10 Fun Facts About Senior Adults in Honor of the Upcoming National Older Americans Month

The month of May is officially designated National Older Americans Month. Next month we will spend time with this annual opportunity to celebrate America’s seniors, and raise awareness about the many challenges older adults face every day.

Seniors have come a long way since National Older Americans Month was first established under President John F. Kennedy in 1963. At the time, about a third of senior adults lived in poverty and there were few programs to meet their needs. Medicare had yet to be created, and only 17 million Americans, or 9 percent of the population, lived long enough to see their 65th birthday. Today, there are more than 49 million seniors. They constitute over 15 percent of all Americans.

In honor of the upcoming National Older Americans Month, let us share some interesting facts you may not know about our senior population. As always, our goal is to share with you the education and research you and the seniors you love need to plan forward.

1- More than 10,000 “baby boomers” turn 65-years-old every day. 

2- Senior citizens are the fastest growing demographic group on Facebook. Recent studies show that more than half of all U.S. seniors are active online, and more than one-third are on Facebook and other social media websites.

3- Older adults aged 85 and up are the fastest growing age group in the country.

4- There are more than 55,000 seniors over age 100, and by 2050 the number of “centenarians” is expected to top 600,000. This is roughly the population of Vermont. 

5- Seniors account for 40 percent of all drug prescriptions.

6- There are more than 11,400 senior centers across the country that together serve more than 1 million older adults every day. The average age of a senior center participant is 75.

7- More than 15 million older adults are formally recognized volunteers, but nearly half of all seniors volunteer in some capacity.

8- About 65 percent of all “baby boomers” say they plan to work past age 65.

9- Studies show that physical activity can slow the elder aging process.

10- A recent survey found that at least 70 percent of all seniors are still sexually active, and that they reported being just as satisfied, sometimes more satisfied, than when they were younger. 

As you read these statistics, what holds true for you and your loved ones? What help do you need as you plan forward for your future that may include increased elder care needs? Do not wait to contact our office to schedule a meeting to address your questions now, or in the future.

7 Important Considerations for Seniors Going Through a ‘Gray Divorce’

A concerning trend occurring over the past several decades is the elevated rate of divorce among older adults. While younger and middle-aged couples are still divorcing at higher rates, more and more couples over age 50, are ending their marriages in so-called “Gray Divorces”, with the rate among senior citizens having tripled since 1990.

What many Older Americans do not realize is that while Gray Divorces come with unique challenges, they are not insurmountable. Let us share seven major considerations that elder divorcees and their adult children may want to consider as they plan together for the future.

1- Legal Guidance. Gray Divorces typically involve complicated scenarios due to a lifetime of building shared assets. Consulting an attorney to help navigate the ins-and-outs of various legal and financial situations can be of great value.

2- Estate Planning. Many late-in-life concerns are built into estate plans, which can be drastically impacted by a divorce. Any prior estate plans may need to be updated as soon as possible. This can be especially true when it comes to the legal planning tools, such as a durable power of attorney, that need a trusted decision maker in place.

3- Financial Stability. The outcome of a Gray Divorce can impact the remainder of an elder adult’s life. This is of particular importance given that most aging adults are beyond their prime working years. Alimony payments, reclaiming pre-marital assets, life insurance, and Social Security are just a few areas requiring attention to achieve lasting financial stability.

4-Retirement. Structuring professional compensation, pensions and retirement accounts, and other financial investments to support a lasting retirement can be key, especially since any previous nest eggs may be split during the divorce.

5- Long-Term Care. Developing a supported long-term care plan can go a long way toward creating peace of mind. This includes planning for housing, health care, transportation, and even companionship. While no one wants to consider a future where long-term care may be necessary, it is critical for divorcees to plan ahead.

6- Adult Children. Adult children can be a lifeline of support, but it is important for them to know their limits. Offering legal or health advice, for example, could be detrimental during a stressful time such as a divorce. Instead, guide an elder loved one to an attorney or medical professional who may give professional guidance appropriate for the situation.

7- Utilizing Other Professionals. Whether an emotional therapist, an adult caregiver or other professional, do not be afraid to ask for help. Especially at a time like this, Older Americans need guidance and support from trusted local professionals.

We know there is never a “good” time to go through divorce and are well aware of the challenges seniors face. Do not wait to ask us your questions and let us guide you through the considerations applicable to you as a senior or a child of an aging parent.

Safer Shopping for Seniors

When we think of shopping, there are certain risks that are always a possibility. Unfortunately, seniors are often more vulnerable to these risks. The holiday season often brings with it criminals who are targeting shoppers, both in stores and online. Below are some tips to help senior shoppers stay safe whether shopping with mobility issues, shopping in general, or online.

General Shopping Safety Tips for Seniors

Shopping can often be overwhelming for all of us, including seniors. Seniors often are less mobile and may move more slowly than others in crowded stores, thus putting them at greater risk for criminal activity. Here are some tips to make shopping safe and successful for you or your elderly loved one.

  1. Shop early in the day, especially on weekdays, to avoid large crowds. Often this is a time when stores are less crowded and seniors can navigate the stores more easily. Another benefit to shopping on weekdays is that many stores offer senior discounts throughout the week. During weekends and evenings after work, many stores become overcrowded and more difficult to get around.
  2. Have a “shopping buddy.” Going with a friend gives added safety if you or your loved one has issues with mobility. There’s much to the saying, “safety in numbers.” Plus, shopping with a buddy makes the experience more enjoyable.
  3. Don’t wait until the last minute. Often stores are busy in the last few days before the holidays. Shoppers can become less careful and more irritable which can present problems for seniors.
  4. Always keep your car locked and store packages in the trunk or out of sight. This will help deter thieves from breaking into the vehicle.
  5. Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If it is necessary to shop at night, park as close as possible to the door and always in well-lit areas. The light often serves to deter predators.
  6. Be aware of your surroundings and personal belongings. This can go a long way in helping to protect seniors from those who may attempt to take advantage of them or who may try to steal personal belongings.

Online Shopping Safety Tips for Seniors

There are many unscrupulous people who attempt to scam online shoppers. Being aware of this fact and shopping with eyes wide open is key in keeping financial information safe while online shopping. Below are some tips for seniors to remember while online shopping.

  1. Many online sellers offer excellent deals, but it is important to remember that if a deal seems too good to be true it probably is. Check on unknown companies. A quick Google search can provide reviews or information about the legitimacy of online companies.
  2. Create strong and unique passwords. This makes it more difficult for hackers and those trying to steal personal information to get into the accounts. Unique passwords can be difficult to remember, so be sure to keep them written down and in a safe place.
  3. Shop with trusted and known retailers. Most of these websites provide built in security for their shoppers.
  4. Watch extra costs such as shipping. Companies will sometimes offer low prices, but then increase shipping prices to recoup some money.

For seniors, shopping can sometimes seem overwhelming no matter what method of shopping is chosen. It doesn’t have to be. It can be a fun and enjoyable experience just by following these safety tips.

If you have any questions about something you have read or would like additional information, please feel free to contact us.

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