Friday, May 27, 2016

Senior Scams to Know and Avoid

Far too many older adults fall prey to scammers who are looking to make a quick buck. Here are 22 tips that can help you steer clear of scams and swindles and to stay safe.

Health insurance fraud

  1. Never sign blank insurance claim forms.
  2. Never give blanket permission to a medical provider to bill for services rendered.
  3. Ask your medical providers what they will charge and what you will be expected to pay out-of-pocket.
  4. Carefully review your insurer’s explanation of the benefits statement. Call your insurer and provider if you have questions.
  5. Do not do business with door-to-door or telephone salespeople who tell you that services of medical equipment are free.
  6. Give your insurance/Medicare identification only to those who have provided you with medical services.
  7. Keep accurate records of all health care appointments.
  8. Know if your physician ordered equipment for you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Healthy Aging

Aging: What to expect

Wonder what's considered a normal part of the aging process? Here's what to expect as you get older — and what to do about it.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
You know that aging will likely cause you to develop wrinkles and gray hair. But do you know how the aging process will affect your teeth, heart and sexuality? Find out what kind of changes you can expect in your body as you continue aging — and what you can do to promote good health at any age.

Your cardiovascular system

What's happening

As you age, your heart rate becomes slightly slower, and your heart might become bigger.  Your blood vessels and your arteries also become stiffer, causing your heart to work harder to pump blood through them. This can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension) and other cardiovascular problems.

What you can do

To promote heart health:
  • Include physical activity in your daily routine. Try walking, swimming or other activities you enjoy. Regular moderate physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, lower blood pressure and lessen the extent of arterial stiffening.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Choose vegetables, fruits, whole grains, high-fiber foods and lean sources of protein, such as fish. Limit foods high in saturated fat and sodium. A healthy diet can help you keep your heart and arteries healthy.
  • Don't smoke. Smoking contributes to the hardening of your arteries and increases your blood pressure and heart rate. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, ask your doctor to help you quit.
  • Manage stress. Stress can take a toll on your heart. Take steps to reduce stress — or learn to deal with stress in healthy ways.
  • Get enough sleep. Quality sleep plays an important role in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. People's needs vary, but generally aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.

Your bones, joints and muscles

What's happening

With age, bones tend to shrink in size and density — which weakens them and makes them more susceptible to fracture. You might even become a bit shorter. Muscles generally lose strength and flexibility, and you might become less coordinated or have trouble balancing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Long-Term Care: Early Planning Pays Off

Long-term care: Early planning pays off

It's best to talk about long term care early — before the need for medical or personal care is imminent. Here's help understanding, choosing and financing long term care.
By Mayo Clinic Staff
Long-term care is a term used to describe home and community-based services for adults who need help taking care of themselves.
If you're considering long-term care options for yourself, a parent or another loved one, start the research and discussions early. If you wait, an injury or illness might force your hand — leading to a hasty decision that might not be best in the long run.
Here's help getting familiar with long-term care options.

Understanding types of long-term care

Understanding the various levels of long-term care can help you choose the type that's most appropriate for you or your loved one. For example:
  • Home care. Personal or home health aides can help with bathing, dressing and other personal needs at home, as well as housekeeping, meals and shopping. Home health nurses provide basic medical care at home, such as helping with medications.
  • Day program. Day programs for adults offer social interaction, meals and activities — often including exercise, games, field trips, art and music — for adults who don't need round-the-clock care. Some programs provide transportation to and from the care center as well as certain medical services, such as help taking medications or checking blood pressure.
  • Senior housing. Many communities offer rental apartments intended for older adults. Some senior housing facilities offer meals, transportation, housekeeping and activities.
  • Assisted living. These facilities offer staff members to help with activities such as taking medication, bathing and dressing — as well as meals, transportation, housekeeping and social activities. Some assisted living facilities have on-site beauty shops and other amenities.
  • Continuing-care retirement community. These communities offer several levels of care in one setting — such as senior housing for those who are healthy, assisted living for those who need help with daily activities, and round-the-clock nursing care for those who are no longer independent. Residents can move among the various levels of care depending on their needs.
  • Nursing home. Nursing homes offer 24-hour nursing care for those recovering from illness or injury and serve as long-term residences for people who are unable to care for themselves. Nursing homes also offer end-of-life care. Services typically include help eating, dressing, bathing and toileting, as well as wound care and rehabilitative therapy.