There are many special discounts for seniors, many of which are exclusive to seniors. But you won't get these discounts unless you know about them. At most retailers, parks and restaurants--simply ask the question, "Do you offer a senior discount?" and see how much you can save. For each discount you can get in person, there's also another one that you can only get online. Many seniors were surprised by the savings they could get -- up to $6100 -- by using online discounts and taking advantage of lesser - known government programs. Are you ready? Here's the best and most comprehensive list for 2018.
Homeowner Saving Trips for Seniors
Known to many is the brilliant Home Warranty Program, American Home Shield, which could benefit millions of households and help them never pay for covered major system or appliance breakdowns again. If you likely have homeowners insurance, a home warranty plan is similar to a homeowners insurance plan, but covers many things that an insurance plan wouldn't like when your washing machine fails, your dryer quits, your dishwasher dies, or your refrigerator keels over.
Often, homeowners are offered a one-year home warranty plan when they purchase a home. A home warranty is a huge plus for the home buyer because it takes away the stress of having to pay for repairs during the first year while they re settling into a new home. No homeowner wants to deal with home system failures, such as a broken washing machine or when a central heating system stops working. These unexpected appliance breakdowns can cost $1,000 dollars to fix.
However, home warranties are not just for new buyers. The reality is, existing homeowners have the option to get a home warranty plan anytime after they purchased their home. It doesn't matter if you've lived in your home for 30 years or more, you can still get a home warranty plan that will cover the cost of many unexpected home repairs.
HOW DO YOU GET A QUOTE?
Step 1: Check if your ZIP code qualifies for a Home Warranty Plan (not all zip codes will qualify)
Step 2: You will be able to compare available plans once you enter your ZIP code and home information.
I thought this would be a good article for seniors as I've been at senior homes many times especially when
things stop working, so review and if it is somewhat appealing compare it to what you have now.
Olga Brunner, M.Sc.
This information came through: https://www.prime8.com/smart-owner/
Tomorrow we will review another article.
By: Noel Kirkpatrick
Seasons - by their very nature bring change, be it in air temperature, the amount of daylight or the plants that are in bloom. These changes also affect humans, albeit in ways we're only starting to understand. For example, how the seasons affect our sense of cognition and what that means for those with Alzheimer's. A study published in PLOS Medicine investigated that question and found that cognition in seniors improves during summer and autumn and goes into a comparative spiral in winter and spring in the Northern Hemisphere. These findings may influence when we test for and how we treat Alzheimer's.
Seasonal cycles of cognition:
Researchers collected data from 3,353 participants from three observational community studies and two observational memory clinic studies spread across the United States, Canada and France. Additionally, participants were put through neuropsychological testing and a subset of study participants had their cerebrospinal fluid checked for Alzheimer's disease biomarkers. Other tests were performed on study participants who died during the study to collect information about the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, a section of the brain that helps regulate executive functions, like memory, planning and cognition.
Even after accounting for factors like sleep, depression and physical activity, the research demonstrated a "significant and reproducible association between season and cognition," with the peak occurring near the fall equinox. Participants showed an almost 30 percent higher chance of meeting the criteria for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia during winter and spring than they did during summer and fall. This association carried over in participants already diagnosed with Alzheimer's, and the difference in when participants were tested could amount to a four-year age difference in cognition.
The findings represent a potential new way of thinking about how and when we test for Alzheimer's and how we treat it over the course of the year. For instance, given that even among those already diagnosed with Alzheimer's experienced an increase in cognition during the fall, it may be possible to leverage the increased cognitive functions year-round with appropriate care and treatment. Additionally, testing for MCI and dementia may be more helpful during winter and spring months, when cognition is in decline, to get a clearer sense of its severity.
Currently, it's unclear how and why the seasons play a role in cognition. Researchers speculate that light and temperature, changes in hormone levels or access to vitamin D may all exert some level of influence on cognition. Researchers note that the study participants were all from the Northern Hemisphere, and that it would be worthwhile to conduct similar studies in the Southern Hemisphere, where the seasons and their effects may function in an opposite fashion.
Very interesting article thanks to Elder Law Associates Newsletter.
Thank you, Olga Brunner, M.Sc., Geriatric Care Management
Please fee free to respond if you have questions.
CMS continues to successfully mail newly-designed Medicare cards with the New Medicare Number and we are excited to share important progress updates with you.
As of August 31, they mailed nearly 35 million cards and continue to mail more every day, processing claims and eligibility requests with the Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI), showing that providers are successfully using the new number. They started mailing new cards to persons with Medicare in Wave 6 states this week and finished mailing cards to persons in 4 states. Because card mailing is progressing so well, they updated the mailing schedule to include an approximate start date for the last wave, and are on track to finish mailing new cards to all persons with Medicare before April 2019.
With their focus on fraud and protecting identities of persons with Medicare, they are continuously adjusting and improving their mailing strategy to make sure new cards are being mailed to accurate addresses and using the highest levels of fraud protection throughout the mailing (as below):
If you know of Medicare patients who did not get a card after their mailing wave ends, ask them to:
Medicare patients should continue to protect their new number to prevent medical identity theft and health care fraud and have launched a national fraud prevention campaign this month before Medicare Open Enrollment.
From the Medicare Learning Network, MLN Connects, and MLN Matters
trademarks of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
CMS Medicare Learning Network.
Dementia and other health issues that affect one's mental capacity are devastating in many ways, but they can also complicate the basic legal planning that is recommended for all seniors.
How a Letter of competency Works
Encouraging a loved one to obtain a letter of competency at the time their will, power of attorney forms, advance directive and any other legal documents are drafted and signed will help dispel any notions that these documents were created while they lacked the mental capacity to make medical, financial and legal decisions.
How to Obtain a Letter of Competency
In some cases, obtaining this letter from a doctor who specializes in mental health and cognition, such as a psychiatrist or a neurologist, is a good idea. For example, if your mother is already experiencing mild memory loss and has not had a primary care doctor for a decade, then a complete mental evaluation conducted by a specialist would be more credible compared to a mini-mental exam conducted by a new family doctor who is seeing her for the first time.
What a letter of competency should include
A generic letter from a doctor attesting to a patient's mental capacity should be printed on the physician's letterhead and include the following fundamental pieces of information such as:
Remember, it is impossible to predict whether a family member may contest the validity of an aging loved one's legal documents, but it happens all the time.
It may seem excessive to seek additional proof of mental capacity when changing or creating any legal documents, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
It isn't easy but encouraging your loved one to make sound legal preparations, acting in their best interest and taking every precaution to carefully document changes in their health and financial status will ensure that your journey goes as smoothly as possible.
Author: Ashley Huntsberry-Lett
Olga Brunner has lived in Florida for more than 20 years, and has taught ALF Core Training, preparing future owner/administrators to pass the State Competency Exam in the the State of Florida. As owner of a successful Geriatric Care Management business in Boca Raton, she assists her elder clients by assessing and preparing care plans; and provide medications management. We attend doctor visits; supervise client household staff; provide transition care when clients are hospitalized; and secure the right Assisted Living Facility for our clients. Now that we are approaching hurricane season, we are in the midst of preparing for hurricane planning, and keeping clients safe throughout this time of the year, and much more.
In 2005, Olga Brunner earned her Master of Science in Administration at Lynn University, Boca Raton, with a specialty in Health Care Administration. The name of our business, "A Good Daughter Solutions" says it all. We provide solutions for the Elder Community and if a client gets ill at any time throughout the day or night, be assured, we will be with your parents. So, consider our services when you need someone who is credentialed, and has a great deal of experience. You won't be disappointed.
Olga is a Certified Elder Care Manager, certified by Area Agency of the Aged to teach fall prevention for seniors.
.....Please feel free to contact us anytime if you would like to speak with us. If there is no response we may be out with a client who may not be well. Please leave a message and we will contact you ASAP.
We are always here to help: 954-290-6493
Olga Brunner, M.S., CECM
A new app predicts On-Road driving ability in patients with Dementia. The article, recently posted in Today's Geriatric Medicine with contributions By Ruth M. Tappen, EdD, R.N., FAAN; Jamie Zahava Ramos, BA; David O. Newman, PhD; and Matt Newman, B.A., predicts screening tests will now be able to tell whether a person with dementia will fail a road driving test or not. The tests are meant to be administered by physicians or trained assistants while in the office. If the patient "fails" or has less than a 50% score, this indicates that they should have a more thorough driving test given by specialized occupational therapists. With this specialized evaluation, if the person with dementia fails these tests, you will have proof in writing that they can no longer drive.
Following the two tests once taken and scored, the specialist takes the total score, adds the Score onto the time spent completing the test, enters them online at the website, http://Fit2Drive.us or downloads its Mobile app to a cell phone (both Apple and Android) from the same website. The answer will indicate the probability that the person being tested could pass the road section of this driving test given by special occupational therapists.
Hopefully this will hep get some dangerous drivers off the road, and lower your stress level about your loved one driving with dementia. A special thanks to Carole Larkin, a Certified Dementia Consultant for her contribution on LinkedIn regarding this unique driving calculator for individuals with memory impairments.
Fit2Drive was developed and copywrited right in our back yard by F.A.U. College of Nursing in Boca Raton, Florida earlier this year. © 2016 - Fit2Drive: F.A.U. College of Nursing & SolveIT Consulting 2016.
In addition, F.A.U. College of Nursing is responsible for the Memory and Wellness Center a very unique Adult Day Center for persons with early dementia located within the F.A.U. campus. Barbara Curtis is the Administrator, responsible for running the great selection of activities for seniors in Boca Raton. If you know of a elder in need of a happy place to spend time with other seniors doing artwork, listening to lectures by a political contributor, shooting pool, listening to live music, growing a garden especially for seniors and lots of other activities, you will know that you have arrived at the right place.
Posted 22nd of September, 2016 by Olga Brunner, M.Sc., CECM
Tags: Today's Geriatric Medicine, Fit2Drive.us, F.A.U. Memory and Wellness
Please feel free to comment below, Thank you.
This article was first viewed on Huffington Post when the title intrigued me. Since I am sixtysh and live alone, it's refreshing to see city planners actively involved in making life a lot easier for us. Members of the elder orphan Facebook group have voiced concern about crucial topics like affordable housing, high medical costs, and the need for accessible transportation. These are part of the Institute's roadmap. If you are close to being in your sixties, you might also enjoy this.
We cannot afford to overlook the needs of older residents across the country. Business influencers and senior care experts struggle to find answers. Seniorcare.com aging council was asked, "What can local officials and thought leaders do to mitigate the hard issues older adults contend with that strain their independence and security when living at a distance from needed services?"
Change Resident Attitude......by Stephen D. Forman, ClTC
A city's aged population can be seen as a financial burden or valued resource. The best way to ensure the latter is by optimizing the physical and mental health of its residents. Urban design (with a walk-friendly city), zoning (which types of community-based care can be built, and where), and tax breaks (keeping LTC costs affordable by meeting supply with demand) are all steps to consider. Just start the conversation at local city meetings and become familiar with current programs and services to determine where the gaps exist and strengthen those programs that work and find non-traditional solutions that address the significant concerns.
Improve Transportation.......by Kathryn Watson
We need to figure out transportation because people need to get out of their homes. Some health issues may affect their ability to drive, and low-cost driving options are in demand. Invest to improve the walkability aspects of cities--it helps all residents. Options like transportation, city parks, sidewalks, security, pedestrian safety, housing and retail located nearby create a livable environment. Some cities are buying into the concept but many are not.
Create a Culture of Support......by Evan Farr
The Age-Friendly DC Initiative performs a block-by-block walk over the summer to check in on seniors living alone and to inform them about transportation, meals and nutrition programs. The AARP is also involved in spreading the word about age-friendly policies, many aimed at preventing isolation by promoting inter-generational social and networking activities.
As a community, we need a network of support programs to intervene during a crisis. We also need strategies to focus on prevention as well. Volunteer-based programs can go a long way to stretch resources and create feelings of community. Seniors can be both the recipients of volunteer help as well as the volunteers which keep them connected. Shannon Martin.
Gain backing from companies, medical groups, and other businesses to promote programs that help residents age in place. In the greater Sacramento Area Valley, they have several useful options which delivers services and long-term support to seniors so that they can maintain independence. Kaye Swain.
Offer low-price transportation, create senior centers, and design outreach solutions that allow adults to feel support while living alone. By providing volunteer opportunities, seniors gain a sense of contributing and giving back to our society which can reduce the feelings of isolation. Ben Mandelbaum.
City leaders must increase budgets for programs to reach and serve adults who are aging alone. More social workers, senior housing options, coordinated medical care, and programs that encourage socialization.
Understand the Needs
Establish a benchmark. Use planning tools to locate and define the "aging and living alone group." Figure out what makes them tick. Think access, matching projections to need (medical, municipal, social, housing, etc.) and identify services for development or refinement. Nancy Ruffner.
I hope you have enjoyed this article. Please feel free to post your comments.
Almost 3,500 different mosquitoes populate the planet, and 170 of them live in Florida, including Aedes Aegypti, which terrorized the state long before Zika. We tend to think of mosquitoes as nuisances. In fact, they're the deadliest animal on earth. Mosquitoes have killed more humans than all wars in history. In addition to Zika, mosquitoes spread malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever, chikungunya, encephalitis and West Nile virus, killing more than 1 million people each year. Aedes aegypti, originated in sub-Saharan Africa, arriving in the Americas in the 16th or 17th century. They say that mosquitoes reproduced in water barrels inside ships transporting slaves from West Africa to the Caribbean. The first documented yellow fever outbreak occurred in Barbados in 1647. When plantation owners in the Carolinas imported slaves from Barbados, Aedes aegypti came with them, and its been feeding on Americans ever since. But it is only the female who targets humans--she uses the human protein found in blood to build yolk protein for her eggs-- and she targets only humans unlike other mosquitoes who spread other diseases by biting birds and then biting humans. Aedes aegypti wants only human flesh. She's a fierce biter. She buzzes low and attacks ankles to avoid the slap of hands. After landing, she punctures your skin with her human tongue, then releases saliva that keeps your blood flowing until she's sucked her fill. And unlike many other mosquito species, which only bite when the sun is rising or setting, Aedes aegypti lurks in your yard in full daylight, waits for you to come out and attacks. She has been attacking Floridians (often fatally) for centuries. Back then, killing mosquitoes wasn't just a public health concern. It was an economic necessity when Florida was just in its growth years. The bugs often still come in swarms. I am not a bug expert by any means and you should know that this article comes from reading a very stimulating article about the Sarasota County Mosquito Management and how they collect, kill, and study mosquitoes.
After identifying species, staffers at Sarasota Mosquito Management match the results to a map showing where the traps were set, telling the department what kinds of mosquitoes are popping up where. This information dictates how to respond. If it's a localized problem, workers will strap on backpacks and do minimal sprays, dump larvae-hungry fish into ditches or abandoned pools or send out trucks for sprays. Sometimes a private contractor, will drop mists of insecticide from planes over 64-acre plots. In addition to Aedes aegypti, another species, Aedes albopictus can also transmit Zika. Florida has a modest number of both types.
What you need to know to defend yourself. Aedes aegypti is a "container breeder," meaning it only reproduces in small vessels of water. They don't breed in ditches, lakes, ponds, open water, swamps, none of that. They pop up inside bromeliads or in the base of flower pots, or even in receptacles as small as a bottle cap or a tarp. That's one reason why the species sticks so close to humans. If we could eliminate containers, we could eliminate the threat. If we all walked around our yards once a week and dumped out every bit of standing water we found, the mosquitoes would have nowhere to reproduce. The species typically doesn't travel farther than 200 meters from where it is born, so if you can eliminate it in your neighborhood, you don't need to worry about it. Also in this rainy season you need to be aware of bundling up when going out to doctor appointments or vising a library....So, cover yourself, this particular mosquito loves ankles so make sure you wear socks with your sneakers, wear long pants and shirts that will cover your arms. Always spray your skin with mosquito repellent before going out during the day. Please understand that Zika has now been transmitted in almost every country in South America, Central America and the Caribbean, as well as more distant nations including Papua New Guinea and Cape Verde. More than 460,000 suspected cases of Zika had been identified as of mid-August, with 174,000 of them in Brazil alone. More than 2,200 cases have been reported in the United States -- 419 of them in Florida. Most of the cases involved persons traveling overseas, but at least 14 people have been infected by local mosquitoes in several locations in South Florida.
Aedes aegypti breeds rapidly in places with large concentrations of people whose homes don't have screened-in windows, don't use their air-conditioning, and who leave barrels or cisterns around to store water. Please remember that your air conditioner and your television set may be your best protection if you are an elder. So do not turn off your air conditioner. It just may save you from being bitten from a hungry mosquitoe mom.
Some claim it will be super-easy to bring the mosquito population down to zero in any local area where Zika is found but as Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states, eradicating the mosquitoes in the Miami area where Zika was found has already proven more difficult than they expected. Nobody needs to panic but the disease and its unknown effects already frighten many of our elderly living alone. There is no vaccine or treatment.
I hope this has brought you up to date in terms of what you need to know to remain safe during our hot summer season in Florida. This article appeared in the September 2016 issue of Sarasota Magazine By Cooper Levey-Baker AND Everett Dennison.
Posted 30th of August, 2016 by Olga Brunner
Tags: Zika, Mosquitoes, Miami and Palm Beach Florida
Please feel free to post your comments below, Thank you
Scientists discover genes that reveal vital clues about how the disease progresses.
PUBLISHED: 13:00 EST, 10 Aug 2016
A cluster of genes has been identified in healthy brains that could help develop preventative treatments for Alzheimer's disease.
People with the gene 'signature' - a sequence of between 50 an 60 specific genes - are vulnerable to the spread of the illness which causes dementia. They are vulnerable because they are less able to get rid of the rogue proteins that cause plaques and tangles in the brain.
A cluster of genes has been identified in healthy brains that makes certain people more vulnerable to
Alzheimer's disease. University of Cambridge academics say the findings could be used to develop treatments for individuals well before symptoms appear. At present, a genetic cause for Alzheimer's has been found for only around 1 in 20 cases, and the researchers hope the breakthrough will cast light on the other 19 out of 20 cases that cannot be predicted. The results published in the journal, Science Advances, looked at 500 healthy brains of persons who died between the ages of 24 and 5. They found that brains with the signature are significantly weaker in the areas where Alzheimer's disease spreads than brains that do not have the signature. The researchers believe that healthy young people with this specific gene signature may be more likely to develop Alzheimer's in later life. They may also not benefit from preventative treatments if and when they are developed for human use.
Alzheimer's disease is currently incurable. Its molecular origins are also unknown, and it is hoped the gene signature research will help explore why certain parts of the brain are more vulnerable than others. Professor, Michele Vendrusculo of the Centre for Misfolding Diseases at Cambridge's Department of Chemistry, one of the paper's authors, said: "To answer this question, what we've tried to do is to predict disease progression starting from healthy brains. If we can predict where and when neuronal damage will occur, then we will understand why certain brain tissues are vulnerable, and get a glimpse at the molecular origins of Alzheimer's disease."
Rosie Freer, a PhD student in the Department of Chemistry and the study's lead author, said: "I hope that these results will help drug discovery efforts - that by illuminating the origins of disease vulnerability, there will be clearer targets for those working to cure Alzheimer's disease."
Posted, 8th of August, 2016 by Olga Brunner, M.Sc.
Please feel free to post your comments. Thank you.
I Have worn many hats in my day: Nursing Home Assistant Admin and Activities Director, Assisted Living Admin, Case Management for the State-wide Medicaid Program, and Trainer for Dept of Elder Affairs.