Livingston County Consortium on Aging is an active network of public and private agencies and individuals committed to networking, advocacy and direct outreach activities. Reach out to us today! LCCOA48843@gmail.com
Thoughtful Suggestions for Sharing News of a Bereavement
When a loved one passes away, the close relatives of the deceased are faced with the difficult task of informing others and dealing with the deceased's affairs. Finding fitting tributes and memorials for each aspect of a person's life is often a challenge, but it's something that can help with the grieving process too. The Livingston County Consortium on Aging weighs in.
Sharing News of Bereavement With Family Members
The first task should be to tell the closest family members and friends so that they have time to process the news. Close relatives should be at the top of the list of people to tell about the death, notes Bereavement Advice Centre. Calling each person individually or delivering the news face to face is a good idea if you feel able to do so.
Consider asking some of those relatives to take on some of the burden of spreading the word. Arrange a small wake or get-together where you can celebrate the person's life with those who meant the most to them and who likely mean a lot to you.
Memorializing Social Media Accounts
Many people have large groups of social media friends, and this is one area where modern etiquette can be confusing. Consider sharing the news of your loved one's death with a few of their closest, most trusted friends so they can pass the news on to the wider friend groups. Then memorialize their Facebook account and social media accounts so those who weren't as close are made aware of what has happened.
It can sometimes be hard for friends to know what to do when they hear of a person's death. Sharing funeral wishes, suggestions for charitable donations, and information about funeral arrangements as part of a memorial post may help.
Informing Colleagues of the Person's Passing
When a working-age person dies, it's important to inform their employer so that their manager can tell their colleagues about the death. This is a sensitive issue and one that should be handled carefully. If the deceased worked for a small business and you know their colleagues well, you may wish to deliver the news in person, but for bigger companies, it's worth letting the manager inform people and offer support to those who are grieving.
A person's colleagues can often be their friends and old classmates. One way to reach out and communicate what’s transpired, as well as funeral and viewing information, is searching online for the graduating class of the deceased. It’s a good idea to try to identify the class officers, who are usually in contact with others, and who are charged with getting the word out.
Consider the Practical Issues
Sharing the sad news of a person's passing is just one of the issues people have to deal with when they're faced with bereavement. There are financial and legal issues to deal with as well. As Vera Gibbins blogs on MassMutual, probate can be a complex and involved affair. If you find yourself having to sell the deceased's home, consider working with a real estate agent who understands the technicalities of probate sales and how they affect both buyers and sellers. Having the right experts on your side can make life much easier.
Celebrate Your Loved One's Life With Memorials
Dealing with the passing of a loved one isn't easy. Take the time to celebrate their life in as many ways as possible. Talk to friends and family, memorialize their accounts, and make sure colleagues and others who were in their life are informed sensitively. Ask for help with practical and financial issues so you aren't overwhelmed, and take the time to grieve for yourself as well.
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Today's seniors are taking the world by storm, proving that age is no barrier to living a fulfilling, productive life. So why not give the older person on your gift list something that matches their mentally and physically active lifestyle? Here are six gift ideas to inspire you from The Livingston County Consortium on Aging.
The ability to draw is a gateway skill for other types of artistic expression, such as painting. So, giving a senior a basic drawing kit is a great way to help them embark on their creative career. A good kit will have pencils of varying thickness to enable the user to draw all types of lines, an artgum eraser for clearing away stray marks, and a tablet filled with quality drawing paper. Other helpful items include a straightedge, a sharpener, and a manual that offers basic instructions. You may also want to give your recipient a set of video-based drawing lessons.
The guitar is the instrument of choice for many people just learning to play music. However, the humble ukulele has its charms as well. The learning curve for achieving competency is much shorter than for a guitar. A ukulele is smaller and lighter than a conventional guitar and has a rich, melodic sound in the hands of a skilled practitioner. Quality ukuleles are very affordable and easy to find, both online and in most music shops.
A Return to School
Retirement allows seniors to pursue new goals such as going back to school. Not only could they start a second career, but they can gain insight into subjects they’ve always wanted to learn about. This holiday season, support your senior loved one as they pursue their dreams by helping them pay for schooling. Online degrees are affordable, allow students to gain critical skills, and offer flexibility.
Walking is foundational to healthful exercise of all types. Walking builds muscles, strengthens the heart and lungs, and promotes a sense of well-being. Walkers enjoy fresh air and sunshine while meeting other health-oriented people.
The one essential item for a walking workout is a good pair of shoes, according to writers for Prevention. You can either purchase a pair for your recipient or enable them to buy their own with a gift card from a sporting goods retailer. Quality walking shoes are lightweight, durable, and supportive, yet comfortable.
When buying shoes, we recommend sticking with established brands rather than relying on no-name items from discount outlets. Footwear is one of those product categories in which trying to save a few dollars is, more often than not, counterproductive. Spend a little more and get good shoes for your giftee instead. Remember that older adults may have bunions or other issues that require special considerations.
Wood Carving Kits
Woodworking and furniture building are great hobbies that can turn into viable sources for a second income. But they require a significant monetary investment and, for many projects, a steep learning curve. Woodcarving is an approachable, affordable alternative that enables the practitioner to make beautiful items they will treasure forever. It's forgiving to those with minor hand tremors and provides a soothing, meditative effect for the carver.
As with shoes, choosing a quality kit for your recipient is vital, even if this means you must forgo buying one of the more advanced sets. A handful of high-grade tools is much better than a drawerful of so-so blades.
Assembling plastic models is one of those time-honored hobbies that never goes out of style. Modelers enjoy added dexterity, focus, and personal satisfaction as a result of their pastime. Autos are the most common kits on the market, but you'll also find models of military hardware, spacecraft, and even characters from popular films and TV shows. Besides the kit itself, your recipient will need paint, glue, and a set of hobby knives for removing small parts. Kits range in difficulty from easy to advanced.
Planning for the future is always better than trying to relive the past. Modern seniors are taking this advice to heart by embarking on all types of personal enrichment adventures. Giving the older person in your life one of the gifts mentioned in this post will help them to embrace what's yet to come with excitement and anticipation, paving the way for a great 2022.
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There is a common misconception that technology, networking, and older adults don’t mix. There’s only one problem with that notion: It isn’t true! No matter your age, you can become the most effective networker in your area if you want to. All it takes is a commitment to put yourself out there and enact a few simple strategies.
Whether you’re hoping to start a business, launch a nonprofit, or volunteer for meaningful causes, networking is essential to your mission. And Livingston County Consortium on Aging has given you a few practical tips to get you started!
Understand the Importance
Whatever type of organization you are trying to put together or service you are trying to provide in your community, you need people and groups around you for support. Networking presents opportunities for meeting your next business partner, client, mentor, and other individuals who can walk with you through the ups and downs of leadership. When you meet challenges down the road, you can lean on your network to help you through. Plus, it’s fun to meet new people who share similar passions!
Perhaps the best place to start networking these days is online. There are many social media platforms designed to help professionals and community members build the network they need. Create a LinkedIn profile that is optimized to connect you with the individuals and groups who could prove most helpful to you. Rather than simply filling out your profile with all the information you can think of, be thoughtful and make your profile stand out. And take the same approach to platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
Along with engaging on social networks, constantly look for virtual events (e.g., workshops, conferences, seminars, etc.) related to your industry or service of interest, and attend as many as you can. Such events are an excellent way to meet like-minded professionals and community members, not to mention learn about your trade.
If you’re starting a business, your network will prove invaluable when it comes to finding workers to help you build and grow your company. That said, if you have trouble connecting with specific types of professionals through your network, you can turn to online job boards. These sites allow you to compare the rates, experience, and reviews of candidates so that you can choose the best professionals for your virtual assistance, web design, and content writing services.
Get Involved in the Community
If your hope is to volunteer at local organizations, now is the best time to start. But even if volunteering isn’t your ultimate goal, it’s a great way to meet new people and make meaningful connections while serving your community. Look for local charities and nonprofits that share your values, and commit to serving at least once a week.
As you begin to meet more people, don’t be afraid to make personal connections. Whether we are interacting with individuals or companies, we all desire authenticity. Being real doesn’t mean that you aren’t professional. Just be your wonderful self when networking, and you will make lasting impressions!
Finally, you must maintain the relationships you build. Use all the tools at your disposal to stay connected to professionals and other individuals. Utilize video chat and phone calls to interact with others, and stay on the lookout for opportunities to arrange meetings and get-togethers—whether in-person or virtual.
You can be a successful networker in your golden years as long as you employ the right strategies. Remember to take advantage of online networking platforms, start serving in the community, and be authentic in your interactions. And of course, work hard to maintain the professional relationships you are building!
Would you like to read more helpful content or learn about the work our organization does for aging adults in the community? Visit livingstoncoa.org today!
Home is where families make memories, but people with dementia might see it differently. For them, it might be the place where their world changes and their memories begin to fade. As a caregiver for an Alzheimer’s patient, you can make the difference and make this journey as comfortable and pleasant as possible.
As of 2020, Alzheimer’s disease affects about 5.8 million Americans who are 65 years old and older. It can be your grandparent, your cousin, your sibling, or even your parent who faces the diagnosis. Eventually, those with Alzheimer’s require round-the-clock care, and for many families, that means taking the loved one into their own home.
Homes are not often designed to meet the needs of people over 65. Research published in American Family Physician reports that the benefits of modifying and adapting a home for a person with dementia is that it promotes independence and prevents accidents. People suffering from Alzheimer’s are more comfortable at home or in a familiar setting. If you are taking care of a loved one with Alzheimer’s, a few pre-planning tips from Livingston County Consortium on Aging can go a long way.
In addition to progressing memory loss, Alzheimer’s patients begin suffering from limited mobility, a loss of motor function and balance. The National Institute of Aging provides a general safety checklist that takes this into consideration. Follow these few tips:
Around the House:
There are a few alterations people can do to help their loved one feel at home and ease anxiety or depression. According to the Huffington Post, implementing some design elements in consideration of common Alzheimer’s symptoms can provide familiarity and security. These modifications include:
While there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease, caretakers can take comfort in knowing that by providing these few accommodations their family member experiences far less frustration and confusion. Understanding Alzheimer’s can help you adjust and modify your home as the disease progresses. The important thing is to use pre-emptive measures to prevent unnecessary accidents and injury as well as improving quality of life.
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Livingston County Consortium on Aging provides for collaboration, advocacy and communication between agencies and persons concerned with the provision of services to all aging adults. Reach out to us today! LCCOA48843@gmail.com
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As a senior, you’ve probably bought or sold a house or two in your life, and you’ve certainly lived in a few. The business of “flipping” houses — that is, buying and renovating properties to resell at a profit —is now more lucrative than ever, according to a recent report. If you’re considering a post-retirement foray into the house flipping business, you should know that it’s not always as easy and profitable as it looks on television.
While success is far from guaranteed, it is possible to make real profits through reselling homes. Keeping these three tips in mind will help you achieve house-flipping success. This is an example of the insightful senior-focused content you can find on The Livingston County Consortium on Aging blog.
1. Find the Right Property
Choosing the right property to flip is key to realizing a return on your efforts. In selecting a house to flip, always consider both the house itself and the neighborhood in which it’s located: Both can have a significant effect on your potential profits.
Spend some time researching any potential neighborhood where you might want to invest. Traditional housing market metrics, such as days on market and average sale prices, are important but don’t forget about other statistics, such as crime rates or owner-occupancy figures. Housing prices will likely be lowest in distressed neighborhoods, but selling the home post-renovation will be easier in more high-demand areas.
For any house you’re considering, never pay a purchase price that’s higher than 70% of your estimated post-renovation resale price. The final sale price needs to substantially exceed the total of all of your costs, including
2. Finance Expenses Correctly
Being a senior often means that you have a bit of an advantage when it comes to financing your house-flipping venture. You’ve likely accrued some savings, home equity, or both over your lifetime. These assets can make it easier for you to qualify for financing options, or may even enable you to self-finance much of your first flip. That said, use extreme caution when tapping your own funds. Never jeopardize your home or your entire life savings on a risky resell.
To safeguard yourself and your property, it’s usually best to form a business identity through which to handle your house-flipping finances. A limited liability corporation offers tax benefits and reduced paperwork along with asset protection. Forming an LLC is usually a simple process, depending on your state’s requirements. So how to start an LLC in Michigan? You can save time and avoid pricey legal fees by using an online business formation service.
3. Fulfill Your Obligations
One of the top mistakes people make when flipping houses is trying to handle everything themselves. By enlisting a talented team, you greatly improve your odds of success. You’ll likely need to recruit, at a minimum:
For employees, it’s best to set up a regular pay rate and schedule. Good payroll software can help automate this process. For independent contractors, aim to pay them in draws as the work is completed. Never wait until the end of the project to fulfill your obligations.
Flipping houses can be a fun and rewarding way for seniors to earn extra income. Keeping these tips in mind will help you maximize your profits.
Yoga yields numerous physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. It can be particularly great for seniors, as it’s known to reduce back pain, lower blood pressure, and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Also, various poses are known to improve strength, balance, and flexibility in different muscles.
Furthermore, yoga is usually done alongside meditation, which can significantly reduce stress, boost self-awareness, and delay cognitive decline. If you and/or a loved one are looking to enhance your health and overall wellness, it’s hard to beat the combination of yoga and meditation. Here are some helpful tips on how to get started, brought to you by the Livingston County Consortium on Aging.
Give Your Gut Some Attention
One area that is getting more and more attention in the medical field is gut health. One reason it is such a hot topic for researchers is that gut health is strongly connected to other systems in the body. While diet has a lot to do with nurturing these microscopic organisms living in your digestive tract, sticking to an exercise routine can go a long way in boosting your gut microbiome. Considering all the benefits that come with yoga, combining yoga exercises with improved gut health can take your health and wellness to a new level. And if you make gut health a priority, you will feel the difference in no time!
Find Your Style
There are so many different kinds of yoga that it can be overwhelming to know where to start. For seniors, there are plenty of styles to choose from, and which you choose depends on what you’re looking to get out of it. For instance, Hatha is one of the most popular branches of yoga, and it emphasizes breathing and relaxation. Most of the postures in Hatha are safe for older adults, and it’s one of the best styles for stress relief.
Restorative yoga is another great style for seniors. With slow-paced classes, poses are held for two to five minutes at a time, and the primary goal is to soothe and regenerate you. If you’re looking to add a particular spiritual element to your yoga practice, kundalini may be a good fit.
Once you’ve found the yoga style that fits your life and needs, stick to your routine. Know that habits take time to form, and if you miss a session here and there, don’t sweat it. Like any habit, as your yoga regimen becomes ingrained in your life, it will get easier to stick to it.
There will be days when you don’t feel like doing it, and if there’s not a health concern or other legitimate reason to miss your session, remind yourself why you practice yoga and the benefits it yields. Furthermore, allow your routine to evolve as you find what works best for you. For instance, if you find that three longer sessions per week work better than five shorter ones, go that route. Remain open to trying different yoga styles, even if you have to make modifications.
Another way you can stay committed to yoga is by knowing that you can do it indoors and on your own, even when you don’t feel like going outside or the weather prevents you from doing so. In fact, doing yoga indoors requires only a good yoga mat and some apps or videos that allow you to follow along. While it’s always good to have an instructor when you’re starting out, you can fall back on these sources when getting to a session simply isn’t in the cards.
Although you will likely get meditation time during your yoga practice, it’s beneficial to fit it into your life in other ways. That way, if you miss a session here and there, or if an injury or illness keeps you off the mat for an extended period of time, you will still be able to reap the mental health benefits of meditation. The best thing about meditating is that you can do it from home. Create a clean and comfortable space so that you can meditate at any time of the day. Breathing exercises, adult coloring books, and guided meditation can all be effective methods.
Yoga and meditation can do wonders for your physical and mental health. Remember to look into how you can care for your gut health. Find the best yoga styles for you, and stay committed to your routine. Figure out ways to incorporate meditation in your life outside of yoga. Adding these practices to your routine will yield countless benefits and enhance your overall wellness.
The Livingston County Consortium on Aging works with supports agencies, businesses, and individuals who are concerned about the well-being of seniors. Learn more about us and what we do by clicking right here.
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When it comes to increasing social connections and maintaining a high quality of life as a senior, there’s some technology you should consider embracing. Buying a few tech gadgets can make your life easier, and if you know where to look, these items don’t have to be expensive or use up every last penny in your bank account. These handy devices are easy to use, and they’ll help you maintain your freedom and enjoy life to the fullest.
The Livingston County Consortium on Aging supports agencies, businesses, and individuals as they address the needs of seniors in the area. Become a member today.
Where to Find The Right Tech at a Great Price
When it comes to finding the right tech, knowing where to look will make all the difference in finding great tech for the right price. It doesn’t have to be expensive, so check eBay for secondhand devices and gadgets in mint condition and save big on the tech you want.
To save money at eBay, don’t forget to download the website’s official app to keep track of the items you’re searching for, and get notified when the price drops. You’ll also find daily deals on many items, and get the products you need at a great price.
Getting a smartphone or a touchscreen tablet will make your life easy, and a wide selection of free apps can remind you to take your pills, take dinner out of the oven, or let you video chat with your loved ones. Make sure you get a phone or tablet with large buttons, as this will make it easy to use. Find a great deal on a used phone and enjoy full connectivity at half the price, or you can get cash back or use coupons to save on a refurbished iPhone or iPad from Apple. You can store important medical information on your phone, call 911 in an emergency, and stay connected with family and friends. You can also download fun games that will promote brain fitness, track your brain health, and store pictures of your favorite moments.
Your smartphone or tablet can do a vast assortment of incredible things, but you’ll need to be connected to the internet to do most of them. If you’re living alone and don’t have wireless internet, find a good internet provider with great senior discounts, get a modem and a router, and enjoy full connectivity without stressing about your data plan.
If you want your children or grandchildren to be able to check up on you, turn on the GPS function on your phone or tablet and share your location. They’ll be able to see at a glance if you’re home safe or out and about running errands or grabbing dinner with friends. Do you sometimes get lost when you go for an afternoon walk? You can use the GPS on your phone or get a wearable GPS device so your loved ones will easily find you and guide you back home.
Medical Alert System
One of the most important devices you can get to stay safe is a medical alert system device. These easy-to-use devices can be worn as a pendant and have large, clear buttons. The device will detect a fall, and if you can’t reach your phone to call for help, the touch of a button will provide a GPS location to loved ones if you experience a fall or injury.
Home Safety Devices
If you’re a bit forgetful, home safety devices can save your life. Start with a gadget that turns off an unmonitored stove if you’ve forgotten to turn it off. You can also get a smart doorbell system that shows you who’s at the front door before you get up, and there are camera systems that can make your home more secure. There are even many medication dispensing appliances that will help you remember when to take which pills. Make sure you find great deals on all these products and enjoy home safety without overspending.
A Word of Caution
Technology truly is an amazing thing, and it provides so many incredible benefits. However, in today’s ever-connected age, it’s important to protect yourself, your devices and your personal information. With this in mind, stay alert to common scams, keep anti-virus software up to date and regularly change your passwords. By adhering to these basic cybersecurity safeguards, you can enjoy all your tech has to offer without making yourself vulnerable.
Embrace technology, and discover for yourself how devices and gadgets can keep you independent and help you get through the day. You’ll have peace of mind knowing your home is safe, and help is just a button away. Shop for great deals that won’t break the bank, and find the devices and gadgets you’ll love at a great price.
Is It Time For Your Family Member To Move Into Assisted Living? Use These Expert Tips To Help Your Aging Loved One
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Although inevitable, one of the most difficult periods in life is seeing an aging loved one’s health decline. Whether sudden or gradual, the emotional pain is still the same. For a variety of reasons (including the difficulty you may be having with accepting the situation), it can be challenging to know if now is the right time for your loved one to move into assisted living.
The Livingston County Consortium on Aging shares several indicators that it is definitely time for your loved one to move into assisted care, and how to help them with this life change.
Significant health and behavior issues
Seniors who are experiencing significant chronic health issues — including heart problems, Alzhemier’s disease, or mobility problems — will eventually reach a point where it is no longer safe to stay at home. Even if this individual lives with a spouse or another family member, there is only so much that can be handled without professional assistance. If your loved one has required multiple emergency trips to the hospital in recent months, if their caregiver is unable to meet their medical needs, or if their condition does not seem to be well-managed, it is important for them to move into an assisted living facility right away so they can receive the proper care.
Additionally, if your loved one is beginning to exhibit troubling behaviors such as significant memory loss/confusion about basic details, wandering from home, or neglecting basic health and hygiene needs, now is definitely an appropriate time to have a conversation about assisted care. Behaviors like these can present a major safety issue, which can lead to severe injury or death.
Not all seniors moving into assisted living have severe health issues. For some, there is a need for assisted care due to living alone. If your loved one cannot consistently prepare their own meals, handle household tasks, remember to take their medication, or safely move about the house, assisted living becomes a necessity.
After consistently witnessing your family member struggle to meet their basic needs while living alone, you should plan to speak with them about moving into assisted care. While some individuals will insist they can continue living alone, it is important to help them break through their pride and anxiety to keep them safe.
How to have a productive conversation
Once you’ve determined that your senior loved one needs assisted care, it is important to decide how you will bring up this sensitive topic. Depending on the individual, this conversation may be fairly simple. However, in many cases, emotions will run high.
Above everything, approach this conversation with love, kindness, and compassion. No one wants to give up their independence, and while you know this is the right decision, your family member may not be convinced. Have the expectation that your loved one will be feeling a flurry of emotions. Also, do not take hurtful words personally. Remain calm and confident, and enlist the help of other family members when possible.
Helping your family member begin the process of moving
After your loved one has agreed to move into assisted care, serve as a resource for them. From packing boxes, to organizing a garage sale, to simply being there to listen, do whatever you can to make this transition easier. Additionally, if your family member is concerned about paying for assisted living, suggest using the proceeds from the sale of their home to cover costs. If they would like to use this option, research home prices prior to selling to get an accurate idea of how much they will make from the sale.
On top of addressing the needs of your senior loved one, be sure to take care of your own needs through this entire process. Helping a family member in decline is emotionally and physically draining, so it becomes more crucial than ever to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and practice self-care.
Livingston County Consortium on Aging is a group dedicated to advocacy, networking, and direct outreach related to the local senior population. Learn more about us and our membership program.