Intelligent Aging event offered tons of great tips for later years

This past week, some friends and I hosted an Intelligent Aging event at Cowichan Golf and Country Club. It was the day of the tremendous rainfall and we still saw a terrific turnout.

The event is successful because among the presenters were a lawyer (who does home visits), an accountant, an audiologist, a pharmacist, a financial planning consultant, a pre-planning funeral consultant,

a home safety equipment expert, a renovation specialist, a personal trainer for seniors (in their homes!), the Cowichan Seniors Community Foundation, and a home care specialist. This group of people gave away all their best tips – for free! No wonder the attendants’ comments after were filled with gratitude. So in case you missed it – here are some of my favourite takeaways from this event last week:

It’s very important for any senior taking medication to do a full med review with their pharmacist one to two times per year (twice if on numerous meds); there is potential for a negative medication interaction

There are some great tax advantages, or even grants, that exist for seniors who want to remain in their own homes and need to do some adjustments, renos, or additions to remain at home safely

There is a volunteer driving program in the Cowichan Valley that helps get seniors to their local appointments, by donation (what a great program!)

There is a brain fitness program here in the Valley running with great success

Funeral pre-planning is high on the list of things that organized people do, as well as having a will in place, a Power of Attorney, and a Representation Agreement

Power of Attorney only addresses legal and financial matters; while a Representation Agreement empowers a trusted person to make health care decisions on your behalf

Home visits by the lawyer are incredibly convenient for seniors

Home care specialists not only look after planning for a loved one’s care – they provide a holistic plan that speaks to a spouse’s (or other family member’s) needs and health, while coordinating other needed resources in the community

Personal training for seniors in their own home is one of the most important factors to reduce the risk of falling. Falls in the home is the number one cause of hospitalization in seniors, and is also the number one cause of forced move into a nursing home

A disability tax credit, when a disability is present, can save a senior thousands of dollars and may be applicable to previous years’ tax returns!

Talking to a certified financial planning consultant can be one of the smartest financial decisions one can make. Simple tweaks to the plan can often result in huge positive differences.

Hearing loss in research is statistically linked (significantly!) to fall risk and even depression. Free hearing tests are simple and effective and may reduce fall risk and depression.

This is just my off-the-cuff info. There is so much more that each expert could add to each point above.

This event will be taking place again in early October 2015, so keep an eye out. So many gems of information came out of this year’s conference and more will come next year as well.

After all, we all just want to help each other age intelligently.

Chris Wilkinson is the owner/GM for Nurse Next Door Home Care Services for Cowichan and central Vancouver Island. For questions or a free inhome caring consult call 250-748-4357, or email Cowichan@NurseNextDoor.com

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