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51 Seminary Avenue
Reading, PA 19605

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Phone Fraud, Savings Scams, Personal Pleas — Don’t Be a Victim!

If you have a phone (even a landline), own (or have even seen) a computer, or have a front door, you are vulnerable to scams, frauds, and identity theft, oh my! This series of articles is not meant to scare you into seclusion, but to awaken you to awareness of what is out there and how you can keep from becoming one of the millions of people who were scammed out of their money last year alone. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in 2018, they received 3 million reports of scams, totaling $1.48 billion (with a “b”) in lost money. Although people in their 20s fell victim more than people in their 70s, the latter group lost more money per capita, the median being over $700. Another surprising fact is that it seems seniors are more reluctant to report these events than are younger victims. The reasons for the differences are not clear, but what is clear is that seniors are targeted as much as anyone else and must learn how to defend against the perpetrators.

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How to Manage Mom's and Dad's Medications

Medications can be real lifesavers when taken in the proper doses and at the proper times. This is especially true for prescription medications meant to treat specific symptoms for specific individuals. However, they can turn on you if you take them in the wrong doses, at the wrong times, or don't take them at all. This is a danger for older adults who may be taking multiple medications and may have memory issues.

If you find yourself or a loved one in a situation where medication schedules are confusing, it's time to look into some products and services that can keep you on track. The keys to success are organization and reminders. Once you know what needs to be taken when and in what dose, the next step is to make sure you are reminded about those requirements.

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Sacred Heart Villa's Coronavirus Policy

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ATTENTION FAMILY AND FRIENDS: 

We know many of you are concerned about the spread of COVID-19 (the new coronavirus) and how it may impact us here at Sacred Heart Villa. Ensuring residents are cared for in a safe and healthy environment is our first priority. At this time, we do not have any cases in Sacred Heart Villa. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended a variety of steps that we are implementing to help reduce the potential for the virus to enter our building. However, we need your help in battling COVID-19. 

BEGINNING TOMORROW, MARCH 13th 2020, WE REQUEST THAT FAMILY AND FRIENDS DO NOT VISIT THE COMMUNITY.

Out of an abundance of caution, we are limiting all visitors to our facility unless absolutely necessary. We are posting signs on our entryway doors to notify visitors of this policy and actively screening individuals, including staff, who need to come into the building.

We understand that connecting with your loved one is incredibly important, and there is a variety of other ways you might consider communicating with them. These may include telephone, email, text, video chat, or social media. If you believe a visit to the community is necessary, we request that you contact us prior to your arrival.

In 2 weeks, we will re-evaluate the current situation along with the CDC recommendations to determine when we will open our doors to visitors again. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our community.

It’s Tax Time — Where Are My Documents?

Tax papersWhether you are still living at home, moving into a retirement community, have moved into a retirement community, or know someone who qualifies as any of the above, there is one thing you must face: tax time! This warning is for those of us who like to save every piece of string, yellowed newspaper, and straws from restaurants, as well as those who throw everything away because we don’t like clutter. When filing taxes, preparers need documentation for everything you claim. Now, where are those receipts and income statements? Did I throw them away or stuff them into boxes along with the recipes and clippings about the grandchildren’s sports achievements?

 

What to keep, and for how long, can be confusing, but it is important to know when (and how) to dispose of important papers. Many records are essential — not just at tax time, but for other reasons. Here are some general guidelines to help. As always, check with a tax or accounting professional if you have questions.

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Interact with Your Meds Before They Interact with You!

medicines-As you get older, you may be faced with more health conditions that you need to treat on a regular basis. It is important to be aware that more use of medicines and normal body changes caused by aging can increase the chance of unwanted or harmful drug interactions. The more you know about your medicines, and the more you talk with your health care professionals, the easier it is to avoid problems with medicines.

As you age, body changes can affect the way medicines are absorbed and used. For example, changes in the digestive system can affect how fast medicines enter the bloodstream. Changes in body weight can influence the amount of medicine you need to take and how long it stays in your body. The circulatory system may slow down, which can affect how fast drugs get to the liver and kidneys. The liver and kidneys also may work more slowly, affecting the way a drug breaks down and is removed from the body.

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It’s Virus Season — for You and Your Computer!

Winter is considered the peak season for viruses; you've heard the warnings about the flu and getting flu shots and the like. For some populations, the flu can be deadly. However, this warning is not about the viruses that get into your body — it's about the cyber viruses that get into your computer. They, too, can be deadly — to your computer! And sadly, seniors are particularly prone to both varieties! 

If you are reading this, we can assume you are using a computer. Therefore, you are at risk for a virus, commonly called "malware." Computer attacks are on the rise. Hundreds and thousands of computers in 150 countries can be and have been "hacked," causing problems from slowdowns to nasty popups to theft of personal information to destruction of the computer itself. Computers can be taken "hostage," meaning the perpetrator can take control of your machine until you pay a fine (which usually doesn't work anyway). If this frightens you, it should scare you into taking steps to protect your computer from viruses and other malware. Just like a flu shot, the solution is easy (but painless!).

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What Did You Say About Hearing Loss?

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"I called a piano tuner and he worked on my piano for six hours. I was getting anxious about how much it was going to cost but when he finished and asked for only four dollars I said, 'How come you can spend that much time on the piano and only charge me four dollars?' He said, 'What?'" (Steve Allen)

Hearing loss can be funny on stage, but it is generally considered a normal part of the aging process and is not funny when it happens. It is one of the most common conditions affecting older adults, and should not be ignored.

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