It’s Older Driver Safety Awareness Week, and the ability to drive safely can be affected by changes in our physical, emotional, and cognitive health. Although these changes are part of normal aging, they can affect each individual at different rates.
Just as one plans for retirement, it’s important to plan for your transportation needs.
December is the perfect time to have a conversation with loved ones as you come together for the holidays.
When an older driver decides it’s time for a check-up, useful driving fitness education tools can help identify challenges and help them adjust.
Driving intervention plans, drawn up between a client and therapist, can help older individuals drive safely for as long as possible.
When someone needs to adjust to keep driving or can no longer drive, family and friends can help with resources for independent transportation in the community.
Exploring alternative types of transportation can help older adults stay independent. Options can include community networks, public transit, and ride sharing apps.
Vision problems and certain medications can also cause issues driving early. Talk to your doctor to get help.
Summertime is here, which means wedding season has arrived.
Weddings are filled with so much love and anticipation. These magical ceremonies take so many months of planning and preparation, like figuring out the date, color scheme, invitations, venue, photography, bridal shower, and of course, the guest list.
As the special day arrives, you get to see all of the hard work and planning come together. As the day goes on, the happy couple gets together and dances the first dance, enjoys delicious cake, and takes pictures with all the guests.
As you wind down and look into the future, the next phase of planning begins. This is a new life as you are no longer only thinking about yourself but also about your significant other. Many new married couples move into a new home, which means you might have a new address.
Before putting your new last name on the mailbox, you need to officially change your name. The first step is visiting the Social Security Administration office or mailing in an application for a new Social Security card. Once that is complete, the next stop is the Department of Licensing. This will give you a chance to retake that driver’s license picture you probably didn’t like anyway. It will have a new name and your new married smile, plus your new address.
Once you have changed your name with the Social Security Administration and the Department of Licensing, changing your name with other companies should be a breeze. Places to contact would be your employer’s office, credit card companies, banks, and insurance companies. Now that you are married, your insurance options might change. This is a great time to take another look at your current coverage.
Another very important part of this is to update your Power of Attorney (POA). Since you are officially a new couple, you’ll need to complete a new Power of Attorney. With all the changes in your life, you might want to reconsider who your POA is.
It all seems like a lot of paperwork, but once it is complete, you won’t have to think about it anymore. You can put it behind you and start your new beginning. Then, you can sit back, relax, reminisce about your wonderful wedding day, and look into the bright new future.
Jessica Arroyo, born and raised in the Wenatchee Valley, is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance Northwest, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband and infant son.
It’s National Social Security Month, and for over 80 years, Social Security has helped secure today and tomorrow with information, tools, and resources for Americans.
Start planning your retirement today with Suze Orman and Social Security.
The Retirement Estimator from Social Security gives you an estimate of your benefits based on your actual earning records.
By paying into Social Security, you also qualify for disability and survivors benefits, not just retirement.
To plan for retirement, Social Security can help you verify your earnings to know what you need to save.
If you’re ready to retire, you can apply for benefits online without having to visit an office or talk to a rep.
Once you’re on Social Security, you can also use their website to manage your benefits quickly and easily.
The spring break travel season has arrived! Each year, more than 65 million Americans travel for spring break, and this number continues to grow year after year.
When planning our next trip, the last thing we want to think about is the risk of getting sick or injured and whether good medical care will be available at our destination. We bask in the sun on white-sand beaches, zipline in the jungle, ski in the mountains, camp in the woods, and explore new countries. But the truth is that when getting away from it all, we are usually also away from quality health care.
This is why we offer Emergency Travel Assistance Services, provided by our partner, Assist America. The Assist America program is designed to get you to the best possible care provider in the shortest possible time.
Let’s take a look at how this program works:
A college student from North Carolina was driving to meet his friends for spring break. While jet-skiing, he got into an accident with a sailboat and suffered multiple fractures and a severe concussion. The local hospital he was admitted to at the time of the incident was not capable of appropriately treating such serious injuries. Assist America was notified and evacuated the student via private jet ambulance to an excellent facility capable of treating his injuries. Once he was in stable condition and released from the facility, Assist America arranged and paid for a first class return trip home with a medical escort.
What happened to his car? Assist America looks at all the elements involved in any case. The travel assistance company arranged and paid for an agent to drive the vehicle to the student’s home, so that it would be available to him upon his return and recovery.
As a general rule, remember that Assist America provides the following services:
- Medical referrals
- Emergency medical evacuation
- Hospital admission assistance
- Medical monitoring
- Medical or non-medical escorts
- Compassionate visit
- Care of minor children
- Return of mortal remains
- Prescription assistance
- Lost luggage assistance
- Language assistance
- Return of vehicle
- Legal referrals
- Pre-trip planning
Travel Assistance plans are not all the same, and here are the reasons why we partner with Assist America to offer the right plan that works for our members:
- With Assist America, members will not be charged for the services provided. Assist America pays for all of the services it arranges.
- Members can travel anywhere in the world, from the most remote places to areas at risk, Assist America has no geographical exclusions.
- While some plans have strict exclusions for pre-existing conditions, Assist America will not exclude a member because of past or existing health issues.
- Members can be adventurous with peace-of-mind, knowing that Assist America will be there if needed, no matter what sport or activity members do.
- Many plans have dollar limits on how much they will pay for a service, such as a medical evacuation – Assist America does not.
Make this year’s spring break memorable by having fun and helping yourself and your family stay safe and healthy. When leaving for your spring break vacation, remember to download the free Assist America Mobile App for Android and iPhone for immediate connection with Assist America’s 24/7 Operation Center and access to a wide range of services.
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It’s Self-Improvement Month, and we can help you set goals and make changes to improve your health and wellness.
Your food choices are a key part of maintaining a healthy body weight, which can reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and more. Get help making healthy food choices each step of the way.
Get moving to improve your health and how you feel. Studies have found that any kind of exercise, even deep cleaning your kitchen, can help.
Is there something you’ve always wanted to try? Finding a hobby you love and taking on new challenges is a great way to fight stress and channel your passion.
Take an adventure. Traveling is one of the best ways to broaden your horizons, and even if you don’t go far, exploration will be worth the experience.
Become a mentor. Whether it’s to a new co-worker, your nephew, or at-risk youth, mentoring can help you and someone else grow.
Adjust and refocus on your goals. Figure out what’s working and what isn’t, and make a system to stick with them, like a dream board, planner, or journal.
Evaluate your relationships and how you can be a better friend, spouse, or parent to those you love. Focus on small ways to make improvements for each type of relationship.
Relaxation is the state of being free from tension and anxiety. When I think of relaxation, I imagine myself having no to-do list, sitting back, and watching my son play. Now that I’m raising a family, I understand the importance of taking time to just relax.
On the weekends, I tend to clean my house top to bottom. I get so focused on these tasks that by the time I’m done with my chores, I realize it’s already 5 o’clock on Saturday evening. I get so upset with myself because I spent a whole day cleaning instead of taking a stroll in the park, going on a hike with my family, or just sitting in the backyard and enjoying the nice summer weather.
Then, I rush to get myself together to go do something “fun” before night falls. This defeats the whole purpose of relaxing because I’m so tired by the end of the day, I don’t even get to enjoy the activities with my family.
I now more than ever see why it’s so important to take time to relax. Time and time again, I hear about all of the benefits of relaxation, like lowering blood pressure, increasing blood flow to major muscles, improving sleep quality, and much more. I need to be the best version of me so I can be around and have a good time with my family.
This summer, I am trying something new. I’m giving myself small tasks to do at home every day after work, so when the weekend comes around, my workload isn’t so big. I’m also giving myself a set time frame to clean each Saturday morning. When I’m all done, it’s usually time for my son to take a midday nap, which gives me some dedicated “me time.” When he wakes up, I’m relaxed and ready to have some family fun.
So far, I’m really enjoying my new approach to handling my time. Sometimes, relaxing is much harder than setting up a new plan. There are a lot of reasons you might need a new plan too, like a diagnosis that requires you to try a different approach.
When that happens, our case managers are here to help you make your new plan work in lots of way. They can provide motivation, tools, and lifestyle skills to help minimize your risk of complications and share resources that are available in your community.
So get started finding a plan that works for you, and don’t forget to take some time to relax this summer.Jessica Arroyo, born and raised in Wenatchee Valley, is a Medicare community liaison for Health Alliance, serving Chelan, Douglas, Grant, and Okanogan counties in Washington. During her time off, she enjoys spending time with her husband and infant son.