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Senior Travel Success Checklist

Download the PDF here!

Traveling with seniors, especially those living with dementia, requires thoughtful planning to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. With the warmer weather here, make the most of it! Use this checklist of items, activities, and emergency preparedness supplies to make your plans to travel with senior citizens go smoothly and enjoyably.

Before You Go: Planning and Preparation

  1. Consult with Healthcare Providers:
    • Schedule a visit with the senior’s primary care physician to discuss travel plans and any specific health considerations.
    • Ensure all necessary vaccinations are up to date.
  2. Identify Likely Disasters:
    • Know the types of disasters that could happen in your destination area, and how to proceed if one happens.
    • Learn about local emergency response plans, evacuation routes, and shelter resources.
  3. Assess Needs and Abilities:
    • Understand how the senior’s medical, physical, and cognitive needs may affect travel.
    • Consider mobility aids, medications, and any special requirements.
  4. Build a Support Network:
    • Include family, friends, and caregivers who can assist during the trip.
    • Share your travel plans with them and discuss roles and responsibilities.

Packing Checklist for Seniors: Comfort and Safety

  1. Essential Documents:Senior travel planning with senior mother and middle-age daughter
    • Identification (ID card, passport, driver’s license)
    • Medical information (list of medications, allergies, and emergency contacts)
    • Copies of legal papers (living will, power of attorney, etc.)
  2. Medications and Medical Supplies:
    • At least 30 days’ supply of medications
    • Extra assistive items (cane, eyeglasses, hearing aids, batteries, etc.)
    • Cooling packs for medications that require refrigeration.
  3. Comfort and Hygiene Items:
    • Lightweight hat and sunglasses
    • Comfortable walking shoes with good traction
    • Incontinence supplies (if needed)
    • Personal hygiene products
  4. Clothing:
    • Lightweight, breathable fabrics
    • Layered clothing for temperature changes
    • Sun-protective clothing (wide-brimmed hat, long sleeves)
  5. Travel Accessories:
    • Travel pillow for comfort during flights or long car rides
    • Collapsible water bottle
    • Noise-canceling headphones
  6. Emergency Preparedness Supplies:
    • First aid kit
    • Flashlight with extra batteries
    • Whistle (to signal for help)
    • Dust mask (for filtering contaminated air)

Tips for Traveling with Senior Passengers with Dementia

  1. Plan for Familiarity:
    • Choose destinations that involve minimal changes in routine.
    • Stick to known places to reduce confusion.
  2. Avoid Overstimulation:
    • Elaborate sightseeing tours may cause anxiety and confusion.
    • Opt for simpler, less crowded activities.
  3. Create a Communication Plan:senior citizen smiling as his travels begin
    • Carry an emergency contact list.
      1. Leave a copy in your loved one’s pocket in the event you get separated.
    • Share itineraries with family and friends.
  4. Schedule Travel During Optimal Times:
    • Avoid late afternoons if the senior becomes tired or agitated.
    • Plan around the senior’s best time of day.
  5. Be Prepared for Emergencies:
    • Know local emergency services and pharmacies.
    • Pack essential supplies in a carry-on bag.

Be Prepared for New Protocol

Since the pandemic, many establishments large and small have implemented new policies about permitted items, use of clear bags, etc., and it varies from place to place. Call ahead or check online for anything that might affect your visit, and let the establishment know that you’ll be visiting with special medical needs. They’ll be happy to accommodate if you let them know ahead of time.

Remember, the goal is to create a stress-free and enjoyable travel experience for both the senior and the caregiver. Adapt the checklist based on individual needs and preferences… by the same token, many of the basic comforts apply to everyone, so be sure to have a comprehensive medical kit for everyone with things like anti-itch cream, general anesthetics (e.g. Tylenol), antacids for an upset stomach, and antibiotic ointment. Safe travels are happy travels!

 

Being a Caregiver from a Distance – Downloadable Guide

Download the Whitepaper here!

While being physically present as full-time caregivers may not be feasible, there are still meaningful ways to support aging loved ones from a distance. Here’s a checklist of tasks and activities that can help:

 

  1. Regular Communication:
    • Phone Calls or Video Chats: Regularly check in with your elderly relative via phone calls or video chats. These interactions provide emotional support and allow you to assess their well-being.
    • Schedule Virtual Visits: Set up virtual visits using platforms like Zoom or Skype. Seeing each other’s faces can boost morale and reduce feelings of isolation.
    • Virtual Visit Assessments: What may be a mundane Zoom call to us may be a priceless opportunity to get an accurate idea of your beloved senior’s situation. From cognitive abilities to their medication situation, quick and easy assessments can help you gage exactly how much, and what type, of help is needed nearby.
    • Know Their Network: Your loved one’s social life and other regular activities, like doctors’ appointments or weekly card games, are critical to know if an emergency arises. Make a list of close friends’ and contacts’ names and phone numbers, and any other close associates who could check in if needed.
      • Reciprocate: Give your loved one’s contacts your information, too, so they can reach you quickly in an emergency.
  2. Health and Medical Support:
    • Coordinate Medical Appointments: Help schedule and manage medical appointments. Remind your loved one about upcoming visits and follow-ups.
    • Medication Management:
      • Medication Reminders: Set up reminders for medication schedules. Use phone alarms or medication reminder apps, like Medisafe.
      • Refill Prescriptions: Ensure that prescriptions are refilled on time.
      • Monitor Health Changes: Ask about any new symptoms or health changes during your conversations. At any time you think it may be helpful, do a quick health assessment.
      • Simplify: Juggling multiple prescriptions leaves room for error, which can be dangerous. Check out Accupacrx, which offers pre-sorted, pre-packaged meds for zero confusion.
  3. Safety and Home Environment:
    • Home Safety Assessment:
      • Virtual Home Tour: Request your relative to give you a virtual tour of their home. Identify potential safety hazards (e.g., loose rugs, cluttered pathways, inadequate lighting).
      • Discuss Solutions: Suggest safety improvements, such as installing grab bars, removing tripping hazards, or improving lighting.
    • Emergency Preparedness:
      • Emergency Contacts: Compile a list of emergency contacts (neighbors, local authorities, nearby family members) and share it with your relative.
      • Emergency Plan: Discuss emergency plans, including what to do during power outages, severe weather, or medical emergencies.
  4. Daily Living Assistance:
    • Meal Planning and Delivery:
      • Meal Services: Research local meal delivery services or meal kits that your relative can use. Meals on Wheels may service your loved one’s area.
      • Grocery Shopping Assistance: Arrange for grocery delivery or help them order groceries online.
    • Household Chores:
      • Virtual Guidance: Provide reminders and instructions for household tasks (e.g., laundry, cleaning, organizing). If you’re unavailable, use a service like Snoozester.
      • Hire Local Help: Explore hiring local assistance for tasks that require physical presence.
  5. Emotional and Social Support:
    • Encourage Hobbies and Interests: Remind your relative to engage in activities they enjoy (e.g., reading, gardening, painting).
    • Connect with Community Resources:
      • Senior Centers: Research local senior centers or community programs that offer virtual activities or social events.
      • Online Support Groups: Find online support groups related to their interests or health conditions.
      • Be Their Digital Guide: The most important step is getting your senior set up for success on a digital device. Once that’s done, you can help them find like-minded people and groups online!
  6. Financial and Legal Matters:
    • Financial Planning:
      • Budgeting: Help your relative create a budget and manage expenses.
      • Bill Payment Assistance: Assist with bill payments or set up automatic payments.
    • Legal Documents:
      • Power of Attorney: Ensure your relative has a durable power of attorney for healthcare and finances.
      • Living Will and Advance Directives: Discuss end-of-life wishes and ensure that the 5 most important legal documents for every senior are in place.

Remember that emotional support and regular communication are essential. Encourage your other family members or friends who live closer to their elderly relatives to help, even with little errands from time to time. By working together, they can provide comprehensive care even from a distance.

 

Other helpful resources, worksheets, and checklists for senior safety:

https://ouragingparents.net/checklists-worksheets/

https://www.inhomecare.com/senior-care-needs-assessment-checklist/

https://www.carepatron.com/templates/elderly-home-safety-checklist

https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/caregiving/caregiver-worksheets

Caregiving for Family: What You May Not Expect

When it comes to providing care for an elderly or disabled family member, loved ones often feel obligated to take on the responsibility. After all, who could provide better care than someone who loves them unconditionally? Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. While loved ones can provide a great deal of support and compassion, there are times when they are not the best option for providing care.

The Emotional Toll of Caregiving

Caring for an elderly or disabled family member can be an emotionally taxing experience. Watching a loved one decline in health or suffer from a chronic illness can be heartbreaking. It can also be difficult to remain patient and understanding when a loved one is struggling with memory loss or other age-related issues. For those who are already struggling with their own emotional burdens, providing care can be an overwhelming experience.

What Caregivers May Not Expect

It is important to incorporate expectations and know that even the most loving intentions can backfire. Sometimes, in a family member’s effort to do good, they often end up feeling underappreciated, frustrated, and exhausted (depending on the relationship they have with the person they are caring for – and/or that person’s level of expressive appreciation). These feelings can cause a strain on their relationship and can even lead to resentment.

Frustrated caregiver and her elderly grandmother

On the flip side, the person in need of care may change their attitude toward the family caregiver. Unintentionally, the person in need can sometimes become demanding towards their caretaker. They begin to instill guilt when the family caretaker is not available every time they need assistance, and they grow to have higher expectations from them.

The Often-Overlooked Perspective of the Cared For

When we think of being a caregiver to our loved one, we think about assistance with meals, assistance with transfers, and the upkeep of the home. Unfortunately, people tend to overlook the fact that incontinence may be an issue. In this case, family members are putting themselves in what is often a very uncomfortable situation. Not only is it uncomfortable for the caregiver, depending on their relationship to the individual, but it is also uncomfortable for the person that needs the care. People often feel a lack of dignity when they have to rely on the people they love to clean them in particularly private areas during very embarrassing times.

The Physical and Financial Burden

Providing care for a loved one can also be a physically and financially demanding task. Depending on the level of care needed, it may be necessary to make changes to the home or hire additional help. This can be a strain on both the caregiver and the family budget. In addition, providing care can be physically demanding. It can be difficult to lift a loved one or provide assistance with activities of daily living.

Exhausted caregiver falling asleep at her desk at work

Medicaid-funded assisted living may be available; it’s important to take the time to find out what options and programs can help fulfill a loved one’s needs without causing a strain on the family.

The Need for Professional Care

In some cases, professional care may be necessary to ensure that a loved one’s needs are met. Professional caregivers are trained to provide the appropriate level of care and can help ensure that a loved one’s health and safety needs are addressed. They can also provide support and assistance with activities of daily living and help to ensure that a loved one is comfortable and well cared for.

For those living with dementia, Alzheimer’s and other memory care issues, professional help may be critical. Such needs can go far beyond assistance with daily tasks, and someone facing worsening symptoms may actually thrive in an environment especially designed to care for them. Memory care assisted living can provide an active, socially connected environment that turns a declining situation into a thriving one.

Finding the Right Balance

Loved ones can still play an important role in providing care for an elderly or disabled family member – even from a distance! They can provide emotional support and companionship, as well as assistance with activities of daily living. However, it is important to remember that professional care may be necessary to ensure that a loved one’s needs are met. Finding the right balance between loved ones and professional caregivers can help ensure that a loved one receives the care they need.

Taking Care of Yourself

Providing care for a loved one can be a rewarding experience, but it can also be physically and emotionally draining. It is important for caregivers to remember to take care of themselves as well. This can involve taking time for self-care activities, such as exercise, relaxation, or meditation. It can also involve seeking support from others, such as family members, friends, or professional counselors. Taking care of yourself is essential to providing the best care for your loved one.

Final Thoughts

Caring for a loved one can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it is important to remember that loved ones are not always the best option for providing care. Professional caregivers can provide the appropriate level of care and ensure that a loved one’s needs are met. It is also important for caregivers to remember to take care of themselves as they provide care for their loved one. Finding the right balance between loved ones and professional caregivers can help ensure that a loved one receives the care they need.

At Amber Court communities, we’re happy to say that we see strengthened relationships all the time after a loved ones becomes a resident, and the family member/caregiver becomes a visitor. As a resident, a senior regains their independence and dignity, and the family relationship can go back to being just that – family.

Beat Blue Monday: Post-Holiday Self-Care and Activities for Seniors

The holiday season, with its joy and cheer, often leaves us in a whirlwind of activities and emotions. As we step into the new year, it’s important for everyone, especially seniors, to focus on self-care and engaging activities to keep spirits high and maintain good health.

The third Monday of every year (and the time around it) is known as “Blue Monday”, a little-known but widely-felt time when spirits slump and depression can hit record highs. Blue Monday hits especially hard for senior citizens, who are already the most vulnerable to the loneliness epidemic. So, it’s important to be prepared and use this list – it’s guaranteed to offer some ideas that can help make this time of year as festive as any other!

1. Reflect, Set Simple Goals, and Make Plans

The new year is a perfect opportunity for reflection. Take some time to think about the past year – the joys, the challenges, and everything in between. Setting simple, achievable goals or plans can be a great way to look forward to the year ahead. These could be related to fitness, hobbies, or even social activities.

2. Stay Physically Active

Senior citizen practicing chair yogaPhysical activity is crucial for maintaining health and a positive mindset. Participate in group exercise classes if available, or simply make a habit of walking around your community.  Gentle exercises like stretching, yoga, or tai chi can be both invigorating and relaxing. Limited on space or have an injury? Chair yoga is a great option!

 

3. Engage in Mind-Stimulating Activities Two senior citizens playing chess

Keep your brain active with puzzles, reading, or games. Many senior living communities offer a variety of activities that stimulate the mind, but anyone, anywhere with a smartphone should have at least one app dedicated to brain exercise – no matter what their age. Any chance to engage in games with friends is a bonus – socializing and brain exercising!

4. Embrace Creativity

Creativity isn’t just for artists – it’s a wonderful way for seniors to express themselves. Activities like painting, crafting, or even writing can be therapeutic. You might consider starting a personal journal or joining an art class. With technology, even a smartphone, the options available are far greater than they used to be! If your options are limited for a local class or group, you’re sure to find the right one online!

5. Socialize and Connect

Senior citizen stays connected socially with technologyThe holidays may be over, but the socializing doesn’t have to stop. Continue to build relationships with like-minded people and those who share your interests. Engage in group activities, attend social events, or simply share a meal with a friend. Even if it’s virtual, connection with others is key to emotional well-being. Seniors are especially susceptible to the loneliness pandemic, and the risks are real. Staying connected is critical.

6. Explore Technology Senior citizen using a tablet to connect with others and find online workshops and groups

Technology can be a window to the world. Whether it’s video calling with family, exploring your favorite hobbies in online groups, or even learning a new language, technology can keep you connected and engaged. Be sure to help your senior open that window by setting up their tech properly!

7. Focus on Nutrition

Post-holiday is a great time to re-focus on nutrition. Keep a perspective of self-love to stay motivated, and know that you will thank yourself sooner than you think! Don’t be afraid to indulge, but enjoy well-balanced meals and stay hydrated! Seniors in assisted living communities often have nutritionists who can help create a diet plan, but the Nutrition and Aging Resource Center online has everything you need, from recipes to inspirations to make your diet more exciting, and even some healthy eating hacks!

8. Practice Mindfulness and Relaxation

Practicing mindfulness can greatly enhance your emotional well-being. Simple breathing exercises, meditation, or even listening to calming music can help you stay centered and relaxed. Mindfulness has even been recently revealed as an effective exercise to improve memory!

9. Volunteer or Mentor

If your health permits, consider volunteering or mentoring. Sharing your life experiences and knowledge with others can be incredibly fulfilling and can make a positive impact in someone’s life. Not a writer? Even a smartphone can help you write your story with a text-to-speech app. Those stories and memories are also a priceless gift for your loved ones on any occasion.

10. Plan for the Outdoors

As the weather permits, spend time in nature. If there’s a nearby garden, take a walk, or even participate in gardening. Even small, indoor gardening can be a great start! The change of scenery, even just seeing nature, can do wonders for your mood and health. If you’re at an assisted living community like Amber Court of Elizabeth, the rooftop terrace is always full of inspiration! Step outside and take in a deep breath and the spectacular view!

11. Revisit Old Hobbies or Discover New Ones Seniors in a knitting or crochet class

Now is a great time to revisit hobbies you’ve enjoyed in the past or to discover new ones. Try one of each – something tried and true and something new! Whether it’s knitting, cooking class, or learning a new language, engaging in hobbies can be both fulfilling and fun. Almost everyone has something they used to love to do, but haven’t done in years… that’s a love to rekindle!

12. Attend Workshops and Lectures

Workshops and lectures – continued learning and self-improvement can be fun, fulfilling and even give a new sense of purpose. These can be great opportunities to learn something new and interact with others. If you use the internet, the options are endless for online enrichment and groups of people with similar interests.

13. Regular Health Check-Ups

Post-holiday is a good time to schedule any pending health check-ups. Regular monitoring of your health is key to a happy and healthy life. Want to go a step further? Take this opportunity to begin keeping your health journal – appointments, concerns, questions and, of course, medications. Like nutrition, keep an attitude of self-love to stay motivated, because a simple health journal could help someone save your life if they have to act fast!

14. Stay Positive and Practice Gratitude

Above all, maintaining a positive outlook and practicing gratitude can have a profound impact on your mental and physical health. Focus on the good, practice gratitude for the small joys, and keep a hopeful perspective.

* Bonus Tip #15

Having trouble knowing where to start, or what you could try that’s new? There’s a great saying… “If you want to know where your heart lies, look to where your mind goes when it wanders.” What things do you think of when you get distracted? What are the topics that really catch your attention in your favorite TV shows? There are a lot of good ideas hiding in plain sight!

The truth is that the period after the holidays is a time of opportunity. It’s a chance to focus on yourself, your health, and your happiness. By putting some of these ideas and activities into practice, maintaining social connections, and taking care of your health, you can use this time to ensure a fulfilling, fantastic year ahead!

 

 

A Friendly Guide to Setting Up Digital Devices for Seniors

Setup is a Big First Step…

In a world that’s constantly evolving digitally, seniors are finding new and exciting ways to connect, engage, and enjoy the benefits of technology. Whether it’s staying in touch with loved ones, accessing information, or simply enjoying entertainment, digital devices have become valuable companions. In this reader-friendly guide, we’ll walk through the process of setting up digital devices for seniors, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience in today’s digital world.

Step 1: Choose the Right Device

The first step in this journey is selecting a device that aligns with the user’s preferences and comfort level. Tablets, smartphones, and user-friendly computers are popular choices. Opt for devices with larger screens, clear displays, and simple interfaces. Brands like Apple, Samsung, and Amazon offer devices known for their user-friendly design and functionality.

Step 2: Internet Connection Matters

Once the device is chosen, the next step is to ensure a reliable internet connection. A stable Wi-Fi connection ensures seamless access to online resources, social media, and video calls. If needed, seek assistance to set up and secure a Wi-Fi network at home, guaranteeing a smooth digital experience.

Step 3: Personalize Settings for Comfort

Personalization is key to making the digital experience enjoyable for seniors. Adjust font sizes, screen brightness, and other accessibility features to cater to individual preferences. Most devices have built-in accessibility options that make it easier for seniors with visual or hearing impairments to navigate.

Step 4: Essential Apps and Features

Introduce seniors to essential apps and features that cater to their needs. Messaging apps like WhatsApp or FaceTime help them stay connected with family and friends through video calls. Email apps provide a convenient way to send and receive messages. Weather apps, news apps, and health-tracking apps can be valuable additions based on individual interests.

Elderly woman using a tablet for digital games
Digital games are great for the brain!

Mind games, puzzles and word games are priceless – and they usually cost nothing (with ads) or only a few dollars (for ad-free versions). These simple, low-cost games and apps can turn idle time into brain exercise time! Find out what your senior likes… crossword? Word finds? Spatial puzzles? The device is only as useful as how well it’s customized for the person using it, so make it fun!

Step 5: Social Media Connection

Encourage seniors to explore social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram to connect with friends and family. You may want to help them, at first, to connect with only accounts you know can be trusted. These platforms are excellent

Senior citizen using a tablet to find online interest groups
There are endless online forums and groups of people with common interests!

for sharing updates, photos, and staying in the loop with loved ones. Walk them through the process of creating an account, adjusting privacy settings, and navigating their newsfeed.

 

What are the senior’s personal interests? It doesn’t matter – there’s sure to be a group (or several) for it! Whether it’s crochet, fishing, cooking, gardening, personal health, the list goes on… these groups are a wonderful way for seniors to meet like-minded people in a safe environment while enjoying the things they love. In less than 10 minutes, you can connect the user-to-be with a few groups to fill their feeds with interesting content and discussions they’d like to join.

Step 6: Video Calls Made Easy

Senior man using tablet to video chat with family kids
Keeping connected is critical!

Video calls are a fantastic way for seniors to feel close to their loved ones, especially if they’re physically distant. Teach them how to make video calls using apps like Zoom, Skype, or FaceTime… whichever app is most used by those they’re most likely to call. Explain the steps for initiating calls, pre-adjust camera settings, and they can start enjoying face-to-face conversations from the comfort of their homes. Make it easy – many of these apps allow you to put “shortcuts” on the home screen, so users can make their most frequent calls with a single tap!

Step 7: Explore Entertainment Options

Elderly man using a tablet for entertainment
Digital devices mean endless favorites at their fingertips!

Digital devices open a world of entertainment for seniors. Introduce them to streaming services like Netflix (click for senior savings) or Amazon Prime for movies and TV shows. Zinnia TV is a fabulous (and affordable) choice for those living with dementia. Music streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music provide access to a vast library of songs. Show them how to download and enjoy their favorite entertainment at their leisure.

Step 8: Online Learning Opportunities

For seniors interested in learning new skills or exploring hobbies, online learning platforms offer a plethora of

Senior citizen using a tablet for online learning
Digital devices can open the door to lifelong learning!

opportunities. Websites like Coursera, Udemy, or Khan Academy provide courses on a wide range of subjects. Many websites, including Google, offer courses (even career certificates) at no cost! Help them set up accounts, navigate course content, and embark on a journey of lifelong learning… one of the strongest ways to prevent cognitive decline and depression!

Step 9: Digital Safety and Security

Educate seniors about digital safety and security practices. Emphasize the importance of strong, unique passwords, and teach them to recognize potential online threats. Regularly update the device’s software to ensure it has the latest security features. Try not to use the device for personal business so that you can assure the person using the device that no legitimate company will ever contact them via this device. In other words, make it as low-risk as possible!

Step 10: Ongoing Support and Encouragement

Finally, offer ongoing support and encouragement as seniors explore the digital world. Patience is key, and reassurance goes a long way. Be available to answer questions, troubleshoot issues, and share in their excitement as they discover the endless possibilities that digital devices bring. It may even be helpful to write the steps down on paper for the user to reference as they get used to digital navigation.

Endless rewards!

Setting up digital devices for seniors is a journey filled with exploration, learning, and connection. It can connect them with the world, fill their time with healthy mental activity and even open new chapters in their lives! By following these reader-friendly steps, we can empower seniors to navigate the digital world with confidence, enthusiasm… and safety. In embracing technology, seniors not only enhance their daily lives but also become more active participants in the ever-evolving digital society we live in, reducing the impact of the loneliness epidemic. Here’s to a new chapter of discovery and connected living in the digital realm!

Using Tech to Keep Seniors Connected and Healthy

Connectedness is critical for seniors, and tech can help. This guide can help you set up your loved one for success with the right apps for healthy living!

Combat Cognitive Decline with Apps

Our phones go with us everywhere and connect us with our aging loved ones. Remember, you are an essential catalyst in helping your senior navigate tech that improves his or her daily life, health, and comfort. At Amber Court, we understand the role of personal connection in making tech easy for seniors. Our focus on memory care in our state-of-the-art Alcove community is one example of how our holistic approach is informed by industry experts, but the journey doesn’t stop there.

Integrating tech into your loved ones’ lives is achieved with the encouragement and attention you provide in conjunction with support from our nurturing caregivers. Technology can be critical in improving the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of our seniors, and empowering them to use it is the first step. Here are a handful of the best apps for seniors today. Download them and get acquainted with the benefits they offer.

Reading & Reminder Apps

Reading and reminder apps improve the safety and health of the elderly and can go a long way to preserving independence. Seniors who face challenges accomplishing simple daily tasks remind us not to take reading and memory for granted.

Magnifying Glass + Flashlight

magnifying flass flashlight appReading small print is challenging as we age. Magnifying Glass + Flashlight is a simple magnifying app that uses your phone’s camera to zoom in on whatever you point it at. Easily illuminate the text on a menu in a dimly lit restaurant by switching the flashlight on. Reading medication and food labels and forms in a doctor’s office without straining is made possible again with this effective and convenient app.

Medisafe medisafe app logo

Medisafe is a free, user-friendly, and secure medication-tracking app. Receive personalized reminders for taking your meds on time. It’s easy to forget to take your pills, especially during the onset of dementia, but Medisafe is an effective pill-reminder designed to alleviate oversight and ensure you’re following the correct dosage with real-time missed medication alerts connected to your caregivers.

My House of Memories

my house of memories appHistory comes to life with images, sound, music, and descriptions in My House of Memories, an app designed to strengthen and support cognitive function for individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Connect with loved ones while you reminisce over objects and memories from the past. An easy-to-use tour of the past is curated for you to enjoy with family and friends and improve your memory. Safely and privately add memories from your own personal experience to share with others in a heartfelt timeline you can access from your smartphone.

LastPass

You don’t have to grow old to forget passwords, but remembering them isn’t a big deal with LastPass. Securely store all your passwords in lastpass app logoone place. Protect your online security from hackers by remembering a single password that gives you access to all the other passwords you have to remember when you store them in LastPass.

 

Brain Games Apps

Mental exercises you can easily perform every day are fun and accessible when strengthening your cognitive ability is a top priority. Prepare your mental faculties with these great brain games for seniors.

Lumosity

lumosity logoLumosity presents a series of memory, attention, problem solving, flexibility, speed, language, and math exercises to keep your brain sharp. Varying levels of complexity accommodate your skills after a brief evaluation. Memory and color-themed matrixes test your ability to remember and recognize shapes, words, patterns, sounds, and more. Improve your spatial recall and increase your mind’s potential with Lumosity.

Peak peak brain training app logo

Play over 45 unique games and coach your brain to its peak performance with Peak. A library of versatile workouts improves focus and mental agility, measures emotions, and encourages a positive mood with games you can play, some in under five minutes when you’re short on time. Track your evolution and receive data-driven feedback as your performance evolves.

Cognifit

cognifit test and brain games logoYour cognitive health is front and center with Cognifit, an app that measures 23 critical skills in categories that include spatial perception, response time, visual perception, planning, updating, shifting, driving, and working memory. Improve your aptitude for concentration, coordination, reasoning, and memory as you integrate these mental workouts into your day.

Elevate

Boost your self-confidence and productivity with math, reading, writing, speaking, and recall exercises from Elevate. Track your elevate brain training games app logoimprovement and receive valuable evaluations of your performance from an app that appeals to all ages and can vastly improve your response time. Students, professionals, and the aging can unlock much potential with this critically acclaimed app.

 

Social & Entertainment Apps

Let’s not overlook common outlets for staying in touch with aging loved ones to prevent isolation, pass time, entertain, and inspire. While most of us rely on these apps as a part of our daily routines, it’s easy to assume elderly loved ones are as familiar with how they work as we are, but that’s not always the case. Taking the time to install them and provide a useful tutorial can greatly improve your seniors’ experience and ability to connect.

Facebook (Meta)

Facebook logoFacebook (now Meta) needs little introduction as one of the world’s largest social media platforms, boasting over 2.89 billion users today. Finding elderly relatives and loved ones on Facebook isn’t hard, but have you engaged them recently? Could they use more nurturing in the digital sphere to stay in touch? Taking the time to outline the features and navigate this household tech with your seniors can make a big difference in their lives, particularly as the apps are updated and the user interface changes over time. Show your aging loved ones how to create their own profiles and how to access yours to shrink the distance between you. Staying in touch with vital connections improves health and can add hours of daily fulfillment to their lives. Facebook groups

Help your elderly loved ones get the most out of their Facebook experience with Facebook Groups! No matter what their passions, from pictures of generations past to the most niche types of pasta from remote Italian villages, there’s a group for it! This helps your loved ones connect faster and more directly with others who share the same interests. Also, staying active in groups can help cut out the mental clutter of the main news feed which, in excess, can have its own risks.

Know how to set the correct privacy settings – even the youngest users aren’t familiar with the customization available with respect to privacy, or the amount of personal information available to others if those settings aren’t properly set to the user’s liking.

 

Netflix Netflix logo

The sheer volume of films available on Netflix is daunting with over 15,000 titles to choose from. While few of us are strangers to binge-watching our favorite films or the latest docuseries, aging retirees have far more time on their hands. Set them up with an account and show them how to find films from their favorite eras.

Spotify

spotify logoBecause music is a natural source of inspiration, give your seniors access to apps like Spotify, so they can enjoy the benefits of programming tailored to their taste the same as we do. With over 381 million active monthly users, the world’s largest music streaming service offers an ideal avenue for encouraging elderly loved ones to embrace technology.

Zoom

Seeing an elderly loved one smile into the camera is a whole different experience than logging onto to a Zoom call for work. This household videoconferencing software is something aging individuals marvel at, and seeing familiar faces adds a wonderful dimension of relevance and belonging to their day. When regularly meeting in person isn’t feasible, a Zoom call can uplift your senior, increase their connectedness, and stimulate engagement with loved ones at a greater frequency.

Keep Medical Information Organized – and Shareable!

October is “Organize Your Medical Information” Month, but it’s something most of us don’t think about until far too late, when we’re notMyChart app logo able to find something important. With an app like MyChart, your smartphone can serve as a bridge between all your healthcare providers and your loved ones! Even across different health networks, you can keep everything from medication to test results in the hands of the people who care for you.

The Ultimate Gift Guide for Seniors of All Ages and Any Budget

It can seem difficult to shop for the senior in your life, especially when you might not know what special issues they live with and what kinds of things they would really appreciate. We all know it’s the thought that counts, but let’s be honest – it feels a lot nicer when you know someone truly loves what you gave them, even if it barely cost a cent.

Let’s start with some inspiration from an expert – Maria Brownworth, VP of Community Outreach and Development at Amber Court Assisted Living Communities was asked, “Off-hand, can you think of a few things that the residents in assisted living love?” Her reply was so insightful:

“Nice towels and comfy clothes. The residents at Amber Court are usually a lot more active than they were before coming to one of our communities, so comfort becomes a lot more important. And pictures, actually… their days are often busy with activities and new friends, so they really like having “homier-decorated” rooms.” And, believe it or not, gift cards for food! We may have some of the best food services in the industry, but everyone loves to indulge in takeout and treats.”

Great advice, Maria! These are great ideas for all seniors! Let’s see if we can do it in style…

Photos

DIY photo gifts
DIY Photo Gifts are Always a Hit!

Whether it’s a collage or a single showpiece, the options here are endless. If you’re on a budget and you’re the creative type, look no further

than these DIY photo gift ideas. From accordion books to planters and more, anyone would love the love that goes into these easy but one-of-a-kind gifts.

Running a little short on time? Let your local pharmacy show you what they offer! The larger pharmacy chains often have in-house photo printing services, but you might be surprised by what photo gifts they offer. How about a photo blanket? There are plenty of sellers on Amazon that will let you upload your own photo(s) to make a soft, cozy blanket that’ll be both useful and treasured.

Looking for simple, fast and elegant? How about reusable photo tiles? You can get them from Shutterfly, Amazon, a lot of companies – but check out Mixtiles to see some options. Reusable/removable photo tiles are great because they stick right up, they look fabulous, and they can be taken down and repositioned without wall damage any time a fresh look is desired.

Clothes

Comfort is key – and there’s a whole world of adaptive clothing that takes comfort to a new level. From tops that don’t require someone to reach for the sky to get it on to underwear that snaps instead of step-in… to many they seem like tiny details, but for someone with limited movement it’s a little lifesaver in the daily routine!

What’s changed is that adaptive clothing no longer “looks adaptive” – the fashion industry has embraced people with disabilities and physical circumstances that limit movement, resulting in a whole new era of stylish, comfortable clothing. Just how stylish? Check out this guide, 17 Best Adaptive Clothing Brands & Online Stores for All Needs, or do a simple search for adaptive clothing on Google, Amazon, etc.… but don’t forget the shoes! If you need somewhere to get your feet wet (yes, pun intended) in the adaptive fashion world, check out Silvert’s – they have everything from formal to fleece, shoes to shirts for every occasion.

Don’t forget safety… do those old, favorite slippers have non-slip bottoms? ‘Tis not the season for home injuries! In fact, check out our blog about home hazards if you’re the handy type and have the know-how to check a senior’s home for potential hazards. There’s no better gift than peace of mind!

Wellness

The best gifts often aren’t the most expensive, but the most functional. For seniors, keeping medical information and documents organized and on-hand is critical. October is Organize Your Medical Information Month, but it’s really something that matters all year, at every age.

USB Flash Drive Necklace
USB Flash-Drive Jewelry

You can get started organizing in 5 easy steps, but once you’re done, store it in style with easily-accessible, stylish USB accessories like a bracelet, necklace or even cufflinks! In the event of an emergency, that pretty necklace or seemingly-simply bracelet could provide the fast, easy access to medical information needed to save a life. Just make sure the jewelry or accessory is a USB drive for storage, not just a wearable charging cable (although those can be handy, too!).

Self-care is critical, even for assisted living residents who are surrounded by friends and activities. That said, self-care is specific to every person; some may appreciate a good sleep mask that helps with insomnia. Some might like spa items for pampering, while for others, a self-care gift might be an electric shaver so that razors aren’t a daily inconvenience or danger. A cozy robe is always worthy of mention, but that could have gone into the clothing section.

Don’t forget those gift cards for takeout! Indulging is self-care!!! And with services like DoorDash and UberEATS, there have never been more options.

Pill Bottle Stickers
Pill Bottle Stickers

Little things like pill reminder stickers can be a lifesaver – literally. They’re inexpensive and come in scratch-off (like lottery tickets), reusable flip-button and more. Other wellness gifts can be digital, like a favorite game that keeps the mind sharp, or even an app like Calm for the gift of relaxation and mental decompression.

Intangible gifts

The best gifts have no price tag and can’t be exchanged, returned or even thrown out – your time! Are you tech savvy? Help the senior in your life set up their mobile device, tablet or other tech to be safe and customized for them! Check out our blog about Using Tech to Keep Seniors Connected and Healthy… with your help and the gift of your time, their mobile device can open a world of healthy habits and fresh, new friendships!

Are you handy around the house? Lend a hand and look around! Check out our blog about avoiding injuries at home and give your loved one the precious gift of a safety assessment. The blog explains, step-by-step, what to look out for and some of the most common culprits of home mishaps. What a budget-friendly gift that’s practical and priceless all year! If you find any problems, like a space heater that’s far too old to be safe, replacing it with a safer, more efficient one makes a great gift, too!

Gifts for seniors with Alzheimer’s, dementia and/or memory care issues:

If your loved one has cognitive care concerns, there are a few gift ideas that may be especially useful to you if you’re not familiar with these specific needs…

Digital Photo Frame
Digital Photo Frame
  • Digital frame – load a digital frame with your loved one’s favorite pictures from a time in their life they treasure most. One frame, countless hours of happy memories over and over! Some let you upload new photos remotely, so you can continue surprising your loved one with new photos!
  • Digital assistant or TV with digital assistant built-in – a digital assistant, like Google Home or Amazon Echo, can be a great way to help your senior loved one, especially with daily reminders for medication, phone calls, social activities and much, much more. Again, check out our blog about tech for seniors and you’ll be on your way to a gifting that improves quality of life all year!
  • Over-ear headphones – earbuds can interfere with hearing aids, but over-ear headphones are great for private entertainment… especially if they plug in, as your loved one may have trouble with Bluetooth pairing. Sometimes memory care patients can be upset by overstimulation, like noisy crowds, and headphones can help then, too.
  • Create a playlist of their favorite music – it may cost nothing (or close to it), but it means everything. As we see all the time in the Alcove, memory care patients are moved by music! Whether you put the playlist on a device they already have or on an old, inexpensive mp3 player, this gift idea is sure to be a winner. It also shows that you care enough about your loved one to find out which music is meaningful to them!

You can get the perfect gift for your senior loved one on any budget and in only a few minutes if you know what to look for! If it’s too late to ship specific items, a gift card is actually a great idea as it also gives the gift of independence – something that most seniors cherish.

 

 

Is Your House Putting You at Risk? Avoiding Injuries at Home

Home is the place where everyone usually feels safest, especially seniors. But did you know that while the outside world can pose many dangers, your home can also be filled with hidden hazards? Each year, around 3 million elderly people are treated in emergency rooms for injuries received from falling, many of which occur in the home. In fact, there are a surprising number of common, in-home risks that could cause injury. Here’s how you can keep safe, avoid accidents, and enjoy your home, wherever you live.

Invest in a Health Alert System

When you’re spending time alone, it’s common to worry about what would happen if you had to face an emergency. Technology can help your life in many ways and can be a great way to make your home safer. Installing a PERS (personal emergency response service) is a great way to help ensure your safety when alone. A PERS may also be called a life alert system, medical alert system, or telemonitoring. Some systems are installed with your landline and supply you with buttons to place around your home, allowing you to call for help instantly.

There are also devices you can wear in your pocket or around your neck, so you can have a connection in any area of your home. In terms of pricing, most products use a subscription model, so be sure to invest wisely and account for the increase to your monthly budget. However, having a home alert system is worth the price since it’ll keep you safe in an emergency.

Conduct a Home Safety Check

Taking some time to check your home for potential hazards can be a great step to take before making any upgrades. If this is something you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself, enlisting the help of a loved one is a great option. Going room by room, take the time to check for safety hazards such as:

  • Obstructive furniture
  • Faulty steps or uneven flooring
  • Poorly lit areas or inaccessible lighting
  • Loose carpeting and rugs
  • Clutter and debris
  • Faulty electrical cords and wiring
  • Missing smoke detectors or carbon monoxide alarms
  • Broken or hazardous knobs on appliances
  • Loose items in storage areas
  • Important items that are out of reach
  • Dangerous kitchen appliances without automatic shutoff features
  • Lack of fire extinguishers and safety equipment

 

radiator space heater
Even the most common items we take for granted can become hazards as we age

This is not an exhaustive list, but it can help point you in the right direction when trying to assess what risky points might lie throughout your home. Consider these hazards when deciding on upgrades. For example, a walk-in bathtub can reduce the risk of a bathroom fall. Replacing your old lights with bright, long-lasting LED lights can improve visibility throughout your entire home. Automatic or voice-controlled lighting can make it much easier for you to access lighting when you need it. Remedying these problems and installing safety upgrades can save you not only time and money, but also your health.

Consider Downsizing Your Home

Having extra space filled with clutter, multiple levels, and unnecessary (or oversized) appliances can become burdensome for seniors living alone. Falls are the number one cause of injuries to seniors, and stairs are a major falling hazard. Downsizing your home to a smaller, more usable space can help you maintain your independence and worry less about getting hurt. If your home isn’t already paid off, and you’re interested in buying a smaller one, securing pre-approval for a mortgage can help to assess the budget for this transition and give you a better understanding of your finances before making such a large investment. You may also want to consider selling your house and renting, and then living off the money earned from selling your home.

If safety is a top priority, you may seek extra assistance. Choosing an assisted living community can help make sure you are safe and cared for during all hours of the day. It can be hard to accept that you need a little extra support but embracing the opportunity to have your safety cared for may give you much more freedom than you think. Amber Court Assisted Living provides options for seniors who require more assistance without compromising independence. You may also find that your social circle widens as you make new friends and have space to talk and socialize with others. This is because senior living communities also offer the benefit of reducing feelings of isolation, giving you a network of friends to share new experiences with. Changing your living situation to support your needs helps you enjoy your free time safely and comfortably.

When Forgetting Becomes a Problem

kettles burning on the stove
It only takes one instance of forgetting to turn something off to cause a catastrophe

Many people begin having symptoms of memory loss as they age, and this is an especially important risk to consider when it comes to home safety. Our blog about Tech for Seniors has great tips about apps that can help any senior remember important daily routines (medications, etc.) but forgetting to turn off the stove could be disastrous. Small, inexpensive digital timers placed near anything that needs to be turned off can be a lifesaver. Get into the habit of turning on the timer any time you turn on a cooking appliance or a space

space heater
Space heaters are a common way to cut electricity costs, but they can be dangerous. Use a digital timer to remember to turn it off!

heater, light candles, etc., especially with the colder months approaching. For seniors with more advanced memory issues, the Alcove is a state-of-the-art memory care community with everyday socialization and stimulation. With daily activities and even live entertainment regularly, the Alcove is a great place for those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive care needs.

The last thing you want to worry about is a costly, painful accident in your home. Taking safety measures is a great investment of your time and money, whether you’re living at home or considering assisted living. Prioritizing your safety is one thing you’ll never regret.

How To Maintain Independence As You Age

Being able to maintain independence as you age is a major concern for almost every senior.

The natural effects of aging can make independent living harder than it was when you were younger. Increased difficulty with mobility, isolation, and loneliness, and financial strains are some of the contributors to a loss of independence in aging adults.

Fortunately, it’s never been easier to maintain independence with the number of resources, programs, and services available to help you. In other words, you don’t have to let your age define what you can and cannot do.

By focusing on a few key areas, we’re going to discuss how you can help maintain your independence even as you get older.

 

Why Maintaining Independence Is So Important

Loss of independence as you age can be discouraging. Especially when you’ve spent your entire life living independently. You’re accustomed to working, raising a family, and making your own decisions.

It has also been shown to lead to increased depression and make other health issues worse.

In contrast, physical movement and social interaction can increase blood flow to the brain, which helps fend off dementia.

Some common benefits of senior independence that demonstrate how important it is to empower older adults to live independent lives:

  • Feeling like an individual
  • Maintaining balance and strength
  • Keeping a sense of purpose
  • Aiding with memory skills

 

Ways That Seniors Can Maintain Independence

You can’t avoid all the effects of aging that may put up barriers to independence. However, there are a few key areas to focus on that can increase your ability to live your life as you choose.

 

Keep On Top of Your Health

Keeping on top of your health can prevent small problems from becoming larger ones. Whether you’re male or female, the basic advice for staying healthy as you age is the same. For instance:

  • Eat healthy
  • Get enough sleep
  • Stay physically and mentally active
  • Take any prescription medications as ordered
  • Keep up with routine health screenings
  • Get regular eye and dental exams

 

Stay Socially Connected

Staying socially connected is essential for health and well-being at any age, but it’s especially important for seniors. There is a pandemic of loneliness and isolation among senior citizens in the U.S., and the impact is real. It has a big impact on heart health, risk of stroke, dementia and more.

The lack of meaningful social connections is associated with reduced quality of life, unhealthy behaviors, and poor health outcomes.

Maintaining connections with friends, family, and neighbors, even if using tech to connect virtually, contributes to a sense of purpose and belonging.  This can lead to increased memory skills, greater activity, and greater feelings of independence.

 

Have Your Plans In Place Before You Need Them

Legally documenting your wishes for your health and assets well before you need to is a smart way to retain control of your decisions as you age. It also removes stress from your family members and helps them ensure that your wishes are followed.

There are several types of documents you’ll want to have on hand. These include a will, a healthcare power of attorney, a power of attorney for your finances, an advanced directive, or a living trust. Some of these can even be drawn up without an attorney.

 

Stay Physically Active

Exercise can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. Therefore it can allow you to stay healthier longer in your later years.

It may also helps you to retain balance and strength. These are key factors in a person’s ability to stay independent.

Seniors who don’t work on strength are more likely to lose muscle mass and core balance. This then puts them at greater risk for falls and injuries which can reduce independence.

Once you’re cleared by your doctor, aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.

 

How Seniors Can Maintain Independence in Assisted Living

Seniors may fear that the only other option to living in their own home is a nursing home. Although that’s not always the case. Other living arrangements can provide seniors with the assistance that they need to maintain independence.

For example, assisted living arrangements can provide seniors with more freedom and independence than they might imagine.

Assisted living is a residential and social setting where seniors can receive as much or as little care as needed. This allows seniors to maintain their personal best by pairing independence and stimulating social activities with support. This can include residential services, medical supervision, and personal care assistance.

If your current living arrangements are no longer safe or desirable, assisted living can offer an extraordinary option for seniors. Professional staff provides nurturing support while appreciating each resident’s individuality.

 

Aging in Place

Aging is a natural process that extends over a lifetime. It is an environment that adapts to meet the evolving needs of older people. This allows them to remain in familiar surroundings. A residence with an “Aging in Place” philosophy allows comfort and continuity where seniors can choose to stay as long as they desire.

 

Financial Freedom

Assisted living can also add to a senior’s financial freedom. Many residences offer “affordable luxury” and inclusive rates. In addition, there are often programs that can offer assistance for services that you may need. An individual can age in place with knowing that they can continue to enjoy the safety and comfort of their residence.

 

Medical Supervision

Assisted living communities provide seniors with comprehensive health services. They generally have a professional team specializing in the most common medical areas. This allows for routine visits, on-site nursing, skilled therapies, and medication management in an accessible setting.

 

Personal Care Assistance

An assisted living community can assess each person’s individuality and needs when they first move-in. This allows them to offer personalized support to seniors to provide them as much, or as little, support as they need.

 

Consider Amber Court Assisted Living

Amber Court Assisted Living provides a comfortable, safe, and cheerful environment. Above all, each person is treated with kindness, compassion, and respect.

Our mission is to preserve dignity, promote well-being, and provide quality care. We emphasize individuality and enjoyment in a warm, nurturing environment.

Residents of Amber Court Assisted Living Communities are provided a family-like atmosphere. This includes a culture of integrity and trust that honors each precious life.

If you are considering an assisted living community in New York or New Jersey to help you maintain independence as you age, contact Amber Court to learn more about how we can help.

Can I Afford Assisted Living Costs?

How To Cover Your Assisted Living Costs As You Age

 

One of the biggest concerns that most people have as they age is covering the costs of the care that they will need.

Since everyone’s financial situation and care needs are unique, there’s no one right answer for everyone. You may need to consult your individual state laws, your accountant, or an attorney specializing in estate planning or elder care laws to come up with an individualized plan.

In general though, here is some information to consider as you begin planning to cover your assisted living costs as you age.

 

How Much Will I Need For Assisted Living Costs?

The cost of assisted living can vary by state and the amenities offered at the facility you choose. On average, you can expect to need $4,200 – $6,050 per month to cover your assisted living costs.

These funds will cover your living accommodations, meals, social activities, residential services, medical supervision, and personal care assistance.

This will provide you with a community specially designed to provide you with support to retain your maximum level of independence possible while you age.

 

Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living?

In general, Medicare does not cover the costs of assisted living or any other custodial care arrangement. However, some of the services provided at an assisted living may be covered depending on what type of Medicare coverage you have.

 

Medicare Part A

Medicare Part A is hospital insurance. It covers inpatient stays at hospitals, mental health facilities, skilled nursing facilities, as well as hospice and home healthcare. It will not cover assisted living costs.

 

Medicare Part B

Medicare Part B covers medically necessary outpatient care and some preventative care. It will not cover your assisted living cost directly, but it may cover some of the medical services that you might receive there.

Some examples of services covered under Part B include:

  • Some lab work and blood tests
  • Preventative vaccines
  • Heart disease screenings
  • Skilled therapies such as physical or occupational therapy
  • Cancer screenings
  • Diabetic supplies
  • Kidney dialysis services
  • Chemotherapy

 

Medicare Part C

Medicare Part C are plans offered by approved private insurance companies and are also known as Advantage plans. They include the benefits provided under Parts A and B and often additional services such as vision, hearing, or dental.

Part C will not directly cover assisted living expenses, however, they will cover your medical services. Some plans may have additional benefits that cover fitness and wellness activities and transportation to and from appointments.

 

Medicare Part D

Medicare Part D is prescription drug coverage. It covers Medicare-approved prescription medications no matter where you live, whether at home or in an assisted living.

 

Medigap

Medigap is supplemental insurance that can be purchased to cover services that Original Medicare doesn’t. It generally does not cover assisted living, however.

 

Does Medicaid Cover Assisted Living?

Medicaid is a program partly funded by the national government and partly funded by individual states. The federal government sets guidelines for how Medicaid dollars must be spent, but these guidelines leave each state a considerable amount of their own discretion.

This means that Medicaid assistance for assisted living costs varies by state. By and large, though, most states have similar coverage guidelines as Medicare.

This means that Medicaid won’t cover any room and board costs for assisted living, but they may cover a portion of the costs that are related to services such as:

  • Personal care
  • Homemaker assistance
  • Skilled nursing
  • Emergency response systems
  • Case management
  • Transportation

 

How Do I Cover Assisted Living Costs?

There are a wide variety of ways to cover the cost of assisted living that aren’t picked up by other programs.

Some of the ways that people may choose to cover their assisted living costs include:

 

Personal Resources

The majority of people fund assisted living costs out of personal funds. These can come from a number of sources such as:

  • Pensions
  • Retirement Savings (401k, IRAs, or other retirement accounts)
  • Proceeds from selling stocks
  • Proceeds from selling a home or other property
  • Social security income
  • Residual income from your working years

 

Long-Term Care Insurance

A long term care insurance policy can help pay for assisted living costs without requiring you to tap into your savings or assets. These policies vary widely regarding what and how much they will cover each month so make sure that you read through the coverage details carefully when you purchase one.

 

Veterans Benefits

If you are a veteran, you may be eligible for benefits from the Veterans Administration (VA). The VA offers a benefit that can be used to pay for assisted living costs known as Non-Service Connected Improved Pension Benefit with Aid and Attendance (or simply, Aid and Attendance).

As of 2019, the program offers assistance up to $1,881 per month for a single veteran and up to $2,230 per month for a married veteran.

 

Reverse Mortgage

A reverse mortgage is a loan that you take out against the built-up equity on a home that you own. The loan is repaid after the borrower leaves the home, often by selling the home. This may be an option for married seniors where only one of the spouses needs assisted living care. This may not be the right option for you if you want your home to remain in the family.

 

Assisted Living At Amber Court

Amber Court Assisted Living Communities is proud to offer accommodations that offer both luxury and affordability.

We allow seniors to “age in place” with the knowledge that if assets become depleted, they can continue to enjoy the safety and comfort of their Amber Court Assisted Living Community residence.

By utilizing community-based Medicaid and monthly Social Security or Supplemental Security Income entitlements, seniors can be provided with vital services such as:

  • Personal care
  • Room and board
  • Housekeeping
  • Home health aides
  • Skilled therapies
  • Case management

 

Contact Amber Court Assisted Living Communities today for an individualized discussion about how to manage your assisted living costs in our lovingly managed assisted living community.