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Program offers new way to dine Seniors to receive one free meal a day at Mower County Senior Center By Tyler Jensen

Any senior who would like one will soon be able to have one free meal a day at the Mower County Senior Center. The program is available due to a partnership with Semcac, which receives a grant from the federal government, said Senior Center Executive Director Sara Schafer. “The government is saying, ‘Anyone that is 60 and older deserves to have one nutritious meal a day,’” Schafer said. The only thing that is used to qualify the individual is their age. “This is based on age. It is not based on income,” Schafer said. “We’re going to treat everyone the same.” While no one knows the future, the grant program has been in place for a number of years and seems to be very stable, Schafer said. “I know it is not set to go away any time soon,” she said. If people so choose, they can leave an anonymous free will donation in a safe at the front office to help support the program. For those who want to participate, a form is filled out once a year and then they receive a punch card which is punched whenever they have their daily meal. At the end of each month, the cards are collected and used by the Senior Center for its paperwork, Schafer said. Schafer has wanted to participate in this program for a while and is very excited to be bringing it to the Senior Center now. Programs like these and

With the new punch card system, seniors can get one free meal a day at the Mower County Senior Center. Photo provided making sure seniors are eating healthy foods are important to keeping them living independently for longer. “In order to stay strong and h ealthy, someo ne needs to eat everyday and they also need to eat nutri-

tious food every day if they want to stay healthy,” Schafer said. In addition, this helps with keeping them socializing with others. For many seniors who participate in exercise programs at the center,

going to the coffee shop afterward is a habit, Schafer said. There, they visit with others, and if anyone does not attend without notifying someone, the group gets in touch with them to make sure they are alright and encourage them

to attend workouts in the future. The coffee shop, which replaced a used item store, has been very popular with people, Schafer said. “We have a lot of people who come every single day and eat here,” she said.

Other than adding a new layer, food service at the center will not be changing. While people can come in to fill out the paperwork already, the punch card system officially begins Monday, Jan. 20.

Have an event? Call the Mower County Senior Center to reserve space Aside from getting a good meal, the Mower County Senior Center can be your destination for any kind of event you would like to hold. With a selection of big and small rooms, the Senior Center can find the space best suited for you.

The multipurpose room can hold 290 people and comes with use of a commercial kitchen and stage and is perfect for your kind of celebration. The room can be rented from one to four hours at a cost of $375. A $100 deposit is required to reserve the room.

If you are holding a smaller event, the room can be divided in half and still have use of the kitchen. This space can hold 242 people and still requires a $100 deposit. Smaller rooms for 16 to 50 people are also available. Call the Senior Center at 1-507-433-2370 for more information on

these rooms. Along with all of this, the cafe at the Senior Center is fully stocked with snacks and beverages should you wish to have it open for your event. For more information, visit


Senior Living


A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Learning their history is one way to honor Native Americans who serve in our military. Photo provided

Great ways to honor our Native veterans

Native Americans have served in every major U.S. war,and the history of their service during World War II is particularly significant, as Navajo, Comanche, Sioux and Hopi servicemen developed and memorized special codes based on their languages to send critical messages from the frontlines of battlefields in the Pacific, Europe and North Africa. Known as Code Talkers, their work was instrumental to win battles and save lives.

so making an impact. In the case of Wells Fargo, initiatives include having dedicated team members focused on serving AIAN communities in the U.S. with products, services and financial education programs tailored to help tribal governments, tribal enterprises and tribal members succeed financially, as well as through hiring initiatives targeted at veterans through its Military Affairs Program. The company offers apprenticeships, inter nships, transition services and leadership training to veterans, as well as employee resource groups, financial education, military leave benefits and other programming. “Wells Fargo has been the most military friendly company I’ve ever worked for,” says Shanitra Foster, a Wells Fargo personal banker who is Navajo and served in the Army National Guard as a military police officer. “My team really supported me when I take time off for my drill weekends.” For more information on financial support in Native communities at native-people.

Support Initiatives

Visit a New Monument

By State Point Media

Today, American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians (AIAN) serve in the U.S. military at one of the highest rates per capita of all population groups, according to the Smithsonian Institution. In fact, the AIAN veteran cohort served in the Pre9/11 period of service in a higher percentage than veterans of other races (19.9 percent vs. 13.3 percent, respectively). Here are a few ways to honor the legacy and service of Native American veterans of the U.S. military.

Learn the History

Organizations that promote appreciation and understanding of the identities and cultures of Indigenous Peoples, as well as honor the achievements and service of veterans, are helping shift the norm and serve as a model to others. Thankf u l ly, m a ny o r g a n i z a tions and companies are already taking steps to honor Native American veterans in ways that tangibly improve lives and expand oppor tunities, such as through housing prog rams, educational scholarships and hiring initiatives. One ex am pl e i s O peration Tiny Home, a non-profit which provides apprentice training workshops for Native Americans to build high-quality, sustainable housing. Corporate action is al-

A visit to the U.S. capital has long held opportunities for learning about U.S. military history, and soon, those who make the trip will have a dedicated site where they can honor AIAN veterans across generations. In November 2020, The National Native American Veterans Memorial will be unveiled in Washington, D.C. on the National Mall, representing the first time the country will recognize the distinguished service of Native Americans in every branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Local historical sites and museums nationwide also pay tribute to military history and Native veterans. Take steps to learn about the contributions of Native Americans in the military and find ways to honor their service.

Caregivers face everyday challgengs when caring for the elderly. Photo provided

How to navigate the challenges of caregiving By State Point Media

As the population of older U.S. adults grows, more Americans are taking on long-term caregiving duties for loved ones. An estimated 43.5 million adults in the U.S. have provided unpaid care in the past 12 months, according to AARP. “While caregiving presents many opportunities for growing strong bonds with loved ones, the work itself can be demanding, eventually taking a toll on those shouldering the burden,” says Lakelyn Hogan, a gerontologist and caregiver advocate at Home Instead Senior Care. Hogan and the experts at Home Instead Senior Care are sharing tips to navigate the challenges.

Use Online Resources

To fully advocate for your loved one, it’s necessary to understand his or her medical conditions and the specific areas where extra help is needed. Doing so will help you secure support services, get information from doctors, ensure medications are being administered safely and even help you make appropriate meal and transportation arrangements. Most reputable sources of condition-specific information can also double as a place for finding care and support.

“While caregiving presents many opportunities for growing strong bonds with loved ones, the work itself can be demanding, eventually taking a toll on those shouldering the burden.” Lakelyn Hogan Gerontologist and caregiver advocate

involved. In the realm of personal care, this trend is especially important: personal care activities were identified in an AARP survey as among the most challenging daily activities caregivers must manage. When it comes to shaving, a task that seems simple enough when performed on oneself, things can get tricky. Currently, 46 percent of caregivers are using a disposable razor to provide an assisted shave to their loved one at home, according to a Gillette survey. The problem? When caregivers use one Search for Innovative Tools Innovative companies are taking of the 4,000 razors designed for note of the needs of caregivers and shaving oneself, turning it around are designing everyday products to use on someone else is trickier to help them make daily tasks eas- than you might expect -- not to menier and more comfortable for all tion time-consuming. Fortunately,

there is now a razor specifically engineered for assisted shaving. A first of its kind, the Gillette TREO razor includes special features that protect against nicks and cuts, and its clog-free design doesn’t require the use of water. What’s more, the razor has an ergonomic handle providing greater comfort and control. These updates are particularly critical, as sensitive and thinning skin is prevalent among older adults and is a common side effect of many medications. To learn more, visit As more companies introduce tools designed for caregivers, such personal care tasks as shaving have the potential to become easier, safer and more comfortable.

Make Space for Yourself

Prioritizing your own health and happiness is critical. After all, if your health suffers, it could make it impossible for you to continue caregiving. Rely on family and friends or a part-time professional to step in and give you a chance to recharge. Use the personal time to read, journal, exercise, take a nature walk, visit your doctor or simply meet with friends. You may also benefit from joining a caregivers’ support group. Luckily, social media has made it simple for people to find one another and connect. While the roles and responsibilities of caregiving vary, leveraging the resources designed to universally assist caregivers can help you navigate the many challenges of daily life.

Senior Living

A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD


What every family needs to know about Parkinson’s Disease By State Point Media

Debbie, 63, and Doug Chambers, 72, had always been a social couple, enjoying travel, dinners with friends and going to the movies. But their active lifestyle began to change in 2016 when Doug’s gait became slower and he had difficulty concentrating. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease soon thereafter. There was a lear ning curve as Debbie and Doug adapted to managing this disease, especially with the onset of unexpected n o n - m ove m e n t s y m p toms. As his condition progressed, Doug would regularly scan the environment outside his home, looking people up and down, as if assessing their potential to do harm. At the senior center, he was concerned that the water was poisoned and that the staff was antagonistic toward him. He couldn’t be convinced that his beliefs were untrue. Doug was experiencing hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s disease, symptoms that around 50 percent of people with Parkinson’s may experience over the course of their disease, according to a study published in the Lancet Neurology. The onset of non-movement symptoms, like hallucinations and delusions, can impact both the person with Parkinson’s and their caregiver’s quality of life. According to a recent survey conducted by the Parkinson and Movement Disorder Alliance (PMDA), 90 percent of people with Parkinson’s (or their caregivers) reported experiencing non-movement symptoms associated with Parkinson’s and nearly half felt these were harder to live with than movement symptoms. Further, of those reporting non-movement symptoms, most said they had a significant neg-

The health benefits of regular exercise are undeniable, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends 30 minutes of exercise at least five times per week. However, high-impact exercises like running and weight training can lead to joint pain, especially if you have a joint condition. The good news is that smart exercises with low impact can alleviate joint pain and deliver the same health benefits. Here are a few tips to consider for a healthy start to 2020:

Keep moving

Trying to protect your joints by not moving actually does more harm than good. Regular exercise can actually help joint pain and ease symptoms of chronic joint conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Just be sure to talk to your doctor about your exercise plan before you get started.

Go low impact

You don’t need to put tremendous weight on your

Governmentfunded day care helps keep seniors out of nursing homes and hospitals Lori Basheda Kaiser Health News via Associated Press

Knowing about Parkinson’s helps families know how to deal with the illness. Adobe Stock ative impact on sleeping (60 percent), planning for future events (55 percent) and partner intimacy (53 percent). Non-movement symptoms aren’t reported to physicians often. Only 1020 percent of those experiencing hallucinations and delusions associated with Parkinson’s proactively report it to their health care providers. Some may not connect the symptoms to Parkinson’s, or feel embarrassed to discuss it, but doctors say these non-motor symptoms can potentially be addressed and caregivers play an impor tant role in this process. “A person with Parkinson’s may not understand that certain images they see or beliefs they hold aren’t true, making input from caregivers on their loved one’s day-to-day behavior critical to helping their doctor address these aspects of the disease,” says Dr. Neal Hermanowicz, M.D., director, UC Irvine Movement Disorders

Program. Indeed, caregivers are two to four times more likeParkinson’s disease signs and symptoms can be different for everyone. ly than people with ParkinEarly signs may be mild and go unnoticed. Symptoms often begin on one son’s to recognize the presside of your body and usually remain worse on that side, even after symptoms begin to affect both sides. ence of hallucinations and delusions, according to the Parkinson’s signs and symptoms may include: PMDA survey. • Tremor: A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand Debbie felt compelled to or fingers. You may a rub your thumb and forefinger back-and-forth, share Doug’s symptoms known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremor when it’s at rest. with his movement dis• Slowed movement (bradykinesia): Over time, Parkinson’s disease may order specialist when he slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. began accusing her of infiYour steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get delity, a commonly reportout of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk. ed delusion among those Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion. with Parkinson’s. Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you “I’m glad that I told may have balance problems as a result of Parkinson’s disease. Doug’s doctor about his visions and beliefs. It was re• Loss of automatic movements: You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging assuring to learn that mayour arms when you walk. ny people with Parkinson’s experience these and other • Speech changes: You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before non-motor symptoms, and talking. Your speech may be more of a monotone rather than with the usual inflections. realize that I’m not alone in trying to cope with them,” • Writing changes: It may become hard to write, and your writing may says Debbie. “I recommend appear small. all families seek that support.” When to see a doctor If you believe your loved See your doctor if you have any of the symptoms associated with Parkinson’s disease — not only to diagnose your condition but also to rule one is experiencing halout other causes for your symptoms. lucinations or delusions as a result of Parkinson’s Information courtesy of Mayo Clinic disease, talk to their neurologist and learn more at through a Parkinson’s dis- of which include support You can also find support ease organization, many for caregivers.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Tips for relieving joint pain in the new year By State Point Media


joints or jump up and down in order to break a sweat or elevate your heartrate. When you’re already in pain, this type of exercise can actually make things worse. Instead, opt for high-quality, low-impact workouts. There are now exercise machines available for home use that provide the same quality low-impact workout you’d get in physical therapy. Consider the Teeter FreeStep Recumbent Cross Trainer, a seated exercise machine that takes the weight off the joints while torching calories. Unlike other recumbent machines which can be bad for the knees, the FreeStep mimics a natural stepping motion that prevents knees from traveling over the toes, as well as stabilizes the back and hips. And you don’t have to sacrifice workout quality – in fact, research shows that FreeStep users burn 17.4 percent more calories than when using a recumbent bike at the same level of effort. Beyond calorie burn, it also offers full-body resistance training, which is especially important, as

weak muscles can be a root cause of pain.


It may seem obvious, but ensuring that you drink the recommended daily intake of water is vital to reducing pain in your joints. Proper hydration helps your body eliminate wastes and toxins that can lead to painful joint conditions. Plus, it helps to keep the joints lubricated and flexible, reducing friction and inflammation and helping to maintain healthy tissue.

Stretch daily

Stretching increases flexibility and range of motion, improves movement and function, reduces pain and stiffness and prevents further injury. Just remember to move slowly and keep it gentle. At the very least, spend a good five to 10 minutes in the morning stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, calf muscles and hip flexors. For a free photo guide to “5 Daily Stretches to Relieve Knee & Joint Pain,” plus a code for $75 off the FreeStep (good through January 31, 2020), visit tee- With the right exercises and maintenance program,

you can improve your health and get a stronger body, without pain.

SAN MARCOS, Calif. — Two mornings a week, a van arrives at the Escondido, Calif., home of Mario Perez and takes him to a new senior center in this northern San Diego County town, where he eats a hot lunch, plays cards and gets physical therapy to help restore the balance he lost after breaking both legs in a fall. If he wants, he can shower, get his hair cut or have his teeth cleaned. Those twice-weekly visits are the highlights of the week for Perez, a 65-year-old retired mechanic who has diabetes and is legally blind. “The people here are very human, very nice,” he said. “I’m gonna’ ask for three days a week.” The nonprofit Gary and Mary West PACE center, which opened in September, is California’s newest addition to a system of care for frail and infirm seniors known as the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly. The services provided by PACE, a national program primarily funded by Medicaid and Medicare, are intended to keep people 55 and older who need nursing home levels of care at home as long as possible and out of the hospital. The program is more important than ever as baby boomers age, its proponents say. “The rapidly growing senior population in California and across the country will put enormous strain on our current fragmented, and often inefficient, health care delivery system,” said Tim Lash, president of Gary and Mary West PACE. California officials consider PACE an integral part of the state’s strategy to upgrade care for aging residents. PACE Association said data it collected for 2019 shows seniors enrolled in PACE cost states 13 percent less on average than the cost of caring for them through other Medicaid-funded services, including nursing homes.



Senior Living

A special supplement to the AUSTIN DAILY HERALD

Courtney Hale/iStock

Do you know what’s in your dietary supplements? By State Point Media

Owners of the Minnesota Cafe, sometime in the 1940s. Photos courtesy of the Mower County Historical Society

The Minnesota Cafe opens in Austin By Jaimie Timm Mower County Historical Society

The newly built Minnesota Café opened on Aug. 31, 1941. It was an expansion of the former Minnesota Lunch Cafe, which had been housed right next door to the new building.  Both businesses were owned and operated by George Togas and his wife, Dena. The advertisements for the new café boasted comfortable booths and new fixtures and equipment as well as superb food and good service. The bottom of the ads also noted what seems like a curious menu item, “We specialize in Coney Islands.” While “Coney Island” probably brings to mind images of a seaside amusement park and hotdogs on steamed buns, the term also referred to a  hotdog served with chili, mustard, and onions. In the Midwest (especially in Michigan), many Greek immigrants opened diners with “Coney Islands” on the menu.  It just so happens that George and Dena emigrated

from Greece to the United States in the early 1930s. Although the historical society does not currently have a menu from the café in its collection, one can imagine it was proba- This story can be found bly the usual diner food with in the January-February a few specialties from George edition of Austin Living and Dena’s homeland. Many Magazine, out now. If have speculated that the reason you have any ideas for a so many Greek immigrants fea- story,please email eric. tured “Coney Island” style hot johnson@austindailydogs on their diner menus is because nearly all of them entered the country through Ellis Island and either visited the amusement park or heard of the treat. It may also have been inspired by a traditional Greek dish called saltsa kima, a spicey, tomato-based meat sauce.  A look at the cafe from when it was open accompanied by two ads that ran in the Austin Daily Herald regarding the opening.

Dietary supplements help people get the nutrients they need to thrive, and 77 percent of Americans take them, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). However, experts say that in order to make smart choices down the line, it is necessary to understand changes being made to product labels. “The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that all dietary supplement products feature updated labeling by January 2021 to reflect the evolution of the American diet, as well as advancements in nutrition science,” says Brian Wommack, senior vice president of communications at CRN. “Larger manufacturers will comply by January 2020, and many other manufacturers will be introducing the new labels early, so it’s smart for everyone to get familiar with the updates now.” Eighty-two percent of Americans agree that the information on the label helps them make purchasing decisions, and being label wise, according to Wommack, means being committed to reading product labels, having knowledge of what information is featured and why, and making smart, well-informed purchasing decisions.

“While some of the changes to the label are more obvious than others, all of them are important to understand,” says Wommack. To help you understand the transition, CRN has identified some of the noticeable aspects of the new Supplement Facts label: • New Daily Values (DVs) will reflect the latest nutrition science and changes in American diets. • Vitamins A, D, and E will change from amounts in Inter national Units (IU), to the more common measures of milligrams (mg) and microg rams (mcg). • Folic acid, an important nutrient before and during pregnancy, will be listed as folate and measured in micrograms of dietary folate equivalents (DFEs). • If sugar is added to the product, you will see the amount and percent DV. To lear n more about the coming changes, as well as for more tips and advice on reading supplement labels, visit or follow the conversation at #labelwise. “We all have unique nutritional needs. So, talk with your healthcare practitioner to understand how these label changes might impact you,” says Wommack.

Profile for Austin Daily Herald

Senior Living • January 2020  

Senior Living • January 2020