Category Archive: Planning for the future

IRCC Named To Top 20 Golf Communities List

IRCC aerial cropped

IRCC Named to Top 20 Golf Communities List

Indian River Colony Club in Viera has culture, amenities that set it apart

 

(VIERA, FL) June 1, 2018 – Ever wondered what’s behind the walls at Indian River Colony Club in Viera?  Just one of the Top 20 Golf Communities in North America, according to the editors of GolfCourseHome.com, a leading online real estate website for U.S. golf properties.  Editors acknowledge that golf is no longer an all-encompassing pastime, noting that, “progressive country club communities have pushed beyond golf to augment their community experience to enrich residents with a wide variety of soul-satisfying activities that match their passions and interests.”  Eight amenity categories differentiated the Top 20 Golf Communities winners.  The 55+ neighborhood of predominantly military retirees was recognized for their Indian River Colony Club Foundation, a not-for-profit entity designed to accommodate the community’s commitment to charitable giving.  Also known as “The Place Patriots Call Home,” 453-acre Indian River Colony Club features a one-of-a-kind private par 72 golf course with 18 challenging holes nestled among natural preserves, lakefront and golf course homes. Each hole is shaped around a scenic lake or pond and impeccably maintained by a professional, full-time staff.  Features include a Pro Shop, aqua driving range, two putting greens and practice bunkers. For more information, call 321-255-6000 or visit www.IndianRiverColonyclub.com/golf.

 

President of the 120-member Men’s Golf Association at Indian River Colony Club, Ed Baker points out the value of camaraderie at the golf community.

 

“The purpose of the Association is to promote sportsmanship, fellowship and competition in amateur golf,” said Baker. We participate in organized play at least twice weekly, usually with foursomes in friendly competition with other foursomes. In addition to golf, we enjoy the 19th Hole following play and meet as a group for lunch monthly. Our golfers have varying skill levels and the camaraderie experienced by the membership is unsurpassed anywhere.”

 

A Women’s Golf Association at Indian River Colony also enjoys an enthusiastic membership.

 

For non-golfers, IRCC boasts a wide array of debt-free amenities, including three Har-Tru tennis courts, a heated 3000 sq. ft. swimming pool with lap lanes, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a country club serving casual to gourmet cuisine and on-site Colony Hall for parties, theater, dancing and more.  The community has over 40 activity groups and clubs, catering to the individual interests of its members.

 

Viera’s very first neighborhood, Indian River Colony Club is known as “The Place Patriots Call Home.”  A haven for military retirees, the par-72 private golf course community has a patriotic culture and country club amenities for active adults aged 55 and over. For more information about Indian River Colony Club, call 321-255-6000 or visit their website at www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com.

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PHOTO attached (photo courtesy of ircc):  An aerial view of Indian River Colony Club in Viera, recognized as one of the Top 20 Golf Communities in North America.  For more information, call 321-255-6000.

 

Additional aerial images of golf course and amenities: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/mj1y6t24hd7ma5g/AADIAiIg9D23vJJI0ZBLvjXQa?dl=0

 

 

COMMUNITY BROCHURE FOR DOWNLOAD: http://colonyclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Community-Brochure-2-2017_min.pdf

 

About Indian River Colony Club –  Viera’s very first neighborhood, Indian River Colony Club was originally conceived as a retirement destination for military retirees. IRCC began to take shape in 1986, its vision to create a private country club-like environment for members.  Membership has now expanded to include non-military personnel who want the energetic, patriotic lifestyle cultivated by three decades of members. Still predominantly a haven for military veterans, IRCC maintains a culture centered on service to others. IRCC is a gated golf course community of nearly 800 homes on 453 acres in Viera, owned entirely by its membership. “The Place Patriots Call Home” enjoys 24-hour gated security, a generous maintenance package and a full complement of newly renovated and 100% debt-free country club amenities for active adults aged 55 and over, including an 18-hole, par-72 private golf course.  The patriotic neighborhood was named one of the 2018 Top 20 Golf Communities in North America by Golf Course Home Network. For more information about Indian River Colony Club, call 321-255-6000 or visit their website at www.IndianRiverColonyClub.com.

SPECIAL May Elder Law Month Workshop

Kathleen FlammiaIn honor of May National Elder Law Month, we are offering a *FREE* and *SPECIAL* Workshop. This event will take place on Tuesday, May 22nd from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at One Senior Place located at 715 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714.

During the first half of the workshop I will be discussing the in’s and out’s of Elder Law, what documents you need and what you need to do to save your assets from the always growing Nursing Home costs!

The last portion of the workshop will be dedicated to a FREE Estate Planning document review by an Attorney. If you would like your current Estate Planning documents reviewed for FREE by an ATTORNEY, call 407-478-8700 today! We are only accepting the first 20 pre-registerered guests, so call now before it’s too late!

 

When Stroke Strikes Home

By Vel Johnson, Vasaj Communications

The call came at 4:00 in the afternoon, Sunday, May 7, 2017. My mother was on the other end. “Hi Baby.” “Hi Mom. How are you?” It was the usual way we’d begin most phone calls. But this time there was a momentary, almost menacing silence, as she replied, “I don’t know. … I’m not feeling quite right.”

Mom then asked if I’d come over and “bring my clothes” to spend the night. I knew SOMETHING had to be wrong at this point. “Mom, do you want me to call 911?” “No Baby … not yet,” she said.”

It was a full hour’s drive to Mom’s door. I told her I was going to call my brother, who lived just minutes away from her. She said, “Okay.” My brother didn’t answer, as he was at work. I sent a quick text message, “Eric, call me ASAP” and then threw a couple of things in a garment bag to go “spend the night” with Mom.

While heading out the door, I called Mom back. Sounding a bit more distressed this time, “The paramedics are on their way!” she said. My heart plummeted. “Okay, Mom! I’ll stay with you on the phone until they get there.”

Flying down the expressway like a bat out of Hell, thoughts racing, and tears streaming down my face … “Everything’s going to be okay, Mom! Everything’s going to be okay!” She was alone, afraid, and experiencing a tingling sensation that made her immobile. I couldn’t get there fast enough.

Stroke does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, at any time, and at any age.

When the paramedics arrived, paralysis had already begun to grip the left side of Mom’s body like a tight glove. She was unable to get to the door. “I’m in here,” I could hear her yell softly through the phone, “I’m in here.” Then there were the voices of her rescue team … “Thank God they were able to get to her in time!”

The subsequent days were scary ones for my brother and me. Seeing our once vibrant and independent mother now require assistance with everything from bathing and dressing to many of the things we often take for granted, was not easy.

According to the National Stroke Association, there are nearly 7 million stroke survivors in the U.S.

It’s said that the greatest battle with stroke survival is the will to fight. During the following weeks, Mom’s stay at a rehabilitation facility included a regime of strong faith and prayer, coupled with comprehensive occupational, physical, and speech therapy.

A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain stops. A stroke is sometimes called a brain attack. There are two main types of stroke: Ischemic, due to lack of blood flow or a blocked artery; and hemorrhagic, due to leaking or bursting of a blood vessel. About 85% of strokes are ischemic.

Mom’s stroke was ischemic.

Hope After Stroke

When Mom was released for home, Eric and I had to quickly learn the role of caregiver, readjusting our lives to make sure she had everything she needed to properly mend.

“My mother’s stroke was a wake-up call for me to be more aware of my health and life in general. To watch her go through it and bounce back with the help of therapy and motivation, with my sister and me by her side, impacted me greatly. It reminded me that with any pitfalls in life we must have a positive mindset and attitude. With a strong will, drive, and determination, mixed with prayer and faith, and we can overcome anything. My mom’s situation serves as a perfect reminder for me to believe strongly in that!” – Eric Johnson (proud son of a stroke survivor)

Through continued homecare and outpatient therapy, and tons of love and affection, Mom has been recovering well.

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in America and a leading cause of adult disability. Sadly, not enough people know how to recognize when stroke is happening. Education is key.

If I could help prevent another person from experiencing the attack my mother endured one year ago, I would. I recently learned that 80% of strokes can be prevented. I may not be able to bring about change. But I am committed to a renewed sentiment and lifestyle of healthy living and arming myself and others with information about stroke prevention and saving the lives of our loved ones.

National Stroke Awareness Month

As May is National Stroke Awareness Month, organizations across the country are galvanizing to fight against this terrible disease. My goal is to help raise awareness about stroke warning signs and symptoms, risk factors, preventative measures, and what we all can do when someone is having a stroke.

BEYOND WELLNESS

At Vasaj Communications, I’ve created BEYOND WELLNESS, a free event and platform to honor and celebrate stroke survivors, their families, and caretakers in a fun, relaxed, interactive atmosphere. Lunch will be provided for all who register, and presenters will provide resources and practical step-by-step tools to empower stroke survivors and their circle of care with support needed to thrive again. Experts will be available to answer questions about rehabilitation, technology, and improving your quality of life as a stroke survivor. Warning signs and risk factors of caregiving stress will be identified, with tips and resources provided for staying emotionally and physically well.

I’m honored to be able to present a celebrity presenter as my keynote speaker, known as America’s Stroke Coach,” Valerie Greene. A captivating speaker with a great sense of humor, Valerie’s message uplifts, inspires and motivates. With passion and insight, she touches hearts and encourages people in all walks of life to keep moving forward. I encourage you to bring a friend and a loved one with you to BEYOND WELLNESS and come hear Valerie’s message: Stronger Than Stroke. She will leave you on the edge of your seat as she describes how she was able to rebound from a massive stroke at age 31 and turn it into a gift for changing the world.

The Event is FREE

The event is free. However, we are looking for partners to help offset programming costs. If you own or work with a health or rehabilitative care organization, or serve the senior community in a special way, consider becoming an event sponsor or vendor and email through the website, or directly to me at vel@vasajcommunications.com, for additional information. Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 9:30 a.m. and programming will commence at 10:00 a.m.

Registration is required to attend the event. To learn more, please click below: https://vasajcommunications.lpages.co/beyondwellness/

If you’re in another city or unable to join us, but would like to help assure our event’s success, please consider the donation experience by clicking below: https://vasajcommunications.lpages.co/beyond-wellness-donation/

I will never take stroke for granted. – Vel Johnson

This is a photo of my mother, brother, and me. We hope you can celebrate life with us Friday, May 25, 2018, at BEYOND WELLNESS.

Please share this with someone you know and love.

 

Stay well,

Vel Johnson

Vasaj Communications Gives Back to Community Hosting Free Stroke Awareness Event

Orlando, FL – May 10, 2018 – Vasaj Communications, a premier public relations firm based in Central Florida, has unveiled BEYOND WELLNESS, a community platform designed to honor and celebrate stroke survivors, their families, and caretakers during May, National Stroke Awareness Month. The event will include a complimentary meal and be held Friday, May 25, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at 715 Douglas Avenue, Altamonte Springs, Florida 32714.

“My mother had a stroke one year ago while no one around her realized she was having a medical crisis,” states Vasaj Communications Founder and CEO Vel Johnson. “When I realized there was a dire need for better education about stroke awareness, I created BEYOND WELLNESS. We’re planning to provide experts and resources for learning the warning signs and risk factors associated with stroke. The event will offer a combination of messages of inspiration and hope, lifestyle empowerment tools, and business networking, through our expo.” BEYOND WELLNESS will elevate the discussion of overcoming caregiving stress, with tips for staying emotionally and physically well. It will also heighten the awareness of methods of empowerment for stroke survivors and their circle of care, with support needed to thrive again.

Highlighting the program will be celebrity presenter Valerie Greene, known as “America’s Stroke Coach.” The renowned speaker survived a massive stroke at age 31 and has turned it into a gift for changing the world. Her message, “Stronger than Stroke” is expected to uplift, inspire and motivate all who attend.

The public is invited to attend this event. Admittance is free; however, pre-registration is required One Senior Place is serving as Host Partner for BEYOND WELLNESS. Sponsor and vendor partnerships include Advanced Life Management, Guarded Wellness, Heart Health Management, and other health and rehabilitative care organizations, along with groups who serve communities for age 50 and above. Vendor and sponsor opportunities are still available. Registration may be made by visiting the event’s website at https://vasajcommunications.lpages.co/beyondwellness/.

 

Press Release Image

ABOUT VASAJ COMMUNICATIONS, INC.

Vasaj Communications, Inc. is a Central Florida-based nationally recognized, award winning, public relations firm, specializing in media relations and publicity for non-profits, corporate groups, and political platforms. Vasaj Communications embraces a dedicated approach to smart and consistent messaging and design with uncompromising high quality to execute successful PR campaigns. Please visit www.vasajcommunications.com for more information or email info@vasajcommunications.com.

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Understanding Florida ABLE Accounts

H&B new picThe Achieving Better Life Experience Act, or ABLE Act, was signed into law by President Obama in December 2014.  ABLE updates the Internal Revenue Code to allow eligible individuals and their families to establish a tax-exempt savings account that allows for disbursements of income tax-free funds for “qualified disability expenses,” including education, transportation, housing, obtaining and maintaining employment, personal support services, assistive technology and health and wellness.  Money contributed to an ABLE account is generally disregarded, or not countable, when determining eligibility for federal benefit programs, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.

The Florida legislature passed the Florida Achieving a Better Life Experience Act, which was signed into law by Governor Rick Scott on May 21, 2015. This state law establishes ABLE United, to oversee the state of Florida’s qualified ABLE program. As of this month, July 2016, eligible Florida residents may establish ABLE accounts.

In order to establish an ABLE account, the individual with a disability must be a Florida resident. Further, the ABLE Act limits eligibility to individuals who have developed significant disabilities before turning 26 years old.  You do not have to be under the age of 26 to qualify as long as you have documentation and/or medical records which prove the onset of the disability before age 26.  If you meet the age of onset criteria and are receiving benefits under SSI and/or SSDI you are automatically eligible.  Otherwise, you must have a condition listed in the “List of Compassionate Allowances Conditions” maintained by the Social Security Administration, certify blindness or have a medically determinable physical or mental impairment.

An individual may only have one ABLE account and the total annual contributions, by all contributing individuals, including family and friends, is $14,000. This amount will be adjusted annually for inflation. Under current tax law, $14,000 is the maximum amount individuals can gift to someone else and not pay taxes. For individuals with disabilities, who also receive SSI and/or Medicaid, there are further limitations. The first $100,000 in an ABLE account will be exempt from the SSI $2,000 individual resource limit. When an ABLE account exceeds $100,000, the beneficiary will be suspended from eligibility for SSI benefits and no longer receive that monthly income. However, the beneficiary will continue to be eligible for Medicaid, as there are no Medicaid limits for ABLE accounts.

If you would like more information about ABLE accounts please contact the Law Offices of Hoyt & Bryan at (407) 977-8080 or visit HoytBryan.com, for more information.

Affordable Senior Housing in Central Florida – Hurry Up and Wait!

By Brenda Lyle, CMC, One Senior Place Care Manager

Portrait-Of-Happy-Senior-Couple-At-Home-000025001387_FullBen Carson, U.S. HUD Secretary, warned of a senior housing crisis in Florida back in July of 2017 when he spoke at a conference for senior service providers.  Unfortunately, Mr. Carson was only telling us what we already knew.  In Central Florida, where the average market rate for a one-bedroom senior apartment is $1200.00 per month (rentjungle.com, March 2018), the waitlist for affordable senior housing is three to five years.  There just aren’t a lot of new affordable 55+ apartments being built and when they are built, they fill up immediately and the waitlist fills very quickly.  Brixton Landing, the newest 55+ apartment complex in the area opened April 2017 in Apopka.  It filled up within a couple of months and has a waitlist of an “unknown” length of time.  Unlike traditional apartments, 55+ apartments only become available when a resident moves to assisted living, a skilled nursing facility, or when a resident passes away.

There are three types of 55+ apartments in the Central Florida area:

Market rate senior apartments – These are offered at competitive rates, usually at or slightly below the cost of traditional apartments.

Affordable senior apartments – These usually have minimum and maximum income range requirements and charge a flat rate for rent. Rent is charged on a sliding scale, generally no more than 30% of your income.

Income based senior apartments – Rent is based on income and these apartments have the longest waitlists.

There is no centralized application system.  You must apply at the apartment complex that you meet the criteria for and fill out their application.  You can expect a background check and sometimes a credit check.  Then you wait… and wait… and wait.  Some of the apartments (like Brixton Landing) have an online application and waitlist system.

Frequently, I see clients that need to move immediately.  However, immediate occupancy for a low-rent senior apartment just isn’t possible.  If you know you are going to need to move to an affordable senior apartment, PLEASE don’t wait until the last minute to get on the waitlist.  At One Senior Place, we keep the list of affordable housing communities and we would be glad to give you a copy via email or in person.

Parkinson’s Event Offers Health, Hope, Happiness in Suntree April 26

Janice Moia Rock Steady Boxing trainer

Parkinson’s Event Offers Health, Hope, Happiness

Free afternoon for patients and caregivers April 26 in Suntree

 

(Suntree, FL) April 9, 2018 – Parkinson’s disease is a chronic movement disorder, with symptoms that worsen over time.  3,000 of the nearly one million people living with Parkinson’s Disease in the U.S. are here on the Space Coast.  On Thursday, April 26, the Parkinson’s Support Group of Brevard and One Senior Place will present Parkinson’s: Health, Hope & Happiness from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Scott Center for the Performing Arts at Holy Trinity Academy, 5625 Holy Trinity Drive in Suntree, 32940.  The educational event will feature three speakers and is designed to provide guidance and hope for those afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease, as well as for caregivers of family members with a PD diagnosis.  Often developed between the ages of 50 and 60,  Parkinson’s Disease symptoms include tremors or shaking, often in a hand, arm or leg, stiff, weak or aching muscles and difficulty with walking and balance.  For more information about Parkinson’s: Health, Hope & Happiness, call 321-751-6771.

 

Three main topics will be covered by experts and health care professionals.  Dr. Ira Goodman of BioClinica will provide information about the latest clinical trials for Parkinson’s disease; Susan Blakeslee of VITAS Healthcare will lead a discussion on the relationship dynamics and challenges for Parkinson’s patients and their spouses/caregivers; and details on the ‘Rock Steady Boxing’ exercise program will be presented by fitness trainers Janice Moia of Advance Fitness and David DiQuollo of Unlimited Kickboxing. Event sponsorships for the free event are providing funding for Rock Steady Boxing training and certification for the aforenamed facilitators.

 

Marieke Kreps, president of the Brevard Parkinson’s Support Group, a not-for-profit 501c3 organization, explains why Parkinson’s: Health, Hope & Happiness will be valuable to attendees.

 

“Navigating resources and information can be overwhelming for a Parkinson’s patient or caregiver,” said Ms. Kreps.  “At this inspirational event, medical professionals and experienced advocates will share information about risk factors, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment, drug and surgical therapies, and a variety of care options.  We want people to know there is hope and support for those suffering from Parkinson’s Disease.”

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PHOTO ATTACHEDFitness Trainer Janice Moia of Advance Fitness in Melbourne takes client Jeff Wallace through a session of Rock Steady Boxing.  Ms. Moia will discuss the benefits of the Rock Steady Boxing exercise program at Parkinson’s: Health, Hope & Happiness in Melbourne on April 26.  For more information, call 321-751-6771.

 

Event poster attached

PARKINSONS_FLYER.indd

 

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Source: From the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation: http://www.pdf.org/about_pd

Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a chronic and progressive movement disorder, meaning that symptoms continue and worsen over time. Nearly one million people in the US are living with Parkinson’s disease. The cause is unknown, and although there is presently no cure, there are treatment options such as medication and surgery to manage its symptoms. The specific group of symptoms that an individual experiences varies from person to person. Primary motor signs of Parkinson’s disease include the following.

  • tremor of the hands, arms, legs, jaw and face
  • bradykinesia or slowness of movement
  • rigidity or stiffness of the limbs and trunk
  • postural instability or impaired balance and coordination

 

About Parkinson’s Support Group of Brevard – Originally organized as a traditional support group, The Parkinson’s Support Group of Brevard was awarded a not-for-profit 501c3 status in 2017.  The group boasts an advisory board comprised of many professionals in the healthcare industry, as well as those whose family members have been affected by the disease.  The goal is to provide professional education, community resources, and guidance for members, with funds raised through a series of sponsored Care Fair events.  For more information, visit their website www.brevardparkinsonsg.org or contact Marieke Kreps s_m_kreps@msn.com.

 

ABOUT ONE SENIOR PLACE– Now in its 11th year, One Senior Place, The Experts in Aging, is a marketplace of resources and provider of information, advice, care and on-site services for seniors and their family caregivers in Central and East Central Florida.  Completely unique, One Senior Place at 8085 Spyglass Hill Road in Viera is a one-stop information hub and mini-mall “revolutionizing the way America shops for elder care and services.”  One Senior Place is home to a wide variety of senior-focused businesses, a resource library and is the site of educational seminars and presentations for seniors.  In 2008, One Senior Place was named Florida’s Small Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  In Brevard, they were honored as  Business of the Year by the Melbourne Regional Chamber of Commerce.  A second location, One Senior Place Orlando, opened in Altamonte Springs in December of 2011.  More information about One Senior Place and One Senior Place Orlando can be found on the company website at www.OneSeniorPlace.com or by calling 321-751-6771.

Long-Term Care Insurer Cannot Be Sued for Elder Financial Abuse

Submitted by: Kathleen Flammia, P.A., Board Certified Elder Law Attorney, One Senior Place Resident Business

Kathleen FlammiaLong-term care insurance policyholders suing Bankers Life and Casualty Company were dealt a blow by the Oregon Supreme Court when it ruled that the state’s elder financial abuse statute does not apply to their case.

Residents of Oregon who bought long-term care insurance policies from Bankers Life and Casualty Company sued the insurer five years ago in federal court. The policyholders claimed that the company violated Oregon’s elder financial abuse law by purposely delaying and denying insurance claims. The policyholders alleged that, among other things, the company didn’t answer phone calls, lost documents, wrongly denied claims, and paid less than policyholders were entitled to.

The lead plaintiff, 87-year-old Lorraine Bates, moved into an adult foster home in 2009 but Bankers refused to pay her claim, saying the facility didn’t meet its policy requirements. Another plaintiff, Eileen Burk, purchased a long-term health-care policy from Bankers.  After she moved into an assisted living facility, her son had trouble filing a claim with the insurance company because the company refused to assist him.

After the federal district court dismissed the lawsuit, the policyholders appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Because the legal question centered on the state’s elder financial abuse law, the appeals court asked the Oregon Supreme Court to determine whether the policyholders could sue the insurer under state law for wrongful withholding of money. The financial abuse law prohibits an entity or person that is holding or controlling an elderly person’s money from withholding that money if the money was acquired from the elderly person. The policyholders argued that the insurance company acquired money in the form of premiums from the insurance company and then refused to return it in the form of benefits.

The Oregon Supreme Court determined that the elder financial abuse statute does not apply to an insurance company that delayed the processing of claims and refused to pay benefits. The court rules that the law applies only when one person or entity holds the money that still “belongs to” the elderly person. According to the court, the money the policyholders paid to Bankers became Bankers’ money and no longer belonged to the policyholders.

To read the Oregon court’s decision, go here: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S064742.pdf.

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The Law Office of Kathleen Flammia has been serving Orange County and surrounding areas for the past fourteen years. Kathleen Flammia began her Elder Law practice in the heart of Winter Park, Florida after being in the criminal defense arena for 15 years.

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