Introducing Senior Senorita: Creative Arts Therapy For Older Adults

“My services can be thought of as preventative care” is what Rachelle Behar Block, MS, LMHC told me regarding Senior Senorita, the company she started based on needs she recognized while working in the mental health field, specifically with seniors. Senior Señorita offers creative arts therapy to homebound individuals, as well as groups and independent nursing and assisted living facilities....

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GoGoGrandparent: A Hotline to Uber and Lyft

So many seniors live in areas where there is inadequate public transportation, or they need assistance or special accommodation to get from one place to another.  The resulting isolation and loneliness can contribute to depression and a decline in vitality. Uber and Lyft, on-demand transportation companies are now available in so many metropolitan and suburban areas, are great solutions for...

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Meals Glorious Meals: Marthas Senior Gourmet: A Meal Service That Caters Solely To Seniors

There’s no shortage of gourmet meal delivery services to choose from – they seem to be the new, new thing. But luckily for us, there’s one serving our south Florida area that is exclusively intended for older individuals and it’s called Martha’s Senior Gourmet. I think it’s a brilliant concept – for three reasons. First, the meals are geared to the varied dietary needs and taste buds of seniors....

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Meet Christine King: South Florida's Own Exercise and Health Guru

We know that remaining physically active as possible, no matter any physical limitations, is crucial to our total well being. There's a plethora of compelling evidence demonstrating that staying physically fit prevents or delays many chronic diseases, while at the same time, improving mood and reducing depression and cognitive decline. Introducing Christine King, of Your Best Fit,  a...

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Do You Like Exercising in your Home? Try These Online Exercise Resources

Some type of daily exercise routine is so important for our physical as well as emotional well-being.  When creating a care-plan I always encourage my clients to be sure to plan for access to physical activity during the day.  The issues to be sure to address in an exercise routine include flexibility and strength building.  Focusing on these will help to keep you or your loved one...

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Give A Techie Gift This Year

The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the dilemma of finding great gifts for loved ones and friends.  It can be especially challenging to find something special for an older family member or friend who may have everything they need, or think they do.   You may shy away from technology oriented gifts, but older people are often more tech-savvy, and tech appreciative than...

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Getting Peace of Mind with I AM FINE

We spent a lot of time worrying about our children as they grew up. Now that they're young adults, it seems that for many of us, our parents are now our focus of concern. Is my mother safe? Did she get home from her doctor's appointment? Did she return home after going to the movies?  If this scenario sounds familar, you should know about a service called "I AM FINE," an automated, check-in...

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How to Start Helping Aging Parents: What You Must Know

How do you know if your parents need help?  Sometimes it's very obvious-- and can begin with a dire medical event such as stroke or fall.  For others it's a more lengthy but clear downward path that may be as a result of an early diagnosis of cognitive impairement. And for many it's not clear and we don't often recognize more subtle signs, and don't recognize that a few seemingly...

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Step-by-Step Guide for Selecting A Medicare Care Drug (Part D) Plan

It’s Medicare Open Enrollment time (October 15 - December 7)!  Maybe it’s because many of us are nearing Medicare age,  that I’m receiving many calls on how to select a Part D Drug Plan.  I thought I’d lay out a step-by-step guide on how to go about it. No doubt about it, finding a drug plan can be a daunting experience.  In fact, Jane Gross, creator of the New Old Age Blog in...

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Tips for Visiting Parents In Long Term Care Facilities and Other Good Caregiving Tips

The Association of Long Term Care Planning (ALTCP.org) has put together a list of tips for visiting parents in Long Term Care Facilities.  Their list was generated by 20 "experts" in the field and I'm thrilled to be part of this group. The tips range from communicating with your family member, to understanding the nuts and bolts of the facility. I think you'll find each and every tip...

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Hospice Care in South Florida

I receive a lot of inquiries about Hospice so I thought a quick post was in order. There are many misconceptions about Hospice and what it is and what it does. Hospice addresses the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of dying patients and their families. A team of interdisciplinary experts work together to provide palliative care, with the goal of making the patient as comfortable...

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Meet Senior Homeshares: The New Wave of Having Roomates As We Get Older

Forget everything you know – or experienced – about living with roommates. Times have changed. It’s a new world and Senior Homeshares— the innovative online housemate service designed for older adults – has embraced it.   The company matches elders who have more home than they need or can afford with others on a fixed income looking for safe, affordable housing. “Many of our users are empty-...

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Stay Connected: Technology Will Impact How We Age

I was thrilled to be used as a resource for a recent article by Ana Veciana-Suarez in the Miami Herald on the impact of technology on us as we age.  The article, aptly titled "Technology Will Change How And Where We Age, stresses the importance of staying connected. Thanks Ana! If you missed it, take a look. You'll be glad you did.

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Let’s Remember Our Older Relatives, Friends And Neighbors This Holiday Season--- And Always

I love this message from the Alliance For Aging (Department of Elder Affairs)-- Although popular culture is not openly aware about this, older adults are generally wiser than most people.  The wisdom of older people is sometimes not obvious, but when we get the opportunity to run something by them, we generally learn something essential.  People in their seventies, eighties and older...

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Check On Your Parents This Holiday Season

The holidays are often the only time of year when the extended family gets together, and those occasions offer you and your siblings an opportunity to check on your parents well-being and discuss your observations together. Do they seem more forgetful or confused? Are they frailer than the last time you saw them? Have they lost too much weight? If you’ve noticed significant changes in their...

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Meet Angela Colley and Make Your Home A Safe Place

Angela Colley is on a mission. She determined to make it safe for seniors to stay at home, one residence at a time. As a certified Aging in Place Specialist, she has the expertise to design safe, secure – and stunning – homes. She’s takes care of daunting details those of us with aging parents worry about. And, her consultations offer in-depth suggestions on how to make your parents’ home safer...

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Fifty: It Is NOT The New Thirty

When author and editor Lorraine C. Ladish turned 50, her friends congratulated – and consoled - her. But when someone tried to comfort her with the oft-repeated phrase “Don’t worry, 50 is the new 30,” she took offense. “Fifty is not the new 30, or the new 40. It´s the new 50, and that´s a great thing! If it really were the new 30 or 40, I´d probably be pining to have another baby. And then when...

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The Residences: A New Assisted Living Facility In Miami

If you or your parents are considering moving to an assisted living facility (ALF), you’ll want to add The Residences in West Kendall to your list of places to check out. It’s owned and operated by United HomeCare, a non-profit home health and community care organization in MIami-Dade County and it's located right next to the West Baptist Kendall Hospital. I went to see it for myself and met with...

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GreyMatters: A Great Way To Share Memories With Older Family Members

If our childhood friend "Old McDonald" ran the iTunes store instead of his farm, he'd probably sing, "Here an app, there an app, everywhere an app-app!"  Today, there are hundreds of great Apple and Android applications that you can download for a better lifestyle. In my ongoing search for great applications and other resources for seniors and caregivers, I ran across GreyMatters. It's an...

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Know Your Loved Ones Wishes In The Case Of Serious Illness Or Incapacity

It happens all too often: families come to see me, distressed, because they don’t know what to do when their loved one has suffered a serious illness or becomes incapacitated. They don’t know what type of medical interventions their loved one would want, how they feel about artificial nutrition, like a feeding tube, or if they should just try and keep them comfortable. It adds tremendous pressure...

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Seniors Never Alone Program: A Wonderful Resource And Program From The Switchboard Of Miami

If you're concerned about a parent, or other relative or friend who's over 65, and who lives alone in Miami-- or is just in need of friendly conversation, you're going to be thrilled and relieved to learn about the free Seniors Never Alone Program run by the Switchboard of Miami. Last week I had the pleasure to tour the Switchboard's center and observe first-hand what this...

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Helping Our Parents Combat Loneliness

Over the past three years, I've spoken with hundreds of family caregivers who are concerned about a parent's loneliness and isolation. A recent study, described in this  USA Today article,  confirmed that these feelings, so common among seniors, can raise the risk of premature death by as much as 14 percent.  What can we do to help our parents be as active and engaged as...

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Having Trouble Finding A Geriatric Physician For An Aging Relative?

Are you having trouble finding a geriatric physician for an aging relative? You're not alone. The paltry reimbursement fees that doctors are entitled to under medicare have made this much needed specialty a very unpopular field to be in. And it's getting worse. A recent and provocative article by Judith Graham in the New Old Age Blog Walking Away From Medicare, describes one Geriatrician's...

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Ten Tips For Traveling With Aging Relatives

It's inevitable that we develop some limitations as we age --so being prepared and taking them into consideration as you plan a vacation with an aging parent, grandparent, spouse or even for yourself, will make the trip easier and more enjoyable for the entire family. Here are some tips that are often overlooked but that can make or break the vacation for seniors:  Have them...

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Silver Sneakers: Fitness And Fun For Older Adults And Seniors

Silver Sneakers is a fun exercise program designed specifically with older adults in mind. It offers a variety of exercise classes, such as: Muscular Strength and Range of Motion, Cardio Circuit to increase cardiovascular and muscular endurance, Cardio Fit...low impact aerobics combined with abdominal exercises and stretching and Yoga Stretch to increase flexibility. A chair is offered for...

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The Healthy Way To Boost Your Energy

It’s not unusual to feel lethargic once in a while, especially if you’ve had a poor night sleep, or you’ve been under a lot of stress. But if you’re finding that you can’t get out of first gear most days without a caffeinated beverage to pick you up, consider this advice from nutrition expert Keri Glassman, on how to boost your energy the healthy way. Stay Hydrated “People don’t realize that...

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Getting Fit Without Getting Hurt

You're committed to getting in shape or to restarting a long-abandoned fitness routine. You jump into your workout with gusto. Oh oh ! The next thing you know, you're hurting. What happened? Usually, it's because you're doing the right activity with poor form, or too much for a newbie. Or, it could be that you have chosen the wrong activity for your body tor physical conditioning. Here are some...

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Volunteer Opportunities For The Newly Retired, And The Not So Newly Retired

Boredom. Loneliness. Isolation.   It’s a vicious cycle and one seen all too often in the lives of seniors who have new, quieter (and perhaps too quiet) lives since they’ve retired. The days that once whizzed by are feeling very long for many.   A solution? Volunteering. Helping others releases those “feel good” endorphins, fills  time with meaningful work, keeps those all-...

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How And When To Take Supplements

In our haste to get out the door in the morning, many supplement users reach for their day’s worth of calcium, vitamin D, fish oil, and often much more, and throw them down the hatch with one big gulp of water, often on an empty stomach. That’s one thing that can be checked off the to-do list. Right? And of course, they feel so healthy now they’ve “innoculated” themselves for the day. Yet, how...

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Deducting Mom And Dad: Tax Tips For Caregivers

This post first appeared in the Miami Herald on March 4, 2012. It has been updated to reflect changes in the laws in 2015. If you're one of the 40 million+ caregivers in the US, then you know first hand the toll it can take on you financially.  But what you may not know that there may be some tax breaks that you can take advantage of.   Here are just a few suggestions for ways to ease...

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The First Steps In Getting Help For Your Parent

It's hard enough for caregivers and their loved ones to agree that some additional help is needed. But once that bridge is crossed, the task of finding just the right person can be just as challenging. What questions should be asked?  Are special credentials required? Can we trust them? What are the laws? It's mind boggling. That's exactly how I felt when I started out on the caregiving...

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Geriatric Care Manager (GCM): A Professional That Caregivers Should Know About

Old age isn’t for sissies. Or for their caregivers, who often juggle full-time jobs, families of their own and other responsibilities. Taking care of an elderly loved one can be an overwhelming, challenging, emotionally draining "job." And, yes, sometimes it does take a village. We’ve found that one of the most helpful people is a Geriatric Care Manager, an expert that helps families...

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Thriving Without Driving

Are you worried about your parents' driving, and don't know what to do?  Well, chances are you should be. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, seniors are more likely than younger drivers to be at fault in an accident and their most common violations are failure to obey traffic signals, unsafe turns and passing, and failure to yield the right of way....

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Here's Your Chance To SHINE

Navigating the mind-boggling maze of Medicare and Medicaid rules is daunting. But there’s help - and it’s not one of those infuriating recorded messages. The compassionate souls at SHINE volunteer their time and energy to give seniors free and unbiased information about Medicare and Medicaid - and they’ll even help them apply for Medicare and prescription drug assistance programs. They’re a...

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When Good Herbs Have Bad Reactions

I’m sure you’ve heard this: Herbal remedies are all natural, so they must be safe. While these ancient therapies have been known to cure - or at least help - many maladies, they can also cause serious health problems if mixed with certain prescription drugs. In other words, more is not always better. Taking ginko to help improve your memory? Don’t mix it with anticonvulsants - it will increase...

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Are Your Meds Making You Sick?

What if a book really could save your life. Would you buy it?”  That’s the question pharmacist Robert Steven Gold poses while touting his book Are Your Meds Making You Sick? A Pharmacist's Guide to Avoiding Dangerous Drug Interactions, Reactions and Side Effects.  Gold, a longtime Indiana pharmacist and Perdue University clinical pharmacy instructor, penned the 280-page...

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Introducing Elderly Alerts: Offering Safety And Peace Of Mind

If it’s new, state-of-the art and makes life safer for seniors, ElderlyAlerts.com probably can deliver it. Its mission is to deliver the most affordable and technologically advanced personal medical alarms available - and it’s on the cutting edge with its products, including a unit designed to work in homes without a land line. ElderlyAlerts.com, which recently joined the Seniority Matters...

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Do You Have Enough Fiber In Your Diet?

Adequate fiber intake is linked to a lower risk of disease. Unfortunately, most Americans eat far less than the recommended amount.  The Institute of Medicine recommends 14 grams of fiber for every 1000 calories ingested each day.  This translates to a daily intake for men and women < age 50 of 38 and 25 grams respectively per day while for men and women...

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Senior Move Manager: A Profession That Makes Moving And Downsizing Easier And Less Stressfull

Packing up and moving isn’t the least bit daunting to Barbara Wolfsdorf. In fact, she thrives on it - the more minutiae, the better. Barbara, a new Seniority Matters Service Provider, is so adept at the grueling process that she’s known as the Move Out...Move In Specialist! Her company, Lifestyle Moving, specializes in helping seniors and their families cope with the emotional and...

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Falling Off The Exercise Wagon: Tips For Getting Back On

So you'd been working out regularly for six months and then took that wonderful vacation in Barcelona for two and a half weeks. When you got home you were too jet-lagged to go to the gym, work had piled up at the office and there was all that laundry to do. Suddenly it's been two months since you've even looked at a weight. After two months off it can be hard to get started again. Here are some...

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Are You Ready To Be A Caregiver?

If you’re a caregiver you know just how stressful it can be, especially in the beginning when you feel so overwhelmed. That’s exactly how my sisters and I felt when we were caregivers for my father. Had we been more prepared, many of the difficulties and crises that we experienced could have been anticipated and resolved much more quickly, and life would have been a lot easier for all of us....

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Do You Have The Bedtime Blues?

Sleep is essential to maintaining both physical and mental health. If you're like most people, you have at some time had difficulty either falling asleep, staying asleep or getting quality sleep. What are some causes of sleep difficulties? Stress: stress can be caused by fear or worry. Mental or emotional conditions: such as depression or loneliness. Stimulants: tobacco, caffeine and...

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The Benefits Of The Stability Exercise Ball

The Swiss ball, also known as the stability ball, gymball and physioball, was invented in Italy in 1963 as a toy. Not long after that, two English physical therapists started incorporating its use in pediatric physical therapy. Then, along came Dr. Klein-Vogelbach, a Swiss physical therapist, who began using the ball in orthopedic and back rehab. In the 1980s American physical therapists brought...

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A Friend And Caregiver In Need

For the past few months, I’ve been offering caregiving advice to a friend of mine in Los Angeles. Our parents lived in the same community and were great friends for many years until sickness and frailty put a damper on their social lives. Barbara is now an active caregiver for her mother, the last survivor of the friendly foursome, and she’s facing many of the stresses and frustrations that my...

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THE Conversation

Have you seen this Public Service Announcement on Aging with Joan Rivers and her daughter? It's part of the Volunteers of America's campaign to get family members to talk about aging. Using humor to address this topic, it shows that no matter who you are, it's not an easy conversation to have. Take a look and tell us what you think. Have you had THE conversation...

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Get Up And Dance! Ballet For Boomers And Seniors

A lot of people have jumped on the ballet class bandwagon. Why? Because ballet classes are entertaining, have great health benefits, and, who doesn't want to look long and lean like Natalie Portman in “Black Swan?” Ballet is strenuous -- so use caution and common sense -- because every inch of your body is actively engaged in the movements. And ballet is good for the brain because, like any kind...

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New Research Shows That Soy Doesn't Prevent Bone Loss Or Help With Menopause Symptoms

Women who consume soy supplements thinking…hoping… that they will help reduce or eliminate menopausal symptoms such as bone loss, insomnia or hot flashes will be very disappointed at the findings of a clinical trial published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. I know this study well as I worked on it for 3 years at the University of Miami—managing and analyzing the data—and co-authored...

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Our Thoughts On Assisted Living Facilities Here In Florida

Recently the Miami Herald published an excellent series "Neglected to Death" that brought to our attention some of the horrific conditions that exist in some assisted living facilities here in Florida. For many of us (even those like myself who work with these issues everyday), who are in the throes of searching for solutions for our own parents, this was an eye-opening and disturbing series, and...

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Overcoming The Negative Effects Of Too Much Sitting

Seniority Matters note: Sibyl's blogpost is so timely, and serves as a great response to the recent New York Times blog depicting the workplace as a major culprit in today's obesity epidemic. "The science of sedentary behavior, also called inactivity physiology, is an emerging field of research in health, fitness and medicine. This field involves the study of sitting for extended...

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Talk About A Service Provider That Can Really Make Our Lives Easier...A Daily Money Manager

Identifying and enrolling providers for our users has been one of the most challenging yet gratifying parts of developing Seniority Matters. Everyday has been an education, and I now know about people and services that I didn't even know existed.  I can’t believe that I could have gone through life without knowing about them.  As an example (and there are many), I never knew what a...

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Recent Posts

Introducing Senior Senorita: Creative Arts Therapy For Older Adults

“My services can be thought of as preventative care” is what Rachelle Behar Block, MS, LMHC told me regarding... Read more


GoGoGrandparent: A Hotline to Uber and Lyft

So many seniors live in areas where there is inadequate public transportation, or they need assistance or... Read more