Page 1

A guide to good living in the Brazos Valley


Save Room for Dessert

Chef Diane gives you the recipe for an easy chocolate pie Pg. 10

The Memory Medic

Living with chronic stress can take a toll on memory Pg. 2

December 2010 • Vol. 3, Issue 8 • A monthly publication of the Bryan-College Station Eagle

Get in the Spirit Plenty of holiday hot spots for great family fun PAGE PA GE 8


CONTENTS Money: ‘Tis the season for charity.......................4 Money Matters...................................................5 Community: Open Arms Respite Group.............6 Bradway: Dealing with Chronic Pain...................7 HealthMatters....................................................7 Health: Put Your Best Foot Forward..................11 Calendar...........................................................14

Ca Calendar ev events

December 2010

Do you have an event you’d like on the 50plus calendar? Email it to (subject line:50plus calendar) or fax it to 979-774-0053 (attn Billy Mau). Calendar space is first-come-first-served.

50plus is a monthly publication of Bryan-College Station Communications Inc. 1729 Briarcrest Drive Bryan, Texas


The Eagle •

Jim Wilson



A recent brain-scan study of aged humans with a history of chronic stress showed they had shrunken hippocampus, the part of the brain that governs the ability to conve con rt a temporary memory into a lasting one. Thus, it was no particular surprise when researchers found that stressed subjects perf med worse than perfor controls on delayed-recall memory tests of line drawings and a spatial memory maze test. Another recent study monitored blood levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in 57 healthy volunteers once each year for five to six years. Subjects varied considerably in the extent of their stress, as indicated by blood levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, and also by psychological test measures of stress. People with high cortisol levels that increased each year had nearly near half the memory perf mance capability perfor

of the people with moderate levels of cortisol that decreased each year. As in the first-mentioned study, brain scans revealed a smaller hippocampus in the high-stress group This ef effect should be of special concern because other studies ha shown have dR. BiLL KLemm that the The memory meDic hippocampus also helps to regulate cortisol levels. Damage to the hippocampus can lead to even more cortisol release and added hippocampal damage. I recently had the chance to visit with U.C. Irvine’s James McGaugh, who is a pioneer in research on stress effects ef on memory. One of his key findings from research in rats is that some animals show great sensitivity sensiti to stress by releasing huge amounts

of adrenalin and cortisol. But other rats barely react at all. Most human studies lump all the individual indi data together in a group average, and that can obscure the role of individual indi dif ences. differ This is important, because people vary a lot in the way they respond to stress, both psychologically and in the release of adrenalin and cortisol. McGaugh noticed that when a single stress event is presented to previously un-stressed rats, the effect ef is to create a strong memory. The hormones actually make learning experiences more memorable. Ordinarily, this can be a good thing because it makes it more likely that the things that caused the stress will be remembered and avoided in the future. Dr. McGaugh and I agree that individual indi dif ences differ

See Memory Medic pa 11 page

Billy Mau


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Living with chronic stress takes a toll on the memory

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The Eagle •

• Pre-admission home visit and assessment. • Licensed nurse on site 24 hour urs a day. da • Specially trained staff assist wi with all aspects of care while maximizing and encouraging independence. • A fully supe su rvised, success-oriented activities program offer off ed everyday. ay ay. • Regularly scheduled social events with family in lvement welcomed. invo • Three nutritious meals served daily, with snacks da available throughout the day. • Supe Supervised Su rvised outings to nearby points of interest. • Furnished linens and routine housekeeping. housekee ek ping. ekee • Comfor Comfortable, mf table, attractively decorated living li ng rooms, mfor livi activity rooms and private conversation areas. • Cable TV and fireplace in livi li ng rooms. • Beautifully landscaped secured courtyard with walking areas. • Individ di ualized service plans. divid • Electronically monitored security system. • TV and phone outlets in all resident rooms. • Support Su ort groups, Supp groups ou , educational programs oups and referral services.

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‘Tis the season to reduce your tax bill By CECIL SCAGLIONE

The Eagle •

December 2010

Mature Life Features

About half of all charitable giving each year is logged between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, according to a report attributed to Charity Navigator, which rates the performance and administration of several thousand non-profit agencies. These organizations are not about to question your motives – whether you’re making donations out of the goodness of your heart or to chop a chunk out of your tax bill. Charitable giving returns many options for tax deductions, but there’s more to it than just writing a check or dropping off your giveaway vehicle in front of their shop. You need proper documentation to reduce scrutiny by the Internal Revenue Service, whose role is to make sure all claims are justified and the rules are not abused. To assure the IRS that you have not inflated the value of your charitable gifts, the Charity Navigator suggests you maintain a paper trail of all cash donations. This calls for a canceled check, creditcard or bank statement, or a written receipt from the charity of your choice showing its name and the date and amount given. If you contribute $250 or more, you also must prove that you didn’t receive

anything in return for the donation. Besides a receipt from the charity that includes the organization’s name, date, and value of your gift, you’ll need a statement verifying that you did not receive any goods or services in return for your gift. Donating a vehicle adds a new wrinkle. If you donate a car worth more than $500, you can deduct only what the charity received from the sale of your car. You can use the receipt from the agency to substantiate your claim. The fair-market value of the vehicle does not apply unless the charity keeps and uses it instead of selling it, makes improvements to the car before selling it, sells at a discounted price to a person with a low income, or if it’s worth less than $500. Donations of clothing and household items must be in goodcondition.Trashandjunk not only cost the charitable organization time and money to discard, but the IRS does not permit deductions for such items. The only exception is for a single piece of clothing or household item worth more than $500. You can claim a deduction for such items regardless of its condition as long as you submit a qualified appraisal with your tax return. You’ll want to maintain an itemized receipt from the charity for all gifts less than

$500 to substantiate your claims in case of an audit. You must itemize to take a charitable deduction. Your donation qualifies for a deduction in this tax year if it’s made before midnight Dec. 31. You can do that online, reports Charity Navigator, and make the tax-deduction deadline even though you won’t be paying your credit card until you receive the statement in the New Year. If you’ve waited until the last minute and paid by check, your gift qualifies so long as the check was mailed on or before Dec. 31. Keep in mind that, just because an organization is exempt from income tax, it doesn’t mean that contributions to the organization are tax deductible. For example, 501(c) (4) organizations like the National Rifle Association of America are allowed to spend a portion of their revenue on lobbying so not every donation to them is tax-deductible.

Most people make charitable donations this time of year. Those donations can be deducted from your taxes if you take the proper steps when giving to charity.

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Senior Circle is out to expand your horizons with an exciting calendar of events scheduled around town and around the world. If you’re 50 or better, want to meet new people, learn more about your health, travel and just have fun, then Senior Circle is for you. Dues are just $15 a year. Call Mandy Williams today at 979-764-5107 and become part of the Circle.

Tropical Costa Rica • February 19-27, 2011 Enjoy a tropical adventure that includes spectacular activities such as a tour of the Doka Coffee Estate, a sky walk tour above the Monteverde Cloud Forest and a cruise of Lake Arenal.

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The Eagle •

While the adult population overwhelmingly believes it should be able to live as long as it chooses in the family home, the financial squeeze may dictate certain moves. If your home is too expensive for your anticipated retirement income, it might be too large for you. You might think about selling it and buying a smaller less-expensive abode and invest the extra cash in your next egg.


December 2010

Lack of financial discussions, considerations and preparations is a major hurdle facing adults close to entering retirement, according to a recent study by Volunteers of America. Some 50 percent of adults aged 45 to 65 appear to have made little or no preparation, including any financial planning for such a contingency. Also worrisome are the numbers that have not discussed their desires and needs with members of their families or their doctors.

You don’t have to wait until you retire to do this. Should this be considered a logical money move for you, shop for a house that’s near such services as supermarkets and medical facilities. If you’re still looking forward to retirement but feel your incometo-be won’t accommodate a comfor mf table mfor lif yle, lifest keep on working and tuck away as much cash as you can into your investment portfolio tf tfolio .



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Volunteer group provides a break for Alzheimer’s patients, families By SHARON SHAR ROE Special To The Eagl Ea e

Open Arms Alzheimer’s Respite Group’s twice monthly meetings affect af the participants, their caregivers, and the volunteers the same way: everyone leave lea s energized and smiling. “Whatever you give, you receive back,” said Jeannie Bassett, Open Arms volunteer and daughter of an Alzheimer’ssuffer ff er.“There’s ffer such a need for respite groups in our community. Alzheimer’s is not going to go away. It’s going to increase more and more from what we’re hearing.” A 2004 Alzheimer’s Association report states that the numbers will grow to an estimated 3.5 million in 2031, when the first group of baby boomers hit age 85. This is just one of the many statistics that led Aimee Brauer, now the director of Open Arms, and Dr. David Hackethorn of Scott and White, to start the program for Alzheimer’s suffer suf ers and their caregivers last September. So o ffar, the group has had remarkable turnout, with 10 regularly

Marr Eye Center 6

Photos courtesy Open Arms Respite Group

Left:An Open Arms volunteer sings hymns with an Alzheimer’s patient. Right: Natalie Unruh, with Aggieland Pets with a Purpose, and her dog,Willie, attend Open Arms meetings to spend time with the patients. attending participants and 30 speakers and entertainers, are soothing and get the so sweet,” said Brauer. “You “Y volunteers. and do various ability participants to open up in can see the connection. It’s “They need to have ha a appropriate crafts such as new ways. right in the moment.” place that is their own,” said coloring faces on pumpkins. “Some participants that Bassett, “where they can have ha They also have visits from don’t talk much will say, success at their own level.” the dogs at Aggieland Pets ‘that’s the one I want to pet.’ See Open Arms Together, they sing hymns, with a Purpose. Director Seeing the dogs look the pa 13 page play games, hear guest Aimee Brauer feels the dogs people right in the eyes is

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Many people still skip the discomfort of screening for colorectal cancer even though the condition is one of the most commonly-diagnosed and second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States. A new generation of threedimensional virtual colonoscopy -- a quicker, less-invasive version of the screening test -- is an option for patients and doctors to consider, say experts. Using an imaging technique known as computerized tomography (CT) and virtual reality computer software, physicians can view and evaluate detailed images of the inside of the colon and rectum. “Virtual colonoscopy is designed to take some of the discomfort out of the exam,” said Dr. Celia Brewington, professor of radiology and vice chairman of imaging services at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “The procedure typically lasts about 15 minutes and does not require sedation or insertion of a scope into the colon.”

Brewington said the 3-D test is nearly as accurate as a conventional invasive colonoscopy and can detect polyps bigger than 10 millimeters (.39 inches) with 90 percent accuracy. However, the virtual procedure is not recommended for patients who have been previously diagnosed with polyps or colon cancer.

Electronics Overcoming Impaired Vision The latest technologies offer an ever-expanding hand in helping people with limited vision enjoy regular routines. Electronic readers as well as recently announced applications for iPhones and other smart phones can aid those whose vision is compromised when lighting is poor, say ophthalmologists. They note that devices and applications that allow you to increase the size of fonts or that can read the text aloud can make a difference to those with low vision. Cell phone applications, for example, can convert text to speech. Many global-positioning

devices and cell-phone navigational aids now offer verbalized directions. Many cell phones offer a voice-command option, which allows you to speak a name or other command when screens and buttons are too small or lighting conditions are inadequate. Electronic publications can be downloaded and read aloud on computers and many portable readers. Many devices can also be configured to help improve contrast, often a problem for those with low vision. Specially designed reading machines, electronic magnifiers and telescopes are also available. Experts point out early signs of vision problems include difficulty reading street signs, recognizing familiar faces, sewing, or performing other activities that require close vision. It is critical to get regular eye checkups because some of the most devastating eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, may not have noticeable symptoms until damage is already done. Mature Life Features

The Eagle •

exceed $150 billion dollars. And since many people “live” with their pain, this is probably a conservative figure. Before talking about different options that might be available to you, let’s first define pain. There are different types of pain. For example, acute pain is severe short-term pain. It is associated with swelling, redness and difficulty moving. Pain following an operation would be an example of acute pain. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is unrelenting pain. It can go on for months or years after the initial cause or injury. Chronic pain can be so overwhelming that it consumes the person’s thoughts such that all they can think about is pain. Many people today are living with pain on a daily basis and many believe they have no other alternative than to “live with it”. Others, like you have tried various methods hoping for relief only to have the pain return after a period of time. The good news is that due to the magnitude of the problem and the sheer number of pain sufferers, new pain management techniques are being developed and tested

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December 2010

Hi, I’m a 63 year old male and I suffer from pain daily. I need relief from constant pain. Due to my job, I spend long hours in front of a computer or sitting at a desk reading reports. I suffer daily from neck, shoulder, and upper back pain. The pain medicine I take doesn’t seem to do the trick Leon Bradway anymore. Physical TheraPy The pain interferes with my concentration and ability to work effectively. I’ve had two MRI’s on my neck and the reports indicate that I have disc bulges and bony changes on my spine. I’ve gone through 2 series of spinal injections and trigger-point therapy but my pain always returns. I’ve also been to a chiropractor and a physical therapist. I recently saw my doctor and was told that I might need to consider surgery at this point. Surgery scares me. Is there anything else I can try before I agree to surgery? Pain is a costly problem in the Unites States, in terms of healthcare treatment costs and lost productivity. Some estimate that the health care costs annually



People with chronic pain have options



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Get into the spirit sp Options abound for families looking for a Christmas-themed day trip

The Eagle •

Twinkling lights, spirited carolers, ging gingerbread decorating, cameo appearances by the big man – towns across Central Texas have ha something for ev everyone in the family this holiday season. With numerous events to choose over the month of December unique holiday memories with the family December, abound within 100 miles of home.

Dec. 9 2010 Christmas Parade in Downtown Navasota The parade, themed Candy Lane on Main, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Downtown Navasota. Call the Navasota Grimes County Chamber of Commerce at 936825-6600.

Dec. 9-11 “V “Veveteen Rabbit” in Caldwell See the performances 7 p.m. Dec. 9-11 at the Theatre Guild of Burleson County in the Civic Center. Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for students or seniors; $6 for children (12 and under) Call 979-567-2308 for tickets.

Dec. 9-11; 14 College Station Christmas in the Park College Station festivities kick off of with a holiday baking contest Dec. 9. On Friday and Saturday, visitors can tour Stephen C. Beachy Central Park on an old-fashioned hayride and enjoy free cookies, hot cocoa, live entertainment,

reindeer games and more. Bring Your Pets night is 5:30-8 p.m. Dec. 14: pets can take their owners on a stroll through the park and pose for photos with Santa. Cost: Free Call 979-764-3486.

Dec. 10-11, 17-18 Ledbetter’s Christmas Lane of Lights Enjoy a hayride through a lighted path of Christmas reflections, homemade cookies, hot cocoa and wassail, a walking trail, music and singing by the campfire and nightly visits from Santa. Hayrides are 6-9 p.m. In Ledbetter, at the corner of Texas 290 and F.M. 1291 at Stuermer’s Store. Cost: $6 per person; Free for children under 2. E-mail or visit

Dec. 11 Hearne Christmas Parade and Christmas at the Depot Celebration Take your own pictures with Santa, and enjoy free cookies and refreshments with old-timey Christmas favorites playing in the background after the “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”themed parade 6 p.m. Saturday at the Hearne Depot. Santa awaits in the festively decorated depot. Call Hearne Chamber of Commerce at 979-279-2351. Christmas in Washington Enjoy a visit to the Birthplace of Texas at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. with carols and shopping in the visitors center and take a stroll down the trail to Independence Hall. Hear stories of the past and learn how residents of early

Texas celebrated the holiday season. Call 936-878-2214 or visit Franklin Christmas Parade The parade, themed “The Music and Magic of Christmas” will take place at 11 a.m. with a community Christmas party to follow at the Pridgeon Community Center.

Dec. 11-12 Velveteen Rabit matinee in Caldwell See the 2 p.m. Matinee of the performance at the Theatre Guild of Burleson County in the Civic Center. Cost: $10 for adults; $8 for students/seniors; $6 for children (12 and under). Call 979-567-2308 for tickets.

Dec. 17-19 Waco 6th Annual Holiday Tour of Lights Board the holiday trolley at the Central Texas Marketplace, enjoy holiday music, look at a special route of Christmas lights that have been hand-picked by Waco Transit System staf enjoy hot chocolate, goody bags and pictures with staff, Santa. Cost: $4 for tickets. Call 254-750-1900.

Dec. 19-20 Living Nativity Scene in Independence Grab your coat, a scarf, and some mittens, and come enjoy caroling, hot chocolate, cookies, and a hayride from 6-9 p.m. on the Independence Town Square. Six area churches will participate in the living nativity. Free parking. Call 979-836-4211.

There is plenty of Christmasy things to do in the area that are fun for the entire family. Some festivites involve crafts projects such as gingerbread houses like lik the one at left made during the recently-held Bellville Small Town Christmas. Other events include plays pla and perf perform ances such as the production of “The Velveteen Rabbit” in Caldwell and the Living Nativity in Independence.The towns of Franklin, Hearne and Navasota Na will have ha Christmas parades, and Ledbetter and Waco ha Christmas light tours for those looking have to get a little farther out of town.Those looking to stay sta in Bryan/College Station can enjoy the College Station Christmas in the Park’s celebration nights on Dec. 9-11 and 14. Even if you miss the events, many of the surrounding communities, like lik Huntsville above, will remain decorated throughout the holida holidays.

The Eagle •


Special to The Eagl Ea e

December 2010

December 2010



My friend Julie from Houston calls this the ultimate Christmas dessert. It uses a combination of unsweetened and semi-sweet chocolate, plus what she calls her secret ingredient – almond extract. If you have ha a favo fa rite chocolate sandwich cookie crust – feel free to use that or buy a pre-made one at the store. Because the filling is not cooked, I recommend using pasteurized eggs. It is diane Lestina worth the cook iT simPle ef rt to cream effo the butter and sugar until light and fluffy fluf and also to take time with the addition of the eggs. Serve the dessert with chocolate sauce and a homemade whipped cream for a sweet ending to your holiday celebration.

French Silk Chocolate Pie

• 8-inch prepared chocolate sandwich cookie pie crust –homemade or store-bought • 2/3 cups unsalted butter, er softe er, sof ned • 1 cup sugar • 2 ounces Ghirardelli unsweetened chocolate

• 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips • 1/8 teaspoon salt • 1 teaspoon vanilla • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract • 4 eggs – prefer ef ably pasteurized efer • 1/4 cup mini-chocolate chips – to mix in at the end •Garnishes(optional):confec nf tioners’ nfec sugar dry cocoa, chocolate sauce, sugar, whipped cream Cream together the butter and sugar for 15 minutes until light and fluffy fluf . Melt the unsweetened chocolate and chocolate chips by placing a bowl over simmering water. Chocolate can also be melted in a microwave owa at 30 owave second intervals, stirring the chocolate between each time. Stir melted chocolate into butter and sugar mixture. Add eggs – 1 at a time, beating 2-3 minutes after each egg. Mix in vanilla and almond extract. Stir in mini-chocolate chips. Pour filling into crust and chill for at least 2 hours. Garnish as desired.

Diane Lestina, a certified ifi personal chef, pe ef, holds cook oking in classes and cook oks fo for residents nt nts in the Brya Bryan-Colleg llege Stat St ion area. To learn more, re visit re, www hefd www.c he

Family and friends may ma want to skip Christmas dinner when they see this French Silk chocolate pie.This no-bake no-bak treat can be the centerpiece of the dessert table.

ARE PAINFUL FEET EFFECTING YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE? Dr. Robert Leisten, DPM • Dr. Amy Haase, DPM • Podiatrists - Foot Specialists

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50plus December 2010 The Eagle •

Give the gift of sweets this holiday season

NEW TREATMENT FOR HEEL PAIN & OTHER SOFT TISSUE INJURIES OF THE FOOT NOW AVAILABLE of tissue An inno innovative treatment for soft oft injuries ies of the foot, using the patients own blood. This procedure offers a safer blood afer, afer er, less expensive and more effective alternative to expensiv invasivee ffoot oot surgeries. This promising treatment will revolutioniz lutionize the treatment of stubborn soft of oft tissue injuries. There are various applications for this in the foot including planter fasciitis, shin splints, tendonitis, ankle sprains and Achilles tendonitis. This treatment is extremely saf safe with minimal risk, can be done in our office resulting in faster healing and recovery.




Hammertoes are a contracture of the toe caused by an inherited muscle imbalance or too short of shoes. Painful corns form when these toes rub against the tops of shoes. These can be corrected by an office procedure in less than one hour. hour

Bunions are an unsightly bump of bone on the side of the foot near the big toe. They can become painful because of tight fitting shoes. This condition tends to run in families and can be corrected with an office procedure.

Ingr grown toenails gr cause pain from toenail pressing into skin aggravated by shoe gear. gear They are caused by the thickening or increased curvature of toenail. They can be progressively more painful with possible infec inf tion. They can be cured permanently with a minor office procedure.

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abrasions and quell the discomfort caused by friction shoe soles that are hard on the feet. Wear some type of insole to help with support and shock absorption. Dress shoes can dig into heels, leaving blisters and painful abrasions. Provide a protective barrier between your shoes using moleskin or similar product to prevent blisters and slippage so you can comfortably enjoy your holidays.

Dr. Haase is a member of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons and Texas Podiatric Medical Association. Contact her with Diagnostic Foot Specialists at 979-696-4080.

Dr. Bill Klemm is a Professor of Neuroscience at Texas A&M University. Visit his blog at for more memory tips.

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The Eagle •

rejuvenate them this holiday season: Point Your Toes – Avoid toe cramping by raising, pointing and curling your toes for five seconds each and repeat 10 times. You won’t even break a sweat! Massage Your Feet – Women like it because it works! Release tension, increase circulation and rejuvenate the skin after a long day on your feet. Get out the lotion and rub those toes. Elevate Your Legs – Reduce swelling by lying down and lifting legs above your heart. Rotate Your Ankles – Relax your feet by rotating your ankles, cupping your heel and turning each ankle slowly five times. This loosens the ankle joints. Wear Smart Shoes – No high heels if you can avoid it. If you know you will be on your feet all day wear comfortable shoes with arch support and a padded sole. However, if you develop foot problems take the following sole-saving steps to keep your holidays merry: Use toe cushions that protect against painful skin

might be the reason posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs in some people, while other people are not so affected by the same level of stress. The people who get PTSD may well be hypersensitive and prone to release large amounts of adrenalin and cortisol. If so, screening of PTSD patients might reveal which ones will be most responsive to adrenalin-blocking therapy with propranolol, as I discussed earlier when discussing PTSD. It also suggests that screening of troops before going into battle could identify which ones are likely to need preventive medication or post-traumatic therapy. Actually, the military is very much aware of these issues. Their current emphasis is to administer helpful drugs as soon after trauma as possible. Hormone responses to stress operate at all ages. But older people have accumulated a lifetime of stresses, and their nervous systems have learned more or less

December 2010

With the holiday season fast approaching, there is a good chance that all of us will be spending a lot more time on our feet. We will walk through malls and department stores on concrete or tiled floors wearing, most likely, the wrong type of amy Haase shoes. The PuT your holidays also, usually mean besT fooT forwarD lots of family gatherings and parties. We want to wear our best clothes and shoes, but unfortunately our great looking dress shoes are not always the best for our feet. For most of us that usually add up to foot pain. A survey by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) shows the number one way women soothe their soles during the holiday madness is by moisturizing their feet. Stretching and massaging the feet are also on the list of favorite foot fixes. Here are a few more ways to keep your feet merry and

from page 2

habitual ways to respond to stress. The learning ranges from developing hypersensitivity to stressors, or by learning coping skills. Hormone effects vary accordingly. How much memory deficit will occur as one ages could depend on how much life stress has been endured and how one has learned to react to stress. Reducing stress should not only make for better living but also better memory. As a Senior citizen myself, I am increasingly aware that aging has its own set of stressors. I know too that stress of earlier years can linger, even magnify, and accumulate as the years go by. Have I learned to become hyper-reactive or to cope? Learning how to reduce stress can help sustain good memory capability in old age, not to mention making life more enjoyable. Yoga, anyone?


Save your feet from the Holiday Blues during the shopping season

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Don’t close your eyes to snoring problems By JAMES GAFFNEY GAFFNE

The Eagle •

December 2010

Matur Life Mature Lif Features atur atures

Lying in bed next to a spouse who snores can ruin a good night’s sleep. Or vice versa, if you happen to be the one who snores. Just ask your spouse. Snoring problems are something that the majority of us will encounter at some point in our live li s, whether it’s our own or someone else’s. If you live li with a snorer or if you are one yourself, you know that snoring is something that can actually drive dri a wedge between people. Neither the snorer nor the one who can’t sleep through the noise gets a good night’s sleep, resulting in mental fatigue for both of you the next day. Snoring is usually caused by irregular nasal airflow due to a blockage in the airways. Other causes can be a weakened throat, a throat surrounded with fat, nasal congestion, or tissues surrounding airways that rub against each other and vibrate. If you are looking to find solutions to snoring problems, there’s a wide variety of treatment available. While there are some very effecti effective fective surgical and medical treatments,

it’s always a good idea to start with natural and non-inva non-in sive si solutions, experts say. There are a few natural cures for snoring. 1. Mild snoring usually can be addressed by switching to a dif ent sleeping position. If you differ sleep on your back, you may want to try sleeping on your side to see if that reduces the problem. 2. Try elevating your head when lying down by using more pillows. This can free your airways and make breathing less strenuous while you sleep. 3. Lifestyle changes can do a lot to remedy your snoring problems. If you drink alcohol or smoke, try cutting down or quitting. You should also exercise regularly gular to gularly enhance your respiratory system. If you are overweight, try to lose a few pounds and get to your ideal weight. 4. Several types of medication can also cause snoring problems. Among them are sleeping pills, which, ironically, people tend to take when they can’t sleep due to their snoring problems. Try to get natural sleep as much as possible and ask your doctor if any of your other medications contribute to your snoring problem. 5. There are other helpful,

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but unconve uncon ntional treatments, including singing or playing woodwind or brass instruments. Such activities acti exercise your lungs and strengthen your throat to reduce or cure snoring problems. 6. Activities Acti such as yoga and meditation can help eradicate snoring problems if done regularly gularly, gularly ly, especially befor bef e sleeping. While most snoring problems can be addressed by making certain lifestyle changes, snoring can also be indicative ti tive of an underly under ing medical condition. For this reason, it is important to have ha yourself checked by a specialist. Heart problems and high blood pressure are only some of the more serious medical conditions associated with snoring. You may also be suffering suf from sleep apnea, a condition where you don’t breathe regularly gular gularly in your sleep. In more-serious cases, suffer suf ers stop breathing entirely for long periods of time. While most suf ers wake to regain breath, suffer there are times when they may not awaken, resulting in death. Surgery, ery ery, dental appliances, and treatments like continuous, positi airway pressure can help positive alleviate snoring problems.


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from page pa 6

from page pa 7 and are showing promising results. In addition, there are techniques that while not common in the United States have ha been used for years in Canada and Europe with great success. So first, it is important that you work with a health care professional that specializes in pain and is aware of which treatments both new and old show the greatest promise. Because pain can be a complex problem that encompasses physical and psychological components, multidisciplinary approaches are often the best choice. So for example, many physicians include a physical therapist on their team. As physical therapists we are uniquely qualified to address pain issues. Often the area of your body where you are experiencing pain is only a symptom of the under ing cause. When underly a person has been dealing with pain continuously, they often compensate in terms of how they sit, walk and, in general, move, in an effo ef rt to reduce the pain. This “compensation” creates

stressors that can cause pain in other areas of the body. During a physical therapy evaluation of the patient, we uncover these layers of pain so that we are not just treating the symptoms but are also addressing the cause of the pain. How do we do this? As I mentioned, we first conduct a thorough neuromusculoskeletal evaluation on you. This invo in lves asking important questions, examining your physical condition, movements and discussing your examination results. After the initial evaluation, there are a number of options available to the physical therapist depending on his or her level of training, experience and specialization. For instance, in addition to more traditional physical therapy treatment options such as massage, heat/ice, and electrical stimulation, I am certified in manual therapy and intramuscular stimulation (IMS). Manual therapy invo in lves extensive extensi training on the neuromusculoskeletal system of the body and including; soft tissue mobilization, various connective connecti tissue and release techniques, joint

manipulation, neural and visceral tissue mobilization and cognitive gniti pain inhibitory gnitive techniques. A certified manual therapist can provide relief from pain. Intramuscular stimulation (IMS) invo in lves dry needling of taunt muscle bands that create tension that keeps the pain cycle going (no medication used). IMS is used frequently in Canada and Europe but is relative ti ly tive new in the United States. I’ve found it to be extremely effective effecti fective in providing relief from pain. Both manual therapy and IMS are effective effecti fective and natural pain management treatments and both techniques require ad nced training and adva certification. So you can see it is important to talk with a provider who specializes in pain management, has the necessary training and who understands the complexities in lved in effecti invo effective fectively managing pain. So in answer to your question, yes there may be other options open to you. Talk to your primary care provider and see if all your treatment options have ha been exhausted.

The Eagle •



December 2010

The e ffocal point of Open Arms is the way the volunteers treat the participants and their caregivers. “The caregivers are under a tremendous amount of stress,” said Carolyn Kraus, program director of RSVP, VP VP, the Area Agency on Aging’s Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. “It’s too much of a burden for anyone. A lot of the volunteers have ha gone through this themselves. They know what it’s like to be 24-7 with giving total care and total responsibility.” With such a burden to carry, the caregivers can often become lonely, discouraged, and frustrated. The National Center on Caregiving reports between 40 to 70 percent of caregivers as suffering suf from significant depression, stating that at least 22 percent of caregivers go to bed exhausted and feeling overwhelmed by their caregiving responsibilities. At the Open Arms meetings, however, both participants and caregivers are treated like guests. A one to one ratio of participant to volunteer keeps the meetings fun and safe, and Kraus believes part of the program’s success comes from the way the volunteers work together. “It’s a team approach,” said Kraus. “The volunteer has the support they need so that they can do their job well and are not left alone.. W We’re there for one another. And it’s not a big time commitment. You just need to be available every

other Thursday y ffrom 9-1. Open Arms goes over the training with you, so you don’t have ha to ha special knowledge. have “My husband told me he wanted to be a buddy to someone who served in the military, so we found a participant who had served and paired them up.” Dancing the hokey-pokey, throwing a ball around, and providing entertainment are just a ffew of the ways volunteers are making a dif ence in the lives of the differ participants. “These are folks that don’t get out much,” Kraus said. “Ha “Having entertainment is really special for them and opens them up. It’s amazing to watch everyone from the participants to the caregivers to the volunteers. Whatever burden they were carrying is lifted. They leave lea with more energy than they come in with.” For Jeannie Bassett, volunteering is a way to honor the participants while also bringing hope to their caregivers. “This group is a blessing,” said Bassett. “When you look at the faces of the caregivers, you see that they no longer feel by themselves. It’s a gift of love.” “The smiles on people’s faces tell the story,” said Kraus. “You’re not doing it to be rewarded or remembered. For that brief moment you brought joy. For that brief moment they had fun. It’s very rewarding.” For more infor nf mation on nfor the program or to volunteer, contact Peace Lutheran Church at 693-4403.


Open Arms

We’re by your side so your parents can stay at home.




December 2010


The Eagle •

Volunteer Opportunities

Play 42 - Older adults are invited to join us every Thursday at Southwood Community Center located at 1520 Rock Prairie Rd. from 9:30 - 11:30 am to play 42 dominoes. New players are welcome to join the group. For more information, contact College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 764-6371 or Friday Bridge - Please join us for Friday Bridge from 9 am -noon at Southwood Community Center located at 1520 Rock Prairie Road. No partners needed and no cost! If interested, please contact College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 764-6371 or Computer Classes - E-mail and Internet classes offered of on Monday and Wednesday mornings at the Southwood Community Center located at 1520 Rock Prairie Rd

(formerly the Teen Center). Cost is $40. The internet class will begin at 9 am and the e-mail class will begin at 10:45 am. To register, please stop by the College Station Parks and Recreation Department located in Stephen C. Beachy Central Park, 1000 Krenek Tap Rd or on-line at parksweb. For more information contact College Station Parks and Recreation Dept. Senior Services at 764-6371. FREE Exercise Class for Older Adults - “Sit and Fit” Chair Exercise Classes offered of at Southwood Community Center, 1520 Rock Prairie Rd. from 10 10:45 am. For more information contact College Station Parks and Recreation Dept. Senior Services at 764-6371.

December 11 Brazos Valley Senior Pageant - All seniors 55 and over are invited to Lincoln Center for an evening of

fun, food, entertainment and door prizes. The “Age of Elegance” will showcase the latest in fashion and talent. Prizes awarded to first, second and third place winners. The event will be held from 6 - 9 pm at Lincoln Center, 1000 Eleanor Street. Contestants needed! Please contact Annie Williams for more information at 764-3779.

December 15 Southwood Community Center Open House for Older Adults - Join us as we celebrate the Holidays with sweet treats, entertainment, and more from 10 am - 1 pm at the Southwood Community Center located at 1520 Rock Prairie Rd. We invite all seniors to visit our information booths on programs and activities of offered at the Center for older adults. For more information, contact College Station Parks and Recreation Department, Senior Services at 764-6371 or

The RSVP-Senior Corps of the Brazos Valley is sponsored locally by the Brazos Valley Council of Governments – Area Agency on Aging and encourages people of all ages to get involved in their community by volunteering. RSVP has volunteer opportunities in all seven counties of the Brazos Valley. For more information on volunteer service opportunities call the RSVP Office in Bryan Monday–Friday (979) 595-2800 Ext. 2026 Hospice Thrift Store in Bryan - Volunteer Resale Shop Sales Associates are needed to provide customer assistance on the sales floor, merchandise straightening and arranging on the sales floor, moving merchandise from intake area to sales area, operation of cash register, receiving and sorting of donated items, tagging of sorted and readied items, and pricing of items for sales floor. Please call 979-821-2266 The Prenatal Clinic would like office and clerical volunteers to assist with clerical duties and general office responsibilities such

as receptionist, filing, copying. They also have volunteers who serve as Patient Care Assistants help to direct patient care under the direction and supervision of a health care professional. Volunteers are required to fill out a volunteer application. Call (979) 595-1780 Scotty’s House Child Advocacy Center provides a supportive and nurturing environment in which a child victim can interact with the necessary agencies. Volunteer Administrative Team members are needed for general office duties such as filing, copying, answering telephones and assisting visitors. Administrative Team members must be available during the week, between 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All Volunteers must complete a Volunteer Application Packet and schedule an interview. All Volunteers must pass a criminal background check prior to orientation. Call (979) 775-4695 Magnified Health & Rehab is one of Covenant Dove’s newly renovated facilities. Volunteer visits and activities bring joy to residents. Call (979) 693-1515.

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The Eagle •

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The Eagle •

December 2010


“CONFIDENCE IS KNOWING THAT MY DOCTORS KNOW ME.” “At my age, I may need to see several doctors at the College Station Clinic. So it’s important to me that every one of them has the same complete, accurate, up-to-date information for my healthcare needs and prescriptions. I love how my electronic medical record means I don’t need to know what one doctor told me and explain it to another doctor. They already know!”

Excellent geriatric care begins with a clear, lear, complete picture of your health status and history. That’s why lear Scott & White creates a state-of-the-art electronic medical record (EMR) just for you, capturing your exam notes, test results, prescriptions and other vital info. Our physicians and staff use and share this up-to-the-minute, accurate profile to recommend the best care plan for you.

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Fifty Plus guide  

The Eagle's Fifty Plus guide