Darien, CT, Alzheimer's Support Group

The Darien Community Association
The Visiting Nurse/ Hospice Care of SW. CT

Alzheimer's Support Group
For Caregivers

Invited to attend are caregivers of persons
with diagnosis of Alzheimer's who seek
to improve care and coping by giving
voice to their emotions and sense of loss

Second Wednesday of each month 12 noon-1:00pm
Starting December 9
Limited group seize requires pre-registrationon a first come basis

Facilitator: Edward Simas, Ph.D
Counselor: Transition/loss VNHC

For more information,
please contact the DCA 655-9050

Seniors Are Big Internet Users

One of the frustrations I've faced in my Aging in Place volunteer work is the commonly held notion by my fellow board members that seniors ("matures") do not use the Internet. I have been lobbying for the creation of a website and the use of email to reach out to the community of seniors. But now I have proof that using the Internet to get out our information makes sense!

Research by CTAM, the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, shows that seniors are heavy users of email and online shopping. Of folks 65 and over, 77% shop online. And 94% regularly use email.

More interesting statistics are available at: http://www.ctam.com/html/news/releases/091027.htm .

I first read the information at the Center for Media Research.

Reverse Mortgages May Be Too Expensive

If you're thinking of taking out a reverse mortgage so that you can afford to age in place, here's something you should consider: the interest is not deductible until you pay the loan off. Add this to the high interest rates charged, and you might be better off taking out a home equity line of credit. That means not only are the interest rates on such mortgages high, but they are even higher than you probably thought.

Check with the IRS, your person attorney or your accountant before you fall for pitches to take out a reverse mortgage.

Here is a quote from the IRS (http://www.irs.gov/publications/p936/ar02.html) :0

"Reverse Mortgages. A reverse mortgage is a loan where the lender pays you (in a lump sum, a monthly advance, a line of credit, or a combination of all three) while you continue to live in your home. With a reverse mortgage, you retain title to your home. Depending on the plan, your reverse mortgage becomes due with interest when you move, sell your home, reach the end of a pre-selected loan period, or die. Because reverse mortgages are considered loan advances and not income, the amount you receive is not taxable. Any interest (including original issue discount) accrued on a reverse mortgage is not deductible until you actually pay it, which is usually when you pay off the loan in full. Your deduction may be limited because a reverse mortgage loan generally is subject to the limit on Home Equity Debt discussed in Part II."

Top Small Business - LHC Group

Forbes Magazine has a new list of the 200 Best Small Businesses (November 2, 2009). Ranked 4th is LHC Group. This company acquires home health care companies and has expanded to 18 states from Louisiana. The company provides nursing, hospice and long-term care.

I visited LHC's website after reading about them in Forbes and found the company to be very people-oriented. And it contained an interesting factoid - 3.7 million people in the U.S. over 65 require intermittent care. This care helps keep individuals from being hospitalized, re-hospitalized or institutionalized.

Take a look for yourself.

New Device for Preventing Falls

When I was a little kid, my grandmother got pushed out of a revolving door at Bloomingdale's in NYC and broke her hip. I had this image in my six-year-old mind of my grandmother sprawled on the sidewalk outside Bloomingdale's. I can still picture it.

But most falls happen at home. As an adult, I found my own mother on the floor of her apartment. She had fallen during the night, broken her arm and couldn't get up. Falls like this are fairly common and often lead to rapidly declining health. About one third of people over 65 take spills. More statistics about seniors falling are all laid out in a really interesting article in the New York Times business section on new devices that help to prevent falls by tracking the daily pattern of movements older adults make in their own homes.

I love the idea of using technology to help people age in place successfully. Companies like Intel and General Electric are investing in the field. To read more, use the link below to the Times article (synopsis included below, too).

Watch the Walk and Prevent a Fall
Published: November 8, 2009
Researchers are applying tools like wireless motion sensors in their quest to prevent the elderly from falling in their homes.

When It's Time to Stop Driving

One of the most ticklish situations adult children face is getting mom or dad to give up the keys to the car. This is also one of the most difficult situations seniors face when they decide to age in place. People who live in assisted living can take a van provided by the complex or snag rides with friends. But when you live alone, giving up the car means giving up a huge amount of independence. Yet, not giving up the car can mean bad accidents with tragic outcomes.

That's why the transportation committee of Aging in Place in Darien has been actively working on finding transportation alternatives for seniors. We now have a half-price taxi voucher program, coordinated out of Darien Social Services. And we are working with the bus system, Gallivant (a van for seniors and disabled) and the Red Cross to keep figuring out ways to make transportation easier to get. Members of churches and other houses of worship usually provide rides to services and to other events or to medical appointments. The problem is that the senior needs to pick up the phone and ask for the ride.

Below is a link to a very good story that was in the New York Times about taking away a car from a dad who did not belong behind the wheel. It's worthwhile reading.

Car Thief
Published: November 1, 2009
When your (elderly) father won’t give you the keys.