10 Tips To Help Seniors
Stretch Their Dollars

submitted by Nancy Vest of Home Instead Senior Care, 952-929-5695

1. Seek the services of an objective financial planner.  It's important
    for seniors to seek the advice of an objective fiduciary.

2. Get a second opinion investments and financial purchases.  If
    you're approached about changing your investments or making a
    purchase, make sure you get another opinion.

3. Contact your local Area Agency on Aging if you're having trouble
    paying for food and gas.  For more information or an office near
    you, log on to National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

4. Get back to gardening!  The economic downturn is generating a
    resurgence in gardening, and the over 55 crowd traditionally has
    been among the most avid gardeners.  The national seed and
    plant company, Burpee, has experienced unprecedented 40%
    growth this year, double its normal rate, according to CEO
    George Ball.  With food costs up as much as 25% in places,
    gardening provides a 1 to 10 savings ratio.  According to Ball,
    "In other words, for every $100 you spend on garden plants,
    you'll get $1,000 in produce.  While $100 in groceries may last
    for only a couple of weeks, a senior can eat for 6 months on the
    produce from $100 in plants."

5. Avoid convenience foods, which are more expensive.  Watch for
    sales on fresh or canned fruits, vegetables, and meats which will
    be less expensive than convenience foods and better for you.

6. Look for deals on generic medications.  Contact your pharmacist
   about ways to save money on your medications. 

7. Walk when you can.  If the gas prices are cutting into your social
    life, organize a walking club or walk with friends.

8. Carpool when you can't walk.  There's economy in numbers.  If
    you can't afford to drive somewhere solo or in pairs, contact
    others you know that are going in the same direction or the
    same place and share costs.

9. Keep drapes drawn during the heat of the day and minimize
   opening and closing doors in the cold of winter.  Close off parts
   of the house you're not using to cut down on utility costs.

10. If you or a loved one needs assistance around the house,
     contact Home Instead Senior Care at homeinstead.com or 952-


Nancy Vest is the Community Services Representative for Home Instead Senior Care in Edina, MN, a trusted source of non-medical services to help seniors live safely and independently at home. Nancy has a degree in Social Work and a background that includes working with the elderly. She knows first-hand what it is like to face the challenging issues that come with caring for aging loved ones. Her 88 year old parents-in-law live with Nancy and her husband in their Eden Prairie home.

If you have a question or a topic you would like Nancy to address, you can contact her at 952-929-5695, or email her at nancy.vest@homeinstead.com.