Healthy Aging Is Within Reach With These Lifestyle Tips

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The golden years bring a unique set of opportunities and challenges, especially when it comes to maintaining health and wellness. This comprehensive guide, courtesy of Concord Friends of the Aging, goes beyond the basics, offering seniors actionable strategies to enhance their overall quality of life. From hydration to skincare, every aspect plays a role in ensuring that these years are not just about longevity but also about vitality and joy. Let’s get started!

Prioritize Hydration

Water is essential for life, and its importance only grows as you age. Staying hydrated helps with everything from maintaining kidney function to keeping skin healthy. The National Council on Aging says to aim for at least 8 glasses of water a day to support vital bodily functions and promote overall well-being. If you find it challenging to drink an adequate amount during the day, look for a reusable water bottle that helps you keep track.

Commit to Quit Smoking

Quitting smoking is one of the most beneficial health decisions at any age. For seniors, the American Cancer Society notes that ceasing this habit can lead to substantial improvements in both respiratory and cardiovascular health, and it can even save you money throughout the year. If you need a little help, utilize resources like healthcare professionals and online support groups for assistance in this journey.

Moderation is Key – Look Into Rehab if Needed

In the senior years, moderating alcohol consumption is vital for maintaining health and overall well-being. For individuals struggling to reduce their alcohol intake, seeking professional support is crucial. When you consider these MA rehab centers,  you will be able to find a facility that best meets your needs, both personally and financially.  Nearby rehab centers may offer programs like detox, counseling, and co-occurring disorder care, both as inpatient and outpatient treatment. Look for proper accreditations and positive reviews from past clients. Adopting this proactive strategy is fundamental in safeguarding health, enhancing mental clarity, and promoting emotional stability, thereby laying the groundwork for a healthier lifestyle.

Prioritize Restful Sleep

For seniors, securing quality sleep is a cornerstone of maintaining overall well-being, but it can be hard to come by for some. Developing a consistent bedtime routine, cultivating a comfortable and serene sleep environment, and incorporating relaxation techniques can significantly improve sleep quality. These practices not only contribute to better rest but also aid in rejuvenation of the mind and body, leading to improved daily functioning and overall health.

Stay Socially Connected

Preserving social connections plays a crucial role in fostering emotional and mental health. Actively participating in activities, joining clubs or groups with shared interests, and maintaining regular contact with friends and family are effective ways to ward off loneliness and maintain a positive outlook. These social interactions not only enrich your emotional life but also provide a sense of community and belonging, which are fundamental for a fulfilling and joyful senior experience.

Anti-Aging Skincare Treatments

Incorporate anti-aging skincare treatments to address concerns like fine lines, wrinkles, and sun damage. These treatments, ranging from topical products to professional procedures, can rejuvenate the skin, boosting confidence and overall appearance. Consulting with a dermatologist can help you choose the right treatments tailored to your skin type and condition.

Nutritious Eating for Vitality

In the senior years, adhering to a balanced diet becomes increasingly vital for maintaining good health. Prioritizing a diet rich in essential nutrients while minimizing the intake of processed foods is key to sustaining optimal health and energy. This approach not only supports physical well-being but also positively impacts mental clarity and emotional balance, creating a holistic benefit to your overall lifestyle.

Choosing the Right Care Environment

As independence becomes more challenging, the decision to move into a skilled nursing facility becomes pivotal. Engaging in thorough research to find a facility that aligns with your specific requirements for care, comfort, and a sense of community is crucial. Making the right choice not only improves your daily living experience but also provides a supportive environment that can greatly enrich your quality of life in the senior years. Adopting a holistic approach to health is essential for thriving in your senior years. By focusing on these life changes, including getting help through a rehab center if needed, you can significantly enhance your quality of life. These strategies not only improve physical health but also contribute to mental and emotional well-being, enabling you to fully embrace and enjoy your senior years.   Concord Friends of the Aging provides funding for programs and services in education, health, entertainment, and social interaction exclusively for the Concord senior community. Contact us today for more information! 978-341-8853

Moving Closer to an Aging Loved One

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Although it might be painful to think about, there eventually comes a time when a loved one simply can’t care for themselves adequately enough. When that happens, you’ll need to consider whether moving closer to them is the proper course of action. When it comes time to think about relocating to help an aging loved one, there are many factors to take into account. Use this guide from Concord Friends of the Aging to help you prepare.  

How to Know When It’s Time to Move

  • You’ve been hearing from them less often. Have those daily phone calls become weekly? While there are many reasons why communication could drop off, frequent and prolonged periods with little communication should raise a red flag.
  • Bills aren’t being paid. Forgetting about a bill can happen to anyone. However, there comes a point where things such as unpaid bills can no longer be attributed to run-of-the-mill forgetfulness. If your loved one isn’t paying their bills and subsequently losing utilities, you should consider moving closer.
  • Their neighbors are concerned. If your loved one’s neighbors are concerned, you should be, too.

Securing the Mortgage

  Pulling up stakes and starting somewhere else may involve getting a mortgage. Obtaining a mortgage is as big a factor in home buying as is finding a home to buy. You may qualify for one of several types of mortgages depending on your personal circumstances. The terms of your mortgage can also be widely disparate depending on those circumstances as well. It’s important to work with a lender early in the process to determine what you qualify for.   When you apply, lenders will calculate your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio to see how much you can realistically afford to pay each month. Working out your DTI is easy – all you have to do is add up your existing monthly obligations and divide the total by your gross monthly income.  

Preparing the Home

  An important thing to take into consideration when you own your property is maintenance. Specific jobs are best left to professionals, such as roofing, electrical work, and plumbing. If you need to find local pros, a quick search online can connect you to several providers. You can read reviews of their services before making a decision on who to hire.  

Costs of Living

  There are a number of factors to consider when trying to figure out the cost of living in a new area. The first step is to research the cost of basic necessities such as housing, food, and transportation. Once you have a good idea of the average cost of these items, you can start to compare them to your current expenses.   It’s also important to factor in the cost of recreation and entertainment, as well as any required fees or taxes. Additionally, you’ll need to consider your income and whether or not you’ll be able to find a job that pays comparable wages in the new area.  

Moving a Business

  Relocating your business as you move closer to an aging loved one can be a significant, yet rewarding undertaking. The decision not only shows a deep commitment to family values but also presents new opportunities for your business in a different market. This transition may involve logistical challenges, such as finding a suitable new location, transferring operations, and adapting to a new customer base.   However, with careful planning and strategy, it can lead to a successful balance between fulfilling personal responsibilities towards your loved ones and maintaining the growth and stability of your business. Furthermore, this move can bring about a newfound sense of community and purpose, as you contribute to your new locale while taking care of your family.   To help streamline the process, it’s a good idea to digitize your important work documents. There are tools you can use to convert a PDF document in seconds, making it far easier to stay organized – not to mention avoiding the aggravation and stress that come with misplacing important documents and trying to dig through countless boxes and folders to find them!  

Find the Right Way to Support Your Loved One

  Knowing that your loved one needs additional support can mean several things. It could mean that you simply need to be physically closer to check in on them, and come by – or have them over – for regular family dinners together. This kind of support lets you keep closer tabs on your loved ones while spending quality time together as a family in a safe, controlled environment.   Other scenarios might require that you have a bigger role to play. You may need to move into your loved one’s home to help with care, or buy a home that you can renovate to accommodate their mobility needs. Or you may need to move your loved one into a care facility where you can visit and supervise their needs. Each decision comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider what is best for both you and your loved one before moving forward.   Smart home gadgets can significantly enhance the quality of life for seniors aging in place. Devices such as small sensors, discreet cameras, smoke alarms, and voice-activated speakers can increase safety and convenience in everyday life. Innovations like smart door locks, cameras, and lighting, controlled via a centralized smart hub, add an extra layer of security and ease. Some devices can help seniors track and maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health. Smart home technology can ease the lives of seniors by enabling them to handle household tasks remotely and maintain their independence while ensuring their safety and well-being.  

When Moving Is the Best Option

  As loved ones grow older, there could come a time where they need your help. While the world may have become accustomed to interacting online and seeing people through screens, sometimes the only option is to move. Prepare for moving your home and business, digitize your documents, pay attention to your finances, and help your loved one age in place with smart home devices. Being closer to a senior loved one will not only make them feel safer, it will give family members peace of mind knowing that their older members are receiving the appropriate care.   Concord Friends of the Aging is here to support the seniors in our community. Let us know if you have any questions!

The Advantages of Returning to School in Retirement

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The notion of hitting the books might not top the list of retirement plans for many. Nevertheless, the potential benefits of re-entering the world of academia after retiring can be rewarding both personally and professionally. While some may question the practicality of this route, the advantages are multifaceted and immensely fulfilling. In this article from Concord Friends of the Aging, a detailed look is taken at why choosing an educational path in the twilight years can be a decision worth making.

Sustain Cognitive Acuity

Engaging in scholarly activities contributes significantly to maintaining a sharp mind. Various studies have indicated that continuous learning helps in counteracting the mental decline that may accompany older age. Learning a new language, for example, stimulates different parts of the brain, enhancing cognitive functions like memory and problem-solving skills. Technologies like e-learning platforms also offer a flexible, interactive experience that can be highly beneficial for older adults, keeping their mental faculties sharp.

Forge a New Career Path

A return to school isn’t just for the academically inclined; it can serve as the foundation for a whole new career. For retirees looking to venture into different professional terrains, educational qualifications provide the necessary tools for that transition. A culinary course could give birth to a second career as a chef, while a certification in digital marketing could pave the way for a consultancy role. Online resources and platforms offer ample opportunities to develop new skills or enhance existing ones, further supporting a smooth transition into a different profession.

Update Professional Credentials

In today’s competitive job landscape, keeping abreast of the most recent trends in crafting resumes is vital. When you return to school, the added benefit often comes in the form of career services that assist you in modernizing your resume to make it more attractive to potential employers. Such services may include courses that cover the nuances of contemporary job search methods, including but not limited to, optimizing LinkedIn profiles and creating digital portfolios.

Cultivate Valuable Connections

The social benefits of returning to school are often overlooked. The academic environment serves as a hub for networking, opening avenues to forge relationships that could be beneficial long-term. Sharing a classroom or an online forum with individuals who have similar interests can result in meaningful connections. Some retirees have found co-founders for startups or members for community organizations through academic networks. Virtual classrooms and social media platforms also offer easy ways to maintain these connections beyond the educational setting.

Rediscover the Joy of Leisure Learning

Who says learning has to be solely about professional or academic achievements? Returning to school can also be about pure enjoyment. Whether it’s taking a painting class or studying ancient history, the pleasure derived from learning should not be underestimated. For example, a course in photography can add a new layer of depth to your travels, while a cooking class could introduce you to the joys of international cuisines. With the growth of online learning platforms, enjoying a variety of courses from the comfort of home has never been easier.

Widen the Scope of Your Understanding

Life-long learning is not just a phrase; it’s a journey that enriches your understanding of the world. From global politics to scientific discoveries, the opportunities for learning are limitless. Courses in environmental sustainability or global economics, for instance, could alter your perspective on pressing global issues. Virtual reality platforms, for instance, can enhance your learning experience, making subjects more interactive and engaging.

Adapt to Technological Advancements

Returning to school during retirement to stay up-to-date on tech is a testament to the timeless nature of learning and the enduring human spirit to grow regardless of age. Many retirees are embracing this new chapter in their lives to acquire fresh skills, expand their horizons, or simply to satiate their lifelong passions. One compelling example is the increasing number of retirees enrolling in online courses to attain IT degrees. These online programs offer convenience and flexibility, making it a perfect match for individuals who are looking for an affordable way to learn without the constraints of a traditional classroom setting. This trend not only showcases the adaptability of the older generation but also underscores the ever-evolving nature of education in the digital age.. Choosing to continue one’s education during the retirement phase presents numerous advantages that are beneficial both on personal and professional fronts. From maintaining cognitive health to opening new career avenues and making meaningful social connections, the merits are countless. Moreover, it’s a choice that promises an enriching and fulfilling retirement journey.

Financial Wisdom for Seniors: Strategies to Deal with Financial Difficulties

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Financial difficulties can be particularly stressful for seniors, often dealing with fixed incomes. However, there are strategies to manage these struggles. Today, Concord Friends of the Aging offers some personalized advice for seniors facing financial difficulties. 

Crafting Your Personal Financial Plan

 Understanding your income and expenses is crucial. Create a comprehensive budget that accounts for all income sources and expenditures. This insight can illuminate potential areas for savings. A well-structured financial plan not only instills financial discipline but also ensures that your retirement savings last, providing you with peace of mind. Additionally, regular reviews and adjustments to your budget are key to staying on track with your financial goals. Digitize Your Important Documents We all know what it’s like to spend hours looking for a single misplaced piece of paper. To facilitate better organization (and save you lots of headaches), consider digitizing your documents and storing them on your devices. This works great for everything from medical records to receipts and tax information. That way, you’ll be able to find what you need in a matter of seconds. If you aren’t sure how to digitize your documents, here’s a great tool to help with searching – and you can try it for free! 

Reconsidering Your Home Loan

 If high mortgage payments are a burden and you’re a homeowner, refinancing might be an option worth considering. This could potentially lower your monthly payments, providing extra cash for other necessities. Refinancing can also help you tap into your home equity or switch to a loan product that better suits your current needs. However, it’s essential to consider the costs associated with refinancing and ensure that the potential benefits outweigh these costs. Always consult with a mortgage advisor to understand all the implications before making a decision. 

Evaluating Lifestyle Expenditures

 Upon scrutinizing your budget, you may spot areas of unnecessary spending. This could include dining out, unused subscriptions, or memberships. Small cutbacks can accumulate over time, easing financial pressure. Being mindful of your spending habits can help you eliminate financial leaks and adopt a frugal lifestyle, often leading to discovering simple pleasures that were previously overlooked. It’s surprising how much you can save by making small changes to your daily routines. 

Seeking Financial Guidance

 Professional advice from a financial advisor can be invaluable. They can help you devise a financial plan, suggest investment strategies, and provide guidance on issues like tax planning and estate planning. They can also offer insights into financial products suitable for your age and risk tolerance. A good financial advisor can guide you through complex financial decisions, ensuring you make informed choices. Remember, it’s never too late to seek financial advice; it can make a significant difference in your financial health. 

Assessing Your Business Worth

 If you’re a business owner, selling it could provide significant financial relief. However, it’s important to know its true value. Consider obtaining a business valuation; this will ensure you don’t undersell and give potential buyers confidence in their investment. Understanding the worth of your business can also help you strategize for its growth and profitability if you decide to retain ownership. Furthermore, a business valuation gives you leverage in negotiations if you do decide to sell. 

Exploring Assistance Programs

 There are numerous government programs designed to assist seniors in financial need. These include housing assistance, food assistance, and healthcare assistance programs. It’s worth investigating all available options. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of these resources as they exist to help seniors maintain a decent quality of life during financially challenging times. Also, local non-profit organizations often have programs to assist seniors, so check those out, as well. 

Capitalizing on Senior Discounts

 Many businesses offer senior discounts, and there are also numerous savings programs specifically for seniors. These can help reduce the cost of everything from groceries to utility bills. Make sure to ask about senior discounts wherever you go — every little bit of savings can add up to make a significant difference in your budget. Plus, using these discounts is a great way to support local businesses while also saving money. Navigating financial difficulties as a senior can be challenging, but it’s far from impossible. With thoughtful planning, smart strategies, and leveraging available resources, you can effectively manage your finances. You can also reduce stress and facilitate better organization by digitizing your documents. Small, consistent steps toward financial stability can significantly enhance your peace of mind during your golden years. Concord Friends of the Aging is here to support the seniors in our community. Let us know if you have any questions!

Make the Right Move: Relocating Closer to Your Adult Children

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The transition from an active household bustling with children to an empty nest can be a significant shift. For many parents, the desire to move closer to their adult children becomes a compelling consideration during this phase. If you’re an empty nester planning such a move, Concord Friends of the Aging has compiled some essential tips to help you navigate this important decision.

Find a Home Suitable for Aging in Place

The first step in your relocation journey involves assessing prospective homes for senior safety features. As we age, our physical needs change, and it’s crucial that our living spaces adapt accordingly. You may not need these features now, but planning for the future is always wise. Look for homes equipped with accessible bathrooms, non-slip flooring, and other safety measures to ensure a comfortable and secure living environment.

Engage with Local Residents

Before making any commitments, it’s advisable to connect with the locals. They can provide firsthand insights into the community, neighborhood dynamics, and overall living experience. Engaging in conversations with them can give you a better understanding of whether the area aligns with your lifestyle and expectations.

Digitize Your Paper Records

Transitioning from paper records to a digital format is a game-changer. Not only does it save physical space, but it also enhances the efficiency of accessing and sharing documents. Consider saving your documents as PDFs. The PDF format is universally recognized, ensuring that the document’s layout and formatting remain intact regardless of the device or software used to open it. Furthermore, PDF files are compact and can be password-protected, offering an extra layer of security for sensitive information. If you need a PDF tool to edit, compress, or rotate a PDF, you can find free tools online.

Explore Your Prospective Neighborhood

Before making the big decision to settle down in a new place, it’s crucial to take some time to explore the area that has piqued your interest. Take a stroll through local parks, browse in nearby shops, visit community centers, and check out other amenities to get a real sense of what the neighborhood has to offer. This hands-on exploration will give you an authentic feel for the atmosphere and vibe of the area. By doing this, you can assess whether the neighborhood aligns with your lifestyle, interests, and long-term plans. Remember, it’s not just about finding a house—it’s about finding a community where you can thrive.

Value Your Children’s Input

While you’re making this move primarily for yourself, it’s still important to consider your adult children’s opinions. After all, one of your main objectives is to live closer to them. Their input on factors like proximity to their home and community resources can be invaluable in your decision-making process.

Harness Technology in Your House Hunt

Finally, don’t shy away from using technology to aid your house search. Virtual tours are increasingly popular and offer a convenient way to view potential homes without leaving your current residence. These tours can provide a comprehensive view of the property, helping you make informed decisions even from a distance.

To conclude, relocating closer to your adult children as an empty nester can be a fulfilling decision. However, it requires careful planning and consideration. By focusing on senior safety features, engaging with local residents, digitizing your records, exploring the neighborhood, valuing your children’s input, and harnessing technology, you can navigate this journey with confidence and ease.

Concord Friends of the Aging is committed to supporting the senior community in Concord.

5 Simple Ways to Help Your Aging Parents From a Distance

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By Teresa Greenhill of

As your parents grow older, all you want is to make their lives easier. But when you live miles away, it’s hard to know how. You can’t help your aging mom carry groceries up the stairs or your dad shovel snow. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a difference in your parents’ lives, thanks to a few good tech tools and services. These tips from Concord Friends of the Aging can help long-distance caregivers support their senior loved ones from afar.

1. Call Them Regularly

The thing your parents want most might also be what’s best for their health. Seniors with strong support networks age in better health than seniors who are socially isolated. You may live too far away to stop in for lunch, but you can schedule regular conversations to hear first-hand how your parents are faring.

If your parents have experienced hearing loss, you’ll want to make sure they have a phone and any other necessary equipment that will enable them to communicate with you more easily. Easy-to-use smartphones with video chatting features, large touchscreens, and the ability to connect to digital assistants are ideal options for seniors of all ages and hearing abilities.

2. Install Home Security

Home security is a good idea for all homeowners. Fortunately, thanks to modern technology, you don’t have to buy a complete all-in-one system. Instead, you can purchase devices piecemeal, making it a much better fit for your budget. For example, devices like exterior cameras and doorbell cameras allow you to remotely monitor your loved one’s property. You can also purchase “panic buttons” that tie into the home’s alarms, allowing your loved one to trigger the security system if they feel they are in immediate danger. Lastly, installing a home security system (or making other important upgrades or repairs) could add value to the property should your loved ones decide it’s time to sell the home.

3. Help Them Automate Their Bills

Are your parents still mailing checks to pay bills? While many seniors stay sharp well into their old age, cognitive decline can turn paying the bills into a frustrating experience. Make it easy on them and reduce the risk of unpaid bills by setting up automatic bill pay for household utilities, debt payments, taxes, and other routine expenses.

4. Hire a Home Companion

When it comes to assisted living, most seniors prefer to stay away. However, many of the same seniors who shun institutional living will gladly accept a helping hand when it’s packaged differently. If your parents are healthy enough to live at home but you’d like them to have help, consider hiring a non-medical home care provider instead. Non-medical care can assist with everyday tasks like cooking and grocery shopping, housekeeping, medication management, transportation, and companionship. Of course, if your loved one needs help with activities of daily living and other essential tasks, consider hiring as-needed private care.

5. Live Closer to Each Other

Living closer to your parents will truly make it easier to help them. This ensures you’re not spending a ton of money on gas or airline tickets, and it will give you both peace of mind. Plus, if you have a fair amount of equity in your home, you can cash that out to put toward a new, smaller space, or you can even help your parents out with medical bills or other necessary expenses like home safety modifications. Investigate the local market before a visit. Once you learn relevant info like this, you can then follow up on prospective homes when you’re in town.

Living closer to your aging loved ones can mean offering help, but it can also mean collaborating together on projects. Think about things you used to do together when you were young, like gardening, caring for pets, or making crafts, and see if you can take those things up together now. In fact, you could even start a small business together to keep your loved one focused on a goal and to bring in some additional income. You may find that it brings you together in new ways to have a shared project, and it could liven up your parents’ days to have something of their own to develop.

If moving isn’t a viable option, encourage your parents to try reconnecting with former classmates. An online directory makes it easy for them to look up old friends they may have lost touch with. They’ll appreciate the company!

When It’s Time for Help

A time may come when you can no longer offer enough help for your aging parents. Whether that’s from afar or even close by. If one or both of your parents become too limited in their ability to live alone, a discussion about long-term care should be broached. This ensures their safety and gives you both peace of mind. Both assisted living and skilled care come with their fair share of stigma for older adults, so be patient and mindful when having this discussion. Make a point to tour local communities together so they can get a sense of what’s available, and how the right place can meet their needs now and in the future.

As a long-distance caregiver, you can’t be there to offer your parents hands-on help. However, you can hire people who can. Get your parents the local help they need and do what you can to help from a distance. And when you feel it’s time to be closer, look into relocating. The goal is to keep your parents safe, so work with them to create the best possible solution for you all.

For support services and programs in The Concord Senior Community, visit Concord Friends of the Aging today!

Tips for Seniors Who Need Help Marketing Their Small Business

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Marketing is a broad term to describe a complex system that consistently evolves. To market your small business successfully, you need to consider several avenues of advertising, as well as your target audience. Brought to you by Concord Friends of the Aging, here are some tips to help you create a solid marketing plan for your business!

Ask People You Know for Referrals

Research shows that asking for referrals is an effective strategy for building trust with clients and creating a fast track to retention. When a customer expresses satisfaction with your product or service, ask them to refer you to people they know. Once a referred customer receives a satisfying experience, they will refer your company as well, and the cycle continues. It’s an easy and effective way to build customer retention.

Take Advantage of Social Media

Social media is the most effective marketing tool available to small businesses. There are many platforms with sophisticated analytic advertising opportunities, and you can reach a broader audience, faster. It’s relatively inexpensive, but if you struggle with digital marketing, you may benefit from hiring an expert to manage your online presence for you. Another quick tip: if you’re sending out PDFs of promotional material, combine PDF files with this tool to keep things organized and make your life a little easier.

Provide Great Content on Your Website

You can actually drive traffic to your website — and your business — through the use of high-quality content. In fact, content marketing is a powerful tool that can help small businesses to reach new audiences and grow their customer base. By creating engaging and informative content, small businesses can attract attention from potential customers who are searching for information online. In addition, content marketing can also help small businesses to improve their search engine ranking, making it easier for potential customers to find them when they are searching for relevant keywords. As a result, content marketing can be an invaluable tool for small businesses looking to reach new customers and grow their business. If you’re looking for tips to make your content shine, dig through sites like Cornerstone Content for assistance.

Offer Incentives

Customers love a discount. You can create a loyalty program that makes customers what to come back and use your service. It can be as simple as a coupon or as complex as a tiered subscription plan. The best place to start is to figure out what sells and what doesn’t. Then you can create a plan to incentivize consumers to reconsider the products that sell less. Financial literacy is important in this part of your business. You need to know what incentives would help and hurt you.

Network Whenever Possible

Get your business’s name out in the market by networking. You’ll meet new people and business owners and potentially create partnerships for cross-promotional sales. Search for conferences in your industry where small business owners come together to collaborate. Get involved in your community as well. Local recognition is important.

Identify Your Niche and Target Audience

A starting point in any business strategy is to discover your target market and demographic. First, you want to identify an area in your industry that is lacking. That is your niche. You can fulfill that area where there is little or no competition. Then, consider the characteristics you look for in a potential customer. This could include physical characteristics, such as age and gender, or consumer behavior, such as where they shop and for what. Once you know who your target customer is, you can create a marketing plan that specifically attracts them to your company and brand.

Create a Visual Brand

Branding is what makes your company stand out from the competition. It involves creating a unique visual representation of your company that consumers will identify with their experience. Start with a great logo that portrays to consumers what you provide. You can use a logo maker online if you prefer not to spend the money on a professional designer. Be sure to research the psychology behind fonts and colors and how they specifically affect human emotion. 

Look Into an Online Degree

When it comes to business, there is always room for improvement. Whether you want to sharpen your business skills or learn new marketing techniques, going back to school for a business degree can be a great way to reach your goals. There are many different types of business degrees available, from accounting and business communications to management and more. And with online degree programs, you can easily earn your degree while still running your business. No matter what type of business degree you choose, you can be sure that you will come out of the program with the knowledge and skills you need to take your business to the next level. If you’re not sure where to look for an online degree, here’s a good option.

As you create a marketing strategy for your business, you’ll come across many new terms and ideas. Try not to overwhelm yourself. If need be, you can head back to school to help brush up on everything you need to know about modern marketing. You can implement these ideas slowly until you get used to the marketing process.

6 Steps To Take When Your Senior Loved Ones Are No Longer Self-Sufficient

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By Andrea Needham

It’s never easy to accept that an elderly loved one can no longer take care of themselves. Naturally, you feel a strong sense of responsibility to help. Often, though, you’re not sure where to begin. That’s why Concord Friends of the Aging is here to outline the following critical steps to make the process a little easier. 

1. Start Managing Their Finances

Start collecting their bills so you can ensure that utilities and other important accounts remain current. Speak to a lawyer about power of attorney privileges so you can manage their bank accounts. You’ll relieve a great deal of stress from your loved one if you can handle this part of their lives as it gets more confusing.

Gather all their financial documents when you take over as power of attorney. You need to understand the entirety of the financial situation to help with estate planning. Get family members to help you if it gets too overwhelming.

2. Teach Them About Scams

If you cannot be present all the time, you’ll want to teach your loved one about scams. Seniors are a primary target for scammers because many have not invested much time in learning about technology. Explain the phone calls, texts, and emails they should ignore, and specifically reference that they should never click on any links or provide any personal information.

3. Reach Out to Other Family Members

Let other members of the family know what is going on so they can help. Being a caregiver is incredibly demanding and can be emotionally draining. You will need the help so that you can take proper care of yourself as well.

4. Help Them Eliminate Baggage

If your loved one is a business owner, they may need help selling the company. If they struggle to maintain the demands of daily business operations, it is likely time to sell. Get a professional valuation first so you know how much to ask for before putting it on the market. A proper valuation should include all assets under the business name, including any inventory and property.

5. Hire Home Care Services

Sometimes the best option is to get professional assistance. You can hire a company that offers in-home care services as an alternative to assisted living. Leaving your forever home is scary for seniors. You can keep them at home but still have all the help they need to carry out daily tasks. Many in-home care services companies help take seniors out of the home during the day for exercise, shopping, and other activities. The overall goal is to make them feel as though they live an independent life with a friendly companion. Be sure to read reviews and evaluate your loved one’s needs before you hire someone.

6. Start Downsizing

Downsizing can help relieve many burdens. Seniors living in a large home may not be able to handle the upkeep. You can help them sell or donate what they don’t need. Research shows that a fresh start is often a great mental health booster for seniors.

Downsizing can also be helpful if your loved ones need money. Selling their home and moving into more modest accommodations can simplify many issues. Be sure to investigate local market conditions before helping with a sale. Online resources can give you an idea of whether or not it’s a good time to sell as well as providing information about how much to expect from the sale.

Now that you know a few steps you can take to help your loved one, you’re on the right track to giving them a good quality of life. Remember that there will be hard times. However, if you take the time to take care of yourself, you’ll be a better caregiver as well.

Concord Friends of the Aging is a private non-profit corporation supporting programs and services for the Concord senior community. Please scroll down to sign up for our newsletter!


By Andrea Needham

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Guidance for Deciding When to Intervene with a Senior’s Finances

No part of aging is pleasant. The gradual loss of independence and frustration with health concerns can be overwhelming. As a relative or close friend of an older adult, you may need to step in and assist with finances to protect your loved one from financial fraud or catastrophe. Learn some of the risks and how to address them, courtesy of Concord Friends of the Aging.

Notice the Warning Signs

Reports estimate that seniors are cheated out of billions of dollars every year by fraud. Alert your friend or relative to the possible scams. Scammers pose as various trusted agencies and individuals online and through social messaging, so educate your loved ones on how to recognize traps. Encourage them to ask for a second opinion before responding to unsolicited messages that are supposedly from the IRS, a sweepstakes company, Social Security Administration, lawyers, or a technical support company.

Watch for small indicators that may result in significant problems. Warnings may include:

  • Forgetfulness about cash and accounts
  • Struggles balancing the checkbook or paying bills
  • Repeat purchases of unnecessary items or a lot of expensive purchases in a short time
  • Unopened mail piling up in the home
  • Declined cards and complaints about not having enough money

Discuss the Issues

Even if you don’t have concerns now, take a more active role in your loved one’s finances, especially after retirement. Discussions about probate, estate, and trust administration early can prevent embarrassing losses and uncomfortable conversations. Maintain a positive atmosphere and discuss the need to prepare for emergencies. Work on your estate plan, involve your loved one in the discussion, and ask them about their arrangements.

Stay calm and respectful during the discussion. Patiently listen to concerns and be transparent. If you need to involve other family members, a written agenda can keep the conversation on track. Keep the meeting to only relatives directly involved. Remind everyone that decisions can be changed later, but starting a plan to protect the family and honor your loved one’s wishes is vital.

Offer Practical Assistance

If your loved one understands the risks they face and wants help, organize things in a way you can work together. Make an account of their total income, assets, and liabilities using credit reports and tax returns. You’ll have an easier time making adjustments and accessing accounts if you receive power of attorney, giving you legal authority to act on your loved one’s behalf. Put your name on accounts for easy access to future documentation.

Compile bills and set up auto payments if possible. If some accounts are already in arrears, communicate honestly with creditors about the situation to work out a payment plan. Credit counseling may help determine your options for consolidation.

If the responsibility of running a business is now too much for your loved one, assist them with selling the company. A professional valuation gives the family an objective understanding of the company’s value before selling. To estimate the market value, the appraiser looks at your assets, including inventory, property, and liabilities. The number helps you avoid being taken advantage of or missing out on a good deal because of unreasonable expectations. The steps you need to take to assist your loved one with their finances vary by the situation. The most crucial factor is that you stay alert and help the person care for issues before challenges become insurmountable problems. With patience and concern, you can help your loved one safely steward their finances.

Annual Meeting 1/12/21

The Concord Friends of the Aging Board of Directors invites members to the 39th Annual Meeting to be held via Zoom on Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 10:00 AM

The meeting agenda will cover:

  • Corporate Business Reports
  • Election of Board of Directors
  • Member Comments