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than half of adults have a will in place and even fewer have set up advanced
directives. A will dictates what happens
after you die with your possessions;
advanced directives dictate
your wishes for end-of-life care.
Having end of life documentation in place ensures your wishes will be honored, and it takes 3 basic steps.
The first is knowing what you want. How you want to be remembered, to be cared for, and what you want done with your remains and possessions, are the basics of what to consider. This step should take some introspection and research.
The second step is to have conversations with those you want, and need involved. This can be a difficult step but start the conversation and keep having it. It’s difficult to think about dying, or think about living without someone, but these conversations are vital.
The final step is to document. Put your financial and medical POAs in place, document your advanced directives, write up a will, and draft a trust if needed. Documentation is a gift to all involved. If you aren't sure where to start, talk to an end-of-life doula, doctor, or elder law attorney.
Editor’s Note: This article
was submitted by Lucy Crandall, End of Life Doula and owner of Good Mournings. She can be reached at 719-61-6850
Most seniors today prefer to remain in their own home for as long as possible. They dont want to give up their independence by moving in with family or into an independent living facility. This is known as aging in place and can be a viable option for seniors who need little to no assistance with activities of daily living.In-home senior care services from Gentle Shepherd Home Care in Colorado Springs can make this possible. Our caregivers are trained to handle an array of elderly care services from companionship to meal prep to medication reminders to transportation and more.In this article, well explain some of the benefits of in-home care for independent seniors.Who Needs In-Home Care Services?Gentle Shepherd Home Care offers a variety of in-home care services for all ages and needs. However, most of the time, patients who need home care are elderly. If youre unsure if your loved one needs in-home care, consider the following questions:Does your elderly loved one hear the phone when it rings?Do they understand how to safely store food and toss it when it has gone bad?Are they able to cook and clean up after eating?Are they attending social/family gatherings?Can they do their own laundry?If the answer to any of these is no, your loved one may benefit from in-home care.4 Benefits of In-Home Senior CareWhile it can be difficult to accept, nearly everyone will require some type of assistance after the age of 65. If the thought of moving in with relatives or a nursing home/assisted living facility is unappealing for your loved one, in-home senior care can help them age in place.Four benefits of in-home senior care include:Household MaintenanceThere is a lot of work that goes into keeping a household running smoothly. Caregivers can help stay on top of household chores such as laundry, handyman services, housekeeping, and more. They may also help with financial and healthcare management, as well as appointments and financials.TransportationFor many seniors, transportation is an issue, especially at night. Unfortunately, public transportation is not always safe- especially for elderly people. However, one of the services offered by caregivers includes transportation.Personal CareMany seniors need assistance with activities of daily living including meal prep, bathing, dressing, and more. In-home senior care providers can be in the home to help with these activities.Health CareAging usually brings a variety of health concerns as well. Some caregivers are trained to help with these concerns including taking blood pressure, blood glucose readings, medication reminders, and more. Many times, health insurance will cover a portion of these services.Schedule Your Care Assessment TodayIf you believe that you or your loved one may benefit from elderly care services, schedule a no-obligation care assessment. Gentle Shepherd Home Care offers care services for all ages and needs. We can offer companionship for your loved one, and many of our caregivers are able to provide medical care as needed.
Research shows that seniors are common targets of scammers. One of the most common ways that criminals try to get information is through Medicare scam calls. In fact, your Medicare number is often more valuable for criminals than your social security number or credit card numbers/banking information.The caregivers at Gentle Shepherd Home Care in Colorado Springs can help you identify these scams. We offer a variety of in-home senior care services from companionship to medical care.In this article, well explain what you need to know about common Medicare scams.Does Medicare Ever Call Recipients?There are only two reasons that Medicare will ever call you, according to the Medicare website:Health/drug plan provider may call if you are already a member or the agent who helped you join may contact youCustomer service representative may contact you if youve left a message or received a letter stating that you will receive a phone callTop 7 Medicare ScamsFraudsters are getting smart with their scams. However, if someone calls you claiming to be from Medicare with the following pitches, its a scam.Your old Medicare card is invalid- you will be getting a new cardThis is one of the most common Medicare scams. The fraudster will inform you that in order to issue a new card, they will need your social security number and/or your Medicare card number.Truth: Medicare will not call you if there is an issue with your card. They will send a letter to arrange a phone interview.Your Medicare plan is about to be canceledThe caller will claim that in order to prevent your Medicare from being canceled, you will need to verify your current Medicare number, full name, address, banking information, birthdate, and social security number. This is also a common Social Security scam.Truth: Medicare representatives have your Medicare number on file- they will never ask for it. Additionally, Medicare representatives never ask for details such as your social security number to verity your identity.You are eligible for early access to vaccinationsThe COVID-19 pandemic spawned many pandemic-related scams such as being sent at-home testing kits or special access to vaccinations. These offers require that you provide information such as your Medicare number, social security number, and other personal details. Most of these start out as text messages or robocalls. The caller will offer you special access if you pay out of pocket.Truth: Medicare will never ask for you to pay out of pocket to get special treatment.You must confirm your appointment for genetic testingIn some cases, scammers will call offering free genetic testing to screen for a variety of health conditions. When you agree, they will steal your information and will bill Medicare for the test. In some cases, you may be sent an at-home test to complete along with a request for your information.Truth: Medicare will not call or send an at-home kit to offer you testing that you have not requested.You are eligible for free medical suppliesIf a scammer is aware of a specific health condition, such as diabetes, they may offer you free medical supplies or medications. They use this offer to get your Medicare number and other personal information as well as your credit card number so that you can pay for shipping. Your information will be used to over-bill Medicare.Truth: Medicare is not likely to call you to offer free medical supplies/medications. They will never ask for you to pay for shipping or provide financial information. Never pay for anything without seeing an invoice that can be confirmed with Medicare.You overpaid and are due a refundOne of the most common scams fraudsters use is to contact you via a phone call or text offering a refund on overpayment.Truth: Medicare will not call you to verify your personal financial information before issuing a refund. If you are due for a refund, a paper check will be sent out or it will be sent to the bank account on file.Youve been pre-approved for a cheaper/better planSome scammers will try to convince you that you are eligible for a cheaper/better plan than you are currently on. These are most common during open enrollment.Truth: Medicare will not call you without sending a letter first. You should never follow up on any unsolicited calls, visits from people claiming to be Medicare reps, or brochures.What to Do if You Are ContactedScammers can be persuasive, aggressive, and even threatening. However, its important to stay calm- they wont be able to do anything if you dont give them your information.Also, keep in mind that Medicare will not cold-call you. They will contact you via postal mail first to set up a phone interview.If you or a loved one is contacted by a fraudster:Never give out personal informationHang upReport the scam to MedicareWarn loved onesIf you or a loved one is in need of in-home elderly care, contact Gentle Shepherd Home Care in Colorado Springs. We offer a variety of services from simple companionship to medical care.
Did you know that having a missing tooth can cause issues for you when eating and lead to other dental issues if you dont take care as soon as possible? No matter how you lost teeth, Dr. Guerra wants to help find the best possible solution for you so that you can smile with confidence. If youve lost teeth because of decay, or an injury then you might want to consider dental implants. Learn more about why patients are getting dental implants in Colorado Springs.What are Dental Implants?Implants are joined to your jawbone unlike dentures and dental bridges and what makes them even better is that they resemble your natural teeth so people wont notice as much. During the tooth replacements, an imitation root gets placed into the missing tooth socket. Over time the area around the root will heal and then a nonpermanent prosthetic tooth will get placed above the imitation root that was put in previously. Once the implant merges with the bone and the area is completely healed then a long-term replacement tooth is placed above the implant.Advantages of Dental Implants:If youre looking for a comfortable method to improve the appearance of your teeth, then dental implants are the way to go. You wont have any issues with speaking or eating and they are just about as strong as your natural teeth so, unlike dental bridges, nothing will happen to your other teeth so you can continue practicing good oral hygiene.Are You a Candidate for Dental Implants?If you have lost teeth, then youre most likely considered a candidate for dental implants, however, there are some things that need to be taken into consideration first. When you come in for an appointment to see Dr. Guerra, he will examine your jawbone to see how strong it is. In addition to a strong jawbone, you should also be in good health and have a healthy mouth so no issues occur during or after the procedure. He will also determine if this is the best solution but if not then there are other options such as dental bridges and in some cases dentures. Regardless of the method, Dr. Guerra will take a look at your teeth, and based on the examination, he will work with you to find the best possible solution for you.You can find more info about dental implants here, but if you have any further questions or concerns about the procedure and what it entails then dont hesitate to give your local Colorado Springs dental office a call (719.888.3959). We are here to help you with any and all of your dental care needs!
We plan for everything in life, except the end of it. Death, end of life decisions can be made easier. With the right planning, conversations and documentation the end of life can be celebrated and lived with joy. If you have questions, are curious, or want to create a plan, get in touch today and let's start a conversation. With over 20 years of experience working with seniors, my knowledge of local resources, and my passion for educating about what a "good death" can be, I am here to help, to guide and to support.