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Jan McCanless


t’s interesting, the images we conjure up in our minds about holidays. Say Thanksgiving, and instantly, you picture a roasted turkey. Say Christmas, and the answers will vary. Some folks think of a special gift they received, some picture Santa Claus, others a tree, it varies from person to person. Say Christmas to me, and I immediately think of

By Margaret Thompson-Shumate

Chorus: “Come and see what’s happening in the barn I’ve seen nothing like this since I’ve been on this farm Those strangers camping out there – have a baby in their arms Come and see what’s happening in the barn”

my grandmothers Christmas tree village, that she and my Aunt Alda put up every year under their tree. It was a glorious, fascinating village, complete with ice skaters, dogs out for a walk, lit up houses,and quaint churches and other structures. As soon as I hit the front door of Nonna’s place, I’d head for that village, moving the skaters around, the miniature people, I’d play with that village


n the 2014 Christmas season I wrote a Christmas skit. I performed the skit for my church congregation that year and every year since, as well as for some other holiday gatherings elsewhere. I based my idea for the skit on the lyrics and above quoted chorus of a great unusual song which gives tribute to Jesus’ birth. My church congregation is rather small, so I didn’t want to go to a lot of expense for costumes and props for a fifteen minute production. As I planned to be a cow and narrator, I called a local costume company to check on a price for a cow outfit. The price they quoted to me would have bought a week’s worth of groceries, so I told them thanks – but no thanks. I got busy searching for things I would need. I borrowed a cow bell to

all day, and every time I went over there during the holidays, there it would be, everything in it’s place, ready for me to play once again. Now, there were nine of us cousins on my dad’s side of the family, and I don’t know how the older ones felt about it, I fell somewhere in the middle of them, but, to me, and the younger ones, that village was magic! Christmas eve brought all of

wear around my neck from my neighbor Chris. Another neighbor, Donna, loaned me a cowboy hat with black and white cow spots on it. My son-in-law Garrett still had his black college graduation robe which he graciously gave to me. I visited a thrift store and purchased a shirt with black and white designs on it for $2.00. I cut the shirt up into many, many circles of different sizes and decided to pin them all over the robe rather than sew them on. This was quite a labor of love, but well worth it in the end – even though one of my church members jokingly commented that it was the first cow she had ever seen with Zebra spots on it. Well anyways, they were black and white. Now my outfit was complete and only cost me $2.00. My cow name was Caldonia




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us together, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, and Aunt Alda. After a dinner at the groaning dining room table, including some of Nonna’s legendary macaroni and cheese, and maybe some chocolate cake for dessert, we’d all go into the living room, and open gifts. Everybody there got something, nothing elaborate, and maybe not even expensive, but, it was a remembrance, and Continued on page 2

and I began my story by explaining to my audience that according to legend, on every Christmas Eve since Jesus’ birth, God gives all his animal creatures a special blessing – the ability to talk. Caldonia had just run up the hill from the barn and was panting and just about out of breath-moos. She said she was just minding her own cow Continued on page 2


Christmas Trail Tales The Gift That Recipes Series Keeps Giving Visit Our Website:

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Great American Publishing Company publishers of Senior Savvy

Published monthly as an information service for those 55 and over The publication of advertisements in Senior Savvy does not constitute endorsement by Great American Publishing Co. or contributing senior centers. Signed columns are the opinion of the writers and not necessarily the opinion of the publishers. If you need medical, financial, or other advice, seek this advice from a qualified professional in the appropriate field. Publisher Cindy Hart Advertising Sales Cindy Hart For information concerning advertising, call 704-213-4718 If you are interested in having a story or article printed, please contact us at: Great American Publishing Co. 125 Midsail Road Salisbury, NC 28146


What’s Happening In The Barn? continued from page 1 business when a handsome, gray donkey nearly swept her off her hooves. He said his name was Hercules and that he was a holy donkey. Caldonia told him she had heard people say, “Holy Cow” before but never, “Holy Donkey”. He explained he had been carrying a sweet young woman named Mary on his back. She and her carpenter husband Joseph had come from the city of Nazareth to Bethlehem because of some kind of tax order from Caesar. They were very tired and had stopped for rest. In addition, Mary was just about to give birth to their first child. The Innkeeper told them that the Inn was full but they could stay in the barn with me, Caldonia, and the other animals. Caldonia told Hercules they could use her trough for the baby’s bed and that if they needed any milk – well she was the one to see. Several curious baa-ing sheep

popped in with their shepherd and said they had followed a beautiful bright star that had perched itself over the barn. One of the sheep named Sigrid told about how they were grazing on this quiet night when suddenly an angel of the Lord came upon them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were “scared to death.” Then the angel told them not to fear and gave them instructions and a star that led them to the barn to witness the birth of the Christ child. So, there we were Caldonia (me the cow), Hercules (the holy donkey), Sigrid (the scared sheep), Coretta (the head chicken), and all the others joining together and singing praises for Jesus’ birth and His holy name. At the end of the skit, Caldonia turned and spoke

A Happy, Warm Fuzzy To You All continued from page 1 we had a wonderful time. All in sight of that wonderful, glorious village she had. Paper, ribbons everywhere, a lot of laughter, full tummies, it was marvelous, and what I always thought Christmas should be. I never had a sister, and, my brother Gregg was always into ‘guy’ things, but, I have a cousin, Shari, 3 years younger than me, and, the closest thing to a sister I have, and she too enjoyed that village. We sometimes would spend the weekend together, at Nonna’s , and we lived fairly close to one another, so, it seemed natural that we would pair up. Between Shari and I, that village was well played with. After my grandmothers death, I wondered whatever happened to all those figurines, the skaters, the houses and churches, I hated to think they were collecting dust in someones attic, or worse yet, given away to someone outside the family. What a tragedy, I thought!


to the congregation saying, “Oh! And by the way – the next time you are in awe of something or maybe smash your finger in a door, just yell out the Christian curse words – “HOLY COW!” And think of your friend Caldonia and that most special Christmas Eve a long, long time ago”. This Christmas season, please remember the true meaning of why we celebrate and keep Christ in Christmas! Close your eyes and envision that glorious event that happened in that barn with Caldonia and all her friends and praise His holy name. I wish a very Merry and Blessed Christmas to everyone and all your loved ones, especially Senior Savvy staff, writers and readers. I hope to be back with you in print in January, 2018. Holy cow! I can hardly wait!

Years went by,and finally I was able to find out that Shari had gotten the village, and I was overjoyed. To think her young grandchildren are now enjoying it, makes me smile. Memories like this are priceless, and it brings home the message to me that Christmas need not be about a lot of gifts, expensive catered meals, but, it is about family, love, being together to celebrate a wonderful and meaningful day. Thinking about Christmas should give you a warm, fuzzy all over, and that’s my special wish for you this holiday. May you have love, family, and a warm, fuzzy!

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SOCIAL SECURITY’S GIFT TO CHILDREN IS SECURITY By Lisa Wallace Social Security Public Affairs Specialist, Charlotte, NC


uring the holiday season, most of us, regardless of religion or beliefs, focus on the children we love. Caring for children is one of the best ways to safeguard the future. And we at Social Security know a thing or two about helping children. The application for a Social Security number and card is sometimes overlooked in the paperwork that parents fill out in preparation for a child’s birth. Typically, the hospital will ask new mothers if they want to apply for a Social Security number for their newborn as part of the birth registration process. This is the easiest and fastest way to apply. The Social Security card typically arrives about a week to ten days after that little bundle of joy! You can learn about Social Security numbers for children by reading our publication, Social Security Numbers for Children, available at A child needs a Social Security number if he or she is going to have a bank account, if a relative is buying savings

bonds for the child, if the child will have medical coverage, or if the child will receive government services. You’ll also need a Social Security number for a child to claim him or her on your tax returns. If you wait to apply, you will have to visit a Social Security office and you’ll need to: • Complete an Application for a Social Security Card (Form SS-5); • Show us original documents proving your child’s U.S. citizenship, age, and identity; • Show us documents proving your identity. A child age 12 or older requesting an original Social Security number must appear in person for the interview, even though a parent or guardian will sign the application on the child’s behalf. Children with disabilities are among our most vulnerable citizens. Social Security is dedicated to helping those with qualifying disabilities and their families through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. To qualify for SSI: • The child must have a physical or mental condition, or a combination of conditions,

resulting in “marked and severe functional limitations.” This means that the condition(s) must severely limit your child’s activities; • The child’s condition(s) must be severe, last for at least 12 months, or be expected to result in death; and • The child must not be working and earning more than the Substantial Gainful Activity limit ($1,180 a month in 2018). If your child’s condition(s) does not result in “marked and severe limitations,” or does not result in those limitations lasting for at least 12 months, your child will not qualify for SSI.

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Family resources are also considered. If the parents of the child or children have more resources than are allowed, then the child or children will not qualify for SSI. You can read more about children’s benefits at EN-05-10026.pdf. Visit people/kids to learn more about all we do to care for children. Social Security is with you and your children through your life’s journey, securing today and tomorrow.


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A Gift That Keeps on Giving to Others by Katrena Allison Wells Faith Community Nurse for Woodleaf United Methodist Church


he holidays often evoke a plethora of emotions, particularly for those who have lost a loved one. Tears are often mixed with laughter at holiday gatherings. For many families, organ and/or tissue donation enables families to find a silver lining within the storm of loss, providing a ray of hope for many others. Over 116,000 Americans, 2,280 from North Carolina, await

a life-saving transplant. Twentytwo people die each day waiting for an organ. Myths about organ donation abound – perhaps we can all learn something we did not already know about this important topic.

Did you know…. • There is no age limit for organ transplantation – even people in their 90s have been organ donors. Your health and the condition of your organs matter more than age. • You can sign up to be an organ donor regardless of your

December Crossword


1. Anagram of “Cabs” 5. Mooch 10. Immediately 14. Whimper 15. Circa 16. Killer whale 17. Mathematics 19. Den 20. Hairpiece 21. Chose 22. Wards (off) 23. Baffle 25. “Smallest particles” 27. Commercials 28. Improved 31. Harangues 34. Surpass 35. Conceit 36. Away from the wind 37. Exotic


38. Catch 39. At this time 40. Pepperwort 41. Mucky 42. “Unchoose” 44. Wander aimlessly 45. Distend 46. Love unquestioningly 50. A jet of vapor 52. Leaves out 54. Beer 55. Chick’s sound 56. A respiratory disease 58. Historical periods 59. Cattle farm 60. Rhythm 61. Nobleman 62. Hello or goodbye 63. Probabilities


1.Offspring 2. Oddity 3. Array 4. Wager 5. University buildings area 6. Assists 7. Shower with love 8. Pieces of advice 9. And so forth 10. Earnest 11. Exceed 12. Corrosive 13. Sailors 18. Grasps 22. A young horse 24. Head 26. Not now 28. Be 29. Quaint outburst 30. Motherless calf 31. South African monetary unit

medical history. Did you know that people who are infected with HIV may now be eligible to donate to someone who has an HIV infection? The transplant team has the latest information regarding eligibility requirements for donation, which may change over time. • Most major religions in the United States support organ donation as an act of love and generosity. Go to organdonor. gov and search for the article entitled religion and organ donation to see statements of major religions regarding organ/ tissue donation. • Signing up to be an organ donor does not decrease the quality of care you receive before death – the healthcare team’s priority focuses on your health until the time of death. • There is no cost to donors for organ or tissue donation. Five million people living in North Carolina have registered as a potential donor, and 95% of Americans support organ donation. However, family members who are unsure of a person’s wishes if he/she should qualify may find the decision to

be difficult to make. Talking with your healthcare power of attorney (if you have one) and those closest to you regarding your wishes to donate organs/tissues may help make the decision easier. Here are a few ways to sign up to be a potential organ donor: • Sign up to be a donor with your license renewal with the DMV. • Complete an advance directive, indicating that you wish to be a donor. • Go to the national registry at and register to be a donor. • Print paper donor forms, complete, and mail to the national registry. I wish to extend a huge thank you to any of you who made the decision to donate someone’s organs/tissues after his/her death. Your heartfelt gift made a lifechanging, lasting difference to others. Sources: Donate Life America, CHS Advance Directives Training: Organ Donation by Jesse Roberts and Kate McCullough

If your faith community is interested in a health program, please contact Pam Hurley at Pamela.Hurley@

32. Maguey 33. Newsflash 34. Relating to elections 37. District 38. Lather 40. Cause surfeit through excess 41. Fen 43. Pass by 44. An unexpected problem 46. Windlass 47. Despised 48. Homeric epic 49. Vermin 50. Hurried 51. South American country 53. Not stereo 56. Brassiere 57. Nigerian tribesman

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Our Black-Out Days By Irene Wells Jones

My father, J. C. Wells, was a career military soldier who served in WWII. I knew about his service to our country, but never knew about my Aunt Irene Jones’ part during the war until I was given some writings she’d done of her life. I was really shocked to find her account of being an Air Raid Sector Warden during the war! She’d shared many things from her life with me but never mentioned this. As I read through it, I wished I could sit down with her and have her tell me in her own voice more of what that time was like for her. In the meantime, I’ll re-read my Aunt lrene’s account of her first night as an Air Raid Warden. I’m just glad she felt that time was special enough to make note of it. Maybe her story will bring back memories to others. - Linda Wells Coon

“1942 and ‘43 hold many memories for me... some good, some bad, some just plain funny. Knowing there’s a war raging and many men were leaving never to return, others to return with broken minds, broken spirits and many broken hearts. But we could still find some good moments. People seemed to care for one

another more. Nobody was a stranger. People would talk to each other on buses, street cars, trains and gathering places. We could walk the street anywhere we would care to go at any hour and never have to worry about robbery, rape, murder or anything harmful. I was chosen to be an Air Raid Sector Warden. I had no idea what it was all about. I was soon to find out it was not all play. We had classes in First Aid... standard and advance classes. After completion we went on to Air Raid Warden classes. We met two nights a week in a church basement. Not too many young men were left behind to take part, but many middle-aged men and all-aged women were ready to take part. Most everyone was close friends after a couple of classes, each studying and working hard to do our bit; everyone sharing bits of sad and good news from loved ones and friends overseas. When our classes were over and our exams were completed we were issued arm bands and Air Raid Warden helmets which seemed to weigh ten pounds. We also carried our small flash light which had the glass painted red, giving off very little light. Even the street lights had very

low watt bulbs in them. Every house or apartment was required to have black-out shades on the windows. We couldn’t have any light showing while a black-out practice was in effect. I will never forget the first practice. I was called about midnight by a top warden telling me it might be going into effect during the early morning hours. I was so excited, yet nervous. I put my slacks, sweater, jacket and heavy shoes beside my bed. Nearby were my helmet, arm band and flashlight. Sirens sounded at 2 a.m. We had to dress by flash light and be on the street in less than five minutes. I did it! Not to mention it’s the dead of winter and our only means of heat was a gas heater which was turned off at night. To say I was numb with cold before I got on the street puts it mild. I had only checked out a 4 unit apartment house getting everyone to get the lights off, when I spotted a couple parked nearby. I asked them to get out

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and go inside the apartment entrance which was one of our rules. Finally they found something to write on and I realized they were deaf mutes! After trying to explain to them what they must do (by writing) my hands were frozen, but they cooperated nicely. As I walked in the middle of the dark street the wind was making weird sounds around the buildings, and since it was a cloudy night it was so dark you couldn’t see anything except the small red light on the street near my feet. I heard something running near me. My heart almost stopped! As it got near I gave a quick leap to the side of the street. It was a huge Chow dog. It’s hard to tell who was Continued on page 18



A Little Dose of Humor Sharing Is Caring

Side Effects

A young man saw an elderly couple sitting down to lunch at a fast food restaurant. He noticed that they had ordered one meal, and an extra drink cup. As he watched, the gentleman carefully divided the hamburger in half, then counted out the fries, one for him, one for her, until each had half of them.

A man brought some prescription tablets and started cutting off the edges.

Then he poured half of the soft drink into the extra cup and set that in front of his wife. The old man then began to eat, and his wife sat watching, with her hands folded in her lap.


Do you know why? He wanted to avoid the side effects.

Early one morning, my husband, who works in a funeral home, woke me, complaining of severe abdominal pains. We rushed to the emergency room, where they gave him a series of tests to determine the source of the pain.

The young man decided to ask if they would allow him to purchase another meal for them so that they didn’t have to split theirs. The old gentleman said, “Oh no. We’ve been married 50 years, and everything has always been and will always be shared, 50/50.”

My husband decided not to have me call in sick for him until we knew what was wrong. When the results came back, the nurse informed us that, true to our suspicions, he was suffering from a kidney stone.

The young man then asked the wife if she was going to eat, and she replied, “It’s his turn with the teeth.”

I turned to my husband and asked, “Would you like me to call the funeral home now?”

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With an alarmed look, the nurse quickly said, “Ma’am, he’s not THAT sick!”

A police officer said to a motorist, “What were you doing? Your car was zigzagging like crazy!”

The Fast ‘S’ Car

“I’m learning to drive.”

Two snails went to an auto race. There were twenty six cars, so instead of numbers the cars were identified by letters from A to Z.

“Without an instructor in the car?” “Oh, yes. It’s an online course.”

As the race started, the ‘S’ car quickly sped away from the trailing pack of cars. Seeing this, the one snail said to the other, “Hey, look at that ‘S’ car go!”

Self Righteousness Two elderly, excited Southern women were sitting together in the front pew of the church listening to a fiery preacher. When this preacher condemned the sin of stealing, these two ladies cried out, “Amen, Brother!”

Try Marriage Because I had forgotten the dates for a number of my friends and relatives’ birthdays and anniversaries, I decided to compile a list on the computer and have the dates highlighted on screen when the machine was turned on.

When the preacher condemned the sin of lust, they yelled again, “You preach it, Reverend!” And when the preacher condemned the sin of lying, they jumped to their feet and hollered, “RIGHT ON! TELL IT LIKE IT IS! AMEN!”

I went to a number of computer stores to find a software program that would do the job, but had no luck at the first few. I finally found one where the clerk seemed experienced.

But when the preacher condemned the sin of gossip, the two got very quiet. One turned to the other and said, “He’s quit preaching and now he’s just meddling.”

“Can you recommend something that will remind me of birthdays and anniversaries?” I asked.

False Advertising

“Have you tried a wife?” he replied.

Seen on the door of a repair shop:

Phone Call Duration

WE CAN FIX ANYTHING! (Please knock on the door—the bell doesn’t work.)

Boy to boy: 1 minute Boy to dad: 30 seconds Boy to mom: 2 minutes Boy to girl: 1 hour

Girl to girl: 2 hours Girl to boy: 1 Missed call Husband to wife: 15 seconds Wife to husband: 15 missed calls

The State of Consciousness What is “Consciousness”? That annoying time between naps.

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Special Events

1120 South Martin Luther King Blvd. Salisbury, North Carolina 28144-5658 704.216.7714 (voice) 704.633.8517 (fax) (email) For Questions and to Register for Programs, please call the main desk at 704-216-7714.

Enjoy refreshments at all programs. Pre-registration required!

SAVE THE DATE: SOUPER BOWL COOKOFF LUNCHEON FUNDRAISER: Fri., February 2, 1-3 pm. Front row seats to the “hottest” competition for the best soup and cornbread prepared by chefs of area retirement communities. Sample each soup and cast your FIVE DAYS OF HOLIDAY CHEER: vote. $5 early bird tickets on sale Dec 4 - Dec 29. Tues., Dec 5 at 10:30 am “Christmas Made in America”, HEALTH & WELLNESS performed by Phoenix Readers NEW! JAZZERCISE FUSION Thurs., Dec 7 at 6 pm - Brass Band DEMONSTRATION- Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 8:15am and 9:15 Trio performing Christmas carols am. A brand new format with and Holiday songs alternating aerobic movements Mon., Dec 11 at 11 am - “Laughter and targeted muscle work to maximize your workout. Rev up for the Holidays” with laughter therapy & good for the soul your metabolism, melt fat, create strong, sculpted arms, legs and a Wed., Dec 13 at 1 pm tight core. “Appalachian Mountain Christmas Concert and Sing Along” Clay DIABETES SUPPORT GROUPLunsford and Matthew Weaver 1st and 3rd Wednesdays at performing, donations welcome 2 pm. BE A SANTA TO A SENIOR: provide Christmas gifts to seniors in need. Nov 22 to Dec 15, select a wish list from the Center’s tree, purchase items and bring them to the Center on or before December 15 by 12 pm. Hosted in partnership with Home Instead.

Wed., Dec 20 at 2 pm - Movie of Month “Christmas with the Kranks”, sponsored by Victory Wealth Management

REFIT: Mondays and Wednesdays 2:10 pm-2:55 pm. Get fit to cardio dance infused with muscle toning fitness

WALKING FOR CARDIO: Mondays and Wednesdays at 9:30am. Structured walking workouts outdoors. Group meets at front desk. Fee: $11/monthly fee. Walk off Thanksgiving calories and keep the Christmas pounds off! BLOOD PRESSURE SCREENING: Wednesday, Dec. 6, 9:3010:30am. BP reading and consultation. Provided by retired Geriatric Adult Nurse Practitioner. A blood pressure kiosk is also available in Fitness Annex, sponsored by Novant Health Rowan Medical Center. WELLNESS CLUBS: Taking Pounds Off Sensibly (TOPS) Chapter - Mondays at 9:30am; Better Breathing Club – 2nd Wednesdays at 1:00 pm; Rufty-Holmes Garden Club – 2nd Mondays at 2:00 pm ON-GOING EXERCISE CLASSES: Try one of 27 different land and aquatics classes offered weekly. Must register and receive a fitness consultation prior to joining a class. No charge for valid Silver Sneakers® or Silver & Fit® supplemental insurance members. Strength and aerobic fitness equipment available with trained staff to provide orientation and instruction. Chair Volleyball Monday, Wednesday & Fridays at 1:00 pm in the Fitness Annex. Preregistration not required.

ARTS & CRAFTS WORKSHOPS HANDMADE CARD WORKSHOP: Tuesday, December 5, 2-4 pm. Create six all occasion cards. Supplies $13, payable at class. Advance registration required. BUSY BEES CRAFT CLUB: First Thursdays at 9:30 am. December’s project is Christmas Ornaments. Registration not required. WATERCOLOR JAM: Wednesday, December 27, 1:00-4:00 pm. Open session for watercolor painters to work on own projects; no instructor present.


CLUBS: Creative Needles Group - Wednesdays at 9:30 am; Woodcarvers Group Thursdays at 1:30 pm; Starry Night Quilters- 2nd Thursdays at 6:30 pm; Rowan Doll Society – 3rd Tuesdays at noon; Sunny Days Quilters – 3rd Thursdays at 1:00 pm; Carolina Artists – 3rd Thursdays at 6:30 pm


Senior Games Shuffleboard - Friday, December 1, 8:30 am – 11:30 am. BINGO Tuesdays, 1-3 pm, sponsored by Beltone Hearing Aid Centers CARD & GAME DAY for Members, Thursdays, 1-4 pm. Free with refreshments BROADCAST BINGO on Memories 1280 Radio: Rowan County older adults age 60 and older can win prizes from sponsors by listening Monday thru Friday, 6:25 am & 10:25 am. Call the center to have a Bingo Card mailed to you. CLUBS: Evergreen Bridge Club - Fridays at 1:00 pm; Golf Association of Rowan Seniors (GARS) – First Mondays at 8:30 am


For all Trips: Pre-payment reserves your space. You must registered at the center to travel. Payment by credit card, cash or check. Tickets on sale now! Nutcracker Ballet: Friday, December 8. Motor coach leaves at 10:00 am. Enjoy an experiential version of this Christmas favorite, in Charlotte. Dine at restaurant of your choosing in Downtown Charlotte. Lunch is your cost. $40 per person covers motor coach and Ballet. Few spaces left! OUTDOOR ADVENTURE CLUB DAY TRIP: Friday, December 15. Meet at the Center at 8:30 am to carpool to Boones Cave at Davidson County Park. Bring water, snack, walking stick and $3 to help drivers with gas. Plan to spend the whole day. Dress for the weather and active walking. Participation is at your own

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risk. New participants need to complete an information form at the Front Desk. In case of inclement weather call the Center, as the outing may be postponed.

CLOSINGS: Mon. and Tues., December 25-26 and no evening programs scheduled after 5 pm the week of Christmas (12/2512/29).

WALK-ABOUTS Group: Thursday, Dec. 14, 11:00 am for Christmas meal. Planning session for 2018 is January 11 at 1:00 pm at the Center.

LAST CALL! MEDICARE OPEN ENROLLMENT: December 7 is your last chance for Medicare beneficiaries to review and make changes to their Medicare coverage. During this period it is important for beneficiaries to review their insurance to ensure adequate coverage and not spending too much. Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP) counselors will provide information and help compare plans. A free service provided by the NC Insurance Commissioner’s Office and Rufty-Holmes Senior Center. Call our local SHIIP office at 704-216-7704 to schedule an appointment.

SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS (meet at Rufty-Holmes Senior Center unless noted) AARP MEETING: Dec. 7 at 12:30 pm. Bring covered dish or dessert to share for light luncheon. Entertainment provided by renowned Randolph County guitarist, Larry G. Davis. All seniors 50+ are invited. CLUBS: Ambassadors Club – 1st Monday at noon National Active & Retired Federal Employees – 3rd Mondays at 1:00 pm Seniors Morning Out – 1st Thursday at 10:00 am Seniors Without Partners – 2nd Thursday at 9:00 am

Senior Technology Programs

COMPUTER CLASSES: Pre-registration required. You must be a registered Center participant, and pay class fee at Front Desk before class. USING SOCIAL MEDIA SITESWednesday, December 13, 1-4 pm, $10 One-on-one crash course using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter in time to be in the know with younger family for the holiday season. You can register for these sites (if you choose) and learn to navigate each social media outlet. CLUBS: R-H Computer Club Thursdays at 10:00 am Rufty Holmes Senior Center News Staff ready to assist individuals and families with general information and assistance in utilizing community services available to older adults. Call the Center’s Information & Assistance Program at 704-2167700. There are many services available to older adults in our county.

NEW! MEDICATION DROPOFF DAY: Tuesday, December 12, bring unused and expired medications to the Center and learn how to properly dispose of them before holiday guests arrive. “ARE YOU OK?” SERVICE: Receive a free daily automated telephone safety call. Get details and sign up at 704-216-7704.

Club Meetings R U F T Y- H O L M E S S E N I O R C E N T E R

CLUB MEETINGS THIS MONTH: Ambassadors Club – 1st Monday at noon National Active & Retired Federal Employees – 3rd Mondays at 1:00 pm Seniors Morning Out – 1st Thursday at 10:00 am Seniors Without Partners – 2nd Thursday at 9:00 am

to participate, but donations are encouraged and accepted; principally funded by federal, state and local aging grants. For details, call 704-216-7702. Seeking Holiday entertainment at lunch sites at 11:30 am. December’s theme is Ear Health! Receive valuable information and a free hearing screening from Beltone Hearing Services. Fri., Dec 22, ONLY North Rowan, West Rowan, and East Rowan will be open and transportation provided. Wed., Dec 27, ONLY South Rowan, Salisbury West-John Calvin, and Salisbury EastLafayette will be open.

PURCHASE A Gift Card FOR A CLASS OR ACTIVITY AT RUFTY-HOLMES. A great gift for LOCAL INFORMATION that senior who has all they need. (City of Salisbury & Rowan Purchase at the Front Desk. County) SENIOR NUTRITION NEWS: Rufty Holmes is a partner agency with 2nd Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina! Wanted: non-perishable food items such as canned soups, canned vegetables, tuna, peanut butter, crackers and personal hygiene items. Applications will be accepted for the food bank program on December 8, 12, and 22 at 11:30 am at various lunch club sites. To learn more, call our nutrition manager at 704-2167702 for details. LUNCH CLUBS: Rufty-Holmes Senior Center offers six Rowan County locations for adults age 60 and older to gather for lunch, fellowship and programs Monday thru Friday. No charge

NEED A RIDE TO THE SENIOR CENTER? The City Bus serves the Senior Center hourly Monday-Friday on route # 1. For information call 704-638-5252. COUNTY RESIDENTS AGE 60 AND OLDER ALSO QUALIFY FOR TRANSPORTATION ASSISTANCE TO THE CENTER & LUNCH SITES; CALL 704-216-8888. ASSISTANCE WITH HEARING NEEDS: For hearing devices or telephone communication. Sponsored by NC Division of Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing. Schedule an appointment at Rufty-Holmes by calling 1-800-835-5302.

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GOLD CARDS: Rowan County residents age 62 and older can obtain passes to attend home Rowan-Salisbury Schools’ athletic, musical and drama events free of charge. Available at Rufty-Holmes Front Desk with a photo ID. LEGAL ASSISTANCE APPOINTMENTS: Attorneys with Legal Aid of North Carolina, Inc. are available to meet at the Center by appointment, to provide assistance in noncriminal matters (family law, public assistance, housing, consumer protection, etc). Service is no cost to low-income adults age 60 or older, provided with regional funds from the Area Agency on Aging. To schedule an appointment, call NC Legal Aid office at 1-877-579-7562 and identify yourself as an older adult residing in Rowan County. APPOINTMENTS FOR OMBUDSMAN ASSISTANCE: Regional Long Term Care Ombudsman from Centralina Area Agency on Aging, is available to answer individual questions related to long term care living. Call the Senior Center to set up an appointment.



Our Community



ost of Relay For Life volunteers don’t start their work with us until cancer affects themselves or close relatives or friends directly. Talk about wake-up calls! Cancer is one disease that is scary, and when it appears in our lives, working to find treatments and cures becomes so very important. Many begin working with a team, which also may become a kind of support group, and they continue to volunteer because, as the saying goes, “Cancer never sleeps.” They hope through their volunteer work to make a difference, and in some way to make the lives of other survivors easier. We in Rowan County welcome new volunteers through teams

and in leadership. Planning fundraisers to help reach our goals throughout the year helps lessen the burden of raising funds the night of the Relay event. Having active teams and dedicated leaders keeps everyone on their toes, and sharing new ideas through new members helps greatly. We have opening now for a sponsorship lead, a position very important for contacting businesses to sponsor the Relay. You might help also with team retention, reminding some teams about the new season and what is planned. And we always need help at the event. In the meantime, we have selected our theme: Relay at the Beach: Wave Goodbye to Cancer. Our 2018 Official

Kick-Off takes place Tuesday, January 9 at 6 PM in St. John’s Lutheran Church fellowship hall. We are grateful to St. John’s for providing this venue for us. We are also grateful to Checkered Flag BBQ, who will provide sandwiches and tea for us, as they have done for many years. We hope you will join us that night and add your energy and ideas to our event. We will have a leadership/committee meeting after the team meeting, and we would welcome your input. This month you can support Relay For Life by attending Faith Cruisers’ Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser on Saturday, December 9 from 7 AM to 10 AM for a free-will donation to the Relay. Menu includes pancakes, grits, scrambled eggs,

sausage, coffee, milk, and juice. The team also plans a bake sale, silent auction, and drawings that morning. We hope to see you and your family and friends at Faith Lutheran Church, 205 S. Main St., Faith, NC. To make a donation in honor or memory of someone, forward your check and information to American Cancer Society, Attn: Relay For Life of Rowan County, 1901 Brunswick Ave., Suite 100, Charlotte, NC 28207.

9 Strategies to Help a Parent Who Refuses Care Posted By Elizabeth Pope


our mother resists inhome helpers, insisting you can wait on her. Your frail father won’t stop driving. Your aunt denies the need for a personal care aide, in spite of her unwashed hair and soiled clothes. Your grandmother refuses to move to an assisted living facility “because it’s full of old people.” Sound familiar? Nothing is harder for a family caregiver than an elder loved one who refuses needed help. “This is one of the most common and difficult caregiving challenges that adult kids face,” says Donna Cohen, Ph.D. a clinical psychologist and author of “The Loss of Self: A Family Resource for the Care of Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders.” Before pushing your mother too hard to accept help, try to understand her fears about aging, says Cohen: “Many older people see themselves as proud survivors. They think ‘I’ve been through good times and bad, so I’ll be fine on my own.’ Plus, they don’t believe their children understand the physical and emotional toll of

age-related declines.” A senior in the early stages of cognitive impairment may be the most difficult to deal with. “Your angry father or agitated mother is aware of this miserable change in their brain they don’t quite understand,” Cohen adds. Calm reassurance will help them cope with a frightening loss of function. It’s normal for family caregivers to experience rage, helplessness, frustration and guilt while trying to help an intransigent older loved one, says Barbara Kane, co-author of “Coping with Your Difficult Older Parent: A Guide for Stressed-Out Children.” “You may revert to the same coping mechanisms you had during adolescent power struggles with your parent -- screaming, yelling or running out of the room,” she says. “You need to understand what parental behaviors trigger your emotional response and realize you have other choices.” (And Kane advises considering seeing a therapist yourself if necessary to deal with a difficult parent.) Here are nine strategies to help you overcome the objections of a recalcitrant loved one:

1. Start Early Ideally, families have relaxed conversations about caregiving long before a health crisis. Look for opportunities to ask questions like, “Mom, where do you see yourself getting older?” or “How would you feel about hiring a housekeeper or driver so you could stay home?” 2. Be Patient Ask open-ended questions and give your loved one time to answer, says Senior Care advisor Mary Stehle, LCSW. “You can say, ‘Dad, what’s it like to take care of Mom 24 hours a day?’.” But be warned: Conversations may be repetitive and tangential, veering off-topic. It may take several talks to discover the reason your mother, a meticulous housekeeper, has fired five aides in a row is simply that they neglected to vacuum under the dining room table. 3. Probe Deeply Ask questions to determine why an elder refuses help -- then you can tailor a solution, says Kane. “Is it about a lack of privacy, fears about the cost of care, losing independence or having a stranger in the house?” says Kane. To build trust, listen with empathy and validate rather than deny your loved one’s feelings. (Learn more about starting a conversation about care with your parent) 4. Offer Options If possible, include your parent in interviews or in setting schedules, says Stehle. Let them choose certain days of the week or times of day to have a home health aide come. Emphasize an aide will be a companion for walks, concerts, museum visits and other favorite activities. (Find a senior care aide.) 5. Recruit Outsiders Early “Sometimes it’s easier for a parent to talk to a professional rather than a family member,” says Cohen. Don’t hesitate to ask a social worker, a doctor or nurse, a priest or minister -- even an old poker buddy -- to suggest your parent needs help. 6. Prioritize Problems Make two lists, says Cohen, one for your loved one’s problems and another for the steps you’ve already taken -- and where to get more help. “If you don’t categorize your efforts, caregiving becomes this huge weight,” says Cohen. Writing it down and numbering by priority can relieve a lot of stress. 7. Use Indirect Approaches If your father has dementia, offering less information may be more effective at times, suggests Stehle. “You could let your parent know the aide is someone very helpful who can take your father on walks, fix him meals, and help him throughout the day. You don’t need to explain every aspect of care the aide will provide before the relationship has been formed. This may make your loved one feel less threatened.” 8. Take it Slow Weave a new aide in gradually, says Kane. Start with short home visits or meet for coffee, then bring the aide along to the doctor’s a few weeks later. “You leave early on some pretext, letting the aide accompany your parent home.” 9. Accept Your Limits As long as seniors are not endangering themselves or others, let them make their own choices, says Cohen. “You can’t be at your parent’s side all the time. Bad things can happen, and you can’t prevent them,” she says. “You need to accept limits on what you can accomplish and not feel guilty.” It may sound unfeeling, but maybe going a day or two without meals is just the reality check an elder needs to welcome a badly needed helping hand.


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Apple Walnut Stuffed Pork Roast

Favorite Old Fashioned Gingerbread

5 cups coarse dry breadcrumbs

Ingredients: 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 cup butter 1 egg 1 cup molasses 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 teaspoon ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup hot water

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan. 2. In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the egg, and mix in the molasses. 3. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water. Pour into the prepared pan. 4. Bake 1 hour in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in pan before serving.

Ingredients: 5 tablespoons butter 1 apple - peeled, cored, and chopped 1 small onion, chopped 1 celery stalk, diced 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1 cup unsweetened applesauce 1 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 1 (3 pound) boneless rolled pork loin roast Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Peppermint Brittle

2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the apple, onion, celery, and walnuts, and cook 5 minutes, until vegetables are tender. Mix in the applesauce, water, and breadcrumbs. Cook and stir until the breadcrumbs have absorbed the liquid. Season with cinnamon, kosher salt, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger.

Ingredients: 2 pounds White Chocolate 30 small Peppermint Candy Canes

3. Unroll the pork roast, and place in a baking dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon the stuffing mixture over the roast. Arrange any excess stuffing around the roast. Roll the roast so that the fatty side is on top, and tie with kitchen twine. 4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F (63 degrees C).

Directions: 1. Line a large jellyroll pan with heavy-duty foil. 2. Place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave on medium setting for 5 to 6 minutes. Stir occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. 3. Place candy canes in a plastic bag, or between two pieces of waxed paper. Using a mallet or rolling pin, break the candy canes into chunks. Stir peppermint into melted white chocolate. Spread evenly in pan, and chill until set, about 1 hour. Break into pieces by slamming pan on counter.


Do you have a favorite recipe that you’d like to share with our readers? If so, we’d love to have recipes that are easy, healthy and are smaller in proportion – just right for someone cooking for one or two. Please send your recipes to OR drop them off at the front desk of Rufty Holmes Senior Center to Cindy Nimmer. Thanks and we look forward to seeing what you’ve got cooking!

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Our Faith



never thought I would write this Christmas story. It is not my intention to make any reader sad during their Christmas holidays. But it is my intention to share why I say, “bah humbug.” Bah humbug is an expression used when someone does not approve of or enjoy something that other people enjoy, especially a special occasion such as Christmas. Some of my personal feelings about this are the commercial aspects of the holiday as opposed to the real reason for the season. Christmas decorations are being put up earlier and earlier every year. Bah humbug! The December stories I’ve written in past years were always about true holiday happenings in different chapters of my life. I would say that a large percentage of my happy adult Christmas times were between 1965 – 1992 when my husband, Joe, was still with me and our two daughters. The years, “BJ” (before Joe) were 1947 – 1964. The best part of those years were based on the real “reason for the season”… the birth of Jesus Christ. My church activities were what Christmas was really all about. We did not receive or give numerous expensive gifts as folks do in today’s

But my main desire was that I could make everyone happy! There were these special family celebrations with Joe’s family at his old home place and my family at my mother’s house. Planning, cooking, and transporting large amounts of food from one place to another Linda S. Beck was one of our main activities until our parents passed away. Because I had the largest house world. We drew names and were and most free time, my siblings told how much could be spent began to bring their families and on any gift. food to celebrate at our farm. I actually only remember Unfortunately, times changed three gifts from all those years. once again when my health Each of my adult daughters now began to fail and Joe became ill. own one of these three gifts Joe’s death and the marriages and the other one is still in my of both daughters had left us possession. I have written about with many good memories of those gifts before and that is not the time spent raising those what this story is about. girls. Their 4-H activities had Then there were the 27 been special occasions of Christmases spent with Joe group dinners, contests, and the which included those memories importance of serving others. We of our three years before our provided food for some hungry first daughter was born. At families, flowers, gifts, and other that time Christmas took on community services such as a new importance… our goal programs at nursing homes. was happy children! And There were the times of although those were happy caroling, going to church, times as a family, they could hayrides, and other fun activities. be very stressful, expensive, In those days we would ride and physically exhausting for around looking at Christmas me with my increasing health decorations, attending parades, problems.

and taking part in various community Nativity scenes. Now, Nativity scenes are frowned upon as if the birth of Jesus is no longer the reason for the season. “Bah humbug,” I say. Lack of transportation and a church home has left a hollow spot in my heart that also results from several more deaths of family members, and broken relationships. Our family has grown now as my grandchildren became adults and now one step–granddaughter and her husband have presented me with twins (a boy and a girl… great-grandchildren just before I turned 70 years old.) God has continued to bless me with numerous friends who are willing to help me in many ways. Since many of them are older than I am and have their own health problems, they do have limitations and I do my best not to impose upon them. There have been so many changes and I have always said holidays can be celebrated when the majority is available. It is most important that we remember to give of ourselves more than taking from others. It is indeed more blessed to give than to receive!

Christmas Decorations





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Our Health


Lorin S. Oden

Au.D., FAAA Doctor of Audiology


s 2017 draws to an end, Beth, Jane and I have some very exciting news. After a very long process of finding just the right person, we are pleased to announce that Jamie Webb has joined our team at Hearing Solutions of North Carolina. Don’t worry Beth is not leaving, but she definitely needed some help. Jane and I have been keeping Beth very busy so Jamie, working part-time as our Patient Care Coordinator, is assisting at the front desk; scheduling patients, answering the phone, working check-in/check-out and completing reminder calls. Jamie was employed in a medical office before her two children Sutton and Lucas were born. She joins us with first-hand experience of the effects hearing loss has on the family dynamics, as her mother currently uses hearing technology. In addition to her two children, Jamie lives in Salisbury with her husband John. Beth, Jane and I are pleased to have her as part of our team. We know you will like her as much as we do. On another note: The American Academy of Audiology, North Carolina held its annual conference last month in Durham. Conference topics included; cognitive ability and its effect on hearing and listening, tinnitus, cochlear implants for children and Medicare coding requirements. I always find it difficult to sit for so long, but completing 9.5 hours of continuing education and talking with colleagues is always beneficial. Additionally, Alan Desmond, Au.D gave a wonderful

presentation on “The Dizzy Patient”. Dr. Desmond is the director of the Balance Disorders Program at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and a faculty member of Wake Forest School of Medicine. He is the author of several books on vestibular function and serves as a representative of the American Academy of Audiology at the American Medical Association. We see most of our patients with complaints of dizziness, while providing audiological services at Pinnacle Ear, Nose, Throat and Allergy. Primary care physicians will refer patients for an otolaryngologic (ENT) evaluation when there is a complaint of dizziness. Due to the fact that the vestibular portion of the inner ear shares fluid with the hearing portion (cochlea) of the inner ear a hearing evaluation is also scheduled before the patient is seen by Dr. Whitaker. Dizziness, vertigo and balance disorders (lightheadedness or unsteadiness) affect millions of people each year. The balance and vestibular systems are complex. The inner ears of balance interact with the brain, eyes, central nervous system, cardiovascular system, muscles, joints and nerves in the legs. If any of these systems are not working properly you can have balance issues. Most people with any form of a balance issues will state they have “inner ear”. But as you can see from the list of body systems that must be working properly, it is not always the “inner ear”. At the conference, Dr. Desmond shared his “Practitioner’s Guide to the Dizzy Patient”. Its initial intention was to help those in primary care make the proper referral for

the dizzy patient. I picked up a copy for myself and one to share with Dr. Whitaker. I find it very useful as there is educational information for the patient as well in the booklet. From a choice of eight descriptions, the patient is instructed to select only one statement that best describes their symptoms. With 70% accuracy, his short form questionnaire can lead to a diagnosis and suggested treatment options. I am excited to incorporate this information into the care we provide to the community. After attending the annual conference I am reminded of the definition of audiology and the role we have in the medical community. The central focus of the profession of audiology is concerned with all auditory impairments and their relationship to disorders of communication. Audiologists identify, assess, diagnose, and treat individuals with impairments of either peripheral or central auditory and

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Jamie Webb

Patient Care Coordinator

/or vestibular function, and strive to prevent such impairments. So if you need to schedule an appointment, give Beth or Jamie a call at 704-633-0023. In addition, as you develop your 2018 schedule, we are available for presentations. We wish you a very happy, healthy holiday season and look forward to seeing you soon. For more information or to schedule a hearing evaluation, contact Dr. Lorin S. Oden at Hearing Solutions of North Carolina, 464 Jake Alexander Blvd. W., Salisbury, NC 28147 704-633-0023



The Carolina Thread Trail weaves a path through time and terrain. My friends and I discovered a natural surface trail segment in the Buffalo Creek Preserve. Once a week we hike the path that meanders through restored oak-savanna and farmland along Adams Creek. On every walk we share stories about our past and consider dreams for the future. In late September 2016 we constructed a wooden frame shelter to house print versions of those stories; we called them Trail Tales. The modest enclosure is located at the head of the preserve. We plan to make those stories available to readers of Senior Savvy on a monthly basis, no hiking gear required.

Heidi Thurston returns to the Trail Tales column this month with a beautiful holiday story, “Christmas, Peace, and a Soft Green Dress.” Instruction on how to access an electronic version of the story is posted on the blog hosted at Enjoy this installment.

Christmas, Peace, And A Soft Green Dress

© 2017 By Heidi Thurston


he aroma of the Christmas goose drifting from behind the kitchen door, mingling with the scent of pine from another quickly closed door. Coats and boots dripping with melting snow falling on my feet and the hallway runner. Large mysterious packages quietly

slipped through a door behind which nothing but velvet darkness lingered. A soft green wool dress swirling in a darkened hallway and patent leather shoes reflecting white silken knee socks. These were all part of a very special night in Copenhagen in 1945, the first Christmas Eve after World War II had ended. We had left our apartment earlier and with armloads of gifts, my parents and I had eased into the warm seats of an awaiting taxi and watched the holiday lights reflect on the black exterior of the moving car. As the auto rumbled through city streets, we observed hurrying

crowds bustling from store to store with last minute errands, while others, like ourselves, were carrying gifts wrapped in bright Christmas paper. All were dressed in warm coats and mufflers and everyone was headed for the homes of family and friends in order to share with them this exciting evening. This was THE big night and it all began with the new dress, sewn from soft green wool, embroidered in red and white holiday flowers and made especially for me for this occasion. The very feel of the gown, as it fell softly around my knees, held promises

of a wonderful time at my grandmother’s home where we would be joined by my father’s mother, his bachelor brother and maiden aunt. Traditionally, Christmas Eve began with amber-colored sherry, sparkling in antique, crystal goblets and the bell-like clinks as five adults toasted. A smaller glass, bubbling with red soda tickled my nose, and helped heighten my festive mood. Grandmother had studied cooking in France. On this night, she served succulent goose, mouth-watering red cabbage, tiny potatoes browned in butter giving them a caramel look and a tempting aroma. When all was devoured, it was my turn to help in the kitchen. With a starched, crisp, white apron wrapped around me, protecting the new green dress, I stood on a small stool, chest just above the counter, and beat the metal whisk until small peaks swirled from the ice cold, heavy cream. This would be smoothly blended with nuts and rice into the rich, traditional Danish dessert topped with cherry sauce. After my part of the holiday meal was over, I would sit on the kitchen Continued on page 17


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Remember the Good Ole Days?

Louanne Stanton


am 54 years old. I know the age group of the people that read this newspaper are between the ages of 30 and 97… if you fall outside of that range, please call and let me know so I can formally apologize to you. When I think back to the Holidays of my childhood, they are filled with sweet and simple memories. We did not receive gifts all year long. Receiving one big gift and one necessary gift was the norm. There were years when we received more and there was a year we received less. There were six of us kids, so we all chose carefully what we wanted on our lists, so our gifts would complement each other and there was no chance of duplication on

games or dolls. One of the most memorable Christmases I had was the year my parents had ordered our entire Christmas from the Montgomery Ward catalog. It must have been shortly after home delivery became available, or it was a year my mom needed to save the time and just ordered over the phone…Well, this year, Montgomery Ward did not keep up their end of the deal and when Christmas Eve arrived, the gifts did not. My mother and father tried everything they could think of, but there was no getting those gifts in time. I like to think I get some of my creativity from my parents, because they had a stroke of genius with their response. After we had gone to bed , my mom and dad took the time to go through the catalog late that Christmas Eve and cut out each gift they had purchased that had not arrived. They then hung each picture on a piece of Ribbon and put them on the tree. There was nothing else to do except eat the pizza we had left out for Santa and wait for us to get up

at our usual time of 4:30am. We jumped out of bed and all headed down the stairs! The excitement we had was quickly curbed when we saw just a couple of gifts under the tree. Surely, we couldn’t have ALL made the naughty list…what in the world had happened? Then dad stepped up and explained that Santa ran out of time and could not deliver our gifts until the next day, and he knew we would understand so he just left pictures of what we were going to receive. We were disappointed, but we all patiently waited as dad passed out each picture one at a time and we oohed and aahed over each one. There were a couple of gifts from grandparents, so we played with those and wondered how Santa was going to deliver the gifts the next day. What a Christmas it was when the UPS man brought boxes and boxes the next day! That represents the good ole days to me… With the Christmas season fast upon us (it has been here since before Halloween) we need to take some time to remember the good ole days. The times we remember family, friends and those who took the time to make our Holiday special. Sometimes when we think of the past, the memories turn painful and we don’t want to think about them, because they make us sad. But I encourage you to find a friend to tell stories to, grab your grandkids or

great grands and tell them your favorite story about Christmas. When you share your stories and feel those emotions, those emotions are then allowed to pass. And the pain will be able to pass as well. But if you choose to keep that pain in, you will have to keep it. Sharing the emotion of the story is one way that helps you work through it. I teach a Grief Recovery Class and the tools we learn to use help ease that pain from the past. Pain that comes from the unresolved grief from may different losses in our life. It may not be a death of a loved one, it may have come from a divorce, a broken relationship, loss of independence, loss of health… or one of many other types of loss. I am humbled to help people recover, which simply means to feel better, from their loss. If you find yourself in a position where you would like to learn more, call me, email me and we will talk more. It would be my honor to help you, or help someone you love. And if you have no one to share a story with, call me…I would love to hear one of your stories from the Good Ole Days… Louanne is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist who does group grief classes as well as one on ones. You can contact her by calling 980-521-4661 or going to her website

- NEW REHAB GYM & EQUIPMENT - Designated Rehab Hall with Private Rooms - Accepting Medicare, Medicaid, and Private Insurance

Please Call to Schedule Your Tour Today! 635 Statesville Blvd, Salisbury, NC 704-633-7390

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Holiday Health for Seniors

11 tips for keeping older people healthy this holiday season Posted By: Megan Horst-hatch


hile the holidays are a time of gatherings with family and friends, they can also be a source of stress, as exercise schedules might be disrupted for shopping excursions and rich holiday meals make it difficult to adhere to a particular diet. Staying healthy can be a challenge during this time of year, especially for seniors. Get a senior’s caregiver involved to help manage expectations at this time of year. According to Amy Fuchs, a licensed clinical social worker

and owner of The Elder Expert, LLC in Saddle River, New Jersey, one of the difficulties of the holiday season is not knowing an elderly relative’s limits. “You can anticipate that they might need help, but they might not express to you that they’ve slowed down,” Fuchs says. Robyn Golden, a licensed clinical social worker and director of the health and aging department at Rush University in Chicago, agrees. “Offer older relatives options and ask them what they want to do, but don’t assume their limitations,” she advises.

To help seniors stay healthy during the holidays, reduce their stress and avoid the holiday blues, keep the following tips in mind: 1. Make Healthy Choices From rich meals to tempting and tasty homemade snacks, the holidays are a time for many to indulge in food -- or overindulge. Try to plan meals with other events in mind. For example, if a big dinner is planned for New Year’s Eve, consider serving a lighter lunch of salad or soup. “You don’t want to deny anyone of the food they like to eat at this time of year, but you don’t want anyone to gorge themselves, either,” Fuchs says. 2. Stay Hydrated Drinking water is one way you can stay healthy during the holidays. “Senior citizens, especially, need to drink plenty of fluids, as not drinking enough water could cause hospitalization,” Fuchs says. To make it easier to stay hydrated, have water easily accessible at home and keep bottled water in a purse or bag when running errands. 3. Follow Dietary Restrictions Some seniors must follow special diets, such as one that is low in sodium. It can be difficult to adhere to a diet during busy, stressful times, especially if there aren’t any healthy options available. “When people get stressed, they tend to overeat and don’t stick to their diets,” Golden says. To make it easier to follow dietary guidelines, keep healthy options like fresh-cut vegetables and fruit on hand. 4. Drink in Moderation “Drinking too much can impair functions, and for some senior citizens, drinking alcohol with certain medications can have adverse side effects,” Golden says. Consider offering fun, alcohol-free drinks so everyone can celebrate the holidays. 5. Keep Exercising In many parts of the country, the holidays are synonymous with cold weather and snow. To stick to an exercise schedule, bundle up and invite your parents for a walk around the block if the sidewalks are dry. If it’s snowing or icy outside, drive to an indoor shopping mall and walk a few laps while window-shopping. 6. Shake up Traditions Between cleaning the house and cooking for a crowd, hosting a big holiday meal can be a source of stress. If an older relative traditionally hosts a big holiday meal, consider passing the tradition on to the younger generation of family members. If the relative insists on hosting, Fuchs recommends younger family members volunteer to clean or prepare part of the meal. 7. Decrease Gifts For many senior citizens, especially those on a fixed income, the holidays can be a financial challenge due to purchasing gifts for many family members. To reduce stress from paying for gifts, consider having a family grab bag, where everyone contributes one gift. Continued on page 18


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Christmas, Peace, And A Soft Green Dress continued from page 14 “hot-box” filled with musty newspapers and country-fresh straw, where previously the dishes had been kept warm. Seated, I sang Christmas songs for my grandmother while she prepared steaming hot coffee for the adults and warm, delicious cocoa for me. Then, after what seemed an eternity, my father and uncle would call from behind the sliding doors leading into the previously closed living room. As the pocket doors squeaked back into the walls, a dark fir tree, shining with lighted candles, gold and silver ornaments saved from years past was now reflecting in my bright eyes. My grandmother and my father took my hands and joined my mother, uncle, and great aunt, and slowly circled the stately tree. Old Danish hymns rang out in bass, tenor, and one small soprano voice while thin tinsel strands fluttered from the fragrant branches like silver rain. Later, as a feeling of peace fell on the room, I sat on the smooth oriental carpet, family and presents all around me, and watched the flames in the coal stove sputter against the glass window. At the age of five I was too young to know that someday the green woolen holiday dress would become an important part of my memories. I would recall that this was a time when the tiny kingdom, the home of Hans

Christian Andersen and The Little Mermaid, had again returned to a fairytale land; coming out from its long years of darkness and into the lights. The presence of the Nazi regime would be gone, but not forgotten; the King would resume his daily ride along the streets near the harbor, and my mother and grandmother would again take their Sunday stroll through the walking street in the inner city. I would remember this time, as I still do, with a warm heart and recall that this Christmas Eve in 1945 would forever symbolize for me peace on earth and good will toward men. About Heidi Thurston Heidi Thurston was born, and spent her early years, in Copenhagen, Denmark. In her late teens she immigrated with her parents to the United States where she met and married her husband, Chuck Thurston, an author, playwright, and columnist. Heidi an accomplished author in her own right, worked as a journalist, a feature story writer, weekly columnist, and reporter for The Evening Times, in Sayre, Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of several awards from the Pennsylvania Press Association and has had a number of stories published in various periodicals. She is the author of a published novel, “The Duchess, The Knight & The Leprechaun.” The book is available at Heidi resides in Kannapolis with her husband. The couple have two sons, and a daughter; seven grandchildren and three great granddaughters.


DECemBER 2017

December 2nd 7:00 - 10:00 pm Delmonico’s Dance Bring a dish to share December 2nd 3:30 - 10:30 pm “Gaithers Christmas Home Coming” December 6 11:45 - 5:30 pm Barn Dinner Theater December 9 1:30 pm Call to sign up Free Bills Magic Show Great Family Time December 16 7:00 - 10:00 pm Bring a dish to share Delmonico’s Dance - Special Dance this night December 19 11:30-3:30 pm American Red Cross Blood Drive - Please help December 24 December 25

Closed Closed

Merry Christmas Merry Christmas

Movies Free at the J. F. Hurley Family YMCA Call today to ask about the schedule 704-636-0111 Watch our website for more things to come: check out active older adults or YMCA Wonders Facebook

Want a tour/have questions call: Louise Klaver 704-636-0111

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Our Health

Our Black-Out Days continued from page 5 frightened worse... me or the dog!! This same night I covered four blocks before the “all clear” siren. By the time I reached my apartment one of the top wardens drove up and said, “We had a false alarm an hour ago, so now this is the real practice thing”, and the sirens went off again! I was so cold I thought I would break. Many people were coming home or going to work at this hour at war plants, so lights went on everywhere. I had one

more job trying to prove to the people who had been blacked out for an hour that they must start all over again. I went in my apartment and tried to thaw out. I was still numb when daylight came. One of the Practice Nights came and we were to have “casuaIties” at the theater and in the park nearby. If it had been a real raid I doubt if anyone in the area would have lived through it! Planes flew over dropping

small paper bags of flour. All wardens were begging people to keep inside, keep the lights off and keep calm. Everybody within blocks were standing in their yards gazing up at the planes and running to see what it was all about. They crowded around the ambulance, fire trucks and rescue units. I thought how sad it would be if we should ever have a real attack. Some of the other things we did to try and help out were

to sell War Bonds. We also collected empty cans. People cut the ends out, washed them and then stomped them flat. I have often wondered where they ended up or what good, if any, we did.” Irene Wells Jones was from Royston, GA Her writing was submitted by Linda Wells Coon of Granite Quarry

Holiday Health For Seniors continued from page 16 8. Rest after Traveling For some senior citizens, the holidays are a time to travel long distances to visit family and friends. Whether they travel by car, rail or plane, keep in mind that an older relative might want to rest upon arrival. Golden suggested offering the options of watching television or taking a nap instead of planning a day of shopping and visiting.

Fuchs advises. Consider having your relative sleep on the first floor of your home. If that’s not possible, let them stay in a room close to the bathroom. In addition, use nightlights in the hallway so they don’t stumble in the dark.

11. Stay Involved Recognize that senior citizens still want to feel they are part of the holidays. For many, that may include helping out with holiday preparations. “It’s fine to reduce senior citizens’ stress by offering to hold the holiday event at your home instead of theirs, but still keep them involved by having them cook

a favorite dish or maybe help decorate the home,” Golden says. With a few preventative measures and a willingness to change some traditions, senior citizens can stay healthy and follow their diets, while also having fun with their family members this holiday season.

9. Make Homes Accessible If older relatives are visiting your home for the holidays, ensure your home is safe and accessible. “Be mindful of hazards in your home. For instance, someone with a cane could trip over area rugs,”

10. Take Breaks Between parties and shopping, the holidays often involve busy days and late nights. If you are planning an all-day outing, carve some time for a nap or a way to relax for a bit, even if it is just to sip tea in a cafe. Little kids, seniors and everyone in between will appreciate it.


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Community Events VOLUNTEERS WANTED As we age, the benefits of volunteerism becomes more rewarding both inside and out. Volunteers are able to improve the lives of the individuals living within their communities by providing their time and talents. Community patrons receive benefits from volunteer efforts, but the most rewarding piece of the puzzle is the social, emotional, and physical health benefits for the volunteer. A research study led by University of Pittsburgh Researcher Fengyan Tang surveyed 200 volunteers 50 years of age and older. The results showed that volunteers had significant improvements in their mental health, a greater sense of productivity which increased social activity, and an overall improvement in their lives. Benefits were enjoyed more through the support of the volunteer organization via adequate training, ongoing support, and greater flexibility in choosing activities and schedules. Overall, volunteerism gives older adults purpose, satisfaction, and good health in later life while giving back to society. To learn more about the benefits of volunteering go to seniors_get_from_giving_back. Join Rufty-Holmes with our volunteer efforts. If you are interested and would like to know more about our volunteer opportunities, please contact our volunteer office at 704-216-7703.

SENIORS 55 & OLDER: FLEMING HEIGHTS APARTMENTS is now accepting applications for one bedroom apartments. Applicants must be 55 and older

Our Community Memory Café a Safe Place for Those with Dementia Trinity at Home has established a monthly Neighborhood Memory Café that is free and open to individuals with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia and their families, as well as their caregivers. Individuals with cognitive impairment and memory loss and their loved ones can socialize with others facing similar challenges in the stress-free and stigmafree environment of the Neighborhood Memory Café. The monthly meetings are held from 10:30-11:30 a.m. the fourth Tuesday of the month at Gary’s Barbecue in China Grove. The meetings feature guest speakers, games, light refreshments, mutual support and access to information on community resources. “Companionship and a having a sense of belonging are important in all walks of life,” says Christina Joyce, director of community services for Trinity-Rowan Senior Services. “We hope to achieve this goal for both caregivers and their loved ones through Memory Café.” The Memory Café concept originated in the Netherlands and came to the United States in 2008. Trinity at Home is proud to be the first Memory Café in Rowan County. “This is an essential program for people with dementia because there is still a lot living to do, after a diagnosis and we hope to promote this and restore a sense of normalcy for both the person with the diagnosis and those that love them, a place to have fun and laugh,” says Chandra Upright, Agency Director and RN Supervisor at Trinity at Home says, The Neighborhood Memory Café meets the fourth Tuesday every month, except December, at Gary’s Barbecue of China Grove, 620 Highway 29 N, China Grove, NC 28023. (To see if an alternate date has been set for the December meeting, please call.) Reservations are preferred and can be made by calling Teresa Dakins or Lauren Vordenberg at Trinity at Home at 704-603-2776.


FLEMING HEIGHTS APARTMENTS Section 8 Vouchers Accepted • Handicap Accessible CALL 704-636-5655 TDD Relay 1-800-735-2962 Equal Housing Opportunity

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The Meadows of Rockwell Trinity Oaks Campus

Big Elm

728-820 Klumac Rd. 704-637-3784 704-633-1002

Rehabilitation & Living Centers 1285 West A Street Kannapolis, NC 704-932-0000

Retirement Center 612 Hwy. 152 East Rockwell, NC 704-279-5300

Genesis Healthcare -

Salisbury Center 710 Julian Rd. 704-636-5812

Liberty Commons

Bethamy Center

Health and Rehab of Rowan County 4412 South Main St. 704-637-3040

909 N. Salisbury Ave. Spencer, NC 704-633-1985

We would like to extend warmest wishes to you & your family throughout the Holiday Season. This page sponsored by the caring folks at the long-term care facilities listed on this page.

Autumn Care of Salisbury

Skilled Nursing Rehabilitation Center 1505 Bringle Ferry Rd. 704-637-5885

The Laurels of Salisbury

A Skilled Nursing and Rehabilitation Center 215 Lash Dr. 704-637-1182

Brookdale Salisbury

Assisted Living 2201 Statesville Blvd. Salisbury, NC 704-636-0588


Brian Center

Health & Rehabilitation 635 Statesville Blvd. 704-633-7390

Magnolia Gardens

1404 S. Salisbury Ave. Spencer, NC 704-754-4437

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Rowan Senior Savvy December 2017  
Rowan Senior Savvy December 2017  

Celebrating Life After 55