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Franklin Park Gives Thanks to Our Volunteers How Franklin Park Is Watching the Sugar

The New Tax Law Explained


Giving Thanks to Our Volunteers at Franklin Park

Volunteers truly are the heart of our community. On behalf of our wonderful health center family and myself, we would like to thank and acknowledge those who make us better: Bessie’s Hope, the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), Christ Lutheran Church, Capitol Hill United Ministries (CHUMs), Landmark Ministry Services, and other volunteers who give so generously of their time and talents. We would also like to thank our first responders for all they do to keep us safe, and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for their watchful eye and guidance. We could not be who we are today without them.

Through the generosity of so many, we are able to provide out residents with a fulfilling lifestyle. For example, residents may attend Christ Lutheran Church once a month and are honored that they organize Bible studies with our

SUMMER :: 2018

church family. Bessie’s Hope visits the community and entertains everyone with songs and stories, always bringing smiles to our faces. The ROTC spends hours with our veterans, listening to their stories and learning from the past.

Recently our residents attended a chilly Rockies game and saw the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. With the support of volunteers, residents continue to go on shopping trips and enjoy drives around Denver, and of course absolutely love their Bingo games three times a week. Everyone here is looking forward to spending more time outdoors this season. Whether we’re taking long walks, doing some gardening, enjoying barbeques, or just listening to the birds chirping, what a blessing to enjoy the beauty of Colorado. I hope you enjoy our newsletter. As always, we’re open to any feedback


you might want to share about our community. We all do better when we all do better!

Read more about us online at, check us out on Facebook, call us at 303-832-9323, or simply stop by and see us. We love having visitors. Have a wonderful summer!

~Jane Runge, Franklin Park Administrator

Community Accomplishment What’s it like to be part of a community? It means you’re part of something greater than yourself. Some of the benefits of community include encouragement, support, shared experiences, shared celebrations, and opportunities to give back and help others. The Health Center at Franklin Park feels strongly that our residents should and need to continue to be part of the larger Denver community.

To accomplish this, on a weekly basis, we take residents on outings and events around the city. In November of 2017, HCFP brought 17 residents to the Denver Veteran’s Day Parade—not to watch—but rather, to be IN the parade. That was pretty exciting! We were the only longterm care residences and senior

living center to take part in the parade. Of the 17 residents who attended, a whopping 15 were veterans—and many were Vietnam veterans who finally received the longoverdue welcome they so deserved! Every veteran received a retired flag star to let them know they have not been forgotten. It was a great way to honor their service and commitment to our country.

To provide spiritual support, on the first Sunday of each month, the residents and chaplain load up the van and attend a service at Christ Lutheran Church. This outing helps the residents feel a sense of belonging. As a matter of fact, three residents like the church so well they joined that congregation. Christ Lutheran continues to deepen our

relationship by coming every Friday to host Bible study and singalongs with residents. For three weeks in April, we also brought residents to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. It was fascinating to look at the oldest-known Biblical documents and Middle Eastern artifacts. As residents of Franklin Park, we’re part of the fabric of this community, our skills and experiences adding to the colorful tapestry of the Denver community.

Franklin Park Resident and Veteran Receives “Wish of a Lifetime” Trip to Washington, D.C. Franklin Park resident Tony Martinez is our community’s one and only Purple Heart recipient. He fought in the Vietnam War and earned the prestigious award. On Valentine’s Day, a group of volunteers visited with Wish of a Lifetime and handed out roses to our residents. One of the leaders noticed Tony’s Purple Heart hat (he wears it every day with pride) and asked if Tony had ever seen the Vietnam Memorial in Washington DC. Tony replied “No, I wish.” Knowing how much the trip would mean to him, the organization made arrangements for Tony to visit Washington DC this spring.

Accompanied by his Grandson Ricky, Tony traveled to Washington, DC along with other Veterans to visit the memorial sites. Here are some photo from their trip. What a great once in a lifetime opportunity! Thank you to Wish of a Lifetime for making it happen for our resident. We know Tony, his family and Franklin Park will never forget it!


Studies Show Too Can Negatively Imp


Cutting down on processed sugar can hav

igh-fructose corn syrup is everywhere—in soda, candy, yogurt, bread, cereal, canned fruit, condiments, sauce, dressing, jelly, snack foods, frozen dinners, even baby food. According to the US Department of Agriculture, the average American consumes more than 40 pounds of this sweetener per year.

ple chalk up this cognitive slide as a normal part of aging, but research shows there’s a direct link between forgetfulness and elevated blood sugar levels in the brain.

You know those irritating memory lapses when we forget where we put our keys or go into a room and forget why we’re there in the first place? Some peo-

The “perfect diet,” says Carmelia Wilson, Wellness Director at ABHM

Scientists found that the part of the brain responsible for short-term memory can actually shrink from too much sugar consumption. According to Scientific American, scientists believe these mental hicPrior to the 1970s, people sweetened their food cups “stem from disruptions in the with sucrose (table sugar). When it became more hippocampus—an area that, among other roles, acts expensive, industrial users looked for a cheaper reas the brain’s “save” butplacement and found that soluton, allowing us to retain tion in high-fructose corn syrup. Scientists found that the part new information.” As more and more companies of the brain responsible for A body of research is indiadded sugar to their foods, it short-term memory can cating a link between didn’t take long for researchers actually shrink from too much Alzheimer’s disease and into find a direct link between sulin resistance. A study diets high in added sugars and sugar consumption. published in the journal Diweight gain and metabolic disabetologia followed 5,189 people for more than 10 turbances. years and discovered a faster rate of cognitive New studies are now suggesting that too much frucdecline for those with high blood sugar— tose can also do a number on our brains. According a concerning finding when you conto Julia Lundstrom, an educator in the field of neusider that approximately 86 roscience and brain health, “As more fructose is million Americans have blood consumed, the body produces more insulin to regsugar considered higher than ulate that sugar. As you over-indulge on fructose normal. and grains, your brain becomes overwhelmed by the high levels of insulin. Eventually insulin and lepThe good news? It’s never tin levels profoundly disrupt your brain signaling, too late to start living a leading to troubles in your thinking and memory.” healthy lifestyle.

o Much pact Your Memory

e dramatic effects on our memory—at ALL ages.

High-fructose Corn Syrup community Tudor Oaks, includes drinking a lot of water, consuming less sodium, and eating less processed sugar. Instead, buy real whole foods, she says. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for fruits, veggies, lean meats/poultry, fish, and dairy, including free-range or omega-3 enriched eggs. Start paying attention to labels. “If the ingredients include more than five items, that food is now a product,” she says. From childhood to our golden years, our caloric intake might change, but the principles of a well-balanced diet remain the same. “Go back to the basics, plain and simple,” says Anne Harguth, Clinical Dietitian for ABHM community Thorne Crest. But what about when you’re craving something sweet? As we age, we ac-

tually lose taste buds. When we’re younger, we have 10-15,000 taste buds; when we’re over 70, this drops to between 3-5,000. What’s more, hundreds of medications can affect the senses of taste and smell. According to Harguth, “The last taste buds to remain with us as we age are the sweet buds.” If you crave something sweet, eat fruit. Add a banana to your breakfast oatmeal, she suggests, or buy unsweetened yogurt and add berries. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines recommend Americans limit added sugars to no more than 10 percent of daily calorie needs. “Gain control over sugar intake,” she says. There is good news, though. Researchers also found a link between regular exercise and an increased ability to break down sugar metabolism in the brain. “It’s been proven that by exercising for 30 minutes three times a week, you can reduce your risk of dementia by 50 percent,” Carmelia Wilson comments. Case in point: A group at the University of Edinburgh followed more than 600 people, starting at age 70, who kept detailed notes about their physical activity, mental health, and social habits. Three years later, images of their brains were studied for brain shrinkage. The seniors who engaged in the most physical exercise—both aerobic and resistance training—showed the least amount of brain shrinkage. The foods you eat can change the chemistry of your body and your brain, affecting how you think. When you eat high-quality foods, you not only physically feel better, it’s better for your mental wellbeing. Now that’s news worth remembering!

What do the tax cuts in the Tax


he GOP’s massive tax overhaul plan, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA)—signed into law on December 22, 2017–doesn’t affect all seniors the same way. Some will receive a substantial tax break, some will see no difference, and others will fare a little worse than before. At ABHM, it’s our goal to keep residents and their families connected to helpful resources. Because we know this can be a complex issue, we broke down common questions in the following guide:

One item on the chopping block was the medical expense deduction. What is that? Why does it matter? The medical tax deduction allows people to deduct qualifying medical and dental expenses that exceed 10 percent of their adjusted gross income (AGI). Because seniors tend to have fixed incomes, the elimination of this deduction would have had a dramatic effect on skilled nursing residents and other older adults. In addition to individuals deducting their own medical expenses, this also provides a $500 credit for each non-child dependent, helping families caring for aging parents.

Was this preserved in the final language of the legislation? YES This was a critical “win” for patients who pay for long-term care out of pocket, as well as those with chronic medical conditions.


Are Medicare Part B premiums slightly higher now? YES Medicare Part B is insurance covering doctors’ services, outpatient care in hospitals, and equipment such as wheelchairs and oxygen machines went up by $25/month, basically offsetting any cost-of-living adjustments by Social Security.

Is there less of a financial tax incentive now for people to make charitable gifts to their favorite nonprofits (many of which help seniors)? YES According to Forbes, “The TCJA makes four big changes that are likely to discourage charitable giving. It lowers individual income tax rates, thus reducing the value of all tax deductions; and it caps the state and local tax deduction at $10,000 and increases the standard deduction to $12,000 for singles and $24,000 for couples—two steps that will significantly reduce the number of itemizers.” According to the Tax Policy Center, “the most common itemized deductions are state and local taxes, mortgage interest, charitable contributions, medical and dental expenses, and casualty and theft losses.” High-income taxpayers are the most likely to itemize deductions. With the new law, though, those who donated to

& Jobs Act mean for older adults? charities as a way to get a tax deduction will no longer have the same incentive, since itemizing deductions won’t reduce their taxable income. Charities are bracing for a big drop in donations as more taxpayers take the standard deduction.

One of the provisions proposed was eliminating the use of “private activity bonds,” or PABs. What are PABs? Why are they important to senior communities? Tax-exempt private activity bonds (PABs) are a source of funding for continuing care retirement communities (CCRC), providing tax-exempt financing for nonprofits. While PABs are criticized for diverting public funds toward private projects, they do have a clear benefit: encouraging the construction of not-for profit senior living communities and CCRCs, including affordable senior housing.

Did this go through? NO The tax-exempt PABs will be retained—borrowers can still issue debt at a significantly lower interest rate than interest rates on taxable bonds. According to Senior Housing News, without PABs, overall CCRC development would’ve come to a stand-still.

Who benefits from the tax cuts? Across the board, tax rates are lowered for everyone, but they are lowered the most for the highestincome taxpayers. Seniors in high-income households, with the majority of their income from investments, will benefit from cuts in corporate taxes. Another exemption—the estate tax exemption— allows seniors to avoid federal estate tax on the first $22 million of their bequests. Those making $430,000 or more would get an average tax cut of $26,000 in 2019. The estate tax exemption would jump from $11.2 million for singles and

$22.4 million for couples, helping the top 1 percent of the population. The top 4,918 tax returns contribute $17 billion in taxes. Those making less than $33,000/year will see no difference (because their income is primarily from Social Security, and they pay very little in federal income tax), and those making from $33-56,000 would get an average tax cut of 9 percent. The additional standard deduction, for filers 65 and over or blind, allows filers to claim an additional $1,300 when they file their 2018 taxes. Single filers who are blind or over 65 are eligible for a standard deduction of an additional $1,600, in addition to the $12,000 they’ll get from the new tax law.

Owned and operated by AMERICAN BAPTIST HOMES OF THE MIDWEST, a not-for-profit provider of senior health care since 1930. 14850 SCENIC HEIGHTS RD, STE 125, EDEN PRAIRIE MN 55344

The Community At Franklin Park 1535 Park Avenue Denver, CO 80218



The Community at Franklin Park is a faith-based, not-for-profit senior living community. Our mission is to create healthy Christian communities that empower older adults. We provide choices for housing, services, and technology that enrich body, mind and spirit.

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Franklin Park Newsletter Summer 2018  

Franklin Park Newsletter Summer 2018

Franklin Park Newsletter Summer 2018  

Franklin Park Newsletter Summer 2018