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Posts tagged ‘Americans’

Getting Care As You Age

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How to Get the Care You Need in Old Age.
Very useful guest post by Harry Cline.

Most Americans over the age of 65 will need long-term care at some point as they age. That could mean residing at a nursing home or seeking home care, both of which are among the wide variety of solutions available to meet the needs of the elderly. The problem is the costs, which can be frightening.

A private room in that aforementioned nursing home? That runs an average of over $8,000 a month, while a home health aide would set you back over $4,000. In some extreme cases, the total price of such support and services grows into the millions. Wow.

So, what’s a financially-responsible person to do in the face of such financial challenges? Plan. Here’s a breakdown on how to assess your basic needs and pay for care.

Do Your Research

The first step is learning what services are available. The most basic level is visits from friends and family or custodial care at home. There’s also adult day care, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. What you need depends on your level of health along with whether you suffer from a chronic condition and its severity.

Assess Your Health Risks

It’s tantamount to looking into the future. However, the likelihood of certain diseases can be gauged based on your lifestyle, current overall health and family history. If you have a parent, brother or sister with Alzheimer’s, for example, you are more likely to develop this form of dementia, and the same goes for some cardiovascular conditions.

Make Lifestyle Changes

The risk of falling ill can be reduced through exercise and a better diet. There’s no simple recommendation as far as what to eat, though Elders’ Helpers recommends nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, beans and whole grains. As far as getting your body in motion, choose something you enjoy, whether it’s swimming, cycling or long walks on the beach.

Modify Your Home

This not only prevents injury, but allows you to stay there for longer and save money on costly assisted living and nursing homes. Some adjustments include installing railings on both sides of the stairs as well as automatic lighting to avoid nasty falls when you wake up in the middle of the night. You should also remove loose rugs and carpeting to enhance mobility and safety.

Now, we’ll move on to how to pay for all that. Bear in mind that the earlier you start, the better, and some options aren’t even available after retirement or a diagnosis with a severe medical condition.

Get the Right Insurance

Specifically, long-term care insurance. As implied by the name, it covers the cost of home care, assisted living and nursing homes, though the premiums can be high, averaging $2,700 a year, according to information cited by the AARP. That could be a worthwhile investment, though, if there’s a history of serious health conditions in your family.

Use Your Living Benefit

That means the living benefit rider in your life insurance, if you have one. If not, your insurer may be able to add one to your policy, in which case you would be able to draw from your death benefit to pay for medical expenses. Again, this could be a great option to have if you’re at high risk of chronic illness.

Put Money In Savings

Take this step before retirement with a health savings account. Both you and your employer make contributions, but the money stays with you when you’ve finished working. It’s tax-free when used for medical expenses, making it an attractive option along with high-deductible health plans.

Tap Into Your Property

You can do that via a home equity line of credit. This financial instrument allows you to withdraw money with your property serving as collateral, and offers a simpler alternative to a reverse mortgage, with lower associated costs. Both are common means of securing cash for long-term care, and which one’s right for you depends on your circumstances.

Planning for your care is not always easy, but you’ll breathe a sigh of relief when you’re done knowing that your future medical care is assured. Get started as soon as possible.

Image via Pixabay.

Print Is Hanging On

Pew: E-Reading Surges, but Print is Hanging On
by Andrew Albanese
Publishers Weekly
16 January 2014

E-books are rising in popularity, but print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits. Such is the conclusion of a new post-holiday survey from the Pew Research Center. The survey, conducted in the first weeks of 2014, found that most people who read e-books also read print books, and that just 4% of readers are “e-book only.”

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In addition, the rise in e-books may also be sparking a slight rise in reading, or a least a stablization. Overall, “76% of adults read a book in some format” over the previous 12 months, up slightly over the last survey conducted to report on e-reading activity during the 2012 holiday period. According to the survey, the “typical American adult” read or listened to 5 books in the past year, and the average for all adults was 12 books.

The survey also found that the tablet market is continuing its rise. Some 42% of adults now own tablet computers, up from 34% in September, the survey found, suggesting more than a few adults found a tablet in their stocking this holiday season. But don’t bury the e-reader just yet: the number of adults who own dedicated e-readers rose to 32% from 24% in September. In all, fully half of all Americans (50%) now own either a tablet or an e-reader, up from 43% in September.

For the most part, the survey revealed a widening profile of reading in America—including print, digital, and audio, with more Americans reading in multiple formats. As of January 2014, some 76% of American adults ages 18 and older said that they read at least one book in the past year. Almost seven in ten adults (69%) read a book in print in the past 12 months, while 28% read an e-book, and 14% listened to an audiobook. “In general, the vast majority of those who read e-books and audiobooks also read print books,” the survey notes, with significant overlap:

87% of e-book readers also read a print book in the past 12 months, and 29% listened to an audiobook.

84% of audiobook listeners also read a print book in the past year, and 56% also read an e-book.

A majority of print readers read only in that format, although 35% of print book readers also read an e-book and 17% listened to an audiobook.

Overall, about half (52%) of readers only read a print book, while just 4% said they only read an e-book, and just 2% only listened to an audiobook. Some 9% of readers said they read books in all three formats.

Read entire story and more at PUBLISHER’S WEEKLY.

Hunger, Summer, America

Dear Gabriel,

For most of us, the 4th of July means neighborhood parties, backyard barbecues, and maybe a watermelon seed spitting contest or two. The holiday is a celebration of family, friends, and the triumph of the American dream. But for families across America who struggle with poverty and hunger, that dream seems a long way off.

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For many families, the sudden loss of a job or a medical emergency can make keeping food on the table a struggle. And for parents who rely on school meal programs to help bridge the gap when times are tough, that problem is especially acute in the summer months.

Kids shouldn’t have to worry about going hungry every summer.

While many of us are relaxing with family and friends this summer, too many parents across America are wondering how they will keep their children happy and healthy until school starts again.

Today, as Americans everywhere celebrate the tremendous promise of our nation, take a minute keep kids across the country happy and healthy. This July, add your name to the movement of Americans fighting to end childhood hunger this summer!

Thank you for taking action,

Ellen B.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Living Without Enough Food

Dear Gabriel,

Tonight, chances are a senior in your community will go to bed hungry.

And your neighbor isn’t the only one suffering: millions of older Americans were unable to afford a meal today. Without enough to eat, seniors struggling with hunger could become more vulnerable to illness.

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It’s heartbreaking to think of so many older Americans going to bed hungry – but it’s not going to change unless we commit to fighting senior hunger.

We can’t keep ignoring seniors across America who struggle every day to keep food on the table.

Take action today: Add your name and commit to fighting senior hunger!

Thank you for taking action,

Ellen B.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Boston’s First Responders

Gabriel —

My thoughts and prayers over the past week have been with the people of Boston.

As I’ve watched everything happening there, I’ve been completely awestruck by the first responders — the police, firefighters, and EMTs who ran toward danger without hesitation to help those in peril.

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Their courage and compassion is amazing to witness, and I’m grateful to live in a country where so many fine men and women commit their lives to protect and serve their fellow citizens.

After all they’ve done, I want them to know what it’s meant to Americans like me. So I’m writing these first responders a simple note to say thanks — and I’d like to invite you to join me.

Add your name to the note for Boston’s first responders here.

Whether you want to say thanks, share a story about how the past week’s events have affected you, or just let these public servants know that you’ve been thinking about them, I know they’d appreciate hearing from you.

We’ll collect every note we get and deliver them to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Tom Menino so they can pass along your sentiments.

Join me, and say thanks to Boston’s first responders:

http://my.democrats.org/Boston

Thanks,

Debbie

Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Chair
Democratic National Committee

Hunger In America

Dear Gabriel,

Growing up, I was incredibly lucky that my family could count on having enough food on the table for my sister and me. Even if we had hit hard times, we could count on our community to help bridge the gap while we got back on our feet.

That kind of community support is a simple thing, but for hungry families it isn’t always there.

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Today, for 1 in 6 Americans, hunger is a reality.

We all know how scary it can be to face a financial crisis. Losing your job, facing an unexpected health issues or finding your rent has unexpectedly gone up can leave many families struggling to pay the bills and keep food on the table.

Without a strong safety net to help in times of financial trouble, too many families could face an empty dinner table and hungry nights.

Hunger in America can seem staggering, but the truth is by working together, we can find real solutions to the problem, before any more of our friends or relatives have to go to bed hungry.

Together we can end hunger in America. Please, sign on today to help raise awareness about those in need and give a voice to families struggling with hunger.

Thank you for taking action,

Ellen B.
Care2 and ThePetitionSite Team

Birth Control Access

action-180Dear Gabriel,

The Obama Administration made every reasonable effort to compromise with religiously-affiliated employers when implementing rules on women’s access to birth control coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

An update to the birth control benefit in the health care reform gives religious employers the ability to hand the responsibility to provide birth control coverage to a third party insurance company. But right-wing opponents led by the Conference of Catholic bishops are still balking at the plan.

President Obama did the right thing for women when he rejected the demands of rightwing activists and gave all women access to no-cost birth control through their insurance coverage. But before these new guidelines go into effect, his administration is holding a public comment period on the new rules. We know that anti-woman activists will flood President Obama’s Department of Health and Human Services with comments urging the administration to overturn its historic decision.

President Obama needs to hear that the vast majority of Americans support his decision to ensure access to no-cost birth control for all women. Click here to submit a public comment in support of access to birth control.

The Department of Health and Human Services and the medical community agree that providing no-cost birth control is an essential part of preventive health care for women. And Kathleen Sebelius, the director of HHS, said that providing birth control at no cost to women should be like “covering flu shots.”4

However, before activists from CREDO and Planned Parenthood began petitioning President Obama, the New York Times reported that the president was dangerously close to caving to the demands of the anti-woman lobby by adding a giant loophole that would keep a large number of women from being able to access no-cost birth control.5

CREDO members sent over 160,000 petitions and made over 3,000 calls to the White House asking President Obama not to cave. In the end, President Obama listened to our call to protect women’s health. But that doesn’t mean our work is done.

Some right-wing organizations are already balking at the plan even though it allows religious employers to avoid providing birth control directly to their employees. These anti-woman extremists will surely use the public comment process to file reams of objections to the plan. So let’s make sure the president hears from those of us who want him to stand strong and protect access to contraception.

Make sure that President Obama hears that the vast majority of Americans support his decision to ensure access to no-cost birth control for all women. Click below to submit a comment in support of access to contraception:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=14177296&p=birthcontrol_hhs_aca&id=56364-266627-5bh0wMx&t=4

Thank you for standing up for women’s access to birth control.

Jordan Krueger, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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