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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 |2022-07-30T11:48:29-05:00September 14th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on How to Find the Right Senior Housing Community

Silversneakers: How Medicare’s Chic Fitness App Can Keep You Active

Fitness apps like Peloton and Nike Training Club are in vogue right now, offering live classes with personal trainers, on-demand workout videos, and access to workshops and support groups right from your phone, all for the price of a streaming subscription. It’s a workout revolution, but for many seniors it can be a bit too intense.

Some apps rely heavily on high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a workout style designed for the high-energy professional with only thirty minutes to spare. Others push expensive equipment like exercise bikes, treadmills, and fitness trackers. Most notably, nearly all of them are focused on the fitness goals of the younger generation: shedding extra pounds and getting toned and sexy.

A senior, however, has much different fitness goals. Yes, losing weight and improving your physique can be a wonderful goal at any age, but many seniors approach exercise as a way to stave off the effects of aging. Low-intensity exercise can bolster your independence by improving balance and preserving mobility, preventing dangerous falls. A good fitness program can help prevent heart disease, bolster your energy, boost your confidence, and improve your quality of life. The issue is finding one. Depending on your Medicare plan, you may already be eligible for one of the most comprehensive fitness plans on the market, all at no cost to you.

SilverSneakers offers all of the allure of those chic fitness apps in a senior-focused package. Not only can you access on-demand workouts as easily as clicking a YouTube video, but you also get access to a plethora of in-person benefits, including access to gyms and fitness facilities.

How does SilverSneakers work?

SilverSneakers is a perk offered through select Medicare Advantage plans.  Medicare Advantage is a private alternative to Medicare Parts A and B, also known as Original Medicare, that combines hospital and medical insurance with benefits Medicare doesn’t usually offer, like vision or dental care. In exchange for committing to a specific insurance network, you can get lower premiums, reduced cost-sharing obligations, and perks like grocery cards and meal delivery. SilverSneakers is just one of many benefits these private insurers offer seniors, and it’s undoubtedly one of the more enticing.

When you enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that includes SilverSneakers, you’ll be directed to download their app. This app, which is available on iOS and Android, includes live and on-demand classes covering various fitness topics. Their classic courses focus on improving balance, strength, and endurance, and are designed for seniors looking to improve their mobility and independence. If that’s not enough of a challenge, they also offer yoga, pilates, Zumba, tai chi, and strength training, among others. They also cover wellness-related topics like nutrition, mindfulness, and meditation.

What helps SilverSneakers stand out over the competition are their in-person offerings. Membership in SilverSneakers includes access to over 15,000 fitness locations, including national chains like Planet Fitness.

Typically, this includes access to all of that location’s amenities, including equipment, pools, hot tubs, saunas, and any nutritional counseling they may offer. SilverSneakers also coordinates in-person courses through their app, allowing you to find local classes and programs that interest you. The plan is 100 percent customizable: you can go to any participating fitness center, take any courses you like, and focus on the benefits you want. Only want to do yoga? No problem. Don’t want to leave the house? You don’t need to. Only interested in your gym’s hot tubs and saunas? You do you.

Because it’s part of your Medicare Advantage plan, you’re under no obligations or pressure to use it, and you’re not necessarily wasting money by skipping a gym visit. It’s just one part of your whole healthcare package, and it’s up to you to fit it into your lifestyle and fitness journey.

What’s the Catch?

If all of this sounds too good to be true, that’s because there are a few caveats that come with any Medicare Advantage plan, and with SilverSneakers in particular.

Private insurers offer Medicare Advantage, which means you’re bound to that insurer’s network. Unlike Original Medicare, which is accepted practically everywhere in the country, Medicare Advantage is usually only accepted by in-network providers. Some plans allow limited out-of-network services, but for the most part, you’ll need to stick with a more limited pool of doctors and specialists.

These plans are also limited to specific regions, meaning SilverSneakers may not be available in your area. Even if it is, there is also the risk of losing your benefits if you spend a significant amount of time away from your coverage area. While Medicare Advantage always offers the same benefits as Original Medicare, the limited network might be a deal breaker for some.

SilverSneakers is one of the best fitness programs available to seniors, and with no-cost access to fitness centers across the country, it has a major edge over the competition. However, it’s still important to be informed.

Speak with a licensed insurance agent, such as those available at MedicareInsurance.com, before enrolling in Medicare Advantage to ensure that your chosen plan meets your healthcare needs. Be sure to consult a doctor before beginning a diet or exercise program and read the privacy policy before enrolling in any online service.

By |2022-09-08T11:49:05-05:00September 8th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Silversneakers: How Medicare’s Chic Fitness App Can Keep You Active

5 Pieces of Technology Seniors Need

Seniors are using technological gadgets today more than ever according to a 2012 research. However, seniors have a long way ahead before they are tech savvy. Good technology can keep your senior loved ones engaged, connected and active both mentally and physically. Again, technology enhances safety for seniors living at home. Check out these five pieces of technology.

1. Tablets, iPads and Smartphones

Your senior loved one needs to have either or all of these devices. They are simple devices really that you may not even realize are needed. Tablets are iPads can be installed with games and apps that promote the mental fitness of your older parent. Seniors can also view photos, learn languages, listen to music and stay connected with people.

2. Medical alert systems

Medical alert systems are a must-have for all seniors. They are designed as simple smartwatches or bracelets and others are like a key fob that seniors hang around their neck. These systems help you monitor the location of loved ones at all times, it gives them calendar notifications and reminders, detect falls and some even have a panic/help button. Because the systems integrate with your smartphone, you have access to your senior loved ones as long as you have your smartphone.

3. Wireless Internet

Does your senior loved on use the internet? If they do, they will need wireless internet more. Even when a senior does not use the internet, most of the smart devices you install at home do; smart sensors, smart thermostats, smart home monitoring and surveillance systems and even the smartphones use internet. Today, most nursing homes are connected to the internet.

4. Smart Assistive Devices

Assistive technology help seniors stay independent at home and also stay safe. You do not have to get them Amazon’s Alexa but you can have other smart devices to help seniors with daily tasks at home. Besides the obvious technologies like home monitoring and GPS, you can install stove shut-off systems, photo-enhanced phone dialers, smart LED lights, and medication dispensing appliances. These systems come in handy when seniors have cognitive impairment.

5. Fitness Bands

Fitness bands have advanced greatly offering more than just activity stats. Bands such as FitBit, will monitor levels of activity throughout the day, heart rate and even warn when senior vitals are not normal. This way, it is easier to detect when seniors are suffering from a disease and seek medical help. Seeing that these bands can even detect blood sugar, and they are light enough to be worn 24/7, they are great for all seniors.

By |2022-07-30T11:46:27-05:00September 2nd, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on 5 Pieces of Technology Seniors Need

Guest Blog: Technological Solutions That Assist the Elderly

According to the Census Bureau, as of 2011, seniors make up 13.3 percent of the U.S. population. By 2060, seniors are expected to account for at least 20 percent of the population. For many centuries now, the needs of seniors have been taken care of accordingly.

They have doctors who look after them and a caregiver, nurse, or family member who helps ensure they can move around comfortably. However, seniors today are aging at the best time. Thanks to continued advancements in technology, staying healthier and more independent has never been easier.

Fortunately, technology help for seniors nowadays has never been better. For starters, the elderly now have access to a vast range of inspired and practical gadgets that are designed to meet their ever-evolving medical and emotional needs.

Fascinating Technological Solutions for the Elderly

Below are some of the fantastic technological innovations that have helped seniors live fulfilling, happier, and more active lives:

Intuition Robotics

Founded in 2016, this company aims to help older adults avoid feelings of social isolation and loneliness—issues that have been known to contribute to poor health. Their debut product is a robot called ElliQ, hailed as a “sidekick for happier aging.”

ElliQ is designed to initiate conversations that can help seniors engage in healthy behaviors (i.e., nudges to take medications), stay in touch with their friends and loved ones, and stay connected with the outside world.

ElliQ can also check the weather and can determine if it’s conducive for a walk. Loved ones and friends can also interact with ElliQ and can send photos through the app. The pre-order cost for the product is at $1,500 and the monthly fee is set at $30.

Neuro Rehab VR

Neuro Rehab VR was founded in 2017. Their primary goal is to provide a virtual reality experience for elderly patients that are undergoing physical therapy following a brain or spinal cord injury, stroke, and other degenerative diseases.

What makes the VR experience even more phenomenal is how targeted the technology is. By using machine learning, they tailor exercises based on the patient’s specific ability and therapy needs.

The bespoke virtual therapy exercises also record kinematic and physiological responses and quantify the patient’s progress with scores and metrics. Patients are also transported to a virtual world that covers a vast range of situations.

VitalTech

a cloud-based platform that specializes in patient wellness and health through connected care. Their latest offering, VitalBand, was launched in June of 2018. VitalBand is an emergency fall-detection and call-out watch.

VitalBand is also used to track vital signs like oxygen saturation, respiratory and heart rate, physical activity, and sleep quality. It also provides users with medication reminders.

If a fall is detected, an alert goes to a certified call center to dispatch emergency services. If the senior prefers that a loved one is notified first, the fall alert can be sent to up to five preconfigured family members through email or text.

Conclusion

With so many breakthrough technological innovations now designed to help the elderly, they can now look forward to a future where they can enjoy healthier, happier, and longer lives.

About the Author

Melissa Andrews is the Content Marketing Strategist for Paradise Living Centers, an assisted living center for seniors with locations in Paradise Valley and Phoenix, Arizona. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and going on hiking trips with her siblings and cousins.

By |2022-07-30T11:45:10-05:00August 23rd, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: Technological Solutions That Assist the Elderly

Guest Blog: 5 Helpful Tips to Get Better Sleep at Night for Older People

A good night’s sleep is a cure for many physical and emotional ailments for everyone. It is vital for older people also to get deep sleep for 7-8 hours every night. They fell asleep early but wake up early too. As you get older, you generally start suffering from some illness, side effects of medicines, pain, or insomnia. These factors contribute to sleeplessness at night and waking up early. Lack of sleep can cause serious issues like depression, irritation, concentration loss, and memory loss.

Canadian Sleep Society surveyed senior citizens – they found out that 70% of older people face insomnia. Looking at the magnitude of this problem, we bring you 5 helpful tips to sleep better at night.

 

  1. Create an Environment for Sleep

It’s all about how you create the right sleeping environment. There are a few things that will make your bedroom more cosy and comforting. Switch off maximum lights. Keep the room temperature to a lower level. Keep your surroundings as quiet as possible. Sound, bright light, and warm temperature hampers sleep quality.

Don’t try to stay awake because you want to watch a game or party. These habits can prove to be costly. Don’t rely on sleeping pills for sleeping. And no scrolling or checking notifications on the phone before an hour of bedtime.

  1. Let’s Talk About Fabric

The fabric you surround yourself with while sleeping plays a vital role in your sleep quality. Wear loose nightclothes. Use fabric like cotton and other skin-friendly fabrics. You should feel comfortable while sleeping. The fabric of bed sheets and pillows should also be of natural materials that don’t irritate you.

Some of the wise choices are copper bed sheets and pillowcases. They are soft and contain antimicrobial properties. They are hygienic and safe as they are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-odour, etc. One more advantage of using copper-bedding and pillows is that they come with a self-cleaning feature.

  1. The Golden Health Rule: Diet & Exercise

A diet high in sugar and carbs will hamper your sleep, mostly if you eat them for dinner. White bread, rice, and pasta should ideally not be on your plate. Caffeine is also not a sleep-friendly drink. Avoid caffeinated beverages in the evening times.

Exercise regularly! It produces chemicals and hormones in your body, which induces sleep. But make sure you exercise at least 3-4 hours before your bedtime. Otherwise rise in your body temperature will make it difficult to sleep.

  1. Follow One Schedules

Going to bed at the same time and in the same place helps to fall asleep quickly. Changing sleep timing frequently sends confusing signals to your body. Making some good habits as your pre-sleep routine will enhance your sleep quality.

Reading and listening to music are examples of relaxing things to do before going to sleep. On the other hand, watching TV, drinking alcohol, and heated arguments before bedtime will mess up your ability to fall asleep.

  1. Preserve Your Peace of Mind

It is naturally challenging to fall asleep if you are stressed or feeling anxious. Thus it would help if you learned to manage your emotions well. Worrying about sleep will only keep you awake at night. Develop the ability to keep all your disturbing thoughts aside before bedtime. Try breathing exercises and meditation.

Conclusion

The tips mentioned above are proven for improving sleep quality. Try implementing them if you are facing a problem falling asleep. If you can’t see improvement, consult your trusted physician. They can help you if you have insomnia or any other health condition.

 

Author Bio:

Rory is the R&D Director and passionate entrepreneur, fascinated by the workings of the human body and natural solutions for common health problems. He’s single-minded in his aim to make Copper Defence a brand that’s recognized across the globe, by partnering with global brands to make these high-tech materials easily accessible for everyone. If you’d like to get in touch, email Rory at Rory@copperclothing.com or visit copperclothing.com for copper-infused clothing, pet accessories and more.

 

By |2022-07-30T11:42:40-05:00August 9th, 2022|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: 5 Helpful Tips to Get Better Sleep at Night for Older People