Its Tax Time!


Villa Pueblo Senior Living Community

Posted on

Feb 01, 2023


Colorado - Southern Colorado

With tax season approaching, it is important to begin getting prepared to ensure a smooth process of filing. Taxes can be complicated due to several rules surrounding different financial scenarios for people. Tax information regarding retirement income, Social Security benefits, pensions, retirement accounts and more are all included.

This in-depth guide is designed to provide up to date information about senior tax preparation and may help clear up questions you have during this upcoming 2021 tax season.
You can find information on calculating tax rates, AARP tax aide, some expert tips and additional resources from the IRS.

All of the resources from are written and reviewed by experts; this article being no different. Though it is not financial advice, all information included in this “Tax Prep for Seniors” article is reviewed by Ebony J. Howard CPA.

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Comparing Palliative & Hospice Care

Some older adults and people with serious illnesses, unfortunately, experience the end of life in certain healthcare settings that do not align with their desired wishes. If you have a serious illness or are a caregiver of someone planning end-of-life care, knowing the difference between palliative care and hospice care can help you make an informed decision when the time comes to transition to one of these healthcare settings.What Is Palliative Care?Palliative care is a form of care that focuses on improving your quality of life and that of your family when you are living with a serious illness. It focuses on your whole-person health rather than only on your condition. If you are receiving palliative care, your treatment plan may focus on reducing symptoms of your illness and on improving secondary conditions such as depression, sleep deprivation, and side effects of medications.Palliative care may be given in various healthcare settings, such as at the hospital, a residential care facility, or your home. Anyone can receive this type of care regardless of age or the severity of their condition.If you receive palliative care, you may work with and be treated by various healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, physical therapists, counselors, and nutritionists. If you need spiritual care, your palliative care team may even include a chaplain. The healthcare professionals that make up your palliative care team will depend mainly on your recovery needs and level of care.Studies show that palliative care offers many benefits, including:Reduction in pain, nausea, and shortness of breathImproved communication among patients, their loved ones, and their healthcare providersIncreased emotional supportHigh-quality care that aligns with the patients wishesReduction in stressIncreased confidence surrounding decision-making related to careAbility to meet the emotional and spiritual needs of the patients and their loved onesWhat Is Hospice Care?Hospice care focuses on improving your comfort and quality of life when you are nearing the end of your life. This type of care is usually given in circumstances in which an illness continues to progress despite treatment or when the patient chooses not to receive certain treatments. Hospice care is similar to palliative care in that it provides comfort care and support for the family. However, treatments are not given to improve the illness.Like palliative care, hospice care can be given in many different healthcare settings, though it is most frequently given at your home, where you can be most comfortable and spend quality time with your loved ones. In addition, it is typically given when your healthcare provider believes you have no more than six months to live. Some benefits of hospice care include 24/7 access to nurses and healthcare workers who can address and relieve symptoms and side effects and access to medical equipment and medications that can reduce your discomfort.Many of the same types of healthcare professionals that make up a palliative care team will also be part of your hospice care team. This includes doctors, nurses, social workers, chaplains, and volunteers who dedicate their time to giving you the support you need and making you feel as comfortable as possible during your final months.To be eligible for hospice care, you will discontinue aggressive treatment efforts to combat your terminal illness (such as experimental surgeries, aggressive chemotherapy, or other treatments that require prolonged hospitalization and recovery).   However, you may continue to receive treatments for other conditions, such as antidepressants to treat depression or insulin medicines to control Diabetes.   What Is Comfort Care and End-of-Life Care?Comfort care and end-of-life care are both terms that describe the type of care you receive when you are near the end of your life and are no longer receiving treatment for your illness. It is highly similar to palliative care in providing you with whole-person care that focuses on your physical, social, emotional, and spiritual health. Comfort care and end-of-life care may include palliative care or hospice care, or a combination of both.What Are the Main Differences Between Palliative Care and Hospice Care?Sometimes, palliative care is given as part of hospice care, and both types share many similarities. For instance, the goal of both palliative and hospice care is to improve your quality of life and help you find relief from painful and severe symptoms and side effects of treatment. Both types of care also focus on whole-person health. However, there remain many differences between palliative care and hospice care.Some of these differences are:Palliative care can be given to anyone with a serious illness, regardless of the stage of their disease. In comparison, hospice care is typically only given when a person has less than six months to live and is at the end of their life.Palliative care can be given simultaneously when the patient receives other treatments for their condition, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Hospice care is usually given when treatment for the illness has stopped, and the goal of care is to manage the patients symptoms for the remainder of life.The healthcare professionals on a palliative care team work separately from the patients primary care team that is treating the illness. In comparison, the healthcare professionals on a hospice care team handle the majority of the care and collaborate with the patients primary care team as necessary.Who Should Consider Palliative Care?You may want to consider palliative care if you or your loved one has a serious illness or chronic condition that requires long, intensive care or that causes severe physical symptoms and/or emotional distress. For example, cancer, heart disease, AIDS, and kidney failure are some of the many conditions that can benefit from palliative care.Additionally, palliative care may benefit you if you:Want relief from severe physical pain you are experiencing due to your illnessAre experiencing emotional pain or psychological conditions that you are unable to controlWant to continue to receive treatment for your conditionWant tips and guidance on how to effectively manage your conditionNeed guidance with choosing the best treatmentNeed help understanding your illnessWant to receive treatment at home or outside of a traditional hospital settingHave loved ones who are involved with your treatmentNeed help transitioning from one treatment setting to anotherWhen Would Someone Transition From Palliative Care To Hospice Care?A person may transition from palliative care to hospice care if their doctor thinks they have no longer than six months to live. Sometimes, it can be difficult for doctors to predict exactly how long it will take for a particular disease to run its course or how long a person has left to live if their health is in decline. In these circumstances, its important to consider how transitioning to hospice care could improve your quality of life during your final months.According to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), doctors should strongly consider referring chronically ill patients to hospice care if they spend more than half their time in bed, are unable to function efficiently, and are experiencing both physical and psychological distress. The NLM adds that hospice referrals are usually necessary when the patients condition has progressively declined to the point that their highest priority is to take control of their healthcare and achieve the greatest possible comfort in their homes as they near the end of life.Talk to your doctor if you think you may need hospice care but arent sure when you should transition out of palliative care. Your doctor can talk to you at length about your options and the benefits of transitioning to hospice care based on your condition and unique circumstances.Taking advantage of hospice care as soon as its needed could result in access to quality care and lots of extra quality time to spend with your loved ones. Additionally, studies show that patients who plan their care in advance are more likely to be satisfied with their care, given how they can make decisions that align with their end-of-life wishes.How to Get Palliative Care or Hospice CareConsult with your healthcare provider if you or your loved one is interested in learning more about palliative care or hospice care. Your doctor can refer you to a palliative or hospice care specialist who can answer all your questions and help you determine which of these services may be more ideal.Palliative care and hospice care are covered by many major health insurance providers, including Medicare. The exact benefits covered will vary based on your health plan. Benefits covered may include medical equipment and supplies, skilled nursing care, bereavement support, and medications to provide comfort, among many others.Hospice At Your Side has resources for home health and hospice services throughout the United States. Specialty services we offer include diabetes care, orthopedics, and pain management. Call us today to learn more about our many home healthcare services.

5 Ways to Make Organizing In Your Home More Accessible

Independent living can be difficult to achieve if your home isnt ready for it. A newfound lack of mobility may prevent you from doing everyday tasks as you used to. Creating systems for different parts of your home can help you remain self-sufficient. Whether it be living with a disability or aging in place, there are many ways to achieve an independent living situation.Extending your independence and being able to continue living in your home alone allows you to have freedom of choice in your life. While this may seem costly, there are options for the financial burden this could place. There are government assistance programs that allow you to use the money for additions to your home for accommodation purposes. Additionally, if youve lived in your home for some time, youve likely built up a good amount of equity that can be.leveraged in a home equity loan. This can be especially helpful for accessing funds immediately in one lump-sum payment.Giving your space any necessary updates give you more ability to stay in your own home. Take a look at these tips to ensure each room of your home is up to date for your lifestyle.1. Continue your kitchen useMAKING SURE ITEMS ARE WITHIN REACH IS VERY IMPORTANTYour kitchen shouldnt turn into a place to avoid because of lack of access. To ensure safety in the kitchen, you dont want to have things stored too high up, especially heavy items. Having everything at eye level or at an arms reach will cut down on the chance of dropping things. Look to add pull down cabinets and pull-out drawers so you can still grab things with less mobility. A lazy susan cabinet or pantry could also keep everything at the same level and easier to search for the items you are looking for. For heavier items, especially ones you would normally keep at a lower level, creating a raising system takes away the need to bend down and lift up heavy appliances. Simple changes can help you to continue using your kitchen as your abilities change.2. Allow For Accessible Bathroom StorageAccessible bathrooms commonly include handrails and barrier free showers. You will want to ensure the showers in your household are walk/roll-in showers. They should be 30 inches wide by 60 inches deep with a 60 inch wide entry to allow for wheelchair entry according to ADA standards. Another aspect to take into consideration is shower storage. The height of your shower items needs to be attainable for your mobility. Putting in your own storage containers allows you to choose the height. You may want to use soap dispensers so you can easily access your products.Outside of the shower, you may want to take into consideration the sink as well. Make sure your sink is ADA compliant, at least 34 inches above the floor. There also needs to be 60 inches of clear floor space to accommodate wheelchair users. Having one row of drawers in your bathroom design keeps everything at a reachable distance and also allows more space below if you need to make it wheelchair accessible. Removing the barriers in the bathroom and keeping it neat can give you independence and privacy in a place where you want it most.3. Create Space in Your BedroomThe bedroom is another place where you would want privacy and discretion. Keeping it functional and spacious allows you to move around easier. Make sure you choose a dresser that suits your ideal level of comfort when it comes to storing things. You may want to look into ones that have deeper drawers, so you dont have to look through multiple sections for just a few things. Putting organizers and spacers within the drawer can help keep things separated so everything doesnt look like a cluttered mess and its easier to look through.If you have a lot of electronics, especially those with cords, it may be time to look into getting automation systems set up. This can keep the floor free of cords that could be a fall-hazard and allow you to operate your electronics using your phone or your voice. Smart screens and plugs allow you to control lights and electronics with your voice rather than having to get up and flip a switch. You can also schedule actions, so you dont have to worry about forgetting to turn the living room lights off at night. These systems can also connect throughout your home, so you can control the whole house from one room.4. Clear Up Your ClosetBeing able to continue using closet spaces even when your mobility is lacking is important in being able to maintain your independence. A big part of being able to use the closets is making sure its accessible. Implementing door widening and an automatic door opener increases the accessibility of your closet which can help if you are in a wheelchair. It can also provide you with more functionality in your closet and make it easier to move around.Shelving and hanging rods should be adjusted to suit your needs. Make sure the rods are at a height that can accommodate your reach. Pull down rods may be a good option as well to keep everything organized while still allowing access to what you need. Shelves also need to be at a height that suits you, both for reaching and potentially for a wheelchair as well. You dont want to install shelves so low that it impedes a wheelchairs ability to move throughout a room.5. Accommodate for Service AnimalsSERVICE DOGS ARE A GREAT HELP IN A CLUTTER-FREE HOMEService animals, while helpful and necessary, are still an addition to your house. They will need their own food, leashes and harnesses, a crate, and more that you might need space for. Making sure they have their own designated area in your home can keep it from getting cluttered with things and keep it out of your way. Having bins or small cabinets for their items frees up floor space so it doesnt become a hazard to you. Making sure everything is labeled can also help you to remember where things are stored. A doggy door may be something to think about adding as well. A trained service dog will be more independent than your average animal, so allowing it to go outside when needed without you having to open the door for them makes it easier for the both of you.Organizing your home can not only make it look nicer but make your life easier. It allows you to live like you have been, just with more access. When it comes down to your future, you can call the shots with just a few adjustments, and make sure your house fits your current and potential needs.

How to Become More Tech-Savvy at Any Age

As technology continues to evolve, staying up-to-date on current trends and security best practices can feel dauntingespecially for seniors with less experience using tablets or other smart devices.You might assume learning new tech skills will be complicated or take too long to master. But becoming a tech-savvy senior is easier than you think. In fact, there are plenty of ways to stay informed and take advantage of everything technology offers.Become a Tech-Savvy Senior [in 5 Easy Steps]With the right tools and resources, seniors can become tech and computer savvy. So get ready to unlock the benefits of going digital with a few simple tips and tricks.Step One: Learn the BasicsThere are several ways to connect to the internet: mobile, Wi-Fi, broadband, DSL, cable, satellite, dial-up, etc.But to access the internet at home, youll need an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and a router to connect to the ISP. You can then use the broadband connection from the router to access the internet from your desktop computer, tablet, and smartphone simultaneouslyand at much faster speeds.Once you connect your device to a secured internet connection, you can start browsing the internet and accessing Web applications that allow you to connect to family and pique your interest!Secured vs. Unsecured Connections [a quick reminder]Home routers offer secure internet connections as they require password verification (i.e., a security encryption key). However, unsecured Wi-Fi connections are often standard in public areas. This may include coffee shops, restaurants, libraries, etc. Think popular areas where a business or building owner offers patrons public (i.e., free) Wi-Fi.Though convenient, unsecured Wi-Fi connections leave you vulnerable to online hackers. Primarily, if you use a smart device to check your banking account information and emails or purchase products online, you could be at risk. Therefore, its best to use only secured connections when accessing the internet.Step 2: Keep Your Android & iOS Apps UpdatedWhether you own an Apple (iOS) or Android device, staying up to date on the latest versions of your apps is essential. There are two main reasons for this:Updating your devices software and applications will improve your online experience (e.g., access to updated features, removing bugs, increasing page speed, etc.).Updating your software increases its security and your privacy.To put it simply, when a new version becomes available on your device, be sure to update it. Remember, newly released versions may have improved security patches that protect you from malicious activities and private data breaches.Step 3: Connect with Family using Messaging AppsFamilies can stay connected through popular messaging apps like GroupMe, WhatsApp, and Viber. Facebook Messenger is another option, as is Google Hangouts.Using these apps, you, friends, and loved ones can stay updated with daily events and share funny gifs and photos in group chats. In addition, these platforms also offer the ability to send pictures, videos, and even play games together, creating an environment for meaningful collaborations across generations.And if youre looking for the right messaging tool, ask the grandkids for help! They may already be using one and can add your account to the group chat, so you can check in and stay connected.Step 4: Discover the Perks of AI-Enabled DevicesAI technology is designed to make life easier and help you pursue your hobbies and interests. For example, smart headphones can amplify voices or filter out background noise, so you can enjoy streaming music or tuning into your favorite audiobook or podcast without interruption.In addition, AI-enabled devices, such as Amazons Alexa, can help you set daily reminders and alarms or get weather reports and traffic updates. Other voice-command virtual assistants, such as Apples Siri, Google Nest Hub, or Amazons Echo Show, can answer questions and provide information about products and services youre interested in. The best part is you can connect with loved ones by asking your assistant to call them or start a video chat.With such virtual capabilities, tech-savvy seniors can remain socially engaged and informed right from their living rooms.Step 5: Explore Online Options for Daily TasksAs more and more tasks become digitized, you can enjoy endless online options for shopping, banking, and other everyday activities.For example, if your financial institution offers mobile banking, you can contact them to help you download their app and learn more about their mobile features and capabilities.Mobile banking is a great way to check your account balances and notify your lender of any unusual activities. It also allows you to complete various tasks, such as paying bills and transferring money between accounts from the comfort of your home.How Technology Can Help Seniors Beat Loneliness and IsolationThough online communication is no substitute for in-person connection, it does permit us the benefit of hearing and seeing our friends and family from miles away.Additionally, technology provides a unique opportunity for intergenerational activities. From younger generations teaching seniors how to use their smart devices to playing games online to sharing news, gifs, videos, and information, technology helps seniors become more active with their families and also find new social circles to engage with based on shared interests.To learn more about the benefits of intergenerational activities, read our latest article.Internet Security Tips & Best PracticesBefore we go, we wanted to provide a few tips on how tech-savvy seniors can stay safe online.Having strong and unique passwords.Avoiding clicking on suspicious links or emails.Downloading anti-virus software to help protect you from malware attacks.Consider utilizing two-factor authentication, when possible, which adds a layer of security to your accounts.Ask for help.This last tip is key! When in doubt, ask someone else you trust for support. At Primrose Retirement Communities, for example, our residents know they can come to any staff member with questions or concerns, especially about their online security.In fact, we offer classes at many of our locations that focus on teaching seniors' technology best practices. This way they feel confident and in control of their online activities. We also help our residents set up their smart devices, such as Skype or Apples Facetime, so they can connect with friends and loved ones from anywhere in the privacy of their own apartment homes.Get More Senior Living ResourcesRemember, you can be tech savvy at any age! To find more resources on living your best senior life, browse our blog for helpful articles and tips.And to learn more about how Primrose is supporting tech-savvy seniors with interactive classes and activities, we invite you to find a Primrose near you and schedule an in-person tour to explore our community!

Local Services By This Author

Villa Pueblo Senior Living Community

Independent Living 1111 Bonforte Blvd, Pueblo, Colorado, 81001

Senior Living at Villa Pueblo is a PUEBLO ORIGINAL and is celebrating 60 years of serving the Pueblo community. A spacious apartment in our landmark high rise (tallest building in Pueblo) is an affordable option for active seniors. With bundled living prices, residents enjoy a full range of amenities and activities. We consistently exceed national averages for customer service and our friendly staff is the reason why. Let the team at Villa Pueblo handle all of your maintenance and housekeeping chores. Each apartment includes a full kitchen, carpeting, and window coverings and residents enjoy the sliding glass doors that open to your own private balcony with incredible views. Plus, there is never a buy-in fee and and you dont have to make any long-term commitments. Many residents find that the cost of living at Villa Pueblo is less than the cost of owning and maintaining a home. Many updates and enhancements have been completed, including a modern penthouse with outdoor space. Come see what is new!