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Kokomo Perspective Feb. 9, 2011
Community First Bank offers Travel Club for those 50 and older
by Lisa Fipps
here’s a group of folks 50 and older who are having a lot of fun across the state, nation and world, and many people could join them but they probably don’t even know it. Community First Bank offers a Travel Club, with Sally Duke as its director. “It’s a bank loyalty program,” she said. “It’s a product a bank can offer clients to thank them for banking with us.” It’s simple to be a part of it. You just have to have a Community First Bank account with a minimum of $5,000 deposited. “I try to plan about 12 trips a year that offer something for everyone,” Duke said. “Some people won’t fly. Some won’t go international. Some like day trips because they have pets at home they don’t want to leave. Others like to be gone four or five days.” A day trip might include going Indianapolis for a show, dinner and a tour of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, for example. “People really like our mystery trips,” Duke said. “I don’t tell them where we’re going at all. Last year, we took them to a buffalo preserve. They put us on trucks and took us out in the middle of the herd. Then we had lunch of bison and noodles. I try to find quirky little places to go and things
to see and do.” Later this year the group will be going on a scandinavian and Baltic trip. Once in Copenhagen, the group will cruise to different destinations, including Russia. What makes the Travel Club great for participants is that Duke does all the work and they just have to pay the fee associated with the particular trip or trips they choose and show up. “I do all the planning, and give them literature saying this is all that’s included for this price,” she said. “We try to make it as carefree as possible. They show up and don’t have to worry about anything. We always have deluxe motorcoaches with bathrooms. We can watch a movie. The luggage is handled for them as much as possible. It’s delivered right to their room. We try to take care of them.” Duke played a similar role at another bank for years until it was purchased by a large bank that wanted to take the Travel Club in a direction Duke didn’t like. “I love Community First,” Duke said. “I love Mike Stegall. When he called me about coming to Community First, I told him, ‘I see this as a ministry. I don’t look at it as a job. I see it as something we do for the community.’ A lot of these ladies have lost their husbands. They spent their whole lives saying, ‘When we retired, we want to ... Well, they still want to do things, but they need a safe environment to do it in. Traveling with the Commu-
nity First Bank Travel Club gives them that. They don’t have to do any planning and they don’t have to go it alone.” Duke said she thinks of her job as a ministry based on James 1:27: “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows ...” Duke likes watching the group dynamic as it changes during a trip. Participants will board a bus, many times not knowing anyone. It’s quiet. Then, they start talking. By the end of the trip, people have made friends. “Ladies who have become lifelong buddies,” Duke said. “I love watching as the friendships are formed. You can’t put a price on that.” The Travel Club has even led to some marriages. Duke recalls when she took a group to Australia a few years ago that there were so many she had to rent two buses. She thought it would be simple to divide the group by putting the
gals in one bus and the guys in the other. A man came up to her and was looking at his feet, timid like a schoolboy. Turns out he’d planned on sitting next to a woman he had a crush on. Duke changed the seating arrangements. That couple ended up getting married. “I have lots of sweet stories like that,” Duke said. “In my office at the bank I keep two photos on my wall of two women who were 18 and at Lake Shafer. Next to it is a photo of those two women in their 80s and posing on a Harley motorcycle during a Travel Club trip. “I keep those there to remind me that inside those 80-year-old bodies are those 18-year-old girls,” Duke said. “They don’t change; their bodies age, but they still want to have fun. The biggest compliment I receive is that I don’t treat them like they’re old. We just have fun. I love working with seniors. They know how to have fun. We have tons of laughs. It’s like we’re one big family.”
Feb. 9, 2011
kokomoperspective.com/seniors D2 Looking for things to do? Bingo! Facilities offer a variety of activities
by Lisa Fipps
here is a fountain of youth. Millions have discovered it, the secret to feeling better and living l o n g e r. I t ' s c a l l e d s t a y ing active. Finding a program that works for you and sticking with it can pay big dividends. Regular exercise can prevent or delay diabetes and heart trouble. It can also reduce arthritis pain, anxiety and depression. It can help older people stay independent. There are four main
types of exercise and seniors need some of each, according to the NIH, National Institute on Aging: •Endurance activities — like walking, swimming, or riding a bike — which build "staying power" and improve the health of the heart and circulatory system •Strengthening exercises which build muscle tissue and reduce age-related muscle loss •Stretching exercises to keep the body limber and flexible •Balance exercises to reduce the chances of a fall Of course, all of that varies based on each individual’s ability. For example, at Sterling House, “We do morning exercises, working with rub-
ber bands,” said Lori Hale, director of admissions. “Even those with limited mobility can do those exercises.” But local facilities also make sure that seniors stay active mentally and socially. For example, at Sterling House, Bingo is big, said Hale. Residents there play Bingo several times a week. And one night a year Sterling House hosts Family Bingo Night, when the residents’ families get to join in the fun. Local businesses provide prizes. “The more you play, the more they want to play,” Hale said. Sterling House gets creative, too. “Last year we brought snow in to them and they all made snowmen,” Hale said. “We covered the tables, the residents had gloves on, and we brought the snow in. Then we gave them supplies for arms and noses. The snowmen didn’t last long, but it was cool — no pun intended.” “If we can come up with it, we’ll do it,” she said. “Our schedule is very
Last year we brought snow in to them and they all made snowmen. We covered the tables, the residents had gloves on, and we brought the snow in. Then we gave them supplies for arms and noses. The snowmen didn’t last long, but it was cool — no pun intended.
every week, which is a biggee with the ladies. We offer spiritual services, like Bible studies. We are going to start a ceramics class. We have a cooking class. Always before meals we do trivia. We always have music programs. They do outings.” And most facilities, including Sterling House and Waterford have resident councils so that those who live there get to have input on what activities are done. “Trilogy (the parent company) really wants to know what the residents want and what their preferences are,” said Hutchinson. “We keep them mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually active. It’s the whole holistic approach.”
complex, and it’s real full,” said Lisa Hutchinson, certified therapeutic recreations specialist and resident activity director at Waterford Place Health Campus and The Legacy at Waterford Place. “Every day we do some kind of exercise program, like chair yoga or something. We offer a cards game/social time always. Every day we offer some kind creative writing class. We offer creative arts. They do a lot of watercolors. We have a nail and spa time
Waterford Place Health Campus and The Legacy at Waterford Place employees receive recognition for perfect attendance
aterford P l a c e H e a l t h Campus and The Legacy at Waterford Place are pleased to announce that five of their employees have been recognized by Trilogy Health Services LLC for having perfect attendance in 2010. These staff members were among more than 600 employees company-wide who did not miss a day of work and were not tardy from Jan. 1, 2010, through Dec. 31, 2010. For this achievement they received a $250 bonus and an additional day of paid time off, along with a plaque recog-
nizing their accomplishment. Fabian Calisto, executive director of Waterford Place and The Legacy, said, “We truly appreciate the dedication that these employees show our residents every day. We are fortunate to have them on the Waterford Place team.” The following employees were recognized for having perfect attendance in 2010: Luanne Hawes, Legacy Neighborhood director; Kristy Smith, cook; Maryann Woodruff, housekeeping; Barbara Zook, LPN; Beth Nichols, business office manager. Waterford Place and The Legacy at Waterford Place is
a Trilogy Health Services community. Trilogy communities offer a full range of personalized senior living services from independent and assisted living, to skilled nursing and rehabilitative services, as well as memory care services. Trilogy’s senior living services are delivered by staff specially trained to honor and enhance the lives of our residents through compassion and commitment to exceeding customer expectations. To learn more about Waterford Place Health Campus or The Legacy at Waterford Place please call 236.1239 or visit our website at waterfordplacehc.com.
Feb. 9, 2011
Now hear this: There are options for those who struggle to hear the TV
by Lisa Fipps
Sonny Care thinks: What would I want?
by Lisa Fipps
Sonny Care is not a typo. It’s not meant to be Sunny Care. It’s named after Marilyn Erb’s father, Sonny. Erb learned a lot about home care when her father was dying of Alzheimer’s. “I’m one of 10 and all of us live within 75 miles of our parents, so my mom had a huge support system,” Erb said. “But I realized that someone who has no one or one child who lives far away or a child who has a family and a full-time job has no one who can step in and take care of them. I wanted to do something to honor my parents.” Considering she had worked at Howard Haven, the county home for eight years and used to work in geriatrics, too, it seemed only natural to start Sonny Care. “We’re family-owned,” she said. “We’re big on family. We need to do something to help people stay at home.” Erb worked for a homecare agency in another town. “I learned a lot about the homecare field,” she said, namely that she saw a lot of room for improvement. “People who have to rely on homecare don’t like a re-
volving door of people coming in and out,” Erb said. “They don’t want to have to wonder, ‘Who’s going to come in today?’ ” A lot of agencies send a different person each time, instead of allowing a client and homecare worker to form a bond, to become a family, Erb said. “I don’t allow a revolving door policy. That’s something my parents wouldn’t have liked.” Working for that agency in another town, Erb also noticed, “People didn’t like the fact that if they needed to get a hold of someone in the evening that they have to call a service or leave a message on a machine. We answer 24/7. We’re always on call.” She also noticed that some agencies are bad about not keeping clients informed. “If someone was going to not show up or be late, nobody called the clients,” Erb said. “That was a big issue. There has to be some consistency. Some of these people heavily rely on the help they get from homecare services. My dad wouldn’t have liked that.” Erb says that a lot when talking about Sonny Care, its services and its philosophy. “We try our best to put ourselves in the shoes of those people,” she said. “We
think, ‘This is what my mom would want.’ ‘This is what I would like.’ ‘This is how my dad would have wanted it.’ ” Sonny Care offers a wide variety of services all related to keeping a person in his or her home. That includes helping bathe clients, cooking, cleaning, offering medication reminders, taking a client to a doctor, shopping for them, running errands — everything that pertains to whatever you do and need throughout the day.” Plus, Erb noted, “We work hand in hand with other home health and hospice agencies. We can provide help two hours a day to 24 hours a day care. Whatever’s needed. It’s very rewarding. A lot of times when you walk into someone’s house, they’re so happy to see you. When I get those calls from family members and they tell us the difference the aid makes to the mom or dad, that’s what warms my heart to know we’re making a difference. Sometimes people just need somebody to come into their house and give them a purpose. As they get older, they forget they have a purpose. We remind them that they have one.” Sonny Care is at 109 E. Sycamore St., phone 3193653. It’s next door to Area V.
Has this happened to you? You can’t hear the television, so you turn it up, only to have everyone in the house yell at you because it’s too loud? Or maybe you can’t hear yourself think because someone has the TV up so loud. It’s likely the person who cranks up the volume is hard of hearing. That person might even have a hearing aid, but sometimes hearing assistive technology systems, HATS, are needed. HATS are devices that can help you function better in day-to-day communication situations. HATS can be used with or without hearing aids or cochlear implants to make hearing easier — and thereby reduce stress and fatigue. The following situations are difficult for all listeners, but they are especially difficult for people with hearing loss, according to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. Distance between the listener and the sound source: The farther away you are from a speaker, of course, the harder it is to hear the speaker. This is because the intensity, or loudness, of a sound fades rapidly as it travels over distance. So, while you may have no difficulty hearing someone in close range, you may have considerable difficulty hearing the same person across the room. Competing noise in the environment: Most rooms have background noise that competes with the spoken message or sound we want to hear. Examples of background noise include ventilation systems, others talking, paper shuffling, computers, radios, TVs, outside traffic or
That’s where technology is taking us, to more sophisticated situations. And the person doesn’t have to be completely computer savvy. It’s easy to figure out.
construction, and activities in adjacent rooms. Background noise can make hearing very challenging. For optimum hearing, speech should be at least 20–25 decibels (dB) louder than any competing noise. This is called the signal-to-noise ratio, or S/N ratio. Poor room acoustics/reverberation: A room’s acoustics are the quality of sound maintained in the room, and they can affect your ability to hear effectively. Sound waves bounce off hard surfaces like windows, walls, and hard floors. This creates sound reflections and echoes (called “reverberation”). The result of excess reverberation is distorted speech. Large gyms, cathedrals, and open marble lobbies quickly come to mind when we think about reverberation. Reverberation also can occur in smaller spaces such as classrooms. We’ve all experienced how much easier it is to hear in rooms that are carpeted and have upholstered furniture (which absorbs noise) than in empty rooms with tile or cement floors.
Any one of these conditions (distance, noise, or reverberation) can create listening problems. More often than not, they occur together and have a debilitating effect on the ability to hear and process speech. HATS can help you overcome these listening difficulties. Kathryn Little, an audiologist with The Hearing Center, said one HATS option is Phonak. “Different hearing aid manufacturers have their own; mostly Phonak is a leader in this. There’s a TV link hooked into the TV — it works with a variety of TVs, you don’t necessarily have to have a new one — and then the hearing aid user wears a neck loop that receives a blue tooth signal. The TV Link sends a wireless signal via blue tooth and the person is aid able to independently control the loudness of the TV. You can have it on mute for everybody else in the room, but you can still hear it. You don’t have to be up close, either. It works within 30 feet.” Little said the really nice feature of that system is that the person with a hearing impairment is still able to hear everything else that’s going on in the room. Before HATS, those who were hard of hearing had to were headphones and then would miss out on what others were saying. It also works with the telephone. “If the person gets a call, it overrides the TV,” Little said. “They answer their phone through that. It’s all through bluetooth. That’s where technology is taking us, to more sophisticated situations. And the person doesn’t have to be completely computer savvy. It’s easy to figure out.”
Feb. 9, 2011
by Brian Hayes
Despite economy, you can still protect your assets
re you conabout cerned the risk of losing your assets to a medical or long term care illness? Most seniors and retirees are, especially after looking at these statistics: •About 75 percent of single individuals and 50 percent of couples spend all of their savings within one year of entering a nursing home. •75 percent of people 65 years of age will require long-term care (nursing home, adult day care, assisted living, or home care) within their lifetime. •The average nursing home stay is 2.44 years, or 892 days •The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research determined that 43 percent of those Americans who were 65+ in 2003 spent some time in a nursing home, and that 24 percent of the same group spent at least one year, while 10 percent spent over 5 years •On average, nursing home costs are increasing by more than 10 percent each year. With all of the above in mind, and realizing that the national average cost of a nursing home stay is $74,208 annually (with ranges between $49,153 in Louisiana to $187,610 in Alaska), it is not surprising that older Americans can become deeply concerned when they are facing a long-term care illness. Additionally, with older Americans now entering assisted living facilities at an unprecedented pace, it is clear that they will incur more long-term care costs throughout their lifetimes. So what can you do? Well, there is a great deal of misinformation out there about the viability of Medicaid and Nursing Home
asset protection planning after the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA). A lot of people mistakenly believe that there are not any planning options outside of traditional long term care insurance anymore. I want to remind clients, friends and advisors that there is an abundance of planning options available to single and married individuals who want to protect assets from spending on nursing homes and long term care facilities. It does not matter if you are planning to protect assets five years in advance or if you are already receiving care or are in a nursing home, you might be able to employ various techniques such as Irrevocable Trusts, gifts, Care Agreements, use of immediate annuities and various other options to help protect tens of thousands of dollars worth of assets for your spouse or other beneficiaries. On Feb. 8, 2006, thenPresident George W. Bush signed into law the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (“DRA 05”.) DRA 05 was designed to slow the growth of Medicaid spending on individuals who are in nursing home residents. With the new law, planning practices have changed as a result of the following reforms: extension of the look-back, change in start date of ineligibility period, annuity rules, mandated “income-first rule,” and the expansion of the State Long-Term Care Partnership Program.
A lot of people mistakenly believe that there are not any planning options outside of traditional long term care insurance anymore.
expensive option, especially with the new “asset-based long-term care” that are now available. Asset-based long-term care plans get around the main drawback of traditional long term care insurance, which is paying premiums each year for something that you may not ever use. As an alternative to the "use it or lose it" proposition, asset based coverage converts some of the assets that would be at risk to long-term care expenses into a life insurance policy or annuity and multiplies that amount to pay for long-term care expenses over a three to six-year period. The policy will pay for long-term care when its benefits trigger has been met (typically the same as for traditional long-term care policies- two ADLs or cognitive impairment). So, assetbased long term care pays for a long term care illness anywhere you need it (nursing home, adult day care, assisted living or in your own home). But where it really shines is when you don’t need care the policy pays a death benefit to the insured’s beneficiary, sometimes tax free. So coverage is there to protect the rest of the assets if a long-term care need arises, but if the policy is never needed, the benefits are paid to the insured’s beneficiary of choice. If only part of the long-term care benefit is used, any remaining benefit is paid to the insured’s beneficiary. Also, there is 100 percent liquidity on the account so if you need the money for some other reason, you can get it. Even with all the new rules and laws, asset protection planning is still available. The sooner you start planning, the more options that you have. But even if you are currently obtaining care and are worried about losing all your assets, there are usually some planning tools available that can protect a good portion of your estate. Obtain the help of a qualified and educated financial advisor, attorney and CPA to help you navigate the waters and come up with the best plan for your individual situation. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at Hayes Advisory Group at 452-PLAN, 800-939-1603 or email@example.com om.
Medicaid is a government program designed to ensure the delivery of fundamental healthcare services to elders, individuals with disabilities, and others who would otherwise be deprived of such care. Significantly, Medicaid is the only federal program that can pay all or a portion of the cost of long-
term nursing home care. Medicaid is a needs-based program. Depending on the approach taken in a particular state, an individual must have extremely limited assets (typically between $1,000 and $4,500) to qualify. In most states, there also is an income test. Many elders and some financial advisors mistakenly believe that Medicare pays the ongoing costs of a nursing home. As a result, many elders fail to plan for these costs or obtain long-term care insurance. Without planning or insurance, elders may have to pay $6,000–$15,000 per month out of their own pockets. This has given rise to lastminute attempts to access government-financed health-
care. Before the DRA, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA) set forth the rules with regard to Medicaid eligibility and restrictions with regard to asset transfers. The DRA significantly changed many of those rules. Despite the DRA’s restrictions, with proper planning some or most assets can be preserved while qualifying for Medicaid. Even though there are planning moves that can be made to protect assets, longterm care insurance should not be overlooked or not considered. Depending on several factors, long-term care insurance may be the least complicated and least
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