• June 24, 2018 /  Basics, Miscelleaneous

    Crime Prevention Tips For Seniors

    Crime prevention is vital for seniors and the elderly as they are an age group commonly targeted by unscrupulous individuals. There is plenty that you can do to learn to protect yourself. Follow these simple tips, and recruit backup as needed from your friends and family, and you can take a proactive approach in your own life!

    General Personal Safety

    1. Keep your money safe by not carrying large quantities of cash when you go out.
    2. When possible, travel or shop with a friend. You are less likely to be intimidated or approached if you are with someone.
    3. Avoid giving money to panhandlers.
    4. If you feel threatened, go to the closest business or public space.
    5. If you decide to give money to the panhandler or feel threatened, do not open your purse or wallet. This showcases how much cash or other valuables you are carrying. This could encourage a panhandler to become more aggressive or try to take your property.
    6. Carry a cell phone for emergency purposes. Emergencies can happen at any time. Pay-as-you-go phones can be purchased for very little, and could save a life.

    In the Home (Including in Senior Communities)

    1. Lock your door when you leave your residence and when you arrive home – always use the dead bolt.
    2. Don’t allow someone that you don’t know or immediately recognize into your building. Ask the person who they are, why they need into your building, and where they need to go.
    3. If someone tries to follow you into your building, and is acting suspiciously, use another entrance or go back to your vehicle.
    4. Use the peephole to see who is knocking. If you don’t recognize the person, don’t open the door.

    Credit and Debit Card Safety

    1. Protect your bank and credit card PIN numbers. Do not share your PIN. No one should have access to this information, unless you have designated a trusted family member as a helper.
    2. Never provide personal information over the internet or the phone.
    3. If you shop online, ensure there are good security protocols in place. Review your credit card statements for information security. Only shop on reputable websites.
    4. Immediately advise your bank if you suspect fraud. They can help you determine what to do and what your next step may be.
    5. Change your bank and credit card PIN numbers regularly.

    Identity Theft

    1. Never provide personal information over the phone to someone you don’t know or completely trust.
    2. If a caller is asking for your personal information (social security number, date of birth, banking information, etc.) – hang up the phone. You can immediately end the call. It is not rude if you are protecting your personal information.
    3. Never provide personal information over the Internet (email, social media, websites).
    4. Properly shred anything with personal information on it.
    5. Do not hesitate to question the caller. Ask why they are calling, who they work for, or ask to speak to their supervisor. Fraud artists generally cannot answer these questions and it can identify those who have nefarious intentions.


    Scams have many forms. Generally, the scam artist is attempting to get your personal information or money. Scam artists may have some information about you (your middle name or date of birth) but will not know much else. If you are suspicious, challenge the scam artist to identify themselves and give more details.

    1. If someone comes to your door soliciting money or posing as a company employee, ask to see their identification. If they can’t produce it, close and lock your door – call the police.
    2. If a caller poses as a representative of a bank, credit card company, or the IRS, you can hang up and call them directly (using the number you find in the phone book or online – not one given to you by the caller) and check with them. None of these entities EVER request personal information over the phone. The credit card company or bank may call and ask if you authorized a transaction. If you didn’t, they will close the card and reissue a card to the address on file. But never give them your address as they are supposed to already have it. They may say that this is for security purposes but you should always state that you will call them (again, not using a number they supply but one you find in a phone book or online).
    3. Advise your credit card company or bank if someone calls. Your credit card / bank card information may have already been stolen.
    4. If you are asked by someone you don’t know to send money to a family member, or close friend, it is likely a scam. Ask the caller to provide detailed information that only you and your family members know. Ask the caller about a family member that doesn’t exist. You will quickly be able to identify their legitimacy.

    While crime can create special concerns for seniors, you can learn how to protect yourself, and make it tough for criminals to work in your neighborhood!

    Be sure to stay tuned for the second part in this series, which will go into further details on the various ways seniors can prevent crime in their lives, and how to handle it if it does happen.

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  • June 5, 2018 /  Basics

    According to the National Institute of Health, eating a well-planned and well-balanced mix of foods daily has numerous benefits for seniors. A healthy senior diet can potentially reduce the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and bone loss. Not only that, but proper nutrition also helps reduce high blood pressure and can lower cholesterol. Another benefit is that it will build up your body’s ability to manage some of the chronic conditions or illnesses you may already have.

    Eating a healthy diet also provides increased mental capacity and higher energy levels, helping you feel better overall and live longer and stronger. But you might already be used to a certain type of diet and find change difficult. With these tips, you can get started and head in the right direction.

    All diet or exercise changes should first be discussed with your doctor.

    How to Plan a Nutritious Diet for Healthy Aging

    As we age, we may experience changes in our appetites or taste buds. Our metabolism begins to slow as does our activity levels, which means the body needs fewer calories. Some seniors may begin to skip meals, which can lead to a variety of problems that jeopardize their health. An improper diet will cause undesired weight loss and a weaker immune system, making aging adults more susceptible to illnesses like the flu and the common cold.

    It’s important to know how you can stimulate your appetite for proper senior nutrition. Promote healthy eating habits by:

    • Setting a proper eating schedule. Our bodies thrive on routine, and when we stray from our typical schedules the appetite can be affected.
    • Don’t increase the portion size; increase the amount of nutrients you’re eating. For example, adding peanut butter to your toast instead of butter or adding cheese to your scrambled eggs.
    • Use more herbs, sauces or marinades to enhance the flavor of your foods and address decreased taste sensitivity.
    • Eat socially! Go to lunch or dinner with some friends. Socializing with others during a meal can help improve your food intake.

    Conversely, there are principles to follow if you need to lose weight. Control your weight by:

    • Focusing on fruit and vegetables as a basis for your daily diet, as this is where the majority of your nutrients are going to come from.
    • Making sure you have plenty of protein. This protein can come from lean meats, legumes, beans, or even from some quality protein bars. Protein is essential for muscle mass, which decreases with age.
    • Carefully considering your portion sizes. Oftentimes you’ll be greatly surprised at the difference between a healthy portion versus what you initially want to put on your plate!
    • While diet is extremely important, you’ll get even better results if paired with exercise. Check out our articles on that subject!

    Eating Right for Proper Senior Nutrition

    Now is the time to implement those changes in your diet that will improve your overall health! In addition to the previously discussed foods, which are rich in vitamins and nutrients, include healthy carbs from grains and to provide a boost of energy.

    Another way to promote proper nutrition includes eating healthy snacks. Instead of reaching for that bag of chips or package of cookies, snack on chopped veggies, trail mix, whole-grain crackers, or dried fruit. Prepare small containers or bags of snacks so they’re just as convenient to grab as that bag of chips.

    Also, did you know you should eat your biggest meals earlier in the day? It’s true! This can be a difficult rule to follow, as many people tend to skip breakfast and eat a lighter lunch, and then enjoy a large, calorie-laden dinner. However, eating a big, healthy breakfast gives you the fuel you need for the day, while eating a smaller dinner makes sense considering your body will soon be “powering down” for nighttime.

    Don’t forget to treat yourself! Save around a reasonable amount of calories per day to satisfy your sweet tooth with some antioxidant-rich dark chocolate or pretzels for your salt cravings. Just watch your portion sizes and keep the calories in check. Be sure to consider whether you have any ailments requiring you to monitor sweets, such as diabetes.

    All potential diet changes should be discussed with your doctor, as they can customize a diet and fitness plan tailored to your needs.

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