SENIOR HEALTHCARE ADVISORS
In this Edition:
Special Ways To Enjoy Your Senior Birthday
Understand Medicare Advantage
Walk Your Way into a Healthier Lifestyle: 3 Walking Exercises You Can Try!
Special Ways To Enjoy Your Senior Birthday
As you, your parents, or grandparents grow older, it becomes more and more of a challenge to find ways to celebrate birthdays. By now, you probably think they have everything they want or at least a home full of things from past birthdays. It can be difficult for everyone to get together for a senior party and pile on more stuff. We suggest giving an “experience gift” that can also be a great party idea.
In case you haven’t heard about what an experience gift is, it is when you give a gift that is a life adventure or experience rather than a material or physical gift. It is an ‘action' gift that will create wonderful memories for everyone involved to look back on. People are more and more often turning away from indiscriminate consumerism and choosing instead to give the gift of an experience that will be inspiring and unique for a senior’s birthday present.
Plan A Game Night
Seniors tend to lose touch with many of their friends, and due to mobility issues, they may not have much contact with neighbors, so a birthday is a great time to help them connect or rekindle friendships.
So, what could be better than a good ole fashion game night? Scrabble, Monopoly, the Game of Life, or any of their favorite card games, just to name a few. Research conducted on the association between Seniors and the game of Scrabble indicated Scrabble awakens inactive parts of the brain. Studies also show when Seniors are frequently engaged in a game of Scrabble, they can develop an ability to strengthen their minds and over time actually repair damage. Because of this, it’s very possible that playing scrabble can delay the effects of Alzheimer’s disease. It is better than faces glued to screens where birthday hugs are virtual. It is a time where conversation starts flowing like a river about good times and family traditions, and the sound of laughter can fill the room. What better way to bond?
Host A Dinner Party
Going out to dinner as an experience gift for seniors, may not be as fun as you think. Many seniors have become hard of hearing (HOH), suffer from back pain, and struggle with mobility. You can create the same fine-dining experience at home, in an assisted living facility (ALF) or nursing home.
For most, celebrating birthdays with a meal is a chance to get together and catch up on current events, bond, and celebrate this special time by creating a memory. Making it a good and healthy dining experience is what makes the memory! It can help to enhance your senior loved-one’s social interactions, build a sense of community, and contribute to their overall health and wellness. It can be a fantastic event that the whole family and trusted friends will be talking about for the rest of their lives and create a lasting legacy for when they may no longer be with you all.
Plan a Spa Day
Who doesn’t love a “spa day”? This is such a great way to celebrate your senior loved one’s birthday. It is the most relaxing way to spend the day. So, why not do that for the birthday boy or girl, even if it is their 70th, 80th, 90th or 100th?
The Little Things Count, Too!
The little things really matter. Place a Happy Birthday sign on the door, and decorate their room or home with balloons. Make sure to loudly sing happy birthday in the Senior’s first language, and invite family who live far away to sing with you on video-chat. Just being together and giving the gift of hugs and kisses is worth more than anything to an older adult.
Understanding Medicare Advantage
Medicare Advantage is very much like the group insurance plan you had during the years you or your spouse were working. These medical services are included in networks that you pay as you go along. Medicare Advantage plans are still part of Medicare, but they are not managed or sold by the federal government. However, the federal government still sets the guidelines and rules, but the plans are administered and sold by private insurance companies.
When you sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan, Medicare pays the private insurance company to administer your Part A and Part B benefits through the Medicare Part C or a Medicare Advantage plan. While all of the plans must cover the same benefits as Part A and Part B, there are various Medicare Advantage plans with different copays, drug formularies, and networks.
While most seniors have Original Medicare, the number of people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans is three times what it was in 2003, and now has 19 million subscribers, which is about one-third of all Medicare beneficiaries.
For many people, costs are a major concern when it comes to choosing your health insurance. Besides premiums, there are deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments to consider in calculating your total Medicare spending. Other issues like prescription drug coverage and provider networks also factor into your choice.
All Medicare Advantage plans must offer the same benefits as under Original Medicare, however, most go beyond and offer added benefits such as prescription drug coverage, dental and routine vision. Others have incentives such as gym memberships, wellness programs, over-the-counter (OTC) savings, and 24-hour nurses hotlines.
Call now for more information 1-800-759-0286 TTY/711
Walk Your Way into a Healthier Lifestyle: 3 Walking Techniques You Would Love To Try
With the advances in technology and transportation, human beings now spend at least six hours per day sitting. A great deal of scientific research indicates severe health consequences for our circulatory system, posture, weight, sleep, and longevity when spending too much time sitting on the couch or at your desk.
The human body is an amazing and fascinating organism that functions best when walking is part of our everyday exercise routine. In a very short time, walking enhances your mental, physical, and spiritual well-being and boosts your metabolism. But, that's not all. Walking also helps lower your potential for anxiety and depression while increasing your self-esteem!
Walking regularly helps maintain a healthy body weight and lower the risks associated with heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Walking is not just exercise for your legs; it also exercises your brain, making you feel more alert and able to complete tasks more quickly and easily. It is a fantastic method for stress management and helps you get a better night's sleep.
Sitting for prolonged periods is commonly referred to as the "new smoking!" Just remembering to get up and walk a little bit every 30 minutes can significantly improve your health and wellness.
Risk Factors Associated with Prolonged Inactivity:
Musculoskeletal disorders (i.e., joint pain)
Poor mental health
Remember Safety First
Check with your primary care physician before you design your walking routine.
Always have your cell phone with you in case of an emergency or if you want to capture a beautiful sight.
Familiarize yourself with the environment.
Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and if necessary, an umbrella or hat.
Walk on smooth surfaces if your balance is anything less than excellent, or walk with a walker.
Make sure to stay hydrated.
Before you start your walking routine, make sure to stretch. Stretching will relieve any stiffness you have from "sitting around."
Keeping one leg on the floor
Raise one knee and press gently against a wall or back of a couch
Squeeze your abdominal muscles and your glute muscles as you raise your body
Maintain a straight standing position
Then switch to the other leg and do the same.
Repeat every time before you go out to walk.
Indoor Preparation Exercise #1
In the comfort of your home, get up from sitting.
Place your feet on the ground with your legs slightly parted, and your weight balanced equally on both feet.
Notice how stable the ground is.
Close your eyes and comb over your body. Starting at your feet, notice any sensations, feelings, or thoughts while relaxing each muscle as you move upward toward your head.
Take a deep breath while thinking good thoughts and hold for five seconds.
Exhale from the middle of your chest, breathe good intentions into the world, and count to five.
Repeat numbers 2 and 3.
Outdoor Walking Exercise #2
Consciously relax your muscles starting with your neck, allowing your head to stretch upwards.
Lift one foot off the floor with your knee moving forward and your head slightly tilted forward, like a string pulling you in the forward direction by your forehead.
Take a step, landing on your heel first, gradually transferring your weight onto your foot's ball and then your toes.
Feel your toes as they touch the ground as you roll your foot from the heel to ball to toes, step by step.
Return your focus to relaxing the tension in your upper body.
Allow your arms to swing while you walk naturally.
Move your left shoulder with your right knee and your right shoulder with your left knee.
Think of your body as a pendulum, rhythmically swinging your arms with your head balancing you.
Feel yourself moving like a pendulum.
Notice your feet and how they connect to the ground, noticing every sensation and sound your feet make as they touch and lift from the ground.
Outdoor Walking Exercise #3: Engage Your Senses
Create a walking exercise that allows for 50 steps or paces to start. You can also do this inside.
Begin walking the 50 paces and then stop and take a deep breath.
Turn around, walk back to where you started, and stop for another deep breath.
During your walk, recognize you are intentionally walking for your health rather than the usual auto-pilot you are on. Pay attention to how the ground feels, how the air feels, how your head moves, and how you breathe.
Meditate on the beauty of nature, taking note of something new each day.
Observe all of the beautiful things in the environment as you take your daily stroll. Remember to stop and smell the roses!
Stop and look closely at the plants, flowers, and trees. Look at the details of the leaves, the petals of the flowers, and the horizon's glow.
Pay attention to all of your senses. You can taste and smell the freshness of the air as it flows into your nose and out of your mouth.
Hearing the birds, seeing nature, touching and tasting make us alive.
Journal about your inspirations and thoughts in your daily walking log when you get home.
You can increase the length of your walks with time or keep it at 50 paces three times per day. You can add or subtract steps according to your level of functioning.
We Can Help!
Here at Senior Healthcare Advisors, we specialize in maximizing Medicare benefits! We are here to guide you in understanding and enrolling in the Medicare benefits that you are entitled to and qualify for. Give us a call today!
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Deerfield Beach, FL 33442.
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Disclaimer** The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this newsletter are for informational purposes only. No material in this newsletter is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
Writer: Dr. Marilyn B. Field
Edited by Emily Post