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For the many adults today who are acting as caregivers to their senior parents, the art of caregiving comes with a great deal of responsibility. In addition to providing day-to-day support and care, familial caregivers also need to be prepared to handle emergency situations should they arise. There are a number of important documents that most seniors have and that they may need should an emergency arise. Every caregiver should be prepared with these documents and make sure that they know exactly where these documents are should they need them in the future.

Here is a list of the ten most important documents that every child caregiver should be able to access in case of an emergency.

  1. Birth Certificate and Marriage Certificate- These documents are actually very important and also often misplaced. Make sure to keep them in a safe location or a safety deposit box once they are located.
  2. Driver’s License and Social Security Cards- Most seniors who have caregivers don’t drive anymore and don’t carry around a wallet with their Social Security card. Keeping these documents on file can help you and your loved one out in case of an emergency.
  3. Insurance Coverage Card- Should your loved one need emergency medical care, an insurance coverage card would be of great importance. This coverage may also come in the form of a Medicare or Medicaid card.
  4. Organ Donor Information- While no one ever wants to think about their loved one passing away, if they are an organ donor, you will need to know where this information is, should the hospital need your loved one’s organs.
  5. Mortgage Information- In the event where your loved one is no longer able to pay for their mortgage or take care of their mortgage, you will need to make sure that you have documentation on their property and information on how to sell or make payments on that property.
  6. Legal Power of Attorney and Will- Whether your loved one has a power of Attorney, Healthcare Proxy or Living Will, these are all important pieces of information that give direction and insight should your loved one be rendered unable to make decisions on their own. You need to know what their wishes are and where the official documents dictating their wishes are stored.
  7. Safety Deposit Box Information- All seniors should not only have a safe-deposit box and a key but a list of the contents of that box as well as a directive that has the names and information of anyone who has access to that box.
  8. Financial Information- This includes trusts banking information, loan documents and details about stocks, bonds and other investments.
  9. Burial Plot and Funeral Information- Most seniors will already have a burial plot in place long before they pass. It is important to know where this plot is and to access any information your senior loved one may have left behind about their funeral wishes or intentions.
  10. Insurance Information- Make sure that you not only have copies of your loved one’s insurance policies, including their life insurance policy, but information on how to contact all of their insurance agents.

These documents are some of the most important pieces of information any person can own. Knowing where these documents are and how to locate them can make life easier for seniors, their families and their caregivers should an emergency ever take place.

Moving to an assisted living facility is a great opportunity for many seniors to start a brand new chapter in their lives. When it comes to transitioning to this new type of assisted living community, it is very important that seniors take advantage of all of the new resources and activities that are at their fingertips. Assisted living facilities provide many seniors with the unique opportunity to start trying new things and pushing themselves to get out of their comfort zone.

There are many assisted living communities today that offer different types of dance and exercise classes for their senior members. This is because it is so important for seniors to stay active and stay moving during this time of their lives. Daily exercise is essential to preventing joint pain, improving mood, promoting good cardiovascular health and maintaining a healthy weight.

While many senior assisted living facilities have been promoting this message for years, some fun-loving assisted living residents from Georgia are helping to show seniors first hand, just how fun getting up and moving can be. The two ladies, Mary Thompson, 80, and Eleanor Fredriksen, 83, have recently become viral video sensations with their upbeat dance routine to the popular Silento song “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae).”

The video, seen below, was posted on April 4th on the ladies’ assisted living center’s Facebook page. Since then, it has already received more than 27 million views on Somerby of Peachtree City official Facebook.

Fans of the slick moving ladies can now see their moves on the below YouTube clip as well.

 

While the video is helping the two women garner a great deal of attention, with several news outlets covering the women and their dance moves, it is bringing even more attention to the importance of seniors getting up and getting moving. Both ladies were able to push themselves to try something new, and to dance to something new, but above all things were enjoying a little extra exercise at their senior assisted living facility, all while having fun and making friends.

There are many seniors today who are not getting enough exercise. While pain, discomfort and lack of motion may all be excuses for sedentary lifestyles, it is important that seniors, even those with limited mobility are doing their best to stay as active as they can.

The video may be going viral, but the message behind it is clear: you are never too old to get, up get moving and have a little fun. It is good for the body, good for the spirit and a great way to stay healthy and enjoy life well into your golden years.

technology, communication age and people concept - close up of h

In today’s market, it seems as though new technologies, apps and programs are constantly finding their way into our world. For many people today, including many seniors, the idea of new technology isn’t exactly exciting or seemingly necessary. However, there are a number of new senior-friendly creations that are finding their way to the market and that just may be worth a second-look.

Beddit

Getting a good night’s rest is important at any age, but is particularly important for seniors who want to be their healthiest. This bed sensor helps monitor sleep and give insight into sleep patterns and sleep quality that can be used to improve nightly rest. This can be particularly important for the many seniors today that suffer from insomnia.

TrackerR

No matter how old we get, for many of us there are always times when we just can’t remember where we left things. With TrackerR you can add a simple chip to virtually any person or any one and track it within seconds. This means no more lost keys, wallets, remotes or people ever again.

MedWatcher

As many seniors start to age, it becomes more and more challenging to keep up with different medicines, treatments and doctor’s appointments, yet it is still important that seniors do their best to stay on top of these responsibilities. This is where MedWatcher comes in. This program allows senior citizens to follow up on their treatments, track their medical progress and even acts as a reminder to take their medications.

everyStory

For seniors who want to keep in touch with everything going on with their families, there is everyStory, a cloud-platform where families can share photos with voice message on them. This is a great way for seniors who may not be able to see everything going on with their kids or grandkids to not only share and access pictures, but messages and notes about what is going in in each image.

Red Panic Button

This is a great activity for seniors who live independently or who worry about falling while being alone. All you need to do is tap a big red panic button if something happens and the app will send a text message alert with your GPS coordinates on it to a selected group of medical contacts or emergency contracts.

Well Being Plus

This free program is designed to be a mobile scheduling reminder for adults who may need a quick reminder of appointments, lunch dates, when to take medicine and more. It is a simple yet effective program designed specifically with older adults in mind.

These new technologies were designed specifically with seniors in mind and may just be able to make life a lot easier for many of today’s older adults. You don’t have to be particularly tech-savvy in order to utilize these apps and programs and since most of them are made specifically with seniors in mind, they are actually quite easy to use. Take a look at these technologies and give them a try, they may be just what you or a special senior in your life have been looking for.

In Love Senior Couple

One of the most challenging situations that seniors today face is when their spouse needs care, but they do not. Many married senior couples are faced with this difficult situation when they realize that their husband or wife needs to move to an assisted living facility. Many times the first question out of their mouth is “can I move with them?”

When senior spouses need different levels of care, it is important that all parties involved are prepared for the options that lie ahead. The good news is, there are some assisted living facilities that allow spouses to move in with their significant other who needs care. However, most assisted living facilities have rooms designed for single individuals, so finding the right space or apartment may be a challenge.

The other thing to remember is that there needs to be a balance so that both spouses are getting what they need. While the main focus may be on the spouse that needs care and on finding him or her an assisted living center that provides them with the care that they need, the other spouse should not be neglected in the process. Both parties need to be considered.

As you search for assisted living facilities, make sure that they also have activities and access to things like public transportation, available for the spouse as well. The spouse needs to still be able to live their life. They need to be able to have social activities, enjoy outings and maintain some of their own independence. Just because their spouse needs care, it doesn’t mean they have to live with the same limitations as their significant other.

While some couples may find a place that works for both parties, others may ultimately consider at home care, if they can’t find the right assisted living complex. There are other spouses who may ultimately have to split up and live in separate places, whether it is permanently or short-term until they find a better solution. With such a complex situation, it should come as no surprise that there is rarely an easy fix waiting right around the corner.

With this in mind, one of the best things that couples can do when they start to reach senior age, is to start looking for possible assisted living centers that will meet their needs. There are many facilities that offer progressing levels of care and that are ideal for individuals who may need more care over time and for couples with differing needs. The more prepared a couple is, the easier their transition will be when the time comes. Many of these facilities do have a waiting list, so couples are often encouraged to make the move earlier rather than later, that way they aren’t in a panic should an emergency occurs that prompts the immediate need for assisted living.

It is important to remember that this can be a very trying and emotional situation for any couple, as most couples will want to stay together no matter what. However, the more proactive seniors can be about finding a possible solution for this dilemma, the easier it will be to transition to this next phase of life.

How To Make Friends as a Senior

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Senior men relaxing in armchairs

Being a senior can be a very fun and rewarding time in your life. The wisdom that comes with experience can give you a unique perspective on the world around you while you enjoy perks such as the freedom to travel, less responsibilities and the joys of children and grandchildren. However, for many seniors, one thing that is missing from this exciting and rewarding time in their lives is an active social life.

Social circles are always changing, but for seniors they can often be even more complex. Many times friends and family may no longer be with you, old companions may have moved away to retire or you simply may not get out as much to keep up with different social opportunities. This is why so many senior adults struggle with making and maintaining friendships. While it can be a challenge, it doesn’t mean that you can’t make new friends. Here are some easy tips to consider that can push you in the right direction so you can continue to experience new and lasting friendships well into your golden years.

Start Striking Up Conversations – You never know where you will meet a new, quality friend. Chances are, there are a number of people that you see in your daily life that could potentially be great new friends. Push yourself to be more outgoing and talk to the people you see in your community, whether it’s the friendly neighbor next door, the woman you see at the market every week, or the kind gentleman that is always behind you in line at the coffee shop. You never know who you may have a lot in common with, until you start talking to them.

Join a Club or Group – One of the best things about being a senior in our world today is that there are so many unique opportunities for seniors in communities across the country. Seniors make up a very large percentage of our population which is why social clubs, community centers and gyms alike all have special programs designed specifically with seniors in mind and that are created to be both fun and to promote social interactions. Join a group or facility in your community, they are great places to have a little fun and to meet new people.

Don’t Limit Yourself – Just because you are a senior, it doesn’t mean that all of your new friends have to be seniors as well. You never know who may end up being a great friend, so don’t be afraid to reach out to younger individuals. The nice young couple that moves in across the street may be young enough to be your child but it doesn’t mean that they can’t be a great friends. After all one of the best things about friends is that they can provide you with a unique perspective on the world that makes life all the more interesting.

Hop Online – Many seniors are understandably apprehensive about using the internet to find friends or companions, but you may be surprised to find just how many seniors are on the internet looking for social activities and connections. There are numerous websites that not only help seniors connect one-on-one but that list a number of different social activities and outings in your local area.

Remember, you are never too old to make a new friend. While it may not come as easily as it did when you are younger, if you put yourself out there and keep these tips in mind, you will find many adults your age also looking for new and substantial friendships at this time in their lives.

Check out Beverly “Guitar” Watkins, a pioneer for women in blues, still rockin’ it at 76 years old.  Born in Atlanta, GA in 1939, she’s opened up for Otis Redding, BB King and James Brown.  Beverly has never stopped playing her music and has no plans to stop any time soon!

 

Summer sunSpring is officially upon us, which for many means it is time to head outside and start getting more active. One of the best things about this time of year is getting out of the house and into the sunshine. However, it is important that seniors keep a few warm-weather safety tips in mind when they start heading towards the great outdoors.

After months of staying inside and baring through the winter, it is always a good idea to review these precautions, in case a dormant winter made you forget some of the important safety concerns that warm weather can bring.

Check Your Medication Labels
There are some medications that can cause increased sun sensitivity. There are all types of medications that can caused increased sun sensitivity, but most commonly they include antihistamines, NSAIDS, antibiotics, antidepressants, diuretics and heart disease medication. Check the labels on your medication bottle to see if there is a warning about sun exposure as it can result in serious skin irritations, extreme sunburn, rash or even hives.

Heat Strokes
After spending months cooped up inside, it can be easy to forget that warm weather can be very dangerous, even when it feels great. Make sure you are wearing loose fitting clothing and drinking plenty of water when out in the sun, to prevent fainting or heat stroke. If you feel lightheaded or uneasy, make sure you immediately call for help and try to go somewhere cooler.

Sun Burns

While many of us would love to get a little extra color on our skin, it is important not to forget about the seriousness of sun burns. Sun burns can take their toll even if it isn’t particularly hot outside. Make sure to wear sunscreen and don’t forget about delicate areas such as your scalp, lips and face. A lip balm and moisturizer with SPF can keep your face protected while a quality sun hat can make sure your scalp doesn’t get burned. Just make sure you check all hats and facial products to ensure they actually have SPF in them.

Bug Bites
Bug bites and bee stings can both cause serious health issues, even if you aren’t allergic. There are so many diseases that are carried by bugs today so make sure you are wearing bug spray and outfit your outdoor area with citronella and other bug repellants. Proper shoes, or garden boots can also prevent bug bites along the feet and ankles. The more actions you take, the safer you will be from bites and stings.

Falls
All seniors need to be aware of the risk of falls. Make sure you are taking your time when spending time outdoors to prevent falls. Uneven pavements, sticks, obstructions, stone pathways, fallen branches and more can all cause falls, even if you are normally quite careful. Make sure you are on the lookout and always wearing proper footwear when outside, there are never too many precautions when it comes to fall-prevention.

Spring time means more time outside and enjoying the best that nature has to offer. If you keep these simple yet effective tips in mind while enjoying the great outdoors, you can really take advantage of the best that this season has to offer.

Senior Adult On The Passenger Seat Getting Ready For Trip

The truth about transportation is less than kind for those over the age of 65. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 586 seniors suffer automotive injuries each day. This translates to more than 214,000 total yearly collisions (and more than 5,000 total fatalities).

The open road serves as the ultimate symbol of independence, allowing seniors to maintain control and dictate their own schedules. The ability to drive, however, too often fades with age – with limited physical or cognitive functions interfering with basic acceleration, stoppage, and more. There comes a time when men and women must slip into the passenger seat.

When exactly is that time, though?

Understanding Personal Limitations

The purr of the engine may prove appealing – but it’s not always safe. Seniors must instead examine themselves carefully, identifying potential impairments.

Physical Impairments

According to the United States Census, approximately 40% of the senior population suffers from (at least) one form of physical disability – such as arthritis, ambulatory difficulties, and weakened muscles. These directly impact the ability to respond to changing traffic conditions. It’s crucial, therefore, to consult with a physician and understand the extent of each mobility issue. Note flexibility, strength, and reflexes.

Visual Impairments

The American Foundation for the Blind reports that those between the ages of 65 and 74 experience a 12.2% increase in vision loss (while those 75 and over experience a 15.2% increase). Impacted acuity – including weakened depth perception, glaucoma, and macular degeneration – drastically affects the ability to drive.

Seniors must undergo regular eye testing. While there is no national standard for visual performance, the AMA Journal of Ethnics notes that several states follow a 20/40 ratio per eye. Consult with the DMV to verify specific requirements.

Cognitive Impairments

The Alzheimer’s Association notes that mild cognitive impairments (MCIs) are common among seniors, with 10% to 20% of the total population affected. This leads to an inability to complete simple functions, an inability to recall information, and elevated mood swings (with depression and anger experienced more frequently). The mental and emotional health of each individual may be compromised – which greatly increases the chance for an automotive injury.

Seniors should consult with a physician to identify potential MCIs.

Medications

The American Society of Consultant Pharmacists reports that nearly 92% of the senior population has at least one chronic condition. Of these conditions, 40% will require long-term medication – and with every prescription comes a series of side-effects, each interrupting logic skills and slowing reaction times.

According to the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, 18% of those involved in fatal automotive crashes test positive for the presence of drugs (whether OTC or prescribed). Seniors must recognize the dangers of driving while medicated and be aware of all possible side effects.

Driving is a thrill. It’s also, however, a potential danger – and seniors must understand the risks they take when sliding behind the wheel. Examine physical impairments, visual restrictions, cognitive impairments, and medications to determine whether alternative transportation is needed.

Be smart. Be safe.

 

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