News for Ohio Seniors
Check back often for new articles and resources. And if you have something you would like to share, be sure to contact us with your request.
Questions to Ask When Planning for Long-Term Care
Is there a plan for retirement? Do those plans include long-term care? If not, you may be setting yourself up for financial and emotional distress. Long-term care can be expensive, and dealing with the details around it at the last minute can leave you and your loved ones out in the cold. That’s why it’s smart to plan for your care. Here are some important questions, care of SeniorCitizensofOhio.com.
When is It Time for Long-Term Care?
This is an important question to ask when planning for long-term care, but it can also be a complicated one to answer. According to LTC Consulting Services, “52 percent of people—47 percent of men and 58 percent of women—who reach age 65 will need long-term care in their lifetime.” Most of us, however, are in denial.
In-home care can keep you in the home for much longer than without it, with the alternatives being moving in with someone, or moving into senior care.
When Will You Retire?
It used to be that retirement and long-term care went hand-in-hand. There was a less variable life expectancy, families were less dispersed, not every adult was expected to be a bread ]winner, and healthcare was generally more affordable. That meant more family members nearby who could help with care, and more family members who didn’t work 40 or more hours per week.
Today we age with more uncertainty about senior care and what it might cost. Planning means adjusting retirement to include long-term care cost scenarios. Many of us have a blind spot when it comes to our own mortality, and we don’t like to think of ourselves as needing care, but it’s better to acknowledge it, in order to lessen the blow.
The truth is most people will need some kind of long-term care in their life. Consider worst-case scenarios and discuss options with your family. Make advanced care directives, and give loved ones some peace of mind.
How Will You Pay for Long-Term Care?
When people start planning for retirement, they often think they will be able to rely on Medicare. While Medicare is invaluable for covering basic healthcare costs, many seniors are shocked when they realize that it doesn’t cover long-term care. This realization often comes too late; but by knowing it now, you can look into other insurance options that may help. Long-term care insurance is a possibility, but you may also be able to sell your life insurance policy if you need cash for care more urgently.
What Other Options Are Available?
If long-term care insurance and savings are not viable options for you, there are still other options that can help you cover long-term care costs. In-home care can provide the services that will help keep you able to live in your home longer. Most in-home care providers will give a free home assessment, and they can identify problem areas in the home, where you might be susceptible to a fall or other injury.
A home upgrade may be the way to go. With modifications to the kitchen and bathroom, you can be safe and self-sufficient for years to come. Don’t try to DIY major renovations, however. For projects that involve moving pipes or big installations, you’ll want to look into local licensed plumbers near me. Compare rates and reviews for bathroom and kitchen remodels.
Selling the home is eventually often part of the long-term plan, to cover expenses, but hanging on to it as long as possible has its advantages. Staying in a home another 5-10 years can increase its value quite a lot. Depending on the market and the home, the value might even double.
Can Lifestyle Choices Delay the Need for Care?
Many seniors end up needing care because of an accident or serious illness. While you cannot prevent the need altogether, you can take steps to improve your health and possibly decrease health care costs in retirement. Simple steps, such as getting enough sleep at night, staying active, and maintaining a healthy diet can go a long way in preserving your overall health.
Going to a local senior center will help keep you moving and you connect with people your age. SeniorCitizensofOhio.com has a directory of senior centers as well as news, resources, and coupons.
If you calculate long-term care into your retirement plans, there’s a much better chance you’ll have the funds when you need them. Having a plan in place can give you and your family peace of mind, so if not for yourself, do it for your loved ones.
A Guide to Managing Your Senior Loved One’s Finances
Knowing when it’s time for your senior loved one’s finances to transition to the care of another person can be tricky. There are signs you can look for, though, to help determine the best move for your situation. Check out this guide to see what’s right for you and your senior, courtesy of Senior Citizens of Ohio.
- Signs To Watch For
Being unable to manage their finances may not be something your loved one is able to recognize, so look for evidence that it may be necessary. For many older individuals, bills still come in the mail, and unopened mail lying around can be a sign. Look through the envelopes if you notice many accumulating to check if there are any companies you recognize as ones that might require payment. Also, keep an eye out for communication from the Social Security Administration and any retirement boards your loved one may receive funds from.
You may notice strange purchases around the home or packages being delivered at unusual intervals. If your loved one is carrying a large amount of cash with them, this can also indicate they are struggling with object permanence. They may have trouble understanding how much money they have and how to manage it unless it is in their hands. Difficulties with vision and mobility can also make it hard for seniors to read bills and statements and make it into the bank or businesses that they require to keep their finances on track.
Memory issues can also lead to lapses in payments or difficulty managing money. While some loss of memory is natural as a person ages, consistent forgetfulness or serious lapses in memory can indicate a bigger problem. Alzheimers.org recommends looking for symptoms of Alzheimer’s or vascular dementia such as serious confusion, putting objects in strange places, and repeatedly asking for the same information.
- Steps You Can Take
If the signs are present, you should speak with your loved one about what changes need to be made. Sit down with them to go through bills and expenses they may have, using bank statements and bills that you can find to help create a comprehensive list. You will likely need access to their account numbers and debit card or checkbook if you are going to be handling the finances yourself.
In some situations, a power of attorney may need to be established. There are different kinds of POAs, one of which focuses exclusively on finances and real estate. If it is only the financial aspect of things that need to be managed by someone else, a financial POA may be the best fit for your loved one’s situation. If you are also concerned about your senior’s physical health and medical care, a medical POA may also be chosen.
If your loved one owns and operates a business, you may need to help them sell it or transfer ownership to another invested party. If you do decide to sell, get a professional business valuation before listing it so that you have an objective assessment of how much the business is worth and what you can expect to get from it. This type of valuation typically includes all of the business’s assets, with inventory and real estate included. Also, if you need to sell your loved one’s home (or your own, in the event that you want to move closer), this tool will help you get a better idea of what you can expect from the sale.
Though it may require patience and planning, working together to get your senior loved one’s finances managed in the way they need is often necessary. Know what to look for and what steps to take and you can help give your senior the peace of mind and security they have earned.
25 Free Online Classes for Seniors
You’re never too old to learn something new!
We are living in a digital age. Millions are working online from the comfort of their own homes. Meanwhile, students of all ages use the internet to continue their studies (or learn something completely new).
Learning a new skill or finding your next favorite thing has arguably never been easier. The wealth of free online classes for seniors makes it highly accessible for anyone.
Ohio Department of Aging awards $5.3 million in relief funds to support nutrition programs at senior centers and adult day services providers
Coronavirus relief funds help offset additional costs of senior services during pandemic.
Getting Free Help with Your Taxes
We recently had a question from one of our visitors, Annette, who had questions about information on assistance for disabled seniors. Since we don’t provide consultation, we can only suggest organizations that might help. (We’re also going to post this message on our Facebook page for possible recommendations.) There are a number of organizations that can provide assistance including:
• AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Service,
• IRS’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs,
• IRS Tax Information for Elders,
• Area Agencies on Aging (Ohio)
This Year’s Biggest List of Senior Discounts
We know how difficult, and expensive, it can be to get through the holiday season. Gifts for your kids and grandchildren can add up quickly, and living on a limited budget can be very stressful and challenging. Click this link to find out about Senior Discounts for restaurants, grocery stores, retail stores, travel, prescriptions, and more!
Older adults have special considerations when preparing for winter weather
Another Ohio winter is upon us. Wintry conditions can be particularly challenging for older Ohioans. Ursel McElroy, director of the Ohio Department of Aging, and Sima Merick, executive director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency, urge all Ohioans to be prepared, keep warm, prevent falls, and stay connected this winter. Watch the video for a special message from the Ohio Department of Aging.
Healthy Homemade Pizza
Give Friday pizza night a healthy makeover with our recipe for whole wheat dough, simply-seasoned sauce, and loads of fresh toppings you can customize for your picky eaters. Our tips and tricks teach you how to be a homemade pizza pro!
The Alex and Ronni Show – Labor Day Edition 2019
Here is a Monday holiday break for you. Well, we don’t actually mention the holiday in this episode of the show. As usual, it’s a casual chat between two people who were married once upon a time about half a century ago. This was recorded on Wednesday 28 August. We both hope you are having a happy and pleasant holiday weekend.
Everyone likes to save a bit of money, even senior citizens. Senior discounts can help to make that possible. Many organizations offer significant discounts to those who come in to use their services if they are over a specific age. By taking advantage of these discounts, you can extend your income to go further. You may be able to enjoy a higher quality of life as a result of using them, too.
State Budget Continues Support for older Ohioans by Increasing Funding for Proven Programs and Services
Columbus, Ohio – “In addition to maintaining crucial supports to help older Ohioans remain in their homes and communities, the State Operating Budget for fiscal years 2020-2021 includes strategic investments in proven, effective programs to improve their health and access to services, support caregivers, and protect consumers of long-term services and supports.”
“We uphold the basic principle that older adults can live where they choose, with the people they choose, and with the ability to participate fully in their communities.
This budget continues to fund essential home and community-based services, caregiver supports including respite programs, and initiatives aimed at helping older adults make healthy choices in nutrition, chronic disease self-management, and injury prevention.”
“We are grateful to Governor DeWine and the 133rd General Assembly for their wisdom in strengthening long-term care consumer protections as our state’s population grows older and more diverse. The budget includes an increase in GRF funding of $2.7 million by the second year of the biennium for the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman, giving them the tools they have long needed to fully support consumers wherever they live. This investment means Ohio is now better positioned to advocate for the rights and protections that vulnerable individuals need and deserve.”
“Expansion of the Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program in this budget puts healthy, locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables on the tables of older adults and supports Ohio’s farmers, many of whom are older adults themselves. We are investing $2.4 million over the biennium to eliminate waiting lists and expand this popular and successful program statewide.”
“This budget also trusts us with $3.7 million to continue to align systems for administrative efficiencies, support a single IT system, and house a universal assessment tool for all Ohioans seeking facility and home and community-based services. This will lead to more responsive services and supports that respond to and evolve with consumers’ changing needs.
How Ohio's 88 Counties Got Their Name
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The State of Ohio is made up of 88 counties, and each county has its own unique story as to how it was created and named.
While many of Ohio’s counties were named after presidents, Native Americans or key figures from the American Revolution, some are named after faraway regions such as Lorraine, France.
You never know when your local trivia night host will surprise you with random questions about the Buckeye State. You’re never too old to learn!
Information source: Ohio History Central. Nathan Paige, cleveland.com
NEW! Check out our Retirement page for information and resources on planning for retirement.
How is your retirement plan coming along? Do you have enough money set aside to help cover expenses when your retire? Below are different resources offering advice on creating a retirement plan, determining the best path to follow, planning for social security, and more. LEARN MORE
Ohio Department of Aging inducts 12 to the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame
The Ohio Department of Aging celebrates outstanding older Ohioans for their achievements and contributions to others; for the roles they play in their communities, state and nation; and for what they do to promote productive and enjoyable lives. LEARN MORE
19 Exciting Activities for Senior Citizens
Active seniors know how to keep the good times rolling with senior citizen activities for the body, mind, and spirit. No one type is more important than another. A full, vibrant, and independent life demands all three. Whether you are a healthy retiree or in need of a little physical, mental, or emotional “tune-up,” there are plenty of fun activities for seniors to suit your needs. Now, find events for seniors near you. LEARN MORE
Together We Celebrate Older Americans Month. The 2019 theme is Connect, Create, Contribute. The month of May was Older Americans Month, and each year, older adults are making positive contributions in Ohio. As dedicated volunteers, employees, employers, educators, mentors, advocates, caregivers and more, they offer insight and experience that benefit the entire community. We must celebrate and recognize their impact each and every day – especially during the month of May which is Older Americans Month. LEARN MORE
Get outside and enjoy one of the simplest, most reinvigorating hobbies there is: hiking.
If you’re new to hiking, read on to learn what you need to know before you hit the trails, whether you’re planning a stroll through the woods or a multi-day backpacking trip. And discover the 11 health benefits of hiking! LEARN MORE
If your household earned less than $66,000 in 2018, you can file both your federal and state returns for free using MyFreeTaxes.com. This is the only free, national, online tax filing product offered by a United Way and H&R Block. United Way has made it available to over 100 million U.S. taxpayers as part of our fight for the financial stability of every person in every community. LEARN MORE
Secret DIY House Cleaning Products
Although it is laudable to be able to keep a secret, I don’t see any reason to keep these DIY house cleaning products a secret. I am actually busting at the seams to tell you all WonkyWonderful.com about them. They are such juicy secrets that I don’t think any blabbermouth blogger could keep them to his-or-her-self for very long. Can they help you to save money? Check. Can they help you to dissolve spots and grease on surfaces in your house? Check. And are they environmentally friendly? OK, three out of four are, and the other is a major time saver, and that counts for something, doesn’t it? LEARN MORE
Never Too Old to Get a Shot
Exercising your green thumbs helps seniors reap mental and physical rewards. “NO ONE SHOULD MISS the satisfaction of digging their hands into sun-warmed dirt,” says horticultural therapist Patty Cassidy—even when turning a spade isn’t as easy as it used to be. Author of The Illustrated Practical Guide to Gardening for Seniors, Cassidy learned to “garden smarter” with age and now teaches gardening techniques that can promote better health among older adults
Still, lifting, bending, weeding and pruning can take a toll. “Once you start feeling physical limitations,” says Cassidy, “you should begin modifying your gardening habits.” To help ease the way, Cassidy offers some very helpful tips which you can read in her article on The National Wildlife Federation website. To find out more plus information on how to receive their very informative FREE newsletter, CLICK HERE
Garden Tips From Connie & Diana – Roscoe Village Landscaping: Most Spireas are done blooming, so they can be cut back 8″ to 12″ to keep their growth under control. You might even get a second set of blooms later this summer! As a general rule, flowering shrubs should be cut back within 2-3 weeks after blooming.
Garden Tips From Connie & Diana – Roscoe Village Landscaping: The holes found in Hosta leaves are from slugs — use snail/slug bait to control. To help prevent slug damage do no spread bark mulch around and under Hostas, trim leaves that tough the ground and lightly cover the soil under leaves with “Gran-I-Grit” (‘Granny Grip’ is for chickens) — can be purchased at local feed stores.
Garden Tip from Diana – Roscoe Landscape Department: As the perennial Crane’s Bill (true geranium) finished blooming and begins forming seed heads – trim off about one-third of the plant. This encourages new growth and a few blooms later. Hydrangea ‘Snowball’ and ‘Oak Leaf’ are in bloom. We are cutting lavender for small bundles to hang dry.ake your own website in a few clicks!