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Senior Scams to Watch Out For

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If you’re lucky, you haven’t been the target of a scam, even luckier if you have been targeted but managed to figure out what was going on before you got swindled. The problem with scams nowadays is that they are so easy to perpetrate due to the low cost of running them. Many scams happen through the mail, email, or phone. Through the mail, if you receive something you were not expecting, it’s best not to believe it, especially if it’s something that sounds too good to be true. The same goes for email.

A common email scam is called the Nigerian Prince or 419 scam. This scam involves an email from someone claiming to represent a distant family member of yours. This family member is dying or sick and they need you to take their money. Another example is that the email is claiming to be a foreign government or agency needing your assistance. The sum of the money is usually in the millions. All you have to do to receive this money is to give them your contact info and wire them some money for fees.

It may sound like a crazy scam, but it is a huge industry in foreign countries because it costs almost nothing to send these emails and if they can just get one person to send a few thousand dollars it makes it worthwhile.

In regards to seniors, there are many disreputable people out there looking to take advantage. Below are some of the common scams that have been discovered that specifically target the elderly.

Investment Scams
Many seniors are planning for retirement and thus looking to invest their nest egg. People take advantage by offering investment schemes that are looking to take your money. Before investing anything with these groups or individuals, it is best to get a second or third opinion from a trusted friend or professional.

Sweepstakes Scams
Everyone loves free money, and scammers love to target this. You may receive a phone call, email, or letter claiming that you won a sweepstakes or lottery. All you have to do is send them a payment to unlock the prize. They will even send you an official looking check to make it look like you really won, but when you go to deposit the check it turns out to be fake.

The Grandparent Scam
This scam is scary, because it preys on your willingness to help your family. I have actually seen this scam in action and knew someone who was very close to sending the scammers money. The scammer will call you, claiming to be a relative like a grandchild. They will often ask “Hi Grandma/Grandpa, do you know who this is?”. That way they will know that you already think they are your relative. Then they will bring up a problem about finances like a late rent payment or they need money for some unexpected issue. They will ask for the payment through Western Union, MoneyGram, or even Visa Prepaid cards. The scammers will ensure you tell no one by saying “Please don’t tell my parents”. If you ever encounter something like this, the best way to ensure it is truly a relative is to ask them something only they would know such as their mother’s name, pet’s name, favorite vacation spot. Asking for money through Western Union is often a sign that it is a scam.

Telemarketing Scams
These scams are easy to perpetrate because they involve no paper trail or face to face interaction. Once the scam is complete, it is nearly impossible to recover money. One way to avoid phone scams is not to take calls from anyone you don’t know personally, especially if that person is bringing up the subject of money.

One common phone scam is to call and tell a person they found a big sum of money and will split it with you if you make a payment in good faith. There is often a second person involved who will act as a professional like a banker or lawyer to add legitimacy.

Charity scams are huge! They are increasingly targeting seniors; the worst ones targeting those with memory loss or dementia. If a charity calls on the phone, no matter what they ask don’t donate! It can be hard to say know to a fund that says they will help children or animals or some other cause, but many of these charities will end up donating only a small portion of the funds they raise and keep the rest for themselves. Sometimes, the callers claim to be charities and are actually fakes. Your best bet is to take down the name of the supposed charity and look them up on a site like Charity Navigator or Charity Watch that tracks charities and their finances.

Resources
Charity Watch
Charity Navigator
Senior Frauds– FBI
Top 10 Financial Scams Targeting Seniors – National Council on Aging


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Convenient Custom Transportation

4 cars

Living in southwest Florida without a car can sometimes be a hassle. We have the Collier Area Transit bus system, but it’s not always reliable, and it may not go to the areas you need. You can use a taxi service, but that can get expensive and you may have to wait a while for one to show up. You can also ask a friend or family member to drive you, but sometimes we don’t want to bother others with small trips to the store, doctors office, or airport. What other solution is there for this transportation challenge?

Just Like Family Concierge Transport Services!

At Just Like Family Home Care, we realized a need for not only seniors, but others throughout southwest Florida. The need? Convenient, affordable, reliable transportation. Transportation you can trust to take you to the airport, bring you on your errands, or pick you up from a hospital discharge. Taxi services and other transportation groups lack the necessary vehicles you may need. Those requiring wheelchairs, walkers, large scooters, and even stretchers don’t have many transportation options. Just Like Family Concierge Transport Services has a non-emergency medical vehicle just for these clients! No more contacting a third-party ambulance service which ends up charging by the mile!

Another vehicle we offer is our luxury Mercedes sedan. This car is for those looking to impress. No matter if you are going to the airport, or heading out on the town for a date, this vehicle will let you keep up appearances and feel confident. A lack of a car doesn’t mean you should have to rely on budget rental cars.

We also provide round trip airport service! In airport from Miami to Tampa is fair game for us. We will drive you up for a red eye to Orlando International Airport, and pick you up from a late night flight landing in Miami. We also head to cruise ship ports, so you won’t need to drive and leave your car at the port for a week.

The service is great for seniors and their families. We are always on time, will wait for you, and can even assist with errands. You’ll feel confident calling us to bring your grandmother to the store to get groceries or help your dad get to his dentist appointment. We provide peace of mind for families that don’t live near older relatives.

Trips short and far, we do it all! Trust Concierge Transport Services for your next transportation related need.


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Is a Paleo Diet Healthy for the Elderly

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You’ve probably heard the term ‘Paleo Diet’, but maybe you’re unsure exactly what it means. A Paleo Diet (Paleolithic diet, Caveman diet) is based on eating habits of our ancestors. This includes focusing on foods like meat, nuts, and berries. Notice that this diet cuts out most of our modern food. This is because proponents of the diet claim that the Paleolithic era, after which the diet is named, is the time during which humans evolved their specific nutritional needs. They claim that our metabolism has been unable to adapt fast enough to our modern foods. These modern foods are those that came during the invention of agriculture and animal domestication.

What foods does this include? Well Paleo enthusiasts advise against grain, legumes, dairy, and processed foods. They see these as some of the causes for many modern day ailments like obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. Critics, though, have pointed out that during the Paloelithic period, many humans ate grains and legumes, and that it is too difficult to pinpoint exactly what humans ate back then.

What does the Paleo diet require?
Put simply, the Paleo diet is about more protein and meat, less carbohydrates, and high fiber. Protein should high moderate to high fat but avoid trans fats and omega-6 fats. Though the diet wants you to stay away from carbohydrates, it says to eat non-starchy fruits and vegetables. And your high fiber amount should come from these non-starchy vegetables and fruits, not from grains.

Foods excluded from the Paleo Diet
– Dairy Products
– Legumes
– Grains
– Processed Oils
– Salt
– Refined sugar
– Alcohol
– Coffee

Is the Paleo Diet safe for seniors?
It really depends on your level of health. If you’re really considering switching to a Paleo diet, it’s recommended to talk to your doctor. They can tell you what types of foods you should be focusing on in your diet. Maybe you can slowly introduce more Paleo-like elements into your diet. Try cutting out a lot of carbohydrates, processed foods, refined sugars.


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Apps for Caregivers

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There’s an app for everything and everybody! Caregivers have a wide array of mobile applications available to help them with tasks like tracking, organization, reference, medicine management, and more. Download a few and test them out. Hopefully they can help improve your efficiency and effectiveness, thereby improving the quality of your care.

Caregiver’s Touch

Platforms: iPhone ($4.99), Web ($19.95 month or $199.95 year)
– Calendar helps for people caring for more than one person
– Store insurance information
– Contact List
– Essential Information storage (SSN, blood type, etc)
– Log medical history
– Security
– Allows for sharing information with others
– Must be used in conjunction with web application

CareZone

Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android
– Free
– Profile to log patient information
– Share task lists
– Share journal with logs and photos
– Medicine tracking
– Invite others to join on the app
– Can broadcast a recorded voice message to 100 people

Unfrazzle

Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android
– Free
– Highly customizable
– Create to do lists
– Journals
– Track practically everything
– Share information with others


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5 Questions to Ask Caregivers

family

Hiring a caregiver for yourself or a loved one can be a tough decision. The decision only gets tougher once you’ve decided to hire one and need to find just the right one. It can seem like a long process, especially because it is so personal. A caregiver works intimately with yourself and the rest of the family. So how do you choose just the right one? That’s a very personal choice, but we want to help steer you in the right direction. Here are 5 key questions to ask a possible caregiver to see if they are the right fit.

1. What is your experience?

This should be one of the first questions you ask a potential caregiver. You want to make sure they are properly certified before continuing the interview process. Next, you want to see what types of environments they have worked in, and what types of people they have cared for. If the caregiver has only worked with children, and you are seeking assistance for an elderly family member, it may not be the best fit. Ask for a resume summarizing where they have worked, as well as relevant recommendations or contact information of previous employers.

2. What do you like to do in your free time?

This may not seem like a relevant question, but it is a good way to gauge the personality of the caregiver. If they enjoy volunteering with the elderly in their free time, or spending time with family, you’re able to see that they value being part of the community and family. See what types of activities they enjoy to also see what kind of hobbies they may have in common with your loved one requiring assistance.

3. What has been the biggest challenge of your work?

This question is key to see how much this caregiver enjoys their job. If they answer about always having terrible clients and that working long days is terrible and they just look forward to going home, they may not be the right fit for you. You want to see someone passionate about caring for others. They will be taking care of you or a loved one, so you want them to really enjoy what they do.

4. What types of medical and personal activities are you comfortable with performing?

This question will allow you to see if this caregiver can give you or your loved one the care they need. If your loved one requires close medical attention, it is important to look for a caregiver certified in performing those tasks. Also ask about personal and household duties. If the caregiver is not comfortable cooking in the home, and your loved one needs assistance with this, then it’s not a good fit. So come up with a list of key activities the caregiver should be able to perform.

5. What do you like most about your job?

With this question, you are able to see why this person became a caregiver. Some may join because they see financial benefits, others may have had an ill family member and felt compelled to become a caregiver. This is another good question to see about personality and if you feel this person fits as a competent, courteous caregiver.

Luckily for you, at Just Like Family Homecare, we have some of the best caregivers in Southwest Florida available for you and your loved one. We are very selective when choosing which caregivers and nurses we want to join our team. Trust your caregiving needs to Just Like Family Homecare.


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Healthy Snacks for Seniors

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If you are a senior on the go, you know hunger can strike at any minute. If you happen to be walking through the grocery store, your hunger will cause you to go food crazy. You may start grabbing any food that catches your eye, then end up back home with food you didn’t really need! It’s important to plan ahead when you’re heading out for the day or doing errands. You will want to have some healthy, convenient snacks that you can carry and eat while you are out. This can be a granola bar, fruit, sunflower seeds, and so much more. Get creative with your snacks!

New and Creative

Beet Chips with Curried Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp plain, low-fat greek yogurt
  • ⅛-¼ tsp curry powder
  • 1 cup beet chips

Mix the curry powder with the Greek yogurt. Dip the chips and enjoy!

Hazelnut-Chocolate Spread and Banana Crackers

Ingredients

  • Your favorite crisp crackers
  • 1 tsp chocolate-hazelnut spread
  • Sliced banana

Spread the chocolate-hazelnut on the crackers and top with sliced bananas.

Banana, Kale, and Almond Milk Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 pureed banana
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • 1 cup almond milk

Mix together the ingredients in a blender, pour into a cup and enjoy.

Healthy Snacks

Fresh Fruit

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Orange
  • Strawberries
  • Berries

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Celery

Nuts

  • Walnuts (great for your heart)
  • Peanuts (great for the brain)
  • Almonds (helps disease prevention)

Cheese

  • Swiss (great for calcium, protein, and B12)
  • Cheddar (calcium and protein)
  • Mozzarella
  • Colby
  • Monterey Jack
  • Ricotta (great to mix in a smoothie)

Convenient Snacks

Rice Cakes

Pretzels

Dried Fruit

Granola

Granola Bars

Popcorn


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Why We Eat Fruits

Fruits are an essential part of our diet. We’ve been told this since we were young, and continue to be told to eat them daily. It’s recommended that you eat about 2-2 ½ cups each day. Fruits have been known to help reduce the risk for diseases like type-2 diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. But why? Below we’ll discuss some of the properties that make fruit a critical part of any meal. Also included is a comprehensive infographic which will explain in detail the important health aspects of the different fruits.

Rich in Fiber

Fruits provide a great source fiber. This fiber is important to keeping your body feeling full. It also assists your digestive system, keeping it regulated. If you lack fiber in your diet, you may need to take fiber in the form of a supplement.

Convenient

Many fruits like apples, oranges, and grapes are easy to carry around with you. They are great to eat on the go or have in addition to your meal. So wash your fruit, pack it in a ziploc bag, and bring it in your bag to eat whenever you get hungry. If you happen to own a juicer, you can easily pack your daily fruit needs into a quick drink. Fruits are nutritious in any form, whether they’re fresh, frozen, canned, or juiced.

Vitamins & Minerals

Fruits like oranges contain essential vitamins like vitamin C. Kiwis actually have more vitamin C than oranges! You can eat kiwis even with the skin on them. Bananas are known to be a great source of potassium while peaches are full of vitamin A.

Variety

There are not many people who don’t like at least some kind of fruit. The amount of fruit out there is so diverse. There are really sweet tasting fruits like strawberries and kiwis and less sweet ones like bananas.

Versatile

Fruits can also be incorporated into many meals. Make a fruit smoothie, or add some bananas or blueberries to your pancakes. Eat them plain or even add spices to enhance the flavor of fruits like mangoes.