Important Topics for Seniors to Discuss With Their Adult Children

Aging can be a difficult topic for families to address when planning for seniors' financial and care needs. Discussing emotional details such as wills and caregiving needs can feel heavy and complicated, making the conversations easy to delay. Yet, when parents and adult children have detailed conversations, they both experience improved confidence. For parents who had such discussions, 95% reported having peace of mind as a result-compared to 63% of parents who didn't discuss topics with their adult children. [i]
If you still need to talk with your loved ones, here are some important topics to address:

1. Caregiving Wishes

Preparing for health problems that could arise and affect your independence as you age is a critical topic to explore with your adult children. And caregiving needs affect the majority of seniors, as 7 in 10 people will need support with long-term care at some point in life. Whether from a health complication or simply from aging, daily tasks such as bathing and dressing could become difficult-making the need for a caregiver essential. While 90% of people prefer to stay in their homes as they age for as long as possible, not everyone can do so. [ii]
In order to have your wishes upheld as you age, you should communicate your desires with your adult children.
Topics to discuss can include:
  • Do you intend to stay in your home with a caregiver?
  • Do you prefer to move to a retirement community or nursing home?
  • Do you have long-term-care coverage to help your caregiving costs?

2. End-of-Life Decisions

Many families haven't had important and open conversations about end-of-life decisions, even though knowing what to do on a loved one's behalf is essential for family members. In fact, 52% of adult children have stated that they haven't discussed important topics with their parents like their wills or estate wishes. [iii] You can help your adult children uphold your end-of-life care and priorities while minimizing the complications that can arise during difficult emotional times.
Topics to discuss can include:
  • Do you prefer hospice care, and if so, how?
  • What do you intend to do with your estate?
  • How do you prefer your loved ones to celebrate your life?

3. Important Documents Locations

Another essential topic to discuss with your adult children is where you store your important documents. Without knowing the location of items such as your will, upholding your desires without court involvement will be nearly impossible. But, you don't have to feel daunted by the topic. Fortunately, 7 in 10 families agree on whether their loved ones know where their parents' important documents live. [iv] You can save your adult children from undue stress and emotional strain by opening up conversations today.
Topics to discuss can include:
  • Where do you keep your will?
  • What passwords do you have for protected accounts?
  • Where can they find information on the power of attorney?
Ultimately, you should address a variety of topics with your loved ones to help ensure they carry out your wishes and plans. Your unique life and goals will guide what topics you need to address. If you would like to open up the conversation, feel free to contact me at 336-659-7060, or feel free to email me anytime. I'm always happy to help you make the most of your financial life.

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How Pricing Works for Assisted Living

If you have an elderly loved one nearing the stage of life where assisted living is an option (or even a necessity), you need to educate yourself on the different ways the pricing for assisted living works. As with most service sectors, there are different pricing schemes, and the one that you choose should suit you, your family, and your elderly loved one. Here is more information on what you may encounter as you shop for the best assisted living arrangement.

The Flat-Fee Arrangement

The most predictable arrangement is one in which the assisted living facility simply charges a flat fee each month. Regardless of what specific levels of care your elderly loved one needs (or does not need) the fee remains the same every month.

This arrangement has the benefit of being stable and predictable. If you are in a financially tight situation, it can help with budgeting, since you know exactly how much money you will need each month to pay the bill.

The disadvantage of this arrangement is that the flat fee will typically be a little bit higher than what you would pay under a different arrangement if and only if your elderly loved one is fortunate enough to not need many services. Of course, the other side of this is that if your elderly loved one would typically need a high level of service, you may find that a flat fee arrangement is actually cheaper than other pricing options for assisted living.

Fee-for-Service Pricing

The other end of the spectrum of the flat-fee pricing model is the fee-for-service model. This is also known as "a la carte" pricing, and works essentially the way the name suggests: each month, the assisted living facility charges a base rate for rent and meals. Any additional services that your elderly loved one may require are charged to his or her bill that month.

The advantage of this pricing model is that you only pay for what you need; of course, if your elderly loved one needs more services, this can quickly become expensive. A disadvantage to a la carte pricing is that it can be wildly unpredictable, with one month's fees being low and the next month being excessively high due to changes in your loved one's situation. Still, if your family is not operating on a tight budget, this arrangement can prove advantageous when compared to the flat fee arrangement, unless your elderly loved one consistently needs high levels of care.

Hybrid Pricing

A third pricing scheme is a hybrid of the flat fee and the fee-for-service models. Commonly referred to as the levels of care model, this pricing scheme classifies assisted living residents into one of the several tiers based upon their needs. A flat fee is charged that will vary depending on the tier in which the resident is placed.

Residents are frequently re-evaluated in order to ensure they remain in the proper tier for their needs. This arrangement has some of the advantages of both flat fee and fee-for-service, providing both predictability as well as a level of pricing commensurate with the needs of the elderly person.

Additional Costs

In addition to monthly fees, many assisted living facilities charge a one-time entrance fee. Similar to an enrollment fee at a college or a gym, this fee is designed to cover the initial costs associated with taking in a new resident. They can be quite high, so you should inquire beforehand as to whether any entrance fees are involved.

If the facility you are considering does charge an entrance fee, see if it can be negotiated. Depending on factors such as the current occupancy rate, some facilities are open to negotiating and even waiving the entrance fee.

So, Which Pricing Scheme Is Best for You and Your Family?

As with many questions, the answer to the query of which scheme you should choose is simply, "It depends." You should carefully evaluate your elderly loved one's situation and determine what level of care it is likely that he or she will need.

If you anticipate that your elderly loved one will need a high level of care, you may wish to explore flat fee options, and do your best to steer clear of fee-for-service facilities. On the other hand, if you anticipate that your elderly loved one will not need much care at all, a fee-for-service option will provide the best financial situation for you.

Finally, if you just cannot determine how much care your elderly loved one will need, you might consider facilities offering tiered pricing. That way, you can count on some stability in pricing without being grievously overcharged if your elderly loved one ends up not needing a high level of care.

Sources:  Gaugler, J. E., & Kane, R. L. (2007). Families and assisted living.  The Gerontologist , 47 (suppl 1), 83-99.  Yee, D. L., Capitman, J. A., Leutz, W. N., &Sceigaj, M. (1999). Resident-centered care in assisted living. Journal of aging & social policy, 10(3), 7-26.

10 Simple and Natural Ways to Boost Your Immune System

According to the  Centers for Disease Control, influenza viruses continue to wreak misery in 41 states. Got your flu shot? Good, do it again next year.

However, keep in mind that other viruses cause respiratory illness: parainfluenza viruses, adenoviruses, coronaviruses, rhinoviruses....not to mention bacteria such as Streptococcus.

Despite the fact that your world teams with infectious microorganisms, most of the time, you're reasonable healthy, right? Thank your immune system, which defends you from disease-causing microbes. Now, step beyond gratitude to optimize the function of that system.

1. Get enough sleep and manage stress. 

Sleep deprivation and stress overload increase the hormone cortisol, prolonged elevation of which suppresses immune function.


2. Avoid tobacco smoke.It undermines basic immune defenses and raises the risk of bronchitis and pneumonia in everyone, and middle ear infections in kids.


3. Drink less alcohol.Excessive consumption impairs the immune system and increases vulnerability to lung infections.


4. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, which will provide your body with the nutrients your immune system needs. A study in older adults showed that boosting fruit and vegetable intake improved antibody response to the Pneumovax vaccine, which protects against Streptococcus pneumonia.



5.Consider probiotics.Studies indicate supplements reduce the incidence of respiratory and gastrointestinal infections.  Fermented milk products have also been shown to reduce respiratory infections in adults and kids


6. Catch some rays.Sunlight triggers the skin's production of vitamin D. In the summer, a 10-15 minute exposure (minus sunscreen) is enough. However, above 42 degrees latitude (Boston) from November through February, sunlight is too feeble and few foods contain this vitamin. Low vitamin D levels correlate with a greater risk of respiratory infection. A 2010 study in kids showed that 1200 IU a day of supplemental vitamin D reduced the risk of influenza A. However, a 2012 study that involved supplementing adults with colon cancer with 1000 IU a day failed to demonstrate protection against upper respiratory infections.


7. Go for the garlic. Garlic is a broad-spectrum antimicrobial agent and immune booster. Because heat deactivates a key active ingredient, add it to foods just before serving.


8. Eat medicinal mushroomssuch as shiitake and maitake (sometimes sold as "hen of the woods"). A recent study showed that a concentrated extract of shiitake enhanced immune function for women with breast cancer.



8. Try immune-supportive herbs. If you get recurrent infections, consider taking immune-supportive herbs such as eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticocus), Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng), American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), or astragalus (A. membranaceus).



10. Make an echinacea tincture. This is good to have on hand when respiratory viruses overwhelm your defenses.


Healing Broth

Healing Broth is a powerful mineral-rich liquid that carries the essence of vitally nutritious vegetables, herbs, & spices in a way that is easy for the body to digest, assimilate, and utilize. You will find this recipe as comforting as it is nourishing. The ingredients of this simple recipe help to provide tremendous healing benefits to both the body and soul.

Carrots help to lower blood pressure, reduce edema, relax muscles, steady nerves, and balance cognitive function. Onions & garlic have powerful antiviral & antibiotic properties and can help eliminate heavy metals and parasites from the body. 

Parsley & shiitake mushrooms contain an excellent bioavailable form of iron which helps to keep your blood strong and prevent anemia and are also rich in zinc which is highly beneficial for treating viral issues and strengthening the immune system. Ginger & turmeric root helps reduce inflammation and improve liver function and aids in keeps your hair growing strong and skin healthy and vibrant.

This incredibly healing broth can be made in advance & stored in the fridge. Simply heat up only what you need and place in a thermal mug for warm sipping throughout the day. This broth has the miraculous ability to be both healing, cleansing, and nourishing all at the same time and is a wonderful addition to any health regime. 


4 carrots, chopped or 1 sweet potato, cubed
2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
2  onions, sliced
1 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 cup of shiitake mushrooms, fresh or dried
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 bulb of garlic (about 6-8 cloves), minced
1 inch of fresh ginger root
1 inch of fresh turmeric root
8 cups of water
Optional: Chili peppers or red pepper flakes 


Place all the ingredients in a pot and bring to a gentle boil. Turn heat down to low and allow to simmer for about an hour. Strain and sip for a mineral rich, healing and restorative broth.  


Cat Who Worked as a Late Night Hustler Now Raises Money For Charity

While some hustlers might use their winnings for gambling and debauchery, this talented feline is using his earned cash to help those less fortunate.

CASHnip Kitty is the resident kitty of GuRuStu, an advertising company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The feline was originally adopted by the office staff to hunt mice two years, but because CASHnip was such a lovable mascot, they decided to keep him.

In recent months, however, the employees discovered that CASHnip had a secret talent: he was secretly hustling humans out of their money.

At the start of a work week, they found a pile of one dollar bills laying around the cat on the ground by the front door.

After some investigation, they found that passerby had been trying to play with CASHnip through the glass.  As a means of enticing the feline into action, someone had slipped money through the crack in the front door only to have CASHnip snatch it away. So many people were fascinated by the cat's unique skills, it had become an ongoing game to lure him into action with some cash.

The office employees then decided to put their mascot's skills to good use and donate all of the money to the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless.

The team erected a sign reading: "CASHnip Kitty is a hustler with a philanthropic heart. He will snatch your money and donate it to the Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless. CASHnip Kitty says, 'Slide a dollar through the slot and great blessings will follow.'"

Since putting up the sign, CASHnip has raised over $100 for the local homeless shelter.

Source: GoodNewsNetwork

A Heartwarming Thanksgiving Story

A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet.  He held up a sign which said: "I am blind, please help."
There were only a few coins in the hat.
A man was walking by. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat.  He then took the sign, turned it around, and wrote some words. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words.
Soon the hat began to fill up. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy.  That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were.
The boy recognized his footsteps and asked, "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning?  What did you write?"
The man said, "I only wrote the truth.  I said what you said but in a different way." I wrote: "Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it."
Both signs told people that the boy was blind. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind. The second sign told people that they were so lucky that they were not blind. Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective?
Moral of the Story: Be thankful for what you have. Be creative. Be innovative. Think differently and positively. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry, show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile. Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear. Keep the faith and drop the fear.
The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling. And even more beautiful, is knowing that you are the reason behind it!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Author: Unknown

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