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Last month, Secure Aging shared with our readers some facts about Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's is a chronic, neurological disease that affects the nervous system and body movement; about 1 million people in the U.S. have Parkinson's disease.
This month, we share some caregiving tips for those with loved ones who have Parkinson's disease.
Get informed .If you are caring for someone newly diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, find out for yourself some basic facts about it what it is, how its typically treated, and symptoms. Its best to start with a trusted doctor who can fill you in and who can also recommend online sources you can review. You can also find reliable information on the National Institute on Aging website and on the Parkinson's Foundation website.
Find out what's normal and when to seek additional help. The course for Parkinson's can be different for everyone, so ask your loved ones doctor what symptoms are normal and which ones require reaching additional health expertise.
Organize any medications. Your loved one will likely have to use several types of medications. The best way to make sure they take what they need is with some good organization. The following article from Caregiver.com has some solid tips that encourage better medication organization, including keeping a list of medications used and sharing that list with other family members. The article also shares several other good tips for caring with someone who has Parkinson's.
Seek care that can improve quality of life .This can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, diet management, regular exercise, and care available through other local programs geared toward those with Parkinson's disease. Parkinson Place in Sarasota is one organization that can help with Parkinson's care. Certain health providers also may be trained in programs geared toward those with Parkinson's. For instance, On the Go Therapy, profiled recently on our Secure Aging website, has staff members trained in the LSVT Big program for Parkinson's disease.
Dont forget self-care .Caregiver's are often so involved in caring for others that they neglect good care for themselves. Don't forget to get adequate sleep, eat well, and take some time for yourself every day. Watch out for signs of depression (in yourself or your loved one with Parkinson's), and reach out for help if you are overwhelmed. Secure Aging can assist with care management so caregivers can get a break.
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At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our clients independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota.
Are you taking care of an aging family member at home? Is an older adult in your life beginning to show signs that it's time for home care to keep living at home safely? Family caregivers do a great deal for the people they care aboutbut they cant do it all, and sometimes, hiring a caregiver is the best option for everyone involved.Of course, its easier for friends and coworkers to suggest getting outside help than it is to make that decision. After all, you may not know what to expect from in-home senior care, or even where to begin. But its important to recognize when you need help, both for yourself and for your loved one. Lets talk about how to find a caregiver who will not only take care of basic care needs but also forge meaningful bonds with your family. 3 Steps to Take to Find Caregivers in Your AreaStep 1: Assess Your Loved Ones Care NeedsIts important to have a clear vision of what youre looking for before you begin your search. Start by making a list of all the daily needs and tasks your loved one requires help with. That might include managing chronic conditions, like diabetes or COPD, or personal care tasks like dressing and grooming. This list can also include more personal things like your loved ones strengths and limitations, their favorite hobbies, what they like and dont like, and other preferences. The more detailed the list you can compile, the easier it will be to make a perfect match!Types of Senior CaregiversThere are several categories of in-home caregivers, and knowing the difference early on will help you focus your search.Caregivers/Personal Care Aides (PCAs) serve as companions, helpers, and supporters for a wide range of needs. They can help older adults with light housekeeping, activities of daily living, meal preparation, and much more.Home Health Aides do all of the above, plus they have more specialized skills and certifications that prepare them to provide mobility support, medication reminders, health monitoring, dementia care, and more.Private Duty Nurses are skilled, licensed registered nurses (RNs) who can perform medical tasks like wound care, IV infusions, tracheostomy management, and more. They are better suited for people who need ongoing health care outside of a hospital setting.Types of In-Home Care ServicesIn-home care isnt a one-size-fits-all service. The best caregivers and home care agencies will have flexible, customized care plans that you can use for part-time or full-time assistance with many in-home care services, such as:Preparing mealsRunning errandsLight housekeepingGrooming, bathing, toileting, & moreFall prevention and safety adjustments in the homeMonitoring chronic conditions, medication reminders, etc.Transportation to doctors offices & social engagementsStep 2: Choose Your Search MethodThe ultimate goal of this journey is for you to find a professional, qualified, and personable caregiver that meets all of your loved ones needsand preferences. Your two main methods of finding a caregiver will be to work through an agency or to look for independent contractors.If you choose to seek an independent home care worker, be prepared for the search to take a long time. You may need to write your own caregiver job description, sift through registries or staffing services, check references one by one, and set out hourly rates. Then, when youve found someone, youll also be responsible for contractor protections like workers' compensation and withholding taxes.Benefits of Working with a Home Care AgencyHome care agencies can connect you with trained, qualified, and compassionate caregivers quicklyin some cases, you can even find next-day care. Working with an agency means you can find a caregiver who is:Prescreened and background-checkedTrained and experienced in diverse care needsAble to call in backup if they are sick or have an emergencyWell-equipped to handle and respond immediately to changing care needsInsured and paid by the agency, limiting your burden of responsibilityStep 3: Find the Most Reputable Home Care AgencyMany people find and choose caregivers through word of mouth and testimonials. This is a great way to begin your search for a home care agency, too. Look for a company with many great reviews that is open and willing to share client testimonials, certifications, and other details about their hiring, training, and assignment processes. Awards, certifications, and accreditations are also important. Look for accolades both in terms of care provided to clients and how they take care of their employees. If an agency is a Certified Great Place to Work, you know that the caregivers are well-supported, well-trained, and well-prepared to provide excellent care to your loved one!Questions to Ask an Agency Is your agency licensed and accredited?Are your caregivers insured and background checked?Can I talk to any of your current clients for a recommendation?Are care plans flexible and customizable? How are needs assessed?How are questions, issues, or concerns about my caregiver handled?Are your caregivers trained to handle my loved ones unique needs, health conditions, and/or behavior challenges?What to Look for in the Best Home Care AgencyWhile some guides to finding senior care cite several downsides of working with agencies, you can avoid these pitfalls when you work with a reputable and responsible agency like ComForCare. We go above and beyond to remove the usual pains and restrictions of caregiving agency work and deliver exceptional service every time.Expense: Were more than happy to identify realistic ways for our clients to afford a caregiver. We have a wealth of senior care cost resources, budgeting tips, and flexible scheduling options to help you get the care you need. In fact, youre likely to find in-home care the more affordable choice compared to assisted living or other options.Caregiver Choices: Many agencies assign caregivers based on availability alone, meaning you could end up with someone who isnt a good personality fit for your loved one. At ComForCare, we use our in-depth caregiver matching program to align people who share interests and values.Flexible Hours: While many agencies dont offer part-time scheduling, ComForCare can cover any need. Whether you need a caregiver for a one-time respite period, a few hours a week, or 24/7 care, were there to meet you where you are.Looking for a Caregiver? Find Your Match TodayWhether youre urgently searching for a caregiver or just beginning to do your homework, we welcome you to ask us questions 24/7. We understand that finding someone to care for your loved one can be a stressful and confusing process. Were here to take as much off your plate as we can with round-the-clock support and a commitment to outstanding client service. Call us today for more information, 720-575-5576.
As you know, the gig economy has been booming over the past several years. If youre thinking of using your skills to take on a side gig, what should you do with the money youll make?Theres no one right answer for everyone, and the decisions you make should be based on your individual situation. And of course, you may simply need the extra income to support your lifestyle and pay the bills. But if you already have your cash flow in good shape, and you have some freedom with your gig money, consider these suggestions: Contribute more to your IRA. If you couldnt afford to contribute the maximum amount to your IRA, you may find it easier to do so when you have additional money coming in from a side gig. For the 2023 tax year, you can put in up to $6,500 to a traditional or Roth IRA, or $7,500 if youre 50 or older. (Starting in 2024, this extra $1,000 catch-up contribution amount may be indexed for inflation.) The amount you can contribute to a Roth IRA is reduced, and eventually eliminated, at certain income levels. Look for new investment opportunities. If youre already maxing out your IRA, you might be able to find other investment possibilities for your side gig money. For example, if you have young children, perhaps you could use some of the money to invest in a 529 education savings plan. A 529 plan offers potential tax advantages and can be used for college, qualified trade school programs, and possibly some K-12 expenses. Please keep in mind that potential tax advantages will vary from state to state. Build an emergency fund. Life is full of unexpected events and some can be quite expensive. What if you needed a major car repair or required a medical procedure that wasnt totally covered by your health insurance? Would you have the cash available to pay these bills? If not, would you be forced to dip into your IRA or 401(k)? This might not be a good move, as it could incur taxes and penalties, and deprive you of resources you might eventually need for retirement. Thats why you might want to use your gig earnings to help fund an emergency fund containing several months worth of living expenses, with the money kept in a liquid, low-risk account. To avoid being tempted to dip into your emergency fund, you may want to keep it separate from your daily spending accounts. Pay down debts. Most of us will always carry some debts, but we can usually find ways to include the bigger ones mortgage, car payments and so on into our monthly budgets. Its often the smaller debt payments, frequently associated with high-interest-rate credit cards, that cause us the most trouble, in terms of affecting our cash flow. If you can use some of your side gig money to pay down these types of debts, you could possibly ease some of the financial stress you might be feeling. And instead of directing money to pay for things you purchased in the past, you could use the funds to invest for your future.As weve seen, your side gig money could open several promising windows of opportunity so take a look through all of them. Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL email@example.com This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor. Edward Jones, Member SIPC
Its been a bumpy year for the financial markets which means that some of your investments may have underperformed or lost value. Can you use these losses to your advantage?Its possible. If you have some investments that have lost value, you could sell them to offset taxable capital gains from other investments. If your losses exceed gains for the year, you could use the remaining losses to offset up to $3,000 of ordinary income. And any amount over $3,000 can be carried forward to offset gains in future years. This tax-loss harvesting can be advantageous if you plan to sell investments that youve held in taxable accounts for years and that have grown significantly in value. And you might receive some gains even if you take no action yourself. For example, when you own mutual funds, the fund manager can decide to sell stocks or other investments within the funds portfolio and then pay you a portion of the proceeds. These payments, known as capital gains distributions, are taxable to you whether you take them as cash or reinvest them back into the fund. Still, despite the possible tax benefits of selling investments whose price has fallen, you need to consider carefully whether such a move is in your best interest. If an investment has a clear place in your holdings, and it offers good business fundamentals and favorable prospects, you might not want to sell it just because its value has dropped. On the other hand, if the investments youre thinking of selling are quite similar to others you own, it might make sense to sell, take the tax loss and then use the proceeds of the sale to purchase new investments that can help fill any gaps in your portfolio. If you do sell an investment and reinvest the funds, youll want to be sure your new investment is different in nature from the one you sold. Otherwise, you could risk triggering the wash sale rule, which states that if you sell an investment at a loss and buy the same or a substantially identical investment within 30 days before or after the sale, the loss is generally disallowed for income tax purposes.Heres one more point to keep in mind about tax-loss harvesting: Youll need to take into account just how long youve held the investments youre considering selling. Thats because long-term losses are first applied against long-term gains, while short-term losses are first applied against short-term gains. (Long-term is defined as more than a year; short-term is one year or less.) If you have excess losses in one category, you can then apply them to gains of either type. Long-term capital gains are taxed at 0%, 15% or 20%, depending on your income, while short-term gains are taxed at your ordinary income tax rate. So, from a tax perspective, taking short-term losses could provide greater benefits if your tax rate is higher than the highest capital gains rate.Youll want to contact your tax advisor to determine whether tax-loss harvesting is appropriate for your situation and youll need to do it soon because the deadline is Dec. 31. But whether you pursue this technique this year or not, you may want to keep it in mind for the future because youll always have investment tax issues to consider. Chad Choate III, AAMS828 3rd Avenue WestBradenton, FL firstname.lastname@example.org This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.Edward Jones, Member SIPC