Archive for February 28, 2013

Personal Safety Pointers for the Elderly & You

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Personal Safety Pointers for the Elderly & You

Nowadays, things change daily. It seems that you can’t go to the most common places without wondering what dangers lurk around each corner. These tips are important for everyone, to be more vigilant when they’re at home, or out and about in the town. You can never be too safe, even in your own neighborhood. You never know what a neighbor is truly up to, or what grudges they may hold from years past.

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*Safety Tips for Home
Try to make sure that your locks, doors, and windows are strong and cannot be broken easily. A good alarm system can help.
Keep your doors and windows locked—when you are in the house and when you’re away.
Look through the peephole or a window before you open your door. Ask any stranger for identification before you open the door. Remember, you don’t have to open the door if you feel uneasy.
Avoid keeping large amounts of money in the house.
Get to know your neighbors. Join a Neighborhood Watch Program if your community has one.

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*Safety Tips & Being Street Smart
-Stay alert when you are out. Walk with a friend. Try to avoid unsafe places like dark streets or parking lots. Keep your car doors locked at all times.
-Don’t open your car door or roll down your window for strangers.
-Park in well-lit areas.
-Carry your purse close to your body with the strap over your shoulder and across your chest.
-Don’t resist a robber. Hand over your cash or anything else that the robber demands right away if confronted.

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Articles:
-This article is about the “Night Stalker,” who stalked elderly women and sexually assaulted them. You can never be to vigilant!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/25/night-stalker-uk-rapist-elderly_n_840621.html

-This article is from a Japanese newspaper. America is not the only place where this sort of crime is on the rise. Read more on this topic here,
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2012/12/03/editorials/crimes-by-elderly-on-the-rise/

Resources Used:
Nia.nih.gov
Huffingtonpost.com

Elderly Oral Care Information

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 Elderly Oral Care Information

In all the care giving, appointments, trips, and favors… Oral care always seems to be the thing that’s left out!! There are many things that involve the mouth that people may not think of off the bat. Good oral hygiene doesn’t just give you a pretty, white smile! The care you provide to your teeth and gums really does affect the overall health of ones body! Having an oral infection for long, or any infection for that matter, will eventually equal bacteria in your blood stream, and worse. Don’t neglect your mouth! Check out the information below on oral health, tips, and what to do when it gets bad!~

 

*Gum Disease
Gum disease begins when plaque builds up along and under the gum line. This plaque causes infections that hurt the gum and bone that hold teeth in place. Sometimes gum disease makes your gums tender and more likely to bleed. This problem, called gingivitis, can often be fixed by daily brushing and flossing.
A more severe form of gum disease, called periodontitis, needs to be treated by a dentist. If not treated, this infection can ruin the bones, gums, and other tissues that support your teeth. Over time, your teeth may have to be removed.
To prevent gum disease:
*Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
*Floss once a day.
*Visit your dentist regularly for a checkup and cleaning.
*Eat a well-balanced diet.
*Quit smoking. Smoking increases your risk for gum disease

 

*Tooth Decay
Teeth are covered in a hard, outer coating called enamel. Every day, a thin film of bacteria called dental plaque builds up on your teeth. The bacteria in plaque produce acids that can begin to harm enamel. Over time, the acids can cause a hole in the enamel. This hole is called a cavity. Brushing and flossing your teeth can protect you from decay, but once a cavity happens, a dentist has to fix it.
You can protect your teeth from decay by using fluoride toothpaste. If you are at a higher risk for tooth decay (for example, if you have a dry mouth because of medicines you take), you might need more fluoride. Your dentist or dental hygienist may give you a fluoride treatment during an office visit. Or, the dentist may tell you to use a fluoride gel or mouth rinse at home.

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*Cleaning your Teeth and Gums
There is a right way to brush and floss your teeth. Every day:
Gently brush your teeth on all sides with a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste.
Use small circular motions and short back-and-forth strokes.
Take the time to brush carefully and gently along the gum line.
Lightly brush your tongue to help keep your mouth clean.
People with arthritis or other conditions that limit hand motion may find it hard to hold and use a toothbrush. Some helpful ideas are:
*Use an electric or battery-operated toothbrush.
*Slide a bicycle grip or foam tube over the handle of the toothbrush.
*Buy a toothbrush with a larger handle.
*Attach the toothbrush handle to your hand with a wide elastic band.
*You also need to clean around your teeth with dental floss every day. Careful flossing will take off plaque and leftover food that a toothbrush can’t reach. Be sure to rinse after you floss.
*See your dentist if brushing or flossing causes your gums to bleed or hurts your mouth. If you have trouble flossing, a floss holder may help. Ask your dentist to show you the right way to floss.

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*Dry Mouth
Dry mouth happens when you don’t have enough saliva, or spit, to keep your mouth wet. Many common medicines can cause dry mouth. That can make it hard to eat, swallow, taste, and even speak. Dry mouth can cause tooth decay and other infections of the mouth.
There are some things you can try that may help with dry mouth. Try sipping water or sugarless drinks. Don’t smoke and avoid alcohol and caffeine. Sugarless hard candy or sugarless gum may help. Your dentist or doctor might suggest that you use artificial saliva to keep your mouth wet. Or they may have other ideas on how to cope with dry mouth.

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*Dentures
Sometimes, false teeth (dentures) are needed to replace badly damaged teeth. Partial dentures may be used to fill in one or more missing teeth. Dentures may feel strange at first. In the beginning, your dentist may want to see you often to make sure the dentures fit. Over time, your gums will change shape and your dentures may need to be adjusted or replaced. Be sure to let your dentist handle these adjustments.
When you are learning to eat with dentures, it may be easier if you:
*Start with soft, non-sticky food.
*Cut your food into small pieces.
*Chew slowly using both sides of your mouth.
*Be careful when wearing dentures because it may be harder for you to feel hot foods and drinks or notice bones in your mouth from your food.
*Keep your dentures clean and free from food that can cause stains, bad breath, or swollen gums. Brush them every day with a denture care product. *Take your dentures out of your mouth at night, and put them in water or a denture-cleansing liquid.

*Oral Cancer
Cancer of the mouth can grow in any part of the mouth or throat. It is more likely to happen in people over age 40. A dental checkup is a good time for your dentist to look for signs of oral cancer. Pain is not usually an early symptom of the disease. Treatment works best before the disease spreads. Even if you have lost all your natural teeth, you should still see your dentist for regular oral cancer exams.
You can lower your risk of getting oral cancer in a few ways:
*Do not use tobacco products—cigarettes, chewing tobacco, snuff, pipes, or cigars.
*If you drink alcohol, do so only in moderation.
*Use lip balm with sunscreen.

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*How to Find Low Cost Dental Care
Sometimes dental care can be costly. Medicare does not cover routine dental care. Very few states offer dental coverage under Medicaid. You may want to check out private dental insurance for older people. Make sure you are aware of the cost and what services are covered. The following resources may help you find low-cost dental care:
Some dental schools have clinics where students get experience treating patients at a reduced cost. Qualified dentists supervise the students. Visit www.ada.org for a list of U.S. dental schools.
Dental hygiene schools may offer supervised, low-cost care as part of the training experience for dental hygienists. See schools listed by State at www.adha.org.
Call your county or State health department to find dental clinics near you that charge based on your income.
Call 1-888-275-4772 (toll-free) to locate a community health center near you that offers dental services, or visit www.hrsa.gov (scroll down to “Find a Health Center”).

American Dental Association
211 East Chicago Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611-2678
1-800-621-8099 (toll-free)

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
National Oral Health Information Clearinghouse
1-866-232-4528

National Institute on Aging
Information Center
P.O. Box 8057
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8057
1-800-222-2225 (toll-free)
1-800-222-4225 (TTY/toll-free)
www.nia.nih.gov/health
www.nia.nih.gov/espanol

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Resources Used:
Nia.nih.gov
Ada.org

Book Review: So Far Away: Twenty Questions about Long Distance Caregiving

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Book Review: So Far Away: Twenty Questions about Long Distance Caregiving

Many times our relatives take turns for the worst when everything else in our lives is already in upheaval. And regardless, we must make sure that things are taken care of correctly, post haste, and maintained whenever we cannot be there. In So Far Away: Twenty Questions about Long Distance Caregiving, the book goes through commonly asked questions on the topic. In some instances, out of town family members may feel unable to help adequately, may feel guilt and some may feel resentment of not being included in the main care. If you are care giving from a distance, check out what this book has to offer!~

Visit this link to read a free downloadable copy of this book!!
http://www.nia.nih.gov/sites/default/files/so_far_away_twenty_questions_about_long-distance_caregiving.pdf

Here is a part from the book:

“Know Your Strengths and Set Your Limits
If you decide to work as a family team, it makes sense to agree in advance how your efforts can complement one another. Ideally, each of you will be able to take on tasks best suited to your skills or interests. For example, who is available to help Mom get to the grocery store each week? Who can help Dad organize his move to an assisted living facility? After making these kinds of decisions, remember that over time responsibilities may need to be revised to reflect changes in the situation, your parent’s needs, and each family member’s abilities and limitations. Be realistic about how much you can do and what you are willing to do.

When thinking about your strengths, consider what you are particularly good at and how those skills might help in the current situation:
*Are you good at finding information, keeping people up-to-date on changing conditions, and offering cheer, whether on the phone or with a computer?
*Are you good at supervising and leading others?
*Are you comfortable speaking with medical staff and interpreting what they  say to others?
*Is your strongest suit doing the numbers—paying bills, keeping track of bank statements, and reviewing insurance policies and reimbursement reports?
*Are you the one in the family who can fix anything, while no one else knows the difference between pliers and a wrench?

When reflecting on your limits, consider:
*How often, both mentally and financially, can you afford to travel?
*Are you emotionally prepared to take on what may feel like a reversal of roles between you and your parent—taking care of your parent instead of your parent taking care of you?

*Can you continue to respect your parent’s independence?
*Can you be both calm and assertive when communicating from a distance?
*How will your decision to take on caregiving responsibilities affect your work and home life?”(nia.nih.gov).

Resources Used:
Nia.nih.gov

Indiana Elderly Abuse Numbers, Information, and What to Do to Protect your Loved Ones

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Indiana Elderly Abuse Numbers, Information, and What to Do to Protect your Loved Ones

These days, it’s becoming harder and harder to find the bits of trust needed to leave loved ones. However, many times, the family has no choice and need some place or people to help provide elderly care. Nowadays, more times than not, elder care is ending badly, and in our court systems. There are cases across the country and throughout the world that show that any one from private home care, to nursing homes…even family members can be guilty of inflicting physical pain, and mental abuse on to our loved ones. This blog will cover things to watch for, what to do if you‘re afraid your loved one is being abused, and how to prevent this in the future.~

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What the Facts tell us on Elder Abuse:
*Indiana’s elderly population in 2010 was 1,128,000.
*In 2010, the number of reported elder abuse cases was 5,961,568; which is 9.5% of the total elderly population in the United States.
*Most commonly, neglect is the highest form of abuse, being 58.5% of all reported cases.
*36% of nursing homes in the US have had reports of elderly abuse
*Elderly woman are 67% more likely to be abused than elderly men

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Signs of Elderly Abuse:
These are the signs to watch for, according to the NCEA.

*Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
*Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
*Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs.
*Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
*Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
*Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse.
*Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.

There are many other ways that the elderly can be abused, and taken advantage of, too. Keeping a close eye on prescription medications, especially pain medicines and certain other types of medicines commonly sold on the streets. Recently, some have been caught using elderly loved one’s needles for diabetes, and certain drugs for street use. Check out the brief story article here: http://www.whas11.com/news/indiana/Indiana-State-Police-Elderly-abuse-investigation-leads-to-drug-arrests-191673191.html

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Where to get help:
Immediately report any signs of abuse to family members, and determine the most likely causes, and timeline of action to be taken. If signs are extreme, call 911 and report to the local authorities immediately. If you’re not comfortable reporting abuse in a nursing home environment, as you think that someone there may be the cause of said abuse, call the police, and make a police report. It is absolutely okay to step around the chain of command in these facilities to ensure that the proper steps are taken, and not simply covered up.
You can also check out this list of numbers by State. http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/ncearoot/Main_Site/Find_Help/State_Resources.aspx

Also, calling 1-800-677-1116 and speaking with the representatives who can point you in the right direction, get you the information you may need, and answer any questions you may have.

Federal Agencies Relating to Elder Abuse
National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA)- The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) serves as a national resource center dedicated to the prevention of elder mistreatment. To carry out its mission, the NCEA disseminates elder abuse information to professionals and the public, and provides technical assistance and training to states and to community-based organizations. The NCEA makes news and resources available on-line and an easy-to-use format; collaborates on research; provides training; identifies and provides information about promising practices and interventions; operates a list serve forum for professionals; and provides subject matter expertise on program and policy development. http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/NCEAroot/Main_Site/Index.aspx

Administration on Aging (AoA)- The mission of the AoA is to develop a comprehensive, coordinated and cost-effective system of home and community-based services that helps elderly individuals maintain their health and independence in their homes and communities.

http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/Index.aspx

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Indiana Agencies Relating to Elder Abuse
Indiana Adult Protective Services (APS)- The Adult Protective Services Program was established to investigate reports and provide intervention and protection to vulnerable adults who are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. APS field investigators operate out of the offices of county prosecutors throughout the state. http://www.in.gov/fssa/da/3479.htm
Indiana Department of Health, Long Term Care Division– The Division of Long Term Care consists of health care facilities (including nursing homes) licensing and certification programs. http://www.in.gov/isdh/
Indiana Family and Services Administration, Division of Aging and Rehabilitative Services– The Division of Aging establishes and monitors programs that serve the needs of Indiana seniors. The Division of Aging’s overarching vision is to re-define long-term care for consumers and providers. The Division of Aging focuses on home- and community-based services for the elderly and disabled and is also responsible for nursing home reimbursement policy and oversees the Residential Care Assistance Program. http://www.in.gov/fssa/2329.htm
Indiana Long Term Care Ombudsman Program- The Indiana Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is a federal and state funded program that provides advocacy and related services for consumers of congregate long term care services, regardless of age or payer source. Congregate settings include nursing facilities, residential care facilities, assisted living facilities, adult foster care homes and county operated residential care facilities. http://www.in.gov/fssa/da/3474.htm

 

**State and Federal Law on Elder Abuse**

Federal Older Americans Act (42 U.S.C. § 3001 et seq.)- provides definitions of elder abuse and authorizes the use of federal funds for the NCEA and for certain elder abuse awareness and coordination activities in states and local communities.

Indiana Adult Protective Services (Ind. Code, Title 12, Art. 10, Chpt. 3 )- Indiana is the only state in which adult protective service is a criminal justice function. Full time investigators operate out of 18 county Prosecutors offices state wide. This Indiana law protects “endangered adults” (a person at least 18 who is incapable of managing or directing management of property or self-care who is exposed to neglect, battery, or exploitation). The law requires all persons to report all cases of suspected Abuse, Neglect, or Exploitation to either the nearest APS office or to Law Enforcement if the person has “reason to believe” a particular person is an endangered adult. Failure to do so is a Class B misdemeanor punishably by up to $1,000 fine and 180 days in jail. This increases to a Class D felony if the proceeds involved are more than $10,000 and the endangered adult is at least 60 years of age.

Indiana Elder Justice Act (Title XI of the Social Security Act Section 1150B)- Requires employers of long-term care facilities that receive at least $10,000 in federal funds (Medicare and Medicaid payments) to report any “reasonable suspicion of a crime” involving the elderly. Facilities must notify all of their employees of the reporting obligation on an annual basis and post notices. The report must be filed within 24 hours or 2 hours if “serious bodily injury” is involved. An individual who fails to report can be fined up to $300,000 and the person may also be banned from working in a health care facility for up to 3 years.

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Resources Used:
National Center on Elder Abuse
A o A- http://www.aoa.gov/AoARoot/AoA_Programs/Elder_Rights/index.aspx

Book Review: The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement

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Book Review: The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement

Another great read, especially if you’re looking for direction in planning your retirement! Not everyone these days chooses to live with a partner, and if you’re like many, facing it alone may be just what you need! In The Single Woman’e Guide to Retirement by Jan Cullinane, the book covers:
*Retirement aspects
*Deciding what to do with your new 168 hours of free time
*Working in Retirement
*Fitness in body, mind, and spirit
*Options for living
*Choices on where to live
*Divorce, Death, Dating, Dependency, and Deepening Connections
*Dollars & Sense

This book has over 500 pages, and is information packed! There were many things that I liked within the book, one of those being that it covers all “types” of relationships. By that, I mean that it doesn’t only focus on being single, or being married. It addresses those situations that may arise that leave you in more than one of those categories.

Along with covering different ailments, medications, and ways to start and successful brand your business, this wonderful book also has checklists when looking for different types of housing, as well.
Legal aspects are covered, too. Everything from POA (Power of Attorney), Living Wills, and DNR forms; and more checklists to follow when you’re getting all your important paperwork in order.

One of the best parts may be that it is available in LARGE PRINT, and regular, and at your local library available for checkout!

Favorite Quote from the book: “The idea is to die young as late as possible.” Ashley Montagu

*Other Reviews on this book:
“In matter-of-fact language, Jan Cullinane gets at the heart of what you need to do to plan for and protect your future. I can’t say it strongly enough: If you’re a single woman, you need this book.”
—Jean Chatzky, bestselling author and financial expert

“Cullinane has done it again. Her previous book is truly an Ultimate Guide to Retirement, but much of the content focuses on retirees as couples. With The Single Woman’s Guide to Retirement, she recognizes that statistics are against us. Women live longer than men, which means that even if you’re ‘happily coupled’ now, there’s an 80 to 90% chance that at some point, you’ll find yourselfmaking important decisions—financial and otherwise—as a single woman. Thankfully, you’ll have this book to lean on. It addresses ALL aspects of single retirement and offers single women a blueprint for a satisfying and successful second half of life. This is a must-read book!”—Anne L. Holmes, “Boomer in Chief,” National Association of Baby Boomer Women

“Jan Cullinane has written the essential tool for single women approaching retirement. Her practical guide covers every angle—from when to retire, what to do, and how to find single-friendly places to tips about managing money. The wealth of practical details and useful tips turns retirement anxiety into confident anticipation.”—John Brady, founder of Topretirements.com

Resources Used:
Book- ISBN #978-1-4104-5499-7
www.amazon.com

Doomed Retirement??

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Doomed Retirement??

With this “new deal” passed, things are definitely shifting throughout our country, and our world. This article covers the differences in retirement years ago, to what will be (and won’t be) happening with peoples retirement in the future. Here are some points from the article:

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“The Great Recession and the weak recovery darkened the retirement picture for significant numbers of Americans. And the full extent of the damage is only now being grasped by experts and policymakers” (theday.com).

“Advocates for older Americans are calling on the federal government to bolster Social Security benefits or to create a new layer of retirement help for future retirees. Others want employers and the government to do more to encourage retirement savings and to discourage workers from using the money for non-retirement purposes” (theday.com).

“The economic downturn exacerbated long-term factors that were already eroding the financial standing of aging Americans: an inexorable rise in health care costs, growing debt among older Americans and a shift in responsibility from employers to workers to plan for retirement.
The consequence is that the nation is facing a huge retirement savings deficit – as much as $6.6 trillion, or about $57,000 per household, according to a U.S. Senate report” (theday.com).

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To read the full article, click here! (Resources Used:)
http://www.theday.com/article/20130218/NWS13/302189950/1069/rss

Domestic and Foreign Travel Places Safer for Seniors

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Domestic and Foreign Travel Places Safer for Seniors

These days, many are into traveling after they retire, and some will travel the world. Here is a small list of “approved” cities for seniors, and the elderly to take these trips to!~

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Within the USA:
Alaska, the Last Frontier
American Battlefields: History and Heritage
Boston’s Freedom Trail
Branson, Mo. on a Budget
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Conner Prairie, Indiana
Death Valley National Park, California
Los Angeles’ Senior-Friendly Museums
Maryland’s Eastern Shore – Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties
New York City for Budget-Conscious Seniors
Niagara Falls
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, California
The Best of West Virginia
Top Living History Museums in the U.S.
Washington, DC on a Budget

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Outside the USA:
-Christchurch, Dorset
Best reason: Seaside prettiness. It has a lovely high street full of little shops, and a food and wine festival in May. The town sits at the meeting of the Rivers Stour and Avon, with a great beach for the grandchildren to build sandcastles on. Not to mention the deck chairs for hire.

-Taunton, Somerset
Best reason: Unspoilt town with a Thursday farmers’ market, county cricket, horse racing, theatre, bowls, music scene and proms in the park in August. A Shopmobility scheme supplies scooters or chairs for the elderly or disabled. It is well connected by train and the M5 to London (1hr 45mins to Paddington) and the West Country.

-Cromer, Norfolk
Best reason: Unsullied Victorian seaside with a magnificent pier from which the lifeboat launches with great drama. A small fishing fleet is still working, providing plentiful crab and lobster at the right time of year. Slightly inland, Holt is a sought after little town with specialist shops and flint cottages that is still close enough to the sea and marshes for walks.

-Sidmouth, Devon
Best reason: Jaunty Regency architecture beside the sea with red cliffs that glow at sunset. It has lovely shops, restaurants and tea rooms, while its sandy beaches and rock pools make it a paradise for grandchildren.

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*Stay tuned to future blog posts about travel insurance!!!

Resources Used:
senior travel.com

Fiscal Cliffs, Medicare, and Should I Care?

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Fiscal Cliffs, Medicare, and Should I Care?

At the beginning of this year, the government was still knee deep figuring out what the fiscal cliff will be, and just what each of the cuts will affect. There is still confusion as to what will be dropped from Medicare, and what will be kept. The news on this topic seems to change daily, as it will until the cliff is officially “passed” at whatever amount they come to. The articles below will give you some insight as to who will be affected by the changes, and who will benefit.~

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-This article, Who Won, Who lost in “Fiscal Cliff” Deal covers those who will be positively affected, and those who will be negatively affected.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2013/01/08/who-won-who-lost-from-fiscal-cliff-deal/

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-Although it’s from where it’s from….it still has a few points of real, truthful information.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_fiscal_cliff

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-Most of the Medicare “parts” of the approved fiscal cliff deal shows that Medicare may have been saved….for the most part. Not every aspect, but some.
http://www.medpagetoday.com/Washington-Watch/Washington-Watch/36726

Resources Used:
Fox news.com
Wikipedia.com
Medpagetoday.com

All You Need is Hot, Steamy Lovin’ ….even if you’re 85!!

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All You Need is Hot, Steamy Lovin’ ….even if you’re 85!!

It’s only appropriate to discuss the issues that may arise (errr, or not rise?) for the elderly during sexual intimacy and intercourse on Valentine’s Day! As this is a day, that for millions, will end up in the bedroom at some point during the day. (Or, many points during the day, if you’re lucky.)
Physical intimacy is very important to any human beings life, and sexual intimacy is even better. Although, as one ages, certain aspects may come that make sex and orgasm harder to achieve for those over 60.

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-Normal Changes
There are many normal changes that occur in the human body for both men and women as we age. For women, vaginal dryness will occur. The vagina will also shorten, and the walls will stiffen; which will make sexual satisfaction possibly more difficult to achieve. As men get older, some will experience erectile dysfunction (ED), or become impotent. ED is the loss of ability to maintain or get an erection, and it is a very, very common problem. Once an erection is achieved, it may not be as hard, or as large as it once was. Every now and then a “flare up” of ED may occur, but if it is happening regularly, go talk with your doctor.

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-Common Causes of Other Sexual Problems
Some illnesses, diseases, medicines and other things can cause issues, too. Here’s a small list of common health issues interfering with intimacy.

Heart disease. Narrowing and hardening of the arteries can change blood vessels so that blood does not flow freely. As a result, men and women may have problems with orgasms, and men may have trouble with erections. People who have had a heart attack, or their partners, may be afraid that having sex will cause another attack. Sexual activity is often safe. Always follow your doctor’s advice.
Incontinence. Loss of bladder control or leaking of urine is more common as we grow older, especially in women. Extra pressure on the belly during sex can cause loss of urine, which may result in some people avoiding sex. This can be helped by a change in positions. The good news is that incontinence can usually be treated.
Stroke. The ability to have sex is sometimes affected by a stroke. A change in positions or medical devices may help people with ongoing weakness or paralysis to have sex. Some people with paralysis from the waist down are still able to experience orgasm and pleasure.
Arthritis. Joint pain due to arthritis can make sexual contact uncomfortable. Joint replacement surgery and drugs may relieve this pain. Exercise, rest, warm baths, and changing the position or timing of sexual activity can be helpful.
Chronic pain. Any constant pain can interfere with intimacy between older people. Chronic pain does not have to be part of growing older and can often be treated. But, some pain medicines can interfere with sexual function. You should always talk with your doctor if you have unwanted side effects from any medication.
Dementia. Some people with dementia show increased interest in sex and physical closeness, but they may not be able to judge what is appropriate sexual behavior. Those with severe dementia may not recognize their spouse, but still seek sexual contact. This can be a confusing problem for the spouse. A doctor, nurse, or social worker with training in dementia care may be helpful.
Diabetes. This is one of the illnesses that can cause ED in some men. In most cases, medical treatment can help. Less is known about how diabetes affects sexuality in older women. Women with diabetes are more likely to have vaginal yeast infections, which can cause itching and irritation and make sex uncomfortable or undesirable.

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-Other major contributing factors with Sexual Issues
Medications. Some drugs can cause sexual problems. These include some blood pressure medicines, antihistamines, antidepressants, tranquilizers, appetite suppressants, drugs for mental problems, and ulcer drugs. Some can lead to ED or make it hard for men to ejaculate. Some drugs can reduce a woman’s sexual desire or cause vaginal dryness or difficulty with arousal and orgasm. Check with your doctor. She or he may prescribe a different drug without this side effect.
Alcohol & Street Drug Use.  Too much alcohol can cause erection problems in men and delay orgasm in women. The same can be said for street drugs, as they also alter your ability to focus and think straight.
Surgery. Many of us worry about having any kind of surgery—it may be even more troubling when the breasts or genital area are involved. Most people do return to the kind of sex life they enjoyed before surgery.
Hysterectomy is surgery to remove a woman’s uterus. Often, when an older woman has a hysterectomy, the ovaries are also removed. The surgery can leave both men and women worried about their sex lives. If you’re afraid that a hysterectomy will change your sex life, talk with your gynecologist or surgeon.
Mastectomy is surgery to remove all or part of a woman’s breast. This surgery may cause some women to lose their sexual desire or their sense of being desired or feeling feminine. In addition to talking with your doctor, sometimes it is useful to talk with other women who have had this surgery. Programs like the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) “Reach to Recovery” can be helpful for both women and men. If you want your breast rebuilt (reconstruction), talk to your cancer doctor or surgeon.
Prostatectomy is surgery that removes all or part of a man’s prostate because of cancer or an enlarged prostate. It may cause urinary incontinence or ED. If removal of the prostate gland (radical prostatectomy) is needed, talk to your doctor before surgery about your concerns.

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-The Emotional Factor
Many ask if emotions play any part of sexual intimacy, and they absolutely do! Sexuality is often a delicate balance of emotional and physical issues. How you feel may affect what you are able to do. Many older couples find greater satisfaction in their sex life than they did when they were younger. They have fewer distractions, more time and privacy, no worries about getting pregnant, and intimacy with a lifelong partner.
Some older people are concerned about sex as they age. A woman who is unhappy about how her looks are changing as she ages may think her partner will no longer find her attractive. This focus on youthful physical beauty may get in the way of her enjoyment of sex. Men may fear that ED will become a more common problem as they age. Most men have a problem with ED once in awhile. But, if you worry too much about that happening, you can cause enough stress to trigger ED.
Older couples face the same daily stresses that affect people of any age. They may also have the added concerns of age, illness, retirement, and other lifestyle changes, all of which may lead to sexual difficulties. Try not to blame yourself or your partner. You may find it helpful to talk to a therapist. Some therapists have special training in helping with sexual problems. If your male partner is troubled by ED or your female partner seems less interested in sex, don’t assume he or she is no longer interested in you or in sex. Many of the things that cause these problems can be helped.

-What can you do?
There are things you can do on your own for an active sexual life. Make your partner a high priority. Take time to enjoy each other and to understand the changes you both are facing. Try different positions and new times, like having sex in the morning when you both may be well rested. Don’t hurry—you or your partner may need to spend more time touching to become fully aroused. Masturbation is a sexual activity that many older people, with and without a partner, find satisfying.

Some older people, especially women, may have trouble finding a romantic or sexual partner. That’s because women tend to live longer than men. To meet new people, try activities that other seniors enjoy. Some ideas include mall walking, volunteer jobs, adult education classes at a community college, or day trips sponsored by your city or county recreation department.

Don’t be afraid to talk with your doctor if you have a problem that affects your sex life. He or she may be able to suggest a treatment. For example, the most common sexual difficulty of older women is painful intercourse caused by vaginal dryness. Your doctor or a pharmacist can suggest over-the-counter vaginal lubricants or moisturizers to use. Water-based lubricants are helpful when needed to make sex more comfortable. Moisturizers are used on a regular basis, every 2 or 3 days. Or, your doctor might suggest a form of vaginal estrogen.

If ED is the problem, it can often be managed and perhaps even reversed. There are pills that can help. They should not be used by men taking medicines containing nitrates, such as nitroglycerin. The pills do have possible side effects. Other available treatments include vacuum devices, self-injection of a drug, or penile implants.
Physical problems can change your sex life as you get older. But, you and your partner may discover you have a new closeness. Talk to your partner about your needs. You may find that affection—hugging, kissing, touching, and spending time together—can make a good beginning.

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If you have more questions, or would like more information on these topics, please visit:
www.nia.nih.gov
For Spanish speaking friends, try:
www.nia.nih.gov/espanol

More interesting articles:
-Would more sex in nursing homes help health and happiness?
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/the_sex_issue/2007/09/naughty_nursing_homes.html

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-For statistic on elderly lovin’, check out:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267340/

Resources Used:
Nih.gov

Elderly Activism & News Videos on Elderly Funding Cuts

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Elderly Activism & News Videos on Elderly Funding Cuts

Politics are one thing that I won’t dive into too terribly much in this blog. If and when we dive into politics, it will be a view of all sides…covering all the bases. I do not want, or promote, political arguments on this blog! Note to self!

The elderly are often discounted because many think they are feeble minded, or cannot keep a thought. That’s just not always the case! They are older, they’ve lived more life, through many different types of decades. Give them a chance to give their piece of mind, always. Regardless of the conversation…whether it’s politics, medical issues, or daily life aspects.
Below you’ll find one serious, and one seriously silly video! Enjoy!~

This is a video of some elderly folks giving their opinions on this past election. As a forewarning, they are not for the Republicans—–BUT, (before you already click the ‘x’ because you’re disgusted) the video is hilarious, and not at all what you’d think!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95lx1SpIKic
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Here’s a video on the new cuts to happen in less than three weeks, if the fiscal cliff arguement is not settled. The Federal government plans to reduce the amount spent on Elderly & Aging Services across the USA, immediately. This video is done by a Pastor from Indiana, so please understand this is his take. He provides good information that cover those new rules, and statistics though.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eaBJbZI4XyU
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Resources Used:
you tube.com