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50 December 2012 | The magazine for active, mature lifestyles

plus!

Saavy Senior: Benefits for Older Veterans and Their Families

3

ADRC: Caregivers are backbone of care system

4

Taking care of two generations?

5

health column : Choose Medicare Plan Carefully Marv Moore, PharmD

6

The Medicare Age Is Still 65

7

Financial column: Failure to Thrive Is Your Loved One Declining?

11

Paul Wallander

Fall-prevention: Strategies Boomers Can Fall in Love With

12

Travel: Plan Ahead and Protect Your Health

14

benefits 8 The Of a working FEATURE STORY:

retirement


50 plus!

8-9

On the Cover: 

The benefits Of a working retirement Professor Steve Good teaches mathematics at UW-Manitowoc campus. He is among workers who have decided to work beyond retirement age.

Holiday Fair

Sue Pischke/50 Plus

Staff Pat Pankratz, 50 Plus! Editor 920-686-2138 ppankratz@htrnews.com Tami Gasch, Advertising Manager 920-684-4433 tgasch@htrnews.com

Left: The Manitowoc Senior Center choir, Singing Silver Memories, back, perform songs as people sit and enjoy their food during the annual holiday fair at the Manitowoc Senior Center recently, in Manitowoc.

50 Plus! is published monthly by the Herald Times Reporter. It also is distributed to select businesses in Manitowoc County.

Right: Don Gollata of Manitowoc works on a watercolor painting as others shop for art and crafts during the holiday fair. Photos by Matthew Apgar/50 Plus

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Benefits for Older Veterans and Their Families Dear Savvy Senior, I would like to find out what kinds of veterans benefits are available to older vets and their spouses? My dad served four years in the Army during the Korean War, and I’m curious to see if there are any VA benefits that he or my mom may qualify for. What can you tell me? Searching Son Dear Searching: That’s a great question. There are actually millions of older veterans and their families who don’t take advantage of the VA benefits they’re entitled to because they either don’t know they exist or they don’t think they would qualify for them. Here’s what you and your parents should know.

Underused Benefits While the VA provides a wide range of commonly-known benefits and services for its veterans – like health care, education support through the GI Bill and home loans – they also provide a bevy of lesser-known benefits that were specifically created to help senior veterans and their family members, as well as their survivors. To be eligible, however, your parent’s income and assets in most cases will

CORRECTION In the November edition of 50 Plus, an incorrect title was provided for Dr. Steven Driggers. He is Vice President Network Physician Services/Chief Medical Officer at Holy Family Memorial.

need to be below certain limits, and your dad’s discharge from the military must have been under conditions other than dishonorable. Here’s a breakdown of four benefits that are often overlooked by older vets and their families. Veterans Pension: This is available to limitedincome veterans that are age 65 and older or are totally disabled, who served at least 90 days of active military service with at least one day of service during a period of war (stateside or overseas). To be eligible, your parent’s assets will generally need to be under $80,000 not counting their house and vehicle, and their annual “countable income” must be under $15,493 or $11,830 for a single veteran. Countable income includes earnings, disability and retirement payments, interest and dividends, and net income from business or farming, minus medical expenses if they exceed at least 5 percent of their total income. Death Pension: This is available to low-income surviving spouses and dependents of wartime veterans whose death was not related to military service. To receive this benefit, a surviving spouse’s annual income must be under $7,933, or under $9,696 if she is housebound (minus medical expenses), with cash assets under $80,000. Aid and Attendance: This little known benefit can help elderly veterans and their spouses pay for in-home care, an assisted living facility or nursing home care. It pays up to $1,949 per month, in addition to the monthly pension benefits. To qualify, the veteran must be 65 or older (or permanently disabled), have served during wartime and meet certain financial and medical requirements.

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for mental incapacity also qualifies. And to qualify financially, your parent’s annual income as a couple (minus medical and long-term care expenses) cannot exceed $23,396; $19,736 for a single veteran; or $12,681 for a surviving spouse. And their assets must be less that $80,000, excluding their home and car. Burial Benefits: Regardless of income and assets, this benefit provides all veterans, spouses and dependents a free burial at a national cemetery and a free grave marker. Unfortunately, funeral or cremation costs are not covered. However, some veterans may qualify for a $300 funeral allowance and $300 for a plot if they choose

to be buried in a private cemetery. To learn more see www.cem.va.gov.

VA Resources A good place to learn about all types of veterans benefits is at the online at www.ebenefits.va.gov or www.vba.va.gov. Or, contact your regional VA office or local veterans service organization, where you can get personalized help and assistance in filing claims. See www. va.gov/statedva.htm for contact information or call the VA benefits helpline at 800-827-1000. Send your questions to Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today Show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.

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50 plus! . December 2012 . 3


ADRC: Caregivers are backbone of care system BY JUDY RANK

Open Enrollment

On Nov. 1, President Barack Obama issued a Presidential Proclamation in honor of National Family Caregivers Month. This year’s theme for the month was “Family Caregivers Matter.”

Open enrollment into a different Part D prescription drug program or into a different advantage plan will be ending Dec. 7. It is important to review your Part D plan every year during open enrollment to be certain that you are in the most cost effective plan for the following year.

Family Caregivers are the unacknowledged backbone of the nation’s long-term care system. They provide daily assistance to manage health care and personal care, while enabling their loved ones to stay in the community longer. Please take time this month to say thanks to a family caregiver. They matter in making sure medications are taken and doctor appointments are kept. They matter in reducing health care costs and avoiding hospital readmissions. Family caregivers matter to each other. The Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Lakeshore offers several caregiver support groups, educational classes, and individual caregiver counseling. A six-week educational series “Powerful Tools for Caregiving” is offered several times throughout the year for family caregivers. The series focuses on “Taking Care of You” and stresses that caregivers need to first care for themselves, in order to be healthy enough to care for another. Please call the ADRC at (920) 683-4180 and ask for Lynn for more information or to sign up for a class.

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Appropriate

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Advanced Planning Makes Sense Your locally owned Funeral Homes and All-Care Cremation Center

Christmas dinner also will be served this year at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church, Two Rivers.

All residents at The Court and Villa, assisted living options, benefit from:

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Faith Free Church in Manitowoc is once again the host site for a community Christmas dinner. They will also deliver a meal for Manitowoc residents who are currently receiving home-delivered meals through the ADRC office and who will be spending Christmas alone. You may contact Alyssa at the ADRC at (920) 683-4180 if you are in need of a meal. Individuals wishing to attend the meal may call the church at (920) 684-7208 to RSVP or for more information.

For those of you still receiving your Social Security and SSI by check, you have until March 2013 to change to either direct deposit to your bank or credit union account or into a direct express debit card account. If you do not make a choice by March 1, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Treasury may send your benefits via the Direct Express card program. The Direct

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The Direct Express card will have your monthly benefit deposited directly into your card account on payment day. The card can be used to pay bills, make purchases, or get cash at thousands of locations. You can apply online for electronic transfer or contact your local Social Security office.

These plans change their monthly fee, add or increase the deductible, or drop drugs from their formulary, which can increase expenses that can be lessened or avoided by choosing a different plan. Trained counselors are available at the Two Rivers Senior Center, Manitowoc Senior Center, and the ADRC office. Please call the respective Senior Center or the ADRC for an appointment. Reviewing and changing to a more appropriate plan can result in several hundred dollars in savings.

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Taking care of two generations?

Parents in the Middle

Tips for

number to make a reservation is (920) 793-4043. Transportation is available by contacting the same number. Volunteers also are willing to deliver meals to individual homes for the homebound.

Whether it’s a disagreement among friends, a conflict at work or a face-off between family members, no one likes to be in the middle. Yet that’s exactly where millions of Americans live, these days: between two generations of loved ones that need their time and attention.

Shopping When shopping for seniors, remember the most appreciated items are those that don’t take up space, need to be cleaned or dusted around, and you can’t trip over them. Grocery cards, prepaying utility bills and rent, beauty or barber shop gift certificates, and transportation passes are some items well appreciated.

About 44 percent of people age 45 to 55 have at least one living parent and one minor child (younger than 21), according to an AARP report. U.S. Census Bureau statistics show that millions of American households now include multiple generations — grandparents, their adult children and grandchildren. And many more people care for an aging parent living in a different

Judy Rank is executive director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Lakeshore.

state or have a child who requires frequent medical attention or ongoing care. “Taking care of multiple generations — keeping everyone up to date, tracking medications or key contacts, to managing personal records or private family information — can be a challenge for anyone,” says Jonathan Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of CareZone, a private organizational site for families. “Help is available, though, for those that want it. Innovation can simplify your life, and give you more time to care for yourself and other priorities.”

Parents in the Middle continued on page 7

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50 plus! . December 2012 . 5


Choose Medicare Plan Carefully health column Marv Moore, PharmD is a pharmacist and owner of The Medicine Shoppe in Two Rivers. He can be reached at (920) 794-1225.

This is a great time of year. Blaze orange-clad men and women head to the woods in search of the elusive whitetail. The wonderful smell of turkey, mashed potatoes, and cranberries fills our kitchens. Football season is in full swing, and at least in recent years, we’ve had much to cheer about as both the Badgers and the Packers have had postseason aspirations. Unfortunately, along with the good comes some bad - in what’s becoming a new tradition for many - the daunting

task of choosing next year’s Medicare Part D plan is in full swing. My purpose here is to provide a few pointers that should help in finding a plan that’s best for you.

1. If you are Internet-savvy, go to the medicare.gov website and click on “Find Health and Drug Plans.” From here you can enter your current list of medication, choose a pharmacy, and compare the different plans that are available. Be careful when entering your medication list though. Picking

the wrong dose or dose form (tablet vs. capsule) can sometimes skew the information that is provided.

2.

Consider the entire annual cost of each plan. One should consider the monthly premium as well as the deductible amount and the co-pay structure. Don’t fall into the trap of picking a plan based solely on its monthly premium.

3.

Consider whether a plan will allow you to use the pharmacy of your choice. Some plans, but not all, have restricted networks – meaning you may pay different prices at different pharmacies. And some will penalize you for using a local community pharmacy instead of their own out of state mail order facility. So if you value the relationship you have with your local pharmacist choose a plan that will allow that to continue.

4. Review the formulary of each plan to make sure that you will be able to continue with your current medication regimen. Each Part D plan has a different formulary, which means you have to research whether a particular drug is covered, and if covered, what tier it is in. The tier is important because the

higher tier drugs typically have higher co-pays associated with them.

5. Ask for help but be wary. Some sources of information may not have your best interest in mind or may not consider the big picture. On the surface a plan may look like a good one until you realize one of your medications was left off the list or that your current pharmacy of choice is non-preferred. Consider asking your pharmacist for help in wading through the massive amount of information that’s out there. Seniors in Wisconsin have another choice – SeniorCare. For someone taking a small number of low cost medications this could be a good option. There is no monthly premium with SeniorCare and no restriction on which pharmacy you can use. So don’t forget about that option as well. Lastly you can take comfort in knowing that if you’re not happy with a plan that you’ve chosen, you haven’t made a lifelong commitment. Just like the smell of turkey in the oven and Packer football, the tradition of choosing a Medicare Part D plan will be part of next fall as well.

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Parents in the Middle continued from page 5

Schwartz offers some advice for parents and families looking for help when they care for loved ones. First and foremost, look for privacy — Technology can help save time and energy, but look for tools without ads, and with strong security. Ads imply your information is being sold to marketers. Look for commitments from the companies and products you use that assure you’re in charge, and only you control who has access to information you manage about your children or parents. Share responsibilities — Trying to manage everything alone is a recipe for exhaustion, disappointment and even depression, especially if you’re taking care of a chronically ill loved one or infirm older parent. Engage other loved ones for help. CareZone -users can designate “helpers” for each person they’re taking care of, and share important information about that person with helpers. Importantly, you’re always in control. Create a master list — Having bits and pieces of important information like phone numbers for doctors, lawyers and accountants, on-line accounts and passwords, etc. — scattered throughout

your home makes it difficult to put your hands on information when you need it. Create a master list that incorporates vital information, and make sure it’s easily accessible to those that require it in an emergency. There’s no reason you have to be a single point of failure when it comes to information access. CareZone provides a shareable contact list, alongside tools to help manage private notes, and to upload private scans, documents and files.

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Gather documents in one place — From therapist”s reports and immunization records, to living wills and financial statements, you probably need to keep track of folders full of important information. Organizing hard copies of everything can be difficult — and it takes up a lot of space in your home. If you choose an online organizational tool, look for one that is ad-free and secure, where family members can manage private information associated with a child or older parent whom they’re caring for.

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“Taking care of those we love can be hard work, but it doesn’t have to be an overwhelming burden,” Schwartz says. “Getting and staying organized, and sharing responsibilities with family and helpers can help make caring for a parent, spouse, sibling or child easier — and more rewarding.”

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medicare

The Medicare Age Is Still 65  If you’re in your sixties, you probably know that the age to receive full retirement benefits has changed. But it’s important to remember that the age to begin receiving Medicare has not — it is still 65. Even if you have decided to wait until after you are age 65 to apply for retirement benefits, most people should start getting Medicare coverage at age 65. If you would like to begin your Medicare

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coverage when you first become eligible, we suggest that you apply within three months of reaching age 65.  You can do it online in as little as 10 minutes at www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly. At the website, you’ll find more than just the online Medicare application. You’ll also find information about Medicare, and have the opportunity to watch some short videos about applying for Medicare online. One is a family reunion for the Medicare Age continued on page 14

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50 plus! . December 2012 . 7


The benefits Of a

working retirement

Professor Steve Good interacts with a math student at UW-Manitowoc. Sue Pischke/50 Plus BY TARA MEISSNER 50 PLUS CORRESPONDENT MANITOWOC — UW-Manitowoc professor Steve Good is among the 18 percent of Americans 65 and older who remain in the labor force. Good, 67, taught for 39 years as a math teacher at Washington Jr. High in Manitowoc. When he retired in 2006, he had also been teaching evening classes at the local UW center. Good also officiates at swim meets and has for the past 35 years.

8 . December 2012 . 50 plus!

“When I retired, and I knew it was time to retire,” he said, “my wife was and is still working. As long as she is working, I needed something to do.”

and evaluation. He likes that he has few meetings and isn’t burdened with the requirements of younger professors working toward tenure.

When additional classes opened up at the university he began to put in more hours teaching. Depending on the needs at the campus, Good teaches either two or three classes each semester. The classes are Introductory College Algebra and College Algebra.

“I’m doing what I love to do, which is teach,” Good said. “I come here, do my job, and leave.”

Good spends two days a week in the classroom and an additional day at his campus office doing planning

Good approaches lessons by equating textbook problems to real life predicaments such as currency exchange and amortizing loans. He works to make math valid and fun for the students by letting them know real-life examples of math.


“If they seem to realize math is important then they have a tendency to try a little harder,” Good said. “I have been told, I explain things in a way that they can understand.” In a survey done last year, the Society of Actuaries found that 55 percent of older Americans who continued working said they had done so to stay active and involved, while 51 percent said they had done so for additional income. For Good, it’s a little of both. “Because of the extra income, it is giving us some opportunities,” he said. They travel more, including trips to Europe the past two springs and other trips including to Alaska, Montana, and Canada. “It’s fun, because extensively,” he said.

we

never

traveled

However, the scheduled work and responsibility gives Good something other than income. “If I wasn’t teaching I am not sure what I’d do,” he said. “I don’t hunt or fish. I need to keep busy, because it keeps me younger.” Working Retirement continued on page 12

How does working past ‘full retirement age’ affect social security benefits? Full retirement age (also called “normal retirement age”) had been 65 for many years. However, beginning with people born in 1938 or later, that age gradually increases until it reaches 67 for people born after 1959.

There is a formula to determine how much your benefit must be reduced:

You can work while you receive Social Security retirement (or survivors) benefits. When you do, it could mean a higher benefit for you in the future. Higher benefits can be important to you later in life and increase the future benefit amounts your family and your survivors could receive.

In the year you reach full retirement age, $1 in benefits is deducted for every $3 you earn above a different limit, but only earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age are counted.

While you are working, your earnings will reduce your benefit amount only until you reach your full retirement age. After you reach full retirement age your benefit amount is recalculated to leave out the months when benefits were reduced or withheld due to your excess earnings.

If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, $1 is deducted from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. (For 2012, that limit is $14,640.)

If you will reach full retirement age in 2012, the limit on your earnings for the months before full retirement age is $38,880. (If you were born in 1946 or 1947, your full retirement age is 66 years.) Starting with the month you reach full retirement age, you can get your benefits with no limit on your earnings. Caution: If you apply for

benefits more than six months after you reach full retirement age, benefits will only be paid for the previous six months. Note: If your earnings will be over the limit, but you will be retired for part of the year, there is a special rule that applies to your earnings for one year. The special rule means SS cannot deduct excess earnings from any whole month it considers you retired, regardless of your yearly earnings. If you are not already receiving benefits, be sure to contact social security at the beginning of the year you reach full retirement age. Even if you are still working, you may be able to receive some or all of your benefits for the months before you reach full retirement age. The number for the local office is 1-877-409-8430. Source: http://www.seniorcare.net/ www.socialsecurity.gov.

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Crossword: REALITY TV

sudoku 48. Like an adoring mom 50. Carbon monoxide lacks this 52. Heavy-duty cleanser 53. D in DINK 55. Blue 57. *Like a certain TV race 61. Exposes 65. Actor Matt _____ 66. Rocks in a bar 68. Pool problem 69. Faulkner’s “As I Lay _____” 70. Yes move 71. Writer behind a writer 72. Cold ____ 73. Gloppy stuff 74. *John and Kate plus how many?

Fill in the blank squares in the grid, making sure that every row, column and 3-by-3 box includes all digits 1 through 9. Crossword and Sudoku solutions on page 15.

DOWN

ACROSS 1. “Wheel of Fortune” purchase 6. Christian minister, abbr. 9. *”Jersey Shore” stars jump in and out of them 13. Popeye’s gal 14. “... ___ he drove out of sight” 15. Cuba Gooding, Jr. 2003 role 16. Calculus calculation

17. “Lend me your ___” 18. Furnish with a fund 19. *”Bravo” cook 21. *TV’s largest family 23. Toni Morrison’s “___ Baby” 24. It’s everywhere you want to be? 25. Y, so to say 28. Places 30. Curved, as in foot 35. Argonauts’ propellers 37. Shakespearean

“does” 39. Type of TV show 40. Actress ____ Perlman 41. Erasable programmable read-only memory 43. Echoed by the flock 44. John _____ of The Age of the Enlightenment 46. Fodder holder 47. Painter ____ Chagall

1. Electrical unit 2. Hodgepodge 3. Like one who lacks confidence 4. Put out on a curb 5. “___ Weapon” 6. Great Barrier ____ 7. E in BCE 8. “Rigoletto” composer 9. “The Big ____ Theory” 10. Primary source for Scandinavian mythology 11. Late designer Christian ____ 12. Girl hogs 15. Perceive or think about in a particular way 20. Grind down

22. *Future home network for “Partners in Crime” 24. Venomous talk 25. *MTV’s “The Real _____” 26. Cowboy’s cry of joy 27. Not slouching 29. *Entering its 25th season 31. Pull an all-nighter 32. Middle Eastern porter 33. Salon file 34. *So you think you can do this? 36. Goes well with sushi 38. Phone button

42. Natasha Fatale’s enemy 45. Concluding or finishing 49. *It’s often bought on “Pawn Stars” 51. What pirates do 54. Wine ripening 56. Indian metropolis 57. Contributes 58. Waldorf salad ingredient 59. Arabian chieftain 60. Type of defense 61. Word processor command 62. Bug-eyed 63. Mascara site 64. Badger’s den 67. Bird word

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Failure to Thrive Financial column Paul Wallander is affiliated with the Fiscal Concierge, a bill-paying service for the elderly in Manitowoc. Contact the agency at (920) 686-8810.

Is Your Loved One Declining? We have all seen it happen in someone we know as they aged – suddenly they can’t move around like they used to or they repeatedly lose their train of thought in conversations. This kind of decline is known as Adult Failure to Thrive (AFTT) and it can manifest rapidly in a person of advanced age in four main ways: physical impairment, malnutrition, depression, and mental or cognitive failure. Physical decline becomes evident in small ways. It can start with struggling to walk through the house or just getting out of a chair. Even standing can be difficult. The more our loved ones struggle with physical activities, the quicker the decline as they are prone to stay inactive instead of concentrating on how to do something that once came

easily. Their appetite can diminish over time, and when compounded with the other elements of AFTT, it can result in poor eating habits and malnourishment. Dehydration and a failing immune system can result.

Forgetfulness, lack of concentration and trouble forming a coherent thought are all signs of cognitive failure. This can lead to troubles outside the bodily problems of AFTT and lead to financial and physical failure in the world around them. From forgetting to pay bills to leaving the stove on, the problems of AFTT can compound and leave aging loved ones in harm’s way. AFTT is, unfortunately, a phenomenon that doesn’t have a specific cure. It also doesn’t just go away. However, there are ways we can try to minimize the onset and cope with its effects. 

Quiet countryy living g next to the p park in Kellnersville, WI

WI-5001583212

If they are unable to get around on their own, keep their minds active through games and puzzles, or simply sit down for interactive conversations. Social interaction helps keep an older adult’s mind engaged and helps limit the onset and severity of depression. Try to keep up regular visits and do what you can to arrange other visits, whether from family or friends.

In addition to interacting with older adults, it might be beneficial to review any medication that they are taking. Depression is not uncommon as we Any changes in behavior or increase age and can stem from any number of in AFTT can be a result of side effects sources. It can be a result of the physical of anything, even a prescription or problems, a solitary lifestyle, and Word medication Search Puzzlethat they have been taking ongoing or chronic health concerns. It for a long time. If you suspect that a can serve as both a cause and result of medication is causing decline, check AFTT as it can compound with each with their physician for their advice. new struggle.

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In order to stem the physical decline, simple exercise such as walking can help. If you are running errands for your loved one, bring them along, whether it is to the grocery store, pharmacy, or the bank. This provides them with an opportunity to move and alter their daily experiences to stimulate both their body and mind.

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Keeping tabs on their diet can also slow oncoming failure to thrive symptoms. Make sure they are eating properly and not willfully refusing to eat. Regular nutritious meals contribute to continued

physical, mental, and emotional health. Again, a physician can help determine what foods, vitamins, and supplements may be most beneficial. Even taking these steps and being mindful about decline in our loved ones, AFTT can still take its toll. As a caregiver or concerned loved one, we may need to make arrangements to ensure the physical and mental decline does not snowball beyond the things we can control. If physical health is quickly diminishing, it may be time to consider an independent or assisted living facility to make sure our loved ones have the help they need in an emergency. Even if they are not to that level of need, it doesn’t hurt to walk through their home and make sure their main areas are clear and easy to move through.

Another concern to address is their finances. If your loved one is struggling with ATFF symptoms, they can quickly lose track of their bills and fall http://puzzlemaker.di desperately behind in their financial responsibilities. A bill paying service is a safe and reliable alternative to the worry that they will have creditors calling. While AFTT is a reality of growing old, it doesn’t mean that the end is near. Being aware of the symptoms and how to react to them can put off decline and ensure many more great years.

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O R N A M E N T S Z Q L X O F T U S T E

CAROLS

E E M R S R D N P T L K Z K I L R S I U

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50 plus! . December 2012 . 11


Working Retirement continued from page 9

Good is in good company — three of his colleagues from Washington are retired and teach at the center. However, a lot of Good’s chronological peers are no longer working. Working part-time affords Good the ability to enjoy both work and retirement. Every Monday he plays golf at a different course with a group of four to 10 people, depending on who is available. “I get recreation in, so that’s fun,” he said. With more free time than his wife, Lynn, who works full time at Head Start as a program support manager, Good does all the cooking. “Lynn loves it, because she comes home from work and dinner is on the table,” he said. “When we were both working full time, we’d cook together.” It’s hard for Good to predict how long he’ll continue to work, but he guesses it will be until his wife, who is 66, retires. “We are both healthy and continue to enjoy what we are doing,” he said. “When this becomes a job where I don’t feel like coming in, it’s time to give it up.” Tara Meissner is a freelance writer in Manitowoc. She can be reached at 920-860-6957 or tarameissner@yahoo.com .

Fall-prevention

Strategies Boomers Can

Fall in Love With You’re only as old as you feel, which is great news for today’s baby boomers, as 61 percent report they feel younger than their true age. But despite feeling great, the reality is that adults may need to make minor changes to their homes and lifestyles to ensure they can continue to enjoy safe, healthy and independent lives. If you are part of this demographic, you’re likely thinking, ‘Not me. Not yet.’ But did you know that one in three older Americans falls every year, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention? Falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injuries for people aged 65 and older.-

Skilled Nursing &

Don’t worry - protecting yourself from falls does not mean using a walker or wearing an alert siren. Try these simple tips to protect yourself from becoming a fall statistic, while improving your home and lifestyle.

Get Moving

of four types of exercises: endurance, such as walking, cycling or swimming; flexibility, which includes stretching before and after endurance workouts; balance, such as walking on a line or stepping over small objects, and strength, which is using resistance or weights to target core muscles.

It’s no wonder that 50-years-plus is the fastest growing segment of the fitness population. In addition to maintaining a healthy weight, regular exercise improves your leg strength and balance - both of which are important in reducing falls.

Prepare Your Home

Experts at the National Institute of Health recommend that seniors enjoy a combination

Grab bars are the most common bath safety product installed, and brands such as Moen Home Care

According to the Home Safety Council, more falls occur in the bathroom than any other room in the home. But don’t fear, adding safety to your bathroom can add exquisite styling as well.

Hamilton Care Center offers:

Rehabilitation Redefined

Private and Semi-private rooms Inpatient and Outpatient Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy. Our therapists are trained in Lymphedema Therapy, Continence Treatment, Orthopedics and Neurological Treatment, including neuropathy. Licensed qualified social service professionals. Activities geared toward all levels of function. Caring, compassionate staff eager to meet your needs.

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Bathroom modifications can go a long way toward preventing falls as you get older. offer stylish Designer Grab Bars with Accessories, which combine the safety benefits of a grab bar with common bath essentials. Options include a towel bar, a paper holder, a straight shelf and a corner shelf, making each item functional and fashionable. Plus, each is available in popular finishes such as Chrome, Brushed Nickel and Old World Bronze, to coordinate with the rest of your bath.

daily. However, these remedies may have been prescribed by different doctors - and could unknowingly cause side effects such as dizziness or drowsiness, which can increase the risk of falls. Speak with your physician to ensure that your medications will not interact with other drugs. Programmed pill boxes are also a great idea to keep your prescriptions organized and help you remember what to take and when.

Next, add style and peace of mind in the shower by adding a Fold-Down Shower Seat. Unlike traditional bath seats that can be intrusive, this wall-mount design from Moen Home Care folds down for a comfortable and secure shower seat to avoid slips and falls - yet folds up for a thin, compact profile when not in use. Plus, the teak wood and stylish metal trim will accentuate the look of even the most upscale shower.

Eat Right

For the final step to your safety-upgraded bathroom, increase the amount of lighting. Researchers have found that by the time a person is 60 years old, he or she needs up to 15 times more light than when that person was 10 years old. Add higher-wattage bulbs or even additional lamps to the room for improved illumination.

Especially important to reduce falls is to increase foods that are high in calcium and vitamin D, such as milk and dairy, which help keep bones strong. Maintaining a healthy weight through proper eating is also essential, as added weight can cause instability, leading to falls.

Assess Your Medications Since boomers buy 77 percent of all prescription drugs sold, chances are that you take more than one medication

You are what you eat ... which is why a healthy diet is very important to older adults. In fact, healthy eating can reduce the risk for many conditions, including anemia, confusion, hip fractures, hypotension and wounds. Experts note that older adults generally require fewer calories in their diet than other age groups - but need more nutrition.

With these few simple updates to your home and lifestyle, you’ll soon feel better about yourself and your home - and can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you’re doing the best to reduce the risk of becoming a fall statistic.

Recovery Isn’t Simply a Goal, It’s Our Mission. When people leave the hospital, they often need continued care in order to recover completely. That’s where we come in. Our nursing and rehabilitation center provides intensive, short-term rehabilitation and compassionate long-term care with specialties in the areas of wound care, diabetes management, and cardio rehab. We invite you to pay us a visit and see for yourself what outstanding healthcare is all about. Learn more about our award-winning care at www.nrmrc.com

1445 North 7th Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220 920.682.0314 • 920.682.0553 fax • www.nrmrc.com

Dedicated to Hope, Healing and Recovery © 2011 Kindred Healthcare Operating, Inc. CSR

WI-5001566795

50 plus! . December 2012 . 13


Medicare Age

Travel

continued from page 7

cast of The Patty Duke Show. In another, Patty Duke and George Takei go boldly where you should be going — online. Why go online to apply for Medicare? Because it’s fast, easy, and secure. You don’t need an appointment and you can avoid waiting in traffic or in line. As long as you have 10 minutes to spare, you have time to complete and submit your online Medicare application. People who started receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits before age 65 do not need to apply; they will be automatically enrolled in Medicare. There is no additional charge for Medicare hospital insurance (Part A) since you already paid for it by working and paying Medicare tax. However, there is a monthly premium for medical insurance (Part B). If you already have other health insurance when you become eligible for Medicare, you should consider whether you want to apply for the medical insurance. To learn more about Medicare and some options for choosing coverage, read the online publication, Medicare, at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10043. html or visit www.Medicare.gov. To learn more about applying for Medicare only using the online application, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov/medicareonly. Ken Hess is the public affairs specialist for Northern Wisconsin.  You can contact him at 1603 Mirro Drive, Manitowoc, Wisconsin 54221 or via email at kenneth.hess@ssa.gov

Plan Ahead and Protect Your Health Getting older means being a little more susceptible to a variety of health problems while traveling. However, with a little planning and some caution, baby boomers and seniors can have a safe, healthy and enjoyable trip. Here are some pre-planning tips to help get you started: Mention your planned travels with your physician. Discuss any medications you’re currently taking, and if you’ll need refills prior to departure. Carry a copy of all your prescriptions with you when you travel. When going abroad, you may also want to know the generic name of your drug in case your prescribed version isn’t available locally. Losing a pill bottle or accidentally breaking a vial of insulin — for example — can very easily happen on a vacation, and if you are touring around a foreign country, you may have difficulty obtaining a refill if you

don’t have this information handy or if your drug is unavailable or sold under a different name. Sign up for travel assistance. Nobody plans to get sick or injured while traveling, but it can happen. And sometimes an injury or illness is severe enough to force the traveler to cut the trip short and seek medical attention. Baby boomers and seniors have trusted doctors at home, and often want to return home immediately for medical care. This is where On Call International’s medical evacuation and travel assistance memberships come in handy. The annual membership and mature membership offer medical evacuations to the hospital of the member’s choice, regardless of whether they can receive appropriate care locally. Visit www.oncallinternational.com/ travel-assistance/individuals to learn more about travel assistance.

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14 . December 2012 . 50 plus!

Let us welcome you home! We take pride in our apartments and it shows! You will be captivated by the beauty you will find in the apartments, common areas, and grounds. For those 50 & up or adults with disabilities we offer rent that is 30% of adjusted gross income & includes utilities. We also offer a low-cost DirecTV package, are located on the bus line, and have a county nutrition site. • Tenant and staff-led activities • Pet-friendly • Large rec room with Wi-Fi, pool table, games and puzzles

Manitou Manor Apartments WI-5001582862

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Visit a travel medicine specialist. You may be required to get new vaccinations when traveling to specific foreign countries. Ask your doctor to recommend a travel medicine specialist who can educate you about the immunizations that are required or recommended for your destination, as well as any other health concerns specific to your destination. Pack over-the-counter supplies. A vacation means getting out and doing new or different activities. This change of pace may result in sore and achy muscles. A vacation also means you might be exposed to new and different germs, which could develop into a traveler’s cold or the flu. Pack some overthe-counter medications to help treat potential symptoms, so you don’t have to take time out of your vacation to search for a pharmacy or drug store. Hopefully you won’t need any of the supplies, but it’s always a good idea to have them handy. With a little pre-planning, you’ll be able to have the relaxing vacation you deserve, while also reducing your chances of encountering common health pitfalls that could put a damper on your trip. BPT

River’s Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center

...helping people live better

“I would certainly make River’s Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center my first Choice.” “I would like to thank all the people at River’s Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center for all the care and attention that they provided me during my short term rehab stay in June of 2012. After it was discovered that I had to have surgery to remove a blood clot in my leg, I decided that I would begin my rehabilitation at River’s Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center. With the help of the staff and the Certified Wound Nurse, I was able to quickly recover from surgery, and in about two weeks, I was back at home living my life. All the nursing staff and therapist showed a tremendous amount of compassion, caring and understanding towards my situation. I was very impressed with all the attention provided to me, including the visit that I received from the Director of Nursing to assure that my wound continued to heal quickly. If I am ever in the need to look for a rehabilitation facility, I would certainly make River’s Bend my first choice. I would recommend River’s Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center to anyone looking for therapy or wound care. Thank you again to all those who participated in my care at River’s Bend.” – Paul Bertler, Rehab Graduate Please call us at 920.684.1144 to find out how we can help you achieve your rehabilitation goals. Schedule a personal consultation and tour of our center today!

960 South Rapids Road ■ Manitowoc, WI 54220 ■ 920.684.1144 www.riversbendskillednursing.com WI-5001582874

50 plus! . December 2012 . 15


CommunityDedication This year, as Shady Lane, Inc. celebrates sixty one years of quality care, we reflect on the dedication of our board, our staff, our donors, our residents and our community – all those we have served through quality, affordable care.

Find out why people...

Think of Us First for comfort of skilled care Designed for living with beautifully decorated and lovely gardens, Shady Lane offers skilled nursing care for short or long-term care, therapy services, social services and hospice care. Medicare and Medicaid Certified.

for planning to get better . . . Recovering after an illness, joint replacement or surgery is a team effort. In fact, it could be called "Team You"! We offer physical, occupational and speech therapy, respiratory services, pain management and neurological, orthopedic and cardiac rehabilitation. Medicare and Medicaid Certified and some private insurances. In-patient or Out-patient Services.

for the joys of home without the work From two bedroom apartments to single bedrooms with private bathrooms, Laurel Grove offers a variety of assisted living options to meet your needs. Enjoy the gardens, optional activities and care-free living. Starting at just $1450 a month including meals!

Now Open! HFM Clinic at Shady Lane Manitowoc’s only not-for-profit citizen directed care facility. 1235 South 24th Street • Manitowoc, WI • www.shadylaneinc.com • 920-682-8254 WI-5001552444

16 . December 2012 . 50 plus!


50 Plus - December2012