Resources

Resources2018-05-18T09:03:15-05:00

Guest Blog: Budgeting for Seniors and Those on Fixed Incomes

Most seniors have a fixed, limited income. Even though it may not seem like a whole lot, there are ways to budget and make the fixed income work to your advantage. After all, you know exactly how much money you are going to get each month. You don’t have to worry about losing a job, or not getting a paycheck. Most of the time the money comes in on a predictable date and this is very advantageous because you know exactly when the money is going to get replenished.

Now to the budgeting. Most seniors have essentials such as paying for medications, food, rent and mortgage, transportation and of course incidentals. Figure out how much you have available after your rent/mortgage expense, medication expense, transportation expense and this is the amount you have for food and incidentals. Going out to eat can be a major expense so staying in might be a good idea for some.
Additionally, if you have money left over at the end of the month, you can save up for a vacation, or a one off purchase.

If you have debt, negotiating the interest rate with the bank or credit card company can save a lot of money. Monitoring utility usage and minimizing utility usage can also lead to a big savings. Leaving on the air conditioning or heat during the day when you aren’t home tends to add up over time. Even though this may amount to 50-100.00 per month, over the course of the year this equates to thousands of dollars.

It’s also worth mentioning that not all insurance premiums are created equal. Some people are unknowingly paying for services outside of Medicare that they may not need. Likewise, for those on an extremely reduced fixed income, it could be worth looking into Medicaid in your state. Each state has different rules, but here is a nationwide guide to Medicaid, which can help pay for regular medical expenses and long term care.

The last piece of advice is to track your not-so-necessary purchases. Write down each time you purchase something that is not essential and you will most likely be surprised. If you are not careful, a large amount of your budget could be going to non-essentials. Whether you use a pen and paper, or are using budgeting software, it is a good idea to keep track of all expenses. Click the lick to see a handy budget sheet created by AARP. This minimizes surprises and will lead to a much easier time getting to the next month’s income check.

Jacob Edward is the manager of Senior Planning in Phoenix Arizona. Jacob founded Senior Planning in 2007 and has helped many Arizona seniors and their families navigate the process of long-term care planning.

By |June 14th, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , , |Comments Off on Guest Blog: Budgeting for Seniors and Those on Fixed Incomes

Guest Blog: Three key ways architecture benefits the elderly

Most people don’t realize just how big of an impact architecture can have on the lives and well being of elderly individuals. For many years, innovative designs for care homes and retirement living have gone a long way in helping to both support and reassure elderly residents so they feel comfortable in their surroundings, and will do for many years to come. Here are three key ways in which architecture benefits the elderly.

Exposure to sunlight

One of the first architectural considerations for any residential project is ‘how does the building sit in relation to the sun?’ This can influence many factors such as the garden, conservatories and large windows, all because we want residents to have the best exposure to natural light as possible. Designs for many care homes ensure that there are no rooms that face exclusively north, so all residents receive direct, natural sunlight into their room at some point during the day. Not only are there psychological benefits of enjoying the sunshine, but exposure to the sun in moderation provides a healthy dose of Vitamin D, absorbed into the body to help strengthen bones which is a huge boost for the elderly to starve off the effects of frailty with age.

Green space

Residential architecture is not just about the building, but landscaping the garden area too. Retaining some green outdoor space is important for elderly residents for whom it may not be possible to venture to the nearest public park whenever they wish, so they can relax outdoors without completely leaving their home. For more mobile elderly residents, gardens also provide the opportunity to continue with a relaxing gardening hobby, or to even take it up. In care homes, gardens are kept in pristine condition all year round by qualified gardeners, and when the months begin to get warmer, residents can enjoy the various plants and colorful flowerbeds – some of which they may have helped to plant themselves.

Built to adapt

When it comes to care home facilities and retirement housing, architectural designs must cater for the ever-changing needs of the residents. Therefore, it has to be built to adapt. Many elderly who use wheelchairs will require spacious rooms with height adjustable surfaces, particularly in the kitchen, and ramps fitted on all entrances and exits. These features take even more prominence in care homes with more residents present, with designs also incorporating wide corridors to allow residents in wheelchairs or on mobility scooters to pass one another with ease, and interior walls within a resident’s living space fitted as panels that can be easily knocked out to create a larger open plan floor space if necessary.

Author bio: Mick Goode is a co-founder and co-director of Croft Goode Architects, based in Lancashire, UK. As a BIM-focused practice of chartered architects, we have a vast range of experience designing for all kinds of projects, including those for retirement living and healthcare buildings for the elderly and disabled.

By |June 12th, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Three key ways architecture benefits the elderly

Guest Blog: Lasik Surgery – Do You Need It?

Often called the windows to our soul, eyes are the first thing that almost everyone notices when they meet someone. Whether you are meeting for the first time or have known them for years, your eyes will meet theirs while having a conversation. Besides that, they are one of the basic senses that you need to function properly. This is why the majority of the people take great care of their eyes to maintain their health.

While corrective lenses and glasses have been the norm of treating near or far-sightedness, a more permanent solution has become popular globally. Lasik eye surgery has seen a surge since many doctors and professionals have reported the great success of the procedure.

LASIK Surgery
LASIK or Laser-Assisted in-Situ Keratomileusis is a corrective eye procedure that uses a laser to treat vision problems such as astigmatism, nearsightedness and/or farsightedness. It is administered by ophthalmologists to reduce the patient’s dependency on prescription lenses or glasses.

It involves the surgeon creating a flap in the cornea with a laser to raise and then fix it through reshaping. There are different techniques and detailed procedures that are used to treat specific vision problems.

It is one of the most famous eye surgeries performed across the world among the various types of refractive surgeries. Its popularity is credited to its list of accolades and successful cases. In fact, the majority of the patients who receive the surgery have successfully achieved a 20/25 or better vision.

While it is a famous treatment choice among many patients with vision-related problems, it is still not applicable to everyone. There are certain requirements that make you eligible for the surgery. As for the ones who can’t get the procedure, there are only very few exceptional cases who are rejected for the LASIK procedure.

The following few points will help you decide if you are a candidate for the surgery and if you should start asking about how much LASIK surgery costs.

AGE
Your age is an important consideration when determining your eligibility for the LASIK procedure. Usually, if you have a good ocular health overall and are in the age range of 18-65, you are eligible for the corrective eye surgery. But remember that the case for you might be different depending on various other factors. For example, there are certain instances where kids under 18 can receive the surgery. It is better that you ask a surgeon to evaluate your ocular health and make a more informed decision.

Your Ocular Health
Ocular health or general state of your eyes will greatly impact the decision of your eligibility for LASIK. According to Mayo Clinic, patients with low to moderate level of refractive vision problems with no other vision errors are best suited for LASIK. Any disease that holds the potential to get worse as a result of the surgery will eliminate your chances of getting LASIK. These diseases include cataracts, large pupils, glaucoma, lid disorders, keratitis, uveitis and a few others.

Your Overall Health
Besides particularly ocular health, your overall health also impacts your chances of being eligible for LASIK. There are certain medical conditions that might have negative impacts on your eyes if you get LASIK. These diseases include diabetes, severe depression, certain chronic pain conditions and disorders related to the immune system that makes you prone to infections like lupus, HIV, arthritis among other autoimmune diseases.

While these might be able to give you a general idea about what you need to be eligible for the LASIK surgery, but it is better that you get a professional evaluation.

By |June 11th, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Tags: , , , |Comments Off on Guest Blog: Lasik Surgery – Do You Need It?

Guest Blog: A Solid Rehab Approach for the Elderly

Unfortunately, addiction doesn’t just stop in one place and stay there. It can affect many people across all walks of life. It happens to any person, of any age, in any area, in any place of their life. This is why it is important to note those rehabs that specialize in rehab care for the elderly.

With over 40 million seniors aged 65 or older living in the country, it is no wonder that some of them do have an addiction issue. With so many seniors, many of them have taken prescription pills for one health issue or another. As a leading cause of substance abuse in the country, seniors are not exempt from this addiction.

In fact, seniors are more likely to be prescribed these medications and more likely to abuse them than any other age group. This is because they are oftentimes forgetful, may feel like they haven’t taken enough, do not realize they are taking too much, or any number of other reasons.

Rehab for these seniors addicted to these medications will be needed.

Addiction in Seniors
Many find it surprising that so many seniors are addicted to medications. Isolation and loneliness tend to be the most common issues for addiction in older adults, especially those abusing alcohol or other drugs.

This type of addiction needs to be addressed in a specific setting and in a specific way. Not only should the root of the problem, such as the loneliness, be addressed, but the specific person should understand that they have a problem. Even though they are older, it doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t get help.

An addiction rehab with specialists that are trained in senior rehab is required. This is a rehab center that can speak with the senior, understand why they are using or abusing the substance, and then find the best course of action to take regarding their treatment plan.

Seniors, just like the rest of us, are susceptible to addiction. Due to this, it is important to check in on those that are close to you to make sure that they do not feel the need to use. You want to help them when it is needed, visit with them, and let them know you are there. Rehabs for seniors, and others that have drug abuse issues are out there, but it shouldn’t have to get this far.

By |June 10th, 2019|Categories: Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: A Solid Rehab Approach for the Elderly

Heart Failure Warning Signs and Treatment

Background

Heart failure (HF) happens when the heart is not strong enough to pump the needed blood with oxygen to the rest of the body. The CDC estimated that 5.7 million people in the U.S. have heart failure. The incidence of congestive heart failure (CHF) varies among races and across age groups. It is the cause of 55,000 deaths each year (CDC, 2012). The lifetime risk for someone to have CHF is 1 in 5.

Risk Factors

The major risk factors for HF are diabetes and MI. African American males are at higher risk than Caucasians. The risk of CHF in older adults doubles for those with blood pressures over 160/90. Seventy-five percent of those with CHF also have hypertension (AHA, 2012). Congestive heart failure often occurs within 6 years after a heart attack.

Warning Signs

Signs and symptoms of heart failure include shortness of breath (that also worsens when lying down), weight gain with swelling in the legs/ankles, and general tiredness. It is essential that older adults diagnosed with HF recognize signs of a worsening condition and report them promptly to their healthcare provider. Older adults may not have the typical symptoms but complain of other things like decreased appetite, weight gain of a few pounds, or insomnia (Amella, 2004).

Diagnosis

For in-home monitoring, daily weights at the same time of day with the same clothes on the same scale are essential. The physician or primary care provider will give guidelines for the person to call if the weight exceeds his or her threshold for weight gain. This is usually between 1 and 3 pounds. The decision regarding when to call the primary care provider is made based upon the severity of the HF and the relative stability/frailty of the person.

Treatment

Treatment for HF involves the usual lifestyle modifications discussed for promoting a healthy heart, as well as several possible types of medications. These include ACE inhibitors, diuretics, vasodilators, beta-blockers, blood thinners, angiotensin II blockers, calcium channel blockers, and potassium. Lifestyle changes, per recommendation of the primary care provider, may include (AHA, 2009):
Maintaining an appropriate weight
Limiting salt intake
Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake
Managing stress
Getting adequate rest
Engaging in physical activity as prescribed
Quitting smoking
Eating a heart-healthy diet
To minimize exacerbations, patient and family counseling should include teaching about the use of medications to control symptoms and the importance of regular monitoring with a health care provider (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality [AHRQ], 2012; Hunt et al., 2009). With the proper combination of treatments such as lifestyle changes and medications, many older persons can still live happy and productive lives with a diagnosis of heart failure and minimize their risk of complications related to this disease.

For additional information on heart failure visit the American Heart Association website at:
target=”_blank”>http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartFailure/Heart-Failure_UCM_002019_SubHomePage.jsp”

 

Adapted from Mauk, K. L., Hanson, P., & Hain, D. (2014). Review of the management of common illnesses, diseases, or health conditions. In K. L. Mauk’s (Ed.) Gerontological Nursing: Competencies for Care. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. Used with permission.

By |June 8th, 2019|Categories: News Posts|Comments Off on Heart Failure Warning Signs and Treatment