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Aging Wisely December 2014 - Aging Wisely

2014 Wrap-Up: Aging Wisely Advice


Aging Wisely Advice: Our Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014

Here’s a wrap-up of our most-read posts in 2014. After many years of blogging, Aging Wisely continues to work hard to bring you both unique content and a focus on the issues that matter most to you. We are always pleased to hear from our readers and would love your feedback (contact us online or leave a comment on our Facebook page) on our aging wisely advice!

Gifts for Seniors: This post wins our award for the most popular topic of all time, proving that gift giving is a tricky business. We’ve put together a practical guide with different categories and specific ideas and we’ve also done a number of follow up posts both here and at EasyLiving on specific gift ideas for seniors and caregivers. Refer back to these posts at the holidays and throughout the year when you need some creative suggestions.

Our Long-Distance Caregiving post discusses what caregivers can do on a visit to out-of-town elder loved ones. We have several great resources on this topic, including our EasyLiving checklist that you can print out before a visit. Give us a call before (or during or after!) a visit to schedule a consultation or even set up a professional assessment to address the concerns you spot (and those our care managers may notice before they become trouble).

We’re thrilled to see What Will Respite Care Cost? among our most popular posts read in 2014. This important topic is essential, as caregivers need to maintain their health and well-being as they care for their aging parents or spouses. Even though the post is no longer brand new, the figures still give you a good estimate of care costs today, along with resources and tips for setting up respite care.

Discharge planning in general is a popular topic that we cover and something that comes up often talking with families. When a loved one is hospitalized, it is an overwhelming experience and many are shocked by the decisions that need to be made quickly and the confusion they feel trying to navigate the system. Discharge Planning: Stroke Care and Rehabilitation offers specific tips and information for families helping a loved one who had suffered a stroke.

For those of you looking for information on other caregiving and aging wisely topics, you might want to start with our Aging Wisely handouts page or our Eldercare Resources page. Both offer a great array of specific information on our most frequently requested topics. For personalized aging wisely advice, don’t forget we offer a complimentary consultation with our Senior Care Consultant to get you the help you need today. Call us at 727-447-5845!



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Starting the New Year Right: Aging Wisely in 2015


aging wisely eldercare advice for 2015

Start the new year off right with our aging wisely checklist! Here’s a simple list of things you can do to stay healthy, physically, emotionally, and financially.

1. Talk to your doctor about the preventative care screenings and services you should get in 2015. Schedule your wellness exam and any necessary screenings. Talk to your doctor about your medications and ask for a review to eliminate any unnecessary ones. Medicare B provides 100% coverage for many preventative care services. Check out Medicare’s Preventative Services page for a complete overview.

Screening and preventative care that is covered includes:

  • Abdominal aortic aneurysm screening
  • Alcohol misuse screenings & counseling
  • Bone mass measurements (bone density)
  • Cardiovascular disease screenings
  • Cardiovascular disease (behavioral therapy)
  • Cervical & vaginal cancer screening
  • Colorectal cancer screenings
  • Depression screenings
  • Diabetes screenings
  • Diabetes self-management training
  • Glaucoma tests
  • HIV screening
  • Mammograms (screening)
  • Nutrition therapy services
  • Obesity screenings & counseling
  • One-time “Welcome to Medicare” preventive visit
  • Prostate cancer screenings
  • Sexually transmitted infections screening & counseling
  • Shots:
    • Flu shots
    • Hepatitis B shots
    • Pneumococcal shots
  • Tobacco use cessation counseling
  • Yearly “Wellness” visit

2. Did you get your vaccinations? As mentioned above, Medicare covers flu and pneumonia shots. Flu season usually begins in Fall and peaks in January/February. If you have not received the flu shot, talk to your doctor about getting it and you may still avoid the peak risk. Put a reminder on your calendar to check into getting the flu shot this coming fall so you don’t miss it. If you have not had a pneumonia vaccine (recommended for all adults 65+ and some younger adults with certain conditions), check with your doctor.

3. Schedule a review visit with your attorney and financial advisor. Have you had any major life changes? Are all your documents up-to-date? Discuss how often you should have a review.

4. Have a “care check”. If you are currently working with a care manager, plan some time together (along with your family) to review the status of your situation and keep the lines of communication open. Is there anything your care manager would recommend changing in 2015? What concerns can you anticipate and what resources can you bring in to help? If you have not worked with a care manager, consider scheduling a consultation or geriatric care management assessment (if you are simply planning for the future, a consultation may suffice). This “care check” can help identify pitfalls so you can avoid stressful, costly crises.

5. Do a home safety/clutter sweep (or have someone help you–our team specializes in this so contact us if you’d like to know more!). Check out our free EasyLiving Falls Prevention Checklist. Reduce unnecessary clutter, organize and ensure key items are accessible, remove throw rugs and obstacles in your walking path. Check your driveway and sidewalk for uneven pavement and consider getting someone to cut back overgrown trees or bushes. If there’s an area you are having trouble managing, find a tool to help or consider hiring someone to assist.

Contact the Aging Wisely/EasyLiving team at 727-447-5845 for the best start to 2015! Our team can help with a “care check”/wellness visit, assistance around your home, a home safety review and more!

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Geriatric Care Management Assessment: A Caregiver’s Gift


Caregivers: this holiday season, give yourself the ultimate gift. The geriatric care management assessment will save you time, money and a lot of headaches. Why not check into how a geriatric assessment could help you?

gift of the geriatric care management assessment

 Why is the geriatric care management assessment a gift for the caregiver?

  • It gives you the feeling you have a handle on the situation with your aging parent or other elderly loved one. You get a baseline of different aspects of the person’s situation and care needs. This can also be a wonderful tool in discussions (or disagreements) with other family members, professionals, etc.
  • You walk away with actionable tips, thus feeling less overwhelmed.
  • It offers realistic solutions. The internet and your friends may offer a lot of advice…some of it may or may not be for you. It may be just plain wrong, or just not apply to your loved one. A geriatric care management assessment is specifically built for your loved one’s unique situation.
  • The geriatric care management assessment is a plan, built on a thorough analysis of the situation. Having a plan saves you time and minimizes the chances of crisis.
  • Rather than having to learn an entire field from scratch (caregiving already feels like getting several Ph.Ds sometimes!), you get an expert who can share their years of experience and knowledge with you. You can quickly gain access to all sorts of resources and information that could take a long time to uncover otherwise. The care manager is hired just to help you…they aren’t a gatekeeper for an organization or focused on one specific program. Care managers can therefore offer you a world of options, so that your loved one gets the best care and you have a smoother journey as a caregiver.

How do I get a care management assessment done on my loved one?

It’s simple, contact us and we’ll set it up. If you aren’t in the Clearwater/St. Pete/Tampa Bay area, we can refer you to a colleague in your area. Worried that your loved one won’t like the idea? We encounter that all the time, so we know how to help. You’ll be delighted by how smoothly things will actually go. We have a dedicated Senior Care Consultant who does complimentary phone consultations and attends the initial face-to-face meeting to ensure everything goes well. She’s an expert in the process and the best approaches for sensitive issues. One of the most frequent compliments our care managers receive is about their ability to handle sensitive situations and guide the family in a dignified approach.

What happens after we get the geriatric care management assessment?

You have an actionable plan with specific resources, so you can follow through or hire our care managers to help guide you. With their help, you can put the suggestions into place with ease. As mentioned, their approach often helps and is especially useful because of the personal separation they have versus family members. It is easy for them to see things objectively and offer your family advice backed up by their deep experience. Depending on the priorities outlined in the geriatric care management assessment, you may hire home caregivers, begin seeking out alternative care arrangements or make some modifications to the home or care situation.

Give yourself the best gift to start 2015 off on the right foot…contact us (phone: 727-447-5845) to discuss getting a geriatric care management assessment done by “your family’s advocate”, Aging Wisely.

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Senior Gift Tips: What is Specialized Senior Clothing?


senior clothing and gifts

As the holidays approach and you shop for older loved ones who may be living in assisted living or residing at home with caregivers, Aging Wisely offers gift giving guidance to help you. You can check out our Senior Gifts Guide and our latest post on The Best Gifts for Seniors in 2014 . Today, we asked Wendy Black of Silvert’s Adaptive Clothing and Footwear to share some information about specialty senior clothing. As you’re considering senior gift buying for the holidays or just looking to help loved ones, specialty senior clothing can be a worthwhile purchase to make day-to-day life easier and more comfortable.

Why Senior Clothing?

Specialized senior clothing is designed to be easy to slip on and comfortable. Companies offering specialized senior clothes try to offer attractive styles with easy washability and dressing in mind. Comfy leisure wear, dress fashions, and versatile coordinates can help making dressing easy and provide better daily functionality. Nowadays, there are a variety of styles to suit different needs and fashion preferences.

Clothes for Seniors: What to Look For

Clothing for elder women and men should be fashionable while taking into consideration comfort and ease of dressing. This helps those who have issues with dexterity or need help with their ADLs. Elastic waists in pants and skirts offer easy pull on comfort and allow for weight fluctuation. Loose comfortable fitting clothes make dressing and undressing that much easier.  This may allow the elder to maintain greater independence longer, or make it easier for caregivers. In the winter warmer fabrics, cardigan sweaters, shawls and bed jackets help keep the chill away for seniors with poor circulation. There are several specific categories of specialty items described below.

Shoes for Senior Women & Men

Senior Shoes & Senior Slippers for Foot Problems

Hammer toes, bunions, swelling feet & ankles, diabetes, and edema are just a few of the concerns some elders face that should be taken into account when purchasing shoes for seniors. VELCRO® brand fasteners offer a wonderful solution by making shoes and slippers adjustable to every size and shape of foot. Often one foot may be wider or more swollen then the other or foot swelling fluctuates on a daily basis. Wider and extra wide widths slippers and shoes accommodate senior foot irregularities such hammertoes or bunions.

Senior Fall Prevention Shoes, Slippers and Socks

Skid resistant non slip shoes and slippers help prevent falls. Slip resistant soles provide better traction indoors and outdoors. Non slip socks are wonderful for providing warmth and assisting in fall prevention. Hospital slipper socks offer gripper bottoms that help prevent slips on smooth floor surfaces, and these are great in assisted living or nursing facilities as well. Slip resistant senior shoes, slippers and socks are also terrific for offering fall prevention assistance during wheelchair transfers.

Orthopedic Shoes and Slippers for Seniors

Orthopedic Shoes and Slippers offer the utmost in senior foot comfort.  Soft cushioned insoles can be removable for orthotics. Orthopedic shoes come in extra wide widths and offer lightweight comfort.  For elders with foot, back and other problems, orthopedic shoes may offer the best comfort and minimize aches and pains.

Bras for Senior Women

The comfort and functionality of a bra is of utmost important for elder women and those residing in care facilities.

Comfort Bras

As seniors age skin can become more delicate and fragile. As a result smooth and soft fabrics should be considered when purchasing. Wide comfortable bands on bras and built up shoulders on bras also add to the comfort and reduce chafing and skin tears.

Front Closure Bras or Front Hook Bras for Elderly Women

When hand dexterity and upper arm mobility become reduced due to arthritis, paralysis, Stroke, ALS or other physical challenges, front closure bras are the best solution. Back closure bras can be a struggle when dealing with impaired mobility so this is another important consideration to provide the senior woman with greater independence.


Wendy Black is the Director of National Sales and Marketing for Silvert’s Adaptive Clothing and Footwear. They specialize in attractive, comfortable senior clothing and shoes for elders.

Contact Aging Wisely if you need help with suggestions for adaptive products for elder loved ones or would like a comprehensive assessment for complete tips, resources and planning.


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