While it may be difficult to find the energy to write a thank you card after a funeral, doing so is an important way of acknowledging the love and kindness that friends and family members have shown you during this challenging period in your life. If you do not have the energy to complete this task, a friend or relative can write the notes for you as you sign them. There is no set deadline when it comes to sending out thank you cards, though getting them out within two to three weeks after the funeral is ideal.
There is no need to send a formal thank you note to every single person who came to the funeral or sent you a card acknowledging the passing of your loved one. However, you should make it a point to formally acknowledge people who have done the following:
Even if it takes some time for you to feel ready to tackle the task of writing thank you notes, it is never too late to send them out. The notes do not need to be long; they simply need to express your gratitude and appreciation.
The passing of a loved one creates a hectic and grief-filled situation, and you may find it difficult to keep track of who has done what in the days and weeks following the death of your relative. To make sure that you do not forget anyone during this chaotic time, you should keep a notepad and pen handy at all times. Do not rely on your memory to keep track of what people have done for you. If need be, you can assign a friend or family member to keep a record for you, thus making the task more manageable.
You should also consider making it a point to acknowledge those who were especially kind and helpful in the days before your loved one passed, if their death was not sudden. This may include neighbors who brought meals over or hospice nurses who went above and beyond to keep your loved one comfortable.
To make the job easier, you can purchase pre-printed sympathy cards and just jot down a sentence or two. No one expects a three-page letter from you during this time, but some sort of acknowledgment is important and necessary.
By Dr. Corin DeChirico, Healthcare Networks vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officerFebruary is National Self-Check month, designed to remind us that like keeping an automobile fine-tuned, we have a role in our own health maintenance. Being aware of our bodies helps us know what is normal and what changes might need to be evaluated by a doctor.Early detection of many health changes can result in better long-term outcomes when these changes signal illnesses like cancer, heart problems and other issues, many of which can be treated.One of the best ways to know what to look for is awareness of any risk factors or family history that might put you at higher risk for certain health conditions. Knowing your risks will also help your doctor suggest any lifestyle changes that could help lessen these risks. To get into a routine of self-checks and be able to recognize problems, it is important to begin them when you are feeling healthy, so you can become aware of what is normal for you.Here are nine basic checks that can help you keep track of your health. 1. Take your temperature. It is important to check your temperature when you are feeling good, so you know what is normal for you. Temperatures outside of your normal range often indicate illness.2. Testicular and breast checks are important to discover lumps or swelling that may indicate cancer.3. Check your heart rate. Your resting heart rate in the morning gives you an indication of general wellness and depends on your age and fitness. Checking every morning for a week can help determine your usual rate. A change of 10 beats per minute or more may be worth discussing with your doctor. A persistent rate above 100 beats per minute may indicate a serious health issue.4. Blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk for strokes, heart attack, heart failure and kidney disease. 5. Many blood and swab tests can be done at home and can indicate cholesterol levels, thyroid issues, urinary tract infections and strep throat. It is important that adverse results be interpreted by a doctor.6. Blood sugar levels can be tested with home blood glucose tests. Blood sugar levels are important because diabetes can lead to complications such as heart, kidney and dental disease, stroke and blindness. 7. Waist fat measurements. Too much fat around your waist can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Measure your waist at the level of your belly button. If your waist is 37 inches or more for men and 31.4 inches or more for women, you may be at risk, and should talk to your doctor about weight management.8. Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer you can screen for yourself. Look for new growths or moles that have changed, bleed, itch, burn or crust over. If you are fair skinned, have family history or spend a lot of time in the sun, you may also want to get checked annually by a dermatologist.9. Check your skin, hair and nails, as subtle changes can suggest things happening internally, nutritional imbalances or more serious issues such as a thyroid problem. Excessively dry skin, rough scaly patches or redness could be eczema, psoriasis or rosacea, but they can also offer clues about how your digestion and detox systems are functioning. Your doctor can determine the underlying causes of changes in skin, hair and nails and recommend treatments.10. While it is beneficial to keep an eye on your own health, it is also important to have a good relationship with a primary care provider, who will also consider your risk factors and maintain a complete picture of your overall health. While self-checks can help you catch potential health problems early, they are most effective when results are evaluated by a doctor. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Corin DeChirico, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs, runs the clinical programs for Healthcare Network after more than 25 years as a healthcare clinician, leader and physician executive. For information on Healthcare Network, visit healthcareswfl.org or call 239.658.3000.
Both Medicare and Medicaid can assist you with your individual long-term care plan. While the two programs sound similar, there are important differences to consider.Lets start with a brief definition of each program. First, its true, both programs provide medical care. However, Medicare is an entitlement program; meaning that everyone who reaches the age of 65 and is eligible to receive benefits from Social Security can also receive Medicare. In contrast, Medicaid is a public assistance program, meaning it is designed to help people with limited income and assets to pay for medical care. Recipients of Medicaid assistance must meet certain income and asset eligibility guidelines.Now, lets look at some of the fundamental differences between the programs.Who Runs Each Program?Medicare is completely run by the federal government, whereas Medicaid is run as a joint, federal-state program. A few states use different names for their Medicaid programs. For example, Medi-Cal in California and MassHealth in Massachusetts.Typically, the federal government pays for approximately one-half of a states Medicaid Program, with the state paying the balance. The eligibility rules will differ from one state to the next. However, in order for the state to receive money from the federal government, the program must adhere to certain federal guidelines.Long-term Care CoverageMedicare, by and large, does not cover long-term nursing home care. For example, Medicare Part A will only cover up to 100 days in a skilled nursing facility for a particular illness, and only after the patient has spent at least three days in a hospital. And, from day 21 to day 100, the individual at the skilled nursing facility must make a copayment of $167.50 per day. Few people actually receive Medicare coverage for the full 100 days, in part because of the copay, and in part, because restrictions and conditions for coverage are quite stringent.In contrast, Medicaid covers long-term nursing home care for people who meet its income and asset limits. It does not matter whether you need assistance for one hundred days, one year, or five yearsMedicaid will pay for the care as long as the recipient is eligible. Given the high cost of nursing home care, the dearth of affordable alternatives, and the restrictions inherent in Medicare coverage, Medicaid is now the single largest payer of nursing home stays in the United States.Do I Qualify For Medicaid?If your income and assets are less than your states guidelines, you are already eligible for assistance. However, if your income and assets exceed state limits, you will have to take the appropriate steps to become eligible. An experienced elder law attorney will be able to determine the best way for you to secure your Medicaid benefits.But be careful! Being eligible is not as simple as giving your stuff away a few weeks before entering a nursing home, expecting Medicaid to pay for your stay. Instead, when you apply for Medicaid, any gifts or transfers of assets made within five years of the date of application will be subject to penalties that delay your benefits. This is known as the look-back period, and the penalty period is determined by dividing the amount transferred by what Medicaid determines to be the average private pay cost of a nursing home in your state. A skilled elder law attorney will be able to guide you through the planning and application process so you can receive your Medicaid assistance as expeditiously as possible.In short, while Medicare can help you afford a short-term stay in a nursing home, Medicaid will be able to pay for your long-term care, if you are eligible. Through early and proper planning, you can obtain assistance from Medicaid to pay for your nursing home care and protect your hard-earned assets in the process.
In Henry Schwenks seven years as a resident of Vi at The Glen, hes left an indelible mark on the community as their trivia master for nearly the same length of time.He got into the game by accident while dining with friend and fellow resident Leah Grant, who was helping the Lifestyle Department plan resident-focused events. Leah was coming up short on ideas, so she enlisted Henry to help. The first possibility to pop into his head? Trivia. Before he knew it, Leah had deputized him as the communitys trivia master.Seven years later, Henry has never looked back.I read three newspapers a day and I get ideas. My mind is tuned to trivia, Henry said, And when I have dinner with people, which is every night or lunch, Im listening.Ive got a mind that kind of records things.For brain bending or bragging rightsInspired by his own research, the interests of his fellow residents and a level of precision befitting a former engineer, Henry has devised more than 2,000 questions that are fine-tuned to foster a fun environment and a perfect level of challenge. The results have been undeniable: Trivia nights regularly packed Glen Hall before the pandemic.And while COVID-19 could have spelled the end of Vi at The Glens favorite game, Henry and the Lifestyle Department kept it alive via the communitys in-house television network, giving residents a bit of normalcy and a regular dose of intellectual stimulation when they needed them most.Youll find that if you put your mind to work, you can come up with some amazing things, Henry said.Of course, not all residents play trivia with mental exercise in mind. Some, he said with a laugh, are in it for the glory.Wed give five prizes for the five highest scores: bottles of wine or boxes of candy or gift certificates. That all worked. But mainly, they werent there for the prizes. They were after the bragging rights, getting their name on the trophy.This coveted trophy is covered with the names of teams that have claimed victory under Henrys watchall 42 of them.A new lease on lifeMoving to Vi at The Glen didnt just lead to Henrys prolific career as a quizmaster. He says it gave him a new lease on life, a refreshing way to fight boredomand an opportunity to start a new chapter among friends.I like the lifestyle program and the fact that theyve given us a variety of activities, Henry said. Ive done a whole lot of things since Ive been at the Vi that I probably would not have done. The seven years have gone by in a hurry.Turning trivia nights into a community institution certainly counts as one of those unexpected endeavors. After well over a year without in-person events, the first normal trivia night took place in September 2021, and residents are clamoring for more.Every time I go down the hall, somebody will say, Henry, whens the next trivia?If youre inspired to try your hand at the competition thats quickly become a tradition, get in touch with us we would be happy to secure a guest invitation for you.
Helping Families Connect, Honor, and Remember.We offer unique opportunities for families to create healing moments after loss. Our experience, coupled with our perspective on the importance of ceremony, will help you discover ways to pay tribute to your loved one. Whether traditional or unique, these tributes allow us to love, laugh, and live well again.