Looking Forward Planning for Life After 50
With informative features on finance, health and wellness, retirement living and more!
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you should ask your pharmacist
(BPT) - A visit to the pharmacy can be about more than just picking up prescriptions or supplies for the medicine cabinet. It can actually be an important, and convenient, time to ask your pharmacist key questions that could impact your health. Dr. Andria Fetterman, a faculty member in South University Savannah's School of Pharmacy, encourages people to use their pharmacist as a resource for information about everything from prescription medication to lifestyle changes. Fetterman says there are five key questions you should frequently ask your pharmacist.
What can I expect from this medication? Fetterman says whether
you're picking up an over-the-counter remedy or a prescription, you should feel free to ask your pharmacist what to expect from the medication. "Many medications have potential side effects that you should be aware of before you take them," advises Fetterman. "It may be something as mild as a little stomach discomfort or drowsiness, but knowing what to expect will help you handle any potential side effects. Also, knowing what to expect could keep you from blaming any new, unrelated symptoms on your medication." You should also ask how long it will take for your medication to make you feel better. Fetterman says most antibiotics should have you feeling better in three to five days, but an anti-depressant may need to be in your system for three weeks before you begin to feel its effects. If a prescription medicine doesn't seem to be working in the proper time frame, you should let your doctor know. Remember that sudden discontinuation of some medications, without proper professional advice, can be costly to your health.
How long should I take an over the counter medication before I call my doctor? Over-the-counter medicines can provide relief for a
number of ailments, but sometimes you need to see a doctor either for a prescription or a correct diagnosis of your symptoms. Fetterman says your pharmacist can help guide you when you're not sure if it is time to see a doctor. "A pharmacist can give you advice on how quickly you should see
symptom relief with an over-the-counter medication," says Fetterman. "Many times, people will treat themselves too long with over-the-counter medicine or will switch from one product to another looking for relief, and many times don't go to a physician when they need to."
How do I manage my condition? "When someone leaves the doctor's
office after a diagnosis, they may be scared or shell-shocked," Fetterman explains. "There may be questions about medication or daily management that they didn't think to ask. That's where a pharmacist can help." Fetterman uses Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure as examples. "A pharmacist can counsel you about weight loss, healthy eating and ways to promote cardiovascular activity. With proper disease management, some patients can actually reduce or eliminate their need for prescription medication altogether."
Do these medicines mix? Fetterman says it is important to ask a
pharmacist about whether any new medication will mix well with other things you are already taking. "Dietary supplements, herbal supplements and over-the-counter medicines can interact or interfere with prescription medications. When you are having a prescription filled, your pharmacist should ask you about all other medications that you're taking. If you're on prescription medication, check with the pharmacist before beginning any new over-the-counter supplements or medication to make sure it is safe."
What should I do about my persistent, minor symptoms? Fetterman
says you should never hesitate to ask a pharmacist about a persistent, minor symptom that might be bothering you. "If you're having a non-specific or persistent symptom that you think is minor, you should still ask your pharmacist about it," says Fetterman. "A pharmacist can recommend an over-the-counter medicine that may relieve symptoms, but can also advise you to see a doctor about your symptom rather than ignoring it. "A pharmacist can be a great source of health information. All you have to do is ask."
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How to save more for retirement after age 50 Whether it’s advice from their parents, a response to television ads urging viewers to save for retirement, or their own financial savvy, many of today’s young professionals recognize the importance of saving for retirement from the moment they receive their first paychecks. But men and women over 50 may not have been so practical, and many such professionals may feel a need to save more as their retirements draw ever closer. Saving for retirement might seem like a no-brainer, but the National Institute on Retirement Security notes that, in 2017, almost 40 million households in the United States had no retirement savings at all. In addition, the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that Americans have a retirement savings deficit of $4.3 trillion, meaning they have $4.3 trillion less in retirement savings than they should. Men and women over 50 who have retirement savings deficits may need to go beyond depositing more money in their retirement accounts in order to live comfortably and pay their bills in retirement. The following are a few simple ways to start saving more for retirement. • Redirect nonessential expenses into savings. Some retirement accounts, such as IRAs, are governed by deposit limits. But others, such as 401(k) retirement plans, have no such limits. Men and women can examine their spending habits in an effort to find areas where they can cut back on nonessential expenses, such as cable television subscriptions and dining out. Any money saved each month can then be redirected into savings and/or retirement accounts. • Reconsider your retirement date. Deciding to work past the age of
65 is another way men and women over 50 can save more for retirement. Many professionals now continue working past the age of 65 for a variety of reasons. Some may suspect they’ll grow bored in retirement, while others may keep working out of financial need. Others may simply love their jobs and want to keep going until their passion runs out. Regardless of the reason, working past the age of 65 allows men and women to keep earning and saving for retirement, while also delaying the first withdrawal from their retirement savings accounts. • Reconsider your current and future living situation. Housing costs are many people’s most considerable expense, and that won’t necessarily change in retirement. Even men and women who have paid off their mortgages may benefit by moving to a region with lower taxes or staying in the same area but downsizing to a smaller home where their taxes and utility bills will be lower. Adults who decide to move to more affordable areas or into smaller, less expensive homes can then redirect the money they are saving into interest-bearing retirement or savings accounts. Many people begin saving for retirement the moment they cash their first professional paycheck. But even adults over the age of 50 sometimes feel a need to save more as their retirement dates draw closer, and there are many ways to do just that.
CALL 815-669-5741 TO SCHEDULE A PERSONAL TOUR
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Choosing a Retirement Community
Ask most people where they would prefer to spend their retirement years and they will say they would prefer to remain in their own homes as long as possible. But ask those same people and they will tell you they aren’t sure how they would manage if they could no longer care for themselves or what options would be available to them. For those people planning ahead for tomorrow and the unknowns associated with life, Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRC) may offer the best of the best. With options ranging from independent living to 24-hour nursing care, Continuing Care Retirement Communities are the answer for an increasing number of people planning for the future. For those sold on the idea of a Continuing Care Retirement Community, the following steps might make the process easier: Prioritize Make a list of those things that matter most to you. For many people location is a key factor. The average person lives within fifty miles of their birthplace. If you enjoy a rural lifestyle, or if proximity to family is important, or you enjoy the sights of the city or the atmosphere of life in a university town, then add it to your priority list. The list can be as specific as you want but will go a long way in narrowing your search. Research You will be much more up to speed on terms, jargon and options if you do a little homework before setting out. Many consumers will limit their search to not-for-profit organizations or those with a particular sponsorship or affiliation. Spend some time visiting with friends and then log on to the Internet. There is a wealth of information available. Most retirement communities have websites and many share photos, list amenities, services and contact information. Accredited? Some continuing care retirement communities are accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Rehabilitative Facilities (CARF). Accreditation indicates to the public that the community has the financial resources necessary to meet the present and projected needs, has knowledgeable administrative staff, and provides sufficient financial information to residents and applicants.
It not only provides assurance of quality and integrity, but it offers the public a standard for comparisons in evaluating retirement communities. Visit The retirement decision may be one of the biggest decisions you will make in your life. Take the time to visit the communities, talk with the staff, take a tour, and meet the residents. Many of the communities offer educational/entertainment programs open to the public. This is a great way to experience the community first-hand. Fees Get a clear understanding of pricing and fees. Most communities have an entrance fee based on the size of the apartment/duplex and offer a refundable portion over a set number of years. The monthly fees vary widely from community to community, level of care and services and amenities. Also, ask for the community’s history of fee increases and a copy of their most recent financial audit. A reputable community will have this information readily available and will be more than willing to share it. What if I outlive my resources? Many not-for-profit retirement communities have a charitable fund to provide life care to those who outlive their resources. Other types of retirement housing may discharge an individual when they exhaust their resources or require additional care. Knowing up front what you can expect when the time comes will go a long way in providing you peace of mind and future security. There is a myriad of retirement living options available to consumers today. Taking the time to research and select the one that best meets your interests today and your needs of tomorrow is time well spent.
OAK CREST DeKalb Area Retirement Center www.oakcrestdekalb.org
“It’s not a pure science”
Pat Vary Oak Crest Resident Since 2014
Making the decision to leave your home and move to a retirement community can be a pretty daunting experience. With so many choices, a variety of options, pricing and terminology to wade through, it’s no wonder some people ﬁnd the whole process overwhelming. As a scientist, I approached the retirement decision like I do many things. I collected all the data, examined the information, reviewed the ﬁnancial requirements and surveyed many friends. I love to travel, and had been going on tours with people from Oak Crest for years. In all that time, I had never heard even one negative comment. I then took the ﬁrst step and made an appointment to meet with the staff at Oak Crest. What I found only conﬁrmed my earlier research and impressions. Oak Crest met all my requirements with wonderful surroundings, a solid ﬁnancial background, a guarantee of life care and security and affordability. And, as I anticipated, from the minute I walked in I found a home that is warm and welcoming, supportive and caring and embraces my individuality and independence. Besides, I had many of my travel friends, nearby. When you get right down to it there’s more to retirement than facts and ﬁgures. To truly appreciate all that life at Oak Crest has to offer, you have to experience it ﬁrsthand.
For more information call (815) 756-8461 • 2944 Greenwood Acres Dr. • DeKalb, IL 4 | LOOKING FORWARD | Saturday, February 24, 2018
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The risk factors for melanoma A form of cancer that develops in the pigment-making cells of the skin known as the melanocytes, melanoma is a relatively rare form of skin cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is more dangerous than basal and squamous cell skin cancers, which are the most common types of the disease, because it is likely to metastasize if not detected early. No one is invulnerable to the potential threat posed by melanoma, though some people are at greater risk of the disease than others. The following are some of the risk factors for melanoma, courtesy of the Skin Cancer Foundation.
Skin type - People with fair skin are at greater
Sun exposure - Exposure to the sun can
Family history - The SCF notes that roughly
increase a person’s risk factor for various forms of skin cancer, including melanoma. The SCF notes that blistering sunburns suffered in early childhood especially increase a person’s risk of developing melanoma, though sunburns later in life also can increase that risk. In addition, people who live in places that get substantial sunlight, such as Florida and Hawaii, tend to develop more skin cancers than people who live in areas with less sunlight. Tanning booths and beds also increase exposure to ultraviolet rays, which increase one’s melanoma risk.
Moles - The more moles a person has on his or
her skin, the greater his or her risk for melanoma. There are two types of moles: normal moles and atypical moles. Normal moles are small, brown blemishes or beauty marks that appear in the first few decades of life. Many people develop such moles. Atypical moles known as “dysplastic nevi” can be precursors to melanoma, and people with such moles are at greater risk of developing the disease. It can be difficult to distinguish between normal and atypical moles, though the SCF notes that atypical moles that itch, bleed, crust, ooze, swell, or are elevated from the skin might be in particular danger of becoming melanomas. Atypical moles that are bluish-black in color or become persisting open sores are also at greater risk of becoming melanomas.
risk of various types of skin cancers, including melanomas. Such is also the case for people with light-colored hair and eyes.
Weakened immune system - People whose
immune systems have been compromised are at greater risk of developing melanoma than those whose immune systems are working at full strength. Chemotherapy, organ transplant surgery, excessive exposure to the sun, and diseases such as HIV/AIDS can weaken the immune system. 10 percent of people diagnosed with melanoma have a family member who also has been diagnosed. People whose mother, father, siblings or children have developed melanoma are considered to be in families that are prone to melanoma. In fact, each person with a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with melanoma has a 50 percent greater chance of developing the disease than someone with no such family connection. Melanoma is a potentially deadly form of skin cancer. People with a family history of the disease or those who spend substantial time in the sun should be especially vigilant about protecting their skin.
Exposure to the sun increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer.
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DR. AMANDA FRIEDRICHS
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More options than ever for
Families Needing Elder Care More Americans than ever before are now older than 65, and in just four more decades, for the first time in history, there will be more seniors in the U.S. than people younger than 18, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Given those numbers, is it any surprise that many families wrestle with decisions for how to take care of aging parents, grandparents and other loved ones? "Deciding how to take care of an aging loved one can be a challenging, emotionally wrenching experience," says Danielle Russell, vice president of operations and business development for Assisted Transition, a network of independent consultants that help families find elder care. "The good news is that as the population of elders has expanded, so have elder care options." Just 20 years ago, families might have had to choose between putting a parent in a nursing home or having one younger family member quit a job to stay home and care for the parent. Today, options abound and it's important to know what's available before making such an important decision. Russell offers some background on seven of the top types of senior care: Assisted living communities - Seniors who require assistance with daily activities such as dressing, eating or bathing may still wish to live as independently as possible. Assisted living communities strive to provide an appropriate level of care while allowing residents to maintain as much independence as possible. Seniors who are no longer able to live completely independently, but who do not need nursing home, Alzheimer's or dementia care, may find this type of arrangement works for them. Respite/short-term care - This type of care provides short-term breaks for families that may need elder care for a short time - a few hours, a day or a weekend, for example. Options can include an in-home skilled health assistant, an adult day program outside the home, or residential respite care facility. Independent living communities - In these residential communities, seniors can live by themselves with minimal assistance
for certain tasks and needs. Elders with mild mobility issues or forgetfulness might do well in this type of environment. Rehabilitation centers - A senior recovering from a minor health issue may require extra care and therapy to regain the ability to live independently. Rehabilitation centers provide care as well as occupational, physical or speech therapy. Dementia care - Dementia is a progressive disorder that weakens memory, impairs judgment and diminishes mental abilities. Elders experiencing dementia may need an increasing level of care. Dementia care can occur inside the home or in a care facility. Alzheimer's communities - A progressive, incurable cognitive disorder, Alzheimer's affects memory and mental abilities. Patients usually require a high level of care with everyday tasks, but may be in physically good health. Alzheimer's communities specialize in caring for patients who require this high level of care. Skilled nursing homes - Licensed by the state in which they operate, skilled nursing homes provide the highest level of medical care outside a hospital. These round-the-clock residential facilities care for patients who require a high level of care, such as those who are bed-ridden or suffer from chronic health issues that require 24hour access to medical aid. Even the most diligent families may have difficulty sorting through all the elder care options and decisions they face during the stress-filled process of choosing care. Many seek advice and expert assistance, such as from Assisted Transition, that can help ensure their loved ones receive the best possible care for his or her needs. The organization offers information, resources and free placement services to families looking for senior care and housing options. Assisted Transition provides referrals to assisted living facilities, nursing homes, residential care homes, senior housing and other industry resources. To find a consultant near you, visit www. assistedtransition.com.
Start Living a Carefree Lifestyle The Supportive Living Program is available in Illinois to seniors 65 or older who need help maintaining their independence regardless of their ﬁnancial resources
• On-going health monitoring and nursing assesments • Assistance with activities of daily living, including bathing, dressing, personsal hygiene, grooming, getting to and from activities, and dining • Medication set-up, reminders and assistance • Three restaurant style meals served daily plus snacks • A range of interesting and varied programs and events • Assistance with transportation needs • 24 hour stafﬁng by certiﬁed nurses assistants • On-site beauty/barber servies
To schedule your visit, call
815-787-6500 2626 N. Annie Glidden Rd. • DeKalb, IL 60115 Managed by Gardant Management
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A wide array of sunglasses can protect eyes from potentially damaging ultraviolet radiation.
Protect eyes from ultraviolet rays Thanks to increased awareness about the perils of exposure to ultraviolet rays and skin damage, a greater number of people routinely apply sunscreen before spending time outdoors. But while people take steps to prevent sunburns, skin cancer and premature aging, they may fail to consider that UV rays also can damage their eyes.
Pterygium - Pterygium is a growth that forms on the outer
Just as people protect their skin from the sun, so, too, should they safeguard their eyes. Prevent Blindness America warns that the sun is comprised of UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays may hurt central vision by damaging the macula, or a part of the retina at the back of the eye. UVB rays typically affect the front part of the eye or the lens and cornea. The following are some common eye conditions that can be linked to exposure to UV rays.
Cataracts - UV exposure also can contribute to the formation
Photokeratitis - Excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time can cause photokeratitis, which is equivalent to a sunburn of the eye. Photokeratitis may occur after spending long hours at the beach or skiing without proper eye protection. UVB rays cause photokeratitis, and these rays can burn the cornea, potentially causing pain and temporary vision loss.
Macular degeneration - Macular degeneration
is a deterioration of the part of the retina that is responsible for sharp, central vision. In addition to UV rays, chronic exposure to shorter-wavelength visible blue and violet light can be harmful to the retina. The sun and many artificial light sources, such as LEDs and smartphones, emit blue light. Some blue light can be beneficial, but some can be harmful to the eyes. Lenses that absorb harmful blue light or block it can prevent retinal damage.
portion of the eye, or the cornea and conjunctiva. The World Health Organization says that prolonged UV exposure can contribute to this condition. Pterygium may extend over the cornea and reduce vision, requiring surgical removal.
of cataracts. Prevent Blindness America says a cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens, the part of the eye that focuses the light people see.
Sun protection - Sunglasses should completely cover the eyes, including the skin on the eyelids and under the eye, to provide adequate protection for the eyes. Wrap around frames will offer additional protection to those who spend a lot of time outdoors in bright sunlight. Sunglasses should also do the following. • Block out 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB radiation. • Screen out between 75 and 90 percent of visible light. • Have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection. • Have lenses that are gray for proper color recognition. Consumers should speak with an eye doctor if they have additional questions about eye protection. Prescription lenses can be tinted and treated to offer UV protection.
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THE CHOICE IS CLEAR Not only does Dr. Friedrichs treat most medical problems of the eyes, but he can also provide you with affordable glasses and contacts.
WE ACCEPT ALL MAJOR MEDICAL INSURANCES AND THE FOLLOWING VISION PLANS Humana • VSP • EyeMed Davis Vision MAKE AN APPOINTMENT FOR A CONSULTATION TODAY.
AFFORDABLE CATARACT SURGERY Cataract surgery is covered completely by Medicare and your secondary insurance. Unless you decide to have a premium multifocal lens or an astigmatism correcting lens, there should be no extra charges. Some eye surgeons will tell you that laser assisted cataract surgery is the best for you, but recent studies have shown that it actually has a higher complication rate with worse outcomes than standard ultrasound guided cataract surgery. Dr. Friedrichs believes in providing the same care and standards that he would give to his family, and he believes that charging you extra money for technology that can possibly provide worse outcomes is not in your best interest!
MACULAR DEGENERATION AND DIABETES Friedrichs Eye not only provides comprehensive glasses exams, treats cataracts with the latest surgical techniques without charging you unnecessary fees, but also diagnoses and treats Age Related Macular Degeneration and Diabetes with the latest technology. We use the latest medicines for injections and also have state of the art non-damaging laser treatment available. Don’t travel unnecessarily for treatment when the latest in treatment techniques is right here in Sycamore performed by Dr. Friedrichs.
FRIEDRICHSEYE.COM | (815) 895-EYES (3937)
2670 DEKALB AVENUE • SYCAMORE, IL 60178 • (ACROSS FROM HOSPITAL ON RT 23) 8 | LOOKING FORWARD | Saturday, February 24, 2018
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