plus! The magazine for active, mature lifestyles
Two Rivers Senior Center
INSIDE 4 ADRC 6 ON THE COVER: Two Rivers Senior Center, 60 years and growing From left, Two Rivers City Manager Greg Buckley, Two Rivers Senior Center Supervisor Bonnie Wilker and President of the Friends of the Two Rivers Senior Center Vince Alber pose by a new sign outside the Two Rivers Senior Center. Sue Pischke/50 Plus
9 Brain games have benefits, with a little work 10 Planning to ‘have the talk’ with senior parents this holiday season?
Experience the Exceptional Care of North Ridge Medical and Rehab
Staff Pat Pankratz, 50 Plus! Editor 920-686-2138 | firstname.lastname@example.org Dale Mahloch, Advertising Manager 920-686-2124 | email@example.com 50 Plus! is published monthly by the Herald Times Reporter Media. It also is distributed to select businesses in Manitowoc County.
Happy New Year
WISHING ALL A HEALTHY 2015!
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Caring for your Heart & Soul
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To learn more or to schedule a tour call Jerry ry or Karen today 1945 Dewey Street, Manitowoc
Personal Tech Products Designed Specifically for Seniors Dear Savvy Senior: Can you recommend any tablets, smartphones or computers that are specifically designed for seniors? I would like to buy a device for my technology-challenged grandmother so she can get online and keep up with her grandkids better, but it needs to be super simplified so she can use it. There are actually several new tech products on the market today that are designed specifically for older boomers and seniors that are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with technology. These devices come equipped with simplified software, big, vivid features, less clutter and better customer support packages, which makes them more appealing and much easier to use than mainstream devices. Here are several top senior-friendly options to look into.
Smartphone If you’re thinking about a smartphone for your grandmother, check out the new GreatCall Touch3. Made by Samsung, this Android smartphone has a 4-inch touchscreen with an organized large icon menu list on the home screen that provides users simple access
to often-used features like the phone, text messages, camera, pictures, email and Internet, along with your contacts and apps. It also has a 5-megapixel camera, a full-size onscreen keyboard, and offers a variety of health and safety features like the 5Star app that lets you immediately speak to a certified agent 24/7 who can identify your location and get you the help you need. Urgent Care, which provides access to registered nurses and doctors for advice and diagnoses. And MedCoach, which sends medication reminders. Available at greatcall.com or 800-918-8543, the Touch3 sells for $170 with a $20 introductory discount, plus a one-time activation fee of $35, and no contract is required. Monthly service plans that include unlimited 5Star and Urgent Care service start at $25. And their data plans start at $2.50 per month for 20MB.
Tablet computer If you’re considering a tablet, a top senior-friendly option is AARP’s new RealPad, which costs $189 at aarprealpad.org, walmart.com/realpad or Walmart stores.
Jim Miller Android tablet with a 7.85-inch touchscreen. It provides a clutter-free simplified home page with large text icons to frequently used functions like email, social networks, weather, news, games, camera and pictures, Google, the Web, apps and more. It also has a 2-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera, and comes with 24/7 phone support, a bunch of tutorial videos, and a “Real QuickFix” tool that connects users to technology support agents over the Internet who can access the tablet and fix problems.
Desktop computer If you think your grandmother would like a desktop computer, the Telikin (telikin.com, 800-717-7640), which has been around for three years now, is an excellent choice. Ready to go right out of the box, this all-in-one touchscreen computer displays a big button menu on the screen at all times, providing simple access to most
Produced in partnership with Intel, the RealPad is an
Savvy Senior continued on page 10
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. January 2015 . 3
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The Aging & Disability Resource Center would like to wish everyone a very happy and healthy New Year. If your New Year’s resolution was to give of yourself, we have wonderful volunteer opportunities available. Training will be provided. Please contact us at 1-877416-7083 for more information.
Affordable Care Act Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) started on November 15, 2014 and will run through Feb. 15, 2015. Individuals on Medicare need not worry about having to change plans and enroll in a plan through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Supplemental policies and Advantage plans remain, and are for people with Medicare. The Affordable Care Act does remove pre-existing conditions and lifetime limits on essential health benefits, allowing for those who have a medical condition to have access to the same affordable insurance as everyone else. Individuals can access the Affordable Care Act through the website: healthcare.gov. If you need assistance to enroll, there are a number of outreach and enrollment events being held throughout our area, including:
Visit us today and learn more about these special services:
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4 . January 2015 . 50
In addition to these dates, help is also available at the Lakeshore Community Health Care Clinic. They can be reached at 920-686-2333 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energy tips The following information is provided by the Greater Wisconsin Area Agency on Aging. Tips to Save Energy (and Money) During Cold Weather Months After the (in)famous winter of 2013’s sub-zero temperatures, polar vortices, and sky-high energy bills, winter and more freezing temperatures have seemingly returned to Wisconsin a month early. To help keep energy costs low and save money for what may be a long cold season, the following tips are useful in managing energy usage.
Heating Lower your thermostat at night and when the house is unoccupied. Lowering the thermostat by 5 degrees at night may reduce heating bills by 5-10 percent.
January 6 Manitowoc Library: 1-7 pm (Franklin Room)
Change the furnace filter each month. The dirtier they are, the harder a furnace needs to work. Close off and do not heat unoccupied rooms.
January 12 Two Rivers Library: 4-7 pm (Webster Room)
Use electric space heaters sparingly and keep materials away that may catch fire.
January 13 Peter’s Pantry: 9-11 am
Hours: M-F 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sat 9 a.m. - 1 p.m.
January 27 Manitowoc Library: 1-5 pm (Franklin Room)
January 13 Manitowoc Library: 1-5 pm (Franklin Room)
Keep any fireplace dampers closed unless a fire is going. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window open, as it allows warm air to escape through the chimney.
January 14 1st Presbyterian Church: 5-7pm
Remove any window air conditioners and close and seal the windows.
January 20 Manitowoc Library: 1-5 pm (Franklin Room)
Cover the windows with plastic during the cold season. Block any drafts or air paths under or around the edges of doors or windows.
Lighting Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps, especially in the most commonly used fixtures. Compact fluorescent lamps use a quarter of the energy of a standard incandescent bulb. Reduce the wattage of remaining bulbs, if replacing all bulbs is not an option. Use LED-type lights for holiday decorations, as they cost less to operate than standard holiday lights. Turn off any lights when not in use or when out of the room for more than five minutes.
Water Turn down the water heater to 120 degrees or the “normal” setting when home, and to the lowest setting when away. Water heating accounts for approximately 13% of home energy costs. Promptly repair leaky faucets, as this will prevent the waste of gallons of water in even a short time. When purchasing new appliances, purchase efficient, Energy Star-rated items if possible. Cathy Ley is director of the Aging & Disability Resource Center of The Lakeshore
Rich Langman of Two Rivers participates in the Wii Bowling recreational activity offered at the Two Rivers Senior Center on Monday mornings. Learn more about Two Rivers Senior Center on page 6. Photo by Sue Pischke/50 Plus
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. January 2015 . 5
Instructor Heather Davenport, left, leads the Zumba exercise class as participant Maria Laurin, far right, of Two Rivers, gets a workout during the Latin-inspired dance-fitness program offered at the Two Rivers Senior Center. Photo by Sue Pischke/50 Plus
The Two Rivers Senior Center
Then and Now… Membership 1954: 180 2014: More than 1,300 Bus Trips
Two Rivers Senior Center
By Joni Shavlik 50 Plus correspondent
the space allows them to cook all of their meals for members.
this year. Please take this anonymous donation to the Senior Center.’”
In 1954, the need for a place for seniors to gather was a relatively new concept. The formation of the Two Rivers Senior Center was brought about by the Older Americans Act, which provided funding for such ventures.
In 1973 their Meals on Wheels program was begun. They served 55 lunches per month then, compared to the 30,000 meals they served in 2013.
Experiences like this let Wilker know that she and her vibrant staff are not just doing their jobs, but sharing their joy of it as well. One day Wilker was on the microphone making announcements before a program that had been delayed. Her quick thinking led her to throw out the question, “What do you like about the Senior Center?” and a member answered, “This place has made such a difference in my life. I feel like I belong, now I can’t imagine my life without this place!”
Society was shifting after World War II, and the population was aging. Current Senior Center Supervisor Bonnie Wilker’s mother-in-law, Betty Wilker, was one of the first to offer services as a volunteer leader for the “Golden Age Club.” Bonnie’s husband, Larry, remembers the crafts his mother would teach, and still remembers how to make a fishnet tablecloth! Beginning with 180 members, the TR Senior Center now have more than 1,300 members, including 330 volunteers. They are currently housed in the Hamilton Community House building. An addition was dedicated in 1975, and
6 . January 2015 . 50
Impact on members Bonnie Wilker relates a story from the recent Thanksgiving meal the center helped sponsor. “One member, in her late 50’s, came up to me and made sure to give me a card addressed directly to me. I knew she couldn’t afford much, maybe not even a Thanksgiving dinner, but she insisted I take this card. It had $100 in it! “I asked her three times in different ways if she was sure about this donation, and she insisted I take it for the center. The card read, ‘I have a great deal to be thankful for this year with the Senior Center. Thank you for listening, and helping me through all my trials
The Friends of the Senior Center group offer a transportation service, providing rides in the “TRUST car.” It is fully funded by the “Friends,” including upkeep, tires, oil changes and gas. The $1 fee per ride is about all that this gas efficient car uses per trip. From January through November they gave some 5,900 rides in that vehicle. They even use it to deliver the Meals on Wheels
1954: First day trip to Door County 2014: Sold out 2015 day trip to “Dirty Dancing” Meal Program 1973: Meals on Wheels had two people on the first route, and noon lunch averaged 55 meals per month 2013: Served approximately 30,000 meals Transportation 1973 –2006: American Red Cross provides senior transportation 2008 to current:
Friends of the Senior Center operate the TRUST Car, providing more than 400 rides each month
Newsletter 1955: Weekly one-page Anchor News printed 2014: Monthly full color 24-page edition, 1,500 copies each month The Two Rivers Senior Center held a week of events this past September to celebrate 60 years. They had a formal anniversary dinner, an “over-80” party, put out a historical photo display, had an open house with a free casino night including games and prizes, and finished the week off with bingo, complete with celebrity bingo callers and free refreshments.
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Ruth Ann Hearley creates a lap quilt during the quilting recreational activity offered at the Two Rivers Senior Center. The quilting group donates quilts to area veterans, hospitals and homeless shelters. Photo by Sue Pischke/50 Plus
over the weekend. Members are so happy to be able to get a ride without bothering their family members for daytime trips when their children are likely at work. “It gets people out of their homes that would otherwise be home bound, and at $1.00 per ride, it’s affordable. I get the pleasure of knowing that we have people that can function with dignity in our community,” said Vince Alber, chairman of the Friends of the Two Rivers Senior Center.
Many services Services range from meals, rides, information services – where they work with the Aging and Disability Resource Center — to extracurricular activities like bowling, bingo, card games, crafts and quilting, exercise classes and book clubs. It’s a sad thing to give up travel when you’ve lost your travel partner, but there are trips offered as well. Day trips within a short drive are available to see a show at the PAC in Appleton, or a Christmas show in Coloma. Extended trips
are coming up in 2015 to Costa Rica, Texas, Germany and New Orleans. The TR Senior Center is also looking to the future by offering a video conferencing opportunity with “Senior Learning Network.” It’s a bit like Skype with computer laptops and a web cam. They will be touring via video conferencing, the FDR Library, with a live docent at the museum, offering the ability to take tours without the long travel hours or expense! They are hoping to offer more opportunities like this on a monthly basis, starting in 2015.
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None of this would be possible without a host of volunteers. They are the lifeblood of the Two Rivers Senior Center. Some 600 volunteers annually keep the Meals on Wheels program going seven days a week. It isn’t just a meal, it’s also a daily “check in” on some folks who enjoy a smile at their door every day.
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.
Alber said it is a vital program in the community that he enjoys. “It gets me involved in the community, I get out and stay active while providing a service that is needed,” he said.
Mike Jarzin Pre-planning Specialist
818 State Street Manitowoc, WI 54220 920 682 0118
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. January 2015 . 7
Crossword: The holidays
sudoku 47. Series of reps, pl. 48. To make lame 50. “Moonlight Sonata,” e.g. 52. Bread type 53. Sleep in a convenient place 55. French lake 57. *Used during Hanukkah 61. *Season of four Sundays before Christmas 64. Legal excuse 65. Shoemaker’s tool 67. “The _____” by Dostoyevsky 69. Capital of Tunisia 70. Pied Piper follower 71. Mother-of-pearl 72. Strip of wood 73. Head ___ at a country club 74. *Color of most Christmas trees
ACROSS 1. It’s played with a ball 6. “What’s Up, ___?” starring Barbra Streisand 9. Hurry up! 13. D-Day beach 14. Greek R 15. Swap meet deal? 16. Thai restaurant chicken staple
17. Down Under runner 18. Make reference to 19. *Disgruntled TV elf 21. *It’s under the tree? 23. PÈrignon’s honorific 24. Swarm 25. De Niro’s 1976 ride 28. *Kind of Holiday list 30. “__ ____, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night”
35. In bed 37. “Cinema Paradiso” roll 39. The relative magnitudes of two quantities 40. Intense anger 41. Material used by one of three little pigs 43. Hahn or von Bismark 44. Eyes or optics 46. Used in hunting
DOWN 1. Trigonometry abbr. 2. Nanjing nanny 3. London art museum 4. Swiss leafy green 5. Barn loft 6. Squirrel’s nest 7. Unit of electrical resistance 8. Two-door car 9. Bellicose deity, Greek 10. Goes with sound? 11. Yemeni port 12. Lively 15. Seismic shake 20. Middle Eastern V.I.P.’s 22. Hi-___ 24. Winter flask 25. *”A Christmas _____” 26. Manila hemp
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.
27. Muslim woman of high rank 29. “___ _ good example” 31. Vientiane location 32. Weasel’s aquatic cousin 33. _____-gritty 34. *A traditional holiday main course 36. Sub station 38. *Kitschy prop in “A Christmas Story” 42. Expressing a desire 45. Madagascar lemurs 49. India’s smallest state 51. “______ Private Ryan” 54. Like a cheddar variety
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Brain games have benefits, with a little work health By Stacey Soeldner
As a natural aging process, our cognitive skills decline, even if we don’t have early signs of Alzheimer’s. Like anti-aging products for wrinkles, brain science has created “games” that tout that they can reverse the cognitive aging process. This has now become a billion-dollar industry. These “brain games” can have benefits, but not without the work. Research done by Glenn Smith, Ph.D., a neuroscientist at the Mayo Clinic, investigated whether cognitive training could improve speed and accuracy of oral information. His results showed that adults over 65 who did not have a diagnosis of dementia showed significant improvement in general tests of memory and attention. These improvements were not permanent as we would see with most exercise. Smith and his colleagues have concluded that you can maintain the effects, but you will have to continue to do the exercises. Other research has shown that training that targets reasoning and processing speed may show longer term benefits than memory (JAMA, 2002). While this research has helped in the lab, the researchers are finding it hard to adapt this to real life functioning. If a subscription to a brain training application is on a wish list, don’t cross it off,
but make sure that you take the time to research it. Make sure that the product was in a control study. While you are deciding if a brain game is right for you try these strategies (courtesy of Daniel G. Amen, M.D.) to improve your focus that will last you long into the new year.
Use the one page miracle:
This is a goal-setting exercise that allows you to focus on what you want to accomplish and increase your personal responsibility. Take a sheet of paper and at the top write: What do I want for my life? Then add headings such as relationships, money, work, and self. Make sure to add short term and long term goals. This will help you stay focused on what is important in your life.
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Stop the conflict:
At the end of the year we notice that we are torn in many directions. This conflict effects our ability to focus. Make a commitment to focus on what you like and not on what you think you should like. Develop a lifestyle where you focus on what you like and not on what you don’t like. You will be amazed at the benefits.
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Get rid of the junk:
Get organized. You can’t move around a room with a bunch of clutter and your brain cannot function optimally with it either. Take time to prioritize your life and keep things organized on a regular basis. If this is a challenge in your life consider asking someone for help or breaking down big projects into manageable ones. Either way, organizing will help your brain stay focused on what really matters. You! Stacey E. Soeldner, Psy.D., is a Manitowoc clinical psychologist and life coach
As the end of the year approaches it is likely that you are busy with returning gifts, shopping for great after-Christmas deals, and sending thank you cards. There may even be lots of lists being made to help you focus for the upcoming year. For those with memory problems, this time of year may be very overwhelming, and you may forget that important date or who gave you that Christmas sweater.
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. January 2015 . 9
Planning to ‘have the talk’ with senior parents this holiday season?
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 3
functions like the Internet, email, games, video chat, photo sharing, news and weather, and more. Available in two sizes – the 18.6-inch “Telikin Touch” that costs $699, and the 22-inch “Telikin Elite II” for $1,079 – these computers come with built-in speakers, a Web camera, microphone, wired keyboard and mouse. They also offer a “tech buddy” feature so you can access your grandma’s Telikin computer remotely from your computer to help her when she needs it.
How to begin
Running on Linux software instead of the standard Windows or Mac OS, the Telikin is also virus-resistant, comes with a 60-day trial period, a one-year warranty and free tech support.
As your family gathers this holiday season to enjoy each other’s company, share a traditional meal and take in your favorite sports event or parade, will you also have more serious discussions about the safety and wellbeing of aging parents? If so, you’re not alone; more than a quarter of families will talk about medical and health issues of the seniors in the family, and 12 percent will discuss housing, according to a survey by A Place for Mom, North America’s largest senior living referral service.
It’s also worth noting that Telikin has a partnership with firstSTREET – a senior product direct marketing company – that is also selling the 22inch Telikin for $1,079, but have rebranded it as the “WOW! Computer for Seniors.” 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.
Those holiday conversations can help families create a smoother transition for seniors whose housing needs have changed, says former “Good Morning America”
host Joan Lunden. In 2006, Lunden became the primary caregiver for her mother, who was experiencing the onset of dementia. “As the sandwich generation grows, more people are finding themselves caring for both their minor children and their aging parents,” Lunden says. “Many of them will need to make important decisions about where and with whom - parents will live when they’re no longer able to remain on their own. I know from experience that such conversations about living arrangements can be emotionally charged for everyone involved, both parents and the children who have become caregivers.” Family members who may not see each other much throughout the rest of the year may notice changes in
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their parents when everyone is together during the holidays. Many will take the opportunity to at least begin care discussions. In fact, the senior living advisors of A Place for Mom, which provides families with assistance in finding senior living solutions, usually see a spike in inquiries during and immediately after the holidays, says Jennifer Mellet, chief senior living advisor for the organization.
“The holidays present an opportunity for everyone to see firsthand how Mom and Dad are doing, assess how much help they may need and at least begin a dialogue on how to best meet their changing needs,” Mellet says.
• Be gentle but clear in conversations about your concerns. State your observations concisely and kindly. Remind your family member that your concern stems from love. Help your loved one to feel as much in control as possible and keep in mind that they should be involved in decisions about their own care. Focus on treating your loved ones as you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes.
Mellet offers some guidance for families who will be discussing senior care decisions this holiday season: • Start educating yourself on the topic of senior living. There are many options available today to meet someone’s need, including living independently with a little help, to full-time care. A comprehensive downloadable Caregiver Toolkit is available from A Place for Mom, which includes information guides, senior living descriptions, worksheets, check lists and an online senior care calculator to help families estimate costs. • During holiday gatherings, watch for signs that parents may need assistance such as weight loss or gain, a house that’s untidy, a lack of food in the refrigerator or pantry, mail that’s stacking up unopened or overdue notices for bills, and obvious signs of short-term
• Make a list of topics to discuss, such as the location of important documents (marriage licenses, birth certificates, military separation papers, medical records, financial documents, etc.); financial obligations and abilities of both parents and caregivers; living preferences and options; and caregiver roles.
help them find the living arrangements that best fit the senior’s needs, objectives and financial parameters. In addition to personalized consultation, the organization also offers useful guidance, tools and advice on its website. Visit www.aplaceformom.com to learn more or to find a local advisor. “Age-related changes in mobility and health can make it necessary for families to change the living arrangements of older parents - and that can be stressful for everyone involved,” Lunden says. “The holidays can be a comforting time for families to begin having important conversations about how they can ensure seniors are well-cared-for and stay safe.” BPT
• Realize that a single conversation during the holidays isn’t likely to resolve all concerns. Allow your family time to enjoy the holidays and end the conversation with a definitive plan for the next step. For many families, the next step will include aid from a senior living advisor, who can provide them with the guidance and insight they need to make informed decisions about senior living. A Place for Mom connects families with knowledgeable advisors who can
S E N I O R C E N T E R TA L K S Manitowoc Senior Center * Free Lunch and Learn January 12th at 11am Two Rivers Senior Center *Free Healthy Snack February 23rd at 10:45am Pre-registration required: 652-0116 Class size limited
Flu Vaccine: A Shot In The Dark which explores the question, “Should I get a ﬂu shot?”
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Dr. Heimerl Presents:
. January 2015 . 11
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12 . January 2015 . 50