Business Entities and Ownership

identity theftAs I noted in an earlier issue, one of the most important decisions a new business owner ( also an existing owner) can make is the choice of the business entity. An informed choice not only affects tax issues, but affects legal, regulatory, and professional aspects as well.

Basically there are four types of business entities, a Sole Proprietorship, a Partnership, a Corporation, and a Limited Liability Company or LLC.

A Sole Proprietorship consists of one individual that carries on a trade or business. It requires no formal organization, thus the easiest entity to form and to dissolve. The only bookkeeping requirement is that the system must clearly reflect income and expenses and it must be consistent. Intermingling of personal and business funds is permitted, although definitely not recommended. The net profit or loss is computed on Schedule C and reported on the owners tax return (Form 1040.)

A Partnership is an organization having two or more owners that function as a trade or business. It is relatively easy to organize, with no written agreement required but a written partnership agreement is recommended. Partnership income and losses flow to the partners tax return and are allocated by ownership interest if no agreement exists. Also losses can be limited. By agreement and depending on income and assets, the partnership may be required to include a balance sheet, thus double-entry bookkeeping may be required. It files Form 1065.

Partnerships combine the skills and abilities of several people who hopefully complement each other.

A Corporation is a business entity that carries its own legal A status that is separate and distinct from its owners. It is usually organized by a state. A corporation must comply with state and federal regulations. Generally a corporation pays its own taxes on its income. Profits can also be distributed to the shareholders in the form of dividends and are taxed to the shareholder. A corporation can if it meets certain requirements elect to be a “Sub S-Corp.” This means that instead of the profits being taxed at the corporate level, the profits “flow-through” to the individual shareholder and is taxed on the individuals tax return (very similar to the a partnership.) The S-Corp is very popular for small, closely held corporations primarily because it avoids the “double taxation” that can occur with a regular corporation.

The Limited Liability Company or LLC is an entity formed under state law. Most importantly for tax purposes it is known as a “disregard-entity,” that is the LLC status is disregarded. Thus a single member LLC is by default taxed as a Sole Proprietorship. If it is a multiple member LLC, it is taxed as a partnership. Furthermore, an LLC can by meeting certain requirements still be a corporation or even a Sub S corporation. In conclusion, I’d like to point out that as your business changes you can also change your business entity. But it should be done carefully and thoughtfully.

If you should have a topic that you would like me to

discuss or if you should have a question, please feel free to

call 239.403.4410 or e-mail me at

mike@cctaxandaccounting.com.

An enrolled agent, licensed by the US Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections and appeals. To attain the enrolled agent designation, candidates must demonstrate expertise in taxation, fulfill continuing education credits and adhere to a stringent code of ethics.

Is Your Garage Door Hurrican Secure?

Storm ForceThe garage door covers the largest opening into your home and may pose a major threat to your property if you live in a hurricane prone region.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), the loss of a garage door during a hurricane can cause an uncontrolled buildup of internal pressure resulting in a blowout of the roof and supporting walls.

“Code-compliant garage doors are critical to preserving a home’s structural integrity during a hurricane,” says Steve Roser, General Manager, Storm Force. “Because of their size, garage doors are more susceptible to wind damage than other exterior openings – especially two-car garage doors. Unless you have a tested, hurricane resistant door installed, high winds can force it out of the opening.”

To meet the International Building Code, garage doors must have additional bracing, heavier gauge tracking and other necessary hardware to help keep them in place under extreme winds. Homeowners with an older garage door may not even realize that it poses a threat.

Single-car garage doors usually resist wind forces better than two-car garage doors. A reinforced door is a small investment that can minimize major damage and property loss. And, if your door has weathered a previous storm, it needs to be inspected for hidden damage or vulnerabilities.

Here are points to keep in mind when selecting a hurricane reinforced garage door:

  • Determine the wind load requirements for your county and make sure your garage door is wind pressure rated. The local building code authority can provide code information and a Storm Force garage door technician can perform an on-site inspection.
  • Understand “storm ready” vs. “add-on” reinforcement. Two kinds of reinforced garage doors are available. With the “add-on” system, a homeowner has to install long posts in the floor and ceiling to reinforce the door before the storm hits, and then remove them again afterwards to resume normal operation.“Storm-ready” models require no advance set-up. Reinforcement is built into the structure of the door and is engaged by simply closing it, a timesaving convenience in the event of a sudden evacuation notice. This type of door is particularly beneficial to vacation home and rental property owners because they have peace of mind knowing that the garage door is secure as long as it’s closed.
  • Choose a door that has heavy-duty rollers, hinges, springs and track to provide additional strength and help keep the door in place.
  • Retrofitting an older door with new hardware will not provide the structural support needed for the current building codes. It is important to have a trained garage door professional install the appropriate door for your area.’

Mark Storm ForceStorm Force (www.stormforce1.com)
provides protection with its group of
companies including Hurricane Home
Protection, Replacement Glass, Shower
Enclosure Installations, and Hurricane
Garage Doors, located at 4160 Corporate
Square Naples, FL 34104. Using top-of-theline
products in a range of forms and styles,
Mark and his team ensure clients receive
exceptional service, safe, tailor-made solutions, and added value for
their home or building. Mark can be reached at 239.261.5495 or
email at mark@stormforce1.com

High Points at Rookery Bay

Rookery BayThe Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve encompasses 110,000 acres of coastal lands and waters surrounding Marco Island, and has a mission to promote informed stewardship of estuaries through research and education. The Rookery Bay Environmental Learning Center is a two-story exhibit hall that showcases the southwest Florida environment through hands-on exhibits, observation bridge, nature trail, daily educational programs, an art gallery, gift shop, daily guided kayak tours (registration required) and more!

300 Tower Road (off Collier Boulevard just south of US41) Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday Saturday. $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12 and free for members. Admission fee included with all tours; preregistration required at www.rookerybay.org or 239.417.6310.

Explore the unique ecosystem of Rookery Bay Reserve via small boat tours, each with a maximum of only six passengers. These tours provide a chance to see and learn about a diversity of native wildlife, and offer a comfortable platform for photography. Tours are led by Rookery Bay Reserve’s former Assistant Manager Randy McCormick, a Certified Interpretive Guide, instructor in the Florida Master Naturalist program and fifth generation Floridian. $69 for Friends of Rookery Bay members, $79 for nonmembers. Proceeds from boat and kayak tours support the non-profit Friends of Rookery Bay, Inc. For schedule and registration visit www.rookerybay.org or call 239.417.6310.

High Points

(Nov. 5, 19)

Cruise the back bays and winding creeks of the Rookery Bay Reserve to visit one of the most unique areas of Southwest Florida. After disembarking, take a short hike to one of the highest points in Collier County, an ancient sand dune relic from the Pleistocene Era that is 25 feet above sea level. The view from the top of Sand Hill is remarkable in this predominantly flat landscape, where visitors can see and appreciate this rare and fragile coastal scrub. Access to this sensitive area is restricted to protect it from damage, so this tour allows guests the opportunity to experience this unusual place that very few visitors ever get to see. Participants must have the physical ability to get into and out of a boat tied up to the shore.

NEW! Treasure Island Boat Tour

(Nov. 6, 14, 20)

The treasure on this remarkable island isn’t gold, silver or pirates’ booty. It is the amazing ecological treasure of a very rare tropical hardwood hammock. Having been diminished due to past human activity, this rich biological community should be elevated from rare to priceless! Accordingly, the Reserve restricts public access to this area to protect it from damage. However, as our guest you will travel by boat to the island, disembark, and hike about ½ mile on primitive trails in a shaded forest dripping with ferns and bromeliads. This tour lasts approximately three hours and requires the physical ability to get into and out of a boat tied up to the shore and to walk ½ mile on uneven terrain. Closed-toed shoes are required.

History Mystery Boat Tour

(Nov. 7, 13, 21)

Explore Rookery Bay Reserve’s human and natural history during this 2 ½ hour small boat trip through the area and learn the mystery of how, where and why the people, plants and animals have been able to survive. Discover how the Calusa Indians responded to the arrival of Ponce de Leon and his fellow Spaniards. Find out where birds such as night heron go during the day. Discover why sea pork makes lousy bacon and what a “snack in the wrack” is all about. From early Native Americans to mullet millionaires, and from mud crabs to manatees, this tour is about exploring the mystery of history.

Participants must have the physical ability to step on and off of the boat at a dock.

Life is a Beach Boat

tour (Nov. 8, 15, 22)

Take a naturalist-led small boat tour and explore Keewaydin Island, a natural, living barrier island with an incredible diversity of life and some of the best shelling in Florida. Learn about waves, dunes, dune plants, drift algae, bivalves, crustaceans, corals, sea squirts, snails, sponges, worms, fishes, birds, reptiles and more. The 2 ½-hour trip includes time to stroll the beach with the naturalist and a cruise through the Rookery Bay mangrove estuary, one of the richest and most productive ecosystems on the planet. Participants must have the physical ability to step on and off of the boat at a dock.

Sunset to Starlight

(Nov. 16)

This naturalist-led small boat adventure takes place once a month during the full moon, taking advantage of magical sunset hours when scores of birds fly back to their roosts in Rookery Bay Reserve. Stroll along a remote section of Keewaydin Island, renowned for its shell-strewn beaches and pastel sunsets. During the leisurely return cruise through the back bays of the reserve, become enveloped in the sights, sounds and sensations of night in a mangrove-forested estuary.

This tour lasts approximately three hours, and participants must have the physical ability to step on and off of the boat at a dock.

 

Who you Gonna Call?

Rick's AutomotiveYou’re in Naples to enjoy another great season when your car won’t start, steam is rolling out from under the hood, or the check engine light is on…where do you turn?   If you are like many, you’ll choose a repair facility by its proximity to your location or simply let your fingers “do the walking” through the Yellow Pages.  Either way, you are taking a chance equal to walking down an inner city alley at midnight. With over 250 repair facilities in the Naples area, and only a handful of good choices, you are at a disadvantage if you make your selection by either means.

Many articles have been published with suggestions to help you make your decision. Most, however, need to be done before you breakdown.  First, ask friends.  If they’ve had an on-going relationship with a shop, and they’re pleased, this would be a great start.  Next, check the condition of a repair facility.  Do the vehicles they work on appear to be similar to yours?  The theory, here, is they‘ll have experience with yours in both condition and value.  Most advanced technicians have tens of thousands of dollars invested in personal tools. When this is the case, and the facility appears neat and orderly, there’s a good chance they’ll treat your vehicle the same way.

While all of the aforementioned hints are correct, there are other things you should check to insure you’ve made a wise decision.  Do they have the latest shop technology to handle most problems?  Just because they have a “scanner”, to pull a trouble code, doesn’t mean they can fix it.  Often getting that code is only the beginning…and, sometimes, there are multiple codes as a result of the “real” problem.  But, which is the real problem?  Do you wish the tech to replace every sensor that shows up with a code?  Certainly not!  Next comes research time on the computer getting the manufacturers data to isolate the issue that brought you in.  This information isn’t free.  Quality shops spend between $3000 and $10,000 a year, depending on how many different sources they have, just to stay current on the vehicle repair data, technical service bulletins, and recalls.  This is an investment, along with equipment and training which many facilities can’t or won’t make. People, however, are the most important element in the process, and there is a big difference in skill levels between the tire & battery changers and those technicians who do drivability issues that involve your vehicle’s computers.

 

Every day I receive calls requesting prices for repairs. While it’s usually easy to give prices for oil changes and other basic services, every thing else is just a lie.  While we don’t mean for it to be, that’s the way it is since the customer gives us the wrong diagnosis 80+ percent of the time.  Yes, you may have a coolant leak, but your wishful thinking that it’s “just a hose” doesn’t always play out. Unfortunately, the repair people who have gone over to the dark side will prey on you.  This is where INTEGRITY comes in. It is the most important part of your relationship with a repair facility.  Since you are calling around to get prices, on a repair, we know you probably don’t have a favorite repair shop. Even though the exact nature of the repair needed hasn’t been established you expect a price.  Statistics show you’ll go to the low price bidder.  What a shame! Unless they’re psychic it’s impossible to know what the real cost is going to be.  I’ve had callers asking to beat a quote they’ve received for air-conditioning repairs. When I ask if their previous quote was for new or remanufactured parts, R12 or R134a, new dryer, system flush, or length of warranty…they can’t answer.  The lure of the $59.95 brake job or the “lifetime” brake service is hard to fight, with a phone quote, when the price of quality parts and service is much higher. Usually what happens is once the vehicle is in the shop; they find a rather healthy amount of repairs that adds up to way over the low-price phone quote.  By the way, nothing lasts a lifetime…they’ll install cheapo brake pads, over and over, and charge labor each time. It won’t be lifetime of free brakes!   

Bruce Buchanan

Bruce Buchanan

Recently we serviced a vehicle that had been taken to a local muffler shop for a catalytic converter.  Three months later there was a check engine light that was triggered by a faulty converter. The first problem was that his original repair was done with a “universal” part…not up to the quality of the original part.  But the real tragedy is that it would have been covered in full by the dealer, because of an 8 year/ 80 thousand mile Federal warranty not publicized by the manufacturer. Now, the dealer has no responsibility because their part is long gone. A quality shop will know and will tell you when there is a better option for you…even if it means they don’t get your money.

Quality shops use quality parts, charge fair prices, watch out for the long term service on your vehicle, and give options where applicable.  They have to; it’s the only way to keep satisfied repeat customers.

Bruce Buchanan is Vice-President of Fuel Injection Products & Services, Inc/Auto Tech of Naples and Naples Auto Repair Association, Inc./Rick’s Automotive

Politics & Potpourri November 2013

by Councilman Bill Barnett

politicsWell, it’s October 6th, the deadline for this article to be submitted is the 8th, and I can’t believe that when you read this we will be just weeks away from Thanksgiving! I love October!

The weather usually breaks around the third week in October, the NFL is in full swing, it’s almost World Series time, and although we don’t have Fall leaves here, there are pumpkins and great Fall and Halloween decorations everywhere. It also means Daylight Savings time and how could I not mention how much I love my Halloween birthday! Of course it’s hard to think about

Fall when it’s a super hot 89 degrees here today and there is no sign of cool weather yet. Naples has had a very good but wet summer, and I would be extremely surprised if we have water restrictions placed on us this winter but it never hurts to pretend we do anyway and conserve our water. Many business and restaurant owners have told me that this past summer was the best for business that they can remember, and are extremely optimistic about the forthcoming season. The same can be said for our realtors who seem a lot happier these days and with good reason to be, real estate in Naples is hot! Naples City Council has certainly had its share of controversy, the biggest one which is ongoing, is the beach sand truck haul issue. I’m certainly not going to rehash it, but the bottom line that seems to be forgotten is the beaches are for all of us, residents and visitors alike! For Lee County Commissioners to be acting like immature children and trying their utmost to prevent the trucks hauling the sand from using their roads is simply absurd. I would hope if the situation were to be reversed that we would keep in mind what the bottom line means to all of us.

In my last article for Life In Naples that came out in August and covered September and October, I wrote about an unfortunate incident that happened in June to my wife Chris and I when on a dark country road in upstate New York both headlights on our car went out at the same time and the saga we went through getting the car fixed. I have had many questions from readers wanting to know the outcome. As I look back now it really was amusing, but not when it occurred. After four annoying trips to the dealer located an hour each way from us, we were assured that the car was fixed. I had my doubts, but accepted what they said and drove the car back to our Lake Placid home.

We normally don’t take that car out at night as we have an old car that we use up there for daily errands or if we go out at night. One day in August about a week before I flew back to Naples to resume our City Council meetings, we decided to take a ride to a neighboring town about an hour and a half away. We decided to go in the late afternoon, do some shopping, have dinner there and then drive back. It was the first time we had used the car at night. Well, long story made short, yes the lights worked, but it seems that the dealer never aligned the headlight beams, and the right beam was aimed about 15 yards to the right which was great for lighting up cornfields and trees. I was steaming, but we had to laugh, and vowed to find another dealer.

The next few days we had heavy rain, and when the weather cleared I went to wash the car and to my utter amazement there was moisture inside the right headlamp lens cover. I contacted a Cadillac dealer in Burlington Vermont, explained my story, and made an appointment. They did a great job, fixed the car, and so far so good but it’s a long drive from Lake Placid N.Y. to Naples Florida, so time will tell.

Welcome back to our Winter residents! You will find lots of new restaurants and retail stores to try, the City of Naples is better than ever, and we are glad you are back!

Sending A Smile

by Dr. Cheryl Malick, DMD

Dr Cheryl MalickWith squeals of excitement, the Malick-Beltran children eagerly opened a large envelope from U.S. Army Captain Sam Almquist, who has since been promoted to Major. The children, Jade (4), Todd (6) and Brad (7) regularly sent care packages to “Captain Sam” throughout his recent, nine month deployment in Afghanistan, and to other soldiers over the past eighteen months. Their uncle, First Lieutenant Derek P. Wimmer, who serves with 3rd Brigade, 1st Armor Division, 1-41 sending a Infantry, and the local family have endeavored to teach the children ways to acknowledge military servicemen, women and veterans.

With soldier wish lists, care package guidelines, and boxes in little hands, the children have ventured to the grocery store, created artwork, cartoons, holiday cards, and decorated mailing boxes in an effort to make the soldiers laugh. They’ve painted “Welcome Home” and “Thank You” signs their uncle posted in Captain Sam’s front yard on his return to Fort Bliss, Texas.

“In our platoon, you guys are famous”, Captain Sam’s letter reads. “Your support brought lots of smiles, motivation, and surprises with each package. It is hard to explain to people how nice it is to get mail from home as a little reminder of normalcy.

flag-waving-smilesA small gift of gratitude is included with a photo of those you inspired.” With awe the siblings studied the platoon’s photo and delighted over the striking red, white and gold 8th Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment’s recognition coin. Captain Sam explained the coin is a military tradition and sign of gratitude. The next day Jade, Todd and Brad brought the treasures to their classes to share their experiences with fellow students and teachers.

They are also expecting their uncle to deploy again later this year. The Malick-Beltran’s next “mission” is to prepare care packages now for Veteran’s Day, since they know delivery takes up to six weeks

Breakfast In Red

by Elizabeth Kellar

The photo represents a portion of the Naples Legacy and Circle of Red members & Red Tie Society who were in attendance for the breakfast. All are active participants in the planning and execution of the Go Red lunch to be held in the spring.

The photo represents a portion of the Naples Legacy and Circle of Red members & Red Tie Society
who were in attendance for the breakfast. All are active participants in the planning and execution of
the Go Red lunch to be held in the spring.

Ladies – and a few men – donned their best red outfits to show their support for the fight against women’s cardiovascular disease at the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women “Breakfast in Red” event on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Naples.

Now marking its 10th national year, the Go Red For Women campaign is also celebrating its 5th local year.

The annual breakfast serves as the campaign’s kick-off, which continues throughout the season with National Heart Month in February and culminates on Friday, May 9, with the Southwest Florida Go Red For Women Luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa in Bonita Springs.

The event drew an estimated 200 community and business leaders, including members of the American Heart Association’s Circle of Red and Red Tie Society. These two groups are dedicated to making an impact in our community’s fight against heart disease, and have the influence and resources to help rally women and take charge of their heart health and provide a personal commitment to help find a cure for the Number 1 killer of women. Brittany Cohill chairs the 2013 Circle of Red and Andrew Sicnolf chairs the 2013 Red Tie Society.

In speaking to attendees, 2013 Go Red For Women Chairwoman Christin Collins reminded local women that heart disease affects one in three women. Yet since Go Red Red breakfastin For Women began a decade ago, the campaign has made a measurable difference in the health of women.

In 1997, only 30 percent of women knew of the danger posed by heart disease. Now, 54 percent of women are aware that heart disease is their biggest health threat, and research shows that women who get involved with the Go Red For Women movement are more likely to make healthy choices such as exercising, eating right and checking their cholesterol.

Breakfast attendees also heard from Dr. Shona Velamakanni, a cardiologist with the Naples Heart Institute, who spoke on the importance of prevention and how heart disease affects women differently than men.

Dr. Velamakanni also described the ways in which women are likely to react to a heart attack. Research shows that women were 53 percent likely to call for emergency assistance if they were experiencing signs of a heart attack, while they were 79 percent likely to call for assistance if someone else were experiencing symptoms of a heart attack.

“Who has time for a heart attack?” Dr. Velamakanni asked. “It’s very inconvenient to be sick.”

For many women, this willingness to dismiss their own symptoms and put others first can have dangerous consequences, yet it’s a common occurrence as they try to juggle work, family and other responsibilities. Go Red For Women educates women to listen to their symptoms and to take action to protect their heart health.

In total, the breakfast raised $33,375, a figure that included a $20,000 commitment from “Queen of Hearts” sponsor Donna Sublett.

For more information on Go Red For Women

or the Go Red For Women Luncheon, contact

Monica Seif at 239.495.4903.

Kitchens Communication Part 2 of 6

Kichen-by-ClayWe have found that a majority of our clients come to us as a first timer; not knowing what to expect or where to start in the renovation process. Initially their goal is to be provided with guidance. For us this is where the communication begins, but what should a contractor do next? Is it about touring the showroom;  opening and closing doors and drawers while telling you all about the features available or inviting you, the client, to sit and talk about who you are and what you are looking for?

To us the latter is more important. There will be plenty of time for the design aspect but having knowledge about the client; knowing the history of their past projects and their needs and desires sets a great foundation to work from.

Equally important is listening. This works wonders. Listening more than talking can create an outcome where some very important items will not be overlooked or misinterpreted. Fully listening will remove assumptions and judgments of how the project should be. Listening also shows respect and understanding that there are multiple participants in the event and everyone’s thoughts, ideas and opinions are important.

A kitchen remodel is a definitive process. Because of years of experience and an established schedule program we have concluded that a kitchen renovation can be a great experience with a happy outcome every time. However, a client may have a different view due to it being a first time process or (hopefully not) a previous experience that didn’t go the way they planned. It is our job to communicate to the client how this will work in a manner they can understand; putting ourselves in their shoes helps.

kitchenAt times there may be gaps in the process while waiting for products to be received. Consistent contact during this time is extremely important and also an opportunity to connect and reassure that all is going well and the ever important schedule is being followed. Conversation and listening is the key to a successful project.

So if you are ready to talk about your project we are here to listen.

Please stop in! Clay Cox

Please E-mail Clay with your questions or comments at

clay@kitchensbyclay.com. Be sure to sign up for our e-newsletter at

www.kitchensbyclay.com!

Part 2 of 6

Communication

Fall Into Food and Fitness

Paula AliaThere is a touch of Fall in the air. Every October, the weather breaks and there is noticeably less humidity than in our summer months. This year we had record rainfall. It was good to keep fires down and it fed our local crops. Now we must move forward officially into Fall with Winter around the corner.

Fall is a time to make adjustments in the foods that you eat and the activities that you participate in. Seasonally, crops such as squash, pumpkin, chestnuts and apples provides us with excellent nutritional vitamins, fiber, and minerals to help keep our bodies healthy. Squash and apples contain fiber, vitamin C, and calcium and apples provide us with quercetin. Pumpkin has a lot of vitamin A and potassium. Brussels sprouts and chestnuts are also packed with disease fighting natural phytochemicals and fiber. All of these Fall foods can be consumed and fill you up while not adding weight to your body. Cold and flu season is around the corner and we want our immune systems to be prepared!

In Southwest Florida, Fall is a great time to ramp up your cardiovascular health while also toning your body. In addition, getting some strength training 2-3 times per week is very important for your overall well being.

Cardiovascular training helps to tonify your heart muscle with attempts of lowering your pulse and keeping your blood pressure in check. Monitoring these vital signs can give you a good indication if you are working at the right pace for you. When a person exercises, naturally their pulse will rise in order to get more oxygen to the tissues that are working. It is also common that the systolic blood pressure (the top number) will raise depending upon the demands on the body. It is not good for the diastolic pressure (bottom number) to go up more than 10mmhg. This could be indicative of an underlying problem. As you walk or run a little faster, your heart rate will increase but as your body adjusts and strengthens (heart), the heart rate recovery should improve. This many times goes hand in hand with feeling that you have more energy and endurance.

Strength training, though relative, is important for the rest of your body as well. As the body develops more tone and strengthens the metabolic rate may increase and this will get you into a good position for the holiday season that is fast approaching. Muscles burns more calories than fat and provides us with the framework to perform everything from simple activities of dialing living to playing golf or tennis or even participating in triathlons or other races.

Be smart as we prepare for the Fall and Winter seasons by adding fall fuels to the body while getting yourself in a better place physically. This combination will also propel your mental attitude into the beginning of a beautiful season. If you need guidance in a program that is right for you, don’t hesitate to call Fitness Together where private personal trainers and physical therapists are working diligently to help others like yourself improve their nutritional, physical, and overall mental well being.

To your health!

For further information you can

call me at 239.263.9348 at Fitness

Together in Downtown Naples. It is

never too late to work on yo

Urinary Tract Infections – Serious Issue

Nelson-Maldonado-MDUrinary Tract Infections (UT I) can cause serious serious health problems. A urinary tract infection happens when bacteria in the bladder or kidney multiplies in the urine. Left untreated, a urinary tract infection can become something more serious than merely a set of uncomfortable symptoms. UT Is can lead to acute or chronic kidney infections, which could permanently damage the kidneys and even lead to kidney failure. UT Is are also a leading cause of sepsis, a potentially life-threatening infection of the bloodstream.

The population most likely to experience UT Is is the elderly. Elderly people are more vulnerable to UT Is due to the suppressed immune system that comes with age and certain age-related conditions.

Younger people tend to empty the bladder completely upon urination, which helps to keep bacteria from accumulating within the bladder.   But elderly men and women experience a weakening of the muscles of the bladder, which leads to more urine being retained in the bladder, poor bladder emptying and incontinence, which lead to UT Is.

Symptoms of UTIs:

  • Urine that appears cloudy
  • Bloody urine
  • Strong or foul-smelling urine odor
  • Frequent or urgent need to urinate
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Pressure in the lower pelvis
  • Low – grade fever
  • Night sweats, shaking, or chills

Elderly people with serious urinary tract infection don’t exhibit the hallmark sign of fever because their immune system is unable to mount a response to infection due to the effects of aging. In fact, elders often don’t exhibit any of the common symptoms- or don’t express them to their caregivers.

UTIs in the elderly are often mistaken as the early stages of dementia or Alzheimer’s according because symptoms include:

  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Hallucinations
  • Other behavioral changes
  • Poor motor skills and dizziness
  • Falling

Sometimes, these are the only symptoms of a UT I that showed up in the elderly-no pain, no fever, no other typical symptoms of a UT I.

The following conditions make the elderly more suceptible for UTIs:

  • Diabetes
  • Urinary retention (unable to empty the bladder, even if your loved
  • one has just used the bathroom)
  • Use of a urinary catheter
  • Bowel incontinence
  • Enlarged prostate
  • Immobility (for example, those who must lie in bed for an extended period of time)
  • Surgery of any area around the bladder
  • Kidney stones

People with incontinence are more at risk of UTIs because of the close contact that adult briefs have with their skin, which can reintroduce bacteria into the bladder. Some recommendations to help reduce this risk include the following:

  • Change the briefs frequently
  • Encourage front-to-back cleansing
  • Keep the genital area clean
  • Set reminders/timers for those who are memory-impaired to try to use the bathroom instead of the adult brief.

Other ways to reduce the chance of UTIs:

  • Drink plenty of fluids ( 2 to 4 quarts each day).
  • Drink cranberry juice or use cranberry tablets, but NOT if your elder has personal or family history of kidney stones
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, because these can irritate the bladder
  • Do not use douches or use feminine hygiene products
  • Always wipe from front to back (for women)
  • Wear cotton-cloth underwear, and change them least once a day

If you think your elderly loved one has a urinary tract infection, see your doctor immediately.

239.261.4866

599 Tamiami Trail North • Suite 202

Naples, Florida 34102

www.nelsonmaldonadomd.com