Dear Savvy Senior, I’m concerned about my 80-year-old mother who’s at high risk for coronavirus. She lives on her own about 100 miles from me, and I’ve been keeping close tabs on her since this whole pandemic started. What tips can you offer long-distance family members? Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned, Because the elderly and people with chronic medical conditions are the most vulnerable to the new coronavirus, following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guideline of social distancing and staying home … [Read more...] about How to protect your elderly parents from coronavirus
Dear Savvy Senior, Is Medicare covering testing for the coronavirus? My husband and I are very nervous about this virus and would like to find out if or when we should get tested, and how Medicare manages it. Nervous Nelly Dear Nelly, Yes! Medicare is indeed covering the cost of testing for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. But be aware that getting a test isn’t as simple as going to your local pharmacy or doctor’s office and asking for one. Here’s a breakdown of what Medicare is covering, along with how to get tested if you … [Read more...] about How Medicare is covering coronavirus
Dear Savvy Senior, Do kidney problems run in families? My mother died from kidney failure 10 years ago at age 74 but didn’t know she had a kidney problem until it was too late. Just Turned 60 Dear 60, Anyone who has a family history of kidney disease, or who has high blood pressure or diabetes is at increased risk and needs to have their kidneys tested. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, around 37 million U.S adults have chronic kidney disease (when the kidneys can’t properly do their job of … [Read more...] about How to prevent the silent epidemic of kidney disease
Dear Savvy Senior, Can you offer some tips to help seniors guard against census scams? With the 2020 census gearing up, I’ve read that there are a lot of potential scammers out there looking to take advantage of older people and I want to protect myself. Cautious Judy Dear Judy, Unfortunately, scams have become a persistent problem when the U.S. Census Bureau does its once-a-decade count of the U.S. population. Here’s what you can expect from the 2020 Census in the coming weeks, and how you can protect yourself from … [Read more...] about Beware of potential 2020 Census scams
Dear Savvy Senior, I will be enrolling in Medicare in a few months and would like to find out what they don’t cover so I can avoid any surprises. Almost 65 Dear Almost, While Medicare (Part A and B) covers a wide array of health care services after you turn 65, it doesn’t cover everything. If you need or want certain services that aren’t covered, you’ll have to pay for them yourself unless you have other insurance, or you enroll in a Medicare Advantage health plan, which may offer some additional benefits. Here’s a look at … [Read more...] about 10 things Medicare doesn’t cover
Dear Savvy Senior, Is there a good rule of thumb on when dementia patients should stop driving? My 82-year-old mom has early stage Alzheimer’s disease but still drives herself around town just fine. Inquiring Daughter Dear Inquiring, Most doctors agree that people with moderate to severe dementia should never get behind the wheel, but in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, driving performance should be the determining factor of when to stop driving, not the disease itself. With that said, it’s also important to realize that … [Read more...] about When should dementia patients stop driving?
Dear Savvy Senior, What are the IRS income tax filing requirements for seniors this year? I didn’t file a tax return last year because my 2018 income was below the filing requirements, but I got a part-time job late last year in 2019, so I’m wondering if I need to file this year. Semi-Retired Dear Semi, Whether or not you are required to file a federal income tax return this year depends not only on how much you earned last year (in 2019), but also the source of that income, as well as your age and your filing … [Read more...] about Do I have to file taxes?
Dear Savvy Senior, I need to get a hip replacement, and want to find a good, safe hospital to have it done in. What resources can you recommend for evaluating hospitals? I don’t currently have a doctor. Shopping Around Dear Shopping, Most people spend more time shopping for a kitchen appliance or flat-screen TV than choosing a hospital. But selecting the right one can be as important as the doctor you choose. Here are some tips and resources to help you research the hospitals in your area. Hospital Shopping While you … [Read more...] about How to choose the right hospital for you
Dear Savvy Senior, Does Medicare cover outpatient counseling services for its beneficiaries? Since the death of my sister last year, I’ve struggled with depression and anxiety and would like to get some help. Sad Senior Dear Sad, I’m sorry for your loss. Yes, Medicare covers both outpatient and inpatient mental health services to help beneficiaries with depression, anxiety and many other needs. Here’s what you should know. Outpatient Coverage If you have original Medicare, your Part B coverage will pay 80 percent … [Read more...] about Does Medicare cover counseling services?
Dear Savvy Senior, I would like to find out if my 73-year-old aunt is eligible for food stamps or any other type of food assistance program. It seems that she has a difficult time affording enough food each month, and I would like to help if I can. What can you tell me? Searching Niece, Dear Searching, Sadly, millions of older Americans, like your aunt, struggle with food costs. According to a recent study by Feeding America, 5.5 million U.S. seniors age 60 and older are food insecure. Fortunately, there are several programs … [Read more...] about Food assistance programs can help seniors in need