Jennifer & Julie write a monthly article "Condo Conversations" in the Virginian-Pilot. This article was featured in the November 23, 2019 edition.
According to a recent AARP study, three out of four adults age 50 or older want to stay in their homes as they age. What exactly does it mean to “age in place?”
“Aging in place” doesn’t necessarily mean staying in your current home. It means staying in the right home. The options are wide open; the home you live in now could be modified to meet your current and future physical needs, or it may be best to find a new home that fits the bill completely.
Condominiums can be a great choice for aging in place as they are most often low maintenance, and many communities offer amenities such as workout rooms, pools and activities. As we grow older, it is important to remain active and socially engaged.
Both high-rise condominiums and 55-plus communities offer many social opportunities for those wishing to keep their independence while avoiding becoming socially isolated.
Here are examples:
• In a high-rise setting, conversation with other residents and building staff present themselves throughout the course of any day while picking up your mail, taking your dog out for a walk, etc.
• Front desk and building staff often get to know their residents and their habits, recognizing if something is off.
• Resident events are a common occurrence in high-rise settings as well as 55+ communities. You’ll most likely have plenty of chances to join your neighbors at a movie night, ice cream social, or holiday event.
• Many communities will have a pool and fitness center offering ways for you to keep active.
• Join a club or group. If there isn’t already a club or group that matches your interests, perhaps you could be the one to get it started. Whether it’s a book club or Bunco group, there’s a good chance there’s someone else with the same interests.
Today’s fraudsters have many tricks up their sleeve. Their methods rely on deception and frequently entail manipulating strong human emotions, like fear and love.
Scammers make extensive use of all types of technology tools, including false email messages, fake pop-up windows, malicious website links, and fraudulent phone calls on both landlines and mobile devices. Whether they’re hoping to score a little quick cash or are engaged in a bigger scheme, like stealing your medical identity, it’s essential to realize that most scams involve a sense of urgency. Urgent situations that require financial solutions should raise suspicion. If a phone call (or an email message) requires you to act now to collect a prize, avoid a fine or jail, or save someone from a dire situation—always step back before taking action. If a pressing need involves money, chances are it’s a scam.
On your phone, how can you fight back?
DO register your phone number with the Do Not Call Registry at donotcall.gov or 888-382-1222. This service will not block scammers, but legitimate telemarketers will stop calling within a month.
DON’T answer unrecognized calls unless you’re expecting a call from an unknown number. Let the call go to voicemail, then review the message. Most con artists will hang up before leaving a message.
DO independently verify facts from any callers asking for money or sensitive personal information.
DON’T share private information in social media posts that may be useful for imposter scams, including phone numbers, home addresses, and names of relatives. (Also, don’t accept unknown friend requests and keep your account settings private.)
DO be wary of government imposters. Officials from the IRS, the Social Security Administration, Medicare, and other government agencies will never call you unless you contact them first or they’ve sent mail correspondence explaining a situation that requires your attention.
DON’T say “yes” to an unknown caller. Scammers may be trying to obtain a recording of your voice, which can be used to verify approval of charges to your phone, cable, or internet bill or a credit card. If you sense something sketchy, hang up quickly.
Read more about scams on the Virginia Attorney General's website.
The National Association of Senior Move Managers® is proud to award the NASMM@Home Specialist credential to Julie Ulrich of TimeWise, Inc., servicing the South Hampton Roads area of Virginia.
The NASMM@Home Specialist designation is awarded to individuals demonstrating an advanced understanding of Aging In Place concepts and services as they relate to
the Senior Move Management® profession.
“NASMM@HOME Specialists provide guidance, encouragement, and hands-on help. They understand the physical and emotional stresses associated with later lifestyle changes, as well as the ethical, safety and communication issues that accompany working with older adults, said Mary Kay Buysse, Executive Director of NASMM.” Later in life, or at any age, our homes often become cluttered with our "stuff." Our homes don't work as well for us as they did a few years ago, or maybe decades ago. Most of us are overwhelmed by the daunting prospect of downsizing, de-cluttering, organizing, and discarding. We may need a lot of help, or just a little encouragement and assistance. Either way, a NASMM@HOME Specialist can provide you with services to allow you to stay in your current home.
TimeWise, Inc. has specialized in providing custom tailored lifestyle management solutions for corporate clients, entire condominium communities, busy individuals, and Seniors since 2002. Most recently the company has launched a division based in Chesapeake, VA, dedicated to serving older adults and their families by offering Senior Move Management and Concierge Services.
The National Association of Senior Move Managers (NASMM) is the leading membership organization for Senior Move Managers in the United States, Canada and abroad. NASMM is recognized for its innovative programs and expertise related to Senior Move Management, transition and relocation issues affecting older adults. NASMM members represent the most qualified and capable Senior Move Managers in this growing profession. For more information contact NASMM at 877-606-2766 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the NASMM website at www.nasmm.org.
Are you “tidying up?” Decluttering feels great, but what will you do with all the stuff you decide to get rid of? If selling your cast-offs isn’t your cup of tea, consider passing them along to others in need.
Where to turn for help? If you’re donating many different types of items, your easiest option may be donationtown.org, a nationwide directory of charitable organizations that accept clothing, furniture, shoes, toys, household items, and more. Just enter your zip code, select a group, and schedule a pickup.
When donating specific types of items, consider these options:
A few charities in Hampton Roads that offer pick-ups...
CHKD Thrift Stores
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Disabled American Veterans
If the thought of doing your own decluttering gives you anxiety, contact us! We may sound crazy, but we LOVE a good challenge. Nothing makes us happier than knowing we made someone else's life a little less stressful. :)
-Jenn & Julie
Jennifer & Julie write a monthly article "Condo Conversations" in the Virginian-Pilot. This article was written by Julie Ulrich, featured in the March 23 edition.
I often hear people say it’s time to downsize their lives. Sometimes that means minimizing what they own and moving into a smaller home. Other times it may mean downsizing of their responsibilities and financial obligations.
Single-family detached homes almost always come with upkeep, including cutting the grass, caring for a pool, exterior maintenance and shoveling snow. If you are ready to make a change in lifestyle, many options are available. Could it be time for you to “condo-size” your life?
A condo or townhome can be a great choice for someone looking to “downsize,” or as I like to say, “rightsize.” There are many benefits to this style of living, but there are cons as well. Let’s first explore the positive sides along with some thoughts to ponder.
Lock-and-go lifestyle: If you like to travel, a condo makes it easier to lock up and go, as the exterior and grounds maintenance is almost always performed by the association.
If you travel often, or use your condo as a second home, be sure you have a neighbor or friend look after it while you are away. You wouldn’t want a leaky pipe to go unnoticed causing a major amount of damage.
Thermostats in the unit should be kept at reasonable temperatures year round. Faucets should be run at least every couple of weeks. Most condominium governing documents will address specific requirements for absentee owners.
Condo assessments: I know, you are probably thinking, “Condo assessments are a positive? Yeah, right.”
The truth is they actually can be a positive in a healthy condo association. If the board has managed the maintenance, budget and reserves properly, you shouldn’t have any surprises down the line. Therefore, your monthly assessments will ensure your property is well-maintained, which ultimately helps protect your investment.
Expiration Date vs. Shelf Life
Shelf life usually refers to the time between a medication’s manufacture date and its expiration date. But a drug’s shelf life can be altered by storage conditions—temperature, humidity, light, and even whether or not the medication is stored in its original container.
While the expiration date indicates how long a manufacturer guarantees safety and full potency of a medication, some drugs are more stable than others. Ask your pharmacist before using any medicine past its listed expiration date. Some medications lose potency, while others can become dangerous or even toxic past the expiration date.
Good Safety Habits
Keep a list of all of your medications, along with potential side effects and drug interactions. (Let your doctor know if you are experiencing any side effects.) This should include any over-the-counter (OTC) medications as well as vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements.
Take this list with you on doctor visits and to your pharmacist so it can be reviewed any time you are prescribed any additional medications or supplements. Also be sure to ask about any potential food interactions with any new or existing medications.
Always check to be sure the medication the doctor ordered is the Rx you received.
Use the alarm on your phone to remind you to take your medications on schedule, or use a pill box that organizes your medicines along with a time schedule taped to the back of the organizer.
Disposing Old Medications
It’s important to carefully and properly discard any old medications, both prescribed and OTC varieties. Never “flush” medications (unless specifically directed to do so) to prevent them from entering the general water supply.
Saturday, April 27th is National Prescription Take-Back Day. In the City of Chesapeake, from 10am-2pm you can bring your old pills and patches to the police departments in the 2nd, 3rd and 5th precinct, the Sheriff's Office, the Walmart in Edinburgh or the Sam's Club in Western Branch, for free, no questions asked. Find more locations throughout Hampton Roads here.
If your only option is to dispose of medicines in regular household trash, you should add pills (left whole) to unseemly waste, such as kitchen slop, used cat litter, used coffee grounds, etc.
When disposing of empty medicine bottles, be sure to eliminate your personal information, as well as the type of medication, to prevent bottles from being used to obtain medication illegally.
1. Start with the easy stuff. Eliminate anything that’s broken, damaged, or no longer wanted. Then, go to the out-of-the-way spaces like attics, crawlspaces, and garages. Making progress in “easier” areas will build momentum to go through the harder-to-decide areas.
2. Ask yourself, “If this disappeared tomorrow, would I run out and replace it?” If you wouldn’t miss it or need to replace it, it’s probably not worth keeping.
3. Don’t be a storage unit for others. If friends or relatives have left things for you to store, it’s time to ask them to pick them up—or arrange to have them shipped. You may need to be tough and set a firm deadline, after which you will donate the items.
4. Ask for help. Although you can do much of this work on your own, a family member, a good friend, or even a professional organizer can help make the job more manageable.
5. Decide what’s really important. Pretend you are moving overseas, and the number of items you can take will be severely limited and it will cost a small fortune to ship things. What items belong on your list? These are the things that matter most to you!
6. Is this something from a lifestyle I no longer have or want? For example, if you have three cabinets full of plastic containers, but only cook for one or two people, you probably can lose a few plastic sets—and dishes, pots and pans, etc.
7. Schedule a regular time each week—or several days per week—to work on rightsizing. Realize that rightsizing is a life-changing marathon, not a sprint. You didn’t accumulate everything overnight, and you won’t sort it all out overnight either.
8. Value what you keep. The fewer things you keep, the more you will treasure and enjoy what you have, instead of tucking them away in a closet or stacked among dozens of other things. These are the few, meaningful items worth having in your personal space.
9. Prevent new collections from forming. Instead of material gifts, ask people to spoil you by sharing time, enjoying new experiences, and indulging in luxuries (spa certificates, imported chocolate, a musical or other theatre production, gift certificates for dinner out, etc.)—the things you love and want, but don’t always buy for yourself.
10. Use age to your advantage. Now is a great time to “gift” items you “eventually” want family members to have. Take a photo (preferably a digital one) of them holding the special item and create a digital scrapbook of “next generation” memories...making your special people happy and freeing yourself of extra “stuff” that you have been charged with keeping for posterity.
If help is what you need, we're here for you! Give us a call at (757) 389-8864 or send us an email and we'll sit down with you for a complimentary consultation to develop a customized plan just for you.
It may not feel like winter in Hampton Roads lately, but the winter is far from over. Our friends at 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty have some helpful tips to keep your home warm...
When winter’s chill hits, make sure your house is equipped to stay warm and cozy all season long.
Conduct an energy audit. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the first step to keeping your home warm in winter and your utility bills in check is to conduct an energy audit. An audit can help identify where your home is losing energy (and in turn money) and often leads to actionable steps that can reduce your utility bills by as much as 30 percent, according to the Department of Energy.
Use the sun to your advantage. If your windows face south, sunshine can be a free source of warmth all winter long. Throw open those curtains or raise up those blinds and let the sun warm your home.
Guard against the draft. Thermal window treatments can help keep the cold at bay. Try insulated blinds or thermal-backed curtains and see how quickly they pay for themselves in energy savings. Here’s a full list of energy-efficient window treatments.
Check the fireplace. Keeping the fireplace damper closed unless a fire is burning will reduce air loss (and thus heat loss). Other tips to ensure your fireplace is a source of warmth rather than an avenue for heat to escape include installing tempered glass doors and checking the seal on the fireplace flue damper to make it as snug as possible.
Proper heating system maintenance. The best thing you can do to ensure your HVAC system will adequately and efficiently heat your home is maintain it. Among key steps to keeping it running in tip-top shape are replacing your furnace filter regularly and scheduling service when a problem arises.
Set the right temperature. Whether you do it manually or with a smart or programmable thermostat, set the temperature at the lowest possible point for comfort at hours you will be home and even lower when you’re away from home or asleep in bed.
To help manage unexpected costly repairs and replacements, ensure that your home is protected with a systems and appliances warranty from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty!
Not all senior move management companies are created equal. This infographic explains some of the differences between a National Association of Senior Move Manager Company -vs- other companies. TimeWise, Inc. is a proud NASSM Company. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation. (757) 389-8864.
Sharing time together doesn't have to be stressful, especially if you're willing to make a few adjustments to longstanding traditions. Consider these options.
1. Celebrate Early
When extended and blended families have to be several places in a matter of three or four days, the stress adds up! Talk to your family about other options, including setting up an earlier visit in November or October. It may work even better to plan a half-year celebration in June or July, when kids are out of school, plus a video call on the day of the traditional holiday. Coordinating a new schedule gives everyone time together while offering the young parents in your family more time and energy to create new at-home traditions with their young children. Be flexible and find ways to thoroughly enjoy time together when they AND you aren’t quite so stressed, rushed, and over committed.
2. Reduce Shopping Stress
If family gift giving has become burdensome, consider ways to lighten the financial load, along with the mental battle for good gift ideas. If you can’t bring yourself to eliminate gift-giving, try drawing names, so everyone only needs to purchase one gift. Another option is a gift-swap table, where everyone brings one gift within an agreed-upon spending limit. Assign each gift a number and draw numbers to select gifts. Or, use the numbers to play a grab-bag game, complete with “gift-stealing” rules. You can also reduce spending by giving gifts you already own, that you know someone would like. For example, give your daughter the family china she’s always loved, or your friend the painting she’s frequently admired in your foyer. Gifts like this are meaningful and rich in memories!
3. Gift Giving for Adults
Perhaps your family wants to continue giving the little ones small gifts to unwrap. However, do the adults need (or even want) gifts? Shopping for others is a joy when it’s something you want to do, versus something you feel obligated to do. If there is something you want to give an adult family member, why wait until a holiday? Why not surprise them when you find that perfect thing? It’s a great way to feel joy, instead of an obligation, when giving.