family of younger generations, feeling displaced, or worse, alone. Older family members may be best suited for living in a communal area, where staff helps with food preparation, shopping, clothes washing, and ambulation.

Discuss options with family members and financial counselors. Both short and long-term options exist; if one senior living place proves to be undesirable, there are other options to explore. However, living completely alone places an elder in an unfortunate and vulnerable position regarding theft and personal safety.

Be Cautious

Seniors are constant targets of frauds; thieves assume elders have money from retirement, get confused quickly, and cannot defend themselves in the event of a robbery or altercation.

In some cases, people may come by posing as collectors for the church or homeless, fooling the elderly into providing financial information. In other cases, swindlers may convince elders they previously promised a donation, and now must own up to their word. Lastly, dastardly thieves “scope” or “case out” living arrangements of the elderly, waiting until they are alone, finally taking advantage by covert or forceful means.

Exact Extra Precaution

Of course, we all need be cautious in a number of safety and financial situations, but statistics show the elderly are at high risk of robbery and forms of abuse. Consider taking extra steps, even erring on the side of caution regarding the following:

  • Ensure elders keep a diary or running dialogue about home nurses and helpers. In worst-case scenarios, a nursing home abuse lawyer may feel the need to file suit.
  • Shred all paper receipts, credit card statements, and financial records no longer needed.  Don’t assume ripped pieces of paper can’t be pieced back together, so robbers may render an account or credit card number; it’s happened.
  • Don’t sign any bank, consultant, or professional service agreements unless one fully understands what it says and presages. In some cases, the elderly are charged more or tied into a long-standing contract they did not fully understand or read before signing.
  • Be wary of offered investments.  Often, elders live on meager wages, smaller than what they had when working full time. Often, swindlers attempt to cajole the elderly into making investments that are too good to be true, and more often than not, they are.

Leonardo Dawson is a paralegal clerk for a small law firm in Minnesota. When he’s not working, he enjoys researching and writing about the field.

 

 

Cool Gifts to Make Seniors Feel Young Again

Have you ever wondered what the greatest gift might be that you could give to a senior? Forget old-timer ideas from the past, as the best present your elderly relative or friend could benefit from is to feel young again. If you think outside the box you will find that there are wonderful gifts you can buy to enthuse and inspire seniors at your fingertips. Shopping online can save time and give you what you want.

 

Electric Bicycle

A folding electric bicycle can help the senior you have in mind get around gracefully without making them feel old. Electric bicycles can be streamlined and elegant, making elderly riders feel masterful and dynamic.

 

Many bicycles can run for fifteen miles or more before they simply need to be charged via an adapter. They can also be switched to pedal power when seniors feel the urge to exercise unassisted. They power across flat areas of land and easily help their riders climb steep hills.

 

Jukebox

Many seniors love music, and particularly enjoy listening to songs from their youth. Old memories can remind them what it’s like to be young and fancy-free again. Most modern music systems have small controls, which aren’t user-friendly for seniors. However, a jukebox can easily be set to play random favorite songs. Alternatively, its automatic turn-page system can display a variety of songs from which to select.

 

Self-aligning telescope

If seniors have reasonable eyesight, a self-aligning telescope could provide them with easy vision of the magical night sky. No one is ever too old to wish upon a star.

 

Self-aligning telescopes have a database of stars and other celestial objects on which to focus effortlessly, allowing seniors to visually journey across galaxies at their leisure.

 

Experience gifts

Gifts for seniors don’t have to be objects, as experiences can be just as meaningful and fulfilling. Many online experience packages are designed for seniors and disabled clients. Most are fun and exhilarating, giving seniors a chance to socialize while enjoying making new memories.

 

There’s no end to the kind of experience gifts you can give to a senior. From assisted kayaking to luxury coach tours or helicopter flights across the city at night, experience presents are clearly winners when it comes to gift giving.

 

Cell phone

Seniors often refuse to become enmeshed in modern technology because they can’t understand it or it simply isn’t easy enough for them to cope with handling physically. Most cell phones therefore belong to younger generations, while seniors opt to use regular telephones for communication. However, wouldn’t it be great for the senior in your life to be able to communicate wherever they are rather than being left behind?

Happily, not all cell phones are difficult for seniors to manage. Many have large displays with automatic backlighting. As their buttons are simple to push and read seniors are less likely to make mistakes than when using other kinds of cell phones.

 

Buying useful presents for seniors need not be a chore when you have access to gadgets and experience gifts online. Soon, your mature friend or relative could be dancing to his or her very own jukebox, kayaking down a river or traveling on their electric bicycle while feeling young again.

 

Jack Harding is an event planner and nothing gives him more joy than seeing whole families enjoying themselves. He enjoys sharing his insights and stories on various websites. Visit Wish.co.uk for more fun family adventure information.

5 Things to Consider When Choosing an Assisted Living Facility

If you have made the decision to help a loved one enjoy continuing quality of life and as much independence as possible in difficult circumstances, then you are most likely considering the option of an assisted living facility. Moving away from their home and familiar surroundings is an important decision and moment in a senior’s life, so you need to ask as many questions as possible in order to be fully satisfied that you have chosen the right place.

 

Facilities

The overriding factor that should be uppermost in your mind is the level of comfort that you can expect overall and the facilities on offer are important in making sure that you are happy to settle into life at your chosen assisted living center. Bearing in mind the level of mobility that is currently enjoyed, you need to check if the layout of the facility will make it easy to get around. Make sure that the access areas and doorways can accommodate wheelchairs if needed and see if the rooms feel homely, with a kitchenette and a private bathroom for privacy and independence.

 

Medical care

Whilst frequent or intensive medical is unlikely to be offered or available, as that is where a nursing home will be more suitable, you should ask how medications are handled and whether they allow self-administered medication if appropriate. You should also ask if therapists and medical specialists are available through scheduled visits and check how they handle any medical emergencies that may occur.

 

Staff

The quality of the staff are a vital aspect of the assisted care facility and you should soon be able to get a feel on your inspection visit whether the staff that work there seem warm and welcoming. Take note to see if staff members interact with the residents in a kind and respectful manner and observe whether they refer to residents by their names and seem generally helpful and attentive.

 

Existing residents

The best source of information is often the existing residents and the facility management should not object to you asking then a few questions about how they enjoy their life there. You should try to gauge if the residents seem happy and comfortable and whether they socialize with each other.

 

Meals

Ask to see an example menu if you do not visit during a meal time and check to see whether the type of food appeals and also whether they are able to cater for any special medical dietary needs or even religious based needs. Although the social aspect of living in as assisted living center is always to be encouraged, you should ask whether there is the option of eating in the room sometimes rather than in the dining room. Check to see if you can sometimes bring a non-resident guest to dinner, which always make it feel more like home, and also ask if there is any policy on serving alcohol at meal times.

 

These are just some of the most pertinent questions you should be asking before settling on your chosen care facility, but always keep in mind that this is a momentous decision, so do not be afraid to take your time choosing and ask as many questions as you need in order to feel comfortable that you have got it right.

 

Alan Fields works as an in-home senior caretaker. He frequently shares his tips for transitioning from in home to assisted living on blogs for seniors. Click the Assisted Living Today’s guide to housing for seniors link to get your guide.