Life AT TUDOR OAKS
Tudor Oaks Helps You Consider Your Future How Tudor Oaks Is Watching the Sugar
The New Tax Law Explained
Planning for Your Future Tudor Oaks provides a solution regardless of your need
When it comes to major life decisions, we like to be in control. We do research and plan ahead when getting married, buying a car, investing in a home, accepting a new job, going on vacation, and achieving financial security in our golden years. In a perfect world, our strategies would align and we’d reach the goals we so wisely planned. However, you can’t plan for the unexpected. When our plans for the future hit a bump in the road, we have to adjust our expectations and keep moving forward. We can still try to achieve our original objectives—we just have to be more creative than originally imagined. We have to step out of our comfort zones and embrace change. Do any of these sentiments sound familiar? “I don’t want to give up my routine.” “I have too much stuff to downsize. Besides, no one would want my things.”
SUMMER :: 2018
“I’ll lose my independence.” “People really only need one nutritious meal a day. I can just nibble otherwise.”
“I only drive during the day or to places that I know really well.” “Sometimes I don’t take a pill because I don’t think I really need them the way the doctor prescribed.” With thoughts like those, emotions can take over and creative solutions often fall by the wayside. If you have these thoughts and believe that moving to a senior living community would just be too difficult,
the reality is that it may be past the time the move should have happened. “As soon as you become captive in your home or your chair, you’ve got a problem,” says Michael Merzenich, PhD, a neurobiologist at the University of California, San Francisco. “You become removed from the possibilities for excitement, for learning, and for engaging your brain with fun and surprise. Your brain needs you to get out and have those 1,000 daily surprises.” You can’t remain engaged in life (and have daily surprises) when you’re home-bound. Thankfully, you have options. You can hire more people to help you with daily tasks, or you can move to a community tailored to meet your needs. Like many major decisions in life: it pays to plan ahead. Start touring senior communities now so you or your loved ones are not forced to make a decision on your behalf in the midst of a crisis. Designing a plan now gives you and your loved ones clear direction for the future. At Tudor Oaks, the Senior Living Specialist can provide you with
the information you need to make the best decision for your future. Tudor Oaks also offers services to help you downsize and move. OPTIONS
stance, but could in the future) • Three meals and snacks daily— no need to plan meals, go to the grocery store, and carry bags of groceries
Independent Living: There’s no one-size-fits-all senior living option in today’s world. Ready to give up the stairs, yardwork, and overall maintenance associated with living in a large home? Want to travel without worrying about the house? Independent living might be right for you. Assisted Living: Are daily activities draining your energy, leaving you feeling tired? If you’re mainly independent but need a little help with personal care tasks—like bathing and dressing—assisted living may be the best option. Benefits of assisted living include: • Assistance with daily living activities • Flexibility: Staff can assist with needs 24/7 (you may not need help with bathing now, for in-
• A comfortable home-like setting in your own private apartment • Opportunity to socialize and enjoy scheduled activities and entertainment Assisted living residents at Tudor Oaks remain active and engaged in community life as much as possible. They enjoy entertainment, lectures, wellness programs, creative activities, the workout room, and the pool. In the Glenn Cove Sports complex,
families can play bocce ball, golf, and yard games. After a fun-filled day, the Butternut Bistro offers sweet treats and ice cream. The decision to move to assisted living shouldn’t be viewed as a negative; it’s a positive choice that can help keep your mind and body healthy and engaged by freeing up time and energy that was previously spent on simply getting through the day. It also gives you and your family peace of mind knowing that you have assistance available 24/7 if the need should arise. Learn about assisted living at Tudor Oaks and start planning creatively for your future.
communities compare with the convenient
CHECKLIST we’ve provided at
Studies Show Too Can Negatively Imp
Cutting down on processed sugar can hav
igh-fructose corn syrup is everywhere—in soda, candy, yogurt, bread, cereal, canned fruit, condiments, sauce, dressing, jelly, snack foods, frozen dinners, even baby food. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average American consumes more than 40 pounds of this sweetener per year.
ple chalk up this cognitive slide as a normal part of aging, but research shows there’s a direct link between forgetfulness and elevated blood sugar levels in the brain.
You know those irritating memory lapses when we forget where we put our keys or go into a room and forget why we’re there in the first place? Some peo-
The “perfect diet,” says Carmelia Wilson, Wellness Director here at
Scientists found that the part of the brain responsible for short-term memory can actually shrink from too much sugar consumption. According to Scientific American, scientists believe these mental hicPrior to the 1970s, people sweetened their food cups “stem from disruptions in the with sucrose (table sugar). When it became more hippocampus—an area that, among other roles, acts expensive, industrial users looked for a cheaper reas the brain’s “save” butplacement and found that soluton, allowing us to retain tion in high-fructose corn syrup. Scientists found that the part new information.” As more and more companies of the brain responsible for A body of research is indiadded sugar to their foods, it short-term memory can cating a link between didn’t take long for researchers actually shrink from too much Alzheimer’s disease and into find a direct link between sulin resistance. A study diets high in added sugars and sugar consumption. published in the journal Diweight gain and metabolic disabetologia followed 5,189 people for more than 10 turbances. years and discovered a faster rate of cognitive New studies are now suggesting that too much frucdecline for those with high blood sugar— tose can also do a number on our brains. According a concerning finding when you conto Julia Lundstrom, an educator in the field of neusider that approximately 86 roscience and brain health, “As more fructose is million Americans have blood consumed, the body produces more insulin to regsugar considered higher than ulate that sugar. As you over-indulge on fructose normal. and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the high levels of insulin. Eventually insulin and lepThe good news? It’s never tin levels profoundly disrupt your brain signaling, too late to start living a leading to troubles in your thinking and memory.” healthy lifestyle.
o Much pact Your Memory
e dramatic effects on our memory—at ALL ages.
High-fructose Corn Syrup ABHM community Tudor Oaks, includes drinking a lot of water, consuming less sodium, and eating less processed sugar. Instead, buy real whole foods, she says. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for fruits, veggies, lean meats/poultry, fish, and dairy, including free-range or omega-3 enriched eggs. Start paying attention to labels. “If the ingredients include more than five items, that food is now a product,” she says. From childhood to our golden years, our caloric intake might change, but the principles of a well-balanced diet remain the same. “Go back to the basics, plain and simple,” says Anne Harguth, Clinical Dietitian for ABHM community Thorne Crest. But what about when you’re craving something sweet? As we age, we ac-
tually lose taste buds. When we’re younger, we have 10-15,000 taste buds; when we’re over 70, this drops to between 3-5,000. What’s more, hundreds of medications can affect the senses of taste and smell. According to Harguth, “The last taste buds to remain with us as we age are the sweet buds.” If you crave something sweet, eat fruit. Add a banana to your breakfast oatmeal, she suggests, or buy unsweetened yogurt and add berries. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommend Americans limit added sugars to no more than 10 percent of daily calorie needs. “Gain control over sugar intake,” she says. There is good news, though. Researchers also found a link between regular exercise and an increased ability to break down sugar metabolism in the brain. “It’s been proven that by exercising for 30 minutes three times a week, you can reduce your risk of dementia by 50 percent,” Carmelia Wilson comments. Case in point: A group at the University of Edinburgh followed more than 600 people, starting at age 70, who kept detailed notes about their physical activity, mental health, and social habits. Three years later, images of their brains were studied for brain shrinkage. The seniors who engaged in the most physical exercise—both aerobic and resistance training—showed the least amount of brain shrinkage. The foods you eat can change the chemistry of your body and your brain, affecting how you think. When you eat high-quality foods, you not only physically feel better, it’s better for your mental wellbeing. Now that’s news worth remembering!
What do the tax cuts in the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act mean for older adults?
he GOP’s massive tax overhaul plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)—signed into law on December 22, 2017–doesn’t affect all seniors the same way. Some will receive a substantial tax break, some will see no difference, and others will fare a little worse than before. At ABHM, it’s our goal to keep residents and their families connected to helpful resources. Because we know this can be a complex issue, we broke down common questions in the following guide:
One item on the chopping block was the medical expense deduction. What is that? Why does it matter? The medical tax deduction allows people to deduct qualifying medical and dental expenses that exceed 10 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI). Because seniors tend to have fixed incomes, the elimination of this deduction would have had a dramatic effect on skilled nursing residents and other older adults. In addition to individuals deducting their own medical expenses, this also provides a $500 credit for each non-child dependent, helping families caring for aging parents.
Was this preserved in the final language of the legislation? YES This was a critical “win” for patients who pay for longterm care out of pocket, as well as those with chronic medical conditions.
Are Medicare Part B premiums slightly higher now? YES Medicare Part B is insurance covering doctors’ services, outpatient care in hospitals, and equipment such as wheelchairs and oxygen machines went up by $25/month, basically offsetting any cost-of-living adjustments by Social Security.
Is there less of a financial tax incentive now for people to make charitable gifts to their favorite nonprofits (many of which help seniors)? YES According to Forbes, “The TCJA makes four big changes that are likely to discourage charitable giving.
It lowers individual income tax rates, thus reducing the value of all tax deductions; and it caps the state and local tax deduction at $10,000 and increases the standard deduction to $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for couples—two steps that will significantly reduce the number of itemizers.” According to the Tax Policy Center, “the most common itemized deductions are state and local taxes, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, medical and dental expenses, and casualty and theft losses.” High-income taxpayers are the most likely to itemize deductions. With the new law, though, those who donated to charities as a way to get a tax deduction will no longer have the same incentive, since itemizing deductions won’t reduce their taxable income. Charities are bracing for a big drop in donations as more taxpayers take the standard deduction.
So who benefits from the tax cuts? Across the board, tax rates are lowered for everyone, but they are lowered the most for the highest-income taxpayers. Seniors in high-income households, with the majority of their income from investments, will benefit from cuts in corporate taxes. Another exemption—the estate tax exemption— allows seniors to avoid federal estate tax on the first $22 million of their bequests. Those making $430,000 or more would get an average tax cut of $26,000 in 2019. The estate tax exemption would jump from $11.2 million for singles and $22.4 million for couples, helping the top 1 percent of the population. The top 4,918 tax returns contribute $17 billion in taxes. Those making less than $33,000/year will see no difference (because their income is primarily from Social Security, and they pay very little in federal income tax), and those making from $3356,000 would get an average tax cut of 9 percent. The additional standard deduction, for filers 65 and over or blind, allows filers to claim an additional $1,300 when they file their 2018 taxes. Single filers who are blind or over 65 are eligible for a standard deduction of an additional $1,600, in addition to the $12,000 they’ll get from the new tax law.
• It's as bad as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. • Its health impact rivals that of obesity.
• It raises the odds that a senior will move to a nursing home. • It increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease, heart attack, depression, stroke and high blood pressure.
• It can shorten life—by almost 50 percent, say some researchers.
What is it?
any recent studies have shown the negative effect social isolation can have on an individual’s health. Sophisticated medical imaging even shows that loneliness and physical pain both cause a reaction in the same area of the brain. When we lack adequate social contact with other people, a distressing and painful cycle of decline can result, because in a sense, social skills are a "use it or lose it" ability.
Loneliness is harmful for people of every age—and seniors today are an especially vulnerable group. University of California San Francisco experts say up to half of older adults are experiencing feelings of loneliness and isolation. One way seniors can alleviate loneliness is to investigate senior community living. The communities of today are filled with variety of amenities and services that make life more vibrant and interesting. Communities offer creative activities that keep residents involved and engaged. Fitness and wellness programs to improve physical health and social activities where friendships can begin to blossom again. Community life offers the opportunity to share your life stories with new people and to become interested in theirs. It comes as no surprise that once these social changes begin to take place the cognitive areas of the brain re-engage and can help prevent general cognitive decline, including memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Importantly, when these social interactions include exercise groups, the benefits of both are increased significantly.
Call today to set up your personal tour and see all Tudor Oaks has to offer!
Owned and operated by AMERICAN BAPTIST HOMES OF THE MIDWEST, a not-for-profit provider of senior health care since 1930. 14850 SCENIC HEIGHTS RD, STE 125, EDEN PRAIRIE MN 55344
Tudor Oaks Senior Living Community S77 W12929 McShane Drive Muskego, WI 53150 www.TudorOaks.net
AT TUDOR OAKS
Tudor Oaks is a faith-based, not-for-profit senior living community. Our mission is to create healthy Christian communities that empower older adults. We provide choices for housing, services, and technology that enrich body, mind and spirit.
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Tudor Oaks Newsletter Summer 2018