LOCAL SPOTLIGHT - KENTUCKY HEALTH SOLUTIONS

It is that most wonderful time of the year—no, we are not talking about Christmas. It’s Medicare’s Annual Enrollment Season. Yes, it’s the time of the year when we stress and spend hours on the phone or online shopping for health coverage. The pain of having to shop health coverage, spend hours on the phone or online with one company vs another for our health insurance can be a daunting task. It does not matter if you are on Medicare or looking for your personal insurance, this can be one of the most dreaded….

REDEFINED SENIOR LIVING

This senior living community, the latest on the Lexington landscape, offers numerous amenities and top-class touches that make it a vibrant, exciting community.  “We are redefining senior living,” said Jacqueline Kennedy, Director of Sales and Marketing at Legacy Reserve. “If someone has a notion of what senior living looks like, we ask them to tour Legacy Reserve.”  On your visit, you certainly won’t find Legacy Reserve residents just sitting around watching life go by.

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ADULT GUARDIANSHIP: FROM DEMENTIA TO ADDICTION

Guardianship has been a hot topic in Kentucky the past year.  Between the increase in dementia diagnoses and the growing drug epidemic, the court system has had a great influx in the number of guardianship filings over the past few years.  In Kentucky, a guardianship is a legal proceeding during which a jury determines whether an individual is wholly or partially disabled, the court appoints a guardian, thus officially creating a legal relationship between the guardian and the ward.

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seniors. Forming healthy connections with others is a positive step towards maintaining good mental health. Jacobs says some things you can do to promote mental health include staying sociable, meeting with other middle-aged people for dinner or drinks, going to church, taking a class or getting together with your grandkids and going to McDonald’s.


“Friendships are good for you,” Jacobs said.


Volunteering is another great way to get out and about.


“There are public libraries in all our counties looking for volunteers,” Jacobs said. “If you like animals and want to get exercise without committing to a gym, you might volunteer with the Humane Society and walk dogs.”


Whatever you do, just don’t sit back and let the world pass you by.


“Staying active as a senior is so important, not just physically but emotionally,” Jacobs said. “You want to stay as busy as you can. Keep moving, even if it is walking to the mailbox and back. Just keep going.”

Health screenings can be lifesaving.


“Any individual of any age does better taking care of themselves before they get ill, but sometimes that is unavoidable,” said Lydia Jacobs, aging program coordinator with the Bluegrass Area Agency on Aging and Independent Living. “For the most part, with annual checkups, vitamins, eating healthy, drinking plenty of water and just being aware of your body, you will do better.”


What kinds of screenings should you have?


The American Academy of Ophthalmology says it is important to have a complete eye exam with your ophthalmologist every year or two after age 65 to check for age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or cataracts. It also emphasized the necessity of having a good night’s sleep because during sleep the eyes clear out irritants such as dust, allergens or smoke that may have accumulated in them throughout the day.


The National Institutes of Health says if you are between ages 55 and 80, have a 30-pack year smoking history and smoke now or have quit in the past 15 years, you should get screened for lung cancer. Quitting is one of the best decisions you can make for your health.  

HEALTH SCREENINGS FOR SENIORS

The U.S. Preventive Task Force offers some other useful screening recommendations:

•  Women above age 40 should get a screening mammography every one to two years.

•  Between ages 21 and 65, women should get a Pap smear every three years.

•  From ages 50 to 75, you should be checked for colorectal cancer.

•  Obesity screening and counseling is important for anyone with a body mass index greater than 30.

•  People over age 65 should be screened for osteoporosis. Work with your doctor to schedule appropriate screenings.


“Your doctor is a good partner,” Jacobs said. “It is important to find a doctor you feel comfortable with, someone who tries to get to know you. This way you will be more willing to discuss emotional health and any changes you are going through.”


When people think of health screenings, they generally assume it only includes testing for cancer, heart disease and other physical ailments. But mental health screenings are just as important. Depression and anxiety are prevalent among

JAMIE LOBER

Jamie Lober is a Staff Writer for Living Well 60+ Magazine

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