Guest Blog: Four Easy Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

For many people, winter is a magical time. They get to play in the snow, celebrate holidays with family and friends, and cuddle up by the fire. But, for some, including seniors, winter can be a difficult and even potentially dangerous time.

Between the risks of slipping and falling and arthritis pain made worse by the cold weather, many seniors find themselves dreading the winter months. If you’re in this group, there’s no need to fear the cold and snow.

Read on to learn about four winter safety tips that every senior should keep in mind as the weather cools down.

1. Avoid Slips and Falls
Your chances of slipping and falling increase dramatically in the winter.

To avoid falls and potentially serious injuries, be sure to only walk on sidewalks and walkways that have been cleared and salted. If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and take another route.

It’s also important to wear proper winter boots with non-skid soles. Replace the rubber tip on your cane, if you use one, too.

2. Drive Safely
You also need to take extra precautions when you drive during the winter months. Have your car checked during the fall or early winter to make sure everything is operating properly. Be sure to keep your cell phone with you whenever you drive, too.

Avoid driving on icy roads whenever you can, and stick to well-plowed, bigger roads when snow hits. They’re usually cleared more quickly than backroads.

3. Minimize Joint Pain
If you suffer from arthritis or joint pain, you mind find that it gets worse during the winter. Some things you can do to relieve your pain and stay comfortable include:

Dress warmly
Find ways to exercise indoors
Eat a balanced, anti-inflammatory diet
Use balms or creams to relieve knee pain
Soak in a warm bath or hot tub to loosen up your joints

4. Fight Seasonal Affective Disorder
Finally, keep in mind that Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD or winter depression, is also common among seniors, especially seniors who live alone and don’t socialize as much during the winter.

If you find yourself feeling depressed or isolated when the weather cools down, seek out new ways to connect with loved ones. Schedule daily or weekly phone calls, or arrange for family members and friends to come and visit you.

By |2021-11-30T16:27:57-05:00December 14th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Four Easy Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

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 |2021-11-08T12:27:56-05:00November 29th, 2021|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 Prepare for Senior Living

As Americans age, they must face the prospect of what to do when maintaining their independence is no longer recommended or feasible. The following resources from Senior Care Central will help you and your family figure out how best to make decisions about retirement communities, assisted living facilities, and nursing homes.

How Do I Know When to Make a Change?

Sometimes it is difficult to know when it’s time to change your living arrangements or those of an aging loved one. Check out these sources for help in knowing when the time is right.

  • Consumer Affairs lists 17 signs that it may be time to consider assisted living.
  • If you’re still unsure about moving into senior care, perhaps aging in place is an option, at least for a little while.

How Do I Know a Facility is a Good One?

Once you are certain a senior care option is necessary, you have to choose the location. However, there are so many facilities in operation that it can be difficult to tell which one is best for you or your loved one. Utilize these tools to make sure you’ve made the best choice.

  • There are several websites that rate retirement communities, so be sure to take these reviews into consideration.
  • However, many people are more comfortable with consumer reviews, so don’t neglect this source of information.
  • It also doesn’t hurt to check out what government inspection procedures are and to make sure the facility you’re considering has few if any citations against it.

How Do I Pay for Long-Term Senior Care?

It is hard enough figuring out senior care without even considering the costs associated with it, but sooner or later, the price of assisted living must be taken into consideration. Fortunately, there are many ways to make the cost affordable.

It may not be pleasant as you investigate options for senior living, but it will likely be necessary. The process can be confusing and stressful, but the resources discussed in this article will make the process a little easier to understand and navigate.

 

 

By |2021-11-18T18:38:06-05:00November 18th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on How to Prepare for Senior Living

Navigating the Financial Decisions Seniors Face After Becoming Widowed – And How Caregivers Can Help

Experiencing the loss of a spouse is a major change for anyone to deal with, but for seniors who have shared their life with one person for years, losing a spouse often brings about unexpected consequences. Besides dealing with grief, there are also financial issues to confront.

Seniors who are going through this loss often feel overwhelmed by the decisions they need to make and how those decisions will impact their future. This is where adult children or other caregivers can make a big difference by helping your loved one make sense of it all, so they can move forward with a solid financial plan.

Read on for some more thoughts from International Rehabilitation Consultants.

Knowing When and How to Help

 As a caregiver of someone in this position, one thing you may be concerned about is whether your senior loved one should continue managing their own finances. Next Avenue points out that it’s important to address this concern openly before making any decisions. If you both feel like it’s a good idea for you to help, you will want to have your loved one sign a durable power of attorney, which will give you legal authority to access and manage accounts.

In some cases, your loved one may be able to manage their own accounts with a little assistance. Tech-savvy seniors should look into online banking, or as Bankrate recommends, consider trying apps that help, such as SilverBills or Ready, Set, Bank.

If your loved one wants to set up a nonprofit in their spouse’s memory and honor, you can help walk them through the process. Visit Zenbusiness to learn about legal requirements you need to tend to set up a nonprofit.

Health and Safety Concerns

 Besides helping with the mundane financial tasks, you can also help by looking over your loved one’s financial statements to make sure their health needs are being met. This is especially important if your loved one is living alone because health and safety could become a concern.

One specific area to discuss is healthcare coverage. You can start by asking what kind of Medicare plan they have or if they get insurance through retirement benefits, either their own or through their spouse. This is a crucial question, as the death of a spouse may change your loved one’s eligibility for employer retirement benefits.

If your loved one has Medicare, you may want to look into whether a Medicare Advantage plan would be right for their financial situation. These plans are sold through popular companies like Aetna, and many seniors like the expanded benefits they provide, such as dental and vision care and prescription drug coverage.

Taking the Next Steps

 Once you’ve looked at your loved one’s overall financial outlook, the next major question is “Where do we go from here?” Depending on your loved one’s income and savings, they may not need to make major changes. However, some seniors who become widowed are dealt a financial blow as a result of losing their spouse’s income.

In this case, it’s a good idea to seek advice from a financial advisor so that you don’t rush into decisions that could prove detrimental in the long term. For example, there are some tax implications of becoming widowed, including the decision to make early withdrawals from retirement savings. Doing this may seem like a good option for replacing a spouse’s lost income, but your loved one may lose out by having to pay additional taxes and penalties.

Another major consideration is whether your loved one will continue living at home. This is a personal decision, and finances are only part of the equation. If your loved one decides to sell their home, this is another issue where you want to do your research and consult with an expert, such as an attorney, who can guide you in the legal aspects of selling as a widow or widower.

By |2021-10-27T11:44:06-05:00October 27th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Navigating the Financial Decisions Seniors Face After Becoming Widowed – And How Caregivers Can Help

Guest Blog: 5 Signs of Mental Health Issues for Seniors


When you’ve started to notice changes in an elderly relative, you may wonder if a mental health issue is the cause. While it is important a mental health professional diagnoses these issues, some signs exist indicating that the time has come to make an appointment.

Depression
Depression can occur for a host of reasons. Elderly individuals may be suffering from the loss of a loved one, or they may feel alienated, isolated or otherwise separated from their friends or from their interests outside of the house. Individuals who seem filled with sadness and negative emotions or who are hinting about emotional turmoil may need outpatient or inpatient treatment for depression.

Anxiety Issues/Bipolar Disorder
You may also notice that your loved ones are having heightened periods of elevation followed by periods of deep sadness. They could be suffering from bipolar disorder. Serious anxieties could begin to manifest at this age too. For example, you may notice that your elderly relatives always seem to be thinking about their own death or about expected loss of other loved ones.

Memory Loss
As people age, you may think that it is a normal occurrence for them to forget information that they would have once remembered. However, these early slips could be signs of a more serious problem that is coming into fruition. Your loved ones might now be forgetting about certain dates or social events, but these struggles could turn into failures to take medication or complete other necessary medical tasks.

Personal Care
If you notice that your loved ones are not taking care of themselves as they used to, this situation could also be a sign of mental health issues. For example, you may have noticed that your relatives are no longer brushing their teeth or bathing on a regular basis. Seeking professional help can uncover the root of the issue so that a plan of treatment can be devised.

Social Withdrawal
Your loved ones might also seem to not want to participate in social activities anymore. Whether they are constantly declining invites to attend family functions or they do not want to participate in community activities any longer, these decisions could be signs that a mental health issue is present.

As your loved ones age, you may be the lookout for physical health issues. While addressing these problems is imperative, so is watching for signs of mental health struggles. May is mental health awareness month, get involved to help bring awareness to this important cause!

By |2021-09-29T10:34:46-05:00September 30th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Signs of Mental Health Issues for Seniors
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