There is a lot of conflicting information out there about how a person should be behaving after they are fully vaccinated against the covid-19 virus. For starts simply getting the shot does not mean you are fully vaccinated. For those who received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine you are not considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after you get your second shot. For the single dose vaccine from Johnson & Johnson you are still not considered fully vaccinated until 2 weeks after your shot. If you have only received 1 shot of a two-shot course you are not fully protected. Also, if it has been less than 2 weeks since receiving a complete course of vaccine you are not fully protected. Until the 2 weeks has passed after getting a complete course of the vaccine it is recommended that you continue taking all precautionary measures in order to keep yourself safe.
According to the CDC they are still learning about how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. Even after you’ve received the full course of the vaccine and waited the 2 weeks, they recommend that you keep taking the standard precautions in public places such as wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others and avoiding crowds.
So, what’s changed?
As of the writing of this article the CDC advises the following if you’ve been fully vaccinated:
When can I a get a COVID-19 vaccine?
COVID-19 vaccines are rapidly becoming available to more and more people. Washington state is providing vaccinations in phases. To determine when you are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine you can use the Washington State Department of Health Phase Finder Tool. The Phase Finder tool is designed to help people in Washington find out if they are eligible for a COVID vaccine now or if not, sign up to be notified when they become eligible. It asks a series of questions related to the four phases of vaccine distribution (living situation, age, health conditions, risk factors, work situation and zip code) to inform eligibility. You can also view a map of vaccine locations in Washington.
More and more people seem to be catching on to the importance of self-care. And along with that comes more criticism. One of the most popular critiques of practicing self-care is that it’s selfish. However, incorporating self-care into your life is anything but selfish. In fact, it helps you to become the best version of yourself possible, which allows you to be there for others in a way you otherwise couldn’t be.
Another misconception of self-care is that it’s expensive. True, certain luxuries that fall under the self-care category can cost a pretty penny and add up over time. But you can still take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health if you are on a tight budget.
Pay attention to your hair and skin.
Taking care of your hair can be simple or complex, depending on your hair type. When it comes down to it, however, you want to make sure you wash your hair regularly, keep it conditioned, and use the right kinds of products for styling. Also, be mindful of the treatments you use (e.g., bleach, color, straightening), as some can be damaging to your hair.
It’s also essential to use quality products when it comes to taking care of your skin. It’s easy to lose sight of how important your skin is to your well-being, but keep in mind that as HowStuffWorks explains, your skin is actually your largest organ.
Eat healthy foods.
This may come as no surprise to you, but what you eat makes a big difference in your overall health and well-being. And when you do it strategically, it really doesn’t cost much more money to eat healthily then it does to eat poorly. You can’t really go wrong with whole foods like vegetables, fruit, lean proteins, fatty fish, and nuts and seeds. And there are even certain foods that specifically fight depression; avocados, bananas, carrots, and beans are a few of many examples.
Break a sweat.
Working out also makes a big difference. Try to find an exercise routine that you enjoy, even if it takes exploring several different kinds. Running, brisk walking, swimming, weightlifting, yoga, HIIT, and recreational sports can all provide you with a good workout. Not only will it improve your cardiovascular health, strengthen your immune system, and reduce your risks of disease, but sticking with a consistent fitness routine can do wonders for your self-esteem and help you conquer stress, anxiety, and depression.
The good thing about exercise is that you don’t have to spend a lot of money doing it. In fact, you don’t have to pay for a gym membership because there are so many workouts available online that you can do from home or at a nearby park.
Catch them z’s.
Along with eating well and exercising, SleepScore explains that in order to maximize your health, sleep must be a priority in your life. Otherwise, it will not only negatively impact your physical and mental health, but you won’t be able to function at full capacity in everyday life.
Without enough sleep, it’s harder to focus and be productive, so, if you want to be your best self, come up with a bedtime routine that helps you get the sleep you need. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Many people find that taking a warm bath, listening to soothing music, doing light yoga stretches, meditating, and/or doing other relaxing activities transforms their sleep habits. Lowering stress levels by creating an organized and decluttered home can help as well.
If you are ready to take your health and well-being to the next level without dropping a lot of money, practicing self-care is the way forward. Remember to take care of your skin and hair, choose healthy foods at the grocery store, develop a solid exercise routine, and get the sleep your mind and body need. And of course, keep a lookout for online coupons, promo codes, and other savings opportunities that can help you stay within your budget.
Are you concerned about a senior loved one? Let Lifestage develop a plan based on social, legal, medical, and financial factors tailored to your loved one’s needs. 509.473.9956 or info@Lifestageusa.com
Guest Author Brad Krause http://selfcaring.info/
As you grow older, your financial priorities often change. You may frequently think of issues such as how to maintain your lifestyle and pay for medical expenses on a fixed income. Here are 7 money-management tips for seniors to consider for their retirement years.
1. Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Prepare for the possibility that you may become unable to handle financial affairs on your own. Consider writing down a list of your financial institutions and account numbers and keeping it in a safe place that would be accessible by your loved ones in an emergency. Consulting an attorney may help you decide if you should have a power of attorney (POA), which would allow one or more people you designate to make key decisions on your behalf. Talk to your attorney about whether it would take effect immediately or only in the event you become incapacitated
2. Be careful about creating joint accounts. The person you hold a joint account with has the ability to make transactions, including withdrawing money from a checking or savings account, without your prior approval. Your banker or attorney may be able to help you identify other options, but you should think very carefully about who you give access to your money. Also consider, if your co-owner has debt and cannot pay, it may be possible for the funds in your account may be taken to pay the debt.
3. Stop unsolicited calls and sales offers. In general, you should be wary of anyone who approaches you unexpectedly to say he or she specializes in helping seniors with home improvements, health cures or financial products. Consider being added to the national Do Not Call Registry by calling 1-888-382-1222 or visit www.donotcall.gov. Also review the privacy disclosures that banks and other financial institutions send at least once a year. They explain if you can limit the sharing of your information and how you can do so. You can also opt-out of prescreened credit offers by visiting https://www.optoutprescreen.com/. The Fair Credit Reporting Act provides you the right to Opt-Out of prescreened offers which prevents Credit Reporting agencies from providing your credit file information to companies who may send unsolicited credit or insurance offers.
4. Check for reoccurring charges or subscription services you no longer find useful. Many consumers pay hundreds of dollars each year in fees that get automatically charged to their credit card or bank account on a monthly basis for a subscription or other service they may no longer use. Some may have started as simply as a free trial that was never canceled so closely review your credit card and bank statements to find any charges that you may be able to cancel because they are for products or services you can do without.
5. Review your credit reports even if you don’t plan to apply for a new loan. Mistakes or other errors on your credit reports could make it more costly for you to buy insurance or borrow money. Also monitoring your credit reports is a way to detect identity theft. The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires each of the nationwide credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to provide you with a free copy of your credit report, at your request, once every 12 months. You can order your free credit report at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling 1-877-322-8228.
6. Think very carefully before accepting an offer to “advance” you a portion of your future pension, Social Security or other retirement income. These offers are often similar to payday loans and they likely involve high fees and exceptionally high interest. Unfortunately it is common for consumers to find themselves in need of similar loans in the future to make up for cash shortages caused as you repay the original loan. If you need to borrow money fast, check with your bank and other financial institutions, and compare the products they offer based on the Annual Percentage Rate.
7. Think twice about a reverse mortgage. Remember that a reverse mortgage will eventually have to be paid back with interest. Reverse mortgages allow homeowners age 62 or older to borrow against the equity in their homes without having to make monthly payments as long as they meet the terms of their loan agreement, such as staying current on property taxes. However, the money borrowed plus interest must eventually be repaid, usually when you or your heirs sell the house. Be especial careful about a reverse mortgage in the name of just one spouse. If the spouse with the reverse mortgage passes away the surviving spouse may be forced to move out if that person is not also on the reverse mortgage agreement. For more information about reverse mortgages visit: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0192-reverse-mortgages
You can’t anticipate every problem, but you can reduce risk. Start by going through the house room by room and check for hazards, while thinking of your loved ones current physical and cognitive limits. It is often easier to change a space than to change a person. Some things you can probably take care of right away and some things may require more work and planning. For example, think about:
Below are 10 simple things you can do right away that can make a big difference for a seniors safety:
If the list of changes you need to make seems overwhelming, try to break it down into individual steps. First focus on major safety hazards then move on the things that will improve the comfort and convenience of the home. Over all these things will make a seniors home safer, more accessible and more comfortable while giving you peace of mind.
Caring for an aging relative can be overwhelming at times especially if you must balance it with work, raising children and all the other responsibilities of daily life. Sharing these responsibilities with other family members can help relieve the burden you may feel if going it alone. This is a conversation that is best to have as early as possible before an emergency throws life into chaos. Start by calling a family meeting to have a calm discussion about what type of care is currently needed and what care is likely to be needed in the future.
Many families find it is easiest to identify a primary caregiver who acts as the first line of support. This doesn’t mean the primary caregiver should act alone. Think about everyone’s schedules and what tasks each person may be best suited to handle. Also be sure to think about how to give the primary caregiver a break when needed. Whenever possible include the family member who needs care and use this person’s wishes as the basis for any plan.
It is often beneficial to prepare your thoughts before sitting down for this conversation. Takes some time in advance to develop a list of possible problems and solutions.
Here are some questions to consider for your conversation:
Who is available to help with grocery shopping?
Who will help with or attend medical appointments?
Who will make sure prescriptions are filled and taken appropriately?
Who will be the person to communicate needs or changes to the rest of the family?
Who will handle financial matters?
Who will research assisted living options if necessary?
Who will help with basic home maintenance or yard work?
Be sure to think about your personal limitations:
How often are you able to physically visit?
Would travel be necessary?
Will your personal finances be affected? How long can it be sustained?
How will this effect your home and work life?
Can you remain calm in emotionally difficult situations?
After making these decisions remember that responsibilities may need to be changed as conditions change. Be realistic about how much you can do and what you are willing to do. Look into what resources are available in the community and don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.
The decision to move in to assisted living can be emotional and the physical process of moving in can be exhausting. It’s common to have second thoughts or to feel some initial anxiety after a move. It is also normal for family members to feel a sense of guilt about not being able to care for a loved in their home. Any change can be difficult, and it may take some time to acclimate to a new setting but there are a number of things you can do to help ease the transition.
Leaving a home can be difficult for anyone, especially for those who are not enthusiastic about the change. Keeping these things in mind can help to ease the transition and aid the process of settling in.
If you are seeking the advice of a senior advisor, you probably have a lot of questions however there is one question you should always ask first; Are you a fiduciary?
A fiduciary is a person or organization that acts on behalf of another person. While often associated with finance there are several other roles that a fiduciary may fulfill. Money managers, financial advisors, trustees, accountants, executors, board members, corporate officers and Certified Senior Advisors (CSA) all have fiduciary responsibility. Acting in a fiduciary capacity requires that the person put the needs of their client ahead of all other considerations. This is the highest legal duty of one person to another, being a fiduciary requires being bound ethically to act in the other's best interests.
There is no shortage of companies that aim to serve the needs of our aging population and it can be difficult to know who to trust. Fiduciaries must make sure their recommendations are based on complete and accurate information. Medical needs, legal issues, financial circumstances and social factors can be difficult to talk about but are all things a senior advisor should consider when making a recommendation. By working with a fiduciary, you can be confident that they will be sensitive to these topics and will act in your best interest.
It is important to remember that different types of advisors may be held to different ethical standards when offering advice. Only a fiduciary is required to act in your best interest at all times and not their own. A breach of fiduciary duty can result in disciplinary actions including the loss of the advisor’s credentials. So, when seeking out an advisor don’t forget to ask, Are you a Fiduciary?
The fear of falling becomes more common as people age, even among those who haven't fallen. Overcoming this fear can help seniors stay active and prevent future falls. Doing things like getting together with friends, gardening, walking, or going to the local senior center can help you stay healthy. The good news is, there are many ways to help prevent falls.
“As we age, we are continuously challenged to defy gravity,” says Dr. Dorothy Baker, PhD, Director of the Connecticut Collaboration for Fall Prevention (CCFP) at Yale University School of Medicine. “What makes us vulnerable to gravity is the fact that certain systems of our bodies are not working at peak performance. Many people have been weakened by unhealthy lifestyles, chronic disease, illness, and injury. We have to de-emphasize the environment as the reason why we fall and instead focus on how we can better interact with the environment in order to stay on our feet.”
There are 6 factors that relate to falls:
If you do happen to fall, stay still on the floor for a moment and take a few deep breaths to try to relax. This will help you gather your thoughts and determine if you are hurt before attempting to get up. If you have a Medical Alert pendant you will want to push it so that responders can be alerted to your fall incident.
A fall is a time sensitive event. Getting help to someone in under 20 minutes provides for the best outcomes. A Medical Alert system provides 2-way communication with a response associate to get the appropriate assistance in a reasonable amount of time. Today’s Medical Alerts systems are shower safe and not only work around the home but are mobile and can offer automatic falls detection should a person fall, and they are unable to call for help.
You may hear your doctor or pharmacist preach to you about medication adherence, but what does that mean? Simply put it is just taking your medications as prescribed. Medication adherence rates of 80% or more are needed for optimal therapeutic efficacy. However, it is estimated that adherence to chronic medications is only around 50%.
According to the Annals of Internal Medicine failure to take medications as prescribed results in an estimated 125,000 deaths annually and at least 10% of hospitalizations. The financial cost of medication nonadherence has been estimated at as much as $289 billion annually. Increasing medication adherence may have a greater impact on health and wellness than any other medical intervention.
Adherence rates tend to go down as time passes after the initial prescription is written. Barriers to adherence may include factors such as getting prescriptions filled, remembering to take medication on time, and understanding the directions on all the bottles. Many pharmacies offer automatic refill options, and some will even mail medications directly to your home which can relieve much of the burden associated with obtaining refills. Some medication schedules can be complicated which makes it harder to stay on schedule every day. If you find it is difficult to follow the instructions on your medications or forget to take them on time every day you may benefit from tools such as medication reminders or automated medication dispensing systems.
Sometimes people may even quit taking a medication all together due to adverse side effects. While it is understandable why a person may do this, it can be extremely dangerous. Before you quit taking any medication it is critical that you talk with your doctor or pharmacist first. If you are suffering from side effects they may be able to alter the dose or prescribe an alternative that that will work better for you.
Knowing that taking your medications appropriately can make all the difference in terms of health outcomes, it is important to come up with a system that works for you. Some people will do just fine with a medi-set, others may need to set up an automatic cycle fill, many would benefit from technologies like medication dispensers or automated reminders and others still may need greater levels of help in an assisted living setting. By taking the time to set up a system that works for you, you will likely benefit in terms of better health and quality of life.
Ty Strahl is the areas leading senior adviser. Her job is to help you navigate the many aspects of aging and to help seniors who are in transition to find the right solutions for their individual needs.