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Hartselle Enquirer

Senior Lifestyles: Prime Time

By Staff
Senior Circle offers array of benefits
Your annual Senior Circle membership fee of $15 entitles you to a generous menu of membership activities, benefits and discounts, including:
These special benefits are available at Hartselle Medical Center and other sponsoring hospitals:
Call Hartselle Senior Circle Advisor Kathy White Goodwin at 751-3000, extension 690 to join today. Benefits are subject to change without notice. See chapter for details. Some limitations apply.
Cold weather can be hard on seniors
For the 35 million seniors in America, winter may pose many dangers. Icy sidewalks, cool, dry air, and the cold and flu viruses pose risks to seniors who are susceptible to illness and accidents during this time.
"Winter-related accidents and illnesses account for a large number of all senior health-related insurance claims during the winter months," said Scott Perry, chief operating officer, Bankers Life and Casualty Company. "But that doesn't mean that seniors have to sit this season out. By taking a few precautions, seniors can enjoy winter safely and securely."
Seniors are more susceptible to loss of body heat or hypothermia. To protect against the illnesses that can result, follow these tips:
"Seniors' bodies aren't as resilient as they once were. It's far more important for a 70-year-old woman to stay hydrated than a 30-year-old woman," said Robert Butler, M.D., president and CEO, the International Longevity Center. "Fortunately, common-sense measures such as drinking enough water and minimizing strenuous activities can help keep seniors safe in cold winter months."
Even though the summer heat is gone, make sure that you still drink at least six to eight glasses of liquid a day, especially in dry cold weather, to avoid dehydration. Drinking plenty of water can also help prevent dry skin problems.
"Nurturing your body is the first step," adds Dr. Butler. "Think about ways to stay firmly planted to avoid injuries."
To avoid slips and falls, wear boots that are non-skid. If you use a cane, replace the rubber tip before it is worn smooth or it will become slippery, especially when it gets wet.
If you need to get somewhere in winter weather, make sure that your car has been tuned up and has good tires. Also, keep your gas tank near full and let family or friends know your travel plans including routes and times.
Living on a fixed income? Learn to maximize your money
Fixed incomes are usually associated with senior citizens who rely on Social Security or pension checks that remain constant each month. However, many others live with an income that stays the same from year to year, especially when they don't get bonuses, raises or commissions. At other times, you may find that your income is fixed for a short period of time, such as during a maternity leave or when an illness makes disability checks your form of income.
In all these instances, budgeting, creating a financial plan and cutting back on expenses are ways to make fixed incomes more manageable. Here is some information to keep you on track.
Whether fixed or fluctuating, know exactly how much income you have each month. Surprisingly, many people haven't a clue how much they make, which is why they may have the propensity to live beyond their means. Look at your paycheck, keep abreast of investments and carefully monitor any other incoming funds.
On the flip side, also know how many fixed expenses you have. These include rent, mortgages, utilities, insurance, etc. Once you add up your fixed expenses and deduct them from your income, you'll know just how much you have left for variable expenses, like luxuries, food and so on. You've just created a budget.
Here are some frugal ways to get by:
By following some of these tips, you'll find that it is easy to learn how to live on a fixed income, whether temporary or long-term.