Stay mentally and physically active, be suspicious, cover your legal bases, strive to live independently at home, and choose a luxurious alternative if you need supervised independent living, assisted living or memory care.
Various speakers had numerous messages to pass along to about 90 seniors who turned out for the latest Health Fair staged by the Marco YMCA of South Collier.
Naples Senior Center manager Bridget Murray-Popescu reminded attendees that people often tend to become sedentary as they age or lose a spouse.
“Most people don’t want to leave home,” Murray-Popescu said. “But life can become lonely, whether you’re rich or poor. Loneliness is linked about 40% to illness and—diminished—cognitive functioning.”
She said her facility is an ideal counterbalance, providing a variety of physical and social activities for seniors in a Mon-Fri program from 9 AM to 5 PM.
The program includes exercise, art, drum circles, disco parties and crafting. “A little bit of everything,” Murray-Popescu stated.
“Life after 60 doesn’t have to slow down. We are like a one-stop–shop for seniors. We can find you a lawyer, help with Medicaid or Medicare questions, and even get you help about your neighbor’s barking dog.”
For full details, visit naplesseniorcenter.org.
As for the “be suspicious” advice—Angela Larson, a supervisor at the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, gave some advice about counteracting the scourge of online and phone scams.
Her two takeaways? If in doubt about a call, hang up. If in doubt about a dubious–looking e-mail, close it without clicking on any links.
“Don’t send money either,” said Larson, mentioning the Grandparents Scam (a ‘grandchild’ calls and says their money and passports were stolen while they were traveling in a foreign country), the Nigerian-type Lottery Scam that everybody knows about, but which still catches some folk, and the newest scams, which are “authoritarian.”
These are calls from the “IRS” or “Sheriffs Offices” or “Banks” demanding money with the threat of punishment.
“If suspicious about any scams,” Larson said, “call the—real—Sheriff’s office at 239-252-2255.”
Larson also touted the CCSO’s File of Life, which is a way to provide important medical information to first responders in an emergency.
The packet holds a form that has a list of allergies, next of kin, doctor information, and more. Visit colliersheriff.org.
Attorney Jill Burzynski of Burzynski Elder Law spoke about “life care planning,“ a service that includes asset protection, legal planning and healthcare advocacy.
“You need to have your bases covered as you age,” Burzynski said. “Proactive planning is better than mid-crisis planning.”
The life care plan, she explained, incorporates estimated costs of treatments and services, ongoing health care and long-term needs.
“Our firm provides tools so that they (elders) can receive good care without going broke,” states the company’s website, burzynskilaw.com.
Manning a promotional booth before the speakers took the podium, Right at Home representative Karen Loughrey said the company provides “non-medical care at home.
“We have two levels of care for seniors who can ambulate on their own homemaker companions and CNA level, with licensing to provide grooming, dressing, home cooking, med reminders and appointments, for example,“ she said.
Loughery said the business is private pay, but it does work with long-term care insurance. Vets are given discounts.
Services also include care for specific situations such as hypertension/stroke recovery, heart disease, cancer recovery and hospice/palliative support. Visit rightathome.net\southwest-florida.
Representatives were also on hand to promote Discovery Village—in Naples—a brand-new “apartment complex offering a resort lifestyle.”
“The campus,” said company senior life counselor Denise McGowan, “helps people maintain their lifestyle without stress, and offers independent living, assisted living and memory care on–site.”
Collier County Elections Supervisor Jennifer Edwards provided her message as people first walked into the fair.
March 17 sees the Presidential Preference Primary and the registration deadline is February 18.
“So we want to ensure everyone has registered to vote,” Edwards states.