Quality Home Health Care

Unavoidable Effects of Aging and How to Cope With Them

The best way to determine whether a society is civilized is to see how it treats its aged members. Age offers experience, wisdom, and maturity—something that no amount of training or education can replace. We live in a society where a combination of social and technological developments has enabled people to live longer than ever before.

Seniors Playing ShuffleboardHowever, there are some disadvantages of growing old that no senior citizen can avoid.

Some issues, retirement and consequent loss of stable income and slowing down of the body, can be predicted while other issues, a sudden ailment or illness or loss of mental faculties, can occur without any warning. Read ahead for an overview of some disadvantages of aging and becoming a senior citizen.

Health and Fitness

One consequence of aging is an inevitable deterioration of health and fitness. Reflexes slow down, the body starts giving you trouble, and people end up suffering from ailments and illnesses even if they led a healthy life in their youth. Many persons make the mistake of presuming that such health and fitness issues can make it impossible for elderly people to lead a normal life. The trick here is to keep in mind that a senior citizen has to pay a lot more attention to his or her physical and mental health.

To tackle ailments and illnesses, elderly people need to follow a disciplined lifestyle and a strict routine of frequent tests and checkups. Skipping a routine health check may not seem like a big deal for a youngster. However, a lot can go wrong with the health of an elderly individual in a very short span of time. Hence, it is important to undergo tests and take all necessary medications on time.

Many elderly individuals make the mistake of skipping exercises just because they have grown old. Instead of giving up exercising altogether, senior citizens should opt for gentler and less strenuous activities like walking or swimming.

While a healthy lifestyle may help minimize the severity of aging-related health problems, it may be next to impossible to completely avoid this disadvantage of becoming an elderly individual. The smartest solution is to rely on a professional home care service with experienced and professional staff designed to help senior citizens cope with inevitable health-related problems.

Financial Problems

Managing problems like increasing prices, credit card repayments, and economic instability becomes a lot more complicated for aged individuals without a steady job or a reliable source of income. Even those who have invested in retirement funds and investments end up feeling stressed about managing expenses and dealing with unexpected medical emergencies with limited funds at their disposal.

Senior citizens end up suffering the embarrassment of being dependent on their family, friends, or relatives for financial assistance to manage their expenses. Smart planning, a simple lifestyle, and professional care can help keep the financial situation under control even as you grow older.

Physical and Virtual Safety

Elderly people have always been at risk of being targeted by thieves and other anti-social elements. Today, a senior citizen has to worry about not just physical safety but about virtual or online safety as well.

With bank accounts and credit cards being used to buy products and services online, hacking or phishing can result in theft of the life savings of the elderly person with very little chances of recovery of the money.

A combination of electronic devices, a neighborhood watch, and reliance on trustworthy individuals who can provide useful advice on online safety can help retired individuals lead a safe and secure life without any hassles.

Nutrition and Personal Care

Elderly people often face unexpected health problems simply because they don’t consume nutritious food. A senior citizen with shrinking appetite should not commit the mistake of equating eating less with unhealthy eating. While portions may grow smaller, it is important to supply the body with all necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients through a combination of healthy food and supplements.

Like kids, aging individuals may be completely dependent on others for nutritious food. The easiest way to tackle this problem is to acknowledge it, and to take steps to ensure delicious dishes containing healthy ingredients is delivered promptly on a regular basis.

Further, a senior citizen may feel lonely and may need somebody to just spend some time with him or her. Life is something more than eating food and taking medicines. A bit of personal attention from a caring person can go a long way in making an aging individual feel happy and alive.

The first step towards solving a problem, is to anticipate it, understand it, and plan remedial action well in advance. The disadvantages described above cannot be completely avoided. However, a combination of smart planning, a sensible approach, and imaginative strategies involving utilization of the services of professional home care can help aging individuals enjoy old age to the fullest.

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3 Senior Friendly Large Cities and Why

What is your vision of the right place to retire? Is it bright and sunny? Is it somewhere where your dollar buys you more? Many of us have visions of retirement influenced by books or movies but if you actually think about the needs of your senior years there is more than number of sunny days to consider.

The Milken Institute published a report “Best Cities for Successful Aging” where they measured, compared and ranked 359 U.S. cities for their ability to promote and enabling successful aging. To find safe, affordable and comfortable cities they used cost of living, employment and joblessness, income range, crime, alcoholism and weather. For healthy living they examined number of health professionals, hospital beds, long-term hospitals and facilities with geriatric, Alzheimer’s, dialysis, hospice and rehabilitation services. For financial stats they looked at each area’s tax burden, business growth, poverty, and over 65 employment rates. Cost of homeownership and rental housing, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home health care providers went into the equation. Last but not least transportation availability and cost are considered. This major undertaking created a top list and we will talk about the top three.

Provo, Utah Senior Friendly City

Provo, Utah Senior Friendly City

The number one city is Provo, Utah! Provo has the most healthy, active lifestyle with low smoking and drinking rates. Walking is encouraged and 5% walk to work. Very few fast food options so healthy choices are more prevalent. They have an abundance of care facilities, health workers, and incredibly high volunteer rates. Culturally Provo is strong with arts and universities open to the public. Crime is low, poverty rate very low and lowest for seniors in the country. Access to transportation is good and fares are reasonable. Provo does have a few negatives; unemployment among those over 65 is high and it is a relatively expensive place to live.

Number two city is Madison, Wisconsin. This capital city earns the number two spot due to a high number of physicians, surgeons, and nurses with the continuing care and hospitals to match. Medically speaking Madison is #1. Madison excels in culture and recreation with many community centers, libraries and museums. Senior sector employment is growing and poverty rates are low. For negatives, Madison ranks badly for transportation due to access issues and high fares. It is a college town with binge drinking making roads less safe. Finally, housing is expensive for the Midwest.

Omaha Nebraska Senior Friendly City

Good Life In Omaha For Seniors

Third in line is Omaha, Nebraska earning its spot due to great scores on living arrangements, employment opportunities for 65+, and great healthcare. The university hospital is a hotbed of innovation and state of the art treatments. There are very low jobless rates and the cost of living is very low. Negatives include the weather and low wellness scores due to high rates of drinking, smoking and a generally unfit lifestyle.

These days most seniors want to age in place, meaning they do not want to leave their community family and network. If you don’t happen to live in one of the top cities don’t worry, many city planners are looking at this report and finding ways to improve. With the huge generation moving into retirement every city is looking for ways to create successful aging. Hopefully every city will be a senior friendly city soon.

Access a full list of Senior Friendly Cities 

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Retirement Financial Planning & Increase in Life Expectancy

You will live longer then you think

How long to you expect to live? Morbid question? – maybe – but to be frank most people actually underestimate how long they will live. This sounds good, living longer is the goal, but what if your financial plans run out five years early?

Retirement, Financial Planning & Life Expectancy

Retirement, Financial Planning & Increase in Life Expectancy

Retirement financial planning is a tricky business to begin with but as people live longer it is becoming even harder. When people talk about the ‘average life expectancy’ you have to realize that average means middle; 50% will live longer, 50% will not. If you are 65 your chances of living to 85, according to life insurance actuaries, is basically 50%. if you are in good health with other positives like safe driving and a spouse your life expectancy goes up. The actuary tables extend to 100 years old now.

A second common misunderstanding about total life expectancy. When you hear the quoted life expectancy of an American that is (usually) the average age that a newborn baby can expect to live to. That average includes childhood deaths, inner city violence, all illness, and lives lost in the military – every death is averaged in and this mathematically reduces the total average age. Living past the dangers of youth dramatically increase the probability of living to a rather old age. There is a study that shows that the vast majority of people do not grasp the concept of how long they will live because of a variety of issues. If you take away nothing from this other then the concept that if you are in good health at 65 you will most likely see 85 but you should plan for 90.

Now that you are aware that you will probably live longer then you think, what will you do to plan for that financially? There are many options to be sure you explore.

  1. Pay down debts including mortgages so your monthly expenses are minimal
  2. You can defer taking social security – if you can work longer defer your benefits so you will have them later in life and can increase the benefit amount.
  3. Invest in 401K and IRA’s – the virtues and drawbacks of these could fill a book or 10 – talk to a financial planner
  4. Buy annuities or longevity insurance that will pay you for life as long however long that is
  5. Work with a financial planner to assist you with a plan and to maximize what you have already.
  6. Plan for long term care insurance so medical bills do not drain your savings
  7. Have a back up plan for your back up plan

The earlier you plan the better but only if you plan for a long enough life. There is nothing worse then seeing your savings slip away too soon and worry about money in the years you should be enjoying life. Discuss your needs and wants with your spouse and other family members and maybe an adviser so you can all work together toward that goal. This might all seem daunting but remember, you will live a long life, how happy you make it is up to you.

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Retirement – Things You Can Do Now!

Retirement is what you dream of when you are taking the red eye home from a customer in Baltimore or when you skip lunch for the third day in a row because of endless meetings. Retirement is the light at the end of the tunnel, oh the things you can finally do when you retire!

Then you are there, retired, what to do first?

1. Plan and budget. Figure out with a professional if necessary what your budget is and live within your means. You plan to live a long life post retirement; make sure you can live comfortably.

After step one it is all up to your desire. What have you always put off to ‘someday’? Make your bucket list and get out there and do it. Here are a few things for inspiration;

Senior Travel Enjoy Retirement

Enjoy Your Retirement – Travel the World

See the world – Now that you do not have to worry about vacation limits, go LIVE in another country for six months. You would be surprised how inexpensive it can actually be to live abroad rather then just visit. Do some research and find a rental house or a house trade arrangement and just go immerse yourself in another country and culture. Don’t forget to write (but try not to brag)

Travel the USA – Buy, rent or borrow an RV so you don’t have to constantly find a hotel and go see the sights. If you love baseball, try and hit as many stadiums as possible. If golf is your thing, play as many courses in the country as you can. Not a sports fan? No problem, there are a million things to see and do in this country.

Volunteer – this word just means give of your time, everyone can find a cause they can get behind. It might be planting flowers for your church or coaching a softball team or working with the under privileged. Most of the time people won’t turn away free help so if you interested in any cause or company just ask if they could use a volunteer.

Move – Have you ever wanted to live in the country? The city? Near your kids? Far from your kids? Now is your opportunity to make a move.

Learn – Study keeps our brains young so never stop learning. Maybe a language or a new skill or even continue traditional schooling. It is never too late to get your degree or PhD. Music and art classes abound in most communities, just pick something and see if you like it.

Teach – You successfully conducted a career for 20+ years, you have something of value to teach. Teaching could be at a college, vocational school, or Sunday school. You could tutor or mentor a child. Share what you learned as other shared with you.

Last but not least spend time with the people you love. Get to know your kids and grandkids better or be with your siblings. Visit long lost friends. Plan a weekend with your army buddies. Time spent is good company is time well spent.

This short list should inspire you to get out and have some fun with your retirement. You worked hard to get here so enjoy it.

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Retirement, time for a new beginning

Retirement is defined as; “withdrawal from one’s position or occupation or from active working life”. Note that it does not say withdrawal from life! Retirement is the beginning of the next chapter. A chapter that contains all the fun things that had to be put off for years. 

The day after you finish the celebratory retirement cake at work is the first day of the rest of your life. You might find yourself thinking about work, that is natural, and if it makes you feel better check in. In a few weeks, maybe a month, you will feel less and less like checking in and be ready for that new beginning.

Beginning retirement is similar to the beginning of a marriage so go on a ‘honeymoon’. This little break will help you transition, relax, and celebrate your entrance to retirement. Take time on the trip to think and talk over what you want to do and come back ready to roll.

Retirement_Relaxing_Jog

Enjoy Your Retirement

The biggest asset in retirement is TIME. This sounds daunting and like any big change, sometimes it is hard to know what to do first. Just start somewhere. You honestly can’t go wrong if you are doing something you love, or, spending time with people you love. 

Spending time with your family might be the number one wish for most people. Not being bound by a job, this might be the opportunity to move close to your kids or siblings. If you have grand kids, and your health allows, insist your kids go out for the evening while you get to know the grand kids. Spoil them rotten (but not too rotten) and be the grandparent of the year. If there are no grand kids no problem! Be with the people who mean most to you.

It is very popular these days to take a run at a new career post retirement. This second career can be charitable; you could work for a start-up or small business you believe in and take a small salary to help them succeed. This career could be to try something new; work in a business that you always wanted to see the inner workings of. Retirement used to mean leaving the working world but not anymore, just be careful, don’t completely give away your hard earned time.

Are you worried you will be bored? There are plenty of jokes about how you can do all you have dreamed of in six months. How people retire and then expire. Do not let that be you! If your personal to do list is on the short side here are a few things you might want to begin with;

  • Volunteer 
  • Read the classics (or read trash!)
  • Visit your family and friends
  • Take a class
  • Travel
  • Find a new hobby
  • Throw parties
  • Work out

The more busy you are, the more fun you will have. Being busy will keep you young. Enjoy all the things that come with retirement and live life to the fullest. Make this the best chapter yet.

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