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April 2014

plus! The magazine for active, mature lifestyles

Back in 6 the saddle again! The benefits of getting on your high horse

50 plus!


Pat Pankratz, 50 Plus! Editor 920-686-2138 |

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INSIDE 4 ADRC 6 Back in the saddle again 9 Seeing a doctor


during and after menopause

By Dr. Denise Warren

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ON THE COVER: Karen Steingraber of Newton rides “Ego,� a male Appaloosa under the direction of owner Patti Jo Walter, at Francis Creek Fjords in Francis Creek. Matthew Apgar/50 Plus

Dale Mahloch, Advertising Manager 920-686-2124 | 50 Plus! is published monthly by the Herald Times Reporter Media. It also is distributed to select businesses in Manitowoc County.

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Peace of Mind for You and Your Loved Ones.



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Family Center

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Dear Savvy Senior:

Air travel tips for seniors with special needs

Jim Miller

I would like to fly my elderly parents across the country next month for my daughter’s wedding but have some concerns about the flight. My mom has trouble walking long distances and my dad has COPD and needs an oxygen tank. What airport or airline services are available to help old passengers? 

Concerned Daughter

Dear Concerned: Flying can be physically exhausting for anyone, but for seniors with health issues or physical limitations it can be extremely challenging. Here are a few tips that can help.

Booking: When you go to book your parent’s flight, this is the time to make special requests that can help make the trip easier for them. You’ll need to make these requests over the phone.

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For example, you may want to inquire about seats in the front of the plane for easier access or bulkhead seats that provides extra leg room, and you should probably request a wheelchair or two with attendant(s) to maneuver your parents through the airports they will be departing from and arriving to, and if there’s a connecting flight in between. If your parents don’t want a wheelchair, but want some help, ask about electric carts. You also need to check with the airline regarding their policy for portable oxygen concentrators for your dad. Some airlines require specific medical forms that will need to be signed by his doctor.

Airport assistance: If your parents

are flying on their own, you should know that airlines allow elderly fliers to be escorted to and from the gate by a non-traveling companion, as long as the escort provides his or her full name, birth date and government-issued ID. If no one is available to help your parents, find out how the airline can assist them. Delta Airlines, for example, can have an employee help your parents through check-in with 48 hours notice, and American Airlines provides special assistance to passengers with disabilities. Or, consider hiring an independent

company like Royal Airport Concierge Services (, who will meet your parents at the curb to help them check their bags and escort them to security. They typically charge $150 to $250 and serve dozens of airports across the U.S. There are also a number of traveling companion services like and that will do everything, including making the travel arrangements, accompanying your parents on the trip, and facilitating their needs along the way. Fees vary, depending on what’s needed and travel costs.

Going through security:

All U.S. airports offer expedited screening to passengers 75 and older that allows them to move through security without removing their shoes or jacket, and many airports have lanes specifically for use by passengers with disabilities and medical conditions so they don’t have to wait in line. They should ask about these when they check-in. If your parents are packing medications in a carry-on bag, they should know that their pills and/or liquid medications do not have to be packed in their prescription containers to get through airport security, but they will need to separate them from their other belongings so they can be screened. Liquid medications in excess of 3.4 ounces will require separate screening. For more information on other airport security screening policies and procedures visit, or call TSA Cares at 855-787-2227 where you can ask specific questions.

Boarding and deboarding: When

it’s time to board, your parents can take advantage of the airlines’ pre-boarding option for elderly passengers who need some extra time to get on the plane and get settled. And for getting off the plane, they can wait for the other passengers to debark so attendants can assist them with carry-ons and escort them from the plane. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.




. April 2014 . 3

It makes no difference whether you are young or old, male or female, whether you volunteer several hours a week, or a few hours a month or year, volunteer efforts are always appreciated. Whether it is volunteering for your church, your child’s school, your community, or a non-profit agency, every volunteer effort is appreciated and helps to grow a stronger community.

Thank you to all of our volunteers By JUDY RANK April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week. The theme, “Inspiring & Transforming Volunteerism,” is a reminder that we need to recognize and encourage people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their community. A big thank you to the hundreds of community members who volunteer their talents and time to the Aging & Disability Resource Center of the Lakeshore. From serving meals at the senior dining sites to delivering meals to the homebound, or driving people to medical appointments, your efforts are most appreciated as these services help to keep people in their own home. A big thank you also to the volunteers who provide the prevention programming such as Stepping On, Living Well, the Arthritis program, the LEEPS program, or Powerful Tools, as these programs help participants learn ways to stay healthy and safe by finding ways to assist themselves. And then there are also those who assist with the many paperwork projects such as data entry, Medicare Part D enrollment, or Homestead Credit each year.

Skin screening The Kewaunee County Public Health Department and the ADRC will be hosting a free skin screening on Saturday, April 5, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Luxemburg Clinic Prevea Health. This is a chance to have a physician check any new growth on your skin, or a discoloration of your skin, or any moles that have changed color or shape. Please register by calling (920) 388-7160 or visit Space is limited.

Stepping On The Cleveland Meal Site will be host to a seven-week “Stepping On” program beginning Wednesday, April 9, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. The program will meet once a week on Wednesdays, concluding May 21. This is a program for those who are at risk of falling or have had a recent fall. It utilizes the expertise of a physical therapist to teach strength and balance exercises, a low vision specialist to show how vision affects balance, and a pharmacist to explain which drugs can affect balance. To register for this program call the ADRC at

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4 . April 2014 . 50


A “Powerful Tools for Caregiving” program will be starting Monday, April 7, running from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Aurora Medical Center. This is for the family caregiver, to help them understand the need to take care of themselves so that they can be a good caregiver. Adult day services are available during the class period. Please contact Lynn at the ADRC for more information and to register for the program.

Other programs A “Living Well with a Chronic Condition” six-week program will be starting Tuesday, April 8, from 9 to 11:30 a.m. at HFM Harbor Town in Manitowoc. This is for any person who has a chronic condition who could benefit from learning new coping skills because of their condition. A new program “Living with Diabetes” will begin Monday, April 14, at the Two Rivers Senior Center. This seven-week program is specific to people with diabetes. The ADRC and NEW Curative are presenting Session II of Mind Movers on Wednesday, April 30, from 9 to 11 a.m. at St. John Church in Luxemburg. “Rise and Shine” will include a discussion about maintain929 S. 31st Street

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(920) 683-4180 or 1-877-416-7083. You may also contact the facilitator, Pat Sampe, at the Health Department.

ing brain and body health and include some hands-on cognitive activities and exercises. Alyssa Weber, registered dietitian with the ADRC, will discuss the importance of good nutrition and how it affects memory. Breakfast snacks that include “super foods” for your brain will be served and recipes for them will be available. A $5 donation is requested to offset the cost of the food. Please call the ADRC at 1-877-416-7083 to register for this program.

Older Americans Month May is Older Americans Month. The theme this year is “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow.” Older Americans are at higher risk of injury and deaths as a result of an accident. Please mark your calendar for the third annual Senior Fair that will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. on May 22 at the Manitowoc Ice Center. Last year the fair had more than 40 vendors, all community pro-

viders who can assist in helping you stay safe in the community for as long as possible. Attorneys Michelle Birschbach and Alison Petri will be doing a presentation on the changes that have been made to the Estate Recovery Program that were passed as part of the 2013-15 State Budget (Wis. Act 20). There will also be a presentation by the Long Term Care Coalition regarding the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) new policy on how hospitals must code billings, which is resulting in some patients being admitted under “observation” status, which is also considered out-patient services and is not covered by Medicare Part A. More information about the fair will be available in the next issue of 50 Plus. Judy Rank is executive director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Lakeshore.

Exploring the horsehuman bond By Joni Shavlik | 50 Plus correspondent Alice MacGillivray, 61, knew the benefits of horseback riding from her youth. She only had the good fortune to ride a few times and take a few lessons, but the passion was kindled. In her mid-50s she knew that if she was ever to own a horse and ride again, she really couldn’t wait any longer. MacGillivray did a lot of research, so much so that she wrote a book about it! She found Patty Jo Walter in an online community. She found that the Norwegian Fjord is a great beginner horse, and that it is rare to find a well-trained horse.

“This is a way bigger learning curve than I thought it would be,” MacGillivray said, “but I always want to learn new things and I set myself up for success with all of my research.” MacGillivray covers a deep understanding of how horses view us as humans; we are a predator type of species that makes horses uneasy. They are also very intuitive and know Exploring the horse-human bond continued on page 11

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. April 2014 . 5

Back in the saddle

again! The benefits of getting on your high horse

By Joni Shavlik | 50 Plus correspondent Francis Creek Fjords is a breeding, training and riding facility dedicated to the gentle, level-headed golden beauty of the Norwegian Fjord. Many riders over the years have learned to ride dressage, hunt seat and horsemanship from Patty Jo Walter, who owns the 26-acre farm along with her husband, Dave Walter, who also has a full-time job outside the farm. The main barn has nine stalls and an indoor arena. There also is an outdoor arena and some very nice trail rides courtesy of their kind neighbors, who let them use their trails. Aside from the horses, they have a black lab named Luna and the three cats to keep the barns free from unwanted “pets.” Located on a dead-end lane, the farm has a creek running through it, along with two pastures that are mowed so that the horses don’t overeat. Fence lines need to be de-weeded so the electric wire stays hot. The jump field gets mowed so the horses can see the jumps. There are 20 acres of fence line that need to be checked on a regular basis as deer and weather conditions can really do some damage. Aside from the lessons and the care, training and breeding of the horses, there is also a lot of computer work. People need updates on the training of the horses they’ve sent there, and others are looking to buy or sell a Norwegian Fjord. Since Francis Creek Fjords is known as America’s “hub” for the majestic breed, Patty Jo Walter is having to make videos of horses on a frequent basis. All of this work may seem daunting, but not for this 52-year-old. Patty Jo Walter is living her dream! When she was quite young, her father used to travel a lot, and knowing how much his daughter loved horses, he would take photos of them wherever he traveled. The photos of the Norwegian Fjords captivated her and in the late 1980s and 1990s she wanted to find a horse to ride. She researched breeds and found that the horse she already loved was the best level-headed breed for the job. She got her first Fjord in 1994, naming her Lena, who was followed by a stud named Ole. After she began trail riding, her business took off and many girls were taking lessons at the farm.

Older riders Lately though, she has been giving lessons to “nontypical” riding students from the over-50 crowd. “Starting to ride horses later in life is not easy, Karen Steingraber of Newton rides “Ego,” a male Appaloosa at Francis Creek Fjords in Francis Creek. Matthew Apgar/50 Plus

6 . April 2014 . 50


“I have the best lesson horses around,” she said. “Being a mom and a grandma, I know that I have very good horses and can set people up for success.” People who ride once per week have a harder time getting good at riding, but those who ride more frequently improve more quickly. Owning your own horse gives you a “connecting factor” in that you bond with that horse, and they know how you ride them. You also know how your horse will react to changing situations, but the lesson horses tend to be so level-headed, they just do their job, Walter said. Two “older” riders taking lessons at Francis Creek Fjords, Renee Hytry Darrington and Karen Steingraber, each started riding at a much younger age. Steingraber, 67, of Newton, grew up in Florida. The people next door had a son and a daughter. Their daughter really wanted a horse, and they purchased two so that the son also could ride. He had absolutely no interest in them and to Steingraber’s good fortune, she became a riding partner. Learning to ride western, she and her neighbor rode all over, but western riding is different than the dressage method in an English saddle that is taught at Francis Creek Fjords. “The saddle is smaller, there is no horn like there is on the Western saddle, I feel less safe, and now I think about falling off,” Steingraber said. “I didn’t think of that at all when I was younger.” A member at Holy Family Wellness Center, Steingraber takes regular Yoga and Pilates classes and feels more flexible because of it. A strong core, along with flexibility, helps a person stay up on the horse, and the fitness training goes hand-in-hand with good riding form. Another benefit for Steingraber is that she really loves animals. She has three dogs and would get more if she could. She is very attached to her animals, but admits that the size of the horses is very intimidating. She hasn’t quite connect-


‘The hunt’ Hytry Darrington found herself in the Ohio Valley in the heart of a huge thoroughbred culture where the “hunt” was the epitome of an adventurous ride, and jumping was also very popular. She started taking English riding lessons at age 30, owned two thoroughbreds and did the show circuit. After she married at age 45 she stopped riding.

to be rushed.

IIt just makes sense to prepare for the inevitable while emotions are at rest and heads are clear.

“You need to ride four to five times a week or you lose your ‘seat,’” she said, meaning you lose your confidence sitting on a horse, and the horse knows when you are tense. Also there is a posture specific to English riding form, a bit of a forward position in the saddle, loose reigns, that needs to be practiced. Eight years later, Hytry Darrington realized that she still had a passion for riding and a love of horses. At age 53, she was missing it. She travels a lot for work and didn’t want to ride thoroughbreds again because of their high spirit. She didn’t like the idea of jumping either, as falls would be more likely. Fortunately she lives in Manitowoc, with Francis Creek Fjords just a quick jaunt down Interstate 43. She said horses with a level head, and a trainer who is the best at what she does with that breed, made for a very comfortable return to riding for her. “Patty Jo Walter is one of the best trainers of Norwegian Fjords in the country,” Hytry Darrington said. “It’s pretty amazing, she sells horses all over the U.S., and you can get a much higher price tag if the horse is trained well. “She understands the rider; I’m older, hesitant, and she finds me the right mount. She is always in the ring with me, constantly adjusting me with her voice, giving cues.”

Good for fitness The fitness level gained from riding is something that Hytry Darrington, who rides more frequently, has come to appreciate. “People don’t think that it’s exercise,

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Walter has nine “lesson” horses.

Some decisions are too

ed with them yet and is more cautious with age, but she is early in the learning stage of riding dressage.


you lose your flexibility, timing and strength,” Walter said. “You are trying to ride a 1,000-pound animal with a mind of its own, and it’s scary.”

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Back in the Saddle continued on page 10 WI-5001748900



. April 2014 . 7


sudoku Blyton 48. “Not my brother’s ______” 50. Small mountain lake 52. *Seat of a bishop or to regularly date 53. London subway 55. Variable, abbr. 57. Follows teeter 60. *Far away or couch potato’s controller 63. Star bursts 64. *To take drugs or to employ for a purpose 66. Nail salon board 68. *Where happy person walks or Jimmy Fallon works 69. Definite article 70. Rental agreement 71. *Good or water source 72. Long fish 73. Yesteryears

ACROSS 1. Wanderer 6. Equinox mo. 9. *Healing sign or picket line crosser 13. Rossini’s offering 14. Big-headedness 15. Wilderness Road trailblazer 16. Show opposition 17. “High” drink

18. What Pinocchio was doing? 19. *To alter or coins 21. *Shape where A=a≤ or town gathering place 23. Romanian money 24. Small ornamental case 25. Make lacework 28. Applies makeup, e.g. 30. In R.E.M. stage 35. *Regrets or streets in

Paris 37. Giant kettles 39. What helicopter parents do 40. Eurasian mountain range 41. Anemic-looking 43. Delhi dress 44. _____ congestion 46. Arid 47. Children’s author ____

DOWN 1. Affirmative action 2. Oil group 3. “Breaking Bad” product 4. “He’s _ ____ nowhere man” (The Beatles) 5. Repaired by stitching 6. Dole 7. Sensitive subject? 8. _____ beef 9. Miso bean 10. Coconut fiber 11. “Green Gables” girl 12. “Don’t make me ___!” 15. Resembling ocean’s color 20. Jelly fruit 22. In so far as 24. Another spelling for aesthete 25. *Elephant’s appendage or luggage

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 11. 26. Saints’ lights 27. Badger and bug 29. *Fish or Chaliapin’s voice 31. Fail to win 32. Famous restauranteur Bob 33. Bone-chilling 34. *Deadly sin or pack of lions 36. Lover’s blow? 38. Evening in Italy 42. *Audacity or bundle of axons 45. *Infamous scarlet symbol or word from home 49. Part of Parisian address

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Seeing a doctor during and after menopause health By Dr. Denise Warren | HFM Women’s Health

The average age of women when menopause occurs is 51, but it can happen as early as 40 or as late as 55. Some women breeze through this time with few symptoms and others have many uncomfortable symptoms. For some, it’s a time of sadness because their childbearing years are over and for others it’s an opportunity to start another phase of life with new hopes and dreams because monthly menstrual symptoms are over. For most women, menopause comes on naturally on its own; however, sometimes it is medically induced by an operation or medication treating an illness. Some of the symptoms women face are irregular periods, abnormal bleeding, hot flashes, sleeping problems, mood changes, osteoporosis, changes in sexual feelings, urinary and vaginal problems. As women go through this time, other changes in health may occur, such as weight gain and an increase in the risk of stroke and heart disease. These changes happen because of the decrease in the hormones estrogen and progesterone, which are thought to be protective during the childbearing years. It’s an important time to have screenings for blood pressure and possibly other vascular screenings to help determine your heart and vascular health. This is an especially important time for women to make a commitment to taking good care of themselves. It’s important to stay active through exercise, which will help keep your heart healthy, your bones strong and your mood elevated. In addition to aerobic exercise, it’s important to do exercises that build

muscle strength. Eating healthy is also a key to staying well. As we age, metabolism slows down and we need fewer calories but still need key nutrients. Vitamin needs change for women over 50 so it’s very important to choose foods that meet your vitamin needs. It’s important to talk with your doctor about vitamins, and share symptoms you may be having because they could be related to vitamin deficiencies. Blood tests are available to determine low levels of some vitamins. Although your menstrual years are over, it’s still crucial to see your doctor at least once a year. A pelvic exam is recommended annually and a Pap test every three years. However, a Pap test may be recommended more often based on your health history. Mammograms are recommended annually by most physicians because catching breast cancer in its earliest stages dramatically increases survival rates.



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Due to the differences in menopause for each person, it’s especially important to find a doctor who will listen carefully to your symptoms and make recommendations that will work for you. A family physician, internist or gynecologist can do many gynecological screenings, while a gynecologist specializes in treating the symptoms and problems that develop during menopause and the years after. Take time to find a physician who will become a trusted partner during this time of transition. Many local physicians, including the physicians at HFM Women’s Health, offer free meet-andgreet sessions where you can get to know a doctor to see if they would be a good choice to work with you on staying well during this new phase of your life.

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. April 2014 . 9

Karen Steingraber of Newton rides under the direction of owner Patti Jo Walter at Francis Creek Fjords in Francis Creek.

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Matthew Apgar/50 Plus

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Back in the Saddle continued from page 7 but you’re constantly toning,” she said. “Your thighs and your butt in equestrian terms make up your base, which really gets a workout. When a horse canters, you are out of breath! You’re sore when you get off if you haven’t ridden for a while. For me to be over 50, I’m active in the field, throwing saddles, cleaning tack (the horse’s gear), brushing the horse, check and clean the hooves, it’s a great workout!” When Hytry Darrington was showing horses at the age of 30 she recalls a 45-year-old friend who had two hip replacements and knee replacements. She rode until the age of 60. With all of those disabilities her trainer felt she was safer on a horse than on the ground. Certainly horseback riding has the obvious risk of falling, or being unable to control a 1,000-pound animal, but it has its benefits for the less able as well. Wikipedia states that “Hippotherapy is a form of physical, occupational and speech therapy in which a therapist uses the characteristic movements of a horse to provide carefully graded motor

and sensory input. A foundation is established to improve neurological function and sensory processing, which can be generalized to a wide range of daily activities. Unlike therapeutic horseback riding (where specific riding skills are taught), the movement of the horse is a means to a treatment goal when utilizing hippotherapy as a treatment strategy.” states that some people with long standing illnesses or disabilities indicated an improved physical and mental condition after going horse riding. Surveys show that horseback riding improves your sense of wellbeing. It has the same antidepressant effects similar to a “runner’s high” associated with a drop in stress hormones. It’s a natural stimulator of the hormone serotonin, which is a natural mood enhancer, thus leading to a feeling of wellbeing during and after exercise. They further state that you can burn as many calories trotting on horseback as you can by heading down to the gym for a lunchtime workout!

Exploring the horse-human bond when we are upset. Chapters covering “Learning to speak horse” and “Learning to speak Equestrian” will help you understand your animal as well as the lingo that goes along with caring for it. MacGillivray notes that if you were raised around horses, perhaps on a farm, you’d have a lot of this knowledge about purchasing or caring for a horse and could make an informed decision knowing full well what you are getting into. Often women would like to reconnect with their love of horses but don’t realize what they are getting into, and purchasing a horse at that point isn’t good for the rider or for the horse. Her book is aimed at answering all of the questions that come up for a new horse owner that doesn’t have the experience of raising horses in their youth, and a wealth of necessary knowledge to build the best relationship between horse and rider for a successful partnership. Bocina is the name of MacGillivray’s Norwegian Fjord. “It’s going well, she’s

continued from page 5

calm, forgiving and cooperative” states MacGillivray of her horse. “She makes me work for things, tests me, but it’s nothing too terrifying.” The physical and emotional benefits of owning a horse are certainly evident for MacGillivray, but she also found the whole process intensely interesting. Her research on the whole process garnered her enough information to fill a book entitled “Riding Horseback in Purple.”

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“I’ve learned patience and tenacity from the whole process. With horses, you don’t learn things in one afternoon,” she said.

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The author is at a time in her life where she had the time to put into the process. “Women focus on their careers and their family at the expense of themselves. It’s been a luxury to take this time to write,” she said. MacGillivray hopes to help others through the process of getting back in the saddle again.

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. April 2014 . 11

CommunityDedication -

For over six decades, Shady Lane, Inc., its local leaders who sit on our board of directors, and its staff have served our residents and our community through a philosophy of servant leadership and a commitment to providing 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 . . . Therapies provided by: Holy Family Memorial

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. Prices start at $1,450.


Now Open! HFM Clinic at Shady Lane Manitowoc’s only not-for-profit citizen directed care facility. 1235 South 24th Street • Manitowoc, WI • • 920-682-8254 WI-5001774876

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50 plus April 2014