Phew!

Posted January 31, 2007
I am exhausted. Haven't even had time to write in my blog! Lots going on, some good and just a not so good. In good news, Senior Living Experts is adding a new Advisor to help us cover the western suburbs of Chicago. We have been recommending places out there since we started but now we will really be able to get in more tours and learn about some of the newer places that are going up. We are all very excited to welcome the newest team member and I will tell you all about her in a later blog ...
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An "Under Used" Benefit for Veterans -That Will Help Pay For Long Term Care

Posted January 29, 2007
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) developed a pension designed to provide financial assistance to disabled veterans who lacked the necessary funds to provide the care they need.  This pension extends to the veterans surviving spouse as well.  Unlike Medicaid, this pension is "relatively" easy to qualify for and provides substantial advatages over other need-based programs. While this benefit is not new, its not very 'advertised' and people are not aware of it, or assume they are not eligible.  There are millions of dollars in the fund that are currently going unused. The benefit is called the VA "Aid and ...
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Senior Living – How Much Does it Cost?

Posted January 17, 2007
I know I talk about this a lot but it bears repeating as some of the older posts get lost on this blog. On average, assisted living facilities across the country cost around $3,000 a month or $36,000 a year.  In the Chicago area, costs range from $2,500 to $7,000 a month, depending on the level of care required, location and size of the apartment. The fees are higher when special services and dementia care is added.   In Chicago, most assisted living homes are private pay meaning the resident or the resident family covers the cost of living there. Some ...
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Apparently, I Should Walk Around With A Sandwich Board that says “Medicare Does Not Pay For Long Term Care”

Posted January 16, 2007
At the very least the extra layer should keep me warm, as it is so cold here in Chicago this week. All kidding aside, I recently read an article about a recent study the AARP conducted – “The Costs of Long-Term Care: Public Perceptions Versus Reality in 2006” – where they surveyed 1,456 people ages 45 and up. They found out that while 60% said they were familiar with long-term services, only 8% even came close to estimating the average monthly cost of a nursing home ($6,266). Most gave a much lower estimate. I find this to be accurate in ...
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How to Help Seniors Learn Basic Computer Skills

Posted January 13, 2007
SeniorNet Learning Centers offer computer classes specifically designed for adults 50 and older.  It is also a community of seniors teaching seniors to use computers in their homes, libraries or community organizations. Introduction to computers and basic computer skills are taught.  Class participants are introduced to computer hardware, including use of the mouse and basic computer skills such as creating, saving and finding files.  Basics of word processing, spreadsheets and databases are also taught.  There are no tests and no grades! Additional classes cover the Internet, digital cameras and graphics. The Northeast Levy Center (corner of Lawrence and Damen), one ...
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Site Visit to the Northeast Levy Senior Center

Posted January 12, 2007
On Thursday I stopped by the *hopping* Northeast Levy Senior Center, (corner of Lawrence & Damen) which is one of the regional senior centers run by the City of Chicago.  I walked in and was greeted by a very friendly girl at the front desk.  She seems to be the “traffic” director.  She guides you to what you need. I wanted some information on what was happening in the city for seniors and to say hi to my friend Paula who is the executive director there – but happened to be out of the center at a meeting – bummer. ...
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Why to Choose a Home Care Agency Over a Direct-hire for Home Caregiving

Posted January 10, 2007
When someone is able to stay in their home, but requires some help, in-home care may be the answer.   Professionally trained caregivers will help with housekeeping, meal preparation, medication reminders, companionship, personal care, errands, grocery shopping, safety monitoring and household management.  These services are not covered under Medicare or Medicaid, but may be covered my some long-term care policies. But you don’t need to be in your own home to use the services of a home care agency.  Some people who live in a senior community may want to use an agency so they can stay in their apartment.  Also, ...
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Benefits Check Up Really Works!

Posted January 8, 2007
This morning I got an email from an adult child who had contacted me earlier in the month to help their mom find housing.  I had suggested they go to the Benefits Check Up website that I wrote about in my blog a little while ago. Anyways, they were writing me back to tell me that they had gone to the site and it came up with the same medication in the same dosage for $5.00 a month instead of the $55.00 a month that she was currently paying.  I know I could use an extra $50 a month in ...
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Free Weatherization Program for Needy Seniors in Chicago

Posted January 4, 2007
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One of my favorite organizations (H.O.M.E. - Housing Opportunities & Maintenance for the Elderly) is looking for seniors to help (again!) They are seeking referrals of low-income senior homeowners for their free weatherization program.  Referred clients should meet these criteria: •    Own their own home •    Reside south of North Avenue within the city of Chicago •    Windows in home are low-quality and/or not thermal- or double-paned •    Senior lacks resources to obtain weatherization services on their own Volunteers who are trained and supervised by H.O.M.E. staff will perform the work. Due to the last-minute (and ...
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Elder-Care Costs

Posted January 3, 2007
This morning I was sent a copy of an article that was recently posted in the New York Times.  It is about how the cost of elder care is practically bankrupting the children of seniors.  It mentions that it is thought that our custom is to not take care of our elders, but like the article says, many families are doing so – financially.  Unfortunately many baby boomers may find themselves with no money left over for their retirement let alone long term care. Download eldercare_costs_deplete_savings_of_a_generation_new_york_times.pdf
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