Syracuse Woman - September 2022

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SYR ACUSE WOMAN MAGA ZI N E

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

september GUEST COMMENTARY Joanne Spoto Decker Better with age.............................................................................. 6

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SPECIAL FEATURE Protect yourself: Scammers are everywhere. Here's what you need to know...................................................8 Foodies abound at senior living communities................ 38 FINANCIAL ADVICE Estate planning brings peace of mind.............................

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WISE FEATURED ENTREPRENEUR Sally Packard.............................................................................. 16

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ON THE COVER Kathy James Care, support and research at the heart of Alzheimer's Association................................................. 19 WOMEN'S HEALTH Aging gracefully for all ........................................................... 24 Living your best life today ....................................................26 Healthy Eating: Healthy recipes to promote graceful aging........................................................................28

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INSPIRE Marygrace Fronk...................................................................... 30 Liz Yates Horton........................................................................ 32 Esther Dygert.............................................................................. 34

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UPCOMING EVENTS............................................................................. 36

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GUEST COMMENTARY

Better with age JoAnne Spoto Decker

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ome things get better with age….like me,” so quoted Keith Richards, who at this writing is 78 years better. When you to stop to think about it, getting better with age, is what we all want but we have to remember, that Keith is a Rolling Stone unlike most of us, who have bloomed where we were planted! Either way, aging gracefully does occur, but not necessarily in the ways we used to think it would. I’ll use myself as an example. I began my career with Onondaga County government more than three decades ago. I was five years shy of the BIG 4-0! My first job was at the Department of Social Services (DSS), where I worked with the Temporary Assistance Program. For the most part, those county residents I served were under the age of 60. About 4 years into my role with DSS, I transferred to Adult Protective Services. There, I worked with adults 18 years and older, but my recollection is that the majority were seniors. After that, I went to the Department of Aging and Youth where I worked for more than a decade. It was there that I began to realize the vast differences people experience with “aging gracefully.” It started to change my view of the term. I recognized that the aging process was as unique as the individual and so were the consequences. I haven’t seen it all but I have seen a lot! Over the course of many years, what I know for sure is that aging is a privilege denied to many. And there is no “one way” to go about it. Given the thousands of people I have met over the past 30 plus years, I can tell you flat out that aging gracefully means being true to yourself, your beliefs and what you stand for. It no longer is about looking good for one’s age, but accepting what aging brings, and most importantly being willing to acknowledge when you need some assistance to live your life in a manner that is graceful to you. My tenure with Onondaga County has led me to the role of Commissioner of the Department of Adult & Long Term Care Services. Each day I have the privilege of working with close to 50 of the most talented and committed individuals I have ever met. Our department consists of the Office for Aging, Adult Protective Services, NY Connects and the Long Term Care Resource Center. The Office for Aging has a variety of programs that promote aging well, including nutrition services, personal care, transportation, caregiver services, health insurance counseling, and in-person information and assistance on available supports that benefit people 60 years and better. We also partner with Upstate Oasis to bring evidence-based health programs to the community. These courses include Living Healthy with a Chronic Condition, Peer Support for Adults with Type-2 Diabetes, Tai Chi and more. The six-week programs are offered both in-person and on a zoom platform. Adult Protective Services provides needed assistance with keeping vulnerable persons (age 18 years and older) safely residing in the community or in the least restrictive alternative. NY Connects provides comprehensive and unbiased information and linkages to people of any age seeking long term care services. The Long Term Care Resource Center provides care management services to eligible persons participating in the Medicaid program, and provides assistance to any individual needing evaluation for long term care. We also have an extensive resource guide that provides you with up-to-date information on what programs and services are available in our county through other sources. The Department of Adult & Long Term Care Services is here for you. You can visit our website at www.ongov.net/adult or contact us at 315-435-2362. Each of us wants to age in a way that makes us feel happy, engaged and content with ourselves. Our goal is to assist you, in any way we can, to achieve that goal. I want to leave you with another famous quote by Keith Richards, which fits so well into what aging gracefully can mean to each of us... “I’m not getting older…I’m evolving!” JoAnne Spoto Decker is the commissioner of the Onondaga County Department of Adult & Long Term Care Services.

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David Tyler dtyler@eaglenewsonline.com

DESIGN Andrea Reeves

PHOTOGRAPHERS Norah Machia Alice G. Patterson Eric Rose David Tyler

CONTRIBUTORS

Tara Benson Alyssa Dearborn JoAnne Spoto Decker Lindsey Gaworecki Paula Highers Jason Klaiber

Norah Machia Jim Mahler Lorna Oppedisano Susan Spina Ashley Tracey Eric Rose

Cover photo by Alice G. Patterson

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Protect yourself

SCAMMERS ARE EVERYWHERE. HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW. Tara Benson

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magine picking up the phone and the panicked voice of your grandchild is on the other end. They sound scared and confused because there is an emergency, and they are in trouble. The line is scratchy and noisy leading to unclear voices and you aren’t quite sure what exactly they are saying, but you are scared for your grandchild. A few seconds later a law enforcement officer gets on the line and says your grandchild must immediately pay fines or they will go to jail. You are their only hope, so you scramble to give them your account numbers because if you wait there is nothing more the officer can do and your grandchild will be lost in the system. After providing the numbers the call cuts off and you start calling around to family members only to find out the grandchild in question is fine and living their best life, but your bank account is now empty and the harsh reality hits you. You have been scammed. You are not alone. Thousands of Americans fall victim to various types of scams every year. Shockingly, Americans lost over $25 billion to scammers last year, with a third of those being scammed TWICE! Getting scammed doesn’t mean someone is stupid, it means they are human. Scammers have very sophisticated scripts and methods that can trip up even the most skeptical of people. In this digital age, we often have to trust that people are who they say they are, so with a little information we can avoid scams and keep our money where it belongs.

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9 Here’s a list of the most common types of scams:

TECH SUPPORT SCAMS

Scammers will contact a victim through phone call or a pop-up window on the computer screen indicating there is a serious problem with the victim’s computer and to call the phone number on the screen. After calling, the scammer will take remote control of the victim’s computer to “fix” the problem. Once they have control, they are downloading all your personal information such as bank accounts, contacts, passwords, etc. They will request payment for their “services” through wire transfer, gift cards, and money transfer apps.

REFUND SCAMS

This ruse comes through a phone call, email, or pop-up window on your computer from a reputable company such as Amazon or Google indicating a purchase was made fraudulently on your account and you are due a refund. After calling the provided number and getting remote access to the victim’s computer, the scammer then has the victim log in to their Amazon account to show them the refund they are due (a fake screenshot) and then have the victim sign into their bank account to verify the refund was received. Through slight of hand and hidden screens the scammer pretends to make a mistake and over refund the account such as turning $2,500 into $25,000. The scammer then acts panicked they made a mistake, and they need to get the credit back or they will lose their job. The fake credit cannot be corrected in the system and the victim will need to purchase gift cards to give the money back. The victim then goes to the store, purchases the gift cards as requested and then provides the redemption codes to the scammer. Not only does the scammer have the money from the gift cards but they have the log in information for the victim’s bank account, Amazon account, and any other information they retrieved from the victim’s computer.

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THE GRANDPARENT SCAM

This is the scam from the introduction of this article that often targets seniors because they are often not fully aware of their grandchild’s activities and will do anything to help them. The scammer in this case plays on the victim’s emotions and creates an urgent situation, not giving the victim time to process what is really going on.

ADVANCE FEE SCAM

This scam involves a promise to the victim of a large prize, shares of stock, vacation or something else of significant value, but only if a smaller fee is paid in advance. PHISHING SCAMS This type of scam usually comes through an email from what appears to be a reputable company such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Bank of America. The email claims to need some type of personal information to reset a password, verify an account, etc. In addition to those listed above, there are numerous other types of scams and variants of the scams. But with the tips provided below you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from a scammer. SLOW DOWN! Many scams rely on the emotionally charged elements of the scam to get people to act quickly before the scam is discovered. There is no legitimate company or government agency that moves so quickly you cannot take the time to verify the information with your bank or family members. THEY CONTACT YOU Legitimate companies understand that scammers are rampant and would not reach out to you requesting personal information, account numbers,

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Protect yourself from page 8 passwords, or other important information. They will wait for you to contact them and if you do, use the phone number on your card or statement (some scammers post fake websites to get people to call). If you did not initiate the contact, hang up. DON’T LET ANYONE REMOTELY ACCESS YOUR COMPUTER Again, legitimate companies do not have to remotely access your computer and you should not allow anyone to do that. That gives them free reign to anything that is on your computer including account numbers, photographs, social media accounts, bank accounts, etc. DON’T MAKE PAYMENTS WITH GIFT CARDS OR WIRE TRANSFERS These payment methods offer the least amount of protection to the victim and once initiated cannot be undone, so scammers love these. No legitimate company will want payment with gift cards. In fact, this has become so pervasive that store clerks at places such as Dollar General, Walgreen’s, etc. are trained to be on the look out for people (especially seniors) buying large amounts of gift cards and to either not allow the sale or try and explain they are being scammed. LET UNKNOWN NUMBERS GO TO VOICEMAIL Scammers will be persistent and will call and call. If you don’t know a number or it comes up as scam likely on the caller ID, ignore it! Have important numbers such as your bank, doctor, etc. and relatives programmed into your phone, so they are identified when received. BE SELECTIVE WHEN GIVING OUT YOUR PHONE NUMBER AND EMAIL Many companies sell their customer contact information and those lists often end up in the hands of scammers. You can reduce this possibility by not giving out your information to online retailers such as giving your email to get the “10 Best Christmas Cookie Recipes” or get 10% off by giving the company

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your email and phone number. Both things that I have done myself and within days noticed an uptick in the scam phone calls. Many companies claim they do not sell your information, but frankly I don’t believe them. So, protect that information. Interestingly, in addition to law enforcement there are numerous citizens out there working to stop scammers. They do this by calling them and staying on the line with them for hours preventing them from contacting other victims and there are some “hackers” that will use their skills to infiltrate the computers of the scammers deleting files and getting evidence that can be provided to the FBI or law enforcement agencies in the scammer’s home country. "Scammer Payback " is my favorite hacker YouTube channel if you want to check that out. I have no affiliation with it, it’s just fun to watch scammers get a taste of their own medicine as well as see first-hand how the scams work. Remember, you can protect yourself and your loved ones with the above tips and a healthy dose of skepticism. SWM

Tara Benson is the owner and lead investigator at Armour Investigations in Syracuse.

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Dr Suzanne Shapero, DMD, MBA, PC Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

“Don’t be afraid of the dentist, Dr Shapero is not only a dentist, but a good friend. Thanks to everyone there for making the trip to the dentist a painless and friendly experience.” - - Phillip E., patient

635-6643 www.baldwinsvilledentist.com

Jussara Potter Photography

Our Advanced Services performed in a safe environment with our state-of-the art filtration system We Accept: Cigna 1 Charlotte Street, Baldwinsville (across from the Police Station) In the old Post Office building opposite the Village Hall

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FINANCIAL ADVICE

Estate planning brings peace of mind Paula Highers

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ou may find more glamorous healthy senior living tips in this month’s magazine, but few, if any, are as important and beneficial to your current and future health as estate planning! In truth, there’s no perfect age to begin estate planning. It’s important for everyone; 21 year-old college graduates vesting in an employee retirement system, first-time parents, retirees, and everyone in between. But for senior citizens who haven’t already gone through the process, or haven’t made updates in a while, estate planning is especially important, not only for your health and wellness, but for the satisfaction of knowing that you can reassure your loved ones that everything’s taken care of. One important balance of healthy senior living is enjoying and immersing yourself in the present while planning ahead for the future not just your own future, but that of your loved ones as well. Benjamin Franklin once said that “nothing is certain except death and taxes,” A statement that we all know is true, yet regardless of how healthy we consider ourselves, many of us do not plan ahead for the end of our lives as well as we should. Estate planning is an act of love. Keeping your affairs in order years in advance, and keeping them true to your wishes as life changes, not only lessens the “what do I do now” anxiety that your loved ones may feel in your absence - it provides you with peace of mind, which can mean a world of difference for your mental and emotional wellness. This valuable feeling frees you to concentrate on enjoying your retirement years to the very fullest with those closest to you, knowing you’ve done all you can to look out for them. When someone passes, there are a range of emotions that their loved ones will go through. Hurt, anger, sadness, numbness, loss… they question many things, including what will happen next, and ask the big question: “what do I do now?” If you have proper estate planning in place, the “what do I do now” anxiety and stress on your loved ones will be lessened considerably. If you have a Will, then you’ve taken a very courageous, practical and considerate measure to prevent the stressful dilemma of your family trying to determine your true wishes. If you’ve preplanned and prepaid your funeral, then you’ll have prevented even more stress from weighing on them in an already difficult time.

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Besides the priceless peace of mind achieved by taking these steps, there are financial benefits to consider as well. Taking just a small moment to go through your plan as early on as you can serves to lock in prices for the future in a time when costs are susceptible to rising and falling unexpectedly. Looking out for your finances, and in turn your family’s finances, always makes good sense. Whether you’re enjoying retirement, starting a second career, welcoming a new grandchild, or just want to devote some housekeeping time to your unique personal affairs, any occasion is a good one to reflect on your future. From the standpoint of physical health, there’s all manner of decisions a senior can make towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle, from exercising, pursuing hobbies, staying active, and socializing, to staying organized, having a healthy sleep schedule, and maintaining a healthy diet. But even younger seniors with the best, most regimented routines will have to admit that seniors tend to be more prone to injury and illness than people still in their 40’s, and 50’s. This raises one of the most important considerations of all – the healthcare proxy / power of attorney side of estate planning. Who will make important decisions for you if you are unable to make decisions for yourself? It is always, always better to be safe than sorry, and better to be overprepared than underprepared. This decision can be life changing! In short, proper estate planning can directly benefit the emotional, financial, and physical health of senior citizens in a number of incredible ways. I have found helping clients with their estate planning to be one of the most rewarding and important pursuits of my career, and I’d urge any of our community’s senior citizens to make the brave and thoughtful decision: have a plan! SWM

Paula Highers is an attorney with MCV Law, 511 E. Fayette St., Syracuse.

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WISE FEATURED ENTREPRENEUR

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COVER STORY

KATHY JAMES

Care, support and research at the heart of Alzheimer's Association Lorna Oppedisano

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hen she was younger, Cathy James, chief executive officer of the Central New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, didn’t often hear the term Alzheimer’s. She does remember visiting a great aunt in a nursing home and, thinking back, she now realizes her relative was likely suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. “But back in the ’70s, you didn’t really hear the term Alzheimer’s disease mentioned a whole lot,” she said. “It was ‘hardening of the arteries,’ ‘senility.’ You really only heard those terms mentioned.” Since then to when Cathy joined the Alzheimer’s Association as a volunteer in the 1980s to her decades as a staff member, there have been a great number of advances in the field, from awareness of the disease and the association to emerging treatments that address symptoms of Alzheimer’s to further research to the national agenda put in place to address the disease. Continued on page 20

“I will never have enough staff to be able to meet the needs of 410,000 New Yorkers who are living with Alzheimer’s disease. We barely reach the tip of the iceberg. It breaks my heart when I hear people who finally get to us say, ‘I wish I’d heard about you sooner.’” —Kathy James

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COVER STORY

Care, support and research from page 19 “When I think of the milestones that I’ve been privileged to be a part of, either as a volunteer or as a staff member, I’m very proud,” Cathy said.

History of Caring

Originally from Massachusetts, Cathy attended the University of New Hampshire with the initial intent of studying occupational therapy. After realizing she enjoyed her psychology and sociology classes most, she consulted with her professors and decided to earn a degree in social work. While in school, Cathy met her husband. Two years after completing college, they married and moved to Maine. It was there Cathy started her career in the healthcare field as an employee of the Sisters of Charity Health Systems. After working as a case manager for a year, she accepted the position to lead a small program for the healthcare system. “It was a great opportunity for me to learn about grant management, how to write proposals, how to develop a budget,” she said, “and then the whole other component of running a program where you are actually hiring and coaching other staff. In the field of social work that I studied, these are not skills acquired in the classroom or internships.” Cathy continued to advance in her career with the Sisters of Charity Health Systems, eventually gaining experience as the director of social services at a nursing home, where she learned the details of systems like Medicare, Medicaid and nursing regulations. It was during this point in her journey Cathy began to learn more about Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the patients in the nursing home suffered from Alzheimer’s, so Cathy reached out to her local chapter to see how she could best assist her staff and their patients’ families. “We have people who are trained to be support group facilitators,” the individual from the local chapter told Cathy. “That might be something you might want to be a part of.” So, in the late ’80s, she became a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Association in Maine and started a support group for families whose loved ones had the disease. Cathy became familiar with two parts of the organization — care and support. Thinking back, Cathy remembers it wasn’t until she joined the organization decades later as a staff member that she learned more about the third piece — research.

Association’s Central New York Chapter for a staff member to oversee the adult day program. She applied and was hired. “That was over 25 years ago now and I’ve been here ever since,” she said. “I’ve had many opportunities to learn from others in the field.” In 2005, the chapter executive position became available. “I thought long and hard about running the chapter. Is that something I felt like I would like to do or was ready to do?” she remembered asking herself. She spoke with peers in other local nonprofit organizations for advice and eventually decided it was something she wanted to pursue. Cathy began the new role in 2006. “I’ve seen a lot of change in the field of Alzheimer’s Disease during that time [since taking the leadership position],” she said. “Just the work of our chapter has expanded profoundly.”

Joining the Team

In 1995, Cathy and her family relocated to New York state, settling in the Finger Lakes region. Knowing she wanted to remain in the field of aging and senior services, Cathy began to explore job opportunities in the area. She found an opening at the Alzheimer

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Care and Support

The work of the Alzheimer’s Association incorporates care, support and research. That all begins with one number: (800) 272-3900. “The foundation of our care and support really starts with our helpline,” Cathy explained. “People can reach us 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” From there, the association offers a variety of helpful options, from care consultants to caregiver education and trainings of all sorts to support groups. “Similar to the training that I went to [as a volunteer], we have trained facilitators — volunteers — across the United States who have training by the Alzheimer’s Association,” Cathy said. “They’re oftentimes people who have either been caregivers or are currently caregiving for someone with Alzheimer’s disease and have gone through the training and can provide peer support for individuals.” Cathy explained the crucial role volunteers play in the work of the organization.

“I will never have enough staff to be able to meet the needs of 410,000 New Yorkers who are living with Alzheimer’s disease,” she said. “We barely reach the tip of the iceberg. It breaks my heart when I hear people who finally get to us say, ‘I wish I’d heard about you sooner.’” Something Cathy is particularly proud of is the organization’s engagement with volunteers. While they have always utilized voluntary help, those individuals play a pivotal role in reaching the vision of a world without Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, as well as achieving the association’s strategic goals, she said. These connections to the general public through volunteers are especially important in underrepresented communities, she explained. “We need individuals from underrepresented communities, such as communities of color, because they’re at a higher disproportionate risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. So, having individuals who can speak to members of their community is very important in this cause,” Cathy said. Along with 20 people on staff, Cathy and the organization work with between 130 and 150 volunteers at any given time, from board members to Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee members to program volunteers. “Anyone interested in learning more about career opportunities or volunteer opportunities can go right to our website at alz.org,” Cathy said.

Research into the Future

“In my heart, whether I’m a volunteer or a staff member, I want to be a part of this cause when we are able to have the first survivor of Alzheimer’s disease... I really feel that it’s on the horizon.” —Kathy James

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Much of the local support for the Alzheimer’s Association, including funds raised from events and donor gifts, enables Alzheimer’s research, Cathy said. Earlier this summer, Cathy attended the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference, along with 5,000 in-person attendees and another 5,000 online, at which 4,500 scientific sessions were presented, highlighting a myriad of research topics. Funds raised by the Alzheimer’s Association currently support 950 research projects on six continents in 48 countries. “One of the things that is so inspiring for me is the number of young investigators who are new to the field,” she said. “It’s very exciting to see that there are young individuals who are getting into this field of Alzheimer’s and dementia research.” As for Cathy’s own future with the organization, she is confident she will always play a part in the work, even after she eventually retires from her leadership position. “In my heart, whether I’m a volunteer or a staff member, I want to be a part of this cause when we are able to have the first survivor of Alzheimer’s disease,” Cathy said. “And I really feel that it’s on the horizon.” SWM

Want to get involved with the Central New York Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association? Join the Walk to End Alzheimer’s on Sep 25, 2022, at the SRC Arena & Events Center on OCC Campus (4585 W Seneca Turnpike Syracuse, NY 13215). Visit alz.org/walk to learn more.

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WOMEN'S HEALTH

Aging gracefully for all Lindsey Gaworecki and Ashley Tracey

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o most, aging gracefully means you have maintained your youthful appearance longer than the majority of your peers. The skin is the largest organ in the body and heavily impacts our appearance. In order to slow our skin's rate of aging it is important to understand why our skin ages in the first place. Intrinsic and extrinsic aging are the two ways our skin ages. Intrinsic aging is our body's natural biological process of aging and is pre-determined by our genetics (thanks mom and dad!). We may not have much control over intrinsic aging but the good news is that it only plays a small role in our aging journey. Extrinsic aging on the other hand is the impact preventable elements have on our skin’s aging process such as free radicals (toxins), exposure to UV light, and cigarette smoke. You can significantly slow the rate at which these elements impact your skin aging process by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and committing to a good skincare routine. Our lifestyle choices greatly impact our skin’s appearance. Getting enough sleep, exercising, proper nutrition, and not smoking cigarettes are all ways to slow extrinsic aging. At night our skin repairs and renews itself in a process known as cell mitosis. Sleeping during this process has been proven to increase the number of cells regenerated. Making the saying “beauty sleep” a real thing. Exercising regularly is another great way to maintain youthful skin. Working out increases circulation, which brings more nutrients and oxygen to the skin while flushing away waste. Exercising can also reduce stress, which can cause breakouts and other skin and health concerns. Maintaining a well-balanced diet is also an effective way to combat signs of aging. Free radicals or toxins are terrible for our skin and overall health. Foods such as fruits and vegetables are chuck full of free radical fighting antioxidants. Cigarette smoking puts your overall health at risk, which includes the health of your skin. The free radicals found in a cigarette have been proven

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to damage collagen and elastin, which is needed to maintain firm and supple skin. Having an effective skincare regimen is a crucial proponent to aging gracefully. Skincare routines are customizable based on your skin concerns. A good anti-aging skincare routine should consist of the following: A gentle facial cleanser, routine exfoliation, topical vitamin C, SPF, Retinol or retin-a and regular med spa treatments. As we age our skin becomes dryer a gentle cleanser will hydrate and retain the skin's natural moisture barrier as it cleans dirt, makeup and impurities. Topical Vitamin C is an antioxidant so of course it protects against free radicals. Furthermore, Vitamin C corrects dark spots, brightens, improves texture and can prevent breakouts. Exfoliating is essential to healthy skin because it increases cell turnover. Additionally, when you scrub away dead skin cells it allows your skincare products to be more effective and reveals brighter, smoother, and younger looking skin. Excessive exposure to UVA / UVB rays can cause the skin to age at an increased rate. You can protect yourself from these harmful rays by wearing SPF. There are two types of SPF, physical and chemical. Physical SPF, also referred to as mineral SPF reflects UVA and UVB rays and is effective immediately. One way you can tell whether or not a SPF is physical or chemical is by its ingredients. The only two active ingredients found in a physical SPF are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Chemical SPF absorbs UVA and UVB rays and takes roughly 20 minutes to be effective. Ingredients found in a chemical SPF end in -ates, -zones and -ene. Both types of SPF need to be reapplied throughout the day to remain effective. Retinol and Retin-A both reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing the production of collagen. They also stimulate the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which improves the appearance of dark spots. Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A and can be purchased over the counter (OTC). Retin-A is a form of vitamin A and is much stronger then retinol. Retin-A penetrates deeper layers of your skin and is effective immediately. A prescription is needed for Retin-A and It’s important to rinse off each morning and apply SPF when ever using either of these. Additionally, getting frequent med spa treatments such as peels, micro needling, dermaplaning, and facials will help you maintain that youthful glow. It is important to set up a consultation with your aesthetician in order to develop a skincare plan based on your skin type and concerns. Your face isn’t the only area of your body that exposes your age. It is equally important to apply your skincare to areas like your neck, chest and hands. Also purchasing medical grade skincare products from a physician’s office will be more potent and effective than products found in store. You may have noticed words like maintain, committing, and regularly used in this article. That is because consistency is vital to aging gracefully. Doing something once isn't going to deliver results. Having amazing skincare products that sit in our bathroom drawer doesn’t do you any good. Find a routine that works for you and stick with it! Aging is a natural part of life that happens to everyone and should be celebrated. You can slow the effects of aging by maintaining a healthy lifestyle and committing to a skin routine. SWM

Lindsey Gaworecki, RPA-C, MSPAS, is a physician’s assistant and Ashley Tracey is a sales and marketing coordinator at Syracuse Plastic Surgery, 3107 E. Genesee St., Syracuse. LINDA GAWORECKI

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WOMEN'S HEALTH

Living your best life today Susan Spina

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e’d all love to feel our best—mentally and physically—all the time, but the reality is that we face challenges and difficulties to reaching that goal. In a world where we see and hear so much bad news, increased stress can keep us from our ideal physical and mental health. When you’re stressed, you may not have the energy to take care of yourself as well as you should. The good news is that just a few small changes will help you start to live your best life today and prepare for a better tomorrow. When we’re stressed, our bodies produce a chemical called cortisol, which, over time, can lead to heart conditions, high blood pressure, poor sleep, cancer, and diabetes. Being able to identify sources of stress and finding ways to reduce them through small changes sets us up for better health, relationships, and happiness. No one is promised a tomorrow, so it is so important to enjoy your gift of life and live your best life today.

Food can give you instant gratification but a long-term wellness plan focused on healthy eating will help you achieve real happiness. Your doctor can give you guidance or refer you to a nutritionist to help you make a plan

1. Identify your stress and focus on problem resolution. What situations or people in your life cause you stress? Look at what you have control over and what you need to let go of. What positive changes might you see in your life if you let a stressful thing go? Think about how what you would tell a friend to do if they were in the same situation. Figure out a way resolve the problem or let it go. Know that it takes time to figure all of this out so be patient with yourself as you work toward making positive change. Identify things or people that cause negative emotions and find ways you can reduce your exposure to them. You will have greater peace of mind because of this change. 2. Identify your values and what is important to you. Prioritize what is important to you. Do you want to spend more time with your family or friends? Would you like to start going to a place of worship? What about volunteering to improve your community? Spending positive time with people who make you feel good, establishing solid relationships, and feeling like you’re making a difference are values that can improve your quality of life by increasing support, happiness, and meaning. 3. Keep organized and set priorities with boundaries. Disorganization increases stress. Organization promotes a sense of control and reduces stress. Take the time to organize your home and life so you maintain balance and have time for activities that are important to you. Free up your space by getting rid of things you don’t want and donating them to a person or organization who can really use them. At the same time, respect your time by not making commitments that are difficult for you to follow through on. Be fair to yourself and others and set boundaries by saying “no” when you need to. 4. Address your medical concerns and maintain compliance with medical treatment recommendations. You are the one with the most control over your physical health and well-being. If you want to feel better, be honest with yourself about your health. Are you taking more medications just to feel better? Have you improved your exercise and eating habits? Are you doing everything your doctor recommends? Following your doctor’s recommendations today will increase your quality of life for a better tomorrow. Small improvements like walking and simple exercises and eating healthier can make a big difference in your quality of life.

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that really works for you. Pick small changes over time that you can stick with, because little differences will add up to a big impact. If you find yourself snacking mindlessly or eating just because it’s something to do, start replacing the choice to eat with other activities that make you feel good, like a game, a walk outside, or calling a friend. At the same time, plan a weekly reward for your accomplishments that makes you feel great about your progress. Remember to always talk to your doctor prior to making any changes regarding your health, medication, and diet. Taking many medications at the same time can be a challenge. Make sure you actually need every prescription and that none of them are unsafe to take together. Bring a list of all medications to each appointment and make sure you show it to every one of your medical doctors so they can assess what you really need. If a medication makes you feel unwell, always call your doctor instead just discontinuing it. It may feel overwhelming but taking control and ownership of your physical health will contribute to feeling better mentally and physically and increase your quality of life. 5. Put your personal affairs in order. What will happen if you become unable to make your own medical decisions? Does your family know what your wishes are? No one wants to think about dying but many families have been torn apart while having to choose medical treatments for their loved ones who have nothing in writing. It’s your right to determine your own medical treatments and what happens to your possessions and finances. Laying out your medical choices in an advanced directive through

SYR ACUSE WOMAN MAGA ZI N E

a health care proxy is easy and simple and can be completed at your next medical appointment. A will and power of attorney will also reduce stress on your family and ensure your wishes are respected. Take the time to give your family peace of mind and ensure all your wishes are honored by contacting your doctor and attorney today. 6. Take time out for relaxation. You deserve to feel happy and healthy. Make yourself the priority and take time out for relaxation and activities that bring you joy every day. A simple activity such as taking a break from work and sitting for five minutes outside feeling the warmth of the sun is enough to brighten any mood. Read a few pages or a chapter from a great book. Do a word or logic puzzle. Find something you look forward to. Treating yourself to little pleasurable activities and learning to feel like you deserve them will improve your ability to manage everyday responsibilities with less stress. You will feel better body, mind, and spirit. I guarantee it! SWM

Susan Spina is a licensed clinical social worker at Nascentia Health.

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HEALTHY EATING

Healthy recipes to promote graceful aging Chef Eric Rose

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ell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are…” Anthelme Brillat-Savarin has been simplified into something we have surly all herd before “You are what you eat” and there certainly is a lot of truths to these statements. Research study after research study continues to validate that the Mediterranean diet — and other diets rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, and healthy fats — promote anti-aging and healthy bodies and minds. Eating this way can be so delicious and fulfilling not to mentions keeping you satiated all day long as well as setting you up to live a longer more active life. Having a dozen go to recipes that are complete with fresh vegetables, protein and healthy fats makes it so easy. Equally important to optimizing your health is making sure that your body is fully hydrated as well as reducing processed foods; it's best to keep them to the bare minimum. If it needs an ingredient label, then you could probably make a better choice. Limiting dairy and carbs while also boosting your intake of all of those goodfor-you foods is another important step you can take. To help, I’ve collected my favorite healthy recipes that just might aid you to live longer and more optimally. What's more, we've included some tips along the way to help you make the right choices while enjoying uplifting, easy, and nutritious meals. First, let's start with vegetables. Green or not, putting just about any vegetable forefront on the plate is a healthy choice, as all the colors and varieties boast different vitamins and antioxidants. As one of our recipes shows, a satisfying baked zucchini can be transformed into a meal when carved out and topped with tomato, mushrooms, and sausage. Another tasty option is a mouthwatering vegetable-forward take on Olive Garden’s famous Zuppa Toscana Soup, which features cauliflower and kale. If you want something zesty and warming, whip up a batch of Cheesy Taco Vegetable Skillet for the family. And whatever you do, don't miss out on a trip to the local farmers market where literally all the vegetables are fresh bursting with flavor—and will elevate pretty much any recipe. While fat hasn't always been on the good list, science has brought us right back to enjoying it. Just make sure you pick the right fats. Opt for ones that support our brains, healthy weight, and sustain fullness such as avocado, raw nuts and olive oil — go ahead and finish any dish with a drizzle of high-quality extravirgin olive oil. Eating the right amount of protein is another important part of a healthy diet. Go with the healthiest sources of protein, such as fish, legumes, and poultry. Introduce a vegetarian weeknight dinner with a fantastic protein-rich plantbased option as the main dish.

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As for fish, make sure to try wild salmon and other varieties of wild caught fish (wild has more nutrients and omegas than farmed salmon will). If intimidated by cooking fish. You can try cooking almost any fish in an air fryer, or simply wrapped in foil with some herbs, citrus and a little oil in the oven or on the grill. It will prove to you just how easy it is to cook sensational seafood at home. This is just a foray into the variety tips and dishes you can enjoy while fueling your body, mind, and general health to live a more optimal life. Remember, you can’t control what goes on outside, but you CAN control what goes inside.” Anonymous Develop the mindset that you are going to build your wellness or otherwise you will eventually be treating disease. The truth is everything you put in your mouth is either improving your health or diminishing your health. It’s that simple!

Spicy Italian Zucchini Boats Makes 2 servings Ingredients: 2 medium zucchini 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 lb. Italian breakfast sausage (turkey or chicken) 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely chopped ½ cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms ½ tsp. dried basil ½ tsp. dried oregano ¼ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes 2 tbsp. olive oil ¾ cups shredded Parmesan cheese, divided 1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped Directions: Preheat oven to 400° degrees F. Brown the sausage into crumbles and drain. Set aside. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise; scoop out pulp and seeds, leaving ¼-inch shell (use a small spoon for this). Reserve pulp from two zucchini and chop. Combine cooked sausage, zucchini pulp, garlic, tomato, mushrooms, basil, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, olive oil and ½ cup cheese in a medium bowl. Divide mixture among zucchini shells. Place stuffed zucchini in a 13 x 9 baking dish; cover with foil. Bake for 25 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Top with fresh basil.

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Zuppa Toscana Soup Serves 4 Ingredients: 1 ½ lbs. Italian sausage (chicken or turkey) 4 cups cauliflower (cutting florets in half is necessary) 4 slices turkey bacon ½ cup scallions 4 cloves garlic 4 cups chicken stock ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 2 cups kale 1 ½ cup reduced-fat plain Greek yogurt 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese Directions: In a large pot, cook the turkey bacon until crispy. Drain any grease, and set aside. Add the sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks. Once the sausage is browned and crumbled, remove sausage and drain of any grease leaving a tablespoon to sauté the scallions, add to bacon. Add the scallions to the pan; sauté until translucent, add garlic, sauté until fragrant. Add the bacon and sausage back into the pot. Stir in the stock and cauliflower, season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Add kale and yogurt. Bring to a simmer. (Not a boil). Top with Parmesan cheese when serving.

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Cheesy Taco Vegetable Skillet Serves 3

Ingredients: 14 oz lean 93% ground beef, 10 oz cooked 1 cup (5.26 oz) assorted bell peppers, chopped 10 oz can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies, do not drain ¾ cup (3 oz) zucchini, chopped 3 cups (3.18 oz) baby spinach, chopped 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp lower sodium taco seasoning 1 cup (4 oz) 2% reduced fat cheddar cheese Green onions to garnish Jalapeno slices to garnish Directions: In a large skillet, brown ground beef and drain cooked meat of excess fat. Add bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini and kale to ground beef. Stir in taco seasoning and cook for about 5 more minutes or until spinach is fully wilted. Sprinkle shredded cheese on top and cover pan allowing the cheese to melt or put the meat mixture in a 9-inch pie dish and place in the oven at 350°F for about 5 minutes until cheese has melted. Garnish and serve. SWM

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INSPIRE

MARYGRACE FRONK

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Keeping fit while helping others Norah Machia

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arygrace Fronk discovered many years ago that half-marathons (13.1 miles in distance) are not just for runners. They are also for walkers of any age. At age 70, Fronk has completed 38 of them, and she is still going strong. She walked in her first half-marathon in 2009, after a friend got her interested in distance walking with a group of other women. She finished that event in Niagara Falls, Canada, with a time of 3 hours and 35 minutes. Her oldest daughter, Michele, walked alongside her. “It was such an accomplishment when I completed that first halfmarathon,” Fronk says. “It was nice to do it for myself, and not worry about racing against others.” But since that first event, Fronk has found herself challenging her personal time each race by looking for people to pass as motivation to walk even faster. “I’ve tried to improve my time with each one that has followed,” she says. Her personal best was a half-marathon completed in Half Moon Bay, CA with a time of two hours and 58 minutes. Along with New York State events, Fronk has traveled throughout the country to compete in half-marathons in Arizona, California, Maryland and Massachusetts. Fronk, a registered nurse, had worked for the G. Ray Bodley High School in Fulton for 18 years before retiring in 2009. Prior to her time at the high school, she was employed as a school nurse in the district’s elementary buildings. She has completed half-marathons with friends, family members, and on her own. “It’s never a dull moment,” says the Fulton resident. She recalled convincing her brother Paul to enter a half-marathon with her in Tucson, Ariz. However, it was designated a women’s event, so while men could participate, they could not place. For some reason, which she has not been able to determine to this day, Fronk was entered as a male participant. She completed the half-marathon but was never able to sort out the gender mix-up. So, she took the whole thing in stride and posed on the awards stand with Paul (it was his first half-marathon) after everyone had left. They took their own victory photo wearing their participant medals. Another time she was approaching the finish line, and the crowd started yelling “sprint – you’re almost to the end!” She looked at the crowd and shouted back “I’m walking, not running!” “I’m a competitive walker,” Fronk says. “I push myself to the end, but I don’t sprint across the finish line.” (Why would she start running a race at the very end when she has been maintaining a consistent, steady, yet fast walking pace to complete the event, she reasons). It has been an ambitious journey, and one that has resulted in not only improved overall health, but a real sense of personal satisfaction for Fronk, who is a breast cancer survivor. “I’m also a very active grandmother,” says Fronk. “My endurance levels stay up with the kids.” She and her husband Gary (a competitive cyclist), have four children and 12 grandchildren. If she is training for an event, Fronk walks an average of six miles a day, and will work in one longer 10-mile walk once a week. She also takes a weekly rest day off. When she is not training for a half-marathon, she walks between three to five miles a day. “My primary doctor is thrilled with all my health statistics,” says Fronk, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, but underwent treatment and has been cancer free for years. Fronk is not on any prescription medications but takes daily vitamins and supplements. The only medication she uses is taken occasionally for allergies. “It’s so important for people to maintain a healthy lifestyle and proper nutrition as they age,” she says. Fronk continues to walk sometimes with her friends, although the walking group has dwindled over the years. For those who don’t compete, she is still happy to walk with them “at any pace,” she says. SYR ACUSE WOMAN MAGA ZI N E

When the winter months arrive, Fronk heads West for an extended stay with her daughter, Pam, who lives in Arizona, an arrangement that helps to keep her walking. “I really don’t like treadmills,” she says. But back home in Fulton, she will still walk outside in the winter weather, although not on roads with fresh snow, “because there is too much risk of a car sliding,” Fronk says. At other times, she has done indoor mall walking. As with many others who complete half-marathons, Fronk often uses the events to raise awareness and money for nonprofit organizations. She has supported, among others, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the American Cancer Society and the “Blessings in A Backpack” fundraiser held by Amnesty CrossFit of Oswego. For Fronk, the fund-raising gives her a personal sense of satisfaction that goes beyond the physical accomplishments of walking long distances. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, she and some family members decided to try fund-raising with virtual walks. They signed up with the “One New York Virtual Challenge” and completed two virtual walks to raise funds for the Central New York Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In 2020, Fronk logged in 600 miles of walking over a three-month period, and in 2021, she logged 1,010 miles in just over nine months, finishing on her 70th birthday. It’s a cause that is “near and dear” to her heart, as Fronk’s granddaughter Katrianna, 14, has cystic fibrosis. She is the daughter of Fronk’s son Don and his wife, Gretchen, who also have a son, Kai. Fronk is a big supporter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation because of its dedicated research efforts for new treatments and finding a cure. Her granddaughter has been able to manage her condition and remains in good health, Fronk says. “The funding that has been used for research has resulted in huge benefits for Katrianna,” says Fronk, who completed one of the virtual fund-raising walks with her daughter, Jessica, and her 12-year-old granddaughter, Maria. “It shows a huge devotion to the organization on her part, that she would do this virtual event in honor of her granddaughter,” said Amy Spranger, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s area director for Western, Central and Northeastern NY. “We don’t receive any government funding, so this type of fund-raising support is so important to our organization,” says Spranger. The nonprofit organization also holds annual fundraising events, including a golf tournament, an extreme hike and a gala. The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation assists with funding and accreditation of more than 120 care centers throughout the country, staffed by dedicated healthcare professionals who provide specialized care for people living with the disease. The local chapter supports the Cystic Fibrosis Care Center at Upstate Medical University, which serves patients in a 15-county region. The CF care centers also conduct clinical research. “Our mission is to find a cure for cystic fibrosis, and at the same time, we want people to continue living long, healthy lives” by providing a range of support for patients, says Spranger. There are approximately 40,000 people living with cystic fibrosis nationwide and 1,660 in New York State, she says. The Central New York chapter serves 260 families. “When I started walking, I did not intend to fund-raise, it was more for the challenge of getting started and getting fit,” says Fronk. But she soon realized the rewards of combining some of the walks with fundraising efforts. “Movement is so important,” she says. “I can’t imagine any other lifestyle.” And giving back to the community has been an added bonus of staying healthy for Fronk. SWM SYR ACUSE WOMAN MAG.COM


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INSPIRE

LIZ YATES HORTON

Helping others reach a fuller, richer life Alyssa Dearborn

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hen you have a neurological condition – such as Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, stroke, dizziness or concussion–finding the right care is essential for living a healthy life and retaining independence. Liz Yates Horton DPT, physical therapist and board-certified neurologic specialist, founded Engage Therapy and Wellness to improve the lives of those living with these conditions, providing physical, speech, and occupational therapies to patients. “It has always been a dream of mine to help more individuals in the Syracuse area with Parkinson’s and other neurological conditions. I know firsthand how much a personalized therapy session can positively impact this population in improving their daily life.” Yates Horton said, “When COVID happened – I have two young kids and daycare closed – that is what got the ball rolling. Prior to COVID, I was teaching community-based exercise programs for individuals with Parkinson’s. When COVID happened, all of the gyms closed and I had this whole group of individuals who know that exercise is so important but didn't have a place to exercise. So we all figured out Zoom to start an exercise group and I started running that.” She started her online exercise program during the first week of lockdown and the group met three to four days per week. The program eventually evolved into Engage Therapy and Wellness, which offers physical, speech, and occupational therapies. As of right now, according to Yates Horton, the only other clinic in the Syracuse area that offers all three therapies is Upstate Medical University. Since opening the clinic, Engage has grown to include eight therapists to meet the needs of the community and has also received two Parkinson's Foundation grants to help those who are newly diagnosed with

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Parkinson's and those who have freezing of movement. “All of our sessions are one-on-one and individualized for the clients that we’re working with.” Yates Horton said when asked about her practice’s methods, “Our strategies are well researched, and we tailor our exercises and our therapies to really meet the needs of the individual with whom we work.” When asked how she determines an individual’s needs, she explained her practice’s process, replying, “When someone comes in, during that first meeting we do an in depth assessment where we will get a lot of information from the individual to get a better sense of what they may be having difficulties with, or what they would like to get back to, and what their goals are. Then from there, we will do very targeted assessments.” The targeted assessments depend on the type of treatment the patient is seeking. For example, for physical therapy patients, assessment will focus on movement. Assessments for speech therapy will assess the patient’s voice, swallowing, and memory. And occupational therapy patients will be assessed based on daily life activities such as handwriting, getting dressed, and more. “We take all of that information that we get both from the client and then from our assessment and then come up with an individualized plan.” she continued, “With that, we are communicating with our clients so that we’re both working towards the same goals.”

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Helping you Make the Right Move! Delivering World Class Service To each Client We Work With! Our Exclusive Listing Program is Designed To: • Sell your home quickly • For the most money • Save you a bundle * * Our average seller saved 30% in listing fees in 2021

MaryJo Heitkamp-France ABR, E-Pro Managing Partner

Just as she found a unique way to serve clients online, Yates Horton continues to find ways to connect with patients outside of their scheduled appointments. Through her practice’s blog, emailed newsletter, youtube channel and social media, she is able to make a further impact on her client’s lives. “Oftentimes, when someone is diagnosed with a neurological condition, it can feel really overwhelming. We use our blog to really help communicate targeted information that is really beneficial for individuals, but in a userfriendly way. Also, there’s research and evidence to support it, because when someone is newly diagnosed with a neurologic condition, you can go on Google and it can take you down a rabbit hole. We want to be able to provide individuals with a really useful resource. Our youtube channel has many recorded exercise classes and informational videos. Our goal is that we are able to provide resources for the community, even if they are not being seen at Engage.” Knowing that her work addresses a community need in the Syracuse area is an important aspect of Yates Horton’s work. But being able to see a patient’s individual progress firsthand is one of the most personally rewarding parts of what she does. “I always think about the first time I worked with someone with Parkinson’s. Prior to us starting to work together, he had needed his wife to assist him for a number of years. Within two weeks, this gentleman was able to walk independently. He was able to get his sweater on independently. He was able to roll over in bed. In just two weeks, he was coming in and telling me how he had felt so discouraged and now he felt like he had hope. That is what we are really able to do here, change someone’s life so that they are empowered and that they have the tools to be as independent as possible. I am very grateful that we are able to do this every day.” SWM SYR ACUSE WOMAN MAGA ZI N E

Web: cnysignature.com PH: 315-382-4444 email: maryjorealtor1@gmail.com

CNY SIGNATURE PROPERTIES

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INSPIRE

ESTHER DYGERT

Special Olympian gives it her all Jason Klaiber

Dygert discovered the organization in her mid-50s, later on in life than most. Stacey Hengsterman, the president of the New York chapter, estimates that it’s a 50-50 split of participants who are under 21 and those who are over 21.

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hough she began participating in its activities later in life than most, Esther Dygert has since become a shining example of athleticism and heart within the Special Olympics organization. A resident of Earlville, a village situated on the border of Madison and Chenango counties, Dygert is, like many in the New York State chapter, a multi-sport, year-round competitor. Convinced to get involved in her mid-50s after conversing with a friend already in the fold, she debuted by trying her hand at snowshoeing about four years ago. From there, Dygert took a liking to volleyball, bowling and bocce, and just this summer, she added cycling to her list of sports—which she contemplates expanding even further to include swimming. Nearing 60, Dygert shows no signs of slowing down and no intention of pursuing retirement; in fact, she credits her membership in Special Olympics as a contributor to the betterment of her overall health and the rechanneling of negative energy. As someone who deals with anxiety and bouts of anger in addition to diabetes and emphysema, Dygert finds a certain comfort in her time-filling concentration on the competitive atmosphere, plus the physical exertion itself is tied to gradual weight loss and the on-the-spot release of moodboosting neurotransmitters. “Esther is a great example of who we are, what people want in their lives and someone who is taking advantage of what there is to offer,” said Stacey Hengsterman, the president and chief executive officer of Special Olympics New York. “To hear that she has found so much joy with our organization at this time in her life is exactly what we want to hear.”

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A well-decorated Dygert gives two thumbs up among fellow 2022 Winter Games athletes.

Special Olympics athlete Esther Dygert shows her stuff on the bocce court. The Earlville resident also participates in volleyball and bowling among other sports.

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Dygert (far left) partakes in a 50-meter snowshoe race.

According to her coach, Margaret Kuhn, Dygert displays a combination of endurance and enthusiasm no matter the sport. On the YMCA volleyball court in the spring months, Dygert is known to dive onto the floor to keep a rally going. In the wintertime, she trudges through the snow, the cold and tiredness with her enlarged footwear. “She’ll go all out,” Kuhn said. “If she falls, she gets back up.” Like anyone, though, she’s prone to frustration every once in a while if she misses a spike or rolls a gutterball, but she chooses to walk it off for a second or two, calm herself and quickly regain focus. That dedicated approach of hers, Kuhn says, is matched with a youthful attitude and a caring personality. “She looks out for people and would not have a problem telling somebody if they did something out of line to her friends,” Kuhn said. At times a shoulder to lean on in the midst of bad days and a helping hand if anyone needs a ride to an event, Kuhn refers to her volunteer role coaching Dygert and about 75 other athletes as a “rewarding” follow-up to teaching business and computer science classes in the Adirondack Central School District. “It’s a good family,” she said of her Central New York squad. “We’re all there for each other.” Kuhn said that even among opposing teams the Special Olympics athletic matches end with high fives all around, and nobody goes away accusing anyone of cheating. Hengsterman said the impact of the organization lies in that alwaysapparent level of sportsmanship and the social inclusion its activities promote for people with intellectual and physical differences. With the limitations on gathering during the height of COVID, however, a large number of Special Olympians had trouble finding a proper outlet to serve as a placeholder. Dygert said she grew bored and slightly discouraged during that stretch of time when gyms were closed, quarantining was mandated, and fullcapacity activities were put on hold. “It’s a lot better being back because I like keeping busy,” she said. In the meantime, biweekly Zoom meetings were set up regionally so that Special Olympics coaches could touch base with the athletes and see how they had been getting by day to day. Along with that, the coaches assigned a series of at-home challenges, such as football tosses through a tire goal and timed sprints from one traffic cone to another. Apart from her participation in Special Olympics, Dygert pushes through with her disabilities by learning the self-defense techniques of karate at an Oneida martial arts school. Additionally, she serves on the 18-person board for the Madison County Motivators self-advocacy group and works as a cleaner at a Price Chopper grocery store in Hamilton. One of the top three largest Special Olympics programs in the country, this state’s chapter serves more than 31,000 athletes across the Capital, Central New York, Genesee, Hudson Valley, Long Island, New York City, North Country, Southern Tier and Western New York regions. Hengsterman, who has been president of the New York chapter for four years, said a major goal is to expand to 71,000 athletes by 2025. As was the case in 2022, the State Winter Games will be held again in Syracuse in late February of 2023. Facilities are set to include the OnCenter and Greek Peak, and about 1,000 athletes who excel at their local levels will make their way into town. Throughout the year, the organization covers travel expenses for all athletes and provides training space, equipment and uniforms at no charge. SWM SYR ACUSE WOMAN MAGA ZI N E

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UPCOMING EVENTS Wednesday, Sept. 7

Thursday, Sept. 15

What: WBOC’s program year kicks off with the theme "Possibility." Guest speaker is co-executive director at Vera House, Angela Douglas; author, speaker, independent consultant and cancer survivor. When: Networking at 4:30 p.m. and program at 5 p.m. Where: Collegian Hotel & Suites, 1060 East Genesee Street, Syracuse, NY 13210 Info: www.wboconnection.org to register

What: Event showcases the many great opportunities in CNY for senior living and what’s available for in-home care for yourself or an older loved one. Music and food will be available. When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: CNY Regional Market E-Shed, 2100 Park St, Syracuse, NY 13208 Info: https://pacecny.org/event/cny-senior-housing-care-expo/

WBOC focuses on ‘Possibility’

CNY Senior Housing & Care Expo

Thursday, September 8

Saturday, Sept. 17

What: InterFaith Works will honor those who have proven to be Resilient Leaders in times of great disruption and challenge. Among those honored at the event: Casey Crabill of OCC, Donna DeSiato of East Syracuse Minoa schools and Kimberly Townsend of Loretto. Dinner proceeds support InterFaith Works’ mission. When: 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Where: SRC Arena & Events Center at Onondaga Community College, 4585 W Seneca Turnpike, Syracuse, NY 13215 Info: www.interfaithworkscny.org/ilad for tickets

What: The event offers live music, dancers, drumming, workshops on Pagan culture; vendors offering a variety of unique handcrafted items; children’s activities and food. There is an Autumn Equinox ceremony that visitors can observe or partake in. Through education, activism, charity and community, this festival promotes tolerance and understanding between people with differing beliefs. Non-Pagans can better understand those who follow an Earth-centered spiritual path. When: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Where: Long Branch Park 3813 Long Branch Rd, Liverpool, NY 13090 Info: wwww.cnyppd.org

InterFaith Works Leadership Award Dinner

Thursday, Sept. 8 and Saturday, Sept. 10

Open auditions at Syracuse Stage

What: Syracuse Stage will host general auditions for local Equity and Non-Equity actors. Seeking local actors for several upcoming performance opportunities as part of Cold Read Festival of New Plays (Oct. 18 – 23), “Our Town” (March 20 – April 16, 2023) and more. Actors 18 and up of all ethnicities are strongly encouraged to audition. When: 6 to 9 p.m. on Sept. 8 and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sept. 10 Where: Syracuse Stage / SU Drama Complex, 820 E. Genesee St., Syracuse, NY Info: Contact Cynthia Reid at cjmoor02@syr.edu

Friday, Sept. 9

2nd Annual CNY Land Trust EverGreen EverBlue BBQ fundraiser

What: Theme will be country fun. Proceeds to further the Land Trust’s mission. Food provided by Dinosaur-Bar-B-Que, dessert by Skippy’s Ice Cream Truck. Skaneateles Brewery will serve beer on tap. Wine donated by Anyela’s. A silent auction will also be held. Music provided by Los Blancos from 7 to 10 p.m. When: 5 to 10 p.m. Where: 2989 Bacher Road, Skaneateles, NY 13152 Info: www.cnylandtrust.org for tickets

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21st Pagan Pride Day celebration

Sunday, Sept. 18

10th Annual Raise A Glass!

What: Annual fall fundraiser for the Nascentia Health Charitable Foundation. Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a silent auction and basket raffle, wine tasting, games and awards. Le Moyne College President Dr. Linda LeMura will receive the Civic Engagement Excellence Award and Jan Maloff, founder of CNY Bicycle Giveaway, will receive the Community Champion Award. The Nascentia Health Charitable Foundation helps improve quality of life for financially challenged patients and their families through donations of items that improve their safety, independence, and self-sufficiency. When: 1 to 4 p.m. Where: Lakeshore Yacht and Country Club 6777 Lakeshore Rd, Cicero, NY 13039 Info: nascentiahealth.org/raiseaglass for tickets

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SYR ACUSE WOMAN MAGA ZI N E

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MOVERS & SHAKERS

Foodies abound at senior living communities Jim Mahler

A

s director of food at beverages at an independent senior living community, I am noticing a new trend in senior dining: Foodies! And, what’s interesting, is that the majority of my senior foodies are women. A foodie can be defined as person who has an avid interest in new food fads. You may think this only applies to younger people, but that is not the case. Older women are jumping on the foodie wagon, and we have adjusted our menus to meet the growing needs of our residents. Recently, I’ve found that smoothies, vegan menus and other healthy food trends are not only popular among millennials anymore. Healthy eating is becoming a hot topic for older adults too. Nationally, facilities like The Nottingham are adapting new menus and providing a wider variety of options as baby boomers demonstrate a desire for a heathier and more sophisticated palette. However, many older women note that they don’t have the vigorous appetite that they once had – replacing three large meals a day with smaller portions and more frequent snacks. They don’t enjoy the same foods as when they were younger, and they may even face restricted diets due to health concerns. This can present a challenge for senior women, especially when maintaining a healthy diet is so vital as we age. It is also so important to note that as a woman ages, her food preferences change - so does her appetite, nutritional requirements and entire approach to eating. Yet, as our bodies get older, they need different fuel and nutrients.

AUGUST 2022

For example, the best diet for aging women consists of more veggies, whole grains, and lean meats. After age of 70, women need to incorporate more calcium, Vitamin B-12 for brain health and Vitamin D to maintain bone health. Women may find that eating is now a balancing act for daily nutritional requirements combined with the appropriate level of activity based on each individual’s ability. As we age, we tend to sit more and become less active, resulting in loss of muscle mass. Eating ample amounts of protein helps reduce the negative effect of inactivity in women. That is why we are constantly upgrading our menu, making sure we provide healthy and nutritious alternatives, but we are having some fun with our new food fads too. Recently, we unveiled a new menu item with a twist at the Nottingham Independent Living Community. We hosted a smoothie-making demonstration for our residents, and let them be the judge for the newest flavor. We presented three different Flavors ranging from the fruity to the green: Strawberry Banana Smoothie, Carrot Pineapple Smoothie and Apple Spinach Avocado with Yogurt Smoothie. Several women sampled all three and voted on their newest menu item. And the winner is Carrot Pineapple Smoothie! We’d like to share our simple and nutritious recipe with you. SWM INGREDIENTS: 2 cups chopped pineapple, 1 cup chopped carrot, 1 cup ice, ½ cup orange juice, 1 banana. Mix in blender until smooth and enjoy!

Jim Mahler is the executive chef and director of food and beverages at The Nottingham.

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