The Importance of Pets

Those of us who are pet owners all know how important pets are to our lives. Their unconditional love and affection brings out our instincts for nurturing, and provides enrichment to daily life.

But pets are more than just important family members. They can actually help to reduce stress and possibly even risk for heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, pet ownership seems to be associated with a reduction in heart disease risk factors such as high cholesterol and blood pressure levels.

Dog ownership in particular may also help with reducing obesity by encouraging owners to stay active – Your furry friend most likely needs to go for regular walks. Owning a dog can be particularly beneficial to seniors who may feel lonely, as owning a dog often leads to socializing with other pet owners when taking it for walks or visiting the dog park.

For seniors who may not be able to leave home as easily, caring for a pet can help fight against depression. A pet can be a constant companion who is always there for you, helping to prevent isolation and loneliness.
We invite you to have your small pet live with you at Brooking Park. Small dogs are always allowed, with no extra deposit required.

What is Assisted Living?

Anyone who is researching care for their loved one is likely to be a bit overwhelmed by the number of options. You might see information about  residential care, board and care, or personal care facilities. These terms are all the same – they are all different terms for assisted living. You might find yourself asking the question: What is assisted  living, and what does it provide?

According to eldercare.gov, assisted living is a “housing alternative for older adults who may need help with dressing, bathing, eating, and toileting, but do not require the intensive medical and nursing care provided in nursing homes.” Assisted living was created to help seniors that are not able to fully function in an independent living setting, but are not in need of full-time skilled nursing care.

Since there is no national standard for assisted living in the US, and assisted living facilities are licensed by state, different facilities will offer different services. Some of the services that may be provided by assisted living facilities include:

  • Health care management and monitoring
  • Help with activities of daily living such as bathing, dressing, and eating
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Medication reminders and/or help with medications
  • Recreational activities
  • Security
  • Transportation

Assisted living facilities come in all shapes and sizes. Some are urban campuses while others may be a suburban community. Still others may have a resort-like feel. It is best to visit any facility to find out if it is right for your loved one.

Costs of assisted living vary by facility and location. According to eldercare.gov, costs can range from $25,000 per year to $50,000 per year. Some facilities charge extra for certain services, so it is important to ask that of any facility you may visit. Medicare does not cover costs for assisted living, but in some states Medicaid will pay for the service part of it.

If you are considering assisted living for your loved one, don’t forget to visit Brooking Park! You can call 314-576-5545 with any questions you might have or come by for a visit today.

Helping Seniors Avoid Holiday Scams

Keep your money safe from scams this holiday season.
Image via Wikimedia commons

This holiday season, help your loved one (or yourself) watch out for scams. Scammers often target seniors during the holiday season, since it is a time when people are frequently spending money on gifts. These tips from FBI.gov will help you protect yourself- and your money!

There are a few reasons why seniors are more likely to be the targets of scams:

  • Senior citizens are most likely to have savings, own their home, or have good credit.
  • It is likely they were raised to be polite and trusting, traits which con artists can easily exploit.
  • Seniors are less likely to report scams due to shame, or not knowing who to report to.
  • The effect of age on memory means that the elderly may be less able to supply enough detailed information when reporting to investigators.
  • Senior citizens may be more interested in products promising benefits such as increased cognitive function or anti-cancer properties.

There are a few different types of fraud that seniors may encounter. Healthcare or health insurance fraud may involve scammers offering “free” products or lab tests that are then charged to the victim’s insurance or Medicare.

A few ways to avoid these scams:

  • Never sign blank insurance forms or give your provider full authorization to bill for services.
  • Avoid doing business with salespeople, either on the phone or in person, who offer free equipment or tests.
  • Do not give out your Medicare information to anyone other than those providing medical services.

Telemarketing scams are also common. Scammers will offer prizes, discounted health care products and vacation deals over the phone. They will often pressure the victim by claiming the offer is only good for a short time, or insist on the victim sending a check or money order before they can fully consider the offer.

A few tips to avoid telemarketing scams:

  • Check out unfamiliar companies with the Better Business Bureau or National Fraud Information Center before doing business with them.
  • Pay for services only after they are delivered.
  • Don’t pay for a “free prize” if one is offered.
  • Don’t make a snap decision – legitimate companies will give you time to consider an offer.
  • Never send money, credit card information or personal information to unfamiliar companies or people.
  • If an offer is “too good to be true”, it probably is.

You can read more information about various types of scams and how to avoid them at FBI.gov. Be sure to stay safe this holiday season!