Dear Savvy Senior, My mother passed away last week, and because of COVID we didn’t have a funeral. I would like to create some type of online memorial for her so family and friends can express their condolences and share their stories. What can you tell me about making an online memorial for my mom? Grieving Daughter Dear Grieving, I’m very sorry for your loss. Creating an online memorial for your mom is a great idea and one that’s become increasingly popular in the age of COVID. Thousands of families have created them for … [Read more...] about How to create an online memorial for a departed loved one
Dear Savvy Senior, Are there any resources that you know of that can help seniors detect fake news? My 75-year-old mother shares a lot of misinformation with her family and friends that she sees on Facebook. I’ve talked to her about it, but for some reason she has a difficult time deciphering real news from fake news and propaganda. Frustrated Daughter Dear Frustrated, Unfortunately, the digital misinformation problem your mom is experiencing is not uncommon. According to researchers from Princeton and New York University, … [Read more...] about Helping seniors recognize fake news and propaganda
Dear Savvy Senior, My wife and I have thought about purchasing a long-term care insurance policy, but we hate the idea of paying expensive monthly premiums for a policy we may never use. Is there a good rule of thumb on who should or shouldn’t buy long-term care insurance? Getting Old Dear Getting, There are two key factors you need to consider that can help you determine if purchasing a long-term care (LTC) insurance policy is a smart decision for you and your wife. One factor is your financial situation and second is your … [Read more...] about Should I buy long-term care insurance?
Dear Savvy Senior, Can you explain the differences between the coronavirus and seasonal flu? I’m 70-years-old, and usually get a standard flu shot, but would like to find out what else I can do to protect myself this winter. Worried Senior Dear Worried, Great question! Because of the dual danger of Influenza and COVID-19, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recently warned that this fall and winter could be the worst ever for public health. Understanding this, knowing the differences and similarities between the … [Read more...] about Coronavirus versus flu: how to tell the difference
Dear Savvy Senior, I never thought about becoming an organ donor until my brother died of kidney failure last year. But at age 78, I would like to know if I’m too old to be a donor, or if they would even use my organs if I were to die from COVID-19. What can you tell me? Potential Donor Dear Potential, There’s no cutoff age for being an organ donor. Anyone, regardless of age or medical history, can sign up. In fact, there are many people well up into their 80’s that donate. The decision to use your organs is based on health … [Read more...] about Is there an age limit for organ donation?
Dear Savvy Senior, What can you tell me about reverse mortgages? The coronavirus damage to my retirement account has me considering it but want to make sure I know what I’m getting into. Cash-Strapped Senior Dear Cash-Strapped, Massive job losses, a volatile stock market and low interest rates caused by the coronavirus pandemic has caused many cash-strapped retirees to consider a reverse mortgage. But there’s a lot to consider to be sure it’s a good option for you now. Let’s start with the basics. A reverse mortgage is … [Read more...] about Should seniors consider a reverse mortgage now?
Dear Savvy Senior, Can you offer some good stretching tips for seniors who are staying home during the pandemic? I’ve gotten so stiff and achy in recent years that I have a hard time doing basic activities like bending over to tie my shoes. Stiff as a Board Dear Stiff, Of all possible exercises, stretching tends to be the most neglected, yet nothing is more vital to keeping an aging body limber and injury free. As we age, our muscles naturally lose their elasticity if you’re not active, which can make common day-to-day … [Read more...] about Stretching tips to help seniors gain flexibility and reduce pain
Dear Savvy Senior, My aunt recently asked me to be the executor of her will when she dies. I’m flattered that she asked, but I’m not sure what exactly the job entails. What can you tell me about this? Inquiring Niece Dear Inquiring, Serving as the executor of your aunt’s estate may seem like an honor, but it can also be a lot of work. Here’s what you should know to help you prepare for this job. As the executor of your aunt’s will, you’re essentially responsible for winding up her affairs after she dies. While this may … [Read more...] about An executor’s guide to settling a loved one’s estate
Dear Savvy Senior, I understand that COVID-19 hits smokers a lot harder than nonsmokers but quitting at my age is very difficult. Does Medicare offer any coverage that helps beneficiaries quit smoking? Must Quit Dear Must, It’s true. Smokers and vapers have a higher risk of severe COVID-19 infection as the coronavirus attacks the lungs. That’s why quitting now is more important than ever before. If you are a Medicare beneficiary, you’ll be happy to know that Medicare Part B covers up to eight face-to-face counseling … [Read more...] about How Medicare and other tools can help older smokers kick the habit
Dear Savvy Senior, Can you recommend any services or technology that help me monitor my elderly mother who lives alone? Since the coronavirus pandemic started last March, my sister and I have noticed that my mom’s health has slipped a bit, so we would like to find something that helps us keep tabs on her when we’re not around. Concerned Daughter Dear Concerned Depending on how closely you want to monitor your mother, and what she’s comfortable with as well, there are check-in call services along with some new monitoring … [Read more...] about How to keep a watchful eye on an aging parent