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Prime timeS M a r c h /A pr i l 2 017 • Volum e 13 • Num ber 2

Be Your Best

Fresh air Rehabilitation FAQ Explore spring It’s your money

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Sleep Disorders Center

Good health requires a good night’s sleep. It might just be a sleep test away. If you’re chronically tired, snore loudly, or stop breathing during sleep, a good night’s sleep may be only a test away. Loss of sleep can cause excessive fatigue, loud snoring, hypertension, diabetes, obesity and other health issues. SLEEP CENTER SERVICES Sleep Medicine Consultation by Board-certified Sleep Specialists Comprehensive In-Center Sleep Testing (including advanced ASV testing) Home Sleep Testing

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We do rehab right. Tell your physician you want to reserve your room with us.

Choose Right! Short-Term Rehab Stroke Rehab Pulmonary Rehab Post Surgical Care Ostomy Care, IV Therapy State-Of-The-Art Equipment Physical & Occupational Therapy Knee, Hip & Joint Rehabilitation Pain Management & Wound Care

CONTENTS In every issue

Prime living

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Prime season

Good times

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From the publisher

South Coast newsmakers by Elizabeth Morse Read

In brief… by Elizabeth Morse Read

Clear the air! by Elizabeth Morse Read

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Spring in your step by Dan Logan

The great grey herd by Joyce Rowley

The right rehab by Jay Pateakos

Miracle at the Oaks by Jay Pateakos

Keep your Social Security! by Sherri Mahoney-Battles

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The mad Russian’s mojo by Paul Kandarian

Speech Pathology

dhfo.org Admissions 7 days a week Most insurances accepted

Stop by for a tour

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sacredheart-home.org Sacred Heart Home New Bedford, MA

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ourladyshavenhome.org Our Lady’s Haven Fairhaven, MA

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508.679.0011

catholicmemorialhome.org Catholic Memorial Home Fall River, MA

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marianmanorhome.org Marian Manor Home Taunton, MA

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On the cover: Your team at The Oaks. Read more on pg 16 or visit theoaksma.com

Photo by: Kelsey Garcia, kgarciaproductions.com Back row: Dave Davignon, Handerson Hyppolite, Tiffany DiManno, Ashley Goulet, Kelly Galligan and Mary Baublis; Middle row: Fleurinette Alce, Kim Taylor, Michelle Fournier, Sally Correia, Paula Baptista, Debbie Beech, Laura Perry, Barbara Hunt, and Abigail Wolent; Front row: Tammy Cote, Helena Silva, Pastor Jo-Ann Carol, Crestina Andrade, and Jim Catton


Save hundreds in rebates!

Plus 20% on your gas bill. Now’s the time! Replace your old gas-fired heating system


FROM THE PUBLISHER March/April 2017 n Vol. 13 n No. 2 Published by

Coastal Communications Corp. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

We’re putting winter behind us, which means that it’s time to get up and stretch out those bones! There’s never been a better time to feel healthy, strong, and happy. This issue of Prime Times is all about becoming the best “you” that you can be.

Ljiljana Vasiljevic Editor

Sebastian Clarkin Online editor

Paul Letendre Contributors

Paul Kandarian, Dan Logan, Sherri Mahoney-Battles, Jay Pateakos, Elizabeth Morse Read and Joyce Rowley South Coast Prime Times is published bi-monthly.

When it comes to recovering from a stay in the hospital, we are lucky to have access to several excellent rehabilitation facilities. But that gift can also be a curse: how do you know which one to pick? Don’t be paralyzed by all the options – turn to Jay Pateakos’ article on page 12 for advice from the experts.

Copyright ©2017 Coastal Communications Corp.

Are you ready to open up the windows and let that warm breeze in? While you’re at it, you might want to get a head start on your spring cleaning. While you’re scrubbing, swabbing, dusting, and sweeping, you’ll want to follow Liz Read’s advice on page 18. It’s the best way to stay safe and healthy without missing a spot.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, by any means, without written permission from the Publisher. All information contained herein is believed to be reliable. Coastal Communications Corp. does not assume any financial responsibility for typographical errors in advertisements, but will reprint that portion of an advertisement in which the typographical error occurs.

With the chores done, you’ll want to reward yourself by enjoying the change in seasons. To make the most of the opportunity, make sure you turn to Dan Logan’s recommendations for scenic walks at any time of day on page 22. Whether you’re admiring the flowers by sunlight or spying on owls in the dark, you’ll have plenty of ways to take in some relaxing cardio. You might be spending this spring trying to get back to 100%, or maybe trying to reach that number for the first time. However you’re doing it, keep doing it! The year’s just getting started, and so are we.

Next issue April 12, 2017

Circulation 25,000

Subscriptions $19.95 per year

M ailing address

Ljiljana Vasiljevic

South Coast Prime Times P.O. Box 3493 Fall River, MA 02722

Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

Phone (508) 677-3000

Website coastalmags.com

E-mail editor@coastalmags.com

Our advertisers make this publication possible —please support them

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South Coast

newsmakers

by E lizabeth M orse R ead

Making the grade

The first graduating class from Fairhaven’s Northeast Maritime Institute’s new associate’s degree program in nautical sciences consisted of two students – Kevin Kiernan of Mattapoisett and Elijah Simmons of Bermuda. UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has partnered with Canada’s new Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia to foster research and development in marine technologies. Chloe Hughes of Bishop Stang High School has been chosen the 2016 Standard-Times Field Hockey Player of the Year. Jane Kuphal, also of Bishop Stang High School, has been chosen the 2016 Standard-Times Girls Soccer Player of the Year. Avery Nugent of Old Rochester Regional High School has been chosen as the 2016 Standard-Times Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year. Collin Fitzpatrick, also

of Old Rochester Regional High School, has been chosen the 2016 Standard-Times Boys Golfer of the Year. Representatives of the Acushnet and Fairhaven School Committees are exploring shared school resources and possible regionalization of the two school departments.

Being good neighbors

The Whaling Museum in New Bedford is looking for volunteer guides (especially bilingual) able to take a ten-week training course this summer. For details, email rrocha@whalingmuseum.org or call 508717-6849. The Marion Council on Aging has launched a weekly “Memory Café” for those suffering memory disorders and their caregivers. Held every Wednesday from 11:45 to 2:15, the café offers lunch, activities and music in a relaxed, supportive environment. The program is free (donations appreciated) and open to nonMarion residents. For more info, call the

Laura L. Douglas of Iowa has been unanimously chosen as the new president of Bristol Community College by the BCC Board of Trustees. Outgoing BCC president John J. Sbrega will retire in August.

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Marion COA at 508-748-3570. Pet Food Aid, a non-profit organization, collects pet food donations and distributes them to food banks throughout Bristol County. Volunteers and donations gratefully accepted. For more info, visit petfoodaid.org or call 774-204-5227. My Brother’s Keeper of Dartmouth and Easton is looking for volunteers and gently-used residential furniture for families in need. Free pick up. Call 774-3054577 or visit mybrotherskeeper.org. Browse through the Oxford Book Café on Saturdays 9 to 1 at the Church of the Good Shepherd in north Fairhaven. Coffee, used books on sale, and WiFi. To learn more, call 508-995-1219 or visit goodshepherdfairhaven.com.

Make it here!

Once again, Fall River’s NorthEast Fleece Co. was chosen to supply customized microfleece blankets for attendees of the inauguration ceremonies in Washington, DC. They also produce customized blankets for the US Olympics Committee, the Red Cross, the National Guard, and the NFL. According to the US Department of Labor, New Bedford led the nation in 2016 for the greatest unemployment rate decline – dropping to 2.8% between November 2015 and November 2016. Taunton native David Simas will become the CEO of the nonprofit Obama


Massachusetts state legislators are considering changing the official celebration of Halloween from October 31 to the last Saturday in October, citing safety concerns. Stay tuned…

The Joseph Abboud manufacturing facility in New Bedford has installed rooftop solar panels that will generate about 70% of its electricity. Rhode Island’s Gov. Raimondo has proposed two years of free tuition and waiver of mandatory fees for all in-state students at any of the state’s public colleges, regardless of family income. Rhode Island has the nation’s second-highest level of student loan debt. AAA members in Massachusetts can now conduct most of their Registry of Motor Vehicles business at the AAA branch office in Fairhaven, thanks to a partnership between the RMV and AAA, with the goal of opening an RMV service center in every AAA office in the

Senior Travel Program. There’s a trip to Twin Rivers Casino on February 7 and Foxwoods on February 22. Make your reservations now to see “The Lion King” on March 16 at the Providence Performing Arts Center, the Boston Flower Show on March 22, and The Sands Casino in Bethlehem PA on March 26-28! For details, call 508-991-6171.

This class is a 16 week program designed for older adults of all fitness levels. If you have a chronic condition such as arthritis this class will help you gain strength and independence. You will feel energized physically, mentally and socially. Classes meet three times per week and focuses on strength, flexibility, balance and movement.

If you’re 50 or older, check out the trips sponsored by the New Bedford

at the Fall River, New Bedford & Swansea Y branches

New Bedford’s first-in-the-state Arts Fund will allow the city to funnel half of its hotel-tax revenue into a dedicated account for arts, culture, and tourism promotion.

UMass Dartmouth’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has partnered with Canada’s new Centre for Ocean Ventures and Entrepreneurship in Nova Scotia to foster research and development in marine technologies.

Enhance® Fitness has Arrived

Foundation. Starting in 2014, Simas served as President Barack Obama’s advisor on political strategy and outreach.

Travel website Expedia.com has included New Bedford in its “Top 20 Places” to watch a sunset in the United States, right up there with Key West and the Grand Canyon!

FITNESS FUN & FRIENDS

Fall River’s new motto is “Make It Here” – whether it’s manufacturing, creating a home-life or as a tourist destination.

New Bedford has received the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s 2017 Creative Community Award, for “providing sustained leadership, funding, and infrastructure to the places where art and culture are presented, and where artists live and work, providing a model for cities everywhere.”

Taking care of business

Southcoast Health has opened a new Urgent Care center at 435 State Road in Dartmouth.

YMCA SOUTHCOAST · ymcasouthcoast.org

Free Y membeship with Senior Whole Health. For details inquire at the Membership desk.

state. The Fairhaven AAA office is open 9 to 5 Monday-Friday and also 9 to 1 on Saturdays.

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Continued from previous page

Estate and Medicaid Legal Services — For You and Your Family —

Effective January 1, the minimum wage in Massachusetts was raised to $11.00 per hour. Tobey Hospital in Wareham has once again been designated as a “baby-friendly birthing facility” by Baby-Friendly USA, a global program promoting breast-feeding, which is sponsored by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.

Schedule Your Estate Planning Check-Up Today • Health Care Proxies and Living Wills • Durable Powers of Attorney

The new Amazon fulfillment facility in Fall River now has 1,800 full-time employees, more than triple the 500 jobs promised when it opened in October.

• Homestead Protection • Wills and Trusts • Medicaid Planning • Medicaid Applications

Jane E. Sullivan, Esq. 624 Brayton Avenue • Fall River, MA

508-679-0535

It’s All About Doing What’s Best for You and Your Family

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Everything we touch turns to SOLD! 40 Years of Quality Service

If the state Department of Public Utilities approves its rate hike request, Eversource will be charging 7% more to energy consumers in eastern Massachusetts, effective 2018. Stay tuned… The Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce has changed its name to the Bristol County Chamber of Commerce to better reflect changes in business demographics. Mark your summer calendars! In addition to a full slate of summer festivals and cultural events, New Bedford will be hosting its first Food Truck and Craft Beer Festival on July 15 at Fort Taber! Learn more at foodtruckfestivalsofamerica.com. The Rhode Island Home Show will be held at the RI Convention Center in Providence on March 30-April 2. For more info, go to ribahomeshow.com or tradeshowz.com. The Kmart store in Fairhaven and the Sears store at the Swansea Mall will close their doors in April. In addition, the Macy’s store at Taunton’s Galleria Mall will close by the end of year. The Whaling Museum in New Bedford has received a $144,500 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to continue its high school apprenticeship program, which fosters college readiness and civic engagement. For info, call 508997-0046 or go to whalingmuseum.org.

Broker Owners

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Even though the Mashpee Wampanoag tribe broke ground on its $1 billion Taunton casino last year, they’re now having to appeal a court ruling which challenges its status as a federally-recognized tribe. The VFW building in Marion has now been officially designated as the new

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Visit the mansion and gardens at Blithewold in Bristol! Plan ahead for “Gateway to Spring” in April, when the daffodils are in bloom. For info, call 401-253-2707 or go to blithewold.org. home for the town’s Council on Aging, renamed the Benjamin Cushing Senior and Community Center. Surgeons at Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River were the first on the South Coast to implant a Medtronic Micra TPS, the world’s smallest pacemaker (93% smaller than traditional pacemakers), which was recently approved by the FDA. The city of New Bedford has signed a Host Community Agreement with non-profit ARL Healthcare Inc. to open a medical marijuana growing and processing facility in the New Bedford Industrial Park. Pending approval by the state’s Department of Public Health, the facility could start operations this spring.

Sights to behold

Travel website Expedia.com has included New Bedford in its “Top 20 Places” to watch a sunset in the United States, right up there with Key West and the Grand Canyon. The newly-revived New Bedford Lyceum speaker series will host a free showing and discussion of the movie “All the President’s Men” at the Whaling Museum on March 24. The following week, on April 1, legendary journalist Bob


Woodward will speak at the Zeiterion. For more info, call 508-994-2900 or go to zeiterion.org. A “must-see” exhibit – “Inner Light: The World of William Bradford” is at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford through May. For more info, call 508997-0046 or visit whalingmusuem.org. Don’t miss the special exhibit of rarely-seen Impressionist works at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence through June 11. For more info, go to risdmuseum.org or call 401454-6500.

Getting You Back to Better Vibra Hospital of Southeastern Massachusetts provides safe, high-quality, cost-effective medical and rehabilitation care to our patients and their families with the goal of improving quality of life and maximizing function. Cardiac monitoring Nutrition services Ventilator weaning Pain Management

The annual Greater New Bedford Home Show has expanded its scope and been rebranded as the Greater New Bedford Home, Health, and Wellness Show, scheduled for May 20 at the Greater New Bedford Voc Tech High School. For info, go to newbedfordchamber.com. Stroll through the Illuminated Garden at Newport’s Ballard Park February 23-25! For more info, call 401-619-3377 or visit ballardpark.org. Here comes the bride! Don’t miss the Newport Bridal Show on February 18 at the Newport Mansions! Free parking and shuttle. Go to newportbridalshow.net or call 401-841-0200. Start thinking about springtime! Visit the 2017 Rhode Island Spring Flower and Garden Show February 16-19 at the RI Convention Center! For details, go to flowershow.com or call 401-272-0980.

Wound care

Physical therapy

Dialysis services

Speech therapy

Radiology

Occupational therapy

Laboratory

Respiratory therapy

Pharmacy

Social services

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PRIME LIVING

Servicing the

great grey herd by J oyce R owley

When Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker gave his State of the State address in January, he announced that he was officially one of us – he turned 60 years old last November. Baker also said what many of us felt: when he was younger, he thought that his father was "ancient" when he turned 60. Now Baker's father is 88, giving out the best advice, and is "still the smartest, most informed person I know.” It's a milestone for anyone, but Baker took the opportunity to look around and recognize that age was not a barrier to having a "vibrant, purposeful life." “We must also think differently about how we support and engage older adults,” Baker said. “The notion that people are fully retired at the age of 62 or 65 is inconsistent with what I see every day. Even if some have stepped back from what they spent most of their lives doing, most still have tons of time and talent available to do something else.” This month, Baker is initiating a “Council on Older Adults" cross-cabinet review on policies and programs to meet the needs of older adults and seniors. It will allow all of his cabinet secretaries to con-

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tribute, in addition to Health and Human Services Secretary Mary Lou Sudders and Secretary of Elder Affairs Alice Bonner.

Local help "I'm excited about it," said David P. Stevens, executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging.

I'm pleased Governor Baker recognized the need and put the energy into it

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The MCOA is an umbrella organization for the 369 town and city Council on Aging and Senior Center directors, the local component of service delivery. "It's something we've been talking about for a long time. I'm pleased Governor Baker recognized the need and put the energy into it," Stevens said. Service provider Coastline Elderly Services, Inc. sees benefits to having a collaborative effort to the process. "I am very pleased that Governor Baker spoke about the value of elders in our Commonwealth," said Paula Shine, director at Coastline Elderly Services, Inc. CESI serves the South Coast communities from Dartmouth to Marion by providing programs, services, information, and resources to older adults that helps them stay independent. Among these are inhome and support services and nutritional counseling. "I also applaud his decision to convene a Council comprised of Cabinet Secretaries and other individuals to ensure that not only are the needs of elders addressed across state departments, but also that we are utilizing the experience and expertise


that elders have to offer." There are 1.5 million older adults that are now 60 years old and older in Massachusetts. By 2020, they will make up 24% of the state's population. By 2035, older adults will make up almost 35% of the population. Stevens remembered when baby boomers built schools for the baby boomlet. The number of older adults is now greater than the number of people under the age of 20, and Stevens said it's time to consider the boomers' needs in housing, transportation, healthy outcomes, and economic security. "The needs will be varied. A 60-yearold's needs are different than a 90-yearold's," Stevens said. "Our goals are to ensure healthy aging and economic security to make sure people have a quality of life when they retire." Dartmouth COA director Amy DiPietro said socialization is key to staying healthy and vibrant. So the Dartmouth COA offers exercise classes at the senior center in yoga, Zumba, and osteo exercises. DiPietro said that another area that's bound to increase with the increasing older adult population is transportation. "We provide transport to and from doctor appointments, but our services are limited," said DiPietro. In the future, DiPietro sees health insurance for seniors as a huge issue, especially if the SHINE program faces cuts. SHINE stands for Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders and provides trained insurance counsellors to COAs. "It's extremely important for seniors here," DiPietro said. "We rely on it heavily. Insurance is constantly changing and it's hard for local communities to keep up." For example, over 3,600 South Coast residents needed to change insurance companies when Boston-based Steward Health Care no longer accepted Tufts Medicare HMO. Although the insurance company held meetings to help with the change, seniors relied on SHINE counsellors to break it down for them as it applied to older adults. To find your local COA, as well as information on your community's elder profile, your local COA, and much, much more, visit the MCOA website at mcoaonline.com.

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J oyce Rowley is a freelance writer living in historic New Bedford on the South Coast.

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PRIME LIVING

Jay Pateakos

After my father’s major surgery years ago, the question of rehabilitation came up. It was a question we had never thought of. We had to ask where he should go, what the facility’s strengths and weaknesses were, but most importantly, how to even choose which one fits best for him, his family, and everyone else.

So I’ve tried to cut through some of that confusion, not trying to push a certain facility over another but rather seeking out suggestions for how to pick the best rehabilitation location, dispelling myths about rehab facilities, discovering the mistakes families make in choosing facilities, and taking note of how the facilities have changed over time. Maybe these answers will help you when you are forced into picking a facility at a moment’s notice or even when you have enough time to make an informed decision.

Q

When people are looking for rehabilitation services, what are the things they should be focusing on in choosing the best place for them? Andrea Syron, Director of Operations for Somerset’s Clifton Rehabilitative Nursing Center said people will go into the hospital for a variety of reasons, but any reason can leave one feeling too weak to return home. They require additional care and rehab services which can be found at skilled nursing facilities. Each of these facilities has a different feel, environment,

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Finding the right rehab and experience for the patient, Syron said. “If possible, it can be beneficial to visit a rehab facility prior to undergoing joint replacement surgery or elective procedures. Thereby the patient can make the selection. Should a situation be more immediate, the patient's family or friends can also schedule a tour or call to speak with admissions in order to receive more information,” said Syron. “As each patient is a unique individual, so are their likes and needs. Patients often ask questions about the rehab staff, availability of amenities such as Wi-Fi access during their stay, insurance coverage, things like that.” Catholic Memorial Home Administrator Tom Healy said that if you’re about to be discharged from a hospital or have just gotten over an illness that has compromised your energy, mobility, and/or range of motion, your primary care physician has probably written an order for you to obtain short-term or extended-care rehabilitation. The ultimate decision on where you’d like to go for your rehab services is completely up to you, Healy

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noted. Location, he said, is of prime importance for families. “Although this isn’t the number one reason to choose a particular rehab facility, the location of the facility does matter. Consider the family members who plan to visit you at the facility every day – you’ll want to pick a location that doesn’t require hours of drive time for them,” said Healy. “This is especially important if you have been prescribed an extended rehabilitation program where you will be at the facility for several weeks or months at a time.” Healy said word-of-mouth referrals have always been the best form of advertising for a reason. “Your nurses, doctors, and caseworker have lots of access to recommendations and patient stories about experiences at different rehab facilities. If someone in the healthcare field recommends a particular rehab facility, heed their advice – it’s worth exploring the facility further to see if it meets your preferences, needs, and expectations,” said Healy. “Also take some time to read reviews of the facilities you are considering. If the majority of

comments are good to excellent, you may want to consider that facility, too.” Emmanuel Berthil, Chief Clinical Officer of New Bedford’s Vibra Hospital of Southeastern Mass also stressed the importance of location. “Healthcare is local. Location, location, location… And ask whether friends and family can visit and participate in the rehab process easily,” said Berthil, who also noted that they should research how experienced the facility’s clinicians really are. Kim Aldrich, Marketing Director of Sandpiper Healthcare in New Bedford, said touring the facilities is a must before making any decisions. “When choosing a rehab facility I would suggest touring the facility, meeting the staff, seeing the gym and talking to the therapists. Does the facility and staff have the equipment and knowledge to treat a person with your needs? Are the therapists on staff or are they contracted?” said Aldrich. “Staff therapists will be there to treat you daily and they get to know you and what works best for you, such as whether you do better in the morning or afternoon, or whether you need your sessions split until your endurance gets better.” Dartmouth and New Bedford-based Brandon Woods Admissions Coordinator and Community Relations Manager Crystal Macedo


'If possible, visit a rehab facility prior to undergoing joint replacement surgery or elective procedures'

'If someone in the healthcare field recommends a particular rehab facility, heed their advice' – Tom Healy

– Andrea Syron said it is very important to find a rehab facility that you or your loved one will feel comfortable in. She said the process and the options available to you can be very overwhelming. When making a decision about which center is right for you, she said to remember each short-stay patient – younger, older, bedridden, or disabled – has different needs, preferences, and desires that should be taken into consideration in the selection of a rehab facility. “Make a list of four facilities you would be willing to consider going to, whether it be the location that is important to you or a specialty service you would like provided. Make plans to tour each facility and bring a list of questions and concerns with you if you would like. It is important to tour each facility due to each facility offering different

levels of care in varying environments,” Macedo said. “By touring each facility you have a chance to meet nursing staff on the rehab unit, and have a chance to tour the rehab gym, dining room, and other areas of the facility that are you are interested in seeing. During the tour you can get the contact information for the facilities Admissions Coordinator who helps transition the patient smoothly from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility. They will communicate with the case managers from the hospital and make the transition for the patient and family as smooth as possible to elevate some stress from the patient and or family.”

Q

How do you work through the uncertainty? Like anything medical, there are myths to contend with,

'Many people focus on physical therapy, not all the therapies and how they work together to treat the whole person'

'A common myth is that therapy, is going to change or treat the underlying disease process'

– Kim Aldrich

– Emmanuel Berthil

especially for those who have never encountered rehabilitation services before. “A common rehab myth is that therapy, once initiated, is going to change or treat the underlying disease process. Sometimes modalities alone are not enough to change the disease process. More often than not, the ultimate goal is maintenance as opposed to total recovery,” said Vibra’s Berthil. “It’s the knowledge and understanding of the medical issues that may take precedent over the patient ability to tolerate rehab. Frequency and duration of rehab’s interventions may increase as the patient’s tolerance and overall health evolve and improve.” “Skilled Nursing Facilities are more rehabilitation-based today. Many of the patients go home versus staying longterm. Many people focus on physical therapy, not really

thinking about all therapies and how they work together to treat the whole person,” said Sandpiper’s Aldrich. “Occupational therapy works with the patient to address the activities of daily living – whether the patient would be able to go to the restroom themselves, dress themselves, and feed themselves. Speech therapy works with the patient’s speech and ability to swallow and breathe correctly. The patient and therapist work as a team to help the patient return to health and wellness.” Crystal Macedo of Brandon Woods said patients coming into a rehab facility for a short-term stay may have some fears due to some of the stories being told to them by family members or friends. One of their biggest concerns is not being able to return home and facilities wanting to keep them as long as possible.

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Continued from previous page “This is not true. Most patients, depending on their insurance, are only allowed a certain number of covered days for their rehab stay. Certain insurance plans require a pre-authorization before a patient is admitted and may be only allowed a minimum of 10 days of coverage. While other insurance companies allow 21 days of full coverage. Facilities also have certain guidelines we need to follow to be compliant with state regulations,” said Macedo. “Another myth is that rehab facilities or skilled nursing facilities do not provide quality care. Skilled Nursing Facilities are all operated by trained professionals who are committed to providing quality care on a daily basis. Most employees in the healthcare setting have years and years of experience and have loved ones who have been in similar situations. Our job is to work on getting each patient to achieve their goals to the best of our ability and be able to set up a safe discharge for each patient. Compassion and dedication are keys to success.” “For most patients, the goal is to get home as fast as possible,” said Syron of Clifton. Many times, the patient is asking ‘when will I go home?’ before even leaving the hospital. This is a tough question, because each patient comes into a facility with their own specific challenges,” she said. “A perfect example might be a knee replacement, for some, they are in and out within a few days. Others may have many other conditions which slow their healing and extend their discharge date. The other important factor in rehab success lies with the patient themselves,” said Syron. “The mind plays a huge part in success. Each patient has

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a different drive, determination, and desire. I have seen patients 90 years and older rehab quicker than a patient in their 60's, simply because they were determined to get home.”

Q

What mistakes can you make when picking a rehab facility?

Vibra’s Berthil said he wouldn’t really call these mistakes families are making, considering some of the circumstances the families are in. “As one deals with the illness of a loved one, it is often the ultimate goal to ask and seek for an immediate and quick fix to a complex problem. With that in mind, it is common that the information being given is sometimes not well-understood, especially as to the severity and the prognosis of the illness,” said Berthil. “It’s best to ask for a family meeting to meet with the clinical team and ask questions that lead to answers and information that will guide the decision-making process. Therefore the hope of recovery and subsequent decisions will be more aligned with reality.” Macedo said some patients may be able to take their time to plan rehabilitation services before an upcoming surgery while other patients may be dealing with an emergency situation that was very unexpected. “In either situation, you should have some time allowed to make a proper decision for you or your loved one. If a patient is transitioned too quickly this may result in the patient feeling very overwhelmed and unhappy with the place they are currently at. It is very important for a patient to feel comfortable

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'The patient's comfort and happiness helps in their progression in achieving their goal to go home' – Crystal Macedo

'All our therapists participate in continuing education to ensure the patient is offered the most up-todate techniques' – Karen Martin

in the environment they will be living in for at least a few weeks,” said Macedo. “The patients’ comfort and happiness helps in their progression in achieving their goals to go home. If you or your family are unable to tour any facility, you can call and speak to an Admissions Coordinator at any facility who will be happy to answer any questions you may have.” “One of the biggest mistakes is choosing the facility based on outward appearance. If it has chandeliers, that does not mean it has great therapy,” said Aldrich of Sandpiper Healthcare. “Once again I suggest you tour your first couple of choices and talk to the staff, nurses, and therapists. Are they knowledgeable, have they treated people with similar needs? Is the staff friendly and happy?”

Q

How do services change over time?

“We treat the whole patient, not just the diagnosis, with a team approach from nursing to PT, OT, and speech. Over time, different modalities are used. We update our equipment and modalities so that we can effectively treat the whole person,” said Aldrich. “Our therapy teams have worked together for a long time and tend to spend that largest block of time with the residents. They ensure all of the residents’ needs are met and that they have the best and most comfortable equipment possible.” “Here at Vibra, we consistently change our rehab programs and interventions to meet the industry standards as well as to improve the individualized care plans to meet our patients’ need,” said Berthil. “We continue to partner with many universities, keeping


our clinicians up on the latest research, curriculum, and practices.” Catholic Memorial Home Rehab Manager Karen Martin said their therapy team consists of physical, occupational, and speech therapists who work together to provide a one-on-one skilled individualized program tailored to a patient’s specific needs. “All therapists participate in continuing education in orthopedic, cardiac, pulmonary, and stroke rehabilitation to ensure the patient is offered the most recent and up-todate techniques and knowledge to reach the highest possible functional outcome,” said Martin. “We have on-site two fully-equipped gyms with state-of-the-art equipment that is updated regularly, a new apartment to stimulate a home environment, and full-size kitchen. Patients requiring continuing services at home like therapy, nursing, a personal care attendant, homemaker assistance, or help setting up Life Alert and Meals on Wheels can all be accommodated. Home evaluations for safety and modifications are offered to ensure a safe and successful return home.” And returning home is the key for just about all patients. But what services are in place to help those patients ease back into living at their homes while still keeping up the rehabilitation services? “When a patient is ready to return home after there rehab stay, social workers and discharge planners will assist each patient in coming up with a plan that will work best for each of their needs. Facilities work very closely with visiting nursing agencies, home health care agencies, and local elder service agencies. While some patients can be discharged home with very little or no services, others

may benefit from transitioning to an assisted living facility or may just require some more support during the day at home,” said Macedo of Brandon Woods. “Adult Day programs and Home Care Services are a great benefit for a patient who may require some assistance at home during the day and need assistance with medication management, ADL's, meal preparation, and social support.” Syron said employees and staff at Clifton are proud to be able to say they were the first facility in Bristol County to receive post-acute care accreditation from The Joint Commission, a nationwide independent nonprofit. The post-acute care certification demonstrates that a facility is committed in providing goal-directed, time-limited, medically-complex care or rehabilitative services to patients recently hospitalized, Syron said. The goal for patients and their families is to help transition the patient from an acute care setting to a lower level of care setting, or a return to their homes. “Just some examples of care include post-operative care, orthopedic or cardiac rehabilitation, respiratory care, and wound care,” Syron said. “Additionally, we have been very fortunate to continue to have the Clifton Outpatient Clinic, which complements our inpatient services. Patients benefit from the continuity of care in one location. Our very dedicated and longstanding staff members make a huge difference in the lives of all our patients.”

J ay Pateakos has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years including daily and weekly newspapers and monthly magazines. A native of New Bedford, he currently lives in Marion and has three children. S ou th C oast P r ime T imes

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PRIME LIVING Oaks Life Care Center, New Bedford

Miracle

at the Oaks Jay Pateakos

Just over two months ago, Brenda Sylvia, who went through brain surgery late last year, arrived at the Oaks Life Care Center, located in the heart of the beautiful Sassaquin area of New Bedford.

Brenda had been a normal 60-year-old woman leading up to getting sick in October, but her lengthy hospital stay after surgery had left her as a person even she couldn’t recognize. Brenda had had a tracheostomy and a g-tube that provided her with food she would have normally taken by mouth. Her life, in a few short months, had turned upside-down. A lengthy stay in a long-term rehabilitation facility only saw to the stabilization of Brenda’s condition. She was transferred to a local skilled nursing facility, which her family felt could not meet her respiratory needs. They decided she needed a change. The Oaks Life Care Center was

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the destination.

A breath of fresh air The Oaks full-time respiratory therapist Debbie Beech met Brenda on the first day she arrived, three days before Christmas. “The family had felt that the [former]

facility had brought her as far as they could go and that a change was needed,” said Beech, one of the few full-time staff respiratory therapists in the area. “She had a trach tube to assist her breathing, required supplemental oxygen, a nebulizer [a mist that helps breathing], and couldn’t eat regular food.” That first day was when the Oaks Life Care Center staff got working at getting Brenda back to where she wanted to be: independent of any devices. The speech therapist worked on Brenda’s diet to get her weaned off of the g-tube, and Beech,

That first day was when the Oaks Life Care Center staff got working at getting Brenda back to where she wanted to be:

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independent of any devices


along with LPN Jessica Machado, worked to get her breathing on her own without an assistive device. “I can’t imagine how scary it was for her to not be able to breathe on her own – to have so much trouble just trying to breathe,” said Beech. “She had had so many failed attempts prior.” Before her arrival, Brenda had been taken off her ventilator five times and then re-intubated – the tube was once again inserted into her windpipe to allow for ventilator assistance with breathing – after Brenda wasn’t able to sustain breathing on her own all five times. The problem with that many intubations is that scar tissue builds up and the chances of irreparably damaging vocal cords become more of a reality. But everything was different at the Oaks Life Care Center. Through aggressive therapy and a teamwork approach, Brenda walked out of The Oaks only five weeks after her arrival on January 30. She left on a regular diet, without a trach, gtube, or need for any help breathing. “The key to her success was in the teamwork. She needed to believe that confident people were taking care of her – that they would work to give her the confidence to get better,” said Beech. “When she first arrived, I pulled Jess aside and came up with a gameplan for the team so that we were all on the same page and had the same focus, gaining her trust and her family’s trust. With a good positive attitude, we were confident that we would be able to build her back up to where she wanted to be.”

A little help from my family With a very involved family, Beech and Machado helped to set the tone to make everyone believers that Brenda would be back to normal before long, listening to the family’s input on what they and Brenda had been through since October 1. Beech set a plan to promote aggressive respiratory therapy and the staff all worked toward that endpoint. “The family was very guarded when they came here after what they went through. They were so involved in her care and were eager to listen when Deb communicated to them the aggressive therapy she had planned,” said Machado. The staff continued to work on her breathing, going from a trach to a trach cap (basically a cover used to push the breathing through the typical mouthand-nose channels) to see if it would

L-R: Debbie Beech, Brenda S ylvia, Jessica M achado

be tolerated, to finally having the trach removed for the final time. Brenda’s Boston physician confirmed

sit outside her door at the ready to help Brenda if she got into respiratory distress. “We worked hard through her therapy

'We worked hard through her therapy to build up momentum and once she got that, there was nothing holding her back' that she was indeed progressing well. They had the green light to remove the tube. “It was an amazing outcome considering what she had gone through.” “Everything was in place and we needed to give this our best shot,” added Beech. “She had a lot of respiratory complications and this was a huge success. It makes you want to come to work each day.” As amazing as the result was, Machado recalls those first days when Brenda would constantly cough and she would

to build up momentum and once she got that, there was nothing holding her back,” said Machado. “We all did what we had to do to get rid of the trach. It was something she and her family both wanted very badly,” said Beech. “Her family would not have taken ‘no’ for an answer and we had the right team to make it happen.” For more information on the Oaks Life Care Center, go to theoaksma.com or call 508-998-7807. They are located at 4525 Acushnet Avenue in New Bedford.

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PRIME SEASON

Clear

the air! It’s spring cleaning time! You can dust, polish, wipe, and wax the surfaces until the cows come home – but how do you keep your indoor air smelling fresh and clean year-round? Cleanliness may be next to godliness, but sometimes we’re just glossing over the root causes of house-odor, hiding the stench beneath gallons of chemical air-freshener sprays, commercial cleaning products, and plug-in deodorizers. All winter long, our houses have been hermetically sealed, with stale, stagnant air filled with smoke, germs, kitchen grease, mold/mildew, paper dust, chemical fumes, dust mites, dander, and tracked-in dirt. To eliminate odors, you need to target the offenders at the source, and tackle the environmental factors that spread the smells throughout the house.

Eliz abeth Morse Read

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Teenagers are not the only people who become nose-blind to their funky-smelling living space. When entering someone’s house or apartment, you can tell immediately whether they smoke, whether there’s a damp basement, multiple cat litter-boxes, or whether last night’s meal included garlic or microwaved popcorn. Piles of unwashed laundry, trash cans, diaper pails, and stacks of paper and cardboard boxes give off their own distinctive olfactory signature, too. But those pungent odors are noticeable because there’s (a) too much moisture and (b) too little ventilation inside the house. So if you can solve those two underlying conditions, you’re halfway towards keeping your home smelling fresh year-round.

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Whether it’s the shower fog, a boiling pot on the stove, or the scalding blast of steam when you open the dishwasher, there’s a lot of excess moist air trapped inside your home. And that’s what ultimately spreads all the bad odors throughout your house (just like how a sneeze spreads germs), coating every surface with sticky, stinky grime, and your bathroom with mildew, mold, and soap scum. If your bathroom has an exhaust fan or your kitchen has a stove fan that vents to the outside, always use them when you shower or cook, and let them run overnight to suck out the moist air. Window fans in bedrooms that blow outward can help, too. And, yes, even when it’s cold outside, open the windows and doors for a while as often as possible.

Use all-natural deodorizers Use all-natural products like white vinegar, baking soda, herbs/spices, coffee grounds, and essential oils to clean and deodorize your home. Chemical cleaning products leave behind an artificial after-


Plants and oils: all-natural air fresheners Leafy houseplants are fantastic easycare air filters, and a lot cheaper than buying electrical air filters, HEPA filter vacuums, and dehumidifiers. They naturally inhale indoor fumes, bacteria, moisture, and odors, and breathe out pure oxygen. Houseplants also make your living/work space feel more cozy. Scatter them throughout your house – ferns, peace lilies, ficus, cornplant, spider-plants, ivy, and philodendron. Combat your room odor with photosynthesis. taste/smell to the air, and are more often used to overwhelm an unpleasant odor than to neutralize it. Commercial products like chlorine bleach and Air-Wick sticks also contain potentially harmful substances – why breathe in carcinogens, just to get rid of the smell of boiled cabbage, if a bowl of white vinegar can do the same safely?

Target the odor offenders Do you ever get a whiff of something nasty when you open your freezer door? Put a clean sock filled with dry coffee grounds inside the freezer – it will neutralize the musty smell (but make sure you also get rid of the freezer-burned outdated mystery items). The inside of your refrigerator can get pretty smelly, too. Fill

Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, or mint are a much healthier alternative to using commercial deodorizers like Febreze or Glade plug-ins (plus, essential oils also repel insects). Put a drop of essential oil on all the lightbulbs after you’ve cleaned the room – the heat will disperse the aroma. Put a drop or two on cottonballs and place them in drawers, on shelves or in cupboards. Or put several scented cotton-balls in a heatproof bowl and place it on a radiator. Instant aromatherapy. ner last night? Or maybe deep-fried fish sticks with boiled cabbage? Cooking odors can easily be neutralized by putting a bowl of white vinegar on the counter while you’re making dinner, and by leaving bowls scattered throughout the house overnight to combat any lingering odors. In the morning, empty the bowls in your kitchen sink and bathtub to keep them smelling fresh, too. Does your microwave oven smell like burnt popcorn or splattered Szechuan sauce? Put a bowl of one cup water, one cup white vinegar inside and bring to a boil. Let it sit for ten minutes, then wipe down the inside walls. Leave the door ajar for 30 minutes. Indoor trash receptacles are odor factories. Even if you line your kitchen trash

Are you caring for a loved one? Apply here for MassHealth eligible compensation. Massachusetts Department of Elder Affairs offers compensation for caregivers caring for loved ones with ADL (Activities of Daily Living) needs through Preferred Residential Network’s AFC (Adult Foster/ Family Care) program.

Preferred Residential Network

508-677-9613 www.prnafc.com

Cooking odors can easily be neutralized by putting a bowl of white vinegar on the counter a plastic margarine tub with baking soda and poke holes in the lid, and put it on an inside shelf. Clean up all spills when they happen (especially milk products) and wipe down the interior refrigerator walls with white vinegar. Did you have liver and onions for din-

can with a plastic trash bag, some of the smelly food goop will end up on the wrong side of the bag. Dispose of the bags several times a week – don’t wait for the garbage truck to show up or let the bags fill up to the top before taking them to your outside trash can. Wipe them down

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Continued from previous page

The problem with pets Nothing smells much worse than a wet dog, but no one is cruel enough to recommend banishing pets from your household. But if you want an odor-free home, you need to stick to some basic rules. Cat litter boxes must be kept scrupulously clean – and as far away from the living space as possible (i.e., a porch or basement). “Accidents” on the carpeting need to be cleaned up immediately. Bird and rodent cages need to be cleaned weekly, and fallen seed-husks and feathers swept up immediately. And when it’s time for pet-grooming, do it outdoors, not in your kitchen. Cats and dogs must be trained never to jump onto your furniture or beds,

regularly inside and out, even if it means taking them outside and hosing them down. Sprinkle some baking soda on the bottom or else throw in a few used dryer sheets before putting in a new liner bag. The same applies to countertop compost crocks, indoor recycling bins, litter boxes, laundry hampers, and diaper pails. Are funky odors coming from your dishwasher? When it’s empty, wipe up any bits of food and slime, then pour in a gallon of white vinegar. Let it sit for an hour, then run it through a full cycle. (If the odor persists, call your plumber.) Throw out your sponges monthly – they can stink up your kitchen, too. Basements, mudrooms, and unheated porches can give off musty, mildewy odors. If there’s no actual water problem, you can alleviate the damp smell by putting out containers of activated charcoal (find it in the pet supplies aisle), cedar shavings, or coffee grounds. Investing in a dehumidifier for your basement can help, too. And always let wet mops and cleaning cloths dry outside. If you have an attached garage, never start up your car and leave it running with the garage doors closed. Same goes for emergency gas generators, BBQ-grills, hibachis, and kerosene heaters. All that CO2 and noxious poisons seeps through the walls and settles inside.

Deep-clean the odor vampires Manufactured fabrics, whether paper,

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and their special pet-beds/blankets need to be washed and deodorized regularly. And if Fido or Sheba just rolled in the compost heap and you’ve got company coming, take them outdoors, sprinkle their fur with baking soda, rub it in, and comb them down for a quick fix.

clothing, curtains, cardboard boxes, blankets or carpeting, are like odor wicks – they absorb everything floating in the air, like the rings inside a tree. That includes second-hand smoke, kitchen grease, pet dander, microscopic life-forms, noxious chemical fumes. To keep your living space breathable and stink-free, you need to consider all the fabric items contributing to that funky house odor. You can sweep, swab, vacuum and mop all you want, but you also need to deep-clean all the olfactory fabric-offenders in your house. Does your coat closet or home office smell stale, like a thrift store? Hang a clean sock filled with dry coffee grounds – it will absorb the musty smell. You can keep your sweaters, t-shirts, linens, and undies smelling fresh by placing a bar of naturally-scented soap in every drawer, cupboard, and cabinet. Floors and carpets are where all the nasty smells settle over time, so keep wood and linoleum floors swept and mopped regularly, and wipe up spills when they happen – not a week later. Carpets, especially wall-to-wall, are like giant sponges – vacuum several times a week, especially high-traffic areas. Sprinkle carpets first with baking soda and maybe a few sprinkles of cinnamon and let that soak in for 30 minutes before you vacuum. Just like pet beds, human beds get smelly, too – sweat, body odors, snack crumbs, and skin cells all contribute.


Wash bed linens at least once a week, and use white vinegar in the final rinse. Blankets, pillows, and heavy comforters can either be dry-cleaned or tumble-dried regularly. Pet beds can get cleaned in a commercial washing machine (why get pet hair in your own washing machine?), and small scatter rugs can be cleaned in your washer – don’t forget the final vinegar rinse for both of them. Mattresses need to be vacuumed regularly, too, if only to get rid of dust mites. If a mattress smells musty, sprinkle it with baking soda, let it sit for half an hour, then vacuum it up before you put on fresh linens. (And don’t forget to rotate and flip the mattress twice a year.)

like magnets for airborne grease, smoke residue, and dust. Instead of using a chemical product like Windex, use a spray bottle of diluted vinegar. Instead of paper towels, use a squeegee, lint-free crumpled-up sheets of newspaper, or microfiber cloths. For super-shiny glass, buff with a chamois cloth. (But don’t clean your windows on a hot, sunny day – the heat will cause streaking.)

Pull back the curtains! Light-blocking curtains and heavy draperies suck in odors, dust, pollen, fumes and microscopic rot, like vertical petri dishes. They need to be cleaned regularly, just like carpeting. If they’re machinewashable, do it yourself. Otherwise, have them professionally cleaned. Sheer batiste curtains can be handwashed using mild dish detergent in your bathtub, then final-rinsed in a tub of clean water mixed with two cups of milk (it’s a natural starch and de-wrinkler). Wring them out and air-dry them outside or tumble-dry them on gentle until almost dry, then re-hang them immediately. Sheer curtains allow muted sunshine into the room, even in winter, and they’re good indoor air filters, like house plants. Windows and interior glass (like framed pictures, monitors, mirrors, light bulbs, china cabinets, TV screens, sconces) are

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Keep bathrooms smelling clean

the exhaust fan when they shower, and close the toilet seat when they flush, to minimize the moisture in the air, which provides a breeding ground for molds, fungus, and mildew – and odors. Fill a plastic spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar, and spray down the glass and tiles inside the tub/ shower enclosure at the end of the day. Use a squeegee to wipe them down. Pour a cup of white vinegar into your toilet bowl and let it sit for five minutes, then scrub with a toilet brush. Take down your shower curtain and soak it in warm water and a cup of vinegar every month. Don’t forget that laundry hampers need a chance to dry and air out – put a few used dryer sheets in the bottom before any more sweaty clothes or damp towels go inside them. To keep the bathroom air fresh between cleanings, sprinkle cotton balls with an essential oil, and put them in a bowl placed on a top shelf to deodorize the room naturally.

• Cakes for celebrations • Daily specials • Nut-free bakery • Call 508-672-8521 Maria, the heart and soul of Continent Bakery showing off some of the new lunch items created for customers with love!

and fresh Bathrooms have their own distinctive locker-room funkiness, compounded by the steam of hot showers, soggy towels, and “toilet odor.” Insist that everyone run

heavy draperies suck in odors, dust, pollen, fumes and microscopic rot, like vertical petri dishes Upholstered furniture combines the smell potential of both carpets and beds – they soak up human and pet odors as well as whatever else is floating around in the air. Use the upholstery attachment to vacuum your couches and chairs regularly and have them professionally steam-shampooed whenever you have your carpets cleaned, at least once a year.

Continent Bakery

198 Pinehurst Avenue Ocean Grove in Swansea, MA Tue-Sat. 6am-5:30pm, Sun. 6am-1pm, Closed Mon.

Elizabeth Morse Read is an award-winning writer, editor and artist who grew up on the South Coast. After 20 years of working in New York City and traveling the world, she came back home with her children and lives in Fairhaven.

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Parsons reserve, photo by Dan Logan

PRIME SEASON

A spring

in your step Dan Logan

At some point someone somewhere unofficially declared March 30 National Take A Walk In The Park Day. An interesting chronological choice. That's jumping the gun a bit on the South Coast, because that’s when we’re waiting for a final, late-season backhand from the weather gods.

Think about it though, and an enterprising walker can use the date as the launching point for a casual experiment during the next three seasons of walking weather. Ever walk along a waterfront, or past a garden, or down a bike path ten or twenty or fifty times before you really noticed some feature that has always been there? Long walks give us an impressionistic view of our environment. Walk in late March or early April and you'll have the general impression of brown, brown, brown, maybe with some gray for the sky. Mid-summer and it's green, green, green plus occasional splashes of blooming plant color. October generates swathes of yellows, oranges, and reds. This year, aim to focus on a few highlights in that sea of impressionism. Walk some of your favorite spots in March, then again in July and October, and you're likely to be amazed at the changes. A late March walk will provide a visual

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baseline for the changes you'll note over those six months. Also, look around and see what all that summer green hides from you. In March the trees are so bare you realize there are distinct bands of "stuff" between your location and one further along. If you usually start walking only when the weather appears firmly committed to temperatures in the 70’s or 80’s, get crazy this year. Below are some places and events you can use to kick off the spring walking season, perhaps seeing some new territory or visiting spots you haven't been to in awhile.

Daffo-days Daffodils are a good reason to brave the weather to jump start your walking routine. These cheery little devils can often be seen peeking through a late snow, encouraging us to get through those last days of winter with enthusiasm rather than despair.

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My friend Cindy Haines, president of the New Bedford Garden Club, assures me that daffodils usually begin blooming around the end of March and reach their peak towards the middle of April in the South Coast. Parsons Reserve in South Dartmouth is one of the go-to spots for daffodils on the South Coast from April into early May. This Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust site is situated on top of a small hill which features several acres of daffodils scattered among a grove of trees off Horseneck Road. It's quite an astonishing sight if you're used to seeing daffodils in small clumps. The grove is a five-to-ten minute walk on a dirt trail with some mild climbing involved in getting up and down the hill. Boots are recommended. There aren't any bathrooms in the area either, so plan ahead. Visitors are asked not to pick or step on the daffodils, and to leash and clean up after their dogs. According to the DNRT, more than 12,000 people visit Parsons during April and early May, making site maintenance and visitor comfort something of a logistical challenge. There's detailed information about visiting Parsons at dnrt.org/visiting-daffodilfield. The spot has become very popular and heavily-traveled during April, and


the information the website provides can help make your visit more pleasant. For example, try to get there before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m., and avoid weekends and school vacation week if possible. To get to Parsons, park at Russell’s Mills Landing at 50 Horseneck Road in Dartmouth (just south of Russell's Mills Village), where there's the boat ramp and playground. There's not much parking available, but don't block the boat ramp. The website notes there's more parking 500 feet farther south on Horseneck Road. Park on the west side of the road at the metal gate marking the reserve's southern entrance and follow the trail to get to the daffodils. During the daffodil season a $2 donation is requested from non-DNRT members to help maintain the site.

Living color Daffodils are also a seasonal feature at Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum in Bristol. Blithewold's 33-acre grounds overlook Narragansett Bay, with paths crisscrossing the many specialized gardens. The grounds are open year-round (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., 1 to 3 on Sundays), but the daffodils (an estimated 50,000 of them, including dozens of varieties) kick off the growing season in April. As April shades into May the Blithewold landscape changes rapidly. For sheer range of visual cues in the natural world, Blithewold is hard to beat. Just giving a taste of the springtime variety, Gail Read, Blithewold's gardens manager, mentions "Colorful spring bulbs bloom[ing] in cheery blues with crocus, glory of the snow, and dwarf iris reticulata, plus creamy white and green hellebores and dwarf yellow daffodils" And that's just the entrance garden. "Walking further north you’ll see small round flowers of the giant leaf butterbur popping up by pathways in the Enclosed Garden, as the smooth dark green foliage of the mayapple emerge like pointy umbrellas,” Read adds. “My favorite, the cinnamon ferns in the water garden, are just appearing, covered with a fuzzy brown coating so inviting to reach down and touch.” Read, who led a number of early spring tours on the grounds last year, enthuses about the early growth people can see. "It’s always fascinating to see the progression of spring unfold." The fee for strolling the grounds in the

offseason is $5. Blithewold is located at 101 Ferry Road (Rt. 114) in Bristol. For more information, visit the web site at blithewold.org, call 401-253-2707, or email info@blithewold.org.

Scour the night The Lloyd Center has a couple of early springtime walks, an owl prowl, and a woodcock walk that might grab you. There's one obvious issue here: owl prowls and woodcock walks typically take place at night. But think of traipsing through the woods at night as a variation on our theme, which is to undertake some walks that encourage you to see your surroundings in a new way. Can you actually see anything of interest when you can't see anything? As a veteran of both owl prowls and woodcock walks, I'll bet you can. The Early Spring Owl Prowl is exactly that, a quest to hear and see owls tucked away in the trees. You may hear one a quarter mile away – or it may be 20 feet away, placidly watching you squint into the darkness. Prowl leader Jamie Bogart, Lloyd Center Research Associate, will be using recorded owl calls to encourage the owls to pay a close-up visit. Screech owls, great horned owls, and the resident barred owls are good candidates for making appearances. The Early Spring Owl Prowl is scheduled for Thursday, March 23 (Rain date: Friday, March 24) from 7 to 9 p.m. The prowl is limited to 20 participants, and children must be 10 or older. Meet at the Lloyd Center Visitors Center. Pre-register by noon on March 23 at lloydcenter.org/ form-event-registration. The fee for the owl prowl is $9 for Lloyd Center members, $12 for non-members, and half-price for children under 12. For both walks, bring binoculars, a camera, and flashlight if you want, and also wear warm clothes and footwear appropriate for trails and possibly snow. You might also want a chair for the woodcock walk, just in case. The Lloyd Center's Annual Woodcock Walk is scheduled for Tuesday, March 28 (Rain date: Wednesday, March 29) from 6 to 8 p.m. It's also limited to 20 participants. This time of year, American Woodcock make courtship flights at dusk, and they can be seen and heard overhead as the last remnants of daylight fade away. With a little luck they'll land closeby and freeze in your flashlight beam so you can get a

Cinnamon Ferns just coming up in the Water G arden, photo by Blithewold

good look. After the woodcock settle down, participants will keep an eye and an ear out for owls. "For woodcock walks, we always catch at least a quick glimpse. In years with especially good weather conditions, we've seen multiple birds at close range on select open fields in Dartmouth that offer optimal habitats," Jamie Bogart says. "Although hearing an owl is all-but guaranteed, seeing one close up requires some luck. Last season a Barred Owl pair was onsite during the spring prowl, and provided a rare, dazzling display at the forest edge." The woodcock walk will be held at Noquochoke Wildlife Management Area off Hixville Road in Dartmouth, where the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife manages the species. The fee for the woodcock event is $8 for Lloyd Center members, $10 for nonmembers. Pre-register online at lloydcenter.org/form-event-registration by noon on March 28. For more information, contact Jamie Bogart at 508-990-0505 ext. 23, or email jbogart@lloydcenter.org.

Dan L ogan is a freelance writer and photographer from Fairhaven, MA. E-mail him at dlogan@thegrid.net.

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Brandon Woods:

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Surprenant & Beneski's Guide to Preparing for Illness

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here are important documents that everyone should have. A Health Care Proxy is when you appoint an agent to make medical decisions if you become medically incapable of doing so. Anyone over 18 should have one in case of an unexpected incapacity. Without it, your family isn’t legally authorized to make medical decisions. A HIPAA Release is a federal law which mandates that your medical information is private and can’t be shared without your written permission. In it, you authorize your medical provider(s) to share your private medical information with the person(s) listed. Without it, the doctor can’t speak with anyone. A Living Will/Advance Directive details how you want to be cared for at the end of your life. Though not legally binding, it provides useful guidance to your health care agent. MOLST is a Massachusetts Orders for Life Supporting Treatment form that you fill out in consultation with your doctor. It is good to have if you have a terminal/chronic illness that could lead to death. You decide in advance what type of life saving treatments you want. This form is signed by you and your doctor. It is a part of your medical record and is binding on medical caregivers in most situations. There is no attorney/client relationship created by this article. DO NOT make decisions based upon information in this article. Legal advice can only be given after an individual consultation with an attorney. Any decisions made without proper legal advice may cause significant legal and financial problems. M ichelle D. B eneski is an Attorney at Surprenant & Beneski, P.C. For specific questions email mdb@nbelderlaw.com or call 508-994-5200.

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With nursing homes costing an average of $12,000 a month you must plan ahead. As Elder Law Attorneys, we can show you how to protect your assets from nursing homes, probate fees, and estate taxes. Even with a relative in a nursing home now, assets can still be protected. Call us today to set up a consultation. The family team of Attorney Michelle D. Beneski and Attorney Daniel M. Surprenant are resolute in their goal of providing the highest quality of services to their clients. You can also visit us at www.MyFamilyEstatePlanning.com and sign up for our next free seminar near you.

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GOOD TIMES

Keep

I hope this doesn't affect our Social Security checks.

your

social security! Many people enter the golden years of retirement completely unaware that a large portion of their Social Security benefits are going to be subject to tax. Even though the opportunity exSherri ists to have taxes withheld from Social Security M ahoneybenefits, most clients elect not to, and as a result Battles some of them can find themselves owing Uncle Sam money at tax filing time. Based on a pair of Treasury Tax Rulings issued in 1938 and 1941, Social Security benefits were explicitly excluded from federal tax. All of this changed in 1983, and beginning in 1984, up to 50 percent of an individual’s Social Security could potentially be subject to tax based upon income limitations. In 1993, as part of Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, the Social Security taxation provision was modified to add a secondary set of thresholds and a higher taxable percentage of 85 percent for

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The amount withheld from the employee is not excluded from wages for purposes of taxation and is therefore “taxed” money

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beneficiaries who exceeded the secondary thresholds.

How Social Security is taxed Essentially, Social Security is funded through payroll deductions paid by the employee and a matching contribution paid by the employer. A self-employed person pays both the employee and employer portion. Additionally, a self-employed person deducts from income being taxed 50 percent of the social security tax paid. Social Security tax paid by a self-employed person is considered self-employment tax. The amount withheld from the employee is not excluded from wages for purposes of taxation and is therefore “taxed” money. The amount contributed by the employer is not includible in income and is therefore not taxed. Typically, the amount an employee contributes to a retirement plan is contributed “pre” tax, and is therefore taxed upon distribution. Based on the method


of contributions, it would stand to reason that approximately 50 percent of an individual’s benefits have already been taxed. So why are some people paying tax on 85 percent of their benefits? The original taxation of benefits was set at 50 percent based on the employee's portion already having been subject to tax. However, the 1993 Reconciliation Act changes were designed to bring the taxation of Social Security benefits in line with the tax treatment of private pensions where the real “non-contributed” portion is about 85 percent of the average benefit, not 50 percent.

Taxing benefits If the total of your taxable pensions, wages, interest, dividends, and other taxable income, plus any tax-exempt interest income, plus half of your Social Security benefits are more than a base amount, some of your benefits will be taxable. Benefits are taxed at either 50 or 85. The 50 percent base amount is $25,000 for singles and $32,000 for those who are married and filing jointly. Taxpayers whose base amount exceeds $34,000 for singles and $44,000 for married and filing jointly will pay tax on up to 85 percent of their Social Security benefits. A critical step in planning regarding the taxation of Social Security benefits is the Federal Tax Table. For 2016, the single tax rate changes from 15% to 25% at $37,650. Married filing jointly taxpayers see the tax increase from 15% to 25% at $75,300. So, taxpayers with income in the higher bracket will not only suffer the insult of having their Social Security benefits taxed, but will be paying a 25% tax on their benefits. As always, a challenging tax situation presents us with an opportunity to plan effectively and maximize deductions so that we can help our clients pay the minimum tax. A tax preparer who works effectively with clients in their retirement years will review all income streams and potential deductions to minimize the taxability of Social Security benefits, and prepare clients for when Uncle Sam asks for a piece of their benefits.

S herri M ahoney-Bat tles, an income tax preparation specialist, is a regular contributor to 'South Coast Prime Times.' Contact her at 508-636-9829 or Sherilyn@ taxingmatters.com.

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E xtra! E xtra!

In brief… Eliz abeth Morse Read

It may still be cold and blustery, but spring is definitely around the corner! Celebrate an early Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, or Easter, and take the family on an outing during school vacation weeks!

Regional Highlights

May the frost be with you! Don’t miss the Annual Newport Winter Festival February 17-26! Ten days of non-stop music, food, family fun, and festivities. Learn more at newportwinterfestival.com or call 401-253-0246. UMass Dartmouth’s School of Law has earned full accreditation from the American Bar Association, a milestone for the state’s only public law school. Don’t miss the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 11 in Newport! For details, go to newportirish.com.

Family fun

The Fall River Public Library will now host free afternoon movies (and

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popcorn!) every Wednesday at 1 p.m., in addition to showings on Monday nights. For more information, visit the library’s Facebook page or visit fallriverlibrary.org. Find out what’s going on at your local YMCA! For schedules, go to ymcasouthcoast.org. Take the family on a guided nature cruise/seal watch in Newport Harbor! Tours leave from Bowen’s Ferry Landing through April. Or take the family on a guided nature cruise/seal watch down the Taunton River into Mt. Hope Bay! Tours leave from Borden Light Marina in Fall River through April. For more info, call 401-324-6060 or visit savebay.org. Learn more about Vacation Week

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activities at the Whaling Museum in New Bedford! For more info, call 508-9970046 or go to whalingmuseum.org. Explore Thomas the Tank Engine Land and Dino Land at Edaville Railroad in Carver! For more info, visit edaville.com or call 508-866-8190. Check out the Children’s Aquarium and Exploration Center of Greater Fall River! Learn more at aquariumgfr.com or call 508-801-4743. Find out what’s going on at the Children’s Museum of Greater Fall River. Reduced admission on the first Friday each month. For info, go to cmgfr.org or call 508-672-0033. Explore the Children’s Museum in Providence! Go to childrenmuseum.org or call 401-273-5437. Then take the kids to the Roger Williams Park Zoo! For more info, go to rwpzoo.org or call 401-785-3510. Enjoy FREE family fun and entertainment on AHA! Nights. The theme for March 9 will be “All Sewn Up.” The April 13 theme will be “Sustainable South-


coast.” For details, call 508-996-8253 or go to ahanewbedford.org. Check out the Children’s Museum in Easton! For info, call 508-230-3789 or visit childrensmuseumineaston.org. There’s always something to see or do at the Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro! Go to capronparkzoo.com or call 774203-1840. Then take the kids to Mass Audubon’s Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Center, also in Attleboro! For more info, call 508-223-3060 or visit massaudubon.org. Find out what’s happening at the Buttonwood Park Zoo in New Bedford! Check out the children’s programs: Bear Cub Club (2-3), Puddle Jumpers (2-5), Little Learners (3-5), Roots & Shoots (1115). For info, call 508-991-6178 or visit bpzoo.org. Get out the ice skates and head for the outdoor Newport Skating Center! For more info, visit skatenewport.com or call 401-846-3018. Or else head for the Driscoll Skating Rink in Fall River! For more info, go to fmcicesports.com or call 508-679-3274. Take the kids to the Coggeshall Farm Museum in Bristol for 18th-century “Home and Hearth” workshops! For the little ones, there’s Farmhouse Storytime every Wednesday. For more info, visit www.coggeshallfarm.org or call 401-2539062.

Relive history

If you’re interested in the history of Japan-America ties, visit the WhitfieldManjiro Friendship House in Fairhaven, where it all began. Call 508-995-1219 or go to wmfriendshiphouse.org for details. While you’re there, take a walking tour of Fairhaven, explore local history! For details, go to fairhaventours.com or call 508-979-4085. Visit Battleship Cove, home of USS Massachusetts! Check out the new Pearl Harbor exhibit. For more info, call 508678-1100 or go to battleshipcove.org.

the Handy House in Westport. For more info, visit wpthistory.org or call 508-6366011. Spend a day in the cobble-stoned historic district of New Bedford! Visit the world-class Whaling Museum (508-9970046 or go to whalingmuseum.org), then explore the surrounding New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park. For more info, go to nps.gov/nebe. Relive American military history at the Fort Taber-Fort Rodman Museum in New Bedford! For info, call 508-994-3938 or visit forttaber.org.

Classical acts

The Claremont Trio will perform on February 26 at Westport’s Concerts at The Point. Plan ahead for the Handel & Haydn Society March 26. For details, visit concertsatthepoint.org or call 508-6360698. Don’t miss “Up Close on Hope 2” March 24-26, 31, April 1, and “The Little Prince” March 26, April 2, 8, 9, performed by Festival Ballet Providence at PPAC. For info, call 401-421-2787 or go to festivalballetprovidence.org. Enjoy the new season of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra at the VETS – don’t miss Beethoven’s “Eroica” on February 17-18, performances by Lang Lang on March 5, All-Brahms March 18, Rachmaninoff April 7-8. For details, call 401-248-7000 or go to riphil.org. Listen to performances by Cohler & Vitkauskaite on March 4, Diane Walsh on April 8 at Goff Memorial Hall in Rehoboth, part of the “Arts in the Village” series. Visit carpentermuseum.org for info. Enjoy the 2016-17 season of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra at the Zeiterion. Don’t miss “Strings Attached” on February 18. Plan ahead for “The Music of John Williams” on April 29! For details, go to nbsymphony.org or call 508-999-6276.

Ahoy! Explore the span of maritime history and culture at the Marine Museum of Fall River – check out the new Kid’s Cove Fun Space! For more info, visit marinemuseumfr.org or call 508-674-3533.

Mark your calendars! The Sippican Choral Society will be performing “Testament of Freedom” with the Tri-County Symphonic Band on April 23 at Fireman Hall in Marion. For details, call 508-7632327 or visit sippicanchoralsociety.org.

Explore 18th- and 19th-century life at

Find out what’s on stage with the

Performing Arts Series at Rhode Island College! The Muir String Quartet will perform on February 20 and April 3. For info and tickets, call 401-456-8144 or visit ric.edu/pfa. Plan ahead for the Tri-County Symphonic Band’s performance of “Celebrating Women Composers” on March 26 at Tabor Academy in Marion. For details, go to tricountysymphonicband.org. The Fall River Symphony Orchestra will perform selections by Brahms, Mozart, and Still on February 26 at Bristol Community College’s Jackson Art Center. For more info, call 508-678-2241 or visit fallriversymphonyorchestra.org.

What’s on stage?

The Attleboro Community Theatre will present “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” March 3-5, and 10-12! For info, visit attleborocommunitytheatre.com or call 508-226-8100. Check out what’s playing at 2nd Story Theatre in Warren! “Murder at the Howard Johnson’s” will run through March 12. “Shirley Valentine” will be onstage March 10-April 1. Call 401-247-4200 or go to 2ndstorytheatre.com. Don’t miss Trinity Rep’s performance of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” in Providence through March 24. For info, call 401-351-4242 or go to trinityrep.com. Find out what’s on stage at the Providence Performing Arts Center! Don’t miss Disney’s “The Lion King” through March 19, “42nd Street” March 24-26, “Rent” April 7-9! For details, call 401-421-2787 or go to ppacri.org. Check out what’s on stage at the Spire Center for the Performing Arts of Greater Plymouth! There’s “Don’t Talk to the Actors” March 10-19. For tickets and info, call 508-746-4488 or visit spirecenter.org. Your Theatre in New Bedford will perform “The House of Blue Leaves” March 16-19, 23-26. For details, call 508-9930772 or go to yourtheatre.org. Find out what’s playing at Fall River’s Little Theatre! “August: Osage County” will be performed March 16-19. For info, visit littletheatre.net or call 508-6751852. Enjoy a dinner-theatre night out at the Newport Playhouse! “Romantic Comedy”

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Continued from previous page

Luke Bryan, Dunkin Donuts Center

Jesse Colin Young, N arrows Center

M agnolia Cajun Dance, Sandywoods

will be performed February 16 through March 26. For more information, go to newportplayhouse.com or call 401-8487529. The Wilbury Group in Providence will perform “Mr. Burns, a post-electric play” March 9-April 1. For info and tickets, visit thewilburygroup.org or call 401-400-7100.

Listen to the music!

Plan ahead for the International Portuguese Music Awards on April 22 at the Zeiterion in New Bedford! For more info, go to zeiterion.org or call 508-994-2900. The Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River has a fabulous lineup – there’s Walter “Wolfman” Washington February 24, Jesse Colin Young March 4, the Pousette Dart Band March 11, Southern Soul Assembly March 19, Entrain March 24, Aztec Two-Step March 31, Vanilla Fudge April 5, Miracle Legion April 7 – and more! For a complete schedule, visit narrowscenter.com or call 508-324-1926. Head for the Sandywoods Center for

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the Arts in Tiverton! There’s Fellswater February 23, Mike Casey Trio March 3, Francisco Pais Lotus Project March 18, 6-DIGG-it March 25, Magnolia Cajun Dance April 1 – and more! For a complete schedule, go to sandywoodsmusic.com or call 401-241-7349. Check out the schedule at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence! There’s Luke Bryan March 4 (and lots of hockey games!) For more info, call 401-331-6700 or visit dunkindonutscenter.com. Find out who’s on stage at the Spire Center for the Performing Arts of Greater Plymouth! There’s Delta Generators February 18, Greg Hopkins Sextet February 25, Love Dogs March 4, “Don’t Talk to the Actors” March 10-19, Debra Mann Quintet March 24, Pat Donohue March 31, Tom Rush April 1 – and more! Plan ahead for Girls, Guns & Glory April 24. For tickets and info, call 508-746-4488 or visit spirecenter.org. Get back to your musical roots at

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Don Flemons, Common Fence Music

Ten Tenors, Zeiterion

Common Fence Music in Portsmouth! Dom Flemons will perform on March 4. For more info, call 401-683-5085 or visit commonfencemusic.org. It’s all happening at the Z! Don’t miss NBSO “Strings Attached” February 18, “The Giver” March 2, Spensers: Theatre of Illusion March 4, Ten Tenors March 11, St. Patrick’s Day Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan March 17, Rain: Tribute to the Beatles March 25, the US Coast Guard Band (free!) March 26, New Bedford Lyceum presents Bob Woodward April 1 – and more! For info, call 508-994-2900 or go to zeiterion.org. Find out who’s playing at the Stone Church Coffeehouse at the First Congregational Church in Bristol! For info or tickets, call 401-253-4813 or 401-2537288. Find out what’s on stage at the Providence Performing Arts Center! Don’t miss The Naked Magicians February 25, Disney’s “The Lion King” February


28-March 19, A Night with Billy Crystal March 23, “42nd Street” March 24-26, Celtic Woman April 6, “Rent” April 7-9, and more! For details, call 401-421-2787 or go to ppacri.org. If you’re a fan of Americana and roots music, check out “Music in the Gallery” at the Wamsutta Club in New Bedford. For tickets, go to brownpapertickets.com or wamsuttaconcerts.com.

E xplore the outdoors!

Southcoast Health and the Buzzards Bay Coalition have joined together to create “Discover Buzzards Bay,” an initiative to promote active outdoor recreation. A series of guided monthly outdoor walks, called “Sunday Strolls,” and an online portal with information about more than 100 public places to walk, cycle, fish and paddle can be found at savebuzzardsbay.org/discover. Take a stroll through Paskamansett Woods, a nature reserve operated by the Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust. For more info, visit dnrt.org. Or go on nature walks at the Lloyd Center for the Environment in Dartmouth! For details, call 508990-0505 or visit lloydcenter.org. Take the family on a guided nature cruise/seal watch down the Taunton River into Mount Hope Bay! Tours leave from Borden Light Marina in Fall River through April. Or explore Newport Harbor, with guided tours leaving from Bowen’s Ferry Landing in Newport through April. For more info, call 401-324-6060 or visit savebay.org. Get out the ice skates and head for the outdoor Newport Skating Center! For more info, visit skatenewport.com or call 401-846-3018. Or else head for the Driscoll Skating Rink in Fall River! For more info, go to fmcicesports.com or call 508-679-3274. If you live near Fall River, get outside and enjoy the weather! Explore nature trails or historic landmarks, join a walking group. Learn more at walkfallriver.org or call 508-324-2405. Visit Mass Audubon’s Oak Knoll Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Center in Attleboro! For more info, call 508-2233060 or visit massaudubon.org. Enjoy the trails, wildlife and scenery of the Mattapoisett River Reserve – leashed dogs welcome. Hike, fish, picnic, birdwatch, or cross-country ski! For more

info, go to savebuzzardsbay.org. Take a walk through the Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown! EcoTours for all ages. For info, call 401-846-2577 or visit normanbirdsanctuary.org. Jog along the Harbor Walk, a pedestrian/bike path atop the hurricane dike in New Bedford’s south end. Explore the Acushnet Sawmills public park and herring weir in the north end! Canoe/kayak launch, fishing, trails. For more info, visit savebuzzardsbay.org. If you’re near Newport, stroll through Ballard Park! For more info, go to ballardpark.org.

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Wander through the urban greenspace of the Allen C. Haskell Public Gardens in New Bedford. Learn more at thetrustees.org or call 508-636-4693. Or take a walk through the city’s Buttonwood Park and Zoo! For info, call 508-991-6178 or visit bpzoo.org.

Winter farmers markets

Fill your baskets with local produce, cheeses, jellies, wines, pies, and plants. To find a farm, vineyard, or winter market near you, visit semaponline.org, pickyourown.org, farmfresh.org, or localharvest.org.

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– 62+ Westport – 508- 636-6775

– Somerset – 508-676-9700

— Equal Housing Opportunity —

In Swansea, head for the year-round farmers market at Stony Creek Farm on Sundays 10 to 2. For info, call 401-4654832. The New Bedford winter farmers market is held at the Bristol Building on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month 10 to 1 through May 20. For info, call 979-1500. Check out the winter farmers market at Old Rochester Regional High School in Mattapoisett on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month 10 to 1 through May 13. For info, call 508-498-9900. In Easton, head for the year-round farmers market at Simpson Spring on Saturdays 10 to 2. For info, call 508-2384472. Or go to the farmers market at Oakes Ames Memorial Hall on Saturdays 10 to 2 through May 20. For info, call 508-230-0631. Visit the year-round farmers market at Attleboro Farms on Sundays 10 to 1. For info, call 508-695-7200. Head for the Westport Winter Market at the Town Hall Annex on Saturdays 9 to 1. For info, call 508-636-1103.

303 State Road n Westport, MA n

Monuments

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Cemetery Lettering

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Cleaning & Repair

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Mailbox Posts

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Benches

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Address Rocks

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Pet Markers

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Laser Etchings

508-678-7801

www.AlbaneseMonuments.com

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GOOD TIMES

The mad Russian's mojo “Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em,” the old expression goes. I’m happy to say I ain’t got ‘em anymore. I’ve smoked a long time, quit before, but on January 19, I had Paul K andarian my last cancer stick. That day, I went to “The Mad Russian” in Brookline, as he’s known. His real name is Yefim Shubentsov, a guru who through what seems like magic has been making people kick the habit for nearly 40 years. No one knows how he does it. He uses a combination of talking to a group for 90 minutes and then one-on-one for mere seconds after, using hand gestures to wave away the habit. I swear it works. What does he talk about? I'm not sure, his Russian accent was so strong I caught maybe two thirds of his spiel. He was all over the place, talking about his upbringing, training, Russia, lawyers, doctors, and occasionally touching on how we’ll stop smoking, all in his very thick accent which made me want to ask him, “Can you please say, ‘Eet ees moose and squirrel?’” He stressed he is not a hypnotist (though what he does is pretty much hypnotism), and not a doctor (though he once ran a pediatric division in a Russian hospital). He claims to not know how he does what he's been doing for so long, with a roughly 1-percent failure rate out of well over 160,000 clients. Harvard doesn’t get it either. There was a piece in that university’s mag that said researchers studied him, scratched their heads, and in effect said, "We have no idea how he does this. We just know it works." For this, he charges $75 – about a week’s worth of butts for a deck-a-day puffer – very short money for nothing less than changing/saving your life. And he is just fun to watch. The guy’s maybe 80, a small, bald, bespectacled and tireless man. He did most of his talk on his feet, animated and lively. He

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explained he’d see us one by one where we’d envision ourselves smoking and he’d “erase” the vision from our minds. He then sent us to the outer office where we commiserated with each other about our filthy habit, how we’ve quit before, how we hoped this would be our last attempt. We supported and encouraged each other as we shuffled closer to the Mad Russian’s door and our moment of erasure. We told stories we’ve heard about his curing thousands, celebrities and commoners alike, people who’d been in this very spot decades ago and have not smoked since. We believed. We wanted to. We had to. My turn came. He opened the door and whisked me in. I sat, closed my eyes and as instructed, said in my mind, “I am smoking” over and over as he presumably wiggled his fingers before me, mumbled something, exhaled forcefully and told me to open my eyes.

I was truly waiting for an epiphany, a 'Eureka! I’m cured!' feeling He smiled. He shook my hand, saying I’m in great shape and to keep at it because exercise – and not avoiding smoking – will prevent strokes and heart disease. He wished me luck. He called in the next soon-to-be ex-smoker. It felt anti-climatic. I was truly waiting for an epiphany, a “Eureka! I’m cured!” feeling. I didn’t get it. I paid my 75 bucks to his assistant who told me that any time I felt like smoking, to call or drop in and the Mad Russian would talk me off the ledge, free of charge. I honestly almost walked right back in demanding an epiphany or at least a quick “Eet ees Moose and squirrel!” I felt deprived, depressed, scared – but at the same time, weirdly peaceful. I went to my car. Ordinarily after two hours away

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from cigs, I would power smoke a slew of them, especially driving in Boston traffic. I did not. And I didn’t even really think about it. There was no need, no urge, no hunger, no ache, no nothing. It’s like he really did erase smoking from my brain. Why would I want to light up if my brain thinks I never have? Has it been a piece of cake? Pretty much. I used to smoke mostly in two places: my car (which still smells like smoke and the rancid hockey gear in my trunk) and my home office. I feel no urge in the car, even on long drives. The office is a tad trickier – it’s where I work, where most of my stress is, the stress that used to have me lunging for a cigarette twenty or thirty times a day and sitting in a carcinogenic cloud of shame and self-pity. But those urges are subsiding. When they do come, I don’t eat (Mad Russian say, “Put NOTHING in your mouth, or you get big, like elephant!”), or I breathe deeply and think of anything but smoking (Mad Russian say, “Human mind cannot think of two things at once!”) Why does it work? Who knows? My take is I enjoy stories, and this funny, selfeffacing, sarcastic and clever man told stories for 90 minutes in an endearing, engaging, entertaining way. As a result, I trusted him, that trust extending to believing he truly wanted to cure me of smoking. Which he has. I almost said “so far.” But I won’t. My brain has been fooled into not wanting a cigarette again. My brain cannot think of a single reason why I should smoke and about ten million why I should not. This is if I think about smoking at all. Soon, I won’t even think about being a non-smoker – I’ll just be one. The urge to smoke is gone, because of The Mad Russian. But now, also because of him, I have the urge to binge watch “Rocky and Bullwinkle.”

Paul K andarian is a lifelong area resident and has been a professional writer since 1982, as columnist, contributor in national magazines, websites and other publications.


Make a SPLASH with a Pool–Home Spa Loan from FRMCU. 7.25 % APR* Call FRMCU today for more information or go to www.frmcu.com to apply online. *Annual Percentage Rate with a term up to 7 years. $40,000.00 maximum loan amount. $15.22 per $1,000.00 borrowed. Rates quoted for applicants with best credit score. All loans are subject to credit approval and are subject to change without notice. Other restrictions may apply.

Connecting all offices: 508-678-9028 www.frmcu.com NMLS ID#: 410816

This Credit Union is insured by the National Credit Union Administration

NEW KNEE OR HIP IN YOUR FUTURE?

ADVANCED JOINT REPLACEMENT IS HERE. Getting a new knee or hip this year? That is a big decision. Where to have your joint replacement surgery should be an easy one. The Center for Orthopedic Excellence at Saint Anne’s Hospital is the first hospital in Bristol County to receive advanced certification in knee and hip replacement from The Joint Commission, the recognized leader in hospital certification. In fact, we are one of just two hospitals in Massachusetts to be recognized.

To learn more or request a referral to one of our orthopedic doctors, call 855-651-BONE (2663) or visit saintanneshospital.org. INTERPRETER SERVICES AVAILABLE

Portuguese - Português: Fala português? Vamos facultarlhe um intérprete, sem custos para si. Spanish- Español: ¿Habla español? Le proporcionaremos un intérprete sin costo alguno para usted. T O A DV E R T I SE I N S OU T H C OA S T PR I M E T I M E S C A L L 50 8 - 677-30 0 0


Clifton

REHABILITATIVE NURSING CENTER

Certified Post Acute Care Clifton is the first facility in Bristol County to earn this Post Acute Care Certification by the Joint Commission, and one of only a few organizations statewide. The Joint Commission Gold Seal of Approval® is a national symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to providing safe and effective patient and resident care. The Joint Commission is an independent, not-for-profit organization for the accreditation of health care organizations. Do You Need Short-Term Rehab / Post Acute Care?…….For preferred booking status, call our Admissions Coordinator.

You have a choice in your care… Tell your healthcare provider you PREFER Clifton… And, Call Admissions… 508-675-7589 For priority placement. 500 WILBUR AVENUE, SOMERSET, MA  508-675-7589

South Coast Prime Times – March/April 2017  

We’re putting winter behind us, which means that it’s time to get up and stretch out those bones! There’s never been a better time to feel h...

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