Archives for Meth-Wick Community

What to do after a fall

Our bodies change with age. Our vision can get fuzzy, our muscles may get weaker, and our steps can get shorter. It’s a normal part of the aging process, no matter how fit and agile you may be. That’s why any American over 65 is at risk of joining the one in four older adults who experiences a fall each year.

If you’ve fallen, it’s important to take stock of any injuries you may have sustained and get up in a way that won’t hurt you further. Here are some direction from describing how to safely pick yourself back up after a fall:

  1. Stay calm.
  2. Examine yourself for injuries—bruises, possible sprains, broken bones.
  3. If you are confident you haven’t broken any bones or experienced a serious injury, search for the nearest piece of sturdy furniture. (A chair would be ideal.)
  4. Roll onto your hands and knees, then crawl or pull yourself over to the piece of furniture.
  5. Get into a kneeling position and place your arms on a stable area of the piece of furniture (e.g. the seat of the chair).
  6. Bring one knee forward and place your foot on the floor.
  7. Using your arms and leg simultaneously, push yourself up and pivot your bottom around until you’re sitting on the piece of furniture.
  8. Stay sitting until you’re confident you can move around without hurting yourself or falling again.
  9. If you find that you are unable to get up after falling, stay calm and try to alert someone to your predicament. While you’re waiting for help, try to keep warm and move around slowly to avoid placing too much sustained pressure on any one area of your body.
  10. Notify your doctor that you’ve had a fall – this is the most important step!

If you’ve experienced a fall, you may feel the need to stay away from activities that could make you fall again. That’s a natural reaction. But decreasing your activity will make you weaker, thus increasing the likelihood you will fall again. It’s a vicious cycle.

The best way to stay on your feet and avoid a fall is to continually work on your balance. Healthline describes a number of exercises you could work into your daily routine. For example, standing on one leg for 30 seconds and then the other while brushing your teeth. Or standing up from an armless chair without holding on to anything.

Meth-Wick has exercise equipment and programs that are tailored to seniors — air resistance machines rather than weight machines and recumbent, step-through bicycles rather than traditional bikes. It’s just another way Meth-Wick is designed to help you live your best life.

3 Ways Community Living Can Make You Happier

Older adults have dozens of choices for where and how to spend their retirement years. Some of those choices are limited by ability but, for the most part, today’s older adults are largely healthy and living independently. So, if you’re in good health and capable of staying in your own home, why make a change? What would you gain from community living?

  1. Time

By the time you’re ready to retire, you’ll have spent thousands of hours mowing the lawn, raking leaves, shoveling snow and cleaning out gutters. It takes a lot of time to maintain a home – time that could be spent enjoying the freedom offered by retirement. Older adults enjoying community living don’t have to worry about home upkeep. They can even elect to have their laundry and housekeeping done for them as well. Use that time doing things you really care about like spending time with friends and family, volunteering, traveling or cooking.

  1. Money

It doesn’t just take time to maintain a home. Issues with the water heater, faulty buttons on the microwave, burned out lightbulbs on the front porch — all unexpected headaches that come with homeownership. Senior living communities like Meth-Wick offer a variety of independent living options such as apartments, condos, townhomes and single-family homes that work with different lifestyles. Each living option includes things like appliance maintenance, transportation, and exercise classes so you can live the life you want without having to worry about your budget.

  1. Community

With age, social circles inevitably shrink as family and friends move away and driving gets more difficult. But community living keeps older adults active and connected with a peer group close at hand. Studies show that stronger social connections lead to happier and healthier lives for older adults. Researchers at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine questioned a group of SuperAgers, men and women in their 90s and 100s who have exceptional memories, about their lifestyle and habits. Genetics, diet and exercise obviously play a role but where the SuperAgers stood out was “the degree to which they reported having satisfying, warm, trusting relationships.” Turns out having a good group of friends is as good for the brain as it is for the soul.

Don’t think of senior living communities like retirement homes. Think of them like big neighborhoods where everyone has had a lot of the same experiences you’ve had. It’s not about bingo and bus trips – it’s about living the life you’ve been saving for and planning for decades. That life looks different to everyone. Some people want to spend half the year traveling and like knowing their home is protected by staff 24 hours a day. Others are looking for like-minded people to share new experiences with, like taking in local art and culture or trying a new exercise class.

Whatever life you want to live, there’s a community here for you at Meth-Wick.

What to know about Medicare in 2018

For Meth-Wick residents on Medicare, there are a few notable updates to keep an eye on over the coming year. The National Council on Aging and AARP tell us more:

New Medicare Cards

In April, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid will remove Social Security numbers from Medicare cards. You will be sent a new card with a new Medicare Beneficiary Identifier (MBI) number. Your new cards won’t change your coverage or benefits but it will help protect you against fraud and identity theft.

New cards will be sent to the address on file at the Social Security Administration so make sure your contact information is up to date at or call 1-800-772-1213. The cards will be sent out in waves from April 2018 through April 2019 and Iowa residents shouldn’t expect theirs before June 2018.

When the new card arrives, begin using it right away and shred your old one.

REMINDER: Medicare will never ask you for personal or private information in order to receive your new card. Be suspicious of anyone requesting that kind of information.

Changing Costs

  • The standard Medicare Part B monthly premium and deductibles for 2018 won’t change from $134 (premium) and $183 (deductible). However, because of the size of the 2018 Social Security Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), approximately 42% of Medicare beneficiaries who were held harmless against the rising annual costs of Medicare in past years will see an increase up to $134.
  • Beneficiaries at certain income levels will pay higher Part B and D premiums, specifically if your income is at or above $133,501 or if you’re married with a joint income above $267,001. Find the complete chart of surcharges on the Medicare website.
  • Medicare Part A inpatient hospital deductibles will increase in 2018, going up $24 to $1,340.
  • Part D prescription drug premiums are expected to decline slightly from $34.70 a month in 2017 to 33.50 a month in 2018.
  • The coverage gap, also known as the doughnut hole, will continue to narrow in 2018 as it nears closure in 2020. For 2018, once you have incurred $3,750 worth of drug costs, you’ll be in the coverage gap. At that point, you’ll pay 35 percent of the cost of brand-name drugs and 44 percent of generics. You’ll continue to pay those prices until the total cost of your drugs reaches $5,000. Once you’ve hit that limit, you’ll no longer be in the doughnut hole and you’ll pay no more than 5 percent of your drug costs for the rest of the year.

Special Enrollment Periods

  • Part B Equitable Relief – If you delayed enrolling in Medicare Part B so you could stay in an Affordable Care Act Marketplace Qualified Health Plan (QHP), you may be able to enroll in Medicare Part B without penalty or with a reduced late enrollment penalty. You may be eligible for this equitable relief if you are enrolled in a QHP and you are enrolled in a premium-free Part A, AND your initial enrollment period (IEP) began April 1, 2013 or later OR if you were notified of retroactive premium-free Part A on October 2, 2013 or later. You have until Sept. 30, 2018 to request equitable relief from the Social Security Administration.
  • Changes Based on Star Rating – Medicare uses a star rating system to measure how Medicare Advantage and Part D plans perform. You can switch to a five-star rated Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare Cost Plan, or Part D plan (if one is available in your area) once per year outside of annual open enrollment (Dec. 8 – Nov. 30). People in consistently low-performing Medicare Advantage or Part D plans (lower than three-star for three consecutive years) can request a Special Enrollment Period to enroll in a higher star rated plan throughout the year.

If you have questions about changes in your Medicare coverage, we are here to help. Contact Cindy Robertson at 297-8646 with any concerns.

Important Exercise Habits for Seniors

Regular physical activity can prevent many common health problems faced by older adults, like high blood pressure, poor balance and obesity. If you’re not currently active, get together with your doctor and set some goals. Work the following habits into your exercise routine in order to achieve optimal health.

Aerobics are key

To start seeing health benefits, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends two options. Older adults should get 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity per week, like brisk walking and dance classes, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity per week, like jogging or running.

Work your muscles

Spend at least two days a week working all major muscle groups, including legs, hips, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms. Choose muscle-strengthening exercises that will increase your strength and endurance.

Set a schedule

Not a morning person? Work out in the evenings. Don’t like going to the gym? Grab a friend and get walking on the campus trail system. In order to be disciplined in your workout routine, you have to set goals that are realistic for your lifestyle and ability level.

Make it fun

It’s easier to stick with a new habit if you’re having a good time. Sign up for dance classes, take the grandkids for a walk, or go bowling with friends. Anything that gets you moving and keeps you interested is good for your health.

How Meth-Wick can help

Meth-Wick promotes the six dimensions of wellness: spiritual, physical, vocational, emotional, intellectual and social wellness. Exercise is an important piece of the wellness puzzle, which is why we provide a wide range of wellness and recreation activities. All of our exercise programs and resources are tailored to the needs of older adults, including:

  • Senior-friendly equipment, researched and purchased by Meth-Wick staff
    • Treadmills with safety features that include extended rails and a monitor to shut off the machine if the user gets too close to the end of the treadmill
    • Recumbent bicycles that allow users to step through the bike to be seated rather than step over a bar that might cause a fall
    • NuStep recumbent steppers, specially designed for low impact, effective cardiovascular and strength benefits
    • Dual-functioning weight machines that use air resistance rather than weights for a safer and more effective workout.
  • Exercise room open to residents 24-hours a day
  • Warm water therapy pools used for exercise and injury or surgery recovery
  • Variety of exercise classes offered every weekday, including walking groups, dance exercises and water aerobics

No matter what kind of habits you are trying to make or break, we are here to help. Meth-Wick has Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists on staff to help determine and follow through on the right exercise plan you.

Know When To Draw Your Social Security

In a recent study, 82% of pre-retirees didn’t know that the age they begin drawing their Social Security benefits affected the amount in their monthly payments. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) wants to make sure you aren’t a part of that statistic.

Consider these five tips from the CFPB to help you plan ahead and make the best decision for yourself and your family:

  1. Know your “full retirement age”

Did you know? One recent survey found that seven in ten consumers believe that 65 is their full retirement age. In fact, the full retirement age actually varies depending on the year you were born.

Full retirement age is the age at which you can begin collecting social security while still working, without facing a reduction in benefits. For most people, that’s usually around 66 or 67. Claiming before your full retirement age leads to a permanent decrease in monthly benefits, while claiming after leads to a permanent increase.

  1. Don’t claim early if you don’t have to

Did you know? You could see as much as a 30 percent reduction in monthly benefits by claiming before your full retirement age. But, you can get as much as a 32 percent permanent increase by claiming after your full retirement age – up to age 70.

Allowing your benefits to grow for one year makes a difference in your benefits. You’ll get an additional five to eight percent in monthly benefits for every year you wait to claim after age 62, maxing out at age 70. A higher monthly benefit could be important as you age, when Social Security may come to play a more central role in your retirement income.

  1. Know your retirement budget

Did you know? Retirement years could be more expensive than you expect due to changing health and housing expenses.

Start with a simple budget that accounts for your income and expenses. Consider both your actual income and expenses before retirement and your expected income and expenses after you retire. This can help you understand how a reduced or increased benefit will affect your ability to meet your needs in retirement. In addition, this kind of budgeting can help you decide if you should reduce your expenses and pay off any debts before retiring.

  1. Keep working if you can

Did you know? Forty-five percent of people believe that their benefits are based on how long they work as well as their pay during only the last five years of employment. In fact, they are based on their highest 35 years of earnings.

Staying in the workforce – full or part time – for even one or two additional years can earn you an even bigger increase in your Social Security benefit by replacing years with low or no earnings from your earnings record. Working longer also gives you more time to save for retirement. 

  1. Consider your spouse’s long-term needs

Did you know? On a more somber note, a married couple reaching age 65 can expect that one spouse will outlive the other for about 10 years or more on average — something forward-thinking planners should keep in mind.

Your decision of when to claim your Social Security benefits could affect the benefits your spouse will receive later in life. Because surviving spouses receive the higher of the two spouses’ benefits, it often makes sense for higher earning spouses to wait and claim at or after their full retirement age. They will then get their full or highest possible benefit. This can minimize the reduction in income a surviving spouse may experience. Talk to your spouse about your claiming options so you can make this important decision together.

Do you need more information to help you decide when to claim Social Security? Before you claim, check out this “Planning for Retirement” tool.

To get more facts about Social Security, check out this Consumer Financial Protection Bureau factsheet.

(Source: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau)

Travel Tips for Seniors

You’ve spent many years working hard and now it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Many older adults are taking those vacations they’ve dreamed of for years – visiting family scattered across the country, traveling to new parts of the world, and sometimes just relaxing on a beach somewhere warm.

Before you skip town for your next adventure, travel smart by keeping these tips in mind.

  1. Pack your medicine and medical supplies in your carry-on luggage.

If you’ve already taken your prescriptions for the day, it’s easy to save space in your carry-on luggage by throwing them in your checked bag. But planes get delayed and bags get lost, so make sure you keep the medicine and supplies you need close at hand when you fly. Also, bring enough to last you an extra day or two in case your trip home is delayed.

  1. Keep your travel plans to yourself.

Thieves take interest in nice homes that sit empty, so don’t make your home an unnecessary target by sharing your travel plans online. Even if your account is private, Facebook isn’t as secure as you might think so wait until you return home to share tales of your vacation. Consider asking a family member or friend to check up on your house while you are gone. General home safety and maintenance concerns are a nonissue for Meth-Wick residents. Our private campus is guarded by 24-hour security staff and yards are maintained by our groundskeepers.

  1. Secure your valuables.

Consider purchasing clothes for your trip outfitted with lots of inside pockets for you to discreetly store money, credit cards and passports on your person. When you’ve reached your hotel, familiarize yourself with the safe in your room and keep your valuables inside, rather than sitting on the bed or a desk. Don’t put the “Clean My Room” sign on your door when you leave, as it alerts potential thieves that you aren’t in the room. Call down to the front desk when you leave to let the staff know they can begin cleaning.

  1. Don’t ignore your stomach.

Although it’s hard to admit, you’re not 25 anymore. Gone are the days where you could eat a gallon of spicy salsa and a whole pizza then wake up the next day ready for adventure. Trying new foods is half the fun of traveling but don’t disregard any dietary restrictions you might have. It’ll be hard to say no to that schnitzel, but it beats spending the rest of the day in your hotel bathroom when you could be wandering around a beautiful new city.

  1. Be aware of your surroundings.

Older adults are often targets for theft and fraud as they are perceived to be less aware of their surroundings and more likely to carry valuables, like cash and nice cameras. Familiarize yourself with the area and local public transit. It’s easy to grab a bag from the back of your chair or even between your feet. Keep purses and bags in front of you while walking and on your lap while sitting.

Safe travels this holiday season from all of us at Meth-Wick.

Overcoming the stigma of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Alzheimer’s disease affects millions of people and their loved ones every year. There are some genetic factors that may increase a person’s likelihood but for the most part, it can strike anyone and there is no cure, yet.

With such a uncertain outcome, it makes sense why so many people misunderstand the disease and the people it affects. The stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s prevents people experiencing symptoms from seeking medical treatment, developing a support system, benefitting from early diagnosis and treatment, and living the best quality of life possible.

Here’s some tips from the Alzheimer’s Association for overcoming the stigma you and your loved ones may face after diagnosis.

  1. Be open and direct.
    Engage others in discussions about Alzheimer’s disease and the need for prevention, better treatment and an eventual cure. Engage with others like you on message boards.
  2. Communicate the facts.
    Sharing accurate information is key to dispelling misconceptions about the disease. Whether a pamphlet or link to online content, offer information to help people better understand Alzheimer’s disease. Learn the facts about Alzheimer’s and find an education program near you.
  3. Seek support and stay connected.
    It is important to stay engaged in meaningful relationships and activities. Whether family, friends or a support group, a network is critical.
    Contact your local Alzheimer’s Association chapter about an early-stage support group near you.
  4. Don’t be discouraged.
    Denial of the disease by others is not a reflection of you. If people think that Alzheimer’s disease is normal aging, see it as an education opportunity.
    Tips for helping family and friends.
  5. Be a part of the solution.
    As an individual living with the disease, yours is the most powerful voice to help raise awareness, end stigma and advocate for more Alzheimer’s support and research. Learn how you can take action in the fight against Alzheimer’s.

Meth-Wick understands the difficult situation families are in when a loved one is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. That’s why we have Arbor Place, assisted living on our campus dedicated solely to residents with memory needs.

The safe and secure facility practices a standard of care that recent research indicates will afford the greatest benefit to people with cognitive losses: provide small groups of people with a quiet, family-style home where they feel safe and are encouraged to take part in wellness and recreation programs that promote quality of life. Arbor Place’s high caregiver-to-resident ratio ensures each resident receives the individualized attention they need.

Are you seeing the right doctor?

A routine yearly exam is an integral part of preventive medicine. You can work with your doctor to identify problems before they develop further, which is especially important as you age. But are you seeing a doctor that fits your needs? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you trust your doctor?
  • Do you communicate well with each other?
  • Do you trust and communicate well with their staff?
  • Do they have experience with older adults and the health problems they typically face?

If your answer to any of these questions is no, it may be time to look for a new physician. Doctors know that different patients require diverse attention and care, so don’t feel guilty striking out in a new direction.

Whether you’re new in town or are simply looking for a different set of skills, here’s a few things the National Institute on Aging wants older adults to keep in mind.

  1. Set priorities

What matters to you? Good communication? Do you want a doctor who specializes in older adults? Do you need your doctor’s office to be near work or home? Do you want to be at a private practice or a larger hospital system? Decide which issues are most important for you and make a list of providers in the area that fit your search terms.

  1. Ask around

Good doctors have good reputations. Ask family and friends which doctor they see and what they like about them. Find out what your trusted confidants like about their doctor and ways they could improve. Conversely, find out if family and friends would put a red flag on any of the names on your list.

  1. Consider your health insurance

If you are part of a managed care plan like a health maintenance organization or a preferred provider organization, you’ll need to confirm your new doctor is in your network or risk paying “out-of-network” fees.

  1. Consult references

Make sure the names on your list are properly certified by checking the databases linked below. Call your local or state medical board as well to see if any of your finalists have a history of complaints from former patients.

Where to cross-reference your list:

You can also make an appointment to talk with the doctors you are considering. Most will charge you for their time, but it’s a good exercise to determine if you could work well together. Ask them questions like:

  • Do you have many older patients?
  • How do you feel about involving my family in care decisions?
  • Can I call or email you or your staff when I have questions? Do you charge for telephone or email time?
  • What are your thoughts about complementary or alternative treatments?
  1. Make a decision

Did you have good rapport with the doctor? Did you feel listened to and comfortable asking questions? If you answered yes, then you’ve found the right person. Set up an appointment, have your patient history transferred to your new doctor’s office, and inform them of any medications you are currently taking.

Make sure your doctor is the right person to walk with you in every stage of life. As your needs change, be sure you have a doctor who makes you feel comfortable and heard.


Top 4 Reasons A Life Plan Community Is Right For You

The boomer generation has changed what it means to be an older adult. You shop differently, save differently and live differently than any generation before you. So, as you transition into the next chapter of life, consider whether a Life Plan Community might be the right move.

What is a Life Plan Community?

Life shows that our communities are about so much more than care; they are about living life to the fullest.

Plan captures the unique “safety net” advantages that Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CRCC) offer through a continuum of health-related services.

Community means connectedness. It’s where “planning” and “living” merge and allow for living life to the fullest.

Formerly known as a CRCC, a Life Plan Community is a residential community that offers more than one level of care on a single campus, has a focus on active lifestyles, and is integrated into the community. At Meth-Wick, you see the Life Plan Community philosophy in action. We have five different styles of living from independent living to skilled nursing care so that when you make the move to Meth-Wick, you will have the care you need no matter what life brings.

  1. Stay independent and in control

Meth-Wick offers a variety of condos, apartments and even single-family homes for residents who prefer to live independently. This keeps you in your home longer – where we know you prefer to be.

  1. Protect yourself and your family

By putting a plan in place today for the next stage of your life, you relieve your family from decision making during stressful times.

  1. Make a smart financial decision

Life Plan Communities typically have an entrance fee and monthly fees. This structure stabilizes costs as you only pay for what you need, when you need it, removing many of the unknowns of retirement planning.

  1. Never move again

Moving to Meth-Wick means that you may not have to move again as you or your spouse’s needs change. Resident Connie Proffitt and her husband Russell moved into a condo at Deer Ridge when they came to Meth-Wick. Connie was able to care for her husband and arrange for in-home care from Meth-Wick Home & Health when she needed to run errands or be out of the house for a few hours. Rather than having to move him to assisted living, the couple was able to spend Russell’s last years together in their home.

Over the past several decades, what it means to be an older adult has changed. So, we’ve changed with it. Our Life Plan Community is a place where you can live life on your terms, whatever they may be.

How to ‘Leave A Legacy’ at Meth-Wick

Meth-Wick was established in 1959 through thoughtful planning and a charitable gift. Local philanthropist Barthinius L. Wick wanted to create a place where older adults could live together in a community so he set aside funds and a set of instructions in his trust. After he passed, his gift was paired with the expertise of the United Methodist Church to build Meth-Wick Community as we know it today.

Mr. Wick had a clear set of values throughout his life. He prioritized his community, promoted philanthropy and respected the dignity of every person. Those values were crystalized in his great final project – Meth-Wick Community. Although he didn’t live to see his plans become a reality, his dedicated trustees and well-written estate plan built a campus and community that residents will cherish for generations to come.

October is Leave A Legacy month at Meth-Wick. This month, we are asking our residents to think like Mr. Wick. What would you like your legacy to be at Meth-Wick?

Give a gift that reflects what’s important to you. Do you enjoy sitting by the koi pond? Consider donating a bench to place nearby. Do you look forward to the changing leaves on campus every fall? Think about donating a tree that will be marveled at by future generations. If it matters to you, we want it to be a part of the Meth-Wick story.

  1. Living Unit Refund – With one simple form and a quick visit to Teresa Dusil you can direct – after your lifetime – all or a percentage of your living unit refund to Meth-Wick. This refund provides an easy way to share your values with Meth-Wick without disturbing your existing estate plans.
  1. Stock or Securities – There are favorable tax rules in place for those who wish to donate long-term stock or securities (owned for at least a year) that has appreciated in value. The donor doesn’t have to pay capital gains on the appreciated stock or security and there is no need to obtain an appraisal.
  1. Cash – A cash gift is a straightforward and tax-deductible donation option.
  1. Real Estate – By donating real estate, the donor is able to forego the costs associated with maintaining, selling or passing down property and contribute to Meth-Wick’s mission.
  1. IRA Assets – The IRA charitable rollover was renewed and made permanent by Congress in 2015. This provision allows individuals aged 70½ years to donate up to $100,000 from their IRA directly to charity without treating it as taxable income.
  1. Charitable Gift Annuity – By purchasing a charitable gift annuity from Meth-Wick, you give away a lump sum and receive quarterly interest payments on that amount for the rest of your life. The rate of interest depends on the donor’s age.
  1. Donate to the endowment fund – A percentage of income from these funds is used to pay for free or discounted care for residents who have exhausted their funds through no fault of their own. The principal in the fund is never touched, only the interest it produces. The generous support of the Meth-Wick endowment guarantees that the compassion displayed at Meth-Wick today will be continued for decades to come.

As you can see, donations can come in many forms. Spend some time thinking about which type of gift best communicates your values. We are grateful to our generous donors for allowing us to continue Mr. Wick’s legacy for years to come.

Please consult your financial professional for to determine the gift best suited to your financial needs. If you have any questions, please contact Teresa Dusil at (319) 297-8603 or