Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Long-Term Care Benefit Many Veterans Are Missing Out On

How to find out if you or your spouse qualify for this long-term care benefit [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Joan Lunden for Next Avenue

When my mom’s dementia no longer made it possible for her to live alone, I began searching for an assisted living community. After I started working with an adviser from A Place for Mom — the senior-living referral service where I’m now a spokeswoman — I learned that my mother was eligible to receive Veterans Administration (VA) benefits that would help offset the costs of her care.

My mother had remarried a man who was a World War II veteran (my dad died in a tragic plane crash when I was 13). I had no idea that as the widow of a veteran there was this kind of financial assistance. read more

Will New Design Trends Lessen the Stigma of Hearing Aids?

Photo of new hearing aid

More wireless devices and new looks are changing the world of hearing aids [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Steve Outing for Next Avenue

Have you noticed that more people are putting wireless electronic devices in, or on, their ears? This significant trend has grown, in part, by Apple’s decision to make its latest iPhones without headphone jacks. This got me thinking: What implications does this have for those of us who wear hearing aids?

  • Will there be less-expensive consumer devices available to address hearing impairment and will they look different from expensive traditional hearing aids?
  • Will the stigma of wearing hearing aids lessen or even go away, so wearing hearing aids will be akin to wearing eyeglasses (in other words, no big deal)?

Less Expensive Options for Hearing Aids

To address that first question, a change is coming for hearing-impaired people in the U.S. thanks to a law signed by President Trump in August that will let consumers purchase hearing aids without going through a licensed audiologist. Non-medical technology companies soon will be able to sell low-cost devices that address mild to moderate hearing impairment and market them as hearing aids. read more

Hobbies bring health benefits

Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces and Box on White Background

Hobbies bring health benefits If you’re wondering whether or not having a hobby can benefit your health, just ask resident Laura Gann. At 106 years old she enjoys doing puzzles daily. She works on them a little at a time and usually does 300-piece puzzles.

She doesn’t have any particular favorites. Or rather, they’re all her favorite! She has been doing puzzles for more than 80 years. She started before she was married and has done them ever since.

“They keep my mind and hands busy and also have a calming affect for me,” said Laura. read more

7 Ways to Eliminate Stereotypes About Aging

Graphic shows elderly man in an armchair, remote in hand, watching TV

An Influencer in Aging on how active intention can do it [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By George H. Schofield, Ph.D. for Next Avenue

(Next Avenue invited our 2017 Influencers in Aging to blog about the one thing they would like to change about aging in America. One of the posts is below; we will be publishing others regularly.)

When Next Avenue named its 2017 Influencers in Aging, a group I’m proud to be in, the site asked us: If you could change one thing about Aging in America, what would it be?

My answer was: Eliminate stereotypes. We are all pioneers, crossing shifting/surprising terrain. Longevity is an individual and collective gift. High quality of life relies on what we actively do with what we’ve got or can create. The catalyst isn’t age. It’s active intention. read more

Medicare, Medicaid and Long-Term Care: Your Questions Answered

A senior woman and a healthcare professional have a pleasant conversation in a senior living setting

Long-term care costs the federal programs do and don’t pay for [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Richard Eisenberg for Next Avenue

Next Avenue recently asked readers to send us their questions about Medicare, Medicaid and long-term care coverage. The most popular ones:

  • What is offered by Medicare and Medicaid for long-term care?
  • If my assets are too high, should I forget about Medicaid?
  • Why does Medicare coverage only pay for skilled care?

Today, we’ll answer those questions.

This topic is weighing heavily on the minds of many Americans, and for two good reasons: 70 percent of people 65 and older will need some kind of long-term care eventually and long-term care costs are astronomical. The median annual fee for a private room in a nursing home, for instance, is $97,455 and hiring a home health aide runs roughly $49,000 a year, according to the 2017 Genworth Cost of Care Report. read more

How to Make the Most of Your Holidays

Happy family exchanging wrapped gifts

Tips and inspiration to keep the season low on stress and high on meaning [Photo credit: Getty Images]

By Heidi Raschke for Next Avenue

From gifts that are truly meaningful to tips on navigating tricky family situations, we’ve got advice and inspiration from the Next Avenue stories below to help you have truly happy holidays:

Traditions and Family

Four Jews and a Christmas Tree — I grew up in a Jewish household where Christmas dawned each year with only one thought in mind: “Woo-hoo, the ski slopes will be empty today!” As my mother made clear, the trees, the ornaments, the music — that wasn’t for us. That was for the family one street over, who (charitably) let my three siblings and me come over each year to help decorate their tree. If our line of menorahs seemed less festive, well, we knew where Mom stood on the idea of a “Hanukkah bush.” Then came love. Then came marriage. Then came the Christmas trees Mom had disparaged. Read more. read more

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America honors campuses

James J. Cook standing at a lectern

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s board of trustees member James J. Cook of St. Louis, Missouri, addresses the gathering on Nov. 30 in Wichita, Kansas.

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America recognized all 17 of its Kansas and Missouri campuses for reaching goals in fiscal year 2017, July 1, 2016, through June 30, 2017, during a celebration Nov. 30 at the Broadview Hotel in Wichita, Kan.

The recognitions came through PMMA’s new Emerald Awards Program, designed to encourage its 17 locations and 2 hospices to achieve high levels of resident and employee satisfaction, meet financial goals, build philanthropic support for the organization’s mission and meet marketing goals. There are 11 areas measured for community Emerald Awards and 10 areas measured for hospice Emerald Awards. read more

4 Ways to Maintain Healthy Family Relationships

Deploy a little patience this holiday season [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Ken Druck for Next Avenue

(Editor’s note: This essay is the latest in a series from author and speaker Ken Druck, based on work in his book Courageous Aging, which is about how all people can make peace with, and find joy in, every stage of life.)

Things don’t stay the same as we get older. We evolve into the older versions of ourselves.

The same happens with families. And sometimes growing older can cause great upheaval to the family dynamics — especially between adult children and aging parents — requiring additional patience and understanding if we want to age together in a way that is healthy. read more

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America wins web awards

Presbyterian Manors of Mid-America’s recently launched Facebook page for Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor and a video produced for Aberdeen Village recently received recognition from the Digital Health Awards for fall 2017.

The campus Facebook page allows Arkansas City Presbyterian Manor to highlight the lifestyle on the campus in a more immediate way than the campus website can. The page features a mix of real-time posts and content curated from other senior living resources. All 17 PMMA campuses have a presence on Facebook. read more

The Special Bond of Older Dogs and Older Owners

Money-saving ‘Seniors for Seniors’ pet adoption programs are gaining popularity [Photo credit: Adobe Stock]

By Jen Reeder for Next Avenue

When Barbara Castleman and her husband visited an animal shelter in Albuquerque, N.M., several years ago, they were surprised to find a purebred toy Australian shepherd available for adoption. While it would have cost them thousands of dollars to purchase such a dog from a breeder, 10-year-old Stella’s pet adoption fee was only $40 because she was a “senior” — and Castleman received an additional $10 discount because she herself was over 50.

“Best of all, before taking her home, the shelter vet asked if they could give her a free dental exam, saving us hundreds of dollars. Imagine, for what we’d spend on lunch out, we’ve gotten years of unconditional love and companionship,” Castleman said. read more