Part 4: Independent Living

Posted December 9, 2006
Once again, we are making the assumption that these are not senior apartment that happen contain only people over the age of 65 but those that actually provide services and a minimum of one meal a day. Usually, at least here in Chicago, they are apartment style buildings – high-rise and mid-rise.  The apartments are private and range in size from studios to two bedrooms.  Most likely they all have a full kitchen with stove, as all 3 meals a day are usually not provided. Pricing can range from $1400 - $4000 a month with out any a la carte ...
read more

Independent Living vs. Assisted Living vs. Supportive Living Facilities? How Do You Know What’s Best?

Posted December 4, 2006
A couple of months ago I was asked to speak on this topic and I readily agreed. Somehow time has flown and the day to give this speech in front of 50 or so of my peers is tomorrow morning at the crack of dawn. Anyone who knows me knows that mornings aren’t my thing. While I don’t mind speaking in front of groups, especially a group of people I know and assume won’t hang me out to dry if I make a mistake, it is the fact that its early in the morning when I am not completely awake ...
read more

Matching Alzheimer’s Patients with “Buddies”

Posted November 29, 2006
The Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine Cognitive Neurology & Alzheimer’s Disease Center (say that three times fast..) or CNADC is sponsoring a “Buddy Program.” They match first year medical students with persons who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias. The students are asked to spend 4-5 hours a month with their buddy. They can do anything like going out to eat, window shopping, going to a museum or just walking along the lake and talking. The concept helps both parties. The person with Alzheimer’s is able to enjoy some socialization and companionship (and give the family ...
read more

Study Shows Fish in the Diet Slashes Dementia (This does not bode well for me…)

Posted November 27, 2006
Yesterday I read an article in the paper about a study done at Tufts University in Boston. It found that if you have a high level of DHA, a fatty acid found in fish, it reduces your risk of dementia by about half. It went on to say that those in the study that had the highest levels of DHA (or docosahexaenoic acid, and omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid in case you were wondering) consumed fish two or three times a week. I can’t stand fish. And if I do eat it, maybe two or three times a year it coated ...
read more

Are You Missing Out on Benefits That You Deserve?

Posted November 26, 2006
The National Council on Aging has a website that you can visit that will let you know. They have put together a comprehensive screening tool that allows you to find out about various federal, state and some local benefits for older adults. Their database contains over 1,450 different programs from every state in the US. They say that on average, there are 50-70 programs available to individuals per state. The website can be found here at BenefitsCheckUp. They have a survey online that should take about 20-30 minutes and an additional one that is specific to pharmacy programs. The site ...
read more

Alzheimer’s Association 24/7 Helpline

Posted November 25, 2006
Caring for a person with Alzheimer’s has got to be one of the most difficult responsibilities in the world. But you don’t have to feel alone if you have taken on this task. The Alzheimer’s Association provides a 24/7 helpline that provides information and support to anyone in need. They can help you understand memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s. They also have information on medications and treatment options. The hotline can also provide help understanding legal and financial decisions and provide you with the skills to provide quality care. The service is offered in 140 different languages! Most importantly they ...
read more

Ten Things To Look For When Visiting Aging Relatives Over The Holidays

Posted November 25, 2006
Going home for the holidays is a great time to not only catch up with our elderly relatives but a great opportunity to really observe what is going on at home on a daily basis. Many of us are busy in our daily lives and don’t have the time to do more than talk on the phone or drop by for a moment. It’s usually right after a big family holiday like Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter when I get the most calls. Children have noticed things about their parents (or their house) that indicate that more care is needed. Here ...
read more

Lets Give Thanks To Our Grandparents

Posted November 23, 2006
Thanksgiving is one of those family holidays that always reminds me think of my grandmother.   For those of you who will have the honor of seeing one or more of your grandparents today – make it a point to spend a little extra time with them instead of watching football.  You will cherish those times and those conversations.  Ask them questions about their past.  Ask them how they used to celebrate Thanksgiving. What is their favorite Thanksgiving memory?  Do they have any special recipes that should be written down now? The first Thanksgiving after my grandmother died was very difficult.  ...
read more

Got Furniture? Want to donate to a worthy “senior” cause?

Posted November 22, 2006
One of the neatest organizations I have run across in Chicago has to be Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.) They provide a number of services for low income, isolated elderly in Chicago.  Many times, they are forced to move because they cannot keep up with their rent.  Or they have a fall, end up in a nursing home for a while and then lose their apartment because they have not been able to pay for it while they were getting rehab.  Then these normally independent seniors are left to live in long-term care settings. One program helps ...
read more

Reverse Mortgages: Facts and FAQs

Posted November 21, 2006
Last night I finally had a chance to sit down and read my friend Mark's book about reverse mortgages.  Not the most exciting topic in the world so I congratulate him for tackling it.  Of course it's something he is passionate about so it certainly makes it easier. It took me about 1 hour to read the whole thing. I challenge anyone to ask me a question about reverse mortgages, their pros and cons, why you would get one and how they may be better than a home equity line of credit. In Chicago, I have meet many seniors who ...
read more