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Senior Center adds fitness program SILVERSNEAKERS TO START IN MAY Photos and Story by Trey Mewes Exercise is easier at Mower County Senior Center now that the SilverSneakers program is starting. The national senior fitness program is coming to the MCSC, SILVER starting May 24. SNEAKERS “We’re moving into a health and wellness era where people are When: Tuesdays concerned with their well being,” and Thursdays at said Sara Schafer, MCSC Director. 8:30 a.m. and 4:39 The classes will focus on imp.m. starting May proving muscle range, as well as 24. helping balance, coordination and Where: Mower agility. They’ll be offered four County Senior times a week, at 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 Center p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Contact: Senior according to Schafer. Center: 433-2370 “I think it could be great for anyone to take the class,” said Brigette Rambadt, class instructor. “It’s increasing balance, dexterity and motion. It’s really modified to fit all sorts of levels.”

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From left, Norma Shoop, Gladys Hertle, Kay Scherer, Evie Anderson and Bertha Hanson relax after an exercise class Tuesday. SilverSneakers, a national fitness program, is coming to Mower County Senior Center, which offers a Tai Chi class and Anderson's aerobics class.

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Budget cuts may target Medicare By MATT PETERSON

Congressmen and citizens have agreed the nation needs to reduce its budget; however, a new budget proposal aims to slash billions of dollars right off the bat, which could wreak havoc on seniors. A House Republican bill by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) would slash government funding across the board and do it quickly. Of all the cuts the bill proposes — including transportation, agriculture, health care and social security — seniors could face the most immediate effect. According to Congressman Tim Walz (DMinn.), seniors could face twice the health care costs they already pay. According to the Ryan bill, a senior wouldn’t have coverage as he or she currently does. Rather, he or she would have a $6,000 voucher. Walz summarized what it would be like for a typical senior: “Basically, seniors would be expected to go to Blue Cross Blue Shield and say, ‘here’s our voucher.’” Walz added the plan would remove about

$150 billion from health care funding and leave roughly 7 million children without medical care. But Walz doesn’t think the bill will get a vote in the Senate. He said it’s likely a ploy to foster quick, drastic solutions from Democrats. Not only would many senators fear signing the bill, Walz said about 70 to 75 percent of the public is opposed to it. “I’m glad that it’s a conversation starter,” Walz said of the House Republican bill; however, he quickly dismissed its validity. “I think it’s absolutely wrong.” Walz said it will take years to reduce the deficit, but he thinks it is possible. “It’s going to take a balanced program,” he added. You can’t tax your way out of it, and you can’t cut your way out of it. You have to grow your way out of it.” In response to the dramatic cuts, Walz has been on the road preaching compromise. He recommends solutions that mirror the bi-partisan budget proposal of the chairmen of Obama’s deficit commission, former Republican senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming and former Clinton Chief of Staff Erskine

Bowles. Although that plan calls for $4 trillion in across-the-board cuts, it spreads them out over a long time, in many cases 10 years. Changes include adjustments to federal pensions, raising the retirement age, establishing a disaster relief fund, consolidating duplicate government programs, adjusting Medicare and limiting war spending. The plan calls for reductions in some areas of Medicare; however, Walz doesn’t agree with all of them. He thinks Medicare needs to adjust with the rate of inflated medical costs, which is generally 9 percent. In recent years, Medicare has only risen 2 percent, Walz said. Walz also told Austin's veterans about duplicate military spending in February — something veteran Norm Hecimovich, local Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Chair agrees with. Making cuts in that area could relieve some of the burden to Medicare and many seniors.

Of Medicare, Hecimovich said a $6,000 voucher wouldn’t go far, and it’s not fair for older seniors. “It sounds like a lot of money, but guess what: That doesn’t last very long” he said. “It always sounds like a lot of money until you see one bill.” Although the U.S. offers a lot of international aid, Hecimovich also said the country could focus on seniors who need the help first. Walz and Hecimovich encourage seniors to contact whomever their local representatives are and voice their opinions.

Travel tips for seniors (ARA) — Statistics are proving that age 70 really is the new 50. According to the U.S. Travel Association, mature travelers ages 65 or older represented 21 percent of all leisure travelers in 2010. Here are some special considerations for senior travelers looking for a hassle-free travel experience.

Pack carefully When packing for a trip, it's important to be prepared. Some packing essentials include a comfortable pair of shoes, a hat and sunglasses to protect the face, clothing that you can wear in layers and any necessary personal items.

Get protection Whether traveling 50 miles or 5,000, prepare for the unexpected by purchasing a membership from a travel and medical assistance company like On Call International before you leave. Senior travelers ages 77 to 85 can purchase a special Mature Membership, which includes services like emergency medical transportation to the hospital of their choice, transportation home, worldwide physician referrals, a 24hour nurse helpline and emergency travel assistance.

Visit your doctor As a senior, your health is very important and no one ever wants to get sick or injured on vacation. Schedule a checkup with your doctor before any major trip to discuss the activities you plan to do, and get written prescriptions for any medications you may need. Keep your prescriptions in their original containers so that they can be identified properly.

2 FRIDAY, APRIL 29, 2011

Senior Living AUSTIN DAILY HERALD


Fit: Mother, daughter to teach class From Page 1 Rambadt, a certified Yoga instructor, and her mother DJ Gorman, who’s taught fitness classes since the 1970s, will teach the class. Each class involves fun equipment, including elastic stretch bands, exer- “It’s going cise balls, weights and to be fun. best of all, special chairs for chair exerIt’s going cises. The class will to get involve Yoga stretches as well as innovate them ways to increase musmoving.” cle motion and overall health, all at each senior’s pace. -DJ Gorman “It’s adjusted to (seniors’) capabilities,” Gorman said. “It’s going to be fun. It’s going to get them moving.” Even though an open house took place Thursday, the class will start once the Sil-

Kay Scherer and Evie Anderson make time for small-talk after an aerobic exercise class Tuesday morning. verSneaker chairs come in, according to Schafer. The class is affordable and covered by some insurance carriers. It’s open to everyone, although senior center members will get a discount. The MCSC will offer six week program packages as well as a punch card for travelers who can come and go as

they please. Since SilverSneakers is a national program, winter birds who fly south when snow falls can expect the exact same classes wherever they travel. “Now they’ll be able to come back home for the summer and participate in SilverSneakers up here too,” Schafer said.

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Senior Living - Spring 2011