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Preparedness for challenges of Aging by Laura Carlson —

 

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Are You Prepared for these Challenges of Aging?

Are your retirement years feeling less than golden? Retirement is marketed as a time of leisure, but there are a lot of challenges that come with growing older. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your retirement, however. Here are four challenges of aging and how you can overcome them to truly enjoy your golden years.

Figuring out health coverage

Older adults look forward to the day they can ditch their health insurance and switch to Medicare. But many are surprised to discover that Medicare is more confusing (and costlier) than they were led to believe. While every qualified senior is enrolled in Medicare Part A free of charge, Part B requires premium payments and cost sharing. Additionally, many seniors need supplemental coverage in the form of Part D prescription coverage and Medigap or a Medicare Advantage plan.


Shopping around for all of this coverage can be confusing. Kiplinger explains how retirees can compare Medicare plan options including pricing, networks, and prescription drug coverage. For hands-on help choosing a plan, reach out to your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP).

Planning for end-of-life

No one likes to think about death. Unfortunately, failing to think about it leaves your loved ones in an unenviable position after you pass. That’s why it’s so important to get your affairs in order long before the end is near.


End-of-life planning tasks to tackle include:

  • Creating an advance healthcare directive. This document states the type of care you do and don’t want at the end of life. It also names a healthcare proxy to make medical decisions if you’re incapacitated.
  • Writing a will. If you haven’t already created your will, it’s better late than never. If you already have a will, review and update it as needed. Adults with small estates and no dependents may be able to draft a will without the assistance of a lawyer.
  • Planning a funeral. For many older adults, funeral planning is even harder than estate planning. Nonetheless, it’s an important step to take. Not only does pre-planning and prepaying your funeral avoid disagreements after your death, it saves your family from a big bill: the average funeral costs around $8,500 with many exceeding $10,000.

Dealing with mobility problems

The challenges of aging aren’t all administrative. There are also real physical challenges that come with growing older. Mobility problems in particular can impair quality of life for older adults. When you struggle with mobility, you struggle with everything from enjoying your favorite dance class to getting dressed in the morning.


There’s a lot older adults can do to prevent mobility problems from limiting their lives. In addition to staying active to prevent mobility loss, seniors should consider remodeling or downsizing homes and buying smart technology to make daily life easier.

Losing social connections

Mobility problems also make it difficult to get out of the house. As a result of their own impairments as well as the loss of family and friends, many older adults watch their social circles shrink over the years. But while an active social life is hard to maintain as you grow older, it’s an important component of a healthy lifestyle. Social aging is linked to better mental and physical health and greater longevity.


Keep up your social life as you age by finding ways to maintain connections even when you can’t be face-to-face. Phone and video calls, letters, and long-distance book clubs are great ways to keep in touch with family and friends. Older adults should also take advantage of programs at senior centers, faith communities, and other gathering places to meet new people.


Every life stage has its upsides and downsides, and growing older is no different. However, the challenges don’t have to define your aging experience. Instead of letting age define you, take the reins on growing older and age your own way.

MOVING TO A SMALLER HOME

Don’t Miss These Helpful Steps
When Downsizing Your Home

Mike Longsdon 


If you’re like many seniors, you may be planning on downsizing your home after retirement. Moving to a smaller home can mean less hassle when it comes to maintenance and costs, but you may need some added measures to take the hassle out of your actual downsizing move. That’s where the helpful tips below can really come in handy as you downsize your home. 


Figure Out Your Financial Plans 


Budget can be a big factor in your decision to downsize, so it only makes sense to spend some time figuring out your budget and finance options. For instance, if you want to buy a new home with more accessibility features, you could use VA loans to reduce any upfront costs. With these loans, eligible veterans can finance their new homes without worrying about making a down payment or purchasing private mortgage insurance. Depending on your downsizing goals, you may be looking for ways to move and retire without paying a mortgage. In fact, paying off a mortgage can be a perk of downsizing to a smaller home or even a different location. So, whether you can afford a housing payment or prefer to pay off your home, be sure to include these financial factors as you calculate your downsizing budget


Know When to List Your Old Home  


You may be feeling this stress about selling your home, especially if you need the cash from your old home to purchase the new one. Taking advantage of VA loans and other special financing options can help you avoid this dilemma, but you should also know how to help your home sell faster. One way to attract more offers and higher bids on your property is to list it on a Wednesday or Thursday. That’s because studies show that homes listed on Wednesday tend to sell for more money, while properties debuted on Thursday tend to get the quickest offers. Why so much emphasis on your home’s debut? Well, the same research also shows that listings get the most attention on their first day online, so timing your listing just right can help you make the most of that attention, and make the most of your property listing. 


Start Your New Home Search Online 


You can start your home search online to get an idea of what properties are available and what current prices look like, but when you’re serious about finding the perfect home for your golden years, working with a realtor is a must. Technically, you could buy your new home without a realtor, but licensed real estate professionals have access to countless property listings that you may not be able to see with your online search. Plus, a realtor can take the guesswork out of finding potential properties that meet your retirement budget, as well as your aging in place needs. Because finding a home with aging in place features, like walk-in showers, already included can be much better for your budget, as well as your quality of life. 


Begin Your Moving Preparations ASAP 


When you’re moving homes after so many years, there’s a lot to take care of before you can truly begin the next chapter of your life. All of those little moving tasks, from packing your belongings to prepping pets, can feel like a lot to manage. A downsizing checklist will help keep your efforts on track and give you a better idea of when you should start more involved processes. For example, decluttering a senior home can take more time and maybe even more emotions, so allow yourself plenty of time to sort through those memories. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out for help from loved ones, friends, or even professional move managers, especially if having that extra help will relieve some of the pressure during the downsizing move. 


Downsizing to a smaller home shouldn’t cause you larger amounts of stress. So, avoid any issues during your downsizing move by adding the steps above to your plan. Then you can find a home that fits your golden years perfectly, to make the most of your retirement. 

Service, Therapy and Emotional Support dogs?

What’s the difference?  I recently heard Diane Alexander from handi dogs speak and it was so informative I decided to post about it.  Service dogs are TRAINED to do a specific tasks to  take care of their owner with a disabilitiy.  Only dogs and mini horses are used.  These are the ONLY dogs that can LEGALLY be taken into most businesses and on airlines and be kept in , for example, a rental house..  If a company trains them, you’ll pay $12,000 to $25,000 for a dog.  However, if you use a service like handi dogs, you, the owner train your own dog.  In addition to the cost savings, you’ll benefit by training your dog yourself so if your condition changes and you need the dog to perform another activity, you can train it do so.  These dogs need permission to come into, for example, an assisted living facility.

They must be well behaved, not eliminate while there and have no aggressive behavior.  They prefer  dogs that are 5 months to 4 years old.  Smaller dogs live longer but if you need certain help, then you’d need a larger dog. Certain breeds are easier to train.

These dogs do not have to wear a vest, but you should always ask before you try to pet a dog with a vest.

Therapy dogs are not covered for access to public accommodation.  These animals are there to be loved on.  They can perform animal assisted activities.  Benefits of loving these dogs are reduced blood pressure and release of oxytocin.  They also give stress relief and can help patients have faster recovery times.  

Emotional Support dogs provide comfort and may help those with depression or other psychiatric concerts or to reduce stress-induced pain.  They must be allowed to live with the handler even in no pets housing.  Documentation from a physician or other professional  may be required.

See more at US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section ADA 2010 revised Requirements

When You Need to Tell a Elder Loved One to Stop Driving

 http://bit.ly/2tBUCrg    Thirty-six percent of adult children polled by the Web site Caring.com and the National Safety Council said that talking to their parents about the need to stop driving would be harder than discussing funeral plans (29 percent) or selling the family home (18 percent).

 Senior driving, know the signs for when to have a talk about stopping.

Life The Next Phase

This is a book to help those who have a parent or loved one who may already or may need help in the future.  It is designed to help you navigate the most common issues of your aging parents or loved ones.  It will guide you through four of the situations they are likely to face: needing part-time assistance; needing full-time assistance, handling a crisis, and preparing for what might happen in the future.  It gives you best practices and tools so you can help them live the highest quality of life for their situation.   Pair this with the book “It’s Your Move: Choices for Senior Living”.  Both are available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble and as ebooks.