seniors

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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 |2019-06-14T10:59:13-05:00June 14th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Budgeting for Seniors and Those on Fixed Incomes

8 Fun Activities for Seniors with Mobility Issues

Do mobility issues have your aging parent down in the dumps? Losing the ability to get around independently can definitely strike a blow to confidence and wellbeing levels. Mobility issues don’t need to stifle a senior’s sense of purpose or enjoyment of life though. Don’t miss these 8 fun activity ideas for seniors with mobility issues:

Board games – bring on the board games and give your loved one a cognitive boost. Everything from cards to Scrabble to Monopoly, Dominos, and Checkers is a great place to start. Stock up on gently used board games from local re-stores like Goodwill and invite friends and family to join in on the fun.

Puzzles – putting puzzles together stimulates critical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as engages spatial awareness and concentration. Don’t reserve your fun to jigsaw puzzles either; games like Sudoku and Jenga have similar brain-boosting effects too!

Cooking – maybe standing at the stove to stir a big pot isn’t feasible, but mixing a green salad at a lower table is. Or helping scoop cookie dough onto a baking sheet. Cooking with your aging parent not only gives them something fun to do but helps them feel like a productive contributor in the home too.

Chair exercises – routine workouts are critical for all older adults, even people who are limited to canes, walkers or wheelchairs. Physical fitness helps prevent unwanted weight gain and lifestyle diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Guides to chair exercises and exercises for those recovering from injuries like fractured hips can be found online.

Art project – get the creative juices flowing and find an art project geared towards your loved one’s interests. Perhaps it is painting on a canvas, collaging, knitting, coloring, making jewelry, or even simply framing family photos – the act of creating something can is truly invigorating.

Planting – potting plants is easy and accessible when your loved one can sit in a chair at a table. Mixing soil, placing plants inside pots, and even snipping dead leaves or picking herbs are monthly activities that your loved one can do with minor assistance.

Reading – Nothing beats a good book. If your loved one is unable to hold a book or see words on a page, audiobooks are a great alternative (and can be borrowed for free at your local library).

Video chatting – for seniors with mobility limitations, social isolation is a very prevalent and dangerous reality. Technology makes it easy, however, to connect with friends and family near and far via free services like Skype, Google Hangouts or Facetime. You simply need a smartphone or webcam with speakers for your computer.

By |2019-06-06T19:34:07-05:00June 7th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on 8 Fun Activities for Seniors with Mobility Issues

4 Home Improvements Caregivers Should Make


Paige A. Mitchell
If you’re caring for a family member at home, you’ll want to ensure your house is a safe, healthy environment for everyone involved. You’ll likely have some adjustments to make in order to make your home more comfortable for an ill or impaired loved one. Consider the four home improvements below.

1. Declutter and re-decorate

Keep floors clear of toys and shoes. Strategically rearrange the furniture, so that your loved one is able to remain stimulated and engaged while they sit. For example, they may enjoy some natural sunlight and the view of nature from a comfortable chair near a window. Personal touches and familiar objects can make Alzheimer’s patients more comfortable.

2. Enhanced access

It’s important to review each room in the house to determine how accessible it is to someone who is ill or impaired. The American Association of Retired Persons’ checklist includes zero-threshold and wide entrances for wheelchairs and walkers, low light switches and door knobs that are reachable to someone in a wheelchair, and non-slip flooring and grab bars in at least one bathroom.

3. Maintain your home

Whether you’re caring for someone who is ill or not, it’s important to conduct regular home maintenance to ensure it’s a truly healthy environment. For example, replacing batteries in smoke detectors is especially important if your loved one is forgetful and susceptible to forgetting that something is on the stove. Take full advantage of your home repair insurance to save time, energy, and money on repairs.

4. Ask for help

Fifty percent of caregivers report feeling depressed. If you’re suffering from fatigue, isolation, irritable, and/or ill, it’s important to take a step back to take care of yourself. Don’t forget to ask for help when you need it. Seek an expert opinion for objective advice on whether you should consider placing your loved one in assisted care.

By |2019-05-13T09:17:30-05:00May 15th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on 4 Home Improvements Caregivers Should Make

Guest Blog: Life Hacks for Seniors Looking for a Fresh Boost of Energy


As we age, our old habits for staying sharp and energized tend to stop working for us. Why is that? Because our bodies are always changing and that means that what used to work for us, may not work anymore. The same can be said for finding energy. If you’re in need of some life hacks to renew your energy, consider these tips you may not have used before.

Are You Working Out Too Much?
While it is great to work out throughout the week, you may be pushing yourself too much. Consider how much you work out each week, or even what type of workouts you are doing. Take it easy on yourself and opt to work out three times a week that includes light cardio and calisthenics. As you work out, take note of how you feel during each task. You should still be able to carry on a conversation as you work out. If you feel short of breath, then try and tone back your workout activity.

Hire Professionals Whenever Possible
Don’t overwork yourself in retirement by taking on home tasks that you don’t need to perform. When in doubt, hire a professional. If you aren’t in a senior living community yet, considering investing in a home protection plan to help with home maintenance. You may even want to consider hiring a housecleaner to come in once a week to take care of those bigger cleaning tasks, such as laundry or cleaning the bathroom.

Discover How Much Sleep You Need
Did you know that sleeping too little, or even too much, can affect your energy levels? Everybody is different, so try and mix up how much you’re sleeping each day to figure out what you need to have enough energy throughout the day. It may also be worth considering sleeping less at night, then taking advantage of a nice nap during the middle of the day. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to take on the afternoon activities.

Squeeze in Raw Vegetables Whenever Possible
A tried and true way to get the nutrients you need is to eat your veggies, but that may be easier said than done. Vegetables come packed with vitamins and minerals that the body needs to stay active and healthy. Squeeze in some vibrant veggies wherever you can, or even opt to have a green drink every morning in case you are unable to meet your vegetable quota throughout the day.

Add Vitamin D Into Your Routine
Vitamin D is much more beneficial to your body than just for bone health, it is great for your skin and can help give you a ton of energy you may otherwise be missing. If you aren’t getting enough vegetables containing Vitamin D in your daily diet, such as spinach and kale, consider taking a daily vitamin. You can even invest in a liquid vitamin or powder to mix into your morning coffee or smoothie.

Breath in the Fresh Air
Take some time to take walks outside and breath in the fresh air. According to the Journal of Environmental Psychology, even spending short periods of time outdoors has been directly correlated with greater vitality. Whether you take a walk, drink your morning coffee on the porch, or even just take a moment to enjoy the sunshine as you take out the trash, try and spend some time each day outdoors.

By |2019-04-27T12:26:04-05:00April 27th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Life Hacks for Seniors Looking for a Fresh Boost of Energy

How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community

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Guest Blog: How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community
By: Derek Hobson

First let’s tackle the basics. Many people are wary of senior care homes because there’s a stigma that surrounds them; people see them as gloomy, dreary, end-of-life communities. While certainly there was a time when this was the case (several decades ago), most communities have worked hard to battle this stereotype and they have succeeded.

Many communities have done away with “institution” or “hospital” –like settings. Even more have become increasingly lenient on policies regarding residents’ possessions; some facilities have been known to permit pets and even furniture to help it feel like home. So, when the time comes to transition into one of these senior care homes, the question becomes, “How do I find the right one?”

1. Find out About Affordability
This is usually at the top of everyone’s list and for good reason. Today, people are having children later in life. This isn’t a bad thing, but it means that around the same time their kids are going off to college, their parents are starting to need extra care. This can put a lot of stress on adult children, but some senior homes provide help.

Some Assisted Living Facilities will accept private pay for a period of time and then accept the rest through Medicaid. This way, your senior does not need to move and they won’t need to fear outliving their assets.

2. Visit the Community (Often)
If you think a community looks good for your loved one, then you should visit and revisit. You should tour the facility on different days of the week at different times. This way, you’ll get a much broader view of the day-to-day.

See if people are out and about, if engaging activities are going on, and if there’s a general feeling of community. If you show up to an elder care home that looks more like a ghost town, then it’s probably not the one for your loved one.

3. Talk to the Residents & Staff
This one is critical, as nothing quite beats a first-hand view into the establishment. Ask residents if they enjoy the community, what they do on a daily basis, and if they’re happy.

When asking the staff, of course they’re not going to disparage against the home, but one of the most important things to take notice of is how they interact with the residents. If they refer to them by name and have clearly established relationships with them, then this can be a huge indicator of the level of personal care your loved one will receive.

These are the three most important criteria to face when choosing an elder care community and they should give you a well-rounded idea of the facility you’ve chosen.

By |2019-03-01T17:05:55-05:00March 20th, 2019|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community