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How to Protect the Elderly from Scams

Scammers are targeting the elderly now more than ever and unfortunately, older adults have lost billions of dollars a year to scammers. With new types of scams and scammers disguising their attacks more discreetly, parents or older family members are more likely to fall victim to these attacks. According to the National Council on Aging Americans, those aged 60 and older have experienced some elder abuse or scam in the last year. Don’t let your loved ones fall victim to one of these devastating scams and begin protecting them today.

5 Common Elderly Scams

Grandchild Is in Trouble

This scam occurs when the caller notifies the elder adult that their grandchild has been hurt or is in jail and needs money immediately. We have seen this scam around for many years and now we have seen scammers asking for cash instead of wire transfers or gift cards. The best action to take is to tell them to hang up and call the grandchild directly. If they have already sent money, you can contact the post office and file a complaint to the federal trade commission.

Natural Disaster

These scams target the elderly who are looking to help the community in a time of need or those directly affected by the disaster. This includes events like wildfires, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes. We have seen these scams come in the form of phone calls, emails, websites, or in person. It is important to only support reputable companies.

Phone Calls

Many scammers over the phone pretend to be representing a credit card company or a government agency to get the person to call back or press a number to connect them. Or in another attempt, we have seen scammers offer to help retrieve a stolen social security number. Typically, people do not  randomly receive a direct call from these agencies unless they have dealt with them in the past.

Lottery/Giveaway

This scam will come in the form of a giveaway or prize to make it seem like you are a winner or are close to winning. Maybe it is money, jewelry, or a free vacation. It is more than likely a scam, especially if they ask for a money down payment that they claim will be returned to receive your prize. Remind your loved ones that it is illegal for someone from a contest to require you to pay to enter a contest or giveaway. Everyone loves to win money. Please inform your loved ones to keep a close eye on the information required to win because these scams can be extremely deceiving.

Romance Scam

This is one of the most common scams that the elderly fall for. The scammer will impersonate someone else to attract the elderly person and then establish a relationship with them. They may ask for money or just have multiple conversations to get them to reveal personal information. The scammer will continue to ask and receive information without having any intentions to meet the elderly person. Make sure your older family members know how to report these scam profiles to help other elderly folks not become a victim to this scam.

Top Tips To Protect The Elderly From Scams

The elderly are the prime targets for many different forms of scams, not just the scams mentioned previously. Scammers have been disguising scams in many different ways and are looking to gain personal information, steal debit card information, and have money sent to them. Don’t let your older family members lose money any longer. Make sure they know these tips to ensure they do not become a victim to these scammers.

Protect Their Information

It is important to make sure that only a trusted family member or personal financial advisor handles your elder’s personal finances or banking information. Make sure to review any larger purchase or financial investment by reviewing it with a trusted loved one or financial advisor.

Know Who They’re Talking With

It is important to remind your elderly relatives to never exchange a pin, social, bank account number, or other personal information with a random phone number or person they have never met before. It is crucial that before sending any money to anyone, you review the company/entity or have a family member or friend do some research for you. Instruct your relative to never rush into something they have recently received especially if it involves credit cards or other personal information. This is essential in avoiding any financial exploitation.

Get Recommendations

Nothing is better than receiving a recommendation from a friend or family member that you trust. This is essential when our elderly family member or friend is looking for caretakers, meal plans, or other helpful services. It is always beneficial to hear about other people’s experience to make the decision much easier.

Be Cautious of Unexpected Visits or Calls

Remind your older family members of unexpected visitors at their door or continuously receiving phone calls from the same number. Many times the visitor or phone call is a sales pitch looking for them to act immediately. Please advise your older family members to not open the door for strangers as most door-to-door sales are not very common.

Vet the Mail and Emails They Receive

The elderly receive more mail daily than most young adults. Whether it is in the form of email or direct mail, it is essential to review what they are receiving and report any suspicious mail they may receive. The process of vetting may require the help of a trusted professional, friend, or family member. It’s crucial to inform your older loved ones to ask for assistance if they are interested in something they have recently received. Never let them rush into a large financial investment or event that may seem too good to be true.

Use Identity Theft Protection

There are many new online services you can utilize to help make sure personal data does not get into the wrong hands. These services help people to keep a closer eye on their information and will alert them if there is any suspicious activity going on. These services even have systems in place to help in the event information is compromised.

We always want to look out for and protect our older family members whether it may entail phone or text monitoring. With scams becoming more common, people of all ages are vulnerable. Do not let your elderly loved ones lose any more money or become a victim to another one of these clever scams. Use the tips above to inform your family about the scams out there and what to do if they are being targeted.

5 Reasons to Participate in a Clinical Trial

Clinical trials help to advance medical knowledge and patient care. They are an excellent way of discovering new treatment methods for diseases, as well as new ways to diagnose and minimize the chance of developing the disease. Clinical trials allow researchers to know what can and can’t work in humans that can’t be learned using animals or in a laboratory.

While clinical trials are critical, participating in one depends on your unique situation and willingness to take part. Together with your doctor, you should weigh the advantages against the risks and decide whether to participate or not. Here, we will discuss five reasons why you consider participating in a clinical trial.

1.    Clinical trials are necessary

Scientific research is necessary to advance our understanding of the human body and mind. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to evaluate the impact of our interventions on the health conditions that affect us. Scientists in government laboratories, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and clinical trial companies like H Clinical work hard to design clinical trials that assess the safety and effectiveness of therapies and medications that may someday be used to treat the patient population. Volunteering in a clinical trial hoping that the drug or therapy may be used to treat other people is a major contribution to society.

2.    Access to new drugs and therapy

Participating in a clinical trial gives you access to experimental treatment methods. The first phase of a clinical trial is used to determine if a drug is safe, and the second phase is used to determine if the drug is effective. The third and final phase of a clinical is used to determine if the drug is safe and effective. Participating in one or more of the three phases gives access to a new therapy, which can help to improve your condition if the experimental drug is safe and effective.

3.    Receive enhanced medical attention during and after the clinical trial

A clinical trial is a collaborative process between scientific researchers, patients, clinicians, and ethical bodies to ensure participants’ rights are protected. Once you are enrolled in a clinical trial, you are carefully observed, meaning you get to see your healthcare team more often and experience benefits that you wouldn’t in an approved standard treatment.

4.    They can save your loved ones

If you are ailing from a genetic condition, participating in a clinical trial could end up helping your family members by making new treatment methods available. That clinical trial could even be the one that results in a cure.

5.    You get to participate in your treatment journey

By opting to participate in a clinical trial, you are taking an active role in your healthcare. In addition, you get to advocate for the issues that are important to you and the patient community which helps the researchers and clinicians to understand the disease better.

Endnote

Participating in a clinical trial can be a satisfying and worthwhile experience. Apart from accessing new drugs and enhanced medical care, it is also an excellent opportunity to contribute positively to our society.

Five Things That Most Seniors Tend to Worry About (And How You Can Feel Better About Them)

Being a senior isn’t an easy feat. You have lots of decades behind you, and tons of experiences underneath your belt, too. Now retired, you are settling into your golden years to enjoy all the free time that comes with it. Your daily routines are more relaxed and you are taking life one day at a time. You get to spend more time with your loved ones and even do those things that work schedules and family obligations never gave you time for.

Of course, these years can be some of the best years of our lives. However, like every other phase in life, it also comes with its own challenges and worries. Thankfully, there is always an applicable solution to everything life throws at us, so we don’t have to fuss about them. With that in mind, here are five things that tend to get seniors worried — and also some great ways to deal with them!

 Losing Your Independence

As a senior, you are beginning to experience witnessing your life come to a full cycle as it relates to your independence. Once upon a time, you could pick up lots of stuff with different weights and not even break a sweat. Now, you can barely pick something from the floor without making a small wince. 

It’s important to remember that there is no shame in asking for a little bit of help if you need it. If you don’t have anyone living with you to help out, though, you can visit a senior residential facility for assistance. Many of them offer different levels of living for seniors, including day programs. Each level is designed for practical living, while still offering the right amount of help each senior needs. They also keep seniors active and engaged, so you can enjoy your independence without boredom. 

No Longer Being Able to Drive

For most adults, driving is equivalent to independence. Many of us have been driving since we were teenagers, so it is always understandably hard for most seniors to give up driving. It’s important to remember that giving up driving doesn’t mean that you should also give up on going out, though. You can still go shopping, keep your appointments and visit with your family and loved ones. 

Moreover, communities are now more aware of the need for transportation for seniors, so there are shuttle services and rideshare programs designed especially for mature adults. If this doesn’t suit you, you can always find options with your family and friends. Offer to pay for their gas if you can, or even barter a trip with a chore you can do for them. In addition, you can always take a walk if you’re up for it (and you’re sure that it won’t take a toll on your health).

Your Kids or Grandkids Having Problems

As a senior, you get to be one of the first persons that your kids will come to for sound advice about their problems. Your years of experience also mean that you would easily pick up on cues and signs that others won’t easily see, and recognize struggles that your teenage grandchild may be experiencing. That’s why when you see some patterns, it’s normal to worry about whether your grandkids may struggle with substance abuse. 

However, getting addiction help for adolescents can be as simple as starting a conversation with their parents and telling them about the signs you’ve noticed. From there, they can proceed to find their teenager reliable treatment options that can help them recover from their substance abuse issues. Comparatively, you can also bond with your grandkids in new hobbies that can distract them from their worrisome habits.

 Facing Cognitive Decline

Many seniors still have a strong grip on their cognitive abilities, but at some point, age threatens how much we can do on a day-to-day basis. This also contributes to a loss of independence in many seniors. However, you don’t need to let it all go, as there are activities that you can do to help ensure you retain your cognition for a good while. 

For instance, you can help keep your mind sharp by doing puzzles or start up a creative writing hobby. Keeping an active social life is also vital for a sound mind. Reach out to some of your friends in the neighborhood, and you’ll be amazed at how much they are willing to be involved in some social activities with you, too.

Staying Healthy and Fit

Fortunately, being a senior means we get lots of free time to engage in different activities that are beneficial to mind and body. As a senior, keeping a healthy system is as easy as incorporating a wide assortment of fruits and vegetables into your diet. Aim to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy, complex carbohydrates.

Starting a gentle exercise regimen, like walking, can also be beneficial. Additionally, keeping in touch regularly with your doctor is very important. Being the health expert, they will provide you with the best medical advice suitable for your health history. By doing so, you can help ensure you stay healthy throughout your advanced years.

As a senior, it’s understandable to be concerned about your future, especially as you grow older. However, these days, more seniors than ever are healthy and spry — no matter their age! — and are taking the time to travel, visit with their friends and family, and experience everything life has to offer. By taking advantage of the resources available to you, and being mindful of your own limitations, you too can make the most out of your senior years!

How To Reduce Waste in Nursing Homes

One of the most significant challenges for any healthcare administrator is creating a plan for dealing with the waste that’s generated in their facility. This task is crucial in nursing homes and assisted living communities because patients live in the same place they receive their care. Fortunately, there are several tips for handling the load. Here are some helpful tips for how to reduce waste in nursing homes.

Medical Waste
The most obvious waste any administrator needs to worry about is medical. Many types of medical waste exist, each requiring a unique solution to address correctly. Safe disposal of medical waste is vital for several reasons, including reducing the risk of exposure to the residents. Simple steps like adding trash bins specifically for needles and creating stations to clean bodily fluids can result in a safer living and working environment for all residents, visitors, and staff members. It’s crucial to train staff members on the proper procedures for safely disposing of each type of medical waste.

Solid Waste
Because people are living there as well, solid waste is also a problem that administrators must address. Any plan to manage solid waste must account for the trash produced by residents and staff to prevent the facility from swimming in garbage. This often requires multiple trash pickups each week to deal with the quantity. Things like food, packaging, and certain medical supplies are all likely to end up in a trash bin, spreading germs. Easy methods for ending this threat include anti-microbial trash cans and frequent sanitizing procedures.

Improve Sustainability
When looking at how to reduce waste in nursing homes, staff must consider how to increase the facility’s sustainability. The option to recycle is significant to some residents and could mean the difference between staying or leaving. Another way to improve sustainability is with reusable items in the facility. A great place to start converting to sustainable products is in the cafeteria, where targeted replacements like swapping metal flatware for disposable utensils will cut down on waste while improving the nursing home’s bottom line.

Tips For Selling Your Home To Relocate To A Retirement Community

Retirement is supposed to be something you look forward to. It’s a time in your life when you should be reaping the rewards of all your hard work and dedication to your job and family. Unfortunately, most adults nearing retirement aren’t able to see this concept manifest in their own lives due to inadequate savings and poor planning. Although there are several ways to turn things around before you retire, one idea to consider is relocating to a retirement community.

Why A Retirement Community?

A retirement community is a residential area designed for senior citizens that can essentially care for themselves. For seniors interested in making long-term care arrangements or needing assistance with medical care, a Continuing Care Retirement Community is another option. It offers houses or apartment units for independent living, assisted living, and nursing care.

The units are designed with senior needs in mind. There are single-level units for easy access despite mobility problems. You’ll also find home improvements like grab bars, walk-in showers, and slip-resistant flooring to reduce the risk of falls. For aging adults that need more assistance, a retirement community has options that range from having a home health aide to help with everyday tasks or nursing home experts for long-term intensive medical care. Not to mention, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded adults in the neighborhood.

Selling Your House

If a retirement community sounds like something you’re interested in, you’ll need to sell your house. The cash will come in handy for covering expenses and affording a happy and secure retirement. Here are a few suggestions to get the most for your sale.

  • Get An Appraisal – If you don’t have any idea how much your property is worth, the first step is to have it appraised. An appraisal can give you an accurate account of how much you can sell your house for. It can also assist you in determining if it’s enough to pay off the mortgage (and have cash leftover).

  • Take Care Of Major Repairs – While you don’t want to dump all your money into the house, leaving significant repairs unresolved can lower the offers you receive from buyers. It could also result in your property sitting on the market for months or years. You can use resources like Home Advisors to find reputable contractors willing to take care of the repairs at a price you can afford. If you’ve never used such a platform before, you can always check out Home Advisor ratings to learn more about the benefits.

  • Hire A Realtor – Although you could try selling your house alone, it’s not the easiest process. There are several working pieces that you need to cover, which can be costly and time-consuming. Ultimately, it’s best to hire a real estate agent to assist you. They have the industry knowledge, technological platforms, resources, and network to make things more manageable. You can sell your property without worries and get an offer you deserve.

  • Research Retirement Communities – If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to start looking for the ideal retirement community. Keep factors like affordability, comfort, location, and continued care services in mind as you assess your options.

  • Renovations and Upgrades – Getting the most money for your house will require you to invest in renovations and upgrades. Updating the bathroom and kitchen are the most popular options to increase your property resale value. Since you’ve already checked out a Home Advisor Review or two, you have an idea of where you can turn to find the experts to work within your budget.

Your golden years should be some of the most enjoyable. If housing, long-term care, or socialization are concerns of yours during retirement, relocating could provide an effective solution. Once you’ve completed the steps above, you’re ready to plan your move and prepare for a lifetime of happiness with the support you need as you age.

How To Make Your Home Safe for Aging Parents

Helping elderly parents come to terms with no longer being able to live alone is one of the most challenging and awkward conversations conceivable. One possibility that can make the decision easier to accept is opening your own home to aid in their care. If this is the route your family chooses, there will likely need to be upgrades or modifications to accommodate your new housemate. These four tips will guide you on how to make your home safe for aging parents.

Remove Slip Hazards

Aging adults are more likely to suffer a severe injury due to a slip, so eliminating as many slip-and-fall hazards as possible must be your top priority. Items like throw rugs and power cables quickly become dangerous if not spotted in time. It’s also best to remove clutter or debris when looking for ways to prevent trips and falls.

Keep Emergency Phone Numbers Handy

With the widespread adaptation of cell phones, many seniors are attached to their devices in much the same way as their grandchildren. But even with emergency contacts being just a few buttons away, you should still keep a list of emergency phone numbers handy. This list should include emergency contact information for family members, medical professionals responsible for their care, and poison control for any accidental medication overdoses.

Upgrade the Bathroom

More than any other room, getting the restroom right is essential to make your home safe for aging parents. There are several subtle yet efficient bathroom safety features to consider that allow aging adults to preserve their dignity. Also, access to extra lighting and non-slip rugs outside the shower are worth adding to spot and avoid the dangers of pooled water.

Consider Limitations

Finally, to make the transition to home care easier, consider the factors that led to your parents moving into your home. In the ideal scenario, your place should meet all the needs their old home was unable to satisfy. A few common home upgrades commonly required by seniors include a walk-in bathtub, wheelchair ramps at the front and rear doors, and chair lifts if your home has multiple stories.

4 Reasons to Start Your Estate Planning Early

The only thing that is certain about life is that anything can happen, even the unexpected. No one likes to spend their time contemplating the unthinkable, but putting some thought into what you want for your final arrangements can help prepare your loved ones for any worst case scenario. Keeping in mind that your estate planning should include more details than are covered in your funeral planning, there are many things to consider.

If you are in your 40s, you may not be putting too much thought into your estate planning. Most people in their mid-life years are focused on building their family and career and less about what will happen after they are gone. The truth is that your 40s are a time when you are generally settling into your life, making it the right time to think about protecting your future. Estate planning with the Postage is the best way to protect your family and everything you have worked for. It’s never too early to get started. Let’s take a look at a few reasons to start your estate planning right now.

Protect Your Kids

The priority for all parents is to protect their children. An estate plan will ensure that you have a say in your children’s lives after you are gone. If you have younger children, heavy consideration must be put into their financial protection, their educational future, and who will look after them after you are gone. Estate planning for older children can be complicated, so it’s a good idea to have a conversation about your wishes with all of your adult children. Share your plans and discuss any inheritance plans openly to avoid conflict in the future.

Property

If you own a home, it is likely your largest asset that will need to be included in your estate planning. Upon your death, there needs to be a plan in place for what will be done with your property. If you wish to transfer ownership of your home to a spouse or a child, you will need to include these legal details in your estate planning. If your property is to be sold, you should create provisions in your estate that detail how your heirs will split any profits.

Senior Parents

Many people in their 40s have begun to take on the role of caretaker for one or both of their senior parents. The worst-case scenario is that your parents would outlive you and be left to fend for themselves. The most crucial part of your estate planning that involves your senior parents should be to ensure that they have their final arrangements completed. If your aging parent requires part or full-time care, you will need to make plans for their continuing care. Research your options and inform your parents and family members about the plan.

Investments

As you build your portfolio through your 40s and 50s, you will need to ensure that your family can benefit from your investments once you are gone. When you open a 401K account, you will be required to name a beneficiary. Your other investments may remain unnamed. Work with your financial advisor to ensure that your entire portfolio will be property funneled to the right beneficiary. It’s a good idea to update your beneficiaries every few years to make sure that they are still suitable, in case of divorce or death.

You always want to focus on living life to the fullest, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t plan ahead for the future. To protect your family, investments, and property, now is the time to start your estate planning and get the peace of mind that will help you get the most out of your life.

How Seniors Can Improve Well-Being

Your sense of well-being as a senior depends on how you think, feel, and act. Fortunately, there are many ways to engage in a full life, and they’re right at your fingertips.

Let’s take a quick look at a variety of practical ways that you can implement today, with very little effort or research involved.

Sidestep Scams

The FBI estimates that the elderly population in the U.S. loses over $3 billion each year to unscrupulous scammers. One popular type of scam perpetrated against seniors is phishing.

Phishing is a form of digital communication, such as an email or a phone text message, used to get sensitive information from you, such as your username and password or your credit card number.

Since phishing scams are common and often hard to detect, it’s important to get anti-phishing training to educate yourself on the large variety of cons used to rip off unsuspecting consumers.

Older consumers are often targeted by scammers because they’re more likely to fall for fraudulent schemes. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), seniors are more likely to report larger financial losses than their younger counterparts.

Seniors often fall for the following types of cons:

  • Tech support

  • Prize

  • Sweepstakes

  • Lottery

  • Family or friend impersonators

These scams often occur via phone or email, and con artists like to use gift cards and wire transfers as their payment of choice.

If you fall for a scam, the best thing you can do is to share your story with the FTC. This will alert the agency to investigate the incident and publish a public warning about it.

This serves to help others who are unaware.

Discover a New Sense of Purpose

Well-being starts with having a sense of purpose. It’s important for you, as a senior, to be fully engaged in the business of living.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is as important for seniors as it is for people in the working world raising a family. Long after you’ve met your basic physiological, safety, and belonging needs, you still have to fulfill your self-esteem and self-actualization needs.

You can meet your need for meaning by engaging in life in a way you consider significant.

There are many ways you can still continue to feel as if you are an important part of society.

  • Develop a fascinating hobby

  • Create an online side hustle

  • Volunteer at an animal shelter

It doesn’t matter what you choose to do. What matters is that you find a purpose that fills you with passion.

Besides finding meaning and purpose in life, here are some other practical tips that you can do to ensure a high quality of life.

Join a Senior Living Community

If you decide that a senior living community will serve your needs, then it’s important to consider ways that you can earn enough money from side gigs available on the Internet, such as selling on eBay.

Also, consult with financial advisors and family members into ways that you can budget for a senior living community. Here, you’ll find a variety of activities that put you in the thick of action with like-minded folks.

Practice Healthy Living

Practicing healthy living is a discipline. Consult with a nutritionist to develop a healthy eating diet. Healthy foods include leafy green vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Eat broccoli, kale, and avocados. Enjoy blueberries and apples. Consume walnuts, pistachios, almonds, and pecans.

Simple things like avoiding excess sugar, salt, which is often used in packaged foods to improve taste, will make a huge difference to your health and well-being.

A good sign that you’re eating properly is your ability to maintain a healthy body weight. If you have extra pounds, you might be at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, or risking diabetes or heart disease.

Also practice moderate exercises, such as gentle stretching, Tai Chi, or yoga. It’s easy to learn these by watching a DVD and following along. There might also be a fitness studio in your area where you can sign up for classes.

Besides eating right and exercising regularly, maintain regular checkups, particularly for hearing, vision, and dental health.

Remember to put yourself first, because it’s that important.

An Ultimate Preparation Checklist for Retirement

The average American retires at the age of 63, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. However, the Social Security Administration (SSA) says the full retirement age is between 65 and 67. Regardless of your age, you can retire whenever you want—what matters is how you prepare for your retirement.

You need a relaxing retirement that allows you to enjoy a day out on the boat, take a vacation, or enjoy the fruits of your investments. While retirement planning, it’s important to understand how much money you’ll need, make sound investment decisions, and identify your priorities. You should also start planning early—at least 2 to 5 years before your retirement, depending on your financial situation.

Settle Your Debts

Retirement means you’re starting a new life, and you shouldn’t do it with a lingering debt. Having debts will deny you the financially sound life you want after retirement. You should, therefore, strive to pay off your debts while still working.

While it’s tempting to pay off your debt using an IRA, you shouldn’t do it. It’s essentially stealing from yourself, plus it comes with taxes and penalties, costing you even more. As such, you should focus on paying off your car payments, mortgage, or student loans with your income and return on investments.

Many people stop using credit cards after retirement. This prevents you from overspending by accident. The sooner you clear your debts, the easier it will be to make your retirement plans.

Plan for Medical Coverage

Health care needs are very unpredictable. Plus, as we age, we tend to be more vulnerable to different health conditions. As such, it’s vital to plan for medical coverage after retirement since your employer’s health benefits will stop.

As a retiree, you’ll automatically qualify for Medicare if you meet all the requirements. Still, you can apply for Medicaid for dual coverage. Medicare has four parts: A, B, C, and D. The federal government funds parts A and B, while parts C and D are provided by Medicare-approved private insurance companies.

Part C combines Parts A and B into a single plan, allowing you to get the benefits of both plans. It is also the most popular route for retirees. Be sure to find more information on Medicare Part C here to learn more about its benefits and features.

While Medicaid is designed for people with limited income and resources, it also covers those aged 65 and above. You must be a resident of the state in which you live to qualify for Medicaid. Your income should also be less than $2,382 per month.

Explore Downsizing

Moving into a smaller and cheaper home is always a wise decision for retirees. It will reduce your mortgage payments, home insurance, and property taxes. This will give you a greater quality of life with the money you have.

However, if your house is paid off, downsizing may not be worth it. You can still keep the home but take into account maintenance costs. Or, you can still sell it and buy a summer home as an investment option.

Save Funds

The best time to start saving for retirement is now, and try to save as much as you can. You can consider different retirement accounts, including Solo 401(k), Roth IRA., 457, IRA, and a 401(k).

Most employers offer 401(k) retirement plans, allowing you to start saving as early as possible. Still, you can sign up for the plan at any time—not just when you get employed. You should have backup funds in case of emergency or delay Social Security benefits, increasing your monthly benefit.

Find Other Opportunities

Retirement doesn’t mean you can no longer work. In fact, it allows you to explore your passions. Finding volunteer opportunities or part-time work allows you to stay active and enjoy your retirement. For example, you can teach at local education institutions or give tours of your town or city.

You should also join social groups or community organizations to stay connected. This is particularly important if you relocate to another area after retirement. Maintaining a good social life can help keep you lively and motivated.

Take the Time to Prepare for Retirement

Retirement is bound to come at some point. That means your monthly paycheck comes to an end, but your financial responsibilities don’t end there. You have bills, probably a mortgage, and other miscellaneous expenses. Start retirement planning as early as possible and help make the transition seamless.

The Best Hospice Care for Your Parents: Home Away From Home


The idea that death is the only thing 100% promised to us in life makes living every day to its fullest more encouraging. So by the time you reach old age and cannot move around as actively as you used to, you would have hopefully lived a full life because you knew one day your time would come.

The fact of death makes people uncomfortable about discussing hospice, but death gives life meaning. So when discussing and searching for hospice care, you should do so with the mindset of giving that meaningful life a great closing instead of mourning how little time is left.

With that in mind, there are many factors to consider when looking for the best hospice care for your aging relatives. You may have to figure out life insurance for seniors and if it covers hospice care, consider the sort of meals provided during hospice, research if the service is reputable, and search for facilities with the shortest commute time. 

Even with understanding how death is inevitable and brings life meaning, planning for it can be overwhelming. With the right guidance, finding the best hospice care for your parents can run smoother.

What is hospice care?

When chosen properly, hospice care is a fantastic service for those who would benefit from pain management and a heightened sense of focus on symptoms that hinder their quality of life. 

Not only does hospice care focus on the individual in need of extra assistance, but it also focuses on their caregivers. The point of hospice care is to provide compassionate care to people who are at an age where they are naturally going to rest or for those who are in the last phases of an incurable disease. 

The goal of hospice care is to help them live out the rest of their days as comfortably as possible and for their caregivers (their children or other relatives) to spend this time with them without worrying about the pain they could be experiencing during that time.

Hospice offers a variety of services to make this process easier. For example, families can receive spiritual and emotional support with 24/7 on-call help from certain hospice care providers. Some provide the option of having visiting nurses to prevent the need of driving to doctors’ offices and to help with bathing and other personal care.

Being that this form of care is so personal, who you hire to provide this service is crucial. Not all hospice care providers are the same, and some families have negative experiences because of poor quality of service.

Ways to Find Hospice Care

To find the best hospice care for your parents and any other relatives, start by collecting a list of hospice companies. An ideal way of building a decent list is by asking for recommendations. 

You should talk to doctors, nurses, other family members, and anyone else who may be knowledgeable about hospice care. A medical professional will more than likely give you the best recommendations.

After you formulate your list, you can go through each company to investigate whether it is ideal for your family’s needs. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when exploring each company:

  • Check for accreditation: Hospices do not have to be accredited, but those that are have a third party reviewing their services regularly. Some hospice care options are accredited by the Community Health Accreditation Partner (CHAP) or the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO). 
  • Length of operation: You can get a better understanding of the providers’ reputation based on how long they have operated. Having operated for three years or more shows the company is stable. 
  • Likability of provider: The care provider’s personality, people skills, and level of customer service play a huge determining factor. If you dislike the person providing the service, then you will more than likely have a negative experience with hospice care. 
  • Medicare certification: When a provider qualifies for Medicare certification, it means they offer 16 different core (doctors’ appointments, counseling, food preparation, etc.) and auxiliary services (home care, physical therapy, etc). Even if you are not a Medicare beneficiary, you know you will have a variety of options.

What to Look for in Hospice Care

Taking the time to learn about things to know about hospice care will make knowing what to look for more simple. Aside from providing general comfort like pain relief, they can offer a variety of services specific to you and your loved one’s needs, such as:

Family assistance: Some hospice care providers prepare food, clean the house, change bedpans, and administer medications if you cannot. However, some may not provide the same level of help as others. It is critical that you understand what you need help with and if the company provides that type of help.

Inpatient options: Though most hospice care happens at home, your parents may need more care than can be offered from home. Therefore, hiring a provider that leases beds in a nursing home or hospital would be more ideal.

Spiritual guidance: Finding someone who has the same religious and spiritual beliefs as your loved one can make the process more comforting. Your family may want certain customs observed, and every hospice care may not be able to provide that level of service.

Bereavement services: Dealing with death can take a huge emotional toll on yourself and your parents, so hospices offer standard counseling services and specialized bereavement services including advice for burial insurance. You can even find support groups for both the patient and their families within these hospices.

How to Prepare for Hospice Care

A good portion of individuals within the sandwich generation (a group of individuals who are raising children while also having parents heading into nursing homes or hospice care) must prepare for this stage in life.

Educating yourself on what to expect when a loved one enters hospice care before they actually go into it is an excellent way to prepare for this dynamic switch. 

The sandwich generation is stuck between having to care for their children and their parents, so they may not be in the position to deal with both the emotional and physical time that caring for ill individuals needs. This makes hospice care a great choice. 

However, when researching the hospice care provider, keep in mind that your parents’ comfort is most important.

Imani Francies writes and researches for the life insurance comparison site, EffortlessInsurance.com.