https://seniorsbluebook.com/admin/articlehttps://seniorsbluebook.com/admin/articleSenior hunger is a growing problem among older adults. Recent studies reveal that nearly 14% of people 60 years of age and older regularly experience food insecurity. Thats an increase nationally from 5.5% back in 2001.
It is vitally important to understand that food insecurity goes beyond not knowing where your next meal is coming from; it also includes limited access to the healthiest food options. Food insecurity can be defined as limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate or safe foods. For this reason, according to AARP, improper nourishment is costing seniors more than $130 billion each year in medical bills.
Food insecurity may not always simply mean a reduction in the amount of food someone has to eat. Food insecurity is also linked to a decreased quality and variety of foods available to people, especially as they become seniors. While there are numerous factors contributing to the senior hunger issue, there are also many community partners and resources aimed at diminishing this problem.
One such resource is called SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. It is a government funded program which aims to supplement the food budget so people have access to more food and more food choices. Not only does SNAP participation help to stretch food dollars, it has also proven to keep seniors healthy and reduce their medical costs.
To obtain SNAP benefits, seniors must apply by meeting income eligibility limits. Special eligibility rules also exist for households with seniors or disabilities. If found eligible, SNAP recipients receive an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card, which works like a debit card to buy groceries at authorized vendors.
The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank serves 11 counties throughout southwestern Pennsylvania with several nutrition-enhancing programs and services. Offering SNAP application assistance is one important way the Food Bank is helping our neighbors to eat better. Seniors can receive SNAP application assistance by calling us toll free at 833-822-7627, or by submitting contact information at www.pittsburghfoodbank.org/snap.
Editors Note: This article was submitted by John Merola, SNAP Outreach Coordinator, Greater Community Food Bank. He can be reached at 724-846-6400, ext. 31 or email@example.com.
Moving to a personal care home is a big decision based on many factors. Cold winter months are drawing near, and the Farmers Almanac is forecasting a Winter Wonderland for the northeastern United States. Keeping this in mind, and to avoid winter chores, this is a great time to consider a respite stay and experience first-hand what life is like living in a personal care home.Experience an easier moveWinter weather conditions like snow and ice can complicate the move to a personal care home. Moving before bad weather conditions arrive allows seniors to avoid potential weather-related delays, accidents or other challenges during transportation and when moving belongings.Try out the personal care homeRespite care offers seniors a chance to try out a retirement community without making a long-term commitment. Country Meadows offers all-rental retirement living accommodations, so seniors are not beholden to a lengthy lease or an ownership stake. A respite stay can help older adults see for themselves whether or not the community is a good fit for a permanent move.Avoid winter weather challengesMany older adults struggle with winter chores such as shoveling snow, chipping away ice, walking on icy sidewalks, managing heating systems and driving in inclement weather. A temporary respite stay at a personal care home eliminates these responsibilities, as well as many other daily chores, removing worries. It provides seniors the opportunity to settle into their new living arrangement without the added stress of winter weather.Access daily assistance and health servicesAlong with cold weather, the winter season can also bring several challenges for older adults to maintain wellness. A major benefit to living at a personal care home is prompt, easy access to health resources and assistance. This is especially beneficial for seniors with health concerns and mobility issues. If a resident requires assistance with medications, dressing, bathing or another daily activity, simply push a call button and a personal care associate can provide needed help. And a wellness team keeps an eye on each residents overall health.Reduce lonelinessMany seniors experience loneliness and isolation while living at home. The winter months can magnify these feelings. Respite care offers opportunities for social interaction and engagement with new neighbors and friends in the same age group, reducing feelings of loneliness and providing mental stimulation.Participate in activities, enjoy entertainment and outingsSenior living communities often offer a variety of enriching activities and events. At Country Meadows, our Vibe program considers each residents physical, cognitive, social and spiritual needs and customizes activities, entertainment, outings and purposeful service opportunities. Events are organized seasonally by categories and offer opportunities for socialization and fun. When living at a personal care home, one doesnt need to brave the elements outside, because all the fun during winter is happening indoors, fostering a sense of belonging among residents.Provide relief for family caregiversA respite stay offers a break for family members and friends providing care in a seniors private home. This break is especially appreciated during winter months when private caregiving responsibilities might become more demanding due to inclement weather, illnesses or holiday-related activities.When considering respite care at a personal care home or retirement community over the winter months, its important to do some homework. Families and seniors should research and visit potential facilities to ensure the community can meet specific needs and preferences of each individual. The decision for respite care should prioritize the well-being, comfort and specific needs of each person, aiming to provide a supportive and enriching experience.
Intermittent fasting for seniors can be a beneficial dietary strategy when approached with caution and under medical guidance. At a retirement community, we understand the importance of promoting the health and well-being of our residents. In the next few paragraphs, well explore how retirees can safely embark on an intermittent fasting journey.Consult Your Doctor FirstBefore beginning any significant dietary changes, such as intermittent fasting, its imperative to talk to your healthcare provider. This is especially important for people who may have underlying health conditions. Your doctor can evaluate your individual health status and help you determine if intermittent fasting is right for you.Start Slow and GradualRetirees should approach intermittent fasting with a slow and gradual transition. Its important to acclimate your body to this new routine. Begin by extending your overnight fast by a few hours, ideally under the guidance of a healthcare professional.Choose the Right Intermittent Fasting PlanThere are various intermittent fasting plans, but for retirees, the 16/8 method is often recommended. This involves fasting for 16 hours and eating during an 8-hour window. This plan provides enough flexibility to suit most peoples schedules while reaping the benefits of fasting.Stay HydratedStaying well hydrated is absolutely necessary during intermittent fasting. Participants should make sure they drink enough water throughout the fasting period to prevent dehydration. Dehydration can make health issues worse, so maintaining proper hydration is essential.Prioritize Foods that Are Nutrient-DenseWhen you do eat, focus on foods classified as nutrient-dense. Especially when youre in your golden years, you need a well-balanced diet to support your health. Incorporate whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats into your meals to make sure youre getting the required nutrients.Monitor Your HealthKeep a close eye on your health while practicing intermittent fasting. People in Memory Care and Assisted Living may want to involve their caregivers or nursing team in this process. Regular check-ups, blood pressure monitoring, and blood sugar checks can help make sure that fasting is not negatively affecting your health.Be Mindful of MedicationsRetirees often take medications, some of which may need to be taken with food. Consult your doctor to adjust the timing of your medication intake to align with your fasting schedule while ensuring the medications effectiveness.Listen to Your BodyYou should be attuned to your body during intermittent fasting. If you experience weakness, dizziness, or other worrisome symptoms, it may be a sign that fasting isnt suitable for you. Always prioritize your health and well-being.Break the Fast CarefullyWhen its time to stop your fast, do so with a small, balanced meal. Rushing into a large, heavy meal can cause digestive discomfort, which is especially important to avoid for those in Memory Care and Assisted Living.Stay Committed to Your Regular Exercise RoutineExercise is vital for your health. Continue with your regular exercise routine during intermittent fasting. But consider adjusting your workout schedule to align with your eating window for optimal results.Evaluate Progress and AdjustPeriodically assess your progress and how intermittent fasting affects your health and daily life. Make necessary adjustments to your fasting schedule if needed, with the guidance of your healthcare provider.Within reason, intermittent fasting for seniors can be a valuable approach to support health and well-being. But it should always be done under the supervision and guidance of a healthcare professional. Our retirement community offers Memory Care and Assisted Living options, where we prioritize your health and provide the support you need to safely embark on an intermittent fasting journey. Remember to consult your doctor, start slow, stay hydrated, and choose the right fasting plan to enjoy the potential benefits of intermittent fasting while maintaining your health and well-being.
If youre part of a blended family (meaning you are married with children from a prior marriage in the mix), youre no stranger to the extra considerations and planning it takes to keep your familys life running smoothly from which parent your children will be with for the holidays to figuring out the schedule for a much-needed family vacation. Youve also probably given some thought to what you want to happen to your assets and your family if something happens to you. But what you might not have realized is this: If you dont create a plan for your assets before you die, the law has its own plan for you that might not reflect your wishes for your assets, especially your retirement assets. And if youre in a blended family, this can have a significant financial impact on the ones you love and even create expensive, long-term conflict.This week, we explain how the law affects retirement distributions for married couples, and why you need to be extra careful with your retirement planning if youre in a blended family to ensure your retirement account assets go to the right people in the right amounts after youre gone.Be Aware of How ERISA Affects 401K DistributionsIf youve remarried, you and your new spouse have probably talked about updating the beneficiary designations on your retirement accounts to reflect your blended family arrangement. (If you havent talked about it, you need to talk about it ASAP). Sometimes, people who are remarried decide to leave their retirement funds to their children from a prior marriage and leave other assets like their house and savings accounts to their current spouse. You may do this to avoid future conflict between your spouse and your children over your assets.But even if you want to leave your retirement for just your children, if youre married and your retirement account is a work-sponsored account, your children wont inherit the entire account even if you name them as the sole beneficiaries. Thats because the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs most employer-sponsored pensions and retirement accounts. Under ERISA, if youre married at the time of your death, your spouse is automatically entitled to receive 50 percent of the value of your employer-sponsored plan even if your beneficiary designations say otherwise.The only time that your surviving spouse would not inherit half of your ERISA-governed retirement account is if your spouse signs an official Spousal Waiver saying they are affirmatively waiving their right to inherit 50 percent of the account, or if the account beneficiary is a Trust of which your spouse is a primary beneficiary. IRAs Have Different Rules Than 401KsIf you want your children to inherit more than 50 percent of your work-sponsored retirement benefits, and completing a Spousal Waiver isnt an option, consider rolling the account into a personal IRA instead.In contrast to 401(k)s and similar employer-sponsored plans, IRAs are controlled by state law instead of ERISA. That means that your spouse is not automatically entitled to any part of your IRA. When you roll a 401(k) into an IRA, you gain the flexibility to name anyone you choose as the designated beneficiary, with or without your spouses consent. On the other hand, if you want to ensure your spouse receives half of your retirement savings, make sure to include them as a 50 percent beneficiary or better yet, have your individual retirement account payout to a Trust instead. With a Trust, you can:Document exactly how much of your retirement you want each of your loved ones to receiveControl when they receive the funds outrightEasily update and change the terms of your Trust without having to remember to update your financial accounts.Beneficiary Designations Always Trump Your WillWhether you have an employer-sponsored 401K or an IRA you manage yourself, there is one critical rule that everyone needs to know: beneficiary designations trump your Will.A Will is an important estate planning tool, but most people dont know that beneficiary designations override whatever your Will says about a particular asset. For example, if your Will states that you want your retirement account to be passed on to your brother, but the beneficiary designation on the account says you want it to go to your sister, your sister will inherit the account, even though your Will says otherwise.Similarly, lets imagine that you get divorced and as part of your divorce decree your ex-spouse agrees that they will not have any right to your retirement fund. However, after the divorce, you forget to take their name off of the beneficiary designation for the account. If you die before updating the beneficiary designation, your former spouse will inherit your retirement account. If you forget to update your ERISA-controlled account and have remarried, your current spouse would receive half of the account and your former spouse would receive the other half. Thats why its so important to work with an estate planning attorney who can make sure your accounts are set up with the proper beneficiary designations and ensure that your assets are passed on according to your wishes.Work With An Attorney Who Makes Sure All Your Assets Will Be Passed On How You Want Them ToUnderstanding how the law affects different types of assets is essential to creating an estate plan. But theres more to it than just having a lawyer you need an attorney who takes the time to really understand your family and your assets so they can design a custom plan that achieves your goals for your assets and your legacy. Thats why we help our clients create an inventory of all of their assets to ensure that every asset they hold is accounted for and passed on to their loved ones exactly as they want it to.Contact Entrusted Legacy Law at 412-347-1731.