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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