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Did you realize that because May is National Older Americans Month, we have a wonderful opportunity to honor and celebrate senior adults across the country and right here in Florida? During this month we can also raise awareness about the many challenges they face. In addition, it is an opportunity for adult children of aging parents to give back by being sure they have met with a qualified Florida elder law attorney and have their estate and long-term care plans in place. National Older Americans Month first occurred in 1963, when Medicare had yet to be created and few government programs provided assistance to seniors in need. At the time, more than one-third of all older Americans lived in poverty.

Fortunately, there has been tremendous progress over the past half-century. Much of the credit for this progress should go to family caregivers, who today provide more than 80 percent of day-to-day support for aging adults. Do you need some tips to help you care for the aging seniors in your life this month, and throughout the year? We would like to share three with you right here in our blog.

1. Food needs. Provide grocery shopping and meal planning for a senior loved one. This will relieve the stress for senior loved ones with mobility issues, and provide nutritious food choices. By preparing easy-access finger-foods and pre-cooked multi-serving dishes, meal planning will be so much easier. Using plastic cups, plates and straws can reduce clean-up.

2. Clothing needs. Adult children and family caregivers can help aging parents by keeping their laundry clean, and by laying out loose-fitting, comfortable clothes. Buying comfortable shoes and clothes with Velcro and large zippers can help seniors adapt to temperature changes and varying weather.

3. Hygiene needs. Bathing should always be under the supervision of a caregiver because bathtubs and showers can be slippery and dangerous. Remove any obstacles, such as a throw rug or bath mat, to reduce the risk of tripping and falling. Look for adaptive bathing equipment, such as shower chairs and hand-held showerheads.

We know this blog may raise more questions than it answers. At Britton G. Swank, P.A., our mission is to guide you in the right direction to help you provide for yourself and your loved ones no matter what the future holds. We want to help you control the assets you have, leave them to people and causes you care about, when you want, in the way you want. We can help you take care of yourself and those you love in the event of disability due to illness, injury or old age. No matter what risks unfold, we can help give you the comfort of knowing you are prepared. We want you to feel good about your future and the future of your loved ones. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.