For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise…

The American flag

All Americans have the privilege of honouring the men and women who have bravely served, and sometimes died defending not only our country but also our Lord. To effectively show our respect to these courageous individuals we need to remember why we celebrate this day. Recently we met with Mark Laney, a former Army Officer, and warrior for veterans and the Lord.

Mark has the privilege of working for the Arizona State Department of Veterans’ Services as the Admissions and Marketing Department Manager. But a title does not say it all. He helps all Arizona veterans wade through the noise of rumor, hearsay and paperwork, and access their veteran’s benefit for them-selves and their spouses. But what is a veteran? Ac-cording to Mark, a veteran is more than an individual that served directly in a war. One could have served in the Army, Navy Marines, Air Force, the Merchant Marines, Coast Guard and many other service related areas. This could also be in the Cold War period. Most people believe that a veteran is only a male who served on the front lines during a battle. Women are veterans as well. The simplest way to determine your status, as a veteran is to ask, do not assume that you are not?

Veterans are eligible for a large number of benefits that include, but are not limited to: Veteran’s Hospital benefits, medication benefits, home loans, fiduciary services, guardianship/conservatory benefits, burial benefits, Adult Day Care programs, pensions, aid and attendant care and many others.

But informing our veterans of their benefits is only the first step in honoring our veterans. The simplest way to honor a veteran is to fly your flag at home. Attending this years Veteran’s Day Parade is another great way to honor our veterans. You could volunteer at the Arizona State Veteran’s Home or the Veteran’s Hospital to learn of the events that these brave men and women endured during their time of service. Or simply ask your neighbor or friend about their experiences serving during a wartime period.

Bill Sinister once said, “Our veterans accepted the responsibility to defend America and uphold our values when duty called.” We believe as Americans it our responsibility and duty to stand, take notice, and thank these heroic men and women who so valiantly defend our freedoms with their bodies, their blood, and their souls. As Americans, we say thank you and god bless you all.

Wrong Way on a One-Way Street

Senior man driving a car

Driving is a critical issue for seniors, especially in our country. Right now older drivers are more likely to get in multiple-vehicle accidents than younger driven, including teenagers. The elderly are also more likely to get traffic citations for failing to yield, turning improperly, and running red lights and stop signs – an indication of decreased driving ability. Car accidents are more dangerous for seniors than for younger people.

A person 65 or older who is involved in a car accident is more likely to be seriously hurt, more likely to require hospitalization, and more likely to die than younger people involved in the same crash. In particular, fatal crash rates rise sharply after a driver has reached the age of 70. So what does one look for in determining if they are fit or unfit to drive.

Here are a few of the warning signs:

1. Feeling less comfortable and more nervous or fearful while driving.
2. Difficulty staying in the lane of travel.
3. More frequent “close calls” (i.e., almost crashing).
4. More frequent dents or scrapes on your car or fences, mailboxes, garage doors, curbs, etc.
5. Trouble judging gaps in traffic at intersections and on highway entrance/exit ramps.
6. Other drivers honking at you more often; more instances when you are angry with other drivers.
7. Friends or relatives not wanting to drive with you.
8. Getting lost more often.
9. Difficulty seeing the sides of the road when looking straight ahead (i.e., cars or people seem to come “out of nowhere” more frequently).
10. Trouble paying attention to or violating signals, road signs, and pavement markings.
11. Slower response to unexpected situations; trouble moving the foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal or confusing the two pedals.
12. Easily distracted or hard to concentrate while driving.
13. Hard to turn around to check over the shoulder when backing up or changing lanes.
14. Medical conditions or medications that may be increasingly affecting your ability to handle the car safely.
15. More traffic tickets or “warnings” by traffic or law enforcement officers in the past year or two.

If you notice one or more of these warning signs, you may want to have your driving assessed by a professional or attend a driver refresher class. You may also want to consult with your doctor if you are having an unusual concentration or memory problems, or other physical symptoms that may be affecting your ability to drive. For Americans, especially elderly Americans, driving is an important part of independence. The loss of driving is second only to the loss of a spouse or a job for causing stress and unhappiness. Giving up your keys may have a major psychological effect on you. However, even if you must limit or give up driving, you can still get around. You can walk, carpool, ride with friends and family; take taxis, buses or trains, or use senior transit services. Remember, pride cannot protect you from another vehicle.

Take Two of These and Call Me in the Morning

Senior man taking pills

The old adage of take two of these and call me in the morning no longer applies, especially to our seniors. Seniors (those individuals over the age of 65) account for 14% of the population in the United States. That small percentage consumes over 33% of all prescriptions written by physicians. With the advances in medicine and alternative treatments becoming more and more common, medication education is in greater need than ever before. As the information age spreads to reach mature Americans, access to alternative forms of health care is becoming more and more commonplace. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is a term used to describe a diverse group of healing systems that are not presently considered to be part of mainstream medicine. Naturopathic, allopathic, holistic, homeopathy, and others all offer multiple avenues for care. Some of which may provide equal or greater opportunities than your current doctor. Couple this with the availability of over the counter medications, lotions, ointments, etc. … and your body becomes a battleground for health. With this new awareness in healthcare treatments also comes a new level of responsibility for the consumer, especially our seniors. With complementary and alternative medicine becoming more common in seniors, 70% have used an alternative form of care at least once in their lifetime; education and communication with your physician are imperative. Most seniors today see at least two different doctors, if not more. Communication between your doctors becomes the key to optimizing your healthcare and personal wellness. But how does one accomplish this?

Follow these simple steps to be able to balance all of your care:

1. Keep a health journal. Write down the symptoms, reactions to medications, changes in diet, exercise or even mood. Share this information with all of your treating healthcare providers.

2. Keep a medication log. Write down all the prescription you take noting time, dose, and prescribing doctor. Also list all vitamins, supplements, over the counter medications, lotions, ointments, etc…

3. Keep a log of all the doctors you see. List their name, address, phone number, and type of practice. Also, keep all test and their results listed as well.

By keeping this information readily avail-able, you keep your healthcare team in the now and proactive in providing your care. You can also eliminate duplication of services and additional cost to you. By being proactive you can start to turn the tide in the battle for your healthcare.

Hearts of Joy Senior Care provides an afford-able, non-medical, in-home companion care service for seniors, which enables them to maintain their independence, as well as dignity and self-respect. Hearts of Joy Senior Care Inc. can be reached at (480) 948-4655.

As the Baby Boomers Age

Elderly people doing garden work

Many employees today are calling in sick – not to care for themselves or their children, but to care for their aging parents. Baby boomers are rapidly moving into the role of caregivers for their parents, but with a few extra challenges due to the changing face of our workforce.

Nearly 25% of U.S. households are now involved in caring for a senior family member, spending an average of 20 hours a week in caregiving services.

Nearly 65% of those individuals providing the caregiving are employed outside of the home.

According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, approximately 15 million days of work per year are lost due to these circumstances. These numbers are forecasted to increase since the longevity of life is being extended by modern medicine. The workforce is also aging with more people moving toward retirement age and fewer young people filling the ranks. The median age of workers has risen by five years since 1986, making the average worker 40 years old. Women in this age group, who are primarily the caregivers for their parents, continue working full time in order to support their family, pay their children’s college tuition, or save for their own retirement. These situations are even more compounded because many baby boomers have relocated away from their senior family members to pursue job opportunities.

Another issue facing baby boomers and their families is the cost of care for their senior family members. Many members of the sandwich generation will be shocked to find out what the cost of prescription medications really run, especially since many of the medications are not covered by Medicare. This will cause many retired seniors and some baby boomers to continue their pursuit of a career, and not enjoy their Golden Years. When faced with these issues, it is always best to have some future plan in place. Do not wait until mom or dad is in the critical care bed or is being discharged from the hospital.

Here are a few suggestions for the potential or current caregiver to contemplate: Talk to your parents and for family members before a crisis This will help you and all those involved to truly understand their wishes. Discuss with them the topics of Medicare, health insurance, long-term care insurance, and if they have other important legal documents regarding medical treatment (i.e., Living Will, Durable Medical Power of Attorney, etc…). Locate any community resources that may be available to you and your family. The Valley of the Sun has numerous services available for the elderly (i.e. Area Agency on Aging, Meals on Wheels, Adult Day Care Facilities, Housing, etc…). You can access many of these services via the local hospital or skilled nursing facility discharge planners, senior citizen centers, or even the local clergy. Ask your employer if they can help. Many employers are willing to help employee caregivers in order to retain valuable workers. Find out if your employer offers paid leave benefits for flex hours. Some employees are even beginning to include long-term care insurance or caregiver respite programs in their benefits package. Ask friends and family for help. Ask them what experiences they have had with some of the community services. Many of these people may have already gone through this and can be of assistance. Talk to your local clergy. Many local churches and synagogues have family assistance programs or have access via their denominations. If these services are not available, most clergies are familiar with what can be obtained by you or your family. Caring for our aging parents may be one of the more challenging roles we undertake in our adult lives. With forethought, consideration and a little planning on everyone’s part, it can actually have a more positive outcome. Hearts of Joy Senior Care provides an affordable, non-medical, in-home companion care service for seniors, which enables them to maintain their independence, as well as dignity and self-respect. Marc and Susan speak around the valley on numerous topics regarding senior care, with a primary focus on fall prevention and home safety. Hearts of Joy Senior Care Inc. can be reached at (480)948-4655.

What is Senior Theater?

Theatre

Senior Theatre reflects and expresses the changing definition of what it is to be a senior. The population of people 50 and older is rapidly increasing, and the members of this generation are healthy and active; many of them have the time and resources to return to an activity they have enjoyed before or to start an activity they have always wanted to try.

Senior theatre groups have grown in number from 78 in 1999 to over 400 in the past year, according to a recent article in Time magazine. Some of them do outreach to younger generations through oral histories of their lives, some keep vaudeville alive, and others like Bill Whitney Senior Players perform published plays and original works. Some groups memorize their lines, but scripts-in-hand theatre is becoming increasingly popular. Senior theatre groups are flexible enough to adapt to the physical challenges of some seniors, including movement problems and blindness.

What makes Bill Whitney’s work unique is that he teaches his actors to create and inhabit a character-while his productions are script-in-hand, it is much more than reading lines. His actors are taught to always “be in character”, reacting to the others when they themselves don’t have lines.

The essence of Senior Theatre is people discovering that they’re never too old to act and that they can play parts of people of almost any age. Time states, “Experts in health and aging agree that participation in the arts is a powerful antidote to the ravages of time.”

Plays Available for Bookings

* “A Little Crazy” by Joseph Hayes, 90 minutes, a warmhearted story of humor and wisdom.

* “Dinner Plans” by Vicki Bartholomew, 15 minutes, Women friends compare dinner plans and uncover a twist.

* “The Brute” by Anton Chekhov, 30 minutes, unlike his tragedies, this is a classic comedy by Chekhov.

* “Old Flames” 20-30 minutes, A woman’s fantasy: a woman’s 3 ex-husbands live with her much to the consternation of her indignant children.

* “The Challenge of Bureaucracy” 10 minutes, Have you ever had the occasion to telephone a government office and switched from one office to another. This is such a sketch extending out of this world.

* “The Birthday” by Vicki Bartholomew, 10 minutes, A poignant and charming play about a woman awaiting a phone call.

* “Snap N’ Beans” by Vicki Bartholomew,10 minutes, Sisters-in-law gossip about people in their small town as they snap beans to can. The men can’t resist joining in to gossip about their friends, as well.

* “Anna’s Brooklyn Promise” by D.K. Oklahoma, 80 minutes, 2 old friends meet for lunch and have an unusual encounter which calls for them to help a frightened woman.

Holiday Plays:

* “Just What They Wanted” by Mary Cunningham, 30 minutes, An absent-minded professor can’t remember where he put his wife’s present and all the complications that ensue.

* “There Really is a Santa Claus!” By local playwright Don Kludas, 30 minutes, A warm hearted play that takes place in a social room of a retirement center on Christmas Eve day with a surprise at the end.

*”Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy” by local playwright Arden Benson, 20 minutes.  A whimsical play about the meeting of two important childhood icons, with a surprise ending.

(All of these plays can be combined to make a longer program.)

WHAT IS LONG-TERM CARE?

Gone are the days when “rest homes” were the only option for those who could no longer care for themselves. Today, the majority of older adults needing assistance are well served within the continuum of long-term care.

This industry’s growing complexity can be confusing for the elderly, not to mention their families. Here are some brief definitions for common terms used in long-term care:

HOSPICE (aka, END-OF-LIFE CARE)

This program provides services to the terminally ill. Treatment must be administered under a physician’s direction, and be provided by a state-licensed or Medicare-approved hospice care organization. At Cascade Senior Care, we work closely with Hospice of the Gorge to ensure appropriate, compassionate care as our residents live out their final days.

SKILLED NURSING CARE

This is appropriate for those with medical conditions requiring treatment by skilled personnel, such as nurses and physical therapists. Skilled care is ordered by a physician in accordance with an overall care plan. Although Cascade Senior Care does not normally have nurses and therapists on staff the way skilled nursing facilities are required to, we are able to provide these ancillary services at an additional fee. Many residents find that, even with these extra charges, adult foster care is still the most economical way to go.

INTERMEDIATE NURSING CARE

The intermediate care candidate needs daily, but not round-the-clock, nursing supervision. Intermediate nursing care is given by physician’s order and supervised by registered nurses. This type of care is less intensive than skilled care, and is usually required for a longer period of time. Each individual’s situation is different; please contact us regarding your particular care needs.

LONG-TERM NURSING CARE

This is necessary for individuals who are unable to care for themselves, assuming that in-home care by family, friends or paid caregivers is not an option. Long-term nursing care placement is usually permanent, though some may stay in a facility such as Cascade Senior Care for just weeks or months while recovering from an acute illness, injury or surgery. In these cases, residents are able to transition back home after rehabilitation. We work closely with local community and senior service agencies to provide the services necessary to ensure the highest level of autonomy for current and former residents.

RESPITE CARE

Respite, or caregiver relief, programs are crucial for those who are caring for aging parents, grandparents or spouses in their homes. Cascade Senior Care offers adult day care, as well as respite care for any number of weeks or days at a reasonable, prorated charge. If you’re a primary family caregiver and are planning a vacation, called out of town on business or simply need an afternoon to yourself, contact us today to schedule your loved one’s respite stay.

Cascade Senior Care is serving you in The Dalles, Oregon and Goldendale, Washington.

Healthy Seniors

Women doing yoga
Women Stretching Backs in Yoga Class

This website is a result of my refusal to give up and surrender to the ravages of aging. It is my hope that this site will provide vital information that will enhance the health of seniors like me. Based on my experience much of this information could prove helpful to pre-seniors. Applying some of this health information before joining the ranks of seniors will pay healthier dividends when they become seniors. Earlier application of the health tips provided here will certainly ensure more golden health for seniors in their later years.

My motivation to change my lifestyle began as a result of the following experience. A few years ago following my regular physical exam, I received some very disturbing results from my family doctor. He told me that the numbers recorded in several blood tests were outside the healthy range. Up to this time I had always scored in the comfortably healthy range, but now I was past my mid-fifties and my body was changing. The choices that I saw before me were either to let nature take its course or to take some action that would restore the healthy balance that my body had experienced up to this point of my life. I chose to take action that I hoped would re-balance my physical life and bring golden health in my senior years.

First I started doing research on health topics in libraries and bookstores. Second I talked about the health issues of seniors with other folks who shared my common interests. Thirdly, I worked with my medical doctors to coordinate my recovery to good health. Within a few months I had found solid answers to some of my senior health issues. When I put them into practice they produced the results that I was hoping for. These early successes motivated me to keep researching health for seniors, because I know that we are learning more about how to live healthy senior lives as a result of all the medical and nutritional research that is being funded today in the 21st century.

My interest in healthy living started early in my life. In addition to my parents, my maternal grandfather, John, set a fine example for me that has stayed with me all my life. He enjoyed what I consider golden health in his senior years. He was still driving a car in his eighties and lived to be 89. Biology class in my sophomore year in high school in Florida opened my eyes to some of the details of how good nutrition helps to maintain a healthy body. Ever since my high school years I have tried to balance my eating based on the general norms accepted for the second half of the 20th Century. In addition to eating healthy food I have taken vitamin supplements during the latter part of my adult life. The combination of the supplements with healthy food and moderate exercise have contributed greatly to my good health. At this time I am enjoying golden health as a senior. I invite you to read the informative posts that I have written on various health topics. They are listed for each month up to the present.

For additional health comments follow me on twitter.

The statements and products on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.

Cyber Seniors

Person writing on a computer

The Cyber Seniors are members of the Newmarket Senior Meeting Place Computer Club. We are about 250 Seniors, who are all interested in computers. Our knowledge of computers is at all levels, from good to none at all. Most of us have computers and about 100 are connected to the Internet. We meet every first and third Tuesday for a planning meeting, and every second and fourth Tuesday we try to invite a Guest to speak to us about any computer related theme. Failing that we take time to discuss experiences or difficulties some of our members may be having. We have a well equipped computer room with 12 computers. All computers are connected to the Internet and every member can browse the World Wide Web. We are also offering lessons on the basic use of computers as well on Word,  Internet, Graphics and Desktop publishing.

If you are 55 plus and are interested in computer come and join us. You are very Welcome.

Newmarket Seniors Meeting Place

474 Davis Drive – Newmarket, Ontario

What does the NSMP feature?

Approximately 14,000 sq. ft., a welcome reception area and three multi-purpose halls (cap. 300) and meeting rooms.

Warm and friendly volunteers, and an abundance of volunteer opportunity you can experience.

A large craft Centre and Woodworking Shop.

Elaborate games rooms with billard, table shuffleboard, dart and more.

Multitude of daily & weekly activities, i.e. cards, table-tennis, carpet bowling, badminton, shuffleboard lanes, bingo and more.

A smoke-free facility throughout (Excluding designated smokers lounge).

Confortable library & louge with a variety of literature and Public library book exchange service.

Numerous clubs & Activities to participate in, i.e. computer, walking, badminton, crafts, woodworking and more.

Well equiped kitchen facilities, serving lunch Mondays & Thursdays.

Summer time barbecues (Mondays & Thursdays).

Spacious washrooms and a cloakroom.

Complete barrier free access-wheelchair accessible.

The Meeting place offers a variety of social, physical, educational and health related programs and services. For more information please call the SMP office – (905) 953-5325.

Drop in and be part of the Centre.

Be a part of the Centre today! The meeting place welcomes you to drop in at any time…. we have an inviting reception area loaded with information and a team of volunteers waiting to welcome you. The library/lounge is quiet and cozy and features an extra large T.V. screen with an organ and piano. Music  is regularly on Monday afternoons, with an on-going jig-saw puzzle. The coffee is always fresh and hot – only $ 0.35/cup – with the daily newspaper waiting upon your arrival. For atmosphere, the fireplace is the right touch. In addition. there are a number of drop-in opportunities throughout the week, check the activity schedule for details. Enjoy our lunch bar services every Monday and Thursday, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. featuring soup and sandwiches, coffee/tea and occasional dessert at reasonable prices. The volunteer kitchen staff provides excellent service.

How I started

I got interested in computers in 1985. I liked to play Chess and never could find anybody to play with, so I bought a little Tandy Computer from Radio Shack with a Chess program. One day I didn’t feel like playing chess so I read through the User Manual and started to fool around with the test programs they had in there. Let me tell you, I got hooked. After a few month playing with those programs I learned to write a small program myself. Now I wanted a better computer but a new system did cost about $ 2,500.00. I wanted to make sure that I really liked the computer before I spend that much money. After taking a couple of courses at Seneca College I was sure that I really wanted to have a new and better computer. In 1989 I  bought a Fuji 386sx with 45 Meg Hard drive and 2 Mb of RAM Memory. I also bought a NX1020 Star printer. The only Software I bought was DOS 4.1. From Seneca College I acquired some Tutorial programs, a word processor. LOTUS 123 (a spreadsheet) and dBase 3. That’s the way I started. I learned how to use these programs and for a friend of mine, who is the producer of a German Radio Show, I made a Data base for all his LP’s and CD’s. I have upgraded my computer a few times and also bought some better software. First Windows, then Windows 95. Office 95 and upgraded to Office 97. I also have Coral Draw 7, Paint Pro 6 and Adobe PhotoDeluxe 4. I’m always upgrading my Hardware and Software to keep my Computer as up to date as possible.

In January 1998 I decided to create a Home Page and after a lot of research, and the help and encouragement of my friends “Peggy Ahr, Wolfgang Kraemer and Ecki Weickardt” this is the result.

Small Changes, not Resolutions

Senior Couple

With the New Year facing us, it is time to make those ever broken resolutions. But what are we to do to stick to these plans? In a recent article we read that `Our golden years look bright’. Yet daily we hear about increases in disease rates, medical costs, and our waistlines.

Current studies show that one-third of all Americans over the age of 65 do not get enough Leisure physical activity, two-thirds do not eat five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and one-fifth of older Americans are obese (30 pounds or more). So what are we to do to combat these issues plaguing the 65+ generations? With the New Year on our doorsteps, we need to make changes, not resolutions. According to Dr. Regi Munro, Wellness Division Chair of Chandler/ Gilbert Community College, ‘don’t try to do it all in one sitting. Break down your goal into small pieces and tackle it one piece at a time.” The first step in the process is to make a commitment. Decide what your ideal goal is which you are trying to achieve. Now for the hard part; write it down. Once we put a goal on paper, we have a tendency to take ownership of it and will strive to complete it. With your ideal goal in front of you, break it down into smaller, more obtainable pieces. Try to set a weekly goal. If this is still difficult to do, then set an achievable daily goal that you can accomplish. With your goals in hand, call a friend and share your list with them. Ask your friend to help keep you accountable in meeting your goals. This is going to require keeping track of how you do weekly, or even daily. Keep your records on the calendar, computer or wherever else you will be reminded of what you are trying to achieve. When you complete a goal, celebrate or reward yourself. Maybe go out and buy something for yourself or enjoy that ice cream cone. Just remember, it does not always have to be super-sized. If possible, share the victory with your friend. It is always a sweeter reward when shared with another. We are taught that failure is due to a sign of weakness or inability. Small setbacks are fine, as long as we can learn from them. According to Zig Ziglar, “The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.” If we are to be successful, we need to make small changes in our lives, not unreachable resolutions.

Crooked River Ranch Seniors

Barn House

A big Hello to everyone from the Crooked River Ranch Seniors.

We hold our meetings at the Old Ranch House, which was built in 1916 by the original owners of this 12000-acre ranch. The house stands on three acres and sports a big covered front porch fronted with a beautiful expanse of lawn area, site of many events throughout the year. With careful restoration we have maintained the integrity of the original look, adding a handicapped access walkway and an enlarged rest-room to accommodate wheelchairs. The wood floor in the main room has been refurbished, ceilings repaired and the heating and kitchen facilities updated. There is an extensive free library and exercise room. It’s an ideal facility for events such as weddings, family reunions etc. You may call 923-3155 for further information on rates, availability etc. To become a member of the senior group and take advantage of all it has to offer you must be at least 50 years young. Membership fees are moderate and affordable. You then have a choice of many active groups who usually meet on a monthly basis. Birders, Quilters, Wood Carving ( what a crazy group they are) Weight Loss program, AA Meetings and every other Thursday from 7  to 9 pm .there is the very popular Bingo. Finally On the last Friday of the month at noon we have Bunco … no reservation needed, just turn up.. On July 3rd. there is the Annual Buffalo Feed at McPherson Park. There will be lots of food plus booths with handmade artifacts. Kitty Pullen, of the  SandBagger Saloon right here on the ranch will supervise the grills. A senior van is also available to those needing transportation. On July 15th. we have our annual picnic at the Lions Memorial Park, serving hot dogs, hamburgers and as this is a potluck event we ask you to bring salads, desserts and any other tasty ‘fixins‘. The events keep coming … in Sept The Rim Rock Festival, November  Thanksgiving dinner. In December Santa makes his appearance. Just be sure to read our announcements regarding dates and times.

Everyone is welcome. A word of thanks to our many hard working members. Shirley Williams for a successful Annual Yard Sale. LaVonne for serving up  tasty hot dogs. Pat Myrben and the garden crew with plants and pots. Also a  word of thanks to the Old Tyme Fiddlers and Blue Grass members who provided  music and entertainment. Our president Les Jacobs was away so Dave Carter took over coordinating the  event … good job David … and remember, every Thursday at Noon there is  the Pot Luck lunch at the Ranch House See you there.