The Villages Florida, Fall 2023
In the News
5. Identifying the Right Real Estate Agent
11. The Best Senior Online and Print Magazine
4. Lunch & Learn – 12/8/2023
9. OurSeniors Radio
14. Movie Review:
“Sound of Freedom” a Movie with Purpose
16. OurSeniors Comedy/ Word Search
17. Crossword Puzzle
Finance & Retirement
10. It’s Never Too Early to Pre-Plan With Dignity Memorial
Health & Wellness
4. Introducing “Ask Dr. Q”
8. How Do Seniors Pay for Dental Care?
12. A Role Model, An Inspiration, and the Maker of a Movement: Joni’s Impact
15. Ten Godly Leadership Essentials
6. Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period is Coming Soon
9. Do You Know Where All of Your Assets Are Hiding?
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Disclaimer: The information published in this magazine and our website is intended for residents of the USA. The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors in this magazine and on this web site do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of OurSeniors.net Magazine or official policies of OurSeniors.net Magazine, OurSeniors Radio, OurSeniors Discounts, OurSeniors.org, Inc. and or its related entities. It may contain general information about medical conditions, public and private health service organizations and other third-party information including but not limited to testimonials. The information is not advice (legal, medical or otherwise) and should not be treated as such. Consult your licensed Professional such as Attorney and or Doctor etc. for further advice. No claim is made as to the accuracy, authenticity or completeness of any information and, is often provided in a generalized or summarized format for brevity. OurSeniors.net Magazine, LLC and or its subsidiaries, does not accept any liability for the information (nor for the use of any information) provided by this magazine and or website. The information presented by this magazine and website is provided on the basis that all viewers undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of the data related to their circumstances. Thank you for reading our magazine and visiting www.OurSeniors.net and please contact us if we can be of further assistance. All real estate advertised in OurSeniors.net is subject to the Federal Fair Housing Act. This federal law makes it illegal to advertise any preference, limitation or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin, or intention to make any such preferences, limitation, or discrimination. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which violates the law. All persons are hereby informed that all real estate advertised in OurSeniors.net is available on an equal opportunity basis. Information contained herein has been furnished by community owners, managers and agents. OurSeniors.net and or OurSeniors.online, OurSeniorsDiscounts.net and or OurSeniors.org, Inc. and OurSeniors.net Magazine, LLC do not make any representations as to opinions and facts. All terms and conditions of rentals are subject to change. OurSeniors.net reserves the right to refuse advertising space to anyone deemed unsuitable for placement in this publication. OurSeniors.net, OurSeniors.online, OurSeniorsDiscounts.net and or OurSeniors.org, Inc., and OurSeniors.net Magazine, LLC retains all rights reserved by copyright 2023 OurSeniors.net, and or OurSeniors.net Magazine, LLC. This publication or parts thereof may not be reproduced in any form without the written permission of the publisher. For further Disclaimer information please visit www.ourseniors.net and click Disclaimer on the footer of the website. Please note that websites and links are referenced in the magazine, and you may have complete access to our online version by visiting. www.ourseniors.net/editions.
To All OurSeniors Readers, Subscribers, Vendors, and Donors,
Are you looking to feel a sense of belonging, the satisfaction of helping others, and the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself? These are the things that we offer our readers and supporters when they get involved with OurSeniors.net.
Seniors are often subject to significant feelings of loneliness and isolation, as well as high rates of depression. A lot of this has to do with being far from family, not having any family and close relationships, and not having any form of support. What voice do these seniors have? What advocacy do they have access to if they aren’t actively seeking it?
These are the questions that the OurSeniors.net team asks every day. It’s why we do what we do. With everything that we publish, coordinate, and host, our mission is to raise awareness of the issues that seniors face and to present useful ideas that could positively affect this population. As we head further toward the holiday season, this becomes even more important.
Family Time As the Holidays Approach…
The holiday season brings feelings of warmth excitement, and closeness. However, this isn’t the case for everyone — especially those who don’t get to spend time with family. Time with family improves mental health, promotes more resilience, and helps to boost confidence.
This is true for people of any age but is extremely important for older adults. The holidays are the perfect time to enjoy close relationships with family, friends, and other acquaintances. The benefits are undeniable for those who spend a lot of time alone during other parts of the year.
We would like to encourage you to reach out to extended family any time you get the chance, to volunteer in your community, and to reach out to the OurSeniors.net team if you want to become more involved in the lives of seniors in your area.
Our Life Line
Donating to a good cause — one that you believe in and support, and that benefits those in need — can give us a sense of belonging. It can make donors feel more involved in the initiatives they support and closer to the people on the receiving end of their donation. Donating isn’t only something seen as a monetary benefit.
Donors are truly the lifeline of nonprofit organizations because their support is how a nonprofit can operate day-to-day and keep their resources free to the public. With that, we want to thank you for all you have done for OurSeniors.net, and what you continuously do.
As we aim for our goals, we take pride in knowing that we have a community behind us that wants to see our goals met just as badly as our team does. To get a view of where we are in our current endeavor(s) and how you can donate, find out more at OurSeniors.org.
-As always, you as a reader are part of everything that we achieve, and that will never go unnoticed.
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Give While Your Live!
Where can you get expert advice on senior health issues? There is a medical specialty whose practitioners are specifically trained in meeting the unique needs of seniors. OurSeniors.net is pleased to present a new feature, “Ask Dr. Q.” This feature will give OurSeniors readers a chance to get expert answers to specific senior-related health questions.
Meet Dr. Stephen Quaning, M.D. Dr. Quaning is Medical Director and Chief Physician at Metro Health, a medical practice dedicated to senior care. As a young boy, he served as a caregiver for his grandfather and saw the importance of personalized care for seniors. After graduating from medical school, Dr. Quaning completed his internal medicine residency and geriatric fellowship at New York’s prestigious Long Island Jewish Medical Center. In 2000, he became Board Certified in Geriatric Medicine.
Dr. Quaning believes that geriatric care should not merely extend life. It should also make senior years healthy, happy, involved, and productive. He has developed MetroHealth into one of the premier geriatric medical centers in Central Florida.
In our “Ask Dr. Q” feature, readers will have an opportunity to get answers to specific senior medical questions. Here is a great example-
Q? What is “Geriatrics”?
Answer- Geriatrics is a medical specialty that focuses on providing care for the unique needs of seniors. It aims to promote senior health by preventing, diagnosing, and treating diseases in older adults. Although there is great need, geriatrics is not a common medical specialty. According to the American Geriatrics Society, the U. S. had only 7,454 board-certified geriatricians (like Dr. Quaning) in 2021. This compares to over 91,000 physicians who were board-certified in Internal Medicine between 2001 and 2013.
Attaining board certification is a training process that ensures a high level of knowledge and skill in a specific area of medical practice. It includes years of training, passing a board examination, and a commitment to continued education, ensuring that the doctor has kept up with the latest advances. A board-certified geriatrician is the “gold standard” for senior medical care.
You may submit your question to Dr. Q by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimer. The information provided in Ask Dr. Q or on our website is intended for informational purposes only. It should not be construed as a substitute for professional medical advice. Please note that not all questions submitted may be answered. Always consult your physician or healthcare provider for medical advice. For additional Disclaimer information please visit ourseniors.net/disclaimer/
Finding the perfect real estate agent when you are a senior or retiree can be overwhelming. Sellers and buyers should aim to work with an agent who is experienced in working with older adults who are looking to downsize from the homes they have lived in for many years. For this reason, the National Association of Realtors have established a new classification of Senior Real Estate Specialists (SRES) who specialize in helping these under-represented communities as they navigate the financial complexities that come from selling and buying new homes to better suit their needs.
How Do I Know I’ve Found the Right Real Estate Agent?
It’s not always easy to pick the right Senior Real Estate Specialist. Here are some signs you’ve made a good choice:
1. Your SRES communicates often.
A good SRES will make themselves available to you. They should possess excellent verbal and written communication skills. You shouldn’t have to wait for a response and your inquiries should be addressed in full. A serious agent will anticipate follow-up questions and make you and your concerns a priority.
2. You enjoy being around your SRES.
This doesn’t mean you need to spend your free time talking about real estate; these types of boundaries are important to keep your sanity. But you are going to spend a lot of time communicating with each other, so your relationship with your SRES should be a positive one. If you dread talking on the phone or meeting in person, then it’s time you consider hiring somebody else.
3. Your SRES helps with pre-approval.
If you are buying a new home and have not spoken in-depth with a mortgage professional before you go out and look for a new place to live, the right Senior Real Estate Specialist will set up meetings for you and encourage you to get pre-approved before you begin your search. This ensures that you understand how much financing you qualify for and lets you know what you can reasonably afford.
4. Your SRES is proactive at every step.
Some real estate agents are naturally reactive and will wait until you provide them with a list of homes you are interested in. A proactive SRES will find out precisely what you need and do most of the heavy lifting by searching for and coming up with solutions to put you in the right place to suit your needs and desires.
5. Your SRES is completely honest with you.
An important sign of ethical behavior is showing honesty and integrity even when an agent knows that you may not want to hear the news. An honest SRES should put you ahead of profit and let you know precisely what your situation is even if your heart is set on a specific decision.
6. Your SRES wants to build a relationship.
Sometimes you just know you’ve found a great real estate agent before or after you make your sell-buy transaction with them. If your agent wants to establish a relationship before or after a transaction and is always available to answer your questions as a knowledgeable resource, then you can be confident that you have hired the right one for you.
7. Your SRES won’t give up easily.
Most real transactions run into some issue or problem, and it can make it difficult to stay positive about selling or buying a home. A good real estate agent won’t give up and will search for creative solutions to keep things moving along by uncovering ways to meet or exceed expectations.
OurSeniors.net aims to connect you with trusted and experienced vendors and service providers across various industries throughout Florida. Each vendor and service provider is carefully vetted and must agree and adhere to our Code of Ethics. One of our most trusted Real Estate agents working with seniors is Dulce Monahan of Adams Cameron Co-Realtors. She has over 22 years of experience helping individuals who are looking to downsize from their homes to residences that are more manageable and affordable for their precise needs. Dulce is a trained Senior Real Estate Specialist and a Certified Resident Specialist. Her primary service areas are Ormond Beach and Port Orange in the Volusia-Flagler region. She can be reached at 386-200-9144 or by visiting her website at beachhomesdaytona.com. You can also learn about her credentials by visiting our Approved Vendors page in our senior online magazine.
How long has it been since you thought about your Medicare insurance? We are talking about the supplemental coverage you have through companies like Humana, United Health, or Blue Cross. If you have not done this in the past, now is a good time to start. Soon, your mailbox and TV screen will be filled with reminders about Medicare’s Open Enrollment period. Each year, Open Enrollment runs from October 15 to December 7. It is wise to think about the options you have before the window opens.
But why should you consider making a change to your current policies? The most common reason is that you have changed yourself. In fact, this is almost inevitable! You probably joined Medicare when you were a youngster, aged 65. Hopefully, you were in good health, needed little medical care outside of routine checkups, and had healthy lifestyle habits. But that may have been years ago, and now your situation has changed.
By the time you have reached age 75 or 80, you may need new medical specialists, different drugs, medical devices, or services like physical therapy. The plan that was adequate for a healthy 65-year-old senior is no longer filling the need. Medicare’s designers knew that this would happen, and they planned for it, knowing that every year some seniors would want to make changes. Open Enrollment offers a chance to make changing easy.
Please note- It is possible to make changes outside of the Open Enrollment period, but only if you qualify for a SEP (Special Enrollment Period.) You will have to meet requirements like moving out of your old plan’s service area, losing your current coverage, or having a change in Medicaid status. This restriction makes it possible for insurance carriers to plan for a stable number of subscribers in the coming year.
What should you do before the Open Enrollment window starts? Take some time to think about your medical needs and “grade” your insurance plan’s performance. How well is that plan doing in meeting your needs? Doing this in a step-by-step manner will make it easier to choose the best option for yourself.
Start by making a list of all the providers you use. This includes physicians, labs, hospitals, pharmacies, and special services like physical therapy. Are all these doctors, drugs and other services covered by your current plan? If not, it may be time to think about a change.
Next, determine how much you have paid “out-of-pocket” for these services in the past year. “Out-of-pocket” expenses include deductibles, co-pays, out-of-network charges, etc. Many seniors are surprised by the cost of these “not covered” items in an insurance plan they thought was a bargain. Your current plan may seem like a bargain up front, but it turns out to be a costly mistake when all these extra costs are included.
A big type of uncovered services may be vision, hearing or dental expenses. Patients who started with Original Medicare and a Part D Prescription Drug plan probably have no vision or dental coverage. “Advantage plans” offer some vision and dental benefits. This added coverage may motivate you to
change to an Advantage plan. These plans often offer out-of-pocket savings compared to Original Medicare.
Keep in mind the types of changes you can make during Open Enrollment. You may change from Original Medicare to an Advantage plan, move from one Advantage plan to another, or change from an Advantage Plan to Original Medicare plus a Part D drug plan. If you make this choice, you will probably need a Medigap Supplemental plan. You can also switch between Part D plans.
Now is the time to think about this subject. Starting in early October, seniors will be bombarded with TV and mailbox advertising urging them to choose one plan or another. At best, these commercials are confusing. At worst, they can be misleading. They may use attractive phrases like “no additional premiums at all,” without mentioning limits on coverage or choice of providers. Seniors should be skeptical and investigate the details of each plan they consider. You can always reach out to Cynthia Batton from ASB Financial at 386-202-9304.
One source of dependable information is Medicare’s star rating system for Advantage plans. Each year, Medicare publishes a list of Advantage plans and rates their performance in meeting subscriber needs. These ratings will be published in early October, usually before Open Enrollment starts. OurSeniors.net will keep you up to date on these ratings and how you can use them.
Please keep coming back to OurSeniors.Net for the kind of information that helps you make the best choices. As your senior living magazine and online senior living magazine of choice, we will continue to inform you about topics like senior housing news, living in Florida, Social Security issues, and Medicare options.
Thanks for reading our blog and have a great day!
Have you had trouble finding affordable dental care? Original Medicare (Parts A and B) does not cover dental services like exams, cleanings, or dentures. Some Medicare Advantage plans offer limited dental benefits, but many seniors are totally without dental insurance, and the expenses can be very considerable! This situation is especially bad when a dental emergency arises and a senior is faced with unexpected expenses that can be hundreds of dollars.
If you are uninsured and would have difficulty paying for dental care, there are several options. It is wise to investigate these alternatives before you develop any acute problem that absolutely requires immediate attention. Because OurSeniors.Net is distributed state-wide in Florida and beyond, it is not possible to list all the possibilities. Instead, here are some suggestions for getting the local help you need.
The website, FreeDentalCare.us (386)-255-0238 provides a nationwide list of free and sliding scale dental resources. Go to the site, enter your zip code, and see what’s available. Entering an Orlando zip yielded ten free or sliding scale providers with contact information. Examples are Apopka Family Health Care Center (407)-905-8827 and Family Health Source Deltona (386)-202-6025. Results will vary by location.
Catholic Charities of Central Florida (407-658-1818, ex1069) operates several medical and dental clinics serving the needs of low-income patients. Contact them or see their website for more information. To be eligible, individuals must be uninsured and living at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. Volunteer professionals provide primary and specialty dental services.
Florida Free Dental Care Clinics (386)-202-6025 A free website maintained by volunteers. They work hard to make sure the information on these clinics is up to date and accurate. Information provided includes free dental clinics, sliding fee clinics, and low-cost clinics.
Needy Meds.org Helpline (800)-503-6897. Maintains a dental clinic list for Florida, including 230 free, low-cost, or sliding scale dental clinics in Florida. Website and contact information is provided for each clinic.
Need Help Paying Bills-Dental Care (863)-784-7020 Lists Florida free and low-cost dental clinics. These are non-profit or charitable dental clinics, where volunteer dentists or government programs provide free or reduced cost dental care to Florida patients. List includes details, phone numbers, and addresses of the offices. Dental care is given to low-income families, the elderly, uninsured, as well as children or adults in Florida. Medicare and Medicaid patients or those on disability can also get access to free or low-cost dental services.
Dental Assistance.us (Florida) (352)-732-6599 A directory of providers that displays low-cost dental clinic listings, information, comments, and reviews on these dental clinics.
Catholic Charities Free Medical Clinics (Tampa Bay Area) (813)-707-7376 Clinic provides dental referrals to uninsured patients.
As the old saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Nowhere is this truer than in dental health. Consistent attention to oral health will prevent minor problems from becoming an expensive emergency. Seniors who are not now getting regular dental care, including routine cleaning and exams, should use information like that above to find low-cost or free providers.
If you live near an urban area, there may be a health training facility that includes dentistry nearby. These programs offer low-cost preventive care by students who are supervised by experienced professionals. Here are some dental and dental hygiene training programs in Florida:
Daytona State College Dental Hygiene Clinic (DeLand, FL. (386)-785-2060 Daytona State College Dental Hygiene Clinic )
University of Florida College of Dentistry (Gainesville, FL. (352)-273-6700 Dental Care Appointment)
Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine (Fort Lauderdale, FL. (954)-678-2273 Nova Dental Care Appointment)
Valencia College Dental Hygiene Program (Orlando, FL. (407)-582-1305 Valencia Dental Clinic)
Santa Fe College Dental Programs (Gainesville, FL. (352)-395-5655 Santa Fe Dental Clinic)
Miami Dade College Dental Hygiene Program (Miami, FL. (305)-237-4142 Miami-Dade Medical Campus)
St. Petersburg College Dental Hygiene Program (St. Petersburg, FL. (727)-341-3668 St. Petersburg Dental Hygiene Clinic )
Dental conditions that are threats to overall health (abscesses, infections, sepsis, etc.) may require emergency room visits. If the ER providers can offer only symptomatic relief, they may be able to refer to local no-cost dental help.
Thank you for reading our blog! OurSeniors.Net strives to bring news you can use and helpful information. We are a senior living resource magazine, so please follow us for senior housing news, living in Florida articles, senior living resources and all-things-senior topics.
Typically speaking, the increasing cost of living in the U.S. is making it more difficult for people to prepare for a comfortable retirement life. Many people who qualify for retirement are forced to find ways to supplement their income so that they can enjoy retirement as long as possible. While financial education has improved throughout the decades, it’s getting harder to live comfortably without having to search for assets.
Start with Retirement Accounts
Some of the first things people think about when they consider assets are: properties, homes, vehicles, and retirement accounts. A good financial advisor will typically suggest first withdrawing from your retirement accounts in the following order: taxable accounts, tax-deferred accounts, and Roth accounts. The idea behind this is to allow anything you can defer your taxes on to grow over time.
Another approach for seniors and retirees who rely on a relatively even income year over year is to make proportional withdrawals. A target withdrawal amount is determined each year and the accounts holder would take money from each account according to each one’s percentage of their overall savings. This results in a more stable tax bill during retirement and could lower lifetime taxes and raise after-tax income over one’s golden years.
Look into Life Settlements
The majority of people aren’t aware of this option as a means to turn life insurance policies into cash to use for a variety of reasons. A Life Settlement is a specialized transaction where the policy owner can sell an unnecessary part of a life insurance plan and get cash for more than the policy owner would have gotten from the insurer had he or she allowed the policy to lapse or be surrendered.
This area in the market is relatively new and most financial advisors are tied to selling Life Settlements to a handful of buyers. But policy owners can sell them on the aftermarket to many more buyers. Why settle for just two or three entities when policy owners can split and sell their policies to hundreds of buyers and get more cash in return? The best part of all this is that most life insurance policies qualify, including survivorship, term life, universal life, whole life, and variable life.
You must speak with a financial advisor and tax attorney before taking action. One of our most trusted legal service providers is Andrew C. Grant. Since 2001, Mr. Grant has been practicing law in the Volusia and Flagler counties area and is a trusted legal service expert in the areas concerning administering estates, business planning, drafting wills & trusts, elder law, tax disputes, and general tax planning. He is a tax law expert and is a frequent contributor of free legal articles to OurSeniors.net Online and Print Magazine.
Our growing non-profit started in 2016 and OurSeniors.net publication has reached a readership of over 130,000 across the state of Florida. One of the more important services we provide is searching and identifying vendors and service providers who are just as committed to serving Florida Retirement Communities across the state’s six major regions. Through our Approved Vendors Directory – see page 22 & 23, we are confident that Seniors receive the same rights as younger people and don’t fall prey to nefarious schemes and scams. Each vendor and service provider must adhere, in writing, to our Code of Ethics.
For many older Americans, making plans for what will happen after death is a difficult subject to bring up with friends and family. It’s estimated that nearly 50% of people avoid talking about death altogether, and factors like culture, finances, relationships, and health that make talking about the future and funeral planning even more challenging. But one unyeilding fact of life is that no one lives forever, and planning ahead is a great way to alleviate some of the stress survivors will experience when their loved ones pass.
Be Proactive About Your Future Plans
Planning ahead for your funeral, cremation, or celebration of life is a way to give yourself, friends, and family peace of mind. Your final wishes are respected, and you take an active role in creating reasonable solutions to unforeseen situations. No two people are exactly alike, and a one-size fits all plan doesn’t work. When you work with a quality funeral home you can rest assured that you will have guidance throughout the planning phases. Discussing end-of-life services and making decisions together encourages honesty within families and will help to prevent any disagreements that may arise among family members after one’s death.
Benefits of Planning with Dignity Memorial
When the time comes to plan ahead with a funeral, you can trust Dignity Memorial, a chain of funeral homes, cremation, and cemeteries with over 1900 locations. Dignity Memorial has long-standing ties with the communities they serve and is the preferred full-service provider by those seeking celebration of life guidance and grief assistance. A few of their benefits include:
Relocation Protection – If you have a prepaid plan and you want to transfer that plan to another location, Dignity Memorial will move the entire plan to one of its over 1,900 locations throughout North America. Through its relocation protection, you can rest assured you won’t be tied down to a single location or region.
Lifetime Flexibility – Dignity Memorial offers flexibility on all its plans throughout the life of those plans. This means that if want to make changes to your end-of-life arrangements as circumstances change, you can do so without hassle. Dignity Memorial will help you every step of the way.
Purchase Protection – If you pass away and leave behind an outstanding balance on your cemetery property, your family may be eligible for financial assistance of up to $5,000 with Dignity Memorial’s Purchase Protection Plan. The purchaser needs to be at least 65 years of age.
Family First Cost Protection – If you have a plan with Dignity Memorial and experience the death of either an unmarried child or grandchild under 2 years of age, Dignity Memorial will cover the costs of cremation services, funeral services, and cemetery internment at the same level as your own plan.
100% Service Guarantee – Every location of the Dignity Memorial family provides a 100% service guarantee to ensure they get every plan detail accurate the first time for every family they serve. If families are unsatisfied or Dignity Memorial gets a detail wrong, they offer a refund for a portion of that service.
Compassion Helpline – From time to time, families need professional grief counselors to help them cope with a loss. Dignity Memorial partners with Charles Nechtem Associates, Inc. to provide access to a Compassion Helpline. It’s a complimentary phone service offering assistance for up to 13 months after a loved one passes.
Free Online Obituary – Obituaries help families keep the memories of loved ones through shared experiences and photographs provided by survivors. All of Dignity Memorial’s services include a free online obituary without cut-off dates or restricted access.
Travel Assistance – Dignity Memorial works with various international and national travel agencies to help family members get to where they need to be. This comes in handy when arrangements are time-sensitive or finances are limited. Dignity Memorial will find the best options to make travel easy during this difficult time.
Dignity Memorial are dedicated, local professionals committed to getting all the details right by carefully listening and guiding each family through meaningful life celebrations. Dignity Memorial has three Florida locations, including Volusia Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Ormond Beach 386-703-3673, Craig Flagler Palms Funeral Home, Memorial Gardens and Crematory in Flagler Beach 386-854-3565, and Volusia Memorial-Port Orange 386-854-3799 in Port Orange.
The team at OurSeniors.net strives to build relationships with trusted vendors and service providers throughout the state. Since 2016, our senior online and print magazine has established meaningful partnerships by carefully vetting businesses that adhere to our Code of Ethics before they make our Approved Vendors Directory. Check out all our partners’ discounts and coupons in our quarterly senior publication which is now available entirely in Spanish or as a bilingual edition in some areas.
It’s estimated that nearly 70 percent of adults over the age of 65 go online each day to stay connected with the world around them. They are active on social media and visit other sites where they get up-to-date information about everything from health to law to special interest topics. And with the internet becoming far more accessible to senior communities, it’s safe to say seniors are becoming less intimidated by advancements in technology.
Resources Available at No Cost
Here at OurSeniors.net we have welcomed a growing community of interested and informed readers and have made it easier to deliver important resources to their homes through our quarterly online and print magazine. Our blog and articles cover a wide range of topics from entertainment to finance & retirement to health & wellness to inspirational stories to legal.
Carefully Vetted Approved Vendors
We carefully vet all our Approved Vendors and ensure they uphold our organization’s Code of Ethics. All vendors must acknowledge, in writing, that they will adhere to all standards outlined in every interaction with all our customers, covering a wide range of services, including Assisted Living, Automotive, Finance, Food Service, Funeral Planning, Hospitality, Legal, and Medical.
Great Offers from Our Vendors
In each of the print editions of our magazine, we provide exclusive regional offers from our coupon directory from our approved list of vendors. And since we understand that different regions cater to different needs of our readers, our featured advertisers cover all of Florida and provide some of the best discounts to our senior and retiree communities.
Free Lunch & Learn Series
Within the last year, we have resumed hosting our Free Lunch & Learn Series which covers educational lunch meetings on a wide range of topics useful to seniors and retirees, including medical and dental care, elder law, estate law, and other topics each month. The series started years ago and achieved tremendous success, but we had to suspend the meetings due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Award Winning Non-Profit
In 2021 OurSeniors.org won the Volusia-Flagler County SCORE award for Non-Profit Client of the Year and for the 5th consecutive year, we have maintained an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Additionally, in March 2022 we were chosen to be one of the non-profit groups to benefit from the Fight for Life Golf Series.
Growing Number of Subscribers
With over 130,000 subscribers, our senior online and print magazine serves 25 counties across six major regions throughout Florida, including Central Florida, Northeast Florida, South Florida, The Villages, Tampa Bay, and Southwest Florida. We now have the Spanish Online Version available to serve the needs of our Hispanic residents in many areas.
We strive to keep our senior and retiree communities informed and ask that you help keep our non-profit organization going strong by visiting OurSeniors.org or by calling 800-647-0868 and donating today. Each donation gives you online access, weekly newsletters, coupons & discounts, and a mailed print copy four times a year.
You may have heard Joni Eareckson Tada story…the survivor of a tragic diving accident that resulted in quadriplegia, a two-year rehab, and a path ahead of potential hurdles that weren’t yet known. If you know her story, you might have also heard of her triumph over everything that was thrown her way after experiencing a life-changing incident.
While there was the immediate shock by the accident and of course, the disbelief that it occurred, Joni Eareckson Tada eventually overcame the unexpected, and today, she is still overcoming what is seen as a disability. But she isn’t only doing it for herself…she’s doing it for the 1 billion people who have disabilities across the globe. Joni is living proof that success and the ability to thrive remain possible for those with disabilities.
Joni’s name stands out even more today as a visionary, author, radio host, artist, and founder of Joni and Friends, an organization dedicated to serving people with disabilities. Her journey from a tragic accident to becoming an inspiration to millions is nothing short of remarkable. Her life has quite literally transformed tragedy and turned it into motivation, which has touched the hearts of innumerable admirers and given strength to those who need it most.
Joni’s Story and the Foundation She Is Laying
Joni’s story is one that took many by surprise — including herself. On July 30, 1967, while swimming with her sister in the Chesapeake Bay, she swam out to a raft anchored offshore. She misjudged how shallow the water was and dove in. That dive caused a fracture between her fourth and fifth cervical vertebra leaving her paralyzed from the shoulders down.
This was a type of incident that could have happened to anyone, at any time and while accidents happen every day, on that particular day… someone who had no idea how strong she was…or how strong she was going to become, gained a new outlook on life.
Just 9 years later, Joni wrote about her experiences and shared her thoughts on her life story. Her recollection of her past incident and where she is now turned into an unexpected transformation that even she hadn’t anticipated…a best-selling autobiography that left an impact on people worldwide.
While you might not be able to tell that she didn’t initially intend to write her biography, she says that a publisher initiated the idea after seeing her being interviewed on TV. After moving forward with the idea, seeing her life in print likely reassured her that the publisher made a great call. Joni was surprised to see her written work skyrocket to the status of “#1 international bestseller”.
It’s not hard to see why the Joni book became such a popular story. It laid the foundation for Joni and Friends, a foundation that actively does everything it can to support all people with disabilities through practical help and Gospel hope.
Joni has said, “I am filled with amazement at how God has used my broken neck to touch the lives of people with broken hearts, broken marriages, and so much more.” Thinking of others in this way is how she’s become so well-known, well-liked, and well-respected.
Facing the Challenges of Quadriplegia
As Joni faced the challenges that quadriplegia presented, others — both directly and indirectly — learned from her truth, struggles, and perseverance. She mentioned that a friend shared 10 very specific words with her that changed her life;
“God permits what he hates, to accomplish what he loves.”
Joni always passes these words along. For her, these words meant that God permitted what he hated. Her broken neck resulted in quadriplegia. What he loved was the opportunity for her to share the good news of Jesus with thousands of others who have disabilities. With that, she quoted Ephesians 1:11:
“God works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”
Throughout her life, Joni has fought for more hope for those with disabilities. During the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), she described her feelings in two words…. “Relief” and “Rejoicing”!
She experienced relief knowing that those with disabilities would have better access to jobs, and public accommodations and that additional possibilities were endless. She rejoiced that with the ADA, more doors would be opened to provide better opportunities for those with disabilities.
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush appointed Joni to the former National Council on the Handicapped. Now, it’s better known as the National Council on Disability. In this role, she was able to pave the way toward the signing of the Americans With Disabilities Act and at the time, she may not have realized just how thankful people with disabilities would be for her dedication.
Global Opportunities for Those With Disabilities…What Joni Hopes to See in the Future
Joni says that those with disabilities may never fully be embraced…not until global cultures start to recognize them for the dignity and strength they have regardless of a physical impairment. These are things that she has worked hard to help the world understand…that the opportunities for people with disabilities are endless and that you never truly lose your power even when you feel that you have.
This is also why Joni strives to work hard at Joni and Friends where, even at the Florida location, she promotes a biblical worldview on disability. That image is a worldview that celebrates every disabled person as they were created in the image of God. More of this, is what anyone should hope for.
Spreading the Feeling of Thankfulness Through Support
If there was one lesson that Joni Tada could teach the world, she says that she would teach the principle behind Corinthians 12:9-10 where God said to the apostle Paul;
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in your weakness.”
As a result, Paul happily replied,
“Therefore, I will boast gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Joni echos Paul’s sentiment. She is known as a strong person and an inspiration for those who don’t see themselves in the way that they wish they could. However, she knows that many people think she’s a strong person but she says she’s not. Joni says that she is very weak and while you might wonder why, she states that it’s because quadriplegia is hard.
For anyone, this type of disability would be a struggle, and this is why she takes her weakness to God every morning. God then gives her the power and strength to smile throughout the day. That smile and that strength are contagious enough to touch others as well.
Joni Eareckson Tada is known as a voice for those with disabilities and while her journey is an inspiration she reminds us that every now and then regardless of how far you’ve come, you can still feel overwhelmed.
Recently, Joni spent 25 days in the hospital with a serious respiratory infection. The experience was, for her, overwhelming. But now, she’s back to work at Joni and Friends, helping to give the good news of Jesus to those with disabilities across the globe.
She is thankful for her recovery because now she’s able to breathe well and has the stamina to sit up throughout the day and help people in any way that she can. The strength she finds when she is down, she works to help others find the same.
Joni and Friends In Florida
Now that you know her story, her mission, and her vision…consider being a part of it. You can join in on extending gospel-centered care and gospel-adorned hope (as the ministry mentions), and help to connect families with Christ and provide them with support by working with Joni and Friends-Florida.
To get involved visit; https://joniandfriends.org/florida/ or call (321) 966-9680.
How long has it been since you went to a movie that made a lasting impression on you? Right now, there is one in theatres that will cause you to shudder, to feel anger and to really sympathize with the victims portrayed.
This movie, “Sound of Freedom.” addresses a very distressing problem, one that many of us would rather not know about. The abuse of children for any reason makes most people uncomfortable, but the sexual abuse of a young child is truly disgusting. It is difficult to think about this, but the truth is that human trafficking, including trading in young children, is real and not uncommon. It goes on around the world, including here in the United States.
On its face, “Sound of Freedom” might be viewed as simply a good-guy verses bad-guy action movie. It tells the story of Tim Ballard, an American anti-human trafficking activist. In real life, Mr. Ballard is a former special agent for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security who quit his job to devote himself to fighting human trafficking, especially child trafficking. OurSeniors.net Team can guarantee that you will be affected by this film.
Made on a relatively low budget by independent producers, it went more than three years after completion without being released in theatres. Major studios and film distributers ignored the film, thinking that it would be a market “flop.” They were wrong! After the distribution rights were acquired by Angel Studios, the film was released in American theatres and to date has grossed over 130 million dollars. It has been viewed by more people than the latest “Mission Impossible” sequel.
The acting and production values are first class, and the dialog is well written and convincing. The cinematography is excellent; scenes shot in the wilderness of a Columbian jungle or inside a government office are professional and convincing. Many movies of this type are hackneyed attempts at exploiting a sensational subject. “Sound of Freedom” is not. A few minutes into this story you will be gripped by the thought of how evil the exploitation of children really is. Imagine the terror felt by a young boy and his sister as they are kidnapped by child traffickers, taken far from home, and forced into child prostitution.
Mind you, these victims are not even adolescents, they are kindergarten or elementary age children forced into child prostitution by evil adults. The scenes of child abuse are handled well by the producers- they never become graphic, but they will fill you with the terror and revulsion that these innocent children must feel. It is hard to believe that any adult would engage in or profit from this criminal activity, but apparently there is no shortage of such people.
As competent as the movie’s adult actors and production people are, the real stars in “Sound of Freedom” are the young boy and girl who play the part of kidnapped siblings. They are outstanding actors who will quickly earn your sympathy, hoping for their eventual rescue. The story has many twists and turns and is not always encouraging, but it will command your attention and you will not forget this subject.
Angel Studios deserves credit for having faith in this previously hidden gem. They picked it up when major movie distributors would not, and they have been well rewarded. At 130 million dollars + and climbing it has done extremely well.
You can get more information about the film at www.angel.com/tickets/sound-of-freedom. This site has a link that will tell you where Sound of Freedom is playing near you, and you may even purchase tickets directly on the web. The “Sound of Freedom” trailer on the site will give you some idea of what to expect when you see this movie.
OurSeniors.net is happy to bring you news you can use and helpful information. We believe that seniors will find this movie entertaining and informative. Perhaps it will motivate some seniors to get involved in fighting this unspeakable evil. Please follow us for senior housing news, living in Florida articles, senior living resources and all-things-senior topics.
Leadership is a popular topic that I’ve often been asked to teach on, but I’ve been reluctant to do so. In my eyes, being a godly leader is all about following the Lord and cultivating a strong relationship with Him. So even though I am a leader, I’ve never pursued leadership roles or mentors in that area.
Despite that, I now lead a global team of 1,100 employees and oversee numerous schools and worldwide broadcasts in multiple languages. In other words, I have found myself in a leadership position without actively pursuing it because when you choose to follow the Lord, you automatically become a good leader.
There are a lot of people who learn their leadership principles from the world, but Jesus said, “he that is greatest among you shall be your servant” (Matt. 23:11), and He demonstrated this by the way He served us and gave His life for us.
Here are a few of what I consider to be the top ten essentials of godly leadership:
Relationship with the Lord
The number one essential quality is having a relationship with the Lord. We should only expect people to follow us as well as we follow Jesus Christ. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” He was basically saying the same thing I’m trying to say, which is that the best leaders are also good followers. And if you’re not a good follower—if you don’t have a close relationship with God, and you’re not being led by God—you’ll be a bad leader or lead people in the wrong direction.
The second attribute that’s essential to godly leadership is humility, which also comes out of intimacy with the Lord. Humbling yourself in true relationship with God means you aren’t running your life. It means you’ve surrendered your life over to the Lord as a living sacrifice (Rom. 12:1).
In Isaiah 42:8, God said about the Son, ‘I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another.’ God is not going to give his glory to anybody but Jesus. So, if you are in ministry to magnify yourself, you are going to wind up with God fighting against you, and what you’re doing won’t work.
When you put God and other people ahead of yourself, you won’t get stressed out or burned out. If you are really spending time in the presence of the Lord, I guarantee it’ll stop you from operating in pride, which is Satan’s biggest inroad into your life.
Character and Integrity
The third essential quality of godly leadership is character and integrity. If you have truly put God first in your life, it will produce character and integrity in you. There won’t be any struggle to lie, cheat, steal or anything like this—because He’s the one running your life.
Putting God first automatically produces character and integrity. It’s not something you have to seek out; it’s just a byproduct of relationship with God. Satan can’t tempt you with the things of this world because you don’t care. That’s the way I live my life. I haven’t pursued anything except God, and therefore I’ve become a trustworthy leader.
In conclusion, if the Lord is number one in your life and you aren’t exalting yourself, I guarantee that God will speak to you and guide you to where you need to go. God’s the one that put the call on each person’s life. He has a purpose for your life, and He will make your life better than you could ever dream of on your own. But it all comes out of relationship with the Lord. Proverbs 3:5 says to “trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” The best thing you can do is not to run your own life but to be a living sacrifice instead!
If this teaching blessed you, visit my website at awmi.net where you’ll find additional free teachings and resources, along with the rest of the ten godly essentials for leadership. If you need prayer, I encourage you to call my Helpline at 719-635-1111 where one of my trained prayer ministers would love to agree with you in prayer.
We love you,
Andrew & Jamie