Protect Pre-Planning Funds
Many seniors worry about leaving their families to plan and pay for a funeral at a time when they are already stressed and grieving. One way to resolve the issue is to pre-plan and pre-pay for funerals through a solution called a pre-need trust.

Reverse Mortgage
Many seniors face issues with cashflow because they did not set aside enough for their retirement or have faced health issues that have drained their retirement savings. Many of these same seniors fortunately do have equity in their house.

Now You Know What it Feels Like - hmmmppph! OR Five ways to empathize with your aging patient

Ever hear that? Fell down on the black ice - hurt my, ahem, bottomside (what side is that anyway, doesn't it matter which way you land?). Anyway - so I call my friend, and say 'I really hurt my hip and my back goes 'squeak'' to which she replies, 'see, now you know what it feels like.' I guess she means that she always has hip and back pain and I'm just not tuned in to it.

It's difficult sometimes to know what someone is going through if you've never been there before. We, as caregivers, can get frustrated by this at times. So, here's five ways to empathize with your aging patient:

  1. Put on really thick gloves and write your name, or better yet, open that pill bottle.
  2. Put some soap on your glasses and write your name, or read those instructions one more time.
  3. Here's something I did as a kid, but it works here too…. Take a hand mirror, place it in front of you like a tray and walk through your rooms looking down into it.
  4. Wear your sunglasses at night, inside your house and sort out your aspirin from your non-aspirin.
  5. And lastly, if you have a long bathrobe, put it on, don't grab hold of it, and try walking down the stairs.

So, now that you can't pick anything up, (1), or see because it's fuzzy (2) or really, really dark (4) - and you're hungry, but can't seem to make it to the kitchen because your perception is a bit off and you feel a little imbalanced (3), or truly can't quite make it down the stairs (5), Now You Know What It Feels Like!

I always center myself with a few deep breaths, and calibrate my feelings when I know I'm going to visit "Alice" - these little reminders work like a charm.

Help Organize

Giving a gift of 'organization' is cost effective because it's your time, spent with your family member - PRICELESS and it goes so far when it comes to the senior person in your life! There are two ways to help organize someone's paperlife. One way would be to start gathering all the existing papers, create a list and find out what may be missing (check out our website for tips on checklists). Organize essential papers, making certain that there are an appropriate number of copies, and those copies are placed in the hands of those that need them most. I do caution you to not have THE ONLY COPY in the bank's safety deposit box. Most emergencies aren't coordinated with the banks hours. Now that you have your checklist; your file of important papers, copies distributed accordingly - take a look at the second way.

The second 'way' a paperlife can be organized is through a system called MedeFile. This system, when purchased and activated, begins the process of collecting medical records, medication lists, lab results, xray results, medical care and emergency contact information, as well as advanced directives (some of #1 paperwork). This is all entered into a password protected, secure website, where you have control to add, edit, or delete information. It is then stored on a thumbdrive or silicone band (eg Livestrong) for your family member to have on their keychain or wrist. No internet is needed to access the information - just a computer! So reason behind this is very simple - access to medical information should care be needed, simplicity in attaining records for a hospital visit, physician visit, admission to skilled nursing, moving in to an assisted living community. The reasons are endless. The system's applications go beyond information - it offers a med reminder, information on medications, diagnoses. But - that's not the point here.