AT THORNE CREST
Thorne Crest Receives National Recognition How Thorne Crest Is Watching the Sugar
The New Tax Law Explained
Welcome Home to an Award-Winning Community!
I couldn’t be more proud of our entire team of professionals here at Thorne Crest Senior Living Community! Their attention to detail and tremendous care of residents helped us earn three prestigious awards this past year.
The first honor was Thorne Crest being named the “Large Business of the Year” at the annual Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce membership celebration. The award was based on outstanding resident and employee testimonials, a long list of community service participation, and a history of involvement in our local chamber. In October we received the news that we were, again, named one of the “Best Nursing Homes” by U.S. News and World Report, the global authority in health care rankings. U.S. News evaluated more than 15,000 nursing homes nationwide, in every state and nearly 100 major metropolitan areas, to select the best of the best. The Best Nursing Homes ratings were designed to help families select the right nurs-
SUMMER :: 2018
ing home for a loved one—with the quality care they deserve—when that time comes.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that ranks all US nursing homes, awarded Thorne Crest five-stars in their Five-Star Quality Rating System. The system is designed to help consumers, their families, and caregivers compare nursing homes more easily and to identify areas where questions are commonly asked. Nursing homes with five stars are considered to be much above average in quality. There is one overall five-star rating and a separate rating for each of the following three: Health Inspections, Staffing, and Quality Measures. Besides the three awards mentioned above, Thorne Crest was also recently featured in a trade publication, the Lake Superior Quality Innovation Network Newsletter, providing up-to-date information on state and federal regulations, improvement initiatives, educational offerings, and
long-term care news. The article, “The Right People in the Room: Thorne Crest’s Successful Quality Improvement,” recognized us for our diligence in working to improve quality measures. We will continue to be innovative in our approach to senior care and attention to quality to ensure residents can take pride in coming home to an award-winning community.
~Chris Schulz , Thorne Crest Administrator
100-year Old Thorne Crest Resident Publishes Book By Sarah Kocher. Reprinted with permission of the Albert Lea Tribune. Photos by Sarah Kocher One hundred years later, Doris DeNeui is revisiting her childhood.
On April 6, DeNeui had a book signing at Thorne Crest Senior Living Community to celebrate the publication of her children’s book, “Miss Mahoolala: A Coloring Book (with a family history).” The coloring book is dedicated to her mother, to whom she presented the first edition at a 1994 family reunion. “I just thought that I would like to do something for her,” DeNeui said. In verse, the coloring book is a catalog of DeNeui’s silly behavior from when she was young. DeNeui is Miss Mahoolala — it was what her mother called her.
is open to the community.
The illustrations, created by professional illustrator and DeNeui’s nephew, Dean E. Lindberg, had been prepared for the reunion edition. The few extra verses DeNeui wrote later for the published version are accompanied by blank pages, presented as spaces for children to draw their own pictures. The illustrations are all black and white for children to color in, and the details depict DeNeui’s childhood home as she remembers it. “Those pictures are really accurate to the house,” DeNeui’s daughter, Bette Jensen, said.
“I don’t even remember that, but she did,” DeNeui said. After the family reunion, DeNeui said she stuck the coloring book in a drawer and forgot about it. She found it in September, near her 100th birthday. After running it by her daughter and youngest son, DeNeui decided to publish the book. Her son, Paul, took all the loose pictures and material, put the book together and had it published. He had published through Amazon before, so DeNeui was able to use the account he had set up to get her book online. She got her proof copy just after Christmas. “I thought it would be kind of a fun thing to sign the book,” DeNeui said. She worked with Thorne Crest Administrator Chris Schultz to set up the signing. She will have 50 copies of the book for sale, and the signing
Thorne Crest resident Doris DeNeui displays her recently published book engineer father. The open stairway up from the living room is right, as is the mirror above the fireplace. The illustrator had his own memory from his grandparents’ house to draw from while illustrating. DeNeui said she chose a coloring book because she knew they were popular right now. Jensen said she is glad her mother continues to want to share with other people. “I’m really proud of her for wanting to do something like this,” she said. It’s not the first time. This is DeNeui’s third piece of work, following a memoir she wrote at 90 and another about her parents’ life.
“Miss Mahoolala” was illustrated by DeNeui’s nephew, Dean E. Lindberg, who is also a professional illustrator. There’s the pokers by the fireplace, designed by DeNeui’s mechanical
“She told us when she was 90, ‘Don’t expect any more books from me,’” son-in-law Doug Jensen said. Then, at 100, along came “Miss Mahoolala.” Books are $6.95 and are available at Amazon.com.
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 here at Thorne Crest. But what about when you’re craving something sweet? As we age, we actually 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
1201 Garfield Avenue Albert Lea, MN, 56007 Phone 507-373-2311 ThorneCrest.net
AT THORNE CREST
Thorne Crest 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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Thorne Crest Newsletter Summer 2018