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FALL 2021

Local Teachers A LSO I NSIDE:

Lifelong Learning Fall Calendar of Events 10 Habits to Maintain Good Brain Health Are You Caring for an Older Adult? 10 Tips to Help Support Their Health Needs


Stroke Experts The region’s leading stroke program is getting even better. Stroke is like a heart attack in the brain. St. Mary’s offers the region’s leading array of services to save lives and reduce disability. Now, our program is getting even better. Dr. Feroze Afzal has joined Dr. Neil Woodall to take St. Mary’s stroke services to a whole new level. •

Clot-busting drugs

Blood clot removal

Home health care/ hospice care

Dedicated critical care unit

Outpatient rehab & wellness

Inpatient rehabilitative care

Neuroscience follow-up care

Acute stroke intervention

Dr. Feroze Afzal

Dr. Neil Woodall

When every minute matters, the care you need is here. ©2021. St. Mary’s

Exceptional Care for



Medicare Open Enrollment is Here! October 15th to December 7th GeorgiaCares can help you find lower premiums, extra benefits, and a plan that better fits your health needs.


Athens, Georgia: home to the University of Georgia, but also consistently ranked as one of the top places to retire. There are so many things that make Athens unique. The food; the music; the arts, theater and culture; the sporting events; the parks, trails and green space; and the educational opportunities are just a few of the things that make Athens awesome. Not to mention, it’s a very philanthropic community. There is no place like Athens and there is nothing like this magazine. We’re on a mission to provide our friends and neighbors who have decided to spend their golden years in our quintessential community with a lifestyle magazine that will help them explore, experience and thrive. Just like the Athens Community Council on Aging (ACCA), we want to enhance the lives of older adults that live in our area. The Athens Community Council on Aging believes that everyone should have the opportunity to age and live well. With programs and services that ensure older adults have access to basic needs such as food and transportation and the opportunity for personal fulfillment achieved through social connections, life-long learning and meaningful contributions to the community, ACCA is the essential resource to help people navigate and celebrate life’s second half. We’re also on a mission to support our community, and partnering with ACCA on the publication of this magazine allows us to do so. The partnership allows ACCA to use the expertise of OnlineAthens/The Athens Banner-Herald staff to assist with photography, design, magazine content and other editorial resources. It allows OnlineAthens/The Athens Banner-Herald to work with industry leaders to create relevant content ideas, use the knowledge and expertise of ACCA staff to pen this content, and provides an endless list of individuals to spotlight in the magazine. Over the years, ACCA has realized that they can have a larger impact and serve more by creating partnerships with local businesses and other organizations within our community. This partnership allows ACCA to reach a larger, more diverse population. It allows OnlineAthens/The Athens Banner-Herald the opportunity to help this non-profit organization to further their mission. Since our first issue, released in the spring of 2017, ACCA has seen a significant increase in participation in their trips and classes, increased volunteer engagement, and an increased community awareness in the services it provides. Connections/What’s Next? is more than a magazine. It’s a partnership with a purpose.

HAVE A STORY TO SHARE? If you’ve got a great idea for a story, tell us about it! Submit your story ideas to Tony at For those interested in writing, submit samples of previously published work and a brief description of the idea. 4 I CO NN E C T I ON S / W H AT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

CEO/PRESIDENT Eve Anthony BOARD OF DIRECTORS Kelly Holloway, Chair Dr. Reginald Woods, Vice Chair Don DeMaria, Treasurer Beck Lane, Secretary DIRECTOR OF SALES, THE ATHENS BANNER-HERALD Tony Bernados CREATIVE DIRECTOR Robin Stauffer ACCA STAFF Eve Anthony Erin Beasley Amy Lancaster Paige Powell ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Tom Bennewitz Beth Flenniken ADVERTISING SUPPORT Victoria Knight Ashley Thompson CONTRIBUTORS Ellen Everitt Olyn Gee Taylor Gerlach Amy Lancaster Paige Powell Allyn Rippin CONTACT ACCA 135 Hoyt Street Athens, GA 30601 706.549.4850

© 2021 ACCA

Connections is a quarterly publication distributed by ACCA throughout Northeast Georgia. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Reproduction in whole or in part, without the expressed written permission from the publisher, is prohibited. Advertising in this publication does not imply a relationship with ACCA.

GROW YOUR BUSINESS: We would love to help grow your business by reaching your target audience within the pages of this magazine. You can help support the mission of the Athens Community Council on Aging by doing so. If you would like more information on advertising opportunities with Connections/What’s Next? contact Tony at or call 706.821.6602.



inside features

























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FALL 2021 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 5

Local Teachers T

By Taylor Gerlach

he walls of Elizabeth King’s childhood home in Athens, Georgia hold countless certificates, dedications and photographs commemorating her achievements and celebrating memories. These walls remember where King has been - and she has experienced much in her 103 years as an educator and lifelong student. In the 1920s, the same walls, now plastered with framed memories, watched as King’s little feet ran out the door to attend Athens’ West Broad Elementary school. Black and white photos of high school basketball team rosters show how those walls waited expectantly for athletic accolades. The gym that King dribbled and sank baskets in during high school now bears her name, and students continue to play in afterschool programs in this building that carries her legacy. After spending her formative years as a student in Athens, she left for Atlanta with hopes of gaining the education required to return to the classroom as a teacher. After she graduated from Spelman College, the walls of her home gained a prestigious, celebratory cap and gown photo. After

obtaining her Master’s degree from Atlanta University, now Clark Atlanta University, yet another accolade was added, and the collection was just getting started. King returned to Athens in 1945 to her childhood home and quickly became a beloved educator, mentor and coach at Athens High and Industrial School (AHIS). AHIS was the first Black public high school to be accredited in the state of Georgia and was later renamed Burney-Harris High School while King walked the bustling halls. Here, she taught French, English, science, social science and a good bit of history. A plaque on her walls from the Athens Area Black History Committee honors her for a “significant contribution to Athens' rich historical legacy.” Outside of the classroom, King coached basketball, served as the track and field coordinator and trained cheerleaders, broadening the already profound influence she had on her students. Various certificates honor her position as a founding member of the Athens Athletic Hall of Fame. When Athens’ schools were desegregated in 1970, she continued to teach and coach at the newly integrated Clarke Central High School until retiring in 1978. Thanks to community activism, the former AHIS/BHHS building remains today. Plans to tear down this school building were replaced with plans to renovate and build additions for the current H.T. Edwards Teaching and Learning Center. Now housing the Career Academy, an early learning center, the Boys & Girls Club, a gymnasium and the ACC Board of Education offices, the building is one of the most used in the local school system, preserving the memories and legacy

For some lifelong learners, it means learning a new language, volunteering with a new population, signing up for a creative class, trying out a new physical activity, reading a new genre of literature, picking up a new hobby like woodworking or even training in elaborate French cooking. Lifelong learning can be anything that engages and challenges people to remain students no matter their age. 6 I CO NN E C T I ON S / W H AT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

of the Black students and educators that convened in this space throughout its tenure. When King was not teaching or spending time coaching new generations of young students toward greatness, on and off the court, she kept busy both personally and professionally. Certificates, personal notes and plaques of gratitude celebrate her life outside of Athens’ schools. She reminisces about fun times as an active member of the Bon Bon Civic and Social Club of Athens. She’s a member of the local chapter of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and she proudly displays the signature green and pink regalia around her home. She exercised her singing and dancing skills as a regular soloist in the Hill Chapel Baptist Church choir until the COVID-19 pandemic interrupted. Several certificates adorn her overflowing walls, thanking her for her service in teaching Sunday school and helping to lead Vacation Bible School programs. Even as an educator, she has continued learning on her own outside of the classroom. She has picked up new hobbies like scrapbooking and loves a good book. Today, King still attends her lifelong church when they hold outdoor drive-in services, and she continues to engage in a modified version of the active life commemorated on her walls. As a beloved veteran educator, King encapsulates the values of lifelong learning. While she had an immense

impact as a teacher and coach, she has never lost sight of what it means to be a student. Lifelong learners like King continually seek to improve their current knowledge and skills. They find joy in growth and personal development and are intentional about actively growing in all stages of life. A diploma does not signal the end of learning, just as retirement from Clarke Central did not end King’s teaching career. Instead, she continued to teach classrooms of young people through her church and share her knowledge and experience with others. Long after graduation, continued teaching and learning has not only been core to King's routine, but also beneficial to her mental and social health. For King, lifelong learning sometimes looks like a new song with her church choir, but lifelong learning can also be a broad range of activities. Lifelong learners foster their own diverse passions and lean into a strong desire to continue growing. For some lifelong learners, it means learning a new language, volunteering with a new population, signing up for a creative class, trying out a new physical activity, reading a new genre of literature, picking up a new hobby like woodworking or even training in elaborate French cooking. Lifelong learning can be anything that engages and challenges people to remain students no matter their age. Without realizing, everyone continues to learn outside the traditional classroom. Elementary aged children learn how to ride a bike or climb a tree. Adults learn how to use a new smartphone app or how to pronounce the newest trendy words. Intentional lifelong learning enables King and many others to recapture the feeling they had as a kindergartener on the first day of school, bright-eyed and excited to learn about all the world has to offer. Stepping into a new world of activity brings plenty of benefits to lifelong learners.

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For King, sustained, lifelong relationships have been one of the most lasting benefits of a life filled with both learning and educating. Sarah Tate first met King in 1963 during her sophomore year at AHIS. At sixteen years old, Tate played basketball on Coach King’s team. They may not have been able to guess at the time, but a lifelong friendship was just on the horizon. “We’ve never not been in contact,” Tate recalled while sitting with King in her Athens’ home. King taught Tate’s husband as well, another connection that shows how widespread her influence was on Athens’ students. In fact, it would be hard to find someone who attended AHIS during her tenure who did not recall her name or a lesson she shared with them. When Tate graduated from high school and continued on to college, King began sending her letters of encouragement. Despite the distance, the pair kept their relationship alive and well. Today, Tate remains friends with King and helps coordinate in-home care through services like the Athens Community Council on Aging’s Senior Companion Program. On Sundays, Tate brings King to her own home to share in the day’s festivities with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. While King has no remaining family in Athens, Tate has welcomed her former teacher into her own. King never married or had children and jokes that this is her secret to living such a long life. Instead, King said Tate is “like a child to me.” Tate isn’t the only former student who has remained in contact with King. Birthday wishes, congratulations and notes of encouragement from former students can be found posted around King’s home. It’s not uncommon for a former student to stop by and pay King a visit, and many regularly call to check in. Decades after retirement, this continual contact from former students serves as a


testimony to the immense impact King had on the lives of her young students and athletes. Social and emotional connections, like those King has with her former students, are just a few of the benefits of lifelong learning. In addition to reducing feelings of isolation and creating new social relationships, lifelong learning helps keep people connected to current ideas, trends and debates. Lifelong learning can lead to a feeling of sustained or renewed fulfillment, as new interests and purposes can be found throughout the life course. Intentionally engaging in learning experiences in and outside of the workplace or traditional educational settings, broadens identity and often improves mental health. Because lifelong learning is self-motivated, it often creates a greater sense of ownership and purpose around learning. For those still in the traditional workforce, lifelong learning can help employees succeed at their jobs, advance within their careers and stay up-to-date with new practices and technologies. Not everyone is a trained educator with an impressive, decades-long career of teaching and mentoring students like King, but every human is inherently born to learn. It’s never too late to recapture that identity.

Comments from Former Students Deborah Gonzalez District Attorney

Sean Gorman (owner)

Professor Cookie LLC The teacher who had the most impact on me is easily Dr. Reginald McKnight, who teaches in the English department at UGA. As a relatively young professor myself, I have modeled my teaching style after Dr. McKnight’s, most notably in the grace and honesty he shows his students. I could always count on Dr. McKnight for the type of encouragement that manifests growth in my education and abilities, and now whenever I encounter a new obstacle in my career, I find myself immediately thinking, “How would Reg solve this?” At the end of the day, Dr. McKnight is a regular guy and doesn’t buy into the pretentiousness of academia, and that is the exact type of educator I strive to be: relatable, honest, and generous.

Kelly Girtz Athens Mayor

Dr. Karen Polonko taught several sociology classes that I took as an undergrad at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She came armed with loads of passion, wanted (required) input from students to ensure she knew what was on our minds, and was clearly also learning from her engagement with her students and the material in the classroom. Significant to my future, she taught a Child Welfare class in which we considered the baseline needs – both physical and relational – required for a healthy childhood. Through her influence, several of us began a nonprofit child advocacy group, In Support of Children, that is still active nearly thirty years later. With her support, I pursued an internship at the Norfolk Child Protective Services office that remains one of the pivotal experiences of my life.

My father was in the Army, so we moved a lot and I was ‘the new kid’ in class many times. I will always remember how teachers always warmly welcomed me into their classrooms and made me feel at home. I especially remember my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Romero, who had a a wonderful classroom full of books. She sparked in me a love of reading and learning that is still a big part of my life.

Beau Shell

Lil’ Ice Cream Dude, LLC Cool World Ice Cream Shop The teacher that has the most impact on me is a veteran teacher. She poured everything she had into the thousands of kids she taught over the years — so much so that she missed a lot of time with her own two kids. The younger of the two is a senior in high school and is thriving. He spent much more time with my favorite teacher. He followed her to school and spent several days working with her and her students in the high school’s store. When she was teaching them about supply and demand, he was listening. He was also watching and learning when she was teaching her students about pricing and products. He learned to pay close attention because he wanted to do well in his own business. When he was eight, he asked his mom for an ice cream cart as a birthday gift. She helped him start his ice cream business and began teaching him everything she knew about business. Today that kid is 17 and still running his ice cream business. The teacher has named him her toughest yet most successful student. He has named her as his best teacher. I am Beau Shell and that teacher is my mom. She has taught me the most important lessons in school, my business and my life. FALL 2021 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 9

10 Habits

to Maintain Good Brain Health By Olyn Gee


ow that I am in my 70s, I often find myself in a room with no idea why I am there. Therefore, I want to make sure I am doing everything possible to keep my brain functioning and healthy. Dr. Tia Neely is a Family Medicine physician with Piedmont Healthcare in the Athens area. In this article, Neely offers her thoughts and recommendations for many of the items listed below.

1. Control Chronic Conditions Dr. Neely advises us to first ensure that chronic conditions are under control. A diabetic must maintain good blood sugar. Someone who is hypertensive must maintain good blood pressure. “When we’re able to control these chronic conditions in general, we can prevent many of the degenerative changes that might have happened in the brain as we grow older,” Neely says.

2. Exercise Your Body Many health experts believe that systematic exercise is an important factor in keeping the brain sharp. If you need to start an exercise routine, the Athens Community Council on Aging’s Center for Active Living (CAL) can provide tools, classes and guidance. CAL offers fitness and movement classes such as Line Dancing, Yoga and Smart Moves. The center is located just north of downtown Athens at 135 Hoyt St. Of course, check with your primary care physician before starting any exercise program. “Staying physically active improves blood flow throughout our entire body, but importantly also, the brain,” Dr. Neely says. “Yoga is particularly good for women and improves bone strength and muscle tone, which is beneficial long term.”

3. Develop A Solid Sleep Routine “As we get older, we don’t feel like we need as much sleep. Our body wants to wake up earlier,” Dr. Neely says, advising patients to get seven to eight hours of sleep a night. 1 0 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

“I encourage patients to avoid getting in the habit of napping throughout the day, because that tends to interrupt sleep cycles at night,” Dr. Neely adds. Even when a person is retired it is good to stay in a routine, including getting out of bed at a specific time. A three-pronged rule: stay active, limit caffeine and consume alcohol only moderately.

4. Balance Nutrition “We have studies to show that the Mediterranean diet seems to be really good for brain health— [it provides] omega-3 rich foods, fruits and vegetables, and avoids a lot of high carbohydrate eating,” Dr. Neely says. In Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s new book “Keep Sharp,” he suggests adding nuts, poultry, whole grains and low-fat dairy to your diet. Avoid or limit processed food, fried food, sweets high in sugar, red meat and foods high in saturated fat and sodium.

5. Try New Things Continuous learning can be as simple as taking a class at the Center for Active Living or starting a new hobby. “Anytime you learn a new skill, that’s the workout for your brain,” Dr. Neely says. She notes that brain cells can learn new skills, can rejuvenate and can learn to do different jobs. “Maybe you’ve never been into music, but you decide you want to learn piano at an older age. I think those kinds of things are awesome because those activities stimulate parts of the brain that otherwise might not be stimulated throughout your typical day,” Neely says.

6. Have A Purpose “I have patients who volunteer at the hospital or at their school, they go in and read to the preschool children in classrooms,” Dr. Neely says. For teachers who have retired for example, Neely suggests they stay involved with the school system by substitute teaching or volunteering. It is beneficial to stay active with a group of people with a similar interest, such as a garden club. Members can meet, take a field trip, or go to the botanical gardens.

7. Stay Hydrated

10. Exercise Your Mind

Hydration is important for skin and brain health and for muscle maintenance. However, it is important to sometimes exchange the coffee for a tall glass of water. The effects of too much caffeine can affect blood pressure or even cause acid reflux, according to Dr. Neely. In addition, according to officials from the Cleveland Clinic, as people age, their sense of thirst decreases. Therefore, an elderly person may become dehydrated more easily, which could lead to hospitalization.

Solving word puzzles like a crossword puzzle, exercises the brain’s word-finding ability, while solving number puzzles like Sudoku may improve reasoning and memory. Luckily, this issue of Connections includes both options!

8. Stay Social Staying socially-involved—with family or friends or through church groups, or clubs—is critical to brain health. Social interactions are important. “Isolation is not good. In the same way that you work out and keep your muscles conditioned, interacting with others keeps your brain conditioned,” Dr. Neely says.

Thanks to Dr. Tia Neely of Piedmont Healthcare for giving input on this list. Recommended reading: In Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s new book “Keep Sharp,” a reader can explore an overview of current research and tips for ensuring brain health. Here are some other valuable sources of online information on brain health: Harvard Health Time Magazine The Cleveland Clinic’s Healthy Brains University of California, Berkeley

9. Manage Your Stress According to the Harvard Health Publishing, exercise is the number one defense against stress. As one ages a person may suffer grief over the loss of a loved one. One tip: Consider joining a support group or seeking professional help to cope with such loss.

ns ic Conditio n o r h C l o 1. Contr Body ise Your 2. Exerc tine Sleep Rou id l o S A p 3. Develo ition ced Nutr n a l a B . 4 s ew Thing 5. Try N Purpose 6. Have A ydrated 7. Stay H ocial 8. Stay S ess Your Str e g a n a 9. M Mind ise Your 10. Exerc

FALL 2021 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 1 1

ng i n r a e ng l o L i e f L


By Olyn Gee here is growing evidence that lifelong learning has a positive effect on the aging brain. The term ‘lifelong learning’ might make you think of textbooks and taking notes to prepare for an exam, but while that is one possibility, the spectrum of lifelong learning includes many other opportunities. In his new book, “Keep Sharp,” Dr. Sanjay Gupta, an associate professor of neurosurgery at Emory University Hospital, provides information on several studies of the brain. He points out that learning occurs whenever a person fosters a new skill, such as playing a musical instrument or cooking. Gupta notes that taking a class offers additional benefits by using both short and long-term memory and attention to detail. In addition, a class provides a chance to interact with fellow students. Athens provides numerous locations for seniors to learn new skills and stimulate the mind. Athens Community Council on Aging’s Center for Active Living (CAL) offers a range of opportunities that encourage lifelong learning. Recent classes include cooking demonstrations, virtual trips, presentations by local physicians, and financial classes to help protect seniors from scams. The program’s director, Allyn Rippin, refers to CAL as a wellness center for seniors. “It’s about creating opportunities for health and socialization and engagement for people wherever they are in their aging journey. She says, “There’s always something to learn, and it can be as simple as one lecture, one class or one workshop.” She also added that CAL is a great resource for newcomers to the Athens area to meet new friends. In addition to learning new skills, CAL has exercise classes to enable those who are older to gain strength, maintain balance and enjoy group movement classes. To

find out more about the relationship between exercise and learning, check out the article “10 Habits to Maintain Good Brain Health” in this issue of Connections Magazine. The Center is open to individuals 18+ but specializes in classes for those 50 and older. An annual membership gives access to their full calendar of virtual and on-site CAL classes, the computer lab and fitness equipment — or you can just enjoy a cup of coffee with another member at the CAL Café. For more information, sign up for the weekly newsletter by emailing Or check out the website at health-wellness/center-for-active-living Another program in Athens that offers education to adults 50 and up is the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in partnership with the University of Georgia. The Bernard Osher Foundation sponsors about 120 of the institutes in the U.S. Each unit is paired with a local college or university. The local branch started in 1994 as Learning In Retirement. Now it is known as OLLI@UGA. OLLI@UGA boasts about 1,000 members and holds approximately 400 non-credit courses each year. Courses cover a wide range of subjects, including literature, history, religion, health, art and travel. OLLI@UGA also has a strong social element. Members can connect with others who have similar interests and keep in touch through member-only “shared interest groups” called SIGs. There are over 30 such groups, including photography, bridge, gardening, music, kayaking and book discussions. In addition to a regular staff and board, volunteers plan events and promote the organization. Jean Crown wanted to meet and interact with people when she moved to Athens. A friend told her about OLLI@UGA, and she was interested in both the classes and the special interest groups. In 2012, Crown began participating. Soon after, she became a volunteer. She has

FALL 2021 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 1 3

taken many courses over the years, including ones about travel, health, aging and finance. The annual fee for membership is $60, and each course has a moderate fee, which varies by course (around $12). Crown pointed out that the 30 or so special interest groups (SIGs) are free. Crown said the SIGs give a member a way to meet and talk with people who share similar interests. Crown volunteers with the hospitality group, which puts on luncheons and holiday-themed parties. Crown is an enthusiastic advocate for OLLI. The UGA River’s Crossing building, 850 College Station Road in Athens, hosts many courses and events. For more information, check out the website or email at Legend has it that when the state legislature was having a difficult time getting voters excited about approving a new state constitution, they included a clause allowing senior citizens to take college courses tuition-free in state colleges. Voters approved the new constitution, and the state of Georgia started the “62 or older” program. To take advantage of the plan, a person must have been a citizen of Georgia for at least one year and be 62 or older. If accepted, a senior citizen can attend any college or university in the University System of Georgia. Older students can attend courses in undergraduate and graduate school tuition-free if space is available. In the Athens area, that includes Athens Technical College, the University of North Georgia, and the University of Georgia. (Note: Professional programs, such as Law, Pharmacy and Veterinary, are excluded.) Education has always been an integral part of Marcy Tanner’s life. She earned a B.S. in psychology and a master’s in educational psychology from UGA. Tanner worked as a school psychologist for 30 years and had a concurrent career as a real estate broker in Arizona. “In 2001, I began a career as a community college


adjunct instructor teaching either psychology 101 or the real estate pre-licensing courses for the Maricopa County Community College District in Arizona,” Tanner said. After moving back to Athens in 2013, Tanner learned of the“62 and older” program. In January 2014, Tanner applied to UGA graduate school, and based on her undergraduate degree at UGA, she was accepted the following week. “I just want people to know that it’s really a program that welcomes you with open arms and open doors and all the support you need to either take just special interest courses, or to pursue a degree,” Tanner said. “Do not be daunted by the aspects or the process,” Tanner added. “It will probably be the easiest thing you have ever done, when it comes to enrolling in a college course, just because the university is very consumer friendly to the over-62 prospects.” Tanner pointed out that the college will assign an advisor to assist the student in choosing and registering for a class. Tanner earned a degree in May 2016 from the College of Consumer and Family Sciences at the University of Georgia. She even made the Dean’s List for two semesters. For more information, contact the admissions office of the institution you are interested in attending. Another resource for lifelong learning is the University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education. The oncampus facility provides courses for professional and personal growth, including photography, writing, languages and computer fundamentals. For more information, check out the Also, the internet provides opportunities to learn at your own pace. Some traditional universities now put courses online. The internet provides an easy way to learn a specific new skill, like learning a foreign language. Many phone apps are free. Athens is a great place for those who love to learn!

Care That Works, From a Team You Trust Northeast Georgia’s Premier Pain Specialists Call to Schedule a Consultation Today! 1500 Langford Drive, Bldg. 200 | Watkinsville GA 30677 | 706-208-0451 | FALL 2021 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I NAE-0003377530-01 E I 15

NOVEMBER 22, 2021 Join the Athens Community Council on Aging and UGA Campus Kitchen in fighting senior hunger this Thanksgiving!

Help us provide a full Thanksgiving meal to food insecure older adults. 1 in every 5 Athens residents age 50+ is at risk for food insecurity. Turkeypalooza provides meals to over 300 older adults at Thanksgiving and helps fund senior hunger initiatives year round. With your generous help, we can provide older adults an opportunity to gather around the table with their families for Thanksgiving. For more information please scan the QR Code above or contact Amy Lancaster at (706) 549-4850 or


Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities What can you do with an hour of free time? Volunteer with us!


Enrolling in Medicare can be a confusing and frightening time, but by becoming a GeorgiaCares volunteer you can gain the knowledge others might need to navigate this complex healthcare system, while giving back to your community by offering free and unbiased counseling on how to find the best plans.

The ACCA Shop Leader

Meals On Wheels Volunteers

Our drivers deliver bags of food and frozen, prepared meals to vulnerable residents of our community every day from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. This population includes older adults and people with disabilities who are unable to leave their homes due to health, mobility or transportation issues, and are at an increased risk of COVID-19. These people need to avoid the grocery store and are unable to utilize online delivery and other methods, and/or these people might not be able to afford essential groceries.

Are you handy and 55+? The Retired Senior Volunteer Program is now hosting The ACCA Shop, a home repair group. We are looking for a dedicated volunteer to help start the program. Folks from across the Athens area will be able to come and find fellowship by providing small, DIY improvements to clients’ homes, as well as learning new skills and trades from other members. If you have a knack for creating a dove-tail joint or know how to unclog a J-bend like a pro, this is the group for you!

We Need


To get started, or for more information, please visit our website, email or call Ellen Everitt at (706) 549-4850. FALL 2021 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 1 7


BRAIN PUZZLES Check your answers on page 39


Sudoku is played on a grid of 9 x 9 spaces. Within the rows and columns are 9 “squares” (made up of 3 x 3 spaces). Each row, column and square (9 spaces each) needs to be filled out with the numbers 1-9, without repeating any numbers within the row, column or square. Each Sudoku grid comes with a few spaces already filled in. By seeing which numbers are missing from each square, row, or column, we can use process of elimination and deductive reasoning to decide which numbers need to go in each blank space. 1 8 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

WELCOME (BACK) TO AGING WELL. At ACCA, we believe everyone should have the opportunity to age well. With more than 50 years of experience, ACCA is the essential resource to help you navigate and celebrate life's second half. In-person activities and services are available! Give us a call and join us today to see how we can help you age well!

135 Hoyt Street | Athens, GA 30601 706.549.4850 |


- Meals on Wheels - Transportation

Center for Active Living Adult Day Health Services

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Are You Caring for an Older Adult?

10 tips to help support their health needs By Taylor Gerlach

1. Promote well-balanced nutrition

Help senior citizens maintain energy levels and overall health with a balanced diet that includes a range of whole, fresh foods. In addition, dehydration is a common cause of hospitalization among the elderly population because bodies retain less water as they age. Focus on hydration and check that those who are older are drinking enough water. LOCAL: Sign up for Meals on Wheels for nutritious meals and weekly companionship from volunteers, or visit the Athens Farmers Market at Bishop Park for an accessible shopping experience that allows for double SNAP dollars on farm-fresh goods. 2 0 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

2. Be proactive with screenings and vaccinations

Older adults and their caregivers should speak with a primary care physician about recommended screenings and vaccinations to avoid health concerns and to promote early intervention. Common preventative measures include testing cholesterol levels and screening for colon cancer and heart issues. Visiting a dentist every six months is essential for oral health, while regular eye doctor visits can help prevent falls by ensuring that those you care for have the correct prescription strength for their glasses or contacts.

3. Manage all medications

Caregivers can help senior citizens properly take important medications by creating a carefully-curated system. This may include daily alarms or a color-coded chart that works to remind everyone when it is time to administer medications. Caregivers can also monitor possible side effects or allergies in those they care for and notify a doctor if there are any other changes due to new medications.

4. Engage mentally

Caregivers can support and encourage new hobbies. Brain-stimulating activities like completing crossword puzzles, reading books and writing in journals, can train and strengthen the brain just like any other muscle. LOCAL: Browse ACCA’s offerings of classes for those interested in fitness and movement, travel, art, trivia and more. For locally made jigsaw puzzles, check out Very Good Puzzle.

5. Create time for connection

Schedule moments for senior citizens to socialize with family and loved ones, whether that be in-person or virtually. Regular social interaction helps reduce feelings of isolation, especially for those unable to leave their home without assistance. LOCAL: Visit the Athens Regional Library System for free classes and one-on-one assistance with technology basics that will help older adults stay connected virtually.

6. Keep things moving

To the extent recommended by their doctors, encourage aging adults to keep moving each day. Physical exercise looks different for everyone and could include walks, exercise classes, yoga and functional movements like going up steps or grabbing weighted objects off of the ground. LOCAL: For a low-impact activity, Athens’ public pools are open during the summer for lap swimming, and, for a small fee, offer aqua aerobics classes.

8. Pay attention to home safety and navigation

The likelihood of a harmful fall can be reduced by paying a bit more attention to home safety. Ensure all floors and walkways are clear of tripping hazards including clutter, cords and rugs. Install grab bars in the bathroom and alongside staircases. Check that all rooms are brightly lit and switches are easily accessible from the entrance of a room. Minimize the need for step stools or bending down by placing all frequently-used appliances within older adults comfortable reaching distance.

9. Prioritize self-care

Caregiving is hard work physically and emotionally. Avoid stress and burnout by creating routines that balance work and personal time. Do not hesitate to ask for help when issues arise. Consider attending a support group for caregivers to find a community and build a support system. LOCAL: Do you need help finding a local support group? Check out ACCA’s Caregiver Support Group, which provides an opportunity for individuals caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease to fellowship with other caregivers, participate in educational programs and have questions answered about their loved one’s care.

10. Listen to those receiving care

Everyone deserves to feel respected and dignified. Therefore, try to facilitate an open dialogue with aging adults about their ideal type of care. Ask about their wants and needs, and attempt to make united decisions. Open communication allows those who are older to feel heard and valued.

7. Foster periods of rest and relaxation

Ensure a cool, dark space for older adults to accomplish quality sleep. Having a consistent routine can also help senior citizens relax and fall asleep faster. LOCAL: Athens’ Healing Arts Centre offers donationbased meditation classes and chair yoga, among other weekly offerings.

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AGE WELL. LIVE WELL. ACCA believes you can explore your passion and make a difference at any age. Older adults make a lasting impact on our community by sharing their experience, knowledge, creativity, and heart. These stories are examples of how each of us can Age Well and Live Well.

Tell us about your military career.

I graduated from Cedar Shoals High School in June of 1978 and left for the Air Force that August in San Antonio, Texas. It was my first flight. My technical training was as a Security Specialist, Intelligence and Special Forces. My first tour of duty was in Abilene, Texas, which is where I enrolled in Abilene Christian College, working towards a degree in criminal justice. For my second tour, I was assigned to Okinawa, Japan. This was supposed to occur in 1981, but because of the Iran hostage crisis, I did not think it was a good idea to leave the country. As a result, I did not accept my second tour and decided to leave the Air Force.

You have been with ACCA 39 years! How did you land at ACCA?

Meet Tony Lay By Amy Lancaster


rowing up on the east side of Athens, Tony Lay and his family were one of the first to move into the newly-constructed public housing projects on Vine Street in 1960. His life adventures led him to spend time in the Air Force and eventually land back here in Athens. Today, Tony is the longest-serving ACCA staff member and is beloved by his colleagues, community and the older adults he has assisted in his nearly 40 years at the agency.

After leaving the Air Force my intention was to go back to college. Well, I got married in 1982 and I needed a job to support my wife and me, so I started to work different jobs. I saw an ad for a driver in the newspaper and applied. I was interviewed by Kathryn Fowler who was the Assistant Director of the agency at that time. I remember the meeting going well, but I wasn’t sure if I had enough experience. I’ll always be grateful to Kathryn for hiring me as a driver. After my third year, I was hired as the Transportation Coordinator.

As the longest-serving staff member, what are some of your fondest memories?

At one point, the agency was in four different locations. When the decision was made to renovate the former Southern Railway Station building and use it as the senior center, the area around the facility had to be cleared of bush and debris. Somewhere around here is a picture of me and

I absolutely love to joke around and laugh (a lot) whenever possible. I think the mind and the body are symbiotic, so I’m going to ‘think’ young as long as I can. —Tony Lay 2 2 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

At this point in your life what would you say is most important to you?

First and foremost, my family, but that’s nothing new because it’s always been my number one priority. My wife and I were married in 1982 and have two sons. We realized it’s challenging to raise children, but even more so when you’re trying to do it in a way that will help them grow up to conduct themselves and live their lives according to Bible principles. I think we did a pretty good job because they turned out to be fine young men. And now I have my first granddaughter…need I say more!

How do you age and live well?

my trusty weed eater…doing my thing. This was a thrill for me because I absolutely love working outside, and the plans were finally coming together to unite the agency in one location. One of my fondest and funniest memories involved an 85-year-old woman who would always tease me. One day she pretended to be in distress. She motioned for me to come closer to the wheelchair and when I did, she motioned for me to bend down so I could hear what she was saying. When I bent down, she grabbed my head and stuck her tongue in my ear and gave me a wet willy! Afterward, she laughed until she cried.

After four decades on the job, what have older adults taught you?

I’ve come to realize that everyone wants to be needed in some way. Everybody wants to feel as if they still contribute in some way. Whether they’re expressing their opinion on family values or sharing experiences of when they were in the workplace.

Well first of all, aging’s a bummer!!! I’ve always been the athletic type, staying busy doing something of a physical nature. And I’m still that way to a certain degree, except now my mind might say ‘yes you can do this,’ but my body says, ‘no you can’t,’ or at least not as much or at the same speed. I’ve found that my doctor is right…staying active is good for me and it may add some years to my life. I’m also a kid at heart. I believe it was Walt Disney who said, “Growing old is mandatory but growing up is optional.” I absolutely love to joke around and laugh (a lot) whenever possible. I think the mind and the body are symbiotic, so I’m going to ‘think’ young as long as I can. Faith is very important to me. What a lot of people don’t realize is that the Bible contains a wealth of information that, if practiced, can bring real happiness as well as good physical and mental health. I try my best to follow those principles and I hope it shows in my personality and in how I treat other people. I feel as though I’m a part of something that really matters and makes a difference in people’s lives. I’ve had the opportunity to help a lot of people through the services we offer here at ACCA.

What advice would you give to younger generations?

Wow…so many adages come to mind. But one thing that really gets my gall and seems to be plaguing our younger people is a lack of respect for authority in general. This in turn often manifests itself in their attitude towards, among other things, the workplace, which affects their job performance. One piece of advice would be to treat people the way you want to be treated and to stop being so selfish.

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Q​​ uick, Simply Delicious Recipes! S By Paige Powell

o, you’re really into food. We get it. But it’s the cooking process that sometimes gets us. The time it takes, the preparation, and… did I mention the planning? In my household, we can get into such a rut with food. We also find ourselves very busy this time of year and have little time to plan time-consuming meals. Does it happen to you as well? I know I can’t be alone! Here are three great recipes we’d love for you to try. Maybe they’ll become part of your rotation and inspire a new dish for your household. Eat well and enjoy!


love Greek inspired dishes and can’t wait to share this recipe with you! They’re easy meals that really satisfy the soul. This one takes a little prep work, but the ingredients will last for days in the fridge. As the original creator said, you can “quickly and easily build a sandwich on demand” with this great recipe. We know you’ll enjoy!

and salt. Roast for around 20 minutes on the bottom rack. You can also air-fry this for 10 minutes to speed things up.  10 minutes before the potatoes are done cooking, add in another baking sheet on the top rack with the asparagus, olive oil, garlic and salt to get a tender crunch and have both parts finish at the same time.  While these cook, boil couscous and raisins in chicken broth according to package directions–usually 5-10 minutes. Warm pita/naan in the microwave, place it in a breadbasket and set rotisserie chicken on a platter.  Arrange roasted vegetables on a tray or plate along with the pot of couscous and your bowl of yogurt sauce.  Serve and enjoy! Quick Tip: It’s the rotisserie chicken! You can’t beat a recipe that saves you time by using a rotisserie chicken.

Susan’s Greek Dinner

Ingredients 1 rotisserie chicken  Yogurt Sauce: 1 cup whole-milk yogurt 1 lemon, squeezed 1 English cucumber 2 cloves of garlic  1 tbsp. fresh dill 1 box couscous, any flavor 1 carton of chicken brot ½ carton of 10 oz. of golden raisins Pita/naan bread 4 cloves garlic, divided 1-2 lbs. asparagus 1 small bag of baby yellow potatoes 1 pinch of salt, to taste 1 tbsp. smoked or sweet paprika Directions Finely shred cucumber and mince garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients for yogurt sauce and let sit in the fridge.  While that chills, cover quartered baby yellow potatoes with crushed garlic, paprika, plenty of olive oil 2 4 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021


ime is not always our friend on a hectic weeknight. One thing we love to do to save time is to cook a onepan dinner. There are only a few ingredients for this quick and easy recipe. Check it out below. It’s been a family favorite for years!

Chicken, Green Beans & Potato Bake

Ingredients 3 skinless chicken breasts cut into quarters 2 cans of green beans, drained. You can also use 2 cups of cut, fresh green beans. 3 medium Yukon gold potatoes, diced small and evenly (you can also use red potatoes for this recipe!) 1.6 oz. pkg zesty Italian dressing mix 1 stick melted butter

Directions In a 9x13 pan, place chicken breasts in the middle, green beans on one side and red potatoes on the other. Sprinkle the entire pan with zesty Italian dressing mix. Drizzle melted butter over ingredients. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour at 350°. Quick Tip: This recipe is so versatile! Instead of green beans, try asparagus. Even carrots. Not into Italian dressing? Try Ranch instead! You can even replace the chicken with pork chops.

good. If you want to bring it up a notch, top it with a little sour cream and salsa! YUM! Directions Combine eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Beat to mix well. Heat oil or butter in a small non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. An 8 or 10-inch sauté pan works best. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and cook until the eggs are almost set. Top the omelet evenly with your toppings of choice and fold the omelet over to enclose ingredients. Cover and cook for one minute longer. Transfer to a serving plate, top with a little sour cream and salsa and enjoy! Quick Tip: Beat the eggs until no more flecks of white can be seen. Make sure they’re frothy and light!


rowing up, I HATED eating breakfast for dinner. Brinner? Who were my parents kidding?! Breakfast was meant to be eaten in the morning. I wasn’t having it! Well, fast forward a few years and my mind slowly began changing. And now, I’m all about brinner! One thing our family loves to eat is omelets. It’s so easy to customize them to each person’s liking. When’s the last time you had one for dinner?

The Powell Family Weeknight Omelet Ingredients 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil or 1-2 tsp. of room temperature unsalted butter (your choice) 4 eggs ¼ cup milk Salt and pepper, to taste

Mix-ins and Toppings What’s in your fridge? Maybe a little cheddar? Bacon? Diced onion? Throw it all in, you can’t go wrong. If you’re looking for something a little more on the healthy side, try some spinach or basil, avocado and tomatoes. It’s all so very

We hope you enjoy these recipes! Let us know what you tried by sharing a photo and your thoughts to Paige Powell at We’d love to hear from you!

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Meet Mumbi Anderson By Ellen Everitt


umbi Anderson, a professor at the University of Georgia, a lifetime outreach devotee, and a world traveler, first came to Athens in fifth grade when her mother immigrated to the U.S. from Africa. As she spent her elementary, middle, high school and ultimately, her college days in Athens, Anderson found she wanted to travel the world to develop new ideas and see new places. But something pulled her back to Athens. “There is always this sense to me that when you are in Athens, everyone here tries their hardest to make sure you are a part of the family, a part of this landscape. I came back because it always felt like that sense of home.” Anderson said. But Anderson did more than just move back to her ‘home.’ As soon as she returned, Anderson began giving back to the community that raised her. “After seeing the fractured preventive care at the U.S. level after being overseas and in other countries… with really greatly-placed public infrastructure… I became dedicated to public health… I gained an understanding of how socio-economic disparities related to health disparities,” Anderson said. Anderson began researching the demographics of the Athens area, compiling the Georgia County Guide to help other researchers assist in community initiatives and started teaching in the UGA School of Public Health. Anderson became involved in other organizations as well, including the CCSD school board, the UGA Diversity Representative Council, and AIDS Athens, where she organizes the annual Athens AIDS Walk.

After seeing the fractured preventive care at the U.S. level after being overseas and in other countries… I gained an understanding of how socio-economic disparities related to health disparities. –Mumbi Anderson 2 6 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

Anderson earned her Master of Public Health and her EdD in higher education from UGA while raising her three children that she hopes will follow in her footsteps of service. When coming to ACCA at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Anderson was ready to lend a hand wherever she could to serve the people around her and put her certificate in gerontology to work. Anderson said she became really interested in doing volunteer work right as the pandemic hit. “There is something to be said about going into the community as a life-long learner and being with people in the community so that you are also getting the experience of those individuals that can lend to a broader scope of your understanding of the world,” Anderson said. Specifically, in volunteering with Meals on Wheels and in doing so, working to get older adults fresh, healthy meals, Anderson said she discovered the bits of Athens that have grown and the bits that have stayed the same. “I deliver to this one client who, every time I go there, has tons of people at her house. I remember I went once and there was a woman at her house who I hadn’t seen before, but I knew her from when I was in grade school – she worked at the cafeteria when I was at Gaines Elementary School,” Anderson said. “I had known her for years and I remembered her instantly, even though I hadn’t seen her since I was 12 years old.” Anderson added that this was the moment she realized that the city of Athens had truly raised her. She saw a glimpse of the Athens she knew and loved, and often did not get to see — the people she and her family had interacted with on the east side. Anderson’s Meals on Wheels routes have continued to grow, which has allowed her to connect and learn from many different members of the Athens community. We believe that this type of life-long learning encourages our volunteers to grow deep roots in their community, whether they have been here for 50 years, or just 5 days. If you are interested in becoming a Meals on Wheels driver, or if you are interested in volunteering as an instructor at our Center for Active Living, go to our website at or flip to our list of opportunities starting on page 17.

There is always this sense to me that when you are in Athens, everyone here tries their hardest to make sure you are a part of the family, a part of this landscape. I came back because it always felt like that sense of home. –Mumbi Anderson

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1 Cheri Cherry with Give Back Real Estate stopped by ACCA with

5 We had a wonderful few weeks with A-Corps! Not only did they

a wonderful donation on behalf of the Gelsomino Family. Thank you Cheri, the Gelsomino’s and Team Reign for your continued support of ACCA’s Meals on Wheels program!

do some great work around ACCA, but they also visited several clients and helped with much needed yardwork. Woo-hoo! Thank you, A-Corps! To learn more about A-Corps, please visit online at

2 We are loving our new Meals on Wheels lobby upgrades! With help from Meals on Wheels America’s Make Good Go Further campaign, we have been able to make small but mighty improvements to our Meals on Wheels lobby. We started with a little paint, added some new flooring, and topped it off with these fantastic shelves. Thank you, Meals on Wheels America for your continued support!

6 A BIG thank you to Dr. Hondalus and the students of the

3 Hip! Hip! Hooray!! What is that you say? A donation of 50 box

7 Thank you, Truist! In coordination with the United Way of Northeast Georgia, Truist gathered, packed and provided several care bags to ACCA clients this past August. Our Center for Active Living friends were so happy to receive care packages!

fans from the Classic City of Athens Rotary Club to ACCA’s Meals on Wheels just arrived in time for the hot summer heat! Here’s to the FANtastic members of the Classic City of Athens Rotary Club!!

4 ACCA’s Meals on Wheels Give Back Real Estate! Thank you, Annetria Kennedy & Associates, LLC, Give Back Real Estate, LLC for stopping by and dropping off such a wonderful donation to our Meals on Wheels program earlier this summer! Did you know that Give Back Real Estate donates 10% of every commission to a local non-profit? What a wonderful way to give back! 2 8 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine for their donation to Will’s Pet Pantry. This program, in honor of Will Seagraves who was a true animal lover, collects pet food and other items for the pets of seniors in our community.

8 Thank you, Jackson EMC Foundation! Melissa Demaray recently received her first grant with Jackson EMC for the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program. With this grant, ACCA’s Grandparents Raising Grandchildren program received funds to assist with educational seminars, healthcare screenings and personal care boxes. Thank you, Jackson EMC Foundation, and congratulations, Melissa!


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Out of This World Travel: Space Tourism By Allyn Rippin


hen putting together a travel bucket list, what destinations come to mind? Paris, Machu Picchu, Havana, Alaska? What about a trip to

outer space? Space travel has ignited the human imagination for decades, but few of us earthlings can fathom traveling to the stars, much less spending a week’s vacation there. Space flight is typically reserved for an elite (and highly-trained) few — however, this is changing. In July 2021, a new era of space tourism was born. On July 11, Virgin Galactic successfully launched the VSS Unity with the company’s founder, Richard Branson, aboard. Ten days later, New Shephard, a private rocket built by Blue Origin and financed by Amazon’s founder Jeff Bezos, made its debut and had its first paying customer. Both companies’ vessels were designed to fly passengers over 50 miles above Earth’s atmosphere, allowing customers to experience the feeling of weightlessness for a few minutes. Virgin Galactic has also built the world’s first purpose-built commercial “spaceport,” spanning 27 square miles in the desert landscape of New Mexico. 3 0 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

These historic events marked the emergence of a private spaceflight industry called NewSpace, a new breed of aerospace companies working to develop low-cost access to space, including private launch firms and suborbital tourism. Reports suggest that space tourism is a growing market expected to be worth at least $3 billion by 2030. Spaceflight could revolutionize how we travel. For example, the company SpaceX hopes in the future to use its Starship rocket to fly 100 people around the world in a matter of minutes. This means a 15-hour flight to Shanghai from New York City would be compressed to 39 minutes. Orbital tourism, in which passengers remain in space for at least one full orbit, is another major focus of governmental agencies and private space companies. Hotels in space? It may sound far-fetched, but in 2019 NASA opened the International Space Station to private astronauts at the nightly rate of about $35,000 per person. While it’s true that scientists and the uber-wealthy will have access to space for the immediate future, the hope is that as the technology develops, it will become more accessible to everyday citizens. Branson sees unlimited possibilities.

“I really hope that there will be millions of kids all over the world who will be captivated and inspired about the possibility of them going to space one day,” Branson said to ABC News. This new frontier does not come without controversy and concerns, specifically about environmental impact. In August 2021, according to The Harris Poll, an American market research and analytics company, 3 in 4 people surveyed felt “money spent on space could better be spent

Mary Wallace “Wally” Funk became the oldest person to launch into space on July 20 on Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin flight.

For Wally Funk, Dreams Come True at 82

The historic flight of Blue Origin was a first for everyone aboard. But it was especially sweet for 82-year old aviator Wally Funk, who became the oldest person to ever fly in space. Throughout her career, Funk has excelled in “firsts.” She was the first female aviation flight instructor, first female Federal Aviation Agency inspector, and, in the 1960s, was one of 13 pioneering women to join the Mercury 13 “Women in Space’’ program. The group went through the same physiological screening tests as their male counterparts selected by NASA, but the program was ultimately cancelled. Funk would have to wait another five decades to fulfill her lifelong dream (It wasn’t until 1978 that NASA selected its first women astronauts). Funk’s story reminds us to keep shooting for the stars, and that dreams can come true at any age.

Where to See the Stars

The promise of space travel has us all looking up at the stars. On a clear, crisp night in some parts of Georgia, you might direct your gaze upward and be treated to a diamond-studded blanket stretched across the sky. For those who live in the city, you might be lucky to catch a few twinkles, but perhaps less likely to see the Big Dipper. The stars are how we once navigated the seas and have been the star subject of many telescopes. Aboriginal Australians believed stars were the campfires of their ancestors. The night sky has evoked wonder, awe, imagination and storytelling throughout human evolution, and has

addressing today’s issues on Earth.” Nevertheless, many Americans feel space is still an exciting frontier. We may not be able to touch Earth’s edge just yet, but it might be just within reach. For us earthlings, CAL will host a virtual trip to the International Space Station on December 9th at 1 p.m. on Zoom. Details on this trip and more can be found in our catalogue at the back of the magazine. also played a featured role in art (think Van Gogh’s Starry Night), lullabies and movies. In looking up, we feel connected to something infinitely larger. But, it seems we are losing this connection to the cosmos. As the glow of urban areas chalk out the black of night, it has become harder and harder to stargaze. Statistics show that 88% of the population in the U.S. has never seen the Milky Way. Two small towns in Colorado, Westcliffe and Silver Cliff, are preserving the night sky the way our ancestors saw it. Local officials and townspeople have spent nearly two decades lowering light pollution and increasing visibility through comprehensive outdoor lighting ordinances. They now boast one of the darkest skies on the planet. In 2018, this area was designated as Colorado’s first International Dark Sky Community and has become a tourist destination for star seekers — and it’s well worth the trip! Check out this short video about this Colorado community: Visit the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) to learn more about conservation to preserve and protect dark sites through responsible lighting policies and public education:

Want to see the stars closer to home? Visit some of these local resources: ★ Sandy Creek Nature Center Sky Center ★ The UGA Observatory, which owns one of the largest visible light telescopes in the state ★ The Fernbank Center in Atlanta offers LIVE! At-home Planetarium Shows ★ The Pohl Observatory and Planetarium at Georgia College in Milledgeville, GA ★ The Bentley Planetarium at the Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, GA What’s the difference between a planetarium and an observatory? A planetarium is a “sky theater,” which projects a simulation of the night sky. An observatory is where to view the actual night sky with a telescope. FALL 2021 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 3 1

A BOUTIQUE LAW FIRM OF SPECIALISTS Estate Planning & Elder Law • Wills • Longterm Care & Medicaid Planning • Guardianship Conservatorship • Probate & Trust Administration • Special Needs Planning Veterans’ Benefits • Advice on qualifying for pension and health benefits As a boutique law firm, we offer legal assistance in certain specialized areas with attorneys who have years of experience in each specialty. Altogether, our six attorneys have practiced law for over 89 years. Let us help you find answers for difficult legal situations and identify solutions for your needs and goals.

1220 Langford Drive • Building 200, Suite 101 • Watkinsville, Georgia 30677 (706) 508-4000 (706) Fax: (706) 842-6750 508-4000 • Fax: (706) 842-6750 •

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WELCOME TO SAFE AND SOUND. AND HAPPY. During unsettled times, the constants in life give us comfort. Yes, we are taking all recommended safety precautions during this pandemic. But the one thing that hasn’t changed, the one thing our residents know they can count on, is feeling happy to be here.



801 Riverhill Drive | Athens, GA 30606 706.369.7100 | 3 2 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

The Center for Active Living (CAL) is a multi-purpose center offering older adults in Athens and surrounding communities opportunities to stay active and engaged. CAL provides unique social, educational, and wellness related classes and activities, group trips, and supportive services.

For membership information or to register for trips and classes, contact Allyn Rippin, CAL Director, at (706) 549-4850 or CEN T E R FOR AC T I V E L I V I N G

dance, fitness & movement classes



CAL travel (virtual and in person)



seminars, classes and events



social programs and events



support groups


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To RSVP for all webinars and classes, please contact or call the CAL office at 706-549-4850. Zoom links are also available in our weekly e-newsletter. For pre-recorded webinars, visit the Center for Active Living at ACCA YouTube channel by visiting We offer both virtual and in-person classes that follow safety precautions and procedures. Classes are subject to change or cancellation.

Chair Tai Chi with Julie

Many studies show the efficacy of Tai Chi practice in helping to reduce the risks of falling among older adults. Join Piedmont Athens Regional nurse and Tai Chi certified instructor, Julie Buffalo, RN for this gentle, 30-minute class followed by an optional blood pressure check. No elaborate clothing is required, and its gentle movements allow for easy modifications. Much of the class will be seated or standing using a chair for balance. When: 2nd Thursday of every month at 10:00am Where: ACCA Harris Room Free for members, drop-in rate for non-members


Tai Chi with Michele

Tai Chi, which means in Chinese balance and harmony, has often been described as “moving meditation” because of the flowing motions accompanied by breathwork. In addition to an improved sense of calm and clarity, participants in the class will improve their balance, leg strength, range of motion, and energy levels. Seasoned instructor Michele will guide the class through low-impact, easy-to-learn movements that can be incorporated into any daily routine. When: Mondays at 1:00pm Where: ACCA Harris Room Free for members, drop-in rate for non-members

Chair Yoga with Josh

Designed to be accessible to all, Josh’s class adapts yoga poses for use with a chair. Most poses will take place seated and any standing poses will use the chair for support. Expect a gentle class sequence with the opportunity to stretch muscles and invigorate the mind through breathwork. This class is in person and live-streamed on Zoom. When: Tuesdays at 10:00am Where: ACCA’s Harris Room and Zoom (Hybrid format) Free for members, drop-in rate for non-members To join virtually, please contact the CAL office 3 4 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

Tuesday Walking Group

Meet up for a socially distanced walk with friends at the ACCA Greenway and various parks and trails around Athens. Enjoy some light exercise while gaining the restorative benefits of time spent in nature and with friends. We will meet at ACCA every Tuesday at 11:00am EXCEPT for one Tuesday each month: October 19 at Athens Botanical Gardens November 16 at Veterans Park December 14 at Lake Herrick Free for members and non-members

Intermediate Line Dancing

This is one of the most popular classes at the Center for Active Living. This intermediate level class uses an eclectic mix of music to keep dancers moving from beginning to end. The instructor will walk you step-by-step through the dances with seasoned classmates who will help keep you on track. Grab your dancing shoes and join the fun! When: Tuesdays at 12:00pm Where: ACCA Harris Room Free for members, drop-in rate for non-members

Yoga with Bill

This Integral Hatha Yoga class consists of bodily postures, deep relaxation, and breath control. Yoga poses are not exercises. The word exercise tends to give one the impression of quick movements which involve strain. Instead, the yoga asanas, or postures, that Bill teaches are meant to bring steadiness, comfort and ease to the body and mind. Classes are meant to be easy for beginners yet challenging for those with more experience. When: Wednesdays from 3:00-4:15pm Where: ACCA Harris Room Free for members, drop-in rate for non-members

Smart Moves with Becky

This fun, one-hour class mixes the use of elastic bands, free weights and medicine balls to work your entire body. Similar to Silver Sneakers, it focuses on improved overall balance, flexibility, and strength while listening to music. Smart Moves is a low impact class that can be performed seated or standing and is appropriate for all fitness levels.

Line Dancing Instructor Needed!

Do you have a passion for line dancing and senior wellness? Contact Allyn Rippin at or call 706-549-4850.

CAL TRAVEL (VIRTUAL AND IN PERSON) To join by phone or video, contact or call the CAL office at 706-549-4850. Links for virtual trips are also provided in our e-newsletter. To sign up for the e-newsletter, contact Allyn Rippin at

Meet You There Trip: Jaemor Farms

Jaemor Farms is a family-owned business that has been around for over 100 years. In addition to making fresh produce, the farm also boasts a six-acre corn maze and outdoor farm games. Join in on the fall farm extravaganza as we visit the maze and pumpkin patch, watch duck races, and enjoy the large market on site. Concessions such as hamburgers, hot dogs, and popcorn will be available for purchase. When: Friday, October 22 at 10:00am Where: We will meet at Jaemor Farms in Alto, Georgia Cost: $20 for members, $25 for non-members Space is limited; to RSVP, please contact the CAL office

When: Thursdays at 2:00pm Where: ACCA Harris Room Free for CAL Members, drop-in rate for non-members

All Levels Hatha Flow Yoga with Josh

Adapted for beginners and more advanced yogis, this yoga class combines static and fluid poses, balancing movement through holds and sequential flows in order to emphasize strength, flexibility, and alignment. In addition to dynamic movement, instructor Josh will guide breathing exercises and short meditations to help concentration and bring ease to the mind. This class is in person and live-streamed on Zoom. When: Thursdays at 12:00pm Where: ACCA Harris Room and Zoom (Hybrid format) Free for members, drop-in rate for non-members To join virtually, please contact the CAL office.

Virtual Trip: Helen, GA

Helen, GA, draws inspiration from the villages of Germany, complete with Bavarian-style buildings and cobblestone streets. The Chattahoochee River flows through Helen, making it a prime spot for outdoor recreation. Local history is linked to the Cherokee Indians and early settlers who came to mine for gold and work in the lumber industry. Helen FALL 2021 I CO N N E C T I O N S / W H AT ’S N E X T M AG A Z I N E I 3 5

is now brimming with specialty and import shops offering everything from cuckoo clocks to quilts. October is a great time of year to visit, even virtually. Helen holds the world record for longest running Oktoberfest for 48 years! When: Thursday, October 21 at 1:00pm Where: Zoom Free for members and non-members To join, please contact the CAL office

Meet You There Trip: Candle Making Workshop at Rekindle

Come make your very own candle during this hands-on workshop! Learn the process of candle making, from picking your scent to pouring and setting. You’ll leave with one 8 oz candle filled with the scent of your choice (you can also blend and create your own unique scent). All you need to bring is some enthusiasm and creativity. When: Wednesday, October 27 from 10:00am-12:00pm Where: We will meet at Rekindle in Monroe, GA Cost: $25/person (includes candle and 15% discount in gift shop) Space is limited; to RSVP, please contact the CAL office by October 20

Virtual Trip: Madrid, Spain

The guidebook Lonely Planet describes Madrid as “a beguiling place with an energy that carries one simple message: this city really knows how to live.” Madrid is the Spanish capital and arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the country. Visitors will find a range of cultural and historical treasures such as the Royal Palace, Royal Theater as well as over 80 museums and 2,000 monuments that add to the city’s richness. It’s also famous for its distinctive restaurants and cafe culture often housed in beautiful historic buildings, not to mention its vibrant nightlife. When: Thursday, November 11 at 1:00pm Where: Zoom Free for members and non-members To join, please contact the CAL office

Meet You There Trip: Milledgeville, GA

Join us on a visit to Milledgeville, a former capital of Georgia! We will take a stroll along the charming town’s oak lined streets and explore a variety of different historic landmarks, such as Georgia’s old Governor’s Mansion and St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church. We will also visit the local college, Georgia College & State University, to see some stunning architecture and its natural history museum. Circumstances permitting, we may also stop at Andalusia, the home of famous American author, Flannery O’Connor. When: Thursday, November 18 at 11:00am Where: Meet us at the Milledgeville-Baldwin County Convention & Visitors Bureau Cost: $10 for members, $15 for non-members To join, please contact the CAL office

Meet You There Trip: Madison, GA

Meet us in Madison! Join us as we take a look inside three historical house museums — Heritage Hall, Rogers House, and Rose Cottage. These 19th century-era landmarks will show us examples of the well-preserved Antebellum and Victorian homes in this small southern town. After the tours, we will walk over to the fabulous Madison Markets, an upscale antiques and interiors market in a renovated cotton warehouse. There are also many restaurants, shops, and other museums to explore in Madison’s beautiful downtown district. Lunch is not included. When: Wednesday, December 1 at 9:45am (tour begins at 10:00am) Where: We will meet at the Rogers House/Rose Cottage site $20 for members and $25 for non-members Space is limited; To join, please contact the CAL office

Virtual Trip: International Space Station

There are travelers, and then there are explorers. Astronauts are the ultimate pioneers rigorously trained in how to operate spacecraft and conduct research in space. The International Space Station is technically called a “habitable artificial satellite” and is home to an international team of astronauts. The collaborative project brings together five space agencies: NASA (U.S.), Roscosmos (Russia), JAXA ( Japan), ESA (Europe) and CSA (Canada). In this virtual trip, we will learn how astronauts eat, sleep, practice hygiene, work and live in zero gravity. We will also learn what it takes to become an astronaut. When: Thursday, December 9 at 1:00pm Where: Zoom Free for members and non-members To join, please contact the CAL office


Virtual Trip: Fiji Islands

A trip to the Fiji Islands is the perfect antidote to winter. Located in the heart of the South Pacific, Fiji is blessed with 333 tropical islands that are home to some of the friendliest people on Earth. Research suggests that global happiness is declining, but Fiji is known as a place “where happiness finds you.” There are many reasons for happiness here: lush rainforests, lagoons, a chance to ride rapids, trek rural roads, deep sea dive, or simply relax in a hammock on the beach. When: Thursday, January 20 at 1:00pm Where: Zoom Free for members and non-members To join, please contact the CAL office

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, take a trip with us to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. The Center’s iconic exhibitions feature the papers and artifacts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; the history of the US civil rights movement; and stories from the struggle for human rights around the world today. Circumstances permitting, ACCA will provide transportation. Please call the office to confirm. When: Thursday, January 27 at 11:00am Where: TBD $30 for members and $45 for non-members To join, please contact the CAL office

IN PERSON AND VIRTUAL SEMINARS, CLASSES AND EVENTS Please contact the CAL office at or 706-549-4850 to RSVP. Links for virtual classes are also provided in our e-newsletter.

Art Class with the K.A. Artist Shop

Join photographer and artist Kathleen Campbell of K.A. Artist Shop in Athens for hands-on art and craft-making classes that will expand your creative palette. From collage to painting to papercrafts, we will work with a variety of media. No prior experience necessary. Come for one or all classes. When: Bi-monthly Monday, October 18 at 11:00am Friday, November 5 at 10:00am Monday, November 15 at 11:00am Monday, December 6 at 11:00am Tuesday, December 14 at 12:30pm Where: ACCA Brick Room Free for members, drop-in rate for non-members Space is limited. To RSVP, please contact the CAL office

Storytelling Through Dance: A Guided, Interactive Workshop

Storytelling is an important part of our memory and legacy. This class brings your stories to life through expressive movement that both dancers and non-dancers will enjoy. After a warm-up, participants will use memory and story to inspire movement, creating their own dance at the end. The workshop will be guided by Lisa Yaconelli, an Athens-based choreographer, performer, teacher and owner of Work.Shop, a performing arts practice and performance space. When: Wednesday, October 20 at 11:00am Where: ACCA Harris Room Free for members, drop-in rate for non-members Space is limited; please contact the CAL office to RSVP

Medicare Open Enrollment with GeorgiaCares

Medicare open enrollment runs from October 15th – December 7th. It can be tricky to navigate the intricacies of cost, coverage and provider networks. ACCA’s onsite Medicare counseling program, Georgia Cares, will break down the ins and outs of the process and answer questions. Members have the option to watch the webinar from ACCA or from home. For general questions, contact Georgia Cares Coordinator Tegan Hurley at 706-549-4850. When: Monday, October 25 at 11:00am Where: ACCA Hudson Conference Room and Zoom Free for CAL Members and Non-members To join, please contact the CAL office

Strong and Steady: The Benefits of Physical and Occupational Therapy

It’s common to associate getting older with getting “worse,” but research shows we CAN improve as we age. Studies show that the brain can learn and form new connections – also called neuroplasticity. How can physical and occupational therapy help? Sharon Bowden, OTA/L from Genesis Rehab Services will discuss ways to improve balance, reduce falls and strengthen muscle and the mind-body connection. Therapy can even assist with pain management for conditions such as arthritis. Following the talk, Sharon will be available for individual consultations. When: Wednesday, November 10 at 12:00pm Where: ACCA’s Harris Room Free for members and non-members To RSVP, please contact the CAL office

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Getting to Know… ACCA’s Adult Day Health Program

Our mission at ACCA is to create a continuum of care that allows our clients to age in place. As such, Adult Day Health works closely with the Center for Active Living, clients and their families to provide seamless care. ADH serves clients with memory impairment, physical limitations or special needs and offers engaging activities, field trips, meals, and more. ADH Director Robin Lacrimosa will talk about the similarities and differences with CAL, who is eligible, and how to get started. If you would like to arrange a tour of ADH, please contact Robin at 706-549-7301. When: Wednesday, November 17 at 11:00am Where: ACCA’s Hudson Conference Room and Zoom Free for members and non-members Space is limited; please contact the CAL office to RSVP

“Is This Still Good?”: A Food Safety Refresher Course

Do you want to make sure you are handling and preparing your turkey properly this Thanksgiving? Are you confused by expiration and “sell by” dates on perishable goods? Curious about the shelf life of spices and other ingredients? It never hurts to have a refresher course on the do’s and don’ts of food safety. The UGA Cooperative Extension will be here to cover it all. Participants can enter to win a free bag of commodities! When: Friday, November 19 at 11:00am Where: ACCA’s Hudson Conference Room and Zoom Free for members and non-members To join, please contact the CAL office


Caring for Your Pet

Athens Area Humane Society will be here to talk about how to care for our two and four-legged friends as well as share details about their services, volunteer opportunities and community initiatives. The AHS will bring a few furry friends with them! When: Wednesday, October 13 at 11:00am Where: ACCA Hudson Conference Room Free for members and non-members To join, please contact the CAL office

Tour the Athens Area Humane Society

Join us for a tour of AHS’s brand new building, meet some adorable animals, learn how to become a volunteer, and more. When: Call office for date Where: Meet at the Athens Humane Society (1781 Mars Hill Rd.Watkinsville, GA) Free for members and non-members To join, please contact the CAL office 3 8 I CO N N E C T I ON S / W HAT ’S NEX T MAGAZINE I FALL 2021

Ask the Geriatrician

Local geriatrician, Dr. Donald Scott, will be here to share the latest research on the COVID-19 virus, vaccinations, and booster shots, and answer questions about health issues important to seniors. When: November (call office for date) Where: ACCA’s Harris Room Free for members and non-members Please contact the CAL office to register

Outsmart Your Smartphone

Do you need help getting plugged into the digital world? Want to gain confidence in using your smartphone, tablet or computer? Need help getting on Zoom, social media or managing your email and photos? Our CAL Tech Volunteer can answer your questions and provide pointers. By appointment only. When: Please call the CAL office to make an appointment Where: In person, by phone or virtual Free for members

Holiday Concert with UGA Saxophone Quartet

Join us for a musical treat this holiday season as we host students from UGA’s Hugh Hodgson School of Music. When: December (Call the CAL office for date) Where: ACCA Harris Room Free for members and non-members To RSVP, please contact the CAL office

Pets on Zoom: A Monthly Virtual “Get Together”

Connecting with our animal friends is a great way to reduce social isolation and loneliness. Did you know watching cute animal videos can boost levels of serotonin? Animals make us smile, but not everyone is able to have a pet in the home. Pets Together is a wonderful platform that connects animal owners with animal lovers virtually. Once a month, we will meet in the Hudson Room to interact with a variety of animals and their chosen humans LIVE on screen. Space is limited. When: 1st Thursdays at 11:00am (October 7, November 4, December 2, January 6) Where: ACCA Hudson Conference Room Free for members only Space is limited. Please contact the CAL office to RSVP

New Year’s Resolutions with Resolve

It’s the start of a new year, which means many people are making resolutions to start a healthy habit or try something new. Research shows that only 8% of Americans who make a New Year’s resolution keep them all year, but it can be done! Join dietician and certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Courtney Vickery, MS, RD, LD, for tips on setting and sticking to resolutions, whether your goal is to lose weight, exercise more or create a healthy lifestyle. When: Wednesday, January 19 at 11:00am Where: Zoom Free for members and non-members To join, please contact the CAL office



Mahjong is a Chinese tile game that is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. Similar to the western card game rummy, mahjongg is a game of skill, strategy, calculation, and involves a degree of chance. Space is limited. For reservations or information, please contact the CAL office.

Advanced Mahjong

When: Mondays (Call to confirm) from 1:00-4:00pm Where: ACCA Hudson Conference Room Free for CAL members


Caregiver Support Group

Join other caregivers for support, participate in educational programs, and gain knowledge from health care professionals. For more information call Robin Lacrimosa at 706-549-7301. When: 3rd Tuesday each month at 12:00pm Where: ACCA Bentley ADH Center (135 Hoyt Street, Athens, GA, 30601)

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Support Group

Each month we will hear from experts on topics such as health insurance, how to prevent and manage chronic diseases, how to eat well and stay physically active on a budget, how to promote success in the classroom for your grandchildren, and ways to reduce stress and care for our mental health, and more. When: Once a month at 12:00pm (October 27th, November 17th, January 26th, February 23rd, March 23rd, & April 27th) Where: ACCA and at Rivers of Mercy in Monroe on the same days and time. Those attending at Rivers of Mercy will join via Zoom. Please contact Marlah Gaspard at 706-549-4850 or to register.

Beginner Mahjong

When: Wednesdays (Call to confirm) from 1:30-3:30pm Where: ACCA Hudson Conference Room Free for CAL members

Puzzle Solutions, pg. 18 Mahjong

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Hear Better, Breathe Better, Live Better

Dr. Kimbrell • Dr. Mixson • Dr. Katz • Dr. Norris • Haley Peeples, PA • Dr. Barnes 150 Nacoochee Avenue, Athens, GA 30601 • ph: 706-546-7908 • fax: 706-546-1944

You’ll Never Have To Say “What?” Again!

Audiologists Dr. Allison Allison Morton Lenear Dr. Dr. Kirstin Luffler Dr. Erin Steele

AE-0003315761-01 AE-0003337907-01

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