- Look on Craigslist. They have a “free” listing under “for sale”.
- Facebook has any number of resale/yard sale pages.
- Free Hunting and fishing licenses if you are 65+.
- State parks + CT registration = free entrance. This is now included in our car registrations.
- Some Banks offer free checking and more.
- Free college tuition if you are 62+. Finish your degree. Take classes that interest you.
- Income tax returns – free with AARP trained preparers- check local senior centers for appt.
- Save 5-10% off your auto ins for taking a driving class – check senior center for AARP class.
- Retention dept for utilities – reduction for staying with that provider. This will take some time – maybe a half hour – but the discount will last 12-24 months.
- Prescription assistance for non-covered unaffordable meds – ask at your doctor’s office and ask your pharmacist.
- Legal assistance is available from several resources. Call 1-800-296-1467 or 1-800-453-3320 to get started.
- Your library – free and reduced passes to museums and attractions, e-books, e-audio.
- Discounts at restaurants and stores – one example is Kohl’s 15% every Wed for those 60+.
- Community Resources – Call or visit your Area Agency on Aging, Senior Centers or your Town’s Municipal Agent.
- Call your Town Hall. Town Clerks are a wealth of information.
- Don’t forget calling 211 – 211ct.org
How it can assist us in ways we never imagined!!
At every age we want to feel safe and independent. And as we age those around us become more and more concerned about our wellbeing. With today’s technology there are devices that can help us know what’s going on around us, monitor what we are doing, learn from us and help us.
Doorbells now can have wi-fi cameras so with your smart phone you can see who is at the door and you can talk to them.
Thermostats can be programmed and hooked to your Wi-Fi. They can learn when you are home or away and adjust the temperature. You can adjust the thermostat with your smart phone.
Smart phones can do a huge number of tasks from making phone calls, storing information, reminding you to do any number of things. They have calendars, timers, alarms, calculators, cameras plus more. A smart phone is actually a full-fledged computer that you put in your pocket! They can connect to any number of devices using your wi-fi.
Home Security System – smart sensors and security cameras can be set up inside or outdoors. With wi-fi we can see if anyone or anything is out there. Used indoors our loved ones can see if we are ok, up and about. They can track activity, the fridge door, the medicine cabinet. Some you can even talk to.
Smart speakers are great because they respond to our voice. We can ask “what time is it” “play the Beatles” “what’s the joke of the day” or any question. Of course, the speaker is not going to always know the answer. The speaker can remind you to take your meds, an appointment, etc.
Timers – as simple as turning the living room light on every evening and then again in the morning. To those passing by it looks as if someone is home. For us its light when we get up and go to bed and reduces the change of tripping.
Smart TVs – who knew!! I can now talk to my TV. I don’t even need to know the channel that the game is on. I just say, “Patriots game” and it shows me. The TV also shows me who’s calling me on my phone before the phone rings.
Emergency pendants – We all remember “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” commercials now they can also detect falls. The device knows if you fall and alerts the company. Plus, we can activate these devises, tell them what has happened and get help.
Tracking chips can be attached to the dog’s collar, so we know where he ran off to. Put on our key rings so we can find them, and we can have them in our loved one’s pocket so if they get lost, we can find them. We could even attach it to their smart phone, emergency pendant or key ring even.
Smart pillbox – medicine reminders, dispensers – notifies a smart phone if you forgot to take your pills or if you take the wrong ones. And who doesn’t forget to take their meds from time to time!
Now why might I need some of these things?
To be and feel safe
To be able to get help if I need it
To be independent
Not such bad things….
Now let’s reassess how we feel about all of this…..
Oh, I don’t have time.
Nope I can’t afford it.
It’s too expensive.
Who will take care of the dog?
I can’t because my husband, mother, sister isn’t feeling well.
I have to be available for my grandchildren.
There is no one else.
Next time I will.
Next year I will.
After I retire I will.
Yes, I really really want to but….
Have you heard and or said these things?
Is this what stops you from doing the things you dream about? The things you want to do?
Is this what stops you from making that bucket list.
Well you know what – there will come a time when you really won’t be able to do those things. It will be when your spouse or traveling partner is dead. When you have lost the ability to travel. When you truly have no money left because you gave it all to the kids.
So, change all of those things. Stop being that person who always has a reason to not do something. Become the person who is out and about. The person executing the plans.
My in-laws died before they could do any of the above things because they always had those reasons of why not to and unfortunately, they both died within 3 months of each other in their late 60’s.
My husband and I learned to get out there and travel, remodel the house, visit relatives, learn new things, question our wants and needs.
Live in the now. Don’t delay! Make your plans for 2019! Be present.
And you know what you’ll be happier. You’ll enjoy life more. You’ll have new stories to tell. And you’ll find more things you can and want to do. Get out there and enjoy life.
Don’t we all want something for nothing? Do you look for the bargains and ways to stretch every dollar? I’m drawn to the clearance signs like a bee to honey! So, I’ve come up with this list of discounts and free stuff for seniors, veterans and everyone else. And remember if you don’t ask you miss out.
17 Browse the internet. Check any number of websites. BUT be sure to check the date for when the article was published to help judge if the information is current.
There will always be times in our lives when we offer care to others. Friends, parents, children and spouses have life events happen to them. We by instinct reach out and offer to help.
When those life events happen a plan comes about, care and healing happen and the world rights itself at some point. During that time life becomes quite crazy and hectic.
We could do a lot of our caregiving better and easier if we plan ahead. When a baby is about to be born plans are made for a doctor, aftercare for mom, cribs and more are bought. Questions are asked and answered. Babysitters, daycare decided on.
But for lots of other caregiving situations no planning is done at all. We age, our parents age. We don’t talk about what will happen as we lose some of our independence. Who will care for who? What agency do we want and what don’t we want?
Now is the time to look at the home, the budget and other options. Is it safe to stay at home? Is a move needed? What resources are there to pay for help? What will insurance pay for? What insurance is available? Is there a care plan manager? Are there resources from an employer available?
Start looking for the answers to some of these questions now.
Plus, start planning how the caregivers will get some respite. It is not unheard of for the caregiver to die before the one they are taking care of. Caregiving is stressful, a lot of work, demanding and exhausting.
We all need time for ourselves and so do the caregivers. They need time away from the situation. Whether it’s going out to lunch, shopping, taking a nap, gardening or reading a book they need a break.
Take care of the caregiver so they can continue to care for their loved one.
As we proceed towards the November elections, we’ll hear lots and lots of chatter. Some that we agreed with and some that we dislike greatly. But now is the time to voice your opinion on what matters the most to you. Do you find certain issues are not even mentioned by those who are running for office? Do you think that those running ignore you? Do you feel left out?
Well now is the time. Call, email, text and/or write to those who are going to be on the ballot in November. Attend events where the politicians will be. Work on a campaign. Hold a sign stating what you want. And make your own sign if need be.
If we continue to leave the outcome of the elections up to others we can not continue to complain about the direction our state and country are going in. We must give voice to what is important to us!
I learned a long time ago that if 5 to 6 people contact a politician about any one issue, that issue is very important to a lot of people and they will respond. A recent example is Governor Malloy cut the Medicare Savings Program and when word got out lots of phone calls were made to CT Senators and Representatives and the program was fully restored.
Your voice does matter! Be reasonable. Be rational. Your opinion is important. Tell your story about why change should be made and how that change should look.
And you can make things better for lots of others when you become a part of the solution. Be a voice. Be an advocate.