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Expert Insights

Analysis of trends in senior care, advice for people coping with an aging patent, and health advice for seniors.

Working past retirement

working past retirementAs Americans continue to live longer, healthier lives than previous generations, they’re also working longer than ever before. Although the traditional retirement age is 65, many older adults are working into their seventies and beyond.  For some, working past traditional retirement age may simply be a financial necessity. But it can also provide an outlet for energy and creativity while offering stimulation and a sense of purpose.

Whether you want to change fields or you already retired and want to reenter the workforce, here are some tips to help your job search:

Take care of your brain

Brain healthA brain-healthy lifestyle is essential to aging well. Mental acuity allows us to remain independent and enjoy a higher quality of life. To help promote the brain health of older adults in 2015, Eldercare Locator put out a brochure with tips for maintaining cognitive functioning. It draws on the research and recommendations of the Administration for Community Living, the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The brochure, “Brain Health: You Can Make a Difference,” offers the following tips to maintain optimal brain health:

Are you being observed? Inpatient vs. outpatient status

By Diane Weinstein, Executive Director, EPOCH Assisted Living at Melbourne

Diane WeinsteinDuring a hospital stay, do you know if you’re considered an “outpatient” or “inpatient”? According to AARP, for most patients the distinction between the two labels is meaningless – after all, you are getting exactly the same care. But a label can have costly consequences.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, your hospital status affects how much you pay for services such as X-rays, drugs and lab tests. It may also affect whether Medicare will cover care you get in a skilled nursing facility. Medicare will only cover the care you receive if you first have a “qualifying hospital stay,” which means you have been a hospital inpatient for at least three days in a row, counting the day you were admitted, but not counting the day of your discharge.

Tips on overcoming the winter doldrums

Winter bluesIt’s very common to feel blue during the winter months with the often depressing backdrop of overcast skies, limited sun and shorter days. For seniors with limited mobility, the poor weather conditions might cause them to become increasingly homebound and feel isolated. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to reduce your risk of falling into a seasonal slump.

Friends and social activities are a huge help in lifting the mood, so setting a weekly get together is a smart idea. If you no longer drive, take advantage of public transportation to visit loved ones or participate in community events. Or you might invite friends and family to your home.

It’s also important to eat a healthy diet and continue to exercise, though often it can be hard to find the desire to do so when it’s cold outside. But staying active will reduce the risk of falling into a slump and keep your body healthy. 

Plan your loved one's care with the whole family

Being a caregiver for an aging family member is hard work. For many, the responsibilities are made more stressful by trying to juggle another job along with other family and social roles. Caregiving can become much more manageable when a whole family agrees to care for an aging relative together.

Initiating a family meeting is a great way to begin sharing caregiving responsibilities. You can set up clear expectations for each person’s role and help the primary caregiver feel less alone as everyone agrees to help and support each other. A meeting will also help aid planning for long term care to ensure your loved one will be well cared for even in the face of changing circumstances.