When I was a child, I remember my parents moving our family into a new house, with pristine, white carpets. Beautiful to look at, but completely impractical when you consider that two young children would soon be tromping about.
As expected, my brother and I managed to ruin a swath of the floor covering in spectacular fashion … and in relatively short order. Enough so that it was replaced with a more manageable shade. Had my parents discovered the benefits of professional carpet cleaning services like those offered by the Laguna Niguel-based Beacon Carpet Cleaning, they certainly would have been better able to keep their flooring, countertops and upholstery from looking like they’d survived the tornado of their kids.
Ken and Linda Rogers, who founded Beacon in 1988, originally intended to simply find something they could do side-by-side. Both having spent their careers in various customer service oriented businesses, and searching for an opportunity to branch out, they decided upon carpet cleaning. In the years since, the couple and their longtime staff “family” have set the standard in residential and commercial carpet cleaning across Orange County.
An IICRC, Wools of New Zealand and Carpet and Rug Institute certified firm, Beacon takes the process of education to the next level, ensuring their team of professionals are trained to an unprecedented degree of sharpness and quality. The Master and Journeyman Certifications, highest available in the carpet cleaning industry, ensure that Ken and Linda’s customers enjoy a necessary service given by a trustworthy crew.
Fast forward (a few) years and I’m now a grown-up with kids of my own. By pure happenstance, our family inherited the gorgeous off-white carpeting that came with the home we purchased a few years ago. Add the happy fact that our abode has been the scene of many an afternoon play date and the addition of a puppy a couple of years ago and you can probably imagine the toll the carpets have taken. But unlike my parents, I have long recognized the importance of calling in the experts - well before the point of no return.
When we initially called Beacon Carpet Cleaning and MarbleLife Stone and Tile Restoration, Ken personally came out to give us an estimate. In utilizing their services, I can confidently share that he, Linda and their crew - many of whom have been with the company for over a decade - are not only highly professional, but are among the nicest people in the business. They did a great job and given that our kids and pup are still young and rambunctious, we’ve since called on Beacon several more times. Most recently, we reached out to Ken and his team in the hopes of bringing our dull, scratched marble floors back to their original shine and luster.
Again, Beacon more than delivered. I’d like to make special mention of longtime Beacon team member Jose, who is clearly a seasoned professional with a particular expertise in tile and stone flooring. In marveling at Jose’s handiwork, we can hardly believe how beautiful our flooring is now - the marble literally looks as though was newly installed.
Maintaining one’s floors, showers, countertops, upholstery, rugs, mattresses, and other areas around the home can be overwhelming: with or without children running amok. Since its inception, Beacon evolved to encompass a complementary business - Marblelife Stone and Tile Restoration with the goal of engaging its clients on as many surfaces as possible. Beacon providing protectants and cleaning services for almost anything you can think of: your Grandmother’s antique Oriental rug to yacht and boat cleaning in the harbors of Orange County.
“Each of these surfaces work together to create a cherished expression of your identity, dreams, and values,” says Ken. “It’s a unique space to celebrate with friends, or just to enjoy time by yourself. We can meet you in that space and help you protect what you invested in, keeping it looking its best for as long as possible.”
Beacon Carpet Cleaning and Marblelife is located at 27665 Forbes Road in Laguna Niguel. To connect with Ken and Linda, call (949) 496-6079 or visit www.beaconcarpetcleaning.com or www.marblelife.com
Winner of the Dana Point Times 2017 “Best of Dana Point” People’s Choice Award for “Best Happy Hour” and “Best Bartender” (GOLD) and “Best Overall Restaurant,” “Best Pizza,” “Best Bar” and “Best Take-Out Food!” (SILVER)
I have to admit - I’m pretty particular when it comes to deciding where to go for dinner on date night, out for a family meal or simply stepping out to enjoy a glass of fine wine and live entertainment after work. Lucky for me, I live in Dana Point and am only a stone’s throw from a popular eatery that dishes up all this and delicious Italian cuisine to boot: Brio Tuscany Grille.
A recently unveiled updated menu includes familiar favorites (the signature Crab and Lobster bisque and Brio’s famous Pork Chop), wood fired pizza and specialty pasta dishes. A meat-and-potatoes eater? The Flat Iron Bistecca Pesto starts with a USDA Prime Cut oven roasted, garlic and fresh Italian herbs and freshly made pesto sauce. Prefer poultry? Try the Pollo al Mattone “Chicken Under the Brick” which arrives as a boneless half chicken marinated with citrus, rosemary, sliced fresh garlic and a blend of Italian spices, drizzled with olive oil and lemon sauce - cooked under a brick in a wood-fired oven. All produce is locally grown and organic.
For starters, the Antipasto Italiano Platter arrives with an array of flavorful favorites - Prosciutto di Parma, artisan salame, fresh buffalo mozzarella, Tuscan olives, grilled artichoke hearts, roasted bell peppers and toasted ciabatta bread. Yum! A seafood aficionado?
The perfect complement is the piping hot oven baked baguette, baked fresh to order (think soft on the inside, perfectly crusty on the outside) and served with olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.
I love the wood-fired pizzas here. They don’t make deep-dish-American-football-sweatpants pizza. No. They serve handmade, thin, crispy, flaky crust pizza. I had “Make Your Own Pizza” with prosciutto and arugula, complete with a soft flurry of mozzarella. You know, the kind of pie you sip wine with, reflecting on the old country while a hot steam of freshness rises poetically around you. Or, as others put it: one heck of a tasty pizza.
Brio Tuscany Grille has an incredible selection of fine wines (and a full premium bar), great nightly specials and the kind of attentive-yet-unobtrusive service that makes any meal that much more enjoyable. Visit briotuscanygrill.com for their menu and catering options or call (949) 443-1476 for reservations. You won’t be disappointed!
It takes a trained eye to note the subtle shading needed to contour a surfboard. To taper the rails just so. To send the airbrush lightly over the fin box and trace the shape perfectly, symmetrically, precisely. It takes a trained eye to paint the female form, to counter shadow and shape until a living woman appears on the page. It takes a trained eye to dive below what William Asbury called the “large-scale manifestations of classical biology” to the molecular plane below. For Kristy Fleming, MD, each of those became immediately necessary and tangential to another when she discovered that skin cancer often occurs in cosmetically sensitive areas that take a nuanced hand to repair. “My specialty is repairing the defect left by the removal of cancer. Each one is unique, a puzzle to solve in order to give my patients the absolute best cosmetic outcome.”
A board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Society for Mohs Surgery, Dr. Fleming has been preparing for this task her entire life. An attendee of the University of San Francisco, Dr. Fleming graduated summa cum laude, moving on to the University of California, Irvine - where Alpha Omega Alpha elected her as part of their top tier graduate honor society. Not quite finished with her education, she moved to Houston, Texas for a residency in dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine.
“In my training at Baylor, and later as a faculty member at UCLA, I became accustomed to seeing very challenging cases,” says Dr. Fleming. Everything from minor skin concerns to life-threatening dermatologic disorders. Those are the cases that keep my days exciting and force me to stay current with emerging treatments.”
Treatments which have gained Dr. Fleming a dedicated patient following- one that made her transition from Newport Beach to Laguna Hills difficult. “I’ve been slow to move out of the Newport office because I didn’t want my patients to feel abandoned. I know it sounds cliche, but patients really become part of our family. And I believe our dedication to them is really what sets us apart.” Dr. Fleming’s sister also works in the office; a talented hair stylist and brow expert. Unique in their ability to provide multiple services at once, it is not uncommon to see Dr. Fleming offering Botox or filler treatments to patients waiting for their hair to set. Though the Mohs micrographic surgery allows Dr. Fleming to treat her patient’s skin cancers, its efficacy can affect a cosmetic change, and however small, the team wants to fix it all. “All procedures are performed in-house, under my hand. We don’t have nurses or physicians assistants working on our patients. I want you to know you are personally being taken care of.”
On top of skin cancer removal and cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Fleming is personally invested in the physical health of her community.
“We’re very excited to be partnering with the Orangewood Foundation to provide laser tattoo removal to victims of human trafficking,” says Dr. Fleming. “The girls are branded with large tattoos across their necks, or chests. We’re out to change that.” Dr. Fleming and her team also began a program called Fresh Start, which provides basic skin and hair care products to women and children who fled from unsafe living conditions, and are currently residing in shelters for battered women.“
Now open 5 days a week at their location in Laguna Hills, Dr. Fleming and her team are excited to become a staple in the local community, and start changing the way patients view themselves. It doesn’t take a trained eye to see the good in that.
Fleming Dermatology & Aesthetic Center
23141 Moulton Parkway, Suite 110
Mission Viejo Wigs is truly a family business. Not in the traditional sense, where its owners and operators share the same genes. But rather in such a way that every person who has walked through Owner Betty Darroch’s doors in the 30+ years she has been in operation immediately felt like a member of Darroch’s extended family.
As a professional hair and wig stylist since 1962, Betty began her career at CBS where her résumé reads like a celebrity screenplay starring the coifs of a veritable “who’s who” of Hollywood: Ann Margaret, Carol Lawrence, the Midnight Specials and the Sonny & Cher Show. She went on to work for the Hallelujah Hollywood Show at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas.
But it wasn’t until she opened her own business in Mission Viejo that she felt as though she were “truly doing God’s work.”
Her clients today include people who are experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy treatment, alopecia or other medical conditions. Betty specializes in wigs, hairpieces and toupees for women, men and children and carries only the highest quality brands. Each wig or hairpiece is custom fit to the client for the most natural look and feel – no one will know you’re wearing a wig unless you tell them.
“Hair loss, whether it is the result of illness, the aging process or heredity, can be a traumatic and emotionally draining experience,” says Betty. “We work with people on a daily basis who are facing the issue of hair loss for the first time. Our goal is to help you find the solution that works best for you and do so in a caring way that makes you realize that you are not alone.”
There are wonderful testimonials from longtime customers on her web site (missionviejowigs.com), but for me, the best testament to Betty’s genuine, caring nature came from a source closer to home.
When my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer six years ago, there were so many aspects of what she was facing - including the side effects associated wit chemotherapy treatment – that were out of our control. But my mother’s appearance was something she felt she could dictate. We knew she would lose her hair, but she was determined not to “look like a sick person.”
From the moment my mother met Betty, she knew she had found the right place and more importantly, the right person to help her. Betty shared so many stories of survival – of longtime customers and friends who fought a similar battle and won. Her warm embrace and inspired hope and help steel her resolve to maintain a positive, fighting attitude when she was diagnosed with lung cancer.
The wig Betty selected was the perfect color and style for my mother’s face (and head) shape. The wig was so natural looking that my mother received many compliments on her “new do” and no one was the wiser.
It’s been over nine years since my mother completed treatment and is now leading a cancer-free life. Although her own hair has long since grown back, she still often prefers to wear Betty’s wigs on “bad hair days.”
Thank you Betty!
You can connect with Betty by calling (949) 581-4549.
Mission Viejo Wigs is located at 25571 Jeronimo Road in Mission Viejo.
Compassionate Caregiving: Your Home Care, Inc.
Over the past decade, there have been an increasing number of studies examining the effects of stress on the human body - from the immune to metabolic systems, to cell division, diet, hormonal changes, heart rate and of course, cortisol levels. Cortisol, after all, is what floods the body in response to stress. Its main purpose is more far-reaching than was once believed. Systemic effects play a great many roles to maintain homeostasis in the body: which, at a basic level, looks like a greater span of stress-free years. Experts at UCLA, Harvard and the University of Maryland all posit that lowering stress levels leads to healthier mental and bodily functions across the board, which is great for everyone, but can be particularly meaningful for men and women of an advanced age.
Founded in 2002, the professionals at Your Home Care, Inc. are dedicated to ensuring the individual care they provide will lessen the stress of everyday life for your aging loved one and their families. Between the two divisions of this Laguna Woods-based family-owned and operated business, seniors have the option of in-home care or respite at the Senior Social Club and Stay Care Center (applications are currently being accepted for participation).
With loving kindness, trained caregivers provide exceptional general care and assist with the basic necessities of daily living in the comfort and safety of a senior’s own home. In-home care encompasses services tailored to the senior’s specific needs and range from meal preparation, medication reminders, doctor visits, grocery shopping, laundry, light housekeeping, dressing and incontinence care to Alzheimer’s or other dementia-related care.
“We have observed that those who are able to stay in their homes are more likely to remain healthy and free from common communicable illnesses, such as influenza and pneumonia that are prevalent in nursing homes and assisted living centers due to the high volume of residents and close living quarters,” says Boyd Warner, founder of Your Home Care, Inc.
Understanding that the safety and security of your loved ones is of the utmost importance, the professional caregivers at Your Home Care undergo a rigorous interview process, from reference checks and background clearance to competency training. But that’s just the beginning … equally as important as each applicant’s credentials is their personal philosophy as Warner says “our caregivers want more than a job. They want to make a difference in the lives of those in their care. As a company, our job is to give caregivers the direction and tools they need to fulfill their personal mission of service, as well as our corporate mission of improving the lives of those we serve.”
Upon meeting the company’s strict selection criteria, caregivers are insured and bonded before completing a comprehensive orientation process to ingrain Your Home Care corporate policies and procedures followed by ongoing, specialized training on issues that help them develop as better overall caregivers, as well as deal with very specific situations. These issues include medication management and compliance, Alzheimer’s and dementia, osteoarthritis and mobility loss, hypertension/stroke recovery, diabetes, heart disease and cancer recovery.
“We believe that our focus on the individual and family is what sets us apart,” says Warner. “When you contact us, you will receive individualized care that will meet the needs of your family and your aging loved one. Whether you are in need of around the clock assistance, night relief or a short shift during the day to assist with ADL’s, you can rest easy knowing that we have your well-being and that of your loved one as our priority.”
Senior Social Club & Stay Care Center
While in-home care focuses on the one-on-one, allowing trust and friendship to flourish between caretaker and patient, the Adult Day facility follows a social model in a “beautiful, warm and inviting place for seniors to gather together and create new friendships and memories.” Different from many other day centers, the licensed caregivers at Your Home Care’s “Social Club & Stay Care” Center oversee all activities and are highly interactive with each visiting senior.
“In a typical day, our clients will arrive at the center, sign in, and enjoy leisure activities in the morning, such as enjoying our reading center, or watching a movie or playing a game with other participants and our caregivers,” says Warner. “We will also provide daily activities that will vary depending on the day, but you can expect to find on our schedule activities such as bingo, karaoke, and knitting caps for the newborns at local hospitals. We will also provide lunch at our facility.”
Warner and his team encourage family members to stop by and tour the facility to see firsthand the advantages of participation.
“Our service will greatly benefit those who find themselves living in multi-generational homes, whose primary caregiver is stretched thin,” says Warner. “We will be your resource for respite care which will allow family members relief from the emotional and physical strains of being a full-time caregiver. Our mission is to provide a fun, exciting place for your aging loved one to participate in activities that they love and maybe even try something new. Further, this facility allows those who may be isolated from the world an opportunity to open up and create new friendships.”
After interested seniors (or their loved ones) fill out an application for the program, they undergo a medical evaluation from their own doctor, and then a follow up visit with the program director at Your Home Care, Inc., to determine whether participation the adult day facility would be the best fit for their needs.
We will be your resource for respite care which will allow family members relief from the emotional and physical strains of being a full-time caregiver.”
“We’re very serious about providing a compassionate caregiving service, preserving dignity, ensuring independence, and a higher quality of life,” says Boyd. “We want this to be as good a fit for you as it is for us.”
Taking stress off anyone’s plate is a loving act in itself. Yet, I can see how many selfless acts might feel like a double-edged sword. My mother is the primary caregiver for my 85-year-old stepfather who suffers from dementia. As a result, she has less time for activities she enjoys, spending time with her friends, going to the movies and the infinite other little things that seem to fill the cracks in a single day. When I emphasize the importance of also caring for herself, she brushes the thought away not wanting to be “selfish.”
“Taking advantage of a referred professional caregiver is not giving up on your loved one or being selfish,” says Warner. “On the contrary, you’re being selfless by bolstering your own love and support with professional, quality care while enabling you to spend more time enjoying their company.”
What could be more selfless (and scientific) than helping to lower cortisol levels (yours and your loved one’s)? Eliminating that unnecessary drain on energy can mean restored resiliency, greater access to memory, improved brain function. Selfish? Or selfless? Stress full? Or stress free? Through compassionate in-home care and its new adult day care center in Laguna Woods, Your Home Care is here to ensure that this choice is the easiest you’ve made in a long time.
Connect with Boyd and the professionals at Your Home Care, Inc. by calling (949) 215-0004 or visit www.yourhomecare.com.
The Senior Social Club & Stay Care Center is located at 24191
Paseo de Valencia, Suite B in Laguna Woods.
Serving private residences/homes
There are countless things to worry about in our world: Large and small, tangible and intangible - hurricanes, supervolcanoes, bills, hidden gluten in our food. the dryer eating socks mysteriously. The list is long, and often feels like it’s getting longer. Most folks are already a little apprehensive when it comes to going to the dentist, but the worry of tooth decay, gum disease and plaque can pile upon all the other worries until the basic thought of leaving our homes becomes a little too much to handle.
Dental care, for most of us, is tough to get excited about. But we all go because the complications that can arise from not taking proper care of one’s teeth are enough to keep one up at night. Like most complications as we age, they are further complicated – by limited mobility, transportation issues and forgetfulness.
Busy caregivers are hard pressed to take residents in assisted-living facilities to dental appointments on a regular basis, and family members barely remember to schedule appointments for themselves. As an unfortunate result, the majority of the population that actually needs the most care is left to their own devices.
Making a Difference
Dr. Charles Zahedi believes there is too much at stake to forget the residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities when it came to their dental care. He first came up with this novice idea when he noticed the lack of elderly patients coming for what he believed much needed attention. “Mobile Dental USA provides a full range of dental services at your place of residence (via a full size 40+ ft mobile dental clinic or mobile equipment for ‘concierge dentistry’ performed in a client’s home). Using state-of-the art equipment, Mobile Dental performs x-rays, cleanings, cavity treatment, dentures, and implants.” For those with missing teeth or denture wearers, Mobile Dental can work up their exclusive Bone-Loss and Denture-Loss Prevention Programs because as Dr. Zahedi put it “a healthy smile is part of a healthy body and visiting a dentist has never been easier.”
Most folks could pinpoint exactly what it is about a shark that scares them. Or a tsunami. More likely than not, those same folks wouldn’t be able to articulate what it is about dental care that scares them, or the direct correlation between tooth replacement and malnutrition. Knowing more about certain things can help alleviate the fear - and being well informed about dental health can only bring us closer to a more balanced, healthy lifestyle. For these reasons and much more (that can’t be covered in this article) Mobile Dental USA is an accessible and educational concept, targeting its efforts on Orange County’s aging population.
“It can be frustrating to eat certain foods or even to speak with confidence at times for those without stable dentures,” Dr. Zahedi says. “But most people don’t know that the trouble doesn’t stop there. Not replacing missing teeth prevents adequate food intake, resulting in a lack of proper nutrients and vitamins, leading to weight loss, and even other serious medical conditions.” Dr. Zahedi even advises those with dentures, without missing teeth, become more aware of their fit. The pressure of their removable dentures on the jaw can result in the loss of that precious jaw bone. Mobile Dental USA is a pioneer, the first of its kind, with the ultimate goal of improving the standard of life for the elderlies of Orange County.
Not replacing missing teeth results in the rapid loss of the precious jaw bone, inadequate food intake, weight loss and a cascade of serious medical conditions.
With the revolutionary Bone-Loss and Denture-Loss Programs, the good doctor’s team can assure residents who undergo the procedures that they will be done in an hour. No sutures required. No endless months of healing. “They can immediately start eating, and speak with confidence,” Dr. Zahedi notes - “it’s a phenomenal solution for residents that cannot have extensive surgery for other, non-related medical reasons. And it eliminates the cost of replacing lost removable dentures, which is essentially an ironclad guarantee for those associates suffering from memory-loss or impairment.”
Repeatedly recognized as a leader in his industry by his passion and knowledge for the health and wellness of older adults, Dr. Zahedi has been honored by the American Dental Association’s Burton Wasserman and Dental Clinics of North America to write a book chapter (pub. July 2016) entitled Special Care Dentistry: Treatment of Orally Handicapped Edentulous Older Adults Using Dental Implants.
In 2011, Dr. Zahedi addressed a different need: that of the dental care of impoverished and disabled veterans living in Southern California. His first non-profit, Oral Disability Rescue, was comprised of a small group of volunteer dentists and dental assistants who looked after their target population. Since then, the name has changed to Dentists for Veterans (www.dentistsforveterans.org), to reflect their goals, and better call out the true needs of dentistry to the American population today. “Since its humble beginning in 2011, over $500,000 in dental services have been provided to veterans in need.” By eliminating pain and infection, which sometimes tend to be side effects of serving our county so valiantly, Dr. Zahedi is giving back to the community the best way he knows how – outstanding and convenient dental care.
When asked what prompted him to pursue this non-for-profit organization, Dr. Zahedi responded, “If I don’t do it, who will?” A noble question, rightly asked. Addressing the unknown worries of these disabled, or mobility impaired, or elderly populations is one thing. Bringing the care to their front door before they have a chance to worry? Another concept entirely. By bringing a complete dental care office to the community, Dr. Zahedi and his team are changing the way these residents look at dental care. Perhaps he can’t do anything about the super volcanoes, or what is and what isn’t gluten free, but he’ll rebuild your dental profile so it’s the least of your worries.
Dr. Charles Zahedi is a current UCLA School of Dentistry Faculty member and instructor and is practicing in Newport Beach with over 27 years of experience treating older adults and corporate employees.
Connect with your mobile dentist by calling (855) 99-MDUSA (855-996-3872) or visit www.mobiledentalusa.com
One of the biggest frustrations that folks have with Health Insurance when going into the Medicare Market is due to the change of terminology.
No longer is there a simple PPO or HMO solution. There are terms like Supplemental, Medi-Gap, Medicare Advantage, Part A, Part B, Part D, or Medical Groups vs Insurance Carriers. This is what Denice teaches monthly at her Educational Events.
Denice started out as an insurance agent 14 years ago offering individual Health policies, but soon found it to be disheartening when she couldn’t get a client approved, or they would get a decline letter.
Denice says she was introduced to Medicare and reluctantly agreed to sit in on a Medicare Advantage (HMO) presentation at a local Mimi’s Cafe. At the time, she wasn’t a big fan of HMO plans, thought they were limiting and wasn’t sure she wanted to represent a plan she wouldn’t consider for herself. Boy, was that about to change!
Lunch at the Mimi’s Cafe was an eye-opener. She recalled sitting in the room filled with about 15 seniors. The presenter walked through the overview of the plan and spelled everything out. What she learned was there were plans now that wouldn’t cost the client anything per month, they could go to their doctor at no cost, hospitalization stays also at no cost. Wow, being age 65 had its benefits! Everyone in the room was so appreciative and excited to enroll into this new Medicare Advantage (HMO) type plan.
So this was the turning point of Denice’s career and the beginning of her agency that dedicated all efforts to supporting the senior market exclusively.
The Agency “Merrill Insurance Services, Inc” now includes her husband (Stephen) for the last several years. He always says he’d wished he had jumped in years earlier and has never looked back on his sales engineering days, because he enjoys this so much. We have both found incredible contentment and passion in our day to day lives and helping others. We also are grooming other agents, so they too can replicate exactly what we do and have the same love of life and to be in this business of helping seniors. Education and taking the time to explain the details is what makes us different.
Denice shares that one of the most important questions every senior should ask is “How will MY personal prescriptions be covered?”
“This is what makes one plan a better fit for you than another” she says. “Honestly, I can simplify and help you to understand your options of a Medi-Gap Supplemental policy, or a Medicare Advantage plan and they all offer amazing coverages, but its the everyday or every month usages of medications that can really break the bank!”
Because of the ever-changing nuances of Medicare, it can be a nightmare to navigate, it’s also critical to find a professional you trust as a Medicare Insurance Broker…Just like finding the right Financial planner, or CPA, or Doctor. Choose wisely.
“It can be very difficult to know all the ins and outs”, says Denice. “But this is what a good Broker must do…compare different plans and different companies especially! Don’t be fooled by an agent that refers to themselves as a “Broker.” It’s important to ask representatives if they can enroll you with different companies based on your medication needs. If not, they are not doing a complete job for you.”
A complete job is what you can expect when you work with Denice & Stephen. From individual personal meetings, to attending one of their local seminars for a better understanding of this new terminology in the “Turning 65/Medicare World.”
“We strive to make the process as easy as possible,” she says. We love that clients get to keep their doctors. They really didn’t have to change a thing, except perhaps save money! In some cases, just rely on their doctors to direct them to other doctors within the group. Pretty Simple. It often is when you get to do what you believe in.
Connect with Denice directly by calling (949) 584-2646. CA Lic# 0H08139
In In the Greek myth of the Minotaur, a creature with the head of a bull and body of a man dwelt in the middle of a labyrinth. Built by Daedalus and his son, Icarus, the labyrinth swallowed all who dared to enter. Until the hero Theseus. Following his beloved Ariadne’s advice, the hero followed the labyrinth down and down into its center, never wavering to the right or to the left. Trailing a string behind him, Theseus came finally upon the beast, and after a mighty fight, slayed it there in the center of the maze.
Great story, right? Something straight out of a Ridley Scott movie. Though Theseus may be a hero clear out of the pages of myth and legend, a modern tour guide into the labyrinth exists, and will lead you through the mystery that is Medicare.
Ruth Page has lived in Orange County for just over two decades. Having spent a great many years in financial services, Ruth established Porter Page and Company, Inc. in the year 2000, and has been in the business of helping clients navigate the maze of healthcare options, specializing in Medicare insurance ever since.
“I first moved to Aliso Viejo in 1996. I love Orange County, and I can’t imagine living or working anywhere else,” says Ruth. “Well … maybe on a small farm with goats and chickens in Vermont or upstate New York.”
Realizing that her clients felt like they were battling their own beasts with Medicare was the first step to unspooling the Thesean thread: leading those lost in the labyrinth to sunshine. Sifting through the sludge of printed propaganda, government issues, and filtering healthcare noise is enough to drive anyone toward the feeling of quiet desperation.
The Porter Page team is made up of state-licensed and certified agents who are either on Medicare themselves, or who have helped family members evaluate their options and come to a decision about their Medicare. As Ruth recalls, “We quickly realized that coaching from the sidelines on a topic as complicated as this just isn’t an option. That’s why we’re in it with our members.”
While benefits under Medicare are divided into multiple parts, each with differing rules and penalties, Ruth and her team slash the monstrous jargon “and simply explain how these things work in real life.” Most Medicare beneficiaries are unaware that when first enrolling in Medicare, they have “once only” choices available to them during their initial enrollment. And, “we help you determine whether you need Medicare Part A and Part B if you are still working.”
As you face confusing health insurance plans, complicated Medicare, or part bull-part man, you can rest easy knowing that Ruth and her team at Porter Page and Company, Inc. have the string and the sword in hand - ready to cut through the red tape and lead you worry free into whatever life you’re dreaming about: apple orchards in New England, or margaritas on the beach.
Question: What choices do people have during Annual Open Enrollment?
Ruth Page: During the Annual Enrollment Period of October 15th to December 7th, individuals entitled to Medicare have the option to switch or enroll in Medicare Advantage Plans, switch prescription drug plans or enroll back into traditional Medicare. Once a change is made, the choice becomes effective January 1st of the next year.
Also, you can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage when certain events happen in your life, like if you move or you lose other insurance coverage. These chances to make changes are called Special Enrollment Periods (SEPs). Rules about when you can make changes and the type of changes you can make are different for each SEP.
Question: What is the one thing most Medicare beneficiaries are unaware of when first going on Medicare?
Ruth Page: Most Medicare beneficiaries don’t realize there is a lot that traditional Medicare does not cover such as vision, dental, hearing, or an annual physical exam. Also, there is no maximum on the out-of-pocket costs. Medicare Part B pays 80% of approved costs and 0% of non-approved or excess charges.
For example, consider someone with only original Medicare having heart by-pass surgery. If their hospital charges $300,000 for the surgery and Medicare only approves $250,000 the patient would pay 20% of $250,000 and the $50,000 excess charge and for a total of $100,000.
Therefore, it’s smart to enroll in either a Medicare Supplement plan or a Medicare Advantage plan. Either option will help you contain your health care costs.
Question: Do I need Medicare Part A or Part B if I am still working?
RP: Even if you have coverage through a current or former employer, you may still need to make some important Medicare enrollment decisions. You may have to pay a penalty if you don’t enroll on time, so it’s best to seek the advice of a Medicare professional to understand how your current coverage works with Medicare before making any decisions.
In most cases, for as long as you have group health insurance provided by an employer, you can delay enrolling in Part B, which covers doctors’ visits and other outpatient services and requires a monthly premium. When you eventually retire, or leave your work plan, you will be entitled to a special enrollment period of eight months to sign up for Part B without incurring a late enrollment penalty. Cobra is not considered creditable coverage regarding the Part B penalty.
It’s a good idea to compare the costs of your employer plan (the monthly premium and the co-pays) with the costs of enrolling in a Medicare Advantage plan. In many cases, you can save money by choosing to enroll in Medicare.
Connect with Ruth Page and the professional team at Porter, Page and Company by calling (949) 297-3917.
Trusted, tried and true. That’s the reason why United American Mortgage has been successful for over 25 years. Since 1993, UAMC specializes in providing mortgage-financing solutions to homeowners and homebuyers.
You’re almost tired of reading about it but it’s true: the mortgage meltdown hurt more than a few and people are still trying to recover. It’s hard to know whom to trust. With many mortgage companies competing and failing, UAMC has found itself expanding into 9 states. Originally formed to provide for the specific needs of Southern California borrowers seeking mortgage products tailored for them, UAMC has made it their personalized business to get to know and help you.
“We’ve grown substantially because we have the ability to adapt to the ever-changing marketplace,” says UAMC President Al W. Hensling. “We are in the home business, the helping-people business. Yes, it requires us to at times work around the clock. Yes, we have to keep up-to-date on the latest products and regulations. We take our clients and what we do seriously because at the end of the day, everyone should either be in the home of their dreams or keep the one they love so much. To some people, it’s just paperwork and numbers. But to us, it’s personal. It’s home.”
Their incredibly impressive, rare, referral-only business model may also be the key to understanding their success, as customers flock just to see if UAMC truly walks the walk. To them, offering you efficient, cost-effect and timely service is just a day’s business.
These days, most companies feel the need to plaster those words all over their advertisements. UAMC doesn’t need to express that they go above and beyond, they just think that it should come standard. “I guess you could say we just want to help how we can. Since our business is referral based, we truly get to know your family and friends.
UAMC continues to evolve with new products and financing solutions to the ever-changing Southern California real estate market. While many have given up the idea of owning a home or even refinancing, UAMC holds to the knowledge that today’s new and innovative programs are making it easier than ever to purchase or refinance.
“After a period of time in which it was extremely difficult to obtain a mortgage, things have started to normalize and lending guidelines are starting to loosen,” says Al. “The ‘Mortgage Meltdown’ created a great deal of uncertainty in the marketplace and made it difficult for so many to secure financing. We understand that a lot of people are scared to see where they stand and that’s ok. We just want you to know that it doesn’t have to be this way. Most of our clients feel the same way. Some people tell us they didn’t even want to find out about their options in the first place because they didn’t understand the jargon. Well, we aren’t the company that just explains things once. We’re with you step by step, no matter what.”
“If you’re considering anything in our sector then consider us the right team for the job,” Al says. “Call us, visit us online, or stop by the office anytime. We’re always on standby to see how we can help you. Don’t let the mortgage meltdown of yesterday affect where you’re at today. We’ve got the cutting edge techniques and knowledge to help your unique situation. We’re ready to meet your challenges and assist you into getting or keeping your home!
As the economy continues to grow and we experience job growth, more families will have an opportunity to experience the ben- efits of home ownership.
“As the Economy continues to grow and we experience job growth, more families will have an opportunity to experience the benefits of home ownership. Clients always ask what is going to happen to interest rates. I really wish I had that crystal ball to answer them accurately. It is difficult to say what rates will do, as markets have not reacted to this economy as they had previously. I counsel clients to borrow based on need and what they can afford. Loan programs are changing almost daily. As we move farther away from the mortgage meltdown of 2008, more and more programs and financing options will open up. But always be wary of the deal that sounds too good to be true. Even though recent changes have cleaned up the lending industry, there are still people out there that are not looking out for the client’s best interest. Families should always determine the experience level of their mortgage professional, along with checking references from previous clients.”
Many residents of Laguna Woods are the perfect example of “healthy aging” – whether it’s participating in competitive sports, working out at the gym, or a simply going for a walk every day. Today’s older adults are much more active than their parents ever were, and the unfortunate side effects of a more active and healthy lifestyles can be sports-related injuries and living in pain. To address this common issue in active, older adults, Dr. Alan Beyer, medical director of the Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Irvine, and host of the popular Saturday afternoon AM830 KLAA Angel’s radio show Doctor in the Dugout will be appearing regularly on Channel 6’s This Day.
Dr. Beyer, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports medicine, arthroscopic surgery of the knee and total knee replacement, discusses the causes of various sports injuries, joint and bone issues affecting the older adult, and prevention, among other topics. His Channel 6 segments will include interviews with leading Orange County physicians and surgeons who will share their insights to empower patients to make better health care decisions.
“Education is a crucial ingredient in preventing injuries for older adults,” Dr. Beyer says. “We see older adults in our medical offices every day and they are often dealing with many of the same joint and bone issues as younger athletes. We want to help Laguna Woods residents prevent injuries and remain active. I know how much it means for many to play golf or tennis regularly and to do it without pain or suffering. We aim to help them with good, sound education on the show.”
A longtime resident of Orange County, Dr. Beyer began hosting his radio show four years ago. Each Saturday, he drives to Angel’s Stadium to the broadcast booth of KLAA AM 830, the flagship station for Angel’s baseball games, for his live, one-hour show at noon. The show is the only sports medicine radio show based in Orange County and has generated a loyal listening audience. Each week he chats with sports stars from the NFL, PGA, NBA and MLB and shares insights into what is new and trending in the treatment of orthopedic injuries.
“We get calls and emails at the radio show from many residents of Laguna Woods asking good questions about various orthopedic injuries tied to golf, tennis or other activities,” Dr. Beyer said. “So we thought it would be a good idea to bring our radio show concept to Channel 6 so we could spend more time talking about health issues that can help residents remain active, healthy and happy. For older adults, the social and mental health benefits of being active are so overwhelmingly positive that I think it’s important to ensure they can continue doing what makes them feel like themselves.”
Humorous, talkative and enthusiastic about educating others about injury prevention, Dr. Beyer is the perfect guest host for Channel 6’s This Week, especially considering his own personal experiences. “I’m an active person who also had a hip replacement a few years ago,” he shared. “I know what it is like on both sides of the surgical table and exam room. I also know what it was like to live and try to be active when you are in constant pain. Empathy is a great teacher and I like to share my own experiences with my audience.”