Unlike a robbery or break-in where you know immediately that you have a loss, identity theft can remain hidden for days or weeks before you know you have been stolen from. Identity thieves search for ways to use your personal information to charge purchases, get your tax refunds or steal your medical account information. In the latter case, even if they don’t steal your money, by stealing private information, nearly $50 billion in Medicare fraud is caused by the misuse of innocent people’s personal and medical information.
“Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
This famous line from an old TV commercial is part of the American lexicon. It is often used as part of a joke, perhaps because the TV commercial was so hokey.
As we made plans to include this article in our blog series, we had the overwhelming feeling that “everybody knows this”. And, as we spoke to the adult children of a few clients we discovered to our dismay that a surprising number of people have not given thought to Advance Directives. Those who do were usually asked the question upon entering the hospital at one time or another. That was likely the first time they had even thought about documents like a Living Will or a Health Care Power of Attorney.
When the pineapple was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1493 it was a huge success. It was a horticultural curiosity and with its sweet taste and unique appearance became a much-coveted epicurean treasure. But pineapples were very hard to acquire. And, for the next 200 years they had to be brought across the ocean.
As hard as you work to keep your senior healthy, there are some surprising ways to do just the opposite. Several common household items that can breed bacteria, viruses and allergens in the home need your further consideration.
There are millions of individuals that give of themselves to help a family member or friend with age-related disabilities and live a more normal life. These are mostly uncompensated family members, a third of whom, according to the CDC have disabilities themselves. They come in many varieties including relatives, partners, friends or neighbors. They almost always have a significant personal relationship with an older person or an adult with a chronic or disabling condition.
There are some benefits of joining a Medicare Advantage plan. However, there could be some disadvantages depending on your health and mobility. Having to stay “in network” is one of the drawbacks if you travel a good bit or want total freedom your choice of doctors. And co-pays can offset some of the premium savings. Medicare supplement plans are more expensive but provide the enrollee with much more control over their medical choices.
Insurance can be intimidating. Jokes about avoiding insurance salesmen are many. The joke seems to poke fun at a salesman who is “pushing” a product you don’t want to buy. The fact is more likely it is a product you don’t understand.
Insurance can be confusing; a web of jargon and costs that are unclear. It keeps some people from even listening to insurance “pitches” or perhaps, not filing on legitimate claims. Understanding the terminology can reduce the stress and make you a better consumer of the insurance product or help you decide not to purchase what is pitched.
Your liver may be underappreciated. The fact is your liver functions like your body’s engine. It drives many of the body’s critical systems. Unfortunately, it can be easily overlooked. The reality is that when your liver stops and breaks down, your body does too. While liver cancer is only one malady to impact the liver, over 33,000 Americans die from liver cancer alone.
While there is no such thing as a “typical” senior, as they age, there are a few basic lifestyle things a family or friend can do to make their lives more comfortable.
Nearly 15 million older adults in the U.S. live alone, many feeling that they would be a burden on their families if they were to move in with them. In many cases they are ignored and cannot really maintain an active life without some help. So how can you be helpful without destroying their sense of independence?