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2 Senior LIVING • North & West Metro

March 7, 2013

Don’t wait until a crisis


any of us are caregivers, even if we don’t identify ourselves as such — whether we are caring for parents, our spouses or loved ones. Even though there are great personal rewards achieved through being a caregiver, there are also other factors which are challenging. These three issues have the greatest effect on caregivers: emotional stress, physical strain and financial hardship. In the beginning a family caregiver often feels that he or she can take care of everything themselves — this has proven to be difficult and unhealthy. Caregivers who seek and get help are healthier and better able to provide support for longer periods and able to meet their other obligations as well. Most seniors prefer to stay home and “age in place” as opposed to being moved to an assisted living or other facility. In-home care can be an affordable solution when the caregiver uses resources and determines the best way to combine options for caring for a loved one at home.

The in-home care agency will bring reliable and highly trained caregivers to assist in the home from a period of one to 24 hours, scheduled to fit the needs of the family and individual. This service can complete daily tasks such as cooking, cleaning, transportation to and from appointments. Personal care, such as grooming, bathing, medicine reminders, (activities of daily living), as well as companionship and encouraging quality of life through activities, are covered too. This can enhance the lives of the loved ones as well as provide peace of mind and relief to the caregiver. Specialty training in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and many other chronic conditions are part of the caregiver’s education.


This article submitted by Melinda Yeary, CSA (certified senior advisor), owner and client care consultant for Homewatch CareGivers of Northwest, a premier provider of home care services. For more information download the “Let’s Talk” Guide on www. or call 720-524-4192 or 1-800-HOMECARE .

Call About Our

Families: A look at sandwich generation challenges. Caregiving: Find ways to enlist help rather than trying to do it all. Health: Exploring the numerous impacts of depression.

4 5 7 8 9 11

Memories: Columnist Mary McFerren Stobie considers what the clutter around us can mean.

Safety: A helpful guide for seniors to stay safe and cautious.

Where to go: A list of services for seniors in Jefferson and Adams counties.

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March 7, 2013

North & West Metro •

Senior LIVING 3

Some things change, some remain the same Senior Living Resources, residences face new challenges

By Clarke Reader


enior living and elder care have gone through some major changes in the past decade, and as the “gray tsunami” continues to near, resources and residences will have to act accordingly. Renee Dees, development and community relations director for The Senior Hub, said that now more than ever seniors are requiring more services, and there aren’t enough out there. The Senior Hub helps seniors in north metro Denver get access to services they need, such as Meals on Wheels, in-home and day services. She tries to keep those who want to remain independent and live on their own. “We cater to all seniors, but we’re seeing an increasing number of low-income seniors, and that’s the primary place our fundraising money goes to,” Dees said. “We have seniors who are just waiting for services, but if you’re just out of the hospital and need Meals on Wheels, waiting is difficult.” She also said that since people are generally living longer, issues like Alzheimer’s, dementia and arthritis are becoming

‘We really want to embrace what they can do, not what they’re limited to.’ Felicity Moore, Morning Star executive director bigger concerns for a lot of seniors. “We’re seeing a lot of middle-aged children who are moving away from home, and their parents are having to cope with issues on their own,” said Senior Hub director Howard Yeoman. “They’re having to spend all their retirement savings to deal with one crisis or a medical emergency.” For seniors who live in assisted living and retirement homes, the experience has moved from being resident centered to resident driven, according to Felicity Moore, executive director of MorningStar Senior in Applewood. “They’re more in the driver’s seat when it comes to making decisions about their care,” she said. “We really want to embrace what they can do, not what they’re limited to.” Moore added that focusing on health and wellness has become a major focus,

and combining different areas and interests is also helping to keep residents mentally sharp. “There used to be a lot of compartmentalizing, but we’re trying to tap into different areas and invite other senses,” said Nikki Crouse, life enrichment director at MorningStar. “We have a book club, but when the members meet, they read out loud since not everyone can read on their own. We still like to focus on the social aspects.” All living centers have different philosophies and activities they like to encourage, but one that is finding a lot of traction at MorningStar is a service that allows residents to bring their pets with them, when they move in, according to marketing director Ann O’Neill. Advances in technology have also changed the way people access senior living centers, not only in more people finding them online, but also how they operate. “We do have classes on setting up email, Facebook and how to Skype,” Crouse said. “Despite all the things those can bring, you’re still not going to replace that personal touch.” O’Neill said that even as people get older, they stay social creatures, and that’s why it’s so important to be able to look them in the eye. “For their care and happiness, you still want to try and know them deeply,” Moore said.

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4 Senior LIVING • North & West Metro

March 7, 2013

‘Sandwichers’ caring for younger, older generations Adults raising own children, caring for aging parents face challenges By Sara Van Cleve


ike most moms, Melonie Richards day is filled with caring for others. From cooking meals for her children, Luke, 7, and Rachel, 11, and making sure they get to Cub Scouts and piano practice and cheerleading and play rehearsals, to ensuring homework gets done and just spending quality time with her children, Richards has a busy day. In March 2012, though, Melonie and Lars, her husband of 18 years, welcomed another family member into their home and daily routine — Velma, Lars’ 95-yearold mother who has dementia. “I love it,” Velma said of the transition from living on her own to living with her youngest child and his family. “It’s nice to be with somebody that cares about you.” The Richards’ are now one of nearly 66 million Americans, according to AARP, who find themselves in the “Sandwich Generation” — parents who are raising their own young children while providing care to an aging parent. Serving as the primary caregiver for her mother-in-law has both benefits and challenges, Melonie said. “Being her primary caregiver, I don’t have to worry about her care,” Melonie said. “I know she is getting good care and her needs are being met.” Melonie also said having Velma live with the family helps teach her children about unconditional love and instill in them the need to respect their elders. “A benefit is we learn to care and respect those in generations before us,” she said. “The kids get a sense of what it’s like to grow older and the concerns we face. It teaches sacrificial loving. You learn to love and do things for a person, even if they can’t reciprocate it.” Velma moving in with her family took some adjustment, both physically

Rachel, Velma and Melonie Richards at their home in Littleton. Melonie takes care of her 95-yearold grandmother as well as two children and a husband. Photo by Andy Carpenean in terms of house arrangements, as well as with schedules and care, but it was a decision both the entire family is pleased with. “It’s a way we can love her in this season (of life),” Melonie said. “Heaven is part of this season eventually, and we want to usher her in with love.” The decision to care for a parent or grandparent or have them live in a professional care facility is one each family must make on their own, Melonie said. Families have to look at what will best fit their situation and what the adult is more comfortable with. Balancing care for children and an elderly parent is one of the biggest challenges for the Sandwich Generation, and Melonie often feels that pressure, she said. “I make a lot of decisions and sometimes I just don’t want to make decisions for a while,” she said.

Though Lars and his siblings help care for Velma, Melonie is the primary caregiver, as many women “Sandwichers” are. Following Velma’s move, Melonie quit her contract work with adoptions and foster care to focus all of her attention on her children and Velma. Melonie has set up a schedule for Velma that helps keep her mind sharp and gives her a chance to socialize, as well as helps her stay strong when constant caring might make her weary. Mondays she and Velma stay at home; Tuesdays Velma goes to a day center where she can socialize with others her age and do activities; Wednesdays they go to Bible study; Thursdays Velma gets a bath and Fridays the two go on an outing to lunch or the store. “Sometime I struggle with a little bit of guilt because I feel like she should do more,” Melonie said. “But in this season in life, she rests a lot and that’s part of it.”

Velma, who is still very healthy physically, helps with chores where she can, such as the laundry, but people still often have a misconception. “A lot of people think she helps raise the kids and she does a lot of work, but that’s not how it is,” Melonie said. Melonie said she often has to help people understand the situation. “Like with my daughter, I try to let her teachers know the situation,” Melonie said. “It might take us five more minutes to get somewhere, but that’s OK. People don’t always understand if they haven’t walked in your shoes, but we’re doing what’s right, and they don’t have to completely understand. This is the best we can do right now and that’s OK.” In order to be able to care for all of the members of her family, Melonie, just like many “Sandwichers,” must care for herself too, both mentally and physically. Melonie said she finds listening to music, reading and just time to rest help her stay healthy and strong enough to care for her family. “It helps tremendously,” she said. “And prayer, too.” Melonie and the family have found support through their other family members and friends, whether it is having Velma stay with Lars’ brother for a weekend or just writing a quick email. “It might not seem significant, but it is,” she said. “It’s always appreciated to get a call or email and they say ‘Hang in there,’ or ‘You’re doing good.’” Melonie has also found Alzheimer’s caregiver support groups through the Alzheimer’s Association helpful in maintaining her mental and physical health. “When you go to a support group, it’s so helpful to hear others’ situations,” she said. “It doesn’t seem as difficult and you know you’re not alone.” The Richards’ situation, which is shared by so many Americans as the baby boomers are aging, has taught Melonie to truly live in the moment, she said, and appreciate what and who she has. “I believe you reap what you sow,” she said. “We want to look at life and not have regrets. We need to know we did what we could in this season (of her life). We love having her here.”

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March 7, 2013

North & West Metro •

Family caregivers: Invisible armies of one By Tamara Vermeer


f I knew someone was watching John, my husband, for a whole day all I would do is sleep.” Debbie is 60, working full time at a law firm and caring for her husband John, who has Alzheimer’s – he’s only 65. Debbie is exhausted. Other than taking time out to make a living, she spends every waking moment caring for John. She has no social life. “Every night I’m half awake, afraid if he gets up I won’t hear him. Even during the day, he follows me everywhere – I have no time to myself.” This is her new normal, and the new normal for thousands. In Colorado alone by 2030, our population of 65-plus will explode 150 percent according to the state demography office. But those numbers don’t encapsulate all the family caregivers’ lives that will never be the same. The weight of caregiving is suffocating more and more people and its impact ripples through our communities and economy. Caregivers suffer deteriorating health, employment issues, isolation, financial strain and more. The AARP Public Policy Institute reports, like Debbie, that 50 percent of caregivers work full time and nearly 70 percent report making work accommodations like arriving late/leaving early, taking time off, cutting back on hours, changing jobs or quitting – at a cost to U.S. employers of 33.6 billion per year. Employer eldercare programs could put a dent in that lost productivity. Where are they? Even though the number of family caregivers is staggering, they are extremely isolated — each operating as a force of one with little social infrastructure and cultural support. They are not prepared or trained for this “

At MorningStar, it’s in the air.

monumental challenge. There are plenty of caregiving tips online: “Take a break.” “Get out of the house.” “Do something for yourself.” Try telling that to an actual 24/7 family caregiver, and they will shake their head and say, “How? Who is going to help me do this?” The Seniors’ Resource Center (SRC), a local nonprofit, participated in a caregiver stress study through Penn State University that documented the physiological stress relief caregivers experienced when their loved one attended an adult day program at least a couple times a week. Fortunately for Debbie, the agency’s adult day program has given her a new lease on life. “It’s the best thing that’s happened to us.” Looking at this issue through a wider lens, the AARP conducted a ‘Solutions Forum’ on caregiving. Here’s a snapshot: Suzanne Mintz, author of “A Family Caregiver Speaks Up,” states “Family caregivers are basically undocumented in the healthcare system — there is not a place on medical records that asks if you have a family caregiver. These caregivers are thrust into a role without preparation, training or support.” Family caregivers do not have enough time or energy to talk to one another for support, let alone send warning signals to an entire community. There’s an urgent need for advocacy and action at both the individual and service levels. Debbie needs help. Debbie needs rest. Debbie needs resources. But this isn’t just Debbie’s problem, it’s our problem. We will all be Debbie In our lifetimes, or John or their friend or relative or employer — this will enter our lives in some form or another.   Tamara Vermeer works with the Adult Day & Respite Services at the Seniors’ Resource Center. She can be reached at 303-235-6960. 

Senior LIVING 5

A casual gathering place


estled in the Lookout Mountain area of Golden amidst rolling hills and panoramic mountain views, Mount Vernon Country Club celebrates 90 years of service to members, non-members, and the Golden, Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Arvada and Evergreen communities. Mount Vernon Country Club invites active seniors to enjoy many entertaining and lively events. Cooking classes, wine tasting, live jazz, and weekend entertainment showcases a live dance band every Friday evening are just a few of the activities offered. Grandparents enjoy bringing their grandchildren to the Club’s Kids Klub and family themed events. Families create memories through activities such as father-daughter dances and holiday events such as Easter and Mother’s Day. Join this scenic club through their “55 and over” membership special. The one-time social initiation fee is only $350 per couple. Potential new members may be surprised by the long list of dining options and activities. Casual, a la carte fine dining, the popular weekly “all you care to eat”

King Crab buffet, as well as a delectable Sunday brunch, are just a few choices. Each day of the week there are top notch chef offerings, such as Tuesday and Wednesday family nights, Wednesday Mount Vernon Shrimp Company, and Saturday Steakhouse. All of Mount Vernon Country Club’s private event facilities are available to reserve for members as well as non-members. Whether holding anniversary parties, bar mitzvahs, reunions, weddings or other celebrations, the Club is perfect for any special occasion. Director of Catering Steve Center and his dedicated staff can accommodate needs for groups of 10 to 350 in elegant rooms, all with decks overlooking the beautiful mountainside. “The Club is more affordable than one might think, and there are never food and beverage minimums,” said Linda McFarlin. This article was submitted by Mount Vernon Country Club, which is about 10 minutes from Interstate 70 and 6th Avenue on the north side of the Genesee exit. For information, contact Linda McFarlin at 303526-3135 or lmcfarlin@mountvernoncc. com. The website’s includes more detailed information (

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6 Senior LIVING • North & West Metro

March 7, 2013

Senior rehab center focuses on physical, mental strength Residents to do therapy in their own way

By Sara Van Cleve svancleve@ourcoloradonews. com


new senior rehabilitation center in Arvada has therapists join the journey to recovery taken by Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Silverado Senior Living and Rehabilitation, 6447 Quail St., is a licensed memory care assisted living and rehabilitation neighborhood with 82 rooms dedicated to longterm assisted living and 60 rooms for short term rehabilitation care. “The focus of (the short-term care) is to provide seniors or younger seniors after a hospital stay with a short term rehab stay where they can continue their physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy as well as restorative nursing care

and acute nursing care,” said Silverado Arvada Administrator Jenny Teague. The rehabilitation neighborhood has 20 beds in a secured area for patients in altered mental states due to Alzheimer’s, dementia and other conditions. The doors to the secured area must be unlocked by a code and if a resident tries to leave the area it an audible alarm alerts nurses and caregivers. “It is audible throughout the neighborhood so we know we are keeping our residents safe and secured,” Teague said. For residents with an altered mind state, therapists often have to join them in their day instead of working with a structured therapy schedule, Teague said. “The therapist has to evaluate that when they go to see them during the day to figure out where they are with their day,” she said. “You kind of have

DETAILS For more information about Silverado, call 888-617-6185 or visit

Jenny Teague, administrator of Silverado Senior Living and Rehabilitation of Denver, demonstrates an Alter anti-gravity treadmill inside the rehab facilities Friday, Feb. 22, in Arvada. Photo by Andy Carpenean to join their journey rather than go off the plan we feel we should direct. It may be a day they want to work on strengthening, ambulation and safety, but that might not be the resident’s focus.” Instead of having them

walk up and down the hall, for example, the therapist might have the resident walk the dogs or do some gardening. “It still covers the goals the therapist wants to accomplish, but on the resident’s own terms,” Teague

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said. The therapy staff, including physical therapists, physical therapy assistants, occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants and a speech therapist, can help patients get back to their previous levels in a variety of ways — from helping them regain ambulation with the antigravity treadmill to helping them work on range of motion and mental strength through a puzzle or baking brownies. The therapists often will incorporate the residents’ hobbies or career into their therapy to keep them engaged. Silverado also has resident pets and allows employees bring their children to work — and both pets and children have a job to do when there. “A lot of times the kids and pets can bring so much life and encouragement to our residents,” Teague said. “They don’t realize it’s a treatment. It’s more doing things from a life skills standpoint … children can often get our residents to do more than we can.” Silverado allows residents to bring their own pets to stay with them as well, and the staff takes complete care of the pets, aside from veterinarian needs. Another unique therapeutic opportunity Sil-

verado offers is “It’s Never Too Late,” an adaptive, interactive computer system. It’s a touchscreen system with about 300 different programs, from puzzles to creating art to trivia games to riding a stationary bike with a video component. “It can consist of them maybe doing artwork together - they’re touching the screen and drawing flowers, they’re moving their body, moving their arms, having to twist at the waist - they’re doing therapy, just in a different way,” Teague said. Families can also use Skype to talk to the resident and upload videos for the resident to watch. The video component allows residents to see events they might have missed, or revisit an event they did attend in the past. “Taking them to that point of reference, you can often get them to open up and talk about their lives and things they’ve accomplished, as opposed to not providing them with a background or knowing the point of reference from a moment. As a caregiver, we don’t know all of the details, but they might see it and we get the details we may often miss.” Silverado’s expertise in all of the states they serve is helping people with memory impairment due to Alzheimer’s and dementia, Teague said. “That what we do best,” she said. “We track our outcomes and quality standards throughout each community to show on a national average, people with Alzheimer’s and dementia take between 1315 prescriptions a day and at Silverado it is an average of five.” Silverado has won national awards for its research in Alzheimer’s and dementia, it’s programming and the results seen in residents. For more information about Silverado, call 888617-6185 or visit

March 7, 2013

North & West Metro •

Depression is not required


y mother was always the life of the party, telling entertaining stories and cracking jokes. As a parent, she was caring, affectionate and supportive. Then she developed depression, and her stories fell away. I stopped hearing from her; she wasn’t interested much in my life anymore. What had changed? At age 74, my mother had developed depression. Today, she’s being treated for it. She’s taking an antidepressant. It appears to be helping, although she’s early in her treatment. Depression goes undercover among our older population, yet more than 6.5 million of the 35 million Americans aged 65 and older are affected by depression, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Senior depression has many causes, but foremost are retirement (and losing a sense of purpose), the death of a loved one, isolating oneself, financial worries and medical problems. Heart disease, chronic pain and chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and kidney disease, are triggers for depression. Sometimes, prescription medicines, in particular some pain killers and sedation medications, also trigger depression. “I think isolation is a big one,” says Christine Lanham, a licensed therapist at Community Reach Center, a nonprofit, mental-health services center in Adams County. “And seniors sometimes find themselves grieving all different aspects of their lives.” There are many reasons why depression among our seniors may be difficult to spot: Because of the stigma associated with seeking this kind of (mental health) treatment, depressed

people may try to hide their predicament. Also, the depressive state may cause individuals to isolate themselves from friends and family and keep them from their regular activities. Dr. Wojciech Zolcik, a psychiatrist and Medical Director at Community Reach Center, said detecting depression in seniors also may be tricky because many signs of depression are attributed to the aging process itself: A lack of energy, loss of appetite, disrupted or lesser sleep – these are all things we expect will occur as we age. But they need not occur, and sometimes, they’re the result of depression – not age. “There’s a decreased level of energy, for sure, as we age,” said Zolcik. “And the elderly sleep less in general, but depression makes it harder for them to get a good night’s sleep.” Zolcik says notable signs of senior depression include irritability, physical complaints and cognitive impairment. “Depression sometimes can mask itself as someone having dementia,” said Zolcik. “Then

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Senior LIVING 7

Tips for eye care


ision changes are common after the age of 40. Because of this, it is recommended that seniors have routine dilated eye exams to monitor for many common age related eye diseases. Below is a list of the most common age related eye problems. • Presbyopia is the normal agerelated loss of near focusing ability that affects virtually everyone after age 40. Presbyopia is not an eye disease and can easily be corrected with bifocals, progressive lenses or multifocal contacts. • Cataracts are opacitys (or clouding) of the eye’s lens that most often occur as a result of aging, and are the most common cause of vision loss among seniors. About half of 65-year-old Americans have some degree of cataract formation. Typically, vision can be restored with cataract surgery. • Macular degeneration (Age related macular degeneration or AMD) is a serious age-related eye disease and the leading cause of blindness among seniors. Though the cause of AMD is not completely understood smoking, excessive ultra violet (UV) light exposure, and high blood pressure are

all risk factors for the disease. • Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes vision loss due to damage of the optic nerve, usually (but not always) due to high eye pressure. This eye disease is much more common over the age of 65 and early detection is necessary to prevent permanent vision loss. • Diabetic retinopathy is eye damage from diabetes that can cause blindness. Among known diabetics over age 40, the National Eye Institute estimates that 40 percent have some degree of diabetic retinopathy. High blood sugar over a long period of time causes damage to the blood vessels inside the eye. Because of this, it is recommended that all diabetics have a yearly dilated eye exam. Other age-related eye problems include dry eyes, reduced peripheral vision and decreased color vision. The best way to protect your eyesight for a lifetime of good vision is to eat a healthy diet, maintain a proper weight, exercise and have routine comprehensive eye exams by your eye doctor. This article submitted by Kyle B. Hughes of Mile High Eye Care. For more information visit eyedochughes@ or call 307-760-5592

8 Senior LIVING • North & West Metro

March 7, 2013

Early spring cleaning reminds me of my mother


he Native Americans say white women have too many possessions which need dusting. As I’m doing early spring inventory at my house, I am reminded of cleaning out my mother’s house a few years ago. My mother had moved into a nursing home and because her house was to be sold, I was elected chief sorter of family items. Decisions, like a flock of barnyard geese, pecked and hissed at me. Trophies winked from the mantle of my mother’s kitchen and brought up memories of the good old days when Mom and I competed in gymkhanas and horse shows together. What to do with those trophies? After notifying my kids about their grandmother’s move, and that her house would be sold, my son arrived from college. He said, “Mother, please don’t sell Grandma’s house, where they loved me all my life. You should move in here.” Ouch, I felt a twinge of his pain. But I explained to him that I would feel isolated living by myself in Mom’s house. He sadly faced the facts and chose some things of his grandfather’s to save. My daughter arrived from Chicago. With a good eye, she chose furniture, paintings, antique jewelry and fans from

her favorite grandmother’s place. After my daughter and son left, I sat at the kitchen table and studied a framed photo of my older brother looking handsome in his U.S. Navy pilot’s uniform. Since he wasn’t available to help me, I had to figure out what to do with his camping equipment, Linda Ronstadt posters, and Beach Boys albums. These items had been stored by my mother in a bomb shelter style store room. This cement basement space, behind the furnace room, was stacked with fishing equipment, cardboard cartons stuffed with financial papers, war memorabilia, and handwritten love letters written between my parents during World War II. I was happy to find these letters, real treasures. I also discovered every letter I had written to my parents when I was in college in New York. After reading a few, I was reminded how many exciting things went on in my life in those years, such as photographing

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demonstrations against the Vietnam war in New York City. But after a day sorting items into boxes labeled: save, estate sale, garage sale or trash, I was overwhelmed. The Native Americans were right about white women having too many objects. Out of desperation I grimaced and invited my ex husband to go through giant piles of family photos. “This is staggering,” he said, and briefly he pitched in. Then he said smoothly, “Could I have your mother’s turquoise covered longhorn skull? And also the model of the B-24 your father was shot down in?” No, yes, I mean no, not so fast. Help me, God. Wearing tennis clothes, my mother’s best friend, Dorothy, opened the screen door and asked, “Is everything okay, Mary?” The family accountant showed up and helped with the numbers. We looked at the framed photos of Mom with congressmen and senators on the wall of her office. With mixed feelings of relief to get the house cleaned out and longing for the past, I wondered what it all meant. Did God have a plan? I shoved my grief deep down inside, but it was like an ocean wave that rocked forth at high tide. But eventually I got the job done, with most of my hair intact, and life moved on. I sold Mom’s house for a fair price and put

Forker continued from Page 7

you treat the depression and the normal cognitive function gets back to normal.” This is why anyone who suspects a loved one may be depressed needs to help

that individual seek treatment. Fear of dementia interferes with seeking treatment, but an individual’s loss of cognitive skills may be caused by untreated depression. Not only is the depression treatable, but

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Mary McFerren Stobie grew up in Golden and lives in Wheat Ridge. She is a storyteller, and has had columns published in the Rocky Mountain News, Denver Post and Chicago Tribune. Please contact her with comments at mry_jeanne@yahoo.

Forker: Interacting with others key to health

the money in her account. She enjoyed the nursing home, not having so much stuff to worry about. She’s gone now, and enjoyed a good life. Now in my own house, as I get ready for spring cleaning I go through my inventory. I still have all the letters from Mom’s house and haven’t read them yet. But along with that I have too much on paper, too many photos and too many cell phone chargers. Maybe the Native Americans are right. I’m a white woman collecting too much dusty stuff. My husband and I have talked about setting up a tipi in the back yard where we could go meditate on the theory of simplicity. It might be a good idea before it’s too late and my kids are sorting through my things and saying, “Why the heck did she have three backpacks, 10 pairs of sunglasses and 15 purses? And why did she keep those notebooks full of those columns she wrote?” “You better not throw those out,” I’ll warn from the beyond.

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some forms of cognitive impairment respond well to treatment, said Zolcik. Relationship proves the key to detecting depression and getting a loved one to seek medical help, says Lanham. Get an individual feeling safe, and they may trust you to help them. “It’s really hearing what people want and meeting their needs,” says Lanham. While some physical ailments can trigger depression, the depressive state also can worsen preexisting medical conditions, said Zolcik, noting that depressed people may not take their medications as prescribed and suspend other self-care practices, such as eating a healthy diet, exercise and keeping up with basic hygiene. “Statistics show that when depression is treated in the elderly, the outcome of their physical illnesses is better,” said Zolcik. Reduce your own risk of depression by eating a healthy diet, getting appropriate, regular exercise,

interacting regularly with other people, staying active in your community and teaching your brain new tricks. “Get out of the house,” said Zolcik. “Do not be alone. And try to stimulate your brain in whatever ways you can.” He also recommends an annual physical and telling one’s primary-care or specialist physician about any possible anxiety or depression you may be experiencing. Jennifer Forker is the Public Relations & Communications coordinator at Community Reach Center, a nonprofit mentalhealthcare provider with five outpatient offices in Adams County, Colo., and the designated mentalhealthcare provider for individuals eligible for Medicaid in Adams County. For more information, visit Find a NAMI support group in your area at NAMI Colorado, www.

March 7, 2013

North & West Metro •

Senior living decision guide

Vigilant seniors can keep crime at bay By Sandi Austin


s our parents age, we tend to worry about them. We wonder how long they will be able to stay in their own homes and, while they are there, we ask ourselves what safety measures are in place to ensure they can remain there as long as possible. Their safety in the outside world is a concern, too. Unfortunately, there are those who will prey on our unsuspecting senior citizens. We want to make sure that our loved ones are equipped with the knowledge to protect themselves and be more aware as they travel by car or public transportation, make a transaction at an ATM or even talk to a stranger on the phone. Three general rules to help our seniors develop a confident attitude when they are out and about are staying alert, standing tall and trusting your instincts. When seniors leave their homes, they need to be aware of their surroundings — even in their own neighborhoods. Walk confidently and, if you feel uncomfortable in a place or situation, leave. Be safe at home Always keep your doors locked, using deadbolt locks on all exterior doors. Security door chains alone will not keep a determined thief from getting inside.


Install a peephole in your front door so you can see who’s outside without opening the door. Never open the door to strangers. If they try to talk you into letting them in with some sort of emergency story, tell them you will call 911 for them. While you are out, put interior lights, radio or TV on an automatic timer and keep the outside of your home well lit at night. Don’t keep a key under the welcome mat or in a flowerpot. Criminals will find it. Consider alarms, home security systems or even a dog to help you feel more secure in your own home.

etirement options are brighter and wider than ever before. Yet all those choices can sometimes just lead to confusion. Our first advice is to clearly identify what you’re trying to solve, with an eye not just to next year, but to the next five to 10 years. Assisted Living is the best choice if your parent or spouse needs more personal care than he/she can get (or afford) in the home or in an Independent Living community, yet doesn’t need 24-hour medical care and supervision. Ask yourself: Will this transition ease stress on either the senior’s life or the family caregiver’s?

Be safe when traveling Always know where you are going, how to get there and take friends along whenever possible. There’s more fun and safety in numbers. Make sure your car is in good working order and has plenty of gas for your trip. When you are driving, lock your doors and, if you suspect someone is following you, drive to the nearest public place. Whenever it’s possible, travel during the day. When you can’t, be extra alert when entering dark parking lots or garages. Always let someone know where you are going and your expected return time. If you take public transportation, use busy, well-lit stations and stops. Keep your purse and other belongings in your lap and never set them on the seat next to you.

Starting the conversation Pick a time and place that’s relaxed. Then start slow. This is not a once-for-all conversation; it often comes in stages. Still, you might be surprised. Perhaps your loved one has been thinking about this very thing for some time. Don’t forget to include the benefits—a new adventure!—in your discussion. Finding candidates Ah, Google. There you will find more choices than you can imagine. Too many, really. So first narrow the field geographically, then by type of community. Limit yourself to three to four candidates. The adult child (or healthier spouse) is typically given the initial legwork.

Safety continues on Page 10

Let our family care for yours.



Who should make the decision? This often comes down to a consensus among several family members. The senior him or herself, even if suffering from dementia, must be given a voice. Afterall, we’re talking about their new home. Their new adventure. Yes, they may be losing some capabilities, but our human spirit craves dignity, independence and choice. In the end, don’t let the complexities of this decision mask the fact that your instincts are to be trusted. One place will just feel like home. And the staff will feel like family. You’ll know it straight away. We hope that one place is MorningStar. This article submitted by Ann O’Neill, sales and marketing director at MorningStar at Applewood, For more information call 303233-4343 or visit

Set amidst Colorado’s majestic mountains and ten miles north of Denver, Northglenn Heights Assisted Living and Memory


Care Community offers a lifestyle that to an extensive Greenway trails and parks


Stay Independent at home


Talk it up Speak with friends about senior living to glean from their experience. Consult with trusted advisors who have already guided you through major life decisions.

Keeping The Golden Years Golden


r h

Tour no more than two communities in a day (or risk becoming overwhelmed). Take notes. Begin to weigh value against cost. If you like what you see and hear, return to your top two with your loved one for a more social tour.

Everything You Need to Feel at Home…

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Senior LIVING 9

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meets your unique needs. With proximity system, Webster Lake and the acclaimed Butterfly Pavilion, this peaceful and picturesque community is an ideal place to call home. • Full Calendar of Activities and Programs • Three Nutritious Meals Daily Including Special Diets • Assistance with Activities of Daily Living • Medication Assistance and Monitoring of Resident’s Health Status • Coordination of Health Resources • Housekeeping, Personal Laundry and Linen Service • 24-Hour on site staff and Emergency Response System • All Utilities (except telephone)

• • • • • •

Residence Maintenance Arts and Crafts Studio Inviting Library Media Lounge Convenience Market/Gift Shop Community Chapel/ Devotional Room • Secure, Private Landscaped Courtyard • Small Pets Allowed • Exclusive Fitness Center • Newly Remodeled Game Lounge • Computer/Internet Access

Discover Covenant Village, a welcoming faith-based community with a 126-year commitment to service. Assisted Living

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9221 Wadsworth Parkway, Westminster, CO 80021 Covenant Retirement Communities is a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church. Covenant Village of Colorado Inc. is the sole responsible party for guaranteeing contracts with its residents. Covenant Retirement Commnunities does not discriminate pursuant to the federal Fair Housing Act.

10 Senior LIVING • North & West Metro

March 7, 2013

Vial of Life can save a life By Sandi Austin


h e n emergency personnel respond to a 911 call, they need to know everything they can about the patient — especially if that person has complex medical issues. A Vial of Life placed on the refrigerator in the home provides vital information that can save a life — especially when the patient is unable to talk or is unconscious. Detective Gregg Beary, a senior citizen liaison officer with the Thornton Police Department, described an actual emergency response scenario that could have had tragic consequences: A man having

RTD Call-n-Ride

a heart attack went into cardiac arrest when the paramedics unwittingly administered a drug to which the man had an allergic reaction. Fortunately, the man survived, but the close call could have been avoided if there had been a Vial of Life available to the paramedics. The Vial of Life is a magnetic-backed, plastic sleeve containing a card with medical information and a sticker to be placed near the front door where it is visible to responders. This sticker lets them know that medical information is attached to the patient’s refrigerator. The card list emergency contacts, doctor information, blood type, allergies, medications, any recent surgeries and insurance information — all readily available to emergency personnel when the patient is not able to communicate. “The Vial is available free

Just call and they’ll pick you up for rides within select RTD service areas. For more information, call a number below: • North Evergreen 303-944-7474 • South Evergreen 303-944-5777 • Federal Heights 303-434-3472 • South Jeffco 303-994-3069

of charge at police departments and senior centers,” said Beary, who hands them out at Thornton Harvest Fest and other community events. “Even though senior citizens benefit from the Vial, it’s not just for seniors. Anyone with a medical condition that should be known to emergency personnel would benefit also.” Beary said it’s important that people remember to change the information in their Vial whenever they change doctors or medications. “Just as fire departments remind us about changing batteries when we change our clocks, police departments recommend that you update the information contained in your Vial of Life,” he said. For more information about the Vial of Life, or how to print out and create your own kit, go to

• South Thornton 303-434-4247 • Thornton/Northglenn 303-591-1389

Senior Ride (RTD)

Serves 10 or more people from a senior citizen community for transportation to cultural, education or entertainment events. For more information, call 303-299-6503.

Safety: Keep your purse zipped, your ATM secure Safety continued from Page 9

Better yet, tuck your money, credit cards and identification in an inside pocket and leave the purse behind. Sit near the driver, but not next to a door. Be safe at an ATM Go inside the bank whenever it’s possible. If you can’t, make your transactions at a busy ATM location and during daylight hours. Put your money away quickly. Turn down someone’s offer to let you go ahead of him or her at the ATM. That person can watch what you do over your shoulder. If you feel uncomfortable during a transaction, press cancel, get your card and leave. Be safe while shopping Always keep your purse compartments zipped shut. Always be aware of your surroundings and never turn your back on your purse if you have it in your shopping cart. If possible, click the child safety belt through your purse handle and place your first grocery items on top of your purse.

This will make it a bit harder for the grab-and-run thief. When you are walking in the parking lot to your car, place your purse on the shoulder that’s facing parked cars. A person driving by cannot grab at your purse. Be safe on the phone If you receive a call from a telemarketer, be alert. Con artists are experts in human psychology and behavior. Never let them deal you the guilty card for not accepting a certain offer. Never give your Social Security number or even your address over the phone. If you are home alone, don’t give that information to the caller. If you ever feel you’ve been victimized, call the police or dial 911 in emergency cases. There are a number of legal resources listed in this publication. Familiarize yourself with all your senior resources and keep the listing handy – they are there to help you in a time of need. Some information used in this story is from

On the horizon...

These are just a few of the projects we are working on for upcoming editions of your award-winning local newspaper.

March: Easter Worship | Summer Camp Guide April: Jeffco Schools Quarterly | Spring Home & Garden May: Adams 12 Five Star Journal | Graduation | Mother’s Day | Summer Fun Guide | Thornton Fest June: Best of the Best | Father’s Day | July 4th | Lakewood on Parade July: Adams County Fair | Jeffco Schools Quarterly | Pet Press August: Fall Sports Preview | Golden Fine Arts Festival | Westminster Faire | Wheat Ridge Carnation Festival

For advertising information contact: Barb Stolte | 303-566-4113 | 23 community papers & 20 websites reaching over 400,000 readers.

12 Senior LIVING • North & West Metro

March 7, 2013 Paid Avertisement

How To Get Rid Of Knee Pain Once And For All ... Without Drugs, Shots, or Surgery Now, in Lakewood, CO, one doctor is helping local residents with knee pain live more active, pain-free lives. Living with knee pain can feel like a crippling experience. Let’s face it, your knees aren’t as young as you used to be, and playing with the kids or grandkids isn’t any easier either. Maybe your knee pain keeps you from walking short distances or playing golf like you used to. Nothing’s worse than feeling great mentally, but physically feeling held back from life because your knee hurts and the pain just won’t go away! My name is Dr. Steve Tashiro, owner of HealthSource of Lakewood. Since we opened 14 years ago, I’ve seen hundreds of people with knee problems leave the office pain free.

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Finally, You Have An Option Other Than Drugs or Surgery New research in a treatment called low level laser therapy, or cold laser, is having a profound effect on patients suffering with knee pain. Unlike the cutting type of laser seen in movies and used in medical procedures, the cold laser penetrates the surface of the skin with no heating effect or damage. Cold laser therapy has been tested for 40 years, had over 2000 papers published on it, and been shown to aid in damaged tissue regeneration, decrease inflammation, relieve pain and boost the immune system. This means that there is a good chance cold laser therapy could be your knee pain solution, allowing you to live a more active lifestyle.

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It Promotes Rapid Healing Of The Injured Tissues. Before the FDA would clear the cold laser for human use, they wanted to see proof that it worked. This lead to two landmark studies. The first study showed that patients who had cold laser therapy had 53% better improvement than those who had a placebo. The second study showed patients who used the laser therapy had less pain and more range of motion days after treatment. If the cold laser can help these patients, it can help you too.

Could This Non-Invasive, Natural Treatment Be The Answer To Your Knee Pain? For 10 days only, I’m running a very special offer where you can find out if you are a candidate for cold laser therapy. What does this offer include? Everything I normally do in my “Knee Pain Evaluation”. Just call before March 17, 2013, and here’s what you’ll get … • An in-depth consultation about your problem where I will listen … really listen … to the details of your case. • A complete neuromuscular examination. • A full set of specialized x-rays to determine if arthritis is contributing to your pain. • A thorough analysis of your exam and x-ray findings so we can start mapping out your plan to being pain free. • You’ll see everything first hand and find out if this amazing treatment will be your pain solution, like it has been for so many other patients. Until March 17, 2013, you can get everything I’ve listed here for only $27. The normal price for this type of evaluation including x-rays is $250, so you’re saving a considerable amount by taking me up on this offer. Remember what it was like before you had knee problems. When you were pain free and could enjoy everything life had to offer. It can be that way again. Don’t neglect your problem any longer – don’t wait until it’s too late.

A new treatment is helping patients with knee pain live a happier, more active lifestyle

Here’s what to do now: Due to the expected demand for this special offer, I urge you to call our office at once. The phone number is 303-985-5540. Call today and we can get started with your consultation, exam and x-rays as soon as there’s an opening in the schedule. Our office is called HealthSource of Lakewood and you can find us right off South Kipling Parkway behind Moose Hill Cantina Mexican restaurant. Tell the receptionist you’d like to come in for the Knee Evaluation before March 17, 2013. Sincerely, Dr. Steve Tashiro, M.S., D.C. 963 S. Kipling Parkway Lakewood, CO 80226 P.S. Now you might be wondering …

“Is this safe? Are there any side effects or dangers to this?” The FDA cleared the first cold laser in 2002. This was after their study found 76% improvement in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. Their only warning – don’t shine it in your eyes. Of course, at our office, the laser is never anywhere near your eyes--in fact, all of our treatment methods are painless and noninvasive. Don’t wait and let your knee problems get worse, disabling you for life. Take me up on my offer and call today 303-985-5540.

March 7, 2013

North & West Metro •

Jefferson County INFORMATION AND REFERRAL Jefferson County Aging and Adult Services 303-271-1388 Seniors’ Resource Center (Metro Denver) 303-238-8151 Senior Resource Center-Mountain Services (Evergreen) 303-6742843 Colorado Dept. of Human Services Aging and Adult Services 303866-2800 DRCOG Area Agency on Aging 303-455-1000 ADULT DAY PROGRAMS Seniors’ Resource Center/Adult Day 303-238-8151 LEGAL RESOURCES DRCOG Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Nursing Homes/Assisted Living Facilities) 303-455-1000 Victims Assistance Services for Older Adults (Jefferson/Gilpin counties) 303238-8151 Landlord/Tenant Disputes-Community Housing Services Jeffco Action Center 303-237-0230 Economic Crime (DA’s office) 303271-6800 Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service 303-831-8000

EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMS Jefferson County Workforce Center 303-271-4742 Seniors’ Resource Center/Job Training Services 303-235-6982 FINANCIAL/EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE Association for Senior Citizens 303-455-9642 St. Anthony Hospital serves older persons in the 8-county DRCOG Region: Assist with Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan 1-866-550-2752 or 303-889-5581 Jefferson County Division of Human Services 303-271-1388 LEAP (heating bill assistance) 303271-1388 Seniors’ Resource Center/Evergreen Program 303-674-2843 Veterans’ Affairs 303-343-1268 HEALTH Colorado DHCA (Denver,Westminster,Arvada) 303430-7399 Senior Answers and Services (Old Age Pension Dental Program) 303-333-5514 Center for Hearing, Speech and Language 303-322-1871 Rx Assist (St. Anthony Hospital Senior Program

Adams County Information and referral Adams County/Senior Hub 303-426-4408 Seniors’ Resource Center (Metro Denver) 303-2388151 Colorado Dept. of Human Services Aging and Adult Services 303-866-2800 DRCOG Area Agency on Aging 303-455-1000 ADULT DAY PROGRAMS Senior Hub Adult Day Program 303-287-2400 Seniors’ Resource Center/ Adult Day 303-238-8151 LEGAL RESOURCES DRCOG Long-Term Care Ombudsman (Nursing Homes/Assisted Living Facilities) 303-4551000 Landlord/Tenant DisputesCommunity Housing Services Adams County 303-2272075 Economic Crime (DA’s office) 303-659-7720 Metropolitan Lawyer Referral Service 303-831-8000 Legal Aid/Senior Citizens’ Law Center 303-837-1313 Employment Programs Adams County Workforce Center (Main Office) 303452-2304

Seniors’ Resource Center/ Job Training Service 303235-6982 FINANCIAL/ EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE Association for Senior Citizens 303-455-9642 St. Anthony Hospital serves older persons in the 8-county DRCOG Region: Assist with Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan 1-866550-2752 or 303-889-5581 Adams County Dept. of Social Services 303-287-8831 LEAP (heating bill assistance) 303-271-1388 Senior Hub (Adams County) 303-426-4408 Veterans’ Affairs 303-3431268 HEALTH Colorado DHCA (Denver, Westminster, Arvada) 303430-7399 Senior Answers and Services (Old Age Pension Dental Program) 303-333-5514 Center for Hearing, Speech and Language 303-3221871 Rx Assist (St. Anthony Hospital Senior Program 1-866-550-5752 or 303899-5581 Mental Health – Community Reach Center (Adams County)

1-866-550-5752 or 303-899-5581 Jefferson County Center for Mental Health 303-425-0300 Senior Answers and Services (Vision) 303-333-3482 Center for People with Disabilities 303-442-8662 x125 HEALTH CLINICS Jefferson County Centura Health – Senior Health Center 303-825-1234 Family Practice Clinic (St. Joseph Hospital) 303-318-2000 Presbyterian/St. Luke Senior Citizens Health Clinic 303-869-2269 University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Medical Indigent) 303-372-8333 HEALTH INSURANCE Colorado Medicare Insurance Counseling 1-800-54409181 or 303-899-5151 Colorado Division of Insurance Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 303-894-2946 Medicaid Eligibility Jefferson County Department of Human Services 303-271-1388 Medicare Part D assistance 1-800633-4227 MEDICAL EQUIPMENT ATG Rehab 303-781-1474 Assistance League of Denver 303322-1688

Association for Senior Citizens 303-455-9642 HOUSING/HOME MAINTENANCE Colorado Division of Housing 303866-2033 Long-Term Care Facilities (DRCOG LTC Ombudsman Program) 303-455-1000 Senior Housing Options 303-5954464 Emergency Housing – Senior Support Services 303-832-1622 Jefferson County Housing Authority 303-422-8600 Low-Income Home/Renovation loans 303-297-2432 Seniors’ Resource Center 303-2388151 Volunteers of America – Safety of Seniors/Handyman Program 303-297-0408 IN-HOME AND RESPITE CARE Call DRCOG for information 303455-1000 INCOME TAX PREPARATION Seniors’ Resource Center/VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) 303-238-8151 LONG-TERM CARE OPTIONS Options for Long-Term Care (Jefferson County) 303-271-4216 MEALS/NUTRITION Food Stamp information (Jefferson

303-859-3500 Senior Answers and Services (Vision) 303-333-3482 Center for People with Disabilities 303-442-8662, ext. 125

Medicaid Eligibility Adams County Department of Social Services 303-2878831 Medicare Part D assistance 1-800-633-4227

HEALTH CLINICS Adams County Visiting Nurse Association (Call for locations) 303-7446363

MEDICAL EQUIPMENT ATG Rehab 303-781-1474 Assistance League of Denver 303-322-1688 Association for Senior Citizens 303-455-9642

HEALTH INSURANCE Colorado Medicare Insurance Counseling 1-800-544-9181 or 303899-5151 Colorado Division of Insurance Senior Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) 303-894-2946


Senior LIVING 11

County) 303-271-1388 Seniors’ Resource Center/Evergreen 303-674-2843 SHARE Colorado Program 303428-0400 VOA Dining Centers/Home-Delivered Meals 303-294-0111

SENIOR CENTERS Jefferson County Clements Community Center 303987-4820 Evergreen Recreation Center 303674-6441 Foothills Park and Recreation District 303-987-3602 Golden Community Center (Front Porch) 303-384-8130 North Jeffco Community Recreation Center 303-425-9583 Seniors’ Resource Center/Mountain Services (Evergreen) 303-674-2843 Wheat Ridge Senior/Community Center 303-205-7500 TRANSPORTATION Jefferson County Lakewood City Government/Lakewood Rides 303-987-4827 Seniors’ Resource Center 303-2356972 Seniors’ Resource Center/Evergreen 303-674-2843 Regional Transportation District Call-n-Ride (North Jefferson County only) 303-434-8989

150 off

$ eBu sin

Initiation fee

INCOME TAX PREPSeniors’ Resource Center/ VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) 303-238-8151

Stay independent, Stay mobile, In your Home

Seniors Membership Discount

Only $350 to join!

Membership discount for those 55 years and over only Offer expires 4/30/13 Social membership is a one-time initiation fee per family. Pool and Tennis may be added for additional fees.

800 E. 64th Ave., Unit 6 Denver, CO 80229


Affordable dining, wine tasting, live music, cooking classes, family events and more.

Mount Vernon Country Club, Genesee exit/I-70, Golden, CO

303-526-3135 •

Senior Living_Northwest Colorado