Senior Moments

Season of Storms

Posted by on Jul 23, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Season of Storms

Season of Storms

The year 2020 has felt like nothing but storms and unusual phenomenon – CoVid, economic uncertainty, civil unrest, Blue Moon, Red Moon, Lunar Eclipse, Murder Hornets and Sahara sandstorms in the Midwest… and a few weeks ago Quincy, IL (where Golden Bridges is based) had a downpour of rain that flooded streets and basements.

But lest we forget, we have been through storms before. Facebook reminds me that five years ago our city lost hundreds of trees in a 70mph straight line windstorm…. And we recovered. We got help from volunteers around the country who came with their chainsaws and chippers to help us clean up. We had an active tree planting campaign to Replace the Canopy and today they are growing strong.

Three months into pandemic lockdown, partial business openings, drive-by birthday parties and wedding postponements, we are learning to live with the 2020 new normal. 

During this time of uncertainty and division,you can be a voice for calm in your household. Halfway through the year, it’s time to establish those routines that will enable you to weather any storms that come along in the second half of the year. 

Back to School will be coming soon, but do any of us know what that will mean? Cloth facemasks? Face shields? No papers to turn in – assignments on an electronic tablet? Zoom classroom? More home schooling? You can plan now to create a set up for your needs, whether that’s a sanitation station for after school or a dedicated space for distance learning.

For those working from home will that be over by fall, or will it go past the holiday season? Have you set up the perfect office space, or did you just put your laptop on a bunch of books on top of the coffee table so that it was high enough to capture your face for Zoom meetings? Are you jealous of all those people with the perfect living room, collection of books, children and pets acting like angels in the background?

Golden Bridges provides solutions for those in transition. We are all facing “stormy weather” in the form of these 2020 transitions. Need help getting your dining room back after going back to work? Or do you need to hang onto that green screen studio a little longer – but want it gone in time for Thanksgiving dinner? Now is the perfect time to tackle those spaces.

It’s your move. Golden Bridges can help!

 

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Put your house on a diet

Posted by on Jun 27, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Put your house on a diet

Put your house on a diet

How many of us have tried dieting during COVID-19? Maybe you have made some intentional changes to your eating habits, using only fresh ingredients and natural foods. Or perhaps, you have added an exercise routine.

Now it’s time to put your house on a diet. During the past few months at home you may have sampled some trendy or crash diets in your house. Is it possible that you went all Marie Kondo on your sock drawer? Or, have you minimalized your kitchen utensils? Did you do the 50-hangers closet purge?

If you are like me – on Facebook more than once a day – you’ve seen pictures of your friends’ piles of clothes or decorative items they are either selling or donating to a local charity. But is there a better way? According to the ‘Nesting Place’, there are five things people with tidy homes don’t do:

  • Tidy people don’t act like a slob all day, and then get their house tidy in one fell swoop.
  •  
  • Tidy people don’t run out of cleaning supplies.
  •  
  • Tidy people don’t let the sun go down on their filth.
  •  
  • Tidy people don’t store things on the floor.
  •  
  • Tidy people don’t over decorate.

 

CLICK HERE to read more. 

So, if you accept the comparison that a “tidy” house is like a “fit” body, these tips are similar to maintaining a healthy diet and exercise routine. But what if it’s too late for that? Finding motivation to get your house tidy is a very personal journey, but here is an article with ten “tricks” that I thought just might work for me: 

  1. Play music – I enjoy classical music, so using a streaming service on TV or Alexa or Spotify I would ask it to play either by composer or genre. For you, it might be rock and roll or even heavy metal to get you going!
  2.  
  3. Set a timer – it doesn’t have to be a long time – twenty minutes can get you through picking up one room!
  4.  
  5. Put just one thing back in its rightful place. 
  6.  
  7. Reward yourself – wine perhaps?
  8.  
  9. Do one small task a day.
  10.  
  11. Have a friend come over to help. (and bring wine?)
  12.  
  13. Acknowledge your weakness.
  14.  
  15. Try a new cleaning product.
  16.  
  17. Use a trigger. The article will help with some suggestions on this. CLICK HERE
  18.  
  19. Invite visitors. This one definitely motivates me. Plan a party, or even coffee with a friend, and you will automatically get into a cleaning mood to show your house at its best!

And… if you get stuck, or need some EXTRA help, you can call us at Golden Bridges!

 

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Spring Cleaning

Posted by on May 27, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning

“Spring Cleaning started as a way to clean away Winter’s mess. In those days, homes were heated by fires, and doors were kept shut tight to keep the warm air in. This, of course, led to soot and grime accumulating during the cold months.” This statement was published by The Cleaning Authority in March, 2017. CLICK HERE to read more.

So, why do we still do it today? I don’t know about you, but my home has a clean and efficient heating system. The filters are replaced on a timely basis, and the only soot and grime accumulated is in my fireplace chimney (yes, it is cleaned regularly too). So, do I really need to spend time “spring cleaning”?

Well, some would say that “cleaning can also give a sense of satisfaction that will put you in a good mood.” That someone would be Martha Stewart, and you can find the checklist that puts her in a good mood at this site.

But, if your spring cleaning doesn’t allow enough time for wiping down all the walls and ceilings, re-sealing the grout in all your tiled areas, polishing metal door and window hardware… whew, I’m exhausted!… you might want to just take a few tips from the Merry Maids checklist:
          ● Flip the mattress
          ● Changing batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
          ● Wash bathmat, shower liner and shower curtain
          ● Check expiration date on fire extinguisher
The key to success here is to set an amount of time to work on it — say 20 minutes — and work through the checklist over a period of time. CLICK HERE for an additional checklist.

Spring Cleaning in the age of COVID
But, this spring brings us a new challenge and a new level for cleaning and sanitation. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces daily. “This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks,” according to their website. If surfaces are dirty, the site says, clean them using detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. CLICK HERE to read more. 

AdventHealth is one of the largest not-for-profit Protestant health care providers and health systems in the nation, serving more than five million patients. Their website publishes a list that includes all of the above but adds a reminder to also disinfect kids’ toys. CLICK HERE to read the full article. 

And for those who don’t have the same dexterity they did when they first started housekeeping – i.e. my generation of Baby Boomers, consider the tips in this article which include using dusters with extended handles, a dustpan that stands by itself, and a vacuum cleaner with a retractable cord. Or – the best piece of advice – enlist your grandkids (who are home and looking for things to do) to help with the heavy lifting.

However you choose to accomplish your spring cleaning this year, don’t skip the most important
step… Sit back, relax, and enjoy a rewarding beverage when it’s all over!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Food Insecurity Among Seniors

Posted by on Apr 23, 2020 in Senior Move Managers, Uncategorized | Comments Off on Food Insecurity Among Seniors

Food Insecurity Among Seniors

“Nearly one in every six seniors in America faces the threat of hunger and not being properly nourished. This applies to those who aren’t sure where their next meal is coming from and those who don’t have access to the healthiest possible food options.” These are the opening sentences of the April 2020 article from the Aging in Place website. (Note that these statistics published in 2019 actually reflect the numbers from 2017.)

https://www.aginginplace.org/the-facts-behind-senior-hunger/

The article goes on to say that senior hunger issues lead to $130B in resulting healthcare expenses to treat conditions that might be prevented with proper nutrition and food abundance.

During this COVID-19 pandemic we are learning new skills to cope with everyday challenges. Food purveyors are looking for new and better ways to meet their customers’ needs. For some, online shopping and pick up seem like just the latest gadget. It’s been embraced mostly by young working mothers who want to save the time they would have spent shopping. For seniors who may have transportation or mobility issues, these services are a helpful way to assure that their cupboards do not go bare. If your parents are in need of the service discuss it with them. If they could be served by Meals on Wheels, help them make the call and complete the application process.

Unfortunately, food Insecurity is not just a senior issue, especially now. Today I saw that a food bank in San Antonio had a line of 10,000 cars waiting for donations. They expect more tomorrow. In fact, cars were already in line at 9pm. No doubt there were seniors in that line. Previous statistics have been shattered by our current pandemic and unemployment problem.

In April, Golden Bridges typically starts our food drive in conjunction with the National Association of Senior Move Managers. We team up with the non-profit MOVE FOR HUNGER organization who collect and distribute non- perishable food items for donation to local food pantries across the United States and Canada. https://moveforhunger.org/

For us that means making plans to march in the Quincy Area Chamber of Commerce annual Dogwood Parade. Due to the standing orders to #stayhome the parade has been postponed to October. There may not be dogwoods in bloom, but you can be assured we will be pushing those grocery carts and collecting your contributions for Quincy’s pantries. Or, if you are moved to make a more timely donation, contact Horizons, GPS Ministries, Catholic Charities, Meals on Wheels and the United Way to learn how you can make a difference today.

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Collecting Dust

Posted by on Mar 26, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Collecting Dust

Collecting Dust

We Americans love our collections. Ask most anyone you know and they will admit to collecting something, either now or at some point in the past. According to Google, these are the ten most popular:

Comic Books. …

Coins and Currency. …

Classic Cars. …

Trading Cards. …

Dolls and Toys. …

Stamps. …

Wine. …

Fine Art and Jewelry. Fine art and jewelry are lumped together because they are both highly personal collectibles.

And if you find those dull and ordinary, here are some of the most exotic collections:

Toenail clippings

Belly button fluff

ABC gumball

Daleks (yes, I had to look it up too)

Airline barf bags

‘Do Not Disturb’ hotel signs

There’s even one man who collects autographs. Not so unusual you say? It is if you ask celebrities to write your name! Paul Schmelzer has done it over 70 times.

You really must read the article to learn how they justify these collections! CLICK HERE to read. 

Some people choose to invest by collecting items that will increase in value. Of those, the best is fine art followed by rare coins, jewelry and gems, and thoroughbred horses. But face it – most of us are not in that league.

We once did a downsizing presentation for a small audience in Macomb. When we asked them what would be the hardest to let go we got one of the most common answers: dishes. Assuming the attendee meant fine china, I asked why it was so special. Before she could speak, the friend sitting next to her said that it was because she had been collecting them for so long. She added that her friend was especially proud of the fact that she had twelve matching salad bowls… (drumroll please)… 16oz Cool Whip containers.

For those of you who thought your collection of Thomas Kinkade, Roseville Pottery, or Coca-Cola memorabilia would take care of you in retirement, here is a link that will surely disappoint.

So what do you have in multiple quantities collecting dust? If you are ready to downsize – and ready to get rid of it, who ya gonna call? Golden Bridges!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

 

Seniors and Pets

Posted by on Feb 28, 2020 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Seniors and Pets

Seniors and Pets

Up front, I am not a pet owner. Sure, I had pets when I was a kid. My kids had pets growing up. But when I no longer had my children living with me I was relieved to leave pet ownership behind. So, when it came time to write this month’s blog, I was not really excited.

I started my research with the premise that pets aren’t for every senior. I googled the topic why not to have a pet in your senior years. Of course, what I found was that most articles suggest it is a good idea.

However, there were some caveats. AgingInPlace.org had this to say.

“For those seniors who want a dog, there are many reasons to be wary of jumping into pet adoption too quickly. The lack of mobility and inability to drive to and from the vet, groomer, or pet store worries them. The initial costs are usually high. They also worry that if and when there comes a point when they can no longer care for the dog, that the dog might be taken to a shelter and eventually euthanized. Many seniors feel like their worsening health condition is a burden, and a pet might possibly add to that.”

But, they also listed six good reasons for seniors to care for pets. Some of the obvious:

  • Companionship
  • Exercise
  • Calmness
  • Purpose
  • Security
  • Socialization

While most of these truly are no brainers, they are good reasons for a senior to become a pet owner even if for the first time. CLICK HERE for more information. 

That is not to say that all of the research was positive. This article at mercola.com lists some of the potential hazards of pet ownership, especially for seniors in poor health caring for aging pets.

“Caring for an aging animal can take an emotional toll; in one survey of pet owners, there was greater burden, stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as poorer quality of life, in owners of pets with chronic or terminal disease.”

Now, let’s look at the practical issues of pet ownership. If or when a senior needs to move to a location with a higher level of care, it is not always possible to take their pet. But, according to nextavenue.org, 75% of for-profit senior living facilities do allow pet owners to bring their pet with them. CLICK HERE to read more on finding pet friendly retirement communities. 

Here are some things to keep in mind if you choose to take your pet along for the move.

  • Is there enough room?
  • What types of pets are allowed?
  • Are veterinary services available?
  • Is there a pet deposit, or monthly fees associated with pet ownership?

In the long run, to have or have not is always up to you. Weigh the benefits as well as the costs, and make the right decision for you and your lifestyle. And if you decide that it is right for you, after55.com recommends the following… small dog breeds for seniors include:

Shih Tzu

Pug

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Boston Terrier

Miniature Schnauzer

Poodle

Maltese

Bolognese

Yorkshire Terrier

Pekingese

As always, your local humane society or animal shelter is happy to help!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Caregiver

Posted by on Nov 20, 2019 in Senior Move Managers | Comments Off on Caregiver

Caregiver

According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, “the “typical” U.S. caregiver is a 46-year-old woman who works outside the home and spends more than 20 hours per week providing unpaid care to her mother. Most caregivers are married or living with a partner.”

Chances are that many of you reading this blog are in that or a similar situation. With the 65+ age group expected to double to 70 million people by 2030, the numbers  of these family caregivers will naturally increase proportionally. Caregivers, particularly family members, are at increased risk for health problems and burnout.

There are a number of things you can do to take care of yourself, stay healthy, and prevent burnout, including:

  • Ask others for help. …
  • Get support. …
  • Be honest with yourself. …
  • Talk to other caregivers. …
  • Take regular breaks. …
  • Attend social activities. …
  • Pay attention to your feelings and needs. …
  • Take care of your health.

The healthcare community –  providers, payers, and health insurance companies – are aware of these statistics and poised to help. 

Those who are caring for a family member who is a veteran or receiving Medicaid are in the best position for assistance. This article outlines how caregivers can be financially compensated.

https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/financial-legal/info-2017/you-can-get-paid-as-a-family-caregiver.html

VITAS Healthcare, a hospice service provider in 14 states and the District of Columbia provides support for family caregivers. They realize that 30% of them describe the experience as stressful and help them recognize the signs and symptoms of burnout.  CLICK HERE to read more on this topic. 

The Cleveland and Mayo Clinic both provide information and assistance to family caregivers regarding burnout and physical health concerns. A frank discussion  with your primary care physician and your loved one’s physician is a great start in taking control of your caregiving situation. The single most recognized action for preventing burnout or physical illness is joining a community of fellow caregivers. 

The Family Caregiver Alliance at www.caregiver.org is a resource that all caregivers should have in their list of favorite websites. They provide education, advocacy,  and an opportunity to connect with other caregivers. Sharing your experience with those in similar caregiver situations helps relieve stress and allows you to get ideas for better caregiving.  CLICK HERE for more on caregiving. 

While each caregiving situation is a unique one, the role as a family caregiver is not. Your caring and compassion are so valuable and especially valued by your patient. On behalf of our generation, our communities, and our clients, the owners at Golden Bridges thank you.

 

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

 

Source material:

CLICK HERE for Cleveland Clinic article on “Caregiver Burnout”

CLICK HERE for Mayo Clinic article on “Caregiver Stress”

 

TRICK or TREAT (for Seniors?)

Posted by on Oct 13, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on TRICK or TREAT (for Seniors?)

TRICK or TREAT (for Seniors?)

Yes! Seniors like to be treated at Halloween too. And senior living facilities love to host Trick or Treaters. This year while you’re selecting treats to give out at the door… and making sure the kids have the perfect costume… grab some treats for the seniors in your life.

If you don’t have an older neighbor or family member, check with a local church, community center, or nursing home for someone to “sponsor” at Halloween.

Some fun items you might include in a basket/bag for a senior are noted in this informative article: CLICK HERE

*Candy corn lip balm

*Small notepads and pens

*Playing cards

*Fun colored handkerchief

*Edible goodies that are safe for their diet (Poptarts, flavored applesauce, peanut butter crackers, microwavable lunch, nuts)

And make sure you schedule enough time for a visit with the senior when you drop off the treats. Spending time with seniors can be a valuable experience for all ages. The articles below outline things to be learned from visiting with seniors:

*Respect for elders

*A sense of self-identify

*A new skill, i.e. playing the piano or knitting

*Family or local history

ARTICLES:

https://grottonetwork.com/make-an-impact/volunteer/spending-time-with-the-elderly/

https://www.markmerrill.com/8-reasons-your-children-should-spend-time-with-the-elderly/

Halloween is a fun holiday. Make it fun for the seniors in your life this year!

 

Happy Halloween!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

Menopause

Posted by on Sep 23, 2019 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Menopause

Here we go… the topic of the month for September… Menopause. Early in January, we partners got together and made a calendar for the year with topics we would emphasize each month. Immunizations was a pretty easy one. So was Alzheimer’s. Both topics with which you (our clients) identify.

And this month, menopause. Why menopause? Well, it IS a life transition. Sure, you lose that monthly “visitor”, but as for the rest…

Sleep Disturbance

According to the National Sleep Foundation, “as many as 61% [of menopausal women] report  insomnia symptoms”. (1) Getting up during the night and turning on a bright yellow or white bathroom light makes it harder to get back to sleep. Solution? At our NASMM conference this year, we learned that research show a colored night light plugged into the wall – or even a toilet seat colored night light allows you to remain in the sleep mode and return to sleep faster. The best color? Red! If you’re having that problem,  CLICK HERE for the list of best night lights for 2019.

For some tips on adequate and quality sleep, CLICK HERE

Fatigue and Energy Levels

“The same hormonal changes that cause symptoms like hot flashes and night sweats can also affect your mood and energy levels, leading to fatigue.” (2) So, if you or your aging parent are ready to downsize or move, don’t feel surprised that you just can’t do it all. That is where Golden Bridges can help. We can do the full move for you, or help with downsizing, giving you some confidence and guidance on what you can move, what you can’t, and how to direct those items into storage, sales, or donations.

Hair Loss and Weight Gain

Menopause can also do a number on the body. Hair loss is triggered by hormone fluctuations and,

“[w]hile scientists disagree over how menopause affects changes in weight, there is evidence that the process reduces the body’s metabolic rate. This change means that the body needs fewer calories, so even if a woman maintains her regular diet, she might put on additional weight as her caloric needs drop. Additionally, menopause-induced changes could redistribute body fat, causing more to be stored in the abdomen area.” (3)

Heart Palpitations; Hot Flashes; Hayfever

Those hormonal changes also affect your heart muscle, immune, and endocrine systems. Even if you never experienced allergies in the past, they can show up during menopause. “That’s right, hormone imbalance allergies are a real thing.

As we know, there are estrogen receptors all over the body, including on immunoregulatory cells. And estrogen, it appears, may skew the body’s response toward allergy and inflammation. This is generally held in check by progesterone, but in perimenopause and menopause, when levels of progesterone are low, asthma, allergies, even hay fever may appear or get worse.”(4)

Ending #1 – TMI?

Can you tell I’m stalling? Ok. It’s not because I don’t know anything about the topic, indeed I’ve known it intimately for nearly twenty years. Yep, I am one of the “lucky” ones. After having a hysterectomy at 33, I was informed that it might appear earlier for me than women who keep their uterus. Mine, however, was pre-cancerous and having three children already I had no objection to the surgery. My 30s were wonderful- not having to carry supplies or track my periods on the calendar. No birth control necessary. Life was good.

Then, WHAM! In my early 40s I began experiencing symptoms. Mild at first. I still remember that first hot flash. It was during a business call. I was presenting to a physician and his office staff. My face was hot and beet red, and I felt like the floor was dropping under my feet. I made it through, got to the car, and wondered what in the heck that was. It was maybe six months before the next one, and I still didn’t want to believe it was a hot flash. Heart palpitations, irregularity, irritability, headaches… they all came along for the ride through my 50s. Yes, I tried a hormone patch and all the over-the-counter remedies but the flashes were still affecting my sleep, hitting every 20 minutes – waking me up 14 times a night.

With a good primary care and OB/GYN physician team (and the help of a pharmacist), I am sleeping almost regularly, and confident that my 60s will only improve.

So, if you were expecting an ode to the wonderment of nature and a  woman’s body; or, how the privilege of being a mother makes up for everything… that’s not exactly what this is.

But, recently I did run across the journal I kept when my first was born. Mostly breastfeeding and bowel movements, schedules and sleeping. But in between, those moments where I cried at how beautiful he was and how I didn’t know that I could love that much. I still think menopause is a dirty trick, but if I could raise that beautiful baby and two more into great human beings, I will take the bad with the good and “be happy”.

Ending #2 – All Business

As a women-owned business, we owners of Golden Bridges either have or will experience menopause for ourselves. We can empathize with you if you’re still going through it, or envy those of you who’ve survived. No matter the curve balls it has thrown your way, we can be there for you as you navigate that other life transition of downsizing or moving. Call us for a free consultation, and let us help!

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges

 

Citations

(1)

https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/menopause-and-sleep

(2) https://www.healthline.com/health/menopause/menopause-fatigue#menopause-and-fatigue

(3)

https://facty.com/conditions/menopause/10-symptoms-of-the-menopause/7/

(4)

https://genneve.com/allergies-asthma-menopause/

More than just a flu shot

Posted by on Aug 13, 2019 in Senior Move Managers, Uncategorized | Comments Off on More than just a flu shot

More than just a flu shot...

August is the month for recognizing the importance of immunizations. Not just for kids returning to school, but the important role they play in the health of the community.

“What makes vaccines unique is that they protect the person who is vaccinated as well as the community in which they live,” said Bruce Gellin, president of global immunization at Sabin Vaccine Institute.

This article I stumbled across on Facebook makes the case for adults/seniors to make sure we are up to date on some important vaccines that can help us remain healthy and contribute to better health among our families, friends, and neighbors.

Click HERE to read the full article. 

Yes, most of us get a flu shot, but would you have thought about the shingles or pneumonia vaccine if your primary care provider hadn’t mentioned it? Vaccines play an important role in protecting your health so you can be there for the grandchildren, your volunteering, and even assure that the weekly bridge game always has a fourth.

The first questions we ask our Golden Bridges clients… “What are your goals? What solutions can we provide to help you accomplish those  goals?” Almost universally, we hear that they want to stay healthy and live life better. Whether that is in their own home or in new, safer surroundings. Immunizations can be a part of the solution.

Be good to yourself this month and check in with the doctor to find out if your immunizations are up to date!

 

Susan Scholz, Partner

Golden Bridges