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7 Popular Senior Instagram Accounts You Need to Follow

Seniors on Instagram are helping to change age-related stereotypes and they’re having fun doing it. Are you on Instagram? All you need to join these influencers is a smartphone and to download the Instagram app. The best part? The app is free, and you can use it to connect with your grandkids.

Social media influencers over 50 have become style icons, entrepreneurs, and they’ve even shown up at events such as music festivals and red carpets. Check out this list of popular senior Instagram accounts and give them a follow. Use these accounts as ideas for your own posts. Who knows? You might end up going viral just like some of the people below!

1. @magdalife57 (Magda Llohis de Gutierrez)

Followers: 21.9 thousand

Bio: “Age is an illusion. People call me fashionista, I call myself an artist. I 💜 life, laughter, music & color!”

Profile: https://www.instagram.com/magdalife57/

Magda Llohis de Gutierrez, 76, is living her best life and documenting it for everyone to see. She smiles in almost every photo she posts.

Llohis de Gutierrez’s Instagram initiation was about as free-spirited and spontaneous as her approach to life. According to the BBC, fashion blogger Ari Seth Cohen took photographs of Llohis de Guttierez and told her she “had to have an Instagram account.” She had “no clue what she was talking about.” She must’ve figured it out quickly — the self-proclaimed artist now has more than 20 thousand followers.

2. @baddiewinkle (Hellen Ruth Elam Van Winkle)

Followers: 3.8 million

Bio: “stealing ur man since 1928!!”

Profile: https://www.instagram.com/baddiewinkle/

Helen Ruth Elam Van Winkle worked in a factory for 28 years before rising to Instagram fame. The 91-year-old woman’s daughter posted a photo in cut-off denim shorts and a tie-dyed T-shirt while holding up a peace sign. Van Winkle told NPR that she thought people “saw a great-grandmother that didn’t care what anybody thought about her.”

Those rebellious vibes quickly went viral. Van Winkle now has nearly 4 million followers. “Being age-appropriate” is not a concern for the Insta-famous star — she’s often posting selfies from music festivals and red carpet events. She’s even been photographed lip-syncing with the rapper Drake.

Van Winkle also talks candidly about her challenges in life like her hip replacement surgery and the loss of her husband and son. She appreciates her Instagram community. “Thank you guys for always wanting to support me. I’m so undeniably grateful,” she wrote in one post.

3. @irvinrandle (Irvin Randle)

Followers: 315 thousand

Bio: “too grown”

Profile: https://www.instagram.com/irvinrandle/

Irvin Randle, 57, is an elementary school teacher from Houston, TX. He is a self-described “sharp-dresser,” and his Instagram posts back up his claims. Randle is a grandfather of two, and he even inspired his own hashtag — #MrStealYourGrandma. However, Randle was upset at the hashtag at first. “I don’t want anybody’s grandma,” he said.

Randle’s daughter sparked his Insta-fame flame. He became a social media celebrity seemingly overnight when his daughter took photos of him wearing a stylish outfit in 2016. He told Voyage Houston that he thought he was in trouble when his daughter told him he was trending.

Now Randle’s feed is full of him sporting tailored suits and urban wear. You can find him on Fashion Week runways, walking brides down the aisle, or exercising. “I exercise five days a week,” he said. “ I feel better now than I did at 27.”

Medicare Fitness Programs

4. @saramaijewels (Sarah Jane Adams)

Followers: 185 thousand

Bio: “Priceline Ambassador”

Profile: https://www.instagram.com/saramaijewels/

Sarah Jane Adams, 63, started her Instagram account to promote her jewelry business. Now her feed features an age-positive and feminist message. For example, she hashtags most of her posts with #MyWrinklesAreMyStripes. She said, “I have no desire to get rid of them,” after a makeup artist asked if Adams wanted to cover her wrinkles. “It’s ridiculous that we’re living in a world where showing an unfilled, make-up free face is considered ‘brave!’”

Adams was born in the United Kingdom and now lives in Sydney, Australia. She is on a mission to create diversity. “I don’t think people are following me because of my clothes or my jewelry,” she said. “It’s my attitude.”

5. @kimiko_nishimoto (Kimiko Nishimoto)

Followers: 223 thousand

Bio: “西本喜美子” (Translation: “Kimiko Nishimoto”)

Profile: https://www.instagram.com/kimiko_nishimoto/

Kimiko Nishimoto, 90, shows her followers that you’re never too old to learn something new. She joined her son for a photography class when she was 72, and she’s been snapping humorous photos ever since. 

“I just want to do something funny,” Nishimoto explained to the Japan Times. “Life is all about being playful.” Nishimoto’s sense of humor skews toward slapstick or physical comedy. She’s also a skilled photo editor. Her Instagram feed shows edited photos of her flying on a broomstick, crashing scooters, and slamming doors on people. 

Nishimoto credits photography with helping her cope with the loss of her husband in 2012. “Taking photos is my happiness,” she said. “I’ll keep doing it for as long as I’m alive.” 

6. @dinneranddance (Lance Walsh)

Followers: 56 thousand

Bio: None

Profile: https://www.instagram.com/dinneranddance/

Lance Walsh, 58, sells fruit in London, England. He’s best-known for his streetwear fashion sense on social media, however. Walsh has dressed in colorful clothing and worked his fruit stand for more than 30 years. One day, a photographer named Ben Awin noticed him, posted photos on the internet, and later Walsh started an Instagram account. 

Walsh can often be seen wearing hoodies, colorful T-shirts, camouflage pants, or colored shorts. His Instagram feed has caught the attention of followers all over the world. According to Walsh, some fans from Asia even “cry” when they see him. 

7. @moonlin0106 (Linzhuang Yueli)

Followers: 108 thousand

Bio: “91歲的月光仙子” (Translation: “91-year-old moonlit fairy”)

Profile: https://www.instagram.com/moonlin0106/

Linzhuang Yueli, also known as Moon Lin, is 91 years old and from Taiwan. Lin is another Instagrammer who’s known for her streetwear style. She has more than 100 thousand fans, and it doesn’t seem like she’ll be slowing down any time soon. 

Her feed shows her wearing colorful hats, sports gear, and even wearing a bunny costume as she goes on with her day-to-day life. 

Find Your Next Favorite Social Media Influencers Over 50

We hope these senior social media influencers give you some ideas about what popular senior Instagram accounts to follow. This list is not exhaustive, and it doesn’t cover everyone. Do some exploring to find more inspiration and and accounts to follow!

Pro tip: After you’ve “liked” or commented on a few posts, click on the magnifying glass at the bottom of your app. Instagram will start suggesting accounts and posts similar to the ones you’ve engaged with. In other words, the more you use Instagram, the more likely you are to find your next favorite influencer.

The 9 Best Christmas Gifts for Seniors in 2019

Finding Christmas gifts for seniors may seem difficult. You may not know what to get, and you may run into the seniors in your life saying, “I don’t want anything.” That doesn’t make matters easier. We’ve put together a list of fun and useful gifts that the seniors in your life are sure to love.

1. Electric Tea Kettle

Electric Tea Kettle - Medicare Plan Finder

Electric tea kettles are easy-to-use and they can come with safety features such as automatic shut-off and cool handles. Automatic shut-off makes it so your favorite senior doesn’t need to remember to turn the kettle off after the water boils — the kettle does that for you. A cool handle means that you don’t have to worry about using hot pads when you’re pouring a cup.

Pro tip: Arthritic hands will do better with a small tea kettle. Large tea kettles are too heavy when they’re full of hot water.

2. Autobiographical Journals

Writing in a Journal - Medicare Plan Finder

Journals are a great way to preserve memories. With some journals, your loved one doesn’t have to worry about formatting. Some journals have questions that are organized into life sections such as past, present, and family history. The questions serve as a way to jog your loved one’s memory. 

A journal is also a gift for you because you get to learn about your loved one’s experiences if they choose to share.

3. Book of the Month Subscriptions

Reading a Book With a Cup of Coffee - Medicare Plan Finder

This is the perfect gift for bookworms. With subscription services like bookofthemonth.com, your loved one gets to choose what books they want to read, and how often they want to receive new reading material. 

When you log onto the website, you can browse the books of the month, which are separated by genre. The best part? You don’t have to ask a bookstore employee or browse online reviews for recommendations. The subscription service puts it all together and gives a synopsis of each title.

4. Smart Speakers

Smart Speaker and Smartphone - Medicare Plan Finder

A smart speaker is a voice-activated device that can play music, answer questions, and give recipes. Many smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo, Apple HomePod, and Sonos One are easy-to-use and your loved one may enjoy the added sense of security that a smart speaker can bring. You can also use many smart speakers to make emergency calls.

5. Phone Case

Phone Cases - Medicare Plan Finder

According to PEW Research, 42 percent of seniors 65 and older have smartphones, and it makes sense. Smartphones are a great way to communicate with your friends and family, navigate to new locations, and take pictures & videos of grandchildren. 

Mobile apps can even make your loved one’s life easier. You can find pill reminder apps, tools for dementia support, and even to monitor blood glucose levels

With all of the great features smartphones have, you’ll probably want to keep it in good shape. It can be extremely expensive to replace damaged parts if you drop your phone. For example, it can cost $279 to replace an iPhone 11 screen. A durable, protective case can help protect your loved one’s phone from damage. Look for a case with your loved one’s favorite pattern (camouflage, hound’s tooth, etc.) or their favorite sports team for a personalized touch.

6. Supplies for Your Loved One’s Favorite Hobby

Art Supplies - Medicare Plan Finder

Whether your loved one loves gardening, painting, or yoga, you can find supplies so they can keep up with their favorite activities. If your loved one enjoys spending time in the garden, look for gardening tool kits with trowels, spades, and clippers in a sturdy carrying case. See if you can locate brushes and paints for the artist in your life or a yoga mat for your favorite senior yogi.

These are just examples. Today’s seniors are active and they enjoy taking fitness classes, attending dance classes at their local senior centers, and traveling. The best Christmas gifts for seniors can be just about anything, depending on what they’re into!

7. A Tablet or E-Reader

Woman Reading on a Tablet - Medicare Plan Finder

An e-reader is a device that allows you to have an entire library of reading material in one spot. When you give your loved one an e-reader, you give them the opportunity to subscribe to their favorite periodicals and purchase new books from the comfort of their home.

Some seniors will want more features than e-readers provide such as browsing the internet, playing games, and watching videos. Those people will be better off with a tablet like an iPad. You can still purchase and store books and periodicals with a tablet, but you also get additional features.

8. Jigsaw Puzzles & Puzzle Books

Jigsaw Puzzle - Medicare Plan Finder

Puzzles are a great hobby for seniors, especially for those who live alone. Not only are puzzle books and jigsaw puzzles a great way to pass the time, but mental games like sudoku and crossword puzzles can help delay the onset of dementia symptoms.

Your loved one may enjoy the challenge of completing a daily puzzle from a book or they might want to frame their favorite 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle. You can even buy a custom photo puzzle with pictures of their grandkids or pets!

Crossword Puzzle & Word Search - Medicare Plan Finder

9. Great Experiences

Audience at a Show - Medicare Plan Finder

Your favorite senior may have every material thing they could ever want or need. If that’s the case, get them tickets to a show, a sporting event, or a gift certificate to their favorite restaurant. 

Alternatively, you can book a spa day so your loved one can relax. Some spas even offer geriatric massages! If you live close, go to the event with your loved one. Quality time can be worth much more than the price of admission.

The Best Christmas Gifts for Seniors Come From the Heart

Sometimes it really is the thought behind a gift that means the most. Your loved one will appreciate the time and effort you spent making sure that their Christmas is special. Check out our blog for more holiday health tips including healthy recipes and meal tips.

Help for Seniors Living Alone

Living alone is scary, no matter how old you are, but it gets scarier as you age and develop more health and safety concerns.

Concerned family members may start to lovingly imply that it “might be best” for you to move into an assisted living home, or start to ask questions.

You can share this blog with them to give them a sense of security that you are thinking about this and making the right moves. Living alone can be scary, but it’s not impossible.

Advantages of Elderly Living Alone and at Home

There are more benefits to living alone than your family members may realize. Living alone and at home can cost much less than moving into a retirement home or nursing facility. Of course, this can change depending on whether you have specific healthcare needs or require an in-home aide. 

Living at home can also be much more comfortable. High-tier, expensive nursing homes, and retirement facilities can certainly be nice, but they often come at a cost.

Sometimes, more reasonably-priced facilities are not as comfortable as being home. Plus, there’s a sense of security and happiness that comes with staying in the home that you’ve worked for.

Tips for Living Alone

The following tips will not only provide you with a safer, healthier living situation but will also provide your friends and family members with peace of mind.

  1. Attend your annual doctor visits, even if you feel fine.
  2. Keep your social life as active as possible and get to know your neighbors.
  3. Set reminders on your phone or calendar to refill your medication, or schedule automatic medication reminders. 
  4. Have a first-aid and a disaster preparedness kit easily assessable in case of emergency.
  5. Make all necessary home repairs as soon as possible.
  6. Always lock your doors and windows, and consider installing an alarm system.
  7. Keep a list of emergency contacts pinned in a visible location in case of an emergency.
  8. Consider purchasing useful devices for your home (see below)

Devices for Seniors Living Alone

Devices for Seniors Living Alone

Technology has made living at home by yourself much easier than it was for your grandparents. Everything from automatic vacuums to alarm systems makes home life safer, healthier, and more possible. We searched the internet, and these are some of our favorite devices that you can buy to improve your life at home.

Housekeeping Devices

Smart Vacuum – One of the hardest things about living alone as an older adult is finding ways to keep your house clean. Simple tasks like vacuuming will start to get harder, but smart vacuums can solve that problem for you. All you have to do is press a button on your phone to get a Roomba vacuum to do it for you!

Voice Assistants – Devices like Amazon’s “Alexa” and Google’s “Home” platform can save you from things turning off the light before you walk to bed, or having to get up and walk around too often.

Kitchen & Bath

Bath Mats, Chairs, and Bars – Slips and falls are one of the most dangerous parts of living alone because it’s hard to say how long it will be before someone can help you up. Be sure to buy grip bath mats for your shower or tub (or even for any tiled and slippery areas). Also, consider investing in a chair for the shower so that you don’t have to stand on the slippery tub.

Automatic Kitchen Appliances – Kitchen fires are another major concern for adults living alone. As symptoms of dementia start to appear, leaving appliances on can become a common occurrence. Consider appliances that have automatic “off” functions and cordless devices like this electric kettle.

Life Alert Devices for Seniors Living Alone

Life Alert is just one brand of medical alert device, which is a device you wear that can alert emergency personnel if you need help. Other brands include Medical Guardian and Philips Lifeline.

Life Alert Life alert can be a lifesaver if you fall and can’t get up, or if you have a medical emergency and can’t reach for the phone. All you have to do is hit a button on your device (which you can wear around your neck), and help will arrive.

Medical Guardian This company has a few different types of products for medical alerts and home safety. Their devices are capable of detecting falls and alerting authorities of any emergency instantly.

Philips Lifeline Their products include wearable pieces like watches and necklaces as well as home bases that you can keep in your living room. Like other services, Philips Lifeline products will alert authorities. Uniquely, they focus on unique, individualized care plans, and there is two-way communication available so that you can request a specific type of emergency help.

How Medicare Covers Home Care

You can alleviate a lot of your and your family’s concerns about you living alone at home by taking charge of your in-home care. Medicare Part A covers part-time or intermittent home health services when ordered by a doctor.

It does NOT cover 24-hour care, meal delivery, or homemaker/custodial services, but you may be able to get those other items through select Medicare Advantage plans.

Home Care Services That Accept Medicare

To find home care services near you that accept Medicare, use Medicare.gov’s “Find a home health agency” tool. Type in your zip code and click “search” for a list of the providers in your area.

Home Health Services That Accept Medicare
Home Health Services That Accept Medicare

Remember that if you have a Medicare Advantage plan, you’ll need to use your plan’s search tool or list of providers to make sure that the agency or service you want to use accepts your Medicare Advantage coverage.

Organizations That Offer Help for Elderly Living Alone

Living independently does not mean that you are completely alone. Even if you don’t have friends and family members close by, there are several organizations you can reach out to for help. 

AARP & the AARP Foundation: AARP is a nonprofit organization with a goal to help people aged 50 and older improve their lives through better nutrition, housing, income, social activities, and more.

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA): The AAA is a nationwide program offering education, meal programs, transportation, and more for aging adults. Each of its programs is localized. 

CARIE (Center for Advocacy for the Rights and Interests of the Elderly): CARIE is a coalition that helps individual seniors who ask for help with legal reform and rights.

LASPD (Legal Advocates for Seniors and People with Disabilities): LASPD is an organization of lawyers who advocate for the rights of older adults and disabled people. They focus primarily on Social Security claims.

National Council on Aging: Works with nonprofits, governments, and businesses to provide programs and services for seniors in regards to health, finances, and legal concerns.

National Institute on Aging (NIA): The NIA conducts research on the well-being of older adults and is a great source for health topics. They also operate “Go4Life,” an exercise and physical activity program for seniors.

Meals on Wheels:  The Meals on Wheels program is a localized program for meal delivery for people who have a hard time leaving their homes and cooking their own food. Click here to read more about Medicare meal delivery

PACE (Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly): PACE helps eligible people over the age of 55 with medical, personal, and social care while they live at home. That can include medication delivery, transportation, etc.

Becoming a Caregiver

Medicare Caregiver

If you are reading this with another person in mind, maybe it’s time for you to become a caregiver. Keeping your loved ones at home instead of moving them to a facility is a tough decision to make.

Some older adults will truly be better off living in a medical facility, while others don’t need that level of attention and will be more comfortable at home. Have the discussion not only with your loved one but also with their doctors.

If you decide that your loved one is going to stay at home, and you would like to become their primary caregiver, there are a few steps you should take: 

  1. Learn everything you can about your loved one’s medical conditions so that you can provide the best possible care.
  2. Reach out to the senior advocacy groups listed above for help with managing your loved one’s in-home care. 
  3. Talk to your loved one about Medicare, Medicaid, and private health insurance options and find out if you are eligible to be paid as a caregiver through their plan (click here to speak with a licensed agent).
  4. Download our caregiver checklist for more information on becoming a caregiver for your loved ones.
Medicare Caregiver Support

This post was originally published on July 31, 2019, and updated on October 29, 2019.

4 Things No One Wants to Tell You About Getting Older

While many seniors will tell younger people to enjoy their youth, your senior years can be a great time to look forward to. In many cases, you’ll have more time to spend with family and friends, more time for hobbies, and more time to relax.

Getting older also presents some challenges, like declining health and mobility limitations (It’s these challenges that cause many seniors to recommend against aging…).

Aging is a natural process, however, and not something to be worried about or scared of. Instead, it’s something to prepare for. 

Consider the challenges that aging presents so that you can age gracefully and get the most out of your final years.

Here are four things to prepare for as you get older:

  • Metabolism and weight changes
  • Cognitive decline
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Increasing vulnerability

Metabolism and Weight Changes

As you get older, your metabolism slows down. A slower metabolism makes it easier to gain weight. It’s more important than ever to commit to some kind of daily exercise and physical activity. Consistent exercise can help boost your metabolism and keep a good range of mobility.

Keeping your metabolism in mind, pay attention when your body tells you it’s full. You may not need to eat as many calories as you did when you were younger. Listening to your body will help you eat the right amount.

Eat a good diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. This will help ensure that your body gets all the nutrients it needs to function properly.
Try this 28-day Healthy Living Challenge to do more for your health.

Healthy Living Challenge | Medicare Plan Finder
Free Healthy Living Challenge

Cognitive Decline

Your cognitive abilities need to be kept in good shape during your early senior years. You can do mental exercises that help keep your mind sharp and engaged.

It’s also important to take this time to prepare for a day when you may lose some of your normal cognitive abilities. Get your finances in order.

What account information would a caretaker need? Put it all in one place. It’s worth having a hard copy. Let the people you trust know where it is.

It’s also worth sitting down with a trusted attorney to put together a will and make decisions on how your finances will be handled if you become unable to manage them yourself.

As you’re getting your finances in order, put in place safeguards that make it harder for you to be a victim of scams or fraud

Is there a trusted person you have to call before making big financial decisions? What if you can’t reach that person? Are there withdrawal limits or other things you can add to your accounts so that even if you attempt to hand over your hard-earned money, you can’t?

Putting some safeguards in place early can help you stay financially stable throughout your senior years.

Vision and Hearing Loss

As you age, your body starts to wear down because it’s been living a full life. You may experience some vision and hearing loss. It’s important to have your eyesight and hearing checked regularly. 

If you notice you’re squinting a lot, can’t see much in the distance, or are zooming in to see things better on your screen, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor can test your eyesight, prescribe glasses, or even recommend surgeries to improve your vision.

If you have hearing loss, you may need to get hearing aids. A doctor can check your hearing to see what your needs are and work to prolong your hearing.

Medicare Plan Finder Tool
Medicare Plan Finder

Increasing Vulnerability

As you age, you become increasingly vulnerable in many aspects. Seniors can be more vulnerable financially to frauds and scams. Physically, seniors get sick more easily and may take longer to recover. It’s important to maintain good hygiene and wash your hands before meals. 

To keep yourself from getting sick, don’t spend time with people who are contagious, especially during the winter. If a friend or family member is sick, send a card instead of visiting.

If you are aware of potential health issues in your family history or from your own medical history, see a doctor regularly. Regular checkups make it easier for doctors to advise preventive measures that can prevent bigger problems down the road. The earlier doctors catch a problem, the easier it is to resolve.

Preparing for Your Senior Years

There’s no reason you shouldn’t live your senior years to the fullest. Keep taking care of your body with good nutrition and exercise

Take time to prepare for a day when you’re no longer able to be as independent as you once were — put your finances in order, finalize your will, and have crucial conversations with loved ones.

Pay attention to how your body is changing. Have regular doctor’s visits and be open with your doctor. The sooner an irregularity or problem is noticed, the faster and simpler it can be to fix.

Taking care of yourself and preparing for the future will help you have peace of mind and enjoy your golden years.

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