All entries by this author

Home Protection for Seniors

Mar 26th, 2017 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The home garage door offers one of the best options for thieves to break in to senior citizens’ homes. With the assistance of a small block of wood and a coat hanger, as described in this link, a garage door can be opened in about six seconds. And this kind of break in is becoming increasingly common.

Seniors use a variety of methods to increase their safety and reduce possibility of burglary, including alarm systems (monitored or not), security cameras and intricate locking systems on exterior doors



Medicare, Why Seniors Should Care

Jan 5th, 2017 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The health industry continues to increase premium costs. This is why some insurance companies chose to opt out of ObamaCare in 2016. They were simply not willing to live with consumer-friendly requirements that bit into their profits. Ryan’s plan, “…would erode much-needed coverage and shift costs to many who live on fixed incomes and continue to struggle in the shadow of the Great Recession.” AARP Bulletin, January-February 2017

A full repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) would eliminate all the Medicare benefits created by the law, including free preventive services (flu shots and screenings for cancer and diabetes), savings on prescription drugs and the future of Medicare with a slow-down of spending, fraud, waste and excessive payments.



Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, Part 2

Sep 9th, 2016 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Victims of AD need more structure in the Moderate stage. The generally experience sleeplessness, wandering, late-day confusion and agitation which are all part of the same problem. BAI Beacon states, “The damaged brain has to work much harder to understand the environment and be able to function.” (Ibid) People with AD tend to lose their sense of smell and need food that is well or highly seasoned; their eating is disrupted and the challenge for the caregiver is to find and prepare food that is appealing to their care receiver.

Persons in the Moderate stage of AD may resist bathing and need help to dress. They struggle to find words to express what they want to say. They begin to experience illusions and delusions.



Stages of Alzheimer’s Disease, Part 1

Sep 1st, 2016 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Caregivers for family members and/or friends who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s find the availability of care-giving resources both helpful and encouraging. In particular, the explanation of stages of the disease and symptoms characteristic of each stage enable the caregiver to better plan for addressing the symptoms of Alzheimer’s. He/she can be somewhat prepared to help the person with Alzheimer’s mitigate some of the symptoms and make life more pleasant for everyone involved.

Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI)

The first signs of a change in brain functioning (cognition) are generally mild and may go unnoticed. Banner Alzheimer’s Institute defines MCI as “…impairment in thinking skills that goes beyond normal age-related cognitive changes but does not meet criteria for dementia.”



Celebrating 80 Years of Social Security

Jul 9th, 2015 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Social Security & Medicare

In 1935, the United States was in the depths of the Great Depression. You saved absolutely everything you had, including string. Every household had the ball of string that you added to whenever a new scrap came along. Most Americans had very little money to live on. And senior citizens were among the people who were hit hardest. Many could no longer work, and their families were having difficulty supporting themselves, let alone trying to support Grandma and Grandpa.

Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act August 14, 1935, and it saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of senior citizens, preventing almost certain financial ruin for each one.



Time for the Swan Song?

Jul 9th, 2015 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

One of the experiences of aging that creates emotional distress for senior citizens is figuring out when to stop a life-long activity or behavior. Driving, climbing ladders, walking without assistance, cooking, cleaning, living alone… are all common issues seniors have to make decisions about.

In addition to those, there are some that are specific to lifestyle and earlier career choices. I remember the evening Jerry came home from performing a wedding service saying that was his “Swan Song”. When I asked him about it, he reminded me when Frank Sinatra gave his last performance, many critics said he needed to give it up. He just couldn’t sing and perform well anymore. Jerry reported he learned that about himself that evening.



Retirement Benefits for Presidents

Jul 7th, 2015 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

The Former Presidents Act (FPA) was passed in 1958 and called for a number of benefits for United States Presidents upon departure from the White House. At that time, there were only two former presidents still living… Hoover and Truman. Eisenhower was President, and he was the first to be covered under the FPA when he left office.

After the President leaves office, he/she receives a pension that is equal to what other heads of executive branch departments are paid. In 2014, it was $201,700. Her/his spouse can also receive a lifetime annual pension of $20,000 if they don’t have any other statutory pensions.



Congressional Pensions Reviewed

Jul 4th, 2015 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

That annoying Facebook post about congressional pensions just keeps traveling around. It needs to be removed from circulation because it is almost 100% false. It’s the one that suggests retired members of Congress and the President get exorbitant pension packages, and quotes flat amounts provided annually by taxpayers.

Since we here at Senior Citizen Journal believe facts are generally very helpful in forming opinion, we provide factual information about what congressional pensions actually are.

Congressional pensions are a little complicated, so be sure to read all the information provided. Much of this information



Be About Doing Good

Jun 26th, 2015 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

An interesting post appeared on Facebook recently that caught our eye. It was a poster that said, “We will never change the world by going to church. We will only change the world by being the church.” (emphasis added) If we knew the author, she/he would be credited here.

We have all known dozens of people in our lives who attend the church/synagogue/mosque of their choice, and profess their deep faith openly… and then their actions don’t match up with
their words. It almost borders on lying. Not telling the truth. It’s like the five year old bully on the playground professing he didn’t mean to hurt his playmate when he roughly pushed the younger, smaller child to the ground. “I’m a good kid who was only playing.”



Let’s Talk About Guns

Jun 22nd, 2015 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Let’s talk about guns today. Many, if not most, of us seniors likely grew up with guns in the house. I remember Dad’s guns were kept in a locked cabinet. He took the shotguns out every fall just before hunting season began in Iowa. He cleaned them and had them ready for opening day of pheasant season. That day, he and my younger tom-boy sister were up before dawn, heading out with friends to hunt pheasants in the cornfields surrounding the little town where we lived.

Our family met extended family members one day at a shooting range and we all shot at clay pigeons. At age 10 or so, I remember learning how to use a 4-10 shotgun that day. Daddy showed me how to follow the clay pigeon flying through the air, and pull the trigger when i had it in my sights. I followed the instructions, pulled the trigger when I thought I had it in my sights, and the clay pigeon shattered into a thousand pieces when the lead from the cartridge hit the flying object