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Monthly Archives: February 2017

  • How to Evaluate an Independent Living Community

    Posted on February 9, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    living-comunityMany older Americans reach a point where they’re ready to simplify. They may no longer need a big house or city home, and want to settle down in a community that can cater to their needs.

    One popular option is to move to an independent living community of retirees. Independent living communities offer housing with built-in social opportunities, recreation facilities and other services that cater to an older crowd.

    But finding the right community could take careful evaluation. If you’re considering an independent living community, there are a few specific questions you should be asking before you decide where to spend your golden years.

    Should You Choose a CCRC or Rental Community?

    You have two primary options when moving into an independent living community: a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) or a rental community.

    CCRCs charge a substantial entrance fee and a monthly fee as well. They offer many housing choices, health and wellness centers, community activities and home maintenance. Most CCRCs have assisted living facilities to take in residents once they require additional care, so residents can spend the rest of their lives in the community. One downside: if you decide to move, you could forfeit some of your upfront entrance fee. Potential residents often must pass a medical and financial screening before they’re approved to move in.

    Rental communities offer many of the same amenities with a much smaller entrance fee. They may or may not have nearby assisted living facilities.

    How Much Will It Cost Me?

    One of the first things to evaluate at any community is the cost. Because of their entry fee, CCRCs can be quite expensive and they’re often funded by the sale of the resident’s prior home. Rental communities will usually have a higher monthly cost.

    Those aren’t the only costs to consider. Many communities come with meal plans, entertainment and transportation included. If the community doesn’t provide these services as part of the package, you’ll have to factor those expenditures into your total cost of living.

    What Perks Will I Get?

    You should carefully evaluate the “fun factor” of the community, meaning the events and services that provide recreation and an opportunity to make friends. These perks could include rec centers, movie nights or a community pool. You should look for activities and facilities you’ll actually enjoy, because otherwise you’ll be paying for services you likely won’t use.

    Independent living communities also can offer services you may not have considered, including housekeeping, utilities and onsite medical staff. When you’re touring a community, make sure to get a full picture of the available services.

    Is the Community Conveniently Located?

    Independent living communities offer the luxury of convenience, with many of your needs offered in one place. But you’ll probably want to go off reservation at times. If you don’t have your own car, you’ll need to know the available transportation options. You should also consider the community’s proximity to friends, family and your favorite places to visit or activities to participate in.

    Is the Community Right for Me?

    Finally, you’ll have to decide if the community is the right fit for you. That’s something you’ll have to get a feel for as you visit different locations. Outside of touring the homes and available facilities, you should investigate each community with a critical eye. Talk to different residents and staff members to get their perspectives. Take a look at the quality of the facilities you see. And if you’re moving in with your partner, you’ll want to consider their needs as well.

    You may even decide that retirement communities - at least for the time being - aren’t for you. Picking the right place to live in your golden years depends entirely on your priorities, so don’t make the decision lightly.


    This post was posted in Education

  • Four Housework Tips for People With Back Pain

    Posted on February 3, 2017 by Core Products

    By Brian Acton

    housework-back-painConsistent or recurring back pain can make even the most simple, mundane household chores a hassle. Cleaning activities that include lifting, bending or crouching can cause pain flare-ups or injury. But your trash still needs to be taken to the curb, your corners still need to be dusted and your dishes still need washing. You don’t have the choice to ignore your household chores.

    Instead, you must find a way to make your housework bearable. Follow these tips to make your chores manageable, reduce the risk of injury and limit your back pain.

    Lift Correctly

    Whether you’re carrying boxes to storage or taking out the trash, lifting incorrectly can cause injury or pain. Using your back to lift heavy loads puts an unnecessary amount of strain and tension on your muscles. Instead, you should lift objects close to your body with your legs apart and a bend in your knees. Engage your leg muscles when lifting. When you’re walking with a heavy load, make sure to turn your entire body as your go instead of twisting to the side as you move around or set things down.

    This concept also applies to vacuuming, raking or shoveling snow. Avoid twisting your back or repeatedly bending at the waist when completing these motions. Instead, step forward with one foot with a slight bend in the knee.

    Choose the Right Equipment

    When shopping for equipment, keep an eye out for products that will lighten the load of your household chores.

    For instance, you may strain your back when reaching to dust hard-to-reach areas. But a high reach duster with an extendable handle can help you easily reach those areas without having to reach too far or lug around a stepstool.

    Hauling around a heavy vacuum is another task that can injure your back. You might want to invest in a lightweight, handheld vacuum that you can easily carry around the house or up and down stairs. If you’re really looking to cut back on vacuuming, a Roomba could even eliminate much of your vacuuming.

    The point is, the equipment you use to do housework can contribute to your back pain or help you to avoid it. Choose wisely.

    Take Breaks

    No matter what chore you’re doing - scrubbing dishes, cleaning toilets or folding laundry – staying in one position for too long can put a strain on your back. Make sure to change your position regularly, taking breaks to walk around or perform another task. You can break large tasks into smaller ones to avoid staying locked into one position or one repetitive motion over and over.

    Hire Someone

    Some chores are going to be extremely difficult for back pain no matter how many precautions you take. If your back simply can’t take shoveling snow or scrubbing your shower, help from the neighborhood kids or a maid service might be just what you need to save your back.

    In Closing

    You shouldn’t have to live in fear of the havoc your housework could wreak on your back. By staying conscious of your movements, wisely choosing your equipment, taking regular breaks and knowing when to rely on hired help, you can reduce the risk of back injury while keeping your house in awesome shape.


    This post was posted in Education

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