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The importance of supporting local business

Greetings,

My dream of owning my own business became a reality 15 years ago. I started Midnight Sun Home Care with the goal of helping people, but I couldn’t have built a successful business without people helping me along the way.

I’m thankful to the first few families that trusted their loved ones to Midnight Sun, and I’m grateful for all the people throughout the years that have referred clients to my business. One of the reasons I started MSHC was I believed Alaskans needed a local company, not a chain that didn’t understand our values.

As a small business owner, I want to see other small businesses thrive. By building each other up, we build up our community. By getting to know your local businesses and then referring others to them, you have a giver's gain attitude. The giver’s gain attitude benefits everyone by spreading the success and uplifting everyone. Nothing makes a big town smaller than getting involved in the community with other businesses and their staff.

I will continue to do my part to support Alaska businesses owners and I encourage you to do the same. Together, we can create a vibrant and successful business climate that enhances this great city we call home.

Kevin Turkington
Founder & CEO
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Get Your Important Papers in Order

What happens after you die, and end of life care conversations are never fun to have, but they’re very important. It doesn’t matter how old you are – there are certain documents you need to have in place. Without these documents, your family may not carry out your wishes or the situation could cause even more stress for your loved ones during a very difficult time. Planning ahead, you can get the medical care you want and help your loved ones confidently make decisions.

Living Will

Most people are aware that they need a will but sometimes people forget to draft a living will. A living will is a legal set of instructions regarding how you want to be cared for medically if you cannot make decisions for yourself. Living wills, also known as advanced directives, should include your position on:

  • Do-not-resusitate (DNR) directive
  • Your wishes if you are seriously injured, in a coma or near the end of your life
  • Organ donation
  • Comfort care
  • Dialyses
  • Tube feeding
  • Ventilation

Your living will needs to include a medical power of attorney, a person you trust to make your medical decisions if you are unable to make these decisions. This person will carry out your care based on what is included in your living will.

How to Create a Living Will   

You can’t verbally tell a loved one your end of life wishes, it needs to be in writing. There are free templates available online. The paper should be signed by you, a witness and its helpful to have an attorney sign the paperwork as well. Make several copies and keep them in safe places. Keep one with your other important paperwork and give a copy to your designed medical power of attorney. If your health changes, be sure to update your living will to reflect the changes.

It’s best not to blindside your loved ones with your wishes when the time happens. Have a conversation about what you want, in case they have any questions. This will help them understand certain decisions that they may not agree with.

Midnight Sun Home Care can help you have some of these conversations. We offer Home Care 101, fondly known as "Oh Crap! Mom needs help, now what?" to groups and organizations to help families understand what to do and have in place when the "Oh Crap" moments hit with a senior loved one.


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Your Day Begins With Sleep

A cup of coffee, a hot shower or a morning workout – most people have something that helps jumpstart the day. However, your day really begins with sleep. That’s the focus of the National Sleep Foundation’s 2018 Sleep Awareness Week.

Sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. And it’s not just any sleep. To benefit from sleep, you need to get the right amount of REM. And it’s easier said, than done. Many people suffer from sleep disorders like insomnia, restless leg syndrome and teeth grinding. Stress and schedules also get in the way.


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How to Spot Senior Abuse and What to Do

Over 28 million Americans become victims of fraud annually, and 30 percent are seniors. Criminals target seniors for many reasons including they may be more trusting, have savings and weren’t raised in an era of cyber scams. According to the National Adult Protective Services Association, “financial exploitation is a fast-growing form of abuse of seniors and adults with disabilities.”

Seniors face scams from strangers, professionals and in very sad cases, loved ones and trusted caretakers.

Types of Scams

On NAPSA’s website, the organization has a detailed and helpful list of the most common types of scams seniors face:

By Strangers:

  • Lottery and sweepstakes scams
  • Home repair/traveling con men
  • Grandparent scam (grandchild is in trouble and needs money immediately)
  • Charity scams
  • Roof repair, yard work, home repair scams


By Professionals:

  • Predatory lending – seniors pressured into taking out inappropriate reverse mortgages or other loansAnnuity sales – the senior may be pressured into using the equity realized from a reverse mortgage (or other liquid assets) to buy an expensive annuity which may not mature until the person is well into their 90’s or over 100
  • Investment/securities schemes – pyramid schemes; unrealistic returns promised; dealer is not licensed
  • Internet phishing – false emails about bank accounts
  • Identity theft
  • Medicare scams – these are the costliest in terms of the dollar amounts

By Family/People they Trust:

  • Power of Attorney, given by the victim, to spend money
  • Taking advantage of joint bank accounts
  • Using ATM cards and stealing checks
  • Threatening to abandon, hit or otherwise harm the victim unless he or she gives the perpetrator what he/she wants
  • Refusing to obtain needed care and medical services for the victim in order to keep the person’s assets available for the abuser

When Seniors Get Scammed

Senior exploitation is a very serious issue for a number of reasons. The effects can be devastating and life-altering. Successful scams can bankrupt seniors, putting their financial future in serious risk and making them dependent on the government. Without the ability to work, seniors have no way of recouping their lost funds. Even when seniors lose smaller amounts of money it can cause extremely negative impacts on their mental health. Abused seniors are at-risk for depression, embarrassment and shame. They may also lose their ability to trust.

What to Look For

Financial abuse can be tough to spot, the easiest way is to have an open dialogue with seniors about their finances. Financial activity that should trigger questions:

  • Bills not being paid
  • Large withdrawals of money
  • Unusual purchases
  • Suspicious changes in wills or powers of attorney

Preventing Senior Abuse

Midnight Sun Home Care offers an engaging presentation/seminar for groups and organizations called “Senior Targeted Frauds and Scams.” The materials cover abuse, neglect and exploitation, and how to recognize it and what to do.

The presentation focuses on:

  • Why seniors are likely targets of fraud
  • Types of fraud and scams
  • How to protect against fraud
  • Provides helpful resources

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