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7 Ways for Seniors to Deal with Anxiety or Depression

Nearly half of the people who are diagnosed with anxiety also suffer from depression or vice versa. This is because people with a primary mental ailment can worsen the symptoms and make recovery difficult, making it essential for both disorders to be treated simultaneously.

It is estimated that about 20% of those aged 55 years and above in the US experience some sort of mental health concern, among which the most common conditions are anxiety and mood disorders such as depression or bipolar disorder.

Unfortunately, depressive and anxiety disorders are under-recognized and often left untreated and more than two-thirds of seniors do not get the treatment they need. Additionally, the stigma attached to mental health issues is more powerful in the elderly, as it prevents them from openly admitting their symptoms.

Some key facts 

  • Due to the aging of the population, the number of seniors with mental disorders like anxiety and depression is set to double by 2030.
  • Depression is the most common ailment among seniors in the US
  • People aged 85 years and above have the highest suicide rate of any age group.
  • Mental health services for seniors are limited in most countries, including America.

Treatment options for older adults

Many helpful treatments for both anxiety and depression are available to reduce the symptoms and shorten the period of the ailment to last. Like hypertension or diabetes, depression too is a treatable condition and not a normal part of aging, though in older adults the risk of experiencing depression is higher.

While families and friends can offer support in finding treatment, it is best left to a qualified physician to investigate this mental condition. That said a few things close relatives and friends could do are:

  • Encourage the person to take medical help
  • Help set up appointments and/or accompany the patient to the doctor’s clinic
  • Encourage the person to take part in physical activities which are great for boosting mood

Some common forms of treatment include:

  • Psychotherapy: Counseling or talk therapy can be of immense help in helping a person to identify troubling emotions, thoughts and behaviors. Psychotherapy is especially of benefit to those who have undergone major life stresses like loss of family members or home relocations. The treatment can be accessed with a licensed clinical social worker, a psychiatrist or any other accredited mental health care professional. It is also helpful for those who cannot take drugs because of the side effects or their interaction with other medicines. If considering this treatment for older adults, it is recommended to augment with a second-generation antidepressant.
  • Medications: APAs Clinical Practice Guideline suggests antidepressants for the treatment of depression in older adults. Second-generation antidepressants like serotonin, are often prescribed to balance the hormones that affect the mood. Some other commonly used medications for older adults are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Celexa or Paxil or serotonin modulators and stimulators like Wellbutrin and Remeron. A primary care physician can help in prescribing and monitoring the medications for potential side effects. Note that antidepressants may take longer in showing positive results with older people than they do with younger people, as the elderly are more sensitive to medicines.
  • Electroconvulsive therapy: This process also known as ECT, involves placing of electrodes on the head of the patient to enable a safe and mild electric current to pass through the brain. However, this type of treatment is only used as a last resort when all other types of treatment have failed or when the illness is very severe and interferes with daily functioning. Even then, ECT plays an important part in treating depression in seniors who cannot take traditional medicine.
  • Online counseling and therapy: Online therapy works well on anxiety and depression as it addresses the root causes rather than only the symptoms. Online Therapy allows you to work through the stressful life changes arising from loss or bereavement by changing the negative thinking patterns. The two main forms of psychotherapy are cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy.
  • Anti-anxiety drugs: Anxiolytics, such as Buspirone are anti-anxiety drugs that have proved effective for older adults. These are normally prescribed when a short-term or quick acting medication is deemed necessary. Another effective drug called Benzodiazepines is beneficial but should be prescribed with caution in older adults because of risk of memory impairment and falls. Hence this drug is usually performed for a short period.
  • Other measures: There are other steps that one can take to relieve anxiety and depression:# acknowledge your worries and fears. For example, if you are depressed due to financial reasons, consult a financial planner.# Adopt stress management techniques like meditation, prayer and deep breathing exercises # Exercise # Avoid things that can aggravate the symptoms like caffeine, nicotine, drugs, cold over-the-counter medications, herbal supplements, alcohol, illegal drugs and limit social media.
  • Natural remedies: A few natural ways to overcome anxiety or depression are: Stress control can be managed by taking time off from professional responsibilities and keeping an eye on demands and commitments. Calming techniques can be of great help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety. You can substitute negative thinking with positive thoughts by making a list of the ideas to be replaced. Support groups are also effective as you interact with like-minded people or a mentor. Finally, physical exercise and a healthy lifestyle will enhance self-image and release the chemicals from the brain that promote positive emotions.

Takeaway

Treatment, especially a combination of medications and psychotherapy has proved their effectiveness in older adults. Having said that, not all therapies are right for everyone and treatment choice differs from person to person and sometimes multiple treatments may be tried to shortlist one which works.

It is therefore important to tell your mental care provider, whether your current plan is working for you or not, and to find something that does. The final option of the physician will depend on the type and severity of the ailment, past treatments and overall health among others.

Tips for First-Time Snowbirds

If you’re thinking of spending your winters in a warmer climate, you’re not alone. Every year, thousands of people flock south to escape the cold. But if you’ve never been a snowbird before, what should you expect? Here are our top tips for first time snowbirds.

Find out what kind of transportation is available in the area

When winter comes and the snow starts to fly, many people head south to escape the cold. If you’re thinking of joining the ranks of the snowbirds, there are a few things you need to know before you go. One of the most important things to research is transportation. 

Depending on where you’re going, you may be able to get by without a car. In some areas, there are good public transportation systems, or you may be able to find a shuttle service that can take you where you need to go. 

However, in other areas, having your own car is essential and there are several car shipping companies that can be entrusted with your vehicle. Just be sure to do your homework before you head south so that you can make the most of your winter vacation.

Start by doing your research.

If you’re thinking of becoming a snowbird and spending your winters in a warmer climate, there are a few things you should know before you take the plunge. 

First of all, it’s important to do your research. Talk to friends and family who have done it before, read online forums and guides, and get a feel for what snowbirding is all about. 

Once you’ve decided that it’s right for you, start planning your trip. Choose your destination carefully – do you want to stay in the US or head south of the border? And book your accommodations well in advance, as prices can skyrocket during peak season. 

Finally, remember to budget for your travel costs and don’t forget to include insurance in case of any unforeseen medical emergencies. Snowbirding can be a great experience if you’re prepared and do your research beforehand. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!

Look into the cost of living

If you’re thinking about spending part of the winter in a warmer climate, you’re not alone. Every year, hundreds of thousands of snowbirds flock to sunny destinations in search of warmth and relaxation. 

If you’re considering joining their ranks, there’s one important thing you need to do: research the cost of living at your destination. Just because it’s cheaper to heat a home in Florida than it is in Canada doesn’t mean that everything else will be less expensive. 

In fact, the cost of living can vary widely from one state to another, so it’s important to do your homework before making the move. Once you know what to expect, you can start planning your budget and enjoy your winter getaway without any financial surprises.

Consider your budget

If you’re a first time snowbird, one of the most important considerations is your budget. Make sure to factor in the cost of travel, accommodations, activities, and food. 

It’s also important to consider your income sources. Will you be able to generate enough income to cover your expenses? If not, you may need to find a part-time job or make some other adjustments. 

One of the best ways to save money as a snowbird is to find discounts and special offers. Check with your hotel or resort for any deals they may offer on food, activities, or transportation. You can also look for discounts on attractions and entertainment. With a little planning, you can enjoy an affordable winter getaway.

Don’t forget about your health insurance

As a snowbird, one of the things you have to think about that you may not have had to before is your health insurance. If you’re in Canada, your provincial health insurance won’t cover you if you’re out of the province for more than six months. If you’re on a U.S. Medicaid health plan that is specific to your state, you will need to notify your provider of your change in address and possibly apply for benefits in your new state. 

There are a few different options for snowbirds, and the best one for you will depend on your needs and budget. You can get travel insurance, which will cover you for emergency medical expenses while you’re away from home. You can also get extended health coverage through a private insurer, which will cover you for things like prescriptions and dental care. 

Or, if you’re in Canada, you can enroll in a snowbird health care plan, which is designed specifically for Canadians who spend part of the year in another country. Whichever option you choose, make sure you do your research and compare plans to find the one that’s right for you.

Plan ahead for communications.

If you’re going to be spending an extended period of time in another country, make sure you understand how you’ll stay in touch with friends and family back home. 

Will you need an international calling plan? Do you need a data plan? How much will it cost? Researching these things ahead of time will help avoid any nasty surprises later on.

Snowbirding can be a great way to escape the cold winter months and enjoy some time in a warmer climate. But if you’ve never done it before, there are a few things you should keep in mind. By doing your research, considering your budget, getting travel insurance, and planning ahead for communications, you’ll be well on your way to having a great experience as a first time snowbird.

Are Condos a Good Investment After Retirement in 2022?

If you are going towards retirement age, you should think about having a future plan. Some things that come to mind are whether you should move across the country or stay in your hometown. In recent times, condos are becoming more and more popular for retirees. But, are condos a good investment after retirement in 2022 or not? Read this article to find out! 

Are condos a good investment?

There can be many questions  (such as what is the amount you should invest, where should you invest, and many more) that come into your mind when you are investing as a retiree. You can go through the retirement finance guide so that you can learn to be financially independent in your retirement days. Now, coming on to the main question: are condos worth the investment!

Condos are cheaper than single-family homes, you won’t have to pay a higher price  for the initial purchase. However, you will have to pay an HOA fee as the outdoors of most condos are handled by the homeowners association. Here are some of the advantages that you will have after owning a condo:

Flexible Living 

A condo offers flexible living as it is perfect for buyers who require to downsize or don’t want to spend a lot of time and money to maintain a home. A smaller space is best suited for people who travel around and enjoy the city rather than staying at home. 

Affordable As Compared To Single-Family Houses 

In bigger cities, a condo is more affordable compared to single-family houses. To your surprise, in many cities, having a condo is cheaper than renting an apartment or purchasing a townhouse. 

Insurance Is Cheap 

When buying home insurance for a condo, your policy will cover structural damages within your private unit. However, building defects would be covered by the HOA and you won’t need a separate policy for that. The homeowner’s insurance covers protection for personal belongings and structural damages caused because of natural disasters, thefts, and more. 

Communal Spaces 

Most condos come with proper communal spaces like patios or rooftops, where you can get to know the other people living there. It is one of the many benefits of taking up a condo after retirement, as you can meet new people without leaving the condo community. Additionally, these communities have fun events where you can participate and socialize with your neighbors. 

Community Amenities 

Many condos include community amenities such as a pool and fitness centers which you can easily use at any time of the day. Some condos even include tennis courts or spas. However, keep in mind that you will have to pay more homeowners association fees for better amenities. 

Included Appliances 

While purchasing a home, you will also have to buy major appliances, but many condos come with pre-furnished household items such as kitchen appliances.

“Home Warranty is one of the assets that you can add to your condo”, said Krupesh Bhat, founder of HomeWarrantyReviews. Home warranty helps a homeowner in case your home appliance or system breaks down because of a normal wear and tear in return of a nominal premium.

Proper Security 

Most condo buildings include proper entrances and surveillance cameras to help protect the homeowners. Also, some even appoint a security guard or door-men to keep an eye on the condo. So, having proper security will help you to stay tension-free at any time of the day or night. 

Conclusion 

Condos are potentially a good investment if you do your research properly before buying one. When they are properly maintained and taken care of, you won’t have to undergo any problems in the future. Also, it is a great investment for your retirement and  an affordable option compared to standalone buildings with no/minimum security.

3 Ways to Improve Quality of Life for Loved Ones with Late-Stage Dementia

Many family caregivers can find themselves feeling stressed when they are taking care of a loved one with late-stage Alzheimer’s disease or other type of dementia. It can be difficult to know what to expect during advanced stages of the disease, and family members may feel like they are not prepared to handle the challenges that come with caring for a person with dementia.

However, there are ways that caregivers can ease the stress of the situation, and provide help to their loved ones.

What to Expect

Knowing what to expect in late-stage dementia can help you be better prepared to deal with the changes that your loved one may experience.

As a person reaches the later stages of dementia, their cognitive abilities decline significantly. This can lead to a number of different changes in behavior, body function, and physical abilities. Older adults living with dementia may become less able to communicate, both verbally and non-verbally. They may also experience changes in their sleep patterns, becoming more prone to insomnia or sleeping during the day. Additionally, they may lose interest in personal hygiene, withdraw from social activities, develop incontinence, and become more agitated or aggressive.

While these changes can be difficult for both the individual themselves and their loved ones, there are ways to manage them. With the help of a care team, the person can receive the support they need to maintain their quality of life, even during the late stage of dementia.

How to Improve Quality of Life

When a loved one is living with late-stage dementia, there are steps you can take to help them feel more comfortable, supported, and able to experience joy and happiness.

Encourage and Support Their Favorite Activities

As dementia progresses, patients often lose the ability to engage in complex activities. However, finding ways for your loved one to enjoy their favorite activities can help improve their quality of life. These activities can be as simple as listening to music or looking at photographs that stimulate joyful memories. For people who are able to walk safely, taking a supported stroll in their favorite park can also be beneficial. In addition to providing enjoyment, these activities can help to stimulate patients’ mental and emotional faculties. As a result, they can provide an important connection to the outside world, meaningful engagement, and help improve the quality of life for patients in the later stages of dementia.

Help Them Manage Health and Hygiene

When a loved one is in the later stages of dementia, they typically will need assistance with their daily personal care and hygiene routines. Although they may not be able to do everything on their own, these routines can provide a sense of structure and normalcy. In addition, they can help to promote physical and emotional well-being.

There are a few things to keep in mind when helping a loved one with dementia with their daily health and hygiene routines. First, it’s important to be patient and understand that they may not be able to do everything on their own. Second, it’s important to use simple language and offer clear instructions. Finally, it’s important to be patient, gentle and respectful of their personal space. By keeping these things in mind, you can help your loved one stay safe and comfortable while maintaining their dignity in the later stages of dementia.

There are a number of aids that can be used to help with daily hygiene routines. For example, shower chairs can help the care recipient feel safe and secure while bathing, and long-handled toothbrushes can make it easier to reach all areas of the mouth. It is also important to create a routine that is as relaxed and stress-free as possible. For instance, patients may feel more comfortable if they bathe at the same time each day, and if they have someone to assist them who they know and trust. By taking these steps, we can help make daily hygiene routines more manageable for patients with late-stage dementia.

Make Their Favorite Meals

As anyone who has watched a loved one go through the later stages of dementia knows, mealtime can be a difficult time of day. Many people with dementia lose their appetite or forget how to eat, and mealtime can become a source of anxiety and frustration.

However, there is evidence that preparing favorite foods can help to ease some of the difficulty associated with dementia. A study published in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition found that when participants were given their favorite foods, they displayed less agitation and anxiety.

The researcher behind the study suggested that favorite foods can provide a sense of comfort and connection for people with dementia, helping to ease some of the challenges of the disease. If you are caring for a loved one with dementia, making their favorite meals may help to make mealtime a more enjoyable experience.

Alternative Care Options

Caring for a loved one with dementia can be an extremely rewarding experience, but it can also be very challenging. As the disease progresses, many people will become increasingly agitated and confused, and they may require around-the-clock care.

While most families are able to provide this care for a period of time, there may come a point when it becomes too difficult to cope. For families who want to keep their loved one at home in a familiar environment, home care agencies can be an invaluable resource in these situations, providing both respite care and long-term solutions.

In-home caregivers are trained to deal with the unique challenges that come with supporting people living with dementia, and they can provide support and assistance with everything from personal care to medication management. In addition, home care agencies can help families create a customized care plan that meets the specific needs of their loved one.

When caring for a loved one with dementia, home care agencies can help ensure they receive the best possible care.

5 Ways to Help Seniors Rebuild Their Credit After Dealing with Bankruptcy

Experiencing bankruptcy can be one of the hardest journeys of your life. You must deal with lots of paperwork when filing for it, regularly monitor your credit score, and constantly doubt being unable to rebuild your credit. And, when elders are put in this challenging situation, it could bring them too much emotional stress.

If you’re a senior citizen, try not to look at being bankrupt as the end of the world. There are still various ways you could rebuild your credit. You can begin again and try your best to change the negative reports on your credit and improve them.

Here are some ways to improve and rebuild your credit after bankruptcy.

Check the Status of Your Filed Bankruptcy and Credit Report

You could request a free copy of your credit report to understand better what makes your credit score. Since unpaid debts could have effects on your credit report, make sure that you could thoroughly review every statement in your account to counter check any errors.

Are you wondering how long after bankruptcy can you get a credit card? It depends on the situation and the bankruptcy you file. For instance, if you file for Chapter 7, your debts will be wiped out upon approval of the court, and typically, it may take a few months. Ten years after filing, Chapter 7 bankruptcy automatically gets removed from a person’s credit report. Thus, your report does not need to initiate a bankruptcy removal.

On the other hand, filing for Chapter 13 is less advantageous because you still need to continue paying for your balances through a repayment plan as instructed by the court. Typically, it will take seven years for the bankruptcy to get removed from a person’s credit report.

Communicate with Your Friends and Family

People find it embarrassing to tell their families that they have filed for bankruptcy because of the fear of being a burden to them. However, reaching out to your trusted family members and friends lessens the stress and problems you carry.

Going through bankruptcy and trying to work your way up in rebuilding your credit could be extra challenging for seniors, especially on their emotional health. The emotional stress you experience from filing for bankruptcy and finding ways to improve your situation may take a huge toll on your health.

Thus, do not hesitate to communicate with your friends and family so they can understand you better, given that you’re a senior too, and assistance is highly needed. Also, your friends and family could assist you in taking care of your financial reports on your behalf.

Improve Your Payment History

Getting new credit after bankruptcy would make it hard for your various applications to be accepted. So, begin rebuilding your credit using the most basic way, which is to be consistent in paying your debts to have a better repayment history. Keep in mind that this is one of the simplest and most effective ways you could build your credit score again despite being old.

Your payment history also affects your credit score, so paying your monthly payment dues is beneficial to improve the status of your credit score. Assess any past-due accounts that you have and settle them. To help you, try noting down your amounts due or set up reminders to help you keep track and remember the payments you need to make.

Work on Having Better Budgeting Strategies

Even if you’re already a senior, it’s not too late to start having a better budgeting plan to help you with your financial needs. People who file for bankruptcy undergo first pre-discharge credit counseling, where debtors get help exploring various options for solving their financial problems before filing for bankruptcy.

In this sense, the information you gather from the sessions could help you devise better budgeting ways. Don’t allow yourself to be under bankruptcy again, and start building better habits to help you financially. If you think you can’t handle your finances properly, don’t think twice about seeking help from a credit counseling agency to help you.

Look for Someone with Good Credit Score to Cosign for You

Given that your payment history before bankruptcy is negative, it would be hard for you to borrow from lenders. Qualifying for a loan or any installment plans could be problematic.

Lenders would be highly doubtful whether or not they should lend you money because of not having the assurance that you could pay it back. Fortunately, you could give the assurance lenders need by having someone cosign for you.

One of the top qualities you have to look for is that they have a good credit history and score. They can make your case strong and pay on your behalf if you fail to repay. You must communicate with your co-signer the risk that comes with it like their credit score will be at risk if you don’t pay your debt on time.

Final Thoughts

Rebuilding your credit score doesn’t happen easily. It takes discipline and patience to help you turn your negative credit reports into positive ones. Even though you’re already a senior, don’t lose hope that your credit status will not improve. Instead, consider trying the five ways stated above to help you rebuild your credit after dealing with bankruptcy.

3 Worthwhile Ways to Celebrate Your Retirement

Retiring after a life of hard work is a huge milestone that’s certainly worth celebrating. Once you retire, you have more free time on your hands, and there are so many ways that you can spend it. Here are three worthwhile ways to celebrate your retirement.

Throw a Party

Throwing a party is the first worthwhile way to celebrate your retirement. After spending years working hard, it’s a great idea to throw yourself a party so that you can commemorate all your accomplishments during your career. You can invite friends, family, and old co-workers together to enjoy a fun night of food, drinks, music, and storytelling. There are all kinds of helpful tips to help you plan a retirement party to ensure you don’t forget anything.

Go on Vacation

Going on a vacation is another fun and exciting way that you can celebrate retiring. Now that you’re retired and don’t have to follow a strict and busy work schedule, you have plenty of free time to spend however you’d like. That means you finally have enough time to plan that vacation you’ve always dreamed about but didn’t have the time before. You can visit a relaxing tropical beach destination, or you can go lounge in a luxurious ski resort in the snow. Wherever you decide to go, make sure to pack all the essentials, plan fun things to do, and take the time to relax.

Try Something New

The third way that you can enjoy your life as a newly retired individual is by trying something new. With all this extra time to spend now, you can try the things that you never used to have time to do. For example, you can take up a new hobby, like hiking, cooking, golfing, scrapbooking, kayaking, camping, knitting, photography, etc. If you live in a retirement community, you can surely find someone who practices these hobbies to help you get started.

Don’t be afraid to try something outside of your comfort zone. Be bold and brave with your choices, and don’t hold back. Your life is only as interesting as you choose to make it, so try something fun and exhilarating because it’s one of the best ways to boost morale in retirement.

Now that you know of these three exciting ways to celebrate retiring, you can use these ideas today. Make sure to take some much-needed time for yourself to relax and rejuvenate now that you are retired. You deserve it!

How to Deal With 5 Common Medication Problems Seniors Face

As we age, our bodies change and can no longer process medications in the same way as when we were younger. This can lead to problems with medications not working as well as they should, or having unexpected side effects.

If you’re taking care of an older person, you know that they take several medications simultaneously. It might lead you to a few questions: is it safe, or is there no drug interaction? While those are legitimate questions that are very valid, those questions are already answered.

However, drug interactions and safety are just some of the problems older people face while on medication.

Side Effects

With the immune system failing and the several medications that older adults take, it’s a valid question to ask about the different side effects of each medication. However, although most drugs have side effects, nothing is more problematic than side effects that affect an older person’s thinking and balance like ADHD medicine.

There are a few medications that affect these aspects, like anticholinergics. This medication includes one’s for the bladder, allergies, nausea, vertigo, etc. Two of the common ones are Benadryl and Diphenhydramine. However, it’s not limited to these two, extending to any over-the-counter sleeping pills and painkillers.

That’s not all, as other medications can affect an older person’s thinking and balance, such as sedatives and tranquilizers, often prescribed for restlessness and anxiety, which are common conditions older people have. Brand names include Ativan and Ambien.

Geriatricians commonly recommend lowering the dosages of these medications if your loved ones are taking them. This is because these medications can make them prone to trips and falls; as we all know, those things can be fatal for an older adult.

Symptoms Present Even After Treatment

Many older adults start on a drug because they complain about conditions to doctors like heartburn, dizziness, etc., which is normal. But because of, perhaps, stubbornness or a dismissive attitude towards these “small” problems, and the busy nature of a primary care visit, it’s easy for doctors or even patients to follow up on these symptoms, especially if they are gone for the moment.

This can lead to the starter dose not being adjusted according to the regularity of these symptoms. In this situation, older adults tend to run the risk of taking more or less than the dosage needed for these symptoms. Not only that, but they are also incurring a cost for these medications, while in reality, they don’t need them anymore.

The worst-case scenario, however, is that the symptoms are still persistent, especially if the person taking it takes less than the right dosage. In this case, you should always follow up with your doctor about every symptom, especially for the one you’re taking medications for. Even if they’re not following it up, it’s still a part of your responsibility as a patient.

Drug Interactions

A lot of drugs interact with each other. While some of them can be benign, it’s still a concern, especially for older adults with weakened immune systems. One of the most common ones is warfarin, a blood thinner paired with antibiotics. Although this can be risky, it’s still common practice for doctors to prescribe these medications when necessary.

However, you should also note that warfarin is one of the most common causes of medication-related problems in older adults, often leading to hospitalization. To reduce this risk of complications, you should monitor carefully if the older person is taking warfarin correctly. Also, you should take note of the additional medications that they are taking and ask your doctor if it’s safe.

Missing Schedule

A lot of older adults take a lot of medications in a single day. So it’s no wonder they sometimes miss taking a single piece of medication. You should monitor the medications they are taking, especially with the scheduling. Some of the medications are important for an older adult’s everyday life. It’s a huge hassle but a task that should not be taken lightly.

Cost of Medication

One of the most common reasons older adults sometimes stop taking their medicine is the cost. Each medicine can cost a fortune, especially if they take it daily, along with a few others.

That said, there are a lot of online sites out there that can help you get discounts and promotions for specific medications like warfarin, antibiotics, ADHD medication, and more. They even have delivery perks that can come in handy if you’re the only person caring for your loved ones.

Final Words

Taking care of an older adult can be stressful because of many things. However, seeing them move about and bond with us each day is well worth it. Their time right now is limited, so we should make sure to address their problems, especially with medication, so they live their remaining years in peace with us.

The Importance of Dental Health in Later Life and How to Achieve It

Dental care is especially important for seniors since it affects more than just their mouths. After all, tooth and gum issues can cause significant discomfort and even disability. The way you look, the food you eat, your vocabulary, and many other aspects of your life can all be influenced by these factors.

To that end, maintaining proper oral hygiene is crucial to overall health. Unfortunately, the fact about dental treatment is that it does not come at no cost to those over the age of 65. Medicare often does not reimburse these costs.

That’s why so many individuals put off getting medical help. According to a poll by the Kaiser Family Foundation, nearly a quarter of Medicare recipients delay or forego dental treatment due to cost. However, you need not be that person.

Age-Related Dental Problems

Growing older increases your risk for several dental problems. Most often seen dental issues in the elderly are:

1.     Decay of Teeth

According to data compiled by the National Center for Health Statistics, one in five American seniors has untreated dental decay. This is partly because many seniors lack the manual dexterity to effectively clean and floss their teeth.

Tartar and plaque buildup can contribute to tooth disease resulting from poor oral care. Drinking water after meals and reducing sugar intake will help you maintain healthy teeth.

By removing plaque and tartar more easily, an electric toothbrush can help you achieve a healthier smile. Another option is asking a dentist or hygienist for advice on keeping elders with limited dexterity teeth healthy.

2.     Gum Receding

For some older adults, gums begin to recede from the teeth as they age. According to teamemergencydental.com, Root exposure makes teeth sensitive to temperature changes and to touch. Because the roots of teeth lack the enamel that protects the crowns, decay is far more likely to occur when roots are exposed.

Gum recession can develop for various reasons, including heredity, rough tooth cleaning, and teeth grinding. Gum disease raises the likelihood of losing teeth if it is not treated. Although a thorough cleaning may remedy the situation, a gum transplant may be necessary for more severe situations.

3.     Dry Mouth

It’s common for saliva production to decrease as people become older. This increases the risk of cavities in the mouth, especially among the elderly. It can also cause your lips to split and your tongue to swell, making it hard to eat and talk.

Asthma, depression, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, nausea, urine incontinence, and Parkinson’s disease treatments are just a few of the many pharmaceuticals that can cause dry mouth. Medical problems such as anemia, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, and Alzheimer’s disease might contribute to this symptom.

If you suffer from dry mouth, try drinking more water than usual, using a humidifier to get moisture into the air, and cutting less on caffeinated beverages, sodas, and alcohol. Chewing sugar-free gum can also be beneficial since it encourages saliva production.

4.     Stained Teeth

The grayish-yellow bone tissue called dentin lies under the enamel of our teeth, and as we age, it becomes increasingly visible. This makes the teeth look more somber. Long-term exposure to tobacco products and certain beverages can also discolor teeth over time.

Several factors might exacerbate the issue, including chemotherapy and blood pressure medicine. If you’re self-conscious about your teeth, talk to your dentist about options including bonding, veneers, and whitening.

5.     Gum Disease

Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease or periodontitis, is brought on by a buildup of plaque on the teeth. The initial symptoms are redness, swelling, and easy bleeding of the gums.

Plaque that has formed below the gum line can cause infection if left untreated, forming pockets between the gums and the teeth. Teeth can fall out if the bone and connective tissues in place are damaged or destroyed. Adults lose teeth due to gum disease more often than any other reason.

Seventy percent of American seniors suffer from periodontitis, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tobacco use, an improper diet, and ill-fitting dentures are all factors that might exacerbate gum disease. The presence of certain medical diseases might exacerbate the problem.

Scaling and root planing may be used in treatment, along with antibiotics. Bone or tissue transplants may be necessary for more severe situations. Gum disease may be avoided by maintaining a balanced diet, brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste, flossing once a day, and scheduling biannual dental cleanings.

6.     Mouth Cancer

Teeth, gums, lips, cheeks, and tongue are just a few where oral cancer can manifest. Common symptoms include white or red lumps or patches, sores that bleed readily and don’t heal in a week or two, discomfort, hoarseness, and trouble moving the tongue or jaw. The American Cancer Society reports that the median age of mouth cancer patients is 62.

The illness strikes men more than two times that of women. Cancer risk factors include tobacco use, alcohol abuse, and a family history of the disease. Surgery, radiation treatment, or chemotherapy might be necessary if you are diagnosed with this illness. Suppose you want to lower your risk of developing oral cancer.

In that case, it’s important to have regular dental checkups and to have your dentist look into any suspicious sores or discolored areas in and around your mouth. Always check how your dentures feel in your mouth to ensure they are a good fit and aren’t irritating your gums or other oral tissues. You should also limit or abstain from using smoke and alcohol.

Causes of Tooth Loss and Its Consequences

Losing even one tooth can produce a domino effect of health issues, making dental care especially important for the elderly. When teeth are missing, the surrounding teeth tend to shift to fill the gap. This can cause a crooked bite.

Without uniform pressure when chewing, the remaining teeth are more likely to crack and wear out prematurely. There’s also the risk of headaches and jaw pain due to the pressure placed on your temporomandibular joint. Loss of jawbone structure is also possible. That’s because maintaining its health and ability to regenerate requires ongoing stress.

The jawbone and bone mass are both kept in good condition thanks to the roots of teeth, which provide nourishment and stimulation to the bone below the gum line. However, when teeth lack roots, the jawbone begins to resorb and thin.

7 Factors to Consider Before Finalizing a Nursing Home for Your Elderly Loved One

Choosing a nursing home for your elderly loved one can be a task. This is because you want to ensure that your loved one is well taken care of by a nursing home that offers them the best possible care. However, you also want to ensure that you are not spending too much money on the nursing home either. Achieving this balance may stress you out or make you feel overwhelmed. This is where we can help. We have compiled a list of some factors to consider before finalizing a nursing home for your elderly loved one. Keep reading. 

Experienced Staff

The staff will be responsible for providing care and support and must have the appropriate skills and training. Furthermore, newer facilities may not have the same experience as older ones. When touring different nursing homes, be sure to ask about the staff’s experience. If possible, try to speak with some of the employees to get a sense of their level of expertise.

If you feel something about the staff is off or they cannot convince you about their care methods, consider looking for another facility. You may also hire a nursing home negligence attorney if you have already enrolled your loved one in a nursing home and believe they are negligent in their care. 

Cost

Of course, you will want to consider the cost of the nursing home before making a decision. Some nursing homes may be more expensive than others, but that does not necessarily mean they are better. In fact, some of the most expensive nursing homes may provide subpar care. To understand what is reasonable, you must research different nursing homes and their pricing structures. 

Once you have done this, you can start narrowing down your options based on price. Remember, the goal is to find a nursing home that provides quality care without breaking the bank.

Quality of Care

When touring nursing homes, pay close attention to how the staff interacts with residents. Do they seem compassionate and caring? Or do they seem impatient and irritated? This will give you a good indication of the quality of care your loved one can expect to receive. Furthermore, be sure to ask about the staff-to-resident ratio. A lower staff-to-resident ratio means that each resident will receive more individualized attention.

Reputation

Researching the reputation of different nursing homes in your area is also essential. You can do this by reading online reviews or speaking with people you know who have experience with different facilities. If a nursing home has a lot of negative reviews, it is probably best to avoid it.

Amenities

Nursing homes offer different amenities and choosing a facility that offers the amenities your loved one needs or wants is essential. For example, suppose your loved one enjoys socializing. In that case, you will want to choose a nursing home with common areas where residents can gather. Alternatively, if your loved one requires special care, you will want to choose a nursing home that has the staff and resources necessary to provide this type of care.

Location

Consider this if your loved one has a specific preference for where they would like to live. Additionally, you will want to consider how close the nursing home is to your own home. If you live far away, you may not be able to visit as often as you would like. Conversely, if the nursing home is too close to your home, you may feel like you are always there. Finding a balance is key.

Referrals

Ask for referrals if you know someone who has already admitted their loved one to a nursing home. This is one of the best ways to find a quality facility.

Final Word

These are just a few factors to consider before finalizing a nursing home for your elderly loved one. With these factors in mind, you should be able to find a facility that meets your loved one’s needs and provides quality care.

Top 6 Steps to Follow If You Don’t Get Your Retirement Allowance

When an employee retires or is terminated from work, they may get a retirement allowance in appreciation of their years of service or as compensation for the loss of their job. With regard to retiring allowances, there are certain income tax regulations.

An employee may be subject to a retiring allowance (sometimes known as “severance compensation“) if:

  • loss of work; or
  • retirement (in which case, in honor of the employee’s lengthy service, the sum must be paid at the time of the employee’s retirement).

Steps to Consider to Claim the Retirement Benefits

If you don’t receive allowances after your retirement, make sure to consider the following steps, which include filing your claim, and in case you lose, filing an appeal. Among other things, you will find information about Appeal Bonds as well, which will prove invaluable should you actually need to file an appeal someday.

1.  Reviewing SPD

SPD (Summary plan description) is an essential retirement document. The SPD details the plan’s operation, benefits, and claim-filing procedures. It also covers your ERISA (Employee Retirement Income Security Act) rights and duties. Check the bargaining rights agreement’s claim filing, objection, and appeal procedures for various single-employer communally bargained plans.

Before applying for retirement benefits, examine the SPD to ensure you satisfy plan standards and understand claim procedures. Some SPDs include a brochure with claims procedures. If you don’t have the plan’s SPD or claims processes, write to the administrator. The plan administrator will provide a copy.

If you’re not retiring but changing employment and want to move your plan money to an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) or the other employer’s plan, the SPD may tell you how. Plans that allow rollovers will include the transfer process. Your SPD will also advise you about early retirement benefit rules.

2.  Putting In A Claim

Verifying that you are eligible to receive benefits under your plan by consulting your SPD is a crucial first step. Your plan may specify, for instance, that you must have a specific number of years of employment and/or reach a specific age before you can begin receiving benefits. Know what your plan requires in order to submit a claim as well.

Write to the plan administrator, your company’s human resources department (or the office that typically handles claims), or another office of your employer to let them know you have a claim if, for whatever reason, such information does not appear in the claims or SPD procedure booklet. Save a copy for your records. In order to have proof that the letter was delivered and by whom, you might also want to send it by certified mail with the return receipt requested.

If someone other than you is making a claim—for example, an authorized agent or a beneficiary—they should consult the SPD and adhere to your plan’s claims process. When this kind of claim is filed, the procedure can call for additional paperwork. Keep a copy of any claim you file for the records.

3.  Waiting Time

It will take your plan 90 days to review your claim and determine if you will be eligible for retirement benefits. If your plan needs a longer time to decide the claim due to exceptional circumstances, it must notify you within the allotted 90 days and explain the reasoning for the delay as well as the deadline by which you might expect a resolution. Plans may need an extra 90 days to decide the claim. Note the date when you submit your claim.

Typically, disputes are resolved within 90 days (or 180 days in case an extension applies). Check your SPD to see how and when benefits are distributed when you are entitled to them.

The plan must give you written notification within 90 days if your claim is rejected (or 180 days in case an extension applies). This message must be written in easily understandable plain language. If more information is required from you to settle the claim, it must be made clear what that additional information is and why it is required. Furthermore, it must contain all of the particular reasons for the denial and include a reference to the plan terms upon which the decision is based.

Additionally, it must outline the process and dates for filing an appeal of the claim for a thorough and impartial evaluation under the plan.

4.  Appeals for Rejected Claims

There are several reasons why claims are rejected. Maybe you haven’t been involved in the idea for long enough, Or you may not be old enough to participate in the scheme. Or, possibly, the plan merely needs more details regarding your claim. The plan must offer you at least 60 days to seek an appeal, regardless of the cause.

When putting together your appeal, go to the details in your claim denial notification. You can use appeal bonds too. You need to be mindful that the plan is required to give claimants copies of all paperwork, records, and other materials related to benefit claims upon request and without charge.

Make sure to include all relevant information in your claim, especially any additional information or supporting documentation, and deliver it to the address listed in the denial statement before the 60-day window expires.

5.  Going Over an Appeal

Officials from the plan have 60 days to consider your appeal. They must give you written notice of the delay if it will take longer than expected. The decision due date may be postponed by another 60 days, for a range of 120 days, by plan officials. One exception exists.

Your appeal can take longer if it is being reviewed by a board of trustees or committee that meets only once every three months. The plan is required to offer you a written response to its decision after it has made a final determination about your claim. The notice must be written in easily understood plain English.

It must outline all the specific reasons why your appeal was denied, point you toward the plan provisions that served as the basis for the decision, let you know if there are any additional or optional levels of appeal, and describe your right to obtain all documents pertaining to your benefit claim without charge, and outline your options for requesting judicial oversight of the plan’s ruling.

6.  When an Appeal Is Rejected

You might want to get legal counsel regarding your rights to file a lawsuit in court to contest the denial of your claim if the plan’s final verdict ultimately rejects it. If you think the plan violated any ERISA regulations in how it handled your benefit claim, you may also wish to speak with the nearest EBSA (Employee Benefits Security Administration) office about your rights.

Final Words

Retirement ought to be a pleasant and comfortable time but it can easily turn into a phase full of obstacles. And on top of that, not getting your retirement can be really bad for your morale during retirement.

However, by going through the above-mentioned steps, you can claim your retirement allowance smoothly. You need to be patient and maintain the regulation properly through the whole process to receive what was meant for you. Know the local retirement benefit system to stick to the rules so that everything is under control and done legally. Best of luck!