Long Distance Caregiving

Senior Cell Phone


Choosing an assisted living facility for a loved one can be a tough time for many aging parents and their grown children alike. Placing a loved one in someone else’s care can be difficult, but sometimes it is the most necessary option for a family. It is wise to hold some kind of family meeting ahead of time, before it becomes a matter of urgency.


Sometimes a senior care resident may live a couple hours drive or a plane ride away from the rest of their family; but that doesn’t mean that children still can’t play a role in being a caregiver. As a child living a good distance from your loved one in eldercare, even if you cannot serve as the primary caregiver, you can still keep an eye on them from afar.


If you live an hour or more away from your loved one in senior care, then you can be classified as a long distance caregiver. Even if you can’t be around all the time to help with daily tasks, there are still some important roles you can play in their lives. Some tasks of a long-distance caregiver include finance management, making arrangements for in-home care, providing emotional support, or being an emergency contact.


You don’t have to merely be the natural child of the senior in order to serve as a long distance caregiver. You can simply be someone dear to them who has a stake in their well-being— regardless of your own age, gender, relation to them, or income.


Being a long distance caregiver doesn’t require you to drop everything and come running whenever your senior loved-one has a need, but it puts you in the position to at least be ready to listen to them and set some time aside to prioritize them at some point during your week/month. It can be helpful to establish a routine for having check-ups over the phone, Skype, or visitations over a time period that works for the both of you.


Long distance caregivers should have a plan to expect the unexpected. Sometimes a social phone call to check up on them and share family news can turn into a more serious discussion of finances, medical needs, or other dining/living arrangements. Sometimes your senior loved one will ask for help, as certain circumstances or health developments make assistance needed. However, when you love far off, they may feel like they don’t want to burden or concern you. In this case you may have to do some detective work to discover whether they have some un-communicated needs.


A simple phone call to their facility may not be enough to tell whether an elder needs better help handling their daily activities. A senior may be having trouble preparing full meals or getting their level of needed attention at their facility. If they aren’t telling you about what they may consider to be burdening problems, it may be up to you to call in and ask some higher-ups about how meals are being prepared for residents or how much attention is being given.


If you get the impression that the facility is feeding you an insincere report and that your elder is not communicating their true needs, it may be necessary to come by and have a look for yourself. Visits can be a friendly and social matter, without creating drama. But it is wise to keep your eyes peeled for any odd indications or potential trouble areas in your senior’s living conditions. To avoid overlooking any important issues, it may be smart to draft up a list of potential problem areas to check out while visiting the facility.


It is not good to be overly suspicious of mistreatment, as most facilities and staff truly are doing their jobs well and looking out for the best interest of their residents. However, it is important to be attentive to the details and subtle messages being communicated by your senior, just in case. The resident you trust the facility to care for will is most precious, dear, and personally loved by you; so it is up to you as a long distance caregiver to keep a place for them in your schedule and your thoughts, even from afar.


Decorating Your Nursing Home Room  

Senior Citizen

Many nursing homes allow for a good amount of freedom regarding your decorating of your room and living area. However, it must be kept in mind that space is often limited in assisted living facilities. Whether you have one room or are situated in a suite, you will have to make some decisions about what to bring with you and what will fit into the living space allotted to you. Nursing homes give you more space to work with than your college dorm room did, but you still won’t be able bring everything with you.


Here are some tips for you to tap into your inner interior designer when making the best of what you have to work with and make it feel like home:


Find Out What You “Can” Bring

Before you start envisioning what your perfect room arrangement will be, it is important to check in with your senior care facility and ask about its policies regarding how you are allowed to decorate.


Ask questions about their policy regarding what you can hang on the walls, whether you can change the window treatments, if they provide their own pillows, what plants or pets are allowed, and what electronics are permitted.


Once you have a grasp on how free you are to change things around, then you can gleefully get started on arranging your space the way you like it.



Ideas For Customization


Here are a few suggestions for how you might customize your space. There are certainly probably many more creative things you can think of, but use this list as a way to get the ball rolling.


  • Be sure to start with the essentials before moving onto the less important decorative things. There are certain practical items that every room needs, like a clock, calendar, mirror that may be easy to forget when you are focused on bringing in the fun extra things. Establish a place for these basic utilities first, then organize the rest of your room around them.


  • Select a theme when decorating your room. As you bring in any special wall paper, photo frames, bedding, rugs, flowers, or furniture, it is nice to have a theme of commonality that ties it all together. Although, a hodgepodge “can” be a theme if you want it to. Be aware of everything’s place and position in respect to each other, and give the room a rich consistent atmosphere.


  • Have some extra seating available for your guests. Hopefully you will anticipate friends and family from outside and inside the facility to pay you a visit from time to time, so make the room inviting and comfortable by having some extra chairs or sofas around conducive to socialization.


  • Keep yourself entertained. Whenever there is not company around or tasks to do, you will have time to yourself. Make sure that you have some items around to keep your brain stimulated. Books are great ways to pass time, and although you can’t carry a whole library with you, it is a good idea to bring some of your favorites to revisit, a religious text, or that novel you always meant to start on. A T.V. can provide some great entertainment for surfing the channels, as well as using a DVD or Blu-ray player to watch some of your favorite films. It might be smart to have some movies around that visiting grandchildren may enjoy watching.


  • Displaying mementos can add meaning and fondness to your room. Family photos, heirlooms, cards, and letters will bring an element of nostalgia and homeliness to the environment. Your treasured memories can provide a nice conversation piece to visiting families or residential friends who want to get to know you.


Keep these ideas in mind when organizing your living space at your nursing home or senior care facility and you will be on your way to enjoying your stay.


Detecting And Preventing Elder Abuse / Neglect

Respite Care


Elder abuse or mistreatment includes intentional or neglectful acts by a caregiver with harmful effect on a person 60 years of age or older. Although there have been vast improvements to assisted living and senior care facilities over the past decades to ensure senior residents are cared for and accommodated properly, senior abuse is still a problem that some seniors face on a daily basis. All 50 states have laws in place to protect seniors from abuse, and the U.S. Preventative Service Task Force is working to improve the methods in place for screening and inquiring to detect abuse and neglect among seniors.


Laws and policies are in place to enforce the rights of seniors and protect them from all the various forms of abuse, including but not limited to:

Physical abuse: Causing pain or injury to a senior.

Emotional abuse: Causing mental pain/distress to a senior by verbal or nonverbal acts.

Sexual abuse: Non-consensual sexual acts of any sort.

Neglect: Failure to provide food, shelter, or medical attention to a senior.

Abandonment: A caregiver deserting the senior for whom they are responsible.

Self-Neglect: Failure to provide self-care tasks that endangers senior health.


Signs of Elder Abuse


In circumstances where abuse has occurred, a senior may attempt to keep the abuse a secret due to fear, shame, embarrassment, dependency on their caregiver, or other psychological reasons. The senior may also be incapable of expressing or realizing their abusive situation due to a mental condition that is being taken advantage of. There are however, some basic signs to look out for in order to discover some possible abuse that is taking place. The warning signs of elder abuse can be physical or behavioral.

Physical indications of abuse may include: bruising, burns, dehydration, malnutrition, missing medications, scalp swelling, unexplainable fractures, poor medical condition in spite of proper medical access to medicine, patterned injuries (like slap or bite marks), as well as evidence of sexual abuse.

Emotional indications of abuse may include: frequent arguing or tension between an elder and their caregiver, unaccountable changes to the elder’s mood or personality, depression, or a general state of unease.


Preventing/Detecting Abuse


In order to prevent elder abuse, it is helpful to review the testimonies and reviews of any prospective assisted living facilities when doing your initial research. Meet with the staff and get a feel for the quality, atmosphere, and community of the facility, as well as what resources are available to senior residents who are experiencing problems.


To detect abuse that is already taking place, be sure to listen to your loved one and monitor their behavior when in their presence. Also listen to the caregiver and gauge the vibe you notice from the interaction between the two. Intervene if you suspect that any abuse is taking place. And educate your senior loved one about what they can do if they are experiencing abuse.

Professional resources for handling elder abuse include:

  • The Administration of Aging
  • American Medical Association
  • National Clearing House On Abuse In Elder Life


Researching the websites and phone numbers for these facilities will equip you with your options for how to handle any dangerous situations.



8 Best Discounts For Seniors

Discount wallet


Getting older does have its perks and luxuries! Many companies and franchises around the country offer some special privileges and discounts to seniors in order to honor and aid them in their golden years. AARP membership or a simple age requirement is normally all that is needed to utilize most of these benefits. 62 seems to be the magic age number for many places, but there are exceptions, with cutoffs at 65 years old. Take a moment to see which of these senior discounts listed below might be available for you or a loved one to take advantage of.


  1. Amtrak

A 15% discount is offered to Amtrak travelers age 62 and older on the majority of Amtrak trains. However, this deal excludes first-class and business-class tickets, as well as weekday Acela Express trains. For train rides crossing the Canadian border, this discount becomes 10% for seniors age 60 and older.


  1. Greyhound

A 5% discount is available upon request to passengers age 62 and older on bus fares within the United States.


  1. Verizon (65 Plus Plan)

Verizon accommodates the basic, simple phone needs for seniors who don’t need all the fancy gadgetry and just want a phone for functional purposes.

Verizon offers customers age 65 and above a cell phone plan with fewer minutes than its regular nationwide plans for a lower price. This 65-plus plan provides 200 anytime minutes for just $29.99 on basic functional cell phones. A comparable data plan for a smartphone is a little extra.


  1. A Range of Restaurants

A handful of popular restaurant chains offer excellent discount to dining seniors.

Applebee’s offers a 15% discount for customers age 60 and older.

IHOP has a 55-plus menu offering smaller portions at lower prices.

Denny’s takes 20% off the check for all AARP card carriers.

And Dunkin Donuts offers a free donut with the purchase of a large coffee to AARP members.


  1. Rental Cars

AARP members are entitled to discounts for up to 25% on car rentals from Alamo, Hertz, National, and Budget, as well as 30% discounts from Avis, and 5% discounts from Enterprise rental cars.


  1. Select Hotels

AARP provides seniors with a choice set of discounts at great hotels, including up to 20% off at Sheraton, Weston, and Ramada hotels, and 10% off lodging at Hyatt, Best Western, and Comfort Inn.


  1. Teleflora Flowers

AARP members can get a 20% discount on flowers and bouquets at Teleflora Flowers.


  1. Movies

AMC provides senior discount tickets for people 60 and older in addition to its child discount tickets.

Cinemark offers a comparable discount on Mondays for seniors 62 and older.

Regal only charges $5.50 for a popcorn and drink to AARP members.


Luxury Assisted Living

If you have found yourself fortunate enough to enter retirement financially sound enough to start weighing your options for high-end senior living, then take a few moments to investigate some of the benefits and details are included in more luxurious senior care with this article.

A senior, or a senior couple, who has made a good living and grown comfortable being accommodated with the finer things in life, may find it important to know that senior/assisted living doesn’t necessarily mean leaving the finer things behind. There are tiers of senior living options for all financial standings, and toward the upper tiers, there is what is called “luxury” assisted living.

The Investment

For initial payments typically ranging from $300,000-$1,500,000, senior care communities bearing a resort feel are available around the country. These facilities are especially hospitality-oriented, forgoing all semblances of the old stereotypes of senior living as boring and restrictive. Luxury assisted living strives to provide a living experience closer to that of staying at a four-star hotel or a cruise ship by being accommodating and conducive to the wants, needs, comforts, and preferences of its esteemed residents.

The difference adds up as luxury assisted living is comparatively bigger and better, with more offerings and attentive service than more basic, functional offerings. Residents soak in beautiful ambiance as they go about their day among the grounds, utilizing a large variety of provided activities and conveniences. Below we will outline what to expect from a higher-end senior living community, outlining the housing, cuisine, and activity accommodations common to luxury assisted living.

The Difference

Rooms and lodging are characterized by spacious apartments with high ceilings, typically furnished with a full kitchen equipped with marble or granite countertops. This is an upscale contrast to the majority of conventional assisted living facilities, which often offer a quaint kitchenette with little more than a mini-fridge and microwave.
• Many luxury assisted living facilities provide the convenience of concierge services like those of a hotel, available to help senior residents plan flights, hotels, concerts, and other aspects of travel.
• The dining experience at a luxury assisted living facility is a gourmet delight, offering a variety of high quality food options prepared by experienced certified chefs. To further diversify their cuisine offering, some facilities have two or more restaurants additionally available in the senior care community for residents to frequent.
• There is little excuse for boredom at luxury assisted living facilities, where there are numerous programs catering to the wants and needs residents have for activity, entertainment, and education in the community. Atria Kew Gardens in New York schedules over 200 events every month. The Belmont Village facility in Westwood, CA hosts an annual fashion show for residents. Activities and specialties will vary by facility, be sure to investigate what is fun or unique about the facilities in your area or your desired retirement destination. But apart from activities, luxury assisted living offers a variety of classes on a number of subjects as well as training on how to use current technologies to keep residents in touch with the modern outlets for communication and socialization with their friends and families.
• Additionally, luxury facilities often provide more personalized care and assistance in the form of therapy services. Personal therapy, pet therapy, counseling, and other offerings are available for residents to get any personal help that they desire.

Luxury facilities also offer money return and redistribution policies to residents who choose to leave or pass on while under the facility’s care to assure an asset base for the resident’s children or inheritance. After gaining admittance, it may relieve many seniors to know that many such luxury senior living facilities have policies that assure anywhere from 70-90 percent of the initial payment may be returned if the resident chooses to leave, or will be returned to the inheritance upon death, to ensure that the financial wishes of the resident are ensured and satisfied.

Senior Driving Tips That Can Save Your Life

I want to make memories all over theAs seniors fear having cognitive function or blurred vision for their comfort’s sake, another prime reason to fear these issues is that their keen driving abilities have decreased as well. You need to be sharp mentally and physically to hit the road at all times. These two reasons, along with side effects from prescription medications, are the leading three reasons that seniors are in auto accidents.

According to the CDC, “Per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase starting at age 75 and increase notably after age 80.” So aside from wearing your seatbelt, here we review a few senior driving tips that can save your life and others.

1, Take a Driving Improvement Course

Did you know there were driving improvement courses specifically for seniors? Talk to your insurance agent as they may offer a course or can refer you. These courses are offered online or in a classroom setting. As the technology implemented on cars increases, you’ll learn all the latest driving techniques to handle them. In the end, you may even receive an additional insurance discount. Wouldn’t that be nice?

2. Know What You Are Comfortable Handling

Some seniors feel they always need to prove themselves. It’s either proving to your loved ones that you are in total control or proving to yourself that you are not old as everyone thinks. However, this frame of mind can surely be dangerous.

You should never put yourself in an uncomfortable situation. If you know your eyesight is not as well during thunderstorms or snowstorms, you should opt out of driving at that time. Many young adults have difficulty, so there is no shame in doing so. If you are uncomfortable driving fast and keeping up with traffic, avoid highways and find alternative street routes. Leave early enough to allow yourself plenty of time to get to your appointments.

3. Work With an Occupational Therapy Practitioner

As the founding organization of Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) knows how to keep seniors safe while on the road. They strongly believe that through occupational therapy, seniors will be able to learn the skills they need to tackle the roads today.

Typically, you’ll find an occupational therapist at a senior’s home, providing rehabilitation services and helping them move around their home safely. The same holds true with the rules of the road. They can help them find out the necessary tools they need to survive, keeping themselves and others safe.

Read: 4 Cell Phone Plans For Seniors

4. Keep Regularly Scheduled Exams

You should have a close relationship with your physician and eye doctor. It’s important to know you are healthy when getting behind the wheel of a car.

Your physician will help gauge if you are healthy enough to drive. Sometimes seniors have too many issues such as diabetes or blood pressure that cause being behind the wheel too dangerous for themselves and others. It can, of course, be controlled with medications, but you’ll never know unless you visit your doctor.

Your eye doctor will help determine any early signs of cataracts, glaucoma, or macular degeneration. They can help you with the perfect eyewear, for daytime and nighttime driving. You need to be able to read all highway and street signs as well as determine traffic-light colors. More than your own life depends on your accuracy.

5. Avoid Taking Medications While Driving

Another thing to consider is taking medications and driving. Even if it does not state it will make you drowsy, take a prescription a few times to see how your body reacts to it.

6. Use Your Mirrors and Signals

There is no excuse to not use your vehicles safety features. For one, make sure you realize, it’s not just you on the road. Use your turning signals to let other travelers know your intentions. Before pulling off each time, ensure your rear and side view mirrors are adjusted well. It’s the little things such as a change of coat or different shoes that can change your normal view.

7. Use Adaptive Equipment When Necessary

There are many changes that affect your body as you age. This in turn can affect your driving skills and mental awareness of your surroundings.

Some impairments can be overcome with a few adaptive equipment pieces. For example, hand controls are available for those who have trouble using the foot pedals. A siren detector is a good tool to have for those whose hearing is not as good as it once was.

This excellent podcast found on the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. website reviews equipment that can make seniors driving safer and more comfortable. Below are a few examples.

• Low effort steering
• Handybar
• OnStar
• Extra or extended mirrors
• Swing-out seat
• Traction control sensors
• Backup camera
• Seat cushions
• Foot pedal extensions

The above seven tips are easy to implement and a great start towards saving your life. Do you have any additional tips you’d like to share?

Signs of Elder Abuse in Senior Care Facilities

AbuseIt’s nowhere in writing; however, we have a responsibility to protect our elders. They’ve made our lives comfortable as we know it today. Unfortunately, greed has taken over many that work directly with our elders. Each year, 2 million seniors become victims of abuse or neglect. It’s important for you to recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse in senior care facilities because you may be the only voice they ever have.

Why It’s Difficult Determining Elder Abuse

It is easier said than done to recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse. Even when a senior breaks down and tells about their situation, it’s often hard to believe. That could be because it sounds so outrageous, and the senior care facility seems so warm and loving looking from the outside in. Some of the abusive signs may mimic signs of dementia. Hopefully, this article will bring out the awareness you need to keep an open mind and heart.

The Types of Elder Abuse in Senior Care Facilities

The New York Times published an article in October 2000, Congressional Investigators Cite Safety Violations at Nursing Homes. This listed many tragic incidents reported throughout the United States of senior victims. Violations were found such as:

• Restraints found on residents
• No one responding to a resident’s plea for help
• Being bathed with soiled towels
• Ants crawling around the face of an elderly resident
• Residents are physically abused by other residents
• Molestation while bathing residents

There are many other terrible situations. The thought of these heinous actions is a cause for alarm. And, while some manners are nowhere near as serious as these, they are still minimizing our elderly’s dignity, freedom, and quality lifestyle. Below we discuss five common types of elder abuse in senior care facilities and how to recognize their signs.

Recognizing Financial Abuse

One of the most common forms of elder abuse is financial abuse. An elder’s money or property is misused or taken from them, including clothing, jewelry, and checks. You’ll notice this happening to your senior loved one if they have many unusual bank withdrawals, property no longer in their name, revisions to their will or trusts, or new credit lines opened.

Recognizing Physical Abuse

Sometimes physical abuse is easily recognized such as bruises on the arms and legs, bedsores, or broken bones. However, other things such as being slapped, pushed, shaken, forced fed, or not fed at all are not as easy to detect. Even when you do see these things, being in a senior care facility, a caregiver can fabricate “reasonable” explanations for it all. Things can be said such as “They fell off the bed, slipped in the tub, or had a bad night and dreamed it all” can be phrased in such a way, it’s believable. Other things to watch out for include sudden weight loss, dehydration, or always heavily sedated.

Recognizing Sexual Abuse

Unfortunately, sexual abuse is defined as any form of sexual activity in which one party involved does not give consent. However, being in a care facility, no employee or volunteer should be engaging in this conduct, even with a willing senior. Sexual abuse comes in many forms, including rape, fondling in the bathtub, sexual comments, exposure of genitals, and sexual harassment. A few signs you’ll notice are bleeding or bruises in genital areas, torn underwear, or having a sexually transmitted disease.

Recognizing Emotional Abuse

Emotional or psychological abuse inflicts fear and minimizes the feeling of self-worth and dignity in seniors every day. Emotional abuse includes:

• Ignoring a senior
• Calling them names
• Shouting at them
• Threatening
• Humiliating
• Placing them in isolation
• Stripping them of making decisions

Senior victims of elder abuse exhibit signs of depression, often mumbles, are fearful and blame themselves consistently for minor problems.

Recognizing Isolation and Neglect

In senior care facilities that are understaffed and underpaid, isolation and neglect are a common occurrence. Staff may not want to be “bothered” with residents and lock them away in a room, unable to access their crutches or wheelchair. They may strap them down to their beds to prevent them from “hurting” themselves. They have no social interactions with other residents or staff.

Neglect of a senior is when a caregiver does not meet the senior’s needs. They won’t provide them with the food and beverages they need to sustain themselves, won’t properly bathe them, nor provide accurate medicines for pain and stability. You’ll notice signs of isolation and regret in seniors:

• Dressed in soiled clothing
• Living in unsanitary and unsafe living environments
• Appear malnourished
• Given frequent sedatives
• Show marks on their wrists and ankles, indicating they’ve been restrained

It’s hard to believe that any of this could go on inside a senior care facility. After all, they are supposed to be cared for. In these times, no one should be underestimated. For more information on how you can detect and stop elder abuse, visit the National Center on Elder Abuse website at http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/

Retirement: Best Years of Your Life

RetirementAt last, you’ve reached the golden years, and it’s time to make them great! Many seniors from all parts of the world have stated that retirement is an amazing time in their lives because of the vast array of benefits it offers. You’ve put in years of labor and have learned several life lessons during your journey. Many of lives worries change once you reach retirement, and it’s a time when many can breathe and reflect on your life. If you’re wondering how you can make your retirement great, keep on reading and learn about 5 of the best ways to make retirement the best years of your life.

Create a vision

One things for sure, your retirement isn’t going to be the best without a clear-cut plan. You want to have an idea of where you’d like to start with your retirement, and where you want to end up. Moving forward without a solid plan will make your goals much harder to complete. There’s a two main questions you need to ask.

1. What would you like to do with your time

2. What kind of goals do you have for retirement?

By answering these questions alone, you’ll be able to create a foul-proof plan for your retirement that will make it the best years of your life.

Plan for finances

Good financial stability is essential for a great retirement. When you have enough money for your retirement, you can follow through on your plan, meet all of the goals you set in place, and spend your time efficiently during your retirement. In order to plan financially for your retirement, you need to first determine how much money you think you’ll need to get through it comfortably. When you determine this number, you’ll want to add a few extra thousand dollars in case of emergencies or if you want to take extra trips or attend extra events.

5 Tips for Building Your Retirement Fund  Click Here 

Create an activity list

One of the main reasons why good financial planning is essential is because it allows you to complete all of the activities on your ‘to do’ list. While having enough money is crucial, planning for activities is just as important. The activities you plan will consume most of your time during retirement, and when you don’t plan enough, you can easily become bored and not have the best retirement experience. Many people focus on the financial aspect of retirement, yet they don’t plan for enough activities and end up having nothing to do with all of that money. In all reality, you don’t need money to have a good retirement, but you do need a good plan full of activities. There’s several activities for seniors right in your local area free of cost. By learning more about the activities available within your local area, you can plan accordingly, and have a retirement filled with fun events to take up your time.

Have the right attitude

Attitude is everything, both before retirement and during. Without the right attitude, you’ll find that all the money and activities in the world are not enough to offer you with happiness. Many seniors have planned accordingly, yet their attitude has taken away from their ability to completely enjoy their retirement. You should look at your retirement with an open mind, don’t get caught up in your setbacks, and enjoy this change in life as a positive experience.


The steps listed in the ladder are three essential steps towards creating the best retirement you can have. By following these tips and enjoying this time to the fullest, you’ll have peace of mind in knowing you lived your life to the fullest both before, during, and after retirement. You have the best years of your life waiting for you, so plan ahead and don’t worry about the small things. With the right plan and attitude, you’ll find all of the little things fall into place one by one.

Are you ready for retirement? Read more here, http://www.carecompare.com/blog/are-you-ready-for-retirement/

Activities of Daily Living

As our parents age, we often try not the think about the worst case scenarios. However, the truth is, your parents will age and come to a state where they depend on us to handle their financial, legal, and emotional matters. It’s important for you to know their wishes and how to obtain important documentation. Here are seven questions to ask your aging parents before it’s too late, and things become complicated.

1. Do You Have Someone to Make Health Care Decisions for You?

In most cases, aging parents are expected to make health care decisions for their spouse. However, decisions can be prolonged or go in the opposite direction of what a person wanted. This is because family and close friends are too emotionally attached, thinking of their own wants and needs. Your aging parents can select a health care proxy who will handle all their health care decisions. Before they designate one, they need to be sure this person can carry out their wishes.

2. Do You Have an Idea of the Type of Medical Care You Want?

Having a health care decision maker only works well if they know your medical care wishes. That’s why it’s important to discuss with the decision maker exactly what they want, especially when faced with the end of life decisions. Comfort levels, pain management, life support decisions, these are all important as your parent does have their own views.

3. Do You Have a Will or Living Trust?

The fact that both of your parents are alive and well does not mean they shouldn’t have a will or living trust established. Typically, when a spouse passes away, the surviving spouse automatically receives the assets. However, what should happen if they become incapacitated or pass away soon thereafter? It’s important that both of your aging parents establish a will or living trust so their possessions can be passed on as they wish.

4. Do You Have Your Long-Term Care Plan in Place?

Some parents believe they will stay at home until they pass on. They don’t think about how they will be able to remain at home and be comfortable. There are costs involved, such as an actual caretaker, medications, and supportive equipment. They may, in fact, not be able to remain at home and need to go to a supportive facility such as an assisted living or nursing home.

The costs of these communities are rising so having a long-term care plan in place, especially insurance, is going to be helpful. If they do have long-term care insurance in place, set up an appointment for you, your parents, and the insurance agent to discuss the policy in full. You need to make sure you understand it and the coverage options.

5. Where Can I Find Your Important Documents and Are They Current?

If you are not familiar with where your parents keep their important documents, it’s time to find out. If something were to happen to them, you don’t want to waste time searching their home for insurance documents, medical paperwork, financial statements, or proxy designation forms. Any documents kept in a safe deposit box should have a designated family member assigned a key. Ensure these documents are up to date as well.

6. Do You Have All Your Doctor’s Listed in One Location?

Should an emergency happen, it could be critical for attending physicians to talk to your parent’s primary care physician (PCP). There could have been a recent appointment that uncovered important information about your parent’s medical condition. You should know who their physicians are and how to contact them.

7. What Are Your Current Medications?

As your parents age, you can expect that sooner or later there may be medication management problems. They may get confused regarding what prescriptions they take and why. They may mix up their dosage. Having a clear understanding of their prescriptions could save your parent’s life should they become confused.

If your parents are comfortable and open with you, go over these 35 questions that AARP has compiled together. Sometimes the best way to be there for your aging parents is to ask them the hard and uncomfortable questions.

Discover 10 things you should never say to your aging parents. http://bit.ly/1DsAmGV

Social Networking for Seniors; A Way to Connect with Others

In today’s world, everyone is on social networking, including senior citizens. While a good percentage of seniors haven’t started using social networking, many of them have and have found that it offers them with the tools they need to connect with family, loved ones, and even friends they haven’t seen in years.

The main reason why social networking for seniors isn’t as popular as it could be is because some don’t really know what exactly social networking is and the benefits it offers. By learning more about how seniors can connect with others on social networking, you can decide if this world-wide communication tool is right for you.

What is social networking?

There’s several different forms of social networking available on the Internet today. From what you’re reading right now, to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and similar portals that allow you to connect with others and share activity about your day-to-day living. When you’re on social networking sites, you can see status updates, tweets, photos, videos, pages the other person liked, and much more, all which offers insight into the other person’s life. However, with privacy features that are available, you only share this information with a few select people.

Why should you use social networking?

It’s easy for seniors to feel as if they’ve disconnected with the world. After you retire, life can change a lot socially, and you may not see the people you love as often. Many seniors retire their licences eventually, and may go onto live in senior care homes. The people close to you do come visit, but they also have their own lives to live. Getting out and meeting new people can be harden than you imagined, but with social networking you can remedy these different issues all at once.

Social networking is one of the most popular past times. You’ll most likely find everyone you care about on the social networking sites, and social sites specific to seniors can help you connect with new people. One site in particular, called SeniorMaze.com, allows you to connect with seniors from all over the world, while developing new friendships in your free time. Most people enjoy socializing, and when you have a new person to connect with, it can make the days go by faster and feel more exciting. Additionally, the photos and updates offered by your friends and family members will ensure you don’t miss a moment.

What if you’re not familiar with technology?

Even if you’re not familiar with the newest gadgets on the market, chances are someone in your family is. If you have a granddaughter or grandson, they are the best teachers as the younger generators spend most of their free-time online. It can seem intimidating as first, but learning how to navigate around a computer is really pretty simple. There’s also smartphone devices that allow you to connect to the different social networking applications with the click of a button. The smartphones have something called “easy mode”, and this lays out the design in a user-friendly manner that makes it easy to find the apps you’ve downloaded on the phone. You can even alter the text on your phone to make it easier to see, allowing you to view the information without causing any strain to your eyes.

How do you sign up?

Signing up is simple, and all you’ll need to provide is your name, email address, and some basic information. If you don’t already have an email address, you can sign up for a free account through sites like Google, Hotmail, or Yahoo. Once you’ve entered your information, your new account will be active, and you’ll receive alerts when you have a new notification.


It can seem like a complicated process to get involved in social networking for seniors if you’ve never done it before. However, with a little practice you’ll have it mastered in no time, and can join the millions of seniors from all over the world who use social networking everyday as their way to connect with those they love.