11 Reasons Why Seniors Should Dress Up

By Nicole Mölders of High Latitude Style

My late grand-grandma always was criticized by her son, her daughter-in-law and neighbors about what she wore. Back in the late 50s, women over 55 were supposed to wear dark clothes (brown, navy, dark gray), but not a bold color floral print. A large cleavage was when you showed your collar bone. She always ignored all rules that made no sense to her. For instance, she refused to marry the aristocrat, and eloped with a painter.
It’s important to live the life you want and to wear what you like. Don’t let society dictate what you should wear. Here are 11 reasons why you should wear what you want, and dress up.

1. Be yourself, everybody else is already taken.
2. You are unique, and not a copy-cat.
3. You are too special to be invisible. Whether you are retired or still in the work force, it doesn’t matter. If you had wanted to wear a uniform (the typical senior colors of greige, olive, khaki, dirty light green, grayish baby blue or rose) you would have joined the military.
4. You feel more confident in your own skin when you wear what you like.
5. Live is short, thus enjoy to play dress-up at any age. It’s not just for little girls.
6. Dressing up involves wardrobe planning and editing, being a curator of your clothes, following trends, budgeting, browsing stores and sales. All these activities keep your brain young and keep you fit. You burn some calories when browsing the stores. Do I have to say it’s fun?
7. People take you more seriously when you are well-dressed. In other words, being well-dressed makes your life easier than looking frumpy. Remember that!
8. Why would you want to waste money on frumpy or ugly clothes that you don’t like just because some outdated fashion rules say you should not wear XYZ over 40, ABC not over 30, etc.. You worked way too hard for your money to spend it on something that doesn’t make you feel awesome.
9. Diamonds look great with everything, not just with a gown at the opera. Wear them with jeans, to brunch, even at the tennis court. The likelihood you lose your tennis bracelet is less than the likelihood to win the lottery. And you don’t play the lottery because of it’s low likelihood to have all six right. Right? So, what?
10. You enjoyed dressing when you were in your teens and twenties. So why stop now? Just because you had to wear the uniform of mommy jeans and T-shirts for two decades? Your kids are raised and your nest is empty. And what is a better excuse not to have to change the diapers of your grandkids than wearing an awesome dress?
11. Last, enjoy your money before your heirs do.

Nicole Mölders is a professor of atmospheric sciences, the author of the style book How to Dress for Success in Midlife, and the CEO and blogger at High Latitude Style. On her blog she shares how to turn fashion into style to look your best in midlife.

Wheelchairs Vs. Transportation Chairs–What’s The Difference?

Approximately one in four adults over the age of 65 in the United States uses a mobility device and there are so many different types of devices out there that can help seniors stay mobile and active. Two of the most common types of mobility devices out there are wheelchair and transport chairs. While these two devices are very similar and are often confused, they do have a few differences and are not the exact same.

If you are considering a mobility device for yourself or for someone else, it is important to understand the differences between these two types of chairs. It is important to understand these differences so that you can determine which type of chair will work based on you or your loved one’s needs.

Wheelchairs

A wheelchair is a common piece of equipment and is obviously meant for people who have issues walking. Many people use wheelchairs in order to live more independently and to get around on their own. They only need to be able to use their arms to support the wheelchair. These chairs typically have large wheels in the back and smaller wheels in front which help provide better movement. A standard wheelchair is made with a steel frame and weighs around 35 pounds.

Transport Chairs

Transport chairs are much lighter than standard wheelchairs. All four wheels tend to be the same size, although the front wheels swivel for better maneuverability. The back wheels, however, are fixed and equipped with brakes so that the user can easily enter or exit the chair. While transport chairs can be made from a variety of different materials, they tend to be much lighter and don’t weigh more than 25 pounds.

While at first sight, these mobility devices may seem similar, they are actually quite different. In most situations, transport chairs are used when traveling or when people who rely on wheelchairs need something that are more mobile and lightweight. The more you know about mobility devices, the better prepared you will be to find the device that best meets your needs.

Transport chairs, however, cannot propel themselves forward. They are best used in situations where the user needs to be in the chair for a shorter period of time, or when they need to transfer from one location to the next. Many people use transport chairs for more temporary situations, while wheelchairs are more commonly used with people who are completely unable to walk or use a walker on their own. Since transport chairs typically aren’t as permanent as wheelchairs, they tend to be less customizable. Wheelchairs, on the other hand, can be easily customized in size, features, materials and even arm length, particularly for those who spend their entire lives in their chair.

Organ Donation Information for Seniors

Are you someone who is interested in making the selfless decision to donate their organs after they pass away? Organ donation can help save lives and is a program that has already helped millions. However, there are many seniors today who have questions about organ donation and aren’t sure if they still qualify for this program at their age. The most important thing to remember is that most seniors can still donate their organs, even as older adults.

Many seniors who are making sure their affairs are in order at this stage in their life have questions about organ donation and whether it is still a viable option for them. This is why we have collected some of the top facts about senior organ donation for those who have questions about making this selfless act later on in life.

  • You can donate your organs when you are over 50. There is a very unfortunate rumor out there that senior adults over a certain age should not donate organs. This is completely not true. In fact the Health Resources and Services Administration recently launched a campaign dedicated to helping encourage adults over 50 to donate their organs.
  • A majority of organs come from people over the age of 50. Approximately 40% of people receiving organ transplants, receive that organ from an adult 50 or older. Approximately 10% receive an organ from someone 65 or older.
  • One person can save eight lives with their organ donation. They can also make a difference in the lives of 75 people with other organ, eye and tissue donations.
  • There are more than 120,000 people currently on organ transplant lists in the United States alone, and 150 people are added to the list every day.
  • The baby boomer population is growing at a rapid rate, yet more than 20 percent still believe they are too old to register as an organ donor. This is not true. There are over 100 million people age 50 and older in the United States, and 20 percent of this population signing up for organ donation could make a huge difference.
  • You simply have to be in good general health to be an organ donor, not of a certain age. There are also more tissues, skin, bones and organs than ever that you can donate, meaning just because a certain organ isn’t necessarily a candidate for donation, it doesn’t mean you won’t qualify.

Organ donation is a completely personal and individual decision. There are many people who choose not to be organ donors for their own reasons, which is perfectly fine. However, it is important that seniors understand that while there are reasons to not sign up for organ donation, age should not be one of them. The more seniors know about their options and their ability to be an organ donor, if they choose, the better equipped they will be to make this important decision for themselves.

5 Tips For Seniors on Preventing Money Scams

Millions of seniors fall victim to financial scams each and every year. As a senior adult who has worked hard for your money, it is important that you understand what these scams are, how to spot them and most importantly, how to protect yourself from falling victim to these scams.  The more you are able to protect yourself, the better off you, and your finances will be.

  1. Remember Everyone is at Risk for Financial Abuse- It is important to remember that you can never be too careful when it comes to protecting yourself from financial scams. Financial scams fall under the umbrella of elder abuse and 90% of all reported elder abuse actually comes from family members. All seniors can be victim to financial abuse, even those who do not have a high income or a large amount of assets. Be aware of the fact that scams can and do happen and you will be better protected than the average senior.
  2. Know How to Respond to Solicitors- Solicitors can be a major hassle for any individual, and they are one of the leading culprits behind money scams. Never buy something from an unfamiliar company. You should always ask for and wait until you receive written materials before you buy anything. If you are actually interested about an offer or about giving to charity, simply respond with “I never buy anything or give money to anyone who calls unannounced. Please send me something in writing.” You should have some written proof in case it turns out to be a scam. You should always know the name of the salesperson and the business before you give any money.
  3. Shred Your Receipts. This is a great way to protect yourself from identity theft and a simple habit to get into. Shred your credit card receipts to make sure that your information isn’t out in the open. You should also monitor your bank statements and credit card information to keep your identity secure.
  4. Get Yourself Off Of Those Phone and Email Lists. Being on phone and email lists is a great way to put your self at risk for potential money scams. These email and phone lists can also be very annoying, and these solicitors can be very tiresome to deal with. You can visit donotcall.com to get yourself off of telemarketing lists.
  5. Never Give Your Personal Information Over the Phone, Unless You Start the Call. Unless you initiate the call, you should n ever give any of your personal information over the phone. This includes your credit card, banking information, Social Security number, Medicare information or anything else that may put you at risk for fraud.

With more people than ever being scammed for money, it is so important for seniors to understand the common signs of money fraud, and how to make sure that they are staying protected against these types of scams.

6 Great Exercise Classes For Seniors

It is important to stay healthy and active, no matter how old you may be. However, as most seniors know, the older we get, the more difficult it can be to stay active. The good news is, there are plenty of group exercise classes out there that are great for seniors and that can help keep older adults active as they age.

One of the best things about group exercise classes is that they are proven to help people stay more motivated and to work harder as they exercise in these group settings. With this in mind, any senior who is considering ramping up their daily exercise program should consider these popular exercise classes for seniors as they can make all of the difference in your health and overall quality of life.

  1. Yoga- Yoga has been around for hundreds of years and is a popular, low-impact form of exercise that is all about stretching, breathing and finding peace of mind when you exercise. Give a beginner’s yoga class a try and it may just change your mind, body and soul for the better.
  2. Walking Club- Walking clubs are a great way to get out, get active and to make some friends while you’re at it. Walking clubs can meet inside during the colder (or extremely hot) months and walk in gyms or malls and meet outdoors when the weather is nice for some much-needed fresh air.
  3. Barre- Barre is one of the most popular exercise classes out there today. It is relatively low-intensity and low impact. It is based off of ballet practices and is great for those who want to build their core and tone their muscles without lifting heavy weight or doing lots of cardio.
  4. Pilates- Much like yoga or barre, Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that doesn’t require a great deal of running, jumping, cardio or weight lifting. You can find Pilates classes for virtually any age or ability level.
  5. Water Aerobics- It may sound like a stereotypical “senior” exercise class, but there is a reason that this type of exercise is so popular for older adults. Water aerobics is fun and it is a great way to get your body moving and your cardiovascular system up and running. Plus, you can get all of these cardiovascular benefits without putting extra stress on the joints, as exercising under water can really take the pressure off of sore joints.
  6. Zumba- Zumba is a super-fun exercise class for seniors who love to get up and dance. It is a dancing-inspired cardiovascular class that lets everyone move to the beat at their own pace. It can help you have fun while you work out so you can really make the most out of your exercise experience.

There is no better time than the present to start making positive changes in your life. An easy way to do this is to join an exercise class today. Give these senior-friendly classes a try—we know you will be happy you did!

Smart Home Technology for Seniors Living Independently

90% of people over 65 want to live in their own home as long as possible. In the past, making this possible might have been difficult. When older relatives became unable to take care of themselves safely, families usually had the choice of having them move in or joining assisted living homes.

Now, with the rise of smart home technology, families have more options to care for their older loved ones. Homes can now be fitted with customized IoT devices to help your loved ones remain independent while also having peace of mind over their safety.

Smart Home Technology Basics

Smart home technology refers to devices in the home that are connected to the internet to make your living situation safer, more efficient, and more comfortable. Families can now enjoy automated lighting and locks, voice controlled devices, automated thermostats, and smart appliances in their homes.

By 2020, it is predicted that there will be 31 billion installed devices to the internet across the globe. These technological advancements are affecting people of all ages, but can be especially beneficial for those in their golden years.

For seniors, smart home technology is not designed just for efficiency or show, but for health concerns and safety. These are the three main types of recent advancements that make senior living safer.

Activity Sensors Prevent and Detect Emergencies

With IoT devices, almost anything in a loved one’s home can be monitored. Motion sensors are useful tools to detect when a senior has gotten out bed, used the bathroom, opened the fridge or moved around the house. Learning objects study the normal patterns of users and and can detect anything out of the norm. Even one’s gait can be monitored to prevent a fall. If there is abnormal movement, the sensors can alert designated caretakers or health providers to come check on the senior. Sensors such as these have been shown to almost double one’s time living independently in their later years.

Health Tracking and Alerts Keep Everything Under Control

Safety and health are closely intertwined. To prevent health issues, smart home devices keep track of client vitals and other health indicators. A specialized bed can track a client’s breathing, heart rate and number of times out of bed. If a client’s heart rate drops and respiration slows, healthcare providers can be alerted immediately.

Forgetting medicine or overdosing are huge safety concerns for people taking multiple medicines daily. Medicine reminders, such as light bulbs that change colors when it is time to take certain pills or smart watches that send alerts, help prevent medical emergencies.

Appliance and Home Security Features Protect the Elderly

If a loved one still prepares their own meals, smart smoke detectors can send alerts to remote caretakers. Also, smart ovens feature automatic turn off after preset time.

Safe locks have become popular devices to more securely control who has access to enter the home such as caregivers and emergency responders. Safe locks act as a sensor to track who is coming and leaving the home.

In emergency cases, older people can use voice activated video calling to call family or medical practitioners in case they are in a situation where they can’t move or find their phone.

The bottom line? Smart homes make independent living safer. Depending on the needs of your loved one, homes can be customized with IoT devices that make living independently possible and safer.

 

Brooklin Nash writes about the latest tools and small business trends for TrustRadius. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading YA dystopian fiction (with guilty pleasure) and cooking.

Summer Safety Tips for Seniors

Summer means we can all get excited about relaxing in the sun and engaging in some of our favorite outdoor activities. However, with the extra sunlight, high temperatures and humidity come a number of health concerns — especially for at-risk groups like seniors.

Fortunately, there are simple tips to follow in order to avoid disaster and enjoy the summertime without worry.

Infographic: Senior Safety Summer

Thank you https://www.alarms.org/ for this graphic.

7 Ways Coffee Can Improve Your Health for Seniors

Some Surprising Areas Of Impact

Eating right and exercising properly are both important ways of ensuring your body and mind are in a position of fullest flourish. But as you age there are other things you can do to help yourself advance in terms of health. Certain supplements and minerals can be integral in this process.

Coffee is one natural substance which can assist your body in functioning at its peak potential. Following is a list of seven notable positive side-effects which accompany coffee drinking.

  1. Coffee Helps Reduce Liver Cancer Likelihood

There is evidence to suggest coffee can reduce liver cancer risks. Now this certainly doesn’t mean being an alcoholic and supplementing with coffee is going to leave you in a healthy place after several decades. It does indicate that coffee could be important in helping you maintain your liver, though.

Coffee is a natural diuretic, and it has antioxidant properties. These are often very good for your metabolism—though how good they are may differ per individual.

  1. Dementia Is Deferred In Advanced Age

Specifically, caffeine is seen to be the key preventative agent in dementia reduction. What the studies found is that those who drink between three and five cups of coffee on a daily basis during their middle years are apt to find a 65% decrease in their risk for advanced-age dementia.

  1. Memory Is Heightened

In seniors, there is research to suggest that caffeine ingested through coffee helps heighten memory. However, there are some conflicting studies out there, so you want to look into how coffee affects you personally in this regard. In the earlier point, three to five cups of coffee were mentioned because personal constitutions will differ.

There will be outliers. Some people won’t get the same benefit out of one cup of coffee as others. All other things being equal, seven-foot tall Shaqille O’neal will likely be less affected by the same-sized cup of coffee as Danny DeVito will be.

  1. Depression Diminution

Coffee can actually reduce depression. The studies say that each daily cup of coffee reduces your depression for by a factor of 8%. It seems like a strange thing to quantify, certainly; but it’s easy to understand why. When you’re feeling energetic, and you’re getting things done, this has a positive effect on the mind. Coffee’s caffeine helps you do this in a healthy way.

  1. Prostate Protection

Coffee drinkers are at a 21% diminished risk for developing prostate cancer. One possibility involves the purification and increased utility involved with the evacuation of processed coffee.

You use your body’s liquid evacuation facilities more often because coffee increases your metabolic rate, and so they become somewhat more reliable just as working out builds muscle. At least, that’s one perspective. There is compelling evidence that coffee has positive impact on most of the organs involved in your urinary system; kidneys, bladder, etc.

  1. Endurance Increase

There is research which suggests the consumption of coffee during exercise makes it possible for those in the gym to have more effective workouts which transcend previous boundaries. The reason is that caffeine reduces the speed at which glycogen (a substance the body uses for energy during a workout) is depleted.

  1. Coffee Helps Burn Fat

Coffee properly consumed will increase your metabolism. It’s already been shown that it helps you have increased endurance, and decreased depression. These things combine together to ensure that you’re more engaged in your day-to-day. You’re doing more, because you feel better enabled to. As you do more, you burn more fat.

Burning more fat additionally increases your overall physical health. That’s why you have fat—it’s an energy reserve. Today’s society is so exceptional that we often have more reserve than we need.

Unfortunately, it requires energy to transport the fat your body has reserved, meaning the fatter you get, the less inclined you’ll be to have physicality define your day-to-day. Coffee can help fill the gap, allowing you to push past these physical and mental limitations such that you can be your best you.

Making Your Perfect Brew

You need to ensure you make your coffee the right way. Some of the health benefits from coffee will depend on the way in which it is brewed. Cold and hot brewing methods influence the beans in terms of their flavor and level of health.

You’ll have a greater chance of finding the right option for you if you know what to look for. Check out Home Grounds for an in-depth review of coffee bars and which one is right for you.

Once you figure out your best brew, and what levels of intake will most appropriately impact your personal health, you can start strategically exploring the many health benefits coffee has to offer with more discerning eyes. You may be surprised at the differences you see.

Sources of Emergency Home Repair Assistance for Seniors

Home repairs can be a costly undertaking for many seniors, especially those who live by themselves and don’t have enough retirement funds. But home improvement is important for them to have a comfortable living. In addition to repairs, they may also require some home modifications to ensure their safety.

The good news is there are various sources of assistance available for seniors especially those who are in need of emergency home repairs. Whether it’s roof or water pipes, fixing leaks for instance can be costly and should not be put aside until a later time.

State and Local Programs

Programs provided by the local and state governments are available in the form of deferred payment loans as well as grants to eligible seniors. Apart from emergency repairs, these programs may also cover home modifications that typically involve accessibility improvements, such as installation of wheelchair ramps, grab bars and handrails, as well as usual home improvements like roofing, insulation work, heating and cooling repair, etc.

Non-Profit Organizations

There are many non-profit organizations that assist seniors living on their own. Rebuilding Together, specifically helps low-income seniors, veterans and their families, people with disabilities, as well as victims of calamities rebuild their homes. The Area Agency on Aging is also a great resource for those looking for non-profit organizations that provide assistance to seniors looking to repair or modify their homes. Furthermore, each locality has a housing or community development department where they can seek additional help and information.

Federal Programs

Taking care of seniors is among the top priorities of the federal government. There are a plethora of assistance programs aimed at making older adults healthy, safe, and happy, ranging from healthcare plans to housing assistance. The Department of Housing and Urban Development, for instance, provides HUD insured loans through private lenders to support the financial needs of seniors when it comes to home repairs and improvement. This means they will have access to low-interest personal loans online or through local lenders with easy and flexible payment terms. Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (USDA), through its Rural Development program, offers grants and loans to qualified low-income elderly. The maximum loan a senior can get is $20,000 while grants have a lifetime limit of $7,500. Some applicants can even avail of a combination of grant and loan. This is according to the Section 504 Home Repair program of the USDA.

Veterans Services

For veterans, there are additional sources of home repair assistance, such as SAH, SHA and HISA grants. In addition, the Veterans-Directed Home and Community Based Services program, gives veterans who remain in their homes some financial assistance wherein they have some discretion as to where they are going to use the fund. This is a great way to cover for an emergency home repair.

Discounted Contractor Services

Some home contractors offer home modification and repair services at a discounted price exclusively for seniors while others charge clients on a sliding scale. It is a great idea to inquire about their senior programs (if any) when asking for estimates or having consultations.

Reverse Mortgages

This program is provided to seniors 62 years old and above who own their home (or still have small remaining balance) and are currently living there. The reverse mortgage lets them convert part of their home equity into cash, which can be used for improvements. However, reverse mortgages are expensive loans and should be used as a last resort.

Medicaid and Medicare Housing-Related Services

Not necessarily for emergency repairs, Medicaid and Medicare programs also provide some sort of financial help to seniors so they can live comfortably and safely in their own homes through home modifications and medical equipment like wheelchairs or hospital beds. Each state has different eligibility requirements so it is important for seniors to contact their local Medicaid office for information.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

This is provided to households and seniors whose income fall below the average and are in need of energy crisis assistance. Through the LIHEAP, they can pay for heating and cooling energy bills, weatherization, and other energy-related home expenses. For more information, seniors may contact their respective LIHEAP local office.

Many seniors choose to live independently in their own homes. But just like them, over time, their homes get a little frail and will certainly have some broken or damaged areas that need to be fixed. Emergency home repairs are no doubt costly. In fact, according to a 2016 survey, most americans have to scramble to cover the cost. It can be much more difficult for seniors who no longer have a steady source of income and are simply relying on their retirement benefits. Thankfully, there are several ways to get the financial help they need to keep their homes safe and comfortable to live in.