Safe at Home: Care Options Abound for Aging in Place

By Lakelyn Hogan, MA
For NewsUSA
(NewsUSA) – In the COVID-19 pandemic, home has been reinforced as the center of the universe for many of us. It’s evolved into our office. It’s doubled as our children’s classroom. It’s transformed into our vacation destination. And it continues to be where we eat, sleep and unwind every day. As the safest place we can be during an ongoing global health crisis, our homes have never been more central to our lives.For the oldest among us, this is only magnified, as eight out of every 10 COVID-19 deaths reported in the United States have been people 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Statistics like these underscore how vital practices such as social distancing and sheltering in place are for older adults.Fortunately, regardless of the pandemic, home is where most people want to be as they grow older. In fact, research conducted for Home Instead Inc., finds that 90 percent of older adults hope to age in place at home. But most can’t do so without help — 70 percent of older adults in the 65+ age group will need assistance at some point.So how can we honor the wishes of older generations in the pandemic, keep them safe, and ensure they receive the care they need? The good news is that there are more options than ever for care for aging adults.Outside of the home, options such as retirement villages and senior apartments can provide a great deal of independence, particularly for those who are unable to age within their home. For those with specialized care needs that require higher-acuity care, alternatives such as nursing homes and memory care facilities are worth considering. However, none of these alternatives can provide the flexibility and affordability of home care. Home care keeps people in the safety of their own homes and offers services that span the spectrum of assistance for older adults — from transportation and companionship to medication management and around-the-clock care.If your loved one requires specialized care — whether rehabilitating from an injury or living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementias — home care allows for a range of options to match your specific needs. You can work with your provider to figure out the right fit.If you’re caring for a loved one from a distance, home care can provide peace-of-mind by simply having someone visit for a few hours, a couple times a week. Families can work with their provider to determine the appropriate level of care and stay closely connected to stay on top of changing needs. During difficult financial times, a team approach to home caregiving is an especially smart choice. Family members, friends, neighbors and providers can divide responsibilities to ensure your loved one is looked after. This is very important for anyone who feels overwhelmed by caring for a relative.Ask for help! The pandemic has never made the need for a break more apparent among family caregivers.When considering available care choices, cost is certainly a factor that rises to the top of the list for most. Unfortunately, far too many people assume resources such as Social Security and Medicare will pick up the entire tab. Beyond private pay or self-insurance, which are the most common ways people pay for care, long-term care insurance is a great option and, for those who qualify, Medicaid or Veterans Assistance could help.Before the pandemic, family caregivers were spending nearly $7,000 per year to care for an aging loved one by reducing savings for their own retirement or their kids’ education, delaying their own health care expenses and even taking loans or early withdrawals from their retirement nest eggs. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the situation. What these people are experiencing underscores the importance of planning ahead.But the truth is, only half of older adults have taken the time to do so. And the key to choosing the right approach for yourself — or a family member — is planning and discussing the alternatives before they’re even needed. Lakelyn Hogan, MA, is a gerontologist and caregiver advocate for Home Instead. In her role, Lakelyn educates professionals, families and communities on issues older adults face, and provides resources to support family caregivers and their aging loved ones. Lakelyn serves on Dreamweaver Foundation’s Board of Directors as VP as well as the Board of Directors for National Alliance for Caregiving. She is also active in the Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Engagement Ring Styles to Suit Any Holiday Wishlist

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Life and love go on, and couples are getting engaged and getting married, even through the unprecendented coronavirus pandemic. Winter holidays remain a popular time for engagements, and couples still want to make the most of this special time with one-of-a-kind engagement rings.
Are you getting engaged this holiday season? Thinking about it? Check out these four hot designs from award-winning jeweler Cornelis Hollander for your holiday wish list.
– Strong but sweet: The Burcht setting, the top left photo, features an arc of pave diamonds that sits beneath a precious metal bridge holding a stunning center stone.
– Dramatically different: The Modus setting, featured in the bottom right corner, redefines diamond engagement rings with a center stone held by four elongated prongs above a glittering diamond bar that touches the finger and curves upward.
– Sensuously sophisticated: The Spiral setting in the bottom left corner, showcases a center stone in a diamond-studded channel that appears to curve around the finger.
– Two become one: The Lus, in the top right corner, is an exceptional design that stands alone or serves as the combination engagement and wedding ring, with the appearance of two rings — a bridge of pave diamonds crossing the finger diagonally, with a center diamond floating above it.
Want to design your own ring? The Cornelis Hollander team works with customers from start to finish to make your wish come true. In addition, the team at Cornelis Hollander can work with couples to repurpose an existing engagement ring into a unique and updated piece that lets them honor the original item while making it their own. Any Cornelis Hollander designs can feature moissanite or diamond as the center stone.
“Whether transforming heirloom pieces into something new, upgrading to something more impressive, or finding that first heart-stopping ring, we are honored to help you bring your vision to life,” according to Walter Hollander, who inherited the company from his father. “Your ring is the ultimate storyteller of your style and commitment.”
Cornelis Hollander, a native of the Netherlands, refined his jewelry design skills at the Vrije Academie in Den Haag, Holland. He eventually settled in Arizona, and his unique and award-winning designs for diamond engagement rings and other custom jewelry combine classic training and modern innovation. The company remains in the hands of the Hollander family, and all designs are manufactured by skilled craftsmen in the Scottsdale, Arizona, studio.
Visit cornelishollander.com for more details and to explore a unique collection of handcrafted contemporary and their beloved diamond ring designs.

Expand Your Self-Care Horizon with Quantum Energy

(NewsUSA) – These days, stress seems to spike at every turn, especially in the wake of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, and stressed out individuals continue to seek strategies to improve health, wellbeing and harmony.Quantum energy and frequencies have a long history of use in alternative medicine, and relate to the quantum physics principles described by scientists such as Nikola Tesla.Quantum energy technology also has been adopted into a range of products designed to promote good health and a less stressful, less toxic environment.Products developed by Leela Quantum Tech are designed to promote physical and mental health by reducing the impact of exposure to potentially harmful radiation that exists in the environment from pollution and high frequencies from microwaves, cell phones, computers, and other screens that can have a negative impact on well-being, a phenomenon that is sometimes known as "electrosmog.""Depending on where you are in life and what your goals are at this very moment, our products can help you achieve them," says Leela Quantum Tech president Philipp von Holtzendorff-Fehling."You can improve your physical and mental fitness as well as positively influence your environment. Be it in your own four walls, in your garden, or when walking the dog. Here you will find a variety of unique products that can support you in all areas of life," he explains.Personal products from Leela Quantum Tech include a range of quantum energy-infused clothing items, jewelry, capsules, and cards charged with quantum energy and beneficial frequencies. The products have been scientifically tested and certified by two independent institutes. The fashion and clothing line is not only designed with high-quality silver fabrics, but is also charged with quantum energy which makes it the world’s first quantum clothing line. The benefits range from anti-bacterial, antiviral and anti-radiation properties (over 99 percent certified protection) to more energy, well-being and reduced stress levels.According to the Leela Quantum Tech website, quantum energy, which is also referred to as zero point energy or life force energy, has been associated with a range of benefits including increased energy, faster relief from pain and muscle soreness, improved concentration, increased resistance to stress, and greater ability to relax and live in the moment.Quantum energy products can help improve the home environment as well. A relaxed and peaceful home environment is especially important now, as more people spend more time at home for work and school as well as for leisure and family time. Leela Quantum Tech home accessories include coasters, water bottles, and cards that can be placed anywhere in the home or in your pocket.Visit leelaq.com for more information about quantum energy products and its uses. 

4 Important Things to Know About Fiduciary Financial Planners

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – When it comes to managing your money, your financial needs must come first. You want to be confident that any financial advice you receive presents the best options for you, considering your goals, risk tolerance, and unique circumstances.
If you are working with a financial planner, how do you make sure they have your best interest in mind? By focusing on this important word: fiduciary.
A fiduciary is someone who advises another person and always puts that person’s best interest ahead of his or her own. If, for example, a financial planner is evaluating two investment options for a client — a more expensive, high-commission product and a lower cost, no-commission fund — they would be required to recommend the less expensive fund, assuming the two options are otherwise equal.
Not all financial advisors are required to act in their clients’ best interests, but CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professionals are. In fact, acting as a fiduciary — at all times — when providing financial advice is an obligation of CFP® professionals’ certification.
Here are four other things to know about fiduciary financial advisors:
1. CFP® professionals are held to the highest standard. Advisors who are not fiduciaries are held to the lower suitability standard, which requires only that their recommendations are suitable for a client. That means the advisor could recommend financial options that are not necessarily in your best interest (such as the pricier, high-commission investment product in the example above).
2. Fiduciary financial planners must fully disclose any potential or existing conflicts of interest that could affect their recommendations.
3. Financial planners must also disclose their compensation method upfront. This means you will always know if the financial advisor is paid through fees only or if some or all their compensation is tied to a specific product or recommendation.
4. If a financial planner practicing as a fiduciary does not act in your best interest, they may have their professional certifications and licenses revoked or face legal penalties, among other consequences.
You can trust that a CFP® professional will put your interests ahead of their own when providing financial advice, and will provide you with the competent, ethical advice you need to make sense of your finances.
Whether it be planning for retirement, healthcare, education or a special event, CFP® professionals are available to help you reach your personal financial goals. Visit LetsMakeAPlan.org today to find a CFP® professional near you.

Certain Medicare Plans Could Offer Members Food Assistance Benefits

(NewsUSA) – The COVID-19 pandemic has brought a long list of unprecedented challenges, including the way it has caused food insecurity to rise. Food insecurity is defined as the lack of access to enough nutritionally adequate foods to live an active and healthy life. Fortunately, there are some benefits that can help qualifying members of Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNP) address this issue. In fact, a benefit including a monthly food card allowance can assist people in purchasing food and beverages at a variety of well-known, national stores.During this Medicare Annual Election Period, which runs from October 15 through December 7, individuals who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, also known as dual-eligible individuals, should consider enrolling in a D-SNP. If you are eligible for Medicare — meaning you’re age 65 or older or are living with a disability — and meet the requirements to have Medicaid, be sure to look into a D-SNP as some plans may include:* Convenience of a debit card: Qualifying members of D-SNPs with a food benefit may receive a food-card like a credit card. Once the card is activated, you can purchase qualifying items, such as milk, eggs, bread, juices, waters, yogurts, fruits, vegetables and more, utilizing the available balance on your card. However, it’s important to keep in mind that certain items, such as pet food, may not qualify and would need to be purchased with another form of payment.* Monthly allowances: Some D-SNPs have a monthly stipend, for example $25 – $75, that would be loaded to your card on the first day of each month. Members should aim to use their allotment before the end of each month, as the balance may not be able to be carried over.* In-store purchases only: These food cards often can only be used for in-store purchases and may not be able to be used for online or curbside orders. It’s important to take the proper precautions provided by the CDC when going out to stores, including wearing a mask or face covering, maintaining proper social distancing by staying 6 feet or more away from others, and washing your hands for at least 20 seconds after you remove the mask.It’s important to note that a food card benefit is a Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) benefit that is only available on certain Medicare Advantage Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNP) in certain areas. Additionally, not all members of a plan may be eligible for VBID benefits. Eligibility will be determined by your health plan provider, after enrollment, based on relevant criteria such as clinical diagnoses or participation in a disease-state management program. For Humana’s Healthy Foods Card, all members of a D-SNP that includes the benefit would be eligible.If you qualify, Humana’s D-SNP plan and Healthy Foods Card benefit may be available in your area. Please visit www.Medicare.gov; call 1-800-MEDICARE (800-633-4227), 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; or go to www.Humana.com/Medicare to learn more about Humana plans. Licensed Humana sales agents are available 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week at 1-800-213-5286 (TTY: 711). With these resources, you’ll be able to confidently select a 2021 Medicare Advantage plan that suits your specific healthcare needs. Y0040_GHHKY6REN_M 

Financial Planning Organization Promotes Diversity at Annual Summit

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The financial planning profession is among many fields that recognize the value of increased diversity and inclusion in its ranks. The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting professional standards in personal financial planning, is offering its annual Diversity Summit on November 18-20, 2020, held this year in a virtual format.
The goal of the Diversity Summit is to explore “actionable solutions to advance diversity in financial planning,” according to the website. This year’s theme of Sustainability reflects the importance of long-term diversity and inclusion programs in financial planning education and in the workplace.
“The Diversity Summit and Career Fair comes at a critical time in our history as we drive change, awareness, access and results in our profession,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “CFP Board is strongly committed to expanding and sustaining diversity in the financial planning profession and those it serves to better align with the U.S. population.”
The Summit agenda includes the release of a new report on case studies of successful diversity and inclusion initiatives in the financial planning profession. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss these studies and explore the successes and challenges, as well as examine how lessons learned can be applied to future strategies.
Other key events include “CFP® Pro Talks,” with personal reflections from CFP® professionals of color, executive roundtable of leaders in financial planning firms who are committed to improving diversity and inclusion, and discussions of specific recommendations that firms can apply immediately to improve their diversity and inclusion initiatives.
A highlight of the summit is the Virtual Career Fair. Although not the same as in-person networking, the Summit organizers have adapted to the Covid-19 pandemic situation and designed a forum in which certified financial planner candidates who are women and people of color have opportunities to connect with employers, experienced CFP® professionals, fellow students, and potential mentors. The Career Fair occurs on November 20 and requires a separate online registration from the Diversity Summit, but with no charge to attend.
The target audience for the CFP Board Diversity Summit is financial planning professionals and students who are working to become certified financial planners, as well as individuals who are considering careers in financial planning. The audience also includes executives, diversity and inclusion professionals, and recruiters from financial services firms. Program directors from colleges and universities with financial planning programs can benefit from the summit topics to help support their goals for greater diversity and inclusion in academic programs
For more information, visit cfp.net/events/2020/11/2020-virtual-diversity-summit-and-career-fair.

Give A Box of “Chocolates” To Your Dog This Holiday

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – The holidays are quickly approaching and lots of people gift their loved ones boxes of gourmet chocolates. However, can dogs eat chocolate? Of course they can’t! So, how do we include our cherished furry family members in this loving tradition?
What does a box of “chocolates” look like for a dog? Or more importantly, what does it smell like?
In the case of Barkaron gourmet dog treats, the “special sauce” ingredient is not chocolate (toxic to dogs) but camel cheese, a superfood with the perfect balance of gamey pungency and health benefits , creating a safe, and delicious indulgence for your furry family member this holiday season.
Especially during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, dogs are even more integrated into family life. Dogs have become essential, not only as companions, but as workout partners, entertainers of the kids, reasons to get outside, and nonjudgmental listeners for venting frustration.
With friends and family at a distance this holiday season, many of us will be forced to show we care from a distance, deepening the desire to do something special for everyone in your life, including your furry family member.
The handcrafted dog treat bakery Chews Happiness has the answer with sustainably-sourced Barkaron Decadent Doggie Desserts. Barkarons, French macarons for dogs, arrive in elegant, eco-friendly dog gift box packaging.
“These are not the kind of treats one buys by the ten-pound bag,” says Tavor White, president and CEO of Chews Happiness.
“They are special delicacies and perfect gifting experiences. We believe that dogs understand when you give them something special,” he emphasizes.
“So, it’s not about whether or not to indulge your dog. it’s about bringing awareness to the impact that high-quality, special treats can have on your dog’s health and wellness, and that of the planet.”
Don’t tell the dogs, but Barkarons are good for them, too.
The treats are not just the equivalent of chocolates for a dog, they are healthy functional food made from pristine ingredients and are veterinarian approved. Camel cheese, the “chocolate” for dogs, is made from camel’s milk and has an aroma that tantalizes them, although their humans don’t really notice it. This ingredient titillates dogs’ powerful sense of smell and also targets their taste receptors (which are hard-wired for fats and meats) in a way that is similar to the euphoria humans feel when they eat chocolate.
However, camel cheese is not only delicious to dogs, but it provides immune system support with a combination of immunoglobulins, protein, and healthy fats. The Barkaron gourmet dog treats combine sustainably sourced camel cheese, chicken, fish, and other delicacies for a dog gift like no other.
Visit chewshappiness.com for more information about Barkarons and other ways to indulge mindfully with your pet during the holidays or anytime.

BookBites: True Crime, Historical Fact and Fiction, Learning Tips for Parents

(NewsUSA) – "No Angels"
by Steve Jackson Fourteen-year-old Brandy DuVall waits for a ride home at a bus stop, wearing a bright-red Chicago Bulls jersey bearing the number of Michael Jordan. The shirt attracts five young gang members in a circling car. Why would Brandy get in the car? Was it voluntary? Was she abducted? The consequence was an unimaginable nightmare.The crime, the betrayals and deals, and the subsequent murder trials and death penalty hearings, tore apart families. Now, 20 years after he first wrote about this true crime, Steve Jackson returns with a gripping narrative delving into the circumstances that would forever change the fate of Brandy, two previously inseparable brothers, and the mothers on opposite sides of the courtroom. Purchase at wbp.bz/noangels"The Distance Learning Playbook for Parents" 
by Rosalind Wiseman, Douglas Fisher, Nancy Frey and John Hattie Parent involvement has always been a vital part of any child’s education, but the pandemic and resulting remote instruction require that parents and educators partner at a deeper level. Education authorities Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, and John Hattie have teamed up with New York Times bestselling author and parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman to bring you the consummate guide to support your child?s academic, social, and emotional development in any learning environment.The book outlines supportive strategies for navigating virtual environments to ensure effective and impactful learning that aligns the needs and expectations of teachers, parents, and students. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3kfl0R1"The Queen’s Dog"
by N.L. Holmes "Highly recommended to fans of ancient historical fiction, both well penned and vividly portrayed."In the Bronze Age Syrian kingdom of Ugarit, a eunuch slave mistakenly believes his mistress the queen loves him. So when asked to spy on her under threat of punishment, he finds a way to avoid it. When she shows she cares nothing for him, he justifies reporting her disloyal activities but can’t escape agonies of conscience. As her sentence of divorce turns into execution, he decides he must avenge her and expurgate his own guilt. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3i78Gk5"Enter the Enemy"
by Roland Bain The rarely described daily life in German-occupied France during World War II, as well as the dramatic military experiences of a family member, are impressively chronicled from 45 recently translated letters of correspondence between members of a French family.France’s surrender to Germany in June 1940 dramatically alters the lives of French Army officer Henri Dunat, his wife, and his sister in the south of France.The letters offer unique insights into the hardships of this deeply controlled life: shortages of food and other essentials; non-existent modes of transportation; the inability to move about freely; and censorship. Dunat’s exemplary military achievements, including his dramatic escape from Dunkirk and his hazardous escape from occupied France, also are tracked. Purchase at https://amzn.to/3kIG9TK. NOTE: BookBites is a continuing series bringing readers information and ideas for their next read. For more reading ideas, visit BookTrib.com and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. 

Novel Cell Therapy May Improve Heart Failure Symptoms

(NewsUSA) – The COVID-19 pandemic has left many people with serious medical conditions, such as heart failure, feeling fearful about coming into the hospital for treatment. A recent study showed a 40 percent drop in patients seeking medical care for serious heart attacks over the last few months. If left unaddressed, the condition may turn into heart failure, which may limit treatment options even further. Doctors are urging patients not to delay treatment.The good news is that clinical trials for heart disease are underway, studying cutting-edge treatments for heart failure that may be a good option for these patients.One such treatment being studied uses a patient’s own cells to promote healing of the heart after a heart attack that has progressed to heart failure. The CardiAMP cell therapy is designed for patients suffering from heart failure who feel tired and breathless despite taking regular medications, and who have had to limit their everyday activities as a result.Previously published studies of this type of cell therapy have shown meaningful and sustained improvements in quality of life and heart function for patients with few risks."Heart failure patients who continue to have symptoms despite a course of optimal medications often seek a minimally invasive treatment as an alternative to open heart surgery. We look forward to studying the potential of this cell therapy to improve heart function and quality of life," said Dr. Natasha Altman, cardiologist and principal investigator of the CardiAMP Heart Failure Trial at UC Health University of Colorado Hospital.For the treatment, doctors extract cells from a patient’s own bone marrow, process them at the point of care and deliver them to the damaged area of the heart in a minimally invasive cardiac catheterization procedure. Researchers emphasize that the bone marrow cells do not turn into new heart tissue cells; instead, they are designed to stimulate the body’s natural healing process in the heart.Pete Hagerstrom, a 73-year-old from Colorado Springs who had a previous quadruple bypass to treat his heart failure, was the first patient in his state enrolled in the ongoing FDA-approved clinical study of the therapy.Participants who qualify for the study are randomly placed into a treatment group or a control group. While Mr. Hagerstrom will not know until the end of the study if he received the cell therapy, he feels better after participating in the trial."Everything is easier. I can walk three miles in about 45 minutes, and it takes a lot less time to garden and shovel snow."The CardiAMP Heart Failure Trial will include up to 260 patients at 40 medical centers nationwide.Unlike similar studies, this trial tests a patient’s bone marrow before treatment, in order to identify those patients who are most likely to benefit from treatment.Patients may be candidates for the CardiAMP Heart Failure Trial if they have heart failure as a result of an earlier heart attack and have symptoms that are classified as New York Heart Association Class II or III.For more information about the CardiAMP Heart Failure trial, visit www.biocardia.com, www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02438306, or ask your cardiologist.

Three Things Every Contact Lens Wearer Should Know

(NewsUSA) – An estimated 50 million people in North America wear contact lenses, precisely correcting their vision while offering ultimate flexibility to be physically active and look their best. Healthy eyes require good contact lens wear-and-care habits — yet sometimes adults and teens struggle to remember. "People who love their contacts often have the best intentions to follow instructions from eye- care professionals. With so much else happening in their lives, it is possible to forget at times. That’s human nature," says Dr. Rick Weisbarth, an optometrist and chairperson of the Washington, D.C.-based Contact Lens Institute. These behaviors are consistent with recently-conducted YouGov research among 705 adults in the United States. It reveals that while about three in four people will read a new product’s instructions, problems arise if they are too difficult to understand, misplaced or users find themselves in a hurry. In another eye-opening finding, 58 percent of respondents admit to figuring out how to use a new product by trial-and-error. Aided by these insights, the Contact Lens Institute has introduced The EASY Way (Eyes, Awareness, Safety and You), designed to streamline and simplify sometimes confusing contact lens wear-and-care guidelines. At the center of the program are three easy to recall steps for healthy, comfortable contact lens wear that everyone should know: 1. Think Clean. Wash and dry your hands every time before touching your lenses or eyes. If you wear reusable lenses, always clean and disinfect them with each removal, and clean your case as directed. Keep your lenses and case away from any type of water, which can contain harmful microorganisms. 2. Remember: Fresher is Better. Wear your contacts for as long as your eye-care professional says, replacing them with fresh lenses on schedule. Only wear daily disposable lenses once, and always rely on new solution for reusable lens disinfection and storage. Replace your case at least every three months. 3. Trust Your Eye Doctor. Listen to your eye care professional, who has specialized training. If you have any questions, contact their office — they care about your health and great vision. More information for contact lens wearers is available at EASYwayprogram.org/MyEyes/ "Taking care of your contacts doesn’t have to be hard; it can be easy. That’s why thousands of optometrists and ophthalmologists across the U.S. and Canada will be sharing The EASY Way with patients in the coming months," says Dr. Weisbarth. The Contact Lens Institute’s members include Alcon, Bausch + Lomb, CooperVision, and Johnson & Johnson Vision. See full-sized image here