8 Tools to Help Seniors Manage Their Finances

Keeping on top of finances is much different once you’re retired, and can become more complicated than one expects. About one in three senior households are out of money, or in debt after paying monthly bills. Fortunately, there are a few things that can help. BudgetPulse (a program that creates a budget and tracks spending each month), Budget Simple (free online budgeting tool), Economic Checkup (offer calculators for budgeting and have info on government resources), Mint.Com (Links to your accounts to track spending and expenses), Personal Capital (tracks earnings and losses in investment accounts), PocketGuard (tracks spending, and gives you a snapshot of available funds), Prism (has a simple design), and You Need A Budget (not free, and also provides classes, podcasts and videos). After all, financial health is just as important as your physical health!

Key Takeaways:

  • Many senior households struggle with paying their bills, sticking to a monthly budget, and staying on top of their finances.
  • There are simple tools available to seniors that can help them track their expenses, create a budget, and set savings goals.
  • Budgetpulse, Budget Simple, and Economic Checkup are three free online tools that seniors can utilize to help them manage their overall finances.

“Even if you’ve managed your whole life to stay on top of your finances, your financial situation will start to look different after retirement.”

Read more: https://www.senioradvisor.com/blog/2017/11/tools-to-help-seniors-manage-their-finances/

Who Said Therapy Was Boring?

Recreational Therapy can be so much more than a boring Occupational room. Its main purpose is to develop all skills such as physical, social, mental, and emotional. Seniors do better when they engage in life, and find happiness and purpose. Going to movies, attending parties, playing Wii games, swimming, walking in a club, dancing. There can be something for everyone in therapy, depending on the seniors interest. Art, animal, music, even simply getting together to play some cards or chess. It is the interpersonal connection and engagement in life that is the main thing. Therapy doesn’t have to be boring, it can be engaging and something to look forward too.

Key Takeaways:

  • Alzheimer’s is progressive and irreversible and what goes unmentioned is how Recreational Therapy can help
  • The therapy includes social activities, active games, music therapy, art therapy, and more
  • In later stages of the disease, it is recommended to use a customized one-on-one approach to therapy depending on needs

“Recreational Therapy is designed to help develop physical, social, mental and emotional capacities by using activities according to the person’s necessity and area of impairment.”

Read more: https://insigniaseniorliving.com/recreational-therapy-for-seniors/

VR can aid seniors and chronic disease patients, but don’t overhype its capabilities

Virtual Reality for many may seem too wild or even strange as it is trending more and more with a variety of users trying it for the first time. Some caregivers are finding a very useful benefit for VR some are saying. Being a caregiver for patients who suffer mental health issues such as anxiety can be challenging for many. A program described in this article is being introduced to patients with these anxiety problems with surprising results some would say. Being able to escape to a VR world has been documented to actually reduce anxiety in many patients.

Key Takeaways:

  • One Caring Team began using VR in group therapy for geriatric patients, some using more than 3 times a day
  • One game called “Pain Reliever” has users throw balls at stuffed bears to distract from pain
  • The technology is promising but researchers must be careful not to overhype the usefulness of VR

“In addition to having caring listeners call elderly individuals, One Caring Team’s Aloha VR program reduces seniors’ anxiety by allowing them to escape to other environments.”

Read more: https://medcitynews.com/2017/10/virtual-reality-patients/

7 Tips to Help Senior Loved Ones with Financial Management

Managing finances becomes more challenging with age, and caregivers to senior citizens can, and should, provide crucial support to their loved ones in this area. Caregivers and relatives should be in the practice of regularly checking in with their senior citizen regarding the status of their finances. They should also assist with the creation of a reasonable budget, in addition to cutting out unnecessary expenses wherever possible and finding opportunities to boost income. It will also be important to look into the question of power of attorney, should the senior citizen ever become unable to make decisions independently. Make a list of regularly received bills and review the list with your senior citizen. Finally, take time to educate them about common scams targeting the elderly and ways to safeguard one’s finances.

Key Takeaways:

  • Help your senior citizen create a reasonable budget in addition to cutting out unnecessary expenses and finding income opportunities
  • Though it is an unpleasant topic to broach, the question of power of attorney is important to discuss with a senior citizen while they still can make decisions independently
  • Educate your senior citizen on common scams that target the elderly for exploitation and discuss ways to safeguard finances

“Whether your senior loved one spent their entire life taking care of finances themselves or largely relied on a spouse to do so, aging increases certain challenges and risks with financial management that they’re not prepared for.”

Read more: https://www.senioradvisor.com/blog/2017/10/7-tips-to-help-senior-loved-ones-with-financial-management/

10 Urgent Signs It’s Time for Your Loved One to Stop Driving

As a person grows older, they often reach a point where it is no longer safe for them to get behind the wheel of a car. While there is no designated age when this occurs, there are some signs and symptoms that indicate when it might be time for a senior citizen to stop driving. If they wind up lost in areas that were previously familiar, or if their car gradually begins to sport more scratches and dents, then it might be time to consider alternatives. Other warning signals include frequent citations from or stops by police officers; medical conditions that can lead to weakened driving ability; reluctance to get behind the wheel; impaired vision or reflexes; noticeable changes in driving habits; and, finally, concern from those who are close to them.

Key Takeaways:

  • If a senior citizen winds up lost in an area that was previously familiar, it is a warning sign that driving may no longer be a safe practice for them
  • Be on the lookout for impaired vision or reflexes, both of which are common aging side effects that make driving a hazard
  • If those close to a senior citizen, or the senior citizen themselves express concern over their driving ability, these concerns should be taken seriously

“Whether it’s a parent, friend, or even yourself, everyone wants to continue driving as long as they can do so safely.”

Read more: https://www.rd.com/advice/relationships/elderly-driver-warning-signs/

Home Senior Care

How can the right environment help someone with dementia?

It is very normal and common for family members to feel concerned after finding out that their loved one has been diagnosed with dementia. It is common for people to question what kind of living conditions would be most suitable for their loved one. To start off, it is a good idea to try to limit noise, stress, and anxiety in your loved one’s living space. This will can help alleviate certain mental conditions your loved one might be experiencing, such as depression. Safety is also a top concern. It is important to consider removing rugs, having adequate lighting, and installing hand grips around the house. Those examples are just a few ways to improve the safety conditions for your loved one.

Key Takeaways:

  • Get rid of any rugs from the home because rugs are the foremost reason for falling inside the home
  • Post a sign at the front door warning against solicitors to prevent unannounced visitors because people with dementia are vulnerable to exploitation and scams
  • Make sure the home is well lit and consider installing lighting that uses sensors so that anywhere the person is will be lit up automatically

“When it comes to in-home safety, there are specific precautions and needed changes to make your environment safe.”

Read more: https://senior.com/can-right-environment-help-someone-dementia/

How Denial About Decline Compromises Senior Care

Elderly health decline is a natural part of life, and comprises physical and cognitive function. At some point, it may come to a point where it’s unsafe for seniors to continue living without care. However, decline is stressful on the person and their family members, and many use denial to help them cope. Denial can be okay if it’s short term, but long term becomes a problem. When dealing with someone in denial, avoid judgment and build a case around facts and evidence, or if it persists, it may not hurt to schedule a senior care consultation with a care professional.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cognitive decline in old age is a normal part of aging, and beyond a certain point, assistance with living becomes critical.
  • Recognizing denial about decline in yourself and in others is an important part of coping with the process.
  • Use evidence, not emotion, to deal with denial, and consult an expert if denial persists.

“Denial prevents elderly adults from getting the care they need, which can accelerate their decline, severely reduce their well-being, and put them at serious risk of illness and injury.”

Read more: https://senior.com/denial-decline-compromises-senior-care/

Veteran Home Care Options

Out of pocket veteran home care assistance is not an easily affordable service – especially when some of the needs of these veterans are intense. There are services offered through Veteran Assistance including various levels of coverage in regards to service. These service levels include: Skilled home health care services, Homemaker and Home Health Aide services, Family Caregiver Program, and Home Telehealth. All of these services are specified for the needs of unique veterans. However, all veterans are different and there are many other services that can be accessible by reaching out to different local home agencies.

Key Takeaways:

  • If you are one of America’s 20 million veterans in need of assisted living, you can explore a number of home care options.
  • VA-provided services include care by a locally-based skilled provider, direct care by a staff of the VA, care by a family member, or telehealth.
  • You can also access care through non-VA home care agencies like Visiting Angels.

“A homeowner or home health aide visits the veteran in the comfort of his or her home to provide regular in-home assistance. This can help delay the need for nursing home care or can offer respite for family caregivers.”

Read more: https://senior.com/veteran-home-care-options/

‘If You Build It, They Will Come’ Not True of Assisted Living Activities

Assisted Living – a service that assists elderly persons in their old age – requires that the elderly do various forms of recreational activities. These activities include bingo, watching TV, reminiscing and more. These activities offer various amounts of consequences both good and bad. Researchers are trying to pinpoint what these consequences are in order to increase transparency on which recreational activities are effective or not. Each assisted living establishment is different because each person who benefits from assisted living has differing mental states. Therefore it is necessary to compile more research on the recreational activities for assisted living providers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Engaging assisted living residents in recreational activity is not straightforward
  • Studies have found positivity with recreational activities in assisted living although small and inconsistent
  • More work needs to be done on interests, biophysical needs, engagement, personal meaning, and activity demands

“Family visits and walking were the two most commonly cited activities, at 26 and 25 mentions each. Physical exercise, bingo, arts and crafts, and watching TV were commonly mentioned as well.”

Read more: https://seniorhousingnews.com/2017/10/24/if-you-build-it-they-will-come-not-true-of-assisted-living-activities/

Easy Ways for Caregivers to Cut Costs

Caregiving is a journey that can last five to ten years. The individuals who will benefit from caregiving will have to spend a significant amount of money for the service – which will be financially detrimental over time. There are some strategies caregivers can use to save money. These include: finding out the local discounts for low-income elderly persons or finding new deals, changing ones cell-phone plan to a pay as you go service, finding savings on items a caregiver already purchases, creating a budget, and finding discounts on prescriptions. Caregivers must be focused on finding the senior discounts with every purchase they make.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is a huge financial cost to being a caregiver that people rarely speak about. Missing work, traveling, can really hurt your budget.
  • Look online for deals on items you normally buy. Know what you are paying, then see where you can purchase items cheaper with online deals, or big box store pricing.
  • Create a budget and see what you can exchange or cut our all together. There are ways to get around larger expenses with some negotiation and swapping. Netflix or hulu for cable for instance.

“Check for new deals: If you have had your car insurance, cable contract and cell phone contract for a long time, chances are, they may have special offers that you’re missing out on.”

Read more: https://senior.com/easy-ways-caregivers-cut-costs/