Page 1

September 2014


The magazine for active, mature lifestyles

Finding Joy


life lessons in bicycling

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Finding Joy, life lessons in bicycling Avid bicyclist Nancy Geerdts, 61, poses with her mountain bike at Schuette Park in Manitowoc recently. She puts on about 1,000 miles each summer Sue Pischke/50 Plus

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

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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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New ADRC leader takes over; Rank retiring By Judy Rank This is my last article that I will write for the 50 Plus paper. I started with Manitowoc County as the director of the Aging Resource Center on Sept. 2, 1997, and I will be retiring as the director of the Aging & Disability Resource Center of the Lakeshore on Sept. 2. I will then be a retiring baby boomer and ready for the next chapter of my life. I have seen many changes over these 17 years, but the mission has always remained the same – that is to help people find and use community resources wisely so that they can remain in their own homes as long as possible. Although we have gone from just serving the elderly to adding the physically and the intellectually disabled populations to

our service list, the rewards of helping people has made the past 17 years go by quickly. I have met many wonderful people over the years and worked with many different providers to ensure that services were readily available and affordable for those in need. I have built many friendships and have many wonderful experiences that I will never forget. These friendships and partnerships with providers have helped us to continually expand our services and create new services when gaps were discovered. I have had the opportunity to work with county board members, some of whom have moved on and have been replaced by new members. The board members and county executives and administrators that I have worked under have all been very supportive and allowed our department to grow and expand to provide services to more people in the county. One thing that is quite evident is that we will always be facing change. Advances in assistive and medical technology that ADRC CONTINUED ON PAGE 4


Food assistance programs can help seniors in need Dear Savvy Senior, I run a community counseling program for needy families and am frustrated that so few eligible seniors take advantage of the food stamp program. Can you write a column on this to help educate seniors to this underutilized benefit? Reaching Out Dear Reaching, It’s hard to imagine that a government program serving more than 46 million Americans each month is considered severely underutilized. But that’s the reality of the federal Food Stamp Program when it comes to serving seniors. Nationwide, food stamps (now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP) reaches around 80 percent of those eligible, but the numbers are much slimmer among the seniors, age 60 and older. Recent statistics indicate only 39 percent of eligible seniors receive SNAP benefits. There are a number of reasons for the lack of participation. Some seniors are too embarrassed or too proud to apply. Others think that if they receive SNAP they will be taking food benefits away from others (which they won’t). Some think it is too difficult to apply for SNAP, and others don’t even know the program exists. With all that said, here’s a rundown of which seniors are eligible for SNAP, what they get and how they can apply.

Who’s eligible? For seniors to get SNAP, their “net income” must be under the 100 percent federal poverty guidelines. So, households that have at least one person age 60 and older, or disabled, their net income must currently be less than $958 per month for an individual or $1,293 for a family of two. Households receiving TANF or SSI (except in California) are also eligible. Net income is figured by taking gross income minus

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allowable deductions like medical expenses that exceed $35 per month out-of-pocket, and shelter costs (rent or mortgage payments, taxes and utility costs) that exceeds half of the household’s income. In addition to the net income requirement, a few states also require that a senior’s “assets” be below $3,250, not counting the home, retirement or pension plans, income from SSI or TANF, and vehicle (this varies by state). Most states, however, have much higher asset limits or they don’t count assets at all when determining eligibility. The SNAP pre-screening tool at www.snap-step1. can help seniors, and their family members, figure out if they qualify. To apply, seniors or an authorized representative will need to fill out a state application form, which can be done at the local SNAP office or it can be mailed or faxed in, or in many states it can be completed online. If eligible, benefits will be provided on a plastic card that’s used like a debit card and accepted at most grocery stores. Depending on the person’s financial situation, the amount of SNAP a beneficiary may be eligible for will range between $15 and $189 per month as an individual, or $15 to $347 for a family of two.

Jim Miller at farmers’ markets, roadside stands and community supported agriculture programs. This program is currently available in select counties in 43 states, seven Indian reservations, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, to seniors, age 60 and older, with gross monthly household incomes below 185 percent of the federal poverty line, which is currently below $1,800 for individuals, or $2,426 for a family of two. For more information visit sfmnp or call 703-305-2746.

Other programs Seniors that are eligible for food assistance may also be eligible for a host of other programs that can help pay for medications, health care, utilities and more. To locate these programs, visit, or call the Eldercare Locator at 800-677-1116. 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.

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To learn more or apply, contact your local SNAP office – call 800-221-5689 for contact information or visit www.fns.usda. gov/snap.

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. September 2014 . 3



allow those with disabilities to be more independent and to live longer, together with the aging of the “baby boomers,” will most likely result in more people needing long-term care services as time goes on. To be able to meet the long-term care needs, government will continue to look at ways to curb public health care spending growth. Good care planning and care coordination of services, including services and supports that are provided informally by family caregivers,are important when it comes to staying in your own home. The Social Security Caregiver Credit Act was introduced in July to give credit to the family caregiver who has made the choice to provide care to a loved one in the home. If passed, this bill would boost the Social Security benefit at retirement, if they provide 60 hours or more of care in a month. Private long-term care insurance is a funding source that can pay for care in the home, assisted living facility or in nursing homes. It has been available

for about 30 years. However, paying for private long term care insurance is not an option for individuals and families with low income and few assets. We have seen a great push by the government to encourage individuals to take advantage of evidence-based prevention programs as a means of keeping themselves as healthy as possible and also ways to be able to meet and provide for much of their own care. We offer a six-week program for the family caregiver called “Powerful Tools for Cargiving.” We also offer a six-week program for the diabetic called “Living Well with Diabetes,” as well as a six-week program called “Living Well” that is suited for every older person to help them develop ways to live a healthier lifestyle. We also offer a seven-week program for those who have had a recent fall or are at risk of falling, called “Stepping On.” All of these programs are offered at a low cost of just $10, which is well worth the information and support that can get gained from them.

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her the same great support you have given me over the past 17 years. Cathy has worked in nearly every position in both aging services and the ADRC information and assistance programs. She has been with Manitowoc County for nine years, having started as a Benefit Specialist in Kewaunee County and moving into its long-term support unit as a care manager. She came to Manitowoc as the Nutrition Coordinator in charge of the meal programs and also the transportation program. She has served as an information and assistance specialist and most recently as a transition coach, working with our two hospitals and individuals who have been hospitalized to help them in their recovery so that they do not readmit. Cathy has a great respect for the residents of both counties and will continue to explore new services and find resources to help all of us to continue to strive to fulfill the mission of the agency. I leave knowing that Cathy and the rest of the ADRC staff have the best interest of the consumers at heart and will continue to meet their needs.

Do you know someone who needs to receive a daily reassuring phone call? Perhaps you or someone you know would benefit from Telephone Reassurance Calls. Telephone Reassurance is a free service for adults, age 60 and over. Manitowoc Senior Center volunteers make daily calls to these individuals, providing them a sense of security and safety. The purpose of the program is to ensure that older adults can maintain their sense of well being while remaining in their community. Many times, Telephone Reassurance can prevent older adults from requiring more costly services or institutional placement, according to a press release from the senior center. One simple phone call can help give a client peace of mind knowing that a volunteer will be checking in with them at the same time each day. Call the Senior Center at (920) 686-3060 for more information or to register yourself or someone else to receive reassurance calls.

Find the right doctor, right now Finding the right provider is important to your health. That’s why we offer 10-minute “meet and choose” sessions with our providers AT NO CHARGE to allow you to sit down one-on-one, learn more about each other and enhance your comfort level ... with NO follow up obligation! To see videos of our doctors, or find out how to schedule an appointment or “meet and choose” session visit

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4 . September 2014 . 50

Telephone Reassurance program available



Lab tests without the doctor visit health By Linda Couron

While we encourage you to visit your health care provider at least once a year for health maintenance, you no longer necessarily need to go to the doctor every time you need some lab work done. About 18 months ago, Holy Family Memorial began offering Direct Access Lab Testing. This service provides the opportunity for customers to choose from more than 20 affordable lab tests, without an order from a physician. These tests are offered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at three locations: Holy Family Memorial Medical Center, HFM’s Woodland Drive Campus, and HFM’s Harbor Town Campus. Customers may walk in, or appointments can be made by calling HFM’s Central Scheduling department at (920) 320-6777. At this time, HFM is only one of a few medical facilities in the state offering this service. Tests are performed at the HFM lab, and results are usually sent via mail to the customer’s home the next morning. Customers can expect to receive their results in two to three days. In the event of an abnormal result that could threaten a person’s immediate health, a phone call will be made to the customer as soon as possible. The biggest benefit to customers is that a physician order is not needed for these tests. The lower out-of-pocket cost is a benefit for those who don’t have health insurance, or have a very high deductible plan. Some insurance plans only pay for certain tests once a month, so for those who wish to have testing done more frequently, this offers a lower-cost option.

Available tests include: Basic and comprehensive metabolic panels Blood alcohol Blood type Cholesterol Complete blood count Creatinine Glucose Glycohemoglobin Hemoglobin and hematocrit Lipid panel Liver panel Potassium Pregnancy Prostate specific antigen (PSA) Thyroid stimulating hormone Thyroid panel Urinalysis Urine drug screen Vitamin D, 25-hydroxy

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Customers interested in having a lab test done should fill out a consent form, available at, or in person at each site. Payment is due at the time the tests are performed. Linda Couron is laboratory director at Holy Family Memorial.


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. September 2014 . 5

FindingJoy life lessons in bicycling

By Joni Shavlik | 50 Plus correspondent At 61, Nancy Geerdts is living her life to the fullest. She spoke with me after babysitting for 4 of her 8 grandchildren in Brookfield. “I want to be involved in their lives” Geerdts said, so she drives south from Manitowoc to Brookfield one day a week so she can have some quality time babysitting for them. Like Geerdts, her grandchildren are very active, involved in sports and other activities. “I’m really blessed to have such active, healthminded children, and they pass this on to their children,” she said. “If you want people to change, you have to set a better example. Once I finally became interested in fitness, my children all came to love the healthy lifestyle, and my husband Brian is now interested, although he says I walk too fast!” Her first marriage to David Skarda was a time in her life when she was busy with young children as well as operating a business. They owned Manitowoc Electric Supply and The Lighting Center from 1973 to 1989. She was never one to sit still and become stagnant, but couldn’t really take time for herself; life was just too busy.


First bike Dan Holsen of Heavy Pedal bike shop, 826 S. Eighth St. in Manitowoc, set her up with her first Specialized bike in May 2013. Holsen calls it a comfort bike, Geerts calls it a crossover, more of a pavement bike. She took a trip this April after a very long winter being stuck inside on her stationary bike and treadmill. The trip was to Moab in Utah, a location frequented by bikers, mountain climbers and ATVs. She then scoured the Specialized Bike catalog for the mountain bike of her dreams! Heavy Pedal helped her get all of the features she liked. “The minute I rode it I knew it was perfect,” she said. She biked a lot her first season!

“I’m a shy person, but I am comfortable with what I need to do for nursing,” she said.

She averages 1,000 miles per summer, and as of Aug. 11 this year was up to 900 miles. When she began biking she met many other avid bikers. They were very helpful in suggesting things she would need for longer treks.

Three seconds

6 . September 2014 . 50

“Then she invited me to come along with her to Spokane, Wash., last September on a bike trip with her family,” Geerdts said. “We did the Hiawatha Path and the Coeur d’ Alenes Trail and I was hooked.”

At the age of 35 she knew she needed to do something positive for her career and she attended Lakeshore Technical College to earn a nursing degree.

Not only did she get her degree, she found Brian Geerdts to share her life with. They were wed in 1991 and happily blended their families. Geerdts has worked for Aurora since 1996 as an oncology nurse. She has since become wound care certified, at Aurora Medical Center in Two Rivers. One day a week she does wound care, and the rest of her full-time hours are spent in oncology.

Nancy Geerdts of Manitowoc rides her mountain bike at Schuette Park in Manitowoc. She rides many miles throughout the country each year. Sue Pischke/ 50 Plus

were attending a wound care task force event and listened fervently to her friend’s enthusiasm for bicycling. Cleveland was happy to share her knowledge and enthusiasm with Geerdts, as well as take her out for some rides.

Both of her job classifications have made Geerdts very aware of the 3-second rule of life. She sees how drastically lives can be altered by an accident (which brings patients to the wound care clinic), or a diagnosis of cancer or other chronic disease that takes three seconds to give, but that will change a patient’s entire outlook on life. Besides the 3-second rule, a couple of other things factored in to Geerdts’ first bicycle purchase. First, she wasn’t getting any younger. She noticed she was making more sedentary and “safe” choices as she aged. It didn’t help her fitness level or her level of joy in life. Second, she was speaking with her friend and colleague Michelle Cleveland at work as they

Since getting a new mountain bike, she has ridden the Elroy Sparta trail in La Crosse as well as the Black River trail.

“I never knew that you can add a toe strap on the pedal to help you get a better pedal stroke and more speed. It took a while for me to get used to them, but now I can’t get around without them,” she said. “A good pair of biking gloves so I don’t get blisters is essential; it gives me a better grip, and the fingers are open. A computer on the bike tells me how far I’ve gone daily as well as cumulatively for the season. The daily trip mileage gives me an incentive to go further. It also gives me my fastest speed, my average speed, there’s a clock on it, and it’s only 30 bucks!”

Key equipment The most important thing that Geerdts would never do without is a helmet, and encourages young people in that regard. “I go out of my way to tell them they look so great in their helmet,” she said. After working a 12-hour shift at Aurora, Geerdts can get home at 7:45 p.m. and doesn’t always have the energy to go for a ride, but will go anyway if she needs a bit of stress relief. A

5- to 10-mile jaunt around town helps her to decompress and she is then ready to enjoy her evening and be at her best for her post the next day. “My parents moved from Phoenix to Manitowoc nine years ago because my father’s health was poor,” Geerdts said. “My sister Laura, who lives in Sheboygan, and I have helped my mother stay independent since my father passed in 2008 and she continues to live in an apartment in Manitowoc, doing very well. She turned 89 on July 29 the and it was this birthday that her request for a gift was to be able to go with me sometime when I do a trail; she will sit and read in the car, and then we will have lunch after.” They have to get to that yet before the snow starts flying! Her mother, Joy Bogard, is 89 years old and Geerdts would like to stay closer to home. “She claims to be the oldest person on Facebook in Wisconsin,” Geerdts said. “I don’t know if it’s true! She’s a stitch!” Geerdts sees her mom almost every day except when her sister takes her out to shop once a week.

Priorities “Working in oncology, the latter stages of the disease process can bring a lot of sadness into peoples’ lives,” Geerdts said. “I’ve gotten to know so many individuals and families and they are so honest as I talk with them at their bedside. The diagnosis of cancer has changed them. The smaller things in life that seemed so important before now have been replaced with a newfound value in their relationships, and time spent with family and friends is held more dear than all of the gold in Fort Knox. I really get to know them and I’ll say ‘I wish I would have known you before.’ They would say, ‘I wasn’t always like this!’ They may have been a bit more self-absorbed, or worked too much or been just a bit less thoughtful. ‘I wish I would have spent more time with my children or spouse or friends,’ they would say, or ‘I would have taken that vacation.’”


Your Road to Begins at River’s Bend

Harold Prince chose River’s Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center as a destination for recovery following a recent hospitalization. Over the course of his extended stay at River’s Bend, the staff had the opportunity not only to get to know Harold, but his family as well. Harold was able to sum up his rehab stay with River’s Bend as follows: “If you need a nursing home, I would recommend one like River’s Bend, with a modern facility, good food, and a nice room with a private bathroom.The room had a large bay window, a warm bed, and a recliner along with two chairs with arm rests. There is also a highly trained nursing staff to care for your medical needs.The staff that provides therapy is wonderful as well. I would highly recommend that you go to River’s Bend.” – Harold Prince, Rehab Graduate

Inspired by her patients, she spoke up, asked her friend about biking and got involved. She is enjoying a sport that keeps her fit, energetic at work, lowers her stress level, and is truly a joy to her.



The staff at River’s Bend proudly congratulate you, Harold, on your progress in rehab. Thank you for choosing our center and becoming part of our family.

Mike Jarzin

Pre-planning Specialist

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. September 2014 . 7


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1. Eat quickly and greedily 6. Store sign, abbr. 9. Life saver 13. Gastric woe 14. Poetic “before” 15. *Geometry tool 16. Mood disorder somewhat opposite of depression 17. Pitching stat

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whose bite can be fatal, pl. 35. Lode deposits 37. Change for a five 39. Make a logical connection 40. Plural of velum 41. Customs, values and behaviors acceptable to a social group 43. Astronaut’s insignia 44. “Vide _____” or “see

1. *Math class total 2. *Done after school play 3. *High school breakout 4. Secretariat’s controls 5. Brawl 6. Obedience school command 7. *Short for reading, writing and arithmetic 8. Squalid 9. Waikiki dance 10. Distinctive flair 11. Retired, abbr. 12. Iron ___ 15. Heat again 20. “Pulling my leg,” e.g.

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 10. 22. Dashboard abbr. 24. Health problem remediation 25. *”Back to School” or “Blackboard Jungle,” e.g. 26. “Gladiator” setting 27. Dutch pottery city 29. Door ____ 31. Chinese dynasty (1368-1644) 32. An outstanding example of its kind 33. Bridal path 34. *Hogwarts’ potions professor 36. Delhi wrap 38. Arid 42. Dictation taker 45. Lacking vigor or energy

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Advanced Family Chiropractic

Boomers embrace technology to facilitate more graceful aging

Generation X and Millennials get credit for being the most tech-savvy generations, but a growing group of baby boomers are demonstrating that the generation gap has nothing to do with digital know-how. Folks 50 and older are embracing technology to help them age more gracefully than ever. Whether they’re using devices to hear better in challenging situations, or social media to reconnect with friends they’ve not seen since high school, baby boomers are demonstrating they’re not afraid to use technology to make life easier. Here are a handful of ways boomers are using technology:

Coping with auditory challenges In our noisy, fast-paced society we commonly encounter many situations - such as a business meeting, family gathering or phone call - in which hearing may be difficult, even for people who don’t need a specialized hearing aid. Savvy boomers are using a Bluetooth-enabled amplification device to discretely improve volume and clarity in a variety of challenging environments. Personal Sound Amplifiers from Sound World Solutions look like any other sleek, high-tech mobile phone headset, but also provide amplification boomers can easily adjust and control themselves. Users can choose between three preset amplification settings or use a smartphone app to personalize the device. Visit to learn more.

Relationship management Four in five people age 50 to 75 are active on social media, and of them 75 percent are on Facebook, according to a survey by technology security company McAfee. Boomers use social media - including professional sites like LinkedIn - to re-

connect with friends from high school or college, maintain contact with family and friends, date, build professional connections and develop personal interests.

When you are looking for more p than just an apartment...

Managing investments Approaching retirement can make boomers feel driven to maximize their investment returns. Yet not everyone has access to or can afford working with a financial planner. Many boomers use online investing tools to fill knowledge gaps and build their nest eggs. From indepth information on tax-deferred or tax-free investment products to online brokerage accounts, technology has made it easier than ever for the 50-plus set to save toward retirement.

Catching up on their reading hanges in vision are a natural part of aging, and it’s not uncommon for people to need some help reading their favorite novels. Yet traditional compensation tactics, like wearing reading glasses or choosing large-print books and periodicals, shout “fogey.” E-readers, however, are cool - and allow boomers to enjoy their favorite reading material at the type size that’s easiest for them to read.

Let us welcome you home!

We take pride in our apartments and it shows! You will be captivated by the beauty you will find in the apartments, common areas, 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.

ivities staff-led act Tenant andet-friendly P

Manitou Manor Apartments

1433 No. 6th Street Manitowoc om WI-5001823728


Fi, om with Wi-zzles Large rec ro pu d n a mes pool table, ga

Staying healthier for longer Boomers have rewritten history in many ways, and not the least among them is their determination to stay as active and healthy as possible into their old age. An array of fitness technology - from pedometers to in-home gym equipment that tracks BMI and heart rate - is helping boomers achieve their fitness and wellness goals. From devices that improve hearing clarity to online tools that help them better manage their finances, baby boomers are using technology to ensure they enjoy life and remain active and healthy well into their golden years. Brandpoint

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. September 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

All Private Rooms!

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 $1,650.

Manitowoc’s only not-for-profit citizen directed care facility. 1235 South 24th Street • Manitowoc, WI • • 920-682-8254 WI-5001823721

12 . September 2014 . 50


Manitowoc 50 Plus September  
Manitowoc 50 Plus September