Topic: Senior Care Planning

How To Talk To Seniors About Reducing Investment Risk

 

Senior couple with financial adviser. Isolated on white background.

No matter what your age might be, whether you’re young or in your senior years, investment comes with risk. Although this is the case, many still choose to take the risk and see where their investments take them. Some end up doing great while others, not so well. If you are close to a senior who partakes in the investment world or is thinking about joining, there are a few things you’ll probably want to discuss with them in order to ensure that they take the least amount of risk possible while still giving them the option to reap the rewards.

Investing at a young age compared to investing in your retirement

As stated above, all investment comes with risk, but those who invest at a younger age tend to take a lot more risks with their money, whether it be through stocks or real estate or another investment outlet. Generally speaking, taking higher risks when you’re younger is a common way to invest as you’ll have a lot more time to recoup your losses should your investments turn not go well. The same cannot be said for those who invest in their later years. In fact, investments should be low risk and short term. The reason being is that you don’t want to risk a large sum of money in a high-risk investment just to lose it all. If you’re retired and your working days are over, you’ll have no means of re-building your income or savings. Also, deciding to take part in a long-term investment would mean the possibility of never seeing the benefits of your investment.

How to start the investment conversation

Because no one likes to be told what they should or shouldn’t do with their money, it’s best to start the conversation by expressing how you want to make sure that you’re able to help in the best way possible. Once they realize that you’re on their side and not there to direct them, yet rather to assist in the decision-making process, the rest of the conversation should flow rather nicely. Talking points include but are not limited to: types of investment opportunities out there, which of those opportunities make the most sense, how to reap the investment rewards and what to avoid and consider.

Types of low-risk investments

There are a few different types of low-risk investments that seem to be favorable with an older crowd, as well as with all the other age groups. Those investments include bonds, annuities, exchange-traded funds, mutual funds and real estate investment funds. Each of these are different in nature and offer different time-frames and interest rates. Because of this, one may be more suited to your senior compared to the next, making it very much worthwhile to thoroughly research each one before bringing them up in conversation.

Things to consider

Although there are many good investment opportunities out there, not everything is as it seems. Unfortunately, seniors are one of the main targets for scams, meaning that you’ll have to be extra careful if your family or friends decide to go through an investment banker or ad. A key is to never invest in high return, guaranteed schemes. These are most likely fake investments.

Another thing to consider is how much wealth is already in place. If your senior friend or family member has already accumulated a nice retirement and savings from working or previous investments, it might be wise to avoid new investments altogether. Sometimes, it’s just not worth it to risk your current financial state, especially if you’re living well and should continue to throughout the rest of your life.

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

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment

How To Choose Between In-Home Care And Assisted Living

 

Thinking.

Even though this topic is not necessarily one that most of us want to consider, how to choose between in-home care and assisted living is a very important one. It may not be fun and it may not be at the top of your to do list, but deciding on the future care and well-being for yourself or a loved one is something that should be discussed in length in order to make sure that the best decision is made. To help you get started, we’ve complied a short summary detailing the nature of both in-home care and assisted living as well as the main difference between the two.

What Is In-Home Care?

Essentially what it sounds like, in-home care is care that is given within the home instead of in an outside facility such as an assisted living community or nursing home. In-home care allows the person who is being cared for to stay in their current living environment while receiving various types of treatments or help with general day to day activities and chores. Sometimes care is given by a professional while other times it may be a family member, friend or neighbor that has come over to assist with bathing, cooking, cleaning and/or exercise.

What Is Assisted Living?

Differing from in-home care, assisted living is a long term living option where seniors choose to move into a community with apartments or a residential care home. The staff in these two options are dedicated to providing around the clock care. They provide assistance with bathing and dressing, meals, transportation and other similar activities. When choosing assisted living, seniors will find themselves surrounded by other seniors in the same life situation and thus tend to end up making a new friends. Assisted living centers welcome family members and friends to visit, making for a socially engaging environment.

What Is The Main Difference Between The Two?

There are a few rather large and noticeable differences between in-home care and assisted living with perhaps the largest difference being the price. Though in-home care can become pricey depending on what services are needed, you’ll often find a higher price tag associated with assisted living centers and senior homes. This is because when a person chooses a community or home, they are essentially paying their monthly rent as well as paying for 24 hour service. As there are many different employees that work at an assisted living community, each month you’re helping to pay for their salary as well. With in-home care, you’re only paying for the amount of hours that your caretaker or medical professional is present, which can reduce the cost significantly.

Is One Better Than The Other?
Is one option really better than the other? This is a tough question to answer as it really does depend on the individual case at hand as one can be very different from the other. However, if you find that you or your loved one only needs help with the a couple of things, then in-home care can make more sense. On the other hand, if you find that you are or your loved is:

• having difficulty managing medications
• isolated or alone
• struggling with medical issues and/or
• having trouble accomplishing multiple aspects of daily living, then it may make more sense to move into an assisted living community so that there is access to 24-hour care and security.

Deciding which route is best can be a tiring, emotional journey. One way to make the decision making process a little easier is to write out a list of pros and cons for each option. This may seem a tedious and difficult, but it’s a great way to help you look at the situation from a practical standpoint, which in turn helps you to form a rational decision rather than an emotional one. If you are helping someone else with their desion, you should always consider your senior’s opinion on the matter. The only time when their feelings or opinions may not hold any power is when they are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and have proven themselves incapable of making sound decisions for their wellbeing.

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

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment

Understanding The Difference Between Medicare And Medicaid

June

Though they sound similar in name, Medicare and Medicaid are two completely different
programs in almost every aspect. The differences between each are important and should be understood in order to know which one you qualify for and when you can start each program. To help with your planning process and to make things easier, we’ve outlined each program below as well as both their differences and similarities.

What Is Medicare

Essentially a federally run insurance program, Medicare is a trust fund that you have paid into during your working life. With each of your paychecks a little bit of money was allocated to Medicare. That money went into a fund that is used later to help you pay for medical bills. Those who can access the fund are people aged 62 and older as well as those who are younger and considered disabled. Dialysis patients also have access to Medicare money, no matter the age of the person. However, it is important to note that Medicare does not cover all medical expenses, leaving the patient in charge of covering the cost of hospital deductibles and other related small costs. Medicare is also pretty universal throughout the United States with little to no difference between states.

Another important aspect of Medicare is its coverage and plans. In total, there are three different plans- Part A, Part B and Part D. Part A covers hospital and post hospital charges as well as needed home health care. Part B covers doctor and lab fees and outpatient care. The last part, Part D, simply covers prescriptions drugs.

What Is Medicaid

Another federally run program, Medicaid serves as an assistance program for those with low incomes. Medicaid, unlike Medicare, is available to those of all ages and patients generally pay little or no part of the medical expenses. However, sometimes a small co-payment is required. Another thing to keep in mind is that Medicaid rules and guidelines do change state to state and is run primary by state and local governments under the watchful eye of the federal government. Even though this program is run locally, local governments still have to adhere to federal laws and regulations.

When looking at Medicaid, you’ll find that it covers basic health care costs that include hospital stays, doctor visits and the like. In addition, it can also cover odd expenses such as eyeglasses.

The Differences Between Medicare and Medicaid

When searching for the right coverage, you’ll find that both programs are widely different. Some of the more important differences include:

• Medicare is a federal program while Medicaid is both a federal and state program.
• Medicare provides coverage to those 62 or older or those with a severe disability while Medicaid provides health coverage to those with a very low income, no matter your age.
• Medicare doesn’t take into account what your income level is while Medicaid does.

The Similarities Between Medicare and Medicaid

Even though there each an entirely different program, there are still some notable similarities between the two:
• Both are Federal programs.
• Both were created in 1965.
• Both are social insurance programs.
• Both help finance medical expenses for those in need.

Again, it is important to understand that even with a few key similarities, each program stands on its own. Though you can use both programs, most people have one or the other.

Having Both Medicare and Medicaid Coverage

As mentioned above, most people use one program or the other, but that’s not always the case. There are instances where one will be eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. When this happens, you’ll find that one program picks up where the other left off. For instance, Medicaid generally comes into play to help pay for long term care, an area that Medicare does not cover. Sometimes Medicaid will also cover some or all of Medicare’s out of pocket costs, which is very helpful for those with little income or retires with little savings.

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

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment

Talking To Grandchildren About Their Grandparent’s Alzheimer’s

T

Alzheimer’s doesn’t just affect those that have the disease. Most often, its effect is troubling and leaves a lasting impression on the entire family, including the youngest members. Due to the complexity of the disease and the wide range of intensity from person to person, it is, often, difficult for family members and friends to talk about it. Even though this is the case, Alzheimer’s is something that needs to be discussed in order to fully understand not only the disease itself but how to handle it.

Once the adults, usually the adult children, have mastered talking about Alzheimer themselves, it’s time to turn one’s attention to the children. Though the conservation is about something difficult, there are still ways to discuss it with the younger individuals in the household without confusing them or adding stress to their young lives. Because it is very important that all family members understand the disease as much as possible, we’ve complied a short summary on how to talk to grandchildren about their grandparent’s Alzheimer.

The Introduction

Most children, even those in high school, will have not heard of Alzheimer’s before. Because of this, you’ll want to ease into the conversation. But before starting the conversation, first choose a calm and private place to have the talk. A good place might be the kitchen table or the living room couch. The goal is to introduce the subject in a room that the child feels comfortable in. Some might feel that the child’s bedroom is a good place to discuss this. Although you might want to leave their room as a place for them to go to after the conservation if they want some space to digest what they have just learned.

After you have chosen where to talk, it’s now time to introduce the definition of Alzheimer’s. Generally people define Alzheimer’s as the degradation of the mind that causes memory loss. Depending on how old the child is, you’ll want to change the definition so that it’s easy for them to understand. If you’re talking to a young child, it’s best to leave medical terms out of the discussion and instead use vocabulary that is easy for them to comprehend. Once the child understands what Alzheimer’s is, then it’s time to tell them about who has it. This part may be very difficult for you and you may want to get through it quickly, but it is necessary to go as slow as the child needs.

Reactions and associated feelings

Depending on how close the child is to the person affected with Alzheimer’s, you’ll find their reaction may or may not be what you expected. Some might take the news very well, while others may seem confused or not want to believe you. This all depends on how much of the Alzheimer’s they’ve seen directly and how they handle bad news in general. Reactions also depend on the age of the child. Typical reactions include:

• Sad and confused
• Worried that parents will get the same disease
• Frustrated
• Embarrassed

Again, these reactions are dependent on a number of factors including age, closeness to person affected and how they react to other negative situations. The key is to stay calm throughout the conversation and try your best to answer any and all questions they have. It’s also helpful to give them space when they ask for it. Sometimes children do better when they’re able to go into their room and think about what they’ve just been told before coming back out to you to ask questions.

Outside help

If you’re concerned about talking about Alzheimer’s, there are resources available to help. If you go online, you can find videos, worksheets, books and other printed resources that have been developed with this conversation in mind. Even though this is a conversation that you may want to put off, it’s important to realize that the sooner you tell the children in the family, the more opportunities they will have to understand it and ask any questions they might have. The last thing that you want to do is keep them out of the loop. This will likely lead to confusion and/or upset them, especially if they are witnessing the effects of Alzheimer’s firsthand.

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

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment

Talking to Seniors About Moving Closer to Loved Ones

S

When one reaches retirement years, often the idea of moving out of one’s current living situation into a different home is in the forefront of their minds. This could involve moving into an assisted living facility, senior community, or moving closer to adult children or grandchildren.

Not every senior needs nor wants to move closer to loved ones, and in some cases family members might already live nearby. However, there are times when it is necessary, or can be very beneficial to all parties for family members to live closer together. Below we have provided a list of reasons why this is true, along with ways in which you can to talk to your senior relative about moving closer to family.

Why Should Seniors Move Closer to Loved Ones?

1. Easier access to help
2. Building closer relationships with adult children and grandchildren
3. Reconnecting with other family members

Talking to Seniors About Moving Closer

Now that we have covered some reasons why moving closer to loved ones can be beneficial to your senior family members, it’s time to look at how to talk to them about making such a move. For some, this talk will go very smoothly and end in a ‘let’s do this!” while for others it may be more of a challenge.

Some seniors have no desire to move and are perfectly comfortable and content where they are. Think of it this way: you’ve lived on your own for ages and have been able to be an adult without your children around interfering with your daily life and telling you what to do. Now you feel threatened with the prospect of your siblings, children, or grandchildren directing your everyday life, or at least trying to. Though this may not be the case, your senior relative could be thinking that this will be their new reality if they move closer to loved ones. Your job is to make sure that they understand the positives about moving closer to you, and talk through any of the negatives that they might believe.

To start, ask your loved one what they’ve considered for their living situation for their later years. Take time to listen and ask questions that are relevant to their thoughts and concerns. Also, it is very helpful to state that your intention is to help them take the steps toward a healthy, happy and safe living environment.

A few ways to move the discussion along and to keep it going in the right direction are:

 

1. Focus on the easier access to see grandchildren

If you have children, especially young ones, remind your senior that they’ll have lots of opportunity to socialize, play and hang out on a regular basis with your children. Kids help keep the elderly young, and infuse their life with new things every day.

2. Discuss with them options to bring prized processions

Most moves involve packing everything into a U-Haul and driving it to a new house. This type of move is no exception. Even if they are moving into your home, they need to bring things that they love. This very well could include pets. Some of this might not be your first choice either, but remember that you are the one suggesting that they move closer to you, not the other way around.

3. Talk about the positive aspects of the new home

Again, you’ll want to focus on the good aspects of moving closer to you and how positive the experience will be. If there are any negatives involved , they should be discussed, but not as the main talking points. The last thing you want to do is create dark clouds over the move. The option to move, and the conversation, should be kept as positive as possible.

4. Don’t demand they move immediately

As with any move, this will be a process and not an overnight event. There are multiple things to take into account. Selling a home, sorting and moving processions, and planning the travel involved with the move itself all take time. To demand that a loved one move right away will most likely lead to a negative discussion, which will in turn derail your plan. It may take weeks to a few months to get a move going and generally speaking, that’s a good time frame for most people, your loved ones and you included.

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

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment

Low Impact Outdoor Activities For Seniors

Senior couple out walking the beach at dusk

No matter where one is in life, exercise is a vital part of staying healthy, both mentally and physically. This is no exception for those in their seniors years. Though the types of exercises that should be completed on a daily basis are different from those practiced at a younger age, they are equally as important.

These types of exercises are typically known and referred to as low impact activities. Luckily, there are several different types of low impact activities to choose from, making it so that exercise doesn’t have to be just another thing on your ‘do to’ list but rather something that interests you and is also fun. Because of the wide range of activities available, a person can choose to complete some inside or outside. For the purpose of this article however, we’re going to focus on outdoor activities that allow you to not only care for your health but also push you to go outside and enjoy the fresh air.

The Difference Between Low Impact and High Impact

When choosing different activities to partake in and add into your training, it’s important to know the difference between high impact and low impact. High impact activities include basketball, running, lifting weights, boxing, football, soccer and other similar sports. These activities, though both fun and exciting, can actually do more harm than good to a senior’s body. This is where low impact activities come in. These activities are more in line with a body that is aging and help to strengthen instead of causing stress and wear. They are also easier to complete yet still give you that great after exercise feeling.

Why Are Low Impact Activities Important?

For seniors, low impact activities are very important for a variety of reasons. These types of exercises not only help one to lose or keep off extra weight, but also help to ease tense muscles and joints, lower blood pressure, lower your cholesterol levels and improve general heart health. In addition, low impact aerobic activity helps to increase daily energy, allowing a senior to be more active in other parts of their lives.

Recommended Low Impact Outdoor Activities For Seniors

Below you’ll find a list of great low impact outdoor activities to choose from that can be completed at home or at your nearby health club. The important thing to remember is to start off slowly with a few minutes of activity each day. Over time, activity levels can be increased to 30 minutes a day, which is ideal for any age.

Brisk Walking– A very important exercise for all ages, brisk walking allows you to both strengthen your leg muscles while keeping your heart beat up. A less aggressive form of exercise compared to running, walking still provides the same benefits without having to pound your feet against the ground.

Swimming– Another great exercise that helps to strengthen both muscles and joints while burning calories and increasing your heart rate, swimming is considered the one exercise that doesn’t put any tension on your muscles. This is because instead of holding yourself up, the water is doing the work for you. There are various styles of swimming from the backstroke to the doggie paddle, all of which help to build core strength.

Water Aerobics– Much like swimming, water aerobics is the more social of the two where classes are put together, generally 2 or 3 times a week, where seniors stand up in the water while doing minor weight training. Not only is water aerobics fun, but a great way to meet other like minded people.

Tennis– If you haven’t played tennis before and have watched competitive matches on TV, this sport may seem a little scary to you, but honestly what you see on TV is not how most people play the game. In the world of friendly tennis, it’s a game made for friends and families to enjoy, with minor physical stress.

Outdoor Yoga– Gaining popularity among all ages, yoga is a great way to strengthen core muscles while helping you to relax. Take yoga outside and you have an even calmer exercise that helps you to enjoy the fresh air that is so important to your health. This is also a very cheap activity as all you’ll need is a yoga mat and some easy-to-move-in clothes. If you’re on the social side, you’ll find that there are plenty of yoga classes to choose from, some of which are free to the public.

As you can see, there are many different ways to enjoy the outdoors while improving your physical health. Low impact outdoor activities are also a great way to steady your mental outlook. You’ll be exposed to new ways of viewing your daily existence and you’ll find a few new ways to meet others who are interested in the same thing. In both the long run and the short run, daily low impact exercise is essential for a healthy lifestyle.

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

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment

Financial Planning For Seniors – Getting Started!

Financial Planning For Seniors – Getting Started!

Senior couple with financial adviser. Isolated on white background.

Throughout one’s life, money consistently plays a large role in what we do, how we see things and situations, and how we feel. This is especially true during our senior years. Having good financial health is a large component to feeling comfortable and safe throughout retirement. In order to feel this way, we must first dive into the world of financial planning and come up with tactics that help develop the best retirement possible. With that said, this particular type of financial planning involves a lot of different steps and important things to remember. To help you get started, here’s a short summary of how to start the financial planning process for your senior years.

What is financial planning for seniors?

When it comes down to it, financial planning for seniors is a host of different topics all relating to the financial health of a person in their elderly years. Financial planning can range from deciding whether to rent or buy a home, sell off major high cost assets or to keep them, collect social security at one age versus another and so on. Due to the large amount of things to consider throughout the planning process, most seniors rely on the help of family members or a professional estate planner to make sure that each piece of the puzzle fits well.

The makeup of a good financial plan for seniors

To ensure that your finances are in good order and that you’re up to date with everything related to money, it is important to develop a strong financial plan that not only keeps everything in order, but that is easy to understand and watch over time. Some important aspects to every healthy plan are:

• An overview of each and every asset
• An overview of every debt, whether big or small
• An understanding of your current health insurance plan and what expenses are covered in it
• A monthly budget that is composed of both your income and your expenses, including small recurring expenses
• A budget that is comprised of larger expenses that are projected over a 3 to 5 year span
• A choice and arrangement with the person who will be in charge of both finances and other important decisions

Common financial mistakes seniors make

Because money is often an emotional topic, this type of planning makes it easy for a person to unknowingly make rash decisions that can often hurt them in the long run. Some
common financial mistakes are:

• Not having a proper short and long term plan
• Not avoiding the possibility of financial scams
• Turning to family members for financial advice instead of a certified advisor- It is true that in some cases, family members may be more helpful due to their
own background in financial planning, but in most cases it makes more sense to hire a certified planner with some relevant experience.
• Failing to include an adjustment for inflation in future financial needs and assessments of wealth
• Relying too much on Social Security income and not having an adequate savings

Though financial planning is a task in and of itself, it doesn’t have to be one that causes headaches throughout. With the proper amount of understanding from the beginning along with the help of a financial planner, a healthy retirement is within reach for most people.

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

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment

How To Talk To Family About Selling Their Home, Car, Boat Or Other Assets

How To Talk To Family About Selling Their Home, Car, Boat Or Other Assets

Senior couple listens to a saleswoman or financial consultant in their home.

Throughout our lifetimes, we accumulate a variety of possessions, starting off with small items and then working our way up to cars, a home and other larger ‘just for fun’ or investment items including boats, bikes and second homes. Though these items can serve us well through the years, sometimes there comes a point in life where, these items can be sold in order to pay for the start of or ongoing care in our elder years. For some, this is an easy concept to entertain and accept while for others it can be troubling and difficult. In order to make the process easier for everyone involved, we’ve compiled a short guide on how to talk to family members about selling their home, car, boat and other assets.

Why Should the Elderly Sell Their Home

Many elderly individuals find that at some point or another they need or want to give up some of their possessions and/or home in order to pay for medical expenses, assisted living or a skilled nursing facility. Often, a home’s value has increased over the years, allowing the individual to make money off of the sale that will help pay for medical expenses for a longer period of time before Medicaid benefits are needed.

Why Should Other Assets Be Sold

Along with a first or second home, other assets can hold some monetary value as well, including cars, boats, bikes and the like. These assets can also be sold to help pay for medical care, and often need to be. Even if they aren’t sold to pay for a assisted living or skilled nursing, they can help finance in home care if the individual is still well enough to live at home.

How to Talk To Elderly Family Members About Selling Their Possessions

Generally speaking, there are a few key reasons why elderly individuals in need of care should start the process of selling their home and/or other assets. Those reasons include moving into a retirement community, assisted living or skilled nursing facility. Or perhaps, moving into a loved one’s home for care or simply staying in the same home and having in-home care. Though these reasons may be simple to outline, they can be difficult to execute, with the first step being the act of convincing your older loved ones and family members that this is in fact, the best option.

For all of us, some items hold extreme value while others don’t, and it’s best to keep in mind which is which when approaching the topic of selling. Deciding to get rid of things that have been cared for and loved for years isn’t an easy task, and strong emotions should be expected throughout the entire process.

The best way to approach the topic is to first get a handle on what the individual places the most value on. This allows you to figure out what items to sell first, helping to ease the transition of having lots of processions to having fewer. Once the smaller or least valued items have been sold, then you can work your way to the larger and more valuable items, often being a home or various modes of personal transportation. This is when emotions tend to run high. Although it is impossible to not be stressed at all during these conversations, it is important not to yell, scream or show irritation toward the loved one who is having to part with these items. Keep in mind that you’re asking them to part with important aspects of their lives, and that is not easy. A few things that you can do to help smooth the process are:

• Allow the individual to pick a few smaller items that they can take with them if they are moving.
• Create a photo album of the home or other large possessions (car, etc..) that they can take keep, tell stories about and enjoy.
• If all of the items don’t need to be sold right away, sell a few at a time, allowing the person to get used to the idea and therefore feel less pushed and pressured into it.

Perhaps the most important thing to do is to remain positive and supportive throughout the entire process. Though you may get angry and annoyed at their rebuttals, make sure to take the time to listen to their reasoning and answers before responding. In some cases, elderly individuals know that the right decision is to sell their items but are scared to do so. This is where a little kindness, understanding and support can go a long way. The more at ease they are with the situation, the better it will go for everyone involved.

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

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment

How To Protect Senior Parents From Financial Scams

Senior Woman Giving Credit Card Details On The Phone

Unfortunately, in today’s world, scams have become a large issue to contend with, especially where seniors are concerned. Usually scams are directed toward older members of the population, as they can to be an easier target. When looking at the amount of scams out there, you’ll find that most of them are financially related. This is obviously important because these scams can greatly impact a persons’ future financial resources and well-being. Fortunately, there are ways to help loved ones and senior parents avoid these scams. Below you’ll find a few simple steps on how to acknowledge, approach and defend elder loved ones from possibly damaging scams.

What are financial scams?

Largely considered to be the fastest growing form of elder abuse, financial scams are when a person (either family, friend or stranger) improperly or illegally uses a seniors’ money or other property. Here’s a list of a few of the ways more common senior scams are committed today.

• Counterfeit prescription drugs
• Medicare and health insurance fraud
• Telemarketing (most common form of scam practiced every year)
• Fake accident ploy
• Charity scams
• Internet fraud
• Investment schemes
• Reverse mortgage scams
• Lottery scams

In most states, financial scams that target seniors are considered a crime, making it not only important to understand the scam but also to report the person responsible for the scam’s practice.

Why are seniors targeted?

As we age, some of our primary senses can start to degrade. This can be a small or large part of our hearing, or a loss of ability to understand ideas or scenarios. In fact, over half of people over the age of 75 report that it is often difficult to hear conversations on a daily basis. Seniors also tend to lose their ability to concentrate for a long period of time, making them susceptible to misinformation and intentional confusion.

How to talk to your parents about scams

First, before having a real conversation with your parents or loved one, it’s important to get your own financial situation under control. This is simply because parents and others, especially seniors, are less likely to lean on you for help, let alone accept any form of financial advice if they feel that you do not understand your own finances. Additionally, here are some ways to efficiently talk to your senior parents about scams.

• When a parent receives a piece of scam mail, don’t just tell them to throw out
the letter. Take time to look through the letter and discuss why it is scam mail. That way they’ll know what to look for in the next next batch of mail they recieve.

• Remind them what they taught you as a kid growing up – “never trust strangers”. Though this may seem like a simple concept, it’s one that goes a long way for all ages.

• When discussing possible phone scams, teach them to never give out financial numbers, accounts and other important pieces of information to anyone over the phone unless they had initiated the call on their own. For example, banks do not call a customer and ask for financial information to which they already have access.

Steps to prevent scams

Though financial scams are very common, there are a few easy and quick ways to help prevent loved ones from unknowingly becoming involved in a scam.

•Check their credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com to make sure that there aren’t any new accounts that have been added under their names. If checked on a regular basis, you should be able to stop this type of fraud before it begins or at least right when it starts.

•Take your parents’ phone number(s) off of any list you think it may be on, even phone books. Even better, replace their landline with a cell phone. Landlines are easy targets for scammers while cell phones are currently less often targeted.

•Put your parents’ address on the opt-out lists associated with the Direct Marking Association. This list makes it so that legitimate vendors will cease to send junk mail. Then potential scam junk mail can be easily identified and reported to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

If talking to your parents or loved ones about financial scams becomes difficult and, or doesn’t lead to an agreement on how to prevent future scams, a call to AARP might be helpful. The staff at AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center (800-646-2283) are professionally trained to speak with elders about how to effectively avoid scams and scam artists. Sometimes speaking with a professional makes more sense to a senior than speaking with a loved one.

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

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment

How much does in-home care cost?

How much does in-home care cost?

When looking into in-home care for the first time, there are several key aspects to review. November PictureIt is important to decide what type of care is needed, how much care is needed and how often. One also needs to figure out which in-home care provider to hire. While these factors are important, one of the most ‘need to know ‘ questions to be answered is how much does in-home care cost? Once this question is answered, the potential patient, family member or loved one can begin the process of finding the best in-home care for their needs.

Cost of in-home care

Generally speaking, in-home care costs range around the $17 to $25 an hour bracket for non-medical care. The cost can easily change depending on a number of factors including type of care needed, number of care providers needed and the location in which the patient lives. It is also important to note that the costs of both in-home care and assisted living care are going up each year, meaning that if care isn’t needed for a few more years, you can expect to pay a higher hourly, daily and/or yearly rate than what is mentioned in this article.

How to pay for in-home care

There are several different ways to pay for in-home care. Below you’ll find a list of a few commonly used options:
• Monthly Income
• Personal Savings
• Reverse Mortgage
• Life Insurance
• Veterans Benefits
• Annuity
• Long-term Care Insurance
• Collective Sibling Agreement
• Medicare
• Medicaid

Both Medicare and Medicaid are used quite frequently for in-home and nursing home care. Though coverage by both are difficult to receive, Medicare is easier than it used to be, making it a great tool to apply for. Medicaid coverage is available for those who have very little in savings and is another option to go after. However, Medicaid differs state to state meaning that not all coverage and programs are the same and should be thoroughly researched.

In-home care costs vs.assisted living costs

Though both in-home care and assisted living costs can vary widely depending on location, medical and personal needs and amount of care given, research indicates that assisted living costs are in general much higher than in-home care costs. In fact, the national average for a one-bedroom apartment in an assisted living community is about $3,500 a month whereas in-home care costs roughly $17 to $25 an hour. The fee for some assisted living communities or skilled nursing facilities can range from $6,000-$8,000 a month.

Not only are the prices and pricing structures dramatically different but the living situation as well. Those who choose in-home care remain in their own home, staying within their everyday comforts, family members if they share their home and in their own neighborhood, which for some people helps immensely. Others choose an assisted living community for the benefit of prepared meals and added security. Plus the additional social, recreational, educational and health maintenance support that are offered and generally included in the monthly cost.

At SearchSeniorLiving.com, our In-Home Care listings include information that you need in making the choice of a care provider. When visiting our site, you will find: Agency Details, Payment Options, Memberships, Staff Details, Caregiver Training and more.

We are dedicated to helping you and your family ease the search for just the right In-Home Care provider, community, product or service! For more information and to use our Search, Sort and Match ™ tool, please visit our website or call us at 877-243-8073.

Posted in Senior Care Planning | Leave a comment