Fall 2017 Senior Volunteer Scholarship

The Volunteer Scholarship winner for Spring 2018 has been chosen. Peiyao Wang, who is attending McMaster University and studying Science, will receive a $1,000 for her volunteer experience.

Peiyao has been volunteering at her local retirement home for the last five years.  She has done a variety of things such as helping with Bingo, putting on the Sunday movie and sometimes playing piano in the lobby.  She learned very early on there that the residents want to be spoken to just like anyone else and that they’re extremely perceptive to anyone accommodating for them, such as slowing down their speech or constantly repeating themselves.  Therefore, she learned to be a better communicator with the residents and in general.

After taking some advice from one of the residents at the retirement home, Peiyao is majoring in Science while still putting emphasis on her passion for music.  She wants to pursue a career in health specifically in music therapy for memory loss illnesses.   This scholarship will help lighten the educational financial burden for Peiyao and her family.

See Peiyao’s full scholarship submission video below. Spring 2018 Senior Caregiver Scholarship

The Caregiver Scholarship winner for Spring 2018 has been chosen. Carolyn Scheese, who is attending University of Utah, College of Nursing, will receive a $1,000 for her caregiver experience.

Carolyn has been a caregiver for multiple people and her caregiving experience spans over 35 years.  At one point, she took care of her father-in-law over a span of 12-15 years by driving to his home, which was 1.5 hours away, 3 times a week to help with his care, medication and doctor appointments.  She is currently caring for her mother, featured in her application video, who is very grateful for her tender care and good example.  Carolyn had experiences with others who waited until retirement to do the things they had dreamed of doing but then were too ill to do them.  She learned to “not put things off” and to “take time to vacation and enjoy life now.”

This scholarship will help free up resources for Carolyn, so that she can better care for her mom, her family and her new grandchild.  It will allow her to complete her Post-Masters to Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in Organizational Leadership so that she can teach and share the knowledge she has gained with others.

See Carolyn’s full scholarship submission video below.





How to Get a Life Settlement Quote

Life insurance represents an important financial asset. When thinking about their resources, many seniors overlook their term, whole, or permanent life insurance policy as a potential source of needed funds. Financial advisors may automatically exclude life insurance policies as a financial asset, as well.

The life insurance industry is well-regulated by federal and state laws. In fact, over 90% of the population of America, including Puerto Rico, is protected by state and federal laws that cover everything from privacy to how life settlements are taxed.

People own a life insurance policy worth more than $100,000, are at least 65 years old, and no longer need or want the death benefit associated with the policy may be eligible to sell their policy to a third-party investor.

High premiums, the need to pad retirement savings, rising medical care costs, or even the urge to travel or upgrade their standard of living during retirement are all common reasons that seniors decide to part with their life insurance policies.

Who buys life insurance policies?

It’s important to understand that no “one” person or investor will own your life insurance policy, collect the payout upon your death, or lose money if you live longer than predicted. Life insurance policies are grouped together and multiple investors buy fractional interests in a large number of policies. In some cases, investors or financers provide money to a life settlement provider so they can purchase life insurance policies from individuals.

Who helps people who want to sell their policy get a life settlement quote?

If you meet the general criteria to participate in a life settlement and would like to learn more about selling your policy for cash, you are probably curious about how to get a life settlement quote.

Getting a quote for your life insurance policy means choosing between working with a life settlement broker or a life settlement provider.

A life settlement provider is a company licensed to buy life insurance policies. They do so on the behalf of large institutional investors. Different providers specialize at purchasing different types of insurance – for instance, some providers specialize in buying senior life insurance (a life settlement), versus some specialize in purchasing life insurance from people with serious medical conditions (viatical settlements). A life settlement investor uses life settlement providers for origination. You should never entertain the idea of working with a life settlement investor who shows interest in your policy, directly.

A life settlement provider has a great deal of experience evaluating a life insurance policy. They make offers based on how much it costs to keep the policy in force, the insured person’s life expectancy, and the general investment environment at the time.

Your financial advisor may be able to speak with a life settlements provider directly and eliminate brokerage fees. Be aware that in this scenario, the life settlement provider will give a quote that consists of what they and/or their investors are willing to pay for the life insurance policy. You will not receive competing bids for the policy.

A life settlement broker works on your behalf to get the largest amount of money for your life insurance policy. They work on your behalf and communicate with several life settlement buyers and institutional investors with the goal of getting you the most money possible for your life insurance policy.

You can work with your financial advisor to find a life settlement broker that you are both comfortable with. Unless you have a financial advisor with a lot of experience selling life insurance policies and contacts in the world of life settlement investors, the brokerage fees often pay for themselves when you get a larger amount of money for your life insurance policy.

If you decide to get quotes for your life insurance policy through a life settlement broker, you can rest assured that the entire process is non-binding and free to you. The life settlement broker will collect all the necessary information from you and then generate a guaranteed quote that represents the highest amount of money an investor is willing to give for the policy.

As the policy owner, you have a certain amount of time to accept the offer and proceed with the process of selling your life insurance for the quoted amount, or reject the offer and keep your policy. If you decide to sell your policy to the investor for the amount presented by your life settlement broker, the broker will make a commission on the transaction. You should not be required to pay any money upfront or out-of-pocket. The commission comes out of the total amount of the life settlement.

Here are some things to watch out for if you decide to enter the process of getting a life settlement quote through a broker:

State licensing requirements

While each state has their own laws regarding the life settlement process, you’ll want to be assured that the life settlement broker you choose is properly licensed in your state.

Disclosure of fees and commissions

You should receive information about what percentage of the life settlement a broker charges. There is a 30% cap on commission rates. You may pay as little as 15% commission, depending on the brokerage firm you choose.

Multiple offers

A life settlement broker who is working in your best interests will look for more than one offer. Their goal should be to get the most money possible for your life insurance policy. If you feel pressure to take the first offer to close the sale quickly, you may want to consider using a different firm.

A life insurance broker should be able to discuss the state and local laws affecting your life settlement. In some states, a life insurance agent is required to disclose life settlement as an alternative to surrendering or letting an unwanted life insurance policy lapse.

Many seniors find that their financial priorities change drastically as they age. A life insurance policy that once protected your dependents from financial devastation upon your death may no longer be necessary. Rising healthcare costs, the need for more robust long-term care insurance, or new life goals are all viable reasons behind seeking a life settlement quote.

To learn more about how to get a quote for your life insurance policy, check out this “Get Started” guide.

About Ovid

Ovid is a life settlement exchange. We instantly match you with institutional buyers who are interested in your policy, based on you and your policy profile. Getting an offer for your policy from Ovid buyer partners is completely free. If you do want so sell your policy, Ovid has proven to help obtain average payouts above the industry average. We’re based in San Francisco and have been featured in Forbes, US News, Business Insider for the incredible work we do for consumers. You can learn more about Ovid here.

Deciding Between Assisted Living and In Home Care

There comes a time in many families lives where they need to make some tough and important decisions about their senior loved ones and their future care. Making sure a senior parent or family member gets the care they need during this time in their lives is very important, but it can also be quite difficult. One of the biggest decisions that families must make when it comes to their senior loved one and their care situation is whether assisted living or in home care is the best option.

This can be a complex decision and there is no one right answer, the correct solution is what works best for you, your senior loved one and your family. If you are trying to make this situation, here are some tips on how to help you make the right choice for you and your family.

Take a Realistic Look at How Much Care Your Loved One Needs

Make a list of everything this senior family member will need from their care. Be honest and realistic. It can be easy to sugarcoat things when making this list, especially if you want your loved one to be more independent. Go through every aspect of their day and life from bathing and dressing to transportation, medication management, social engagements, and special needs such as wound care. The more detailed your list, the better. Many times, looking at this alone will highlight what decision is best.

Compare Costs

No one ever wants to think about putting a budget on their loved one’s care or needs, but a budget is necessary in most situations. Compare the costs of in-home care to an assisted living community. Even if a family member or loved one is providing most of the care, calculate additional expenses, utility, food and transportation costs to see how the two stack up.

Look at the Pros and Cons

Make a list of pros and cons of both assisted living and in-home care. There are pluses and minuses to each. For in home care, some of the pros include:

  • Tailored care
  • A senior’s ability to stay at home while they age
  • An ability to choose the caregiver
  • Flexibility in care arrangements

However, in home care also has its cons. It can be costly if 24/7 care is needed. It can place stress on the family, while putting the senior at risk for social isolation and loneliness. Many seniors are at risk of developing depression or cognitive decline when living alone at home.

For assisted living, the pros and cons are both strong as well. Some of the perks of this type of care include:

  • Less stress on the family
  • Family is able to focus more on relationships and less on scheduling
  • Care level can change with the senior
  • Often more affordable for those who need 24/7 care

However, home care isn’t are personal and the quality can vary depending on the staff. There are also many seniors who simply do not thrive in these types of care situations.

So, what is the right answer? It is up to you and your family. The most important thing to remember is that you need to look at the situation from every angle and make sure you are making a choice that works not only for your loved one, but for you and your family as well.

Blurred Roles: How to be Both a Caregiver and a Daughter

When you’re taking care of a family member, sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the role as a caregiver.  We all know how stressful caregiving can be and you may end up finding yourself emotionally removed from your traditional role as a family member.

Because there are so many tasks to complete, appointments to attend, and items to cross off checklists, the act of just being a daughter or son and enjoying your parents company can sometimes get lost in the shuffle.

Below is a personal story about a woman who is a caregiver for her mother, and has learned how to take the time to remember to continue to be a daughter as well.

Today I Am Her Daughter and Not Her Caregiver

Common Myths About Assisted Living

Senior woman and mature daughter portrait

There are many seniors today who are able to thrive in assisted living communities. However, there are still many seniors who are understandably nervous about assisted living and what it may mean for their future. This is completely understandable. Transitioning to assisted living can mean a complete lifestyle change for many seniors.

Before you and your senior loved one make a decision regarding assisted living, it is important to be aware of some of the common myths and misconceptions regarding assisted living, so you and your family can make a smart choice about your loved one’s future living situation.

Myth: Assisted Living Means No Privacy

This is not true. Most communities will offer different choices when it comes to their rooms or apartments so they can have as much privacy as they want. Seniors who prefer roommates can often have them, but those who want to live a more secluded lifestyle will typically be able to as well.

Myth: Senior Living Means No Independence

This is a completely false notion. In fact, most seniors are able to be more independent when they go to an assisted living community. This is because many senior living communities have resources and activities designed to help seniors do more than they would be able to living at home.

Myth: Moving to Assisted Living Means Giving Up Hobbies

While some seniors may be worried about giving up their hobbies when they move to assisted living, community living typically lets seniors be more active than they were when they were living alone. When searching for an assisted living community for your loved one, make sure to look for facilities that have extensive activity programs that align with your loved one’s interests.

Myth: Assisted Living Means Less Appetizing Meals

If you find a great assisted living community for your loved one, then chances are they are going to enjoy the food much more than they ever expected. When seniors are no longer able to cook for themselves they often assume they aren’t going to like the food. In fact, this is surprisingly one of the most common reasons seniors say they don’t want to go to an assisted living community. When touring assisted living facilities, ask to try a meal in their dining room, your senior will probably be more impressed than they think.

Keep these myths in mind if your loved one is nervous about transitioning to senior care. As a family member of a senior considering assisted living, the more you can do to dispel these myths and keep your loved one feeling comfortable and confident about this new phase in their lives, the better.

15 Easy Safety Tips for Seniors to Try in the New Year

Senior in new year's eve celebration with party hats

With the year 2018 fast approaching, there is no better time than the present to start making some new resolutions for you and your aging senior loved one. Making a resolution to keep your senior loved one safer and healthier in the new year is a great way to ensure they will have the best 2018 possible. With this in mind, here are 20 easy safety tips you can start incorporating in the new year that will help your loved one stay safer both inside and outside the home.

  1. Install shower and tub grab bars in your loved one’s main bathroom.
  2. Have your senior’s vision checked at the beginning of the year.
  3. Start encouraging your loved one to do exercises to increase and strengthen their muscles and flexibility.
  4. De-clutter the home so your loved one is at less of a risk of falling.
  5. Check the smoke detectors in the home to make sure that they are all working.
  6. Add new lighting throughout the home to make sure your loved one can always see.
  7. Get your loved one an emergency device like Life Alert.
  8. Paint large numbers on the front of the home to make sure your loved one can always find where they are going.
  9. Invest in new slip-proof shoes for your loved one to lessen their chances of falling.
  10. Take your loved one to a senior-specific self defense class.
  11. Place no-slip mats on the shower and bathtub floor.
  12. Change all of the passwords on your loved one’s personal accounts to keep them safer when online.
  13. Help your loved one learn new microwave friendly meals so they can cook without the risk of using the stove.
  14. Get a new alarm system for your loved one’s home.
  15. Add night lights to your loved one’s home so they can see if they get up and wander in the middle of the night.

Easy tips like this can go a really long way when it comes to ensuring your senior loved one is as safe as possible. Remember, there is no such thing as keeping your loved one too safe, especially if they live alone. Little steps like this will not only give you some peace of mind in the new year, but will also help your loved one stay safe in 2018.

How to Help Seniors With Diabetes Manage Their Diet

Female nurse measuring blood glucose level of senior woman

More seniors than ever are now struggling with diabetes, and if you are looking to help provide quality care for a loved one with this disease, it is important that you help them eat the right type of diet. Proper diet is one of the best ways for seniors to manage their diabetes and to prevent additional health complications.

If you are looking for a few easy ways to help your loved one change their diet for the better, here are a few things to include and avoid in your loved one’s diet.

What to Avoid

Before you start adding new things into your loved one’s diet, it is important to know what you should be removing or limiting first. Starting by cutting out the bad things, is always a smart approach and can make transitioning to a new way of eating easier. Remember, these are suggestions and should be taken in stride. You don’t have to 100% eliminate every one of these things from your loved one’s diet. Portion control and management are key, you don’t have to completely remove every morsel of sugar from their home.

One of the first things you should remove however is alcohol. Seniors with diabetes should really watch their alcohol intake and limit it as much as possible. Other things to limit in a diabetes-friendly diet include:

  • Seniors with diabetes shouldn’t have more than 200 mg of cholesterol per day.
  • Trans fat and unhealthy fat.
  • Processed foods.
  • Seniors with diabetes should have no more than 2000 mg of salt per day.
  • Be careful with packaged foods, drinks and processed items as they can contain hidden amounts of sugar.
  • Unhealthy carbohydrates. Carbs from white bread and white rice and sugar should be removed from the diet.

What to Add

In addition to removing certain things from the diet, seniors should also make sure they are adding the right nutritious elements to their diet. Here are just a few smart additions to your loved one’s diet.

  • Fruit and vegetables. The more colorful the fruits and vegetables, the better. Dark green, bright orange and rich purple fruits and vegetables are best.
  • Lean proteins. Any diabetes-diet should be filled with lean proteins like salmon, white fish, chicken breast and lean cuts of beef.
  • Fiber-filled foods. The more fiber the better for those with diabetes. Beans, nuts, veggies and oatmeal are all great sources of fiber for those with diabetes.
  • Healthy fats. Processed fats, such as fat from sugar are bad, but healthy fats are great for those with diabetes. Good fats can come from sources like nuts and avocados.
  • Whole grains. Healthy whole grains are a good source of carbohydrates. This includes whole-grain bread, beans, lentils and fruits and veggies. Low-fat yogurt and dairy are also good sources.

Keep these tips in mind as you start to help your senior loved one with their diet. The right diet can make all of the difference for seniors with this disease so they can live the healthiest, happiest life possible.

Facts About Alzheimer’s That Every Person Should Know



If you have a senior loved one in your life, then you need to know about Alzheimer’s, plain and simple. Alzheimer’s has become an epidemic in our world today and the more you know about this disease and how it could impact your loved ones, the better. Here are some basic facts about Alzheimer’s that every person should know.

  1. More than 50% of Seniors Over 85 Have Alzheimer’s

This is why it is so important to be on the lookout for signs of Alzheimer’s when you have a loved one 85 and older. It is the most common type of dementia in the world. Over 13% of people over 65 have the condition, and an estimated 5.4 million Americans today are living with Alzheimer’s and don’t even know it.

  1. Alzheimer’s is More Common in Females

More than 2/3 of Americans living with Alzheimer’s today are women.  Part of this statistic has to do with the fact that women live longer than men, but it is important to realize it is more common among the female gender.

  1. Alzheimer’s Rate Are Growing

As people continue to live longer, the number of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease is only growing with it.

  1. 15 Million Americans Are Alzheimer’s Caregivers

If you are an Alzheimer’s caregiver to a family member or loved one, you are not alone. More than 15 million people today act as the primary care provider of someone with Alzheimer’s disease. In fact, 80% of individuals with Alzheimer’s who receive at home care are being cared for by a family member.

  1. Alzheimer’s is One of the Leading Causes of Death in the United States

Alzheimer’s is currently the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. This is why it is more important than ever that we find a cure.

  1. Those With Alzheimer’s are More Likely to Experience Depression

There are so many difficulties that come with Alzheimer’s disease. It is hard to communicate, to live independently and to carry out your normal quality of life.

  1. Alzheimer’s Care is a Large Financial Burden

The total cost of Alzheimer’s care in the Untied States is around $259 billion. Around $56 billion of that amount is paid out of pocket by those with the disease.

These facts about Alzheimer’s may be overwhelming, but they are true and are important pieces of information for any person with a senior loved one in their lives. Make sure that you are looking for changes in your loved one’s memory, personality and cognitive function so that you can spot dementia and Alzheimer’s early on and help your loved one get the care they need if they are in fact dealing with this condition.

Reducing Joint Pain in the Winter

Senior Woman Reading Book By Fire At Home

Now that the winter season is upon us, for many seniors it is that time of year where they start experiencing joint pain. A majority of seniors who deal with chronic joint pain feel as though their symptoms get worse with the weather. In fact, many seniors claim they are able to predict changes in the weather based on the feeling in their joints alone.

Joint pain may be a common issue in the winter months, but it doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that seniors can do to help reduce the amount of pain they feel during this time of year.

  1. Maintain a Healthy Diet

The better seniors eat, the better their bodies will be able to handle joint pain. A healthy diet can help reduce inflammation and joint pain in the body and help seniors maintain high energy levels during this time of year. A great diet for those with joint pain includes healthy fats from nuts, oils and seeds, and a diet filled with lean proteins and leafy green vegetables.

  1. Get Moving

It can be hard to want to stay active when you are experiencing joint pain, but it is very important for seniors who experience this type of pain in the winter to stay as active as possible. Low impact exercises are best for people with this type of discomfort. Walking on a treadmill, riding a stationary bike, swimming at your local gym and doing yoga can all help seniors stay active without putting too must pressure on their aching joints.

  1. Dress Warm

The warmer your senior loved one can dress during this time of year the better. Joint pain can be made worse by cold temperatures. The warmer your loved one can stay, the more soothing it will be on their joints. Encourage them to dress in layers and dress warmer than they normally would, it can help them stay more comfortable.

  1. Add Vitamin D and Calcium to their Diet

Since our main source of vitamin D comes from the sun, it can be really difficult to get enough vitamin D in the winter time. Add some vitamin D supplements to your loved one’s diet to help with their joint pain and make sure to include joint-boosting calcium as well.

  1. Apply Heat for Pain

When seniors have uncomfortable joints, heat is always a smart option in the winter. A heating pad or warm bath can go a long way in keeping seniors more comfortable.

  1. Consider Massage

A massage is a great way to improve circulation and reduce pain in sore joints. It is also a great option for seniors with arthritis as well.

Keep these tips in mind this winter, and all year long if your senior loved one is dealing with seasonal joint pain. The more they can do to naturally keep their pain at bay, without adding numerous pain medications, the better they will feel all season long.