What is a LifeStage Certified Senior Advisor, and How Can They Help You?
Making the decision to move a Loved one into an Assisted Living community is never easy. With so many options available, it can be difficult to find the right fit for your needs. Fortunately there's help available in the form of a LifeStage Certified Senior Advisor, who specializes in helping families find and select the best senior living accommodations for their needs.
These advisors are knowledgeable about local Assisted Living communities, and provide personalized guidance throughout the entire process. A LifeStage Certified Senior Advisor is well-versed in all the Senior Living options available in Spokane, and can provide valuable insight into which ones may be the best fit for your needs.
They are able to provide up-to-date information about local communities, amenities offered, and pricing structure. This can help narrow down potential options, and make it easier to compare choices side by side. The advisor will also provide personalized service, tailored to your specific needs. Things like age, medical conditions, mental health and financial situation, are all taken into consideration when helping you find an assisted living community that best fits your lifestyle. The advisor has access to extensive details about each retirement community, so they can answer questions quickly and provide additional background information as needed.
Another major benefit is that this service is provided at no charge to the individual. The advisor is paid for their service by the community you choose. Since they are free to work with several communities in the area, the senior advisor doesn’t just tell you what’s available – they focus on finding the right fit for you, based on your personal preferences and requirements.
In short, utilizing a LifeStage Certified Senior Advisor makes it much easier to find an Assisted Living community in Spokane that's comfortable and suitable for your unique needs and lifestyle. You won’t have to worry about sifting through endless numbers of online listings, or getting dozens of phone calls from each community you visit. These experienced advisors are here to help guide you through every step of the way! So if you're researching senior living options, contact a LifeStage Certified Senior Advisor today!
Finding your forever home as a senior, a place where you can live out your golden years in peace, can take some doing. Most homes are designed with families and young people in mind. Senior-specific needs – mobility, self-sufficiency, and independence, among other things – are rarely addressed. Be prepared to pull up your socks and do some serious scouting to find something suitable. To help you out, the Lifestage Senior Advisory Agency offers this mini guide on features you should prioritize:
1. One-story homes
Single-story homes offer many advantages for seniors. They don’t have stairways, which makes it easier for seniors with mobility issues to move around. Everything is located on a single floor, which raises the accessibility. There are other benefits – easier heating and cooling, reduced utility expenses, easier escape during emergencies, easier to modify, and easier cleaning and maintenance.
2. No-step or senior-friendly entrances
Entryways can pose a fall hazard, not to mention be hard to navigate day in and day out. Look for homes with accessible entrances. For instance, some homes have wheelchair ramps or inclines instead of stairs. You may find these easier to use. AgingInPlace offers other ideas – stairs with easy-to-grab railings, slip-resistant steps, and well-illuminated surfaces.
3. Accessible bathrooms
The bathroom design is critical – according to Belvedere Home Care, 80 percent of all falls occur in the bathroom. As such, pay special attention to the bathroom when you’re picking a home. A “safe” bathroom is one with excellent lighting, anti-slip flooring, handrails, step-in showers (or similar), transfer benches, smart sensors, and raised toilet seating.
4. Accessible kitchens
If you’re planning to cook your own food, then you need an accessible kitchen too. What makes a kitchen extra accessible? Here are some examples – handy storage, a convenient sink, multilevel countertops, self-cleaning cooktops, a wheelchair-accessible kitchen island, a waist-high dishwasher, and safety devices like motion sensors, fire extinguishers, and smoke alarms.
5. Better lighting
You need extra lighting when you get older. As such, you should ideally look for homes that let in plenty of natural light. Besides helping you navigate better, natural light brings up your mood and is good for your health. Artificial lighting fixtures can complement any natural light that’s coming in already. For the best results, make sure any non-natural lighting is anti-glare and doesn’t hurt your eyes. Emergency lights and night lights are always nice to have.
6. Better flooring
Flooring is a major point of concern for seniors with mobility issues. Bad-quality or slippery flooring is a fall hazard. The best materials for anti-slip flooring are vinyl planks, carpeting, and cork. Look for flooring that is even and comes with few-to-none transition areas to traverse – like a gap between carpeting or a height difference between rooms.
7. Size – Is smaller better?
Last, but not least, is the size of the space. Sometimes bigger isn’t better – downsizing brings with it many benefits. Having a small home means you won’t need to spend as much time and energy on cleaning and maintenance. You have reduced maintenance expenses, too. You can use the freed-up time to maintain your health and improve your lifestyle.
Should you get a home warranty?
Are home warranties worth it? Home warranties cover home systems and appliance breakdowns. Compared to the cost of repairing or replacing an appliance or system, a home warranty can be cheaper. It can also give you peace of mind. Before deciding whether to get a home warranty, check the home inspection report for red flags. Furthermore, check if there are any existing warranties on your appliances and see what they cover.
Consider assisted living and community living
Sometimes moving to an assisted living or community living setting is better than aging in place in your own home. Granted, it reduces your independence, but you always have help on hand if you need it, whether that’s for ADL activities or healthcare. Furthermore, living with other people offers socialization opportunities and improves your overall well-being. Finally, such facilities offer greater peace of mind and a sense of safety. Lifestage offers a free senior placement service that can help you make an informed decision about what living arrangement best suits you.
Unless you get lucky and find a made-for-seniors home, you’ll likely have to settle for something good enough and then modify it to suit your needs. As such, make sure you set aside extra money for home modifications when you create your home-buying budget. Furthermore, keep in mind that making modifications takes time – sometimes six months or longer. Plan accordingly. Purchasing homeowners insurance and a home warranty can safeguard you against problems and be a worthwhile investment, too.
Guest Author Diane Harrison healthpsa.info
When it comes to investing in real estate, people tend to think of buying a house and renting it out, buying a condo or another sort of property that they can live in, or buying an old fixer-upper type of home and fixing it up so that it can be sold for a profit.
Seniors might not seem like the most natural fit for real estate investing, but there are many ways seniors can benefit from making such an investment. With the right knowledge and careful planning, seniors can use house-flipping as an excellent way to invest their retirement savings and generate a reliable source of income from the properties. Today, Lifestage will introduce you to this opportunity and help you decide if it’s right for you.
What Is House Flipping?
House flipping is the process of buying a home, renovating it, and then selling it for a profit. The idea behind house flipping is that you can provide a needed service to property owners by turning their outdated or undesirable homes into attractive sellable properties.
Pros of House Flipping for Seniors
One of the biggest benefits of house flipping for seniors is that it can be a reliable source of income. When seniors invest in properties, they have to consider how much time and money they’re willing to invest in the property upfront.
This can be difficult for older people who are looking for an easy way to generate an income without having to work themselves. With house flipping, you don’t have to put any money down upfront.
That means that if you buy a property, do some renovations, and then sell it, you won’t need to worry about trying to find tenants or homeowners willing to pay rent on your property while you try to find a buyer or waiting for someone else’s mortgage payments each month.
Cons of House Flipping for Seniors
House flipping is not the right choice for everyone. It’s a short-term investment that doesn’t provide long-term benefits like traditional investments do. You’ll likely see a return on your initial investment within a few years, but once the property is flipped and sold, you will be out of the picture. This type of investment might not be appropriate for seniors who have big financial needs or those who are unfamiliar with such an undertaking.
Senior-Friendly Strategies When Flipping Houses
House flipping for seniors means that you’re buying a fixer-upper home, renovating it, and then selling it for a profit. It can be a great way to earn money in retirement, but you’ll need to plan carefully to make sure you don’t take on more than you can handle.
One of the best ways to do this is by hiring a professional contractor who knows what they’re doing. They will help you with things like fixing up the house so that it’s livable and pretty, helping with repairs, and making sure everything is structurally sound before moving on to renovations. This is especially helpful when you’re adding attractive, functional features to the property like a modern range hood that eliminates kitchen odors and improves ventilation.
Make sure that your contractor has experience flipping homes or doing other work like it because if they don’t, they may not have the skills necessary for your project. You’ll also want to make sure that your contractor has experience renovating houses in the area where you intend to sell your flipped property.
This will ensure that there aren’t any surprises when it comes time for sale. As always, make sure that all your contractors are licensed professionals and insured so that if something goes wrong during their work on your property, they’re covered financially.
Finally, make sure that you get a word out on your finished property. These days, advertising on social media platforms is a surefire way to generate interest. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune, either! For instance, you can create Facebook ads that you can customize with eye-catching photos of the property and snappy details – and best of all, the tool is free to use!
Is House Flipping Right for You?
Now that you’ve gotten a feel for what goes into flipping houses, it’s time to decide if this is the right pursuit for you. Obviously, it takes some work, and there’s an element of risk. On the other hand, it can be a fun, exciting, and highly profitable way to pass your time, and there are plenty of resources out there to help you on your way!
Lifestage brings over 100 years of combined experience in various aspects of the health care industry. Call 509.473.9956.
Guest Author Millie Jones www.seniorwellness.info
Property taxes can create a unique problem for retirees. As property values go up, property taxes increase as well, but incomes may not keep up with the pace of tax increases. Washington state has responded to this issue by enacting tax relief policies for certain homeowners, including senior citizens. Unfortunately, the county assessor will not automatically let you know if you qualify for an exemption. It is up to you to review the eligibility requirements and then submit an application.
Under the senior citizen property tax exemption program the value of your residence is frozen for property tax purposes and you are exempt from all excess property taxes, Part 2 of the state school levy, and the portion of the voter approved regular levy if the exemption is identified in the ordinance. Depending on your income, you may also be exempt from a portion of the regular levies.
To qualify for the exemption, you must meet the following criteria:
A home owned jointly by a married couple, a registered domestic partnership, or by co-tenants is considered to be owned by each person therefore only one person must meet the age or disability requirement. The property must be your primary residence and you must live in the home for more than six months each year. Property used as a vacation home is not eligible for the exemption program.
The maximum amount of annual disposable income you may receive and qualify for the exemption is $40,000 or 65% of the county median household income. You can find the Washington state county income thresholds here. The disposable income you receive during the application year determines your eligibility. Disposable income includes all income regardless of whether the income is taxable for federal income tax purposes. Common sources of income may include social security, military pay, pension payments, rental income, retirement account distributions and annuity payments.
Certain deductions may help reduce your disposable income calculation such as non-reimbursed amounts paid to live in a nursing home, boarding home, or adult family home, non-reimbursed amounts paid for prescription drugs, non-reimbursed amounts paid for in-home care and insurance premiums for Medicare parts A, B, C and D for you, your spouse, or your domestic partner. For additional information on calculating disposable income, it is helpful to review the requirements provided by the Washington State Department of Revenue.
You may also be eligible for a refund for up to three years of past property taxes if you failed to request an exemption due to oversight, or a lack of knowledge about this program. You must meet all the qualifications for the exemption as if you had applied at the time the application was due and separate applications must be submitted for each of the tax years in which you qualified up to a maximum of three years. Refunds are not available beyond the three years.
Ultimately your county assessor administers this program and is responsible for determining if you meet the qualifications. For those of you here in Spokane county you can find the application form here. Applications are due by December 31st of the assessment year. If the county assessor approves your application, you will need to submit a renewal every three years and the assessor will notify you when you are due for renewal. If your application is denied the assessor will notify you in writing and you will have an opportunity for appeal.
No one enjoys paying more than required when it comes to property taxes. It can pay to get in touch with your county assessor in order to find out if you qualify for a discount on your property taxes.
Whether this is your first marriage or not, getting hitched in your golden years makes this time of your life even more exciting and romantic. While every marriage takes lots of love and hard work, there are certain subjects that take priority when you tie the knot later in life. Following these four recommendations from Lifestage will help you navigate your new marriage and make the most of your life together.
1. Consider a Honeymoon Registry
Since you are enjoying your golden years, there is a good chance you do not need the appliances and equipment that younger couples need when they wed. Instead of registering for gifts, create a honeymoon fund that guests can donate to.
According to one article, the typical honeymoon costs couples $4470. No matter what your age, this is a good chunk of money. Unless there are numerous household items you need, let your guests ease the cost of this romantic vacation by creating a honeymoon fund.
2. Have Discount Date Nights
Date nights are an important part of any marriage. Continuing to date your spouse after saying "I do" shows you value spending time with him or her, keeps the spark alive, and grows intimacy.
One of the fantastic things about being more along in years is that you can take advantage of senior discounts. Restaurants, museums, movie theaters, and numerous other venues offer senior discounts; search online to find ones in your area. Plan a few date nights each month and hit up a different discounted place each time.
3. Try Each Other's Interests
Whatever hobby your significant other enjoys, make an effort to participate with him or her. Not only does it show your spouse that he or she is a priority but you may even find a new pastime that you enjoy!
You might discover that you both work really well together at a certain hobby. If this is the case, a fantastic way to share each other's interests, spend time together and pad your income is by starting a company together. Online articles provide overviews of what steps are needed to start a business.
No matter what product or service you sell, be sure to market your company. While commercials and print advertisements are a great way to target your local area, social media is a wonderful way to market to a broader pool of consumers. Create an attractive website for this online traffic.
A striking infographic on your website increased brand awareness for your business. While a graphic designer provides a professional touch, you can save money when you design custom infographics using a free online tool. Once you choose a template, make it your own by adding a background, text, colors, and design elements.
4. Revamp Your Home
Between the two of you, there is probably a good amount of stuff accumulated over the years. Before moving everything into your new home, decide what each of you will keep and get rid of.
Once completed, walk through your home together to determine what furniture goes where; keep in mind a smooth flow and open walkways make for a safer and easier transition from room to room. If one of you has trouble with stairs, consider installing an electric chair on the stairs or moving your primary living quarters to the main floor.
No matter how long you and your significant other have been together, a wedding during your golden years makes this time of your life even more spectacular. Follow these four tips to help your marriage thrive and stay strong.
Guest Author Millie Jones www.seniorwellness.info
Most people would never consider moving without their beloved pet. This is just as true for those considering a move to assisted living. Luckily enough many assisted living communities welcome your furry friends. Pet policies differ slightly from community to community but here are a few things they will be looking at.
Health and wellness of your pet
It is no surprise that an assisted living community will take health into consideration. You will likely need to present your pet's examination and immunization records from a licensed veterinarian. The vet will need to verify that your pet is free of any diseases that could be transmissible to humans or other animals in the community.
Size of your pet
Many communities will have a weight limit on the size of pets they will allow into the community. 35 pounds seems to be a common cutoff point, but this is not a hard and fast rule in all assisted living communities.
Demeanor of your pet
Your pet will likely need an assessment from a staff member to consider your pets overall behavior. Aggressive tendencies such as growling or nipping at a person could be a deal breaker. Also excessive noise such as barking, howling or in the case of a bird, squawking could disturb other residents and might result in an eviction notice for your pet.
Age and training
Most communities require that dogs and cats be at least one year old and be house broken or litter trained.
Before you move a pet into assisted living there are several other factors to consider:
1. Is there an additional pet deposit? If so, is it refundable?
2. Is there an additional monthly fee?
3. Who will care for the pet if your health declines or you are away from the community for an extended period of time?
4. Has your pet become accustomed to coming and going through a pet door? If so will your pet be able to adjust to going outside with you while on a leash?
5. Can you still adequately care for the pet? Some communities are able to assist with pet care in a limited capacity. Ask what they will be able to assist with and if that will suite the needs of you and your pet.
There are numerous benefits of pet ownership, especially for seniors. Those who miss a spouse or friends who have passed or who are generally depressed or lonely can find joy in the companionship and love of a pet. Pets require exercise and can encourage seniors to be more active which can keep their muscles, bones, joints, and minds healthy. They can also reduce boredom and keep residents engaged. The companionship can contribute a lot to happiness which can easily contribute to overall health and wellness. So if you are considering assisted living consider bringing a furry friend!
If you have an older loved one in your life, you probably got this response when you asked them what they would like for a gift: “Oh, I don’t need/want anything.”
That answer is admittedly not much help. However, gift giving is not just about getting something another person wants or needs. Gifts are also about showing someone you love and care for them. So chances are even if your senior loved one says they don’t need anything, you still want to get them something as a token of your affection.
Courtesy of Lifestage, here are a few ideas for the perfect gift for your older relative or loved one.
Lugging a heavy vacuum in and out of a closet doesn’t get any more enjoyable in your later years. Give your loved one a break with a programmable robotic vacuum that cleans the floors for them daily. Robotic vacuum cleaners are perfect for people with mobility issues and help clean in hard-to-reach areas. An added bonus for them: it gives them an excuse to ask you over when they need help programming it.
Some New Bling
If that beloved senior in your life has a passion for jewelry or accessories like watches, why not give them something truly unique? Thrive Global notes that wearing jewelry can actually aid in de-stressing. Check into some of the more hard-to-find gemstones and watch their eyes light up.
During the colder months, there’s nothing like the warm glow of candles to make a home feel inviting. However, candles can be a fire hazard. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, about 23,000 fires in the home result from traditional wick candles every year. Flameless candles are a safe alternative. Flickering LED lights give off the comforting glow that gives a room ambience. You can even find scented varieties that fill the home with their favorite fragrance.
Grocery Delivery or Meal Service
If your loved one hates going to the grocery store, there are a variety of services available perfect for them. If they have their tried and true favorite dishes, a grocery delivery service allows them to pick the things they want from their favorite store and have it sent to their front door. If they love to cook and try new things, a meal service like Blue Apron or HelloFresh deliver local ingredients with instructions on how to make the next dinner.
Aromatherapy is the practice of using scents to adjust your mood. An aromatherapy machine diffuses essential oils throughout the room to help your loved one establish the state of being they desire. Whether they want to rev up in the morning or calm down at night, this gift provides a sense of control around the home as well as within.
An Advanced Education
Seniors know better than anyone that we never stop learning. So why not give your beloved senior the gift of an advanced degree? Perhaps they’ve considered starting their own business and a business degree will help them get the inside track. If so, you could contribute to their education expenses, help them plan their schedules, or assist them with any programs or aspects of technology with which they’re not yet familiar.
A New Pet
If your loved one has dropped hints about being lonely or wanting something more in life, the gift of a new furry friend may be perfect for him or her. Dogs help improve a person’s mood and give them a sense of purpose. Pets provide structure and routine in life-- essential for happiness and productivity. A dog or cat will also provide opportunities for physical activity and socialization, which help both physical and mental health.
Everyone wants to feel appreciated, respected, and cared for – and that includes seniors. Even if your senior family member or loved one says they don’t need anything for the holidays, getting them a gift is a simple way of showing them just how much you appreciate them.
Lifestage understands that every person has unique needs. Taking the time to listen and understand those needs will bring about the best outcomes for you or your loved ones. Our staff brings over 100 years of combined experience and credentials in various aspects of the health care industry, Call 509.473.9956.
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Moving is tough at any age, but it becomes even more of a challenge as we grow older and find that our mobility and flexibility aren’t what they used to be. But this is precisely why senior moving services are available: They can help to simplify the process of downsizing, organizing, packing, and moving a senior’s personal belongings. They can also help to prevent moving accidents or injuries, and reduce stress and anxiety throughout the moving process.
Check out the following article from Lifestage to learn more about how seniors can benefit from the assistance of senior moving services—and how they can find the help they need for their next move.
1. Assistance With Packing, Organizing, and DeclutteringSenior move managers are the key to planning a safe and stress-free move as we—or our loved ones—grow older. These professionals can help with the following types of moving tasks:
In short, senior move managers ease moving stress and anxiety and help seniors to make the best decisions as they search for suitable homes and plan their move.
2. Help with Loading, Moving, and Unloading BelongingsIn addition to working with a senior move manager, professional movers are available to help with loading, transporting, and unloading a senior’s belongings. Hiring movers reduces a senior’s risk of sustaining injuries while loading and unloading heavy boxes and furniture, and it eliminates the need to rent a moving truck or enlist the help of younger family members and friends.
When hiring a moving company, be sure to do your homework before deciding on a mover. Obtain estimates from multiple companies, keep an eye out for moving scams, and check to see if any discounts are available. If you choose to work with a senior move manager, however, this professional will be in charge of finding and hiring a reputable moving company.
3. Finding Professional Moving Help Is EasyAs another benefit of working with senior moving professionals when planning a move, finding the help you need is incredibly easy. You can use the National Association of Service & Speciality Move Managers (NASMM) website to search for top-rated senior move managers near you, and the manager you choose will enlist the help of any other moving professionals you may need (such as a moving company). You can also contact the NASMM at 877-606-2766 if you have questions or need help finding a senior move manager in your area.
4. Settle InIf you’ve not yet begun your search for your new home, consider that renting rather than buying will remove some of the headaches that come with a big move, and you'll have lower maintenance costs. When scouting apartments, you can find listings online in your price range with your desired amenities and number of bathrooms and bedrooms to locate the perfect place. Narrow down your search by viewing 3D tours which are included in some listings.
Regardless of whether you settle on a house or apartment for your new home, once you’ve moved into your new residence, your senior move manager can help with everything from unpacking and arranging your belongings to helping you settle in more easily. Thanks to these senior moving services, planning a move and settling into a new home doesn’t have to be a challenging process. Relocating is hard enough as it is, and senior-friendly moving services can help to make moving a lot less painful in our Golden Years!
This article was brought to you by Lifestage, where we specialize in making a personalized match with retirement communities at all levels of care from independent living to memory care. This senior care referral service is offered at no cost to the family. For more information about our services, contact us today at 509-473-9956.
Starting a business is not just for young entrepreneurs. Studies have shown that seniors are twice as likely to launch high growth start-ups. Life experience, a large and diverse network, financial security, and confidence that comes with age play a major role in improving the chances of entrepreneurial success among seniors.
If filling your days with gardening, golf or playing cards is not an appealing prospect during retirement, you may want to consider entrepreneurship. Launching a business allows you to stay motivated, connected, and active to combat health declines that come with aging. It also allows you to use your knowledge and experience to supplement your retirement income. Refer to the following guide for starting a home-based business in your senior years.
Making a Case for Home-Based Business
Running a full-time business, especially after retiring from a long career, is not ideal. You should be spending as much of your golden years as you can, cherishing your friends, family, and passions. A home-based business can give you the freedom and flexibility to live a fulfilling social life even as you work. It allows you to create your own schedule and work on your own terms.
Setting up a home-based business requires less capital than a brick-and-mortar business. Instead of paying rent, you can utilize the extra space in your home for your venture. You also won’t have to buy a ton of office furniture, office equipment or install a commercial phone system. If you qualify, you can also take advantage of home office tax deductions.
Working from home also means that you can finally say goodbye to the dreadful daily commute to and from work. While saving on commuting-related expenses is a significant win, for seniors with mobility issues, not having to travel to work is the real prize.
Getting Ready for Entrepreneurship
The opportunity to do what you love and be your own boss is exciting. However, if you're not well-prepared, it could be a terrible move since there are fewer chances to recover from failure when you are a senior. To operate a successful home-based business in your golden years, you have to use all the resources you have at your disposal, from your networks to your experience.
Before you launch your business, you need to develop your expertise. This can be in the form of mentorship from veteran entrepreneurs. You can learn a lot from a seasoned business person, especially if you have been a career employee. In addition, younger entrepreneurs can give sound advice on technology pertaining to businesses.
The internet is also an excellent source of resources that can help you expand your skill set. Today, enrolling in an online MBA program is easy and painless since you can complete it from the comfort of your own home. An MBA can help you sharpen your business skills and help you turn your venture into a success. MBA coursework teaches business, management, and strategy, as well as leadership, self-assessment and self-awareness.
In addition to the cost of an MBA, you should consider other start-up costs. Running your business from home reduces the start-up costs significantly but does not eliminate them entirely. Outline your costs before launch and figure out if you can afford the investment. You should not tie all your retirement finances into a business that might fail.
It is never too late to get into business. There are numerous benefits of entrepreneurship, especially when operating a home-based business. Seniors can leverage their high levels of social, human, and financial capital to make their business a success. However, caution is highly recommended to avoid plunging into poverty in old age. Following the advice highlighted above can help mitigate the risks.
Lifestage is uniquely qualified to be able to help seniors navigate their individual experience of aging and create a meaningful legacy. Call 509.473.9956 to speak with their Care Navigator.
Guest Author Millie Jones www.seniorwellness.info/
Losing a loved one creates difficulties you may have never imagined, stresses that leave you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. Financial hardships can be challenging to overcome when you’re in the process of grieving, and if you have a senior loved one who is having trouble mitigating those challenges, it’s important to help them navigate their options. Fortunately, there are several ways to help your loved one get through this difficult time; Lifestage shares a few.
Take care of the biggest things first
Your loved one will have a lot on their mind after losing someone dear to them, so, as Fiduciary Trust International notes, it’s important to help them make their financial decisions wisely. Mortgage payments, funeral arrangements, and loan payments should be the first priority; smaller bills can usually wait a week or two. This will prevent your loved one from becoming overwhelmed in a short amount of time so they can focus on healing. Keep in mind that there are debt relief companies who can assist after the loss of a spouse.
Ask for copies of the death certificate
One important task your loved one will need to remember is to make sure they have enough copies of the death certificate. If they have lost a spouse or partner, they’ll need that paperwork to access the benefits of a life insurance policy and to present as proof when making changes to joint bank accounts, credit cards, Social Security funds, and other important accounts. This will prevent issues with receiving money owed, which will take some stress off your loved one’s shoulders.
Prepare your loved one for the possibility that a credit card company often closes an account after learning of the death, meaning any automatic payments or charges pending will need to have the payment info updated to prevent any interruptions. If the deceased was the primary cardholder and the account isn’t closed, interest charges and penalties will still accrue.
Advise against hasty decisions
Grief can make us do things we later regret, so help your loved one stay away from hasty decision-making in the month or so after their loss. Big decisions should be given some time to ensure they’re the right ones for the moment. Nolo explains seniors are also more prone to scams. This is especially true if they are grieving as they may part with their money more easily, so talk to your loved one about how to avoid these pitfalls and easy ways to stay safe.
Help them find the right living situation
Many seniors find it highly beneficial to change up their living situation after losing a loved one. MyLifeSite points out that downsizing to an assisted living or continued care facility can help not only with the financial end of things, it can also help your loved one stay safe and comfortable.
There are many different types of facilities with a wide variety of care options and pricing, so keep that in mind when you’re searching for the best fit for your loved one. If seniors want a little assistance while being able to maintain some independence, a senior community might be the best way to go.
If your loved one simply needs help around the house with certain tasks, consult with Lifestage to help them connect with in-home care services. This can be light housekeeping, meal prep, transportation to appointments and help with activities of daily living.
While few of us want to think about planning for our own final wishes, this is something your loved one can do that will provide peace of mind now, as well as help any loved ones that will eventually be left behind. Should your loved one pass on suddenly, having a pre-paid funeral can help a great deal and will prevent financial hardship for family members.
Your loved one can create a joint bank account for this sole purpose, buy an insurance plan from a funeral home, or purchase burial insurance. In some cases, this money can help pay for medical bills and other expenses as well. Writing a will is another must that creates financial security and promotes better peace of mind.
A great way to help your loved one through their grief is by finding ways to help memorialize their partner. This can be through a celebration of life, gathering donations for a plaque in their honor, or even starting a nonprofit dedicated to their partner’s favorite cause. A nonprofit isn’t difficult to create, and could even provide your loved one with something positive to help them move forward. ZenBusiness can walk you through the process.
Losing a loved one can hit a senior hard. Make sure you help your loved one navigate tricky financial concerns. With a little planning and prep, you can help your senior through this tough time.
Senior advisory agency Lifestage brings over 100 years of combined experience and credentials in various aspects of the healthcare industry. Reach out today to find out more! 509.473.9956
Guest Author Hal Salazar Elders Today
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.