Lifestyles over 50 Volume 4 - Issue 9 - December 2009
Boost Your Brain Power
Release Creativity Holiday Fun in the Valley
Encouraging vibrant and healthy living in the greater Lehigh Valley!
Warmth. Friends. Laughter. Youâ€™ll ask yourself why you didnâ€™t move in sooner. Because when you move into Lehigh Commons, you wake to a variety of activities and personal support that make each day a pleasure. While your personal apartment offers you privacy and comfort, day trips give you the independence you cherish. Rest assured knowledgeable, compassionate health care professionals are available if they are ever needed.
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Join us for a trip down memory lane! Guest speaker Charlene Donchez Mowers, Executive Director of the Historic Bethlehem Partnership, will share classic Bethlehem holiday traditions of old. Local artisans will be displaying traditional Christmas crafts and cookies (of course!) will be served.
Please call 610-882-0400, to RSVP by December 7.
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Lifestyles over 50
FROM THE EDITOR First of all I want to wish everyone and their families healthy, happy holidays. This month I included two articles that focus on our minds. One discusses ways to make you mentally sharper and the other is advice on increasing your creativity. Our society seems to place great importance on developing the creativity of our children as if to say that your creative development stops when you become an adult. Not true – we should strive to increase our creativity every day of our lives. It makes life much more interesting and vibrant. In reading about creativity one recommendation seems to repeat – get out of your comfort zone. Maybe this is a different way of saying get out of your rut, but nonetheless it is good advice. Too often we cling to the familiar and do not allow ourselves new experiences. Let’s make a pact to
make one of our New Year’s resolutions to open our hearts and minds to something completely new and different and exciting. It can be something very small and simple like dining on food you consider exotic, or big and meaningful like taking up a long promised hobby. Whatever you decide - think creative, think new, think exciting. It is not that hard and I expect you will find it fulfilling. This month we included a section on holiday happenings and celebrations in the Valley. There are many activities in the Valley this time of the year so please get out and enjoy this time of the year. Lastly, one of our contributing writers had a serious illness in her family. Her husband was quite ill, but is recovering. Please keep him in your thoughts. Cover photo by Theophine Sebastian
Lifestyles over 50 A Thrive LLC Publication PO Box 414 Macungie, PA 18062 www.lifestylesover50.com
Editor Art Villafane email@example.com 610-774-0919
Community Services Directory Berks County Office of Aging 610-478-6500 www.berksaging.org
Publisher Jeff Tintle Jr. Bucks County Office of Aging firstname.lastname@example.org 215-348-0510 610-762-9011 www.buckscounty.org
Distribution Marketing Specialist Sales Osvanys Osoria Laura Putt Zeni Jackson Lissette Lemok email@example.com Copy Editor Miguel Varela Vicki Bezems 908-454-5717 Carlos Rodriguez
Lifestyles over 50 is distributed FREE throughout the greater Lehigh Valley. Copyright 2009 © Thrive LLC. Reproduction of any and all content is not permitted unless express written permission is granted. Opinions expressed in any commentary published in this magazine do not necessarily represent those of Thrive LLC and are not to be regarded as advice (legal, tax, investment or otherwise). Thrive LLC assumes no liability for the actions by any group or individual based upon such material. Advertising rates are available upon request. Publisher reserves the right to reject any advertisement or other information at any time. You can find copies of Lifestyles over 50 at: Libraries • Churches • Senior Centers Fitness Centers • Community Centers • Resource Offices Doctor & Healthcare Offices Independent & Assisted Living Facilities. Subscriptions are available for $20.00/year.
Lehigh Co. Office of Aging & Adult Services 610-782-3034 www.lehighcounty.org
Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired 610-433-6018 www.abvi.org Meals on Wheels Lehigh Co. 610-398-2563 Northampton Co. 610-691-1030 www.mealsonwheelspa.org Lehigh Valley Aging in Place Coalition 866-858-1445
Northampton Co. Area Agency on Aging 610-559-3245 www.northamptoncounty.org
Lehigh Valley Alliance on Aging 610-807-5721 www.lvagingmatters.org
American Red Cross of the Lehigh Valley 610-435-7111 or 610-866-1089 (Spanish) www.redcrosslv.org
American Cancer Society 3893 Adler Place, Suite 170 610-921-2329 • www.cancer.org
PA Department on Aging AARP State Office 717-783-1550 717-238-2277 • www.aarp.org AARP Senior Employment PACE/PACENET Program Services 610-865-3002 800-225-7223 Abilities in Motion www.aging.state.pa.us 610-376-0010 Social Security Administration www.abilitiesinmotion.org Allentown 610-433-0227 Senior Corps RSVP Bethlehem 610-691-2451 Lehigh Co. - 610-391-8219 Easton 610-258-9033 Northampton Co. - 610-691-7705 www.socialsecurity.gov
Lifestyles over 50
A Reason to Celebrate This Month: World AIDS Month; Bingo’s Birthday Month; National Tie Month; Rising Star Month; Safe Toys and Gifts Month; Make a New Year’s Resolution to Stop Smoking Month; Universal Human Rights Month National Drunk & Drugged Driving Prevention Month. Weeks: 1-7: Cookie Cutter Week, Tolerance Week; 1-8: Recipe Greetings for the Holidays Week; 1-19: Operation Santa Paws Week; 6-12: National Handwashing Awareness Week; 10-17: Human Rights Week; 14-20: Gluten-free Baking Week; 14-28: Halcyon Days; 17-23: Saturnalia; 25-31: It’s About Time Week.
Days: 4- National Dice Day; 5- Bathtub Party Day, International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development; 6- National Pawnbrokers Day; 10- Nobel Prize Day; 12- Poinsettia Day; 12- Day of the Horse; 15- Cat Herders Day, Bill of Rights Day; 16- National Chocolatecovered Anything Day; 17- National Re-Gifting Day; 21Humbug Day; 23- Festivus; 25- A’Phabet Day or No “L” Day; 26- National Whiners Day; 29- Tick Tock Day; 30Falling Needles Family Fest Day; 31- Make Up Your Mind Day; 31- No Interruptions, Universal Hour of Peace Day. Birthstone: Turquoise
Credulous and Incredulous Facts • • • • • • • • • • • •
“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt”. “Duff” is the decaying organic matter found on a forest floor. “Fickleheaded” and “fiddledeedee” are the longest words consisting only of letters in the first half of the alphabet. “Asthma” and “isthmi” are the only six-letter words that begin and end with a vowel and have no other vowels between. “Fortnight” is a contraction of “fourteen nights.” In the US “two weeks” is more commonly used. “The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” is said to be the toughest tongue twister in English. 27% of Americans believe we never landed on the moon. 315 entries in Webster’s 1996 dictionary were misspelled. 80% of animals on earth are insects. In Disney’s Fantasia, the Sorcerer to whom Mickey played an apprentice was named Yensid, which is Disney spelled backward. Charlie Chaplin once won third prize in a Charlie Chaplin look-alike contest. A “Blue Moon” is the second full moon in a calendar month (it is rarely blue).
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“Canada” is a Native American word meaning “Big Village”. A 10-gallon hat actually only holds about 3/4 gallon. A cat uses its whiskers to determine if a space is too small to squeeze through. A chef ’s hat is tall and balloons at the top so as to counteract the intense heat in the kitchen. The unique shape allows air to circulate around the scalp, keeping the head cool.
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Lifestyles over 50
English Language - Easy? by Art Villafane, Editor, Lifestyles over 50
Screwy pronunciations can mess up your mind! For example...If you have a rough cough, climbing can be tough when going through the bough on a tree! Let’s face it - English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham?
Some other reasons to be grateful if you grew up speaking English: • • • • • • • •
The bandage was wound around the wound. The farm was used to produce produce. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. We must polish the Polish furniture. He could lead if he would get the lead out. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. At the Army base, a bass was painted on the head of a bass drum. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. I did not object to the object. The insurance was invalid for the invalid. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row. They were too close to the door to close it. The buck does funny things when the does are present. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. The wind was too strong to wind the sail. After a number of Novocain injections, my jaw got number.
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm goes off by going on. If Dad is Pop, how’s come Mom isn’t Mop? �
We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes; but the plural of ox became oxen not oxes. One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, yet the plural of moose should never be meese. You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice; yet the plural of house is houses, not hice. If the plural of man is always called men, why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen? If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth, why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth? Then one may be that, and three would be those, yet hat in the plural would never be hose, and the plural of cat is cats, not cose. We speak of a brother and also of brethren, but though we say mother, we never say methren.
• • • • • Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not • one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid • of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, • why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, • what does a humanitarian eat? • Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
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Lifestyles over 50
Boost your Brainpower by AARP.org
One of the best ways to stay sharp is to exercise that muscle between your ears, research indicates. And discussions with some of the top scientists studying the brain reveal that you can work your noggin in many different ways, every day. Here are some of them: Snack on almonds and blueberries instead of a candy bar. Since they lower blood sugar, healthy snacks can improve cognition. In this case, the omega-3s in the almonds and the antioxidants in the blueberries can keep your brain functioning correctly. Ballroom dance like the stars. Dancing is a brain-power activity. How so? Learning new moves activates brain motor centers that form new neural connections. Dancing also calms the brain’s stress response. Love the crunch of croutons on your salad? Try walnuts instead. Omega-3s in walnuts have been found to improve mood and calm inflammation that may lead to brain-cell death. They also replace lost melatonin, which is necessary for healthy brain functioning.
Leave your comfort zone. Getting good at sudoku? Time to move on. Brain teasers don’t form new neural connections once you’ve mastered them. So try something that’s opposite your natural skills: If you like numbers, learn to draw. If you love language, try logic puzzles. Get support for stressors. You may love your ailing family member, but the chronic stress of facing the situation alone can shrink your brain’s memory center. Interacting with others activates many parts of the brain—and learning new ways of coping forms new neural connections. When you look around, really look. Stare straight ahead, and now—without moving your eyes—see if you can make out what’s at the periphery. Done regularly this stimulates neural and spatial centers of the brain, which can atrophy as you age. When you look forward, also look around. Walking down the street, don’t just keep your eyes forward. Scan to the left and to the right. These actions can activate rarely used parts of the brain. That in turn can spur brain cell growth and new neural connections.
Take your dog—or yourself—for a walk. Walking for just 20 minutes a day can lower blood sugar. That helps stoke blood flow to the brain, so you think more clearly.
Show, don’t tell. When you woke up this morning, how bright was the light in your room? What did the air smell like when you opened the window? Notice and report these details to others to prompt cell growth in the visual, verbal, and memory parts of the brain.
Volunteer to answer questions at the library, arboretum, museum, or hospital. Playing tour guide forces you to learn new facts and think on your feet, helping to form new neural pathways in your brain. What’s more, interacting with others can ease stress that depletes memory.
Listen for details when a friend tells a story. Heed changes in the person’s tone and register small facts you might otherwise gloss over. Conjure a mental image of the story. By doing this, you activate multiple areas in the brain and encourage memory formation.
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Lifestyles over 50
Release Your Creativity
Next thing to do is expand on the ideas given above by experiencing something new on a daily basis. Eat something by Ian Russell you’ve never tried before. Go visit an exhibition that normally It is a popular misconception that only a privileged few are wouldn’t interest you. Watch a movie in a foreign language. Strike up a conversation with a complete stranger (in a public able to let loose a continuous stream of creative genius. This is, of course, false. Actually, imagination and inventiveness are place of course - or you might find yourself hauled away by the boys in blue... not a new experience to relish!). very much like any other talent in that they need to be made use of regularly in order that the end product remains of the The further you remove yourself from your comfort zone, highest quality. the more your natural curiosity will develop, giving you a new lust for life. If you are afraid of this idea or you doubt It follows therefore, if you don’t practice harnessing your powers of creative thinking, this particular skill will very soon its’ effectiveness look at it this way - when did you last do disappear from your repertoire. But, persevere and work hard something for the very first time? If you can’t answer then chances are you’ve become socially stagnant and need a lift out and you will quickly reap the benefits. of the rut. It sounds a bit upside down but what you’ve actually done by not doing anything is miss out on a whole load of Start Now personally enhancing experiences. Go do something radical Now you’ve decided to something about it, how do we today... maybe a parachute jump or an off-road driving course. go about releasing your potential by massaging your inner Think about what you will learn from this, and think about the mindset and developing your creative thinking? The first thing to do is become a human sponge and I don’t mean that stories you will be able to tell others. you take a degree in gullibility. You need to absorb as much Creativity occurs when you move out of your comfort zone information and knowledge as you can. Read everything you and begin to look at things in a different way - in short, your can get your hands on whether it’s good or bad, and keep an inner mindset needs to be updated. It’s not difficult to start open mind to the countless opportunities that life can bring. the process but it does take a degree of discipline and resolve The more new things you discover, the more you’ll want to discover, and the more your sense of wonder will be exercised. to maintain it. The only thing holding you back is your own uncertainty. Take the plunge and you’ll be glad you did - the rewards are boundless. What To Do Try to focus on at least one creative activity every day, The power of positive thinking must not be even if it seems like a bit of an effort at first. Even something underestimated. It can be harnessed by anyone with the desire as innocuous as doodling is a creative activity. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted. Mindless doodling may be a creative to do so, and if you have read this far then that is YOU! To activity, but for people who are just beginning to let loose with watch a complimentary video on the power of your mind visit http://theinnermindset.com some creative thinking in their lives, it is heartening to have tangible evidence that what they are doing is real. Why not give it a go? Practice doing some simple drawings or sketches for 2 or 3 minutes every day.
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Get yourself a cheap camera and start snapping photos like your life depends on it. Start a diary and make sure you write in it unfailingly. In a very short time, whichever activity you choose will become a part of your everyday routine and one which you look forward to and enjoy. Radical and imaginative thinking is a good quality to have but we need to look at the flip side as well - having constraints on your creative parameters can actually be constructive. Being subject to limitations will discipline you to work within your means and can help you become more resourceful.
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Lifestyles over 50
Fitness for the Winter Months by Lois Killcoyne, Extension Educator Penn State Extension in Northampton County
The cooler months and holiday stresses can be a challenge for maintaining physical activity for good health. Some of the barriers include: 1. 2. . 4. 5.
shorter hours of daylight inclement weather (cold, snow, ice, wind) more hectic schedules with holiday tasks dislike of traditional exercise tight budgets
The benefits of staying fit are many: greater strength, more energy, better sleep, stress relief, weight management and the high of the endorphins. These make it worth your while to find solutions that work for you and yours. Here are some strategies that might work to help you maximize the benefits and minimize the obstacles. Lack of time: 1. Increase the intensity and burn the same number of calories in less time. Walking 4 miles an hour versus 2 miles an hour, riding an exercise bike at a faster pace or with more resistance, dancing to a faster beat will all work. Work up to greater intensity gradually and only do exercise at a pace that is approved by your physician. 2. Divide activity into three 10 minute segments rather than one 30 minute period. It is easier to fit in your schedule: 10 minutes before work, a walk at lunchtime, and an activity in the evening. Doing activity during the commercials of an hour TV show can give you 15 minutes worth! . Incorporate your activity into your daily lifestyle. Climbing the stairs, housecleaning for the holidays, shoveling snow, and taking the dog for a walk can all increase fitness while accomplishing tasks. Be sure to use caution if you have any medical limitations. Weather woes; less daylight: 1. Use exercise videos or DVDs. Seniors might really enjoy Richard Simmons’s “Sweating to the Oldies”. Those with medical conditions that make it difficult to do be on their feet can get “Chair Dancing” by Jodi Stolove and do activity while sitting. It is amazing how much of a workout you can achieve this way. Many times you can purchase old exercise videos at flea markets for a dollar or two. 2. Keep a basket of hand and ankle weights and stretch bands in the family room. It is so easy to pick them up and do stretching and strength training while watching
your favorite show. What might seem like a drudgery exercise routine is accomplished with ease. . Listen to music or a talk show, or read a book while pedaling an exercise bike, walking a treadmill, or using other exercise equipment. Exercise equipment is frequently available second-hand at a low cost. Tight budgets: 1. Ask for items you can use for physical activity for holiday or birthday gifts. Also give loved ones, including grandchildren, gifts that help them stay active. You can also give or receive a membership to a fitness club or YMCA. Less expensive items include exercise tapes, CDs, weights or stretch bands. 2. Walking is always free and you can do it indoors at the mall, supermarket or discount store. Take a few extra laps around the perimeter, or go up and down all the aisles. . The lifestyle activities listed above do not require extra spending. Think of the money you save on medical bills by staying healthier! As you can see, there are a variety of ways to stay fit. Everyone can find something they like to do that fits their budget, interests and lifestyle. Make your plan today to maintain a healthy level of physical activity year round.
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During her career, Flo taught modern dance and physical education. Today she appreciates dance through the talents of others and doesnâ€™t let physical challenges get in the way of her daily fitness routine. Since coming to Country Meadows, Flo has embraced nautilus training, is a regular at exercise classes, walks on campus and participates in every new fitness initiative we offer. Whether she knows it or not, Flo is still a teacher, leading others by example and reminding us of the importance of physical activity at every age. At Country Meadows, we have independent living, assisted living, memory support services and restorative care options to fit the individual needs of most seniors. Like Flo, every one of our residents is unique. So for many of them, having more choices about how they live makes a world of difference.
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