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May
23

3 Steps for Preparing Essential Documents for Seniors

Don't let an emergency of a loved one leave you scrambling for official documents. By proactively gathering essential healthcare and financial papers, an emergency can be a little less stressful for caregivers when they need critical access to information to help a family member.   3 Steps for Preparing Essential Documents for Seniors File all important documents in one place. No one plans to have an emergency. By locating and organizing documents before an emergency happens, you can save your family quite a bit of hassle. Whether you set up a file, add to a drawer, or complete a financial book, the most important part is gathering all information where it is easily accessible. If you keep documents in a safe deposit box then also keep copies in a file at home with directions to check the safe deposit box for original documents. Of course, don't forget to let your family members know where the safe deposit box is located and where the key can be found. Update the file annually (or more often if needed). If you store your will with an attorney, be sure to tell your family members that you have done so. Don't hide your important documents. Tell family members where the papers are located before a crisis occurs. Choose your healthcare and financial proxies. Do you know who will make decisions for you if you are unable to communicate or are mentally incapacitated? Have a conversation with a trusted family member, friend, doctor, or lawyer and decide who will be your healthcare and financial proxies. Consider individuals who share your views about life and medical decisions. A trusted healthcare proxy should be someone who can easily communicate with family, friends, and healthcare professionals. This individual will not only have decision-making powers but will also have full access to confidential medical records.   Your durable power of attorney (DPOA) will have access to real estate, banking and financial transactions, personal and family maintenance, government benefits, estate trust, and beneficiary transactions. Because of the time and work required for this role, carefully consider this choice. Due to legal requirements of documents with this role, consult a professional, such as an attorney, in preparing the DPOA.   Healthcare Documents Doctors' names, their specialties and contact information Durable power-of-attorney for healthcare and HIPAA release Advanced healthcare directives such as Do Not Resuscitate Order and/or Do Not Incubate Order if you do not want CPR or a breathing tube Living will Medical history and medications taken regularly Copies of lifesaving prescriptions (like insulin, asthma inhalers, etc.) Copy of health insurance and prescriptions cards including Medicare and Medicaid Long-term care insurance policy Financial Documents List of all bank accounts (checking, savings, and credit union) including account numbers Location of safety deposit box and key Pension documents, 401(k) information, and annuity contracts Investments documents including savings bonds, stock certificates, and brokerage accounts Original property deeds Vehicle title and registration Documentation of loans and debts, including mortgage Durable financial power-of-attorney Social security information Copy of most recent income tax return Liabilities, such as property tax, including what is owed and to whom and when Partnership and corporate operating agreements Credit and debit card names and numbers; recent account statements End-of-Life Documents Will or revocable living trust Trust documents Life insurance policies End-of-life instruction letter for items not covered in the will More Essential Documents Marriage certificate Divorce decree(s) List of online usernames and passwords Military records for the individual and their spouse, including discharge record Birth certificate or adoption certificate Driver’s license, green card, and other identification cards Social Security card Passport Social media account login information (so that accounts may be closed if needed.) How to close online accounts instructions. Inventory of household goods Names and addresses of people to notify in case of an emergency Names and contact information for local clergy Names and contact information for the lawyer, accountant, and insurance agent Although it may seem like a lot of work to gather these documents in one place, having access to critical information in an emergency can reduce you and your family's stress. The best way to get started is to begin in one area or identify crucial documents. Good luck! …
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May
22

Stay Strong and Healthy, Guys, with Screenings

June has been a special month for men and their families since 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. We celebrate men and their essential role in the family and in the community. Men are husbands, fathers, sons, bosses, employees, and coworkers. June is also a great time to draw attention to the health issues that impact men and the importance of early detection, screenings, lifestyle changes, and medical attention that will improve the health and lives of those men.   For this reason, June has been designated as Men’s Health Month. According to the Men’s Health Network, the intention is “to heighten awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatments of disease among men and boys.”   Many communities will fill the month with screenings, health fairs, education, and outreach events designed to encourage men to seek regular medical care and early treatment of disease and injuries. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, statics show that getting some men to make their health a priority is not a simple matter. Doctor visits for annual exams and preventative medicine are 100% higher for women than men. This reluctance to seek regular medical attention may contribute to the fact that men have higher rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Men are two times more likely to have hearing loss and four times more likely to commit suicide than women. Dr. Kevin Billups of John Hopkins Medicine calls this “a crisis in men’s health. Chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and high cholesterol are causing men to die prematurely.”   As part of Men’s Health Month, the Men’s Health Network will sponsor Wear Blue on the Friday before Father’s Day. Businesses are encouraged to allow their employees to Wear Blue on that Friday. In fact, some businesses and schools that typically have a dress code for employees and students will allow the opportunity to break dress code for the day and wear blue in exchange for a donation to a men’s health organization, such as Men’s Health Network, or to a charity that promotes disease prevention.   What can women do as a mother, daughter, or wife? Men tend to be more reluctant to seek medical attention and to be forthcoming with their doctor. Women tend to pay better attention to healthy habits and research.  According to Dr. David Gremillion of the Men’s Health Network, “American men live sicker and die younger than American women.” Women are in an excellent position to encourage exercise and healthy eating. A mother, daughter, or wife can be an advocate for healthy lifestyle choices, remind the men in their lives to make appointments for annual screenings, and encourage men to be more proactive in seeking medical attention rather than procrastinate.    John Hopkins Medicine lists a number of screenings necessary to men’s health and the timing of those exams. While this is a general guideline, your doctor can recommend the best timing for you. The list includes annual visits for flu and pneumococcal shots, blood pressure check, and discussions regarding depression, sleep problems, and obesity. A colonoscopy is generally recommended every 10 years starting at age 50. Men over 60 are encouraged to get the Zoster shot for shingles.  Since prostate cancer is the most common cancer among men, the American Cancer Society recommends screening at the age of 50.   Just as early detection and treatment has increased the life expectancy of women, the same can happen for men as they become more proactive in obtaining regular screenings, making lifestyle changes, and seeking prompt medical attention.   For resources and more information: http://www.menshealthmonth.org/   …
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May
18

​Hepatitis A Vaccine – Should Seniors Receive the Vaccine?

Hepatitis A Vaccine – Should Older Adults Receive the Vaccine? By Christian Davis Furman, MD, MSPH, AGSF Medical Director, Exceptional Senior Living, Prospect Professor, Geriatric and Palliative Medicine, University of Louisville School of Medicine With the recent outbreak of Hepatitis A in Kentucky, older adults should consider receiving the vaccine.  Recently, Indiana public health officials recommended everyone traveling to the Kentucky Derby receive the vaccine.  In Kentucky, there have been over 400 cases of Hepatitis A with three deaths since August.  The reason for the outbreak is the opioid epidemic, with the homeless and drug-using populations being the most effected.  The Hepatitis A outbreak has occurred in Kentucky, Michigan and California, among other states. Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the Hepatitis A virus (HAV).  It can cause fever, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, dark urine, and jaundice.  The symptoms usually last less than 2 months, but some people have symptoms for up to 6 months.  Once you have had the virus and recovered, there is no chance that you will get it again.  People do die of Hepatitis A; however, it is only 0.9% of the cases.  Older adults and people with chronic liver disease have the highest chance of dying of Hepatitis A virus.  Hepatitis A is transmitted through the fecal-oral route.  The best way to prevent the spread of Hepatitis A is through good hand washing after using the restroom and before eating. International travel produces many cases of Hepatitis A. It is recommended that people traveling to countries with high rates of Hepatitis A are vaccinated before they travel.  Casual contact, as in the usual office, factory, or school setting does not transmit the virus. Cooked foods also can transmit HAV if the temperature during food preparation is inadequate to kill the virus or if food is contaminated after cooking, as occurs commonly in outbreaks associated with infected food handlers. Since older adults are more at risk of severe illness and dying of Hepatitis A, it is recommended that frail older adults receive the Hepatitis A vaccine.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that the vaccine be given to children at age one, persons who are at increased risk of infection, persons who are at increased risk for complications from Hepatitis A and anyone who would like to gain immunity (protection).  Frail older adults are at increased risk for complication from Hepatitis A; therefore, it is recommended that older adults receive the vaccine. The only contraindication to receiving the vaccine is for people with a history of a severe allergic reaction to a previous dose of hepatitis A vaccine or to a vaccine component. As with all vaccines, there is a precaution when giving it to anyone who is moderately or severely ill. No serious adverse events have been attributed definitively to hepatitis A vaccine. Among adults, the most frequently reported side effects are soreness at the site of the injection and headache.  Since it is not a live vaccine, people with a weakened immune system (immunocompromised patients) can still receive the vaccine.  The vaccine requires a booster dose 6 months after the original dose. This is especially important for older adults because older adults have a weakened immune system and need the booster shot to improve their immunity to the virus.  Some Medicare Part D plans pay for the vaccine, but not all plans.…
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About Exceptional Senior Living

Welcome to Exceptional Senior Living!

Exceptional Senior Living offers seniors the ability to maintain their independence and receive assistance with daily activities. Our beautifully landscaped grounds and comfortably refined atmosphere make Exceptional Senior Living the place seniors want to call home.

At Exceptional Senior Living, it's all about possibilities. Our residents are encouraged to savor each day by taking part in a variety of daily activities. With services that range from a salon and spa to a movie theatre, large courtyard, and putting green, there is always an amenity to enjoy.

Our fine dining team specializes in home-style favorites and provides a personalized restaurant-style dining experience for each person served. With our maintenance-free lifestyle, you can kick back and enjoy our library, fitness studio, putting green, or library.

With 24-hour personalized care, our well-trained staff provide discreet assistance in activities such as grooming, bathing, dressing and medication management.

Live life to the fullest at Exceptional Senior Living of Prospect!

Reserve your new senior apartment today by calling (502) 907-3778.