Back to Work for Boomers?

Pexels-ron-lach-8691840This report about a survey conducted a few months ago caught my eye and I thought it was worth sharing:

More than three in 10 U.S. retirees [31 percent] say they would be motivated to rejoin the workforce if inflation continued to eat into their savings, according to the latest American Staffing Association Workforce Monitor® online survey conducted by The Harris Poll.

In addition to inflation, the role of Social Security insurance was also top of mind for many retirees, with 25% saying they’d be motivated to rejoin the workforce if Social Security no longer covered their expenses. Thirty-nine percent of retirees cited Social Security as their main source of income, while 33% cited retirement plans such as 401(k) accounts and pensions.

Overall, 14% of current retirees stated they are open to or actively looking for work. However, the study found that 43% of retirees said their age could be a barrier to getting a new job. In addition, 41% of retirees would look for a job if they could have a flexible work schedule, and 35% would do so if they could work remote full-time.

“At a time when more retirees need additional income and employers need their expertise and experience, older workers continue to face hiring barriers,” said Richard Wahlquist, president and chief executive officer at the American Staffing Association. “Employers that take steps to embrace flexibility and diversity across their entire workforces will be more productive and have higher levels of employee engagement.”

The news comes at a time when there are nearly two job openings per unemployed person in the U.S., according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

With financial markets currently unsettled, it is likely retirement savings accounts are being battered right now. On the other hand, the Social Security Administration indicated that monthly payments would increase around 8.7 percent -- sure to be appreciated by those Boomers drawing benefits.

Persistent inflation has changed the way some retirees are thinking about work. As the survey report indicates, almost one third of all retirees may well consider returning to the workforce, but almost half of them believe age is a barrier to getting a job. A flexible work schedule is especially attractive to retirees.

Wouldn't it be nice if the desires of older workers actually meshed with the needs of employers -- and if employers recognized the value of hiring older workers.

Photo by Ron Lach, pexels.com

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Check out Books for Boomers!


5 People Who Made A Difference After Age 50

History is packed with stories of individuals who made society a better place after they turned 50. Many of those individuals continue to strive to better their communities - and the world - each and every day.

Courtesy of MedicareInsurance.com,  here are five outstanding people who made a difference after age 50.

5. Jimmy Carter

JimmyCarterPortrait2President Jimmy Carter has spent the majority of his life working to make a difference in the world. However, he’s best known for his public service outside of office. Especially the work he’s done with Habitat for Humanity.

In 1986, at the age of 62, President Carter and his wife, Rosalynn, established the Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. What started with President and Rosalynn Carter working with Habitat for Humanity volunteers to renovate a run-down apartment building has grown into an annual program that’s helped thousands of families in fourteen countries.

At age 98, President Carter still volunteers his time to the JRCWP to help Habitat volunteers build safe shelters for families in need.

4. Nelson Mandela

Nelson_Mandela-2008_(edit)_(cropped)Nelson Mandela spent the vast majority of his life working to end the vile apartheid movement in South Africa. It was as he entered his 70s that he would do his greatest work.

In 1991, Mandela became a key part of the Convention for a Democratic South America, helping broker the negotiations that would end the dark era of apartheid in South Africa. After being elected President in 1994, he ushered in a long-awaited reconciliation between the Black and white populations of South Africa.

Even after leaving office, President Mandela continued to champion for human rights around the world. Through his Nelson Mandela Foundation, he also continued to work to improve living conditions in his native South Africa.

3. Mel Brooks

MelBrooksApr10Mel Brooks is the comic genius behind such legendary films as Young Frankenstein, The Producers, and Blazing Saddles. What you may not know is that he has long championed the visions of younger artists as a producer. The kicker is that, ever the late bloomer, Brooks didn’t earn his reputation as a “producer on the cutting edge” until he was well in his 50s!

Brooks would start his "Brooksfilms" imprint in 1980 at the age of 56. This gave him a platform to bolster the works of auteurs whose art may have never been seen by a wider audience if not for him. In essence, Brooks showed audiences that “Old Hollywood” could still have their finger on the pulse of what was considered cutting edge.

2. Katherine Johnson

Katherine_Johnson_1983After the release of the hit film Hidden Figures, the work of NASA engineer Katherine Johnson reached a wider audience than ever. Even in the wake of the 2016 film, however, this groundbreaking scientist astill has yet to receive the recognition and accolades that she truly deserves.

Johnson’s success in her field showed women of color that their achievements had no ceiling. Her numerous achievements in her field have inspired young women everywhere to enter the once-considered “off limits” fields of science and technology.

1. Maya Angelou

Maya_Angelou_(47327455761)The late, great Maya Angelou overcame a tormented past to blaze trails for people of color in the fields of writing and art. Her poetry and prose, designed to help her confront the worst parts of her life, heavily influenced numerous hip-hop artists and writers of color.

Angelou’s work and never-ending advocacy for peace and healing made her an often-called-upon speaker to advocate for those who wished to further work in civil rights and reformations in the justice system. As a result, her words have played a huge role in the never-ending battle to reform human rights in the United States.

Hopefully, this goes to show you that you’re never too old to be the change you want to see in the world. That change starts with you.

This post was provided by MedicareInsurance.com. A quality Medicare plan can keep you healthy in mind and body, and MedicareInsurance.com can help you find one in your area. You can reach one of their licensed agents at (800) 950-0608 to discover your options.

Photo credits:
Jimmy Carter: DOD, Department of the Navy. Naval Photographic Center, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Nelson Mandela: Johannesburg, South Africa, 2008. CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Mel Brooks: Angela George, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Katherine Johnson: NASA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
Maya Angelou: John Mathew Smith & www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel  Maryland, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Check out Books for Boomers!


Ageism and Ableism are a Toxic Duo

Ageism, or discrimination against older people, runs rampant throughout many of the world's nations. As I've written about previously, in the United States, ageism rears its ugly head in advertising, on the streets of our cities, and in the workplace. Another form of discrimination -- ableism, or discrimination against the disabled -- is also an  unfortunate societal ill. Put these two together and they become a toxic brew.

As people grow older, it is a fair assumption that a good number of them will eventually have a disability of some kind. For some, it could be a physical disability that requires a walker or wheelchair. For others, it could be a mental disability that affects speech, hearing or mental acuity.

Terry Fulmer and Grace Morton address this issue in an insightful article on Next Avenue. They write:

"Individuals with visible disabilities, or those we can see, are more likely to experience ableism of all forms including systemic ableism, or discrimination from society in places like schools or on public transportation. However, those with invisible disabilities — such as autism and chronic pain — are more likely to have their concerns minimized by family and health professionals and may need to fight harder to have their unique needs met. In some cases, people may even doubt that a person with an invisible disability is disabled at all. Either way, aging with disabilities is challenging, given that our society is not designed for either older or disabled people."

I call your attention to part of the last line: "...given that our society is not designed for either older or disabled  people." It's a sad reality when we as a society do not respect others who are older or disabled or both, or when one individual looks at another as inferior because of age or disability or both. We have to ask ourselves what that says about our society's values and even about the common decency of individuals in our society.

It's inevitable that people grow older. It's likely that some of them will become disabled as they age. According to Fulmer and Morton, "we know that the combination of ableism and ageism can have serious effects on the livelihood and health of older adults with disabilities, including being at a higher risk for depression, obesity, smoking, heart disease and more."

We can all be anti-discrimination advocates by being sensitive to the toxic duo of ageism and ableism and making others aware of it as well. 

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Check out Books for Boomers!


Cogeneration is a Promise for the Future

Screen Shot 2022-10-14 at 2.20.22 PMThe well-respected Encore.org just announced it is changing its name to "CoGenerate." Some name changes can be viewed as simply refreshing a brand, but this particular one seems more substantive.

In an email to supporters, the organization explained the name change this way:

"As Encore, we helped change cultural expectations for the years beyond 50 and expand the contributions of older people. As CoGenerate, we’re focusing on what the vast and growing older population can do in collaboration with younger generations to solve society’s most pressing problems.

We call that intergenerational collaboration 'cogeneration,' and we believe it’s an essential and effective strategy to create connection across differences, combat polarization and ageism, and build an equitable, healthy, inclusive, productive, safe, and joyful world together."

Not surprisingly, the email was signed by Co-CEOs Marc Freedman and Eunice Lin Nichols. One look at their photos and it is obvious that the organization practices what it preaches: the two leaders are clearly from different generations.

A national opinion survey conducted by Encore.org with NORC at the University of Chicago's AmeriSpeak Panel validates not just the name change but the concept of "cogeneration." The survey reached 1,549 respondents, age 18 to 94 in U.S. households in March 2022. Here are some of the key findings:

  • 60 percent of respondents strongly agree "Working across generations can help America better solve its problems."
  • 52.4 percent strongly agree "Working across generations can reduce divisions in our society."
  • Despite strong interest in working across generations, fully half of respondents cited a range of obstacles preventing them from acting on it. These included difficulty communicating with members of other generations and lack of opportunities to work with people of other generations. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) said they wish they had more opportunities to work across generations for change.
  • Of those who have worked across generations for social change, learning, sharing knowledge and increasing appreciation for other generations are by far the most frequently cited answers. Moreover, the learning and sharing knowledge dynamics are notably two-way.
  • While younger and older generations want to work together on some of the same issues, the interest varies widely by age and race. For example, mental health topped the list for younger generations, while the environment came first among older ones.
The survey demonstrates a strongly positive desire for generations to know each other better and work together. It represents promise for the future of America -- if generations can find meaningful opportunities to collaborate and cooperate. That is the noble purpose of CoGenerate.

Read more about the survey here: https://cogenerate.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/09/Encore-Cogneration-Report-1.pdf

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Check out Books for Boomers!

 


Communities Serving Seniors

Pexels-marcus-aurelius-6787539People are living longer and "aging in place" is an increasingly popular strategy adopted by seniors. The inevitability of an aging population in the United States presents all sorts of challenges for the communities in which they live. Communities must find ways to respond to the needs of seniors or they could face a serious social crisis.

Thankfully, there are communities that today serve seniors in appropriate ways. The two examples I offer here are  smaller cities on opposite sides of the country. By so doing I intend to demonstrate that any community that cares about its senior population can take meaningful action.

Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled among the Blue Ridge Mountains and with a vibrant food, beer and arts scene, Asheville is a small city (population around 95,000) that deservedly gets high marks as a world-class tourist destination. To some observers, Asheville may appear to be a young, happening place, but the city is also home to a sizable senior population -- 28 percent of Buncombe County (which includes Asheville and a few other towns) is age 60 or older. Local government, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions are well aware of this, and they work to provide seniors with services that much larger cities would envy.

For example, on the campus of the University of North Carolina Asheville (UNCA) is OLLI Asheville -- one of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes found at college campuses around the country. OLLI Asheville has its own building on campus, which serves as a gathering place for the College for Seniors, retirement seminars, lectures, presentations, meetings and social events. The Fall semester's 90 courses, taught by retired professionals, blend on-campus only, hybrid and online only offerings. OLLI Asheville has over 1,000 members who take classes and volunteer for OLLI and in the community.

Recently, Buncombe County and UNCA announced that they plan to collaborate on a $26 million Active Aging Center to be built on the campus but on county land. Buncombe County would own and operate the Center with the full cooperation of UNCA. According to county information provided to the Asheville Citizen-Times, a local newspaper, “(The Active Aging Center) will provide an integrated service delivery model, incorporating healthcare, childcare, adult day, retail, technology, community resources and other services for Buncombe County. This approach encourages greater community collaboration, connectivity and congregation of people and places.” According to the county, the Acting Aging Center will offer:

  • Better navigation and access for aging adults and their caregivers that underpins community health initiatives.
  • Improved utilization of financial and funding resources across aging services providers with both the reduction of duplication of services and subsequent resources.
  • Creation of an innovative model that is ready for the future, that will be proactive, collaborative, and responsive to the needs of those that will be aging in our community.
  • Incorporate a collective impact model and strategies to accomplish common goals for our aging community members across providers.
  • Establishing a model of best practices in the delivery of aging services in Western North Carolina.

Berkeley, California

With about 123,000 residents, Berkeley, California isn't much bigger than Asheville, but it is near two large cities, Oakland and San Francisco. About 16 percent of the population is age 65 or older. Berkeley also boasts an active OLLI, located at the University of California Berkeley. OLLI at UC Berkeley is a learning community of 2,500 members who participate in on-campus and online courses, speaker events, intergenerational dialogues, research opportunities, Town Halls, meetups, and more.

The Berkeley community offers a range of services to seniors through two Senior Centers, one in North Berkeley and one in South Berkeley. Senior Services Assistants at each center help seniors gain access to needed services that include transportation, food, medical resources, health insurance and financial benefits advocacy resources, legal assistance resources, affordable housing listings, utilities and energy assistance resources, home care assistance referrals and more.

It is worth noting that California is one of just five states to have a "master plan for aging." The state projects that one-quarter of its population will be 60 or over by 2030. According to the state, "This is not a plan simply for today’s older adults. Instead, it is a blueprint for aging across the lifespan. The Master Plan for Aging calls on all California communities to build a California for All Ages & Abilities: for older Californians currently living through the many different stages of the second half of life; for younger generations who can expect to live longer lives than their elders; for communities of all ages – family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and caregivers – surrounding older adults and people with disabilities."

Asheville and Berkeley are only two examples of communities that recognize the importance of serving their senior population. Wherever you live, as you age, be sure to seek out all of the local services available to seniors in your community provided by government, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions. There may be a lot of support available that you didn't know about.

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog
Photo by Marcus Aurelius, pexels.com

Check out Books for Boomers!


Age, Voting and Politics

Pexels-sora-shimazaki-5935742Older Americans tend to know that voting is a precious right. In the 2020 presidential election, for example, 76 percent of Americans ages 65 to 74 voted -- the highest of any age group, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Age plays another role in our national political conversation. Joe Biden was the oldest man to take the oath of President at age 78. Twenty-five U.S. Senators are more than 70 years old, and seventy-six U.S. Representatives are at least 70 years old. Does that matter?

It shouldn't, according to Dr. Dilip Jeste, a University of California, San Diego psychiatry professor and past president of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Association for Geriatric Psychiatry. Quoted in a NextAvenue article, Dr. Jeste says, "The media have often used derogatory terms like 'silver tsunami' to describe the rising numbers of seniors. This has led to greater scrutiny of older leaders in politics and elsewhere. Just as people should not be stereotyped and stigmatized because of their sex or race/ethnicity, they should not be discriminated due to their chronological age."

Jeste further points out that "Youth bring energy, excitement, ambition, and innovation, while older adults bring empathy, emotional regulation, self-reflection, and openness to diverse perspectives, which all are components of wisdom. Needless to add that not all the youth and all the seniors exhibit these traits, but many do."

Unfortunately, ageism is as prevalent in politics as it is in the American workplace. Just recently, in an interview on Sixty Minutes, Scott Pelley questioned Joe Biden about his age. Pelley said, "Mr. President, you are the oldest president ever. ...You are more aware of this than anyone. Some people ask whether you are fit for the job. And when you hear that, I wonder what you think." Pelley followed that up with this question: "How would you say your mental focus is?" While these may be legitimate concerns, it is interesting to note the manner in which the questions were asked -- by 65-year old Scott Pelley.

Hopefully, a voter is considering more important factors than age; in particular, whether the politician represents the voter's views and seems to be the best candidate for the job. Making age a determining factor in deciding for whom to vote is just one more example of ageism.

Photo by Sora Simazaki at pixels.com

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Mockup2

 

Discover How World War II Helped Launch "Boomer Brands"

 


How Serena Williams is Redefining "Retirement"

Pexels-cottonbro-5741051Watching Serena Williams play tennis in the first round of the U.S. Open on Monday night, August 29, was like watching an unstoppable force of nature. The 40-year-old Williams defeated a 27-year-old opponent, not easily but convincingly. Yet earlier in August, in Vogue magazine, Williams shocked the sports world by announcing her retirement from tennis.

Normally, when you hear the word "retirement," you think of the traditional meaning: older generations ending their work lives to move on to something else. But in the case of Serena Williams, she was making a different kind of life choice, announcing to the world that she wanted to grow her family rather than remain in the sport as arguably the best tennis player in the world. Here is the way she expressed it:

"I have never liked the word retirement. It doesn’t feel like a modern word to me. I’ve been thinking of this as a transition, but I want to be sensitive about how I use that word, which means something very specific and important to a community of people. Maybe the best word to describe what I’m up to is evolution. I’m here to tell you that I’m evolving away from tennis, toward other things that are important to me. A few years ago I quietly started Serena Ventures, a venture capital firm. Soon after that, I started a family. I want to grow that family."

I think her use of the word "evolution" as a label for what Williams is feeling is very appropriate. In fact, it strikes me that the concept of evolution just as easily applies to Boomers on the brink of "retirement." Like Williams, I have never liked the word "retirement." For several years, I have used the word "rewirement" to describe a new way of looking at retirement (after all, "rewired" is in the header of my blog).

I think the concept of rewiring is still relevant, but I also think evolving is an apt description for the collective advancement of Boomers into the next phase of our lives. The reality is that we go through phases that are not hard and fast with defined beginnings and ends; rather we evolve. Recognizing that evolutionary process may make it easier to understand and accept the phases of life that have passed and are still to come.

So thank you, Serena, for redefining retirement. You are showing the world that you can be the best you can be in your career and love what you do -- but still acknowledge that there are indeed other things in life that may be of greater importance. That's something Boomers would do well to acknowledge. Life's challenges and choices are not always easy, but we continue to evolve.

Whether or not she wins the U.S. Open, Serena Williams is teaching all of us a lesson about competing at the highest level -- in both sports and in life.

Photo by cottonbro at pixels.com

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Mockup2

 

Discover How World War II Helped Launch "Boomer Brands"


The Price You Pay for Being Grey

Screen Shot 2022-08-25 at 12.19.16 PMA current controversy in Canada dramatically highlights the potentially damaging effects of ageism.

Canada TV anchor Lisa LaFlamme has been removed as the anchor of CTV National News, a program she has hosted since 2011. The 58-year old LaFlamme claimed she was "blindsided" by the decision, which is believed to be related to her grey hair. LaFlamme stopped dyeing her hair during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing her hair to return to its natural grey color, telling viewers that it was "liberating."

It was reported by news sources that Michael Melling, a senior executive at CTV News, wanted to to know who approved the decision to "let Lisa's hair go grey." It appeared to be suspiciously coincidental that LaFlamme, who recently won Best News Anchor at the Canadian Screen Awards, was let go soon after she let her hair go grey. LaFlamme had been with the news organization for thirty-five years.

When furor erupted over the firing decision, Bell Media, the owner of CTV, said LaFlamme was terminated due to "changing viewer habits." The company did not comment on the hair color allegations, but said it regretted that the decision "may have left viewers with the wrong impression."

One company, Dove Canada, immediately responded by launching a campaign on social media. The company changed its gold logo to grey. While the campaign doesn't specifically mention LaFlamme, the timing is obvious. On Instagram, Dove said:

"Aging is beautiful. We should all be able to do it on our own terms, and without any consequences. That's why we're going grey, and donating $100,000 to Catalyst -- a Canadian nonprofit organization dedicated to helping build inclusive workplaces for all women. Join us by turning your profile picture greyscale, and tag #KeepTheGrey."

The Dove Canada campaign reinforced speculation that the firing was influenced by ageism. On Twitter, LaFlamme stated in a video, "I'm still shocked and saddened. At 58, I still thought I'd have a lot more time to tell more of the stories that impact our daily lives."

Image from Dove Canada social media campaign

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Mockup2

 

Discover How World War II Helped Launch "Boomer Brands"

 


Riding Out Financial Ups and Downs if You're Retired

Pexels-olya-kobruseva-7873553Retirees tend to live on a few income streams, typically made up of (1) Social Security monthly payments (2) RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions) from deferred income retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, (3) pensions and other long-term investments and (4) savings accounts. Financial conditions affect all of these financial vehicles one way or the other, especially if retirement, pension or savings are invested in stocks or bonds. Last year, for example, the stock market probably rewarded most retirees with healthy gains, while so far this year, stocks haven't fared nearly as well.

Currently, there is another factor that more directly affects retirees: Inflation. As we've seen over the past several months, inflation has caused a spike in the prices we pay at the gas pump and in the grocery store. In fact, prices are broadly higher everywhere, and for those retirees living on a tight budget to begin with, that is not good news. A recent hike in Social Security benefits due to the higher cost of living didn't help so much because, at the same time, Medicare premiums went up.

So what can retirees do to ride out the financial ups and downs we're experiencing? A recent article in The New York Times by financial writer Tara Siegel Bernard cites a few sound strategies. Retirees who turn 72 must take RMDs from retirement accounts, so some of your options are limited, but you still have control over your other assets. Here are some suggestions from the article:

  • Reframing: Covering your needs is more important than spending money on wants. Think about how much of your basic living needs can be covered by such regular income as Social Security and pensions and keep withdrawals for other items to a minimum.
  • A Cash Bucket: Set aside cash to cover a year's worth of basic expenses not accounted for through Social Security and pension income. Use this "bucket" when necessary instead of withdrawing from investment accounts.
  • Guardrails: Consider being flexible with annual withdrawals from investment accounts instead of being locked in to the same percentage or withdrawal amount. Consider taking higher amounts when financial conditions are favorable and lower amounts when they are unfavorable.
  • Check up: Do periodic reality checks based on your retirement age and anticipated longevity. Look at your entire portfolio and, using the widely accepted withdrawal rate of 4 percent annually, estimate how long your money will last if you withdraw at that rate. You could also determine how higher or lower annual withdrawal rates will affect your overall picture.

Of course, none of these strategies should be applied in a vacuum. It is best to do your own evaluation in conjunction with a Certified Financial Planner, who can objectively assess your unique situation and help you determine which of these strategies, or others, will work best for you.

Read more about advice for handling retirement during a financial downturn here:
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/11/your-money/retiring-recession-financial-math.html?

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on pexels.com

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Mockup2

 

Discover How World War II Helped Launch "Boomer Brands"

 


Helping a Loved One with Alzheimer's Disease Live Safely at Home

Guest Post by Carla Lopez

Pexels-matthias-zomer-339620If your loved one has Alzheimer’s Disease, you know that significant changes tend to come as the disease progresses. Not only can this make it difficult to get into a normal life routine, but it can also pose problems with home safety.

However, if you take certain measures and make the necessary home adaptations, you can keep up with the changes and ensure your loved one is able to live safely and comfortably in their own home. Check out this practical guide.

Understanding the Challenges     

Before you make any plans or modifications, it’s important to understand how your loved one’s disease impacts their safety. For example, Alzheimer’s can affect their judgment, which is why it is common for people with the disease to forget how to use certain appliances and devices.

Those with Alzheimer’s are also prone to wander and get lost around their home because their sense of time and place is not what it once was. Maintaining balance and problems with hearing, vision, and depth perception are common as well.

Assessing the Situation      

Evaluate your loved one’s home to get a plan together for the modifications you should arrange to accommodate their needs. First, discern whether their current home can be modified. Is the home adaptable, or will it cost too much time and money to make the necessary changes?

If you and your loved one decide that it isn’t practical for them to remain in their home, one option is to move them into yours, especially if you both want to put off a move to memory care just yet. Ask yourself a few questions first, however, so you know this is the right setup for you. How does this situation make you feel? Do you have time to take on a caregiving role? How will this affect your family? Will it affect me financially? If you decide that it’s the right move, you will want to put the pieces in place for a smooth transition with minimal stress.

If you decide to have your loved one move in with you, you’ll already be facing quite a bit of change, so one way to simplify the process and cut down on stress is by enlisting the help of professional movers. Luckily, it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Simply search online for “moving companies near me” and browse ratings and reviews, then request a quote in advance. This will also free up your attention so that you can focus entirely on your loved one’s well-being, rather than fretting about and struggling with each box and piece of furniture.

While hiring professional movers is a justifiable and worthwhile expense, remember that with another person living in your home and another mouth to feed, you will likely have to find creative ways to cut down on monthly expenses. That could mean canceling subscriptions you never use, dining out less or tackling a bigger payment such as refinancing your mortgage. For example, by taking advantage of lower interest rates right now, you can quickly refinance your home and see a lower mortgage payment to help free up cash that you can put toward updates.

Precautions in the Kitchen

Perhaps the most useful step you can take to maintain a safe kitchen for your loved one with Alzheimer’s is to invest in appliances that come with an automatic shut-off feature. Adding stove knob covers or removing the knobs from the stove can also prevent your loved one from harm, as can securing any prescription drugs and sharp objects.

Precautions in the Bathroom

The bathroom is a common place for accidents for people experiencing cognitive decline and impaired balance. Consider installing grab bars, a walk-in tub, and/or a shower chair so that your loved one can maintain their personal hygiene and remain out of harm’s way.

Adding Extra Lighting   

Because people with Alzheimer’s often deal with vision problems, they can become disoriented when the levels of light in a home change. You can help your loved one stay safe and comfortable in their home by installing additional lighting in hallways, stairways, entries, and other areas where the lighting fluctuates. Also, consider putting in nightlights in the bathrooms, bedrooms, and hallways.

Upkeep in the Home

Finally, try to keep your loved one’s home clean and decluttered. And regularly check the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and other safety devices to ensure that they are in proper working order. It’s best practice to replace the batteries at least twice a year. Furthermore, make sure you have access to fire extinguishers, and consider installing sprinklers to add an extra layer of protection.

As your loved one’s Alzheimer’s progresses, it’s essential that you make the changes necessary to their living environment. Learn about the challenges they are facing, and determine whether the best path forward is to modify their current home or move them into yours. Follow the tips above for creating a safe and comfortable home for your loved one, and keep researching other modifications and precautions that can make life easier and safer.

Carla Lopez retired a couple of years ago, but she didn’t lose her entrepreneurial spirit. She created Boomer Biz for retirees like herself who still have a desire to work and achieve. The site is a resource for people in their golden years who want to start their own business or go back to work doing what they love.

Photo by Matthias Zomer on pixels.com

HappilyRewired.com is a Wearever Top 20 Senior Blog and a Top 75 Baby Boomer Blog

Mockup2

 

Discover How World War II Helped Launch "Boomer Brands"