Forgetting Again? 5 Signs Your Loved One Needs a Helping Hand
Senior Tips for Super Agers & Those Who Care for Them

Uh-oh, Forgetting Again? 5 Signs Your Loved One Needs a Helping Hand

As our loved ones get older, it can be tricky to figure out if they need extra help. Are they doing okay on their own, or is it time to think about other living options? In this post, we'll look at signs that show an older person might not be able to live alone anymore, and we'll share tips for handling this change.

Noticing Warning Signs

It's crucial to pay attention to signs that an older person might need more help. Ignoring these signs can lead to dangerous situations. Here are some common indicators:

Changes in Personal Care

If you notice your loved one not showering, dressing neatly, or taking care of their hygiene, it could mean they need more help. This might be because they're having physical difficulties or feeling emotionally down. For example, joint pain might make showering hard, or depression could lead to neglecting personal care.

Forgetting Things

Frequent forgetfulness can be a sign of memory problems. This could indicate a bigger issue like dementia, which makes living alone unsafe. Forgetting to turn off the stove or take medication can lead to serious accidents. Early intervention can make a significant difference.

Trouble Moving Around

If your loved one is struggling to move around or falling more often, it might be time to get them some help. Difficulty with mobility can make daily tasks hard and put them at risk of injury. Addressing this early can prevent serious falls and maintain their independence longer.

Withdrawal from Friends and Activities

Withdrawal from social activities can be a sign of depression or physical pain. If your loved one is avoiding friends and hobbies, it's important to find out why. Chronic pain can be treated, and there are many ways to help with depression. Don’t let them suffer in silence.

Mood Swings and Irritability

Mood swings and irritability can signal cognitive decline, depression, or pain. Diseases under the dementia umbrella can cause rapid personality changes. Getting evaluated by a doctor is crucial, as early diagnosis can help manage these conditions better.

Checking Their Home

Ensuring your loved one's home is safe is vital. Look for hazards like loose rugs, poor lighting, and clutter that could cause accidents. A safe environment helps them stay independent longer.

Real-Life Examples

Example 1: Changes in Personal Hygiene

Consider Sarah, whose 75-year-old mother started neglecting her hygiene. She wore wrinkled clothes and skipped showers. Sarah discovered her mom had joint pain, making daily tasks hard. By talking openly, they found solutions together, like home care services for personal tasks.

Example 2: Memory Lapses and Forgetfulness

Take Mr. Anderson, an 80-year-old retiree. His son James noticed he often forgot his medication. After discussing it, they found out it was a simple medication interaction issue. By addressing this early, they avoided more serious health risks.

Tips for Handling This Change

  1. Communicate Openly: Have honest conversations with your loved one about the changes you notice. Approach these talks with empathy and understanding.

  2. Seek Professional Help: Don’t hesitate to consult doctors, therapists, or home care specialists. They can provide valuable insights and solutions.

  3. Make Safety a Priority: Ensure their home is free from hazards. Simple modifications like installing grab bars or improving lighting can make a big difference.

See my Home Safety Checklist before you miss anything that should have been changed. 

STAT:  “90% of falls could have been prevented had someone looked around the house and made a few 5-minute changes.”

As our loved ones age, recognizing these signs can help us ensure they get the support they need. It's not about losing independence but about enhancing their quality of life and keeping them safe.

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father's day
Senior Tips for Super Agers & Those Who Care for Them

Celebrating Father’s Day: A Guide for Caregiving Adult Children

Father’s Day!

And if you’re an adult child taking care of your senior dad, this day holds a special kind of significance. It’s a time to celebrate your father’s life, his contributions, and the bond you share. But it can also be a day to reflect on the unique dynamics of your relationship, especially if you’re in the role of caregiver.

Caring for a senior father is a journey filled with both challenges and rewards. It requires patience, empathy, and a deep well of love. Let's explore how you can make it a meaningful celebration, one that honors your dad and acknowledges the beautiful but sometimes demanding path you're walking together. And remember, it doesn’t have to break the bank. 

If your dad is no longer with us, use these tips to celebrate with others who knew him. Share your memories and tell your stories of who he was to you.

Reflect on Shared Memories

Father’s Day is the perfect occasion to stroll down memory lane. Spend some time reminiscing about the past. Pull out those old photo albums or digital slideshows and look back at family vacations, birthdays, and spontaneous snapshots. These memories are the threads that weave your family’s story together.

Tip: Ask your dad to share his favorite stories. Not only will this bring joy to him, but it also gives you insight into his experiences and perspectives, enriching your understanding and appreciation of him.

Plan a Special Activity

Consider what activities your dad enjoys and plan something special. This doesn’t have to be elaborate. Maybe it’s a quiet afternoon of fishing, a scenic drive, a picnic in the park, or watching his favorite classic movies. The key is to choose something that he loves and can engage in comfortably.

Tip: Tailor the activity to his current health and mobility. The goal is for him to have fun without feeling overwhelmed or tired.

Cook a Favorite Meal

Food has a unique way of bringing people together. This Father’s Day, why not cook your dad’s favorite meal? Whether it’s a cherished family recipe or something simple like his preferred breakfast, the effort you put into preparing a meal he loves can speak volumes.

Tip: Involve him in the process if he’s up for it. Cooking together can be a delightful bonding experience, filled with conversation and laughter.

Celebrate His Achievements

Take a moment to celebrate your father’s achievements and the legacy he has built. Whether he had a distinguished career, contributed to the community, or simply provided a loving and supportive home, acknowledging his accomplishments can make him feel valued and respected.

Tip: Create a small tribute, like a photo collage or a scrapbook, highlighting key moments from his life. This can serve as a wonderful keepsake.

Express Your Gratitude

Never underestimate the power of a heartfelt “thank you.” Use this day to express your gratitude for everything your father has done for you. Write him a letter, make a toast, or simply tell him how much he means to you. These words can have a profound impact.

Tip: Be specific about what you’re thankful for. Whether it’s his guidance, his sense of humor, or his unwavering support, acknowledging specific traits and actions makes your gratitude even more meaningful.

Give the Gift of Time

In our busy lives, time is often the most precious gift we can give. Dedicate the entire day to your father. Turn off your phone, avoid distractions, and focus solely on spending quality time with him. This undivided attention will make him feel cherished and important.

Tip: Consider planning some quiet, restful moments where you simply enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes, the best moments are the simplest ones.

Encourage Independence

As a caregiver, it’s easy to fall into the trap of doing everything for your father. This Father’s Day, encourage his independence where possible. Let him make decisions about the day’s activities or help with tasks he can manage. This boosts his self-esteem and reinforces his sense of autonomy.

Tip: Be patient and supportive. Independence doesn’t mean he has to do everything alone, but rather that he feels empowered to participate in his care and daily life.

Capture New Memories

While celebrating past memories is important, creating new ones is equally vital. Take photos, record videos, or even start a new tradition. These new memories will be treasured in the years to come and will be a testament to the ongoing bond you share.

Tip: Involve other family members if possible. A larger celebration can bring more joy and help create a sense of community and support.

Here's a toast to you:

  • To the juggler: You balance work, family, and your father's needs with the grace of a circus performer. You don't always get it perfect, but your heart is always in the right place.
  • To the advocate: You're your dad's voice when his own weakens. You navigate complicated medical jargon and fight for the best possible care.
  • To the shoulder to cry on: You're the one who holds space for his fear, frustration, and even anger. You understand that aging can be scary, and you're there to offer a comforting presence.
  • To the keeper of memories: You cherish the stories of his youth, the wisdom he's accumulated, and the legacy he's built. You're ensuring his life story doesn't fade with time.

Final Thoughts

It's okay if this Father's Day feels different. It's okay if it's filled with bittersweet emotions. But amidst the challenges, remember the profound impact you're making.

This journey you're on is an act of love, pure and simple. It's a chance to repay your father for all the years he spent nurturing you. It's a chance to create new memories, even in the face of change.

So, this Father's Day, be kind to yourself. Acknowledge your strength, your resilience, and your unwavering love. You're doing an incredible job, even on the days it feels impossible.

And to your dad, give him a hug (if he's up for it) and tell him you love him. Tell him you're grateful for him, for his life, and for the stories that bind you together.

Happy Father's Day to the extraordinary caregivers out there. You are the backbone of your families, and you deserve to be celebrated.

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Senior Tips for Super Agers & Those Who Care for Them

Navigating Long Distance Caregiving: Tips for Family Caregivers

Your parents don’t want to slow down, but you want them closer. Hmmm.

Let me tell you about the time I worked as a patient advocate. I had a client in Chicago who wanted me to keep an eye out on his dad who came to Florida alone every year.

He didn't want to stop his dad from coming but he had grave concerns about his health. Plus, this client was extremely busy and worked a very difficult job running his company. It was bad enough that he felt guilty because he could not visit him enough. Many of us wish we could visit more.

His dad even said he’d pay for a ticket to have his son and family come down but money wasn’t the issue, time was.

And then his son also worried about the health resources in Florida. What if he fell or worse, hit his head or needed surgery. My client knew all the “good” doctors up north but knew little about Florida’s healthcare.

And then, how much time could he spare to go back and forth to see his dad in recovery?

All these concerns made him press his dad into giving up travel and just stay local as the years went by.

Enter, my patient advocate practice.

So, this client hired me to handle Dad while in Florida and sure enough, one day, dad falls and ends up in the emergency room with a cut on his head.

Now understand that his dad is 91-years-young and a fiercely independent, mostly healthy senior. He does not have dementia but does have confusion when he hits his head. Don’t we all?

He wants to go home but the ER doctors want to keep him for observation and run a bunch of tests after stapling his scalp back together.

Having spent time with this man, I knew him. I also knew what the ER doctors were going through since I used to work in the ER as a Physician Assistant. I called the son, my client, and told him his father was in the ER getting his scalp repaired, would be getting a CT scan and after the results, if everything was OK. He would be going home where I would continue to monitor him.

There was no need for my client to jump on a plane. I knew all the best neurologists, if he had a concussion or needed surgery. I had access to all his medical records, and I was his point of emergency contact in Florida. I also knew his insurance and what it would pay for and what “added services” would not be paid.

This event ran smoothly. My client felt his father would get the best care. On the other hand, his dad was being heard and would not be pressured into moving back to the north. And the added benefit to all this was that I understood the medical jargon and healthcare menagerie better than most.

As my client says, “Long-distance caregiving isn't always easy, but knowing Dad is happy and healthy makes it all worth it. We're in this together, every step of the way.”

My 3 BIG tips...

Despite any challenges you might have, with careful planning, effective communication, and support from local resources and loved ones, you can overcome the obstacles of long-distance caregiving and ensure your aging parents receive the care and support they need to thrive.

Patient Advocates do it all the time. Here’s my 3 biggies…

  1. Open Communication Channels: Maintain open lines of communication with your loved one, their primary caregiver (if applicable), and other family members involved in their care. Regular check-ins via phone calls, video chats, or emails can help you stay informed about their needs and well-being.
  2. Build a Support Network: Identify local resources, such as neighbors, friends, or community organizations, that can provide assistance when you can't be there in person. This network can help with tasks like transportation to appointments, grocery shopping, or simply offering companionship.
  3. Organize Important Documents: Make sure you have access to essential documents, such as medical records, insurance information, and legal documents like advance directives and power of attorney. Keep digital copies stored securely online and share them with trusted family members. Make sure that the next designated family member who has to leave when there is an emergency has the correct medical papers in order to speak with the doctor.

With the right strategies, you too can have your parents enjoy their life away from you. Whether it’s travel or living 1000 miles away, you can always find the support they need. I’ve seen it over and over again on cruise ships, airplanes, and foreign countries. Keep those people close while your parents stay afar!

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aging parents
Senior Tips for Super Agers & Those Who Care for Them

Warning! Are You Beginning to Worry About Your Aging Parents?

“I want to reach my own goals and taking care of my aging parents was not a part of this.”

How many of us can get honest and say we have felt this way? 

Maybe you're still raising your own children and there's no more time in the day for your parents.

Or, maybe, you find that financially you can't do any more for your parents. Your children may need your help financially and you can't give anymore to anyone else. You work hard enough as it is. Some of us have two or three jobs and we wonder how long we're going to be able to keep up the pace.

All of this has us worried. How do we take care of aging parents and not get caught up in the overwhelming we see coming?

Well, the good news is you're not alone.

So many of us want to be there for our parents but we also have our own physical, emotional, and social needs that we want to be fulfilled.

We may have our own health conditions that we're dealing with or we need to promote better health within ourselves by taking care, taking time out, preserving our own independence, and letting our parents get on with their lives.

Then there's the conflict that we feel within us.

Where are our siblings and why are they not stepping up to the plate? 

But maybe we don't have any siblings and this is going to fall on us.

Yet our parents have their own ideas of how they want to walk through their golden years and we don't think it's safe for them to do so. this conflict of decisions makes us all feel vulnerable to the unknown.

Besides our own family dynamics, time constraints, emotional stress, and financial strain we have our parents' own health to worry about.

I get it. I saw so many sons and daughters coming into my office in tears because they didn't know what to expect, they feared the unknown, and they were already caught up in the belief that they were solely responsible for their parents.

They believed that they had no choice but to sacrifice their own needs for the sake of their parent's care. 

Yet I had others who told me that they were not qualified to take care of their parents, that they never had a good relationship with their parents in the first place, or maybe it was their sibling's responsibility.

This didn't stop them from feeling guilty. They wanted to keep their independence they didn't want anything to interfere with their own life and they felt that taking care of an aging parent meant they would disrupt their own plans goals and aspirations.

Can I let you in on a little secret?

 I spent years mad because my brothers did nothing to help my mom and we girls did all the work. All I really asked was for them to call Mom once a week and talk to her. It just seemed that the ones that never showed up were the ones that my mom wanted to spend more time with. They were the ones she missed the most.

And still, they didn’t call her. 

But then one day I realized this was not their problem, and this was not my mother's problem. This was really my problem. I had to look for the joy I felt taking care of my mom. I had to bathe in the reward that I knew what I was doing and that she was safe and happy.

I also knew that when she didn't express to me how she felt about her care in loving ways, that she really did appreciate me regardless of what I did or didn't do for her.  The best thing about all of this was that it released me from the negative feelings I had toward others and gave me an incredible sense of relief.

Sounds too good to be true?

Well, let's start with some common sense.

No one grows up thinking, “I can't wait to take care of Mom and Dad in their senior years.” No one grows up thinking, “Oh, I'm going to be the best family caregiver anybody ever saw.” 

And then that little voice inside our heads starts to worry…

It's the beginning…

We think driving Mom to the doctor's appointment is a one-time thing. 

We think making extra food and bringing it over today is a one-time thing. 

Maybe we've been known to help our parents out with their house by fixing the little things, cleaning up a little bit or even decluttering their home.

Oh, we think this is just a one-time thing. but is it?

There are six areas that you really want to do a deep dive into at the beginning stages of taking care of your aging parents.

  1. Their health and mobility are critical for longevity and their independence.
  2. Their memory loss, depression, and mental changes mean new decisions.
  3. Living in a safe and happy home keeps them engaged and fulfilled. 
  4. Arranging the financial and legal documents early aligns with their wishes and values.
  5. Setting your boundaries upfront supports your parents and siblings' schedules and calendars.
  6. Putting your needs and your own family’s needs first will avoid burnout.

For more information on these 6 goals, sign up to Join the Waitlist for the Senior Freedom Club.  I have a whole new book of super simple step-by-step instructions on how to handle each one of these categories so you are not caught off-guard.  It’s FREE to sign up and you are under no obligation. I’ll let you know when we open up our membership again.

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2023 tax break for caregivers
Senior Tips for Super Agers & Those Who Care for Them

Can Caregivers Get A Tax Break in 2024?

Tax season is upon us.

And since one in five Americans are family caregivers, millions of people across the country are caregiving: we have questions. Do family caregivers get tax breaks or do they pay taxes?

An average family caregiver spends about $7,200 a year on costs related to caring for someone. Paying taxes on top of that questions how much more can we do and pay for.

Here are some common questions about taxes and family caregiving.

How much money can I give my daughter to care for me tax-free?

Up to $18,000 a year tax-free as a gift. If you are married then both of you can each give $18,000 a year to the same person for helping you without them or you being taxed. 

A family caregiver or an employee

Family caregivers are not technically considered employees —even if they receive payment from insurance or a government program.

But if you are a professional caregiver employed by your family through your agency. In these circumstances, family caregivers must report income and pay taxes. 

Are you paid, professional care help?

Families hire household help and caregivers to help with chores and dependents at home. If the house is the employer, there are different tax-defined employee statuses they need to be familiar with.

You cannot pay them more than a certain amount (usually $600 a year) without sending them a 1099-MISC every year. Be sure to get their social security number and their address so you can send this to them. They will need to pay taxes.  And you may also need to pay taxes. Check with your accountant but do this upfront so there are no surprises. 

However, there are two cases in which you owe taxes for family caregiving.

  1. If you run an adult or child daycare out of your home and care for the family member as part of those services

  2. If you’re employed by a caretaking agency and have been assigned the responsibility from that agency.

If you work at a caretaking agency

Caregivers pay taxes if caring for a family member is part of their full- or part-time job. For example, if a caregiver runs an adult in-home daycare, they must pay taxes when caring for a family member as part of their day job.

You must pay taxes if you’re caring for a family member and getting paid as part of your job at a caretaking agency.

In this case, your family role is considered your complete- or part-time job. Therefore, the agency will pay Social Security and employee benefit taxes, and it’s your responsibility to pay taxes on the income received.

Caring for an elderly parent is a journey of love and sacrifice, encompassing both financial and emotional costs. While the financial burden can be significant, the rewards are immeasurable. Beyond medical expenses and home modifications, there's the emotional toll of watching a parent age.

Having said all this, financial stress can cause ill-health and bad relationships. Be sure, everyone in the family understands how much it costs, including taxes in order to care for another so one person does not carry the financial strain.

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at what age are you a senior
Senior Tips for Super Agers & Those Who Care for Them

At what age are you considered a senior?

The age at which someone is considered a senior is no longer a number.  In many countries, individuals are commonly regarded as seniors when they reach the age of 65 or older. This age is often associated with eligibility for retirement benefits such as Social Security in the United States and similar pension schemes in other countries, but as Bob Dylan sang...times are a' changing.

It's essential to recognize that the concept of being a senior is not solely defined by age. Many people in their 60s and even 70s lead active and vibrant lives, while others may face health challenges or lifestyle changes earlier. Therefore, the designation of "senior" often encompasses more than just reaching a certain age; it also involves considerations such as health status, lifestyle, and personal circumstances.

In recent years, there has been a shift toward recognizing that age alone doesn't define someone's capabilities or needs. Some individuals prefer not to use the term "senior" at all, while others embrace it as a badge of honor signifying wisdom and experience.

Young Senior Phase (Approximately 65-100 years old):

Physical Health: Many individuals in this phase enjoy relatively good health and vitality, although they may start to notice some age-related changes such as decreased stamina, joint stiffness, or minor aches and pains.

Lifestyle: Young seniors often remain active and engaged in various activities such as travel, hobbies, volunteer work, or part-time employment. They may have more free time now that they're retired, allowing them to pursue interests they may have set aside during their working years.

Social Connections: Social networks remain robust during this phase, with many young seniors maintaining friendships, participating in community events, and spending time with family.

Mental Well-being: Mental acuity typically remains high during this phase, although some individuals may experience mild cognitive changes or occasional forgetfulness. Engaging in mentally stimulating activities such as puzzles, reading, or learning new skills can help maintain cognitive function.

Middle Senior Phase (Approximately 65-100 years old):

Physical Health: Middle-aged seniors may begin to experience more noticeable age-related changes in their physical health, such as reduced mobility, chronic health conditions, or a decrease in sensory functions like vision and hearing.

Lifestyle: While some middle seniors continue to lead active lifestyles, others may start to slow down due to health concerns or mobility limitations. They may spend more time at home or in assisted living communities, focusing on activities that accommodate their changing abilities.

Social Connections: Social circles may start to shrink during this phase as friends and peers experience health challenges or pass away. Maintaining social connections becomes increasingly important for combating loneliness and isolation.

Mental Well-being: Middle seniors may face greater challenges in maintaining cognitive function, with some experiencing mild cognitive impairment or early signs of dementia. Mental stimulation through activities like socializing, brain games, and creative pursuits can help preserve cognitive abilities.

Old Senior Phase (Approximately 65-100 years old):

Physical Health: Old seniors often contend with significant health challenges, including chronic conditions, mobility issues, and a higher risk of falls and injuries. They may require more assistance with daily tasks and personal care.

Lifestyle: Many old seniors require support from family members, caregivers, or professional services to help meet their daily needs. They may transition to nursing homes or other long-term care facilities if living independently becomes impractical.

Social Connections: Social circles may continue to diminish during this phase as peers and loved ones pass away. Maintaining meaningful connections with family members, caregivers, and community support networks becomes vital for emotional well-being.

Mental Well-being: Cognitive decline may progress during this phase, with some individuals experiencing moderate to severe dementia or Alzheimer's disease. Despite these challenges, opportunities for cognitive stimulation and social engagement remain essential for promoting a sense of purpose and quality of life.

Each phase of seniority presents unique opportunities and challenges, and individuals may transition through these stages at different rates depending on various factors such as genetics, lifestyle choices, and access to healthcare and support services. Embracing aging as a journey that encompasses physical, emotional, and social dimensions can help individuals navigate each phase with resilience and grace.

Ultimately, whether someone considers themselves a senior or not is a personal matter, and it's important to respect individual preferences and perspectives on aging. 

Instead of focusing solely on age, it's valuable to approach aging as a dynamic process that varies from person to person, encompassing physical health, mental well-being, social connections, and more.

So when the next “birthday” rolls around, instead of celebrating the age, many people celebrate the person, their life, their friends, and their family.  One coworker told me in her culture, the person having the birthday has to tell stories, and wisdom, and pass down family history during her day of celebration. 

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signs a senior needs help
Senior Tips for Super Agers & Those Who Care for Them

Signs A Senior Needs Help: Recognizing Warning Signs and Navigating Change

As our loved ones get older, it can be tricky to figure out if they need extra help. Are they doing okay on their own, or is it time to think about other living options? In this post, we'll look at signs that show an older person might not be able to live alone anymore, and we'll share tips for handling this change.

Noticing Warning Signs

It's important to pay attention to signs that show an older person might need more help. Things like not taking care of themselves well, forgetting things, or having trouble moving around are some common signs. These signs can make it hard for them to live on their own, so it's important to notice them early.

Changes in Personal Care

If you notice changes in how your loved one takes care of themselves, like not showering or dressing neatly, it could mean they need more help. This might be because they're having trouble physically or feeling down emotionally.

Forgetting Things

Forgetting things often could mean your loved one is having trouble with their memory. This could be a sign of a bigger problem like dementia, which makes living alone unsafe. Getting help early can make a big difference.

Trouble Moving Around

If your loved one is having more trouble moving around or falling more often, it might be time to get them some help. This could make it hard for them to do everyday things and might put them in danger.

Withdrawal from Friends and Activities

Withdrawal from friends and activities can indicate depression or you may be living with pain and no longer feel like going and doing things anymore. See my article on chronic pain and get this fixed. 

We no longer live in a world of pain. There are ways to find a solution so let the hunt begin. 

Mood Swings and Irritability

Mood swings and irritability can be signs of cognitive decline, depression, or pain. Dementia is an umbrella term for many cognitive decline diseases. It’s important to be evaluated as some diseases show a rapid decline in personality.  Irritability is one of these personality changes. 

Checking Their Home

Making sure your loved one's home is safe is really important. Looking for things that could cause accidents, like loose rugs or poor lighting, can help keep them safe.

home safety checklist

See my FREE 2024 Senior-Proof Home Comprehensive Guide. It has everything you need and a time table for you to reduce accidents one room at a time so you won't get overwhelmed. 

Example 1: Changes in Personal Hygiene

Take the example of one of our members.  She’s a committed super-ager. As a vibrant and independent 75-year-old widow. her family noticed a sudden decline in her personal hygiene habits. She was often seen wearing wrinkled clothes, neglecting her hair care, and skipping showers. Concerned about her well-being, her daughter, Sarah, initiated a conversation to understand the underlying reasons behind these changes.

Sarah discovered that our member was experiencing joint pain, making it challenging for her to perform daily tasks like showering and dressing independently. Additionally, because we got Sarah and her mom talking and trusting each other, our member admitted feeling overwhelmed by the thought of managing household chores and personal care tasks alone. Recognizing these warning signs prompted Sarah to explore potential solutions. Both parties found the support they needed and agreed upon.

Example 2: Memory Lapses and Forgetfulness

Memory lapses and forgetfulness are common signs of cognitive decline, which can significantly impact an elderly person's ability to live independently. For instance, if we repeatedly forget to turn off the stove or take our medication, it could pose serious safety risks. These memory lapses may also extend to forgetting important appointments or events, causing frustration and confusion for us.  The first thing we start thinking is, “Is this dementia, or am I just tired?”.

Consider the case of Mr. Anderson, (our member is his son, James) an 80-year-old retiree living alone. His family noticed a pattern of forgetfulness, particularly concerning his medication routine. Despite reminders, Mr. Anderson frequently missed doses or took incorrect medications, increasing his risk of health complications. Because we teach in our membership that there must be one designated carer to “watch” a parent, James’s sibling came to him with the concerns. James immediately spoke to his dad and set up an appointment with a pharmacist to see if the medications were the problem. If this were not the case, he would move on to the other options we gave him. Fortunately, it was as simple as a medication interaction. 

As we seniors age, it becomes increasingly important to pay attention to signs that may indicate we need extra support. From physical changes to cognitive shifts, various indicators suggest we need help. This does not mean we are losing our independence. It simply means we need help. 

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family relationships
Senior Tips for Super Agers & Those Who Care for Them

7 Tips for Rediscovering Lost Relationships

Today is National Day of Unplugging. This means we should not be reading this and unplugging from all technology. 

This celebration comes every first Friday of March. 

It was created to spend time away from our screens for 24 hours and instead spend time in nature, connecting with loved ones, and relaxing. It lets people spend focused time with friends and family, or just by themselves, to remember what matters in life.

So what matters most in our lives?

To say we live in a connected, high-speed world is a bit of an understatement. Sometimes, we can miss what’s happening right in front of us while we are hyper-connected to friends, family, and strangers on social media.

How You Should Celebrate: Create a special day for yourself, where you purposefully put away your phone and computer. Let your children and those you care ofr know you will not be on texts or email. 

You could read a book, bake, pick up a creative hobby, or take a hot bath or nap. But this isn't what most of us want.

What is it seniors and their family members wish they would do more of?

  • Pursue a dream today and not be someone you are truly not. 

  • Spend time with the family and less on the phones doing work. 

  • Make more time for friends. Keep those “years-ago” relationships going. 

  • Hug your family more and tell them you love them. Less time frowning.

  • Speak more about how you really feel and less time hibernating into the phone or computer with resentment. 

  • Resolve those conflicts today. Say you're sorry and feel better. 

Call your family member or friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Children, grandparents, a spouse who’s out of town. As the saying goes, reach out and touch someone by voice, not text!

Be who you really are.

What does this mean for you? Don’t pretend to be someone else. As we hug our cell phones and computers we tend to become another person. Face to face, we show our true selves. Be yourself. Speak up. Do what you want. You’ll feel so much better.

To find out how you cankeep your goals and become a thriving senior or one who cares for the thriving senior, see our Senior Freedom Club

Senior Freedom Club Caregiver

I love the example of one of our members. She was visiting friends. Her daily routine involved exercising every day for one hour. She explained this to her hosts. They understood and didn’t ask to participate or hesitate. They graciously respected her request and arranged their time together around what was truly important to her.

So, yes, you can enjoy friends and still keep your goals in line with what you truly want. 


Make a decision today to be happy.  Find the things around you that bring true happiness to you and grab onto them today. 

So what are some activities we can do when we unplug?

  • Outdoor Adventures: Spend the day outdoors enjoying nature. Go for a hike, have a picnic in the park, or simply take a leisurely stroll through your neighborhood. Being in nature can be incredibly refreshing and rejuvenating. Are the songbirds singing?

  • Arts and Crafts: Tap into your creative side by engaging in arts and crafts activities. Try your hand at painting, drawing, knitting, coloring, or any other craft that interests you. You could even involve your family or friends in a collaborative art project. What is it you want to make today?

  • Cooking or Baking: Spend some quality time in the kitchen preparing a delicious meal or baking treats from scratch. Cooking can be a therapeutic activity that allows you to focus on the present moment and enjoy the process of creating something delicious. Plop a grandchild on the counter to watch and lick the spoons!

  • Board Games or Puzzles: Gather your family or friends for a day of old-fashioned board games or puzzles. Whether it's a classic game like Charades or a challenging Twister, these activities can be a fun way to bond, enjoy each other's company and get some exercise in. 

  • Volunteer Work: This might require some planning. Dedicate some time to giving back to your community by volunteering for a local charity or organization. Whether it's helping out at a soup kitchen, participating in a beach cleanup, walking for a cause, or volunteering at a local shelter, contributing to a cause you care about can be incredibly rewarding.

  • Quality Time with Loved Ones: Use this day to reconnect with family and friends without the distractions of technology. Have meaningful conversations, play games together, or simply enjoy each other's company while walking at the beach, mall, or gym. 

Notice all of these involve spending time with others. Not by ourselves watching the internet. 

Remember, the goal of the National Day of Unplugging is to disconnect from screens and technology to focus on meaningful people, inner self, activities, and connections. 

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ageism
Senior Tips for Super Agers & Those Who Care for Them

My Struggle with Ageism: How Unspoken Rules Diminish Opportunities for Us

Ageism is like the nagging guest at the party that just won't leave – it's everywhere, from workplaces to healthcare systems to everyday interactions. This form of discrimination stems from societal attitudes and stereotypes that suggest older individuals are less capable, less valuable, or less deserving of respect compared to their younger counterparts. It's like society has this unwritten rule that once you hit a certain age, you're somehow less relevant or less worthy of opportunities.

Work Place

Take the workplace, for instance. Ageism rears its ugly head here in various ways. Older employees may find themselves passed over for promotions or job opportunities in favor of younger colleagues, simply because of assumptions about their ability to keep up with technology or adapt to changing work environments. This can lead to feelings of frustration, demoralization, and financial insecurity among older workers who still have plenty to contribute but are unfairly sidelined due to their age.

Real-life example: Sarah, a seasoned professional in her 60s, applies for a managerial position in her company. Despite her extensive experience and proven track record, the hiring manager expresses concern about her ability to adapt to new technologies and work alongside younger team members. Sarah is ultimately passed over for the position in favor of a younger candidate, leaving her feeling undervalued and overlooked.

Medical Care

Ageism also rears its head in healthcare settings, where older adults may encounter bias and discrimination that affects the quality of care they receive. Healthcare providers may dismiss or downplay older patients' symptoms, attributing them to age-related issues rather than conducting thorough evaluations or considering underlying health conditions. This can result in underdiagnosis or undertreatment of serious health issues, putting older adults at risk of worsening health outcomes.

Real-life example: James, a retired 70-year-old, visits his doctor complaining of persistent joint pain. The doctor dismisses his concerns, attributing the pain to "normal aging" and suggesting over-the-counter pain relievers as a solution. Months later, James was diagnosed with a degenerative joint condition that could have been detected and treated earlier with proper medical attention. Sadly, this stopped James from skiing,his favorite sport. 

Events

Ageism also impacts social interactions and perceptions of aging. Older adults may face marginalization or exclusion in social settings, leading to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Society often perpetuates stereotypes about aging, portraying older individuals as frail, dependent, or technologically inept. These stereotypes not only influence how older people are treated by others but also affect their own perceptions of aging and self-worth.

Real-life example: Mary, a vibrant 75-year-old, joins a local community group for social activities and outings. Despite her enthusiasm and active participation, she notices that most of the group's activities cater to younger members, with little consideration for the interests or needs of older participants. Mary feels increasingly marginalized and disconnected from the group, ultimately leading her to withdraw and seek social interaction elsewhere. She feels the same way about the TV shows she is offered. 

Ageism about Ourselves

Addressing ageism requires a concerted effort at both individual and societal levels. As individuals, we can challenge ageist attitudes and behaviors in ourselves and others by actively promoting inclusivity, empathy, and respect for people of all ages. This means recognizing and valuing the unique contributions and perspectives that older individuals bring to the table, whether it's in the workplace, healthcare, or social settings.

At the societal level, combating ageism involves raising awareness about its harmful effects and advocating for policies and practices that promote equity and inclusion for older adults. This includes initiatives to combat age-based discrimination in employment, healthcare, housing, and other areas of society, as well as promoting positive representations of aging in media and popular culture.

Ultimately, by dismantling ageist stereotypes and fostering a culture of respect and appreciation for people of all ages, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society where individuals are valued for their contributions and humanity, rather than judged based on arbitrary factors like age.

For more on how to be free of this mindset, see who we are at the Senior Freedom Club. We live happy, healthy, and active lives and forget we have an "age".

Also, a great book to read...This Chair Rocks!  Wonderfully written and funny.

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