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Senior Life Atlanta

Rise & Shine with Breakfast page 18

OCTOBER 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 10 | REAL ESTATE


high rise living

Learn to Get Organized

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The high life

Art lovers volunteer at the High Museum

Happy Birthday! Atlanta Senior Life focuses on the interests, accomplishments and lifestyles of the active senior population in metro Atlanta. It aims to inspire readers to embrace a more rewarding life by informing them of opportunities to expand their horizons, express their talents and engage in their community.

CONTACT US Editorial Kathy Dean Contributing Editor Joe Earle Editor-at-Large Contributors Julie E. Bloemeke, Russell Gloor, Judi Kanne, Isadora Pennington, Kristen Sumpter, Jaclyn Turner, Donna Williams Lewis Advertising For information call (404) 917-2200 ext 130. Sales Executives Julie Davis, Jeff Kremer Janet Porter, Jan Tassitano Published By Springs Publishing LLC

6065 Roswell Road, Suite 225 Sandy Springs, GA 30328 Phone: (404) 917-2200 Fax: (404) 917-2201 Steve Levene Founder & Publisher (404) 917-2200, ext. 111 Amy Arno Director of Sales Development (404) 917-2200, ext. 112 Rico Figliolini Creative Director (404) 917-2200, ext. 117 Deborah Davis Office Manager (404) 917-2200, ext. 110 Circulation/ Subscriptions For distribution information, call (404) 917-2200, ext. 110.

© 2017 All rights reserved. Publisher reserves the right to refuse editorial or advertising for any reason. Publisher assumes no responsibility for information contained in advertising. Any opinions expressed in print or online do not necessarily represent the views of Atlanta Senior Life or Springs Publishing, LLC.


Each month, 20,000 copies of Atlanta Senior Life are distributed to selected locations where active seniors live, work, volunteer and play in the north metro areas of Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.


High Museum of Art docents Linda Wener (left) and Deedi Henson (right). Photo by Isadora Pennington


This issue marks one year that Atlanta Senior Life has been published by Springs Publishing, LLC. Like any one-year-old, we’ve grown and learned a lot in our first year. Each month we offer stories that feature people of retirement age and older—the Boomers and beyond—who amaze us. Some spend their days creating works of art, while others hone their skills and compete at games. Some take classes to improve their minds, while others keep their bodies fit through activities like walking and bicycling. Many of them volunteer their time to organizations that are important to them, and in turn, they become important to the people whose lives they touch. In all the seniors we’ve featured, we see living proof that there is no such thing as being “too old” to follow your dream or to reach out and help others. These wonderful people continue to inspire us, and Atlanta Senior Life is honored to bring their stories to you. We also work to gather and share worthwhile information, whether it’s about finances, travel opportunities or events going on in the area. This next year we want to expand and bring you even more features to motivate you to enjoy your life and the information you need to be involved with your community. That’s the wish we’ll make as we blow out the first candle on our cake, and it’s the goal we’ll strive for with every upcoming issue. Please let us know how we’re doing so far, and what else you’d like to see in the pages of Atlanta Senior Life. Email me or Editor-at-Large Joe Earle with comments, questions and suggestions. We welcome your feedback! Kathy Dean Contributing Editor Joe Earle Editor-at-Large

Senior Life Atlanta

Fall leaf viewing at Georgia state parks page 10

OCtoBER 2016 • Vol. 1 No. 1|


health & fitness

legendary volunteer

Pickleball— what it is, where to play it page 8

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Senior Life Atlanta

year-end planning page 20

NOVEMBER 2016 • Vol. 1 No. 2 |



Easier Exercise with Electric Bicycles

Outlet Shopping for Serious Savings

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page 10

animal instincts

seniors learn to get comfortable with the latest technology By Kathy Dean

By Kathy Dean

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor


omputers, tablets and smartphones add comfort and convenience to people’s lives every day. With a few swipes or taps, anything from pizza to prescription refills can be ordered, and everything from car services to doctor appointments can be scheduled. Online shopping means that no one lives too far from a store to get what they need, whether it’s groceries, clothes or a car. There are weather apps that provide alerts to dangerous conditions and calendar apps that send out reminders for birthdays and appointments. Handheld devices keep shopping lists handy, list out TV programs and even help with crossword puzzle clues. Most importantly, everyone can keep in touch with family and friends through texting and social media sites, and that seems to be the most important benefit that technology offers to many older adults. In fact, Facebook’s 2014 demographics report showed that the number of adult users over the age of 55 had increased during the previous three-year period by more than 80 percent. Continued on page 4

There seems to be no end of research that shows that people, older adults in particular, reap many benefits by bringing a dog or cat into their lives. While the documentation exists, there’s no better proof than the smiles on people’s faces as they cuddle a puppy or kitten. The Atlanta Humane Society (AHS), dedicated to the improvement of animal welfare in the Southeast by providing quality animal services, offers opportunities for volunteers to care for and interact with dogs and cats that are ready for adoption. Several older adults in Atlanta have been more than willing to answer the call. Retired teacher Doug Martin has been volunteering at AHS for nearly a year. After spending 30 years with children, he decided he’d enjoy devoting some time to animals. Continued on page 4

Sandy Myers gets help with her iPhone from Pam Koch, a volunteer with Bluehair Technology, during a class held recently at Saint Jude the Apostle Catholic Church in Sandy Springs.

Senior Life Atlanta

Grow a winter Garden page 12

JANUARY 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 1|



Common Courtesy LIFTS the community

color more and stress less page 16

Senior Life Atlanta


Treat yourself to chocolate

Artist keeps Blandtown alive page 16

page 12

By Isadora Pennington


here’s no doubt about it, regular exercise is an important part of living a healthy and balanced life. We can all recall when we were kids, when it felt like you could run as fast as the wind, and nothing could ever hurt you. Over time, we learn that’s not exactly the case. If you don’t use your muscles, they don’t stick around. With age comes added difficulty for doing even mundane activities. This is true especially for seniors, who are at added risk for muscle atrophy and chronic health problems due to inactivity. According to research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Americans 18 and older are exercising now more than ever before. Financial concerns, accessibility and scheduling are some of the reasons frequent exercise can be a challenge for seniors. Fortunately, there are programs that aim to bridge the gap between elders and appropriate exercise routines. One such program is SilverSneakers, a national fitness initiative that has partnered with more than 13,000 fitness locations across the country. The classes are often covered by insurance, or are otherwise very affordable compared to most gym memberships, which makes them substantially easier for retirees to afford.

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MARCH 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 3|


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Silver Strong

Safe web browsing tips


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Senior Life Atlanta

athletes aged 50+ compete at fulton golden games page 2

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april 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 4 |


Road Trips: Garden Spots


Faith leaders discuss their changing congregations page 8

Senior Life Atlanta

PACK YOUR BAGS, it’s time to travel! pAGES 6-12

JUly 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 7 | COMMUNITY


The Stitch Connection

Mountain Dream Homes

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keep on working


Reaching retirement age doesn’t mean slowing down

By Gary Goettling Bicycling changed Sue Nagel’s life. She was riding with a group one day in 1987 when a fellow cyclist — “a really cute guy” — pulled up alongside her and remarked approvingly, “Nice bike.” Momentarily caught off guard, she smiled and returned the compliment: “You have a nice bike, too.” Three years later, Sue and Bob Neurath tied the matrimonial knot. The Tucker residents have been married — and riding bicycles together — for the 27 years ever since.

By Judi Kanne For some, work is a four-letter word. For others, it’s so much more. If you happen to be in your late 60s, you may see yourself— and many more seniors—staying in the workforce instead of retiring. Generally speaking, that’s a good thing. Experts tell us that work provides the potential for positive social interaction, as well as a support structure for everyday life. Today, the question seniors are asking is, “How long?”—meaning at what point should they quit working. Some seniors believe “never quit” is the right response. “For me, it’s a matter of slowing down,” said Janet Claussen, a theology teacher at Marist School in Brookhaven who’s in her mid-60s. Claussen enjoys what she does, and has been doing it for the last 18 years. However, now she believes it’s better for her health to not work quite so hard. “I’m thinking about part-time,” said Claussen. Like most teachers, her hours extend far beyond the classroom, with grading papers and taking care of students who need that extra bit of time. “Maybe I will continue to teach, but

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Senior Life Atlanta

where to view the eclipse page 2

august 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 8 |

Senior Life Atlanta

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SEPTEMBER 2017 • Vol. 2 No. 9 |





Sharp Fish Story

Bathing Beauties

Have a Ball with Bocce

a local author’s Busy Retirement

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page 14

page 6

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cool off

Unique Georgia Road Trips

Crossing Over to Bridge Story on page 4

with canoes and kayaks

A selection of covers from our first year's issues. To read past issues, visit

OCTOBER 2017 |

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OCTOBER 2017 |



The High Life

Pam Kelsey beside "Peaches and Pears," one of the High Museum of Art's iconic art installations.

By Isadora Pennington They greet new arrivals at the front doors of the High Museum of Art daily and stand ready to guide visitors—many of them wide-eyed elementary students—through the museum’s collections. They’re called docents. Many are retirees. They answer questions, teach museum newcomers about art and help introduce them to the wonders of painting and sculpture. At the High, these volunteers must be extremely knowledgeable. The training for docents and specialized volunteers can be intensive and often requires continuous education programs throughout the year. “It’s a lot more fun than I ever thought it was going to be,” said Julia Emmons, one of the newest faces to the High Museum of Art’s docent


program, having joined two years ago when she was 74. She retired from her position as the director of the Peachtree Road Race about 10 years earlier. In the 50 years that Emmons has lived in the city, she has served as the head of the Atlanta Track Club, taught at

Julia Emmons

OCTOBER 2017 |

Emory University, was involved with international track and field politics during the 1996 Olympics and become involved with civic causes, serving on the Atlanta City Council for four years. Her appreciation for art took a huge leap forward when she studied abroad in Paris. “Every Sunday morning, I’d go down to the impressionist museum and sort of say hello to all my favorite paintings,” Emmons said. “From then on, I never looked back.” The role of a docent at the High is to lead tours, usually of children, through the permanent collection and special exhibits. With as many as 150 students visiting on any given day during the school year, the job puts docents up close and personal with young, inquisitive minds. The interactions with children is something that


many volunteers see as a bonus. “There was a period of time when I was raising my children and I didn’t want anything to do with children’s tours,” explained Peggy Brann. But now, being a grandmother, it has renewed her appreciation for the work. “They’re so uninhibited. It’s fun!” Before coming to work at the High, this New Orleans native had been a homemaker and kindergarten teacher. “I’ve always loved art,” she said. “My father used to take us to art museums, and I have architects on both sides of my family. It’s in the genes.” She admits to loving the visual aspects of the work and the chance to discover new things. “I just love it. I learn about art; I think it’s important to continue to grow and learn,” said Brann. For Howard Elkins, his favorite part of the work is interacting with the

Howard Elkins and Ellen Nemhauser in front of artworks featured at the High Museum.

children. “I like adults and I work with adults, but I have grandchildren, and in a way, it’s an extension of dealing with your grandchildren,” said Elkins, a docent since 2004 who generally leads tours twice a week. “It’s interesting to see their eyes opening.” An art lover and collector, Elkins said, “When I could afford it, I began to collect art.” In his career, he was a business executive at a variety of automotive, travel and food oriented industries. Prior to retiring, Elkins was a CEO of a venture capital company. He says the skills he learned in those jobs are beneficial in his role as docent. “The High is a central part of my life,” he said. The museum draws some enthusiastic volunteers, such as Ellen Nemhauser, who has been volunteering for 20 years. “It’s the longest I’ve ever worked at any job,” she said with a

laugh. Prior to retirement, Nemhauser was a librarian, working at institutions such as Cornell University and Emory. “When I retired, I was looking for volunteer jobs that had an endless learning curve. This one does, because the High is always getting new exhibitions and we get trained on what

Barbara Seligman

I went to museums, and I took an art class at Emory, but I never set out to do this. It just happened, and it’s wonderful.

they are all about.” The High offers tours that are centered around a variety of aptitude levels and emphasize different elements of art. One program that particularly excited Nemhauser is the STEAM program, which sets out to discuss the intersection of science, math and art. Another ex-librarian who found a happy home in the docent program at the High is Tom Budlong. Born in Alaska, his father’s army assignments brought him to a variety of places before Atlanta. He began working part time at the Adams Branch Library while he was in college. In all, Budlong worked in libraries for 30 years before retiring Seeing the artwork in person is a bonus, and Budlong cites the experiential glass installations by Gerhard Richter as a favorite. “You can see pictures of it from all different angles, but it’s one artwork that you can’t really see until you walk around it.” For some visitors, it’s their first time in a museum, so it’s up to the docents to help them learn how to examine, consider and talk about art. How people experience the art is of utmost importance for Pam Kelsey. She has been a docent for 13 years, and before that she taught art for 42 years. She went back to school at age 64 for a doctorate in art with a focus in museum

studies. “I combined my love for museums, my art background and my love for special needs children,” she said. “I noticed that there really wasn’t anything for the visually impaired,” she said, noting that most art is strictly for observing with sight, not touch or other senses. Kelsey has pioneered a program to address this discrepancy, and worked closely with the new director of the High, Rand Suffolk, to gather qualitative evidence in order to best help those with impairments as they experience the museum. With assistance from the Center for Visual Impairment, Kelsey has learned a lot in the process, going so far as to base her thesis on the topic. “I really wanted to study the impact that art can have for children as they go through the museum. I consider the museums of our community as hubs. They’re not just areas for people to go through. I think they attract great things for the community.” Beyond the altruistic love for giving back or the continued education opportunities, there is a significant benefit in the social aspects of the work. “I will tell you that I feel so privileged to be in the company of the docents who share this love with me,” said Linda Wener, a self-professed “newbie” docent of five years. In Continued on page 6

OCTOBER 2017 |


Continued from page 5

her career, Wener was a college counselor at a social services agency. As such, it was her job to help rising juniors and seniors with making informed decisions about higher education. The experience of volunteering at the museum has provided opportunities for Wener to learn from not only the curators, other docents and staff of the museum, but also from the art lovers who attend the tours. “That is a joy,” she said. “I’m supposed to be guiding and teaching, but I’m equally learning and appreciating the people who come.” Docent Deedi Henson calls the Woodruff Arts Center, where the High is located, her second home. “When my husband died,” she said, “there was only one place that I wanted to move and that was this area.” A docent at the High for 25 years, she has also been volunteering at the Atlanta


Botanical Gardens for eight years. Born with an inherent love for art and music, Henson has found fulfilment in the

OCTOBER 2017 |

Peggy Brann

work and continued education opportunities offered by the programs. She believes that volunteering your time, energy and passions can greatly enhance your quality of life. “Give, so you can learn and want to create your own world,” she advised. “I guess it’s selfish, in a way. In giving, I am learning.” Not every docent has spent many years on the museum campus; for some, being a docent has elevated their love for art into a calling. “I went to museums, and I took an art class at Emory, but I never set out to do this,” explained docent of six years, Barbara Seligman. “It just happened, and it’s wonderful.” The Savannah native retired 17 years ago after 22 years as a teacher. “I’ve just never grown up,” she said with a laugh. Seligman has also

been working as a docent at the Temple for the past 40 years, and she says that while she loves working with kids, she was burnt out on teaching in schools. The frequent training is something that Seligman values. “I tell people that’s when I get paid because I learn so much,” she said. “It gave me a whole education in art, but if I weren’t doing all of these things, I’d be at home reading my books all day long and I’d never see anybody,” she said. Nemhauser offers advice for anyone considering becoming a docent at the High Museum… just try it. Anyone who appreciates art can find success in the programs, she said. “Having an art background is not necessary. It’s a learn-onthe-job experience.” To learn more about upcoming training at the High this fall, go to docents.

Where to Volunteer There are many opportunities to volunteer your time and skills to fine art museums and centers in the north Atlanta metro area. Here are a few.

Cobb County Marietta Cobb Museum of Art 30 Atlanta St., Marietta 30060 770-528-1444 volunteer Call Director of Operations/ Head Volunteer Coordinator at 770-528-1444 x15 or

DeKalb County Spruill Gallery/ Center for the Arts 4681 Ashford Dunwoody Rd., Dunwoody 30338

770-394-4019, volunteer Download and fill out the online Volunteer Application. Art Station 5384 Manor Dr., Stone Mountain 30083 770-469-1105, involvement

Download and fill out the online Volunteer Form.

Fulton County Callanwolde Fine Arts Center 980 Briarcliff Rd., Atlanta 30306 404-872-5338, giving/volunteer Email for volunteer information. The High Museum of Art 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta 30309 404-773-4400, volunteer See the many ways to volunteer and fill out the online Volunteer Application.

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OCTOBER 2017 |



Manning the phones for the love of opera By Joe Earle It started in church. In the spring of 1997, Larry Pinson thought it would be interesting to hear singers from the Atlanta Opera’s chorus perform at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip in Buckhead as part of a service to start the Lenten season. He wasn’t a member of the congregation, Pinson recalled, but as he walked in, he was asked to help seat people. He agreed. Afterwards, the person who recruited him to usher for the special service asked whether Pinson would be willing to volunteer to help out at the opera’s offices during the week. Pinson, then semi-retired, had time on his hands, so he said yes. These days, at age 83, the white-haired retired economist still answers the Atlanta Opera’s phones and does other chores one or two days a week as a volunteer at the company’s offices in northwest Atlanta. “I’m on every Thursday,” he said one recent morning as he took a break from his volunteer job. “And other people who do this, when they need a break, I sit in for them.” It’s his way of showing support for people who bring opera to Atlanta. “It’s something I can do to show my appreciation for this group of people,” he said. Besides, he said with a smile, sometimes “you get to meet people like [opera star] Renee Fleming” when they drop by the opera’s home base for rehearsals. And his work is important to the opera, too. Volunteers—the company has 70 on its call list, including 15 to 20 “regulars”—are “integral” to its operations, said marketing manager Rebecca Danis, who oversees the volunteers. Volunteers, she said, help with everything from managing the opera’s archives to stuffing envelopes with mailers to manning tables to solicit subscription renewals. They also, of course, answer the phones. And around the office, people have gotten to know the chatty Pinson, Danis said. “You really can’t pass by the front desk without talking to Larry,” she said. “He has a story for everything.” Through the years, Pinson’s volunteer work has extended beyond the Atlanta Opera’s front desk. He volunteered with the opera company from 1997 through 2008, took a break, returned in 2014 and has been at his post since. In 2002, he took over as the opera’s volunteer coordinator. “I had a title,” he said with a self-deprecating grin. “I even had business cards.” On occasion, he’s even ended Atlanta Opera performances are held up onstage to at various Atlanta-area venues, most notably, fill non-singing, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre non-speaking 2800 Cobb Galleria Pkwy., Atlanta 30339 parts in some of 770-916-2800, the company’s productions. For more information about upcoming Atlanta He said he Opera performances, visit also worked for about five years


OCTOBER 2017 |

Larry Pinson


as volunteer coordinator and house manager at Spivey Hall, a widely admired performance space in Clayton County; has sung bass in his church choir for 20 years; and participates in the Senior University of Greater Atlanta, a non-profit, volunteer-driven school now based at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Tucker that offers classes for students older than 55. “All this stuff keeps me from getting immersed in myself,” Pinson said. “I don’t wallow in loneliness.” He plans to teach a class at the senior university this fall on enjoying opera. He’s an enthusiastic fan of the art form. “It’s a tremendously engaging form of storytelling,” he said. “Every opera has a strong line. It usually offers a moral. There’s something to be told through the opera. Costuming. Staging. Lighting. All those things. Of course, there’s the music, and the performance of the music. It’s the only art form I know that engages all of these things together. To engage all these things together is really what makes me love it.” And, he said, a good opera has a point. “When you get to the end of it, you know something you didn’t know when it started,” he said. “Not only do you know it intellectually, but you know it emotionally, too, because of the music.” Now Pinson, who grew up on a Hart County farm and now lives in Buckhead, is working on getting his children and grandchildren to share his love of opera. “I have successfully made an opera fan out of one granddaughter,” he said. He’s not giving up on the others just yet. What’s his favorite opera? He can’t choose. “I’m not one to have a favorite opera,” he said. He likes everything from Classical works to Romantic ones to early 20th Century pieces, he said. Then he thought a moment. And, he added, he really enjoyed a recent performance by contemporary composer Philip Glass. And to show his appreciation for those works and the people who perform them, Pinson will keep on answering the phones and greeting visitors at the Atlanta Opera’s front desk. How long does he plan to continue his long-running show? “Probably as long as they’ll let me,” he said.

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OCTOBER 2017 |



Moving On Up By Julie E. Bloemeke If there’s one consistent thread of thought amongst residents who have chosen senior high-rise living, it’s passion for the place they call home. For Ruth Cohen, 85, The Piedmont at Buckhead was not a choice, but the only choice. “When I walked into this building I was overwhelmed; it was beautiful,” she said. “I turned to my son and said, ‘I’m ready to move.’” Pat Beatty, 63, a former resident of Tucker who wanted to be closer to Decatur, didn’t even have to tour other properties once she learned about Decatur Christian Towers. “This was the only place I looked at. I already knew when I was in my 50s that this was where I was going.” When it comes to senior highrise living, one of the most obvious lures are the incomparable views. A 14th floor apartment in Decatur

Christian Towers boasts views of Stone Mountain to the east and the Atlanta city skyline to the west. This was a high point for Beatty, who calls the views not only “breathtaking” but cites how wonderful it is to spend the 4th of July there. Residents and staff can see fireworks from all angles and locations throughout Atlanta— from Stone Mountain to Lenox and beyond. For Cohen, a 4th floor resident, the middle high-rise views were most compelling, in part because they reminded her of her childhood in New York City where she lived in a high-rise apartment building. “I just loved the idea of being here. When I saw this place, I was overwhelmed and very excited. And I thought, this is where I’m going to live!” That every apartment has a private balcony is another feature she enjoys. Being able to watch the people


Pat Beatty in the community garden at Decatur Christian Towers


OCTOBER 2017 |

and traffic go by, noting the landscape and the woods, are all daily visual pleasures that offer her much delight. “If you’ve been in a hotel in New York and look out, that’s how this feels to me,” she said. “And the sunrise and sunset? Exquisite!” As senior independent living communities, The Piedmont at Buckhead and Decatur Christian Towers offer differing amenities and experiences, but both Cohen and Beatty were drawn in by the choice of personal level of involvement. For Cohen, being able to balance solitude with community was a particular draw. “I can be as involved as I want to be. If I chose not to have dinner, I can order dinner and pick it up and bring it upstairs,” Cohen said. “Sometimes you just feel like having alone time. And I like my atmosphere here.” For Beatty, volunteer service and involvement with resident care was exceedingly important. Beatty is known for hosting her own yearly holiday party, a celebration that merges Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza. Beatty cooks for her fellow residents, welcoming them all to the community room where there’s music, a gift exchange and festive decorations. “Part of the reason I get so involved and host parties is to help people realize we all can have fun, wherever we are, and with everybody,” she said. The party idea began when Beatty’s husband was working on Christmas Day. “I was here by myself and I came downstairs saw people in the hallway,” Beatty said. “People shouldn’t be sitting around on Christmas Day with no place to go. We just hit our fourth annual party. I think we had 50 people there last year.” Beatty also volunteers with the Angel Tag Monitoring Program where she checks in on residents daily. At night, residents put a tag on their door at 9 p.m., and remove it by 9 a.m. If the tag is still present after 9 a.m., Beatty will “knock, call, come to the front desk and ask for a staff member to

check in.” She’s also on the board of a resident-founded volunteer group called “We Are Neighbors Helping Neighbors.” Beatty and a team of 21 other residents offer additional services to fellow community members who may be in need. “We take residents to doctor’s appointments, pick up prescriptions, do petting sitting and walking, light cleaning, grocery shopping, which I do for one of my friends,” she said.

High-rise living is a popular choice for active retirees. Here are some sought-after high-rise communities in the north Atlanta metro area.

Decatur Christian Towers 1438 Church St., Decatur 30030 404-377-5507

Lenbrook 3747 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30319 404-233-3000

Mount Vernon Towers 3000 Johnson Ferry Rd., Sandy Springs 30328 404-255-3534

The Piedmont at Buckhead 650 Phipps Blvd., Atlanta 30326 404-369-7523

Renaissance on Peachtree 3755 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30319 404-436-6051

The Zaban Tower 3156 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta 30327 404-351-8410

“Because when people can’t do it, they will have to pay somebody outside or do without.” Even though Decatur Christian Towers is located right behind a MARTA bus stop, within walking distance to downtown Decatur, and provides a shuttle service with field trips and outings for residents, having a bit of extra help is always welcome. Transportation was also a deciding factor for Cohen. The Piedmont at Buckhead offers both personal and community shuttle service to various destinations— from nearby grocery stores to Friday night dinners at local restaurants to theatre and botanical garden outings. “I go to the opera, symphony, ballet, the Alliance Theatre,” Cohen said. “They drop me at the front door; they pick me up at the front door. I have to say that’s one of the things that I love the best. And I never have to wait more than 20 to 30 minutes.” Though it was a bit a challenge to give up driving, when Cohen realized that she no longer had to

navigate traffic or be concerned with parking or car maintenance, it made the decision much more palatable. And, Cohen noted with a sly smile, she has even been taking senior classes at Emory thanks to the ease of getting on and off campus. When the subject of incommunity activities arose, Beatty laughed out loud and clapped her hands together. “Have you seen The Bridge?” She’s referring to the community newsletter. The calendar is chock full of social and educational opportunities from Grandparents Day parties and the Monthly Birthday Lunch to Bingo, Crochet Club, Zumba and Boost Your Brainpower, a series curated through Georgia State University and Speech and Language Pathology Department, just to name a few. Julia Fabb-Jordan, Director of Social Services, has also initiated a monthly series of Healthy Aging Talks covering issues such as Senior Law and Voting Registration as well as Seasonal

Affective Disorder, shingles, vision care, etc. Community events are also quite a draw at the Piedmont at Buckhead. “You cannot imagine the activities they plan here!” Cohen said. She’s especially excited by the fitness programs—many run by an in-house trainer—including everything from Chair Tai Chi to Yoga and Aquatic Aerobics. Social events pepper the calendar from community viewings of sporting events to Sangria Saturday, The Buckhead Singers Continued on page 12 COURTESY PIEDMONT AT BUCKHEAD

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Continued from page 11

Sing-Along Group, Mood Art and Brain Games. For Cohen, bridge is a personal favorite, although canasta and Mah Jongg are also popular. “We’ll have a lesson and then we play bridge,” she said. “It’s not a sanctioned game, but our director keeps score and at the end she puts up in mailroom who came in first. We get a kick out of that.” Are there any drawbacks to living in a senior high-rise community? It’s a question that both Cohen and Beatty had similar responses to. Beatty pondered the idea thoughtfully

and then laughed. “I’d have to really wrack my brain to come up with any drawbacks to living here. For some people, it may be too close of a community, but to me it’s an apartment building and you can do as much or as little as you want,” Beatty said. “When people don’t do things, they’re missing out. They’re not the ones having fun or eating the food or…” And here she trailed off, switching gears back to her excitement for what she loves about Decatur Christian Towers. She gushed about the location that’s so close to her spiritual center, the in-community

romances that have turned into marriages. And then she hit on the subject of the community vegetable and flower garden, where plots are assigned to residents who put in a request. “Have you seen it yet? The flowers are just incredible!” However, Beatty confessed a secret: her plot has been overrun by weeds. Already on her way to the dojo for her next appointment of the day, she’s been a bit too busy to tend to it. Fabb-Jordan chuckled and said, “We’re lucky to have gotten Pat sitting still this long; she’s extremely active.” For Cohen, when asked about what she most enjoys about living

at The Piedmont at Buckhead, she consulted her extensive handwritten list. She too had a confession—there’s one question she cannot answer. An optimist, she responded, “Drawbacks to living here? I was trying to think. But you know, I’m very happy here.” Then she walked over to take in the balcony view, opening the sliding glass door to trees on one side and neighboring high-rises on the other. A bird cut through the blue sky, fellow Atlanta residents walked toward Lenox, cars turned into Phipps Plaza. And she took a deep breath and smiled.

Ultimately, it’s your experience that matters. To be sure, we’re proud of our 29 years of experience in senior living. But, to us, what really matters is your experience at our communities. We do everything with that idea clearly in mind. So, go ahead, enjoy yourself with great social opportunities and amenities. Savor fine dining every day. And feel assured that assisted living services are always available if needed. We invite you to experience The Piedmont for yourself at a complimentary lunch and tour. Please call 404.369.7523 to schedule.

I n de p e n de n t & A s s i s t e d L i v i ng

650 Phipps Boulevard NE • Atlanta, GA • 404.369.7523


OCTOBER 2017 |

Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Retirement Lifestyle Contributed by The Piedmont at Buckhead, an SRG Senior Living community When looking for a retirement community, whether for you or a loved one, planning, alongside knowledge of local senior living resources, can help you choose the retirement lifestyle that is right for you. The Piedmont at Buckhead offers these helpful tips. 1. Begin researching in advance— before the need arises. A good place to start is to ask family, friends and valued advisors, such as a trust officer or estate attorney, for their recommendations and help with researching retirement communities. The internet, professional resources, senior directories, local newspapers and social circles may also provide helpful information.

2. Determine which type of retirement community will best fit your needs. It’s important to understand the different types of senior living options that are available and the types of services and care they offer. From continuing care retirement communities (CCRC's) which require upfront entrance fees, to rental communities that offer similar services with the flexibility of a monthly fee, there’s a community to fit every budget and lifestyle. Narrow the list of potential communities to a few possibilities by taking into account location, care services, amenities and

activities. Working from a checklist and matching your preferences and needs to those being offered can be very helpful in the selection process. 3. Visit the community. Tour retirement communities in your chosen area to best evaluate your options and get a feel for their level of hospitality and friendliness. Sample the dining services by visiting for lunch or dinner. Or, attend a community event or social— there are numerous low-key opportunities which provide fun-filled, no-pressure invitations to mingle with current residents and preview the community. All of these are great ways to get a feel for the social, cultural and operational workings of a community. 4. Does a retirement community make sense financially? When compared to the monthly expenses and upkeep of a house, many seniors have found that they actually spend less per month and gain countless additional benefits by moving to a retirement community. To help you determine if a retirement community makes sense financially to you, we suggest you take a few moments to compute what it actually costs you to live in your home and compare your present costs to the senior living community. Many communities offer a “Compare the Value Checklist” for your convenience. 5. Does the community offer a continuum of care? The timeliness in finding a community that is right for you can make all the difference. Waiting until the need arises may result in a short-term decision that does not meet all of your long-term needs. Make sure your selected community offers access to a comprehensive menu of licensed supportive care and services on-site to meet your needs today and tomorrow.

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This man cave at Brandt and Ginny Ross’s former home was filled with many possessions Brandt shed during their 2014 downsizing.

Don’t Be in denial — Get Organized! By Donna Williams Lewis The hardest thing to give up was his baseball collection. Brandt Ross doesn’t just love baseball. He’s consumed with the science of baseball. Over 65 years, he amassed more than 500 baseball statistical books, some more than 100 years old. The books were part of his baseball menagerie of signed photos and balls, magazines and autographs. He even had baseball gloves from his childhood. Three years ago, a collector drove to Brandt’s home, filled his SUV with all but “one shelf” of the entire collection, and headed back to Michigan. “I sold it to him for a pittance,” Brandt said. There was no hint of regret in his voice. Brandt, 80, and his wife Ginny, 84, had decided they wanted to be proactive about their futures, and a big part of that, for them, would be downsizing their lives. “You have to reach the point where you say, ‘It’s just stuff,’” Brandt said. Today, the retired CEO is rallying other seniors to liberate themselves from their “stuff” through a program he created called S.I.D., or “Seniors in Denial.” As people age, “there is no shortage of things that can go

wrong. The real question is who’s going to determine your destiny,” Brandt said. “It makes me sad to see people who lived good lives turning themselves over to their children.” S.I.D. is the story of Brandt and Ginny’s October 2014 move from a 2,800-square-foot, three-story condo in North Buckhead to a 1,200-square-foot apartment about two miles away—a move made “when we wanted to,” he said, and not “when we had to.” Brandt wanted a smaller place—they had nine rooms, but five of them were used for storage—and he’s big on socialization. After convincing Ginny that she wasn’t “moving to an old folks’ home,” they settled on the Renaissance on Peachtree senior living residence. Over the four-month process from planning to moving, they shed about three-fourths of their possessions, Brandt said. “I was finally committed that I wasn’t going to leave this to our kids to do,” he said. For 10 years before, Brandt and Ginny had been peeling off their more valuable possessions by giving their kids family heirlooms, formal furniture, silverware and other hand-me-downs for wedding anniversary presents. “Instead of sitting around with

this 12-place setting of china that nobody’s going to use, give it to your kids and let them decide what to do with it,” Brandt tells any senior who will listen. He has devoted himself to turning S.I.D.’s into S.I.R.’s, or “Seniors in Recovery.” Brandt’s 40-minute S.I.D. presentation hits topics from deciding how and where to live out retirement years to streamlining possessions and selling the house. His get-tough-on-stuff message is spiced with personal examples and softened with musical interludes. A folk singer, he wrote some of the songs he weaves throughout his programs. Most of Brandt's volunteer teaching revolves around history, another of his passions. He is currently teaching a series of music-infused history classes called “Game-Changers” for Dunwoody-based Perimeter Adults Learning & Services (PALS). He has also taught classes for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) programs at Emory University and Kennesaw

State University, Seniors Enriched Living (SEL) in Roswell, Senior University of Greater Atlanta (SUGA) and for Enrichment of Life Movement (ELM) in Marietta. Brandt said he presents about 10 programs every month, even when he and Ginny take a trip. Before they leave, he calls senior residences at his destinations to offer to do a program. He made several presentations at the Bishop Gadsden retirement community in Charleston, S.C., while visiting there in August. How does Ginny feel about this? “She’s my best critic,” Brandt said. “She loves meeting the people and assessing my work.” Eleni Nega, who works in community outreach at the Renaissance on Peachtree, began promoting the S.I.D. program around town after the first time she watched it with some of her colleagues. “We thought it was just so wonderful and so forward-thinking to do what he and his wife did,” she said. “We’ve seen very negative impacts of not being prepared.”

Brandt stays determined to spread his gospel, despite the deaf ears he said it tends to fall on. “My victories are small ones,” he said. “Getting DONNA WILLIAMS LEWIS someone Peggy Burdine (left) and Anne Curtis thank Brandt Ross for his to clean Game-Changers class, “The Story of Remember the Alamo,” at the their closet, Renaissance on Peachtree senior living residence on Aug. 22. a garage. adamant in preserving his Senior denial is almost incurable, connection with his ‘stuff.’” but we do what we can.” Brandt and Ginny made Last year, Brandt and Ginny their connection when he visited friends who live in a was a University of Chicago “huge” ranch house with four student, selling cookware doorcars. Both of their friends have to-door at night. Ginny, then serious health issues. a graduate nursing student, “I took him and his wife nixed the cookware but was through the S.I.D. presentation sold on the salesman. They’ve and she said she wanted to been married for 58 years. sell everything and move into a senior residence near their Continued on page 16 kids,” Brandt said. “He was

OCTOBER 2017 |


Continued from page 15

bought red, yellow and green labels for tagging everything, as in Brandt retired in 2015 after everything. “My first rule of thumb 22 years as president of a men’s was if you haven’t used it in a year apparel company in West Virginia, or two, you don’t need it,” he said. eight years of doing business Red tags were for sale or “turnarounds,” and then moving donation; green, for take with; to Atlanta and working in mergers and yellow, for the kids’ selections, and acquisitions for 20 years. which they were given one month Ginny retired in 2007 from to pick up. operating room nursing at DeKalb “If they didn’t get their stuff,” Medical Center. Brandt said, “yellow became red.” Brandt applied his CEO skills A mobile shredding service to their 2014 move, making a chewed up 10 years' worth of tax master plan with incremental and business records contained in finish dates. 30 storage boxes. He and Ginny Both of their used Skype to daughters-in-law offer household loved much of goods to their their artwork. three married “It’s so nice to children. They see it in their created an homes,” Ginny advance plan for said. handling conflict: They believe If more than they parted with one of their kids well over 1,000 wanted an item, DONNA WILLIAMS LEWIS books, most the oldest would Brandt and Ginny Ross share of which were a moment in the lobby of the prevail. Renaissance on Peachtree senior living donated. Brandt An avid residence, their home since 2014.

arts and crafter, Ginny had long been making collages out of loose family pictures. Before the move, she put the remaining pictures in boxes labeled for the people pictured in them. An estate sale company handled their sale, putting on consignment or donating

everything that didn’t sell. Brandt says he and Ginny still have too many things, “but we are constantly aware of ‘not bringing in without taking something out.’” “What we have learned, though, is that life is really about family and friends,” he said. “Everything else is just stuff.”

Here are some other local resources to help you get organized: • Finders Keepers Consignment Stores — Finders Keepers hosts a series of Saturday morning workshops led by professional organizers each year in January, in Decatur. Cost: One canned good or $1 for the Atlanta Food Bank. Info: • Time Space Organization — Professional organizers Diane Quintana and Jonda Beattie present hour-long workshops “Paper Piles to Files” and “The 411 on Hoarding” in early 2018 in Marietta. Cost: $20. Info: • People Pleasers — Downsizing and organizing experts Peggy Slotin and Alice Sanders specialize in helping seniors who need to move, from helping them decide what to keep to packing and unpacking their belongings and setting up their new surroundings. Info:

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HEALTH You can follow a recipe or create your own combinations. • Any type of pitcher or large Mason jar will work to infuse the water. If you want to avoid drinking any fruit particles, a fruit infused pitcher or water bottle would be best. • Infuse your water in the fridge anywhere from 3 to 12 hours, depending on how strong you like the flavor. • Keep the infused water refrigerated to prevent the produce from spoiling. • Certain ingredients like lemon and basil may not last very long or may cause the water to taste bitter. A good rule of thumb is to prepare the amount of water that you’ll drink within three days. Grab some herbs from your garden and get creative this fall. Your body will thank you!

Cranberry Orange Infused Water Makes 5 servings

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Fruit Infused Water: Not Just for Summer

• 1 orange, sliced thin • ½ cup fresh or frozen cranberries • Filtered water • Mint, optional


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sumer Sciences Agent for This summer, I carried a water bottle with the University of Georgia me everywhere, just to prevent dehydration. Cooperative Extension in Now that the hot days are cooling down, it’s Fulton County. She provides easy to forget that we still need to be drinking programming on food safety, water—13 cups for the average man and 9 cups for health and nutrition, finanthe average woman, according to the Mayo Clinic. cial literacy and the home. No matter the season, the average human body is around 50 percent water and not drinking enough water can be detrimental to our health. Water helps many parts of the body perform more efficiently by:

• Regulating body temperature • Assisting in the transportation of oxygen and nutrients • Removing waste and toxins • Protecting joints and organs • Managing body weight • Relieving headache symptoms This past summer, you may have made infused water to stay hydrated and cool. Growing in popularity, this beverage is popping up at farmers markets, restaurants and parties. Infusing water with citrus fruits, berries and herbs is not only more enjoyable for the taste buds, but it smells and looks wonderful. I’ve always thought of infused water as a summer drink, but changing the infusion recipes to ‘apple cinnamon’ or ‘cranberry orange’ can create flavorful water that you can still enjoy during the fall months so you don’t get disinterested in plain water. If you’ve never made fruit infused water before, it’s easy! • Wash all your fruits and herbs before adding them to the pitcher.

1. Rinse cranberries and thoroughly scrub the orange with cold water. KRISTEN SUMPTER 2. Slice oranges. 3. Place orange slices and cranberries in a pitcher. 4. Fill with water (tap, filtered or sparkling). 5. Let sit for 3 to 4 hours or overnight to allow flavors to permeate the water. 6. Drink within 3 days. Enjoy! Recipe taken from and adapted by UGA Extension Fulton County. 09-21-2016_NorthsideOral.qxp _Layout 1 9/14/16 9:48 AM Page 1

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Rise and Shine with Breakfast

Thumbs Up Diner 573 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta 30312 826 Marietta St., Atlanta 30318 1140 Alpharetta St., Roswell 30075 174 Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur 30030 ◄ Kav’s Omelette: chopped veggie sausage, seasoned spuds and cheddar jack cheese topped with pico de gallo and fresh herbs, $8.29


By Isadora Pennington They say it’s the most important meal of the day. Breakfast, which literally means to break the fast of the night before, has been posited to be immensely beneficial to your health beyond being tasty. Researchers at Harvard University found evidence that links regularly eating breakfast with maintenance of a healthy weight and reducing risks of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Logically, it makes sense that eating a well-rounded meal in the morning will help to curb hunger throughout the day, but it also can regulate your energy which helps cognitive function. There are probably hundreds of places in the Atlanta area to get a tasty breakfast, not to mention an indulgent brunch on the weekends. While there are plenty of popular restaurants to choose from, there are also some real gems that serve delectable breakfast foods that usually fly just under the radar.

Crooked Tree Café 915 Cobb Pkwy., Marietta 30062 770-333-9119, Smokey Scramble: smoked pork or chicken with caramelized onions, parmesan, fresh herbs and scrambled eggs, served on roasted potato hash, $9.50; for brisket, add $1

Sweet Potato Café 5377 Manor Dr., Stone Mountain 30083 770-559-9030, Saturday Breakfast Sandwich: turkey sausage or bacon on sweet potato biscuit; egg only, $3.29; egg and cheese, $3.59; egg, meat and cheese, $5.29 Homemade Sweet Potato Biscuit: $1.59


OCTOBER 2017 |

Java Jive 790 Ponce De Leon Ave., Atlanta 30306 404-876-6161, ▲ Mediterranean Scramble: portabello mushrooms, red peppers, spinach, sun dried tomatoes and feta, with a side of cheese grits and a biscuit, $10.50 Santa Fe Scramble: spicy chorizo sausage, red peppers, onions, potatoes, cheddar and a touch of salsa, with a biscuit on the side, $10.99

Sun In My Belly 2161 College Ave., Atlanta 30317 404-370-1088, ▼ Scrambled Egg Pressed Panini: hook cheddar and honey-glazed bacon on brioche, $10.95

Gato 1660 McLendon Ave., Atlanta 30307 404-371-0889, ▲ Huevos Rancheros: eggs, cheese, black beans, salsas, corn tortillas, cilantro and sour cream; 1/2 order, $5; full order, $9.50 ▼ The Slam: duck fat potatoes, garlic confit, bacon cooked cheese eggs, ginger onion and cilantro sauce, $11.50

Rising Son 124 N. Avondale Rd., Avondale Estates 30002 404-600-5297, ▼ Hashed Out: sausage, bacon, onion, pickled jalapeno, pico, cheddar and sour cream, $11

▼ C.B.C.B.: fried chicken, bacon, cheddar and biscuit, $9

OCTOBER 2017 |



Health Literacy: Cracking the Code According to the National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy, nearly 9 out of 10 adults have difficulty using routine health information. Concerned about Georgia and literacy rates in general, Gov. Nathan Deal has joined other states in declaring October as Health Literacy Month.

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OCTOBER 2017 |

want more wellness in their lives.” However, Rubin says, many lack the tools for figuring out exactly how to achieve that. “Much of the information made available to them is just an impenetrable wall of Judith L. Kanne, words and numbers,” RN, BSN, BA he said. “That’s where is a registered nurse and health literacy comes freelance writer who lives into play.” in Atlanta. Soon, Rubin was Don Rubin is up to his earlobes focused on community work— in the Georgia Alliance for “meaningful things,” he says. Health Literacy (GAHL), a The 66-year-old left his full-time volunteer coalition representing teaching and research work at the educators, researchers, University of Georgia a few years government officials, healthcare ago and began volunteer jobs he providers, healthcare payers and thought would allow him to make consumers. Rubin has served a difference to his neighbors. as executive committee chair “I saw my university for the past two years of the departure as an opportunity 5-year-old Georgia nonprofit’s to jettison those parts of my existence. work life that were [lost] time Health literacy is a critical (such as faculty meetings, issue, especially when it’s time updating my annual report) to choose a treatment or surgical and beginning to focus on procedure. People are often ways I could use my time required to make the best choices and talents to do things under the worst of circumstances, that were consequential,” and they may have minimal he said. “I had published experience and almost no lots of research articles and understanding about the entire given lots of lectures, but I system and how it functions. really had never spent a lot Being able to read and yet of time in community-based not being able to understand organizations.” the information is of little Rubin began by volunteering value, especially when it as a family literacy tutor for pertains to health and making refugees and helping with informed medical decisions. some health communication Most older adults can read very projects for the Meals on well, but, unfortunately, unless Wheels organization. He then they’ve been to medical school, had an opportunity to help the language of health—or as train Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) navigators. The experience was eye-opening for Rubin. It taught him how hard it can be to explain how health insurance works. “This is especially true when end users have never before had a regular doctor,” he said. “The more I interacted with members of diverse communities, the more I realized that most Georgians Don Rubin

Rubin calls it, the ‘gobbledygook’—can be baffling. GAHL members raise health literacy awareness in many ways, including workshops for patients and consumers that cover making the most of medical appointments and learning how to search online for reliable and unbiased health information. For health providers, GAHL provides materials to help ensure patient comprehension via teach-back techniques—where a patient is asked to repeat the information and ‘teach it back’ to the healthcare provider—as well as customizable ‘Health Literacy 101’ workshops. When comprehending medical information is foreign to patients, they are at risk of missing meds, forgetting about vaccinations and even getting medications confused, which can lead to expensive emergency room visits. The Associate Director of the Adult Literacy Research Center at Georgia State University, Dr. Iris Feinberg, says that every year, the state collects surveillance data on different health and well-being measures. “In 2015, we added health literacy questions to assess the levels of health literacy in the state,” she said. The results suggest that half of adults ages 55 to 64 had less than proficient health literacy skills, and that the percentage grows to almost 60 percent for those aged 65 and older. “Less-than-proficient health literacy means it’s harder to understand, access and use both medical terms and the medical system,” explained Feinberg. It also means that adults of any age with less proficient health literacy are twice as likely to report fair to poor general health than those with proficient health literacy skills. Licensed Master Level Social Worker (LMSW) and case manager Brandi Hackett works solely with a focus on geriatrics (including adults with disabilities). “The understanding of the complexities of health literacy with our clients and their support networks is vital in the work we do,” said Hackett. She took the helm as GAHL’s

Where to Get Help with Medical Information

Dr. Iris Feinberg

leader in August. “As medical social workers, we identify and remedy the potential gaps in understanding regarding their medical conditions, or how to proactively to avoid medical crises,” she said. “Medical social workers are the built-in patient advocates on the health care team. A primary focus of my role is to assist my patients and clients to obtain, process, understand and use health information before making health decisions.” The risk of low health literacy can be increased by the stress of the medical situation, Hackett says. For example, infections or illness may lead to a temporary inability to process or retain the information. Also, the ability of the brain to process unfamiliar changes is affected when there’s a surfacing medical need, such as cancer or an addiction, limiting comprehension. “I often see those I serve assuming they need less guidance. But, this is not just a poor and poorly educated issue,” she said. Many patients and their caretakers are not educationally poor. In fact, many are very well educated, Hackett says, and she reminds her clients that money does not equal knowledge. For Rubin, working in the community made clear the need for health literacy and for what GAHL and medical social workers do. “The more I interacted with members of diverse communities, the more I realized that most Georgians want more wellness in their lives, but many people lack the tools for figuring out exactly how to achieve that,” he said.

There’s a lot of health information available at local libraries, and through medical social workers and medical librarians at community hospitals. Of course, there’s always the Internet, but that can become a minefield of misinformation. Here are some reliable websites. ► Georgia Alliance for Health Literacy: ► CDC Health Literacy: ► Plain language medical dictionary: medical-dictionary ► U.S. National Library of Medicine: A very helpful article, “The Smart Way to Search the Internet for Health Information” was posted on the Forbes website on March 31, 2017. It’s worth Googling before you start researching health information online.

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Chasing Waterfalls

Georgia State Parks offer recreation, beautiful sights This is the perfect time of year to enjoy colorful autumn leaves. While you're at it, visit Georgia’s State Parks to check out some impressive waterfalls. Not only are they beautiful, but the parks also offer amazing recreational amenities, too.

Amicalola Falls State Park The tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast, Amicalola Falls towers above the surrounding greenery at 729 feet high. The falls supply various vantage points for visitors to view the scenery, including a hardsurfaced trail perfect for strollers and wheelchairs. Climb the more challenging staircase to the top for unprecedented views of the falls.

Cloudland Canyon State Park Cloudland Canyon is one of the largest and most scenic state parks in Georgia’s repertoire. Within the park one can find canyons, sandstone cliffs, caves, waterfalls, creeks, dense woodland and abundant wildlife. One of the most popular hiking trails includes the two-mile Waterfall Trail leading to two scenic falls that cascade over sandstone and pour into beautiful pools at the bottom. GaStateParks. org/CloudlandCanyon

Tallulah Gorge State Park One of the most impressive canyons in the southeast, Tallulah Gorge is 1,000 feet deep and roughly two miles long. The gorge contains numerous paths and overlooks for visitors to view the six waterfalls cascading through the bottom of the gorge. To gain access to the floor of


OCTOBER 2017 |

the gorge and “Sliding Rock” (Bridal Veil Falls), visitors must acquire a permit available at the visitor’s center. Passes run out quickly, so it’s important to get an early start on the day for the full experience.

Black Rock Mountain State Park Located within the Blue Ridge Mountains, Black Rock Mountain State Park is located at the highest elevation of any Georgia State Park. The rugged terrain and fresh mountain air are home to Ada-Hi Falls. A short but steep trail and staircase lead to this small, secluded waterfall.

Vogel State Park Vogel State Park is one of the nation’s oldest state parks, and rests at the base of the beautiful Blood Mountain. Located directly below Lake Trahlyta, this stepping stone waterfall cascades 40 feet.

Moccasin Creek State Park Moccasin Creek State Park sits on the shores of Lake Burton and is a central location for visiting multiple falls in the area. The park’s two-mile trail Hemlock Falls Trail leads to the beautiful Hemlock Falls of Rabun County. The trail is kid-friendly, offers glimpses of the waterfall along the way and supplies a beautiful pool of water at the base of the falls.


Pet Pick What is your dream dog? A black Lab mix, perhaps? We may have found him! Dream came to the Atlanta Humane Society back in May and is ready to be with his forever family. He’s a good boy who would make a great watchdog. And although he may look intimidating, he’s actually very playful and loving. Dream has lived with other dogs and cats and does well with them. You’ll often find Dream cuddled up on his bed with his pile of stuffed animals, snoozing the day away. Since Dream has been with the Atlanta Humane Society for more than 30 days, his adoption fee has been reduced. As an added bonus, a very generous family purchased six months of Frontline and Heartgard medication that will go home with him. If Dream sounds like your dream dog, you can meet him at the Howell Mill location, 981 Howell Mill Rd., Atlanta 30318. For more info on pet adoptions, as well as becoming a volunteer with the Atlanta Humane Society, call 404-875-5331 or visit

PT0160 MECH RPTR-ASL 1-2H 4C 2017-10 OCT MOM1.indd 1

OCTOBER 2017 |


8/30/17 5:51 PM


Ask Rusty: Working & Social Security by AMAC Certified Social Security Advisor Russell Gloor


Dear Rusty: I recently turned 62, and have not yet filed for Social Security benefits. At this point my benefit based on my own record would be about $1,000 per month, but since I still work I know I would lose some of what I earn over the $15,000 limit. I read that if you lose some of your benefit because of working you will get it back later. Is this true? If so, how would I get it back?

Signed: Working Girl Dear Working Girl: TRA D IT ION & C HA NG E I N I N DI G E NOU S A M ER ICA N T E X T I L E S AUGUST 19–DECEMBER 17, 2017

Join Us in Honoring

Mel Pender, 1968 Summer Olympics Gold Medalist 2017 Positive Aging Icon Image Award Recipient

Profiles of Positive Aging

LeadingAge Georgia’s 7th Awards Gala

November 5, 2017 | Atlanta History Center | 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Also celebrating Positive Aging Honorees from the Metro Atlanta Area Margerey Avery 2017 Honoree

Seating is Limited


404-872-9191 x301 |


OCTOBER 2017 |

Yours is becoming a much more common question as more and more people are choosing to work even after they are entitled to receive Social Security benefits. Social Security’s rules say that if you work and are WIKIMEDIA COMMONS receiving benefits but have not yet reached your full retirement age (which for you is 66) and you earn more than their annual earnings limit, they will “take back” half of everything you earn over the earnings limit (which for 2017 is $16,920). The way they do this is by withholding what you owe from future benefit payments, which could cause you to not receive benefits for a number of months until they recover what you owe. This would happen every year up to the year you turn 66, which would mean that during that working timeframe you would have gone some number of months without receiving Social Security. In the year you turn 66, the amount you can earn is much more generous and the amount they withhold is much less. After you turn 66 you can earn as much as you like without penalty.

ABOUT AMAC The Association of Mature American Citizens,, is a senior advocacy organization. The organization says it acts and speaks on behalf of seniors to protect their interests and offer practical insights on how to best solve the problems seniors face. The information presented in this article is intended for general information purposes only. The opinions and interpretations expressed in this article are the viewpoints of the AMAC Foundation’s Social Security Advisory staff, trained and accredited under the National Social Security Advisors program of the National Social Security Association, LLC (NSSA). NSSA, the AMAC Foundation, and the Foundation’s Social Security Advisors are not affiliated with or endorsed by the United States Government, the Social Security Administration or any other state government. Furthermore, the AMAC Foundation and its staff do not provide legal or accounting services. The Foundation welcomes questions from readers regarding Social Security issues. To submit a request, contact the Foundation at

The way you “get back” what they withheld is this: When you reach your full retirement age, Social Security will recalculate your benefit amount taking into account the number of months you did not receive benefits in those working years between age 62 and 66. They will then advance your original start-of-benefits date by the number of months you didn’t receive benefits, effectively moving your start date forward and increasing your benefit amount accordingly. If, for example, you originally applied at age 62 and continued to work and, over the course of those years between age 62 and 66, you did not receive benefits for a total of 12 months, when you reached age 66 your benefit start date would be moved to age 63 and instead of receiving the $1,000 per month for the rest of your life, you would get about $1,070. So while they do take away some benefits while you are working, the increase you receive at your full retirement age will last for the rest of your life.

How well do you Know Your Heart? Know Your Heart is a screening program designed to determine risk of heart disease, stroke and other serious conditions. Each Know Your Heart participant receives a personalized report with test results, reviewed with a WellStar Medical Group, Cardiovascular Medicine provider. The consultation also includes risk factor education, diet, weight and exercise recommendations.

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OCTOBER 2017 |

Veteran’s book tells of brotherhood and war, faith and forgiveness By Jaclyn Turner Vietnam veteran Michael March is living his second childhood. He writes, goes to the gym, spends time with his family and girlfriend, and sings in the choir at his church. He’s also an author. March has written a fictionalized tale of serving in Vietnam and describes his book, “Each One a Hero: A Tale of War and Brotherhood,” as a war novel in the tradition of “Catch-22” or “M*A*S*H.” It’s based on his year as a member of the 11th Armory Cavalry Regiment. Many mornings, March sits at one of the large chairs in the corner at the Panera Bread restaurant on Mount Vernon Road writing, editing his books, and hashing out more ideas. A loquacious 70-year-old, March has piercing blue eyes and long sandy hair peppered with grey. He moved to Sandy Springs five years ago from New York City to help his brother with their 90-year-old mother. Two of his children soon followed, as did his ex-wife. Now March is happy to talk about the accomplishments of his children and the two other books he’s in the midst of writing. March wrote an early draft

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We Also Carry:

Michael March settles in for some writing at Panera Bread.


of his novel more than 22 years ago when he lived in New York, but life and raising a family seemed to get in the way. After he moved to Atlanta, he unearthed the floppy disk holding the story, and decided to revive it. He spent many months rewriting and trying to find the right publisher before partnering with Hellgate Press, a publisher that specializes in military history and veteran memoirs. March grew up in the 1960s and describes himself as a “peace and love hippie.” His father urged him to go to Fashion Institute of Technology for industrial engineering so he could manage a knit shirt factory in North Carolina, but Marsh followed his passion for music. “It was all I lived for,” he said. In 1965, March competed in a battle of the bands at the World’s Fair in New York and took seventh place. March was drafted into the 11th Armory Cavalry Regiment and spent a year in Vietnam coordinating artillery fire. At the base camp, he remembers, he played guitar for his fellow soldiers. He eventually went through four guitars while in the army, he said. “I did my year and got out, but I also needed to write about it,” he said. “The experience taught me about God, life and how to be a better a person and use the experience to do good. My parents thought I was out of mind when I came home, because all I wanted to be was a good person and God wanted me to represent good.” He said a stranger, who had been a sniper, sought him out, saying, “I’ve been looking for you. I’m a messenger from God. He sent me to find you. If God can forgive me, he can forgive anyone. Our generation is going to save the world.” March used that encounter as the climax of his book. His military service, he said, “taught me how to live life and be appreciative.” Writing his book and its related spinoffs, he said, has brought a different sort of fulfillment. A fellow veteran told him he thought he was reading about himself, truly making the “blood and guts” of war into a story of connection, brotherhood and shared experiences. “I don’t believe in hurting others and taking lives,” Marsh said, “but you do what you need to do when your country calls on you.” For more information about “Each One a Hero,” see

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►Out & about The Arts Aretha Franklin Friday, Oct. 13, 8 p.m. The Queen of Soul performs a repertoire that spans pop, soul, jazz, rock, blues and gospel at the Fabulous Fox. Get ready for a night of all the hits and the great diva classics. Tickets start at $69.50, plus applicable fees. Go to FoxTheatre. org or call 855-285-8499 for tickets.

David Sedaris Sunday, Oct. 22, 7 p.m. David Sedaris, author of the bestsellers “Me Talk Pretty One Day” and “Naked,” and regular National Public Radio contributor, will


offer a selection of all-new readings and recollections, as well as a Q&A session and post-show book signing. Tickets range from $45.50-$60.50, plus applicable fees. Get tickets and details at or by calling 855-285-8499.

Meatloaf + Rocky Horror Double Feature Saturday, Oct. 28, 9-11:59 p.m. The late-night double feature starts with a Georgia Players Guild concert dedicated to Meatloaf and the original Rocky Horror soundtrack. The night wraps up with a showing of the cult classic Rocky Horror Picture Show. Tickets are $25 for the concert & movie; $20 for just the concert; $10 for just the movie. Earl Smith Strand Theatre, 117 N. Park Sq., Marietta 30060. Visit for details and tickets.

OCTOBER 2017 |

Face 2 Face: Elton John & Billy Joel Tribute Show Saturday, Nov. 4, 8 p.m. This tribute to Elton John & Billy Joel is presented by a line-up of outstanding musicians and features Ronnie Smith as Elton John and Mike Santoro as Billy Joel. The interactive show includes all the hits, as well as beloved B-sides. Sylvia Beard Theatre, Buford Community Center, 2200 Buford Hwy., Buford 30518. For more info, go to, Shows & Events.

26th Edition of the Book Festival of the MJCCA Runs Nov. 4-20. There’ll be

45 authors over 2 epic weeks! Attending authors include awardwinning novelists, historians, local icons and some of the most respected political minds of our time. Book topics cover everything from music, art and sports to World War II, Israeli legends and learning disabilities. Tickets can be purchased for individual events. Series passes are $120 for MJCCA members, $145 for community. Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody 30338. For individual event pricing, tickets and other info, visit bookfestival or call 678-812-4005.

Community Yiddish Vinkl Fridays, Oct. 20 & 27, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. If you’ve got the chutzpah to chat in Yiddish, this is where it’s at! Visit the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta (MJCCA), Zaban Park

and enjoy lively conversation, jokes and stories in the mother tongue. Yiddish speakers from expert to beginner are welcome. Free for MJCCA members, and open to the community for $5 a session. MJCCA, Zaban Park, 5342 Tilly Mill Rd., Dunwoody 30338. Contact Early Finley at 678-8124070 or earl.finley@atlantajcc. org to find out more.

Profiles of Positive Aging Gala Sunday, Nov. 5, 3-5 p.m. Honorees include Mel Pender, 1968 Summer Olympics Gold Medalist and Margerey Avery of Saint Anne's Terrace. Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Rd., Atlanta 30305. Go to for info and tickets.

Learn Something

Haunted Sandy Springs Friday, Oct. 27, 6- 10 p.m. Walk through the historic Sandy Springs Cemetery for a half mile of history and local folklore. $15 per person. Williams-Payne House, 6075 Sandy Springs Cir., Sandy Springs 30328. For more information, call Melissa Swindell at 404-851-9111 x2, visit

Elegant Elf Marketplace Saturday, Nov. 4, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sunday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Get your holiday shopping done early. The 7th annual Elegant Elf Marketplace, presented by the Sandy Springs Society, is an upscale gift market featuring more than 85 local and regional artists, craftsmen and unique vendors. $5 entrance fee; free for children 10 and under; free parking. Lake Forest Elementary School, 5920 Sandy Springs Cir., Sandy Springs 30328. Visit to learn more.

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Rediscover Your Spark Sunday, Oct. 22, 2-4:30 p.m. It’s a special way to celebrate the weekend Sweetest Day, by finding someone to share it with. Somerby Sandy Springs hosts a speed-dating event for seniors in the area. Somerby Sandy Springs, 25 Glenlake Pkwy. NE, Atlanta 30328. For more information, contact Jodi Firestone at jfirestone@

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AARP Smart DriverTEK Workshops Tuesday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. in Snellville; Thursday, Oct. 12, 10 a.m. in Norcross. Gwinnett County Public Library and AARP, present free Smart DriverTEK Workshops to help drivers understand new vehicle safety technologies. This is distinct from the AARP Driver Safety’s Smart Driver course. Oct. 10 workshop is at the Centerville Branch, 3025 Bethany Church Rd., Snellville 30039; Oct. 12 workshop is at the Norcross Branch, 6025 Buford Hwy., Norcross 30071. Both classes are free, but reservations are strongly advised. RSVP at For more information, visit or call 770-978-5154.

Reduce Back Pain without Medication and Surgery Wednesday, Oct. 18, 10-11:30 a.m. Learn the anatomy and mechanics of the back, as well as common injuries that lead to pain and how to treat it. Presented by Dr. Josh with First Step Physical Therapy. Free, registration required. East Cobb Senior Center, 3332 Sandy Plains Rd., Marietta 30066. Call 770-509-4900 for details or visit

Plan your next trip to the Southeastern Railway Museum today!

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Benson Manor is a 76-unit affordable senior housing community designed with stone and sturdy wood-like siding. Each apartment is approximately 540 square feet. Benson Manor is conveniently located close to shopping, churches, medical facilities, and a major bus route. Residents must be 62 years of age or older. Some units have special features for mobility and sensory impaired persons. Income limitations are determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Residents pay 30 percent of their adjusted income for rent. Gross income must not exceed $24,400.00 for one person and $27,900.00 for two persons.

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Festivals & Fun Fall Festival on Ponce Saturday, Oct. 14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. & Sunday, Oct. 15, 11 a.m.5 p.m. This annual arts and crafts festival includes food and musical. Free admission. Olmstead Linear Park in Druid Hills, 1451 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta 30307. More at


4/610/2Atlanta, - Fairburn4/8 Alpharetta, 10/23 - Atlanta 10/3 -Roswell, Atlanta 4/22 Duluth 10/25 -Roswell 4/1810/16 -Atlanta Atlanta more dates & locations available 4/24-

Continued on page 29

OCTOBER 2017 |


►Out & about Little Five Points Halloween Festival

Marietta Chalktoberfest

Saturday, Oct. 14 & Sunday, Oct. 15. The weekend combines the annual Chalk Festival and Craft Beer Festival. The Craft Beer Festival only runs Saturday, Oct. 14, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and Craft Beer Festival tickets are $40 online, $50 at the event. The rest of the festival is free to attend. All proceeds go to the Marietta Cobb Museum of Art. Historic Marietta Square, 30 Atlanta St., Marietta, 30060. Online tickets and more info at

Saturday, Oct. 21, 4-6 p.m. A celebration of Halloween with live music, an artist market, local food vendors and a parade. Free admission. Little Five Points, Euclid Ave., Atlanta 30307. To get details, go to

Taste of Atlanta Friday, Oct. 20, 7:30-11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 21, 12-7 p.m. & Sunday, Oct. 22, 12-6 p.m. You’ll have the opportunity to try some of the best food Atlanta has to offer. There’s a new location this year: Historic Fourth Ward Park, 680 Dallas St., Atlanta 30308. Get tickets and more info at

Brookhaven Arts Festival Saturday, Oct. 21, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Sunday, Oct. 22, 12-5 p.m. More than 140 artists and musical performances will be featured. Free admission. 4047 Peachtree Rd., Atlanta 30319. More info at

Stone Mountain Highland Games Saturday, Oct. 21 & Sunday, Oct. 22, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Enter the world of the Scots with tartans, bagpipes, dancing, a parade, and of course, competitions. Tickets are $20 per day for adults; $6 per day for ages 4-12; advanced ticket discounts available online. Stone Mountain Park, 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain 30083. Find out more at

HarvestFest Saturday, Oct. 21. Arts & Crafts Festival, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Halloween Happenings, 1-5 p.m. HarvestFest, an annual arts and crafts festival, includes Halloween Happenings for children, with carnival games and prizes. Glover Park in Historic Marietta Square, 39-75 Park Square, Marietta 30060. Find out more by visiting


OCTOBER 2017 |

Wings Over North Georgia Saturday, Oct. 21 & Sunday, Oct. 22, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. The Blue Angels headline an all-star line-up. General admission tickets are: $30 ($25 advance) for adults; $25 ($20 advance) for ages 6-17 & military, EMS, fire and police personnel; free for children 5 and under. Parking is $25 ($20 advance). Ticket packages available.

Russell Regional Airport, 304 Russell Field Rd., Rome 30165. Get tickets and more info at

5th Annual Atlanta Kosher BBQ Festival Sunday, Oct. 22. The South’s most famous kosher BBQ festival is presented by the Hebrew Order of David International, and features a BBQ competition, tastings, kosher vendors, a beer garden, live music and a kids’ area. Pavilion at Brook Run Park, 4470 N. Peachtree Rd., Dunwoody 30338. Get taste tickets and the info you need at

Smyrna Fall Jonquil Festival Saturday, Oct. 28, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. & Sunday, Oct. 29, 12-5 p.m. This family-favorite festival includes artisans from all over the Southeast. Visitors will enjoy arts & crafts booths, live music and delicious foods. The Friends of the Smyrna Library hosts a book sale and Keep Smyrna Beautiful offers jonquil bulbs for sale. Free admission. Community Center, 200 Village Green Cir., Smyrna 30080. Click on to get more information.

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Saturday, Nov. 4, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Enjoy good down-home food and entertainment with a chili cook-off and bluegrass music. There’s also a 5K race and artist market. The festival benefits the Cabbagetown parks, green spaces and community center. Cabbagetown neighborhood, 650 Gaskill St., Atlanta 30316. Find out more at

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Friday, Nov. 3, 5-10 p.m. (ArtWalk) & Saturday, Nov. 4, 12:30-4:30 p.m. (Wine Festival) Friday evening, the ArtWalk will be held at 13 locations around town, with free admission. On Saturday, the Wine Festival, for ages


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are $45, plus applicable fees, per person. The Old Courthouse Square, 101 E. Court Sq., Decatur 30030. Visit decaturwinefestival. org for both events.

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OCTOBER 2017 |

Atlanta Senior Life - October 2017  
Atlanta Senior Life - October 2017