Tag: senior care

Why retiring in Pennsylvania is a good idea

When you envision your retirement, where do you picture yourself? Maybe you think of the beach or the mountains. Perhaps you see yourself in a big city or a quiet neighborhood. You can settle down anywhere without your job tying you to a specific region.

“Retirement is a celebrated time in life in which seniors can live to the fullest extent. But seniors often face tough financial decisions during this time,” says Cindy Bonney, Vice President for Sales & Marketing at Diakon Senior Living Services.

“In the tax-friendly state of Pennsylvania, older adults stand to benefit from many incentives, rebates and exemptions that can ease this stress.”

Here at Diakon Senior Living, we can help make this transition easier. We are here to provide for the needs of you or your loved one. This includes financial information, such as tax benefits, that will help protect your nest egg and stretch your dollar when retiring in Pennsylvania.

For example, Pennsylvania retirees enjoy full exemptions on all retirement income, including Social Security benefits, pension income (for those aged 60 or older), and payments from retirement accounts like 401(k) accounts and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). Only three other states in the United States offer an exemption on retirement income tax!

Pennsylvanians also benefit from sales tax exemptions and property taxes. Items like grocery bills, clothing, pharmaceutical drug costs and residential heating fuel are not subject to sales tax, and the 6% sales tax is among the lowest 20 states in America. In addition, property tax and rent relief can be provided by the Property Tax/Rent Rebate Program. Homeowners and renters aged 65 years or older – and widows(ers) aged 50 years or older – could qualify for these tax rebates.

The right time to discuss senior care…

“Adult children want their parents to thrive,” explains Melissa Stanton, the marketing and sales manager at Cumberland Crossings, a Diakon Senior Living community in Carlisle, PA. “There are certain changes that are expected as a loved one ages. The pace of life might slow. Self-care may take on new dimensions. But there are some changes that indicate your loved one needs extra help.”

Melissa shares some helpful information in this post and answers the difficult question of how do you know when it’s the right time to broach the topic of senior care?

A good time is when you see your loved one struggling to complete essential daily activities such as dressing, bathing, managing meals and medication. Or when they are showing signs of memory loss – forgetting appointments or having trouble remembering common words. If you see their personal hygiene or the cleanliness of their home declining, or they are showing uncharacteristic behaviors/moods. If YOU or another caregiver is experiencing burnout, it is time to talk about senior care.

Right now, may be the ideal time to talk to your parents about a transition plan, even if some of these signs are very mild. It may not seem like an easy conversation to have but having a plan in place can help everyone focus on enjoying the present!

Often, seniors express the desire to age in place. In many cases, this means a family member steps into a caregiving role. While this may be sustainable for a while, there is a strong chance of your loved one’s caregiver experiencing burnout. This could necessitate an added layer of help or a move into senior living. You know the baseline mood of your loved one. You know what kinds of behaviors are typical and which are concerning. If you’re noticing emotions and behaviors that are out of the normal range, this could be a sign your loved one needs some additional support.

To read more, please click here.

Quality adult day care hits a homerun

Blog posts come in all shapes and sizes … sometimes they are personal reflections or ruminations on various topics … at other times, they tell a story, often to demonstrate a key point … at other times, they express heartfelt appreciation for how someone has been helped … as in this recent example:

To the staff of Diakon Adult Day Services at Ravenwood:

I wanted to send you a thank you on behalf of my family for the wonderful care you provide for my father, Robert “Bob” Wilson. I wonder if you know just how much the work you do is valued and how important it is to so many? Daily you have a positive impact on so many lives.

You never knew my father the way I did. Since his stroke, a little more than four years ago, he has been different. In addition to leaving him physically challenged, the stroke, even more cruelly, left him with intellectual frailties as well. I’m including these photos so you can see the man I know as Dad.

Jenn Wilson dad photos

Originally it was difficult to accept that he was so different now. I remember quite clearly the day my mom said that Dad was going to start attending an adult day care service program at Ravenwood several times a week, so that she could have a break and my dad could have some socializing. When I saw him next, my father showed me the craft he had made that first day. It was a painting, I think, with some additional stickers and sparkly confetti. Not bad for a man with one good arm, he jested, even though he had help with some of the stickers, he said. He was so proud of his work and I ‘ooohed’ and ‘aaahed’ and told him how wonderful it was, and Mom put his craft up on the refrigerator.

Driving home that night, I cried remembering how he used to be before the stroke. A kind, strong and extremely intelligent man who ran a successful law firm and provided a good life for himself and my mother. And now he was going to adult day services and making crafts with stickers and sparkly confetti. This seemed so cruel, I thought, the entire process of aging and the lasting results of illness and what it does to your loved ones.

My dad has been attending Diakon Adult Day Services at Ravenwood for a few years now. As time has progressed, he has brought home many more crafts. I recall a really cool Halloween spider made from a cute tiny pumpkin and black pipe cleaners from last year. It sat on the TV stand until the poor little thing rotted. And even now there is a very good imitation of a watermelon slice dad painted recently hanging from the fence on their little patio.

But I think it’s important that you know that every time I visit and ask him about his day his face lights up talking about the crafts, or bingo, or singing, or one of the wonderful outings you take him on. In fact, tomorrow [program staff] are taking him to see a ball game at Municipal Stadium and he is very excited and happy about this; he talked about it all weekend long.

I have never met any of you, but over the last few years I have heard about you and have come to know you through my Dad. You are the caring people who help him with crafts, or take him to the bathroom or help him with his lunch. There are so many things that you do every day there for him that you probably think nothing about, but that mean so much to him and to us, his family.

You are the people who bring him joy and happiness. Your work is tremendously important and extremely meaningful and we appreciate you very much … Know that we are grateful for each of you, and sincerely thank you all for your kindness to my Dad.

—Jennifer Wilson

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