As a part of the upcoming Long Term Care Awareness Month, MetLife Mature Market Institute is making available six tip sheets offering advice for older Americans and those caring for them. They include:
The news in all the papers and across the television is nothing but bad. The mortgage industry is in one of the biggest crises – what does it mean for our future?
In the case of reverse mortgages, they are still a viable option for some seniors that own their home, yet find themselves running short of cash each month.
According to the Senior Journal, the very nature of reverse mortgages doesn’t put them in the same category as traditional mortgages. Because you are getting the equity that has already been built up in your home, the new rules in the mortgage industry don’t apply in the same ways. If you have a larger, high valued home, you may be limited to the amount of reverse mortgage you can take. But in most cases, it still may be a solution for you. Check with your mortgage representative for more information.
When you begin suspecting your parent or loved one has Alzheimer’s or dementia, make a commitment to yourself to begin gathering data. Even though your loved one may not admit she’s having memory trouble, or may not even go in to the doctor’s for an official diagnosis, there’s no better time than to start the organization process.
Put together a list of all insurance policies. Include companies, agent’s information, policy numbers and details. Ask about health, life, long term care, long term disability, home and car insurance.
Put together a list of all bank related information. Where does she have accounts, bank account numbers, detailed information, and where she keeps her safety deposit boxes.
Put together a file of important paper work. Include Wills, Veteran’s Administration paperwork, stocks, bonds, property deeds, mortgages, power of attorneys, car titles.
Now’s the time to initiate items that may be insufficient. Talk about updating wills, creating power of attorneys, and beliefs and wishes concerning living wills.
List major assets. Jewelry, artwork, and other valuables will have more meaning if you understand the history behind it, and know its true value.
What do you do know?
What’s going to happen next?
What types of medications exist, and what can they do?
In answer to the latter question, KnowItAll has a great resource for understanding the different types of medicines available for people with Alzheimer’s.
A consumer can do everything possible to be personally safe and still become a victim of ID theft. The Bank of New York Mellon announced on August 28, 2008, that backup tapes containing personal information of 12.4 million clients had been lost during a routine transit. Certigy, the largest check guarantee company in the U.S., announced that an IT insider downloaded the information for 2.4 million customers and sold that information. A local bank manager could sell customer information to support a hidden drug problem. There is little protection from these types
of activities; we are vulnerable.
In a discussion about ID theft, consumers must understand that we are dependent upon the good faith effort of businesses to carefully monitor their employees and ‘business as usual’ practices. Most are overly responsive, installing safeguards to protect sensitive client information. Since, however, there are situations beyond our control, every consumer needs to do what they can do to guard and insulate their safety.
- Subscribe to the Colorado ‘No Call’ list: www.coloradonocall.com or 303-776-2678;
- Stop Pre-Approved Credit Card Applications from coming in the mail: www.optoutprescreen.com or 1-888-567-8688;
- Stop ‘Convenience Checks’: Call the ‘800’ number on the back of your credit card. State: “I’d like to OPT OUT of your marketing programs.”;
- Place a ‘Security Freeze’ with the credit reporting agencies (call our office for a flyer outlining how to do so—303-271-6970);
- Order your free credit reports and check them carefully: Go to www.annualcreditreport.com or call the credit reporting agency;
- Reduce the checks you write each month. Use automatic ‘Bill Pay,’ phone bill pay, or contact your local bank for assistance;
- As far as possible, keep your eye on your credit card;
- Remove everything from your purse/wallet containing your Social Security number: Social Security card; Military ID card; Medicare card; and get a new Colorado Driver’s License if it’s on your current license.
Source: District Attorney Scott Storey, Office of Jefferson/Gilpin Counties, Colorado
To report fraud, ask a question, or schedule a ‘Power Against Fraud’ seminar, call: 303-271-6980
1. Time to winterize your home. Make appointments for tree trimming, gutter cleaning, lawn and garden care, sprinkler system repair and blow out, snow removal, etc An in-home caregiver can help your loved one make the appointments, and be there as people show up to perform the work.
2. Organize the closets. Put summer items into storage, and bring out the winter items. An in-home care giver can help your loved one clean and organize the home, and talk about the memories along the way.
3. Make appointments for yearly checkups, and get flu vaccinations, shingles vaccinations, etc. Elderly may need several visits with the doctors to get it all in. An in-home care specialist can get her there to every appointment, and organize the appointments as necessary.
4. The holidays are coming. An in-home caregiver can set up holiday arrangements, bring your loved one to lunches and get togethers, and help shop for holiday presents and functions.
5. School’s in session. If you’re busy getting the kids to school events, soccer games, and birthday sleepovers, an in-home caregiver can help you manage your parents activities and daily habits. From fixing light meals, to organizing daily medication, stop worrying about the status of your parents.
6. Time out. Are you spending 24 hours of the day worrying and caring for your loved one? It’s time for you to take time out for yourself. Even just a couple hours a week can give you the break you need. An in-home caregiver will give you peace of mind while you’re away.
7. Keep the memories. As we move into the holidays, memories of the past come flooding in. An in-home caregiver can help your loved one set up for the holidays, create scrapbooks with old photos and keepsakes, and maybe organize a lunch or two with old friends.
Staying happy and healthy is important for the both of you. Giving yourself just a few extra hours a week can give you both a new outlook on life. What are you waiting for? Contact an in-home caregiver today.
One of the biggest eye openers is living in the sandwich generation. You may be struggling with in-home care issues with one or both of your parents. You may be raising a family. And along the way put away a little something for your own retirement.
I found an interesting site today that’s filled with information on planning for your retirement, Financing Retirement. It covers a full spectrum of topics – things that most people don’t start considering until its too late.
If you’ve been taking care of your parents or other loved one for awhile now, you know the heartache that can come when you can no longer achieve some of the items on your list of to-do’s. It’s important to plan as far out into the future as possible.
And as we’re learning from many of today’s large companies that are declaring bankruptcy or just shutting down, it’s important to not put all of your finances in one place.
Start your savings process as early as possible. Don’t rely on one company or government sponsored retirement plan. Don’t assume investment strategies are too confusing – you can learn something new that will greatly benefit you. [Learn more at Financing Retirement.]
If we can learn one thing by being the sandwich generation, it’s preparing for the future, and enjoying it while we can.
According to the National Family Caregivers Association, family caregivers suffer from major depression much more frequently than the rest of the population. Not only is this putting the caregiver at risk, but also the person they are caregiving for.
In many cases it’s hard to determine if you yourself are depressed. But thanks to many online sources, you can start the process of gaining help with just a few clicks of the mouse.
Depression Screening is a site where you can learn more about depression, and take depression screening test. While this isn’t a full diagnosis, it can make you aware of some of your symptoms, and begin to point you in the direction of help.
I went into a retail store to purchase a few things. The checkout lines extended halfway into the store. People were bunched up, trying to make the lines smaller, while trying to hold their items for purchase and calling out to children who were bored and running around. I walked out after remembering that school shopping was in full bloom. I said to myself, “That scene was an ID theft nightmare waiting to happen!”
Here are a few reminders for grandparents and/or parents who might be taking children shopping for school supplies and other necessities:
- Carry economic information, like a credit/debit card and checks in a neck wallet, fanny pack, or the pockets of your clothing;
- Ladies, don’t set your purse down on the floor or leave it in a shopping cart while looking at items or chasing after a wayward child;
- Never leave anything of value, including a purse, in your car;
- To the best of your ability, try to keep your eye on your credit card at all times; try not to lay it on a counter while waiting for purchases to be tallied;
- Remember that the numbers of your credit card on a receipt, both your customer copy and the retail copy, must be truncated;
- Try to be aware of your surroundings as thieves love chaos and turmoil, including lots of people, noise, and distractions, as a context for stealing personal information;
- If personal information is stolen, call the Fraud Hotline (303-271-6980) to receive assistance in guarding your loss against ID theft.
Source: District Attorney Scott Storey, Office of Jefferson/Gilpin Counties, Colorado
I’m out doing research today, and I’ve come across many great resources and articles that may help you as well.
1. Becoming Long Term Care Aware. Many people don’t think about long term care until they need it, which in many cases is simply too late. Take a look at this article that can help you understand more about long term care planning now.
2. Caregiving: Depression and Hope. Are you angry at your caregiving responsibilities? Do you sometimes feel hopeless and depressed? Learn more about the warning signs, and how you can turn depression into hope.
3. Medigap Insurance. Are those pesky out of pocket expenses adding up? Maybe it’s time to look at Medigap Insurance.
4. Sleeping Patterns For Seniors. How much sleep do seniors truly need?
5. Two New Alzheimer’s Studies. The search goes on for finding ways to slow down and eventually cure Alzheimer’s.