If you are struggling to convince your elderly parents to move into senior living in Lombard, you are not alone. Family members often fail to persuade their loved ones to leave their homes. One reason why moving is painful and difficult is trauma.
When a routine is disrupted, it can result in a condition known as relocation stress syndrome or transfer trauma. The symptoms associated with transfer trauma include loneliness, anxiety, hopelessness, and confusion. Initially, they may feel all these negative emotions, but if you prepare them psychologically and make adjustments to their new living space, they can transition without problems.
It takes great patience and empathy not to give up on the elderly since they can be stubborn.
You must understand that your parents also have their reasons for not wanting to leave. They’re not doing it to spite you. It’s impossible to win them over if you do not study why they always say no.
When you ask them to leave their most prized possession, aka their home, they’ll want to bring keepsakes, which means going through years of accumulated stuff that can be physically taxing. Rummaging through decades of the collection is stressful since it involves manual work. Moving is easier said than done.
The biggest misconception about senior living communities is that they strip their residents of their independence. Over the years, the programs and activities of these communities have evolved, encouraging and empowering their residents to practice their independence.
Seniors fear leaving because this big change may take them away from their family and friends. They worry that being away will isolate them from the people they love.
For the elderly, their house is not just a physical structure. It is their home where they built decades of memories with the people they love. Countless birthdays, Christmases, and other holidays were spent in their homes, and taking them away can cause them to experience excessive worry and distress.
Do not undermine the fear the elderly feel when you talk to them about moving into a different environment, a place entirely unfamiliar to them. Despite your invitations, their fear can prevent them from saying yes.
Several studies demonstrate that fear of the unknown is linked to fear of change. Fear develops when people feel powerless and uncertain about the future and if the change deprives them of control. Ultimately, this leads to feelings of anxiety and stress.
The elderly may not see the benefits senior living offers, but once they try it, they will realize how the move can significantly help make their day-to-day living easy and hassle-free.
These communities provide customized living spaces with modern amenities and features that cater to your loved ones' needs. The place is scientifically designed to make elderly residents thrive.
The following are some of the benefits of moving to a senior living community:
An effective strategy to help seniors develop a positive response to a senior living community is giving them a tour of the place before the actual move-in date. Ask the director if your parents could check out the menu, have lunch or dinner and have them observe the activities of the day so they can imagine what their life would be like once they become residents themselves. Immerse them in the community by showing them around. This will greatly help them feel at ease.
To reduce separation anxiety, experts suggest you personalize their living space to make it more comfortable and warm for them. Perhaps you could add decorations at home, like artwork or framed photographs of family members. All these can help make their apartment feel like home, making the adjustment easier.
You don’t have to knock on doors one by one to ask for their names and get to know them. We found that the transition can be easier if you encourage your loved ones to make friends. Knowing one or two people in the community can be a big help.
Over time, they will get acquainted with the rest of the community members when they start doing activities and sharing meals. But during the first few weeks, getting to know their neighbors and building rapport and friendship with them can help reduce the stress and anxiety they are feeling.
Being transferred to a new environment can be challenging, especially for seniors who may not feel comfortable with this big change. A good first step to minimize the awkwardness is communicating with the staff.
As soon as you arrive, you will sit down with the staff to discuss activities, including dining and programs, and many other aspects of living at the facility. Take this as an opportunity to ask questions. Encourage your parents to air out their concerns before they move in. This helps avoid potential issues in the long run.
If your loved ones’ health and safety are on the line because no one in the family can commit to taking care of them 24/7, a senior living community would be an excellent solution to this problem.
Transitioning can be difficult, but it’s not impossible if you follow the strategies discussed. At Senior Living Experts, we have worked with over 230 communities in the Chicagoland area. We can offer options to help you find what you need. Contact us to learn more.
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Caring for aging parents is a labor of love, but sometimes it takes specialized skills, knowledge, and patience to keep them safe, healthy, and happy. In most cases, family members who act as caregivers fall short in many of these areas, especially in caring for seniors with Alzheimer’s. The good news is that memory care in Chicago can provide patients with the care and assistance they require to thrive.
This gives caregivers peace of mind knowing their loved ones are safe and well cared for in a community equipped with safety features and specially trained staff. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that can pose many challenges for caregivers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Alzheimer’s is a progressive and debilitating form of dementia that starts with mild memory loss. Over time, it will cause a person to lose their ability to respond and hold conversations. The disease affects the areas of the brain that regulates language, thought, and memory. As the disease advances, people become incapable of performing simple daily activities.
Statistics show that in 2020, more than 5.8 million Americans were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Although Alzheimer's disease is more common in older people, it can also occur in younger people. Trends reveal that the number of people living with Alzheimer’s doubles every five years, and the numbers are expected to triple to 14 million by 2060.
The National Institute on Aging explains that the symptoms of the disease vary from person to person. But one of the first signs of Alzheimer’s is memory loss. In the early stages of the disease, the symptoms are mild, but as the disease progresses, they become more severe. The disease progresses in several stages and is categorized as mild, moderate, and severe.
Looking after dementia patients can be overwhelming, especially for untrained people. The tasks can be extensive and exhausting as the disease worsens. The following are some of the basic duties of caregivers.
Many challenges are associated with caring for patients with Alzheimer's or dementia. It's a whole new level of caregiving. Unfortunately, few people are qualified to provide this level of specialized care. Some of the responsibilities of Alzheimer’s caregivers are the following:
One of the toughest jobs in the world is caring for an elderly with Alzheimer’s. The disease itself can be demanding. If you’re not fit to care for your loved ones, we highly recommend you consider memory care.
At Senior Living Experts, we have a team of experienced and reliable advisors who will work closely with you and your family so we can find the perfect fit. We have worked with over 230 communities in the area; we have options to help you find what you need. Contact us to learn more.
Memory Care in Chicago can ease your worries about caring for your loved ones with Alzheimer’s. Call us to learn more.Read More
Depression is a serious medical illness that can affect anyone regardless of gender, age, or circumstance. However, it is more common for older people to suffer from depression. Losing a loved one, not keeping in touch with friends and colleagues, and accumulating health problems can lead to deep sadness and hopelessness.
Moving your loved ones into assisted living in Lombard can help them overcome depression. Seniors can maintain a healthy emotional and physical balance in assisted living communities by taking part in planned activities and socializing with other seniors their age.
Depression can range from mild to severe. It can also be short-term or long-lasting. The important thing is to identify signs of depression to get help immediately. Without treatment, the problem will only worsen, increasing their chances of developing other health conditions, possibly leading to self-harm.
People with depression can experience immense sadness that can last for weeks. They may also experience the following:
Interestingly, the exact cause of depression among the older population is unknown. But experts have found reasons to believe that it could be a combination of different factors. Knowing the symptoms of depression is just as critical as knowing what factors can lead them to experience it. The following are potential factors that can contribute to senior depression:
According to Aristotle, an ancient Greek philosopher, humans are social creatures. We thrive best when we are around other people. Several factors contribute to loneliness and social isolation among older adults, such as living alone, the loss of family and friends, chronic illnesses, and hearing loss. Lack of interpersonal connections causes social isolation.
Being alone can make the aging population vulnerable to social isolation, triggering depression that will consequently affect their health and overall well-being. Research shows that people who are lonely and socially isolated have a higher risk of developing health problems such as cognitive decline, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and depression.
The elderly can also become depressed after struggling with an illness or a medical procedure. For example, when they have a stroke or cancer or if they suffer from chronic pain. These conditions can cause them to feel helpless or perhaps have a surgical operation that restricts their ability to stay active.
Major traumatic events can happen unexpectedly. Examples of stressful situations that can lead to depression are a death of a loved one, becoming a victim of abuse, and financial problems.
Some medications can alter a person’s mental state and behavior. We suggest you talk to your parent’s primary healthcare provider about the medications affecting your loved ones’ behavior. Alcohol consumption can also have the same effect.
If you are worried about a loved one who you suspect might be depressed, you can help and show your support in the following ways:
Communication is one of the best ways to understand where the sadness and loneliness are coming from. Find time to talk one-on-one with your loved one, no matter how busy you are. Sometimes all it takes to make them feel better is to offer your time and attention and listen to them as they vent their frustrations and feelings.
Even though all the signs and symptoms of depression are present, you still need to take them to a doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. To successfully treat depression, the doctor has to know what type of disorder it is. It could be major depression, seasonal affective disorder (SAD), bipolar disorder, chronic depression, or another type of clinical depression.
Your parents may feel intimidated or embarrassed to go. Instead of nagging them, we suggest you go with them to the doctor so they won’t feel anxious and alone. Remember, depression doesn’t resolve on its own unless it is treated. So, you must reach out to a medical professional when you start noticing symptoms.
Family members want to know what’s in it for them if they move their reluctant seniors to assisted living communities. Convincing them to leave their homes can be challenging, but it will be worth it once you realize that these communities can significantly help them, especially with their depression.
Moving a loved one to an assisted living community may help them in many ways, but you must understand that it is still considered a major change. Being in an unfamiliar community will require certain adjustments. Frequent phone calls and visits to check in on them can help make them feel secure and loved. Questions like, “How was your day?” or “What did you do today?” can make a huge difference.
Assisted living offers opportunities for seniors to gather with other residents and engage in relevant activities and programs to keep them socially active. They get to share healthy meals with people their age that can help boost their mood. Although their food cannot in any way treat depression, the camaraderie and the satisfying and tasty meals can make residents happy.
Besides getting good nutrition, these communities also offer exciting programs and events that keep seniors’ schedules exciting. They’ll always have something to look forward to. Some programs may include unlocking a new skill, discovering a fun hobby, and spending time outdoors.
Taking action early can prevent the worsening of depression symptoms. Besides taking your loved ones to a medical doctor, we also recommend considering assisted living. The sooner you get help for your parents, the better they’ll feel.
At Senior Living Experts, we will work closely with you and your family to find the perfect community for your loved ones. Get in touch with us to learn more.
Moving your loved ones into assisted living in Lombard can help them overcome depression. Call to learn more.Read More
Although you have thought about it a hundred times, you still feel overwhelming guilt about considering assisted living in Vernon Hills for your loved ones. Changing environments requires significant amounts of adjustment. Furthermore, seniors may feel anxious and insecure when entering uncharted territory. They view these communities as a threat to their privacy and independence.
Breaking down their walls can be incredibly challenging. Sometimes, there can be a lot of resistance, and family members feel guilty for even considering it. Should you cave in to their desires or try harder, even if it means dealing with guilt? Convincing your loved ones to move into assisted living should not be something to feel guilty about.
Convincing your loved ones to give up their home can be heartbreaking for everyone, not just your parents. As much as you’d like to honor their wishes, unfortunately, their age can compromise their health and safety. The dilemma creates an influx of strong emotions, one of which is guilt.
Guilt is a natural response, and the source of it can be internal or external. External is when there’s resistance from your loved ones or being judged by other family members for passing the responsibility to an assisted living community. Meanwhile, it can also be internal. Assuming your senior loved ones consent, you can’t help but feel bad because you couldn’t fulfill your duty as their primary caregiver.
Regardless of the source of your guilt, it’s important to know that guilt is part of the process. Nevertheless, even though the emotion can be uncomfortable, you have to look at the bigger picture and go back to your topmost priority – your loved ones’ health.
Your parents are responsible for raising you. They set the rules, and you’re expected to obey them for your own safety. However, as they enter into old age, the tables are turned. The elderly become your responsibility. Part of that responsibility is prioritizing their safety above everything else.
Transitioning to an assisted living community will be challenging because the elderly have negative perceptions of it. In some cases, they will ask you to promise not to move them into an assisted living facility.
Make sure you do not make promises you cannot keep. Even if they are well and healthy now, keep in mind that it may not always be that way.
Problems can arise unexpectedly, and sometimes an assisted living community is the best option. The decisions you make should be based on what is important and what they need at the moment. If you made promises years ago, they may bring it up and try to negotiate their way out of it.
The aging process is not the same for everyone. It’s possible that your parents may compare their condition to other aging family members who opted to stay in their homes. Make them understand that every case is unique.
Don’t feel guilty that you’re not doing the same for your loved ones because you cannot compare their health needs to other people's. For example, the demands of an Alzheimer’s patient are a far cry from the needs of a senior with no memory issues.
A loved one with Alzheimer’s needs to be monitored regularly, especially since the disease is progressive and the symptoms worsen over time. Their forgetfulness and episodes of confusion can be detrimental to their health. They may take the wrong medication dosage, leave the stove on, or wander and get lost.
If you plan to keep your loved ones at home, you have to shoulder the responsibility of being their caregiver 24/7 to keep them safe. Obviously, this is not a feasible option. Choosing comfort over safety could lead to hazardous consequences.
Being a caregiver is a full-time job. If you choose to be one, it means you have to give up other obligations and commit your time to care for the elderly. Unfortunately, dedicating 100% of your time and attention to your loved ones can affect your job, career, and role as a partner and parent (if you have a spouse or children). Sacrificing yourself could put your health at risk. Remember, the goal is not to be Superman. You can delegate the responsibility to trained and skilled staff who know what they’re doing.
Caring for your parents may be your responsibility, but it doesn’t mean you have to be home with them 24/7.
There are different ways to meet these responsibilities, and one of them is by moving your elderly parents to an assisted living community. It’s a place where they can receive care that family members cannot provide. Even though you are not physically present, you are still fulfilling your responsibility but only in a different way.
The hardest part is the first step, but once they start to dip their toes into assisted living, they’ll realize that the community and its benefits are much better than what they would have if they stayed in their homes.
The staff members are trained and skilled to give your parents the care and attention they need. Plus, they are available 24 hours a day, giving family members peace of mind that their loved ones are in good hands. Assisted living communities encourage social interaction and engagement, which minimizes the risk of depression and social isolation, which is common among the elderly.
It can be hard to deal with guilt, but if you try to understand what’s at stake. You can’t keep spreading yourself too thin. It’s also not healthy for you and everyone else in the family. Remember that their demands increase with age; that’s why it’s best to introduce assisted living to your loved ones.
Trust us; they’ll thank you for it. At Senior Living Experts, we can help you find a community for your aging parents. We specialize in guiding you toward making the best possible decision for your loved ones–completely free of charge. Contact us today to learn more.
You shouldn’t feel guilty for encouraging your parents to move into assisted living in Vernon Hills. Call to find out why.Read More
Are seniors supposed to be living alone, or do they need to turn to senior living in the Chicago area? This question is one of the most debated topics in households where family members try to convince seniors to move into assisted living, but seniors reject the proposal. The persuasion tends to be challenging because seniors prefer living alone than being bunched up with strangers in an unfamiliar environment.
A report by the Administration on Aging found that 36% of women and 20% of men 65 years old and above are living alone. Aging in place is what they prefer. Seniors would rather stay in their own homes and accept the risks than have to adjust to a new environment where their independence might be jeopardized. These concerns stem from a lack of information. If seniors knew more about the risks of living alone, they would likely value the help and assistance senior living communities offer.
Falls are common, especially among the elderly. CDC reports 36 million fall cases each year, resulting in more than 32,000 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four older adults falls each year, making it a public health concern.
However, it’s essential to know that even though it’s one of the leading causes of injury and injury death in this particular age group, it’s not considered a normal part of aging.
Even though it’s a minor fall, it can still cause extensive damage to the elderly due to their aging bodies. Remember that their bones are not as strong as they used to be while they were younger. The healing process takes much longer too.
While broken bones can be hazardous, what’s more concerning are hip fractures and brain injuries. When seniors fall, they must receive medical attention right away to minimize the extent of the damage. Besides physical injuries, falls can also have psychological effects. Seniors will be traumatized and become fearful of falling again.
Seniors are prone to experience loneliness and social isolation. Loneliness and social isolation are not the same, but they are related in some ways. Loneliness is described as a feeling of being alone.
Meanwhile, social isolation is having a limited number of people you interact with regularly. However, some people can live alone and not feel lonely, while others still feel lonely even though they are around people.
But studies show that older adults are more at risk for loneliness and social isolation because of the changes in their health and social connections. The loss of loved ones, trouble getting around, memory loss, and physical decline are some of the factors that contribute to social isolation.
How can feelings of loneliness and isolation affect the health of the elderly? You wouldn’t guess it, but lonely or socially isolated people are more likely to be admitted to a nursing home or hospital. Studies found that these emotional responses are associated with an increased risk for the following:
Alcohol and smoking are common habits among lonely people. Furthermore, they don't get enough exercise and sleep, which increases their risk of serious health problems. When people are lonely, they start to lose connection with the community, and their perceptions about others and the world begin to change. They become suspicious and cautious of other people.
Interestingly, there’s also a link between social isolation and loneliness to brain health. Lonely and socially isolated people have a poor cognitive function and are more prone to dementia.
Being sad or lonely is not synonymous with depression. Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a loss of concentration, motivation, interest, energy, and appetite. Many seniors suffer from undiagnosed depression. Research shows that depression is one of the symptoms of social isolation.
The majority of the elderly population who are living alone are depressed without even realizing it. However, if someone lives with them, they’ll have a different outlook on what’s happening.
Malnutrition is common among seniors living alone, especially if they used to have someone to make their meals for them. Research shows malnutrition can be a symptom of poverty, anxiety, or depression.
Besides these, malnutrition can also result from seniors not being able to cook for themselves or eat on time, like when they have memory issues. Unfortunately, not getting enough nutrients in the diet can lead to a weak immune system, poor wound healing, a high risk of hospitalization, and muscle weakness, making them susceptible to falls, injuries, and fractures.
It can be challenging for seniors to take their medications on time if they are battling with memory issues, like in the case of dementia or Alzheimer’s. They can either forget to take them or forget they already took their meds. Under dosage and overdosage of medications can often lead to relapse or exacerbation of the patient’s condition or, worse, death.
Seniors are prone to overdosing as they can take the medication several times a day instead of following the prescribed dosage.
There is no doubt the reason why seniors prefer to live in their homes is so they can maintain their independence. Living alone is not a health risk if the elderly are mentally and physically capable, but if your loved ones are showing symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s, being alone can be dangerous.
Senior living communities offer 24/7 services and supervision for seniors who need an extra hand with daily activities without compromising their independence.
Although we’d like to respect the wishes of the elderly to continue living on their own, sometimes it’s not the best option for them, especially if their condition puts their health and safety on the line. The best you can do is to find a suitable living arrangement to give them the help they need whenever necessary.
At Senior Living Experts, our advisors will work closely with you to find the perfect fit for your loved ones. We have been working with over 230 communities in the Chicagoland area. Rest assured that we can help you find what you need. Contact us today to learn more.
It can be dangerous for some seniors to live alone. Senior living in the Chicago area is what they need to keep them safe. Call today!Read More
When family members can no longer commit to caring for their elderly parents, they encourage them to consider Lake County Senior Living. Even though we would like our parents to enjoy the remaining years of their lives in the comforts of their homes, sadly, living alone can compromise their health, safety, and well-being.
Comfort is a priority, but if you compare it to safety, the latter is more pressing. Senior living is a type of community that aims to help seniors live independently while receiving care whenever it’s needed. Some of the examples of assistance they receive are activities of daily living like bathing, dressing, eating, walking, household chores, laundry, etc.
While many senior living communities offer flexible payment options, you can’t deny that the services they charge will cost you money. Many seniors find it difficult to afford such services. Luckily, Medicaid programs are available and can help seniors with their finances.
The services offered by assisted living communities are not for free, but it also doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay for all of them. One way of paying for assisted living services is through Medicaid. Medicaid is a public health insurance program administered by your local state. It was designed to help provide health care coverage to low-income families.
Medicaid can cover some of the costs of assisted living like Alzheimer’s or memory care under one condition; the person applying for it must be eligible. Certain requirements must be met for the elderly to qualify and enjoy the benefits of the program.
Be sure to check the state since the requirements vary based on where the applicant resides. Room and board are not covered by Medicaid, but emergency responses and skilled nursing are.
The following factors influence how much Medicaid will pay:
Typically, Medicaid will request a needs assessment to calculate how many hours the program covers. For instance, seniors who require extensive assistance will use more caregiver hours in a month.
As mentioned, the criteria vary depending on the location of the applicant. However, the program has established general requirements such as the following:
If your loved one does not qualify for Medicaid because their assets and income exceed the limit, you can do a Medicaid spend down. A Medicaid spend down is a financial strategy and an important tool that you can take advantage of if your loved ones’ income is too high for the limit set by Medicaid.
Medicaid spend down can be confusing because of its complex web of rules and restrictions. It’s crucial to gain deep knowledge about this tool so you can use it to your benefit.
A Medicaid spend down can have different meanings for different states because each state has its own guidelines. Nevertheless, it is considered a financial tactic that you can use when the person’s income surpasses the limit of the Medicaid program. To be accepted, individuals must spend some of their income so that they can finally qualify for the program.
The first step is to complete an income or asset spend down. What does this mean? The person’s income must be spent on medical-related bills or health care. They may also spend their income on credit card balances, mortgages, vehicles, and other accrued debt.
Some examples of the cost that are included in Medicaid spend down are the following:
An example of an income spend down is when your father makes $800 every month because of a Social Security check. What if the Medicaid income limit is only $600? In such a case, your father must spend down $200 so that Medicaid will cover nursing costs. This strategy can be challenging as it depends on your father’s medical expenses.
Assuming your father has a medical bill debt of thousands of dollars. He can pay his medical bills off with the $200 every month. This expenditure is acknowledged by Medicaid spend down. Besides hospital debt, he can also use the excess $200 to cover routine doctor visits and maintenance medications.
The asset limit for each state varies significantly for a person to qualify for Medicaid benefits. The individual must spend down all of their eligible assets to be able to enjoy the benefits. However, this does not mean they must sell their property or car.
What, then, is regarded as a countable asset? An example of a countable asset is when the person has money in their savings account or if that person has a second property that they’ve decided to rent out. Other examples of countable assets are bonds, stocks, and mutual funds.
Not everyone has the same financial status. To know the exact calculations, we recommend you consult with a professional Medicaid planner. According to the American Council on Aging, some offer free consultations while others charge a professional fee between $300 and $600 every hour.
If you are considering taking your loved ones to a senior living community in Illinois or Wisconsin, you found us! At Senior Living Experts, we are dedicated to helping your beloved senior loved ones understand the options available so they can live the best life possible.
Our staff includes financial planners, elder law attorneys, insurance experts, and home health providers ready to provide you with all the help you need. For questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experts. Let us know if you need anything, and we will assist you. Our friendly team will gladly answer your questions and redirect you to the right people when needed.
How can Medicaid Spend Down cover your Lake County senior living costs? Call us at Senior Living Experts to know more.Read More
Despite understanding and accepting the human life cycle, you can’t help but feel emotional seeing your parents age. Over time, you’ll see the changes in their cognition, mobility, and function. As time goes by, their health will slowly deteriorate. What used to be easy for them has now become a struggle. Luckily, affordable senior living in Highland Park can ease all your worries. You’re sure to find a place for your loved ones with various housing and care options.
Family members often dismiss the idea of senior living because it’s an added expense. They don’t realize that remaining at home also comes with costs, which may already be familiar to you, such as medications, insurance, taxes, etc. If money is an issue, you should consider pricing out the costs.
A senior living community is an umbrella term that describes various care and housing options for the elderly. The level of care will depend on the senior's needs, lifestyle, and budget.
Residents of senior living communities enjoy many perks, such as forming new friendships, engaging in leisurely activities, learning and discovering new hobbies, taking advantage of nutritious and tasty foods, and fully enjoying the place's amenities.
It is disheartening that many family members are incognizant of what goes on inside these communities. One of the major misconceptions is they’ are only exclusive to the affluent.
If your opinions are based on stereotypes and not on facts, you’ll miss out on a great opportunity for your aging parents to enjoy their lives in a place that offers safety, tranquility, socialization, and much more. Older adults living in these communities say they thrive better compared to when they’re at home.
After weighing the pros and cons, ultimately, the decision lies in the cost. How much will it cost to live in a senior living community? And let’s say you could afford it, are your parents interested in the activities and amenities being offered? Because if the offers don’t meet their expectations and needs, then it’s not going to be worth it even if the price is right.
One mistake families make is thinking that living at home is free since the mortgage was paid off years ago. Don’t forget that food, transportation, utilities, insurance, taxes, electricity, grocery, repairs, and maintenance still need to be considered.
According to financial experts, aging at home can be costly. In fact, it can cost the family twice as much compared to senior living communities, especially if your parents need medical assistance.
Don’t compare the mortgage to the cost of a senior living community because if you do the math, it will probably show that you’ll pay less with a mortgage. However, the mortgage doesn’t include living expenses, in-home care, and ongoing home maintenance. These expenses may not seem much upfront, but eventually, they’ll add up.
For a fair comparison, start by checking for hidden costs. If you want to keep your parents at home because it’s less expensive, you may want to ask the following questions first:
The cost of senior living in communities varies depending on the amenities the place offers, the type of housing provided, the geographical location, monthly fees, and other miscellaneous fees for utilities, housing, etc. Typically, the more services and amenities offered, the higher the cost. If it’s in an upscale neighborhood, the price may hike up.
First of all, there is such a thing as affordable senior living. Although it’s not free, it’s important to emphasize that it can be affordable, and the services are customized based on your parents’ unique needs. These communities know affordability is a concern for most families, which is why their pricing is justifiable. Some families prefer to consult with professional financial planners for assistance. You can also use an inaction calculator tool to see how much is spent daily at home and compare it with the costs of senior living communities.
If your parents belong to the low-income bracket, they may qualify for the Illinois Supportive Living Program administered by the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family. This program aims to provide services that Medicaid does not cover.
You’ll need to submit a waiver form to the Medicaid program to know if your loved ones qualify. Once approved, the Illinois Supportive Living Program will cover the costs of your parents’ needs apart from room and board.
To apply, the resident must be 65 years old and above or between 22 and 64 without physical disabilities. They must also have an income of more than the SSI of $750/month. The program also requires the resident not to have cognitive or behavioral disabilities to qualify.
We know that choosing a community for your loved ones can be overwhelmingly stressful. If you don’t know where to begin, we can guide you.
At Senior Living Experts, we offer our consultation completely free of charge. We specialize in advising and assisting our clients in making the best possible decision for their loved ones. We don’t want you to worry about the potential financial burden of senior living, which is why we do everything we can to find affordable options for you and your family.
Our expert advisers will sit with you to discuss your parents’ needs, wants, and budget to ensure we find the best place for them. Contact us today to get started.
Is staying at home cheaper than being in a senior living community? Luckily, you can find affordable senior living in Highland Park. Call today!Read More
It’s human nature to put off thinking about or dealing with unpleasant topics. And for many people, death and dying is one of those topics. So it’s not uncommon for a person to reach their senior years without putting any detailed end-of-life plans in place.
As the loved one of a senior, you might want to help them start this challenging task. However, you might not know where to start either. If there’s a senior in your life who’s starting the process of end-of-life planning, the tips below can help you help them.
1. Ask them questions.
A good place to start with end-of-life planning is simply asking some of the difficult questions. Although it can be tough to think about some of these topics, you might find it easier than you expect.
End-of-life planning questions are a great way to learn more about a senior loved one as well as start thinking about your own end-of-life plans.
Here are some questions to ask:
2. Put wishes in writing.
The goal is to eventually prepare official documents, like an advance directive and a will. But in the meantime, putting your loved one’s wishes down in writing is an excellent first step.
This ensures that their ideas are easier to remember when it’s time to create official documents, and it means that their wishes are recorded if something happens to them before that paperwork is in place. It’s always better to have something in writing than nothing at all.
3. Prioritize important documents.
There are many documents associated with end-of-life planning, but not all of them are essential to complete right away.
Here are the most important documents to take care of:
4. Help them talk to their doctor.
An important part of end-of-life planning is understanding current medical conditions and how they’re likely to progress. You can help the senior in your life create end-of-life plans by discussing the topic with their primary medical provider.
Ask what the outlook is as far as living at home alone, and what they would recommend based on your loved one’s current level of health. You can also ask when you should start thinking about senior living or assisted care, and what the alternatives are.
Your loved one’s medical team can also help you prepare documents like a living will, HIPAA release, and healthcare proxy documents.
5. Review their estate, assets, and debts.
It’s important to make sure that your loved one’s estate is passed on in the way they would prefer. To help ensure that happens, you can go through their investments, assets, and debts to see what the overall picture looks like. From there, you can go through together how they want to distribute their estate and who will be responsible for any debts.
6. Speak with a lawyer and a financial planner.
Although you can create a will yourself and have it made legal, most seniors would benefit from speaking with a lawyer about their estate and their wishes. Often, creating a simple will only takes one or two visits with an attorney, especially if you already know what you want to put in the will.
If your loved one has a large or complicated estate or a lot of debt, it might also be beneficial to have a discussion with a financial planner or accountant.
While you’re helping a senior loved one create their end-of-life plans, you may begin thinking about your own. It’s never too early to start putting plans in place for the end of life, as long as you make sure to keep them updated and accurate.
Creating your own end-of-life plans can also be a great way to help a senior loved one feel more comfortable and supported throughout the process.
Sarah Kessler is a writer at JoinCake.com, an end-of-life planning website with free resources and information on how to estate plan and honor loved ones’ final wishes.
If there’s a senior in your life who’s starting the process of end-of-life planning, the tips below can help you help them. Contact us today to learn more.Read More
Why do you think the older population thrives in senior living communities in Illinois? Are they happy being there? Apparently, senior living communities contribute to happiness.
Study author Dr. Dilip Jeste, a geriatric psychiatrist, and director of the Center on Healthy Aging at the University of California, San Diego, says that we perceive older people as unhappy and depressed. But studies show otherwise. Happiness is thought to take a U-shaped curve throughout life. It gets to the bottom during middle age then slowly inches its way up as the person ages.
The goal of every human being is to be happy. Happiness is an emotion characterized by feelings of satisfaction, joy, and contentment. Can you be happy at any age? The answer is yes. Are seniors happy despite their age?
Quite surprisingly, older people are happier in the sense that they are emotionally stable. Years of experiencing life’s stressors have made them wiser and more compassionate, allowing them to make better decisions.
Studies show that exercise can help boost a person’s mood and make them happier. Exercising doesn’t have to be hardcore. One can do light exercises like going outside for a walk. According to experts, working out is an excellent way to beat the blues as your body releases happy hormones known as endorphins. If your parents haven’t been active lately, you can encourage them to start exercising. It’s never too late.
According to a study in Harvard done on 1,600 men and women in the older population, incorporating light workouts into their usual routine, regardless if they used to exercise before, can reduce their chances of becoming disabled by up to 25%.
Besides becoming happier, exercise can relieve pain from conditions like pinched nerves and arthritis. Additionally, it helps the elderly maintain a healthy weight. A healthy weight can boost their immune system and lower their blood pressure.
Ideally, you should eat a nutritious diet throughout your life, especially when you’re older. To keep mealtimes enjoyable for your elderly parents, join them. Eating together will remove feelings of loneliness. Also, when preparing their meals, make them tasty and presentable to improve their appetite.
Preparing healthy and nutritious meals is one of the struggles of busy family members, which is why they consider senior living communities for their parents. This gives them peace of mind knowing that their loved ones are well cared for - eating at the right time, with the right food, and having company during their meals. Focus on a high-fiber diet to aid in digestion. It’s also important to remind them to drink plenty of water.
A sense of purpose is vital to a person’s mental and emotional well-being. When seniors feel that they don’t have a purpose, they are twice as likely to become anxious, withdrawn, and depressed. Seniors who have found their purpose are happier and more content with their lives.
Did you know that seniors who are socially active are happier and are less likely to feel stressed? Scientific evidence shows that loneliness will increase a person’s chances of becoming ill or depressed.
In a study done in the UK, it was found that one million people can go for a month without seeing anyone. No matter how much of an introvert you think some people are, social interaction is still necessary for life as we are designed and programmed to be social creatures.
Family members who make an effort to spend time with the elderly noticed that their parents looked happier and were more connected.
What happens if most of their friends have passed on? If you cannot commit to seeing them daily because of other social obligations, you may want to encourage them to check out assisted living communities.
These communities offer programs and activities that allow them to interact and socialize with people in their age groups. They’re also likely to meet other people who share the same values and interests as they do.
Who says using the internet is only for young people? Since the older population have all the time in the world to relax and enjoy their lives, why not teach them how to use the internet and other social media platforms for entertainment?
They can listen to the top billboard hits, and maybe they’ll discover a new song they might like. You can also teach them how to use YouTube to listen to their favorite songs from the past.
Studies show that listening to music will positively impact one’s memory and mood. In fact, doctors use music therapy on patients with dementia as it has led to improve cognitive function.
Besides entertainment, they can also use the internet to stay abreast with the latest news, so they’ll know what’s happening in the world in real-time.
Part of aging is accepting that their home will not be as lively and busy as it used to be. Eventually, their children will move out, leaving them alone in their homes.
Living alone can have repercussions. Aside from being a safety hazard, it can also lead to loneliness and social isolation. Besides building friendships with other residents, these communities also ensure that the elderly are well cared for holistically. Food, transportation, and all other perks can be customized based on what you want for your loved ones.
Senior living communities offer numerous benefits for the older population. It’s a safe and comfortable place where all their needs are catered for.
If you want to talk to one of our advisors, feel free to visit us. We will work closely with you to find the perfect fit. We have been working with over 230 communities and have plenty of options to help you find what you need. Contact us today!
You can help the elderly live a happy life in their senior years by finding the best community for them to thrive in. Contact us today to learn more.Read More
How can people with dementia benefit from memory care in Lincolnwood? The prevalence of this cognitive impairment has seen a sharp rise in numbers over the years. By 2050, it is expected to soar to more than 130 million.
According to the National Institute on Aging, dementia is defined as the loss of cognitive functioning. This impairment dramatically affects a person’s ability to think, reason, and remember to the point where it interferes with their quality of life.
People with dementia may experience personality changes and may have a difficult time controlling their emotions. As it continues to progress, the patient may be compelled to rely on other people to assist them with activities of daily living.
Dementia is not a specific disease, but an umbrella term used to describe people who have a hard time remembering, thinking, and making decisions for themselves. The most common form of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. Although it often affects the elderly, it's important to know that dementia is not a normal part of aging. Not everyone goes through it.
Normal aging may include the following:
The symptoms of dementia vary from person to person. Generally, people with dementia experience problems with the following:
People are suspected of having dementia if they exhibit the following signs:
Several factors predispose your loved ones to dementia.
Can dementia negatively affect a person’s life? Unfortunately, the answer is yes. As the disease advances, dementia patients will find it hard to complete even the simplest tasks like bathing, eating, and dressing. Their needs will depend on the stage of the disease.
This degenerative disease condition obstructs messages that are being sent to the brain. These messages are essential to enable a person to perform daily tasks.
Executive functioning comprises certain mental skills, including self-control, flexible thinking, and working memory. These skills are being used daily. When you have problems with executive functioning, like in the case of dementia, a person will find it hard to control emotions, follow directions, and have difficulty focusing.
When the brain’s normal functioning is impeded, it will compromise a person’s ability to plan, sequence, and organize actions.
The most notorious symptom of dementia is short-term and long-term memory loss. During the early stages of the disease, a person may forget how to make coffee and sometimes forget how to dress. Over time, their forgetfulness worsens to the point that even the simplest activity like putting on clothes becomes impossible without assistance. Having a caregiver to provide assistance and support will help preserve their independence as much as possible.
Since signals to the brain are impeded, a person with dementia may experience poor judgment, lack of focus, and poor decision-making skills. Dementia patients may turn on the heater in the middle of summer or go out at midnight to shop. The lack of judgment can put patients in danger as well as the people around them. Professional caregivers can keep patients safe by helping them make rational decisions while allowing them to practice independence.
The WHO describes the term rehabilitation as a holistic approach that aims to reduce a patient’s disability and improve function. The organization emphasizes that rehabilitation is important not just for those recovering from an illness or injury but for people with declining function due to aging.
Patients with dementia can benefit from rehab since they are provided with a wide range of therapies and interventions that aim to improve their quality of life.
After rehab, you may want to consider taking your loved one to a memory care facility. There is no cure for dementia. One moment they may be fine, and the next, they’re not. People with cognitive impairment should be guided and monitored for their safety.
A memory care community is much like an assisted living facility, but it is ideal for dementia patients because its activities are designed for patients with memory-related disorders.
Memory care communities aim to provide a safe environment for your loved ones where they get assistance and support in their daily activities.
At Senior Living Experts, our expert advisor will gather all relevant information needed so you can find the perfect place for your loved ones with their needs, location, and budget in mind.
Once we know their needs, we’ll use our resources and find the best options for them. We will accompany you on tours because we want nothing but the best for your loved ones. If you have any more questions about memory care, assisted living, or dementia, please give us a call, as we are always happy to answer them for you. Are you interested in finding the perfect home for your loved one? Contact us today.
Patients with dementia can benefit profoundly from memory care in Lincolnwood. Contact us today to learn more about the next steps you should take.Read More
A major draw for seniors considering assisted living in Chicagoland is the fun and exciting programs these communities offer. Generally, seniors are encouraged to participate in exercise classes, parties, book clubs, and other social activities where they get to mingle and form friendships with other residents. All these can help improve their quality of life.
However, there is one thing that holds them back – privacy. Many seniors are apprehensive that assisted living communities may not grant their right to privacy. Privacy is important to the elderly population because they thrive better if their privacy is safeguarded. Do senior communities acknowledge the elderly’s right to privacy? Before you subscribe to any community it’s important to learn what services they offer and how they can protect the privacy of their residents.
Assisted living communities are obliged to deliver a certain level of care to their residents to ensure their safety and wellness. To do that, residents are constantly provided with assistance on daily tasks, including medication monitoring and management and personal care, among others.
Despite the residents’ need for assistance, caregivers are cautious to safeguard the dignity and privacy of their residents. They do that by allowing seniors to decide for themselves based on their ability.
Senior living communities understand the need for privacy, but they also make sure that the elderly doesn’t feel left out. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, older adults are at risk for loneliness and social isolation because they are more prone to contributing factors like the loss of family and friends, living alone, and being diagnosed with chronic illnesses.
When you take your loved ones to an assisted living community, you will have peace of mind knowing that caregivers are responsible for ensuring that their senior residents do not feel isolated while still maintaining their privacy.
These communities know that every senior resident has unique wants and needs, which is why they provide various customized services.
Due to their age and increasing needs, seniors often feel that they are slowly losing their independence. Inevitably, this will leave them feeling discouraged. This is the reason why independence is such a big deal for them when they seek care in assisted living communities. When seniors are given opportunities to practice independence, they can do the following:
The level of privacy depends on the kind of service subscribed to. It can also change based on the level of care being offered.
In an independent living community, you can expect an extensive array of services, programs, and amenities. Their social calendars are likely packed too. People who can manage to perform activities of daily living are a good fit for this type of living arrangement. It’s a community that promotes complete independence while sharing the same services and features as senior living facilities.
Some of the amenities included are pools, cafes, fitness centers, libraries, gardens, theaters, outdoor walking paths, and recreation rooms. Housekeeping, transportation, and meal plans are also included. Privacy can be enjoyed since they’ll have their own space.
Memory care is a community that’s quite similar to assisted living. However, the program focuses more on activities for patients who have memory disorders. This service aims to provide a supportive and safe environment for dementia patients while encouraging them to still be able to perform activities of daily living.
Assisted living communities by offering personalized services so that residents can perform activities of daily living with ease. This type of community also provides social activities and events for all residents to keep them entertained and engaged.
However, residents are given the liberty to decide if they wish to participate in the said activities or retreat for some alone time. The assisted living community staff are obliged to help their residents with housekeeping, personal care, medication management, and whatever support or assistance the residents may need.
We at Senior Living Experts understand that choosing a community can be challenging and sometimes may even leave you overwhelmed with your options.
Our goal is to help guide you in making the best possible decision for your loved ones, and the best part is we offer it completely free of charge. Our expert advisor will gather relevant information by asking you about your preferred location, the needs of your loved ones and their budget.
Once we have your answers, we’ll narrow down your options and give you a list of communities that will fit your needs. Even if you have already found a new home for your loved ones, we will continue to check in to make sure everything is going smoothly. Contact one of our experts today if you want more information about assisted living communities and their amenities.
Privacy is honored and encouraged in assisted living in Chicagoland. Contact us today to learn more about our services.Read More
Many family members struggle to convince their aging parents to consider Evanston senior living. If you’ve tried everything you can to coax them, but you’re still not getting the response you are hoping for, don’t give up just yet. It’s probably because they are afraid of losing their independence. One of the biggest misconceptions about senior living is that they’ll be deprived of independence.
We understand that this can be stressful and frustrating for you. You may be stressed because you know that your parents’ health and safety are at stake if they continue to live at home and feel frustrated that you can’t get them to say YES to your request. But there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. To address their resistance, you must put yourself in their shoes and try to understand why they so badly cling to their independence and why it’s such a big deal for them.
Older adults live for independence, and if they feel that this will be taken away from them, they will instinctively and vehemently resist you. They’ve spent years enjoying their freedom to make decisions for themselves, raise families, sustain jobs, and many more. Naturally, they would want to preserve it.
Unfortunately, the effects of aging can make it challenging to live independently. Studies show that the elderly are prone to falls and injuries. In addition, they also have problems with mobility, memory, and behavioral health conditions. Addressing these issues is paramount not only for their safety but also for the family’s peace of mind.
Having the power to decide for yourself can significantly impact how you feel. So, when there comes the point in your life when you can no longer manage to make those decisions, you will feel subjugated. Your elderly parents have lived their entire lives making their own decisions, and when they can no longer do that, they’ll feel angry and depressed.
The good news is that senior living communities will never take away their independence. They encourage senior autonomy, which is why independent living communities allow their residents to personalize their space to give them a sense of familiarity and encourage them to make daily choices like what food to eat and what clothes to wear. These may seem trivial, but they dramatically affect the elderly as it gives them a sense of control over their lives.
Two critical factors that determine a person’s ability to stay independent are strength and balance. Many older adults aim to stay physically active because, aside from the health benefits, it also allows them to enjoy their independence.
Without strength, the aging adult will inevitably lose core balance and muscle mass. When they lose balance and strength, they become vulnerable to falls. Seniors who have succumbed to injuries end up staying in hospitals and rehabilitation centers for a long time, and this could affect their independence.
Maintaining physical strength can help prevent the occurrence of falls that could lead to loss of independence. There are programs intended for the elderly to teach them how to manage falls while building up their confidence, balance, and strength. You can also provide them with mobility devices for additional support.
Seniors who have lost their independence feel isolated. And when they feel isolated, they begin to develop feelings like depression and hopelessness, which can negatively impact their mental health and reduce their quality of life. For seniors, enjoying their independence gives them a sense of purpose.
They get to have the chance to make valuable contributions to their community, friends, and family and enjoy the activities they have always loved.
Their independence allows them to take on challenges, whether big or small, and they gain a sense of accomplishment when they overcome them. Although seniors’ mobility is already limited due to their age, they can still be able to do activities that help give them a sense of purpose.
Did you know that independent living can help improve seniors’ memory skills? As we age, our memory starts to deteriorate gradually. Luckily, independence can help enhance memory skills. Studies show that increased activity levels can boost blood flow to the brain, helping preserve memory. Daily activities can also help promote good memory.
Aging can change a person’s life dramatically. They cannot control wear and tear. Perhaps the only thing they have control over is their independence. Being able to live independently is something they take pride in because it empowers them. Even though they can no longer do most of the things they used to during their younger years, making decisions for themselves is enough to give them a sense of control. A sense of control gives seniors a feeling of self-worth, which will help enhance their mental health.
Seniors seem to think that when they are given a caregiver, their independence is stripped away from them. This is far from the truth. An expert caregiver can build a strong and harmonious relationship with the elderly and teach them how to live independently by providing them with all the necessary resources and tools. Just because they have a caregiver doesn’t mean they’ll be entirely dependent. Caregivers can help set up safety features in their homes to prevent falls and injuries and teach them to use gadgets so they can keep in touch with family members.
Even if we want our senior loved ones to continue living the life they are used to, sometimes their age makes this difficult. There may come a time when you’ll need to convince them to consider senior living communities for their health’s sake. Your job is to let them understand what senior living is all about. It will not take away their independence but rather make their lives easier by offering help whenever needed.
At Senior Living Experts, our efficient advisors will work closely with you and your family to help get you the perfect fit. We have worked with more than 230 communities in the Chicagoland area, and we’ve explored a plethora of options to get you what you need. Contact us today to learn more.
Evanston senior living offers tools and other resources that can help build senior independence. Contact us today to learn more.Read More
If your loved one is struggling to complete everyday tasks such as bathing, eating, dressing, and using the restroom, they qualify for admission to an assisted living facility. If they suffer from memory loss or similar mental health problems, this is a good reason to move them into a retirement home that offers professional around-the-clock care. There are great facilities that provide memory care in the Lincolnwood area. But when is the right time to take advantage of them?
When you are no longer capable of meeting the physical demands of your caregiving duties, it’s a sign to make the move into an assisted living facility with nursing services. As tough as this decision may be, your loved one deserves 24-hour care from medical professionals.
We understand it can be difficult to know which facility is best for your loved one.
You can meet with an advisor in your area who will help you make the right call. With their expertise, you’ll find a community that has just what your family member needs.
Whether your loved one needs assistance with daily activities, or they’re suffering from chronic health problems, a senior living facility can improve their living situation.
If your family member is facing memory problems, there are senior living communities that offer memory care in the Lincolnwood region.
As a senior’s mobility worsens, they are going to need physical assistance with everyday tasks. A senior living facility employs overnight caregivers trained to properly care for elderly patients.
Physical therapists are constantly available to provide the proper medical care for all residents. Some services include caring for wounds, monitoring the resident’s overall health, and managing medications.
More free time is a chance for residents to explore more fulfilling activities. Assisted living facilities offer a variety of hobbies for their residents.
Some of these include:
The senior’s assigned caregiver will narrow down the activities most appropriate for them depending on their physical health. Loneliness and social isolation are highly common amongst senior citizens.
These daily activities allow residents a chance to socialize with other seniors while exploring their own interests!
When living alone, seniors may find difficulty cooking their own meals. They may not know the exact foods and proportions their body needs to consume.
At an assisted living facility, the resident’s assigned caregiver will construct an essential meal plan based on the senior’s personal dietary needs.
Considering all the wonderful perks a senior living facility has to offer, residents can enjoy peace of mind. They don’t have to worry about:
Senior citizens want to live in a world where they can receive the best care and live comfortably. An assisted living facility is the best option to ensure your loved one has a stress-free life.
A major concern for a senior’s loved ones is security. When they’re unable to provide constant care for their family member, they want the reassurance that they’ll receive the care they need.
The unfortunate reality is that when people age, their stamina and ability to defend themselves will weaken. They become more prone to falls, accidents, and injuries. In the right facility, there are trained, patient, and skilled staff on duty to ensure the well-being of the residents.
Assisted living communities are specifically designed for the senior’s convenience. There are safety features incorporated throughout the establishment such as:
At a senior living facility, residents have constant access to wheelchairs. The establishment’s fully qualified team conducts regular wellness checks to ensure every senior is receiving the proper care.
Studies have shown that individuals 65 years and over are much more susceptible to falls as opposed to the younger generation. The facility must ensure around-the-clock aid for the senior to avoid such an event.
Security monitors all entrances and exits 24/7 for the resident’s safety.
When thinking of an assisted living home, many are plagued with the idea that their loved one will face abuse or neglect at the hands of unsuitable staff members. A slew of upsetting stories has spread over the years, further deterring people from sending their family member to a senior living facility.
A five-star establishment only hires individuals who are licensed healthcare professionals. A facility that is run by registered nurses and physical therapists is bound to be a healthy environment for seniors, freeing you of your worries.
Finding the best assisted living for your loved one is possible. It’s all about what you’re looking for. Here are some questions to ask yourself when searching for a quality senior living facility:
For the best interest of your family member, it’s important to ask yourself these essential questions. This way, you can make the right decision for your loved one.
Your family member deserves a senior living facility with well-equipped care providers who understand your concerns. A team with compassion and patience is the key to a high-quality establishment.
A senior living advisor can offer assistance to your senior living search and can ease the decision-making process. Their specialized experience in the field will land your loved one in the facility best suited for them.
Devastatingly, it is highly common for seniors living alone to suffer from falls. If there’s no one home with them at the time of the incident, they’re unable to get the help they desperately need.
It’s scary to think about the scenarios likely to happen when the senior is home alone, however, these thoughts cannot be ignored. Considering all the factors at play, the worst-case scenario is completely in the realm of possibility.
An individual with poor physical or mental health will struggle to function properly on their own. Seeking out the right facility for your loved one is the best course of action. Please call us today for assistance.
Does your loved one qualify for memory care in Lincolnwood? Here’s what you should know. Contact us to learn more!Read More
When Americans turn 65 years old, they become eligible for federal health insurance provided by Medicare. Considering health care costs make up the majority of a senior’s expenses, Medicare coverage is a huge financial relief for many people. Yet however helpful Medicare can be, it doesn’t cover everything. The following guide from Senior Living Experts can help you understand what Medicare does and doesn’t cover.
What Doesn’t Medicare Cover?
As you plan for the future, it’s essential that you have all the information you need in order to make thorough preparations and well-informed decisions. With that in mind, here’s a list of what medicare doesn’t cover:
Some of these make sense; after all, most people don’t expect federal health insurance to cover elective cosmetic surgery. However, the fact that Medicare doesn’t cover certain things like long-term care and post-mortem medical bills comes as a surprise for many seniors. The truth is that more than half of Americans will need nursing home care at some point, and many of them are underprepared for the expenses.
How Much Does Long-Term Care Cost?
The majority of Americans are wildly unprepared when it comes to covering the staggering expenses associated with long-term care. A private room in a nursing home costs over $92,000 annually, while a semi-private room runs around $82,000. Homemaker services and in-home healthcare can cost $45,000 to $46,000 annually. An assisted living facility puts a person back about $43,500 a year. Adult daycare, meanwhile, is a steep $17,600 annually.
How Much Do Final Expenses Cost?
Final expenses, such as funeral costs and paying off medical bills, can leave a huge financial strain on the loved ones you leave behind. The average funeral with a viewing, burial, embalming, hearse, transfer of remains, and service fees costs between $7,000 and $10,000. Cremation can be more cost-effective, but it can still put your family members back $6,000. Meanwhile, any medical debts you’ve accrued can end up becoming your family’s responsibility after your death if your estate cannot cover them.
Covering Costs Medicare Doesn’t
There are many ways to cover the high costs of healthcare in later years, but two great options are long-term care insurance and final expense insurance. These two types of insurance plans help protect your finances and your family when these costs eventually rear their ugly heads. While they can add thousands of dollars to your current annual expenses, these policies have the potential to cover hundreds of thousands of dollars on medical expenses in the future.
Long-term care insurance can help cover the expenses associated with nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult daycare, and in-home care. Insurance policies may even help pay for home renovations that prevent falls and injury. The earlier you apply for a long-term care policy, the less your monthly premiums will be. Most insurance providers have a waiting or elimination period before the company agrees to make any payouts to the policyholder.
Final expense insurance (also called burial insurance) is a type of whole life insurance policy that alleviates the financial pressure put on a family after a death. It can be beneficial because it helps pay for expenses you leave behind, such as funeral costs and medical bills. Final expense insurance never expires and even accrues a cash value over time. Monthly premiums tend to be more affordable, as death payouts tend to be less than the benefits of traditional insurance, making this a great choice for those on a limited budget who simply want to afford their family’s peace of mind.
If you own a home, consider selling your home to cover the cost of things like long-term care or assisted living. It’s important to understand the value of your house before you move forward; this way, you’ll have a realistic estimate of what buyers will offer. For many people, this is the best way to have money to cover these costs.
Medicare helps American seniors cover the rising costs of medical care, but it doesn’t pay for everything. Long-term care and final expenses can cost a person thousands or even hundreds of thousands out-of-pocket if they are not prepared, so take action now to protect yourself. Find a plan that will help ease your financial burdens down the road, such as long-term care insurance, final expense insurance, and a better healthcare coverage plan. Planning ahead and taking action as early as possible can help provide a sense of security down the road.
Millie created SeniorWellness as a way to inspire older generations - including her own! - to embrace their wellness throughout their golden years. She hopes her site will help people of all ages feel young at heart. When she’s not playing with her grandkids, Millie can be found writing, taking photos (film or bust!), or putting those skills to use via scrapbooking.
At Senior Living Experts, our advisors work with you and your family to find the perfect fit. Call 773-231-7212.
As we age, the body slowly weakens. Over time, the elderly will need assistance to help them with activities of daily living. Luckily, Lake County senior living is ready to take on the responsibility of caring for the aging population.
A senior living community is an ideal place for the elderly. It’s a low-stress community that allows seniors to thrive, allowing them to enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle. But unfortunately, not a lot of people know about senior living. Instead of asking for help from a community that’s designed for the elderly, family members are taking matters into their own hands. They don’t know that caring for the elderly is not an easy job. In fact, it can be a complex and extremely challenging undertaking.
As your parents get older, their needs become more and more difficult. Sooner or later, their age will make it hard for them to do their usual activities such as going to the doctor, shopping, managing finances, preparing meals, and many more.
The children will shoulder this responsibility, which means you’ll have to cancel some of your essential plans to take your parents to the doctor or give up a big meeting with your boss to ensure your parents are well fed.
Caring for the elderly is often a full-time 24/7 job where you may have to make huge sacrifices to keep them safe and healthy, even if it’s inconvenient for you. Being a caregiver is a tough job. It will even get more challenging if your parent has dementia.
If caring for a healthy aging adult is challenging all the more if your parents suffer from medical issues. We’ve come to accept the fact that older people are prone to getting sick as their health deteriorates. Seniors diagnosed with chronic medical conditions will require constant attention and support from caregivers.
Family members may survive this challenging task for several months, but if it becomes an everyday thing for the rest of your parents’ lives, would you be able to do it? Are you willing to sacrifice your personal goals to become a caregiver?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 36 million falls are reported each year among the elderly leading to 32,000 deaths. In addition, statistics show that around 3 million elderly are rushed into the emergency room because of a fall injury. Given these statistics, you can’t help but feel paranoid whenever your parents walk around the house.
You have to keep an eye on them 24/7 to ensure they are safe. Does your home have safety features to help minimize the risk of injuries? If not, you’ll need to invest in accessories to ensure your loved ones’ safety. In addition, constantly worrying about your parents’ safety can be emotionally draining.
Caring for your parents is a heavy workload, but in addition to that, you’ll also have to deal with other family members who have different opinions on how you should handle the elderly. They will criticize your service or make unrealistic suggestions. This can lead to emotional exhaustion.
The elderly will have a hard time accepting that they are slowly losing their independence, leading to changes in their behavior. Don’t take their behavior personally. This isn’t about you; it’s about them and their new struggles that will take time to get used to.
To help you overcome this emotional turmoil, try to be more understanding of the situation. Put yourself in their shoes so you can be more sympathetic. You may have already anticipated this reaction, but you can never prepare your emotions for it. So, it’s best to be more understanding and sensitive to your parents.
The abrupt change in their lifestyle can be painful to accept. To help them cope, be there for them. You can ask them how they are doing, how they feel about the change, and what they can do to make themselves feel better. The more they can express themselves, the more they’ll feel lighter. Also, let them know that if they need anything, you’ll be there for them.
Transitions are part of aging. Their health, strength, motion, cognition – so many things can change, whether abruptly or gradually. Regardless, be ready to assist them in this adjustment phase. Letting them know that you’ll be there every step of the way is one way of assuring them that things will be okay.
If your parents have to change living conditions because of their health, make sure to bring possessions with sentimental value to make them feel at home. Your job as a caregiver is to make their transition as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
One of the most challenging tasks caregivers face is maintaining the elderly’s dignity. The secret is to involve them in everything, even the most trivial things. Ask for their opinion so they can feel that they’re still in control. Involve them in activities. Doing so will give them a sense of purpose.
Believe it or not, many family members cannot endure the life of full-time caregivers. They may get off on the right foot, but as they face unending challenges, they eventually succumb to caregiver burnout. We can’t stress this enough. Caring for the elderly is a tough job.
If you can’t give your 100% commitment, we suggest giving senior living a try. Senior living communities have improved the lives of thousands of aging Americans with their quality services that aim to preserve the integrity and independence of their residents. In addition, the community offers fun and safe programs to help the elderly thrive.
At Senior Living Experts, we help you find the best assisted living and memory care communities for your loved ones. Our years of experience in the industry working with various clients have helped improve our service over the years. We offer our resources, knowledge, and technology to give you the best living options. Call us today for a free consultation.
If you’re having a hard time caring for your aging parents, you can count on Lake County senior living. Call today to learn more.Read More
Are you ready to say "I do" in your golden years? Of adults 60 and older, 9 in 10 have been
married, and of adults 60 to 69, at least 20% of them have been married twice, according to
the U.S. Census Bureau. Before you get married, consider these tips for a senior marriage
from Senior Living Experts.
If you're used to having your own money, combining finances can be stressful. Discuss
whether you'll keep separate bank accounts or join your finances. Agree on who pays for
various expenses. Consider how marriage might impact your taxes, Social Security benefits,
and other finances to prepare for those changes.
Choosing a Place To Live
If you haven't moved in together yet, you'll need to choose where to live. One option is
moving into one of your current homes. One survey shows that 76% of adults 50 and older
want to age in place or stay in their home in their current community. When you're
combining households, you'll have to agree on which residence is best. According to an
AARP survey, a third of seniors need to make modifications to age in place, so consider the
accessibility of both homes.
Preparing for the Future
Even if you're still living at home now, it's important to plan for possible future medical and
long-term care needs. The CDC reports that six in 10 adults have one chronic condition and
four in 10 have two or more. Whether or not you have health conditions now, talk about
how you'll handle future health issues and long-term care needs. Discuss what you'll do if
you can't live independently in the future.
Handling Estate Planning
Estate planning becomes even more important when you're combining two households,
especially if you both have kids. According to Gallup, only 68% of people 65 and older have
wills. Create wills if you don't have them, and update them with new beneficiary
information now that you're getting married.
Considering the Kids
Getting married in your senior years likely won't include custody agreements or a blended
family, but your kids might still react negatively. Adult children still worry about their
parents and want to make sure they're in a good situation. It can create tension in the
family if some family members don't support the marriage. Consider how your kids and
other relatives might react. Talking to them in advance and preparing for resistance can
make it easier to navigate.
Starting a Business Together
Starting a business is a way to spend more time together in your golden years. It can also be
a good source of income for your long-term care expenses and to build up your retirement
income. You don't have to commit to a 9-to-5 business. Consulting and freelancing give you
the flexibility to work on your schedule. Forming an LLC based on Illinois laws can provide
personal liability protection in this endeavor while giving you tax benefits and less
Enjoying a Golden Years Marriage
Having your plans in order before you tie the knot makes the transition to senior married
life easier. Explore the professionals, including financial planners, from Senior Living
Experts who can help you prepare for marriage.
Millie created SeniorWellness as a way to inspire older generations - including her own! - to embrace their wellness throughout their golden years. She hopes her site will help people of all ages feel young at heart. When she’s not playing with her grandkids, Millie can be found writing, taking photos (film or bust!), or putting those skills to use via scrapbooking.
It is very important for seniors to stay active, and Tai Chi is a great way for seniors to engage in exercise and practice deep breathing techniques. Our advisors at Senior Living Experts encourage seniors to practice this type of exercise, as it has several physical and mental health benefits.
What is Tai Chi?
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that involves movement in a slow, focused manner. These exercise movements help with balance, flexibility, and stability. Each posture slowly moves into the next posture, so there is rarely a time when your body completely stops moving. It puts very little pressure on your muscles and joints, which is what makes this such a relaxing type of exercise.
This type of exercise is mostly practiced while standing up. However, a chair can be used for support if needed.
What are the physical health benefits of Tai Chi?
Practicing Tai Chi can result in multiple physical health benefits, especially for seniors. When practiced regularly, it can reduce knee, back, and shoulder pain. A 2016 study delves into this research, and talks about specific pain-related health conditions that may benefit from Tai Chi.
For seniors, Tai Chi can help with stability and muscle control, including seniors with Parkinson’s Disease. This also results in a reduced risk of falling. A 2017 research study discusses a 50% reduced risk of falling, in older adults who practice Tai Chi regularly.
As for people with cardiopulmonary conditions and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), Tai Chi might be a great option for exercise. A 2018 research study indicates that Tai Chi and Pulmonary Rehabilitation are equivalent in reducing symptoms of COPD.
Moreover, seniors may notice that they have a stronger core and improved strength overall. Immune function can also be improved from Tai Chi practice.
What are the mental health benefits of Tai Chi?
Tai Chi can help seniors with cognition in general. It can also improve their mood, ability to focus, and stress levels. Seniors who experience symptoms of anxiety and depression may experience reduced symptoms after regularly practicing Tai Chi.
Additionally, it can teach seniors how to breathe correctly while moving their bodies. Breath work calms the brain, and is an easy way to reduce stress levels.
All you need to get started with Tai Chi is an open room, comfortable clothes, and a chair for support, if needed. Check out this YouTube video for a beginner Tai Chi 6-minute video. Take 15-30 minutes out of your day to practice this type of exercise. It is comfortable, and results in a multitude of mental and physical health benefits!
Senior Living Experts can be reached at 771-213-7212, and the advisors will be happy to answer any questions about senior living! Visit our website at www.seniorlivingexperts.com for more information.
Caring for the elderly suffering from Alzheimer’s is fundamentally different from caring for a healthy aging person, so family members of dementia patients tend to consider memory care in Chicago. Alzheimer’s is a disease that attacks a person’s brain cells affecting behavior, thoughts, and memory. The worst part about this disease is that it’s progressive. Furthermore, it doesn’t have a cure.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that in 2021, over 6 million Americans older than 65 were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. 75 percent of this population is 75 years old and above. One in every nine people older than 65 has Alzheimer’s, and nearly two-thirds of Americans who have Alzheimer’s are women.
Patients with Alzheimer’s require daily care and assistance, whether from family members or professional caregivers. The following are helpful tips on caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s.
To provide the best possible care, you must learn about the disease. Caregivers should know that as the disease progresses, the symptoms may worsen, making caring for your loved ones even more challenging. It helps to mentally prepare yourself by understanding the different stages of the disease as well as their accompanying symptoms. Knowing what you’re about to deal with will help you prepare and plan.
Alzheimer’s falls under three stages – mild, moderate, and severe.
Mild – People who have Alzheimer’s in the early stages can still function independently, and they can continue with social activities without a problem. However, they may struggle to remember or concentrate. They also tend to forget specific names. Other signs that your loved ones may have Alzheimer’s are when they show difficulty solving problems and writing.
Moderate – When the disease progresses to moderate Alzheimer’s, the person will exhibit substantial memory loss and confusion. They will have trouble recognizing close friends and family members, plus following instructions and organizing become a problem. In addition, they’ll have difficulty performing activities of daily living such as dressing and bathing.
It’s also common for patients to feel restless or have trouble sleeping, get lost, and show personality changes.
Severe – The last stage of Alzheimer’s requires 24/7 help with almost all daily tasks such as eating, walking, sitting up, dressing, bathing, etc. By this time, the patient will not be able to converse coherently with you. They may even have difficulty chewing their food. In addition, they won’t be able to recognize their own family.
You can make the elderly more comfortable by establishing a daily routine. A routine allows them to be familiar with some activities despite living with a disease that affects their memory.
As a caregiver, you should avoid making major changes to the routine, as this will only lead to more confusion. However, if changes are necessary, introduce them gradually to the patient and not abruptly.
To keep the elderly engaged and entertained, we suggest you plan their activities. There are so many things they can do even if they have dementia.
Some of the activities that will keep the elderly active and engaged are listening to music, dancing, exercising such as stretching and walking, baking, cooking, watching a movie, visiting family and friends, going to the park or a café, and doing household chores like folding clothes or doing the laundry.
You can initiate an outing if the elderly are in a good mood. For example, some patients feel bright in the morning while others are more energetic at night. Observing their energy level can be your cue on when you should plan the outing.
As the disease worsens, the elderly’s ability to communicate with you becomes affected. They will have trouble remembering words and struggle to interpret what you say. It’s also likely that they’ll lose their train of thought.
As a caregiver, you can implement several communication strategies such as:
Since Alzheimer’s affects their memory and independence, the elderly cannot be able to prepare their meals themselves. Therefore, as their caregiver, you should plan their meals, ensuring that they are nutritious and healthy to give them energy and keep them in good shape.
Remember that some Alzheimer’s patients can no longer remember how to cook, and it’s also unsafe as they may leave the stove turned on. It’s also possible that they are disoriented with time, so they won’t know when to eat. In addition, some patients have lost their ability to taste and smell foods.
When serving meals, do it at the same time, which means you should stick to a schedule. You should also serve the food on plates with vibrant and bright colors as this helps emphasize the meal.
Serving bigger portions is okay during breakfast, and don’t forget to assist them with taking their vitamins. Another important reminder – make sure the food you prepare is easy to chew.
People with Alzheimer’s are prone to injury and danger. It’s your responsibility to keep them safe. Even if you put signs that say “Danger” or “Keep Out,” they may not understand it.
How can you keep them safe?
Trust us, very few people have the time to be full-time caregivers to patients with Alzheimer’s. If you’re burned out and can no longer commit to caring for your loved ones because of work and other obligations, you may want to consider memory care.
Memory care communities are just like assisted living facilities, but their main focus is memory-related disorders like Alzheimer’s. The goal of the community is to provide your loved ones with a strong support system while providing a safe environment for them to thrive.
If you need professional help, we have you covered. At Senior Living Experts, we always strive to provide the best care in the best environment for your loved ones. Call us today to learn more about memory care.
Family members of dementia patients consider memory care in Chicago to help patients cope and thrive. Call today to learn more.Read More
Choosing a senior living community is an exciting process. A Senior Living Advisor is there to enhance your senior living search and help you make smart decisions. How do you make a decision on which Senior Living Advisor to choose? We recommend working with a local Senior Living Advisor (connect with one of our advisors here!) because of their specialized experience in the area, among many other benefits.
Familiarity with the Communities in the Area
Local advisors visit the communities in the area often. They are apprised of any events, offerings, new initiatives, recognitions, and awards earned by communities. They can also quickly report the availability and pricing of the communities to you.
With this information at their fingertips, a lot of the legwork is done on your behalf, and expeditiously at that. Advisors can connect you and your family to events going on in the area, and enhance your senior living education experience, even after you have chosen a community.
Additionally, local advisors are familiar with the local market in terms of pricing and any current incentives. They can give you more accurate financial information on the communities that you are interested in. As the years go on, the prices of a senior living community may fluctuate, so local advisors have the advantage of knowing what the most recent price looks like.
If you are interested in touring a community, a local Senior Living Advisor can accompany you. They will be happy to walk through a community with you, and go over many questions you may have about life at that community. They can also meet at hospitals or rehabilitation facilities with families in order to discuss next steps.
Personal Connections with Community Staff
Local advisors have worked in the senior living communities in the area, so they personally know the Executive Directors, Sales and Marketing Staff, and sometimes the clinical staff, as well.
With a personal relationship established, our advisors have built a trusted bond over the years with staff at senior living communities. They share a collective goal in seeing that the seniors, and their families, are well supported and cared for.
Along with being familiar with the staff at the communities, Senior Living Advisors may have personal connections outside of the communities. For example, local Senior Living Advisors may be able to connect you with elder law attorneys, financial planners, or SRES realtors in your area.
Community Reputation and Culture
Local advisors are informed on the satisfaction levels and reviews of the communities. They are aware of the word of mouth in the area, along with the quality of the relationships the communities have with local hospitals.
Moreover, local advisors know the culture of a senior living community because of the ease of ability to visit. They can determine if a community is more active or subdued, if they can take on a higher level of care, or if they take a lot of off-site trips, or prefer on-site activities.
Senior Living Advisors are always there to help and guide you through the moving process, however, local advisors can offer you more benefits due to their geographical location. Senior Living Experts is happy to help you with any other questions you may have. Call us at 771-213-7212 or visit our website at www.seniorlivingexperts.com.
As we enter 2022, we encourage seniors to practice gratitude. There are a multitude of benefits that result from doing so. These may include increasing mental wellness, strengthening relationships with peers, and improving memory.
According to a 2020 study, being grateful reduces depression and anxiety. It leads people to feel more positively towards the world, and be grateful for what they have. This reduction in anxiety and depression results in a physical wellness boost as well.
Reducing stress is a great way for your immune system to fight off illnesses more easily. By reducing negative thoughts and feelings, your immune system will become stronger and do a better job of protecting you.
Other aspects of physical health can be boosted as well, such as a reduction of the risks associated with heart failure. A 2017 study discusses how gratitude journaling can lead to better heart health.
Gratitude can lead a person to view their peers in a positive light. It will encourage the person to think about how the person has improved their overall quality of life, instead of focusing on their negative attributes.
This will allow them to feel socially connected to their peers. They will be more willing to walk up to a person and start a conversation.
Gratitude is all about remembering past experiences. If a senior practices going through memories, it is improving their brain’s ability to recall information. The more a senior does this, the more they are improving their overall brain health.
Being grateful is not just reminiscing on past memories; there are a variety of ways to practice gratitude.
Pick up a pen and paper, and write down as many things you are grateful for as you can. Aim to fill the entire page, or two!
You can time yourself as well. Give yourself 5 or 10 minutes, and try to write down as many things as you can. This does not need to be in list form: you can categorize the things you are grateful for. For example, what are you grateful for about your family? What are you grateful for about your home? What are you grateful for about nature? Be specific.
If you have a cork board, dry erase board, chalk board, or any board in general, you can add sticky notes or write on it. Add a new thing to be grateful for every day. Then, at the end of the week you can have a creative and colorful board on the wall, of everything you are grateful for.
Gratitude jar or bucket
Add a tiny piece of paper to your gratitude journal or bucket every day. At the end of the month, you can take out slips of paper and read them. Find out what you were grateful for the past month.
This does not need to be emptied out each month. You can create gratitude jars or buckets for each year. Start by making one for 2022 today!
Meditation or prayer
Practicing gratitude can make you feel spiritually connected. Sit in a quiet, comfortable location. Close your eyes. Breathe deeply and put on comforting music if you would like to. Think about everything you are grateful for.
Make a scrapbook or photo album
Collect photos of your family, friends, or past memories. Put all of the photos in a book and decorate the pages. This will be a great decoration for your home, and also a great way to practice gratitude in the future.
Call a loved one
Gratitude can be practiced with others as well. Give your loved ones a call and reminisce on memories with them. You can have a photo book next to you, as a reminder of certain memories with that person. Consider writing down your favorite memories with each person, because it is a way to keep track of memories with specific people. They will be great to look at later!
Our advisors at Senior Living Experts encourage you to practice gratitude today! Feel free to use any of our suggested techniques. Today is a great day to get started on your gratitude practice. Call us at 773-231-7212 or visit our website at www.seniorlivingexperts.com.
Your expert advisor will accumulate information necessary for proper placement, such as your needs, location, and budget.
We provide numerous recommendations based on the details provided. Our goal is to combine your needs with our knowledge of senior communities.
Your advisor will accompany you on tours so your search can be as thorough as possible. We want what’s best for your loved ones just as much as you do.
After a choice has been made and your loved one has moved into their new home, we will continuously check in to make sure everything is going well.
Together, let’s begin the journey to finding the home that will enhance the life of your family.