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The winter months can be a difficult time for senior citizens – coping with bitter cold, falling snow, and icy roads. Those seniors who own houses must worry about freezing pipes and blocked driveways, and those in cities have to concern themselves with slippery sidewalks and suspended public transportation.

Winter is especially difficult for seniors living in rural communities, who are often isolated and have less services conveniently available to them, as illustrated in a recent New York Times article, For Elderly in Rural Areas, Times are Distinctly Harder (December 10, 2009).

While the difficulties of growing older and living independently are more pronounced in rural areas, it is also important to address these issues for seniors residing in cities and suburbs. Seniors living in the New York-Metropolitan area should know about the many resources available to them, including food and meal delivery, transportation services, assistance paying energy bills, and more. Many of these services can be found on theDepartment for the Aging website.

In addition, because winter can be a toilsome time for independent seniors and the hazardous weather can lead to unpredictable consequences, having a valid and up-to-date power of attorney and health care proxy can be of tremendous help when seniors need assistance managing their affairs and making health care decisions. Talk to an elder law attorney today about advance planning tools that can make difficult situations as manageable as possible.

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