How to Support Healthy Grandparents

Disclosure: I’m partnering with Aetna and to bring you more information on how to support healthy grandparents. All opinions are my own. #AgingWell

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Shortly after my son was born, we asked my grandmother to move in with us. She had been living alone in a rural area, and had fallen a few times. I was worried about her being out on her own, and knew that bringing her into our home would not only support her, but would help me as a new mom.

I thought I was gaining a roommate, but quickly learned that having a grandparent live with you is so much more than that.

How to Support Healthy Grandparents

First, there’s health insurance.

My grandmother’s health insurance at the time was only offered in a few rural counties, and she wouldn’t be eligible for it anymore once she moved to our area. Thus began our search for health benefits that suited her needs, but was also affordable.

As a retired senior, she was on a fixed income. And she had a variety of health concerns to address. I was not prepared for the litany of questions and information needed when I began my search for the right insurance plan for her.

Open Enrollment for Medicare beneficiaries runs from October 15, 2015 to December 7, 2015. Meanwhile, the General Open Enrollment period runs from November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.

So now is the time to consider helping your grandparents change their health insurance plan. Sit down and make a list of the benefits that they used last year, including prescriptions. Also list the benefits that they did not use. Consider which ones are necessary and which ones can be cut from their plan.

Talk about what health issues they want to address in the year to come. Check if their current health care plan or the health care plans you are considering offer the preventative services or discounts on exercise equipment or classes.

And don’t forget to plan for emergencies. My grandmother was hospitalized twice after she moved in with us — if I hadn’t made sure that her insurance plan offered affordable hospital stays, it could have been disastrous. I’m so thankful that we invested a bit more money in her plan to allow for those possibilities.

Check or to learn more about plans available so that you can make an informed decision.

And remember — it’s not just about healthcare! More than a quarter of grandparents recently surveyed by Aetna said that a visit from their families gives them the biggest mood boost. And 40% said that spending time with grandchildren makes them feel young.

So get out the door and visit your grandparents. Let them spend time with your babies. Make sure to spend time with them, too. You will regret it if you don’t!


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