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Baby Boomers Archives - HomeFree Home Modification

Category Archives: Baby Boomers

My Wife and I are 75 plus and Looking to Move Into a Condo

My wife and I are 75-plus and are looking to move into a condo. We are fairly mobile now, but are looking ahead. Can you advise us on what changes we should consider during construction, such as modifying door sizes or installing a stair power chair?

Congratulations on the move and for wanting to live somewhere that can meet your needs as you get older. Here are a few items to put on your construction wish list:

  • Kitchen countertops at a variety of levels so you can work at the counter standing or sitting.
  • Doorways that are 36” wide if possible, making it easy to move from room to room.
  • Lever door handles and rocker light switches to make it easy to open doors and turn on lights.
  • Cabinet door and drawer handles that are C- or D-shaped.
  • Grab bars in the bathroom — they can be disguised as towel racks.
  • Built-in seat in the shower — it can convert your bathroom from a safety hazard to a spa.
  • Staircase wide enough and straight enough to handle a stair lift, or stackable closets that can be converted to an elevator, if your condo isn’t all on one floor.
  • A “barrier free” shower with no encumbrances preventing entry whether you are still totally ambulatory, on a walker, or wheelchair bound.
  • Enhanced lighting throughout the house allowing you to see properly as you navigate from room to room.

These are just some of the modifications that we have been providing to individuals all across the greater metro Atlanta area for the past 11 years. From grab bars in the tub/shower area to whole house modifications, we’re the experts, and can enable you to remain living at home with more safety and independence. For a FREE home evaluation, call us at 770-939-0747, or email at info@homefreemods.com .

What Does the Current Housing Market Mean for Those with Unique Accessibility Needs?

Guest Blogger Lauren Heinken, Student Occupational Therapist

Occupational Therapy At Work, Original Posts, Solutions For Living

The Current Market

Over the last few years housing prices have been on the rise throughout most of *Canada. The GTA in particular has seen soaring real estate prices, but this done little to deter buyers. Houses are selling quickly, and sellers often receive multiple offers that are well above asking price. This makes purchasing a home difficult, and those with accessibility needs may face additional challenges throughout this process.  This, combined with an aging population of people trying to downsize or find more “suitable” homes, makes for a unique opportunity to enlist the expertise of an Occupational Therapist (OT) for buying consultation.

An Unlikely Partnership

It is not often that one would think of an OT partnering with a real estate agent or broker to provide homebuyer services.  However, this synergy, as I will explain, could have beneficial outcomes for all involved.

OTs are all about helping people function, and our homes are at the core of where we spend most of our time.  The home can be a support or a barrier to our physical, mental and emotional health.  It can help us go about our daily activities easily, or can make managing a struggle.  It can impact our mood – positively or negatively and either be a determinant of good health, or a cause of injury, sickness or death.   Therefore, finding the right home is essential for reasons beyond just aesthetics, price tag and neighborhood.   Yet, homes vary greatly, and the current real estate market moves quickly, so finding just the right fit, especially for those with a disability, can prove difficult.

An OT is well suited to assist in the home buying/modification process, and can bridge the knowledge gap that may exist in addressing the unique needs of the person with realtors who have their own knowledge of homes, the housing market, and the buying process.  Realtors and OT’s joining forces has the potential to change the way people with unique accessibility needs shop for, and purchase, their next home.

The infographic below summarizes a potential service delivery model involving OT and real estate:

Payment for Services and Benefits to the Real Estate Agent or Brokerage

Funding for this service could come from multiple sources, including the real estate agent or brokerage, the customer themselves, and there are also grants and charitable funding options that might be available.  If the real estate brokerage is providing payment they will incur OT fees as part of their cost, so as to provide an accessible home buying experience for their clients.  Having this service as an available option may help the agent or broker to attract a new segment of the home buyer population, thereby increasing their own marketability and profitability in this area. This would ideally produce positive economic gains for the brokerage that far exceed the costs they will be paying for OT consultation.  Or, at the least, the OT should be a “vendor” on the list of other vendors the agent typically supplies to clients during the buy / sell phase (i.e. like movers, stagers, painters etc.).  Then, the client can call the OT to discuss pricing as they would any other supplier.

As the OT profession grows over time, opportunities for partnership with other professionals outside of the usual allied health circle are going to become increasingly common. Thinking forward to opportunities that may exist creates the opportunity for OT’s and other professionals to work together for optimal service outcomes.

*Although the real estate market being referred to in this market is in Canada, the real estate market in the US is also very active currently, and the practice of OT’s working with real estate agents could be equally successful in our country.

We routinely work with occupational therapists to ensure that we are providing the most successful outcomes for our clients. We would welcome the opportunity to work more closely with both therapists & real estate agents to enable individuals to be sure that they are buying the best home to suit their accessibility needs. You can reach us at 770-939-0747, or at info@homefreemods.com.

Home Modification Resource Inventories

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) partnered with the University of Southern California (USC) Leonard Davis School of Gerontology on a series of projects to feature home modification and home safety programs, assessment instruments, and funding sources to provide resources for families and professionals.

Background

Most people choose to remain in their homes as they age, yet homes that were once supportive may present problems over time that could lead to falls. Research shows that the optimal way to reduce fall risks for people at moderate to high risk of falls includes medication management, physical activity, and home modification.

Home modification is changing the environment to make daily activities easier, reduce accidents, and support independent living. This includes removing fall hazards such as clutter, adding supports such as handrails, and changing how or where activities occur.

Visit the resources below to search for home modification programs in your area, obtain assessments to examine clients’ homes and make changes to increase safety and support, and learn about funding sources from a range of agencies and organizations to support home modification activities.

Over 150 organizations from the aging, disability, housing, and health care sectors nationwide have contributed to our inventory of home assessment and modification programs and practices. We will continue to add programs to this list over time – visit again to see what’s new.


Resources

Evidence-Based Programs and Best Practices in Home Assessment and Modification

Assessment Tools for Individuals & Families

Home Modification Funding Sources

We have been assisting families and individuals to remain living in their own homes with more safety & independence for over 11 years. We readily recognize the problem areas in a home that can jeopardize someone to fall, and in many cases end up being hospitalized, along with spending time in a rehab facility. To avoid falls and achieve a better quality of life, call us at 770-939-0747, or email info@homefreemods.com, and we will come out to your home and provide a FREE home evaluation.


Why I’m Investing in the Fight Against Alzheimer’s

In every part of the world, people are living longer than they used to. Thanks to scientific advancements, fewer people die young from heart disease, cancer, and infectious diseases. It’s no longer unusual for a person to live well into their 80s and beyond. My dad will celebrate his 92nd birthday in a couple weeks, a milestone that was practically unimaginable when he was born.

This fact—that people are living longer than ever before—should always be a wonderful thing. But what happens when it’s not?

The longer you live, the more likely you are to develop a chronic condition. Your risk of getting arthritis, Parkinson’s, or another non-infectious disease that diminishes your quality of life increases with each year. But of all the disorders that plague us late in life, one stands out as a particularly big threat to society: Alzheimer’s disease.

You have a nearly 50 percent chance of developing the disease if you live into your mid-80s. In the United States, it is the only cause of death in the top 10 without any meaningful treatments that becomes more prevalent each year. That trend will likely continue as baby boomers age, which means that more families will watch their loved ones suffer from cognitive decline and slowly disappear. Despite this growing burden, scientists have yet to figure out what exactly causes Alzheimer’s or how to stop the disease from destroying the brain.

I first became interested in Alzheimer’s because of its costs—both emotional and economic—to families and healthcare systems. The financial burden of the disease is much easier to quantify. A person with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia spends five times more every year out-of-pocket on healthcare than a senior without a neurodegenerative condition. Unlike those with many chronic diseases, people with Alzheimer’s incur long-term care costs as well as direct medical expenses. If you get the disease in your 60s or 70s, you might require expensive care for decades.

These costs represent one of the fastest growing burdens on healthcare systems in developed countries. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, Americans will spend $259 billion caring for those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias in 2017. Absent a major breakthrough, expenditures will continue to squeeze healthcare budgets in the years and decades to come. This is something that governments all over the world need to be thinking about, including in low- and middle-income countries where life expectancies are catching up to the global average and the number of people with dementia is on the rise.

The human cost of Alzheimer’s is much more difficult to put into numbers. It’s a terrible disease that devastates both those who have it and their loved ones. This is something I know a lot about, because men in my family have suffered from Alzheimer’s. I know how awful it is to watch people you love struggle as the disease robs them of their mental capacity, and there is nothing you can do about it. It feels a lot like you’re experiencing a gradual death of the person that you knew.

My family history isn’t the sole reason behind my interest in Alzheimer’s. But my personal experience has exposed me to how hopeless it feels when you or a loved one gets the disease. We’ve seen scientific innovation turn once-guaranteed killers like HIV into chronic illnesses that can be held in check with medication. I believe we can do the same (or better) with Alzheimer’s.

I’ve spent considerable time over the last year learning about the disease and the progress made to date. There’s a lot of amazing work being done in this field to delay Alzheimer’s and reduce its cognitive impact. What I’ve heard from researchers, academics, funders, and industry experts makes me hopeful that we can substantially alter the course of Alzheimer’s if we make progress in five areas:

  • We need to better understand how Alzheimer’s unfolds. The brain is a complicated organ. Because it’s so difficult to study while patients are alive, we know very little about how it ages normally and how Alzheimer’s disrupts that process. Our understanding of what happens in the brain is based largely on autopsies, which show only the late stages of the disease and don’t explain many of its lingering mysteries. For example, we don’t fully understand why you are more likely to get Alzheimer’s if you’re African American or Latino than if you’re white. If we’re going to make progress, we need a better grasp on its underlying causes and biology.
  • We need to detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier. Since the only way to diagnose Alzheimer’s definitively is through an autopsy after death, it’s difficult to identify the disease definitively early in its progression. Cognitive tests exist but often have a high variance. If you didn’t sleep well the night before, that might skew your results. A more reliable, affordable, and accessible diagnostic—such as a blood test—would make it easier to see how Alzheimer’s progresses and track how effective new drugs are.
  • We need more approaches to stopping the disease. There are many ways an Alzheimer’s drug might help prevent or slow down the disease. Most drug trials to date have targeted amyloid and tau, two proteins that cause plaques and tangles in the brain. I hope those approaches succeed, but we need to back scientists with different, less mainstream ideas in case they don’t. A more diverse drug pipeline increases our odds of discovering a breakthrough.
  • We need to make it easier to get people enrolled in clinical trials. The pace of innovation is partly determined by how quickly we can do clinical trials. Since we don’t yet have a good understanding of the disease or a reliable diagnostic, it’s difficult to find qualified people early enough in the disease’s progression willing to participate. It can sometimes take years to enroll enough patients. If we could develop a process to pre-qualify participants and create efficient registries, we could start new trials more quickly.
  • We need to use data better. Every time a pharmaceutical company or a research lab does a study, they gather lots of information. We should compile this data in a common form, so that we get a better sense of how the disease progresses, how that progression is determined by gender and age, and how genetics determines your likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s. This would make it easier for researchers to look for patterns and identify new pathways for treatment.

By improving in each of these areas, I think we can develop an intervention that drastically reduces the impact of Alzheimer’s. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about our chances: our understanding of the brain and the disease is advancing a great deal. We’re already making progress—but we need to do more.

I want to support the brilliant minds doing this work. As a first step, I’ve invested $50 million in the Dementia Discovery Fund—a private fund working to diversify the clinical pipeline and identify new targets for treatment. Most of the major pharmaceutical companies continue to pursue the amyloid and tau pathways. DDF complements their work by supporting startups as they explore less mainstream approaches to treating dementia.

I’m making this investment on my own, not through the foundation. The first Alzheimer’s treatments might not come to fruition for another decade or more, and they will be very expensive at first. Once that day comes, our foundation might look at how we can expand access in poor countries.

But before we can even begin to think about how we do that, we need lots of scientific breakthroughs. With all of the new tools and theories in development, I believe we are at a turning point in Alzheimer’s R&D. Now is the right time to accelerate that progress before the major costs hit countries that can’t afford high priced therapies and where exposure to the kind of budget implications of an Alzheimer’s epidemic could bankrupt health systems.

This is a frontier where we can dramatically improve human life. It’s a miracle that people are living so much longer, but longer life expectancies alone are not enough. People should be able to enjoy their later years—and we need a breakthrough in Alzheimer’s to fulfill that. I’m excited to join the fight and can’t wait to see what happens next.

This article was published November 13, 2017 in LinkedIn under the group, “Alzheimer’s and Dementia Topics”.

 

10 Bathroom Safety Tips for Older Adults

Safety in the bathroom is critical when it comes to the prevention of falls for older adults. The bathroom is one of the most dangerous rooms in the home. According to statistics provided by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), 80 percent of senior falls that occur in the home happen in the bathroom.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention shares that a staggering 1.6 million seniors seek emergency assistance due to falls each year. The cause of a fall could be lack of balance, an obstacle on the floor that causes tripping, or slippery surfaces.

Injuries due to bathroom falls range from mild injuries to serious injuries. These types of accidents can be avoided by taking steps toward preventing falls. By implementing safety precautions, you can greatly reduce the chances of injury due to slips, trips, and falls.

Preventing Falls and Injuries with these Quick Tips

Here are a few bathroom safety tips for seniors to help avoid injury:

Tip #1 – Install Grab Bars: By installing grab bars in your tub or shower, older adults have something to grasp when entering and exiting the bathtub or shower. This can reduce the chances of a slip and/or fall during bathing. Grab bars can also be installed near the toilet to aid with leverage and balance.

Tip #2 – Nonslip Strips: In addition to the installation of grab bars, an affordable way to increase and improve bathroom safety is by putting nonslip strips in the bottom of the tub or shower. You could also consider a non-slip bathmat or non-slip tiles. You can find non-slip strips in many different home and department stores. Not only are these safe, but they can also make a fun and decorative addition to the bathroom.

Tip #3 – Avoid Throw Rugs: Eliminate throw rugs in the bathroom to avoid trips and falls, or consider installing rugs with grips on the bottom. However, to be extra safe, remove bathroom rugs all together as they are a tripping hazard.

Tip #4 – Lighting: Make sure the bathroom has ample lighting is key for preventing falls or other injuries. By keeping the room well lit, it’s easier to see if there’s anything on the floor that could become a hazard. Lighting is particularly important for seniors with vision problems or balance issues.

Tip #5 – Bath Seating: Bath seating in a shower or tub is a great bathroom safety tactic – and they can be easy to install. For extra safety, consider adding bath seating as well as a grab-bar, making it easy to enjoy a shower without the fear of falling. Bath seating is available in various styles to meet the needs of all seniors.

Tip #6 – Hand-Held Shower Handle: Consider investing in a hand-held shower handle in addition to bath seating for a shower that’s stress-free and safe. Shower handles improve bathroom safety, and also come with various settings for optimum relaxation and enjoyment in the shower or tub.

Tip #7 – Toilet Seat Riser: Toilet seat risers are great for toilets with low seating. By raising the seat with a toilet seat riser, you may prevent falling when using the restroom. These make wonderful additions to grab bars near the toilet area.

Tip #8 – Keep the Floor Clear: Make sure that the floor is kept clear and free of any debris or clothing that could become a hazard or cause a fall.

Tip #9 – Keep the Floor Dry: Keeping the floor dry in the bathroom is one of the simplest and most important things that you can do to maintain bathroom safety for older adults. If the floors are wet or damp, this becomes a hazard that could create a very dangerous situation.

Tip #10 – Don’t Rush: What’s the hurry? When we rush in life, we put ourselves at greater risk for falls or injury. Take your time in the bathroom.

If you don’t own your home or apartment, always refer to your tenant guide or landlord before installing equipment in your bathroom.

Anneliese Peterson wrote this blog. She is with Walker Methodist is a faith-based, non-profit senior living organization that’s been serving older adults since 1945.

For more information about living life to the fullest and transitioning to life as an older adult, visit our website at www.homefreemods.com . We can help to make your bathroom safer. For a FREE bathroom evaluation, call us at 770-939-0747, or email us at info@homefreemods.com .

 

Baby Boomers Remodeling to Age in Place Will be the Trend: Harvard Study

With a national housing recovery under way, a distinct trend has emerged among baby

boomers in the wake of the housing crisis: remodeling to age in place. The finding is

according to a new report from the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard

University.

“As baby boomers move into retirement, they are increasing demand for aging-in-place

retrofits,” says Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint

Center. “A decade ago, homeowners over 55 accounted for less than one third of all

home improvement spending. By 2011, this share had already grown to over 45

percent. And generations behind the baby boomers will help fuel future spending growth

since echo boomers are projected to outnumber baby boomers by more than twelve

million as they begin to enter their peak remodeling years over the next decade.”

Further bolstering remodeling potential is the buildup of distressed properties that will

come back to the market as home values climb back toward their pre-crisis levels.

“With about three million more foreclosures and short sales in the pipeline, there is

even more such spending ahead of us,” says Eric S. Belsky, managing director of the

Joint Center.

The implications are “immense,” the Joint Center for Housing Studies notes, with the

trend by older homeowners toward remodeling being followed only by the next

population surge in the echo boom generation.

HomeFree Home Modification can assist you with your desire to “age in place” at home. By offering a FREE home assessment, we can help you determine the things that need to be done to your home that will allow you to have more safety & independence. You can reach us at 770-939-0747, or info@homefreemods.com .

 

Is there a company or organization that can inspect my 85-year-old mother-in-law’s home and advise us about how it can be made safer, especially the bathroom?

While almost all of us want to stay in our homes for as long as we can, it’s important to consider home safety when making that decision. Fortunately, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), in conjunction with AARP, has developed the Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) training designation for remodelers and contractors. These specialists have been trained in design modifications that can make homes safe for a lifetime. They can do a room-by-room assessment of the home and make recommendations for modifications. To find a CAPS certified contractor near you, go to NAHB’s website.

This article was written for the AARP magazine by Elinor Ginzler, a member of the AARP Caregiving Advisory Panel, and is senior director of the Center for Supportive Services at the Jewish Council for the Aging. She is also coauthor of Caring for Your Parents: The Complete Family Guide.

Dennis Lippy and Rick Thaxton with HomeFree Home Modification both have the  CAPS designation, and would be delighted to assist you in answering any questions you may have in making your home more safe, and giving you a greater degree of independence. As we like to say “our ideas are FREE”, as we will come out to your home and provide a NO COST home assessment, to help you determine if your home is “safe for a lifetime”. You can reach us at 770-939-0747, or info@homefreemods.com

Drink Coffee, Live Longer

As many as four cups a day could provide a health boost

by Austin O’Connor, AARP, July 11, 2017

A pair of new studies show drinking more coffee offers life-extending benefits.

Good news (in a venti cup!) for those who love coffee: Two new studies show that drinking more java could help you live a longer life.

The health effects of drinking coffee have been a point of debate over the years, with some studies showing negative effects and others positive. These just-released studies should calm the jitters for those who rely on their daily jolt — or jolts — of caffeine to get through the day. The first study, conducted by researchers from the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Imperial College London, surveyed more than 520,000 people in 10 European countries, making it the largest study on the correlation between coffee and mortality ever conducted in a European population. Its finding: Drinking more coffee significantly reduces the risk of death.

A second, separate study funded by the National Cancer Institute included a diverse set of subjects, surveying more than 185,000 adults from a range of  ethnicities, including African Americans, Native Americans, Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos and whites. It found that the mortality boost provided by coffee extended across all races included.

Both studies were published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine. The European study found that drinking coffee lowered people’s risk of liver, digestive and circulatory disease, and also lessened the rate of suicide in men and cancer in women. The survey also found that the more coffee you drink, the bigger the health boost. Subjects who drank three cups had a lower risk of all-cause death than those who did not drink coffee.

By focusing on various European countries, where coffee is prepared in many different ways, the study aimed to prove that positive health effects of coffee endure, regardless of preparation and serving style.

“The fact that we saw the same relationships in different countries is kind of the implication that it’s something about coffee, rather than something about the way that coffee is prepared or the way it’s drunk,” said Marc Gunter, a principal investigator with the international research agency.

The second study echoed those findings, revealing that those who drank two to four cups a day had an 18 percent lower risk of death than those who did not drink coffee.

“Given these very diverse populations, all these people have different lifestyles. They have very different dietary habits and different susceptibilities — and we still find similar patterns,” said study leader Veronica Wendy Setiawan, associate professor of preventative medicine at USC’s Keck School of Medicine.

Not to drop a cloud in your coffee, but doctors caution that people should still practice moderation when it comes to their daily indulgence, and nutritionists warn that adding flavorings such as heavy cream and sugar can increase your caloric intake and nullify many of the health benefits of black coffee.

*This article was taken from the July issue of AARP magazine.

HomeFree Home Modification can help you live longer in your home by providing things like #grab bars, #wider doors, #ramps, & #walk in showers, etc., just to name a few. These things will also make your home safer and give you more #independence. To get a FREE home assessment, you can reach us at 770-939-0747, or info@homefreemods.com

 

10 Things You Should Know About Medicare Insurance

A Guide to Out of Pocket Medical Costs

Did you know that about 51 million Americans are covered under Medicare today? That number is set to explode, however, as the baby boomers turn 65. By 2020, another 13 million will have signed up. If you’re one of them (or even if you already have Medicare), here’s what you need to know about Medicare insurance.

  1. There are four parts to Medicare Insurance (Parts A-D).
  • Part A covers inpatient hospitalization, hospice care, blood products, and short-term care in a skilled nursing facility, and some home health services.
  • Part B covers all outpatient services, such as doctor visits, ambulatory surgery, durable medical equipment, and home health services.
  • Part C, or Medicare Advantage, is the managed care form of Medicare run by private insurance companies. It covers the same services as Parts A and B, except for hospice care and participation in certain clinical research studies.
  • Part D covers prescription drugs.
  1. “Original” Medicare is one type of Medicare Insurance coverage.

Under original Medicare, you can see any provider who accepts Medicare. You pay premiums, deductibles, and coinsurance or co-payments for most services. If you want drug coverage, you have to purchase a plan separately. There is no limit on your annual out-of-pocket costs.

  1. Medicare Advantage is the other type of Medicare Insurance coverage.

Medicare Advantage is run by private insurance companies and includes all benefits covered under Parts A and B. These plans may have limited provider networks and may require specialist referrals. They may also have premiums, deductibles, and co-payments or coinsurance, although annual out-of-pocket costs are capped. Most plans cover prescription drugs and benefits not covered by Medicare, such as vision, dental, and hearing services.

  1. You have deadlines to meet.

You’re automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B when you turn 65 if you’re getting Social Security and paid Medicare payroll taxes while employed. If you’re not getting Social Security, you have to sign up for Medicare. To avoid paying a penalty, sign up during the seven-month period that begins three months before you turn 65. You can enroll between January 1 and March 31 each year, with coverage beginning July 1.

  1. Your monthly premiums depend on your income.

Most people don’t pay a monthly premium for Part A (sometimes called “premium-free Part A”). If you buy Part A, you’ll pay up to $413 each month. If you paid Medicare taxes for less than 30 quarters, the standard Part A premium is $413. If you paid Medicare taxes for 30-39 quarters, the standard Part A premium is $227.

The standard Part B premium amount is $134 (or higher depending on your income). However, most people who get Social Security benefits will pay less than this amount ($109 on average).

The Part C monthly premium varies by plan. Compare costs for specific Part C plans.

The Part D monthly premium varies by plan (higher-income consumers may pay more). Compare costs for specific Part D plans.

  1. Some Medicare Advantage plans are better than others.

Medicare Advantage plans are evaluated based on criteria such as customer satisfaction and quality of care. Plans receive between one and five stars, depending on their scores. Five-star plans have the highest scores, and you can switch into a five-star plan most of the year—not just during open enrollment. Learn how the plans in your area rank here .

  1. You will probably need Medigap insurance.

You can rack up some hefty out-of-pocket costs with the deductibles and co-payments required under original Medicare. For instance, a 10-day hospital stay could cost you more than $12,000. A supplemental insurance policy, called Medigap, helps pay for the unpaid balance of Medicare charges. These secondary insurance policies only reimburses for charges that Medicare (the primary coverage) approved, including deductibles, co-payments and coinsurance. However, you can’t use a Medigap plan to pay for Medicare Advantage plan costs.

  1. You should check to see whether your drugs are covered.

All prescription drug plans and Medicare Advantage plans have drug formularies, which list the medications they cover. The drugs are sorted into tiers based on their cost and effectiveness. The higher the tier, the higher your co-payment. To learn whether your medication is covered—and how much it will cost—contact your prescription drug plan or Medicare Advantage company. Many plans post their formularies online.

  1.  You have protections and rights under Medicare Insurance.

These include the right to be treated with dignity and respect at all times, to be protected from discrimination, and to have your personal and health information kept private. You can also get emergency care when and where you need it, appeal payment or coverage decisions, and file complaints if you’re unhappy with the care you receive.

  1. Medicare Insurance doesn’t cover long-term care.

70% of us will need long-term care at some point. This includes help with daily activities, like bathing and cooking, as well as some medical care. Neither Medicare nor most health insurance plans, including Medigap, cover this type of care. If you’re worried about costs, check into long-term care insurance. Most people who can’t afford long-term care eventually qualify for Medicaid, government health insurance for the poor.

Although we are not experts on Medicare, we are experts on home modification, allowing you to remain in your home with more independence and safety. Please call us at 770-939-0747, or email at info@homefreemods.com to receive a FREE in home assessment. We will respond within 24 hours.

 

 

Baby Boomers Lead by Example in Knowing What’s Important

Steve Charnes works out at a senior center in Columbia, S.C., in 2014. Experts say that baby boomers want to stay in their own homes as long as possible. A way to do that is with the “village concept,” which is catching on in South Carolina. Virtual villages are member-run associations set up to help members with transportation, home repairs, and social connections. (Bruce Smith/AP).

What is in the hearts and souls of baby boomers in 2017?

Many boomers are looking for the path forward; it’s a generation with a rich history; most of them today are looking for health and happiness — in the here and now.

There are three things at play for those born between 1946 and 1964:

  1. The way we were
  2. The events of our time
  3. The vision, mission, goals, and objectives of our future

As part of their fund raising efforts, PBS recently aired a documentary on The Mamas and the Papas. The music was rich, the songs still wonderful, and the memories of the times were pronounced.

Baby boomers viewing this documentary must have felt as if they had been temporarily transported back to a different time.

The schedule of daily life as a typical baby boomer today may begin with getting up early to exercise, followed by calling one’s elderly mother to see how she is doing. This is just part of the care giving mode of operation for many boomers today.

Yet, something is missing from this snapshot of modern day life for baby boomers; where the main focus is on the present with an occasional glance back to the past.

What is missing are the hopes and dreams of baby boomers’ ever elusive bucket list.

Once upon a time, boomers got up, went to work, and thought to themselves, “When I retire or work less, or maybe even after a second career, I will be outlining all the places I want to go. I will then travel and see the world.”

You realized that maybe it won’t be in a Chevrolet, as the advertising slogan once recited, but you thought that you’d find a way to see all the places that were in your dreams.

However, a new culprit in the lineup for baby boomers seems to be interfering with the fulfillment of these dreams, it’s . . . being overwhelmed.

The inability to relax and the continued measures of responsibility are making life less about “Trivago,” and more about “A Place for Mom.”

Of course, baby boomers are not defined by one size fit all.

As an example, there is the woman from Ohio — who is not just the typical grandmother — she is actually raising her 3 year old granddaughter as if she were the mother.

And then there is the molecular biologist from California who is no longer doing ground breaking research or trying to plan out a dream trip to Patagonia, because she is now caregiver in chief.

This brilliant scientist is a wonderful researcher, and her hiking passion remains fierce, but her love for her elderly mother makes this boomer’s life about one key priority: the well-being of her mother, the woman who is responsible for making this baby boomer the woman she is today.

As baby boomer couples look at the map of life (or perhaps more accurately, life with GPS), they wonder, “Will I be able to go on that special fall trip this year?” “Will we be able to stay in our home?” These questions do not result from financial difficulty, but from the need to move in with and take care of that elderly parent.

Many between the ages of 53 and 71 are in the battle for the heart and soul of their generation. It is a battle for the way they want to live versus what they simply feel they need to do.

Baby boomers dispel rumors that they are selfish. In fact, many baby boomers are more accurately defined as selfless.

Baby boomers clearly show that they don’t run away from responsibility.

They are focused on the need to do the right thing for elderly parents, for their children, for their grandchildren — and for all of their loved ones.

Somehow baby boomers will find the fabric of their generation.

Once upon a time, it was about the Mama’s and the Papa’s “California Dreaming.”

These days, “Monday, Monday” is in play. Whether it is the song, or simply getting up every Monday for the greater good.

As baby boomers read this column, they know that whatever issue they are facing; whatever responsibility they are involved with — they are not alone.

Baby boomers have heart and a soul. And they fully know what’s important in life!

By Rick Bava ,Thursday, 06 Apr 2017. Bava founded and was CEO of the Bava Group, which became the premier communications consulting firm serving the Fortune 500 community. Bava became known for his popular blog columns “Rick Bava on the Baby Boomer Generation.” He is the author of “In Search of the Baby Boomer Generation.”

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