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Friday, February 28, 2014

LookingForward Planning for Life After 50

With informative features on finance, health and wellness, retirement living and more!


2 | Looking Forward | Friday, February 28, 2014

Top technologies guide for mature drivers (BPT) - The shiny paint. The new car smell. Many aspects about buying or leasing a new vehicle can excite your senses. Once you are inside your new vehicle, you are probably asking yourself a lot of questions. Where will I put my sunglasses? Is the trunk big enough for my groceries? What does this button do? Chances are your new vehicle will feature some new technologies, many of which can make driving safer, easier and more enjoyable. To be safe on the road, it's important to learn how these technologies work in your current vehicle or a new one. The Top Technologies for Mature Drivers guide is a new interactive tool that outlines the top 10 new vehicle technologies that are most beneficial for mature drivers. Based on

research conducted by The Hartford and the MIT AgeLab, it has 10 animated videos that demonstrate how the technologies work. It can be found on the AARP Driving Resource Center at www.aarp.org/drc. "Learning about vehicle technology is an important component of feeling empowered, confident and safe behind the wheel," says Jodi Olshevski, gerontologist and executive director of The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence. "The Top Technologies for Mature Drivers tool is a great way for drivers to see how these technologies can be used to enhance the driving experience." Recent research shows 55 percent of drivers over the age of 50 plan to buy or lease another vehicle in the next five years, indicating that more and more drivers will encounter new technologies in their vehicles.

"The most important thing you can do to make the best use of new automobile technologies is to continue your education," says Julie Lee, AARP Driver Safety vice president and national director. "Increasing your awareness of changes to automobiles, traffic laws and roadway designs and learning how they impact your driving may bolster safety, comfort and improve confidence behind the wheel." An AARP Driver Safety course helps you learn about the latest technology options and traffic laws. You'll learn new skills to improve your defensive driving techniques and completing the course could help you get a multi-year discount on your auto insurance (check with your agent for details). You'll find all these benefits in just one class, available in-person or online.

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Friday, February 28, 2014 | Looking Forward | 3

Learn how to

achieve your weight loss goals this year

(BPT) - The average American who wants to lose weight-will make four attempts-this year and only-one in six-of them will see long-term success. Statistics also show it takes 21 days to create a habit and if the results aren't coming, giving up becomes easy. This year, instead of giving up on your resolution, stay motivated and push through. As you renew your personal resolutions this month, check out these six strategies to recharge your health engagement. • Get rid of the diet mentality. Many people talk about "diet" as a verb and focus on the-act of restricting. Dieting is a temporary effort and one that forces too many changes all at once. On top of this, dieting doesn't allow enough time to show change, cultivates a negative mindset and focuses on deprivation instead of nourishment. Begin to think of diet as a noun to refer to the kinds of foods you choose to eat and envision your healthy lifestyle as an "in it for good"behavior change. • Enlist the power of visuals. Make healthy outcome goals more visible in your daily life to serve as a reminder to stay motivated. Visual prompts can be powerful cues to make good choices and keep the faith in your journey. Use a picture of yourself at the beach at a time when you felt your best, a collection of photos doing active things or create a motivational bulletin

board. Hang an inspirational quote on your mirror or choose a goal outfit and hang it in plain view. • Track progress, not perfection. Set specific behavior goals and monitor the progress with a simple yes or no. Focus not on perfection but on progress and set an achievable target to make the behavior impactful and meaningful. For example, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds of fat over the next year, look at the built-in progressmarkers and instead average that out and you can see it will only take 0.38 lbs of fat loss per week to reach that outcome. • Recruit a healthy eating/workout buddy (or advisor). Put some skin in the game by partnering with someone who can help you (or challenge you) to comply with the key behaviors in your program like strength training twoto-four times per week, taking a few walking breaks at work each day, or preparing a pile of vegetables with each meal. Sharing the journey with someone else drastically increases motivation and progress.-If you need advice or accountability, consider working with a trainer. Trainers will customize a workout to help keep you on track with fitness resolutions and can show you some new exercises to help target an area you want to focus on, hold you accountable and be a great shoulder to cry on during the tough days.

• Get your assessments done. Eliminate the guesswork and create certainty that your health-focused time and efforts are effectively addressing your biggest metabolic barriers. Using assessments allows you to hone your program down to the day-to-day behaviors. For example, if insulin resistance tendencies are discovered in a blood test, you will be able to confidently work with a personalized strength training plan two-to-four times per week and customized "smart" interval training a few days each week while replacing much of your dietary starches with fibrous vegetables, proteins, or healthy fats to seriously cut belly fat and improve your metabolic health. • Hit the 'reset' button and detoxify yourself. A more intensive re-boot option is to embark on a safe and effective detoxification program, like Life Time's D.TOX. Whether you're trying to kickstart your weight loss, break through a plateau in your program, reset lifestyle habits, or simply support your body's ability to remove the toxins you've harbored over time in body fat, a few dedicated weeks of cleaner living, eating, and resting can leave you feeling (and looking) younger and more resilient.Regardless of your goals, don't give up. Reset and recharge your approach to fitness, nutrition and overall health and focus on living a healthier lifestyle from here on out.

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4 | Looking Forward | Friday, February 28, 2014

Overcoming the

top 5 challenges of being retirement

ready in 3 simple steps

BPT) - It's no secret that Americans aren't saving enough for retirement. Many people are coming up short when it comes to funding their nest egg. But why is the problem so wide-spread? Insight can be found in the human behaviors that tend to get in the way of saving adequately. With National Save for Retirement Week the third week in October, now is the perfect time to learn more about the most common hurdles of retirement savings. The experts at Prudential Retirement note the top five challenges to being retirement ready include:

example - every year you don't save for retirement is less money you may have when it comes time to retire, making it that much more difficult to reach your goals and pursue your dreams. 3. Optimism. People in general are optimistic,

which is a wonderful quality, except when it comes to retirement planning. It's easy to think bad things won't ever happen to us - including unexpected health issues, loss of a job, or a bad accident. It's important to be realistic when planning for retirement, and always plan for the unexpected. 4. Following the pack. Humans are social beings.

1. Living longer. Did you know a baby born today

is more likely to live to 100 than to be born with blue eyes? The fact is, people are living longer, and it's hard to know how long you'll live. You may live many years beyond retirement, a time when you're no longer creating income. The challenge is we still believe we're living to 70 or 75 - but think about it. How old is the oldest person you know alive today? Chances are, you know someone who is well into their 90s. Saving for retirement now prepares you for the exciting possibility of having a longer retirement. 2. Procrastination. It's human nature to

procrastinate. And while some things take the same amount of time to do whether completed today or a year from now, others only get harder to do the longer you delay them. Saving for retirement is one

If enough people are doing something, we tend to want to follow because we assume there must be a good reason. The urge to follow the pack can get us in trouble, though, particularly when it comes to saving and investing. Make sure you define your own goals for retirement and work with a financial advisor to create an individual plan that works for you. 5. Instant gratification. The newest car, computer

or video game - it's easy for Americans to feel like they need to keep up with the Joneses. Spending too much on impulse purchases rather than funding savings can be devastating, particularly for your retirement. Learning to delay gratification and keep a budget is key.

retirement - rather than worrying about money. Whether you're in your 20s or your 50s, retirement savings should be top of mind. In addition to knowing and conquering the top challenges of retirement readiness, here are three simple things you can do today to ensure you're on the right path: 1. Workplace retirement opportunities. If your place of work offers a retirement program, sign up for it as soon as possible. From employer matches to potential tax benefits, retirement programs deliver numerous positives for employees. Remember, compound interest is an important factor in building retirement income, so it literally doesn't pay to put saving off. 2. Diversification. Putting all your eggs in one

basket is risky when it comes to retirement funding. A diversified investment strategy can help protect you from the unexpected. 3. Financial planner. Working with a professional can help you learn about various savings options for reaching your personal retirement goals. The expertise of a financial planner can make the stressful and confusing process easier.

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Friday, February 28, 2014 | Looking Forward | 5

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.

Alzheimer's communities - A progressive, incurable

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 inhome skilled health assistant, an adult day program outside the home, or residential respite care facility.

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 24-hour access to medical aid.

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.

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.

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.

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6 | Looking Forward | Friday, February 28, 2014

How to plan a

memorable multigenerational vacation Whether over the river or through the woods, families across the U.S. are planning to travel during the holidays. In a world of well-traveled toddlers, worldly teens and active seniors, multigenerational travel is growing and for good reason: everyone enjoys a vacation together while creating unforgettable memories. "Multigenerational family travel is character building," says Julie Henning, writer and contributor for destination and activity website LiveLifeLocal. com. "In exploring new places with the people who already know your strengths and flaws - and love you anyway - you can come together in a way that otherwise wouldn't happen at a holiday or reunion." Planning a trip for the whole family doesn't have to be intimidating. With a few simple tips, it's easy to coordinate a vacation everyone will enjoy: 1. Keep a "group" mindset. Whether you're orchestrating an elaborate vacation where the whole group flies across the country, or you're road-tripping, picking up the grandparents along the way, keep the lines of communication open. "Planning a multigenerational trip is a little bit like planning a wedding," says Henning. "If you can remember the trip is not just about you, but a time of celebration for the entire family, chances are you'll have much fonder memories." 2. Plan together. "If you have more than one 'planner' in the group, involve them all in creating the agenda as much as possible," advises Henning.

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This will help ensure everyone provides input and the responsibilities are spread between multiple people. Online travel sites make it easy to plan multigenerational trips, even if families live in different locations. LiveLifeLocal.com, created by Safeco Insurance, allows users to discover unique destinations, read reviews and map out their travel route at no cost. You can research and save preferred activities to a "collection" on your online vacation portfolio, which can then be shared with your family via email, Facebook or Twitter, making planning a snap. 3. Communicate budgets. It's important to be open about your vacation budget and expectations to avoid any awkward moments and unintended expenses once you've arrived at your destination. Be sure to talk about who is paying for what, or if it will be split equally. With so many people involved, the cost of multigenerational vacations can add up quickly, and no one wants to be surprised by going over-budget. 4. Pack and prepare. Preparing to leave is one of the most difficult parts of multigenerational travel. Each age group will need different things - your toddler needs diapers and her favorite blanket, your teen needs his favorite mobile device and charger, and the grandparents need to make sure they pack any necessary medications. Make lists and start packing early to eliminate the last-minute rush. If you're driving, make sure the car gets a tune-up before you leave. If you're meeting up with the

R WA Y

August 25th - September 4th, 2014

grandparents to use their RV, remind them to have any necessary maintenance done before you arrive. Properly winterizing and preparing RVs, boats and other vehicles is important for a headache-free multigenerational trip ... and just good sense overall. Check with your insurance company to see if towing is covered under your plan in case the need ever arises. 5. Cherish meal time. "In many families, mealtime is when everyone comes together to share their days and reconnect," says Henning. "On a trip, this can be at a restaurant, picnic at the beach, or from the comforts of a vacation home. Make an effort to enjoy regional food, shop at the local farmers market, or cook the meal your family enjoys most." 6. Expect the unexpected. Remember that nothing is perfect, including your vacation. Be patient and understand flexibility will go a long way toward ensuring a smooth, stress-free vacation. "Leave time for something to go wrong," advises Henning. "Camera batteries run out, room keys disappear, and bathroom breaks happen. Keep in mind that everyone needs some down time, even from the people they love most." Make this holiday one to remember by planning a multigenerational trip now. These tips will help you create a vacation itinerary everyone will love, helping to forge new bonds and traditions while creating memories to last a lifetime.

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Friday, February 28, 2014 | Looking Forward | 7

Modern answers to

help seniors stay in their homes longer Retirement marks the start of the golden years, the period when hard-working individuals can put their feet up to relax after a long, successful career. But for seniors who think they can no longer live in their homes alone, retirement may be a stressful time. They worry they will have to give up the homes they have enjoyed for so many years. But the good news is options are available to help seniors maintain their independence. Today, modern technology and everyday conveniences are making it easier for seniors to stay in their homes longer than ever before. These options provide seniors a better quality of life and a means to save money by remaining in their homes instead of moving into a senior home. If you are a senior or you are the child of a senior and you're looking for options to remain in the home, here are some ideas that may help. • Find a solution for those stairs. The staircases common in split-level and multi-level homes can be difficult for seniors to navigate, limiting access to the other floors of the home. The Stairfriend from Savaria, is a stairlift specifically designed for the curved or turning staircases featured in many modern homes. The Stairfriend offers riders a smooth, comfortable and reliable means of reaching the

multiple levels of the home without putting stress on a person's joints. Best of all, the Stairfriend can be customized to any staircase in any home.

mistakes when it comes to food preparation. This can be prevented by storing certain foods in the same location every time to avoid confusion.

• Reinvent the bathroom. Bathrooms can be dangerous for people of any age, as water can lead to slippery surfaces. For seniors who may struggle with balance or have trouble climbing in and out of the tub, navigating the bathroom can be more difficult. Replacing the existing tub with a walk-in tub will make baths a safe and enjoyable experience once again. Installing a hand-railing on the shower wall also adds greater stability.

• Make washing the dishes easier. Dishwashers have made cleaning up after a meal easier than ever but for many seniors, leaning over to load the dishes can be difficult. Dishdrawers offer two, smaller dishwashers stacked on top of the other, offering seniors an easy-to-reach alternative.

• Technology offers a friendly reminder. Many seniors take several medications each day and sometimes mistakes are made or a dosage is missed. An electronic pill box can help seniors stay on track. Pills can be sorted by the day of the week as well as morning, afternoon, evening and bedtime periods. In addition, an LED light will glow beneath the proper container when it is medication time. The pill box can also be programmed to send an alarm, email or text message whenever a medication period is missed. Smart phone apps that allow seniors to keep track of their medication periods can also help to avoid confusion. • Organize your cupboards. Decreased vision or memory loss can lead many seniors to make

• Help is just a phone call away. Many seniors feel they must move into a senior home when they can no longer drive and run errands. However, many services exist today that can lend a helping hand. Professional services are available to provide comfort and companionship, meal preparation, personal care and help with light housekeeping, transportation and medication as needed. Many of these companies can be researched on the Internet. Technological advances and modern conveniences have empowered today's seniors with more options to stay in their homes than any generation before. The key is to recognize these opportunities and make the most of them. You can learn more about how the Stairfriend makes traveling up and down stairs a breeze and see how it can be customized for your home by visiting savaria.com and watching their informational video.

Barb City Manor May be Just Right for You!

Do you think you would like to live in assisted living, but do not need the 24 hour care that comes with the high cost, think of Barb City Manor Retirement Home. At Barb City Manor, most needs of daily living are met and personal care services can be provided through reliable, caring service providers that are located in the community. These services can be purchased on an as needed basis, either daily or weekly, to fit a person’s needs. This makes for a very cost effective use of a senior’s limited fixed income. Barb City Manor’s rooms are rented on a month-to-month basis, with no long term commitment.

Amenities provided and included in the monthly fee at Barb City Manor: • 3 meals daily – with menu choices • Three complimentary meal tickets each month • Large variety of Social Activities • Weekly Religious Service • Weekly linen and housekeeping service • 24 hour security and assistance

• Emergency call system in each apartment • All utilities (except cable and telephone which are optional) • Three modern handicapped accessible elevators • Individual temperature controls in each room for heating and air conditioning • On-site Beauty/Barber Shop, Gift Shop & ReSale Shop

Barb City Manor has a 35 year history of providing comfortable, caring, safe, and secure retirement living in the DeKalb community. Please think of Barb City Manor for the retirement needs of your loved one or yourself.

680 HAISH BLVD., DEKALB, ILLINOIS 60115 | 815-756-8444 | www.barbcitymanor.org


8 | Looking Forward | Friday, February 28, 2014

DeKalb Area Retirement Center &

Choosing a Retirement Community Ask most seniors where they would prefer to spend their golden years and they will say they would prefer to remain in their own homes as long as possible. But ask those same seniors and they will tell you they aren’t sure how they would manage if they could no longer care for themselves or what are the options 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. Time and again you hear stories of neighbors or friends who are suddenly faced with the care of a family member or friend. Unexpected and at times when stress levels

run high, the entire process is exhaustive and confusing. Guyla Winebrener, Oak Crest Resident, experienced this firsthand. She was faced with caring for her two elderly parents at home, and the daunting task of making arrangements to find care for them when their health deteriorated beyond her abilities. That’s why more than twenty-five years ago she and her husband made the “move.” “Both Bob and I wanted to remain independent, make our own decisions and not rely on others. It was also important to both of us that we could remain in a community that we would not need to leave when we needed more care.” Continuing Care Retirement Communities deliver on the commitment to life care and most offer a wide variety of living accommodations and options. Many communities offer spacious duplex homes and a multitude of apartment living options. Known for services enhanced by great

amenities many boast fitness centers, stores, cafés, theaters, salons, walking paths and gardens. Diverse programming, special events, educational and entertainment opportunities abound. One thing is for sure the Continuing Care Retirement Community of today bears no resemblance to the old folks’ home of yesterday. Many people will tell you they know they should be looking ahead. They may even say they are sold on the idea of retirement living; they just aren’t sure when to make the move. Many retirement communities require health histories and physical examination as part of the application process. They do deny admission to those individuals who do not meet the qualifications. “I’m waiting until I just can’t take care of myself.” translates into, “I waited too long and now a retirement community is no longer an option.”

OAK CREST DeKalb Area Retirement Center www.oakcrestdekalb.org

“Just do it...”

I know what you’re thinking. Because, I thought it myself. I figured I could just put off this whole retirement thing for another year or maybe two. Then it hit me. All the things I will need to do to prepare for the big decision and move – like sorting, packing and selling a home; I’ll still have to do. Only when that time comes, I’ll be another year or two older. Let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger. I looked at other places around Elburn but none of them felt like home. Then I came out to Oak Crest. I toured the grounds, visited with the staff, compared prices and amenities and just knew. Oak Crest was more than just a place to retire, it would be my home. The day I moved in I said, “I wouldn’t have wanted to wait even one more day.” I am so glad that I didn’t put off until tomorrow, what I could do today. Kay Johnson, Resident since June 2011

For more information call (815) 756-8461 or visit us on the web at www.oakcrestdekalb.org.

Kay Johnson


27, 2012 Looking Forward Friday, February February 28, 2014 | •Looking Forward | 9 3

What is

Medication dication Compounding?

mpounding?

pharmacist may prepare the drug as a flavored pharmacists to customize medications to Pharmacy compounding is the art and liquid suspension instead. Other medication meet a patient’s unique needs. There are science of preparing customized medications forms include topical gels or creams that can several reasons why for patients by a compounding pharmacy. be absorbed through the skin, suppositories, prescribers and pharmacists provide Its practice dates back to the origins of sublingual troches, or even lollipops. compounded medications for patients. pharmacy, although compounding’s presence in the pharmacy profession has changed over Compounding has been part of healthcare the strength of a medication, avoid compounding is the art Compounding has been part of healthcare The primary reason for compounding is to the years. In the 1930s and 1940s, the majority thethe origins is widely unwanted ingredients, such as dyes, e of preparing customized since originsof ofpharmacy, pharmacy, andand is widely avoid patient non-compliance, which means since of prescriptions were compounded. With the today inallall areas the from industry, lactose, gluten, orunwilling sugar,to use used o n s fadvent o r pofamass t i e drug n t s manufacturing by a used today in areas of the of industry, the patient is either unable or inpreservative, the to nuclear medicine.medicine. Over the last Over medication directed. Many more patients are fromhospitals 1950s and ‘60s,Its compounding as the hospitals to nuclear add flavor the to make theasmedication ng pharmacy. practicedeclined few decades, compounding’s allergic to preservatives or dyes, or require pharmacist’s role as a preparer of medications the last few decades, compounding’s palatable and also prepare medications to the origins of pharmacy, resurgence has benefited largely from a dosage that is different from the standard quickly changed to that of a dispenser of benefited largely using delivery systems. For patients ompounding’s advances in has technology, quality control and from drug strengths. With a physician’s consent, resurgence manufactured presence dosage forms. in However, this unique in technology, quality control who find it difficult to swallow a capsule, cy profession has approach changed research methodology. The Food and Drug a compounding pharmacist can: adjusta the advances “one-size-fits-all” to medication Administration has stated that compounded strength of a medication, avoid unwanted meant that some patients’ needs were not and research methodology. The Food compounding pharmacist may prepare ars. In the 1930s and 1940s, are both ethical and legal as ingredients, such as dyes, preservative, being met. andprescriptions Drug Administration has stated that the drug as a flavored liquid suspension ty of prescriptions were long as they are prescribed by a licensed lactose, gluten, or sugar, add flavor to make compounded medication forms include ed. Within With the the advent practitioner for aprescriptions specific patient andare both the medication more palatable and also last few decades, of however,instead. Other ethical and legal as long as they are topical gels or medications creams using thatunique candelivery be manufacturing 1950s a renaissance compounded by a licensed pharmacy. prepare compounding in hasthe experienced systems. For patients who find it difficult as modern technology and innovative prescribed by a licensed practitioner for absorbed through the skin, suppositories, compounding declined as to swallow a capsule, a compounding techniques and research have allowed more

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10 | Looking Forward | Friday, February 28, 2014

Hearing aids for the rock-and-roll generation Baby boomers grew up listening to The Who's Live at Leeds and other albums with liner notes that admonished young rockers to "play it loud" or "turn it up." For the generation that grew up blasting stereos until the bedroom windows rattled and attending rock concerts that left ears ringing for a week or more, it's little surprise that many are experiencing hearing loss. Numerous conditions, including illnesses, medications and exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss in people of any age. But, when it comes to members of the baby boomer generation, there is little doubt that excessive noise exposure is the most common culprit. In fact, an estimated 26 percent of boomers have been diagnosed with hearing loss. It's unfortunate that the very thing this generation enjoyed the most has resulted in losing the ability to hear the full range of treble tones, bass notes and subtle virtuosity of the music loved so much. The good news is that with today's hearing aids, it's possible to bring music back. Many baby boomers are reluctant to seek treatment for hearing loss because they still envision hearing aids as the devices their parents used: clunky-looking things that made everything equally loud and unnatural-sounding. But, modern hearing aids have come a long way.

More than just amplification - sound quality While listening to music as loudly as possible was always an essential part of rock-and-roll culture, boomer fans also demanded the highest possible quality - every instrument in balance, every voice crystal-clear. If this was you, you may

be understandably reluctant to trust hearing aids to provide a listening experience free of distortion and that "tinny" sound. Modern hearing aids are designed with quality in mind. Instead of simply raising the volume on sound, they balance and direct the sounds wearers want to hear, lifting them above unwanted noise and transmitting them in as pure a form as state-of-the-art technology can provide. The most advanced hearing aids have technology that can even detect if you are in a car, at a concert, in a noisy restaurant, or having a cozy conversation and then shapes the sound for that environment. Many boomers have tinnitus (also known as that annoying ringing in the ears with no outside cause), thanks to all those rock concerts or time served in the armed forces. Many hearing aids include tinnitus therapy features that can bring relief. This feature can significantly improve your life while the hearing aids enhance your hearing.

Advanced wireless technology - stay connected Many digital hearing aids feature telecoils, FM, Bluetooth, and other wireless technologies that allow hearing aids to connect to telephones, iPods and other MP3 players, cellphones and assistive listening systems. By using a combination of hearing aids and streaming accessories, digital hearing aids can connect to almost any device's audio output. When the music fades - what to do next Here are the three basic steps for confronting your hearing loss:

matter if your hearing loss is the result of too many rock concerts in your youth or simply aging, it is not a weakness or personal failing. It's a medical condition, like any other, and shouldn't be ignored or covered up. 2. Contact a hearing care professional. Your personal physician can probably provide a referral or you can go online to locate a hearing care professional in your area. Schedule an appointment and get your hearing tested. Once you know whether you are dealing with mild, moderate or profound hearing loss, you can discuss treatment options. 3. Accept that treatment may involve getting hearing aids. Most hearing care professionals today recognize two hearing aids are most often required, so that your hearing is made equal in both ears (binaural hearing). Don't let vanity keep you from wearing hearing aids any more than you would allow it to keep you from wearing glasses to improve your vision. These discreet, yet powerful devices can put you back in step with the rest of the world. More importantly, you'll soon be able to enjoy those old vinyl albums stored in your attic again and party like it's 1969.

1. Accept hearing loss for what it is. It doesn't

Ready to hear better?

Keith Keith Taylor Taylor

Illinois Illinois Licensed Licensed Hearing Hearing Specialist Specialist since since 1989

1300 South South 7th Street 1300 DeKalb, IL 60115 DeKalb, www.HearingHelpCenters.com www.HearingHelpCenters.com

 Hearing instruments from the world’s  SAVE up to 40% 40% off off average averageretail retailprices prices best manufacturers, selected specifically home trial trial  45-day home for your unique hearing needs  Professional hearing hearing aid aid repair repair&&service service  Unbeatable service provided by years of of combined combined experience experience top-level licensed hearing professionals  Over 45 years  Real Ear verification and fitting Satisfaction Guaranteed! Guaranteed! 100% Satisfaction

Call today to schedule your appointment.

815-758-0157 ext. 87-692


Friday, February 28, 2014 | Looking Forward | 11

Pre-Funded Funerals: Worth the Risk? The poor economy has caused many people to consider, or reconsider, long-term investment strategies like Long Term Care Insurance and PrePaid Funeral Plans. Long Term Care Insurance can be difficult to understand, but there are many “A-Rated� insurance providers to help you navigate the labyrinth. This isn’t necessarily the case with funeral service providers. Funeral homes traditionally are “rated� by wordof-mouth and personal experience. Along with speaking to friends or clergy members, the general public can utilize sources such as the Better Business Bureau and the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, because now, more than ever, it’s important to understand with whom you are working and why, when it comes to pre-paid funeral plans. Many people don’t understand the difference between pre-planned and pre-funded funeral services, both of which have merits. Pre-planned funeral services are simply an individual’s wishes, plans and information, stored in a location known to other family members, usually at the funeral home. It’s not a good idea to store this information in a safe deposit box, as it may take too long to access, when needed. Pre-funded funerals are the same as pre-planned, with the addition of funds invested in either an insurance policy or a trust account. Pre-funded funerals take on two different forms: guaranteed and non-guaranteed. With guaranteed plans, the funeral home assumes

the risk of the contract, if the investment doesn’t grow at the same rate as the funeral home’s inflation. If the investment grows faster than inflation, the funeral home has the right to retain or return the balance. Your local funeral service provider should be able to tell you what its policy is on this matter. On a non-guaranteed policy, the investment is not guaranteed to cover the costs of the funeral at the time of need, and additional funds may be necessary. Research conducted in 2009 by Homesteaders Life Insurance Company found that, on average, 65 percent of survey respondents have informed others about their funeral service preferences, while only 22 percent have actually pre-arranged with a funeral home. Of those who pre-arranged, more than 96 percent said they’re satisfied with their decision. Other surveys have shown that the elimination of both emotional burdens and financial burdens are the two main reasons people pre-plan or pre-fund a funeral. By eliminating the emotional burden, family members are spared from thinking about funeral service logistics and searching for pertinent information. In addition, the possibility of emotional overspending is eliminated. A recent focus group found that family members who have been involved with a pre-arranged funeral considered the deceased to be organized, competent, intelligent, loving and thoughtful. This research also has shed light on why people don’t pre-arrange funeral services. Individuals fear that a funeral home may sell or go out of business. They also fear what happens if they relocate. Not all

funeral homes or pre-arranged funerals are the same. While most pre-arranged policies are portable, in the event that a funeral home goes out of business, not all are portable if the investor moves or elects to use a different funeral home. Even when portable, it’s important to know if there are any charges associated with this portability. Funeral homes have the right to take an administrative fee from the pre-arranged funeral fund, prior to investing it, and an administrative fee for transferring it later. This may impact future portable dollars, so be sure to ask your funeral professionals about their policy on this. The old adage says that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This is good advice to follow when contemplating pre-funding a funeral service. Find out as much as you can about the company with whom you are working. Be aware of the vast differences in payment plans that are offered. With some funeral homes, if you fall behind on payments, large penalties may be assessed. Others may cancel the policy, leaving the client with nothing. The most reputable firms simply reduce the amount of the benefit. Know where and how the funeral home is investing the funds, how long it has been in business and what other people think about the firm. Most importantly, do you feel comfortable with the people at a particular funeral home? Take the time to do your research and discuss your options with a financial planner.

Olson Funeral Home

Still family owned. Caring for families is our number one priority.

          

   815.963.6521 • 815.895.6589 • 815.552.3563 • 815.784.2518



Looking Forward Spring 2014