Senior Living: The Future of Senior Care in the United States

As the U.S. economy has struggled during the “Great Recession” the manner in which seniors receive and seek care is being transformed as well. These changes coexist with changes and advances in geriatric medicine, and the lengthening of life spans here in the United States.

The manner in which an aging population is cared for given this combination of better health and longevity combined with tighter financial conditions should be of great concern to everyone currently living in the United States. What exactly will be the future of senior care in the United States? Will seniors continue to be cared for adequately, or are we on a dangerous slope?

Predictions For The Near Future

Here are some predictions regarding the future of senior care here in the United States:

Nursing homes will continue to decline in popularity, while independent and assisted living facilities will become more popular along with assisted home care options.

Cuts to Medicare and Medicaid as well as the increasing costs of nursing care in the United States, have and will continue to continue this shift. Institutes like the Employee Benefits Research Institution have determined that nearly half of those born between the years of 1949 and 1978 will not have enough money in retirement to cover there living expenses upon retiring. Nursing homes are an expensive service for seniors, and also unpopular for some, and seniors will increasingly looking for housing situations providing more limited care and increased independence.

Technological advancements will rise in popularity as our population ages.

This can include everything from technologies like motorized scooters and chair lifts for stairs, to even personal care robots and automated medical screenings. New technological solutions from everything from personal mobility to senior health care will continue to be researched and developed in the coming years.

Multigenerational households will become more and more common.

Some may argue that this is possibly one of the more positive aspects of tightening financial constraints. As some seniors may not want to or be able to afford to move into retirement communities, families are beginning to find other solutions. For some, this may mean renovating an existing home, or adding a guest house to meet the housing needs of senior family members.

The home health care industry will experience an employment boom.

In fact the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a grown of nearly 70 percent in the employment of personal care aids between 2010 and 2020.

We are certain to have a bumpy ride ahead.

Although some of the changes seniors will experience will help create better living opportunities and situations, the road will likely be quite bumpy and difficult as we struggle to find new models of care for an increasing senior population in the years to come!

Senior Health: Some Important Safety Features For Walk-In Bathtubs For Seniors

As a result of the increase in the number of senior citizens in the US, there has been an increase too, in the demand for walk-in bathtubs for seniors. Most manufactured bathtubs do not have the four important needed safety features, and you will need to look specifically for senior bathtub models.

The Four Important Safety Features Needed In Bathtubs For Seniors

walkinbathtubforseniorsIdeally, a senior walk-in bathtub will have an easy to open door that may be built into the side or the front of the bathtub. This will remove the need to climb over the tub and would also reduce the risk of falling too. The controls for the tub’s door should also be easy to use too without needing to exert a lot of force.

For the disabled and the elderly, rising up from a typical bathtub may be difficult even with some grab bars on the tub, since they would usually need to use most of their upper bodies’ strength to do this. So the walk-in bathtub should also have a built-in seat that can minimize the need to exert more strength/effort to rise, which can help the elderly in avoiding the possibility of getting trapped in the tub.

Older people tend to be more sensitive to changes in temperature and can be scalded if they are exposed to some very hot water. To reduce the risk of contacting a disease like Legionnaires however, bath water may generally need to be heated to some extent. A walk-in bathtub for the elderly should have an anti-scald valve in order to minimize the possibility of being scalded.

A final issue with bathtubs for seniors is the level of ease or difficulty with using their controls. The latch on the tub’s door, its faucets and drain controls should ideally be situated within some accessible distance that can be easily reached without too much effort.

Walk-in bathtubs for seniors or the disabled should ideally have or incorporate each one of these features in order to provide their users with a safe bathing experience. Fortunately, there are several senior bathtub models available online, in a wide range of prices.

Senior Living: Finding Affordable Mobility Solutions For Seniors

Individuals with disabilities often are the most frustrated by the loss of freedom they experience, which prevents them from running routine errands and traveling for pleasure. They feel discouraged because they have to rely on family members and friends for transportation and assistance entering and exiting a vehicle. Ordinary vehicles do not have enough room or the right equipment to accommodate a scooter or wheelchair.  Stairs in houses pose dangers, and simply walking to the store can be a challenge.

Some Important Mobility Solutions for Seniors

Among the most popular mobility solutions for seniors are wheelchair van conversions with a lift, stair lifts, home elevators, wheelchair lifts and scooters.  When purchasing mobility products, it is necessary to receive instruction on how to safely operate the equipment, including seat transfers, hand controls and scooter or wheelchair lifts.

Consumers can choose any style and size wheelchair van depending on whether they prefer to drive a minivan, a sport utility vehicle or a full size van. All of these vehicles have special modifications allowing them to accommodate wheelchairs and offer mobility solutions for users.

Companies in most cities in the United States offer these vehicles for rent by the day, week or longer. A stair lift, or chair lift, is a device seniors can use to move from one level of the home to another without risking an injury caused by a fall. Stair lifts are available in a variety of models suitable for use with spiral, curved or straight staircases.

A basic lift for a straight stairway is more affordable than most consumers realize thanks to competition within the industry between the various manufacturers. A home elevator offers a solution for individuals who use wheelchairs and need to move freely around a house with more than one floor. These elevators have multiple safety features, including backup systems, phones, emergency alarms, handrails and emergency lights.

Seniors who find it difficult to walk long distances can move around easier with a mobility scooter. Since so many manufacturers are offering various makes and models, the prices for these products are lower than ever.

Individuals seeking good deals on any of these mobility solutions can search for used equipment at discount prices.

Senior Health: Alarms For The Elderly Help Enable Senior Independence

neckalarmsystemHow Alarms for the Elderly Enable Extra Independence For Seniors

Nobody ever promised that getting older would be a bed of roses.  Often the most frustrating aspect of aging beyond the middle-age barrier is physical decline.  While the intellect might still remain sharp, the body can slow down significantly. Advanced medical technology and greater scientific studies into healthier habits have allowed most people to have increased longevity.  Nonetheless, there typically comes a point where most people have to struggle to complete what used to be routine daily functions.

Still, for many senior’s today, it is not a case of simply relying on family to help them. Today’s seniors can often remain independent for longer than in the past, thanks to technologies such as monitored alarms for the elderly. These innovative personal alert systems allow seniors to wear an alarm  button on a belt or wristband, so that if they encounter an emergency while they are alone, they can get assistance any time of the  night or day.

Pendant alarms for the elderly usually have distinctive identifiers so that any first response team can instantly identify its bearer. With most of these devices, emergency personnel will be able access all pertinent medical data about the alarm’s owner.  They can also call the alarm user back right away via the same unit in order to communicate with the distressed senior.  If the alarm owner cannot reach the unit, then emergency personnel can instantly notify key parties of the person’s possible distress.

The main advantage of these types of alarms is the peace of mind for the families and seniors who use them.  They facilitate sustained independent living as well as easy access to prompt and urgent assistance.

In addition, alarms for the elderly are far more cost-efficient than similar devices that are easily installed at stationery points within the home.  This does not mean, however, that in-home devices may be safely eliminated. That mainly depends on the overall physical and mental condition of the alarm user.

For those who are comparatively alert and active, however, pendant alarms afford backup protection.  This is especially important for seniors who live alone that could require emergency assistance in the event of a fall or other crisis.

Given the longer life expectancies and the desire to live healthier and more active lifestyles, monitored alarms for the elderly are often a means of prolonging independent living.

Senior Living: Choosing Senior Monitoring Systems – What You Need To Know

911 emergency phone guardian alert

911 Senior Guardian Alert System

Selecting the right type of senior monitoring systems and the best options that may be available for the elderly can help in ensuring their safety. There are different types of plans and devices that can be used for monitoring senior citizens, it is however very important to choose a plan and device that would specifically meet each individual’s needs.

Here are ten tips to help you determine what kind of senior monitoring system would be best for you or a loved one.

1. Determine The Type Of Device That Is Needed

Some of the devices that can be used as personal emergency response monitors can be attached to a wheelchair or may be worn on a belt, on the wrist or around the neck. For seniors with a risk of falling, you will need a monitoring device that can be activated without the use of phones. Most monitoring systems can be activated without phones and will typically notify a family member and/or some emergency response service on activation. You can also use a monitoring device that will let you know when a senior has the left the house etc, this will help you in determining when there is a deviation from the norm.

2. Plan For The Future As Well As The Present When Choosing a System

While a senior citizen may be able to use a device now, he/she may however not have such capabilities in a year’s time. You will therefore need a flexible contract that would allow you to modify your plan when you need to make some changes.

3. Determine How Much Coverage You Will Need

If a senior citizen enjoys doing some gardening for instance, you will need to ensure that the system/device that you select will cover the range or area that the senior is most likely to use for one or more activities.

4. Determine How Long You Will Need The Device

This may be a bit difficult to predict, of course, but ideally you should not sign up for a contract that will cover a longer period than you need.

5. Determine If The Monitoring System Is Transferable

You should also verify and confirm that your selected system and plan will continue to work even if the individual changes his/her residence or location.

6. Consider Whether You Will Need A Video Monitoring System

Sometimes a caregiver will need to monitor the individual and you need to evaluate the need for video in any monitoring system you select.

7. Consider Whether You Will Need A GPS Device

You may need a GPS tracking device too, if someone is at risk for getting lost.

8. Review The Cost Of The Contract And Set-Up Fees

You should always review carefully the set-up fee for the monitoring system you may want to use. You should also know what you are likely to be charged in case you need to cancel your contract early. You will need to know if there are any charges for false alarms too.

9. Be Sure To Compare The Prices And Features Of Different Plans In Your Area

The plans for different monitoring systems will generally vary. In the US, the Medicare program may not cover the cost of a senior monitoring system, most private insurance policies may also not cover it too, you will however need to confirm this with your insurance company.

10. Addition Important Questions To Ask

  •  Determine what their response time is.
  • Find out if they would be providing a guarantee on servicing, parts etc and if they would also be providing some technical support too.
  • Determine if the battery for your selected device is rechargeable.
  • Find out if you can get a waterproofed monitoring device.
  • Ask if they will provide you with a 24-hour and 7-days-a-week coverage.

Keep in mind that you will need to do some research on the company you would want to use in order to determine if they are a reputable senior monitoring systems provider or not.  However, given the expenses involved with some of these services, a little time spent up front will well be worth it!

Senior Living: Scooters for Seniors – What You Need To Know Before Buying


There are a lot of things to think about when purchasing any of the many different models of scooters for seniors. Keep in mind that scooters are not for everybody, and they can be dangerous if used improperly.

What You Need To Know Before Buying A Scooter

You will need to know whether the scooter will be used primarily indoors, outdoors or both. The model you consider purchasing depends a great deal on where the senior plans to use it. For example, if it is primarily an indoor scooter, durability is of less concern and a motorize wheelchair may also be considered as an option. An indoor scooter only requires three wheels, one in front and two in back. When a scooter has a single lead wheel, it is easier to steer, and is also less heavy. For outdoors travel, a scooter is likely the best option. You will probably want to invest in a durable, four wheel model, especially if you will be using it on cracked sidewalks and to cross roads.


If you are not paying directly for the scooter and hope Medicare will pick-up the tab, you need to make sure your physician is prepared to back-up your claim of necessity with the proper paperwork. Many manufacturers and marketers claim that Medicare covers mobility scooters. However, without a physician’s recommendation and documentation, you won’t be reimbursed. Also, keep in mind that Medicare will only by 80% of the bill and you will need to pay the rest. Read more here: Medicare’s Wheelchair and Scooter Benefits.

If you are paying for the scooter out of pocket, you may want to think seriously about purchasing one that is used and reconditioned. Used scooters for sale are easily found on Craig’s List. For example, in a two-week period there were twenty scooters listed for sale in the Portland, Oregon area alone. Many senior owners of scooters keep them in mint condition.

For those individuals who plan to use their scooter out-of-doors they will need to think about how they are going to transport it. Larger grocery chains, department stores and other facilities supply mobility scooters for their customers that can’t navigate without this support, but there are some that don’t. Generally, scooters for seniors require transport via a mini-van. Furthermore, a strong body is needed to lift the chair in and out of the vehicle.  Van lifts are available, and can provide the solution to lifting the scooter from the vehicle. In any case, if you’re taking the scooter out and about, how you will transport it needs to be carefully considered. You may also need to have a ramp built to bring the scooter inside your house or storage shed (although some may find it more convenient to park it in a garage).

You will find scooters available in a very wide price range. On the low end you could spend $750, but you could also spend as much as $4,500. Features, durability and quality all impact on how much a senior scooter costs.

Although you can find product reviews for many models online, the reviews you read may not be bias free. Look for legitimate product reviews, ones that are written by consumers. Before finalizing the sale, keep in mind what consumers report for that make and model.

When purchasing a scooter it might be self-evident that comfort is essential. It may seem apparent, but an online purchase does complicate things. Scooters being sold online need local availability as well so that it can be tried out before being purchased. People come in a variety of shapes and sizes. When evaluating a scooter, take into consideration legroom and how the person using the scooter sits. Test drive because scooters are not a one size fits all. Keep in mind that you may test drive scooters locally, but still purchase one online if there is a significant savings by doing so.

All scooters manufactured for seniors have a maximum load weight. All the weight bearing stress that is placed on the scooter at any one time is known as the load weight. Overweight individuals, or scooter users carrying heavy objects, need to take load weight into consideration when evaluating their mobility options,

Sometimes senior scooters don’t have safety features and/or accessories that are needed by certain users and consumer and it’s possible to spend a great deal of money on a scooter and end up spending more on add-ons. You may think your purchase was a very good deal, only to discover the accessories bring the price over the more expensive model.  Make sure you know exactly what safety features and accessories are required.

Carefully read the warranty as well. Study it from top to bottom, and know what is included in the warranty and what is not before you make your purchase. Know what you are getting into!

Senior Living: Mobile Phones for Seniors – Tips and Advice

jitterbugplusThese days, many cell phone companies are creating more senior friendly mobile phones. Mobile phones for seniors are often quite different than those manufactured for a younger audience, as many seniors are more concerned with having a phone that’s easy to use and easy to hear, rather than downloading the latest ringtone.

Some Features Specific To Mobile Phones For Seniors

A clear display screen and a larger keypad are some of the things that seniors look for when shopping for a mobile phone. Some seniors also want a phone that is larger in size, making it easier to handle.

Some safety features which can help seniors who need medical assistance or other help are now built into cell phones, and these should be considered when choosing mobile phones for seniors. Samsung manufacture the Jitterbug J and the Jitterbug Plus, both of which feature a one touch panic button connected to a hospital or neighbor. Many users have benefited from the 24/7 call in feature to a doctor or nurse, which has literally been a lifesaver. If a senior becomes lost or is not reachable by phone, a built in GPS system can be invaluable, and the Samsung phones both features this device. many seniors lose or damage their phones, and seniors who purchase one of the Samsung phones can also subscribe to the Complete care package, which offers a replacement phone or roadside assistance.

Your local school and various public agencies may also be useful for anyone looking at mobile phones for seniors, as many offer classes aimed at seniors. These classes can basically teach an older person how to use a phone, and use the other useful extras such as the calendar, texting and voicemail.

There are various accessories that you may want to consider buying, which can help to make it even easier for a senior to use their new mobile phone. The phone can be attached to a wallet or a purse with a strong key clip, which means that it is easy to locate the phone and answer it when it rings. It’s harder to lose the phone if it has a brightly colored and easy to see phone cover too.

With some initial planning and research, even seniors can enjoy mobile phone technology and feel comfortable with it.

Senior Living: Senior Car Insurance

piggybankSeniors often worry about whether their car insurance rates will remaining affordable and in their budget as they get older. This is a valid concern given that many insurances premiums rise as you age. Life insurance, for example, is largely dependent on your age and as you get older rates can increase substantially.

Older vs. Younger Drivers

For auto insurance, however, rates often go down as you age – to a point. When compared to the rates for younger drivers in their teens and early twenties, senior rates are generally much lower and more affordable. Of course, car insurance rates are always dependent on your personal driving history, but if you have a good record you should not expect any huge increase in rates as you age, at least into your fifties and your sixties. In fact, your age and solid driving record should result in your car insurance rates going down. However, as you get older, rates may start to increase – especially for drivers over seventy-five.

Finding Cheap Senior Car Insurance

Once you hit your seventies and eighties, however, you may see age related increases in your auto insurance rates. These drivers may be considered “high risk” even if they have a perfect driving record. Compared to teenage drivers, your rates will be much lower, but they will also likely be higher than when you were in your fifties. For seniors on fixed budgets, these increases can be a cause of great concern and also frustrating, especially for those with stellar driving records.

If you are in this group of drivers and are facing a rate increase, there may be some actions you can take to lower your premiums. This includes installing certain safety equipment in your car or taking a defensive driving class. If you only drive infrequently, this can lower your rate as well (as about “low-mileage discounts”). You may also want to research rates on a yearly basis, especially if you notice a substantial increase due to your age.

Regardless of your age, you should do your research and compare rates. Modern seniors who are computer savvy may be able to find the best rates through researching different insurance companies online.

Senior Health: Dental Implants For Missing Teeth

dental-implantsOne of the most common issues those of us who are over fifty-five struggle with is the loss of teeth and how to replace them. Although dentures have long been the standard method to replace lost teeth, dental implants are now becoming the preferred choice for many seniors. The advantages of dental implants are many, although they are a much more costly option. But for those looking for the look and feel of a real tooth and the ability to bite and chew foods like apples without worries, they are definitely the route to go.

Dental implants are superior to dentures because unlike the latter they actually replace the roots of teeth. This allows implants to have the look, feel and to function similarly to a natural tooth. In recent decades, millions of people have undergone dental implant surgery, and dental implants have literally revolutionized modern dentistry.

How They Work

Dental Implants are crafted from the same materials (a specially treated form of titanium) that is used for artificial knees and hip replacements, but in the case of an implant, a titanium root will be implanted into your jaw bone and used as an anchor for a crown, or in some cases, a bridge.

For a single tooth, the healing time between putting in the anchor and the crown is usually a two to three months period. Advanced CT scanning and “virtual surgery” is used by many surgeons these days to dramatically decrease the need for to graft bone. So if you were told at one time that you didn’t have enough bone for an implant, you may want to see if today that is still the case.

The loss of a tooth is a serious matter. Not only does it affect your ability to chew and even speak, but the loss of a tooth can also affect your bite, cause muscle pain in the jaws and increases the burden on existing teeth in your mouth. So if you or a friend you know wants the look and feel of real teeth to replace a missing tooth, dental implants are definitely an option to look at when considering a tooth replacement!

Senior Finance: A Senior’s Guide To Making A Will

willAlthough many want to avoid  the topic, it is necessary for everyone with any assets – young or old – to have a will. For those of us who are in our golden years of life, having a completed and updated will is an absolute necessity and here are some helpful tips and advice for making your will.

Elements of a Will

A will provides the names of all beneficiaries to an estate, and will name a guardian or trust when minor children are involved. In general, a beneficiary of an estate will be a friend, family, or a charity.

The first thing that must be done is to name an executor. This is the person who is made responsible to carry out all of the wishes. When naming beneficiaries, it may be necessary to evenly divide the big assets, but make different arrangements for the smaller ones. An executor should be a person who is trusted. This person will be appointed by the probate court after the death and will be expected to sort through all of the estate matters. For instance, this person must settle all outstanding debts along with pay the taxes and funeral costs. It is wise to tell the person who will be named beforehand, in order for this person to have the opportunity to decline. This can be very stressful, especially after the death of a loved one. Certain individuals may wish to select an attorney instead.

A will may have certain exclusions and may not cover all of a person’s possessions. For instance, a bank account with joint access will not be covered. Any retirement plans or life insurance may also be exempt as well. This is often because a policy of this nature makes a person name a beneficiary at the beginning. When a couple has joint accounts, this means that the survivor automatically inherits all of the assets. However, a will may still be necessary or advisable.

Besides having a will, you may also want to consider setting up a revocable living trust, which can help avoid probate and speed up the transfer of assets.

Safeguarding Your Will

A lawyer may also be able to provide storage for the will as well. This is actually one of the safest places to keep a will, since there is no way that it can be tampered with. When consulting a lawyer, it may be necessary to visit the lawyer’s office two times. The first will be for a general discussion about what should be placed into the will. The second visit will be when a person must sign the document. As long as a person stays alive, the will can be changed. It is also possible for a person to construct a will at home without professional guidance.

Keep in mind that a thoughtfully crafted will will save a lot of time, money, and heartbreak for the loved ones who get left behind. It can also provide needed resources and financial security for your loved ones.