Friday, June 12, 2009

Caregiving Tips for Boomers: 5 Tips for Decreasing the Cost of Caring for Elderly Parents

Caregiving Tips for Boomers: 5 Tips for Decreasing the Cost of Caring for Elderly Parents
by: Vicki Rackner MD

Over 30 million Baby Boomers provide countless hours of assistance to elderly parents at no charge. It is estimated that, using average hourly wages, the total amount of this uncompensated care is comparable to the entire Medicare budget. For the estimated 7 million Boomers who provide long distance care, actual out of pocket expenses amount to almost $5,000 per month. For caregivers who have, or are considering leaving the workforce to care for an ailing parent, the costs are even greater over $650,000 in forfeited salaries, benefits and pensions.

This stark economic reality shows only one dimension of the price caregivers pay for this act of love.

Caregivers pay with losses that extend well beyond their bank accounts. They often forego the activities that bring joy and richness to their lives, like meeting friends for dinner, or going out to the movies or taking family vacations. They pay with their time, the loss of professional opportunities and the erosion of personal relationships that result in isolation.

Sometimes, otherwise healthy loved ones need a short dose of care as they recover from an acute medical episode like a broken leg. Usually loved ones are on a path of steady decline with cascading assistance needs. Some caregivers sacrifice large chunks of their own lives as they help their parents and other family members and friends peacefully make their transitions. Caregivers can pay with their own health and well-being. In fact, we have evidence that some caregivers pay for their acts of care with their very lives.

You can decrease the personal and economic costs of caregiving. This means proactive planning rather than reactive responding. Planning saves money. You know this as you reflect upon your experiences of going to the grocery store with and without a shopping list. Planning also minimizes personal wear and tear and decreases stress. You will feel much better when you know your options and develop back-up plans before you jump into a challenging project.

5 Tips to Decrease the Cost of Caregiving:

1. Begin the conversation today. We have tremendous cultural resistance to the recognition of aging, disability and death. Just as the first few steps uphill are the hardest, so, too, you may meet the greatest resistance simply starting the conversation about their possible need for care. Say today, Mom and Dad, it would be great if you lived forever, but the discovery for the fountain of youth is nowhere on the horizon. What thoughts and plans do you have about enjoying your golden years?

2. Create a plan. Talk with your parents about their ideal plan if they are no longer able to care for themselves. Then, start to work toward that proactively. Investigate long-term care insurance. Draw up the appropriate legal documents. Find out who would make medical choices if they were not able to make them on their own, along with some guiding principles for the choices. You can anticipate and limit parental resistance by saying, Mom and Dad, I just got back from the lawyer’s office signing my will and durable medical power of attorney. I’ve asked Mitch to make my medical choices if I cannot make them myself. Just so you know, if I were in vegetative state, I wouldn’t want to be maintained on a machine. You probably already planned ahead too, right?

3. Use personal and community resources. Make caregiving a family job to which each member contributes. Even children can make grandmas life special with drawings and phone calls. Identify services that make your job as a caregiver easier. If you and your parents live in the same community, check with friends and neighbors and local organizations to learn about services and resources that will make your job easier. You say, Mom has just moved in with us, and she wants to find a card game with the girls. Do you know of any senior centers that have social events? How about transportation?

We’re a mobile society and millions of caregivers live more than an hour away from their parents. Executive William Gillis learned from his own personal experience how challenging it is to identify community resources from afar. As he was carving the path that ultimately led his on-line portfolio management service, he became the caregiver for his father. Talk about mixed emotions! Professionally, he was introducing a service that let millions manage their investments with one click of a computer mouse. Personally, he was investing untold hours just to find one bit of information to help his dad.

As with so many innovators, he used his personal and professional experience to launch Parent Care (, a service that he wished would have made his life as a caregiver-at-a-distance easier.

4. Gather cost-savings tips. This might mean something as simple as ordering generic medication or regularly inquiring about senior discounts. But, most cost savings opportunities aren’t as obvious. Mr. Gillis found, for example, that some states will pay for phones for hearing, visually or mobility limited seniors or fund home safety improvements. He said, we’ve invested heavily to locate time and money saving resources that most would have difficulty finding. I made it a personal mission to help other caregivers avoid some of the costs and frustration I encountered. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Tap into the resources others have collected.

5. Take care of yourself. You will be able to provide the best care as a caregiver when you’re at your best. Get good nutrition, enough sleep and regular exercise. Manage your stress and do a little something every day to nurture your soul. Understand that you are at increased risk for anxiety, depression, and weakening your immune system. Talk to your doctor if you see worrisome signs such as problems sleeping, changes in appetite or loss of interest in activities you enjoy.

Despite the costs, most caregivers say that they received much more than they gave. Most say they would do it again, and many do.
Warm Regards,

Mark A. Bowman

By Baby Boomers…For Baby Boomers

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Exercises For Better Sex

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To be a free resource for Senior Citizens regarding Medicare, Medicaid, Medigap policies, Discounts for Senior Citizens and other essential information for independent living.

Exercise For Better Sex

Do you get winded by simply walking up a flight of stairs? Are you straining to pick up a gallon of milk? Do you crawl into bed shortly after arriving home from work? If so, you shouldn't expect to have the energy for a sexual marathon. But with proper exercise, one can get on the right track to feeling young and energetic in bed again.

At Ask we regularly have people emailing us - asking how they can improve their sexual stamina, get better aroused, last longer in bed and enjoy better enjoy sex. One of the best ways to achieve all of these desires and a whole lot more is exercise. Unless you're a cold fish, there's a great deal of body movement during sex. Together as a couple, go running or bike riding. This is a great way to spend quality time together while building physical endurance.

Having healthier arteries will allow the blood to flow better to the genitals. With a healthier blood flow, men will develop a harder erection, and women will be more easily aroused.
With a conditioned body, one is able to last longer in bed and have sex numerous times. After climaxing once, break the habit of falling asleep afterward. Pleasure your mate for a while, instead. When the blood gets flowing again, "round two" can commence. This will keep both of you interested, and make your mate go wild with anticipation during intermission.
With endless positions to choose from during intercourse such as those found at, don't stick to the same routine. If you work your upper body, it will be easier to grab your mate with authority and try a new position. Different positions will keep the spark alive. Use each muscle. Guys, this doesn't mean you should just lay back and let the woman do all the work. You need to be engaged, as well. Sexual energy will increase exponentially if both bodies thrust towards one another. Exercising your legs, arms and chest is great, but working the hidden muscles will help build stamina, as well.

Kegel exercises work for both men, and women. This exercise will thoroughly help each partner to gain control of his or her body. To do Kegel exercises, participants must tighten the muscle as if they are holding back urine. This is not about squeezing your stomach, or rear end. Next time you are going the bathroom, try holding back the stream. This should give you a feel of where that muscle is. Once you have found it, try working the muscle with reps of about 10 to 30 times. Then try repeating this at least 50 times a day. Once you are able to do 50, step it up to 30 reps at 200 times a day. It may seem like a lot of work, but you can do these while reading the paper or typing on the computer. If you are faithful to the routine, you should feel results within a month. A woman who does Kegel exercises can control and tighten her vagina. To help stimulate the male, she can use this muscle to get a firmer grab on the penis. Men who are going to climax should tighten their pubococcygeal (PC) muscle and release as desired. This will help them develop a skill to control ejaculation. Every time you hold back an orgasm, try to last a little longer than the previous one. Remember, practice makes perfect and the ladies love a man who can hold his own.

Climb the stairs to your bedroom without feeling exhausted. Pick up that gallon of milk after a glorious morning of sex. After work, you should plan on another sexual marathon. Sex is a great stress reliever and an amazing way to show the teamwork of a couple. Although exercising may seem hard at times, your body and your spouse will thank you.

Writer Terrance Lile brings you Ask Uncle Terry & ForumErotica, the fastest growing sexual education experience in cyberspace. Through a blend of morality, sincerity and humor this website provides sexual information for the enjoyment of diverse and safe sexual practices, while at the same time encouraging abstinence until in a committed relationship.

Warm Regards,

Mark A. Bowman

By Baby Boomers…For Baby Boomers

Friday, June 5, 2009


We are so excited to let you know about the changes and improvements we have made with

First of all, we have just completed a major optimization of our website, resulting in a Google PageRank of 5 and greatly increased traffic. This is why we haven’t posted here in a bit. But now that the optimization is underway we will put a renewed focus to our Yahoo Group.

We are asking for people to go to the site and give us your feedback. Let us know how we can continue to improve the site.

Secondly, we wanted to announce that we will shortly be sending our free eBooks on topics that will be important and relevant to the senior community, and these eBooks will be exclusively for members of our Yahoo Group, so stay tuned for the emails which will detail where to get these free eBooks. If you have a special interest, let us know and we will create an ebook just for you.

And finally, I just wanted to say that in the next week I’ll be expecting my 4th grandchild. Name and pictures will be coming soon.

Mark A. Bowman
By Baby Boomers…For Baby Boomers