Starting the new Year

By now, you just want to take it easy for a few months since it’s cold outside, you have survived the holidays & the end of the year when you have to review your part D plan, review your paperwork, and get ready to start the new year fresh. Now it is the time to review your tax paperwork, ensure that you have all your property exemption completed for this year and set up your annual Medicare Yearly “Wellness” visit which is designed to help prevent disease and disability based on your current health and risk factors. Your provider will ask you to fill out a questionnaire, called a “Health Risk Assessment,” as part of this visit. Answering these questions can help you and your provider develop a personalized prevention plan to help you stay healthy and get the most out of your visit & create a screening schedule (like a checklist) for appropriate preventive services that might be needed for that year. And figure out how to stay active inside such as how many times you have to walk around the house to get your lap done instead of doing it outside because of the weather. As your physical body, which needs to remain healthy to have a more enjoyable life, you want your brain to reach the same levels of health, as you grow older. This can help you remain sharp and focus as time goes by. You may not realize it but you can exercise your brain Mind games are activities that are fun but challenge your brain. Brain games can take many different forms and shape. Games that make you think, strategize, and remember information are all games that will help train your mind. In fact, many of these basic characteristics are what you find in many of the games you already play. Thinking, strategizing, and remembering information are just a few things that you will do in games to build your mind. Most cells deteriorate in your brain due to a natural process known as oxidation, foods that include plenty of anti-oxidants can work wonders in slowing this process down. But, instead of going out of your way to make sure that you only include foods with a large amount of anti-oxidants, it is better to make sure you maintain a well balanced diet with all kinds of whole foods. The body is a complex organism and will require all sorts of nutrients to keep it well balanced and to maintain overall body health. Just try to cut unnatural foods and substitutes out of your diet completely. You can find many different types of mind/brain games on the Internet to play on line or download or in books to complete.

Year End Helpful Hints

By now you have started thinking about the upcoming year, but here is some helpful hints to make the year-end smoothly.

1. Since you have hopefully reviewed your Part D plan, review all your other insurance plans & update it for any changes. Check out the limits of replacement, what is the exclusion, any specialty items, household inventory — an itemized list of your personal belongings, etc. Let you family know where the policies are kept & kept a copy someplace other than in the home which could be destroyed.
2. Distinguishing what is trivial from what is not for your paperwork, How quickly could we access our birth certificates, immunization records, wills, vehicular titles, or even three-month-old credit card statements? Did we file them away and, if so, where? How long would it take to find—or replace—them? Keeping a list of important household papers can save you time and give you the peace of mind of knowing that you’re prepared
3. Review all of your legal documents such as your will, trust, living will, powers of attorney, or other estate- or end-of-life planning documents & make sure there has been any Life events such as Birth of children or grandchildren, Death of a loved one, Changes in tax, estate, probate, or trust laws, A major change in your financial circumstances, Marriage or divorce or evening moving to another state. Once it has been review & is current make sure that it is recorded with the proper court etc. Also make sure someone else knows where they are located if you are unable to speak, etc.
4. Create a file to keep your new proof of income, which is sent in Dec so you know where is it next year. Also create another file/envelope to put all your tax paperwork that you have started receiving so when you are ready to file your taxes, you will have all of your paperwork in one spot.
5. Talking with your loved ones, your healthcare providers, and even your friends are all-important steps to make your wishes known. These conversations will relieve loved ones and healthcare providers of the need to guess what you would want if you were ever facing a healthcare or medical crisis. You need to keep this ongoing so if you have any changes everyone will know. Is also goes back to review & updating your paperwork & letting family or others know where they are kept.
6. Go through all of you old files and shed items that are not needed anymore. If you don’t have a shredder, check to see if anyone is having a shed-a-thon.
7. Go through your old medication, we all have some laying around that we forgot to finish taking. Call your local health dept to see how to properly destroy them, check with local law enforcement to see if they have a locked drug drop off box, or check with your local pharmacy on how to destroy them.
8. Clean out your can items from your hurricane kits so that they will be fresh when needed
9. Making sure that you schedule a regular annual checkup can help in early detection and prevention
10. Have a family member or other do a fall prevention walk through & check for items such moving cords out of walkways, having good lighting near beds and taping down edges of carpet and rugs. You can download fall prevention home safety checklist from many different sites. Doing this could help prevent fatal and non-fatal injuries, which happens in 1 in 3 Americans aged 65+ who fall each year.

If you take a few minutes with these helpful hints, you can start the New Year knowing that you are prepared.

Veterans & Benefits

What is a Veteran…? We hear all the time that people say that they served but are not veterans. A Veteran is “a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service and who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable.”
But whether or not one is considered a “veteran” by the federal government depends entirely upon which veteran program or benefit one is applying for. Since there are many different kind of benefits that a “Veteran” might qualify for it is important for any Veteran to apply for benefits. That way you will know what your actual benefits are and can use them if you want. Some of the benefits might include Disability Compensation which is a benefit paid to a veteran because of injuries or diseases that happened while on active duty, or were made worse by active military service, Military Funeral Honors, Government headstone or marker, Burial Allowances, Burial in a VA National Cemetery, Survivors Pension benefit, which may also be referred to as Death Pension (DIC), VA Medical Care (if needed), and Aid and Attendance care are just a few of the benefits that are our there for Veterans.
If you qualify for any of these, it is best to apply as soon as possible so you can receive your full entitlement.
There are many ways to apply for your benefits or just get into the VA system so if anything changes, you can update the records. The easiest way is to use either the local Veteran Services Office, there is one in each county, and they are tasked to represent veterans and their dependents by filing all claims to which they may be entitled to by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Another way is to use a Veteran Service group such as the DAV, VFW, etc they have service officer to assist you with the process. We know that some Veterans do not want to apply for anything, but their spouses might be eligible for or need benefits when they pass away and if they are not in the system, the spouse will have to do the process and they might not know they have any benefits.