The older you get, the more likely you’ll be prescribed multiple medications. And that can be dangerous if you’re not careful, especially if they’re being prescribed by more than one doctor (or if you’re filling them at multiple Kansas City pharmacies). Here are some tips that can keep you safe:

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If you’re a Kansas City senior who’s living on a fixed income (or the caregiver of one), the high cost of prescription drugs may be a burden for you, especially if you have multiple ongoing prescriptions. You may even be one of the millions of seniors who’s gone without filling your prescriptions because you just couldn’t afford them.

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If you’re over the age of 50 and living in Kansas city, senior discounts can save you money on things like groceries, drug store items, dining out, and so much more! Here are just some of the places where you can save:

Grocery stores

  • HyVee: If you’re 55+, you can sign up for a Senior Discount Club Card, which will get you a 5% discount on purchases every Wednesday.

Drugstores

  • Walgreens: Once a month, Walgreens runs a Seniors Day with discounts for those ages 55+ or for AARP members.

Entertainment

  • Regal Cinemas: If you’re an AARP member and a Regal Crown Club member, you’ll get a $3 discount on a popcorn and drink combo.
  • AMC Theatres: AMC Theatres offers a $1 senior discount for matinees and a $3 senior discount for evening movies if you’re age 60 or over.
  • Kansas City Zoo. If you’re 55+, you’ll get a $1 discount on admission.

Restaurants

  • Bonefish Grill: If you’re an AARP member, get a 15% discount on food purchases.
  • Carrabba’s: If you’re an AARP member, get a 10% discount on food purchases.
  • Chili’s: Most restaurants offer a senior discount, but it varies by location.
  • Denny’s: Denny’s has a special 55+ menu with smaller portions at lower prices; or if you’re an AARP member, get a 15% discount on your check.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts: If you’re an AAFP member, get a free donut with a L or XL beverage purchase.
  • McCormick & Schmick’s: If you’re an AAFP member, get a 10% discount on your check.
  • Outback Steakhouse: If you’re an AAFP member, get a 10% discount on food purchases.

Clothing/retail

  • Kohl’s: If you’re 60 or older, get a 15% discount on Wednesdays.
  • Ross Stores: If you’re 55+, sign up for the Every Tuesday Club at Customer Service and you’ll get a 10% discount on Tuesdays.

Most Kansas City metro area organizations that have senior discounts don’t advertise them online. The bottom line is every time you go into an establishment in Kansas City, Independence, Overland Park, Prairie Village (or anywhere in the metro area), ask about a senior discount. You may be surprised by how many venues offer them, even though they’re not publicized.


It’s almost flu season again, and signs are popping up all over Kansas City, Overland Park, and Prairie Village reminding you it’s time for your annual flu shot. But how important is that flu shot really?

Flu shots are the number one method of preventing the flu. And it turns out the flu can be pretty dangerous if you’re over the age of 65. Every year in the U.S., as many as 700,000 people end up in the hospital from the flu and related complications. Most of those people are seniors. That’s because as you age, your immune system gets weaker, making it more difficult for you to fight off infection.

What About Caregivers?

If you’re caring for someone who’s over the age of 65, you also need to get an annual flu shot. If you don’t and you get sick, you’re putting that person at risk even if he or she has been immunized.

And if you’re charged with caring for someone who has Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia, it’s important to make sure that person gets a flu shot, too.

What if the Flu Shot Makes Me Sick?

It seems a lot of people are still concerned about getting the flu from a flu shot, but that’s simply not possible. The reason being that the flu vaccine is made from an “inactivated” virus, which means there’s no way it can make you sick.

Then why do some people get sick right after they get a flu shot? Flu shots don’t start working until a week or two after you get them. So if you get a flu shot and end up with the flu a few days later, the shot hadn’t yet had time to become effective. So you actually caught the virus somewhere else. That’s why it’s important to get your flu shot early. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s okay to get the shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available, and it’s best to get it by the end of October. But you shouldn’t skip it if you happen to miss the October deadline. Even though flu season begins in early October, it lasts throughout the winter, and sometimes even into spring.

Where Can I get a Flu Shot?

To get your flu shot, make an appointment with your home care nurse or doctor’s office. You can also get one at most CVS or Walgreens stores. They normally posts signs out front to let you know when the vaccine is available.


Have you stopped eating healthy because cooking’s become a hassle? You’re not alone. A lot of seniors feel that way. But not getting the proper nutrition can weaken your muscles and bones, which will increase your risk for illness and falls.

If you’re a senior who’s looking for easy meals, or a caregiver who’s providing care at home to a parent or other loved one, keep this in mind when it comes to nutrition. Healthy meals should include a mixture of lean protein (e.g., lean meats, seafood, eggs, beans), fruits and vegetables, whole grains (e.g., whole grain breads, cereals, brown rice, whole wheat pasta), and low-fat dairy (e.g., milk, yogurt, cheese). To that end, here are some quick, healthy recipes for seniors. You should be able to find these ingredients in almost any Kansas City (or Independence, or Overland Park…) grocery store:

Breakfast

Healthy Granola Parfait: Spoon 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt in the bottom of a tall glass. Top with 1/4 cup of granola, then 1/4 cup of berries, then 1 tsp dark chocolate chips. Repeat for second layer.

Fruit Smoothie: Put 1 container of plain Greek yogurt in the bottom of a blender. Add 1/2 banana, 1/2 of an 8 oz. bottle of vanilla Ensure Alive, 1 tsp. instant milk powder (optional), and a handful of frozen berries. Blend.

Peanut butter on toast. Spread peanut butter on whole grain toast. Serve with a side of fruit and a glass of milk.

Breakfast Egg Scramble: Beat together two eggs, 1/8 cup of milk, and your choice of seasonings (e.g., basil, paprika, salt substitute, pepper). Brown a small amount of turkey sausage (or you can use diced canadian bacon). Set aside. Add a small handful of diced onions and a small handful of diced green pepper to egg mixture. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a pan. Pour mixture in and scramble. When almost done, add the meat and a small handful of cheese. Continue to scramble until cheese is melted and eggs are set. Serve with a side of fruit.

Lunch/Dinner

All-in-One Salad. Start with a 50/50 spring mix (half spring mix, half spinach leaves). Add a chopped, boiled egg, a handful of shredded cheese, some nuts, and some berries. Top with a vinegarette dressing.

Easy turkey wrap. Spread onion and chive cream cheese on a whole wheat tortilla shell. Top with turkey slices, spinach leaves, shredded swiss, diced tomatoes, and cooked turkey bacon (optional). Roll tightly. Serve with a side of fruit.

Fish tacos. Lightly sprinkle cumin on a piece of white fish (cod is a healthy choice; avoid tilapia). Pan fry. Cut in slices. Divide fish between two small whole wheat tortilla shells. Top with lettuce or cabbage, tomatoes, diced onions, lemon juice, and salsa.

Shrimp scampi. In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/2 stick of butter on medium heat until butter is melted. Add 1 lb. of shrimp and one package of shrimp scampi seasoning. Stir until shrimp is pink (3-4 minutes). Add 1 Tbsp. lemon juice. Toss with cooked quinoa pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with a side salad (50/50 spring mix). Freeze leftovers in one- or two-person portions for later.

Quick Tips

  • Diced onions and green peppers (and other vegetables you can add to salads or other meals) are available in the freezer section in most Kansas City area grocery stores.
  • You can buy 50/50 spring mix, lettuce, and spinach leaves already cut and washed.
  • Most Kansas City area grocery stores sell fruit that is already cut up.
  • Shredded cheese is also available in local grocery stores.



Have you found your Kansas City home’s no longer user friendly now that you’re in a wheelchair? If the chair’s going to be temporary, you may be able to live with it with some help from a caregiver and a few minor adjustments. If it’s going to be permanent, you’ll need to make some bigger changes. Here’s a checklist of what you need to consider.

Home Entry

  • Choose the best entrance. If your front door has steps, it may not be your easiest way in. If you can roll straight in from your garage, that may be your best option.
  • Build a wheelchair ramp. If there are stairs in both the front of your home and in your garage, you’ll need a wheelchair ramp or a lift.
  • Widen your entry door. You’ll need at least a 32″ clearance to get the wheelchair comfortably through the door (most doors are 23″-27″). In some cases, reversing the swing of the door will allow it to open wider so you can roll through.

Living Room/Hallways

  • Rearrange furniture. Make sure there’s room for you to comfortably maneuver the chair.
  • Lower furniture. Tables, in particular, may need to be lowered to accomodate the chair.
  • Widen doorways. Again, you’ll need at least a 32″ clearance. In some cases, it may be easiest to just remove the door. Or you can install pocket doors. Or again, try reversing the swing to allow the door to open wider. Add rubber ramps to help with thresholds.
  • Remove rugs. Rugs aren’t great for rolling. Neither are carpets, but if they’re low pile, you should be okay to roll. Wood floors or tile work best.

Bathrooms

  • Replace the tub with a shower. A roll-in shower is optimal. A shower seat is also a good idea.
  • Install grab bars. Put grab bars by the toilet and in the shower for safety.
  • Install sinks without vanity cabinets. Removing vanity cabinets will allow you to get closer to the sink; it will also give you more room to manuever, in general.

Bedroom

  • Lower the bed. If your bed sits up high, find a way to lower it. The easiest way is to take it off the frame.
  • Widen doors to walk-in closets. Or just take them off if that will give you enough space to roll in. Again, you can also install pocket doors or change the way the doors swing.
  • Lower clothing rails in closets. Lower rails will allow you to reach your clothes without help. You may also want to add some lower shelves and/or cubbies.

Kitchen

  • Lower countertops. This will give you access to work space and allow you to reach appliances. If lowering the countertops isn’t an option, add a pull-out cutting board for work space and move appliances to where they’re within reach. An appliance cart may be usefull if you have space.
  • Rearrange shelves. Make sure items you use most often are within reach.
  • Add pull out shelves to cabinets. Pull-out shelves will make it easier for you to reach items stored in the back.
  • Get a side-by-side refrigerator and a range with front controls. A side-by-side regrigerator will give you easier access to both the refrigerator and the freezer. And without front controls on the range, you may not be able to use it at all.
  • Remove the base from the sink cabinet. Removing the cabinet base will create easier access to the sink.

Stairs

  • If you live in a house that has stairs and you need access to the upstairs rooms, you’ll need to install a chair lift.

This all may sound pretty daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you have someone who’s helping you with care at home, see if he or she is able to help you make some adjustments. For major updates (e.g., a wheelchair ramp), you’ll want to hire a Kansas City (or Independence, or Overland Park) contractor who has expertise in making homes wheelchair accessible.


The last time you dropped by your mom’s house in Kansas City, did you notice an unpleasant odor? And finally realize it was coming from her? Unfortunately, elderly people don’t always bathe as often as they should. There are a number of reasons why. For example, changing clothes can be difficult. Or there could be a fear of falling in the tub. Or they may just not remember they didn’t do it. Here are some things you can do to help if your mom (or dad) has stopped bathing.

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When an aging loved one requires around-the-clock care, it’s often more responsibility than a typical family can handle. If you’re worried about leaving an aging parent or family member home alone for fear of injury, medication mixup, lonelienss or health failure, Kansas City Home Care is an ideal solution. Our highly trained caregivers are available to help elderly individuals in their homes 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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