About Amie

Avid runner with a love of team-relays. Expert on senior-care issues, especially senior housing solutions. Loves working with seniors and families. Co-founder of The Senior List and The Senior Resource Network.

How Do They Make Custom Fitted Hearing Aids?

If you’ve ever shopped for a hearing aid, you know there are many hearing aid options to choose from.  Depending on you or your family member’s needs, you may need an in-the-canal fit, or an in-ear fit, a behind-the-ear hearing aid, and so on… and so on… and so on!  Now that you know what configurations are out there, it’s interesting to see how these custom fitted hearing aids are made.  Many of you know how expensive hearing aids can be, but did you know what goes into making the custom fitted hearing aids?  The guys at How Its Made (a very popular YouTube channel) put together a video to answer the question; How do they make custom hearing aids?  Enjoy!

How Hearing Aids Are Made

Best List Of Senior Discounts For 2014

best senior discountsWe had such a tremendous response to our 2013 list of senior discounts  that we wanted to update that list and make it even better!  Based on your feedback and a little homework, we compiled a new “Best List Of Senior Discounts For 2014″.  There’s still a number of great places to go to find stores that offer senior discounts, like AARP, AAA, and About.com.  If you have suggestions that we missed or corrections (these things can change from time to time) please let us know below!

One additional resource to keep in mind is The Senior List Facebook Page.  We regularly post discounts, scam alerts, and other great information there.  Also, it’s another great place for our community to interact and share together.  If you haven’t “liked” our Facebook page yet, please join us! (Look for our Facebook widget just to the right of this article.)

Best Restaurant Discounts For Seniors:

Applebee’s: 15% off with Golden Apple Card (60+)
Arby’s: 10% off (55+)
Backyard Burger: free drink with purchase
Ben & Jerry’s: 10% off (60+)
Bennigan’s: discount varies by location (60+)
Bob’s Big Boy: discount varies by location (60+)
Boston Market: 10% off (65+)
Burger King: 10% off (60+) plus additional discounts on coffee and soft drinks
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co: 10% off for AARP Members
Carrabba’s Italian Grill: 20% off on Wednesdays to AARP Members
Chick-Fil-A: 10% off or free small drink or coffee (55+)
Chili’s: 10% off (55+)
CiCi’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Denny’s: 10% off, 20% off for AARP members (55+)
Dunkin’ Donuts:  AARP members receive a free donut with the purchase of a large hot coffee (at participating restaurants)
Einstein’s Bagels: 10% off baker’s dozen of bagels (60+)
Fuddrucker’s: 10% off any senior platter (55+)
Gatti’s Pizza: 10% off (60+)
Golden Corral: 10% off (60+)
Hardee’s: $0.33 beverages everyday (65+)
IHOP: 10% off (55+)
Jack in the Box: up to 20% off (55+)
KFC: Free small drink with any meal (55+)
Krispy Kreme: 10% off (50+)
Long John Silver’s: Various discounts at locations (55+)
McDonald’s: discounts on coffee everyday (55+)
Mrs. Fields: 10% off at participating locations (60+)
Outback Steakhouse: 15% off AARP members for meals Monday through Thursday (alcohol excluded)
Papa John’s: 25% off (55+) for online orders. Enter the code “AARP25″ when placing your order
Shoney’s: 10% off Sonic: 10% off or free beverage (60+)
Steak ‘n Shake: 10% off every Monday & Tuesday (50+)
Subway: 10% off (60+)
Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off (62+)
Taco Bell: 5% off; free beverages for seniors (65+)
TCBY: 10% off (55+)
Tea Room Cafe: 10% off (50+)
Village Inn: 10% off (60+)
Waffle House: 10% off every Monday (60+)
Wendy’s: 10% off (55+)
White Castle: 10% off (62+)

Best Retail and Apparel Discounts For Seniors:

Banana Republic: 10% off (50+)
Bealls: 20% off first Tuesday of each month (50+)
Belk’s: 15% off first Tuesday of every month (55+)
Bon-Ton Department Stores: 15% off on senior discount days (55+)
C.J. Banks: 10% off every Wednesday (60+)
Clarks: 10% off (62+)
Dress Barn: 10% off (55+)
Goodwill: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Hallmark: 10% off one day a week (date varies by location)
Kohl’s: 15% off (60+)
Modell’s Sporting Goods: 10% off
Rite Aid: 10% off on Tuesdays & 10% off prescriptions
Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday (55+)
The Salvation Army Thrift Stores: Up to 50% off (55+)
Stein Mart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month (55+)

Best Airline Discounts For Seniors:

American Airlines: Various discounts for 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
Continental Airlines: No initiation fee for Continental Presidents Club & special fares for select destinations
Southwest Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
United Airlines: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)
U.S. Airways: Various discounts for ages 65 and up (call before booking for discount)

Best Car Rental Discounts For Seniors:

Alamo Car Rental: Up to 25% off for AARP members
Avis: Up to 25% off for AARP members Best Western: 10% off (55+)
Budget Rental Cars: 10% off; up to 20% off for AARP members (50+)
Dollar Rent-A-Car: 10% off (50+)
Enterprise Rent-A-Car: 5% off for AARP members
Hertz: Up to 25% off for AARP members Holiday Inn: 10%-30% off depending on location (62+)
National Rent-A-Car: Up to 30% off for AARP members

Best Activities & Entertainment Discounts For Seniors:

AMC Theaters: Up to 30% off (55+)
Bally Total Fitness: Up to $100 off memberships (62+)
U.S. National Parks: $10 lifetime pass; 50% off additional services including camping (62+)
Regal Cinemas: 30% off Ripley’s Believe it or Not: @ off one-day ticket (55+)
SeaWorld Orlando, FL: $3 off one-day tickets (50+)

Best Cell Phone Discounts For Seniors:

AT&T: Special Senior Nation 200 Plan $29.99/month (65+)
Jitterbug: $10/month cell phone service (50+)
Verizon Wireless: Verizon Nationwide 65 Plus Plan $29.99/month (65+)

Best Hair Cut Discounts For Seniors:

Great Clips: $3 off hair cuts (65+)
Super Cuts: $2 off haircuts (60+)

If you’re interested in getting the very best deal you can, the best thing you can do is just ask the question… “Do you offer any senior discounts?”  Hey, a penny saved is a penny earned!  We’ll continue to update this list with the help of our readers like you. Remember to add your “2 cents” in the comment section below.

Photo Credit: 401(K) 2012 via Flickr

Top Websites For Medical Information And Advice

There are a lot of choices out there when it comes to medical advice.  Recently, MarketingCharts.com put together a nice analysis of the top websites for medical information and advice.  They interpreted data from Experian Marketing Services which audited U.S. household desktop and personal computer Hitwise visits from 5 million internet visitors.  The data is very interesting noting that WebMD has almost 3 times the traffic of its nearest competitor Drugs.com.  Admittedly, there were a couple sites on here I’d never visited, but are nice nonetheless.  Sites like Everyday Health and HealthGuru are great if you haven’t visited, and they provide a lot of great information and advice.

top health information websites

It would be interesting to see if the chart changes at all when taking into account mobile (phone, tablet, etc.) visitors, but I’m guessing the trend stays aligned for the most part.  Also, there are a number of folks that use a good ole fashion search engine to lead them directly to what they’re looking for.  This is likely the case given that less than 40% of web traffic comes from humans.  (The rest comes from good and bad bots according to a number of sources out there.)  What websites do you use for medical information and advice?  Do you have a favorite or a top 3?  Let us know in the comments below!

Best Places To Retire For Less

Savannah GA

If you’ve been following our posts recently you know we published a list of best beach towns to retire in America.  This list is admittedly biased to towns out west (hey we spend a lot of time out there), but each of these beach communities is wonderful in it’s own right.  The Motley Fool recently published a short-list of friendly boomer cities where retirees can live it up for less.  These cities, in no particular order included 3 sleepers… Savannah Georgia (love it), Tulsa Oklahoma (interesting choice), and Omaha Nebraska (this works).  I wouldn’t have thought about the latter 2, if not for some of the context provided, and the criteria used to make the recommendations.  Here’s what these fools (it’s Motley Fool for heavens sake) took into consideration, as well as a few suggestions of our own added into the mix.  You should consider these criteria as you map out your own plan for retirement down the road.

When thinking about retirement cities, consider the following criteria:

  • Cost of Living (including state income tax rate, sales tax rate, and cost of living compared to the average COL)
  • Cultural Amenities and Offerings (like museums, parks, theater, and public squares)
  • The Employment Rate (a nice barometer of economic stability)
  • Is there a University/College near by?
  • Are there senior care facilities, and/or home health agencies adequately serving the area?
  • Is it close enough to your kids, your grand kids, and/or your close friends?

For another great list of affordable retirement cities, check out the folks at Grandparents.com.  They also published a list of the “6 Most Affordable Places to Retire“.  Another nice resource to check out is Sperlings Best Places.  They provide demographic info for cities that you may be considering as a retirement destination.  If you have other criteria used in making a retirement living choice, let us know in the comments below! We’d love to hear from you.

Photo: Wikipedia/Spyder_Monkey

Happy Independence Day 2014

What Is Independence Day?

“Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States of America commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain (now officially known as the United Kingdom). Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, and political speeches and ceremonies, in addition to various other public and private events celebrating the history, government, and traditions of the United States. Independence Day is the National Day of the United States.” (source wikipedia.org)

US Flag ImagesHere’s hoping you have a great 4th of July weekend, and you enjoy it with friends and/or family.  Around these parts, we’re celebrating with a morning 5K run, later a community parade, and even later socializing with friends.  Rounding out the night is a big community firework show that is sure to encourage the dogs to pee on the carpet, and shake and shiver all night from the exploding madness.  Keeping this theme in mind, I thought we’d pass along a top 10 safety list for your pets on this especially LOUD holiday.  Brought to you by our friends at petMD, here are the “Top 10 4th of July Pet Safety Tips” for your reading pleasure.

If you’re up for inspiration, here’s a link to a poem that my husbands great grandmother wrote upon setting foot in America (via Ellis Island).  The poem is entitled “Momoire” by Kate M. Gehrke.  It includes this wonderful passage about her coming to America:

“But most of all I think about the crossing of the ocean. To a new world – I had always known -But only by its name.  A world so different from the old, And still so much the same.  For here I met the people from Russia And the Baltic Sea, From Bohemia, the Rheinland And from Saxony.” – A passage from Kate Gehrke’s “Memoire”

Product Review: CareBeacon iPhone App

I recently tested the CareBeacon fall detection (and inactivity) app for iPhone.  The app functions like a mobile medical alert system and notifies loved ones of falls by utilizing the accelerometer  and GPS (global positioning systems) functions in the smart phone.  The app is free for the first 30 days and is available from $8.33 per month (if you sign up for the year) to $12.99 (on a month to month) after the initial trial.

The CareBeacon app is great for those who have an existing iPhone and who carry it with them at all times.  The app will work wherever the phone has a signal and is not confined to the home like many traditional personal emergency response systems.  The pre-determined friends and family will be notified if the user does not answer the “Are You Ok?” prompts after a period of inactivity or a fall is sensed.  The time to sense inactivity can be adjusted by the user, from one to 15 minutes.  If the phone senses a fall, it sends a text and/or voice messages with the users location.  The friends/family would then contact the user and emergency services if needed.

CareBeacon Review: Likes and Dislikes

What I liked:

  • Conceptually utilizing the mobile phone functionality for active adults (that just need a safety blanket) makes a great deal of sense
  • For those that carry their mobile phone all over the place, it’s always with you
  • Accelerometer should work as well as other mPERS (mobile personal emergency response system) or better, though phone’s location on the body could make a difference in sensitivity for the fall algorithm
  • Simple to use and simple to set up
  • Designate friends and family (to contact in case of emergency) as you wish
  • Price is right when comparing it to traditional or mobile medical alert system subscriptions

What I didn’t like:

  • You have to have an iPhone (no Android version as yet)
  • If you don’t have adequate service coverage (from Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) you don’t have a functioning app
  • Only calls friends and family no direct 911 calling (this isn’t so bad as long as someone answers)
  • 15 minute inactivity alarm started bugging me, CareBeacon may want to adjust this to allow for less frequent check-ins
  • Price is high IF you’re comparing it to other apps on the iPhone app store

how CareBeacon works

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Best Beach Towns In America For Retirement

Looking forward to retiring in the same community you slaved away in for 40+ years?  If not, you may be dreaming of life in a cozy beach community where the idea of fresh air, fresh fish, and fresh adventures await!  If that’s the case, here’s a list of the best beach towns in America for retirement.  Enjoy your golden active years near the many relaxing beach communities we have right here in our own backyard.

Top 5 Beach Towns In America For Retirement

#1 Manzanita (Oregon)Manzanita Beach

This sleepy little community boast a wonderful mix of full timers and part time residence.  With 7 miles of sandy beaches, Manzanita offers lots of room to run, walk, surf, or chill out.  The Oregon Coast Visitors Association maintains that “Manzanita possesses the third most photographed scenery in Oregon”.  Add in a local golf course, and a few nice restaurants/pubs and now you’ve got a full plate!  Located just West of Portland (and south of Cannon Beach) Manzanita has less than 1,000 full-time residence and at the time of the 2010 census just 315 households.  Median age in the city is 59.9 years young.  –photos courtesy of jamesonf via Flickr

Manzanita Beach Walk

 #2 Santa Cruz (California)

Santa Cruz CA

Santa Cruz is a throw back town.  Having just spent our spring break there this year, we loved every minute of this surfer’s paradise.  Looking for something a little laid back and dog friendly?  You just found it.  Add in a mix of fine dining, and local eateries (where the food is fresh and affordable), you won’t go home hungry.  2011 census pegged Santa Cruz at just over 60,000 residence with 32.1% of the population between the ages of 45 and older.  Median age in Santa Cruz is 29.9 (wikipedia).  Beach dwelling, wine tasting, museums, and a university add to the cultural appeal of Santa Cruz, and it’s a sure draw for those looking for an active retirement.  –photos courtesy of Thomas Hawk & Hudheer G via Flickr

Beach at Santa Cruz CA

#3 Beaufort (South Carolina)

Beaufort SC

Beaufort SC was named Coastal Living Magazine’s Happiest Seaside Town in 2013.  How’s that for an introduction?  Beaufort is located on Port Royal Island, in the heart of the Sea Islands.  Water, history and culture surround this area, and it’s about as friendly a town as you’ll ever come across.  “Chartered in 1711, it is the second-oldest city in South Carolina, behind Charleston. The city’s population was 12,361 in the 2010 census.  It is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort Metropolitan Statistical Area.” (Wikipedia)  As of the 2010 census there were just over 12,000 people residing in the city of Beaufort.  A full 30% of the people in Beaufort SC are over the age of 45.  –photos courtesy of scarter392 & Henry de Saussure Copeland via Flickr

Beaufort SC

#4 Friday Harbor (San Juan Island WA)

Friday Harbor WA

Friday Harbor is a gorgeous little island community available only by ferry service (or float plane).  With just over 2,000 residence, it’s not easy to get lost around Friday Harbor.  Census data notes that 44.8% of the city is 45 years old or older.  Lots of things to do on San Juan Island including hiking, biking, fishing, walking, kayaking and sampling the many local eateries and coffee shops around town.  Summertime brings in quite a number of tourists, but everyone is interested in fresh air and the active outdoor culture that abounds here.  –photos courtesy of Chase N. & Mike Kelley via Flickr

Friday Harbor ferry

#5 Steilacoom (Washington)

Steilacoom WA Sunset

Located 45 miles SW of Seattle, Steilacoom (pronounced “still-a-come”)seems to move in slow motion and that’s just how the 6,000 or so full-time locals love it.  The 4th of July celebration brings in over 18,000 visitors, and all come for good eats, good conversation, and fireworks over Sunnyside Beach.  This Puget Sound community boasts a median age of 45.4 (as of the 2010 census) and 39.3% of folks are 45 years of age or older.  –photos courtesy of L-M-E & camknows via Flickr

festival in Steilacoom WA

Physician Cures Her MS With Diet- Are You Eating Enough?

Eat Seven Fruits and Vegetables per DayI first learned about Dr. Terry Wahls this morning on my favorite radio station, Kink.fm.  The morning host had just finished her book and was remarking about this woman who had cured her multiple sclerosis (MS), discarded her wheelchair, and had done it all with food, not drugs.  In addition, she went on to say that a new study has been released that directly links the amount of  fruits and vegetables in a person’s diet to lifespan.

Eating at least seven portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day was linked to a 42% lower risk of death from all causes.

Yes, you read that right- seven portions, not the usual five we have heard about for the last several years.  As a self-proclaimed food-nut myself, I was very interested to read about Dr. Wahls and her health transformation from changing how and what she ate.

You can read about the Seven Fruits and Vegetables Study here.  Another interesting note from the study is that canned fruits and vegetables seemed to increase the risk of death by 17%!  Yikes!  Not surprisingly, the amount of sugar, especially in canned fruits seems to be to blame.

It may seem unrealistic (and can be expensive) to increase fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet, but our takeaway is that some is better than none, at any age.  If you are getting  three servings,  try increasing it to four, then, five, and eventually up to seven.  I find that making a smoothie first thing in the morning helps me knock 2-3 servings out.  Here are some great recipe ideas for smoothies that I found helpful when I was just getting started.

Have you found easy ways to increase your fruit and vegetable consumption?  We want to hear about it!  Comment below!

US guidelines urge more cholesterol meds than Europe

US guidelines urge more cholesterol meds than Europe (via AFP)

US guidelines for prescribing cholesterol-lowering drugs to people over 55 call for many more to be taking the medications than in Europe, researchers said Saturday. The findings raised new questions about how popular drugs like Lipitor (atorvastatin…

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10 Tips To Total Healing

10 Tips To Total Healing (via Honey Colony)

By Kathy Gruver, Buzzworthy Blog Though one of the most basic things our bodies do, healing is complicated by bio-individuality, our mental states and our environments. I believe we can enhance our healing using mind-body techniques, but we can’t…

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