Saturday, September 12, 2020

Covid-19 Causing Stress? Learn how to Cope with Change and Find Meaning During This Time

People around the world are finding it stressful to adjust to all the changes they have gone through over the past six months. One day they were living a normal life, going to work, sending their children to school, getting their hair cut, and going out to dinner, and the next day they were working from home, teaching their kids online, cutting their own hair, and cooking their own meals. It's enough to make anyone feel crazy and stressed out.

Fortunately, there are actions you can take which may not eliminate the stress, but will help you handle it a little better.  You do not have to let the stress overwhelm you. You may find it beneficial to discuss your anxiety and stress with a professional.  You might also want to use a workbook such as "Families and Change: Coping with Stressful Events and Transitions,", (Ad) which is designed to help you and your family recognize and deal with the issues you are all experiencing.  It will be a helpful way to open up communication.

You will also find it helpful to read the tips in this week's guest post by Jennifer Scott, a life coach who has a blog at  Her suggestions may help guide you and your family in reducing the stress and anxiety which can be caused by sudden, unexpected life changes.  If you implement these ideas, you will begin to focus less on the negatives and more on the positive benefits you are experiencing during this unsettled time. I know that I have personally followed some of Jennifer's suggestions and found them quite helpful in staying positive and productive.  I am volunteering for several organizations online.  I have been crocheting more lately, an activity which I had put on the back burner several years ago, and some of the items I have made are being raffled off by a charity raising money to help college students.  I am staying in touch with friends and loved ones on Zoom and social media, which has been good for my mental health.  I have increased my exercise regimen.  You, too, can find a way to make the most of this period of time.  When you look back, will you remember this year as a time of anxiety and loneliness, or one that was productive and creative?  Read Jennifer's tips below:

Positive Ways to Cope with Change and Find Meaning During the Pandemic

by Jennifer Scott

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everyone in one way or another. Dealing with swift and unprecedented changes is never easy and often leads to anxiety, depression, and a feeling of helplessness. In times of uncertainty, it is more important than ever to find ways to stay positive. Below, you will find ideas, not just for coping, but for thriving during the pandemic.

Take Care of Priorities

Even though many parts of the world are in the process of reopening, it will probably be a long time before life returns to a semblance of normal. Many activities can be put on hold until a later time, but that does not apply to everything. Having a number of pressing matters in your life is a major source of stress, especially if you feel unable to check things off your to-do list the way you normally would.

For example, experiences such as moving, getting medical attention, and even cutting your hair cannot always wait. Luckily, there are alternative ways to accomplish these things. For example, if you are in the market for a new house, you can still tour homes virtually thanks to services such as 3D walk throughs and video chat tours. Similarly, many clinics and hospitals have begun offering tele-health services to provide virtual checkups. You can also seek out mental health help virtually.

Get Involved

Even with some aspects of life returning to normal, you are probably still spending more time than usual at home. Being isolated at home can quickly take a toll on your mental health. One of the best ways to feel more connected is to get involved with a cause you care about. For example, you can raise awareness about issues which matter to you by sharing facts online, doing a Facebook fundraiser, or by finding ways to make important causes more visible.

In addition, you can also make a difference by volunteering virtually. There will always be a need for volunteers, and there are countless opportunities for using your talents or simply your time for the greater good.

Grow Your Career

Volunteering and getting involved with activism will make you feel more connected and enable you to make a difference, but the pandemic may also have affected your income. If you have lost your job or find yourself wanting to switch careers, there are still many opportunities to do so.

Countless companies are hiring more employees to meet the new demands brought on by the pandemic. However, you do not need to work for someone else if you do not want to. Becoming a freelancer is a great option which provides flexibility and the ability to work from home. Accounting, writing, editing, customer service, and administrative work are just a few of the occupations you can do on a freelance basis. Posting your skills on a freelance job board is the easiest way to get started.

Try a New Hobby 

The pandemic has upended many people’s social lives and careers, but it has also left many of us with more time on our hands than usual. Having extra free time might sound like a dream come true, but as Psych Central explains, it can also increase feelings of anxiety. One of the best ways to give your days more structure is to try your hand at a new hobby.

Gardening, for example, is a great way to get outside, save money and reduce trips to the grocery store, while also improving your diet. You do not have to have a yard to get started. Many people grow successful gardens in containers or even on their windowsills. Trying a new creative endeavor such as knitting, painting, sewing, or sculpting clay can also make your time more interesting and productive. As an added benefit, CreativeLive points out that creative hobbies can also be turned into a fun side gig, if you sell your creations online. YouTube has numerous videos to help you learn new skills.

Believe it or not, you can turn exercise into your new hobby. Thankfully, you can find an abundance of free online exercises classes and workout tutorials in this helpful article from Baby Boomer Retirement!

Although the pandemic has been going on for months, it will still be a long time until life can get back on track. Learning how to cope with the new normal will take time, but setting new career goals, trying out new hobbies, and getting used to a new way of doing things will help you make it through.

If you are interested in learning more about common medical issues as you age, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, financial planning, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Remember, if you want more ways to deal with Covid-19 stress, you might want to use a workbook such as "Families and Change: Coping with Stressful Events and Transitions,", (Ad) which is designed to help you and your family recognize and deal with the issues you are all experiencing.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Photo credits:  Pexels

Saturday, September 5, 2020

"The Senior Years Master Plan" is an Excellent Guidebook for Later Life

Many of us try to block out the fact that we are aging. As we approach our 50s and 60s, we may become even more determined to ignore the reality facing us. One reason is that we can become simply overwhelmed by all the different issues we have to consider.  Where should we live? How much money will we need?  How can we generate income which will last the rest of our lives? How can we manage our health, our illnesses and, ultimately, our deaths? There are so many things to think about, it can seem easier to procrastinate about doing anything.
As a result, I was curious when the author of "The Senior Years Master Plan", Ralph Mroz, contacted me about his book. (Ad) After reading it, I was impressed by the comprehensive way it brought up virtually every issue people need to consider, ideally before they actually retire.  However, even if you have already retired, there are some great suggestions in this book which you will find helpful.  I appreciated the detailed description of the different types of financial advisors and I loved the suggestion that we all put together an Index of where to find our important documents and everything else our heirs will need, if something should happen to us.  It will save our family a lot of frustration and confusion. I also liked the suggestion that we all assemble a "team" of reliable people we can count on as we age ... doctors, lawyers, financial planners, and wellness experts.
When the author contacted me about his book, he also provided a very complete description of what I could expect to find in the book.  I asked if I could use his description in this blog post, since he knows the book better than anyone.  After I read the book, I realized that his description was quite accurate.  Below is the information he provided.

Author's Summary of "The Senior Years Master Plan" (Ad)
"As I watched my parents' generation suffer in old age from lack of choices, or poor choices made decades earlier, the question in my mind was, 'So what do we need to do now to plan for the best outcome in our old age?'

There are thousands of books and websites on the subject of aging and its various elements.  But there isn’t a single, concise, overall guide to all of the practical aspects of aging that require planning and 
action, often years in advance.  This book’s audience is mostly Baby Boomers, and their children.

Here is a list of the major chapters:

•    The principles of aging
•    You will diminish
•    Housing and care options
•    Aging in place
•    Keeping busy
•    Pets
•    Stopping driving
•    Your team: doctors
•    Your team: financial planner
•    Your team: elder law attorney
•    Your team: the gym and trainer
•    Your team: maintenance people
•    Your team: a trusted sounding board
•    Your team: nutritionist
•    Your team: care manager
•    Psychological wellness
•    The last act: your funeral

The book is concise and stresses the need for practical action.  Each chapter lays out the spectrum of options, and de-confuses the plethora of perplexing terms that describe them.  Each chapter presents some hard truths, and stresses the need for planning.  Most chapters lay out the need for professional help.  However, no chapter tells the reader what they should do, but rather how to evaluate the options or how to engage an appropriate professional."
I highly recommend "The Senior Years Master Plan" (Ad) to the readers of the Baby-Boomer-Retirement blog. It could help everyone have a comprehensive, flexible plan for their senior years which will reduce their anxiety, save them time, and help them prepare for the inevitable.  I also suggest you browse back through the book every year or two, to make sure your plan is still up-to-date and reflects your needs and desires.
About the Book's Author
With a career spanning the private sector (high-tech and management consulting), public sector (police officer and law enforcement trainer), and the non-profit sector, Ralph Mroz brings a uniquely well-rounded perspective to his analysis. He has been a prolific writer and video presenter.

In the law enforcement arena, he's regarded as one of the leading critical thinkers regarding training.
In the management arena, he's the co-author (with Mitch Gooze) of Value Acceleration, (Ad) the book which introduced the structured strategic marketing system known as the Customer Manufacturing Process.  He's been appointed to two gubernatorial commissions (one concerning economic development, the other related to law enforcement).

As a Baby Boomer, he researched many aspects of aging in order to plan effectively for the upcoming decades.  Now retired, he volunteers at his local dog shelter and is involved with a police reform organization in his home state of Massachusetts. 
If you are interested in learning more about saving money, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common medical issues as you age, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Photo credits: author via Amazon

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Senior Care Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Fair and Equal Treatment

Most of us avoid moving our family members into assisted living or a skilled nursing facility as long as possible, especially now during the Covid-19 pandemic, because it can be so difficult to visit them. However, sometimes assisted living is inevitable, especially if the family member has a serious illness or advanced dementia.  Choosing the ideal facility can be challenging.  You want to make sure they will have the best possible medical care, physical therapy, necessary treatments, and mentally stimulating activities.  You do not want them to receive poor medical care, or be bored and unhappy.
Sometimes, the most difficult aspect of senior care is assessing whether the community you have chosen is inclusive and diverse enough for them to be comfortable and feel accepted by both the other residents and the staff, especially if they are members of a minority, or if there is anything unique about them or their problem.  Does the assisted living facility you are considering provide fair and equal treatment for everyone?  Do they celebrate a variety of religious, political and social experiences?  Does everyone feel accepted and welcome?
If you are concerned about these issues in choosing a facility for a loved one, it could be helpful to read a book such as "Understanding Diversity: An Introduction to Class, Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation, and Disability." (Ad)  Although it is not designed specifically to deal with senior living situations, it does cover many of the topics you will want to consider in a facility.  If you already have a relative in a facility and you believe that it is doing a poor job of accepting diversity in its residents, you might encourage the administrators and employees of the facility to also read this book.  It could make the facility a much better place for everyone involved, both residents and employees.  

Since these issues can be difficult to assess, I really appreciated it when author Kelsey Simpson offered to write a guest post on these topics  The information in the post she wrote below can help you choose the right facility for your loved one.
The Importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Senior Care
by Kelsey Simpson

When most people think about diversity, equity, and inclusion, their minds will likely gravitate towards colleges, offices, and elections ... places in which these terms are used often. However, these terms are important to consider in other situations, as well, since they can play a major part in many people’s lives. These terms seek to ensure fair treatment and equal opportunity for all people, no matter the circumstance.

A place where people often do not think about diversity, equity, and inclusion playing a crucial role is senior care; however, all senior care facilities and in-home care services for seniors should strive to put these values into practice. If you are looking into a senior care service for a loved one, make sure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are emphasized.

What Should I Look for in Senior Care For My Loved One?

In addition to looking for a senior care service which will meet your loved one’s unique medical and care needs, make sure you choose a senior care service which supports their basic human needs, including diversity, equity, and inclusion.  You want to make sure their new home will be a place where they feel welcome, where they will meet interesting people with diverse interests, and where people are accepted regardless of their race, religion, gender, national origin, background, or the constraints of their illness.

How Can a Senior Care Service Practice Diversity?

There are two major ways in which a senior care service can practice diversity: in hiring people of varied identities, and having residents with varied identities (race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, disability, etc.). Diversity is important in all types of senior care services, as it will allow residents to both meet people similar to them, as well as people who are completely different. Spending time with people who are both similar and different will help seniors feel at ease socializing with people who make them feel comfortable, and also give them the opportunity to reach out to those who have different perspectives and life experiences. These opportunities will enrich the lives of aging adults.

Likewise, it is important to make sure that senior services are not discriminating against their residents in any way. You do not want your loved one to be treated poorly because of their background or medical condition.

What Does Equity Within a Senior Care Service Look Like?

Equity, in terms of senior care, simply means that all seniors are treated equally and fairly no matter their socio-economic status, race, religion, gender and capabilities. Seniors utilizing a senior care service should all have an equal opportunity to access needed services, medical care, information, and resources.

If a senior care service does not treat all clients the same, it may be worth your time to either look elsewhere, or to find out the reason for the different services. Is it because of differences in their medical diagnosis, or differences in their Medicare Supplement plan?  If not, you might want to gently educate the staff on how they can treat your loved one more fairly.  Perhaps they are unaware of how to meet the social, religious, emotional and physical needs of all their residents.  Offer them some simple solutions they can easily implement.

How Can a Senior Care Service Practice Inclusion?

Diversity and equity, combined with inclusion, means that all people are invited to participate and feel welcome and comfortable when utilizing senior care services. Senior care facilities should value all residents' opinions and well-being. Similarly, assisted living communities should strive to go above and beyond to offer services which celebrate their client’s differences; whether those are racial differences, physical capability differences, or any other differences common in the senior community.  The facility should also encourage current residents to be welcoming and accepting of new residents.

A care community which is inclusive will nearly always be an outstanding choice for your loved one.

Find Quality Senior Care for Your Loved One

As you look for senior care for your loved one, be sure to find one which has their best interests in mind. Choose a facility which will take care of their medical, emotional, and physical needs, as well as consider their basic need for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Use this post as a guide as you make your decision.

About the Author

Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about topics intended to improve the lives of other people. She lives in South Jersey, is the proud companion to two German Shepherds, and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.

As mentioned above, if the issue of acceptance, diversity and equal treatment is important to you, you may also want to read the book "Understanding Diversity: An Introduction to Class, Race, Gender and Sexual Orientation, and Disability."   (Ad) While it is not focused specifically on life in skilled nursing facilities or assisted living, it will help you understand the issues better.  After you read it, it could also be the perfect gift for the administrators of the care facility where your family member lives.

If you are interested in learning more about common medical issues as you age, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, financial planning, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Photo credits:  Pixabay

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Free Online Exercise Classes and Games - Fun Activities to Do at Home

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to keep people at home, many Americans are looking for fun, new ways to stay physically and mentally active without leaving home.  Of course, we can all read a book or take a walk around our neighborhood, but after a while you may be desperate for new ways to keep in shape and be mentally stimulated.  As a result, below is a list of free online activities to keep you going!

I have included the shortened link for each site.  You just need to copy and paste it into your browser search bar, hit Return or Enter, and you should be taken directly to the correct website.  

Stay Fit and Healthy!

Has your current home exercise routine gotten boring?  Now is the time to refresh it.  You can start by recording exercise programs on TV.  You may also contact a local community college to see if they have free online exercise classes designed specifically for senior citizens.  Your healthcare provider may also recommend YouTube videos or fitness classes you can do online. 

You may also want to try these three free programs:

YMCA Free Online Fitness Classes at - The classes range from tai chi to yoga.

Gold's Gym at - They are now offering free virtual workouts for people of all ages and fitness levels, including high-intensity interval training for people looking for a real challenge.  

The National Institute on Aging Go4Life exercise series on YouTube at - These videos focus on stretching, building strength and balance.  They are perfect for senior citizens who want to get out of their chair and stay active, while following an exercise program designed just for them.

You should not need any special equipment to participate in these classes, although it might enhance your workouts if you get some simple hand weights or exercise bands. (Ad)

Free Online Games and Apps

Are you looking for fun ways to keep your brain sharp?  Whether you want to play by yourself or compete against other people, there are plenty of games to choose from.  Here are a just a few available resources:

Mahjong at - You can play either against computers or your friends, using your computer, an iPad or a tablet.  The game is free for two weeks.  Afterwards, they will charge you $5 a month.  As a result, you may want to check out one of the other websites listed below.

Bridge at - This is the link to the largest online bridge site in the world.  You can compete in tournaments, play games for money, and more.

Poker at - Learn to play poker from the experts!

AARP free online games at - They offer 68 popular games including crossword and jigsaw puzzles, chess, mahjong, Solitaire, and Word.  Have free fun to your heart's content.

A wide selection of free apps you can find in your App Store or on Google Play include 8 Ball Pool, Scrabble GO, Yahtzee with Buddies, Uno and Houseparty.  You can also find a large number of other fun apps, so you should never be bored!

Don't want to limit yourself to only having games you play online?  There are always plenty of inexpensive card games and board games you and your family can enjoy. Everything you need can be ordered online. (Ad)  Our grandchildren love to bring along their favorite card games when they come to visit, and it is great fun to play games in person with friends or family, rather than just online.

Travel the World Online

Another way to stimulate your mind in a relaxing way is to travel the world online!  There are many ways to do this.  I read an article about artists who use the Street View option on Google Maps to find interesting scenes, which they then paint.  It is an easy way to paint everything from a street scene in Paris to Lake Cuomo in Italy, without ever leaving your home.

Some other sites which will open your world to places you may never see in real life include:

Beautiful Destinations at

Times Square at

London at

Jerusalem at

Great Wall of China at

Expand Your Mind with YouTube

Do not limit yourself just to the above sites, however.  YouTube can teach you to almost anything you want to know.  Wondering how to do something new on the computer, bake bread from scratch, crochet, or learn about investments?  YouTube has videos to teach you almost anything which interests you. Want to see a town before you visit, or learn about the city where your children recently moved?  YouTube probably has a video tour of those locations.

I have listened to YouTube lectures by college researchers who are studying Alzheimer's Disease, as well as viewed YouTube videos of our church services on our television.  If you have a fairly recent television set, you may even be able to access YouTube on your big screen TV, using the same system you would to watch Netflix or Hulu. (Ad)

Don't just sit home bored, watching repeats of old shows over and over again.  Open your mind to fun new adventures and explore the possibilities!

If you are interested in learning more about saving money, financial planning, Social Security, Medicare, where to retire, common medical issues as you age, travel and more, use the tabs or pull down menu at the top of the page to find links to hundreds of additional helpful articles.

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase from an Amazon ad, I'll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

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Photo credits:  Pixabay - Sarajobling