Monday, July 13, 2020

How To Help Your Aging Parents Manage Their Fixed Income

We are all taking care of our aging parents. Unfortunately, some of them are living on such a fixed income that it feels almost impossible to help them meet their needs and cater to some of their wants. Fortunately, with a bit of financial rearranging, they can have it all. Here are a few things you might suggest that can put them on the right track.

Home refinancing

Interest rates are historically low. And if one of your parents is a veteran, they may be able to refinance with a VA IRRRL (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan), which typically has fewer out-of-pocket costs and flexible eligibility. It is essentially a streamlined loan for those who already have a VA mortgage. The biggest benefit is that they are quick to close and, depending on the amount of equity your parent has in their home, can give them a lower mortgage payment so that they have extra cash available at the end of each month.

Medicare upgrade

If your parents worked the majority of their adult lives and they’ve already reached 65, they have Medicare. But traditional Medicare, despite low cost, may actually be the wrong plan for your parents’ medical needs. Start looking into Medicare Advantage plans; open enrollment, which is when your senior loved ones can make changes, begins in October. An Advantage plan is similar to private insurance, may cost the same as what they have now, and can give them access to a wide range of medical professionals at a potentially lower rate.

Getting cozy with coupons

Coupons are like cash you don’t have to earn, and they can help your aging parents save a pretty significant chunk if they don’t mind doing their research. Many of their favorite stores, including Walgreens, offer great prices online on everything from beauty products to health supplements. Not only can they find great deals directly on the website, but deal sites often offer cash back when a purchase is made via a special link.

Budgeting fun

Many seniors don’t have the cash to take an extended vacation. But, one of the greatest freedoms that come along with retirement is having the time to see the world. Talk to your parents about what they would like to do, and then look at their budget to see what kind of funds they have available. They may not be able to travel abroad, but they can visit US National Parks, which rank #1 on The Senior List’s best senior travel destinations this year. For the more adventure-minded seniors, a home exchange is another budget-friendly way to experience different parts of the country (or world) at a much lower cost.

Show them the money

For some, it might not be enough to simply talk about ways to save. It’s not uncommon for older folks to want to live the way they did when they had a regular income. You may need to create a monthly expense spreadsheet to show them exactly how much money they have and where it’s going. This can give them a new perspective on their spending habits. Something else you can do is open a bank account just for discretionary spending. You might, for example, deposit $100 per month into it for dining out or other nonessential entertainment.

Budgeting when you get older is different than when you’re in your 20s, 30s, and 40s. When you are living off Social Security and savings, you have to be intentional with the way you spend. As the adult child of seniors in this situation, you can help your aging parents get a grip on their income without sacrificing quality in the best years of their life.

Image from Pexels

Andrea Needham created Elders Day to remind everyone that getting older isn’t synonymous with slowing down. Everyone has their own pace, but age shouldn’t be what stops you from fulfilling dreams, goals, and desires.

Great points Andrea
Thank you!

For more information about caring for your aging parents, please consider purchasing my course, Caring for Your Aging Parents, from It takes a couple of hours to go through, however, you can just hit play and listen while you go about other business.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

5 Services and Tools to Help Care for Seniors While Social-Distancing

We all want to spend more time with aging parents and loved ones. So, when forces outside of your control force you to keep your distance, you may feel afraid, anxious, and guilty. While these feelings are completely normal, you should know that distance doesn’t have to mean sacrificing care or connection for your loved one. It just means you may have to get creative to ensure that your senior feels safe, loved, and protected.




One device that every senior should have is a user-friendly and reliable smartphone. You can find senior-friendly cell phones that will work with most carriers. Look for smartphones that are designed to be more accessible and efficient for seniors, with larger displays, durable screens, and long-lasting battery life. That way you won’t have to worry about your loved one dropping their phone or forgetting to charge it throughout the day. If you prefer iPhones, you can also use accessibility settings to make their phone easier to use. A smartphone can help keep seniors connected to loved ones and essential services during the pandemic.


Parental Controls

If you add your senior’s phone to your existing wireless plan, you may be able to take advantage of parental controls that can make keeping track of your loved one’s whereabouts and activities effortless. Some carriers provide these services for free, while others require a monthly subscription fee. Fees are typically affordable but check in with your provider to see if there are any specials or discounts that can help keep your bill low. If you want even more insight into your loved one’s health and well-being, you can also consider senior location or activity trackers. Then you can ensure your loved one is staying active while protecting him/her from wandering.


Smart Speakers

Another device you can use to stay connected to your elderly loved one is a smart speaker. In fact, many seniors have found Google’s smart speaker to be a welcome companion in self-isolation. A smart speaker will allow seniors to search the web, get help at home, and even find entertainment. With the speaker connected to a smartphone, your loved one can also receive and answer calls from you and other family members. Another perk of picking up a smart speaker for your senior, especially one with a display, is that they can find and follow along with recipes, which can ensure that your loved one eats healthy while at home.


Delivery Services

If you need to make sure that your loved one has ingredients for those healthy recipes, grocery delivery services from stores like Costco could be an option. Currently, Costco is offering these helpful services in most metropolitan locations, and some customers may even be able to take advantage of same-day services for fresh grocery orders of $35 or more. Your loved one can order delivery from their smartphone, or you can set up deliveries from afar. To protect your family member, just be sure to request contactless delivery of goods from service providers.


Video Doorbells

Your loved one will need to know when their groceries are delivered and having a video doorbell can make this much easier. The best video doorbells come with a variety of options, including facial recognition and voice communication services that can provide comfort and peace of mind to older folks who live alone. With a video doorbell, you and your loved one will know exactly when deliveries arrive and exactly who is coming to the front door. Installation for many of these doorbells is simple as well, but if you need to arrange for a professional installation, be sure to take the proper precautions to protect your senior family member from COVID-19 exposure.

While staying away from aging loved ones may seem cruel, it’s really the best way to protect them from the potentially deadly coronavirus. So, know that keeping your distance is the most compassionate thing you can do right now. Also know that there are services and tech tools you can use to connect with and care for your elderly relatives.

Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Claire Wentz: Claire, a former nurse, writes for caregivers who don’t live near their loved ones. Her hope is that her writing will inform them, uplift them, and give them peace of mind when they need it.

Thanks Claire!

For more information about caring for your aging parents, please consider downloading my course, Caring for Your Aging Parents, from It takes a couple of hours, and you can just hit play and listen while you go about other business.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Review: The Senior Years Master Plan

Here's hoping everyone is healthy and safe!! COVID19 has touched all of our lives in many various ways. The one things most evident is our mortality, and how life can change on a dime! Planning is an essential part of life and as we all age, taking hard looks at possibilities is essential.


Turning 60?

So while you're caring for your aging parents as well as dealing with COVID19 and all of the news restrictions on our lives, you suddenly find yourself 60!! Happy Birthday, and many returns of the day! Now it's time to take a look at your own life and begin to plan for your own aging process. Getting old is your new job.

In The Senior Years Master Plan, author Ralph Mroz lays it all out in simple terms with an easy to follow plan. No, this isn't a "how to" book. He's not taking you by the hand and telling you how to take each step, but he covers all the steps you will need to take at some point and provides information and insight you'll need to make decisions for yourself. He provides enough resources to get you started on your own path to research what you're going to need to do as you age.  At 60 you're going to begin to see signs of slowing down and aging. Making it your new job to plan and implement changes, you'll not be caught in perhaps the mess you're dealing with with your own aging parents. Learn from their successes and failures.


Don't wait until you can't

As Mroz points out throughout the book, if you wait until you have to do something, you can't. Mroz also advises that you'll need to build a team from friends and family to a variety of professionals to assist you with this plan. The Senior Years Master Plan is well written in a conversational manner that makes it very easy to read and understand. It's a great resource to refer back to often and something to share with your team as you pull it together. Available on in Kindle and paperback formats. This is a must have tool for your new job. Make it a birthday gift to yourself.
Stay well and be healthy and prepared!

For more information about caring for your aging parents, please consider downloading my course, Caring for Your Aging Parents, from It takes a couple of hours, and you can just hit play and listen while you go about other business.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

5 Exercises All Seniors Should Avoid

As you grow older, you will realize that age isn’t just a number. Unfortunately, as the years add on, you will notice that your body just isn’t capable of doing things it once was. For individuals who like to stay fit, this tends to be a problem. You want to continue to hit the track or the gym like you used to but your body just doesn’t let you do certain things anymore. This is why we have listed five exercises that anyone over 50 should be wary of attempting due to the danger they pose.

Squatting with weights

Squats with just your body weight is a great way to keep your legs in top shape as you grow older. It also helps you improve stability. However, your joints, especially the knees, aren’t as youthful as they once were. So, if you are thinking of using weights while squatting, you may want to reconsider. The additional weight will exert even more pressure on your knees which puts it at risk of an injury.

Photo: Deposit Photos
Knee problems become common as you age, you don’t want any issues with your knees intensified by squatting with weights. Instead, you can do bodyweight squats and slowly increase the number of reps you perform. If that is too hard, you can try a form of chair exercise that works with squats. In this, you squat on to a chair, pause for a second, get back up and repeat.

Running stairs

If you are an avid runner, you know the importance of adding stairs to your run. It helps change the momentum of the run and adds an extra level of difficulty to it. Like with squats, running up and down the stairs puts your knees at risk of an injury. As you run up the stairs, with every step, you exert tons of pressure on the knees. Not only that, but there is also the chance of you tumbling over a step and falling, injuring multiple parts of your body.

Instead of running up and down the stairs you can jog on a treadmill, steadily increasing the incline after every 2-3 seconds or just use the stair master in the gym.

Bikram yoga

Photo: Deposit Photos
Yoga is all the rave and it will help you stay flexible as you age. But you want to stick to low-intensity yoga which means Bikram yoga should be off your radar. Bikram is an intense form of yoga that leads to a lot of sweating and has numerous difficult positions for people with age to try to get into. All the sweating can lead to dehydration while difficult positions can lead to an injury.

You want to stick with light yoga which incorporates a lot of stretches and aids your body to remain flexible.

Bench press

The bench press is a staple exercise that anyone that goes to the gym does. You don’t have to be a pro to know the benefits bench press has on your upper body. But keep in mind that as you age, your muscles aren’t as strong as they used to be. If you aren’t a regular weightlifter, your muscles deteriorate and lose strength. Which is why bench press isn’t ideal for you as you grow older. The slightest issue with form can lead to pain from the wrist to shoulder joints.

Instead of bench press, try doing push-ups with your knee touching the ground. Building your way up to doing them without the knees off the ground.

Long-distance running

Cardio is a great way to get exercise. However, you don’t want to overdo it by running long distances. Running in itself puts a lot of pressure on your overall body. You want to run with intervals of walking and make sure you do it on a soft surface. Otherwise, you will exert pressure on your knees and risk an injury.

Don’t run for a long distance at a time, do it in short intervals and mix it with jogging and walking.

Growing old doesn’t mean you completely give up on exercise. Through exercise, you can help maintain your body. Just be wary of the exercises you choose and make sure they aren’t too dangerous.

Joseph Jones has been writing senior care and aging-related articles for years. He got his start while writing for a personal blog before he was offered to work at California Mobility in 2018 as the Content Marketing Manager, creating highly informative guides and health awareness articles for aging adults.

He’s currently contributing to a variety of blogs in the senior health industry in hopes to spread information about taking care of seniors and what to expect in the aging process.

Thanks Joseph!

For more information about caring for your aging parents, please consider downloading my course, Caring for Your Aging Parents, from It takes a couple of hours, and you can just hit play and listen while you go about other business.

Monday, December 30, 2019

On the Subject of Self-Care for Caregivers

Last week, Leanne Meier RN, BSN had as her guest on her podcast Once a Nurse, Always a Nurse, Tina Marrelli MSN, MA, RN, FAAN (see post below). Tina was asked to speak about her award-winning book for caregivers A Guide for Caregiving - What's Next? and on the topic of self-care for caregivers.

It was a terrific episode and I really recommend you take time to listen to the on-demand replay. They both presented some great points!
The Episode Description reads: Tina Marrelli, BSN, RN joins me Monday, December 23,
2019 on Once a Nurse to talk about Caregivers giving themselves the gift of self-care. She is a Best Selling Author of an interesting set of easy-to-use handbooks to help caregivers in the home deal with issues as they arise: Body systems understanding, what to do if something goes wrong, who to call, resources in general, tips and much more. She is a delightful advocate for Caregiving. She will focus on self-care and why it is SO critical before, during and after the Holidays; how to bring relatives who rarely visit into the assistance of their loved one; arranging time off for the usual caregiver; and recognizing the dangers of overwhelming the loved one with “surprises” and unusual commotion or parties. Join us! I know it will be worth your while!

Listen live at:

If you miss it, the archive will be posted at:

Friday, December 20, 2019

Book Review: A Guide for Caregiving - What's Next?

I am pleased to call Tina Marrelli, MSN, MA, RN, FAAN, a friend. She is also a fabulous award-winning, best-selling author. Everything she writes is done to perfection and so it's no surprise that she has combined her vast knowledge as a nurse from the home health and hospice field with the art of caregiving for her loved ones. Tina has chosen to share some of the very best tips that you'll find anywhere in her award-winning book, A Guide for Caregiving - What's Next?  

Caregiving for your aging loved ones is probably one of the most difficult roles you'll encounter in your life. Any assistance you can get to reduce the burden and let you know you're not alone in your feelings that can include anger, resentment, depression, loneliness, as well as satisfaction and joy is worth its weight in gold! Even for seasoned nurses, caregiving for your aging loved ones is foreign. All assistance is welcome! This book is an essential resource.

In 2017, the American Journal of Nursing (AJN) honored the book with 3rd place in their Book of the Year- consumer health listing. also honored the book in 2017 as a Best Caregiving Book.  In January 2019, bestowed a Today's Caregiver Friendly Award on the book

A Guide for Caregiving - What's Next?  plays a dual role as a guide for caregivers as well as for health care clinicians to work through the process of caregiving aging loved ones at home. Ms. Marrelli provides a wealth of resources and information to make the task easier. This includes information about home safety, infection control issues and prevention, and how to use a caregiver notebook to simplify the process. Work with your home health or hospice nurse to help you provide the very best care for your loved ones.

There is an important chapter about self-care for the caregiver! This is a very important part of being a caregiver; taking care of you. If you don't, you're going to break down and be unable to provide the care. Don't let yourself become part of the problem.

The book also has a wealth of information about disease-specific care such as for Alzheimer's or other dementias, diabetes, cancer, COPD, stroke, and cardiac conditions. There is a specific chapter on caring for bedbound patients, on for those with arthritis and another devoted to amputations.

There is also a section on a glossary of health care terms and a section on how to become an advocate and coordinator for your loved one's care. And no book would be complete without a multitude of other resources. The book is spiral bound and easy to read and locate the information you need.

This is one of the best caregiving books on the market and a must-have for any caregiver's library. Order online from

For more information about caring for your aging parents, please consider downloading my course, Caring for Your Aging Parents, from It takes a couple of hours, and you can just hit play and listen while you go about other business.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Gift Recommendation : Laminator

I got a new laminator that will laminate papers up to 13" wide. It's reasonably priced and comes with a great supply of various sized pouches to get you started. It also came with a trimmer and a page rounder. The instructions are easy to follow and it works quite well.

While not all legal documents can or should be laminated, copies of them can be so you can place the originals in a safe place and be able to access the copies as needed for information purposes.

Laminators are also great for work projects like training materials and marketing or reference materials. Arts and craft projects like placemats, bookmarks, and other projects that need to be waterproof or preserved for a while can be laminated. It's also great for preserving artwork or school work from your children or grandchildren.

Note that lamination is not recommended to serve to preserve papers and photos for archiving.

I got mine from Amazon and it was delivered promptly.


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