May 16, 2018
Courtesy of Janet Campbell
It’s never too late to become financially literate. Statistics show that 65 percent of Americans do not have a budget, which suggests that many enter their elderly years uninformed about personal finances. Taking good care of your finances at this stage of your life is essential – your financial stability, health and personal happiness are at stake, so consider carefully these tips that financial advisors consider crucial for older adults.
Set a budget
Establishing a budget helps you keep track of where your money is going and makes it considerably easier to plan for the future. Most advisors contend that setting up and sticking to a budget is the most important building block in maintaining one’s financial health. It’s especially important for seniors because it ensures that you’ll have enough money to pay for the things you need and want. If you’ve never lived according to a formal budget, once you’ve got it down and incorporated it into your routine you can predetermine what months you’re likely to be tight on money and when you’ll be in the black. A budget helps you plan for unexpected expenses, those times when life bites you and forces you to dig deep into your funds.
Sidestep the scams
Beware of fast-talking salespeople and telemarketers looking to take advantage of confused and vulnerable elderly people. They’re usually the first ones to be targeted, so watch out for “deals” that involve a lot of complex detail, evasive answers or an unwillingness to answer questions, a lack of documentation (i.e. no paper trail), and pressure to sign a contract right away. This is always a red flag, no matter who’s involved or what stage of life they’re in.
Be skeptical about investments
If you retired with investments, they can give you a real advantage in your senior years but it’s dangerous to rely on them too heavily. A budget can help you forecast but it can’t help you where the market’s concerned. An over-reliance on the returns it can bring is a dangerous way to approach your finances, especially if you’re working with limited funds to begin with. Unscrupulous salespeople are especially dangerous when it comes to stock market investing, which can be arcane and intimidating to someone with limited experience. A good rule of thumb is, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember, savings, a good budget and careful money management are the building blocks of a solid financial foundation.
Many people nearing or having reached retirement age tend to see Social Security as a nest egg or financial magic bullet. Yes, you can begin drawing on your social security benefits beginning at age 62, but it can be well worth your while to wait a bit. Nevertheless, it’s estimated that 75 percent of Americans start going through their benefits early, which means they’re not maximizing what they could be getting from Social Security. Timing is a big part of doing Social Security right. Put simply, the longer you wait to draw Social Security, the more you’ll get each month. Taking Social Security before official retirement age (between 66 and 67) results in an unnecessary reduction of your benefits, whereas your benefit increases as much as 8 percent a year if you wait until you reach 70.
Follow the basics
The old rule that says you should have three months of expenses ready to go still stands once you reach old age. If you’ve ignored that rule during your working lifetime, make a good stab at it. Set aside what you can in case the unexpected happens when you’re at your most vulnerable. Some people age 65 or older are able to sell their life insurance policy, which may be an option to consider if you can’t afford the premiums or don’t need one anymore. Just be sure to do your research first so you understand the ins and outs of the process.
Keep following the same good financial advice you’ve gotten throughout your life once you reach retirement age. Budget, save, and stay away from “can’t miss” investment offers. Much of what’s served you well all those years won’t go wrong once you hit 67.
Courtesy of Pixabay.com.
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May 10, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
You know that Mom can no longer live alone, but does she really need to move? It’s time to decide between moving her to a skilled nursing facility, assisted living, or is Home Health Care an option? Yes, it should be considered. As there are many options available to consider including transitioning to a senior living community that best benefits their needs, but often the option of Home Healthcare may be missed in the equation. This is unfortunate as this may be the best option for “mom” and should clearly be explored when weighing all your options.
There are many variables that may make up this decision-making process. Some of these factors may be based on financial, location, convenience, current state and future health of a loved one.
Home Health Care can be used to support a family that is caring for their loved one and needs the extra support. They can be there when you can’t be.
But there are many great reasons why Home Health Care might be the right choice for your loved one!
If your family member is still living in their own home, they may get to stay in their own home for a little while longer, transitioning out of a home that they have either lived in most of their adult lives and raised their children or even a home where they have all their personal possessions will be a stressful transition. When they move to a facility, they will be saying a final “goodbye” to most of their personal possessions and understanding how distraught this may make them and the emotional toll may want to be considered.
With today’s portable medical technology, physicians who make home visits can do as much or more for patients than primary care clinicians in offices, says Dr. Alan Kronhau, co-founder and CEO of Doctors Making Housecalls, based in Durham, North Carolina. When a visiting physician or nurse, or caregiver is in the home, they can better asses the medications, safety of the home environment, even the types of food that their patient may be eating based on their recommended diet. A Home Healthcare environment may provide a better overall patient assessment. Home health care often has skilled medical care available delivered at home by certified and licensed nurses. They have access to the highly technical medical equipment needed, it just happens to be portable and can meet complex medical needs that are not uncommon in the elderly.
In-home services also allow elderly adults to receive:
- Help with their personal care; such as bathing, grooming and even medication reminders.
- Help with the home environment, such as light housework and helping fold laundry. This helps to maintains a clean and safe living environment.
- Meal preparation-elderly can be at risk nutritionally, especially if they have been hospitalized. In general, aging, illness, and bed rest can contribute to the loss of lean body mass.
- Companionship-never underestimate the importance of this factor. Having someone that they enjoy their company to play cards with, walk around the block, watch Jeopardy with is equally as important.
- Personal Relationship-building a relationship with skilled care and professionals and the patient typically provides better care as there is complete knowledge of their patient with this one on one relationship.
Sometimes, it gets down to the nuts and bolts of cost for Home Health Care. According to the National Association of Home Care, the average cost of care from a skilled nursing facility is $544 dollars per day, while the average cost of home health care is $132 dollars per day. Insurance may often be the hurdle, patients who are not housebound may not be covered. Doing your research on coverage for what services and for how long could be mitigating factors in choosing Home Health Care.
If you are considering Home Health Care as an option for a few days a week or full time, please visit our website, SeniorLivingGuide.com for a variety of Home Health Care options. Visit their website, their social media, and make an appointment to talk to them about their services that they provide to make sure that they are a good fit for your family, lifestyle, and your loved one.
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May 4, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Do you remember the days with the house and the yard and the upkeep? There are days that it seems like yesterday and it was very rewarding, but it was also a lot of work and commitment! You spent your Saturday’s mowing the yard, edging, weed eating, and tending to the garden. You may have really loved the garden most, but all of the work had to be done.
Now you are retired! It’s time to do more of what you enjoy! You’ve moved into a smaller space to fit your retirement lifestyle; to give you more time to yourself, to play golf, to travel, to spend more time with your family, and less time on home maintenance. What you miss the most is the relaxation and satisfaction that you received from gardening. Don’t despair, there are a lot of options for gardening in a small space. Spring is here! Spend some time outdoors tending to a garden and be able to enjoy it!
Here are some fun ideas on how to plant a garden in a small space:
- A Container garden – Containers of different sizes and shapes, including galvanized tubs, in a small outdoor space with various flowers and even vegetables and herbs can create a tranquil setting for anyone to entertain, relax, and enjoy a good book.
- Vertical Planters – Maximize your space by planting vertically! Visit your local nursery or hardware store. Tip: repurposed shutters can be used as a vertical planter.
- Hanging planters – If you have the ability to hang your plants from the ceiling or a wall post, they can be a fun asset as you can also include plants and flowers that will trail down adding a different dimension to your patio or small space.
- Ivy fence – Growing ivy on a small fence around an outdoor space can add a lot of depth to your space and easily provide the garden look and feel you might be looking for.
- Herbs – Mixing and matching herbs in small pots and planters is not only eye-catching, but edible!
- Window boxes – If your space is very limited, a window box may be your best option. Succulents do very well in these and are fairly low maintenance with good drainage.
- Birdbath – How great is this idea? Repurpose a birdbath and pack with hardy succulents and pebbles to hold in the moisture.
If you enjoy gardening, downsizing into a senior living or retirement community may not mean that you must give up that part of your life! There are so many options available to consider. The key is appropriate lighting for your plants and soil, the rest you can get very creative with and create a beautiful and functioning gardening.
Another great article on gardening in small spaces:
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April 25, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Typically, as people age and it becomes increasingly clear that they are unable to care for themselves, their adult children are left to decide on how to care for them and what those next steps look like, especially for those whose parents are living alone.
You may notice that Dad is forgetting where the car keys are or he is misplacing his phone. Maybe he is not as interested in social interaction with family and more resigned to spending time alone. You recognize that these are signs that he should not be living alone. You find yourself saying to your siblings and family members, “What are we going to do about Dad?”. You know that you need to look at the different options available. You may opt to move them in with a capable family member, choose a home care provider, or move him into a senior living community.
To help make these decisions and form a plan that works for everyone, it can be helpful to have a family meeting with your siblings, other relatives, and/or friends. The family meeting should begin by working out any conflicting care option opinions. Ideally, you will be able to compromise and end with a plan. If you do not feel the meeting will be generally agreeable and emotions have the potential to run high, you can involve a social worker, a family counselor, or a mutually agreed upon mediator to help ensure that the meeting is successful.
As these options are weighed, a clear vision of what success looks like is very important. Consider their mental and physical conditions and how they may progress and the kind of care and assistance they will require in the future. Benefiting your parents’ well-being and health, while maintaining a peaceful and balanced family life should be considered the primary objective.
If you choose to move your family member into your home, please be aware that there are some considerations to make before committing to this role, including a large amount of time. You need to take be honest with yourself and your other family members. Make sure you fully understand the commitment and demands of caring for an aging person and ask yourself if you have the ability to take those on. There will be disruption in your life and relationships, frustration, and a large amount of additional stress that you will be adding to your home.
You may want to look into options of in-home providers, they provide a myriad of services that can be very helpful and free up your time while providing different social interaction for your parent. Understanding the pros and cons – such as how comfortable your family member will need to be with their in-home provider – should be considered before relying on them for specific tasks.
Caring for an aging parent and making decisions regarding their on-going care can be overwhelming. Take the time to consider all of your options, use your support system as a resource, and keep your parents’ best interests at heart – you will find a care option that works for everyone.
http://dailycaring.com/7-things-you-must-do-when-hiring-an-in-home-caregiver/ -Tips for Hiring In Home Care Provider
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April 19, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
The more and more that I work in this industry, I think back to the times that made the older folks that mean so much to me the happiest. They are mostly “a-ha” moments, not anything that I could have bought and shipped through Amazon, texted, or even the quick drop in just to say “hi”. It was the time that was spent visiting with them. It was time sharing a meal, going to CVS to help them pick out a birthday card, sharing the stories of my life, reminiscing about the past, and the times that they themselves were an integral part of my family and daily life. I remember how proud they would be to introduce me and my children to complete strangers. It was like being introduced for a “lifetime achievement” Award at the Golden Globes. That is what we are to our elderly loved ones. We are their lifetime achievements.
When my son was little, his school adopted a Senior retirement community at Christmas time. He was in Kindergarten and they took a field trip to the community, each child “wrote” a book and colored it, we all made Christmas cookies, and the kids sang carols. My son sat in a complete stranger’s lap reading his story with such pride as she intently listened, holding him on her lap so happy with the biggest smile on her face. She was so entrenched in his story and hung on to every word that he said. It meant the world to him because he knew she loved his story, and I know it meant the world to her because you could see the visible joy on her face. I sat there and realized I was holding back tears because it made me happy to see this connection between two strangers vastly different in years. I regret that he never saw her again, I truly believe that it would have been really good for them both.
Buckner Parkway Place, a senior living community in Houston, Texas hosted a group of young people who volunteered at their community through their local high school. “This partnership with Westside High is what Buckner is all about,” said Susan Phelps, executive director of Parkway Place. “Buckner exists to serve both vulnerable children and senior adults, and what better way to do that than by engaging a multi-generation partnership with students who otherwise might not have these opportunities? Plus, seeing the way Parkway Place residents light up around these students is a joy. I feel more confident than ever about the future of senior living because of their eagerness to serve.” http://www.buckner.org/blog/learning-to-serve
Family life is changing. Unlike in the past, when extended families lived close to each other, older folks are living longer and more self-sufficiently, but they are also living alone. With the change in lifestyle and the growing distances from family members, even though their adult children have healthier and more active parents, they are less likely to visit them, and their grandchildren are less likely to know and visit their grandparents as often as in the past.
Developing connections between young and old generations can help both groups. Visit your local Senior Center, Senior Community and ask how you can volunteer by spending time with their residents. You can also visit http://www.servingseniors.org/get-involved/advocacy/ , include children in advocacy, they too are your future. #payitforward
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April 13, 2018
April 10, 2018
Date: Wednesday, April 4, 2018
Contact: John Rijos, President and CEO, Chicago Pacific Founders (312) 273-4750, firstname.lastname@example.org
Guy Geller, President, Grace Management, Inc. (312) 273-4750, email@example.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Chicago Pacific Founders Acquires The Willows of Easley in Easley, South Carolina
Chicago, IL – April 4, 2018 — Chicago Pacific Founders (CPF) and its subsidiaries, CPF Living Communities and Grace Management, Inc., announce the acquisition of The Willows of Easley, a 100-unit senior living community in Easley, South Carolina.
The Willows of Easley is an Independent and Assisted Living community located in the heart of Easley, South Carolina, a short 15-minute drive from downtown Greenville, South Carolina. Despite its small-town feel, Easley’s quaint and thriving downtown has many conveniences including popular department stores for shopping, fine dining restaurants, and quality medical facilities. The Willows of Easley, highly regarded for providing quality care and programming, will continue its full spectrum of independent living and assisted living services to its residents.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but investments in the campus will serve to enhance the quality of life for all stakeholders – including residents, families, associates and prospective residents across the region.
The Willows of Easley is now managed by Grace Management, Inc., a nationally recognized leader in the delivery of senior living management services.
“We are thrilled to have found The Willows of Easley and to be in the Easley, South Carolina market. We are committed to providing the highest quality of life possible to all of our residents,” said John Rijos, CPF Living’s President and CEO.
About Chicago Pacific Founders
Chicago Pacific Founders is a Chicago and San Francisco-based healthcare private equity investment firm. The fund is targeting investments in healthcare verticals including senior living and innovative healthcare service-based platforms.
About Grace Management, Inc.
Grace Management, Inc. was established in 1984 to develop, market, and manage residential communities for seniors. While the core of the business is third-party senior housing management, Grace Management, Inc. also offers marketing and operational consulting services, receivership and loan workout services, due diligence review for pending sale or purchase considerations and third-party reviews for various types of senior housing communities. For more information, please visit www.gracemanagement.com.
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March 22, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
When your loved one with dementia or other age-related memory problems is at the point where it is no longer reasonable or safe for them to live alone, you may need to find a community that is right for them. A community or facility that specializes in memory care. Do you know where to start? Do you know what to look for and how much does it cost?
The needs of folks with Memory problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or other types of memory problems can vastly differ from those in need of long-term care. Choosing a memory care facility that is designed to meet your loved ones care not only includes their medical needs, but their comfort and safety.
Choosing the right memory care options may be confusing. To clear things up, assisted living communities offer special memory care units (SCU) in separate buildings, floors, etc. It’s important to make sure that the staff have training and can properly assist patients with dementia or impaired cognition. According to Mitzi McFatrich, executive director of Kansas Advocates for Better Care, “they can offer staff extensively trained in caring for people with dementia, individualized care that minimizes the use of dangerous psychotropic drugs, a home-like environment and activities that improve residents’ quality of life. But at their worst, they may offer little more than a locked door.” https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T027-C000-S004-how-to-choose-a-memory-care-unit.html. Be cognizant of this and do your research on the staff, training, and commitment to the overall well being of their residents.
Another option would be an independent memory care community which is distinct from assisted living, these memory care communities will have specialized skilled nursing in memory care.
Memory Care communities and care have higher costs involved due to the level of care that is required for their patients. Inquiring at the community or facility on the types of financial aid and availability to utilize Medicare or Medicaid may also provide additional financial support.
According to the National Investment Center for Senior Housing and Care, “every 66 seconds someone in the U.S. develops Alzheimer’s, long-term care providers are rushing to offer memory care services. As of mid-2016, memory care facilities had the capacity to care for more than 65,000 residents-a 44% increase over the past 5 years.” Therefore, more and more facilities are being built and more focus is being put on the need for this type of care.
According to, https://www.alz.org/care/alzheimers-dementia-residential-facilities.asp#choosing it’s important to choose your setting as they make these recommendations:
- Plan on visiting several care facilities. Look around and talk with the staff, as well as residents and families.
- When you visit a care facility, ask to see the latest survey/inspection report and Special Care Unit Disclosure form. Facilities are required to provide these. The report and the disclosure form can give you a picture of the facility’s services.
- Visit the facilities at different times of the day, including meal times.
- Ask the care facility about room availability, cost and participation in Medicare or Medicaid. Consider placing your name on a waiting list even if you are not ready to decide about a move.
- If you will be paying for the facility out of pocket, ask what happens if the person with dementia runs out of money. Some facilities will accept Medicaid; others may not. If you anticipate the need for Medicaid either now or in the future, plan to visit with a lawyer that specializes in elder care prior to moving into a facility to ensure a good financial plan is in place.
With the need growing and more facilities/communities being built and opened to accommodate memory care residents, there is more thought being put into the design and types of communities and facilities that folks in need of memory care will need to make them feel more at home. Country Living magazine featured a facility in Ohio that built a community that is designed to look like a small town from the 1940’s while each resident has a “little house”, https://www.countryliving.com/life/a39630/nursing-home-tiny-houses/. There are communities that are including nurseries and doll therapy as new techniques arise in how to address the anxiety and stress that many patients with memory loss feel, https://khn.org/news/when-pretend-play-is-real-for-alzheimers-patients/.
Finding the Memory Care community that is right for your loved one should always include, online reviews, multiple visits to the facility without making an appointment, talking to friends and family of residents of these communities and staff. Until there is a known cure for this disease that continues to increase in diagnosis year after year, the need for these communities and care will only increase.
Ready to begin your search? We have 2,189 potential solutions! Begin your search here – http://www.seniorlivingguide.com/MapSearchAlzheimers.tpl
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March 14, 2018
By: Darleen Mahoney
Are you searching for senior housing for yourself or a loved one? Are you pre-planning for your future and would like a few tips in the right direction to make sure that you are set when the time comes to make that jump to retirement living? Are you realizing its very tough to navigate with all the options, budgets, locations and what levels of care senior communities offer their residents?
Here are some tips to get you started to make sure that you are headed in the right direction and you cover all your bases in clearing out the senior housing “clutter”:
- Know what type of housing you need-this is by far the first and most important step. Knowing what you want now and will need down the road based on current medical conditions is key. There are many types of senior housing and facilities available including the following:
- Retirement Communities
- Continuing Care Communities
- Assisted Living Communities with Skilled Nursing
- Memory Care Facilities
- Home Care
- Budget– Knowing how much you will have available to spend on living expenses each month will be the next biggest factor. The price ranges vary significantly based on a variety of factors. You may be able to include meals, utilities, and taxes with your monthly senior living expense. You also need to do some in depth research into the financial resources that are available to you and can help. There may be financial assistance such as long-term care insurance or benefits for veterans and their surviving spouses.
- Location– Are you planning on staying close to home to be near your family or considering a move to popular retirement mecca’s? There are areas of the country that are hot spots for active adults who retire to their vacation destinations or seek to retire in locations where the landscape is optimal, beaches are nearby, and the weather is more to their liking for their retirement options.
- Must Haves– What do you want in senior housing? Regardless of whether you are looking into active adult to memory care, there are many options that you should not only prioritize, but find out what they may be. There should be a list of non-negotiable items that you must have and a “wish list”. They may include social activities, housing design, meal plans, to levels of skilled nursing care available.
- Websites– Beginning your search online for senior living communities in the location that you have determined with the senior living community or facility that you would like to live in can give you a bird’s eye view of what is available to you in one place. If you would like a simple search solution online, a website like seniorlivingguide.com has most senior living communities and facilities in a one stop website offering you the option to look at each individual community within one website. You are able to learn about their amenities, services, the levels of care available, visit their social media and save each individuals community information to your favorites. You are also able to go directly to their website to contact them to find out more information and schedule a visit. It will save you time and confusion from visiting multiple websites with multiple search queries.
- Facebook– It’s important to visit an individual communities Facebook page. You can look at of their photos and engagement with their posts. It gives you a good idea of the activities and general interaction with the staff that is going on in the community.
- Visit– Go visit the community in person, it might be advantageous to take a friend or family member. Take mental notes and even write them down of how the residents and the staff interact with each other. What is the general feeling that you get while you are in the community? Are residents active? Are they engaged? Or are they sitting quietly and out of sight? What types of safety measures are taking place, do you feel like the community/facility is clean? Can you envision yourself living there?
- Review and Review– Once you have narrowed down your best options, continue to review them with pros and cons. Double check the online reviews as well before making your final decision.
- Consult an Attorney– Always seek the advice of legal counsel, this type of commitment can be complicated, and mistakes can be very expensive. Legal counsel can help you navigate the retirement community contracts so that you understand your contract before you sign anything.
While this is not a simple process, it is an important to make sure that you follow each step to ensure that you make the right decision. Whether you are moving into an active adult community in sunny Florida where you dream of drinking pina coladas ocean side or Texas or California or staying in your hometown where you raised your family, or a memory care facility for your loved one, senior housing should be well thought out and well planned.
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March 13, 2018
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Charlotte, March 7, 2018 – Within the United States, there are at least 5 million people currently living with age-related dementias, and this number is expected to rise as more people live longer. So how do you know if you or your loved ones have dementia or Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia)? Renowned experts, Dr. Charles Edwards and Dr. Aristides Chaconas will discuss this important topic at the Memory Center Charlotte’s Symposium “Aging and Your Brain – How am I Doing?”
The symposium will take place on Thursday, April 12 from 8:30am to 11:30am at Myers Park United Methodist Church, 1501 Queens Road in Charlotte. Tickets are $25 and available by calling
704-577-3186. Seating is limited.
“We want people to recognize that our cognitive function changes as we get older, and memory problems do not always lead to Alzheimer’s disease” says Dr. Chaconas.
The symposium program will include:
* Memory Loss – Do I Have It? – presented by Charles H. Edwards II, MD of Memory Center Charlotte, a 501C3 entity which develops educational initiatives, direct medical care and community outreach to the community with an emphasis on dementia.
Dr. Edwards will address these questions: What areas of the brain are affected as we age? What are normal age related changes in your brain and how are they manifested? What are the practical aspects of normal cognitive aging?
* Memory Loss – I Have It! What Do I Do Now? – presented by Dr. Aristides Chaconas, Neurologist at Memory Center Charlotte.
Dr. Chaconas will address these questions: When do normal age-related changes become concerning? What is Mild Cognitive Impairment? When do symptoms become serious? What is the difference between Mild Cognitive Impairment and Dementia? If I am diagnosed, what do I do now?
In addition, both doctors will touch on staying healthy and what is coming in the field of dementia care.
“Aging and Your Brain – How am I Doing?” is presented by Memory Center Charlotte. To find out more, visit http://memorycentercharlotte.com.
About Memory Center Charlotte
Memory Center Charlotte is a 501c3 non-profit entity dedicated to the care of patients with memory challenges and their caregivers in the Charlotte region.
Media Contact: Cindy Ballaro
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