March27,2015

How to Pay for Long-term Care on a Fixed Budget

A photo of Max Gottlieb.

By Guest Blogger Max Gottlieb, Content Editor, SeniorPlanning.org

Long-term care costs are rising yearly, and with more people approaching age 65 than ever before, the rates are not expected to fall. Not everyone plans ahead and unfortunately, we cannot know for certain when someone will begin to need long-term care, as it varies case-by-case. For the elderly population specifically, many individuals begin long-term-care after a sudden life change that renders them incapable of caring for themselves, like a stroke or a fall. In the best-case scenario, patients return home after successful rehabilitation; however, as unfortunate as it may be, many individuals are unable to return to their former health.

Sometimes, there is no sudden change and it is simply advanced age that is the main factor determining whether a person can safely remain independent. When someone does need long-term care, depending upon the severity of the person’s situation, he or she is either cared for by professional caregivers or family members or moved into an institutional setting. About 80 percent of seniors who need long-term care services receive those services within their own home or the home of a family member. The remaining 20 percent move into facilities, specially designed to accommodate a wide range of needs. Regardless of where we choose to spend our twilight years, there are costs involved. Below, I’ll outline some common ways people are able to fund their long-term care.  Read More about How to Pay for Long-term Care on a Fixed Budget

March23,2015

Advancing Inclusive Education and Equal Opportunity with Accessible eBooks

Betsy Beaumon, President of Benetech

By Guest Blogger Betsy Beaumon, President, Benetech

The digital revolution and ongoing advances in technology have made it possible to get more content, in more ways, to more people. This could truly be a golden age of access to books and information for all. As President of Benetech, a nonprofit that harnesses technology as a force for social good, I’m always seeking new ways to enrich and improve more lives. Our social enterprise business model aims to create financially sustainable projects that measure success in the number of lives changed for the better.

Through our four programs – Global Literacy, Human Rights, the Environment and Benetech Labs – Benetech works at the forefront of building human centered software-for-good tools for individuals with disabilities, human rights activists and environmental sustainability fieldworkers.

Today, I’d like to share highlights from our Global Literacy Program and how it creates new and better opportunities for people with disabilities. Thanks to the support of the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and other generous funders, Benetech acts on the belief that literacy and education are not a privilege, but a basic human right.

We established the Global Literacy Program to address the needs of the millions of people who are denied this right and face tremendous barriers of access to information. This includes people with print disabilities, such as those affected by learning differences, like dyslexia, or people with physical or visual disabilities. We also serve others who have developmental disabilities and have not been taught to read into adulthood through additional services.

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March20,2015

Always Pee before You Get on an Elevator

A woman tries to open an elevator.

By Guest Blogger Kathe Palermo Skinner, M.A., L.M.F.T.

Many years ago, I got stuck in a Las Vegas elevator. I was so freaked out that I was afraid I’d pee my pants. Today, I wouldn’t need to be freaked; what would’ve happened in Vegas would have to stay there.

Perhaps our strongest early learning is about toilet training; breaking that social norm is cause for embarrassment, even shame, with bedwetting as an example. Even children know it’s not okay. I’m ashamed to recall joining my classmates in making fun of Leslie who brought an extra pair of panties in her lunchbox. To break such an ingrained and socially strict norm as an adult is horrific – unless you’re drunk, in which case somebody probably filmed it on their phone and it’s all over the Internet – but there’ll be a time when, trust me, it’s not funny anymore.

When you deal with adult incontinence, self-dislike begins to take root at the core of our ability to control our actions. Self-mastery, which is so important it’s a milestone in human development like talking and walking. Control over elimination is a child’s best defense against being controlled by others; how bizarre that I grew into someone who’s lost control.

Parents are so overwhelmed with pride and praise over a child’s victory at the potty, it’s no wonder incontinent adults are secretive and ashamed.

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March16,2015

Not the “Only One”

A photo of Peggy Chenoweth.

By Guest Blogger Peggy Chenoweth, Social Media Specialist, Amputee Coalition of America

It has been more than a decade, but I will never forget the overwhelming sense of isolation that I experienced following my amputation. After I recovered, I became acutely aware that I was the only individual using a prosthesis at work, and the only place I saw other amputees was in the waiting room of my prosthetist’s office. Always feeling like the “only one” in the group was difficult, especially during those early years of adjustment. Had I known about the Amputee Coalition, I have no doubt that my adjustment would have been easier.

A year into my limb loss journey, I discovered the Amputee Coalition, and everything began to change. I began to realize that being the “only one” didn’t have to be bad. Instead of viewing myself as different, I made a conscious choice to change my thought process. Being an amputee was a unique quality, and uniqueness could be wonderful!

I quickly realized that many of my peers are living a life in the shadows, feeling isolated and concerned about being viewed as different. According to the Amputee Coalition, 507 individuals receive an amputation every day in the United States. That number is almost too high to comprehend. With so many Americans living with limb loss, nobody should ever feel alone.

April is Limb Loss Awareness month, an opportunity to bring pertinent issues to the forefront. While much emphasis is placed on preventing limb loss, I wanted to do something to address those who are trying to adjust. After all, self-acceptance is an issue close to my heart because it is a struggle I have experienced.

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