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Living 50+

Special supplement to Herald-Citizen, Sunday, April 27, 2014

10 — HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014


MONTEREY: Center endeavors to keep seniors active From Page 7 to the senior center. They make two laps around the park, which is about half a mile. A nice, leisurely stroll — just in time for the spring and summer months ahead. And any senior is welcome to join in — dog or no dog. “We want you to come and walk with us,” Johnson said. Same goes for the many other weekly activities at the center, some of which are as follows: • Fitness classes on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. • Tai Chi on Thursday at 9 a.m.

• Bridge on Monday and Thursday at noon. • Bingo on Thursday at 10 a.m. • Wednesday Socials around 10 a.m. with a speaker or entertainment followed by a covered-dish lunch. • Movie day outings from time to time. • A new monthly game night, which begins May 22 from 5-7:30 p.m. with finger foods. “These are all games you can talk and eat through — that’s very important,” Johnson said. “And thanks to some grants we’ve been given, we also have an official-sized shuffle board court and a miniature golf set-up,” Johnson added. So, the center has lots of choices for the

150 seniors on its membership roster with around 35 to 40 taking advantage each day. The center is located at 105 N. Elmore, and membership is free to ages 60 and older. And Johnson wants more seniors to get involved — that’s why the center is hosting an open house with refreshments on Memorial Day, May 26, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. “I think there are a lot of folks who don’t know what we do inside these walls,” she said. “We want to let them see that we’re a vibrant, active group of people.” And — coming up even sooner — is a Friendship Day on May 7 in which all members are all encouraged to bring a friend to enjoy an entertaining day. Johnson noted that Monterey seniors are a special group — especially those at the center. “This is the ‘youngest’ group of seniors I have ever been a part of,” she said. “They’re very knowledgeable, very active and are very committed to their volunteer work. For those in the community who are having trouble with day to day needs, we have folks here who go out and help them.” to in-laws and encouraged them to move Monterey is an “absolutely wonderful” too. Since moving, they have enjoyed coming to the senior center and participating in various activities. Bob and Linda both attend a computer class. Linda has also attended a class for making mats for homeless looking for grocery bags. The senior center offers activities for varied interests, such as puzzles, books to read a place to get a haircut. “I haven’t gotten into any card playing,” Linda said. The Edwards have sold their camper. “We used to do a lot of camping,” Bob said, adding they sold it to someone who wanted to live in it until their house was built. Brown said information about Cookeville’s attractions can be found on

RETIRE: Cookeville has a lot to offer From Page 4

adding that Cookeville has been listed as a music incubator. Cookeville also offers six golf courses. Tennessee Tech University also brings a lot to the community. Appalachian Center for Craft is a satellite campus of Tennessee Tech. Craft activities include glass blowing, pottery, woodworking and yarn making. Another unique thing about Cookeville is the tour they provide for people who are considering moving to the area. Brown said they pair those visitors with people who have also relocated to Cookeville to give them a tour that would show things that appeal to their interests. Bob and Linda Edwards moved to Cookeville several months ago. The couple, from Michigan, moved because their oldest daughter moved to Cookeville to be closer

place to be a senior, she added — and not just because of the senior center. “We have the excitement of the new high school,” Johnson said. “It’s geared toward the students, but there are so many things we seniors can take advantage of just being an observer — going to the football games, baseball games, basketball games. That’s wonderful entertainment.” She also pointed out that the Monterey Branch Library is a great place to be. “We have a wonderful library that does their best to have books on tape as well as the large-print books,” she said. The community also has plenty of opportunities for seniors to volunteer their time to help others. Anyone interested can give Johnson a call at the senior center at 8398053. “So often, I think seniors sit and wait for somebody to do something for them,” Johnson said. “But in Monterey, there are so many things seniors can do for the community. “I think we’re valued here, and the community lets us know we’re important.”

HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014 — 11


Assessing your abilities as an aging driver When a person first earns a driver’s license, they’ve earned more than just the right to legally operate an automobile. To many drivers, a driver’s license is symbolic of freedom and self-sufficiency. The significance of a driver’s license never truly dissipates, which makes it difficult for aging men and women to address their abilities as a driver and whether or not they can still safely share the road with other motorists. Though many drivers can safely stay behind the wheel well into their golden years, others begin to recognize their skills are starting to diminish as they approach senior citizen status. For those who want help gauging their abilities as a driver, some self-examination can help. Assess your eyesight Healthy eyes are essential to being a safe driver, and drivers can assess their eyesight in a number of ways. In addition to visiting an eye doctor for an eye examination, drivers should look for signs that they’re having difficulty with driving. If signs and street markings aren’t so easy to read anymore, you might need a new prescription for eyeglasses. When the glare of headlights at night makes it difficult to see, your driver’s

At NHC, we have an experienced 24-hour staff of licensed nurses and certified nursing assistants. We also have physicians and nurse practitioners who make regular visits to patients and are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure quality medical care for all of NHC Cookeville’s patients.

Aging drivers should weigh a host of factors when determining if it’s still safe for them to be on the road.

seat might need to be adjusted or you might want to consider antiglare eyeglasses that make it easier to see at night. Assess your comfort level Safe drivers are also comfortable drivers. To assess your comfort level as a driver, ask yourself the following questions before getting back behind the wheel. • Is it troublesome to look over your shoulder and change lanes?

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• Has steering become difficult? • Has your reaction time when switching from the gas pedal to the brake pedal decreased? If you can answer “yes” to any of the questions above, then it could be that you’re beginning to lose strength, coordination and/or flexibility, which can make it more difficult to operate a motor vehicle. Answering “yes” doesn’t mean you have to

give up your driver’s license. In fact, your doctor might be able to prescribe therapies or medicines or suggest a fitness regimen that can make it easier for you to comfortably drive a car. In addition, if you’re having trouble steering or operating a motor vehicle in any way, you might just want to find a vehicle that’s easier to drive, such as one with an automatic transmission that has power steering and brakes. When assessing your comfort level, also examine your mental state while driving. If other drivers make you uncomfortable or traffic signs are confusing, this can make it difficult to safely operate an automobile. Such feelings when driving could also be a side effect of a particular medication, so discuss the issue with your doctor to see if that’s the case and if there are any alternatives. Honestly address concerns Aging drivers are often the last to notice if their abilities behind the wheel are starting to diminish. Loved ones are often put in the position of talking to aging drivers about their abilities, and this can cause friction. If See Driving, Page 14

12 —HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014


The early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease Alzheimer’s disease is the most common form of dementia. It is a progressive, degenerative disorder that attacks neurons and essentially robs people of their memory and language skills. Although there is no cure for Alzheimer’s, there are therapies that can slow its neurological impact. Recognizing the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s can encourage people to begin treatments that can stave off some of the more debilitating symptoms of this disease. Though it’s most common among the elderly, Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging. The Mayo Clinic says that the reasons behind the inception and progression of Alzheimer’s disease are largely unknown. It is believed damage starts a decade or more before problems become evident. Abnormal deposits of proteins begin to form the amyloid plaques and tau tangles throughout the brain, and these formations are the hallmarks of the disease. Once-healthy neurons gradually begin to lose their efficiency and ability to function and communicate with one another. As more neurons die, entire areas of the brain shrink. The hippocampus, which is the area

There are a number of warning signs that indicate an individual may have Alzheimer’s. of the brain essential in forming memories, may soon become compromised. Millions of people in North America are estimated to have Alzheimer’s disease and many others will be diagnosed. The following are the most common early signs and

symptoms of the disease. • Memory loss: According to the Alzheimer’s Organization, early memory loss can include forgetting important dates or repeatedly asking for the same information. Forgetting recently learned information and having to rely increasingly on memory aids is another potential indicator of Alzheimer’s. • Declining cognition: Impaired reasoning or judgment, trouble finding the right words and visual and spatial issues also may be early indicators of Alzheimer’s. • Difficulty completing familiar tasks: Those with Alzheimer’s sometimes have trouble driving to a familiar location or remembering the rules to a favorite game. People who were once good with numbers may now have difficulty balancing their checkbooks, while those who love to cook may have trouble following recipes. • Time confusion: Another indicator of Alzheimer’s disease is losing track of time. One may have trouble understanding something that isn’t happening in the present. Alzheimer’s sufferers often forget where they are and how they got there. • Misplacing items: Everyone loses some-

thing at a point in time, but those with Alzheimer’s may put items in unusual places. They may sometimes accuse others of stealing when they cannot retrace their steps and find items. • Decreased judgment: Decision-making abilities may be compromised. A person with Alzheimer’s may take unnecessary risks or give away sums of money. • Mood changes: People with Alzheimer’s may suffer from confusion, suspicious feelings, depression and anxiety. A person may upset easily or become anxious outside of his or her comfort zones. Age and family history of Alzheimer’s disease are the biggest risk factors. The liklihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65, says the Alzheimer’s Organization. In addition, those with a parent, child or sibling who have developed Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease than people with no such family history. A physical and neurological exam, which may include blood tests and brain imaging, will be used to diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. Individuals can learn more by making appointments with their doctors.

HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014 — 13


Yoga not just for youngsters Yoga is big business, attracting more and more people each year. Designed to promote physical and mental health, yoga has helped millions of people across the globe control their stress and improve their flexibility, and studies have shown that yoga is only growing in popularity. According to a study conducted by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau, roughly 20 million Americans practiced yoga in 2012, marking a 29 percent increase from just four years earlier. While some men and women over 50 may feel their time to take up yoga has passed, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, yoga can pay numerous dividends for the over 50 crowd. • Yoga can help alleviate hypertension. Also known as high blood pressure, hypertension is a potentially dangerous condition that makes the heart work harder to pump blood to the body. Hypertension contributes to a hardening of the arteries known as atherosclerosis, and can even contribute to the development of heart failure. A person’s risk of developing hypertension increases as he or she ages, so it’s important that men

and women over 50 take steps to reduce their risk of hypertension, and yoga can help them do just that. A normal blood pressure is 120 over 80, but people with hypertension often have blood pressure readings of 140 and above over 90 and above. Studies have shown that yoga can reduce the top number, which is referred to as the systolic blood pressure. In a study published in the” Journal of Clinical Hypertension,” researchers found that men and women who practiced yoga for six hours a week for 11 weeks reduced their systolic blood pressure by 33 points. Thestudy’s authors feel that the slow, controlled breathing that’s essential to practicing yoga decreases nervous system activity, helping the body manage its blood pressure levels. • Yoga helps practitioners maintain healthy weights. While yoga may not help men and women shed weight as effectively as more vigorous activities, it can help them maintain healthy weights. Many men and women over 50 find vigorous or strenuous physical activity too demanding, and might not be able to perform such activities with

the frequency necessary to prevent weight gain. But while yoga is physically demanding, those who practice yoga often find it takes a smaller toll on their bodies than more traditional strength training. Another way yoga can help to maintain a healthy weight is through its relation to stress. Yoga can help to relieve stress, and lower stress levels reduce the likelihood that men and women will overeat, which is a common response to elevated stress levels. • Yoga promotes strong bones. Osteoporo-

sis is a medical condition in which tissue loss leads to brittle and fragile bones. Aging is a significant risk factor for osteoporosis, and women are at even greater risk than men. The National Osteoporosis Foundation notes that women can lose up to 20 percent of their bone mass in the five to seven years after menopause, so it’s important that women (and men) take steps to strengthen their bones. The nature of yoga makes it an ideal activity to promote healthy bones.

Health Care & Rehabilitation Center “The Nursing department was so supportive with ik ndness, patience, and never-ending energy. Ie f el the h P ysical Therapy department is the e b st. h W en I went to e B thesda, I was total care. The therapists realy l pushed me and y b the time I e l tf , I was abe l to give myself a shower, do exercises, and walk with a wale k r. They were encouragers with patience.”

Mary Graves, Graduated Patient, with her therapists, Sonya and Cynthia, and Charlie, Therapy Dog

(931) 525-6655 444 One Eleven Place, Cookeville, TN 38506

14 —HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014


BUSY: Retired, but busy

From Page 5

fundraiser. “I love the fact that people in this area are willing to help,” she said. “We’re so blessed.” One hundred percent of every penny earned through the Pet Therapy program goes to help the cancer patients at CRMC. “Last year we granted more than $10,000 to the Cancer Center for the purchase of the Personal Treatment Journal which helps patients keep track of all the details of their treatment

plan,” Sommers said. “It is a pricey book, but critical to their care. Patients will often refer to it as ‘their Bible’.” All fundraising efforts are done by the four Pet Therapy Dogs in the program and their handler/owners along with the kind, caring of folks like Bob Bell and Bill Gray, Sommers said. Meanwhile, Gray is enjoying his “working, creative” retirement. “I love it,” he said. “I enjoy a challenge and this is certainly fun.”

DRIVING: Honestly assess From Page 11 loved ones have expressed concern about your abilities as a driver, honestly address these concerns, even if it’s initially hurtful or embarrassing to do so. Your loved ones are sharing their feelings out of genuine concern for your well-being, so don’t look at it as an assault on your self-sufficiency. Some organizations, including the AARP and

AAA, offer driving classes for mature drivers to help them more adequately handle the challenges aging drivers might face. Aging drivers face obstacles they may or may not be prepared for. When such challenges arise, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to stop driving entirely. Instead, honestly weigh a host of factors before deciding if it’s still safe for you to be behind the wheel.

A New Level of Care Available in Cookeville A N J U M EN D I R AT TA , M . D. KIDNEY & HYPERTENSION SPECIALIST Anju Mendiratta, M.D. trained at East Carolina University and Temple University, and is currently practicing nephrology in Cookeville. She is currently the Medical Director of Sparta Davita Dialysis Center and actively seeing patients at Cookeville and Livingston Dialysis Centers as well. Dr. Mendiratta is Board Certified in Nephrology and internal Medicine. Her interest remains in dialysis - especially home dialysis (peritoneal dialysis and home dialysis). She takes care of patients with chronic kidney disease, hypertension, edema, electrolyte imbalance, and proteinura. Dr. Mendiratta is now accepting new patients and looks foward to seeing you in her Cookeville office. Please call us at

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HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014 — 15


Some dog breeds especially compatible with seniors Pets often make ideal companions. They are around when a person needs support, they can provide protection for those living alone, they’re always willing to lend an ear to problems, and many tend to offer unconditional love. Seniors facing an empty nest or the loss of a spouse may find pets can buoy their spirits. Studies have shown that seniors can benefit both mentally and physically from having a pet around. Pets can alleviate anxiety, depression and boredom. While pets can provide comfort and companionship, they remain a significant responsibility. Seniors should find an animal that will fit in with their lifestyles. This is an important consideration for those seniors who travel frequently or have mobility issues. In addition, men and women living in senior communities or assisted living facilities should determine if there are any pet restrictions in place. Those seniors who have decided that a dog will be the best fit can choose among several breeds that may be a good match for their needs. When selecting a dog, consider both size and temperament. Smaller dogs tend to be easier to handle and will need less maintenance. They are easily

The loyalty and intelligence of Schnauzers makes them ideal companions.

carried and won’t take as long to bathe and groom. Smaller dogs also consume less food than larger breeds, reducing the expense of dog food and the hassle of wrangling large, heavy bags of chow. Temperament is also important, as some breeds tend to be more easygoing than others. Larger breeds may be preferable to a smaller breeds, which tend to be hyperactive. However, always remember there are pros and cons to each breed, and each dog will demonstrate his own personality traits. The following are some dogs that can be especially compatible with seniors. • Pug: Equally playful and willing to be

a lap dog, the pug requires little exercise and grooming. The breed is typically nonaggressive and submissive. Pugs are good-natured and playful; they don’t often bark and are easy to train. • Shih Tzu: The Shih Tzu lives for attention, but this breed can be dominant and difficult to train. The Shih Tzu will be alert to its surroundings and, despite its small stature, can be a good watchdog. • Pomeranian: Pomeranians look like big balls of fur and can bring a smile to an owner’s face. The breed tends to be perky, can display dominance and can be difficult to train. Because Pomeranians can be dog-

aggressive, they may be best as the only pet in the house. • Yorkshire terrier: The Yorkie is a diminutive breed in size only, as they tend to have exuberant personalities that dwarf their stature. The ideal lap dog, Yorkies want to lie around and lounge, though some do like to bark. If the fur is kept short in a “puppy cut,” the dog can be easy to maintain. • Pembroke Welsh Corgi: This mediumsized dog hails from Wales and typically requires only moderate exercise and little grooming. They are easy to train and moderately dominant. They don’t bark excessively, and they often get along with other dogs. • Schnauzer: Available in three sizes, Schnauzers are good companions and protectors. This is an intelligent and loyal breed and will need to be kept amused to stave off boredom. • Brussels Griffon: These dogs do not shed, but they will require professional grooming at least once every 3 months. If socialized early, the Griffon can be a good companion but will likely remain wary of strangers. They are good watchdogs and devoted to their owners.

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Carrie Thompson Owner/Agent

Joanette Haugk, right, patient, enjoys Bethesda’s “senior” prom with Amanda Barlow, LPN.

Residents at Bethesda enjoy a ‘senior’ prom By MEGAN TROTTER HERALD-CITIZEN Staff

COOKEVILLE — For four years now Bethesda Health Care & Rehabilitation Center has held its annual senior prom, however this event isn’t for high schoolers. It’s for the residents of Bethesda and their families to enjoy a special night of pampering and fun. The event was first started by Brandise Layne, then the community coordinator with the health care center. “She came up with the idea because a lot of the patients didn’t have a prom when they were younger,” Sarah Smith, Bethesda clinical nurse liaison, said. “Many of them were not in school or had to drop out of school very early, and so a lot of them didn’t have high school proms which is such a big event for kids today. So she thought that it would be a fun special event.” Now the seniors get to enjoy an evening of music, food and dancing. This year, the theme was the Wizard of Oz, and all the

walls were decorated with various scenes from the movie, such as scarecrows, a house with ruby slippers underneath, the palace doors of Oz and rainbow streamers representing “Over the Rainbow.” “It takes a week to prepare, not only with the decorations, but also with the prom dresses that have been donated in previous years,” Smith said. “The women will come into the activity room and pick out their dress so they know what they’ll be wearing ahead of time. Then that whole day is a process. They get their hair done. We have our beautician booked up trying to give perms and all that stuff, then the Career College will come and help with nails and help with makeup and that. So it’s just as big of a process that they really look forward to. There’s a lot of build up to it.” Staff of Bethesda thank Emily Damico Photography, Genesis Career College, and Tyrone Carver of Mystique Productions DJ Service for helping to make this annual event a magical one for everyone involved.

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HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014 — 3

4 —HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014


Cookeville offers much to attract retirees By RiCK AMBURGeY HERALD-CITIZEN Staff

COOKEVILLE — “An unprecedented way of life.” That’s what the Cookeville Chamber of Commerce website says is offered in the Cookeville-Putnam County region. Cookeville and Putnam County are often mentioned in “Best Places to Retire” and similar lists. “We have a retiree recruitment program,” said Molly Brown, convention and visitors director for the Cookeville Chamber of Commerce. She added Cookeville has been deemed one of the top 16 communities to live in Tennessee, which is part of the Retire Tennessee program (, a part of the state economic and community development department. Brown said a town has to have certain amenities to be considered, such as proximity to a good health care facility and a lively downtown. Brown said Ideal Living Magazine does an Ideal Living Show. She’s been to shows in New York and New Jersey in the past year. Brown said they are the only one there that isn’t trying to sell something. “We are there to promote Tennessee and Putnam County,” she said. Cookeville is also one of five Tennessee communities that has the American Association of Retirement Communities’ (AARC) seal of approval, according to Brown. She said Cookeville is the largest mircopolitan

area in Tennessee and that people like the small town feel, while still having many amenities. “We are very walkable, which is appealing to retirees,” she said. On, it states, “Tennessee is somewhat of a mixed bag when it comes to taxes and retirement.” While there is a seven percent state sales tax and five to seven percent tax on food (local government can add to that to make the total sales tax as much as 9 3/4 percent), Tennessee has no state income tax, which means retirees will not have to pay taxes on incomes from Social Security, IRAs or retirement. Another appealing thing for retirees is that prescriptions are exempt and there is a property tax relief program for seniors, the disabled and veterans with income below $39,540, according to the website. Cookeville offers a lot of attractions that retirees would enjoy as well. There are three man-made lakes in the area — Cordell Hull Lake, Center Hill Lake and Dale Hollow Lake. According to, these attractions tend to get crowded on the weekend, but tend to be peaceful places during the week. The website also notes that each of those three lakes are within an hour’s drive of Putnam County and there are also state parks, including some with waterfalls, that are with 15 to 45 miles from town. Brown said there is a lot of music and arts,


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HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014 — 5


Even retired, Gray still busy ‘creating’ By LAuRA MILITANA HERALD-CITIZEN Staff

DEKALB COUNTY — Bill Gray has been fascinated by woodworking since high school. “I built a cedar chest in high school,” he said. “I spent most of the semester doing it.” To this day, he still has that very chest in his house. Now, he’s putting his talent to work, and even though he’s retired, he’s as busy as ever, as seen from his workshop in DeKalb County. “My primary focus is on charity work,” he said, with the two biggest groups being the Komen and animal groups he donates items to. In fact, he’s in demand. Bob Bell has teamed up with him to build a dog house for the “Not Your Ordinary Tour of Homes” event, set for June 28 from noon to 2 p.m. in the First Methodist Church parking lot. All dog houses will be displayed and sold by silent auction with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting the Pet Therapy Fund at Cookeville Regional Medical Center. One of the dog homes will be auctioned to benefit the new P.E.T. Care campus, currently under construction.

Laura Militana | Herald-Citizen

Bob Bell, left, holding Button the therapy dog, is pictured with woodturner Bill Gray around the doghouse they created for the upcoming fundraiser for the Cookeville Regional Medical Center therapy dog program. “Randall Petrie is also going to come up and work on a dog house with me,” Gray said. Prior to retirement, Gray was in the computer business. But retirement has been just as busy. He’s a member of the Middle Tennessee Woodturners Club, which meets at Cookeville High School’s shop. Bell said he loves woodworking — and creating things for a great cause. “The Pet Therapy program is a great program and this is an excellent way to help that,” he said. MaryDell Sommers, whose dog Button is a therapy dog, came up with the idea for this

See BuSy, Page 14

A New Level of Care Available in Cookeville PA R D EEP S H A R M A , M . D. DIABETES SPECIALIST As a specialist in Diabetes, I am familiar with the specific health problems associated with this condition. By diagnosing and treating diabetes, my goal is to help you maintain your health, independence and quality of life. Dr. Pardeep Sharma has completed a year fellowship in Diabetes at East Carolina University. Dr. Sharma is now accepting all adult and young adult patients. He looks foward to providing patients with quality care at his Cookeville location. Please call us at

(931)646-0880for an appointment. Most insirances accepted.

221 North Oak Avenue • Cookeville, TN 38501

6 — HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014


Ballroom dancing offers benefits to seniors By BRITTanY STOVaLL HERALD-CITIZEN Staff

COOKEVILLE — Seniors will have a chance to tango, waltz and cha cha their way out onto the dance floor during a dance showcase that will be hosted at the Cookeville Senior Center in two weeks. According to Maxine Frasier, Cookeville Senior Center director, dancing is one of many activities that gives seniors an interest to look forward to at the center. “Every time you have something you look forward to every week, it keeps you going,” she said. Piper’s Dance and Fitness Studio Spring Showcase is scheduled May 10 at the center, located at 186 S. Walnut Ave., and will feature an afternoon program of ballroom dance exhibitions from 2-4 p.m. Later that day, the showcase will feature The Big Bang Brittany Stovall | Herald-Citizen Sound and professional competitive ballroom dancers Brian McNamee and From left, Dora Malone; Margaret alcorn; Piper Landis, dance and fitness instructor; Goldie chaffin; Maxine Frasier, cookeville Senior center director; and Betty Higgins discuss the Piper’s Dance and Fitness Studio Spring Showcase See Dance, Page 8 that will be held May 10 at the senior center.

HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014 — 7


Monterey has plenty to keep seniors active By AMy DAVIS HERALD-CITIZEN Staff

MONTEREY — Her own dog, “Webster,” gave her the idea. Now, Monterey Senior Center director Sandra Johnson and friends can be seen with their furry, floppy-earned companions on Tuesday mornings, making tracks around Whittaker Park. “Those of us who have dogs bring our dogs, and that is a hoot!” Johnson said. “We have a good time with that.” The activity — called “Walk in the Park” — is just one of several new things being offered at the center to help Monterey seniors stay active and enjoy their day. After all, spending time with dogs can be good therapy — and good exercise. “There are so many dogs that need homes and so many people who need to go home to somebody — so I just like to push the idea of dogs wherever I can,” Johnson said. So she and her tiny Yorkie, who happens to be a therapy dog, join others in the group Tuesdays at 9 a.m. at the park, which is next

enjoying a tuesday morning walk through Whittaker Park are Monterey Senior Center members, from left, Phyllis Whittaker and “Chewy,” director Sandra Johnson and “Webster” and Beverly Press and “Athena.”

See Monterey, Page 10

Ty Kernea | Herald-Citizen

8 — HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014


DANCE: Ballroom dancing offers benefits to seniors From Page 5 Leigh Bradshaw from 7-10 p.m. Dancers will get to show off their moves to big band music ranging from swing, waltz, foxtrot, tango, rumba and cha cha. Piper Landis, local fitness and dance instructor who teaches ballroom dance lessons out of Rhythm-N-Motion on Brown Avenue, said the showcase will give senior-aged students a time to shine. “It will be their time to show what they’ve learned,” Landis said. Landis said the Senior Center was chosen to host the showcase because many of her senior pupils also go to the center. “They like to come here because the Senior Center offers dances,” she said. “So they can come and practice their dancing. And they love it.” According to Frasier, the center has its own monthly offering of dance activities, such as country dance lessons Tuesday nights and dances every Thursday and Saturday night.

“On Thursday, it’s always country music. But on Saturday it goes between Rock ‘n Roll, the big band orchestra, country. We try to do a variety on Saturday nights,” she said. Dancing offers many cognitive and health benefits for senior citizens, noted both Landis and Frasier. “I see people’s memory gets better, and it’s just very fit,” said Landis. “It’s very good exercise and it makes you happy with endorphins.” Frasier added, “I think it would greatly help your balance and flexibility to do ballroom dancing.” Plus there is the socialization part of the activity. “You get to meet other people doing the same thing you like to do. So it’s just a great hobby,” said Landis. The showcase, although taking place at the Senior Center, is not just for senior citizens — the evening portion of the showcase is open to anyone 18 and older. Ticket cost is $10 per person for the 2-4 p.m. part of the showcase and $20 per person from 7-10 p.m. For more

information or to purchase tickets, call (931) 319-6000. Those who may be interested in taking dance lessons with Landis may contact the same number. In addition to the showcase, upcoming dance and music events at the Senior Center in May include: every Thursday night, Split Decision Band, for ages 40 and over; Saturday, May 3, Nashville Rash, for ages 18 and over;

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Saturday, May 17, Ryan Arnold and Wasted Nights, for ages 18 and over; and Saturday, May 31, Tennessee Backroads, for ages 18 and over. Each activity has a $5 fee. The Senior Center will be closed Saturday, May 24, in observance of Memorial Day. For more information about these and other Senior Center events and activities, contact (931) 526-9318.

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HERALD-CITIZEN, Cookeville, Tenn. — — Sunday, April 27, 2014 — 9

LIVING 50+ Caregiver workshop shows how to care for those with Alzheimer’s disease COOKEVILLE — Family and professional caregivers for those with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias have the opportunity to learn skills and strategies from Cheryl Blanchard, an expert on caring for and coping with Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. is hosting its “Caring & Coping” Caregiver Training Workshop in Putnam County on Tuesday, April 29, at Trinity Assembly, 205 W. Wall Street, Cookeville, TN 38506. During past Alzheimer’s Tennessee workshops for family and professional caregivers, participants have packed the room seeking a plan for addressing the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. Many seem visibly relieved once they learn they’re not alone when facing some of the biggest challenges in care. “This disease is life altering and so hard to understand,” Amanda Barlow, Alzheimer’s Tennessee Cumberlands area director, explained. “Our care partners need to understand that dementia impacts everything,


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from how we think, to what we say — even our sense of smell. Understanding such factors makes it easier to embrace strategies that make our helping more helpful.” The Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. “Caring & Coping” workshops provide valuable and practical training for family care partners, volunteers and professional care providers facing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. After the day-long session, participants should have a better understanding of the disease, its process and available treatments. Plus, they will learn practical tips for caring for individuals with dementia — while maintaining their own health and spirituality during the course of the disease. Advance registration is required and seating is limited. Cost is $20 for family caregivers and $40 for healthcare professionals (CEU credits are available). The fee includes materials, lunch and refreshments. For more information, call Alzheimer’s Tennessee, Inc. at 931-526-8010 or visit to sign up.


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2014 04 27 living 50 plus  

Living 50+ is a special supplement to the Herald-Citizen.

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