Senior Tips – Best Financial Steps to Take When You Are Forced to Retire Early: A Guest Post by Alana Downer

Closeup of young woman with couple of elderly persons

Retirement confidence is at an all-time low with employees working later into their life in the hope that they don’t outlive their savings. A recent Australian report found that 51% of retirees expected to outlive their savings. Because of stats like these, people are aiming to work longer and harder to ensure a comfortable retirement, however this isn’t always the reality. A 2015 study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute found that in 2013, 47% of workers were forced to retire earlier than planned.

Forced early retirement can be more common than you might think. There are many factors which can contribute to an early retirement, among other reasons these include, job loss, loss of stamina or poor health. So, what should you do? Whether as an employee faced with early retirement, or a carer who knows someone forced into an earlier retirement? Here’s our best financial steps you should consider taking:

Assess your cash flow and income:

Your first step is to not panic! All too often people think cancelling their gym membership will help them. This small weekly or monthly fee won’t see the quality of your retirement improve drastically and going to the gym is great for your health.

Instead, what you should do is list your monthly income and expenses. Consider what benefits you can receive now that you are a retiree. Look at your health, car, life, and other insurance plans and see where you can make some savings. You may also qualify for involuntary unemployment cover. Track all your monthly expenses and know how much money you need exactly for one month. From there you can estimate how long the money you have saved will last.

Create a retirement plan:

A retirement plan is something you should be working on before you are retired, but if an early retirement has come suddenly and you find yourself without one, it’s not too late to set one in motion. You can base your plan around either retirement goals or create a cash-flow plan.

A cash-flow plan is based around investments, income and expenses, and making assumptions about inflation and how you will be able to spend throughout your retirement.

A goal based plan lets you plan major events, trips and really anything you want to achieve during your retirement. This is a good system as you can prioritise what you want to do, understand the associated costs and foresee what and how much you will be able to do.

Look for alternative ways to create income:

If you find yourself in need some extra income, or you just want to use your time to cover some expenses so you can take that retirement holiday a little sooner, there are several options you could consider.

A popular approach with some retirees is to begin trading. In recent years trading on the Forex market has become a largely successful approach to profitable trading. Of course, this takes some time to learn as there are certain strategies which must be used.

Other options include finding part time work. Maybe you love gardening, use the forced retirement as a time to pursue any careers you might be passionate about, even if they aren’t as serious as your previous full-time career.

Consult with a professional:

Retirement can be difficult to plan for, even at the best of times. Unexpected things can happen and you want to ensure you have enough money to live out your retirement comfortably and even enjoy it.

Meeting with a financial adviser can help you take specific steps towards a better retirement. They can help create budgets, suggest where to invest your money and build a financial plan that suits your specific situation.

Also think about your pension and how you want to receive it. The rate will change depending on your status, so it’s important to ensure you understand what you are eligible for.

The key to overcoming a forced early retirement and the associated financial challenges is planning. These steps are a great start to planning your retirement and can help you to achieve any retirement goals you have in mind.

 

Bio:

Alana Downer is a financial blogger and a part of the team behind Learn to Trade, a source of educational information for traders and investors. Having been always interested in achieving financial freedom, Alana might often be found sharing her strategies online with all those who wish to earn money on the side and become financially independent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Desirable Traits in a Caregiver: A Guest Post by Lara Janssen

Desirable Traits in a Caregiver

 

One of the most important thing in caregiving business is to have the seniors and their caregivers get along. Old people are commonly set in their ways, so it is unlikely that they will be ready to change much. That means that the caregiver is the one who will have to adjust to the senior they are caring for.
Not just anyone can do this, however. It is important to have a special personality to make it as a caregiver. Care giving professionals at A Better Way In Homecare offer some activities which may help the caregiver and the senior bond in this article
Work Habit
Seniors tend to be used to a routine, whether it’s their sleeping schedule, eating habits, or exercise. A good caregiver must be able to follow this routine in order not to disrupt the senior’s life. This is especially important if the senior needs some medication. It is up to the caregiver to make sure they don’t forget to take it.
Patience
Seniors can be a bit difficult and act childish at times. It is therefore important that the person who cares for them shows enough patience and tact in difficult situations. Seniors with dementia or other degenerative illnesses can be particularly difficult to work with and require additional amounts of patience.
Compassion
Much like patience, old people require compassion and understanding from
people they spend time with. A good caregiver must be able to put themselves into the shoes of the senior to really understand what they are going through. With enough compassion and attention, seniors can really experience a transformation.
Physical Strength
With seniors who have trouble getting out of bed or walking in general, it is important that the caregiver is physically strong enough to assist them. Furthermore, if the senior is wheelchair bound, they will need assistance with every aspect of their life like getting out of bed, taking a shower, toilet needs, or getting back to bed. When it comes to exercise, even though seniors need to keep exercising to stay healthy, they should not exceed their abilities, and a good caregiver is supposed to be there to make sure that training sessions go as smoothly as possible.
Qualifications
Even though it is not a personality trait, it is very important for a caregiver to have some medical experience, especially when dealing with ill clients. Useful skills such as the ability to administer injections or use oxygen masks can be the thing which decides whether a caregiver is hired or not.
 
Apart from these skills, CPR is probably the most common and the simplest medical training people can get. It is also useful, not only for work but also for life in general. Even though it is important that the caregiver is qualified and mentally and physically ready to do the job, there needs to be a kind of chemistry between the caregiver and the senior. Otherwise, the situation can be tense and despite the qualifications and affinities of the caregiver, the senior is not going to be happy with the care they are receiving.

Alzheimer’s and Incontinence: How They’re Related A Guest Post by Eric I. Mitchnick, MD, FACS

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Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive illness of the brain that gradually destroys a person’s cognitive capabilities and, eventually, interferes with the performance of basic daily self-care functions. People in the latter stages of Alzheimer’s tend to experience incontinence, which is loss of control of either the bladder or bowels, or both. However, not everyone who has the disease will become incontinent.

The relationship between Alzheimer’s disease and incontinence is complex. Alzheimer’s may cause incontinence by taking away a person’s ability to recognize the need to go to the bathroom. However, Alzheimer’s also can be an indirect cause, by posing issues of mobility or confusion that may prevent the Alzheimer’s sufferer from reaching a bathroom in time. Furthermore, a person with Alzheimer’s can have incontinence issues arising from medical causes that might be independent of Alzheimer’s, such as a urinary tract infection, weak pelvic muscles, an enlarged prostate gland, or the side effects of certain medicines, to cite just a few. The Alzheimer’s Association offers a more comprehensive discussion of the possible causes of incontinence among persons with Alzheimer’s here.

When an Alzheimer’s patient begins to experience incontinence, the most important step to take is to consult his or her doctor for an evaluation of the cause. If the incontinence is a result of a problem unrelated to Alzheimer’s, it may be possible to address the issue with medical intervention. If a medication is contributing to incontinence, as might be the case, for example, with some anti-anxiety drugs and sleep aids that relax the bladder muscles, a substitute medicine might be available. In all cases, however, here are some actions that a caregiver or the incontinence sufferer should consider taking to reduce the potential incidence of incontinence:

Reduce consumption of diuretic liquids. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it stimulates urination. Consumption of liquids that contain caffeine, such as most coffees, teas and colas, should be restricted or perhaps avoided entirely, especially close to bedtime. Alcohol also has a diuretic effect. However, medical authorities warn against restricting the intake of water. Staying properly hydrated is extremely important.

Simplify bathroom access. Whether from the Alzheimer’s patient’s bed or from the easy chair where he or she watches TV, make the route to the bathroom simple and free of obstruction. Be sure no furniture blocks any portion of the journey, and no area rugs pose any hazards. Avoid clutter in the bathroom itself. Keep the route(s) illuminated with low-wattage nightlights after dark. It also may be advisable to keep the bathroom light on all night.

Avoid cumbersome clothing. Clothing should be loose fitting and allow quick access to underwear, which should easily slip on and off. Keep in mind that a late-stage Alzheimer’s patient is likely to have poor coordination and can easily get confused by such items as buttons and clasps.

Make bathroom breaks routine. Encourage frequent trips to the bathroom, even when the need is not urgent. It will help reduce “emergency” situations.

Maintain dignity. Even the mere prospect of incontinence can create a trying experience for both Alzheimer’s patient and caregiver. When assisting the patient, allow him or her the greatest amount of privacy or autonomy that is practical in any given situation. If a loss of control should occur, avoid overreaction and do not use words that are shaming, scolding or condescending. Instead, use matter-of-fact language and try to convey a sense of “accidents will happen.” Try to   minimize his or her embarrassment and maintain dignity.

In addition, there are several products available that make it possible for those with incontinence to experience a higher quality of life, such as washable panties and briefs that control leakage and eliminate odor. Also, waterproof underpads and bed pads are available to protect chairs, wheelchairs, mattresses, and bedding.

Eric I. Mitchnick, MD, FACS is a Board Certified Urologist at  Advanced Urology Centers of New York in Northport and Port Jefferson Station, NY. He serves as Chair of the Credentialing Committee and Surgical Performance Review Committee at Huntington Hospital. In addition, he is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a member of the New York chapter of the American Urological Association, and the President of the Board of  Integrated Medical Foundation, an organization that promotes awareness and early detection of prostate cancer.

Dr. Mitchnick received his Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in Natural Sciences, from Johns Hopkins University, and his MD degree from SUNY Health Science Center. He completed his four years of residency training at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York, N.Y, from 1989 – 1993. Read more about Dr. Mitchnick’s expertise and practice at http://www.aucofny.com/eric-i-mitchnick-md-facs/.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
https://www.salkinc.com/product-category/incontinence/womens-panties/

https://www.salkinc.com/product-category/incontinence/mens-briefs/

https://www.salkinc.com/product-category/incontinence/underpads/

 

12 Dietary Choices That May Lead to Restless Sleep A Guest Post By Megan Crants

 

High Resonance Healing Words
Healer’s outstretched open hand surrounded by random wise healing words on a rustic stone effect background

Sleeping and eating are both critical elements of recovery, but not necessarily in quick succession. Many healthcare providers will encourage putting away all food at 8pm because eating causes the body to go into an arousal state and devote energy to digestion, when ideally it should be settling down for sleep. If you’re starving or hypoglycemic, a small snack is acceptable before bed to avoid mid-night awakenings, but otherwise it’s best to avoid food and drink right before lights-out. Try to plan out your eating patterns so that your last meal falls well before you fall asleep.

In fact, planning out the foods you eat throughout the entire day is not a bad idea either in terms of assuring a good night’s sleep. Certain dietary options have been linked to decreased sleep quality and can have effects on the body that last well into the night:

  1. High Fat/Fried Foods. Fatty foods stimulate digestive tract contractions, which can either cause your stomach to empty slowly, worsening constipation, or they can cause your stomach to empty rapidly, leading to diarrhea. As a result of this gastrointestinal distress, you are more likely to experience fragmented sleep.
  2. Caffeinated Beverages. Caffeine is a stimulant that causes temporary alertness by increasing adrenaline production and preventing certain sleep-inducing chemicals from taking effect. It’s best to avoid caffeine after 2pm, because it has a tendency to alter the body’s sleep/wake cycle for a long time after consumption. If you’re going to consume caffeine, we recommend drinking a shot of it before a 20-minute power nap. This strategy has been scientifically demonstrated to enhance the napping experience, since caffeine takes about 20 minutes to cause arousal.
  3. Cocoa beans naturally contain caffeine so any source of chocolate is going to harbor some form of the stimulant. Darker chocolate contains a higher percentage of cocoa beans, and therefore a higher percentage of caffeine. In addition, chocolate contains theobromine, a compound known to increase heart rate and cause arousal. To learn more, click here: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/13/health/13real.html
  4. Tyramine-Rich Foods. Foods such as aged cheeses, eggplant, soy sauce, and tomatoes contain an amino acid called tyramine. This compound causes the brain to release a stimulant called norepinephrine, which causes wakefulness.
  5. Fruits and Vegetables with a High Water Content. Celery, cucumbers, watermelons, etc. are chock-full of water and therefore natural diuretics. Waking up multiple times throughout the night with a full bladder is sure to disturb your sleep cycle, so try to avoid these foods close to bedtime.
  6. Sugary Foods. Candy, or other treats high in sugar, will likely cause spiking blood sugar levels and rapid release of insulin to control them. The spiking blood sugar levels may cause a “sugar crash” that may make it easy to fall asleep, but ultimately the fluctuations will make staying asleep a difficult task.
  7. Studies have shown that the scent of peppermint may increase alertness, decrease fatigue, and work as a central nervous system stimulant. To learn more, click here: http://www.wju.edu/about/adm_news_story.asp?iNewsID=1484&strBack=%2Fabout%2Fadm_news_archive%2Easp
  8. Sorbitol-Rich Foods. Sorbitol is an artificial sweetener that is not only added to gum and diet foods, but is also naturally found in prunes, apples, and peaches. Sorbitol commonly causes digestive problems such as gas, bloating, and diarrhea so try to avoid it when possible.
  9. Citric Fruits. Citric fruits, such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruits, contain large amounts of citric acid, which can cause gastrointestinal distress and/or heartburn. In addition to the pain they cause, these ailments may also exacerbate asthma or previously existing sleep breathing disorders, such as sleep apnea.
  10. Spicy Foods. Spicy foods stimulate the digestive system, which can potentially cause gastric distress while you’re trying to sleep. Try to stick to bland foods as bedtime approaches.
  11. High Fiber Foods. Comfort is key for ideal sleeping conditions, so neans, broccoli, cauliflower, and other high fiber foods should be avoided. These dietary additions are likely to cause bloating, gas, and general discomfort which can prevent you from falling asleep or can cause you to wake up during the night.
  12. Many people believe that alcohol serves as an effective sleep aid, as it initially has a sedating effect, but it is ultimately a detriment to high quality rest. Alcohol disturbs rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, meaning that sleep quality is significantly lowered after drinking. This lack of REM sleep negatively affects daytime memory, concentration, and motor skills, not to mention mood. It can suppress breathing, triggering sleep apnea and other breathing difficulties that cause nighttime awakenings. Additionally, alcohol damages the lining of the stomach and changes liver metabolism, which can cause indigestion and other health problems that may keep you up at night.

For more information, check out our tips for high-quality sleep at https://twodreams.com/holistic-health/sleep-hygiene

Megan Crants is a staff writer at Two Dreams (www.twodreams.com) and can be reached via email at mcrants@twodreams.com.

 

Sources Cited:

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20628881,00.html

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Wellness/16-best-worst-foods-sleep/story?id=19404975