Telehealth has become more prominent since the changes that 2020 brought. With in-person care becoming a risk at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people needed healthcare access in a different way, including for mental health services. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 14% of people ages 60 and up have been diagnosed with a mental illness. To answer this call, telehealth care came to the forefront, and it offered some surprising advantages.  

1. Ease of Access

A major benefit that telehealthcare has provided since further implementation is allowing people access to services they may not have been able to get in-person. Whether part of an underserved group or area, or experiencing mobility challenges that make getting to appointments difficult, people who need accessible care options can find them through telehealth services. Many barriers to care are removed when you can see a treatment provider right in the comfort of your own home.

Furthermore, telehealth access is associated with fewer cancellations and delays, allowing you to save time and see your therapist without worrying about transportation, weather, or other challenges that may impact your care. 

2. Cost-Effective

Time is money as they say, and time is priceless. With teletherapy as an option, you save both money and time. Hiring drivers, taking public transportation, or driving your own car can come at a cost. Extra help may also come at a cost that you can save by opting for virtual care.

Less transport time equals more opportunity to do what you love, whether spending time with loved ones, watching your favorite show, or engaging in a new hobby

3. Care Monitoring

Focusing on our mental health is important, but some days we can relapse or struggle more than normal. Addiction among the elderly rose during the pandemic, and it can be beneficial to have a therapist who is able to monitor your progress during times that may be especially trying. 

Aftercare improves recovery success, and connection to a therapist also helps provide support and information when needed. 

4. Comfort and Health

Being human means living with some risk of contagious illness. As a collective, we became acutely aware of this during the height of the pandemic. Being able to enjoy therapy from home means that you can avoid such risks to your health, and depending upon how you feel, you can still join therapy even if you are feeling a little under the weather, without passing on an illness to anyone else. 

It can be difficult for some to share intimate details of their lives with a therapist. If there is a feeling of a lack of privacy, people may withhold information that could affect their healing journey. Depending on your living situation, therapy from home may provide a more private counseling experience. 

The familiarity of home can also provide physical comfort. You can even bring your furry friend along for therapy sessions! 

5. Connection

Though friendships and connections can be made at any age, the older we get, the more goodbyes we may say. A recent Pew Research study found that adults in the U.S. are more likely to live alone than adults anywhere else in the world, with about 27% of Americans age 60 or over living alone. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation. These feelings can be painful and, at their most intense, can distract us from being present in our lives.

Telehealth groups can connect us with others on a virtual scale. For people who may find difficulty when going out or be unable to do so, it offers companionship and connection. There are support groups where people may share common interests and goals while working on recovery and healing. Your therapist is also a connection that can help lend an ear during difficult times. Remote contact can be quicker and easier, where at times you can text or call a therapist as well as do video chats. Telehealth therapy and groups can help bridge gaps that were previously inaccessible in healthcare. 


More and more seniors are turning to online therapy due to its extensive benefits and ease of access. It’s now simpler than ever before to find a therapist who can meet all of your therapy needs. There are a number of online therapy options that are available, and many therapists now offer telehealth options if you go through insurance. 

You do not have to struggle alone. Effective therapy tools are at your fingertips. For further information and resources, see the Senior Coalition blog today!

5 Moving Tips for Seniors

Moving home is challenging and stressful for anyone, but it can be even more difficult for older adults. If you’ve been living in your family home for a long time and have accumulated a lot of possessions, the logistics of downsizing or moving may feel overwhelming. Consider these tips from The Senior Coalition to make the process go more smoothly.

1. Start Packing Early

Whether you’re downsizing or going to become one of the 4.5% of older adults who live in a nursing home or other long-term care setting, you’re unlikely to need all the household items you’ve acquired over time. Start packing early so you can go through all your possessions at your own pace and figure out what you’d like to keep.

2. Hire a Senior Moving Manager

Traditional moving companies are good at helping families move quickly but may lack the experience and empathy required to work with older adults who are struggling with the practicalities of moving, especially if the move involves downsizing. A senior moving professional can help take some of the stress out of moving while still leaving control over major decisions in the senior’s hands.

3. Give Gifts Rather Than Throw Stuff Away

Getting rid of sentimental possessions can be hard for some people, especially those who tend to be nostalgic. Some individuals find it easier to get rid of old possessions if they take photographs of them to preserve the good memories associated with the item. Others may find giving away valuable items to loved ones, or donating useful items to charity, is more palatable than throwing them away.

4. Rekey the Locks in Your New Home

It’s important to feel safe and secure in the new house. Hiring a locksmith to rekey your locks, or change the locks if required, is an important step. The average cost to rekey a door is between $50 and $150, but prices can vary depending on where you live. Whatever the price, it’s worth it for the peace of mind and increased security it offers. Start with a quick search on a platform like Angi: locksmith near me or similar.

5. Plan Something Special to Help Yourself Settle In

Even if you go to great lengths to make moving home less stressful, there’s still that feeling of “What next?” when you’ve completed the move. Pack an overnight bag so there’s no need to worry about unpacking boxes that first night, and plan something you’ll enjoy so you can relax and get used to the new surroundings. That could be watching a favorite movie, inviting some friends over to play bridge, or giving your grandchildren a video tour to share the excitement. Whatever you do, try to make that first night an enjoyable one.

Bonus: Look Forward to the Next Chapter of Your Life

There will always be mixed emotions about moving home, but for many seniors, it’s an important step that helps them live healthy, happy, and independent lives. Focus on the positives and it’ll be easier to take that step and enjoy all the benefits your new home has to offer.

For more advice and resources in navigating life after retirement, explore The Senior Coalition website and blog today!

image of house for sale sign

Tips for Moving on from the Loss of a Loved One

Losing a loved one is an upsetting and difficult experience. While everyone deals with grief differently, in time you will be ready to start living your own life once again. Many people find that the best way to do this is to make a fresh start in a new place. The Senior Coalition offers the following tips for moving on from your loss.

A Fresh Location

Downsizing to a new home offers you the opportunity to make a fresh start. Simplifying your life in this way gives you a fresh perspective, allowing you to focus on your future. Relocating can also help you positively embrace your “new normal.” According to Richard Dama, MA, LPC, “accepting and embracing your new ‘normal’ might help you reconcile your losses.”

How to Downsize

The key to successfully downsizing is to identify your own needs. One of the key parts of positively moving forward is taking care of your complete self. This means your mental and emotional well being as well as your physical health. For example, while your old, large home was great when you were with your loved one, now that you are alone, you may find yourself isolated or struggling to maintain the property. Therefore, selling your home and downsizing may be the right choice for you.

Before you start looking for your new home, work out what you can afford by taking annual income and monthly expenses into account. Getting an affordable rate on your mortgage will be important, so keep in mind you may need to do some credit repair work before applying for a loan. If time is of the essence, there are other ways to qualify for a lower home interest loan rate. Paying for points on your mortgage, for example, requires you to pay a fee to your loan provider when you close on your home in exchange for a reduced payment. If this is an option you’re considering, use a calculator to show you what your possible monthly savings may be.

You should also take the time to find realtors that you are comfortable with, but don’t just go with the first person that you meet. Instead, talk to a few, taking the time to find someone that you feel comfortable with. It is also never too early to contact your realtor. Establishing a good relationship with your realtor, where your goals are clearly outlined, will only benefit you. Due to the pandemic, you may want to look into alternatives to viewing properties personally. Check with your realtor to see if they offer live virtual tours; some realtors offer 3D walkthroughs which will allow you to view a home from many different angles.

Downsizing Doesn’t Mean Forgetting

For many people deciding what to do with your loved one’s belongings is a difficult task. Don’t rush into the “go through” process; you may make decisions that you later regret. Many experts agree that you should wait six months before making any big decisions. Only you will know when the time is right for you.

As you sort through your loved one’s belongings, consider giving items to charity or to close friends and family. They may be glad to have something to remember your loved one by. However much, or little, you go through, remember the most important things are the memories that you shared together. You can’t give these away, and they will stay with you forever, wherever you choose to continue your life.

Decluttering is also an opportunity for you to set aside treasured items for friends and family to have after you pass. When the time comes your family and friends will find it comforting that you thought of them. It will also ease some of the stress that comes with the loss of a dearly loved one.

Losing a loved one is a difficult and emotional process. Allow yourself the space to grieve, practice plenty of self-care, and in time, you will be ready to move on and start living your life again. Moving on doesn’t mean forgetting your loved one; instead, it is simply the opportunity to create new memories to sit alongside your old ones.

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4 Ways to Add Purpose to Your Retiremen

Are you bored of retirement? While some older adults adore their new life of leisure, some of us struggle with nothing to do. However, just because you’ve retired doesn’t mean you can’t be productive.

Now, you don’t have to go back to work full-time to fight retirement malaise. Older adults have no shortage of opportunities to stay active, engaged, and involved. The key is simply putting yourself out there.

Here are four powerful ways older adults can find purpose in retirement and networking tips for getting started.

How to: Become a Mentor

You have years of experience under your belt. Why not use it to give the next generation a leg up? Retirees make excellent mentors because they have both time and experience to share. Mentorship is also a great way to form cross-generational connections.

Professional associations and membership organizations in your field are the best place to look for mentorship opportunities. Retirees can also get involved as an alumnus at their alma mater. Alumni associations are great networking opportunities whether you’re looking to give back or launch an encore career.

How to: Start a Business

Speaking of encore careers: Some retirees opt to launch a small business once they finally have the time and financial stability that entrepreneurship requires.

However, even small businesses and solopreneurs have to wade through legal complexities in order to bring their business idea to life. That includes registering an LLC or other business entity, applying for licenses and permits, and filing for state and federal tax IDs. It may also include naming a registered agent to file your paperwork and receive important business documents. Designating a registered agent service like Zenbusiness for this role can simplify the process.


Luckily, networking can help here too. Local small business development centers, SCORE offices, and chambers of commerce exist to serve the needs of business owners and connect entrepreneurs with the expertise they need to launch and grow a business.

How to: Start Volunteering

Do you feel like your career lacked purpose? Many retirees relish the ability to do meaningful work now that they have spare time. Volunteering is an easy way to make an impact, but how do you find organizations in need?

Start with websites dedicated to connecting community members with local volunteer opportunities. VolunteerMatch and United Way are among the most well-known, but volunteers can also check with national organizations like Habitat for Humanity and Feeding America.

When retirees volunteer, they do more than serve one organization. Volunteering also deepens community connections and opens doors to new opportunities like running for local office or joining a nonprofit’s Board of Directors.

How to: Launch a Charity

Want to do more than volunteer for a few hours per week? Retirees who are passionate about a cause often consider starting a charity.

Before going through the rigorous process of forming a nonprofit organization, research other organizations that share your mission. Can you support the cause as a consultant, launch a chapter of a national nonprofit, or seek fiscal sponsorship for a project? Even if you ultimately decide to start an independent 501(c)(3), networking with nonprofits strengthens a budding charity’s reputation and reach. New nonprofits should join their state’s association of nonprofits, build community presence by hosting and attending events, and tap into board members’ networks.

A life of leisure is enough to keep some retirees content, but for the rest of us, retirement isn’t a time to kick back — it’s a chance to do more. Whether you want to share your skills or build something bigger than yourself, there’s a way to bring purpose back to your retirement. Use these ideas to start networking and get busy once again.

The Senior Coalition is dedicated to working with healthcare professionals to improve care for Kings and Tulare County seniors. Submit this form or call 559-977-6812 to learn more.

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5 Healthy Living Tips for Seniors

Many people believe that as you enter your golden years, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain your health. While many seniors do face medical conditions in retirement, it’s also entirely possible for people to continue eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly throughout their lives. If you’re in search of resources on healthy lifestyle tips for seniors, The Senior Coalition is a great source. In addition, these basic guidelines can help any senior live a healthier lifestyle as we move forward through 2021 and beyond!

Update Your Wardrobe

Want to feel a little better on a daily basis without making any major lifestyle changes? You can start by purchasing some new clothes! No matter your age, you don’t have to give up on looking your best. Select clothes that are comfortable but still give you a wide range of motion, like stylish bathrobes, bras, and leggings that are perfect for relaxing and playing with your grandkids. You could also pick up cozy pajamas to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Gentle Exercise

It’s true that some forms of exercise can be too rigorous for seniors, especially those that have suffered from problems with their joints. But workouts like yoga and tai chi can be great choices! You may be interested in signing up for yoga or tai chi classes specifically geared towards seniors, or practicing on your own at home. And if you would like to enjoy some fresh air on a sunny day, you can practice outside! You can also spend more time outside by taking daily walks — My Fitness Pal recommends purchasing a supportive pair of walking shoes and wearing a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.

Nutritious Diet

Eating nutritious meals is important at any age. As a senior, you’ll want to pay close attention to your diet. Poor nutrition can exacerbate health conditions and lead to additional complications. Ideally, you’ll want to build your meals around ingredients that are packed with vitamins and minerals, like fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean meat, and whole grains. Plus, you’ll want to stay hydrated, especially if you plan to start exercising more often. Aim to drink about eight glasses of water per day.

The Right Supplements

If you’re eating a healthy diet, do you need to supplement? For many seniors, the answer is yes. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on supplements, but a few supplements regularly can help you ensure that you’re getting all of the vitamins and minerals you need. Silver Sneakers recommends taking supplements like Vitamin D and Vitamin B12. If you want to schedule an appointment with your doctor to ask about which supplements you should take, check out your Medicare coverage first.

Make Time to Socializ

Countless seniors struggle with loneliness. Some seniors live far from their family and friends, and others have had to say goodbye to a beloved spouse. Connecting with other people is very important for your mental and physical well-being. Thankfully, seniors have plenty of opportunities to meet new people — you can make friends at any age! You may want to check out social groups for local seniors or you could try volunteering. This will give you the opportunity to meet people who already share your interests, so you know that you’ll have something in common right away.

As the years go on, it can become more difficult to maintain healthy habits. But with a little effort, seniors can focus on wellness and live fulfilling, active lifestyles. For seniors, prioritizing eating well, exercising, and socializing is the key to a happy life!

Are you looking for advice on supporting the seniors in your life or living your best life in retirement? The Senior Coalition blog has plenty of great resources! Check it out today.

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4 Self-Care Tips to Help Seniors Stay Healthy

Living healthfully isn’t impossible just because you’re getting older. Of course, it can get a bit more complicated as your health and physical needs change, but the good news is that there are many self-care methods you can easily incorporate into your daily routine to preserve wellness well through your golden years.

The Senior Coalition recommends these four steps toward better health in retirement.

Take Care of Your Teeth


Oral health is surprisingly critical to overall well-being. In fact, science increasingly shows that the condition of your mouth can reflect physical and mental decline. Issues like diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and depression can often be seen in a person’s mouth, sometimes even before other symptoms are registered.


If there is something keeping you from taking care of your teeth and gums the way you should, it’s important to address the issue. Maybe you have stains from years of drinking tea or smoking. There are whitening solutions that you can apply at home. If you struggle to keep your teeth properly clean due to misalignment issues, there are aligner treatments available to help. Explore your treatment options, including Byte and Invisalign — both of which are affordable and effective — and then take action. The treatment route you choose should be based on your unique condition, goals, and expectations. As a result, you can have a smile you feel good about and one that helps you maintain better overall health.

Add Exercise to Your Wellness Plan

If fall risk is a distinct concern, think about adding mild exercise like swimming to your routine to protect your health. Remaining active helps to maintain your balance, reduce the risk of illnesses and conditions resulting from being sedentary, and enhances your quality of life.

You can improve strength with exercises like wall push-ups, pelvic tilts, heel raises, and targeted stretches, Healthline explains. Other exercises ideal for increasing balance include yoga, tai chi, and even simple weight-shifting practices.

Once you’ve upped your strength, you can take your fitness routine further. Tennis and hiking can both be senior-friendly activities, provided you don’t have any serious health issues and get approval from your doctor.

Get Help at Home if Necessary

While you might not be ready to make a move to assisted living, you might consider enlisting help around the house. If you are living alone, caring for your home and yourself can be a tall order. Especially in a bigger house, even getting around can be a challenge — mobility is a top concern among older Americans, the Census reports.

Whether you decide to downsize to a smaller home that’s more accessible or want to stay in place, getting in-home support is an option. You may select a team of retirement downsizing professionals to help with a move or find a caregiver to help with daily tasks.

In short, whatever you need assistance with, there’s no shame in asking for help. It’s especially worthwhile when your health and independence are at stake.

Focus on Healthy, Simple-to-Prepare Foods

Cooking for one or two people often takes a lot of energy, but healthy meals are a cornerstone of remaining healthy in your senior years. The good news is that healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated; in fact, you don’t need to stock your kitchen with all-organic, fresh produce to maintain healthy habits. Health experts confirm that canned and frozen foods are just as good for you as fresh. Consuming canned fruits and veggies correlates with a higher-quality diet, plus it makes preparing meals easier.

That said, older adults are often mildly deficient in vitamins and minerals like vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin D. Think about adding a multivitamin to target your nutritional needs. But keep in mind that whole foods are always preferable to supplements when possible.

Even if you enjoy good health right now, getting older can put you at risk for illnesses, malnutrition, and physical challenges. However, with these healthy habits, you might find that you feel better than ever. You can’t avoid the passage of time, but with these steps, you can act to preserve your good health and overall wellness.

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planning your retirement

Image credit from Pixabay

More and more Americans are reaching the age of 65 and above and some are even considering to retire at an early age. There are many factors that seniors need to consider when planning their retirements such as the expenses, alternate options, medicare, and type of care they will need.

Here are some must know information that will come in handy when the time comes:

1 Medicare Advantage Plans – Medicare Advantage, also referred to as Medicare Part C, is privately-offered insurance that serves as an alternative to Original Medicare (Medicare Parts A and B). Unlike Original Medicare, which is a federal program that provides the same coverage to all beneficiaries, Medicare Advantage plans are offered through private insurance companies and can have varying coverage levels and costs. Medicare Advantage plans can also provide extra coverage that is unavailable with Original Medicare, such as hearing, vision, and prescription drug coverage.

Seniors interested in Medicare Advantage in California have numerous plans and insurance providers to choose from. Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, and Special Needs Plans are all available, as are MA-PDs, which include prescription drug coverage.

2 Assisted Living Options for Low-Income Elders – Assisted living facilities are an excellent option for elderly adults who are no longer able to live alone in their home, but don’t require the around-the-clock care provided in a nursing home. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly challenging for elders and their families to find affordable assisted living. The high cost associated with many assisted living communities can cause a huge financial strain for many people, but especially for those individuals with lower incomes.

  • Section 202 Program – Low-income seniors over the age of 62 may qualify to live in subsidized housing via HUD’s Section 202 program, which covers both independent and assisted living environments. Established in 1959, Section 202 is the only HUD program that provides housing exclusively for seniors. These properties are often owned by nonprofit organizations.
  • Veteran’s Benefits Veterans and spouses of veterans may qualify for aid from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Although the VA does not pay a veteran’s rent, it may cover some of the services provided by an assisted living facility. Known as Aid and Attendance (A&A), this benefit is a monthly, needs-based payment above and beyond the VA pension that can help cover the costs of long-term care. It is important to note that a veteran or surviving spouse may only receive Aid and Attendance or Housebound benefits (if they are unable to leave their home), not both at once.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance Long-term care insurance, or LTCI, can be tricky. While it appears to be a natural hedge against a future possibility of becoming ill or disabled, long-term care insurance is not a catchall solution.

3 Type of Senior Living – Across the United States, the number of seniors is growing. In fact, according to the US Census Bureau, almost 20% of Americans will be age 65 or older by 2030. With such a fast-growing population, it’s critical for our communities to address the needs and socio-economic conditions of the elderly. And for families trying to find appropriate, high-quality care for their loved ones as they age, it’s important their needs are being met.

Independent living – A lot of seniors prefer to stay home rather than going into an assisted living facility. In an independent living community, residents maintain their independence, living in a private home, apartment or suite, coming and going as they please and making the choices that are right for them. Sometimes known as retirement homes or 55 and over apartments, these communities do not offer health or nursing care or assistance with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and medication management.

Assisted living – At some point in their later years, most older adults will need some type of senior care. Health challenges such as reduced mobility, complicated medication schedules, and reduced vision can make it unsafe for the adult to continue to live independently. Assisted living is a long-term residential care option designed for older adults who need some help with activities of daily living and support in their other daily tasks, such as laundry and transportation.

Nursing Homes – Nursing homes, also called skilled nursing facilities or convalescent homes, serve anyone who requires preventive, therapeutic, and/or rehabilitative nursing care. Nursing homes provide residential care for people who don’t require hospitalization but need 24-hour care they can’t get at home. Some nursing homes are set up like a hospital with staff members providing medical care. Nursing homes also provide a wide range of other services.


Since the aging seniors are the once most likely to be affected by the current pandemic. Here’s a resource guide on when, how and where to get tested for COVID-19.

spotless kitchen

A Parent’s Guide to Prepping a Spotless Home for Sale

As a parent, you know how hard it can be to maintain a clean home on a regular day. Once you start prepping to sell your house, it only gets more stressful to keep the place looking spotless. Selling your house when you still live there with kids can be a challenge. By taking a few steps, you and your family can work together to keep your place ready for showings at the drop of a hat.

Depersonalize Your Living Space

Removing personal items from a home is known as depersonalization. This step can be difficult and time-consuming, but it’s one of the most important things to do. When a home looks like a blank slate, it’s easier for potential buyers to imagine themselves living there.

The process of depersonalizing might include taking down family photos, stowing away personal knickknacks and even repainting the walls a more neutral color. Certain paint color choices can make your home sell for more than expected.

As a parent, you also have to keep in mind that not all buyers will have families of their own. If there are piles of toys and other kids’ items lying around, it might be harder for buyers to picture life in your home.

Get Rid of Clutter

Whereas depersonalizing a home involves storing possessions away, decluttering means getting rid of extra things you don’t really need. Depending on how much stuff you have, decluttering can be a huge job. However, not only will it make your house look great for showings, it will also make it easier to move once that day comes around.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the amount of clutter you have to deal with, you’re not alone. These tips can help you get started on the difficult task. You might also consider trying proven decluttering techniques, such as the ever-popular KonMari Method.

Parents know that there are special considerations to take when decluttering kids’ toys, but the process doesn’t have to be painful. These tips from Simple Families can help you tackle the issue together.

Do a Good Deep Clean

Having a sparkling clean home is essential before the showings start, since few things will give buyers a worse impression than dusty or grimy surfaces. A deep cleaning should address all the nooks and crannies that might get overlooked during a regular cleaning session. That includes things like grout, baseboards, and ceiling fans, to name a few.

It’s possible to do a deep cleaning on your own, but when you’re short on time, it might be better to hire a professional to do the job for you. Keep in mind that not all cleaning services are the same. Apartment Therapy explains what you’ll want to consider when hiring a cleaner for the first time.

Make a Home-Showing Checklist

If you do things right, you should only have to declutter, deep clean, and depersonalize your home once during the process. But that doesn’t guarantee your home will always be in top shape the second the realtor sets up an open house.

The best way to ensure a great showing every time is to have a checklist of things to get done. A good list should include things such as doing the dishes, stashing valuables, putting laundry in the hamper, and neutralizing odors in the home. If you have pets, make sure you have a game plan for what to do. Finally, remember to open the curtains to ensure there’s as much light as possible filling your home.

Depending on the age of your children, you might find that they enjoy helping you check these items off the list for showings. If not, it might be best to give your kids an activity to do so they’re not in the way as you get things ready.

Showing a home with kids can present extra challenges. Luckily, most of the steps you take to have better showings will also make things easier when moving day comes around. Having your place clean and decluttered for showings means you can breeze past those steps while moving out.

Costs Associated with Alzheimer’s Care

Many seniors will eventually need to move to an assisted living facility because they can no longer take care of themselves. It will likely fall on their adult children to identify the signs that indicate it’s time for a change so it’s important they know what to look out for.

Recognizing when a senior would be safer and happier in an assisted living facility doesn’t have to be a traumatic event, and I’d like to help ease some of the stress that comes with this big life change.

I have been writing on this very topic, would you mind to take a look at the article below and let me know if you’d like to share this on your site? In the article, I’ve about what behaviors or factors indicate it’s time to consider the move to assisted living as well as how to have a sensitive and productive conversation about it.

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Wisely Managing the Costs Associated with Alzheimer’s Care 

Tending to the needs of someone with Alzheimer’s is costly in many ways.  It’s expensive in terms of time, energy, emotions and last but far from least, finances.  The financial struggle can be so overwhelming that even though you know things will work out, some days you wonder how you’ll get through.  Here are some words of advice for managing the financial burden that comes along with Alzheimer’s disease.

Learn and plan

When you care for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, it doesn’t take long to recognize the financial toll is tremendous.  It’s vital to become educated on the costs of services, available options, and resources for assistance. According to NextAvenue, Alzheimer’s caregivers spend an average of nearly $60,000 per year.  If your loved one should require nursing home care, a private room costs an average of more than $82,000 per year.  If you need to hire an unskilled caregiver, the cost is an average of $21 per hour. Those expenses can add up quickly, so it’s wise to make appropriate plans for your situation.  Also keep in mind costs for care vary widely, sometimes even within the same city. Paying for Senior Care offers an online guide for locating quality, affordable care wherever you live.

Resources and options

First and foremost, you should think about what options pertain specifically to you.  Chances are you have some resources in place you can turn to in order to pay some of the expenses associated with Alzheimer’s care.  You might want to make a list of your potential resources.

Here are some of the options available for covering the costs associated with Alzheimer’s care:

  • Veterans benefits.  The Veterans Administration offers assistance to veterans and surviving spouses.

  • Area Agency on Aging.  Your local Area Agency on Aging can likely connect you with numerous options for offsetting costs, such as transportation to appointments and respite care.

  • Medicare.  As Huffington Post explains, Medicare does not cover long-term care costs but does assist with medical expenses associated with Alzheimer’s care.

  • Medicare supplemental insurance.  These insurance policies help with some of the expenses Medicare doesn’t cover such as coinsurance, deductibles and copayments.

  • Medicaid.  There are strict financial qualifications to receive Medicaid.  For those who qualify, Medicaid provides coverage for services not covered by Medicare, such as expenses associated with long-term care.

  • Disability benefits.  Those who are still employed when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s might be able to take advantage of disability insurance.  When you stop working you can apply for Social Security disability benefits.

  • Health insurance.  If you or your spouse is still working and one of you is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, your health insurance plan through your employer should help cover approved medical expenses.

  • Health savings account (HSA).  An HSA can be used toward health-related expenses, if you have high-deductible health insurance.

  • Long-term care insurance.  Long-term care insurance is specifically designed to cover the costs associated with long-term care.  That means it helps pay for much of what other insurances do not, including custodial care. Usually premiums rise with age and some health conditions can disqualify individuals from coverage.

  • Selling assets.  Many people have some form of assets available to liquidate when a need for long-term care arises.  This could be in the form of investments, pensions, vacation homes, RVs and so on.

  • Life insurance.  Although life insurance doesn’t help cover costs right away, it can provide you with financial relief in the future.  If your loved one has final expense insurance, it can be used to cover funeral costs and medical bills upon death. You might also be able to sell a life insurance policy for a cash payout if you need the money sooner.

Taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s can often feel overwhelming in more ways than one, but always keep in mind that you do have options for financial assistance.  Start with the above suggestions, and reach out to family for advice and support.

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7 Cheap, Simple Ways to Stay Healthy as You Age

If you’re on a budget, it’s easy to feel like staying healthy as a senior just isn’t achievable. However, health is not a matter of spending lots of money on supplements, superfoods, and exercise machines. It’s about simple and accessible choices, most of which can be undertaken without spending any money at all.

Find Your Best Health Plan

Having the right health plan not only prepares you in the event of an emergency or diagnosis, but it can also help you maintain your health on a daily basis. Depending on your needs, you may discover that you need a better plan than your current one to fulfill those needs. For example, if Original Medicare isn’t offering enough benefits, you can choose a Medicare Advantage plan. This plan combines the benefits of Medicare Parts A and B, plus adds in coverage for dental care, fitness programs, and other benefits. You can find such plans through a provider like UnitedHealthcare. Be aware that plans can change each year, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on your plan to keep getting the best care possible.

Go Walking

Walking is one of the most accessible forms of exercise out there, and perhaps one of the best for older adults. Indeed, benefits for seniors include improved heart health, lower blood sugar, better mood, and more chances to meet up and talk to people. Walk as little or as much as you can, but do it regularly (daily if possible).

Take Up At-Home Exercise

Walking is great for your health, but you do need more for a well-rounded exercise routine. Specifically, you need to work out your muscles, flexibility, and balance. Luckily, these areas are very easy to work on at home, either through online yoga videos or simple exercise routines.

Take Care of Your Home

Believe it or not, the air inside your home isn’t nearly as clean as you may believe. If you don’t open your windows and air things out on a regular basis, you’re pretty much recycling the dust, allergens, and irritants that pets, cleaning products, and other things can introduce to our homes. So, throw open those windows once or twice a week (weather permitting) and let the fresh air in, and spend a few bucks every month to change out your HVAC filters. It’s also incredibly important to keep your eyes peeled for signs of mold, as this could signify a major problem. If you allow this issue to continue, the cost of cleaning your home could quickly skyrocket.

Sign Up for Social Activities

Loneliness isn’t just unpleasant, it’s bad for your health. In fact, research seems to indicate that it may be a bigger health riskthan obesity or smoking. As you grow older, opportunities for socializing may not happen as organically, so you need to actively look for them. There is a wide range of free and cheap social activities you could sign up for: book clubs, walking groups, bridge teams, crafty workshops, language classes, etc. Just pick something you’re interested in and go find other people to share that passion with!

Learn to Batch Cook

Cooking for yourself when you are older can be a chore. You are not always going to feel like making a hot, nutritious meal from scratch, and you may sometimes resort to unhealthy and convenient foods or skipping meals altogether. This is one of the common causes of the issue that is senior hunger.

One easy solution is to cook a few times a week, making big batch meals that can be easily chilled or frozen. Soups, stews, casseroles, curries, pasta sauces – the possibilities are varied and exciting. Bon Appetit has an excellent collection of batch-friendly recipes on their website, such as slow-roasted chicken and overnight oats.

Try Meditation

The benefits of meditation for seniors are well-proven. A regular meditation practice can boost memory, prevent cognitive decline, improve digestion, reduce stress, and much more. It can also help you manage the unpleasant feelings of growing older by grounding you in the present instead of worrying about the future.

Best of all, it can be totally free – check out the Insight Timerapp if you have a smartphone, or alternatively just look up “guided meditation” online and try a few different videos out.

As you grow older, various factors conspire to make it harder for you to take care of your health. Your body changes, your lifestyle becomes more sedentary, you don’t have kids anymore to set a good example for – the list goes on. But just because it’s challenging to take control of your health doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing. The more you take care of your mind and body as a senior, the more you will be able to enjoy the next few decades as fully as you deserve.