5 Signs that You Need Senior Care

Written by Thomas Boyd

We, seniors, value independence above anything else, so much so that sometimes we find the prospect of asking for help intimidating. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you find even the most mundane tasks challenging. Realizing that you need help and coming to terms with that realization is the first step towards an easier life.

According to the Congressional Budget Office article published in 2013, as much as one-third of people aged over 65 need some form of assistance with daily activities. However, we are often reluctant to ask our closest ones for help, let alone accept it. You might not come to the realization that you need help until you begin to find even things like dressing, personal hygiene, shopping or cooking extremely difficult and tiresome.

Sooner than later you might start forgetting to take your pills, wish your family members a happy birthday, getting distracted in traffic and forgetting about your routines. Then you might find yourself distracted in traffic or while walking. That’s when you become a danger to yourself and others.

Admitting you need help can be difficult. But once you do, you’ll realize that you can live your life happily in your own home with a friendly face who’ll be there by your side to remember what you might forget. A lot of good caregiver services like A Better Way in Home Care can refer you to friendly, professional and most importantly compassionate aides.

In this article, we are going to list some situations that might indicate that you need a professional caregiver by your side.

You Have a Fear of Falling
Falling has always been considered one of the biggest risks of old age. In fact, falls result in more than 2.8 million injuries every year, with over 27,000 falls leading to a fatal outcome according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The fear of falling is usually an indication that something is wrong. But the fear can also have a negative effect on your balance and cause the fall itself. The fear can be caused by a traumatizing experience of a previous fall or just during an onset of anxiety. The fear can also develop as a natural reaction to a condition, such as any damage to our balance centers.

Therefore, it helps to have someone by your side watching you as you walk down the stairs or cross the street to go to the market. Whether your fear is irrational or not, having someone by your side just in case can help us regain the confidence.

You Often Feel Lonely
We are more prone to feeling lonely in a late age than any other period in life. A lot of seniors live alone, and 43% of seniors report a frequent feeling of loneliness. The worst part is that seniors who feel lonely are more likely to experience deteriorating health and die earlier.

Even worse is the fact that not everyone knows how to properly help someone coping with these feelings. Lonely people can be difficult to communicate with and get through, so even their family members may turn their back on them.

Fortunately, professional caregivers have enough patience and experience to communicate to a depressed person without pushing too far or giving up on communication. Caregivers can encourage depressed seniors to communicate more, regain contact with their family and are always there whenever you need someone to talk to and share your concerns with.

You Have a Hard Time Deciding on Mundane Things
There are many reasons why we might feel indecisive at a venerable age. The indecisiveness may not always be a result of dementia or other cognitive illnesses, it also stems from the fact that our years change our perception of risk. Ironically, that’s often what causes us to make the wrong decisions that can affect both us and our loved ones.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that even highly functional seniors tend to make wrong, often inconsistent and irrational decisions when pressed for time. These decisions are not only related to finances, they can extend to other aspects of life like driving skills.

You Stop Preparing Food and Experience a Weight Loss
We are more likely to experience lack of appetite than younger people. How often did you feel too tired to cook or go grocery shopping? This is more common in seniors than you realize. But a lack of appetite may also indicate a serious health condition, although this is not that frequent.

If you feel too tired to cook, perhaps you should consider hiring a helping hand. Proper nutrition is extremely important, especially at an older age and not getting enough nutrients can cause us to feel chronically weak and tired. Additionally, having someone to share the meal with can improve your appetite.

You Don’t Feel Like Leaving the Home
Do you feel like you suddenly lost the will to go out and socialize with friends or family? Do you catch yourself spending all of your time indoors, stuck to the TV or napping? Closely related to the feeling of loneliness, the lack of will to socialize can really impact our quality of life. This feeling is often associated with depression and is essentially no different than being locked away in a retirement home.


Whether you feel you can no longer drive or you fear to get out in the open, you need someone to help you overcome this obstacle and inspire you to socialize more. A caregiver can keep you company during a walk in the park, a stroll around the neighborhood or a visit to the local senior center for a round of cards.

Retirement – A Pause Before Your Next Adventure

Baby boomers are rewriting the rules of retirement. Few envision living a second act mirroring that of their parents. While mom and dad were satisfied with more time on the links and taking life easy, this generation has something different in mind. They will always make time to relax but that is not the main ingredient in their recipe for a fulfilling retirement.

Most of us first entering retirement initially focus on decompressing. After a stressful often times all-consuming career it is important to take a break. No one can run at 110 percent all the time. Our bodies and minds do better when given time to recharge.

Catch your breath. Take time to reflect upon a career spanning decades. It’s likely you have identified certain things you never want to do again. You now know better what motivates you, what gets you exited and ready to rumble. You may have discovered interests you never knew we had, perhaps a hidden passion or two waiting to be explored. Each career is a continuing education, a journey that comes to an official end with retirement. Or does it?

After reclaiming a certain life balance more and more boomers are looking ahead. What do I want to do next? Baby boomers are taking time to be introspective, to examine the life they have lived and imagine what could be. Retirement affords an opportunity to reset, to research and then embark on any of a myriad of possible new adventures. For the able bodied and mentally active retirement is far from the final destination.

Some open their new chapter with a part time job or second career doing what they genuinely care about. If money is not the main issue a new gig can be something they love perhaps similar to my working part time at a wine tasting room. The more adventurous may go so far as to start their own business utilizing skills learned during their career or even something all-together unrelated.

Not all will answer the “what do I do next” with a job. The beauty of this time in our lives is when it comes to how we choose to channel our energies we do not have to follow any script. We can be creative. We can paint outside the lines. We can satisfy our curiosity and try multiple things. We can do what we want with our time. Once the job you have to do is behind you are free to explore or create the “job” you want to do.

When I first retired (unplanned as it was) I was a bit nervous. Without the job, I was not sure what meaningful activities I would engage in. After the initial shock wore off I began to consider my options. I looked into those areas that had interested me in days gone by. Eventually I figured out a routine that occupied the hours and left me feeling somewhat satisfied at the end of the day. But something was missing – there had to be more.

Finding a part time job doing something I enjoy was the perfect solution. Not too many hours, no stress, working with people I like, learning about something I have always been interested in and engaging with happy folk typically vacationing or just celebrating life. I look forward to my next shift – a feeling long missing from those years spent navigating my career.

Retirement is only the beginning. Rather than view it as the end of the show it might be better seen as an encore. There will never be a more perfect time to uncover your particular interest/passion/dream and go for it. There is so much more to do and to be and retirement offers the freedom to explore. Rather than call it quits baby boomers are making their second act a finale worthy of applause.

LoveBeingRetired.com

Get Your Property to Do More for Your Retirement

Written by Sally Perkins

The economic crisis of ten years ago put a lot of things in perspective. One of the ways it changed retirement is by putting property assets on the same level as stocks and bonds because investors regard property as more stable. You can get properties to work harder for you in your retirement but be prepared, 43% of spending for those aged 75 years or older is on annual home-related expenses.

It can be difficult, but there is a lot of potential for return on investment if you manage your property intelligently. Whether you are a real estate mogul with several rental properties or just working with your home, there is more you can do to bolster your retirement funds.

Refinancing

For those with mortgages, it can be worth looking at refinancing to get a better interest rate. After so many years in the work force, those retiring or soon to retire often have much better credit scores than those they had when first mortgaging their homes.

Once your payments are down, you can use the savings to help pay off the principle. The sooner you can pay off the mortgage the sooner you can put the property to work increasing your income. To find out just how much money you can save try using a mortgage calculator.

Downsizing

Leaving a home that you have lived in for years can be tough, but scaling back to a smaller home has some serious advantages financial and otherwise. As we retire, our needs change and the homes we live in are no different. Maybe the kids have moved out, you don’t use the pool much anymore or your knees just don’t appreciate those stairs.

Not only can downsizing your home better meet your needs, but you’ll save a lot of money on maintenance and utility costs not to mention a reduction in property taxes. You can use the money that you save to reinvest and increase your income or just use it to prepare your new home for your new way of life.

Take Action Early

Many mortgages have strict lending requirements about work. Typical requirements include having to show that you have been employed for the last two years. You can explain away some of these requirements or find mortgages that aren’t so strict but those might be more expensive options. The easiest way to avoid that headache is to take action before you stop work if you have the opportunity.

Make Your Retirement Investments Help Each Other

Mortgage companies usually require higher down payments and interest rates for properties that the owner does not plan to occupy. Down payments can reach 30 percent of the price or more. Perhaps you don’t have the funds for a down payment of that size but you can use your IRA funds to help. Since the money in a Roth IRA has already been taxed, if you use it to buy property all of the equities and earning from it can grow tax-free.

Do the Homework

With all the extra time afforded by retirement, you can do valuable additional research. Finding out potential costs like insurance, mortgage fees, taxes and possible maintenance costs will help you make informed decisions about the viability of individual properties. As in business, income properties are about balancing expenses and revenue.

Research can also help you decide on an area or property in which to invest. Learn the local occupancy and price trends. Area real estate agents, publications and even small local banks are all excellent sources of information. You might even find that getting loans from local banks is a better route than the big banks because the smaller banks have more knowledge and interest in their area.

Gifting Equity

Gifting property equity to your children, their spouses or grandkids can be an option that helps you avoid some tax situations. It is possible to move real estate equity to your kids year by year with no tax liability. There are annual limits but with enough management and recipients you can transfer quite a bit every year and it adds up. It is best to refer to a tax professional to be certain what will work best in your situation.

Diversify

While it is true that property investment can add to your retirement, it shouldn’t be the only thing working for you. Diversification of your funds into 401(k)s, IRAs and the like is still sound advice even in these uncertain economic times. Trust in real estate is high but diversification can prevent you from losing all of your income should the market fall in a particular sector.

Maximize Your Property’s Output

Retirement is a time to relax and enjoy life, but if you want to keep your income high to support your new lifestyle, a little bit of work is required. Property investment, in particular, requires some doing. Using a bit of time, effort and the advantages of being retired you can put your property to work funding your retirement.