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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Conversating with an Aging Parent...Where to Begin

blog posting provided by Christie Munson, CSA

If you're visiting a parent or family member during the holidays it can be an excellent time to have those critical, and sometimes challenging, conversations.

Being prepared and having some strategies in mind, before you sit down at the kitchen table, can make all the difference when bringing up difficult subjects. While working with seniors and their families over the years, I have picked up a few strategies that have been quite helpful.

Sometimes knowing what not to do can be a great place to start and monitoring your own behavior, before the conversation takes place, can save much frustration for all involved. I found an excellent book entitled, "With All Due Respect...Are Your Aging Parents Driving You Crazy?" by Joseph A. Ilardo, PhD, LCSW and Carole R. Rothman, PhD.

In their book they mentioned three basic errors of the "well-meaning child." I found this section quite helpful, which explained how adult children may:

  1. "Act prematurely." Taking action too quickly, before understanding the whole picture, can sometimes lead to the wrong solution.
  2. "Fail to consider their parents' feelings and desires." This may not be done intentionally, but if there are time constraints or the issue is pressing, this very important factor can be overlooked.
  3. "Do more than is needed." Honoring a parent's independence and right to choose should always be a priority! Focusing on his or her abilities rather than disabilities can help avoid doing too much for your loved one.

Christine Munson, CSA, lives and works in Phoenix, AZ and is a Communications Manager for a retirement community and a Professional Organizer, specializing in senior services. Christie can be contacted at

Resources: ILardo, Joseph A. and Rothman, Carol R. With All Due Respect...Are Your Aging Parents Driving You Crazy? Acton: VanderWyk & Burnham, 2001

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Programs for Senior Citizens |

Blog posting courtesy of article, Christmas Programs for Senior Citizens

During the Christmas season, some senior citizens might feel lonely and forgotten. In an effort to prevent these feelings, many organizations have created assistance programs to help seniors during Christmas. While some of these programs offer food or gifts, others simply allow senior citizens to connect with their friends and family during the holidays. Read more: Christmas Programs for Senior Citizens

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Retirement Plan Limits - Social Security and Medicare

Blog posting provided by Frank Vidin, CFP(R), CSA
Faculty, Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Part II of the November 17th Blog Posting, Retirement Plan Limits

Each fall the Social Security Administration releases inflation-adjusted numbers for Social Security and Medicare. For the second year in a row, there will be no inflation adjustment to Social Security Benefits. However, Medicare premiums, deductibles, and co-pays have changed. The tables below list some of the changes that could be of interest to a CSA.
To print a hardcopy of this table, visit

Four Key Provisions of the Health Care Bill

Blog posting provided by Michael Snowdon, CFP

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) had made some pretty significant changes to health care coverage. Here are four changes that already are in place.

First, lifetime limits on health insurance have been eliminated. No matter how high your claims, you cannot run out of coverage, because you have reached the policy's lifetime limit. Currently, some policies have a $500,000 or $1 million limit, which given a significant enough medical need, can be reached all too often.

Next, children can be covered under their parent's health insurance plan until they reach age 26. It does not matter whether they are married, living with you, in college or financially dependent on you. If you want them to be covered, you can do it.

Another change is a little help with Medicare's prescription drug "donut hole". Medicare Part D coverage reaches a point when you have to pay for all your prescription drug expenses, known as the donut hole. The PPACA will provide a one-time $250 rebate to help pay those expenses.

Finally, the PPACA stops health plans from retroactively canceling your insurance coverage solely because you or your employer made an honest mistake on your insurance application. Previously, an insurer might use such a mistake to rescind (terminate) a policy after a claim was filed. No longer. However, if you intentionally try to mislead the insurer and they find out, your policy may be terminated.

Check out for more information.

Michael Snowdon, CFP, President
T: 303-721-1140; 888-326-5557 Ext. 4 / F: 866-437-3843 / W: Wealthridge / 8400 E. Crescent Parkway, Suite 600 / Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Thursday, December 9, 2010

National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners

Blog posting courtesy of The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners
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The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners is offering The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners Alzheimer's and Dementia Staff Education Week February 14th to the 21st Tool Kit. This tool kit is free of charge and will be available for download at beginning November 15th 2010 and ending March 1st 2011.

Excerpt from NCCDP Press Release, released November 4th 2010:

"The Tool Kit and the declaration by the NCCDP Alzheimer's and Dementia Education Week February 14th to the 21st was developed to bring national and international awareness to the importance of providing comprehensive dementia education by means of face to face interactive classroom environment to all healthcare professionals and line staff and to go above and beyond the minimum state requirements regarding dementia education."

"Currently there are no national standards for dementia education. The regulations are different from state to state. The NCCDP recommends at minimum an initial 8 hours of dementia education to all staff. Throughout the year, additional dementia education should be provided that incorporates new advances, culture changes and innovative ideas."

"In addition to facilitating the Train the Trainer programs, The NCCDP promotes dementia education and certification of all staff who qualify as Certified Dementia Practitioners (CDP). The NCCDP recommends that at minimum there should be one Certified Dementia Practitioner per shift. The NCCDP recommends a trained and certified Alzheimer's and dementia instructor by the NCCDP to utilize up to date NCCDP training materials."

"The NCCDP recognizes the importance of educated and certified dementia unit mangers and certifying the Dementia Unit Manager (CDCM)."

"Dementia Unit Managers report that they have received little training as a Dementia Unit Manager.'

"Front Line First Responders and Law Enforcement need comprehensive dementia training and the NCCDP provides Alzheimer's and Dementia training to First Responder and Law Enforcement educators and certification as Certified First Responder Dementia Trainer."

The free tool kit includes:
  • Free PowerPoint In-services (Many topics) for Health Care Staff which include pre-test, post tests, hand outs, answers, in-service evaluation and in-service certificates
  • Nurse Educator of the Year Nomination Forms
  • Nomination Forms for NCCDP Alzheimer's and Dementia Staff Education Week Contest
  • Proclamations doe Senators and Mayor
  • Letters to the Editors Promoting Your Program
  • 97 Ways to Promote Alzheimer's and Dementia Staff Education Week 2011
  • Resources and Important Web Sites

"The National Council of Certified Dementia Practitioners, LLC was formed in 2001 by a group of professionals with varying work and personal experiences in the field of dementia care. The Council was formed to promote standards of excellence in dementia and Alzheimer's education to professionals and other caregivers who provide services to dementia clients. As the number of dementia cases continues to increase nationally and worldwide, there is a great necessity to insure that care givers are well trained to provide appropriate, competent, and sensitive direct care and support for the dementia patient. The goal of the Council is to develop and encourage comprehensive standards of excellence in the health care profession and delivery of dementia care."

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Prepping Clients for Retirement

Blog posting by Rick Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors

The successful financial advisor will be the one who suceeds in helping his/her senior clients obtain both financial security and adjusting to the unique lifestyle changes in retirement.

An advisor recently said: "With my long-term clients, we rarely talk about finances and more often discuss family and the future. Some years ago, we built a retirement plan, and together, we monitor it closely. I work with each client to secure his or her retirement in its totality."

Some practical steps to get your clients ready for the non-financial aspects of retirement:
  1. Educate yourself by reading books and articles. Better understand the psychology of aging and myths and misconceptions surrounding retirement.

  2. Provide clients with recommended readings. Encourage clients to share their views on the materials provided.

  3. Sponsor a client pre-retirement workshop at which a retirement specialist speaks about non-financial issues.

  4. Talk about successful retirees you know and steps they took to build a rewarding retirement. Point out the challenges they overcame. Ask your client how he/she can incorporate the lessons in their retirement life.

  5. Regularly review with each client their vision of retirement and plans for achieving their vision.

  6. Continue to encourage clients to view retirement not only as a time of change but also a time of opportunity.

Recently, a client said: "I've been asked to move my accounts but I won't. My advisor understands what I'm going through and helps me prepare for life after work. You can't get me out of here with dynamite!"

Now that's something we want to hear.


Richard (Rick) Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors, is an expert in pre-retirement planning. He is also author of the best-selling book, Don't Just Retire - Live It, Love It! Rick faciliates workshops for clients of advisors and others.

To contact Richard, call 416--282-7320 or write: 7 Blue Anchor Trail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. M1C 3N9. -

Friday, December 3, 2010

Are Your Emails Getting Spammed?

We are all aware of "spam email," the unsolicited commercial email that is sent to multiple recipients. Spam mail is annoying and Internet Service Providers are doing what they can to help filter out these types of emails. Unfortunately, sometimes the good guys get filtered out with the bad.

One solution to this problem is white listing. A white list is a group of contacts or email addresses that you WANT to receive emails from. When you first receive an email, your service provider or email software will check this list. If the email has been sent from someone on this list, the email will automatically be delivered to your inbox - every time!

Here are a few of the most common providers with step by step instructions on how to add an email to your white list:

Yahoo Mail
1. Click on the "Options" tab in the upper right-hand corner
2. Find the "Filters" link and click on it
3. Set-up a new filter by clicking on "add"
4. In the "Filter Name" box, give your filter a name
5. In the "From Header" section, select "Contains" and then in the box immediately to the right, enter the email addresse(s) you wish to receive email from
6. Near the bottom of the filter window, find the section that says "Move the Message To" and select "Inbox" from the dropdown menu
7. In the lower left corner, click the "Add Filter" button

1. Open an email from the recipient you wish to receive emails from
2. Click on the "Add Address" tab - located at the right of your screen
3. Click the "Save" button at the bottom of the Address Card window

1. Open an email from the recipient you wish to receive emails from
2. Click on the "Actions" tab
3. Click on the "Junk E-mail" link
4. Click on "Add Sender to Safe Senders List"

1. Click on the "Options" tab in the upper right hand corner and then click on "More Options"
2. Locate the "Junk E-Mail" category and click on "Safe and Blocked Senders"
3. Click on "Safe Senders"
4. In the box labeled "Sender or Domain to Mark as Safe," enter the email address
5. Click the "Add to List" button

Are you a Certified Senior Advisor and not receiving emails from us? Add our email addresses to your white list: and

Blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Social Security cuts are part of deficit plan - Social Security News - AARP Bulletin

A new deficit plan is underway that might lower Social Security benefits. Click here to read the full article on this topic, recently released by AARP.

blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Article courtesy of AARP

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Working with Medicare

Blog posting provided by Michael Snowdon, CFP

Most seniors use Medicare to handle a large portion of their medical expenses. Unfortunately, Medicare is not always the easiest to work with. Do something wrong and you may find yourself in bureaucratic limbo. Especially when you're not used to managing financial matters, handling these issues can be overwhelming.

Thankfully, there are some resources available to help.

First, Medicare has a website and it's a pretty good one: has a lot of useful information. One indispensible reference is Medicare and You ( This is a good starting place to determine potential benefits. For a more personalized version of your benefits, create an account on You will then be able to see your benefits, check on claims, look for medical providers and see services that are available to you.

You may prefer to talk with a real person instead of looking on the web. The Medicare helpline number is 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). You can order Medicare publications, listen to recorded questions and answers, as well as talk with someone about your Medicare questions.

Sometimes you may need extra help in getting a claim handled. That's where a patient advocate may come in handy. Patient advocates can help address issues related to health care, medical debts, insurance claims and similar concerns. Many states and hospitals have patient advocates. There is also a national Patient Advocate Foundation that may be able to provide help. You can contact them on the web at: or by phone at 1-800-532-5274.

Michael Snowdon, CFP, President
T: 303-721-1140; 888-326-5557 Ext. 4 / F: 866-437-3843 / W:
Wealthridge / 8400 E. Crescent Parkway, Suite 600 / Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Friday, November 19, 2010

Free Guide - How Healthcare Reform Affects Seniors

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors is excited to announce our newest white paper, How Healthcare Reform Affects Seniors. This guide was created in order to answer some of the most often-asked questions about the new health care reform bill, titled The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was signed into law earlier this year. Each year the bill is slated to roll out new provisions that affect individuals, businesses, insurance companies, health care providers, and the government. We've created this easy-to-read guide in order to help seniors, their families and the professionals who work with them navigate the complexities of how healthcare reform affects seniors.

While it is possible that the bill will be modified over the years, whether by lawmakers or by the courts, it is important to understand the approaching provisions and what they mean for you. Many people will be affected in areas such as federal income taxes, adjustments in existing health care coverage, access to health care coverage, access to information and requirements of employers.

The topics covered within include:
  • How will my Medicare benefits change?
  • What happens to my Medicare D coverage?
  • How are my income taxes affected?
  • What new assistance is available for long-term care?
  • How are seniors protected against abuse under health care reform?
  • Is there a timeline for when all of these take effect?
  • Where can I go for more information?

We hope you find this information valuable and that you will share it with other seniors or professionals who work with seniors.

Download your copy of this guide by visiting our website at or by clicking here.

Blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Retirement Plan Limits

Blog posting provided by Frank Vidin, CFP(R), CSA
Faculty, Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Each fall the IRS issues updated numbers for income tax and retirement plan/IRA contributions. The tables below list some of the retirement plan changes that could be of interest to a CSA. Because of the uncertainty regarding tax provisions, the IRS has indicated that some income and transfer tax adjustments may not be available until as late as February 2011.

(1) IRS News Release IR-2010-108 (Oct. 28, 2010), IRS Notice 2009-94, 2009-50 I.R.B. 848 (December 14, 2009).

To print a hard copy of this table, visit

Friday, November 12, 2010

SeniorCare Organizational Systems (SOS): Alzheimer's Disease Warning Signs

SeniorCare Organizational Systems (SOS): Alzheimer's Disease Warning Signs: "The Alzheimer's Association is so good about getting the word out about warning signs for Alzheimer's Disease in an easy to understand format..."

blog posting courtesy of Karen Bazan, CSA

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


blog posting courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care

A brief survey has been developed by a group of leading eldercare and caregiver stress experts to help those who care for the elderly determine what level of stress they may be experiencing in their role as a caregiver.

All answers to this survey are completely confidential and there are no right or wrong answers. Once completed, an assessment of your responses will give you the resources to help you make your personal caregiving experience more rewarding and maintain your own health and spirits.

To take this survey, click on the following link

This assessment tool has been developed by Home Instead Senior Care, the world's largest provider of companionship and home care services for aging adults. This is not a diagnostic tool and is for informational purposes only.

Friday, November 5, 2010

An Aging World - GE Data Visualization

Check out this really neat GE Data Visualization of our aging societies around the world. This visualization allows you to compare eight different industrialized nations and the shifts in population by age group ranging from 1950 - 2050.

blog posting provided by GE

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Retirement - Great Time or Bust?

blog posting by Richard Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors

Pension plans and asset accumulation are one side of retirement. But what about a retiree's shrinking social network and the possibility of loneliness?

Do you know clients who are dreading retirement because of concern how they will keep themselves occupied or fear of the 'honey-do' list?

Research shows successful retirees plan for happiness and productivity. They evaluate what's important and construct actions to satisfy their needs and wants. By creating a vision of a realistic retirement and building an action plan to achieve it, they are proactively and energetically seeking the results they desire.

As a financial advisor, you can assist clients create a realistic vision of retirement including how to build a balanced health and leisure strategy and the importance of a positive attitude.

As a first step towards building a retirement vision, ask a client:
  1. "Who do you know who is successfully retired? What are they doing that you admire?"
  2. "Who do you know who is unsuccessful in retirement? What are they doing or not doing that is hindering their retirement?"
  3. "What do you need to plan for and do to be a successful retired person?"
Encourage your clients to create their detailed vision of retirement and then together regularly review the vision. Ask questions such as "What's working?" "What's not working as you would like?" "What do you need to do differently?"

Be open and receptive to client concerns - this increases trust and understanding within the client relationship.

The added value can be monumental and it doesn't cost anything more than time.

Richard Atkinson, Founder and President of RA Retirement Advisors, is an expert in pre-retirement planning. He is also author of the best-selling book, Don't Just Retire - Live It, Love It!

To contact Richard, call 416-282-7320 or write: 7 Blue Anchor Trail, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. /

Friday, October 29, 2010

Billie Jean Dancing Senior Citizens

Check out this awesome video of three 70+ year old Leisure World residents dancing to Billie Jean in honor of Michael Jackson.

blog posting by Society of Certified Seniors Advisors

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Driving with Dignity

Is your loved one experiencing diminished driving skills? Are they becoming lost in familiar places, bumping into curbs, mailboxes or scraping the sides of the garage when they back out? Have they been involved in a minor parking lot fender-bender or do they complain about being honked at? According to Matt Gurwell, Founder and CEO of Keeping Us Safe, the most important thing to remember is that the time to start addressing your concerns is now, before "concerns" turn into "tragedies".

Although people age at different rates and some 75 year olds are more alert than other 60 year olds, there comes a point in every seniors life when it's time to give up driving. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, although older drivers tend to travel fewer miles than younger drivers, the "per mile traveled" crash rates start increasing for drivers 70 and older and increase markedly after age 80.

Here are just a few factors that affects a seniors ability to drive:
  • Vision: Good eyesight is one of the most important factors related to safe driving, but unfortunately it's also one of the biggest changes that occur with aging. Seniors' eyes are less sensitive to light and take longer to refocus when they change from near to far distance.
  • Hearing: Hearing also deteriorates as we age. In face, 33 percent of people over age 65 have some degree of hearing loss and 75 percent of those over age 75 have some hearing loss. Impaired hearing is dangerous because seniors can have trouble hearing horns and sirens.
  • Cognitive Hearing: Cognitive ability also decreased as we age. It takes longer for seniors to process information and to make decisions. In addition, their attention spans can be shorter and they might have trouble multi-tasking. Driving a car is a complex process that requires full concentration.

Giving up driving has emotional, logistical and physical consequences. Seniors who don't drive tend to feel more isolated and depressed than their peers. In addition, studies suggest that seniors who stop driving end up in assisted living facilities sooner than those who still drive. Thus, helping seniors make this important decision means enlisting the full support of their caregivers and family members. The decision to stop driving shouldn't be rushed - but neither should it be delayed.

Matt Gurwell, Founder and CEO of Keeping Us Safe will be hosting an educational webinar for our CSAs on this topic next month. Matt will discuss his recently released workbook "Beyond Driving with Dignity: the workbook for families of older drivers" and how it seeks to provide families (or professionals working with seniors) with a "roadmap to success" in their quest to overcome the challenges of an older driver's safety. To learn more about Keeping Us Safe, please visit or contact Matt at 877.907.8841.

Register for this educational webinar at to help your family identify and implement alternative means of transportation for the retiring driver.

blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Assessing Insurance Needs for Seniors

blog posting by Michael Snowdon, CFP

Consider these "truths" from years past. The earth is flat. The sun orbits the earth. Humans will never fly. To these conventional wisdoms, lets add one more: Seniors don't need life insurance. Just as we now know those other "truisms" are not really true, I would suggest that most seniors need at least some life insurance. Even if you're beyond child-rearing and income-earning days, you may need coverage for one or more of the following reasons:

Estate settlement costs. If nothing else, people need funds to pay for the funeral and other costs associated with death. Dying may be inevitable, but it is not free.

Adjustment costs. When someone dies, the survivor goes through an adjustment period. Typically, adjustment costs aren't huge, but not everyone has the extra thousands of dollars sitting around. Life insurance proceeds can provide that money when it is most needed.

Retirement income. One of the advantages of permanent (whole life, universal life, etc.) life insurance is that it grows tax deferred. It's possible to build a fairly significant cash value by the time you reach retirement, which can be turned into an annuity or drawn on when you need it.

Part of a conservative financial planning approach includes maintaining a foundation of adequate savings and insurance before taking more speculative investment risks. Life insurance can provide some of that foundation. Before making a decision on this, why not get in touch with your financial advisor to talk it over?

Michael Snowdon, CFP

Michael is president of WealthRidge, a wealth mangement and financial planning firm, and is a professor emeritus of the College for Financial Planning. His focus in financial planning is to coach people in the process of meeting their goals and achieving their dreams.

Friday, October 15, 2010

National Council on Aging Announces Two New Board Members

National Council on Aging Announces Two New Board Members

Degrees, Certificates and Designations - What's the Difference?

Professionals in any industry know the “alphabet soup” phrase as referring to the multitude of degrees, designations and certificates that are available to them for educational and marketing purposes. Many articles have been written on the varied use of these to gain business, earn respect and make their business card look important. But what really is the difference in the education and accreditation backing for each of these categories?

Most professionals in the workplace have a degree of some sort. Most degrees are earned in an accredited university or college. These higher education institutions have earned approval from one of the accrediting bodies published on the U.S. Department of Education’s website at . This type of accreditation indicates that the institution's performance and degrees are measured against the standards approved by the Department and enforced by through the accrediting body. In addition, a team selected by the accrediting agency visits the institution or program to determine first-hand if the institution meets the established standards.

Certificate programs are programs that are usually specific and educate the participant in a very particular area of study. Certificate programs can be accredited by a range of accrediting agencies that are either regionally or nationally approved. Certificate programs are accredited by the material and course work that is required, not on the testing measures. These programs also do not require any continued education to maintain the certificate.

Designation programs differ from certificates as it is the test or exam that is accredited for designations, not the course work and number of hours. In these programs, participants may study the recommended materials but can also incorporate other means of study and professional experiences to prepare themselves for the exam. Designation programs are accredited by a variety of accreditation bodies, with the majority of accreditation requiring national approval. Some programs such as those for physician's assistants or theological designations are regionally accredited and the accreditation must be received in the region in order to be recognized by employers. Designations are more widely recognized as a higher achievement by employers and regulators as the accreditation of the test ensures that the holder of the designation has passed not only a certain amount of study or professional experience but also met test requirements. In addition, professionals holding a designation must also perform continuing education in order to maintain a valid membership and use of the designation.

Consumers should thoroughly review a professionals displayed credentials. Taking the time to call the issuing organization, review the credential's credibility online, and check with the state regulatory office are steps a potential client should complete before agreeing to work with a professional. Any professional advising they are an "expert" simply because of a designation, certificate or degree should be avoided.

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors provides a designation to individuals who successfully complete the eligibility requirements established by the independent SCSA Certification Council. To recertify the designation, CSAs must remain current in the field of aging by completing ongoing continuing education (CE) requirements, also established by the Certification Council.

When researching what program would best suit the needs of the professional and those they will be working with, it is important to research industry standards, state requirements, accreditation validity and other aspects of a program. Finding a program that promotes education, ethics and responsibility should also be number one on an applicants list.

To obtain a copy of this handout, please visit the Free Resources section of the CSA website,

blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Elderly Early Adopter

by guest blogger Jo Myers, Author-Speaker

An early adopter tries out new technology before other people do.

At age 87, Kathryn is an early adopter, once removed.

With macular degeneration stealing her vision, Kathryn was desperate to enjoy her hobby of reading. Her son-in-law, Greg, looked into e-readers, but they were not backlit; Kathryn saw only blank screens when she looked at them. When iPad became available, Greg checked it out and bought it.

"I didn't tell her how much it cost until after she was hooked," related Greg.

"It took me half a day to learn how to use it," said Kathryn. "I like the book feel of the iPad. You roll your fingers across the screen and it makes the pages curl and turn from one to the other."

Greg and Kathryn were disappointed to learn that, unlike Nook and Kindle, iPad couldn't be used at the library; book downloads are available only through iStore. Another downside: it's not easy to charge the device if you are visually impaired.

"I'm always looking for new products that help Kathryn read," said Greg. "She just got a Looky. It's a small electronic magnifying glass with a foldout handle that works like a camera zoom. I took her to the store and let the clerk take it from there. It's better when it's her idea."

No matter the age, anyone can be an early adopter, once removed. All you need is a tech advocate, the willingness to learn something new, and ... money.

Former radio personality Jo Myers uses her voice to promote preplanning for death when not in crisis-management mode. Her book "Good to Go" (Sterling Publishing, 2010) and keynote, "Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess" contain tips and advice for anyone who might die someday and the professionals who serve them. - 303.808.8280

Friday, October 8, 2010

The Top Ten Fears of Elderly Adults

Blog Posting Courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care

Many of the fears that aging adults experience relate to the biggest challenge they say they face: staying active. According to a recent survey conducted for the Home Instead Senior Care network, seniors worry about the future, beginning with the loss of their independence. *

  1. Loss of Independence
  2. Declining Health
  3. Running out of money
  4. Not being able to live at home
  5. Death of a spouse or other family member
  6. Inability to manage their own activities of daily living
  7. Not being able to drive
  8. Isolation or loneliness
  9. Strangers caring for them
  10. Fear of falling or hurting themselves
We regularly see seniors who are literally trapped in their homes because they are too weak to perform many of the activities they need to remain safe and independent, or to even enjoy life," says Home Instead Senior Care Co-Founder and CEO Paul Hogan. "That's why staying active is viewed by so many as vital to healthy aging."

Need ideas for activities and other tools? Download a PDF version of the Home Instead Senior Care booklet, Activities for the Mind, Body & Soul.

*The Boomer Project ( completed online interviews with 523 seniors in the U.S. and 358 seniors in Canada, and 1,279 U.S. adult caregivers, ages 35-62, with a parent, stepparent or older relative for whom they or someone in their household provides care, and with 407 adult caregivers in Canada.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Brain Health & Fitness Education Resources Growing at a Rapid Rate

by Guest Blogger, Gary W. Ford, ACP Publisher

Research shows that brain health and brain fitness are one of the most popular concerns among older adults today. Whether trying to exercise the brain like you exercise the body, or trying to figure out if “mild-forgetfulness” is something more serious, older adults are looking for help in keeping their minds healthy and fit.

This demand has created a fast-growing brain fitness industry for software, online resources and training programs for older adults and the organizations that serve them.

Here are some websites that you will find useful for brain health resources for you and your clients:

  • –This is the leading consulting group in this new field. They have lots of interesting resources, including a good checklist for choosing the right brain fitness program.

Some leading brain fitness software/training companies:

Our company, ACP, Inc., has published a popular senior health education wall calendar for more than 20 years. This fall, we are introducing both a personalized brain fitness wall calendar and pocket planner. You can find out more by visiting or

If you are looking for more details about the “brain fitness” market, contact Gary Ford at

Friday, October 1, 2010

3rd Annual Exploitation Conference

The 3rd Annual Exploitation Conference, Legal Day for the Elderly, is being held on Thursday, October 14th at the El Paso Community College Administrative Offices in El Paso, Texas.

The event is being co-sponsored by the Staff of the Adult Protective Services, County Attorney's Office and the APS Silver Star Board.

There are several opportunities available for you or your business/organization to participate in:

1. Attend the conference to learn more about the topics of:
  • Exploitation
  • Identity Theft
  • Hoarding
  • Abuse and Neglect
  • Crimes against our Aged or Disabled
  • and much more

2. Be an exhibitor

3. Provide items to be placed in goodie bags that will be given to each attendee

4. Donate door prizes to be given out during the all day conference

It is exptected that 400-500 people will attend this conference including Health Professionals and Consumers of Services.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information, please contact:

Nancy M. Peters, MA, LBSW, CSA


APS Silver Star Board

p: 915-252-6404


blog posting by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

5 Reasons Why Medicaid Planning is Essential

blog posting by Christine Miller, R.N., CSA

  1. Laws regarding Medicaid are complex and state specific. To qualify for Medicaid there must be both a medical need and a financial need. Certain assets are accounted when determining financial need and others are exempt. The line between exempt and non exempt assets can be difficult for the layperson to identify.
  2. The cost of nursing home care is expensive and most people cannot afford it without the help of Medicaid or long-term care insurance.
  3. Many people have not purchased long-term care insurance, so when the need arises they rely on Medicaid to help pay the cost of nursing home care. Without preplanning, many spouses find themselves spending all of their savings assets to provide care for their loved one who is in the nursing home. When this happens, the spouse living in the community has little left over to care for their own needs.
  4. Applying for Medicaid takes time. The application process itself is complicated and lengthy and at times is refused due to ineligibility. Sometimes the evaluator may request additional information or need further documentation of medical need or financial assets. If you have any doubts about eligibility, it may be best to obtain expert guidance.
  5. Nursing home admissions are frequently unexpected and can be an emotional time for both the spouse and the person being admitted. Often times, the role can be reversed and it is the spouse who has been caring for their loved one who ends up being admitted. Unexpected situations happen that we don't plan for such as a fall, stroke or heart attack. When a situation such as this occurs, the matter gets a bit more complicated as now both individuals may require nursing home care.
Preplanning for Medicaid can give you peace of mind because you know what to do if and when the need arises.

Christine Miller RN, CSA
Certified Senior Advisor
Hearts and Homes for Seniors
Assisting Seniors in Transition


Friday, September 24, 2010

SCSA Releases Updated Basics Brochure

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors has released an updated version of the BASICS brochure. BASICS answers some of the most often-asked questions about Social Security, Medicare, Medicare Supplements, Medicaid, senior housing, in-home care and long-term care insurance. This informative and easy-to-read, 36-page booklet was inspired our by Certified Senior Advisors (CSAs), who have taken the time to learn about the complexity of aging and how to help seniors find the tools to navigate that journey.

Some examples of questions contained in this booklet, include:

1. How do I qualify for Social Security?

2. What do Medicare Parts A, B, C and D cover?

3. Do long-term care insurance premiums increase each year?

4. What are the different types of senior housing?

5. and much more

Certified Senior Advisors (CSAs) can you use this handy guide to pass along to their senior clients. This critical information will not only help them to age well but will genuinely make a difference in their lives. Click here to view a sample of this full color brochure.

blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

"When I'm 64" - How Aging U.S. Baby Boomers Have Begun to Carry That Weight

According to a recently released report by the Rand Institute, When I'm 64, the past decade has seen a market increase in the number of people past age 65 who remain in the workforce. The report analyzes some reasons for this trend and considers the implications on Social Security and other social programs. One significant outgrowth of the continued attachment to the workforce may be delayed cognitive decline -- a trend noticed in research from thirteen countries.

However, the report also discusses a significant increase in disability among Americans aged 50 to 64. According to the report, 42 percent of Americans in this age range report having difficulty with at least one of nine common physical functions, such as walking a quarter mile, climbing ten steps without resting, or a combination of bending, stooping, and kneeling. By contrast, there appears to be a decline among Americans aged 65 and over.

We think this information will be interesting and helpful to all CSAs.

Click here to download a copy of this report.

Blog posting provided by Frank Vidin, CFP(R), CSA
Faculty, Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Friday, September 17, 2010

You've Got Talent

An organization looking to bridge the gap between their senior adults and students created the video below as the opening of their fall retreat. The video titled, You've Got Talent, features a senior adult choir singing a selection of hip hop songs that offers an interesting transgenerational culture experiment.


blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Senior Adult Choir Hip Hop (Short Version)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Medicare and You 2010

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors is pleased to announce the addition of the 2010 Medicare handout, Medicare & You 2010, to our website. Provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this official government handbook is the most credible source for all of your Medicare questions and concerns. Important topics covered in this handout include:
  • What's new
  • Medicare Costs
  • Health and prescription drug plans
  • Your Medicare rights
  • Health information technology
  • And much more

A Quick Look at What's New in 2010

Excerpt from Handout, Medicare & You 2010:

"Mental Health - Lower costs for outpatient treatment"

"Children's Health Insurance Program - Your children or grandchildren may qualify for health insurance through this program"

"Caregiver Information - If you help someone with Medicare-related decisions, there are two new resources to help you get the information you need"

"Medicare Health and Prescription Drug Plans - Visit, or call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to find plans in your area. TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048"

"New Ways to Manage Your Health Information - Exciting tools to help reduce paperwork and improve your quality of care"

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors provides free resources and tools for our members as an ongoing commitment that we have in helping professionals to understand the complex and dynamic lives of modern senior citizens.

To obtain a copy of this free handout, please visit the Free Resources section of the CSA website,

blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Surprising Things You Don't Know About Wills

Estate planning is an essential step in preparing for your future. For the protection of your family and your assets, it is crucial to have a thorough understanding of certain terms and various legal instruments when looking to accomplish your basic estate planning goals.

On Wednesday, June 16, we held an educational webinar for our CSAs, "Surprising Things You Don't Know About Wills." Presented by J. Mark Fisher, Author and Speaker on estate planning, Fisher addressed on the following topics:
  • The expense of bond premiums, required of the person managing your estate if there is no will, may be waived in the will and possibly avoided.
  • Real estate and other assets may be sold without court proceedings if your will adequately authorizes it.
  • A trust may be created in a will whereby the estate or a portion of the estate will be kept intact with income distributed for the benefit of members of the family or others.
"Most individuals are surprised to learn that a will does not control everything upon death and many are confused about Power of Attorney issues, including HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act)" - J. Mark Fisher

The Society of Certified Senior Advisors produces monthly webinars for our CSAs. This is only a small portion of the vast array of benefits offered to our CSAs that range from ongoing education to professional development.

To request a copy of this webinar, contact us at

blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sign In, Please

by guest blogger Jo Myers, Author-Speaker

Former radio personality Jo Myers uses her voice to promote preplanning for death when not in crisis-management mode. Her book "
Good to Go" (Sterling Publishing, 2010) and keynote, "Leave a Legacy, Not a Mess," contain tips and advice for anyone who might die someday and the professionals who service them.

On a Sunday visit to see my friend in the nursing home, I signed in at the reception area on the first floor and took the elevator to her room. There, I met a couple that had paid a call on their way home from church. They left shortly after I arrived. Upon exiting the building, I signed out and wanted to double check the names of the two, so I looked them up in the guest register book. No one but I had signed in as a visitor of my friend that day.

"Why don't people sign in and out?" I wondered aloud.

"Some of them are lazy," the receptionist answered. "A lot of people don't do it because they don't want anyone to know they've been here."


"And, a lot of them are family members." the receptionist nodded. "They don't want other family members to know they stopped by to see momma in the nursing home."

Driving home, I imagined why someone would not want someone else to know that he or she visited a person in a nursing home. Maybe a family member wanted to visit a parent privately, for whatever reason. Maybe the visitor had been asked to stay away, and snuck in. Perhaps the visitor was up to no good and schemed to take advantage of the resident.

The responsibilities are endless as to why a visitor does not sign in at the front desk of a nursing home. Leaving nothing to question. Sign in and out, please.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Check out the hilarious video below of a senior who proves that laughter can be the best medicine.

This video was recorded at the Caregiver of the Year Dinner and has been provided to SCSA as courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care,

Funny Prayer about Getting Old at the Caregiver of the Year Dinner

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Difficult Topics with Aging Parents

Check out the below video titled Difficult Topics with Aging Parents provided by one of our fellow CSAs, Mary Alexander, Home Instead Senior Care.

Video courtesy of Home Instead Senior Care

Difficult Topics with Aging Parents

Friday, August 27, 2010

Member Benefits - Content Marketing You Don't Have to Create

We all understand the complexity of content marketing. In today's world, it is one of the most important marketing strategies for your business. The dilemma facing most professionals today is having the time and expertise to come up with relevant and valuable marketing content that your clients want to see. Here at SCSA, we understand this challenge and want to help our CSAs succeed in this area. We've created a whole suite of content marketing pieces for them to use at their discretion. This can include customizing the pieces with their own contact information, passing them along to older clients, sharing them with their professional network, posting them on their own blogs and more. Our goal is to focus on how we can help our members succeed in these tough economic times by helping them deliver content they may be struggling to find the time or expertise to put together.

Here are just a few of the content marketing pieces we've made available, specifically for CSAs:

Expert Articles you can forward to clients and fellow professionals
The award-winning CSA Journal is the leading academic publication in the senior market. It gives you the latest insights into the senior market with its high-quality research and important information. The articles are already conveniently in electronic format so they're easy to forward, whether you want to forward just one article or the whole journal.

Educational e-brochures you can share with your professional network

> Nine to Thrive: 9 ways you never thought of for success
- this 6 page, full color guide gives you an overview of common myths and methods of marketing to seniors, including how to make communications clearer, using age-appropriate approaches and the value of volunteering. Share this brochure with fellow professionals who work in the senior market to help their businesses work more effectively and position yourself as an invaluable resource.

> 16 Great Things You Can Do for Seniors
- this 13 page, full color guide covers creative ideas for how those who interact with seniors can find more opportunities to make a difference in the lives of their senior clients - thereby making them not just someone they purchase products or services from, but a friend, ally and advocate. Pass this guide along to help fellow professionals achieve this and establish yourself as an invaluable resource.

Senior-focused Handouts & Guides you can customize with your information

Free handouts & guides our members can customize with their business information and give out to their senior clients. Some examples are How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Identity Theft, Steps to Buying a MediGap Policy, Alzheimer's Disease: What you should know and many more. All handouts are conveniently in electronic format so customization is quick and easy.

Blog posting by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Senior Financial Abuse

Senior financial abuse is a growing problem. One recent survey estimates that one in five persons over age 65 has been victimized by financial abuse. (1) Another study estimates that reported financial fraud costs seniors more than $2.6 billion a year (2) - and four out of five cases are not reported. (3) According to the survey of newspaper articles used in the MetLife Mature Market study, 79% of the perpetrators were known to the senior. Families, friends, neighbors, and caregivers were involved more than half of the time. Financial professionals of varying types were involved 18% of the time. The remaining instances involved legal or other professionals and Medicare/Medicaid fraud. In almost all cases the perpetrator gained the trust of the senior. (4)

According to the National Adult Protective Services Association (NAPSA), senior financial abuse does not discriminate by race, gender, or financial circumstances. However, the "typical" victim of elder financial abuse is a frail, white female between the ages of 70 and 89.

The Investment Protection Trust has provided a pocket guide for practitioners as well as a patient brochure containing helpful checklists and resources. These attached publications are intended for wide distribution and me reproduced without written permission. I hope you will make use of them and do your part to prevent what some experts have called "the crime of the century."

For more information on senior financial abuse, go to to download the Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Patient Brochure and Pocket Guide.

Blog post by Frank Vidin, CFP(R), CSA
Faculty, Society of Certified Senior Advisors

1. Investor Protection Trust Elder Investment Fraud Survey, released June 15, 2010.
2. "Broken Trust," MetLife Mature Market Institute, March 2009.
3. Kemp, B.J., & Mosqueda, L.A. (2005). Elder financial abuse: and evaluation framework and supporting evidence. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53(7), 1123-1127.
4. "Broken Trust," MetLife Mature Market Institute, March 2009.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Introduction from Founder and President, Ed Pittock

Welcome to the new CSA Blog!

We are so excited to expand our current efforts and provide this new way to share the latest information with our fellow CSAs, members of the public and the SCSA Staff.

Created for our members, the CSA Blog was designed to act as a platform for (1) bringing the latest information relating to the senior market and (2) networking between our CSAs and members of the public. This isn't just your normal commentary blog - our blog will have weekly postings from experts in the senior market from across all industries to bring you the most up-to-date information. Plus you can read blog postings from your fellow CSAs and learn from their expertise.

We encourage everyone to get involved by subscribing to our weekly postings, becoming a follower, introducing yourself to other CSA followers just have FUN with it! We look forward to hearing from you!

- The Society of Certified Senior Advisors

P.S. Your feedback is extremely important to us. If you have ideas on topics and would like to share them with us, please contact us today at