Archive for August, 2011

Living Independently

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

For many individuals, living independently either in their own home or apartment is an important factor in their quality of life. Questions arise when challenges with physical, health, or endurance issues are present. While you may not be in “perfect health” this does not mean you have to sacrifice your goal of where you want to live. No matter what health challenges you may be facing, a plan can be developed and implemented to meet your goals and needs. There are some key steps you can take either proactively or while facing these challenges that will make a significant difference.

Be Proactive

• Take care of yourself now! It may be helpful to choose a day of the month where you are going to schedule all your routine provider appointments and screenings (dentist, ophthalmologist, audiologist, etc)
• Eat a balanced diet
• Manage your health conditions – take medications and supplements as prescribed
• Get plenty of rest. The standard is 7 – 8 hours a night
• Exercise and stay active
• Stay connected to family and friends

Make Plans

• Do not be embarrassed to ask for help
• Meet with a geriatric care manager who can help you come up with a care plan. This includes how to make the best choices regarding any assistance you may need.
• Share your plans with your family and/or support system
• Meet with a financial planner. Financially plan for your future while keeping in mind your goals of living independently and in your own home.

How to Select a Financial Planner

• Ask family, friends, colleagues, and trusted dvisors for referrals
• Visit the Financial Planning Association website at: www.fpaforfinancialplanning.org and go to “Find a Planner”. Enter your zip code to find a financial planner in the area.
• Schedule a brief meeting with several financial planners to learn more about their background, services, and fee structure There is no situation, question, or scenario that is too difficult to tackle. Rely on your trusted advisors to help you at this stage in your life.

This is the first in a two-part series. The next series will focus on additional resources and considerations when developing your plans for the future.

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Living Independently – Home Safety

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Tips to Make Your Home Safe

According to the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), 83% of older adults want to stay in their own homes as they age. There are several areas to address in your home to ensure your safety. For example, removing any throw rugs since unsecured throw rugs are known to increase the risk for falls. Below is a simple checklist to help you make your home safer.

Living Areas

• Consider installing handrails on both sides of your stairs
• Be sure there are two escape routes in your home
• Utilize a Vial of Life program
• Consider a safety alert system for you and your home
• Remove throw rugs and make sure area rugs are secured
• Keep extension cords out of the way to prevent trips and falls
• Secure stairway carpeting or runners
• Make sure stairways are well lit Kitchen
• Store heavy items in lower cupboards
• Keep pots/pans and food in easy-to-reach locations
• Use a stable step stool with a safety rail for reaching high places
• Make sure the stove “on” and “off” positions are clearly marked
• Move your microwave so that it is at waist-high level or lower
• Install glass or open front cabinets to help locate items more quickly

Bathrooms

• Place non-skid adhesive strips in the tub or on the floor of the shower to prevent slips
• Install grab bars or handrails in the shower or bathtub and near the toilet. This makes getting in and out easier and gives you something to hold onto if you should feel unsteady while bathing. A shower chair with a back can also make bathing easier.
• Avoid cleaning products that leave a slippery residue, especially in the shower
• Keep the water heater set below 120 degrees to avoid scalding

Certified Aging-In-Place Specialists (CAPS) can help you remodel to age in place CAPS was developed by the National Association of Home Builders Remodelers Council. The program provides training to builders and remodelers to enable them to accommodate the needs of older adults to allow them to age in place in their own home. For example: remodeling a bathroom to make it handicap accessible.

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