Lamp for Seniors with Low Vision

As we age, our eyes naturally lose some of their ability to focus close-in. This premium-grade lamp is a simple and effective solution for seeing almost anything bigger, better and brighter. This lamp has a 2 in 1 lighting & magnification tool and is a great reading aid for professional, home or hobby use. Click here to learn more and to purchase the lamp.

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3 Best Cell Phones for Seniors

As the technology sector continues to grow and advance, we’re seeing more and more cell phones equipped with a larger amount of buttons, add ons and/or touch screens. Though this may be great for the current technology enthused generation, it’s not necessarily the best for today’s senior citizens who are used to older technology. In fact, many of the new styles of cell phones can be difficult to understand, hold on to and hear thus causing  difficulties. Luckily, there are a few types of cell phones out on the market today that are specifically designed with ease-of-use in mind and are perfect for senior citizens.

Below you’ll find a list of 3 different cells phones along with their descriptions.

Each of them have their own unique characteristics, range in price and vary in look but in the end they are all focused on one single goal- to make life a little easier. With all of the different things that can cause concern for senior citizens, it’s nice to know that a cell phone doesn’t have to be one of them.

Here are 3 of the best cell phones for senior citizens

Snapfon ezTWO (click for details)

snapfonReminiscent of the older cell phones, the Snapfon ezTWO comes equipped with a speaking keypad, big buttons, a full color screen and enhanced volume for the hearing impaired. These features allow for one to clearly see and hear what button is being pressed and when a call is being made or coming in. There is also a keypad lock switch that protects the phone owner from accidentally dialing a number.

If a hearing aid is involved, you’ll be relieved to know that this model is hearing aid compatible. This means that there will be little to no noise bounce or background noise. Also, with the purchase of the Snapfon service, one will have access to oneCall moble 24-7 Mobile Urgent Monitoring Service.

Senior Citizen elder’s Easy Mobile Phone (click for details)

elders-easy-mobileSpecially designed for seniors in mind, the Senior Citizen elder’s Easy Mobile phone comes with an SOS button on the back of the phone. This allows for a quick call to be made to the person assigned as the emergency contact. The phone also comes with extra large buttons that help to allow for an easier dialing. This comes in very handy for the senior with poor eyesight or arthritis.

The screen itself is brightly lit and showcases large icons that help with navigation. This helps to allow for more of a user friendly experience.

Jitterbug J Cell Phone (click for details)

jitterbug-phoneA little higher in the price bracket is the well known and sought out Jitterbug cell phone. One of the most common reasons that this particular phone is purchased is because of its powerful speakers that help to deliver a clearer and louder voice that is thus easier to understand. The volume can also be easily adjusted to fit its users needs. As with the above mentioned cell phones, Jitterbug offers large buttons and numbers on the display screen large enough to read easily.

When one purchases the phone, they also gain access to a live operator that is available 24/7. Unlike the other phones, pay as you go plans are available which allow for one to customize their phone use even more while regulating how much they spend each month.

At SearchSeniorLiving.com, we are dedicated to helping you and your family ease the search for just the right community!  For more information and to use our Search, Sort and Match ™ tool, please visit our website or call us at 877-243-8073.

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How to File for Social Security Disability Benefits

In the world of Social Security, the disability department reigns king with several different programs available that focus on helping to provide assistance to those in need. When first looking into all of the details, it’s perfectly understandable to feel a bit on the overwhelmed side. Below is a general synopsis of what the Social Security disability program’s benefits are, how to file and what to expect.

What are Social Security disability benefits?

Before we can dive into how to file for Social Security disability benefits, it is good to first understand what they are. In essence, disability benefits provided by the U.S. Social Security department are benefits that are paid by the government to people who can no longer work due to a medical condition that is expected to last at least one year or until the time of death. The amount of money that is paid on a monthly basis is determined by your average lifetime earnings. There are programs from other departments that will assist those in need. However, the Social Security program is considered to be the strictest with a long application process and waiting time, so it is important to start the claim process as soon as possible.

Things to consider before filing

Social Security disability claims take the longest time to process in comparison with other types of Social Security claims.  The general estimated time for a claim to process and either be accepted or declined is between 3 and 5 months. In order to help speed up the process, there are documents needed when you apply:

  • Your Social Security number as well as proof of your age
  • All of the names and dosages of any medications that you are currently taking
  • Medical records from any of the medical personnel you go to including but not limited to: doctors, therapists, hospitals, case workers and more.
  • The names, office addresses and business phone numbers of the medical personnel that took care of you. These addresses and phone numbers should not be their personal information but rather the numbers and addresses of the offices in which they work.
  • Any laboratory and test results
  • A summary of where you worked and the type of work you did
  • Your most recent W-2 form or if you were self employed, a copy of your most recent federal tax return.

When gathering all of the above information, it’s important to note that any documents you recover must be either originals or copies that have been certified by the issuing office. You can then either mail them or personally bring them to your local Social Security office. You will then be given back your copies once photocopies have been made and delivered to the appropriate representative.

With that said, if you are unable to get all of the paperwork necessary, still start the filing process right away. Social Security representatives will help you gather the rest.

How to file for benefits

There are three different ways to file, making it easy to find the one that best fits your schedule and circumstances.

Filing In Person

If you wish to file with a representative in person, you can visit your local Social Security office. If filing this way, it’s best to make an appointment ahead of time by calling first. This way you don’t run the risk of having to wait a long time for your turn or worse, having to return another day.

Filing By Phone

You can call toll free at 1-800-772-1213. If you are hard of hearing or deaf, you can call TTY 1-800-325-0778.

Filing Online

Using the internet to file has become more and more popular throughout the years. If you choose to file this way, you can find the official application at ssa.gov.

How do you receive your payments?

In 2013, the government started to put an end to its check payment program for all of the Social Security departments. Now you have the choice of two options: direct deposit or the Direct Express card program. Through direct deposit, your monthly payment will be sent straight to your chosen bank account where you can then use the money however you see fit. If you wish to then use a check for a purchase, the money from the Social Security payment will already be deposited and available for your use. The Direct Express card program works a bit differently with your payment deposited onto the card rather than your bank account. With this card you are allowed to make purchases and track the money amount on the card but you will not be able to withdraw cash for purchases.

What happens if your application is denied?

If after the review process your application is denied, you do have the option of requesting that your application be looked over again. When you receive notice of your denied application, you’ll also received instructions on how to appeal and the time period in which you’ll need to make that request.

At SearchSeniorLiving.com, we are dedicated to helping you and your family ease the search for just the right community!  For more information and to use our Search, Sort and Match ™ tool, please visit our website or call us at 877-243-8073.

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Telikin Elite II

Telikin Elite II is a touchscreen computer that was originally designed as a easy-to-use computer for seniors and baby boomers. The computer has email with large fonts, a big touch screen display, clear instructions and video tutorials. Video chats are available with Skype; in just three touches, users can see and hear their children, grandchildren, family, and friends anywhere they are in the world. Popular sites are already preset and categorized so users just touch and go. Telkin also offers a variety of popular games that are pre-installed. To learn more about this popular product and purchase it from Amazon.com click here.

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How to File for Social Security Retirement Benefits

When discussing and planning your retirement, there are lots of details to consider in order to make sure that your retirement is not only relaxing and productive but financially stable as well. One important detail is securing Social Security retirement benefits if you are eligible. Below you’ll find some of the more common questions answered which should help you file for social security retirement benefits.

What are Social Security retirement benefits?

Although there are many ways to define it, in essence Social Security retirement benefits are benefits acquired through a government supported retirement program that is funded by a federal income tax. The benefits are paid to American citizens based on age, income earned through an individual’s lifetime and number of years worked.

Things to consider before filing

Before filing, it is important to understand not only how Social Security benefits work but how to maximize them as much as you can. Below are a few things to consider before you start the filing process.

Timing vs. Benefits

The amount in which you receive varies greatly depending on the age  at which you file. If you choose to file at 62, you’ll automatically receive a 25 percent cut. It’s important to note that this cut is permanent, not just a onetime deal.  If you decide to collect at your full retirement age, otherwise referred to as FRA, at age 66 you’ll receive 33 percent more in benefits. If you wait till you’re 76, then your benefits increase about 76 percent.

Should You Continue To Work While Receiving Social Security Benefits?

If you decide to continue working and earn money before your FRA, be prepared for the possibility of part of your benefit to be temporarily withheld. Here are some examples:

- For every $2 you earn above $15,480 per year you’ll find that $1 will be withheld.

- The year you reach your FRA this amount changes and you’ll find that $1 is withheld for every $3 that you earn over $41,400.

You do, however, receive the deducted money back after your FRA is reached.

Social Security Spousal Benefits

If you’re married at the time of filing, your spouse may be able to receive a benefit based on your work earnings. In order for this to happen though, your spouse must be at least 62 years or older. Essentially what this means is that your spouse is able to receive Social Security retirement pay simply by being married to you.

Now here comes the tricky part. As much as 50% of your ‘primary insurance amount’ can be used as spousal benefit. The amount itself depends on the age of your spouse and whether they wish to receive benefits before their full retirement age of 65. Sometimes however, the retirement benefit for your spouse will be larger than the spousal benefit. If that’s the case, then the Social Security administration will go ahead and pay the retirement benefit for each person.

How to Actually File for Benefits

There are many different ways to file, thus allowing for a bit more ease during the process.

Filing In Person

You can visit your local Social Security office. Just make sure to call ahead of time to make an appointment so you don’t get stuck waiting in line or even yet, sent home to come back at a later date.

Filing By Phone

You can call toll free at 1-800-773-1213. If you are deaf or are hard of hearing, you can call  TTY 1-800-325-0778.

Filing Online

You can also find the official application for retirement, spouse’s, ex-spouse’s and Medicare benefits online at ssa.gov.

Things to Remember

There are some keys things to remember when you are getting ready to file.

  1. First, you must be 61 and 9 months old to apply for any retirement benefits.
  2. Second, if you are 62 years old already you can start receiving your benefits within the same month as your application.
  3. Third, it is best to apply for you benefits within 4 months of the date you wish for them to begin, but no sooner.
  4. Lastly, benefits are not paid in the same month that they are due but rather the month after. Example: if your benefits start during the month of June, you won’t receive your first payment till July.

How do you receive your payments?

There are two ways to receive payment, by direct deposit or by signing up for the Direct Express card program. When your payment is direct deposited, you have the option of choosing what account it goes into and then can withdraw the payment as cash or use it toward a check. If you choose to go the Direct Express route, you’ll be able to use the card to pay for your purchases but will not be able to use the card to withdraw cash. You will however, be able to track how much money is on the card.

What happens if you change your mind?

As with everything in life, things sometimes change. If you happen to change your mind about receiving your benefits after filing, you may be able to reverse the decision. The key is to withdraw your Social Security claim within 12 months of the date you started to receive the benefits. If you wait longer, there is a strong possibility that you will not be granted a reversal.

Keep in mind, you are only allowed one withdrawal per lifetime. Also, if you do decide to withdraw your application, you will be entitled to repay all of the benefits that both you and your family received in that time-frame. It’s best to take a good hard look at whether the paperwork and time is worth it.

Hopefully we have been able to help and give you a little more information about Social Security Retirement Benefits and how to file for them. We do recommend that prior to filing, you consider speaking with a professional to make the best decision for yourself and your family.

At SearchSeniorLiving.com, we are dedicated to helping you and your family ease the search for just the right community!  For more information and to use our Search, Sort and Match ™ tool, please visit our website or call us at 877-243-8073.

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How to Pick a Good Social Security Disability Lawyer

Social Security topics are commonly associated with  endless questions and headaches. Finding a good Social Security disability lawyer is no exception. It is however, the most important factor in securing the success of your claim. Below, you’ll find a list of details and questions that should, at the very least, help point you in the right direction.

Just What Is Social Security disability?

Social Security “disability” is an insurance program provided by the federal government. It is managed by the Social Security administration and was created to help individuals who are unable to work because they have a disability that prohibits them from doing so. Most of the time this disability is of a physical nature therefore benefits may be either temporary or permanent depending on each individual’s diagnosis.

What is a Social Security disability lawyer?

A lawyer in general is a person who has met certain qualifications: a bachelor’s degree, a Juris doctorate and admission to a state bar. Once that person has pass their bar exam, they then choose a certain field to practice in. Social Security disability lawyers choose to work primarily with cases involving a claim produced by a person seeking disability payments. These lawyers work on behalf of the claimant to produce a court ruling in favor of their client.

Where to find a lawyer

You can find a lawyer online, in the yellow pages, through legal aid clinics, and also the referral service that is operated by each state’s bar association. There are a few things you should look for when deciding on which lawyer to contact. It is good to examine the lawyers experience with your situation, their education levels, and the fees that they would likely charge.

Once you contact the lawyers’ office, it’s good to start a conversation about their experience winning cases similar to yours. Generally lawyers specializing in social security cases are very busy and it’s hard for them to offer a lot of attention to one claimant. One thing to look for when sorting through which lawyer to pick is to find one that will take or return your calls. A lawyer that isn’t available to take your calls may not be available for your hearing until a time later than what you were hoping for.

7 questions you should ask before hiring a lawyer

When hiring any type of lawyer, especially one handling your social security case, it’s extremely important to find out as best you can whether that particular lawyer is a good fit. In order to make this process easier, there are a few key questions that should be asked right away. These questions will help you to quickly determine if the lawyer you are speaking to is one that will not only represent you well, but also win your case.

1- Are you a licensed attorney?

Licensed attorneys are graduates from law school who have spent years learning how the system works. If their answer is no, then it’s time to look for a new lawyer as nonlawyer representatives are generally not as reliable.

2- On average, how many hearings a week do you have?

If a lawyer has a few hearings a week, it’s a good determination of their current client base. The more clients they have, the more experienced they are.

3- What is your win rate?

With this question, you are simply asking what their win rate is in the court room. Now here’s the tricky part. It’s important to evaluate how they answer that question. When they answer the question, do they talk about not only how their win rate is high but how they guarantee you a win as well? Sometimes they will replace the word win with success. This can be a big red flag. Some lawyers have a high success rate due to what is termed ‘cherry picking’. This means that if they feel that the case might be lost, they will go ahead and drop the client to preserve their high rate. If instead your potential lawyer evaluates your case thoroughly and details the good and bad on top of answering your question, then you’re more likely to have a lawyer that will stick with you though the entire hearing.

4- Do you have experience winning claims with my current medical condition?

This is a great follow up question. It is not necessary for the lawyer to have past experience with your individual medical condition, but it certainly helps.

5- Will I be charged out of pocket expenses on top of the lawyer fees? What type of expenses are they?

It’s key to know right away what types of charges come with the hiring of a lawyer. When asking these questions, don’t be shy to go after the little details. Don’t let the questions get pushed around or answered vaguely. If the lawyer you’re interviewing dances around with the answers then you know right there that he/she is not the right person to represent your case. The last thing you want are unannounced and unexpected expenses.

6- Have you ever had arguments with Social Security staff or the judges?

The answer to this question lets you know if your prospective layer is a bully rather than a persuasive lawyer.

7- What do other Social Security lawyers think of you?

A good lawyer will have a list, or at least a card, of one or more local lawyers that can detail how he acts in the courtroom. You’ll want a lawyer that gets along with others. If they do not have anyone that can vouch for their behavior, then you’ll know right away that this particular person is not a good lawyer.

Payment of fees, medical records and potential exams

You will need to sign a fee agreement that allows the Social Security Administration (SSA) to pay your attorney in the event that the claim is approved. A fee agreement is a written statement signed by the claimant and the attorney outlining what the attorney is going to charge and collect. The SSA then approves the fee agreement. Social Security lawyers generally work off of contingency which means they only collect money only if they win your claim. Social Security disability lawyers can only earn up to 25% of the past-due benefits, or a maximum of $6,000. Generally there will be expenses aside from the lawyers’ fee.

The lawyer has to request the claimant’s work, medical, and school records. They may also require medical or psychological examinations. This would all be paid separate from the attorney’s fee. Some attorneys may request money in advanced for these expenses which is permitted so long as the attorney holds the money in trust and uses it as needed. Most attorneys will pay these costs and once the case has closed they will send a bill of all the expenses.

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Hopefully these questions will help in choosing the right Social Security disability lawyer for you or a family member. When it comes to interviewing potential lawyers, remember that no question is too simple to ask. You have the right to make the most informed decision possible.

SearchSeniorLiving.com

At SearchSeniorLiving.com, we are dedicated to helping you and your family ease the search for just the right community.  For more information and to use our Search, Sort and Match ™ tool please visit our website or call us at 877-243-8073.

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Atomic Clock

We found this clock on Amazon and love the large, comprehensive display!  The digital face shows the time, day of the week and the date all in one spot for easy reading. We’ve found it a helpful, inexpensive tool for seniors, folks with dementia and vision impairment. Some of our clients and friends have one in every room as a handy and important reminder. You can purchase the clock from Amazon for just $23.64 by clicking here.

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Share All County Day

2014 Share All County Day is on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Ball Auditorium of John Muir Hospital. The event start from 11 am to 1 pm. This is a great opportunity to network with the John Muir’s employee and also with others from senior healthcare organisation. Please register early because the space is limited and is on “first come first served basis”. For more information call : 877-243-8073.

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Open House at Emeritus at Barrington Court – Danville

Emeritus at Barrington Court is a Memory Care Community. They are having Open House on March 27, 2014 from 11 am to 3 pm. Tour the community and enjoy refreshing Italian Soda. For more information call: 877-243-8073

 

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Purple Party at Vintage Brush Creek – Santa Rosa

Vintage Brush Creek is hosting a fundraising event called Purple Party. The funds will be forwarded directly to the Alzheimer’s Association. The party is on Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014, from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. Dean Ratzman will be playing the Swing Music. There will be silent auction items to bid on, great food and fabulous dessert. The community is requesting $5.00 donation at the door. For more information call: 877-243-8073

interior commonArea exterior

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