For retirees navigating the government’s senior health care system for the first time, it can seem confusing. Let’s take a look at the two big health insurance providers: Medicare and Medicaid. Americans aged 65 or older are eligible for Medicare. There are two main plans under Medicare, Plan A and Plan B. Typically, Plan A covers hospital insurance and Plan B covers medical insurance (i.e. doctor visits). Plan B may come with a small monthly fee.
Medicaid is for citizens not qualified to receive Medicare. Unlike Medicare, Medicaid is distributed through federal-state programs for citizens of low-income. Medicaid can be extended not only to cover the elderly, but it may also cover children, parents of eligible children, pregnant women, and people with disabilities who cannot otherwise afford insurance.
This past weekend my work sponsored a booth at the local Senior Health Fair. There are a number of baby boomers in our community retiring, as well as a number of their parents in need of health services. Our company and other companies in our community felt it was in everyone’s best interest to get quality information out there.
We had plenty of booths set up to accommodate the needs of different people. For instance, a new retiree may want to live in a one floor home with other people their age, but aren’t yet ready for assisted living. Older folks may need to make arrangements to live in facilities that specialize in dementia, Alzheimer’s, and hospice care. Many younger folks in their 30s and 40s attended the fair to help their parents gather information on senior health options.
One of the perks of growing older is receiving senior discounts. I used to be self-conscious about whipping out my AARP card, after all, 50 is hardly old. I quickly got over my embarrassment when I found out how many restaurants offer senior discounts.
For example, the Wendy’s near my home offers 10 percent off to seniors. Other Wendy’s locations, I’m told, offer either the 10 percent off or at least a free or reduced price beverage. Popular family restaurants like Denny’s and IHOP also offer senior discounts. It still seems a little funny to me to be rewarded just for growing older, but if the offer is there, why not take it!
Finding senior housing can seem like a daunting task. To make it a bit easier break down what you need to do into smaller more manageable tasks. Your first task should be to create a budget that covers housing costs, medical bills, groceries, and incidentals. Next do some research on the various costs of senior living facilities. How long will your money last at a premium location or a middle of a road location? Will you need government assistance?
Once you have a budget in place you need to consider medical needs. Is an independent living facility the right fit? Do you need the assistance of a full time nurse? Does dementia run in the family, thus prompting the need for a specially equipped facility? If you need assistance or additional information, contact the local adult protective services. They’ll be able to guide you to local options.
When it comes to apartment living occasional noise from other units is to be expected. Unfortunately, we had an elderly neighbor living above us who was succumbing to dementia. He believed that there was a third occupant living in our apartment specifically harassing him at night. This caused him to blare his music loudly and pound on his floors (our ceiling) in an attempt to drown out this mystery person.
We explained to our neighbor several times that there were only two of us in the apartment; no one had moved in and that we were asleep during the times he believed this person was harassing him. He would look confused, mutter something about his hearing aid acting up, and then wander off. The behavior continued so we alerted adult protective services to see if they could have him evaluated. APS visited his home and is working on a plan with his doctor’s and may recommend that he be moved to an assisted living facility that specializes in care for dementia patients.
Most of us have taken the step of writing a will to alleviate some of the stress and confusion that will inevitably ensue after we pass. While this is an adequate precaution in the event of death, other important legal documents need to be drafted to ensure that your loved ones know how to take care of you in dire circumstances. The primary legal document of this nature is a personal directive.
A personal directive tells people what steps you would like to be taken in the event that you have lost the capacity to make decisions for yourself. This may be due to a illness, injury or any other cause. The advanced medical directive lays out your wishes regarding living conditions, medical treatment and other variables that you may not have the ability to make decisions on.
We’re often told that death is a part of life, but it’s still incredibly difficult when people lose a close family member. By creating a will or trust, you can free your friends and family of much of the burden that they would otherwise bear in trying to sort out your finances. After you’ve totaled up all of your assets and chosen heirs, you’ll need to find witnesses to watch the signing of the will and an executor to carry out your wishes.
As important as the process of drafting a will and even a living trust might be, it’s equally crucial to find a living will and trust registry that is reputable and whom you feel comfortable with. By registering, you guarantee that those who are close to you can track down its location with ease. That way, when you pass on into the hereafter your friends and family will take the time to honor and celebrate your life rather than running around looking for legal documents.
When I reached the senior age of 60, I started experiencing memory problems and tend to forget even the most usual things that I normally do. I guess that’s really how it is getting old. That is why I started equipping myself with things that will assist me in keeping track of things. That includes having a daily checklist of things to do and a calendar.
My daughter also advised me to invest on a telephone recorder as having one can be very helpful in keeping calls properly recorded. I was so amazed to discover that there are now choices in telephone recorders that come with an LCD information center and a caller ID. They are also capable of recording both sides of the conversation – works perfectly for me! With helpful senior planning gadgets like this, being old and forgetful should never be a problem.
While young people may workout and diet for superficial reasons, most seniors recognize that these are key components to maintaining their quality of life. Many people think of heavy weightlifting and strenuous cardiovascular activity when it comes to exercise routines, but this isn’t the only route. For seniors especially, light to moderate exercise is sufficient to maintain proper health.
The key to effective senior citizen exercises is to utilize movements that target multiple muscle groups. Doing this allows you to spend less time in the gym while still getting results. Some of the best exercises that workout several muscles simultaneously are: squats, lunges, bench press and lat pulls.
A lot of people in this day and age are planning for the future. Many people choose to get a Will in place so that their family is taken care of. The fact of the matter is that there are a lot of people that are unprepared. There are ways that you can ensure that your family is taken care of.
You might have heard of a living trust. You might be asking yourself, what is a living trust? A living trust is a relationship between at least two people. It is a way that two people can control assets without legally owning them, an arrangement that keeps the assets out of probate.