Archive for June, 2013

Seniors, watch out for the Medical Alert robocall scam that’s been going around…

June 26th, 2013 No Comments

Visiting Angels - In The News

New Jersey elders beware!

Seniors have been experiencing a wave of robocalls recently. Here’s the scenario: the phone rings, and the caller explains to the senior that their Life Alert system is paid for and ready to ship, just call the number to set up delivery. Once the senior calls the number, they are instructed to give their credit card or Medicare number. Some people have reported being charged $35/month and did receive an alert system. Others have reported not receiving anything at all, yet being unable to stop the charges.

It’s important to beware of scammers preying on seniors. Follow these tips:

  • If you don’t know the caller, don’t give them personal information
  • If you receive an automated call from an unknown company (or if the offer seems “off”, don’t respond)
  • If you receive a robocall, don’t press “1” to talk to a person; just hang up

If you or your loved on has fallen for this–or any other scam–contact your credit card to stop payment, if applicable, and the Better Business Bureau to report the calls. Read more at http://on.today.com/137BrF0.

 

It’s summer! Keep those eyes protected…

June 25th, 2013 No Comments

With the sunny summer months upon us, it’s time to take a closer look at our own aging eyes, or of those in our NJ elder care circle. The sun’s bright rays can be averted by wearing a hat with a wide brim, along with a pair of UV-blocking sunglasses.

Other ways to protect eyes in the summer and all year long:

  • Wear protective goggles when doing yard work or home improvement projects
  • Use masks or other ways to protect your eyes when playing sports: baseball, golf, handball, tennis, etc.
  • Watch out for chemicals or poison getting in the eyes such as insect repellent, stinging pool chemicals, poison ivy, etc.
  • Be wary of potential hazards that may inadvertently happen: sparks from fireworks, pellet guns, rubber bands or bungee cords snapping off, etc.

Always have your eyes checked on a regular basis by an eye care professional (ophthalmologist or optometrist). If you’re over 65, have them checked yearly. If you experience sudden blurriness, flashes of light, double vision, eye pain, or eyelid swelling, see the professional right away.

Boomers, empty nesters…are you ready for a career change? Why not try becoming a professional caregiver?

June 20th, 2013 No Comments

Are you a compassionate person looking for a meaningful career change? Maybe you’re a mom with an empty nest, a boomer who had been caring for your parent until they recently passed away, or perhaps you’re currently unemployed and are looking for a job that’s in high demand. Why not consider becoming a professional caregiver for seniors?

People are living longer, so demand for qualified caregivers is high. Working with older people is a very rewarding experience, but a good caregiver will need more than just compassion. It also takes patience, consistency, focus, and a real motivation for wanting to make a difference in the lives of older adults.

Before you start formal training as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Certified Home Health Aide (CHHA), consider volunteering at a local nursing facility, hospice, or senior center to familiarize yourself with elder care, in general. Explore the internet for workshops or classes in your area which will introduce you to the field of professional caregiving.

If and when you decide professional caregiving is for you, remember Visiting Angels. We hire exceptional, compassionate aides who truly do care about making a difference in our clients’ lives.

For more on this subject, read the article from caring.com: http://bit.ly/105tSvM. Qualified aides in central New Jersey may apply at Visiting Angels on our Jobs Page.

Tips on Repairing Debt During or Before Retirement

June 18th, 2013 No Comments

Repair Credit Before Retirement Aging Adults New Jersey

Many people dream that their golden years will be filled with leisurely days spent volunteering, tending a garden, globe-trotting and playing with grandchildren. However, due to heavy debt loads, many retirees are facing the reality of having to keep a simple lifestyle in order to survive. In fact, the average amount of credit card debt for people 65 and older averages $9,300, according to Kiplinger.com. Twenty-four percent of seniors over the age of 75 still have mortgages, the Business Insider stated. This is due in part to being part of the sandwich generation and providing financial support to both parents–perhaps to provide them with home care NJ services–and children simultaneously. Fortunately for many seniors, it is possible to get out of debt and build up a nest egg that will help make their dreams a reality.

Reduce Mortgage and Vehicle Debt

One way to cut expenses and debt is to purchase a used car when you’re in need of another vehicle. Buying used will significantly reduce car payments. For those afflicted with bad credit and in need of an inexpensive car, dealerships are stocked with thousands of used vehicles for your perusal. After solving your automotive woes, there’s still the issue of keeping up on your mortgage payments. One option to earn cash rather effortlessly is to rent out a spare bedroom or garage space to singles or young couples. It really won’t cost much to have another body or two in the house, which will enable you to apply the bulk of the rent check to the mortgage. However, if downsizing is in your future, don’t put it off any longer. You can take this opportunity to liquidate items you no longer use or want, thereby earning extra cash and making it possible to fit into a smaller, less expensive dwelling while the housing market is favorable for sellers.

Pay Off Credit Card Debt and Consumer Loans

If you’ve been carrying a balance on one or more credit cards, now’s the time to eliminate them by being aggressive in your payments or consolidating several cards and loans to reduce the overall interest rate. The most affordable way to consolidate is to take out a personal loan from your bank and use it to pay off all of your debts in full. Then you’ll only need to repay your bank loan, reducing the chances of forgetting to make a payment or having it get lost in the mail.

Tips to Become Debt Free Before You Retire

By becoming debt free before you retire, you can decrease your debt and increase your savings.

Get a second job. Now that the kids are out of the house, you probably have a few extra hours on your hands in the evenings and on weekends. Stay active, socialize and earn more by turning a hobby into a business or get a part-time job that’s flexible. Pet sitting, working in retail, tutoring, consulting, babysitting, house cleaning and delivering take-out are great ways to get more green in a low-stress work environment.

Work a few more years. By working longer, and not tapping into retirement accounts, you can add to them while they continue to grow. If you just work an extra three years, and save $10,000 a year, you can help your nest egg grow to support you for an extra 15 years, suggests an article from Forbes.

Stick to a budget. Adhering to a zero-balance budget keeps you from adding to your debt load, and will even help you pay off your debt faster if you keep your living expenses to the bare minimum. Say you are used to spending $200 on eating out each month. Commit to cooking at home, thereby saving $150, and toss that extra money at your debt.

By buckling down and putting the pedal to the metal, it is possible to reduce a significant portion— or all— of your debt before you retire. Having a paid-for home, vehicle and belongings will be the greatest relief of your life. It will enable you to savor every moment of your retirement rather than stress over monthly bills.

By Guest Author Kyle Sanford  | As a financial advisor and business writer, Kyle shares finance news and strategies that help small businesses improve operations.

A thankful family from Princeton, NJ is sending us flowers each month!

June 13th, 2013 No Comments

Our office has been beautified with a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from a grateful family! All of us at Visiting Angels appreciate the family’s kindness—not only for this bouquet—but for two additional monthly bouquets. The card from the florist explains:

“Dear Visiting Angels, Many thanks to all of the angels who cared for our mother over the past 3 months. We’d like to grace your office with flowers—one bouquet for the next 3 months. Please enjoy them and know how much your services meant to us.” — Mrs. C’s 4 children and their families, Princeton, NJ

To read more of what our families have been saying about our exceptional home care services, go to our Testimonials Page.

Seniors, a brief walk after eating may lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes…

June 12th, 2013 No Comments

News for those of in the elder care NJ industry: A new study from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services has shown that walking just 15 minutes after each meal helps control blood sugar levels. The study was conducted on 10 adults in their 70s and 80s. It found that after each meal, the blood sugar levels of people who walked 15 minutes were better than of those who walked 45 minutes at one time during the day. This was especially true after eating the largest meal of the day. So, by taking a brief 15-minute stroll around the block–or even just walking in place at home–you may reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

To read more on this story, visit http://bit.ly/11w5iAu. Read more for other tips to keep healthy and live longer…

New Jersey seniors: don’t fall prey to “Grandparent scam”

June 11th, 2013 No Comments

In the news recently have been the continuing reports of a popular “grandparent scam” among criminals who prey on seniors; this is important to NJ elder care workers to note as well. A New Jersey couple was recently featured in a CNN article; they lost $7000 to a scammer. The scenario usually goes something like this: the criminal calls a senior and pretends to be a grandchild. The criminal, acting as the grandchild, frantically tells the family member that he’s in trouble (has been involved in a car accident, has been jailed or detained in a foreign country, or robbed) and needs money wired to him ASAP. The criminal will then tell the senior not to tell the grandchild’s parent. In a panic situation, the grandparent may immediately react, wanting desperately to help the grandchild and will wire money to the “grandchild” criminal. If that weren’t enough, the criminal might even call back for even more money, posing as a lawyer, doctor, administrator, or bondsmen.

Tips to avoid the “grandparent scam”:

  • Be wary of people calling for cash unexpectedly
  • Never wire money before verifying
  • Create a code word within family members to give in case of an emergency
  • Criminals search social media for clues, so limit personal information

Read the CNN story: http://cnnmon.ie/117O7d1. Read why older people might be more trusting.

What would your older parent or grandparent do with $590 million?

June 6th, 2013 No Comments

The winning Powerball ticket holder is no longer a mystery. Gloria C. MacKenzie, an 84-year-old mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, has claimed the largest undivided jackpot in history—$590 million (around $278 million after taxes). From a small town in Florida, Zephyrhills, Mrs. MacKenzie purchased her ticket at Publix Supermarket after another woman allowed her to go in front of her in line. What would your elder loved one do with such winnings?

Read more at USAToday.com http://usat.ly/187DMTi

 

Hearing loss can be caused by more than just loud noises…

June 5th, 2013 No Comments

Hearing loss is more widespread than those in NJ elder care might know. Did you realize smoking may cause hearing loss? Aspirin? Check out other factors that may cause hearing loss and take a look at these 10 tips to keep your hearing strong.

June is National Safety Month

June 4th, 2013 No Comments

June is National Safety Month. Falls are the #1 safety issue for those over the age of 65. Check out our June Community Resource page to read more.