At last, I think we can finally say that spring is here!
The weather is warming up, the rain has been coming and the plants are showing signs of growth. People are out and about working in their yards, and taking long leisurely strolls.
Many individuals take the opportunity this season every year to do additional work that is not part of the normal routine: Motivation is found for this to be a time for cleaning out closets, changing your smoke detector batteries and to review last year's goals for what needed to be done, and to see if those goals need to be modified. Revisiting plans seems to always be addressed last, but it is definitely the most important.
These should include plans to keep us safe and healthy.
In light of last year's flooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, it would be doubly important to look at your emergency plan, especially if you live in area that was evacuated.
If you didn't have one then, now after it is still fresh in your mind, come up with a plan and then a backup plan. Know where you are going in case you need to evacuate, what you are taking with you, who you need to contact and how people will get in touch with you.
Tell someone you trust so that he can assist you and give you support.
Remember the lists … for medication, doctors, insurances, emergency contacts, service providers and anyone else you may have to get in contact with. Make notations for changes based on why you would leave (flood, fire, etc.).
For many in our county, these may include plans to rebuild. If this is true, learn about what is out there to help you. There are many groups working to make sure that the rebuilding process is easier for all. The new recovery group Schoharie Area Long Term, also known as SALT, is ready to help. This is a coalition of diverse groups whose mission is to help those affected by disaster. Although it could appear insurmountable, people are here to help.
For those who are moving closer to retirement, a financial plan is important. You will need to consider not only what type of lifestyle you wish to have, but what resources you will have available. If the two don't match, then serious budget changes should take place to work toward that end. Don't depend on your children or the lottery. Neither is a sure thing. The closer you are to retiring, the more diligent you should be to review this often.
As we move into a more federally driven health-care system, it is critical that we all pay close attention as to how the new changes will affect us. For older adults, another important plan is that of long-term care. This field is also changing and you never know when care will be needed. For some, it is expected after an injury or illness, but for others it may be sudden.
The growing trend is that more older adults would like to stay in their homes as long as possible. To meet that need, homes may need modifications added to make room for adaptive equipment and additional support. Do you know about the services that your local Office for the Aging provides for support?
It is also important to know what your insurance plan will cover and what will be your responsibility. If staying at home is not an option, then what is most important? Is it staying near family or friends, climate conditions, specialty facilities to accommodate health conditions, or affordability?
Please, take the time this spring to review your plans. It's always best to be prepared, and don't worry, plans are never written in stone and can be changed whenever conditions change ... or you can wait until next spring!
Nancy Dingee is director of the Schoharie County Office for the Aging. 'Senior Scene' columns can be found at www.thedailystar.com/ seniorscene.
At last, I think we can finally say that spring is here!
- Senior scene
Looking Back: A sad ending for adorable, sweet Taffy-toes
Another unwanted drop-off? Yes and so I must write this.
As Time Goes By: Dealing with side effect of pills can really be a pain
At age 76, I find myself incontinent. Actually the problem started well before that date but now it has gone beyond "a problem," to "holy smoke the dam broke."
From the Office: Try spring cleaning, organizing for stress release
Looking Back: Take your time, think ahead before making decisions
A lifetime may seem forever for some, especially when we were young and couldn't wait to grow up and get to do all things we saw the adults do. Come to think of it, perhaps that wasn't too good.
As Time Goes By: Getting sick in the southern sun
I went and did it - I have heard about southern hospitality so much that I thought I would see if it extended to the hospitals as well.
From the Office: Despite professional advice, we still eat too much sodium
High blood pressure affects many seniors, putting them at risk of heart disease and stroke. The risks are much higher if they have diabetes, too.
Looking Back: Shopping just isn't the same when you get older
Social Security: Learn more about Social Security's own 'Final Four'
A fellow Social Security employee wrote this entertaining and informative article and shared it with me. I think it's worth sharing with all of you. Hope you enjoy it…
As Time Goes By: Coming of age in the grocery store
From the Office: Ensure you are safe when you take to the roads
The ability to drive is something that most of us count on, whether it be to get to work, shopping, medical or other appointments, visiting friends and family and any number of other activities. When the vehicle or the driver is out of commission, life can certainly be more difficult.
Looking Back: What's in name? Sometimes a lot when talking about pets
When remembering years gone by, I always think fondly of the many delightful pets we had. I still miss them as each one had their own distinct personality that was so enchanting, entertaining and even sometimes exasperating.
As Time Goes By: Tell my leg to stop pulling my leg
After 76 years of living with it, I have decided that my right leg has a mind of its own.
From the Office: Don't miss a deduction when filing taxes this year
Happy New Year, everyone! It is that time of year when we are busy getting our tax paperwork in order. Before filing your taxes, don't miss out on deductions related to medical expenses and other costs that come out of your wallet, especially if you care for a family member throughout the year.
Looking Back: Belief of life after death offers tranquility
As I write this column tears of sadness have been shed. I didn't think I could express myself for fear of sounding so remorseful to the point of despair.
Social Security: Website now offers more through my Social Security portal
Happy New Year! As we enter 2013, I want to share some exciting news regarding recent enhancements made to our website. Take a look at the following news release that came out Jan. 7 from Social Security's press office, telling us all about a new service available to the public.
As Time Goes By: It's a New Year and why am I still hung over?
Here we are, New Year's revelry has passed and now for those who imbibed too much the "price" must be paid.
From the Office: Stay warm during cold winter months to avoid hypothermia
The winter months can be a difficult and dangerous time for anyone living in this area of the country where temperatures regularly fall below freezing.
It helps to face old age with a happy heart
How do old folks feel when it comes to living through that time in their lives? Well, Iâ€™m at the 80-year mark now, and believe me, this is not what is said to be â€œGolden Yearsâ€� in any form whatsoever!
Social Security: An oldie but goodie on Frosty the Snowman and direct deposit
Yes, it's that time of year again -- time to go through my dad's old holiday articles and choose one to share with everyone.
As Time Goes By: It's that time of year -- time for Christmas memories
"Christmas is coming the goose is getting fat -- please put a penny in the old man's hat." With those words my mother would herald the season of gift-giving which usually started a few weeks before the 25th of December.
- Looking Back: A sad ending for adorable, sweet Taffy-toes