Winter Nutrition for Seniors

When the temperature drops, healthy eating can become less of a priority. Keeping a healthy diet in winter can be a challenge, especially if you are an older adult. With age, the body naturally starts to become less efficient in absorbing essential nutrients. Add in wintertime’s decreased activity, and many seniors opt for convenient, comfort foods laden with empty calories.

Recommendations for healthful chilly weather nutrition include the following:

  • Dark, leafy green vegetables. Choose antioxidant-rich dark greens such as spinach, broccoli, kale, and chard, and select yellow and orange vegetables including yams, carrots, and squash.
  • Citrus fruits. Oranges, lemons, grapefruit and limes are popular vitamin C-packed citrus fruits also rich in flavonoids that promote good HDL cholesterol.
  • Protein. Eating protein sources at meals and snacks throughout the day helps with blood sugar and energy levels. Beyond red meat, seniors can vary protein sources with eggs, fish, dairy, and nuts.
  • Soups and stews. Adding vegetables, beans and lentils to stews and soups is an easy, inexpensive way to increase fiber and nutrients. Cook a larger pot of a recipe and divide into smaller portions to freeze.
  • Vitamin D. With less sunshine in winter, the body needs other sources of vitamin D to help absorb calcium and strengthen muscles. Foods naturally higher in vitamin D include egg yolks, seafood, grains and fortified milk.

WebMD lists a number of nutrients that may be missing from the diet of seniors including vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium. Encourage your older loved ones to talk with their doctor or dietician for a tailored nutrition plan that accounts for specific health needs and dietary likes and dislikes.

Many families also rely on Right at Home senior companion care providers to assist with grocery shopping, cooking well-balanced meals, and monitoring an elder’s eating habits. Sometimes a few simple dietary adjustments are all that is needed to keep older adults enjoying healthier foods in any season.

 

Paul Blom

Right at Home, Owner/CEO
2626 East 82nd Street, Suite 150  |  Bloomington, MN 55425
Direct:  952-767-6626
P: 952.854.6122  |  F: 952.854.6162

Website:  RAH-tc.net

Blog:  CaregivingCompanion.com

Life Insurance with Long Term Care Riders

As conventional LTC policies grow costlier, alternatives have emerged.

The price of long term care insurance is really going up. If you are a baby boomer and you have kept your eye on it for a few years, chances are you have noticed much costlier premiums for LTC coverage today compared to several years ago. For example, in 2015 the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance found that married 60-year-olds would pay $2,170 annually to get a total of $328,000 of coverage.1

As CNBC notes, about three-quarters of the insurers that sold LTC policies ten years ago have stopped doing so. Demand for LTC coverage will only grow as more baby boomers retire – and in light of that, insurance providers have introduced new options for those who want to LTC coverage.1

Hybrid LTC products have emerged. Some insurers are structuring “cash rich” whole life insurance policies so you can tap part of the death benefit while living to pay for long term care. You can use up to $330 a day of the death benefit under such policies, with no reduction to the cash value. Other insurance products are being marketed featuring similar potential benefits.2

This option often costs a few hundred dollars more per year – not bad given that level annual premiums on a whole life policy with a half-million or million-dollar payout often come to several thousand dollars. The policyholder becomes eligible for the LTC coverage when he or she is judged to require assistance with two or more of six daily living activities (dressing, bathing, eating, etc.) or is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or some other kind of cognitive deficiency.2

This way, you can get what you want from one insurance policy rather than having to pay for two. Contrast that with a situation in which you buy a separate LTC policy but die without requiring any long term care, with the premiums on that policy paid for nothing.

The basics of securing LTC coverage applies to these policies. As with a standard LTC policy, the earlier you start paying premiums for one of these hybrid insurance products, the lower the premiums will likely be. You must pass medical underwriting to qualify for coverage. The encouraging news here is that some people who are not healthy enough to qualify for a standalone LTC insurance policy may qualify for a hybrid policy.3

These hybrid LTC products usually require lump sum funding. An initial premium payment of $50,000 is common. Sometimes installment payments can be arranged in smaller lump sums over the course of a few years or a decade. For a high net worth individual or couple, this is no major hurdle, especially since appreciated assets from other life insurance products can be transferred into a hybrid product through a 1035 exchange.1,3

Are these hybrid policies just mediocre compromises? They have detractors as well as fans, and the detractors cite the fact that a standalone LTC policy generally offers greater LTC coverage per premium dollar paid than a hybrid policy. They also cite their two sets of fees, per their two forms of insurance coverage. While it is possible to deduct the cost of premiums paid on a conventional LTC policy, hybrid policies allow no such opportunity.3

Paying a lump sum premium at the inauguration of the policy has both an upside and a downside. You will not contend with potential premium increases over time, as owners of stock LTC policies often do; on the other hand, the return on the insurance product may be locked into today’s (minimal) interest rates.

Another reality is that many middle-class seniors have little or no need to go out and buy a life insurance policy. Their heirs will not face inheritance taxes, because their estates aren’t large enough to exceed the federal estate tax exemption. Moreover, their children may be adults and financially stable themselves; a large death benefit for these heirs is nice, but the opportunity cost of paying the life insurance premiums may be significant.4

Cash value life insurance can be a crucial element in estate planning for those with large or complex estates, however – and if some of its death benefit can be directed toward long term care for the policyholder, it may prove even more useful than commonly assumed.

Provided by Candido Palomarez of Candido, Inc.

Phone: 763-428-1000
Email: Candido@CandidoInc.com
Website:  www.CandidoInc.com

 

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. This information has been derived from sources believed to be accurate. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.

Citations.
1 – cnbc.com/2015/08/07/fer-more-products-that-cover-long-term-care-costs.html [8/7/15]

2 – consumerreports.org/cro/news/2015/04/get-long-term-care-from-whole-life-insurance/index.htm [4/16/15]
3 – tinyurl.com/o3ty2j3 [5/4/14]
4 – marketwatch.com/story/hedging-your-bets-on-long-term-care-2013-11-06 [11/6/13]

The Dangers of Hypothermia

The cold weather is upon us! While some people enjoy the snow and cold and others can’t wait for summer to return, none can deny that winter can produce some dangers, especially for older people. Not only are there slippery sidewalks to contend with, but also the possibility of hypothermia.

Hypothermia is a drop in body temperature that is caused by staying in a cool place for too long. This may bring to mind images of someone who is lost outside in a blizzard, but hypothermia can strike a person in their own home where the heat is turned down too low. A body temperature below 96 degrees can cause an irregular heartbeat leading to heart problems and even death, if not treated promptly. Hypothermia is especially dangerous because it happens gradually and affects your thinking. You may not even realize you need help!

As caregivers, it important to be aware of the symptoms and risks of hypothermia as people with advanced age are especially vulnerable. When checking in on your relatives, friends or neighbors, be especially aware of the symptoms of hypothermia.

  • Confusion or sleepiness
  • Slowed, slurred speech or shallow breathing
  • Weak pulse or low blood pressure
  • Cold, pale skin
  • A lot of shivering or stiffness in the arms or legs
  • Chilly rooms or other signs that they have been in a cold place
  • Poor control over body movements or slow reactions

If you think someone may have hypothermia, take his/her temperature and if it doesn’t rise above 96 degrees, call 9-1-1. Then keep the person warm and dry by moving them to a warmer place, wrapping the person in blankets or coats or using your own body warmth by lying close to them. Do not rub their arms or legs as this can result in skin tears. Once at the emergency room, the doctor will verify the diagnosis and then warm the person’s body from the inside out. It is very important that a person with hypothermia is treated by a physician.

Sometimes people are tempted to turn their thermostats down too low as a way of saving money on their energy bill, but this can result in a dangerous situation. It is essential for people keep their home warm, especially on those days and weeks where the temperatures stay near zero. To be safe, your thermostat should be set for at least 68 degrees. Even temperatures between 60 and 65 can lead to illness.

There are some things you can do to keep yourself warm and cut down on heating costs. First, you can get ideas on reducing your heating bill by calling your power or gas company for information on weatherizing your home. Ideas such as closing vents and doors to rooms you are not using can cut your energy usage. Also, wearing several layers of loose clothing will keep you warmer while tight clothing can keep your blood from flowing freely. And lastly, eating enough food to keep up your body weight can also keep you warmer.

Jane Mahoney
Older American’s Act Consultant
Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources

Submitted by:
Tammy Sullivan
Home Care Solutions
952-924-0677
caremaster25@gmail.com
HomeCareSolutionsMN.com

Finding EXCELLENCE in Senior Healthcare

As a health care professional for the past 15+ years I’ve always felt pretty confident I could find a good doctor, pharmacist, caregiver, physical therapist, or nurse if the time ever came that I needed one…especially in a crisis. I was recently put on the caregiver side of the health care equation – nothing earth shattering, but my son broke his leg and it came with a unique set of circumstances. Lost dreams of a summer soccer season, bike riding and swimming with friends, and a choir trip to Alaska were all things that suddenly seemed very much shattered. As his mom and caregiver I found myself wondering about all these things and a hundred others. I was squarely in a situation that was out of my control to direct. We were at the mercy of whatever orthopedic doctor the scheduler assigned to us.

I imagine this is how family members feel when a senior in crisis is referred to a nursing home for rehab or to a home care agency for on-going care. How do I know I’m going to like the person that is assigned to me? Will they take enough time for me? Will they answer my questions? Are they any good at what they do? Do they provide quality care? How do I know that what they are telling me is correct? How do I know what I don’t know?

What happened next on our broken leg journey was nothing short of anxiety inducing. The doctor we saw didn’t have time for us, he couldn’t relate to my son, and looked at me like I was crazy when I asked about pain control. We left his office without any instructions on my son’s restrictions or care. We also left with newfound gratitude for my profession as an occupational therapist; we would have been totally lost otherwise. What I realized after the shock of the appointment wore off was this: a broken bone had become routine to this doctor. It was a mechanical issue that needed repair – there was no passion for the care of the patient. To my son and our family a broken bone was anything other than routine; it was a loss of some short-term hopes and dreams. This is no different for a senior who sustains a fall, has a heart attack, or develops dementia – plans are changed, dreams are shattered, lives are disrupted…that IS NOT routine. How do you find an individual provider or senior care agency that will help you compensate, adapt, and be compassionate around these issues?

Here are a few ideas:

Read More»

The Shift That Will Utterly Transform Society

Below is an article from NextAvenue that I would like to share. The post is by Sue Campbell.

Editor’s note: This article is part of a year-long project about aging well, planning for the changes that aging brings and shaping how society thinks about aging.

The number of Americans over age 50 is climbing steadily — and they are part of a new life stage that acknowledges they’re older, yes, but not “old old.”

PBS documentary filmmaker Christine Herbes-Sommers is exploring what’s happening to the growing number of people in this newly created phase: “Who are they, what are they doing, what are their bodies and minds doing? How are they working?”

(MORE: Transforming Life As We Age)

Her project, Coming of Age in Aging America, seeks to answer those questions in an upcoming documentary. The planned hour-long PBS film (out next year) will be used to spark discussions in cities and towns about what should change in our policies, thinking and behavior around aging.

This four-minute video brilliantly sums up the ideas behind the larger project. It’s worth checking out:

 

Tammy Sullivan
Home Care Solutions
952-924-0677
caremaster25@gmail.com
HomeCareSolutionsMN.com

Resource for Alzheimer’s/Dementia: MEternally

MEternally is who you are, where you come from, what may not be seen but is still there. We believe that connections can be made between those with dementia and those who love and care for them through pictures of things that they love and identify with. These same pictures can provide comfort and promote reminiscence.

What started as a college class project has turned into a business dedicated to create comfort, promote connections, and inspire reminiscence. Below is an article that was written which actually gives a very good history of how it all came about. Snap of the past, connects to today – Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Through our software and DVD products we provide collections of common and creative themes and continue our progress towards custom and deeply meaningful products at reasonable prices for those affected by dementia. The first DVD in the series (Favorite Things – Nature Collection) is ready to ship with others scheduled throughout the year. We also have an active software pilot which we offer through our website, in exchange for feedback on how we can make our product better. People can sign up to participate in the software pilot, purchase DVDs, or find out more about us on our website. MEternally.com

Review in Alzlive.com