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Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SCSA Announces the 2013 Service to Seniors Award Winners

Every year hundreds, perhaps thousands, of CSAs take time from their busy practices to make a difference in the lives of seniors. The Society of Certified Senior Advisors believes it is important to recognize the outstanding achievements of our CSA's who are helping to improve the lives of seniors through their volunteering efforts.

Compassion, creativity and a “can doattitude make CSA volunteers an incredible asset to the seniors they serve and to the local non-profit organizations that serve the senior industry. CSA's are problem-solvers, fundraisers, facilitators and friends. Volunteering with seniors is a passionate attribute to the personal and professional services provided within their communities.
We are pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Service to Seniors Awards program.

2013 CSA Trailblazer:  Lisa DeMascio 
  • Founder of Out and About Day Respite Services
  • Certified Senior Advisor®
  • Dementia Advanced Care, essentiALZ
  • Dementia Related Behavior, essentiALZ
  • Certificate in Behavioral Interventions and Disturbances of Dementia, VCU
  • Certificate in Invaluable Service, VSNC
Established in September 2011, Out and About Day Respite Services is an innovative service providing socialization for seniors that live at home and in care communities to get "Out and About". Out and About offers participants with varying levels of dementia, independence and a chance to explore the vast array of opportunities and local events, while stimulating the senses intellectually and reconnecting outside their permanent, secured setting.

In addition, Lisa adds communication and support for caregivers by offering in-home care coaching.

Lisa earned a $500 donation to the charity of her choice, donating proceeds to The Alzheimer's Association, Southeastern Virginia Chapter.

2013 CSA Community Citizen:  John D. (Skip) Frenzel
  • Certified Senior Advisor®
  • Certified Financial Planner
  • Chartered Mutual Fund Specialist
  • Certification in Long Term Care
  • Member of Senior Round Table, Santa Clara Chapter
  • Member of Aging Services Collaborative, Silicon Valley
  • Member of AGEnts for Change 
Living by the motto “It’s all about the love”, Skip is indeed a valuable contributor to the senior community, volunteering with many organizations. The list below represents a mere drop in the bucket:

Agape Long Term Care
Conducts free seminars to the public on senior related subjects.

Los Altos United Methodist Church 
Plans senior activities, events and services for seniors in the church.  Creates educational programs, seminars, lectures and workshops dealing with senior related topics.

Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS, Senior Resource Center
Planning the establishment of a senior center to serve as source of information for seniors and caregivers.

AGEnts for Change 
Assists with the organizations mission to build a cohort of constituents, caregivers, and stakeholders engaged in advocacy and social action to improve the ability of seniors to live independently.

Skip earned a $500 donation to the charity of his choice, donating proceeds to Heart of the Valley. 

2013 CSA Samaritan:  Sandy Archdale 
  • Certified Senior Advisor®
  • Certified Paralegal
  • Life, Health and Disability Insurance Agent
Sandy has been a Certified Senior Advisor for over 10 years. She has more than 40 years as a certified paralegal as a solid foundation. She has also been a life, health and disability insurance agent since 1995.

Sandy first decided to become a CSA when her mother became seriously ill in 2001. She was very active in her mother's care issues and working with her various medical providers. The "to-the-point" quality training offered by SCSA to see issues from the senior's perspective is what attracted her to the organization in the beginning.

As a CSA, Sandy works with seniors on many of their needs, but specializes mostly in Social Security and Medicare issues. Her primary emphasis is how these issues, specifically Social Security, affect women and their financial future. She has successfully helped many women obtain increased Social Security benefits above what they were previously receiving.

Sandy earned a $500 donation to the charity of her choice, donating proceeds to Senior Services of Snohomish County.
Congratulations, Lisa, Skip and Sandy!


CSAs are professionals in various fields who have supplemented their individual licenses, credentials and education with knowledge about aging and working with seniors. The CSA designation alone does not imply expertise in financial, health or social matters. Among other designation requirements, CSAs agree to adhere to the CSA Code of Professional Responsibility, which is enforced by the CSA Board of Standards. For
additional information, go to 

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Monday, September 16, 2013

Tips for a Money-Saving Retirement

When we are young, we often take our health for granted.  As we age, however, and life’s aches and pains become more frequent and more noticeable, maintaining our health becomes more of a challenge, both physically and financially.

Taking care of our health at any age is an investment in the future, and there’s no time when that statement is truer than in the retirement or pre-retirement years. Here are five preventative measures you can take now to help keep you – and your wallet – healthy as you age.

Regular Medical Check-Ups – One of the best ways to save money as you approach retirement to stay on top of regular medical checkups and screenings. Many health conditions have early warning signs or can be prevented by going to your annual check-ups. Do you know the warning signs of stroke or heart attack, for example? Do you know there are different warning signs for men and for women? Find out what your blood pressure is, get your cholesterol checked, and learn what a healthy BMI (body mass index) is for your age and weight.

Follow your doctor’s recommendations for regular screenings, scans, and tests based upon your health, family history, and ethnicity. Talk to your doctor about getting the flu vaccine. Routine exams and screenings are usually inexpensive and covered by insurance, and you’ll find they will save you in health care costs in the long run.

Lifestyle Changes – Baby boomers are used to being active and in the forefront of things their whole lives. Slowing down has never been part of the equation. It doesn’t have to be. What does need to happen as you age, though, is a concerted effort to focus on a healthy lifestyle. There are plenty of low-cost and no-cost options.

Do you smoke? It’s never too late to quit. The benefits of quitting smoking begin as soon as you have your last cigarette. After a year of not smoking, your risk for heart disease is lowered by 50 percent compared to when you were smoking. Here’s another way to look at it: a smoker is twice as likely as to have any type of heart disease than a non-smoker. Need more convincing? That money you used to spend on cigarettes will stay in your wallet when you quit and can be used to purchase healthy food and other items that will lengthen your active life.

How about exercise? It’s time to find a fitness plan that works for you and, most importantly, one that you can maintain. You don’t need an expensive gym membership either. Talk with your doctor before starting any new regimen, but you have plenty of low-cost options: walking, swimming, dancing, aerobics, biking, you name it. There are no membership fees to enjoy the great outdoors. You’ll see and feel results in just a few weeks of 30-minute exercise five times a week.

Healthy Diet – Along with staying flexible with an exercise program, re-evaluating your eating and drinking habits can be a way to keep health costs down as you age. It’s not about not having any fun anymore; it’s about using moderation with alcohol and unnecessary calories. You’ll be amazed at how much money you end up saving when you nix processed foods and drink less often and how much extra energy you will have each day as a result. To better control what you’re eating and save a few dollars here and there, why not save eating out for special occasions and, instead, have friends over for scrumptious potluck dinners? 

In addition to having a slower metabolism, our digestive system slows down as we age. Getting enough fiber, which is found in fruit, vegetables, and whole grains, is more important than ever. Look for lean sources of protein for this important body-maintenance nutrient daily. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, women in their 60s should get about 46 grams of protein per day while men need about 56 grams. We are more susceptible to dehydration as we age, so be sure to take a water bottle with you if you are going to be out and about, as they can be quite pricey to buy. You never know; staying hydrated – especially in the hot months – is a lot more affordable than an ambulance and hospital bill.

Emergency Preparedness – As we age, we are more likely to fall and to sustain a serious injury like a broken bone when we do. Take stock of your home’s safety level. Check for adequate lighting inside and outside. Are there any loose rugs you could trip on? What about stairway rails or bathroom rails? Evaluate your home with a keen eye for anything that could be a potential hazard now or in the near future. By being willing to spend a little on safety measures, you can potentially circumvent having to spend thousands on installing lifts and ramps for wheelchairs.

An investment in your safety – particularly if you live alone – might include the research of an emergency alert device like Verizon‘s for a phone that you already own, or a medical alert system like Fall Alert, for inside the home. These devices can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing that help will be on the way when you need it most. Because a broken bone or wound typically worsens the longer it goes unaddressed, getting prompt care will save you money in the long run and could even save your life.

Attitude Adjustment – One of the undeniable ways to stay healthy is by keeping an active, positive mind. There is so much about our brains that we do not know, but we do know that there is a connection between what we put in it and what we get out of it. Don’t let your mind stagnate. Forget that old adage “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It’s just not true.

Studies by the Center for Disease Control have found that active seniors stay healthier longer. In addition to staving off certain medical conditions and their resulting expenses, active seniors report increased feelings of connection with others and more positive emotional well-being than more sedentary seniors.

There are many ways to stay active after retiring without spending much money. Here are a few ideas to get you started thinking and, excitingly enough, they’re all incredibly affordable:

·         Volunteer for your favorite charity or non-profit organization.

·         Enroll in a continuing education class in a subject you have always wanted to learn such as art, music, or writing. Check with your local community college about low-costs tuition options for seniors.

·         Learn a new skill or take up a new hobby that doesn’t require the purchase of much equipment such as gardening, playing bridge, or a foreign language.

·         Join a book club
Most importantly, realize that, with a little planning and preparation, your retirement years can be a new and exciting chapter of your life, and, with a little bit of planning, your financial state won’t have to limit your enjoyment.


U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Article written by Tricia Drevets

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Research Explores Cure for Alzheimer's

Excerpts from August 2013 Senior Spirit Newsletter

Although Alzheimer’s disease is the focus of much research, the bottom line is that there is still no cure. Nor are scientists sure what causes this form of dementia, though several workable theories exist.

Most recently, a study by the French government agency INSERM found that people who delay retirement have less risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia. The study of half a million people in France, the largest study of this kind to date, backs the general theory of aging that says” if you don’t use it, you lose it,” referring both to physical and cognitive function. In this case, working longer seems to keep people more mentally challenged as well as socially active.

Along those same lines of cognitive function, it was reported at the Alzheimer’s Association conference in Boston in July that people with certain types of cognitive concerns were more likely to have Alzheimer’s pathology in their brains and develop dementia than those who had no such complaints, leaving the conclusion that health care workers should listen to patients’ own sense of their health. For example, people with more concerns about memory and organizing ability were more likely to have amyloid, a key Alzheimer’s-related protein, in their brains. For this reason, leading Alzheimer’s researchers are identifying a new category called “subjective cognitive decline,” which is people’s own sense that their memory and thinking skills are slipping even before others have noticed (“Dementia’s Signs May Come Early,” July 17, 2013, New York Times).

A Growing Problem
Alzheimer’s is a serious problem, not just for the individual, but for society as a whole. More than 5 million Americans live with Alzheimer's disease, and 15.4 million friends and family members provide care, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. Compounding the human toll, Alzheimer's is now the most expensive disease in the U.S., topping cancer and heart disease, according to a new study by the nonprofit RAND Corp. (“Costs of Alzheimer's disease could bankrupt Medicare,” Researchers are still trying to fully understand the illness's process and how to prevent or stop the disease, which robs people of their memory and the ability to function. Although scientists can’t be sure about which factors determine Alzheimer’s disease, the Alzheimer’s Association lists these hallmarks:
  • Plaques, microscopic clumps of a protein called beta-amyloid peptide.
  • Tangles, twisted microscopic strands of the protein tau (rhymes with "wow").
  • Loss of connections among brain cells responsible for memory, learning and communication. These connections, or synapses, transmit information from cell to cell.
  • Inflammation resulting from the brain's effort to fend off the lethal effects of the other changes underway.
  • Eventual death of brain cells and severe tissue shrinkage.

To read more on this article, visit Senior Spirit Medical News - August 2013. 

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How to Have a Good Retirement on a Budget

Excerpts from July, 2013 Senior Spirit

The concept of a golden retirement is a relatively new idea. It was not until the late 19th and early 20th centuries that workers started getting pensions and lived long enough to enjoy their later years. Before that, people worked until they died (Wikipedia).

More recently, we’ve created the ideal vision of retirement: usually a couple living near a beach (probably Florida) where they spend their days swimming, fishing, golfing and eating out with friends. Even though this ideal is unrealistic for most people, retirement can be pleasant if you watch your budget.

Creating a Budget

While figures vary, the general rule of thumb is to plan for a retirement that lasts 20 years, depending, of course, on what age you retire. This can be a long time to stretch your savings. The rule of thumb is that you'll need about 70–80 percent of your pre-retirement income to live on in retirement, but that depends on your lifestyle and your health.

Retirement Budget
Listed are costs and income sources to consider when creating a budget: Housing Costs
  • Mortgage or rent
  • Real estate taxes
  • Maintenance and repair
  • Home insurance
Personal Expenses
  • Grooming
  • Clothing
  • Vacations
  • Auto insurance
  • Auto expense
  • Other
Living Expenses
  • Groceries
  • Entertainment
  • Utilities
  • Telephone
Medical Expenses
  • Prescription drugs
  • Medical insurance
Retirement Income Sources
  • Social Security income
  • Company pensions
  • Other retirement plans
Adapted from: Microsoft
In creating a budget, experts recommend deciding how much money you need to live comfortably, taking inflation and taxes into consideration. If you are using financial planning software, you may be able to create an estimate of how much your money will depreciate over the next few decades. Even a small percentage of inflation (under 4 percent) will cause you to lose almost half of your buying power over 25 years.

Whether you’re thinking about retiring or have already retired, it’s good to make a budget, figure out what you need and what you don’t. First determine your income, remembering to use all your sources, including a long-term care policy or a reverse mortgage.

Experts recommend being realistic about investments and how much they will increase over time. Because the stock market is not performing as reliably as it once did, the old rule of withdrawing 4 percent a year from your nest egg is far from viable these days for most people. Economists have lowered their long-term projections for the stock market since its downturn. For example, baby boomers’ net household assets, 401(k)s, pensions, homes and other investments, minus their total debt, have lost 18 percent of their value since 2007, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

To read this article in full, click here. 

Content provided by the Society of Certified Senior Advisors.