Respiratory Help Is Available For Seniors With COPD

As HMOs Continue to Drop Coverage for Seniors - Now Over 500,000 Victims - Those Needing Expensive Respiratory Medication, Support and Homecare Services are the Hardest Hit

One Patient Advocate, Geriatric Services of America, is Providing Relief to Victimized Patients Through a Unique, Often No-Cost Program

More than 536,000 US senior citizens are scrambling to find new doctors or new coverage because their health plans terminated their Medicare managed-care services, according to a Nonrenewal Report issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for the year 2002. Among the hardest hit are seniors in California (84,000), Florida (59,000), Pennsylvania (55,000), New Jersey (53,000), Texas (46,000), and Michigan (31,000), who will be losing coverage in the coming year. Even those with continuing coverage face substantial premium hikes and dwindling drug benefits. Particularly hard hit will be those with chronic illnesses such as respiratory disease, who will bear the brunt of high medication and healthcare costs.

Though all seniors 65 and older are covered by Medicare, those enrolled in managed-care programs agree to see doctors within a limited network and receive additional benefits, such as preventative care and prescription-drug coverage. The current coverage crisis stems from rising delivery costs and limited government reimbursement, as doctors and hospitals increasingly balk at seeing Medicare HMO patients, since they aren't sufficiently reimbursed for their services. Without enough doctors and hospitals providing care, an HMO can't serve its members. The problem is worst in large urban markets, where more than half of Medicare + Choice beneficiaries live nationwide but where reimbursement rate increases have trailed rising costs since 1997.

To compensate for the funding shortfall, premiums for seniors retaining Medicare HMO coverage are expected to spike while benefits dwindle in the coming year. In California's Sacramento-area, for example, monthly premiums for Kaiser Permanente's Senior Advantage Medicare Plan will double from $40 to $80 starting Jan. 1st. Healthnet, following suit, is raising premiums 50 percent, from $40 to $60 per month for its Seniority Plus members in the area. Pacificare and Western Health Advantage, while holding monthly premiums at $50 in their Sacramento-area Medicare plans, will eliminate brand name drug coverage next year.

Across the nation, seniors caught between rising premiums and shrinking coverage will find themselves in a similar bind. Even those with Medigap policies will feel the squeeze. Medigap policies A through J, for instance, have minimum standard benefit packages, and the H, I, and J plans covering prescriptions have annual drug caps ranging from $1,250 to $2,000.

For the 30 million Americans with a Chronic Obstruction Pulmonary Disease (COPD) such as asthma, emphysema or cystic fibrosis - collectively the fourth leading cause of death in the US, however, help is available with Geriatric Services of America (GSA), a national community service organization based in Tempe, Arizona which provides direct help and support to older Americans suffering from chronic respiratory disease. Through its Respiratory Disease Control Program, GSA provides access to a comprehensive range of special medication benefits, as well as support and homecare services, which eliminates out-of-pocket expenses for patients with primary or supplemental insurance coverage.

Through GSA's patient support center, nebulizers and respiratory medication are provided and paid for with free home delivery, conveniently packaged and ready to use. GSA handles all paperwork, and clinical Patient Care Coordinators work with doctors and insurance companies once a patient has enrolled in the Respiratory Disease Control Program. Patients can enroll themselves in the program; there is nothing to buy, and no enrollment or membership fees.

Currently, Medicare, AARP, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, and over 180 other insurers have special benefits for patients with respiratory disease. GSA provides access to these benefits, and coordinates all elements of care to help patients, doctors, and insurance companies combat respiratory disease.

At a time when US seniors face restricted health care access, rising premiums, and shrinking benefits, GSA stands out as a welcome ally for those needing respiratory medication benefits, support, or homecare services. For more information about GSA, or how someone you know can enroll in this special wellcare program, write to 4812 South Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85282; call 800-307-8048; fax 800-345-2425; or email Gary Rheault directly at

Angels Are Reaching Out to the Elderly

I am reminded time after time of the profound effect Angels have on people. Recently, I have been receiving manyemails containing examples of how the Angels are reaching through the veils to assist the elderly. The elderly respond to Angel Paintings with a knowingness of love and illumination that comes from within them. Sometimes the reactions have been as though they are recognizing an old friend.

One example was a client emailing me to let me know of the response of woman who suffered from Alzheimer's. The responseto the Angel painting that had been commissioned was very profound from my understanding. The woman took onelook at the painting, reached for it and refused to be parted with it and for the rest of the day had to keep it in her lap as she was wheeled around in her wheelchair.

Another email stated:


As you know, your angelic paintings of our Guardian Angels have, from the day we received them, blessed all of our lives in one way or the other. Upon receipt of Marge's (My Mother) we were all stunned to see the uncanny parallels in what you were given to paint by the angels and what is actual reality. The colors, the subject, the roses!!! As you have learned, she had a stroke 2 years ago and this painting has provided her with an everlasting source of inspiration and hope. She has it hung in her bedroom so that she may look at her angel when she nods off to sleep at night and when she first awakes in the morning. This painting speaks volumes to her and keeps her motivated to continue therapy and to trudge on when all seems lost. She is doing very well! Ray's (My Father) has also provided him with the strength to not only take care of my mother but gives him the where withall to still take care of himself, his family and his business. He too has his angel next to my Mother's in that he can see it before nodding off at night and again in the morning when he awakes. I really, honestly, know that these angels; that have been presented to them through you, have helped them more than anyone could possibly imagine. Again, they are a source of constant inspiration and they have provided many wonderful thoughts and actions upon all who see them.

My parents mean the world to me and I thank you from the depths of my heart for being the link to actually seeing their angels. I know that we are not in control of many things that happen to us in life, however, just in knowing ... and seeing ... that we all do have guardian angels that are there for us, definitely helps to put things into perspective and yields a very positive attitude towards life. How could it not? Sometimes we cannot see the forest through the trees ... with the light that you have shined on my family we are not only seeing the forest but we now know that we are part of the whole process of life and take nothing for granted. For each day is a very special one and thanks to you, we know, even when we are "alone" we are never alone.

Once again, thank you with everything in me. And on behalf of my parents I thank you as well.

J. J.
Wilmington, Delaware

I accept there is more to Angelic art than meets the eye. I wonder in what ways this form of art could be used in hospitals,nursing homes, etc.? I know some people would probably react as forcing someone else's religion on another, but some formof Angel is in every religion as Angels are of no one religion. Angels are for everyone.

When the Box is Empty

The King had a modest kingdom. He was Danish. This meant he was proud, tall, athletic and he enjoyed a quick wit. He was married to a princess from Great Britain at a very young age. They were both really just children when they began their own family.

They had three children, two boys and a girl. The children all shared one common aim, to make the King proud. Each child vied for the King’s attention and love, each using a different strategy.

The eldest son used music to make his father proud. The middle child, the daughter used humor and dancing. The youngest chose sports, knowing his father had once been a great athlete, a champion in several sports.

They had a modest castle, the King always worked hard to provide for his family. Demonstrating affection wasn’t something he was ever comfortable with. So, in his own way, he captured treasured moments by making or collecting trinkets. Each little symbol represented a special family moment. Some were shiny, golden; still others were like little bells that made a sound when you picked them up. There was a story for each trinket.

You see the King was a gifted storyteller. At dinner he would open up the box and hold up a trinket and smile. He would look up and to the right, and then tell a wonderful story that would have the children laughing, crying or shaking their head in disbelief.

Telling stories became a family tradition.

He encouraged the children to begin collecting their own trinkets and stories.

As it is with most children, they obeyed their father and began filling up their boxes with symbols. Though the children were
never very close, there were moments of family joy. They were all very busy trying to please the King with their respective gifts.

As the years went by, the Kings Box became a giant chest, ornate, hand carved and full of trinkets. As the King grew older the quality and quantity of the contents of the chest improved. Soon the children had children of their own and they maintained the ritual of stories at the dinner table.

One day, the King reached in his box for a specific trinket and found it missing.

Thinking this somewhat odd, he thought perhaps he might have given it to his youngest son. He forgot about it. The next day, the same thing happened; a specific trinket was not to be found.

What the King did not know was a thief had snuck in the night and stolen the shiniest trinket. The thief liked the trinket so much, the next night he took a different one.

Because there were so many at first the King didn’t notice. You see, this thief in the night was relentless, insidious, crafty and brutal. He was sneaking into his chambers and quietly pinching the King’s most treasured possessions, his memories.

One night the Queen heard a noise that startled her. She lit a match and held up the candle beside the bed. Holding it up high
she saw the thief…it was a raccoon! He had a little bell in his hands. The light scared him and he scurried off with the bell.

The queen had long since suspected something was wrong, now she knew. She gave it a name. That terrible raccoon. The King
wasn’t crazy and neither was she. Something really was taking the King’s most treasured gifts.

The next day they put a lock on the chest. That would stop the thief. The raccoon was too crafty. He picked the lock and kept
stealing trinkets every night. The queen tried an alarm, a special light, and guard dogs, nothing worked. Each night the raccoon kept stealing the King’s prizes. One day the box was empty! It was a sad day in the kingdom. The children came and sat at the feet the of the King and Queen and cried.

There was nothing to do.

All the memories were gone. The King had no more stories to tell. He was silent. He sat there with a far away look. That was how it was going to be. That is life when the box is empty.

After a time, when the pain of the empty box came a little easier to accept, the Queen said to her children, go home, go through your chests, your boxes of trinkets. Choose the best ones. Each time you come to visit the King, bring a trinket and we shall put it in your father’s box. We shall tell that story, and laugh, cry and enjoy it as something special. I will guard it.

I will keep a constant vigil. In this way, the raccoon can never take your stories. When we get together we shall honor the King in this special way.

So it was, once a week, the children would bring their children for a visit and drop a trinket in the box. This brought the children together in a way that never existed before.

The raccoon was very unhappy about all this. He still tried to get in the castle, but the love of the family kept him on the outside, looking in. Though he tried to keep stealing as thieves do, he never took another trinket.

Love does that. It’s not something even the smartest thief in the world can take. That was the lesson learned in the Kingdom.

The box was full until the day the King finally passed away. When he did, he was surrounded by children, grandchildren, stories, trinkets and love.

Only one life that soon is past; only what’s done with love will last.

To people all over the world, that ever suffered the terrible pain of losing a loved one to Alzheimer’s. I understand your pain. The night I read this story to my youngest son Evan, we wept together, holding each other tight. I pray science one day finds a cure for this terrible disease. In the meantime, may this little story bring you and your family comfort. May it bring your family a little closer together, as it has mine. Send this story to someone you know that is suffering. Perhaps it will heal the pain of loss for them or their children just a little bit. Grief is a form of energy and must find a way out. My hope is you make the time to put some trinkets in your family’s box. It won’t feel quite so empty.

Hinged Rail Stair Lifts

If a door at the top or the bottom of the stairs may be blocked by the rail of the stairlift, there are a number of models designed to overcome this problem. Some manufacturers are able to produce a rail with reduced overhang upstairs, so the lift will not protrude as far into the hallway. This may solve the problem at the top of your stairs and is a very cost effective solution.

If there is a door or passageway at the bottom of the stairs then it is likely that you will need a folding track or hinged rail stairlift. This means that the bottom section of the rail can be folded out of the way when the lift is not being used. This will allow you to gain access to a door that would be blocked by a normal rail and also means that there is no tripping hazard if you have an open hallway downstairs.

The hinged rail option is available from most suppliers but the cost and quality can vary greatly. Seek independent advice and consider if you would be able to fold the rail manually or if you would require powered operation. Most people do need the powered version as the mechanism can be quite heavy. Unfortunately these options will add to the cost of the lift.

The only other option is to stop the rail of the lift short, to prevent it protruding as far into the hallway. This might make getting off the lift dangerous and is not an ideal solution by any means. Again you must seek advice, preferably from an occupational therapist. Also take into account that while you may be able to use the lift this way in the short term you may find it impossible in the future. Some companies may not consider it an option as they feel there is too much risk involved.

Who's Gonna Take Care of You When You're Old?

I finally went to the doctor this morning for my bad cold. My appointment was for 9:30 am and yet I didn't get home until after 1:00 pm.

I'd asked the doctor to call in my prescription so I stopped at the store to pick it up on my way home. I was standing in line coughing and making people frown at me when I noticed this elderly couple. The woman got out of line and took her husband (he was blind) to sit in one of the chairs that are off to the side. And she started walking away. Well, I’m not paying much attention to them, I just want to get my medicine and go home and get back in the bed. I get my prescription and go to my truck to leave. WHY I SEE THE LITTLE OLD LADY OUTSIDE INCHING ACROSS THE PARKING LOT USING AN OLD UMBRELLA AS A CANE?????????? Geez!

So I pull up next to her and ask her where she was going. She said she had to go to the bank to get some money to pay for the medicine and their groceries. Now keep in mind that the bank is across this busy azz street which accesses the interstate. So…I get out of my truck and help her into the passenger seat. I drive her to the bank. While driving, she tells me that this elderly bus thing picked them up and dropped them off at Safeway and would be back to pick them up at 2:00. WHAT THE HECK?????????

Oh...she'd given her cane to someone "who had nothing" so they could use it and had to use the umbrella until she got another one. *sigh*

Okay…so I take her back to the store…I’m hacking the whole way sounding like a water egress or a crane but there was no way I could leave those two old people sitting out front of the store until the bus thing showed back up. *sigh*

So…..I helped her get her groceries. (IT TOOK FOREVER!!!!!) and then I put her and her husband in my truck and took them home. I stopped at Eckerds and bought her a new cane. It was only $19.99 and she was gonna bust her butt with that umbrella.

Now here's the sticker. It turns out that they have a son who is a doctor. His azz lives in Ohio. He bought them a house…but they have absolutely no help. NONE! The woman has heart problems and the man is blind and they have to rely on the elderly bus to take them around to doctor's appointments, etc. I’m thinking to myself…there would be no way I’d let my mama and daddy live like that. I’d either move them to Ohio or I’d move and be closer to them. I mean dang…a doctor can get a job anywhere.

Anyway…you KNOW I gave them my number…and this voice that sounded like mine told them to call if they ever needed something. *sigh*

But listen to this…after I unloaded them and their groceries…the lady tried to give me some money for gas. I was like…ma’am please…my heart would hurt too much if I took something from you. Then she said…well..only God can repay you. How may I pray for you? I said to pray that I have healthy babies one day. And she said…better than that…I’ll pray you have healthy babies whom will take care of you in your old age. Wow. That said a lot.

*sigh* I’m sad for them. Their son sucks.

Skilled Nursing Homes - What Are They?

A skilled nursing home is a medical facility providing services similar to a hospital. The homes are staffed with licensed nurses, shared rooms, hospital beds, regular scheduled doctor rounds, meals and housekeeping. Skilled nursing homes often provide a more pleasant setting with optimal nurse to patient ratios and relaxed atmospheres.

Skilled nursing homes provide both long-term and short-term care solutions for seniors. Unlike Assisted Living or Board and Care homes, skilled nursing homes provide solutions for patients with complex medical issues that require 24-hour supervision. These issues can include mental issues such as dementia and physical issues such as major infections, wound care, IV therapy, tube feeding and physical/occupational therapy. Skilled nursing facilities are also a common solution for seniors that are unable to care for themselves on daily basis such as those suffering from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

A skilled nursing home typically provides a team approach when providing medical care to patients. A licensed individual, usually called the “administrator”, oversees the departments comprising the skilled nursing home. A licensed Director of Nursing [“D.O.N.”] is then responsible for the administration of each department providing care to residents. Each D.O.N. is directly involved in the medical care of each patient. Their duties include overseeing nurses, interacting with physicians and resolving any patient-related issues. In essence, the D.O.N. is the person overseeing the day-to-day medical care of the patient.

In addition to the Director of Nursing, a skilled nursing home will customarily have other professionals on staff to assist patients. A med nurse is always assigned for the sole purpose of administering medications prescribed for the patients. Physical and occupational therapists also work within the structure of care, coordinating specifically ordered therapies and reporting progress to doctors. An activities director is in charge of all social interaction and planned activities. Finally, a social worker is typically on staff to assist patients with emotional issues and arrangements for their care after discharge.

New Hope for Alzheimer's Treatment

There is now widespread agreement among research scientists and medical professionals that Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a problem quickly growing to vast proportions. As the life expectancy of Americans continues to rise, increasing the percentage of the population over 65 years of age, so does the number of Alzheimer’s cases.

It is currently estimated that people over 65 years of age have a 10% chance of developing Alzheimer’s, while those over 85 have a 50% likelihood of developing AD, making it the leading cause of dementia among older people. Though the disease is associated primarily with memory loss, its effects also comprise a number of other severe disabilities, including changes in personality, disorientation, difficulty with speech and comprehension, and a lack of ability to move normally.

Consequently, most Alzheimer’s patients require a great deal of care, costing society close to $100 billion annually. According to Christian Fritze, Ph.D., Director of the Antibody Products Division at Covance Research Products, "The impact of Alzheimer's Disease on our society will only increase as our population ages. The prevalence of the disease and disabling effects on the patient are significant by themselves. In addition we are becoming increasingly aware of the far-reaching effects on families, care-giver networks and the economics of our health care system. The drive for progress towards effective treatments by the research and drug development community is growing stronger every day."

A New Consensus

But recent developments in the medical research community do provide some hope. During the last two years, there has been a growing consensus among Alzheimer researchers about the cause of Alzheimer’s disease, providing focus for scientists exploring the new treatment options.

The focus is on amyloid beta oligomers, a new wrinkle on an older hypothesis called the “amyloid cascade hypothesis”. Widespread acceptance of this new conclusion is something of a milestone in the history of Alzheimer’s research. As Dr. Fritze says, "The decades old quest for the causative agent in Alzheimer's Disease has recently focused on the precursors of amyloid plaques. These precursors are part of a bewildering array of processed (APP) Amyloid Precursor Protein) variants, Tau isoforms and secretase components that play a role in neuronal cytotoxicity and subsequent brain dysfunction.”

Amyloid plaques are sticky protein deposits in the brain containing amyloid beta peptide. Researchers have associated the buildup of this plaque with Alzheimer’s disease since its discovery in 1907. But despite the clear correlation, scientists were not sure what, exactly, spurred the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The hypothesis that amyloid beta accumulation in the brain is the major cause of Alzheimer’s Disease1 has been the focus of much attention over the past decade. Although this hypothesis was the leading explanation for the cause of AD, it had several weaknesses. The most obvious problem with the theory was the fact that the buildup of amyloid beta peptides did not necessarily correspond with the severity of Alzheimer’s symptoms.

However, in 19982 and in 20023, researchers proposed that it was not the amyloid beta plaques themselves that were neurotoxic – and therefore the cause of Alzheimer’s – but rather precursors to amyloid beta plaques formed by smaller aggregates of amyloid beta. These new ideas are gaining widespread acceptance among the Alzheimer’s research community, creating a consensus that had not existed before.

This new focus provides one more spur to action for Alzheimer’s researchers, and underscores the need for further advancement. “The AD field demands sophisticated, highly-sensitive research tools to track these components and quantitate the existence of monomeric, oligomeric and fibrillar amyloid forms present in the progression of Alzheimer's disease,” says Dr. Fritze.

Antibody Treatment

Two new studies, both released in October 20044, suggest that new treatment options may be on the horizon. The studies are the modification of one of two previous attempts using amyloid beta (Aβ) antibodies in the treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease. The previous attempts, though not successful, did at least suggest new courses of action in Alzheimer’s research and provided invaluable information for researchers.

In the first of the two previous attempts, researchers injected the antigen itself – pieces of the beta amyloid protein that makes up amyloid plaque – into mice, in the hopes that the injections would generate an immune (antibody) response against amyloid. Results were initially positive. The injected antigen produced Aβ antibodies and slowed the onset of the disease by decreasing Aβ levels. However, when tried on humans, the procedure led to meningoencephalitis (an inflammation of tissue around the brain) in some patients, and was therefore halted.

In the second attempt, a passive immunity therapy was tried in which antibodies to amyloid beta (not amyloid protein) were injected into mice, but hemorrhaging and inflammation ensued due to the high antibody doses required to be effective.

New Hope

But now there appears to be new hope for the use of antibodies as therapeutic agents for the treatment of Alzheimer’s patients. In the first of the two new studies that appeared in October conducted by the National Institute for Longevity Sciences, NCGG, and the Center for Neurological Diseases, Brigham & Women’s College, Harvard Institute of Medicine, researchers modified the first procedure. Concluding that the meningoenchaphalitis which occurred in some patients was caused by autoimmune T-cell activation, the researchers hoped to develop a vaccine that could minimize this T-cell activation while retaining the production of Aß antibodies.

To accomplish this they created an oral vaccine that attached Aß DNA to an adeno-associated virus vector, which served to mitigate T-cell activation. Thus they were able to decrease Aß levels in the brains of the mice and yet not activate T-cells to the degree they had before, greatly reducing the risk of meningoencephalitis.

In the other new study, conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers succeeded in making the passive immunity protocol much safer. This they accomplished by changing the point of entry for the Aß antibodies. Rather than injecting the antibodies into the body of the mice, as was done previously, antibody was injected directly into the brain of the mice. Because the antibodies were injected directly into the brain, smaller doses were needed, and side effects were minimized.

The results of the above studies, and the potential for further optimized immunization strategies may prove to be watershed events in the history of Alzheimer’s treatment.

Covance is a leading provider of innovative antibody products and custom antibody development services to the research community for Alzheimer’s disease. Visit for more in-depth information and to view the suite of products for Alzheimer’s disease. Boris Predovich is Vice President of Immunology and Surgical Services at Covance Research Products.


1. J.A. Hardy, G.A. Higgins (1992), Science, 256:184-5.
2. M.P. Lambert et al (1998), Proc Natl Acad Sci, 95:6448-53.
3. D.M. Walsh et al (2002), Nature, 416:535-9.
4. Neelima B. Chauhan et al (2004), Journal of Neuroscience Research, 78, 5:732-741.
Hideo Hara et al (2004), Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 6, 5:483-488.

Advocate For Senior Citizens - Protecting Against Abuse and Fraud

Ruth is 87 years old this year and has been living alone since 1997. She is in good health, however the daily chores around the home became increasingly difficult. Ruth turned to her church bulletin and found a ‘Home Care Company’ advertised.

Ruth is not unique in the fact that she is widowed and lives alone. According to the ‘2002 A Profile of Older Americans’ published by the Administration on Aging ( 41% of women age 65 and over, are widowed and live alone.

“The ad was in the church bulletin, I assumed this was a good company,” her voice cracking from the pain and embarrassment this home care service eventually caused her.

Unfortunately, Ruth is also not alone in the fact that she became victim to fraud. According to U.S. Senator Larry Craig, past ranking member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, ‘Vulnerable elders are being abused, neglected and exploited within their own homes and communities at an a alarming rate.’

“The lady they sent to me was well groomed, she was polite, and I had no reason to distrust her. You could tell she was from a good family …” Ruth went on to justify how quickly she was robbed of $4,200.

Barbara Mascio, founder of Senior Approved Services, states “Ruth’s story was just one of many incidences of abuse that I learned of while employed with a national home care company. The stories of abuse and fraud against this precious generation became the driving force behind the creation of Senior Approved Services.”

Senior Approved Services actively assists in protecting seniors by helping to connect them with businesses that have a verified history of providing excellent care. “We remain actively involved, a link between the senior receiving care and the business providing the care.”

“We are building a nationwide network of services, resources and products that seniors and their family caregivers can feel safe in contracting with. We are inviting all those concerned with the right of all seniors to receive excellent and safe care to help.”

See for current listings of Certified Senior Approved Services or phone the Cleveland Ohio office at 216-883-3163 during normal business hours.

Help promote awareness and help senior citizens avoid a business that may pose a threat to this vulnerable population, see and also

Marketing, Selling, and Serving the Older Adult, Senior Citizens, Family Caregivers

Are your clients pleased by the fine quality service that you provide? Validating your clients’ endorsement of you through Certification as a Senior Approved Service will increase your client base. Senior Approved Certification leads a family towards a service like yours side stepping the possibility of connecting with a less than desirable service.

If you serve the older adult, the disabled or those with chronic illnesses you may qualify for an independent consumer-driven survey process leading to certification as a Senior Approved Service.

You will not pay for clients, leads or referrals. You will not violate HIPAA or the Anti-kickback rulings. You will not pay for membership or advertising space.

Certifications are offered for medical, non-medical, alternative healing practices, housing, elder-law, and financial planners – virtually any type of business that reaches this population. “We are building the ultimate one-call solution," states Barbara Mascio, founder. “Seniors are need of many kinds of service, including lawn care, handyman services and so on. We save the headache of shopping around and completely remove the guess work.”

Confident business owners recognize the benefits of being part of an exclusive network of Certified Senior Approved Services. See

Jean F. Wales, President of Wales Consulting LLC and Author of "Do It Now! An Organizing Handbook for Families and Senior Citizens writes Becoming a Senior Approved Service instantly raised the credibility of my book "Do It Now! An Organizing Handbook for Families and Senior Citizens.

Ester Whitney, owner of Sweet Adeline's Home writes I feel I have been given a great opportunity to be the first Residential Home Care Provider to be approved by Senior Approved Services in the Dallas Area … everyone has been impressed …

Tony Latina and Peggy Schmidt, co-owners of Advanced Laser Solutions writes We have had nothing but positive feedback from the referrals from Senior Approved Services. They have been excellent to work with and we strongly recommend them.

Paul Stone, owner of Occasional Help for Seniors a general cleaning and handyman service writes We are so proud to be Certified as a Senior Approved Service. Putting this on our brochures, business cards and other advertisement pieces has clearly, without a doubt, increased our client base. Barbara is right; seniors need services but are afraid or confused about which one to call.

See for details. Mention Savings Code 0630 when you apply for certification.

Barbara Mascio, Founder of Senior Approved Services - a National Network of Products, Resources and Services Endorsed by Seniors

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Caring for Aging Relatives

It happens somewhat slowly in the beginning, maybe with a small cough that gets worse as time goes on. It might simply begin with absent mindedness which is totally out of character, followed by total memory lapses. What do we do when our parents eventually need taking care of after they have spent so much of their adult lives taking care of us? What precisely is a child’s responsibility to them? Is it self-centered to relocate them into an assisted home? And which siblings should shoulder the responsibility? These are questions which plague families whenever a parent happens to become sick.

It is certainly very normal for feelings of guilt and even occasionally depression to happen to you because of a deteriorating parent. But happily there are some good associations that do offer expert advice on coping with these problems. And there are specialists in this arena who can work with you to help you through the hard times.

Local hospitals, hospices and nursing homes usually have such names and numbers to assist you in this regard. If your dad feels certain that someone has broken into the house just to steal his chocolate when he has in fact eaten it himself, do not argue with him or say that his theories are irrational. Just calmly acknowledge how he feels and make him feel safe and loved. Do small things to alleviate his fears like simply letting him see you lock the doors or secure the windows at night before going to bed. If you get an unsatisfactory attitude from his physician, take him to a geriatric psychiatrist for further examination.

Erratic behavior is one of the earlies warning signals of dementia. If your mom starts cussing at the dinner table in front of the kids just because her steak is a bit undercooked, correct her calmly by teaching her the appropriate behavior: “Excuse me, my steak is a little undercooked, can you put it back on the grill for me please?”

Never resort to bad language yourself, as this will just perpetuate the unwanted behavior. If you feel yourself losing your own temper, take a few deep breaths until you are able to control your emotions. If you are being verbally assualted then it may be best to detach from being called offensive names. Give 3 warnings, use the silent treatment and then just walk away if the behavior goes on.

This can be one of the touphest problems to cope with, particularly for a very stubborn parent. Driving is so commonly related to having freedom and yet if you get reports that your dad is passing stop signs or driving on the wrong side of the street you have to deal with it. If you take his keys away from him, he may resent you, so it may be best to take a more indirect approach.

Take him or her for a “normal” checkup to check his vision, then ask the physician for a note expressing that the patient should not be driving anymore. Send the letter to the DMV requesting that his license be taken away. This may take a few weeks, but when the DMV takes away his license, be sympathetic and do research on transportation for seniors in the area, which is usually inexpensive and efficient.

For further information go to Fish Oil News and find out some additional facts about aging and the possible effect of fish oil on Alzheimers.

Long Term-Care; 70 Million Americans Will Be Over 65 by 2003

We will all grow old; this is a given. We will all have health issues as we grow older, this also is a given. Many people work their whole lives and if they are smart end up with a paid for house and a little nest egg for retirement. This is a good 15% of the population. Good for us as we have a strong middle-class. But whether you are rich or poor there will come a time when you need long-term care. As a matter of fact statistics show tat 10% of use will need long-term care for 3-5 years.

The problem is that such care costs a good $135.00 per day now, not including any future inflation. So something you should be thinking about is; do you have adequate coverage to protect you life’s earnings, home and nest egg in the case you are somewhat incapacitated and need home long-term care? Many financial planners are recommending insurance for this; as a matter of fact currently it is all the rage.

When shopping for such long-term care insurance there are things you need to look for besides your basic costs of premiums and general services. Things such as an inflation rider to protect you; also a non-forfeiture rider should be in the policy. The non-forfeiture rider prevents the insurance company from completely canceling your policy if you miss premiums; instead you will get less services or care, but not loss of all benefits. There are also in some policies provisions for limiting premium increases. Insurers cannot raise an individual’s premiums but they are allowed to raise premiums for an entire class or category of folks. You need to make sure this will not happen and look for this in your policy.

Guaranteed Renewability is another provision you need to have; meaning they cannot cancel or refuse to renew your policy as you reach and older age of higher risk.

There are over 100 companies, which offer these types of insurance policies but only about 15 or so are any good. Other companies like some abuses in the Insurance Annuity Business may simply collect lots of premiums and then go out of business in the future, leaving you high and dry after taking your premiums. Please be careful and think about this.