1SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
SHOULD KNOW TO PL AN FOR RETIRE ME NT
IN THE GOLDEN ISLES
Volunteer options keep life active Some fashions are forever young Staying fit has no limitations Drivers can stay on road Getting things free is a perk
2SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
2 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
Senior LIVING Lifestyle
AGELESS STYLES STAY FOREVER YOUNG By BETHANY LEGGETT The Brunswick News
s women age, they often blend personal style with comfort when buying new clothes. With that in mind, designers have been incorporating sophisticated cuts and bolder patterns while maintaining longer sleeves and breathable fabrics that continue to appeal to the tastes of older demographics. Beth Brown, manager at Belk at Glynn Place Mall, 100 Mall Blvd., Glynn County, says she has seen a multi-generational move by designers to create similar colors and cuts that work for several age ranges. “Designers are incorporating styles and colors across the board for families. So you really don’t have fashion trends that only apply to one age group anymore. For example, we see trendy tunics across the board. Women of any size or any age can dress with the trends,” she said. Fashions popular this fall include bold, color pieces that shoppers can mix and match. Jackets, in particular, are popular as bold accent pieces for older women that can be dressed up or down according to the occasion. “We have several jackets that serve as statement pieces that can be paired either with jeans for a casual day or with nice pants for an evening out,” said Terry Trawick, shopping consultant at Maggie’s Boutique, 1616 Frederica Road, St. Simons Island. “Here on the coast, we have 50 degrees in the morning and 80 degrees in the afternoon. It’s important to get pieces that you can peel off as the day progresses, but also leave the lady not feeling too exposed.” A layered necklace, at Belk
An Issa dress, at Dazzle
Trawick says one of the store’s most popular items is a three-quarter-length top that is
made of a dry-fit material that comes in a sassafras plum color. “Some ladies don’t like to expose a lot of skin, so threequarter-length can help keep them somewhat covered, but is also comfortable and stylish, especially when paired with a large necklace,” she said. Besides plum, several other colors are popping up in clothes across showroom floors Large handbags, at Maggie’s Boutique this fall. “You used to go into a store in fall and just see brown. Now we have rich each year, but several stores are seeing inplums, toasty oranges and deep Kelly creased interest in other accessories, particugreens, especially in the South where larly handbags with big, bold patterns and we don’t have such cold weather, so clunky jewelry that can be layered on top of colors are important,” Brown said of clothing, as well. the displays in the Belk store. Boots are another ageless trend that doesn’t Carol Brubaker, owner of Dazzle, seem to be going away anytime soon. 3303 Frederica Road, St. Simons Is“I can’t talk enough about boots being popland, agrees. ular,” Brown said. “Shoe companies “You can’t be afraid of are making products that still color, no matter your provide older women a age,” Brubaker comfortable fit. said. “There Some specific is no subneeds, such as tlety this a cushioned fall. There insoles, are are big, bold found in more patterns and products. And colors.” brands that have Brubaker says attracted an older it is important to generation in the think of an outpast are coming fit as a whole, out with fashionwhere different able styles, too.” pieces come toAbove all, feel gether, rather than confident about just imagining what it the purchase, looks like on the store’s whether it’s an clothing rack. accessory or ma“Older women are jor wardrobe pursophisticated shoppers. chase, Brubaker They may not like the said. low-cut looks, but then “If you try it on they pair a shirt with a and don’t like it, scarf or several necklaces then don’t buy it. that covers them and gives Many older women a bit of glitz. The same have the option to goes for skirts, which are buy fewer pieces, trending about 2 inches because they can below the knee for this fall. dip into their faThey may wear tights unvorites through the derneath rather than leaving years. So they can their skin exposed, but older spend more or also women aren’t confined to look at having alteraturtlenecks and long pants,” tions done to give that she said. almost perfect look Scarves are a seasonal addithe needed polish,” she A fall-color top, at Dazzle added. tion to many autumn wardrobes
3SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013 3
WHAT’S INSIDE Lifestyle Fashion 2
Designers are adopting multi-generational styles
Older motorists need to make adjustments
One benefit of getting older is having reduced prices
Older travelers may need to take additional precautions
Social media 8
Technology lets spread-out families keep in touch
Retirement housing 9
Nursing home option 9
Alzheimer’s disease 15
Social Security 20
Steps to take 21
A variety of options are available for downsizing A move to a nursing home requires planning to adapt Finding a worthy cause is one way to stay connected
The Affordable Care Act will improve on Medicare Without prevention, there are ways to delay risks
Planning for legal needs should begin in 60s
Older athletes can stay in the game
Cataracts are not always age-related
Getting ready 18
Establishing an online account is a first step The time to start planning is while still working
Health & Fitness
Retirees need to chart a course for action
One trap to avoid is overspending before retiring
Preparing psychologically is as important as financially
Retiring early 22
Early retirement has benefits and drawbacks
ON THE COVER Jekyll Island resident Jack Nolen at the Jekyll Island Tennis Center.
“A Place to Call Home” 3311 Lee Street Brunswick, Georgia 31520 912-264-1857
4SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
4 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
Senior LIVING Lifestyle
a senior living community
AARP driving instructors Brent Taylor, left, and Stephen Ryner.
DRIVERS CAN ADJUST TO STAY ON THE ROAD You want the best for your loved one. Let Benton House help. Choosing the best option for a senior loved one can be a confusing and overwhelming process. At Benton House we stand ready to serve you, even if we’re not your ultimate choice. Learn more about: tService options - defining independent living, assisted living, memory care, nursing homes and in-home care tFees and services - how to pay for various services tThe process - how to communicate with senior loved ones, what emotions are involved, where to turn for assistance We look forward to serving you and your family!
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By MARTIN RAND III The Brunswick News
Stephen Ryner is blunt about it, and as the district coordinator for the AARP driving safety class in Brunswick, he is allowed to be: “The two most dangerous people on the road are new, young drivers and older drivers,” he says. Ryner has taught the AARP driving class more than 70 times, to several thousand older drivers. Completion of the six-hour course can result in a 10 percent discount on car insurance over three years. One rule that Ryner recommend is, “Go where they ain’t.” By this he means that if a person knows there will be heavy traffic in an area, either wait until it thins out or travel around it. “We don’t have to go out at 8 o’clock, when the kids are going to school and people are going to work,” he said. “After nine (a.m.) everyone’s at work; then you should go out, but get back before 11, because that’s when people go out to lunch and go shopping. Then wait until 1 or 2 (p.m.).” In this cat-and-mouse traffic game, the worst time for a senior to be out would be at 3:30 p.m. With school buses and high school students on the road, Ryner advises older drivers to stay inside, or if they are out, pull over and wait about 20 minutes. “High school lets out and (students) are in a big hurry,” said Ryner, a St. Simons Island resident. “They’re going somewhere.” There’s another aspect to his “Go where they ain’t” principle. It involves a parking lot. In a parking lot, seniors should park as far away from other cars as possible to avoid damage, either to their vehicle or someone else’s, and where backing out could be troublesome. “Even if the (parking) spot is far from the
entrance, it’s OK,” he said. “Seniors need the exercise anyway, don’t they?” Exercise is also a key tip to being a safe driver. During the AARP class, participants watch a video that shows proper techniques to exercise foot, leg, chest, arm and neck muscles. Performing these exercises will make for a safer driver on the road by creating stronger muscles, which will make it easier to perform driving functions, such as turning necks to merge into traffic, said Brent Taylor, an AARP instructor. Seniors just need to be careful what exercises they do. “They would have to talk to their doctor first and practice it at home, but it does help,” Taylor said. Éven with exercise, drivers over the age of 55 should monitor their drive time. Seniors shouldn’t drive more that two hours or 100 miles, which ever comes first, consecutively, Taylor said. “Do a little exercise when you stop, just to get the blood flowing again,” Taylor said. While driving, seniors should: • Make sure the side mirrors are properly adjusted. • Not fidget with a radio, cellphone or other device. • Be alert, attentive and cautious. • Find less dense traffic routes to destinations. • Always try to have someone else in the vehicle
Learn more An AARP driving safety class will be Nov. 2, at the Brunswick-Glynn County Public Library, 208 Gloucester St., Brunswick. Call instructor Stephen Ryner at 634-5997 to register.
5SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013 5
A New Day of Possibilities. Every Day! New friends and new things to do can create a new sense of belonging. This is what residents find at our Senior Care Centers. We provide our residents all the care they need, while helping them enjoy life through activities, games and an active social life. If you would like to learn more or take a tour of one of our Senior Care Centers, please call 1-855-ASK-SGHS (1-855-275-7447).
Zandra Miles of Brunswick enjoys playing cards and bingo with her friends.
7ILDWOOD $RIVE s "RUNSWICK '! $ILWORTH 3TREET s 3T -ARYS '! SGHSORG
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Southeast Georgia Health System is a tobacco-free organization.
6SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
6 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
Senior LIVING Lifestyle
AGE HAS ITS BENEFITS, AND SOME ARE FREE By SARAH LUNDGREN
Being older can come with its perks. A wide variety of discounts are available to older adults at the local and state levels. For seniors looking to advance their education or just learn something new, both College of Coastal Georgia and Altamaha Technical College have something to offer. The University System of Georgia says that if you are a Georgia resident age 62 or older, you may be eligible to enroll in any of the colleges and universities in the system tuitionfree, either for credit or to audit. Enrollment depends on space available in the classes, but the College of Coastal Georgia welcomes senior citizens. John Cornell, the college’s director of marketing and public relations, says the college is working on another possible benefit for older adults. “We’re working very closely right now with veteran’s communities, both on and off campus, to make it also veteran-friendly, and many seniors can fall into that category as well,” he said. At Altamaha Tech, Georgia seniors age 62 and older can also attend classes for free, following admission requirements. They may
To take advantage of some senior discounts: • For information on courses at College of Coastal Georgia, go online to www.ccga.edu. For courses at Altamaha Technical College, go to www.altamaha tech.edu. • For information on senior exemptions on property taxes, contact the tax commissioner’s office. In Glynn County, call 554-7000. • For qualifications for utility discounts through the Georgia Public Service Commission, go online to www.psc.state.ga.us/consumer_corner/cc_advisory/ seniordiscount.asp, call 800-282-5813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. • For Georgia Power discounts, call 888-660-5890 or complete a senior citizens discount application online at https://customerservice.southerncompany. com/corporate/senior_application.asp.
The Brunswick News
not be able to participate in programs with competitive admission, however. It’s still a great option, interim president Lonnie Roberts said. “One does not stop learning because of age. Education has no age limit and neither does following your dreams,” he said. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunity
to learn new technology, explore new hobbies or start a new career. It’s never too late to learn something new.” Senior citizen perks continue into the realm of taxes, becoming very helpful later in life. Florence Dees, Glynn County tax commissioner, says there are several age-based tax exemptions available, including a school
property tax exemption. “Each year, if you plan to apply for any exemption, you must do so between Jan. 1 and April 1 of each year in order to receive it on your tax bill,” Dees said. “It’s very important that you come in at that time. Though taxes aren’t due until April 15, our books must be legally closed by April 1.” The local school exemption tax applies to those homeowners 65 and older with Georgia net income of $40,000 or less, which Dees says is item line 15 on the state tax form. There is also a county property tax exemption based solely on age for those 62 and older. Some property tax exemptions that could be available for seniors include double homestead exemption and property tax deferral, but Dees says that to receive any other exemptions, a senior must already have a homestead exemption. “You must live in your home and it must be your primary residence,” she explained. Some state parks and historic sites, such as Fort King George at Darien, and other places also offer discounts to people 62 and older or 65 and older. The Georgia Public Service Commission has discounts for eligible senior citizens on utility bills, and Georgia Power offers a similar program.
TRAVEL MEANS PLACES TO GO, THINGS TO DO Those who have said goodbye to the worka-day grind now have many hours to settle down and relax. People who have continually put off vacations in lieu of work responsibilities may now have all the time they need to explore the world. Traveling for seniors can be rewarding and relaxing. Those with a substantial retirement nest egg have numerous destinations at their disposal. Mature vacationers travel more frequently and stay longer than any other age group. Seniors can find several travel advantages at their disposal. Also, thanks to special senior discounts, travel may be even more affordable than first expected. While certain destinations are not always practical for certain age brackets, there are many places to which seniors can visit comfortably and enjoy a wealth of memories. • Theme parks: Although theme parks may seem carved out entirely for the adventure-seekers, there are many other more placid activities that would appeal to those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground rather than looping through the air on a rocket-propelled coaster. With animal preserves, water parks, fine dining and a bevy of hotels either in the park or directly on the outskirts, theme parks provide many activities for older travelers. Although theme parks require a lot
Plan ahead Older travelers may need to take special needs into consideration. Among them: • Medical conditions. Discuss your itinerary with your doctor if you have concerns. • Medications. Take along enough in original bottles and carry a list of your chronic medical problems. • Immunizations: Be sure they are current for where you plan to travel. • Heart condition: Take a copy of your cardiogram with you if you have a heart problem. • Flying. Avoid alcohol, which tends to dehydrate all travelers, and for older people is a major cause of confusion and other medical problems. Stretch frequently. Immobility can cause blood clots.
of walking, many provide wheelchairs or motorized scooters for those who need to get off of their feet. They also make a great option for seniors who will be traveling with the entire family, including children. • Beach resorts: Provided flying is medically safe, a beachside vacation can be the ideal trip for seniors looking for the utmost in relaxation. For those who have passports, the possibilities are endless. Those who prefer to remain on relatively domestic soil can retreat
to Puerto Rico, south Florida, the California coast, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. • Cruising: Cruising is a preferred vacation choice for the 50-plus set because it offers the convenience of an all-inclusive package and transportation all in one. With the myriad activities offered on board, cruises are a versatile vacation option for seniors. Also, there is no need to worry about traveling far for meals and other entertainment options, as everything is self-contained on the cruise ship. For
more active seniors who enjoy the daily getaway, excursions in ports of call can provide the variety desired. • Guided tours: Seniors who want to experience a piece of history can sign up for tour packages backed by reputable companies. The tours may involve train or bus travel, and various attractions will be visited. At the end of the tour, individuals can choose to extend the vacation by checking into a hotel nearby. • RV trips: Another self-contained vacation that is entirely up to the people traveling is vacationing by recreational vehicle. Seniors can customize their routes depending on which areas they want to see. Companies like Cruise America RV enable people to rent an RV so they needn’t worry about the expense of buying one. However, should RV traveling become addictive, there always is the option of buying a camper later on. • Exotic tour: Seniors who were never able to take an extensive vacation may now want to visit those exotic locations that have beckoned for years. Now could be the time to book a ticket for Europe and visit all of the cities that have made the history books. Those looking for even more adventure can travel to the South Pacific and explore tropical islands. Others may want to go “down under” and experience the rugged Outback or the culture of Australian city centers.
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The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013 7
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8SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
8 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
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Senior LIVING Lifestyle
Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News
Brunswick resident Elaine Woodcock sits at a desk in her home, where she keeps up with friends and relatives on her computer.
SOCIAL MEDIA KEEPS FAMILIES CONNECTED By BRITTANY TATE The Brunswick News
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to see people texting on their smartphones or sharing dayto-day happenings on their Facebook pages. And with newer and better technological gadgets and gizmos hitting the markets, older adults are resorting to social media to keep in touch with family and friends. It has become a transgenerational crossover, said Steve Oldaker, Southeast Coastal Georgia Computer Club organizer. “(Social media is) convenient, popular, relatively easy to use, multifaceted – text, photos, videos, and more – and viral/contagious, particularly Facebook, which is by far the most popular social media, especially among seniors,” Oldaker said. It isn’t just another form of communication. It’s becoming a way of life. Brunswick resident Elaine Woodcock knows. From the comfort of her laptop and iPad, Woodcock uses social media to connect with family and friends in the Buffalo, N.Y., area. “I mainly use Facebook. I have a large and scattered family, many of whom use (the site). This gives me an opportunity to keep up with what they are doing, and share pictures and events,” Woodcock said. “This is the media that all the younger generations use, (because) they don’t want to be bothered with phone calls. If you want to stay in touch, this is the way to go,” Woodcock said. For Glynn County resident Dianna Mumaw, using social media, in particular Facebook, made it easier for her to keep in touch with her daughter, son, five grandchildren and members of her previous church in Ohio. “At the time, we had just recently moved to Georgia, and they were already on it, so I just made the transition,” Mumaw said, who has
been active on the website for more than five years. Even though Mumaw says the site can be a challenge to navigate when it updates or completely changes format, she says social media can bring families that live far apart closer together. “A lot of the keeping up that I do is secondary, but it makes it easier for my family, especially my daughter. I can see pictures of her baby whenever I want and keep in touch in this way,” Mumaw said. Jekyll Island resident Alyce Boorman agrees. “I know what they’re doing and if there’s a post or something that intrigues me, I can pick up the phone and give them a quick call. For instance if my grandson, Joey, is scratching his ear, I can write back, ‘It’s an earache,’ and follow up with a phone call giving advice on how to handle it,” Boorman said. Using Facebook has increased talking on the phone with her family. “I can get in touch with family and friends quicker, because I can respond to messages either by calling or chatting, and it’s neat,” Boorman said. “If there’s a post about one of my family members or friends feeling down that I need to respond to, I’ll pick up the phone and give them a call. Sometimes I wouldn’t know I needed to make a phone call if it wasn’t for Facebook.” Boorman also says the social media website has acted as a catalyst for keeping her in touch with old classmates. “It has helped reconnect me with friends from high school that I can now keep in touch with and even second and third cousins that I wasn’t able to keep in touch with,” Boorman said. “We live clear across the continent, and Facebook is a big tool for keeping me in touch with the past and with meeting new people.”
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The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013 9
RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES OFFER OPTIONS By GORDON JACKSON The Brunswick News
As they age, seniors choose to move into a retirement community for a variety of reasons. In some instances, they become widowed and want to live in an area where their neighbors are 55 and older so they are surrounded by people who share common interests. Others seek a simpler lifestyle in an apartment or townhouse where they don’t have to worry about maintaining a home larger than they need. Then, there are seniors who have health issues that need monitoring, but aren’t serious enough to require them to move into a nursing home. Regardless of the reason, residents in the Golden Isles have plenty of options to meet their needs. The majority of residents at Fairhaven Assisted Living in Glynn County are between the ages of 69 to 80 who don’t want to take care of a house any more. Residents, most of whom are single, live in apartments with a kitchenette, said Beth Youngblood, acting resident care manager. Staff help residents schedule meals, set up doctor’s appointments and provide transportation several times a week. Activities such as crafts, movies and puzzles are offered to residents. Benton House, which opened six months ago in Glynn County, is described as a senior living community, said Julia Bates, a regional director. “Seniors need peer groups,” she said. “They need to have the opportunity to be
Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News
A ballroom dancing class at Marsh’s Edge on St. Simons Island.
around people the same age. It really is a positive state of life for seniors.” Residents can sign up for a personal care option, in which staff members monitor medication taken by residents if they have health problems and assist with other needs. A memory care area is offered for residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, Bates said. The community organizes field trips, exercise programs, entertainment, group par-
ties and family activities. “Our residents are very active,” Bates said. “We have common areas for private and group activities. We take socialization very seriously.” Marsh’s Edge on St. Simons Island offers a mixture of independent and assisted living designed to keep residents living independently as long as possible. Staff members help with errands, remind residents about taking medications, pre-
pare meals, provide light housekeeping and nursing services, if necessary. Peppertree Crossing in Brunswick attracts residents from the upper 50s to early 90s who are interested in living in an independent living community with people their own ages. “The main reason they move here is to stay active, mentally and physically,” said J.R. Wright, the community’s developer. Residents live in single-floor town homes they own outright instead of renting, Wright said. “This is an ownership community,” he said. “The purpose is to downsize.” All maintenance and yard work is done by staff. Jackie Crisp, campus administrator at Magnolia Manor on St. Simons Island, says it provides every level of care, from independent living, to assisted living, rehabilitation and nursing care. More than half the residents require nursing care. Residents are offered a variety of activities that include transportation by bus for group events and by vehicle for smaller groups. The majority of residents decide to move to the community because they don’t want to or are unable to take care of a house any longer. Magnolia Manor also has a community in St. Marys that offers independent and assisted living facilities. Those living in assisted living housing are given three meals a day, while those in independent living are offered one meal a day of their choice. Magnolia Manor communities have a sliding fee scale, depending on living needs.
NURSING HOME MOVE MAY REQUIRE PLAN TO ADAPT Some older men and women find the transition to a nursing home somewhat difficult. Men and women tend to see a move to a nursing home as a step toward surrendering their independence, and this can be a difficult hurdle for seniors and their loved ones to overcome. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that many men and women move into nursing homes because their physical or mental status requires the help of a professional nursing staff, leaving family members with little to no recourse when aging relatives protest the move. But there are ways to ease a loved one’s transition into a nursing home. • Keep a positive attitude. The stress of moving an aging relative into a nursing home can be significant for all parties involved. But focusing on the positives of nursing homes, such as around-the-clock care and daily activities, can help aging relatives look at nursing homes in a new light.
In addition, family members who familiarize themselves with nursing homes will begin to see they are often great places for aging men and women to socialize with others their age while receiving the care and attention they need. When discussing the move to a nursing home, focus on these positives and your relative will be more likely to follow your lead. • Choose a nursing home that is close to home. One of the more difficult parts of
transitioning to a nursing home is the notion that men and women are leaving their lives behind once they move into a home. Choosing a nursing home that’s close to home and makes routine visits from friends and relatives possible enables men and women to maintain a connection to their current lifestyle. A home that is miles and miles away from a person’s support system can foster feelings of isolation and loneliness.
• Plan trips with your loved one. Just because an aging relative lives in a nursing home does not mean he or she can no longer travel. If a relative is healthy enough to travel, include them on family trips and outings. This includes more routine events like weekly Sunday dinners, kids’ sporting events and other extracurricular activities. The more involved your aging relative is in the daily life of your family, the more likely he or she is to see the advantages of living in a nursing home. • Encourage your loved ones to take some personal items along. When moving
into a nursing home, men and women must leave behind many of their possessions. This is a simple space issue, as the rooms in a typical nursing home cannot accommodate a life’s worth of keepsakes and possessions. But that doesn’t mean men and women have to leave everything behind. Encourage your loved one to take along
some possessions, such as his or her family photos, a favorite chair or smaller mementos from places he or she visited throughout his or her life. Such items can make a nursing home seem less antiseptic and more like a home.
• Set up an e-mail account for your loved one. If your loved one still has his
or her mental health, then set him or her up with an e-mail account. This allows your loved one to maintain daily contact with family and friends. Many of today’s nursing homes provide facilities where residents can access the Internet. If not, speak to the staff and ask if your relative can bring his or her own computer. If your relative will be able to routinely access the Internet, consider purchasing a digital subscription to the newspaper so he or she can further maintain a connection to the community.
10 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
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VOLUNTEERING HELPS SUSTAIN INVOLVEMENT By SARAH LUNDGREN The Brunswick News
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After 42 years as a registered nurse, Marion Clark could not say good-bye to the profession when she retired from Rochester, N.Y., to St. Simons Island. The 89-year-old quickly took her talents to the Southeast Georgia Health System to seek volunteer work. “I volunteer here three days a week. It’s part of who I am and I enjoy it. I originally planned to volunteer just one day a week, but I tried out three days a week and never looked back,” Clark said as she worked with patients in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center. Clark is one of many senior citizens who devote their time and experience to the hospital. Kristin Doll, director of volunteer services, says there are a variety of opportunities for older adults to explore. “Our goal is to match the volunteer’s skills and interests with available opportunities. Volunteers serve in many areas, including the Senior Care Center, guest services desks, gift shops and more,” Doll said. The hospital is seeking volunteers to help the health system organize its history that has been recorded in photos and newspaper clippings. For those seniors looking to explore a different kind of history, there are opportunities at the Coastal Georgia Histori-
cal Society. Susan Bacon, the organization’s development and volunteer coordinator, says people can find something to do at the A.W. Jones Heritage Museum, the Maritime Center or the St. Simons Island Lighthouse. “Seniors can volunteer as a museum guide or docent, greeting visitors and interpreting exhibits, the history of Coastal Georgia and St. Simons Island, the lighthouse and keeper’s dwelling and the Maritime Center,” Bacon said. “School docents help students gain a special appreciation of the history of Coastal Georgia.” Volunteers are crucial to many other organizations in the Golden Isles, including United Way of Coastal Georgia. Dana Haza, president and chief executive, says the group seeks to connect volunteers of any age with their passions, but older adults are a crucial piece of what the umbrella fundraiser for non-profit agencies does. “Our seniors are the treasured resource; to have them engaged only makes our community a richer place to live,” Haza said. “Our biggest need right now is mentors and tutors for Blueprint, kicking off Sept. 25,” Haza said of the organization’s mission to raise the local high school graduation rate. “The mentors would have a strong sense of life in its stages, the ability to impart their life experience to help these at-risk young people to not only succeed in school, but to give them a vision of the future and what is possible.” Haza also helps connect volunteers to United Way’s partner agencies, and even those that are not partners, but are in need. Some on these lists include America’s Second Harvest Food Bank, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts of America, Salvation Army and the American Red Cross.
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Sarah Lundgren/ The Brunswick News
Marion Clark, a retired nurse and a volunteer at Southeast Georgia Health System, talks with patient Edward Stephens, a Brunswick resident, while he does an exercise in the Cardiac Rehabilitation Center.
11SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013 11
Caring is the heart
of what we do . . . Come visit us and see all we can do for you.
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12SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
12 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
Senior LIVING Health & Fitness
ADJUSTMENTS KEEP FITNESS ON TRACK By BRITTANY TATE The Brunswick News
Starting or maintaining a regular exercise routine can be a challenge as men and women age. They may want to build strength and maintain bone density, but think that exercising requires strenuous workouts. No matter your age, current level of activity or medical condition, you can benefit from exercise. And it doesn’t take an army of personal trainers to do it. If strength is what you’re after, Todd Thompson, owner of CrossFit Grit, 201 Skylane Drive, St Simons Island, suggests exercises that do just that – work on your strength. “There are pushups, lunges, dead lifts, back squats, rowing and pull ups. It’s not about age, but limitation on range of motion. If you want to add more resistance, throw in strength bands and that will help,” said Thompson, who has been a firefighter with the Glynn County Fire Department for 11 years. For those who are worried about straining muscles or are concerned they may injure themselves, try marching in place, arm raises or pushups using a wall instead of a floor. For those who are frail or chair-bound, use light body weight, like ankle and wrist weights.
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Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News
Zane Schauer, a personal trainer at St. Simons Health and Fitness Club, stresses the importance of stretching as he demonstrates stretching techniques on a Precor stretch machine.
If balance is what you seek, Thompson says there are exercises that target large muscle
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groups while building on your abdominals. As for stretching and flexibility, Zane Schauer, a personal trainer at St. Simons Health and Fitness, 2929 Demere Road, St. Simons Island, stresses that older adults will have a harder time if they don’t stretch. “It’s all about competence and confidence. We create the condition that we don’t want to happen. You will hear a lot of people say, ‘Well, I can’t work out because I’m too frail’ or ‘I know that if I do certain exercises I will injure myself,’ and it’s hard for them to realize that they can do it,” Schauer said. “I say it’s all about adding life to your years, not years to your life. You haven’t been aged out of exercising so don’t blame it on age. There’s a lot to take advantage of.” Older adults should focus on functional fitness rather than a bodybuilding workout, Schauer added. Unlike bodybuilding that focuses on isolating muscles in order for them to work independently, functional fitness exercises train muscles to work together and prepare them for daily tasks you might do at home, at work or in sports. “For older adults, it could be asked: Can I garden? Can I pick up my grandkids? Can I walk with my spouse? You have to put in what you want of your exercises,” Schauer said. The goal, he says, is to develop greater strength, balance, coordination and endurance through exercises that mimic everyday activities and movements. Brian Ginn, owner of CrossFit St. Simons, agrees. It’s a focus he believes should be implemented. “So much of functional fitness is about everyday life movements that people neglect, such as walking up and down the stairs, reaching for items on the top shelves and squatting to sit in a chair,” Ginn said.
Ginn suggests that older adults participate in group classes and set attainable goals. “A lot of (seniors) don’t have an active lifestyle. They have the want, but not the know-how, and it’s because discouragement might creep in or they’re too embarrassed to be compared to 20-somethingyear-olds,” Ginn said. “In a group setting, everything is infinitely scalable, they’re held accountable and the exercises are doable for them.” For seniors looking to work on form, movement and getting active, Ginn says incorporate everyday movements to get you up and going, such as picking up your shoes and putting them down several times, and walking. Like Thompson and Ginn, Schauer says strength, cardio, flexibility, and nutrition are essential components that need to be part of exercise routines. “If you have bad nutrition but are working hard on the other three components, then it’s not going to work. It needs to be a packaged deal,” Schauer said. Even though exercising is only part of staying healthy, Schauer stresses that a well-balanced diet completes the circle. “It’s not just about eating the right foods. It’s what, how much, when, and how fast you eat,” Schauer said. “Eat like a king for breakfast, like a prince for lunch and like a pauper for dinner.” When it comes to warm ups and cool downs, Schauer and Thompson agree that at least 10 to 15 minutes should be set aside for stretches. “Foam rollers, yoga, pilates and different stretches like these should be done. (The length of time) depends on what you’re doing and if there were a lot of strict movements,” Thompson said. While wanting to get in shape is laudable, Schauer says some seniors need to consult their doctors before starting a workout plan. “Assuming they are the Average Joe and Jane, they are on prescription drugs or have (medical) conditions,” he said. “Though doing some form of exercise is imperative, (seniors) still need a physical or need to talk to a trainer so that they can create individualized workouts for them that won’t cause problems later on down the road,” Schauer said. But once they get the OK, Schauer, Ginn and Thompson agree that exercising will improve life tremendously. “Once people start to feel better, they’ll want to do it more. Exercising opens nerve passages, reduces cholesterol, reduces use of medications, and can help some regain the ability to get off of the ground. Doing fundamental non-magic (exercises and movements) will help improve your life,” Schauer said. “Think about it like this: Life insurance is there when something goes wrong, but exercise can prevent you from using it.”
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The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013 13
Senior LIVING Health & Fitness
NUMEROUS FACTORS CAN LEAD TO CATARACTS Many men and women develop cataracts as they approach their golden years. While aging is the single biggest risk factor for cataracts, there are other factors that can contribute to cataracts, which can afflict people of all ages. According to the American Optometric Association, the following factors can contribute to the development of cataracts. • Alcohol consumption: Studies have shown that higher alcohol consumption can increase a person’s risk of developing cataracts. • Diabetes mellitus: Persons with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing cataracts than those who do not have diabetes. • Medications: Certain medications have been associated with the development of cataracts. Corticosteroids and chlorpromazine and other phenothiazine related medications have been linked to cataracts in the past. • Nutrition: Men and women who do not eat a nutritious diet may be increasing their risk of developing cataracts. The optometric association says studies examining a potential link between nutrient deficiency and cataracts are inconclusive, but some studies have suggested there is such a link between the formation of cataracts and low levels of antioxidants like vitamins C and E. • Smoking: Smoking can increase a person’s risk for a host of ailments, including cataracts. • Ultraviolet radiation exposure: Persons who aren’t adequately protected when exposed to ultraviolet, or UV, radiation have a greater risk of developing cataracts. Some people may be born with cataracts or develop them during childhood. Such cataracts are known as congenital cataracts and may be the result of the mother having contracted an infection while pregnant. Kids born with cataracts may also have inherited them. For example, cataracts may be a side effect of Alport syndrome, a genetic condition characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss and abnormalities in the eye. When a person develops cataracts, surgery is the only effective treatment. But that does
Balance and Falls
Q - “What are common causes of falls?” A - Unfortunately the things that come with aging put us at a higher risk for falls such as failing eyesight and hearing, decreased strength and balance and taking multiple medications. Home hazards include throw rugs, electrical cords, poor lighting and spills on the floor. Q - “Where do most falls occur?” A - Most falls occur in or near the home. Surprisingly, most falls occur on an EVEN surface and often by tripping when walking.
Warning signs Signs and symptoms of cataracts include: • Clouded, blurred or dim vision. • Increasing difficulty with vision at night. • Sensitivity to light and glare. • Seeing “halos” around lights. • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription. • Fading or yellowing of colors. • Double vision in a single eye. Cloudiness in vision caused by a cataract initially may affect only a small part of the eye’s lens, and vision loss may not be apparent. As a cataract increases in size, it clouds more of the lens and distorts light passing through it. At that point, signs and symptoms may be more noticeable. Source: Mayo Clinic
not necessarily mean a doctor will suggest surgery right away. Cataracts do not typically harm the eye, and delaying surgery does not mean you are less likely to regain your vision if and when you do opt for surgery. Doctors will likely recommend surgery when cataracts begin to impact quality of life, such as making reading or driving more difficult. Cataracts are often mistakenly considered a byproduct of aging. But not every aging man or woman will develop cataracts, and not all cataracts are a byproduct of aging. Learn more at www.aoa.org.
PHYSICAL THERAPY AIDS MOBILITY
Illnesses of the musculoskeletal system can result in temporary loss of mobility. But physical therapy can help to prevent those temporary problems from becoming permanent. The American Physical Therapy Association says physical therapists diagnose and treat individuals of all ages who have conditions that limit their abilities to perform functional activities. While athletes frequently rely on physical therapy as they re-
cover from injuries, others can benefit from physical therapy as well. For example, physical therapy may work in conjunction with other treatments for cardiopulmonary disease. The cardiopulmonary system delivers oxygen to active tissues, which plays an important part in movement. When the cardiopulmonary system is compromised, muscles and other tissues may not function as they should, and certain exercises and mobility therapies may be needed.
Q - “How can I make my home safer?” A - Secure loose rugs with slip-resistant backing, remove phone or electrical cords from walkways, move furniture from high traffic areas and immediately clean spilled liquids. Improve lighting to avoid tripping over objects or thresholds. Q - “I am afraid of falling in my bathroom. What can I do to make it safer?” A - Grab bars for the shower/tub, shower chairs, non-slip mats and handheld shower heads make bathing less dangerous. Elevated toilet seats or toilets with armrests reduce the risk while sitting or standing. Q - How can physical therapy reduce my risk for falls? A - A physical therapist can assess your overall strength, balance and mobility to create an effective plan for your specific needs. This plan may include strengthening, stretching, balance activities and gait training as well as implementing safety precautions that will ultimately reduce your risk of falling. Q - “What else can I do to decrease my risk of a fall?” A - Review your current medications with your doctor to see if any side effects or interactions may increase your risk. Have your vision and hearing checked regularly. Staying active maintains your strength, flexibility and balance so beginning or continuing regular physical activity such as walking, water aerobics or tai chi are a great way to prevent falls. Choosing proper footwear is also a simple way to decrease your risk by selecting shoes that fit properly with non-skid soles. Lace up shoes and flats are safer than slip-ons and heels.
“Fall Prevention Week is September 22-27. Contact Advance Rehabilitation for information on how to prevent falls and improve your balance.”
Melanie Johnson, PT
Melanie Johnson graduated from East Carolina University with her Masters in Physical Therapy. She has worked with Advance Rehabilitation of Brunswick for 11 years.
advancerehab.com Brunswick ~ 912.280.9205 / St. Simons ~ 912.638.1444
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14 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
Senior LIVING Health & Fitness
If you donâ€™t make
HEALTH CARE LAW WONâ€™T CHANGE MEDICARE By KELLI KENNEDY
Surely, itâ€™s not a responsibility you want to leave to your children. Talk to one of our counselors or funeral directors to find out why planning in advance is one of the most economical and loving things you can do for your family. It lessens the financial and emotional burden from them during a difficult time and spares them from making painful decisions. You will provide your family a sense of relief and a true gift: peace of mind.
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MIAMI â€” Dear seniors, your Medicare benefits arenâ€™t changing under the Affordable Care Act. Thatâ€™s the message federal health officials are trying to get out to some older consumers confused by overlapping enrollment periods for Medicare and so-called â€œObamacare.â€? Medicare beneficiaries donâ€™t have to do anything differently and will continue to go to Medicare.gov to sign up for plans. But advocates say many have been confused by a massive media blitz directing consumers to new online insurance exchanges set up as part of the federal health law. Many of the same insurance companies are offering coverage for Medicare and the exchanges. Medicare open enrollment starts Oct. 15 and closes Dec. 7, while enrollment for the new state exchanges for people 65 and under launches Oct. 1 and runs through March. â€œMost seniors are not at all informed. Most seniors worry theyâ€™re going to lose their health coverage because of the law,â€? said Dr. Chris Lillis, a primary care physician in Fredericksburg, Virginia. â€œI try to speak truth from the exam room but I think sometimes fear dominates.â€? Roughly 50 million Medicare beneficiaries will get a handbook in the mail with a prominent Q&A that stresses Medicare benefits arenâ€™t changing. Federal health officials have also updated their training for Medicare counselors, and are prepping their Medicare call center and website. â€œWe want to reassure Medicare beneficiaries that they are already covered, their benefits arenâ€™t changing, and the marketplace doesnâ€™t require them to do anything different,â€? said Julie Bataille, spokeswoman for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But she said call centers for the state exchanges are already fielding questions from Medicare recipients and rerouting them to the Medicare line. Bob Roza attended several meetings trying to figure out exactly what the Affordable Care Act means for him and his 69-year-old wife Gail, who has diabetes. â€œAt that time, I didnâ€™t know if Medicare would be secondary to some Affordable Care Act option. It was just a myriad of concerns and not knowing,â€? said the 72-year-old Roza, a retiree who lives in Oakdale, Calif., and is recovering from hip replacement surgery earlier this year. He now knows that his Medicare coverage wonâ€™t change, but says heâ€™s now worried about the impact on the $614 a month he pays for Medicare supplemental insurance. Federal health officials said seniors will not
Pharmacy coverage The Affordable Care Act gradually closes the prescription drug â€œdoughnut holeâ€?: â€˘ If you reached the doughnut hole in 2012, you will receive a 50 percent discount on brand-name drugs and a 14 percent discount on generic prescription drugs while you are in the coverage gap. â€˘ The doughnut hole will narrow until it disappears in 2020. However, individuals with Medicare Part D will still have outof-pocket costs for premiums and copayments. Source: AARP
be able to purchase Medicare supplemental insurance or Part D drug plans through the state exchanges. AARP officials said they anticipate a spike in calls after the October launch date for the new state exchanges. To help clarify everything for seniors, the organization is holding various events around the country, such as a senior day next month at the state fair in Columbia, S.C. The group is also hosting 21 telephone town halls in October, which will include hundreds of thousands of phone calls to seniors. Advocates are also warning of scams that may pop up alongside legitimate door-todoor outreach about the Affordable Care Act ramps up and advising seniors not to give out personal information. Senior groups are also devoting resources to educating the 50- to 65-year-old group who are next in line for Medicare, a segment that could be greatly affected by the health reform. Under the new law, insurers will have to offer more benefits in some cases and are restricted in how much they can charge older, sicker people. Theyâ€™re also banned from turning away those with pre-existing conditions. Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, said many people nearing retirement age stand to benefit the most by the health care reform.
15SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013 15
Senior LIVING Health & Fitness
HEALTHY LIFESTYLE FIGHTS ALZHEIMER’S Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people across the globe. In the United States alone, the Alzheimer’s Association estimates one in eight older men and women has the disease, which is the sixth-leading cause of death in the country. Few families have not been affected by Alzheimer’s disease, and many relatives of those with the disease fully understand the role family history can play. Research into the disease is ongoing, and it’s already yielded valuable information that may help reduce the prevalence of this devastating disease in the years to come. One byproduct of researchers’ efforts is the discovery that it may be possible to prevent or delay the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease through the implementation of a combination of healthy lifestyle choices. The following are a few healthy habits that may help reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s. • Exercise regularly. A study conducted by Scottish researchers and published in the journal Neurology in 2012 touted exercise as the most effective way for adults to protect their brains from Alzheimer’s disease. Participants who were more physically active showed less brain shrinkage and fewer white matter lesions, both of which are indicators
Worth considering While there is no way to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, some research suggests that certain foods may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, and appear to protect brain cells: • In general, dark-skinned vegetables have the highest levels of naturally occurring antioxidant levels. Among them are kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, broccoli and beets. • Fruits with high antioxidant levels
include prunes, raisins, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, plums, oranges, red grapes and cherries. • Cold-water fish contain beneficial omega-3 fatty acids. Among them are halibut, mackerel, salmon, trout and tuna. • Some nuts can be a useful part of your diet. Almonds, pecans and walnuts are good sources of vitamin E, an antioxidant.
of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation reports that physical exercise reduces a person’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s by 50 percent and can even slow further deterioration in those who have already begun to develop the cognitive problems associated with Alzheimer’s. • Eat healthy. What you put into your body may also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The brain operates at its
best when it is fueled with a healthy diet that includes fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy fats and lean protein. A heart-healthy diet is also brain-healthy, and researchers have found a potential link between heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Researcher Larry Sparks of the Sun Health Research Institute in Arizona and formerly of the Kentucky medical examiner’s office discovered that those who had the telltale plaques of Alzheimer’s disease also
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had heart disease, suggesting heart disease may be a forerunner of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s. The Alzheimer’s Association feels this link between the two will grow stronger in the years to come, suggesting that a hearthealthy diet that reduces a person’s risk of heart disease may also reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s down the road. • Stimulate yourself mentally. Mental stimulation can help the brain stay sharp, and men and women who find ways to stay mentally stimulated can reduce their risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Embrace activities that require communication and interaction with others, and find time for additional tasks that can stimulate your brain. These may include studying a foreign language, reading, trying your hand at mentally stimulating puzzles such as crosswords or Sudoku, and other activities that emphasize organization. • Remain socially active. Memory and cognition are stronger when people remain socially active and engaged in their society, so retirees should look for ways to revive their social lives as a means of protecting their brains from the onset of Alzheimer’s or dementia.
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16SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
16 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
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17SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013 17
LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS GROW WITH AGE By MICHAEL HALL
The Brunswick News
The time to start planning for legal needs of older people is before they get too much older, according to Brunswick lawyers who practice in the area of elder law. “People really want to start thinking about that when they get into their 60s,” said Kelly Lanier, a lawyer with Ligon, Linberg & Lanier and a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Waiting too long to begin thinking about what will happen to assets as someone ages can have serious consequences for a next generation, Lanier said. Too often, she has seen people come to her in their 70s or 80s to begin protecting assets. By that time, Lanier says it is wise to already have someone set up with a power of attorney to make health care and possible nursing home decisions. “We get a lot of folks who come in in their 80s, and it complicates things,” Lanier said. By that age, people should already have long-term health insurance plans set up and
asset protection plans in place. A long-term health care plan will cover gaps in Medicare, Medicaid and other health insurance, and can be the difference in being able to afford nursing home care or assisted living, Lanier said. “If people are insurable for a long-term policy, it is very important to go ahead and do it,” she said. Along with a long-term plan, signing up and determining what benefits are available through Medicare and Medicaid is important, as there are income limits for Medicaid eligibility. Once elder health care is considered, Lanier says people who have assets to think about should begin protecting them. She says thinking about issues such as transfer penalty rules and estate recovery is crucial. Transfer penalties are levied against people who transfer assets without receiving fair value for them, when a transfer is made for the purpose of Medicaid eligibility. The idea is that the government does not want a person who does not qualify for Medicaid to move into a nursing home on Monday, sell assets to children on Tuesday and sign up for Medicaid on Wednesday.
A person who transfers assets will be ineligible for Medicaid if those transfers were made within the five years prior to signing up for the program. After a person who was receiving Medicaid benefits dies, Lanier says certain assets, such as a house, for example, may be used to reimburse the state for Medicaid payments that were made. Georgia has a program to minimize an asset’s exposure to estate recovery. As with other elder law issues, starting the planning process sooner rather than later is important, according to Gene Caldwell of the Caldwell Law Group, who practices in the area of elder law. He says people with assets to protect who start planning too late for entering a nursing home may be disqualified from getting Medicaid benefits due to the five-year look-back rule. “If you wait later than five years, you are essentially out of luck,” Caldwell said. Planning for wills should also take place early. Caldwell says people in their 20s or 30s should have wills, at ages when they might have acquired some assets and are starting families.
Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News
Lawyer Kelly Lanier says people should begin planning for age-related legal issues while in their 60s.
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18SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
18 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
Senior LIVING Retirement
RETIREMENT NEEDS A PLAN FOR THE FUTURE By BETHANY LEGGETT The Brunswick News
Retirement is a goal for many workers across America. According to the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, the average age in 2011 for men retiring was 64, with women retiring on average at age 62. As with any transitional period, however, people can experience a range of emotions from happiness to be finished with the daily work schedule to anxiety about the amount of free time and concern over their financial situation. Rosemary Hayward, a licensed professional counselor at Stillpoint Counseling Center, 228 Redfern Village, St. Simons Island, says many people initially feel joy at reaching retirement. “They feel excitement that the daily work grind is over, but there is also some apprehension about adjusting. It’s an adjustment not just for the individual, but if they are married, it’s also an adjustment for the couple toward each other, as well,” Hayward said. “Communication with each other is critical, especially if they are going to deal with shifts in the daily routine at home.” She also says many people who face retire-
ment find it beneficial to get involved with volunteering. They might still be “working,” she said, but they are finding fulfillment by doing something that comes from their passions. “Take a look at your God-given talents and what you enjoy. You want to find activities that not only keep you active, but also give you a sense of contributing to your community,” she said. As for financial worries, licensed professional counselor Judy Rath of Family Matters of Coastal Georgia, 605 Osborne St., St. Marys, said budgeting may be necessary. “Take an honest look at your finances and evaluate if you want or need to work parttime. Create a retirement budget and begin to practice spending differently if you must,” Rath said. Rath also suggests finding someone who
has already retired and look to him or her when facing the transition period. “Identify a retirement hero and strive to be like them,” she said. “Research what others have done to ease the struggle – either speak with friends and family or research expert advice and embrace lifelong learning.” Lynn Lane, a licensed clinical social worker on St. Simons, says poor planning can leave men and women unprepared for their retirements. “I have worked with many people who never thought about what they were going to do except get to retirement and hopefully have enough money. That lack of planning is almost always a stumbling block,” Lane said. Lane, who also has a Masters in Divinity degree, says it’s also common for people who recently retired to feel a sense of loss or dread. “Our bodies tend to get wired to a certain level of activity and mental stimulation. Retirement can leave one wondering how to fill the sudden emptiness of the day,” she said. “With life expectancy continuing to advance, not having some kind of idea of what one wants for the next possible 30 years can be a set up for disappointment and confusion.” The transition can trigger negative habits that impact others, Lane said.
“Even if one loves gardening, golf, or tennis, finding ways to fill the hours with just a few hobbies may leave one feeling less than fulfilled – creating anxiety, difficulty with relationships in seeking to ‘manage’ others in the household or withdrawal into negative coping mechanisms, such as drinking more, isolating with TV, or demanding too much attention from others,” she said. But Lane says there are ways to prevent isolation from creeping in by preparing in advance and maintaining a healthy perspective. “People tend to prepare to go to college, develop their interests, their job potential, and career enhancement opportunities, but forget that preparing for retirement may require just as much thought. Ask questions like: ‘Do I want a complete career change, what do I want to do in my community that I might have never had time to do, should I go back to school, or learn a new hobby, or a new skill?’” she said. “Planning for retirement may need to include many family members. When parents retire, children and grandchildren may have expectations about travel or baby-sitting or opportunities for family times that parents may not be aware of without communication. Listen to each other, share plans and ask questions.”
RETIREES MUST CHART COURSE FOR ACTION Scores of people spend their working days dreaming of the moment they are eligible for retirement. They may have retirement counted down to the minutes and seconds, particularly if they’ve been in a job that hasn’t been the most enjoyable. But many people find that once they retire they do not know what to do to fill their time. Boredom actually may be a side effect of retirement, and some people actually want to go back to work. Much of the focus when planning for retirement concerns finances. All other factors take a backseat. Therefore, there may be emotional issues that arise during retirement, and retirees are not always prepared to deal with such issues. Having a post-retirement plan in place can mean the difference between happiness and having a hard time adjusting, according to experts. Here are some tips that can help anyone ease into the golden years. • Establish goals. After working for
years, the idea of setting goals can seem counterintuitive. But goals can give life direction and have you looking forward to things in the future. Goals also motivate retirees to get up in the morning now that a commute to work isn’t part of the daily schedule. • Donate time or money. Giving back to others, whether to the community or to a charitable organization, can feel good and give retirees some structure. Volunteering your time at a place can give life some sort of purpose outside of a job. • Start a home-based business. Just because you retire doesn’t mean you have to fully retire. Now may be the opportunity to start a business venture you have always dreamed about, whether that is something hands-on or just serving as a consultant. Many people now look at retirement as the end of one career and the beginning of another. As retirement draws closer, men and women might want to consider turning an interest or passion
into a second career. Such a move might make retirement more exciting while removing some of the fear of finding enough things to pass the time that many people have with regard to retirement. • Try new things. Part of goal-setting is to add things to the list you’ve never done before, which can boost feelings of excitement. You may discover a new interest that becomes a passion. Now that you have time to explore new hobbies, they might prove more rewarding. • Meet with people. Part of what makes work fulfilling is the opportunity to get out of the house and interact with others who are not members of your family. It’s easy to fall into a rut when you are not being mentally stimulated by conversation from
different people. • Realize it’s alright not to love retirement. It is OK to accept that maybe retirement isn’t entirely what you expected and to make changes that can enable the experience to be better. Retirement should be an exciting time for men and women, especially for those who have spent years planning their retirement to ensure it’s as enjoyable as possible.
19SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013 19
SENIOR CARE CENTERS Health System Welcomes New Physician Services at Senior Care Center-Brunswick Doctors from Glynn Medical Associates are now providing attending physician services to residents of the Southeast Georgia Health System Senior Care Center-Brunswick. As part of an agreement that became effective in July 2013, at least one physician from the practice is on site to conduct patient rounds Monday through Friday, and often on the weekends. The physicians of Glynn Medical Associates, DOOERDUGFHUWLĂ€HGLQLQWHUQDOPHGLFLQHDUH Glynn Medical Associates: Randolph M. Baker, M.D.; William J. Laws, M.D.; Randolph M. Baker, M.D.; William J. Laws, M.D.; David W. Heine, M.D.; and Steven T. Williams, M.D. David W. Heine, M.D.; and Steven T. Williams, M.D. Medical services provided by the physicians include histories and physicals, initial and periodic assessments, and assessments of patients who are ill or experiencing a decline in health. Laws, managing partner of Glynn Medical Associates, says, â€œAs internal medicine specialists, one of our areas of expertise is geriatric care, which makes this a good Ă€WIRUXV:HÂˇYHSURYLGHGDWWHQGLQJSK\VLFLDQVHUYLFHVDWWKH6HQLRU&DUH&HQWHU in the past and many of the residents have been our patients. We have been very pleased with the management and staff since Southeast Georgia Health System took over, so we are very happy to again be providing attending physician services for the Senior Care Center.â€? Karen Andrews Daniel, MHA, LNHA, administrator for the Senior Care CenterBrunswick, adds â€œGlynn Medical Associates has provided care to residents of William J. Laws, M.D. and Senior Care Center-Brunswick Glynn County and surrounding areas for many years and are well known and resident George Hamilton. respected in our community. What is so wonderful about this group of physicians is that they make frequent rounds in the facility and are readily available to our UHVLGHQWV7KLVLVDOHYHORISK\VLFLDQVHUYLFHVWKDW\RXW\SLFDOO\GRQRWĂ€QGLQQXUVLQJKRPHV:HDUHWUXO\IRUWXQDWHWRKDYHWKLVFDOLEHURID physician group caring for our residents.â€? /RFDWHGDW:LOGZRRG'ULYHWKH6HQLRU&DUH&HQWHU%UXQVZLFNLVDEHGQRWIRUSURĂ€WQXUVLQJIDFLOLW\WKDWSURYLGHVQXUVLQJFDUHDQG therapeutic services for recovery from injury or surgery and long-term nursing care and assistance. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 912-265-8528 or visit sghs.org.
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20SENIOR LIVING PROCESS
20 The Brunswick News / Thursday, September 26, 2013
LINING UP SOCIAL SECURITY STARTS EARLY By MICHAEL HALL
The Brunswick News
When it comes to retiring, there is one program virtually everyone is going to look to for assistance â€” Social Security. Gathering everything you need to apply for benefits through the federal program that also operates Medicare is important to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Patti Patterson, regional communications director for the Social Security Administration in Atlanta, says applying for benefits through both programs has never been easier with online accessed through a My Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov. â€œAt each stage of your life, My Social Security is for you,â€? Patterson said. â€œYour personal online account is a valuable source of information, beginning in your working years and continuing throughout the time you receive Social Security benefits.â€? Starting an account is one of the first steps Patterson suggests for people who may be considering retirement, regardless of their ages. The account can be used to get a benefit verification letter, check benefit payment and earning records, change addresses to ensure benefits can still be received and to start di-
rect deposit of benefits. If you are not yet receiving benefits, an account can be used to get estimates of retirement, disability and survivor benefits, as well as the estimated amount of Social Security and Medicare taxes you have already paid. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people 65 and older and covers the cost of some, but not all medical expenses for most long-term care. Patterson says using the My Social Security account online will allow a person to apply for Medicare, even if he or she is not ready to retire. Deciding when to retire can be a difficult
decision. The standard retirement age for many years had been 65. â€œHowever, beginning with people born in 1938 or later, that age gradually increases until it reaches 67 for people born after 1959. The earliest age you can get Medicare is 65,â€? Patterson said. She points to the website as a tool to help people plan retirement. Potential retirees will find detailed information online about Social Security and Medicare benefits under the current law and learn more what is available based on individual circumstances, Patterson said. â€œSocial Security will need information about you, about your work, and you may need to provide certain documents when you apply for retirement benefits or Medicare,â€? Patterson said. Those include: â€˘ Date of birth, place of birth and Social Security number. â€˘ Name, date of birth and Social Security number of a current spouse and any former spouses as well as the date and place of marriage and divorces or deaths. â€˘ Names of unmarried children. â€˘ Routing number and account number for bank accounts. â€˘ Citizenship status. â€˘ Whether you or anyone else has ever filed
for benefits or supplemental security on your behalf. â€˘ Whether you have used any other Social Security number. â€˘ The month you want benefits to begin. â€˘Whether you want to enroll in Medicare Part B if you are within three months of age 65. â€˘ The name and address of your employer or employers for the current year and the previous year. â€˘ The amount of money earned for the current year and the previous year. â€˘ A copy of your Social Security statement or a record of your earnings. â€˘ The beginning and ending dates of any active U.S. military service before 1968. â€˘ Whether you became unable to work because of illnesses, injuries or conditions at any time within the past 14 months. â€˘ Whether you or your spouse have ever worked in the railroad industry. â€˘ Whether you have earned Social Security credits under another countryâ€™s social security system. â€˘ Whether you qualified for or expect to receive a pension or annuity based on your own employment with the federal government or a state or a stateâ€™s local subdivision.
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