3 End of Life Planning Essentials: A Will, Power of Attorney and Advance Directive

End-of-Life-Planning-Essentials-A-Will-Power-of-Attorney-and-Advance-Directive

Today’s video discusses a difficult, delicate and absolutely unavoidable topic. Jane Duncan Rogers, the founder of the nonprofit organization Before I Go Solutions shares her wisdom concerning end of life plans for older women. Read on to learn about the legal essentials you need to ensure your end of life wishes will be honored.

The Will: Who Needs One and Can You Write Your Own?

Think you don’t need a will because you hold your assets jointly with a spouse or partner who’ll keep everything when you die? Even so, Jane cautions that a will can make your passing much easier for your survivors to bear. Why?

Because grief takes a toll on our ability to think clearly. Without a will, your loved ones may be lost when it comes to dealing with your estate. Knowing exactly what you wanted can prevent completely unnecessary family rifts.

And closing your estate will take much longer and cost much more if you don’t have one. Think of your will as a huge gift to those you’re leaving behind.

Can You Make Your Will Without a Lawyer?

If you’re in the UK and everything you have is held jointly, you may not need a lawyer’s advice to make your will. But Jane advises checking the laws elsewhere. Not all countries are the same.

For most of us, however, a signed and dated paper listing our wishes and titled My Last Will and Testament won’t do. To be legal, a will must also be witnessed by someone not named as a beneficiary.

Wills Can Be Complicated

But the best reason to have a lawyer draw up your will, Jane says, is that “… people don’t know what they don’t know in their particular situation. “

Do you have a large estate, a blended family or assets in another country? Then you need a lawyer’s advice on the best way to structure your will for your beneficiaries’ benefit.

If You Really Want to Go It Alone

To write you own will, you’ll need the correct legal forms. In the UK, purchase an entire package from W.H. Smith stationers’ stores. Elsewhere, the forms may be available to download online.

Just remember that going this route means periodically checking to make sure your forms remain current. In most countries, the laws governing wills are frequently updated.

The Advance Directive: So You Don’t Get What You Don’t Want

None of us likes to think about it. But even in the best of health, we’re one serious accident away from being incapacitated. If that happens, Jane warns, we can’t expect doctors to do anything except fight to keep us breathing.

To avoid being be kept alive at any cost, you need an advance directive. Also called a living will or advance decision, it makes clear what care measures you’re refusing.

And for your loved ones, having your advance directive in one of life’s most difficult situations will be a tremendous comfort.

The Power of Attorney: Because Sometimes You Need Someone to Act on Your Behalf

We all dread the idea of not being able to manage for ourselves. But if that day comes, knowing you’ve appointed a trusted person to manage your affairs can bring tremendous peace of mind.

Different people can have your powers of attorney for finances and health care (sometimes called a health care proxy). When you recover, their powers end.

Concerned that your financial appointee might declare you incapacitated and raid your bank account? Then appoint more than one person and stipulate that the appointees must agree about your condition. Jane observes that doing so usually prevents wrongdoing.

Do You Need an Attorney to Get a Power of Attorney?

Not necessarily, says Jane. If you’re in the UK and comfortable with legal language, appoint a power of attorney through the Office of the Public Guardian website. Otherwise, shop for an attorney because prices vary by up to 400 percent.

In the U.S. power-of-attorney laws vary among states. Wherever you are, check the regulations to determine if you need a lawyer.

Your Funeral: Yes or No?

Your last legal end of life requirement is to arrange for your body’s disposal according to your country’s laws. But you’re not required to have a funeral.

And if you don’t want one, encouraging your loved ones to celebrate your life in other ways is a golden opportunity to begin a dialogue about your end of life plans!

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Source: CareTips

How Can Boomer Women Create New Friendships in the Tech Age?

oomer-Women-Create-New-Friendships-Online-in-the-Tech-Age

The world and how we relate to it has rapidly changed, impacting how we interact with each other, stay in touch, and maintain an active social presence.

A New World

As the years tick by, our circumstances change. It’s inevitable. Friends relocate, moving closer to adult children or to a warmer climate; some just drift away as interests shift beyond what used to hold us together. We need to find ways to fill the void left in their wake or risk becoming socially isolated.

More so than when we were younger, we need to make an effort to maintain a dynamic group of friends and associates within a changing lifestyle. This may mean opening our mind to other options, including technology.

Virtual Friends

Virtual forums for women are popping up all over the internet. Sixty and Me is one of the most prolific and relevant for women our age.

It offers forums and discussion boards covering topics as benign as travel, fitness, and make up, to more serious subjects like career choices, feminist politics, heath, and aging, to truly intimate discussions of sex, marital difficulties, loneliness, aging, and death.

Whatever’s on your mind, you can talk about it online, and, evidentially, you won’t be alone. These sites are popular and frequented regularly by thousands of women, all looking to supplement their personal relationships.

Facebook Groups

Another source of online conversation is available through your Facebook page. Facebook public and private pages show up when you search for a topic, whereas the secret groups can only be joined upon invitation from a member.

The subjects are limitless and quite interesting. I’ve joined several Facebook writers’ groups and have enjoyed sharing my work and exchanging ideas with other writers.

Friend Finders

If you prefer to meet new friends face to face, there are sites for you as well. Friend Finders are similar to online dating sites except their focus is social connection rather than romance.

Many are co-ed, but some are strictly for women, and the experience can be anything from simply joining a group for an activity, to submitting a profile to be matched up to those with whom you may be compatible.

In the interest of research, I signed up for Girlfriend Social, a matching site exclusively for women. I filled out my profile, representing myself honestly, and found it interesting to note that my ego danced around a little before I hit submit, fearing no one would choose to connect with me.

Participating in these sites does require a little self-assurance, or at least the courage to push past any insecurity around putting yourself out there.

I was matched with a number of women within a 90-minute driving radius of my home. Most were at least 20 years my junior, and many were not good matches for my preferences and lifestyle, but a few seemed promising, so I clicked their box in hopes they would respond.

I also checked the option to connect with women virtually rather than in person. This appealed to me because I spend lots of time online and enjoy corresponding in writing. I also imagined it would increase my pool of potential matches. After several days, however, I have yet to make a connection.

Not Just for Women

A creative twist on friend finding, Meet My Dog invites people to make matches with other dog owners who are interested in including their furry friends in the fun.

I didn’t sign up because, unfortunately, my dog is not as social as I. But I can see how bringing along a couple of canine cuties could help break the ice.

Meet Up

If you don’t mind showing up solo to join an activity, Meet Up may be for you. The website provides a user-friendly platform for people who want to hike, bike, enjoy gourmet food and wine, share films and books.

Any activity you can imagine probably has a Meet Up. And if there isn’t, the site encourages individuals to organize one.

I joined a women’s writing Meet Up and have been getting together with this same group of women every month for over two years. They’ve become an important part of my social circle and have helped me become a better writer.

I also occasionally join a hiking Meet Up and have explored lots of new trails I would otherwise have missed.

I was pleased to discover the meet up group Finding Female Friends Past 50 in Southern California has over 2,000 members, proving there is definitely a place for us within this community.

Girlfriend Circles – A Hybrid Friend Finder with a Little Extra

Girlfriend Circles is a well-developed online community based on the creator’s book, blog, and videos about how to create meaningful friendships at all stages of life.

With 7424 members, the site matches you with those either in your area or with similar interests and encourages you to utilize online correspondence or engage via hosted video forums as well as discussion boards on many topics around vulnerability, communication, and intimacy.

It is a very active and engaging experience for which I signed up, not only as research for this article but because I am always interested in broadening my social circles.

I was matched with several women who live similar lifestyles and have engaged in some of the online discussion groups. All and all, a good experience so far.

So, if you are game, motivated to join in and can take the initiative to start a conversation, I believe it is possible to have a meaningful connection with women via the Internet. But as with most things in life, what you get out of it depends largely on what you put forth.

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Source: CareTips

What Motivates You to Live Your Life After 60 with Passion and Vibe?

Live-Your-Life-After-60-with-Passion-and-Vibe

“Oh my gosh, you are so lucky. I wish I could do that.”

Terri Ducay smiles. I can hear it in her voice. We’re on the phone, talking about her life.

This lovely blonde is in her early 60s. After years of working in software design for companies like Apple and Microsoft, Terri has retooled her entire life.

We met when she posted a comment on an article I’d written. What caught my eye was that she had put everything she had into storage and headed off to Thailand to work with elephants.

She found herself helping this organization with their social media needs, which is her expertise. This work was feeding her passion, namely, animal welfare.

Lucky? Not at All

She didn’t consider herself lucky. She had simply found a voice for her passion.

How does a software engineer with an MFA in design end up in Thailand working with elephants?

Some years ago, Terri had got her “dream dog.”

“This was my pivot point,” she explains.

Her dog had come from a puppy mill. He’d been inbred and was badly damaged as a result. The dog was unpredictable and would attack anyone who carried food. His mind was broken, but Terri loved him.

She had to decide whether to commit to this special needs’ animal or have him put down. It would either be a dream dog, as he was, or a dead dog.

The Power of Commitment

She committed. As she tells it, this decision opened her eyes to the animal world. Her dream dog was anything but a dream. However, the journey got her involved with a number of animal rights organizations.

“He opened my mind to the animal world,” Terri says. She found groups like Samaoyed rescue, which helped her learn more about her dog.

A note here, the popularity of some dogs as a result of the TV series Game of Thrones is legend. People’s lack of understanding of, and respect for, this large working breed is one of the many reasons that Huskies and Samoyeds are among the top ten breeds most likely to be dumped in shelters, largely as a result of puppy mill and backyard breeders as well as unprepared owners.

Terri was hooked. She expanded her interests the more she explored. Not only did she learn a great deal about animals, but she also came to understand a lot about herself – both in therapy and through her dog.

At one point, Terri was the State Representative for California for the Humane Society. This is one way how the love of our creatures can turn us into passionate cause supporters.

As Terri puts it, “You have to get out there and meet people. Get involved.”

She found herself on the board of America’s Wild Horses.

“It just fans out. As a business person I could bring that perspective to the legislation and fundraising of not-for-profit organizations. About 90% of these organizations are women,” she noted.

Eventually, she met a woman from Thailand who invited her to help with their 300-acre facility in the center of that country. There, Terri would find herself spending months on end helping them rebuild and refocus a dedicated elephant sanctuary.

Especially in SE Asia, there are plenty of “fake” sanctuaries and so-called rescues for elephants which are little more than tourist traps for selfie-seekers. The elephants get no better treatment there than they might have in the forests.

Terri emphasizes the importance of doing your research before your visit. There are, however, plenty of volunteer opportunities for those willing not only to invest time but also to learn about these fast-disappearing creatures.

When I spoke to Terri, she was getting ready to head to Kenya. Her work has taken her all over the world. This isn’t some magical overnight transformation either. No fairy godmother appeared to touch her with a wand for Terri to suddenly start living her dream.

We Still Have to Manage Our Lives

Like all of us in our 60s, Terri is considering living elsewhere, perhaps overseas. She has to be mindful of money, of managing her future, while at the same time living what has become her passion. However, as she plots out the next few years of her life, she continues to be committed to her causes.

Any one of us who has skills that were developed over a lifetime can do this kind of work. What’s necessary is a desire to make a difference to the cause that most speaks to your heart. As with Terri, that often grows organically out of a personal experience, a loss, or a childhood passion.

Terri says, “You have to get out of your comfort zone and give yourself time. I had taken freelance work, which led to full time work, which paid for me to be overseas for such a long time. Also, support groups for such things are available, but you have to go find them.”

Stripping Off the Barnacles

“Every so often, you have to strip off the barnacles. I have to remove all the extra and unnecessary layers.” This is superb advice for those of us in our 60s who may be carrying grief from loss of a spouse, being laid off, empty nest syndrome, etc.

Those layers keep us from rising and make us think that others are “lucky.”

Not at all. As Terri says, “I pretend my life is a movie. What’s my theme song? What’s the next chapter? I’m the author of that. It’s not luck. It’s hard work.”

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Source: CareTips

5 Reasons You Need an End of Life Plan (#3 Can Catch You Out!)

End-of-Life-Plan

Do you need to be convinced that an end of life plan is a good idea for women over 60? In today’s video, Jane Duncan Rogers, the founder of the nonprofit organization Before I Go Solutions, is here to do just that! Keep reading to learn her five reasons why a good end of life plan can make your final years so much easier on you and those who care about you!

A Will and Why You Need It

Do you really want to burden your loved ones with sorting out your affairs if you die without a will? Yet for far too many families, Jane says, that’s exactly what happens.

Simply put, not enough of us have the will to make a will. And because we don’t, those already grieving from their loss will wait longer for – and receive less of – an inheritance. They’ll be deprived of the fees involved in settling our estates.

And without a will, how can you be sure your most treasured possessions go to the people you want? Just think of this end of life step as doing a wonderful final favor for those you love!

An Advance Directive: In Case You Don’t Want to Live Forever

As women growing older in the 21st century, we’re blessed with medical advances capable of adding many productive years to our lives. Our doctors, however, are trained to use them to keep us alive regardless of the emotional, financial or physical price.

An advance directive lets your doctors know what treatments you don’t want when you’re dying. It’s an insurance policy guaranteeing they’ll honor your wishes.

Even the healthiest women over 60 are one serious illness or accident from being unable to speak for themselves. With your advance directive, your loved ones can be confident about speaking for you.

The Sendoff: How You Want Your Loved Ones to Say Goodbye

A meaningful end of life plan is about more than your legal responsibilities. It lets others know how to acknowledge your passing beyond cremation or burial. Remember that grief may keep them from thinking clearly about the kind of sendoff you’d love.

If you want to be buried according to a specific religious rite, say so. Is there someone special you’d like to give your eulogy? Or any or music and readings you find especially meaningful? Let people know.

If you’d rather certain individuals didn’t participate, make that clear too. Many of your mourners will feel your presence at the gathering. They’ll want to know they’ve done you proud.

A Power of Attorney: So There’s Someone to Watch over You

When you’re incapacitated, an advance directive can tell your doctors how not to treat you. But you’ll also need someone to take responsibility for your other affairs.

A legal power of attorney authorizes a person or persons of your choosing to manage your financial and health matters when you aren’t capable. The power lasts only until you recover.

Quite surprisingly, in the UK, even your spouse or next of kin needs your power of attorney to act on your behalf. Because that may not apply elsewhere, it’s important to investigate the laws where you live.

Your Personal Preferences: Because Caretakers Aren’t Mind Readers

One of the smartest things you can do, Jane advises, is list your favorite foods, clothing, music and television programs in your end of life plan. Why?

So you’ll still be able to enjoy them if you become incapacitated and enter a nursing home, hospice or other care facility. If you have religious beliefs, include them for the comfort their end of life rituals can bring.

Making your preferences known is another step toward easing your last days. As professional caretakers, the people around you will be more than grateful for the information. After all, they’ll want you to be as happy as possible!

The post 5 Reasons You Need an End of Life Plan (#3 Can Catch You Out!) appeared first on Sixty And Me.

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Source: CareTips

How to Best Remodel Your Home So You Can Age in Place Safely

How to Best Remodel Your Home So You Can Age in Place Safely

Aging in place is the desire of many people but doing so comfortably can be a challenge. One of the keys to successful aging in place is to remodel your home to accommodate your needs.

Incorporate Universal Design

According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), universal design is all about designing a home so that “people of all ages, health, and abilities can enjoy the same home, and that home will be there for all its inhabitants even when their needs change.”

They further define specific common elements of universal design:

  • No-step entry. There is no need to use stairs to get into the home or main rooms.
  • One-story living. Places to eat, bathrooms, and bedrooms are all located on one level, which is barrier-free.
  • Wide doorways, 32-36 inches, let wheelchairs pass through.
  • Hallways should be 36-42 inches wide. This allows you to move easily from room to room.
  • Extra floor space, so everyone feels less cramped and there is enough space to maneuver a wheelchair.
  • Floors and bathtubs with non-slip surfaces are not just for people who are frail. Have handrails on steps and grab bars in bathrooms.
  • Thresholds that are flush with the floor.
  • Good lighting.
  • Use lever door handles and rocker light switches.

Consider a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS)

CAPS professionals know the strategies and techniques for designing and building aesthetically enriching, barrier-free living environments.

A specialist goes beyond design to address the codes and standards, common remodeling expenditures and projects, product ideas, and resources needed to provide comprehensive and practical aging-in-place solutions.

A CAPS professional has been trained in:

  • The unique needs of the older adult population.
  • Aging-in-place home modifications.
  • Common remodeling projects.
  • Solutions to common barriers.

CAPS professionals are not just home remodelers. They could be, for example, health care consultants who advise homeowners on modifications and then work with architects and remodelers to bring the project to completion.

When Hiring a Specialist

Look for the following:

  • Proof of liability insurance.
  • Proof of workers compensation coverage.
  • A valid business license.
  • Good standing with the Better Business Bureau.

Seek referrals from friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and others who have had similar work done. Contact trade associations such as the local Home Builders’ Association.

The National Association of Home Builder (NAHB) provides consumers with a list of items they should keep in mind when they are considering an aging in place project.

It is becoming more common to see the age at which people move into senior living residences rise. Assisted living residents are often an average of 85 years old. So, to insure lots of years left in your residence, bring it up to code and design it now for aging in place later.

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Source: CareTips

How Rebalancing Your “Life Portfolio” Can Help You to Achieve Financial Success After 60

How Rebalancing Your “Life Portfolio” Can Help You to Achieve Financial Success After 60

There is no part of life that can be experienced in a vacuum. Each decision you make impacts other areas of your life. I know, for instance, that if I have a glass of wine, it will trigger a migraine, and I will be wiped out for three days which impacts my ability to exercise, play, and carry on relationships.

As you embrace the fall season of your life in all its’ splendor, you want to look at two types of portfolios – life and financial. They should work together in harmony in order to truly flourish in your unique version of prosperity.

There are the four “Ps” of the life portfolio and the four “Ls” of the financial portfolio that woven together create an intricate tapestry of your retirement years.

Live Life Well

We all have goals that we want to achieve while we’re still capable, but we need to plan for them, so the unexpected surprises are less in number and low in intensity. Here come the four Ps you need to consider:

Passions

What meaningful activities or pursuits fill your days? What areas of your life do you have an expertise in or truly enjoy that you want to cultivate? Time is precious, use it wisely.

Physique

Stay pro-active with your health. My husband and I like to bike, boat, and hike together. We also have our individual activities to focus on staying healthy. I love to cook and create healthy meals for ourselves and guests.

Yes, meniscus tears happen and cancer has reared its head, but we are grateful for our health everyday and do the best we can to steward the bodies we have been given.

Personalities

Who do you want to hang out with? Isolation in our aging demographic is growing at a rampant rate. Get intentional about surrounding yourself with people that are important to you, or those who will keep you engaged and thriving.

Maybe seek out people or groups that give you a new perspective or challenge you in your thinking.

Places

Where do you want to live and how will that change as you age? If you want to travel, what type of experiences or places will nurture your soul, not simply provide Facebook fodder?

Look at your community and where you might want to get involved using all that wisdom and experience you have accumulated over your lifetime.

The Financial Side

Make sure your financial portfolio is set to optimize your life portfolio! You need to discern and direct your financial tools to maximize sustainability of your financial resources.

There are four areas to consider:

Liquidity

You want cash that is easily accessible for emergencies or opportunities, or to supplement income from other sources in the event of a market correction. How much? It depends.

There are a variety of factors to look at. How much do you have coming in from Social Security or pensions? Does this cover your fixed expenses? Do you have upcoming one-time expenditures (i.e., a car purchase or vacation)?

There are financial vehicles best positioned to provide you with this liquidity. Start with vanilla flavored savings accounts, money markets, or laddered CDs. Shop around for a good interest rate.

Lifestyle

Your spending patterns will change as you shift gears in life. You should anticipate long-term care expenses down the road. You will have variable expenses (such as travel) and fixed expenses (mortgage, Medicare supplements, etc.).

Investment accounts, retirement accounts, and new opportunities through the “gig economy” (Air B&B, Uber, Task Rabbit) can provide you with income streams that can be creatively managed for tax-efficiencies. Make sure to incorporate inflation as you look at the go-go, slow go, and no-go years.

Longevity

With the help of a healthy lifestyle and following the medical advances, you can anticipate a long Indian summer of life. Social Security, pensions, and annuities are three of the tools to use optimally to hedge against a long life and to guarantee that you won’t outlive an income.

There are many considerations to assess before turning on these spigots of income. Is it just income for yourself, or is there a spouse involved? Is there an age difference? When is the best time to start taking these income streams? This is a good time to bring in a competent, fiduciary planner – not a sales person.

Legacy

Financial tools positioned to optimize what you want to leave to heirs would include Roth IRAs, real-estate, and brokerage accounts. The Roth IRAs pass on to your beneficiaries tax-free and can be set up for “stretch” distributions.

Real estate and brokerage accounts currently get a “step-up” in cost basis, making them tax efficient for legacy purposes. Life insurance proceeds also pass on to beneficiaries’ income tax-free.

However, depending on the size of your estate, if you personally own the policy, proceeds may be subject to federal and state estate taxes.

Create a Life of Meaning

The only thing you want in a vacuum is dirt! You have the opportunity to create a life of meaning given the constructs of whatever financial situation you are in. Create an awareness of what is working and what isn’t, then start taking the steps towards where you want to be.

You may want to seek out a retirement life coach to help you rebalance your life portfolio or a financial coach to help you optimize the financial portfolio.

The post How Rebalancing Your “Life Portfolio” Can Help You to Achieve Financial Success After 60 appeared first on Sixty And Me.

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Source: CareTips

The Journey of Life: 10 Ways to Embrace Friendship Beyond 60

The Journey of Life 10 Ways to Embrace Friendship Beyond 60

“It’s not where you go, but who you meet along the way.” Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

As we journey down the road of life, I often wonder what lies ahead, just beyond that bend in the curve. We all know that our path is never quite straight, that there are bumps, curves, and roadblocks that constantly get in the way of our leisurely walk.

We saunter along, becoming complacent with our surroundings, with the normalcy of our routine. And then it happens. We suddenly look up and are shocked that right in front of us is darkness with gray menacing clouds threatening our peace.

We hesitate with unbelieving eyes, our breath quickens, and our hearts become heavy with the weight of worry. The uncertainty of those clouds is frightening; that’s what really scares me. Does it scare you?

Imagine the Road Ahead

Close your eyes and envision your own path. Look with eyes that are filled with creative images of how the world around you appears. Is it a path that is beautifully filled with the boundless peace of nature? Are there trees and flowers, birds of all colors, skies that are blue?

Are your lips turned up in a smile, a look of eagerness on your face, lighting up your path with the sheer energy of your presence? Is there someone walking down that path with you, just a few steps behind or directly by your side?

Or is your walk not any of those descriptions? Is it one that is blurred, uncertain, or worse – one that is dark, mysterious, and full of foreboding fear, much like Dorothy’s walk in the haunted forest on the Yellow Brick Road? The path that has her fearful of what the darkness means.

Who’s by Your Side?

But, if you remember the story of Oz, Dorothy’s journey wasn’t lonesome. She had the Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow by her side. Her companions. Her partners. Her friends. At this point in your life, who’s by your side?

When you go through six or so decades of friends, they probably fall into different categories. You have childhood friends, the ones that you made when you were young and carefree. Then you have your high school or college friends, the ones you probably first spread your wings with.

Then come your adult friends, the ones with kids your own children’s ages. Fast forward to today, the ones that understand the fears of our 60s. With them we will share all the good things as well as the bad things that lie ahead.

Those are the treasured friends that are in it until the end. Or, at least that is our hope.

Friendship Beyond 60

How do we embrace our friendships, at this stage in our life?

Make Time for Friends

Some of us are lucky enough to have a partner or spouse as our friend. But that doesn’t mean that he or she is all that we need. We can’t make the mistake of not making time for our other friends.

Our gift of friendship commits us to carving out time for them. Make a date, put it on your calendar, and don’t make excuses. Make it a priority. Your friendships deserve that.

Take a Break

We are all human, and every single one of us has a flaw that may get on peoples’ nerves. I know it’s probably something you don’t want to think about, but it’s true.

We may talk about our kids too much, we may obsess over our exercise or our body, our aches and pains, or something that probably annoys someone. Take a break, if you need to. But, always, always, circle back around and keep in touch. Text or call. Let them know that you are not gone for good.

Plan a Girls-Only Trip

Take a weekend and hit the road with your girlfriends. Those kinds of trips create memories to carry us through the times ahead, and that we’ll need to draw from, when our days are filled with dark clouds.

Avoid the Topic of Beliefs

Unless you absolutely know that your religious or political views are similar, stay away from those conversations. No one wants to be preached to or made to feel that they are being rallied to change their beliefs.

Consider Your Financial Circumstances

Be considerate of the differences in your financial means. Not all of your friends may have the luxury of spending money on clothes, vacations, or ‘things.’ It can come across as bragging, not sharing. So, be considerate of all situations where money could be an issue.

Open Opportunities for Them

Don’t be a know-it-all. Give your friends a chance to talk, and be an active listener. They need to shine on their own, too.

Make New Friends

Smile and be open to new friends. Network with people who have the same interest as you. As you grow older, possibly after retirement, your hobbies and interests evolve and change.

Look for groups that congregate like-minded people. Open the door and your heart to new friends. You can never have too many.

Be Forgiving of Each Other’s Faults

Forgiveness is the key to retaining friends. Somewhere along this road, one of your friends may have misstepped, hurled an insult, hurt your feelings. Let. It. Go. Life is simply utterly too short. If you want to remain friends, reach out.

Stay Connected

With the ease that social media provides these days, staying connected should not be an issue. Period.

Spread Your Friendship

Don’t be possessive of your friends. You can never have enough – and they can’t either. A garden is filled with many flowers and a good friend realizes that many colorful souls can and should be in our lives.

A recent post on my blog, “Moonflower Blooms,” describes the feelings that I have for my family and friends. It is the perfect representation of Dorothy’s walk to Oz, implementing the scene where the yellow brick road is filled with fields of flowers.

She had her friends by her side, arm in arm, their journey filled with the heart of friendship and the bravery to meet the challenges ahead.

This is how I intend to live my life moving forward. How about you?

The post The Journey of Life: 10 Ways to Embrace Friendship Beyond 60 appeared first on Sixty And Me.

The post The Journey of Life: 10 Ways to Embrace Friendship Beyond 60 appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

Feeling Unhappy? This Powerful Happiness Exercise Works Like Magic

Feeling-Unhappy-Happiness-Exercise

Are we living where our soul feels at home? This topic resonates with many of us.

Many of us have lived in a certain place for career or family reasons. Or perhaps we lived in a place we once loved but which no longer speaks to us.

Perhaps we now yearn to be near mountains or oceans or forests or farmland. What we crave is not only different for each of us – it can be different at different points along our life journey.

As I pondered this topic, a memory flooded back to me of an exercise I often included in a stress management class I taught for many years.

Since the process of exploring and completing this exercise often resulted in some powerful insights and “aha” moments for many in the room, I thought you might find it interesting – and fun – to do.a

It’s from a wonderful book called Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want written by career/lifestyle coach Barbara Sher whose books have sold millions of copies. I also recommend another one of her books, I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was. I’m sure it will speak to many of you.

For this exercise, give yourself some time – and a location – where you can sit undisturbed for 20-30 minutes with either a pen and paper or screen in front of you. Pick the thing that will make it easiest for you to write out your thoughts.

So Here’s the Exercise: “My Ideal Day”

The title of this exercise is “My Ideal Day.” Barbara suggests we write out, in present tense and in exquisite detail, a description of our ideal day.

This has nothing to do with vacation days either. It’s about daily life. So, describe the picture of your ideal every day – from the time you get up in the morning to the time you go to bed – that would exactly fit who you are – your wants, desires, temperament and personality.

Don’t limit yourself to what you think is possible. Unleash your imagination and describe this day as if you had absolutely no limitations of any kind: time, money or other resources and talents. Most of us may find this difficult, but please give yourself complete freedom to create this perfect day just for you.

What’s the first thing you’ll do when you get up? Where, how and what will you have for breakfast? Are you alone or with someone? What are you doing between breakfast and lunch?

This is your fantasy, for your eyes only, so curb in that tendency to censor yourself! Where are you for lunch and what do you have? And if it happens that you want to have breakfast in Paris and lunch in Morocco, that’s fine. Remember, you have unlimited power and resources!

As you think through the hours of your ideal/fantasy day, keep three helpful things in mind: Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you with?

Your Next Step

Hopefully, you eased into the process as you wrote out the elements of your day. Often, as I watched people work on this exercise in my class, I’d also see smiles on their faces. I hope this happened to you as well. Give yourself some time to fully relax and enjoy all the parts of your ideal day.

What’s Absolutely Essential for You?

Next, look over what you’ve written and highlight or underline those things which are absolutely essential to your happiness. Which aspects of your day are absolutely indispensable for your happiness as you move forward? Make note of the optional, but desirable, and last, identify the frills.

One woman who completed this exercise found – much to her surprise – that the first thing she’d wanted to do in the morning was to go horseback riding. As she told us about this, she had tears streaming down her cheeks.

She hadn’t ridden a horse since she was a young child and now realized how much she missed it. Even though her circumstances didn’t allow her to own a horse, she vowed to figure out a way to go riding on a regular basis.

Another student realized that no matter where she went during her ideal day –whether indoors or outdoors – she found herself surrounded by flowers. She realized what a difference it would make for her to have at least one flower on her desk each day.

Someone else realized that she’d been attracted to travel locations and activities where she enjoyed bright, joyful colors: an outdoor bazaar, a fabric store or a jewelry shop. But her house and clothing were primarily composed of dark or neutral colors. She decided to spend some time shopping for some bright throw pillows for her couch!

What’s Your Goal?

What’s the one thing from your ideal-day exercise that really seems indispensable to your happiness and well-being? It can be anything, big or small. What else is important to your happiness? Can you do some brainstorming and plan some steps to eventually get these things into your life?

If you’re not sure how you can do it, brainstorm with a friend. You may even want to get together with a group of friends to do this exercise and then brainstorm about things each of you can do to reach one of your ideal day goals.

The post Feeling Unhappy? This Powerful Happiness Exercise Works Like Magic appeared first on Sixty And Me.

The post Feeling Unhappy? This Powerful Happiness Exercise Works Like Magic appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

My First 6 Months Post Retirement

Post-Retirement

This month marks the first six months since I “officially” retired. Here are a few takeaways from this period.

Transitioning to a New Stage

The first months of retirement may feel similar to when a wedding is being planned. When the day finally arrives and then the honey moon is over, reality sets in! Now what do you do?

Expectations seem to be a big issue in the early stage of transition, much more than I had anticipated. I faced the challenge of creating a new daily and weekly schedule. Then I started filling it up with events and appointments that began to fill in the calendar more and more.

It then turned out that my retirement “expectations” and those of my spouse didn’t align as well as we had intended.

Even though we had discussed the bigger picture of wanting to travel, activities to do locally, and time with family and friends, we – or rather I – did not anticipate that having a calendar full of various engagements was going to be an issue. I liked staying busy and liked taking on new challenges.

But now I wonder, is it possible that how men think about spending time in retirement is much different than how women envision it?

Time for Your Significant Other

From my male perspective, not assuming all men or all women think the same way, having “things and activities” is part of the fun of retirement. So, what are your thoughts on the following questions:

  • Do men look at retirement as the time when they can finally fill up their calendar with activities and events that do not always include their spouse?
  • Do women think of retirement as finally having their spouse being able to have the time to focus on them now that work is no longer the priority?
  • Does it matter if both spouses had careers or if one was a stay-at-home spouse and the other was working outside the home?

Does this ring true with how most couples feel? Have you had this type of conversation with your spouse post retirement? Do you feel like the calendar is getting filled up with a good deal of activities or other interests that are not being done jointly?

We had this conversation early on and decided to have a “date day or personal day together” where we would not schedule other activities. This is a good idea but the execution of it is not always as easy as the intention.

The Question of Health Insurance

Medicare and Social Security retirement benefits are other issues that many newly retired couples face. Depending upon the age at which you retire, you may need to get professional help with making decisions that could impact your financial wellness throughout your retirement years.

The decision of when to start receiving social security and Medicare Part B, C, and/or D can be challenging. Failing to timely enroll for Medicare Part B can be very costly as the penalty is permanent and will impact your cost for the rest of your life.

There are some exceptions that will allow for delaying the start of signing up for Part B, but these are limited, and you need to be sure you get the help to make the best choice of when to enroll and which options to take in your particular circumstances.

One big issue is the drug/prescription benefit. You will need to review exactly which of your current medicines are covered and the costs for each in order to determine the best prescription benefit option for you.

The Financial Side

Did you know that if you are past the Full Retirement Age (FRA) for Social Security, you may be able to go back as many as six months from when you first sign up to receive retirement benefits and get a lump sum payment for those past months?

In addition, if you planned to wait until age 70 to begin receiving benefits but something occurs in mid-year of your age, you will still receive a “pro-rated” benefit. For each month that you delay, you gain an additional credit for postponing the start of receiving benefits.

If you are at the midway point of your age, you will effectively receive about half of the increase you would have obtained by waiting until your next birthday.

This becomes important in determining when to start receiving the benefits. Many people have been told to wait until reaching age 70 to begin receiving SS benefits as they will get about an 8% increase for each year after reaching FRA.

However, do you know that this does not affect the benefit your spouse may receive as a spousal benefit as that is based upon the benefit calculation of your own FRA?

If your spouse does not have a higher benefit under their own work history then it may be important for them to start receiving spousal benefits as soon as they reach FRA, assuming you have already started receiving benefits.

So, you see, retirement is more complicated than just “getting out of the work force.” There is that, but life doesn’t end there. In fact, it seems to begin anew.

The post My First 6 Months Post Retirement appeared first on Sixty And Me.

The post My First 6 Months Post Retirement appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

Want to Stop Emotional Eating? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions

Stop-Emotional-Eating

Have you ever thought about the tiny number of things over which we have actual control?

There are so many things in life that go on regardless of us actually ‘doing’ anything to make them happen. Trees get leaves and plants grow. It rains. The earth turns on its axis.

Our bodies alone do amazing things every minute of every day without us having to direct it. Our hearts beat. We breathe. We don’t have to think, “Time to release some gastrin so I have enough acid in my stomach to digest my lunch!”

Yet we waste a lot of energy trying to control things that we can’t. We allow our inability to control these things make us miserable. And we don’t control some of the things in our lives that are within our control.

As a weight loss coach, I see how these factors seriously interfere with a person’s ability to lose weight and keep it off.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Karen’s 22-year-old daughter Lily (who has her own apartment) gets a job as a server at Hooters.

Karen is very alarmed by this and doesn’t want her daughter to work there. Karen tries to convince Lily to get a different job, but Lily refuses. She’s making a good wage there, and the customers do not touch her, as that is not allowed.

The more Karen tries to convince Lily to switch jobs, the worse her relationship with Lily becomes. Lily starts avoiding Karen because she’s sick of her mom bugging her about this job, which Lily actually enjoys.

So, Karen eats as a way to distract herself from her feelings about the situation. Karen had been trying to lose weight, but because of her emotional eating, she’s gained weight.

What is the problem here? It isn’t that Lily got a job at Hooters. The problem is how Karen is thinking about it.

Because Lily is an adult, Karen can’t control where Lily works. Karen’s efforts at trying to control the situation are alienating her daughter from her. And by allowing her thoughts to make her miserable about the situation, Karen has lost control of one thing she can control: what she puts in her own body.

So what should Karen do? The only thing she realistically can do under the circumstances. Manage her thinking.

One of the few things in life over which we do have control is how we think and what we think about. Knowing how to manage our thinking is not only the key to a happy life but is also the key to losing weight and keeping it off.

Because our thoughts create our feelings, we can actually change our feelings by changing our thoughts.

I’m not saying it is always easy to do this, but as humans, the most evolved part of our brain, the prefrontal cortex, actually allows us to control our own thinking. With practice, we get better at it.

So back to our friend Karen. Not only is she upset about her daughter’s job, but now she’s also upset about the weight she’s gaining because of dealing with the situation by eating when she isn’t hungry.

What can she do to change her thinking and get back on track with weight loss? She can ask herself these six questions:

What Am I Feeling that I’m Trying to Avoid by Wanting to Eat?

I’m feeling disgusted, scared and angry because my daughter is working at Hooters.

What Is the Painful Story or Thought I’m Telling Myself That Is Causing That Feeling?

Working at Hooters is not only offensive to my feminist values, but it is dangerous. Creepy men will be staring at my daughter’s body and trying to grope her boobs and butt! What if she gets raped by some perverted patron?

Is That Thought or Story True? I Mean, Really True?

Could you prove this story factually, with evidence to a jury? Values are a judgment, which means they are a thought, not a fact. Although Karen is entitled to have her feminist values, she cannot expect other people to have the same values as she does, even her own daughter.

What about the groping and rape part? Lily has told Karen that the customers are not allowed to touch her and that they are normal people.

Karen doesn’t have any evidence that the customers Lily is serving are dangerous or threatening to her. She’s never read about anything bad happening to Hooters servers. Karen can’t prove that this story is true.

When I Think This Thought, What Do I Do?

Karen eats when she isn’t hungry. Then her body stores that energy as fat. The result is that she gains weight when she wanted to lose weight.

How Do I Want to Feel?

Karen just wants to feel at peace about Lily’s choice, have a good relationship with her daughter and not let it upset her every time she thinks about it.

What Can I Think Instead to Feel the Way I Want to Feel?

Karen can think that she can be less judgmental about Lily’s choices and more accepting, even if she doesn’t understand Lily’s choice.

She can think that Lily may be going through a phase and that she will not make this her life career. Lily has made a choice for now for financial reasons, and her job is not dangerous.

By using her prefrontal cortex to reason about the situation and to purposely choose how to think about it, Karen can be at peace with the situation. She feels better. She stops her emotional eating, and she starts losing weight again.

Are you an emotional eater? What do you do to avoid indulging and instead stick with a healthy eating regime? Let’s discuss the issue in the comments below.

The post Want to Stop Emotional Eating? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions appeared first on Home Health Care News.

The post Want to Stop Emotional Eating? Ask Yourself These 6 Questions appeared first on Best Homecare Tips.

Source: CareTips

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NewVision understands that navigating our healthcare system is complex for clients and families alike. That is why we also offer a comprehensive care management program that is strictly run by our advanced level nurses who are well-versed in the complexities of the healthcare system. Our approach is team-based and patient-centered, it is designed to make healthcare simple.  Services include but not limited:

  • Assess and develop individualized plan of care
  • Implementation of a comprehensive plan of care
  • Conduct ongoing assessments to monitor and implement changes in care
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As clients transfer from acute and/or post acute care settings back into the communities, the process can be fragmented and as a result this can be detrimental to clients with complex care needs. Transitional care is there to prevent the care gap that exist between the “handoffs” from the hospital to the outpatient care teams. Our well trained and experienced advanced level nurses and nurse practitioners will connect the pieces from the acute and/or post acute care settings accurately. Our goal is to safely link clients back into the communities in a safe manner through coordination with inpatient, outpatient care teams along with family members. Our comprehensive plan of care is design to prevent unnecessary readmissions.

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