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.

 

How Smart Technology Is Helping Keep Today’s Seniors Safe

There are so many seniors today who are living on their own. While many older adults enjoy the freedom and independence that comes with that decision, there are also a number of risks that can come with living alone. In fact, most people who fall and have to go to the emergency room have these accidents at home. If a senior is living alone—it can be a long time until someone can find, and help, them.

Many families worry about their senior loved one living alone. However, the good news is, there are new types of smart technology that can help make sure that seniors aren’t hurting themselves while they live alone. The key behind the success of these smart devices is that they provide seniors with the opportunity to get rapid assistance, if necessary.

Emergency buttons are one of the most common and utilized types of this technology. These can be worn around the wrist as a bracelet, or around the neck as a necklace. These emergency devices are designed to be on the senior at all times. All the senior needs to do is to press a button and the device will immediately contact a rescue service and allow the senior to talk over a speakerphone in order to provide more information. The device can be localized so emergency services can find the senior right away even if they don’t know their exact location.

Smart sensor technology is one of the fastest-growing new types of smart technology. This is one of the latest developments in smart senior technology and it is one that is changing the way that seniors are able to live at home. While emergency buttons provide a valuable service, if the senior falls and is unconscious, they won’t be able to press a button or talk to the emergency team. Smart sensors can detect if a senior has fallen or changed positions rapidly. Seniors will have the opportunity to prevent false alarms, otherwise a rescue service will be informed and sent to the senior’s home. These sensors can either be worn directly on the body like an emergency button, or a sensor can be placed inside the home that detects movement.

Smart floors and carpets are also a new form of technology that is currently on the horizon and becoming more and more common for seniors. These smart floors and carpets actually use a contact-based sensor system to determine when someone has fallen. There are several companies that are working on developing and implementing this technology into carpets, flooring and rugs. While it is a rather complicated system and can be rather expensive, it truly does provide complete coverage for the entire home, should a senior fall while they are alone.

There are also smart assistants which already help younger generations with everything from finding music to ordering take out. However, for seniors, these smart assistants can now have fall recognition systems in them and be programmed to help seniors get emergency care should they need it. It can even be as simple as seniors saying “Alexa, Call 9-1-1.”

Falls are a serious concern for any senior who is living alone in their own home. The good news is with new pieces of smart technology seniors (and their families) can now feel safer than ever.

Staycations for Caregivers – How They Can Provide A Much-Needed Reprieve

Wouldn’t it be nice if every time you were stressed or overwhelmed, you could jet off to some tropical island and enjoy a magical vacation all alone? However, for most of us, this simply isn’t a real possibility. There are, however, other ways that you can get the same type of relaxing reprieve from your responsibilities—this is possible with a staycation.

If you are not familiar with a staycation, this is a type of mental vacation where you take a break from your responsibilities and the demands of your daily duties and simply take a vacation right at home. You don’t need to go anywhere fancy or pay for travel, but you do need to take some times off in order for it to work.

If you are a busy senior caregiver then chances are you know a thing or two about feeling stressed or overwhelmed. This is why it is such a good idea to take a staycation whenever you need a little break. Here are some great staycation ideas for any senior caregiver who needs a little rest and relaxation in their lives.

Clear the House

If you have kids, a spouse or other friends and family members living with you, then find a time to enjoy your staycation when they won’t be home with you 24/7. While it is nice to spend some quiet time alone with your family members, you still need time to just be with yourself. This is especially important for caregiver types. You need the house empty and quiet and relax in peace. Otherwise you will find yourself being preoccupied with caring for others.

Don’t Do Projects

You may be tempted to take on lots of DIY projects during your “staycation” but don’t be tempted to do them during your staycation. This isn’t a time to fix that leaky faucet or to paint the upstairs bathrooms. It is time for you to relax and unwind and do nothing else.

Read a Book or Watch a Movie

As a busy caregiver can you even remember the last time you sat down in peace and read a book or watched a movie? Chances are you can’t. Take this time to do some reading, go to the movies (or rent one at home) or start your latest Netflix binge. Trust us, you will be happy you did.

Pamper Yourself

There is no better time to really pamper yourself and relax then on your own staycation. Take a long, luxurious bubble bath, give yourself a pedicure or give yourself a facial. This a great time to pamper yourself and really make the most of your time to yourself.

One of the most important things for caregivers to do is to make sure they are taking care of themselves first and foremost. It is so easy for caregivers to become overwhelmed with their responsibilities and overly stressed by the demands of caring for their senior loved ones. Caregiver who take the time to take care of themselves and get the rest and relaxation they need are going to be able to take better care of those that they love. So, next time you feel you need to recharge and relax, consider a staycation—it will not only be good for you, but good for your loved one as well.

5 Great Yoga Poses For Seniors

Yoga is one of the oldest and most popular forms of exercise on the planet. It is a great way to restore flexibility, promote healthy circulation and exercise the muscles. The great thing about yoga is that it is also low-impact, easy and great for people of all types—especially seniors. It doesn’t put a great deal of pressure on the joints or stress on the body. This is why more and more seniors who are looking to stay active try yoga.

In fact, here are five great yoga poses for seniors that aren’t only easy for elderly adults but that can provide some great benefits for seniors as well.

Mountain Pose

This pose is simple and involves standing straight up with a tight core and great posture. It is perfect for seniors who are starting to slouch and helps with balance—something that many seniors struggle with. If you want to keep your feet healthy and strong, this is a great pose to try.

Tree Pose

Tree pose can build leg and abdominal strength. Abdominal strength is important for all seniors, especially those with back issues, while leg strength is essential to preventing falls and keeping seniors mobile and active. Tree pose is especially helpful for the many seniors who struggle with hip mobility.

This pose is simple. Stand up tall, place one foot on the opposite inner thigh above the knee, open the leg to the side and bring the hands in to prayer and hold. It is that simple.

Down Dog

Downward facing dog is one of the most popular poses in yoga and for good reason. It is great for the abs, the back, the arms, joint health and overall flexibility. These are all things that any senior can benefit from.

Here’s how to do it: put yourself in plank then lift your hips up and back into the air until the body forms a triangle.

Cobbler’s Pose

Sit on the ground with good posture and bring the soles of the feet together while opening the knees out to the sides so there is a nice, deep stretch. Sit up tall and take several deep breaths in and out. This is a great pose for seniors who have hip issues and can help with leg strength and stability.

Savansana

You should always end your yoga practice with Savansa. This is a pose where you lie on your back, take deep breaths and enter into a deep state of relaxation. This pose is designed to reset the nervous system and to restore peace to the body and to the mind. This helps with strength, body awareness and can help restore longevity in the joints, muscles and organs.

Any senior interested in trying yoga can do these exercises right at home. Or they can take an actual yoga class at their local gym and community center—there are many classes out there that are specifically designed with seniors in mind and created for those who want to move at a more manageable pace.

Tips For Finding Senior Accessible Vacation Rentals

It’s the time of year that is popular for vacations, and every year millions of families around the world will take off on a fun vacation where they can rest, relax and unwind. While families used to all pile in to the same hotel room when they were on vacation, now vacation rentals are easier than ever to find and book. Sites like Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway all make finding vacation rentals super simple and straightforward. However, if you are planning on traveling with a senior, you’ll want to make sure that you find vacation rental that is accessible for the elderly individuals in your group.

The great things about vacation rental sites is that filter features make it easy to search for homes that specifically have certain features that can make them more senior friendly.  Here are some of the filters to consider and ones that you can use to find senior-friendly homes.

  • Bathtubs with a shower chair or a roll-in shower with a chair
  • A handheld showerhead that can help make showering easier
  • A handicap parking spot near the entrance of the rental
  • Accessible-height beds and toilets
  • An elevator in the home that can help seniors get up and down multiple stories
  • Ramps outside the home for easy access into the rental
  • Grab bars in the bathroom along both the toilets and the showers
  • Step-free access into the home and different rooms
  • Wide-clearance in the bathroom, making it easy for seniors to get their walker or wheelchair in the bathroom
  • Wide clearance into the rooms and wide doorways and hallways
  • Bedroom on the main floor

If you are searching for a home on Airbnb, then you will find there is a filter tab that is specifically for “Accessibility” that allows you to choose different home features such as this. Another great thing about these vacation rental sites is that they have maps available, so you can see how close your rental is to the different attractions or types of public transportation services that you want your senior loved one to be able to access.

Of course, with these rental sites you can also easily communicate with the owner of the property right online. They know the rental space better than anyone and will be able to answer any questions you may have about the accessibility of a rental unit.

There are so many benefits to using a vacation rental service and of being able to rent an entire home, condo or apartment for your whole family to enjoy vacation together. Keep these tips in mind as you look for a rental that has important accessibility features for your senior loved one.

Suggestions to Combat Financial Elder Fraud and Abuse

Elder fraud is the fastest growing form of elder abuse. Broadly defined, financial elder abuse is when someone illegally or improperly uses a vulnerable senior’s money or other property. Most states now have laws that make elder financial abuse a crime and provide ways to help the senior and punish the scammer.

Elder Fraud and Ethics

The elderly are among the most vulnerable in our society. Taking advantage of them through fraudulent acts is a gross violation of ethical standards. Ethics requires that we treat others the way we wish to be treated – The Golden Rule. Yet, fraudsters think little of the damage they do when they defraud elders. Their actions are driven solely by self-interest.

Fraud is a knowing act. It doesn’t occur by mistake. The fraudster intends to cheat elders. Undoubtedly, the act takes place because the fraudster figures the likelihood of getting caught is slim. Elder financial abuse is tough to combat, in part because it often goes unreported. Many elderly victims are often too confused, fearful, or embarrassed by the crime to report it.

Signs of Elder Fraud

Seniors and their loved ones should be very suspicious if they notice any of the following signs of financial fraud against elders:

  • A relative or caregiver becomes extremely interested in the elderly person’s financial affairs.
  • A caregiver is reluctant to spend money on necessary medical treatment.
  • Someone prevents the elderly person from talking on the phone or doesn’t pass along phone messages.
  • There are unauthorized withdrawals from checking or savings accounts.
  • The caregiver claims that some money is “missing.” Or, there are new or recently changed legal documents, such as wills or “powers of attorney” that give this other person rights to conduct transactions.

FBI Actions to Stop Elder Financial Abuse

On February 22, 2018, the FBI announced a coordinated law enforcement action aimed at those who prey on senior citizens. The action resulted in charges against more than 250 subjects who collectively victimized more than one million mostly elderly Americans.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “The Justice Department and its partners are taking unprecedented, coordinated action to protect elderly Americans from financial threats, both foreign and domestic. Today’s actions send a clear message. We will hold perpetrators of elder fraud schemes accountable wherever they are.”

Using a variety of scams, criminals charged in the nationwide sweep caused losses of more than $600 million. The cases, which spanned the globe and claimed victims in every U.S. state, include criminal, civil, and forfeiture actions and were coordinated through local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and international partners.

Fraud Schemes

Last year, the FBI opened more than 200 financial crime cases that involved elderly victims. The investigations covered a range of crimes, from investment frauds to reverse mortgage scams and even their guardians and caregivers.

Friends and relatives also have convinced senior citizens to add their name onto bank accounts, living trusts or wills (perhaps as the sole beneficiary) or grant a power of attorney (giving total control over the person’s financial affairs).

Fraud schemes against the elderly also include a variety of mass mailing and telemarketing frauds such as lottery phone scams, romance scams, grandparent scams, IRS imposter schemes, and others. Many of these schemes are perpetrated by criminals outside the United States. All the schemes have one goal: to trick and deceive senior citizens into turning over their hard-earned savings.

To report elder fraud to the FBI, visit your local FBI office, call 1-800-CALL FBI (225-5324), or file a complaint online at the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.

Blog by Steven Mintz, aka Ethics Sage. Visit Steve’s website at https://www.stevenmintzethics.com/, where you can sign up for his newsletter.

Paying for Home Care: Financial Assistance for Senior Care

Each day in the United States, about 10,000 people turn 65 years old. And while there is availability of senior care facilities, most seniors prefer to live in their own homes, creating a huge demand for home health workers, including nurses, aides and caregivers. In fact, only 5% the aging population occupy nursing homes.

According to the United States of Aging Survey, 90 percent of seniors want to stay at their homes for the next 5 to 10 years. However, two out of 10 Americans aged 70 and above say they can’t live independently and would need help from caregivers to accomplish their daily tasks.

Unfortunately, the same survey revealed that 15 percent of seniors are less confident that their finances are going to last through their retirement. Even more, 8 percent don’t have any retirement plan. One-third of those who were surveyed reported that they are financially unprepared about the costs of long-term care.

To make things worse, 72 percent of low-income seniors have a chronic health condition and nearly half of them are not confident that their finances will suffice for the next 5 to 10 years.

Financial Assistance for Senior Care

As people get older, there are a number of concerns they need to deal with and most of these things require finances. Thus, it is more important than ever to be prepared especially that most seniors will be unable to work and earn a living, accomplish things on their own, and are at a higher risk of developing chronic health problems that would require continuous medical care. While loans for seniors are available – from cash advance loans, home equity to reverse mortgages, and payday loans – there are plenty of financial support options for seniors that don’t require repayments.

Retirement Plans & Benefits

The first place for seniors looking for financial support is their retirement savings account. The most common types of retirement accounts in the US are the 401k, 403b, 457b, Thrift Savings Plan, and IRA. The most common is the 401k as it is provided to employees at their workplace. The 403b, also called TSA or tax-sheltered annuity, is afforded to nonprofit organization employees, select ministers, and public-school employees while the 457b plan is for government employees.

Insurance Policies

Insurance is another important source of financial assistance among seniors, which should cover majority of their healthcare expenses. However, it is important for people to purchase these policies when they are still young and older so as to maximize their benefits.  In addition to private health insurance, there is Medicare – a government-backed health care plan. For people over the age of 50 but not yet 65, the Affordable Care Act gives them access to low-cost health services.

Government-Funded Healthcare

One less known option is the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), a Medicaid and Medicare program that is designed to keep frail seniors out of nursing homes. The program covers home care, hospital and nursing home stays, dental and doctor care, prescriptions, and sometimes, even transportation.

Grants

Low-income seniors can also take advantage of a wide variety of grants for their nutrition, education, and even housing needs. Individuals will have to go through agencies and organizations to take advantage of these. Federal grants are also available and there are plenty of them. They include grants that cover the transportation needs of elderly persons, quality rental housing, access to purchase foods and commodities from the United States Department of Agriculture as well as home delivered-meals, and to volunteer for community service.

Furthermore, many foundations offer a host of programs and services for seniors who need financial assistance with home care. The Foundation Center provides a database of organizations and institutions that support senior care.

Home care is a much better option for many seniors than staying in assisted living facilities. It is less expensive, and seniors who stay at home have a lesser risk of depression, anxiety and other mental health concerns associated with moving to nursing homes. However, senior home care does have a considerable cost too, which depends largely on the region they reside, the kind of services they need, and the duration of care that will be sufficient for that person. It could cost anywhere between $120 and $240 daily, according to the National Council for Aging Care.

While most caregivers are able to provide flexible and affordable range of care services, it still is going to hurt the pocket of many seniors especially those who don’t have enough savings or lack retirement plans. Thankfully, there are various forms of financial assistance available to qualified seniors. These include health insurance, government healthcare programs, and grants offered by both private and public institutions, and foundations. All these are geared towards making the life of seniors more comfortable amidst the struggles of their aging years.

 

 

 

Medicare Cost Sharing

Throughout our working lives, we have FICA taxes deducted from our paychecks. These funds are used to pay for future Medicare Part A premiums. However, the government deducts only enough to pay for future hospital care. Beneficiaries must pay for Medicare Part B and D premiums monthly once they enroll.

This comes as a surprise to many people, but if you think about it, Medicare works very similar to health insurance coverage that we have throughout our working years. We pay a monthly premium, usually through payroll deduction, for our share of our health insurance premiums.

Then on the back end, we also have cost-sharing for our various healthcare services. We pay copays at the doctor and at the lab facility. Our plans also have a deductible that we must pay out of pocket before our benefits kick in.

Medicare works the same way; it is not free. The federal government spends billions of dollars on healthcare for Medicare beneficiaries every year, and each beneficiary must pay his or her own share.

Let’s review what Medicare Cost-Sharing is expected of us when we retire and enroll in Medicare.

Medicare Deductibles

Original Medicare has two parts. Part A covers your hospital inpatient care. Part B covers your outpatient care. Each of these parts has a deductible which you must pay before your benefits kick in. These benefits typically go up a bit each year.

For Part A, the hospital deductible in 2018 is $1340 per benefit period. When you are admitted to the hospital, a new Medicare benefit period begins. You pay the Part A deductible and then Medicare covers the rest of your Part A expenses for up to 60 consecutive days in the hospital.  The benefit period ends 60 days after you have discharged from the hospital.

Should you enter the hospital again after the last benefit period ends, a new benefit period begins, and you will pay the Part A deductible again.

On the Part B side, there is just a small annual deductible. In 2018, this deductible is $183. Once you have satisfied that deductible, Medicare will pay 80% or your outpatient expenses for the remainder of the year.

People who enroll in Part D may also encounter a deductible. Medicare has minimum guidelines each year for Part D plans. For example, in 2018, plans can charge up to a $405 deductible before the plan begins covering your outpatient medications. Plans can collect this entire deductible, or they have the option to charge you a lower deductible. Always consult the plan’s Summary of Benefits to determine what deductible the specific plan will expect you to pay.

Medicare Copays and Coinsurance

After you have met your deductible for each part of Medicare, you will see that Medicare pays a share and you pay a share. This comes in the form of copays or coinsurance that you must pay.

For Part A, Medicare covers all qualified expenses for the first 60 days. If your hospital stay extends beyond 60 days, you will begin paying a daily copay on the 61st day. This copay increases at day 91 and then you enter your lifetime reserve days. Your hospital benefits run out at Day 150.

Many people enroll in a Medigap plan to help cover these gaps. Medigap plans will also extend your hospital coverage for an additional 365 days.

After you have satisfied your deductible on the Part B side, Medicare will pay 80% of your covered services. You are responsible for the other 20%. This is called your coinsurance. There is no annual cap on your potential coinsurance spending. However, most Medigap plans will cover this expense for you.

If you have a Part D drug plan, your cost-sharing after the deductible may include copays or coinsurance. Drugs on the formulary are classified by Tier. You might find that you owe a $5 copay for preferred generic drugs in Tier 1. Copays get higher for brand-name drugs. Tier 5 is for very expensive specialty drugs, and you’ll usually pay a coinsurance amount for those medications. Coinsurance varies from 25% to 33% depending on the plan you choose.

Medicare Part C

Some individuals choose to enroll in a Part C Medicare Advantage plan instead of Original Medicare. These plans pay instead of Medicare and have their own premiums and cost-sharing for their members. When you enroll in one of these network-based care management plans, you will get your care through the plan’s network of providers. At enrollment time, your agent will give you a Summary of Benefits that will show all the covered services and what copays or coinsurance you are responsible for under the plan at the time of service.

While Medicare is not free and does require you to share in some of your medical care costs, it does cover most of the cost of care. You can protect yourself from too many cost-sharing expenses by choosing supplemental coverage through a Medigap plan or in a Medicare Advantage plan. With the right coverage in place, you can have peace of mind about any unforeseen medical needs in the future.

 

 

Fall Safety for Seniors—What Elderly Adults Need to Know

There are more seniors than ever that are currently living on their own and enjoying the independence that comes with aging in place. However, while there are many benefits for seniors who live by themselves, there are also a number of potential risks—particularly falls. Falls are the number one reason that seniors end up in the emergency room and they can lead to serious injuries or even death.

For many seniors, and their families, the scariest part about falls is that they often happen when seniors are alone and when there is no one around to help them. This can cause many seniors to be left alone for hours, or even days before someone checks on them. This is why it is so important for every senior who is living on their own to be aware of some very basic, yet very effective fall safety tips that can help prevent these serious issues from happening.

  • Make sure the home is senior-friendly. There are so many simple, everyday things that seniors can do in order to make sure their home is fall-proof. First, the home should be well-lit and easy to navigate even in the evening. Removing clutter, securing rugs to the floors, and making sure everyday items are within reach are simple, yet effective ways to lessen the chances of falls happening.
  • Have someone check in. A friend or family member should be calling or stopping by the senior’s home regularly. A simple text will even suffice. One of the reasons that falls are so dangerous for seniors who live alone is because when seniors fall and are unable to reach anyone they can spend a long time on the floor, unattended and unable to get up.
  • Invest in smart technology. There are so many great new pieces of smart technology that are designed specifically with seniors in mind. This includes sensors that can be worn and pressed to alert emergency contacts, or even smart assistants and fall-detectors that utilize technology to help seniors should they fall.
  • Pay close attention to the bathrooms. The bathroom is the number one place in the home where falls happen. Seniors should not only be more cautious in the bathroom and aware of the potential risks, but they should also make sure that their bathrooms have been outfitted to be safer for everyday use. Grab bars can be added near the toilet and in the shower for extra stability, and non-slip mats and rugs should be put in the bottom of the shower and outside of the tub. There are even zero-entry tubs that can be installed so seniors don’t have to make a giant step to get in and out of their shower.

The more that seniors know about falls, how serious they can be, and how to prevent them, the better. Falls should be taken seriously and the more that seniors can do to prevent them from happening—the longer they can continue to live safely in the comfort of their own home.

How Baby Boomers Are Redefining Aging

Aging is generally associated with a few negative connotations. For example, there is the false idea that as you age you become less fashionable or more averse to the changing times. There is often the incorrect assumption that seniors spend their time sitting around complaining about the newer generations. Yet, Baby Boomers everywhere are carving out new definitions for the senior community, painting it in a fresh light that shows how adventurous, creative, and ambitious today’s senior community can be. Here are some ways that the Baby Boomer generation is changing the conversation about retirement culture.

Who Run the World? Seniors

Seniors are one of the fastest growing segments of entrepreneurs in the world. As opposed to their younger counterparts, seniors have the wealth of life experiences they’ve undergone, broader networks of people built up over time, plus they may have more financial stability.

One way to measure the rise of senior entrepreneurship is using the GEM study of TEA, or Total Entrepreneurial Activity, which covers a broad range of entrepreneurial activities within the United States. Research has shown that self-employment rates rise increasingly with age, and that the overall TEA rate is 11.8 percent for 55-64 year olds, and 18.4 percent for those 65+. More than half of all small business owners in the United States are age 50 or over, and the highest rate of business start-up activity over the past decade has been among people in the 55 to 64 age bracket.

Seniors Setting Trends

We typically think of newer generations being the ones to blaze new trails and set the latest fashion trends, but increasingly, seniors are showing themselves to be just as adept at making fashion statements. One third of seniors report that stores specially catering to them carry unfashionable clothing. The trendiest retailers are responding by creating more fashionable, higher quality clothing for seniors. Actresses like Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, and Holly Hunter continue to show how older women exhibit style and grace, all while taking on roles that explore the complexity and sexuality of women over 50.

Oldchella

Considering they hold 70% of the nation’s disposable income, it’s no wonder that seniors are going in droves to concerts, travel destinations, and entertainment hot-spots. For example, the Desert Trip music festival, nicknamed Oldchella, was held two years ago and featured the likes of Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, The Who, Neil Young, and Roger Waters. Instead of hot tents and sweaty crowds, concert-goers got grandstand seats and food packages. Overall, the festival took in more than twice what Coachella made that year. Desert Trip won’t make a reappearance, but the same production company recently hosted Arroyo Seco, a sort of middle ground for those too old for the millennial music festival circuit but still young enough to make the trek to the Southern California desert. This festival featured acts such as Neil Young, Jack White, Robert Plant, Gary Clark Jr., and the Pretenders.

Active and Elderly

As the longevity of our lives continues to grow, our need to maintain a healthy, active body will continue to grow along with it. Baby Boomers are well ahead of the curve, trading in the canes and recliners of yesteryear for tennis rackets, running shoes, and even skydiving jumpsuits. 60% of boomers report that they would like to be involved in extreme sports such as water-skiing, climbing, or rafting. Indeed, the Boomers lead the initial fitness revolution of the 20th century, where the rate of Americans who regularly exercised jumped from 24% in 1968 to 59% in 1984. Boomers recognize the importance of physical health and will continue to live active lifestyles into their golden years.

Smart Seniors

Seniors are continuing to adopt more of the tech trends and devices of the modern age. While they are less inclined to be early adopters, they are still using social media, voice recognition software, and smart devices to stay connected and get business done. Considering they have more purchasing power than millenials, expect more technology to become available that caters specifically to the needs and functions of the elderly.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for more senior living blogs and resources, make sure to read our informative blogs every week. They will provide answers to many senior living topics. If your thinking it may be time for your loved one to move into one of the best active retirement communities, Landmark Senior Living is the place for you. People. Passion. Purpose. That’s our mantra, and we live by it every day.

 

COO @ Landmark Senior Living

Matthew Boyle is the Chief Operating Officer at Landmark Senior Living, a series of top rated Assisted Living Facilities in the midwestern United States. He has been working in the healthcare space for 7 years and graduated from Duke University in 2011 Summa Cum Laude. Guided by a relentless pursuit of excellence, Matthew and the team at Landmark are dedicated to creating a supportive environment for the elderly.