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About the Author

kathy cowan author of senior strategy, resources, information, and guides seniorstring.comMy drive is people.  I dearly love that we are all different.  And seniors have a special place in my heart.  Some seniors 65+ are more fortunate; living close to family or others who have the time, money and/or energy to help as the need for assistance becomes greater over time.  Others who are less independent will have to rely much more on how effectively their homes can be safely designed and modified to age in place with a partner, guardian, or even alone.   My original plan was to open an inclusive age in place community for seniors to remain self sufficient.  What better gift could I offer than to help my own parents, and others, live their entire lives in the comfort of home?  Unfortunately, the economic down turn and resultant Frank-Dodd Act made obtaining the required bank loan impossible.  But after years of research on the needs of seniors who wish to remain independent in the safety and security of their own home, I could not let that knowledge and desire to help others just disappear.   And so the concept of Senior Strategy, Resources, Information, and Guides (SeniorString) was born.  SeniorString helps all seniors, those who are independent and able to age in place and those who select an alternate lifestyle or need specialized care, along with friends, family, and guardians find everything they need, from assessment tools, to general information, to products, services, gifts, links and more, to live independently, remain self sufficient, and age in place happily, safely and affordably.

About Age in Place and Senior Strategy, Resources, Information and Guides  

While the stages of senior care may change over time, careful planning can defer or even eliminate the need to relocate.  It is my hope that every senior who wishes to remain self sufficient stay at home will find the necessary tools, resources, links, information, and guidance in SeniorString.com to make that a reality.  Product and service reviews and recommendations are identified by and include valuable links via highlighted text to help you make educated decisions. (Links will either open in a new window or you can use the back arrow to return to SeniorString.com)

Growing older is wonderful in so many ways.  You are more experienced, knowledgeable and comfortable with yourself.  But the time may come when things begin to change.  Should you age in place, live with family, or move into some type of assisted care facility?  There are a number of factors to consider when making this decision.  The level of independence desired, any limitations in performing activities of daily living, and the availability to financial resources are some major factors.   Familiarity, safety and security also play a major factor in deciding to stay in your current home.  Do not be discouraged if it appears some home modifications are needed to ensure your home is safe and senior friendly.  You may be able to write off the cost on your income tax return.

If you are considering a move to an independent unit within a multilevel campus or progressive facility, there area some important considerations.  While care is often taken to provide age specific activities and opportunities, you will likely be surrounded by those with greater care requirements that may create a sense of living in a care facility rather than an independent living home.  Even with an attempt to incorporate detached cottages or apartments for independent living, overlap in common areas is inevitable.  More importantly, when a couple moves into a progressive care facility and one of the two reaches an increased care requirement, the couple is usually separated.  The choice to progress together is not usually an option.

It is true that with an increased likelihood of facing age related conditions, such as hearing loss, impaired vision, osteoporosis, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and confusion, daily activities and safety become a challenge.  And you may feel the impacts on your mobility, stability, strength, and sensor acuity which only enhance those challenges.

The items located on the top level menu of SeniorString.com, each tab described below, address many of the challenges and questions seniors and their family, friends and guardians will likely face and provide links and information that can help you make decisions to ensure your golden years safe and comfortable as you age in place.

Decision to Remain Self Sufficient – Read some of the statistics related to the demographics of seniors 65+ in the US as they seek to remain self sufficient and costs related to lifestyle decisions when a higher level of care is required.

Will, NRO, Doctor and Documents  – It is never too early to generate documents that may one day save your life and assist those responsible for making time sensitive, critical decisions. Whether a Will, NRO, doctor contact information, or other documents be needed, having ready access to specific information saves time, frustration, and sometimes, lives.

Assessment Tool – Use checklists as an assessment tool to evaluate your current situation, plan a strategy and identify products that may improve your life.

Opportunity, Sales and Senior Discount – Whether it be an interest in Going Green to save money and Mother earth, interest in saving time and money by implementing a particular strategy at home, finding sales, or using a discount opportunity, you will find them all here.

Gifts, Products and Activities  – Research and personal experience with family are used to provide specific recommendations. In addition, Better Business Bureau report and consumer reviews are considered in making all recommendations. This menu item is a living portion of the website and new products, services, and activities become available or go through a review for potential recommendation.

Tax Deductions and Medicare Benefits – There are many ways seniors can benefit financially by filing equipment, services, and home modifications with Medicare. And many of these, and other expenses, may also be deductible on your income taxes. Be sure to get all the benefits you deserve.

Elder Law and General Legal Information – Find out how to avoid paying probate on your estate, get information to help identify elder neglect, exploitation and abuse, and find out who to contact.

Common Medical and Health Issues – We all have to face the fact that as we age, our bodies and mind change.  Some changes may just be part of normal aging, while others may be a warning sign of a medical problem. It is important to know the difference.

Computer Guide for Seniors – You are reading this so you obviously have some familiarity with using a computer.  Comfort in using computers varies from person to person.  Some learn just enough to do what is needed such as reading and replying to e-mails, paying bills and searching the world-wide-web for sites of interest.   This guide provides information for those who want to learn a bit more.

DeClutter and Organize – Have the years of collecting things made it hard to organize?  Have you downsized your home but not the amount of stuff you own?  Or maybe you are less mobile so online shopping has taken on a life of its own.  Sometimes emotional attachment to items can get stronger for seniors who have lost someone they love.  There are many reasons why clutter may have taken over your home.  The good news, no matter how frustrated you feel or whether you don’t even know where to start, taking one step at a time can make a huge difference!

Home Maintenance, Car Maintenance and Personal Care  – Keeping up with your home, vehicle and yourself is a full time job.  And remembering everything to do for proper maintenance can be difficult.  Get lists of the common activities needed to keep your property and yourself in ship shape.

What Seniors Worry About Most – While many of us worry about similar things, demographics does make a difference.   What seniors worry about most may have some similarities with the younger generation, but they have some very unique fears as well.  But there are things you can do to address your worries and fears.

Emergency Preparedness and Response – When disasters strike, it’s important for everyone to have a plan of action.  But for seniors, there can be different factors to consider when planning for and responding to an emergency. Learn how to make plans, find out what to put in your survival kits, and get helpful hints on what to do and what not to do.

Top Links for Seniors – The internet is enormous and the number of senior relevant sites too numerous to name. I have done some research to provide links to the most commonly visited and used by seniors.

Recipes for Dietary Restrictions – Cooking can get more challenging as you age.  Tastes change, metabolism changes, and medication and physical ailments can restrict your diet.   In his section, find links to some great recipes for those who face dietary restrictions.

Expanded Care and Final Care – The time may come when the challenges of aging in place take on a whole new meaning.  At some point, you may be facing the need for expanded care and eventually final care.  But what better gift than to be with and help the one you love until death do you part.  And knowing what to expect and planning for the decisions that will need to be made in the days that follow can provide you with the insight and strength you need to get through those extremely difficult days.

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