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May 2014


plus! The magazine for active, mature lifestyles


Couple provide spiritual, material help to Hispanic population

50 plus!


Pat Pankratz, 50 Plus! Editor 920-686-2138 | Dale Mahloch, Advertising Manager 920-686-2124 |

INSIDE 4 ADRC 5 You can control brain

2 Great Locations Now



in business startups

ON THE COVER: Pastor Isabelle Hernandez is seated between her husband, Dario Hernandez, and daughter, Norma Maria Hernandez, at United Methodist Church in Manitowoc. Matthew Apgar/HTR Media

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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How reverse mortgages work in 2014 Dear Savvy Senior:

an escrow account to pay future bills.

What can you tell me about reverse mortgages? I was considering one last year, but now I hear they are more difficult to get.

If the financial assessment finds that you cannot pay your insurance and taxes and have enough cash left to live on, you will be denied.

Ready to Reverse

Loans: Nearly all reverse mortgages offered today are Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), which are FHA insured and offered through private mortgage lenders and banks. HECM’s also have home value limits that vary by county, but cannot exceed $625,500. See for a list of HUD approved lenders.

Dear Ready: That’s correct. Tighter rules on reverse mortgages that have recently gone into affect have made them harder to get, especially for seniors with heavy debt problems. The reason the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) made these changes was to strengthen the product, which has suffered from a struggling housing market and a growing number of defaults by borrowers. Here’s a rundown of how reverse mortgages now work in 2014. Overview: The basics are still the same. A reverse mortgage is a loan that allows senior homeowners to borrow money against the equity in their house. The loan doesn’t have to be repaid until the homeowner dies, sells the house or moves out for at least 12 months. It’s also important to know that with a reverse mortgage, you, not the bank, own the house, so you’re still responsible for property taxes, insurance and repairs. Eligibility: To be eligible for a reverse mortgage you must be at least 62 years old, own your own home (or owe only a small balance) and currently be living there. You will also need to undergo a financial assessment to determine whether you can afford to make all the necessary tax and insurance payments over the projected life of the loan. Lenders will look at your sources of income, assets and credit history. Depending on your financial situation, you may be required to put part of your loan into

Loan amounts: The amount you get through a reverse mortgage depends on your age, your home’s value and the prevailing interest rates. Generally, the older you are, the more your house is worth, and the lower the interest rates are, the more you can borrow. A 70-year-old, for example, with a home worth $300,000 could borrow around $170,000 with a fixedrate HECM. To calculate how much you can borrow, visit Loan costs: Reverse mortgages have a number of upfront fees including a 2 percent lender origination fee for the first $200,000 of the home’s value and 1 percent of the remaining value, with a cap of $6,000; a 0.5 percent initial mortgage insurance premium fee; along with an appraisal fee, closing costs and other miscellaneous expenses. Most fees can be deducted for the loan amount to reduce your out-of-pocket cost at closing. In addition, you’ll also have to pay an annual mortgage insurance premium of 1.25 percent of the loan amount.



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Older Americans Month focuses on safety By Judy Rank May is Older Americans Month. The 2014 Older Americans Month theme is “Safe Today, Healthy Tomorrow.” Each May, the nation celebrates Older Amzericans Month to recognize older Americans for their contributions and provide them with information to help them stay healthy and active. This year, the month is focusing on injury prevention as its theme. Older Americans can live longer and healthier lives if they take control of their safety. On May 22, from 1 to 4 p.m., the fourth annual Senior Fair will be held at the Manitowoc Ice Center. This is a chance for our senior population to come out and meet more than 40 vendors from the community that provide resources to help control health and safety. As part of the fair, attorneys Michelle Birschbach and Alison Petri will be presenting a program starting at 1:15 p.m. on the new guidelines for “Spousal Impoverishment and Estate Recovery” that took effect in November 2013. This is a program you will not want to miss.

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) has made changes to coding of Medicare patients when they come to the hospital. Some individuals coming to the hospital are now admitted as an “Observation Patient” and therefore billed to Medicare Part B, rather than Medicare Part A. Hospital staff and the Aging & Disability Resource Center of the Lakeshore (ADRC) will be doing a presentation on “Admission vs. Observation While in the Hospital” during the fair at 3 p.m. There will be no charge to attend this fair. There is something for everyone, including food samples, free blood pressure screening, free A1C screening, balance screening, lots of door prizes, and an opportunity to learn about the services available to residents of Manitowoc County. Fifteen-minute appointments are necessary for the A1C screening. Please call the ADRC to schedule the appointment. The city bus will reroute its bus route to come to the front of the ice center that afternoon. Stop by the ADRC booth to learn about the prevention programs that can help you stay healthy, currently offered through the agency. They will have information on “Powerful Tools for Caregiving,” “Living Well with a Chronic Condition,” “Living Well with Diabetes,” “Stepping On,” and the “LEEPS” program.


For those of you who have had a recent fall or are at high risk of a fall, there is a class set to start April 29 at the Kewaunee Human Service building from 9 Conveniently Located at Co to 11 a.m. This is a sev3215 Mischicot Misch ch Rd in Two Rivers en-week program that utilizes a physical therapist to teach strength and balance exercises.


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St. Peter the Fisherman in Two Rivers will be hosting a “Living Well with a Chronic Conditions” class, starting May 1 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. This is a six-week program for the individ-

ual who is living with a chronic condition. On May 23, the Kiel Community Center will be the site of a “Powerful Tools for Caregiving” class. This six-week class for family caregivers will run from 9 to 11:30 a.m. This is a program that helps the caregiver deal with the added stress that caregiving brings and to identify ways the caregiver can continue to lead a healthy life. The cost to attend any one of these three classes is $10. Please call the ADRC office at 1-877-416-7083 to register for any of them.

Vets and Social Security May 26 is Memorial Day, a day to pay tribute to the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. The Social Security office informed the ADRC that Carolyn W. Colvin, acting commissioner of Social Security, recently unveiled a new initiative to expedite disability applications from veterans with a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) disability compensation rating of 100 percent Permanent and Total (P&T). Under the new process, Social Security will treat these veterans’ applications as high priority and issue expedited decisions, similar to the way it currently handles disability claims from wounded warriors. “Our veterans have sacrificed so much for our country and it is only right that we ensure they have timely access to the disability benefits they may be eligible for and deserve,” Colvin said. More information about this new disability process is available at The Social Security office encourages people to establish an account on the website. Application for Social Security benefits, Medicare, and disability can be made through this website. For those who are nearing retirement age, the website has a Retirement Estimator that can assist in determining what your actual Social Security benefit will be based on your chosen retirement date. A safe and happy Memorial Day to everyone! Judy Rank is executive director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of the Lakeshore. 929 S. 31st Street

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You can control brain health health By Stacey Soeldner As we get older staying sharp and agile are important. What if I told you that you can continue this long into mature adulthood? The brain is a fascinating instrument and we have more control over making it healthy than we think. Molecular biologist John Medina, author of “Brain Rules,” has researched how the brain works and has some great rules to live by. Following these will help you remain sharp for years to come. We know that exercise is important for flexibility and has many health benefits, but can it help your brain? The decrease in our physical activity from modern technology has not only affected our waistlines, but has stalled our brains. From a tender age, play and movement have been essential to our developing brain and it still is. As adults we still need to have “recess.” Now that may come in the form of a treadmill and not softball, but nevertheless if you are going to be at the top of your cognitive game it needs to happen. According to Medina (2008), “Aerobic exercise just twice a week halves your risk of general dementia. It cuts your risk of Alzheimer’s by 60 percent.” So what are you waiting for? Start moving. Does the fact that a couple struggles in their marriage or you have a conflict in your family affect your brain? The answer is yes. Our relationships and our emotional environment affect our growth. Imagine trying to learn from someone who doesn’t like you or work on a team that is not cohesive. Our learning and attention are strongly affected by stress. People regularly go to the doctor for a physical, but shy away from seeing a psychologist yearly to see how mentally fit they are. Stress often comes from a lack of control in our life. Isn’t it time that you got your life under

control so your brain could function optimally? What are you attending to in your life? Are you focused on your phone ringing or the next family gathering? We believe we are great multi-taskers. My belief is that I can eat my breakfast, text; put my lipstick on, all while driving my car. Before you cringe, let me tell you that none of us can multi-task even if we think we can. If you want to improve your attention and be more on the ball, start working on mindfulness. Do one thing in the moment. Also allow yourself some time to be uninterrupted. You won’t believe what you can accomplish when you are using your full attention. One of the most disheartening parts of getting older is losing our memory. I am not that old and I already notice deficits. Memory has many parts and is complex so I won’t bore you with the details. The important thing to remember is that when you want to learn something, make the first few seconds elaborate. For example, if you are learning computers for the first time, take time to understand the meaning, not just the content. If you learn computers, what will you be able to do? Maybe you can make an art project for your grandkids or share pictures on Facebook. Stopping to find meaning in what you are learning is the ticket to better memory.



• • • • • •

Taking care of our brain is just as important as taking care of the rest of our body. Now is the time to start thinking about the things you can do to increase your brain power. Want more ideas on how to feed your brain, look for my upcoming article in the fall for more “Brain Rules.” Can’t wait? Get John Medina’s book, “Brain Rules.” Stacey E. Soeldner is a Clinical Psychologist and Life Coach with Riverhill Psychological Associates, S.C., Manitowoc.

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. May 2014 . 5


MISSION Couple provide spiritual, material help to Hispanic population

6 . May 2014 . 50


Dario Hernandez, 50, grew up in Catacamas, Olancho, Honduras. The country is one of the poorest in the world, second only to Haiti. They have universities but few jobs available for those who graduate.

“There are some jobs, but they pay very little, Hernandez said. “You would have enough to live on, but you wouldn’t be able to purchase a car or a house, there is no extra.” The country is made up of Christians and non-Christians and the majority of the Christian population is Catholic. His parents are the pastors of Iglesia Evangelica de Santidad, which he describes as being similar to our Methodist church.

“I grew up seeing my parents as pastors; it was a very good job,” he said. Hernandez went to college in Honduras after high school and finished in Mexico in computer programming. His wife Isabel, 50, stayed in Honduras. It was evident that if their family was to thrive, Dario needed to find a good job; he searched for that in the United States about 22 years ago. He moved to Madison, where he took a cleaning job. They weren’t exactly wealthy when Isabel moved to the States three years later with their son, Darwin, but the time apart was difficult and they were happy to be back together. Leaving their large, loving family back in Honduras was very dif-

Amanda Sieracki, an educational coordinator and teacher for the Lakeshore Methodist Church, teaches a Camino De Fe Hispanic bible study group at United Methodist Church in Manitowoc. Matthew Apgar/HTR Media ficult, but they are that much more determined to create a new family here in the States knowing that many members of their new parish may feel the same - displaced, lonely and needing a new place to call home.

Call from God While in Madison, Isabel was recognized within her church as having a strong faith as well as useful leadership skills. Her strength of faith came from a defining call from God. Her parents were farmers, raising six girls and two boys. They weren’t a church-going family. Isabel recalls the exact date - July 25, 1982 - that she was called by God to take him into her heart. She was about

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“This was my first major surgery and first time in a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center. After my bilateral hip surgery, I was nervous about going home but had not pre-planned any other options. With the help of my insurance and the team at River’s Bend, I was admitted from the hospital for rehabilitation. Not knowing what to expect, my stay was great and I would not change a thing! All staff helped to make this an enjoyable experience and was attentive to my needs. With the combination of the therapy staff and equipment, I’ve made a lot of progress and plan to return for outpatient therapy. I would recommend River’s Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center to anyone. They gave me the help I needed to get back home.”

Lakeshore UMC – Camino de FE, 1130 S. Ninth St., Manitowoc Information: 682-1803, 769-0021 or 682-6311 18 years old. Her family had been struggling, they had several bad crops and with the poor economy she was told by her father that he could no longer afford to send her to the good school she had currently been attending.

came from for her to attend seminary, but is more grateful than ever. Her dream to prepare others to become closer to God has now become a reality.

Isabel was angry. She wanted her father to feel pain like she was. She wanted him to go through the pain of losing a child and had planned to commit suicide that day, but a friend knocked on her door. This friend said she had been sent by God to go and talk with Isabel that day - the friend had such a strong urge that she went right over to Isabel’s house to talk with her.

The family was called in September 2011 to Manitowoc, where the old Wesley United Methodist Church had just combined with St. Paul’s United Methodist, thus becoming Lakeshore UMC. This left the Wesley site with some unused space. Not for long!

This friend invited her to a youth gathering at the local church, where Isabel received an “Altar Call,” (an invitation to accept Christ into her heart as her Lord and Savior). Isabel went up to the front and accepted. “I then became a much better daughter,” she said. “I went home and apologized to my family. I was helpful around the house, much more pleasant and caring. My family saw a change in me. And they are now all Christians as well!” Isabel taught and preached in her church in Catacamas, so when she came to the U.S. she wanted to continue her work for the church. They joined La Hermosa United Methodist Church in Madison. She knew her calling was to be in ministry and when the church approached her to go to seminary, she was hesitant because of the cost, but a scholarship was available. She still doesn’t know where the money

Call to Manitowoc

Pastor Isabel started Camino de FE with a handful of followers. How were they going to get a Hispanic church community built? First they needed to help the Hispanic community with things that they really needed. They brought in the Mexican Consulate from Chicago to help people with getting IDs and passports. These immigrants had nothing and came to find work.

– Reggie [Reg] Haupt, Manitowoc Community Member

Rapids Recovery

Some were undocumented. Dario Hernandez knows how difficult it is for immigrants to find shelter and work, trying to navigate the system for help while attempting to learn the language. It’s very frustrating. There is help available, but they have no idea how to find it. Translating is a big help. Our government pays for translating services for some, but not for most, and it’s very expensive.

... helping people live better

Spiritual need While hundreds of the Hispanic community were at Camino de FE for the

Pastoral Mission continued on page 9

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. May 2014 . 7


sudoku 48. “A Series of Unfortunate Events” author 50. The Three Tenors, e.g. 52. He is 53. Lunch stop 55. *Rob to new mom Kim Kardashian 57. *Minnelli’s mother 61. One who moves from place to place 65. Bay window 66. *Biblical matriarch Sarah had this many children 68. More capable 69. Like a wave caused by the moon 70. Shot ___ in track and field 71. Japanese-American 72. Door fastener 73. Type of wood often used for furniture 74. Walk loudly

ACROSS 1. Swahili or Zulu 6. French lake 9. Marcel Marceau, e.g. 13. Type of squash 14. In the past 15. Engaged for a fee 16. Considered a representative of Allah 17. Month of Pearl Harbor attack

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DOWN 1. Johann Sabastian ____ 2. Popular smoothie berry 3. Winningest Super Bowl coach 4. Do-re-do-re-do-re-do-re, e.g. 5. Like life, according to some 6. *Juliet’s mother, ____ Capulet 7. Often checked in a bar 8. Warming winter beverage 9. 5,280 feet 10. Saudi Arabia’s neighbor 11. MaÓtre d’s list 12. *Christian Science founder, Mary Baker ____ 15. *Scarlet letter-wearing mother

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. 20. Camelot, to Arthur 22. Tom Hanks’ 1988 movie 24. “Fragrant” rice 25. *Brady mom 26. Offer two cents 27. Obscure 29. *”Mommy Dearest” 31. Parks or Luxemburg 32. When it breaks, the cradle will fall 33. Permeate 34. Plural of “lysis” 36. Art style popular in 1920s and 1930s 38. Arab chieftain 42. Cover story 45. Ultimate goal

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Pastoral Mission continued from page 7 Mexican Consulate, Pastor Isabel saw a great need for God to enter into the lives of the people visiting. She took this opportunity to invite people to join them for worship, Bible study and youth group. Beginning with about 15 families, the parish now has about 45 families worshipping together. Some of the lives of these people have been greatly touched; many are not coming from a kind background. One 16-year-old girl came in to Camino de FE invited by someone else. She was accompanied by a man they assumed was her brother, learning later he was her boyfriend and father of her recently aborted child. She had no interest in school, had no friends, felt judged by everyone, and spoke very little. Pastor Isabel had gradually begun to earn her trust and even asked her to volunteer for a large activity at the church and she accepted. Her home life is less than ideal, and she struggles with

a sense of guilt. God, through Camino de FE, is changing her life, and she has started to come every Wednesday for prayer services. Another couple, along with their 1-year-old child, met the Hernandezs at a Hispanic store and accepted an invitation to attend the church. They are now active in all church activities. The 18-year-old mother accepted Jesus as Savior soon after in a women’s meeting. They are currently in charge of the clothing ministry at the church. They take donations every Wednesday and organize them to make them available for those in need. In the past, the couple’s relationship has seen abuse and Pastor Isabel is currently helping the couple with counseling and the knowledge of God. Another member invited by a friend has come to find a “faith that keeps her alive.” She has many family conflicts, including her son being jailed. About the church she says: “Here I found the peace that I had never experienced before.” She has been inviting family and friends, everyone she knows to the


church and tells them what she knows about God. Pastor Isabel doesn’t see problematic people, outcasts or annoyances. She sees people who need God in their lives and works hard to let them know how welcome they are in the church. She sees a great need in the Hispanic community in this area and knows that with guidance, these people will be able to lead happier lives, be better family members, friends, neighbors and community members.

Biggest help Dario sees the work his wife is doing and is her biggest help. The mission of “Mi Pueblo” Hispanic Community Center is empowering Hispanic families to become more integrated in the community and to improve their quality of life by implementing programs of education, health, job training and referrals to facilitate access to existing community resources. The Latino population is the fastest growing in Manitowoc County. Mi Pueblo helps them with emergency as-

sistance, food pantries, clothing ministry, human services programs, social and community activities, individual and family counseling in Spanish, ESL, translating and interpretations, transportation, scouting clubs for youth, immigration law issues (Grzeca Law Group), and partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico. In the future Mi Pueblo looks to add a computer room, a community garden, Thanksgiving baskets, holiday gifts, and Isabel’s Place (Hispanic Cancer Support Group). It was Pastor Isabel’s first diagnosis of cancer that really cemented Dario’s faith. The diagnosis was something that shook the entire family. Nothing but a stronger faith would help them through. Darwin, the couple’s oldest child, was a great help in his mother’s ministry throughout her illness. He and his sister, Norma, lead songs during worship services. He is now attending the University of Kentucky as a music major and is a worship leader.

Pastoral Mission continued on page 10


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. May 2014 . 9

Helping to get driver’s licenses

A Camino De Fe Hispanic bible study group meets at United Methodist Church

Pastoral Mission continued from page 9 Norma is a senior at Lincoln High School. She leads the youth in church, leads music but plans a different future and plans to attend LTC for a career in law enforcement. Norma is fluent in both English and Spanish and translates for church members. Norma translated for her mother for the interview for this story. Dario would like to follow in his wife’s ministry footsteps.

“I see the passion that my wife has,” he said. “That’s part of why I want to be a pastor.” He is training to become a United Methodist pastor. He also feels that having the spiritual training will allow him to help others in the Hispanic community through Mi Pueblo. It seems that the Hernandez family has managed to make a life for themselves that not only fulfills their dreams, but God’s plan as well.

Retired Pastor Neil Piepenburg has been a member of RUTH for five years, since its inception. RUTH is a part of WISDOM, one of 11 groups with like Neil Piepenburg biblical names (such as JOSHUA, CUSH, ESTHER…) around the state that aim to help those in need. Among the projects that WISDOM works on is lowering the state’s prison population by 11,000 by the year 2015 by establishing alternative treatment courts for the mentally ill, or those with alcohol and drug abuse issues. The aim is to re-educate instead of putting violators in prison or jail. Prisoners have to volunteer to abide by many restrictions and conditions in order to stay out of prison. They are monitored daily/weekly until they earn more rights. They can be put back in prison any time they mess up.

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Helping workers obtain driver’s licenses is part of the RUTH organization objective. “Dairies in northeast Wisconsin would be in a world of hurt if we didn’t have Hispanic employees,” Gunderson said.

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Scott Gunderson, dairy agent with the UW Extension, says “approximately 65 of the 250 dairy farmers employ Hispanic employees. Other agricultural industries do as well, including vegetable growers, nurseries, and food processors, to name a few.”

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Piepenburg’s chapter is working to help make sure all drivers have a valid driver’s license. Manitowoc County, he said, has some undocumented workers behind the wheel. Unfortunately we don’t find out about the problem until they are involved in an auto accident, he added.


Jointhe Club

Look who’s 50 now! Russell Ira Crowe

turned 50 on April 7. A New Zealand-born actor, film producer and musician based in Australia and the United States, Crowe came to international attention for his role as the Roman General Maximus Decimus Meridius in the 2000 historical epic film “Gladiator,” for which Crowe won an Academy Award for Best Actor. Crowe’s other films include L.A. Confidential (1997), Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003), Cinderella Man (2005), 3:10 to Yuma (2007), American Gangster (2007), Body of Lies (2008) and Robin Hood (2010). Crowe’s work has earned him several accolades during his career, including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, three consecutive Academy Award nominations (1999–2001), one Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, one BAFTA, and an Academy Award.

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At the urging of Harry’s wife and doctor, 50-year-old Harry finally made it to the gym. After consulting with one of the trainers, Harry decided to try out a steep treadmill.

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“Ok”, said the trainer, “I’m going to set it for 10 minutes, if you want to go longer just press start again.”

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At first Harry was doing fine but after 5 seconds he started getting tired, and after a minute he jumped off gasping for breath. Walking to the side to sit down, he passed by a friend of his

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“Man”, said Harry, “I could barely last a full minute on that treadmill.”

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“Alright, alright,” said his buddy, “no reason to brag!”

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. May 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-5001785354

12 . May 2014 . 50


50 Plus May 2014