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Women’s Heart Disease


By Christine Bothmer ational Wear Red Day® is February 7th! Bringing awareness to the unique experiences and types of heart disease in women, this day was chosen by the National Institutes of Health to encourage women to learn about heart disease and take steps to improve their heart health. So wear red and talk to your friends about women’s heart disease on February 7th!


You may have heard of coronary heart disease (CHD) where over many years the heart’s main arteries can become clogged and hardened. It can lead to a heart attack or stroke and is the leading cause of death for men and women ages 65+ in the U.S. Coronary Microvascular Disease is more common in women than men. It is similar

to CHD except the damage happens in the heart’s tiny arteries rather than the main arteries. This may help explain why heart attack symptoms in women are often different than men’s. For example, women are more likely to report neck pain or indigestion while men more often have left arm pain or break out in a cold sweat. Post-menopausal women are at a higher risk for this type of heart disease. Broken Heart Syndrome is the rapid onset of heart attack symptoms after a person experiences severe emotional distress. More common in women, it is thought that stress hormones play a role in this very real and serious event. Tests usually show little or no damage to the heart, but one test often shows the heart beating in an unusual way. Recovery is usually quick when compared to a heart attack, which is a month or more.

National Wear Red Day is a registered trademark of HHS and AHA. Participasource: See page 6 tion by Elder Resource does not imply indorsement by HHS/NIH/NHLBI ®

On the Cover: Sporting a red dress, Donna Stewart performs hula, or as King David Kalakaua called it, “the heartbeat of the Hawaiian People.” Larry Rivera, of Coco Palms fame, played guitar and sang many favorites, including Mount Waialeale, Beautiful Kauai, and his original work Kamalani. The event was held recently at Kukui Grove Shopping Center.


Pets for Health By Julie Bothmer-Yost


any of us enjoy having a cat or dog around the house, but what most people don’t realize is that keeping pets can have incredible health benefits. Caring for a pet can lower blood pressure, improve heart health, and even give you a longer life. Studies show that petting and caring for an animal provides a valuable connection and helps alleviate loneliness. Introverted people, even those with depression or dementia may come out of their shell when stroking a cat. The act of petting an animal has been shown to release hormones such as serotonin, prolactin, and oxytocin in the human body that make you feel happy and content. This is why therapy animals at care homes or as companion animals for individuals are so valuable. Petting a dog can lower blood pressure and improve health. In a study performed at the University of Missouri-Columbia, scientists set people up with petting a dog’s fur. Every five minutes the scientists would check the person and the dog and found both of them had lower blood pressure! What about cats? In an amazing 20 year study, those without cats were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack than those who owned cats. The catless folks were also 30% more likely to die of any cardiovascular disease, like stroke or heart failure. Even when taking into account other factors that could cause heart problems, the results were the same. Cat owners were less likely to die of heart disease. It goes to show that cats have a lot more to give than unconditional love!

If owning a pet sounds pretty good right now, keep in mind the responsibilities and hazards: • Pets can get underfoot, causing trips and falls. Get to know an animal before buying it to make sure this won’t be a problem. Avoid young animals. • Make sure no one sharing a house with the pet is allergic to its fur or dander. • Dogs need to be walked once a day or have a yard in which to exercise. Otherwise you will have a rambunctious or unhappy animal. • Parasites can be carried on your pet. Be sure your yard is clean and that you can afford anti-parasite medicine such as flea drops. • Be sure a pet can fit in your budget, both in your wallet and your lifestyle. Pets need vet visits, food, medicine, toys, and lots of love and care. If you are unable to care for a pet, you should reconsider buying one. Caregiver Tips: • If you are having surgery, plan in advance who will care for your pet while you recover. • Having a harder time caring for your beloved pet? Teaching a child to care for a pet is a great way for older and younger generations to build strong relationships. When selecting a pet, visit the Humane Society and speak with the staff. Let them know you’d like a docile companion animal, one that won’t jump on or trip people. Avoid aggressive or extremely energetic animals. Dachshunds are adorable, but 1 in 5 have bitten or tried to bite a person. Dalmations are also very sweet but have a high amount of energy and need exercise. Persian cats need lots of grooming and care. Get to know an animal before bringing it home, make sure it’s patient, quiet, affectionate, and most of all that you have a connection! You and your pet should be best friends through thick and thin.



From page 3

Decrease your risk of developing heart disease. Do your best--temptation is everywhere! Stay active and eat a sensible diet. If you smoke, try to quit. Maintaining your hobbies and interests is a great way to stay active and relieve stress. If you are a caregiver for somebody with heart disease you can help reduce stress by helping them maintain a hobby or interest. Learn about their medications and the signs to watch for that signal they may need medical help. Talk with their healthcare provider about these things for more detailed advice. If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911. The medics can start treatment right away, but if somebody else drives you’ll have to wait until you arrive at the hospital to receive treatment. A heart attack happens when the heart muscle itself does not get enough oxygen-rich blood, and the goal of medical treatment is to restore that blood flow. You can help by avoiding any extra work on your heart. Anxiety and emotional outbursts make your heart work harder-the best action is to stay calm. Close your eyes and think about anything that calms you such as meditation, yoga, or watching the sunset. Somebody holding your hand and talking about these things can help too. Some people, as they near the end of their lives, have a plan that calls for comfort measures rather than emergency treatment. To be sure your wishes are followed, you can fill out a form, called a living will or advance healthcare directive, available at your clinic or hospital. Your healthcare provider can answer any questions you have. Organizations like Kauai Hospice are of great service as one nears the end of life. Their phone number is (808) 245-7277.

Kaumakani circa 1940s - 1950s

By Christine Bothmer asilio Fuertes was born in 1942 and raised in an era when people from Kaumakani were called “The Village People.” He recently spoke with me about growing up on the Olokele Plantation. This article is the first in a series where he reflects on his childhood. J.C. Carter looms large in the memories of many people who lived and worked at Olokele, including Basilio. Here is what he had to say:


J.C. Carter was the big boss. Everybody had a lot of respect for this guy. He was very strict, very firm, he ran a tight ship. When J.C. Carter ran the village, everything was spic and span. There were 200 homes in that village and nine different camps in the Makaweli times. When they built the village, J.C. Carter wanted the village to be well taken care of, so he would drive around to see that everything was alright. He wanted the people to take pride in the village! He had a yard-keeping contest. Every year the Pablos and the Murakamis used to win because they took good care of--very well manicured their lawn. That’s how he used to keep the village nice. At the same time we had our vegetable and flower show. Once a year we used to go to the community hall and bring our products, our vegetables, and people from the 4H or the University Extension judged the vegetables and flowers. You could see all the vegetables from the community. Beautiful flowers, orchids, anthuriums, somebody brought a jade flower . . . I never did see a jade flower before. I used to judge the garden because I was in the 4H. Our leader was Chicken Horie. At one time some farmers came from Japan to See page 13



The Kasibulan Filipino Folk Dance Company celebrated at the Kauai Museum’s Filipino Fiesta in January, performing a variety of dances from Ilocos, Tagalog and Visayan regions while modeling amazing traditional clothing. Clockwise from top: Allan Villaflor performs with Janica Pascua; he wears

the traditional men’s Barong Tagalog formal dress shirt; Veda Pascua taps coconut shells together during a playful dance; Allan and Janica in a performance derived from the bronze age people who built the Banuae Rice Terraces in Northern Luzon; Audience participation--watch those ankles! Steven Kline dances with Arlene Tacub who wears a beautiful Maria Clara Dress, formal wear derived from Spanish influences that date back to the 1500‘s. Right: Arlene and Steven have fun during a peasant dance. Allan Villaflor teaches Filipino dance at the Lihue neighborhood Center. For more information call The Center at (808) 241-6858.



Working with a Resistance Band

Resistance bands are stretchy elastic bands that come in several strengths, from light to heavy. You can use them in some strength exercises instead of weights. 1. Lay the band flat in your hand with the end toward your pinky finger. 2. Wrap the long end of the band around the back of your hand. 3. Grasp firmly.

If you are a beginner, try exercising without the band until you are comfortable, then add the band. Choose a light band if you are just starting to exercise, and move on to a stronger band when you can do 2 sets of 10 to 15 repetitions easily. Hold on to the band tightly (some bands have handles), or wrap it around your hand or foot to keep it from slipping and causing possible injury. Do the exercises in a slow, controlled manner, and don’t let the band snap back. TIP

Here are two exercises to strengthen your posture.

By Rose Murtagh, PT, MPH, ACE-CPT, CHC

Squeeze shoulders back, then pull elbows back until hands are just in front of your hips. Keep They can be performed standing or sitting. your shoulders back as you slowly return to start Sit tall at edge of chair, feet flat on floor, position. Repeat 10-15 times. or stand with feet hip width apart, knees External A few tips: Resistance bands unlocked. Keep shoulders back and down. Shoulder come in different resistance Keep abdominals (core) Rotation levels. You can change the retight to stabilize your spine. sistance of each by how you If wrapping the band around hold it. Holding the ends proyour hand is painful, loop the vides the least resistance; placend and tie a knot instead. ing your hands closer togethUse this loop as a handle. er provides more resistance. Shoulder external rotation: If you cannot move through Hold band in both hands, elthe full exercise motion, begin with bows at your sides and bent less resistance. Bands deteriorate Row with forearms parallel to the over time; check for signs of wear, floor. Turn one arm out to the tears and small holes. Do not use the side as far as comfortable. Slowly return to start po- band if you see this as it may break and cause sition. Repeat 5-10 times. Repeat with other arm. injury. Keep bands out of the sun. Talk to your healthcare provider before starting or changing Row: Loop band around railing or doorknob. your exercise program, especially if you have Hold ends of band with arms reaching forward. had surgery or if you have a chronic condition. Contact Rose (808) 346-7520

Tasty Low Salt Recipes


By Christine Bothmer

Chicken Thighs with Shiitake and Green Vegetable 4 Boneless skinless chicken thighs ½ c flour combined with 1 tsp salt + ¼ tsp pepper 3 Tbsp olive oil 1 small onion, sliced ⅓ c dried shiitake mushrooms in 1 c water 1 medium potato, chopped ½ bunch kale, chard or 1 - 2 heads bok choy

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Coat chicken thighs with flour mixture and brown in skillet. Add onion, cook until wilted. Add shiitake, water and potato, simmer for 20 minutes or until potato is tender and chicken is cooked through. Add kale, chard, or bok choy and simmer until greens are cooked. Add water as needed to maintain a gravy consistency. Makes about four servings.

Shrimp and Lime with Spaghetti

1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 ½ Tbsp each coconut oil and olive oil 1 Tbsp minced garlic ½ cup sake or dry white wine 1 tsp lime zest ¼ c lime juice 1 Tbsp butter 8 oz spaghetti, cooked ¼ c chopped green onion tops black pepper ¼ tsp salt Optional: 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, ½ cup chopped and seeded tomato, chopped fresh parsley, grated hard cheese like parmesan or romano. Heat olive and coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook shrimp on both sides until meat just turns white. Add garlic and saute for about a minute. Add sake, lime zest, juice and butter. Add pepper flakes or tomatoes if desired. Simmer about 2 minutes until shrimp is firm. Season with pepper and salt, stir in parsley and toss with pasta. Serve with grated hard cheese if desired. Makes about four servings.

12 From page 7

see how we do things. So these two Japanese farmers, myself, and our 4H leader went around to the gardens to see how local people plant their vegetables. Gobo is also known as burdock. The old Japanese farmers in Kaumakani were very smart. They built a redwood frame four feet high and added soil. When gobo is mature 13 you can tell by the leaves; they just break up the box and didn’t have to dig deep. The Japanese farmers said “wow, that’s a good idea.” People used to be loyal at that time. Truck drivers used to take good care of the trucks [as if] it’s not the company truck, it’s their truck! They used to wash the truck, taking care of the equipment they used. I think that was the unique thing about J.C. Carter and Olokele. J.C. Carter was ahead of his time because he used to experiment with different kinds of cane. He used to go to South America and pick up different kinds of cane. He had his own experimental station. During his time of management they broke the record I think as far as producing sugar, and I remember when we broke the record--not exactly a luau but he threw a big party. It was very uncommon to see a plantation where he [the manager] took care of the people real nice. That was the first time we tasted roast beef and what you call haole food. He had a freezer truck and he gave all us kids ice cream. That was a big treat.

13 Basilio in his youth



Ask the Nurse Dizzy Dilemma


By Christine Bothmer


What is orthostatic hypotension?


This is a sudden drop in blood pressure that may happen when a person stands up too quickly from a lying position. Receptors in the body usually detect position changes and adjust heart rate and blood pressure quickly enough to maintain blood flow to the upper body, but some conditions, medications or the aging process can make the body take longer to adjust to the position change. One symptom of orthostatic hypotension is feeling dizzy after standing up too quickly. This is dangerous because it can cause a fall. To help your body adapt to position changes after lying down, sit at the edge of the bed for a few minutes and flex and extend your ankles and knees before standing. This can also help people who have orthostatic hypotension after sitting for an extended period of time. Editor & Publisher Christine Bothmer, RN Graphics & Design Julie Bothmer-Yost Artistic Consultant Judith Lee Contact Elder Resource Mail: P.O. Box 1257, Koloa, HI 96756 Email: Phone: (808) 212-2760 The material contained in this magazine is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant. Talk to your healthcare provider before making any changes to your healthcare regimen. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce portions of this magazine for educational, non-commercial purposes only; please give credit to Elder Resource including date of issue and mailing address. All photos by Chris Bothmer unless otherwise credited. Advertisement in Elder Resource does not necessarily imply an endorsement of products or services.

Elder Resource Magazine P.O. Box 1257 Koloa, HI 96756

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Waipa Foundation’s 4th annual Kalo Festival was held at the Halulu Fishpond west of Hanalei in December, celebrating an important part of Hawaiian culture: the taro plant. Under a canopy of shade trees with the surf pounding audibly in the background, great food, music, crafts and demonstrations rounded out the celebration. Above, the Lady Ipo Band performs. Below, Charles Pereira has been weaving nets by hand since he was 12 years old. Originally from Kalaheo, he now lives in Anahola with his daughter. “I have young men buying my nets and they bring me fish,” he says with a smile. He still melts down lead to make the custom weights that line the perimeter of his throw nets. He is 84 years old. For more information on the Waipa Foundation visit or call (808) 826-9969.

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Elder resource february 2014  

The Health Magazine for Kauai Seniors

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