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Humor, creativity, lots of ideas keep 91-year-old author going BY SUE WEBBER • CONTRIBUTING WRITER Robert MacGregor Shaw celebrated his 91st birthday with cake – and a book signing party. He recently released his fourth publication, a book titled “The Blessing.” Shaw, an Edina resident, has written a book a year since 2009. An earlier book, titled “Bachelor Slob in the Kitchen,” won a first prize in the 2011 Midwest Book Awards. After a long and storied career that included teaching journalism and heading newspaper associations in the states of Washington and Minnesota, Shaw has not been the retiring type. He writes, he gardens, he enjoys music, and keeps in contact with his three sons and six grandchildren, plus a myriad of friends. “My boys have married real good daughters-in-law,” Shaw said. “They feel sorry for me and keep me spoiled with food.” Shaw prides himself on not having a radio, a TV set or a pet. He gave up playing Dixieland music on his trombone when he was in his mid-80s. He still thrives, as he always has, on creative ideas. The plot of his newest book, illustrated by college-age granddaughter Isabel Buffington Shaw, is an example of his imaginative creativity, combined with his ever-present and well-honed sense of humor. Shaw summarizes the plot this way: “The year is 2080. Chief Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court have reached a 5-4 decision that the First Amendment should protect all mammals. The chairman of the mammals is a great blue whale who picks 10 committees to investigate different aspects of human behavior, such as privacy, humor, violence and science. They need to decide whether they want to be like human beings. They decide it would be a great advantage to

Bob Shaw, 91, of Edina, has written a book a year since 2009. (Photo by Sue Webber) be like humans. “The other side, dangerous animals, is represented by a Holstein bull, a very good chairman who has decided that human beings fundamentally are violent. He wants to get as far away as possible from human beings. So he decides to turn down the chief justice’s nice invitation.” Shaw says he doesn’t buy the idea that authors should write for their audiences.

“I write the way I want to,” Shaw said. “My latest book ends up with a rather pessimistic view of human beings.” One of the organizers of his recent birthday party/book signing was Linda Falkman, who worked with Shaw for nine of the 18 years he was executive director of the Minnesota Newspaper Association, and succeeded him as the group’s leader in 2006.

“He was wonderful to work for,” Falkman said. “He was an idea person. We had a limited budget, so we would take 10 of his ideas and decide which one would make the most difference in enhancing membership.” As a charter member of the 30-year old Wordos group, an informal gathering of grammarians, Shaw values words and syntax. The group has published five editions of a book called “92 Abuses of English.” “He’s extraordinary; he’s no older now than when I met him more than 20 years ago,” said Chuck Sweningsen of Bloomington, who moved to Minneapolis and joined the Wordos group after he retired from a career at the Chicago Sun Times. Another of Shaw’s passions has been the Minnesota Newspaper Museum, which opened in Heritage Square at the Minnesota State Fair in 1987. It is a recreation of a 1930s-era weekly newspaper office, featuring letterpress equipment and a working replication of a small town newspaper. Shaw volunteers at the museum during the fair, and helps to raise money for it. Shaw received a degree in journalism at the University of Minnesota in 1949, served in the military and later wrote for the Stars and Stripes, managed a weekly newspaper in Othello, Wash., taught journalism at the University of Washington and managed a newspaper association there before coming back to Minnesota to head the Minnesota Newspaper Association. He met his wife, the late Virginia Shaw, at the U of M. “Virginia was much smarter than I ever was,” said Shaw, who was widowed in 2006. His status as a bachelor prompted the writing of “The Bachelor Slob in the Kitchen,” a book intended for all people who live alone. In it, Shaw writes in a noAUTHOR - TO PAGE 7

Page 2 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday June 20, 2013

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Hopkins doctor sets good example for his patients BY SUE WEBBER • CONTRIBUTING WRITER Dr. Neil Hoffman doesn’t ask his patients to do anything he doesn’t do. That includes watching his diet and making time for exercise at least four days a week. “I tell patients all the time that the key is to do anything you can to maintain your health,” said Hoffman, 75, an internal medicine specialist in Hopkins. His philosophy of paying attention to physical and mental health and well-being has helped Hoffman continue to work into his 70s, with no retirement plans in sight. “If you had asked me 25 years ago if I would be practicing medicine at this age, I would have said, ‘Why would I do that?’” Hoffman said. “Most of the colleagues I trained with are retired. But most of the time I really enjoy what I’m doing. I can still think. I can still do some teaching, and I’m happy to be doing it.” He decided as a junior high school student in St. Louis Park that he wanted to be a doctor, Hoffman said. “My father was a pharmacist, and I decided I needed to do something where I could be my own boss,” he said. “I thought about law school, but I really had an interest in medicine.” He earned undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Minnesota, served in the U.S. Navy at Oakland Naval Hospital in California, and then opened a practice in internal medicine with a friend. Later, he joined the Aspen Group in Hopkins, where he now works. “When I was first in practice, I wanted to shape things in medicine,” Hoffman said. “Now, at my stage in life, I just want to practice medicine.” He finds himself now taking care of many former high school friends and current friends, as well as the children of patients who have been with him since he began practicing medicine, Hoffman said. “That’s really delightful, though it’s hard when someone who gets sick doesn’t do well,” he said. He estimates that 70 percent of his patients are overweight. “I still have patients who smoke too much and patients who drink too much alcohol,” Hoffman said. He sees 14 patients a day, eight hours a day, four days a week, and still does some teaching at Abbott-Northwestern Hospital.

“I have a good nursing staff and other associates, and I don’t have to take calls at night,” Hoffman said. “My physical health is good and my mental health is good. Most of the time it’s pleasant and fun to practice medicine.” Hannah Muhs, a nurse at the clinic with whom Hoffman has worked for more than two years, said Hoffman “always says he won’t retire because he likes his work and enjoys seeing patients. He’s active. He likes to golf, too.” The rewards are worth the work, Hoffman said. He recalls seeing a woman with no symptoms who had come in for a routine physical examination at 4 p.m. one day and discovering that she had a life-threateningly low heart rate and was experiencing an acute heart blockage. “I told her she needed a pacemaker and I called an ambulance to take her to the hospital,” Hoffman said. “Things like that happen two or three times a month and reinforce that I’m doing something good. It really helps me do this. If I felt I couldn’t contribute positively, I absolutely wouldn’t continue working.” Of more than 10,000 members of the Minnesota Medical Association, 485 members age 70 or older still have active licenses, according to Dan Hauser, manager of media relations and communications for the MMA. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re still practicing medicine, only that they’ve kept their licenses current, Hauser said. A life-long Minneapolitan, Hoffman is married to his high school sweetheart. The couple has three children and four grandchildren. Visits to New York and California to visit offspring and grandchildren help to recharge his batteries, Hoffman said. He also recharges with brisk games of racquetball four nights a week. “Exercise is very important,” he said. “I can’t tell patients to do things I don’t do.” He no longer runs around the Minneapolis lakes, as he did 10 years ago, but, Hoffman said, “I still get around the racquetball court pretty well.”’ If he retired now, he would do more teaching, Hoffman said. “I like teaching medical students,” he said. “They don’t get enough teaching about how to keep people well. The key to staying healthy is keeping the mind active and the body active. We need to make the most of every day.”

Dr. Neil Hoffman, 75, has been a full-time physician in the Twin Cities area for 50 years. (Submitted photo) He encourages his patients to have regular medical checkups, and diagnostic tests such as mammograms and colonoscopies, even when people are feeling well. “We need to treat blood pressure and cholesterol and keep the heart healthy,” he said. “We need to keep the mind active through reading, thinking, Sudoko, and crossword puzzles.”

He sees some people who retire in their late 50s and go home to watch TV, only to experience rapidly deteriorating health, Hoffman said. “There are problems with aging, but we need to make the best of them,” he said. “I talk with my patients all the time about diet and exercise. The key is to do everything we can to maintain our health.”

Page 4 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday June 20, 2013

Centenarian has a sharp mind, gentle spirit, good humor BY SUE WEBBER • CONTRIBUTING WRITER Anne Chouinard golfed and drove a car until she was 94 years old. “Then she just decided one day that was it,” said her daughter, Carole Golden. Now 107, Anne is the oldest resident at a care center in New Brighton. She also is one of the 73 oldest women in Minnesota. Born in Range, Wis., Anne was the second of nine siblings. “My brothers were more or less my guards,” she said. “We didn’t have to seek for friends. We had family.” The first thing she remembers clearly is the sinking of the ocean liner RMS Titanic in 1912. “I was only 6 years old when it happened,” Anne said. “My dad hitched a horse onto the buggy and we went to Amery, Wis. There was no newspaper, but there was a billboard posted with a sheet of paper telling about the sinking.” For a few years, the family lived in Canada where they could get free farmland. Anne spoke French then, and still says her prayers in French, she said. According to Anne’s nephew, Dick LaMere of Forest Lake, the children went to school on a buckboard drawn by a couple of horses. “My dad (Anne’s brother) carried a gun because he had to shoot the coyotes that followed them,” LaMere said. Anne recalls doing “a lot of dancing” while she was growing up. “We had a musical home,” she said. “My mother liked music and she invited anyone who would come.” Golden recalls that Anne and her brothers had a band at one time. One of Anne’s grandsons who is musical visits her and sings some of the old tunes she likes so well, she said. Anne spent most of her life in south Minneapolis. She graduated from East High School in Minneapolis and attended the Minnesota School of Business. Anne’s dream early on, according to Golden, was clear. “She wanted to work in an office with her own desk and carpeting on the floor,” Golden said. Anne subsequently worked as a stenographer for a downtown investment firm. She also later worked at Minnesota Fabric and then at Minnesota Rubber in St. Louis Park. While visiting one of her brothers, who was in the seminary, Anne met her future husband, Casper. They were married by her brother, a Marist priest, at Our Lady

of Lourdes Church in Minneapolis in 1931, and were married for 52 years before Casper died in 1983. Their four children attended Christ the King grade school and Southwest High School in south Minneapolis. And Anne kept busy with sewing, cooking, canning and serving on school committees. “She was always a busy person,” Golden said. “She’s been very family-oriented, and very interested in the grandkids’ baseball and football games. She’s always been a Twins fan.” Anne and Casper were in a dance club that met monthly. Anne played piano, played bridge and bowled. Golden, who says she and her mother have been best friends for many years, added that Anne “still has her sense of humor.” Anne’s four children have provided 21 grandchildren, 44 great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren. Anne moved to the care center two years ago, and now uses a wheelchair.

At at 107, Anne Chouinard clearly remembers the sinking of the Titanic. “She participates in quite a few activities,” said Nancy Burton, development director at the care center. “She has definite things she likes. She’s so sharp, and her Catholic faith is very strong. She has such a gentle spirit.” Anne explains that when she first moved to the care center, “I was able to see and hear, so I played bingo and went to the entertainment. I used to enjoy music. But now my eyesight is gone and my hearing is gone. That sort of eliminates a lot of stuff.” Her nephew, Dick LaMere, is a frequent visitor. “I can’t explain what a lady she is,” he said. “She’s so loving.” Two “walls of fame” on the second floor of the care center honor the centenarians who have lived there. A group of 14 photographs on one wall is dedicated to the centenarians who were residents until they died. On the opposite wall, a single photo CHOUINARD - TO PAGE 9

Anne Chouinard, at 107 years of age, is the oldest resident living at a care center in New Brighton (Photo by Sue Webber)

Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, June 20, 2013 Page 5

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Page 6 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday June 20, 2013

Sister Martha Alken: Forgiveness is a healing choice

Sister Martha Alken, pastoral minister at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Eagan, wrote a book on forgiveness in 1996 and gives talks or retreats on the subject each year. (Photo by Rick Orndorf, staff photographer for Sun Thisweek Newspapers). BY SUE WEBBER • CONTRIBUTING WRITER Forgiveness sounds easy when Sister Martha Alken describes it. The nun, who is a pastoral minister at St. John Neumann Catholic Church in Eagan, wrote “The Healing Power of Forgiving” in 1996. Since then, she has given talks or retreats on the subject several times a year. “Forgiving is letting go of resentment you have a full right to, as the one who has been injured,” Sister Martha said. The process involves a moment of choice in acknowledging the wrong, placing the blame where it belongs, and then choosing to forgive it and let it go, she said.

Her book says: “Forgiveness is a process, the process of gradually allowing the hurt to heal and rebuilding the experience of trust between us. This process of forgiving does not bring us back to ‘where we were. It does not allow us to go on as if nothing happened.’ Something has happened, something profound. There has been a tear in the fabric of our interwoven lives. Yet we can choose not to be defined by this rupture but instead to incorporate it as part of an ongoing relationship.” Though some may see forgiveness as weakness, Sister Martha said holding on to an injury hurts the person twice over. “There is the original wound, and there are the damaging effects of harboring resentment,” she said. “If we do not forgive,

we relive the pain over and over again.” Failure to forgive can cause “all kinds of ills,” she said, including psychological, spiritual and physical sickness. “Forgiving is the choice that opens us to a gift of grace,” Sister Martha said. Her book concludes with a statement of impact: “We alter the face of the earth by our participation in that ‘matter of choice’ that opens our hearts to that ‘moment of grace’ when forgiving happens.” In an appearance in March at Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley, Sister Martha spoke about forgiveness to an audience of about 60 people at the church’s Spiritual Wellness Fair. Cher Nelson, staff parish nurse at the church and co-chair of its Spiritual Well-

ness Fair, said a staff member who had previously heard her presentation on forgiveness recommended Sister Martha. “As soon as we met with Sister Martha, we immediately felt her deep caring, compassion and understanding of how forgiveness impacts your health in body, mind and spirit,” Nelson said. “She is the kind of person that as soon as you meet her, you feel like you have known her a long time and can tell her anything. She has a gift of presence and a gentle spirit.” Sister Martha was “a natural fit” to the focus of the church’s event, Nelson said. Sister Martha’s study of forgiveness came about during an intensive class she SISTER - TO PAGE 8

Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, June 20, 2013 Page 7

September. What he doesn’t eat he gives away to fellow residents at the Edina cooperative where he lives. “Bush beans are ‘Grandma’s Beans,’� he said. “They’ve been in our family for 120 years.� His son, Bob Shaw, Jr., a writer at the St. Paul Pioneer Press for the last 20 years, says he doesn’t preview his father’s books prior to publication, but does enjoy trading ideas with him. “He’s mentally sharp and fun to talk to,� Bob Shaw, Jr. pointed out. “We do lots of talking about writing and we bounce ideas around. He’s very creative. He’s absolutely wretched with small talk. He’s bored with any conversation that isn’t about ideas.� Shaw, a native of International Falls, Minn., is forthright about his age. “I’m 91,� he said. “I don’t know how this happened. It just happened.� His secret to longevity? “I stayed away from fast women,� Shaw quipped. And yes, he has another book in mind that he plans to start soon on his computer. “I’m very pleased to be doing this writing,� Shaw said.

Author FROM PAGE 1 nonsense and whimsical fashion about all the dilemmas of living alone: cooking, cleaning, and even romance. He outlines his eight core foods: Oatmeal, beans (lima and pinto), rice, powdered milk, potatoes, eggs, bread and apples. He buys core foods in large quantities at a local co-op, including oatmeal in 40-pound bags. His four standard menus include Oatmeal Ennui, Potage Celeste, Sandwich Surprise and Omelette Formidable. He suggests serving Watermelon Achtung, fruit laced with bourbon, to “pokerplaying pals.� Shaw advises readers on how to fry eggs and make toast at the same time in a large frying pan, and how to “stomp� the kitchen wastebasket to gain four more days of trash storage. Fresh produce has a large place in Shaw’s daily menus. His large garden yields lettuce, tomatoes, kale, corn and bush beans from late June until mid-

“The Bachelor Slob in the Kitchen� and “The Blessing� are Bob Shaw’s two most recent books. (Submitted photos)

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Page 8 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday June 20, 2013







Sister FROM PAGE 6


took as part of earning a Doctor of Ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. “We had to read six to eight books and write a 20-page paper and then repeat the process,” she said. “I decided those papers could be reworked and put together into a book.” She has a third book “in my being,” Sister Martha said, but hasn’t had the time to write it yet. In her church work with pastoral care, Sister Martha said she aims at keeping a good balance by walking around the block to clear her mind after counseling sessions. “I need to get back on my bike, too,” the Richfield resident said. Nuns don’t retire, according to Sister Martha. When their service years are over, she said, “You can stay where you are and volunteer, or you can go to the Mother House.”

She is a Sinsinawa Dominican sister; the Mother House is in southwest Wisconsin. Becoming a nun was something she said she anticipated even as a youngster growing up Holland. She and her family emigrated to the U.S. in 1954. Sister Martha, 68, is a 1963 graduate of Regina High School in Minneapolis. “I remember when I was in seventh grade telling my mother I wanted to go to Regina High School,” Sister Martha said. “I knew it (a desire to become a nun) was within me. My mother said that as a kindergarten kid in Holland, I went to a preschool run by Carmelites. I always knew I wanted to be one of them.” She entered the convent in 1964. Martha has written two books including the Kindle book, “May I Have a Word With You: Scriptural Reflections on Forgiveness, Peace and Personal Power” published by Amazon in 2012. Prior to becoming a pastoral minister at St. John Neumann Church, Sister Martha served at Risen Savior Church in Burnsville from 1996 to 2008.

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Mature Lifestyles â&#x20AC;˘ Thursday, June 20, 2013 Page 9

Chouinard FROM PAGE 4 pays tribute to the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one and only centenarian: Anne Chouinard. Sue Ager, administrator of the care center, said centarians are getting â&#x20AC;&#x153;less and less unusual these days.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We get a 100-year-old here every year or every couple of years,â&#x20AC;? Ager said. Still, Anne Chouinard remains the oldest of the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 105 current patients. According to Megan Robertson, project demographer for the Minnesota State Demographerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office, the 2010 census revealed the following information about Minnesota centenarians: â&#x20AC;˘ 1,127 people ages 100-104 (159 males and 968 females) â&#x20AC;˘ 79 people ages 105-109 (10 males and 69 females) â&#x20AC;˘ 5 people age 110 or older (one male and four females) Nationwide, statistics show 53,364 centenarians in 2010, an increase of 2,910 (5.8 percent) over 2000. Of that total, 9,162 were male, and 44,202 were female.

A photo of Anne Chouinard, along with a short biography, hangs in the care centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s second-ďŹ&#x201A;oor â&#x20AC;&#x153;wall of fame.â&#x20AC;? She is the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s only current centenarian. (Photo by Sue Webber)

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Page 10 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday June 20, 2013

Visiting pastor dispenses optimism, along with listening ear BY SUE WEBBER • CONTRIBUTING WRITER Pastor Dan Seidelmann jokes that he has a tape of Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” in his car. Following retirement from 43 years of parish ministry, Seidelmann has spent the last four years as the visitation pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley. The part-time position finds him visiting and bringing communion to Calvary members in care centers and senior apartments across the Twin Cities, parishioners who are hospitalized or homebound, and families in which a death has occurred. He has 55 people on his list to visit each month, Seidelmann said. “Many are still sharp as a tack, and a number are in their 90s,” he said. “It’s really interesting to listen to them talk about their faith lives. It’s a fantastic journey these people have had. It’s fun to ask the right question, and away they go.” He marvels at their resilience, noting that many were born during the Roaring ‘20s, witnessed the stock market crash, experienced the Great Depression and even were affected by the Dust Bowl in the Dakotas. “They learned a lot about family values, the importance and strength of family,” Seidelmann said. “They also learned a lot about people looking out for each other. They paid real attention to who needs help and what they could do to give that help.” Now some of those people find themselves in a whole different world, and in need of help themselves. “Some talk to their children daily, but things are not always exactly the way they’d like it to be,” Seidelmann said. He tries to share some optimism and to suggest a new way of looking at their concerns as opportunities rather than problems. “I tell them if they lived in their own homes, they wouldn’t know or see so many people each day,” Seidelmann said. “I tell them God is still at work in their lives. That’s part of the joy I find in these visits. It’s been a real blessing to me.” As for retirement, Seidelmann, 73, believes the word is misused. “You take your car to get new rubber and have it retired, but you still plan to go forward,” he said. “I’ve had interesting conversations with people about that. I tell them God put certain gifts in their lives that they use in all their relationships

and in the working world. When the working world changes, God doesn’t pull the rug on the gifts. So it’s a matter of figuring out how to repurpose life to still utilize those gifts. That’s opened up a whole lot of conversations.” A native of Rockford, Ill., Seidelmann met his wife, Carolyn, in college. They were married during his internship year. He graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul and began his first call as a pastor at a church in Milwaukee. Then followed calls to churches in Hastings, Madison,Wis., Peace Lutheran in Coon Rapids and then Gethsemane Lutheran in Hopkins. As for his conversations with people who have lost loved ones, Seidelmann said, “What a privilege to get invited into people’s lives at their time of greatest need.” He acknowledges that the losses “leave a real hole in their lives.” “But the good Lord gives us windows in our world to gain some insights,” he said. “The good Lord is at work in your life, still developing growth and beauty.” Using a doughnut as an example, he pointed out that most people focus on the hole. But, he said, “What’s around the hole is the part that brings us some joy and nourishment, even though the tastiness doesn’t make the hole go away.” So he tries to help people focus on what they can enjoy as nourishment in their lives, despite the hole they must accept. “Everyone looks forward to seeing Pastor Dan; folks just love him,” said the Rev. Carol Skjegstad, one of his colleagues at Calvary. “He is an amazing guy; he always has stories to share,” she said. “He’s so uplifting because he values people and is interested in their stories.” A question Seidelmann asks each of the people he visits is one that Skjegstad said she has incorporated into her own work. “He always says to people, ‘How are you and the Lord doing these days?’ That opens up a huge window for people to say what’s really on their hearts. It removes the barriers,” Skjegstad said. Seidelmann’s father, Al, was a role model for optimism and love of life. He was an insurance agent who settled a lot of death claims. “When he started in the early ‘30s, the life expectancy of an average male was 45,” Seidelmann said. “My dad always said if he could live to be 55, anything after that would be a sheer gift. That’s how he lived his life.”

Following retirement from 43 years of parish ministry, The Rev. Dan Seidelmann has spent the last four years as the visitation pastor at Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley. (Submitted photo) “At the age of 85, he was going to birthday parties for 6-year-olds,” Seidelmann said. “When he was 90 years old, 250 people came to his birthday party, and 200 more people sent cards.” At an advanced age, his father relocated from Illinois to Minnesota, assuring his son that he would make a lot of new friends he hadn’t met yet. And then he proceeded to befriend bus drivers, people in restaurants, and others that he met. Prior to Al’s death at the age of 96, Seidelmann asked him what he prayed for each day. “He told me he was thankful for the gift of each day,” Seidelmann said. “He told

me he was never alone, because he would pray, ‘Well, Lord, what are you and I going to do together today?’” Seidelmann has adopted that optimism and made it his own. “In most cases, I can have fun with these people I’m visiting each day,” he said. “It takes less energy to smile; you use more muscles when you frown.” In his spare time, Seidelmann enjoys woodworking, carving, gardening and travel. A fisherman, he focuses on catching muskies (the largest was 48 inches) but practices CPR: catch, photograph and release. He and his wife have three sons and six grandchildren.

Mature Lifestyles • Thursday, June 20, 2013 Page 11

Hearing Loss Often Overlooked, Easy to Detect Chicago, IL – Hearing loss affects 31 million Americans. Still, only 20% of those who need a hearing aid own one. Hearing loss is a condition that, in most cases, develops gradually– many people do not realize they are affected. Fortunately, modern hearing care has become more aware of the symptoms of hearing loss. This increased awareness has helped millions hear better and enjoy more life Undetected But Significant Hearing is one of the basic ways we communicate and interact with each other and the environment: Undetected hearing loss can have serious consequences. Children with undetected hearing problems are sometimes misidentified as being mentally challenged or as having learning disabilities. Because speech is normally acquired through repeating what is heard, such children are at an early disadvantage. Their education and development may be stunted by the lack of proper treatment. According to a survey by the National Council on the

Aging (NCOA), older people with undetected hearing loss are more likely to report depression, anxiety, paranoia, emotional problems, and reduced social activity. The survey concluded that seniors who treat their hearing loss have better relationships with their families, improved mental health, greater independence, and stronger feelings of security. Seniors who lose their hearing may experience these common scenarios before discovering their loss. Warning Signs Although hearing loss is a very personal condition, the symptoms of hearing loss are fairly consistent. Hearing Care Practitioners generally ask a series of questions to identify whether a person has experienced hearing loss. Beltone™, a leading manufacturer of hearing aids, lists the following “10 Warning Signs of Hearing Loss” in their The Gift of Hearing brochure: 1. People seem to mumble more frequently 2. You hear, but have trouble understanding all the

words in conversation 3. You often ask people to repeat themselves 4. You find telephone conversation increasingly difficult 5. Your family or friends complain that you play the TV or radio too loudly 6. You no longer hear normal household sounds, such as the dripping of a faucet or the ringing of a doorbell 7. You have trouble hearing when your back is turned to the speaker. 8. You have been told that you speak too loudly 9. You experience ringing in your ears. 10. You have difficulty understanding conversation when in a large group or crowd If a person experiences these warning signs repeatedly or in combination, it may indicate a hearing loss. The Only Way to Know For Sure Hearing loss itself can be misunderstood. Wax buildup

A major brand hearing aid provider has a special one time offer: a three-week trial on a remarkable new hearing instrument in your area. This offer is free of charge and you are under no obligation. These computerized digital hearing instruments use the latest micro technology. It’s so small, it hides out of sight, while it performs millions of precise calculations to provide you with the most natural sound quality available today. This technology has been proven to improve speech understanding while reducing background noise.

If you wish to participate, you will be required to have your hearing evaluated FREE OF CHARGE to determine candidacy. “I didn’t want to be that person who always asks ‘what?!’ With my Beltone hearing instruments I hear very well in groups and no longer shy away from those situations.”

Marjorie Jerpbak


IMPORTANT HEALTH BULLETIN IS IT DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO HEAR? Candidates for this technology must meet the following criteria: 1) You must be able to hear people talk but have trouble distinguishing the words. 2) You must have difficulty understanding in group settings. 3) You must be willing to report your experiences of the trial to our trained staff. Special testing will be done to determine the increased benefits of this technology. Benefits of hearing aids vary by type and degree of hearing loss, noise environment, accuracy of hearing test, and proper fit. This is a wonderful opportunity to determine if hearing help is available for your hearing loss. Evaluate your hearing performance with this amazing technology today. - Special Pricing, Limited Time!


“I’m hearing sounds that I’ve never heard before like the birds. I’m hearing so much better in crowds and just hearing better in general.”

Harry Gillham


in the ear canal is a common occurrence that adversely affects hearing. Often people assume they have a permanent loss when, in fact, they don’t. A hearing screening and video otoscope inspection (a simple procedure in which a picture of a person’s ear canal is taken) provide an accurate evaluation of what you’re hearing and what you’re not. According to one Beltone Hearing Care Practitioner, “When I give someone an otoscope inspection, I often find that simple wax buildup is contributing to their hearing problem.” Testing Is Available to Anyone Beltone offers hearing screenings at all of their 1600 Hearing Care Centers throughout the nation. If you’re interested in a hearing screening, or if you would like to request a free copy of The Gift of Hearing, call Beltone toll-free at 1-800-647-1370, or visit them online at www.


“I’m happy to hear again. I am amazed all the little things I hear like water running, the doorbell, the telephone and the blinker on my car. When I’m in noisy places, I am able to actually follow conversation much better than I did with my old ones. They are so comfortable to wear that I forget I have them in.

Naida Varholdt


Evenings, weekend, and in home appointments available.

Coon Rapids

“Overall I can hear better than with my old ones. Things sound more normal. I feel the high pitches come through clearer. I am able to hear the car radio better and I can even hear the computer harddrive running. Wasn’t able to hear that at all before.

Fred Wright


Page 12 Mature Lifestyles • Thursday June 20, 2013


Drama onstage is great. Drama in health care, not so much. That’s why we’ve designed our Medicare plans to meet the needs of Boomers, simply and affordably. UCare for SeniorsSM lets you choose from plans that cover prescription drugs, travel, eyewear, dental, fitness programs like SilverSneakers® and more. There are no co-pays for primary care visits with most plans. And you’ll get to talk to a real person 24/7 when you call customer service. It’s just what you’d expect from health care that starts with you. UCare Minnesota and UCare Health, Inc. are health plans with Medicare contracts. ©2013, UCare H2459 H4270_ 090512 CMS Accepted (09102012)




Learn more about the benefits of UCare for Seniors in our new eGuide to Medicare at Or call (toll free) 1-877-523-1518 (TTY) 1-800-688-2534, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

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