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CFO - Senior Care Central, LLC

Guest Blog: Senior Drivers – How to Keep Your License

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America’s senior citizens are often stereotyped to be bad (sometimes unsafe) drivers.  But the truth is that simply growing older does not impair a person’s ability to be safe behind the wheel by default.  Many healthy seniors remain skilled drivers and are as adept and alert as anybody, but others struggle with the early signs of health conditions that can affect driving, and would like to do what they can to keep driving and be safe.  If physical or cognitive health conditions have progressed to a point where focus and reflexes are hindered even during daily activities not behind the wheel, then driving is not advised.

How Age Affects Driving Competence

Dementia Cognitive diseases, like Alzheimer’s can hinder an elder’s memory, critical thinking, and problem solving skills needed for minding the road.

Vision and Hearing Impairment:  Aging may naturally dull a driver’s sense of sight and hearing.  Aged eyes may be more sensitive to sunlight in the windshield or headlights at night.  It is important for senior drivers to routinely schedule vision and hearing tests to make sure they are safe to drive.

Arthritis and Weak Joints: Conditions like arthritis can hinder hand dexterity required for turning steering wheels or shifting gears.  When joints are weak, actions like buckling a seatbelt or pushing the brakes may be difficult which can be unsafe for drivers.

Reflexes: Sometimes it’s not you who mess up, but other drivers around you. Adept reflexes are crucial to reacting to dynamic developments on the road.  Reflexes can be tested by doctors during checkups and physicals to guarantee senior safety.

Over-cautiousness:  Sometimes seniors become self-conscious about their difficulty focusing on what’s going on, and may be too safe by going dangerously slow to prevent speeding or car crashes, but actually put other drivers in danger who try to maneuver around them.

Tips for Senior Drivers to Keep License

  •  It’s wise for very aged seniors who notice the warning signs to stick to familiar destinations with short distances and avoid any anxiety or possibility of getting lost.
  • Driving while stressed or tired can lead to making mistakes on the road, which can lead to a revoked license.  Only drive when you feel completely ready.
  • Keep track of how medications may impact driving skills.
  • Always make sure to check your mirrors constantly, especially when changing lanes.
  • Give other drivers space by not driving too close behind.

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By | 2017-05-11T09:13:19+00:00 May 11th, 2017|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Senior Drivers – How to Keep Your License

My not-bucket List

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Some people, when they get to be my age, make a bucket list – that is, those activities they would like to do before they die. Well, I decided to make a list of the things I don’t ever care to do and am happy that I haven’t done…so here is my short not-bucket list:

Go sky diving. While this might be one many people’s bucket list, I have no desire to go skydiving. I just can’t imagine that the euphoria at having survived jumping out of plane and relying on a parachute for my life would ever override the sheer terror of the falling feeling. In fact, I would probably have a heart attack and die of fright on the way down.

Own a snake. I hate snakes and would never call one a pet. I would always be worried that it would escape and I would find it in my shoes one day all dried up, or worse yet, that it would curl up in the shower or hide in my closet. A big snake might eat my little dog or cat. Snakes seem like tricky creatures that would give me nightmares. Nope, no snakes for me.

Smoke a cigarette. No, I have never smoked a cigarette. In fact, when I was about 8 years old and my Dad was once smoking a cigar, which he did only occasionally (being more of a pipe man himself), I wanted to be like him and try a smoke. Dad said okay, and told me to take a big deep breath to inhale that delicious cigar smoke. As you might imagine, the fitful coughing after that one drag, combined with his laughter, cured me of ever wanting to smoke anything – thus Dad’s lesson. He did, however, teach me great technique in stuffing his pipe, though not smoking one!

Go bungee jumping. Even if we set aside all the health hazards of having your hips and knees nearly yanked out of their sockets, your pelvis twisted and jolted, or the risks of having a stroke from all the blood rushing to your brain as you hang upside down, this is not appealing at all to me. Those with hiatal hernias or GERD should not put this on their bucket list. Similar to my feelings about sky diving, I just would not trust that the bungee cord would be strong enough or short enough to make it worth the thrill. Even with a go-pro camera to record the event, I’m sure that my screaming would overshadow any future comedic home movies that would come from it.

Get drunk.  I can’t see the attraction of getting drunk and not remembering what you did the night before. I guess that it makes for funny big screen movies, but vomiting all over the carpet and having to clean it up the next day when sober just doesn’t make it onto my list of anything remotely resembling fun. Besides, if I ever got inebriated, I would probably be found dancing on a table in a nightclub, make the evening news, and embarrass my kids to death.

Get a kidney stone.  I have already had one kidney stone and they are definitely not fun. I don’t care to have another, so I drink plenty of water throughout the day. It is true what they say, that the pain can be excruciating and intractable. Kidneys stones should be on the “avoid at all costs” list of everyone.

So, what’s on your not bucket list?

By | 2017-04-26T15:59:02+00:00 April 26th, 2017|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on My not-bucket List

Guest Blog: Should We Be Saving for Our Care in Old Age?

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‘Carpe diem’ is a phrase that you’ve no doubt heard before. Your grandchildren might be announcing instead that ‘YOLO – you only live once’. The message is simple – live each day as though it’s your last, you never know what’s around the corner. According to those phrases, saving for old age might be a waste of money. We never know if we’ll make it to retirement, or how far into our retirement years we’ll get. Aren’t there more important things to be spending our money on than our old age care? Should we be saving at all?

What are your future prospects?

As much as you might convince yourself that you never know what lies ahead, the reality is that you can assume that you’ll live to see old age. Thanks to medical advances, more and more people are living full and healthy lives past an age that would previously have been considered to be ‘old’. After those healthy years, in many cases, come the not-so-healthy years when medical costs and care costs increase.

If you’re trying to convince yourself that saving isn’t worthwhile because you might not ever be ‘old’, bear in mind that by 2030 it is expected that 1 person out of 5 in the U.S. will be 65 or over.

Should you save for old age?

Your future is unknown. A majority of people pay a small fortune in costs for their care when they reach old age. The amount of support available could increase by the time you’re there, or it could dramatically decrease. It is far better to assume the latter and be prepared for every eventuality than to assume that you’ll have financial support and then discover later on that you don’t.

As you age, you may become less able to earn money and may be less capable of making your own decisions. If you don’t prepare in advance, then the eventual burden of your old age care will fall to your loved ones. By saving for old age, you are able to ensure that you get the best place to live, the best support and the best medical treatment, without impacting on the finances and livelihoods of younger family members.

Ecuva is an online health and wellness store where customers can purchase daily living aids, disability aids and items that can make old age easier, more comfortable and more independent.

By | 2017-04-21T08:34:05+00:00 April 21st, 2017|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Should We Be Saving for Our Care in Old Age?
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