50 plus October 2014

Page 1

October 2014

plus! The magazine for active, mature lifestyles

out from 6 behind the wheel


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

5 The art of caregiver communication 6

ON THE COVER: Beverly Stegmann poses for a portrait at the Maritime Metro Transit station in Manitowoc recently. Stegmann, 81, has voluntarily given up driving after being a school bus and city bus driver for many years. Matthew Apgar/50 plus

Larry Bowa discusses his painful case of shingles Larry Bowa may be known for his baseball prowess and fiery personality, but in June 2013, the two-time Gold Glove-winner was stopped in his tracks by Larry Bowa a case of shingles, which he says caused him some of the worst pain of his life. Bowa said the pain he felt was so intense he could barely walk, originally leading him to think he had injured his back. But his MRI came back negative, and he received instead an unexpected diagnosis of shingles. “I was a professional athlete for most of my life, and I’m still an active guy, so I was surprised to find that I developed a disease this painful,” said Bowa, 67. Bowa learned that he was at risk for shingles simply because he had had chickenpox, which 98 percent of US adults has had, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Shingles is the common name for herpes zoster, a disease caused by reactivation of the varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. This virus never leaves the body. Instead, it lies dor-

2 . October 2014 . 50

Pat Pankratz, 50 Plus! Editor 920-686-2138 | ppankratz@htrnews.com

OUT FROM BEHIND THE WHEEL

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mant in the nervous system, and at some point later in life, it can reactivate and erupt as shingles. As you get older your risk increases. The first symptoms of shingles are often felt, but may not be seen, and may initially include itching, tingling or burning in a specific area on one side of the face or body; for Bowa, it was the inside of his right leg. The pain is often followed by a rash in a band or strip along the affected area, and for Bowa, his rash persisted for three or four weeks, but the pain lasted much longer. Bowa is partnering with Merck to help educate about shingles. According to the CDC, one in three people will get shingles in their lifetime, and there are approximately one million cases of shingles each year in the United States. There’s no way to predict if or when someone will get shingles, or how severe the case could be, so speaking with a healthcare provider to understand personal risk is important. To learn more about shingles, talk to your doctor or pharmacist and visit shinglesinfo.com. Brandpoint


How to recognize and handle senior gambling problems Dear Savvy Senior: How can you know when someone has a gambling problem? Since my father passed away a couple years ago, my 76-year-old mother spends a lot of time at an Indian casino near her house playing slot machines. Troubled Son Dear Troubled, It’s a great question. Problem gambling among seniors is definitely on the rise. Seniors have time and money on their hands, and the influx of casinos across the country have made access to gambling much more convenient. Here’s what you should know, along with some tips and resources that can help your mom if she does indeed have a problem.

tation, free or discounted meals, special rewards and other prizes as a way to entice them. In addition, many seniors use gambling as a way to distract or escape feelings of loneliness, depression, sadness, or even a chronic health condition. Some may have financial problems they are seeking to overcome. And some may have cognitive impairment that interferes with their ability to make sound decisions. You should also know that while there are many gambling options for people to get hooked on today, casino slot machines are far and away the most popular among seniors.

Find help

For most older adults, gambling is simply a fun recreational activity, but for those who become addicted to it, it can be a devastating disease that can financially wipe them out.

How can you know if your mom has a gambling problem? Gamblers Anonymous offers a 20 question online test at gamblersanonymous.org that your mom can take to help determine if she has a problem. In the meantime, here are some questions you can ask to help evaluate her situation.

There are a number of reasons why seniors can be vulnerable to gambling problems. For starters, seniors are often catered to by casinos with free bus transpor-

Is she preoccupied with gambling, constantly talking about it, or planning to gamble versus doing her normal activities?

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Jim Miller Is she gambling more and more money to get the same level of excitement? Is she using her retirement funds or other savings to gamble, or is she pawning or selling personal items to get money to gamble with? Has she lost control to the point that she can’t she set a limit of time and money to spend in the casino, and stick to it? If your mom answers yes to any of these questions, she may have a problem. To find help contact the National Council on Problem Gambling (ncpgambling. org), a non-profit organization that operates a 24-hour national hotline at 800-522-4700. Send your senior 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.

It just makes sense to prepare for the inevitable while emotions are at rest and heads are clear. Preplanning Specialist Mike Jarzin is available to answer your questions and provide the guidance you need to make educated decisions. Call Mike today to set up an appointment.

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caregiver

communication By Connie Thimmig

Imagine your words going in, but the disease taking these words and scrambling them so that your loved one “hears” a completely different message. As a result, their response is just as scrambled. When this begins to occur, it is easy to slowly stop communicating with our loved ones, ceasing the day-to-day conversation. The response is often too painful to hear, it takes too long to get out or it isn’t a meaningful exchange to the caregiver, so we stop asking them how their day was or what they want to do. However, it is important that even those in the endstages of any disease hear the human voice, need interaction and need daily communication. Think of yourself as a story teller. And, keep telling the story. Those with memory loss may also have visual loss due to the disease. To get a feel for this, place your

hands around your eyes in the shape of a scuba mask and notice how your peripheral vision is restricted. This is the typical visual field for someone with middle stage dementia and the field only gets smaller as the disease progresses. Approach from the front - Approach from behind and odds are you will scare them. Use their name. Get below their visual field – Even if you approach from the front and stand there, your loved one might not recognize you because all they can see is your belt buckle. By getting down below their eye sight, it allows them to “see” you and puts them in a feeling of power and control, something those with memory loss don’t often receive. Sit at a 90 degree angle – Instead of sitting beside your loved one, try sitting at a 90 degree angle. By sitting side-by-side, you place yourself outside of your loved one’s vision field. Even if you are talking to them, because they can’t see you, they do not recognize the conversation is directed toward them. If possible, pull a chair up to them at a 90 degree angle so that you are face-to-face. Do not argue or correct, instead give compliments and go with them – One

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health One of the first challenges that most caregivers of someone with memory loss face is their loved one’s inability to communicate as they once did. It is important to realize that your loved one is not choosing to not listen, but more that their disease is not allowing them to properly translate what you are saying or respond in an appropriate manner.

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of the main reasons communication stops is due to a sense of failure. It truly does not matter if Dad gets the description of lunch or his car completely right, what does matter is that he is talking with you. In the end, your loved one really needs to “win” more than you do and needs to be told repeatedly how wonderful they are. Your job is to help them feel loved, heard and to support wherever their conversation takes them.

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. October 2014 . 5


Out from behind the wheel

By Joni Shavlik

50 Plus correspondent

Even at age 81 my mother, Bev Stegmann, is a great driver. She doesn’t get traffic citations, doesn’t swerve, never gets lost and her vision is just fine. In fact, I appreciated that I could call upon her to pick my kids up after school when my husband Andy and I both have to work late. If she’s such a good driver, why then would she give up driving - willingly? Mom has always been a good driver. When my sister Vicky (Hurda) – the oldest of four children – was a senior in high school my mom felt it was time to get out of the house and get a job. Though she loved being a mother, keeping up the household, and leading 4-H and being a den mother for scouts, she needed something away from the home. Something just for her. When she considered what type of job she’d like to apply for she always saw want ads for bus drivers. “It fascinated me to think that I could drive one of those big buses!” she told me.

Even though my father, Robert Stegmann, was an excellent provider and mom didn’t need to work, she needed it more for herself. She got her chauffeur’s license, then began by driving school buses in 1972. Boy, she got up early to get those kids to school! There was one route that she drove after four other male drivers had given up on it. The kids were from a rough neighborhood, and unruly, but my mom understood that they had a raw deal and always greeted them with a smile. She greeted everyone with a smile. “I was known as the smiling bus driver,” she told me. She’s right; I’ve heard that about her from many people that rode her bus. She recalls that at the end of the school year those particular unruly kids gave her a picture of a school bus that they had drawn and colored and signed their names to with a very big “Thank-You!”

City buses After two years of driving school bus, Mom moved up to driving Manitowoc city buses in 1974. It wasn’t much different from a school bus. The city buses were privately owned until the city took over in 1978 and four new buses were

Beverly Stegmann, 81, now rides the city bus, rather than driving one, after voluntarily giving up her driver’s license recently. Matthew Apgar/50 Plus

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purchased. Bus driving was hard on the back in those days; there was no seat suspension. It was also hard on the wrists with no power steering. “Now the new buses all have power steering and ‘air seats’ that absorb the bumps,” Mom told me. On route 4, back in the day, my Mom told me about the crazy hair the kids would come on the bus with. One day she told me about a boy with a Mohawk and I was shocked that someone would walk around town like that, but she was just so cool about it! “Well, these kids have to express themselves somehow” she said, and I had a whole new view of my mom, and of how her job helped her enjoy serving the public… That smile she always wore was for real.

In for a change If you rode the bus several years ago, you might remember the change dispensers that the bus drivers had. It was those dispensers that helped her consider retirement at the age of 63 in 1996. Her wrists just couldn’t take it anymore, and her back, even though they had better seats, was all done driving - done driving buses anyway. After she retired she volunteered to drive the Red Cross van, taking people to dine at the senior center and delivering meals on wheels to Parkview Haven and Manitou Manor. A few years before she was to turn 80, my Mom began having severe attacks of vertigo. It seemed to happen in the fall of the year, sometimes after a cold or the flu, but more than one of these attacks landed her in the emergency room. Head spinning and aching, nauseated, she was miserable! Medications make her much more comfortable, but she feels it isn’t perfect and she just wants someone else to drive her around now. She lives just two blocks from the bus drop and walks there. She also qualifies to use Assist to Transport for only $2 one way.

Mixed reactions When she called each of us four kids to tell us that she wanted to give up driving, she got mixed reactions. Her oldest daughter, Vicky Hurda, thought she would miss driving. Ken Stegmann of Los Angeles wanted her to do whatever made her happy. The Rev. Bob Stegmann of Sturgeon Bay also agreed that she do what she felt comfortable with, and if she wasn’t comfortable with driving any more, then she should give it up. I thought she might miss the freedom of driving. I was worried that she’d stay holed up at home and her world would get smaller. She’d miss her friends at the senior center, she’d skip her church group. OUT FROM BEHIND THE WHEEL CONTINUED ON PAGE 11

DMV CAN HELP

Excellence

A Passion for

The Department of Motor Vehicles has an “Older Driver Workbook” available to help people determine if they need to change their driving habits, or explore other transportation methods. The booklet will help you asses your driving skills, consider vision screening, and help to evaluate your functional ability to drive, and medical requirements. It has a knowledge test sample, talks about identifying highway signs, and has information about a skills (road) test.

River’s Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center is pleased to announce Janel Konkel, as Administrator! Since joining Extendicare in 2012, she has been an Administrator at centers in New Holstein and most recently in Fond du Lac. She received her Bachelors of Business Administration in Human Resources and Accounting from UW-Eau Claire and completed a Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Healthcare Administration from UW-Oshkosh. Janel completed her Mastering Nursing Home Administration Course Certification from UW-Madison.

Steve Pazynski, a DMV Medical Review Supervisor for the Wisconsin DMV, said that “we do not license or test anyone based on age, we license based on functional ability. A Behavior or Condition Report (MV3141) can be sent in by a medical professional, law enforcement or by concerned citizens (two must sign for it to be valid).”

Janel has over five years of experience working in a long term care settings and is Dementia Specialist Certified through the Alzheimer’s Association. She is a member of the Wisconsin Quality of Care Coalition and assisted in co-founding a communityTransitions of Care Coalition (FDL).

Depending on what the report says, the DMV can do one or all of the following: Cancel the license (not suspend or revoke) Close the case (nothing in the medical report leads us to believe we need anything further)

... helping people live better

Remove the cancellation (no fee for this)

“I see the role of the Administrator as someone who works side-by-side with all the staff to develop a strong team. With a dedicated team of professionals, we can accomplish the goal of helping people live better. This is not just a job for me, it is my passion. I’m pleased to be part of the team at River’s Bend, and look forward to providing quality care in our community.”– Janel Konkel, NHA

Rapids Recovery

Ask for more information Put the driver on a medical follow up, allowing them to drive (depending on the condition, we may check back in a few months, years, etc…) Ask for a complete re-examination of the driver’s ability to drive (knowledge, sign, skills tests)

960 S. Rapids Road • Manitowoc, WI 54220 920.684.1144 • www.riversbendskillednursing.com WI-5001833125

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. October 2014 . 7


Crossword: SCARY MOVIES

sudoku 47. Not made up 48. “___ ___ Margery Daw” 50. *Like a lot of horror movie scenes 52. First responders 53. Metal enemy 55. Face twitch, e.g. 57. *1976 prom night thriller 60. *Movie about a cursed videotape 64. Antique shop item 65. Federal procurement org. 67. Was dishonest with 68. DVD player button 69. *Don’t take one if you star in a Krueger flick 70. Fourth letter in Greek alphabet 71. Fancy-schmancy 72. Be in the red 73. Winter driving hazard

DOWN

ACROSS

1. Sir Toby of “Twelfth Night” 6. Mosquito enemy 9. Wide river valley 13. Part of soft palate 14. Grassland 15. Hamelin’s child abductor 16. Awful smell 17. Banned insecticide 18. City in Belgium

19. *”One, two, ______’_ coming for you...” 21. *”The People Under the ______,” 1991 23. Seek damages 24. It’s more commonly called a pika 25. Onomatopoeia for collision 28. Young salmon 30. Maneuver for attaining

particular goal 35. Show horse type 37. Fireplace smudge 39. Famous march composer 40. Yugoslavian leader during World War II 41. Chef’s headgear 43. It will 44. To impede 46. Lowest brass

1. In the ____, like a skinny-dipper 2. *”What ____ Happened to Baby Jane?” 3. Stringed instrument with pear-shaped body 4. Oafs 5. Desperate or badlyoff 6. Another name for an Oldsmobile 7. Nourished 8. String bean’s opposite 9. IV+IV 10. Imitator 11. 1983 ZZ Top hit

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. 12. “... ___ he drove out of sight” 15. Mexican beaches 20. Brewer’s staple 22. Big bang maker 24. Lawn pastime 25. *Norman _____ 26. Get off the chair 27. Opposite of glossy 29. Place of origin 31. Coconut fiber 32. One who is tutored 33. Muhammad’s religion 34. *”When a Stranger _____” 36. Fans reactions 38. London subway 42. *”Hellraiser III: Hell on ”

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45. *”Scary Movie 2” bird 49. Writing under influence, in text 51. Bears or cedes 54. Dal _____, in music 56. Angler’s basket 57. *Rabid St. Bernard 58. Aphrodite’s lover 59. “Lifestyles of the ____ and Famous” 60. Measuring roll 61. Doing nothing 62. Post-it ____ 63. Buzzing pest 64. Large edible mushroom 66. *Movie with same name as certain tool


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We take pride in our apartments and it shows! You will be captivated by the beauty you will find in the apartments, common areas, areas and grounds. For those low income 50 years & 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.

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OUT FROM BEHIND THE WHEEL CONTINUED FROM PAGE 7

How would she shop? Well, nothing could be further from the truth. She loves to ride the bus and sometimes takes it all the way around on a route just to enjoy the ride! I bring her to church as well as other parishioners, since it is on our way anyway. Assist to Transport fills in any other trips she needs to make. The only drawback? “You always have to wait. Get to the bus stop, wait for the bus, wait until they drive to your destination, wait for them to return. Assist to Transport as well. It’s not as quick as driving myself, but I’ve got nothing but time anyway!” She truly approves of our new transfer center located at 915 south 11th. “It’s beautiful, we’ve probably got the best transfer center in the state!” She gushes because when she drove, there was no place for drivers to catch a break or use a bathroom. “There were shelters located on Franklin between 8th and 9th, that was our ‘bus station’! Then it was located at city hall and we’d run into city hall if we needed a bathroom, or into a gas station”. I never thought about the bus drivers needing a bathroom on a 6 to 8 hour shift! “And now people can stay inside a nice warm transit station when switching routes! Boy is that ever nice!”

tickets or warnings? Do they seem confused or uncertain when they drive? Do you find yourself wanting to brake for them? The most common reasons for needing to discontinue driving are poor vision, slow reaction times, and getting lost or feeling confused while driving.

No set age to give up driving There is no set age when a person should give up driving, some never need to. A new survey released by Liberty Mutual Insurance finds that the majority of senior drivers are open to having a conversation about driving, but only 6 percent actually have that conversation. Being approached by their children or their doctor would make them most comfortable.

you can get an evaluation from a driver’s rehabilitation specialist or professional driving teacher. If necessary, consider getting the help of their physician. Giving up driving may mean losing independence, becoming less active, feeling isolated, and they may have difficulty finding alternative transportation. Some senior drivers will have these woes, and some will not, but you will never know unless you have the conversation.

During your talk consider beginning with asking how they feel when they drive. Really listen to their concerns, as well as highlighting your concern for their safety. Be respectful. Don’t get drawn into an argument, be patient and kind. Find the positive light in giving up driving - keeping them and others safe on the roads. Be prepared with alternative transportation methods. Perhaps

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Before having “the talk,” Liberty Mutual suggests that you take a ride with your loved one and observe their driving. Watch their awareness of their driving environment. How are their reaction times? Are there dents, scrapes, close calls,

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