Senior Lifestyle 2011
A Special Supplement To
The Daily Dispatch
The Daily Dispatch
Senior Lifestyle ’11
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Are you prepared to live to 90?
Being able to live a long and full life is good news, of course. But you will have to plan well to be sure that you don’t run out of income when you may need it the most.
(ARA) — While living to the age of 90 was once a rare feat, it is becoming increasingly common. You may be surprised to learn that the fastest growing demographic in the country is people over the age of 85. According to the latest life insurance mortality tables, 38 percent of men and half of women age 65 today can expect to live to the age of 90 or beyond. Being able to live a long and full life is good news, of course. But you will have to plan well to be sure that you don’t run out of income when you may need it the most. Here are some suggestions from Dr. Robert Pokorski, The Hartford’s chief medical strategist, for planning a retirement that may include a 90th birthday celebration: • Consider buying a life insurance policy with an optional longevity rider. While the main purpose of life insurance is to provide income to your heirs when you die, paying extra for a longevity rider
will allow you to begin receiving installments of your own death benefit when you turn 90 and meet the rider’s eligibility requirements. You are then free to use it to simply enjoy life or to help ensure you don’t outlive your retirement savings. A $500,000 policy works like this: When you reach the age of 90, you can elect to receive a guaranteed minimum withdrawal benefit of up to 1 percent of the death benefit of your life insurance policy. In this example, you may receive monthly payments of as much as $5,000 per month for eight years. Even if you eventually withdraw the entire death benefit, a guaranteed residual death benefit will be provided, subject to the terms of the rider. Your heirs will still receive 10 percent of the benefit — in this case, $50,000. • Consider purchasing an annuity to cover many of your fixed expenses later in life. Making conser-
vative investments like this can help ensure that you’ll have a reliable source of income to cover such necessities as rent or mortgage payments, utilities, prescriptions, groceries, insurance and transportation. Any other retirement savings you have can be used to cover the cost of travel and entertainment or to pay for unforeseen expenses. • Postpone retirement. While you might consider putting off retirement to be a bad thing, you may decide to continue working in order to increase your monthly Social Security benefit. Delaying Social Security from age 62 to 67 will increase the amount you will receive each month by 30 percent. Postponing retirement will also increase any pension benefits you will receive in the future. You could even use the time to try working in a new field that has always appealed to you. • Plan for a health emergency. Nobody likes
to think about becoming ill, but planning for health-care emergencies is a part of smart retirement planning, especially when you consider that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 70 percent of retirees will need to pay for chronic care sometime during their lives. Some insurers offer life insurance policies with an accelerated benefits rider. If you become chronically ill and meet the claim criteria, you can use the money you receive from the death benefit any way you like. You can, for example, use it to pay a family member to take care of you. Turning 90 is a milestone worth celebrating. With good planning, you could live a long and comfortable life without worrying too much about your finances. Consumers who want to learn more about The Hartford’s life insurance policies can call 1-877-439-0772 or visit www.hartfordinvestor. com/livingbenefits.
Seniors often fall victim to telemarketing fraud Seniors are too often victimized by telemarketing fraud. Studies from the American Association of Retired Persons have shown that many elderly fraud victims simply don’t suspect the person soliciting money on the phone could be a criminal. The FBI reports that there are as many as 14,000 illegal telemarketing operations going on at any given time. These illegal operations generate as much as $40 billion a year. Relatives of seniors are understandably concerned, particularly if those seniors live alone and no one is around to monitor how
many calls they’re receiving from telemarketers. Concerned relatives can share the following information with seniors to reduce their loved ones’ risks of being victimized by telemarketing fraud. • Legitimate marketers are not in a rush to sell products or secure donations. A legitimate marketer or charity will not try to pressure prospective buyers into making a purchase over the phone or prospective donors into making immediate contributions. Explain to seniors that a legitimate marketer will accept a person’s desire for written information about the products
or charity and will gladly send such information to a prospective buyer or donor’s home. • Payments are typically not picked up by a courier service. Telemarketing fraudsters often employ couriers to pick up payments. This is not the action of a reputable charity or business, and seniors should never agree to buy a product or donate money to any telemarketer who offers to send a courier to their home to pick up payment. • Sweepstakes cannot legally require payment to win a prize. It is not legal for contests or sweepstakes to require “winners” pay a
fee before they can enter a contest or claim a prize. Seniors should be made aware that this is the law and that any contest or sweepstakes demanding payment is bogus. • Be especially wary of companies offering to recover money paid to fraudulent telemarketers in the past. Companies offering to recover past money lost to fraud are often fraudulent themselves. These companies will offer their fraudulent services for a fee. • Money lost to a fraudulent telemarketer is likely lost forever. Men and women concerned
about elderly friends or relatives being victimized by telemarketing fraud should explain to their loved ones that money lost in a telemarketing scam is not likely to be recovered. This should help highlight the importance of receiving official documentation from any telemarketers before buying a product or making a donation. If seniors are aware their money isn’t likely to be recovered should it be going to a criminal, they are much less likely to make hasty decisions over the phone. To learn more about fraud, visit the National Consumer League’s Fraud Center at www.fraud.org.
Protect against elder abuse Each year thousands of senior citizens are exploited, abused or neglected. This behavior is classified as elder abuse and can occur by way of strangers or even family members. In many cases, trusted friends and members of the family are the perpetrators of the abuse. Elder abuse is something widely recognized by courts, and there is legislature passed in all 50 states to protect against elder abuse. In terms of what constitutes elder abuse, here are offenses that are broadly defined as abuse and may be punishable. • Sexual abuse: Nonconsensual sexual contact. • Physical abuse: Pain or injury caused to a senior, including injury from restraining by physical or chemical means. • Exploitation: Illegal use or concealment of funds/ property/assets of a senior used for someone else’s benefit. • Neglect: The failure to provide necessary resources, such as food, shelter, health care, etc. for an elder. • Abandonment: Failure to perform assumed responsibilities by a person who promised care or custody of a vulnerable elder. • Emotional abuse: Causing mental pain, anguish or distress to a senior through various acts. • Self-neglect: The failure to perform self-care tasks that can threaten one’s own health or safety.
The Daily Dispatch
Senior Lifestyle ’11
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Be your own advocate: get the information you need (ARA) — Getting a diagnosis of any kind of cancer can be frightening. One of the first things many patients do is learn everything they can about their illness, including what options for disease management and treatment are available. This can be challenging if a person’s cancer is considered rare, which defined by the National Institutes of Health as a cancer that affects fewer than 200,000 people. Patients with rare cancers are more likely than those with more common cancers to say they lack access to credible and reliable information, causing them to feel alone in dealing with their disease, according to a national survey. For many like newlywed Carolina Williams, getting the right diagnosis and information about her GIST, a rare and life-threatening cancer, was important to both her and her family. One day, about a year into her marriage, Carolina Williams became extremely bloated and experienced terrible stomach pains which came on suddenly. Her husband knew something was seriously wrong when he found her unconscious on the floor from pain. He immediately brought her to the emergency room. There a physician conducted a CAT scan which revealed a large mass in her stomach that was diagnosed as a benign cyst. After four Please see ADVOCACY, page 7
Don’t depend on someone else to advocate for you. Talk to your doctor directly to stay informed about your disease or condition.
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sunDay, June 26, 2011
Boomer basics: Tips to maintain an active, safe and healthy lifestyle
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(ARA) — Today’s baby boomers are growing older gracefully. And although more than 10,000 boomers each day will turn 65, most are not letting their age stop them from maintaining active and healthy lifestyles. Here are a few ways to ensure that you (or the ones you love) stay healthy, active and safe: • Maintain regular health screenings and immunizations. While it is important to have regular check-ups with your family doctor, it’s equally important to monitor vitals more frequently. Luckily, most local pharmacies offer free blood pressure and cholesterol checks, as well as seasonal flu shots. • Travel safety. Once
you’ve updated your own bathroom with safety features, be sure that you are surrounded with these safety devices when you’re visiting others or on vacation. Products such as the suction balance assist bar from Moen Home Care offer a suction design that easily attaches directly to smooth, flat surfaces for a firm, secure grip in danger zones — and easily unlocks from the wall for convenient transport when traveling. • Boost your activity levels. This doesn’t mean running a marathon — but it does mean getting your body moving. Walking, playing golf or any other enjoyable activity that boosts your heart rate is a step in the right direction.
• Instill healthy habits. Being healthy doesn’t have to involve major lifestyle changes. For example, swap high-fat or high-calorie versions of your favorite foods with lower-fat, lower-calorie versions. Or, stock your fridge with healthy fruits and vegetables for snacks. These small diet changes can make big differences in your overall health. • Cease bad habits. Smokers will die 14 years sooner than non-smokers, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. No matter if you’ve been smoking for years or decades, your body will be better off if you kick the habit. please see BASICS, pAge 7
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THE DAILY DISPATCH
SENIOR LIFESTYLE ’11
SUNDAY, JUNE 26, 2011
You and your home: aging gracefully together
Aging gracefully is all about taking a proactive approach to your future well-being — you anticipate the inevitable changes and do what’s necessary to stay healthy and fit. You need to apply the same principles to your home so that you can successfully age together.
As inflation worries rise, act now for retirement security
(ARA) — Americans are worried what inflation might do to their retirement finances. According to a recent Thrivent Financial for Lutherans survey of 2,000 American adults, 93 percent of all respondents reported they worried at least “a little” about inflation’s impact on their retirement finances, and a majority, 53 percent, said they worried “a lot.” Most likely to worry about inflation in retirement were those ages 45 to
54 and those with incomes of $25,000 to $49,999. Still, this fear wasn’t confined by age or income. Nearly half of respondents ages 18 to 34 as well as those with incomes above $75,000 say they worried a lot that inflation would negatively affect their finances during their retirement years. “Fear of inflation in retirement runs deep and broad,” says Ann Koplin, Thrivent Financial’s direcPLEASE SEE INFLATION, PAGE 6
(ARA) — Aging gracefully is all about taking a proactive approach to your future well-being — you anticipate the inevitable changes and do what’s necessary to stay healthy and fit. The same principles are true for your home. You need to assess the necessary changes that must be made around your home to keep it fit, and you safe, so you and your home can successfully age together. Helping your home age gracefully doesn’t mean adding industrial-looking apparatuses throughout the house. In fact, with Lowe’s Accessible Home program, you’ll never have to sacrifice style for function. Plus, if you do these projects proactively, you’ll save money in the long run. Julie Sussman and Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, authors of the national bestselling “Dare to Repair” series of books, have teamed with Lowe’s to provide you with some can-do projects to make your home more acces-
sible for everyday living. • Safety in a shower/ tub — A handheld shower unit is a perfect solution for anyone who has to sit while showering. Use a plumber’s wrench or an adjustable wrench to remove the old shower head; if difficult to remove, apply lubricating spray. Remove any residue from threads on shower arm. Apply Teflon tape to threads, wrapping it counterclockwise, three or four times. Place hose of new shower unit onto end of shower arm, turning it clockwise. Insert hand shower into the shower arm mount, rotating it to desired spot. Use adjustable wrench to tighten. Handheld shower units now come in a variety of finishes and sizes sure to spruce up anyone’s shower. • Getting a better handle on knobs — For anyone who suffers from arthritis, a lever handle is much easier on the joints than a knob. Plus, lever handles can dress up the plainest of doors. Use a screwdriver to remove the
screws on the old doorknob. Insert stems of exterior lever horizontally into the holes in the latch case. Place interior lever on the protruding spindle, aligning stems with screw holes. Insert screws and tighten with screwdriver. • Avoiding slips — If you can’t bear the sight of a bare floor and don’t want to remove the beautiful rugs in your home, you must properly secure all of them. All rugs, including doormats, should be secured to the floor with non-skid tape. First, make sure floor surface is clean and dry. Attach tape to underside of rug, flip it over and adhere to floor. Don’t forget the bathroom rug. • Preventing falls — A stair handrail is designed to aid in ascending and descending stairs. But, why stop at having only one handrail per stairway? Make each stairway more
symmetrical and safe by having a second one installed. Also, be sure to check all handrails in the home for any that wiggle. Use a screwdriver to tighten any loose screws. Make sure there is adequate lighting at the top and bottom of each staircase. • Providing stability — Today’s shower grab bar is not your father’s (or hospital’s) grab bar. The choices in style, size, color and installation will make you wonder why you waited this long to have one. To install a grab bar, you’ll need a drill, the proper drill bits and the right grab bar. It’s easy to install, just be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions completely. For more information about available products and services visit www.lowes. com/AccessibleHome. Follow Dare to Repair at www. daretorepair.com, Facebook and Twitter.
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INFLATION, FROM PAGE FIVE
tor of retirement marketing. “Given that people’s retirements can span 20 to 30 years or more, individuals really need to consider the impact that inflation may have on their long-term financial security.” What’s the best way to confront this potential financial menace? Koplin says the first key is the obvious one: building a substantial retirement nest egg during one’s working years. “The more you can set aside for retirement, the more you’ll have available to deal with inflation,” Koplin observes. “Unfortunately, many people consider their nest egg the ‘finish line’ for their retirement finances, when it really represents the new ‘starting line.’ ” While inflation may be low in any given year, it’s the cumulative effect that can really add up. “We’ve experienced low inflation in recent years, but even the constant nibble of 2 or 3 percent inflation over an extended period of time can take a big bite out of one’s purchasing power over the long haul. For example, in 1990, the average cost of a gallon of gas was $1.34 per gallon, and a loaf of bread was just 70 cents,” Koplin says. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics supports Koplin’s assertion. One dollar in 2001 had the same buying power as $1.25 today (2011), according to the bureau’s “CPI Inflation Calculator.” Twenty years
senior lifesTyle ’11 ago that dollar had the buying power of $1.62 today, and 30 years ago it had the buying power of $2.43 today. Given inflation’s constricting effect, Koplin says it may be wise for some retirees to keep a portion of their investments in assets that have the potential for growth, like stocks, or equity mutual funds. While these types of securities have historically shown the most volatility — the largest ups and downs — they also have historically fared well in relation to inflation. This step alone, however, is not sufficient. Koplin suggests that retirees explore options to balance growth investments with products, like annuities, offering a guaranteed income or return. She says many retirees may benefit by periodically adding to this income base by converting a portion of their investment gains to their guaranteed income. The final key to financial security in retirement is to carefully monitor and adjust one’s spending. Koplin says that some financial services organizations offer programs and services that help individuals align spending, growth and guarantees so that they can have increased confidence that they will not outlive their retirement assets. “Having a financial strategy that is flexible enough to adapt to a person’s changing needs and circumstances is a must,” notes Koplin. “Inflation can be detrimental to one’s retirement finances, but carefully managing your money throughout your golden years can help counter inflation’s bite.”
sunDay, June 26, 2011
Travel tips for seniors looking for a hassle-free vacation (ARA) — Statistics are proving that age 70 really is the new 50. According to the U.S. Travel Association, mature travelers ages 65 or older represented 21 percent of all leisure travelers in 2010. From taking a trip with their grandchildren across country, to living out dreams in far, exotic destinations, today’s seniors are choosing to enjoy their golden years traveling. Staying safe and being prepared when traveling is more important than ever for this age group. Here are some special considerations for senior travelers looking for a hassle-free travel experience.
Plan carefully When planning your trip, stay organized and compile any contact information and
travel reservations to keep in a folder to ensure you don’t have any problems. You might also include emergency numbers and family contact information in this folder as well. Whether driving or flying, it’s smart to gather maps ahead of time so you don’t get lost. If you are traveling out of the country, make sure your passport is up to date several months ahead of time as getting a new passport takes time to process.
Pack carefully When packing for a trip, it’s important to be prepared. Some packing essentials include a comfortable pair of shoes, a hat and sunglasses to protect the face, clothing that you can wear in layers and any necessary personal items.
Multi-purpose items, such as a scarf, which can also be used as a makeshift beach blanket, are always smart to pack and limit the weight of your suitcase. If you are taking an extended vacation, inquire about laundry options close to where you’ll be staying.
Visit your doctor As a senior, your health is very important and no one ever wants to get sick or injured on vacation. Schedule a checkup with your doctor before any major trip to discuss the activities you plan to do, and get written prescriptions for any medications you may need. Keep your prescriptions in their original containers so that they can be identified propplease see TRAVeLINg, pAge 7
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erly. If you plan to travel out of the country, contact the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for required immunizations.
• Fight against falls. Falls are the most common cause of hospital visits for those older than 65, according to the Home Safety Council. To help prevent falls in the bathroom — while maintaining stylish decor in your home — add new grab bars with integrated accessories from Moen Home Care. These unique products combine functional accessories, such as a shelf, towel bar and toilet paper holder, with the safety of a grab bar. • Ensure help is a call away. Cell phones are not just for social uses, they are a valuable emergency response tool — and they don’t have to come with a pricey monthly bill. In fact,
FROM PAGE SIX
FROM PAGE FOUR
Whether traveling 50 miles or 5,000, prepare for the unexpected by purchasing a membership from a travel and medical assistance company like On Call International before you leave. Senior travelers ages 77 to 85 can purchase a special Mature Membership, which includes services like emergency medical transportation to the hospital of their choice, transportation home, worldwide physician referrals, a 24-hour nurse helpline and emergency travel assistance. The membership
ADVOCACY, FROM PAGE THREE
days of medical procedures to drain the cyst, a seven-pound solid tumor was removed and tested for cancer. “Once my doctor removed the tumor, I wanted to make sure that the hospital did the proper tests to check if the mass was cancerous,” said Williams. “I wasn’t going to leave it up to chance so I requested that an oncologist perform the tests. I am glad that I pushed for this, because I was soon diagnosed with a gastrointestinal stromal tumor, or GIST, which is considered a rare form of cancer. I was then able to get the information I needed to help understand my disease.” When it comes to helping manage their own disease
also includes pre-travel destination and health information, lost-luggage assistance, worldwide legal assistance and even covers the cost of transporting grandchildren or a traveling companion home if you need to stay in the hospital.
With a little planning, seniors can travel without worry and enjoy the best of their golden years exploring the world. For more information about safe travel and medical assistance memberships, visit www.oncallinternational.com.
and acting as their own advocate, patients should seek out resources both through their physicians and reliable online websites. For some rare cancers, like GIST, there are a number of online resources, including www. GISTTheFactsInfo.com, an educational site for GIST patients and their families that was developed by Novartis Oncology. “It is so important for people with cancer, especially
those with a rare cancer like me, to act as their own advocate when it comes to getting the right diagnosis, disease information and ultimately the right disease management plan,” said Williams. “Working with my doctor and learning more about my disease has helped me focus on the other important things in my life, including enjoying time with my husband and taking care of my son. They mean the world to me.”
sunDay, June 26, 2011
From taking a trip with their grandchildren across country, to living out dreams in far, exotic destinations, today’s seniors are choosing to enjoy their golden years traveling.
plans are available for as low as $10 per month without a contract to AARP members. • Keep your mind moving. Cognitive performance levels drop earlier in countries that have younger retirement age, according to a study published by the RAND Center for the Study of Aging and the University of Michigan. But if you’re no longer in the workforce, don’t fear. Just be sure to keep your brain busy by engaging in activities that combine social, physical and intellectual stimulation. By following these simple tips, you can ensure the golden years will be happy, healthy and safe. For more information on Moen Home Care safety products, visit www.moen. com/homecare.
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Senior Lifestyle ’11
The Daily Dispatch
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Hobbies that even arthritis sufferers can enjoy
Individuals with arthritis are often stuck between a rock and a hard place. Doctors want people to exercise to keep up the range of motion in affected joints. However, even some limited movements can cause pain and suffering to those with arthritis. Furthermore, individuals with arthritis may shy away from the activities they once enjoyed because the pain is simply too overwhelming. Instead of simply sitting on the couch watching television, there are a number of different things arthritis sufferers can do to pass the time and reconnect with past hobbies and interests. It might just take a little
re-outfitting of the tools that are needed to participate.
Gardening Gardening is a popular pastime for people of all ages. But the repetitive motions of digging and tilling as well as gripping a multitude of tools can take the joy out of the hobby. People with arthritis can make some changes. Raised garden beds or container gardening eliminates the stooping and bending associated with traditional gardening. With containers, individuals can place the containers on a counter or table and do all the work at a comfortable height.
Choosing low-maintenance plants is another option. Plants that don’t require as much pruning or repotting are good for those with arthritis. Also, look for tools with larger grips and handles to be easier on arthritic hands.
Crafting Many people with arthritis find the fine-detail work they grew accustomed to is not very comfortable with arthritis. Instead, there are many other crafts that can be practical. Ceramics are one craft where the activity can also be the exercise. Using a pottery wheel or hand-
molding doughs and other modeling media can be a way to stretch and work the hands and fingers. Using paintbrushes equipped with wider grips can make painting possible. Mural painting is another option. Again, those with arthritis can choose tools with wide handles to make grasping easier. Large designs on walls or canvases will be easier to handle than smaller pieces.
Cooking Cooking and baking is an art form that can be enjoyed by anyone. Furthermore, with ergonomic spoons, ladles and other
Container gardening is a hobby arthritis sufferers can enjoy. kitchen tools, it has never been more convenient or less labor-intensive to be an
accomplished home chef. Baking and pastry creation is one area where people can show off creative skills. For those who love to bake but have trouble kneading and working dough, food processors, bread machines and kitchen stand mixers can take the work out of those processes. Cooking is not only a rewarding hobby, but also an activity that can benefit the household. Having arthritis doesn’t mean a person has to give up on the activities he or she enjoys. It merely involves a few tweaks that can still make these hobbies enjoyable.
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Senior Lifestyle is a special section published by The Daily Dispatch focusing on areas of interest to the elderly.