Senior Living Blog

October is Long Term Care Planning Month- how is your plan coming?

October is Long-Term Care Planning Month

Do you have a plan in place?

This month (and any month) seniors are encouraged, and those acting on their behalf, to develop a plan to help meet the high costs of long-term care. For the most part, a majority of long-term care costs are not covered by most health insurance plans or Medicare. That is where planning for Long-Term Care becomes so important. We encourage families to explore long-term care planning options.

There are of course advantages to planning ahead before the need arises. By preparing for the future, you can make choices for how and where you wish to spend your later years. It also removes the burden from adult children and others to make choices for others, a task not often envied by most.

Currently, Medicare only covers medical and rehabilitative care (doctors and nurses) and does not cover non-medical care including help with activities of daily living (ADLs). Medicaid will cover the cost of long-term care but only after an individual has depleted all their assets, and the choice of Medicaid facilities or Medicaid in-home services are very limited.

What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care is a range of services and supports residents may need to meet their personal care needs. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life, sometimes called Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), such as:

Why Plan Ahead for Long-Term Care?

  • Long term care is a leading cause of catastrophic out-of-pocket health care costs for the elderly and their adult children.
  • By planning ahead, seniors will increase the time they have for saving up sufficient money to get the help they want when they need it.
  • By planning ahead when senior are in relatively good health they greatly increase the chances for qualifying for Long-Term Care Insurance which will cover most, if not all, of their non-medical long-term care costs.

There are a number of ways to get started in planning. Many insurance companies

Offer Long Term-Care insurance. Also here are a couple of very helpful sites to begin navigating this process https://www.longtermcarelink.net and http://longtermcare.gov

As you age, you can feel better knowing there are steps you can take to  ensure that your wishes, both medical and financial, are carried out the way you want them.  We encourage you to start this month, in taking a look at your future.  We are here to help if you have any questions.

5 Trusted Strategies When Researching Assisted Living & Memory Care

See a change in your parent or loved one that leads you to believe they might benefit from an assisted living community? You don’t know where to turn. As the healthcare industry experiences a digital boom, 77%  of us begin our healthcare search online, according 2015 Healthcare Consumer Trends survey. But how do we know who and what to trust?

Here are 5 of the most trusted locations to help you begin your search!

  1. Always talk to your family, friends, and neighbors first – word of mouth is powerful
  2. Connect with people who serve seniors such as,
    • Senior centers
    • Rehabilitation Centers
    • Clergy
    • Meals on Wheels volunteers
    • Pharmacists and Dieticians
    • Hospital Administrative staff, nurses, and paramedics
    • Physical, occupational and speech therapists
    • Physicians, including ophthalmologists, neurologists, psychiatrists and geriatricians
    • Psychotherapists, psychologists and licensed counselors
    • Home care and hospice providers
  3. Research online reviews. Review sites publish reviews of local businesses, written by people who have had first hand experiences with the business. The top sites we recommend are Google and Yelp. Some review sites even help users find out which assisted living community will provide the best care for aging parents.
  4. Go to their Facebook page! Check out the vibrancy of the community. Do they go out on outings? Are they consistently connected to family, friends and the community? Are they promoting health and wellness? Do the residents look inspired or challenged? Are they happy?
  5. Call a handful of your favorite communities and set up a tour with your loved one. Experience first-hand what is offered at each community while asking questions.

Alzheimer’s Update

The Alzheimer’s Association International Conference (AAIC) 2015 took place in July in Washington, DC.  The conference provides the opportunity for dementia researchers around the globe to come together and share their study results, with the aim of stepping closer to prevention and treatment strategies for Alzheimer’s and other dementias The conference reported some very promising results highlights include:

Promising new data results for treatment of Alzheimer’s disease

Results from more than a dozen experimental drug studies show the research community attacking Alzheimer’s disease from multiple angles, targeting the underlying causes and some of the most pernicious symptoms.

28 Million Baby Boomers will get Alzheimer’s disease
Projections reported by The Lewin Group for the Alzheimer’s Association show that 28 million American baby boomers will get Alzheimer’s by midcentury — a deluge that will consume nearly 25 percent of Medicare spending in 2040 — unless there are significant advances in treatment and prevention.

Type 1 diabetes identified as a risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease
The study looking at a healthcare database of more than 490,000 people over 60 years old found that participants with T1D were 60 to 93 percent more likely to get dementia compared with people without diabetes, even when the diabetes is treated. More research is needed to validate this finding and investigate the biological reasons for the increased risk in T1D.

Early education impacts future risk for Alzheimer’s disease

Two studies from Sweden suggest a correlation between childhood school performance (ages 9-10) and the development of late life dementia.

Women are at greater risk for cognitive decline and dementia
Women are at the epicenter of Alzheimer’s disease. According to Alzheimer’s Association 2015 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures, almost two-thirds of American seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease are women. Women are also more likely to be caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. The most recent data show that 63 percent of all unpaid Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers are women.

Researchers report new ways to predict the development of Alzheimer’s disease

Studies indicate that brain scans, memory tests and body fluids may hold the keys to understanding a person’s likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s, even among those who don’t have memory and thinking problems associated with the disease.

Physical exercise may be an effective treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia
We know that regular physical activity may reduce the risk of cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Three new research studies demonstrated the value of moderate to high intensity aerobic exercise for people with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, finding that this type of exercise may help them live better with the disease.

 

Different types of Senior Living options

In today’s marketplace there are variety of housing and care types from which to choose from including independent living, assisted living, memory care and skilled nursing care. We can help assess you or your loved one for the most appropriate environment based on your needs. While there are many different types of senior living options available, here is a very brief description of the most common. At  our community Claremont Place Senior Living, we specialize in serving residents who seek Independent Living, Assisted Living and Memory Care.

  • Independent Living Communities offer private dwellings for active older adults. Dining facilities, housekeeping services, transportation, and 24-hour staffing may be offered on site, as well as medical, dietary and other assistance when needed.
  • Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) offer many levels of options under “one roof” providing a continuum of care. It is different from other housing and care options for seniors because it usually provides a written agreement or long-term contract between the resident and the community, for housing, and services.
  • Assisted Living Residences provide a combination of housing, personalized support services and health care designed to meet the individual needs of seniors who require help with daily activities.
  • Nursing homes or Skilled Nursing Facilities provide 24-hour skilled nursing care for residents who require a high degree of assistance and medical care. They provide care for chronic conditions, short-term convalescent or rehabilitative care.
  • Memory Care Communities have specially trained staff, licensed nurses, secure facilities, and cognitive and physical therapies for person-centered care designed for residents with Alzheimer’s and other related dementia illnesses.

We are happy to help you learn more about the many different senior living option available and to assist you in finding the best solutions for you or loved one.

Famous Quotes About the Month of August

“Remember to be gentle with yourself and others. We are all children of chance and none can say why some fields will blossom while others lay brown beneath the August sun.”—Kent Nerburn, American writer

 

“When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.”—Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist and scholar

 

“I bet deep down you still wish your mom would take you clothes shopping every August for the new school year.”—Bridget Willard, American worship leader

 

“The English winter—ending in July, / To recommence in August.”—Lord Byron, English poet

 

“Smell brings to mind … a family dinner of pot roast and sweet potatoes during a myrtle-mad August in a Midwestern town. Smells detonate softly in our memory like poignant land mines hidden under the weedy mass of years.”—Diane Ackerman, American writer

 

“That August time it was delight / To watch the red moons wane to white.”—Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet

 

“The trees tremble with delirious joy as the breeze / Greets them, one by one—now the oak / Now the great sycamore, now the elm.”—From the poem “In August,” Hamlin Garland, American poet

 

 

“I would have learnt to love black days like bright ones / The black rain, the white hills, when once / I loved only my happiness and you.” —From the poem “Dark August,” Derek Walcott, Saint Lucien poet and playwright.

August Is National Eye Exam Month

It’s a fact of life that vision changes occur as you get older, says the National Optometric Association. But, when detected and treated as a result of annual eye exams, these changes don’t have to compromise your lifestyle.

As you reach your 60s and beyond, you need to be aware of the age-related eye health problems that could cause vision loss. However, many eye diseases have no early symptoms. They may develop painlessly, and you may be unaware of vision changes until the condition is advanced. The good news is that regular eye exams can significantly improve your chances of maintaining good eye health as you age.

Age-Related Eye and Vision Problems

In the years after age 60, a number of eye diseases may develop that can affect your vision and eye health. An annual exam can help detect these conditions early, thereby increasing the chances of keeping healthy vision.

Here are common vision disorders that can be detected during eye exams:

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the macula, the center of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye, causing loss of central vision.

Diabetic retinopathy can occur in people with diabetes, and can result in progressive damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina, which, untreated, can lead to vision loss.

Cataracts are cloudy areas in the normally clear lens of the eye that can interfere with normal vision. Current treatments are very successful in successfully restoring vision.

Glaucoma results from increased pressure within the eyeball, which, if untreated, can damage the optic nerve, resulting to partial or full vision loss. People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans, and older adults are at higher risk for developing the disease.

Dry eye is a condition, common among older adults, in which the eyes produce insufficient tears or poor-quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eyes. Effective treatments are available.

How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam? What Will It Entail?

At age 65 and over, you should get an annual eye exam, says the American Optometric Association—or more frequently if you need monitoring and treatment for an existing condition. A comprehensive eye exam entails a review of your personal and family history for hereditary problems relating to eye disease, diabetes, high blood pressure or poor vision. The doctor will perform tests to check for vision acuity, eye muscle coordination, side (peripheral) vision, pupil response to light, color testing, eyelid health and function, interior and back of the eye, and measurement of fluid pressure within the eye.

Signs Your Loved One Might Need Senior Living Arrangements

How can we tell when seniors might be ready for the services of a senior living community? Look for these signs.

  • Depression or low mood. Do you observe a lower activity level? Are they seeing friends and partaking in activities they have loved for years?
  • Loss of mobility. Are they having difficulty moving around their home, or going up and down stairs? Having trouble walking or being unsteady on their feet not only limits mobility but also puts them at risk for falls.
  • Changes in routine. Do they show less interest daily routines such as cooking and cleaning? Illness or mobility issues could be keeping them from maintaining their usual routines. Are they taking care of themselves physically? Look to see if they are keeping up with basic daily routines such as bathing, brushing teeth and wearing clean clothes.
  • Personality changes. Are you noticing different attitudes and habits? Memory loss, difficulty in performing familiar tasks, poor judgment, misplacing items, disorientation, rapid mood swings, increased apathy or passiveness are all early warning signs of Alzheimer’s. A doctor’s evaluation can help determine the cause and treatment for these symptoms.

Please feel free to contact us for more information about finding the best senior living option.

This August Seniors Should Take Advantage of Summer

August is a month in which summer is in full swing- a season that reminds adults of favorite childhood memories like outdoor picnics, long bike rides and visits with family and friends. Those good memories are carried in the hearts and minds of seniors everywhere, and many relish the season fondly. And now that the long, hot summer days are in full swing seniors should seize the moment.

We at Claremont Place would like to suggest some ideas to take advantage of the last month of summer with the seniors in your life.

  • Family get-togethers: The summertime is a good time to invite family over because you can use the outdoors as part of your entertaining space. Make it easy and ask everyone to bring a favorite dish.
  • Take a short trip. Find places to visit within your city or town, or in the near vicinity. Ideas include zoos, sculpture parks, museum grounds, ponds or lakes, marinas, beaches, community gardens or nurseries, hiking trails, shopping villages and downtown areas. Even a walk around a pretty neighborhood you don’t visit very often can provide surprising sightseeing opportunities.
  • Backyard Picnic: Everyone loves a picnic! Eating outside can make even a simple meal seem a welcome change of pace. But you don’t have to trek to a park, beach, or forest preserve; it’s just as fun and much easier to have one in your own backyard.
  • Summer Events: In the summer, many community centers, churches and others serving seniors offer a variety of special summertime events that are fun and easy to partake in. A good place to look for information for these events is in your local newspaper, the library, or you can search online for senior events in your city.
  • Walks: With warm weather and extended daylight, take a walk in the early to mid morning or around dinnertime.
  • Ice Cream: Buy a box or two of your favorite ice cream at the grocer or head out for this all American cold treat, it is truly one of life’s pleasures.
  • See, Smell and Touch: Choose a good summer book to read in the shade of the outdoors; buy toiletries in a favorite summer scent, like lavender, or strawberry and bring in flowers from the garden. Sounds simple- it is.

ALZHEIMER’S NEWS

Recently in the news there have been several reports linking the MIND diet and the prevention of Alzheimer’s.  Researchers have discovered that those who boasted a diet with plenty of berries, leafy greens and fish saw a major drop in their risk of Alzheimer’s. MIND stands for Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay. It’s similar to two other healthy meal plans: the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet. Read more at
http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/23/health/alzheimers-early-intervention/

Is It Time to Start Looking for a Senior Living Community?

Many seniors and their families tend to put off the decision to look into the possibility of moving into a senior living community. The process can seem overwhelming, triggering anxieties about loss of independence, affordability, change of lifestyle—and, in the near term, the difficult logistics of moving. But senior-care experts like us know how to help refer families to the best choices. We assist loved one and those looking for themselves with concerns about the ability to live independently. We are here to help you start the search for senior living options.

One thing we’d like to stress is that there are many more senior living options available today than there were even a decade ago. More than ever, there is a focus on personalizing the living experience for every resident. Lifestyle options are tailored to individual needs and preferences, so residents can choose from the many services and amenities available to them.

The ideal time to begin to look is at least six months to a year before the move will become necessary. Waiting until your loved one is in urgent need of regular care may narrow your choices.

Fun Things To Do with Grandkids This Summer

Summertime offers plenty of opportunities for families to connect—kids are out of school, vacation days are scheduled, and warm weather brings us out and about. When your grandkids (or great-grandkids!) come to visit, do you need some ideas for low-cost activities that are fun for all ages? We have a few suggestions for residents and their families—simple ways to have a good time together, anytime, anywhere.

Teach your grandkids a favorite hobby. Can you play the guitar? Do you know how to knit or crochet? Are you a good cook? Perhaps you’ve got a knack for crafts. A sport you love? Most of us have at least one thing we’re pretty good at. Give your grandkids a few lessons. Or else just let them gather round while you show ‘em how it’s done!

 

Take a slow walk around the neighborhood. Point out interesting things you’ve noticed: old trees, pretty plants, unusual houses, cute pets. Ask your grandkids to tell you what catches their eye.

 

Ride the bus. Take the train. Does your city have a trolleycar? Light rail? Head downtown, uptown, crosstown—or just choose a route and go. Even a short trip can be an adventure.

 

Make iced tea. Brew your own tea and add ice cubes. Bring the pitcher outside or serve it inside, depending on the weather and everyone’s mood. Have an iced tea party.

 

Go to a yard sale. Check the classifieds on Craigslist or in your local newspaper for neighborhood sales: garage, yard, estate, tag, moving. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure! If your grandkids or great-grandkids are small, give them a few dollars to spend on special trinkets.