January 14, 2020

How Caregivers Can Protect Seniors from Phone and Internet Scams

Filed under: Finances,Senior Safety — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 2:56 pm

As a caregiver, you are committed to keeping the seniors in your life safe from harm. With an increasing number of scams targeting seniors, it is more important than ever to learn how to stay safe.

Seniors lose billions of dollars a year due to these scams and many of these cases are never reported due to embarrassment or shame.

Caregivers can help protect against scams by teaching seniors the warning signs. Every call or email should be scrutinized to make sure that it is legitimate.

Common Scams to Look Out For
There are a ton of phone and internet scams that target seniors. Remember scammers are professionals. They know just what to say and how to say it to convince you into doing something you would not normally do.

Here are some of the common scams to look out for and warn your seniors about.

  • Romance/Sweetheart scams: these scams use online dating sites or social media to trick seniors into a romantic relationship before asking them for money
  • Lottery/Sweepstakes scams: this involves an email or call that claims the person won something (a new car or money) or is the beneficiary of an inheritance, they are manipulated and coerced to believe taxes must be paid ahead of time to receive the funds
  • IRS scams: scammers pretend to be the IRS, Law Enforcement and FBI agents stating there is a warrant out for your arrest and ask for payment by gift cards or money transfers
  • Grandparent scams: this is a call from a scammer that claims your grandchild or family member is in trouble and asks for immediate payment to help them
  • Text Message or Voicemail scams: these scams may ask for personal information or leave threatening messages

Tips to Keep Seniors Safe
A good rule of thumb to live by is that if it sounds too good to be true, it likely is. So make sure seniors know a sudden call or email which claims you’ve won money is likely a scam.

Scammers often set up fake social media accounts and take time to earn trust before they ask for money. Make sure seniors know they should never wire money, purchase gift cards, or send other expensive items to someone they don’t actually know, even if they have talked online.

Show seniors examples of phishing emails that mimic the IRS or Social Security Administration. Get them into the habit of checking every link before they click on them or open attachments, as they could be malicious. Also they should have the actual phone numbers of these important agencies so they can reach out directly with questions instead of responding to an unexpected email or call.

Make sure seniors know not to provide information via phone, especially a call which again they did not initiate themselves. It is always better to hang up and call the organization directly.

Being proactive about monitoring phone calls, emails, and text messages is the best way to prevent falling for a scam. If you or someone you know has fallen victim to a scam, report any concerns to your local law enforcement agency.

Sponsored by: Suncoast Credit Union

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January 8, 2020

Five Reasons All-Inclusive Senior Living Makes Sense

Sponsored by: Resort Lifestyle Communities

All-inclusive resorts have been around since the 1950s when the French-based Club Med introduced the concept to their guests. When people learned about the perks of an all-inclusive stay that would simplify vacation budgeting, the idea really took off. Since that time, countless vacation destinations, cruise ships, and even retirement communities have adopted the all-inclusive model.

For more than two decades, Resort Lifestyle Communities (RLC) has offered residents a luxurious, all-inclusive lifestyle that provides a relaxing and worry-free retirement. For many, financial considerations are a priority. Here are five reasons that all-inclusive living with RLC simply makes sense.

  1. Budget Simplicity

When your rent, utilities, meals, and entertainment are all covered with a single monthly cost, it’s much easier to map out your personal finances. You won’t have the fluctuating costs of heating and cooling your home, and you don’t have to pay for big-ticket surprises, like when your water heater fails or your dryer decides it’s had its last spin. Perhaps even more importantly, RLC’s all-inclusive monthly cost is transparent. No hidden fees! Some senior communities require a nonrefundable entrance or community fee, which is sometimes referred to as your “buy-in.” Because RLC values a worry-free lifestyle in every aspect of our business, they don’t charge buy-in fees or require you to sign a long-term lease.

  1. Effortless Healthy Eating

Meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparation can make getting three square meals a day tedious and time-consuming. With an all-inclusive lifestyle, you never have to cook unless you want to! RLC offers a signature Freedom Dining program that includes an all-you-can-eat buffet, or a fine dining experience that mimics that of a luxury resort. Professional chefs provide three wonderful, nutritious meals each day, anytime you like. And if you need a snack in between meals, their 24-7 chef’s pantry is the place to go!

  1. Free Time to Celebrate Life

Time is one of life’s most valuable commodities. When activities or chores like cooking, cleaning, or maintaining a home are done for you, that means you have more time to spend on the things you enjoy most. You can invest in meeting new friends, trying new activities like yoga, taking up new hobbies, and sampling new foods from our executive chefs. The possibilities are endless! Some RLC residents have even joined Wii bowling leagues together.

  1. Quality Conveniences

Another benefit that’s somewhat unique to RLC is the quality of services you get for your money. Residents’ comfort, safety, and enjoyment are their top priority. In order to support residents in these ways, their all-inclusive pricing includes convenience amenities, like access to live-in managers, a 24/7 emergency alert system, concierge service, gourmet chefs, housekeepers, maintenance staff, a full-time lifestyle director, and so much more. The cost of acquiring these services outside of a senior community would far outweigh the cost of your all-inclusive monthly payment at an RLC community.

  1. Things Money Can’t Buy

All-inclusive living also offers things money can’t buy. The ability to keep your beloved pet, the many friendships you can create, the feeling of freedom from chores, and daily access to delicious food (that you don’t have to cook), are just a few. When you add it up, all of these benefits equal a life of ease with the freedom to do as much or as little as you want. So, go to that happy hour, try a new fitness class, take a trip to the mall with friends, or relax and take a nap. You can live your life to the fullest – and it’s all included!

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December 11, 2019

A New Way to Age in Place

Filed under: Aging in Place,Retirement — seniorlivingguide @ 4:10 pm

New Way to Age in Place

Sponsored by: Resort Lifestyle Communities

Dorothy and her sweet terrier, Toto, aren’t the only ones who believe “there’s no place like home.” According to a report from the AARP Public Policy Institute and the National Conference of State Legislatures, roughly 90% of American seniors want to live in their home or community for as long as possible. They love being where things are familiar and comfortable. As a result, more people are choosing to “age in place” rather than move into a nursing home or assisted living facility.

How Do You Age in Place?

Seniors that prefer to maintain freedom and independence in their residence of choice are said to be aging in place. They wish to surround themselves with familiarity and comfort, and be connected to the things most important to, for as long as possible.  Fortunately, it’s becoming easier for seniors to live at home for longer periods thank to services like home health care, and advanced technology, such as medical alert systems.

Another trend that’s helping seniors age in place is the expanded definition of “place.” Until recent years, seniors had the choice of either staying in their existing residence or moving to a nursing facility as they age. Today, there’s another option available that appeals to many: a resort-style retirement community that offers the best of both worlds.

The Benefits of Aging in Place

Retirement communities offer an exciting new choice for seniors, and provide range of services to accommodate more people with a variety of needs. Living spaces are thoughtfully designed for seniors, and the amenities and supportive services offered allow people to live independently and safely for a long period of time.

In fact, many seniors who insist on staying in their home suddenly feel like they have an option to live on their own in a private apartment surrounded by their own things, while also enjoying activities and services they would never have at home. The concept of aging in a community, where there are plenty of things to do and new friends to meet, can make life more fulfilling!

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December 5, 2019

4 Ways Seniors Can Have a Safe and Fun Holiday Event

Filed under: Aging,Senior Safety,Seniors — seniorlivingguide @ 5:27 pm

Seniors Can Have a Safe and Fun Holiday Event

By Brooke Chaplan

The holidays are often filled with countless parties and dinner plans that fill us with happiness and cheer. However, many seniors can feel left out at this time of year due to mobility issues or the fact that they live alone. Keep these four ideas in mind to make sure your loved ones enjoy the holidays to the fullest:

Arrange Transportation Ahead of Time

If your elderly loved ones are planning to attend a holiday event this year, it’s important to keep their safety in mind. Start planning for this upcoming event by arranging transportation to and from the event ahead of time. If you aren’t able to provide transportation, consider sending them in a cab, Uber, or Lyft. Similarly, if you have any friends or family members that are attending, ask them to carpool.

Plan for Caregivers to Attend

Seniors that need to have their caregivers with them throughout the day should be accompanied by them to any holiday celebrations. Make sure that any holiday plans fit into the caregiver’s schedule so that your elderly loved ones will be taken care of regardless of whether you are there or not. With the holidays around the corner, it’s best to ask the caretaker well in advance so they can fit it into their schedule.

Throw a Holiday Party Yourself

For many family members, the best and safest holiday event is the one they throw themselves. With the right party plan, you can give your loved ones a holiday experience they won’t forget while making sure the environment is as safe as possible. With all your loved ones close by, your elderly family members will feel the true spirit of this holiday season.

Invite Other Family and Friends

If your senior loved ones want to go to a particular holiday event, consider inviting the entire family. Depending on the location of your holiday event, it may be a good idea to invite other family and friends to the event. For example, if your community is hosting a holiday light show, bringing all your friends and family members to the event is a great way to make sure your elderly loved ones are surrounded with as much love as possible at this time of year.

Make sure the seniors in your life are able to enjoy the holiday season this year. Keep these four ideas in mind to find new ways to engage them this season.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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December 3, 2019

Visiting Seniors This Holiday Season

Filed under: Mobility,Senior Safety — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 4:12 pm

Grabcessories

Sponsored by: GrabAccessories.com

Did you know that during the holiday’s many folks take advantage of visiting with their older family members and loved ones?

It’s an ideal time to spend time with them. It’s also a good time to see how they are doing in their daily lives and home life. It’s a good opportunity to make some assessments that might be helpful to ensure their quality of life. That’s what family is for, right?

This holiday season, take some time out of your busy schedule to make certain your older adults and loved ones are doing well. Take time to assess and make sure your loved one is living in a safe home environment.

A few straightforward safety improvements do not take a lot of time or money. These improvements can significantly reduce the risk of common accidents and falls that could alter the quality of life of a senior. Many older adults have a fear of falling and limit their activities out of that fear. This can result in depression, less physical activity, a decrease in social interaction and feelings of helplessness.

Seniors are more prone to a fall due to aging, poor eyesight, and poor hearing. Balance and illness can cause problems and increase their chance of falling. A few tips on creating a safer home environment would include:

  • Make sure rooms are well lit
  • Remove room rugs that would be tripping hazards
  • Make sure rooms are easy to maneuver and clutter-free
  • Bathroom safety is a must!

Creating a safe bathroom environment is quite simple and can be done aesthetically pleasing as well. GrabAcessories allows you to create a beautiful, functional, safe bathroom from the shower bars to the towel bars. They provide very sturdy hardware with the ability to hold up to 500 lbs. and can be shipped right to your door!

Once you have enjoyed time and made any assessments about your elderly loved one’s safety and home life, make notes for your next visit. It’s always good to have a little comparison to make sure that they are getting what they need when they need it.

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November 29, 2019

Staying Safe and Warm During the Winter Months—A Guide for Seniors

Filed under: Aging,Seniors Health — seniorlivingguide @ 8:55 am

seniors health

By Lizzie Weakley

As you get older, your metabolism slows down and your circulation decreases. Common aging-related diseases like diabetes and hypothyroidism can also decrease your cold tolerance. This means that seniors are especially vulnerable to winter dangers like hypothermia, frostbite and pneumonia. Read on to learn how you can stay warm and safe during the coldest months of the year.

Dress in Layers

Bundling up in layers is a great way to stay warm in any temperature because you easily remove outer layers indoors or if the weather changes. Try a long-sleeved shirt under a cardigan with a jacket on top or a hooded sweatshirt with a cotton tee underneath. Accessories like scarves and gloves add extra warmth.

Drink Hot Beverages

A mug of hot cocoa, a cup of hot tea or some java from the corner coffee shop can warm you up from the inside. Holding the hot container can also keep your hands warm. If drinks aren’t your thing, try a steaming bowl of soup or a hot slice of apple pie.

Adjust the Thermostat

Turning the heat up is an obvious way to keep warm, but high heating bills and malfunctioning HVAC systems can be an obstacle for many seniors. If you or someone you love can’t afford to stay warm, look into special programs that help seniors cover energy bills in the winter or pay for heating repair services.

Reverse Ceiling Fans

Your ceiling fan provides a nice cooling breeze in the summer, but did you know that it can also help you stay warm in the winter? Reversing the blades on your fans pushes warm air down into the room to keep you cozy instead of wasting it at ceiling-level. Most new fans have a small switch you can flip to change their direction.

Take Warm Baths

There’s nothing like a warm bath to take off the chill, but remember to be safe in the tub. Install grab bars to help you get in and out, use non-slip bathmats and a bath chair if needed. Check the temperature of your bath with a thermometer to prevent burns. Water that seems fine to the touch may be too hot for soaking. You can get help from a loved one or an assistant if you have trouble getting in the bath.

Although it’s normal to need the thermostat turned up as you grow older, being cold constantly even when the temperature is very warm can be a sign of something serious. If you suddenly get cold more easily than usual or find it difficult to keep warm, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

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November 26, 2019

4 Benefits to Retiring in a Community Home

Filed under: Retirement Planning — seniorlivingguide @ 10:42 am

By Meghan Belnap

The choice of when and where to retire is a deeply personal choice. You can live on your own or with others. Community housing for retirees offers amenities that may not be offered elsewhere. Do some research on them before you commit.

No More “Parenting the Parent”

Adult children may find themselves in the role of primary caregiver as their parents age. That could be stressful for all parties involved. It can create a sentiment of unequal responsibility. Community housing provides greater freedom to the parents as they are once again homeowners in a community of individuals going through the same period of life together. In retirement communities, there is no fear of not measuring up to the younger generation, and it is specifically set up to be empowering to those in their retirement years.

Safety at Hand

Senior living communities are built close to hospitals. If the worst happens then residents won’t have to wait as long to receive care. Immediate intervention is especially critical for seniors to recover quickly. Other services, such as in-home assistants and lifeline companies, also often set up their practice near these communities specifically to cater to the older generation. When looking at active adult community home listings, make sure to examine the amenities available in the area to find the community best catered to your needs.

A New Kind of Social Network

Not all seniors still can (or want to) drive. A senior living community brings everyone together. The longest trip to see friends is just a walk away. Fellow residents are all within the same age range, as mentioned, going through the same stages of life. This means that activities available are catered directly to the interests of your demographic. Community housing organizes field trips, classes, movie nights, and group dinners. There’s a wide range of options without the stress of having to make events a big outing.

Shifting Priorities for the Better

Owning a home is a lot of work. You have to think about yard work and neighborhood safety. Upkeep within the home can also feel like a to-do list that never ends. A senior home takes all that work away. There is often a dedicated housekeeping staff that does laundry and room cleaning. If the senior home is in a suburb or the countryside there may also be landscaping services. You can enjoy the grounds on your own terms without mentally cataloging each untrimmed shrub and stray leaf.

Your children may also want to have a say in where you end up living. They might want you to live closer to them or in a warmer climate. Make a list of the facilities that look most appealing to you. Then bring that list to the table so you can have a family conversation about next steps.

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure.

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November 21, 2019

5 Ways Caregivers Can Refresh at the End of the Week

Filed under: Caregivers — seniorlivingguide @ 5:34 am

Find Home Health Care providers on SeniorLivingGuide.com

By Anica Oaks

Whether you’re giving care to a loved one or your job is to take care of others, it can get overwhelming by the end of the week. By having a plan of ways to refresh your body and mind, you can return to your loved one or patients ready to tackle anything. Here are four suggestions for how to spend your time away at the end of the week to ensure you’re refreshed to start another week.

Spend Some Time Getting Self-Care at the Massage Parlor

Taking care of a disabled person is both mentally and physically exhausting. At the end of the week, you’re going to need to set aside some time for self-care. A great way to help reduce your stress levels and quiet your mind is to get a massage. The physical touch from the masseur along with the release of tension in the body can be just what you need to refresh yourself to start another week of caring for someone else.

Visit with Friends or Family

Just spending some time with loved ones can be a great way to relax after a long week as a caregiver. Whether you plan to meet friends or family at their home or out for dinner, you should opt for picking a place that you would like. It’s best to always schedule some time at the end of the week to share with others who can take your mind off of matters that you are mentally dealing with through your role as a caregiver.

Spend Time Exercising

One of the best ways to reduce your stress levels and feel good about your body is to workout. You don’t have to schedule a harsh workout that you are dreading. Rather, pick a workout type that you enjoy. For example, you can try weightlifting, crossfit, yoga, or Pilates. Just pick an activity that really interests you so that you have something physical to look forward too at the end of the week.

Take a Day Trip Somewhere Fun

The weekend is a great time to adventure into new territory. Decide to take a day trip to somewhere that interests you. This could be a nature park or a casino. The possibilities are really endless. Just pick something that seems interesting to you and go do it. Just planning a day around what you like is a great way to refresh your mind and soul after a hard week.

Hire Extra Help

Taking care of a loved one throughout the week, while rewarding, is also physically and mentally exhausting. When the end of the week comes a caregiver may be looking for relief that doesn’t come that easily. The weekend can even mean extra work, in some instances with additional activities and errands to do. Hiring extra senior care help can lighten the load a few days a week and give you a chance to regroup before the next week starts.

A caregiver has a lot on their plate. Each day can be both physically and mentally taxing. If you find that you’re in need of a refresh at the end of the week, the above four options are great activities to do.

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November 8, 2019

5 Tips for Dealing with Chronic Pain as a Senior

Filed under: Aging,Healthcare,Seniors Health — Tags: — seniorlivingguide @ 5:02 am

elderly pain management

By Lizzie Weakley

As we get older, our bodies may begin to require more care and might function less efficiently than when we were younger. After decades of wear and tear, our joints, muscles, and bones begin to ache from years of service. In addition, the older we get, the risk for a chronic illness increases, which may cause chronic pain or discomfort. Fortunately, there are ways to deal with this problem that are both practical and affordable. Check with your doctor before trying any of these tips.

Routine Exercise

Depending on your age and overall health, your doctor may give you approval for starting an exercise program. This can be done at home by watching an exercise program for persons whose circumstances, like age and health, are similar to yours. Alternately, the doctor may suggest joining a local YMCA or recreation center exercise class that meets at least weekly. Exercise can help to strengthen bones while making joints and muscles more limber. Systematic exercise also may stimulate the production of your body’s endorphins, which can ease pain and help you feel better. The immune system may also benefit and contribute to the reduction of inflammation.

Healthy Eating

Avoid inflammatory foods like sugar, and for some, white flour or gluten, may ease physical discomfort. Weight reduction for obese persons can take extra pounds off of the body frame, also reducing physical discomfort. Certain foods or a specific eating plan may be suggested by your doctor or a nutrition specialist to ensure you are getting all the nutrients your body needs to function efficiently, which may in turn lessen physical pain.

Relaxation

If you are a busy person with chronic pain, it may be a good idea to spend some time each day relaxing and escape stress temporarily. Taking a short nap or enjoying nature in the back yard or at the park provides a break from your daily routine, which also have a positive effect on chronic pain levels.

Medical Pain Management

Your GP may provide a referral to pain management doctors who can treat your discomfort from a medical perspective. With many treatment options to choose from, there is a good chance they can find ways to make you feel more comfortable. Pain management experts have the skills and knowledge needed to assist with chronic pain issues.

There is no need to suffer pain in silence. Try tips like these to get your pain under control so you can enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.

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November 7, 2019

Finding an Assisted Living Community That’s Right for You

Filed under: Assisted Living,Nursing Homes,Senior Housing — Tags: , — seniorlivingguide @ 5:31 am

Assisted Living Search

By Brooke Chaplan

If you’ve found that, as you’ve aged, you now need assistance with your daily tasks, then an assisted living facility can be a great option for you. It will provide you with the care you need to live a fulfilling life. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that you find a community that’s right for you.

Make a List of Needs

Many seniors start out by looking at the various assisted living communities and end up getting overwhelmed. Instead, start by making a list of needs. Include everything from the type of medical care that you need to the recreational activities you need in your life. When you have a list of what you’re looking for in an assisted living facility, you can better determine what facility is going to fit your needs quickly.

Set a Budget

Your assisted living care should be easily affordable for you. You should take a look at what your budget is and will be in the future. Set yourself a budget for what you can comfortably afford to pay for your cost of living, keeping in mind your retirement fund and savings. By setting your budget ahead of time, you can limit yourself to looking at facilities in your price range. If you look at facilities first, you may find yourself signing a lease for a place that you end up having trouble affording.

Take a Tour

Now, you should have a very good idea of the qualities you’re looking for in a property and what price range you can afford. Next, it’s time to get your list together of potential properties to visit. You want to take the time to tour each facility to get a feel for how it will work for you. Don’t be shy about visiting a place multiple times before you decide whether or not you want to live there.

Speak with the Current Residents

One of the best ways to get a feel for how a community will work out for you is to talk with the existing residents. See how happy they are with the assisted living facility and get some information about the daily activities that are offered for residents. You may be surprised that you can learn more from a 10-minute conversation with a resident than you’ll get from reading all the fliers about the community.

When it becomes time to move into an assisted living facility it’s likely that you’ll have a lot of questions running through your mind. Understand how to slow down and take it to step by step; this can drastically help with your overall decision on where to stay. Be sure to start by utilizing the four tips above to find an assisted living community that’s right for you.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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