How do I help my senior loved one downsize possessions?

September 14th, 2018

Do you have a loved one who is a senior that needs to downsize their possessions in order to move to either a smaller home, in with relatives or to an assisted living facility?  We here at Your Florida Haven want you to know that we sympathize with your situation and we know that helping a senior downsize with dignity, respect and compassion is a top priority for loved ones.  The folks at ‘A Place for Mom’ have some great advice to share about how to handle downsizing with a senior loved one.

Their advice is simple and empathetic.  Here’s the article below:


The prospect of downsizing can be a difficult one for seniors facing the move to assisted living. A lifetime of memories associated with possessions can be daunting to wade through for families and caregivers.How to Help a Senior Loved One Downsize Possessions

But, there are ways to help ease the transition for your senior loved one. Learn more about downsizing.

Helping Senior Loved Ones with Downsizing

Downsizing is an inevitable part of moving to a new residence: taking old clothes to Goodwill, throwing away that leaf blower that hasn’t worked in five years, and getting rid of all the things you’ve accumulated that your family no longer needs.

But, downsizing can be particularly wrenching for the elderly, who may find it overwhelming to think about letting go of the items they’ve gathered over a lifetime. If a senior loved one is faced with a move to assisted living where they may have less storage space, that clutter in the closet may turn into a stubborn roadblock — or even a justification to resist moving.

This can mean a tough conversation for family caregivers, who are usually the ones faced with confronting their parents about downsizing. Fortunately, there are strategies you can follow to make the process easier, even if a senior loved one has a more serious hoarding issue.

Does Your Senior Loved One Need to Downsize?

Getting rid of longtime possessions we’ve grown attached to isn’t easy for anyone, but for our elderly loved ones, it can feel like giving up cherished memories, especially if they are faced with leaving a long-term home on top of it all. Catherine Arendt, an At Your Service Manager at Era Living, says:

“After living for decades in their homes, some people have more than a little discomfort about the idea of downsizing.”

“You may have many years and a wealth of memories that are built around your family and your home,” she continues.

This isn’t just a matter of the occasional senior citizen not wanting to give up their mementos. In fact, it’s quite common. A recent study by the Gerontology Center at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, looked at survey data from 22,000 participants and found that about 30% of people over age 70 had done nothing to give away belongings over the past 12 months. “Yet more than half of the respondents in all age categories believed they had too many belongings,” notes a report in Reuters. “For example, 56% of those aged 50 to 59 and 62% of those 70 to 79 reported having more things than they needed.”

For these folks the problem isn’t denial, but rather, the extraordinary difficulty associated with giving up items that are so closely linked to their identities, their past and their memories.

When Clutter Gets Out of Control

For other people, though, it isn’t so easy to convince them that they have too much stuff. If their collection of stuff is actually impairing their everyday functioning and threatening their health or that of others, they may be suffering from an elderly hoarding disorder.

This bears repeating: if you know someone who is having trouble letting go of personal possessions and is distressed at the thought of discarding them, that alone may not constitute elderly hoarding behavior.

However, if a person’s clutter is so extreme that their living space is unusable, unsanitary, or hazardous, or if they are exhibiting symptoms like self-neglect and social withdrawal, it may be time to consider whether they have Diogenes Syndrome (elderly hoarding disorder) and whether they should move into assisted living. It’s more common than you might think: a 2008 study by Johns Hopkins revealed that 6.2% of people over 55 show hoarding behavior.

Tips for Talking to Your Parents about Downsizing

Whether you suspect your loved one has senior hoarding issues, or they simply have too much stuff for a small assisted living apartment, broaching the topic of downsizing can be a scary thought. You might be wondering, how can I ask Mom and Dad to give up so many mementos they obviously cherish, and risk upsetting them? Indeed, the conversation — and the culling process itself — can be quite distressing.

One of our APFM readers, Lisa McDermott Byce, reported that a friend of hers found the process very difficult at first.

“She asked a group of us to help her get rid of things but she became increasingly upset as we worked together on it. Later she discovered something that helped her — she began to give away her stash to needy people and to the local thrift store. She came to understand that she hadn’t been using the things she’d been hoarding and that others could really use them,” says Lisa. “Now instead of feeling ashamed, she is blessing others.”

Enlisting trusted friends and family to help your loved one clear their clutter can be an enormous help. Having others around to share memories with can make the process less painful, for one thing. It can also make it less overwhelming and time-consuming — sometimes seniors are daunted by the size of the task, or feel physically incapable. Sometimes, though, the situation is so dire that professional help is warranted. Senior move managers help the elderly downsize their possessions and are experts at helping with the transition into senior living.

“Sometimes when an adult child steps in to help mom or dad move, they bring emotional baggage. A lot of people are afraid they will lose the memory if they lose the item,” said Mary Kay Buysse, executive director of the National Association of Senior Move Managers, in the Reuters article. A trusted advisor on senior living issues can go a long way to helping seniors and their families figure out what to throw away and what to bring with them into assisted living. They can also help you talk to your loved one, addressing their fears and anxieties about assisted living, as well as the advantages of moving.

The result can be a hassle-free transition — and a much lighter load.


Resources:https://www.aplaceformom.com/blog/15-9-5-senior-downsizing-tips/

Consumer Protection Coalition Fights Assignments of Benefits Abuse with Much-Needed Petition

September 1st, 2018

Mike,

The Consumer Protection Coalition today launched an interactive digital guide designed to help Floridians avoid Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse that continues to plague consumers across the state.

According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), this online tool is a one-stop shop where Florida insurance agents, companies, policyholders and the general public can learn more about AOB and how to avoid contractor abuse.

To view the interactive digital guide, please visit PCIAA.net/zmag/consumer-protection-coalition.html or click on the image below.

Tips and information highlighted within the interactive digital guide include:

  • Type of deceptive contractor tactics
  • How to properly verify damage and get repairs
  • Importance of checking references, getting a written contract and never paying contractors upfront
  • How the AOB insurance claims scam works
  • Statistics on AOB lawsuits
  • Videos of Floridians falling victim to contractor fraud
  • Consumer tips and additional online resources

Raising awareness about contractor fraud and abuse is critical to stopping AOB abuse and other scams that are hurting hardworking Floridians. The more people know about these deceptive contractor tactics, the better our chances will be to pass AOB reform in 2019.’

The Consumer Protection Coalition warns consumers to beware of AOB abuse, especially now during hurricane season, which can attract scam artists seeking to profit off storms. Homeowners and automobile owners should contact their insurance agent or insurance company first if they suffer damage to their home. They do not need to sign an AOB to start repairs and should be leery of vendors who pressure them to do so or refuse to do the work unless they sign one.

The Consumer Protection Coalition has supported commonsense legislation to curb AOB abuse the last two legislative sessions and looks forward to working with incoming Senate and House leadership to pass reform in 2019.

2 WAYS TO HELP:

  1. SHARE this message with your friends and family.
  2. SIGN the petition to stop AOB fraud and abuse.

33 Ways to Avoid Caregiver Burnout

August 29th, 2018

Angela stood on her front porch gazing out at the yard, holding a cup of coffee in her hands.  She closed her eyes, trying the drown out the sound of crying coming from inside the house by squeezing them, tighter and tighter.  She knew the ridiculousness of the gesture, but somehow she felt covering her ears with her hands would seem rude, as if her mother was could see her and would feel embarrassed by actions she couldn’t control, but that wasn’t the case.

Her frustration growing, she turned to run to her mother but stopped when she heard Jesse, the hospice aid speaking kind, reassuring words to Angela’s 92-year-old mother in an attempt to calm the fear and wipe the pain away that had now become a daily reality in their home.  Angela loved being the sole caregiver for her mother, but she felt this was a battle she was loosing and no amount of squeezing her eyes shut could change any of it.

Angela thought back on what lead up to this point, her mind wandering back through the bittersweet journey.  Overall, these past five years had been wonderful.  Angela and her mom were always together except when Angela used to work. As soon as she got home they spent every evening and every weekend talking, playing games, watching movies, cooking together, shopping and even taking a week’s vacation to Myrtle Beach a few years ago.

Recently, things changed as her mother’s health began to decline.  It started with high blood-pressure, continued its downward spiral with a mini-stroke and then onto the full-blown Alzheimers her mother and she are dealing with now.  The ‘A’ word, as Angela refers to it, is a monster of a disease and those it attacks suffer its effects immensely.

Oh, how Angela looked forward to those special days when the disease seemed to sleep, allowing her mother to awaken bringing back to life her vive, her memory, her personality, her true self.  Even if the memory wasn’t fully there anymore, and some things were askew, these moments were precious.  One time, for instance, her mother insisted that Jackie Gleason (yes the actor from the Honeymooners) was her best friend.  She swore up and down that he had just visited a few days ago and they had the most wonderful conversation.  Angela played along and said she was sorry that she missed him and asked her mother to please let her know the next time he visited as Angela would love to meet a real movie star.

Yes, during these times of lucidity she was the same funny, charming, happy character Angela had always loved and admired.  Just as easily as she appeared though, she would disappear back into the abyss of Alzheimer’s and Angela could do nothing but watch.

Now the care needed to be around-the-clock and though they had prepared financially for this, the emotional toll was immense.  Angela finally called for help and was amazed at the response she received.  Her mother’s physician set up hospice care at home so Angela’s mother wouldn’t need to leave the place where she and Angela’s father had lived for almost 43 years.

Angela was on family medical leave from work so that she could be with her mother as much as possible.  She stayed close because her worst fear was that her mother would have lucid moments and become her mother again only to be surrounded by nurses and aids – people she didn’t know.

She cared for her mother nearly 20 hours a day, every day, the reprise being the four-hour break given when the nurses and aids would visit.  She didn’t go out socially anymore.  She really didn’t go out much at all.

A heartfelt conversation leads to a breakthrough

Angela couldn’t take it anymore.  Her mother’s cries weren’t subsiding and she turned back into the house to rush by her side.  “I’m here mama, I’m right here.  It’s me, Angela,” she cooed as she knelt beside her mother’s small frame, slumped helplessly over to one side in her wheelchair.  Muscle atrophy made it impossible for her to sit at all without the aid of whatever was holding her up. Her mother continued to stare down at the floor with sad eyes, switching back and forth between soft cries and loud moans as she fought whatever inner battle Angela could get nowhere near.

Stroking the soft grey whisps of hair on her mother’s head Angela fought back tears as she continually tried to bridge the gap of her mother’s inner world of turmoil and the outter world.

Jesse came to Angela’s side and laid a gentle hand on her shoulder indicating for Angela to take a seat for a moment.  Angela reluctantly acquiesced and sat in the chair closest to her mother, never once taking her eyes from her.  After a while, sleep shrouded her mother in its mercy and the crying ceased as she drifted off in slumber.

Jesse handed Angela another cup of coffee and beckoned her to come and sit next to her on the couch with a soft pat on a cushion.  Angela smiled and sank into the cushion.  She felt drained of every bit of energy she had woken up with this morning and it was only a little after noon.

“Angela, I’m worried”, Jesse stated matter-of-factly and Angela looked up at her waiting for her to continue.  “Your mother is fading…and so are you.”

Angela gave Jesse a confused look, wondering exactly what she meant.  Was she ill too?  Did Jesse know something she didn’t?

“You’re spreading yourself so thin, and I know how dedicated you are and how much you love your mother but do you ever take any time for yourself?” At this Angela gave a little snorkel of a laugh.  How would she ever have time for herself?  The absurdity of the remark turned her snorkel to a full giggle.

“Jesse, when would I ever have to time..”

Jesse put her hand up and shook her head.  “I’m not speaking of long trips or leaving your mother alone to go off for fun because I know you would never do that, ” Jessie continued.  You can, however, take small bits of time here and there to pull yourself away and just exhale for a few minutes.  I see you’re always taking care of your mother but sometimes caregivers need to be reminded how equally important it is to take care of themselves.  You need to take care of you or you’ll be no good in helping your mother.  May I share some tips with you?”

“I suppose I never even thought about myself in all of this”, confessed Angela.  “Maybe I do need those tips after all Jesse.”

The Tips

According to WebMD “caregiver burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude – from positive and caring to negative and unconcerned. Burnout can occur when caregivers don’t get the help they need, or if they try to do more than they are able – either physically or financially. Caregivers who are ‘burned out’ may experience fatigue, stress, anxiety, and depression. Many caregivers also feel guilty if they spend time on themselves rather than on their ill or elderly loved ones.”

Below are of the tips (from advocatingfortheaging.com) that Jessa the aid shared with Angela.  If you’re a caregiver, hopefully, these tips will help you take those truly needed moments to refresh and recharge.

Download list here

 

 

2018 Orange County Voting Information

August 19th, 2018

Here we are at the start of another major election.  It’s hard to believe two years have gone by already and now we’re deciding soon on who our new governor will be here in Florida.

Voting is our right and responsibility and Orange County does a great job at putting the information together to help get you to the polls.  Here are all those resources in one spot.

Below you’ll find:

Voter Guide

A spot to look up your polling place

A spot to look up if your you’res registered to vote

Index of Poll Directory download

 


Orange County Voter Guide
Registration Requirements

Must be a U.S. Citizen
Must be 18 years old
(may pre-register at 16 years of age)
Must be a Florida resident
Must have your civil rights (If convicted of a felony or declared mentally incompetent by the courts, your civil rights must be restored before registering.)
Federal and State laws allow you to apply for or update an existing voter registration while at the Driver License Office, Public Library, Center for Independent Living, WIC & DCF offices or at any elections office. A Florida Voter Registration Application form can also be found online or call us and we’ll mail you a copy.

When completing the registration application take special care to follow the directions and answer all required questions. Voter registration is available year-round, but in order to vote in an upcoming election you must complete the registration process no later than 29 days prior to that election

If you are registering to vote-by-mail and have never voted in Florida and haven’t been issued a Florida Driver’s License, identification card or Social Security number, you will be required to provide additional identification before voting the first time. Follow the instructions on the registration application form.

Voter Information Card

Voter Information cards are mailed confirming new registrations, voter updates or changes in polling sites. While this mailer provides valuable information, it is not required that you produce it on Election Day to vote.

Restoration of Civil Rights

If you have been convicted of a felony you may not register to vote until your voting rights are restored. You may research your status and apply for Restoration of Civil Rights through the Florida Office of Executive Clemency.
Website: https://www.fcor.state.fl.us/clemency.shtml
Email: ClemencyWeb@fcor.state.fl.us
Phone: 1-800-435-8286 or 850-488-2952

Political Party Affiliation

Florida is a closed primary state. If you wish to vote in a partisan primary, you must be registered with that particular party affiliation (Chapter 101.021, Florida Statutes). All registered voters, regardless of party affiliation, can vote on issues and non-partisan races.

The exception to the party affiliation requirement occurs when all the candidates in a contest are of the same party affiliation. In this case there is a Universal Primary and all qualified voters, regardless of party affiliation, can vote in this contest.

When registering to vote, if you do not designate a party affiliation on your application, you will be registered with no party affiliation. The deadline for changing your party affiliation is 29 days before any primary and it must be done on a Florida Voter Registration Application.

List of Political Parties

OCDEC

OCREC
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Keep Your Record Current
Once registered, keep your record up-to-date.

Address
Name
Signature Change/Updated
Party
Since your residence address is used to determine the correct ballot for you in any given election, it is vital that you keep your voter registration record up to date. While some updates may be made by phone, we recommend changes be made using a Florida Voter Registration Application form that can be found online or at any public library. If you prefer, call us at (407) 836-2070 and we’ll assist you in updating your record.

Three Convenient Ways To Vote:

You decide which method best suits your busy schedule: Voting by Mail, Early Voting or at the Polls on Election Day.

1. Voting by Mail: If you are unable to go to an early voting site or to the polling place on Election Day you may request a vote-by-mail ballot. Your request for a vote-by-mail ballot must be received in the Elections Office no later than the sixth day prior to the election.

The vote-by-mail ballot packet will include instructions on how to mark your ballot, how to complete the required voter’s certificate, and how to properly return your ballot to the elections office. The deadline to return Voted ballots to the Elections Office is no later than 7:00 p.m. election night for it to be counted.
Request a vote-by-mail ballot today:

By Phone – Call (407) 836-2070

By Internet – Make your request online

By Fax or Mail – send your name, residential address, mailing address (if any), date of birth, signature, and election(s) for which you are requesting a ballot to (407) 254-6598 or P.O. Box 562001, Orlando, FL 32856-2001.

By Designee – Beginning five days prior to an election, you may designate in writing someone to pick up your vote-by-mail ballot from the elections office. Your written request must include the information outlined above. The designee must show photo identification and may pick up ballots for no more than two non-family members.

Signature Updates
Your vote-by-mail ballot will not count if the signature on the return envelope’s voter certificate does not match the signature on file. Signatures often change due to age, injury or illness. Update your signature by completing a Florida Voter Registration Application form.

Track Your Vote-by-Mail Ballot
Want to know if we received your voted vote-by-mail ballot? Click here to track the status of your ballot.

2. Early Voting: If you prefer to cast your ballot in person prior to Election Day, check your Sample Ballot or visit our website to find an early voting location that is convenient for you. Early voting will begin 10-15 days prior to an election. Pay special attention to the locations, dates, and hours of operation. Please bring photo and signature identification. Click here for more in-depth information on early voting and visit our hompage for up-to-date information on locations, dates, and hours.

3. Voting At The Polls On Election Day: The polls are open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Election Day. On Election Day you are required to vote in the polling place location assigned to the precinct where you live. You are also required to bring both photo and signature identification with you.

Acceptable forms of photo identification include:

Florida driver’s license
Florida identification card issued by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
United States passport
Debit or credit card
Military identification
Student identification
Retirement center identification
Neighborhood association identification
Public assistance identification
State of Florida concealed weapon or firearm license
Employee identification card issued by any branch, department, agency or entity of the Federal Government, the state, a county, or a municipality
Veteran health identification card issued by the United States Department of Veterans’ Affairs

Provisional Ballots
A voter will be issued a provisional ballot in special circumstances, such as the voter’s eligibility to vote cannot be determined at that time or the voter does not have the required picture and signature identification. Provisional ballots are not counted at the polls; they are sealed inside a certificate envelope and submitted to the canvassing board after the polls close. The canvassing board will review the information provided on the certificate envelope and determine whether the envelope may be opened and the ballot counted. Those vote totals are included in the election results.

Sample Ballot
Prior to each election, you will be sent an Official Sample Ballot that will include the name of your polling facility, the address, basic driving directions and a map. To lessen your time in the voting booth, you can pre-mark your sample ballot and use it as a guide when you mark your official ballot.

If you need assistance in reading or marking your ballot, you may bring someone with you or poll workers are available. Spanish language assistance and ADA compliant voting equipment are available at all Early Voting locations and at the polls on Election Day.

Voting Equipment
Orange County uses digital scan voting equipment. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant voting devices are available for voters with special needs. You must alert the poll worker when checking-in if you wish to vote using the ADA compliant touchscreen voting device. Touchscreen equipment has the ability to enlarge font sizes and to read the ballot aloud, if needed.

How to Mark Your Ballot
Make your selection(s) by completely filling in the oval to the left of your selection with the black pen provided. When voting for Write-In Candidates, fill in the oval next to the words “Write-In” and print the candidate’s name on the line.

IMPORTANT: Always review your ballot before placing it in the tabulator or the return envelope, if voting by mail ballot. Once your ballot is accepted in to the tabulator, or mailed in the case of vote-by-mail ballots, the law says you have voted and cannot be issued another ballot in that Election. Florida law allows you up to three attempts to mark your ballot correctly. Ask for a replacement ballot if you make a mistake when marking your ballot.

Are You Interested In Working on Election Day?

If you would like to work at the polls on Election Day, contact our office. For more details on being a pollworker click here.

Adopt-A-Precinct
The Adopt-A-Precinct program is a community partnership that has been very successful in Orange County. Our office developed this program to give community groups a new way to serve while raising funds for their worthy causes. Visit our website for more information if your organization is interested in adopting a precinct for a future election.

Community Outreach Events
In Orange County our goal is to provide our community the opportunity to learn about the election process, voter registration and a voter’s rights and responsibilities. We provide a variety of education programs for our community. For more information or to request a presentation or voter registration services for an event, please call our office and ask for the Outreach Department.

 



 


Orange County Polls Directory


Assisted living-cruise ship amenities on land

August 10th, 2018

Have you ever been on a cruise vacation?  We hope that you have.  One survey given by CruiseAddicts.com asked people who have taken at least one cruise in their lifetime to describe their experiences in only three words.  The same three words that kept coming up over and over were; relaxation, fun and indulgence.

Cruising is one of those luxuries that most people aspire to do at least once in their life.  It’s nearly always on the average person’s list of to-do’s should they win the lottery.  It’s probably because, besides the destination, nothing compares to the carefree and luxurious way you live when you’re a passenger on board one of the ‘cities of the sea’ as they’re called.  The amenities are amazing and include such desirables as incredible meals, room service, live entertainment, onboard games and demonstrations, housekeeping and laundry services.  Should you fall ill, there are even physicians on board!

There’s the story from 2005 of Lee Wachtstetter, an 86-year-old Florida widow,  who took her daughter’s advice. She sold her five-bedroom Fort Lauderdale-area home on 10 acres and became a permanent luxury cruise ship resident after her husband died.

Mama Lee, as she was known aboard the 11-year-old Crystal Serenity, lived on the 1,070-passenger vessel longer than most of its 655 crewmembers — for nearly seven years.

A tale went around the internet about someone that media folk guessed was her.  It went something like this:

The Story of Lee

About 2 years ago my wife and I were on a cruise through the western Mediterranean aboard a Princess liner. At dinner we noticed an elderly lady sitting alone along the rail of the grand stairway in the main dining room.

I also noticed that all the staff, ships officers, waiters, busboys, etc., all seemed very familiar with this lady. I asked our waiter who the lady was, expecting to be told she owned the line, but he said he only knew that she had been on board for the last four cruises, back to back.

As we left the dining room one evening I caught her eye and stopped to say hello. We chatted and I said, “I understand you’ve been on this ship for the last four cruises.” She replied, “Yes, that’s true.” I stated, “I don’t understand” and she replied, without a pause, “It’s cheaper than a nursing home.”

So, there will be no nursing home in my future. When I get old and feeble, I am going to get on a Princess Cruise Ship. The average cost for a nursing home is $200 per day. I have checked on reservations at Princess and I can get a long term discount and senior discount price of $135 per day. That leaves $65 a day for:

1. Gratuities which will only be $10 per day.

2. I will have as many as 10 meals a day (of fantastic food, not institutional food) if I can waddle to the restaurant, or I can have room service (which means I can have breakfast in bed every day of the week).

3. Princess has as many as three swimming pools, a workout room, free washers and dryers, and shows every night.

4. They have free toothpaste and razors, and free soap and shampoo.

5. They will even treat you like a customer, not a patient. An extra $5 worth of tips will have the entire staff scrambling to help you.

6. I will get to meet new people every 7 or 14 days!

7. TV broken? Light bulb need changing? Need to have the mattress replaced? No problem! They will fix everything and apologize for your inconvenience.

8. Clean sheets and towels every day, and you don’t even have to ask for them.

9. If you fall in the nursing home and break a hip you are on Medicare; if you fall and break a hip on the Princess ship they will upgrade you to a suite for the rest of your life.

10. There is always a doctor on board.

Now hold on for the best! Do you want to see South America, the Panama Canal, Tahiti, Australia, New Zealand, Asia, or name where you want to go? Princess will have a ship ready to go. So don’t look for me in a nursing home, just call shore to ship.

PS: And don’t forget, when you die, they just dump you over the side at no charge.

Today’s Assisted Living

When it comes to amenities, assisted living communities have from playing cards, holiday choirs and hair salons to incorporating many features of one might experience on a cruise. creating a more luxurious, indulgent and fun day-to-day environment for seniors.

Common amenities at a facility today may include a/an:

  • Beauty / Barber Shop
  • Café / Bistro
  • Parking / Valet Service
  • Snack Shop
  • Wellness Center
  • Pharmacy
  • Library
  • Flat Screen TV
  • Chapel
  • Community Kitchen
  • Computer Center with Internet Access and Classes
  • Fitness Center
  • Private Dining Room for Residents and Their Families (Think Birthday Parties or SpeciaOccasionsns)
  • Arts & Crafts Studio
  • Court Yard and Garden
  • Game Room
  • Pool
  • Pub / Sports Bar
  • Theatre
  • Walking Path or Park
  • 24-Hour Security System
  • Full Concierge Service
  • Culinary Chef
  • Registered Dietitian
  • Offsite Trips to Museums, Plays, etc.
  • Pet-Friendly Environments are becoming more common and available
  • Communities also organize plenty of special events throughout the year. These may include cookouts in the summer, Mother and Fathers’ Day buffet luncheons, annual holiday parties, Sunday dinners and a trip to the drive-in theater complete with popcorn and candy. We also encourage family and friends to participate in any of these activities.

Living Today

Life aboard a ship may sound glamorous yet it is not suitable for everyone.  Go-getter seniors who may need assistance with daily tasks may not want to fork out a tip everytime they call for assistance.  There’s also the factors of wanting to be close to doctors, trusted hospitals, churches and more.  Staying on land in a facility that allows you to live like you’re cruising is what every senior deserves.  Making it happen is possible when you have the right team around you.

The goal of the assisted living communities is to bring the quality of life up to its highest possible level for each resident and to allow seniors to enjoy a full and active lifestyle in one spot, close to family, friends, business and social groups, or even restaurants, parks, shopping, hospitals, churches and more.

Great facilities provide choices for today’s seniors and their families, and like any great cruise director, they don’t force involvement, but they encourage residents to try different activities. The facility staff should find out what activities residents have enjoyed in the past and try to find something similar that they enjoy while living on campus. The vital ingredient, however, is that residents are around peers. The chance to form new friendships grows with each day they live in a good center. Socialization has been shown to keep many people active and healthier than they would be if they remained alone at home.

While assisted living isn’t the answer to every elder’s living problems, it does help many have a healthier, happier life. This, in turn, often increases life expectancy. However, quality of life may be the key factor in the growing success of good assisted living facilities, as it should be with every service they provide.

Living like your on a cruise in the right assisted-care facility is indeed a great way to make sure every day is a day that’s fun, a little indulgent, a bit relaxing and filled with endless possibilities.

Questions

We’re here to answer any questions you may have.  Please feel free to fill out the form below and we’ll get back to you asap with the best guidance possible.

Let Us Know How We Can Help

 

My reasons for becoming a Senior Real Estate Specialist.

July 15th, 2018

The other day our real estate office had conducted a team meeting where we discussed how to increase our sales numbers.  Just as the meeting ended and the room had nearly emptied out, an associate of mine came to me and asked me to explain why I was so adamant on working in a market, that on paper, looked as though closings took so long to happen.  He posed the debate to me that there were other markets I could easily succeed in, ones that run at a faster pace and didn’t run at a faster pace usually mean quicker closings and faster profits.  Isn’t that, after all, what you go into business for, to turn a healthy profit?

I had to admit I was taken back by this and looking at the person across from me, in this very moment, I absolutely understood why we Realtors sometimes share a very close reputation to used car salespeople. I guess he mistakenly took the look of shock on my face as confusion because he continued to speak.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s great what you do, but you should spend that time really selling, you know, on the phone, canvassing neighborhoods for potential sellers, and all of the other lead generating activities we do to get business.  It just seems to me you’re taking the long road to get the same amount of business and pay.”

I had to pause before I responded, first to make sure he had finished speaking and second to compose myself before I answered because this agent had unknowingly upset me.  It wasn’t his fault really though, it’s what we’re taught in the industry.  Time is money and so on, but I knew that wasn’t always the case.  Now he needed to know the big picture.

“I understand what you’re saying,” I replied, “we are in a competitive industry, we don’t draw a salary and we work solely on commission so we should try to claim as many leads as we can to close in as short a time as we can but in my market, that’s the worst thing you can do.  It can actually hurt everyone involved.”  

Now, it was his turn to look confused.  I let him stew for a moment before I continued on.

You may think, that the Senior market is like every other market in that you list their home first, sell it and then once their home is sold, find them a place to live.”  He nodded a yes in response to my statement and a shook my head no before explaining the truth of the matter. “More often than not the most critical step is finding them a place to live! This is where my guidance and the trust I work very hard to earn all come into play.”

The other agent stopped for a moment and stared at me, mouth agape.  Confusion formed between well-groomed brows before the next question was asked…

“Why?  Why do you look for their place to live first?”  my acquaintance asked with fascination.  I refer to him as an acquaintance because while I’ll always treat him with respect, using the word ‘friend’ to describe our relationship would be stretching it a bit.

“Because I have educated myself and continue to educate myself to know their needs and I dedicate myself to help them on their journey.  My mission is to help guide seniors and active adults with downsizing solutions while connecting them with trusted resources and services.”

“The seniors I work with are very important to me.  I’ve discovered just how important during the past four (plus) years that I’ve been specializing in this niche while meeting and vetting all resources and services in the industry that applies to help seniors and active adults. My education continues to grow as I meet professionals one on one, read a lot of books pertaining to seniors and their needs and struggles and also while searching the internet for local information the may help seniors go through their housing transition.

In addition to being a CSHP, I have a Certificate in Gerontology, get background checked annually and volunteer by delivering for Meals on Wheels, all of which help provide a comprehensive insight into the different ways seniors live.

I launched a seminar series called ‘My Smarter Senior’ in 2017, which is about providing protection, information, and education for seniors, active adults, and their families.  This is a program that is in its second year and is presented at four of the Orange County Libraries including Southwest; Herndon; Eatonville; and West Oaks in Ocoee. There are eight topics with event approximately two to five presenters at each one who talk about their services as they relate to the topic that day.  The topics are Senior Living Options; Health; Downsizing; Aging in Place; Senior Scams; Home Services; Financial; and Legal!  I have also started a series called ‘Moving MOM and DAD’!”  

“So now you see why I’m so happy to be different than other Realtors!  It has taken me 60 years to find out what I really wanted to do when I grew up!” I laughed a little bit as I spoke, “This is what drives me to get out of bed every morning and hit the ground running. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else.”

I’m proud of my vision, proud of what I do and I continually look for ways to make it better for my Clients!  My market isn’t about numbers, it’s about sincerity and compassion and no I can’t buy a boat with either of those but what I do get from my work is worth so much more.

You see, that why I don’t need to worry about ‘numbers’, all I need to worry about is focusing on are my ‘people’.

I smiled and rose, walking away feeling great about our conversation.  It wasn’t that I left a numbers-obsessed agent in a bit of shock, no, it was that I was able to articulate clearly and succinctly why I love doing what I do and what I’m so passionate about the people I do it for.

I did, for a minute, question if I should get my eyebrows groomed.

 

 

,”.

“I want these folks to understand that there is someone in our industry who understands what they’re going through, someone who will listen to them, someone that will allow them to stay in control and that someone is ME!  There are many things to consider when anyone is downsizing and they have many different choices to make when it comes to their next phase of life.  Even if you’re in picture perfect health and you’re the most active person you know, when you’re a senior, you have to plan for the ‘what if’s’.”

A finger went in the air as though my companion was going to interrupt but I continued.  A question was asked and I was determined to give my answer…in full because my niche of clients isn’t just my job, they’re my passion.  “I am a Realtor, I continued, and have been for the past 10+ years here in the Orlando area.

When a Senior or Active Adult is thinking about Moving and they are looking to sell their property this is how I begin!  I offer a FREE Consultation up to 1.5 hours. The Consultation is about me listening to their story, where they are thinking about moving, how much they can afford or not afford, what they like or dislike, what they want to do and how they want to live their remaining years. After which, I meet with them in about a week or two weeks later providing a minimum of three options as to what they ultimately want to do.

It is, up to them (sometimes with input from family members) as to what will make them the happiest. After all, this is a major transition since there are a lot of memories, conditions, and uncertainties being addressed. It’s usually safe to say that when I meet with a family, this is the first time they’ve ever encountered having to make any decisions like these before and I need to be their ‘Trusted Advisor’ someone who is knowledgeable about what is out there for them in this Jungle that we now live in.

Once we have this next meeting, they have input from family, thought about my options and made their decision we can then move forward with whatever game plan that has been chosen. We begin the process together.

!”

The other agent stopped for a moment and stared at me, mouth agape.  Confusion formed between well-groomed brows before the next question was asked…

“Why?  Why do you look for their place to live first?”  Was the questions my acquaintance asked with fascination.

Because I educated myself to know their needs and I dedicate myself to help them on their journey.  My mission is to help Guide Seniors and Active Adults with Downsizing Solutions while Connecting them with Trusted Resources and Services.

I have been working in this niche for 4+ years meeting & vetting all Resources and Services in the industry that applies to helping Seniors and Active Adults. My education is continual by meeting professionals one on one, reading a lot of books while searching the internet for information pertaining to Seniors. In addition to being a CSHP, I have a Certificate in Gerontology and get background checked annually. I also volunteer by delivering Meals on Wheels to the less fortunate which provides a complete mastery of how all Seniors live.  I launched in 2017 My Smarter Senior Seminar Series which is about providing protection, information, and education for Seniors/Active Adults and their families. This is a program that is in its second year and is presented at 4 Orange County Libraries. Southwest, Herndon, Eatonville and West Oaks in Ocoee. There are 8 topics with 2-5 presenters at each event speaking about their Services related to the topic that day. The topics are Senior Living Options, Health, Downsizing, Aging in Place, Senior Scams, Home Services, Financial and Legal! I have also started a Series called moving MOM and DAD! So now you see why I’m so happy to be different than other Realtors! It has taken me 60 years to find out what I really wanted to do when I grew up! This is what drives me to get out of bed every morning running.

I’m proud of my vision, proud of what I do and I continually look for ways to make it better for my Clients!

You see, I don’t need to worry about ‘numbers’, all I need to worry about and focus on are my ‘people’.

I smiled and rose, walking away feeling great about our conversation.  It wasn’t that I left a numbers-obsessed agent in a bit of shock, no, it was that I was able to articulate clearly and succinctly why I love doing what I do and what I’m so passionate about the people I do it for.

I did, for a minute, questions if I should get my eyebrows groomed.

 

 


The other day, an associate of mine asked me why my passion for real estate rests with helping older folks find their next place to live.  Certainly, other markets run at a faster pace and running at a faster pace usually means higher numbers in the amounts of closings you have.  Isn’t that, after all, what you go into business for, to turn a profit?

I had to admit I was taken aback by the question. Looking at the person across from me, I absolutely understood why we Realtors have a very close reputation to used car salespeople.  I was in a bit of disbelief and shock.  I think my eyebrow went up in a questioning way because my acquaintance continued.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s great what you do, but you should spend that time selling, on the phone, canvassing neighborhoods for who’s going to sell and all of the other lead generating activities we do to get business.  It just seems to me you’re going the long way about getting the same amount of business.  Don’t you want a new boat or something?”

It didn’t take me a moment to answer, the words came out before I could catch them.

“I want to make a difference,” I said.  “I want these folks to understand that there is someone in our industry who understands what they’re going through, not because I’m going through it too, but because I assist many people going through the same thing, over and over again.  There are many things to consider when you’re downsizing and many different choices you may have to make when it comes to your next phase of life.  Even if you’re in picture perfect health and you’re the most active person you know, when you’re a senior, you have to plan for the ‘what if’s’.”

A finger went in the air as though my companion was going to interrupt but I continued.  A question was asked and I was determined to give my answer…in full because my niche of clients isn’t just my job, they’re my passion.  “I am a Realtor, I continued, and have been for the past 10+ years here in the Orlando area.

When a Senior or Active Adult is thinking about Moving and they are looking to sell their property this is how I begin!  I offer a FREE Consultation up to 1.5 hours. The Consultation is about me listening to their story, where they are thinking about moving, how much they can afford or not afford, what they like or dislike, what they want to do and how they want to live their remaining years. After which, I meet with them in about a week or two weeks later providing a minimum of three options as to what we can do.

It is, up to them (sometimes with input from family members) as to what will make them the happiest. Afterall, this is a major transition since there are a lot of memories, conditions, and uncertainties being addressed. It’s usually safe to say that when I meet with a family, this is the first time they’ve ever encountered having to make any decisions like these before and I need to be their ‘Trusted Advisor’.

Once we have this next meeting, they have input from family, thought about my options and made their decision we can then move forward with whatever game plan we have devised.

Now you may think,’ I continued undaunted because I  had a very important point to make and lesson to impart to this agent, who was completely uneducated of senior needs.  You may think Selling their home is the first step, but most of the time, we start 1st by locating a place to live! This is where the Guiding comes into play!”

The other agent stopped for a moment and stared at me, mouth agape.  Confusion formed between well-groomed brows before the next question was asked…

“Why?  Why do you look for their place to live first?”  Was the questions my acquaintance asked with fascination.

Because I educated myself to know their needs and I dedicate myself to help them on their journey.  My mission is to help Guide Seniors and Active Adults with Downsizing Solutions while Connecting them with Trusted Resources and Services.

I have been working in this niche for 4+ years meeting & vetting all Resources and Services in the industry that applies to helping Seniors and Active Adults. My education is continual by meeting professionals one on one, reading a lot of books while searching the internet for information pertaining to Seniors. In addition to being a CSHP, I have a Certificate in Gerontology and get background checked annually. I launched in 2017 My Smarter Senior Seminar Series which is about providing protection, information, and education for Seniors/Active Adults and their families. This is a program that is in its second year and is presented at 4 Orange County Libraries. Southwest, Hendon, Eatonville and West Oaks in Ocoee. There are 8 topics with 2-5 presenters at each event speaking about their Services related to the topic that day. The topics are Senior Living Options, Health, Downsizing, Aging in Place, Home Services, Financial and Legal! I have also started a Series called moving MOM and DAD! So now you see why I’m happy to be different than other Realtors!

I’m proud of my goals.  I’m proud of what I do and how what I do has shaped me to be the man I am today.  My family is happy with me as well.

You see, I don’t need to worry about your ‘numbers’, all I need to worry about and focus on are my ‘people’.

I smiled and rose, walking away feeling great about our conversation.  It wasn’t that I left a numbers-obsessed agent in a bit of shock, no, it was that I was able to articulate clearly and succinctly why I love doing what I do and what I’m so passionate about the people I do it for.

I did, for a minute, questions if I should get my eyebrows groomed.

 

Local Senior Scam – Orlando Senior Phone Call Scams

April 10th, 2018

Orlando Senior Phone CallWe all know the feeling. Our phone is ringing, and it’s a number that we don’t recognize. We don’t want to pick it up. And sometimes, we don’t. The other times that we do pick up the phone, it’s a scammer. Orlando senior phone call scams are becoming more frequent.

According to a survey conducted in 2017, nearly 95% of 1000 people say they’ve gotten a phone call from a telemarketer in the last 6 months. This is a leap from 84% in 2015.

Be Aware of Phone Scammers Posing as Utility Employees

We’ve recently been notified of the return of an ongoing Orlando senior phone call scam. This scam is where callers are impersonating the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) employees. These callers are demanding immediate payment by phone. The callers even have the ability to manipulate the number seen via caller ID to display as OUC’s customer service phone line.

An Orlando Utilities Commission representative will NEVER request payment or ask for bank or credit card information over the phone.

What to Do If You Pick Up and it is a Scam

There are a lot of ways to deal with an Orlando senior phone call scam as an Orlando senior. First, if you are on the line with someone who you suspect to be a scammer, then you need to hang up immediately.

You can then contact the Federal Trade Commision immediately at donotcall.gov, to report the call.

If you have any questions or concerns about Orlando senior phone call scams, be sure to give me a call. If you doubt the legitimacy of a call by an Orlando Utilities Commission employee, especially if payment is requested, contact the Orlando Utilities Commission directly at customerservice@ouc.com or call 407-423-9018.

For more on known utility scams, visit OUC.com/scams.

Always make sure to be wary of phone calls that you receive from unknown numbers, and never give out any personal information on the phone if you do not trust the caller.

Local Senior Scam – Orlando Phone Call Scams

March 20th, 2018

Orlando Phone Call Scams Phone calls, we get a lot of them. Especially, Orlando phone call scams, which seem to become for frequent over time.

Orlando phone call scams where callers impersonate FAIRWIND employees are called “spoofing.” “Spoofing,” is where someone will call and ask for confidential information, including debit card pins.

According to a survey conducted in 2017 by First Orion, within the last 6 months, nearly 95% of 1000 people say they’ve gotten a phone call from a telemarketer. This is a leap from 84% in 2015.

The criminals are able to make the calls look as though they are coming from a FAIRWINDS. In general, spoofing is an unsolicited phone call from a person or third party claiming to be a part of, or a company that they are not. These callers may appear legitimate, but they are not.

If this happens to you, and you are asked to provide confidential information like your Social Security number or debit card PIN, hang up immediately.

Here’s how you can protect yourself:

  • Most banks, including FAIRWINDS, will not ask you for confidential info, including pin numbers or social security numbers over the phone.
  • Do not give away your pin
  • Be sure to check your account to make sure it’s not compromised
  • If you do get a spoofing call, or feel like you are getting a spoofing call, hang up
  • At your bank, like FAIRWINDS, you can sign up for alerts to check your account

If you have any questions or concerns about Orlando phone call sams, give me a call. If you have concerns about your FAIRWINDS account or about phone scams, contact them today 407.277.5045. 

 

When You Should Consider Dr. Phillips Home Care Services

March 9th, 2018

There are many benefits to Dr. Phillip home care services, especially when you compare home care assistance to a nursing home. Home care assistance helps keep the individual stable, and in an environment that they are familiar with.

Here is when you should consider Dr. Philips home care services. There are a number of ways you can tell someone needs home care assistance.

If You’ve Fallen and Injured Yourself

You’ve fallen and injured yourself. This can happen to anyone and happens quite frequently with seniors. There’s no need to be ashamed, but if it has happened more than a few times, it’s time to start considering some assistance.

Daily Household Tasks Have Become More Difficult

No longer are you able to do simple, household tasks, like load the dishwasher or do your own laundry. Yard work has become strenuous.

When household duties start becoming too difficult for you to do, it’s time to start considering that a home service is right for you.

Your Memory is Starting To Go

If your memory is starting to go, it’s time to consider someone to assist you. It’s safe for you and your family. When your memory starts to fade, you can get into a lot of trouble.

Forget to shut off the stove, forget to brush your teeth. Simple tasks become harder when memory fades.

You’re No Longer A Safe Driver

If you are no longer a safe driver, then you can’t drive and pick up groceries. When you can’t get the food you need or complete tasks like grocery shopping, it’s time to call on help.

What Do Dr. Philips Home Care Services Do?

A home assistant will help you with your day-to-day tasks. They can help you clean and cook your meals. They fill in the gap that age or illness has brought on, helping you take care of not only yourself but your home.

Home care services will help keep you and your family together. Dr. Philips home care services can help seniors in a lot of ways, including maintaining their independence, promotion of their health, and helping them feel safer. Because a home care service goes to your home,

For helpful senior tips on home care services and more check out my senior living videos series or contact me today.

Local Senior Scams: AOB Abuse

March 8th, 2018

AOB abuse can happen to anyone, but seniors, in particular, seem to fall prey to this often.

You’d be surprised how often seniors are victimized by scams, one in 18 seniors are victimized by fraud and scam in the US a year. Don’t let it happen to you. There are many common senior scams such as telemarketers, door-to-door sales, and, of course, AOB abuse.

What is an AOB?

Assignment of Benefits, or an AOB, is an agreement between the contractor or homeowner. Unfortunately, an AOB can lead to abuse and dishonesty, if the contractor is not reputable.

Florida Homeowners and Scams

Florida Homeowners are unfortunately being targeted by dishonest contractors, such as plumbers, and a whole sleuth of repairers who are not reputable and who are willing to take advantage of seniors.

These unreputable contractors’ have a nefarious goal; that goal is to have homeowners sign an AOB contract, so they can make unneeded repairs and so collect money on way overpriced labor.  AOB abuse can happen to anyone, it begins very innocently, and ends with expensive consequences.

Darleen’s Story

Darleen Masturzo noticed one morning a leak in her house. She thought that a pipe broke. She called her electric company and they sent someone over. She thought it was her water tank, but it was a broken pipe.

The pipe was fixed, but there looked to be a lot of water damage under the cabinets and she was referred to someone who could help with the water issues and check to see if there was mold.

One thing led to another and before she knew it she was out of her house for 6 months, unable to come home and the bill sent to the insurance company was upwards of $28,000. This was all do to AOB abuse.

Darleen didn’t realize that she signed an AOB. As she said, she felt as though she signed her life away.

Darleen Masturzo’s story is unfortunately not uncommon. For example, what happened to the Snelgrove family, who also subjected to AOB abuse.