Spring Summer Generations Magazine

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Publication of the


SPRING/SUMMER 2019 A Lifestyle, Health & Active Aging Magazine




Live Longer & volunteer!

t he

G o lden Games Winning medals AND friends


much to do see AND

Home is where the



Senior Living with Heartis Suwanee


NEUROSURGERY CASES ANNUALLY Treating a range of cerebral and spinal issues and conditions, the respected neurosurgeons at Gwinnett Medical Center provide comprehensive care to more than 850 patients annually across the region. To expedite the healing process for each individual patient, our board-certified surgeons and comprehensive neurosurgical team utilize the latest technology and advanced treatment options to provide the best care possible.

Dave J. Seechran, MD & Bethwel Raore, MD Neurosurgeons Neurosurgery & Spine Associates




Generations Spring/Summer 2019 Edition Features:










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ON THE COVER: A Lifestyle, Health & Active Aging Magazine

Publication of the


SPRING/SUMMER 2019 A Lifestyle, Health & Active Aging Magazine

PUBLISHER / EVENTS — Noreen Brantner ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS — Janet McCray, Chad Ross, Janie Roling, Mary London, Beckie Smith CONTRIBUTING WRITERS — Beth Slaughter Sexton GRAPHIC DESIGN TEAM — Anna Yang, SCNI Creative Services GENERATIONS MAGAZINE (ADVERTISING INQUIRIES CONTACT): Gwinnett Daily Post / SCNI Events — (770) 963–9205 x1203 — Events@Scompapers.com — GwinnettDailyPost.com — SCNIevents.com



Live Longer & volunteer!


Go lden Games Winning medals AND friends

Generations 50+ Boomers & Seniors magazine is published twice a year by the Gwinnett Daily Post / SCNI Events in conjunction with Generations Expo: a Lifestyle, Health and Active Aging event held each May in Gwinnett County, GA. GenerationsExpo.com

LIVE YOUR Best Life!

Discovery Village At Sugarloaf delivers the carefree peace of mind you or your loved one needs and wants all in one place.

WHY ARE WE DIFFERENT? 3 All-day Sensations Dining 3 Special golf membership exclusive to our residents 3 Pet friendly with onsite Rover’s Run Pet Park 3 Independent Living, Personal Care, and Memory Care so residents can age in place 3 Spacious one- and two-bedroom cottages with attached garages 3 All-Inclusive Memory Care 3 Conveniently located near Gwinnett Medical Center and Emory Johns Creek Hospital


470.226.2085 TO LEARN MORE! DiscoveryVillages.com 1220 Satellite Boulevard, Suwanee, GA 30024 INDEPENDENT LIVING | PERSONAL CARE | MEMORY CARE

Lifetime Rent Protection Guarantee applies to Personal Care and Memory Care apartments only. 3-year Rent Protection Guarantee applies to Independent Living homes only. Prices, plans and programs are subject to change or withdrawal without notice. Owned and operated by Discovery Senior Living. Void where prohibited by law. ©2019, Discovery Senior Living, DVSL-0089 4/19.



much to do see AND

Home is where the



Senior Living with Heartis Suwanee


Rizwan Bashir, MD Neurologist and Neuropsychologist Gwinnett Medical Group

Can Your Genes Put You At A Higher Risk Of Stroke?


our brain is pretty amazing. It has about 100 billion cells called neurons that allow it to perform its many functions, like controlling the entire body. It not only helps to regulate basic functions like breathing, blood pressure and heartbeat, it also helps you do everything from moving and thinking, to speaking and remembering. To continue working well, 24 hours a day, nonstop, your brain needs a constant supply of both oxygen and nutrients. When this steady flow of oxygen and nutrients is stopped or interrupted, the result is a stroke. Even if a stroke only lasts a few minutes, brain cells begin to die. That’s a scary thought. What’s even scarier, nearly 795,000 people will suffer a stroke this year. So how can you make sure that you aren’t one of them? Start by learning about the key risk factors, including high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, smoking, being overweight and having a family history of stroke. Yes—you read that correctly. While most people think of family history as it relates to cancer and heart disease risk, stroke isn’t often included. But perhaps it should be. To better understand the genetics—stroke connection, Rizwan Bashir, MD, a Neurologist and Neuropsychologist with Gwinnett Medical Group answers some of your top questions:

Q: Is there a gene that predisposes someone to having a stroke?

While no specific “stroke” gene has been identified, there are several genetic factors that contribute to an individual’s risk of stroke. The best way to identify these factors is to understand your family history. Let your medical practitioner know if you have a family history of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke or cardiovascular disease.

Q: In terms of stroke risk, how does genetic predisposition interact with environment and lifestyle?

Being genetically predisposed to any disease doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get that disease.

Q: Are some people at higher risk of stroke? While stroke can occur at any age (even babies), generally, the older you are, the higher your risk. Increasingly, though, stroke is happening to younger people, possibly because obesity increases the likelihood of high blood pressure and diabetes. Stroke is more common in women than in men. In addition, birth control pills and pregnancy can increase stroke risks for women. In addition to the most common risk factors, stroke is higher amongst people with conditions like sickle cell disease, atrial fibrillation, peripheral artery disease or carotid artery disease. Stroke is also more likely among people who smoke or are obese.

Q: What are the best ways to prevent stroke? According to the American Heart Association, about 80 percent of clot-related strokes may be preventable. If you have any of the highrisk factors I’ve mentioned, seek treatment and modify your lifestyle to lower your risk. The earlier you manage your lifestyle for general good health, including not smoking and keeping your blood pressure, weight, and cholesterol under control, the more you’ll lower your lifetime risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. Comprehensive care when you need it most. There is no doubt that stroke is scary, but with a comprehensive stroke program at Gwinnett Medical Center’s Emergency Department, your customized care will begin the moment you call 911. With GMC’s Stroke Alert process you will be placed in a dedicated stroke unit, with a team of specialty-trained experts. You will receive a personalized treatment plan tailored to suit your unique needs. This may include tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which is the only FDA-approved clot-busting medicine. Even after you have a stroke, GMC offers an extensive range of treatment options and services to ensure the best health outcome possible. Learn more at gwinnettmedicalcenter.org/stroke. G EN ER AT I O N S M AG AZI N E 5



ith a nod to the famous line in the movie, Jerry McGuire, “You had me at...” research shows older Americans who volunteer frequently live longer and report less disability. If for no other reason, volunteering to increase one’s life span sounds like a good one. But baby boomers who volunteer say it is so much more than that. “The biggest joy is seeing a child smile and laugh,” says Stephen Seabolt, who has volunteered at Fernbank Museum of Natural History since 2010. “I like to make sure the children are having a good time.” Seabolt, who served in the Marine Corps almost five years and then retired in 2010, after 36 years in security management said he had volunteered other places, but found Fernbank was the place for him. “I could really talk up the great staff,” he said. “It’s a really positive experience. It’s kind of my therapy. I get to be active.” Fernbank Museum is one of the most popular cultural attractions in the Atlanta area. Home to the world’s largest dinosaurs, Atlanta’s biggest movie screen and much more, its educational mission is to inspire life-long learning of natural history. Founded in 1942, Fernbank brings science to life through programming and experiences on its campus off Clifton Road in Atlanta. The museum offers many opportunities for seniors and people of all ages to volunteer.


“Volunteers provide visitors with a memorable and enjoyable experience and make Fernbank a bright, fun place to visit and work,” according to Allison Trice, Fernbank’s vice president of membership and guest services. “In addition to helping with all of our visitors, our Fernbank volunteers play an integral role in every aspect of museum work. They teach our guests about the natural world. They help build exhibits. They restore Fernbank Forest and they promote Fernbank and its programs.” Trice said Fernbank offers volunteer orientation two or three times each month.

“I was looking for something to do,” Seabolt said. “For me, I really wanted something that would let me talk a lot—communicate. Customer service is such a priority and I think if you’re going to do something, you’ve got to put your heart and soul into it.” The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the government agency that coordinates Senior Corps, Americorps and other groups reports that 18.7 million older adults contributed on average more than three billion hours of service in their communities, according to results from a recent two-year study. A quarter of those volunteers were age 55 and older. Not only do older adults volunteer for such places as Fernbank, but they also meet a range of community needs. The CNCS states older volunteers help seniors live independently in their homes, offer tutoring and mentoring to at-risk youth, provide financial education and job training to veterans and their families and help communities recover from disasters. In fact, older adults who volunteer typically volunteer more hours in a year than other age groups, according to the CNCS. A growing body of research shows an association between volunteering and mental and physical health benefits. In particular, the CNCS reports older volunteers have lower mortality rates, lower rates of depression, fewer physical limitations and higher levels of well-being.

“The biggest joy is seeing a child smile and laugh.”



FernbankMuseum.org | @FernbankMuseum

Atlanta’s Science and Nature Experience

Treasure every moment!

Be our guest for a Chick-fil-A Backstage Tour! You will be guided on a walking storytelling experience to learn more about the restaurant you love while being inspired by the life and vision of founder S. Truett Cathy.

Groups of 10 or more call 404-305-4163 for special pricing or email

chick-fil-abackstagetour@ chick-fil-a.com!



The Original: An enlightening journey through the history of Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, and the core values of the company.

Tours are held Monday – Friday for adults and children over six. For schedule and pricing options, visit: Tours.chick-fil-a.com Contact info: Chick-fil-abackstagetour@chick-fil-a.com

The Deluxe: Visit S. Truett Cathy’s office, enjoy tastings in The Kitchen and experience The Nest, our training center.

5200 Buffington Road Atlanta, Georgia 30349

5200 Buffingtong Road, Atlanta, GA 30349 | tours.chick-fil-a.com 8 GENERATION S MAGAZINE



he ribbon has been cut and the newest senior living community in Gwinnett County is welcoming residents and guests to its 10acre site located near the wildly popular Suwanee Town Center. The two-day grand opening found business owners, professionals, government officials and area residents enjoying food, drinks, entertainment and the ambiance of Heartis Suwanee situated on the corner of Suwanee Dam and Brogdon roads. This is the 19th Heartis community in operation or development by Caddis, a national healthcare real estate firm based in Dallas, Tex. Caddis launched its senior living brand in early 2013 to reflect its mission of helping seniors live life to the fullest, according to Sharise Thurman, executive director of Heartis Suwanee. In Georgia, Caddis has opened a Heartis community in Fayetteville with another under development in Buckhead. Additional communities are located throughout Texas, Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. With a tag line that reads, “Home Is Where the Heart Is,” Heartis Suwanee will offer 175 units totaling about 187,375 square feet for independent living, assisted living and memory care lifestyle options. “All Heartis communities are ideally located and Heartis Suwanee is no exception,” Thurman said. “The community is located on the highly accessible major thoroughfare of Suwanee Dam Road and just minutes from many retail establishments, such as the Mall of Georgia and Suwanee Town Center, as well as healthcare providers, including Gwinnett Medical Center and Emory Johns Creek.”


Heartis is the title sponsor for the upcoming Generations Expo and Thurman said the senior living community is proud to serve in that role, adding that baby boomers and seniors are the primary market served by Heartis Suwanee. “We look forward to partnering with the community to continue to foster healthy living and aging,” she said. Heartis Suwanee is already working as a partner by joining the effort approved by the Suwanee City Council and the city’s public arts commission to bring public art to the community. The City of Suwanee encourages developers to include public art as part of new projects and donate one percent of construction costs to public art on their site or elsewhere in the city. Heartis Suwanee has purchased “Dancer XX,” a sculpture by Jack Howard-Potter. A native of New York City, his work has been on display throughout the world in outdoor sculpture parks, galleries and public art exhibits. With degrees in art history and sculpture, HowardPotter worked with a blacksmith in Colorado where he learned about the properties of steel—a medium he would eventually use to create his art. His sculpture, “Dancer XX” is fabricated from galvanized and powder-coated steel and fabric as well as the hub assembly of a Ford Explorer. The sculpture stands 20 feet tall and weighs around 2,700 pounds. It represents a monumental male figure standing on one

leg with arms raised to represent a body in motion the moment that a dancer is at the peak of a jump, that weightless split second before the body succumbs to gravity. “Heartis Suwanee is proud to have ‘Dancer’ located at its new home within the community and within Suwanee,” Thurman said. Residents of the new senior living community will be in close proximity to enjoy all of the art and activities that Suwanee has to offer, especially its award-winning Suwanee Town Center, which is called the “symbolic heart” and “front yard” of the city. Anchored by a 10-acre urban style park, the area features Suwanee’s City Hall, walkways, an interactive fountain, a performance stage with 1,000-seat terraced amphitheater along with large open areas. Suwanee Town Center draws people from throughout metro Atlanta and its Town Center Park is the home to the annual Suwanee Fest, which brings almost 40,000 people to Suwanee the third weekend in September and the site of concerts that sometimes draw as many as 15,000 people. A public-private partnership, Suwanee Town Center includes single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums, office and retail space. As one of Suwanee’s newest additions, Heartis Suwanee is ready

to welcome guests to tour its facilities. Independent living apartments combine maximum independence and comfort with 24/7 security. Assisted living residences offer more personal care, including help with meals, medication and bathing. Memory care services help each resident with an individualized care plan to maximize everyday living. “Heartis communities provide high-quality, high-value services, programming and amenities; onsite personalized support and inviting, caring, home-like environments,” Thurman said. “Heartis Suwanee will offer a wide variety of first-class amenities, including spacious accommodations with cable TV; large, secured courtyards; beautifully landscaped grounds with walking paths; game and activity rooms; a beauty and barber shop; large, inviting dining room serving home-cooked meals; social and recreational activities and religious services and relaxing common areas.” G EN ER AT I O N S M AG AZI N E 9

Retirement looms for the boomers;

IT PAYS TO PLAN AHEAD BY BETH SLAUGHTER SEXTON STAFF CORRESPONDENT An estimated 74 million Americans are baby boomers, according to the latest information from the Pew Research Center. Those are the people born between 1946 and 1964, and while 74 million is a large number, the shocking number is 10,000. That’s how many U.S. baby boomers turn 65 years old each day—with most of those setting their sights on retirement. For 30 years, Roger Green has helped thousands of people with their money and assisted them in planning for a successful retirement. Even as a young man of 19, waiting tables in a restaurant, Green knew he had an aptitude for finance and friends and family told him he needed to get into the investment business. “I’ve really loved it since I was a kid,” Green said. He got his Master of Science degree in financial servic-

es, as well as graduate level professional certificates in financial asset management, pensions and executives compensation and applied behavioral finance. Since 1987, his firm, Green Financial Resources has helped individuals and small businesses with their investment decisions focusing on customer service, education and a unique philosophy that the firm will help everyone who seeks help with their money by providing free consultations without asset minimums. “That means we just love to help everybody,” Green said. “A lot of places have minimums like $100,000 up to $1 million or so, but I like to help everyday people.” Helping people plan for retirement is important to Green, who has developed what he calls a harvesting plan for retirement assets. “It’s a plan I have seen work effectively for my clients regardless Continued on page 11

More than 30 Years of helping people with their Money Where will your retirement take you? Register today for Successful Retirement Strategies held at Gwinnett Technical College Sugarloaf Campus Two Wednesdays July 10 & 17 6:00-9:00pm

Registration: call Gwinnett Technical College at 770.995.9697 or go to www.GwinnettTech.edu/CE. Successful Retirement Strategies will be found under the Hobbies and Personal Enrichment section.

Course tuition is $99 for you and a guest.

Ask about the senior discount!

Alpharetta Campus Two Thursdays July 11 & 18 6:00-9:00pm

Unable to attend class? Call 770.931.1414 today to schedule a no-cost personal consultation. www.RogerSGreen.com Roger Green is an Investment Advisor Representative providing securities and advisory services through Cetera Advisors LLC, a broker/dealer and a Registered Investment Advisor, member FINRA/SIPC. Green Financial, Gwinnett Tech, and Cetera Advisors LLC are unaffiliated. Awards do not guarantee future results and cannot be construed as an endorsement of the advisor by any client. The Best of Gwinnett winners and nominees are chosen by a combination of readers’ votes and editors’ input to vet opinions through sites such as Better Business Bureau complaint reports and voting pattern analysis reports. There is no fee in exchange for nomination or winning. 10 GENERATION S MAGAZINE

Retirement looms for the boomers; it pays to plan ahead Continued from page 10 of their income or assets,” he said. “This plan divides your savings and investment money into three parts. To start, determine how much money you will need annually from your savings and investments to augment your Social Security and other income sources. Once you determine that annual figure, determine how much money is needed one to two years out; three to five years out and 5-plus years out.” The goal is to help clients stretch their assets for today’s longer life spans and to overcome the effects of inflation and taxation that decrease the value of their money over time. “Most people I see need continued growth throughout retirement to help stretch their assets throughout their lifetime and allow them to potentially leave a legacy to others. This is where you really need the help of a professional, as this is your longer-term investment money with which you will take on significant risk. “Your goal is to harvest—or withdraw—from a well-diversified portfolio of assets only when they are up in value; using the shorter-term liquid assets as a buffer during times of market volatility, when the time isn’t right to sell your equities because they are down in value.”

Since 1997, Green has taught classes on retirement planning at Gwinnett Technical College and he speaks to many civic and employer groups free of charge about retirement planning and investment. “Successful Retirement Strategies” (SRS) is a class covering the basics in IRAs, Social Security, long-term care, estate planning and more. Two two-session SRS classes will be held this summer: July 10 and 17, 6:00-9:00pm at the Gwinnett Technical College Sugarloaf campus, and July 11 and 18, 6:30-9:30pm at the Alpharetta campus with his three-session class, “Financial Strategies for Successful Retirement” (FSSR), coming up October 1, 8, and 15 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the

Sugarloaf campus. Green teaches tax-reduction techniques and money management ideas, as students learn how to build a diversified investment portfolio. “Although Americans work an average of 90,000 hours during their working years, few spend more than a day preparing for their retirement,” Green said. “An increasing number of retiring Americans are dependent upon the government, their families or charity. The retirement planning seminars help you plan to avoid this situation.” Green hosted an educational radio program, “Your Green” on 970 AM from 1998-2017 and for more two decades, he has written a monthly newspaper financial column. He was listed in Barron’s as one of the Top 1000/1200 advisers from 2009-2016, and 2019. In 2016, Green’s firm was named Gwinnett Chamber’s Pinnacle Small Business of the Year and in 2009, Green was named to Research Magazine’s Adviser Hall of Fame, one of five advisers nationally to receive the honor. Green Financial Resources is located at 3700 Crestwood Parkway in Duluth. Green and his wife, Laura, are residents of Gwinnett County and the parents of six children and grandparents to three. To find out more about their retirement planning classes, to schedule a no-cost consultation, or simply to find out more about Green Financial Resources, LLC, please call 770.931.1414 or visit their website at www.RogerSGreen.com

Roger S. Green, MSFS, CFP® is a Registered Principal with, offering securities and advisory services through, Cetera Advisors LLC, member FINRA/SIPC, a broker/dealer, Registered Investment Advisor. Cetera Advisors LLC is not affiliated with Gwinnett Technical College or Green Financial Resources. Awards cannot be considered a guarantee of future performance and/or success. This recognition should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor by any client. Barron’s: Top 1200 Financial Advisors: Over 4,000 advisors who wish to be ranked fill out a 102-question survey about their practice. Data is verified and then applied to a ranking formula. The ranking reflects the volume of assets, revenue, and the quality of the advisors’ practices. The scoring system assigns a top score of 100 and rates the rest by comparing them with the top-ranked advisor. Research Magazine’s Advisor Hall of Fame is awarded to candidates who have served 15 years in the industry, have acquired substantial assets under management, demonstrated superior client service, and have earned recognition from their peers and the broader community. The Pinnacle Small Business Award is given by Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce to pay tribute to leading small business who dare to start, strive to sustain, and persevere to succeed.

VOLUNTEER Help stop Medicare fraud in its tracks!



any people face turning 50 with a little trepidation. They may miss the things they did during their youth and might feel like the hands of time are moving much too quickly. But instead of looking at aging as growing older, men and women can embrace turning 50 and the growing freedom that typically accompanies reaching this milestone. Increased opportunities to travel is one aspect of reaching 50 that excites many men and women. Nielsen reports that, over the next five years, around 80 million Americans will fit into the 50+ age bracket. Many of these people will have extra time to devote to leisure activities. AARP, the leading nonprofit organization for aging adults, says that of the people with AARP memberships, nearly twothirds take advantage of travel discounts and other benefits in a typical year. The following are some such travel perks.


The minimum age to qualify for “senior” discounts varies among companies and for different products and services, so it’s up to travelers to see what is available to them. Not all companies advertise their senior discounts. Read reviews

in travel forums or on travel websites to find out which brands or places offer the best deals.


Even if retirement is a ways down the road, older adults may have accrued more vacation time than their younger colleagues. That time can be translated into longer or more frequent trips.


Reaching age 50 or 60 may entitle people to join groups that negotiate deals for their members. For example, the minimum membership age for AARP is 50, meaning travelers who join AARP can enjoy discounts roughly five years before they’re eligible for senior discounts offered by other organizations.


When not constrained by school schedules, men and women over 50 can travel during times of the year when prices are most affordable. This means savings and smaller crowds. This flexibility also can translate into airline discounts, as men and women over 50 with no time constraints can choose to be standby passengers in exchange for discounted or free tickets.

Opportunities it

eor ia s enior Medicare atrol M

VOLUNTEER BENEFITS Community Events & Health Fairs Training Provided—Learn more about Attend community events and help eduthe Medicare program and healthcare cate the public about Medicare fraud, fraud. waste and abuse. Distribute SMP inforFlexibility—You create your own schedmation and answer questions. ule. No required service hours. Paid mileage. Presentations Deliver prepared presentations (15-20 minutes) about Medicare fraud. Host Medicare Fraud BINGO games. This project was supported, in part by a grant (Nos. 90MPPG0049, 90MPPG0024 & 90MPPG0023), from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201.

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Eileen Giselbach with her husband Bob sitting behind. They are the Founders of the Gwinnett Golden Games.

G winnett

s e m a G n e d G ol Gwinnett Senior Golden Games offer chance to win medals and new friends



hen Shirley Snow showed up for her first archery contest, she didn’t even own a bow. She had only lived in Gwinnett County a couple of years when she saw a flier advertising the upcoming Gwinnett Senior Golden Games and thought it might be something fun to do. “So I took off one Saturday morning and drove to Between,” she said. “It was back in the boonies and there were a number of people there at the games. They all had the special bows. These were people who do state tournaments.” The manager of the archery games walked up to her and said, “I’ll help you get your things out of the car.” “I told him, ‘What you see is what you’ve got,” Snow says with a laugh. As it turned out, the manager had extra bows and equipment for her to use. Until then, her only experience with archery had been when she was growing up with her younger brothers and played bows and arrows with suction-cup tips.


Snow fell in love with the sport that day out in the “boonies” and now she is a multiple gold medal winner in archery for the Gwinnett Senior Golden Games. The annual Olympic-style games are held each spring at sites throughout the county and this year, close to 400 men and women age 50 and up competed for medals in a range of sports and activities. It is not unusual to see men and women in their mid-to-late-90s taking part in some of the dozens of competitions. This year, as in past years Snow and other volunteers helped Sherman Shelby run the games, which took place at Summit Chase Golf Club, Stars and Strikes bowling alley and parks and other facilities throughout the county. Shelby, who is president of the Gwinnett Senior Golden Games, recalls how about 12 years ago, Eileen and Bob Giselbach organized the first local senior games. “It all started out because they wanted something for seniors to do in Gwinnett County,” Shelby said. “...They get friendship and fellowship and meet people in their own age group. They get out and have fun.” In addition to serving as presi-

dent of the games, Shelby is also a participant. An avid bowler, he bowls for four different leagues, and especially enjoys the bowling and darts events at the games. Through the years, he has won a number of gold and silver medals in Gwinnett’s Senior Golden Games for bowling, darts, shuffleboard and horseshoes. Shelby marvels at the many men and women who come out each year and compete in such events as tennis, swimming, golf, bowling, billiards, badminton, archery, table tennis and field games that include discus, shot put, softball throw, football throw, Frisbee toss and holey board. In addition, participants compete in bocce ball, bowling, croquet, darts, horseshoes, pickle ball, putting and shuffleboard. Not all games are physically demanding, Shelby said, adding that competitions also take place among Rummikub and pinochle players. Events are divided into men’s and women’s divisions and participants compete by age group in five-year increments beginning at age 50. Gold, silver and bronze medals are awarded to first, second and third place winners in the different age groups and medal winners are then able to compete in the state games with those win-

ners then going on to compete nationally. “We’ve had quite a few go to state,” Shelby said.”We’ve had two or three go to nationals.” In partnership with Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation, the Gwinnett Senior Golden Games offers seniors 50 years of age and older a chance to take part in a range of sports, meet new people, learn new skills and become more familiar with recreational opportunities available throughout the area. In organizing the games, Shelby works with a board of directors and Kim Shealy, the volunteer resource coordinator for Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Advisers. Like Shelby and all the others, Snow works as an unpaid volunteer for the Gwinnett Senior Golden Games, but says being involved has paid off in many ways. “I have met some awesome people who have become friends,” she said, adding that she helps manage some of the games. “...At the beginning of each of these events, the manager reads the rules out and answers questions. My big thing is I always like to end my speech with, ‘Hey, lots of medals today; lots of bodies today and you might leave with a new friend.’”

Left to right: 2019 Torch Bearers Pat and Stella Harney

Putter Shirley Snow


LORRIE HAD A HE ART AT TA C K 8 0 M I L E S F R O M H E L P. W H E N E V E R Y SECOND COUNTED, SHE COUNTED ON US. Long live Lorrie. Long live hearts. The care Lorrie Griffith needed when she had a heart attack in her home in North Carolina was more than an hour’s drive away. That’s why first responders knew the only chance to save her life was to fly her by helicopter to Northeast Georgia Medical Center, where a team known for some of the fastest response times in the nation were standing by. They restored blood flow to her heart in just 14 minutes.

Watch Lorrie’s story and request your appointment online: nghs.com/lorrie l 770-282-1090


24 CANCER PROGRAMS IN THE NATION AWARDED. ONLY ONE IN GEORGIA. Northeast Georgia Medical Center’s (NGMC) Cancer Services is the only program in Georgia to receive the 2018 Outstanding Achievement Award by the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. As one of only 24 cancer programs in the nation to receive this award,NGMC offers cancer patients access to expert doctors, leading clinical trials and advanced treatments – right here at home.

Learn more at nghs.com/cancer l 770-219-8815

Worried about dementia? Now hear this... BY BETH SLAUGHTER SEXTON STAFF CORRESPONDENT


edical studies show a person’s risk of developing dementia increases 200500 percent if they have suffered hearing loss—a condition that also contributes to several other chronic health conditions, in addition to being a factor in frequent falls. “It has not been completely established what the connection between hearing and dementia is, but the most common theory is that when you have untreated hearing loss, your brain is working so hard to understand what you are listening to that you don’t have room to actually remember it,” according to William Dennison, MA, BC-HIS and the owner of Dennison Hearing Solutions at 3511 Braselton Highway in Dacula. Dennison, along with his mother, Dr. Laura Dennison, Au.D., BC-HIS, who is chief audiology adviser and audiology consultant at her son’s practice, are working on a book together with one chapter titled, “Hearing, Dementia and the Brain.” They said their goal is to offer patients the latest information regarding the link between hearing loss and dementia and what they can do to

help prevent it. In the report, they explained how we hear, the negative impact of untreated hearing loss, hearing loss and dementia and the positive impact of treating hearing loss. They list chronic health conditions that occur at a significantly higher rate in people with hearing loss, including thyroid disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, dementia and cardiovascular disease. “Hearing care is healthcare,” the Dennisons write. “...With untreated hearing loss, you are at three times the risk of falling...If you treat your hearing loss, your increased risk of falls goes away. You still have the normal risk, but your increased risk goes away.” The Dennisons cite a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study and other research that show falls are the leading cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among adults age 65 and older in the U.S. Helping patients avoid such calamities and conditions is what the staff at Dennison Hearing Solution seeks to do by working to improve their patients’ hearing. William Dennison grew up watching his mother as she treated patients who came to her with their hearing concerns. He was six years old in 1988, when Dr. Laura Dennison opened her practice

and 30 years later, he opened his own where he too seeks to offer the same patient-centered care he witnessed his mother offer to her patients. Dennison explains to his patients how important it is to treat their hearing loss because ignoring it can cause problems they never imagined—including dementia and their greater chance of developing it. “The leading theory about this connection is that hearing loss causes you to work harder to fill in the blanks of what your ears aren’t giving your brain, causing you to go into cognitive overload,” Dennison said. “Because of the cognitive overload, your brain has less energy to devote to processing and remembering.” He also said hearing loss can lead to social isolation, which is another risk factor for cognitive difficulties. “Now, the good news is that studies have also found that treating hearing loss is the number one thing that you can do to prevent dementia,” Dennison added. “One study said it is more effective than any of the current medical treatments that are on the market. The treatment of hearing loss has been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce the

deprivation our brains experience as a result of hearing loss.” An American Academy of Audiology (AAA) report addresses the issue of hearing loss and dementia. “When people in their 50s and 60s with hearing loss began using hearing aids, their scores improved in tests measuring working memory and processing speed,” according to the AAA study. It also reports that hearing loss can lead to depression, anxiety and poor relationships. Dennison said doctors agree that hearing evaluations should be incorporated into a person’s annual health assessment beginning at age 55. He said people often have a misunderstanding in thinking that hearing loss means you cannot hear something. He said a person may hear some sounds, but not others, so he says it may be more accurate to say hearing loss means a lack of clarity. “That adds to the frustration because you can hear some things, but just not enough to always respond as you would like,” he said. “...Hearing loss—even a mild loss that may be written off as ‘normal,’ can cause a strain on your brain, hampering your cognitive ability.”


Don’t Forget These 5 Memory-Boosting Tips Memories capture the richness of life. But as we age, our ability to remember can slip, making it more difficult for us to function and to enjoy all the charms life has to offer. But memory problems don’t have to plague you in your later years. Below are five helpful tips for maintaining your memory in the new year and beyond.

1. Boost Your Brain

Studies have shown that a great way to keep our memory sharp is to engage in new, exciting and challenging activities on a regular basis. You can tackle a crossword puzzle, dive into a thrilling novel, travel to another country, or simply take a new path while walking the dog. Embracing variety, change and newness will not just keep your life interesting and fun; it can also help you preserve your memory and brain function well into your senior years.

2. Nurture Better Nutrition

Maintaining a balanced, nutritious diet can help you keep your memory robust as you get older. Researches reveals that foods high in saturated fats and LDL (bad) cholesterol can lead to a buildup of plaques in the brain, which can hamper one’s memory over time, and have even been linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Great memory-guarding foods are those high in vitamins and low in saturated fats, such as fruits, vegetables and lean meats. The so-called “Mediterranean diet” offers the perfect brain-food tableau: fish, fruits, leafy vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and moderate amounts of alcohol (particularly red wine).

3. Exercise Regularly

Staying physically fit can help us stay mentally fit. A regular fitness routine improves blood flow to all parts of the body, especially the brain. But you don’t have to join a strenuous boot camp to strengthen and preserve your memory capacity. The NIH suggests that taking 40-minute walks and doing stretch exercises every day can heighten your memory and your ability to envision and plan for the future. Be sure to consult your physician before taking on any new or unusual workout routines.

4. Stay Social

Meeting friends for coffee or taking a walk with your grand kids can actually help delay or even prevent memory loss. Time with friends and family will not only promote feelings of well-being and comfort, which reduces memory-eroding stress, but will also inject our lives with variety and keep our minds engaged. So go ahead and have that extra cup of tea with your daughter or other round of golf with your buddy. It’s great way to make, and keep, awesome memories.

5. Sleep it Off

According to the National Institutes of Health, your brain solidifies your memories during deep sleep, which leads to better recall and improved learning during the day. So, a night of bad sleep often equates to a day of annoying forgetfulness. You can treat poor sleeping habits by: allowing yourself time to wind down two hours before bed, keeping your bedroom dark and cool at night, and limiting your exposure to the blue light of smartphones, iPads and computer screens before hitting the sheets. It’s also recommended to end the day with less light and to start the day with more light to maintain a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Our memories make life more fulfilling. While we can’t stop the progression of time, we can help prevent memory problems from bringing us down by making small lifestyle changes in our everyday lives. After all, it’s often the “little things” that make the biggest differences in life—and the best memories. With wonderful memories in mind, this is an article sponsored by Garden Plaza at Lawrenceville.



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ince Ed and Patricia Curtis retired, this longtime Gwinnett couple has been busier than ever. There’s not much sitting on the front porch and rocking for them. They are on the go all across the county from their daily five-toseven-mile walk to attending almost every event they know about, including many sponsored by The Gwinnett Daily Post. As president of VSP (Very Special People), the senior group at First United Methodist Church of Lawrenceville, Mr. Curtis and his wife say they enjoy attending such events as Generations Expo and health fairs to get information to take back to VSP and the Gwinnett Seniors Group, of which they are also members. “We’ve stayed busy all our lives,” Mr. Curtis said. “It’s hard not to be busy. We got more involved at the church...We’ve been active in the Joy Class 15 years and they do a lot of outreach, Family Promise, Grace Arbor and Hope Clinic.” He now designs and manages the Joy Class directory and is the photographer for Grace Arbor functions. Mr. Curtis retired seven years ago after two careers. He worked 50 years in marketing and then worked six years as an insurance agent before retiring. He was nominated as an Atlanta Businessman of the Year. Active for decades in church, first at Memorial Drive Presbyterian in DeKalb County and now First UMC of Lawrenceville, Mr. Curtis served as a deacon, Sunday School teacher, maintenance coordinator, search committee chairman and ran the Lunch Bunch for six years. Mrs. Curtis taught Sunday School for five years and together, the couple hosted a Bible study at their house for 15 years and were part of another Bible study group for 10 years. They both served on the school summer lunch program for two years and for several years represented their church at the North Georgia UMC Conference. Mr. Curtis, who holds a master’s degree in marketing served on a board for the Georgia Mining and Poultry Federation. He also served on the Peach Bowl Committee and Military Affairs Committee for Georgia for 15 years. He and his wife served as Girl Scout leaders and PTA leaders when their two daughters were younger. Daughter Christy Curtis is a high school teacher and working on her doctorate at UGA and daughter Sharyn Micheli has a master’s degree from UGA and is an executive with Allstate. Mr. and Mrs. Curtis have two grandchildren. Mrs. Curtis retired in 2009, after 29 years of teaching in Gwinnett County schools. She taught at Lawrenceville Middle School and then Creekland Middle, specializing in history, geography and math. A native of Atlanta, Mrs. Curtis graduated from what was then the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina. Mr. Curtis graduated from the University of South Carolina and 60 years ago, they met on a blind date. This June they will


celebrate their 56th wedding anniversary. Mrs. Curtis enjoys volunteering and especially when children are involved. Both she and her husband have served as mentors for children through Kids’ Hope and worked with youngsters at Lawrenceville Elementary School. She also looks forward to Relay for Life each year. “I am a recovering breast cancer survivor,” she said. “We’ll be there...It’s a great thing to do.” In addition, Mrs. Curtis and her husband regularly visit home-bound friends and they enjoy traveling and playing bridge. “We’re doing things we love to do,” she said.

In celebration of her two-year anniversary of going through radiation therapy for her cancer, they will attend an upcoming survivors’ event at Stone Mountain’s Evergreen Conference Center where one night everyone is to dress as a superhero. Mrs. Curtis said she and her husband are going as Rev. Billy and Ruth Graham. Faith is crucial to her, she says, adding that whatever comes in life, “You give it to the Lord and live every day.” Mr. Curtis said they just enjoy life and love to meet people and do what they can. “We do something to help someone every day,” he said.

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Happenings at the Library


he Gwinnett County Public LIbrary system is bringing many New York Times bestselling authors to Gwinnett this year. If you love historical romance, GCPL hosts bestselling Rita Award winner Lauren Willig on the Georgia Gwinnett College campus on June 5 at 7pm to talk about her new book, The Other Daughter. Lauren always has something interesting to say about her research for the book.

n For fun and free evenings, check out the two upcoming Bites, Bev-

erages, & Books programs. Join us on June 7 at Peachtree Corners City Hall Meeting Room at 7pm to hear and meet Mary Kay Andrews. She has nominations for the prestigious Edgar Award, Macavity Award, and the Agatha Award and is the bestselling author of twenty-four novels and a cookbook. Then on November 2, Bites, Beverages, & Books hosts Karen White and her long awaited book The Christmas Spirit on Tradd Street.

n Falls are a killer among adults. You can receive a personalized evaluation of your potential to fall by medical professionals. Learn ways to avoid falls, including vital sign assessment; screening questions; tests for gait, balance, mobility; and medication reviews at the Suwanee branch on May 24 GENERATION S MAGAZINE

22 from 10am – 1pm. All participants leave with a report of fall risk screening results and recommendations.

n For those of you who are interested in politics and enjoy a spirited discussion about world affairs, you will enjoy the new Globe Issues Series Workshops held at 7pm at the Suwanee branch. A Partnership Tested: The United States and Mexico, will take place on September 14. The experts will discuss the relationship between the US and Mexico, addressing the reasons for increased friction in the bilateral relationship.

Event times and addresses are available on the library website, gwinnettpl.org, by calling 770-978-5154 or by email to events@gwinnettpl.org.


2. Discounts at Retail Shops

If you don’t feel like cooking be sure to turn to these places for good senior dining deals. From fast food to steak restaurants, this list will definitely help you make your choice. Keep in mind that deals may vary at participating locations and can change without notice.

Many retailers will offer a small discount to seniors who ask for it, if they’re not already posted. Here are a few.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Applebees: 10% to 15% off (60+) Arby’s: 10% off, some with free drink (55+) Bonefish: AARP members get 10% off Dairy Queen: 10% discount at various locations (free small drink at some) Burger King: 10% discount on purchase depending on location (60+) Carrabba’s Italian Grill: AARP members get 10% off Chili’s: 10% discount (55+) Denny’s: Offers a 55+ menu with smaller portions, and better prices and 15% off for AARP members Golden Corral: Senior discount varies by location (Inquire) KFC: Enjoy a free small drink with any meal (55+) IHOP: 10% discount (55+) and a menu for people aged 55 and over at participating locations Long John Silver’s: 10% discount or discounted beverage (55+) McDonald’s: discounts on coffee and beverages (55+) Outback Steakhouse: AARP members get 10% off their entire meal Subway: 10% off (60+) varies by location Wendy’s: get free coffee or other discounts depending on location

• Belk: 15% off first Tuesday of every month (62+) • Goodwill: 10% – 20% off one day a week (varies by location – 55+) • Kohl’s: 15% off on Wednesdays (60+) • Ross Stores: 10% off every Tuesday (55+) • SteinMart: 20% off red dot/clearance items first Monday of every month (55+) • Walgreens Discounts: 20% off once a month, “Balance Rewardsâ€? card required. (65+ and AARP)

3. Discounts When Traveling Is travel in your future? Look into these airlines, offering various discounts to 65+ • American Airlines • Southwest Airlines • United Airlines: Various discounts for 65 and up (call to apply senior discount).Â

4. Discounts on Cell Phone Plans • AT&T: Discounts available for AARP members – 10% off qualified monthly AT&T voice and data wireless plans and 15% off eligible wireless accessories â€˘ Consumer Cellular: 5% discount on usage and monthly fees, 30% discount on select accessories for AARP members â€˘ Metro PCS: 5% for AARP membersÂ

Want more discounts? Check out a list of more senior discounts at www.theSeniorList.com

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Much to see and do for boomers at Aurora Theatre BY BETH SLAUGHTER SEXTON STAFF CORRESPONDENT


rom ghost tours to acting workshops to presenting some of the hottest shows in the country on stage, Aurora Theatre in Gwinnett County is the fastest-growing theatre in the region and certainly one of the busiest. Located on East Pike Street in downtown Lawrenceville, the Aurora is in its 23rd season and while it presents shows for all ages, from now through June 2, is a show the theatre’s Al Stilo says, “Baby boomers will love.” “It is called Native Gardens,” he said. “It is about neighbors; one set of neighbors is in the boomers’ range. They have lived in their house for many years and have a prize-worthy pristine backyard. When new neighbors move in, the clash of cultures kicks in... It is one of the most produced plays in the country because folks on all sides can relate to a perspective and the playwright shows the good and not so good on both sides of the conflict with hilarious results.” Stilo, director of sales and marketing for the Aurora, is in his 14th season with the theatre and since his arrival, the Aurora has tripled its season ticket base, expanded programming to more


than 800 annual events and become one of the most decorated arts organizations in the region. Also a professional actor for 30 years, Stilo has performed onstage at Aurora in The Explorers Club, Les Miserables, Chicago, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and several other productions. In the Aurora’s upcoming season, Stilo said baby boomers should enjoy Children of Eden, a musical telling of the Book of Genesis from composer Stephen Schwartz who penned Wicked, Godspell and Pippin. Also com-

ing up is The Roommate, which is about two women in their 50s who become roommates as a new chapter in their lives begins. Besides the great line-up of shows offered each year, the Aurora offers senior discounts, assisted listening devices, an elevator, covered parking and matinee performances on Saturdays and Sundays. The theatre encourages baby boomers to come out and enjoy its shows, as well as sign up for acting classes. “It is a great time for retired persons or folks looking to

change careers to consider acting classes,” Stilo said. “With Georgia becoming the number one location in the country for film and television production, there are new opportunities for locals to get in on the fun. Aurora Theatre Academy offers adult acting classes in both our fall and winter sessions. Periodically, we will host or facilitate workshops on special topics. Adult acting is not just for performers. Anyone who wants to be more comfortable in front of a group of people and improve their public speaking will love our classes as well.” Stilo said the Aurora hires actors of all ages, races and physical types for a variety of performance opportunities and is always seeking new volunteers. “Our volunteer guild is staffed by many active seniors who enjoy being part of the second largest theater in Georgia,” Stilo said. “We have lots of ways to get involved, from front of house duties to sewing to construction and even cooking. There are so many ways volunteers support Gwinnett’s largest arts non-profit organization.” To find out more about such opportunities or for show times, tickets and more information, go to www.auroratheatre.com.

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