Thursday, August 21, 2008
Your health plays a role in retirement planning

By Anthony Policastro

This year the baby boomers will start turning 62. They will be looking at many factors to determine the right time to retire. Most of those factors will be financial in nature. However, their overall health might be more important than they realize. Recently Frank Calio wrote a column for the Star about medical issues in retirement. That column pointed out the fact that health and health care are two items that have to be looked at. There are two issues that need to be addressed. The first of those is the actual health of the individual and his/her spouse. If both individuals are healthy, an early retirement will be a more enjoyable one. If one of the two is not very healthy, then the type of lifestyle that is planned for retirement needs to take that into account. For example, if someone is going to be on dialysis three days a week, long vacations are not very likely. If someone is in congestive heart failure, monitoring diet becomes very important. Things like cruises would be difficult to do. The second issue has to do with health insurance. Medicare is not available until age 65. If someone is in poor health, it might be important to work until Medicare age. If the plan is to use COBRA insurance after retiring from a job, there are two important considerations for that. The first is that it is expensive. You will need to budget for that as part of your retirement planning. The second is that it can only be used for three years maximum. Therefore, if one spouse works and the other does not, it would really depend on both spouses' ages. For example, my wife will turn 62 five months after I do. If I retire at 62, then she would only be able to be insured until 5 months before her 65th birthday. Someone whose spouse was several years younger would have a longer period to worry about. The bottom line is that overall health, and insurance to provide for that health, need to be almost as important as the pure financial decision to retire. Like many things there are many factors to consider. Your nest egg is only one of them.

Bayhealth offers aging clinics Bayhealth Medical Center will offer the Steps to Healthy Aging Clinics as an opportunity for you to meet one-on-one with a registered nurse from Bayhealth's Education Department to confidentially monitor your blood pressure, pulse and weight, and to discuss any health topic of concern to you. Clinics will be held in Milford every Thursday from 9 to 11 a.m. in Room 206 on the second floor of the Grier Building adjacent to Milford Memorial Hospital. For more information, call Bayhealth's Education Department at 302-744-7135 or toll-free at 1-877-453-7107.

Free cholesterol screenings Bayhealth Medical Center offers free cholesterol screenings at the following locations:
  • First and fourth Tuesday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon and 2 to 4 p.m. at La Red Health Care at 505 W. Market St., Suite A, Georgetown
  • Third Wednesday of every month from 9 to 11 a.m. in Room 206 of the Grier Building at Milford Memorial Hospital
  • Second Wednesday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon at the Laurel State Service Center at 440 N. Poplar St. in Laurel Participants must register in advance, be uninsured or underinsured and answer some questions to see if they qualify. Appointments are required at some locations. Pre-registration is required. To learn if you qualify and to schedule appointments, contact Bayhealth's Education Department at 302-744-7135 or toll-free at 1-877-453-7107.

  • DSAAPD offers free directory Delaware Health and Social Services' Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities (DSAAPD) announces the availability of an updated edition of its Guide to Services for Persons with Disabilities in Delaware. The contents of the free, 168-page publication include a broad range of organizations and services for persons with disabilities - assistive technology and mobility, advocacy organizations, interpreters for the deaf, support groups, emergency response systems, insurance and health care programs, disability rights laws and more. In addition to English and Spanish editions, the publication is available on the state's website, Copies of the guide are available at the Milford State Service Center, 18 North Walnut Street, Milford. For more information, call 800-223-9074.

    Low-cost mammograms Bayhealth Medical Center offers low-cost mammograms every month. The low-cost mammograms are offered on the third Wednesday from 1 to 3 p.m. Local screenings are held at Bayhealth Women's Center at Milford Memorial, 200 Kings Hwy., Suite 3, Milford. These screenings are made possible in part by the 2007 "Go Pink!" t-shirt fundraising campaign through the Bayhealth Foundation. Pre-registration is required. For appointments and more information, contact Breast Care Coordinator Trisha Bentley at 302-744-6773.

    Osteoporosis screenings offered Bayhealth Medical Center offers free osteoporosis screenings. Osteoporosis is a disease causing bones to become fragile and more likely to break. Patients place their heel in a bone density scanner that checks the bone for early stages of osteoporosis. Screenings are offered from 9 to 11 a.m. on the third Wednesday of January, May and September at Milford Memorial Hospital Women's Wellness Center. Pre-registration is required. To register, call Bayhealth's Education Department at 302-744-7135 or toll-free at 1-877-453-7101.

    Krause joins father's practice Dr. Jerry Krause announces that his son, Dr. Mark C. Krause, has joined Krause Pediatric & Orthodontic Dental Care. For over 30 years, Dr. Jerry Krause has been a leader in pediatric and orthodontic dental care in Salisbury, Md. Dr. Mark received his D.D.S. degree from Howard University College of Dentistry in 2006 and recently completed a two-year residency program at Eastman Dental Center, University of Rochester, New York. Dr. Mark's residency program emphasized pediatric dental care and hospital dentistry. Dr. Mark is also taking additional training in orthodontics for the growing child. Dr. Mark grew up in the Salisbury area attending St. Francis de Sales School, Worcester Preparatory School, and received his B.S. in Biology from Salisbury University. Mark's wife, Kara Williams Krause, is a graduate of Seaford Senior High School and a North Carolina State University alumnus. Krause Pediatric & Orthodontic Dental Care is welcoming new patients ages one to twenty-one. For more information, visit

    Hospice hosts first conference Delaware Hospice, in partnership with the Delaware End-of-Life Coalition, the ARC of Delaware, and other community partners, is hosting the first comprehensive educational conference in Delaware that will address a broad spectrum of issues surrounding dying, death, and bereavement care for individuals with developmental disabilities, their caregivers and advocates. The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Chase Center on the Riverfront, 800 S. Madison St., Wilmington. Early registration fee by Sept. 6 is $50; and $75 from Sept. 7. Registration for persons with disabilities and their caregivers is $25 by Sept. 6 and $35 from Sept. 7. The conference is designed for social workers, psychologists, nurses, bereavement counselors, hospice staff, nursing home staff, home health care providers, educators, volunteers, persons with disabilities and their families. For more information and to register, visit or call 302-645-1490.

    Caregiver support group Join our monthly support group at the Cheer Community Center, the second Monday of each month at 11 a.m., 854-9500. This support group is for you, whether you are a new caregiver or have been taking care of a loved one for years. We are turning the "Fearless caregiver" book into a guide for our support group. Each month a chapter will be discussed, concerns shared and support given.