Latest Blog Post

Read the latest article written by EPPIA members, published in the Eden Prairie News.

How to Sell Your Home

So, at long last, you are considering a move from your long-held home. Just thinking about the many decisions you will face probably has you feeling very overwhelmed. It is helpful to separate the challenges and details of moving into a few smaller steps.

Step One: Decide where to move. The absolute first and most important step is to decide where you will be living. If you have made that determination, congratulations! If this has not been determined, I recommend you tour a few senior communities to identify those that meet your needs now and in the foreseeable future. When you find the one, or two, that you are comfortable with, place your name on the reservation list. With the opening of more and more senior communities you will soon find one that feels right and has your new apartment home ready for you. There are several companies that provide moving advice and coordination free of charge to you.

It is vital to confirm the guaranteed date when your new home will be ready for you. This is not the time to move twice. It is often best to move before your home is listed for sale. It will make the entire moving process much easier if you are able to do so.

Step Two: Choose a real estate agent to represent you. A Realtor will guide you through the process of selling your home. You might even interview a few Realtors to find the one that is the best fit for you. Realtors will help you with getting the proper inspections conducted that may be required by your city, they may also have resources if you need any work performed to bring something up to code in your home.

Step Three: List your home. Your Realtor will review the market in your area and advise you on a listing price for you home. We are experiencing a “Seller’s Market” that is forecast to continue for the next several years. That means there are, and will continue to be, more buyers than sellers. Before you list your home, you will need to decide if you should make changes to your home or to sell it “as is.” Is it wise to spend the time and money on updating walls, carpets, kitchens or bathrooms? There is no guarantee that you will get those improvement costs back, much less assure you that your home will be worth much more or sell more quickly with these projects completed. It is the perfect time to offer your home in its “As Is” condition.

Step Four: Sell your home. Your Realtor will get your home listed on their company website as well as the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) to give your home maximum exposure. The Realtor’s company will also keep in touch with you regarding when private showings for individuals are schedule. When the potential buyers submits a Purchase Agreement to you, your real estate agent will review the offer with you and advise you on any counter offers or points you may want to make. Finally, there is the closing day. Your Realtor is there with you as you sign a number of documents and you walk out of closing with a nice big check! Mission accomplished.

Ted Field
Remax Results Senior Services
cell: 612-418-3901
www.seniorservices.net

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

Young at Heart

You have probably heard the term “young at heart” as it’s’ been around since the mid-19th century. But if you ask a variety of people what this term means, you probably will get, different but similar answers. Even dictionaries have slightly different definitions of what it means to be young at heart. Merriam Webster defines it as “thinking and acting like young people: active and having a lot of energy.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines young at heart as “Especially of middle-aged or elderly people: having qualities associated with young people, especially energy, enthusiasm, or optimism.”

So, what are the qualities of being young at heart and is this something we should attempt to cultivate as we age in years? Some basic qualities include optimism, enthusiasm and resilience. These qualities have a positive effect on one’s overall well-being. This has been confirmed by both short and long term studies of older adults. Findings include that those with positive outlooks are more likely to stay healthy and enjoy independent living than those with less cheerful perspectives. Some studies have also shown that people become more positive in their outlooks as they age. Optimism is something that can be learned: setting goals, believing in your dreams, being true to yourself and associating with positive-minded people can help you increase your optimism!

Resilience is another important factor in life and especially as we age. Older adults face a number of losses such as the end of a career at retirement, loss of friends or a spouse, health changes and financial challenges to name a few. Resilience enables a person to adapt well to adverse changes and stresses in life. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts and actions that can be learned and developed in anyone.

Acceptance is another important quality to cultivate. Acceptance doesn’t mean that you have to accept the weight gain or lack of energy that can add up with the years. Fighting aging and trying to do the physical things you did in your 30s isn’t the answer either. Healthy aging means looking at your lifestyle and making changes in your diet, sleeping, and physical activity to stay as healthy as you can for as long as you can.

Ten tips to activate positive aging in your life from Manfred Diehl, PhD are:

  • Stay physically active
  • Exercise your brain
  • Adopt a healthy lifestyle
  • Stay connected to other people
  • Create positive conditions for yourself
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff
  • Set yourself goals and take control
  • Minimize life stress
  • Have regular medical check ups
  • It is never too late to begin

If you are young at heart, want to be more young at heart, or want to meet others who are young at heart, there are opportunities for you right here in Eden Prairie. Get to know the Eden Prairie Senior Center. There are countless activities available for all interests and abilities – from zip lining to lunch outings, biking, and more. If you have a special interest they will even help you get a group started! The Senior Center is a great place to try new things, meet new people, and just have fun. You will definitely meet others who are young at heart there. A well-known anonymous quote states that “Youth is an act of nature; age is a work of art.”

Holly Hansen, Partner, Brilliant Moves
www.BrilliantMovesMN.com - 612-605-7303

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

What’s Your Senior Services IQ?

How much do you know about housing and services for people over the age of 65? Take this quick quiz and see how you score!

1. Assisted Living Facilities (ALFs) now can provide all the same healthcare services as Skilled Nursing Facilities (SNFs). True or False
2. All Home Health Services accept Medicare. True or False
3. In order to quality for medical assistance at an ALF, you must live there a required period of time. True or False
4. Nursing home costs within the same area are pretty much the same. True or False
5. Most ALFs costs are pretty much the same. True or False
6. Most Adult Day Services accept medical assistance payments. True or False

Answers:

1. False. ALFs have a different state license than skilled nursing facilities and are not set up to provide 24/7 care for all residents. They may include certain medical cares in their list of services but these will come at an extra cost and may be provided by an outside agency. The number and training of nurses and nursing assistants is also different in an ALF.
2. False. Some Home Health agencies do accept Medicare but others are all private pay. Depending on the level of care you receive, costs can range from $30 to $40/hour.
3. False. Most ALFs reserve a certain number of apartments for residents whose healthcare or financial circumstances change over time and will qualify for Elderly Waiver (EW). Generally, preference will be given to current residents so you may be given an estimated time of how long a resident must live there before qualifying for EW. It is not a requirement, however, and some ALFs reserve more apartments than others for this purpose.
4. True. All nursing homes (SNF’s) are licensed by the state and consistency of care and cost is regulated. Costs are based on each individual’s care plan. There is no “base rent” and prices reflect daily care needs with no extra, hidden costs. Nursing homes in the Twin Cities will quote an estimated $6,000-$9,000/month but this varies in rural areas and smaller cities.
5. False. ALFs are licensed differently and are considered a senior housing option. Typically, residents are charged a monthly rental fee for an apartment similar to an independent senior living community. Then you pay for additional services on top of that amount. These may include laundry, housekeeping, meals and personal cares . Sometimes costs are bundled into packages to make pricing easier for residents. The cost for these services, the type of packages offered and the base rent vary widely so that it may be difficult to compare ALF costs on an “apples-to-apples” basis.
6. True. Adult Day continues to be one of the most affordable ways to provide qualified care to seniors needing additional daily assistance. It’s a great option for in-home caregivers to give them a break and know their family member is getting good care. Most will accept Elderly Waiver or CADI payments. Some accept VA payments as well.

Scoring:

All 6 Correct: You’re a pro! You’re either in the senior services industry or you’ve been doing this for a long time.

4-5 Correct: You’re a savvy senior shopper who looks closely at your options and the costs involved.

Less than 4 Correct: You’re still learning. The fact you took this quiz indicates you’d like to know more than you do. There’s a lot more to learn about senior services and costs and EPPIA is a great place to learn more. Visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

Anne Tabat is the Community Relations Manager at Walker Methodist Health Center whose introduction to the senior services industry was ignited by her adventurous mother who housing and care needs spanned the spectrum of options available.

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

The State of Health Insurance

Fresh from the Minnesota Association of Health Underwriters’ (MAHU) 75th Annual Convention the news continues to be the same: changes, challenges and uncertainties. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still the law of the land at this writing but continues to be challenged. While the current Administration and Congress have touted Repeal and Replace but have so far fallen short in the Senate, where it seems to remain deadlock with a hard Sept 30th deadline to revive. Regardless of the semantics used to describe the process, the most likely option is to pass changes to parts of the ACA – most likely through the National Budget process in the form of waivers or addendums to sections of the current law.

The main area which MAHU/NAHU is addressing is the need for a reinsurance program, a very successful program Minnesota had prior to the ACA, which would create premium stability against excessive losses due to claims for carriers in the individual health insurance marketplace. Minnesota has made this request and is waiting for Congressional review and decision.

Other important areas being discussed surround employee mandates. A proposed bill sponsored by Bill Cassidy (R) and Lindsey Graham (R) which was heard September 18 and focuses on making the ACA mandates apply only to employers with 500+ employees. Another area of impact would be changes to the definition of a full time employee. Currently that definition is any employee who works 30 hours or more. The proposed change would define it as a person working 40 hours or more. This would decrease the burden and cost for many small businesses allowing them to offer alternate health plans and programs not as strictly regulated by the ACA. Businesses with large part time and seasonal employees, for example the service industry, would see greater plan and carrier options to offer their employees. Finally, there is heated discussion surrounding the repeal of the Medical Device Tax. In theory eliminating this tax would decrease the cost of care by lowering the price of claims. According to some advocates this ultimately would allow carriers to keep premiums lower each year. Open Enrollment for individual health care plans begin November 15 and end December 15, 2017.

In the Medicare world, Minnesotans need to begin to brace for certain change on January 1, 2019. This change has nothing to do with the health care debate in Washington related to the Affordable Care Act. These are changes implemented by Medicare that will be taking effect in the future. Approximately 260,000 Minnesotans enrolled in Medicare Cost Plans could be affected when Cost Plans face discontinuation in many counties across Minnesota. This rule change in Medicare also affects populations in MD, VA, and Washington DC. All of the carriers have reacted with changes to their existing plans or introduced new plans for 2018 to make the 2019 transition easier. Finally, announced changes to Medicare starting January 1, 2020 will affect individuals with Medigap plans. All newly purchased 2020 Medigap plans will require individuals to pay the Part B deductible. Those enrolled in Medigap prior to 2020 will not be subject to this change. 2020 will also usher in the loss of several Medigap, both High Deductible options. It is still only 2017 so let’s not get too far ahead of this – a lot can change in a few years! Once again, it is very important to reach out annually to your Medicare or health insurance professional this Annual Election Period starting October 15 – December 7 to ensure that your coverage best meets your current and anticipated healthcare needs. You can also visit Medicare and MNSure for additional information.

Peter Hallberg
The Medicare Shoppe
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

EPPIA is a networking group whose members are committed to the welfare of seniors in our community. EPPIA members meet to learn, exchange information and discuss issues in the field of aging. For more information on EPPIA and local senior resources, please visit our website at www.edenprairieaging.org

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