Top Advice from Aging Experts in 2016
Aging Matters

Preparing for the aging issues that adults face take time and much thought. Even family members have a lot to consider when preparing to give care.

For seniors, we need answers to, have I saved enough, who will take care of me, how to remain healthy, is it possible to avoid isolation, what strategy to use for long-term planning, and where to find support? These concerns are just a few, but it's a good place to begin.

Over the past year, I asked these questions, plus many more, to the Seniorcare.com Aging Council, and they never fail to teach me a thing or two about preparing for the future. As I look back in 2016, I selected some of the top answers to the hard-hitting questions and thought you might learn a thing or two as well.

Top Answers from the Aging Council

Healthy aging

Those aging well remain active and keep moving, maintain social connections, eat anything they want but in moderation and volunteer in the community. Most have a positive outlook, as well. AppleCareandCompanion.com.

Isolation

For rural or homebound seniors, use technology to attend a senior center online. They may need help to start, but after a while, deeper friendships grow via telephone, email, social media or video chat. Participating will relieve loneliness and offer purpose. SeniorCareCorner.com

Family Caregiving

Getting started is overwhelming. First, focus on your loved one's needs. Then, estimate costs and time required from you. Next, evaluate time, finances, and ability to contribute. After that, you have a realistic care plan. DailyCaring.com.

Caregiver.org has an interactive map that guides you to local resources. The Eldercare.gov is a service that allows users to search for resources and information. It's a good place to start, and it covers aspects of family caregiving. Great Call Inc.

Finances

Close to 40 percent allow the lapse or surrender of life insurance policies, unaware of the life settlement option. It offers more than the cash value but less than the face value of a policy. It's good practice if you no longer need or cannot afford the plan. Long-term Care Associates, LLC.

The IRS increases the allowable amount to deduct in long-term care insurance, monthly premiums, and other non-reimbursed medical expenses. The deduction is dependent of the taxpayer's age. For information, contact the IRS or a CPA. AdviseandProtectSSC.com.

Long-term care planning

Recently, a gentleman received a diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. Within a week of diagnosis, he hired an elder law attorney to help him prepare a power of attorney, estate plan, will and trust documents. By taking action, he participated in the decisions. Peck Ritchey, LLC.

Support

Check out the Network of Respite Resource Centers that ensures caregivers have access to trained respite care. Families can apply for subsidies that may help them cover all or part of the care. The Coalition is a national initiative to preserve and promote respite at the national, state, and local levels. CaregiverSupportServices.com.

Carol Marak, aging advocate, columnist, speaker and editor at Seniorcare.com. She earned a Fundamentals of Gerontology Certificate from USC Davis School of Gerontology.



Part of the Aging Matters Weekly Syndicated Column

Aging Matters is a weekly column tackling everyday challenges that our growing elderly population and their loved ones face. It is also published in a variety of syndication partners including newspapers all over the country.

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