Should You Have a Health Care Power of Attorney?

The simple answer is “Yes, you should definitely have a health care power of attorney for yourself and loved ones.”  This is a good place to remind you of the broader topic of planning for a senior life transition. The health care power of attorney (HCPA) and the living will are two of several legal documents that should be part of a successful transition to a happy senior life. The legal documents required will vary according to your personal situation; however, a will, a living will and an HCPA are basic preparations that people should make. They are not expensive and having them can save you, your spouse or other loved ones from a good deal of grief and expense. A “power of attorney” is a legal document that gives one person (sometimes called the “agent”) the legal power to act on behalf of another individual. This power may be a very broad, general power or it may be a limited, special...
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Music and Alzheimer’s Patients

All of us associate music with some important event or a particular time in our lives. Often, the connection is so powerful that hearing a song or tune from long ago evokes a forgotten memory or emotion. Unlike many other memories and associations, patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease seem to remember many of those associated with music. This is probably true because not much cognitive “thinking” activity is required to respond to musical stimulation. A large amount of technical and medical information is available on this subject, but this article concentrates on the practical aspects of using music to communicate and interact with people suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. How can the caretaker or loved one use the ability of music to communicate with these patients? Listening to music brings out emotions and can change the mood of all persons, including Alzheimer’s patients. This is true even in advanced stages of the disease, when other forms of communication are growing less...
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Are you looking for an Assisted Living Facility in the Jacksonville area?

                  If it’s Jacksonville, Atlantic Beach, Fernandina Beach, Ponte Vedra or even St. Augustine and you or your loved one is looking for an Assisted Living Facility, call on us. We are here to give you personalized tours and service. Call FindingAssistedLiving.com at 866-333-2657...
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Exercise and Aging

You may be under the impression that exercise is less beneficial in old age than it was in your youth. This is wrong!  In fact, the opposite is most often true: as you age, regular exercise is more important than ever. A recent study, combining results from Sweden and the United States, found that exercise was the single most important factor in determining longevity. Physical activity was more important than any other factor studied, even more important than the Body Mass Index, or BMI, that is often cited. BMI measures how “fat” you are. Obesity is the factor most often named as a cause of poor health and reduced life expectancy. However, this study found that persons who were moderately overweight but physically active lived an average of 3.1 years longer than those who were at a normal weight but had a sedimentary lifestyle. Please do not misinterpret this; it does not mean that keeping your weight within normal limits is...
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The Challenges of Living Independently After Retiring

Everyone wants to remain as independent as possible after retiring. The ability to live independently depends on a number of factors, and there is a great range of abilities to meet these challenges. Some people seem to age well for years, even decades after retiring while others encounter difficulties quickly. The passage of time cannot be halted, but this does not automatically mean that independent living must be sacrificed. Each person or couple has their own unique circumstances to consider, but some challenges are common to many, if not all, retirees. Let’s think about the most common obstacles to independent living. Physical limitations The biggest thing that many retired people fear is losing the ability to perform the common, everyday tasks essential to an independent lifestyle. Climbing stairs, routine housework or maintenance, cooking, bathing, toileting or simply dressing oneself may become so difficult that remaining in your home is not reasonable. If possible, the best way to deal with physical health problems is...
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How Do I Choose An Assisted Living Facility?

How Do I Choose An Assisted Living Facility?

Many people will have to answer this question, either for themselves or for a much beloved family member. This may be one of the most important and difficult matters any of us ever face. It is a choice that will have lasting, far reaching effects on the happiness, health and well-being of the person involved. Unfortunately, most people are not prepared or qualified to make this choice. After all, very few of us think about it before we are forced to do so. When the time comes, most people have little background knowledge and no idea of where to turn for trustworthy, knowledgeable advice. First, you should understand what the term “assisted living facility” (ALF) actually means. An assisted living facility is a form of senior housing that blends independent, private living space with some level of support service.  The level of support services offered may vary, but it generally includes housekeeping, meal prepara­tion, assistance with daily living functions and some level...
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Is it Alzheimer’s?

Is it Alzheimer’s?

More and more people are aware of and concerned about Alzheimer’s disease. Unquestionably, this awareness and concern is a good thing, but it can also cause confusion and lead to needless worry.  When a young adult forgets an appointment, a deadline or the name of a movie, they may be excused as “being too busy” or “having too much to think about”. The same lapse of memory in an older person may cause those around them to immediately think of Alzheimer’s. It is important to know that the normal age-related memory changes experienced by many people are not a sign of dementia or Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is not a normal sign of aging. Many factors related to health and lifestyle can affect memory. Depression, thyroid problems, overuse of alcohol, some types of vitamin deficiencies and use of “recreational drugs” are a few of the factors that can cause memory problems in people of any age. These causes are treatable, reversible and not...
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