The Senior Blog

Whether you are twenty-nine or ninety, we hope that this blog has something to offer. Our goal is to publish information that will improve quality of life for seniors, be they your grandparents, your parents, you, or even your children someday.

The economic crisis makes it difficult for some families to make the ends meet. Yet this is especially harder for those with no income and are just supported by pension or Medicare. How will you survive with no monthly salary, as the medical bills pile up as is inevitable with age.

Reverse mortgages are the popular choice, since it needs no proof of income to be approved. However, before you should decide to take it, it is important that you study the pros and cons of reverse mortgage to make sure you’re getting the best out of the deal.

The major requirements for this loan is an age bracket of 62 years old and above, and the applicant should have a property. The loan could be given in fixed monthly payment, a lump sum, a line of credit, or a combination of these.

It does not require monthly repayments, but would have to be settled in full amount once the borrower dies, sells the property, or moves out of the home. The older a borrower is, the higher the possible loan might be. This also enables the borrower to cash in on the equity of his home – and be able to use the money for his own devices. Yet reverse mortgages pros and cons outweigh each other, and it is a wise move to really study it before signing the deal. The website Reverse Mortgage Alert is a good place to start.

Reverse Mortgages Pros and Cons

Reverse mortgages has no income restrictions but now require a financial check when applying. This is to ensure that you can meet taxes and insurance. No monthly repayments, and an elderly could apply even if he is on social security. These benefits make it easy for those who have no income to provide for themselves during their golden years. Yet this type of mortgage is not for those who wish to sell their homes.

One of the disadvantages of reverse mortgages is that the property should be sold off in order to repay the loan. When the due date comes, the borrower or his inheritors will have to settle the full amount in a month in order to keep their home. If they are unable to settle the debt, then the lenders will possess the property.

Aside from this, there are several processing fees needed to ensure that the application would be approved, which is about 5% of the whole loan. Moreover, if the home is already mortgaged upon application, then the original debt should first be paid, either by the applicant’s personal money or a deduction from the loan.

Thus reverse mortgages pros and cons should both be considered before deciding on it. There might be other viable options for your situation. Yet once you do consider that you’ll opt for this loan, then you’ll be set for life – as long as you don’t move out of your home.

Most adult children find that when their parents occasionally need help, they can drop everything and do what’s necessary. Many start running into trouble, however, when assistance is needed on an ongoing basis. The daily demands of caring for an elderly parent can be overwhelming, even in the best of circumstances.

Whether you are in the early stages of helping your parents plan their future or in the midst of single-handedly trying to manage everything for them, it’s important for you to find out what resources are available to help your parents. It is equally important for you to locate and tap into resources to help yourself.

There are several resources to investigate for both periodic and ongoing help for your parents as well as for yourself. These resources include:

Your Family and Your Parents’ Close Friends

Brothers, sisters, or other relatives are the logical people for you to call on for help. Even if siblings cannot always be available physically, their willingness to be involved is a big advantage. If your siblings don’t offer their help, ASK them for it. Be honest about your own needs as well as those of your parents. Also, ask a relative or friend to help by giving you regularly scheduled breaks each week or month.

Adult Daycare

Adult daycare centers specialize in providing care for the frail elderly, adults who are physically impaired, and/or those with dementia, confusion problems, and Alzheimer’s disease. Adult daycare centers offer health-related and rehabilitative services, social interaction and a variety of activities.

Home Health Care

These services are helpful if your parent needs various levels of nursing care or other professional health services in their home or yours. Home health care services include registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, home health aides, and companions, as well as occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech therapists, and social workers. Your local hospitals, Visiting Nurse Associations and Area Agency of Aging can help you in obtaining the assistance your parents may require. Medicare and health insurance may cover some of these services.

Geriatric Care Managers

If you feel your parents need more care than you are able to give, a private geriatric care manager may be the answer. These professionals can assess your parents’ needs and home situation, then coordinate and monitor the necessary care and services. They work closely with all family members and may be helpful in keeping lines of communication open. Contact the social worker at a hospital near your parents for a referral.

Respite Care Programs

Respite care programs, run by the Council for Senior Citizens in cooperation with other local non-profit organizations, are designed to provide temporary care for an elderly individual in their own home. The purpose of the care is to allow the primary caregiver some short-term relief from day-to-day responsibilities.

Senior Centers

These neighborhood centers offer a variety of programs and services for the well elderly. The center’s offerings will vary, but can include inexpensive meals, exercise classes, trips to local museums and events, and many other health, nutritional, educational and recreational activities. See our Senior Center Activities page for a listing of Durham Senior Centers. Visit a center, meet the Director and ask for a copy of the monthly schedule of programs and events.

Your Place of Worship

Local religious organizations often provide dependable volunteers who make home visits.

Support Groups

You need not feel alone as you go through the care giving experience with your family. Many adult children become isolated by their inability to communicate the difficulties they are going through. Support groups will help you learn coping skills and find out about other resources and services available to you and your parents. Contact the Council for Senior Citizens for a listing of Caregiver Support Groups.

Your Employer

Many employers have become aware of the growing number of employees who are providing care for an elder and have developed programs to assist. Check with your company’s human resources department.

Outside Resources


National Alliance for Caregiving

What is LBGT?

LGBT is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transexual persons. Experts estimate that between 1.75 and 3.5 million Americans age 60 and are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Research and information on this subset of the older adult population is scarce, but the numbers are expected to increase as our aging population increases.

Older LGBT persons may have special concerns or needs in relation to growing older. They may not be well connected with mainstream senior information networks. Previous experiences with sexual discrimination may make them reluctant to reveal their situations to human service and aging providers.

What are some of the problems faced by older LBGT individuals?

Some LBGT persons may not be close to family because of tensions over sexual orientation. This can make things difficult because family is not there to provide social support for the aging person. They may be reluctant to join bereavement support groups after the loss of a partner for fear of being misunderstood.

There may be a greater risk of some health issues for some LBGT individuals. Issues surrounding insurance and privacy may make these individuals reluctant to access preventative and/or necessary health care.

Financial issues may be a concern since unmarried partners are currently ineligible for spousal or survivor's benefits through federal programs like Social Security and many private pension plans. The death of a partner may threaten the financial security of the remaining partner.

Many express interest in an LBGT-oriented housing and senior groups but few of those facilities or services exist.

Outside Resources

Sage USA

National Resource Center on LGBT Aging

LGBT Senior Resources