This month’s This Is Your Life features Aleta Lee. Ms. Lee worked for the United States Air Force and later worked at the Federal Aviation Association (FAA) up until her retirement in 1989. She is a world traveler, enjoys line dancing and is a member of the Westchester Elks! Aleta is loved and cherished by family and friends, as she keeps close connections with everyone she knows. Aleta’s This Is Your Life event was celebrated with friends, family and residents of the community. Aleta was ecstatic with all the decorations and lovely video that was made on her life story. The room, filled with kites and planes, expressed her love for kites (Aleta’s maiden name is Kite) and her job working in the aviation industry. Family and friends shared laughs, happiness and tears of joy, reminiscing the life of Ms. Lee. Aleta enjoyed the event and was thankful for this remarkable and memorable experience!
Welbrook Southbay is show casing Violetta Reyes this month! She is a wonderful Music Teacher who brings us immense joy every week when she plays for us. She is and has been a very involved community and church leader in our area and we are very fortunate to have her living here at our community. We love you Violetta!
Torrance CA (April 2017) Tax season can be especially stressful for seniors on a fixed income and for family caregivers of elderly loved ones—groups that include millions of budget-conscious Americans looking to keep expenses down. For older adults living in an assisted living facility as well as for caregivers, tax deductions may be a possibility. Welbrook South Bay offers some important information regarding potential tax deductions*.
The good news is that seniors and caregivers may be eligible for tax deductions for medical and dental expenses. Another bright spot in 2017 is that final tax returns are due Tuesday, April 18, three days later than the standard April 15 date. This year the 15th falls on a weekend and Monday, April 17, is Emancipation Day, a federal holiday, giving tax filers until April 18 to complete their returns.
Seniors receiving medical care in assisted living may qualify for tax deductions. This includes residents with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia who require substantial supervision to protect their health and safety.
Taxpayers married to or related to seniors requiring care may be eligible for deductions if the senior qualifies as the taxpayer’s dependent according to IRS requirements. Detailed information on dependency can be found at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p554/ch05.html. Additionally, the caregiver must provide more than half of the support for the senior during the year.
Which Senior Living Expenses Can Be Deductible?
For certain assisted living expenses to be tax deductible, the resident must be considered “chronically ill.” A doctor or nurse needs to have certified that the resident either:
- Cannot perform at least two activities of daily living, such as eating, toileting, transferring, bath, dressing, or continence, or…
- Requires supervision due to a cognitive impairment (such as Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia).
To qualify for a deduction, the senior’s personal care services need to be provided according to a plan of care prescribed by a licensed health care provider. This means a doctor, nurse or social worker must prepare a plan that outlines the specific daily services the resident receives.
Typically, only the medical components of assisted living costs are deductible and ordinary living costs like room and board are not. But if the resident is chronically ill and the facility is acting primarily for medical care and the care is being performed according to a certified plan of care, then the room and board may be considered part of the medical care and the cost may be deductible.
Residents who are not chronically ill may still be able to deduct the portion of their expenses that are attributable to medical care, including entrance or initiation fees.
To claim the deduction, the medical expenses have to be more than 10 percent of the resident’s adjusted gross income. (For taxpayers 65 and older, this threshold will be 7.5 percent through 2016.) In addition, only medical expenses paid during the year can be deducted, regardless of when the services were provided, and medical expenses are not deductible if they are reimbursable by insurance.
For more information on what can and cannot be deducted for medical expenses see Publication 502 on the IRS Web site at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf
*Welbrook hopes this information is useful, it is not an expert in tax preparation, and strongly advises seeking the advice of a professional tax preparer or financial advisor for assistance.
To learn more about a healthy senior lifestyle contact Welbrook South Bay at 310-997-0838.
About Welbrook South Bay
Welbrook South Bay provides the finest in independent living, assisted living, and memory care options for residents. Located in Torrance, California, the expertly trained staff provides residents with the highest standards of senior care services. It is operated by Integral Senior Living, which manages independent, assisted living and memory care properties. ISL is founded on a care philosophy that fosters dignity and respect for residents and promotes their independence and individuality. For more information call 310-997-0838 or visit www.welbrooksouthbay.com.
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This year’s theme is “Ready, Steady, Balance: Prevent Falls in 2016”
Among adults over age 65, falls are the leading cause of death from injury, nonfatal injuries from accidents, and hospital admissions for trauma. To bring attention to this critical health and safety issue, the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence sponsors Fall Prevention Awareness Week during the first week of the fall/autumn season. This year, during the week of September 22–29, older adults, caregivers, and families are encouraged to learn about seniors’ fall risks and how to prevent falls in 2016 and the years ahead.
“Falls can take a serious toll on older adults’ quality of life and independence,” says leading gerontologist Jon Pynoos, Ph.D., co-director of the Fall Prevention Center of Excellence, “and the risk for falls increases with age.”
Every 11 seconds, an older adult is seen in an emergency department for a fall-related injury, says the National Council on Aging (NCOA). At the heart of the message behind Fall Prevention Awareness Week is the good news that falls are preventable.
The NCOA advises seniors to stay safe with these six tips.
Find a good balance and exercise program. Strive to build balance, strength, and flexibility. To find a program, contact your local Area Agency on Aging for referrals. Find aging resources in your area at the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging. Choose a program you like and take a friend, caregiver, or family member.
Talk to your health care provider. Share your history of recent falls, and ask for an assessment of your falling risk.
Regularly review your medications with your doctor or pharmacist. Medication side effects and drug interactions can increase your risk of falling. Remember to take medications only as prescribed.
Get your vision and hearing checked yearly and update your eyeglasses. Your eyes and ears are key to keeping your balance and avoiding fall hazards.
Keep your home safe. Remove tripping hazards (loose area rugs, clutter in main walk-through areas, and wet floors in the kitchen and bathroom, for example), increase lighting in stairways and hallways, and install grab bars in the bathroom and railings on stairs.
Talk to family members. Enlist family members and caregivers’ support in taking simple steps to stay safe on your feet. Falls are not just a seniors’ issue.
September events spotlight Alzheimer’s and other dementias
The month of September has become a special time for focusing on research, awareness, and fundraising for Alzheimer’s disease nationwide and throughout the world.
Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) sponsors the fifth global World Alzheimer’s Month in September to educate about the disease and challenge stigma. Worldwide, 35 million people and their families are affected by dementia. This year’s theme is “Remember Me,” for which ADI asks everyone to get involved by sharing their own favorite memories, or memories of a loved one, on social media during September with the hashtags #RememberMe #WAM2016.
The Alzheimer’s Association’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, is the world’s largest fundraising and awareness event for Alzheimer’s. In fact many ISL communities take part in these walks. Participants of all ages and abilities gather for these local 2- to 3-mile walks, most of which are held on a day in September. To find a walk near you, go to the Walk to End Alzheimer’s website and type in your zip code.
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