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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