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Great Ways to Keep Your Mind Sharp

LAS VEGAS, NV, June 14, 2021 ” On the heels of his #1 hit, “Put Your Head on My Shoulder” with Olivia Newton-John, music legend and current Tik Tok sensation Paul Anka will release his second single, the title track from his forthcoming album, Making Memories.  The album, with all of the songs penned and performed by this legendary songwriter, is set for release on August 13, 2021, on Green Hill Productions, a subsidiary of Primary Wave Music. Pre-save Making Memories now at: https://greenhill.lnk.to/PAMakingMemories.  In addition, Anka will launch a 22-city North American concert tour, Anka Sings Sinatra, beginning October 22 and running through March 2022.

“I’ve been sitting around all year, like everybody else, and realizing all the memories that I’ve had of springs and summers of the past few years ” and those memories have gotten me through the last year,” said Anka about the inspiration behind Making Memories.  “It’s been a time of reflection and reminiscing – with someone or without – about the foundation of the great life you’ve been blessed with. Plus, how heightened it’s been while being with a loved one during this time of being so confined and isolated.”

With the release of Making Memories a brand-new collection of reimagined classics and new recordings, Anka is not only excited about this new music but getting back on the road to perform in concert for his fans.  This unique and highly anticipated tour will feature Anka paying tribute to his friend, one of the greatest entertainers ever to take the stage: Frank Sinatra.  Tickets go on sale starting Friday, June 18, 2021. VIP Packages will be available in select markets and will include exclusive Paul Anka merchandise.

“The Anka Sings Sinatra tour will honor a great artist who has influenced me more than anyone else throughout my career, Frank Sinatra,” said Anka. “This show will also feature the hits that have spanned my career on this 65th anniversary year. It will be a night filled with his songs, my songs, my way!”

Speaking of songs, Making Memories will not only feature the new, #1 duet with Newton-John but, also a newly reimagined version of his 1957 hit, “You Are My Destiny,”  which Anka performs with the multi-national classical crossover vocal group Il Divo.  On the heels of “My Way’s” 50th anniversary, perhaps one of his most famous self-penned hits, Anka has rerecorded this classic with vocals by Michael Bublé and Andrea Bocelli. In addition to revisiting these classics, Making Memories also features all new songs written by Anka.

To this day Anka, who has been called the ‘Justin Bieber of his time,’ continues to inspire and influence many musicians ” from Drake to The Weeknd to Michael Bublé to Michael Jackson ” all who share respect and admiration for Anka and his music.  Approaching his 80th birthday on July 30 with passion, the upcoming North American and new music, Anka will always be making new memories.

For additional information about the new album and concert tour visit www.PaulAnka.com and follow Paul on social media:

 

Instagram: @PaulAnkaOfficial  Twitter: @PaulAnka
Facebook: @PaulAnkaOfficial TikTok: @OfficialPaulAnka

PAUL ANKA – “ANKA SINGS SINATRA”
TOUR SCHEDULE 2021-2022

2021
October 22                  Westbury, NY             Theatre at Westbury
October 24                  Lancaster, PA             American Music Theatre
October 26                  Morristown, NJ            Mayo Performing Arts Center
October 27                  Bethlehem, PA            Wind Creek Casino
October 29                  Northfield, OH             MGM Northfield Park
October 30                  New Buffalo, MI          Silver Creek Events Center Four Winds Casino
November 2                St. Charles, IL             Aracada Theatre
November 6                Niagara Falls, ON       Fallsview Casino
November 7                Ledyard, CT                Mohegan Sun
November 10              Ridgefield, CT             Ridgefield Playhouse
November 12              Lynn, MA                     Lynn Auditorium
November 13              Bensalem, PA             Parx Casino
November 16              Staten Island, NY       St. George Theatre
November 19              Red Bank, NJ             Count Basie Center for the Arts

2022
February 17                Clearwater, FL            Ruth Eckerd Hall
February 19                The Villages, FL          The Sharon L. Morse Performing Arts Center
February 20*               Sarasota, FL               Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall
February 22                Ft. Lauderdale, FL      Broward Center: Au-Rene Theater
March 5                       Los Angeles, CA         Saban Theatre
March 10                     Las Vegas, NV            The Smith Center for the Performing Arts
March 12                     Palm Springs, CA       Fantasy Springs Casino
March 14**                  Scottsdale, AZ            Arizona Musicfest

* Greatest Hits Show
** On sale June 28

# # # # #
About Paul Anka:
Born July 30, 1941, in Ottawa, Canada, into a close-knit family, Paul Anka didn’t waste time getting his life in music started. From an early age he sang in a choir, studied piano and honed his writing skills with journalism courses, even working as a cub reporter at the Ottawa Citizen. By 13, he had his own vocal group, the Bobbysoxers. Blinded by determination, he would take his mother’s car and drive to perform at every amateur night he could across the river in Quebec. Soon after, he won a trip to New York by winning a Campbell’s soup contest that required him to spend three months collecting soup can labels. After visiting the music hub of New York, was there that his dream to make it as a singer composer was solidified. There was not a doubt in his young tenacious mind. In 1956, he convinced his parents to let him travel to Los Angeles to visit his uncle, where he hitchhiked to a meeting with Modern Records that led to the release of Anka’s first single, “Blau-Wile Deveest Fontaine.” The inspiration for the song came from a book he was reading for a report he had to write for Fisher Park school by the former Governor General of Canada, John Buchan. Although it was not a hit, Anka kept plugging away. He went so far as to sneak into Fats Domino’s dressing room in Ottawa to meet him and his manager. In the dressing room, Fats Domino and Chuck Berry were sitting there and Anka sang his music to them. They told him to stay in school. When Anka returned to New York in 1957, he scored a meeting with Don Costa, the A&R representative for ABC Paramount Records, playing him a batch of songs that included “Diana”. Costa was duly enthusiastic about the potential of the young singer and songwriter. The rapid and enormous success of “Diana”, his first number one hit, made him a star at the young age of 15. Soon Paul found himself traveling by bus with the ‘Cavalcade of Stars’ with the top names of the day. He honed his craft surrounded by the likes of Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly, Frankie Lymon, and Chuck Berry. Anka was the youngest entertainer to ever perform at the Copacabana. After a few hit songs, Anka confident in his talent as a writer wisely knew that being a songwriter meant the power was in the pen. As a result, he went on to write for Connie Francis, Leslie Gore, and Buddy Holly (including the last song Holly ever recorded, “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”). Other hit songs include the Academy Award-nominated theme for the 1962 film in which he starred, The Longest Day. He notably penned the longest running theme in television history for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Songwriting and performing “are what gave me the confidence to keep going,” he says. In the early 60’s, he became a junior associate of Sinatra and the Rat Pack. Even with the British invasion, Anka still had chart records. He moved to Italy and outsold the Italians, selling an astonishing 4 million records there. In the late 60’s, Anka wrote “My Way” for Frank Sinatra and by the 70’s, he had another string of hits like “(You’re) Having My Baby”, “Don’t Like to Sleep Alone”, and “Times of Your Life” which confirmed his status as an icon of popular music. His later achievements as a recording artist included the charted song, “Hold Me ‘Til the Morning Comes,” a hit duet with Peter Cetera in 1983, the Spanish language album Amigos in 1996, and Body of Work, a 1998 duets album that featured Frank Sinatra, Celine Dion, Tom Jones and daughter Anthea Anka. If this wasn’t enough, it was revealed upon its release in 2009, that Anka cowrote Michael Jackson’s posthumous #1 worldwide hit, “This Is It,” which has further cemented his place upon the most prolific and versatile songwriters of any generation. Not one to rest on his laurels, Rock Swings and Classic Songs, My Way ” ingeniously featured songs originally created by some of the biggest rock performers of the day. Anka, of course, did the songs ‘his way.’ Rock Swings went Top 10 in the UK, and was certified gold in the UK, France, and Canada, hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Top Jazz Albums chart and went on to sell half a million units worldwide. On November 15, 2011, Anka released his first Christmas album in decades. Songs of December featured lush romantic versions of popular Christmas songs such as “Let It Snow”, “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”. All were recorded with a full orchestra in the renowned Capitol studios and sung by a music legend. It is a true holiday classic. In April 2013, Anka released his New York Times Bestselling autobiography, published by St. Martin’s Press, entitled My Way. This autobiography is a remarkable story of a decades-long career as an entertainer, actor, and songwriter. During the same time, his new 14-song album entitled Duets was released by Sony Music Entertainment and featured artists such as Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson, Tom Jones, Celine Dion, and Michael Bublé (who Anka was with from the start of his career as well as co-producer on his self-titled album in 2003). Duets provides a musical journey through the life and times of Paul Anka and includes heartfelt liner notes written by Anka himself as an introduction to the classic songs he and his collaborators have chosen. Duets set a milestone in Billboard Chart history because with the CD, Anka became the only artist to have a CD on the Billboard Top 100 Chart for seven consecutive decades. In 2014, Anka saw the release of another song he co-wrote with Michael Jackson entitled “Love Never Felt So Good” off of Jackson’s album Xscape. The song was also recorded as a duet with Justin Timberlake. As lead song off of Jackson’s CD and it’s first single, it has received massive radio, sales, and critical success and reached #1 in over 50 countries. 2018, Anka’s collaboration with Michael Jackson and Drake on the song “Don’t Matter to Me” was released on Drake’s “Scorpion”. The song alone had over 400 million downloads and reached the top 10 on Billboard charts. In 2020, Anka wowed the judges and audiences alike during his time on the hit television competition show, The Masked Singer.

About Green Hill:
Green Hill Productions, a subsidiary of Primary Wave Music, is a boutique record label currently celebrating 25 of creating top-quality lifestyle music for every mood. With over 500 titles in its diverse catalog, Green Hill covers an amazing variety of genres and targeted themes including jazz, New Age, Celtic, Christmas, chillout, bluegrass, Cajun, easy listening, nature, piano, romance, relaxation, oldies, beach, western, world patriotic, big band, classic crooners, and many others. In addition, Green Hill produces recordings on such performers as Olivia Newton-John, Paul Anka, Frankie Valli, David Arkenstone, Beegie Adair, Jim Brickman, Jack Jezzro, Luke Master, and more.

Source: Caprio Media Design

What to do if you are struggling to pay your mortgage or rent.

If you are struggling to pay your rent or mortgage amid the pandemic’s economic fallout, the federal government and some local authorities have announced a series of moratoriums on evictions and other actions.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a foreclosure and eviction moratorium earlier this month for single-family homeowners for the next 60 days if they have Federal Housing Administration-insured mortgages.

The action “will allow households who have an FHA-insured mortgage to meet the challenges of COVID-19 without fear of losing their homes, and help steady market concerns,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement.

More information on the HUD’s eviction and foreclosure moratorium can be found at www.hud.gov (HUD COVID-19 Resources and Fact Sheets)

Homeowners in danger of missing a payment should reach out immediately to their lender online rather than by phone because of recent staff reductions, according to the Housing Policy Council, a group of lenders whose members include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. The group is working to streamline procedures so lenders are not overwhelmed and requests can be quickly processed, in many cases without requiring immediate proof of need.

“And finally, it is critical that we continue to message that all those who can pay their mortgage, should pay their mortgage,” reads the group’s COVID-19 statement on its website.

Wells Fargo Home Lending said in a press release that they are granting an immediate three-month payment suspension for customers who request assistance on their mortgages. For customers who take advantage of the payment suspension, the lenders said they also won’t report past-due status to consumer reporting agencies or charge late fees during the three-month period.

Moreover, major cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego have also instituted moratoriums on evictions amid the COVID-19 pandemic if you are struggling to make rent. For more information, check your local city housing websites.

Experts also urge that if you think you are struggling to pay your rent, be sure to take action as soon as possible.

What if I can’t pay my energy bills?

Some electric and utility service providers have announced steps to help financially if you are unable to make payments for your home or small business.  For California, Pacific Gas and Electric announced measures, saying it “has voluntarily implemented a moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment,” amid the coronavirus pandemic.  PG&E’s moratorium applies to both residential and commercial customers.

“We recognize that this is a rapidly changing situation and an uncertain time for many of our customers. Our most important responsibility is the health and safety of our customers and employees. We also want to provide some relief from the stress and financial challenges many are facing during this worldwide, public health crisis,” the company’s chief customer officer and senior vice president Laurie Giammona said in a statement.

If you are worried about missing a payment or getting your services shut down, check to see what help is available with your local provider as soon as possible. Experts also urge reaching out to service providers online if possible, as many have reported long wait times or not being able to get through to someone on the phone amid the pandemic.

What if I can’t make an internet or phone payment?

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai urged internet and telephone services to ensure that Americans do not lose their broadband or telephone connectivity amid the crisis earlier this month, and a growing list of companies have signed the FCC’s “Keep Americans Connected” pledge to not terminate services over the next 60 days.

Relieving Joint Pain

The health benefits of regular exercise are undeniable, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of exercise at least five times per week. However, high-impact exercises like running and weight training can lead to joint pain, especially if you have a joint condition. The good news is that smart exercises with low impact can alleviate joint pain and deliver the same health benefits.

Here are a few tips to consider:

Keep Moving

Trying to protect your joints by not moving actually does more harm than good. Regular exercise can actually help joint pain and ease symptoms of chronic joint conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just be sure to talk to your doctor about your exercise plan before you get started.

Go Low Impact

You don’t need to put tremendous weight on your joints or jump up and down in order to break a sweat or elevate your heartrate. When you’re already in pain, this type of exercise can actually make things worse. Instead, opt for high-quality, low-impact workouts.

There are now exercise machines available for home use that provide the same quality low-impact workout you’d get in physical therapy. Consider the Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer, a seated exercise machine that takes the weight off the joints while torching calories.

Unlike other recumbent machines which can be bad for the knees, the FreeStep mimics a natural stepping motion that prevents knees from traveling over the toes, as well as stabilizes the back and hips. And you don’t have to sacrifice workout quality ” in fact, research shows that FreeStep users burn 17.4 percent more calories than when using a recumbent bike at the same level of effort. Beyond calorie burn, it also offers full-body resistance training, which is especially important, as weak muscles can be a root cause of pain.

Hydrate

It may seem obvious, but ensuring that you drink the recommended daily intake of water is vital to reducing pain in your joints.

Proper hydration helps your body eliminate wastes and toxins that can lead to painful joint conditions. Plus, it helps to keep the joints lubricated and flexible, reducing friction and inflammation and helping to maintain healthy tissue.

Stretch Daily

Stretching increases flexibility and range of motion, improves movement and function, reduces pain and stiffness and prevents further injury. Just remember to move slowly and keep it gentle.

At the very least, spend a good five to 10 minutes in the morning stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles and hip flexors.

For a free photo guide to “5 Daily Stretches to Relieve Knee & Joint Pain,” visit teeter.com/freestep-guide.

With the right exercises and maintenance program, you can improve your health and get a stronger body, without pain.  (StatePoint)

Every year, many seniors are targeted by scammers who want to steal their Medicare numbers to do things like rack up fake health care charges and commit identity theft. These scams hurt seniors and other people eligible for Medicare, cost taxpayers money, and result in higher health care costs for everyone. The good news is that you can protect yourself from fraud and help Medicare stop scammers in their tracks.

How to Spot Medicare Fraud

The first step in protecting yourself from Medicare fraud is knowing how to spot it. Over time, scammers have become very sophisticated and advanced. One of the latest scams you should look out for concerns genetic testing. Scammers are offering “free” genetic tests and claiming Medicare will cover it – so they can get your Medicare number and use it to commit fraud and identity theft. Other Medicare scams include offers for free or reduced-price medical equipment, consultations, or health services. These scams can happen anywhere, including through telemarketing calls, health fairs, and even knocking on doors.

Last year, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) removed Social Security numbers from all Medicare cards. Even with this change, people with Medicare should still guard their Medicare card and treat it like a credit card, check Medicare claims summary forms for errors, and be wary of any unsolicited requests for your Medicare number. Medicare will never call beneficiaries to ask for or check Medicare numbers.

To protect yourself from Medicare fraud, keep these things to “do” and “don’t do” in mind:

* DO protect your Medicare number and treat your Medicare card like it’s a credit card.

* DO remember that nothing is ever “free.” Don’t accept offers of money or gifts for free medical care.

* DO review your Medicare claims for errors and problems, including things like fake charges, double billing or other fraudulent activity, and waste or abuse.

* DO visit www.medicare.gov/fraud to learn more about how you can protect yourself from Medicare fraud.

* DON’T give your Medicare card or Medicare number to anyone except your doctor or people you know should have it.

* DON’T accept medical supplies, equipment, or genetic testing kits from door-to-door salesmen or solicitors at a mall or fair.

* DON’T let anyone persuade you to receive health care services you don’t need, such as genetic testing. Only make these decisions with your doctor.

Reporting Medicare Fraud

If you think you may have spotted fraud, you should report it right away. No matter how minimal the information you share is, it could be the missing piece to stopping the next fraud scheme. If you are a victim of fraud, know that you won’t be penalized or lose your coverage for reporting it. Even if you are not a victim, it’s important to report any fraud scams you encounter to Medicare. Report suspected fraud by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or online through the Office of the Inspector General.

Information provided by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (BPT)

Every year many Americans establish New Year’s resolutions, setting their sights high with the turn of the calendar, but few of them are able to sustain those resolutions. According to online global activity data analyzed by Strava, most people report failing their resolution by Jan. 12. Additionally, a study conducted by the University of Scranton found that just 8% of resolvers could stick to their pledge for two years without slips.

New Year’s resolutions are very difficult to maintain, especially if you are trying to build a healthier lifestyle. According to a 2019 Marist Poll, two of the top resolutions are losing weight and eating healthier. To sustain a nutritious diet, consumers need to identify food options that are not only healthy, but also delicious and convenient.

Protein is essential to a wholesome, balanced diet, and turkey is an excellent source of protein. Low in fat and packed with an abundance of minerals, turkey is perfect for many tasty, easy-to-prepare meals for individuals and families. Consumers can cook tacos with ground turkey, turkey burgers, spaghetti with turkey meatballs, turkey sheet pan dinners, turkey sausage or turkey skillet kits in less than a half hour and enjoy a convenient, nourishing meal.

No matter which form of turkey consumers are choosing, they are often hung up on a common question: white meat or dark meat? You cannot go wrong either way, according to nutritionist Dana Harrison. She notes that white meat is a great source of lean protein, low in fat and low in calories. However, the calorie disparity is not that large. For a three-ounce serving, any part of the turkey falls within a 160- to 190-calorie range.

While dark meat has a higher concentration of fat than white meat, those fats could help you feel more satiated by your meal. Dark meat is also higher in certain other nutrients, including iron, zinc, B vitamins and selenium. Ultimately, Harrison recommends that consumers simply eat the option they prefer taste-wise because white meat and dark meat both fit into a healthy, adequate and balanced diet.

For those wanting healthier options for their families, there are a wide variety of products including ground turkey, breast cutlets, tenderloins and turkey meal kits. The Honeysuckle White and Shady Brook Farms brands provide an array of healthy turkey recipes, such as Southwest-style chipotle turkey tenderloin with roasted veggies, sweet and spicy turkey tacos and white turkey chili.

For consumers on-the-go who want the health halo of turkey breast but need something speedy to whip up for dinner, the company also recently introduced Turkey Skillet Kits. Each kit includes four turkey breast cutlets Рhand-seasoned in a flavorful blend Рalong with an internationally inspired gourmet sauce saut̩ packet, and they cook in fewer than 15 minutes.

Ground turkey is another quick, versatile dinner option. With 28 grams of protein and only one gram of fat per serving, 99% fat-free ground turkey breast provides a foundation for a wholesome entrée, such as tacos or chili. For families on the go, oven-ready turkey meatloaf is simple to prepare and perfect for busy schedules.

Keeping track of the food you are consuming can help you lose weight and determine if you’re eating enough in each food group. And with modern technology at our disposal, diet monitoring is a breeze. Online food calculators, such as the tool on WebMD, enable consumers to count calories and grams of fat, carbohydrates and protein from thousands of different foods. There are numerous mobile apps that allow you to track your exercise accomplishments, in addition to your dietary goals, to stay on pace with your resolution.

Upholding a healthy diet with balanced, wholesome meals only takes a few simple steps. Smart shoppers plan meals before heading to the store and stick to the outside perimeter of the supermarket to purchase fresh ingredients, including vegetables, fruit and lean meats. Moreover, a consistent meal-planning routine saves time and money by eliminating extra trips to eat out and cutting out the need to order delivery.

This is the year your New Year’s resolution does not have to end in frustration. Armed with a grocery shopping game plan and modern technology to monitor nutrition and wellness progress, consumers can be ready to maintain a healthy routine. Even on the busiest of nights, convenient and healthful turkey meal options ensure you can enjoy an appetizing dinner while keeping your resolution. (BPT)

 

Recognizing and taking steps to address the warning signs of Alzheimer’s and other dementias can be extremely challenging — especially in the early stages. It’s easy and common to dismiss cognitive changes in oneself or a family member as “normal aging.”

“Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging,” says Dr. Keith Fargo, director, scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association. “With normal aging, you may forget where you parked your car — that happens to all of us. But if you get in your car and get lost coming home — that’s not normal.”

Alzheimer’s is a fatal progressive disease that attacks the brain, killing nerve cells and tissue, affecting an individual’s ability to remember, think, plan and ultimately function. Today, more than 5 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s. By 2050, that number is projected to skyrocket to nearly 14 million.

To help families identify signs early on, the Alzheimer’s Association offers 10 Warning Signs and Symptoms, a list of some common signs that can be early symptoms of Alzheimer’s or other dementias:

1. Disruptive memory loss. Forgetting recently learned information, asking the same questions over and over and increasingly relying on memory aids.

2. Challenges in solving problems. Changes in one’s ability to develop and follow a plan or work with numbers, such as having trouble following a familiar recipe or keeping track of monthly bills.

3. Difficulty completing familiar tasks. Difficulty completing daily tasks, such as organizing a grocery list or remembering the rules of a favorite game.

4. Confusion with time or place. Losing track of dates, seasons and the passage of time.

5. Trouble understanding visual images and spatial relationships. Vision problems, which may lead to difficulty with balance or trouble reading.

6. New problems with words in speaking or writing. Trouble following or joining a conversation or a struggle with vocabulary. For example, calling a “watch” a “hand-clock.”

7. Misplacing things and losing the ability to retrace steps. Putting things in unusual places and being unable to go back over one’s steps to find them again.

8. Decreased or poor judgment. Changes in judgment or decision-making when dealing with such matters as money and grooming.

9. Withdrawal from work or social activities. Changes in the ability to hold or follow a conversation can result in a withdrawal from hobbies or social activities.

10. Changes in mood and personality. Mood and personality changes, such as confusion, suspicion, depression, fearfulness and anxiety.

To learn more about Alzheimer’s disease and to find resources, visit alz.org, the website of the Alzheimer’s Association or call its 24/7, free Helpline at 800.272.3900.

It’s important to note that exhibiting one or more of these 10 warning signs does not mean someone has Alzheimer’s. In fact, these signs may signal other — even treatable — conditions. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor to understand what is driving cognitive changes so you can better manage the condition — whatever the diagnosis.


PHOTO SOURCE: (c) Alzheimer’s Association

 

 

 

Medicare Advantage (MA) plans are increasingly popular, offering robust benefits including vision, health, dental, drug coverage and more. For the more than 22 million people with an MA plan, the Medicare Annual Election Period (AEP), running from Oct. 15-Dec. 7, is the only time each year when they can shop for alternate plans.

“Health care is one of the most important investments you’ll ever make,” says Brian Evanko, who heads Medicare for Cigna, which serves more than 3 million Medicare customers nationwide through its various plans. “For those unsatisfied with their MA plan, the AEP provides a valuable opportunity to shop for a new one that better meets their specific needs.”

Weighing your options this AEP? Consider the following tips from Cigna:

• Review changes. In late September, health plans send their current MA customers a document known as the Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) with information about plan changes for the upcoming year, including costs, benefits, available doctors and facilities. Don’t overlook this important document in the mail. It can help you determine if you need to change plans.

• Weigh extras. When comparing plans, pay attention to extra benefits not available in Original Medicare and consider whether you’re likely to use them. Some of the most popular are dental, vision, hearing and no-cost access to fitness programs. Others might include over-the-counter drug coverage and no-cost transportation to doctors and pharmacies.

• Consider other factors. Beyond cost, consider the doctors and facilities included in any given plan, making sure it includes your favorite physician. Check drug coverage, prices on your regular maintenance medications and whether it’s easy to see specialists. Also pay attention to copays (how much you’re required to pay out-of-pocket for doctor visits) and the deductible. Are they affordable?

• Know yourself. Learn as much as you can about the different plan types and choose one that best suits your budget, lifestyle and health status. Of course, priorities change, which could prompt a need for a plan change.

• Don’t forget prevention. Many MA plans cover health screenings beyond those covered by Original Medicare. Talk to your doctor about which screenings are important for you given your age and health status. Some MA plans may even provide rewards, such as gift cards, for completing certain screenings.

• Get assistance. Plan Finder, found at medicare.gov/find-a-plan, is an online tool available through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services that helps you compare premiums, costs of medications and more. You can see how plans are rated from one to five stars based on different quality measures. Additionally, many insurance plans offer seminars at no cost and with no obligation to sign up. You can also check health plans’ websites or call their customer service for more information. Local and state agencies on aging also connect older adults and caregivers with resources.

“Medicare is a great program, but it can be complicated, especially for those who are new to it,” Evanko advises. “Seek out third-party resources and talk to friends and family who have been through the process, asking questions until you understand your options.”

 

 

 

 

 

Every day, roughly 10,000 baby boomers nationwide turn 65, according to the Pew Research Center, which means that a growing number of Americans are dealing with the many challenges associated with aging parents or relatives. Among them is determining when parents may need assistance they aren’t currently receiving.

“Asking for help and depending on others for care may make an individual feel like a burden to family or friends. The goal of home care should be to strengthen the mind and the body, lift spirits and support loved ones in a way that makes life worth living,” says Jennifer Sheets, president and chief executive officer of Caring Brands International and Interim HealthCare Inc. “This whole person and individualized approach allows caregivers to look for ways to empower people at home.”

Unfortunately, when seniors struggle with basic tasks such as self-care, transportation or household chores, they don’t always talk about it. They may be embarrassed or afraid of losing their independence or homes. Still others may not even realize anything is amiss, particularly if they’re in the beginning stages of dementia.

Interim HealthCare shares some warning signs that an aging loved one may be in need of senior care:

• A change in mood, such as depression, anxiety or a loss of interest in social activities and hobbies.

• Significant weight loss, which can happen for a variety of reasons, including serious physical and mental disorders.

• Issues with mobility and balance. These can be signs of joint, muscle or neurological problems, and increase the likelihood of falls.

• Bruises, cuts or scrapes are sometimes evidence of falls or kitchen mishaps, and a potential indication of declining physical agility.

• Piles of bills, un-watered plants and overflowing hampers — these are just a few of the many signs that basic tasks are being neglected.

• New dents or dings on your parents’ vehicle. These could be signs that safe driving has become an issue.

• Stains, missing buttons and untrimmed nails, are signs of neglected personal hygiene.

• No food in the house, or moldy, stale or spoiled food, might mean a parent is struggling to grocery shop or cook, or may have even lost interest in eating.

• A prescription stockpile could indicate your parent is forgetting to take critical pills.

• Stacks of unopened bills, late payment notices, unbalanced checkbooks and wads of cash stashed in odd places, are all signs of mismanaged money.

If a parent requires extra care, consider all your options, including in-home assistance, which allows older adults to continue living at home, while getting needed help. Look for care that offers a whole-person approach, such as Interim HealthCare’s HomeLife Enrichment standard of care, which looks beyond basic needs to encompass mind, body, spirit and family to develop specific protocols and interactive activities that stimulate the brain, improve motor functions and help seniors feel in control of their days. To learn more, visit interimhealthcare.com.

If your parents are displaying signs of needed care, getting them this support is crucial — both for their immediate health and safety, as well as their overall happiness and wellness. (StatePoint)

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You can simply get in touch with a free writing service of course when you are lucky, they may also send you some samples that they have written for different students. (more…)

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