One of the most frequent complaints I get from my senior friends is about Medicare!
They often refer to it as a “necessary evil” and they don’t ever know where to start!
Can you get Part B with Part D and what about my Social Security disability benefits?
Fortunately, I can help- please come to the “Medicare 101- The Basics” luncheon at Stow-Glen on 11/1 to learn more from a local expert, Beth Kamer. She will cover each “part” that makes up Medicare as well as those products that work with original Medicare. We will all learn what the “donut hole” is and how it is calculated. She holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Social Work are from Ohio State University. She has 23 years of experience in Hospitals, home care, nursing homes, senior center and Elder Law. Also, she has been an independent Insurance Agent for 3 years, working with Medicare products only. Believe it or not, she actually enjoys working with seniors and families to educate them on Medicare options! Attendees are encouraged to bring questions and challenges they’ve faced!
My elderly dad hasn’t seen his doctor in 3 years, what should we do?
Believe it or not, this is a rather common issue. Since an elderly person will have probably been in the hospital or is seeing specialists for heart care, kidney care, eye care, hearing care, etc, their prescriptions and therapies are handled by that doctor and they don’t feel the need to go see their Primary Care Physician. In some cases, their PCP has retired and now they don’t feel a connection, or a need to go see “that new guy!”
Here are some thoughts on seeing a PCP at least once per year, in addition to the specialists:
- Have a yearly physical to establish a baseline: Your PCP can get data from the specialists to create goals for your heart rate, cholesterol, weight, etc.
- Medication management: Your PCP can help weed out redundant medications or advise on medications that might be possibly stopped.
- Preventive care: Colonoscopy, Osteoporosis, Prostate, Depression screenings. Weight management. All those fun things we don’t want to talk about? Your PCP loves to talk about those things!
Well, Mom has admitted that living at home is no longer good for her. She wants to live in a place where she can be active, have friends and get a little care. So… NOW WHAT? How do you choose the best place? Is the “best place in town” the best place for her? Is the newest, most expensive place the best for her? Here are some tips for when you tour various places:
- Get feedback from residents and families. Online ratings are easy to see but aren’t very trustworthy- ask someone you know and trust!
- Eat a meal at the property. Ask to see the menu for the month. Is it something Mom will enjoy? Some places offer a gourmet menu 3 times a day and the seniors don’t necessarily like it! Some places offer pickled beets and liver and the residents go nuts for it!
- Visit the outdoors areas. Is everything clean, quiet and accessible? Are there green areas with room to relax and get fresh air?
- Trust your instincts. As you are touring make sure you think about your loved one actually living at the community. Do they feel comfortable and at ease? Do they feel at home? Are the staff and residents open, inviting and friendly? The staff at a senior living community must have the mindset that “They work in your home- you do not live at their work!” Always remember to follow your instincts and your heart.