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Paul E. Riffel Tampa Estate Planning Attorney

5 Ideas for Supporting Our Seniors During National Older Americans Month

Daught and elder mother discuss estate planning.

During National Older Americans Month, which is celebrated during the month of May, are you looking for ways to support seniors that you know? This month many communities, families and loved ones are encouraged to get involved in learning about the issues that our Older Americans face as they age. Do you have older loved ones in your family? Do you have neighbors who are older? This month we invite you to think about these 5 ideas for supporting our seniors during National Older Americans Month.

1. Offer to do the grocery shopping and meal planning for an Older American. Providing nutritious food choices could relieve stress for senior loved ones with mobility issues. Prepare dishes with easy-access finger-foods. Also, pre-cooked multi-serving dishes can be helpful, as well as, using plastic cups, plates and straws can reduce clean-up.

2. Because bathtubs and showers can be slippery and dangerous, ask if you can help by supervising bathing. You should also advise that throw rugs and other such obstacles be removed to reduce the risk of falling. Advise seniors you know that there is adaptive bathing equipment that is helpful, such as shower chairs and hand-held showerheads.

3. There should never be a lapse in dental care for Older Americans because it could lead to complicated, and painful, health issues. Make sure seniors are rinsing their teeth after every meal, and help them brush or keep their dentures clean if they need assistance. Consult a dentist for more specific advice.

4. Talk to seniors you know about their estate planning. While research tells us that less than half of all Americans have an estate plan, we often find that Older Americans are in the group who have created an estate plan. The key here is to make sure that it reflects what they truly want at this point in their lives. For example, do they have the person they want in place to make decisions about their finances or health care if they do not have the capacity to act for themselves?

5. Be sure the seniors you know have considered long-term care planning. We know, as experienced Florida estate planning attorneys, that while many Older Americans have an estate plan they have not considered planning for long-term care. Consider talking to your aging loved ones about how they would pay for assistance in a long-term care facility if it was needed? Have they had a financial assessment of what they can afford? Do they have certain medical conditions they need to be planning for?

We know this article may raise more questions than it answers. When your family or financial health is on the line, trust attorney Paul Riffel to help you protect your interests and achieve your goals. Attorney Paul Riffel has been practicing law in Florida for over 41 years, focusing in the areas of Tampa estate planning and family law. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.

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