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Aging Wisely Linda's Journal

Gifts for Your Parents

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Great gifts for aging parents

Struggling to buy gifts can be stressful as time draws short and your imagination leaves you wondering what in the world to buy.  This list will help you find something for everyone on your list, whether they were naughty or nice!

The recommended gifts below are all gifts I have personally used or have given to someone who has loved it!  I have organized the gifts under headings to help you sort through easily and perhaps find just the perfect gift! Click on each gift name to be linked directly to the product page for purchase and more info. The slide show above shows all the gifts with links and can be shared with your friends easily.

Tech and Gadgets

Trak Dot

If you travel or you need a gift for someone who does, this is a great gift and less than $100.  We have never lost our luggage throughout our travels, however, my husband loves having a Trak Dot in his suitcase and tracking exactly where his suit case is located.  Earlier this year I was driving from Lubbock, TX to Santa Fe, New Mexico.  I had a Trak Dot in my suitcase and my husband was able to track my car online and see exactly where I was throughout the drive – providing some security of being located if I had any car issues.  You purchase the Trak Dot and the pay an annual fee to activate the Trak Dot.

Activity Trackers

There are a variety of trackers available that measure, keep track of exercise/steps, your heart beats per minute, you resting/standing pulse, your running/walking route, etc. I use an Apple iWatch, however Fitbit/Garmin has a variety of choices that start around $25, with a variety of bells and whistles.  What I love is the accountability – it is totally what helps me keep moving.  I do much better being reminded to do my exercise, I love tracking my achievements, and I can share my results with my family and friends if I want to.  If you have someone in your life who may need that little push or motivation, this is the perfect gift.

Cell Phone with Larger Screen 

I upgraded to an iPhone 6s this year, with the 5.5 inch screen.  Wow, has that been a game changer for me – I can actually see everything so much better.  I never thought I would be using my cell phone as much or more than my laptop but I am.  The ease of use of a larger phone as my fingers become less nimble has helped considerably and enabled me to complete work, shopping, tasks, notes, on the go and anywhere I may be.

Cordless Blu-tooth Headphones (here’s another option from SkullCandy

These are great for the active folks on your list.  No need to strap you phone around your arm and no worries about cords getting mixed up and ripped out of your ear while you are on your weight machine.  These headphones work wirelessly through blu-tooth to listen to your favorite music or podcast.  There are a variety of price options available.  I’m not convinced that the most expensive options last any longer than the cheaper options.  I have gone with the cheaper option and when they break I can easily replace.

Amazon Echo 

Alexa is my new best friend. I love coming home and asking Alexa to play whatever music I am in the mood to listen to.  I have Alexa track my grocery list and constantly ask for reminders and ask to put items on my calendar.  It takes a little bit of time to set up your phone with the Alexa, but once you take the time to do so, you will love the options available.

In-Home Entertainment and Memberships That Improve Your Life

Audible Membership

This is a great gift that gives all year long.  You can download Audible, it’s an App, to your phone, laptop, iPad, or tablet – whatever your preference.  For only $14,95 per month you can download a book to listen to, often saving up to 50%.  The inability to get out of the house, or hold a book or Kindle for a long period of time makes Audible a great option to listen to the books you love.  I use my Bose noise-cancelling headphones to listen to Audible, which helps cut out all interference and I don’t miss a word.

Netflix Membership

Who can live without viewing “The Crown?”  I have loved this series and look forward to the next episode.  Grace and Frankie, House of Cards, movies, documentaries, travel show, foreign films, classic films, oh so many options!  Basic membership is $7.99/month to Premium membership of $11.99.  An internet and/or Wi-Fi connection is required.

Amazon Prime

This membership provide free shipping from Amazon, provides free storage for your photos, provides you access to Amazon Prime Music, Video and Reading.  There is a $99/year membership fee.  This has been well worth it for me as I learn to order more items through Amazon and have them directly delivered to my home.  The savings and convenience are amazing.

Shipt Grocery Delivery

This service allows you to submit your grocery list and have the groceries delivered right to your home.  You need to download the Shipt app to your phone/iPad and you can make your grocery list.  Your list is given to a local shopper who will go do your shopping and delivery it to your home and the time you have schedule.  I love this app and service.  It remembers my grocery list and helps me not forget items, it helps with my discipline to not buy impulse items, and I truly feel the shopper has done a better job picking produce than I have. This service is invaluable for you to use to deliver food and other items to your family members who have difficulty getting out or perhaps are asking their neighbors to pick up a few things.  This allows you complete control over what is purchased and the amount spent.  It is a monthly or annual membership (sometimes they offer a special).  A six-month membership is $49 and the one year membership is $99.

The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy 

There are many things I like about The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy.  We have three in our local area and I love the fact that they provide free delivery of medications. They will meet you prior to hospital discharge to ensure your medications are at your home upon discharge, and they will bubble-wrap your medications for no additional cost.  Using one pharmacy provides you protection from medication mismanagement and duplicate medications.  Pharmacists who know their patients and have their medication profiles on file will be aware of possible harmful drug interactions or allergies to certain drugs. The pharmacist also will be able to discuss possible side effects; what foods, drinks, or activities that should be avoided while on a medication; what to do if you miss a dose; and a wide range of other helpful information. The Medicine Shoppe will also deliver non-pharmaceutical items you may need.  Upon request The Medicine Shoppe is happy to bill you on a monthly basis, allowing you to maintain documentation of items purchased.

Personal Products: Pampering Gifts for Your Parents

Charlotte Tilbury WonderGlow Face Primer

I love how this lotion has brightened my complexion.  Unfortunately, as we age our skin tone seems to dull a little and perhaps look a little gray and/or green color.  It depended upon the day which color I was but overall I had a dull look, not looking as alert and as good as I would like.  I was in Chicago for a Continuing Legal Education and had to run over to Nordstrom’s.  While shopping I discovered the Charlotte Tilbury makeup line and sat down and got my makeup done.  The difference the WonderGlow Face Primer has made to my appearance is amazing – I absolutely love it!  It helps perk my look and brings some brightening and healthy shine to my face.  Your wife or Mom will love this product.

Chanel LÈVRES SCINTILLANTES GLOSSIMER 

This is a very fancy name for lip gloss and happens to be the best lip gloss I have ever used.  I’m not a huge lipstick lover and have found this to be a great compromise for color with a little shine.  No need for lip liner, which is harder to apply when your fingers can’t get it on straight.  This solves the problem, keeps your lips moist and brings a shine to them immediately.  I have purchased several colors and my outfit determines which is the best color of the day!

Avon Skin So Soft 

For the person worried about the Zika virus.  This is an old but great product.  I use the Avon Skin So Soft Bug Repellant with 30UV Sun Protection.  It also acts as a great lotion and moisturizer for your skin.

Gift Card for a Pedicure (search your local area)

Taking care of your feet as you get older is essential.  How does a pedicure help?  It helps with early detection of signs of corns, bunions and fungal infections; helps keep your feet moist, avoiding blisters and prevents your skin from cracking; it encourages new skin growth, keeps your feet smoother;  and the foot massage promotes circulation.  You generally relax while getting a pedicure giving you the opportunity to reduce your stress levels.

R+Co One Prep Spray

This product was introduced to me while traveling this year and constantly running out of time to wash and blow dry my hair.  This spray enables you to blow dry your hair without having to wash your hair.  It restores volume and body, allowing you to look totally refreshed and ready for your next occasion.

Household Items and Décor

Paper Wine Glass Shades 

These paper shades come in a variety of sizes and colors.  Imagine setting your dining room table and having these paper shades on your wineglasses.  They are beautiful and help create the mood you are looking for.  Using a flameless tea light inside of the wine glass adds even more atmosphere to your occasion.

Zibra Open It 

This is a repeat from last year – but I can’t help it.  I use this gadget almost every day so I need a new one each year!  I can’t remember when I first found the “Open It”, but I sure am glad I did. It seems like so many packages today are so hard to open. One of things I’ve noticed is that my hand strength is not what it used to be, or should I say the using the strength in my hands sometimes hurts. The Open It tool prevents any pain from happening. It includes a very stiff scissor function that cuts through fairly thick plastic, cardboard, all sorts of things. The Open It also includes a Utility Knife, which is great for opening packages and a screwdriver when you need it.

Canary All-In-One Security System 

Internet/Wi-Fi connection is required.  This device allows you to view real-time video of what is happening in your home.  There are a variety of options available regarding alarms, communication to authorities, and storage of video.  It even allows me to see what my dog is up to when I leave the house.  You can also hear what anyone is saying within the range of your Canary.

Nest 

Internet/Wi-Fi connection is required.  This device differs from the Canary in that it allows you communicate from a location outside of your home via the Nest app with whoever is in the home.  This is an invaluable tool when perhaps your loved one is physically limited and does not ambulate well.  You not only can see them in case they fall you can also ask them if they are okay.  You will need to have the App open on your phone/iPad for this communication to be accessible.  Nest also sells thermostats and smoke and CO2 detectors.

Breville Juicer 

This gift is going to put a dent in your wallet.  If you want to improve your diet and drink fresh and healthy juice, this tool is amazing.  I’m actually able to drink vegetables in my juice I typically would not like.  The flavors I enjoy mask the flavors I do not like.  This juicer is easy to maintain and clean.

For the Foodies

Sanders Chocolate Covered Sea Salt Caramels 

Yum! These caramels are delicious and the folks in my life (except me) prefer milk chocolate.  I order these through Amazon, the delivery fee is free and one pound is going to set you back about $40.00 so you may want to ration these, one by one.

Boone’s Bakery Angel Food Cake

My Mom used to make the best homemade angel food cakes.  Unfortunately, I did get her gift of baking so mine have never been quite as tasty.  This past summer while visiting my husband’s parents in Ohio we visited Dorothy Lane Market and I purchased a Boone’s Bakery Angel Food Cake, and it is by far the best angel food cake I have ever had in my life.  To purchase, you will need to call Dorothy Lane Market and ask them to ship them to you.  Each cake is going to cost you over $10 + shipping, but is totally worth it!  You may want to order one for yourself and one for a gift.

Giordanos Pizza

This is my favorite deep dish pizza.  If you order in advance, you can order with free delivery.  When you heat them up in your oven the pizza truly taste like it was just made for you.  The flavors are amazing and the crust tastes just as fresh as ordering in person.  Four pizzas are delivered for $94.  One pizza will serve 3-4 people if you happen to have salad with your meal.  Or if you are a pizza lover, you may be able to eat the entire pizza all by yourself.

The Vermont Candy Store French Candy Creams 

French Candy Creams remind me of the old fashioned mints my aunts used to make for bridal showers and baby showers.  I probably like these so much because of many fond memories of my mom and aunts making these for special events.  They come in a variety of flavors, my favorite has always been the wintergreen.

Pretzel Crisps and Palmetto Pimento Cheese 

You can buy either of these at most grocery stores and almost convince yourself that you are eating a healthy snack when you put the pimento cheese on top of the flat pretzel.  I like the bacon pimento cheese the best and we usually devour a container very quickly – so don’t buy just one.  If you need to take an appetizer, just dip this into your own bowl and say “Thank You” when you start getting all of the amazing comments.

Bonus Gift Ideas

RFID Wallets, Sleeves and Document Holders 

A good friend gave me a travel RFID wallet that included enough space for my driver’s license, credit card and passport.  I had not even thought of protecting my items from being scanned from someone in line by me or across the room.  The RFID wallet I have can be wiped down with bleach, which I like since so many folks are touching my ID’s when traveling.  Prices vary based on size, shape, and materials used.

Peek-A-Boo Toy Elephant

This is an awesome gift for the young and old children in your life.  It makes you smile just to watch and listen to it.  This elephant sings and plays peek-a-boo and is fun for all ages.  This is a fun gift to give the grandparents to have available for the grandchildren when they come over to visit.

I hope you find this list useful and your recipients enjoy these items as much as I have.  Please check out last year’s list for more great gifts for your parents.

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What Everyone Ought To Know About Medicare Open Enrollment

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Medicare open enrollment and health insurance choices

Medicare open enrollment is October 15 – December 7 every year. This is your opportunity to review your current plan, coverages and costs. You need to determine whether to stay with your current plan or if you want to change to a new plan.

As much as you may want to rely on an insurance salesperson to direct you, many of the choices and decisions you need to make to determine the best policy are very personal choices – and most likely only decisions you can make. It is startling to me to be shopping at the Dollar Tree (one of my favorites) and walk out and see a card table set up with someone trying to sell me a health insurance policy. REALLY!!!!

Before you get started, below are the items you should have ready:

  • Name & DOB
  • Medicare Number and effective dates for Part A and Part B
  • List of prescriptions and pharmacy address(es)

If you need any help completing the steps below or have any questions, call your Aging Wisely expert.

8 steps to completing your Medicare Open Enrollment:

#1 You start by going to the website Medicare.gov.

#2 Click on Review your health and prescription drug coverage options.

Medicare open enrollment page review choices

#3 Next step is completing the Personalized Search.

personalized choice in Medicare open enrollment

#4 Your home zip code, your Medicare number if you are already enrolled, your last name, and your effective dates for Medicare Part A and Part B.

#5 What plan you currently have? For example, Medicare, a Medicare Plan (aka as an Advantage Plan), you don’t have a plan yet, or if you don’t know you have the option of stating I don’t know what plan I have.

#6 The next question asks you to list all of your medications and dosages. The easiest place to find this information is directly from the container your medication comes in from the pharmacy. If you do not have the container(s) you will need to call the pharmacy and ask them for a list or better yet, stop by the pharmacy and ask them to print you a list.

Bonus Tip: If you use more than one pharmacy, one of your New Year’s resolutions needs to be to commit to one pharmacy. Managing your prescriptions appropriately as well as one pharmacist reviewing your medications is an invaluable resource. When you have a primary care physician as well as specialists prescribing your medications it is typically the pharmacist that can review the medications and look for concerns or issues you need to know and address with your healthcare providers.

#7 Once you have entered in each of your medications and dosages, the next question asks for the name and address of your pharmacy. You can find the name and address of the pharmacy on the medication container.

#8 Upon entering all of the above information the next screen allows you to apply a variety of filters, for example, limit plan premium, select star ratings, etc.… if you want to reduce the number of the choices. Otherwise, you may go directly to review the following:

making decisions about MedicareA. Prescription Plans (Part D) with Regular Medicare
B. Medicare Health Plans (Medicare Advantage Plans) with Drug Coverage
C. Medicare Health Plans without Drug Coverage

The options are listed and you can make a decision from the list. My list came up with over 40 choices – so my work to make a decision is still not done.

How do I decide which plan is best for me?

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How Do You Choose the Best Medicare Plan?

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confused choosing a Medicare plan

If you are on regular Medicare Part A and Part B, you will want to review your supplemental policy (if you have one). While the monthly premium you have to pay for a Supplemental Health Plan is typically more expensive than you would pay for a Medicare Advantage Plan it often provides you more choices in healthcare providers and greater coverage towards payments, and covers co-pays, etc. You usually get to select your healthcare providers and change healthcare providers whenever you want. You can choose whether to use community physicians or the specialized university medical system. You can choose the rehabilitation center you want or the mental health treatment center you want. The gamble is whether you get sick or not. If you get sick your premium will feel reasonable when you see what your care would have cost if you did not have the insurance coverage. If you do not get sick, it feels like you wasted a year’s worth of premium payments that could have been used for something fun.

This is where the personal part comes in. We all have to decide what our priorities are and how we want to spend our money. The Medicare Advantage Plans often are less expensive on a monthly basis and include expanded coverage for items Medicare A and B do not cover. Many Medicare Advantage plans have contracts with healthcare providers, limiting their plan coverage to those providers. The contract may limit which hospital, rehabilitation center, mental health provider, physician, just about any type of healthcare provider you may use. It is up to you to decide if you are going to be content with the limitations. You will be “stuck” with the plan you have chosen until the next open enrollment period.

Confused? Call an Aging Wisely Expert for help!

The Medicare Advantage plans may change their healthcare provider contracts at any time. It is your responsibility to review their website and keep up to date on any changes. Sometimes your healthcare provider will contact you and state “After next month I am no longer part of your insurance plan.” When this happens you have to decide whether to pay for out of network coverage or change to a healthcare provider covered by the plan.

Some people can live with the changes, go with the flow, and are able to change healthcare providers without being upset. They do not feel limited by only having certain healthcare providers to select from.

Most healthcare providers in Florida accept Medicare assignment. This means the healthcare provider agrees to accept the payment determined by Medicare. This does not eliminate your need to meet a deductible or pay a co-pay. We are fortunate in Florida. In many states there are plenty of private insurers and patients covered by insurance provided by employers. The reimbursement to healthcare providers is more significant than the reimbursement Medicare pays. So, many healthcare providers in other states choose to not accept Medicare.

If your healthcare provider only participates with certain insurance plans it is not an indicator that they are good or bad. You should not feel like you have poor choices if you are limited to certain healthcare providers by your Medicare Advantage Plan. Each insurance company is allowed to negotiate contracts with whatever healthcare provider they choose. It is often determined by costs and reimbursement rates, truly nothing to do with the patient. In recent years we have seen many small healthcare providers join together to become much larger offices. This allows for economies, with technology being one of the primary expenses. The more cost effective the healthcare provider is, the better contract they can negotiate with the insurance company.

Good luck with reviewing your options and determining what plan works for you. At the end of the day, remember you are in charge of your own health, responsible for how you take care of your body, and need to determine what works best for you.

Bonus Tip: Ask yourself these questions before choosing a plan.

  • Do I want to be on a Medicare Advantage Plan and/or pay for a supplemental policy?
  • Are my physicians, hospital, rehabilitation center, etc. contracted to take my Medicare Plan?
  • Will my physician, hospital stay, rehab visit, etc be 100% covered by my Medicare Plan?

Need help navigating this complex system? Please call 727-447-5845 to speak with one of our Aging Wisely experts. They can assist you with determining your Medicare options through the Medicare website, help you understand what you need to consider when making your selection, and helping you look ahead to plan for your future.

You might also want to check out our Medicare Fact Sheet 2017, which explains the parts of Medicare and their associated costs for 2017 as well as key dates and FAQs.

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VA Benefits Workshop

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VA benefits: thank you veterans

FREE Seminar:

What exactly are VA benefits and what can I expect?

December 13th , 1:00-2:30 PM

Join Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, Linda Chamberlain, as she explains VA benefits, including the most common VA benefits received by our clients. She will share the types of VA benefits, the eligibility process, what to expect during the process and when you receive benefits, and important tips for identifying and getting your Veterans benefits. Linda and our team have helped thousand of Veterans, and she’s here to provide the inside scoop to make things easier for you. This workshop will help you understand and navigate your benefits. We thank all Veterans for their service and we appreciate the opportunity to help you with accessing the benefits you deserve!

Friends and clients welcome. Questions encouraged.

Call to reserve your seat  TODAY (seating limited to 20). RSVP to 727-447-5845 or admin@easylivingfl.com.

Download the VA Benefits Workshop flyer to print or share with someone you know who might benefit.

*Informational materials presented are not intended, and should not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You should contact an attorney for advice on specific legal problems.

Sign up for our newsletter to hear about the latest events (free monthly workshops) and important news and updates on aging wisely and well.

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Elder Advocacy Workshop

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elder advocacy

Join Board Certified Elder Law Attorney Linda Chamberlain for this free workshop to learn insider’s tips on advocating for your loved one or client who is in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

Linda offers over 20 years of experience in social work, elder law and care management working with clients with disabilities and elderly clients. She has helped many families in all aspects of elder advocacy, including a great deal of time working with clients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. She understands the inner workings of care facilities and can help you best navigate the rules, regulations, and processes, as well as understand various staff members’ and others’ roles in helping you and your loved one.

Elder Advocacy Workshop:

How to Be an Advocate for Your Loved One or Client in a Nursing Home

October 11, 2016

1:00-2:30 PM

EasyLiving Office, 1180 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 701, Clearwater

 

Call to reserve your seat TODAY. RSVP to 727-447-5845 or admin@easylivingfl.com.

Friends and clients are welcome. Questions are encouraged. Limited to the first 20 attendees. Download the October workshop flyer to print/share.

 

 

 

 

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Workshop: You’ve Been Diagnosed with a Memory Disorder, Now What Happens?

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memory disorder diagnosis

Memory Disorder Diagnosis Workshop

You’ve been diagnosed with a memory disorder such as Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia, or Vascular Dementia…now what happens? The memory disorder diagnosis is a very important step to understand what is going on when someone’s having memory and cognitive issues. A full diagnostic workup helps to rule out possibly reversible/treatable causes (such as medication effects, deficiencies, and depression). But, after you get the memory disorder diagnosis, what happens next?

This workshop will address the important steps you and your family should take after a memory disorder diagnosis. This is a vital time for planning, as there is a lot that can be done to prepare for the future. At the early stages of diagnosis, the individual can be involved in planning and decision-making in a way that often becomes impossible as the disease progresses. We will share key resources and steps to take, so you’ll be prepared but also not completely overwhelmed. We know it is an emotional time and we want to help put some control back in your hands.

Workshop: You’ve Been Diagnosed with a Memory Disorder: What Happens Now?

September 13th, 2016 1pm to 2:30pm

EasyLiving Offices, 1180 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33756

Flier for Memory Disorder Workshop: download to print/share.

RSVP to reserve your seat today. Call 727-447-5845 or contact us online. We receive great feedback on these workshops and seats fill up fast!

We offer free Aging Wisely workshops each month. You will get tons of great information from our experts and we limit attendance to 20 so you’ll have the chance to ask questions. Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you know about the latest workshops.

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Workshop: Technology Tools for Caregivers

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technology tools for caregivers

There are so many great technology tools for caregivers, whether you live near or far from your aging loved ones. Our team has worked with thousands of families over the years and we stay updated on the constantly evolving technology tools for caregivers and care management.

From electronic pill dispensers to in-home safety systems and online care portals and apps of all kinds, we’ll help you understand and identify the tools that might be most useful for you. Join us to learn more!

Technology Tools for Caregivers Near and Far

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016  1pm to 2:30pm

EasyLiving/Aging Wisely Office

1180 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 701, Clearwater

Download the Caregiving Technology Workshop flier for details and share with your friends.

Limited to the 1st 20 attendees. Call to reserve your seat TODAY. RSVP to 727-447-5845 or linda(at)agingwisley.com.

 

 

 

 

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Aging Wisely Workshops: Summer Evening Series

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aging wisely workshops

Join us this summer for our Aging Wisely workshops, conveniently offered in the evenings for working professionals. Back by popular demand, instructor Linda Chamberlain will share her most well-received topics and provide valuable information you will rarely get (for free!). Make plans to join us as the limited slots fill up quickly!

All these Aging Wisely workshops will be held from 7:00-8:30 PM. Questions are encouraged and you will receive free organizational tools to help you put what you learned into practice. Please call 727-447-5845 to RSVP.

EXIT STRATEGY SEMINAR

JUNE 28TH

What you should do before you get sick

FOCUS ON YOUR HEALTH

JULY 26th

Organizing your health records, making the most of your doctor visits, utilizing insurance benefits,  dealing with a diagnosis

LEGAL DOCS EVERYONE MUST HAVE

AUGUST 30th

Preparing for your legal consult, key decisions

Download, print, share:

Aging Wisely workshops: summer evening series flyer

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What Are You Doing for Dad this Father’s Day?

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Dad on Father's Day outing to Hard Rock casino

I will miss my Dad this Father’s Day! His idea of a great Father’s Day was a fun activity ending with a great meal – that had to include ice cream! The activity could have been as simple as a drive for him to look around, playing “Rook” or, in later years, the Hard Rock Casino (as pictured above). He was looking for an experience, not a gift.

I’m excited to share with you a variety of great experiences to share with your Dad as well as a few gift ideas he may enjoy. While bittersweet to put these ideas together, I have enjoyed thinking about many memories while putting these suggestions together.

  1. Spending time with Dad, in person, having fun, creating a memory is the best gift you can give to your Dad. If you can’t make it in person, try Facetime, Skype, or Zoom to spend virtual time with Dad.
  1. We have a fun and innovative Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) in the Tampa Bay area. It has an Imax theater in addition to great exhibits. This is a great activity for all ages and perfect with families including grandchildren. If you need disability accommodations, please reach out to MOSI in advance.

MOSI

  1. Make a reservation for a beachfront restaurant. This provides Dad the opportunity to enjoy the beach, in the shade, with a cocktail! He can watch everyone enjoy the sand and water and not have to be concerned about too much heat and the instability of walking on sand.

frenchys

  1. Ready for a rollercoaster ride? Busch Gardens has much to offer, rides, shows and a safari journey. Even if Dad can’t ride the rollercoasters, he may enjoy watching “you” ride the roller coasters.

busch gardens

  1. Largo Central Park is a great venue for a picnic, with lots of comfortable shade. The Park is friendly to those with disability issues. Pack a lunch, pick up sandwiches at Publix or the local deli and a gallon of ice tea and you are ready for a great meal. And don’t forget KFC, some days you just need to have fried chicken!
  1. A little-known secret in Pinellas County is The Largo Botanical Gardens. A walk around the Gardens slows you down and gives you a chance to escape and enjoy the beauty only a garden can provide.

botanical gardens

  1. Enjoy lunch in beautiful downtown Dunedin then head over and explore the Dunedin Fine Arts museum for the afternoon. Looking at art is an amazing experience no matter what age you are and it does not require your memory for you to enjoy it. Go have some fun!
  1. Enjoy a lovely stroll and lunch on Beach Drive in St. Petersburg, then take some time to visit the Chihuly Museum. The glass work is amazing, and if time permits head over a few blocks to the Hot Shop and see artists prepare and design incredible glass art while you watch.

chihuly museum

  1. Take Dad out to the Ball Game! Enjoy watching the Tampa Bay Rays play the San Francisco Giants and get a free foam bat and ball set while you’re there.

Father's Day baseball outing

  1. Enjoy cocktails and dinner on Father’s Day at On Swann in Hyde Park,   Tampa, Florida. This is a shameless plug for the restaurant of my good friends, John and Trudy Cooper. I love this restaurant! The cocktails, the menu and the ambiance are all amazing. My favorite main dish was the Lemon Herb Ricotta Gnocchi until I tried the Pork Chop with the Grits – they are both amazing! You have to start your dinner with “The Farm” and “Parm Zeppole!” What a pleasant refreshing surprise full of flavor. Try it out and be sure to say “Hi” to John and Trudy for me.

pork chop and grits

  1. One of my husband’s favorite gifts received for Father’s Day is a beautiful journal labeled WOD, “Wisdom of Dad.” Our son listed pages of sayings, idioms, and comments his Dad has repeated to him throughout his years. When my husband has ever wondered if he has had an impact on his children he only has to look at this “WOD” Journal and then feel good!
  1. A repeat from a Mother’s Day suggested gift is the Amazon “Echo.” We enjoy walking in to our home and quickly stating, “Alexa, please play Classical Music” and in a few sections you are relaxing and listening to the music. My husband loves asking Alexa to provide all of the scores from the sporting events he follows. The Echo can be purchased at amazon.com.

Amazon echo

  1. My husband is thoroughly enjoying his “Canary” home monitoring system. It alerts him via text of anyone entering our home, the temperature of our home, the humidity level, and the air quality of the home. I can’t believe how much time he spends watching our home and enjoying checking it out. It is extremely simple to set up however Wi-Fi service is required. You can purchase one at www.amazon.com.
  1. SkyBell is a smart video doorbell that allows you to see, hear, and speak to the visitor at your door whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go. This is great for the Dad that perhaps is a little unsteady on his feet or perhaps slower to answer the door. Dad can directly talk to the visitor, tell them he is on the way and not hurry so much and take the risk of falling.
  1. Do you want a beautiful way to maintain your tablet and all the charging cords and accessories that go with it? Check out the Mod 2 Tablet Case.

Mod Tablet Case

  1. Fitbit or Garmin are great tools, depending upon how engaged your Dad is in following his fitness commitment. A good friend recently shared what a motivator his Fitbit is to keep him moving on a daily basis. In fact, if he doesn’t get his 10,000 steps in he starts to feel guilty.

Fitbit

  1. The Amazon Fire TV Stick allows Dad to access Hulu, Netflix, ESPN, and literally 1000’s of shows on his TV. If Dad is not tech savvy please take time to set this up for him before you leave his house – it is the only way he will love this gift!

fire stick amazon

  1. Ugg! Shearling Slippers. You can’t go wrong, no matter what the weather, giving Dad this soft and cozy slipper. These slippers are good inside as well as outside the house, and do not have slippery soles.

uggs mens slippers for Father's Day

  1. Is there a Dad out there that doesn’t need another carabiner? Check out the REI website for a full selection. Do not limit your carabiner use to just a key chain. This is a manly method to attach items to your wheel chair or your walker. When traveling it helps you keep track of your stuff by attaching the carabiner to your item and your jacket. The uses are endless and the price is good.
  1. Order some Montgomery Inn (“The Ribs King”) ribs and have them ready to throw on the grill for Dad and enjoy. Be sure to order some extra Ribs King sauce. These ribs come completely seasoned ready cook on the grill or oven. The sauce is the perfect combination of sweet and spicy, any leftovers can be used on chicken or burgers. I promise you Dad will love his Father’s Day ribs!

montgomery inn ribs

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Careplan Workshop

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careplan meeting

Workshop: How to Develop a CarePlan to Ensure the Best Care for Your Loved One

Join us Tuesday, July 12, 2016 for a free educational workshop. Instructor Linda Chamberlain will help you understand how a careplan can ensure the best care for your aging parents/loved ones and clients. Linda Chamberlain, Board Certified Elder Law Attorney and Founder of Aging Wisely, LLC and EasyLiving, Inc., will share her expertise from working with thousands of families over the years. Come learn:

  • the important role a careplan plays in improving care delivery, quality of life and outcomes
  • how a careplan provides better guidance for those assisting with the care of your loved one (and how to communicate the information)
  • what goes into a careplan
  • how to develop a careplan
  • when to review the careplan and update it

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 

1pm to 2:30pm

EasyLiving Office: 1180 Ponce de Leon Blvd., #701

Clearwater, FL

Call 727-447-5845 to RSVP

Seating limited to 20 attendees.

Click here for  the flier for the care plan workshop.

 

Related posts:

The Aging Wisely Careplan

Benefits of a Geriatric Care Management Assessment

Getting the Best In-Home Care: The EasyLiving CarePlan

 

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Exit Strategy: Getting Organized Workshop

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getting organized workshop

Getting Organized with an Exit Strategy

Join instructor Linda Chamberlain at this special evening workshop, back by popular demand, about creating your “exit strategy”.

Getting Organized Exit Strategy Workshop

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

7 PM-8:30 PM

1180 Ponce de Leon Blvd., Suite 701, Clearwater, FL 33756

727-447-5845

This workshop will focus on getting organized with your affairs, what decisions you need to make and how you may want to make them, categorizing and documenting your wishes, and tips and tricks on “really” getting it done.

A FREE “getting organized” tool will be provided to all attendees. You will not want to miss this! Limited to first 20 attendees.

About the presenter: Linda R. Chamberlain is a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney who has practiced in the Clearwater area since 1991. Linda has Martindale Hubbell’s highest rating as an AV® Preeminent™ Attorney. Her practice includes Medicaid planning, Medicaid applications, and long-term care issues. Linda is the Founder and President of Aging Wisely, LLC, a professional care management company and EasyLiving, Inc., a non-medical private duty home care company which have now merged to offer integrated services.

Click here for the Exit Strategy Workshop Flier. Reserve your seat today by calling 727-447-5845 or contacting us online.

 

 

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Grateful for My Freedom and New Windows!

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Linda Chamberlain Aging Wisely

Thank you for the calls and cards with condolences over the loss of my Dad. While people often say, “I don’t know what to say,” it is very comforting to have folks reach out and let you know they are thinking of you and are sorry for your loss. A few words like “I’m thinking of you” make a big difference. Thank you again.

Memorial Day had a new meaning for me this year. Perhaps my exposure to the Czech Republic last year, coupled with a recent trip to Cuba emphasized the freedoms we have that I hope to never take for granted. I am so thankful for the many individuals that have sacrificed their lives for me to enjoy the life I lead today. Writing about it seems so glib in comparison to the individuals that gave up their families, life experiences, and the opportunity to grow old.

Visiting Cuba was a fascinating experience and I encourage you to take the opportunity to visit before the huge influx of Americans affects their culture and infrastructure. My trip was through Stetson University College of Law, organized by Mercy Roberg and Professor Joe Morrisey (kudos – it was a fabulous trip) and allowed us to meet with attorneys, Judges, and the Cuban Minister of Commerce. We enjoyed many delicious Cuban meals and of course, Cuban rum and cigars.

Cuba Landscape

It was amazing to see the architecture, and specifically the effect of the Castro takeover in 1959 and then the fallout from the 1989 dissolution of Russia. For years, I have argued with my husband over the purchase of new code-required windows for our home. I could not imagine getting any enjoyment from the new windows, especially after seeing the price. As you can see from the pictures, there is much to be said about maintaining your home.

Cuba Windows

The fact I found overwhelming about Cuba is their number one export is “human capital,” over $1 Billion dollars per year. All education is free in Cuba and they import the use of their educated residents to countries willing to pay for the services, i.e., physicians and health care providers, engineers, and research scientists. The other astounding fact is only the state-owned farms have tractors, any privately owned farms must utilize a mule/horse and plow. No cattle can be owned by an individual; all cattle are required to be owned by the state. Hard to imagine!

Getting Organized Tip! Unroll.me has changed my life! Simply go to the website, enter your email address and it allows you to choose whether to keep an email in your Inbox, move to a once a day email from Unroll.me, or unsubscribe. Once an email is sent to unroll.me you can preview it before you open it. It allows you to see all of those random emails you receive that may say something useful or have the item you were looking for on sale all in one email instead of going through the emails one by one. The difference in the distraction and volume of emails is a game changer.

Sign up Now for our workshop on June 7, 2016, 1pm – 2:30pm, “How to Choose the Best Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home.”

Whether you are looking for a facility for yourself or a loved one this workshop will be helpful. Often folks ask me, “Linda, what is the best nursing home or assisted living facility in Pinellas County?” We are extremely fortunate in Pinellas County to have many “best choices.” This workshop will help you determine what may be best for you and all of the many things you need to consider in making the choice. Please email me:  Linda@AgingWisely.com if we will see you there. Seating is limited to 20.

Downloadable/printable flier for workshop

I look forward to seeing you soon!

Linda

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How to Choose the Best Assisted Living Facility or Nursing Home: Workshop

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assisted living facility choice

At some point it’s bound to happen. Your home becomes over whelming: the expense, maintenance, lack of mobility, increasing health care needs, and/or loneliness. It doesn’t help that there are many types of living arrangements with very specific titles and purposes. How do you determine which one is the best for you?

Our assisted living workshop is designed to help you and your family better understand your options and how to even get started in this process. How do you know if it might be time for a move to an assisted living facility? What options (and associated costs) are there for assisted living and supportive care? How can you and your family come to a decision? There are hundreds of assisted living facilities in Pinellas County alone (and then add independent living communities, multilevel CCRCs, nursing homes!). Wading through information from multiple sources and picking an assisted living facility that is best for your situation only adds to the stress of this major life change.

Linda Chamberlain is a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney and the founder of EasyLiving. She will share her expertise in helping thousands of families and our team’s best tips and resources from helping many clients through the assisted living facility transition.

Reserve your seat today! Click here for the downloadable/printable flier (you’re welcome to invite a friend but act soon as seats are limited to 20 and our free workshops fill up quickly).

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Linda’s Mother’s Day Gift List: Top 20

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Linda Chamberlain and kids

Linda’s Mother’s Day Top Twenty Gift List: Make Mom Feel Special This Mother’s Day!

Time spent with your Mom is always the best gift. Whether in person, via telephone, email, or a handwritten letter she can read over and over again – any of these will be gratefully enjoyed by your Mom.

I miss my Mom on Mother’s Day and think back to all the special times we shared. As I get older I appreciate her hard work and efforts more than I probably let her know. The understanding of the talent, time, and patience it takes to care for your children is something you often don’t realize til many years after the experience.

Best recommendation – take time to spend with your Mom, let her know how much you appreciate her, and say thank you!

We’ve had fun putting together this Mother’s Day Gift Guide for you. Ideas that will work for Mom at any age, as well as some particular gifts chosen for the older Mom.

1. Passion PlannerIt’s never too late in the year to help Mom get excited about focusing on taking care of herself, setting goals, and enjoying the process. Special pricing is in effect right now.  I love the fact that this planner reminds you every day to write down “Good Things that Happened that Day”!

Mother's Day gift idea: Passion Planner

2. Amazon Echo: This is an incredible way to get Mom excited about technology and all of the awesome information, news, and music Alexa can provide throughout the day!  I love walking into my house after work and asking Alexa to play whatever type of music I’m in the mood for.  And then when something comes to my mind I don’t want to forget, I ask Alexa to set a reminder.  She has been an awesome addition to the family!

Amazon echo

3. Trakdot: I’ve been blessed to have never had my luggage lost while traveling.  With my Trakdot, if my luggage did get lost I can track exactly where it is.  It makes my traveling process much easier and less stressful.

TrakDot for luggage

4. Kindle Paperwhite Reader: My son gave me the very lightweight Paperwhite Kindle.  It weighs less than a paperback book.  I love it because no matter what position I want to be in while I read the Kindle it is never too heavy to hold for an extended period.  I love being able to make the font size so big I do not need to wear my glasses, what a perk!

Kindle Paperwhite

5. Box Sign with Mom Message: A variety of very cute and clever box signs are available for purchase on this website. The one I like especially as a Mother’s Day gift: “You’re the Mom everyone wishes they had.” What more is there to say?  This covers it all.

Mom Sign as Mother's Day Gift

6. Photo Album with Annotated Pictures: Shutterfly and Walgreens each have online services to help you create a photo album allowing you to annotate each picture with a note for Mom.  Memorializing your childhood, a special trip, pictures of Mom with her children, etc.… will all be great memories for her to enjoy and to share with others.

Mother's Day Gift Photo Book

7. Sonic Care Toothbrush: While not the sexiest Mother’s Day gift, this is often over looked and is a much needed item.  The Sonic Care toothbrush can help reduce your plaque, preventing a variety of health complications.  (Thank you, John, for the heads up!) WebMd states the following: “A growing body of research finds that bacteria and inflammation in your mouth are also linked to other problems, including heart attack and dementia, and may well jeopardize your overall health.”

Sonic Care Toothbrush

8. A facial or massage at a local spa or dermatologist’s office: Every woman loves to be pampered. There is nothing better than getting the little lift and perk you get from a facial.  Feeling brighter and looking more energetic feels good.  A massage will work all the knots out of Mom’s muscles from you stressing her out from time to time.

Mom enjoying a facial massage

9. A manicure/pedicure date: Accompany Mom and enjoy the time spent together while each of you enjoy a little pampering.  It will provide a good hour of one on one time your Mom will thoroughly enjoy.  Consider bringing a new nail polish along for Mom to try.

Mother's Day Mom Daughter pedicure date

10. Private stretching session: As we get older our body often gets stiff and we need to stretch our muscles and tendons.  Learning how to do stretching properly and prevent injuries is very helpful.  The benefits of learning to stretch and adding daily stretching to your routine are amazing.

Stretching Session

11. The Roomba:  We have two Labrador Retrievers, Lucy and Ethel.  The Roomba is one of my favorite household tools as we set it every day to vacuum the piles of dog hair that seem to accumulate daily.  I am surprised how well the Roomba vacuums and how easy it is to use.  It is very smart and even vacuums areas I’m sure that I may often miss.  I got mine at Costco and love it.

The Chamberlain dogs

12. Homemade dinner and/or Mom’s favorite dessert:  I remember my Mom always telling me she loved everything I cooked for her because it was so nice to not have to cook it herself.  She always appreciated the time and energy it took for me to make a meal.  I love it when my children invite me to their home for dinner and it really doesn’t matter what they serve.  I appreciate their efforts and the time spent with them.

family meal for Mother's Day

13. Exercise classes: As you may have read in my previous Blog post, I love Pure Barre.  It is challenging and the workout covers all parts of your body, top to bottom.  A series of classes and some cute Pure Barre Socks may be just what Mom needs to get her motivated.  Mention my name at Pure Barre Clearwater for a special discount!

13_Pure_Barre

14. Yoga mat and Basic Yoga class: Yoga …….  It is hard to believe the difference yoga can make with decreasing your stress and anxiety levels.  A yoga mat and matching towel is a fun way to enjoy the yoga experience.  One of my favorite places to shop for everything Yoga is Lululemon.

yoga clothes for Mom

15. Exercise clothes of any type: Exercise clothing is an easy and great gift to give to Mom.  A new workout outfit motivates you to get moving.  Since most workout clothing comes in S, M, L, and XL it is easy to buy something that will fit Mom.  Coordinating the colors with her socks and shoes makes it fun!  Title Nine is one of my favorites and if you don’t have time to order you can’t go wrong at Target.

15_Title_Nine

16. Pajamas: Whether Mom lives at home or in a long term care facility new pajamas are always nice to receive.  Pajamas tend to fade and lose their comfortableness over time.  A new pair of pajamas can help you feel better and remind you someone was thinking of you.  Pajamas also cover your body to ensure modesty.  Even if Mom has some memory issues new pajamas will help her feel fresh and clean.  I love the selection at Pajamagram and love their delivery in a cute pajama bag.

16_Pajamagram

17. Yeti Water Bottle: This bottle keeps liquids cold or hot, your preference.  It is pretty and functional.  It gives Mom the daily reminder of how much she means to you.  You can’t go wrong with a Yeti!

Yeti water bottle great gift

18. Flowers, candy, cards: Fresh fruit arrangements, favorite candies, or beautiful cookies are always great options.  One of my new favorites is Eleni’s cookies.  They are sugar cookies decorated with icing making them crisp and tasty.  Don’t want to say how many I sampled, but I wore them home from New York City!

18_Edible_Arrangement

19. Playlist of special music/songs for Mom to download: Make a play list of your favorites along with Mom’s favorites for her to download to her music device of choice.  I love listening to what my kids are listening to and sharing my favorites with them.  Music is a great and fun connector.

Mother's Day gift: custom playlist

20. Say thank you and mean it:  Writing it or saying it – it makes a difference.  While Moms are not perfect they often have sacrificed and worked hard to help you grow up and develop into the person you have become today.  Taking the time to state how sincerely thankful you are to Mom will make her year.  She will NOT forget and on those days she misses seeing you she will remember you sharing your thankfulness.

20_Thank you

For more great ideas and advice from Linda, join us on Facebook and sign up to receive Linda’s Journal delivered right to your inbox monthly. We hope these ideas have helped you find the ideal Mother’s Day gift to make your Mom feel special and appreciated.

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My Dad’s Death Still Haunts Me…Fitbit, Can You Help?

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Fitbit

Over the last few weeks the image of my Dad on a ventilator has kept me awake at night. I’m still feeling very frustrated his Living Will was not available to prevent the insertion of a ventilator tube.

The Vial of Life program I discussed in my last blog post seems outdated when you think of all of the technological advances we have available. Many states have bracelets available you can wear to signify your desire of Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) and/or Comfort Measures Only (CMO). Some states allow for state registration of your completed DNR and CMO forms with electronic access made available to health care providers.

Fitbit, can you help?  Storing your known allergies, diagnosis, current meds, and treatment desires (i.e. DNR, CMO) on a secured site with access available through your Fitbit would solve a multitude of issues. Fitbits are widely accepted and worn by all ages. You can purchase fashionable Fitbits as well as very plain Fitbits. Your Fitbit can be a bracelet or it can attach to a piece of your clothing. I imagine a necklace could easily be developed.

Lives could be saved by immediate access to known allergies or diseases. What many people do not realize is that the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) System used by their physician’s office, their specialist physician’s office, their dentist, and their local hospital do not work together, therefore each location has their own set of medical records. If you have been to the doctor or have had a hospitalization you quickly see how many times you need to share the same information. Not only is it irritating to have to repeat when you are not feeling well there is lots of opportunity for error.

We may be years from nationwide legal health care directives but having a method of universal access to your healthcare information would save many lives. From bee stings to diabetes emergency treatment access to medical information could save lives.

The use of a Fitbit as universal access to self-established legal documents and health care records could save lives as well as help individual’s ensure their end of life wishes are going to be followed.  Plus all the current enjoyment of tracking your steps and staying healthy. Fitbit, can you help?

fitbit email

Update: I wrote to Fitbit Support and they expressed appreciation for my suggestion about Fitbit storing information such as known allergies, diseases and treatments. Stay tuned! I’ll let you know if anything develops from this as well as other possible technology solutions. Hopefully our experiences can help companies develop better solutions! 

 

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Payment Concerns
Not sure how you are going to pay for elder care?


Is the Time Right?
Find out if its time to seek help for your loved one.


Aging in Place
How to keep a loved one safe at home, and when it may be time to consider assisted living.




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