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Counting My Blessings

I awoke this morning at around 6am and glanced around the room. The sun, whose rays were now streaming through the slats in the blinds, shed its light on my humble abode, the 10 x 20 foot room I call home. “Not much to show for 73 years on this planet”, I thought.

There, were my prized possessions. My laptop that allows me interaction with the world. My dresser, atop which sits my TV and Roku device that provides me with news and entertainment. And a small refrigerator, the content of which comprises two bottles of V8, a chunk of Cheddar cheese, a bottle of hot sauce, and a half empty bottle of soy & ginger salad dressing. I also have a bed, a clock radio and a very tiny closet which houses my entire wardrobe. “Shabby”, I thought as an old Peggy Lee song, “Is that all there is?”, found its way to my brain. But then reality set in and I realized that things could be worse, much worse. It was time for reflection and to count my blessings.

Like most folks who have been around for a while, I had collected a lot of stuff over the years. And, while I am sure that at the time It all seemed very important, I now realize, in the grand scheme of things, it meant little. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy having all the trappings of affluence, I did. But the effort it took for me to accumulate all of it made me forget what really was important. 
People rarely think about their (good) health as a blessing, until things go south. I suppose it’s part of the human condition that makes us believe that our body’s immune system will always be there to protect us from all the little evils that want to do us harm. Until, it doesn’t. However, once realized that we are not the perfect machine we thought we were, every day becomes a blessing and, we should cherish it.

People need certain basics to make us feel human. In these regards, I feel privileged. Though not fancy, they meet my needs, and meet them rather well considering my circumstances. 

I have a space of my own. It’s a place where I feel safe and where I can go when I need to be alone. Not luxurious, but more than adequate. I often wonder why any single person needs anything more.

I addition, I receive housekeeping services, laundry service, clean linen and towels and maintenance when needed. I have heat in the winter and lovely air conditioning in the summer. There is even an exterminator just in case any unwanted visitors wander in.

WiFi, cable and telephone is provided at a nominal fee and I never see a utility bill.

There are medical professionals on the premises, and someone is always there to assist me should I get into trouble. And, though not a gourmet’s paradise, I get fed three times a day. 

Another thing about being where I am is I know that there are people here that care about my wellbeing. Not the same as a relative or close friend might care, but enough to make me feel safe. 

Finally, and perhaps the most important thing of all is, I am not alone. As I get older and my circle of friends become narrower, the importance of interacting with other people becomes even more important. And here, at the ALF, there are plenty of humans to confide in, commiserate with and even have a good laugh with when you’re feeling blue. 

Am I rich? Hardly. Would I like to have my old life back? Yes. Am I bitter that things did not turn out as I had planned? Maybe a little. But I don’t let my misfortunes outweigh what I have. A stress-free environment where I can lay my head down at night and dream of the future……………….

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How To Help Middle-Income Seniors
Pay For Their Long-Term Care Needs

By Howard Gleckman

Recent articles in the journal Health Affairs attempted to attach numbers to a problem that millions of American families are intimately aware of: Many middle-income older adults cannot afford to pay their out-of-pocket costs for health care and senior housing. And the problem is going to get worse once the Baby Boomers begin to hit their late 70s and early 80s, the age at which they will require more substantial medical and personal care.

The article, by Caroline Pearson and five co-authors, focused primarily on affordability of senior housing such as assisted living. They projected that in 2029, when the oldest Boomers will reach their early 80s, one-third of middle-income seniors will not be able to afford supportive housing and medical care. Among those with no home equity, eight in ten will not have the money to pay for facility-based care.

Remember, the authors are not looking at all seniors, but rather than share of middle-income older adults who will not be able to afford care. Effectively, no low-income seniors can afford significant levels of paid care, thus most will land on Medicaid.

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Older Americans are relying too much on
Social Security as a main source of income

By Paul Davidson

If you're planning on relying solely on your social security check for retirement, you may want to reconsider. Here's why.

Many older Americans view Social Security as a financial workhorse for their golden years.

Yet the program provides far less income than they think, partly because they tap the entitlement before reaching retirement age, a new survey shows.

Forty-four percent of older Americans who are retired or plan to retire within 10 years see Social Security as their main source of retirement income, according to the February survey of 1,315 adults age 50 or older by the Nationwide Retirement Institute, a unit of Nationwide Financial. And 26% believe they can live comfortably on Social Security alone.


Net benefits: why the elderly are going online

Any time a new social media platform or app comes out, my mind is sufficiently bamboozled. It took me far too long to get my head around Snapchat. In the end, my 13-year-old nephew told me I was too old and wouldn’t “get it”.

“Go back to Facebook, ” he said, which apparently is for dinosaurs like me. I’m 35. I grew up with slow internet, when being social meant talking to friends face to face and the word “app” was not in the dictionary. In a short space of time, technology has moved fast. So fast, that it may be daunting, terrifying and intimating to someone whose confidence in the digital world is decidedly limited.

While Snapchat may have me stumped at my tender age, people over the age of 60 have become the fastest-growing group of computer and internet users, despite changes, updates, new algorithms and faster devices making technology a minefield. This group are fighting any technology fears they may have and taking control of it to ensure they are capable of “aging in place”.


Physical and mental health of seniors linked to optimism, wisdom and loneliness:
Findings can be used to develop new,
health-focused interventions in aging populations

By Honor Whiteman

Ten thousand Baby Boomers turn 65 every day. By 2029, the entire generation born between 1946 and 1964 will be at least that old. What happens next concerns millions of Americans.

Advancing age is broadly associated with declining cognitive, physical and mental health. In a new study of older adults living independently in a senior continuing care facility, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine analyzed how distinctive factors, such as wisdom, loneliness, income and sleep quality, impact -- for good and bad -- the physical and mental functioning of older persons.

Writing in the May 8, 2019 issue of American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, a research team headed by Dilip Jeste, MD, principal investigator of the study, Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine and director of the UC San Diego Center for Healthy Aging, found that physical health correlated with both cognitive function and mental health.

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Springtime At The A.L.F.
…an old mans fancy turns to thoughts.

I guess there isn’t anybody who doesn’t like spring. Unless you are a polar bear or a ski resort operator. If nothing else, it signals the end of winter. I could recite all the cliches associated with the vernal equinox like “It’s the season of rebirth”, or “renewal” and leave it at that. But for people living in assisted living facilities it means much more.

Primary in our happiness in welcoming spring is because we have lived to see another one. We lost many dear friends this past winter here at the A.L.F. and we miss them. So, just having made it to this point is reason to rejoice.

There are other reasons this season is so agreeable to seniors. It gives us the opportunity to get out of the building and breathe some fresh air. For the gardeners among us, it means a time to sew some seeds and plant some plants. And, those few of us who are sun worshipers, the brilliant sun and mild temperatures affords a chance of catching some badly needed rays. And, maybe even a tan. But spring, despite it’s brilliance, does have its faults.
If there is something called “late onset hay fever”, I’ve got it. This reaction to everything from tree pollen to mold spores is new to me. I never had it until I came here to the ALF where I am surrounded by flowers, grass, trees and everything else that sheds. Originally I thought, as a city boy, my system had not been in contact with all of those irritants and, therefore, wasn’t used to them. But then I remembered that I had a house on Long Island that had flowers and grass and trees and was not bothered by them at all. So, the only thing I can blame all this coughing, sneezing and watery eyes on is old age and the possibility of my immune system going haywire. Fortunately, a couple of OTC allergy pills usually relieves me of most of the symptoms. 

I addition to my bouts with nature, spring has recently elicited in me a yearning to do something I have not done in over 10 years. Get into a car and just drive. 

Because of circumstances both financial and physical, I knew I could never drive a car again. My eyesight and my hearing had deteriorated to a point where I felt uncomfortable behind the wheel. Add to this a slower reaction time, and I voluntarily gave up my license. But that does not mean that the urge to drive and, be able to experience the freedom that only a car can give has disappeared. And now that spring and the good weather has arrived, that urge has become stronger. It almost wants to make me go to the DMV to see if I could get my license back, rent a car and head for the open road. Then I remember that the price of gas has gone up in the last 10 years and tolls and everything else associated with car travel and that I can no longer afford it. Unfortunately, there is no OTC pill for that. Gesundheit.……….

There’s An Affordable Housing Crisis in America.
Something Else to Blame On Old People

It is only since the onset of the current administration have we leaned that old people are responsible for all the world’s ills.
Any middle school, high school, or college kid can tell you how all of us Baby Boomer era and older seniors caused air pollution, overpopulation, destruction of the rain forest, depletion of natural resources, lack of fish in the ocean, autism, auto-immune disease and the high cost of energy.

They have blamed us for putting a strain on America’s Social Security system, health care, and prescription costs. And, what’s even more unfortunate is that most of the blame comes directly from the federal government which appears to have placed the elderly in its sights and is keen to pull the trigger. But now there is something else they blame on us. The lack of affordable housing. Here’s their reasoning.
 We didn’t die when we should have. That’s right. We have the audacity to want to live longer. Unbeknown to the younger generation, we didn’t have the good sense to drop dead at 65 or 70 like our founding fathers, and are just hanging around to make their lives miserable.
Because we are living longer, we are staying at our jobs longer. This means that all those Millennials who just graduated college and can’t get those $100,000 a year jobs someone said was waiting for them even though they have no experience and a poor work ethic. How dare corporations keep an employee who has 30 years on the job and comes to work every day?
And now, they are making the same argument for the lack of affordable and even not-so-affordable housing.
According to,* here are the main factors driving up the cost of housing.
“Baby boomers—those aged 55 or older—are living longer and more independently than previous generations. They’re also more likely than previous generations to be divorced and living alone. This means they have freed less housing stock up by elderly people dying or moving into assisted-living facilities. Sometimes, boomer homeowners are looking to trade down and compete for entry-level homes with other generations, putting upward pressure on prices on homes in the lowest price tier.”
“Millennials (defined as those born between 1981 and 1996), who grew up in the shadow of the Great Recession, have had a harder time finding jobs and thus often live with their parents for longer. And with millennials born in the 1980s now in their 30s, they are finding competition for entry-level houses from the generations before them—including older people who have already built up equity in existing homes. As with Generation X, these millennials’ continued presence in the rental market is driving up demand—and rental prices.
For millennials in their early 20s looking to move into their first rental after college, the pressure on the rental supply from older generations—and older millennials—is making it harder to find an affordable place, leading to what might be a long-term shift in young people living with family well into their 20s.”
Is the solution for us to “drink the Kool-Aid cocktail” at a prescribed age and leave all those nice rent stabilized apartments for the 30 somethings? Or, should planers consider the possibility that middle-class people are the backbone of any city?a And, driving them away because of the refusal to build affordable housing instead of luxury co-ops is a sure way to sound a death knell for the city………………………………….

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A Guide to Medicare Advantage/Part C Costs

Enrolling in a Medicare plan is a big decision. While you’re able to switch plans each year if you’re unhappy (in some situations more frequently) you still want to choose the best plan for your needs the first time. This means taking your out-of-pocket costs into consideration along with other factors. Medicare covers a wide range of medical services, but most are not free. Here’s what you should expect to pay out-of-pocket throughout the year if you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage/Part C plan.

Premiums are the amount you pay each month out-of-pocket for your Medicare Advantage (MA) plan. The estimated average monthly MA plan premium for 2019 is $28, this cost may vary significantly. Some could be $0, while others could have premiums over $200.

To join an MA plan, you must also be enrolled in Medicare Parts A & B. It’s important to remember that Part B has a separate premium that you are responsible for paying even if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage/Part Cplan. The standard Part B premiums in 2019 is $135.50. per month.  You may pay more if you delayed enrolling into Medicare Part B and have a penalty, have higher income, and/or have under 40 Social Security work credits.

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Why Assisted Living is
Beneficial for Both Parties?

By: Ashley Graves

If you are concerned about the health and well being of your loved ones or senior parents then you will need to look for a facility that will offer the best support and assistance for their everyday tasks. Among the other options, the assisted living facility offers a host of benefits for the baby boomer generation for ensuring that they will have a comfortable and stress-free retirement life. Hence, if you find any of your loved ones is facing difficulty in carrying on the everyday chores, then you should consider moving him/her into this facility. You should also find out why assisted living is beneficial for both parties so that you can rest assured that you have selected the best option for your loved ones.

The most important reason why you should consider this option is because it offers long term professional care for seniors. Moreover, it offers round the clock assistance for the aging generation who might be incapable of carrying on the day to day activities themselves. If you are residing in California, then long beach assisted living is definitely worth your consideration as it offers a safer living environment for your loved ones. The round the clock assistance and supervision by experienced and trained medical professionals and nurses offers you complete peace of mind as your loved ones are in safe hands.


How Social Security Will Survive
By John Wasik

I'm always fascinated -- and frustrated -- with the tug of war over Social Security: Will it survive? Should we expand or privatize it? How do we bolster it for those who really need it?

Full disclosure: As someone who is looking forward to receiving it in a few years, I have a vested interest in seeing it survive. Privatization is a bad idea that needs to be put out of its misery.

When an efficient public program that lifts people out of poverty is run efficiently, it helps everyone. That's what Social Security has been doing since the mid 1930s. That why it's been expanded to include disability, survivors and spouses. It makes sense and it works. There is no private company that will duplicate it.


Americans have 'incredible' misconceptions
about Social Security

By Brittany De Lea

Older Americans – including current and future retirees – appear to have a meaningful lack of knowledge about Social Security and how it can boost their retirement income streams, according to a new report from the Nationwide Retirement Institute.

“What’s a little disappointing is that there continues to be an incredible number of misconceptions about Social Security,” Tina Ambrozy, president of financial distribution at Nationwide, told FOX Business. “The report showed that people really don’t understand the way Social Security works … [down to] even understanding what your income would be.”

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At The A.L.F.,
Putting On The Pounds
Is Easy

Once every month the staff asks the residents here at the A.L.F. to line up in the auditorium to have their weight taken. Why? That’s exactly the question I asked the first time they asked me to step on the scale. The answer was, “The Department of Health requires that we take and report the weight of all residents.” This, naturally, prompted me to repeat my question. Why? The answer to that question was not as forthcoming. The answers ranged from, “Because it’s the law” to “I don’t know.” I decided that until somebody could give the real answer, why New York State has to know how much I weigh, I would not take part in the program.* I have never received a satisfactory answer. They no longer bother to ask anymore. This does not mean that I don’t have my own ideas on the matter.

In the state’s favor, I think they want to know if we old folks are being fed enough food. Unfortunately, what they don’t understand is that weight gain is not necessarily a sign that people are eating well. They may eat a lot, or just eating the wrong kinds of food. In their effort to make sure we don’t go hungry, the state is unwittingly encouraging obesity. They do so by forcing the facility to show that the weight curve among residents skews high rather than showing an overall loss of weight. Therefore, it’s to the facilities advantage to keep us fat. And, it’s easily done.

As any dieter knows, the best way to lose weight (especially if you don’t exercise) is to reduce your intake of carbohydrates. Foods like potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta add calories which, when we get older and more sedentary, is harder to lose. Marathon runners “carbo-load” on pasta the day before the big race because it provides the fuel they will need to run 26 miles. There are none of us here at the ALF that could run for 26 feet. So why are we given so many calories producing foods? It’s all about the stats.
Look at this chart…

Even a non-expert would question the significant drop in weight among residents from one year to the next. The State’s immediate reaction to stats like that would prompt them to question if someone gave the residents enough to eat. I any event, it would not look good. For, the facility there’s an easy solution. Feed them more. But not just more food, more weight-producing food. Enter the carbs.
It took about a year after I moved here to realize that the ratio of proteins to carbohydrates was way out of whack. I noticed that almost every meal contained a starchy side dish. 

Breakfast usually always had hash browns or home fries besides the eggs and bacon. Then lunch would feature a pasta dish like spaghetti and meatballs, with the emphasis on the spaghetti.

Dinner brought no relief. Once again, a carb-loaded side dish (usually another potato) sat alongside a puny protein item. On over one occasion the baked potato offered as a side was twice the size of the meat dish it accompanied. There was no doubt in my mind they did this to make sure those weight numbers showed an upswing. I felt it was time to make someone aware I knew of what they were doing. The problem was, how should I do that without it sounding like an accusation?

My first step was to attend the monthly food committee meetings we hold here at the ALF. At, these meetings the food service director entertains inquiries and suggestions from the residents. Naturally, I brought up the carb-to-protein ratio question. His response was that he wasn’t aware of the discrepancy and would look into it. The status remained Quo. Subsequent meetings with the corporate dietitian** who appeared concerned, offered no relief. It took almost two years, and two changes of food supervisors, before they attempted to correct the situation. Unfortunately, like most corporate initiatives, the transformation was half-assed. Instead of increasing the protein portion of the meal, they cut back on the carbs. We now get about 4 ounces of protein vs. 3 or 4 ounces of starch. Sadly, it’s a ratio we’ll probably have to live with. 
Thankfully, they can’t force me to eat everything on the plate. Residents can ask the staff not to serve these side dishes to them. But that leaves one with a rather skimpy meal that may leave the resident hungry. It takes great willpower and discipline not to want to visit the vending machine and push the “Snickers” button two or three times.

I believed that with age, my appetite would diminish and I would become one of those skinny old men who has a hard time keeping his pants up without suspenders AND a belt. No such luck. I haven’t weighed this much since when I first retired. Hopefully, there will be relief soon with the addition of some exercise equipment in our physical therapy department that may be open for the resident’s use. I must look for a pair of sweatpants. Extra large……...............................

Editor’s note: Inspiration and information for this post came by way of…
*The only person, besides myself, that needs to know my weight is my doctor. I have no problem getting on his scale.
**The chef submits menus to the corporate dietitian who is overseen by the State dietitian who must approve all menus. These menus are submitted 3 months in advance and, once approved, cannot be easily substituted. The wheels of progress move very slowly.


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A Guide to
Retirement Community Contracts

There are many options to consider when planning for retirement. What can really be confusing is making sense of the different types of communities available, not to mention the types of contracts each community offers. There’s one thing you can be certain about: Today’s retirement communities are vastly different from those your parents or grandparents considered 20 or more years ago — and that’s a good thing.

Today’s retirees can find vibrant communities where the focus is on embracing the type of lifestyle they’d like to live. Whether it’s an emphasis on nightly social events, group cycling events, exploring their spiritual side or learning a new skill, this new generation of retirement communities is designed for living life to its fullest.

With so many lifestyle and care options come plenty of contract options, too. Here’s a guide to understanding the types of retirement community contracts and the amenities and health care plans each type offers. We’ll start by defining some industry jargon you need to know: the CCRC.

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We are leaving older adults
 out of the digital world

By Jessica Fields

May is national Older Americans Month, and this year’s theme is Connect, Create, Contribute. One area in particular threatens to prevent older adults from making those connections: the digital divide.

Nationally, one-third of adults ages 65 and older say they’ve never used the internet, and half don’t have internet access at home. Of those who do use the internet, nearly half say they need someone else’s help to set up or use a new digital device. Even in San Francisco – the home of technology giants like Twitter, Facebook, and Google – 40% of older adults do not have basic digital literacy skills, and of those, more than half do not use the internet at all.

Mastering digital technology has become a key component of what it means to fully participate in society. If we do not provide technology access and training to older adults, we shut them out from society, worsening an already worrisome trend of isolation and loneliness among the elderly.


How to Protect Yourself From Robocalls
By Octavio Blanco

Phone companies and others offer apps and devices designed to help reduce robocalls by blocking or identifying suspicious phone numbers that could be fraudulent. Those numbers could be those that Federal Trade Commission collects on a blacklist or that the artificial intelligence algorithms in the apps or devices have flagged as suspicious because of the sheer volume of calls they make.

Consumers who downloaded these apps and responded to a Consumer Reports nationally representative survey of 1,002 U.S. adults conducted in December 2018 said they work to varying degrees.

Here are some options to try...


Polypharmacy: How to Keep Older Adults Safe

Thanks to shifting disease patterns and advances in medical care, life expectancy has been steadily rising in the United States over the past century, with more people living into very old age than ever before. Everyone’s goal is to enjoy good health and independence well into one’s golden years. However, certain factors can worsen our quality of life as we age, including a range of illnesses and the side effects of medications used to treat them.

Risks Include Falls from Dizziness or Drowsiness

This risk is even higher in cases of “polypharmacy” — that’s the term doctors use to describe the use of multiple medications by one person. “There are innumerable adverse effects of polypharmacy — almost anything one can imagine,” says Robert A. Murden, MD, an internal and geriatric medicine physician at the Ohio State University (OSU) Wexner Medical Center. “Some of the most common and serious, however, are sleepiness or dizziness, which can result in falls and fractures, and interactions between two or more medicines.”

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©2019 BWC

Chances are, if you are as old as I, you have made many compromises in your lifetime. Most of these “accommodations” are minor ones.
The Mr. Softee guy tells you he ran out of strawberry. No biggy, vanilla will do.
Your significant other says she (he) doesn’t want to go the Islanders game tonight, but just wants to spend a quiet evening at home. You wanted to go to the Nassau Coliseum, watch hockey, and drink a lot of beer. Not wanting to leave the love of your life home alone, you compromise by buying a twelve-pack of Bud and watching “Slap shot” on Netflix. Not as satisfying perhaps, but it goes a long way towards maintaining domestic tranquility. Unfortunately, not all compromises are as easily come by or as readily accepted as that. As a resident of an assisted living facility, compromise often means just giving up.

Don’t misunderstand, I’m not trying to discourage anyone from considering assisted living as an alternative to ageing at home or any other form of senior living. However, it’s important that you realize that you will no longer control many aspects of your life. Take privacy as an example.
You might feel that when you close the door to your bedroom, turn out the lights and slip between the percales, they will leave you alone for the rest of the night. This is not necessarily so in assisted living. Anyone with a key to your room (and that’s just about everybody) has the right to “check in on you” any time. But there is a solution. Compromise. After many intrusions I came to an accord with management. But it wasn’t easy. At least not for me.

For nearly three years, my life and my body had been an open book. Everybody knew everything about me. From my financial condition to the medications I take and the illnesses for which someone prescribed them. I had been under constant observation 24/7/365. It was as close to being in prison as one could without having committed a crime. And I was sick of it.
Moving from a nursing home to an assisted living facility, I believed would finally get the privacy I deserved as an adult human being. Little did I realize that ALF’s are as restrictive, intrusive and as controlling as any nursing home. Therefore, when an aid walked into my room
at 11:45 pm just as I was preparing to get into bed, I was furious. I told her to get out and leave me alone. I might have even let some expletives fly. I thought that would take care of the matter once and for all. Unfortunately, I did not account for her tenacity. For the next three nights the same thing occurred. I was livid. It would take more than just words to stop this incursion. I needed a barricade. After a quick search online, I found the perfect solution.
It was a doorstop with a built-in alarm. You only had to wedge the doorstop tightly up against the door. It would thwart any attempt to open the door and a screeching alarm would let the intruder know I was not happy. Two nights later, shortly after midnight, my new device did its job. As much as she pushed, she could not open the door more than an inch. And, with the alarm wailing away her efforts to enter my room had ended forever. I thought. The next day I was visited by the administrator.

He informed me I could not restrict access to my room and that the state required a “bed check” every night. I told him I had the right to privacy and that I would continue to keep people out. We were at an impasse. Time to compromise.
I asked if the aid had to enter my room on these nightly checks. The answer was no. They only had to determine if I was there and okay.
So, if they knocked, and I said something like “I’m okay” they would not have to enter? I asked.
“That’s okay with me.” He replied.
So now, there is only a polite knock on my door and my “good night” response in the evening. Nobody comes in unless I say it's okay to do so. It’s not the perfect solution. They may still come and go as they please. But now, there is at least some sense of privacy where there once was none. Compromise.

Maintaining privacy is just one area you will have to find a solution to. Others include maintaining a balance between relaxation and utter boredom. If you still drive or can take public transportation, just getting away from the facility for two or three hours will go a long way in maintaining your independence and your sanity.
The least compromising place in any facility is the dining room. As a resident in an ALF you will have to give up any idea of ever eating what you want again.
Because of the institutional nature of assisted living, menus have to be set and published a month ahead so that the state’s oversight office (such as the Department of Health) can approve it. They permit little in the way of substitution. Therefore, you can never get anything “made-to-order.”

If you want scramble eggs instead of the hard-boiled eggs on the menu you’re out of luck. The only compromise here is to not have any eggs at all. Or, order your breakfast delivered from the local diner.
Other examples where compromise is necessary are not being able to order your medication from a pharmacy of your choice. Sitting at a table in the dining room with people you may not like. The alternative is sitting by yourself in the dayroom. Watching a movie in the auditorium or subscribing to Netflix. As you can see, most of those “compromises” will cost you money. Which brings us to the final compromise. Sticking to a budget.
Unless you are wealthy, you are living on a fixed income. After your rent and incidentals like haircuts, personal items and the occasional Chinese takeout dinner, there’s not much left. For the first time in your life you will have to decide if you want to spend your money on things you want vs the things you need. Nobody said compromise is easy. .................…

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The Difference Between Personal Care and
 Assisted Living Communities

By Toni Kelly, LPN

Moving your loved one or yourself out of the family home and into a more supportive setting is an emotional, uncertain and perplexing situation.  Questions abound regarding costs, location, services, and amount of oversight needed.  The current market is geared toward the baby boomers, who are coming of age, and is intent on offering an array of senior living options. Each present a large variety of models and services, which can lead to the confusion in making a choice.

Many people refer to personal care as assisted living. That reference was true until 2011, when the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania carved out two separate definitions and licenses for two very distinct entities.

Personal care communities provide shelter, meals, supervision and assistance with personal care tasks. Typically, older people or people with physical, behavioral health or cognitive disabilities live in a personal care community. These individuals are unable to care for themselves but do not need a nursing home or medical care.

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Seniors owe billions in student loan debt
By Mark Strassmann

America's college loan crisis comes to $1.5 trillion worth of debt. But if you think it's only a young person's problem, think again. Many struggle to pay their monthly minimum, like Seraphina Galante, a 76-year-old social worker in San Diego.

"This is a mountain that I will never be able to climb. I am terrorized," Galante said.

CBS News met Galante on the campus of San Diego State University, where she got her master's degree 19 years ago. She still owes nearly $40,000. Galante is one of more than 3 million people over 60 still paying off college loans. Like her, many went back to improve their job prospects, while others are paying off loans for their kids or grandkids' education.


How to make senior living more appealing

“No one wants to live in a nursing home.”

Two speakers shared that sentiment, which anyone in the long-term care profession has heard too many times to count, when the journal Health Affairs convened a panel April 24 to discuss the National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care-funded study sizing up the middle market need for independent living, assisted living and memory care communities.

The study projected that at least 54% of the 14.4 million middle-income older adults in 2029 in the United States will lack the financial resources to pay for senior housing and care. Researchers suggested private and public efforts that could help meet the challenge.

But even if people could afford to live in a senior living community, would they want to?


How to Protect Yourself From Robocalls
By Octavio Blanco

Phone companies and others offer apps and devices designed to help reduce robocalls by blocking or identifying suspicious phone numbers that could be fraudulent. Those numbers could be those that Federal Trade Commission collects on a blacklist or that the artificial intelligence algorithms in the apps or devices have flagged as suspicious because of the sheer volume of calls they make.

Consumers who downloaded these apps and responded to a Consumer Reports nationally representative survey of 1,002 U.S. adults conducted in December 2018 said they work to varying degrees.

Here are some options to try.

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© Bruce Cooper, 2019


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Facebook is trying to make it easier to get in touch with people over Messenger, so it's rolling out a number of new ways to start chatting. As with all Facebook accounts, all Messenger accounts will now have dedicated links that people can visit to start a chat — they'll all be located at[username]. Facebook is also rolling out what it calls Messenger Codes, which are Messenger's equivalent to Snapchat's snapcodes. They look pretty neat: Messenger Codes are just a series of dots and dashes circling around your profile photo. When someone scans one with their camera, it'll presumably add that person as a contact.


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