Managing Money as you Age

6355351769_766503f534_bFinances are something we all worry about throughout our lives, but particularly so as we age. Typically, as you get older income decreases but expenses stay constant or sometimes increase. However, with the right strategies and plans in place, you should stretch your budget and still live comfortably in retirement.

Change up your Savings: As you hit your 40s and 50s, start rethinking your savings. How is your retirement savings looking? It can be worthwhile to put more of your income into a savings account or bonds. Don’t forget to take advantage of matching contributions by your employer. Seek out a financial planner so you make informed decisions with your hard-earned money.

Evaluate Monthly Expenses: Track where your money is really going. As much as you want to help others, consider your own needs. Look for unnecessary expenses or areas where to cut back. Can you cut costs by going with another provider, consolidating, or refinancing any loans? Consider downsizing your home if you have unused extra space with high maintenance costs just eating into your budget. You can still live well on less!

What daily or weekly activities are eating away at your savings? You also have to weigh these items with what gives you the most joy in your life.

Look for ways to Save: Take advantage of discount and savings programs on things like prescriptions, travel, and purchases. Look for sales, use coupons, and ask for senior discounts when possible.   Memberships at Costco, AAA and other club-like companies offer many savings incentives.

Hold out on Social Security: If you can wait a few more years to start drawing Social Security, you may receive higher payments. This may help stretch your income as you age and help your savings last a little longer.

Stay Active: Cut back on healthcare expenses by staying active and becoming proactive about your health. Maintain a healthy diet and engage in regular physical activity to stay in shape and ward off illness and injury.  Schedule maintenance visits to the doctor and don’t ignore any warning signs of illness or disease.

Think Ahead: Be realistic about the future. If you know you won’t be working for another 10 years, don’t plan your finances around the idea that you will. Weigh the costs and benefits of aging in place, downsizing, or moving to an assisted living community. Look at all of the associated expenses to decide the optimal time to buy and sell or to make other major transitions. Selling furniture and property you no longer need can also be a way to provide some extra income.

Have an Open Discussion:  Invite your children into your financial world and share your fiscal information.  They are probably going to be helping you down the road so why not give them any monetary surprises.  Make sure they are clear on your plans for your home and any other large assets.

Practicing good financial skills can allow you to maximize your savings and get the most out of your retirement. Just because you are on a fixed income doesn’t mean you can’t live comfortably. The earlier you start planning and managing your money wisely, the better off you will be. Saving a little bit at a time can add up over the years.

If you’re weighing your options and looking toward senior services or assisted living, contact Always Best Care today to schedule a free consultation. We can also assist you with referrals as necessary. It’s not too early to start planning for your future and lining up the supports and services you may need as you age. Call  David Baim at Always Best Care (267) 217-7059 Or email dbaim@abc-seniors.com to get started.
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Fruits and Vegetables to Eat this Summer

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASummer is a great time to check out your local farmers market or supermarket and stock up on fresh produce. Not only can fruits and vegetables be a healthy snack, they can also add flavor, nutrients, and other benefits as a side dish or main meal. Selecting seasonal produce can also save you money. Increase interest in eating healthy by letting family members pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables to snack on or prepare for meals.

As you’re perusing the aisles or stands, here are a few fruits and vegetables to consider which have valuable health benefits and delicious tastes:

  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are a wonderful source of lycopene, an antioxidant, as well as vitamin C. As an added bonus, lycopene can also help to protect your skin from sun damage.  Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, and copper.
  • Watermelon: Hydration is especially important during hot summer days, and watermelon is a great source since it is around 92 percent water. It is also low calorie, contains lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids.
  • Radishes: Often overlooked, this vegetable can be a great addition to salads and meals. Radishes are high in water content and a good source of vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber.
  • Berries: Stock up on strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, which are high in fiber and vitamin C. They also contain flavonoids that may support cognitive health and skin health.
  • Avocados: Avocados are considered a superfood and a healthy source of monounsaturated fat which can boost heart health. However, eat them in moderation as they are high in calories.  They are loaded with potassium and fiber.
  • Corn: You may not consider this starchy vegetable to be healthy, but it does have its benefits. Corn contains antioxidants that can help protect eye health and reduce risk of age-related macular degeneration. Whether its white, yellow, blue, purple or red corn, each color signifies various levels of antioxidants and nutrients.
  • Peaches: Peaches pack a punch with 10 different vitamins and plenty of fiber. They’re low in calories and also contain other essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Zucchini: This versatile vegetable can be eaten raw, baked, grilled, or boiled. Many people replace traditional pasta with zucchini instead. (By either slicing it thin or by using a spiralizer.) Zucchini is low in calories, contain no fat or cholesterol, and is packed with vitamin C, fiber, and potassium.

You and your family can eat these foods plain, just as they are, or you can spice things up by adding a variety of seasonings or combining them with other foods. The possibilities are endless. A quick recipe search can yield many ways to prepare these fruits and vegetables in dishes your family will love. Having plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables on hand make for a quick and simple choice when it comes to grabbing a healthy snack.

Make sure your senior is eating right all year long by getting them the support they need. An in-home caregiver can assist with meal planning, grocery shopping, meal preparation, checking food expirations, and providing companionship during meal times. Help your loved one live a safer, healthier lifestyle by contacting Always Best Care today to schedule a free consultation! Call (267) 217-7059 to speak with David Baim.

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5 Signs It’s Time For Assisted Living

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Many seniors view living on their own as a sign of independence, and it’s one they’re often not ready to give up. Driving to the supermarket, meeting with friends or paying the bills on their own are activities which give seniors a sense of pride and content.

With support from an in-home care provider, your loved one may be able to age in place for a longer period of time, however, there comes a point when assisted living becomes more beneficial. Much of their independence can be maintained, but having a safer, monitored environment seems to ease family member worry.

It can be a difficult decision to transition your aging parent to an assisted living facility, but it can give you peace of mind to know they are living a higher quality life with all of the necessary supports  . There is never a perfect time to make the switch, but here are a few warning signs that may indicate assisted living could be beneficial:

1. Cognitive decline.

Is your elderly parent developing dementia or Alzheimer’s? Are they becoming more forgetful and putting their own health and safety at risk? Occasional forgetfulness may not be a big deal, but as it progresses and you notice the state of their home and hygiene declining, it may be time to step in.  Take a look at their banking practices or bill payments from time-to-time and ask their neighbors or friends what they think if there is cause for concern.

2. Mobility issues.

Slips and falls can come with a variety of consequences. If your loved one is having more trouble getting around and you notice they have bumps and bruises, they may be better suited for assisted living. In an assisted living environment,  if they fall, someone can respond more quickly. Their room can also be set up with less clutter, more space, and more safety features.

3. Trouble keeping up with daily tasks.

Have they forgotten to take the trash out again or do laundry? Is there hardly any food in the refrigerator and the plants haven’t been watered in several days? Do they have trouble getting their shoes on or getting dressed? Are they eating, drinking enough and sleeping when they should? Most people are expected to easily accomplish these activities when living on their own. If they’re having trouble keeping up, more support may be necessary.

4. Isolation.

Has your loved one stopped meeting up with friends or going to their favorite diner? Are they staying at home more than they’re interacting with others? Assisted living can help them to remain more social, meet friends, and stay involved in activities they enjoy. Isolation can lead to depression and other concerns.

5. Trouble driving.

Driving requires good vision, hearing, reaction time, decision making, problem solving, mobility, and more. If your loved one is getting into fender benders, forgetting where they’re going, or is hesitant to get behind the wheel at all, this can impact their quality of life. They’re not able to run errands and grocery shop, they become more isolated, and it can be restricting. In an assisted living facility, they don’t have to worry about these things. Transportation can be provided for them, and the facility may offer a number of services.

No one wants to take their loved one from home and move them to assisted living, but it can be the best decision for everyone involved. Your loved one should thrive in their new environment and you can know they are safe and happy.

Always Best Care offers free assisted living placement services to help you find the right facility and level of care for your aging parent. We work with facilities throughout the area and can help you find one that meets your loved one’s needs. Let us help you by contacting Always Best Care at (267) 217-7059.

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Creating The Perfect Space For Aging In Place

Today’s elderly population is blazing a new trail for seniors in many ways. Aging individuals in our world are living longer, leading more active lives and are participating more in society than any previous generation in their later years. As a result, they are shunning typical lifestyle choices and patterns of the past in favor of new ways to live. For many seniors, this means living and aging at home where they are comfortable and secure. This desire has created a huge demand on family members and other loved ones as they consider their options.

These days, family members aren’t worried about putting Mom or Dad in a nursing home; they are more concerned with how to make sure Mom or Dad’s current house is fit for aging in place safely and comfortably.

If you’re concerned about a family member who insists on aging in place, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure conditions at home are ideal and appropriate for healthy aging.

Here are some helpful tips:

1. Make Necessary Changes

The cost to retrofit a home can be scary, but think about this: the cost to make structural modifications to a typical one-story home is about $10,000. However, when you consider the costs associated with occupancy of a nursing home or other facility, which can rise to tens of thousands of dollars a year, the costs of modifications are worth it. At this point, doing what is necessary to make the home safe and secure  will make you feel confident that you made the right choice.

2. Don’t Forget the Small Things

Consider normal, day-to-day activities like opening doors or removing items from kitchen shelves. Are these tasks presenting unnecessary challenges to your loved one? Small changes such as  installing better doorknobs or rearranging items on shelving to a lower level can make a huge difference. It’s also a good idea to evaluate the home’s lighting both inside and out.  New fixtures may be the best solution, but you might be able to make significant improvements simply by installing new bulbs.

3. Take Advantage of Technology

Today’s world benefits from automation in a number of ways, and your senior loved one’s home can take advantage of the same benefits. Programmable “smart” thermostats, self-monitoring alarms and timer-enabled lights can help you ensure that the home is always comfortable, plus it can take responsibilities off of an aging individual’s plate. You can also use technology to communicate with your loved one and ensure that the home is safe and sound, even when you’re thousands of miles away.

More Advice for Aging in Place

Are you caring for a loved one who insists on aging in place? Always Best Care can help you. Call us at (267) 217-7059 for your free consultation.

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Seniors and the Holidays-5 Timely Tips

Seniors and the Holidays – Five Timely TipsThe holidays are a time of celebration, family bonding, friendship and gratitude for the joys that life brings. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a highly stressful time, particularly for seniors. Depression tends to rear its ugly head during this time of  year, and the chaotic excitement of the season can also lead to confusion among older adults, not to mention the pressures involved in staying socially active and festive when it’s no longer an easy thing to do.

If you are in the care of a senior and you want to make sure they enjoy the positive aspects of the holidays – while avoiding the negative ones – we’ve got five great tips for you. Read on!

  • Preliminary Planning

It’s important to be able to anticipate how your senior will handle the various activities they participate in during the holidays. Are they sensitive to loud noises and chaotic environments? Make sure quiet places are available. Do they tire easily? Plan family visits and other encounters so that your senior can experience full enjoyment without getting fatigued.

  • Remember the Joys of Holidays Past

Sometimes its difficult for seniors to get into the holiday spirit with all of the hustle and bustle that surrounds them. One of the best ways to connect is to encourage them to share memories of past holiday seasons. Remembering family, friends and important events is a terrific way to tap into the delights that the holidays can bring.

  • Safe Environments

Is everybody gathering at Mom’s place this year? Will there be more people than usual at Dad’s during the holidays? While it’s important to make room for everyone, too much rearranging of furniture and other objects in the home can cause confusion and lead to accidents. A safe, familiar environment is the best context for seniors to enjoy the holidays, so remember to keep their comfort paramount in your mind when it comes to preparing the home for visitors.

  • Creating Brand New Memories

Seniors and the Holidays – Five Timely TipsStrolling down memory lane can be a great way to get your senior into the holiday spirit, but you should spend time in the moment creating new memories and engaging in new traditions. Doing this keeps the older individual in your care connected to the family and engaged in the evolution of the holiday celebration. Try to strike a balance between the comfort of familiar activities and the excitement of trying something new.

  • Stay on Schedule with Medications

Our schedules and routines are often thrown off course during the holiday season, and this can have a harmful effect on seniors, especially if they must take certain medications on a regular basis. As a caregiver, it’s up to you to make sure your senior experiences the novelty of the season while maintaining consistency with the administration of meds.

Looking to Learn More?

At Always Best Care, we’re all about making sure seniors live their best possible lives, and we can offer assistance when it comes to ensuring a wonderful time during the holidays. If you’re interested in learning more, give us a call today at 267 217-7059 for your free consultation. We can’t wait to hear from you!

by Mike Lumbrazo

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Deals for Veterans

Please join us in honoring U.S. Veterans on Veterans Day,  Nov. 11, 2015. Thank you for your service to our nation!
Additionally, there are many restaurants and companies who want to thank our veterans by providing them with discounts or a free meal. To those companies offering veterans a free meal or discount, thank you for supporting our heroes!
Go to Applebees, California Pizza Kitchen, Bob Evans, Carraba’s, Chili’s, Denny’s, Friendly’s, Menche’s and many more.  See the list here.

Please bring your Military ID and call ahead to locations to confirm their discounts.

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Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s® is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, this inspiring event calls on participants of all ages and abilities to reclaim the future for millions.

The Philadelphia Walk is Sunday, November 8, 2015 at Citizens Bank Park. Registration at 9am, Contact: Keely Boyle 215-561-2919 DelvalWalk@alz.org

Together, we can end Alzheimer’s disease, the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death.
Our mission (Alzheimer’s Association)
To eliminate Alzheimer’s disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.

Our vision
A world without Alzheimer’s disease.

For more information go to Alz.org

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