Thanks to some impressive advances in modern medicine, people are living longer now than ever before. Unfortunately, seniors are more prone to infectious disease than younger adults. This is why it’s paramount for people in their latter years to take progressive steps to remain healthy, because waiting to be reactive can have disastrous consequences.
Hand Washing & Face Touching
The vast majority of diseases are caused by viruses and bacteria that manage to enter the body. Most of these invaders will be dealt with by the immune system before you ever display a symptom. However, the best way to avoid an illness is to take preventive steps against the spread of these microscopic menaces.
While it may sound obvious — consistent hand washing is one of the best ways to combat the flu. As we go about our day to day lives in public, we touch a lot of surfaces. Door handles, gas pumps, shopping carts etc. All of these surfaces have germs on them that are transferred to your hands, and can then infect you if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
Your first line of defense against the flu is consistent hand washing, and avoiding touching your face.
Be Proactive With Probiotics
Just as there are bad bacteria that an make you sick, there are also good bacteria that can keep you well. Recent evidence suggests that a diet rich in probiotics may actually help to reduce the risk of contracting the flu.
Recently, a study that involved 326 children was conducted and those who were given probiotic supplements experienced fewer fevers and less coughing and nasal congestion. This might be because good bacteria in the body do more than just promote a healthy digestive tract. They also promote good health in the respiratory system and the skin which is the first line of defense against illness.
It should be noted that the use of probiotics to prevent the flu is still the subject of much debate. However, there’s an extremely powerful tool that can be used to combat the flu, and there’s no debate about its effect.
Avoid Antibiotics if You Already Have the Flu
Most people are aware that antibiotics are largely responsible for the prolonged lifespans of modern people. However, antibiotics fend off bacteria, and the flu is a virus. Taking antibiotics after you already have the flu can actually do more harm that good, so they should be avoided by senior citizens who are already displaying symptoms. Instead, you should ask your doctor about antivirals which are only available by prescription. These drugs are considered to be the second line of defense against the flu after a flu shot.
While it’s too late to get a flu shot to be protected for the 2018 flu season, doctors recommend that seniors get the flu vaccine every year. This is the most important step that senior citizens can take to prevent catching the flu. The CDC estimates that senior citizens comprise between 71 and 85% of all flu related deaths. Some people incorrectly assume that the flu shot can have adverse effect by making the virus more resilient. However, the vaccine is updated annually to accommodate for new more resilient strains. The only negative effect of getting the flu shot is the minute pain associated with the needle’s prick. Therefore, all senior citizens should get a flu shot annually to prevent complications and hospital visits.
The Flu shot is a vaccine and like all vaccines it works by introducing some of the disease into your system. This causes your body to develop antibodies that help to fend off the flu. Antibodies are the reason why you can only contract certain diseases like the 24 hour flu once in life.
After your body has made the proper antibody to deal with a particular disease, it can easily eradicate that condition before you display any symptoms. Essentially, you don’t get sick from the flu after the flu shot, because you’ve already “had” it. This is similar to someone who has already had chickenpox being immune to the disease. It’ not that the virus can’t enter the body, it’s just eradicated by antibodies before you ever display a symptom.
At OC Elder Law, our estate planning attorneys in Corona, Fullerton, and Newport Beach are committed to helping the seniors in our community! If you have a topic pertaining to senior’s interest that you’d like us to feature in our blog, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When seniors begin to contemplate retirement, the thought process eventually turns to the question of relocation. It’s common for retirees to have a “target city” in mind when the day comes to close up shop.
Hundreds of organizations like banks, real estate companies, travel agencies, and econometric agencies annually draw up their own lists of the best places for seniors facing retirement. When factors like tax rates, safety, natural beauty, and outdoor activities are added to the mix, the top retirement locations in the U.S. seem to repeat in each year’s listings.
The five U.S. cities that rank as favorites for retiring seniors are:
Reno is not what most people think it is. Many U.S. residents tend to view Reno as a city full of casinos that plays second-fiddle to Las Vegas. In actuality, nothing could be further from the truth! Reno offers symphony orchestras, Broadway shows, hiking, skiing, and of course gambling for those who so desire. But for retirees, the benefits are even greater. Low taxes, top-notch health facilities and low crime are three components of Reno’s recent surge of popularity among seniors ready for retirement.
Hollywood has something that most other cities don’t: an old-world “feel” left over from its heady beginnings in the early part of the last century. Retirees like the fact that there’s no state income tax, but primarily are attracted to the city for its quaint beach houses and small-city ambiance. Art attractions abound, and the scenery is among Florida’s best. The top factor mentioned by retirees, however, is the city’s affordable lifestyle. Real estate, retail, and most other expense categories rank among the nation’s lowest in Hollywood, Florida.
Chattanooga is one of the newer entrants on the top five lists, but has several key demographic factors to recommend it. First, the city’s crime rate is low and getting lower, thanks to new police department efforts backed by voters and city hall. Chattanooga is conveniently positioned on the river gorge, which has led visitors to dub it the nation’s “scenic city.” A host of factors are retiree-friendly, like the low estate tax rate, available and affordable housing, and a bevy of cultural attractions.
With a medical hub smack in the center of the city, Spokane has been a favorite for retirees for more than a decade. The city planners have put a major emphasis on developing green spaces and boosting the arts. Those attitudes, along with very low property taxes, no state income tax, and cultural activities throughout the year, are the social magnet that seems to draw and keep retired U.S. residents from all over the country. Seniors who want to take advantage of the city’s educational institutions can find hundreds of free or low-cost courses at Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga. Golf, skiing, hiking, nature or fitness walking, and bicycling are just a few of the outdoor activities that the city’s retired citizens enjoy year-round.
Iowa City, Iowa
The University of Iowa plays a large role in Iowa City’s cultural and educational life. Low crime, a wide variety of outdoor fun and a very diverse arts community are just a few of the factors that play into Iowa City’s new status as a top-level destination for retirees from all over the U.S. Affordable homes and reasonable tax rates are often mentioned by locals as things they appreciate about the city.
While no list can take everyone’s tastes into account, the five cities listed above offer a wide variety of sports activities, cultural attractions, outdoor excitement, and access to high-quality health care.
Having an estate plan is not an indication that the future of your loved ones is forever protected. As time goes by, there will undoubtedly be changes in your personal and financial situations. As such, periodic revision of your estate is essential to ensure your current needs and goals are reflected. For example, revision is necessary under the following circumstances:
The provisions of your will are not automatically adjusted by marriage or re-marriage. Therefore, provisions will not necessarily be made for your new spouse. Marriage provides each spouse with certain rights; however, your estate plan should be changed to ensure your new goals are reflected.
While you are married, it is highly likely that your estate plan would include providing for your spouse. This desire typically ends after a divorce; therefore, your estate plan should be adjusted as well.
If a significant inheritance is received by either you or your spouse, this could provide new opportunities for creditor protection or lower taxes. The boosted estate value could also inspire changes in how your assets will be allocated.
These are just a few of the personal and financial circumstances that require regular revision of your estate plan with an estate planning attorney in Corona.
Illness or Injury
If a serious illness befalls you or a loved one, you should think about adjusting your estate plan to highlight their amplified needs.
What Should be Covered by a Comprehensive Revised Estate Plan
• Make effective plans for circumstances like entering a nursing home and for Medicaid impacting your financial needs.
• Appoint a designee to manage your affairs in the event of incapacitation, disability or your passing.
• Protect children from prior marriages in the event you die before your current spouse.
• Avoid probate before and after you pass away. The costs associated with probate can be considerable and the probate process can be quite time-consuming.
• Safeguard assets inherited by your beneficiaries from claims against them such as lawsuits and divorces.
• Make provision for children or grandchildren who are in special circumstances or have special needs.
• Make sure that a particular portion of the estate is left to charities, grandchildren or other organizations or individuals besides your direct heirs.
• Address the needs of each child, if required.
• Protect a part of your estate if you die and the remaining spouse marries again.
• Devise a family estate plan for blended families that will provide for all children based on your intentions and desires.
• Make provision for the education of your offspring; for instance, many plans stipulate that a part of the inheritance must be utilized to defray costs of college tuition.
If significant financial or personal changes come about, your estate plan should be revised with a knowledgeable and experienced estate planning lawyer to ensure incorporation of those changes. If there has been no change in your personal situation, you still need to periodically conduct a revision with your lawyer. This time should be spent evaluating how state or federal laws will impact the provisions of your plan.
Life is dynamic and full of changes and as such, your estate plan should be revised, whenever necessary, to reflect those changes.